A Victory for Common Sense

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/9644558/Death-knell-for-wind-farms-Enough-is-Enough-says-minister.html

I really cannot get enough of that headline. I love the British countryside. From Cornwall to the northern most tip of Orkney I’ve visited most of it. And for the past 15 years I have seen the blight of windfarms spread. This headline shows that a line has been drawn in the sand against the encroachment of these ugly, expensive white elephants. My only sadness is that the blight will continue to spread north of the border where the fiat of the Dear Leader Kim Jong Eck allows turbines to spread like a plague over beautiful landscapes, thus damaging one of Scotland’s most successful industries, tourism.

The only people who will oppose this sensible policy are ecoloons and limp dems, although that is probably a tautology on my part. Now, I do not accept the theory of anthropogenic global warming, however, even if I did I think I would be smart enough to work out that wind power is not any part of the answer to the problem.

There are three reasons for this:

  • First, wind technology is unproven, inefficient and guess what, the wind doesn’t blow all the time.
  • Second, the extraction process of the metals to build turbines is causing environmental devastation in Inner Mongolia
  • Third, renewables can only meet requirements if we reduce energy consumption exponentially, effectively leading to a de-industrialised, post-capitalist economy. This would delight the Greens, but as anyone who has read James Delingpole’s excellent book Watermelons knows, this is precisely what the ecoloons want. If they were serious about reducing carbon emissions, there is only one answer, and that is nuclear power.

So a victory for common sense and also I believe a victory for the proper Tory tendency in the cabinet. May it be the first of many.

 

 

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The Rise of the Client State

When I was young, only doctor’s vets and dentists had surgeries. Now, every elected representative seems to have one. This seems to be the result of a fundamental flaw within our politics which instead of seeing the state as an appliance for the performance of strictly limited tasks of government sees it as a fount of patronage and a place for the resolution of the difficulties we all face in our lives.

As a result the role of MPs has changed; instead of holding the government to account their role has become one of mediator between the state and us. Now, I don’t pretend to know anything about the black arts of party management in Westminster, but I do know if your MP is running around in ever decreasing circles trying to discover why little Johnny hasn’t got into Upper Bottom Primary, then he or she will have less time to do trivial things like scrutinise legislation and be arsey if the government is hell bent on selling us down the river to Brussels. Thus MPs are no longer independent representatives of their constituencies but lobby fodder for their party in Westminster and the prey of every nut job in their constituency with a real or imagined grievance.

It is all part of a social change that has seen us stop regarding the state as political plumbing but instead as social snake oil. It has become the cure all for any and every social ill. Of course, the state cannot fulfil these expectations so politicians are left fighting for ‘justice’ for their constituents, instead of managing a strictly limited agenda, which should include no more than the maintenance of internal and external security, the regulation of monopolies and cartels and the establishment of a stable currency.

As a result, instead of being individuals attempting to fashion our own destiny through the institutions of civil society, of which the state is only one, we have become clients of a collectivist state. This is the death of true liberty and individuality. However, all is not lost. The current situation is unsustainable and cannot be sustained. The government debt and economic inefficiency that stems from collectivism will ultimately cause current bureaucratic states to collapse under their own contradictions as surely as the post-totalitarian Communist states collapsed in Central and Eastern Europe. Our job on the right is to continually challenge their legitimacy and point out their failings so that day comes sooner rather than later.

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Gramsci and Cultural Hegemony: Or why the media is a nest of nasty Left Wing Vipers

In orthodox Marxism the economic base of society – how we produce -determines the superstructure, basically everything else, law, politics, and familial relationships. Thus once mature capitalism is achieved in any society, social revolution is inevitable and all Marxists have to do to ensure the revolution and the ultimate triumph of the proletariat is to organise the coffee mornings and wait.

The snag was, as with so much political theory, the facts got in the way. There was only one revolution and that was not in a mature capitalist society.  Explanations were therefore sought and one of the most creative came from the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci.

Gramsci argued that the relationship between the base and superstructure was more complex than Marx had believed. He argued that in mature capitalist societies the superstructure imposed a cultural hegemony on the base so preventing Marx’s social revolution from happening. The answer for the left was, therefore, to challenge that cultural hegemony and replace it with hegemony of left wing values. Thus since the 1960s we have seen culture wars throughout the media leading to the BBC, most TV and film production being dominated by the left.  It is why, for instance, the excellent war film, The Hurt Locker was roundly criticised for not having a political dimension.

So, if you’re watching New Tricks for example and the British intelligence services are portrayed as stupid upper class goons it is not simply for dramatic effect. It is how the writers really see the world. It is why we have a narrative that all Conservative politicians are venal and out of touch. And why the poor are always portrayed as victims rather than individuals with free will and the possibility to master their own fate.

It is why Rod Liddle, former editor of the BBC’s Today programme,  said ‘The whole ethos of the BBC and all the staff was that Eurosceptics were xenophobes.’ He then recalled a meeting with a senior BBC figure over Eurosceptic complaints of bias in which the executive said: ‘Rod, the thing you have to understand is that these people are mad. They are mad.’

We cannot change the BBC, we can starve the beast and I would urge everyone not to pay their TV license, they cannot fine and jail us all. What we can do is challenge the cultural hegemony of the left online, one tweet and one blogpost at a time. Many examples of the mainstream media are dying under the liberating onslaught of the internet. With any luck the Guardian will go bust soon. The internet gives all of us on the right an opportunity to create our own cultural hegemony because unlike those on the left we are not moaners we are doers

 

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Gangs, Transience and Imagined Communities

 

According to the BBC, the Centre for Social Justice will publish a report tomorrow that says that violence increased in the wake of last year’s riots as gang leaders were arrested and a power vacuum on the streets resulted. It seems to be suggesting that, for many young people in our inner cities, gang membership is one of the few sources of social cohesion.

 

It is an extremely complex problem. Its deepest roots are family breakdown and bad parenting, but it is also a product of the transient alienated society within inner cities. It is this issue I want to address in this blog because transience and rootlessness in cities is not necessarily a new problem. Booth’s investigation on poverty in 19th century London showed the existence of a shifting population. He also identified areas where vicious semi-criminal classes predominated.

 

So why are transience and rootlessness contributing to the gang culture we have today? I doubt parenting amongst Booth’s vicious semi-criminal classes was any better 150 years ago than it is amongst the dysfunctional families of today. The main difference is, I think, that in the 19th century there was a wider social cohesion. The sense of belonging to an imagined community of the nation was far stronger and it is this that we have lost. It has come about through a combination of immigration, multiculturalism, the rise of Euro-federalism and left wing denigration of nationalism. This meant that although inner cities were transient and rootless places in the 19th century there was still a common feeling of belonging to the same community. That has now gone, and unless it can be recaptured I can see no future for our cities other than further alienation and worse violence.

 

 

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Welfare Reform – Guess What? The government is doing something right!

 

Welfare is the most toxic issue facing the country today. At the moment we have a significant proportion of the population who have become welfare dependent for 2 or more generations. As the Labour government found it is increasingly difficult to get such people to work because the complex benefits system that it created offers perverse disincentives to work.

 

In addition we have an education system corrupted by Marxist and structuralist ideas that state social mobility is a myth and education cannot be a pathway to self-improvement. The British Education system is now part of the problem that must be tackled rather than part of the solution. The situation is so bad that we had to import labour to fill the jobs created by the Blair/Brown debt bubble boom.

 

This government for all its faults, despite being shackled by the brain dead lib dems is actually trying to do something about it. The irony is that as a result one of the most caring and principled people in British politics, Iain Duncan Smith is being painted as right wing reactionary who would be happy to eat his young.

 

This is a travesty and again it shows how far the level of political debate in Britain has sunk. Let’s look at IDS’s journey, in the wake of his sacking as Conservative Party Leader and an unfounded slur on his wife, he did not depart from politics in a fit of pique, nor did he become an incredible sulk on the backbenches, instead he went the deprived Easterhouse Estate in Glasgow to listen and learn from those living in one of the worst slums in Europe.  As a result he set up the Centre for Social Justice and is now trying to clean out the Augean stables that is the British Welfare State.

 

For this he deserves enormous credit, if only because he has realised that it is not kind or caring to warehouse people on the dole. It destroys lives and the lives of future generations. Respect to the government in general and IDS in particular  for grasping this particular nettle.

 

Fisking a Government Response

 

Several weeks ago I signed an HMG e-Petition on a referendum regarding our relationship with the EU. Today I received a response as more than 10000 people signed the petition. Needless to say the response was the usual vacuous civil service speak, but it is worth fisking for two reasons; first that it demonstrates how far the political class has strayed from the reality experienced by most of our citizens; and second that it reveals how deeply myths of EU membership have become embedded in our political culture.

 

It begins, “The Government believes that membership of the EU is in the national interest of the UK. It is central to how we create jobs, expand trade and protect our interests around the world.” First note that assertion is not argument and secondly consider that it completely ignores the fact that exports to the EU are falling whilst exports to the rest of the world are rising. See Dan Hannan’s excellent blog post in the Telegraph http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100184934/the-case-against-eu-membership/

 

 

It goes on: “The crisis in the Eurozone has intensified the debate in every country on the future of Europe and there is no exception here. Europe is changing, and we do not know what the EU will end up looking like at the end of this crisis.” We do know, a Zollverein dominated by economically by Germany and the statist Bonapartist political culture of France. There is no humility in the European political class. No acknowledgement of the straightjacket being imposed on European economies and societies on the march to ever closer union. It is the Brehznev doctrine without Brehznev. There must be no turning back lest the success of the European project appear less than inevitable. This is a vision which should horrify anyone schooled in the empiricist British political tradition of minor incremental change. A declining continent is dragging us along a route on which none of us has voted and which I believe is inimical to the interests and traditions of our country and its people.

 

The final point I wish to extract from he response is this: “As the Prime Minister has said, this Government believes that a choice between the status quo within the EU or leaving completely is the wrong question.” Obviously, I believe it is the right question, but to even suggest that we there is another question is disingenuous. There is no choice on offer from Europe for disengagement. This was made clear by this article http://www.europeanvoice.com/article/2012/october/swoboda-says-uk-should-call-eu-referendum/75470.aspx

 

We are facing a stark choice, we press for an in out referendum or we end up being tied to a continent in decline with a failed and failing political system; for me that is no choice at all. We must have that referendum and must do everything in our power to pressurise the government into giving it to us. Failure is not an option.

Badgicide

There are many totally obnoxious Labour MPs – one or two Tories as well and all Liberal democrats – but in terms of sheer unmitigated evil it is hard to go past the Dishonourable Member for Rotherham Denis MacShane.

As I’m being fair, let us put on one side his ‘interesting’ expenses claims, his blind Europhilia, his allegations against the McKinnon family, his use of misinterpretations of painful Eastern European history to attack Conservatives and just focus on his coining of the word badgicide in the debate on the badger cull in the Commons today.

My position on the cull is straightforward, I am in favour. But even if I wasn’t, I would still find it offensive in the extreme to equate a pilot controlled cull of wild animals to prevent the economic damage of bovine TB with the industrial slaughter of millions of people (genocide). This is precisely what MacShane has done and he should be ashamed of himself. However, I doubt the man is capable of shame.