Sunday, 26 August 2012

Issue 83, September 2011

Nation Revisited
# 83, September 2011

The August Riots
The recent nationwide wave of rioting started in Tottenham as a protest by young blacks against the police shooting dead a suspected gangster. It was soon joined by feral whites and assorted benefit scroungers but, according to TV reports, Asians tended to be victims rather than culprits. After three days of mayhem five men were dead, hundreds of people were homeless and businesses were destroyed.

There may have been an element of political protest in all this but the majority of rioters seemed to be motivated by the primeval pleasures of killing, stealing, breaking windows and setting fire to buildings.

Since the Scarman Report on the Brixton Riots of thirty years ago the police have recruited more black officers and tried to rid themselves of racism. Money has been poured into deprived areas and conditions have improved. But that didn’t stop the latest riots.

The initial police response was hesitant and indecisive. Rumour has it that they held back in an attempt to blackmail the government and only deployed sufficient manpower when they were threatened with dismissal. For the past 30 years the police have been promoted according to their enthusiasm for multiculturalism, and for the past 13 years for their allegiance to the Labour Party. But instead of a political police force we need one dedicated to fighting crime led by senior officers who are capable of making decisions.

We shouldn’t be surprised that a generation brought up with precious little moral guidance has descended into savagery. Kids will always see how far they can go and until society returns to traditional values of discipline we shall have to deal with periodic outbreaks of rioting.
Rodney Legg RIP
The prolific author and conservationist Rodney Legg died of Cancer on July 22 aged 64. He was born at Bournemouth in 1947 and started his career as a protester with the League of Empire Loyalists in the 60s. His friends remember him as a tall cheerful fellow with strong opinions and boundless enthusiasm. He campaigned against restricted sites and pioneered public access to the countryside. He was chairman of the Open Spaces Society and their representative on the National Trust. He was an authority on his native Dorset. His many books on the countryside are available from Amazon. He is survived by his partner Di Hooley.

Living in the Real World
The British press blames the economic problems of the eurozone on the common currency. They maintained that if individual states kept their own currencies they could devalue them by setting low interest rates and increase their exports. But they ignore the resulting rise in essential imports like gas and oil.

The United States is a military superpower with an annual GDP of $15 trillion. The US armed forces have enough nuclear weapons to wipe out humanity. She can attack any country in the world and often does. But despite rock bottom interest rates America’s national deficit currently exceeds $14 trillion. 

A trillion is a million million. To get some idea what that means consider that a million seconds is 11.5 days, a billion seconds is 32 years, and a trillion seconds is 32,000 years.
Japan is the industrial powerhouse of the world with the latest technology and a labour force unsurpassed for hard work, intelligence and discipline. She has had zero interest rates for years but the Japanese economy is in the doldrums.

The UK survived 13 years of demented borrowing and spending by a Labour  government that has left us with crippling debts and an impressive collection of broken banks. We took the advice of the “experts” and set our interest rate at 0.5%. As a result the pound has fallen 20% resulting in massive rises in gas and oil prices. But despite rejecting the euro and encouraging devaluation our economy is only growing at 0.2% and inflation is running at 4%.
The eurozone interest rate of 1.25% is historically low. The eurozone economy as a whole is stable but individual states are at the mercy of speculators. To address this problem Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have agreed to stricter budget regulations and central fiscal management. 

It’s beginning to dawn on the “experts” that low interest rates and “sovereign” currencies may not be the answer. International trade has slowed down but we are not about to dispense with Chinese computers, Japanese TVs, German cars, Saudi oil or Russian gas. The world needs a reserve currency to facilitate trade but people no-longer trust the dollar. This must be addressed by the next G7 Conference.

Talking to trading partners is not “treason” and rescheduling debt repayments is not part of a freemasonic plot.  We live in the real world where debts have to be paid and few people are convinced by conspiratorial claptrap about “banksters” and “liberal elites.” Max Keiser can shout as loud as he likes but the fact remains that countries that borrow too much money have only themselves to blame.

The banks are irresponsible and greedy but they do not cause profligate spending any more than pubs cause alcoholism or pawnshops cause poverty. Minority political parties see conspiracies everywhere but our problems are the result of misgovernment rather than intrigue. It may be tempting to look for esoteric answers but as Sigmund Freud said: “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

The rightwing supports the state, global capitalism, free movement of labour, American hegemony and liberal democratic government. This is prescribed by the mass media and results in governments that are inevitably rightwing even if the party in power is called social democratic. 

In the UK there is virtually no difference between the three main parties. All of them   support NATO and American foreign policy. Most of them pretend to embrace populist causes such as immigration control and quitting the EU but their real interest is in maintaining the status quo. 

The ruling Democratic Party in the USA is considered to be leftwing because it supports health care. But Obama’s continued occupation of Afghanistan and his total commitment to Israel are rightwing positions. Americans opposed to the Third World invasion of their country might see his liberal immigration policy as leftwing but it’s supported by the big business interests who welcome cheap labour.

The old guard of the Soviet Union supported the state but anti-communist swept them from power and installed a liberal democratic system open to big business. The communist, in this case, were rightists and the anti-communists were pro-capitalist leftists. 

The so-called nationalist parties are just as confused. The National Front stands for race and nation but the BNP accepts all immigrants except Muslims. The Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breviek is typical of the new breed of nationalist who are really neo-conservatives and Zionists. 

Another alleged difference is between democratic and authoritarian government. But personal freedom as defined by the European Declaration of Human Rights has been eroded by anti-terrorist legislation. In Britain today you can be arrested on suspicion of terrorism and handed over to the CIA for “special rendition.”

The old binary logic of politics is no longer adequate. Today the left are often right, the right are usually wrong, nationalists are Zionists and liberals are authoritarians.  A rightwing rag like the Daily Mail calls Anders Breviek a rightwing extremist. But what should we call the Taliban who are fighting for national independence? Are they leftwing revolutionaries because they oppose NATO or rightwing reactionaries because they fight for God and country? And if they are rightwing does that make Barack Obama and Dave Cameron leftwing?

It’s all so confusing. Recently communist China stated that the American budget deficit was the result of irresponsible spending on defence and social welfare. It’s absolutely true but we never expected the Chinese to say it. Times have changed and we need new words to describe political affiliations. What, for instance, do you call someone who believes in positive government, European solidarity, social justice, international cooperation and equitable trading arrangements; but who rejects materialism, narrow nationalism, petty statism and head-measuring racism?  Please send your answers on a postcard.

Visions of Europe
People have different visions of Europe. The term ‘confederation’ is preferred by those who want each state to keep its own identity within a political and economic union. But ‘confederation’, ‘federation’ and ‘union’ all amount to the same thing.    Switzerland is a confederation that nevertheless has a national government, one currency, one flag and one army but clearly defined French, German and Italian-speaking areas. It is an ideal model for united Europe.

Oswald Mosley used the slogan “Europe a Nation” to describe his concept of united Europe. Mosley explained that a pan-European government would create a European nation. Unfortunately the European Union has put the cart before the horse by establishing a common currency without having a common government. The title “United States of Europe” is probably easier for most people to understand; it conveys the idea of one country made up of individual states – including the UK.

Eurosceptics protest that Britain would lose her identity in a united Europe. But the four nations of the United Kingdom – England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales have not lost their individual identities despite hundreds of years of political union. Nobody would lose their nationality in a united Europe.

The Common Market was established when half of Europe was under Soviet occupation. But since 1991 most of the Eastern Bloc states have joined the EU. The next step must be for Russia to join. This would stretch the EU from Galway to Vladivostok. Once such an empire is imagined it’s logical to include all the European- descended peoples of the world in a global union - as envisioned by Norman Lowell.

The European Union is a trading bloc made up of nation states that are fiercely defending their own interests. It was only necessity that got France and Germany to bail out the Irish, Greek and Portuguese economies. The eurosceptics are making political capital out of the situation but Greece is a tiny part of the EU economy that can easily be helped by the richer nations - just as the rest of the UK is subsidised by England.

The EU may be a capitalist racket but if we left it we would still be owned by big business and ruled by international finance. If we banned foreign imports to protect our industries the rest of the world would retaliate by banning our exports. An “independent” Britain frozen out of world markets would have no foreign exchange reserves for vital imports. We would have to copy wartime Germany and grow our own food, depend on coal-fired power stations, make coffee from acorns and oil from coal. The more likely scenario is that we would become the 51st state of the USA.

We do not know exactly how Europe will develop but eventually even reluctant players like Britain, Norway and Switzerland will join in. The EU is suffering the same economic problems as America but its future is assured by its industrial, agricultural and human potential. The grand vision of “Imperium Europa” is for the future but the idea that the world’s biggest and most successful trading bloc is about to collapse is a foolish fantasy sprung from minds stuck in the past

Most of the propaganda against united Europe originated from the pen of AK Chesterton the founder of the National Front. He had been a leading figure in Mosley’s British Union of Fascists until he left to help William Joyce with his National Socialist League. But despite his colourful political record he wrote the following words in a 1971 booklet entitled Common Market Suicide:

“Of what conceivable use was all the blood-letting and all the untellable agony of these two world-shattering events, for what long-term purpose were the superb qualities of our fighting- men enlisted, if the result in the life-time of many of us was to be the handing of our realm into the clutches of Rothschild Frères’ former chief executive and his like by a bunch of political flaneurs, chancers and general light-weights indifferent to the proud traditions of the British race and to all else except keeping step with the beat of the Wall-street drum. Should they have their way, then in the name of decency let them recover whatever may remain of the bodies of John Amery and William Joyce, that they may be buried in Westminster Abbey and be duly canonized as the pioneers who blazed the path into Europe for Edward Heath and his accomplices.”

Writing and Talking
At a recent get-together John Bean stated that I am a theorist with no grasp of practical politics. I took this as a compliment. If I had spent years putting leaflets through doors and talking about the state of the drains I might have got elected to Clogthorpe District Council and spent the rest of my days attending pointless meetings of the General Purposes Committee.

The Movimento Sociale Italiano was a classic example of what happens when a revolutionary movement embraces practical politics. It degenerated into another establishment party that’s no better than the rest of them. The BNP and most of the so-called nationalist parties throughout Europe have gone the same way. If they want to be accepted in polite society they might as well join the Tory Party.

Respectable Tories like Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of The Daily Telegraph have been spreading eurosceptic propaganda for years. He is a conspiracy theorist who thinks that the Oklahoma City bombing was a failed sting operation by the FBI. An astute American spokesman accurately described him as “a pain in the ass”. His latest advice is to: “buy a shotgun and prepare for 1932.” Ambrose Evans-Pritchard should calm down and heed the words of the great Scottish philosopher Rab C Nesbitt:             “When you get right down tae it, there’s only birth, copulation and death. Everything else is pure bloody guesswork.”

I will carry on writing in an effort to convince and convert. If I manage to influence one thinking person I will have done more good than scrabbling for votes in a local election. The irony is that John Bean is still reaching out to people with his articles and comments on the BNP Ideas website. He obviously doesn’t believe that writing is a waste of time. 

UK government spending is typical for a modern developed country. We spend 18% on Health, 16% on Welfare, 13% on Education, 18% on Pensions and 35% on Everything Else, including defence and interest payments.
UK Government Spending.  2011-12
Social Protection                               £200 Billion
Personal Social Services                  £ 32 Billion
Health                                                £126 Billion
Transport                                           £ 23 Billion
Education                                          £ 89 Billion
Defence                                             £ 40 Billion
Industry Agriculture & Employment   £ 20 Billion
Housing & Environment                    £ 24 Billion
Public Order                                      £ 33 Billion
Debt Interest                                     £ 50 Billion
Other                                                 £ 74 Billion

It’s generally agreed that we cannot cut spending on Health and Education. And Public Order is not likely to be reduced in the wake of the August riots. Interest Payments should go down as we pay off our loans. Defence is being reviewed but the real big spender is Social Protection at £200 Billion. This is the cost of keeping people who cannot, or will not, go to work. And it’s the main reason why we have to borrow one pound in every four that we spend.

The sick and disabled have to be helped but there must be thousands of able-bodied people who have simply decided to live on benefits. This problem was not caused by immigration but it’s obviously a factor. A generous social welfare system coupled with the open-door immigration policy of the last government resulted in the importation of freeloaders from all over the world.

The only alternative to spending cuts is higher taxes. But we are probably near the limit so far as the majority of working people are concerned. We might be able to squeeze a few billions out of the super rich, or increase indirect taxes like VAT. This might help in the short term but every tax increase reduces the public’s spending power and further shrinks the economy. 

The government has tried to prioritise spending and make cuts where they will do the least damage. But Labour politicians are reluctant to cut Welfare because they depend on the votes of the underclass and the Tories are frightened of being labelled as means-testers. Nevertheless this is the biggest drain on our resources and the most obvious target for reform.

There is some hope for Defence. The Anglo-French Defence Treaty of November 2010 secured a fifty year agreement on military cooperation including a shared aircraft carrier group, a 10,000 strong joint expeditionary force and joint development of nuclear testing facilities. Both Dave Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy deny that this is a step towards a European Defence Force - but that’s exactly what it looks like. At present Britain and France account for 50% of European defence spending; sharing the costs with the 27 members of the EU would be a great help.

The rightwing press and the minority parties hardly commented on the Anglo-French Defence Treaty. UKIP leader Nigel Farage MEP commented:  

“It seems to me that this winding down of our assets and the scrapping of equipment is paving the way for the inevitable EU Armed Forces. There can be no other plausible explanation for the continued weakening of the UK Armed Forces.” 

But there was surprisingly little reaction to a treaty that will revolutionise Britain’s defences and pave the way for future military cooperation.

Reporting the News
The meeting at the Palais de l’Elysee between Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy was reported in the British newspapers according to their political bias. It was either a sinister alliance of our principle enemies or an attempt at European integration. 

The Daily Mail published an article by veteran eurosceptic Simon Heffer entitled “Rise of the Fourth Reich, how Germany is using the financial crisis to conquer Europe.” He described his vision of how a European government would work: “This would entail a loss of sovereignty not seen in those countries since many were under the jackboot of the Third Reich 70 years ago.”

The Independent saw things rather differently. Their correspondent, AP, reported the meeting under the headline “Sarkozy and Merkel propose eurozone government.” 

“All countries that use the euro should have mandatory balanced budgets and better coordination of economic policy, the leaders of France and Germany said today, pushing for long-term political solutions instead of immediate financial measures like a single Euro bond.”

The Daily Telegraph reported the meeting with its usual Edwardian hyperbole. Jeremy Warner’s bloodcurdling headline read:                                                                            

“Even as Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy talk, Europe slides toward disaster.” “The EU leaders’ rhetoric in Paris makes it clear that they are not facing up to the existential crisis.”
With touching devotion to Thatcherite economics he goes on:  “It is rigid adherence to the principles of sound money that has both driven the European central bank’s decision to raise interest rates and prevent the ECB from applying the “unconventional measures” used in Britain and the US to stimulate economic activity.”

Despite the collapse of the banks and the sovereign debt crisis in America, Japan and Europe the Daily Telegraph is still committed to laissez-faire economics. 

The Guardian brought us back to reality. Polly Curtis wrote:
“France and Germany have set out plans to create the first “true European economic government” headed by a single appointed leader, as part of major moves to synchronise tax and spending to save the failing eurozone. 

The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and German chancellor, Angela Merkel, announced the dramatic proposals after a two-hour mini-summit. They also called for the imposition of tighter restrictions on member countries’ deficits and announced a synchronising of the tax policies of their two countries.

Sarkozy has also secured the support of Merkel for a Tobin tax – a financial tax on all international transactions – to raise funds to ease the crisis engulfing the European economy.

The establishment of an economic government for the eurozone will be seen by eurosceptics as a political power grab for Europe.”

The Independent and The Guardian are the only newspapers trying to be objective about Europe. Unfortunately The Independent sells 175,000 copies and The Guardian 264,819. 

They cannot compete with the mass circulation eurosceptic papers. Rupert Murdoch’s Sun sells 2,717,013 and its sister paper The Times sells 448,463. Desmond Morris’ Daily Express sells 623,689 copies and his other paper The Star sells 713,602. The Mirror sells 1,333,440, The Daily Mail 2,030,968 and The Telegraph 631,280. The objective papers are therefore outsold by 19.3 to 1. And television is dominated by Sky TV that is partly owned by Rupert Murdoch.

A 2010 YouGuv poll found that 47% of voters in the UK would vote to leave the EU, while 33% would vote to stay (with 14% undecided and 5% unwilling to vote). Opposition to the EU is strongest amongst those aged 60 or older but dwindled to 31% among those aged 18 – 24. This did not influence results in the general election where UKIP and the BNP failed to get elected.

Professor A P Laurie from the BUF Quarterly (circa 1934)
It is only necessary to frequent the gallery of the House of Commons to realise that Parliament is a sham. A Labour member is describing in eloquent language the condition of the derelict areas. A few listless and bored members loll on the seats listening to the same speech that they have heard several times before. They have not forgotten that when the Labour Party was in power it did nothing to solve this problem. The Division Bell rings; the members pour in to vote, without even knowing what they are voting about, and then rush out again to the smoking room or the bar. When the Labour Party was in power the same eloquent speeches on the unemployed were made from the Conservative benches. No one intends to do anything about it.

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