They still sputter venom at Franco

Francisco Franco died 40 years ago today, but our ‘liberal’ media still can’t leave him in peace. Thus, for example, the BBC:

“Franco fought a brutal war against democracy with the aid of Hitler and Mussolini and thereafter presided over a regime of state terror and national brainwashing through controlled media and the state education system.”

This is nonsense. Franco didn’t fight against democracy as an abstract principle. He fought against the Popular Front that was about to turn Spain into Stalin’s satellite.

Having destabilised Primo de Rivera’s transitional regime, the Popular Front, inspired by Stalin’s Comintern, installed its own government that was eventually taken over by the ‘Spanish Lenin’ Largo Caballero.

In short order, Spain sank into anarchy, with every traditional institution being destroyed and even the army disintegrating. In Stalin’s eyes, that made the country ripe for a Bolshevik takeover: the ‘revolutionary situation’ seemed to be in place.

That the Soviet chieftain didn’t get away with it was owed to the invisible hand of historical serendipity that plucked the right man out of relative obscurity and put him in the right place at the right time.

Franco landed with a small force and saved Spain from the on-going communist mayhem: the torture and murder of priests, the rape and evisceration of nuns (not always in that order), the mass murder of the ‘rich’, the almost total elimination of the traditional ruling classes, the looting and destruction of property.

The last time I looked at his photographs, Franco didn’t have wings on his back. He wasn’t an angel, far from it. It would have been so much better if the man picking up the banner of anti-Stalinism had been a Mother Teresa or, at a pinch, perhaps even a Neville Chamberlain.

However, that option wasn’t on offer. The choice wasn’t between Mother Teresa and Neville Chamberlain. It was between Franco and Stalin. Given that stark option, I’d take Franco any day: history shows that wherever the communists take over, they instantly wipe out about 10 per cent of the population, to begin with.

No doubt trendy Beeb lefties would still prefer Stalin. And to support this morally defunct preference, they are as ready as ever to misrepresent facts – even those few they get right technically.

Yes, as a pragmatic man, Franco looked for help anywhere he could find it. Internally, that led to an alliance with the Falange; externally, to one with Mussolini and Hitler. Actually, an alliance is an inadequate word to describe what essentially was a one-sided arrangement.

Franco accepted Hitler’s help having scored the diplomatic coup of promising nothing except money in return. Not only did Spain under Franco refuse to enter the Second World War on Germany’s side, but his government even denied Hitler the right of passage to Gibraltar.

Franco eagerly traded salutes with the Nazis, but balked at trading favours. It was by design that he was so unreceptive to Hitler’s overtures that the latter likened talking to Franco to having his teeth pulled.

Paris was worth a mass to Henri IV, and Madrid was worth an outstretched right arm to Franco. But he was far from being the fascist of leftie mythology. He was the last throwback to Christendom among the great leaders of the modern world, which earned him its undying enmity.

Today’s lot detest such men above anyone else. Hence they always talk about Franco’s alliance with Hitler, somehow forgetting to mention that the Republican side was financed, armed, trained and led by Stalin.

Soviet pilots were flying Soviet I-16 fighter planes over Madrid; Soviet tank crews were driving Soviet BTs into battle; the Soviet NKVD was butchering other leftist groups, including Orwell’s POUM anarchists; Soviet ‘advisers’ were leading divisions and armies.

Had Franco not stepped in, Spain today would be like Romania, and many in Spain realise this. Franco’s tomb in the Valley of the Dead remains a national shrine, and hundreds of Spaniards come every day to pay their respects.

Are they all lovers of tyranny? Some no doubt are. But a majority have a firmer grasp of history than the BBC, which proves that an ideology, especially a wrong one, can never allow a compendium of facts to become valid history.

BBC-type woolly thinking has become typical in the West. And since our politicians mostly come from the same genetic stock as Beeb hacks, it often lies at the foundation of foreign policy.

By peddling the falsehood that all regimes failing to emulate our sainted ‘democracy’ are equally rotten, they lead our countries into wars designed to unseat assorted tyrants in the name of universal suffrage – only to realise that each subsequent tyrant is much worse.

We ousted (or helped oust, or at least cheered from the sidelines) Batista to get Castro, the Shah to get the Ayatollahs, Mubarak to get the Muslim Brotherhood, Saddam and Qaddafi to get the current bloodbath, which we’re trying to make worse by ousting Assad.

The fog of mendacious verbiage descends and we no longer see reality. Il Caudillo did and, if I lived in Spain, I’d today be praying for his soul.


P.S. There are many such subversive thoughts in my book How the West Was Lost, now available in its second, paperback and electronic, edition.


Let’s hear it for student power at Cambridge

Now it’s David Starkey’s turn. This eminent Tudor historian has been dropped from the Cambridge University funding campaign after students called him ‘racist and sexist’.

The stinging accusation came in an open letter of heartfelt and hare-brained protest: “Any institution making this choice of representative would seem to care very little about its appearance in the eyes of Black and Minority students and staff, current and future.”

The future of our intellectual life added that they were ‘deeply offended’. So, actually, am I – among other things, by their capitalisation of ‘Black’ and ‘Minority’. This implicitly elevates the groups thus designated to a divine status: they, like God, call for an initial cap.

Never mind the grammar, feel the depth of emotion, along with the delicacy of sensibilities so egregiously offended.

If PC is divine, then Prof. Starkey is either an apostate or a heretic. Out comes the Holy Inquisition to judge his sin and pass its verdict.

The sin can only be redeemed in the pyre of flaming indignation. For back in 2011 Prof. Starkey had the audacity to say that Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of blood’ speech was right “in one sense”.

For those of you too young or too foreign to know what it was, the Tory minister Powell (who was a classical scholar among other things) warned about the dangers of mass, uncontrolled immigration of cultural aliens.

In it he had the temerity to quote Virgil’s Aeneid in making his prophecy: “I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood.” Political correctness was embryonic in those days, but it gestated quickly enough for Powell to be summarily sacked from the government.

Not having a position from which I could be sacked, nor featuring in any film from which I could be excised, I’d say that Powell was right not just in one sense, but in just about all of them (he was wrong in his adulation of Wagner, but we’re all allowed one unaccountable weakness).

The Tiber has so far been spared a sanguinary infusion, but the Thames hasn’t been, and neither has the Seine. These rivers have received their share of blood spilled by cultural aliens, both freshly arrived and native-born. Surely the Paris carnage, among so many others, vindicates Powell?

Not only that, but Starkey went out on a limb to protest against the negrification of whatever little culture we have left: “The whites have become black; a particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion.”

Now if this doesn’t take the Bounty bicky, I don’t know what will. This statement is so much more objectionable for being true.

Witness for example our Chancellor, professing his affection for one of the nastiest rap groups out there, Niggas with Attitude. The group regales his Eaton- and Oxford-trained ears with such lyrics as “Squeeze the trigger, and bodies are hauled off// You too, boy, if ya f*** with me.”

But forget the Chancellor. Just take a short walk through our council estates (preferably in daylight) – you’ll see that Prof. Starkey was absolutely right. Or if you’re too prudent to undertake such an expedition, open the arts section of any of our broadsheets to see what kind of music takes pride of place.

In response to the epistolary witch hunt, Prof. Starkey issues a dignified statement: “If it raises any question about the nature of academic enquiry and academic freedom, I shall reserve the right to comment freely but without recrimination.”

This outrage does raise such questions, among many others. Such as, how did one of our most venerable universities turn into an asylum, run not so much by the lunatics but by politicised, fire-eating morons who debauch the very idea of university?

Actually, I attempt to answer some of such questions in my books. The first one, How the West Was Lost, has just come out in a second (paperback and electronic) edition, available from Amazon UK, various other websites, some of the more discerning bookshops, or direct from the publisher, I.B. Tauris, London.

That’s your Christmas shopping sorted

In the spirit of unabashed dog-eat-dog, no-holds-barred capitalism, I hasten to inform you that the second edition of my first book, How the West Was Lost, is now available from Amazon UK, various other websites, some of the more discerning bookshops, or direct from the publisher, I.B. Tauris, London.

Moreover, to take some pressure off your Christmas shopping, it comes in paperback and electronic versions, whose derisory prices mean you won’t need to take out a mortgage to buy a copy (which regrettably was the case while the book was out of print).

My publisher might object to the adjective ‘derisory’, opting for ‘reasonable’ instead. But he’s unlikely to read this, his capacity for absorbing my prose having been exhausted by this book. What he definitely will welcome is this abbreviated list of the over-flattering accolades the book drew the first time around:

“How the West Was Lost argues that all modern upheavals – the Reformation, the English, American, French and Russian revolutions, the Napoleonic wars, the American Civil War, both World Wars – can only be seen in the context of an assault on the core values of the West.” I.B. Tauris

“There are many wise ideas in this book.” – Roger Scruton

“A startlingly clear analysis of why we have become what we are, written with such admirable clarity and wit that news of humanity’s defeat seems almost bearable. No one who claims to know anything should open their mouth in public without reading it.” – Fay Weldon

“Highly original… an extremely important argument even for those who have no religious belief, and Alexander Boot puts it more unflinchingly, more courageously, than anyone else.” – Theodore Dalrymple

“Those reading Alexander Boot’s vigorous and witty assault on the modern superstitions of progress and science will never see the world in the same way again. A refreshing and original voice.” – James Le Fanu

“At last! Someone with the courage to say the unsayable: that we can be for liberty while detesting some of the ways in which liberty is achieved.” – Digby Anderson

“Alexander Boot puts his finger precisely on the malaise affecting Western societies. His book is the most readable account of the decline of the West since Spengler, and serenely free from contamination of academic jargon. It should be read by politicians, teachers and anyone who has anything to do with public administration. We should all read it. Twice.” – Peter Mullen

“A second Spengler.”Kontinent Magazine [I don’t take this as a compliment, but it was meant that way.]

There are quite a few more, but you get the idea. Don’t you?


P.S. How the West Was Lost gives a broad overview of various aspects of modernity, establishing an intellectual base for making the whole intelligible. This system of thought provides a starting point for delving more deeply into those aspects one by one. Two of my subsequent (or, in relation to this second edition, previous) books did just that. The Crisis Behind our Crisis ponders economics, while Democracy as a Neocon Trick looks at politics, and both or either would be a useful complement to The West (to say nothing of your Christmas shopping).    



A shot of HIV to treat syphilis

This admittedly unpleasant analogy came to mind at the sight of Obama and Cameron playing lickspittle to Putin before and during the G20 summit.

Come back into the fold, Vlad, they are saying. All is forgiven. Never mind the Ukraine, feel the Middle East.

Vicious attacks on neighbours, Chechnya, Georgia, Crimea, East Ukraine, a spate of political murders all over the world (including London), turning Russia into a kleptofascist country unparalleled in history, regularly threatening the West with nuclear extinction – none of this matters any longer.

“We are meeting together after the appalling terrorist attacks in France,” said Dave with that carefully rehearsed statesman’s expression on his face, “and it is clear to me that we must work together to defeat the scourge of terrorism that is a threat to Britain, a threat to Russia and a threat to us all.”

The gap between us and Putin still exists, lamented Dave who managed to use the word ‘gap’ half a dozen times in a couple of sentences, but it’s getting smaller. One would think that the Russians had withdrawn from the Ukraine and Crimea, stopped their massive rearmament programme and adopted a modicum of civilised behaviour.

They haven’t. They aren’t going to either, not while the country is run by the KGB junta fronted by this murderous gangster. If there’s a gap anywhere, it’s between Dave’s ears and, judging by his cowardly submission to Putin, between his legs as well.

What separates us from Russia isn’t a gap between our ideas on Assad’s future, but a chasm between civilisation in decline and barbarism in ascendancy. On that there can be no compromise (another catchword Dave repeated several times). There can only be surrender.

The West has form in joining Russian monsters to defeat other ogres. In fact, the Putin propaganda, otherwise known as the Russian press, is screaming itself hoarse about the anti-Hitler coalition and how history is repeating itself.

If my analogy in the title is unpleasant, this one is spurious. Since neither side to that coalition could have defeated Hitler on its own, it could be plausibly presented as essential to survival.

Are Barack and Dave, with François bringing up the rear, seriously suggesting that the situation is the same now? That the combined might of the West can’t on its own handle a bunch of crazed mullahs?

If that is indeed the case, we might as well go further than merely legitimising what should be seen as an evil pariah state. We might as well apply for admission into the Russian Federation and pledge allegiance to Putin (which probably wouldn’t turn off some ‘useful idiots’ on our political right who wish we had a ‘strong leader’ like this proud KGB veteran – Peter Hitchens, ring your office).

That isn’t the case though. To use Dave’s word of the moment, there is no gap in our military capability vis-à-vis ISIS, el-Qaeda or, should it come to that, the whole Islamic world.

We could easily incinerate every ISIS stronghold with everyone in it. We could believably threaten to do the same to any country that offers logistic, financial and intelligence support to the terrorists (a demonstration or two would help to focus their minds). We could not only cut off the terrorists’ access to our banks, but also, if need be, take over the Middle Eastern oilfields, thereby starving terrorism of any financial sustenance.

We could do all those things by way of administering antibiotics to treat the syphilis of Muslim aggression. But such actions would take plenty of steel, not just to build our weapons but, infinitely more important, to strengthen our backbone.

That’s what’s missing, and hence we are treated to the cringe-making spectacle of our ‘leaders’ injecting us with a far deadlier contagion by opening the door to Putin.

We count on him to provide the resolve we ourselves lack, and he may well do that. However, his aims are different from ours.

Just as Stalin used the wartime coalition to set up his conquest of half the world, so will Putin try to use this embryonic anti-terrorist coalition to advance Russia’s ideological and territorial offensive.

That’s all he and his gang want, and it takes either a gross misunderstanding of the nature of Putin’s Russia or clinical idiocy to keep drawing parallels between the Paris carnage and the downing, by the same lot, of the Russian Airbus.

The difference is that we care about our dead and Putin doesn’t give two flying BUKs about his. What’s 224 deaths to a man who has the blood of thousands on his hands directly and, as a proud KGB man, that of millions by association?

Putin is cynically exploiting the situation to spread the Russian contagion high and wide. And our craven, mindless ‘leaders’ are falling all over themselves to proffer the syringe. 









A warm welcome to our prodigal sons from Syria

The news that 450 nice British lads are on their way back home after cutting a few throats in Syria is slightly ambivalent.

On the one hand it’s good to welcome back the sheep we feared were lost for ever, or at least our government thinks it’s good. On the other hand there’s this gnawing fear that they are more lupine than ovine. What if they haven’t got throat-cutting completely out of their systems? Doesn’t bear thinking about.

A few other things do, such as today’s useful information that there are 44 million Muslims in Europe already. If they were all gathered together in one country (may I suggest Belgium?), it would be the eighth most populous country in Europe – or seventh, if we finally accept that Russia is typologically more Asian than European.

One would think that this number is already more than adequate even on general principle, never mind the current context in which it’s inevitably being considered. Such a pernicious thought, however, wouldn’t be consonant with Jean-Claude Juncker’s ideas on the subject.

My friend Jean-Claude sees no reason to reconsider his stand on what he calls Europe’s ‘generosity’. That’s one way to describe it, but not the only one. ‘Death wish’ rolls off the tongue more naturally.

A duellist who hands over his pistol to the other chap so that he can have two goes at it may be described as generous at a stretch, but ‘suicidal’ sounds more apt.

Jean-Claude likes a drink, which is the only plausible explanation for his next statement. “There is no need to review the whole European refugee policy,” he said. There’s no link between our ‘generosity’ and the Paris carnage.

Not even a teensy-weensy link, mon ami (or is it mein Freund)? After all, two of the murderers were among the recipients of Jean-Claude’s ‘generosity’. They came to Europe armed not only with AKs and hand grenades but also with Syrian passports.

How many others? I don’t know, and neither does Jean-Claude, though we both realise that there must be many. The difference between us is that I don’t mind saying it, and he does.

That Europe has ever-accelerating suicidal tendencies has been known for at least 100 years, ever since those August guns opened up. But all of us hope that this collective madness will take a while to implode our lives. Our lifetime, as a minimum. Our children’s lifetime ideally.

Such hopes may well turn out to be forlorn. For the lunatics have taken over the asylum, and they are playing Russian roulette with an automatic.

One such unbalanced person is our venerable Home Secretary. All refugees, she said, will be so thoroughly checked by the United Nations that no terrorist will ever slip through.

I do realise that the UN, as its record shows so graphically, is a paragon of brutal efficiency. However, in spite of its sterling performance during – to name just one glaring example – the Yugoslavian wars, does Mrs May seriously think it’s possible to screen hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of new arrivals?

Individually? So that not even a dozen terrorists would reach our shores? Really, Mrs May. One realises that attending all those cabinet meetings can give a girl a skewed view of humanity, but we aren’t all stupid, you know.

All this unfolds to the ever-present accompaniment of buzzing noises helpfully informing us that most Muslims aren’t terrorists. True, wrote a reader of mine. However, it just so happens that most terrorists are Muslims. I hope he doesn’t work for the BBC, where such witticisms are grounds for summary dismissal.

A man standing on a 10th floor ledge outside his window may be talked out of jumping to his death. Is there anyone out there to perform the same service for Europe? Not Theresa May. Not Dave. Not François. Not Angie. Not even – dare I say it – my friend Jean-Claude.

If history is anything to go by, then a gap thus left by our so-called democratic politicians, is likely to be filled by fascist, or at least fascistic, parties along the lines of France’s Front National or worse. This is a dangerous remedy that can be worse than the desperate disease.

The wicked concoction going by the name of the EU will fall apart sooner or later, and its house will lie in ruins. God only knows what kind of creepy-crawlies will creepy-crawl out of the rabble. The disintegration of an artificial construct always produces natural disasters.

Meanwhile, 450 murderous Muslim thugs, having quenched their bloodlust in Syria, are coming back home, to Britain. Will they be arrested on arrival? Have their passports revoked? Electronically tagged?

Not a chance. They’ll be admitted and sent on their way with mild admonishment, go and sin no more. But they will, you can count on it – with most of their young co-religionists jubilantly dancing in the streets.

The usual drivel the mourning after

Every fresh Muslim atrocity seems to push a button on the console controlling the flow of effluvia (decorum prohibits my using the bovine word that first sprang to mind).

Even as Paris morgues, hospitals and priests work overtime, identifying the dead, trying to save the still living and praying for them all, a noise as deafening as the rat-tat-tat of those AKs is gaining in volume.

Westernised Muslims and bien pensant Westerners fall all over themselves, screaming themselves hoarse about the massacre having nothing – or, when they are in a generous mood, little – to do with Islam.

Dr Qanta Ahmed’s Spectator article is typical: it mixes a soupçon of magnanimity with a bucket of mendacity to produce a rancid stew of pro-Islamic propaganda.

In the same sentence, he first adds a dash of honesty, “The repugnant seed of the Islamic State is certainly related to Islam…” and then drowns it in a lie, “…but it is also inimical to Islam.”

Dr Ahmed and the whole peace-loving Muslim community are filled with “repugnance… and a sense of desecration” when they “hear of gunmen shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ before committing the very acts of murder explicitly prohibited by the Koran.”

The good scholar no doubt has made a deeper, more professional study of that book than I have. Yet even the rankest amateur can’t fail to notice enough in the Koran to doubt either Dr Ahmed’s reading skills or his honesty.

He paints with a master’s hand a picture of a generally moderate community whose reputation is besmirched by a few rotten apples. Now I’ve met a moderate Muslim once; his name was Asif. But perhaps I haven’t been looking in the right places, an oversight to be corrected immediately. So let’s look at the Holy Book itself, the Koran. Let me see…

“Love your enemies…” Oh I do apologise, got into the wrong book. Now, here we go:

“Slay them [unbelievers] wherever ye find them…” (2:91)

“We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve.” (3:151)

“Take them [unbelievers] and kill them wherever ye find them. Against such We have given you clear warrant.” (4:91)

“The unbelievers are an open enemy to you.” (4:101)

“As for thief, both male and female, cut off their hands.” (5:38)

“Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends…” (5:51)

“Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush” (9:5)

“Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.” (4:74)

“…If they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them…” (4:89)

There are 107 verses like these in the Koran, conservatively counted. And, unlike the rather violent passages in the Old Testament, all of these are open-ended, not tied into a particular situation or historical context. This should be enough to show that Islam, for all its sterling qualities, doesn’t foster moderation in its adherents.

The Koran is a long book, and calls to murder and mutilation are of course leavened there with peaceful dicta as well. But it’s sheer larceny to suggest that horrific violence is ‘inimical to Islam’. It is not – especially when mullahs around the world, emphatically including France and Britain, preach a message of hate with ample scriptural support.

A moderate Muslim, in other words, is an oxymoron. A pious believer can’t possibly ignore the 107 verses calling for cannibalistic violence. And if he does ignore them – as Dr Ahmed seems to be doing – then he’s not a pious believer.

As we mourn the Paris casualties of the Muslim war on infidels and anyone else they dislike, allow me on this Sunday morning to refer to the book that emphatically doesn’t call, in any part of its canon, for the slaying of idolaters, apostates and nonbelievers:

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and prosecute you;” Amen.



It’s la religion de la paix in French

Except that this morning my French friends aren’t referring to Islam in such terms. Actually, they never have.

‘Religion of peace’ is a term coined by les Anglo-Saxons on either side of the ocean. I wonder if Bush and Cameron still think that’s what it is. I wonder if they ever did.

Probably not: even our politicians seldom reach such levels of ignorance and stupidity. They do, however, operate at a level where suicidal, subversive multi-culti twaddle has been elevated to a religion, the only one they have (apart from looking out for Number 1, narrowly defined as themselves).

Otherwise they’d see that what goes on isn’t just isolated terrorist acts here or there. There’s a war on, and only one side is fighting it.

It’s not a war between our limited forces in the Middle East and any specific groups, from ISIS to el-Qaeda. It’s one between whatever little is left of our civilisation and Islamic barbarism, of which there is an inexhaustible supply.

A civilisational clash is a game that never ends in a draw. One side vanquishes, the other dies, if not physically then in every other meaningful sense. And we are losing.

What happened in Paris yesterday is but a skirmish in an all-out war of annihilation. Those killed aren’t victims. They are casualties.

The papers everywhere are full of expressions of solidarity, condolences and sympathy for the casualties’ families. These aren’t out of place; they are much needed.

Yet what doesn’t seem to appear anywhere is an answer to the lapidary question inevitably asked by les Anglo-Saxons, with their congenital pragmatism: So what are we going to do about it?

If the present is a reliable indication of the future, the answer is nothing. Nothing positive anyway.

For the present shows a civilisation desperately looking for a knife to slash its own collective throat. Well, this weapon has been found, and before long it’ll be sharp enough to do the job.

A civilisation can’t resist vicious predators when it itself is caught in the vicious circle of the virtual world, stripped of everything real and filled with apparitions, shadows, vacuous phrases flowing in and out of thin air, ideologies rather than ideas, fads rather than convictions, inner mushiness rather than a steel core, sentimentality rather than sentiment.

We’re under fire, ladies and gentlemen, and we have the guns to shoot back. But our trigger fingers are paralysed, our eyes can’t focus, our guns are silent – we are targets, not combatants. With every pseudo-liberal word uttered we’re painting a bull’s eye on our chest.

At a time when Muslims, even those born and bred in our countries, increasingly see themselves as soldiers in visible or invisible armies, we are admitting hundreds of thousands of them into the heart of our civilisation, what’s left of it.

This in the knowledge, recently conveyed by a Muslim scribe, that 40 per cent of the ‘refugees’ are agents on active jihadist duty – with the rest ready to provide support, physical or at least moral. (I don’t know what the proportion is among the Islamic multitudes already here, but it can’t be dramatically different.)

This at a time when assault rifles are firing in the middle of our great cities, when grenades are exploding in the middle of our ambling crowds.

We won’t sacrifice a single one of the bogus principles we mendaciously pretend to cherish in order to defend our people, our cities – our civilisation, what’s left of it.

We not only fail to answer the perennial question of what’s to be done – we fail even to pose it. For if we did so, the answer would offer itself, and out would go the puny, craven, utterly corrupt ethos of our post-modernity.

Name one nation, if you can, that didn’t suspend civil rights when its survival was threatened. You won’t be able to, for there has been none.

Just ask the children of those Nisei Americans, many of them native-born, interned in camps for the duration of the Second World War. Ask the children of those German refugees, including Jews, interned on the Isle of Man, with no individual wrongdoing anywhere in sight.

We made them suffer for their group association with our enemies, which was an awful thing to do. Yet it was also a necessary thing to do because our survival was at stake.

Going against the grain of our civilisation was hard, but we had the backbone and moral fibre to do it. The backbone has now been broken in too many places to count, and the fibre has turned to vapour.

We are so scared that we may have to fight an all-out war that we refuse to admit we’re already in the middle of it.

We lack the courage to deploy the weapons without which we are defenceless: mass deportations instead of mass importations, internment instead of benefits, blanket retribution against countries even tangentially involved in the murder of our people instead of precision strikes against villains most in the public eye.

That means we’ll lose – quite possibly that we’ve lost already. All we seem to able to be do is count our dead and shed a tear or two, with variable sincerity and invariable fear.

The Paris casualties, RIP.

A madman shouldn’t be hailed as a hero

Russian folklore thrives on the character of Holy Fool, a protagonist typologically resembling a Sufi dervish, in the Hodja Nasreddin vein.

If anything, this elucidates the Asian nature of Russia this side of a few Westernised writers. Still, though this Russian Sufism is too gnostic for my taste, there’s no harm to it.

But there’s a difference between a Holy Fool and a downright schizophrenic. Such as Pyotr Pavlensky, who faces a long prison sentence for setting on fire the door of Moscow’s KGB/FSB headquarters to express his protest against Putinism.

This act is being hailed by the few opposition websites remaining in Russia, and in our own Guardian, as sheer heroism. True enough, taken in isolation, the arson betokens recklessness rather than madness.

But it’s not in isolation: Pavlensky has form venting his civic conscience in much more radical acts. This is what I wrote about him two years ago:    

On 10 November the Petersburg conceptual artist (whatever that means) Pyotr Pavlensky travelled to Moscow to score some valid political points about police curtailing the freedom of political self-expression.

He went to Red Square, stripped naked and affixed his scrotum to the pavement with a huge nail hammered into the cobbles.

The police removed the nail, wrapped the conceptual artist in a blanket and took him to hospital. He had chosen the site well – had he done the same thing in a less visible place, the cops would have probably yanked him to his feet without bothering to remove the nail.

It has to be said that young Pyotr has a bit of previous with that sort of thing.

In July 2012 he had his naked body wrapped in a cocoon of barbed wire and delivered to the main entrance of the Petersburg Legislative Assembly. There he stayed until the police released him with garden shears.

That particular performance was called ‘Carcass’. The aim was to symbolise… well, you can guess what.

A few months later he went even further, this time to protest against the imprisonment of the Pussy Rioters, the young girls who themselves had protested against something or other by singing obscene rap lyrics in a cathedral. Their prior political action took the form of public copulation in a museum.

In defence of their God-given right to register protest, Pavlensky turned up at Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral, his mouth sewn up with a thread. He was carrying a banner saying, ‘Action of Pussy Riot was a replica of the famous action of Jesus Christ (Matthew 21:12–13)’.

Without entering into a full-blown theological debate, one should instead comment on the lamentable state of Russian psychiatry. For after his protest was all sewn up, Pyotr was found sane.

His nail stunt was called ‘Fixation’ – by affixing his private parts to the cobbles he was making a statement about the people’s fixation on something they shouldn’t be fixated on. A bit weak as far as visual puns go, but there we have it.

“A naked artist, looking at his testicles nailed to the cobblestone is a metaphor of apathy, political indifference and fatalism of Russian society,” declared Pavlensky in his statement to the media. I suppose this clarifies the matter.

Far be it from me to suggest that there’s nothing to protest against in Putin’s Russia. On the contrary, Russia is already bearing every hallmark of a fascist state, and things are getting worse.

But surely every normal person must realise that the escapades of an obvious madman trivialise all serious protest? The next time a meaningful anti-Putin action is undertaken it will be lumped together with self-mutilation, blasphemy and public indecency.

Yes, any normal person would realise this. That’s why it’s particularly worrying to read comments by the crème de la crème of the Russian intelligentsia. One may get the impression that normal Russians are in short supply. To wit:

Kirill Serebrennikov, film director: “…A powerful gesture of absolute despair… Affixing one’s sex organs to the cobbles of the country’s main square is a fixation on one’s own impotence… Everything is perfectly honest.”

Marat Gelman, political technologist (whatever that means): “I think it’s a sign of despair. I think, yes, a normal person won’t act in this way. But evidently the situation in the country isn’t normal…. It’s a MANIFESTO OF IMPOTENCE.” Also its possible cause, the cynic in me is tempted to add.

Irina Kosterina, culturologist (whatever that means): “The meaning and message are absolutely intelligible: this is political art-activism. Alas, those to whom this message is addressed aren’t sufficiently advanced to understand it.”

Evidently neither am I. However, if you still think there’s hope for Russia yet, such comments – among many – should disabuse you of this notion.

A country is hopeless when its intellectual elite sees disgusting self-mutilation as a valid form of political protest. As to the frankly pathetic attempts to intellectualise madness, Russia has a long, if not necessarily honourable, tradition along those lines.

A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy and all that, and at least this time Pavlensky mutilated an inanimate object, not himself. However, given his history, any civilised country would put him in hospital, not in prison.

But then who said Russia is a civilised country?

Who does plumbing in Eastern Europe?

Or scaffolding? Road works? Restaurant service? Shop assistance? And God only knows how many other things?

All those Poles, Romanians and Bulgarians seem to practise such skills in Britain, where the supply of native talent must be running dry. How do those back home manage, with all those lads leaving for England’s green and pleasant land (without knowing this phrase or its provenance)?

Unless East European countries have made giant strides in cloning, their own countries must seem denuded. Like in the good if not so old days, they must be forcing professors of classical philosophy to dig ditches rather than poisoning young minds with all that Protagorian sophistry.

When in January last year the EU ordered us to extend a warm welcome to Bulgarians and Romanians, those who weren’t overjoyed were branded with the usual names: Little Englanders, xenophobes, reactionaries, scaremongers – and I haven’t yet got to the good stuff.

Any fears of a deluge were described as paranoia, although few paranoiacs of my acquaintance display such sound common sense. After all, if practically any UK job or, failing that, benefit package pays better than practically any job in Romania, it takes little suspension of disbelief to predict large numbers of immigrants.

So it has proved, as figures released yesterday show. Three out of four new jobs in Britain go to EU migrants, and there are 219,000 Romanians and Bulgarians working here – those we know about. (All told, there are 982,000 East Europeans employed in Britain, a number growing by 15 per cent a year.)

Since we know that at least as many of them live off benefits, and suspect that at least as many work for cash, bypassing the clutches of our statisticians and tax collectors, we’re probably looking at the better part of a million Romanians and Bulgarians gracing us with their presence.

This adds a whole new meaning to the notion of Balkanisation, which, as a lifelong lexicography junkie, I welcome. However, in my other incarnations, such as that of customer, I note with dismay that I can’t recall the last time I was served in a London shop or restaurant by a native, or at least fluent, speaker of English.

Judging by the fact that everyone plying similar trades in France seems to speak perfect French, East Europeans favour London over Paris. This is particularly odd considering that some East European countries, especially Poland and Romania, have always had strong cultural ties with France.

France gets Romanian playwrights (at least three major ones), we get Romanian waiters. That’s grossly unfair – even though both of us get an equal share of Romanian pickpockets.

That this situation puts unbearable pressure on our medicine, education and social services is a well documented fact. Few realise though that the pressure is exerted in two ways, one direct, the other vicarious.

First, new arrivals themselves use such services, costing the Exchequer billions every year. The second, and more subtle, way is that they push the lower end of wages way down.

Coming from a country with an average monthly income of €345, anything Romanians can get in Britain must seem like a fortune, and our employers aren’t above exploiting this situation.

Hence it no longer pays for the locals to take such jobs; they can do better going to the social once a week than to a building site every morning. It would take an exaggerated belief in human goodness to expect them to opt for the dignity of honest labour under such circumstances.

Our government officials continue to claim that immigrants, even those from perverse political and social backgrounds, make a valuable contribution to British life. When ‘immigrants’ is left unqualified with a cautious ‘some’, this claim is a bold-faced lie.

The net economic effect of mass immigration from the EU is hugely negative. Yet it’s negligible compared to the damage being done to our social, cultural and demographic fabric that, in London, is already lying in tatters.

London is, and has been since time immemorial, a cosmopolitan city, the financial hub of the world. But in the recent past it was still a cosmopolitan English city, which it no longer is. The native element currently stands at 44.9 per cent – and dropping fast.

Considering that London attracts about a third of Britain’s labour force, such multi-culti crosspollination can have devastating consequences for the whole country, similar to those suffered by the Roman Empire, whose demise was largely caused by mass immigration diluting national identity.

It takes more than central government to turn a country into a nation. However, our government is eminently capable of turning our nation into a rootless, piebald hybrid, reducing the world’s greatest language to an illiterate patois, the world’s greatest parliament to a rubber-stamping stooge to the EU, and the world’s greatest city to an oversized refugee camp.

On the plus side, our spivocrats can count on many new, grateful voters. Muslims have provided this service for Labour, East Europeans will do the same for the Tories.

Everyone goes home happy – only to find that the home is no longer there.

And I thought Blair was our worst PM ever

Dave Cameron’s list of demands, nay abject pleas, to the EU gives him a sporting chance to claim the title for himself.

Think of any pejorative adjective you care to name, and you’ll see it applies to Dave’s initiative. Craven? Yes. Stupid? But of course. Cynical? To say the least. Dishonest? You bet. And we haven’t yet reached treasonous, unpatriotic and self-serving.

Every word he wrote to Donald Tusk or uttered in the subsequent speech is a blatant attempt not to change the EU’s ways, but to trick us into voting to stay in come the referendum.

Actually all those pejorative adjectives were already valid before one word went on paper or crossed Dave’s lips. For, as he has made abundantly clear, he’ll campaign for the In vote no matter what.

It’s as if you started negotiating a discount on a new car by promising to buy it at any price. Hardly a strong bargaining position, is it?

Dave’s inner premise for the negotiations, his assumption, or rather pretence, is that the EU is reformable.

Pretence is actually more likely than assumption because Dave, though hardly the sharpest tool in the box, isn’t a clinical idiot. He has to know that the EU is the equivalent of a beast, not a human being.

Unlike man, it has no freedom of choice. Like an animal, its every action is predetermined by its genetic make-up, and it single-mindedly pursues the sole purpose for which it was created.

A lion devours smaller animals for their protein. A bee gathers pollen. The EU creates a single European state. It can no more offer any concessions deviating from its in-built imperative than a lion can turn vegetarian or a bee shun flowers.

Peter Oborne says in today’s article that even Dave’s pathetic little pleas are likely to go unheeded, and he may be right. However, if EU bureaucrats thrash out with Dave a strategy to trick Britain into staying, they very well might make it look as if they’ve relented.

That would only mean a change in words, not in substance. Take, for example, Dave’s entreaty for the UK to be released from the commitment to an ‘ever-closer union’.

You don’t like ‘closer’ Dave? Not a problem, mon ami. How about ‘friendlier’? Or ‘cooperation’ instead of union? Would that work?

This distinction without a difference probably will, especially when billions in the EU’s ill-gotten cash are thrown behind the In campaign, propped up by our own billions Dave will generously toss into the fire of pro-EU propaganda.

Or take the issue of immigration from the EU, one that’s close to most British hearts, and for good reason. HMG has acknowledged that about half of such fortune seekers are receiving social benefits of at least £6,000 each.

Let me get my trusted calculator out… Right. Legally there are 3.5 million EU immigrants here. Half of that is 1.75 million, let’s call it 1.5 to be fair – and to be fairer still, let’s disregard the multitudes who are here illegally.

Now ‘at least’, when applied to money, is as mendacious as ‘average’. Bill Gates and I have an average income in the billions. This statistic may tell you something about his income, but precious little about mine.

And ‘at least’ is so open-ended that it leaves room for stratospheric conjecture. But let’s be modest and round it up only to £10,000, and then multiply it by 1.5 million. The product is 15 followed by nine zeroes. A hell of a lot.

At this point I’m talking only about the financial cost, not the social, cultural and demographic ones, which are even more crippling. So what’s Dave begging the EU to do about it?

Oh, to let us withhold benefits until the immigrant has been here for four years. Never mind the 15 followed by nine zeroes that’s already being doled out. Anyone who knows elementary school arithmetic will see that, since the influx of immigration will hold steady, the staggered qualification for benefits won’t reduce our overall expenditure a few years down the line.

And, as Mr Oborne writes, even that meaningless request may be ignored since one already hears squeals of ‘discriminatory!’ coming out of the federasts’ well-oiled throats.

More likely, there has to be a semantic copout there too, such as introducing terms along the lines of ‘reduced entitlement’ or ‘limited access’. Dave and Angie will bang their heads together and think of something, I have every trust in them.

My favourite plea is that “The United Kingdom would like to see a target to cut the total burden on business.” If I were Merkel, I’d have a broad smile on my face. It’s like asking a florist for a free leaf.

If there’s one thing (other than corruption) the EU has in abundance, it’s targets. How many would you like, Dave? Ten? Twenty? Have all you want, mein Freund, they don’t cost anything.

Another abject plea is for our Parliament to regain a teensy-weensy bit of its sovereignty. Not much. Certainly not all of it. Just a smidgen will do, enough for Dave to carry the referendum.

All this proceeds to the accompaniment of mathematical calculations, with one side trying to prove that, if we leave, we’ll be a fiver worse off, with the other side countering that we’ll be a tenner wealthier.

This in the year in which Britain celebrated the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, an event that led to the gradual development of the best legislative system the world has ever known. This in a country known as ‘the mother of all parliaments.’ 

That sort of thing has an emetic effect on me. Well, at least Dave isn’t nauseated.