Disraeli got it wrong

Speaking to a clerical audience in 1864, shortly after the publication of Darwin’s Origin, Benjamin Disraeli said: “What is the question now placed before society with a glib assurance the most astounding? The question is this – Is man an ape or an angel? My lord, I am on the side of the angels.”

The phrase has become proverbial, and even people who disagree with Disraeli’s rejection of Darwinism use it. I suspect they wouldn’t do so if they were aware of the original context, but Disraeli’s listeners, while also appreciating the spiffy phrase, had no problem with the context.

So they cheered, and I’m happy to join in, if belatedly and not without reservations. One such is that Disraeli got the antithesis wrong. The opposite of an angel is a demon, not an ape.

But true enough, man isn’t an ape. So Disraeli was half-right, which sets him apart favourably from today’s politicians who tend to be totally wrong on just about everything.

Though Disraeli was a Christian most of his life (he was baptised at 12), his main interest was politics, not theology. And even in those civilised times, politicians knew that a memorable adage was more effective than sound thought.

Disraeli’s quip is a case in point. It has made its way into the Thesaurus on the strength of its form, not substance.

In substance, I am always puzzled when people on either side of the religious divide insist that evolution is somehow incompatible with Genesis. It isn’t. In fact, it’s much more incompatible with disciplines other than theology, such as microbiology, palaeontology, cosmology, the physics of elementary particles, genetics, biochemistry and geology.

Darwinism only begins to contradict the Old Testament, along with the commonest of senses, when its fanatical and intellectually challenged champions repeat with Richard Dawkins that evolution “explains everything”.

Well, one thing it doesn’t explain is how things that evolve came to be before they started to evolve. After all, the word ‘evolution’ implies a gradual development of something that already exists.

Hence, before an ape began its inexorable evolution into a J.S. Bach, someone must have taken the trouble of creating it. Neither Darwin nor any of his followers come even close to explaining how that came about, for the simple reason that they can’t. Elementary logic won’t allow it.

That would be like insisting that J.S. Bach came into being as a result of his evolution from an embryo. The implication has to be that the embryo was created by parthenogenesis, without any meaningful contribution from Mr and Mrs Johann Ambrosius Bach.

Now, since God is omnipotent by definition, he could have created man ab nihilo and instantly, the way Genesis has it. Or he could have created an ape first, breathed a particle of his own essence into it and let it become man slowly, over thousands or millions of years.

At this point both atheists and Protestant sectarians join forces to insist on the literal reading of the Bible. Such misguided pedantry leads them to deny this second possibility I mentioned.

Genesis says nothing about millions or even thousands of years, they aver. It says God created man on the sixth day, thank you very much. So whether you believe (sectarians) or disbelieve (atheists), there goes that theory of theistic evolution.

Of the two groups, I prefer the atheists. They have a ready excuse for their crepuscular thinking on such subjects, as I have a ready excuse for my ignorance of, say, horticulture. The subject just doesn’t interest me.

Protestant sectarians, on the other hand, insist on being orthodox Christians, which insistence they belie by their most unfortunate scriptural literalism.

As Christians, they ought to know that, since God (again by definition) is outside time, our vocabulary of temporal durations doesn’t apply to him. Whoever wrote the Old Testament, or rather wrote it down, understood that. He was (they were?) communicating the story in the language of poetic imagery, metaphor and parable.

Yet he was indeed communicating it, and every communicator knows that he must use the language his audience will understand. Jesus Christ, for example, not only spoke to his audience in their own Aramaic, but he also copiously used references to the Hebrew scripture they all lived by. Even his words on the cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”, were a quotation from Psalm 22.

By the same token, the Genesis writer spoke of six days because he was confident that his audience would both relate to such terms and not take them literally. The genre of realistic novel didn’t yet exist, and the ancient Hebrews were broght up on metaphorical expression.

Overall, whether or not man started out as an ape, he was manifestly not an ape in 1864, although those who insisted he was ought to have been complimented on their capacity for uncompromising self-assessment. And anyone this side of Richard Dawkins will know that the difference between man and ape was that of kind, not of degree. (I’ll dismiss out of hand any attempt to refute this statement by producing photographs of Tommy Robinson at his most agitated.)

But the fact that man isn’t an ape doesn’t mean he is an angel. If he were, he’d be as likely to be a fallen angel as a rosy-cheeked cherub.

According to doctrine, both man and angels are created in the image of God, yet both are capable of sin. Angels sin less frequently than humans, which makes them superior beings. However, if man’s sins can be forgiven, angels’ sins cannot. That means that the tables will be turned on the Day of Judgement: the men whose sins have been forgiven will become superior to angels and able to judge them.

Disraeli was using the phrase not theologically but colloquially, but I’m not sure it works even at that level. The angels in his aphorism are perfect celestial beings, presumably free of sin. Juxtaposing them with apes, as he did, seems to suggest that, whereas angels are perfect human beings, apes are imperfect ones. Hence he was inadvertently vindicating something he had set out to debunk, Darwinism.

Don’t get me wrong: I like a snappy phrase as much as the next man and, after 30 years of writing ads, perhaps more than the next man. Yet outside advertising an aphorism can only act as an ornament of thought, not as its substitute.

Very few aphorisms can survive the kind of decortication to which I subjected Disraeli’s maxim. Realising this makes me dislike slogans of any kind, including those that are seemingly unobjectionable. That antipathy naturally leads to a distrust of modern politics that depends on slogans too much for my taste.

Disraeli was a master phrasemaker, and he could have made a bloody good copywriter. But then he was also a master politician, some will even say statesman. Today’s lot aren’t even good political mechanics, never mind statesmen. They all, however, hire speechwriters, some my former advertising colleagues experienced in producing soundbites that are as punchy as they are meaningless.

Now, do you think slogans like MAGA can withstand scrutiny? If so, I’ll be happy to prove you wrong some other time. Soon, if you insist.

The joy of Islamophobia

Whenever I hear the word ‘Islamophobia’ used, I remember this literary dialogue:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

No wonder my late mother-in-law insisted Alice contained all the philosophy anyone would ever need. In this case, Lewis Carroll sensed our civilisation was declining and he identified lexical laxity as a telling symptom of that downward slide.

Which is to be master is these days beyond doubt: precisely the groups facilitating the demise of the West. They wield the hammer, and it’s language that’s on the anvil, ready to be beaten into any shape, no matter how awful. The word ‘phobia’ is a case in point.

The dictionary defines it as “an uncontrollable, irrational, and lasting fear of” something or other. Hence, when Boris Johnson in his usual offhand manner describes Geert Wilders as an “Islamophobe”, one would be within one’s right to assume that Mr Wilders is scared of Islam and its practitioners irrationally and uncontrollably.

But that’s not what Mr Johnson means, is it? Flippantly louche he may be, but he is neither a fool nor an ignoramus. If he uses a word in any other than its true meaning, that’s simply to remind us “which is to be master”.

If Mr Wilders is scared of Muslims, his fear is about as rational as anything can be. Muslims make no secret of their intention to murder him, rendering it impossible for Mr Wilders to step out without burly armed bodyguards in attendance. And since he does appear in public as often as any politician must, Mr Wilders seems capable of controlling that fear very well indeed.

Johnson knows this as well as anybody. Hence he uses the word ‘Islamophobia’ in its Humpty Dumpty meaning of refusing to accept the woke fads mandated by our would-be masters. Thus ‘transphobia’ means opposition to any aspect of force-feeding society with the sub-culture of mental disorder. It doesn’t mean that any such opponent screams and runs away whenever he espies a bearded woman walking towards him.

And ‘Islamophobia’, as used by Johnson and his ilk, means a rebellion, however tacit or mild, against the sub-culture of ‘multicultural inclusivity’ our masters use as the sledgehammer to smash our real culture.

We are still allowed to find fault with Islamic terrorism, coyly termed ‘Islamist’ by our masters. The implication is that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with Islam, even if suicide bombers scream “Allahu akbar!” when pulling the cord. They are only guilty of scriptural literalism, taking the hundreds of Koranic verses calling for violence at face value.

That great Islamic scholar George W. Bush put that in a nutshell immediately after 9/11: “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.”

That Muslims started assaulting Christendom even before Mohammed’s death in 632 AD and have never stopped has nothing to do with Islam. It may suggest doctrinally hostile intent in English, but not in Humpty Dumpty. There it means peace.

This sustained history of violence has ebbed and flowed, flaring up today, abating tomorrow, only to splash out again the day after. The weapons have varied, from cold steel to missiles to – and this gets us back to Geert Wilders – what a jihad ideologue once described as “the womb of every Muslim woman”.

The much-maligned ‘displacement theory’ is based on calculations spinning out of that part of the female anatomy. A sustained growth in the Muslim population of Western countries will eventually turn them Islamic if unmatched, ideally outpaced, by a concomitant growth in the indigenous population. Whether such growth in the Muslim population comes from immigration or a high birth rate is immaterial.

While I find plenty wrong with the monomaniac exponents of this theory, I see nothing wrong with the theory itself. In fact, it brings back to memory the mathematical problem that tortured me as a schoolboy. It was about a swimming pool with two pipes, with water flowing in through one and out through the other. Depending on the flow rates, the old water could be completely replaced, and don’t ask me for any details.

In his novel Submission, Michel Houellebecq outlined a dystopic fantasy of a Muslim France. But the problem with modernity is two-fold: it both preempts satire and enables dystopic fantasies to come true. If mathematics still works, the danger does exist.

Nor is it just long term. A large minority of cultural aliens, not to say hostiles, can damage the host culture even if the minority is well-behaved and doesn’t threaten to become a majority. I don’t know enough about the demographic trends to make mathematical predictions, but anyone who thinks Muslim minorities are well-behaved needs to have his eyes, ears and indeed head examined.

That makes large-scale Islamic immigration a serious problem. Fearing Islam is thus both the prerogative and duty of anyone who wishes to hang on to whatever little is left of our civilisation. There’s nothing irrational about it.

In 2022, net migration to the UK reached a record-breaking figure of 745,000. Three-quarters of a million. In one year. And most of that migration was Islamic. The inflow pipe in that swimming pool is working overtime.

Yet I don’t blame Islam for this, even though I can’t see how anyone can take that patchwork quilt of a religion seriously. It is what it is, but the problem is that the West isn’t what it used to be. It is losing its nerve and self-confidence at the same rate and for the same reasons as Rome did during the period described by Gibbon.

Whatever the relative physical strength of Christendom and Islam during different periods of history, the former’s metaphysical strength was always going to allow it to triumph in the long run. It’s that metaphysical strength that the West has lost, just as Rome once lost it.

Like Rome, we’ve become so tolerant that we welcome and even enforce bogus equality among all creeds. Our own is long since lost, and we propose to counter religious fanaticism with beatific smiles and meaningless bien pensant phrases. By burying our own creed beneath the multi-culti pile, we are putting our civilisation six feet under.

The word ‘Islamophobia’, with its implicit glorification of multi-culti diversity and opprobrium of anyone finding anything wrong with it, is at least a good illustration and possibly even proof. Our own unique identity has become so diluted that it has lost its taste, flavour and strength.

A barbarian onslaught doesn’t cause this enfeeblement; it merely emphasises it. And any attempt to resist is doomed to failure unless the West recovers its erstwhile inner strength.

That doesn’t mean Islamic penetration shouldn’t be resisted – thank God for opiates relieving the agony of incurable cancer. But the disease remains just as deadly even if the patient has his senses befuddled.   

Some victories feel like defeats

I must ask Geert for the address of his barber

Geert Wilders’s victory in the Dutch elections has caused effusive jubilation among Right-thinking people, with hats being tossed up in the air all over Europe. Since I have no hat handy, the only thing I can toss is some cold water on the enthusiasm.

I remember the words of a young man whose mother-in-law died and he had to shell out for her funeral. “Everything has its downside,” he said.

It’s in this spoil-sport frame of mind that I observe the pan-European ascendancy of parties normally described as far-Right. Most of them score electoral points by campaigning against Muslim immigration, which resonates with people who like to look at women’s faces.

I am one of those troglodytes myself, and I’d rather creatures of indeterminate sex didn’t scare the living daylights out of me with their Halloween costumes. So whenever an anti-immigration party wins parliamentary seats anywhere in Europe, I cheer – at first.

That’s a kneejerk reaction but, once my knee has recovered its original position, my reason kicks in. I then realise that the silver lining comes with a dark cloud almost overshadowing it.

For example, Marine Le Pen’s party is currently leading the polls in my other country, France. Like all other such politicians in Europe, Mlle Le Pen doesn’t think we should have too many Muslims around. Their number should certainly not be increased, she says, and ideally reduced – all the way down to zero for preference.

That earns her the far-Right soubriquet and the undying love of likeminded Frenchmen. However, if we cast a wider glance at her policies, specifically economic ones, we realise they aren’t substantially different from those of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who can out-Trotsky Trotsky any day. Thus Mlle Le Pen combines nationalism with socialism, a blend that used to get bad press in Europe, can’t imagine why.

Not all nationalist parties in Europe are also socialist. But they are definitely all nationalist, which I see as a failing as bad as socialism, and potentially even more dangerous. The other day I wrote a piece explaining why, so I shan’t repeat myself not to bore you with my animadversions.

Suffice it to say now that such parties, whether genuinely Right-wing or national-socialist, have two things in common. One is that they correctly identify Islamic immigration as a factor of deadly danger to Europe. The other is that they fail to identify the other danger, one possibly even more deadly and definitely more immediate.

There is another evil force banging on Europe’s door and, rather than nailing the door shut, those nationalist parties cordially invite it in. Before I spell out what it is, let’s get back to Geert Wilders.

He is a man whose courage is worthy of every respect. Wilders recognised mass Islamic immigration as a menace before any other prominent Dutch politician did, and he has been campaigning against it for decades.

That uncompromising stance put his life in jeopardy, for Muslims see cutting off an opponent’s head as a valid tactic of political debate. To keep his coiffed head on his shoulders, and I don’t mean this figuratively, Mr Wilders has had to live his life under round-the-clock police protection.

I am glad it has worked so far, though I myself would hate to depend on police for my survival. But perhaps Dutch cops are more reliable than our social workers in blue uniform.

Unlike Le Pen, Wilders is no socialist – he takes his nationalism neat, without statist mixers. Also unlike Le Pen’s party, which is trying but not always succeeding to rub itself clean of the stigma of anti-Semitism, Wilders has been a good friend and staunch supporter of Israel. That may or may not be a function of his feelings about Islam, but that position certainly earned him his electoral success.

Just a few weeks before the elections, Wilders’s party trailed at least three others in the polls. He was on course to win but a handful of parliamentary seats and have no say in the policies of whatever coalition would form the government. But then Hamas struck on 7 October, and huge crowds of the very people Wilders would like to keep out of Holland took over Dutch streets, rioting and screaming murderous slogans of hatred.

That scared the Dutch, and they shifted their support to the only party that had been warning about the Islamic plague for decades, not just in the run-up to the elections. Wilders went on to win 37 seats, way ahead of any other party.

Whether or not he’ll be able to cobble together a ruling coalition remains to be seen (the Dutch, along with most continentals, practise the perverse PR system). But he will certainly have a great deal of influence, which sends shivers down the EU’s spine.

For Wilders correctly blames European laws for flinging open the sluice gates to admit all those millions of Muslims packing sharp knives. Hence he is laudably campaigning for Nexit, although I’m not sure how much public support that idea enjoys.

Yet, for me, all those good things are negated by his unwavering affection for Putin, an emotion of almost as long a standing as his anti-immigration commitment. This is the other thing all of Europe’s nationalist parties have in common. They all live in Putin’s pocket.

In 2016, Wilders described Putin as a “true patriot” and his ally in the war on Muslim terrorism. Since then Putin has proved his patriotism by destroying Russia’s economy – and the lives of hundreds of thousands of young Russians – for the joy of murdering, looting and raping hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians.

In 2016, Putin had already launched his attack on the Ukraine, albeit on a smaller scale. And as to his heroic stance against Muslim terrorism, Putin has effectively turned Moscow into the bailiwick of the Chechen (which is to say Muslim) mafia, who pay him back by whacking opposition leaders, such as Boris Nemtsov, and anyone else Putin fingers anywhere in the world.

The next year, Wilders started a pro-Putin campaign to combat the “hysterical Russophobia” of the Dutch government. That was his response to the popular revulsion to Russia’s downing of the Dutch airliner, Flight MH17, and killing everyone onboard.

In 2018 Wilders travelled to Moscow where he met with Russian government officials and Duma members. I imagine the purpose was to coordinate the two sides’ public relations. On coming back, he tweeted: “Stop the Russophobia. It’s time for Realpolitik. Partnership instead of enmity.”

Four years later, Wilders’s ideal partner launched a full-scale aggressive war in the middle of Europe. Moreover, neither Putin nor his henchmen make any secret of their long-term expansionist plans: the Ukraine isn’t the destination; she is but a stop along the way.

Since the next stops have to include NATO members, the West will be faced with a stark choice: either neuter NATO and accept the dominant European presence of an evil fascist power or go to war, an all-out kind. Understandably, civilised countries have joined forces to resist the Russian aggression by assisting the Ukraine, if only in a half-hearted way.

Yet even that level of assistance is too much for Wilders. On 24 February, 2022, the day Putin’s hordes rolled across the border, Wilders tweeted: “Do not let Dutch households pay the price for a war that is not ours.” I wonder if his typological ancestors in the Dutch government were saying the same thing on 1 September, 1939, when Hitler attacked Poland.

Later, when the whole world was gasping with horror at Russia’s crimes, Wilders had to pay lip service to condemning his friend Putin. Yet he is still adamantly opposing military aid to the Ukraine – this at a time when Holland is about to send her F-16 fighters to the Ukrainians.

Forgive me if my celebrations are tainted with sadness. Yes, continuing Muslim immigration may in a decade or two cause irreversible damage to our civilisation. Hence any victory of an anti-immigration party should be cause for joy.

But the threat of Russian fascism is immediate and even more deadly. No Muslim power (unless fronting for Russia or China) can trigger a nuclear war. Putin can and, if we don’t stop him, will.

So actually I’ve lied to you: I’m not celebrating Wilders’s victory at all. In fact, I hope he doesn’t get to lead the Dutch government – and I wish I could hope for something else.

From one stupid man to others

Boy, are we stupid, you and I. How stupid? Well, I’ll tell you: if our IQ dropped another five points, we’d be cabbages. Really, there ought to be special schools for people like us. Perhaps there are, but we are too stupid to know about them.

How do I know we are all morons? Simple. Because I voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum, and so did many of you. And even those of you who didn’t, mostly but not exclusively for being ineligible, probably sympathised with that cause or at least didn’t dislike it too vehemently.

That settles it. For a recent study on 3,183 couples shows that intelligence and the likelihood of voting Leave are inversely proportionate. The cleverer the people are, the more likely they were to vote Remain. And if the spouses voted differently, it was always the cleverer one who voted the right way, which is Remain.

Since it has long been a prevalent conviction among the really clever people, the academics, that conservative – or, God forbid, religious – beliefs are a symptom of imbecility, this study proves them right. Turns out that among Britons in the top 10 percent of cognitive performance, 73 per cent voted Remain, as opposed to a mere 40 per cent among those in the lowest 10 per cent.

The study tested such cognitive functions as reasoning, numeracy and working memory. There must have been many other variables, but I can neither remember what they were nor count them nor figure out what on earth they might mean. I did tell you I voted Leave.

The researchers magnanimously acknowledged that clever people should never confuse correlation with causality. Yes, it was mostly idiots who voted Leave, but it’s wrong to deduce that they did so because they were idiots. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc and all that. However, there was that unspoken ‘however’ left hanging in the air…

Now, being irredeemably stupid, I strongly suspect that the same findings would be yielded should we be granted a referendum on homomarriage or mass immigration or trans virtues or welfare or high taxation or global warming or any other issue occupying the minds of really clever people, especially those working at universities and in the media. The bright people like Keir Starmer and Greta Thunberg would enthusiastically vote for. The retards like you and me would stupidly vote against, proving the clever people’s point.

Even a brief look at any study of people’s education, their reasons for voting one way or the other, their travelling patterns, preferred entertainment, religiosity and so on is bound to plunge any sensible person into despair. But this study – provided it was conducted in good faith – shows there is no hope.

For precisely the kind of people who ought to know better manifestly don’t. The conclusion one has to reach is that, the cleverer people are, the stupider their ideas. Or if you will, those cognitively superior are civilisationally inferior.

I am being ever so slightly facetious here. One shouldn’t really equate cognitive functions with intelligence. High cognitive ability makes it easier to develop intelligence, but it certainly offers no guarantee that it will be developed. Similarly, a good ear for music may be an essential quality for a musician but it’s a million miles away from being a sufficient quality.

Yet common sense is so called not because it’s widespread, but because it can belong to common people. The kind of people who go to work every morning trying to keep the wolf from the door, put food on their family’s table and a roof over their family’s head. Such people have no time to hone their cognitive abilities by contemplating whether or not a woman can have a penis or the state is justified to extort half of what they earn.

They tend to be patriotic, but in the undemonstrative British way. They don’t put their hands on their hearts whenever they see the Union Jack flying or hear God Save the King playing. They don’t usually scream “Put Great back into Britain” and they certainly don’t spend endless hours trying to understand England’s unique place in European history.

Why, they may even be unfamiliar with Cecil Rhodes’s maxim that being born British is winning first prize in the lottery of life. They just know that, much as they like to go to Benidorm or Ibiza for holidays, those places are too different. That doesn’t necessarily mean inferior – just different.

Those common folk may not ponder the seminal difference between the common law of England and the Roman law of much of the Continent, or one between proportionate representation and first-past-the-post, or one between royals riding thoroughbreds and those riding bicycles.

If they did ponder such things, they might not necessarily conclude that the English ways are better. But they’d definitely sense that the English ways are different – so much so that being incorporated into the continental polity would destroy the English ways. And that’s something they’d hate to see happening.

In that they are unlike those cognitively superior to them. Those jumped-up cognoscenti wouldn’t mind destroying the English ways. Come to think of it, they wouldn’t mind destroying the continental ways too, while they are at it. And they sense that the European Union, which the stupid people voted to leave, was an instrument of such destruction. That’s why they voted to remain.

Not only that, but those who had parlayed their cognitive talents into political prominence threw the entire weight of state propaganda behind the Remain vote. Everyone was sure the cognitively challenged masses would be easily swayed – that’s why they were given the vote in the first place.

In the unlikely event those imbeciles who wanted England to remain England were to opt for leaving, their vote would be for ever negotiable. Had the vote gone the other way, it would have been eternally chiselled in indestructible stone.

I’m not questioning the setup of this study, its results or the integrity of those conducting it. I do question the reasons for conducting it. Every study of this kind is undertaken to confirm or disprove the existing hypothesis. Yet anyone who has ever had any experience of opinion research (and I had plenty during my 30 years in advertising), knows how often the existing hypothesis skews the results.

That holds true even for scientific experiments, with philosophers of science aware that different researchers often produce different results with exactly the same test equipment and under exactly the same test conditions. This without any conscious attempts to introduce bias.

In this case, the cognitively blessed sociologists set out to prove that only the cognitively impaired would ever vote for something as imbecilic as Brexit. I’m not saying they cheated to get the result they wanted. I am saying, however, that they didn’t have to cheat. Their own prejudices came into play unbeknown to them.

Actually, when the referendum was announced, I was sure Remain would win the day. Knowing the fanatical attachment of the Cameron government to the EU bureaucracy, I couldn’t imagine they’d go to the polls thinking the outcome was uncertain.

Now I’m ashamed of having underestimated the British people. And even more ashamed of having overestimated our cognitively advanced officials. Never again.

Tantric sex and hands-on economics

Javier Milei, Argentina’s president-elect, has won his landslide at a tough time for the world and a cataclysmic time for his country.

I’m not sure he can save the former, but he is showing every sign of being able to save the latter. Hence it was inevitable that the ‘liberal’ media would have little time for what they describe as a “right-wing extremist”.

They sneer at both Milei’s libertine private life and his libertarian economics, although so far no one has found a direct link between the two. The unmarried president-elect does seem to favour a rather exuberant lifestyle, professing his predilection for threesomes and expertise in tantric sex.

I don’t know enough about Argentine politics to judge how such an apparent lack of inhibitions affects electoral success. Judging by Milei’s having run away with 56 per cent of the vote, a certain amount of naughty frisson doesn’t hurt there.

Since so far Milei has had no time to act on his electoral promises, it’s on the basis of his pronouncements that he is tarred with the ‘extremist’ brush. Let’s rinse that brush in turpentine and see what Milei actually proposes to do. In the process, one hopes we’ll get a clearer understanding of what right-wing extremism means to our opinion formers.

Milei’s first concern is Argentina’s economy, such as it is. The country is paying a heavy price for decades of left-wing Peronist policies, and it’s bending under the weight. Both inflation and interest rates are running into triple digits, and the national debt into more digits than I have in my hands and feet.

About half the population are impoverished, and the benefits they receive quickly melt away in horrendous inflation. The peso has the international value of brown wrapping paper, bringing to mind the 19th century Russian satirist Saltykov-Shchedrin. That wit quipped that “all you can get for the rouble in Europe is a punch in the snout”. Milei could say the same thing about the peso.

By any sensible standard Argentina is an economic basket case, and Milei, an economist by trade, knows how to get it out of that wicker conveyance. In fact, everything he proposes makes one think that Milton Friedman has come back as Javier Milei.

For a start, he intends to underwrite massive privatisation. “Everything that can be in the private sector will be in the private sector,” says Milei, and that also goes for the state-owned media outlets that he correctly sees as propaganda mouthpieces.

He will also abolish the peso and shift the economy to the US dollar, Hong Kong style. That will obviate the need for a central bank because Argentina’s interest rates will be set by the Fed.

During the campaign Milei often brandished a chainsaw, and he intends to take that implement to the big state, by cutting it down to size. He plans to slash public spending and reduce the number of ministries from 18 to eight. (Are you listening, Rishi?)

With their trademark legerdemain, world media have announced that Milei is going to ban abortion, only legalised in 2020. In fact, he is merely planning to put the issue to a referendum. Of course, our ‘liberals’ only ever believe in democracy when it promotes their own subversive agenda.

I wonder whether Milei can be ennobled in Britain so he could become our prime minister instead. I’d take him over Sunak any day. Every domestic policy Milei proposes would be a boon to our country as well, and the same goes in spades for his foreign policy. I could copy every pronouncement he has ever made on the subject, pass it for my own, and regular readers wouldn’t be able to spot the difference.

Immediately after Russia’s 2022 invasion of the Ukraine, Milei, a Buenos Aires MP at the time, carried a Ukrainian flag into the parliament building. Since then he has never deviated from an unequivocal support of the Ukrainian cause.

He sees both the US and Israel as Argentina’s friends and plans to move the Argentine embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. With such friends, Milei makes no secret of whom he considers as his country’s enemies:

“I’ll do no business with China or any other communist regime. I am a defender of freedom, peace and democracy. Communists, Chinese or other, have nothing to do with these. Nor is Russian president Vladimir Putin among defenders of freedom, peace and democracy. Neither is Brazil’s president Lula da Silva. We want to become the moral beacon of the continent. As a state, we’ll participate in no joint projects with either communists or socialists.”

Especially significant is Milei’s refusal to join the BRICS bloc (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) which he correctly sees a facilitator of China’s global influence. If Argentina has to be allied with any superpower, it should be the US, not any other pretender to that role.

I must admit that comparing Sunak to Milei was unfair. One should never compare the words of one side to the actions of the other, which is the stock in trade of the ‘liberal’ media and has been since time immemorial. I still remember their shrieks about America’s war in Vietnam derailing the Soviet “struggle for world peace”. That was comparing the apples of napalm to the oranges of slogans.

In fact, I’d happily refrain from any judgement of Javier Milei until he has acted on his plans. Alas, my reticence wouldn’t be reciprocated by the Lefties, a colloquial term for the media. They have pounced on Milei long before he has even taken office. Never mind what he may or may not do – it’s what he says that makes them see red, their preferred colour.

Milei has such an overwhelming mandate that his deeds may well follow his words, and more power to him. But meanwhile I can’t see any other politician anywhere in the world who says all the same worthy things. Some pundits describe Milei as the Argentine Trump, and there are indeed some similarities. But Trump’s stand on China and especially Russia lacks Milei’s moral focus, putting it mildly.

For the sake of balance, I have to mention a small but: Milei claims Argentina’s “non-negotiable” sovereignty over the Falklands, which he perversely insists on calling Malvinas. But, as that character in Some Like It Hot said, “nobody’s perfect”.

Enemies on the Right

With friends like Tommy Robinson…

Many years ago I regularly contributed to a respectable conservative journal and was thus invited to its editorial parties. I stopped going though, after I once found myself rubbing shoulders with Nick Griffin, head of the fascisoid British National Party.

“We need those people on side if we want to win,” explained another contributor, better-versed and more interested in the ins and outs of political jousting than I was. “If it means being in cahoots with such people,” I replied, “I’d rather lose.”

My colleague brought back to memory the French revolutionaries who came up with a spiffy slogan, pas d’ennemis à gauche, no enemies on the Left. In due course the guillotine delivered a cutting retort to that line of thought, but the concept survived even if its originators didn’t.

Marx and his Russian followers picked up the idea and dusted it off. Marx didn’t put it to a practical test, but the Bolsheviks did. Replace the guillotine with a bullet in the nape of the neck, and the outcome was the same: the whole party created by Lenin perished in CheKa cellars. The bullets were fired by their comrades on the Left, where there were supposed to be no enemies.

Alas, many people who describe themselves as conservatives have adapted the French slogan to their needs, mutatis mutandis. They may not say pas d’ennemis à droite, but they act in that spirit by clearly regarding everyone on the Right as their friend or at least an ally.

Now, regular readers know that I consider modern political taxonomy to be inadequate. But for the purposes of this exercise I’m prepared to treat as extreme Right what I’d normally describe as the nationalist, populist, variously fascisoid fringe. I see such people as alien to everything I hold dear, not substantively different in that respect from their mirror images on the Left.

Terms like ‘right’, ‘left’, ‘socialist’, ‘communist’, ‘fascist’, ‘nationalist’ all denote concepts gestated by the Enlightenment and delivered by its sharp revolutionary edge. Nationalism in particular couldn’t have existed in the past because nations didn’t exist.

From the Romans onwards, Europe was usually a conglomerate of empires, which term precludes nationalism by definition. I’ve heard of the Roman Republic, Roman Empire, Roman civilisation, Roman law, but I’ve never heard of the Roman nation. Had it existed, I would have heard of it.

Just look at two key figures in Italy’s history, Pontius Pilate and Thomas Aquinas. Even though they were separated by 1,200 years and played very different roles, they had one thing in common: indeterminate ethnicity.

Aquinas was a cousin to the Holy Roman Emperor and ethnically more German than Italian. Judging by Pilate’s service record in the equestrian order (native-born Romans seldom manned cavalry units) and subsequent postings to the Middle East, he too was of Germanic origin.

To those people Rome (or Italy) was a political, civilisational and cultural concept, not a national one. The same goes for the later European empires, up until the time they began to explode under the blows of modernity.

The fallout from those explosions produced the political perversions I mentioned earlier, including nationalism. If you define conservatism as an attempt to mitigate, ideally to reverse, the malignant effects of the Enlightenment, then a nationalist is as much of an adversary as a communist.

It’s important to distinguish between patriotism, love of one’s country, and nationalism, its extreme form. Nationalism is akin to a religious heresy, which is not necessarily defined as saying something wrong. It’s rather assigning an undue significance to one thing, extolling a part at the expense of the whole.

People who display this trait end up defining their whole being in unitary terms, which may be a sign of psychological derangement sometimes, but of vulgar thinking always. Overconcentration on a single issue is something I find intellectually and morally feeble – even if I happen to agree with the single issue.

Indiscriminate acceptance into the conservative fold of anyone who utters slogans having an emollient effect on the conservative ear strikes me as odd. Such welcoming chaps should take stock of their own beliefs and decide what it is that they wish to conserve.

If they don’t go through such a scrutiny of their intellectual inventory, they may end up regarding someone like Nick Griffin or Tommy Robinson as their friend. Now, Tommy, for the benefit of my foreign readers, is a thuggish guttersnipe with a list of criminal convictions as long as Donald Trump’s tie.

The convictions and subsequent prison terms weren’t meted out for any political activities. Tommy didn’t suffer for his commitment to conservative British values. He was sent down several times for such rather unconservative misdeeds as hooliganism, assault and drugs.

Having fought numerous battles at football stadiums, he now mostly brawls on-line by uttering variously vulgar statements in defence of aforementioned British values. Now Tommy wouldn’t know British values if they came up behind him and hit him on the head with a three-litre bottle of cheap cider, which I’m guessing is his preferred refreshment.

The conservative British virtues he not only doesn’t possess but wouldn’t even recognise are civility, self-restraint and moderation. These are more important than a fervent commitment to any political causes, including conservative ones.

A thug who vituperates day and night against uncontrolled immigration of aliens is still a thug fundamentally alien to British – indeed conservative – values even if we agree with the underlying sentiment. As far as I am concerned, his loudmouthed slogans present as much of a threat to conservative civility as the aliens he is desperate to keep at bay.

The problem with bite-sized slogans is that they encourage bite-sized thinking. Moreover, they are confined to politicking which ought to be the lowest form of human activity but has become the dominant one. Modern democratic politics encourages thinking in terms of the next election only, and snappy slogans have been known to swing votes.

Hence everyone is conditioned to think like a politician, which nowadays means looking for allies wherever they can be found. Thus ‘no enemies on the right’: provided some odious brute like Robinson attracts votes away from the Lefties, he is our friend.

Let’s scale the next political barrier and worry about the rest later, such is the widespread attitude. I’m sure Danton must have felt the same way about Robespierre, Trotsky about Stalin or, if you will, Röhm about Hitler.

Conservatism is all about preserving and upholding the core values of our civilisation – not about stemming the influx of undesirable aliens to our shores or even electing a politician who says things we like to hear. This may be a part of the conservation exercise, but only a small part, a piece in a kaleidoscope of other small parts.

The overall picture, on the other hand, is a harmonious canvas with many seemingly different parts held in fine balance. That makes a sense of balance a cardinal conservative virtue – and a perversion like nationalism a deadly sin.

Let’s not idealise savages

Simple folk, those who make up most of the world’s population, tend to think in binary terms. If A and B are in conflict and people find something wrong with A, they think B can do no wrong and never mind the facts to the contrary.

This is unfailingly reflected in popular arts, such as cinema. The good-guy-bad-guy dichotomy adorns most Hollywood productions, especially those designed to play to mass audiences.

It’s pointless to argue whether this is a case of art imitating life or the other way around. A bit of both, I’d suggest, although the former is probably ahead on points. One way or the other, people noticeably transfer that black and white aesthetic of Technicolor films onto their feelings about real-life conflicts, either present or historical.

When observing a confrontation involving a side that displeases them for whatever reason, they expect, positively beg, the other side to please them no end. The other side usually obliges, which involves no hardship on its part. Whatever misdeeds it has committed will be dismissed as mere naughtiness, or a response to unjust provocation, or often as enemy propaganda.

This sort of thing may sound innocuous, and so it would be if it didn’t lead to appalling errors of judgement – and appalling actions caused by the errors. By way of illustration, consider the mass response of Westerners, mostly of the leftward persuasion, to conflicts between their countries and those differently civilised (is this PC enough?).

These thoughts, by the way, are immediately inspired by the crowds in all Western countries coming out in support of supposedly innocent, not to say sinless, Muslim victims persecuted by those ghastly Israelis.

It’s easy to dismiss such marches as mainly an outburst of pent-up anti-Semitism, and that is doubtless a factor. But a much more significant factor is an outburst of pent-up discontent with the West.

Our civilisation has failed to meet those people’s expectations, and it doesn’t matter that those expectations are silly and unfair. What matters is that they haven’t been met, which has activated the simple binary mechanism I mentioned earlier.

Israel, in addition to whatever sins she may or may not have committed, also carries the stigma of being unapologetically Western. Thus the protesters look at Israel’s sins through binoculars at point-blank range and see their immensity filling the lenses. They then reverse the binoculars, look at the other side’s failings through the other end and see them so tiny as to be negligible.

The perceived virtue of a country or a civilisation seems to be inversely proportionate to its proximity to the West. Though we are currently observing an especially malignant manifestation of that tendency, the tendency itself has a long history.

Having given a wide berth to every known fact, Rousseau’s romantic notion of primitive societies arrived at a destination hailed by his contemporaries and still credited by his descendants. Dismissing the notion of original sin as a reactionary superstition, Rousseau glorified the noble sauvage, whose primordial pagan purity was then sullied by civilisation.

The chief culprit, both textually and contextually, was specifically Christian civilisation that was already under frontal assault in Rousseau’s lifetime. That fanciful theory proved influential, as such theories invariably do when they cater to the public mood.

Step by step – and I’m talking about long strides reaching to our time – Western malcontents developed a peculiar concept of history. Within it only pagans had virtue even if they also had some minor vices. The West, on the other hand, showed a full compendium of vices even if it also had some minor virtues.

The pre-Christian pagan West had a relatively free ride. With the Battle of Salamis (480 BC), Western readers were encouraged to sympathise with the Greeks rather than the Persians. And even with the Punic Wars some 300 years later, few historians insisted that Carthage’s cause was just.

The Romans, whose chosen pastime was watching people disembowel one another on gladiatorial arenas and whose unwanted new-born girls were dumped by the roadside to be devoured by wild beasts, were still tolerable – and look, smirks The Life of Brian, how much they have given us.

Materialist historians did try to interpret Carthage in the light of fashionable anti-colonialism, but only half-heartedly. Yet typically hushed up was the salient fact about Carthage. Yes, it boasted a developed civilisation and packed a mean military punch. But it was also diabolical.

Carthaginians practised human sacrifice and cannibalism, which proved to be their undoing. The proto-Western Romans might not have used terms like Satanism, but they sensed something dark and revolting about Carthage. Hence they were prepared to fight to the last man, which resolve eventually defeated Hannibal’s military genius.

However, if we fast-forward to the present time and its take on history, the West has lost any claim to clemency on the part of ‘liberal’ historians. For example, the European colonisers of the New World are routinely castigated for their merciless cruelty – and the critics have a point.

The local Indian tribes were displaced at best, exterminated at worst. Since they resisted colonisation, the Europeans’ only choice was between fight or flight, and the latter wasn’t a viable option. But it’s true that many things they did were unnecessarily cruel, which was unforgivable – and not because the other side didn’t do the same things and worse.

The English, the French, the Spanish and the Portuguese were Christians. They ought to have known better because they knew what better was. Hence every time they tortured a prisoner, or killed an Indian they didn’t have to kill, they wilfully betrayed their own civilisation.

Point conceded, and I’m not even going to counter it with an appeal to progress and the superior quality of New York and Boston as compared to the wigwams of nomadic camps. In return, I’d rather be spared panegyrics for the sublime Aztec civilisation and the primordial purity of the Indian tribes.

It’s that binary fallacy again: every time the Puritan settlers or Spanish conquistadores went against their own civilisation they are supposed to have scored a point for the Pre-Columbian Americas.

Yet most Indian tribes, especially in the northern and western parts of the continent, were as diabolical as the Carthage of Hannibal. They, all those romantic Iroquois and Mohawks, also practised human sacrifice and cannibalism, persisting well into the 18th century.

When European missionaries tried to talk the natives out of eating people, the natives often ended up eating the European missionaries. All that is a time-dishonoured hallmark of Satanism.

The same goes for the Aztecs who did create some sort of civilisation replete with attractive artifacts. Yet there too cannibalism was practised as the culmination of ritual sacrifice and also, according to some sources, as a dietary supplement. Yet today’s historians, while derisive about Christians worshipping God, are magnanimous about Pre-Columbians worshipping Satan.

Such, I think, is the historical background to all those marches of millions screaming hatred for Israel, largely because it’s Western, and love for the Muslims, largely because they aren’t Western. If those malcontents dislike A, they are housetrained to love B, however unlovable it would otherwise be.

Yet savagery has a high adhesive value. It can stick to its champions, turning them too into savages. Given our inferior education and superior communications, such an outcome is well nigh guaranteed.

Let’s not play a let

“Jeremy Hunt is urged to let workers keep more of their cash through tax cuts,” goes today’s headline in The Mail.

Would you buy a used economy from a man with this face?

In this context that one word, ‘let’, has the same effect on me as the word ‘culture’ allegedly had on Dr Goebbels. For you can let anyone keep anything only if it legitimately belongs to you.

Hence that wording of this worthy plea amounts to acknowledging that the money we earn belongs to the state, which can then decide how much it should allow us to keep for our own petty needs. In other words, that headline in our supposedly conservative paper meekly accepts tyranny.

In response to that abject entreaty by some Tory MPs, the Chancellor with the oft-mispronounced name set out to prove one of two things: either he is ignorant of elementary economics or he believes that everyone else is. “As we start to win the battle against inflation, we can focus on the next stage which is growth,” he said.

As if those two things could be separated. Both runaway inflation and extortionate, growth-stifling taxes have the same root: excess government spending. And excess government spending is caused by the state’s commitment to socialism in its various guises.

The only way to cut inflation and ensure steady growth is to abandon or at least curtail socialist practices. A good start would be a massive educational campaign – something all governments know how to do – explaining to people that socialism is as morally defunct as it is economically ruinous.

As a former adman, I can assure you that a massive campaign in all key media wouldn’t take more than a month to soften the ground for a parallel cut in taxes and public spending. Then the government would be able to go into the next election with a growth of some three per cent and an inflation of less than that.

Also, since lower taxes would increase productivity and turn many tax consumers into tax producers, the taxation base would widen. Hence it’s entirely possible that lower tax rates could produce higher tax revenue, although this is by no means guaranteed – whichever way the Laffer Curve bends.

Moreover, a corporate tax rate of, say, 10 per cent, as opposed to the current 25, will stimulate business activity by encouraging both start-ups and import of capital. All this is the ABC of economics, and I lay no claim to blazing new trails.

Yet you know and I know and everyone knows that none of this will happen on any other than a purely cosmetic scale designed to produce a PR effect but none other. For Clinton’s guru James Carville was wrong when he uttered his famous adage in 1992: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

It’s not. Certainly not now and not even 30 years ago. “It’s the ideology, stupid” would be more accurate, or “It’s the stupid ideology”, if you’d rather.

The two antipodes, Marx and Hayek, both got it wrong. Modern, which is to say post-Enlightenment, societies are run along ideological, not economic lines. Whenever there is a conflict, ideology wins every time.

Take any country and any field of human endeavour, and you’ll find irrefutable proof. Modern governments are prepared to sacrifice economic prosperity for the sake of ideological virtue signalling. And not just sacrifice some prosperity – they will willingly set up conditions for an economic collapse.

Just look at the insane, potentially catastrophic drive towards a net zero economy. Net zero usually refers to carbon emissions, but it may just as well mean zero growth, zero prosperity, zero happiness (in the modern, pecuniary sense of the word).

I can’t estimate the cost of this folly, other than suggesting it will run into more zeros than one can find in the Mother of All Parliaments. Moreover, there is every chance that the experiment (for that’s what it is) will fail and more trillions will have to be spent to go back to normal.

And why are we doing that? There isn’t a single economist in the world who will argue that this massive self-harm is being done for sound economic reasons. Everyone knows the reason for it is purely ideological, based as it is on the pernicious, anti-scientific notion of global anthropogenic warming.

Anti-capitalist ideologues using a hysterical, mentally deficient child as their figurehead, waved a magic wand, and an unfounded hypothesis was turned into an unsound theory, then into an indisputable fact, and then into an ideological orthodoxy one can only resist at one’s peril.

Few people believe we can ever pull off the net zero trick. No one believes we’ll be better off economically even if we can. Everyone knows that the economic, and hence human, cost of this ideological experiment is staggering.

The same goes for taxes. Everyone knows that our current tax rates are ruinous both economically and, more important, morally. The government has systematically created a vast urban underclass sponging off the Exchequer and turning normal social ills into deadly diseases.

Writing about the decline of Rome, R.G. Collingwood wrote what was both penetrating analysis and unerring prophecy:

“The critical moment was reached when Rome created an urban proletariat whose only function was to eat free bread and watch free shows. This meant the segregation of an entire class which had no work to do whatever; no positive function in society, whether economic or military or administrative or intellectual or religious; only the business of being supported and amused. When that had been done, it was only a question of time until Plato’s nightmare of a consumer society came true: the drones set up their own king, and the story of the hive came to an end.”

Has the Chancellor read Collingwood? Probably not: he doesn’t have the face of a scholar.

Yet it only takes a modicum of common sense to arrive at the same conclusion, and that I’m sure he does possess. He is also aware of what exorbitant taxation does to the economy, and he even knows how quickly both the economic and moral health of the nation would improve should the welfare state be dismantled.

Yet here I have to cite the immortal word of Jean-Claude Juncker, whom I mocked mercilessly when he was head of the EU Commission, yet whom I now remember with gratitude for this adage: “We all know what to do. We just don’t know how to get re-elected once we’ve done it.”

He put his finger right on the most festering sore of modern democracies. Yet if it’s true that there is an opportunity in every crisis, then our Tory government has one of the greatest opportunities in its history.

The party is in crisis, heading for a generation-length stay on the back benches. Hence the government has nothing to lose – given the normal flow of events, it has lost already. So why not take a Hail Mary swing and introduce sweeping tax cuts, accompanied by a pari passu reduction in social spending? Why not replace our defunct NHS with a semi-private system that works much better on the Continent?

Alas, our government lacks one indispensable member, whom I can call for the sake of argument C.O. Jones (you know Spanish, don’t you?). So it’ll just sit on its thumbs, watching on complacently as the party slides towards defeat – and the country towards penury.

But please, can we stop talking about the government ‘letting’ us keep the money we earn? The money is ours, and we shouldn’t let the government extort it.

P.S. Does the reinstatement of Dave Cameron mean the government is planning to re-enter the EU? Is that the desperate ploy it’s counting on? I wouldn’t be surprised.

Dave’s back

Cameron? Seriously? One of the most incompetent prime ministers in British history is now going to be one of the most incompetent foreign secretaries in British history.

That’s not scraping the bottom of the barrel. It’s chopping the barrel for firewood, only then to find out it doesn’t even burn.

That Rishi Sunak sacked Suella Braverman was predictable. After all, she was the only Conservative minister making conservative noises, which means she had no place in this Conservative cabinet.

But couldn’t Sunak find another nonentity to appoint to one of the four great offices of state? The Tory front bench is full of them, take your pick. Or any Labour MP would have done as well.

After all, Dave Cameron, as he then was, proudly called himself “heir to Blair”, and that was the only thing he got right during his stint at Number 10. There was a man who devoted his whole life to political mechanics, and couldn’t even master that discipline.

Dave, as he then was, was committed to tying Britain to the EU’s apron strings in perpetuity and he was sure the British shared that un-British vision. Dave’s finger, after all, was on the pulse of his nation and he could tell you what every beat meant. That’s why, certain of victory, he agreed to a referendum.

That was a miscalculation so gross that it can only be put down to his epically vacuous incompetence. For, even though Dave, as he then was, threw the whole weight of government propaganda behind the Remain vote, the British voted to leave – in the greatest numbers they had ever voted for anything.

Dave, as he then was, had to resign and concentrate on writing his memoirs. A friend of mine, paid to review the tome, called it the dullest book he had ever read. But how could it be otherwise? Dull writers write dull books – to this law there are no known exceptions.

In his exit interview Dave was asked to sum up his tenure. What was his greatest achievement? Dave, as he then was, didn’t hesitate: his greatest achievement had been pushing the homomarriage law through Parliament. A bit thin for six years as PM, wouldn’t you say? Not to mention morally decrepit, historically ignorant and subversively anti-conservative.

Since Dave is no longer an MP, Rishi Sunak had to make him a baron, so he could move into the House of Lords and thence into the cabinet. Now he can proceed to do to UK foreign policy what he did to UK policy in general all those years ago.

Here is the man deemed well-equipped to take charge of foreign affairs at a time when the world is on the brink of devastation.

The West is showing every sign of being ready to sell the Ukraine down the river, thereby empowering a nuclear-armed fascist regime. The Muslim world is about to explode, with fiery fragments threatening to ignite conflicts all over the world. China’s economy has finally realised it’s run by communists and gone into a slump. It’s possible that the communists will see an attack on Taiwan as the best way to vent the resentment building up in a society spoiled by a few years of relative prosperity.

And now in comes Dave, slightly older, slightly greyer, but not even slightly wiser. He’ll sort out Putin and Xi. He’ll stamp on the Muslims baying for blood. Just the right man for it.

The greatest catastrophes in history didn’t happen because of inept politicians. Nor did they happen because of serious crises. They happened because inept politicians were in charge at the time of serious crises.

Appointing Dave, Lord Cameron, to the Foreign Office at this time can surely qualify as a crime against humanity or, barring that, as a crime against sanity. It has one advantage though: the next Foreign Secretary will be David Lammy, currently holding that position in the shadow cabinet.

From one Dave to another – what could be an easier transition? People who are no good at remembering surnames will be able to continue to refer to the Foreign Secretary as Dave. The forename won’t change and neither will the policy. Our heir to Blair is your quintessential CINO, Conservative In Name Only.

The only chance the Tories have to stay in power is to start acting as Tories, not as a pathetic impersonation of Labour. There is still time before the next general election in January 2025 to give the electorate a valid choice between sane and socialist policies, even if it’s already too late for conservative measures like cutting taxes to have an appreciable effect before the country goes to the polls.

But at least Sunak’s government would be able to tell the voters: “Look, we’ve made mistakes. But our new policies show we know how to correct them. If you vote for Labour, you’ll be voting for all the same mistakes, made ten times worse. Give us a second chance, will you?”

The electorate might agree or disagree, more likely the latter. But there would be an outside chance. The appointment of Dave Cameron signals to the world that no such attempt will be made. Sunak is resigned to guaranteeing a smooth transition from one Labour government (in spirit) to another (both in spirit and in name).

He should do the honourable thing, call a snap election and ensconce Keir Starmer at 10 Downing Street without delay. That outcome is now guaranteed, so why prolong the death throes?

Dave, now Lord Cameron, will then have time to write a second volume of his memoirs, guaranteed to be even duller than the first. People don’t suddenly develop a personality in their advanced years.

300,000 Zionists take to the streets

That’s the number of people who marched through London yesterday.

They shouted “Death to all Muslims”, “Drive Gaza into the sea” and “Palestine for Jews”. They also carried placards showing the Star of David superimposed on the whole Middle East, Mohammed as the Devil, Islamic crescents intertwined with swastikas and wild beasts painted the colours of the Palestinian flag devouring the world.

The police did nothing to stop the Zionist rally. Moreover, some officers were seen cheering on and pumping fists with the demonstrators. When a few hundred irate Muslims tried to disrupt the march, it was only then that the police sprang into action, arresting a few thugs.

The next day, the BBC and Channel 4 ignored the xenophobic march of 300,000, focusing instead on the arrests made. One could get the impression that our TV channels were grateful to the thugs for providing a welcome diversion and giving them a free hand to pass the Zionist march for an innocent frolic. Then again, our liberal media are known for their Zionist leanings…

Got you going there for a second, didn’t I? Actually, the picture above is a bit of a spoiler. For the situation was exactly the opposite. Muslims reinforced by assorted lefties staged what Stephen Pollard correctly described as the biggest anti-Semitic rally in British history.

A thunderous chorus of “From the river to the sea” and “Death to all Jews” shook the stones of Westminster. The stage set featured placards saying “Gaza a real Holocaust” and showing a snake in the colours of Israel strangling the world. Smoke bombs thrown at Jews as they emerged from the synagogue provided the background music.

Everything else I described in my imaginary scenario did happen – exactly the other way around.

Some 300,000 pro-Hamas demonstrators wreaked havoc on London. The police did nothing to stop the anti-Semitic outrage, and some officers were indeed openly sympathetic. And our TV channels indeed concentrated on the couple of hundred thugs, Tommy Robinson types, rather than on the hundreds of thousands spewing hatred not only for Israel but for Jews in general.

A Telegraph reporter asked two young demonstrators what they thought of the massacre of Israeli civilians perpetrated by Hamas on 7 October. One of the interviewees honestly said she hadn’t heard about that event and promised to read up on it. The other said it had never happened.

The 1936 Battle of Cable Street only featured 3,000 fascists at most. Now it has been bettered, if this is the right word, by two orders of magnitude. And it doesn’t matter that some came along for the ride simply out of ignorance. If they didn’t know, it was because they didn’t want to know.

Yet there is a major difference between 1936 and 2023. Back then we didn’t have loosely worded laws against hate speech. Now we do. In 2023, one can get arrested for shouting “All you bastards are the same” at a group of whatever putative bastards cause one’s racial ire.

Regular readers know what I think about that law and especially its broad interpretation. But it does exist – though evidently not to protect Jews from the worst outbursts of anti-Semitic hatred in British history.

Now imagine the media coverage had things happened just as I described above. I can’t: my imagination isn’t vivid enough. Suffice it to say that I doubt the coverage would be generally sympathetic to that bit of innocent fun, a nice family occasion to promote peace.

Yet there was BBC reporter Frances Reid telling viewers that, “there have just been people peacefully protesting… it has been more of a family feel throughout the day”. Quite. Just a family outing calling for the murder of millions of people.

It never occurred to her to put herself in the shoes of British Jews, scared of going anywhere near the city centre and feeling unsafe even in their own neighbourhoods. They are British subjects, Frances, supposedly under the protection of the Crown.

It’s France that’s generally believed to be the most anti-Semitic country in Europe (Western Europe, that is – the Eastern part is sans pareil). Britain is supposed to be the paragon of tolerance and multi-culti virtue, her social scene reflecting the moderate British character always seeking accommodation rather than confrontation.

Sure enough, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Paris as well. But they were protesting against anti-Semitism, not in favour of it. And when in the past weeks the ‘from the river to the sea’ crowd tried to cause mayhem, the French police responded with water cannon and tear gas.

This though the Muslim population of France is twice as large as in Britain, and the Muslims there carry a much heavier political weight. Now that’s what I call a real tale of two cities. Mind you, I don’t think Parisians are any less anti-Semitic than Londoners. They just may be a bit more civilised.

Please take another look at the photo above and ponder the depth of depravity it took to produce that placard. Give a thought to the 60 million people murdered by the Soviets. About the same number murdered in China. The millions of Muslims killed or displaced by other Muslims in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan and Afghanistan. Then think of Israel, the sole oasis of Western civility in the Middle East.

Done? Now please tell me what the hell is happening to the world. Because what is happening is indeed hell.