Major Failure

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‘Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.  With Major Major it had been all three’, so wrote Joseph Heller in Catch-22.  Major Major was a decent looking man who ‘floundered bewilderingly from one embarrassing catastrophe to another’.  Major’s major achievements if they can be so termed were Black Wednesday, when George Soros got one over on the government that he led, by initiating a run on the pound; and the privatisation of Britain’s creaking Victorian rail network and the trains that ran on it.  The companies which run these have together received more taxpayer subsidy per annum than British Rail did, with profits being creamed off by Richard Branson and his ilk.  The network itself was temporarily renationalised and one of the franchises may soon go the same way.

Major’s major failure was in not permitting a referendum on British membership of the European Union, the treaty for which he signed 25 years ago to the day.  I was 25 years old at the time, so I am part of the generation – resented by those who were in their infancy, in gestation or yet to be conceived back then – who waited nearly half a lifetime for a vote on this.  As I have typed on previous blog posts, I don’t know which way I would have voted had a referendum been held then, so I am not going to condemn those felt the same way last year.  However, it should be obvious that the longer a referendum was deferred the more likely a ‘Leave’ outcome would become, if only because voters of my generation would want to kick the political establishment (which the Green Party recently joined through its pro-EU stance), for denying them a say for so long.

But yet it didn’t have to be that way.  Back in 1992 there was no inkling that the EU would expand east of the former Iron Curtain (save for the former DDR) and if the eastern boundary of the EU had been permanently defined as Stettin to Trieste then a fully integrated Western European Union may have gained popular support in Britain, because there would have been no large scale economic migration from east of that boundary; and Britain would have been in a union with countries with which it shares a common cultural, genealogical and linguistic heritage; but not with those which it doesn’t.  Germans, who inhabit the geographical and political centre of Europe, need to grasp this.

To put it bluntly, ‘Eurosceptism’ has always been the default position in Britain, because Britain’s geographical separation from Continental Europe has always been a psychological one.  Where ‘Europe’ in a political sense extends no further east than Germany and Italy – with Sweden also accepted as ‘Western’ – most British people are willing to accept that as a political partnership.  What we now have is a political ‘Europe’ that is unrecognisable both in a geographical and political sense from the one which my generation was brought up with.

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Back to the Future

Travel along the A45 as it cuts through the western suburbs of Coventry and you’ll see a Jaguar car dealership.  This is located on the site of the former Matrix Churchill factory, which manufactured machine tools that were sold with the knowledge of Britain’s Tory government led by John Major, to the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein.  It was one of the contributory factors that led to the downfall of Major’s government.  At the time that the Tories lost the 1997 general election, the former factory was derelict with the site being used for paintball games and car boot sales; appropriate I thought at the time: pretend warfare and dodgy dealing.

As John Pilger detailed in Hidden Agendas, the armaments industry was one of the few British industrial successes during the 1980’s at a time when other manufacturing industries were in decline.  Its support depended on access to government; and the government convincing the electorate, via compliant media, that it was necessary for ‘competitiveness’, ‘prosperity’ and so on.  Attached was with the usual caveat that if ‘we’, the British, didn’t sell these armaments to various repugnant regimes around the world that the French would do so instead; which is true and will continue to be regardless of whom the French elect as president, but it is a morally vacant excuse nonetheless.

During her visit last week to the loose cannon in the White House, Theresa May stated that Britain and the US will never again invade sovereign foreign countries; something which sounds too good to be true, particularly with May claiming to speak on behalf of the US.  But such invasions are unpopular because of the number of flag-draped coffins that end up being brought home, usually of young men from areas where there are little other career opportunities besides joining the army.  The ideal for such wars is to do them by proxy, as the US did using the Islamic Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, with some sterling assistance from our own British SAS.

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With that in mind and the need to develop trade deals, with or without Brexit, Theresa May met Turkey’s Islamist president to agree an armaments deal.  This is perfect as Turkey being a member of NATO can fulfill by proxy the belligerence of any British government policy in the Middle East and BAE Systems benefits from the contracts.  So Theresa may be turning into Maggie after all.  However we just have to conveniently overlook Erdogan’s human rights record, related to which is his wish to eradicate secularism in favour of Islam.  Theresa should have worn a patriotic headscarf for the occasion.  Be warned what will come from this.  Besides the morally repugnant arms deal in itself, prepare for the Tories to clamp down on criticism of Erdogan, his government and Islam in general.  Also, be aware that post-Brexit, employers will seek to acquire cheap disposable migrant labour from Turkey rather than Poland.

On a domestic political level, May has made her first serious foreign policy mistake, for which she should be electorally punished, but won’t be due to the uselessness of the parliamentary opposition.  Her claim that Turkey is one of the UK’s ‘oldest friends’ is fantastical to say the least.  A century ago Turkey was allied to Germany and T. E. Lawrence led an Arab army to drive the Ottoman Turks out of Palestine, the legacy of which is one of the root causes of the enduring conflict there.  More recently the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, a Commonwealth country with British military bases, in 1974 was hardly the act of a friendly nation, even though the Greek / Turkish division was exacerbated by British rule, which kept the communities divided.

One final and very important issue is that 43 years on from joining the EEC, Britain needs to repair its relationships with Australia and New Zealand, whose populations felt rightly aggrieved at the time that Britain had betrayed them by joining a trading organisation which imposed import tariffs on their goods.  In Pilger’s book he devotes a chapter to Anzac Day, which is symbolically important for all Australians and New Zealanders, as it commemorates when more than a thousand of their young men landed on the Gallipoli peninsula to be cut-down by Turks dug into the cliff-face.  We know who our oldest allies are and it certainly isn’t the Turks.  If our oldest allies feel betrayed once more they are certainly entitled to.  There is only one way back from this, May should resign or be got rid of and the arms deal with Turkey should be scrapped, but neither will happen.

Reference:

Arming the World, from Hidden Agendas, pp 115 – 152, Vintage 1998 (paperback edition 1999).  Anzac Day, pp 249 – 280, from the same book.

Footnote to First Paragraph:

Coincidentally, John Butcher, the Tory MP in whose Coventry South West constituency the factory was situated – and who had worked for the Department of Trade, hence must have had some knowledge of Matrix Churchill’s business – lost his job when the constituency was abolished, the Tories effectively gerrymandering themselves out of a parliamentary seat.

Kippers for Brexit

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Could we have Kippers for Brexit, Mommy dear, Mommy dear?  So what is the point of the United Kingdom Independence Party?  To preserve one political union to the exclusion of another; and it appears in the case of Farage, the ‘Brexit Leader’ according to Fox News, to be the Donald’s favourite pet Limey, whilst Nige revels in the flattery.  Farage is UKIP and UKIP is Farage, a man who would be happy to jump ship and bugger off to the USA for good.  Trump’s aide Wilbur Ross has at least come clean that for the USA, its own interests come before the so-called ‘special relationship’.  So far, there has been no comment from the Trumpkin Alt-Right gobshites in Twitterland about this.  I am not in the least surprised by Ross’ comments or the Alt-Right’s silence.  As for UKIP, I have no time for them, I am British, not ‘UK-ish’; the sooner Britain becomes a republic the better.  I am no doubt in a minority in the latter view, but the assumption that voting ‘Leave’ makes one a lover of the monarchy or the rest of the British establishment needs to be put to rest.

It should be clear by now that ‘Leave’ voters have been played and betrayed by the political establishment, which includes the former commodities broker from ‘The City’ pictured above; and what is worse is that the vast majority of us are old enough to have sensed all along that this would happen.  The stereotypical ‘Leaver’ is working-class, in the true working sense of the word, politically Labour-inclined but socially conservative; white, middle-aged (forty-something or fifty-something) and male; heteronormative, cis-gender, to use the language of the diversity brigade.  We are the people whose work and taxes are the mainstay of the economy, whilst we are held in contempt by pundits and luvvies in the mainstream media, who caricature us as ‘xenophobes’ when most of us are nothing of the sort, being well-travelled within our own country – for employment as well as leisure – and abroad.  Amongst this peer group, irrespective of profession or vocation, whether employed or self-employed, it is clear that we have all been fools.

So what now?  I am annoyed at myself, less for having voted ‘Leave’ than for having bothered to vote at all and having deluded myself that for the first time in my life my vote actually mattered.  I was foolish enough to fall for groupthink laced with hope and belief.  I am not going to rebel and I doubt that any of my peer group will either.  Angry white middle-aged men don’t, do they?  What exactly could they (we) do?  Nothing, except disengage completely from the political process knowing as we have always known, that most politicians are liars, thieves, charlatans or worse.  We’ll carry on working, paying our taxes, trying to save for a pension; and for those with children, trying to secure their future.  And that really will be it.  Politicians will continue to play platitudes, the wheels will carry on turning and nothing will change.  Except that we are now heading for a long period of economic uncertainty, with a clueless and divided government running, or not as is more appropriate, the country, which is drifting on the currents like a rudderless ship.

New Dawn Fades

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Theresa may but she may not.  Her penchant for wearing heels is appropriate given how good she is at dragging them.  Since the referendum we have now had Six Months and Sweet FA.  Theresa desperately wants to be Maggie, but doesn’t have the electoral mandate; and she can’t be Maggie, because Maggie only stayed in power by convincing just enough people in the constituencies where it mattered, to vote Tory and share the spoils of purchasing the stolen goods that constituted our national infrastructure.  The family silver has been sold and now the cupboard is bare, our ‘sterling’ currency being anything but that, its market value based only on what investment return can be gained from it (next to bugger all with interest rates so pitifully low).  Under Tory then Labour then Tory we have had a ‘brick’ standard for our economy over the past few decades.  Little wonder then that for a large minority of voters in Britain, the EU is either better or no worse; and as the EU has ruled against Theresa’s Snoopers’ Charter, they have a valid point.

Many of these ‘Remainers’ believe that the EU needs to be reformed and that this is still achievable.  Their intentions may be sincere, but not a single one of them can elaborate how this reform can come about, given the EU’s track record of ignoring any attempts to do so and its contempt for any referendum result which goes against the deterministic European Project to create a continental superstate.  Theresa is, like Maggie was, a ‘Remainer’ at heart.  A true Tory, a whore to big business and its desires for anything that will reduce the costs of labour.  (It was Maggie after all who signed the Single European Act to encourage mass migration to drive down labour costs).  Theresa talks a lot of tough guff about immigration but without any sincerity.  Her track record as Home Secretary, by making cuts to the UK Border Agency, shows that she is anything but sincere on the matter.  Theresa realises that ‘Brexit’ is the only chance that she will ever have to make her mark on the world as a Leader.  With Hillary out of the way and Angela on the skids, Theresa could become the most powerful female Head of Government in the world; and a genuine ‘Brexit’, a clean break, would mean no more subordination to the EU.  But she won’t go that far, she is still trying for a fudge which will please no-one.

I made my departure, my ‘Leave’ vote, as I recognise that the EU has got beyond the point where it can be reformed, not something which I would have thought a decade and a half ago.  But to me, ‘Brexit’ is only worth having if it leads to greater reforms of the United Kingdom, such as it is, possibly away from being a Kingdom or Queendom.  An unelected Head of State, an unelected Upper Chamber (Lords rather than Commissioners) and the lack of a written constitution are issues which genuine progressives should be addressing, instead of clinging to the EU.  We Britons cannot change the EU, we are outsiders and always have been.  The EU will not adopt the common sense solution to its lack of moral authority, of a demerger into a Common Market for the trade in goods and services and nothing more than that.  So we must Leave the EU and build a better Britain, better than the Tories can ever offer us and take back the infrastructure which they plundered from us.  All this sounds very Old Labour, but that is what I am deep down.  The Tories’ procrastination over ‘Brexit’ is because only a minority of them genuinely support it, so the majority are hoping that the longer they can drag it out (with the backing of fraudulent ‘progressives’), the more fed up ‘Leave’ voters will become and say fuck it, why bother?

Finally, one should try to be optimistic and wish good tidings at this time of year; and in keeping with that, the journalist whom I mentioned in an earlier post on this blog must be expecting a single malt from Santa, so merry is he.  However, I cannot share his merriment.  The contrived ‘migrant crisis’ and the terrorist attacks that have come in its wake do not bode well for a peaceful New Year, as both will continue indefinitely.  The globalist enterprise known as the so-called British Broadcasting Corporation, the voice of the political establishment, will accuse those who voted ‘Leave’ of turning their backs on Europe, hence being on the same side as the so-called Islamic State.  Just wait.

Trumpton

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From Fred Goodwin to another of Alex Salmond’s former pals – he knows how to pick ’em – I found this interesting article from last year on the Guardian website (which, granted you would expect to run an anti-Trump story), about the Donald’s golf course and related development in Alex’s constituency.  It’s interesting that Salmond, who would like to see Scotland divorced from the rest of the UK (and hence the end of the UK itself), supported the UK supreme court’s decision to reject Trump’s opposition to a local wind farm.  It should also be evident that Trump will only play on his Scottish roots when it benefits his business empire and if that means running roughshod over local people then so be it.  Trump is a ruthless businessman above all else and if he weren’t, he wouldn’t be the billionaire that he is.  Any British people who think that his jumping on the ‘Brexit’ bandwagon was for anything more than short-term electoral gain should think again.  None of us should expect any favours from President Trump.  He may not put the UK to the back of the queue for trade deals, but no British person, most of all those of us who voted for the UK to leave the EU, should be under any illusions that the incoming Trump Administration will pander to the so-called ‘special relationship’ (a British invention that few Americans will ever have heard of, let alone care about).

Trump successfully marketed himself as a ‘man of the people’ knowing that his principal opponent was backed by the evil triumvirate of George Soros, Goldman Sachs and the Saudi monarchy.  Trump is, like Bill Clinton, allegedly a sexual predator, but the problem with any ‘revelations’ during the election campaign about his character is that they were nothing new, which is why they bounced off him.  In trying to find out more about his links to the Clintons, earlier this year I purchased a copy of the March 1990 edition of Playboy to read the interview with him (pp 55 – 72, excluding ads).  Unfortunately, the article doesn’t really reveal much except the size of Trump’s ego and his belief that countries which have US military bases should pay for them, his view being that the USA was ‘being ripped off so badly by our so-called allies; ie Japan, West Germany, Saudi Arabia, South Korea etc’.  Trump believed that if he ever ran for office he’d do better as a Democrat than as a Republican and when asked by Playboy, ‘What’s the first thing President Trump would do upon entering the Oval Office?’, he replied that he’d ‘throw a tax on every Mercedes-Benz rolling into the country and on all Japanese products, and we’d have wonderful allies again’.  Although he was most scathing towards Japan, he didn’t show any empathy for his German roots on his father’s side.

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I can empathise with Americans who feel that they were left with trying to decide between the lesser of two evils in the election.  At least Americans have the right to elect their head of state, which is more than British people have ever had; and they fought Britain for that right.  So we Britons have no right to lecture them on whom they should choose.  From this side of the Atlantic pond it looks like the decision to vote was less for Trump or Clinton then a preference of which one not to vote for.  I’ll admit that I did not expect Trump to win because I thought that he had alienated too many people; and no-one who represents either Republicans or Democrats can claim to be ‘anti-establishment’.  Trump won I guess because he is willing to talk bluntly, even if he causes offence.  Now that he has been elected, he can follow the tradition of all elected heads of government in ditching a lot of his election promises (including the wall across the border with Mexico).  I am not a fan of Trump, I don’t believe for one moment that he has any moral scruples about employing cheap disposable migrant labour, from Mexico or elsewhere; and I have never understood the obsession which many Americans have with gun ownership, other than it seems to be driven by paranoia.  But then I am not a fan of the Clintons either; and it is precisely because the couple come as a package deal that Hillary alienated so many female voters so it seems; that and her belief that women should vote for her solely because of her gender, as if she were a ‘self-made’ career woman, which she isn’t.  Add to that, the pair of them are mired in corruption.  Anyway, it looks like the riots which have taken place in Trumptonshire against his election will only play into the Donald’s hands.  We can look forward to the official presidential residence becoming the Trump House (with a Trump Hotel and Trump Casino?)

The Age of Consent

On 7th February 1992 John Major signed the Treaty of European Union, having refused to allow a public referendum on the issue.  If he’d had an ounce of integrity as Prime Minister then one would have been held at least a few months earlier; but then it was his predecessor Margaret Thatcher who signed the Single European Act on 19th February 1986 and Edward Heath, her predecessor as Tory Leader who signed the Treaty of Accession to the European Economic Community on 22nd January 1972.  Neither of them was willing to allow a referendum.  The record of the Conservative Party is of the continual erosion of British sovereignty, whilst wrapping themselves in the Union Flag and selling off our national infrastructure cut-price.

I was not of voting age back in 1972; but by 1986 I was and had a referendum been offered on either the Single European Act or the Treaty of European Union I don’t now how I would have voted, which is why I feel that it is unfair to condemn the millennials who didn’t know which way to vote in this year’s referendum (though I have no sympathy for those who protested at the result).  I was unaware back in 1992 that the Tories’ property-driven boom and bust was caused not only by the deregulation of ‘The City’ leading to a credit boom, but by Nigel Lawson’s fixation on keeping the pound within the European Exchange Rate Mechanism; hence Lawson refused to raise the Bank of England base rate when it needed to be and allowed a housing bubble to develop.  George Soros knew better with consequences which have become well-known.

I remember reading various ‘Europe of the Regions’ guff back in 1992 about which I was and still am sceptical because these ‘regions’ are inventions dreamed up by the Eurocracy; examples being that Oxfordshire (where I am from), the neighbouring county of Warwickshire (where I live) and two neighbouring counties, Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire fall within four different ‘Euro-regions’ by the partition of England.  Scotland and Wales are not partitioned as such by the Eurocrats.  Given the that EU back then consisted of only twelve members, all Western European (bar the economic basket case that is Greece), then I might well have voted in favour of the EU.  I really don’t know.  I couldn’t get motivated by listening to those Tories who opposed it when their own leaders had imposed it on Britain.

For me, ‘Eurosceptism’ is a more recent thing than it is among other people whose politics deep down are also Old Labour.  Probably up until a decade ago I used to support the principle of a ‘European Union’, but as it has continued to expand, it is trying to bind together countries with no common culture, history or economic interest, as well as no common language; and the huge economic disparities between the former Soviet Bloc and the developed economies of Western Europe have led to economically and environmentally unsustainable levels of migration.  It is a when and how, rather then if, the whole shebang falls apart.  Britain could be ahead of the game by getting out before it implodes.

Why I have entitled this ‘The Age of Consent’ is with reference to those millennials, including many who didn’t bother to vote, protesting that older generations should not be allowed a say; or that some ‘weighting’ should be placed on votes based on life expectancy.  The arrogance of these millennials is breathtaking.  Most weren’t even of voting age when Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown signed the Lisbon Treaty on 13th December 2007, having refused to offer a public referendum.  These millennials genuinely believe that they are more important then the millions of people older then themselves who were continually denied a vote on all the significant changes to the European Project since the one and only referendum held on the ‘Common Market’ on 5th June 1975.

These millennials may think that the older generations have now denied them to chance to live and work in other countries, which allegedly have a better standard of living and quality of life.  But they need to ask themselves why exactly does Britain have such a high level of inward migration if those other EU countries are better off.  They need to examine how this high level of immigration has led to slumlords buying up what ought to be the cheap first-time buyer properties; they need to examine the levels of youth unemployment in the Eurozone; they need to examine how the Single European Market has allowed unscrupulous employers to get away with zero-hours contracts.  Mostly they need to upskill themselves with a STEM degree not a useless one; and they need to stop sulking.

In 1968 many students protested against the Establishment before later joining it.  In 2016, a lesser number of students, but with an inflated sense of their own self-importance, protested in favour of the Establishment, showing themselves to be useful tools to all those corporate globalists who would like to see democracy eradicated and living standards continually eroded through the mass migration of labour.  What kind of ‘Brexit’ we get is yet to be decided owing to the lack of the government’s having a clear plan on the issue.  It could be a ‘Brexit’ in name only, but even if that is all it is, the referendum result still represents a rejection of the European Project as it stands; and at the risk of stating the obvious, yes I voted Leave.