The best friend the Leave campaign can have

J-C.JunckerEU-Leavers always say nasty things about Jean Claude Juncker, or Junk, as he likes to be known to his friends, of whom I’m proud to be one. That just goes to show how little they understand this courageous man fighting for their cause behind the scenes.

The other day Junk told me, as he was finishing his second daily bottle of Martel Cordon Bleu, “A-lex [he sexily stresses my name on the second syllable], I’ve got it all sussed out, as we say in Luxembourg. Two years now I’ve been your agent provocateur behind EU lines, and now I can guarantee a Leave vote.”

“Junk,” I said, “haven’t you had enough? You’re killing yourself, mate, and we need you.”

“Listen, you wimp,” replied Junk angrily. “I can drink you under any table any day. I’m not s**t-faced, as we say in Luxembourg. So you better listen to what I’ve got to say.”

“Fine, Junk,” I sighed. ‘Say your piece. What’s the great plan you’ve come up with?”

Junk helped himself to another snifterful of Martel and said, “You Brits used to be a nation of shopkeepers and now you’re a nation of shoplifters. But you’re still a bloody-minded bunch, aren’t you?

“If there’s one thing you chaps hate, it’s being threatened, am I wrong? If someone threatens you not to do something, you’re sure to do it, am I wrong?”

“So what’s your point, Junk?” I asked and reached for the bottle, only to find it empty.

“I’ll tell you what my point it,” said Junk. “As EU Prezzie-Wezzie, I’m going to threaten you with the Plagues of Egypt if you vote Leave. And I’ll sound so nasty that everyone will be pissed off. A-lex, you can’t be that slow on the uptake, as we say in Luxembourg. Know what I’m driving at?”

It then occurred to me that, drunk or sober, Junk can still do more for the Leave cause than ten Farages put together. “I say,” I said. “Give it a go, Junk. It just might work.”

Sure enough, early next morning, when his first bottle was still half-full, Junk spoke with his typical, if in this case expertly put-on, vigour. As usual, the published version of his speech was edited to smooth out the rough edges, but this is what he actually said:

“If you vote Leave, we’ll treat you as [expletive deleted] deserters. And you know what they do to [expletive deleted] deserters in wartime?

“You’ll be considered a third party and one we won’t suck up to, as we say in Luxembourg. If the British leave Europe, both us and them will have to bear the consequences.

“This isn’t a threat, just a warning. So decide what you want to do, you miserable islanders. Either s**t or get off the toilet, as we say in Luxembourg. And you better not get off.”

Immediately after delivering this oration, Junk rang me on his mobile. “So do I rate the bloody Victoria Cross?” he asked. “I’ve done more for British independence than anyone I can think of.”

I was effusive in my praise. “You most certainly did, Junk. Even those who’ve been undecided now talk about sticking two fingers to the EU.”

“You bet your bottom euro, as we say in Luxembourg. And I ain’t half done yet,” said Junk, who prides himself on his mastery of English colloquialisms.

This time I was all ears. “So what’s the next step, Junk?”

“I’m going to talk a few actors into writing a truly asinine petition, saying that Brexit will spell the end of all arts in Britain. Brill, innit?”

“I don’t know, Junk,” I said. “People listen to actors these days.”

“Don’t be daft, A-lex. What’s the first job requirement for an actor?”


“Yes, but where does acting talent come from?” Junk was getting impatient, suggesting to me that his secretary had forgotten to put that second bottle into his desk drawer. “They can only slip into all those different personalities because they have none of their own.

“That means stupidity is the first qualification for an actor. Everyone knows that. So people will do the opposite of what these morons say.”

“Oh well, if you say so. Worth a try, I suppose.”

Yet again Junk delivered. The very next day several film actors went public with a cosmically idiotic petition, acting as dummies to Junk’s ventriloquist. And we’re talking real A-listers here: Cumberbatch, Nighy, Scott Thomas, Bonham Carter, Law, Stevenson, Knightley.

I immediately rang Junk to congratulate him. “I say,” I said. “You did it, Junk. Let’s hope it works.”

“Hope’s cheap, as we say in Luxembourg,” croaked Junk. “I play for keeps, me old china. I’m like your Mata Hari, minus the Bristols and…”

I cut Junk short at that point, complimenting him on his knowledge of Cockney rhyming slang. Sometimes he’s just insufferable when he has had a few, which is always. But I’ll say one thing for Junk: he’s a mover and shaker. As they say in Luxembourg.

Can you guess the EU interviewee?

EUflagResponsible recycling being all the fashion, I’m partly reproducing here what I wrote almost four years ago. When you get to the end you’ll know why.

Why do you think we need an EU?

No nation in Europe can by itself achieve the necessary scale of economic freedom to meet all social demands.

So essentially we are putting collective security above individual sovereignty?

Now at last the time has finally come when the people of Europe, in their understandable striving for economic security, can make the decisive step to co-operation.

That still doesn’t address the issue of national interest in relation to collective security.

The will towards European Community effort… must become the leading concern of the basic, ruling economies… It means a readiness in certain circumstances to subordinate one’s own interests to those of the European Community. That is the highest goal which we require from the European states and we are striving to attain it. In individual cases this will mean sacrifices but the outcome is that all people will benefit.

But surely the tendency in the EU runs towards creating a protectionist bloc, something generally regarded as economically counterproductive?

If one considers the natural potential of our continent, it becomes apparent that Europe, in fact, meets all the requirements of a complete, self-sufficient economic area.

How do you think a unified economy can accommodate the interests of individual countries?

The preconditions for a political order to achieve the co-operation of the peoples of Europe are clearly identified. Its essence: respect for national character, development of own economic resources, long-term economic treaties. Economic interdependence is endorsed by destiny. The economic unity of Europe is manifest.

Aren’t we talking about essentially a statist economy?

The new empowerment of the productive and creative power of the individual is grounded in the community, the creation of a uniform economic understanding and attitude, the allocation of decisive tasks through the political leadership… Apart from this, the economy is free and self-responsible.

Don’t you think that the only major freedom remaining in individual states is that of running suicidal debts?

It has to be said that the debt is generally overstated compared to what it actually is. The arithmetical error runs on because differences in accounting periods, balances and balances in contra are not simultaneously taken into account.

That may be. But surely a monetary union inevitably presupposes the pooling of debt?

This task [of creating a single currency] is only possible if we first bring the European national economies into order…

But one can’t help noticing that the current austerity measures, feeble as they are, are causing unrest among people used to getting something for nothing.

Such a fundamental economic belief demands a social conscience. The people of Europe must and can demand social responsibility and consciousness from their state leadership in the realisation of the new economic order.

You seem to be suggesting that social responsibility may have to come at a cost to prosperity.

The new European economy will have to consider as its first task the fulfilment of its social obligations.

Thank you, Mr…

Well, replacing the ellipsis with the interviewee’s name would be telling, wouldn’t it? You still haven’t had the chance to guess who he was.

In the good, if recent, tradition of British education, I’ll give you a multiple choice. Was it a) José Manuel Barroso, b) Jacques Delors? c) Jacques Santer? d) Romano Prodi? e) Jean-Claude Juncker?

The interviewee could have been any one of those venerable gentlemen, but wasn’t. The correct answer is f) None of the above.

Every reply to my imaginary questions came from a speech delivered in 1942 by Walther Funk, Hitler’s Economy Minister. Herr Funk spoke from the heart about the EEC, Europäische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft for short.

In pursuit of his high-minded ideals Herr Funk indulged in certain peccadilloes that eventually earned him a life sentence at Nuremberg, with a hangman’s noose a distinct possibility until the last moment. But his words still resonate in a modern context.

Each one bears an uncanny resemblance to the language of every formative document of the EU. Such likeness of words must betoken at least partial, if not yet total, similarity of principle and purpose. Suffice it to say that the glittering prize Herr Funk saw in his mind’s eye, a federal Europe dominated by Germany, is a whisker away from becoming a reality.

It’s true that some of the trappings of the Third Reich, those revolving around mass murder, are so far absent from the everyday practices of the EU. However, much too often, when talking about either Reich, people concentrate on the consequences of the founding principles, rather than the principles themselves. Far be it from me to suggest that these are identical in the EU dominated by today’s Germany and wartime Europe dominated by Nazi Germany. Yet it takes a blind man, or else Lord Heseltine, not to realise that they’re remarkably similar.

That was the gist of the remarks Boris Johnson made the other day, those Lord Heseltine called ‘obscene’. I’d call them factual (decorum prevents me from telling you what I’d call Lord Heseltine). And if you don’t believe me, talk to the spirit of Walther Funk.



Liz Mountbatten, EU citizen

ElizabethIIOne wonders how Her Majesty really feels about the de facto change in her legal status. Surely she knows that a single European state makes a mockery of her sovereignty over her realm? That, should it arrive, our ancient constitution will no longer be worth the paper it isn’t written on? That, if our spivs’ frantic efforts to rig the referendum succeed, such a state definitely will arrive?

Of course she does. Of course she hated every vapid word put into her mouth by a PM with the puny intellect and petty selfishness of a child and the moral sense of a skunk – and I hope my neighbourhood skunks won’t take too much of an offence at this comparison.

How Her Majesty must have suffered delivering her Queen’s Speech just five weeks before becoming, in all likelihood, at best part of the stage set in the Ye Olde England sideshow. Leave, Remain or Other – there’s only one thing our monarch should be talking about shortly before our monarchy disappears in all but name.

Yet, instead of our right to sovereignty, she talked about our right to high-speed broadband.

Instead of lamenting her leaderless government, she hailed the advent of driverless cars.

Instead of protecting our borders from aliens, she talked about protecting our children from porn.

Instead of regaining full control of our taxes, she talked about the vital importance of introducing a tax on foods deemed harmful this week.

Instead of putting criminals in prison, she talked about giving week-long releases to those already in.

Instead of stopping the influx of millions of migrants, she talked about charging some of them for some public services.

And oh yes, she did mention “taking steps” toward replacing Blair’s EU-imposed Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights. That’s another Dave gimmick inspired by the EU, akin to replacing the European Constitution with the Lisbon Treaty: a cosmetic change in words masking essentially the same message.

In fact any such act, whether originated by the EU or its British quislings, would be redundant and therefore potentially tyrannical, as all unnecessary laws are. For the way our rights have been protected by our ancient laws stacks up rather well against the record of continental Europe.

Since 1688, when the English constitution adopted its modern shape, France has been ruled by several variously carnivorous monarchies (constitutional or otherwise), an ad hoc revolutionary committee, a Directory, a military dictatorship, an emperor, five different republics and, from 1940 to 1944, by the Nazis, first de facto and then de jure. And Germany… well, we all know about her. Throughout that time, England’s legal system, her sage, moderate and balanced constitution, was the envy of the world, including such Enlightenment figures as Montesquieu and Voltaire.

Signposting the organic development of England’s constitution have been written documents, such as the 1215 Magna Carta, the 1679 Habeas Corpus Act, the 1689 Bill of Rights (that inspired a similar American addendum to their constitution), the 1701 Act of Settlement — well, this isn’t the place to get into the minutiae of constitutional history. This is a place, however, to suggest that we don’t need another document, inspired as it’ll have to be by foreign powers whose record in the area ill-qualifies them for providing such inspiration.

The Speech did include a few reasonable housekeeping details, but no one should be concerned about reducing the gas bill when his house is about to be repossessed. For a house to be kept, it has to be there, and ours is about to be taken away.

I haven’t had the honour of meeting Her Majesty and, should such an unlikely get-together occur, she wouldn’t divulge her innermost thoughts anyway. But it doesn’t take an expert psychologist to guess what they must be.

Instead of acting as the dignified regal personage she is, she came across as a woman forced to do something she abhors. My heart goes out to her.








Political abortunism is on the rise

FeminismContrary to the old adage, some records aren’t there to be broken. The overall number of annual abortions is one of them, and the abortion rate within various age groups is another.

Yet these records get broken with regularity. The latest one to go is the abortion rate among British women aged 35 or over – this against the backdrop of a hike to 185,824 in all age groups.

Our abortion clinics are working overtime, but they still haven’t caught up with Russia’s million abortions a year – the highest number of any country surveyed by the UN. And there I was, thinking, courtesy of Messrs Hitchens, Booker et al, that Putin’s Russia is undergoing a religious revival en route to collective sainthood.

So far our lasses don’t think of abortion as their preferred method of contraception; this cognitive shift is yet to come. For the time being, our papers still point out matter-of-factly that some women have as many as four abortions over a lifetime. This only goes to show that, while the gap with Russia is closing, it’s still rather large.

I know a Russian woman who emigrated to the US and went to see a gynaecologist. The doctor took one look at her scarred insides and went all sanctimonious. “How many abortions have you had?” he demanded. “Eight,” admitted the woman demurely. “Are you crazy?!?” exploded the doctor. “Don’t you know how dangerous this is?”

The patient was appropriately contrite. Especially since in fact she had had not eight but 28, by no means an unusual number, if on the high side. Most Russian women had their abortions running into double figures, and the issue seemed to be free of any moral implications.

But Russia was, and China still is, a communist country, with a particular take on morality: whatever is good for the state is moral and vice versa. In China they have the problem of overpopulation, hence the state prescribes aborting children, especially girls. The Soviets encouraged abortions because they didn’t want women to stay at home and look after their brood. They wanted them to toil at the lathe or down in the coalmines.

In other words, unsavoury regimes, and we can mention Nazi Germany in that category, use abortion or infanticide for nefarious political purposes. This has been going on since God was young.

In ancient Rome, where our progressive abortion techniques were unknown, unwanted babies, especially girls, were born and simply dumped in the woods to be torn apart by wild beasts. And the oldest surviving Greek letter, written by a soldier to his pregnant wife back home, said: “If it’s a boy, keep it. If it’s a girl, get rid of it.”

The political situation in those days called for swarms of soldiers, which is to say boys. And in both Greece and Rome, the family was seen in strictly utilitarian terms, as the state’s breeding farm.

It would be a mistake to think that today’s situation in Britain is fundamentally different from that in the pagan states of Hellenic antiquity or modern barbarism. Here too the issue of abortion is as free of moral implications as it’s replete with political ones.

But our politics are different, designed to assist the state’s general quest to dominate every aspect of individual lives. Since England’s historical tradition doesn’t easily provide precedents for the primacy of the state, the state seeks to destroy tradition, wherever it manifests itself: politics, social structure, morality, family, relations between (or should we now say ‘among’?) the sexes, economy – you name it.

It’s only in this context that our PC culture can be properly understood. It’s an arrow shot by the modern state at traditional life. Hence what I call ‘glossocracy’, the state’s concerted effort to gain control over language and therefore thought. Orwell prophesied this sort of thing, but he believed it could only be imposed by violent coercion. He didn’t give modernity enough credit – today’s spivs use subtler means to achieve the same end.

Feminism is another arrow in the quiver of modernity, and it hits its target with nothing short of Robin Hood accuracy. The state uses every legislative means at its disposal supposedly to empower and liberate women, but in fact to increase its own power over both sexes.

Thus abortion is put in the context of a woman’s ‘right’ to have complete sovereignty over her body, of which a foetus is seen as an inanimate part, a bit like the appendix. Pregnancy effectively becomes akin to appendicitis: both can and therefore must be treated surgically.

This desideratum trumps the outdated notion of the sanctity of human life, in fact the sanctity of anything. The state is the Lord thy God and thou shalt have no other gods before it.

In that sense, if you’ll forgive three neologisms in one sentence, political abortunism is akin to homosocialism and other manifestations of sexual democracy. This is supposed to liberate, but in fact it enslaves.




An argument for post-natal abortion

MidwifeNow that the Royal College of Midwives has supported the idea of scrapping legal time limits on abortion, it’s time to start thinking logically.

No limit means up to the day before delivery, doesn’t it? Of course it does. If it didn’t, the RCM would have specified some cut-off point prior to that momentous occasion.

Now, being a simple sort, I can’t for the life of me see any valid medical, physiological or, for old times’ sake, moral difference between a baby one day before climbing out of his mother’s womb and one day after. Some women are a bit early, some a bit late, but their babies look similar to me. If it’s permissible to kill one, there’s no reason not to kill the other, should his birth be inconvenient or undesirable.

Logic would then suggest that there’s a serious argument to be made in favour of infanticide at any age at all. For example, why not abort Dave Cameron post-natally? His mind certainly hasn’t advanced beyond foetal stage, although his deviousness is very grown-up.

More to the point, why not abort Cathy Warwick, the RCM chief executive and the driving force behind this monstrous initiative? Surely she’ll be happy to go to her death upholding the logical extension of her innermost convictions. Her cause, like so many others, needs martyrs to be widely persuasive.

It’s not as if the present legal limit of 24 weeks is all that limiting. In most European countries, for example, it’s 12 weeks, and most European countries are hardly paragons of virtue. Even in Holland, a country twinned with Sodom and Gomorra, it’s 21 weeks, with Dutchmen’s lives thus protected from that age to about 70 years, when doctors are encouraged to kill them, ideally with, but at a pinch without, permission.

Our higher limit is based on the notion of viability, the foetus’s ability to survive outside the womb. This is simply window-dressing, for some foetuses survive if born at 22 weeks and 80 per cent do at 25 weeks.

Also, the medical science advances so fast, if in all sorts of wrong directions, that before long – and I’m talking in terms of a couple of years – it will be possible to conceive and grow a baby with no womb involved at all. The viability principle no longer applicable, does this mean abortion will then be outlawed? I wouldn’t hold my breath, if I were you.

Viability is a wrong criterion anyway, as all materialistic criteria are in anything involving life and death. For example, terminally ill persons, who may live only for another few months, aren’t very viable either, but this side of Holland the passion for finishing them off quickly is lukewarm at best.

Back in the old days we would have said that it’s God who determines viability. Being ‘with-it’ progressive people, we now wouldn’t dare say any such patently reactionary thing that goes against everything Richard Dawkins holds dear. So let’s just say that, when it comes to viability, doctors can make mistakes.

Much as one hates to get personal, 11 years ago a Scottish doctor with the whole alphabet after his name told me that my prognosis was ‘pure’. Having made a mental allowance for his godawful accent, I realised he meant ‘poor’, and there was nothing medicine could do.

According to extremely expert medical opinion then, I was considerably less viable than a foetus at 25 weeks. Yet here I am, writing my vituperative prose 11 years later, having been told yesterday that there’s really no more need for regular check-ups.

I’ve argued before and I’ll argue again that viability is nonsense – not just morally but also medically. The only logically tenable criterion is the moment at which human life begins. Only one such moment can be ascertained without any doubt: that of conception. And if there’s any doubt, then surely we shouldn’t err on the side of infanticide.

At any moment after conception, abortion constitutes an arbitrary taking of a human life. If we find something wrong with the latter, we must find something wrong with the former, it’s as simple as that. All else confusion, as Lord Tennyson would say (actually did say in relation to a different and equally non-PC idea: “Man to command and woman to obey…”)

To their credit, 200 midwives have signed a letter of protest against this barbaric proposal. I think that, after Cathy Warwick has been post-natally aborted, the rest of them should be struck off. Most of them are foreign anyway, so we can always import another trainload. There are, no doubt, more where these ones came from.

Merkel is neither Napoleon nor Hitler – not exactly

MerkelBoris Johnson, one of the leaders of the Leave campaign, has committed a sin that never goes unpunished in today’s politics. He displayed some knowledge of history and common sense.

Not much, mind you – he merely said something any average schoolboy knew when I was young: that the EEC/EU isn’t the first attempt to force Europe into a single state.

Following the example set by the Roman Empire, quite a few individuals, most of them unsavoury, have tried to recreate what they erroneously saw as the ideal towards which to strive.

The Holy Roman Empire, which Boris didn’t mention, was one such attempt and, contrary to Voltaire’s typically lightweight quip, it was indeed holy, Roman and an empire. The Carolingian dispensation represents the only benign attempt I’m aware of to glue Europe together. It was benign because the adhesive it used was Christianity, not nationalism, internationalism or any other ideology of conquest.

Another attempt Boris left out was that by the Soviets, which is a serious omission. The national escutcheon of the Soviet Union showed its institutional symbols superimposed on the whole globe, with no national boundaries anywhere in sight. That was more than just artistic licence.

The goal of global conquest was formulated by Lenin, and he tried to put it into practice by attacking Poland in 1920. Even now historians sometimes describe that war as a local conflict, ignoring the famous Order No.1423 issued by the Red Army commander M. Tukhachevsky: ‘Soldiers of the proletarian revolution! Direct your eyes towards the west. It is in the west that the fate of the world revolution is being decided. The way towards a world fire lies through the corpse of White Poland. On our bayonets we are taking happiness and peace to workers of the world. Westwards – march!’ So Poland was a step along the way, not the final destination.

That particular mission failed, but Stalin picked up the banner of world conquest and ran with it. By enslaving, terrorising and starving the whole population, he managed to create an army that outgunned in most categories the rest of the world combined.

In 1941 the Soviet force of 23,000 tanks, for example, not only outnumbered all the belligerents put together in the sheer number of tanks but also was two generations ahead of them in the machines’ characteristics. The same can be said for the Red artillery and air force – to say nothing of the numerical strength of the army.

All that was put together for the explicit purpose of striking at Stalin’s Nazi allies from the rear and conquering all of Europe, to begin with. Only Hitler’s preemptive strike, which beat Stalin to the punch by days and downgraded the Soviet army dramatically, made Stalin eventually satisfy himself with only the eastern part of Europe.

However, Boris did mention Napoleon and Hitler as Angie Merkel’s typological predecessors, which was enough to cause an apoplectic fit on the Left of the political spectrum, where the Remainers reside. The shrill shrieks of protest are breaking through newspaper pages, tearing them, and our eardrums, to shreds. How dare he!

How dare he what exactly? Draw historical parallels? Nothing wrong about that, as far as it goes. No one, and certainly not Boris, has suggested that Angie is like either Napoleon or Hitler in every detail.

But Germany does dominate the EU, and the EU is indeed an attempt to erase all the national frontiers under the aegis of a single state dominated by the Union’s most virile member – in this sense Merkel is an exact replica of Bony, Adolph and those other megalomaniacs Boris didn’t mention.

Hence the parallel is entirely legitimate, provided one doesn’t run to the other extreme of claiming that Angie plans to recreate Auschwitz and start murdering Jews en masse. In choosing the methods of uniting the continent, that objectionable woman follows not Hitler but an earlier, smaller-scale model established by Prussia in the 19th century.

Seeking to unite all German principalities under their aegis, the Prussians created a mechanism called the Zollverein, officially a customs union but in fact a way of either bribing or blackmailing the weaker provinces into compliance. Military force saw the light of day only once, when Schleswig-Holstein proved recalcitrant.

But the Zollverein taught an historical lesson that the Germans have learned well: the mark, whether it’s called Reichsthaler, simply the mark, Reichsmark, Deutschmark or the euro is an effective weapon in a campaign for European unification. The bank can succeed where the tank can’t.

This is all demonstrable and verifiable fact, but the Remain hysteria isn’t about facts. It’s about ideology fuelled by latent hatred for what Europe traditionally is. Unfortunately our population has been house-trained to respond to hysterical sloganeering with nothing short of lemming alacrity.

So off with Boris’s head, along with the heads of those who have read a history book or two and learned to draw legitimate parallels. As Descartes once said, all knowledge comes from comparing two or more things.

Boris did just that, but his opponents aren’t about Cartesian epistemology. They’re about enforcing an ideology that’s best conducive to their dreams of self-aggrandisement. Prepare yourself for more hysterical gasps in the run-up to 23 June.







It’s not just Europhiles who’ll say anything

PeterHitchensThe madness of the EU rubs off on both those who love it and those who hate it. The latter group, driven to hysteria by the foul federalist obscenity thrust down their throats, sometimes thinks that anything is better than the EU, and the more unlike the EU it is, the better it is.

By and large, these people correctly draw the line on ISIS. Where they make a potentially fatal error is in believing that Putin’s Russia is good because the EU is bad.

The syllogism doesn’t work – the EU is evil, but Putin’s Russia is even more so. Not seeing that betokens either ignorance (not being in possession of facts) or stupidity (being unable to interpret the facts) or ill will (being Peter Hitchens).

Actually, when it comes to Russia, Hitchens meets the other two criteria as well. For example, in his today’s offering (A Clear Message from Moscow) he claims that “the real fault-line in Europe lies between Germany and Russia.”

This displays both ignorance and stupidity, with ill will as the animating spirit behind the two. Hitchens, as an echo of his recent Trotskyist past, has a soft spot for Russian tyrants. Lacking psychiatric training, I can’t presume to analyse this condition properly.

It may be caused by an erotic craving for muscular chaps who don’t think twice before resorting to violence. Alternatively, it could be a latent reluctance to renounce his Trotskyist past completely, which is indeed a hard thing to do. Such convictions come not from intellectual but from visceral predisposition. The former is subject to change; the latter lingers for ever.

Hitchens has enough education and brains to know that there are many fault-lines in Europe, and the one between Germany and Russia is less prone to fissure than some others. If he says otherwise, it’s because his viscera have overridden his brains and education.

The situation in Europe is never as primitive as Hitchens’s inflamed mind seems to think. And it’s cloud cuckoo land to claim that “all our present misfortunes began when we foolishly took sides in the great Russo-German war of 1914.”

Entering the First World War was indeed foolish, but describing that conflict as a ‘Russo-German war’ is either ignorant or mad, take your pick. Surely Hitchens must have heard about French revanchism ever-accelerating following the 1870-71 disaster. He may have heard of the Kaiser’s striving for dominance in continental Europe. Why, he might even have caught the whiff of Britain’s historical commitment to preventing the emergence of any dominant power on the continent.

Hence referring to the Great War as one strictly between Germany and Russia is a cue for the men in white coats to make an appearance. In fact, all the belligerents were equally complicit in what’s justifiably called Europe’s suicide. That war, more than any other, put paid to Europe as a cultural entity formed by the fusion of Christianity and Hellenism.

That war gave rise to two satanic regimes of modernity: Russian Bolshevism and German Nazism. The EU is indeed to some extent “the continuation of Germany by other means”, as Hitchens describes it. This means that the traditional German desire to spread its Bildung is discernible in the toings and froings of the EU.

But Hitchens’s Trotskyist instincts don’t let him see that, to a much greater extent, Putin’s Russia is a continuation of the Soviet Union by other means. The principal fault-line in Europe isn’t one between the EU and Russia, but between what’s left of our civilisation and the deadly threats to it, coming from both the EU and Russia.

Hitchens is worried about the EU’s “swelling and spreading eastwards, abolishing frontiers and gobbling up territory as it has so many times before”. By contrast, Russian expansion westwards and southwards causes him no problems whatsoever.

Well, at least the EU expands by voluntary association. Putin’s Russia expands by banditry, as she has done three times since the country was taken over by the kleptofascist KGB junta: in Chechnya, Georgia and the Ukraine.

At least the EU doesn’t threaten nuclear annihilation of the world, which Putin and his mouthpieces do with metronomic regularity. At least the EU lets its military muscle weaken to atrophy, whereas Putin’s is bristling with testosteronal strength.

At least the EU doesn’t display Nazi insignia and ‘We Can Do it Again’ posters, which Putin’s Russia does (with Bolshevik insignia partly, though not completely, replacing Nazi symbols).

That’s why it takes that unholy trinity of stupidity, ignorance and ill will to describe the nauseating sabre-rattling in Red Square as “increasingly spectacular celebrations of [Russia’s] 1945 triumph over Hitler”.

Some triumph! Two predators, Hitler and Stalin, combined to devastate Europe and kill 60 million people, half of them Soviets. Since circumstances forced Britain and America to side with one predator, he emerged victorious – with dire consequences for millions of people.

Hitler’s concentration camps were put to the same use by Putin’s predecessors – is that the triumph Hitchens hails? Talk to the families of Germans killed trying to escape across the Berlin Wall, Hungarians massacred in their thousands, Czechs squashed to death by Soviet tanks – see what they think of that ‘triumph’.

Hitchens obviously sees the sickening flexing of military muscle on 9 May as a sign that Russia has had enough of Western expansionism. It is, in fact, a sign of something else – that the Bolshevik spirit has come back in the body of the murderous KGB colonel.

When Bruce met Caitlyn and vice versa

CaitlynJennerMr/Miss/Other Jenner is making my head spin, and I haven’t had a drop to drink since last night. Having first turned Bruce into Caitlyn, he/she now wants to turn Caitlyn back into Bruce, thereby restoring the status quo ante.

Since modern democracy cum consumer-oriented free market is all about freedom of choice, one has to commend Bruce/Caitlyn for upholding this uniquely important tenet of Western modernity. He/she is also striking a telling blow for progress, especially in the areas of medical science and surgical techniques.

Surgeons specialising in such procedures and their patients do what they do for the same reason a dog licks a certain part of its anatomy: they do it because they can. Anything modern science can do must be done, and if you don’t believe this you’re a hopeless reactionary unfit to live in our brave new world. Why, before long you’ll start objecting to human cloning.

Being one of those sticks-in-the-mud myself, the question I’m always likely to ask first isn’t ‘How?’ but ‘Why?’. Hence what fascinates me about Bruce/Caitlyn’s current volte-face is the reason for it.

You see, having become Caitlyn, he/she lost some bits and pieces but retained a most Bruce-like roving eye for women. One would think that a person progressive enough to have a vagina inserted where his penis used to be, wouldn’t see that as a problem. Our society being as progressive as he is, it won’t just turn a blind eye on a bit of lesbian hanky-panky but will positively encourage it.

Homosexuality, after all, has long since left the confinement of sex to enter the broad arena of liberal politics. Having started out as a mortal sin, it first became a tolerable eccentricity and then a sort of cross between sexual democracy and homosocialism.

Such is the vector of our secular world, but Caitlyn, née Bruce, has a problem with it. He/she wants no part of our secular world because he/she is a pious Christian. Hence, for old times’ sake, Caitlyn/Bruce won’t consummate his/her urges in the way first popularised on the charming Greek island of Lesbos. Such an act would go against Bruce/Caitlyn’s religious beliefs, specifically those prescribed by Leviticus and Romans.

Far be it from me to criticise any demonstration of Christian faith, wherein the commitment to living a Christian life plays a key role. One might suggest that Bruce/Caitlyn draws the line in some funny (and unmentionable) places, but he/she would win the theological argument hands down – and please, no more double entendres.

When all is said and done, while both Testaments take issue with homosexuality, there exists not a single scriptural injunction against round-trip transsex operations. Neither the scribes who put the scripture down on parchment nor indeed God who inspired it possessed enough foresight to envision such a possibility. They simply weren’t progressive enough by the standards of our scientifically advanced society.

In fact, our society is so advanced that I’m sure a medical solution to Caitlyn/Bruce’s problem can be found. Why not reattach Bruce’s bits without removing Caitlyn’s ones?

In that way Caitlyn/Bruce could add a whole new meaning to the notions of bisexuality, swinging both ways and autoeroticism. The latter would be a doddle for a former world-class athlete who must have retained some of his/her erstwhile flexibility. And, by way of culmination, he/she could then marry each other.

He/she would thus be able to practise his/her peculiar take on some aspects of Judaeo-Christian sexual morality, while ignoring numerous Biblical proscriptions against fornication. It does stand to reason that hermaphroditic sexuality should conform to hermaphroditic theology uniting the old and the new into one ungodly mess.

Old Bruce/Caitlyn could also open up a whole new world of entrepreneurial opportunities by pitching his Double Your Pleasure tent at county fairs, next to those housing a bearded woman and a man with breasts. I’d pay good money to go in, wouldn’t you?

One matter that still remains unresolved is lavatorial rectitude, as mandated by America’s laudably progressive president Barak Hussein. O’Bummer, as he likes to be called by his friends of whom I’m one, says transsexual pupils should be allowed to use those lavatories that befit their current, as opposed to original, sex.

Since within a year or two the same philosophy will be applied in all public buildings, Bruce/Caitlyn will be able to reaffirm our sacrosanct freedom of choice by opting for either facility, depending on how he/she feels today. That’s what consumer society is all about, although those of us whose choice in this matter is limited may feel slight discomfort at this particular manifestation of consumerism.

That Mr/Miss/Other Jenner is a deeply disturbed individual in need of aggressive psychiatric treatment goes without saying. What’s perhaps worth saying is that exactly the same thing can be said about a society that actively promotes such freakish sideshows.

Have we all gone mad? Don’t answer this one.









Russian offence at our defence

041018-N-0841E-571 Pacific Ocean (Oct. 18, 2004) - A RIM-7 NATO Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missile launches from aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during a live fire missile exercise. The missile scored a direct hit on an A/B 37U Tactical Air Launched Decoy (TALD) launched from an S-3B Viking assigned to the "Blue Wolves" of Sea Control Squadron Three Five (VS-35). The Sea Sparrow is used aboard Naval ships as a surface-to-air anti-missile defense system. Stennis and embarked Carrier Air Wing Fourteen (CVW-14) are at sea on a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Oscar Espinoza (RELEASED)

The US has activated Aegis Ashore, a NATO missile shield in Romania, and the Russians are up in arms. I don’t mean this as a figure of speech: Putin and his spokesmen are incandescent, frothing at the mouth and dropping sinister hints about deploying nuclear weapons in Kaliningad, née Königsberg, the part of East Prussia the Soviets claimed as their own.

It’s not immediately obvious what their problem is. Aegis Ashore is a sophisticated defence system of radars, communication devices and surface-to-air missiles designed to intercept and destroy incoming nuclear missiles before re-entry.

Officially its purpose is to protect Europe from missiles fired by rogue states, such as Iran. Unless Putin sees Russia as one such, what’s his problem?

Let’s put it in the context of my quiet residential neighbourhood. Suppose my next-door neighbour, worried about the spate of burglaries in the area, had razor wire put on top of his fence. I might wince at the unsightliness of it, but otherwise I’d have no valid objections – after all, I’m not planning to break into his house, so his prudence, even if I regard it as paranoid, is really none of my concern.

Now if I were in fact contemplating a career switch into burglary, then I’d feel aggrieved. What am I supposed to do, get cut to pieces climbing his fence? Some people simply have no regard for good neighbourly relations.

Even assuming that Aegis is designed to protect Europe against not only Iranian but also Russian missiles (some experts doubt it’s capable of the latter), Russia should only feel threatened if she intends to launch such missiles. If Putin and his kleptofascist KGB junta have no such intentions, rather than protesting they should be rubbing their hands with glee over NATO wasting all that money (about £1 billion).

Of course Aegis may have a less benign purpose, that of protecting NATO against Russia’s retaliation following a NATO first strike with nuclear weapons. Does Putin seriously think this is on the cards? If so, he’s a madman and his foreign-policy advisers are mountebanks.

Yet here he is, talking about “how to neutralise emerging threats to the Russian Federation”, with his spokesman Peskov reiterating the same theme (now there’s a surprise): “Without doubt the deployment of [Aegis] really is a threat to the security of the Russian Federation”.

It was a Russian Foreign Ministry official who inadvertently put his finger right on it: “It is part of the military and political containment of Russia.” It probably is just that.

But a country or a military alliance would only be out to contain a potential aggressor, not a nice country peacefully going about her business. The doctrine of ‘containment’ was first formulated by the US strategist George Kennan in 1947, when the Soviet Iron Curtain had come clanking down, and every word in the Soviet press was a sabre rattling with deafening noise.

“The main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union,” Kennan wrote, “must be that of a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies.” This, Kennan predicted, would “promote tendencies which must eventually find their outlet in either the break-up or the gradual mellowing of Soviet power.”

Well, Soviet power might have broken up, but it has come back as post-Soviet power wielded by history’s most murderous organisation fronted by Col. Putin. Hence the purely defensive doctrine of containment is back on the agenda.

My neighbour isn’t going to leave his doors and windows open and put up a ‘Burglars Are Welcome’ sign. If he’s worried about a break-in, he’s going to put up razor wire instead or perhaps, in a more sophisticated mood, have an up-to-date alarm system installed.

That’s exactly what Aegis Ashore is, an alarm system linked to law enforcement designed to inform about burglaries and stop them in their tracks. Only criminals would take offence at it, and I’m happy Putin has publicly identified himself as one. On, regrettably, a vastly greater scale.



These creatures will say anything

CameronCreatureGeorge Osborne said house prices would collapse should the calamity of Brexit befall. But Dave explained that house prices won’t collapse because houses will. They’ll be swept away by a Third World War, directly Britain reclaims her sovereignty.

These two statements make a valuable addition to the long list of guaranteed disasters: Britain will become a pariah state; no tourists will ever come to see the Tower of London again; the NHS will be no more (is that a threat or a promise?); the Scots will leave (ditto); we’ll never again see Juliette Binoche in our theatres, nor hear Beethoven performed in our concert halls; the City of London will move lock, stock and barrel to Frankfurt; there will be no more Premier League; unable to buy either food or energy abroad, we’ll be left hungry and freezing in the dark; the pound will collapse; we won’t be able to travel to Amsterdam whorehouses; Britain will be inundated with undesirable aliens; and, oh yes, according to our retired spooks we won’t be able to share intelligence information with other European countries, which will lead to a pandemic of terrorism and espionage.

On this last one, the logical inference is that no intelligence data had ever been exchanged before John Major signed our independence away at Maastricht – not through INTERPOL, not through NATO, not even through the Old Boys Network. This sounds a tad counterintuitive but, hey, who are we to argue with retired professionals, or to doubt their integrity?

And who are we to argue with our PM, especially when he illustrates his predictions so convincingly? For example, he cited the conflict in the Balkans as an example of how the EU prevents or shortens wars. Personally, I’d steer clear of that one if I were Dave, but he’s privy to classified information that must be dramatically at odds with what’s in the public domain.

Poor yokels like us only know what they read in the papers, and the picture that emerges from those reports is that of cosmic ineptitude on the part of the EU in handling the bloodshed in Yugoslavia. In fact, one gets the distinct impression that the presence of EU observers and UN troops made the situation far worse than it would have been otherwise.

But Dave wasn’t talking just about the danger of local conflicts. It goes without saying that, if we vote Remain on 23 June, those will sink into oblivion. What the Remain vote will also prevent is nothing short of a global nuclear catastrophe.

This isn’t so much a new theme as a variation on an old one. I’ve heard it from my French friends a thousand times if I’ve heard it once that only the good offices of the EEC/EU have prevented the extinction of all biological life in Europe over the last 70 years.

It was the menacing military might of Luxembourg and Belgium that kept those 50,000 Soviet tanks at bay during the ‘70s. But for the 2,000 tanks that Europe could field at that time, the Soviet steamroller would have stamped Europe into the ground.

And there I was, thinking that NATO, specifically the US nuclear umbrella, had something to do with that, however tangentially. Turns out I was wrong: what saved us was the corrupt bureaucrats in Europe linking arms and issuing a stern NIMBY warning to the corrupt bureaucrats in Russia (for the benefit of the outlanders among you, NIMBY stands for Not In My Back Yard).

Now we must relieve ourselves of – and on – 2,000 years of British political tradition, for otherwise we’ll never be able to combat the growing threat of what Dave called a “newly belligerent Russia”.

Russia has been belligerent towards Western Europe since at least Elizabethan times, which is to say since she became Russia, as opposed to the Duchy of Muscovy. Putin’s great-great-grandparents weren’t even born when Russia was called ‘the gendarme of Europe’ and ‘the prison of nations’. In fact, British foreign policy was for at least two centuries focused on containing Russia’s aggressive expansion, mainly southwards.

So ‘newly’ doesn’t quite work for me, but ‘belligerent’ does. Putin’s Russia does present a real danger, which needs to be countered. By the same token, a ‘newly belligerent’ Germany presented a real danger throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Dealing with that threat cost us millions of lives, but the people felt that defending our sovereignty was worth such sacrifices.

One doesn’t recall offhand any suggestions put forth at the time that we must relinquish our sovereignty the better to protect it. It was felt that an ad hoc wartime alliance would work better, not to say less self-refutingly. Hence in both World Wars Britain managed to find herself on the winning side without succumbing to the urge to become a French province or an American state.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: how pathetically weak must the Remain case be for its proponents to resort to such moronic, ignorant and cynically mendacious arguments. But let me tell you, if these creatures carry the day, that’ll prove that we as a nation don’t deserve to stay independent – or indeed alive.