Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Nation Revisited # 145 November 2018

National Debt.

I
ndividuals can declare themselves bankrupt but it's not so easy for nations. Argentina defaulted in 2001 and she is still suffering the consequences. The UK national debt currently stands at £1.8 trillion, which is almost as much as our GDP. The annual cost of this debt is £48 billion.

Few modern states earn more than they spend. The exceptions are oil-rich states with small populations, like Norway or Qatar. Most states spend more than they earn, particularly on fighting wars. They cover the deficit by borrowing from the banks and by selling bonds. This is known as the National Debt. Hilaire Belloc explained it in 'Economics for Helen':

"When these national loans began the Government honestly intended to pay back what they had borrowed. But the method was so fatally easy that as time went on, and the debt piled up and up until there could be no question of repaying it all: all the State could do was to pay the interest out of taxation. It remained indebted to private rich men for the principle, that is the whole original sum, and meanwhile, through further wars, this hold of the rich men upon all the rest of the community perpetually increased."

Countries with vast natural resources and reserves of gold and foreign currencies, like the United States, can function with massive debts because the banks and bondholders trust them. But countries with no collateral can only borrow more money, for as long as they can.




When countries run out of credit they are reduced to starvation, unless some help is extended. Germany's national debt was partly written off at the Lausanne Conference in 1932 and again at the London Conference in 1953. The Allies decided that it made more sense to get Germany back on her feet. At least, that way they would get some of their money back. It worked, and Germany cleared her debts as her economy recovered.

In 2000 a Canadian proposal for a debt moratorium was rejected by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, but eventually, all national debts will have to be rescheduled, reduced or abolished. Creditors, including private bondholders, insurance companies and pension fund managers, will cling to the present system because they want their money back, but ultimately it's unsustainable. 

The Memories of a Blackshirt Supporter
http://siegrunen.blogspot.com 

My parents came from widely diverse backgrounds, for my Father was a motor car tester, and my Mother was Governess to the children of a very senior army officer, I was born in the summer of 1924, and had a very reasonable education, initially at a state school, and then at ten years of age, to a well respected Grammar School in the Home Counties. At the age of 14, when I was on my way home from School, I came across a poorly dressed old man wheeling a pram on which he had fixed a wind-up gramophone and was playing a recording of a speech by Sir Oswald Mosley, who was addressing his audience as "my Blackshirt brothers". I listened intently until the record was finished, and then thanked the old man, giving him a penny from my pocket,

Arriving home, I explained to my Father what I had heard, and he told me how on one occasion he had gone up to London to make trouble at a Mosley meeting, but he had been so impressed that he had finished up cheering his support. I remember that. 

Before I was old enough to follow my Father's example, the war was upon us. I was at University, and Sir Oswald and Lady Mosley were in prison under law 18B, together with scores of his senior officers. In fact, I never wore a black shirt myself. 

After the war, they were all discharged from prison without being charged, and 'Union Movement' was formed. The new party had headquarters at an address in London and produced a newspaper called 'Action' with the front emblazoned with the Blackshirt emblem, a circle crossed by one flash, not two as in SS. 

By this time I was making regular visits to London on business and would call into the London Office, and chat at length with Mr Raven Thomson, who was Editor of the newspaper. I used to make a contribution now and then to 'Action' and kept in touch. 

We had a group called 'Friends of Union Movement', and every now and again would attend a dinner in London, with 'OM' as speaker. He always spoke well, and his following was intensely loyal. 

Of course, prompted by the Jewish lobby, things were made very difficult. We were obliged to drop 'The European Salute', and then the blackshirt emblem. The Home Office declared that the wearing of a black shirt constituted a uniform, and in spite of the fact that OM insisted that wearing the black shirt was merely to identify Party members during a commotion it was banned. 

Raven Thomson died from the long-term effects of his brutal treatment during his stay in prison, and OM went to live in Orsay, France.

All these people have left their mark, and although several splinter movements have started up to maintain the creed, none have really been able to rally the public as OM was able to do. 

This is not necessarily to do with their inadequacies, but the result of well organised, and Jewish funded publicity blocks that have prevented both reporting and any publicity leaking out, however small. 

Once the administration was changed in Germany after the war, OM adopted a slogan "Europe a Nation", which was his frequent cry. Were he to be here in 2016, he would have been aghast to note that the Jewish lobby is once again running things over there.

When OM retired into France he went there on the basis that eventually he would be called. He never was of course, which is a tragedy, for he would have been a brilliant statesman.

Nevertheless, he always kept his ear to the ground and clearly read the UK papers. This is made clear when some reporter named Peterborough reported on a rowdy meeting in Oxford, that the stewards had dealt with the rowdies as savagely as OM had done at his Olympia meeting. His reply is appended below.



"Sir, a note by Peterborough (May 14th) appears to compare the actions of stewards in defending my meeting at Olympia from attack, with the action of those recently attacking someone else's meeting at Oxford. The difference is surely clear to any impartial mind. 


Facts regarding Olympia are also on public record in contemporary Press reports and are now worth recalling. The attack on a perfectly legal meeting was openly organised and publicised for three weeks in advance, without any intervention of authority to prevent a flagrant breach of the law.

The assault of armed roughs was defeated by our young men who were accused of using their fists too vigorously. Soon after the occasion (the largest public meeting ever held in Britain) at Earls Court Exhibition Hall, was conducted in perfect order. Previously free speech had been systematically denied to anyone unpopular with Communism or the anarchic left. e.g. Sir Winston Churchill's election meeting in Dundee  when he was just out of hospital, reported in the Times under the heading "Mr Churchill shouted down."

Authority was supine during a period when free speech ceased to exist. This was the origin of the Blackshirt movement, which opponents described as my "private army". The means to defend ourselves were subsequently removed by special act of Parliament.

It then became more than ever, the duty of Government itself to maintain order, and in this duty, then and now, it conspicuously fails. In agreeing that no man should be allowed a private army, I suggest that Britain needs a Government with the will to maintain order which includes free speech for all. " Oswald Mosley, Orsay, France.

Xenophobia

We are told by the Brexiteers that the EU is a Marxist dictatorship controlled by the 'Liberal Elite', that's robbing us of our sovereignty, and flooding us with immigrants. Anybody who doubts these 'facts' is dismissed as a traitor and an enemy agent.

But their arguments are unfounded. The EU is a customs union of 28 nation states. It's governed by Commissioners appointed by national governments and by elected Members of the European Parliament. Most of our immigrants come from outside the EU, mainly from the Commonwealth. 

The real reason why the Brexiteers want us out of Europe is that they suffer from xenophobia - a morbid fear of foreigners. This dates back to the days when raiding parties from hostile tribes came to steal our cattle and women. They also carried unfamiliar pathogens which brought disease into the camp. Today, we have progressed beyond tribalism and we heed the words of Dr Samuel Johnson who warned us that "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

These self-appointed 'patriots' wrap themselves in the national flag and turn every argument into a crusade. To them hating foreigners is a sign of patriotism and not hating them is tantamount to treason. 



History is littered with charlatans who exploited patriotism to their own advantage. Some of them, like Winston Churchill, earned themselves a lavish lifestyle and a state funeral, but others, like Horatio Bottomley, ended their days in disgrace and poverty.

The Triple Alliance (1864-1870) of Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil killed 70% of the adult male population of Paraguay and completely destroyed the country. This insane war was led by the great Paraguayan patriot and military strategist Francisco Solano Lopez (pictured), who was obsessed with 'independence' and bitterly hostile to his neighbours. He was so fanatical that he encouraged his troops to shoot their own officers if they even mentioned surrender. He died fighting and shouting his defiance but he is remembered as a madman, not as a national hero.

Francisco Solano Lopez is dead but his twisted ideas live on. He never learned to love his neighbours and his modern counterparts are no different. Their arguments about sovereignty and identity are bogus, what really motivates them is an irrational fear of foreigners.

American Foreign Policy

The United States has been involved in nearly 200 military incursions since 1945. A foreign policy that was described by the great historian Charles A Beard as "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace." Before Donald Trump was elected president he promised to stop interfering in foreign quarrels, instead, he has increased his military presence in Africa, Asia and the Middle East and imposed sanctions on; China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, Turkey, and Venezuela.

Sanctions
are really economic warfare. They prevent nations from trading and cause shortages of food, fuel and medicines that result in starvation and death. They brought down the Ian Smith government in Rhodesia, and, eventually, the apartheid regime in South Africa. The sanctions applied to Iraq after the first Gulf War destroyed Saddam Hussein's economy and military capacity. Far from possessing 'weapons of mass destruction' he was practically defenceless by the time of the second Gulf war. 

Donald Trump's 'America First' policy is enforced by economic warfare and the threat of military action. The vicious campaign against Russia is entirely political. Russia's repossession of the Crimean peninsula was entirely justified and there's no proof that they were behind the Novichok poisonings in Wiltshire.

President Trump's campaigns against Iran and North Korea are equally bogus. Those states have as much right to their nuclear programs as Israel. America's enemies are not necessarily our enemies but our 'special relationship' means that we are helping to cripple them with sanctions.



The White Rhodesians were mostly of British stock and many of them fought for the British Empire in two world wars. But a craven British government used the Royal Navy to blockade the port of Beira to enforce 'regime change' and replace Ian Smith (pictured), a highly-decorated RAF fighter pilot, with the bloody terrorists Robert Mugabe. As a result, the Whites were driven out of the country as it descended into poverty and starvation. All in the name of 'democracy'.

Those right-wingers who campaign for 'British independence', like Boris Johnson and Liam Fox, are happy to obey American foreign policy. Successive American governments tried to placate their discontented Blacks by destroying the White regimes in Southern Africa. It didn't work but it won't stop them from trying similar tricks in the future. 

Their current enemy is Iran, practically the only state in the Middle East still opposed to Israel. The powerful Zionist lobby is clearly directing American foreign policy. They have already wrecked the Iranian economy with sanctions and Donald Trump has vowed to carry on until they abandon their nuclear program. He has even threatened British and European companies who do business with Iran. This kind of economic warfare is a threat to all of us.

From the Archives - Dying For Democracy - an article from Nation Revisited posted on the National Front website April 2010 

(Britain's involvement in the Afghan War 2006-2014 was a complete waste of lives and money. 456 servicemen were killed,1,922 were wounded, and we spent £37 billion trying to defend Helmand Province against the Taliban. The government has recently announced plans for a new intervention, and if we are not careful we will be dragged into a war with Iran).
 
Politicians of all parties support the Afghan War and accept the slaughter of British and allied soldiers. As each young man is killed they chant the hypocritical mantra of government propaganda: "He died doing the job he loved," and "He was helping to make Afghanistan a better place." But the warmongers cannot convince us that there is any point in this aggression.

Britain's new top general, Sir David Richards, has predicted that we will be in Afghanistan for thirty or forty years. And NATO's Lieutenant General, Stanley McChrystal, has called for more men.

The general praised the UK's 8,000 plus force and said more would be welcome. He told the BBC: "I don't know a general who would not like to see more forces, particularly forces as good as the British." (Daily Mirror 13-06-09)

We can, therefore, expect to sustain heavy losses in a war that we will eventually quit; just as we did in Iraq. But before we pull out we will kill thousands of Afghans and risk bloody retaliation on the streets of our major cities. Far from ensuring domestic security, we are endangering ourselves by declaring war on Muslims after letting millions of them into our country.

Once again, a blinkered government has gone to war without a plan. They imported cheap labour and created alien ghettos without thinking of the consequences. Their foreign policy consists of blindly following America and their economic policy is tied to 'free markets' and 'open borders'.

City minister Lord Myners and London Mayor Boris Johnson have attacked EU plans to outlaw hedge funds (Guardian 21-07-09), and Home Secretary Alan Johnson says that he doesn't lay awake at night worrying about the population hitting 70 million (Daily Mail 15-07-09).

We are fighting to impose our failed system on a country that has never done us any harm. The 9/11 terrorists were not Afghans, they were Arabs who trained and plotted in the United States. We are waging war to prop up Hamid Karzai's corrupt regime of misogynists, warlords, and drug dealers who are no better than the Taliban. This war is as pointless as the Iraq catastrophe and will end in the same humiliating withdrawal.

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All articles are by Bill Baillie unless otherwise stated. The opinions of guest writers are entirely their own. This blog is protected by the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19: "We all have the right to make up our own minds, to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share ideas with other people."

    















   

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Nation Revisited # 144 October 2018

The Imperial Mindset.



When nostalgic Brexiteers look back to the 'good old days', the summers were warmer, the food was tastier, and the dogs and people were friendlier. They have convinced themselves that it was a Golden Age before we joined the old Common Market in 1973. They have forgotten about the strikes and confrontations, the poor productivity, and the years of stagnation.

Some of them believe that the British Empire was destroyed by conspiracies but history tells a different story. When the Japanese won their war with Russia in 1905 they showed that the European powers were vulnerable, and when they took Singapore from Britain in 1942 they proved their point to the subject peoples of Asia and Africa. We fought colonial wars in Malaya, Kenya, Aden, and Cyprus but there was no stopping "The Wind of Change." Within thirty years of WW2, all that was left of the Empire was a few outposts like Gibraltar and the Falklands.

Those of us born in the last days of the British Empire are proud of our achievements. We built roads, railways and bridges all over the world and bequeathing a civil service, a judiciary, and a parliamentary system to our colonial subjects. The British Empire was a force for civilisation and progress, but it was also the source of cheap food that damaged our agriculture, the producer of cheap cotton goods that destroyed our textiles industry, and the supplier of immigrants that undercut our wages and conditions. We discovered the hard way that commerce overrules sovereignty and that people follow goods across borders. In the days of Empire we recruited workers from the West Indies; as members of the EU we signed up to its rules and conditions, and if we are swallowed up by the United States we will import contaminated food and commit our troops to 'perpetual war'. 

Capitalism has been global since the days of the East India Company. We fought the Chinese to force them to buy our opium; we fought the Afrikaners for their gold and diamonds, and we fought the Turks to steal the Arabian oilfields. But the days of trade enforced by bayonets are over. We belong to NATO and our armed forces are under the command of General Curtiss Scaparroti, Supreme Allied Commander Europe. We are members of the United Nations and subject to the International Court of Human Rights. We belong to the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. If we leave the EU we will operate under the World Trade Organisation. And the majority of our immigrants come from outside the EU, mainly from Africa and Asia. 

We pro-Europeans believe in beneficial access to markets, incoming investment, and peace in Northern Ireland. And, realising that the Empire has gone, we see our future in terms of European co-operation. We also know that wages are far too low and that immigration can only be controlled by international agreement.

These arguments have been thoroughly debated but the decision to leave the EU was largely emotional. Abstract ideas of 'sovereignty' were more important than economics. In fact, some on the Brexiters are happy to accept a lower standard of living for the illusion of sovereignty.

As for immigration, the Brexiteers don't regard West Indians, Africans and Asians as foreigners, after all, they play cricket and most of them speak English. They are happy to admit our former colonial subjects but they are determined to stop the Poles.

Neither side has a monopoly on patriotism but some people are fond of shouting "traitor" at the opposition. That's unfair because we all want the best for our country. People are not traitors because they have a different opinion, and shouting abuse at foreigners does not make one a patriot. We are entering uncharted waters and time alone will tell who is right and who is wrong.

The BBC
                    John Reith 1889-1971 photo credit BBC.

The British Broadcasting Corporation is a state-owned media empire that was founded by the brilliant Scottish engineer and radio pioneer John Reith in 1922. His original intention was for the service to be educational as well as entertaining. Left-wingers accuse it of being right-wing and right-wingers accuse it of being left- wing. The truth is that it supports the establishment, not necessarily the government of the day but the overriding liberal-capitalists consensus. 

The Corporation is funded by an annual 'licence fee' of £147.00. If you watch TV in the UK you must pay the licence fee, even if you are watching a foreign station. This unfair levy is the main source of the BBC's massive income of nearly five billion pounds. It wastes this money on presenters like Chris Evans who earned £2.2 million last year, Gary Lineker who earned £1,7 million, and Graham Norton who got £850,000. The BBC also has legions of journalists, researchers, and photographers who fly around the world gathering news stories. And it spends a fortune on legal fees and settlements. 

The British government is struggling to find money for the National Health Service, defence, education, and almost everything else. But we allow the bloated BBC to waste billions of pounds on broadcasters and bureaucrats. We should stop this madness by selling it off; the TV and radio stations, the buildings, the news service, the sports franchises, and everything else.

And w
e should not fall for the myths of impartiality and quality surrounding the Corporation. It's forever congratulating itself on its high standards, but it's as biased as any other state-owned propaganda outlet, and most of its TV and radio programs are made by independent production companies.

The licence fee should be abolished and the slimmed-down company should be paid for by adverting revenue, with any profits going to the state. Presenters should be paid an industrial wage and the service should be returned to John Reith's founding principles. The current BBC is a money-gobbling monster that's out of control. We should sack the lot of them and start again.

Post-Brexit Policies

When we leave the EU the political parties will no longer be able to blame everything on Europe, they will be forced to address our problems. As I write, they are holding their annual conferences and making their promises for the future.



Theresa May is clinging to her Chequers plan despite the fact that it has been rejected by the EU and most of her party. The Tories have abandoned austerity and are promising to build more social housing and increase public spending. They have also promised to reduce corporation tax so an increase in income tax is inevitable.  


Jeremy Corbyn expects to win the next general election and he has promised to renationalise the railways, the Royal Mail, and the water companies. His chancellor, John MacDonnell has revived the manifesto of the Italian Social Republic to give shares and seats on the board of companies employing more than 250 workers. When Benito Mussolini introduced this policy it was overtaken by events. 

Vince Cable pledged that the Lib Dems would lead the fight against Brexit but our 'first past the post' electoral system is rigged against them. They have 12 seats at Westminster but under proportional representation they would have more than 50.

Ukip and the various parties of the far-right will lose most of their reasons for living when we quit Europe. But immigration will still be with us because most of them come from outside of the EU. The latest ONS figures show that in the last year 127,000 EU citizens came to the UK and 179,000 from the rest of the world. In fact, if we sign trade deals with China and India we will probably admit more of them.

All of the parties are promising to increase defence spending, but if our economy shrinks we will have even less money to spend. We may have to stop pretending to be a world power and deploy our armed forces for the defence of the UK, instead of getting involved in Afghanistan and the Middle East. That would mean more frigates and destroyers but we would not need two gigantic aircraft carriers and a fleet of nuclear submarines. 

Education also needs sorting out. France and Germany provide free education from nursery to university and so should we. We must gear our educational system to provide the doctors, engineers and scientists that we need instead of relying on immigration.

Crime continues to rise despite official figures to the contrary. Fewer thefts are being recorded because people know that it's a waste of time reporting crimes to the police. They are far too busy 'celebrating diversity' to worry about crime.

And housing is as important as ever. If all the Poles and other European workers went home we would still have a desperate housing shortage. Immigration aggravated the housing crisis but it did not cause it.

The political parties need to keep up with changing circumstances. Policies and websites must be updated and obsolete slogans discarded. It will be interesting to see if they can ditch the rhetoric of the last half-century and address the problems of today. 

Sir Leslie Plummer

In 2017 Home Secretary Amber Rudd cracked down on the Internet by threatening to jail visitors to far-right websites for 15 years. She used to live with Kwasi Kwatern, an Old Etonian Tory MP of African heritage, but she was not the first MP to champion multi-culturalism. That honour must go to Sir Leslie Plummer.

He was the Labour MP for Deptford who made his name and earned his knighthood as the boss of the disastrous groundnut scheme in East Africa. He wasted £49 million trying to harvest peanuts in parched scrubland where they stubbornly refused to grow. This was in 1949 when Britain was bankrupt and living on borrowed money.

Undeterred by his African misadventure Sir Leslie introduced his Racial Discrimination Bill in 1957, but it was talked out by the splendid Tory MP Ronald Bell. Plummer's drastic proposal would have made it illegal to criticise immigration from the West Indies.

John Bean's 
British National Party stood two candidates in the local election in Deptford in 1961; John Stanton and Alan Charman. They put out a hard-hitting election leaflet which accused Plummer of:

"Coming down solidly on the side of coloured spivs and their vice dens as opposed to the white people of Deptford." 

Sir Leslie Plummer sued for libel and was awarded £2,000 damages. The famous Brighton solicitor and author FJP Veale (pictured) volunteered his services but the case was resolved when the 'honourable member' obligingly dropped dead on a visit to New York in 1963.


To put these sums of money into perspective, the average weekly wage for a working man in 1949 was £2.50 and in 1961 it was £15.00. When I started work with 'The News Chronicle' as a trainee teleprinter operator in 1960 I was earning £3.00 a week.

Civilisation

Our journey from the caves to the stars has been driven by hereditary but climate and geography have played their part. Britain, France, Spain and Portugal built great overseas empires because they face the Atlantic. And Alexander the Great conquered all the territory between Macedonia and India because the rival Persian Empire was in the way.

We also borrowed from other civilisations; writing and bookkeeping from the Phoenicians, mathematics from the Indians, astronomy from the Arabs, paper and gunpowder from the Chinese, and so on. When the body of a Patrician Roman lady was recently discovered in the City of London she was wearing an embroidered gown from Iraq and Jade jewellery from Japan. 

The Australian Aboriginals had practically no connection with the outside world. Black Africans were taken to the Americas as slaves and came to Europe as economic migrants, but the Aboriginals have been confined to Australia for thousands of years. When Captain James Cook first encountered them in 1788 they were still living in the Stone Age and their conditions have hardly improved since.

A few of them managed to get an education but it wasn't until 1927 that the first book by an Aboriginal was published. It was 'Aboriginal Legends' by David Unaipor (pictured), who features on the Australian $50 bill.


In 1944 Reg Saunders was commissioned as the first Aboriginal officer in the Australian Army, and Les Waters became the first Aboriginal military aviator.

In 1966 Charles Perkins became the first Aboriginal BA graduate at the University of Sydney, but by 2014 there were more than 400 indigenous PhDs.

The Australian Aboriginals are probably the least developed people in the world but given the chance, they are capable of advancement. A lot of nonsense has been written about the noble savage living as nature intended, but the reality of life in the desert is poverty and ignorance. The average Aboriginal lives a shorter life than a white Australian. Jim Calma, the Social Justice Minister said: "A gap or 10 or 17 years is utterly unacceptable in a country like Australia which prides itself on a fair go for all."

C
ivilisation is maintained by education. Unfortunately, many young Blacks in the UK are immersed in a culture of violence. Instead of following the many worthy role models of their own race they hero-worship pimps, drug dealers and gangsters. Many people believe that race is the determining factor in civilisation but this was disputed by Julius Evola:

"The unity and purity of blood are believed by some to be the foundation of life and the strength of a civilisation; therefore, the mixing and the ensuing 'poisoning' of the blood are considered the initial cause of a civilisations decline. This too is an illusion, which amongst other things, lowers the notion of civilisation to a naturalistic and biological plane, since this is the plane on which race is thought of in our day and age."

There are three possible solutions to mass migration; deportation, annihilation, or assimilation. The first choice would be a massive undertaking requiring international agreement and unlimited funds. The second is morally and practically impossible. The third choice is viable but it must be done in support of our culture and civilisation.   

Socialist Roots

Jeremy Corbyn's young supporters would be horrified to discover that the pioneers of their movement were nationalists. In his essay 'Nationalism, Racialism and Early British Socialism' Richard Lawson traces the origins of the Labour Party back to men like Robert Blatchford (pictured) who was a nationalist and a socialist; a patriotic Englishman who believed in social justice.


Lawson examines the ideas of Pete Curran, George Bernard Shaw, Beatrice and Sydney Webb, HM Hyndman, and HG Wells. It's interesting to note that all of them would be considered anti-Semitic by today's standards because they denounced 'Jewish Capitalism'. But people were not so sensitive in the old days. He concludes:

"The obvious patriotism and candid racialism of these early socialists is in marked contrast to the attitudes and views held by socialists today. The triumph of internationalism and the change from an open-minded and well-meaning approach to a mindless religious fanaticism is a reflexion of the changing genetic composition of socialism's own advocates."

Lawson does not mention Oswald Mosley or John Beckett, genuine patriots who left the Labour Party in disgust at its betrayal of the working class. They sacrificed their careers and their liberty to build a socialist system within the British Empire. But modern nationalists have no such principles, they have lurched to the far-right by focusing on sovereignty and immigration. Most of them are 'Daily Mail' readers who doff their caps to big business.

Richard Lawson was a member of the Strasserite wing of the National Front which flourished briefly in the Seventies. His essay is posted on the website of the Institute for Historical Review -  www.thr.org 
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All articles are by Bill Baillie unless otherwise stated. The opinions of guest writers are entirely their own. This blog is protected by the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19: "We all have the right to make up our own minds, to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share ideas with other people.

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