Category Archives: May

08 Apr

Murder Most Avoidable

Fifty-one – and counting – people murdered in London since the beginning of the year. The Metropolitan Police must be very concerned. But Commissioner Cressida Dick insists, “This is a horrible, horrible spate of deaths but there is no crisis.”

What would be a crisis Ms Dick – a hundred deaths, two hundred? Well, you’re in charge, so what do you intend to do about it? She answers: “We need to reduce the number, particularly the number of young people, who are dying in street attacks.”

Really? You don’t say! We ought to examine the career of a person capable of making such an anodyne, asinine statement.

Cressida Dick is a policewoman – but not such as we used to see in the street in the olden days. She is not the sort of copper we might expect to find plodding Letsby Avenue. Let’s give her the full title: Commissioner Cressida Dick CBE QPM, the daughter of two senior academics, educated at the Dragon School then at Balliol College, Oxford and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Just the sorts of places where you can learn how to give anodyne answers, and where you don’t even need to wear size tens. Cressida is not your typical copper. She is – what shall we say? – a theoretical copper. Shape without form, shade without colour. Paralysed force. Gesture without motion. And she has an MPhil in Criminology to prove it.

She knew she was intended for superiority from that day – sometime in her mid-teens, I would imagine – when she realised that she belonged to the liberal elite and all the prizes awarded by its culture of entitlement would soon fall into her lap. She was fast-tracked for high office in 1993 and – I mean fast! – appointed Superintendent only two years later. That culture of entitlement is multifarious, enabling its members to flit from one exalted position to another. So in 2015 it was announced that she would be leaving the police force for a Director General’s role at the Foreign Office. Then in 2017 she flitted back to the Met on her appointment as Commissioner. I would not have been surprised if, in the meantime, she had served a spell as Archbishop of Canterbury. She self- identifies naturally – I mean unnaturally – as homosexual.

So what will this theoretical copper do about the non-crisis epidemic of murders in the capital?

Not very much. She will make a few speeches and sign rather more newspaper articles than usual. She will turn up for the telly the morning after another murder, or three. In other words, all appearance and no reality. She will pursue the futile policy of studied inactivity and wait for things to calm down. Good grief! – you don’t expect theoretical coppers actually to do anything, do you?

Something can be done. The active police – not the theoretical police – have intelligence, and with this intelligence they are able to identify the sorts of people who are likely to be carrying knives and guns. And so, as they say, apprehend them. This is called stop and search. Unsurprisingly this intelligent tactic worked. But, by deliberate act of policy, incidences of stop and search have declined by 65% since 2011. They declined further after 2015 when Theresa May, the longest-serving and most incompetent Home Secretary since 1945 – probably ever – decided, as she put it, “to rein in” stop and search because this “inflames tensions between the police and black people.”

But what if it was – and it was – mainly black people who were carrying guns and knives and committing crimes of violence? Well, rein in stop and search just the same, of course. Better have an epidemic of murders than offend the canons of political-correctness.

Baroness Lawrence, the mother of the schoolboy Stephen murdered twenty-five years ago, said this week on the anniversary of her son’s death: “The government needs to get a grip. Look who’s dying. If that amount of kids (sic) were in the white community, d’you think something would have been done?”

Baroness Lawrence is on to something – sort of. Yes, the government should support the forces of law and order precisely in those areas where the stabbings and shootings are being committed by those shown by long experience to be the likely perpetrators. That means stop and search. And to hell with political-correctness.

S’common sense innit? You don’t need an MPhil in criminology to understand that.

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26 Jan

“Evil is the privatio boni: a mere nothing”–St Augustine

F.R. Leavis said, “Show me what you value and I’ll tell you what you’re worth.” One glance at the most popular shows on TV, or at the sort of “music” most listen to, must make us conclude that the worth of the British public at large is not very much.

Most of the productions of what is now called “arts” and “culture” are just not worth looking at: the Oscars, the BAFTAS, the daubs and installations that pollute our galleries and the glossy tat of the West End theatre can be ignored without conspicuous loss of aesthetic enjoyment.

Why anyone should spend a minute on all this rubbish has always been a mystery to me – because it’s not that we haven’t been offered countless treasures and endless riches in those things that can actually give us pleasure and, by the by, make life worth living: The Odyssey, The Iliad, Dante, Shakespeare; Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Benjamin Britten, James Macmillan; Giotto, Rembrandt, Turner and Van Gogh…    I mention just a few eminences at random when I could have filled the whole page, filled many books, with the names of those without whom our lives would be empty; without whom the words “civilisation” and “culture” would be meaningless.

We don’t need to go within a mile of the rubbish. Unfortunately, we don’t have to – for the rubbish is everywhere

This is not a matter of being highbrow or elitist but of simply preferring the things that can nourish us. Or what man is there of you whom, if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? (Matthew 7:9)

Another word for the rubbish that engulfs us like a sea of plastic is “trivia.” You can die of it.

There are many kinds of trivia in the productions of words, music and pictures. And there is also political and social trivia. We were given an illustration of this last category only this week when we observed Mrs May – the very embodiment of trivia and fuss – poking her nose into the sordid affair of the President’s Club.

Now I don’t mind particularly if Theresa May, as Theresa May in her private life – and even politicians have the right to a private life – wants to posture and roll around in trivia and fuss. But it is shocking to see her involving the office of the prime minister in such mush

It is not the duty of the prime minister to involve herself in the minutiae of administration and the daily agenda of the newspapers. It is the duty of the prime minister to secure the integrity of her government – as it is the duty of the Queen to secure the integrity of the nation.

The good prime ministers – even the passably decent prime ministers – understand this. It’s only once in a long while that a buffoon such as John Major comes along and makes it his personal responsibility to arrange the supply of motorway cones.

“Show me what you value and I’ll tell you what you’re worth.” What does that show us about the worth of a prime minister who leaves off  the more serious matters of state to meddle in the seedy mores of clubland?

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25 Jan

Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin

The writing has been on the wall for Theresa May for a long time. And the words form the same judgement that was delivered to Belshazzar, as recorded in Daniel 5:25: Thou art weighed in the balances and found wanting. 

Mrs May, the most useless home secretary and the most incompetent prime minister we’ve had since Methuselah was a boy, is clearly at the end of her tether. She is fragile and histrionic. She cried on election night when it was borne in on her that she is so pathetic she couldn’t even see off Jeremy Corbyn. In the Brexit negotiations she appeared schizoid and frantic. She talked tough for ten minutes, then wept and pleaded. Naturally, her tormentors the apparatchiks Juncker and Barnier – and of course Monsieur le-vanity-case Macron and Frau Fuhrer – played on May’s mood swivels to perfection. They kissed, cuddled, flattered and cajoled her, then they shouted and threatened  Their enjoyment of her tortured hopelessness was excruciating to watch. She conceded their every demand and called it her triumph.

And the conclusion of it all? It is clear that, under the Remainer May, we are on the way to a Brexit so soft you could dip your toast soldiers in it. The EU will give no ground on the movement of populations. We shall most likely end up still in the single market and the customs union. In other words we shall be out in name but very definitely still in in reality.

Like Mr Eliot in Ash Wednesday, I hardly dare to hope for fear of hoping for the wrong thing. But…I detect a glimmer, a faint stirring, the thinnest ray of light in the encircling gloom: at last something seems to be afoot.

Last Monday Juliet Samuels wrote a flagellating article in the Daily Telegraph which, being summarised, said it was time for May to go. The Telegraph followed up on Tuesday with a shoal of readers’ letters in enthusiastic agreement with Ms Samuel. On Wednesday, writing in the same space, Philip Johnson  said: “The prime minister’s detractors fail to see that it is they who lack boldness and weaken the Tories. Her critics should be prepared to do more than wound her.”

Well, what more can you do to a person than wound? There’s only kill, isn’t there?

There is no let-up in the barrage of criticism, nor in its caustic fury. In Thursday’s Telegraph, Nick Timothy – remember him, the orchestrator of her pathetic election campaign? – has popped up saying: “As Conservative MPs are beginning to realise, they need to govern with more urgency and greater purpose. The key to finding that purpose lies not in a further excess of liberalism, but in a modern application of real philosophical conservatism.”

Real philosophical conservatism, as even Nick Timothy must understand, is about as far away as you can get from Theresa May’s fancy of socialism-lite. If Mrs May is reading Timothy’s article in Davos, she must me tempted to repeat the dying words of Julius Caesar: “Et tu Brute?”

Perhaps all this can be shrugged off as merely a bit of kite-flying by one newspaper. Hardly – because the Telegraph is, or at least purports to be, the Tories’ loudest cheerleader. But wait, the Telegraph isn’t the only paper to be saying these things. Also on Thursday morning Iain Martin in The Times came out saying that May has failed, her time is up and she should go and make way for someone else.

So I repeat my tentative question: So late in the day, so far and so deeply into May’s calamitous premiership, is there something afoot at last?

If it were done when ‘tis done, t’were well it were done quickly. The Tory grandees should despatch the men in suits and tell her her time’s up. They could quote those words of Daniel the prophet if they liked

End the long-running farce. Return to traditional conservatism. Send for Jacob-Rees-Mogg!

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24 Dec

She’s only an advert

In the prevailing cloud of evasions, half-truths and downright lies and the vague mass of imprecision, one now and again stumbles across a paragraph which is utterly without meaning. I found such a paragraph this morning in Theresa May’s Christmas message to the nation:

“As we celebrate the birth of Christ, let us celebrate all those selfless acts – and countless others – that epitomise the values we share: Christian values of love, service and compassion that are lived out every day in our country by people of all faiths and none.”

Where to start in the search for a hint of meaning?

Let us begin with her second word, “We.” Who are this “we”? She answers, the “we” who “celebrate the birth of Christ.” But as we read on, we find “we” are also those “people of all faiths and none.”

But people of all faiths and none don’t celebrate the birth of Christ.

O come on, Mullen! Why are you forever gnawing at the heels of this unfortunate woman? At least give her credit for speaking to us at Christmas about “Christian values.”

But in her vacuity-spk it turns out that these values are shared by that reliable crowd of “people of all faiths and none.”

So what is Christian about these values?

Does it really matter? Isn’t it a well-known fact that most of what politicians say is mere waffle – stuff that we shouldn’t take seriously?

It matters because words – in which are framed his judgements and by which he makes his promises – are the politician’s stock-in-trade, his wares. And, as with any other sorts of wares – toys or tablecloths – we don’t like being passed off with shoddy.

Soren Kierkegaard offers us a nice image: “If in Copenhagen you see a sign in a shop window, SUITS PRESSED HERE, don’t take your suit in to be pressed. It is only the sign that is for sale.”

The precise word for this is fraud, false pretences.

May is the epitome of the political fraudster  

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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

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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.”

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03 Nov

Look on these things and laugh

There was a spectacular sunrise over the sea this morning in Eastbourne, so I got out of bed early and, with as much cheerfulness as I could muster, prepared myself for another day in the asylum. It’s getting so you daren’t open the newspaper or switch on the BBC propaganda machine for fear of cracking up completely and running out into the street shouting, screaming and foaming at the mouth.

What’s new? The defence secretary has resigned because fifteen years ago he placed his hand on a woman’s knee. Even the woman – described of course as “the victim” – said it amounted to nothing much. It is alleged Mr Fallon also gurgled suggestively in Andrea Leadsom’s ear, perhaps with a view to some hanky-panky. Getting suggestive with Andrea Leadsom? Like cuddling an icebreaker. Well, I suppose a defence secretary ought to display some courage.

Someone else whose name I forget – they are all so damned forgettable, these persons-of-note and celebs – has apologised because forty years he spoke to a woman “in a funny tone of voice.”

The madness of modern society is produced by politicians and the media who vigorously sexualise every aspect of our lives – children from the age of five get early training in sexual deviancy – and then affect surprise and outrage when people behave in a frisky fashion

Don’t worry. it will pass. The “inappropriate behaviour” syndrome will go the way of the “every egg is poisonous” proclamation and mad cow disease. In other words, it’s a fashion, a nine days wonder. Before it dies out though, it will have to go through its utterly bonkers stage. In fact we are reaching this stage now – the day when anyone who has not been chatted-up or mildly molested – that is has not been accorded “victim” status – will feel feel socially excluded, a pariah.

But while this latest nonsense is running its course, it is doing a hell of a lot of serious political damage. Brexit is in crisis. The world teeters on the edge of nuclear war. The global Islamic insurgency gathers pace. Immigration remains out of control. Meanwhile the Marxist Corbyn – friend of Hamas, Hezbollah and lately of the IRA – prepares his government in waiting, all unchallenged

The only response from the prime minister is to thrash about like a fish escaped the landing net.

Theresa May is so comically, so pathologically, incompetent that she dare not fortify her political chances by having around her colleagues of ability. Each one is carefully checked to make sure he/she is no damn use and therefore no threat.

That is why we now have her chum Gavin Williamson – of no ministerial experience and knowing nothing of the armed forces – promoted to be defence secretary in place of knee-stroker Fallon.

When we recall the names of those in post-war cabinet office, we can hardly help being impressed – even when the politics of some of them may not be to our liking. There was more than a smattering of ability and panache around in those days.

Churchill’s cabinet in Coronation Year included Eden, Butler, Macmillan, Sandys, Thorneycroft and Brook.

Wilson in 1967 sat round the cabinet table with Stewart, Castle, Crossman, Jenkins and Shore.

Maggie’s gang in 1987 featured Whitelaw, Wakeham, Lawson, Howe, Hurd, Baker, Parkinson, Ridley and Waddington

Now look at Theresa’s pigmies and  toadies: Green, Rudd, Greening, Patel, Williamson and Sajid – “Terrorist attacks are part and parcel of living in a cosmopolitan society”  – Javid.

Look on these things and laugh. But our laughing is only hysterical. The cackling of the madhouse. 

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05 Oct

“F” Off

The fate which befell the writing on the wall behind Theresa May as she made her speech yesterday contained a message. (He that hath ears to hear, let him hear). One of the letters fell off the wall. “It was the “F” that was off.

It is a measure of the intellectual feebleness and moral frailty of the Tory hierarchy that they could allow May – a woman of stupendous incompetence and sublime ineptness – to ascend to a position of high office. She should never have got further than the back corridor where she might have performed the useful function of keeping the party’s electoral roll up to date. That task might – just – have been within her abilities. I certainly wouldn’t trust her to make the tea.

During her campaign for the leadership, Mrs May asked us to “Judge me on my record.” Happily, there is a lot of record on which to judge her, as she was the longest-serving home secretary since 1945. Her tenure was a conspicuous catalogue of errors and incompetence. Remember 2014 and the chaos caused by the delay in the issue of passports? May claimed this was owing to “a surge in applications,” but it turned out she had been warned the year before that her policy of closing overseas processing offices had resulted in a backlog of 360,000 applications and weeks of delay.

She complained that the Human Rights Act permitted suspected terrorists to continue living in this country under the clause that speaks of their right “to a family life.” She cited the case of one such suspect who was not deported “because he had a pet cat.” Then – trademark May – after so complaining, she did nothing to get the Act amended. As home secretary, she was in charge of the police. She cut their numbers and their budget during a long period in which the terrorist threat was at its highest. She sat back and did nothing for years while in Rotherham, Leicester, Bradford, Rochdale and a dozen other towns and cities the police failed to stop the wholesale rape and sexual abuse of under-age white girls by Muslims  This is still going on. She was slow and indecisive in her pathetic attempt to intervene in the infiltration of schools in Birmingham by Islamic extremists. She described sharia courts as “beneficial” and allowed them to operate in parallel with British law – and this in spite of the fact that such courts are complicit in the mistreatment of Muslim women by their menfolk.

The list of her sins, negligences and ignorances, her half-baked and deranged actions and inactions, is almost endless. But the worst of her many failures was her record on immigration. As home secretary, she was charged to put into practice Cameron’s declared aim of reducing the number of immigrants from over half a million every year to “the tens of thousands.” In fact, during her tenure net immigration increased from a million to three million. But here is the truly laughable bit – were it not so catastrophic for our country: May claimed she was powerless to reduce immigration “because of Shengen, the EU’s open borders rule.” And then she voted for Remain! How’s that for joined-up thinking?

She began her term her term as prime minister by announcing economic and social policies that you might think belonged exclusively to Jeremy Corbyn. She wants to curb executive pay. Apart from the fact that this could be achieved only by the adoption of the most draconian and demagogic policies, it would also drive the best talent into the arms of our competitors. Her plans to ensure more women are appointed to company boards is yet another example of her liking for social engineering, while her other ambitions for tighter regulation of the City and a more socialistic approach to industrial relations will lead, give it time, to the sort of sclerosis which paralyses the economy in France. The sole criteria for the selection and appointment to senior jobs in commerce and industry should be competence, and when competence is jeopardised the results are always inefficiency and mediocrity. Besides, decisions about whom to appoint to senior management are the prerogative of the companies concerned and are no business of the government – especially a Conservative government. May is leading the party so far to the left that I’m tempted to say Britain is unique among the nations: not only do we have a socialist opposition, we have a socialist government as well.

Like all weak leaders, she has appointed wets and yes-men. After the Referendum vote, what Britain needed most was the announcement of vigorous Tory economic policies. Taxes should have been cut drastically and a bonfire made of the sheaves of regulations which strangle the life out of the City. Instead, May appointed a chancellor of the exchequer who gave us an autumn statement so anodyne it put me to sleep. Talking of sleep, the new home secretary, Amber Rudd, is clearly not up to the job and, like May herself when she occupied that office, she refuses to tackle the problem that threatens to sink our country altogether: mass immigration, now at a record level.

Her rhetorical insistence that “Brexit means Brexit” is a lie and a sham. A lie because she is a declared Remainer. A sham because her negotiations with the EU amount to capitulation. She has accepted “a period of transition” which guarantees we shall have no momentum out for four years – and probably forever. This is exactly what May wants. She has promised to go on paying exorbitant sums to the EU for the foreseeable future.

The woman is a disastrous shambles.

Even in today’s etiolated Tory party, surely there are enough “suits” who will fall in behind the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, stroll across to Number Ten and tell her it’s time to go?

If she lingers, the future for the country is Corbyn, the renowned fan of Chavez and Maduro and the Venezuela where people are scavenging in dustbins for food and stealing zoo animals to provide their next meal.

May has sat here too long for any good she might have done. She should go. And for all our sakes, she should go quickly.

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04 Oct

Britain’s Apartheid

At the Conservative conference, Theresa May urged the party to value “our communities.”

Wrong from the start. Doubly wrong coming from someone who claims to be a Conservative. For at the root of conservatism is the notion of all the people as being one community. This was splendidly expressed by Samuel Johnson in his dictionary where he derided Whiggery as “a faction.”

Conservatism had its origins in the Elizabethan Settlement in which church and state were seen as the one realm in two different aspects – with the monarch as head of state and supreme governor of the Church of England. No doubt this is the origin too of the saying that the Church of England is “the Tory party at prayer.” Toryism in the 18th century – Johnson’s Toryism – was concerned above all with strengthening this belief in the oneness of the realm. The people of that time remembered the civil war and rabid sectarianism which tore the country apart in the previous century and they vowed that this must not happen a second time.

So they built on the Elizabethan Settlement a polity which was concerned above all with national unity. In order for this to succeed it must be a unity that did not make extreme demands on the people. Indeed, this had been at the centre of the original Settlement. Nothing too onerous. Yes, people should go to church, but not every week as if they were enthusiasts or fanatics but, according to The Book of Common Prayer, “three times a year of which Easter should be one.”  Only a conformity which did not demand anything excessive could possibly work as the bedrock of peace and stability.

And this is what that other Settlement under the Restoration in 1660 aimed to achieve.

These are things of which we should all be proud because they demonstrated generosity when, with the passing of the Test and Corporation Act of 1828 and the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829. Protestant Dissenters and Roman Catholics were incorporated as full members of the nation.

This worked remarkably well until the mass immigrations of the 20th century. Those arriving on our shores were not enjoined to adopt our way of life but allowed – even encouraged – to separate off into what the multiculturalists – and now Mars May – refer to as “communities.”

What they actually are, of course, is ghettos. When such separate development  was practised in South Africa, British politicians condemned it as Apartheid. When precisely the same thing happens over here, it is regarded as wholesome “diversity.”

This, Mrs May, is not the route to social cohesion: it is the way back to the murderous sectarianism of the English Civil War.

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30 Sep

Your supper is in the dustbin

It’s countdown to Corbyn. We shall not be kept waiting for long before we find ourselves living – if “living” is the right word here – under the most extreme left wing government Britain has ever seen. Corbyn’s plans make Michael Foot’s 1983 manifesto – called at the time “the longest suicide note in history” – read like a discussion paper produced by The Monday Club.

The Corbynistas are preaching “Socialism for the 21st century” – an oxymoron to rival “Valve radios for the digital age.”

There will be wholesale nationalisation, massive borrowing and spending, the abolition of all pay restraint and an expanded benefits system. Give Corbyn credit for one thing: he is a true prophet. He rightly predicts that his policies will lead to a run on the pound and a financial crisis.

What he does not foresee is that in this crisis investment will plummet as financiers put their money where it is likely to secure a return: they will not toss it into the stagnant and bottomless pit of Corbyn’s socialism. No investment means no real jobs but only a hugely-expanded and unproductive public sector paid for out of even more borrowing. All that borrowed money sloshing around will lead to high – and eventually hyper – inflation. Millions will be unemployed. People’s savings will be rendered worthless. Thus Corbyn’s foolish and wicked policies will most hurt those he claims to champion: the least well off throughout the country.

But this horrible dystopian nightmare won’t really come to pass, will it? The Tories under Theresa May will get their act together and mount a vigorous defence of capitalism and the free market.

Oh yes, and Ben Stokes will win The Polite Society’s Award for Gentlemanly Conduct.

Mrs May will not outline the virtues of capitalism and the free market – because she believes in neither. If she did, she would cut taxes and abolish strangulating business regulations. Instead since that terrible day she became prime minister, she has declared she is determined that the government will make even greater interventions in boardrooms, the minimum wage will be regularly increased and the cap on public sector pay will be scrapped.

Observing Corbyn’s army of snowflakes – all those innocent young people to whom he is promising the earth – May is promising today “to create a fairer society for the young.” But she can’t bribe them with a pint when Corbyn is offering them a firkin.

Why can’t she see that stealing the left’s political clothes will leave her dangerously undressed?

During last June’s election campaign a commentator remarked, only partly jesting, that Theresa May had “…adopted Ed Miliband’’s manifesto and moved it to the left.”

Is there any support for capitalism and the free market in today’s Conservative party? No, there is about as much capitalism among the Tories as logic in the editorial department of the Daily Telegraph.

Yesterday that newspaper shouted, “May must outline her capitalist policies.”

She doesn’t have any.

Followed by this ripe piece of idiocy: “The intellectual case for capitalism is easy to make. What of the moral one?”

But the intellectual case includes the moral case – otherwise there is nothing intelligent about it.

And if you think the Telegraph couldn’t get even stupider, how about this: “May’s vision is of a free market combined with sensible regulation.”

But if it’s regulated, it’s not free.

I’m probably not such a good prophet as Jeremy Corbyn, that great admirer of Chavez, Maduro and the state of Venezuela where there’s no food in the shops and people are stealing zoo animals to provide their next meal. But let me try my hand at prophecy nonetheless:

The days are coming when a wife shall leave a note for her husband saying: “Darling – I’ve gone to the Labour rally. Scavenge for your supper in the dustbin.”

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