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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
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Colin Bullen has been a convinced opponent of UK involvement in the European project since it was first mooted, believing that the EU was bad for the people of the UK, and indeed for those of the rest of Europe. In the 1970s he joined 'Operation Out’, and helped deliver leaflets for the No campaign in the 1975 referendum. He then spent more...
Colin Bullen has been a convinced opponent of UK involvement in the European project since it was first mooted, believing that the EU was bad for the people of the UK, and indeed for those of the rest of Europe. In the 1970s he joined 'Operation Out’, and helped deliver leaflets for the No campaign in the 1975 referendum. He then spent more than twenty years on the National Committee of the Campaign for an Independent Britain, being Chairman of the Campaigning Secretariat for five of those years. He was, as membership secretary, on the first National Committee of UKIP for five years, belonged to the trade union group the Campaign Against Euro Federalism, supported the Labour Euro Safeguards Campaign, and also the Democracy Movement, manning street stalls, and delivering leaflets on their behalf. He provides articles for the Eurorealist bulletin, produced by long time activist Derek Bennett. Despite previous activity with other parties he now supports the Johnson government, as the promises made concerning Brexit appear to being kept. On a personal note he spent over forty years working in IT, has been a lifelong trade unionist, and is a reader at his local church.
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The End of the Enlightenment

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The destructive results of the religious wars of the 17th Century led to the rise of the Enlightenment of the following century, which sought to make logic and reason central to human thought, replacing the ideas driven by emotion, encouraging the ideals of toleration, liberty, progress and the removal of religious domination of the state. Undoubtedly the movement’s concepts were significant in inspiring the the eruptions of the American and French revolutions, although eventually it was the latter that caused its demise, due to the chaos engendered. Nevertheless enlightenment ideals continued to influence Western society, particularly those of the Anglo-Saxon powers.

The relationship between emotion and reason is fundamental to how human beings behave. If we were robots, or like Star Trek’s Mr Spock, we would totally lack empathy with others, yet if we allowed emotion to be our only guide, the passions, and a refusal to use reason, would return us to the bigotry of previous ages. Clearly, as in most things, a compromise is required, and this was recognised in Ephesians, which states “We are saved through faith. The mind and heart must both be engaged in this process because to have faith in God, we must believe and trust God. Believing requires the mind, but to trust someone requires the heart”.

For many years we have arranged our affairs in the belief that that reason is more important than emotion, even though, in his novel “Podrostok” the author Dostoevsky put forward the theory that, in the final analysis, human beings do not change their beliefs because of intellectual argument, but because they have first become emotionally convinced of the truth of the proposition. I am sure that this is true, as it is obvious that superior arguments alone rarely change peoples minds, but nevertheless, until recently, it has been possible to debate and discuss issues in a reasonable manner.

Now we have reached a point in the cultural wars afflicting us where mob mentality, given new life by the curse of social media, is creating a situation in which no rational debate can take place, as those involved in the various so called protest movements will admit of no possibility that their opponents might have a point, and they will never be satisfied unless every jot and tittle of their demands are met. The fanatical environmentalists worship their child saint Greta, while their violent followers in Extinction Rebellion make clear that their belief in their self proclaimed sincerity, and their absolute certainty that they are right, justifies any outrage.

On a different front the extremists of Black Lives Matter declare that they have the right to rewrite history, destroying artefacts, books, and the reputations of every one they can tar with the brush of supposed racism, while at the same time harbouring the virus of anti Semitism in their midst. The historic wrong of slavery cannot be expunged by refusing to accept that the past is the past, or that only a lunatic would support it in today’s world.

The utterly absurd gender wars are so imbecilic that any objective observer must conclude that the so called progressive Left has gone completely mad. Even the radicals of the feminist movement are in the firing line, for objecting to hairy great men being allowed to compete with women in sporting contests, or to be sent to female prisons, where the other inmates are then subjected to sexual assault by these “self identified” women.

The deranged intellectuals of the liberal left are attempting to outdo Orwell’s worst nightmares as they try to corrupt and distort our language to reflect the supposed truths of which they claim to be the guardians, a lie which the universities, and too many major institutions, are only too willing to support. It is sickening to see so many charities, and commercial organisations, jumping on this bandwagon, attempting to dictate what language their employees must use.

If these lunatics had lived before the Enlightenment they would have been the religious fundamentalists who tortured and burned others in the name of a religion of love, and they are now comparable to those who promote terrorism in the name of a different faith.

If they are not stopped we shall see the real end of the Enlightenment, and of the return of the mentality which inspired Matthew Hopkins and his witch-finders, while free speech and democratic government will become a distant, and ultimately suppressed, memory. The question now is “Who is going to stop them?”.

  141 Hits

The decline and fall of the BBC

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The BBC, first national broadcaster in the world, and founded almost a century ago, once was respected, and indeed loved, acting as the voice of the nation in even the darkest times. How is it then that it is now reviled, and distrusted by so many, to the extent that its survival is under threat?

Lord Reith, appointed as first Director General in 1927, remains the most famous of those to hold that post, not least because he established the principles by which the organisation was expected to abide, including an equal consideration of all viewpoints, probity, universality and a commitment to public service. He stated that his goal was to broadcast, "All that is best in every department of human knowledge, endeavour and achievement. The preservation of a high moral tone is obviously of paramount importance”.

In the great days of radio the BBC reined supreme, never more than during the Second World War, when it, together with Churchill, provided the voice of defiance to the Nazi barbarians, and brought hope to those throughout the world who were suffering under the fascists. The World Service was established in 1932, and broadcast in many languages. Many of the programmes such as “The Brains Trust”, treated listeners as intelligent, with experts answering questions from the public in an unbiased manner.

After the war the emphasis began to shift to TV, where presenters such as Sylvia Peters, and McDonald Hobley, provide its public face, and many of radio’s most successful programmes found a new home. I still remember watching the coronation in black and white on our old Pye set. In the decades that followed competing channels, the arrival of colour television, and social developments changed the BBC in many ways, but it was still regarded as a trustworthy source of information, as well as a producer of excellent programmes, including many comedies such as “Dad’s Army”, “Fawlty Towers”, “Till death us do part” and “It ain’t half hot Mum”. These were very popular, and it was obvious to anyone of intelligence that, when they included characters expressing bigoted views, the intention was to ridicule the latter, not promote them. Satire such as “That was the week that was” was aimed basically at the political establishment.

What a contrast is presented by the modern BBC. Although it still produces some excellent programmes, such as nature documentaries, it has, quite unnecessarily, reduced standards to meet the lowest common denominator, as it seeks to compete with the output of the commercial channels. Given that it is guaranteed its income via the licence fee, it is not obliged to chase ratings, yet so much of what it broadcasts fails to provide quality programmes to improve knowledge, and understanding of the world. Apart from “University Challenge” the quiz shows seemed targeted at the products of modern education, who, through no fault of their own, are being failed by a system which insists everyone must have prizes. This is all part of the BBC’s stated ambition to appeal to youngsters, quite ignoring the fact that the demographic profile of the nation points to a gradually ageing population, while the young are anyway just not interested in public service broadcasting.

However the greatest scandal, and one which undermines the whole original ethos of the BBC, is the way in which it has abandoned any idea of being unbiased, and champions the views of the metropolitan, left liberal elite. It declared some years ago that it would not allow those who question the whole concept of anthropological climate change to air their opinions as “the science is settled”, despite the fact that this is not true. It even encourages comparisons with holocaust deniers, an insult to decent people who refuse to accept a fashionable idea just because it is fashionable. However undoubtedly the most egregious example of this bias has been the manner in which Brexit has been treated. The entire organisation seems to be staffed with those who proved to be in the national minority, yet it took, and still takes, every opportunity to air pro EU views, while attempting to depict Brexiteers as right wing, bigoted, nationalists. One only had to see the expression on the faces of the presenters as the result of the referendum became clear to know exactly where their sympathies lay.

The bias shown extends to all those issues which are becoming increasingly contentious, such as race and gender, with virtue signalling spokesmen for the radical left being given preference over those who reject the claims of these bigots. The very unfunny comedies now broadcast are predicated on the premise that to attack those who oppose rule by Brussels, together with the Royal family, deserve mockery, while the BBC disowns the superior shows from the past, seeking to attribute malign motives, even to gentle comedies such as “Dad’s Army”.

Where previously satire was directed at the powerful, now the targets are ordinary people who happen to disagree with the lunatic views of the radical left. Programmes such as “Today” can be relied upon to present a totally slanted view of issues, calling upon the usual suspects to offer their views, while censoring those who actually speak for the majority. The choice of those to review the newspapers is usually heavily weighted to those who quote from the “Guardian”, or the “Observer”, ignoring the fact that these papers are read by a small minority. I remember Frederick Forsyth being dropped from “a point of view” because his opinions gave the BBC lefties a fit of the vapours. Even the tone of voice used by presenters is a guide to their biases as they convey incredulity that anyone might hold views different to the accepted consensus among the liberals. A prime example of this kind of arrogance was the treatment meted out to an MP who happened to have the union flag in his room, as if supporting one’s own country was a sign of stupidity or worse. It is also obvious that the audiences for “Any Questions” are drawn from basically one side of the political spectrum.

One could go on and on about the reality, but nothing will change unless action is taken to cleanse the Augean stables of the BBC. This should be part of the fightback against the so called “woke”, who are destroying this country. That the national broadcaster should have fallen victim to these people is a disgrace, and the decline and fall of such a British icon is a tragedy.

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Reaction to report on race - Morality, or hypocrisy?

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The reaction to the report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities proves, if proof was needed, that those who have dominated debate on race in this country for many years are not driven by morality, as they pretend, but by a left wing ideology which hates our society, and by the desire to ensure that their access to lucrative consultative fees, book deals, and profits from running absurd training courses continues unabated. The latter, encouraged by politicised HR departments, and permitted by pusillanimous managers afraid of ‘giving offence’, have been responsible for countless blameless employees being obliged to attend classes where they are expected to offer mea culpas for opinions and actions of which they are entirely innocent.

These courses are nothing more than the product of left wing propaganda, sowing discord when none previously existed. The underlying assumptions that only white people are racist, and that all white people are racist, albeit many subconsciously, is itself racist, and an insult to the vast majority of people in these islands, many of whom have been cowed by political correctness into granting credence to these false beliefs. When I was forced to attend one of these travesties I recall being the only person to raise my hand when asked if anyone of those present, who were all white, had not discriminated against others on the grounds of race. The others attending were too frightened to reject presumed guilt, but as a lifelong trade unionist, and reader at my church, I refused to be intimidated.

Of course the people who run these courses claim that to say one is innocent is proof of unconscious guilt, a proposition that the Stalinist and Maoist self criticism meetings used to condemn innocent people, and is worthy of Orwell’s 1984. The government has concluded that these courses have cost taxpayers thousands of pounds when used on civil servants, for no useful purpose, and have accordingly banned them in bodies under their control.

The manner in which our universities have largely been taken over by hard left academics ensures that the only acceptable view is a parody of Orwell’s sheep in Animal Farm, chanting ‘White bad, non white good’, so students who do not subscribe to this philosophy are marginalised, and treated as guilty of racism. Unfortunately our young people have been so brainwashed by the Marxists who have infiltrated our educational institutions, aided and abetted by those such as the disgrace which still calls itself the ‘British’ Broadcasting Corporation, that they accept these lies.

The membership of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities is approximately ninety per cent non white, yet the political activists who have responded treat the report as if it were some sort of statement by the Ku Klux Klan. The Runnymede Trust, called it a “gross offence” to grieving families of ethnic minorities who have died of Covid, as if the virus has been somehow directed to infect the latter in preference to the white community, while Black Lives Matter, said that it was “perplexed” by the report’s methodology, and “disappointed” by oversight of police racism. This latter organisation seems to have less concern for anti Semitism in its ranks, so obviously for them some people are more equal than others. The usual suspects, when interviewed by their fellow travellers in the BBC spoke as if the people who produced the report were merely government dupes, whose efforts could just be dismissed.

The reality is that of course racism exists in the UK, as it does in Japan, China, Russia, the USA, and indeed around the world. However it is neither institutionalised, nor structural, but rather the result of individual prejudices. To judge anyone by the colour of their skin is unkind, deplorable and just plain wrong. Indeed, as those of us who follow Christ know, he said “Judge not, that ye be not judged”, a principle which everyone might consider following. The point is that in this country it is not acceptable to allow personal prejudice to affect employment, housing, or the manner in which one is treated by the organs of government, such as the police.

There is no doubt that when activists of any sort demand public enquiries, or government reports, on any subject, they have already determined what result they expect, so, if those involved dare to find against them, woe betide them as they may expect to be subjected to abuse. It is utterly pointless to ask experts to give of their time if they are to be bullied into agreeing with whatever the extremists desire. Undoubtedly, if at some stage an enquiry is held into the handling of the Covid pandemic the loudest voices will be demanding that the government be condemned for failures, whatever the truth may be, and however much hindsight is allowed to take precedence over reason.

Those keen to rubbish the report on race in the UK should be wary. Although there are morons around who hate people merely because of the category into which they fall, the majority of Britons are mostly easy going, and consider fairness to be a virtue. If however perfectly innocent people find themselves constantly demonised on the basis of their being white they will react with anger. The result will not be better race relations, but a polarisation in society. Of course this is precisely what the Marxists want, as they continue to believe that causing social upheaval will give them the opportunity to gain power, before instituting their socialist nirvana. It seems to pass them by that this never works, and that all they end up with are rightwing regimes which crush them, but that’s what you get when you insist on following the ideas of foolishly idealistic nineteenth century intellectuals, instead of genuinely seeking a better world.

We have come a long way since the dark days when minorities were indeed discriminated against as a matter of course, and it would be a tragedy if we allow the politically motivated divisiveness promulgated by the hypocrites of the acolytes of extremism to win.

  145 Hits

Law, and disorder

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It is claimed that two thousand years ago a Roman citizen could walk across the known world free of the fear of attack, protected only by the words ‘Civis Romanus Sum’ translated as ‘I am a Roman citizen’, as all understood that the Roman state would punish any who harmed its citizens with unfailing retribution.

Of course one should not use the Romans as a model of how to behave, as they were notoriously hypocritical, in that they called their opponents barbarians, while they themselves maimed, blinded, castrated and enslaved populations who tried to defy them, committed genocide in Gaul, and elsewhere, and applied bestial punishments such as crucifixion and burning. The one lesson one can draw from the their claimed success in enforcing their laws is that deterrence works, not always, and everywhere, but generally.

The idea that the punishment should fit the crime, as espoused by Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado, receives little support from modern criminologists, yet is largely supported by the victims, who see pathetically soft penal policies enabling vicious felons to escape any sort of meaningful justice. I am old enough to remember when criminals would, before setting out some nefarious enterprise, search each other for deadly weapons, as they knew that, should one of their number kill, they would all hang.

Thanks to the dominance of liberal ideas over recent decades we now live in a society where murders, rapists and violent thugs have been given punishments which neither deter, nor represent any sort of justified retribution, ignoring the pain of those who suffered at their hands. Politicians of all parties are guilty of perpetuating this state of affairs, claiming the moral high ground by expressing concern for the human rights of the offenders, while ignoring those of their victims, and of those who will suffer in the future. My sympathies, and I have no doubt those of the vast majority of ordinary people, lie with the baby girl murdered, or starved to death, by those who should be taking care of her, the woman attacked and raped when walking down the street, the spouse who suffers domestic abuse, the youngsters stabbed to death near their homes by those who carry knives as a macho statement, the people assaulted because of the colour of their skin and every innocent who deserves the protection of the law, but sees lawyers, psychiatrists and the like doing all they can to excuse the thugs, and prevent them receiving the punishments they richly deserve.

Having left the EU we could reinstate capital punishment for murder, while the absurd policy of releasing offenders when they have completed half of their sentences should be ended. Rather then reductions due to good behaviour, if inmates are guilty of bad behaviour the sentences should be increased, although no doubt so called progressives would have a fit of the vapours at the thought. These latter always claim that execution is not a deterrent, a ridiculous assertion, but even were it to be true, it is also a justified retribution for the heinous crime committed.

Now we are faced with a further failure in the enforcement of justice in that the police force is increasingly falling under the sway of those who clearly see their function as running a Thought Police, rather than a body whose aim is to deal with real crime. Senior officers encourage the persecution of people who are doing no more than exercise their right to free speech, characterising expressions of opinion as ‘hate’ crimes, while pandering to paranoid, and politically motivated, enemies of democracy, who take constantly offence where none is intended. There is no justification for encouraging those who seek to inflame any sort of hatred against minorities, but such incidents now form a small part of the cases raised by those whom seek to suppress free speech.

Two principles which are totally ignored by the high priests of political correctness are that allegations are proof of nothing, while one is innocent until proven guilty. A former police officer, is taking Humberside Police to court over reported 'hate incidents’, as he was previously told by Humberside Police that he had been reported for hate speech because of tweets that were anonymously reported as 'offensive' and 'transphobic'. Despite being told he had committed no crime, a policeman told him he needed "to check your thinking". His record now clearly states that he has committed a 'non-crime' 'hate incident'. The problem is, if something is perceived as hateful, it is recorded as hateful. No evidence is needed. There is nothing you can do to change its status, and it remains on your record permanently. 1984’s O’Brien would be proud!

I have known many police officers, both personally, and in my time playing for my various sports clubs, at golf, tennis, squash or latterly bowls against their teams, and I also know how many are disgusted by the way in which the force has been politicised, its objective no longer being to fight real crime. The ordinary courageous policemen, and women, daily put their lives on the line to deal with the Marxist mobs of Stop the War, Extinction Rebellion, BLM etc., while facing criminals carrying guns, who are no longer afraid to use them. They are being betrayed by the liberal leaders now dominating the force. The days when every policeman had to perform a spell of beat duty, and were not required to pursue academic qualifications, rather than learn on the job, have gone, and politically trained automatons are preferred to real coppers.

In a letter published in the national press in 2018 one ex policeman reported “I served in the Met in the Seventies, and would report for night duty at Kings Cross. As well as constables in panda cars, a van to collect the drunks, an area car for emergency calls, and pursuits, officers would be assigned a beat to patrol on foot. If a break-in or damage was reported the next day from your beat, you had a lot of explaining to do. No wonder the crime rate is soaring with no coppers on the streets looking for crime, instead of waiting for it to happen. Where’s our thin blue line gone?”.

We want officers visible on our streets, not sitting in front of computers pursuing those who dare to hold a different opinion to metropolitan elitists. I remember when bobbies would stop cyclists riding on pavements, as well as panda cars stopping those with non functioning car exhausts. As was discovered in New York, if decent behaviour is enforced in even small things, beneficial effects will be felt throughout society.

When the state tells the people that they cannot respond to attacks, but must leave it to the organs of the law, then it is in effect agreeing to a contract that the state will take effective action against the lawbreakers itself. If it constantly refuses to do so then it is hardly surprising that people hold it in contempt. Respect for the law is essential if it is to be obeyed.

It is well past time for soft laws, inadequate sentences, politicised police, slippery lawyers and appeasing politicians to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

  230 Hits

The price of peace

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On a Rhine cruise some years ago my wife and I visited the beautiful town of Heidelberg and, while touring the castle, were informed of an interesting historical fact that contains a lesson for today's so called liberals and progressives. In the seventeenth century one of the Electors anticipated war and built strong fortifications. No one attacked. His successor discounted the possibility of war, weakened the defences and, unsurprisingly, saw the castle overwhelmed.

This is proof of the truth of the statement found in Latin author Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus's tract “De Re Militari” (4th or 5th century AD), where he says “Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum” which translates as “Therefore let him who desires peace prepare for war.". This adage is generally better known as “Si vis pacem, para bellum” or "If you want peace, prepare for war”, and indeed it is the motto of the Royal Navy, the Norwegian Military Academy, part of the US Marine Corps, and numerous other military organisations throughout the world. This is not because of any bellicose desire to fight wars, but because military men are well aware that the best way to avoid conflict is to be prepared in the event it should come, and to be able to counter, and deter aggressive moves by one’s enemy before these escalate to the level of actual warfare.

In would be unfair to characterise the people of the UK, and before that of England, as being warmongers, but, over the centuries, we have proved ourself no shrinking violets, having fought against more other nations than any other country, a result of being one of the world’s oldest nation states, the creation of the Empire, and the desire to preserve the balance of power in Europe.

However we have at times failed to give sufficient priority to the Armed Forces, most obviously in the inter war years of the 20th Century, when we failed to maintain an adequate military in the face of the growing threat from Germany, as the politicians sought to appease the fundamentally unappeasable. Thanks to the still overwhelming strength of the Royal Navy, the bravery of the Air Force, and the mighty allies brought to our side by the imbecilic decisions of a paranoid megalomaniac, we survived.

Despite escaping from destruction by the skin of our teeth, the post war years show that both politicians, and ordinary people, have, in many cases, not learned the lesson. When we were confronted by a totalitarian power, implacably opposed to our way of life, and possessing nuclear weapons, the reaction of those such as CND was to support disposing of our stocks unilaterally. Obviously many were fellow travellers, who wished to see Communism triumphant, but others adopted the stance of the ostrich, burying their heads in the sand, and apparently hoping the Soviets would just go away.

The reality proved to be that nuclear weapons, seemingly capable of annihilating the opponent in a single decisive blow, were never used, and eventually our enemies collapsed, thanks to the inability of their economic system to match that of the West. The reason they never resorted to using their H-bombs was that any ensuing victory would have been pyrrhic, thanks to the certainty of mutually assured destruction. CND could not have been more wrong.

How many times in recent years have we seen defence reviews, while claiming to to create a leaner, but meaner military, actually being based on saving money, while relying on the power of the USA to ensure that her allies would not fall before a common enemy. Not only is this dishonest, it is so short sighted as to be contemptuously cretinous.

The latest review appears, no doubt until all details become clear, to offer a more sensible programme than that proposed by previous governments. The good parts involve the greater use of AI and drones, more warships and submarines, and an expansion in the number of nuclear warheads held. Air power, if promises are kept, will remain significant, and the pivot to the Pacific is obviously rational as China grows more threatening. Cyber defences grow ever more necessary, so creation of the National Cyber Force, RAF Space Command and an artificial intelligence agency are all positives, particularly as the danger from terrorists always remains.

However the proposals for the Army are alarming. Less tanks, insufficient field artillery, and, above all, another reduction in the number of troops, would make the Kaiser, if he were still alive, repeat his remarks about a contemptible little army. Our soldiers are among the finest in the world, but there comes a point where there are too few to be more than a token force. Clearly our historic role has been that of a naval power, since augmented by the air, but if we are to neglect the army then even more must be allocated to the former. More aircraft carriers, frigates, and even destroyers, should be built in British shipyards, while the air force should be expanded.

None of this comes cheap, but the first responsibility of a government must be the protection of its citizens, and there is no point in having a marvellous social and health infrastructure if it can be easily destroyed by those who hate us.

Perhaps in the long term one of the most important changes which could be made would be to attempt to restore the sense of service to the nation which plays so little part in contemporary culture. We have the Army, Navy and Air Force reserves, but they could contribute more to our potential strength if they were treated with the respect they deserve, and not subject to the sneers of the metropolitan elitists, who dominate organisations such as the BBC.

No rational person wants conflict but, if you want peace, prepare for war!

  314 Hits

A Call to Arms

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Fifty years ago it would have been easy for those of us who opposed involving the UK in the European project to have just shrugged our shoulders, sat back and done nothing to convert our opposition into an actual active movement, as the signs seemed to be that that we were in a small minority, and that the direction of travel was only one way, leading to our country becoming just a province in a single European state.

However, and despite the years when we endured nothing but abuse, and were ignored by the media, we persevered, and, in the end, succeeded, as the UK is now free of rule from Brussels, and we are no longer on the fringes, but are in the mainstream of political life.

Now we in this country, and indeed in the West as a whole, particularly in the USA, face an enemy which, if unchallenged, will destroy all we hold dear. In 1929 Ernest Hemingway’s novel ‘A Farewell to Arms’ was published, and now we need ‘A Call to Arms’, to defeat those who are presently distorting our society, rewriting our history, corrupting our language, and demonising great numbers of people in the name of an insane ‘woke’ ideology.

According to the acolytes of this movement I, as a man, must obviously be, at the least, a misogynist, although possibly also a latent rapist. As a heterosexual I clearly I must be a homophobe, while, as an adult, I am a potential paedophile. That I am white means that I am a conscious, or unconscious racist, while my patriotic beliefs imply that I support colonialism, and my opposition to rewriting history makes me a probable supporter of slavery.

In reality I am none of these things, being a lifelong trade unionist, and a practising Christian, but, in the twisted minds of these fanatics, anyone who dares to contradict these assertions is merely denying a guilt which they refuse to recognize. For them it is a case of ‘damned if you do, and damned if you don’t’.

In the past the majority of the population would just have laughed at these lunatics, and told them to get a life, but now they have so wormed their way into so many of our institutions that perfectly decent, respectable people find themselves not merely accused of these crimes, but found guilty and punished by the loss of job, or reputation, or even of liberty, while the right to free speech is being totally undermined by an increasingly control of our words, and soon of our thoughts.

Although the main enemy to be confronted are the high priests of political correctness, much blame for allowing to emerge from under their stones attaches to pusillanimous politicians, bureaucrats, employers and media commentators who are so afraid of being accused of giving offence, or worse, that they choose to ‘take a knee’ and bow down before their accusers, instead of defying them.

We watch with horror as those in charge of universities allow student unions, far left academics and ideological zealots to force the ‘no platforming’ of those whose views these bigots oppose. Companies listen to extremists shouting on social media, and change the names of their products, or apologise for their advertising campaigns, while forcing their employees to attend nonsensical diversity courses, which the government now recognizes as absurd travesties. The BBC is so thoroughly infiltrated by the militants that it bans programmes which it once broadcast, while it introduces quotas for employees based on criteria which bear no relation to merit or ability.

The educational establishment is so beholden to this nonsense that it needs a root and branch reform, with a massive cleansing of its stables, the Marxist dons being removed, and the student unions being prevented from interfering in academic freedom. The undergraduates are there to learn, not to enforce their distorted prejudices upon the universities. If they don’t like it, let them leave, and try living in the real world for a change.

All those laws passed at the behest of the perpetually offended should be repealed, while the police should be told to concentrate on real crimes, not pursuing innocent people for saying what they believe. When police forces can state that giving offence is a criminal offence, a total lie, then there is really something rotten in the state of Denmark. The fundamental principle of innocent until proved guilty is being ignore by over eager policemen, something they share with church authorities, who presume guilt when priests are accused.

The fanatics targeting others are possessed of a ferocity shown by the puritan witch-finders, or the Dominicans of the Spanish Inquisition, although without the supposed underlying religious motive. Nevertheless they are consumed with self righteousness, and, as their persecution of the innocent has led to suicides, enjoy their own version of the auto de fé.

It is not enough for the ordinary people to merely ignore what is going on, in the hope that it will eventually just fade away. These enemies of democracy have the bit between their teeth, and if not confronted, and defeated, will succeed in permanently demolishing our society. There is no hope that the parties of the Left will take any action, as they are totally in support of the objectives of these dogmatic extremists, so it is the responsibility of the Conservative party to take them on. If they will not do so then we need a movement to rally to the standard of sanity before it is too late. ’A Call to Arms’ indeed.

  287 Hits

It is time social media was reined in

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The organisation for which I worked in those far off, halcyon days of the early 1960s, received many letters from the general public, which included those from the small, but energetic and lunatic, section of society. These were usually written in green ink, the pages being put to full use by writing up and down the margins, the spelling being frequently incorrect, the grammar questionable, and the opinions contained therein inevitably mad. They were placed in what was referred to as the ‘loony’ file, skimming through which provided an occasional diversion on a slow Friday afternoon. Meanwhile, as I worked in central London, lunchtime walks would regularly lead to encounters with unbalanced types standing on street corners prophesying the immediate end of the world, or some such. Basically these people were pretty harmless, as they were so clearly deranged as to be not worth anyone’s attention.

One of the major drawbacks of the Internet is the way in which it has given this section of society free rein to inflict their imbecilic, usually vile, and almost always ignorant, opinions on the rest of us. They sit in their bedrooms, typing away behind the protection of anonymity, attacking everyone they like, causing untold misery to their targets, and debasing debate on the most serious of subjects.

Recently we have seen reports of disgusting postings aimed at Captain Sir Tom Moore, the Duke of Edinburgh, even the Queen, while the abuse heaped on those who dare to support Brexit or Donald Trump, or to oppose the rise of the cancel culture, is unbelievable, or would have been before Facebook, Twitter and the rest opened the door to these morons. Sometimes the results of the unfettered ability of such lowlifes to abuse can be tragic. One case of which I am aware is the manner in which the priest (a good and pious man) of our local church was so abused concerning unproven accusations of misconduct that he eventually committed suicide, having been left to swing in the wind by church authorities who lacked the courage to stand by the precept of innocent until proven guilty. Even after his death the contemptible people who has hounded him continued to post foul accusations, to the distress of his mother.

The dangerous phenomenon of the cancel culture, with the subsequent distortion of the education system, as we see brainless students refusing to listen to anyone except those with whom they agree, is a product of the way in which the opinions of these armchair warriors have been granted a credibility which they do not deserve.

However this tide of abuse could easily driven back with two simple actions, namely the removal of the right to anonymity, and a determined effort by the media, and the general public to laugh at the stupidity on show, and to treat it as something to be ignored, not repeated. The press and TV constantly reports on so called ‘Twitter’ storms, but what exactly are these in reality. The actual number of those involved is small compared to the population, who either does not feel constrained to take part, or, more usually, never access social media anyway. Just because a vociferous group of idiots get together to shout about something is no reason to pay any more attention to them than one would to the street crazies of the past.

A requirement that anyone posting on the social media platforms must be clearly identified, with their real name, and location shown on the screen, while insisting that the technical details relating to them, and held by the platforms, are freely accessible to law enforcement, so that libel action may easily be taken against them, would soon bring most of them to heel.

The media should cease to take the lazy option of printing details of the latest ‘trending’ subject on social media, and return to their proper task of researching, and reporting genuine news, insisting that opinion not be reported as fact, and interviewing those involved, not merely quoting from some pathetic posting by pathetic idiots.

Over the years I have had hundreds of letters published in the press, and have exchanged what might be described as lively opinions with those such as unilateralists and Remainers. However I have always gone by the principle of ‘sticks and stones’, while the newspapers themselves ensure that libellous statements are not permitted, given that they have publishing responsibilities.

It is scandalous that the big Internet companies such as Facebook are allowed to escape from such publishing responsibilities on the basis that they are only in effect noticeboards, and not publishers. To change this would soon prevent many of the excesses we see now.

Above all the vast majority of computer users should restrict themselves to using social media for benign reasons, and not take part in prolonged exchanges with those who lack either the brains or knowledge to discuss anything important. There are many of us who have never used Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. and the world would be a better place if everyone followed our example.

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The betrayal of British higher education

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In the half century since my generation were of an age to go to college the whole experience of university education has changed almost beyond recognition, and not for the better.
That this should be so was inevitable once governments decided that it would be advantageous to send ever increasing numbers of youngsters to university. In 1960 only four percent of school leavers went up, by the end of the 1970s this has risen to fourteen percent, and now it hovers around the fifty percent. It is unbelievable that anyone in their right mind can claim that such increases do not lead inexorably to a decline in standards, yet many contend it to be so. Of course this deterioration has been concealed by the intellectual abilities required being less demanding, so courses are accessible to those who in the past would not have been accepted. In 1970 one third of graduates obtained a first class degree, yet now that figure has risen to two thirds, among a much less rigorously selected population. One result is that those who fifty years ago achieved a perfectly respectable 2:2 now find that employers are liable to treat such a qualification with contempt, as large number of current graduates are being given firsts or 2:1 degrees, which they would not have gained in the past.
As now nearly two and a half million are in tertiary education one effect is that the number of universities has also increased massively. Given the varying definitions of such institutions in official figures it is difficult to be certain of the exact change, but it is certainly enormous, the upgrading of polytechnics to university status being responsible for much of the increase. Institutions which once performed a sterling task in preparing youngsters for vocational careers now emphasise supposed academic achievement, even when many employers prefer the former.
The financial implications for those attending universities now are such that anyone from ordinary working class backgrounds needs to think very carefully as to whether the game is worth the candle. Whereas once a grant was available, so that graduates could leave college with perhaps only a small overdraft, today’s youngsters are being burdened with debts as high as £50,000.  In addition it is a disgrace, that the universities are lowering entrance standards, or using pseudo economic excuses to permit entry to those who do not match up to the educational requirements, as it subjects the youngsters involved to a struggle beyond their capabilities.  A massive confidence trick is being practised upon them, as they have been led to believe that the enormous debts they are incurring in order to obtain their degree will be repaid by the value the latter will have in providing a decent career. While this may be true for those such as scientists, doctors, engineers and lawyers, it is absolutely false in the case of so many of the pretentious, and trivial, qualifications which universities now offer. The elitist arrogance of the educational establishment has led to the replacement of the apprenticeships, work experience and training, day release, and evening classes, which were of use to the nation, with useless arts degrees in meaningless subjects. As a consequence employers now ask for degrees as an entry requirement for positions which in the past were filled by school leavers, to no one's benefit other than the universities.
Beyond all these considerations of standards and financial commitments there is another elephant in the room. Bodies of higher education should be one of the greatest assets a country can possess but, over the past few decades, we in the West have seen them mutate into organisations which, while absorbing vast amounts of public money, have become hotbeds of political correctness, and the source of that elitism which treats the wishes of the people with contempt, seeking to suppress all views which do not accord with the deeply held prejudices of the educational establishment.
Previously one of the primary functions of a university education was to enable youngsters to encounter a wide spectrum of views, broadening their mind, so that they would be capable of debating issues, while respecting the fact that points of view other than their own are worthy of consideration. Now we find the universities, often yielding to pressure from students, allowing such nonsenses as safe spaces, trigger warnings and no platforming to limit debate, deny the opportunity for those who do not subscribe the narrow set of left liberal, and often Marxist, opinions held by the high priests of political correctness, to present their views, and even to permit changes to the names of colleges, and consider the removal of statues linked to those historical personalities of university life who had connections to matters of which they disapprove. 
That a feminist icon such as Germaine Greer could be prevented from addressing a meeting, or the ludicrous idea that any book, however one might disagree with its position, should be withheld, in case the poor little snowflakes would be upset by it, are a disgrace to bodies whose lecturers would, in the past, acted as devil's advocates, in order to stimulate thought and discussion. Such censorship is the first step on the slippery slope to the book burning of the Nazi thugs. The City University student union even banned the Daily Mail, Sun and Daily Express, papers read by millions, from shops on its grounds. They do the youngsters no favours as, in the real world, they will find that, while people will disagree and argue, for the most part they attack the other's views, not their right to hold them, and would be both astonished and angered by such a contention. In this they would agree with Voltaire who wrote ‘think for yourselves, and allow others the privilege to do so, too’.
The utter hypocrisy of all this supposed concern for correct behaviour is shown by the anti Semitism so often encountered, when leading academic and student figures attack Israel, call a particular university a Zionist outpost, and indeed allow blatant anti Semitic positions to be adopted by their spokespersons without protest. These people were just the sort whom Orwell knew only too well, and who are doing their best to establish a Thought Police in this country. One only has to look at how they wish to override the wishes of parents concerning their children's welfare, encouraging the latter to feel doubts about their sexual identity, at a time when they should be innocent of such matters, and trying to enforce the views of the more extreme campaigners by use of the law.
While those such as scientists, mathematicians, physicists and doctors are intelligent, those who study the arts like to think of themselves as intellectuals and, as Clement Attlee said ‘Never listen to intellectuals, they are always wrong’. We could usefully close a great many of the current universities, return the old polytechnics back to their old status, radically prune the arts subjects on offer, and replace the ideologues with lecturers who value education above their political beliefs.
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Scientific illiteracy

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Over the years I have frequently run quizzes for organisations of which I am a member, and am as frequently appalled by the lack of knowledge so many people seem to possess relating to scientific matters. As my career has been in IT I am not a scientist, but I think I have a reasonable grounding in what I would regard as basic facts about the world. However the responses I have received indicate that a majority of people have no idea about the age of our planet, its distance from our star, what its likely future is, or the extent to which we as a species have, or indeed can, affect its nature.

Nevertheless, despite this widespread ignorance of the facts, a large number of activists, backed by a gullible media, and a political class afraid to contradict fashionable opinions, are convincing our societies to take steps which risk undermining our economies, and reducing our quality of life in order to counter what, contrary to claims made by vociferous pressure groups, are uncertain theories about our climate. Those who are so certain in their belief that anthropological global warming is a reality, proved by scientists, should look at what the consensus of the scientific community was only a few decades, when the warnings were all of rapid cooling, and a new ice age.

There are fashions in scientific opinion, and these are exacerbated by the desire to obtain research grants, not to rock the boat, and to enjoy fifteen minutes of fame. I could give numerous examples, but two illustrate the point. In 1971 the journal Science published a paper by two eminent scientists which said "An increase by only a factor of four in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 degrees Kelvin, sufficient to trigger an ice age". In 1973 the Science Digest carried the following warning "At this point the world's climatologists are agreed on only two things. That we do not have tens of thousands of years to prepare for the next ice age, and that how carefully we monitor our atmospheric pollution will have direct bearing on the arrival and nature of this weather crisis. The sooner Man confronts these facts, the safer he'll be". The one thing which is undeniable about our climate is that we live in an interglacial, which could end at any moment.

One of the most repeated assertions come under the general heading of ‘saving the planet’, This is risible, given that the Earth needs no saving, as it has existed for approximately four billion years, and barring a massively unlikely event such a close encounter with a wandering dark star, will continue to exist for another four billion, until the Sun finally leaves the main sequence. That its climate varies, sometimes massively is not disputed, as it was once a spinning tropical ball, was a frozen snowball for millions of years, and, being a dynamic body, has experienced many climatic events, such as Ice Ages. These latter are generally thought to be caused by variations in the Earth’s axis tilt, in the planet’s orbit, and in the output of the Sun. Other large swings in climate can be due to vast volcanic eruptions, or even the relative positions of land and sea masses, with consequent effects on oceanic currents, and wind patterns.

Despite these realities we are asked to believe that the activities of a small biped, over a couple of centuries, are threatening the existence of life on Earth. The constant claims about the malign effects of carbon dioxide ignore the fact that the most prolific greenhouse gas is water vapour, and how do the green fanatics expect to do anything about that - turn off the Sun?

The reality is that there are several plausible scenarios. Conceivably there is not actually a sustained change in climate, but merely a variation, such as have occurred in historic times, for instance the Medieval Climatic Anomaly, followed by the Little Ice Age. Maybe there is a more long term change, but it could have nothing to do with homo sapiens, but be the result of subtle variations in the Sun’s output, while perhaps there is indeed an effect resulting from our activities. If the latter is true then we need to do what we as a species has always done, adapt, but not to react in a way with a cure which is worse than the disease.

None of the above means that it is not a good idea to take measures to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, as these are finite on a human timescale, whereas energy from the Sun, tides and wind are only vulnerable on a geological timeframe. However this can be done over a sensible period, taking advantage of technological advances, without throwing the baby out with bathwater, as we can make huge changes over the coming decades which will put our industrial civilisation on a more permanent basis.

It is regrettable that governments, including our own, have shown themselves willing to take the alarmist statements of the green lobby at face value, when the latter would only be satisfied if we were all back in the caves, rubbing sticks together for warmth, as they falsely regard humanity of being guilty of a disregard for the environment for purely selfish reasons. Many, although not all, are in fact beholden to the usual self hating ideologies of the left.

The proposal that we should abandon petrol driven cars, and domestic gas ovens, for electric models within an absurdly short period is not merely impossible to achieve, but fundamentally insane, as, given the Greens outright opposition to nuclear energy generated by fission, where will the necessary electricity to come from but from the use of fossil fuels? In the future we may hope that fusion power, and the ability to capture massive additional energy from the Sun by use of orbiting power stations, will provide what we need, but these technologies are not yet ready.

Rather than treat little Scandinavian girls as some sort of mediaeval child saint, we need to adopt the attitude exemplified by the Queen of reacting rationally to problems, and, to use a wartime slogan, “Keep Calm”.

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We must be mad

As is well known, in the police state of Nazi Germany, the regime used the SS and Gestapo to control the population, but these bodies were backed up by the Blockleiters, who were in charge of listening to gossip, keeping an eye on neighbours, and informing on anything suspicious in a block of flats, or a group of houses.

In the German Democratic Republic the Stasi network of Informal Collaborators covered all sections of the population, providing crucial support to the country's elaborate surveillance system, and made possible the monitoring of groups to which a secret policeman could never have gained more direct access, notably in artistic and church circles, so that the state was informed in particular detail about individuals defined as "enemy-negative persons”.

Parsons, a character in Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, professes to love Big Brother, but he is heard by his daughter to say in his sleep "Down with Big Brother." She turns him in to the Thought Police, and Winston Smith encounters him in the Ministry of Love before he is executed.

Of course such nightmares could never take place in our liberal society, where free speech is regarded as a given, and private conversations, or idle gossip, could never be used against individuals could they? Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly likely.

It is reported that the Law Commission has abandoned proposals to extend hate crime legislation into private homes, laws which could have meant that dinner table conversations could have led to hosts or guests being investigated by police, and possibly sent to prison. We are now told that the commissioners are looking at alternative ways to achieve something similar. If this review is not thrown out, lock, stock and barrel, supposed hate crimes will anyway to be extended to cover gender and age.

These proposals may have been abandoned, but it is a disgrace that they should even have been considered for one moment. Do not forget that these presumed offences can arise just because a person says they have been offended, ignoring the fact they such offence was never intended, or that the words used would not qualify as offensive to anyone except the paranoid.

That this kind of review should be taking place would be a disgrace at any time, but it is almost unbelievable that it should be happening under a Conservative government. Can anyone doubt that, should any of the parties of the left achieve power in the future, such ideas would not resurface?

Everywhere we look the lunacy emanating from the ‘woke’ is disfiguring our country. Teenage pupils at Seaford Head School in East Sussex have forced the removal the names of Winston Churchill, and the author J K Rowling, from their houses, because the latter’s statements about the ‘trans’ community were unacceptable to these snowflakes, while the British hero is accused of having ‘unfairly imprisoned and tortured many, a flat out lie. Clearly the school does not teach history.

The Brighton and Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust is telling its staff to stop using terms such as ‘mother, ‘breast’ or ‘woman’ so that, where one might have said that “the child’s mother is breastfeeding her baby with breastmilk” it would be necessary to say ‘the maternal, or paternal, person is chest feeding the baby with chest milk”. Newspeak lives! That this insanity is greeted with incredulity by any reasonable person means nothing to those being allowed to ride roughshod over the views of ordinary people in the name of a deranged ideology. They must be stopped if this country is to be prevented from falling into a purgatory where rational behaviour, and belief, has been abolished.

In 1953 the novel “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury was published, concerning a future society where books are outlawed, and burnt, in order to suppress dissenting ideas, and the actual book burning by the Nazis is a matter of historical record. We have not yet reached that point, but can anyone doubt that the imbeciles who have been attacking statues will not soon turn their attention to books. One can foresee the works of Churchill being banned in libraries run by left wing councils, or even their publication being prevented on the grounds they they will encourage patriotism, or pride in our country’s history and achievements.

We in the UK are mad to have allowed the politically correct fascists to get as far as they have, and it is time that the overwhelmingly majority of decent citizens turned on these so called activists. They will never be satisfied until every person obeys their diktats without question, and the simplest of pillow talk between married couples becomes subject to examination by the state, with sanctions applied to those who dare to stray from the line dictated by this real life Thought Police.

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Democracy in peril

Although the break with the EU is not yet as complete as many of us would wish we have nevertheless escaped at last from the grip of Brussels, and have ended the situation whereby our democratic rights were being destroyed, as the rulers of that vile organisation transferred move and more authority into the hands of unelected bureaucrats. However the future of our democracy is still at risk, and not just because the behaviour of those who stormed the Washington Capitol was reprehensible, as was the apparent prompting given by President Trump.

That event was the result both of the unbridled opportunities extremists have been afforded by the existence of social media, and an underlying malaise which is compromising the survival of Western democracies. In the past few years we have seen multiple examples of egregious assaults upon democratic decisions, which have been largely due to actions taken by those now hypocritically expressing outrage about the storming of the Capitol.

When Trump won in 2016, the Democrats tried to delegitimise his victory in the electoral college because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, despite the fact that this had been the agreed method of electing a President since the Republic was formed, while these same people also made totally unsubstantiated claims about foreign interference affecting the result. This latter accusation was also made when the nationalists failed to convince the Scottish people to vote for independence in 2014, and was again employed when the Europhiles turned out to be in a minority in the UK in the June 2016 referendum.

Of course that vote resulted in the worst example of the refusal to accept a democratic decision yet seen, when the political establishment, and its supporters in the media, such as the BBC, declined to accept that they had been fairly defeated. For years we endured flagrant attempts to overturn the will of the people, with a Commons Speaker who blatantly assisted the Europhiles, and a campaign to hold a second referendum before the result of the first had been implemented. The insults directed at Leavers were disgusting, and made clear that the pro EU case was largely founded on prejudice, much of it class based. The 2019 general election demonstrated that the British people were serious in their desire to leave the EU, but once again they were subjected to a barrage of false claims, rather than an acceptance by the Europhiles that they were in a minority.

Those of us who know the works of Orwell, particularly his masterpiece 1984, must sometimes feel that he possessed a time machine, for so many of the horrors portrayed in that novel are now recognisable around us. He seems, as Paul says in Corinthians, to “have seen through a glass, darkly”. What is the concept of a ‘cancel culture’ other than the modern version of making someone an ‘unperson’, while the advocates of so called ‘woke’, are creating a version of Newspeak, where the use of words is being deliberately limited to prevent us from expressing our opinions.

As we do not yet have a Ministry of Love to enforce the diktats of these sinister enemies of freedom it is nauseating to see the number of organisations who choose to ‘take a knee’ before them, issuing apologies for which no apology is warranted, and persecuting those who dare to stand up to these fascists. It should also be remembered that the violence in Washington followed on from that seen during the demonstrations by the anti Semitic Black Lives Matter movement, which seeks to impose the views of a minority without any democratic process taking place. Of course it is wrong, indeed insane, to treat people differently because of the colour of their skin, but the genuine grievances which minorities have cannot be solved by supporting those who hate Jews, capitalism, and even the concept of the family. These thugs should be confronted, not appeased.

If any reasonable person, voicing rational opinions, is told that ‘you can’t say that’, then the answer should, and must be ‘I can and I will’, while the craven behaviour of so many businesses, who tremble at the thought that they might be offending those whose capacity for taking offence is infinite, should cease to conciliate, and instead defy these vociferous simpletons.

The attacks upon democracy have been fuelled by the manner in which social media has been used to promulgate nonsensical assertions, and the ability of irrational mobs on these platforms to silence all but the most determined, who face abuse emanating from those who think that any who shout the loudest should prevail. There is a good case for banning these aberrant modern day soapboxes altogether, as they are now sewers which the worst ignoramuses are using to destroy rational debate.

As far as the wider question of democracy is concerned, if losers refuse to accept the result of democratic votes it cannot survive, as every election or referendum will see attempts to use illegitimate means to reverse the decisions taken.

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Naivety

Students of human nature need look no further than Shakespeare to find warnings of the perils of judging that the motives of others are benign. In Julius Caesar Octavius rightly points out that "And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear, Millions of mischiefs”, while Hamlet tells us that one may "smile, and smile, and be a villain”. The villains themselves admit as such when Iago says “I am not what I am”, and Richard III confesses that “And thus I clothe my naked villainy”.

The tendency to think well, rather than ill, of people is not doubt laudable, but all too often it is merely naive, and can lead to disaster. For individuals a trust in smooth talking snake oil salesmen on the Internet has led to thousands of decent people being tricked into losing often substantial funds, but it is when the problem is inflated to relations between nations that the real danger threatens.

In the 1930s quite sensible figures, including Leo Amery, a man of Jewish descent, were sufficiently naive to be at first taken in by Adolf Hitler, and of course the appeasers, such as Neville Chamberlain, believed that it was possible to reach an accommodation with Nazi Germany. That they could have believed this when the facts that the Nazis were dressing up as pantomime villains, crushing democracy, and persecuting the Jewish people is amazing. Had they taken Mein Kampf seriously they would surely have never trusted Germany for a moment. We were indeed fortunate that, by the skin of our teeth, we were eventually on the winning side, thanks to the Channel, the size of the Royal Navy, the bravery of the RAF, and insane decisions to attack the USSR and America, taken by a man who was a psychopathic megalomaniac.

Of course this ability to ignore what is staring you in the face was not, and is not, restricted to politicians. In the inter war years many apparently sane individuals were vociferous in their support for the League of Nations, but equally convinced that expenditure on our Armed Forces should be cut. One wonders how they could believe that mere moral exhortations could hold back the dictators. The signers of the Peace Pledge Union were, like most pacifists, unable to accept that sometimes one must use force, or at least threaten it, to survive. This sort of gullibility was on display in the years following the war when many marched for CND, in the belief that the way to deal with a totalitarian power, armed with nuclear weapons, was to throw ours away. Perhaps they thought that being well meaning was sufficient, but we all know with what the road to hell is paved.

Unfortunately this refusal to recognize that there is evil in the world persists, for, in the days following the fall of the Soviet Union, many bankers, financiers and investors eagerly took money from tainted sources in Russia, and in so doing spread corruption, and malign influences throughout the Western world. The recent excellent book Putin’s People, makes clear that current day Russia is not that of the Tsar and nobles of Imperial times, nor the Soviet era of Stalin and the Politburo, but that of the political equivalent of Michael Corleone and his capos, as Putin and his KGB cronies reign supreme. Many in the West took money from pure greed, but others claimed that it would ensure that Russia would become a respectable part of the world financial system. Well we have seen how misguided was that belief.

Now we have been repeating the same mistake with China. The latter has managed to combine the economic strength of capitalism with the continuation of the power structure of Communism, and we have allowed them to inveigle their way into our infrastructure, without warning infect the whole world with a virus, and begin to undermine democracy everywhere. They have treated the agreement over Hong Kong with contempt, menaced Taiwan, and made invalid claims on the whole Asian area, attempting to browbeat India, even trying to cow Australia. We have foolishly permitted the lure of cheap products to allow much of our industry to gravitate to China. Again the arguments are trotted out that if we engage with them they will gradually become more like us. This is either a conscious lie, or such a misreading of the nature of their regime that it amounts to an insane delusion.

It is time that Western democracies woke up to the fact that we are living in the light from the campfire, but just beyond its circle the monsters are getting closer. Under the Kim family North Korea is the nearest to the world of 1984 that we have yet seen, its people being powerless to overthrow the dictator. Theocratic Iran and the Islamist fanatics will never give up their desire to destroy Israel, and her allies, for, while we are told that their population is becoming younger, and more desirous to live as a Western style nation, still the Ayatollahs rule. The secret policemen who have taken over Russia have imperial ambitions, while a totalitarian China is growing in power and influence every day.

This is not to advocate active belligerence directed against our enemies, but we should recognize them as such, ensure that we possess Armed Forces capable of deterring them, cease to allow them unrestricted entry into our economies, and recognize the fact that, contrary to the beliefs of many well meaning ignoramuses, not everyone is like us. We in the Western world have had our dark periods, and are by no means perfect, but compared to so many of the regimes afflicting mankind, in the phrase popularised by Disraeli, we are on the side of the angels.

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The EU Mask Has Been Ripped Away

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 For years they were told that they were wrong, ignorant or xenophobes. They were excluded from power, and treated largely with contempt by the media. However, when the Second World War broke out the anti appeasers were totally vindicated, took over at the very top, and eventually saw the utter defeat of the barbarians running Nazi Germany. Al...
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