Trump in terrible trouble

At best, the president supped with the devil, having left his long spoon behind. At worst, he colluded with the devil.

In the former case, he exhibited poor judgement and questionable ethics – but probably not bad enough to be ousted. In the latter case, he’s a criminal who should be not only impeached but imprisoned.

Much as I like most of Trump’s policies, I’m afraid there are no other options. He isn’t entirely blameless in either case.

One fact has already been established: Putin’s junta used every dirty trick to swing the election Trump’s way. That attack on the very foundations of the American republic ipso facto makes Russia a hostile power, and any collusion with it is at least ill-advised and at worst treasonous.

Those who, like me, support most of Trump’s policies hope that the Russians were acting strictly of their own accord, with no complicity on Trump’s part, nor ideally anybody else’s on his campaign.

Those who, like the political establishment, hate everything about Trump, including his policies, hope he’s as guilty as Cain.

It’s up to Special Counsel Robert Mueller to find out which hopes are better justified, and he has begun to hand out indictments. Make no mistake about it: for all his denials, Trump knows that the sword of Damocles is hanging over his head.

First, his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Manafort’s associate Rick Gates were indicted on 12 charges of money laundering, conspiracy and tax evasion. Manafort and Gates are now under house arrest, having posted bail in the amount of $10 million and $5 million respectively.

Trump and his fans must have heaved a sign of relief: his name didn’t come up. But their relief is strictly for public consumption: privately I’m sure they realise how fraught the situation is.

Here’s another fact that won’t be contested by anyone who knows anything at all about Putin’s Russia: all big business in that country is in the hands of organised crime fused with the KGB government.

Hence any large fortune made in Russia, be it by locals or foreigners, is tarred with the brush of gangsterism. Similarly, any large sums of Russian provenance sitting in (or laundered through) Western banks represent proceeds of criminal activity.

The perpetrators are on the right side of Russian law simply because no Russian law exists. Or rather it’s coextensive with Putin’s goodwill, which is dispensed or withdrawn on purely arbitrary grounds.

But the moment big Russian money makes its way to the West, Western laws are breached.

Since all Western governments follow the principle first enunciated by Emperor Vespasian, pecunia non olet (money doesn’t smell), they never adopt such an uncompromising stance. But that only means that criminals are allowed to get away with their crimes, not that they haven’t committed them.

Manafort, who made untold millions in the service of Putin’s criminal Ukrainian stooge Yanukovych, is therefore not innocent on the strength of that fact alone. Neither is his right-hand man Gates. And that’s before the charges on 12 counts.

Manafort’s indictment states that his alleged criminal activities continued throughout 2016, belying Trump’s assurance that they had ended before Manafort joined the campaign. The president must be quaking in his boots, for he too had extensive business dealings with Putin.

That means he isn’t squeaky clean either, even if he never did relieve himself into the bed in which Obama had slept in Moscow. And he knows that, once his close associates have been indicted on financial crimes, he himself won’t be immune to prosecution.

That’s why Trump has so angrily reacted to any suggestions that Mueller may probe into his business affairs. He knows now, even he didn’t before, that dipping into the putrid swamp of Russian commerce will leave no one clean. Those who look for dirt are likely to find it.

Moreover, if found guilty, Manafort and Gates are facing prison sentences that may well defy their realistic life expectancy. That tends to make people extremely cooperative with the prosecutor who’s after bigger game.

If the two gentlemen discover their singing voices under duress, God only knows what songs they’ll sing. Trump certainly doesn’t, but he does know how much they know. If it’s possible that their songs may incriminate the president, he won’t sleep well at night.

Then there’s George Papadopoulos, foreign policy adviser to Trump’s campaign. Having been indicted for lying to FBI agents about his soliciting ‘dirt’ from the Russians on Hilary Clinton, he pleaded guilty.

What kind of punishment will he receive? More to the point, how light is the punishment promised to him in exchange for dirt on Trump or his nearest and dearest? Even as we speak, Mueller must be leaning on the three indicted men with all his considerable weight – and prosecutors know how to sound persuasive.

How many of Trump’s other men will be arrested as criminals or at least subpoenaed as witnesses? Definitely more than these three, and one can only guess how much dirt Mueller has found or will find.

If potential defendants lie under oath, every lie represents a count of perjury. How loyal will they remain to Trump when in the witness box?

Your guess is as good as mine, and Trump’s is better than either yours or mine. In any case, if he does have to go, I’ll feel sorry. But I won’t for a second think he didn’t deserve what he got.

Every male MP is an MCP

For those whose modern vocabulary isn’t up to scratch, MCP stands for Male Chauvinist Pig. One of this mammal’s characteristics is a tendency to treat all female persons (except Diane Abbott) as sex objects.

That demeans each female person (except Diane Abbott) and, by extension, female personkind in general. And – are you ready for this? – many of the worst MCPs are to be found in the mother of all parliaments.

This not only demeans female personkind, but it also brings into disrepute the very concept of British parliamentarism. As such, it breaks all sorts of laws – and not just those of the misdemeanour variety.

After all, compromising the political foundations of Her Majesty’s realm may in some quarters be classified as high treason. Hence it’s no wonder that Mrs May has decided to take personal charge of stamping out any inappropriate behaviour in Westminster.

The lifelong feminist in me agrees wholeheartedly: our PM has no tasks more urgent than policing the sexual behaviour of her parliamentary colleagues.

And, judging by their 48-point front-page headlines, our newspapers also see sex pests as the greatest threat to Britain’s survival. Quite right too – but judge for yourself.

Mark Garnier, the international trade minister, sent his secretary out to buy two vibrators, possibly one for each orifice. In a similarly appalling incident, he called her ‘sugar tits’. The vibrators were presumably meant for home, rather than office, use, which may be regarded as a mitigating circumstance.

There are none such for the use of the MCP term ‘sugar tits’ or its synonyms, such as ‘honey’, ‘honey-bunny’, ‘honey bunch’, ‘sugar buns’, ‘sweetie’, ‘sweetie-pie’ or ‘sweetheart’. Though metaphorically referring to sweetness, they all leave a bitter taste in my feminist mouth.

Nor was that an isolated incident. Former welfare secretary Crabb owned up to sending sexually explicit messages to a 19-year-old girl seeking employment with his office. If that doesn’t put the country in imminent danger, I don’t know what would.

At least our MPs like women, something not to be taken for granted among graduates of our fine public schools. That’s more than can be said for the actor Kevin Spacey, who finally emerged out of the closet and admitted making unsolicited passes at 14-year-old boys.

Actually, scratch this remark. Having put it down, I realised that it may be misinterpreted as implicitly homophobic, a crime as bad as sex pestering and possibly even worse.

If there exists any moral difference between pestering women or boys, it’s in favour of the latter activity, what with it being more progressive and liberating.

In any case, Harvey Weinstein has proved to the world that red-blooded men are still extant in Hollywood… Well, scratch this remark too.

Facetious digressions aside, Mrs May has her job cut out for her. The reason for this is mainly physiological: our MPs are deficient in every conceivable qualification for their job bar one: powerlust.

That tends to go hand in hand with aggressive libido – as a lifelong feminist I realise that sex is an act of aggression above all. Hence making love to a woman is akin to beating her up, thereby probably falling under the jurisdiction of our courts.

In addition to offsetting the congenital testosteronal aggressiveness of men, Mrs May also has to contend with the extra powerlust of her colleagues. This is a tall task, but it’s good to see that she has taken it head on.

With her natural flair for English, Mrs May has called for a cross-party effort to establish a “mediation service backed by a contractually binding grievance procedure”. I’m not sure I quite understand what that means, but then the addressees of the message are more adept at linguistic intricacies than I am.

Yet something in me says that “a contractually binding grievance procedure” won’t quite do the job by itself. More drastic measures are required, those that may activate the dormant spirit of the Blitz and rally our leaders to protect Her Majesty’s realm from the grave threat it’s facing.

I’d like to make my modest contribution to the task at hand. I propose that, once elected, all male MPs should be surgically castrated.

Before you throw your hands up in horror, allow me to explain.

So far we’ve established two facts: 1) the testosteronal aggressiveness of men is in the case of politicians further enhanced, and 2) this makes them call their secretaries ‘sugar tits’, thus undermining our whole political system.

Now you’re beginning to see the logic of my proposal, aren’t you? Politicians need all the aggressiveness they can muster to get to Westminster, but, once there, that same quality leads them to criminal behaviour.

The conclusion is obvious: they must be castrated after they’ve been elected but before they get the chance to call a female person ‘sugar tits’.

Since they all claim to be committed to serving their country, no sacrifice should be too big. In their case, the sacrifice wouldn’t be too onerous anyway: judging by the way they govern the country, they lack the offensive part of their anatomy anyway – or only ever use it to send their secretaries out for vibrators.

As an interim measure, Mrs May should establish not only a “a contractually binding grievance procedure” but indeed a new government department solely dedicated to protecting the country’s female personkind from sex pests.

Perhaps Kevin Spacey, who has lived in Britain for a long time, will agree to lead it.

Getting to the bottom of crime

As a lifelong champion of progress, I welcome the news that, while the crime rate in Britain is the highest in 10 years, the number of arrests has been halved during the same period.

At the same time I indignantly renounce those conservatives – reactionaries! fossils! scum! – who maintain that the number of arrests (and convictions!) should reflect the number of crimes. That only goes to show how far they are behind our enlightened times.

I must admit to my eternal shame that I used to hold similarly revolting views. But then my two appearances on BBC TV shows devoted to this very subject disabused me of such antediluvian notions.

My fellow panellists explained in simple terms even I could understand that society fails some poor innocent lambs and drives them to crime. It’s society that’s at fault, but it’s as impossible to slap the whole society in prison as it’s illogical to punish so-called criminals.

Admittedly, it’s unavoidable that some of those people have failed to realise their boundless moral and intellectual potential so badly that they have to be incarcerated. But that can only happen on the universal understanding that punishment has nothing to do with it.

The function of prison is to help those poor souls re-find their way, thereby realising said potential. This can only be achieved by putting at their disposal Sky TV, PlayStations, exercise facilities and – should they desire them – drugs.

Hence, having done their time, they’ll re-enter society as morally regenerated and intellectually elevated subjects of Her Majesty. Especially since the new law will soon enable them to exercise their rights by voting while in prison. I welcome this development for two reasons.

First, that way those law-and-order reactionaries will have less chance to be elected to the mother of all parliaments. And second, when he was still PM, Dave Cameron said that the very thought of prisoners voting made him “physically sick”. The joy of Dave’s suffering such pain would by itself be sufficient reason to cheer the new legislation.

True, statisticians (reactionary fossils to a man, or rather person) produce data showing that last year 400,000 newly rehabilitated innocents reoffended within a year of their release.

But that can only mean two things. Either, as is probable, statisticians are lying, or the Sky TV available in prison doesn’t have enough channels to ensure speedy moral renewal.

A valid logical point can be made as well, that, if no one ever went to prison, the problem of rehabilitation wouldn’t arise. It’s this logic that must keep our police from investigating petty crimes like robbery, burglary and physical assault.

But that doesn’t mean they’re idle. On the contrary, the police are busier than ever with crimes that have only recently been recognised as such. The most recent footprints left by the march of progress, they require as much police time as possible.

One new category is historic sex abuse, and I blush at the thought that in the distant past I myself wasn’t pristine in that regard.

A typical pattern involves an old dear who, even though she doesn’t remember much of anything else, suddenly recalls that, back in the 60s (or was it 50s?) her bottom was fondled by a man already famous at the time or who has since gained fame and fortune.

Such heinous crimes require thorough investigation, made so much harder by the difficulty of obtaining prima facie evidence.

If the victim’s bottom was clothed at the time it was so egregiously abused, it’s likely that the clothes have since been discarded. And even if not, they’ve probably gone through so many washes that no fingerprints could have possibly survived.

And if the object of crime was naked, so many baths have intervened during the elapsing 50 (or is it 60?) years, that even the most sophisticated dactyloscopy won’t be able to retrieve the prints of the offending fingers.

The less evidence there is, the more time-consuming the investigation. Hence it’s understandable that the police have no time to chase burglars – especially since, as my co-panellists explained, the latter can be as effectively educated and entertained in the community.

Then there are hate crimes, and no amount of police resources must be spared to pursue perpetrators thereof.

Just imagine, if you can do so without fainting from horror, that an evil-doer calls a red-haired person a ginger tosser. Or, even worse, that another monster refers to a person of Afro-Caribbean descent as a black… well, anything.

I for one shudder to recall that, holding a wineglass to the wall 10 years ago, I overheard my neighbour refer to the adherents of the religion of peace as ‘Muzzie-Wuzzies’. To this day I suffer from guilt over my failure to report him immediately.

It’s clear that such fiends must be pursued to the ends of the earth, or at least to the geographical limits of police jurisdiction. And if that doesn’t leave the police enough time to go after a misguided soul who has just clobbered an old woman for her pension money, then so be it.

In any case, the old biddy could always supplement her income by claiming that some celebrity fingered her bottom back in 1959.

Putin’s sword is mightier than the pen

Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who in 1839 first attributed the greater power to the writing implement, got it the wrong way around.

But the writer can be forgiven for that mistake: after all, he didn’t have the shining example of Putin’s Russia to set him straight. If he lived today, he surely wouldn’t underestimate the power of the sword or its functional equivalents.

Bulwer-Lytton, with his artist’s eye, would certainly appreciate the significance of an ad appearing on the site of the gun firm Kalashnikov. The maker of Russia’s most successful product is kindly offering a 10 per cent discount to journalists buying their pistols.

Like all successful concerns, Kalashnikov is sensitive to the market. The company clearly realises that journalists are desperate for its products. Or rather not the profession as a whole, but rather a small segment within it: pundits who ever find anything wrong with Putin.

The gun maker was tipped off about the growing demand by the recent attempt on the life of Tatiana Felgenhauer, who works for the radio station Ekho Moskvy and the newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

Neither organ is really in opposition to Putin. They’re both there merely to fool observers, mostly foreign, into believing that such opposition exists. In that sense, they perform the same role as the sham candidates in Russia’s presidential elections, Prokhorov in the last one, Sobchak in the next.

The results are as predetermined as they were in Stalin’s time, when the butcher so respected by Winston Churchill routinely polled over 100 per cent of the vote. Though Putin, being a more modest sort, contents himself with a mere 75 per cent or so, today’s elections are no less bogus than they were back in the 1930s.

But appearances are important, what with today’s ‘useful idiots’ eager to argue that Russia is a real democracy, if not yet a completely developed one. Similarly Ekho Moskvy and Novaya Gazeta are allowed the odd anti-Putin word, typically drowned by thousands of fawning sentences.

Interestingly, Novaya Gazeta is owned by the career KGB officer Alexander Lebedev, whose son Evgeny nominally owns our Evening Standard and Independent (daddy is the real boss). This opens up the interesting topic of George Osborne, who has retrained as newspaper editor to be able to attack Brexit with the vindictiveness of the ghastly spiv he is.

But that topic will have to wait, for the one that interests me now is those mock-opposition organs. Journalists working there walk a fine line.

One wrong step, and they may cross that invisible, yet very tangible, line separating allowable criticism from the kind that might upset Putin and his kleptofascist clique. That’s why working for those two organs is fraught with dangers – not the immediate dangers facing journalists who talk out of turn without permission, but dangers nonetheless.

All in all, 143 journalists have been murdered during the reign of the KGB tsar, between 2000 and 2017. To that impressive number must be added those who have been maimed, beaten up, imprisoned or driven out of the country.

The last category includes three of Russia’s finest journalists, Andrei Piontkovsky, Arkady Babchenko and Yulia Latynina, who have run for their lives in the past few months.

Before Latynina, who is the closest any Russian journalist comes to a Western conservative, got the message, she had been attacked several times. Latynina had some noxious liquid splashed in her face and then her car was burned. Piontkovsky and Babchenko fled after numerous, and utterly credible, threats to their lives.

All three of them had worked for Novaya Gazeta at various times, and had ample opportunities to admire its office’s walls adorned with photographs of those six of their colleagues who were murdered for overstepping the aforementioned line.

Compared to those three refugees, Tatiana Felgenhauer is a positive conformist, but apparently she hasn’t conformed enough. That point was communicated to her by a chap who sauntered into the Ekho Moskvy office and stabbed the poor girl in the neck, missing the carotid artery by a mere four millimetres.

Now the journalists working for the station and Novaya Gazeta will be able to protect themselves with Kalashnikov’s discounted weapons. After all, the state has made it clear that it has no desire to protect them.

“Such tragic events,” declared Putin’s press secretary Peskov, “are deeply regrettable. But, let’s put it this way: a madman’s act is just that, a madman’s act. It’s absolutely illogical and wrong to link such acts to anything or to paint them all sorts of colours.”

I don’t know: personally, I can’t resist the temptation to link and paint. A whole company of Russian journalists have been KIA, and another regiment are hors de combat. Peskov’s dismissive remark is like refusing to accept a connection between Islam and Islamic terrorism.

And yet our so-called conservatives continue to exonerate, nay to extol, Putin’s kleptofascist regime. You see, he’s opposed to the EU and doesn’t permit homomarriage.

These may be necessary qualifications, but they are definitely not sufficient ones. After all, ISIS murderers aren’t exactly Europhile either and, rather than marrying homosexuals, they throw them off tall buildings. So why not adore ISIS as well?

Those British Putinistas who are particularly useful and idiotic insist that we could do with a strong leader like the murderous KGB colonel. Would they like to see our journalists and opposition politicians murdered? Do they even realise what they’re saying?

Passions have a way of shifting the thought-producing function from the brain to an area a couple of feet lower. That anatomical feat, added to a wonky moral compass, makes such people sound infantile and inane – even if they make sense on every other subject.

Col. Putin should be proud of having such allies: Iran, N. Korea and our useful idiots.

How modernity destroys our political culture

Here’s the text of my presentation at a Traditional Britain conference the other day. Based on my book Democracy as a Neocon Trick, it took 45 minutes to deliver, but will probably take less time to read.

I’d like to start with a joke: the Conservative Party. It hasn’t been conservative for a long time, and it looks as if it won’t be a party for much longer either.

The party aspect of it doesn’t concern me very much, but the conservative aspect does. For we sometimes forget what the word means.

Conservatism is defined by the answer to the question: what is it that we’d like to conserve? And that’s where modernity, whichever party it speaks through, gives an unsatisfactory answer.

I use the term ‘modernity’ broadly, to describe a new civilisation emerging out of that great misnomer, the Enlightenment. That mass revolt against the great civilisation of Christendom aimed its blows not just at Christianity, but also its offshoots: cultural, social, economic, intellectual and so forth.

Relevant to our theme, the Enlightenment formed a watershed between the right and the left in politics.

The Left wishes to uproot every shoot of Christendom and sow the ground with coarse salt to make sure nothing grows there ever again.

People I’d describe as real conservatives wish to conserve whatever little is left of Christendom. That’s why they feel about modernity the way trees feel about dogs, and largely for similar reasons.

However, even most of them mysteriously have no quarrel with one Enlightenment product: unchecked democracy of universal suffrage, one vote for every man, woman and increasingly child.

No businessman in his right mind would run a company of 100 employees on the same principle, leaving it to the staff to decide the choice of suppliers, marketing strategies, capital investment and sources of credit.

Yet somehow it’s felt that an infinitely more complicated challenge, that of choosing the people qualified to govern a country of 60 million, can be adequately met by a simple show of hands. This sounds counterintuitive.

However, that exact mode of government has been perched at the top the political totem pole and, like all idols, towers above not only criticism but indeed serious analysis. It’s regarded as the defining characteristic of today’s West, usurping Christianity in that role.

Democracy has become synonymous with liberty, justice, prosperity and all good things in life. It’s widely perceived as the only possible alternative to despotism. Supposedly none other can ever exist or indeed has ever existed.

This is a fallacy on many levels: historical, philosophical, logical or empirically demonstrable.

A few facts.

According to Freedom House, the Washington-based think tank, in 2007 the world could boast 123 electoral democracies – up from 40 in 1972 and zero in 1900.

Thus, say, Victorian England wasn’t a democracy. Presumably it was therefore more despotic than today’s supposedly democratic Columbia or Russia. Democracy, as defined today, is then barely 100 years old.

That’s why I suggest that people take with a grain of salt Churchill’s pronouncement that “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

As an Edwardian, Churchill formed his idea of democracy at a time when, according to Freedom House, democracy didn’t exist. Both a staunch monarchist and a committed parliamentarian, Churchill clearly didn’t believe he was living a double life.

To him there was no contradiction in a strong monarchy being balanced by an elected lower house, with the hereditary upper chamber making sure the balance didn’t tip too much to either side.

That was the essence of England’s ancient constitution, one that so many Americans claim doesn’t exist because it hasn’t been written down. In fact, a written constitution is a bit like a prenuptial agreement stipulating the frequency of sex: if you have to write it down, you might as well not bother.

If a constitution isn’t already written in people’s hearts, a written document will be useless. If it’s indeed written there, a written document will be redundant.

Churchill’s other epigram on the subject of democracy is truer to life: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Tocqueville believed that democracy, which he once described as “the tyranny of the majority”, was the unique property of the United States from the word go. Yet America’s Founders hardly ever spoke of it, at least not in any positive sense.

For example, Thomas Jefferson, not widely perceived as an enemy of progress, once observed that: “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one per cent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”

Fifty-one per cent is of course a pipe dream nowadays: today it often takes merely 30 per cent or even less to confer practically dictatorial powers on a small elite.

The word ‘democracy’ gained some currency only towards the end of the XIX century, when America began to pursue imperial objectives outside the Western Hemisphere.

Yet Lord Acton wrote at roughly the same time that the main conflict during the French Revolution was “a great struggle between democracy and liberty,” thus suggesting that the two terms so often uttered in the same breath just might be mutually exclusive.

Even during the First World War President Wilson utterly befuddled all combatants by defining the objective of the conflict as “making the world free for democracy”.

The XX century is thus the first in which democracy became accepted as a sine qua non of political virtue. Yet one has to acknowledge ruefully that the balance sheet of what the publisher Henry Luce called ‘the American century’ isn’t unambiguously glorious.

More people were killed in that century than in all other centuries of recorded history combined. Only some of the carnage can be ascribed to sophisticated weaponry. Tens of millions were dispatched by expedients long in the public domain: executions, judicial or otherwise; torture; artificial famines; inhuman imprisonment.

Democracy also had a role to play in the death count, for universal suffrage presupposes universal conscription at wartime. If mediaeval princes had to beg their vassals to spare some men for the army, today’s prime ministers can conscript the whole population – and imprison the objectors.

As to liberty, defined as freedom from arbitrary restraints imposed by the state, one can’t help noticing that in most Western countries democracy is increasingly remiss on that score, while also going back on its etymological promise, the rule of the people.

In fact today’s democratic governments have more power over the individual than the most absolute of past monarchs.

I can’t think of any Western prince who extracted half or more of his subjects’ income, something seen as a rightful privilege of today’s prime ministers and presidents.

Nor can I think of any English king who, even had he wanted to, would have been allowed to toss away his realm’s sovereignty, something that democratic Tory, which is to say conservative, administrations have been able to do with blithe ease.

While each great document of English political history reduced the power of the state vis-à-vis the people, today’s laws invariably do exactly the opposite.

Modern governments preserve the sham of pluralism, but in fact theirs is the rule by simulacrum – something that looks like popular rule but in fact isn’t.

The electorate effectively transfers dictatorial powers to its representatives, who are then free to act as autocratically as few autocrats ever did. On the surface of it, this isn’t far from Burke’s idea of republican-style democracy.

But that arrangement could work well only if real choice among eminently qualified candidates existed, as it did in traditional republics. In fact, there’s next to none. The people are typically asked to choose which socialist party within a homogeneous political elite they’d rather have in power.

In Britain, the choice between Labour Full Strength and Labour Lite, aka Tories, is the evil of two lessers.

Moreover, if we look at the leaders of any Western country, including ours, it’s hard to insist that democracy unfailingly elevates to government those fit to govern. “Fit to govern? No, not to live,” was a prescient comment in Macbeth.

It used to be taken for granted that our ministers would not only have a working knowledge of history, philosophy, economics, law and world politics, but would also possess courage, sound intellect and moral integrity.

Such requirements are currently met in no Western country, including Britain. Just look at the 1815 Congress of Vienna, where the post-Napoleonic shape of Europe was decided by the likes of Castlereagh, Talleyrand, Metternich and Nesselrode.

Looking at their counterparts today, one finds it hard to argue the virtues of unchecked democracy. It’s clearly not designed to produce great statesmen.

In much of the West, democracy has become self-perpetuating spivocracy, with the ruling party empowered to treat the support by a third of the electorate as a mandate to perpetrate constitutional vandalism, best exemplified in this country by Tony Blair’s tenure and each subsequent ‘heir to Blair’.

Meanwhile, purveyors of democracy, of whom the neoconservatives, both American and ours, take pride of place, not only refuse even to consider other options internally, but insist that unchecked democracy is a panacea for any country, regardless of its history, religion or traditions.

The year after the ‘collapse’ of the Soviet Union in 1991 Francis Fukuyama, then a neocon, triumphantly declared that history had ended, meaning that liberal democracy had vanquished, and no further debate was possible.

Well, history has restarted since then, as it did after Hegel made a similar claim following Napoleon’s victory in the Battle of Jena. History always restarts.

Fukuyama merely communicated the only view acceptable in polite society. That is, unchecked democracy may have a few drawbacks, but they all spring from repairable mechanical glitches. None of them is attributable to its very nature.

This is a convention I find hard to accept. I think that unchecked democracy is inherently much closer to tyranny than people give it credit for.

Now, the politics of a country or, even broader, a civilisation is always built on a metaphysical foundation. Man’s way of organising political affairs is a reflection of man’s view of himself.

Thus Aristotle wrote “Man is by nature a political animal”. On the other hand, two thousand-odd years later Dr Johnson disagreed: “Public affairs,” he said, “vex no man”.

Despite expressing diametrically opposite views, they were both right. They simply spoke of different men.

Aristotle commented on the man of his time, the pagan Greek, while Samuel Johnson commented on the man of his time, the Christian Westerner.

What we observe now is man taking a backward jump, leapfrogging Johnson’s time and landing smack in the middle of Aristotle’s.

Everybody is once again supposed to be the political animal of Hellenic antiquity, taking a hands-on part in the political process through voting. Except that neither a Plato nor a Praxiteles nor a Sophocles is anywhere in evidence. Nor, more to the point, is a Pericles.

Democracy naturally promotes uniformity, and even in its earliest incarnation it was wary of those who stuck out. In fact, our current obsession with diversity is nothing but an attempt to impose uniformity of thought and speech, punishing those who dare to be different. Uniformity is today’s diversity.

The ethos of political correctness is actually a power tool, a way for a democratic state to control the populace by imposing uniformity. I call this method of government glossocracy, the government of the word, by the word and for the word.

This stands to reason: a dictator whose power is based on the bullet is most scared of bullets; a glossocrat whose power is based on words is most scared of words.

Political correctness is another example of rule by simulacrum. Its purveyors create virtual reality and shove it down people’s throats.

Nobody in his right mind thinks that, for example, maiming the English language by eliminating masculine personal pronouns would solve any real social problems, even supposing for the sake of argument that they exist.

The idea is not to protect the delicate sensibilities of women but to reassert the glossocratic power of the state.

The same goes for assorted presidents and prime ministers who, after every Muslim atrocity, insist that Islam is a religion of peace.

They know it isn’t, and they know we know. But they realise that glossocracy depends on creating virtual reality for its survival.

It’s as if the state is saying to the people: “Yes, we know and you know that what we are saying is silly. But we want you to remember that we can bend your will even to idiocy if such is our desire.”

A modern government, be it democratic or totalitarian, imposes its will by using tools it has at its disposal. And interestingly, both types of government use different tools to achieve the same end: uniformity, which ideological democrats call equality – yet another example of modern corruption of language.

Equality used to mean universal parity before God and the law. That used to be contingent on good behaviour: a criminal, for example, was no longer equal to a law-abiding man; and a sinner forfeited his equality to a virtuous man.

Neither was deemed irredeemable: the criminal could regain equal rights by paying his debt to society, and a sinner could do so by paying his debt to God.

Now, equality means uniformity – parity not only at the starting blocks but also at the finish line. Sameness all around.

Men and women, for example, are supposed not just to have equal rights but to be the same. It’s as if the state has set out to correct God’s error in dividing us into two sexes.

Since the state throws its weight behind all such nonsense, refusal to accept such diktats is increasingly becoming not just socially unacceptable but illegal.

Remembering Cassandra’s fate, it is perilous to make predictions. However it’s relatively safe to predict that, before long, more and more people in the West, including Britain, will be prosecuted not for something they’ve done, but for something they’ve said.

For democracy has always been ruthless to those who refuse to accept its ethos.

Democracy killed Socrates for daring to be different; his disciple Plato narrowly escaped the same fate; Plato’s disciples Alcibiades and Aristotle had to flee Athens one step ahead of the hemlock cup.

No wonder Plato regarded democracy as mob rule, and Aristotle described it as ‘a deviant constitution’. “Democracy,” he wrote, “arose from men’s thinking that if they are equal in any respect, they are equal absolutely.”

Significantly, both thinkers warned about the dangers of any method of government, be it democracy, oligarchy or monarchy, if it’s unbalanced by other methods.

This understanding, later reinforced by just about every serious political thinker from Machiavelli to Montesquieu to Burke, greatly affected the English constitution, based on a delicate balance of various interests and estates.

That balance has now been upset, and in our politics we’re enthusiastically reviving the worst aspects of pagan antiquity.

The Greeks didn’t see the individual as having a sovereign value independent of the good of the polis.

Plato described this pecking order with helpful honesty and unmatched mastery in his Republic and especially in Laws. The polis was everything; the individual qua individual, next to nothing.

The same went for that extension of the individual, his family, which was to be reduced to more or less the state’s breeding farm. Families were there only to serve the state by producing children, ideally boys, potential soldiers.

That’s why in both Greece and Rome people were encouraged to float from one marriage to the next, or one liaison to the next, with no distinction made between children born in or out of wedlock.

Feeble babies were often killed in Sparta, Romans left unwanted baby girls by the roadside to be devoured by wild animals. Because the state had no use for them, they were useless in every sense.

This is the first intimation in history of the relationship since then amply proved: democracy and family are at odds. They aren’t friends, nor even allies, but competitors: the stronger the one, the weaker the other.

Sensing this, John Locke, who in the XVII century laid out the groundwork for the liberal democratic state, countenanced not only divorce but even polygamy: “He that is already married,” he wrote, “may marry another woman with his left hand…”

It’s reassuring to observe how our Lockean modernity is following his ideas – if in Locke’s time hostility to marriage was still inchoate, by now it has grown to full maturity.

And in Britain, the latest assault on that institution, the legalisation of homosexual marriage, was launched by a Conservative government, yet another bright example of today’s larcenous political taxonomy.

Christianity corrected pagan misconceptions by privatising the spirit and internalising man. Human beings were no longer valued just because of their achievements, birth or wealth, but simply because they were indeed human.

In their free time men no longer rushed out to the agora to express themselves. More and more they stayed at home to ponder God, pray and raise their children in the right spirit.

Family gradually became the core institution of society, and politics began to reflect that. Individuals were protected from the state by a thick gasket of local institutions modelled on the family: parish, village commune, township, guild, assembly of elders.

In time, those familial institutions assumed the role of the formulator, educator and custodian of the social and moral order.

It was such institutions that gave physical shape to the three pillars on which, according to Burke, government should rest: prejudice, which is intuitive knowledge; prescription, which is truth passed on by previous generations; and presumption, which is inference from the common experience of mankind.

The power of the traditional, what I call organic, state attenuated as it moved from centre to periphery. It tended to devolve to the lowest sensible level, and localism at least held its own against centralism.

Such subsidiarity was not divisive but unifying, since it went hand in hand with national solidarity.

The nation was glued together by the adhesive of religion, culture, language, custom and tradition – not by an omnipotent central state. That was the thinking behind the Elizabethan Settlement, a vital milestone in the development of the English nation.

It was mostly local government and its magistrates who, along with the church, were responsible for regulating society.

The underlying assumption was that man was fallen and therefore fallible. Hence each community felt it was incumbent upon it to enforce standards of behaviour based on custom, experience and God’s commandments.

Local institutions also checked the power of the next tier up, which in turn applied restraints to the power above itself, all the way up to the royal palace.

The Middle Ages is a term now used mostly pejoratively, the epitome of obscurantism, savagery and tyranny. People forget that it wasn’t only great cathedrals but also great universities that were founded in the Middle Ages.

It was also during the Middle Ages that most political institutions of modernity originated. Tracing them back step by step, we’ll arrive at their ultimate provenance in the Christian doctrine of the autonomous individual, which is the only proven premise for individual freedom.

While early Christians didn’t use the term ‘human rights’, they wouldn’t have been unduly bothered had an intrepid stranger mentioned it to them, provided he could explain what he meant.

By contrast, Plato or Aristotle would have thought the stranger not so much intrepid as mad. People to them had rights as citizens, not as mere human beings.

Since it was from barons’ councils that our modern parliaments have evolved, the post-Hellenic system of representation has ancient roots as well. The same applies to adjudication and property protection, whose historical roots go back to the Old Testament but whose political embodiment was mediaeval.

Above all, during the Middle Ages the individual could feel relatively secure behind the wall of intermediate, familial institutions I mentioned earlier. They were guarantors of liberty.

The transition from Hellenic antiquity to Christendom was precipitated by a radical shift in the understanding of the nature of man, and so was the transition from Christendom to post-Enlightenment modernity.

The new, secular concept of man had no place for original sin. Rather than being sinful and therefore requiring guidance or, if need be, restraint, man was deemed to be perfect to begin with, and furthermore tautologically perfectible.

Some men demonstrably didn’t end up perfect, but only because they were corrupted by civilisation, specifically by Christendom. Hence people were eminently qualified to govern themselves by the expedient of electing the worthiest among them.

Only that way could they overthrow the tyranny of kings, aristocrats and priests. The ordinary man was supposed to possess all the extraordinary qualities necessary for government.

That was the pudding, and the proof was provided by two revolutions, American and French. In both cases a small group of revolutionaries acting in the name of ‘the people’ incited a revolt against presumed tyrants who acted in the name of God.

And in both cases the people found themselves under the yoke of much worse tyrannies than those replaced by the revolutions.

The American and the French revolutions are particularly interesting, since their startling similarity was, and still is, largely misunderstood.

Even one of history’s greatest political minds, Edmund Burke, while brilliantly tearing the French revolution to shreds in his Reflections, was well disposed towards the American one. “A revolution not made, but prevented,” wrote the great Whig.

Yet the contemporaneous Tories begged to differ.

William Pitt the Younger referred to the American Revolution as “most accursed, wicked, barbarous, cruel, unnatural, unjust and diabolical.”

And Dr Johnson quipped: “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?”

Thirty years later, America’s second president John Adams rued, “I once thought our Constitution was a quasi or mixed government, but they had made it… a democracy.”

And another five years later Adams added with laudable hindsight: “Did not the American Revolution produce the French Revolution? And did not the French Revolution produce all the calamities and desolation of the human race and the whole globe ever since?”

French and American revolutionaries, driven by the same Enlightenment ideals, rose against the least tyrannical kings one could imagine, Louis XVI and George III respectively.

While the beastliness of the French revolution is now widely accepted, the American one is wrongly believed to be fundamentally different. It really wasn’t.

In common with all modern revolutions, American philosophes purporting to act in the name of the people falsified facts to justify their claims.

For example, repeating Locke’s fallacy of representation being the only legitimising factor of taxation, they decried taxation without representation and hence demanded their liberation from England.

Yet in England proper the taxes were higher than in America, and most English subjects weren’t represented either. Specifically taxes on tea, which led to the Boston Tea Party, were twice as high in England.

Once Americans were properly represented, their taxes predictably skyrocketed. And what do you know: people found out they disliked taxation even with representation.

The American revolution also adumbrated criminalising not just political deed but also word – and even thought. Those expressing the mildest sympathy for British rule, or even merely suspected of being likely to harbour such feelings, were routinely attacked both by the new-fangled law and the extra-judicial mob.

The law hit suspected infidels with confiscation, fines, imprisonment, deportation from any area threatened by a British advance, confinement to internment camps.

The mob attacked, robbed and tortured suspected Tories by tarring and feathering. The infidels would be made to recant publicly and forced, often at gun point, to take an oath of allegiance to the new republic.

Even the number of victims of both American and French upheavals is similar if we justifiably regard the Civil War as the second act of the American revolution.

When America began to see herself as a world power and the flag bearer of modernity, she found herself in competition with the organic states of Christendom.

She had to ride into the battle against them under a banner bearing a suitably seductive slogan, and democracy did nicely. It was only then, towards the end of the XIX century, that democracy run riot was touted as the sole champion of liberty.

No traditional, organic state could be allowed to stand in the way of the Enlightenment contrivance: modern democracy, spearheaded by America and based on mythical consent or equally mythical social contract.

Since neither Hobbes nor Locke nor their French followers could pinpoint the granting of ‘consent’ to any specific historical event, they had to talk about some nebulous ‘social contract’, an idea later popularised by Rousseau.

An important aspect of ‘consent’, as understood by Lockeans everywhere, is that it’s irrevocable: once given, or rather presumed to have been given, it can’t be reclaimed by any peaceful means.

Yet in no conceivable way could it be true that a third or even a fourth of the population electing a government have given consent on behalf of the rest of the people as well.

This is patently ludicrous, as is the whole idea of consent, which in reality is neither sought by politicians nor given by voters.

Also, any real agreement includes terms under which it may be terminated. Yet no ‘social contract’ can have such a clause.

Therefore violence is the only recourse either party has, meaning that in a modern state a revolution is not so much an aberration as a logical extension of the ‘social contract’, the only way for the people to withdraw their so-called ‘consent’.

Throughout political history, the difficulty always lay in maintaining a workable balance between centralism and localism.

Like any balance, this one relies on the strength and immobility of its fulcrum – the underlying metaphysical premise. What people do largely depends on what they think, and what they think largely depends on what they believe.

Whatever the slogans of any post-Enlightenment democracy, it has to presuppose the political primacy of the collective over the individual, the will of the collective allegedly being expressed by a small governing elite.

Democracy therefore presupposes the primacy of centralism over localism, of a big state over a small man whose political self-expression used to rely on local institutions.

Christianity, on the other hand, cultivated in its adherents an aversion to the big state, what with its innately totalitarian tendency to override private pursuits. The old religion simply could not be twisted enough to accommodate the new ethos, so it had to be destroyed. Democracy became the new creed.

Yet in reality the promise of democracy is larcenous when it’s unchecked by other methods of government. By atomising the vote into millions of particles, democracy renders each individual vote meaningless.

In a modern Western country, such as Britain, true conservatives have no more ways of influencing policy than they did in the Soviet Union.

What has any weight at all is an aggregate of votes, a faceless, impersonal bloc. Consequently, political success in democracies depends on the ability to put such blocs together.

This has little to do with statesmanship. Coming to the fore instead are such qualities as disloyalty, cynicism, a knack for demagoguery, photogenic appearance, absence of constraining principles, and an unquenchable thirst for power at any cost.

When they succeed, our newly elected, typically incompetent leaders understandably want to reduce their accountability. Hence they strive to put distance between themselves and the people who have elected them.

They seek to remove every remaining bit of power from the traditional local bodies, which stay close to the voters, and to shift it to the centralised Leviathan, claiming all the time that the people are governing themselves.

Thus to say that growing statism undermines democracy is like saying that pregnancy undermines sex.

The subsequent transfer of power to international bodies, which is to say as far away from the national electorate as geography will allow, is a natural extension of the same process.

Bitten by the bug of centralising expansion of the state, the governing elite no longer wants to stop at the national borders. It has to remove itself even further from the people who gave it power.

This partly explains the otherwise inexplicable rise of the downright wicked European Union. The EU isn’t so much a threat to modern democracy as its direct consequence.

The burgeoning political centralisation of modernity reflects a deeper trend, that of reversing two thousand years of Christendom and reverting to idolatry and paganism.

Falling by the political wayside is the familial localism inherent to Christendom. It has been replaced by adulation of central government, leading in extremis to totalitarianism.

Yet in an important sense all modern states are totalitarian, in that they seek control over areas hitherto seen as being off-limits for governmental meddling.

In the Anglophone West particularly the entire complexity of political life has been reduced to the democratic-undemocratic dichotomy.

This results in appalling errors of judgement.

Look, for example, at how Tony Blair et al effectively drove the last nail into the coffin of England’s ancient constitution based on the balance between the elected power of the Commons and executive power of the crown, with the hereditary House of Lords making sure the balance didn’t tilt too far to either end.

People remained largely indifferent to that vandalism because they had been brainwashed to accept the argument that the Lords was lamentably undemocratic, which is of course its whole point.

Undemocratic means impervious to party-political pressures, which is exactly what the House of Lords is supposed to be.

The same goes for foreign policy, for we’ve been tricked into believing that any country where people vote is good by definition, and vice versa.

This makes us vulnerable to deception. Numerous Middle Eastern and African tyrannies have learned that, if they scream ‘democracy’ with histrionic conviction, the West will pay them in coin – and if they don’t, the payment may come in the shape of drones and bombing raids.

Also, by eagerly accepting at face value the canard of democracy in a kleptofascist Russia and trying to impose democracy on the Muslim world, our spivocratic leaders have made our own world extremely dangerous.

We in the West have forgotten that the first thing to ask about a country should be not ‘is it democratic?’ but ‘is it good?’. Thinking that the two are synonymous is intellectually feeble and, what’s worse, morally indefensible.

 

 

No pregnancy for women

This isn’t an ad for some ingenious contraceptive device. Nor is it, God forbid, a call to sexual teetotalism. It’s not even a complaint about young people becoming too hedonistic to have children.

Admittedly, however, this title could mean any of those things. That’s the occasional ambiguity of written language for you. If one is reluctant to italicise words for emphasis, there’s the danger of being misunderstood.

Had I spoken, rather than written, that phrase, you’d know what I mean. Because the operative and therefore accented word there would be not ‘pregnancy’, but ‘women’.

For, according to HMG, it’s not women who get pregnant. It’s people.

Now any dweller of a sane world, if either such a dweller or such a world could be found, would be perplexed. Please, sir, he’d say, addressing the government official responsible for creating this conundrum.

It’s true that all women are people, but it’s also true that not all people are women. In fact, about half of the people aren’t. Yes, sir, I realise that the word ‘man’ has been outlawed, either as a stand-alone unit or especially as part of offensive composites, such as fireman, postman or mankind.

But we don’t have to concern ourselves with that injunction now, do we? We’re talking about the other, better half of personkind, aren’t we? You know, those people who are born blessed with the reproductive organs uniquely suited to pregnancy.

Traditionally such people are called women, and that word hasn’t yet been outlawed, has it? In fact, a possible shorthand definition of women is people who can get pregnant. And a possible one-word definition of people who get pregnant is women. Or am I getting something wrong?

What planet are you from, mate? replies the official in the rude idiom we’re learning to expect from our civil servants. Yeah, fine, you can say ‘woman’ in some contexts, such as ‘abused woman’, ‘beaten woman’, ‘raped woman’.

But you bloody well can’t say ‘pregnant woman’ any longer. Haven’t you heard of the latest advances in medicine? We can now turn men into women and, more to the point, women into men.

Except that in the latter case we don’t have to go all the way. We can pump a woman full of testosterone to give her a luxuriant beard, cut her breasts off and sew on a penis of her choice (please, sir, may I have more?). But at the same time, we can keep all her female reproductive organs intact.

Hence she’ll look like a man, sound like a man, possibly brawl like a man, while still being able to get pregnant like a woman. What’s there not to understand?

And please keep to yourself all those scabrous jokes about this procedure giving a physical embodiment to the previously metaphorical expression ‘go f*** yourself’. We’re being serious here. There’s no call for puerile humour.

Hence the word ‘woman’ becomes as non-inclusive as the word ‘man’, and therefore, in this context, just as offensive. It offends women who exercise their human right to become men, while retaining their human right to give birth. Now you don’t want to be done for a hate crime, do you, mate?

No, sir, I certainly don’t. However, out of idle curiosity, how many freshly minted men have so far given birth in Britain, thereby claiming the right not to be offended?

Er… in round numbers, well, two. But so what? Numbers don’t affect the principle, do they? Anyway, before long we may have three or even four, and laws must be forward-looking, providing not only for the present but also for the future – while making a mockery of the past.

This is the essence of the latest development in the British version of the degenerative mental disorder called modernity. HMG has issued a stern objection to the wording of the UN’s Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that refers to protection for “pregnant women”.

While recognising the need for protection, our Foreign and Commonwealth Office opposes the term “pregnant women” because it may “exclude transgender people who have given birth”. So you see, I wasn’t being facetious.

This is yet another gender-bender initiative making the world safe for freakishly dystopic sideshows and disgusting for everyone else. “Yet another” means not the only one, and it certainly isn’t.

Last week, our PM, formerly a woman, but now any old part of the people, announced plans for amending the Gender Recognition Act to include a provision for people to “self-certify” their gender.

And there I was, thinking that ‘gender’ was strictly a grammatical category. Moreover, I was also under the impression that a duly instituted authority certifies a person’s sex according to the combination of chromosomes the person got from their [sic!] parents and ultimately from God.

However, as a lifelong champion of progress, I welcome this amendment and everything it signifies. But, not to get it terribly wrong in the future, I’d like some clarification.

If a person can ‘self-certify’ their [sic!] sex, is this a one-off chance, or can the person exercise maximum freedom and change the self-certification back and forth?

For example – and I hope my wife realises this is purely hypothetical – can I change my self-certification just for this afternoon, when I’m playing mixed doubles at my tennis club?

This would enable me – hypothetically, Penelope! – to get into the showers with my partner Sally, who, as our new crop of civil servants would probably describe her, is well fit. Just this once? And in the evening I could re-certify myself?

No? Well, I feel that my human rights are being violated. The UN Commission on Human Rights is going to hear about this.

The Brexit Blitz has arrived

During Germany’s previous attempt to unite Europe, a million British homes were destroyed and 43,000 of their inhabitants killed.

Britain just manage to muddle through on the strength of her indomitable ‘Blitz’ spirit, which apparently needs to be taken off the mothballs again.

For, according to Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the economic devastation of Brexit will be fully comparable to that inflicted by the Luftwaffe.

Mr Gurria was kind enough to opine that the British just may survive again, but not without straining every sinew to breaking point. Of course we could avoid all the hardship by holding a second referendum and this time voting right.

Since it’s Britain that finances the OECD, it’s good to know that our money is well spent. For good advice is often invaluable, and in this case Mr Gurria offers insights not only into the present and future, but also into the past.

With the unerring acuity of hindsight, he shows how the lessons of today’s Blitz could have kept Britain safe during the first one. One such lesson could be derived from the unseemly haggling between HMG and the EU on the amount of ransom Britain must pay if she ever wants to see her freedom again.

My friend Junk displays all the nous of a barrow boy by demanding £90 billion. “Listen,” he says, “The same deal I’d offer my mother I’m offering to you. Giz 90 billion quid like a goodun, and you can have your country back, djahmean? Or else…”

“Or else it’ll be the Blitz all over again,” cuts in my new friend Angel ‘Of Doom’ Gurria. “Why don’t you just come to your senses and surrender?”

If only Churchill had been as reasonable way back then. Britain could have offered the Nazis a few billion (retrospectively corrected for inflation) to keep the Luftwaffe on a leash. Alternatively, once the bombs started falling, Britain could have promptly surrendered and agreed to become a province in the Third Reich.

Those 43,000 peaceful Britons, not to mention the 600,000 soldiers who went on to die, could have been safe and sound, counting their blessings and pieces of silver. Splendid idea. Why didn’t Churchill think of that?

He could have delivered a typically eloquent speech, saying, for example: “I could offer you blood, sweat and tears – or I could offer you peace, prosperity and beer under Herr Hitler’s strong leadership. That’s a no brainer, isn’t it? And rather than fighting them on the beaches, you could instead play tug-of-war with beach towels, while turning yourselves the red colour so characteristic of Britons on holiday.”

Here apologies are due to cabinet minister Damien Green. Mr Green has condemned the “sad and completely ridiculous rise of routine comparisons to Hitler” whenever the EU is mentioned.

Sorry, Damien, but do tell that to the Angel of Doom. He said the ‘B’ word first – I would never have thought of it on my own. To show off my schoolboy Latin yet again, “quod licet jovi, non licet bovi”, is that what you think? What’s allowed to those federasts isn’t allowed to us?

Speaking of history, if we leave the Romans and Charlemagne out of it, in modern times there have been five serious attempt to unite Europe politically.

First, there was Napoleon, wishing to bestow on the whole continent the sterling benefits of the Enlightenment, rational thought and his own dictatorship. Enter Waterloo.

Second, there was Lenin, sending the Red cavalry on a glorious road to the Channel in 1920. Enter Warsaw, where the Poles reduced the Red hordes to coleslaw, thereby saving Europe from the advent of social justice expressed through mass shootings and concentration camps.

Third, there was Stalin, who created the world’s largest and best-equipped army in roughly 10 years. This economic miracle was achieved by the expedient of killing millions and turning the whole country into a fusion of military and concentration camps, but the prize was glittering: uniting Europe under the red flag.

To that end Stalin helped Hitler build up his own army and pointed him in a westerly direction. Hitler promptly obliged, with Stalin patiently waiting for the Nazi invasion of England to get his own juggernaut rolling.

But Hitler, realising what was going on, left Britain alone and launched a preemptive strike on Russia. That put Stalin’s pan-European ambitions on hold for another four years, and even then he had to content himself only with the low-rent half of Europe.

Fourth, there was Hitler himself, who at first successfully created a proto-EU, with Britain again playing hard to get. Enter the notorious bunker followed by Nuremberg.

Fifth, there’s the EU, seeking to unite Europe under the strong leadership of Junk, Angel, Angela and Brigitte Macron (acting through her foster son Manny). And this time we can buy our way out of trouble, provided we offer the right price.

“What djamean 90 billion? ‘Ow much?!?” screams Tessa May, throwing up her arms in despair. “You bonkers or what? I’ll give you 20 billion, and not a penny more.”

“You know where you can stick your twenty?” object Junk and those two cherubs, Angela and Angel. “You want another Blitz, or what? We’ll cut Britain up and send her back to you, piece by piece. You’ll be opening your post in rubber gloves for the next twenty years.”

Such is the level to which discussions about our ancient sovereignty have descended. Since I find this whole business distasteful, I hereby propose myself for the role of Brexit negotiator.

I’d tell my EU counterparts that my opening and closing bids are the same: zero. And if you want to try another Blitz, by whatever means, go ahead. See you at Nuremberg.

GBH, burglary, car theft and other love crimes

“Obsessed by hate crime – but giving up on burglars. How I despair of our police’s daft priorities,” writes Stephen Glover in his excellent Mail article.

His despair is justified. The new guidelines issued by London’s Metropolitan Police tell officers to stop investigating ‘low-level’ crimes, such as burglary, car theft or grievous bodily harm.

The police don’t have enough staff to pursue such minor indiscretions. So much more is it surprising then, writes Mr Glover, that they can devote practically unlimited resources to investigating so-called hate crimes.

You’ll probably agree that the crimes mentioned in the title aren’t exactly motivated by love either. So what exactly is a hate crime? This is where it gets interesting.

One telltale sign of a tyranny is its loose and open-ended legal definitions. My favourite illustration is provided by Lenin.

He once amended the proposed text of the USSR Criminal Code, stipulating the death penalty for “aiding and abetting the bourgeoisie or counterrevolution.” The great legal mind knew instantly something was missing, but at first he didn’t know exactly what.

Then it dawned on him: the article wasn’t broad enough. Lenin whipped his trusted blue pencil out and inserted, after the words ‘aiding and abetting’, an invaluable amendment: “…or capable of aiding and abetting.” And behold, it was good: anyone could now be deemed so capable and shot.

Working within the same fine legal tradition, Tony Blair’s Criminal Justice Act defined hate crime as: “Any incident . . . which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hate.”

The death penalty isn’t mentioned, this being a liberal democracy and all that. Yet note that this Act can be easily used to criminalise most of HM’s subjects.

Some 78 per cent of the 80,393 ‘hate crimes’ committed in England and Wales last year had to do with race, with a mere 22 per cent left over for sexual orientation, religion or physical attributes.

Since, according to the Act, a hate crime is anything the person on the receiving end says it is, the possibilities are endless. For example, I could have my wife arrested several times every day.

Whenever she says I do something beastly because of my Russian heritage (which is often), she’s committing a hate crime if I choose to regard it as such. Ditto, whenever she suggests I could lose some weight. That’s like calling me a lardarse, and if that’s not a hate crime, I don’t know what is. Off to the pokey with you, Penelope.

Such egregious insults have to be motivated by hatred – as opposed to GBH, which inferentially is inspired by love and therefore doesn’t merit police attention.

Well, given the choice between being called, say, a ‘Russkie fatso’ and being beaten within an inch of my life or, for that matter, having my car stolen, I know which I’d prefer.

According to Mr Glover, most people agree with me. If asked whether they’d prefer the police to investigate real, as opposed to most hate, crimes, their choice would be the same as mine.

Even the Crown Prosecution Service feels that way: only 16 per cent of  hate crimes reaching it via the police’s good offices are ever prosecuted. Yet the police have no choice but to follow the guidelines.

“What a sorry, and deeply shaming, tale this is,” concludes Mr Glover, and he’s right. Yet he doesn’t proffer an explanation, confining himself to answering the question ‘What?’ rather than the one that interests me most: “Why?”

Why, for example, is a murder motivated by racial hatred any worse than a murder inspired by money? Doesn’t that deny the absolute and equal value of every human life?

Why is robbing an old black woman of her food money any worse than doing the same thing to her white neighbour? Shouldn’t personal property be treated as equally inviolable in both cases?

The answer is really straightforward. A thug, a thief or a burglar commits a crime against the insignificant individual. But someone offending, say, a Muslim, a fat bespectacled gentleman or a black commits a crime against the state. And in our progressive time, the state counts for much more than the individual.

The ethos of political correctness, whence the notion of a hate crime derives, is actually a power tool, a way for a democratic state to control the populace by imposing uniformity. I call this method of government glossocracy, the government of the word, by the word and for the word.

A dictator whose power is based on the bullet is most scared of bullets; a glossocrat whose power is based on words is most scared of words. Therefore, to protect our glossocracy, purveyors of political correctness create virtual reality and shove it down people’s throats.

Nobody in his right mind thinks that, for example, maiming the English language by eliminating masculine personal pronouns would solve any real social problems, even supposing for the sake of argument that they exist.

The idea is not to protect the delicate sensibilities of women but to reassert the glossocratic power of the state.

It’s as if the state is saying to the people: “Yes, we know and you know that insisting on such ridiculous constructions as ‘every man must do their duty’ is silly. “But we want you to remember that we can bend your will even to idiocy if such is our desire.”

Our ruling glossocrats don’t realise, or perhaps don’t care, that debauching the whole legal tradition of the West diminishes respect for the law, thus creating a fertile ground for crime.

By effectively decriminalising burglary, car theft and GBH, the state creates a crime-ridden society that will grow more and more dangerous by the day. (Incidentally, GBH is more than just the odd punch in the face. That would be regarded as ABH, actual bodily harm. GBH involves broken bones and general maiming – hardly the ‘low-level crime’ of the police nomenclature.)

But the state doesn’t care about that. Our glossocrats are so blinded by powerlust that they don’t detect the danger presented by a lawless society to everyone, them included.

They think that sending Tom, Dick and Harry to prison for trumped-up crimes, while denying them protection from real ones, will increase their own power. So it may, for a while. But that penny will drop sooner or later and, when it does, there will be a mighty bang.

It’s not Islam that’s our deadliest enemy

Don’t get me wrong: Islam is deadly enough. Moreover, in its consistent enmity to the West, it has seniority over anyone else. More than 1,400 years’ worth of seniority, to be exact.

At present, however, the West is so superior in military muscle that Islam has to rely on guerrilla tactics, such as terrorism and demographic attrition.

These are potentially dangerous, especially since the West refuses to acknowledge both the gravity and existence of the threat. Our newly developed ethos of obtuse egalitarianism doesn’t allow our powers that be to treat a whole civilisation as an enemy.

Even Christendom still receives occasional lip service, although our modern ideological warriors are indisputably committed to destroying it.

Islam, however, has one advantage over Christendom: it fits into the modern cult of Third World victimhood underpinned by exotica. Hence we refuse to acknowledge we’re at war with Islam, only licensing alienated, deranged loners as our accredited enemies.

That’s why we’re on course to lose that war over a long term, but ‘long term’ are the operative words. Yet the threat of Putin’s Russia, just as unacknowledged, is even deadlier and much more immediate.

Interestingly, the same people on the political right who are alert to the Islamic threat tend to ignore the Russian one. Moreover, they long for a strong leader just like Putin, whom they see as a friend.

Well, he certainly doesn’t behave in a friendly fashion. Witness the fact that under his strong leadership Russia unfailingly supports enemies of the West and tries to undermine the West from within.

Recently I wrote about Russia’s contribution to both N. Korea’s and Iran’s nuclear programmes. Such N. Korean ‘miracles’ as developing ICBMs and the high-yield hydrogen bomb in record time would have been impossible without a massive transfer of Russian technologies and core modules.

Yet equally worrying is Russia’s support for our other deadly enemy, Islam, specifically the Taliban.

Russian weapons, although so far less cataclysmic than nuclear bombs, constantly flow across the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Still, nuclear bombs so far haven’t killed anyone since 1945, whereas the heavy machine guns and snipers’ rifles supplied by Russia to the Taliban are killing Western soldiers every day.

And such kit isn’t the worst part of it. For the Russians are also financing the Taliban to the tune of $2.5 million a month. The money is laundered white through surreptitious supplies of free oil, which the Taliban then sell and use the proceeds to inflict even heavier casualties on America and her allies.

This is par for the course. Putin is simply acting according to the Sanskrit proverb coined in the fourth century BC: my enemy’s enemy is my friend.

The Russians, both in the Kremlin and at the grass roots, have little affection for the Muslims, or indeed anyone south of Rostov-on-Don. (Except Kadyrov’s Chechen thugs, used to ‘whack’ Putin’s political opponents.) But they recognise geopolitical necessity when they see it.

They recognise something else too, an understanding that escapes so many in the West: the Taliban, Iran and N. Korea are the Russians’ friends specifically because the West is their enemy. And it’s an enemy they engage over a broad front.

Only cowardice prevents our commentators – and, more frighteningly, politicians – from publicising Russia’s belligerent meddling in every Western election, including the recent one in the US.

The facts of meddling are reluctantly accepted. The only argument is about the effect it had on Trump’s election, and about his campaign’s complicity in the electronic sabotage. Germany, France and Austria have similar stories to tell, showing that Putin doesn’t just single out America for his attentions.

And now new facts have come to light, showing that the Russians are using their Petersburg troll factory to foment racial unrest in the US. Over the past two years, a Russian front group BlackLivesMatterUS has funded 40 protest rallies.

More than 100 Americans have been recruited to this cause, mostly using the false-flag stratagem Putin honed to razor sharpness during his time in the KGB. Some of the recruits were receptive to such overtures, having served their time in the seditious Occupy Wall Street movement.

Such tactics aren’t new. Used to undermine the enemy since time immemorial, they are widely regarded as a legitimate wartime ruse.

What is however new is that only one side knows there’s a war on. The other side meekly sits back and listens to the thunder of drums and bugles emanating from Russia.

Putin’s media, which is to say all Russian media, are screaming about the need to revive the Russian and Soviet imperial past. Stalin statues are going up all over Russia, like so many Phoenixes rising from the ashes.

And this is the Kremlin’s official position on another mass murderer, Lenin, enunciated by its official TV spokesman Dmitry Kisilev:

“I believe that his volcanic energy, outstanding intellect and indisputable charisma were inspired by a romantic impulse. He was like an impassioned lover… Within his own moral system, by spilling blood and confiscating property he enforced a higher justice… He built a new morality on the word ‘freedom’ and inspired millions with it… We today can’t, nor should, condemn everything Soviet… Our Lenin. And our USSR. Lenin moved Russia towards realising a megadream…”

Quite. And the essential part of the ‘megadream’ was to conquer the West and the rest of the world. “I don’t care,” the ‘impassioned lover’ once said, “if 90 per cent of our population perish if the remaining 10 per cent live under communism.”

Since that time Russia has occasionally put the realisation of that ‘romantic impulse’ on hold, but she has never abandoned it. Moreover, it has penetrated the nation’s collective consciousness and, under the expert prodding of Putin’s KGB propagandists, is now accepted as an essential part of what makes Russia Russian.

That same impulse is actuating Russia’s current war on the West. You know, the one we pretend doesn’t exist.

Rape ain’t what it used to be

All those end-to-end Harvey Weinstein stories are losing novelty appeal, which is another way of saying I’m fed up with them.

Anyway, I’ve already said everything I could about Harvey’s boorish priapism and his critics’ emetic hypocrisy. Or so I thought.

However, the story of Lysette Anthony is so iconically typical of our time that it positively screams out for a comment.

As the actress tells the story, at first it followed your traditional rape scenario. Harvey perfidiously befriends Lysette in 1992. Harvey stalks Lysette. Harvey arrives at Lysette’s flat unannounced. Lysette naively lets Harvey in. Harvey rapes Lysette against the coat rack.

Lysette tried to fight Harvey off, but “Finally I just gave up.” Lysette then describes (too graphically for my taste) Harvey’s ejaculation, her own revulsion and her subsequent weeping in the bathroom.

So far so good, or rather so horrible. As classic a case of rape as one can imagine. If the crime leaves no hard evidence, it may be hard to prove in court, but it should definitely end up there.

But it didn’t. Lysette didn’t even call the police. “I thought I should just forget the whole incident… I was an idiot to think he and I were friends.”

Well, this is hardly a happy ending. In fact, it’s neither happy nor an ending, for Lysette continued to have consensual sex with Harvey for the next 10 (ten!) years.

Harvey would ring and “No one turned down an opportunity to meet Harvey Weinstein – no one.” Excuse me? This doesn’t sound at all like a rape victim speaking.

As a confirmed feminist with strong lesbian tendencies, I accept the widespread cri de coeur that rape is the worst possible fate a woman can suffer. Worse than being disfigured, having every bone in her body broken and becoming paraplegic as a result – worse even than death itself.

Fine. I understand, although I doubt I’d feel the same way if I were a woman. But hey, de gustibus… and all that.

And yet a victim of the most blood-curdling crime that could possibly be perpetrated against a woman continues to see her rapist voluntarily because she can’t turn down the opportunity. It’s as if someone maliciously swapped the script Lysette had been reading from.

The new script is all too familiar. Lysette would turn up at Harvey’s hotel suite, Harvey would appear in a dressing gown and demand a massage, followed by sex. “By then I’d just given up. I knew I was powerless…”

She wasn’t. Lysette could have gone to the police the first time. She could have avoided Harvey like the plague thereafter. She could have pasted the story of his criminality all over the papers. At the very least, she could have refused to have sex with that animal “until 2002, when he finally let go of me” – whatever the career ramifications.

She wasn’t powerless. She was – and remains – a cynical careerist whose current jumping on the bandwagon of Harvey’s accusers brands her as fully his moral equal. If Lysette’s story is true, Harvey comes out of it as a troglodyte rapist, while she’s a truly modern figure, plugged into the prevalent nauseating ethos.

Another emetic aspect of modernity is medicalising rotten behaviour. What’s that ‘sex addiction’ for which Harvey is getting treatment? If half the stories one hears about him are true, what Harvey needs isn’t therapy but surgery (unlike Lysette, I won’t go into the gory details).

Treating his criminal, or at best barbaric, behaviour as an illness effectively absolves him of personal responsibility. If he suffers from a medical condition, he’s no more guilty of beastliness than a Tourette’s sufferer is guilty of swearing in public.

These days, people are no longer stupidly irresponsible gamblers – they are addicted to gambling. They’re no longer revolting drunks – they suffer from dipsomania. They’re no longer brainless hedonists who use drugs to mask their complete absence of inner resources – they’re drug addicts.

And the most popular plea of innocence in court is “It’s all society’s fault, Your Honour”, closely followed by “The defendant had a tough childhood, he needs help”.

This whole nonsense only goes to prove the extent to which we’ve debauched history’s greatest civilisation based on the notion of free will. We’re free to choose between right and wrong. Some of us choose the former, some the latter, but in neither case do we relinquish our humanity – with all the responsibilities it entails.

 While we’re on the subject of sex, I don’t know about you, but I welcome the NHS diktat that from 2018 all questionnaires in GP surgeries will include a question about the patient’s sexual proclivity.

It’s not immediately clear how my shameful heterosexuality is relevant to the treatment I’m currently getting for a tennis injury, but that’s not the point.

I look forward to having some nice, clean fun filling those forms in. The possibilities for amusing myself (if no one else) are endless: “livestock and domestic pets”, “potted plants, Harvey-style”, “goslings, snapping their necks at the moment of truth to produce most satisfying internal contractions”, “corpses, provided they are female (I’m no pervert)”.

If anyone still thinks the NHS is about treating people, this idiocy proves that’s only its secondary purpose. Like all gigantic socialist Leviathans, whatever their pronounced purpose, the NHS is mainly dedicated to increasing state control all the way to absolute.

If the state does a lot for you, it’ll do a lot to you – to this law of nature there are no known exceptions.