Refusal Accepted

It appears Jeremy Corbyn has refused to attend a banquet with Donald Trump when he visits the UK in June, leading to a lot of tweets like this one:


This is the wrong approach. As I’ve written recently, there is no point in trying to shame the utterly shameless or point to the hypocrisy of people with no principles whatsoever. Nobody who currently supports Corbyn would care if he was caught stealing jewelry from the museum cases at Auschwitz, and they’d bend over backwards to excuse him.

The better response would be to say:

“Why do you assume Trump has any interest in meeting you? Does he even know who you are?”

If we had a Tory party that wasn’t gelded, someone would say this in parliament.

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Articulated Laurie

This tweet from Laurie Penny is interesting:


For all her pretensions of being a rebel, Laurie Penny – the private school and Oxford educated darling of the left and writer for New Statesman – is very much part of the Establishment. Almost every institution in the land has been captured by those whose views she shares, or which sit further to the left than her own. The polyamory, the red hair, the profanity, the hardcore feminism, all point to dreary woke conformism rather than rebellion, which is why she gets invited onto the BBC and other mainstream media outlets that wouldn’t touch genuine dissidents with a barge pole.

What’s got her worried is she and her ilk thought by capturing the institutions they’d won the war and secured the peace. But just as American soldiers came to learn that taking nameless hilltops didn’t defeat the North Vietnamese, the Establishment is now seeing their fortresses bypassed, overflown, and undermined by guerrilla warfare. They thought they had complete control and under the old rules they did, but the game has changed and power is increasingly moving away from the centralised institutions in the manner Laurie describes perfectly in her tweet. Which is why she’s worried. Who do you think will have more influence in the next decade: podcasters like Joe Rogan or Independent columnists like Laurie Penny?

The bit she’s got wrong is that this is not fascism, it’s a reaction to the wholesale takeover of the Establishment by the forces of the left. She’s calling it fascism because she has no idea how to counter it, and hopes by pointing to imaginary Nazi flags the ruling classes will launch Operation Rolling Thunder. And look how well that turned out. For all Laurie’s self-declared progressivism, she’s actually a reactionary, terrified of losing the power and prestige she’s accumulated under an outdated system whose foundations are crumbling beneath her. The irony is she’s as much to blame for the demise of the old system and the birth of the new one as any.

More please, and faster.

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Greta Morozov

Last week a bunch of posh kids held a demonstration in London under the banner of an organisation calling itself Extinction Rebellion. Their aims are drearily predictable: obtaining political power for themselves to enact sweeping, authoritarian economic and social policies under the pretence of environmental concern. In other words they’re just another unit off an ageing production line, about as unique as a Michelin tyre but not half as interesting.

The demonstration and other stunts caused severe disruption to people trying to go about their daily lives, which the participants justified by saying everyone needs to be made aware of climate change. Several people complained the police just stood idly by and allowed public roads to be blocked, and asked whether Brexit demonstrators would be afforded the same courtesy. The answer of course is no, because Extinction Rebellion demonstrates in support of the establishment viewpoint whereas a Brexit protest would run in precisely the opposite direction. The police are hardly going to be ordered to beat up a bunch of floppy-haired teenagers who want the government to have more power, no matter how annoying they are. Extinction Rebellion’s actions are about as subversive as the May Day parades in the former Soviet Union.

In case we hadn’t been patronised by spoiled teenagers quite enough, British parliamentarians invited an odd-looking sixteen year old Swedish schoolgirl dressed up to look about ten to lecture us on how bad we are:

Teenage activist Greta Thunberg has described the UK’s response to climate change as “beyond absurd”.

In a speech to MPs, the Swedish 16-year-old criticised the UK for supporting new exploitation of fossil fuels and exaggerating cuts to carbon emissions.

She was invited to Westminster after inspiring the school climate strikes movement.

There’s a lot to say here, and I’ll say it.

Firstly, there’s a good reason why political campaigners have chosen an autistic child as their front: it makes people reluctant to criticise her. As the past couple of days have shown, anyone challenging her scripted nonsense is shouted down for being mean to a child with mental problems. Whoever put her up to this – and it seems to be her parents – ought to be ashamed of themselves. It is bordering on child abuse.

Secondly, any adult who takes their political lead from a sixteen year old ought to quit whatever they’re doing and seek help. Similarly, adults who find a teenager manipulated into regurgitating boilerplate climate hysteria “inspiring” are probably those who think their own brat’s spelling test results are newsworthy. Politicians are a little different in that they like her for the same reason they support Extinction Rebellion: she is arguing in favour of their being given more powers. Just as young Pavel Morozov‘s narcissism served the interests of Soviet politicians, so this child’s serves the interests of ours.

Thirdly, what she’s actually saying is emotive, irrational nonsense. The UK, and the west in general, has not “done nothing” about climate change, and her predictions for the future ought to have interested a child psychologist long before now. Not a single person has challenged her on this. And if leaving a ticking time bomb for children is a concern, how come her focus is not on the national debt? Realistically, what is likely to be the larger handicap we’re passing down to future generations: a one and a half degree temperature rise or tens of thousands of dollars in debt hung around the neck of every newborn baby? We’re stealing children’s futures all right, but not by driving cars.

Fourthly, her supporters say she is doing valuable work in raising awareness of climate change. They’ve offered the same excuse on behalf of Extinction Rebellion, only I can’t think of a single issue given more prominence in my lifetime. Every aspect of our society and culture, every corporation, every government, every event and every activity comes with some reference or other to climate change. It even has its own UN agency. It’s as ubiquitous as a state religion, and we are constantly lectured on the subject from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, seven days a week with no break even for Christmas. Saying British people need more awareness of climate change is like saying North Koreans need more awareness of the Kim family. We are plenty aware, we just don’t agree sweeping authoritarian socialism is the answer, and sticking teenagers in front of us who look as though they wandered off the set of Deliverance and got lost isn’t going to persuade us any.

Finally, this whole circus is merely a symptom of the political malaise which infests the UK and wider developed world. As with the treachery and incompetence over Brexit, I am reluctant to place the blame for Greta Thunberg’s being permitted to address parliament wholly on the politicians responsible for it; they are merely the representatives of a ruling class who are as incompetent as they are corrupt as they are immoral, backed by a section of the population born into circumstances which never required them to acquire self-awareness or make difficult decisions. This Swedish brat demanding we pay her attention and organise our nation’s affairs in a way which meets her approval is one thing. That our politicians, media, and substantial numbers of adults at large in our society see fit to accommodate her is something else. Serious countries would not involve teenagers in the setting of public policy, especially foreign ones. Serious countries would never find themselves even being asked to.

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Unbecoming

The Independent, perhaps forgetting it’s supposed to report news, runs an advertorial on behalf of Michelle Obama, the feminist icon who would be completely unknown were it not for her husband holding high office.

The former first lady juxtaposed the Donald Trump administration to Barack Obama’s presidency during a wide-ranging interview on Sunday to promote her autobiography Becoming in London, venting her frustrations at the president’s decision to radically overhaul her husband’s legacy.

There was a time when former presidents – and by implication, their wives – refrained from criticising their successors. Michelle Obama doesn’t only criticise the current president, but she goes on a world tour to do it, whining about her husband’s “legacy”. I’m not seeing a lot of that “class and grace” here.

Ms Obama took aim at the billionaire property developer in a series of jibes during which she did not mention him by name. “For anyone who had any problems with Barack Obama, let’s just think about what we were troubled by – there were never any indictments,” she told a crowd of around 15,000 at the O2.

Which is more a reflection on the African-style corruption your husband brought to the US Department of Justice and security services than his behaviour in office.

The Chicago native, who was interviewed by US late-night host Stephen Colbert, jokingly compared the US with Mr Trump in the White House to being a teenager.

I see. “When they go low, we go high” has become “I’ll go low to make some money.”

“We come from a broken family, we are a little unsettled,” Ms Obama said. “Sometimes you spend the weekend with divorced dad. That feels like fun but then you get sick. That is what America is going through. We are living with divorced dad.”

This is an interesting analogy, and I have an idea why she picked it. Barack Obama is a living, breathing, example of what happens to a boy when his dad walks out on the family. From the desperate hunting for an identity with different names and an ever-changing backstory to writing whole books about him in the hope of gaining approval, not to mention the pettiness of many of his actions in office, I think Michelle might be projecting just a little bit here.

Ms Obama, who has been married to the former president for 27 years, said her family’s life had been profoundly different before entering the White House – describing them as a “normal family” who had no time to “adjust to the rarified air of politics” when they arrived in Washington.

Which explains the entourage of taxpayer-funded servants and lackeys which made the global tours of Diana Ross look frugal by comparison.

“We were always ourselves – the presidency does not change who you are, it reveals who you are,” she added in what appeared to be another dig at the current president.

For a supposedly smart woman she’s really bad at commentary. Donald Trump hasn’t changed one jot since entering office: he was a jerk before and he’s a jerk now. Nobody who knew Trump while he was a household name for three decades has noticed any sea-change in character; indeed, the only thing which seems to change is his wife. Whereas what did Obama becoming president reveal about him? That for all his hopey-changey rhetoric he was miles out of his depth, unable to make the leap from community organiser to statesman and from campaigning to governing, leaving behind a country torn apart by identity politics.

“I don’t know if there has been a president who has been accused of not being born in this country? Who has been asked to show his transcripts? Who has been accused of being unpatriotic? There was a lot of stuff that had not happened before that happened to us.”

I don’t know if there has been an American president subject to a rearguard coup by the outgoing administration. Once again, this is more the type of thing you see in Africa. Did you write about that in your book, Michelle?

“For eight years, the president they saw in their country was Barack Obama. He was somebody who people thought was smart and would do the right thing.”

Yeah, and look what happened instead. Michelle Obama is living proof that the left really need cult leaders in their lives, telling them what they want to hear while painting a comforting alternate version of reality. It beats me why they ever stopped going to church.

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Sanctuary Blockers

One of the errors conservatives make is thinking pointing out the left’s hypocrisy will make them change their ways. They think if only we can really highlight how unprincipled they are, they’ll not be able to use the same arguments any more. Well, how’s that working out after thirty-plus years of trying?

Where Trump brings a breath of fresh air is in using his opponents’ hypocrisy as a weapon against them. This was a master stroke:

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Sunday the potential plan to transfer undocumented immigrants from border cities to “sanctuary cities” is “an option on the table,” though it’s not the administration’s first choice.

Sanctuary cities are Democrat-controlled cities whose administrations have decided they will refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials trying to deport illegal aliens from the United States. This is fully-consistent with the increasingly mainstream Democratic position of open borders, and is enacted and supported by liberals who believe undocumented migrants represent a net positive for the United States regardless of who they are and how many. So in order to solve the crisis on the border – which is in large part a result of Democrats’ refusal to secure it and instead encourage more people to cross over illegally – Trump announced he’d send all these migrants to the places where they’ll be most welcome: the lefty-run sanctuary cities.

“The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!” he tweeted, later in the day singling out California at an event discussing 5G technology. “They’re always saying they have open arms, let’s see if they have open arms.”

Let’s see indeed:

House Democrats are formally launching an investigation into the Trump administration’s consideration of a controversial proposal to send undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities.

The chairmen of the House Judiciary, Oversight and Homeland Security Committees have asked the White House and Department of Homeland Security for any communications concerning the potential transfer and release of immigrants detained at the southern border to various cities across the country.

Turns out they’re not keen.

“These reports are alarming. Not only does the Administration lack the legal authority to transfer detainees in this manner, it is shocking that the President and senior Administration officials are even considering manipulating release decisions for purely political reasons,” Reps. Jerry Nadler, Elijah Cummings, and Thompson wrote in a letter.

Of course, Trump has no intention of doing this, he’s just forcing the holier-than-though Democrats to publicly declare they don’t actually want the problem of illegal immigrants brought to their cities. I expect this will appeal more to his base than swing voters but the stunt appears to have turned at least one celebrity into a staunch Republican:


How indeed?

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Nigel’s Main Sell

I’ve said before that the British right need to get a lot smarter if they’re to claw back any of the territory they’ve lost to the left in the past couple of decades, which is pretty much all of it. A few days ago Nigel Farage launched his Brexit party with a speech which immediately triggered outrage among establishment politicians and their lackeys in the media.

This was predictable, and a sign that those opposed to Brexit will do anything to shut down the debate especially if it’s headed by someone like Farage with the knack of drawing a crowd and getting them to vote. One hopes that those running the Brexit party knew this would happen and planned for it. The correct response to the faux outrage is not to highlight the many instances of racism, antisemitism, and incitements to violence on the part of the left, but to reframe every conversation, question, and remark back towards Brexit. As soon as they start explaining they’re playing the left’s game, and they’re not going to win by painting them as hypocrites. That only works with people who have shame and principles, and Farage’s opponents have none of either.

Rather than react to the media, Farage needs to take a leaf from Trump’s book and make them chase him. This means avoiding interviews and appearing on panel shows. Let’s be honest, nobody watching the BBC, Sky News, or Channel 4 is ever going to see something that makes them vote for Farage, so he has nothing to gain by cooperating with them. He needs to understand he’s not leading a normal party, so he can’t expect to behave like he is. He should let the mainstream media run with their lies and smears, because this will serve the dual purpose of keeping his name in the headlines and making them look ridiculous. Again, Trump has shown how this can be done. Instead, Farage should take to social media and podcasts to speak to his supporters, who will quickly learn where they can find him.

Most importantly, he needs to have one policy and one policy only: leave the European Union with a wholly new withdrawal agreement or no deal at all. Absolutely everything else should be ignored until this single, pressing issue is delivered. In fact, if it were me I’d say the party will disband once Britain has left the EU. This would serve to quell the bickering which has already started between his new party and UKIP. Nobody cares what UKIP’s policies are outside of Brexit, so they should agree to join forces until after the UK has left. Of course they won’t, which leaves Brexiteers with no choice but to abandon UKIP completely. By banging on about Brexit 24/7 to the exclusion of everything else, Farage also protects himself from the slings and arrows the ruling classes will throw at him:

“Racist? Why no, we welcome Leavers of all backgrounds. It’s Remainers who lie to the electorate that we object to. Next!”

Farage must not play their game, if he does he’s toast. He’s a smart chap when it comes to politics and he’s spent time around Trump. It’ll be interesting to see what he’s learned since June 2016.

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Worm Eaton

A couple of days ago New Statesman published an interview between their deputy editor George Eaton and the conservative philosopher Roger Scruton. Here’s how Scruton approached the interview:

I recently gave an interview to the New Statesman, on the assumption that, as the magazine’s former wine critic I would be treated with respect, and that the journalist, George Eaton, was sincere in wanting to talk to me about my intellectual life.

Turns out it was a hit job. Eaton littered the piece with quotes stripped of context which portrayed Scruton as antisemitic, an Islamaphobe, and derogatory towards Chinese. For example, the New Statesman interview contains this paragraph:

Perhaps most remarkably, he commented of the rise of China: “They’re creating robots out of their own people… each Chinese person is a kind of replica of the next one and that is a very frightening thing.”

Scruton’s actual words were:

“They’re creating robots out of their own people by so constraining what can be done. Each Chinese person is a kind of replica of the next one and that is a very frightening thing.”

It is clear from the full quote that Scruton is talking about the Chinese political system and its demands for uniformity from the population. By removing the words in bold, Eaton makes it sound as though Scruton’s saying Chinese people are indistinguishable from one another. Eaton claims he removed the context for reasons of space, which tells you he doesn’t care much for his reputation, that of New Statesman, or journalism as a whole.

When the interview came out, Scruton served as  an adviser on a government architectural committee. For reasons that are scarcely fathomable even for an outfit so inept, unprincipled, and cowardly as the Conservative party, UK Communities Secretary James Brokenshire fired Scruton. A spokesman for the Prime Minister said his remarks were “deeply offensive, completely unacceptable and it’s right that he’s been dismissed”. Even half-sensible Tories stuck the boot in:


New Statesman is less of a news journal than a leftwing agitprop organ. They publish Laurie Penny, for goodness sake. What the hell the Tory party are even doing reading it, let alone letting it dictate who they fire, I don’t know. For his part, Eaton posted this on Twitter before later deleting it:

In other words, it was a deliberate hatchet job by a lefty hack and the Tory party, perhaps thinking their reputation for incompetence, treachery, and cretinism was not quite solid enough from Brexit, walked right into the trap laid for them. As Scruton responded in The Spectator and news reached the dolts in Tory HQ that the interview had been misleading, they removed one foot from their mouths and replaced it with another:


So the sacking of Scruton was a panicked, knee-jerk reaction based on left wing propaganda they didn’t bother verifying. And these are the sort of people who think they should be running the country.

There are a few points to make here. Firstly, it shows the incompetence and lack of principles we’ve seen over Brexit is not a one-off: it runs to the very core of the Conservative party. Like a lot of people these days, they’re more interested in pandering to the metropolitan middle classes and people who hate them than their core constituents. They are also woefully inept. If Britain is to revive its political fortunes, the Conservative party needs to be destroyed, the building razed, and the ground it stood on soaked with anthrax. There is nothing left to save, and nobody to redeem (except the one MP who reads my blog of course, because by doing so she’s proven she exposes herself only to the best ideas).

Secondly, journalists like to claim they are under attack more than ever before. They do so on the rather pompous presumption they are guardians of the truth who hold the powerful to account. I doubt journalists in the UK are in any greater danger than ironing-board vendors, but if I wanted to increase the online abuse and threats media figures receive, and diminish public sympathy if and when one gets smacked in the mouth by a disgruntled citizen, publishing a brazenly dishonest interview and quaffing champagne in celebration when the subject gets fired is how I’d go about it.

Thirdly, I don’t give a damn if Scruton’s words weren’t doctored. The idea that anyone slightly to the right should be hounded from his position for holding opinions which don’t conform to the ever-shifting standard set by lunatics in university social science departments needs to be resisted, and hard. This is especially true when those on the left – even those in positions of substantial power – frequently engage in open racism, antisemitism, and misandry to rapturous applause from their followers. As I’ve said before, if the right are going to join the left in condemning their own every time they utter an unapproved opinion, they’re part of the problem. If the right can’t support Scruton now, regardless of what he said or didn’t say, could they at least have the decency not to complain during the next decade or two of cultural Marxist domination?

And maybe now’s not the best time to talk about principles either, Johnny:


Now where did I put my Gallic shrug?

UPDATE

Keep digging, Johnny:

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Omar Badly

She’s at it again:


Stephen Miller happens to be Jewish, but that matters little to the Somali congresswoman: he’s still a white nationalist.

The alt-right barely exists outside of 4chan and Gab these days, but its members never went away nor did their concerns. A little closer to the political centre are those who call themselves the dissident right, and closer again are a large number of conservatives and right wingers who’ve spent a decade or two looking for a political home. The fact all these people voted for Trump shows they weren’t too fussy about who took charge provided it wasn’t another production-line politician like Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush.

Something someone said recently was that any new political movement on the right must have a positive message; it can’t just be a laundry list of complaints. The way identity politics is shaping the political landscape in America, particularly how being openly racist is perfectly acceptable for certain groups, it’s a matter of time before someone competent joins the dots and makes white nationalism the rallying call for those on the right who feel disenfranchised. This won’t happen for a while because attitudes in America aren’t quite ready for that yet, but the ground is being prepared and it’s being done so by the left.

For a start, the epithet of white nationalism is fast losing its association with prison gangs and cranks thanks to Ilhar Oman and her chums using it to describe normal people on an everyday basis. We also know that people are used to being told they voted for white nationalism because that’s all they’ve heard since Trump was elected. We know the left and the media will scream blue murder if a candidate runs on a white nationalist platform, but they do that if a Republican runs on a moderate platform. We know the political establishment will mount a coup against any such candidate because they already tried that with Trump. If America’s ruling classes are going to have a meltdown and denounce every mildly right wing candidate as a white nationalist, what defences do they have against a real white nationalist? Are they even going to be able to tell the difference?

America has been fortunate so far that white nationalists have tended to be grossly incompetent. This is because there’s been no future in subscribing to it, it’s a dead-end losers’ game. But if Somalis in headscarves are going to spend their time denouncing white people from congress, while at the same time you have a tens of millions of disenfranchised right wingers who happen to be white, an avenue of opportunity might open up. And then instead of the bunglers some competent people arrive on the scene who’ve carefully observed how the ruling classes behave, know how to evade their counterattacks, and form a movement which suddenly becomes too big to shut down. And then the fun really begins.

The Democratic primaries and 2020 presidential election are going to be interesting in this regard. I expect both will become a battle of escalating identity politics where straight, white, men are insulted, abused, and denounced for being all three. Not only has America been fortunate that white nationalists have been incompetent, but also that white Americans don’t see themselves as defined by their skin colour. The left are pushing them harder and harder to do so. Personally I don’t think it’s a hard sell especially in current economic and demographic conditions, and once that seed is planted the promotional material and campaigns write themselves. Would white Americans rather be ruled by white nationalists or Somalis in headscarves who hate them? If things carry on like this, that will be the choice inside many people’s heads.

Ilhar Omar might end up only serving one term in congress, but she could influence American politics to a degree disproportionate to both her position and intellect. Serious countries would never have let things even get this far.

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Paddy Feelz

I found this article illuminating:

The stampede for Irish passports since the UK voted to leave the EU has been widely interpreted as an effort by Britons to avoid hassle at airports. Produce proof of an Irish granny and voilà, no matter what happens with Brexit, you have a burgundy passport and can travel freely throughout the EU.

Applications for Irish passports have risen to record levels, with almost 250,000 requests since January, a 30% increase from the same period last year, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Of the 860,000 Irish passports issued last year, about 200,000 applications came from the UK.

The vast majority of those 200,000 British people applying for Irish passports haven’t the slightest interest in Ireland; they simply want the convenience of an EU passport. There was a time when citizenship actually meant something, and if you speak to Irish nationalists they insist it still does – although only in the very narrow sense of not being British. But now Irish citizenship is becoming something akin to a flag of convenience in the shipping world whereby the holder knows nothing about the country and cares even less. But whereas flags of convenience were sold as revenue-raisers by tax havens or failed states, Ireland seems almost proud to be handing out passports to those fleeing the horrors of non-Brexit Britain.

I supposed we shouldn’t be too surprised. Ireland sold its culture to corporations decades ago, proliferating around the world one fake pub with tin-whistle band at a time. I wrote about this here:

It’s interesting to note how St. Patrick’s day has become a meaningless excuse to get hammered while displaying just about every ignorant stereotype about Irish people you can imagine.

From what I can see, Ireland is fast becoming a meaningless blob of woke multiculturalism and supplicant internationalism with a fake green tinge. Their economy is based on giant foreign corporations paying little tax, and their prime minister is a gay man of Indian extraction. Their most important political decision in a generation, the lifting of the ban on abortions, had them throwing street parties. Not that there’s anything wrong with those per se –  it’s up to the Irish how they run their affairs – but it does indicate they’ve abandoned conservatism and gone full-on liberal in the American sense. I’m not convinced this is a path to success, longevity, and happiness for any society.

What’s ironic is the Irish hate the English, particularly the London-based elites who look down their noses at everyone else. They complain the media reports clumsily on Ireland, except for the BBC who still think it’s part of Britain. Most of all, they detest the arrogant political classes who ride roughshod over ordinary people and are never held accountable for their actions. Which is fine, but they’ve now added Brexit to their list of gripes, as if it were the Westminster ruling classes who voted Leave and the ex-miners in the provinces who voted Remain. It’s an odd thing to hate the English elites for Brexit when it is they who’ve done all they can to scupper it. Indeed, the way things are going Theresa May might well turn out to be the most pro-Irish British prime minister in history.

This contradiction is illustrated further in the examples The Guardian uses of Brits who are looking to flee non-Brexit and settle in Ireland:

“I’m building up to be an Irish citizen, that’s the long-term goal,” said Keith Donaldson, 37, an office manager from Jarrow in north-east England who moved to Dublin last year.

He has no Irish lineage but can apply for naturalisation after five years’ residency. “Some things you can’t do unless you’re a citizen,” Donaldson said. “I’ve started getting involved in various political groups. It’s about contributing, being a member of Irish society. I identify myself as being a Brexit refugee.”

Remarkably, the Irish seem happy to welcome Englishmen whose views are indistinguishable from those of the Westminster elites to come and meddle in their politics before he’s even got citizenship. This is quite some shift in attitudes.

“Moving here gave me the possibility to be here long enough and apply for citizenship. I have to be here for five out of nine years,” said Alexandre de Menezes, 39, a dual British-Brazilian national who teaches soil microbiology at National University of Ireland Galway. “Being half British was always important to my identity, but Brexit took some of the shine away.”

So he was already in Ireland.

Kate Ryan, 40, a food writer from Bristol, married an Irish man and lived in Clonakilty, County Cork, for more than a decade without thinking much about nationality. Then came the referendum.

“It was always in the back of my mind that I would go for citizenship, but Brexit has forced my hand,” she said. This week, Ryan lodged an application for naturalisation. In the absence of Irish lineage, it entailed reams of paperwork and will cost about €1,500 (£1,285). “I decided to crack on and get this thing done.”

This is a paperwork exercise which she probably should have done anyway.

Ryan is proud of her British heritage and regularly visits her parents – who voted for Brexit – in Wales. But she feels European. Becoming Irish would underline that identity: “I see it as an opportunity to redefine who I am and my place in the world.”

So she wants to become an Irish citizen in order that she identifies with something else, and her place in the world is defined by the paperwork she holds. Being a member of a modern, western society seems to have a lot to do with worshiping political institutions and little to do with shared history and culture.

Mike Clarke, who recently left Brighton to take up a post as director of campus infrastructure at Trinity College Dublin, envisages putting down roots. “I plan to stay in Ireland as long as I can. UK plc will take an awful long time to heal,” he said.

Clarke, who grew up in Croydon, south London, has an Irish grandparent, so has a smooth path to citizenship. “I’m a very proud Englishman and British citizen. But I think of myself as European,” he said.

I’m a very proud Englishman and British citizen but I’ll become Irish via bureaucratic fiat because I think of myself as European. Personally I have no problem with Ireland inviting in people who want to dine at the smorgasbord of multicultural identity, I’m just not sure their society will be strengthened by their doing so.

Bill Foster, the managing director of the Irish division of the immigration consultancy Fragomen, said he probably would not stay long enough to obtain citizenship. But for now, he is glad to have swapped London for Dublin.

“There’s a feeling here that we want to move forward and not hanker back to the past. Living here has made me feel more European in many ways,” he said.

I find it hard to believe he found London a hotbed of English nationalist Brexiteers, so what I think what he’s saying is, having moved from London to Dublin, he’s noticed he’s now living among a lot more Europeans.

What’s obvious from all this is the Irish professional classes have a lot more in common with the English professional classes than they think, and the Irish ruling classes aren’t a whole lot different from those who are squatting in Westminster. It’s only the fault lines of history that are preventing them seeing where the real divides are.

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The friend of my friend is my enemy

So while you have fake conservatives making sure nobody to the right of Tony Blair or George W. Bush can gain traction anywhere without being branded a racist and blocked from social media, the right also has another problem and that is an inability to pick its battles. Julia Hartley-Brewer is one of the leading advocates for Brexit, she rails against political correctness and argues in favour of free speech, and believes Britain’s immigration system needs a radical overhaul. All good, right?

Actually, no. Yesterday some hack in America posted on Twitter a short clip of a Trump speech in which he called asylum-seekers “animals”. Only Trump was specifically referring to MS-13 when he used that word, and the video had been edited to obscure that fact and the “asylum seekers” bit added by the hack. It was also not new; it dated back to May 2018 when the left pulled the same trick. In other words it was straight-up fake news. Here’s how Julia Hartley-Brewer responded:


When people called her out on it, she doubled down:


Actually, Trump doesn’t go around calling people animals. This is yet more fake news, but it’s also a sign of something more worrying, especially if you’re conservative. If you are pro-Brexit, anti-PC, and want stronger immigration policies I’d have thought Trump’s your man – especially if he’s specifically talking about keeping unspeakably violent criminals out of the country. If Britain does exit the EU, who do they think their biggest ally’s going to be? Who is their main target for a trade deal? Brexiteers should be doing everything they can to get Trump interested in their cause, and they should be thanking their lucky stars someone naturally sympathetic to them is in the White House instead of a wet globalist like Obama who detests Britain and loves the EU.

I’m going to be charitable and assume Hartley-Brewer is genuinely conservative and isn’t just saying this stuff to ensure the London liberal set keep inviting her to dinner parties, but what I’m going to say isn’t much better: she’s simply not very bright when it comes to politics. If conservatives and right wingers want any chance of clawing back lost ground in the culture war, they’re going to have to be an awful lot smarter than this. Firstly, that means being fully focussed on what you want. If Brexit is your priority, concentrate on that, and don’t concern yourself with matters unrelated to the task at hand. Otherwise there’s a good chance you’ll inadvertently strengthen your enemies and undermine your own cause. What did Hartley-Brewer expect to achieve by joining the left in bashing Trump? There’s simply no upside here, only downsides. And it’s not like Trump doesn’t use Twitter and has no idea who’s saying what. She’s blundered straight into a bear trap set by her enemies. If this were a real war, she’d be written off as a liability. Now I’m not saying Brexiteers and conservatives should agree with Trump or even like the man. But there is an option to, you know, just shut the f*** up. You don’t actually have to comment on everything; sometimes silence works wonders. If you don’t learn to pick your battles, don’t expect to win any.

Secondly, conservatives need to recognise who their true allies are. Churchill didn’t like Stalin very much, but realised he needed him to defeat Nazi Germany. There’s plenty of time for drawing up principles once the war is won, but while it’s ongoing you do whatever’s necessary to win. If British conservatives can’t stomach Trump as an ally, they’ve already lost (again). As I’ve said before, there are things to dislike about Tommy Robinson but if British conservatives find themselves unable to throw their weight behind him when he’s being hounded by the government for speaking his mind about immigration, they ought to get ready for another few decades of cultural Marxist domination. They also need to jettison the fake conservatives and those who lack the stomach for the fight. The sort of wet conservatives who appear in the mainstream media or in Parliament can be likened to America’s supposed allies in their mission to Afghanistan: the German military wouldn’t go out at night, the French complained the country was unsafe, and the Norwegians said they’d provide a medical tent. Only the English-speaking countries – the UK, Canada, and Australia – were prepared to get stuck in, kill some folk, and take casualties of their own. The rest are free-riders waiting to step in and take charge once the enemy is defeated, or simply carp from the sidelines.

If the culture wars were a boxing match, the referee would have stopped the fight years ago. Conservative fortunes won’t improve until they acknowledge this and change their approach entirely. They need to fight smarter. This means focusing on the handful of things they really want, seeking allies who want the same things, and getting rid of the grifters and hangers-on. Above all, it means shutting the f*** up for most of the time.

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