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41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was an hungred, and ye refused me even the least help until you had treated me as a scrounger and a thief and gave a lengthy account of what your blind eyes saw as my failures and immoralities: I was thirsty, and ye privatized water and forced me to pay ridiculous prices for the stuff of life: 43 I was a stranger, and ye not only refused me any space, but insulted those who would: naked, and confiscated my clothes: sick, and in prison, and you cut the funds for hospital and prisons and suggested that would make them more efficient. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: and the name thereof is... ah, but I think you can guess.
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My older friends will remember my loathing of Tony Blair's educational reforms and general performance in the area of schooling. Well, now the Tories have proved that they can do worse still. This morning, the Daily Jail's website carried this triumphant header: "End of teachers' national pay deals: Union fury as heads win power to freeze salaries. Annual rises for teachers will be scrapped and heads given almost complete freedom to dictate salary increases in the shake-up outlined in the Autumn Statement."

Just for this, Osborne ought to be hanged, and I am not, repeat not, exaggerating. The man is either mad or bent on the ruination of what is left of the national school system. Does it take a great deal of intellect to realize that, in a situation in which teachers and heads have very little power and in which they are constantly at odds with parents and bad students, the last thing that needed doing was to set them at each other's throats? Is that the Thugcherite view of education? Why did nobody explain to him in words of one syllable that to make teachers and heads natural enemies would mean chaos in the school and the further encouragement of the culture of underachievement and gangland? Do these fucking morons from Eton WANT to destroy the country, in the intervals of trying to stuff "gay marriage" down its throat?
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As is to be expected, the kind of people who comment on the Daily Jail and related objects have replaced any attempt at thinking with sloganizing and a great deal of insults. I don't want to be drawn into this kind of thing, although I would notify any prospective opponent that where invective is concerned I'm the 500'kilo gorilla; but I do think that people might at least try to avoid speaking of countries and people of which they obviously know as much as I know of playing backgammon.
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...as the fox said to the chickens after he had closed the door behind him.

(For my non-British friends, this is the spectacularly useless slogan that born-rich Mr.David Cameron and his gang of blue bloods keep bringing up every time they cut something they don't need and most people do.)
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Four years and two months ago I argued that the catastrophic failure of contemporary British schools, and especially Tony Blair's utter unwillingness to deal with the real problems, was pouring out enormous numbers of young people (I estimated one twelfth of the whole generation) who were functionally illiterate, utterly unable to function in any significant manner in a modern society, excluded by nature... but very clever with computers. I underestimated this last issue, but I did point out that the stupid computer classes so eagerly championed by Blair were nothing but free periods with internet, in which each child played with the machine as they saw fit. They could not spell or count, but man could they play with graphics and surf the net. Then, one year and eleven months ago, I singled out a Harriet Sergeant article that told the same story and defended its importance and significance against [livejournal.com profile] inverarity, who managed, like many liberals faced with unwelcome messages, to find a "racist tinge" in it.

Now we see the results of everyone's chronic incapacity to deal with reality and facts on the ground. The police, paralyzed by PC, have nearly forgotten that their place in life is to use force - any force necessary - to maintain or restore order: in the face of viciously destructive rioting carried out mostly by black boys, they see the skin colour and fall back. From one end of England to the other, the story is the same: rioters loot at will, almost unhampered by any show of force. The police brag of having arrested a few hundred looters and charged a few dozen. That noise you hear is the laughter of thousands upon thousands of rioters.

What happens when hundreds of thousands of young men find that they are wholly excluded from national life - since they are too ignorant to read the papers, too innumerate to be gainfully employed, and carry a chip on their shoulder to boot - and effectively have no future? Now we have the answer. I have never been less happy to have been proved right. There is only one possible upside to this: we shall no longer hear from smug, out-of-touch ministers bragging how Britain is a "happy exception" in the landscape of international turmoil and crisis. When I heard Vincent Cable of all people saying that, I felt like tearing his throat out.
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This unpleasant abortionist creep, who can't hold back from connecting opposition to abortion with Fascism, nonetheless agrees with me that it is specifically opposition to abortion that has fuelled the rise of the conservative movement. (History disproves her pathetic claim in that area: Fascism, and Nazism even more, were into free love, sexual licence, the abortion of inferior children, and euthanasia - all the dear, sweet, progressive programmes that re-surfaced in American universities - where Hitler had been widely popular in the thirties, after being briefly bombed into silence by American bombers in the forties.)

Marcotte misses the point that the Tea Party is a deliberate attempt to do what "fiscal conservatives" have been itching to do for years, which is get the anti-abortion majority to forget about such "divisive" causes as abortion and concentrate instead on such "uniting" matters as tax cuts for the rich. There are two forces in the general area of the GOP whose long-term aim is to defang the anti-abortion movement and co-opt its membership for their own political purposes: old-style party hucksters such as Karl Rove, who despise Christians and anti-abortionists pretty much as much as Democrats do, and the Murdoch empire, which is built on pornography and based on a debased view of human nature that could not survive a moralized society. The Rove Republicans have been trying for decades to ride the anti-abortion tiger without conceding anything substantial to it. The Murdoch group is smarter. Part of Rupert Murdoch's animal cunning, base but clever in its own way, is not to try and create movements himself. The British newspaper owners, his predecessors, tried that in the 1930 election and were destroyed, shamed and ridiculed by the professional politician Stanley Baldwin. Murdoch and his people keep an eye on popular movements and, when the time is right, co-opt them. Then they use their formidable financial and organizational power to direct, penetrate and corrupt them so that, whatever happens, the real interests of the Murdoch group are never harmed and always promoted.

These interests amount to two things: weakening corporate taxation and taxation on rich individuals - the whole Murdoch group is one enormous, matchlessly brilliant tax evasion operation designed in order to evade as much British, American and Australian taxation as possible - and insuring that their pornographic populism is never put under serious scrutiny. In doing so, they are quite willing to make some quite remarkable alliances. In Britain, for instance, Rebekah Wade, when editor of the original Murdoch porn sheet, The News of the World, took up with great enthusiams the cause of an anti-paedophile campaigner. This from the press group that has done more than everyone else put together to sexualize every corner of British life, which has made parents so used to smut on every page that they left it around for their children to read (literally - I saw that with my own two eyes, in umpteen British homes, in the eighties and nineties), and from which pre-teen girls learned to idolize softcore models such as Samantha Fox. But it makes sense in two important ways: first, Sara Payne, the movement's leader, is quite frankly an ignorant woman whom Rebekah Wade found easy to manipulate (Payne was shocked, poor creature, to find that she too had been on the phone-tap list of her dear friend Rebekah); and second and more important, it gives any possible sense of revulsion at the sexualization of society a focus and a limit. Child rapists, of course, are the lowest of the low; to focus and concentrate on them the disgust that in other ages was felt for pimps and whores of every sort offers a cheap salve to the violated conscience of natural man - and, even more, woman - in sexual matters. This, of course, is nothing but good news to the biggest pimp the world has ever seen, the inventor of the Page Three Girls, the exploiter of "reality" shows. It also, as a side effect, offers journalists in general a steady source of monster stories. In a sense, it is the ideal Murdoch compromise: the Murdoch media get to carry on untroubled with their appeal to the crotch, at the same time as they get to posture as moralizing campaigners. Really, if homicidal child rapists did not exist, Murdoch would have had to invent them.

The alliance with the Tea Party is a broader matter, but there are some points in common. The heart of it is to deviate, twist and corrupt an existing popular movement so that it works to the advantage of the Murdoch media. The popular groundswell against paedophilia had been going on for a couple of decades when Rebekah Wade took it up, as a natural and humanly inevitable reaction to the stated desire of Sexual Revolution theorists and publicists to sexualize children. (In Denmark, the age of consent was abolished in 1968 and only restored - as a result of some such groundswells of public opinion - in 1978; for ten years, child sex and child pornography were legal in one of the most prosperous and respected countries in the world.) Likewise, the movement against abortion, a despised fringe factor in the seventies, has been slowly picking up strength decade after decade until at present a majority of Americans declare themselves pro-life at every poll. Marcotte, the doctrinaire abortionist, calls it a "moral panic", but anyone without her blinders ought to realize that moral panics don't last three decades and don't pick up strength over that period. Certainly it could no longer be treated, either by the GOP or by Murdoch, as a noisy minority.

The Tea Party certainly started as a grassroots movement; but the Murdoch media pimped it from the beginning, and it is really remarkable to what an extent not only basic views, but talking points and intellectual fads they originated (such as the demonization of the little-know eighty-year-old academic Frances Fox Piven) spread like oil slicks across the whole movement right; and how even such an utterly compromised Murdochista apparatchick as Bill O'Reilly, whose sexual shenanigans should have put him beyond the pale long ago, remains a guiding light of sorts. Forty years ago, Murdoch's animal cunning identified an enormous gap in the market - the conservative/populist area; and the feeling that Fox-TV pundits are the ones who "speak our language" has since then increasingly blinded conservatives to the debasing, manipulative and mafia-like characteristics of Murdoch and his empire. Mere gratitude that someone noticed them has co-opted them into the Murdoch camp, with the inevitable corrupting results. Remember, this is a guy who managed to find enough "friends" in the Vatican to get himself awarded a Papal medal, at the same time as he published some of the most Jack T.Chick-like Church-bashing in the mainstream media.

And the Tea Party has been amazingly effective in drawing attention away from the scandal of abortion and to the obsession with tax. Some of its leaders have openly said that conservatives ought to stop pressing on "divisive" issues such as abortion. Never mind whether this is a representative view or not; the mere fact that it has been said and publicized means that abortion is no longer the central issue - that it is in play, one of many things on which conservatives may agree or disagree. And this is only the beginning. In actual fact, however "divisive" anti-abortion views may be, no opponent of abortion has ever done has been so recklessly divisive and socially and politically irresponsible as the Tea Party's successful attempt to blackmail the Senate and the Administration into not raising taxes at a time when that is desperately necessary and any sane "conservative", including Margaret Thatcher, would have. I have a suspicion that one reason why we haven't heard a lot from Sarah Palin in the last few weeks is that she is quite happy to let Michelle Bachmann and the other idiots run after this hare and compromise themselves in the long term. Any serious presidential candidate cannot indulge in this of idiotic rhetoric, on pains of being found out one day after taking the oath of office. You can bet your life that the next Republican President will raise tax (remember Ronald Reagan and "read my lips"?) with the subdued approval (subdued because nobody will want to draw attention to their duplicity) of the Republican Party and of selected Tea Party leaders; and those tea-partiers who stick to the anti-tax hysteria out of misguided principle will suddenly find themselves isolated and reduced to fringe specimens. Thus do party politics, especially in the age of Rupert Murdoch, work against integrity, whether right or wrong.

The true believers have been told that the purpose of the borrowing limit blackmail was to hurt the hated Obama presidency. As a matter of fact, it has hurt the Tea Party, by isolating it from a considerable area of Republican moderates and from any Democrat. But the hysteria about tax is necessary for long-term reasons that have nothing to do with the economy and everything to do with the corrupting use of party politics. As while abortion is something that generates its own disgust and its own opposition, to try and move at least a large mass of conservatives away from thinking against abortion, the propagandists had to offer them something equally emotionally involving and more short-term. The budget battle, which was a disaster for the USA, served to blood the Tea Party in an actual political battle, which will from now on dominate their imagination. And as the anti-tax hysteria rages, abortion moves further and further from the centre. And if the stock markets of the world crash and America loses power to China, what does Murdoch care? His corporations, insulated from stock marked concerns by a very peculiar property structures, are not apt to suffer; and he has spent decades flattering and supporting the coming Chinese superpower in the hope of being allowed a place at the table. As I keep saying, Murdoch is cunning. It's his only quality. And Mademoiselle Marcotte ought to thank him on her knees: he has managed to set the anti-abortion cause back at least twenty years. Had there been a Murdoch around in nineteenth-century America, there would still be slaves today.
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Before anyone has so much as began to see the end-game of the Murdoch scandals - which, let us remember, arise entirely from the criminal behaviour of Murdoch and his employees, behaviour which was known to be criminal and has been so for decades - a number of conservatives are yelping about left-wing conspiracies and assaults upon freedom of the press. Well, apart that the most monstrous assault upon the freedom of the press ever mounted was Rupert Murdoch's, don't you think, my dear people, that you should wait for any actual evidence of any such plot to arise, before you dedicate pages upon pages of yelping conspiracy theories to it? All you are showing right now is that you fear that without the mafia protection of this criminal, your views might not get a hearing. Well, perhaps I am in a privileged position: as a social conservative, whose views would never have got a hearing in Page Three land, I definitely have nothing to lose by the collapse of this champion of wickedness. But I would say that this instinctive display of fear suggests a lack of confidence in one's own beliefs and a psychological dependence on criminality and subversion that certainly does not speak well for anyone who holds it. If your views are correct, they shall be proven so. Meanwhile, be grateful that your side, whatever it is, has been cleared from a destructive and corrupting influence.

Edited InDaniel Hannan talking sense. The mind reels. But perhaps his fellow Thatcherits will pay attention. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100096817/the-phone-hacking-scandal-is-not-a-leftist-conspiracy-for-heavens-sake/
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I have long noticed that certain aspects of the BBC's notoriously monolithic and change-resistant mind are not, as is universally assumed, "progressive" left, but profoundly and even viciously reactionary. One that has stuck in my craw for a long time is their reporting of union matters and strikes. Anyone who is suprised at the BBC's constantly negative and deliberately obtuse treatment of, say, Israel, either has not studied the way the BBC reports strikes at home, or is himself so savagely against the very principle of unionization and workers' solidarity as to believe that there is no device too vile to beat the unions with. Their approach to Israel and to British trades unions is one and the same, practically brand-marked. Whenever there is a strike, the BBC spends the least possible time, if it does at all, explaining the cause and setting out the union's reasons; most of its reports are always - this is something you can test, if you pay attention - taken up with bits of heavily edited street interviews with supposed members of the public who are supposed to have been incommodated by the strike. These are usually three - three members of the public, after all, make a proper sample for hundreds of thousands or tens of millions of people, just as thirty seconds are a sufficient time to express the whole range of their views. Very often the sample of three ends with someone who expresses the vilest and shabbiest of views, which can be summed up as: "Well, I have been screwed by my boss, so how dare they try not to be screwed by theirs?" If things go bad for Mr.Smith, it is an outrage that Mr.Jones should dare to fight to make them better for himself - and perhaps, in the long run, for Mr.Smith too. As I said, this is often the concluding volley in this profound televisual dive into the depths of the national spirit; and as such it has a concluding, even summing-up value. Since we all have it tough, it is wrong for unionized labour to try and improve matters for any reason.

The BBC treatment of a recent strike in the London Underground is a classic of its kind. A couple of union activists were sacked under various pretexts, and the unions called a strike. As a matter of fact, the strike was only a threat, and when it eventually took place, it was on the last legally possible day, and lasted, IIRC, from ten in the evening of one day till six in the morning of the next. Some terrible, damaging strike this was. Nonetheless, the BBC did not even try to be fair between the contending parties. That the men had been sacked, whatever the excuse, for being union activists, was fairly evident and was confirmed by the fact that the labour disputes court found for them; and everyone knows - or ought to know - that the sacking of union activists for being union activists is and has always been ground for striking the world over. Anyone who made the imaginative effort to try and understand the reasons of the union ought to have understood that; but the BBC would not, and would not allow its public to make the effort either. From the beginning to the end, the London public was spoon-fed anti-union propaganda, including the calls from some more than usually vile Tory backbencher for anti-union legislation even more severe than Margaret Thatcher already managed.

The unions at the BBC itself have been pretty well emasculated, and it might be said that the company has a good (or quite amazingly bad) internal reason to take this oppressive attitude. A couple of years ago it emerged that the BBC had not paid its share of workers' pension contributions for thirteen solid years, and that the kitty, as a direct result, was empty. The immense power of this corrupt corporation can be measured by the fact that not a single manager was so much as investigated by police or revenue investigators, and that every single one of those who had connived at this atrocious crime kept their own gilded and chromed pension arrangements. The employees? They struck, failed to make an impression, and had to swallow redundancies and massively worsened terms and conditions. One thing that must considered in this context is that, unlike normal corporations, the BBC knows exactly, at the beginning of each year, how much money it is going to "earn" - or rather squeeze from the public - through the so-called canon; and therefore there is no excuse for planning and accounting errors big enough to justify the continuous "contributions holiday" (yes, that is what it's called) that lasted thirteen years.

This, of course, gives the BBC a very good corporate reason to be anti-union in general; but I don't think it begins there. I think that the hate and contempt for the unions was there first, and that the resolution to swindle their own employees was a by-product. I think the BBC simply dislikes the idea of uppity proles. Not, of course, that it is against all unions and all union activity. There is a kind of union activity for which the BBC can never find enough time to report or enough positive overtones and that is what may be loosely defined as the area of political correctness. Every time a union takes any action that can be constructed as feminist, pro-abortion, pro-gays, pro-immigrant or secularist, however small and insignificant, the BBC reports with high approval. One of its favourite unions is the National Union of Teachers, which I refused to join when I was briefly a trainee because I could see from all its materials and rhetoric that it cared nothing for teachers' working conditions and plenty for PC in all its forms. Let us notice, then, that two important conclusions arise: being PC and "progressive" does not imply any sympathy for one's own domestic working classes and their representatives; and that the way to please the BBC (and its shadows in all the mass media) is to bash the one and glorify the other.

This article has been caused by a truly shocking instance, no earlier than this morning. The BBC led - led, mind you! - with a news item about "the culture of compensation" overrunning prisons. Its reporters sounded all shocked and disgusted that, in one year, the UK Prison Service had paid one and a half million pounds in compensations to prisoners who felt they had claims for accidents or mistreatment.

Now I don't expect BBC journalists to be able to count, but I do expect them to have access to a calculator. Mine says that one and a half million pounds, spread over eighty thousand prisoners in Britain's jails, means an average of eighteen pounds seventy-five pence per convict. This means that if one convict out of ten had reason to complain in the last year - hardly an excessive guess in a notoriously overcrowded and naturally brutal environment, and one where, at the same time, the inmates have regular access to lawyers - he might have scored the fantastic, life-changing lottery win sum of one hundred and eighty seven pounds fifty pence sterling. Truly the compensation culture run amock.

Let us try and suppose that, once a man is jailed, his health and welfare actually become the responsibility of those who are holding him. Let us try to imagine that these men - I mean the jailers - might represent the community; and that the community might even have some notion that the jail service, as a public service, in some way represents them, and that its standards reflect on them. What does this mean - that the BBC finds a yearly compensation budget of one and a half million pounds (less than a couple of its criminal but unjailed top managers cost the canon-payer!) a shocking thought? What does it mean, except than to propose that people once convicted - for whatever reason - should not be recognized any rights, and that if anything bad happens to them in jail, compensation ought to be denied? What does this mean except to declare that convicts cease to be members of the human race? And does this come well from a company whose top brass ought by rights to have been jailed for financial crimes years ago?
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Not that I wish any more years of Gheddafi on anyone, but the hypocrisy spouted on all sides about his refusal to budge and resolution to fight it out to the death beggars belief. The behaviour of the UN, in which he had been prominent until a few weeks ago, is nothing short of sickening; one ie reminded of a pack of vile, yapping mongrels baring their fangs without daring to get close, as a wounded wild boar is charging and turning and plunging and fighting for his life. All the people who are now passing confiscation resolutions, orders against travel, condemnations, Hague Court denunciations and so on - not to mention the vicious breed of journalists - were licking his bloody hands no later than ten days ago. There would be something poetic, though not of course reassuring, if he managed to give them all the slip.

A few years ago, Dame Helen Mirren was awarded the best actress Oscar virtually by acclamation for her performance as the current Queen. Tonight, by all reports, it will be Colin Firth's turn; should he ever, for any reason, fail to get crowned, there will be front-page headlines in five or six continents, howling HE WUZ ROBBED! Not that either performer did not deserve it (both, too, were playing against type, being handsome and expected to play dowdy and retiring types); bot doesn't one get a sense that American and world audiences really have an especial kind of fondness for British actors playing British sovereigns? One might almost suspect that the trauma of the disloyalty of 1776, however good its reasons, had never quite died down. It's all a bit Oedypal.

Now for the nastiest subject by far - sorry, Colonel Gheddafi, but it's far nastier than even you can hope to be. After all, even after you have ceased to shed blood, whether your enemies have caught you and hanged you, or whether you have managed to break them on the battlefield and eventually died on your bed as some murderers have managed, British doctors will still be killing babies. Where abortion is concerned, Britain is a one-party state, where any opposition to the practice will ruin your career with mathematical certainty if you happen to work anywhere near the NHS or the social services, and of course stick you with the deadly brand - nothing deadlier in island society - of religious nutter. And yet - and yet. For a while, I think for a year or so now, there have come noises from the profession of butchers, sorry, doctors, that suggest anger and unease - as though the butchers felt some sort of phantom grip fastening on their hands. It is not that anyone is showing visible doubt or nervousness. Nobody so much as suggests that any pressure against abortion might be perceived. But if none is felt, then why are the professional bodies of butchers, sorry, doctors, becoming shriller and shriller? At the end of June last year, the Royal College Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) released, in its own name and with all the chrism of officiality, a so-called report, claiming that a 24-week-old foetus is incapable of feeling pain. This, mind you, in an age when hundreds of premature babies are brought out at 24 weeks and survive, and the mothers of these children, let alone the nurses and doctors, are capable of seeing with their own eyes that the child does in fact feel and react. It is not even a matter of what you see on a scan screen: it is a matter of hundreds, of thousands of women who have seen, heard, held in their own hand, a child of that age, and been able to see it with their own eyes and hear it with their own ears. I don't think it unfair to say that such an act, such a report, from such a body, is evidence of a collective pathology. And today, only a few months after, the very same body, RCOG, redoubled the evidence for collective mental illness by issuing guidelines - a word which, in the UK, means something almost as binding as laws - that claim for a woman to have an abortion is safer than to have a child. The crazed quality of this was so evident that even BBC journalist Andrew Marr, usually the humblest and most undeviating servant of Political Correctness, was heard to say that perhaps it was not quite as safe for the child. I can only conclude that, although the petrifying force of obstinacy and consensus still don't allow an ordinary observer like myself to see it, these people are scared; nothing except terror can explain the shrill tone and the sheer irrationality of these statements.
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Vincent Cable was hanged, drawn and quartered for saying that he was an enemy of Rupert Murdoch. In other words, he was subjected to political murder because he is a decent, upstanding British patriot. But then, that is often the fate of decent patriots.

However, I should have resigned rather than allowed Murdoch's lickspittles to leave me with an eviscerated office.
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So the BBC - among others - professes itself surprised at the depth and width of rage revealed in the demonstrations against student fee increases.

Well, let's see. Any Briton who is not a member of the class of down-and-outs - those who have no hope of permanent work and who are housed by councils - is already under a heavy doom to own money to the banks all his/her life because of his/her supposed universal duty to "get on the housing ladder" - that is, to make a life-altering debt in order to "own" the title to a house that really will belong to a bank so long as s/he lives. Now they are informed that, because the British state is itself near bankruptcy thanks to its unconditional support to those same banks, they are now going to be saddled with debt from the moment when they begin their initiation into adulthood and middle-class living.

(That is what a college course in Britain is today; an initiation period, in the anthropological sense of the term. It is not a coincidence that universities began to swell in size just as the previous initiatic period, military service, was being abolished. People instinctively seek to build these entrance rituals to adulthood.)

In other words, this government has decided that there is no moment in the adult life of a productive, wage-earning Briton in which s/he will not be in debt to the banks. The transfer of the country's capital from the public to the financial institutions is virtually complete.

Incomprehensible anger? Sounds to me like someone is beginning to wake up.
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During the twelve years of Labour administration, all indicators prove that social mobility decreased: fewer of the poor made headway, and more of the country's wealth remained in the hands of the already rich. So, now that we have a coalition of Labour's two supposed opponents, who do they go to for advice on how to improve social mobility? To a leading member of Labour, Alan Milburn.
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First: Britain's long-term ambition to wreck the EU by bringing in Turkey will not happen. Second: to push it now, when the country is being corrupted and poisoned by the villainous, double-faced Islamist creep Erdogan and his execrable party (against which everyone I know who knows Turkey has been warning for years) is worse than stupid, it's criminal. Apologies to the shade of Prince de Talleyrand, but sometimes it is in that order!
P.S.: it has been announced that reforms will be presented to make Parliament work more. Just what we needed. (That was sarcasm, in case anyone was in doubt.)
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Sudan, a country that has spent the last generation under a bloody tyranny and fighting a civil war, recently had a general election. More electors turned up than the facilities were able to handle; so, by common consent, the electoral commission allowed the polls to stay open for an extra day. In spite of widespread fears, there seems to have been no violence, and everyone who wanted to vote was able to.

Britons were called to vote yesterday. For God knows what reason, unexpected numbers of electors - no less than 20% more than last time - showed up to vote, mostly for the same discredited cretins that have so mismanaged the country for the last several decades. This submissiveness of the electorate was properly rewarded by the authorities, who closed the polls at 10 in the evening, depriving thousands, maybe tens of thousands of would-be electors of their democratic rights.

Sudan gives Britain lessons in democracy. And the British, being idiots enough to reward the villainous three leading parties for their villainy, deserve the insult. They will pay for it, too, when the monsters who have destroyed British manufacturing, devastated British society, run up a debt that makes Greece's seem small, and lined their own pockets like it was going out of style, now make the citizenship pay for their errors.
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I could never vote for any one of the three rising little parties on the British right wing - UKIP, the English Democrats and James Hargreaves' Christian Party - in a million years, not if they paid me; and I have already several times said what I think of that crafty, far-sighted Fascist villain, Nick Griffin, and his electoral army of dupes and stormtroopers in disguise. So why do I think it would be a very good thing if a couple of dozen MPs from these variously unattractive groups were to reach Westminster in a week?

Let me tell you a story. When the Italian First Republic collapsed under the blows of the great Tangentopoli scandal, one of the side effects was a sense among some of the nastier groupings on the political fringe that they were somehow being justified and that the moral collapse of the political centre was their opportunity.

The city of Rome has the most ancient Jewish community on the face of the planet; it has also, alas, a tiny but obdurate and peculiarly nasty neo-Nazi underground, despised and emarginated even by the "respectable" fascist and conservative parties. These people started becoming more active, and their obvious target was the ancient Jewish quarter on the shore of the Tiber. Night after night there were threatening raids, insults painted on walls, assaults, threats.

The Roman Jews are nobody's punching-bags, and they complained vigorously. The authorities played their usual sympathetic but helpless roles, and the media politely condoled. Clearly, in a politically distracted country with serious public order issues elsewhere, nobody felt that a few assaults and writings on Jewish walls were at the top of any list of priorities.

The young men of the Ghetto drew their own conclusions and made their own decisions. And one night, when the Nazi thugs came to have fun, they were waiting for them, with knuckledusters, bike chains and steel rods.

Everyone was shocked, and everyone lectured the Jewish community about restraint and legality. But from then on, the Nazi rats stayed in their underground, and any time they didn't the authorities paid attention to Jewish complaints.

The whole structure of British society is under assault by the very people - politicians, bureaucrats and their media hangers-on in particular - who should have as their chief duty to defend it. It is about time that these people were put on notice that their assault on England, Scotland and Wales will not continue unpunished. And if that reaction has some thuggish features, so much the better: this class, which takes nothing seriously except power, may yet begin to take the country seriously.
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While 20% of white people between 16 and 24 years of age are unemployed - which is bad enough - 48% of blacks are. Whatever the reason, and whether or not anything can be done to correct it, that means bad trouble to come. And more to the point, there is something essentially wrong with it. A fair society should not put up with a whole section of it being unable to access employment.
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What I find unbelievable is that eager conservatives such as Damian Thompson should find the publication of Margaret Thatcher's ministerial papers so inspiring. It is true, of course, that the standard of leadership since has been so abysmal, and the media and establishment consensus so revolting, that one is apt to take any demonstration of character as positive in and of itself; but not all character is necessarily good. What these papers reveal was that "that bloody woman" (as the majority of British voters always referred to her, leaving "the iron lady" and other bootlickery to her fans in the Murdoch media) was really what she looked like; that she was the same from top to bottom, and that the substance she was made of was vile. I, like a good 50% of people in Britain at the time, found her personally offensive; these papers reveal that we were right in feeling so, and that the offensive nature of the woman was personal and ever-present. This is the supposed anti-Communist who, on receiving a petition to let 10,000 victims of Communism into Britain, responded that the signatories should be invited to take one of them each into their houses; pub philosophy of the vilest kind, showing that when she said that there is no such thing as society, she meant exactly what she said, neither more, nor less. She could not conceive of any obligations that can and must be taken on collectively rather than individually, and of no duty towards the weaker. For that matter, she did not even conceive of any individual obligations. She did not see any duty to be consistent with her anti-Communism when real victims of real Communists needed your support. This is not only immoral, it is grossly hypocritical. And to make matters worse, the real reason to reject those wretched victims was racial: they were, you see, yellow-skinned, slit-eyed Vietnamese (or gooks, or however her likes would call such inferior breeds). So they could rot in refugee camps in third world countries, or take their chance with the murderous tyranny that had overtaken their country. No bloody wonder that, after seven years of this kind of enlightened social doctrine, the whole country exploded in the phenomenon of Band-Aid; something that, I am willing to bet, she never even began to understand.

Her management principles were all of a piece. On a series of notes complaining about cuts, she wrote "I do not see why we should not be able to do with 500,000 civil servants what we do with 566.000". This, of course, will give a dry orgasm to all those who hate "the state" for its own sake, but in terms of being in charge of an organization that has to deliver certain results, it is not only nonsense, it is poisonous nonsense. Perhaps you may need more than 566,000. Perhas you do, in fact, need less, even less than 500,000. But you have to know what you want to do and how many people are needed to achieve it. She never even asks. She pulls a number out of thin air and demands that it should be kow-towed to as sacred. This kind of invention, the idea (so to call it!) that three men can always do the work of four, and that the less people you employ the better, is right out of the book of the idiot manager, the pseud with no notion of his (in that case, her) job and no thought in his (her) brain beyond cutting costs. It places management in a position of enmity to their own employees, and makes efficiency a punishment and the beginning to further punishment. It is, in short, the summary of everything that is wrong with current business practices.

There is nothing suprising about the fact that this racist, narrow-minded, destructive near-sociopath, who made selfishness into a principle, was also a social libertine of the worst sort. She never saw an abortion she did not like, and took with glee the support of the pornographer Rupert Murdoch and of his intelligence-destroying, crotch-reaching, monopoly-seeking The Sun - a newspaper whose long-term influence is visible in everything about the desolate and despicable lifestyle of chavs and ladettes who grew up in its shadow. Its editor Larry Lamb had easier access to her than her own ministers; something that makes Tony Blair's respect of the Daily Mail look positively constructive and enlightened by comparison. The very notion that someone like that should be in charge of a party that called itself conservative showed that, in many minds, Toryism had been reduced to merely monetary value, to the brute consideration of everything in terms of what it costs. It was a destructive age, and we have not yet recovered from its bewildering and dazed effect; nor from its brutalization.
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A significant trend in the public mood in Britain has been increased support for the Armed Forces. It began with two news stories, one positive, one negative. The positive was that a story started to spread around the UK, that a small town called Wooton Bassett had got into a touching habit. Wooton Bassett is just down the road from RAF Lyneham, where the bodies of British soldiers fallen abroad - earlier in Iraq, now in Afghanistan - are taken on their way to being buried with military honours. The coffin cars would always drive through Wooton Bassett's main road, with the coffin draped in the Union Jack visible through the glass. And soon it happened that every time a military coffin drove by, the whole town would apparently stop and turn out on the main street to salute it. After a while, images of this spontaneous ceremony started becoming familiar across the country.

The negative piece of news came from Luton, an industrial town north of London. There a march of a local army unit was almost disrupted, and certainly fouled, by hate-ridden demonstrations from local Muslims - these being second- or third-generation British cticizens who shouted insults at the soldiers in the local dialect. The widespread anger and revulsion at these images - much though media and police tried to sanitize them - led directly to the foundation of the English Defence League, the dangerous volunteer group I mentioned in my last post. But they also led to a conscious decision on the part of millions of Britons to show their support for the forces in a more tangible way. Units returning from Afghanistan used to just drop in, get changed and go home. Now they are given parades through the high streets of main cities - Croydon and Liverpool, for instance - and applauded as they go. There is a strong feeling that the lads deserve our support, and I gather that it has made a difference to them. Incidentally, army recruitment is markedly up.

Now, what I think is that someone somewhere must have regarded these developments with dismay. It asserts everything about Britain that the PC leadership does not approve of. I may be edging towards paranoia, but does it sound accidental to you, that soon after the great marching ceremony of Remembrance Sunday - whose emphasis, this year, was more on recent war veterans - a clutch of human rights lawyers have presented no less than thirty charges of atrocities and war crimes against individual members of the British Army in Iraq, dating to years ago? And does it seem coincidental that the BBC have placed this as their lead news item of the day? The British political class is utterly discredited; most of the organs of the State get little respect from the public - courts, police, councils, etc.; even the beloved NHS is losing popularity these days. Only the Army, and among the Army the soldiers who do the actual fighting, are rising in the public's eye. Time to cut them down to size, wouldn't you say?
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Yesterday, Nick Griffin put his foot in a trap. Today, not only did the trash that pretend to govern this unfortunate country hand him a get-out-of-jail-free card, they cooperated in giving him the most fantastic amount of free publicity since I can't even remember when. God knows I don't think much of the individual and collective mind of the morons in charge, but even by their deplorable standards, the Day Nick Griffin Went to Question Time will go down in the annals of suicidal stupidity, somewhere between the Republican laissez-faire economic policy of the nineteen-twenties and the West's promotion of Iranian "democracy", under the benevolent gaze of Ruhollah Khomeini, in the age of Jimmy Carter.

Background. Every Thursday, the BBC broadcasts a tame debate program called "Question Time", in which some politicians and a token non-politician discuss current issues in the presence of a crowd of supposed ordinary citizens. This crowd tends to share the "progressive" mindset of BBC producers, and so does the extraordinarily biased conductor, David Dimbleby (the ultimate establishment figure, son and brother of royal BBC correspondents). Guests who deviate from the mindset, especially in a conservative-with-a-small-c direction, are not only rare, but visibly put there as tokens, indeed as targets. The last Question Time that made an impression was the one immediately after September 11, 2001, when the so-called public of ordinary citizens, subtly baited by guests and conductor, exploded into such a chorus of anti-American hatred that the astonished and already shaken US ambassador came close to tears. So the truth is that not many members of the public, even among the politically literate, take Question Time seriously. Inexplicably, however, politicians, journalists and the BBC do. It is one of those class-tribal things that show the distance between ruled and rulers in this country.

It is however a law of the Medes and Persians that political parties that have a significant representation in Britain should be present at this program. And when it became clear that the BNP could no longer be kept out, the British leadership went into a trembling tizzy. I repeat: the public does not take this program very seriously, but they, for some reason, do.

Griffin, in person, is not a pleasant sight. Every point that someone like Barack Obama gains by mere elegance, Griffin loses; till you realize that elegance and grace are actual merits, if minor ones. Griffin is a Cambridge graduate, but the ease of manner that is one of the things that Oxbridge tends to offer seem to have passed him by. There is something menacing about the thickness of his face and his body, which is not exactly fat and not exactly muscle, and which is emphasized by extraordinarily ill-chosen haircuts. He does not look right or smooth in a suit, and always seems on the verge of breaking in a sweat. He is bulky without the friendly or quizzical outside that so many bulky people (including, I hope, yours truly) manage to acquire; he would not look right - like the hefty Tory Kenneth Clarke - in a pub, lifting a pint with friends. (Unless, of course, the pub were the kind that is occasionally mentioned in the local crime news, and which children and decent women tend to shun.) Discomfort and charmlessness come over as being part of his nature. Any sensible PR man, indeed any sensible person with a little perception, would say: "Just let him go up there and ruin himself. Even if he does not make a fool of himself in debate, his appeareance will count against him."

I say this to point out that, even disregarding any points of principle, there is not much to be feared by exposing the British Fuehrer to the gaze of the public. Griffin is no fool, but the personal flaws and inner wounds that must dominate before a man decides to revolt against his community's most basic common notions of decency, are all too easily read in his face. You would dislike and distrust him even if you did not know who he was and what he stood for.

And yet the Establishment went berserk. And they went berserk in a typically British way - the way of people who do not even have the courage to admit to themselves their own perfidy. So the Labour politician Peter Hain tried to have him barred, only to claim that he did not want him totally silenced - only kept out of that particular program. So the Director-General of the BBC. Mark Thompson, replied to the multiple call for exclusion with the following statement: "It is not the BBC's business to exclude people - the Government must do that", a statement whose lack of principle takes shamelessness to a new depth. So professional practitions of inclusivity and diversity, paid from the pocket of the British taxpayer to promote inclusivity and celebrate diversity, demanded that in the name of diversity and inclusivity this really diverse politician should be excluded.

The result? By this morning, the presence of Griffin at Question Time had become - after the disastrous and unfortunately inevitable postal strike that is exploding across Britain - the lead news across the media. Question Time, ordinarily a snooze special that convinces nobody and changes nothing, was for the first time in years on everyone's mouths. Tonight, thanks to Griffin's presence, it is sure to beat all its own previous audience records. Millions of people will turn on, but they will turn on in a spirit of curiosity and even of vague rebelliousness, to watch what the grown-ups did not want them to see. They will consciously or unconsciously be prejudiced in his favour, if nothing else because it is David against Goliath - one tiny splinter party against the might of politics, the media, and the cultural elite. Griffin does not have to conspicuously win the debate now; if he only manages to hold his ground, he will have effectively struck the strongest blow yet for his cause. He will not lose a single vote; those who already voted for him or his party will not be deterred by being effectively treated as pariahs. But if he wins one out of a hundred of these curious, dissatisfied or rebellious spectators - and he is apt to win a lot more - he will have scored a political success. With a General Election only a few months away.

Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad. As I said before, the British elite, "left" or "right" - and the distance between them are smaller than those between most members of most parties in countries where politics is still practiced - has absolutely no moral prestige left with the public. They will not manage to convince anyone that anyone is detestable, just because they say so. If they had left this occasion strictly alone, the few who noticed it would have treated it as a matter of a disreputable and slightly sinister kook stepping into the light for the first time. Because they made a national tragedy out of it, they have turned it into a historical occasion.

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