Socialism did win the argument

This is the season for giving thanks, and we ought to give ours for having been spared the horrors of a Marxist Walpurgisnacht.

Moral victory then, Jeremy?

To inject a bit of levity, we may then mock Corbyn’s statement issued in the aftermath: “We won the argument, but I regret we didn’t convert that into a majority for change.”

But as we mock, let’s remind ourselves that he’s fundamentally right. Of course, if by ‘we’ Corbyn means his band of Troskyist ghouls, he’s his usual idiotic self. Yet if his ‘we’ refers to socialism in general, he has an irrefutable point.

However, that particular argument wasn’t won in this election. In fact, it has been a victory by attrition, whose foundations were laid down in the 18th century – and I’m even in sympathy with those who date the onset of that calamity even earlier and more precisely, say back to 31 October, 1517.

We may argue about this, but there’s no argument that, by the time this election rolled along, socialism had triumphed by setting the terms of debate and chiselling them in stone.

The conflict isn’t between socialism and conservatism, but between more or less socialism. Throughout his campaign, Boris Johnson didn’t utter a single word I’d recognise as conservative.

He was consistently flogging a view of the world that’s different from Corbyn’s only quantitatively, not qualitatively. Johnson didn’t challenge a single socialist presupposition; he only offered a softened version of them.

The essence of socialism (as opposed to its sloganeering) is a maximum amount of state control over the individual. This can be exerted through various channels – economic, cultural, educational, social and especially linguistic.

Whoever controls language, controls thought, and this is the salient desideratum of every socialist government, be it communist, social democratic, liberal, liberal democratic, socialist or totalitarian. Whatever they are called, they are all glossocratic, striving to impose their own catechistic mantras and hence the underlying vision.

Johnson’s victory saved us from an extreme manifestation of this evil, and thank God for that. Yet his vision is socialist too, just less so.

Did Johnson repudiate extortionate taxation? No. He only promised taxation that’s less extortionist, as if the state grabbing over 40 per cent of the nation’s income were par for the conservative course.

It isn’t: confiscatory taxation (and the middle classes are indeed taxed at a confiscatory rate) is one of the mechanisms of socialist power. It’s designed to make more people more dependent on the state by taking away their means of achieving economic independence.

Did Johnson promise to curb runaway social spending, which destroys not only the economy but, more important, the social fabric of the nation? Not at all. On the contrary, he committed his government to ending ‘austerity’, which is, next to democratic socialism, the most mendacious term in today’s political vocabulary.

Austerity, as defined by previous administrations, is deficit spending proceeding at a promiscuous, rather than suicidal, rate. Used that way, it’s a valuable addition to our political glossary, ousting such anachronistic terms as ‘fiscal responsibility’ and ‘balanced budget’.

Defined in such a dishonest way, austerity presupposes not a reduction in social spending, but only a slower rate of its increase. Any real reduction would mean fewer people dependent on the state, which is anathema to any socialist government.

Did Johnson point out that the problem with the NHS is that of principle, not mechanics? On the contrary, he wants to enshrine in law automatic, ironclad increases in the budgets of that bloated socialist enterprise, which is already the world’s largest employer.

Did he promise to get rid of our idiot-spewing comprehensives and restore grammar schools to their erstwhile presence? Not at all – nationalised education rivals nationalised medicine in being off-limits for any substantive criticism. All that’s allowed is a lament that we haven’t been spending enough, supported by the oath to spend more.

Did Johnson promise to undo the constitutional sabotage perpetrated by previous administrations? Get rid of superfluous Americanised contrivances like the Supreme Court? Restore the House of Lords to its vital constitutional role? No, no and no. Not a word to that effect.

Did he promise to reverse moral, social, cultural and aesthetic abominations like homomarriage, encouraging kindergarten pupils to change their sex and teaching them how to use condoms, unspoken racial and sex quotas imposed openly in public service and tacitly everywhere else? Be serious – of course not.

Did Johnson intimate that perhaps treating women as an oppressed minority is as destructive socially as it is ridiculous arithmetically? Not on your nelly.

Did he utter a single word against eco-fascism, or suggest, however obliquely, that the cult of global warming is subversive hogwash, which, if encouraged, can lead us into an economic abyss? That perhaps getting rid of fossil and nuclear fuels and instead densely covering Britain with eyesores might not be a great idea? He wouldn’t dare.

Did Johnson promise to build more prisons and fill them to the gunwales if necessary, with early releases being rare exceptions, and not just for terrorists? Did he say he’d empower the police to do their work – and indeed restore the traditional understanding of what that work should be (feeling collars, not filling forms)? Don’t make me laugh.

All Boris Johnson kept banging on about is Get Brexit Done, and even that is a halfway house at best. In fact, he’s committed to tying Britain down to most of the EU regulations. Ask our fishermen what they think of Boris’s Brexit; they’ll tell you.

So yes, congratulations to Boris, with thanks for delivering us from the ultimate evil of extreme socialism. But neither he nor anyone else can ever deliver us from the evil of socialism tout court.

That argument has been lost, and all that remains of the Conservative Party is its name. Still, thank God for small favours. Socialism could have become dominant, rather than merely all-pervasive. 

It’s Jews who elected the Tories

We owe this penetrating insight to former MP and mayor of London ‘Red’ Ken Livingstone.

Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, at his oratorial best

“The Jewish vote wasn’t very helpful,” explained Red Ken with the restrained understatement for which Trotskyists are so justly famous.

My hat’s off to him: Red Ken could have said ‘It’s the Yids what done it”, but politely kept those words from bursting out of his heart. Alas, he hasn’t always been so circumspect.

In 2016 Red Ken was suspended from the Labour Party for insisting that Hitler was a Zionist so loudly that even his close friend Corbyn had to sigh and get rid of him.

Had Ken hung on for just a few months longer, his take on the intimate relationship between Jews and Nazis would have entered the Labour mainstream. He could then have sat at the left hand of Corbyn (assuming that the seat at the right hand was reserved for McDonnell).

Rather than discussing Ken’s understated affection for Jews, I’d like to draw your attention to the mathematics of the issue. That’s partly unfair because, when he attended Tulse Hill Comprehensive, little Ken was mostly interested in reptiles, presumably because they looked like him.

His O-levels were obtained in what he called “easy subjects”: English, Geography and Art. Hence one shouldn’t expect him to display intellectual rigour in more difficult disciplines, such as maths.

Still, we wouldn’t be taking Ken too far out of his depth if we stuck to elementary-school arithmetic. So let’s give it a go, shall we?

Four million more people voted for the Tories than for Labour. The Jewish population of the UK is 250,000. If the same proportion holds true for Jews as for the population at large, about 125,000 of them voted.

Even assuming – and in view of Labour’s rampant anti-Semitism, this is an easy assumption to make – that every one of them voted Tory, the numbers still don’t quite add up, do they?

However, as Pascal explained, the heart has its own reasons. So why can’t that organ have its own maths? Of course it can.

So Ken can crank up his cardiac calculator and explain how 125,000 Jews produced a four-million shortfall in Labour’s popular support. Push another few buttons, and we’ll find out that a handful of Jews control every financial institution in the City and every newspaper in the country.

When you look closely at all those Hasidic Jews, chaps like Rupert Murdoch, Viscount Rothermere and the Barclay brothers, you’ll find payot, the Orthodox earlocks they tuck into their top hats at Ascot. These reprobates rigged the vote against Jeremy, who had tried his best to propagate Ken’s discoveries about that offensive tribe.

Ken, incidentally, tried to do in the ‘70s what his best friend Jeremy did in 2015: gain hard-Left control over the whole Labour Party. Had he succeeded, Britain could have had a Marxist government 40 years ago, and I’d still be living in Texas or perhaps New York.

Jeremy went Ken one better and only fell at the last hurdle, tripped by those crypto-Nazi Jews. Now they, all 250,000 of them, can heave a sigh of relief and relax, for a while at any rate. They don’t have to emigrate to Israel just yet, and many of them would rather not.

After all, unlike Hitler, they may not be Zionists. 

PHEW!!! Thank you, Britain

You could see me wiping my brow even as we speak.

And thank you, Boris

I’ve been wrong with my predictions before, but never have I been so happy about it.

I thought we were heading for either a hung parliament or a wafer-thin Tory majority, which betokened some scepticism about our thoroughly corrupted populace.

The electorate of which millions voted for Marxist yahoos is still corrupted – but evidently not yet so comprehensively as I feared. Mercifully, the British still had enough gumption left to avert the ultimate catastrophe of a Trotskyist government. Thank God for that.

I’m grateful to my fellow countrymen on a purely personal level as well: having spent the first 25 years of my life under a communist cabal, I couldn’t bear the thought of living out my last remaining years under its reincarnation.

The results also prove, much to my chagrin, that politics and advertising have even more in common than I thought. Both fields proceed from the assumption that the punters en masse are incapable of grasping more than one message at a time.

Whenever my advertising client insisted on multiple messages, I’d toss him an orange from the fruit bowl and cry “Catch!”. He’d do so with ease. I’d then throw half a dozen oranges, and he’d typically still catch only one. A cheap trick, that, but the illustration usually worked.

The task is to identify the message most likely to produce the desired response and stick with it through thick and thin. To that end, both fields of endeavour use the same polling and research techniques – and in fact it was advertising that borrowed Gallup methodology from politics, not the other way around.

When advertising planners identify the single message that supposedly distinguishes their brand from competition, they call it the USP, the Unique Selling Proposition. The creative department then encapsulates the message in a terse memorable slogan, which then underpins every piece of communication.

Political consultants use different terminology but exactly the same process. The resulting slogan could be either negative (Thatcher’s “Labour Isn’t Working”) or positive (May’s “Strong and Stable” or Corbyn’s “For the Many Not the Jew… sorry, I mean the Few”).

The other day I actually criticised the Johnson campaign for hanging their hat on a single peg, Get Brexit Done. That, I thought, effectively reduced the general election to a second EU referendum, and there were signs that the people were so jaded about the whole mess that they no longer cared one way or the other.

I did stipulate that I had no research facilities at my disposal to prejudge the effectiveness of this message. And even assuming that the Johnson campaign had strong focus-group support for their strategy, I spent too much time in advertising to trust market research implicitly.

Thankfully, Johnson’s campaign manager Isaac Levido (another Aussie – are they better strategists than we are?) got it right. Throughout the campaign Johnson was saying “get Brexit done” in response to every, even unrelated, question. All scare messages about Corbyn were strictly background noise to that mantra, but it was important background noise.

Ever the idealist, I’ve always believed that electoral campaigns should be more Aristotelian than Pavlovian, appealing to people’s reason rather than instincts. Also, I thought, flogging a political party like a tube of toothpaste vulgarised the whole process no end – politicians shouldn’t be brands: unlike toothpaste, they can change our lives.

Yet I realise this is how it has to be. To turn politics into serious business for sensible grown-ups, we’d need different politicians, different voters and a different world.

Let’s rejoice that the ABC of politics (Anyone But Corbyn) held firm. Even voters who didn’t care about getting Brexit done, or for that matter undone, still heard the background noises about Corbyn’s irredeemable monstrosity – and reacted on cue.

Boris Johnson now has not only a sizeable parliamentary majority but, just as important, a more or less homogeneous group of Tory MPs no longer weighed down with the ballast of mock Tories like Clarke, Heseltine and Grieve.

Boris purged them with Stalin’s ruthlessness, if fortunately (some will say unfortunately) by less sanguinary methods. That points at the remote possibility that we just may finally have a statesman at 10 Downing Street, rather than a demagogic spiv.

The possibility is indeed remote, given the whole political landscape of the country and indeed the world. Hence I’ll be going after Mr Johnson every time he falls short, which I fear will be often.

But his landslide earns him a grace period until next week. So congratulations, Boris! Thank you for what you’ve done for the country – and for humble little me personally. Whatever happens next, I’m in your debt.

P.S. Yesterday I heard the tail end of Jo Swindon’s speech, with her squeaking: “I can only be me.” That, my dear, is the whole problem.

Surely not?

“We stand on the brink of insanity,” writes Stephen Glover. “How can we British even consider plunging in?”

An unassailable assessment, that, and a damn good question. I suspect Mr Glover meant for it be rhetorical, but I’ll still try to answer.

In fact, he, apparently unwittingly, answers it himself several times throughout his article. Two of his unwitting answers are interrogatory, one is affirmative, and they instantly add up to the solution of Mr Glover’s conundrum.

“How is it possible,” he asks, “…that millions of decent people intend to cast their vote for a Marxist prime minister…?” And, “How can millions of sensible people be contemplating voting for a misguided Labour leader who… is fomenting class war?”

And further, “I suppose there are traditional Labour voters who don’t bother with the political fine print. And younger voters for whom IRA terrorism, and Labour’s last wrecking of the economy in the Seventies, are not even a distant memory.”

It’s mandatory for a writer working in a one-man-one-vote democracy never to fail to compliment the country’s people for being ‘decent’ and ‘sensible’. This, though he knows perfectly well that millions are neither, and millions more are one thing or the other but not both.

I realise this observation rankles, but then truth often does. The life-or-death decision to hand Britain over to the most evil regime in her history, indeed in post-1945 Western Europe, is in the hands of the people who may be stupid enough not to realise the catastrophic consequences of voting for Corbyn’s Labour, or else wicked enough not to care.

Moreover, many “traditional Labour voters” cast their ballot in a kneejerk way, without bothering their ignorant heads with “the political fine print” – which is to say not having a clue what they are voting for.

Add to that millions of “younger voters” who, as Mr Glover correctly observes, know nothing of what happened before their time, and even not much of what has happened during.

In other words, millions of those who’ll decide your future and mine are either stupid or ignorant or wicked or irresponsible or all four. Now, what would you call a system that allows such people to decide your future and mine?

Most would call it democracy. I call it an abject, dismal failure.

I don’t know if Mr Glover realises this – and I’m sure he wouldn’t own up to it even if he did – but he’s issuing a ringing denunciation of one-man-one-vote democracy.

Anyone who is neither an ideologue nor a mentally embryonic youngster will have misgivings about a system that can elevate to power the likes of Hitler, Perón, Mugabe, Putin, Lukashenko and Macîas Nguema (who gratefully murdered a third of the population of Equatorial Guinea that had voted him in). Or one that can put on the threshold of 10 and 11 Downing St. evil Marxist yahoos like Corbyn and McDonnell.

Mr Glover is dismayed and he rightly comments that the situation is dire even if the tragedy doesn’t occur. The very fact that millions of Britons are going to vote for Marxists is tragic in itself.

Of course, no system of government is perfect. We had bad kings and bad prime ministers in the past, when democracy was variously selective or even barely existent. Yet never in history did Britain ever have a manifestly evil government that hates everything the country stands for and is doctrinally committed to annihilating it all.

No system can function without safeguards protecting it from catastrophic failure. Given the demonstrably cretinous level of our education to which Mr Glover alludes, one such safeguard has to be raising the voting age to perhaps 30, by which time people may have filled in with life’s experience the gaping holes in their education.

I realise that no system can be devised that would completely disfranchise the stupid and the wicked, although limiting the franchise to those with a triple-digit IQ wouldn’t be a bad idea.

But at least it ought to be possible to limit the number of the irresponsible, those who vote without bothering to check their party’s record and those for whom something that happened in their fathers’ generation, never mind earlier, simply doesn’t exist.

“This really is a moment of destiny as we hover on the brink of insanity,” concludes Mr Glover. “Despite everything, I can’t believe we British are mad enough to plunge in.”

Can’t or won’t? Either way, I hope his optimism trumps my pessimism.

Racism is a BAD THING

So are, in no particular order:

-Sexism

-Ageism

-Misogyny

-Fossil fuels

-Global warming denial

-LGBT-phobia including homophobia

-Belief that only two sexes exist

-Belief that a marriage is only between a man and a woman

-Income inequality

-Any other inequality

-Private pensions

-Inherited wealth

-Wealth produced by investments

-Any other wealth

-Conservatism

-Rich bastards

-Calling women love, baby, sugar buns, sweetie, sweetie-pie, flower

-Any uninvited physical contact with women, including jostling on the tube

-Insistence that those who can should pay their way

-Toff accents and toffs in general

-Private medicine

-Private schooling

-Private enterprise

-Private anything

-Clubs that don’t admit women

-Low taxes

-Israel and Jews in general

-‘Austerity’

-Big corporations

-Small businesses

-Colonialism

-Prisons

-Imperialism

-Devouring carcasses of murdered animals

-Reducing immigration

-Elitism

-Defence spending

-Nato

-America, the part between Canada and Mexico

-The entire Western history

-Brexit, perhaps – then again, perhaps not

-Religion (except Islam)

-Monarchy

-House of Lords

-Any war waged by Britain

Naturally, dialectics insists that all BAD THINGS should co-exist with GOOD THINGS. These are, again in no particular order:

-Belief that all sexes and races aren’t just equal but the same

-It’s indeed all rather than both sexes: there are at least 22 of them and counting

-Making the rich poor and the poor, well, still poor

-Greta Thunberg

-Marriage between any two (or more) mammals, provided one of them is human

-Saving our planet

-High taxes, to show the bastards what’s what

-The NHS

-Feminism

-LGBT (add your own letters)

-Socialism (ideally Marxism or, specifically, Trotskyism)

-Banning public schools

-Banning private medicine

-Public ownership of the means of production

-Darwinism

-Hamas, Hezbollah and IRA

-Disarmament, unilateral if must be

-Social housing

-Multiculturalism and racial diversity

-Venezuela

-Short sentences for all crimes other than racism, homophobia and rape

-Wind and solar power

-Working classes, especially if they are out of work

-Strikes, preferably general

-Vegetarianism, ideally veganism

-Union power

-Brexit, perhaps – then again perhaps not

-Early release from any sentences other than for racism, homophobia and rape

-High public spending financed by borrowing

-Unlimited immigration, especially of those wronged in the past by British colonialism and generally superior attitudes

-Third World

-Atheism (except for Muslims)

-Scottish independence, if Nicola votes the right way

-Republicanism

-Any war waged on Britain

If you agree that the BAD THINGS are indeed bad and the GOOD THINGS are indeed good, vote Labour tomorrow. If you don’t, vote Conservative. No sitting on the fence: if you vote for any other party, you might as well vote Labour.

There, I hope I’ve clarified matters. Glad to be of service to our great democracy. But if Corbyn gets in, don’t say I haven’t warned you.

Equality of opportunity, anyone?

All sensible people acknowledge that equality of result is an indigestible pie in the sky. However, most such people insist that equality of opportunity is achievable. In fact, it’s the other way around.

Perfect equality, achieved

Equality of result can indeed be achieved by enforced levelling downwards (the only direction in which it’s ever possible to level). All we have to do is follow most of Marx’s prescriptions, and some of Plato’s.

It’s possible to confiscate all property and pay citizens barely enough to keep them alive – this was more or less achieved in the country where I grew up.

It’s possible to put in place the kind of dumbed-down schools that will make everybody equally ignorant – this has been more or less achieved in the country where I grew old.

It’s possible to provide the kind of equal healthcare for all that has little to do with either caring for most citizens or keeping them healthy – both countries have achieved this.

What’s absolutely impossible is to guarantee equality of opportunity.

A child with two parents will have better opportunities than a child raised by one parent. A boy who grew up surrounded by books will have a greater opportunity to get ahead intellectually than his coeval who grew up surrounded by discarded syringes and crushed beer cans.

A girl who goes to a good public school will have greater opportunities in life than one who attends a local comprehensive (closing public schools down, an idea so dear to many lefties, wouldn’t eliminate this imbalance: middle-class parents will find a way of supplementing their daughter’s education either abroad or at home).

A young businessman who inherits a fortune will have a better opportunity of earning a greater fortune than someone who has to start from scratch (again, confiscatory inheritance laws will fail: as with all unjust regulations, people will either find a way around them or flee).

Yet equality has become such a shibboleth for the post-Christian masses that they are prepared to deny obvious facts in its name.

Take IQ for example. Whoever dares to observe that different social or racial groups have different median IQ scores will be immediately accused of racism, fascism, elitism or any other ism that happens to be the faddish bogeyman at the time.

Yet facts show that a) IQ scores do differ from one group to the next and b) they are the most reliable predictor of practical success in any occupation (except perhaps, on current evidence, public service).

For example, in spite of being discriminated against, the Malayan Chinese are heavily over-represented in professional and managerial positions. All sorts of spurious explanations are offered for this, but never the real one: the median IQ of the Chinese is a huge 16 points higher than that of the ethnic Malays.

No matter. Actual reality is no longer allowed to interfere with the virtual kind. If facts don’t support the egalitarian bias, then so much the worse for the facts. The bogus equality of the modern world has to presuppose parity where none exists: practical ability and better opportunities it confers.

Lies and deception are the only way out of this conundrum: as empirical evidence destroys this presupposition everywhere we look, the evidence must either be falsified or, better still, hushed up. In this the modern world displays more ruthless consistency than Christendom ever did in opposing, say, the heliocentric theory.

An important thing to remember about egalitarianism is that levelling downwards isn’t just the only possible direction but, for the champions of this inane idea, the only desirable one.

To Burke “compulsory equalisations,” could only mean, “equal want, equal wretchedness, equal beggary.” To modern egalitarians they are the shining beacon. But any true equality is anathema to them, and it’s amusing to watch them tie themselves in knots trying to pretend it isn’t, against both empirical evidence and sound common sense.

Progressive income taxation highlights this in economics by setting up a conflict between two pieties. On the one hand, redistributive taxes represent an egalitarian attempt to push high earners down to the level of the low ones. On the other hand, they flagrantly violate of the principle of equality under the law.

True enough, someone who makes twice as much as someone else must pay twice as much tax in absolute terms. But making him pay many times the proportion of his income makes all believers in justice cry havoc and let slip… well, they have no one to let slip. Their cause isn’t supported by anyone, save for a few eccentrics who aren’t received in polite society.

But for egalitarians the choice is clear: they are prepared to sacrifice justice, fairness and even utility (flat tax rates would make the economy healthier) at the altar of modern cults.

As a result of such urges, 50 per cent of all Americans pay no income tax at all; over 50 per cent of all taxes are paid by the wealthiest three per cent; 90 per cent are paid by the wealthiest 10 per cent. In Britain the situation is similar. Thus in any reasonable sense the word ‘equality’ is a clear misnomer when applied to this levelling run riot.

Yet it would be wrong to say that equality, in whatever sense of the word, is a pipe dream. In fact, every country in the world has achieved it in small enclaves where people’s clothes, food, lodgings and indeed rights are not merely equal but identical. The people may or may not work, but their way of life isn’t affected either way. Their medical care and education are free, and things like TV sets and sports facilities are equally available to all.

These perfectly egalitarian places are called gaols, and indeed prison is the epitome of egalitarian aspirations, the ideal towards which they strive.

This may sound facetious, but in fact it’s just an illustration of an immutable truth: the relationship between earthly freedom and equality (of either result or opportunity) can only ever be inverse. The more of one, the less of the other.

Total tyranny is a precondition for total equality – that is, below the level of the tyrant, who stands above the equal masses the same way the unequal prison warder stands above the equal inmates.

Exclusive interview with Boris Johnson

The other day, I had a private chat with my old friend Boris, which, he stipulated, was strictly off the record. So here it is:

Brexit and Carrie: both are getting done

AB: Boris, John McDonnell has described you as “a danger to women, to single mothers, the working class, minorities, LGBT+ people, and to anyone who doesn’t look like him. He thinks he is born to rule and stands against everything that holds our communities together.” Care to comment?

BJ: McDonnell? Ghastly man, that. I say let’s get Brexit done.

AB: The average wait at NHS A&E departments is 12 hours. How will your government tackle this problem?

BJ: Simple, old boy. Let’s get Brexit done.

AB: Britain’s ageing population is putting more and more pressure on social services. This problem isn’t likely to go away without some radical rethink of government policies. Any ideas?

BJ: Cripes, Al, you and your onanistic questions. Ideas? How’s this: get Brexit done.

AB: On a more personal note, many traditional Tory voters are wondering if you’re planning to marry Carrie Symonds. Nuptials soon?

BJ: Carrie on as we are at the moment, you old bugger. Both Carrie and Brexit are getting done, if I say so myself who shouldn’t.

AB: Is there any rift in the Johnson family? Both your sister and your brother seem to oppose you on Brexit.

BJ: Don’t you worry about that, Al. Let’s get Brexit done, and let Dad teach hoi polloi how to spell Pinocchio.

AB: In a more serious vein, you are promising 50,000 more nurses, 40 new hospitals and 20,000 new policemen. Where’s the money going to come from?

BJ: Need you ask? From Brexit, you nincompoop. Once we’ve got it done.

AB: Quite. But how can you do that without reducing our defence budgets even further?

BJ: That old chestnut again? Really, Al, I’m disappointed in you. Let’s get Brexit done, I say, and defence will take care of itself. Everything will bloody well take care of itself, as Aristotle once said.

AB: Some bleeding hearts out there are attacking you for comparing Muslim women wearing burqas to letter boxes and bank robbers. What’s your response to that?

BJ: Once we’ve got Brexit done, all Her Majesty’s subjects will be able to wear Halloween costumes if they like, no matter how ridiculous that makes them look.

AB: You once wrote a limerick about President Erdogan of Turkey: “There was a young fellow from Ankara// Who was a terrific wankerer// Till he sowed his wild oats// With the help of a goat// But he didn’t even stop to thankera.” Didn’t that upset a key Nato ally?

BJ: Oh for God’s sake, Al, that was a joke. Unlike getting Brexit done, which is dead serious.

AB: You once said, “I have as much chance of becoming Prime Minister as of being decapitated by a frisbee or of finding Elvis.” Your head seems to be in place, so have you found Elvis?

BJ: Never mind what I said then, Al. Here’s what I’m saying now: Get Brexit done.

That was the end of that confidential chat. Afterwards I wished Boris best of luck and congratulated him on his focused, some may say monomaniac, campaign. Get Brexit done, and all the pieces of the Rubik’s cube will click into place.

Let’s just hope that the electorate shares such single-mindedness of purpose. For otherwise… Well, what could happen otherwise doesn’t bear thinking about.  

Julius Streicher came back as Labour activist

The Holocaust never happened, according to some Labour activists. But if they had their way, it would.

That can’t happen in Britain. Or can it?

Labour is being investigated for encouraging, or at least not punishing, hundreds of activists venting their innermost feelings.

“I call for the complete annihilation and extermination of every Jew on the planet”, “The Jew is worse than Black Death, worse than ebola virus”, “Drown them in the Red Sea because gas is too expensive” – the papers are citing spreads upon spreads of such pronouncements.

This evokes the memory of another socialist, Julius Streicher, who published the notorious weekly Der Stürmer. His efforts received the ultimate form of literary criticism at Nuremberg. But, as his Soviet fellow socialists used to say, “Our comrade is dead, but his cause lives on.”

So it does. In today’s Labour Party whose leader – make no mistake about it – may move into 10 Downing Street in four days.

This isn’t the petty snobbery of a pinstriped, clubbable gentleman who sneers “A fine Scottish name, what?” whenever a Jew appears in the news. That chap might blackball Jews at White’s, but I doubt he’d want to murder them all.

No, we are talking about real creepy-crawlies, those inhabiting putrid swamps full of ordure fermented with hate. In England, ladies and gentlemen – not in Nazi Germany and not even in Saudi Arabia.

Two questions come to mind immediately. Why have these creatures crawled out of their swamp here? And why now?

The ecological balance of any society always includes such toxic organisms, and one suspects their proportion only ever varies within the statistical margin of error. Hence it’s unlikely that the Labour Party has suddenly suffered a demographic explosion of anti-Semites.

Anti-Semites have always been with us. But at some times and in some places they are encouraged to go public, whereas at other times and in other places they aren’t. Clearly, Corbyn’s Labour is an example of the former.

To understand why we ought to remind ourselves that murderous Jew-hatred isn’t the sum total of evil, but only its subset, one of its manifestations. For evil is an ontological aspect of the human condition.

You may or may not believe in Satan as the promulgator of evil, and I’m even willing to accept for the sake of argument that those who originally did were wrong. But they were certainly right in realising that evil acts are all expressions of a larger, metaphysical entity, differing from one another in details but not in essence.

That’s why evil acts or sentiments never exist in isolation; they tend to exert a gravitational pull on one another. Nazi genocide of Jews, for example, might have been their most spectacular crime, but it wasn’t the only one.

They also routinely murdered those they regarded as subhuman: Gypsies, homosexuals, mentally retarded. Slavs were Untermenschen to the Nazis, and they conducted fatal medical experiments on Russian POWs. More than two million of them died in Nazi captivity (a crime in which Stalin, who had refused to sign the Geneva Convention, was complicit).

At the time of his death Stalin was planning his own final answer to the Jewish question, but that would have been merely one entry in the endless catalogue of Bolshevik evil.

The two socialist regimes, national and international, had their differences. But they shared two characteristics: they were socialist, and they were evil.

This, I submit, is a case of causative relationship. For evil resides at the very core of socialism, the doctrine of subjugating the impotent individual to the omnipotent state under the smokescreen of illiterate bien pensant bilge.

At that location evil may stay dormant for a while, but the core isn’t static. It’s a maelstrom creating powerful centrifugal forces. In accordance with the laws of physics, these disperse evil away from the centre and towards the periphery.

Hence the closer we move to the outer, extreme fringes of socialism, the more evil we’ll observe. And those outlying regions are exactly where today’s Labour operates.

Its febrile anti-Semitism, the kind the West hasn’t seen since Streicher was in business, is less important as a stand-alone phenomenon than as a tell-tale sign of the evil pervading the entire party.

Every plank of the Labour manifesto, especially if elucidated by the pronouncements and associations of Labour leaders, is a variously camouflaged facet of evil. The underlying desire is to turn Britain into a Marxist dictatorship under the guise of democracy, thereby killing the nation’s spirit and befouling its history.

Virulent anti-Semitism is part and parcel of Marxism, going back to Marx himself. Hating Jews is hence a display of doctrinal piety, unwavering faith in the founding tenets.

This is vital to communicate to the public, not all of whom, let’s face it, are overly concerned about the fate of the Jews. They could do worse than to recall a story that used to make the rounds in another anti-Semitic Marxist paradise, the Soviet Union.

An Armenian was asked why he was opposed to anti-Semitism. “Because,” he replied, “I fear that once they’ve finished off the Jews they’ll come for us next.”

There are still four days left for you to do something about sending that lot back to the swamp whence they came. How you feel about Jews is immaterial. Just remember: you might be next.

It’s not called piste for nothing

A report the other day leads one to the conclusion that après ski should henceforth be replaced with avant ski and pendant ski.

Here I am, writing when some people are already having fun

Apparently, some 100,000 British skiers get injured every year by taking to the slopes well-oiled and then making sure that blissful state is lovingly maintained throughout that sporting activity.

Tests show, says the report, that consuming a mere seven units of alcohol reduces one’s slalom skills by 45 per cent. Percentages aren’t always reliable: an Olympic champion performing at 55 per cent of his ability would still ski rings around me operating at 100 per cent of mine.

Still, the report is interesting. After all, much can be inferred about a nation’s character from its drinking habits.

Growing up in Russia, I downed my first 7-ounce tumbler of vodka at 14, but then I always was a late bloomer. A cabbie once boasted to me with unmistakable paternal pride about his 7-year-old son who could do the same thing and stay stone-sober.

I saw faraway villages where all children, especially boys, reeked of moonshine. And even scions of good Moscow families, such as mine, seldom bypassed a bibulous phase on the way to maturity.

Drinking heavily was a rite of passage, complete with its own paraphernalia and rituals. Since in my day drinking establishments were few, much drinking was done ‘from the neck’ on park benches or in stinking doorways (public loos were also in short supply).

For many people that phase never ended, and during my numerous hospital stays I often shared a ward with canary-yellow alcoholics dying of uremia or greenish ones dying of cirrhosis.

No comparative data were available, but to a naked eye Russia had more, certainly more visible, alcoholics than any other country I know. And, having ventured to the outskirts of Moscow on my last visit some 10 years ago, I didn’t notice much change in that respect.

Some cite physiological explanations. Apparently, Russian livers are blessed or, depending on your point of view, cursed with high amounts of ADH (alcohol dehydrogenase), the enzyme that breaks down alcohol.

Perhaps. But Russian life, with its endemic dark hopelessness, must be a more significant factor. Many Russians don’t drink to have a good time. They drink to kill themselves, and surely alcohol contributes to the country’s male life expectancy being about 10 years lower than anywhere in the West.

The British are a hard-drinking nation too, though they tend to prefer beer or wine to spirits. I used to drink quite a lot, having been known to drive home a quart of whisky in the bag, but when I moved to London 31 years ago, I was amazed at my colleagues’ ability to consume gallons of lager.

One chap, 11 stone dripping wet, told me 14-15 pints was regarded as the norm in a pub session. That’s eight litres to a continental, four six-packs to an American and a bucket to a Russian. Impressive, in any measurement units.

Whatever their nationality, real sots are easy to understand. They drink because they have to, not because they want to. More interesting are people who don’t normally drink much, but still do so in certain situations.

Italians and Frenchmen drink to have a good time, and because they – especially the former – are naturally exuberant, it doesn’t take much. Alas, capacity for joyous exuberance doesn’t come naturally to many young Britons.

Those I used to know drank to remove inhibitions, forcing themselves to have fun because the social occasion demanded it. Hence young people (aged 25-35, not teenagers) go out fully intent on getting drunk – something, say, Americans seldom do.

For them, as it was for me, getting drunk is an accident occurring when one unwittingly oversteps a certain limit. Even Russians, out to dull their Weltschmerz, treat vomiting on passers-by as an unfortunate consequence of drinking, not its main purpose.

Being a nosy parker, I once conducted my own comparative study in a Verona restaurant around Christmas time. Occupying a large table next to ours was a group of 12 youngish Italians, clearly an office party.

They ordered a sumptuous meal and four bottles of wine. Over the next hour I was watching them like a hawk, fearful of missing the moment when the next four arrived, then another four and so forth.

They never did. Four bottles were all they drank, although one couldn’t tell that from the din they produced. Now, my expectations were based on experience.

Christmas parties at my advertising agency weren’t quite so abstemious. They usually started with cocktails and pints of beer. Then, during dinner, the average consumption was two bottles of wine per head – followed by whisky or brandy.

Afterwards the management called some taxis to take drunk youngsters (mainly middle-class women) home. Many of them couldn’t remember their address; some vomited in the car, and we had to pay the cleaning costs afterwards.

Inhibitions were successfully removed, along with civility. Why? Most of those girls never drank heavily and seldom at all. Why did they, and millions of others, feel compelled to change their consumption so drastically?

Every day one reads the accounts of nice, middle-class girls sharing a bottle of wine at home, before going out on a Saturday night. Then, goes a typical account I recall, “I had 12 double vodkas, some wine and a few flaming Sambucas…”

The inhibitions some of those youngsters, particularly women, wish to remove are often sexual. By drinking heavily, they hope to absolve themselves of any residual guilt from hopping into bed with a stranger.

Speaking strictly from hearsay, as I hope you and Penelope realise, Russian or American women rarely have their sexual behaviour affected by alcohol or its absence. They say either yes or no, and that vote hardly ever changes if one plies them with drink (unless it’s champagne at a five-star hotel, but then it’s money that clinches the deal, not the wine).

Much of this in Britain comes from what’s kindly called peer pressure or, unkindly, the herd instinct. Britons drink because it’s expected, meaning they are in the company of those who do the expecting.

Since few people ever go on skiing holidays by themselves, their herd instinct kicks in. The situation demands, and their companions expect, that THOU SHALT DRINK in the morning before skiing and throughout the day.

They oblige – and end up in the infirmary, hospital or, occasionally, morgue. Oh well, few of us ever leave this world alive anyway.

We should learn from Russia

Ever since the monk Philotheus proclaimed in the 16th century that Moscow was the Third Rome, Russia has set out to teach a lesson to the world.

The face of inherent political virtue, as seen by Russian liberals

That she has done, and quite successfully, except that it’s a lesson in how not to do things, especially in politics. Different analysts ascribe that unfortunate state of affairs to all sorts of factors, cultural, geographic, demographic, geopolitical and so forth.

Most of them have a point, but I think they tend to miss the point. That’s based on the first words in St John’s Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word”.

St John was making a cosmological statement, but it can be profitably extrapolated to just about everything, and certainly to the art of creating and running a just and successful state.

That too starts with the Word, which in this case is a body of philosophical ideas. But they don’t create themselves – like the world itself, ideas require creators. And in a state evolving over centuries, their historical number has to be large.

Now, the Russians are talented people. Yet no nation is equally talented in every area: peaks dialectically presuppose the existence of valleys. For the Russians, it’s philosophy in general and, especially, political thought.

Although they’ve had some interesting metaphysical thinkers, few of them are known internationally. As to political thinkers, not a single one comes to mind.

Since Russia left her cultural development for late, she had to borrow Western patterns. However, those were but the starting points for Russian writers, artists, composers, inventors and scientists. Eventually they managed to find their own paths leading to greatness.

Nothing like that ever happened in modern political thought: it started and ended with aping the West. The Russians stuck Western saplings into their own soil, but the saplings didn’t take. That’s why I often comment regretfully on the paucity of the Russian opposition to Putin.

No intelligent person, especially no intelligent Russian, will fail to see the monstrosity of Putin’s kleptofascist regime – just like no such person ever failed to see the Soviets for what they were.

Where the problems start is in identifying an indigenous philosophical position – the Word in the beginning of everything – from which Russia can move away from Putin and towards a semblance of political virtue.

I read opposition publications every day and invariably bemoan their generally low, at times abysmal, level of thought. That’s especially vexing since some of the writers are genuinely talented.

One such is Igor Yakovenko, a kind of doyen of Russian liberal journalism. Writing in his characteristic acerbic style, Yakovenko is one of the most brilliant critics of Putin and his crimes.

However, when he ventures outside that area, a kind soul ought to tell him to do some serious thinking assisted by serious reading in political science. Using the ideology personified by The Guardian, La Liberation and other ‘liberal’ papers just doesn’t cut it.

Thus Yakovenko laments the existence of  “the word levak (leftie) reflecting a negative attitude to a possessor of left-wing views… The word pravak (rightie) doesn’t exist. If a right-leaning politician is disliked, he’s criticised not for his views but for their consequences. Such as cynicism, neglect of moral and legal norms, a proclivity to solve complex problems by force. A levak is disliked simply for being on the left.”

Yakovenko seems to think that the West is like that too. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Levaks hate conservatives for what they are, while the latter abhor the former for what they do: mass murder, concentration camps, artificial famines, universal destitution, inordinate growth of state power, downgrading civil liberties.

Yakovenko takes issue with an article critical of the removal of Franco’s remains from their resting place in the Valley of the Fallen: “The article’s essence is fully reflected in its sub-title: ‘In memory of an outstanding man who saved Spain from international leftie scum’. [The author] criticises the Spanish people for no longer being capable of distinguishing imperfect good from absolute evil’.”

Now, I probably wouldn’t use the word ‘scum’, and neither would I describe Franco as someone only narrowly missing perfect goodness, but, in 1936, he did save Spain from the absolute evil of Stalinism.

Yet Yakovenko sharpens his irony: “To [the author] the concept of ‘international leftie scum’, along with those who were sent by Stalin to fight on the republican side, includes George Orwell…, Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos…”

This sounds like the maligned author committed the ultimate apostasy. Yet Orwell, who fought with the anarchist POUM, was indeed a leftie. He thought that dispossessing the rich was a key to universal happiness and, in his Homage to Catalonia, criticised Stalin’s secret police, which had unleashed a reign of terror in Spain, for being insufficiently hard.

Hemingway is now known to have been a Soviet agent of influence, while Dos Passos, who started out supporting the republicans, was so disgusted by their murder of his friend José Robles that he refused to take part in Hemingway’s Stalinist propaganda film. Later he became a staunch conservative.

Yakovenko seems to believe that literary talent, of which he too has some, issues a free pass to its possessor. In that case, he shouldn’t find fault with the fascist views of Ezra Pound, Kurt Hamsun or Louis-Ferdinand Céline. Yet one suspects he does, which is most illogical.

Characteristically, Yakovenko mentions Guernica, but not the thousands of priests, nuns and members of the upper classes murdered by the Loyalists. In his eyes, the International Brigades have a halo of romantic goodness about them, whereas they were in fact the vanguard troops of the Comintern, which is to say Stalin.

Aware that the terms ‘right’ and ‘left’ aren’t without a potential for confusion, Yakovenko manfully embarks on the effort of straightening it out.

“In the modern world, to be Left means defending the rights of ‘the insulted and humiliated’ [echo of Dostoyevsky there] and demanding changes to the existing order. Described as leftists are progressives, communists, Maoists, greens, social-democrats, socialists, autonomists, secularists, social-liberals, anti-globalists, defenders of the rights of LGBT and feminists.”

A fairly broad church then, but then so is the right, which presupposes “support for traditional values, demonstrated to various degrees by conservatives, national-democrats, reactionaries, globalists, right liberals, nationalists, monarchists, theocrats, fascists, Nazis, Francoists.”

Hence conservatives like, say, Burke or Enoch Powell only differ from Nazis by the degree of their support for traditional values. And they all display, if to various extents, “cynicism, neglect of moral and legal norms, the proclivity to solve complex problems by force.”

Yakovenko’s political taxonomies of both the Right and the Left are the ignorant drivel of a man traumatised to distraction by what he correctly identifies as his country’s evil regime.

Lumping together conservatives and Nazis is particularly galling. Support for traditional values? Seriously?

The traditional values of our civilisation are Christian, and national socialists hated them as much as their international cousins did. Just like the latter, they were economic socialists. If the Bolsheviks nationalised the economy de jure, the Nazis did so de facto, but they did nationalise it.

Yakovenko would struggle to show the inroads made into fascism by the conservative virtues of prescription, prudence and prejudice, so identified by Burke. Nor would he be able to give an example of a conservative thinker, or for that matter government, displaying “a proclivity to solve complex problems by force”.

Yakovenko regrets the fanaticism of Western lefties, which reduces what he sees as their inherently good ideas to caricatures. His analysis isn’t always wrong, but it’s always facile, at times to the point of being infantile.

A serious thinker would delve deeper, trying to identify the underlying causes of such fanaticism. He’d then uncover the existences of a vast group of monomaniac discontents whose monomania isn’t the cause they happen to tout at the moment, but hatred of every aspect of Western civilisation.

“The Soviet Union is dead but not buried,” concludes Yakovenko, at last finding himself in his comfort zone.

“Its decomposing corpse is poisoning the atmosphere, filling it with the miasma and phantoms of the past, one of which is the original sin of left-wing views…. We must bury the Soviet Union and then, after some 20 years, the word levak will stop being a swear word in the Russian language.”

I started out by saying we should learn from Russia. For Britain has had the requisite number of great political thinkers, along with the tradition of justice and liberty that has never existed in Russia.

Yet how many Britons ascribe unquestioned goodness to left-wing ideas? How many put conservatives and fascists under the same rubric? How many are as confused as Mr Yakovenko and his colleagues about their political taxonomies? How many fail to identify the philosophical core of our civilisation?

I haven’t counted. But if their number were to exceed a certain critical mass, we may end up like Russia: confused, impoverished, tyrannised.