All posts by petermullen

13 Dec

Our world of lying truths

Matt Hancock, a government minister, has just felt obliged to declare formally, ”Objective reality exists.” To his credit, he confessed to a certain shamefacedness about this but he added that he believes he had a duty to reassure us.

I find it hard to understand what Mr Hancock’s statement means. By “objective reality” does he mean truth? If so, then the proposition “There is such a thing as truth” is self-evident – a necessary proposition – because if someone attempts to refute it and says, “There is no such thing as truth,” then either that proposition is true or the one who states it is wrong. In either case, there is something that is true.

Actually, Mr Hancock’s laudable and public-spirited aim is to reassure us that in our new world of virtual reality, filled as it is with fake news, Bitcoins,  the dissembling worlds of Facebook and Twitter and computer games of such startling verisimilitude that so called “real life” pales by comparison, there yet remains something real, something we can trust.

I think our problem is not epistemological or metaphysical, but psychological and above all moral and spiritual. In our new electronic phantasmagoria, people have become indifferent to the notions of truth and reality. And this disposition has not been forced upon them: they have chosen it quite willingly. The interest of many is not truth and objective reality but images and sensations, and the rapid advance of technology enables us to create images and sensations of astonishing power.

Any “reality” is as good as any other. You choose! Seems? Nay, ‘tis.

Unfortunately, this world of willed illusion becomes also, by the operation of political correctness, a world of willed delusion. People don’t merely choose what to look at; they choose what to believe. Postmodern philosophers and theologians deny Mr Hancock’s (or God’s) truth and objective reality: they speak approvingly of things being” true for you” or “true for me.” And of course this just means we can’t talk about truth at all. The philosophers and theologians have been guided by the politicians who tell them not to insist that there is such a thing as the objective truth – because to do so might “offend” someone who holds to “a different truth.”

Welcome to the world of “equality” and “diversity.”

We have replaced the gospel of St John with the gospel of Pontius Pilate.

This is not going to end well. If we are no longer concerned to inhabit reality but instead we evaluate any image, any sensation, only insofar as it appeals to us, then we have no escape from a world of ubiquitous delusion. Jesus Christ referred to this activity as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit – which he declared to be the only unforgiveable sin. Unforgiveable because it is impossible to repent of it. If you say, “Lies be my truth” and “Delusion be my reality,” then you have chosen paranoid psychosis, madness – hell.

Allow me a personal recollection, please. In 1988 I began to write a novel about Tom and Lucy. These two young creatures of flesh and blood were increasingly drawn into a world which was all images and appearances. I found it intolerable and had to stop writing the damn thing: first, because some of the things that began to happen to Tom and Lucy were so horrific that they turned my stomach; and secondly, because it all sounded too far-fetched.

Well now, thirty years on, is it still so far-fetched?

If you are seeking a definition of the world we now inhabit, look no further than Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus where Mephistopheles, the Father of Lies, exclaims in terror and despair, “Why, this is hell; nor am I out of it!”

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
07 Dec

A world of sugared lies

When the whole world rises up and rails against you, cheer up! It probably means you’re doing something right.

This morning every organ from The Guardian to Hamas -whose spokesmen often seem interchangeable – to Russia Today, CNN, the EU and the EU’s spokesmen in this country who go by the name of the BBC, has condemned Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

But Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the seat of government since 1948. This is a fact. All those agencies I mentioned above are news media. If dealing in facts is not their business, then pray what is?

In 1995 the government of the USA promised officially that it would recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. But every president since that time – Clinton, Bush, Obama – has waived that official promise. Now Donald Trump has done the honest thing and made good his country’s word.

Yet he is excoriated for so doing.

This can only mean that the worldwide media values more highly men who betray their promises than the man who keeps them.

The international media and politicians everywhere have no moral principles – or they claim to be Utilitarians, which amounts to the same thing. They don’t look to principles – whether something is right or wrong in itself – as the guide to moral judgement: instead they look to the likely consequences of any action. Will these consequences turn out to be good or bad? They don’t know. They can only judge the consequences in terms of some predicted future consequences; and so the issue of morality – right and wrong – is forever postponed.

This is the model of Jeremy Bentham’s Utilitarian Calculus which Nietzsche rightly dismissed as “pig philosophy.”

But let us look at the international media and politicians worldwide this morning and judge them by their own dim lights.

Why are they unanimous in their condemnation of Donald Trump’s decision?

Because they say it will undermine the “peace process.”

Well now, do you know the difference between a neurotic and a psychotic? A neurotic is one who builds castles in the air. The psychotic is one who lives in them. The politicians and the international media are the psychotics, for there is no peace process. Every time an attempt has been made to get a peace process going, it has been sabotaged by the Arabs and their sympathisers. Let me offer one spectacular example. In 1998 Bill Clinton sponsored peace talks at Camp David which concluded in a commitment by all sides to “a two-state solution.”

The treacherous Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat stood next to Clinton on the lawn and signed up to this agreement. Then he returned to the West Bank and promptly announced the second intifada – the violent and murderous uprising against Israeli civilians.

Let me give you other examples. Hezbollah frequently subject Israeli towns and villages to a barrage of rockets from Lebanon…Hamas do the same from Gaza…The Arab terrorists in Gaza place their rocket-launchers in schools and hospitals and then announce to the willingly gullible international press that Israel’s leaders are child-murderers.

Let me give you even more examples…

On second thoughts, what’s the point? In a world of sugared lies, only the truth-teller is the villain.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
06 Dec

They’re pulling our leg again, aren’t they?

All sing along with me: ‘Tis the season to be hyperbolic…

Last night at a fastidiously pretentious “ceremony” in the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, the African artist Lubaina Himid was awarded the Turner Prize. What more can be said when the whole damn thing is beyond satire? Compared with Ms Himid’s stuff, the act of throwing a pot of paint in the public’s face represents high cultural achievement. What’s it like then? There’s a fair chance that anything I might write would be a bit on the biased side. so let one of her supporters describe it:   

“Himid’s work has long been concerned with black creativity, history and identity and this animated throng represents the Africans who were brought to Europe as slave servants. There are drummers, dog trainers, dancers, potters, cobblers, gardeners and players of the viola da gamba, all decked out in vivid versions of 17th century costume. Labels on their backs identify each individual, giving both their original African names and occupations as well those imposed by their new European owners, and these poignant texts also form part of an evocative soundtrack, interspersed with snatches of Cuban, Irish, Jewish and African music.”

Much of her output looks like a gaudy collage produced by a mildly psychotic six-year-old with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

But don’t take my word for it. Listen instead to the singer Goldie who appeared at last night’s shindig to praise Ms Himid’s work for “Digging deep and challenging people’s perceptions.” Gliding over the surface and massaging familiar prejudices, more like. Another enthusiastic commentator said that Ms Himid’s agenda is “Black identity and the slave industry” And he reminded us that Ms Himid was awarded the MBE for services to “black women’s art.” All of which sounds rather racist to me and it doesn’t say anything about her art.

She produces some of her work on old copies of The Guardian and includes photographs of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher clipped out from that newspaper. In other words Ms Himid is not about art but about trendy-lefty racial “activism” and, instead of throwing pots of paint in our faces, she is, by her own admission, busy “reclaiming identities.”

Well, it’s trash isn’t it? if works awarded the Turner Prize were not trash, we would all come away disappointed.

Fair enough that it’s trash. But it’s not fair enough that it’s lying trash. Ms Himid claims to be about “correcting false impressions.” Yes, we are all going to have the scales removed from our eyes and see the world as it really is – that is the world portrayed by “the black women’s art movement.”

So why does she peddle palpable untruths? Here’s one: “In the 1980s black people were totally invisible.”

I suppose she means as invisible as Courtney Pine, Sir Bill Morris, Sir Trevor McDonald, Chris Eubank, Cleo Laine, Shirley Bassey, Martin Offiah, Frank Bruno, Ben Okri, Floella Benjamin, Bernie Grant, Diane Abbott, Lenny Henry, Benjamin Zephaniah, Lennox Lewis, Linford Christie, Paul Ince and Ian Wright?

At the time I was living in Bolton – not far from Professor Himid’s hideout at the University of Central Lancashire. I numbered many black people among my friends and acquaintance there  and, so far as I can recall, none of them was invisible.

I must not protest too much and we should be grateful for the crap because it makes us return and repose again in things of quality.

All may be forgiven. Except that the name of the great J.M.W Turner is contaminated with this slime.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
02 Dec

Let’s hear it for the Barnsley Dame!

Woman’s Hour is the show that just keeps on delivering. Regular readers of this space will know that I have written before about this superb programme. Really, it is so good that I wonder I bother to write about anything else. Truth be told, as a satirist I envy the makers and presenters of Woman’s Hour because its daily straight-faced parody of reality is unsurpassable. They are supreme satirists without knowing it. Their feminist obsessions are more hilarious than anything we find in Viz or Private Eye. Great wits such as Rod Liddle and Craig Brown pale by comparison.

The gels on Woman’s Hour are so feministically monomaniac that they couldn’t bake a tray of jam tarts without a reference to HRT

But yesterday the ladies excelled even their own high standards in the business of making unintended jokes.

They were scheduled to interview two guests  – wimmin, naturally. One was a Japanese doctor acclaimed for promoting the safety of the HPV vaccine. The other was a Vietnamese film-maker, in Britain for the opening of her retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Unfortunately the producer mixed up the two guest gels Dr Riko Muranaka and Trinh T. Minh-ha.

The illustrious Dame Jenni Murray began by explaining that Dr Muranaka is the recipient of this year’s John Maddox Prize for promoting science on a matter of public interest, The Great Barnsley Interlocutor asked her guest:

“Riko, why did you pursue this subject?”

The pause that followed was of such heavenly length that I was reminded of that verse in The Book of Revelation which speaks of a silence in the celestial realms “of about half an hour.” 

Give the Great Dame credit for knowing that when you’re in a hole the thing to do is to continue digging. Diligently, she enquired a second time:

“Why did you pursue this subject?”

“Which subject are you pointing to?” asked a perplexed Trinh T. Minh-ha

An unaccustomed hint of tension crept into Jenni’s usual velvety intonation:

“The subject of the HPV vaccine and the twenty articles you wrote about it,”

“It’s not me,” said Trin T. Minh-ha quietly.

Jenni did not, as I believe they say in Barnsley, immediately twig. 

“I’m sorry?” she repeated, and this time with more tension than in a whole spasm of PMT – a subject by no means alien to the gels on WH.

“It’s not me,” Trinh T Minh-ha repeated, emitting a spectacularly nervous giggle: 

“I guess you got the wrong speaker.”

Now there was chastisement in Jenni’s voice. Didn’t the guest gel know her own name!

“You are Dr Riko Muranaka?”  

Of a sudden it dawned that her usual omniscience had failed her:

“You’re not Dr Riko Muranaka,” almost meekly.

“I’m Trinh T Minh-ha, the film-maker,” said Trinh T Minh-ha the film-maker.

Unfortunately, – apart from a now irascible Dame Jenni’s blaming “someone” else for the mix-up – that was the end of the morning’s entertainment.

It would have been priceless if Trin T. Minh-ha had gathered her own satirical wits and joined in the fun. What if she had said, “Yes, I wrote those twenty articles and I’m here to tell you that millions will die from taking that drug”?

Dame Jenny would be sure to fall for it, gleefully imagining she had a scoop, an exposure and a scandal.

Never mind gels: I’ll see you on today’s WH Saturday Edition for more jam tarts and HRT.  

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
28 Nov

Theresa’s Romantic Fantasy

Theresa May is very angry with Prince Harry. There was the great lady – Theresa, I mean, not Harry’s intended – with more press releases than she has pairs of shoes. For yesterday was to mark the launch of the government’s Grand Industrial Strategy: to give it its full title, The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Acres of newsprint had been set aside for the publication of details of this great national plan. I nearly wrote Five Year Plan, after the manner of the former Soviet Union. But Theresa is far more ambitious than Joseph Stalin and her strategy looks forward as far as 2040. Television and radio schedules were cleared in advance for exciting ministerial appearances. Then, wouldn’t you just know it: the Prince and his Yankee girlfriend – “I’m just wild about Harry” – are the only news in town. Surely Theresa must be our unluckiest prime minister: first she loses a general election which even a pussycat would have won; then she cocks up the Tory conference with a coughing fit; and now her big strategic launch lies smothered under a pile of royal fluff.

Theresa did actually say something yesterday but, since nobody was listening, I’ll give you the gist of it here:

“Our modern Industrial Strategy will shape a stronger and fairer economy for decades to come. It will help create the conditions where successful businesses can emerge and grow, and support these businesses in seizing the big opportunities of our time, such as artificial intelligence and big data, whilst also making sure our young people have the skills to take on the high-paid, high-skilled jobs this creates.

“As we leave the European Union and forge a new path for ourselves, we need to focus on building a better future for our country and all the people who live in it. With the Budget last week, and our Industrial Strategy in the years ahead, we will build a Britain fit for the future.”

So you see, whatever the deficit in its other capabilities, our government can still be relied upon to produce shoals of jargon.

In the strategy, the government has identified Four Grand Challenges. (Have you noticed how, whenever the country is in the middle of some irretrievable mess, it’s always referred to as a “challenge”?) 

Brace yourself for another fusillade of gobbledegook: “…global trends that will shape our rapidly changing future and which the UK must embrace to ensure we harness all the opportunities they bring. The Four are: 

Artificial intelligence – we will put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution

Clean growth – we will maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth.

Ageing society – we will harness the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society

Future of mobility – we will become a world leader in the way people, goods and services move.”

You will be wanting to know how much it will cost you – not Harry’s wedding but the Grand Industrial Strategy (GIS). It will, of course, cost as much as it takes – but £725million for starters.

To be honest, there were a few paragraphs about the GIS in today’s papers, but these were most depressing. All the newspapers assumed that industrial strategy has something to do with the business of government. Then, after much head-scratching, I twigged what’s going on here: Theresa May is doing a Tony Benn and reinventing the National Enterprise Board which – as the GIS will be – was doomed from the start. For the government doesn’t know anything about industrial strategy and there’s no reason why it should. The government’s job is to defend us from foreign enemies and keep the peace at home. So why are we spending more on the GIS than on our armed forces? And why has expenditure on the police forces fallen steadily for the last five years?

There are plenty of people in our country who know loads of stuff about industrial strategy, inventiveness and entrepreneurialism.  Government intervention is the last thing they need. All they require is for the government not to get in the way, but to step back and let the hands-on people get on with the job. They would best do this by creating the conditions which will allow industry and enterprise to flourish: that is make huge cuts in taxation and scrap business regulations.

But Theresa and the corporatist gang of left-wing ideologues who surround her won’t do this one thing needful.

Britain today is unique among the nations: we have a socialist opposition and a socialist government.

As for the GIS, it’s a bigger romantic fantasy than any royal wedding

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
22 Nov

Let’s hear it for the nasty party!

Theresa May’s brand of conservatism has been called “socialism lite.” This is unfair to her. Perhaps it used to be socialism lite, but it now shows every sign of turning into socialism ‘evvy.

The latest wheeze takes the form of a bribe as the Tories hope to grab the young voters by offering cheaper rail travel. But this is only a gimmick, a sideshow. Across the whole range of economic policies, the government looks increasingly left wing: not far off Miliband’s 2015 election manifesto and certainly well to the left of anything produced by Harold Wilson or Jim Callaghan in the 1960s and 1970s.

It gets worse. The Tories have not merely slipped half-forgetfully into socialism, they have seized on it with relish.

Let me offer you a sign or a symbol of this radical shift. Last Tuesday George Freeman MP resigned from the Downing Street Policy Board, the internal party think tank cum PR agency which dreams up policy and then tries to sell it first to the party and then to the people.

Mr Freeman thinks that Mrs May’s economic policies are still not far enough to the left. He spoke of “a lack of vision at the top of government.” Well, he’s right there! But his own vision looks rather blurred to me. He wants to see – among other things on his spendthrift wish list – housing subsidies, reduction or abolition of tuition fees and increases in public sector pay.

He says “Intergenerational unfairness is the biggest issue of our times.”

Mr Freeman’s vision is at least clear enough for him to notice the one thing we have all been noticing for a long time: the kids have turned to Corbyn in big numbers. Corbyn has created, through his 300,000 storm-troopers in Momentum and his skilful use of social media, a revolution in British politics. It amounts to this: he is talking to the 18-30 year-olds in the language they speak every day and tweet and post and twitter on their electronic gadgets. The Tories have failed to connect in this way. In fact, they have never really tried.

Jeremy has understood what Theresa has failed to understand: the gospel according to Marshall MacLuhan: “The medium is the message.”

So, says Mr Freeman, we need to capture the young voters by offering them bribes. He doesn’t put it quite like that – not in public anyway. But that’s what he means. He said this week: “Unaddressed, we risk loosing an entire generation under forty rejecting not just conservatism but capitalism too.”

In other words, he wants May and her “compassionate Conservatives” to go into competition with Corbyn and his revolutionary socialists.

It would be hard to conjecture a more stupendous error than that.

The Tories cannot possibly compete with Corbyn. They might promise people – especially these darling millennials – the moon. But Corbyn will reply – indeed, he has already replied – by promising them the whole galaxy.

How utterly barmy to try to out-left the left!

Barmier still to encourage voters to turn to the Tories by transforming conservatism into socialism.

There is only one sane strategy, one strategy alone that will work. That is to preach and practise conservative political and economic values and to demonstrate that these work: that they are the only sort of policies and values that have ever delivered the goods.

Cut taxes and business regulation. Reduce public spending. Use every political and fiscal measure in the book to encourage industry, commerce and entrepreneurialism.

So we’re doomed to a Corbyn government red in tooth and claw.

And why are we doomed? Because there is more chance of my winning the men’s singles at Wimbledon than of Theresa May acting like a Tory.

A long time ago – remember – Mrs May rejected the Conservatives as “the nasty party.”

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
19 Nov

Women and Wimmin

There are only two sorts of women in this world: those who come on Woman’s Hour; and then there are all the others

I regularly meet some of these others in my family, among my friends, in casual conversation in shops, on buses and trains, in church, in the pub and very occasionally at the betting shop. I like this sort very much.

For a start, you can learn things from these women and I once sat all afternoon beside an old lady in the pavilion at Hove who taught me nuances in the game of cricket which I’d never properly sensed in the sixty-odd years of my love affair with the game. Decades ago, a girl showed me the best way to break in a new pair of walking boots and another taught me to cheat at knockout whist. At theological college an elocutionist jumped up and down on my chest and squeezed my stomach vigorously in an attempt to get me to project my voice from the pulpit. Dr Aggie Crawford in the Psychology Department at the University of Liverpool proved to me that behaviourism is crap. When I was five, Alexandra Atkinson showed me how to make “Spanish wine” by shaking your stick of liquorice in a jam jar of water for several hours. A few years later, Corinne Kendal taught me something called “cork wool” but failed to teach me to knit. I learned from my grandmother how to make a creamy rice pudding using sterilised milk.

None of these interesting, chummy and delightfully helpful women and girls taught me anything at all about the phenomenology of gender-orientated  consciousness. But on Woman’s Hour they talk of nothing else. They do talk about about interesting subjects such as snooker and bitter beer – but it will always be “snooker from the woman’s perspective” and “the implications of beer-drinking for feminism.” Every item on Woman’s Hour – and I am a devotee of many years’ perseverance – is delivered from this peculiar angle.

It’s not like this at all with my male mates. Even the sweatiest masculine topics – such as motor-bikes and pipe-smoking – are not discussed according to a self-conscious masculine agenda. When Stan Gillimore told me he once gave up smoking Erinmore Flake and took to St Bruno instead, it wasn’t to explain “…what smoking St Bruno means in terms of my masculinity.” – but because he preferred the stronger tobacco.

Gillian Reynolds writes a consistently decent page of TV criticism without needing to set it in a context of – a phrase I heard for the first time the other day – and hope it’s the last – “the iconic tropes of feminism.”

Even the sanctimonious old bore Attenborough, well into Blue Planet Series Seventy-three, doesn’t offer us “Whales and plankton: the manly view.”

Woman’s Hour never – ever – presents a single item unless it comes in the parentheses of the feminist ideology. Don’t they get sick of their monomania? It’s like playing every tune in the same key.

If this were referred to a psychiatrist, he would conclude they were suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Or pathological self-reference. Idee fixe. Narcissism.

May I offer a suggestion, ladies? If you want to be interesting, talk about something else.    

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
13 Nov

Many Big Brothers are Watching You!

Relentlessly, day by day, the surveillance society is becoming more total – the word I am looking for is totalitarian

Last Saturday I was invited by the Church of England authorities to attend what is called a Safeguarding Course. If I had declined this “invitation,” I would have no longer possessed my work permit: the Bishop’s permission for me to officiate as a priest. So, along with thirty other priests and laypeople, I endured a couple of hours brainwashing session in which I was told to look out for incidences of “physical, mental, sexual or emotional abuse of children or adults.” Suggestions were offered as to how I might go about this. I should, for example, listen to children’s conversation from which I might glean some insight into their home life.

I was so uneasy about this that I mentioned it to my taxi driver on the way home in order to discover what he thought about these Safeguarding techniques. “Oh don’t talk to me about Safeguarding. I’m full up to here with it. We taxi drivers were told by the Safeguarders that we should look closely at our women passengers for signs of physical abuse. It’s sick, I tell you”

The Safeguarding industry is a nationalised industry and it has its branches everywhere. Clergy, teachers, doctors, nurses, members of the police and those in many other professions have to receive this education.

Everyone is under scrutiny

Safeguarding must be one of the most flourishing industries in the country and I wouldn’t know where to start to try to calculate just how many hundreds of thousands are involved in it. In the Diocese of Chichester alone, there is a full time Safeguarding supremo with his own office and machinery for the production and dissemination of propaganda on a huge scale. The supremo has many part time assistants who all report to him. And every parish church must appoint its own Safeguarding officer. If I suspect that someone I come across in the course of my work is being abused in any of the four ways mentioned above, I must on no account use my own judgement and, perhaps, intervene to find out what’s going on. No, though I am a priest with a lifetime’s experience, I must regard myself as incapable of any qualities of discernment and of any moral authority and, in the words of our safeguarding tutor, “Simply report your suspicions to your Safeguarding officer. And that’s your job done.”

Now, what does the “job done” look like? It might involve a child being removed from the family home by social workers. Or, in a recent case a teacher sent an email to an underage pupil which was suspected of ambiguity. Did it contain a sexual reference? Not according to the girl who received it. But others saw it and thought it did contain a sexual element and reported it to their Safeguarding officer who in turn reported it to the police.  The police interviewed the teacher but no charges were made. But, because an allegation had been made – albeit by people to whom the original message had not been addressed – the teacher was put on the sex offenders’ register. No trial. No charges. So the teacher was innocent – but he was being treated as if he were guilty.

Big Brother is no longer just a nasty character in a novel by George Orwell. He is alive and sitting in his office in charge of surveillance. In fact he is sitting in thousands upon thousands of offices nationwide.

I returned home to Eastbourne from that Safeguarding Course and opened the newspaper where I read:

“The headmaster of Eastbourne College, Mr Tom Lawson, was having to vet the sermons of visiting preachers – including bishops – in case there might be a complaint about extremism. Mr Lawson claimed that stifling rules and red tape had forced him to do this.”

So we have universal Safeguarding, we have safe spaces in our universities where students are hermetically sealed in case they come up against some ideas which they might find uncongenial. In alleged cases of abuse, we see many thousands of those accused treated as if they are guilty and punished accordingly without there having been any public examination of the allegations; and in some cases where the accused himself is not even made aware of the substance of the allegations.

We have complete freedom of speech. It’s just that we’re not allowed to say anything. Surveillance is endemic. The truth is being set at naught. Our liberties are everywhere traduced.

These things are not happening in some remote dystopia.

They are happening now and in England

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
10 Nov

It’s the Germans–stupid!

Jean Claude Juncker is fond of reminding us of how wonderfully the EU ensures peace in Europe. He was at it again yesterday and eulogised his beloved transnational bureaucratic dictatorship as “a benign fraternity.” His short memory allows him to overlook the breakdown in fraternity during the Bosnian-Serbian-Croatian wars of the 1990s. All the Eurocrats there have ever been repeat relentlessly that it is only the EU which prevents the rise of aggressive, expansionist factions and they often add the judgement that if only the EU had been around in the 1930s the Nazis would never have been allowed to tyrannise the continent.

There are more holes in this argument than there are on the golf course at St Andrew’s. But the chief flaw is the one that is always overlooked. The European wars of the last 150 years happened not because of upstart rogues such as Hitler and his gang: they were all the logical consequence of Prussian militarism.

I’s not the Nazis. It’s the Germans – stupid!

When Napoleon conquered Prussia In 1806 he issued an edict which limited any Prussian army to 42,000. The King of Prussia obediently recruited such an army. Then, after a year, he dismissed the whole lot – officers and men – and recruited a further 42.000. He did the same every year, so that after a decade he had a trained army on active service and a very substantial reserve of 420,000 highly trained soldiers led by an elite and aristocratic officer class.

It wasn’t the Nazis who instigated the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. It was the Germans under Otto von Bismarck – and specifically the North German Confederation of States – which aimed to extend German hegemony.

Similarly in the years before 1914 it was Kaiser Wilhelm who wanted to build a great trading empire and for Germany to have its “place in the sun.” He was well-equipped to achieve this with one of the largest standing armies in Europe to support him. Moreover, his political and popular support was assured because for a century the officer class had also formed the administrative class, thus unifying the interests of the military and the government.

This was the powerful tradition inherited by Hitler in 1933.

But what Bismarck failed to secure by force or arms in 1870-71, Kaiser Bill between 1914-18 and Adolf Hitler between 1939-45, Angela Merkel has achieved without firing a shot. Through the EU and monetary union via the Euro – the Deutschmark by any other name – Germany effectively controls the twenty-seven EU states and oppresses the unindustrialised southern states of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. If you want confirmation that there is a de facto German empire, just ask the impoverished Greeks or anyone among the 50% unemployed young people in Spain

This hegemony is operated more completely by Frau Merkel than dreamed of by Otto, Wilhelm or Adolf.

I am sure the delicious irony is not lost on Jean Claude Juncker.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
06 Nov

Taxation: Institutionalised Theft Disguised as a Virtue

Anything to have a go at the Queen.

Her Majesty is accused of being among those who invest some of their money in countries and institutions where tax rates are lower.

The word used all over the press is precisely that one “accused.” But accusations are only in respect of actions deemed to be wrong. The Queen and others who seek to avoid tax have done nothing wrong: they are merely acting prudently.

Tax evasion is a crime but tax avoidance is not.

Naturally, all lefties, Guardianistas and the BBC endemic are appalled that people should – though it be within the law – decide to pay as little tax as possible. For example Dame Margaret Hodge adorned The Today Programme this morning with her efflorescent platitudes and excoriated all tax-avoiders. She said, “We have a social contract in which we all come together and, according to our means, contribute to the common pot.”

No we don’t. If that is anyone’s idea of how politics and economics works, then it’s bunkum. The whole notion of the social contract from Rousseau to John Rawls is the mythological framework, masquerading as moral rectitude, by which governments  persuade, coerce and bully the people into paying…paying for what? For the government, of course. And for the institutionalised profligacy which spends our money on things we don’t want.

The government doesn’t know best. We know best how to spend our own money.

For example, I’m not at all happy that the government should use my money to provide, free of charge, homosexuals with prophylactic pills which enable them to go forth and fornicate profusely without the danger of catching AIDs

Among the other wastages I resent paying for is the state education system which is so dysfunctional that it should be described as child abuse. What other words are there to describe such a system  which, according to the Education department’s own figures, leaves 43% of our children – after eleven years of full time, compulsory and hideously expensive schooling – unable to read, write and count efficiently?

We have lived a long time under Labour and Conservative governments  based on a lie. This lie is the article of socialist faith which declares that what unreconstructed political reactionaries like me describe as “my money” really belongs to the government to control, disperse or with-hold according to its own whim.

This sort of government – the only sort of government seen in Britain for decades – is not about good management of the nation’s resources: it is about political control.

Taxation is the government’s method by which it seeks – and in which it succeeds spectacularly – to control us.

All socialism is inherently unjust. And it has never worked anywhere. When it is practised moderately, it inhibits the people’s freedom. When it is practised thoroughly, it leads to Stalin and the gulag or presently in Venezuela – so admired by our leader-in-waiting Jeremy Corbyn – people rummaging in dustbins for food.

Down with the Exchequer! God save the Queen!  

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail