Sunday, 18 June 2017

The tenants are fifty percent of the problem


Another thing I will say on Grenfell, one of the biggest problems an EHO will face, as much as pisspoor building design is the tenants themselves. The complain about damp - but they seal up the vents. They use the hallways for dumping their shit and storing their garbage. Fire extinguishers are often stolen and sold off. Seen this before when armed forces advocacy groups whine about poor standards of housing for personnel.

Half the problems is the wives who don't report the problems, let things rot, don't clean up and then they wonder why they live in squalor. MoD houses tend to be quite good. They don't have these problems in RAF houses which are the exact same ministry design - but Army wives... well, not wishing to offend but... garbage on legs.

Now don't jump down my throat here because I'm victim blaming. The fact is that people do have a collective responsibility to report things - and most of the time, when they say the council haven't done something about leaky pipes etc, is literally because nobody bothered to report it. They lie about it all the time.

Then look at the social makeup of these places. Again we have problems when you stack blocks and streets full of primates from the back hills of Mirpur - throwing dirty nappies into the back yard and flushing general refuse down the toilets. They simply don't know how to function in modern housing because they've had in basic training as to what it means to live in the developed world. That was a real issue for EHO's in the 80's and 90's, in Yorkshire and Lancashire especially. Cram them all into a tower block and you then have very serious problems.

One of the measures we took in the late nineties was to beef up the tenancy contract and make sure tenants had their responsibilities explained to them in person. The idea was that if they are found in breach of contract then action can be taken. Problem is, if the council has to evict it has to rehouse - and when you are evicting lazy tenants from one slum, the only place you can put them is in another slum.

This dynamic is why EHOs do not evict from overcrowded HMOs because it lumbers the council with having to find places for them. This is why there is such a toxic feeling about freedom of movement. We have utterly failed to enforce the law because we have basically made it a human right for any hapless biped to be housed come what may - regardless of how slovenly and antisocial they are.

For them to then play victim and go and smash up the local housing office or threatened staff - as is quite typical - is really quite disgusting. But then what do you expect when you have removed all the consequences for selfish and antisocial behaviour? Were I in charge I would just have a three strikes policy where you're then given a choice of deportation or jail.

Bottom line though, social housing is the worst idea British politics has ever had. It's never going to be good because you're basically, for the most part, housing losers and trailer trash and by doing so you are creating high concentrations of scum. The only way to avoid doing that is to spend serious money distributing them and putting them in good homes - which is unfair to everybody else - especially if they're just going to shit on it or destroy it.

The short of it is, you want a good house, either move out of London or pull your fingers out of your arse. Beyond basic shelter, that's about the fullest extent of our obligations - and even that is far too generous in my view.

Social housing might have worked in the pre-war era before we stopped giving a shit about who we let in and under what circumstances when we were able to cash in on the empire - but those times are long gone, and if we're absolutely honest - even that was a shit idea because much of what was built in that era has had to be demolished and that which has not probably should be. Ultimately government fucks up everything it touches so why would you want it to house you or look after your health?

Every manifestation of socialism is a cancer on a free and prosperous society and the fact we don't teach this to children at an early age is why you're seeing a surge for Cobyn. If you don't teach your children to hate communists where are they going to learn it? Not from state run schools that's for damn sure since half the teachers are paid up members of the fucking KGB.

You're never going to get adults who will take responsibility for themselves if you teach them they have a right to expect all of the fundamentals for free. That's why socialists grow up to be losers and that's how they end up ghastly pebble dashed huts and burning to death. One of the best survival skills you can teach a child is free market liberal economics. They might fail at life - but they won't blame others if they do.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Dear London... get over yourselves.


Dear Londoners,

Please please please, for the love of Christ, get over yourselves. There are people who, for reasons that escape me, save up for years to afford a deposit to live and work in London. People work bloody hard to earn above the average wage, only to afford shared rooms and tiny hovels. People of modest means who just don't see themselves as victims or hapless serfs. People who may never get rich - but at least have pride in themselves and no sense of entitlement.

If for some reason you have been granted a living space entirely of your own in central London (at a heavily discounted rate) you are not "underprivileged" or forgotten. You are in fact one of the most privileged citizens on the planet.

Nobody is going to argue that Grenfell Tower isn't a travesty - and a systemic collapse of competence in that manner is inexcusable, but in more general terms, your sense of entitlement is baffling the rest of the country.

To be frank, you don't speak for all of us - and you certainly don't speak for the "aspirational working class". Aspirational working class people have much higher aspirations than sitting on a waiting list to be handed the keys to a concrete box only moments after an Albanian refugee has perished of a heroin overdose.

In fact, there are mums all over the country who nag their children to do their homework and do well at school specifically so they don't end up on a council waiting list. Moreover, you don't have a right to housing near where you were brought up. Where did you get that idea?

By all means bang your drums and wave your socialist flags on a Friday afternoon, but actual working class people are, well, you know, at work - so they can afford the hovel that's half the size of your council flat - and on the outer rings of the tube network.

You complain about "social cleansing" but when I watch y'all on Youtube I'm starting to think they might have a point. It's not like you geniuses are actually contributing to anything - except maybe the knife crime statistics. (props on that by the way)

And I know I'm not supposed to sneer at "working class views" but if working class views are now "how can I make this all about me and my entitlements?" then don't be surprised if peope do sneer. It's not snobbery. It's just a basic sense of decency.

I suppose I shouldn't complain though. After all London is a magnet for absolutely everything that sucks in this country. I suppose it's worth subsidising your like to stay in London just so the rest of us can continue to enjoy the many other excellent cities in the UK - and enjoy our decent sized affordable homes without you piping "speed garage" out of "sub woofers" attached to your rustbucket Volkswagens.

Just be mindful, though, that there's a jolly good reason nobody cares about you. It's because you have childish views, dreadful politics and there is nothing likeable about any of you. Come to think of it, you deserve London - and London deserves you.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

My tolerance ends where liberty is threatened


Ok, I can just about stretch to an opinion on Farron. Why has Tim Farron been singled out for being a Christian? Well, he holds illiberal views and led a liberal party. When challenged on it, he was unable to give a straight up answer. For me the latter is the greater sin. If you believe something then come out and say it. It's a basic test of integrity.

But then there is a wider debate here as to how much god bothering do we tolerate? Personally I am a secularist and a social libertarian. I want to see the maximum liberty possible extended to every individual so that they may live out their lives according to their own choices.

Personally I don't get the whole gay marriage thing, I'm a little bit wary of it, but the bottom line is that it does not affect me in any way. Why should my convictions, or lack of them, have any bearing on the choices of others? If Farron is unable to prioritise his politics over his adherence to scripture then he has to stand down. You're either a liberal or you're not.

As to the DUP and the anti-abortionists, it's really up to the people of Northern Ireland to sort that one out for themselves. So long as they don't bring their politics into our politics then fine. This is more a matter of sovereignty.

Personally I don't see why anybody's religious convictions should get to dictate the life choices of women. It's always better of women are free to choose, to be able to get the information and support they need - and safe, dignified treatment. I hate people who would deny a person the right to choose.

So should these people be hounded out of politics? I would have thought so yes. Politics is trial by fire. Stand up for your beliefs. See what flies. Someone of resilience will stick by their convictions and if they can ride it out with intellect and skill then the voters will be the final judge.

It is a tricky one though. Part of tolerance is respect for views you don't like but at what point does that tolerance risk becoming apathy? I think we do have to be on guard against regressive forces who would prioritise their stone age beliefs over the liberty of individuals. They should be held to account for their views and it is vital we are absolutely clear where they stand.

I have a few Christian friends, one of whom I respect immensely, but my general experience of god botherers is that they don't respect the choices of others and use scripture in place of argument. To me that comes over as zealotry bordering on mental illness. Those such people I wouldn't put in charge of a whelk stall let alone a country.

Worse still it seems to me that the Christians I know are the least "Christian" people I know. I was brought up CofE and the general gist I got is that we must be kind to each other, charitable and forgiving. As I understand it, that whole forgiveness thing is a cornerstone of the faith, yet I do not find god botherers either charitable or forgiving. Mainly just judgemental prudes and tyrants without reason.

Ultimately these such people are a direct threat to mine and your liberty. My tolerance ends when the religious convictions of others condemn people and take away their free will. I will defend any person of faith and their right to practice their faith, out of respect for their liberties, but if I catch your dog on my lawn I will shoot it.

As to Farron, I kinda feel sorry for the guy. I don't think he is a bad man. Profoundly wrong perhaps, but really, this country in real terms is secular - and we are better off because people are free to make their own choices. I can't trust that he can shelve his private beliefs simply because men of real conviction cannot.

You can make all the classic arguments about moral permissiveness and where that leads, but ultimately people suffer the consequences of their choices. That's pretty much how it should be lest we go back to treating women like property. In that, it is incumbent upon us to better teach the consequences of certain choices, but anything that flies in the face of free will gets a thumbs down from me. It's not something I have tolerance for.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Brexit: Corbyn's issue illiteracy


The idiot Corbyn is once again talking about leaving the single market but preserving access to it. For those who need it spelled out, this is pure illiteracy. Everyone has access to the single market. If I'm a dildo producer in Elbonia I can export to the EU but I must pay a tariff and go through the third country customs channels. Because Elbonia does not have a preferential trade agreement with the EU it has a low score on the EU database so a container is 100% likely to be stopped at the docks while goods are sent away for formaldehyde testing at the expense of the producer. Meanwhile the container is taking us space incurring a thumping daily fee for every day it is held - which can be anywhere up to two weeks depending on the workload of labs. Ten times more expensive than tariffs. This is why non-tariff barriers are the greater threat to UK trade.

So say we were to drop out of the EU without a deal we would assume the same status as Elbonia. Having already been a member of the EU we'd have a slightly better risk assessment - but we'd still end up having our containers diverted and inspected. Then if we sign a free trade deal with Elbonia where we don't inspect their goods then our risk assessment score is reduced. That's why we have to be careful about the deals we sign after Brexit. Elbonian dildos have high levels of carcinogenic toxins.

If we want to avoid that scenario then we must have a deal where our own testing houses are approved by the EU. This would be a mutual recognition agreement on conformity assessment. That way any goods cleared for sale here can also be sold in the EU. That though does mean an EU agency will have to perform routine inspections of our testing houses to ensure compliance to the standards they set out. That means adopting their standards not only for the production of goods but also for the testing and the methodologies therein. It's complex for ordinary goods but when it comes to food and animal products it gets highly involved. This is why Norway contributes to the various EU agencies in order to keep the costs down for business.

Now multiply this dynamic to the three hundred or so other policy areas - including medicines and chemicals. We would need a patchwork of agreements covering all these different areas. Technically we would be outside the single market but it means you still import EU procedures, regulations and standards. The short of it being that if the EU council decides on the meaning of a regulation then you adopt it without question. Being outside of the single market you have no means of veto and you are not involved in the decision making process.

The fact is, when the EU accounts for half of our exports and it being the nearest and largest market, there is no escaping EU institutional influence and that nebulous "sovereignty" we seek is not so clear cut. Every shortcut we take has ramifications for our trade with the EU. Every decision has consequences that ripple out.

It's all very well saying we want "tariff free access" but that doesn't come close to what we need. Thanks to the "Anything But Arms" agreement even the likes of Elbonia have tariff free access but unless it can meet EU standards and prove it then costs of trade are prohibitive. This is what our political class does not understand. It is the regulatory union (the single market) that facilitates trade. Being out of it means more direct costs for business, more delays and substantially less trade - none of which can be easily recouped by way of seeking deals elsewhere.

Since Brussels is a regulatory superpower and the UK being reliant on EU trade it will always have considerable influence on our laws. Even New Zealand and Canada have found cause to rethink their food safety laws so as to trade on more favourable terms with the EU. A well documented phenomenon known as "The Brussels Effect". So as much as there is nothing to be gained by leaving the single market it doesn't actually solve anything.

Moreover, the point of staying in the single market is that it takes all the trade issues out of the Article 50 negotiations and puts them into a different framework which is not time limited thus removing uncertainty and reducing the risk of becoming Elbonia overnight - which would destroy nearly all of our EU trade.

The single market may not be optimal but it is a fact of life. We cannot pretend otherwise and if we really do want to leave the EU it's the safest and fastest way to do it. At least then the political integration is ended and we'd have the Efta firewall. On present trajectory, chasing an illusory perfection, we are likely to crash out with nothing to show for it and will have to rebuild our trade relations over decades only to achieve what we could have had now. We are risking the UK's prosperity on the back of the profound ignorance of our politicians and media. This is the debate that was lacking from the election and it seems to be absent now. There is a wilful refusal to get to grips with it. That will be our undoing.

Friday, 9 June 2017

More depravity from the Corbynistas

Soviet bunting in London. Depraved.
What fucks me off most about this far left revival is that we're now going to be dragged back into tedious old debates having to explain the basics to morons. It always plays out like this. We have to teach them basic economics and a few facts of life. You know - that one about not taking out a credit card to pay off your other credit cards. And then because they're obsessive antisemites we'll have to have that super boring debate about Israel. Already I've been told this evening that anti-zionism is not antisemitism.

Ok fine. Let's enter that premise. Zionism is a concept. But then it's better described as colonisation. Exactly what the Europeans did to America, and yes there was ethnic cleansing and yadda yadda yadda. So answer me this. Why is it not a left wing obsession to challenge the legitimacy of the USA and demand it stops existing? I'm sure there are some crackpots who do think that but it is not a mainstream fixation.

Just yesterday I saw a Facebook commenter with a hammer and sickle avatar saying "Israel has no right to exist". So does Israel have a right to exist? Doesn't fucking matter. The fact is that it does exist and there's not a god damn thing you can do about it.

Y'see what we don't settle with politics we settle with wars. And there was a war. The six day war. The aggressors lost and in the aftermath Israel took some pretty absolute security measures including turfing Arabs off their land. Fair? Not really. But again - not that far removed from what the USA did. Ultimately this is the event that brings us to the paradigm we know today. Any history prior to that is just masturbation. Go any further back and the debate ends up in the mists of time to see who committed the original sin. That's how warped this debate is.

But then we get the old "apartheid state" shit. For reasons that seem fairly obvious to me, the Israelis have decided that if your neighbouring countrymen decide to strap bombs to themselves and blow up school buses with alarming regularity then it's probably wise to build a really big fucking wall around them. To insist that the wall comes down is to essentially demand that Israel does not defend itself. You are advocating the end of Israel and the mass murder of Jews. You can kinda see why they would take that as antisemitic. Not least since unwashed dreadlocked Westerners are not demanding that Lebanon take down theirs.

So what is a legitimate criticism? I'm not the arbiter of that but my distaste comes when they're using punishment tactics. That though is a difficult one because you can't really expect Israel not to respond to a neighbouring country whose ruling authority is openly at war with you and has pledged to destroy you. Not really any middle ground there.

And this is why I have a problem with your Mr Corbyn. He thinks there is a middle ground and is prepared to roll out the red carpet for these scumbags and broadly he believes Israel should make concessions. And this to me raises a few questions. Nobody on the left is saying that the West should sit down and talk to ISIS. They're not that depraved. So why should Israel negotiate with Islamists sworn to destroy them - who preach it to their young children that Jews are evil and should be killed.

But it's not all antisemitism from the left. I note the guy who unfurled the antisemitic banner in Bristol the other day needed it explaining why it was antisemitic. Why? Because he's a moron. It's kind of a prerequisite to be a far leftist - to brainlessly adopt the right on causes of the left to show "solidarity" (ie conformity) with the groupthink. There is no intellectual examination of the issues, no self-audit for moral consistency and a general willingness to accept the leftwing narrative of Palestinian victimhood - one of the toxic elements that perpetuates this grubby conflict.

It is that same bovine idiocy that has millennials taking to the streets waving communist flags, defacing war memorials and destroying private property. A long standing tradition of the far left for as long as it has existed. The self-styled "anarchists" who demand more state control and confiscation of property.

In this people often chastise me for speaking in broad terms about "the left" - repeating the empty mantra that the left/right paradigm no longer exists. Sorry but is absolutely does and it never went away. You can add caveats and nuances and I will entertain those but the extremes always espouse the core of the ideology and moderates are merely people who hold the same basic ideas only not so intensely and usually not willing to resort to vandalism and violence. As much as the behaviour must be challenged the ideas must be challenged also - and if you hold any of these sympathies then you are indeed culpable for not auditing your own views.

If you passively allow these lazy notions to go unchallenged then you are effectively enabling the cancer within our culture. And yes, it is a cancer in that communists have absolutely zero regard for our civilisation and would gladly destroy it in order to bring about their communist utopia. Not massively unlike ISIS. Historically the left have proven just as savage. This is why the hammer and sickle offends me every bit as much as a swastika.

Worse still are the pretensions to moral superiority. The latest fad is to have "I punch fascists" in your Twitter bio. That basically means "I use violence to silence people I disagree with". These people, incidentally, are the same ones posting photos of themselves burning newspapers. The subtext here is that anything even moderately conservative is in their eyes "fascist" and therefore feel entirely justified in censoring it. You see they are the sole arbiters of the meaning of the word fascist and it is nebulous enough to mean whatever they wish it to so to suit the occasion. In basic terms, this is thuggery. It is not a principled world view. It is, to coin an expression, virtue signalling - the desire to prove ones own sense of righteousness. It is pure vanity.

This is why I will have very little patience for the "tolerant left" this week as they pull apart every last detail of the DUP. As I understand it the DUP are actually pretty foul people but being this a democracy they have every right to hold their views and part of tolerance is accepting that. You can lay no claim to virtue and tolerance if your agenda is to harass people over matters of faith.

Perhaps they have deeds in their past which are worthy of examination - but ultimately if you are a leftist you have no moral authority and no right to criticise anybody - because ultimately your entire world view is informed by antisemitic prejudice and a century of intolerance and murder. If you are not a practitioner then you are an apologist and enabler. This is why I despise the left about as much as I do Islamists - because basically they are the same with the same goals - The submission of others to their intolerant will by any means available. Until the socialists publicly disavow the hard left and expel Momentum I will view them as enablers of prejudice - and ultimately enemies of my country.

Friday, 2 June 2017

That moment when you remember the left are depraved


Corbyn - a man who has no problems speaking on a platform with people more than happy to wave the flags of Hamas, Hezbollah, IRA, Communism, or whatever filth the left ascribes to.

And let's not beat around the bush here. Get into a conversation with a leftist and sooner or later they will bring up Israel. I do have opinions on that subject but my default line is that we have more important things to talk about than an ethno-nationalist spat going back more than half a century. But why do they bring it up?

Well it's simple. They are obsessed with it. Nothing else matters to them. It's a perfect cover. They can shroud their flagrant anti-semitism in quasi-legitimate moral outrage - which is always disproportionately directed at Israel, regardless of the fact that both Egypt and Lebanon treat Palestinians equally abysmally.

Not for nothing can you find leftists sharing platforms with Islamists. They ultimately share the same goal.

The reason I have chilled out in recent years is because I no longer seek out debates with leftists and the memory fades as to just how repellent they really are. But thanks to Corbyn they're all coming back out of the woodwork and it all comes flooding back as to what utter pieces of filth they are. This is when I really lose my shit.

And then there is the sheer economic illiteracy. As tweeter CiarĂ¡n McGonagle points out, echoing some of my own sentiments, Labour now appear to reside in non-interconnected world where economic policy can be imposed unilaterally without regard to global context, where increasing tax on upwardly mobile corporates and high earners inevitably leads to increased revenues without risk of relocation. Where the City's hegemony is inevitable and can be squeezed for new revenues as though other nations are incapable of competing for business. Where Government can pick and choose which international laws and regulations it deigns to adhere to without losing global influence in making those laws. Where the Govt can nationalise and subsidise industry at a whim without fear of reprisal or economic consequence.

It's a magic wand fairly land where you can peddle "solutions" from 1945 as though the last seventy years didn't happen - and because of the cult like status of Corbyn they will invent absolutely any mental contortion to justify economy wrecking policies. Not forgetting their insistence on foisting this shitty socialist heath system on us

And this is actually where my heart sinks because apart from the antisemitism and sharing platforms with jew hating terrorists - and giving houseroom to antijewish conspiracy theorists, you can say a lot the same about the Tories. The cowardly drift leftward is ultimately why Britain is in the shit. Time and again conservatives have caved into these scumbags

You know, seriously, so long as you don't mind bringing up vacuous shallow shitbird offspring, if you do have children, raise them as leftists because they will never have to be held to account for the repulsive views they hold, and they will never be expected to act like adults.

They'll be more successful at work because they can effortlessly glide between social scenes spouting the same socially convenient claptrap without being called out on it. Their warped and morally degenerate worldview has somehow become the social currency of the West and conservatives self-censor just to be able to put forth moderately conservative ideas - which are then shrieked down by bunch of leftist harridans.

Worse still is the fucking hypocrisy. The thuggish scum who call themselves "antifascist", only too happy to use violence and subversion to silence opinions they disagree with, using their cultural dominance to have decent people removed from their jobs in academia and public service. And let's not forget their sick "gender is a social construct" bollocks which ultimately lands young people with mental illnesses, often leading to gender reassignment and suicide in later life.

If there is any strand of toxic authoritarianism you can think of you will always finds the left at the front of the queue. The same shitbirds pushing the global warming shit on us as an excuse to close down democracy. Satan is going to have to dig an eighth circle of hell to deal with modern leftists. The worst vermin ever to walk this earth.

This is actually a stark reminder to me that I should step out of my Brexit cave a bit more often because I forgot what shitheads they really are. It reminds me that there is a moral dimension to elections and actually, moronic though the Tories are, two decades of economic oblivion is still preferable to Corbyn and his band of twisted sociopaths. You won't catch me voting Tory but no way can a decent person endorse this depravity. Fuck that. If we further tolerate any of their wickedness then the west does not deserve to survive.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

If you must vote, don't vote Tory.

A lot of people get on my case because I go on about Tories like a leftist would. It's true that I hate them with a similar passion but for entirely different reasons. The thing is, I know that party well. I've been closer to the beast than most. I once shared an office with a regional chairman. I've had my introduction to the Westminster life. I know who the people are and I know who is pulling the strings.

Firstly you have to get over the idea that there is a Tory party as such. It's just a brand that can be co-opted by the various power-bases within it. Just like Labour. Ownership of the party can be captured by the various cliques within it. The Cameroons and their Bullingdon club sect managed to capture it quite successfully for the same reasons the Momentum loons could capture the Labour party. It was weak, lacking leadership and without a moral base.

Shifts in parties are effectively micro-revolutions and these shifts actually matter more than elections. Elections just rubber stamp the change of management. As to who wins elections, it really comes down to which clan has a motivated powerbase. The exception is this election where you have caretaker May up against the Corbyn cult - who just happen to be so awful that they repel most decent people. In any other times, the May team would be viewed as inept as the Howard leadership. Not exactly a star line-up is it?

But within the umbrella of the Conservative party there are various sects. One of those influential sects is the hard right of the party, marginalised for years but now more influential than in previous years. That is not to say they are in power, since they are still on the outer- fringes but they do have a direct line to the cabinet for the first time in two decades. These are some of the very worst people presently in politics.

One particular example is Rees-mogg, who, like Johnson, has certain upper class affectations that people mistake for intellect. What you find in practice is they don't know the subject matter, they are winging it and rely on their foolish supporters to make excuses for them. Then you have the likes of Steve Baker using his position as MP to open to door so crony investment funds can get their nose in the trough.

I have spoken before of these such people and how they are all on the teat of a handful of old money Tory donors - and they are the ones who buy conformity. The high society parties and think tank shindigs are all part of the Westminster social scene, a sordid circle jerk encompassing MPs, their apparatchiks and sections of the media. People who thrive on gossip and bullying. Worse still, there is always a parachute for them when they're voted out. I note a number of Tory MEPs are now on the ticket to become MPs now that we are leaving the EU. Vicky Ford being one of them - she who railed about oven gloves having to meet heat resistance standards.

In more basic terms, you've all laughed at the absurdity of Ukip and their batshit policies, but the Tories are effectively the same thing but with better connections to old money and posh accents.

In this there is an element of "class war" - not in the classic left wing sense because that is very often the politics of envy. What this is though is a near untouchable class of people who feel entitled to rule and have the connections to make sure that they do. This is our political class.

I would like to be able to say that Labour fares better but they just have different avenues and a different strand of hypocrisy, and we should loathe them in equal measure, but when it comes to Tories, there is a certain unparalleled arrogance, which is ordinarily quite grotesque, but when it comes to Brexit, there is a very real danger they will flush the entire UK economy down the toilet and never take responsibility for it. They are a fucking menace. They are intellectual and moral cowards - and some of the most toxic, snobbish, vile people I have ever set eyes upon.

You will get no argument from me that Corbyn isn't fit to govern, but that does not  make the Tories competent by default. Far from it. My message this election is that if you must vote, don't vote Tory.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Give me Brexit and you can have the rest

The basic problem with Labour is that it assumes a lot of things about ordinary people. At the last election it tried to paint the picture that Britain was a nation at breaking point where the vast majority of people were a huddled mass of impoverished people in need of rescue by their betters. This attracted only the votes of the well-to-do condescending middle classes who believed this caricature - and the usual leftist "working class" who want free stuff in abundance.

Since Corbyn it seems to me that those most enthused by him are those who tend to blame their own predicament on the Tories rather than their life choices.

What the left don't seem to be able to grasp is that most people don't want a handout or a depressing pebble dashed hut gifted to them. They have higher expectations and aspirations.

I can't speak for anyone else but I want a liberal and fluid job market so I can opt in and out of work rather than being tied to the same 9-5 year after year. I cannot cope with the ossified structures of what we call work and I need to be able to opt out. What I want is a reasonable degree of contractual protection but nothing so rigid that I am bound to follow the archaic work structures of 1974.

Labour might well be right to be concerned about the so-called gig economy but my problem is not with the concept. It's that when one contract ends the next ones are few and far between. What I need is more market liberalism not less. The best days of my life were when I could pick and choose my employer.

I think it was Thomas Sowell who said something along the lines of "The hypocrisy of the left is shown by their apparent concern for poverty but complete lack of interest in means to solve it".

Whenever I read leftist drivel I read people who think that they represent the masses when in fact they represent nobody but themselves and their own personal inadequacies. The entire ethos is that they are entitled to a home and healthcare and that somebody else should pay for it.

Leftists whine about capitalism yet ordinary people have never been better off. I'm a slacker but I have a place I call home, a car with all mod cons and freedom to do pretty much as I please. Is this because I'm a high flyer? No. There are few people in the world who do less work than me. It's just that capitalism has made good cars affordable and travel within my means. The only thing standing in the way of a better life are the crippling taxes I pay on everything I buy. Petrol especially.

What capitalism has delivered more than anything in the last century is freedom. So now the question is how we create more freedom, more liberty and more opportunity. That is ultimately what the working class want and have always wanted. The left don't seem to understand this. They want to hobble successful people so their lives are as stunted as their own. I won't vote for that and I never will.

The left still have value to add. An unfettered capitalist system is about as depressing as an unfettered socialist system. I never want the UK to be the USA where everything has a price tag and nothing is ever done without pay. Britain has always been about finding the middle way. I will fight the hard right Tory vision as much as I will fight that of the far left. Britain is the best place to live because we instinctively know where that balance is.

And that brings me to the subject of the EU. The EU more than anything is about hyper-liberalisation to the point of abolishing the nation state and democracy along with it. Now we have reached the point where too much is out of our control. It may well even work in your estimation but there will come a time when it doesn't. On that day we will be glad of the economic sacrifice we have made to leave the EU. Some control is better than none.

For a time we had what is labelled as a centrist consensus. That worked for Britain but as it gradually drifted away from democracy, the centre of politics departed from the centre of the soul. That is why I view Brexit as a corrective.

In this it would seem the vast majority backs the Tory government. Were I a leftist I would not be down hearted. This is only temporary. The nation has decided that change is necessary and that we must see it through. Once we have accomplished that change the Tories are as dead as Labour. When that day arrives, for the first time in decades we can have genuine debate about who we are and what we want to be without the dead hand of the EU closing down the options. Give me this one thing and I will listen. Oppose me in this and I will rain fire.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

The only power terrorism has is the power we give it


I think one thing that marks this terrorist attack out from all the others in recent times is the comparatively muted response to it. All the opinion pieces have been written many times before, nothing about it surprises us and I will be surprised if it occupies the media window for more than another twenty four hours.

That's not surprising though. As terrorist attacks go this was fairly pedestrian. In order for it to be news it needs to have a lorry, a bomb or a machine gun involved. News wise, this doesn't rate. Ratings wise, Islamic terrorism has jumped the shark.

That is to be expected. 7/7 was pretty epic and there's no topping 9/11. There's nowhere you can really go after that. If that didn't topple the west or start world war three they are wasting their time.

As it happens I'm willing to bet more people died from sexual misadventure than terrorism yesterday. A couple of bodged strangle-wanks and an accidental sex swing beheading just in Soho alone probably tilts the scales.

This is where the IRA knew how to do terrorism. If you attack London, it's all in the game. A liberal society, home to one of the planet's first cities is going to attract a random atrocity or two every now and then. It's only really a policy problem if it's rather frequent.

The IRA learned from the Luftwaffe's Baedeker raids, in that if you want to scare the bejesus out of people you have to go outside London to show people that they can be hit anywhere. Warrington made every crank call something worthy of an emergency response.

The fact of the matter is that Islamists are really shit terrorists. They don't rate. Nothing they want is anything we can give them. The IRA wanted Britain out of Ireland. We could oblige them if we wanted. That's what makes the game worth playing. Islamists on the other hand want us to go back to the dark ages and live like cavemen. It's all stick and no carrot.

Y'see the West is better at this "oppressive patriarchy" shit. Because women want "equality" we have gradually handed over the board rooms and the top government positions to women. Most of the top jobs in HR now go to women and pretty soon the same will apply in science and engineering. Women being more capable and motivated, it'll be us blokes sitting at home watching Jeremy Kyle and doing the ironing while the womenfolk are off proving they are equal. More than happy to let them.

The West has functioned on the bogus notion that there is dignity in work and that if we all work hard we can all succeed and be whatever we want to be. This lie is the only reason the West still has a functioning economy at all. If women want to take it over so they have to punch numbers into spreadsheets all day then that's fine with me. Nothing ISIS has competes with that.

As to terrorism, it's just political campaigning using violence. You have a manifesto and rather than using persuasion you use terror. It only works if you are good at it. And Muslims are not. They need the Hollywood pizazz of 9/11 every other week or it's just not going to fly.

Meanwhile, we don't need terrorism for ourselves. It's not because we have a democracy. It's just that you only need a minority party to commit to something for a few years and then it happens because nobody else really gives a fuck. See Ukip/Brexit. We are mainly governed by people who give a fuck. A very small and self selecting minority. I might even venture that this is a good thing.

In that respect, if I ever go postal and kerb stomp John Redwood or Steve Baker, please don't call it terrorism. It's not violence for political ends. These are just motherfuckers who have it coming because they are shitheads on my radar.

As to actual terrorism, I think the current approach of making a few obligatory rhetorical noises then getting on with our shit is probably the right approach. The more counter terrorism measures we pile on London the more we become the sort of paranoid miserable shit hole that refugees risk life and limb to escape. We should resist that. If that means the occasional dead copper then that's ok too. It's a good pension and you know the risks when you sign up.

This may sound cynical and a touch uncaring, but then that's the whole point. Cynicism is the absolutely correct response. I didn't give a toss about the Paris attacks and I sure as fuck don't care about London. It is that complete lack of concern that defeats terrorism. We responded militarily to 9/11 and look where that got us. Total waste of time. The era of Islamic terrorism on Western soil would have been far shorter lived had we simply treated it as compelling TV then carried on not giving a fuck. The only power terrorism has is the power we give it.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Why are you so willing to be manipulated?

The Telegraph reports that Lily Allen has been targeted by "online trolls" after revealing that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder following the stillbirth of her son. Except that, as I understand it, she was targeted for some pretty vile remarks about the contribution of pensioners. The remarks I saw were singularly crass and vacuous. But the Telegraph knows this. So why does it report it in this fashion? Bias? No. Outrage manufacturing.

There is an army or right wing bores who will now spend the rest of the week publicising this foul creature. And that's rather a shame because hitherto now I was asking what is a Lily Allen?

Clearly editors have now worked out that there is a commercial formula to manipulating the outrage of their readers - which effectively makes them complicit in their own manipulation. They keep coming back for more.

I am sure though, through running similar stories the BBC paints Ms Allen as a victim because obviously maintaining "online trolls" as a popular folk demon lends weight to successive attempts to close down debate in the public sphere. It is fodder for its own left wing authoritarian outrage junkies.

Outrage manufacture has now become a multimillion dollar industry worldwide. It ensures both camps are nourished with their own sense of moral superiority. This is why I tuned out the whole Milo thing. I have no idea why the political debate for the entire Western hemisphere must be diverted for the benefit of these nobodies.

This then raises the spectre of "fake news". Tune in to Radio 4 on a weekday afternoon and you will hear academics tugging their forelocks about what to do about "fake news" and how "trusted sources" can "reconnect with their audiences". Except that it seems that "trusted sources" are the lead manufacturers of this verbal material. I hesitate to call it fake news because it simply isn't news. I don't know what Lily Allen does let alone why she has PTSD. Nor do I give a solitary toss.

The people who bang on about this stuff insist it is important because the veracity of news vessels is held in question but I hardly see that it matters since both camps are not actually interested in actual news in the slightest. Nor indeed is the media.

What we are actually looking at here is the entertainment industry, of which Twitter is a component. What we find is a series of exclusive and self-referential bubbles shouting about each other with no actual dialogue.

Worse still, this outrage industry is its own little ecosystem for social commentary. Half the pundits on the blogosphere devote their time to this trivia. Even this post is testament to that exact dynamic. Sooner or later, the entire edifice of media loses concept of what constitutes actual news.

It is interesting that those who complain that democracy has been replaced by technocracy would be the same ones commenting on these such affairs. Half the reason the state has gradually erased public participation is because it can. Who will blow the whistle? Not our media. Thus I find denunciation of fake news a little rich when the public have no appetite for actual news when it is genuine.

If citizens lack the self-discipline to ignore deliberate attempts at manipulation and gratify this trash then ultimately they will get the government they deserve.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Theresa May scares me more than Trump

On the weekend of the Trump inauguration I took the weekend off writing - which is quite unusual for me. As a political animal you might think I would be glued to the media absorbing events as they unfold. But then why bother? We know Trump is to be president and a shindig for his commencement as president is nothing out of the ordinary. Nor are the petulant protests which always follow a Republican victory.

We are told by the great and the good that Trump’s election marks a dangerous turning of events. I don’t deny that an unhinged and functionally illiterate president is not encouraging but it’s hardly unprecedented. The last hundred years has had its share of crooks and idiots in the White House. What’s one more?

More to the point, Britain and Europe has a bigger problem to worry about. Trump is only for four years. Brexit is for keeps. In many respects stupidity doesn’t worry me too much. Stupidity can be predicted and mitigated. While the US Congress is Republican, for the time being, they are not all behind the Trump agenda and the president will not have his own way for very long. If there is anyone who should chill us to the bone it is Theresa May.

Regular readers of this column will know that I am not the biggest fan of the EU. I voted to leave. I think that any temporary economic setback is the price we pay for having given up control to the EU, but my vote to leave the EU most certainly wasn’t an open invitation for the Tories to do as they please.

For those unfamiliar with the Brexit process, Britain leaves the EU by notifying the EU of our intention to leave. Legally that compels the EU to negotiate an exit settlement. The catch though is that there must be an agreement within two years or there is a very real risk of being ejected from the EU with no agreement at all.

Given that the EU governs everything from trade to fishing, air travel, medicines and food safety there was never any realistic prospect of negotiating a settlement in two years. The best we could ever hope for was a framework agreement which would still require a long transition. This would need to be based on existing agreements between the EU and other non-EU countries.

The pragmatic and sensible way to leave the EU would have been to stay in the single market in order to buy us time to take a more careful approach. Theresa May however thinks differently. She believes that all of this can be negotiated from scratch in just two years despite no similar agreement having taken less than eight years.

Now you can argue that Mrs May is at times misinformed or that her policies are horribly illiberal but by no measure can you say that she is a stupid woman. What we are dealing with here is pure political cowardice in refusing to stand up to her lunatic fringe combined with a typically British arrogance assuming that the world will bend to our delusions. Hubris is a far more damaging force than stupidity.

Worse still Mrs May thinks that it is better to have no deal than a bad deal. Superficially this sounds sensible but not when you consider that the UK has been a leading member of the EU for nearly half a century. One does not simply disengage from such an arrangement at the stroke of a pen.

Were she to walk away from the table it would invalidate all of our trade agreements not just with the EU but also the ones we have with outer countries via the EU. Trade would grind to a halt overnight. As much as it would have deep repercussions for the UK it would likely damage the EU as well. Some on May's back benches believe such an approach could even kill the EU – and consider any price a price worth paying to those ends. That though is insanity on stilts. It’s one thing to want to leave the EU. It’s another to want to destroy it.

Whatever Trump may have in mind, the possible consequences of Theresa May’s arrogance would have far more profound and lasting effects. As it happens I believe that Trump will only serve one term and is foolish enough to fall foul of the law in that time leading to his possible impeachment. There are ways and means of dealing with a bad president. There is nothing to stop our prime minister though – and Brexit cannot be undone.

In effect the Tories are frog-marching us toward an accidental scorched earth policy where Britain stands humiliated with only a handful of useless bilateral deals to protect our modesty. What could have been an orderly transition is likely to be a political mess the likes of which we have not seen since the eighties.

There is no doubt that Britain can weather the storm and we can recover - but it will take a lot longer than it should, and the pain we will experience will have been entirely avoidable. It will likely see a decade of political turmoil in which all of our assumptions will be turned upside down.

It would seem that before Britain becomes a "global Britain" we are going to spend a decade or more of navel gazing, out in the wilderness, while we learn what this country really believes. Perhaps though, that is what we really do need? Perhaps that really is the medicine. Maybe this really is the price to pay for having buried our politics deep inside the back rooms of Brussels and withdrawing from the world.

Maybe this is the price we must pay for the hubris of Heath, Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown. Just another chapter in our dismal tradition of having politicians doing as they please. Maybe this time we will do something about it?

If there is anything positive to take from a botched Brexit it is that the revolution will eat its children. By that measure I ought to be salivating at the prospect of the Tories hitting the rocks. Recent events have seen the party created by Blair utterly eradicated – and that's a good thing. For complete renewal the same must happen to the Conservative Party which to a large extent is still run by the same establishment behind Mrs Thatcher. Davis, Redwood, Jenkins, Johnson and May etc were products of the Thatcher government and their supporting cast in this Brexit trainwreck were the up and coming Toryboys of the era.

If there is to be a new economic era and a new politics then as much as leaving the EU is necessary then it also follows that the Tories, the party that did this to us in the first place, must also be destroyed. I suppose any price is worth paying for that outcome. Just an awful pity we must sacrifice a good deal of wealth to make it happen.

That though, I don't suppose, will keep the people of Stoke on Trent or Sunderland awake at night. I can't say I blame them. Maybe dispensing with our garbage is what really secures our future leadership role in the world. Since they handle everything else as badly as they will Brexit, what have we got to lose? Might as well stop worrying and break out the popcorn.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Who will save us from braindead toryboys?

While all the slimy Spectator reading bellends chortle and guffaw at Jeremy Corbyn for his deeply flawed ideas, it becomes rather apparent that Toryboys have no sense of self-awareness. On the same day as Corbyn's remarks we get articles from Brexit Central and Conservative Home saying that we should be prepared to "walk away from the table" if we can't get a good deal from the EU.

Only a flatulent self-absorbed know-nothing Tory could ever moot such a monumentally crass notion. Without membership of the various safety bodies and decentralised agencies (or a transition agreement) all of our certifications and proxy access to EU trade deals vanish overnight. Flights are cancelled, ships are diverted or refused entry into ports and all the secondary sectors grind to a halt by the following day. Without recognition agreements and a customs code we can't export at all.

Nothing in Corbyn's arsenal of retardation even approaches this degree of stupidity. But that's what you get when the narrative is controlled by Tory think tank and policy turds who have never had a real job - and instead spend much of the day telling eachother how wonderful they are on Twitter (when they haven't actually got eachothers dicks in their mouths that is).

We would only "walk away from the table" in such an instance where we were negotiating a trade deal where failure does not alter the status quo. In this instance failure radically changes our standing in Europe and the world. The mentality that suggests we can walk away from the table is one that has yet to comprehend Brexit.

Article 50 talks are not a matter of negotiating a trade deal. We are negotiating an administrative de-merger and a framework for continued cooperation with the EU on over three hundred areas of regulatory and technical cooperation. There is no WTO baseline. We would be looking at a cliff edge requiring a number of emergency measures which could very easily be sabotaged by member states looking to capitalise on the confusion. We would have no formal means of discourse with the EU and all of our enhanced rights would vanish. So, if I sound like a leftist at the moment in my visceral and seething hatred of Tories, you now know why. These people are pondlife.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Brexit is the birth of a new era for Europe

The Berlin Wall

History can be read in many ways. It’s all a matter of interpretation in which case names, places and dates take on their own significance and become era defining. Though the Second World War dragged on for some months after the fall of Hitler, the defeat of fascism is the landmark that has the most significance to the UK; VE Day. By normal reckoning this is viewed as the end of the war in Europe.

That war though was never completely resolved. General George S. Patton wanted to continue the war and fight the Russians. He may well have been right. It might have resulted in a united Europe that included Russia. But Europe was war weary. The defeat of Hitler was enough for us to call it a day.

Consequently, a cold war raged until 1989. As a child of the 80s I remember sitting on the Yorkshire moors watching the Tornado jets practicing for the event of war. The skies were seldom quiet. For a young boy with dreams of being a fighter pilot these were exciting times. The cold war influenced popular culture in many ways. It spawned the James Bond spy series along with films like Rambo and The Fourth Protocol. It was a good time to be a boy.

For the adults though, life was more frightening. My grandparents had known the horrors of World War Two and they knew, like my parents, that war could once again erupt at a moment’s notice. Only this time far more deadly.

This, though, came to an abrupt end in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down. As a ten year old I have only distant memories of it but I was old enough to know I was witnessing something significant. As much as it marked the fall of Communism, it was in many respects the real end of the Second World War.

In that time between 1945 and 1989 all of our foreign policy and international institutions had been built as part of the post-war settlement as part of Europe’s “peacetime” architecture. In many respects life had been much simpler. We knew who the enemy was and our culture was bound by a recognition that we all faced a common threat and forged a common bond in the face of it.

From that Britain had great pride in itself. The institutions of state were dripping with prestige and authority. We had what was perceived as one of the finest navies in the world and one of the most active. Britain had a presence that was felt the world over and I knew I was growing up in a very distinctive country that I was proud of.

But when that wall came down, that common threat and that common binding began to slowly disintegrate where national pride became unfashionable and in fact something to be scorned. The new altruism of European Union became fashionable. The nineteen nineties were marked by stuffy old Eurosceptics fighting the tide of history as we signed ever more elaborate treaties building the new Europe.

Back then there was a real energy to the EU as we realised something big was being built in our name. One that threatened to subsume the Britain I had always known – the Britain that had defeated Hitler and faced down Communism. The EU introduced its own passport, its own flag and anthem and British debate was centred on whether we were going to join the Euro to become part of a federal Europe.

The ideology at work was that for our future to be forged in unity, our past must be erased. For Germany to depart from the stain on its soul, the old Germany had to be erased along with the British Empire that had defeated it. It was an attack on national identities with a view to forging a new European demos. So grand was this ambition they weren’t going to let a thing like public consent get in the way.

But we Brits were never on board. We wanted open and free trade with Europe but we did not want to end our island story there. We didn’t want their blue flag on our car registration plates, we didn’t want their purple passport and we definitely didn’t want their currency. Had the EU been content to be a Europe of free trade and customs cooperation we would not now be leaving.

Instead of heeding the people successive governments signed away ever more power to this emerging supreme government of Europe. In 2008 the Treaty of Lisbon was ratified on the basis that it was a mere “tidying up exercise” when in fact it was a constitution bringing about a Europe only one treaty away from being a superstate. We were taken in on a deception by a government that had no intention of seeking permission via a referendum, not least because they knew we would say no.

The then Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague said the prime minister had "no democratic or moral authority to sign Britain up to the renamed EU constitution". It was "a total breach of trust with the British people and a flagrant breach of his solemn election promise to the British people", Mr Hague added. From that moment in history Brexit became a certainty even if we didn't realise it at the time.

Not long after the EU would face would face its first real test as the full force of the global financial crisis made its mark on the Euro currency. Subsequent events showed how completely incapable the EU was in forging a coherent and unified response. For a moment it even looked like the Euro itself could collapse.

A row then broke out at the suggestion that Britain may have to contribute to the bailout of Greece and prop up a currency we advised against to begin with. That has remained in the British consciousness ever since. It was the moment British voters realised the EU was an authority in its own right and we were indeed subordinate. I think this is when the prospect of an in/out EU referendum became a political certainty.

What was once a fairly anodyne political project ticking along in the background was suddenly very real in the minds of voters. We were being asked to pay for the hubris of our political masters - to bail out their vanity project that nobody ever asked for and didn’t want to join and were taken into without seeking consent. Fast forward to 2016 and at the first opportunity to have a real say in the matter and we voted to leave.

In that regard I think the 23rd of June will in the future be viewed as a turning point. Perhaps not as significant as the fall of the Berlin Wall, but as the beginning of the end of the EU - and consequently the end of the post-war settlement.

The lesson here is that humans form communities and institutions of their own. Only the people themselves can bring legitimacy to those institutions. Legitimacy is not won through voting rituals. Legitimacy is through consent.

An ideology was superimposed on the peoples of Europe and was advanced by deception. You can, for a time, subvert the will of the people and deny them a voice but in the end the people will have the final say, one way or another.

What is won in war is a distinct shared bond, through experiences and through family and through joint struggle. It is integral to that identity and from that is born a national story and a sense of shared values and purpose. It is stronger and longer lasting than the machinations of bureaucrats. It passes down through the generations and weaves its way into everything we do.

Zealots looked down upon this as old fashioned, primitive, even racist and sought to replace it with something fabricated, assuming that the baubles of statehood would forge a new story and a new people. They were wrong.

Rather than bringing peace through forced integration they have shattered the unity of the UK, bankrupted Greece, endangered Ukraine and hung eastern Europe out to dry. Having antagonised and alienated Russia, we are once again sleepwalking back into a new cold war.

In this, it is our collective memory of who we are and what we can achieve that will deliver us from another destructive war, not the artificial constructs our rulers impose upon is. Like 1945 and 1989 we are turning a corner into a more uncertain world but this time we really are departing with the past. We are free and clear of the old dogmas and the stains of our past have faded. Now we get design a new future of our own. As we move forward we must never forget that democracy is our best hope for peace and prosperity. Trust in the people and we will have peace. Push them into a corner and they will fight back.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Controlling our borders shouldn't be controversial

The Sun, the Guardian and the Mail are all running variations on the same story about segregated communities. It was front page news for the Guardian yesterday. To anyone who doesn't live in medialand, it isn't news.

The Mail takes it as a cue to print pictures of Savile Town in Dewsbury which is pretty much a Pakistani tribal ghetto. It's a shithole and it is dangerous for white people. If you're in the mood to be mugged or beaten or generally abused that's where you'd go. The men from that community control it and they make sure everyone knows it. They use intimidation to drive whites out.

This is a particularly northern phenomenon. I know of no equivalent in Bristol. I have been a victim of it. When I lived in Manningham in Bradford I used to get death threats.

These are people who have no intention of integrating or participating, all of their major transactions are in cash, they launder money and exploit holes in the immigration system to bring in whoever they want. The lousy impression Brits have of Muslims is because of these people and people like them. That's why the "left behind" want immigration controls because they do not want their districts fully colonised and they want their streets to be safe. Like they used to be.

Immigration is something that isn't measured. It is experienced. Everyone has different experiences. London professionals will likely meet other young professionals from elsewhere and will largely welcome open borders. These will tend to be fairly well off folks who don't venture into the scarier parts of London where there are Somalis battering each other with wooden bats in broad daylight. This I have seen with my own eyes.

There are some districts in Bristol which are mixed communities where the whites tend to be working class or students. The divisions are not as acute. However when the white liberals who live there start a family and mummy gets baby-brain she insists they move somewhere like Filton. A white area which is ultimately boring but very very safe. The foreigners in Filton are mainly aerospace contractors working at Airbus. They aren't a problem to anyone.

As with Eastern European EU migrants, nobody really cares that I know of. They do integrate (apart from their shitty taste in music) and nobody but the absolute thickest in society claims that these people are stealing their jobs despite what some slovenly fuckwit at the Financial Times says.

As to the Black community, it's interesting that we still commonly refer to them as "the black community". They do seem to have their own shindigs. In London and Bristol you find entire clubs which are almost exclusively black. I don't know what that's about and I don't really care either. Generally they don't appear on my radar. I expect these would be Jamaicans and the descendents of 1950s immigrants. For the most part they have assimilated if not integrated. Nobody really gives a shit that there are still black areas. Nobody writes double page spreads about black ghettos because really there aren't any. Not that I know of anyways.

So really the elephant in the room that the Guardian has gone to lengths to avoid, and the Daily Mail has talked about non-stop is the Pakistani/Bangladeshi Muslims. How relevant the faith is I can't really say. What I do know is that a mosque in a community can be disruptive and the frequent congregations are antisocial.

And that is what really offends me. These people are generally all round antisocial. Not knowing much about Jewish communities in London I wonder if Londoners have the same impression of Jews. I tend to find when any tribe dominates one area then there is an inherent belligerence. I really don't know, I'm just talking about my own perceptions and experiences.

When it comes to northern ghettos though I can't help wondering why we are open to importing more people from these regions where the people who come are barely toilet trained and intermarry to such a degree that Bradford Royal Infirmary has a specialist unit for birth defects.

I know I am supposed to marvel at how culturally enriched that makes us but it seems to me like allowing more of them to come will ultimately result in Northern towns becoming absolutely alien, less safe, uglier, more crime ridden and dirtier.

Having said that I have to balance that with the fact that as they become richer they, like the rest of us, improve their own communities, smarten up shop fronts and gradually learn to take better care of their immediate environments. But then there is an inherent disadvantage for working class whites.

One thing one notes is that the Muslim communities in the north are not actually short of cash by any measure. There are reports of them buying houses with carrier bags full of cash. I believe that. Whatever they are doing to get that money, it certainly isn't legal. And that is what offends the "left behind". The left behind have the not unreasonable expectation of a quiet life if they work hard play by the rules and get on with things. But then in comes a tribe of Muslim immigrants who don't play by the rules, don't pay taxes, generally wreck a neighbourhood and then take it as their own. Obviously if you complain about this you are a racist.

We are told that we should not discriminate. But the glaringly obvious fact is that we should discriminate quite heavily and though tolerance is generally considered a good thing there is no reason why we should tolerate an immigration policy that simply pours more petrol on the bonfire. These people may contribute to GDP but they contribute nothing to the community. They set up communities within communities and then gradually take over as they make life less pleasant for everyone else, parking where they like, making noise at all hours of the night and spitting on white women.

We really do need to be quite hostile toward that kind of behaviour. We're not because we are still haunted by holocaust guilt. We have the holocaust drummed into us at an early age as though the actions of Germans more than seventy years ago has any bearing on British contemporary culture. The thought of taking a robust stance against a minority community fills us with hesitation.

I am by nature fairly libertarian but the liberties we enjoy such as safely walking down the streets in our own towns is one we should fiercely defend. If that means compulsory purchases of property to break up ghettos and tightening up immigration from countries whose exports are clearly and deliberately incompatible then that is what we must do.

I would rather we had a liberal immigration policy but being liberal should not mean we abandon any sense of self preservation. We not not want the riotous knife wielding thugs we see attempting to board lorries in Calais. We don't want London turning into Paris.

It is not unreasonable to want an immigration policy that is mindful of the social pressures that immigration does create. It's all very well for virtue signalling politicians to hold up placards welcoming refugees but the councils are telling us they have nothing in the budget to house them. It's not unreasonable to want to keep your hometown safe.

When Michael Gove said that "we've had enough of experts", he's absolutely right. The data might say one thing but our eyes tells us something else. We do not hold these views because we are mindless zombies who slavishly absorb everything the Daily Mail tells us. These are the places where we live - and data crunching academics do not.

We can enjoy the vast melting pot of London and celebrate its diversity as a global city but most of us do not live in London and we are the ones who absorb the consequences of policies made by London.

It is said that Brexit has emboldened racists but really all it has done is remind people that these views presented are not the domain of jackbooted fascists. They are the views of the majority of people and what they want is a bit of fairness. These are not racist views. If you have a better idea of how to deal with these social problems then go right ahead and make your case but don't pretend that these majority views are those of unenlightened backward provincial types.

In fact, the fact we want our streets safe for people to live their life free from intimidation, regardless of gender of sexual preference shows that we are more willing to defend liberalism than those who would call us regressive and reactionary. But then I can live with being called a reactionary. Reacting is absolutely necessary and it is long past the time when we reacted.

Brexit will probably not see much in the way of restrictions on freedom of movement - and that's really a good thing - but if the government wants to take it as a cue to deal with immigration then its non EU immigration we should be concerned with and we should not be afraid to discriminate against countries whose human exports threaten our safety and store up problems for the future.

We were told that these northern ghettos over time would dissipate. It's not happening. So now we need to act. Policymakers are engaged in forelock tugging asking what we can do, looking to se if we can bend over any further. We are worried that we may infringe on their rights. No bad thing you might say, but what about the rights of everyone else? If there is an obligation it is on the residents of these ghettos to respect the fact that we are an open and liberal and tolerant country. If they feel no such obligation then we ought to remind them that our tolerance does have limits.

The reality is, in the absence of better ideas, that we need a robust immigration system, the pace of change needs to be managed and we have a right to expect that our doors are not open to people who have zero interest in contributing. This isn't about hating foreigners. This is just the basics of civics. We have a decent, safe country and we want it to stay that way. Why is that so controversial?


Some interesting counterpoints to this rant about foreigners can be found here by Bradford Councillor, Simon Cooke. 

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Uber is a problem and petulant Londoners should suck it up


I hesitate to wade into the Uber ruling debate. I take the view that Uber's very existence is a testament to a dysfunctional regulatory regime in need of a major rethink. The service is effectively a cheat to subvert the regulatory regime which actually exists for very good reasons.

On the surface of it, Uber is an example of market dynamics where innovation threatens an ossified market monopoly which is why libertarian minded people celebrate it. In practice it is a means of subverting a mass of long established law and good practice developed over decades, where any Tom, Dick or Harry can enter the market.

What this creates is market oversupply whereby dedicated drivers cannot make a reasonable living. The consequences of that is that the official system then collapses and provision then becomes unstable, erratic and unable to provide for special needs.

Worse still, with a truly free market, you get oversupply at peak times meaning the busiest time is the least profitable time. It means that everyone with a Friday night spare is chasing the same dollar, clogging up the roads, increasing journey times and creating congestion.

So this isn't simply a libertarian wet dream of the plucky upstart sparking healthy competition. It uses the letter of the law to defeat the spirit of the law. In any real and practical and honest interpretation, Uber is a taxi company exploiting a loophole and the result being that established law abiding companies cannot compete fairly.

This causes libertarians to moan but one tends to note that these such libertarians are usually fairly wealthy, male and able bodied. What they fail to note is that taxis are in fact part of the public transport system. In all other cities the normal market competition sees a healthy competitive market in private hire and the demand is such that Uber is not really needed so in fact the Uber debate is very much a London debate. It is a local issue, not a national concern.

In London though, it suggests that an overhaul of taxi regulation is needed and public transport provisions need to adapt to a more round the clock ethos. Were there a functioning regulatory regime then Uber would simply not exist.

What the Uber ruling does is effectively stymie the Uber technique of subverting the system, taking the profitability out of regulatory evasion. If the system is then one that is still dysfunctional it is really up to Londoners to get engaged politically and demand that much needed rethink of public transport strategy. The London transport unions could also start pulling their weight.

The resistance to the ruling is actually a very typical London problem. Cosseted citizens whining that their lifestyle choices are expensive. Uber is the cheat that meets their needs at the expense of everyone elses. This rather cements my view that Londoners are overly spoiled, self-entitled and generally a bit thick. Hence why London voted to remain in the EU.

I appreciate the right wing argument that the ruling leaves the causal drivers less well off but if a system is to function then it needs a few certainties and stability. That is what the regulatory framework is for. It ensures continuity where a laissez faire approach cannot. That necessarily means that taxis in London are expensive, but then so is everything in London. If you live in London that is part of the deal and having no disposable income is something you accept when you move there.

If there is an issue here it is that it has taken a court ruling to decide policy. My view is that this is an issue for politics, not the courts and the ruling should be something for the London Assembly to review. This is where London needs to formulate its public transport strategy, taking into account the ways that Uber can contribute. I feel that a court ruling is trespassing on the political process. Uber does have a role to play and we would be foolish to ban it, as per this ruling, but it is the duty of regulators to find ways to successfully integrate it into the market while reducing the negative externalities.

This may mean modernisation and deregulation of taxis, and that would see the competitive advantage of Uber slashed. We should view the existence of Uber not as a solution to a problem, rather it is a canary down the mine. That we have ignored it since 2009 gives you some idea of how incapable the political system is of responding to changes in the market.

To me that suggests the need for a radical overhaul of London transport authorities and the need for a permanent regulatory review body along the consultative lines of the International Maritime Organisation. Given that London is not alone in facing these exact problems, there is every reason to look at a specialist global entity for managing taxis in international cities.

In this, the only thing I am certain of is that the petulant whining of Londoners is best ignored. Some markets do need intervention and this is one of them. The simplistic mantras of libertarians should be disregarded. Like Brexit, there are no easy answers.

Monday, 26 September 2016

A crisis of competence

So then, it looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more of Mr Jeremy Corbyn! And how could it have been any other way when his opponent was so utterly ghastly? What were they thinking? The troubles though do not end here. It does seem that Labour is in a real mess.

Alarmingly the Labour party elected not to have a debate about Brexit at their conference and all we’re getting from them is mixed signals based on a shallow understanding of what Brexit entails. Nearly all of Labour’s key people cannot make the distinction between the single market and the customs union and none can specify whether they want access to the single market or membership of it. We can read a lot into that.

What that says is that the left as a whole don’t really care about Brexit as an issue and have no real intention of forming themselves into a coherent opposition. That’s a problem. I am all in favour of Brexit but there are many different paths to achieving it and I do not want the Tory right setting the agenda with their obsolete ideas. This is a shameful dereliction of duty.

Instead, Labour has spent the week bickering over Trident, the UKs nuclear deterrent. What this tells us is that Labour is engaged in an ideological retrenchment. The issue of Trident is not actually the subject of any rational analysis. It’s just a totem of the old left. Mr Corbyn wants to reshape the party in his own image and is willing to shed support in order to do it. It’s a bold, if flawed strategy.

David Wearing remarked in the Guardian this week that there are two competing approaches as to how Labour should address the question of electability: marketing, and movement-building. The marketing approach treats the electorate as consumers with fixed preferences, where the ideal politician is a polished salesperson armed with a perfectly calibrated retail policy offer. The movement-building approach treats public opinion as a changeable landscape, where elections are won not only by competent politicians but by social forces mobilised in support of a transformative agenda.

The marketing approach is the approached favoured by centrists and was successfully employed by Blair and Cameron. The pitfalls of such an approach are that politics becomes a hollowed out shell where politicians of principle are replaced with identikit anodyne clones. It spawned a substance free politics that we are all uniformly sick of. This in some way explains Mr Corbyn’s appeal. You may not like his politics but he is at the very least an authentic leftist who believes in all the things leftists are generally supposed to believe in.

It has been a long time since anybody can say that. It has been a long time since there has been any real choice but the status quo at the ballot box. That at the very least is a welcome development. The problem though is that Mr Corbyn’s transformative agenda is an old fashioned one. I could very well see a movement-building approach working but at the heart of any revolutionary movement there needs to be a tangible set of relevant demands and ruthless political competence. This cannot be said of Mr Corbyn.

From Mr Corbyn I’ve heard all the classic leftist mantras such as renationalising the railways, building social housing and dropping university tuition fees, but he suffers from that time honoured leftist ailment; an inability to specify how it will all be paid for. We are told that he intends to borrow the money - but what that tells us is that he is formulating a fantasy agenda without any reference to what is happening in the real world. Likewise the suggestion that we should reopen coal mines - at a time when we are closing down our coal fired power stations. It tells us the man has only a passing relationship with reality.

Had this suggestion come from anyone else I might think that it was a piece of devious populism but I genuinely believe he thinks it’s a viable idea. It is now inescapable that Mr Corbyn is caught in a timewarp and has little to say to modern Britain.

It also raises a lot of serious questions about his political competence. Brexit is the single most significant change in the balance of power since World War Two and he has vacated the field entirely, leaving it for the Tories to do as they please. In all my days I have never seen such criminal impotence. If the role of the Labour party is to stand up for the working class then it has abandoned that role in order to indulge in philosophical navel gazing.

As it happens Britain is quite safe from the fantasists on the Tory right in that they are so completely unhinged that Mrs May can safely ignore them and we will get a more moderate Brexit – but that will be no thanks to the Labour party. In that, though, Mr Corbyn will have missed a genuinely revolutionary opportunity.

The truth is that Mrs May does not want to leave the EU. Few in the establishment do. They know they won’t get away derailing Brexit or holding a second vote but they can engineer a Brexit so that things stay pretty much as they are. If Mr Corbyn wanted a window of opportunity and a genuine “democratic moment” then this is the time to engage fully in the process.

Brexit in the very first instance gives the UK control over trade, aid, fisheries and energy. These are the polices areas that could redefine everything. There are massive opportunities for increasing wealth and reducing the cost of living. This is where we could see a transformation of public administration. The referendum campaign was fought on the promise of “taking back control” and if that applies to Westminster then why should it not apply to our local authorities too? If Labour wanted to make themselves relevant then this is the golden ticket.

But then we are suffering a wider crisis of competence in government. Throughout we have lost any sense of political maturity. Public scrutiny is a dead art. MPs are no longer capable of focussing on grown up issues and applying their intellect. Everywhere you look adult areas of policy, Brexit especially, are dominated by show-boating imbeciles playing to the media for political advantage. This is not sustainable if we wish to remain a first rate power in the world.

It was said during the referendum that an issue like the EU was too complex for the public to be able to vote on and that it should instead be left to the deliberative process. What we have seen though is that our politicians on both sides of the divide have an embarrassingly limited notion of what the EU is and what it does - and that they are ill equipped for such a momentous task. It seems that political competence is a thing of the past – if it ever existed at all.