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ECG? ICU? BLM?

If you still harbour doubts about the true mission of the NHS, this should dispel them. And if you think its main business is treating patients, this should disabuse you of that misapprehension.

Something is missing, don’t you think?

The staff of this saintly – no, scratch that, I mean divine – institution is now being offered training on Black Lives Matter, as one of the highlights of its extensive curriculum of diversity.

The articles I’ve read on the subject make it unclear whether attendance is elective or compulsory. If it’s the former, I think the government is displaying wishy-washy, weak-kneed liberalism. NHS wokers must spend on such training most of the time left over from filling in hundreds of forms.

What can be more important for a doctor or a nurse than learning about the BLM version of Marxism? Surely not all that recondite medicine?

Anyway, before even reading more about this programme, I’m so aroused (no, not that way, you perverts) that I’m hereby offering my services as one of the tutors. After all, if the course is designed to elucidate the “history, guiding principles and messages of BLM”, I’d like to think that my credentials are unimpeachable.

Ever since BLM first set America on fire, I’ve been writing regularly about it. My last contribution to the study of this vital subject came less than a fortnight ago: http://www.alexanderboot.com/my-apologies-to-the-queen/

Having got this hasty job application out of the way, I’ve decided to read on. After all, the first pupil a teacher must educate is himself.

Turns out this invaluable programme covers such rubrics as “white privilege, unconscious bias and authentic allyship”. Mercifully, the first two terms are straightforward.

White privilege means that, when it comes to emptying patients’ bedpans, white nurses are in the front of the queue. They are administratively empowered to push differently coloured colleagues out of the way, thereby quashing their ambitions for career advancement.

‘Unconscious bias’, on the other hand, has puzzled me at times, which probably means I myself suffer from that disorder. As I understand it, and please correct me if I’m wrong, many white people may be racists without realising it.

Hence, the purpose of the course must be turning unconscious into conscious – and then eradicating it. That’s like some lines of a poem haunting your mind day and night. The best way of handling that problem is to write them down on a piece of paper and then tear it up.

Of course, there’s always the danger that, once made cognizant of his deep-rooted racism, the pupil may quite like it. Suddenly, he may replace his amiable civility towards his chromatically different colleagues with frequent references to the shape of their noses, the thickness of their lips, the size of their genitalia or their rapacious appetite for bananas.

That’s where the art of teaching comes in. A teacher must not only convey the relevant facts, but also inculcate his pupils with the moral values derived therefrom. Again, if you look at my CV, you’ll know that inculcation of moral values figures prominently.

Now, the meaning of the third subject, ‘authentic allyship’, escaped me altogether. I had to look it up on the Authentic Allyship website, only to find out that much of this subject is too subtle for me to grasp.

I did learn that “Allyship can often fall into this bracket of performativity without us realising it”, which I understood to be a bad thing. Down with performativity, I say, even though I haven’t a clue what it is.

Not to worry: true knowledge may be negative as well as positive. Just consider apophatic theology, approaching God not from what he is, but from what he isn’t. Jumping on that train of thought, if my job application succeeds, I hereby foreswear the whole “bracket of performativity”, whatever it is, into which authentic allyship may fall to its detriment.

Apparently, the new course will describe BLM as a “healing” movement, which is an interesting multi-layered metaphor if I’ve ever seen one. Since BLM’s modus operandi focuses on torching commercial buildings, this evokes the image of a cauterised wound, with bleeding stopped by applying extreme heat, usually fire.

In the course of this welcome programme, NHS wokers will learn to look at its practices through a “BLM lens”, thereby “fuelling better racial equity in the health service”. Hear, hear.

What can fuel racial equity better than forcing white doctors and nurses to take the knee and, if they manifest their unconscious bias by refusing, beating them up or, in truly incorrigible cases, necklacing them? (It’s that hidden fiery metaphor again, I hope you appreciate this.)

One plank in the BLM programme that I would focus on is its commitment to defunding the police. Since the NHS suffers from a chronic lack of finance, this initiative would hit two birds with one stone.

First, it would abolish the police, consumed as it is with unconscious bias and cravings for white supremacy. Second, it would free up the funds that could then be channelled into the NHS, where they’ll be put to good use by expanding diversity departments at all hospitals.

As it is, many hospitals have cut the number of beds to accommodate Directors of Diversity with their six-figure salaries, and not necessarily low six figures either. You’ll agree that anyone blessed with the title of Director must have a large staff reporting to him, and the new initiative will solve this problem.

It’s not enough for Directors of Diversity being able merely to optimise facilitation and facilitate optimisation. They must also be able to compartmentalise and departmentalise, and clearly BLM training deserves its own department, or compartment if you’d rather.

Such expansion will eventually help Diversity, with its BLM, Homophobia and Misogyny subdivisions, replace the more customary ECG, ECU, Traumatology, Endocrinology or what have you. I’m sure the road signs one sees in all hospitals are already being amended to that effect.

And if you can’t read the signs, just ask the chap at the information desk for directions to BLM. He’ll be happy to help.

P.S. I don’t understand why we have Kwasi Kwarteng as Business Secretary. Doesn’t this ministry rate a real Kwarteng?

The joke is on Johnson

It’s perfectly acceptable for Her Majesty’s first minister to crack jokes, provided he doesn’t become one himself.

Boris Johnson, speaking at the UN General Assembly

Alas, Boris Johnson is rapidly becoming just that, a broad joke, a Monty Python caricature of a bumbling Englishman without much of a clue about anything. The latest step in that direction came yesterday, when, speaking of the French reaction to AUKUS, he addressed Manny Macron with a Franglais spoof.

Prenez un grip about this and donnez-moi un break,” he said. That’s neither clever nor funny, Prime Minister. Yes, I sometimes resort to a similar trick myself, in light-hearted pieces about Macron. But what’s allowed in a jocular article by a man who represents no one but himself doesn’t belong in a speech by a politician who statutorily speaks for the whole country.

If I were Macron, I would have told Johnson to go baiser himself, but of course Manny is cut from the same gossamer cloth, if with a hole where a sense of humour ought to be.

That buffoonery came in the wake of Johnson’s trip to Washington, where he played supplicant to Joe Biden.

Approaching foreign powers with an outstretched hand and an Oliver Twist mien ill-behoves a British prime minister. Britain may not be a great power any longer, but she’s still a great nation that deserves better than being publicly humiliated. And make no mistake about it, a prime minister assuming a prostrate position demeans not just himself but all of us.

Mr Johnson can bang on till the buffaloes come home about the special relationship we supposedly have with the US, but that’s a fiction – especially when the US president happens to be a leftie halfwit whose policy towards Britain is informed by the burred voice of his Irish blood.

An interesting question: How would Johnson respond if Biden told him that the price of a trade deal was a united Ireland? What would he say after his usual complement of gollies and crikeys? I can’t offer an interesting answer, but I’m fast learning to expect the worst.

Having emerged from Washington empty-handed, Johnson hopped over to New York where he played the latest Carrie On film to a UN audience. There he re-emphasised his newly acquired credentials as an eco-maniac.

Turning on his knack for metaphoric flourishes, the PM spoke urbi et orbi of the urgent need to “blow out the candles of a world on fire”. To that effect, all foreign leaders must follow his example by undertaking first to impoverish their people and then to beggar them. Trying to blow out the candles of a world on fire, they’ll punch its lights out.

Playing the buffoon again, Johnson referred to the Muppets, making himself sound like one. He cited Kermit the Frog’s song, insisting that it’s “easy being green”. That wisecrack doesn’t work even on its own puny terms: Kermit was green originally, while the modern economies weren’t.

As to the word ‘easy’ in that context, Johnson should take the trouble of thinking before opening his mouth. His pipe dream of zero carbon emissions by mid-century is just that, a pipe dream. Any attempt to make it come true may be described by various adjectives: self-destructive, foolhardy, ignorant, deleterious, insanely woke – choose your own.

One adjective that definitely doesn’t belong in this sequence is easy – unless, of course, Johnson thinks that converting Britain from an agricultural economy to an industrial one was a doddle. But at least, first Britain and then the rest of the West suffered the excruciating pains of the Industrial Revolution for a self-evident promise of future economic benefits.

However, the reasons for the green revolution our eco-sceptic turned eco-zealot is touting are solely political, and politically correct. Its consequences will be catastrophic or rather, in all likelihood, near-catastrophic.

Reality is bound to shove harsh truths down ministerial throats, forcing their woke owners to dismount their hobby horse in mid-gallop. They’ll realise that a real disaster is looming on the horizon, not its mirage. One can only hope that by then it won’t be too late.

Towards the end, our aspiring muppet blithely dismissed both Testaments in one sentence: “We still cling with part of our minds to the infantile belief that the world was made for our gratification and pleasure and we combine this narcissism with an assumption of our own immortality.”

The first part of that “infantile belief” comes from Genesis, while the whole New Testament communicates the second part, the promise of immortality. As a student of history, Johnson must realise the formative significance of those scribbles to our civilisation, both broadly Western and parochially British. After all, our current head of state was anointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury – even if the next one may well be blessed by Greta Thunberg.

“My friends, the adolescence of humanity is coming to an end,” concluded the muppet, proving yet again that weakness of character nullifies such incidentals as learning and cleverness.

Johnson should take his own advice and grow up. Being a man involves more than just an ability to father children on either side of the blanket.

P.S. A friend of mine suggested the other day that, if Greta Thunberg shows her face in Britain after the harsh winter we are facing, she’ll be torn apart limb from limb. We both agreed that such an outcome would justify any deprivation.

What’s your definition of radicals?

The term used to describe marginal political extremists, especially those who didn’t mind expressing their insane ideas with pistols and bombs.

Now, if you believe Daniel Finkelstein of The Times, it stands for conservatives, especially those who believe in God. That lexical reassessment appears in the context of his article about assisted dying, which he considers “a modest and popular step”.

Therefore those who oppose it are immodest and unpopular radicals – because, in his own words, they resist “a radical change, a break with hundreds of years of law-making, philosophical principle and medical practice… the abandonment of common morality.”

The lexical acrobatics of the modern political nomenclatures clearly require the kind of agility I don’t possess. But I think I get it: a radical is one who resists a radical change.

If I understand Lord Finkelstein right, those wishing to overturn hundreds of years of legal, philosophical and moral tradition are sensible reformers, while those who think such things are worth keeping are dangerous radicals. To my ossified mind, it’s the other around, which I suppose makes me as radical as they come, radically speaking.

He then replaces verbal acrobatics with veritable contortionism by bending himself into all sorts of unlikely shapes in an attempt to distinguish between “assisted suicide” and “assisted dying”. These semantic subtleties escape me altogether, though I do grasp the general gist that “assisted suicide” is radical, whereas “assisted dying” is modest and popular.

I do agree with Lord Finkelstein when he says that: “Political minds change slowly but the change is all in one direction.” Where we diverge is in our assessment of this one direction. He sees it as commendable; I see it as vectored towards perdition.

Lord Finkelstein favours straight talk and declares war on euphemisms. “Assisted suicide” is an especially objectionable euphemism: “For the people who use the term suicide to describe assisted dying don’t really believe assisted dying is any kind of suicide. They believe it is murder.”

Remarkably, not a single word of the 1,120 in his article even touches upon the Judaeo-Christian origin of our civilisation, whence all those philosophical, moral and legal ideas come. I understand that Lord Finkelstein has no time for such arcana, but one doesn’t have to be a believing Jew or Christian to be able to identify the kernel of this matter.

The clue is provided by this dialogue from Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel Master and Margarita. While interrogating Jesus, appearing as Ha-Nozri, Pontius Pilate demands that he swear he isn’t a subversive.

“What do you want me to swear by?” asked the unbound prisoner with animation.

“Well, let us say by your life,” said the Procurator. “This is just the time to swear by it, for it hangs by a thread – you must know that.”

“And is it your belief that you have hung it so, Hegemon?” asked the prisoner. “If so, you are very mistaken.”

Pilate started and spoke through his teeth:

“I can cut this thread.”

“There, too, you are mistaken,” said the prisoner with a luminous smile, shielding himself from the sun with his hand. “You must agree that the thread can surely be cut only by him who had hung it?”

At the heart of the hundreds of years of tradition evidently despised by Lord Finkelstein lies the belief Bulgakov here conveys artistically. Since it’s God who gives life, only he is entitled to take it.

Hence, suicide, assisted or otherwise, indeed isn’t murder. It’s worse.

For, by taking a life or any number of them, a murderer merely defies one of the Commandments. By taking his own life, on the other hand, a suicide defies God altogether.

By rejecting God’s dominion over his life, he kills not only himself, but God within himself, thereby putting himself above God. That’s why suicides were traditionally denied a Christian burial, but murderers weren’t.

Thus, the issue of assisted dying becomes the battlefield on which two civilisations clash: the Judaeo-Christian one, based on the assertion of certain principles, and the modern one, based on their negation.

Lord Finkelstein is right though: it’s the latter that’s winning, for now. What is astounding is that he ignores the Judaeo-Christian argument altogether, without even bothering to take issue with it. This says much not just about him, but about the modernity he extols – crass and inane materialism is taken as a self-evident truth.

Lord Finkelstein then goes into a boring discussion of casuistic details, specifically of how a private member’s bill, such as the one to that effect currently submitted, can clear parliamentary hurdles. His conclusion is that sooner or later it will, because most people support it.

Lord Finkelstein thereby commits another fallacy, called argumentum ad populum: insisting that something is true because the majority thinks so. The whole modern civilisation is based on this fallacy, courtesy of what Ortega y Gasset aptly called “revolt of the masses” almost 100 years ago.

For all his shunning of rhetorical conventions, Lord Finkelstein is right: the masses are indeed revolting. Using another Latin-named rhetorical device, reductio ad absurdum, the majority prefers Lennon to Bach, Coronation Street to Shakespeare and three-word sound bites to Lord Finkelstein’s prolix musings.

There is little he can do about restoring Bach’s and Shakespeare’s popularity, but, to be true to his principles, he ought to relinquish his position at The Times and start twitting short messages ending with LOL.

But I’d still insist that he sort out his terminology. If a decent, church-going gentleman is a radical, then there is something wrong with Lord Finkelstein’s nomenclatures. Not with the gentleman.

Ready to freeze hungry in the dark?

If you still doubt that intellectual and moral folly can produce tangible practical disasters, consider the looming energy crisis.

Coming this winter: new Carrie On disaster movie

Sorry, did I say ‘looming’? No, the crisis is already upon us, escalating out of sight. Some analysts are already uttering macabre predictions, along the lines of the title above.

Even people who have never read a line of Shakespeare (or, for that matter, Steinbeck) are talking about “the winter of our discontent”. Alas, there is no sun of York rising to turn the gloom into a glorious summer.

Those who eschew literary references invoke the 1973 three-day-week debacle brought to Britain courtesy of another incompetent Tory government. This seems to be a distinct possibility this winter, which would work wonders for the economy, especially against the backdrop of a new lockdown.

Dozens of small energy companies are already going to the wall, with the magic words ‘government bailout’ wafting through the air. Assuming that it happens, who do you think will bear the brunt of such charity? But of course. The government will offset its generosity by new tax raids on the grateful public, a stratagem well-rehearsed and fine-tuned.

At the heart of the crisis is wokery, an urgent desire to signal virtue by touting the global warming hoax as man-made reality. When that canard first began to flap its wings, any sensible statesman should have asked two vital questions. First, is it true? (No, is the scientifically unimpeachable reply.) Second, what can we do about it? (Nothing.)

Yet successive British governments, including the one fronted by Mr and Mrs Johnson (you decide who is functionally which in that marriage), have proved that both sensibility and statesmanship are extinct in our government. Rather than thinking of bono publico, they’ve concentrated on their own bono, understood as an ability to outwoke one another.

To be fair, our government isn’t the only one. All the wokers of the world stand united in this idiocy, ready to sacrifice the wellbeing of the people at the altar of pernicious ideology. Never in history have so many been sacrificed by so few for something so nebulous.

I shan’t repeat myself, or rather the serious scientists I tend to quote, by restating the arguments that shoot down the canard of anthropogenic global warming. But the eggs laid by that bird are worth smashing one by one.

The ultimate goal stated by the Johnsons is to eliminate carbon emissions altogether. That means getting rid of fossil fuels, replacing them with sun and wind, the fickle energy sources predating the Industrial Revolution.

Since our economy post-dates the Industrial Revolution, it’s driven by just such fuels: oil, gas and coal. The only currently practical alternative to hydrocarbons is nuclear but, courtesy of hysterical left-wing propaganda, it’s invariably seen against the backdrop of Hiroshima. This, though no one in the West has ever died as a result of an accident at a nuclear plant.

Hence both Germany and France are phasing out their nuclear power stations, leaving a gaping hole in their energy supplies (in France, up to 80 per cent of all energy is nuclear-generated). Since six per cent of our energy is mainlined from France, the tremor of that tectonic shift is reaching us too.

Yet our indomitable PM, the star of the Carrie On films, isn’t going to pay attention to such mundane matters. He wants to look good at parties with his wife’s friends, who are rapidly becoming his as well.

To that end, he has committed Britain to the patently unachievable goal of replacing all normal cars with electric Go Carts by 2030. Meanwhile, he is hanging on to the 23 per cent ‘green’ levy on domestic gas, which would hurt most people even by itself.

But this tax grab isn’t doing its destructive work by itself. It’s amply complemented by Col. Putin, thanks to whose price fixing gas is now 250 per cent dearer than it was in January.

Now, Putin’s government is a self-avowed enemy of the West. Hence, it takes irresponsibility bordering on treason to allow Russia to weaponise energy, using her oil and gas for political blackmail. One would think Western leaders would bang their heads together, trying to figure out how to knock that weapon out of their enemy’s hands.

Instead, they are doing exactly the opposite. The EU, tacitly supported by the Biden administration, is pushing aside every barrier in the path of the new Russian gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2. When it starts operating, Germany, to name one EU member, will get practically all her gas from Russia, as opposed to the current 49 per cent.

The present tensions with France ought to have alerted the Johnsons to the danger of relying even on friends for the supply of a vital strategic resource. As to relying on enemies, I’m not sure I can find polite words to describe that death wish.

Here we get two idiocies for the price of one. Idiocy One: Europe, including, if only vicariously, the UK, is increasingly dependent for its energy on a hostile foreign power. Idiocy Two: this, though there is no need for such dependence.

Parts of Europe, including Britain and especially France, have practically unlimited deposits of shale gas underfoot. This resource, however, remains untapped – first, because hydrocarbons are the work of the anti-woke devil; second, because extracting shale gas by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is seen as yet another blow in the face of ‘our planet’.

The Johnsons must have played truant when science was taught at their schools. Had they been present and correct, they’d be more cautious in their campaign to eliminate every molecule of  CO2 from Britain’s ‘green’ and therefore increasingly unpleasant land.

Not only does carbon make up some 18 per cent of human body mass, it’s also essential for every form of biological life. Periods of the greatest prosperity in history have coincided with high levels of carbon emissions, which make plants grow more plentiful and luxuriant.

Shortages in CO2 emissions, on the other hand, have always led to famines. I doubt that a real famine is on the cards this winter, but our chemical plants are already struggling to produce enough carbon-based fertilisers.

If energy prices double by this winter, as most experts confidently predict they will, low agricultural yields and the suffering of the transportation industry will combine to produce food shortages. How severe I can’t tell, but one already has to display more creativity than before trying to replace essential ingredients disappearing from supermarket shelves.

In spite of that, the Johnsons are steadfast in their refusal to get rid of the ruinous green levy. As to accepting that their whole green agenda is as foolhardy as it is incidious, this would be akin to a pious Muslim agreeing that there is a God other than Allah, and Mohammad isn’t his prophet.

The current situation, claim the Johnsons against both logic and empirical evidence, won’t hurt the people. No? Well then, perhaps they should consider rat poison instead.

Corbyn and Xi sing in unison

Each time I rant and rave about Boris Johnson, which is about every day, I say the magic word. The decibel level drops instantly, and the piercing screams turn into muted moans.

None dare call it treason

That magic word is ‘Corbyn’. For Chairman Jeremy came within a whisker of becoming PM in 2019. Had the Tories come up with a less charismatic leader than Johnson, Britain could have been stuck with an evil communist government – rather than one merely woke, unprincipled and incompetent.

For make no mistake about it: Chairman Jeremy is a rank communist, and only the low street cred of the actual Communist Party stopped his party affiliation going with his heart. Since one can’t win elections standing as a communist candidate, Corbyn became what his idol Lenin called a ‘legalist’.

The term describes a communist who decides that, rather than acting as a wrecking ball trying to demolish the West violently, he should work as a termite, slowly eating away at its foundations from within. Legalist communists participate in Western institutions the better to undermine them and, in Britain, they tend to become Labour or, at a pinch, LibDems by way of subterfuge.

The word ‘nuclear’ has the same effect on Chairman Jeremy as the word ‘culture’ had on Dr Goebbels. That is, when the word is used in a Western context. He has no problems with nuclear energy or even weapons – provided they are wielded by the communist enemies of Britain.

Hence he made no indignant noises about China arming herself with nuclear warheads, bombs and submarines. But the moment the US and the UK agreed to supply Australia with such submarines, Corbyn’s face turned the colour of his beloved flag.

The AUKUS pact, he screeched, is a start of “a new Cold War”. That, he explained, “will not bring peace, justice and human rights to the world.”

That, actually, is true. Weapon systems of any kind aren’t designed to pursue those lofty goals. They can, however, protect countries that already have such wonderful things from falling prey to foreign tyrannies.

In this case, the immediate aim of AUKUS is to give Australia more tools to defend herself against the dominant power in the region. That happens to be one of the most evil regimes ever to curse the world: communist China.

The long-term goal goes beyond Australia’s self-defence. AUKUS is effectively a military bloc put together to contain or, that failing, repel China’s aggression against Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and of course Australia.

Now, the Chinese are by natural disposition traders, not military aggressors. That’s how they used to be traditionally known in Asia. But communism rides roughshod over tradition.

Thus, just a few months after they grabbed power in 1949, the Chinese communists attacked South Korea, with millions of their ‘volunteers’ pouring over the 38th parallel when it looked that Americans would overrun China’s North Korean clients. The Soviets helped every step of the way, with ‘Stalin’s falcons’ flying their Migs in combat.

At the same time, Corbyn’s typological American equivalents at the Institute for Pacific Relations, a transparent Soviet front, whipped up pro-communist propaganda at home. China was portrayed as a progressive force for good in Asia, whereas her enemies were Cold War jackals jeopardising peace in the world. Due to that combined effort, the best the US-led coalition could get out of the war was a draw.

It’s reassuring to see how faithfully today’s Chinese communists, along with Corbyn (born again Owen Lattimer, the Soviet spy at the head of the Institute for Pacific Relations), toe exactly the same propaganda line.

China, being a communist country, is by definition a seeker of peace. Communist countries, you understand, never attack anybody, they just defend themselves in a preemptive way. Whereas AUKUS, according to China’s foreign ministry, “seriously undermined regional peace and stability”.

The US, UK and Australia, threatened its spokesman, had better abandon their “outdated Cold War zero-sum mentality.” Otherwise they would “only end up shooting themselves in the foot”.

The original Cold War started immediately after the post-war euphoria of alliance was ended by Stalin’s aggressive stance. In 1946 Churchill made his famous Fulton speech, in which he used the term ‘Iron Curtain’, first coined in 1918 by the Russian philosopher Rozanov.

In 1947, Stalin’s army blockaded West Berlin, triggering the greatest airlift of humanitarian aid in history. The Cold War was under way, provoked by Russian communists and cheered on by an army of fellow travellers in the West.

Stalin’s Maoist allies, at that time merely vassals, immediately began to threaten Taiwan, where Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalists entrenched themselves after Mao’s victory. When I was a little child, all Soviet papers were gleefully publishing China’s incessant ‘final warnings’ to Taiwan.

Even at age four, I couldn’t quite understand what was going on. To me, there could be only one final warning, not one numbered 162. I don’t know if that sequence is still continuing, but there’s no doubt that China is gearing up for an invasion of Taiwan.

To that end, the Chinese have built one of the world’s biggest navies, including nuclear submarines that so excite Chairman Corbyn when Australia seems likely to get them. China’s fleet also includes over 200 landing craft, some of them giant ships able to carry swarms of soldiers across high seas.

One assumes that Chairman Corbyn believes that, unlike AUKUS, this vast force is there to “bring peace, justice and human rights to the world”. Whereas anyone who resists it is a Cold War monger daydreaming about a nuclear catastrophe.

The spirit of Munich combines in Corbyn’s lungs with Trotskyist miasma to produce a foul emission of enmity to the West in general and Britain in particular. Just to think that we came close to having that ghoul at 10 Downing Street (all in the name of Western democracy of course).

P.S. Speaking of communists, yesterday marked the 82d anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland. Thus Stalin entered WWII on Hitler’s side… pardon me, struck a blow for “peace, justice and human rights to the world”. 

Prince Will made me scared

Petrified, actually. Panic-stricken. Trembling with fear. Although perhaps it wasn’t exactly the kind of fear he was hoping to induce.

How do you know he’s talking rubbish? His lips are moving

HRH feels strongly that ‘our planet’ is rapidly heading for extinction, what he calls a “tipping point”. And we have only ourselves to blame:

“Humans have taken too many fish from the sea. We have cleared too many trees, burnt too much fossil fuel, and produced too much waste. The damage we are doing is no longer incremental but exponential, and we are fast reaching a tipping point…”

I’ll say one thing for HRH: all that expensive education didn’t go to waste, as it did with his brother. So it’s good to see that he can use, even imprecisely, words like incremental and exponential. But I still wonder how Will pictures that tipping point.

I’m sure he sees it as fires of hell fanned by hurricanes, strengthened by eruptions and earthquakes and not put out by floods. In that case, if scare-mongering was his intention, he certainly succeeded with me.

However, unlike him, I’m not scared for ‘our planet’. Over the past millions of years, it has shown an admirable ability to fend for itself. What I’m scared for, perhaps also unlike him, is the future of our monarchy.

For if the history of politics teaches us anything, it’s that redundant institutions tend to die out. My mortal fear is that the upcoming generations of our royal family will kill off the monarchy by making it trivialised, vulgarised and therefore redundant.

Each time any members of ‘the Firm’, other than the Queen and her daughter, open their mouths on any subject whatsoever, I break out in sweat, my limbs begin to shake, my mouth goes dry.

For practically every statement they make regurgitates every woke fad imaginable and spits it out in a constant stream of vulgarity. That by itself wouldn’t be hopelessly deadly if they were the only ones spouting such rubbish. But they aren’t, far from it.

Practically every cabinet member, most MPs of whatever affiliation, most articles in most papers, every TV channel, every pronouncement by yet another functionally illiterate ‘celebrity’ or ‘influencer’ can amply satisfy whatever appetite we may have for woke effluvia.

We don’t need our royals for that, which is bound to raise the inevitable question of what we need them for, full stop. I can only answer that question the way I always do.

The monarchy is the axis around which Britain’s constitutional history revolves. In a world where governments come and go, fashions change, and the world is in constant flux, our monarchy is a factor of constancy. It stands above quotidian politics to tie together generations past, present and future.

To be effective in that capacity the royals must emanate an aura of grandeur, mystique, certain unworldliness if you will. We must always see that they are different from us and, by implication, better than us. If we don’t, if we perceive the royals as being no different from other ‘celebrities’, then their whole mission is compromised, irrevocably so.

They become redundant and therefore superfluous. If that’s the impression they convey, then the republican spirit, never dormant in the more upmarket parts of Britain, can become fully awake and unstoppable.

Whenever the royals try to ingratiate themselves to the woke elites of Islington and Notting Hill, they are on a losing wicket. Woke means socialist, and socialists hate, congenitally and viscerally, the monarchy and everything it represents. No amount of rubbish about tipping points is going to change that.

The more of their mystique the royals cede trying to sound like average Guardian readers, the more perilous the state of the monarchy. People should look up to them, not regard them with disdain.

As to the face value of the meteorological situation that makes Will so despondent, he should make the effort of reading a few serious books on the subject. He’ll find that there’s little reason to see all this climate change brouhaha as anything more than a woke hoax, an expression of ideological discontent.

It’s one arrow in the quiver of hostility to our civilisation, with each trying to kill it by a million pinpricks. And the monarchy is a statutory brace holding the remnants of our civilisation together. The upshot of this is that, if Will doesn’t have anything intelligent to say, the best thing he can do is shut up.

Who knows, that way he may still have a crown to bequeath to Prince George of Cambridge.  

Biden’s speech in full

Last night US, Britain and Australia signed a security alliance to develop an Australian nuclear-powered submarine fleet.

Joe talking to Boris and that fella from Down Under

The announcement was made by Joe Biden, Boris Johnson and Australian PM Scott Morrison in a joint video meeting. All three leaders delivered speeches afterwards, and I was fortunate enough to obtain the full text of Biden’s address. Here it is:

“My fella Americans! Funny, ain’t it? I always call you fella Americans, even though, as Kamala keeps telling me, some of you ain’t fellas at all. Some of you are gals. So from now on I’ll be calling you my fella and gal Americans.

“I’m happy to announce a new deal I signed with the Brit president Boris Whatsisname and that fella from Down Under. Britain and us, we are gonna develop nucular thingamajigs for Down Under, so Down Under can defend itself from that Up and Over commie place.

“Now that Froggish guy Mackerel, he don’t like that deal one bit. Seems like Frogland had a deal going to supply Down Under with diesel whatchamacallits, but Down Under don’t want that deal no more.

“Seems like nucular thingamajigs go fast and stay long, like my wife Brigitte says I used to when I was young. But that Froggish guy Mackerel, he say: “Yo, Down Under! You can’t welsh on the deal, even if some of you are Welsh. We’ll sue your ass till the kangaroos come home for stabbing us in the back.

“And I say: “Yo, Mackerel! Don’t you ever talk to that fella from Down Under that way! He’s my pal, and I ain’t no square from Delaware, even if I am from Delaware. You talk to that fella from Down Under like this, you’ll have me to get through first.

“And tell your wife Jill not to look down her nose on my wife Brigitte. Brigitte is a better gal than any cheese-eating surrender monkey…

“Speaking of that, that Kiwi gal who lives next to Down Under, she don’t want no part of this deal. She say: ‘No nucular thingamajigs will come nowhere near me as long as I live. There’ll be no Kiwi ports for Down Under. And no wines. We don’t want no Kiwis to glow in the dark.

“She’s one ignorant gal. Those nucular thingamajigs are insular, and no nucular stuff ever gets out. But that’s gals for you. Oops, Kamala told me never to say this…”

The official press release on the joint security pact known as AUKUS smoothed out some of the rough edges. It quoted the three leaders as saying: “We will leverage expertise from the United States and the United Kingdom, building on the two countries’ submarine programmes, to bring an Australian capability into service at the earliest achievable date.”

Is China more conservative than the US?

That depends on how you define conservatism: the real, which is to say European, way or the American way.

AOC’s dress says “Tax the Rich”.
She chose the right part of her anatomy to display that message

Defined the real way, conservatism is out to preserve what’s left of Western civilisation. Hence the term is voluminous. It includes aspects of religion, philosophy, culture, law, politics, social structure – and, both last and least – economics.

To most Americans, conservatism means something else. This is understandable. For, as the novelist John Dos Passos once wrote, “Repudiation of Europe, is, after all, America’s main excuse for being.”

There the economic or fiscal aspect is neither last nor least, but topmost, with politics running a distant second.

The traditional Western religion has been disliked and marginalised in America from her founding. And most Americans who call themselves conservative have no truck with effete European culture. As an American conservative, a professor no less, once wrote to me, “You Europeans are welcome to your symphonies and cathedrals. We in America have something much more important.”

He didn’t specify what it was but, if pressed, I’m sure he would have mentioned America’s vibrant economy and commitment to democracy run riot. Having spoken to hundreds of American conservatives, I’d say most share the good professor’s views.

If we persevere with the real definition, then the answer to the question in the title is a resounding no. China has nothing to do with Western conservatism because she is neither Western nor conservative. The country is a disgusting communist tyranny committed to stamp out every shoot of Western civilisation.

However, if we stick strictly to the American concept, then, comparing Biden’s fiscal policies with Xi’s, there’s room for doubt.

The Democrats, led in their inimitable way by Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, have come up with $3.5 trillion spending plans. A big chunk of all those zeros is to be spent on indulging woke fantasies, such as global warming.

Some of those zeroes are to come from large increases in both corporate and personal taxes. The former is to go up from 21 to 26.5 per cent, which, when local taxes are taken into account, means an average of 31 per cent. Had Biden got his way, the figure would be closer to 33 per cent, but the smarter political mechanics within the party managed to get him down.

If acted upon, the plans will bless American businesses with some of the highest corporate taxes in the world. It’s hard to overestimate the power of the blow this will deliver to the economy. For corporations tend to pass their tax burden on to consumers, with the whole economy suffering as an inevitable result.

In a sort of perverse double whammy, top earners will be hit with combined federal and state tax rates of 60 to 62 per cent. Since top earners also tend to be top providers of jobs, this one-two combination may well have a devastating impact. For in our globalised economy glued together by electronic communications, it’s not especially hard for companies and top earners to take their business elsewhere.

The likelihood of them acting in such an unpatriotic manner is high. And if they do, higher tax rates may not even produce higher tax revenues.

That, however, isn’t the point. For the real, underlying purpose of extortionate taxation isn’t economic but punitive. It’s a way for the state to increase its power by punishing economic independence and discouraging its pursuit.

Anyway, the title of this article promised a comparison. So here it is: the top corporate tax in China is 25 per cent, and the top rate of personal income tax is 45 per cent. Hence, if we stick to the American understanding of conservatism, the question is answered.

Compared to President Biden, Chairman Xi is an economic libertarian, a term Americans tend to use interchangeably with conservative. Do you still wonder who will rule the world in a couple of decades?   

Happy 9/11, everyone

No, this isn’t a belated exercise in ghoulish humour, showing yet again my crass insensitivity to human suffering.

9/11, Simferopol

It’s just that 11 September also happens to be some kind of anniversary of the Soviet secret police, called the CheKa at its founding.

You must see that such a glorious day couldn’t be allowed to pass uncommemorated. And sure enough, it wasn’t.

Two statues of the CheKa founder, the ‘Iron’ Felix Dzerjinsky (d. 1926), were unveiled on that festive day. One of them was in Krasnodar and the other, significantly, in Simferopol, the capital city of the Crimea, currently occupied by Dzerjinsky’s heirs.

“The Iron Felix,” explained the FSB spokesman, “didn’t just fight counter-revolution. He also raised the country out of ruin and penury… Thanks to him, two thousand bridges, almost three thousand locomotives and over two thousand kilometres of railway tracks were rebuilt.”

That achievement, grandiose though undoubtedly it was, strikes me as somewhat circuitous. After all, that effort would have been unnecessary had the Bolsheviks, including Dzerjinsky, not plunged the country into a devastating civil war. But hey, credit where it’s due and all that.

In a parallel development, two statues of Heinrich ‘Uncle Heini’ Himmler were unveiled in Germany. “Uncle Heini,” said the government spokesman, “didn’t just run the SS with its death camps. He made an invaluable contribution to the country’s economy by ensuring a steady supply of free labour, and thereby promoting liberty. Arbeit macht frei, doesn’t it?”

Sounds unbelievable? Of course, it does. Germany has repudiated her Nazi past, and neither Himmler nor Hitler nor any other comparable figure is likely to rate a statue there in any foreseeable future.

However, should the German government commit – and then defend – such an outrage, can you imagine the ensuing worldwide din? I wouldn’t be at all surprised if NATO troops moved back in to nip the rebirth of Nazism in the bud.

But the statues to Dzerjinsky are real enough, and nobody cares. After all, the Nazis were just awful, while the Bolsheviks were merely overenthusiastic practitioners of the philosophy widely shared within the vociferous classes in the West. Too much of a good thing, in other words, but the thing was indeed good, no doubt about that.

Yet the Iron Felix easily bettered Uncle Heini’s murderous score, and with fewer years at his disposal. He was the one charged with carrying out the Red Terror, in which at least 15 million were dispatched by various means, including artificial famines.

That makes Dzerjinsky one of the worst mass murderers in history – and one of the darlings of today’s Russian government, almost exclusively staffed with veterans of the very service the Iron Felix founded.

Other dubious figures are undergoing a cultural renascence too. One of them is Alexander Nevsky, about whom I wrote not so long ago. That 13th century prince played lickspittle to the conquering Mongols, while doing his utmost to protect his fiefdom from corrupting Western influences.

In that capacity he suppressed several anti-Mongol uprisings, including the one in Novgorod. That Hanseatic commonwealth was run along proto-democratic lines, trading with her neighbours, rather than trying to rob them.

That had to be stopped, and in moved Nevsky, cutting off various portions of the rebels’ anatomy, gouging their eyes out and killing them in their thousands. Since a somewhat less sanguinary version of euroscepticism is part and parcel of Russia’s current policy, Nevsky is being re-canonised.

To be fair though, neither Putin nor Stalin invented that chap’s saintly image. Nevsky was canonised in 1547, in the reign of another courageous fighter against the West, Ivan the Terrible.

And what do you know, his reputation is also being revised in Russia. Five years ago, Ivan’s statue was inaugurated in the city of Oryol, and the general tenor of media comments on the first tsar is laudatory. He is being portrayed as a strict but fair leader who courageously kept the degenerate West at bay, while ruling Russia with an iron hand.

The iron hand moved by Ivan’s indomitable spirit belonged to Malyuta Skuratov, head of the oprichnina, precursor of the CheKa. Malyuta went Nevsky one better by purging Novgorod even more savagely.

Under his leadership, oprichniki first culled all the Novgorod elders, priests, boyars and merchants. Presaging Stalin, they then also murdered their families, tying babies to their mothers and pushing both under the Volhov ice. The river was stuffed with corpses to the gunwales, and the subsequent epidemics complemented Malyuta’s effort nicely.

Unlike Nevsky, both Ivan and Malyuta used to be seen as evil incarnate throughout subsequent Russian history. Stalin, who saw the Terrible as one of his role models, rehabilitated the tsar, aided in that effort by the Eisenstein film (the director earlier provided the same service for Nevsky). Yet even Stalin didn’t glorify Malyuta.

That oversight was partly corrected the other day by Putin, who these days vouchsafes to the public many an historic insight. The good colonel exonerated Malyuta from the 1569 murder of St Philip, one of the few church hierarchs who defied Ivan’s authority.

Malyuta’s guilt is only one of the versions, explained the newly great historian. The implication was that only a rank Russophobe would besmirch the reputation of that great proto-chekist Malyuta.

Now, Philip’s blood added only a drop to the rapidly congealing rivers unleashed by Malyuta. Why bother absolving him of that one crime? That question can only be asked by someone who doesn’t realise that connotation can be more telling than denotation.

By exonerating Malyuta from this crime by denotation, Putin exonerated him from all crimes by connotation — and himself by implication. Malyuta paved the way for the Iron Felix, that great rebuilder of bridges and locomotives and coincidentally the founder of the sinister organisation responsible for the murder of over 60 million people.  

Nevsky, Ivan, Malyuta, Dzerjinsky and increasingly Stalin are acquiring an iconic status in Putin’s Russia. Well, show me the icons a country worships, and I’ll show you the country.

However, the fair man in me regrets the rotten deal Uncle Heini gets in Germany. Where are his statues, his face on icons? Sauce for the Russian goose should be sauce for the German gander, I say. And don’t you dare disagree.

The art of asking the next question

Thinking is like music. It too has its own technique, structure and harmony that any average person can pick up if pointed in the right direction. Few people can ever be great thinkers, but most can thereby become competent ones.

Thus started Global Warming

Yet they don’t bother. They don’t even realise there is becoming involved, a technique to be learned by lengthy application. No one is born knowing how to play the violin, but everyone is born knowing how to think, goes the popular misconception.

Thus misled, most people waste their whole lives on the cerebral equivalent of trying to play Beethoven sonatas before learning how to finger scales and arpeggios. As a result, their brains produce the cerebral equivalent of cacophony – but they aren’t even aware of it.

One thing they never learn is an essential element of cognitive technique: the art of asking the next question. Thus, even someone like Richard Dawkins, a man burdened with advanced degrees, is capable of writing that Darwin’s theory of evolution “explains everything”.

So it may, if one stops asking questions at some arbitrary point long before a serious explanation is reached. However, asking that next question will show that the real explanation is like a desert mirage: it moves further away the closer one gets.

I was fortunate to stumble on this realisation when I was a little tot growing up with no friends my age. Since my father was banned from living in Moscow, we kept moving from place to place too often for me to develop a social life.

Hence it was my parents who provided the only outlet for my inquisitiveness, my mother willingly, my father reluctantly. He had more important things to worry about, like putting food on the table. But I was relentless, and one dialogue led me to the art of asking the next question.    

“Is there a god, Papa?”

“Do. Not. Be. Stupid. Of course there bloody well isn’t.”

I wouldn’t let him get off scot-free, especially since I was having daily conversations on that subject with my nanny. That illiterate old woman always crossed herself when walking me past the local church converted to a furniture warehouse.

“If there is no God, then who created man?”

“Man originated from the ape. It’s called evolution, and there was this Englishman, Darwin, who proved it conclusively in his book The Origin of Species. You’ll read it when you grow up.”

“And where did the ape come from? The one man originated from?

“From another ape, you know, a lower order of ape.”

“And where did that one come from?”

I’d thus lead Papa all the way down to the amoeba, making him resort to the rhetorical fallacy of telling me I’d find out all those things for myself when I grew up. He was right about that, but the answer to my ultimate next question was provided by neither Dawkins nor Darwin.

The art of asking the next question also comes in handy when dealing with matters transient, not just transcendent. Take politics, for example.

The interrogative chain reaction can be set off by an observable empirical fact, a technique first recommended by Aristotle. The fact in this case is that most of our leaders aren’t qualified to lead.

Yet we dutifully go to the voting booths every few years, hoping that this time things will change. Thereby we walk chin first into the uppercut of Einstein’s terse adage: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

We aren’t insane, Einstein was too harsh there. We simply haven’t been trained in the art of asking the next question. Our minds are so lazy that we accept as axiomatic certain propositions that are so open to questions that the draught of folly blows through unimpeded.

In the case of politics, the questions are as obvious as they are uncomfortable:

  • Are all modern governments becoming more centralised? Yes.
  • Isn’t it true that, the more centralised the government, the more important are the personalities of those at the centre? Yes.
  • If those personalities are consistently inadequate, doesn’t that defeat the purpose? Yes.
  • So how do we consistently end up with inadequate personalities in government? We elect them.
  • What does ‘we’ mean? Whoever is qualified to vote.
  • And who is so qualified? Anyone aged 18 or older, except prisoners serving sentences of over 12 months.
  • About 80 per cent of the population then? Yes.
  • Including those who don’t know the first thing about government and understand even less? Yes.
  • Are such people in the majority? Yes, an overwhelming one.
  • So on what basis do they select their leaders? Usually on the basis of promises the aspiring leaders have no way, nor indeed intention, of keeping.
  • What happens if they break their promises? They are either re-elected anyway or replaced with others whose promises will be broken in the next cycle. That’s called one-man-one-vote democracy.
  • How long has this been going on? With one or two accidental exceptions, at least for a century.

Most people are capable of getting this far, especially if they have no ideological commitment to any particular party. But then comes the art of asking the next question, and few ever dare ask it:

“If the system keeps producing bad results, surely there must be something wrong with the system?”

Serious political thinking and study start with that question. This may lead to an intellectually satisfactory solution or it may not. But if this question is never asked, no such solution will be possible.

Intellectually satisfactory doesn’t of course mean practically achievable – too many unaccountable variables come into play. But no problem can be solved unless it’s properly diagnosed.

The same Socratic art of asking the next question could put paid to any woke fad, such as anthropogenic global warming. The questions could follow this progression:

Is global warming caused by our rapacious consumption of fossil fuels? If so, did it start with the Industrial Revolution, which increased the consumption of such fuels no end? If so, can we assume that there had been no periods of global warming before that time?

That would be it. For, alternating with assorted Ice Ages, there were many such periods, most notably the Roman Warming and the Medieval Warming. Moreover, the Earth has been warmer than it is now for about 80 per cent of its existence, when nobody drove SUVs or used aerosols.

Hence the current interglacial period isn’t caused by SUVs and aerosols. It’s caused by other, natural, factors, and the book Heaven and Earth by Ian Plimer explains them all. Yet no one who hasn’t mastered the art of asking the next question will even think of reading it.

The same trick can work with just about every modern obsession, from sex and racial discrimination to the NHS.

Now, I’m no conspiracy theorist, but could it be that our moron-spewing educational system is specially designed to make sure no one knows how to ask the next question? I wonder.