Yes, but what KIND of One Nation?

When a prominent Leftie supports a Tory idea, my first instinct is to see what’s wrong with the idea.

Boris Johnson, preaching One Nation conservatism

That impulse was activated by the news that the next Archbishop of York, the Right Rev Stephen Cottrell, has declared his backing for Boris Johnson’s One Nation rhetoric.

That such a man should be nominated for the second-highest post in the Anglican Church is par for the course.

After all, the top post, that of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is held by a left-wing oil trader with an uncertain grasp of doctrine, while the third-highest position, that of the Bishop of London, is occupied by a woman who champions LGBT causes.

Now, I’m aware of the theological arguments in favour of female ordination. I disagree with them, but I do know they exist. Yet that has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

For it’s not for theological or, God forbid, revealed reasons that the C of E began to ordain and consecrate women. It did so because it consistently strives to cling to the coattails of any secular trend, no matter how perverse, that makes a big splash in the high-rent parts of London.

Hence His Grace fills the bill perfectly. He became a Christian after watching a TV mini-series about Jesus, and we have the director Franco Zeffirelli to thank for that epiphany. Looking at his biography, no one could have guessed he was an evangelist at heart.

That Damascene experience, along with his education at a secondary modern, establishes the Rt Rev Stephen’s credentials as a man of the people. None of those elitist seminaries and Oxbridge doctorates of divinity for him.

His Grace is in favour of giving church land to travellers, thereby turning consecrated ground into stinking, crime-infested cloacae. He also thinks Britain’s nuclear deterrent is “an affront to God”, which theo-strategic insight he must have gained at the Polytechnic of Central London where he completed his education.

And of course he’s in favour of diversity in the Church. Because he isn’t happy with the proportion of minority and female priests, His Grace regards the Church as “borderline racist” and presumably misogynist.

Hence he must have sleepless nights at the thought that the archbishop he replaces is actually black. But perhaps a vociferous commitment to diversity can propitiate that particular sin.

If the Church hasn’t enough diversity, His Grace feels that the country at large has too much. Not racial, cultural or sex diversity, mind you – can’t have too much of that. No, the nation is too unequal economically, and, as far as His Grace is concerned, the poor shouldn’t always be with us.

Hence he pledges to “help to address the discrepancies of wealth and opportunity that too often favour the south”. On that basis he supports Mr Johnson’s One Nation plank.

One wonders how His Grace plans to “address” such iniquities (and also “meet the challenge of climate change”) within his remit. It seems more natural for a senior clergyman to devote himself to unifying the nation in Christ, not in regional incomes or the number of wind farms.

However, as a non-Anglican subject of Her Majesty, I’m more concerned with Mr Johnson’s take on One Nation – especially since it attracts support from the likes of His Grace.

Traditionally, a One Nation Tory has meant a Tory wet, a dweller in a political domain where 90 per cent of the Tories overlap with perhaps 20 per cent of Labour (more under Blair, less under Corbyn). One Nation conservatism is one way to describe this domain, but it could be more accurately called paternalistic socialism.

Taking one part of the concept, erasing the income divide between the north and the south, how is it possible to do that, considering, for example, that the City of London alone accounts for about 25 per cent of our GDP?

More specifically, how can a government do that? One possible remedy would be offering lucrative tax breaks and other incentives for businesses, especially manufacturing concerns, either to open in the north or relocate there.

Could, for example, Ford be seduced into making Mondeos not in Belgium but in Liverpool? Would an offer of no corporate tax for, say, 10 years swing it? Perhaps.

But such an offer is unlikely to be made – a modern state flinches at the thought of extorting much less tax. A cosmetic reduction here or there for PR purposes is fine, but not forgoing corporate tax altogether in an expanding area.

In any case, the only specific idea Mr Johnson has mooted so far is starting infrastructure projects in the north, financed by the Exchequer. Now that idea is pure socialism, and it even lacks novelty appeal.

Two other socialists, Roosevelt and Hitler, did exactly that to pull their economies out of the doldrums in the ‘30s. All those autobahns, TVAs and Hoover Dams did have a positive short-term effect, but it was indeed short-term.

Already by the mid-thirties the American economy began to slide down back towards a depression, while Nazi projects put such an unbearable strain on finances that Hjalmar Schacht, head of the Reichsbank, threw fits in front of Hitler.

The American economy was saved by the war, while the Nazi economy was destroyed by it. But the Germans learned their lesson.

They rebuilt their devastated country and produced the ‘economic miracle’ (Wirtschaftswunder for short) not by initiating giant infrastructure projects, nor by pouring public money on the populace, but by pursuing conservative economic, and tight fiscal, policies.

It’s also by such expedients that the ‘Asian Tigers’ pulled themselves out of penury and into prosperity. Their public sector accounts for about 20 per cent of GDP, not twice as high, as it is in Britain, which proportion will grow if the Tories start building their Hoover Dams up north.

Every purposeful attempt to truncate the peaks on income graphs has everywhere succeeded in making people more equally poor, rather than more equally rich. A nation can only be unified not by egalitarian economics but by its shared values, religious and cultural above all.

That, however, isn’t on the cards. The Church of England is haemorrhaging parishioners, which, considering its hierarchy, is no wonder.

And our schools are churning out illiterate fire-eating socialists, which isn’t surprising either. After all, some 75 per cent of the teachers (and one suspects 100 per cent of humanities teachers) voted Labour – and not any old Labour, but the hard-core Trotskyist variety.

That’s where the disunity starts, that’s where the nation divides into two – eventually to become one amorphous, uniform mass. Mr Johnson has his work cut out for him, and the early indications are that he plans to start at the wrong end.

‘Tis the season to shun folly

The Christmas season brings kindly smiles on our faces, which it should, and bien pensant notions into our heads, which it shouldn’t.

Kant didn’t know that, largely because of the Enlightenment, his native city would one day be called Kaliningrad

One such notion is that all religions have so much in common that their differences pale into insignificance. If God is one, why should there be different faiths?

In modern times, this folly goes back to Kant’s ‘universal religion’ based on an innate and universal moral sense towering above the little fideistic constructs people slap together for their own pleasure.

Kant’s ‘universal religion’ goes beyond ‘universal church’. That’s merely Christian ecumenism, the belief that all Christian confessions should come together into a single worldwide ecclesia.

That ecumenism is hopelessly naïve takes nothing away from the underlying noble impulse. Most noble impulses are naïve and impractical, but where would we be without them?

On the other hand, belief in Kant’s “moral law within me” as an umbrella under which all the little differences among religions could be settled to everybody’s smiley satisfaction strikes me as simply wrong.

In general, one observes that those who insist on basic similarity among all religions, and reduce them all to morality, tend not to take any of them seriously. Kant himself was a prime example of that.

For one thing, his universal religion implicitly had no place for Judaism, which Kant described as a “useless old cult displacing true religion”. Since Judaism (or any other creed) couldn’t by definition displace the overarching universal religion, one has to infer that by “true religion” he meant Christianity.

It follows that, to Kant, other religions were untrue, which is to say false. Hence one detects an element of self-refutation in his whole concept of a universal religion.

No such overarching entity could possibly bring together under its aegis both truth and falsehood. Otherwise we’d have to accept that truth simply doesn’t matter, which is indeed the founding presupposition of modernity, but one that has little to do with any religion.

There’s no denying the significance of Kant’s contribution to philosophy, particularly its epistemological branch, but he wasn’t much of a metaphysical thinker. Nor could he use his philosophy to grasp the true nature of modernity, as it was unfolding before his eyes. His ‘practical philosophy’ was at times very impractical indeed.

How Kant really felt about Christianity becomes clear from his comments on the Enlightenment, which he described as “man’s release from self-incurred tutelage”. This is as clear a statement of atheism as one can find this side of Lenin’s League of the Militant Godless.

Such a view of religion also reminds us of the formative influence exerted on Kant by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (“Man was born free but is everywhere in chains”). Rousseau also believed in the innate goodness of the noble sauvage, of which Christendom later deprived him.

Kant correctly identified the predominantly anti-Christian animus of the Enlightenment. The problem was that he welcomed it as deliverance from the self-imposed shackles of faith.

In the same spirit Kant extolled the cutting edge of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution: “…this revolution finds in the heart of all observers the kind of sympathy that borders on enthusiasm.” (Obviously Burke’s Reflections wasn’t on Kant’s reading list, for otherwise he would have known that not “all observers” felt that way.)

The notion of an innate moral sense independent of any beliefs strikes me as false. According to Kant, we are born with our morality the way we are born with our bladders.

This view is hard to accept on many levels, no matter how much one may respect those who also held it, such as Aristotle and Kant’s contemporary Adam Smith.

Here is one objection: it doesn’t explain the cultural, historical and individual differences in concepts of morality. Our bladders have been always and everywhere the same, but what’s moral to one group of people at one time may be wicked to another group at another time.

For example, Plato and Aristotle, both moral philosophers of some note, extolled the virtue of slavery, an institution their contemporaries considered essential but most of us today find abhorrent. (Even if we make allowances for Hellenic slavery being distinctly different from the modern versions.)

One can come up with endless other examples. Unlike Biblical kings or Muslims, we think polygamy wrong. Unlike most of today’s people, most Victorians thought abortion wrong. In the West, the death penalty was considered moral until the mid-twentieth century, at which point it got to be deemed unacceptable in most places.

In other words, if man has an innate moral law within him, this law is oddly flexible: the secular view on what is moral changes from one age to the next, from one society to another and even from one individual to another. Add and multiply all those changes, and Kant’s moral law begins to look more like a transient expedient than a categorical imperative.

As many other such notions, this has to come down to free will: if we believe in God, then it goes without saying that he created morality along with everything else.

However, a man’s choice of a moral path remains free, and different people exercise this freedom in different ways at different times. Our nature is not a moral guide employed in eternity; only God’s nature is. That’s why only religion can provide a universal set of immutable moral criteria.

And anyway, this is the season to celebrate not Kant’s but Christ’s universal religion. The clue is the name: Christmas.

PC realism, new thespian genre

The Guardian sets the stall: “…There is a groundswell of opinion proposing that [LGBT] parts should be given only to actors who identify as LGBT.”

Quoth the Raven ‘Nevermore’.”

This goes without saying for the actor Richard E Grant, but as far as he’s concerned it doesn’t go far enough. He passionately believes that characters who are black, homosexual, disabled or from any other minority, should be played by actors from those backgrounds.

“The transgender movement and the #MeToo movement means how can you justify heterosexual actors playing gay characters?” says Grant, with the characteristic thespian inability to string an unscripted sentence together. “We are in a historic moment.”

We are indeed. And, may I add as a lifelong champion of political correctness, this historic moment must be embraced with both arms – and also both legs, if one is agile enough. However, certain points need clarifying.

One suspects there are more black actors than black roles, so finding a perfect racial fit wouldn’t be hard. The same goes for homosexuals – agents’ books are full of them, so no problem there.

Thus PC realism can still be achieved with ease, even though the demand for both black and homosexual roles is constantly growing. So we are no longer prepared to tolerate outrages like Sir Lawrence Olivier in blackface pretending to be Othello.

However, some unscrupulous straight actors may claim to be homosexual just to land a cushy part – we are all sinners, after all. Hence a validating sex act may become obligatory during a casting session, but this is strictly a technical issue to sort out in due course.

However, I anticipate a problem with casting an actor for the role of Richard III who, courtesy of Shakespeare, is traditionally portrayed as a hunchback. This would require a narrow specialisation because, other than Quasimodo, I can’t think offhand of any other hunchbacked roles.

Perhaps that’s why persons thus deformed tend to shy away from the acting profession, correctly anticipating that their career prospects would be limited. That may create a potential casting conundrum, for it’s now morally wrong to use actors with normal vertebral geometry for such roles.

Perhaps, if guaranteed a starring role in the Shakespeare drama, some actors would be willing to undergo a simple, if irreversible, surgical procedure. Worth investigating, that.

Then one has to think – and decry! – such abominations as John Hurt cast as The Elephant Man and Daniel Day-Lewis as a cerebral palsy sufferer in My Left Foot.

Alas, casting directors looking for PC realism would have had a mighty problem on their hands, especially in the former case. It’s a safe assumption that poor sods with skulls like John Merrick’s are unlikely to become actors.

Cerebral palsy is another potential disqualifying condition for thespians, although Michael J Fox may provide the solution. His disease is severe Parkinson’s, not cerebral palsy, and he retains command of all his limbs. Still, that’s close enough, and next time there’s a need for an actor who can only control his left foot, Mr Fox must be considered.

However, I’ve always championed not only political correctness, but also fairness. So it’s with a heavy heart that I have to admit that this commitment to PC realism doesn’t quite work both ways.

Every play I’ve seen this season on the formerly respectable London stage has featured transvestite, transracial and transsexual cross-casting galore.

The latest play that offended my quest for fairness was Ravens. It’s about the 1972 chess match between Fischer and Spassky, a subject close to my heart as a former chess player.

Quite apart from its unfairness, the play is ineptly acted, poorly directed and atrociously written.

A playwright writing on this subject should at least have taken the trouble to find out that a multi-game chess contest between two players is called a match, not a tournament. And his dialogues are singularly dull and amateurish.

But my main gripe is one I mentioned earlier. The part of Nikolai Krogius, a burly Siberian grandmaster, was played by a dainty black woman who wouldn’t do a good job even playing a dainty black woman.

It’s not as if the part was rewritten to accommodate a woman – not at all. The black actress wore a man’s suit, sported a short (if not quite man’s) haircut and implicitly insisted on being accepted as a Siberian chap. That was pushing make-believe way beyond breaking point.

Then there was Fred Kramer, the macho minder assigned by the US Chess Federation to babysit Fischer. His part was played by a short woman wearing a ginger wig and trying, pathetically, to adopt shoulder-slapping male mannerisms.

Confusingly, the same actress also played another role, that of Fischer’s older female friend. One was led to accept that Fred Kramer had undergone a sex-change operation between the scenes, even though the available recovery time probably wouldn’t have been long enough.

The part of Vince Lombardi, the Italian-American grandmaster cum priest, was played by a black man, even though I have it on good authority that there’s no dearth of white actors in London. And even one of Italian extraction wouldn’t be hard to find.

There must have been an artistic message communicated there somewhere, but it escaped me. Was it a hint that a part of Lombardi was black? His heart perhaps? No, that couldn’t be it.

Once again, I’m all for PC typecasting, and Stanislavsky with his system can go boil an egg. But if only black men can play black roles, only homosexuals are fit to impersonate homosexuals, and only cripples can be convincing cripples, one struggles to justify a black woman – or even a black man – playing a white male, or in this case two white males (the actor who was Lombardi in one scene became Henry Kissinger in another).

Still, I have only myself to blame. Fascinated by the subject of Ravens, I bought the tickets without bothering to check the cast. So it was myself that I was cursing as we rushed for the exit after Act I. Never again.

Socialism did win the argument

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

Moral victory then, Jeremy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s Jews who elected the Tories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PHEW!!! Thank you, Britain

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

And thank you, Boris

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Surely not?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Racism is a BAD THING

So are, in no particular order:




-Fossil fuels

-Global warming denial

-LGBT-phobia including homophobia

-Belief that only two sexes exist

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

-Income inequality

-Any other inequality

-Private pensions

-Inherited wealth

-Wealth produced by investments

-Any other wealth


-Rich bastards

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

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

-Insistence that those who can should pay their way

-Toff accents and toffs in general

-Private medicine

-Private schooling

-Private enterprise

-Private anything

-Clubs that don’t admit women

-Low taxes

-Israel and Jews in general


-Big corporations

-Small businesses




-Devouring carcasses of murdered animals

-Reducing immigration


-Defence spending


-America, the part between Canada and Mexico

-The entire Western history

-Brexit, perhaps – then again, perhaps not

-Religion (except Islam)


-House of Lords

-Any war waged by Britain

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

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

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

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

-Greta Thunberg

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

-Saving our planet

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

-The NHS


-LGBT (add your own letters)

-Socialism (ideally Marxism or, specifically, Trotskyism)

-Banning public schools

-Banning private medicine

-Public ownership of the means of production


-Hamas, Hezbollah and IRA

-Disarmament, unilateral if must be

-Social housing

-Multiculturalism and racial diversity


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

-Wind and solar power

-Working classes, especially if they are out of work

-Strikes, preferably general

-Vegetarianism, ideally veganism

-Union power

-Brexit, perhaps – then again perhaps not

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

-High public spending financed by borrowing

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

-Third World

-Atheism (except for Muslims)

-Scottish independence, if Nicola votes the right way


-Any war waged on Britain

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

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

Equality of opportunity, anyone?

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

Perfect equality, achieved

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exclusive interview with Boris Johnson

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

Brexit and Carrie: both are getting done

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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