British Politics

Anything to Stop Brexit: Churlish Attacks on a Noble Book

Jacob Rees-Mogg, The Victorians ( W.H.Allen, 2019)

The author of this 440-page study of twelve “Titans who forged Britain” is a well-known right-wing conservative statesman, currently Leader of the House of Commons in the Boris Johnson Conservative government in the United Kingdom. Noted for his very traditional manner of self-presentation and his strong support for Brexit, Rees-Mogg was educated at Eton College and then read History at Trinity College, Oxford, after which he proceeded to a very successful career in finance before taking up his parliamentary career. He is a Catholic with six children and hails from Somerset in south-west England. The publication of this book was timed to coincide with the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria.

Upon its appearance in May it was greeted with extraordinary hostility in some quarters. Dominic Sandbook described it as abysmal and soul-destroying. Writing in The Sunday Times he stated: “The book is terrible, so bad, so boring, so mind-bogglingly banal that if it had been written by anyone else it would never have been published.” In The Observer Kim Wagner wrote: “The book really belongs in the celebrity autobiography section of the bookstore. At best it can be seen as a curious artefact of the kind of sentimental jingoism and empire-nostalgia currently afflicting our country.” He called it “a sentimental vision of the past as the author wishes it had been,” resembling a series of “half-remembered anecdotes from a Boy’s Own story, or perhaps tales told by his nanny.”

In The Guardian Andrew Rawnsley commented that, while Rees-Mogg “claims an ambition to restore the reputation of this vivid period of history, all he achieves with this awful book is to make a shipwreck of his own pretensions as they are repeatedly dashed on the rocks of his incoherent thoughts before sinking under the dead weight of his lifeless language. … The only purpose of this dreadful pulp is to demonstrate why Britain’s past is no more safe in Jacob Rees-Mogg’s hands than its future.” A. N. Wilson in The Times wrote that the author’s effort was “anathema to anyone with an ounce of historical, or simply common, sense” and described the book as “a dozen clumsily written pompous schoolboy compositions” which amounted to “yet another bit of self-promotion by a highly motivated modern politician.” Also in The Guardian Kathryn Hughes commented: “In Parliament, Rees-Mogg is often referred to as ‘the honourable member for the 18th Century’, a nod to those funny clothes he wears, along with pretending not to know the name of any modern pop songs. What a shame, then, that he has not absorbed any of the intellectual and creative elegance that flourished during that period.” Simon Heffer in The Telegraph opined: “I find it hard to believe Rees-Mogg actually wrote this book or, if someone wrote it for him, allowed it to be published under his name. It is a complete turkey. … Parts of this appear to have been written by a baboon.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg 

Probably the most devastating assault of all came from master historian Richard J. Evans, famous ever since his role in the High Court defeat of David Irving’s defamation case against Deborah Lipstadt. In NewStatesmanAmerica he wrote: “To say that this is a selective reading of Victorian attitudes would be an understatement of huge proportions. … This is the view from inside the Westminster bubble. …The working class is entirely absent from this book, except as an object of upper-class philanthropy and the benevolence of politicians. … Rees Mogg’s perceptions are myopically rooted in the past. … The Victorians is written … in a plodding, laborious and barely readable style, completely lacking in humour, sophistication or polish as well as in every other literary quality. … The accolades distributed to Rees-Mogg’s subjects are framed in clichés that no half-way intelligent or discerning writer would dream of handing out. … Patriotic, enthusiastic and celebratory, The Victorians is the kind of history that Michael Gove, as education secretary, wanted to be promoted in the national history curriculum for schools, until he was forced to withdraw his proposals after a deluge of criticism and ridicule from the entire history profession. … This kind of colonial nostalgia exerts a baleful influence over the minds of Brexiteers today, who view the prospect of a ‘global Britain’, illusory though it is, as a kind of resurrection of the imperial glories of the Victorian era. … Rees-Mogg picks out of his source material only those aspects of his subjects’ lives that help him grind his political axe. … The Victorians is hopelessly inadequate as history, but it’s also too badly written, too pompous and too cliché-ridden in every sense to serve its real purpose as providing any kind of historical justification for Brexit. What’s most striking about the book is its naivety and simple-mindedness – qualities shared by the Brexiteers in full measure as they declare that nothing could be easier than leaving the EU.”

It is plain that this book has been met in many influential quarters with that “unmeasured vituperation” that John Stuart Mill noted of some political writing in his own time. The sort of malicious invective and sweeping exaggerations listed above clearly do much to de-authorise the writers’ attempted demolition, even if some of their observations may be true and some of their judgments may have merit. It’s time to consider the text itself to see what the real truth about it is. Read more

Brexit: The Banality of Treason

“We have no real democracy at the present time, because again and again the people have voted for decisive action, yet again and again their will has been thwarted by obstruction in the talking shop at Westminster. Democracy only begins when the will of the people is carried out.”
Sir Oswald Mosley, 1931

One of my all-time favourite fictional stories about the nature of political belief is Flannery O’Connor’s The Barber, published in 1948. This remarkable short story, written when O’Connor was just 20 years old, follows a number of interactions in the life of George Rayber, a college professor who decides to visit a new barber just prior to a governor’s election. Rayber is a typical liberal, blindly convinced of his progressive beliefs and his own intellectual powers. In contrast to Rayber, the Barber and his other customers are supporters of the racial status quo. As Rayber sits for a shave, and discussion moves to the election, the interaction between college professor and barber becomes a masterful allegory for competing political philosophies and behaviors. Rayber finds himself arguing with an audience that is grounded in reality, immune to abstraction, and who seem to understand the economic interests he has in the election better than he does. It is the Barber who repeatedly reminds the conceited, and self-deceiving, college professor to really “think” and to use his “horse sense” rather than blindly follow progressive fantasies and intellectual fashions. Rayber, incensed by the reactionary views of the Barber, is nevertheless unable to offer an articulate, factual rebuttal, sitting mute and angry. Frustrated and embarrassed by someone he sees as an ignorant bigot, he then neurotically spends the night writing a “systematic analysis” for why voting for his candidate is a good idea, and plans to confront the Barber with it before the election. The story reaches a climax when Rayber finally gives his impromptu lecture in the barbershop, is greeted with laughter and derision, and subsequently lashes out by punching the Barber — confirming, with his violent loss of self-control, his own ideological, intellectual and personal defeat.

Although it’s been noted by biographers that she enjoyed “racist jokes,” O’Connor was politically ambiguous and her precise intentions in this story went with her to the grave when she died of lupus aged 39. In this case, however, I subscribe to the school of formalist criticism in that I see The Barber as possessing a life and existence beyond its author and her intentions. Regardless of what O’Connor intended, or how other critics have interpreted it, the story remains one of the most profound and succinct fictional portrayals of modern left-liberalism. We know, for instance, from several scientific studies that although leftists believe themselves to be agents of rationality they are in fact more likely than Rightists to be swayed by emotion.[1] They are also prone to weaker levels of emotional regulation and to “extreme acts of solidarity … with groups to which they do not belong originally.” The ongoing tragicomic presence of Antifa, recently filmed screaming “Nazi” at a milquetoast female conservative approaching her eighties, and the growing culture of censorship, are surely proof that the spirit of George Rayber is alive and well. The Left continues to evade debate, forfeiting argument in order to punch the “ignorant” in the smug belief that the Left, and the Left alone, are both intellectually and morally correct. Read more

Labour’s Fictitious Anti-Semitism Problem

A supposed problem

According to much of the British media, Labour has had an ‘anti-Semitism problem’ since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015. The more impartial headlines call it a controversy or a set of claims. Corbyn critics speak of a crisis while his supporters complain of a witch-hunt.

As with any claim of anti-Semitism, the accusers refer to one or both of two things: that the party is racist towards some or all Jews, or that it is critical of Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, in ways that it would not be of any other country.

Why use that term?

For Labour to be racist toward Jews would be strange. One would think that such a tendency would alienate the Jews deeply embedded and strongly over-represented within Corbyn’s Labour. Three of the four founders of the Corbyn-backing Momentum organisation — John Lansmann (no stranger to denouncing people for racism), Adam Klug and James Schneider — are Jewish, as are prominent Corbynist activists like Max Shanly. Several organisations supporting Labour, especially since Corbyn became leader, are Jewish, such as Jewish Voice for Labour and Jewdas. None of these, nor any of the many signatories to public letters supporting Corbyn against his critics, seem to have found any troubling signs that they are in fact supporting a party that quietly despises them and all their kind, whether defined by faith, ancestry or anything else. Several Jewish leftists, not unconcerned with racism against their own group, have examined the claims in good faith and at great length and found no particular problem in Labour [1]. Soon after the controversy first ‘erupted’ (though we can fairly doubt its spontaneity) following a re-tweet by Labour MP Naz Shah in 2016, Jamie Stern-Weiner wrote an article exhaustively demonstrating the alacrity with which the party excluded those who showed actual racial antipathy [2].

Nor is Labour’s opposition to Israel based on the country’s Jewishness. In a book claiming to explain ‘The Left’s Jewish Problem’ but actually almost entirely concerned with leftist opposition to the Israeli state, Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust showed clearly enough why leftists like Corbyn oppose Israel — because they see it as an outpost of Western imperialism and capitalism which oppresses, displaces and kills Palestinian Arabs who, until the last century, had dominated the region for centuries. The leftist position is consistent with their worldview, and that worldview is not founded on racial hatred.

If they were only referring to racism against Jews, opponents of anti-Semitism would use a more rational term like Judeophobia or anti-Jewishness. But those who defend Israel know that they are defending actions which they would reject if carried out by other, genuinely Western states and thus find it politically useful to use one term, ‘anti-Semitism’, which enables them to conflate criticism of the state with attacks on the people it claims to represent. [3] Read more

The Value of Victimhood: Liverpool, Labour and Lucky Luciana Berger

The English port of Liverpool is famous for three things: soccer, music and violence. Historically it falls within the boundaries of Lancashire, but culturally it has never fitted there. It’s always been too self-assertive and idiosyncratic, so much its own place that its inhabitants go by two names. Formally, they’re Liverpudlians; informally, they’re Scousers.

Militant parasites

As the media clichés have it, Scousers are fiercely proud of their city and fiercely tribal in their politics. And their politics have always been left-wing — sometimes very left-wing. When George Orwell talked about “Irish dock-labourer[s] in the slums of Liverpool” in The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), he said that you can “see the crucifix on the wall and the Daily Worker on the table.” The Daily Worker was the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Great Britain (now the paper is called The Morning Star). In the 1980s, Liverpool was the home of a Trotskyist group called the Militant Tendency, or Militant for short, which tried to infiltrate the Labour party and use Labour’s far greater power and prestige for revolutionary ends.

In biological terms, as I suggested in “Verbal Venom,” Militant were a tiny parasite trying to subvert the nervous system of Labour and divert Labour’s resources to their own use. If Militant activists had stood openly as Trotskyists, they had no chance of winning elections and entering local councils or parliament. Wearing a Labour mask, they could win elections and enter power. And that’s exactly what they did in Liverpool, where they won control of the city council. But their parasitic infiltration of the wider party failed: Labour woke to the threat and fought off Militant’s entryism, as this Trotskyist tactic is called. Read more

Populism in the Liberal Mind: A Review of Brexit: The Uncivil War

I recently had the opportunity to watch Channel 4’s made-for-TV movie The Uncivil War, which recreates the story of the June 2016 British referendum on withdrawal from the European Union, commonly known as “Brexit.” Personally, I am not a fan of biopics and docudramas covering very recent history. More time needs to pass before we can get the perspective necessary to judge events. In the case of this film, the storytelling is very much distorted by the contemporary manias of the liberal mind. That is instructive in itself.

The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Dr. Strange . . .) as Dominic Cummins, the chairman of the official Leave Campaign. Cummins is portrayed as brilliant, irascible, and indeed intellectual (he’s spent all spring reading Thucydides and Tolstoy, we are told with no subtlety). He’s a maverick, who would flourish if only the suits would let him play by his own rules, a typical TV trope. Cummins is too smart, too ahead of the curve for the old-fashioned British politicians to understand. He’ll have to impose his online campaign strategy by hook or by crook. And he did so, with great success. We are never shown Cummins’ motivations in leading the charge for Brexit. He comes across as largely amoral.

As depicted in the film, Cummins’ main strategic decisions are twofold. First, the rejection of any collaboration with Nigel Farage and UKIP. For you and me, Farage may be a funny bloke to watch on TV, but he and UKIP are a pretty thin gruel indeed. Hovever, for the writers of Uncivil War, these folks are already beyond the pale. They are no more than unscrupulous troglodytes. In particular UKIP financier Arron Banks, played by Lee Boardman, is portrayed as gratuitously vicious and petty. Second, a ban on explicit discussion of immigration by the Leave Campaign. Instead, Leave would emphasize the EU’s cost to the UK (allegedly £350 million per week) and potential Turkish membership of the EU. (That’s a good dog whistle, since Turkey is, ridiculously, an official candidate country to join the EU, although is unlikely to join for the foreseeable future.) These two strategic decisions tell you how policed things are in mainstream UK politics. Read more

A Tartan Tyranny: Censorship and Silence in the Virtue-Signalling Scottish Police State

Race isn’t a social construct, but here’s something that is: the so-called United Kingdom. In fact, it’s precisely because race exists that the U.K. is a construct rather than a nation. The native Whites of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are genetically distinct, which is why those regions are all genuine nations (ultimately from Latin nasci, “to be born”). If I travel from England to Scotland or Wales, I feel as though I’m going to a different country.

Concept vs Reality

That’s because I am going to a different country. And I like the feeling. I fully support the concept of Scottish and Welsh independence. For example, I would be delighted to see an independent Wales where the Welsh language and Welshness were re-born and re-invigorated. An independent Scotland would be more complicated and perhaps there should be two of them, split between the Gaelic-speaking Highlands and the Scots-speaking Lowlands.

But I chose my words carefully: I fully support the concept of Scottish and Welsh independence, but I utterly oppose what would be the modern reality. If Scotland and Wales won independence in the near future, they would be run by traitorous left-wing governments and would open their borders to the Third World. That’s already happened in independent southern Ireland, where the Jewish immigration minister Alan Shatter welcomed in many thousands of Blacks and Muslims. Their low average IQs and high average criminality are now inflicting serious harm on Ireland, as the hate-blogger Irish Savant has often documented.

A Scottish shabbos goy

Alan Shatter will one day, I hope, be put on trial for crimes against the Irish people. But Shatter couldn’t be charged with treason, because he was never Irish in the first place. He was always loyal to his own Jewish race and its interests. However, someone who can be charged with treason is the Scottish shabbos goy Tony Blair, who came to power with Jewish money and diligently served Jewish interests throughout his time as prime minister. Blair’s thuggish and Machiavellian press-secretary Alastair Campbell told the Jewish Chronicle that Blair “was conscious of the need to have very, very good relations” with “the Jewish community.” That “community” is small in numbers but gigantic in power, influence and wealth. In fact, you could define Blair’s New Labour party as an alliance between hostile Jews and renegade Scots against England and English traditions.

One English tradition that Jews like Peter Mandelson and Scots like Tony Blair wanted to destroy was the tradition of free speech. Authoritarianism and collectivism are stronger north of the border, where Christianity took a much sterner and stricter form after the fall of Catholicism. Although the Church of England burnt and beheaded enthusiastically in its early days, it became a mild and tolerant institution known for its fence-sitting and equivocation, not for hell-fire sermons and heresy-hunting. Calvinistic Scottish Protestantism was quite different and it’s unsurprising that Scotland witnessed “the last mass execution for witchcraft in western Europe.”

A curse on the Campbells

Scottish politicians like Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and John Reid brought those authoritarian traditions south to London to meet the authoritarian traditions of Jews like Lord Levy, Peter Mandelson and David Miliband. But the dim and narcissistic Blair was a front-man in New Labour, not a genuine leader. He followed orders from much more intelligent and forceful men like Lord Levy, who funded him, and Alastair Campbell, who oversaw his propaganda and choreographed his acting. Campbell was born in England but is ethnically Scottish and remained true to the clan whose name he bears. Historically, the Campbells are notorious in Scotland for their treachery in the Massacre of Glencoe against the Clan MacDonald. Alastair Campbell became notorious in England for his Machiavellian ways and was central to the lies and deceit that took Britain into the Iraq War.

The Machiavellian Alastair Campbell

Nowadays Campbell is central to the campaign to nullify or reverse Brexit, which Scotland didn’t vote for and which the Scottish “First Minister” Nicola Sturgeon strongly opposes. Sturgeon leads the collectivist and authoritarian Scottish National Party (SNP), but the “independence” planned by the Scots Nats would be a thoroughly Orwellian affair. They want to take Scotland out of the United Kingdom so that it can come more firmly under the rule of the European Union (EU). Read more

Poison for the Goyim: More Hysteria and Hyperbole about Labour Anti-Semitism

Jeremy Corbyn has a beard. So has Jonathan Sacks. But this shared philopogony hasn’t brought the two men closer together. Sacks is the former Chief Rabbi of Britain and, to be fair, I think we would be better off if more Jews were like him. He doesn’t seem to hate Whites and the Christian religion in the way so many of his co-ethnics do.

Battle of the Beards

But that doesn’t mean Sacks is a reasonable or objective man where his own race is concerned. He can be ethnocentric and apply double standards with the best of them, as he’s just proved by his comments on his fellow beardie:

Jeremy Corbyn is “an anti-Semite” who has “given support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate”, the former chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks has said. In an exclusive interview with the New Statesman, the peer described Corbyn’s recently reported 2013 remarks on “Zionists” as “the most offensive statement made by a senior British politician since Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech”.

Sacks, who was chief rabbi from 1991 until 2013, added: “It was divisive, hateful and like Powell’s speech it undermines the existence of an entire group of British citizens by depicting them as essentially alien.”

At a speech made at the Palestinian Return Centre in London in 2013, Corbyn said of a group of British “Zionists”: “They clearly have two problems. One is they don’t want to study history and, secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.” (Corbyn’s “Zionist” remarks were “most offensive” since Enoch Powell, says ex-chief rabbi, The New Statesman, 28th August 2018)

Jonathan Sacks is given an award by the war-criminal Tony Blair

Enoch Powell predicted that mass immigration would lead to race war. Jeremy Corbyn said that some Zionists don’t get “English irony.” Whether or not you agree with Powell, is it reasonable to compare the words of the two men? Are they “hateful” and “divisive” in a similar way? I’d say no, they’re obviously not, and the vast majority of British Whites probably agree with me.

Sacks doesn’t agree with me, and he has the Community with him, according to the Jewish Chronicle: “Reform Rabbi Jonathan Romain of Maidenhead Synagogue said that, while the Enoch Powell analogy may have shocked people, ‘it accurately reflected what most British Jews feel.’” Read more