Sunday, 26 August 2012

Issue 80, June 2011

Nation Revisited
# 80, June 2011, 

The Monarchy
Watching Prince William and Kate Middleton taking their marriage vows on television reminded me of Charles Murras the leader of the pre-war French fascist movement Action Francaise. He was a convinced republican and an agnostic who supported the Catholic Church and the monarchy because he believed that the French nation needed discipline and continuity. 

Perhaps Charles Murras had a point? The monarchy is part and parcel of the plutocratic state. It has given legitimacy to governments that have used mass migration and the threat of starvation to drive down wages, and detention without trial to suppress political dissent.

The Church of England and the monarchy have been united since Henry VIII made himself head of the English Catholic Church in 1534. Four centuries later Prime Minister Harold Macmillan recorded his dealings with Geoffrey Fisher the Archbishop of Canterbury in his diary. “I tried to talk to him about religion. He seemed to be quiet disinterested and reverts all the time to politics.”

But looking at the Dean of Westminster in his colourful robes of office, and at Westminster Abbey in all its ancient splendour, it was difficult to stay aloof from the occasion, and even harder not to be moved by the happiness of the bride and groom. Even a cynical old republican free-thinker can occasionally indulge in the luxury of holding conflicting ideas simultaneously.

This feeling of unexpected approval surrounded the Queen’s visit to Ireland. She performed perfectly and her speech to President Mary McAleese and the people of Ireland was brilliant. For an 85 year-old woman to deliver even a few words of Gaelic was a great achievement.
It’s not really surprising that Queen Elizabeth was welcomed in Ireland. The irony is that the Calvinist Protestants of Northern Ireland support the monarchy when their austere religion is puritanical and sympathetic to Oliver Cromwell. But Irish Catholics with their rich tradition of ceremony and pageantry are citizens of a republic; an historic anomaly resulting from hundreds of years of political ineptitude.

Back at home the Bank of England has downgraded its growth forecast as Britain struggles to pay back £110 billion borrowed by the Blair/Brown government. And William Hague has announced that sending in “military advisors” to help the Libyan insurgents doesn’t amount to “boots on the ground”. He must think that drill sergeants can hover like hummingbirds as they instruct Libyan recruits with all the subtle sarcasm of the British Army.

The Defence Industry Celebrates
Assassination, like war itself, has always been used by used as an extension to diplomacy.  Almost every nation has ‘special forces’ and secret intelligence agents trained to carry out killings all over the world. Those belonging to NATO target organisations like al-Qaeda and Hamas – perceived enemies of ‘democracy’. They are also suspected of bumping off awkward arms experts like the unfortunate Dr David Kelly. A suspicion encouraged by the continued withholding of evidence. But there was nothing clandestine about the assassinations of Saif al-Arab Gaddafi and his children in Libya, and Osama bin Laden and his son in Pakistan. They were considered to be legitimate targets and their families were deemed to be expendable – what the Americans call “collateral damage.”

The way that they reportedly dumped Osama bin Laden’s body in the sea will open a new chapter in the ever-growing book of conspiracy theories. Cynics will doubt that he is dead and his supporters will almost certainly mount terrorist attacks in reprisal, possibly in London, Paris, Rome, or New York. And so it goes on, a never-ending spiral of violence that costs billions of dollars and keeps the world in fear. And that perhaps is the whole point of terror and counter terror; to keep us all in a state of permanent anxiety.

But even murder has its own grim humour. As soon as we killed Saif and his innocent children we declared Omar Jelban the Libyan Ambassador to be “persona non grata” because his bosses failed to protect our sacked embassy building in Tripoli. This, it was explained, was a clear breach of diplomacy. It’s alright to kill non-combatants by firing ballistic missiles at civilian targets but unpardonable to allow an angry mob to burn down an abandoned embassy.

In America Barack Obama said “justice has been done.” The president of a country that has slaughtered millions of people in pursuit of foreign policy objectives has the temerity to talk about “justice.” He is empowered by a constitution that demands a fair trial by judge and jury for all offenders. Yet he sent his Seals to kill people who had never been charged or tried. 

There will never be peace so long as America rules the world on behalf of the global conglomerates. So long as we are part of NATO we will have to take part in wars and assassinations and face the inevitable consequences. Even if we broke away from NATO there would still be politicians and generals dreaming up crazy plans for world domination; and twisted terrorists prepared to kill and maim in the name of nationalism or religion. But if we broke from America we would significantly reduce the risk.

The IRA and ETA were eventually pacified by political inclusion rather than military might. It will be the same with the Afghan Resistance. It would be cheaper to give them shares in the Sheberghan gas field; the real reason for the NATO occupation. We should also drop our support for Israel now that Barack Obama has called for a peace treaty based on the 1967 borders as specified in UN Resolution 242.

As Churchill, of all people, said “jaw jaw is better than war war.” Before firing lethal missiles at our perceived enemies, or sending in the professional psychopaths, we should first try talking to them.

American foreign policy is inconsistent. They make war on some states accused of sponsoring terrorism yet they support Israel, a state created by terrorism. Every American government has backed Israel and Barack Obama will be no exception. He might say the right things but he is still bankrolling the Zionists.

America has backed most of the non-communist dictators since the last war. They backed Fulgencio Batista in Cuba, Rafael Trujillio in the Dominican Republic, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in Iran, Hosni Murburak in Egypt and Ali Abdallah Saleh in Yemen. They have a gift for picking losers shared by punters the world over. And they always seem to be genuinely surprised when one of their corrupt protégés is thrown out by popular revolution.

Their foreign policy advisors are as incompetent as their financial advisors. They were dedicated anti-communists in the dark days of the Cold War but twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union they have had to find new enemies. They have therefore made the Muslims the new bad guys. America has got a new reason to maintain the largest fleet and the largest air force in the world and their defence industry is celebrating.

It’s time for Europe to develop an independent foreign policy based on the principle of minding our own business. We need defence forces but we should not get involved in “regime change” or expeditionary wars that are outlawed by the United Nations. Let’s hope that America’s staggering national debt of $14.2 trillion will put an end to their military aggression. As US Congressman Ron Paul said: “It is time to consider a sensible non-interventionist foreign policy as advised by our Founders and authorized by our constitution. We would all be better off for it.”

The Alternative
The BNP has been battered at the polls but they still have 13 councillors and 2 MEPs. Their anti-Muslim stance benefited from the killing of Osama bin Laden, their Euro-scepticism is supported by the popular press and their flag-waving jingoism appeals to the masses. But their support has melted away, even in the grim BNP stronghold of Barking and Dagenham. Nick Griffin is protected by a constitution that virtually makes him chairman for life. He has expelled his critics and tried to rally his supporters, but they are leaving in droves. 

Where will they go now? The Tory element can join UKIP and revel in the retro atmosphere of the 1950s. They can strut around in their blazers campaigning to bring back hanging, bring back flogging, bring back national service, bring back pounds, shillings and pence, bring back Vera Lynn and all that worn out old nonsense. But those who supported the BNP because they wanted to preserve Britain as a European nation will find no comfort in UKIP.

The problems facing Britain are the same throughout Europe. All the main European countries have lost their colonial empires; they have all been eclipsed by American military power, overrun with Third World immigrants and seen their manufacturing industries outsourced to Asia. Now they are all trimming their budgets in a desperate attempt to balance the books.
Mosley predicted the present crisis years ago and proposed that we get out of global capitalism by turning the British Empire into a self-sufficient union. But instead we embarked on a fratricidal war that ruined our economy and forced the Commonwealth to find new markets.

After the war we were in no position to invest in the White Dominions; we couldn’t even feed ourselves and had to beg from America just to keep going. It was against this background of economic chaos that Mosley called for the creation of “Europe a Nation” in 1948.
The current European Union is only a loose federation of states each clinging to the trappings of sovereignty and jockeying for position. It is our task to unite the squabbling countries of the EU into a sustainable geo-political union capable of achieving real independence from NATO and the World Trade Organisation.

There no reason why such a superpower should not be democratic. The United States has representative government for each of its 50 states as well as a federal government in Washington elected by the people. Economic and political union does not destroy nations. The union of England, Scotland and Wales did not destroy the nationalities of its member states and nor will the union of Europe.  

Former members and supporters of the BNP should put aside their prejudices and open their minds to the potential of Europe. They know what’s wrong with our country but they must realise that we cannot control our own destiny while we are at the mercy of world trade. But with the economic, logistic and military resources of United Europe all things would be possible. 
Practice what we preach
British governments squandered the lives of our soldiers in the Crimea and starved the Afrikaners into submission in the concentration camps of South Africa. They fired on Indian demonstrators at Amritsar in 1919 and on Gaelic football fans at Croke Park in 1920. The RAF under Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris dropped poison gas on the Iraqis in the 1920s and incendiary bombs on Hamburg and Dresden in the 1940s.  British governments have used every trick in the book against colonial insurgents in Kenya, Malaya, Cyprus, Aden and Northern Ireland; the familiar bloody catalogue of detention without trial, torture, assassination and intimidation that has endeared us to mankind. In fact we only use the same methods as our contemporaries. What distinguishes us from other states is our breathtaking hypocrisy. Only 12 years after we killed 26,000 women and children in South Africa we accused the German Army of brutality in Belgium.

We always accuse our enemies of barbarism and their leaders of insanity; Paul Kruger, Kaiser Wilhelm, Eamon de Valera, Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Hideki Tojo, Gamal Abdel Nasser, George Grivas, Jomo Kenyatta, Slobadan Milosovic, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi: they were all mad.

Now Dave Cameron and his fellow warmongers are making a great show of standing up for the human rights of Libyans and Syrians as our troops kill Afghans seeking self-determination and our arms dealers sell weapons of mass destruction to repressive states like Israel and Saudi Arabia.

If God still performed the way that He did in the Old Testament Dave Cameron would be struck by lightning every time that he opened his mouth. But it seems that a liberal regime is in place in both Heaven and Earth.

We can only hope that more and more people will recognise the blatant hypocrisy of British foreign policy and resist our involvement in yet another war. We can do nothing about the mistakes of the past but we don’t have to go on making them.

We haven’t got a perfect society in Britain. We’ve got homeless people sleeping in doorways and our inner cities are plagued by gangs of criminals. We’ve got rising unemployment, a falling standard of living and an inadequate educational system. Only when we have solved these problems should we turn our attention to the rest of the world. Until then we should mind our own business and practice what we preach. 

Britain started borrowing money to fight foreign wars in 1694 when we borrowed £1.2 million (over £2 billion in today’s money) at 8% from the newly formed Bank of England to fight the Nine Years War. By the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 our national debt stood at £850 million (comparable to our present national debt). Since then we have borrowed massively for the Crimean War, the South African War and the First and Second World Wars. Most of our First World War debt was written off by President Herbert Hoover in the financial crisis of 1931, but it took us 62 years to pay off our Second World War debt in 2006. 

We are borrowing money to fund the occupation of Afghanistan and our intervention in Libya; currently costing £38 million per week (Daily Mail 23-05-11). We have been enriching bankers and bondholders by fighting wars on borrowed money for over 300 years. At a time of record national debt it’s time that we stopped.

Revising Schengen
The Italians and the French are calling for revision of the Schengen Treaty on border controls to deal with a new influx of refugees from Africa. Instead of looking for a European solution to the problem they are reverting to old-fashioned border controls to stop illegal immigrants and asylum seekers from crossing from one member state to another. This is a backward step that goes against every principle of European integration. What we really need is a common immigration and asylum policy enforced by a joint European border force. Frontline states like Spain, Malta, Italy and Greece must be given the resources to defend the Mediterranean coastline. Instead of shunting illegal immigrants from one country to another we should send them back to their homelands. A refusal of entry by one member state should automatically disqualify them from all of the others. 

Britain did not sign up to the Schengen Treaty, although the non-EU states of Iceland. Norway and Switzerland did. We insisted on controlling our own borders but we let in an unprecedented wave of economic refugees. Our customs and immigration service failed to keep out unwanted people, drugs and firearms. The government has no idea how many illegal immigrants and bogus asylum seekers are in the country. An island nation like Britain should be able to control its borders but we have completely failed to do so.

We should accept no lectures on racial equality from the Americans or anyone else. We have every right to defend our identity. It is not racist to call a halt to an invasion that is limitless. It’s not a question of granting humanitarian assistance to a limited number of refugees but of taking in hundreds of millions of Africans and Asians who would be better off in Europe. If we do not shut the door we will be inundated. The world’s most crowded continent sandwiched between the Atlantic and the Urals simply cannot feed and accommodate the surplus population of the world. 

Jeffrey Hamm commented in his 1988 book The Evil Good Men Do
I can deal with immigration without any fear of prosecution under the Race Relations Acts or the public order Act because I am neither a “racialist” (the old English word) or a “racist” (a modern word, as meaningless as “fascist”), which has crept into the English dictionaries and into political jargon.

I would have thought that the words were interchangeable, but my dictionary gives them entirely different definitions. A “racialist” is defined as “one who believes in the superiority of a particular race”, while a “racist” subscribes to the theory that “human abilities are determined by race.” I am not sure if the law allows us to suggest that there may be some truth in both theories. Is it not an undisputed fact that black athletes are now sweeping the board and gathering in the medals? (I was perhaps fortunate in encountering no black opposition when I won my solitary medal – for cross country running – in a very undistinguished Army career during the war.

The threat of prosecution has got even worst in the 23 years since Jeffrey Hamm wrote those words. But it’s still possible to campaign sensibly and within the law against uncontrolled immigration into Britain and the rest of Europe.

So far most immigrants have been escaping from poverty at home. But now millions of refugees are being driven towards Europe by war and climate change. It is vitally important that we adopt a common immigration policy linked to trade deals and credit arrangements to help the Third World. Bold and imaginative plans are urgently required to prevent a humanitarian tragedy. United Europe can muster the resources necessary to solve this problem but old-fashioned “Checkpoint Charlie” style border posts are not the answer.

The Tory Taliban
British newspapers compete with each other to print scare stories about the European Union. All of them, except for the small circulation Guardian and the Independent are opposed to the EU. They constantly predict the collapse of the euro and print alarmist reports from downmarket German tabloids about their reluctance to bail out peripheral states. These so called ‘bail outs’ are simply loans struck at the usual rates of interest to give the banks a return on their money. They will be paid back as economic conditions improve. In fact the eurozone is outperforming the UK but that doesn’t stop our newspapers from spreading alarm and despondency.

Chancellor George Osborne threw fat on the fire by stating that Britain will not bail out Greece. The Greeks have not asked Britain for a loan but if they did it would certainly be considered. 

We recently made a straightforward commercial loan to Ireland at 6% interest. George Osborne is supposed to be a responsible politician but his headline-grabbing remarks were damaging to the Greek economy. This is not what we expect from a cabinet minister.  

Almost every European country is trying to reduce deficits by cutting public spending. Only Norway with her abundant oil and small population has avoided the current crisis. But their efforts are threatened by speculators who trade on the misfortune of others and political opportunists trying to make a case for petty nationalism.

We do most of our trade with the EU so its success is vital to our interests. But the Euro-sceptics don’t care what damage they do. The Daily Telegraph recently ran the story that Greece was about to drop the euro. The Greek finance minister denied the report and said that he had no idea where the story came from. The answer is that it was conjured out of thin air in the offices of the Daily Telegraph; a once respected newspaper that has sunk to the level of the Daily Mail. This unfounded rumour caused a run on the euro and made things even harder for the Greeks.

Most rightwing journalists and politicians had educations that perpetuated social division. They have a narrow worldview reinforced by prejudice and sustained by hypocrisy. They are afraid of change and crippled with reaction.

It was not only the fiasco of Black Wednesday that undermined John Major. The “bastards”, as he called them, were so determined to upset the Maastricht Treaty that they wrecked the Tory election campaign and let in Tony Blair; a scheming careerist who got us into two unnecessary wars, imported millions of Third World immigrants and nearly sent us bankrupt.

The Euro-sceptics like to flaunt their patriotism but their irresponsible actions betray their country. If they succeed in bringing down the Cameron-Clegg coalition they will put the Labour Party back in power to resume their insane policies of uncontrolled immigration and public spending. They have learned nothing from the electoral disaster of 1997 when they condemned us to 13 years of Labour. They are the Tory Taliban, so convinced by their own propaganda that they are willing to blow us all up in the name of Thatcher. 
The Power of the Press
In a memorable line form the film Citizen Kane Jebediah Leland questions an editorial decision and asks his friend Charles Foster Kane what his readers will think. “They will think what I tell them to think” replies the great man. The dictatorial manipulator played on screen by Orson Wells was an accurate portrayal of a typical newspaper owner. Most of the great newspapers exist to promote the political agendas of their proprietors rather than to make money. 

Beaverbrook wanted war in the 1930s so he used the Daily Express to push us into it. In the referendum of 1975 every newspaper except the communist Morning Star campaigned in favour of Britain staying in the Common Market. The landslide result was therefore entirely predictable. If the same referendum was held today our now Euro-sceptic newspapers would undoubtedly reverse it. 

In the recent referendum on voting reform every popular newspaper favoured keeping the existing system so that’s exactly what happened. Once again the result was a foregone conclusion. Despite the rise of television and the Internet the newspapers still decide what the people think. Rupert Murdoch claims to have appointed the last three governments of the UK by the influence of his mass circulation newspaper The Sun.

By stuffing nonsense into the empty heads of their readers the popular press has brainwashed them into waving flags and screaming for blood whenever they are told to. The Falklands war was the classic example of press power. When the Argentines invaded only a handful of stamp collectors knew where the Falkland Islands were. Britain lost interest in the islands in 1846 when kerosene replaced whale oil for lamps making the South Atlantic whaling fleet unprofitable. Since then we made little effort to develop the Falklands or encourage settlement from the UK. They were a forgotten colony until General Leopoldo Galtieri’s forces invaded and handed Margaret Thatcher a landslide victory in the 1983 general election. Banner headlines screamed jingoistic propaganda laced with racism throughout the conflict. It was a triumph of British Arms but a sad indictment of our puerile press.

Britain has probably got the worst newspapers in the world. And the sillier they are the better their readers like it. They combine topless beauties and saloon bar ranting with consumerism. They devote pages to football and horseracing but sandwich news items between the sex scandals and the horoscopes. Most of them are mines of misinformation. The great British newspaper reading public would be better informed reading the labels on discarded jam jars.
The good news is that newspaper circulation is falling all over the world. The Press Age is thankfully drawing to a close. Knowing this the media moguls have moved into television and the Internet. But there are so many TV stations and websites that they cannot control them all.

We could be moving into a new era where people think for themselves instead of getting their opinions from powerful global combines like Rupert Murdoch’s News International.

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