|What We Think||Nationalist comment on the month's news|
Chickens coming home to roost
Make no mistake. The bomb explosions in Istanbul, one of the victims of which was our Consul Roger Short, were targeted at Britain, and are the penalty we have been made to pay for Premier Blair's collaboration with the Americans in their invasion and occupation of Iraq. It had long been predicted that something like this was going to happen, and now the predictions have come true.
But it was equally predictable that the response of Blair and his Government would be, not to reconsider their insane policy of supporting Bush's war, but only to treat the bombings as an affirmation of how right the policy has been. The attacks in Istanbul, claimed Blair at a press conference on the 21st November, showed that the mission in Iraq was "noble and necessary."
In fact, this amounts to a classic non-sequitur. The Government has claimed - and it has been acknowledged by the perpetrators - that the attacks were the work of Al Qaeda. It has been clearly established that there was never any link between Al Qaeda and the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. Equally clear is that the quick military victory of the Coalition in Iraq has done nothing whatever to put an end to terror but has merely increased it.
Blair said at the same press conference:
Tough words! But let us remember that these words come from the man who has been compromising and holding back from dealing with the terror of the IRA from the moment he took office six and a half years ago. Why this appearance of steely resolve against terror abroad while there is the same jellyfish policy towards terror at home?
But such tough words are mere empty blather. The fact is that Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists have an enormous sea in which to swim - in the form of the vast extent and teeming populations of the Islamic world. There simply is no way to stop them by armed offensives into Islamic countries. The only solution to the terror is to understand the grievances that give rise to them and then remove those grievances. From the standpoint of America, this means withdrawing support from Israel. From the standpoint of Britain, it means ceasing to be America's lapdog.
The Istanbul atrocities showed Tony Blair's chickens coming home to roost. But will the lessons be learned? At the moment it seems highly unlikely. How many more British soldiers and civilians will have to die before sanity prevails?
Anti-Bush protest: were the media hiding the facts?
The large demonstrations against President Bush's visit to Britain last month seem to us to have been aimed at the wrong target. The object of the protests should have been, not the US leader, but his British lackey. It was Tony Blair, not George W. Bush, who sent British forces into Iraq and who is now keeping them there. The protesters seem to need reminding that Britain is supposed to be a sovereign state, and one which should be making its own decisions as to whether to go to war and whether to maintain a post-war occupation of a foreign country. Bush is not to blame for British deaths suffered in the Iraq conflict, Blair is.
This said, a considerable number of quite normal, decent British people turned out for the demonstrations - many of them perhaps understanding that Blair should be the focus of their anger but taking part because those demonstrations were the only show in town. We know these people to have been there because we had observers on the spot in Central London to observe their presence. However, from TV and newspaper reports of the occasion they might just as well have been invisible.
Every TV report we saw and every press photo that came to our notice made it appear that the only people present in the protests were a rag-bag of lefty freaks, attired in every imaginable form of weird clothing and prancing around like dervishes high on drugs. Just one look at them might have been enough to make any unthinking person feel almost sympathetic to Blair and his guest. Was this the intention of the media coverage - to discredit the anti-Iraq war cause by portraying its protagonists as nothing better than a branch of Rentamob?
It happens that we and the Left have in common the fact that we both oppose Blair and Bush's Iraq policy, but we do so for vastly different reasons. We believe that Britain should never embark on overseas adventures nor risk the lives of British service personnel, except where concrete British interests are at stake. To us, what happens in a country like Iraq - who rules there and in what manner, whether there is dictatorship or 'democracy', what conditions are generally - is all a matter of supreme indifference. We cannot police the world. Even the Americans cannot police the world. They should protect what is theirs and we should protect what is ours. Nothing else is worth a single drop of our people's blood.
We believe that these same thoughts were in the minds of many who turned out on the demos on November 20th, but their presence failed to steal the show.
The Tories: just more of the same
The ditching of Iain Duncan Smith and the accession of Michael Howard to the Conservative Party leadership will change nothing. We knew this when it became clear that it was imminent, and nothing the new leader has said since he took over causes us to change our minds.
Among Howard's first words on becoming Tory boss was his statement that he would "lead from the centre." This surely must have provoked deep groans from those who hoped for something different. It was precisely because of Duncan Smith's attempts to do just that - to be at one and the same time acceptable to the party's traditionalist wing and to its flabby liberal element - that he fell between the two stools and ended up satisfying nobody, having offered no robust policies whatever to deal with the crucial problems affecting the country.
Howard couldn't have made it more clear that he was set along the same ineffectual road. "I've changed, and so must our party," he cooed in a TV interview. He pleaded for "a more consensual and inclusive approach" and spoke of "winning hearts and minds." All standard Duncan Smith language, and all futile hot air. Indeed, the very utterance of the word 'inclusive' should be enough to tell us that nothing is going to be any different. 'Inclusive' has today become one of those words that get people with healthy political instincts itching to get their hands on guns.
A few days afterwards, it was reported that the Conservatives were going to move out of their long-established headquarters in Smith Square, Westminster, in what was called "a symbolic break with the past." A party spokesman was quoted as saying that the building, with its Georgian facade, was "not a suitable office environment for a party in the 21st century." So just what is going to be achieved in terms of really relevant policies by a mere change of premises? Is the Howard regime going to be one interested primarily in cosmetics?
Another observation that might be made of the 'new' Tory Party hierarchy is that its flavour is, shall we say, more than a little 'kosher'. Howard himself is the first Jewish Tory leader since Disraeli. His shadow chancellor is none other than Oliver Letwin, another political contortionist who, like Portillo, 'reinvented' himself from a hard-line 'right-winger' into a dripping wet when career requirements pointed in that direction. Then there is the new party chairman, who will be none other than Lord Saatchi. Quite so! Perhaps readers will advise us if we have left anyone out.
The new chief is the son of a gentleman who landed here from Romania claiming to be a 'refugee' and bearing the name of Bernat Hecht, settled himself in South Wales and took on the name of 'Howard'. That is a little surprising; knowing these people, one might have expected him to call himself something like 'Daffid Llewellyn Jones'. However, we can quite sure of one thing: media references to son Michael will no doubt class him henceforth as a 'Welshman' in deference to the canons of political correctness and good taste.
This, then, is Her Majesty's 'Opposition'. What do the French say about Plus ça change...?
What kind of police do we want?
Following the revelations of a 'spy' planted among police cadets in the Greater Manchester area - the subject of comment in these columns last month - the hue and cry about 'racism' in the ranks of our guardians of the law has reached an ever-louder crescendo of hysteria. One chief constable and deputy after another has paid the required ritual compliments to the race relations industry by speaking of his 'disgust' and 'horror' at the phenomenon. At the same time, Home Secretary David Blunkett got in his two-pennyworth by announcing that police officers with links to the British National Party would be hounded out of their jobs - something currently not possible because such people are protected by the law against any such victimisation, but something he clearly intends to change by new legislation. He said last month: "I do not believe that it is tenable for a member of the British National Party to be a police officer."
To which we must reply: why ever not? It would be perfectly right for police officers to be disciplined if there were any evidence that in the carrying out of their duties they had treated ethnic minorities in a manner different to Whites, for instance if they had allowed Whites to get away with offences for which they would have arrested and charged non-Whites. But this is not what Mr. Blunkett is driving at. He is maintaining that a member of the BNP should not be allowed to be a police officer, quite regardless of whether he has allowed this to affect his performance of his job or not. This brings us no small number of degrees closer to Orwell's 1984 - or, if you prefer, the Soviet police under Stalin. It is a quite intolerable interference with the rights people are supposed to enjoy in a democracy, and would justify challenge under current 'human rights' legislation - though whether that would ever be allowed is another question.
But, even more seriously, we have to ask ourselves: what is it exactly that we want from our police? Is it the purpose of a police force to attain the greatest possible effectiveness in fighting crime? Or is policing to be based on another, essentially political, priority? Already, in the vastly lowered efficiency and morale of our police forces we can perhaps see the results of a policy by which promotions to the highest rank appear to be made on political credentials rather than ability and performance. Now it looks as if we are going to take some further steps along that path.
Men and women who choose jobs in the field of law and order tend by nature more often than not to be of a 'rightist' disposition. It would follow that a portion of them would be sympathetic to, if not actually members of, the BNP. The result of a policy that disqualifies them from jobs in the police would quite surely be to deny our police forces the services of many of their best potential officers and attract a large number of recruits of inferior quality. Is this what the country wants? It most certainly seems to be what our politicians want!
It is very rarely in these times that we have the opportunity to comment on good news. However, just such an occasion was provided by the victory of England's magnificent rugby team in the World Cup in Australia last month.
To read a political message into this achievement may perhaps seem to be stretching things a bit far, but there is something about the entire England rugby set-up which provides a model for Britain in every sphere of affairs. There is the intense patriotism and desire to be best. There is a tremendous spirit of putting the team before self. There is self confidence, pride and character. Apart from one player with a West Indian father, the winning team is overwhelmingly white and Anglo-Saxon. The players, unlike some of their soccer counterparts, look and behave like real men. English rugby has pointed the way to the kind of country we ought to be.