Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
The Saville report on Bloody Sunday means that the earlier Widgerry report was a pack of lies. We now know that courts of inquiry appointed by the state and conducted by eminent high court judges are not necessarily accurate. Now that the Widgerry report has been exposed as a whitewash we look forward to the Hutton report into the death of government scientist Dr Kelly being overturned.
Ted Heath is dead but Tony Blair is alive and can be held accountable for his actions. Fourteen civilians died on Bloody Sunday in a war being fought on British streets. But a million Iraqis and thousands of allied soldiers were killed in a war that had nothing whatever to do with this country.
Any blame for the events in Derry in 1972 must lie with the government. We cannot dig up Ted Heath but we can blame him for deploying frontline combat troops as policemen. The Paras are not trained in crowd control and should not have been used against civilians. The government was sending a clear message that they were prepared to use force to stop political demonstrations. Bloody Sunday was an unjustified tragedy and a tactical disaster that recruited thousands to the IRA and filled their coffers with donations from Irish Americans.
Eventually the problems of Northern Ireland were solved by dialogue and compromise but only after thousands had been killed on all sides. British Prime Minister Ted Heath was not an imperialist or a sectarian bigot. He originally sent in the army to protect the Catholics from intimidation. But history plays cruel tricks on politicians and the British Army soon became the enemy.
Let’s hope that the Saville report will reinforce the peace process. Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement convicted terrorist were released from custody and some of them now serve as representatives. It must be hard for those who lost loved ones to see former IRA gunmen and Protestant paramilitaries at liberty. Dave Cameron said that it’s painful to work with Martin McGuiness. The Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland probably feels the same way about Cameron but it’s vital that they work together. There was no greater enemy of Sinn Fein than Ian Paisley but his decision to work with them made peace possible.
The spirit of reconciliation also applies to Lt Col Derek Wilford and 1st Battalion the Parachute Regiment. They must be entitled to the same amnesty as former terrorists and paramilitaries. It would be counter-productive to prosecute British soldiers for obeying orders given nearly forty years ago. All sides must keep to the agreement.
The climate change lobby is trying to save the world. Their arguments may not be proven but those of us who remember the suffocating London smogs know that they were stopped by the Clean Air Act of 1956. Before the Act emissions from coal fires and factory chimneys killed thousands of people and blackened our historic buildings. St Paul’s Cathedral is now a beautiful white building but before it was cleaned up its famous dome was blackened by centuries of soot and grime.
Because climate change is a new idea the reactionaries are attacking it and denying that there is any danger. They are going from one extreme to another. Only a fool would advocate unrestricted pollution or the deliberate waste of resources. Gas and oil are too expensive to be wasted. The energy saving campaign is not a sinister plot against British industry but a necessary measure to conserve resources and limit pollution.
Sir Isaac Newton discovered that every action produces a reaction. How right he was. There is a reactionary element in Britain that automatically opposes anything new. It fought against the Gregorian calendar in the eighteenth century and against metrication in the twentieth century. It clings tenaciously to old ways and worn out ideas that would condemn us to stagnation. If we listened to the reactionaries we would be wearing old-fashioned topcoats and black hats like the Amish or the Orthodox Jews. They resisted change and got stuck in the past.
New ideas are not necessarily better but they must be considered. We should balance the old with the new. Societies that do not change become fossilised and those that lose their identity lose everything. We should keep the best of our traditions but we must embrace new ideas and new technologies. European man led the world by exploiting science not by clinging to the past.
Italy emerged from the First World War victorious but badly battered. Benito Mussolini described events his autobiography:
Everything was discussed again. We Italians opened the box of political problems and took apart the social clockwork. We pawed over everything from the Crown to Parliament, from the Army to our Colonies, from capitalistic property to the communistic soviet proposal for the federation of the regions of Italy, from schools to the Papacy. The lovely structure of concord and harmony that we combatants and the wounded had dreamed that we would build after the luminous victory of October 1918 was coming to pieces. The leaves were falling from our tree of idealism.
Britain in the post industrial era is almost as battered and confused as Italy in the Twenties. We too must carefully examine our political and economic systems. We can tackle climatic and demographic problems by the appliance of science, just as we have always done, but we will not overcome adversity by hiding behind tradition, or by pretending that problems do not exist.
It’s normal for young people to hold radical views but as we grow older and wiser enthusiasm often turns to caution. Politicians and journalists in particular abandon their youthful idealism to embrace the Establishment.
Some of us did it in reverse. We started out as deeply conservative young fogies and grew into angry old men. These changes are driven by experience and conditioning. The fact is that we are different people at sixty than we were at sixteen. We know more about the world and we are less trustful of dogma and more inclined towards reason.
It’s not surprising that we change our minds. It would be a strange world if nobody ever changed an opinion in response to new information or circumstances. Enoch Powell was a traditional Conservative who believed passionately in the free market and pioneered the importation of Third World labour into Britain. He was sacked from the Tory party for advising people to vote Labour but he is best remembered for his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech on immigration.
Margaret Thatcher was originally a pro-European because she thought that the Common Market was a grander version of the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce. When she detected signs of ‘federalism’ she quickly changed sides and tried to wreck it. She was an educated woman who had risen to the top by determination and self belief but she had no understanding of history and had exactly the worldview to be expected from the daughter of a provincial shopkeeper.
Some people change their minds a bit too often. Chairman Nick Griffin of the BNP used to edit an Odinist magazine, called The Rune, but he is now a Christian evangelist with a cross in his lapel. He once visited the Islamic revolutionary Colonel Gadaffi in Libya but now he campaigns on the threat of Muslim terrorism. He is also a former Holocaust denier who has embraced Zionism and even supported the ill-fated Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
Chairman Nick does not encourage free discussion but most people have wider perspectives. At a recent meeting of the New Right in London those attending were a mixed bunch united by a love of European civilization and a general distrust of big business. There were representatives of almost every persuasion from eurosceptics to Mosleyites. Powellite Tories had polite conversations with national anarchists and traditionalist Catholics mixed amiably with agnostics.
This is by no means a criticism of the New Right. They maintain a tradition of open debate that is to be commended. The established parties do not split every time somebody has a different point of view. And the coalition government shows that people with different policies can work together. Adults should be able to discuss ideas without falling out. People are not necessarily Reds, traitors, state assets or Searchlight spies because they hold dissenting opinions.
The new coalition government is pledged to cut costs and has invited the public to make suggestions. The big spenders are health, social security and pensions at £350 billion. The next is education at £85 billion. The police and the courts cost £20 billion and we subsidise transport by £18 billion. Grants to Scotland and Wales amounted to £35 billion, the same amount that we spend on local government, interest payments and defence. Last year we spent a staggering total of £586 billion, a quarter of which was borrowed.
When a family of immigrants steps off the plane at a British airport our costs immediately rise. If they find employment, buy a house and pay their taxes we still have to subsidise their health and education. But if they can’t find a job we are obliged to house them and keep them on social security. It would be cheaper to send them home.
We have been borrowing money for over half a century to support this insanity. A case can be made for bringing in highly skilled immigrants who will contribute more than they take from British society. But nobody can justify the mass importation of unskilled and often impoverished immigrants who are bound to be a drain on our depleted resources.
It’s bad enough that we have an unemployable domestic underclass without importing new recruits. The media regularly attacks east European immigrants and accuses them of stealing our jobs. They can get away with insulting Poles because they are white but they would be hauled before the courts if they said a word about Afro-Asian immigrants. Poles and other Europeans usually go home if they can’t find work. Many of them come here to earn a living but keep their contacts at home. But most of the Third World immigrants come here on a one way ticket and have no intention of returning.
We could save billions of pounds by restricting benefits to our own people and deporting unemployed immigrants. We should also deport foreigners who break the law. Then we should end the asylum racket. There are no despotic countries in Europe and there is no reason for asylum seekers to come to Britain when there are plenty of safe countries nearer to them. They should be treated the same as all other economic refugees and refused entry unless they have skills that we need.
No doubt we would fall foul of international opinion and break one or two treaties. But Italy has not been thrown out of the EU for deporting immigrants and nor would we.
There is a growing movement throughout Europe and European descended countries against mass migration from the Third World. Let Britain take the lead in reversing the open door immigration policy that is bankrupting us. Other cash-strapped nations will soon follow our example. In a worldwide recession so-called ‘cheap labour’ is no longer affordable.
The government has promised a defence review as public spending is cut and the situation in Afghanistan goes from bad to worst. The Lib Dem half of the coalition has questioned the renewal of Trident, a missile system bought as a package from America. There is a question mark over control of the system. The Royal Navy insists that there is a British finger on the nuclear trigger but most defence experts think that America retains the firing codes necessary to launch missiles.
In any event it’s unthinkable that we would fire nuclear missiles at an enemy without American agreement. Our troops in Afghanistan are under American command and British forces in Germany belong to Nato.
The last time that our armed forces acted independently was in the Falkland conflict but even that was with American approval. Ever since the Suez fiasco in 1956 our forces have been used to support American foreign policy. Harold Wilson managed to keep us out of Vietnam but we were shamefully involved in the bombing of Serbia and the wanton destruction of Iraq. This ‘special relationship’ would have gone on forever if we had not run out of money.
But good can come out of bad. Our need to cut costs will force us to stop pretending to be an independent world power. Our armed forces are brave and efficient but we cannot afford to keep a high seas fleet or maintain bases around the world. We need a defence force for our own protection but we can’t go on helping America to invade any nation with worthwhile resources. American is learning that having a world empire requires constant vigilance and sacrifice; a lesson that Britain and France learned long ago.
When Dave Cameron has his defence review he must look at the big picture and not be sidetracked by service chiefs who would spend our last penny on defence. The Cold War is over and it’s time for us to take a fresh look at our place in the world. Sixty five years after the war we still have 56,000 servicemen stationed in Germany and elsewhere in Continental Europe. We would need at least twenty times as many men to keep the Germans under control or to stop a Russian invasion. If they are not there for those reasons then why are they there and what are they supposed to be doing apart from wasting money?
In Cyprus we have 3,500 servicemen based at Akrotiri and Dhekelia. These are ‘sovereign’ bases left over from the days of empire. It was vital in those days to protect the Suez Canal and the sea route to India. But the British Empire is long gone; we must restructure our forces for current circumstances.
Afghanistan is a failed state divided between warring tribes that have been at each other throats for hundreds of years. The Russians lost 15,000 men trying to pacify the country before they gave it up as a bad job in 1989. Everybody knows that we are going to pull out eventually so there’s no need to wait. Every week we suffer casualties in what is clearly a pointless and unwinnable war. Dave Cameron should bring our troops home right away.
General Election Results
State of the Parties : Share of the Votes & Seats
% Share of Seats
% Share of vote
% Change in share of vote
This data has been copied from the Daily Telegraph website to convince doubting correspondents that my statement in NR # 68 was correct. I said that the far-right got 5% of the vote in the general election. The BNP got 1.9% and UK Independence Party got 3.1%. In the 338 seats that the BNP contested they averaged 4%.
Most countries using PR systems have a threshold of 5%; on that basis the far right would not have won any seats. They have only been successful when a constituency based PR system has been used, such as the Euro election and the GLA election. They might therefore do well in next year’s elections for the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly. These will be run on PR within super-constituencies.
But if they want to gain parliamentary representation they should ditch their antiquated policies and join the twenty first century. Winston Churchill and the Battle of Britain mean little to the younger generation. Five voters in every hundred supported the eurosceptic parties but more than four times as many voted for the pro-European Lib Dems. The far-right is right about immigration but wrong about almost everything else. Instead of blaming the electorate for their disappointing performance they should examine their policies.
People are worried about their jobs and mortgages but most of them are not paranoid about the EU and they do not support the universally detested Zionist regime in Israel. The far-right’s silence on the Mavi Marmara massacre shows how out of touch they are with public opinion. Even the Conservatives condemned it.
The Green Party got their leader Caroline Lucas elected in Brighton despite the first past the post system. This shows that the British people will vote for minor parties if they like their policies. But they will not vote for a party that believes in compulsory national service, keeping loaded assault rifles at home, condemning Britain to economic isolation or making excuses for the occupation of Palestine.
Israel goes too far
When the Israeli Defence Force butchered nine Turks aboard the peace flotilla bound for Gaza they went too far. Israel is used to dealing with Europeans and Americans who are frightened of being accused of anti-Semitism. But the Turks have never done anything to offend the Jews and they have reacted furiously to the latest atrocity.
Turkey was Israel’s only friend in the region. As a valued member of Nato and an aspiring member of the EU Turkey was their key ally apart from America. But Israel’s contempt for international opinion has alienated the Turks and turned them into an enemy.
Turkey gave sanctuary to the Sephardim Jews that fled from Spain under Ferdinand and Isabella in the fifteenth century. They were treated with respect in the Ottoman Empire when Christian nations closed their door to them. In modern times Turkey also admitted Jews escaping from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. But centuries of goodwill have now been thrown away by an act of barbarity.
Some of the Jewish refugees in the Ottoman Empire eventually made their way to Britain. These included such famous names as Farage, Saatchi, Costa and Disraeli; names that have left their mark on British history.
The Jews lived unmolested throughout the Ottoman Empire and the modern Turkish republic. The animosity between Muslims and Jews dates from the establishment of the state of Israel. Fair-minded Jews have protested at the killings of the peace campaigners and the continued occupation of Gaza. They realise that the present Israeli state is unsustainable and that sooner or later Jews and Arabs must reach an accommodation.
The writing is on the wall for Israel just as it was for South Africa in the days of Apartheid. The Afrikaner regime collapsed because it depended on African labour. Pretoria tried to build separate states for whites and blacks but cheap and abundant black labour inevitably undermined the basis of separate development. The dream died when Dr Hendrik Verwoerd was assassinated in 1966. The whites held power for another twenty eight years until British and American economic pressure finally forced President FW de Klerk to hand power to the African National Congress under Nelson Mandela.
The Israelis are dependent on cheap labour and the outcome is predictable. They claim that God gave them Palestine but it was actually the post-war British government that gave them the territory when they cut and run in 1948. The Zionist state is powerful but Jews and Arabs will live together and the Israelis will be forced to grant human rights to Arab workers. The blockade is already beginning to crack and American taxpayers will eventually rebel against propping up a racist state.
What goes round comes round
President Barack Obama is playing a devious game designed to take over BP; operators of the stricken Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The British company is the third largest oil company and the fourth largest company in the world. It has wielded enormous power over British foreign policy for a hundred years.
In 1914 oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian helped to push Britain into WW1. He was known as ‘Mister Five Percent’ because he got 5% of every barrel of oil sold throughout the British Empire. General Francis Maude captured the Iraqi oilfields from the Turks in 1917 and Britain occupied Iraq until 1930. During the occupation the RAF under Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris bombed civilian targets. He justified his actions by saying: “the only thing the Arab understands is the heavy hand.”
In 1953 the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh nationalised the Anglo Iranian oil Company; also known as BP. He was soon overthrown by a coup d’état codenamed Operation Ajax. This was organised by the British secret service M16, implemented by the CIA and funded by BP. Mohammad Mosaddegh was charged with ‘treason’ and detained until his death in 1967. America’s involvement in this illegal regime change was fully admitted by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in March 2000.
Naturally BP supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq and Tony Blair is tipped to be their next chairman. They are responsible for a major environmental disaster and facing crippling compensation claims from America. BP is a major contributor to the UK economy and a world leader in oil technology. But it’s difficult to feel sorry for a company that’s steeped in death, corruption and intrigue. They may be brought down by the same dirty tricks that they perfected. What goes round comes round.