An occasional e-mail to friends, # 54, March 2009
British jobs for British workers
The recent industrial disputes involving Italian and Portuguese contractors were encouraged by the popular press. With almost unbelievable hypocrisy the Daily Mail and The Sun supported the strikers who were protesting against foreign labour. In fact the contractors involved are only a fraction of the millions of foreign workers who have been imported. The overwhelming majority are non-Europeans but the cowardly press will not say a word about them. Asians, Africans and Caribbeans are protected by the Race Act and have always been supported by the flag-waving media and the unions.
The same newspapers that are preaching racial tolerance and multiracialism are leading the campaign against European workers. They have never worried about millions of Third World immigrants taking jobs and benefits from us but they are furious when an Italian firm brings over specialist workers for a short-term contract. Their deviousness is driven by their hatred of Europe and their total commitment to global capitalism.
Of course British workers resent competition. It’s all the same to them if the man taking their job is European or African; in fact the nationalistic element prefer English-speaking nonwhites to fellow Europeans. But they must remember that thousands of British workers decamped to Germany in the Nineties to escape unemployment at home, and that a million British pensioners are living in continental Europe.
When Poland joined the European Union most member states, except Britain, imposed restrictions on the free movement of labour. The result was a temporary influx of over half a million Poles. Many have since gone home but very few of the six million Indians, Pakistanis, West Indians and Africans ever go home. To Third World immigrants Britain is a paradise with or without jobs. We can’t blame them for coming but we certainly blame successive governments for letting them in and undermining wages and conditions.
Britain has a natural right to protect jobs but there has always been mobility of labour in the construction industry and specialist contractors tend to use their own people. The trade unions should insist on the use of local labour wherever possible. This should be written into contracts to ensure that British workers are treated fairly. But the xenophobic headlines of the popular press are strangely at odds with their long-standing promotion of mass migration.
Today’s nationalists are liberals compared to their predecessors. In the sixties only the Germanic states were accepted, the Latin and Slavic nations were relegated to the second division. Now even the most fanatical Euro-sceptics acknowledge that we are a European nation. A few years ago some of them claimed that we are descended from a lost tribe of Israel.
The far right parties are talking about a “European dimension” and some bold spirits even support a European confederation. The collapse of the Soviet Union brought an end to anti-Slav propaganda and the million Brits living across the English Channel have formed abiding relationships with their hosts. The narrow-minded attitudes of the past are slowly changing and the global recession has forced even the most rigid nationalists to think the unthinkable.
Attempts to form a nationalist bloc within the EU have failed because of mutual hostility. German nationalists still claim parts of Italy, the Czech Republic and Poland. Hungarians covet parts of Romania and the Russians are bitterly hostile to the Baltic States. Instead of seeking unity they are perpetuating divisions. But the idea is a step in the right direction. Anti-federalists acting together might learn to respect each other and lose some of their ingrained prejudices’
The Bruges Group claim that it costs Britain £55.7 billion to belong to the EU; in fact last year’s contribution was just £2 billion but our exports to the EU amounted to £150 billion and secured 2.75 million jobs. They also say that we could quit the EU but still trade with Europe like Norway and Switzerland. But the Charlemagne column in the Economist tells a different story.
You can quibble about whether the deal is as good as it looks (members have no influence over EU rules, but must obey them anyway). But that argument has limited weight with British Eurosceptics, who say their country enjoys minimal influence now. So try a simpler line. The EFTA countries are small, making concessions to them is painless. And they may be tempted to join the EU one day, making it worthwhile to offer them sweeteners. If Britain left the EU, the 26 other countries would set terms for free access to their market (including a big contribution to their budget). They would have no interest in offering a sweet deal: as any member of a book club can attest, the free dictionary is offered on the way in, not on the way out. Britain would remain just as vulnerable to EU calls for harmonized working hours, or tax rates, if not more so. As an ambassador predicts, “Britain would have to pay a very high price.”
The recession will accelerate the process that has brought the nations of Europe together. Despite dire warnings from world leaders economic nationalism will prevail. And when it does we must ensure that Britain is protected by the collective security of Festung Europa.
Free trade – a new article of faith
Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are warning against protectionism. They maintain that the only way out of the current crisis is through free trade and that any moves towards economic nationalism would lead to disaster. But we have already got a disaster. Thirty years of Thatcherite free trade has destroyed our industrial base and imported millions of Third World immigrants as cheap labour. We are living on loans that will be repaid by generations of taxpayers. Instead of using taxes for health and education our government will be forced to pay every penny to our creditors. Brown and Obama have condemned us to a future of punitive taxation.
The “borrowers” want a “New Deal” to end the recession. Roosevelt and the revolutionary leaders of the Thirties launched great programmes of public works and rearmament. But it wasn’t public spending that ended the Great Depression it was the Second World War. John Maynard Keynes advocated spending linked to production. He only went cap in hand to America when Britain faced starvation and total economic collapse at the end of the war.
We got into this mess by spending money that we didn’t have; we will not get out of it by borrowing even more. We have got thousands of cars waiting to be exported and showrooms full of imported cars few people can afford. The bankers have mismanaged our affairs to the point of bankruptcy but still award themselves massive “performance” bonuses with our confiscated money. We cannot afford drugs for cancer sufferers but we are spending billions fighting Afghanis who object to being invaded and colonized.
Unregulated capitalism is the cause of the present crisis not the cure. Moving goods and people around the world produced a worldwide boom that has now turned to bust.
The ordinary man in the street knew that house prices could not go on rising forever. He also knew that cheap goods from China were destroying our industries. But Gordon Brown and his advisors didn’t know these things and didn’t see the crisis coming. The “experts” thought that the free trade racket would go on forever. These are the same “experts” who are now warning us against protectionism.
So-called democratic governments rely on big business to run the economy and refuse to think beyond the next election. They are by their very nature short-term brokers with no interest in the future. When Britain is struggling under a mountain of debt Gordon Brown will be on the lucrative lecture circuit in America telling his attentive audiences how he saved the world. Far from admitting his utter failure as a politician he will be congratulating himself for spreading the gospel of free trade; a new article of faith in the catechism of the damned.
The war on terror
According to the Murdoch press there is an international conflict between the freedom-loving West, including Israel, and the “axis of evil” including Russia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba and North Korea. These states have diverse political systems. Russia is a parliamentary democracy, Iran is an elected theocracy, Syria is a secular autocracy, Sudan is a typical African dictatorship, Venezuela and Bolivia are socialist democracies, Cuba is a communist state and North Korea is a hereditary dictatorship. A mixed bag of regimes united only by their determination to resist American hegemony.
American hostility to communism was subdued during WW2 as the Red Army battled the Wehrmacht but it grew with the Berlin blockade and blossomed when Joseph Stalin began shooting “rootless cosmopolitans” during the “Doctors’ Plot” of 1953. Communism was anathema until the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 leaving America without an enemy until the 9/11 atrocity of 2001 gave them a new spectre to worry about. Now it’s no longer the Reds who threaten the peace of the world but radical Islam. The American public accepted their new enemy with enthusiasm; they never questioned Kennedy over Cuba and they never doubted Bush and Cheney over Iraq and Afghanistan.
British defenders of the “special relationship” automatically support American foreign policy. Some of them even wanted to get involved in Vietnam but fortunately we were bankrupt at the time and Harold Wilson was unable to oblige. Tony Blair gave his support to the infamous American attack on Serbia in 1999 and to the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. Now the usual suspect alliance of Atlanticists, neo-conservatives, racists, Zionists and born-again-bigots is supporting Israel’s “war on terror.”
IRA and ETA attacks in Europe were as devastating as the attacks on New York, London, Madrid and Ankara but we did not respond by bombing Dublin or Bilbao. Politicians refuse to talk with terrorists but many states were born out of insurrection, including Ireland, Israel and the United States. Britain fought terrorists all over the world but we eventually negotiated with them. We will talk to the Afghan resistance just as we talked to the Stern Gang, EOKA, Mau Mau, FLOSY and the IRA. Mullah Mohammed Omar will join the Establishment one day, just like Jomo Kenyatta, Nelson Mandela or Gerry Adams.
The occupation of Palestine is the root cause of terrorism. The neo-cons claim that 9/11 was motivated by religious hatred but demonstrations all over the world show that Palestine is the casus belli for Muslims. So long as we back Israel we will be targets. We must defend ourselves against terrorism by strictly controlling immigration and denying asylum to known extremists. But if we really want to solve the problem we must force Israel to the conference table by applying international sanctions.
The 2009 Euro election takes place in June but only half of the electorate will turn out and the Euro-sceptics are confident of success. An unholy alliance of metric martyrs and morris dancers will be standing in defence of “British Independence.” As the pound disappears off the radar they are denouncing the EU as a Popish plot supported by goose-stepping Prussians and garlic-munching Bonapartists. They are fighting for the illusion of national independence but their misguided campaign will only help to keep Britain dependent on America.
In their minds America is an Anglo-Saxon country devoted to fair play and hard work, a nation of middle-class churchgoers who speak English and cherish democracy. They do not recognize that white people will soon be a minority in the land of Barack Hussein Obama, or that managerial jobs are being taken over by East Asians and all other jobs by the endless influx of Mexicans. And they don’t want to know that America owes billions of dollars to the Chinese. They prefer their rose-tinted image of America as the land of Ronald Reagan, busty blondes, well-scrubbed children and apple pie.
The Conservatives have brought Ken Clarke back to the front bench. He is a committed European who as president of the Cambridge Union twice invited Oswald Mosley to be guest speaker. This upset his fellow student Michael Howard and he has never been forgiven by the mainstream Tory Party. Dave Cameron will struggle to keep the anti-European “bastards” in line. They destroyed the John Major government and will not hesitate to undermine the Tory election campaign.
The recession will be a lot worse by June. More people will be out of work and more businesses will fail. Gordon Brown keeps telling us that it is not his fault because it’s a global recession. But he instigated the recession by deregulating the banks, outsourcing industry and the importing Third World labour. His talk of “British jobs for British workers” is a cruel deception.
We can trust Gordon Brown’s to see us through the recession or turn to Dave Cameron, the new acceptable face of the Tory Party. In reality there’s not a scrap of difference between them. They both serve the Establishment and follow orders from Wall Street.
British elections are no different to the old Soviet system. They used to give the electorate a choice between “approved” candidates that all belonged to the Communist Party; we are given the choice of candidates that belong to different parties that have the same agenda. If you support unlimited immigration, free trade and the “pax Americana” you can vote for any one of them. But if you want to preserve Britain as a European nation with a sustainable economy you will be better off staying in and watching the Simpsons.
Mark Gould writing in The Independent of 22/02/09 reports on the last reunion of the 43 Group. They were anti-fascists that used extreme violence to break up perfectly legal Union Movement meetings after the war. Gould’s fanciful account glosses over the criminal element that dominated the group and suggests that they were all decorated ex-servicemen. The post-war anti-fascists have been given the same whitewash as the pre-war thugs and terrorists who tried to silence the political process.
The “Battle of Cable Street” is enshrined in left-wing folklore even though it never happened. The only battle was between a communist street army and the Metropolitan Police. But the truth is buried under generations of distortion and fabrication.
Paul Collins writing in Action in May 1990 tells what really happened.
“Cable Street” says a recently published social history of East London by Anthony Davies, is a symbol of the East End tradition of political activity; of simply not just lying down and taking it.” Davies travels down Cable Street stopping at a “splendid mural” whose “swirling figures include policemen on horses, men in black shirts and people waving red banners.”
Why, he asks, were Mosley and British Union trying to march that October Sunday through London’s East end? “Mainly because parts of the East End, such as Bethnal Green, Shoreditch and Limehouse, were strongholds of the BUF and Mosley was hoping to extend his influence to Shadwell and Wapping.”
There follows the familiar recitation of “events,” drawn, it is hilariously explained, from the News Chronicle, a paper whose instinct for political objectivity was as frail as its ultimate feel for newspaper management. “Cable Street’s significance” says Davies, “lies in the manner in which the East Enders of all parties and religious beliefs and none united to ward off a highly provocative and insulting march. After October 1936, the BUF declined rapidly.”
This claim, like the red banners fluttering in the “splendid mural”, owed nothing to reality of course, and I will not try the reader’s patience by referring to the nation-wide composition of the opposition or by reciting yet again the papers in the Public Records Office showing that British Union’s popularity in East London actually increased after “Cable Street”, and that its national support reached its high during the campaign of 1939.
“It is difficult to find a memoir or autobiography of the East End in the 1930s in which the writer was not at Cable Street on 4th October, 1936.” No doubt, fancy and illusion losing nothing with the passing of time, quite the contrary in fact.
One “memory” from the other side of the barricades with which I am familiar, though, belonged to the Whitechapel criminal and gang-leader Jack Spot, who boasted in the mid-fifties of how he picked up a lead-filled chair leg en route for Cable Street. Perhaps Mr Davies includes this among the lovable practices of ‘the voluble, excitable, hard-working and generous Jewish presence which has been responsible for much of what is best in East End life.”
Davies concludes his pastiche of errors and hoary propaganda by remarking that “to have been there is still worn as a justifiable badge of honour.” Indeed it is but the honour belongs to the men and women of British Union who, at Cable Street, and in the years ahead, carried the political faith of a New Britain to their working class neighbours in East London, confronting and defeating the organized lies, corruption and terror of the Reds and their alien allies, and the cynical guardianship of the Westminster Establishment.
Oswald Mosley achieved, as his biographer Robert Skidelsky noted, a relationship with the working people of East London unique in British politics. He did so because he advanced the creed of a progressive, patriotic and classless Britain, and in the warm comradeship of British Union clasped the hands of a people who indeed “ would not lie down and take it.”
Mr Davies’s book is entitled “The East End Nobody Knows.” “ Cable Street” is assuredly the East London that never happened.
British forces in Iraq
“What we face today is a crisis of confidence that all the marching bands and Ministry of Defence spin cannot conceal. Once masters of counter-insurgency, our global reputation has been badly tarnished.
Unless we move on from who did what when and instead examine this difficult question, we run the real risk of leaving Iraq with little to show for our efforts and nothing learnt from the experience.”
Those words were not written by some left or right-wing extremist, they were written by Richard Beeston the respected foreign editor of The Times in February 2009.
Britain’s participation in the invasion and occupation of Iraq was pointless. We helped to destroy a nation that posed no threat to us. And in doing so we lost 179 servicemen and 174 “contractors.” We also sustained countless broken minds and bodies. Now our forces are leaving a devastated country ruled by a puppet government kept in power by the American military. The politicians and generals claim that Afghanistan is a different proposition. But we know that it’s exactly the same and that our losses will be just as pointless.