So what happens next?

I confess I’ve not waded through the 585 pages of legalese that makes up the draft agreement of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (thanks PCar for the link), but the reaction on Twitter tells me:

1. Free movement of people is ended.

2. The UK remains in the customs union indefinitely.

What’s interesting is Leavers are irate beyond measure which suggests, contrary to their portrayal in the media, they weren’t driven by immigration. If that were the case, they’d not be too disappointed with an agreement which halted free movement. That they are more upset about continued membership of the customs union suggests sovereignty and independence were equally as important as ending free movement. None of this should come as a surprise to those who know any Leave voters.

However, Remainers are equally unhappy, presumably because free movement will end along with a whole load of taxpayer funded schemes which prop up swathes of the middle class left. They’ll be joining Leavers in writing to their MPs urging them to vote against the bill when it’s put before parliament. Jeremy Corbyn, who must be relishing this, has already said he’ll vote against it so May is relying on Labour rebels to offset those in her own party. I think this vote will be the most heavily scrutinised in recent memory, with every MP’s reputation for the next few years depending on which way they cast their ballot. I imagine many of them didn’t get much sleep last night. This is how it should be, and for once it’s nice to see the public – both Leavers and Remainers – holding their representatives’ feet to the fire.

Here’s what I reckon will happen. The agreement will be voted down and May will leave; either she’ll resign or will be shoved out by her own party, along with anyone in the cabinet who assented to it. A general election will be called leaving the Tories with two options:

1. Pick a Remain leader and cabinet and we all start preparing for Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn.

2. Pick a Leave leader and cabinet, win the election, chuck the draft in the bin, and start negotiations again.

Much as though I’d prefer to see No. 2 happen, if the Tories had that sort of gumption they’d have done it already. Unless some have been working tirelessly behind the scenes preparing a realistic plan which can immediately be placed in front of Barnier, it’s just going to be more hot air before we crash out with no deal. I’d not be too disappointed if the Tories’ stated intention is to crash out with no deal, but if that’s what happens by default because they’re too hapless to get a plan together, it’s hardly a demonstration of the sort of leadership Britain will need in the near future.

So I suspect they’ll pick a total wet as leader who nobody will vote for and Corbyn will get in. From what I’m reading on Twitter, which to be fair is probably not a great representation, people are prepared to suffer a Corbyn government rather than continue to support the Conservatives, such are their feelings of betrayal. Oddly, I’m half minded to think Corbyn and Co. could negotiate a better deal than May’s managed. He’d certainly not turn up looking to please everyone, and idiotic his beliefs might be he might inadvertently get Britain out of the EU in a way which leaves Brexiteers satisfied.

What I’d really like to see, though, is the Metropolitan New Labour/Cameron remnants who think the EU is wonderful and the referendum an abomination forced to start their own party, in the same way UKIP was founded to represent those who wanted to leave. Thus far, they’ve assumed they can wrestle back control of the existing levers of power against the wishes of the people. Two anti-EU parties contesting a General Election would be the slap in the face they need to show them they’re no longer representative of the wider UK. There’s little that would make me happier than a bunch of whining London-based media types launching a party and seeing their ideas roundly ignored by all but themselves. They could even make Blair their leader.

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Snobbery instead of governance

The BBC, two days late, decides to run a front-page story on Trump and the WWI commemorations (which I wrote about here):

The White House has defended US President Donald Trump’s decision to miss a memorial event on Saturday after he faced a backlash.

Mr Trump, who was in France to mark the centenary of World War One’s end, cancelled a visit to a US military cemetery because it was raining.

Bad weather and “near-zero visibility” grounded the presidential helicopter, White House officials said.

French, German and Canadian leaders attended memorial events on Saturday.

However, Mr Trump was reluctant to bring extra disruption to Paris traffic for a last-minute motorcade, his officials said.

So it was a security issue then and not, as many pretended, that Trump simply couldn’t be bothered because it was raining.

“President Trump did not want to cause that kind of unexpected disruption to the city and its people,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said, noting the trip was 60 miles (96km) north-east of Paris

Compiègne, the location of the ceremony in question, is situated a little further east of Charles de Gaulle airport and if he were to get there from Paris via motorcade they’d probably have closed the A1. This not only would have caused havoc on the périphérique but might have caused people to miss their flights, so I expect the good citizens of Paris are rather glad Trump decided not to go. Also, there is no acknowledgement that this particular ceremony was a sideshow: the main one took place on 11th November on the Champs-Élysées as normal, and Trump was in full attendance.

From here, it just gets pathetic:

Critics observed how Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had travelled 118 miles outside Paris to attend a ceremony – in the rain – at a cemetery in Vimy.

And what is the security operation surrounding the Canadian PM versus that of the US president?

Notable criticism came from British Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood, who took an apparent swipe at the president on Twitter, saying “rain did not prevent our brave heroes from doing their job”.

I’ve praised the bravery of Tobias Ellwood on this blog before, but he’s acting like a child here. So is this man:

His comments followed a scathing rebuke from Sir Nicholas Soames, a grandson of the wartime British leader Sir Winston Churchill.

The MP tweeted that Mr Trump was not fit to represent the US and said that he was a “pathetic inadequate” for not defying the weather “to pay his respects to the fallen”.

Here’s what I don’t get about the British ruling classes. Half of them want to suck up to European technocrats which explains their anti-Americanism, but even those that want out of Europe seem to make extra effort to antagonise their most important ally. It’s fine that Britain wants to get out of Europe, but where’s the value in MPs taking swipes at Trump on Twitter over trivial, wrongheaded stuff like this? America has lots of allies and special interests, and Britain needs American support more than America needs Britain. The ruling classes fell over themselves to brown-nose Obama who hated Britain, but even though Trump has repeatedly shown he’s open to warm relations with Britain, the ruling classes prefer to engage in petty sniping.

I expect the answer lies in snobbery. Even the supposedly better Tories prefer to burnish their credentials with other members of the ruling classes by virtue-signaling against Trump’s supposed rudeness and inadequacy than building workable relations with the one country whose help we need once we stumble out of the EU in March next year. Once again, our ruling classes have shown they are utterly incapable of doing the one thing they exist to do: govern. If Britain wants to avoid disappearing into irrelevance, it needs a wholesale replacement of those in charge. The only upside I can see is that I doubt Trump paid any attention to these cretins.

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Hierarchy Confirmed

Rather a lot of people were surprised by this article, which appeared over the weekend:

A Pakistani Christian woman’s appeal to Britain for asylum has been denied because her arrival in the country may stir civil unrest, HuffPost UK has been told.

Asia Bibi, a Christian farm labourer, was released from prison in Pakistan on Wednesday after being acquitted of blasphemy. She had spent eight years on death row after an argument with a group of Muslim women in June 2009.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan overturned Bibi’s 2010 conviction for “insulting the prophet Mohammed” last week, saying the case against her was based on flimsy evidence.

But her acquittal sparked violent protests led by Islamic religious hardliners, and the government has now agreed to try to stop her leaving the country.

On Saturday her lawyer, Saif Mulook, fled Pakistan, saying he feared for his life.  Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih, has also released a video message saying he too fears for his family’s safety.

“I am requesting the Prime Minister of the UK help us and as far as possible grant us freedom,” he said.

But campaigners working to secure Bibi’s move abroad said the UK government had not offered her asylum, citing security concerns.

Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said two countries had made firm offers of asylum, but Britain was not one of them.

“I’ve been lead to believe that the UK government had concerns that her moving to the UK would cause security concerns and unrest among certain sections of the community and would also be a security threat to British embassies abroad which might be targeted by Islamist terrorists.”

I don’t know why anyone’s surprised. For starters, the government is quite correct that moving Asia Bibi to the UK would almost certainly result in violent protests and heightened security risks. In fact, I’d be surprised if she’d last a week if she moved to the UK. This is because Britain contains an alarming number of Muslims who both threaten and practice violence if their theocratic demands are not met, many of whom are of Pakistani origin. What do you reckon would be the result of a poll among British Muslims over Bibi’s fate? Regardless of the moral stance of the British government, it’s practically not a good idea to allow Bibi to settle in the UK unless she fancies spending the rest of her life in protective custody.

The Home Office said it could not comment on individual cases.

Ah yes, of course. This is why they can’t answer any questions about returning jihadis and “child” refugees either. Let’s face it, this government and the preceding one has failed every single moral test it has had thrown at it. Whenever a case comes up which ought to be the most morally simple to answer the government has done the precise opposite. It’s tempting to suggest they have no principles, but one cannot operate with such consistency without them. Rather, their guiding principles seem to be drawn straight from university social studies departments which promote a hierarchy of protected classes atop which sit radical Muslims. Asia Bibi ought to be a cause célèbre among western feminists, but it doesn’t matter if you have three aces and two kings when your opponent has a royal flush. So they fall silent on the matter, and instead rail against middle class white men and campaign for new laws on upskirting.

The moral cowardice of the government in the face of violent Islam is consistent with their stance on the Salman Rushdie fatwa, and later the yes-butting over the Mohammed cartoons and the Charlie Hebdo massacre. All these should have been met with a firm response from western governments, and each time they were found wanting. It makes one wonder, not for the first time, what purpose the Conservative party serves, other than to keep a handful of people wallowing in gravy. It’s little wonder people are starting to think a Corbyn government mightn’t be so bad after all. True, he’d serve Asia Bibi’s head on a plate during a Hezbollah rally, but at least we’d know where he stood. It’s the cowardice that I can’t stand.

Hopefully Asia Bibi will be granted asylum in a country governed by people with courage who don’t allow foreign theocrats to dictate policy with threats of violence. Meanwhile, perhaps the British government could partly redeem itself by not hosing any more taxpayer cash at Pakistan. Some hope.

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Lest we forget to bash Trump

Blue checkmark Twitter has been alight this past 24 hours with complaints that Trump is a disgrace. Why this time, I don’t hear you ask? Apparently, rather than join Merkel and Macron at Compiègne, the site where the 1918 Armistice was signed, Trump decided to stay in his room and watch TV because it was raining. I have no idea whether this is true or not, but given this version is being widely circulated by lefties and it happens to suit their narrative, we’ll be safer assuming it’s a load of bollocks.

There are several reasons why Trump may not have attended. Was it on his agenda? The main Armistice event is today under the Arc de Triomphe, I don’t know if attendance at Compiègne the day before is normal for a US president. Was Trump even invited? Many people posted pictures of Obama standing in the rain, albeit at a wholly different event but you’d not know that from any caption. This is known as “fake news”. I’m certain that had Trump gone along, the same people now saying “disgraceful” over and over would complain he wasn’t welcome and he did or said something inappropriate. Or his wife looked too good in her outfit, as usual.

The blue checkmarks also simpered over this Tweet, and followed up in the comments with more Trump-bashing:


It’s a good pic, but I fear the sycophants are missing a vital point. Angela Merkel, who was supposed to be the leader of the free world when Trump “abdicated the responsibility”, is barely in charge of Germany having been rejected at the ballot box. Macron, who is fresh from honouring the leader of the Vichy Regime, has a popularity rating of 29%, a record low. Meanwhile, the Americans have just had a vote which, if it not exactly providing Trump with a ringing endorsement, did not show he was wildly disliked either.

So here we have American, British, and European elites praising two deeply unpopular leaders for a cutesy photo-op while criticising, for the millionth time, a president who remains popular with the masses. Perhaps Trump was being disrespectful for not going to Compiègne, but standing on the graves of dead soldiers to virtue-signal your dislike for him is hardly better.

That’s not the only point they’ve missed, though. A popular view among the dim or dishonest is that it was Trump-style nationalism that caused WWI, whereas it was as much about competing empires as anything. One could hardly argue, as you might with WWII, that populations were whipped into war fever before the shooting began in 1914, nor that those who fought were doing so for selfish internal interests. If we’re looking for parallels between today and the pre-1914 situation on mainland Europe, we might want to look at the EU and it’s economic and political bullying of member states and Macron’s recent call for pan-European army. For the elites, though, this is all good. No doubt Archduke Ferdinand thought much the same thing when planning the tour of his subjects in the Balkans.

Frankly, the sight of deeply unpopular German and French leaders cosying up, cheered on by elites who scream hysterically about an American president, does not bode well for peace in Europe.

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Clash of Clans

Here’s a story which was doing the rounds last week:

It was an unusually heavy response to a fight in a school canteen: a police helicopter, police dog and 15 police vehicles all rushed to Fir Vale Academy in Page Hall, Sheffield, one Tuesday in late September.

The drama, inevitably, was caught on camera. The screaming in the dinner hall, children climbing on tables to escape. Outside, a teenage girl in handcuffs, face-down on a police car; the man in a tracksuit being mauled by a police dog. A pupil had texted false talk of a knife fight, and parents had been trying to scale the fence to reach the school.

So what was it all about?

[T]he fight had begun when a Roma girl pulled off the headscarf of a Muslim classmate.

An incident which didn’t come out of a clear blue sky:

Angry Fir Vale parents – most Pakistanis, no Roma – shouted at a panel of wincing white council workers about “them”. Their new Roma neighbours. “David Blunkett was right!” yelled one man. “This is a ticking time bomb. If it goes off, you’re going to need the army.”

They refused to see the hijab incident as an isolated scrap between teenage girls. “This is not just a school issue… This is ready to blow up. Bang,” warned one man. “We’ve lived here 35, 40 years and you expect us to sit silently,” said another, claiming that he had 60 cousins ready to provide back-up for what he said could be “a riot like you’ve never seen before in your life”.

I was late to this story, but a lively discussion took place in the comments at Tim Worstall’s, which is worth reading. There are a few things going on here. Firstly, I very much doubt the people are Roma in the commonly understood sense; more likely they’ll be people who until last week were called “travellers”, fifteen years ago “gypsies”, and by nearly everyone in private, even now, “pikeys”. I grew up around communities of gypsies and they were indistinguishable in ethnicity from the locals. But at some point during the Blair years someone realised that classifying them as a different race made a whole new victim group on which public sector careers could be made; you have to do something with all these new social studies graduates, after all. So now a run-of-the-mill British gypsy alongside whose brethren I used to pick spuds and stack straw now belongs to a protected class.

Only on the other side of the battle lines we have another protected class, whose status was so assured that men in the very same locality were permitted to systematically gang-rape underage girls while the police looked on and did nothing. (Incidentally, if I were to guess, I’d say the number of gypsy girls these men abused was precisely nil). So having designated as protected classes two maladjusted, poorly integrated groups thus putting them beyond the bounds of even mild criticism on pain of imprisonment, what happens when they start fighting each other? Well, I don’t know because until now no government in history has been stupid enough to run such an experiment, but we can take a guess.

Firstly, the Pakistanis are more numerous: that chap wasn’t joking when he said he had 60 cousins, and even if some of them are in a village outside Lahore, they can become British citizens and over there in a jiffy. The gypsies maintain large families, but they don’t have an entire nation on which to draw reserves. Secondly, Pakistanis are darker skinned. Gypsies aren’t exactly blonde haired and blue eyed, but even the obese creature with green hair in charge of social inclusion at the local council is going to be hard pressed to deny categorising them as a separate ethnic group was a little fanciful. Particularly so if they’re lined up opposite a bunch of fellows who’d look pretty handy with ball in hand on 22 yards of short-cut grass. Thirdly, Pakistanis are Muslim, and have lobbying power which would make an oil executive kick a barrel out of pure jealousy. By contrast, the gypsies are members of a lesser religion – or perhaps none at all, it doesn’t matter. When designated victim groups have clashed before, it is always those of the one true faith who prevail, and it will be the same this time around.

So the authorities will hold frantic meetings in the Nelson Mandela – Salvadore Allende conference rooms in the local town halls, during which they’ll wrack their brains to come up with a way to blame this on Tommy Robinson. But in the end they’ll be forced to conclude that the gypsies are white after all, and racist to boot. Until they turn up on the common of a middle class village, anyway.

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The Blue Dribble

US Democrats win House in blow to Trump

booms the BBC’s headline, whose coverage throughout the night would have you believe he’s just been turfed from office. In reality, the results are so mediocre even the BBC has had to tone things down a touch.

Many on the left were hoping for a “blue wave” during these midterms, which would see the Democrats retake the House with a workable majority. Most people were predicting a 35-40 seat advantage over the Republicans, who under Trump have been ineffective in Congress and divisive (but reasonably effective) everywhere else. It now looks as though the Democrats will have a majority of around 27 seats, which is slim by historical standards and few can deny they expected a lot more. Perhaps more importantly, the Democrats not only failed to retake the Senate but actually lost ground, conceding two seats to the Republicans.

What this means is, come January, the Democrats will start throwing every spanner in the works they can think of to unseat Trump. As the BBC says:

They could also more effectively block his legislative plans, notably his signature promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

If that wall was going to get built, funding would have been approved when the Republicans held the House and construction would have already started, so I doubt this will make any difference. As far as legislation goes, Trump’s administration hasn’t done much which is hardly surprising given Paul Ryan was in charge of that and he couldn’t even manage to draft an alternative to Obamacare. Where Trump has made the biggest impact is in rescinding a whole swathe of Obama’s executive orders, and appointing judges to the Supreme and lower courts. Given the Republicans retain control of the senate and no longer rely on independent votes, they ought to be able to continue with this apace. Liberals from coast to coast will be on their knees praying daily that Ruth Burger Gingsburg, who is 85 years old, hangs on until at least 2020.

But this is equally important:

The Democrats could now launch investigations into Mr Trump’s administration and business affairs, from tax returns to potential conflicts of interest.

The majority population would likely welcome some increased level of congressional oversight, but I suspect they’ll have a low tolerance for the sort of lunacy they were witness to during the Kavanaugh hearings. Assuming Nancy Pelosi is elected speaker without an internal bunfight, Trump will relish batting away one deranged accusation after another; he’s at his best when under attack from buffoons who think the old rules still apply and he can portray himself as the only sane person standing. That crazies on the Democrat side are already screeching for the House to impeach Trump doesn’t bode well for the next two years. They’re hedging their bets on the Mueller report producing something damning, but my guess is whatever’s in there will hurt Democrats more than Trump and he knows it. It’s telling that even Pelosi is distancing herself from talks of impeachment; perhaps she’s looked at the election results and realised that the lunatics the Dems ran fared badly while the more sensible ones did well. Whatever happens between now and 2020, the Democrats need to convince American voters they’re not mental, and this means behaving like adults in Congress. Can they manage it? I doubt it, but we’ll see.

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The consecration of the Grenfell Tower

When future historians look back on the collapse of Britain, they may devote an entire section to the Grenfell Tower. It started as a human disaster born of poor cladding, bad regulations, unaccountable management, and an obsession with green initiatives but quickly became a quasi-religious symbol erected atop a hill on which the ruling classes are prepared to die.

Most of the country thought it was a crying shame then moved on, but many believed it symbolised the utter corruption of British politicians who encouraged mass immigration, hosed foreigners with welfare payments, and ignored wholesale fraud. These feelings were reinforced when professional hustlers, many of whom appeared to be foreign, took up the disaster as a stick with which to beat the government, demanding yet more concessions. On top of that, the charred remains became the focus of possibly the most brazen acts of fraud in British history. For instance:

So as many saw the Grenfell Tower as a symbol of the government’s worst policies, the ruling classes realised their most cherished beliefs – mass immigration, generous welfare payments, and multiculturalism – were under attack. Their reaction was as predictable as the fraud: they attempted to shut down all dissent. The trouble is, while it’s possible to place people in protected classes and criminalise any criticism of their behaviour, it is rather more difficult to do so in the case of an incident like a fire. I can think of many cases of a person being off-limits for mockery and derision; I can think of several objects which must not be disrespected in various parts of the world; I can also think of several government policies and actions which may not be discussed, let alone criticised. But I cannot think of a single instance anywhere in the world when something like a domestic fire was elevated to the status of a holy relic, placed beyond criticism on pain of criminal prosecution. Yet this is what the British ruling classes have done:

In short, the day before thousands of Brits burn an effigy of a Catholic man in celebration of his trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament, someone made a cardboard replica of the Grenfell Tower complete with people hanging out of windows and chucked it on a fire. They then made a video which was passed around on social media. It’s in rather poor taste I admit, but hardly something to concern the police in a country populated by adults. And were this to have been something else, say an effigy of Jacob-Rees Mogg or a bus full of Brexiteers, they’d not have batted an eyelid. But the Grenfell Tower has become a holy relic, and blasphemy is a matter of national importance:

Theresa May tweeted: “To disrespect those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, as well as their families and loved ones, is utterly unacceptable.”

Unacceptable to whom? The sensibilities of the ruling classes, who know their entire catalogue of cherished beliefs is represented by that cardboard model?

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire said the group’s actions were “beneath contempt”.

Was there anyone who held them in esteem?

Commander Stuart Cundy, from the Met’s Grenfell Tower investigation team, said any offences committed would be “fully investigated”.

“I am frankly appalled by the callous nature of the video posted online. To mock that disaster in such a crude way is vile,” he said.

I suspect Commander Stuart Cundy cares as much about the Grenfell Tower victims as his comrades in Rotherham did about the underage girls who were systematically gang-raped with their full knowledge. All he’s doing here is signalling to his masters he’s on-message, and smoothing the waters for when he’s confronted by the mob at the next public meeting. Whatever the case, his personal opinions are irrelevant: if he wants to talk about his feelings, he is free to sign up to Instagram and befriend some teenagers.

Now I’ve written before about how Britain has adopted the Soviet approach of “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime”, and sure enough:

Five men have been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence in connection with a model of Grenfell Tower being burned on a bonfire.

The Metropolitan Police said the men – two aged 49 and the others aged 19, 46 and 55 – handed themselves in at a south London station on Monday night.

A public order offence?

The men have been arrested under section 4a of the Public Order Act 1986, which covers intentional “harassment, alarm or distress” caused via the use of “threatening, abusive or insulting” words or signs.

If this legislation can be used to prosecute those who circulate a video mocking an incident which happened over a year ago, it can be used to shut down speech of any kind. The only reason it’s being brought to bear now, as opposed to when everyone else is insulted, mocked, and derided in appallingly bad taste, is because the Grenfell Tower is a holy relic in the religion of the ruling class. And right on cue, here’s a high priest who’s come to preach to us about sin, blasphemy, and holy punishment:

Moyra Samuels, part of the Justice For Grenfell campaign group, told the BBC the video was “a disgusting attack on vulnerable people”.

She added: “We have no doubt that there are actually decent, generous people across Britain and this actual act doesn’t represent ordinary British people.

“But there is a worrying rise of racism in this country at the moment. And that is concerning, because it’s now starting to impact on us directly, which means that we actually need to be thinking what we do about this, and how we respond to this as a whole.”

Were we asked to sign up to this new religion, or were we simply born into it like with Islam? ‘Cos I’d rather not have to listen to this imbecile lecture me on racism every time someone does something her priestly caste doesn’t like.

Under the Public Order Act, racially or religiously aggravated offences carry a prison sentence of up to two years, a fine or both.

Religiously aggravated, eh? See what I mean?

I think future historians will find this interesting not only because it signifies abject desperation on the part of the ruling classes, but also their departure from reality. I get the impression a lot of people are rather incensed that the entire country is supposed to be in perpetual mourning because, apparently, something was upsetting for Londoners. But just as nobody outside Liverpool cares much about Hillsborough, few outside Aberdeen or who aren’t in the oil industry are still traumatised by Piper Alpha, and hardly anyone remembers the Bradford stadium fire, Grenfell Tower isn’t something which non-Londoners care about that much. They certainly don’t expect the incident to occupy the national government to the point they’re reinstating blasphemy laws. Was this video even made in London? Had the fire happened in a tower block in Newcastle, you can be sure the police wouldn’t be running around arresting people over videos and the Prime Minister blubbering on Twitter.

As they lose their grip on power, the ruling classes cannot see beyond the capital, and attempt to appease only the noisiest mob outside the palace gates. They’re not alone in this, either in historical or contemporary terms, but it won’t end well. The trouble with those who start new religions is they often end up burned at the stake, usually when they’ve overestimated their numbers and begun to annoy everyone else.

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Progressive panic over Brazil

Drowned out by the anti-Trump hysteria in the wake of the synagogue massacre was yet more handwringing over another election which has gone against the establishment both local and global, this time in Brazil. Here’s how the BBC reported things:

Far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro has won a sweeping victory in Brazil’s presidential election.

The former army captain won 55.2% of the vote against 44.8% for Fernando Haddad of the left-wing Workers’ Party.

So what is it that makes Bolsonaro “far right”?

Mr Bolsonaro’s pledge to fight crime and corruption following a string of scandals have won him mass support.

Is this a bad thing?

However critics are worried by his praise of Brazil’s former dictatorship, and by his comments on race, women and homosexuality.

Ah, now we get to the heart of the matter. Anyone whose views on race, women, and homosexuality differ from those found in the social studies departments of American academia is automatically “far right”. It’s interesting that race, women, and homosexuality weren’t even major political issues for the couple of decades before 2013, when Obama had won a second term and it was safe to ramp up the identity politics. Certainly they weren’t campaign issues, and with the exception of scrapping Section 28, weren’t even on the British political landscape in any election I can remember. Now all of a sudden these are supposedly key issues on which every politician across the globe is judged. The western ruling classes are prone to hubris and arrogance, and one way this manifests itself is in the belief that the entire world shares their opinions on social issues (see here for another example).

So what’s Mr Bolsonaro supposed to have said? For that we need another BBC article:

Mr Bolsonaro has portrayed himself as the defender of a Brazil of decades past, suggesting that the country should return to the hardline tactics of the 1964-1985 military dictatorship.

Suggesting? Do we have any context here? Of course not, it’s the BBC.

He has praised this era, in which thousands of people were imprisoned and tortured, as a “glorious period”.

Note the implication that Bolsonaro praised the era because of the imprisonment and torture; the BBC does this because it is in the business of peddling fake news rather than informing people. Some people may refer to Victorian Britain as a golden age in the country’s history, but they are not praising workhouses and the Boer War concentration camps. If you look at the timeline of most countries you’ll find rapid development and expanding influence were accompanied by unsavoury practices of some sort.

“I am in favour of torture – you know that,” he said during a television appearance in 1999. “And the people are in favour of it, too.”

Wait, he said this 19 years ago? Has he said anything on the subject since? Did any Brazilian journalists ask him to clarify this statement? We can safely assume that if the BBC is quoting a statement made in 1999 he hasn’t repeated it, so what’s his position now? We don’t know because the BBC isn’t telling us.

He has pledged to reduce crime and increase security by relaxing the country’s gun laws.

“Every honest citizen, man or woman, if they want to have a weapon in their homes – depending on certain criteria – should be able to have one,” he said of his plans on Rede TV on 11 October.

More controversially, he said last year that “a policeman who doesn’t kill isn’t a policeman”.

So is this what makes him far right? What about his economic and social policies (other than a pledge to reduce crime)? Or don’t they matter? Apparently not. What really matters is:

His statements on issues ranging from abortion to race, and from migration to homosexuality, have proved provocative and garnered much attention.

Meaning, he is out of whack with progressives in the west.

“I’d prefer [to see] a son of mine to die in an accident than [to be] a homosexual,” he told Playboy in a 2011 interview.

So what? Does this mean he’s going to round up gays and shoot them? Is not wanting your son to be gay an automatic disqualification to be president everywhere in the world now?

In 2016, he provoked outrage by remarking that a fellow lawmaker was not worth raping because he thought she was “very ugly” and not his “type”.

This is rather rude, but hardly disqualifying or even newsworthy outside of Brazil.

He has also described having a female child as a “weakness”, and said that he would not employ women equally because “[they] get more labour rights than men”.

Is this true? Do they get more labour rights than men? If they didn’t, I’m sure the BBC would tell us. Of course, the real issue is this:

For his supporters, Mr Bolsonaro is a politician who they say will bring much needed change to the country – a swing to the right after four elections won by the left.

For the past four years, Brazil has been consumed by a criminal investigation – known as Operation Car Wash – that has uncovered massive corruption.

The left have been in charge for years, leading to soaring crime rates and corruption on a scale impressive even by Latin American standards. The public, like their counterparts in Europe and the US, have got utterly fed up with ruling elites treating them with contempt so have finally voted for someone on the right. Cue hysterics from western progressives and media clowns about the return of fascism. Now I don’t know much about Brazilian politics and I can’t read Portuguese, so maybe this Bolsonaro chap really is Hitler and he’s about to start throwing women, gays, and minorities into concentration camps built on Copacabana Beach. But I doubt it, and we can be quite sure the BBC and their ilk know nothing about him either.

Note also the difference in reaction from western progresssives when a right wing government gets elected after years of socialist decay, and when a nasty, authoritarian left winger comes to power in Latin America. Left wing politicians and commentators cheered heartily when Hugo Chavez took over in Venezuela, and ignored the brutal suppression of the population which, carried on by his successor, has left them literally starving while the economy collapsed. And still they continue to ignore, make excuses, and justify what’s being done under the banner of socialism. But yeah, we’re supposed to worry about the rise of fascism in Brazil based on some comments made by the new president when the Nokia 8210 came out. Sorry, but I wish him the best of luck.

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Virtue-signaling and derangement in the wake of a massacre

Over the weekend a lunatic walked into a synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA and shot dead 11 Jews who were at worship. It quickly transpired that the murderer was a far-right headcase who thought the Jews were responsible for all America’s ills, including mass immigration. His social media accounts show he detested Trump, believing him to be in thrall to the Jews and not doing enough to halt their nefarious plans. The answer, he believed, was to murder a bunch of elderly Jews.

Despite the motivations of the perpetrator, and the fact that Ivanka Trump is Jewish having converted to get married, liberals and fake conservatives across America are blaming the attack on Trump. The reaction of non-American Jews wasn’t much better. Here’s a British chap who writes for the Jewish Chronicle:


Sugarman’s timeline is filled with how he mourns for his co-religionists in the US, yet the sanctity of the still-warm bodies is not so great that he can’t stand atop them to virtue-signal about Trump. My first question is why a journalist would think it appropriate to start talking about gun laws before the smell of cordite has gone from the air. Secondly, what is wrong with Trump’s response that if the worshipers had been protected with arms, things would have gone differently? Europeans love to scoff at the unsophisticated, redneck Americans who think armed protection is the answer to such massacres, but I used to walk by a Jewish centre one street over from my apartment in Paris on a daily basis. And have a guess what? It was guarded throughout the day by two soldiers wearing combat gear and each carrying a FAMAS. The protection was brought in after the kosher supermarket shootings in Paris which took place two days after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. I understand that many synagogues and Jewish cultural centres across Europe now have armed guards stationed outside, yet none of these leave British Jewish journalists unable to find words to express their hatred of the head of government. We needn’t think too hard as to why that is.

Laurie Penny, who is apparently now in the US involved with writing a TV show, has quickly learned which drum to bash in her new career:

If Trump’s speaking at a political rally shows he is rather callous towards Jews, I wonder what we should make of Laurie’s hit-piece on Ivanka which begins:

IVANKA TRUMP HAS WRITTEN a book about female empowerment, and it is about as feminist as a swastika-shaped bikini wax.

Because nothing represents solidarity with Jews like mentioning swastikas when attacking one in print.

There is also a lot of sentiment like this:

It’s hard to tell whether he genuinely thinks this, or whether it’s just an excuse to show his dislike for Trump. Emanuel Miller is a generally decent sort, but anti-Trump derangement infects many otherwise sensible people. Now Miller lives in Israel, and he will be fully aware of the opprobrium that was heaped on Trump when he moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Hell, the UN even held a special session to denounce it. He will also be fully aware that Trump, by scrapping the nuclear “deal” and re-imposing sanctions, severely clipped the wings of Israel’s greatest threat, Iran. He’s also halted funding to the Palestinians for using the money to buy weapons which they then use to attack Israel.

So we have Trump attracting the world’s wrath for brazenly pro-Israeli policies, while Jews wring their hands that he’s “careless” with words. Well here’s the thing. If Trump wasn’t indifferent to the supposed consequences of his words, and worried about what people would think of him, the embassy would still be in Tel Aviv, the Iranians would still have their deal, and workers in Palestinian rocket-factories would still have their dental plans. They’re both sides of the same coin: you could have that nice man Obama back – who of course was never careless with words or empowered extremists, oh no – but how good was he for the world’s Jewry? The Mullahs seemed rather fond of him, at any rate.

Sadly, a lot of commentary following the synagogue shooting consists of people lining up to virtue-signal over Trump, even if it means denying that he’s one of the most pro-Jewish presidents in living memory. Some have gone further, seizing the opportunity to equate any criticism of George Soros as anti-semitic and shut down all discussion over immigration. These are the much the same people who give fawning coverage to Linda Sarsour, ignore Louis Farrakhan, and wave Palestinian flags at BDS rallies.

In summary, it’s probably best to ignore most of what’s being said about the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue, even by people who are normally sensible; it’s too much effort to separate genuine opinions from anti-Trump derangement and in-group virtue-signaling. Finally, there’s this:


If only the Jews had a word for chutzpah.

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All Mouth, No Trousers

I’ve written before about the Republicans and Obamacare:

If we are to believe the words that come out of their mouths, the Establishment Republicans were vehemently opposed to Obamacare and longed for the day they could repeal it. But if that were the case, they would have spent the necessary time and effort to come up with a viable alternative and presented that to the public loudly and often during those five or six years that they were in opposition and Obamacare was in force. Only they didn’t: for all their talk in the election about repealing Obamacare, when it came to the job of actually coming up with an alternative, they didn’t have a clue.

I suspect the Establishment Republicans are terrified at having to come up with a genuine alternative because it will involve hard work and taking on the enormously powerful vested interests that make providing healthcare in America almost impossible.

I compared the above with the Tories’ dithering over Brexit, but 18 months on the comparison is even more apt. Here’s an article in The Telegraph:

Every weekend it’s the same. Theresa May is on the brink. Tory Brexiteers are poised to strike. They’re just two letters away from a vote of no confidence. The end is only days away. Mrs May is doomed.

And then… nothing happens.

Every weekend. Every single weekend. Honestly. The Prime Minister’s backbench critics like to call her “weak”. Perhaps they could tell us: what word should we use to describe people who endlessly declare they’re about to depose her, but never go through with it?

A few weeks ago, Boris Johnson looked poised to launch a leadership bid, depose the hapless May, and sit down with the EU for some serious negotiations on Brexit. Instead, as the article says, nothing happened. The contribution to Brexit of Jacob Rees-Mogg, the man in whom many placed their highest hopes, is to moan about things on Twitter. Even his biggest fans are unable to contain their disappointment:

If Johnson, David Davis, Rees-Mogg, and all the others wanted to be taken seriously they would have drawn up a document of what they would present to the EU, publish it, and be on every television show and in every newspaper talking about it non-stop. That would give people something to vote for, instead of holding out hope over some vague rumours that one of them is going to grow some balls and usurp Theresa May. Hell, the backbenchers should have been doing this since the morning after the vote. What else were they doing? They’re no different from Paul Ryan’s Republicans, moaning incessantly about Obamacare but when asked to present their alternative, they don’t even want to try.

This is a colossal failure on the part of the Conservative party, who deserve to be consigned to the dustbin of history. It’s also a colossal failure of the Labour party, who should have capitalised on this long ago instead of playing teenage Trots with the magic grandpa. But I suppose if there were any serious leaders in either the Conservatives or Labour, Theresa May would never have become Prime Minister and we’d not be in this mess in the first place. It’s hard to imagine a time when the political landscape was so bereft of anyone with an ounce of competence or leadership skills. I suppose we ought to be fortunate that, with a few exceptions, the EU members states are in much the same boat.

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