Sweet Sixteen

As soon as the General Election was called, there was a clamour from the Left for sixteen year old kids to be given a vote.
They seem not to realise that by calling for those who are still legally children to be granted the most solemn honour a democracy can bestow, they automatically brand themselves as being unfit for purpose in the eyes of adults. After all, what use in the real world are policies which only appeal to children?

A desire to side-line the mature and dominate the immature is the hallmark of every despot from Pol Pot to Hitler, of course, but in the case of British parties there is a cloying, creeping, damp-hand-on-the-knee unpleasantness – aside from political expediency – about their insistence that older children should vote simply because they don’t look markedly different from young adults: like dirty old men who excuse their fevered drooling by claiming that fourteen-year-old girls look sixteen.

However deliciously fresh and appealing all those unblemished young minds may appear to politicians, however inviting their green, sappy purity, and however powerful the urge of the corrupt, fringe politician to force his or her agenda upon them, sixteen and seventeen year olds must be kept safe from those jaded clutches as rigorously as we guard our children from being violated by other predators.

Oh, these politicians wring their hands and say the future belongs to the young and the young must therefore control it; and they say this with such carefully stage-managed passion. Their argument is nonsense: where does it end? By their reasoning, a five-year-old has more right to vote than a sixteen-year-old, a foetus more than a five-year-old. This argument is the sort of cynical attempt at manipulation which only a sixteen-year-old would fall for – which is precisely why sixteen-year-olds should be kept out of polling booths.

To be sixteen at its best has a unique, unforgettable magic.  A sixteen-year-old has only been tested in the controlled environments of home and school, and can superficially appear immensely self-assured and opinionated.  At sixteen, all things seem possible, and most things are: but there is always the fall-back of ultimate parental veto, the get-out clause of being under-age.

To name but one thing, a sixteen-year-old can fall in love, and legally have sex – but cannot legally marry without parental permission.  So, First Love, with all its soaring joy and blinding anguish, can still be filed under Nostalgia, rather than as a divorce statistic.

To be sixteen years old is to be an adult in a child’s world: you are top of the ladder, and know how to manage that world.  At home, you regard efforts at order and hygiene with condescension: you wouldn’t do things that way, and you could easily pay to have your own place – you’ve got a Saturday job, you just need to do the same stuff you do there, five times as often.

On the world stage, you know exactly what should be done, when, and in what way, and – without the benefit of humbling experience – can espouse some quite hideous or ludicrous ideas, ranging from the dangerously idiotic quasi-Communism called “Green” politics favoured by Natalie Bennett, to the desire to have everyone over the age of thirty-five euthanised and institute a dictatorship of the hormonally-challenged which would leave Artur Axman looking like a Quaker.  And so, two years pass and you become eighteen.

To be eighteen years old is to be a child in an adult world: you have served the first weeks of an apprenticeship of life, and it’s been a long while since anyone spoke more softly to you because of your tender years, or spent time in a careers office in a familiar school building, discussing ways in which you would prefer to grace the commercial world with your presence.

If you are still studying, then the practical outcomes are discussed as well as your whims. If you are working, you are the dogsbody, bottom of the food chain. At home, more and more, you are aware that displays of temperament could lead to the need to pay your own way, and the idea of doing that Saturday job day in, day out, and living in the kind of place it would finance, makes your toes curl with fear.  There’s no magic in being eighteen – there is instead a shattering of illusions which you are as yet too young to know will eventually regrow as genuine ideals.

Only then can you even begin to imagine what consequences your vote may have, and how a party’s policies may play out. Only then have you earned that hard-won right to stand as an equal of any man and woman in a polling-booth and make a mark on paper which will decide the fate of millions. Wait your turn, and see how you feel then, about that privilege being given to your immature baby brother and sister.

Welcome Princess Sparkle

Trying to avoid election news, I found myself reading about something which has been in the headlines for several months now: I mean, the possible engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

I am a convinced monarchist – not because I think they “give value for money” (I doubt it) or “work incredibly hard” (I doubt that too) – but because they are simply irreplaceable.  Every nation needs a timeless manifestation of identity and heritage, and we have the best there is.  If we didn’t have the Royal family, we’d have to make them up, as Americans do Uncle Sam, or the French, Marianne.

The Royal family – born to a position they didn’t choose as we all are, playing the hand they were dealt as best they can as we all do,  – therefore, on some levels, have more in common with we plebs than does any ego-driven megalomaniac politician who has back-stabbed, lied, and sold all four grandparents in a salivating, red-clawed climb to power.

In good times, the monarchy is a beloved mascot, and in bad times a sacrificial lamb.  But above all, the monarchy is no brief candle – it carries a tenuous thread of national identity back far beyond 1066, to long before the clear emergence of England, Wales and Scotland as nations. That identity is both constant and fluid, as best demonstrated by the monarch him/herself – because Bretwalda Athelstan, bane of the Vikings, and dainty Princess Elizabeth, dedicating her life to her country, both equally embodied Majesty to their people.

The change, and the survival, emotionally link us to our past and offer reassurance of our future – which is why it is Buckingham Palace which is the focus of national grief and rejoicing, not 10 Downing Street.

Naturally, the monarchy is always under scrutiny, but the reasons for disapproval, like the monarchy itself, morph according to our times. So, in 2017, the fact that Prince Charles and Camilla are both divorced has no bearing on Charles’ fitness to be crowned – but his typically Baby-Boomer demand that a basket of produce from Highgrove, including six types of honey, be delivered to him every single day wherever he is, certainly does.

Likewise, a previous generation would never have accepted the marriage of William and Kate. Times change, the monarchy changes.

And so, to Harry and Meghan.

Prince Harry is undoubtedly the monarchy’s current Golden Child.  He has all the charm of his mother; he has fought for his country, he supports all the right charities. However, his popularity has slipped since he – metaphorically – threw his pint at the pub wall and squared up to the country in defence of his girlfriend last year. The palace statement roundly accusing his adoring public of racism and sexism, no matter how heartfelt, should never have been issued: someone far wiser should have ‘mislaid’ it until HRH went off the boil.  But Prince Harry had a point: many of the comments against Meghan are idiotic at best, and none of them stand up to scrutiny.

She’s divorced? So is the first in line to the throne, and the trenchant, highly respected Princess Royal.

She’s three years older than her boyfriend? Good! The union of an adoring, virginal teenager with a man thirteen years her senior didn’t exactly make for marital harmony.

She’s an actress? Yes, but the word is no longer a euphemism for ‘prostitute’.  The monarchy is theatre on a grand scale, and who knows better how to keep calm and carry on than a woman who is aware she must be on set, on time, in character, regardless of her personal feelings?

She’s a social climber? Well, who else would want to marry into the Royal family? And consider her achievements: burdened with certain family members who are dead-ringers for extras in Deliverance, Meghan has carved a niche for herself as a charity ambassador, behaved with composure, and taken responsibility for her own growth.

She’s American, and therefore somehow inherently undignified? Patently untrue; instead of whining about infringements of her personal freedoms, she has quietly and gracefully given up outside interests and activities which might compromise the Firm.

In fact, looked at logically – in the spirit of 2017, rather than 1917 – she seems to be highly qualified for the role of HRH.  And wouldn’t a royal wedding brighten any general gloom and despondency? But logic has little to do with most of the ‘objections’ to this relationship – and the real reason some object to it doesn’t deserve the dignity of being specified.

We no longer have to sell our young royals into dynastic alliances and hand-picked blood-lines, so why not just enjoy the romance of the Harry and Meghan show? Because all that really matters is what any little girl will confirm: in the best fairy tales, the handsome prince and the beautiful princess fall in love and live happily ever after.

Sacrificial Lambs

By midnight on the Tuesday after the atrocity in Manchester, no doubt those who attended the vigil in Albert Square had gone home, comforted and gratified by a show of togetherness. Candles were lit, the Union flag was beamed onto public buildings across the world, and a poet read an ode to the industrial revolution.  Some Guardian journalists became misty eyed about what they called “a celebration of diversity” – seemingly forgetting the beauty and innocence destroyed, the scarring, the grief, the ending of precious lives at the hands of monsters, the theft of their immortality, the lives and careers they would have enjoyed, the children they would have carried.

Reading social media comments, I was struck by the self-congratulatory tone of many – it’s all OK now, they would have us believe, because the denial is continuing, the memes about terrorism having no religion, the posters saying “love for all” as if the repeated vigils following the countless deaths were not the result of attacks carried out exclusively by Islamists, as if loving savages who rejoice at the deaths of our children and reduce once peaceful countries to places of horror is a virtue rather than an illness.

These scenes, these sayings, have now been repeated to the point of tedium right across Europe, where our beautiful, precious children are targets for the hateful, envious, self-pitying rage of failed people who, our children are taught, are perpetual victims. The hideous spate of atrocities – from mass sexual assault, to murder – since the influx of hundreds of thousands of immigrants unwilling to integrate, is repeatedly belittled, a tiny Holocaust to be denied as apologists for Islamic terrorism so frequently deny the Holocaust of the 1930s and ’40s.

UNESCO figures show that 75% of north African refugee claimants are male, in good health, aged between 18 and 40 – the demographics of invasion, not a humanitarian crisis. We are told that men clearly in their late 20s and 30s are children because they say they are children and they must not be disputed or checked, even by examining their teeth, because to do so violates their rights – an unforgivable active choice to declare the privacy of a refugee claimant more valuable than the life of their potential victims.

We all know the score now, the familiar dance which follows each barbaric assault on our people, our culture, our peace. Before the poor, broken bodies have been removed, the machinery of denial whirs into action: the cries of fear of a backlash, the vitriol directed at those who don’t share the fantasy that a religion which has never produced a single liberal, tolerant, egalitarian democracy, is an ornament to any society, the attempts to criminalise free speech, anything rather than admit that there is a problem, the fantasy that these horrors are an act of nature to be overcome by firing up a couple of hundred tea-lights.

Who are they kidding? And who do they think they are helping? Do they care? They certainly don’t actually care about Muslims – I’ve seen them turn and rend Muslims who argue with the neutered passivity the deniers expect us all to show, as if we are simply Eloi bred to frisk in the sunshine with never a cross word, pretending that the Morlocks won’t be coming to eat us any time they like.

I see no evidence of empathy, or passion – and surely, the murder of the innocent deserves both. What the deniers become passionate about is any threat to their vision, any questioning of their denial. To maintain their stance, they will sacrifice any number of children, any amount of peace.

What’s needed now isn’t another round of candle-lighting and flags projected onto tall buildings – it’s a display of righteous public anger: not attacking people in the street or fire-bombing mosques, but a demand that our safety, our security, our right to live as we have chosen to live, is without debate the absolute priority, and we must risk offending, rejecting, removing, excluding, even endangering, anyone who might in any way threaten those things.

Soldiers are on the streets, and thus war has been declared. Our righteous anger must ensure that the enemy is acknowledged as such and dealt with accordingly, because if not, the backlash which has obsessed the deniers will become a reality – and they won’t be the ones to suffer it: no, they’ll be safely at home congratulating themselves on not being ‘haters’.

The victims of any backlash, will be those Muslims who the deniers don’t give a toss about, who quietly potter about their daily lives, without a malicious thought in their heads, trying to avoid the ‘mad dogs’ the deniers find so unaccountably appealing.

Here’s One I Made Earlier

In the wake of the slaughter of innocents in Manchester last week, a teaching pack was issued to schools to ensure that children don’t react healthily to events by developing a simple and strong moral sense that killing kids at concerts is unquestionably inexcusable.

Let murder and mayhem break out all around us, let men who broke bread with – and mourned, and still honour – killers be idolised as saviours of the meek, but let not an opportunity for warping the souls of infants be missed.

As they are already being watched intrusively for signs of belonging to any one of a Heinz 57 varieties of gender identity instead of for whether they can read and count, or just eat crayons and hit other children, this will further addle their minds: almost as much as it addles mine. I’m constantly alarmed by the worship shown for labels by those who demand that nobody should be categorised, and sickened by the ready acceptance of evil I see in those most likely to claim the moral high-ground.

And just as I was feeling most nostalgic for the days when the freedom to simply be was paramount, and men who killed children were the bad guys, another bomb-shell dropped with the announcement that John Noakes, Blue Peter presenter of the ’60s and early ’70s, had passed away at the age of eighty-three.

Those of my age will know what a loss this is – just as the loss of Space Oddity David Bowie stole our teens, the passing of John Noakes places our childhood firmly in the past, along with the values which underpinned the show.  This is a tragedy, because they were damned good values.

In the world of Blue Peter, at the time I remember it best – watched on dusky winter afternoons with a hot mug of Bovril after a cold walk home from school – it was important that the three presenters seemed to have fun and liked each other, but also gave the impression of standing no nonsense.

They were grown-ups.  I was ten years old, and I didn’t require them to pretend to be my own age. One of them wore a skirt, but she was a woman, and this was not a triumph for feminism – it’s just that Valerie Singleton was a nice, clever lady.  Nor was it necessary for Valerie to be the one who was variously fired out of a cannon, sent up tall buildings with grappling irons, or hurled into icy ravines in order to make the point that she could have done these things if she so wished – we already knew that. Anyway, those things were John’s job.

Kindness and politeness were the order of the day, as opposed to an anxious obsession with not ‘offending’ anyone – which actually bears no relation to kindness and politeness but enables bullies to rudely silence others by threat of tantrums.  Children and adults from around the world were introduced, showing their special skills and talents, and we were encouraged to admire them, without it being found  necessary to imply that home-grown talents and culture were in need of enrichment.

There were regular fund-raisers for the hungry and needy around the world, and we could be proud of ourselves for collecting bottle-tops in a good cause, rather than being taught to blame ourselves for the plight of the suffering. There were dogs and a cat who co-presented, we fretted if they were ill, laughed at John’s efforts to control the irrepressible Shep, and learned how best to look after pets, because it’s more important to love creatures who are helpless and in our care than it is to bend morality by tolerating those who don’t love them.

Giant steps for mankind were celebrated, triggering our interest in the wider world, even the world beyond our own world, with regular updates on exploration and discovery, from ice-floes to deep-space to bottomless ocean ravines. While we were taught that it was wrong to pollute, dump rubbish, or cause damage, we were taught these things from the point of view of wonder, rather than blame. We should not harm nature, but neither were we Earth’s enemy.

Splendid objects could be made from things which might otherwise end up in the rubbish-bin – toy houses, and rocket-ships, and the annual Christmas decoration.  No wire coat-hanger was sacrosanct. A box or cupboard could be found to save washed yoghurt pots and washing-up bottles; string and glitter and glue and double-sided tape could be found, and some surface covered in newspaper, and the resultant object of beauty hung proudly over the door along with the mistletoe. But this was creative fun, not self-righteous sorting of rubbish in order that waste-services can use our millions of hours of free labour in garnering raw materials for processing and profitable resale.

I’m getting way to old to say things like this with impunity, but it really was far better to be a child back then.  Word is there was more dissension going on behind the scenes than we ever knew – but that’s as it should be.  We didn’t need to know the personal lives of the adult presenters any more than we needed to know the minute details of any other grown-up.  They were supposed to set a good example, to give us something to aspire to, and show us it was the best fun to be a kind and interested person in the big wide world outside the front room where we watched John and a zoo-keeper battle an irate defecating elephant.

Thank you all so much for those days, and John, if somewhere you and Shep are bounding together in a Heaven beyond our understanding, I hope you know how much you are missed.

                                                           RIP John Noakes, 1934 – 2017

A Sharp Left

I cut up my Labour Party membership card in 1998 when it was clear that the shiny new Blair version of Labour had betrayed the interests of the voters. How conned we all were, those of us who gave Blair the power to inflict on Britain scars which may never heal.

I should have remembered: betrayal is in Labour’s DNA. The trouble is, Labour is often in the DNA of its voters.

I have a good Labour pedigree. My railwayman great-grandfather joined the party when the General Strike of 1926 called as a protest against starvation wages was broken for a lark by the Bright Young Things. A month later, he had to go cap in hand to the town hall to beg for an ambulance to take his wife to die in hospital: she had advanced stomach cancer, a horrific death to face in a tiny flat, with three children to witness it.

A smirking official told him there would be no ambulance:  railwaymen had supported the strike, so he could learn what it was not to have transport.  My great-grandmother asked my grandfather, then aged seventeen, to play for her on their old upright piano as she died, to cover the sound of the younger children weeping.  Granddad told me “That was the day I became a Socialist, so nobody would have to beg for help again.”

Later, he married my grandmother, eldest of six children – there had been fourteen, but eight died in infancy, being ‘navigator’s’ children, moving from place to place in grim conditions while their father dug railways. He died soon after returning from the trenches of France, and the family, then living in Gateshead, were left penniless – the boys sent to follow the coal carts, picking up falling coals for heating, the younger girls sent to the fish-monger at closing time to ask for fish-heads for their main meal of broth.

My grandmother, aged thirteen, her only luggage a clean pair of knickers and a Bible, was sent down to London in service, pledged to send her wages home.   She’d wanted to be a teacher, and after she died we found a poem to sacrificed ambition in her neat child’s script, tucked into the spine of the Bible: If you can’t be a tree on the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley, but be the best little shrub by the side of the rill.  Her brothers joined her in London later, as ‘hunger marchers’, and stayed – not because the streets were paved with gold, but because their boots had worn out.

For the ‘ground troops’ it wasn’t about being levelled – it was about surviving to rise. Meetings chaired by idealistic upper-class women would end with singing The Red Flag, but many realistic young ‘brothers’ sang their own version, which ended with the line ‘…the working class can kiss my arse, I’ve got the foreman’s job at last. ‘

They thought the battle was won, with the formation of the welfare state: babies wouldn’t go hungry, clever girls would study not skivvy, kids wouldn’t watch their mother die because of a pen-pusher’s spite.  They were proud of practical achievements such as the council houses built so that another generation wouldn’t wonder what happened to the promise of a land fit for heroes. Granddad was given one and I was delivered by my grandmother there, fifteen years later, and grew up thinking this was a brave new world. Only when Granddad died did we discover that being foreman brought the punishment of taxes so high that despite being frugal, there was barely enough money to bury him.

My Dad worked for his Union, but grew uneasy.  Discussions were rarely about welfare and wages – more often about the dictatorship of the proletariat. The son and grandson of soldiers, his patriotism was suspect. Twice he was ‘advised’ to find another job, because Red Mole wasn’t his choice of reading.

Strikes were called over ridiculous issues: someone had used the wrong broom, or  ‘jeopardised solidarity’ by finishing a job during tea-break. Voting was public, and before the show of hands, unknown men would file to the back of the room to silently observe proceedings and see who the ‘scabs’ were.  Dad hung on out of stubborn faith that unions were needed to avoid horrors such as a skilled copper-smith he knew who had all the fingers of his right hand sliced off in a machine without a safety guard and was dismissed with £40 ‘compensation’   – but he felt they’d lost their way.

In 1976, he called a strike at Heathrow Airport when Esso insisted only one man refuel aircraft, instead of the two needed to ensure no lethal contamination which could bring an aircraft down. He was an eloquent man, my Dad, and Esso backed down – but union radicals were angry it had been settled quickly, without chaos.

After that, Dad didn’t renew his membership, but quietly went to work, read a book in his lunch-breaks and lived for retirement. And for those who wonder, it wasn’t Thatcher who killed the unions – it was the secret ballot.

Educational Normalisation was another betrayal of early hopes. Kids who passed the Eleven Plus were filtered into ailing Comprehensives, because what Socialist could support the aspirations of bright working-class children who might become questioning individuals instead of trusting comrades whistling on their way to lectures on Marxist doctrine?

As one of those Enemies of the People I recall the following classroom exchange.
“What page are you on, Mandy?”
“Page 47, sir.”
“No, you’re on page 11, like Steven.” (Steven was a special-needs boy who ate glue and banged his head on the desk.) “Shut your book till everyone’s caught up.”
At a ‘careers interview’ I requested leaflets about going to university and was given an application form for work at a Y-Fronts factory.  The top of the hill was still off-limits.

The Labour Party is still opposed to Grammar Schools, while party Tzars like Diane Abbott privately educate their offspring.  They brand the policy of nurturing bright kids as “populist”, forgetting that the definition of Populism is ‘support for the concerns of ordinary people’.

But there is nothing ‘ordinary’ about wilful ignorance.  Corbynistas overlook the fact that, by over-taxing, they will drive out employers, investors, builders, supporters of charitable, cultural and humanitarian efforts, leaving nobody to pay for the carrots Labour dangle before people they see as donkeys, few net tax-payers to finance the NHS or the certain spiralling unemployment.

Here’s the brutal truth, Brothers and Sisters: life isn’t a Billy Bragg concert. Under a rule of law, you don’t own what doesn’t belong to you. Only those not up Shit Creek either can, or care to, offer anyone a paddle.  Why not do your utmost to join them in that enlightened position, rather than destroying them, out of spite?

Labour policies actually ensure only the mega rich survive, smothering small ambitions at birth in the name of the Common Good.  The so-called ‘garden tax,’ which affects basically any land not covered in concrete, guarantees that only those like Corbyn (born in a manor house, living off an heiress wife) aren’t ruined by tripling costs of Council Tax, food prices, manufactured goods, leisure – all of which depend on ownership of land.

This will leave hard-won little homes repossessed, to be snapped up and gentrified – perhaps by the rich Arabs who, through organisations such as Caabu, support the hard-left’s control of the media.

But all this is small-fry compared to the betrayal of literally thousands of children by Labour councils willing to sacrifice the most vulnerable to the vilest abuse – gang rape, torture, threats, being doused in petrol while other attackers flick lighters, the resulting pregnancies (to at least one child of twelve years old) abortions, disease – the little victims  accused of ‘hate crime’ for describing their attackers.

If anything exposes the contempt in which the Labour party now holds its traditional demographic, it is this. I think of Labour faithfuls like my family and I know they’d agree: to defend the party in the wake of such unspeakable evil because seventy years ago they formed the NHS is to emulate those who supported Nazis because they got the trains running on time.  Anything which reeks so foully should be buried, not voted for.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m sick of being told that cuts to everything except an MP’s income must be made. I find T. May about as inspiring as a balloon animal – a woman with the air of a depressed heron, tainted by association with disingenuous Europhile Cameron.
Her decision to call an election rather than concentrate on a bold and cheering post-Brexit settlement was arrogant stupidity, gambling our security for an extra two years in office in the belief that nobody in their right mind would vote for Jeremy Corbyn.

Under normal circumstances she’d have been right – but these are not normal circumstances. Our civilisation is under direct invasion, a large proportion of the population actively will our downfall, too many people are suffering like whipped dogs and dangerously in need of a saviour.  She took a gamble which better leaders have lost, and which risks unleashing chaos.

Polls show that 73% of those old enough to remember the destructiveness of pre-Thatcher Old Labour, and the horrors of the IRA campaign with which Corbyn is irredeemably associated, would never vote for him, not because we are smug and comfortable – our age-group haven’t had it so bad in living memory – but because it would be an act of national suicide.

There is a vacancy for the kind of fierce, tigerish compassion which will both defend and cherish. We know the unhinged Comrade Corbyn and his weird Junta of superannuated faux-revolutionaries is not the answer, but the young don’t share our memories. We see Catweazle – they see Merlin.

But their wizard has an agenda in which their hopeful notions of universal love will be burned like paper.  Like all hard-left he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a still-toxic relic of an ideology which should have remained in the past, along with the religious absolutism he supports, which we mistakenly thought consigned to history.

Comrade Corbyn has waited a long time for power:  he’ll hit the ground running, and in cheering for him the young know not what they do.

To ideologues we are all just useful idiots, livestock in a real-life ‘Animal Farm’. So don’t conflate “compassion” with Labour’s ideology of class and race warfare, the politics of envy designed to distract from corruption they’d prefer you not to think about.

Every party has its unique failings, and power always corrupts – but when it comes to betrayal of ideals, Labour have cornered the market.

One Day In Flaming June

On Sunday 22nd January 1905, 150,000 Russians walked toward the Winter Palace in St Petersburg.  They were men, women, and children, led by an Orthodox Priest, and they sang hymns as they walked through the icy streets.  They didn’t walk with any intention of overthrowing the Tsar or his government – far from it. They trusted that the man they called “Little Father” would help them.

They brought with them a petition:

“Oh Sire, we working men and inhabitants of St. Petersburg, our wives, our children and our parents, helpless and aged women and men, have come to You our ruler, in search of justice and protection. We are beggars, we are oppressed and overburdened with work, we are insulted, we are not looked on as human beings but as slaves. The moment has come for us when death would be better than the prolongation of our intolerable sufferings.We are seeking here our last salvation. Do not refuse to help Your people. Destroy the wall between Yourself and Your people.”

But instead of reading their petition, Tsar Nicholas, who they thought only one step from God, watched from glittering tall windows as a stream of Cossacks were released through the golden gates of the palace, men on horseback, hoof-beats muffled by the snow, hacking and slashing with sabres at the people who scurried like ants for shelter but were left crushed and trampled in their hundreds, as their blood turned the snowy street red.

In that moment, just before the gates opened, Tsar Nicholas had a final choice, and the choice he made then led, thirteen bloody years later, to his entire family being herded into a cellar and shot.

On Sunday 11th June 2017 it will be remembered that 4000 people walked, at the beginning silently, through Manchester in protest at the refusal of our governments, our police, of authorities of all kinds, to keep us safe from a culture which will not assimilate but seeks to control and destroy.

The only thing these people had in common was their desire to uphold the values they love, in the homeland they love,  the wish not to see their children slaughtered. They were black, white, brown, gay, straight, men, women, old, young, Christian, Atheist, Muslim, Sikh, ex-Muslim, even Pakistani gays; some of them brought their dogs, some their children; some flew the St George flag or the Union flag.  They carried a banner, declaring it was time to forget race and division and unite against hatred – the kind of hatred enabled by authorities over decades, which led to a pampered brat savagely butchering twenty-two beautiful people for the crime of listening to music.

This was England on the march at last, finally refusing to hide, simply because it suits a variety of toxic agendas that their children should be laid on the alter of an ideology which has no place in any enlightened nation.

They walked together in the face of an insanity which, while savages mow down, stab, torch and bomb innocents, discusses “bacon crime”. Yes – bacon crime. There’s a lot of it about, apparently.

Earlier this year, for example, a Bristol man of 33 with no previous criminal record was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for putting a slice of bacon on a mosque door handle and hanging a St. George flag on the gate.  This was, the judge told him “an attack on England” – ironic given that both the national breakfast and the national flag were involved, and no harm came to anyone. The man died in prison, weeks later, of unspecified causes.
A year in prison. For putting a food item on a door-handle. And yet several of the Muslim rapists who destroyed the lives of thousands of children, were given sentences of no more than three years, and are already prowling the streets again, terrifying their victims.

The march proceeded peacefully until, of course the hard-left militant group Antifa – the attack-dogs of the establishment which refuses to defend us all, whose flag so-called British jihadis fly – threw missiles, bottles, screamed abuse, accusing the non-white marchers of being “race traitors”.
From trying to pretend such a vast demonstration wasn’t taking place, or calling it a “far right” protest of a few hundred EDL members, the establishment press, which is overseen and funded by Saudis via the organisation Caabu, posted shrill, defamatory headlines.

At the forefront of course, was the BBC, who posted a string of outright lies, but even the Daily Mail, which plays at being ‘populist’ by posting endless sneering comments about the supposed inadequacies of Duchess Kate, got in on the act, squealing like a goosed maiden aunt that ‘some were carrying Union Jacks.’  Well, heaven forbid that patriotic people should dare carry their nation’s flag!

The protest follows decades in which our lives, our freedom, our heroes, our nation itself, have been butchered, degraded, belittled.
Those who protested have been criminalised, ostracised, treated like lepers for preferring values which have developed beyond the 7th century, removed from participation in debate, rejected if our reality doesn’t match the accepted fantasy, careers and jobs lost, lives shattered, in the constant drive to silence people who are supposed to bear what is loaded onto their backs, and remain silent.

Not only our media, but those who are supposed to entertain us, consider our fears beneath their contempt: one famous author who lives in a tree-house behind locked gates  stridently demands that more and more unchecked male migrants are released among us; another dismisses the suffering of thousands of raped children with the words  “something happening somewhere else.”
No matter how rich, a writer who only reflects the establishment is little more than an overpaid copy-typist.

The message is, ‘be quiet’.  Our anger repulses the smug, hypocritical faux-compassionate, far more than the horrors of Sharia which the English of all shades and creeds marched against yesterday.  What they want more than anything is to distance themselves from anything so visceral, in case they in their turn are judged, and to hell with moral courage.
Their disgust makes it clear: They will decide what level of anger should be expressed – ours is not to wonder why.
The bottom line is that those who govern us most, despise most of us.

In his novel 1984 George Orwell wrote of the ‘proles’, the sub-class of workers who had no part in government and told how, in fact, they could throw off oppression with ease once they chose to do so.

“If only somehow they could become conscious of their own strength… they needed only to rise up and shake themselves, like a horse shaking off flies.”

Yesterday in Manchester saw England’s ‘Winter Palace moment’ – and the powers that be now, representing the wider interests which control us – blew it. Yesterday, England rose up, the contempt of decades no more than water off a duck’s back.  There will be more walks through more cities, because we dare not fail to protest.

The election taught us that nobody speaks for us. It’s time to speak for ourselves, and our children.

Manchester showed the way.

Let the powers that be, and all those who enabled them take note:  you have already lost.

Don’t Look Back – In Anger Or Otherwise

So the irons have been pulled out of the fire and we didn’t have to face the terrifying prospect of Catweazle shuffling resentfully into the presence of Her Majesty (or ‘Comrade Windsor’, as he no-doubt refers to her in his wildest dreams) to be given permission to surrender us to whatever poisons lurk in the mud.

After a sleepless night watching the Labour gains mount up, what a joy it was to spend a day gloating shamelessly over the hypocrisy of ‘snowflakes’ who shrilly condemn the DUP for their Christian Fundamentalist beliefs (“they’re, like, from the 17
th century!”) in a week in which West Mercia Police contravened the Human Rights Act by arresting two people for posting a video of a burning Quran!

It was also joyous to see the Conservatives told, loud and clear, that there is a strong opposition such as should exist in any healthy democracy, and that having previously eviscerated the Lib Dems through coalition, no further deals will be struck.
I personally can’t bear Tim Farron and greatly fear his commitment to Remain, but he goes up in my estimation for refusing the bait. T May hardly bothered to campaign, such was her assurance of victory, and this is all wrong. Every politician should live in fear of being ousted, every minute of every day – if not, we have despotism.

GE2017 was a close-run thing, and offers lessons which all parties would be foolish to ignore.

For one thing, it showed that there is, in fact, no longer a class divide in this country. No, really, stop laughing at the back there – people constantly waffle about the ‘class system’ in the UK, but it no longer applies in the polling-booth at least.

Look at the graphs of voter intentions. People voted according to age and experience, with the young of every social class and income most likely to vote Left, the more mature most likely to vote Right. This shows three things about the young in general – first that the young don’t remember the 1970s, second, that they all assume someone else will foot the bill, third, that our educational establishments are a veritable infestation of people who never took that black-and-red print of Che Guevera off the wall.

It also showed that, when push comes to shove, a majority will put the country before their own interests: think about this – a majority of people who intended to vote to keep Corbyn out, admitted that under a Labour government they would be less worried about their own family’s well-being – but more worried for Britain.

Think about how splendid it is, therefore, that they voted as they did, and – take note, Conservatives – don’t think their vote gives you a green light to cut everything except your own salaries and the taxes of your cronies. Remember that forming this government required the suicide of smaller parties and a bail-out from a group you’ve looked down your noses at for a long time. Put a foot wrong now, and you’ve had your chips.

Give a very long, hard thought to the fact that, in the end, we were rescued from the brink by the Celtic Fringe: by Wales which turned blue with outrage, by the Irish who either don’t take up seats or are willing to share power, and most interestingly, by the persuasive verve and dash of Ruth Davidson, currently looking far more Churchillian than BoJo, for all his airs.

But the most important thing the election demonstrated, was that, in truth, no notable majority really wanted what either party was selling. It was, as the makers of South Park put it, a choice between “a giant douche and a turd sandwich.” And the main reason for that is what both main parties have clearly forgotten – their “star turns” (respectively, Blair and Thatcher) were modernisers, who picked up the values of their parties, and gave them a violent shake to make them more saleable.

In contrast, Comrade Corbyn and Mrs T are each, in their way, fossils, offering a vision of the past rather than a glimpse of the future.

In the red corner we have a millionaire who sees no irony in dressing as Lenin and calling himself a Marxist while being endorsed for his anti-Semitism by none other than the English language version of Der Sturmer; in the blue corner there’s a vicar’s daughter who genuinely believes that a re-vote on fox-hunting is an acceptable item to put on the menu at a time when food-banks and homelessness are growth industries. She might as well have donned a powdered wig and advised us all to eat cake.
Regardless of the outraged feelings of die-hard hunting fans, it’s clear that, without this in the pipeline, there would have in all likelihood been no need for any coalition. In times like these, if the only thing old-school Tories have to give up in the national interest is an unpopular hobby, they should give grateful thanks.

Both main parties need to kill their darlings without delay, and face facts – perhaps even read the definition of the word ‘populist’ instead of thinking they don’t have to show ‘support for the concerns of ordinary people.’

It may be, in fact, that the day of the main party is done – after all, landslides seem now to be a thing of the past. The free exchange of information via the internet which both extremes want to control to differing ends has ensured that most of us aren’t quite the gullible fools both main parties still take us for.

Once more, read the results loud and clear: we voted against what we hated most, rather than what we loved best, and that bodes badly for the practical manifestation of a first-past-the-post system, even if it’s never actually altered in law. All the results indicate is that a slim majority were more delighted and relieved that Corbyn lost, than overjoyed that May won.
So think on, main parties, and only continue as you were, if you wish to commit political suicide.

Because we all know now that, even without proportional representation, a government of sorts can be cobbled together from many voices, and next time, the smaller parties of all shades won’t be riding into any valley of death on your behalf.

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