Thursday, 30 November 2017

Nation Revisited # 134, December 2017

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."

Thinking the Unthinkable

As the full implications of Brexit are realised people are starting to question the wild promises of the Brexiteers. We now know that it will not mean more money for the National Health Service, or an end to immigration. We are about to declare ourselves 'independent', but our oil is running out, we have to import nearly half of our food, our armed forces are stretched, our productivity is lagging behind France and Germany, our gold reserves are depleted, and our National Debt stands at £1.8 trillion.

In the days of the British Empire, we traded manufactured goods for cheap food and raw materials from the Dominions. But that system was destroyed by the Second World War and we turned towards our near neighbours in Europe. Now, a forty year campaign by the popular press has torn us away from the European Union and condemned us to an uncertain future.

Whatever happens in the next two years we will
still be Europeans by history, geography, blood and culture. We have survived two world wars and lost our empire but we are basically the same people. Unfortunately, the transformation was too much for the older generation. But they are dying and their grandchildren are pro-European. It's therefore inevitable that we will take our place in Europe.

Perhaps we should
think the unthinkable and abandon Brexit? European Commission President Jean-Paul Juncker said: "I don't like Brexit. I would like to be in the same boat as the British. The day will come when the British re-enter that boat, I hope." Lord Kerr, the former head of the British diplomatic service who wrote Article 50, said that the UK could stay in the EU even after exit negotiations had begun. And the political journalist Allessio Colonnelli, writing in 'The Independent' stated; "Don't worry Remainers, Britain will rejoin the European Union within 30 years." 

Nobody in 1945 would have believed that the British Empire would be dismantled within twenty years. Or that our population would be changed forever by mass migration.
Or that we would be using decimal currency and buying petrol in litres. It may be difficult to imagine us back in the EU but stranger things have happened. 

Ukip and North Korea

The policies of the UK Independence Party and the Workers' Party of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are almost identical. Both are motivated by an
obsession with 'independence' and a hatred for foreigners.

The official website of the DPRK states:

"The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is guided in its activities by the Juche idea authored by President Kim Il Sung. The Juche idea means, in a nutshell, that the masters of the revolution and construction are the masses of the people and that they are also the motive force of the revolution and construction.

The Juche idea is based on the philosophical principle that man is the master of everything and decides everything. It is the man-centred world outlook and also a political philosophy to materialize the independence of the popular masses, namely, a philosophy which elucidates the theoretical basis of politics that leads the development of society along the right path.

The Government of the DPRK steadfastly maintains Juche in all realms of the revolution and construction.

Establishing Juche means adopting the attitude of a master towards the revolution and construction of one's country. It means maintaining an independent and creative standpoint in finding solutions to the problems which arise in the revolution and construction. It implies solving those problems mainly by one's own efforts and in conformity with the actual conditions of one's own POLITICS country. The realization of independence in politics, self-sufficiency in the economy and self-reliance in national defence is a principle the Government maintains consistently.

The Korean people value the independence of the country and nation and, under the pressure of imperialists and dominationsts, have thoroughly implemented the principle of independence, self-reliance and self-defence, defending the country's sovereignty and dignity firmly.

It is an invariable policy of the Government of the Republic, guided by the Juche idea, to treasure the Juche character and national character and maintain and realize them. The Government of the Republic always adheres to the principle of Juche, the principle of national independence, and thus is carrying out the socialist cause of Juche."

Ukip produced a comprehensive manifesto for the 2016 general election but they are best known for wanting an independent Britain with strict immigration controls, extended armed forces, protectionist trade policies, and a strong sense of identity.

That sounds reasonable but like the road to Hell, nationalism is paved with good intentions. The ruling party in North Korea came from the Partisans fighting the Japanese in World War Two. It was a national liberation movement motivated by patriotism. But it has degenerated into a military dictatorship that has turned its back on the world and threatens to go to war with America.

Extremists encourage each other, and they have no sense of proportion. Ukip and North Korea share an ideology based on paranoia and defiance. A Ukip supporter once told me that they would 'eat grass' rather than share national sovereignty with the European Union. Kim Jong-Un has a similar view. He constantly threatens South Korea and Japan and barely tolerates China. Nationalism always goes too far - and it always ends in tears.

A North Korean style future for Britain is not a good idea. We do not need a demented dictator constantly threatening our neighbours and posturing for the cameras. Margaret Thatcher was bad enough but Boris Johnson would be intolerable.

Training and Education

One of the few hopeful developments of recent years has been the realisation that we need to train our own people instead of relying on immigrants. Successive governments have imported doctors and nurses from abroad because it was cheaper than training them here. And the same goes for engineers, scientists and other skilled occupations. Now, at last, we are making apprenticeships available and gearing university education to the needs of industry. We need accountants and surveyors, as well as sociologists and media studies graduates.

We have imported skilled workers for so long that we will not replace them overnight. When the Uganda Asians were being expelled by Idi Amin in the seventies, prime minister Ted Heath was reluctant to let them into the UK because public opinion was against immigration. But when it was pointed out to him that they were middle-class people; doctors, lawyers, accountants and shopkeepers, he changed his mind because we needed all of those trades. In fact, the Asian doctors from Uganda saved the National Health Service at that time.

The big businessmen who run this country generally go for the cheapest labour and they couldn't care less where it comes from. When they are not importing cheap labour they are exporting jobs. The Tory philosophy is that governments should not interfere in industry. Our labour laws were won by the trade unions. If it had been left to the Tories we would still have children working in mines and factories. Theresa May tries to present a caring image but few people are convinced.

Politicians are united in their praise for the multiracial society. But the real reason why they bring Third World immigrants here is for cheap labour. According to the General Medical Council, it costs £610,000 to train a doctor in the UK, but we can bring a qualified doctor from India for the price of an air ticket. Engineers, scientists, lawyers and other professionals are just as expensive to train.

Conspiracy theorists think that immigration is driven by a sinister Marxist plot to destroy the White Race but it's really a matter of supply and demand. The Industrial Revolution was accomplished with labour torn off the land. The Welsh coal boom attracted workers from Scotland and Ireland. The post-war reconstruction drew immigrants from the Caribbean and the Indian subcontinent, and we currently depend on workers from Europe. 

Mugabe Deposed

Robert Mugabe has been deposed by the Zimbabwe army after 37 years of bloody dictatorship. He was the darling of the liberal establishment when he was appointed president following the fall of the 'rebel' government of Ian Smith. White rule in Rhodesia may have been paternalistic but it provided adequate food, health care and education.

When Robert Mugabe took over from Ian Smith he expressed joy at inheriting "a wonderful country with a modern infrastructure and a viable economy." But he destroyed it by printing money and giving confiscated farms to his 'comrades'. Three million Zimbabwean refugees fled the country but Mugabe's supporters in London and Washington continued to back their 'brave black freedom fighter' who brought down the 'evil fascist regime' of Ian Smith. They cheered when the white population was reduced from 300,000 to 30,000, and they callously ignored the Matabeleland massacres of the Eighties when at least 20,000 people were murdered.

                              Ian Smith 1919 - 2007

Ian Smith led the government of Rhodesia from 1964 to 1979. He was an RAF fighter pilot in the Second World War who fought for Britain but he was vilified by the gutter press for defending European civilization in Africa. He warned that premature black rule would spell disaster and he was right.

At 93 years of age, Robert Mugabe is beyond justice, but those who made excuses for him should be charged with aiding and abetting murder. Recently, young men who said stupid and irresponsible things about the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox were sent to prison. That's fair enough but those politicians, businessmen and journalists who supported the corrupt regime of Robert Mugabe should be similarly dealt with.

Climate Change

President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and vowed to invest in the coal industry. He is keeping his election promise to the coal miners and showing the world that he doesn't believe in man-made climate change. Most American industrialists and scientists disagree with him but some of his supporters believe that there's a conspiracy against coal.

In February 1974 I thought that coal was a great national resource. I wrote in "Nation":

"We are fortunate to have a vast wealth of national resources here in Britain. Our coalfields, properly managed, could provide enough fuel to fire power stations and provide ample electricity for all our needs. It is difficult to get a true idea of the amount of coal in the ground of Britain. Most experts put the figure at about a hundred years supply but recent finds may well have doubled this estimate. What's more improved methods of burning coal more cleanly and efficiently are being developed."

That was before I knew about climate change. I now recognise that we have a duty to protect the environment and that we must find cleaner sources of energy. Nobody in their right mind thinks that it's a good idea to poison the atmosphere. Even if climate change is a natural process it still makes sense to keep the air we breathe as clean as possible.

When our primitive ancestors donned animal skins to keep warm they were using their brains to survive. Our entire existence has been a war on nature. We have selectively bred wild grasses into cereals and domesticated wild animals to provide food. We have crossed mountains, oceans and deserts and we are now reaching for the stars. But we dare not destroy our own planet by the careless use of fossil fuels.

Colourful Language

The language of politics is a constant source of amusement. The Brexiteers have adopted a prose style similar to those full-page advertisements that used to appear in the Daily Telegraph in which the North Koreans talked about "running dog capitalist lackeys" in the service of "American imperialist warmongers." They always described themselves as "peace loving" and Kim Il Sung was "The Great Leader"?

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the smartly dressed Tory MP for North Somerset is a thoroughly decent man who refuses to submit to "political correctness." He is also a great man with words. In a debate on European judges he used the word "floccinaucinihilipilification." (estimating something as worthless). He describes the European Commission as "sclerotic" and the EU as an "unelected dictatorship." A lesser-known nationalist calls it a "genocidal tyranny."

These people have a distorted image of Europe. Instead of seeing our fellow Europeans as our natural allies they see them as our enemies. Chancellor Philip Hammond recently described the EU negotiating team as "the enemy." And he is one of the most pro-European Tories. They think that the other 27 nations of the EU are ganging up on us, and they see everything from mass migration to inflation as a "European" problem.

There are many reasons for the Tory antipathy to Europe. Many of them are of the generation that remembers the British Empire, and some of them think that it still exists. Others are motivated by anti-German and anti-French sentiments.

And there is also the pro-American lobby that is hoping for a favourable trade deal with the USA. But Donald Trump actually means it when he says "America First." He recently slapped a 300% surcharge on the Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier which will cause massive job losses in Northern Ireland. America has never practised free trade. They have always used trade as a weapon of war and they are still pursuing the same policy with Russia, Iran and North Korea. Canada is supposed to be America's partner in NAFTA but Trump did not hesitate to act against them in defence of Boeing. The Americans never got over the rise of Airbus and they are fighting back.

People are beginning to realise that leaving the EU will not be as easy as they thought. A poll in The Times in October showed a clear majority are now favour of staying. But the diehard anti-Europeans will never surrender. They have got two years left to talk about "bloated" budgets, "dictatorial" directives, "unelected" politicians, "hated" flags and "unaccountable" commissioners. They have used every word in the dictionary to undermine Europe and their mischief has brought us to the brink of disaster. The pound has already depreciated by 20% and will drop further if we finally jump off the cliff. Some sort of compromise that keeps us in the single market and the customs union would be possible if the fanatics would stop screaming about "sovereignty", but that's another one of their favourite words. 

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