An occasional e-mail to friends, September 2007. # 36
The voices in George’s head
How embarrassing for Gordon Brown to meet with the broken down psychopath George Bush. The look on Gordon’s face as the demented Texan aimed his golf cart at the assembled media said it all. His “brain,” Karl Rove, has now deserted him, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, only Dick Cheney remains but he is just as disturbed as Bush.
In Iraq the much-vaunted “surge” of American troops has resulted in the most devastating bombings of the four-year conflict. In one attack hundreds of Iraqis were killed. But General David Petraeus will still be expected to put a positive spin on his September report. As Britain prepares to withdraw from battered Basra the US is reinforcing its 160,000 strong army of occupation.
The Republicans are opposed to social housing on ideological grounds. They believe in property owning and have encouraged the banks to grant mortgages to the poorest sections of society. But many house buyers have been unable to keep up the payments. The Federal Reserve has lowered the interest rate but the damage has been done. In the world’s richest country two million people are homeless. (Julia Vitulla-Martin, The Wall St Journal, January 18, 2007)
American banks are owed billions but they had the foresight to spread the debt around the world. Now British pension funds are facing uncertainty because underprivileged people in America can’t afford to keep a roof over their heads.
George’s other war in Afghanistan is also going from bad to worse. When NATO troops are engaged by the enemy the Americans bomb the area of incoming fire, even if it’s a village full of women and children. They justify this as “collateral damage” but to the friends and family of the victims it is mass murder by a brutal and inhuman enemy.
To the wretched Afghans there is no difference between NATO forces and the Red Army; both are foreign devils that came with tanks and warplanes to conquer, kill and destroy. Their only interest is in survival. The Taliban may be cruel and fanatical but they belong to Afghanistan. America has lost the battle for hearts and minds and looks like losing the war altogether.
George Bush has given no sign that he understands any of this. He just grins like an incontinent halfwit as he listens to the strangely compelling voices in his head telling him to invade Iran.
Which way for the Tories?
The timing and the result of the next general election are hard to call. Gordon Brown could go for an early election or he could wait until 2008 or 2009. At the moment the new boy is enjoying a honeymoon period but that will not last forever and Dave Cameron has already started to improve his ratings.
Despite the transatlantic mortgage troubles Gordon Brown presides over a buoyant economy. An opinion poll published in The Daily Mail (27/08/07) lists crime, health & social services, education, environment and immigration as the main issues of concern. Europe was not even mentioned.
If Dave Cameron plays down the key issues and makes Europe the priority he could suffer the same fate as his predecessors. John Major, William Hague and Michael Howard all campaigned on an anti-Europe platform and were soundly beaten, by a Labour Party that recognizes that the British electorate has very little interest in the subject.
And if he loses the election by turning it into a referendum on the EU Treaty he will lose his job and what remains of his dispirited and disunited party. The Tories might not survive another general election defeat.
If that happens the followers of John Redwood will gravitate to the only “respectable” right wing party. The diehard Thatcherites who destroyed the Tory Party from within will find common cause with the small-minded petty statists of UKIP who are happy to see Britain as a helpless dependency of America.
UKIP’s unsavory gang of Euro MPs, including Ashley Mote, Tom Wise and Robert Kilroy-Silk, were elected because Paul Sykes pumped one and a half million pounds into their media-backed campaign. They were also helped by fact that the only people interested in the Euro elections are the Euro-sceptics.
But despite having a reported 20,000 members, and millionaire backers like former bookmaker Alan Brown, UKIP has failed to get a single MP elected to Westminster. Nigel Farage is now trying to rebrand UKIP as an acceptable alternative instead of just a single-issue protest group.
If Dave Cameron is hijacked by the Euro-sceptics the Ken Clarke faction can rescue the Tory Party and transform it into a modern centre-right party like Nicholas Sarkozy’s UMP in France or Angela Merkel’s CDU in Germany.
We mustn’t expect too much of these reclaimed Conservatives, they will still be Tories but at least they have a tradition of standing up for Britain, unlike the institutionally anti-British Labour and Liberal Democrats. As long as we are stuck with the old gang we might as well go for the least pernicious option.
Youth out of control
The recent killings of innocent people, including children, by juvenile street gangs have highlighted the growing problem of urban terrorism. When people are afraid for their lives and property they are living in terror, and the perpetrators of the violence and vandalism can only be described as terrorists. They set out to terrorize and they must accept that society is entitled to protect itself against them. The state has responded strongly to political terrorism and it must be just as vigilant in combating the bands of hooligans who are maiming and killing anyone who stands up to them or gets in their way.
Dealing with lads who have never encountered discipline is not easy. We are talking about kids whom parents or schoolteachers have never chastised and who think that they are untouchable. Their heads are full of liberal notions of human rights but they never consider other peoples rights. They are used to being fawned upon by misguided do-gooders like Dave Cameron. They have never been shouted at let alone beaten and they would be horrified if they were given orders or assigned duties.
It has been suggested that military service would lick them into shape but our professional army is against the idea. However the army could be deployed as military police to patrol the hooligan’s haunts and be a visible presence on the streets. When we finally give up the pointless struggle in Iraq and Afghanistan we can use the army to fight a real war on terror.
The civil rights brigade would protest at military involvement but the police have already become an army with their flack jackets and machine guns; what difference would it make if officers were dressed in khaki instead of blue?
Something must be done to restore law and order. In the big cities it’s young Blacks that dominate the no-go areas, in the Mill Towns it’s gangs of Asians, but in towns and villages all over the country it’s British boys who get out of their heads on booze and drugs. We cannot blame it all on immigration when our own kids are acting like savages.
Once convicted on a simple charge of hooliganism the young offenders should be sentenced to a term of correction. Six months digging trenches and sleeping rough in work camps would do more good than a much longer sentence spent watching television in a comfortable cell.
We must remember that these kids are the descendants of British servicemen who fought heroically in two world wars. They are not intrinsically bad but they are desperately in need of guidance and leadership. In many ways they are as much the victims of liberalism as those poor souls who have been kicked to death for trying to defend their property.
Edward Martell the founder of the Tory pressure group known as the National Fellowship got 4,843 votes – 19% standing against Anthony Wedgwood Benn in the extraordinary 1963 Bristol South East by-election.
Tony Benn first won the seat for the Labour Party in 1950 but was disqualified in 1961 when he succeeded his father as Viscount Stansgate. He was allowed to stand in his old seat following a change in the law in 1963. The sitting Tory MP Malcolm St Clair and the Liberals agreed not to stand but Edward Martell ignored the gentlemen’s agreement and stood against the popular wartime RAF pilot. Tony Benn got almost 80% and Edward Martell picked up the rest of the vote.
He was a dedicated reactionary who set up gangs of volunteers to deliver mail during a postal strike and to drive buses during a transport strike. It was said that he opposed every industrial action as a matter of course. Wages were far too low in the state-run industries of the Sixties but the government preferred to import cheap labour rather than offer a better deal to British workers.
Martell’s short-lived newspaper “The New Daily” supported maverick Tory MPs like Dr Donald Johnson, who renounced the Tory whip in support of corporal punishment, and Captain Henry Kerby who tried to restore the power of the issue of money to the Crown by tabling an Early Day Motion that lacked support and was never debated.
Apart from their pathological hatred of socialism the National Fellowship campaigned against the decimalization of money and the metrication of weights and measures. But they never got seriously involved in the controversial immigration issue that was already a growing problem in the Sixties.
They were able to attract money and support by exploiting the unfounded and irrational fears of the middle classes. At the height of the Cold War they saw Reds under every bed and thought that workingmen trying to get better wages were the advance guard of a Red Army invasion.
The National Fellowship and its various front movements disappeared in the late Sixties. But those with an enemy fixation soon latched onto The Anti-Common Market League, a movement steeped in blood-curdling conspiracies. This was supplanted by Jimmy Goldsmith’s Referendum Party and finally by the United Kingdom Independence Party.
The paranoid tendency have replaced the Soviet Union with the European Union as the bogeyman but the propaganda is more or less the same; an incessant stream of misinformation designed to induce panic attacks in readers of the popular press. They use the same apocalyptic language and play on the same neurotic anxieties that afflict the far right.
Views on the news
It is hardly surprising that John Redwood has come out in favour of nuclear power. It has long been reported that he shines in the dark like the dial of a luminous watch and causes Geiger counters to start clicking. In a world where Tony Blair has been appointed as a peace envoy it is fitting that the mad apostle of monetarism should call for tax cuts coupled with a massive expansion of nuclear power. This system of tax-cutting and increased spending is the standard economic formula on Redwood’s distant home planet of Vulcan.
The Labour Party has unveiled its Highly Skilled Migrants Policy. This would limit immigration to skilled people such as doctors and financial experts. Doctors are understandable but financial experts we can do without. It was “experts” who advised Margaret Thatcher to join the ERM and introduce the Poll Tax. They convinced the American banks to lend money to the unemployed and advised the privatization of British Rail. We have got more than enough financial advisors without importing more of them.
Ashley Mote the independent MEP was found guilty at Portsmouth Crown Court of 8 charges of false accounting, 8 charges of obtaining money transfer by deception, 4 charges of evading liability and 1 charge of failing to notify a change of circumstances. But earlier this year he was the author of a 25,000 word report alleging that there is something wrong with EU accounting. He must have known when he issued his report that he was about to be exposed as a benefit cheat and a fraud. Perhaps he thought that he could get away with it? Such is the deluded nature of the men that we are electing as our representatives.
When Defence Minister John Reid sent British troops to Afghanistan he said he would be “very happy if they do not fire a shot.” But the latest “friendly fire” deaths in Afghanistan have taken fatalities to 73. British troops are fighting so close to the insurgents that the Americans cannot provide accurate air cover. The Russians had the same problems when they occupied the country from 1979 to 1989. They lost 20,000 men and had 53,753 wounded. The war bankrupted the Soviet Union and caused its collapse. Eventually Mikhail Gorbachev decided that the war was unwinnable. NATO has yet to reach the same conclusion.
Keith Vaz the Aden-born son of a Goanese has called for a referendum on the Euro treaty because he feels that the British people have a right to decide. Fair enough but we should also have a referendum on the mass importation of Asians and Africans into our already overcrowded country. Keith Vaz was once an enthusiastic Minister for Europe but he fell from grace due to his involvement with the Hinduja brothers and the cash for honours scandal. How very kind and democratic of him to worry about our right to decide. If we are to have another referendum on Europe it should be part of a general questionnaire into all the main issues of concern. Let’s have our say on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on law and order and on non-European immigration