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Monday, December 27, 2010


Ever since the failure of 2010’s general election to produce a clear winner and the unedifying sight of Gordon Brown desperately trying to cling on to power finally persuaded the Liberal Democrats to get into bed with the Conservatives and form a coalition, the country has been slowly and inexorably pushed towards collapse. Forces outside the government who see any cuts in state expenditure or the welfare state as an attack are rapidly forming allegiances with more militant groups to protest each and every cut. Those groups in turn are forming lose understandings with far more extreme antiestablishment individuals and collectives who see in this wave of protest an opportunity to create wider disorder, sow division, and to possibly bring down the government and with it the Establishment.
Ever since the first student protest and the taking of Millbank Tower caught not just the police, but just about everyone else by surprise, every protestor and militant grouping worthy of the name, from anarchists to the Socialist Workers Party, are seeing the coming year as a real chance to smash the Tories, kill a few police and really smash the rich. And I think that they might just do it, as for once the all the necessary ingredients for creating an explosive are coming together, and the students have unknowing lit the fuse. 
It was Gordon Brown though who set everything in motion and who is conveniently now out of the public eye earning vast sums of undeserved money giving after dinner speeches and writing his memoirs while others have to deal with the results of his profligacy. Brown mired the UK in debt and created a false boom in house prices and borrowings by consistently keeping interest rates at historic lows. He compounded this when things started to go awry by using Quantitive Easing to try and buy the government out of debt in the short term by printing more and more virtual money to purchase its own government bonds. 
The financial icing on the cake though was his ‘save the world‘ moment when Brown pumped billions of pounds into the banking sector in order to save key banks like RBS and Northern Rock from collapsing under the weight of their own financial indolence. In doing so he undermined any validity capitalism has in claiming that companies stand or fall by their own actions and those of the free market. He showed instead that greed. failure and incompetence, when on a scale of ‘too big to fail’, carried no responsibility and could actually be rewarded by unprecedented bailouts from the taxpayer.
The US and most of the West has in turn followed the same model and the world’s economies are now awash with QE and bailed-out bankers demanding enormous bonuses again. Yet such is the level of debt of banks, hedge funds and some countries who have mortgaged everything up to the hilt and then borrowed even more to pay the interest on the interest that someone has to take steps try and reduce it and start paying the debt off. At this point Gordon Brown vanished and the UK’s students lit the fuse that Brown had left conveniently out for them on a plate.
Cuts are never easy, particularly when for years the UK government has handed out money as if we had a limitless supply. Soon people take State spending for granted; their benefits, grants, health care, education, housing and so on is seen as a right yet where that money comes from is often overlooked. People understood that the country was in debt, people began to take on board some of the issues surrounding bonds, QE and so forth and yet as the cuts were outlined they also saw smug bailed-out bankers and the billions pumped into failed banks. Banks that should have been allowed to fail, with the shareholders and investors taking the hit instead of the tax payer. Instead the moral high ground has been lost. How can the government demand millions in cuts when they have just given millions to some of the very individuals and companies responsible for causing the financial crisis in the first place? The bailout of the banks is another ingredient added to the explosive. 
The Coalition is yet another ingredient. A weak union between two weak parties that oscillate between indecision and niceties and along the way try and sneak in some ineffectual savings has no hope. Government spending in November 2010 was actually up on November 2009. It’s as if the government has lost control and despite desperately trying to do the right thing is secretly wringing its hands in despair. The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is, according to some newspaper reports, suffering depression or cracking up and Prime Minister Cameron has yet to show he has the mettle to be as tough or as strong as he will need to be to stand up the coming storm. 
Alongside a weak government we have a dispirited police force that is disliked, maligned and restricted by politically correct dogma that has made its handling of anything from street crime to demonstrations the subject of discourse and remonstration. They are in effect damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Yet the police’s role in the coming year is crucial as they stand, often literally, between the force of the protestor and the Establishment. If they fall or fail then inevitably the Established falls with them. 
The protests themselves, the cuts, a weak unstable coalition government, bitterness at the bankers bailouts and the potential of a UK sovereign debt crisis; non of these in isolation would be enough to destroy the status quo, but combined they just might. 
Yet the Establishment as we know it has stood for over a thousand years and has weathered everything from the Spanish Armada and the second world war to the General Strike and flower power so why should this current situation be so different? Because the last ten to fifteen years has so changed both the make-up of the country, through immigration and social engineering, to the extent that nationhood nolonger binds the people together around a centre. Secondly the invasive and relentless attacking of the Establishment, by which I mean the State, Christianity and the values by which we live, have so undermined and devalued it as a core belief system that few would rush to defend it and many more would seek to destroy it. 
And then the lit fuse reaches its target and bang! No more Establishment, or rather the slow unravelling of our society and Establishment would begin. Some riots, some nastiness, some looting, some whatever .. And then what? David Miliband and New Labour? A utopian non-capitalist ideal where we trade sandals for lentils and plant trees in the City and sacrifice bankers on May Day? Or will it be a slow disintegration into anarchy, where the police force slowly crumbles, where the veneer of decency and morality decays bit by bit until finally its gone and a brutaligenzia reigns?
But have those wishing for the demise of the Established order thought things through? Smashing a window is easy, finding and paying someone skilled enough to replace it is harder. And who will invest in a Britain racked with civil disorder and strife. Who will pay the bills and who will govern? Left or Right, if those wishing for the destruction of the old order win, then whatever follows will, in all likelihood, be far worse. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010


When I head the news late on Wednesday evening, the 15th December, that film director and writer Jean Rollin had died due to complications brought on by pneumonia I felt a mixture of disbelief, something I often feel when I hear that someone I care for has died, and inevitability that the ill health that had plagued Jean throughout the nearly twenty years that I had known him had finally caught up with him. Ten minutes later it was all smiles again as I was informed that Jean hadn’t in fact died but that a museum curator with the same name had, and that Jean was alive and well. I decided to call Jean in the morning knowing that he would be amused by these untimely reports of his death. Sadly the initial reports proved to be true and Jean Rollin and his unique take on the vampire myth had gone forever. 
I first met Jean around the time I formed Redemption Films, 1992/1993, when having seen a selection of fabulous photographs from his films in the book Vampire Cinema by David Pirie I was amazed to discover his films just weren’t available on video anywhere in the world. I remember as well the sense of disbelief with which those who had seen Rollin’s work greeted the news that I was planning on releasing Rollin’s films commercially. 

They felt that it was wrong, that people wouldn’t understand Rollin’s films, that they might laugh at them or mock Rollin and his vision. What these people really meant was that they enjoyed Rollin’s obscurity and basked in a kind of elitist glory that only they and their selected associates had access to Rollin’s strange and unique world. Rollin on the other hand was delighted that his films were finally to be released commercially.
Up to that point I hadn’t met him and when he came to London, aged I guess about 53 or 54, he seemed older and frailer than I thought he would be, and certainly not what I expected. Not that I had an image in my mind of what Jean should be like, but the reality was quiet, not particularly friendly and to my mind a bit straight but nevertheless he was OK and he was Jean Rollin! From that point I met him in Paris, with my then girl friend Eileen Daly, at Cannes, in London and so on, and slowly got to know him. 
I can’t say that ours was the easiest of relationships, it wasn’t and at times it was almost war. Jean always needed money and I never had any and from that premise we somehow forged a relationship that saw, painfully and often through litigation, Redemption slowly acquire the copyright and ownership of most of Jean’s films and in doing I got to know Jean as man and eventually as a good acquaintance which occasionally tipped into friendship. 
I liked seeing Jean happy, and hated it when necessity on his part or our part, brought in lawyers and threats, and what made Jean happy was pretty women. I can’t remember why but sometime around 2004 or 2005  we had a Bulgarian girl helping out in the office whose main accomplishments seemed to be her beauty, her figure and the fact that she wore very little in the way of clothing. She also got on remarkably well with Jean on the phone. So as we had decided to film some interviews with Jean and were also in discussions to acquire another package of his films we decided to bring Jean over to London . 
This was also one of those happy periods when Redemption had some money in the bank and we were able to put Jean up at the very stylish and posh Charlotte Street Hotel whose English breakfasts Jean loved. As he was in London for a few days I decided to entrust Jean’s well being to our delightful Bulgarian and, shoving a load of expenses money into her paw, sent her off to meet Jean in her best non-clothes, clothes. Her mission to accompany Jean and show him the sights of London and to generally look after him. Later I took him to dinner to meet up with the highly exotic Dr Patricia McCormack, who had previously interviewed Jean in Paris for us and our then publication Rule Satannia, and I can honestly say that in all the time I have known Jean I had never seen him look as happy as he did during that visit. 
Yet aside from brief moments of happiness Jean to my mind was a tortured soul and a true artist, driven by the need to work, to be pursuing, and creating his artistic vision, regardless of what others thought of the results. For Rollin the sadness was that, like so many film makers and artists, he never had enough money and that, aside for a brief period in the seventies, he spent his time pursuing his dream rather than creating it. 
Yet he never stopped working, writing vampire book after vampire book, writing his autobiography and in his last years making two more films, Night of the Clocks and Masque of Medusa, which features a rare appearance by his charming wife Simone. Night of the Clocks was intended to be his swansong, and when I first read his original script it was like reading his epitaph. Centred as it was on a an old chateau where a young women finds fragments of films and strange objects and slowly they build up into telling the story of the previous occupier, a film director. These objects  and film fragments were his ghost, his memory, his life. The film as originally written was beautiful and its a shame to my mind that the budget restraints imposed on the actual film never allowed it to be the goodbye it could have been.
Yet still Jean worked on and following a successful heart operation he really seemed to have a new lease of life, making yet another film, The Masque of Medusa, which has real moments of Rollin magic within it. 
The one film Jean and I talked about making though was George Bataille’s Story of the Eye, Bataille’s transgressive, shocking, savage and overtly sexual assault on Catholism. Discussing it Jean’s eyes would light up and at the time (about 2006/7) he had befriended and worked with the French feminist philosopher and pornographic star Ovidie, and I often wondered if he intended for her to be in his version of the Eye? But like so many of his later projects it wasn’t to be.
What was to be though was Jean’s amazing body of work, and his vision of the vampire, of women, of the twin, of death, of colour, flesh, love and ultimately of Jean Rollin himself. A director and artist who was perhaps his own worst enemy, and who, had he stepped back occasionally and taken some advice might have achieved the commercial success and recognition he so longed for. As it is he died loved by his fans but unknown to the wider world and if ever there was a man who deserves to become famous in death its Jean, for to leave his work languishing in obscurity, would be to leave it to the few to paw over all over again and he would hate that.
Here’s hoping that the angels are serving you a good breakfast in whatever dream you’re in now.
Jean Rollin 1938 - 2010     
Rest in peace.

Monday, December 6, 2010


A few weeks ago some 2000 plus students supported by a few anarchist ‘black bloc’ foot soldiers broke away from the main student march, where some 50,000 of their fellow students were protesting the coalition governments proposed student fees increase, and attacked Millbank Tower where the Conservative Party have their headquarters. The ensuing battle, destruction of the first three floors, and the seemingly powerlessness of the police to stop them was the main news story of the day, with images of young students smashing windows and partying like its 1968 being flashed around the world.

Suddenly there was an energy and focus to anti cuts protests, to frustration at the state of the economy, bank bailouts and so on, but best of all a new new government was in power that had had nothing to do with creating the problem but which included the Conservatives and a few posh, vaguely right wing, mildly Thatcherite types. Marvellous. So when footage of the destruction of the Millbank Tower started filtering back to the BBC, The Guardian, Facebook, Twitter, Sky and a myriad of other news sources the left suddenly sat up and took notice. Though none more so than the old-chardonnay-quaffing-Hampstead-socialist-handwringing-luvvie-activist types that usually regale anyone who’ll listen to them about their battles on behalf of the miners, CND, and of course fighting the great Thatcher evil!

It’s as if England’s legions of left-leaning luvvies, trade unionists, self-styled radicals, May-Day-Stop-the-City-Reclaim-the-Streets-Anti Poll Taxers and failed revolutionaries had heard a sirens cry and woken up from a hibernation that had set in some time in the early 1990’s. Suddenly the sight of a few thousand young students smashing windows and scrapping with the police whilst chanting “Tory Scum, Tory Scum, You’d Better Run”, (this winters equivalent of the miners ‘Here we Go, Here We Go”), had acted like a mass dose of viagra and woken up the Left’s long dead members.

Yet just as a man who as been pretty much sexually inactive for years can be embarrassing if he suddenly starts showing off his new drug-induced prowess by chasing young girls, so to is the zeal with which the nations aging radicals have jumped on the students bandwagon, desperate to be ‘in’ with the kids. On the 10th November, the day that Milbank Tower was trashed, Michael White, the Guardian’s political columnist, could barely contain his excitement, “Right on cue, exactly six months into David Cameron's premiership, the ancient British roar of "Tory scum" echoed across central London again” he squealed.

More predictable was the reaction of rich radicals like Tariq Ali who described the government cut backs as ‘atrocities’ and linked the student protests to those in Greece, France and so on. For the Ali’s of this world exploiting any situation that threatens to destabilise the goverment or destroy his adopted country is di rigueur of course, particularly as Pakistan, the country of his birth, is such a shining example of democracy, fairness and social cohesion.

Equally predictable was the reaction of the ‘radical’ folk singer Billy Bragg, who, when he isn’t singing to ex miners, donating his guitars to prisoners or running the Tooting Popular Front, is frantically Tweeting his support and excitement at each new student action and no doubt penning some catchy ‘Tory Scum’ ditties for his next greatest hits album.

Bragg’s enthusiasm was as nothing though compared to Britain’s Polly Toynbee who has, in keeping with the excitement engendered by the current wave of protest, reinvented herself as Che Guevara. For on the 4th December comrade Toynbee, no doubt inspired by the students successes, led a charge of UK Uncut protesters into Oxford Street’s branch of Top Shop. Pictured online afterwards looking suitably disheveled, angry and somewhat confused, the Guardian’s answer to Rosa Luxemburg was at least showing her fellow Guardianistas that when it came to protest Toynbee was in a league of her own...

The most alarming and damning support for the students though has come from John Pilger, one of the left’s ghastliest and most egotistical grandees. Pilger, who like Michael Moore and Oliver Stone, has a ridiculously inflated opinion of his own importance, has decided that the coalition is undemocratic and that the students represent the will of the ‘people’. Maybe they do, though I doubt it, and typically of Pilger he has now elevated the  lamentable coalition of the Lib Dems and Conservatives into a dictatorship.

He writes, tears swelling up in his eyes;

Your action, and the action of your fellow students all over Britain, in standing up to a mendacious, undemocratic government is one of the most important and exciting developments in my recent lifetime. People often look back to the 1960s with nostalgia – but the point about the Sixties is that it took the establishment by surprise. And that's what you have done. Your admirable, clever, courageous actions have shocked and frightened a corrupt political class – coalition and Labour – because they know you have the support of the majority of the British people. It is you, the students on the streets – not the Camerons, Cleggs and Milibands – who are the authentic representatives of the people. Keep going. We need you. All power to you”.

Actually he needs you, and thousands like him need you, to live out their failed dreams, to fight the battles they never did, and just like the old man with with his memories of the women that might have been, they clutch at the students like a man clutches at his viagra for they both offer a chance to rekindle and reenact the failures of their youth.

Unfortunately for the Toynbees and Pilgers of this world there is nothing more embarrassing than the parent that wants to be ‘in‘ with kids. The father that wants to join in, the mother that wants to a ‘friend‘ to her daughter and her friends. The awful moment someone’s parent turns up at your club, or bar and sits down with you, because they want to be cool, to be young, to be ‘in’. But it can never be, the spectacle of sixty something Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee, leading a charge of Tax Avoidance protesters into Oxford Street’s Top Shop store was the ultimate embarrassing parent moment and for the first time held the new wave of protest up to ridicule.

The anarchist blog, ‘Anarchy in the UK’, wrote “Having Polly Toynbee on your side is worse than shooting an albatross. She supported the SDP….New Labour….Tony Blair………..Gordon Brown……Lib dems…………AAAARGH She’s a JONAH – we’re finished!”  Whilst umpteen other more radical sites are running caption competitions for the funniest speech bubbles to accompany the numerous pictures of the ‘revolutionary’ Toynbee in action.

What the students erstwhile supporters are doing is seeking to impose, exploit and interfere with the protests for their own ends and for their own gratification regardless of the consequences for the students. Many would as soon hand out petrol bombs and guns as they would advice if it served their purposes and helped bring about the revolution they have dreamed about for so long. The only likely result though of all this sexagenarian interference is not the collapse of the great coalition dictatorship, but rather that Toynbee, Pilger and co’s support will prove to be so ghastly that no self respecting protestor will want to be associated with them. In which case we can all shout “I’m a counter-revolutionary capitalist pig-dog get me out of here!” and go home.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Almost two years ago the world, or rather the soft, left-leaning, socialist part of it, heralded the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States as akin to the second coming. Obama was the new Messiah, a man whose politically correct lineage and black skin made him irresistible to a large section of the democratic West. Here finally, was their 
champion! A man whose polished prose and cool demeanor were so much more sophisticated than the incumbent President George Bush whose folksy delivery and often tearful connections with ordinary people drew derision and scorn from the media savvy Obama camp. Yet two years on hope has turned to mope and Obama’s joyous “Yes We Can” catch phrase is mocked as “No We Can’t”. Why?

Why indeed? Maybe it is because the Left are hardly ever right. They are either ridden with bitterness and invective as, fore instance, in their treatment of, and reaction to, the policies and personalities of Reagan, Thatcher and Bush; or, as in their embracement of the peace movement, Israel / Palestine, the Soviet Union, Nuclear Disarmament, Iran, environmentalism, multiculturalism, civil rights, racial and sexual politics and ultimately Barack Obama in whose diminutive figure all their causes were to be embodied, they become zealots and idolators. And like all idolators who invest all their hopes and fears in a single individual or cause, they are bound to be disappointed.

Obama is not God, nor is he a particular impressive politician, but he is black and for our new Establishment this was his greatest qualification and one behind which a myriad of causes could rally. Global Warming! Obama’ll Fix It! The Financial Crisis! Don’t worry Obama’ll Fix it! Terrorism! Iraq! Afghanistan! Education! Health Care! Whatever it is Obama’s The Man! The only trouble is, Obama isn’t The Man. In fact no one could ever be The Man that the Left expected Obama to be. Except God, and even God might have bulked at the Left’s ‘Fix It’ list.

Obama’s biggest mistake after putting on the mantle of the Messiah was to try and live up to the people’s expectations. Instead of focusing say on solving the financial crisis Obama stormed in with Healthcare Reform, global warming taxes and a whole raft of social engineering projects that guaranteed more government, more spending and no real job creation. The US is a country that espouses individualism and low taxes so these measures were stirring up a hornets nest that crystalized in the formation of The Tea Party. 

Further Obama’s cronies may have mocked Bush’s emotional responses and failings but they showed that for all his faults George W Bush was human. Whilst Obama’s cold logical reactions and seeming indifference to his nation’s fallibilities only further exacerbate the sense of disappointment among his disciples. This has also given the wider public the impression that their new President has descended not from Heaven, as the Left seemed to think at his inauguration, but from the Planet Vulcan.

When Obama won in 2008 the Left lost all sense of propriety, with political commentators and pundits behaving more like star-struck groupies at a pop concert than hardened hacks. As this piece from the Guardian from the 5th November 2008 shows:

“There had been tears all evening ... “America, we have come so far” he said, as if the entire nation were gathered before him. “We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do.”
He also had a message to the rest of the world, one that will be welcomed almost everywhere. “To all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from Parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.”
In this speech, and with his victory, Barrack Obama has drawn a line under the last eight years, ending an American era that few will mourn. For today marked nothing less than the first day of the Obama presidency.”

Few mortal man, land even fewer politicians, warrant such clap-trap and of course receiving it is destined to disappoint and preordained to fail. Now that the world faces even greater uncertainty as the prospect of a second, darker wave of the financial crisis looms and political polarization follows as consensus gives way to self interest. Obama, far from unifying Americans around a ‘shared destiny’, has set them at each others throats. Not for decades has there been so much anger and mistrust of government and this anger is not going away, it is growing. 

In Europe, where the Left rejoiced and celebrated almost as if Obama had been elected head of the European Union, hopes that some egalitarian wonderfulness would seep out of the US and envelope the world have been dashed as realpolitik and the economic realities caused by decades of government overspending sink in. 

Europe and the US now face decades of high unemployment and falling living standards with the ever present threat of civil unrest, racial division, and political and financial collapse hanging over them like an acrid smog, irritating and at the same time, frightening. 

Worse for nations used to their creature comforts and being top dog, the West’s role in the world’s pecking order is under threat as never before and in this as in everything else Obama has been found wanting. in his desire to be all things to all men Obama has weaken rather than strengthen the US abroad. Dithering or circumventing problems and by striving to please the antiwar brigade at home and those who see conflict and fighting terrorism as a series of wrongs rather than enforcing rights, Obama, like so many on the Left in Europe, has undermined and underwhelmed, when he should be been wowing and winning.

At the very time the West needs strong charismatic leaders, and decisive action it’s strongest country is failing. Its financial sector has already shown itself to be driven by greed and then weak when it should have been strong. Now at the behest of those same financial charlatans the President is seeking refuge in cheap exports, QE, and inflating away America’s debts with trillions of undervalued dollars. The irony is though that he may just be stoking the fires of revolution instead and paving the way for a President that is strong enough to restore the West’s place in the World Order and in doing so be hated by the Left and derided by Europe’s intelligentsia. In fact, that is how it should be, and by achieving such loathing, he or she, will show him or herself to be a true successor to Reagan, Thatcher and Bush, and worthy of the title, President.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


One can now add to that proverb, WRITE NO EVIL, if the ‘we’re all one society, appeasing, down-on-my-knees-begging-you-please, Islamic loving, inclusivity obsessed, multiculturally aware, touchy-feely, rightwing-hating, individual freedom go-to-hell, I care more than you care and the State knows best’ Guardian newspaper gets its way.

In this Saturday’s edition (21st August 2010) under the headline ‘Rightwing Blogs lead ‘War on Islam’ the Guardian gave vent to an hysterical rant against rightwing opinion and female blogger Pamela Geller in particular. Written by Chris McGreal, peace and blessing be upon him, it was a ludicrous attack on activist Geller that ultimately says more about the soft mainstream Islam-loving chattering classes and their fear of the new right than it did about Pamela Geller.

For the left the rise of grassroots activist movements like the Tea Party Radicals, the English Defense League, new political parties or the relentless rise of the right on the Net via the Blogosphere and related websites has usurped the left’s old street protesting stomping ground. Once the Left basked in the knowledge that ordinary people were by and large on their side, Trade Unions could muster thousands of followers, students were generally of the left, radical politics, activism and mass movements were of the left, and the right, where was the Right?

The right, in fact, was either perceived as Conservative, straight, male, Christian and white or shaven-headed, cranially-challenged, bigoted, straight, male and white. Worse, both were seen as being partnered by dull, plump, child-bearing dullards who were either Thatcher clones or broken bones and, who were, bar the odd exception, utterly asexual or sexless.

The left may have had followers of both sexes, but their dedication and pursuit of the monosexual being meant that each partner was often bearded, sandal wearing and obsessed with their diet, and as such were accompanied, in the main, by a bizarre array of multi-sexual, transsexual, cross-dressing, muesli-munching, hormonally-challenged, dungareed wearing, saddos whose idea of a good time was reminiscing about how much they’d collected for the striking miners in the eighties and planning their party of parties to celebrate the imminent death of Margaret Thatcher. Yet lurking on the edges of these leftwing clans were some of the world’s beautiful people, radical chick, could also be radical chic. From black-clad, capitalist-killing members of the Baader-Meinhof gang to free-lovin’ little rich girls, the left had them all.

But not any more. The Right got a growing army of discontented, sassy women and, at its head, Sarah Palin, a Republican hockey-mum and moose-hunting, heaving-bosomed, far right goddess who gave every red-neck American their biggest hard-on in years. Palin came along at a time when the US right was in free fall and the United States was still reeling from the aftermath of September 11th, Hurricane Katrina, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the collapse of Lehman Brothers, foreclosures and the Credit Crunch and the election of the first black President of the United States. These events, momentous and challenging, happened at a time when the incumbent Republican President Bush was floundering and failing to take a lead. The American people wanted change and got it big time in the election of President Obama, a man whose radical, left leaning agenda, would soon galvanize the grassroots right in ways not seen in the US for years, if at all. It is this grassroots movement in the US, and from the US to the rest of the world, that is so alarming the left and its mouthpieces like the Guardian.

The left’s goon squads are now on the attack and when they attack they attack big time, first, as with Sarah Palin, they will attack their target in the media, they will ridicule and besmirch your family (as long as you’re white), your religion (as long as its Christian) and your character and if that doesn’t work the left runs to their legal friends to find ways of shutting you up, shutting you down, and banning you or all three.

For the UK left and the soft left establishment our Democracy is not enshrined in law or laid down in a Bill of Rights, it is fluid, changeable, and bendable. Not so much a constitution as a flexible solution to a problem should it arise, and as the new left creates laws, like for instance the law of religious hatred, so the left’s legions of litigators utilize them to silence and cajole its enemies. The UK’s array of new gagging orders are both vile and one of the single biggest attacks on free speech the UK has ever seen.

It's no coincidence that the abolition of an antiquated law like Blasphemy, which only applied to Anglican Christians and was hardly ever used, should, in fact, have heralded in a vastly more effective and draconian law that made it a crime to incite or promote religious hatred, a catch-all phrase that can mean anything and effectively protects Islam and other religions from criticism. Likewise protest movements like the English Defense League can be banned from marching if the local, often politically motivated, police think the EDL’s presence might upset the local residents.

Expect to see the ‘threat of disorder’ wheeled out again and again now when EDL and similar bodies attempt to march. Beyond that, the Commission for Racial Equality is heaping one legal challenge after another on the British National Party in its stated aim of bankrupting the party and destroying it for good, thus effectively denying a voice to a million voters. Would such a tactic, say used by the Conservatives against the Communist Party or the Socialist Workers Party, have been any more acceptable? The EDL and the BNP may well be unpleasant and be represented by some pretty ghastly individuals but their growth is indicative that something in society is wrong and shutting them down is not going to make the root causes that created them go away.

Now the left is moving on Bloggers, blogger and campaigner Pamela Geller is, according to the Guardian and Civil rights groups, guilty of "hate speech" for her repeated warnings of "Islamic domination" of the US. Further she has, according to the McCarthyist left leaning political monitoring group, The Southern Poverty Law Centre, mixed political exploitation with ‘hate-mongering‘. As a result Geller has, according to the Law Centre’s spokesman Marc Potok, ‘crossed the line from legitimate debate’, as it is in his words, wrong to ‘talk about conspiracies on the part of Muslims to dominate the United States’.

The whole article was implying that Pamela Geller and her ilk must be silenced, that their attacks on Islam and Muslims amounted to hate-speech and as such were committing a verbal ‘crime’ punishable by law. This is the left’s answer to everything now. If it offends ban it, gag it, silence it. The left has created a chaotic world of mass immigration, moved peoples from country to country without any thought as to the consequences, it has promoted lifestyles which are often at odds with people’s beliefs and done so regardless of the indigenous population. Now when grassroots movements against these decisions grow amongst the people the Left actively seeks to destroy those movements and deny the people a voice.

The Left and the mainstream Establishment will silence the people at its peril because every time a moderate is silenced, is mocked, or his ideas pilloried, then the more extreme will become his efforts to be heard and the more extreme his need to make the state and the establishment listen.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Watching the news, reading the papers and seeing our politicians in the UK, in Europe and in the US could make one feel that the excitement and impending sense of economic doom predicted by so many since the end of 2007, 2008, last year and this year, was over. That the world had moved almost effortlessly from sub-prime crisis, to credit crunch to ‘lets have lunch’ without anyone getting hurt, give or take the odd Greek bank worker and the occasional British Prime Minister voted out of office.

The stock markets have lurched, inched, spurted and crawled inexorably upwards in recent months and commentators and the media instead of using scary words like crash, depression, the Thirties, mass unemployment, social breakdown, collapse, credit crunch are now soothing us with words like; employment, new jobs, low interest rates, controlled cutbacks, bank lending, work force, skills, cohesion and of course everyone's current fave, coalition. Of course there are still a few yobs out there on the fringes swearing and shouting expletives like; double-dip, recession, deflation, inflation, pensions, baby-boomers, pensions, rising unemployment and, lest we forget, Quantitative Easing. But generally the world is calm. Or is it?

The world’s decision to use a Keynesian approach to solving its economic woes has temporarily calmed things, but the stimulus has been at a massive cost, particularly in the US where the home of capitalism has shown itself to be weak in the face of crisis, preferring the soft option, high taxes, Healthcare Reform, and delaying hard choices for the future. Yet that future could only be months away. Already the effects of the first stimulus are waning, consumer spending is slowing again almost before it started rising, house prices are still falling, new house building can barely get it together to erect a flag-pole let alone a new house and meanwhile evermore foreclosures beckon as debt carries all before it. Yet the Federal Reserve and the Obama administration’s only answer is another, bigger, stimulus package, more Quantitative Easing and ever more spending. It’s like having maxed-out all your credit cards, mortgaged and remortgaged the house and borrowed everything you can from the bank and your friends, yet you still believe if you can just borrow more it’ll be alright.

The effects of the first stimulus are fading because it didn’t create anything meaningful and props up businesses that should close. More money will just prop them up longer and create more meaningless jobs and when its removed or its effects wane then the failing businesses and McJobs will go to anyway. Better to get the pain over and build anew than risking a bigger collapse and hyper inflation in the months and years ahead. Stimuluses only work if there’s something to stimulate, if the patient is dying, then sometimes its kinder to let him die..

In the UK too, talk of cuts are beginning to be talked down and the threat of big cuts to social services moderated. The UK though will have to wait until October this year to find out exactly what is to be cut so it would be churlish to harp on and heap criticism on the Breakback Coalition before they have had a chance to show their true colours. I suspect though that given their current moniker that they will be multi-coloured as they try to be all things to all men. In which case they’ll please no one and disappoint all.

The US and potentially the rest of the West could be heading towards a double-dip recession or, in reality in the US, a full-blown, no-nonsense Depression, where nature will do what the governments of Bush, Obama and the Federal Reserve have failed to do and that is to burn away the rubbish so that a new economy and new businesses can rise from the ashes. The only genuine alternative is the half way measure of hacking away at the economic mess through cuts, but it remains to be seen if the UK coalition government has what it takes? If we have then we may avoid America’s fate, if not we to may see the dark clouds of Depression before too long.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Reading the UK’s newspapers one gets inured to the daily horror stories of some elderly woman being pummeled to death by some feckless thug, or how some one, some son, daughter, father, mother, has been stabbed, kicked, beaten, to death and so on infinitum until one's brain turns off. However, every now and then some incident, or event trips a raw nerve and triggers a response. For me it was the story of a twenty five year old man who kicked and trampled on a goose before ripping its head off while still alive in front of a group of horrified children in a park. This vile piece of subhuman scum was sentenced to 25 weeks in prison and will no doubt be free to inveigle his cronies with tales of his daring bird killing in a matter of months.

The Guide Dog Association has also reported that at least three of its dogs are attacked by pit bull type gang dogs every month while out walking their owners on the lovely streets of England’s green and pleasant land. These attacks often result in the guide dog being left injured, traumatized and unable to function again as a guide dog while their blind owners already difficult life is made that much more awful.

Every day, like crimes against people, crimes and cruelty against this country's animals increase. The one difference from the awful crimes perpetuated on a daily basis against people is that animals cannot speak out or write to their MP, they cannot do anything other than trust in us to protect them and, in that, as with most things, we are failing.

The thug that unleashes his psyched up fighting dog on a hapless guide dog for a laugh will no doubt derive similar enjoyment from smashing an old lady's face in, or sticking a knife into someone for their ipod or wallet. Equally, the sub human bacteria that ripped the head off a goose is probably, as a recent article published in the New York Times by Charles Siebert stressed, well on his way to hurting people or children as many of the world’s vilest killers began their careers killing animals before turning to people.

But there is more here than just feeling sad and angry at the bestiality of some people, which is that we tolerate them. The 25 week sentence for our goose killer is nothing. The vermin that did it is unemployable, has never worked and probably never will. He has cost us money since he was born so, conversely, his financial sentence on the state and our taxes lasts a life time. His punishment costs us money and his release will cost us even more. No doubt his new found notoriety will increase his sex appeal among scum women and soon his State-funded home will echo to the pitter-patter of little scum feet dragging themselves across the floor. These little baby scum soon-to-be-sadists will no doubt start by torturing small animals and tormenting daddy's pit bull, which, if it doesn’t eat them, will put them in good stead for killing a few more of God’s creatures when they reach adulthood.

The fact is that he, and thousands like him, are human vermin, they contribute nothing to society yet cost a fortune and their families cost even more. They steal, rob and take on a huge scale. They breed, consume and contribute absolutely nothing off any worth creatively, societally or intellectually and now they hurt and abuse, and their scum offspring will do the same, only worse. We tolerate them because we are afraid of them and because we think we are civilized and can do nothing else, as any punishment beyond the conventional would be barbaric, that somehow they can be ‘saved’ and made ‘nice’, like us. That little scum gangstaman will sit down outside his crib and sip Pinot Grigio while his ho's hand out canapes. Or that our cool goose killer will turn over a new leaf having studied venetian antiquities at Her Majesty's Pleasure and start saving little scally scum boys and girls from turning to a life of crime. I think not.

What we have is an increasingly barbaric, vicious and, in many cases, barely human  underclass, which we still treat as if we were Victorian missionaries on a crusade to save and civilise. Why? So that we can make them like us? Well, we know that’s not going to happen. Or is it to make us feel better? That we’re doing something for these poor people? Or is it that we cannot believe that our adventure and creation of a welfare state has failed and, instead of producing a happy working class, has produced a hybrid sub-human every bit as ghastly as if they been spawned as the direct result of mutating their DNA and cross-breeding them with rodents.

Scum, like goose-head man and the gangs of hooded bacteria than hang around our streets and parks stabbing people with the wrong postcode or menacing the blind, can’t be civilized because it isn’t worth the money or the man hours to try and do so. Far better to kill them or at the least sterilize them like we do strays, so at least they can be stopped breeding. They have NO purpose and we should stop pretending that they do.

The increase in the number of cases of cruelty and killing of animals should be a wake up call to all of us. We are not civilized and our society is not civilized, if it were incidents like this would not happen and therefore saying that society cannot kill is a non starter. Society can and should kill because we can’t. We live by the rules, the scum that kill animals and people don’t, and because of that the state has to be tough and do what we can’t and remove these people from our society permanently and not just for 25 weeks.

Friday, July 16, 2010


At the very moment that European governments are nervously, tentatively and almost coquettishly beginning to strip themselves of the socialist and welfare trappings that have so burdened them with debt, so Obama’s America is beginning to pick up Europe’s discarded robes and begin the process of making the United States the biggest socialist harlot on the block.

America’s new role as the world’s Welfare Whore of choice has come about at the very time that the majority of Europe’s states are courting Austerity, a leaner and healthier mistress, whose favours are hard earned but come with the promise of greater, lasting pleasure. Obama has in fact not only inherited and picked up Bush’s and Poulson’s cheque book, which had already seen billions in state aid thrown at America’s struggling banking sector, but has re-mortgaged the house, borrowed on the nation’s credit cards and taken up with some dodgy counterfeiters who have conceived a new way of turning paper into gold. Euphemistically called quantitative easing, or QE, America’s new Midas touch is enabling the Federal Reserve to buy up state bonds like there’s no tomorrow, which, if they carry on, there may well not be.

The Federal Reserve and the Obama administration, whether out of fear of a 1930s style Depression, self interest in getting reelected in 2012 or genuine conviction, have not only embraced Keynesian economics with the fanaticism of the convert but have reinvented statist interventionism and turned it into a war: we’re either stimulated or annihilated. With interest rates already at ground zero, the Fed is rumoured to be wheeling out its doomsday weapon, “monster’ quantitative easing with the Fed’s Chairman Ben Bernanke now poised, like some grotesque Baron Frankenstein figure, with his hand on the printing press levers ready to unleash Trillions more dollars, and buy more yet more bonds, in his bid to use ‘extreme monetary stimulus‘ in his war against deflation and to save much that should be allowed to fail.

Now that Europe has finally understood that its ‘spend, spend, spend’ mantra of the last fifty years has had its day and is finally, reluctantly and nervously beginning to rein in some of its excesses, Obama is on the phone telling everyone to put the music back on because the party’s not over. Simply put, if the Europeans are all desperate to get in Miss Austerity’s bed then there’ll be less than euro left for the US’s poor little state-rich Welfare Whore, no matter what sweet nothings and promises Obama and Benerke have been whispering in her ear.

Europe has woken up to the fact that its citizens may not be able to retire in middle age, or take months off when they have a cold, or expect cradle-to-grave welfare support. The party really is over and they know it. They know too that there’s a huge bill that they, the guests, who’ve been partying like there’s no tomorrow, will have to pay. So far, only a few of the party goers have actually put their hands in their pockets and chipped in, but the rest of the guests are at least working out what’s in their wallets, which is good for Europe. It’s good because, although people have known for years that our welfare wonderland was unsustainable, nobody has ever really bothered to do anything about it because we knew that it would hurt and be unpopular with the nation’s voters. Margaret Thatcher tried, but that was a long time ago and her policies caused riots and protest and no one wants that again. Far better to nothing and that, give or take the odd, easily reversed cutback, is exactly what the governments of Europe have done forever and a day.

Now, as a result of one of the most dire financial crises ever, governments not only have a scapegoat to blame but they can all get through hard times together. The people may moan, they are; they may riot, as they have in Greece and surely will in France; a few, like Hungary and Holland, may go all fascisti for a while but, cut back Europe can, and will. Even Germany, once one of the Welfare Whore’s best customers, has booted her out of bed and decided to get lean and, by all accounts, the Germans are loving it. Their country is doing well, they’re beginning to flex muscles again they didn’t know they had and they might even invade Poland. Yet, the land of free enterprise, CSI, cute cheerleaders, Hollywood and one of the world’s biggest Fiscal Deficits is getting all antsy in case this new craze for Austerity chic means that we start buying home grown produce for the first time in ages.

Well, maybe we will and maybe we won’t, but the surest way to guarantee that Europeans decide to start dissing the dollar is to start telling them to buy USA. No one likes being told what to do, least of all by a President who seems to walk down the yellow brick road with a welfare hoe on one arm and bags full of counterfeit cash on the other. Obama was elected as much by the Europeans as the Americans, or at least that’s how Europe’s left-leaning, snobby intelligentsia see it. Obama was their president of choice, black, smart, not called Bush and who spoke like a character from the West Wing. So he was in their eyes a cool president who would do what they wanted. Of course, almost two years down the line, Obama has not delivered, the US is still in Afghanistan and Iraq and, worst of all, he’s now becoming like them and creating a welfare state, which is just so uncool, last year and is, as the French say, c'est remo (it’s dead).

President Obama may want and perhaps need the rest of the world to spend, but it’s not going to happen, no matter how much money Bernerke prints and how much more financial stimuli banks are encouraged to make available. For the first time ever, there is a kind of reluctant, and albeit tepid, consensus between the peoples of Europe and the peoples of America and that is save, save, save. Credit cards are out, credit is out and most of all borrowing is out. People are ready for the first time in a generation to get down and frugal with each other and nothing Obama can do or say is going to make any difference; for, after all, a welfare whore in lipstick is still a welfare whore no matter how you dress her up. Equally, a president in pimps clothing is still a pimp no matter what he says.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


It is interesting that, as the US’s grass roots Tea Party movement begins to exert real influence over the Republican Party and its choice of candidates for November’s Senate elections, so the mainstream right wing media is turning on them, both in the US and in the UK. The reason? The Tea Party and similar fringe or unofficial right wing movements often espouse ideas and thoughts that go against the grain and the soft media-friendly right doesn’t like it. Hence a succession of doom and gloom articles in everything from the Telegraph to the cover of the Economist all attacking the Tea Party, its supporters and its ideologies.

According to the Economist Leader's column, the American right should emulate David Cameron’s ghastly, touchy-feely, hug-a-hoodie, love your enemy approach if they want to reconnect with mainstream America and help the Republicans win the 2012 election, conveniently ignoring the fact that ‘Dave’ lost the UK’s election and was forced to cosy up to the Liberal Democrats in order to form a government. The Economist thinks that the Tea Party is too angry and too white, a terrible crime in the eyes of the multiculturally obsessed, and too far away from the centrist mainstream right ideology so favoured by the Economist. Good.

Good because the radical right is now hamstrung and gagged at every opportunity by a mainstream obsessed with keeping politics in the middle ground and if it’s beginning to get to the point where it can begin to ruffle a few harmonious middle ground feathers then so much to the good. Politics needs extremes and it needs anger otherwise it vegetates and eventually produces inertia in the electorate and leaders like Gordon Brown and David Cameron. Extremes get watered down, they get changed and altered but politics needs new ideas and they need anger to drive them and the people have every right to be angry.

Our leaders and governments have created and encouraged a spend now, pay later environment for years both at national levels and personal levels. They did this for a mixture of reasons, some altruistic, some nationalistic and some egotistic but the net result is the same, the West is in debt and struggling with welfare systems it cannot afford and populations, swollen by unchecked immigration, that it cannot support. Yet few political parties will give vent to the anger and the fear that people so clearly feel.

This is rage with a small ‘r’, the reasonable revolution. So far we have had a soft recession with a soft landing and mild discomfort. For most people it's business as usual, we might be told its tough ‘out there’ but in here the birds are still singing (unless an Eastern European migrant has eaten them) and the sun is still shining and those clouds on the horizon are still a long way away. But others are hurting and for them the Tea Party is giving them a voice but still the government and the media won’t listen because what people are saying goes against current norms.

It was interesting that, aside from attacking the Tea Party and its followers, The Economist's other key target was the “hysterical blogosphere”,  whose writers ravings are apparently threatening the mainstream moderate Republican party and damaging its chances of winning the 2012 elections. Of course, what the Economist was really saying was 'stop the Tea Party movement now or we risk seeing a Sarah Palin / Mike Huckabee double act running for the White House', something that is an anathema to many.

Now every thing is pastel grey, a big bland in the centre with the right pushed to the loony sidelines, its followers dismissed as extremists who, according to the Economist are intolerant, gun-toting, immigrant-bashing and worse according to the Telegraph they harbour members who have “aligned themselves with an array of wild positions”. These “wild” positions often cover tax, immigration, crime and punishment and abortion, the great totems of the left and soft right and our new multicultural diverse society and as such are not only untouchable but now unmentionable.

Our Western multicultural democracies have contracted and reduced the political spectrum to a mid range of political ideas that drift slightly to the right and slightly to the left but effectively encourage Big government, maintain the key socialist totems of welfare and the multicultural society. That dissent will not be tolerated has become more and more evident as the new establishment, that unholy kabal between the mainstream political classes, the media and many in the public sector, exerts pressure to crush or rubbish any dissenters that dares to threaten the current status quo.

Regardless of what one thinks of the Tea Party, its agenda or those politicians like Sarah Palin or Sharron Angle, who are so aligned and associated with it, the Tea Party is a grass roots movement that has risen quickly to encompass hundreds of thousands of followers in less than two years. This movement, like other right wing dissent in Europe and the online blogosphere, is constantly dismissed as irrelevant and as the wailings of lunatics, yet it is growing in strength and anger and cannot be ignored any longer. The fact that British publications feel the need to weigh in and dangle the spectacle of David Cameron in front of Americans as something to aspire to only shows just how out of touch the mainstream right has become.

By the way, mine's white with no sugar.

Thank you.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Paying homage to the ‘Twat-in-a-hat’

The death of the artist, writer and self-styled ‘dandy’, Sebastian Horsley, from a heroin overdose on the 17th June upset me much more than I would have expected it to have, had I ever considered it, which I hadn’t. Sebastian was a likeable, frail, witty, beautiful and tragic-comic figure who had started life as an artist and ended it as writer and self-styled Dandy. A kind of modern Beau Brummell, veiled in a veneer of Bryronic excess, fueled as much by his love of publicity as it was by debauchery.

I met Sebastian, not in Soho, with which he will be forever associated, but in Mayfair, in the late 1990s where he lived next door to a brothel in Shepherds Market and only yards away from Brummell’s former home in Chesterfield Street. I also lived in Mayfair then and had a house around the corner in Hays Mews where, as it happened, I was having an afternoon drinks party. A mutual friend brought Sebastian along because she thought that we’d like each other and we also both had a human skull collection which she reckoned made some sort of friendship a given. 

Back then, Sebastian was still the Dandy he would become, but less so, as the artist and crack addict vied for his attention, only morphing into the fully formed Dandy a few years later. Sometimes he’d disappear for weeks, locked away in his flat while his dealers would deliver his longed-for poison by pushing envelopes of it through his letter box. At other times he’s emerge, clean, bright-eyed, witty and rearing to get on with his work. He’d even, on occasions, appear covered in paint, though with a dapper edge of course.

Some time in 2002/3 he came around to Redemption Films' Soho offices with a copy of a film by the artist Sarah Lucas, that had been made of his crucifixion in the Philippines, which he wanted me to watch with a view to releasing it. I remember sitting down in the Groucho Club watching the process of Sebastian being prepared and finally nailed and crucified and feeling incredibly disturbed by it. I can’t say why, perhaps it was my own track record with religion and blasphemy, or the fact that I was in therapy and feeling pretty emotional, but whatever the reason I found it very difficult to watch and very unsettling. In the end Sebastian decided to have a more art gallery-friendly style release rather than the more unrestrained 'shock’ release that Redemption would have brought to it.

By 2003, I had moved out of Mayfair and back to Soho and Sebastian, in turn, had also left Mayfair and bought a small flat in Meard Street (a paved street that runs between Wardour Street and Dean Street and which used to be home to Gossips Club, the Bat Cave and a brothel, but which now has the Soho House Hotel and a theme pub). He was still pursuing his art and came to see me about working in porn as a performer, with a view to theming his next collection on pornography. “I am very well endowed” he smirked. I linked him up with Jane Hamilton (the ex-pornstar Veronica Hart with a new name) and then producer of Michael Ninn’s award-winning films Latex and Shock, who seemed highly amused and interested in this english artist who wanted to fuck for his art.

Sadly though, it never happened, or maybe gladly it didn’t, for around this time Sebastian started to write for the Erotic Review and the middle class creatures that liked to peep through their net curtains at all the naughty goings-on but never did anything themselves. He used to moan about it, but obviously enjoyed his new found infamy that the PR savvy Rowan Pelling, the Erotic Reviews breathy editor, brought to his work. A column in the Observer followed though Sebastian’s graphic sexual anecdotes and non-politically correct views ruffled too many liberal feathers and his column was soon cancelled. But all the while the writer and the Dandy’s star was rising, yet, there was another darker star lurking, always threatening to eclipse the others.

Living, again literally around the corner from Sebastian, I would often see him from my window wrapped in a long black coat, pale and haggard, hurrying to the street crack dealers that hang around lower Berwick Street and Brewer Street night after night. These are the pits of the drug world, vicious and amoral and selling butchered crack and smack to desperate street life. Yet, day after day, I’d see Sebastian going to these creatures. Sometimes I’d bump into him, and he’d be nervous, anxious, his eyes on storks looking startled and frightened, keen to get home. This was the flipside of Sebastian, the sad, bad side, the Mr Hyde to his Dandy Jekyll.

Other times he’d be clean, off drugs, off drink and working, working for months on end. We would meet for occasional drinks and he’d be enthusing and/ or derogatory about his book at the same time and, yet, he was changing. The artist and painter was fading and a new creature, a living creation was emerging, one that was the same, only louder and with bigger hats. When Sebastian’s book was published there was a massive opening launch party and I was surprised at how his fame had spread, and the hordes of glitterati in attendance. Sebastian and Rachel No 3 (all his core girlfriends were bizarrely called Rachel and numbered accordingly) arrived in matching red outfits. They were adored and adorable. Stardom, it seemed, beckoned.

And stardom for Sebastian did seem imminent and justifiably so. His book Dandy in the Underworld had been made into a play and Stephen Fry had bought the film rights. I think, in fact, up until the 17th June, Sebastian had the world at his slippered feet. He could have been another Evelyn Waugh or whatever he wanted to be, instead he’s dead. Killed by a stupid drug and soon people will transform and mellow the real you into their you, a witty Soho bon-viveur of course, but a starry, larger-than-life character and that frightened figure in black will be forgotten as they pay homage to the ‘twat-in-the-hat-who-lived-in-a-flat’. The trouble was, like Jekyll and Hyde, one couldn’t exist without the other.

One day we’ll get around to having that drink.

Rest in Peace.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap, says the bible, in which case, the people of the UK may well be about to reap the whirlwind for having created a political, economic and social climate that now has all the ingredients for disaster on a biblical scale. 

We have three ‘leaders’ and three political parties that have totally failed to either address or acknowledge the true and dire state of this countries finances or the fragile social environment against which our national debt has been borrowed and whose foundations it props up. Equally, we have a population that has become so inured by credit, cocooned by public services and enfeebled by political correctness and human rights legislation that in a ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ kind of way they have become Generation Eloi. A placid and docile race content to shop, watch TV, and trade banalities on Twitter and Facebook while their comfort zone is fueled by ever rising property values, easy money and a sense that life just gets better and better. It doesn’t, sometimes it gets nasty. 

This is one of those times and usually this country throws up a few strong leaders to rally the people, to speak the unspeakable and rouse us from our nice comfort zones. Instead we have thrown up a collection of political pigmies, men of such shallowness that their superficial values and trite displays of political ‘passion’ only highlight their complete lack of any beliefs worthy of the name. These worthless little men, the product, born not of deep political conviction and struggle, but of focus groups and public relation experts are our creations and our nemesis. They are what we deserve.

Clegg, Cameron and Brown and the political parties that they represent are finished. They are bereft of new ideas and incapable of leadership. Instead they, like smart and slick salesmen, smile and recite their latest formulated political ideas. Prepacked and preordained. Uniform, and for the most part interchangeable, this is one idea fits all politics. If it works for the Conservatives, then it’ll work for the Liberal Democrats and New Labour. They are like the Ford Ka, the only difference being the colour. Blue for the Conservatives, Red for Labour and Orange for the Lib Dems, with a big yellow streak down the middle. Perhaps, now that all the parties are up for a bit of Lib Dem action and are selling out any remaining credibility for the chance to bed Clegg, they should all have a yellow streak down their backs.

Our country is broke and teetering on the brink of a financial and social catastrophe yet during the three weeks of electioneering our would-be prime ministers barely mentioned it instead they fell over themselves to boast about what they would not cut.  Brown, no doubt with a tear in his eye, announced that he was ‘shocked and angry’ that Cameron and Clegg were in a ‘coalition of cuts against children’ and that cuts in child tax credits were an anathema to him. As were cuts to the Health Service, Education, the Police, or it seems anything else that might hurt the vulnerable. In our new Eloi paradise it seems money is no object. If we’re short we can just borrow it from those nice people in the City or, better still, we can print it. 

Watching and listening to these three wise men was like watching a troupe of fanatics that have been fired up by a preacher and told to spread the word. Suddenly Brown and Co. had seen the light, “No Cuts”, “Protect the Vulnerable” they cried. “What’s My Line?” had morphed into “What’s My Slogan?” and it was going to be cutback light, no pain, maybe an ache, no cuts now but a scratch or two next year or the year after that. Like the parent whose child had a nightmare, they were not only going to leave the hall light on but would sit next to the bed and watch over us. See, there’s nothing to worry about... The trouble is, there’s actually lots to worry about, not the least of which is the three buffoons that would lead us and the three parties they represent, for the longer they delay making cuts the sooner that their ability to act may be taken out of their hands. Very soon the financial markets and world events may, like in Greece, begin to exert pressure on our economy that will affect interest rates, the exchange rates and the Government's ability to borrow and maintain its current financial commitments.

Yet the mantra of ‘no cuts’ rules and the people like it. ‘Protect (the vulnerable) and Survive’ is the way to win this war. The only trouble is that you don’t win wars by being nice or by protecting the vulnerable, in fact, often the vulnerable are the first to go, after all they contribute nothing and often take more than their fair share. The Health Service is full of useless managers and inept staff that should be sacked to make way for people who can actually do the job. Unfortunately, politicians and sentimental journalists have so milked the whole ‘angels in uniform’ nonsense that the Health Service has become a sacred cow that consumes money faster that its asylum seeker, economic migrant patients can spend it. Likewise our bloated public sector is ludicrously over staffed with no-hoper under achievers who are being paid vast salaries for doing nothing more than being alive, while others are so obviously cranially challenged that the kindest thing to do would be to kill them. 

The vulnerable, along with hundreds of thousands of individuals whose contribution to the UK is on a par with their IQ’s, is actually what a large percentage of our national debt is paying for and would be easy to cut if we had a government prepared to forgo the ‘nice’ in order to deal with the ‘nasty’ for once. However given that our three main political parties are now about to engage in some sort of ghastly love-in and the only political parties waiting in the wings are UKIP, whose leader flew his plane into a field on election day, the BNP, which collapsed into farcical disarray during the last few days of the campaign by getting sued by Unilever and having its website pulled and the Greens, who at least managed to get someone elected, it’s unlikely that anything will be done and that the vulnerable, the public sector and sacred cows are all safe for now.

The truth is that we are reaping what we have sown and that right now there is no alternative to the Clegg, Cameron and Brown Kabal in whatever form it finally takes and that is the truly scary aspect of this non-election. For, in order to protect the vulnerable and the public sector, these men will most likely damn us all. Amen.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


It says something about the state of the UK when over ten million of its adult population choose to spend an hour of their time watching three virtually identikit politicians regurgitate three almost interchangeable responses to a series of preset questions and go wild with excitement. The media claimed the next day that the American-style format ‘leaders debate’ had ‘electrified’ voters and galvanised a previously lacklustre campaign and made the previously unelectable Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg the viewers’ favourite, a bit like the X-Factor, though with Peter Mandelson taking Simon Cowell’s role, Brown playing Subo and Clegg and David Cameron doubling up as Jedward. So far there’s all to play for, though, whoever wins, the loser will be the UK and its people.

Since the ousting of Margaret Thatcher as leader of the Conservative party in 1990, British politics began the process of morphing from nasty to nice and from nice to bland and from bland to banal. Firstly, the inability of the Labour Party to mount a credible campaign against the Conservatives kept them out of office for over eighteen years, necessitating the creation of New Labour and the election of a media-savvy leader in the form of Tony Blair. Secondly, Blair transformed Labour’s fortunes to such an extent that the Conservatives in turn became unelectable and ensured that New Labour has had thirteen years in office, a feat almost unimaginable a decade ago.

Blair’s triumph was that he was able to tap into the psyche of New Britain in a way that no one else, except perhaps Simon Cowell, could and, in doing so, stymied the opposition to such an extent that it was effectively dead. So dead, in fact, that the Conservatives have, rather than reinvent themselves as a credible alternative to New Labour, sought to become New Labour, Right. The Liberal Democrats in turn, have slowly moved from a party of ban the bomb, lentil-eating greenies to a slightly fadish and more socialist version of their previous selves and become, in effect, New Labour, Left. Blair, ironically, had admired Thatcher and her strength in sticking to her beliefs, something Blair, to his credit, did over Iraq but, to their shame, our opposition have no sense of. To them, belief is what they think voters want or what their focus groups tell them we want or, worse, is a watered down, or beefed-up version of an existing Blair or New Labour policy. If it worked for Blair then it will work for us. Radical ideas, like radical politics, are out. British politics is now lite and trite. 

Now Blair’s Dauphin, Gordon Brown, the anointed one and his chosen successor is seeking to carve out his own niche and to wear the crown of elected office, something that has so far eluded him in his sham role as unelected Prime Minister and saviour of the world. Likewise, Clegg and Cameron are seeking the voters’ approval so that they too might savour elected office and yet they offer nothing. No new ideas, no new initiatives, no nothing. We have weak men, appealing to a weak electorate with neither able or willing to accept or utter the truth that our country is teetering on the abyss; financially, socially and morally.

Now, our would-be leaders feed and nurture belief that the worst is behind us that by some clever trickery and word manipulation, printing money became quantitative easing for instance, that they have all but conquered the recession. That we can avoid any hurt by cost cutting ‘savings’, by making our public services more efficient. This is against a national debt that is increasing by half a billion a day, which currently stands at £776bn and which, according to the governments own figures, is due to reach £1,406bn by 2014/15. Further, if government spending continues at current levels then as a percentage of GDP it will rise from 70pc now to 500pc of GDP by 2040 with the interest alone equaling 27pc of GDP. These figures are from the Bank of International Settlements the body for the world’s central banks and are contained within a report called The Future of Public Debt: prospects and implications. What they mean is that the UK is bankrupt and borrowing like a man possessed, with the report showing that, aside from Japan, which has higher savings, UK public spending is the highest in the world, totally out of control and heading for disaster.

Yet, our three main political parties are now virtually interchangeable, sub-Blair clones, scared of offending, scared of losing and scared of being different. Not for these men the hard choices and true cost cutting that hurts, that will bring protest and pain yet ultimately might go some way to averting disaster. No, what we have instead is inaction and inertia, the politics of fudging and prevarication, of sound bites and friendly chats on TV sofas, all driven by the politics of needing to be liked. Gone is the genuine passion of the convicted politician whose ideal’s drive him and in has come the need me, like me, fay politicians of today, the X-Factoresque Tweedle Dee’s and Tweedle Dum’s who will dance to almost any tune provided enough of us can hum it. Men and women whose message is vote for me because I’m nice and leave the nasty stuff to someone else.

Leaving the nasty to someone else is fine of course, provided that whatever bogey man is lurking in the wings stays away. We all like the nice and calm but, by and large, we don’t elect politicians to be nice and, more to the point, it’s usually the nasties that we ultimately remember and respect. Churchill’s demands to rearm and resist Nazi Germany weren’t exactly popular at the time as most of the electorate dismissed his dire warnings as warmongering. Thatcher was almost universally loathed when she tackled the Trade Unions and government overspending. In the US, Reagan was shot and mocked for his stand against communist Russian but all three politicians had stood up for what they believed to be right and more importantly had done what they knew had to be done at a time what doing so made them reviled by many.

Are Brown, Clegg or Cameron prepared to be reviled for tackling this countries spiraling debt? No, though they may well be reviled later for being nice and delaying the pain. But right now, they want to be liked so much that they’re not even admitting the extent of the problem. They’re lying, in fact; lying because they’re still spending and promising to do what we can’t afford; lying by printing money; lying by hoping that inflation will magically reduce the debt and, most of all, they’re lying because they all refuse to address our debt honestly and by doing so they cheapen and discredit our democracy, devaluing it to the point that one day soon someone might just kill it off and put it out of its misery ...