Why Tony Blair Must be Destroyed: A Conservative Case


Why Tony Blair Must be Destroyed:
A Conservative Case
by Sean Gabb
7th April 2003

The Friday before this war started, I had dinner with some friends, where I was forced to defend my bitter dislike of Tony Blair. At the moment, nothing could be easier. The front page of my newspaper today carries one of the most disgusting photographs I have ever seen. It is of Ali Ismael Abbas, a 12 year old boy in Baghdad who had his arms blown off in a rocket attack at the weekend. His lower body appears to have been burned all over, and the smile on his face is probably the effect of the opiate he was given to block the pain. The rocket that did this may have been fired by the Americans – or even, though I doubt if they now have the means, by the Iraqis. But thanks to Mr Blair, we share in the corporate responsibility. Because of his joining us in the “coalition of the willing”, it is partly in our name that this boy has had his life destroyed. Killing and maiming are always bad. I doubt at present if they can ever be right. Certainly, unless absolutely necessary, they are wrong. For me, that is reason enough for the most envenomed hatred.

However, the question was asked of me before the war started, when my opinion of Mr Blair was already fixed. This beastly war aside, what do I so dislike about him?

I will begin by conceding that my usual complaints about his domestic policies do not in themselves justify such positive loathing. Yes, he has integrated this country further into the European Union since he came to power. Yes, his other domestic policies have been directed to the creation of a sinister police state. He has done all this and is to be blamed for it. Even so, is there anyone to replace him who would not have done, or would not continue to do, very much the same?

Forget their claims, unconvincing as they are. The Conservatives are just as committed in reality to the European project. They got us into it, and have said nothing to indicate they would get us out. If possible, they are even more committed to the American alliance than Labour. Indeed, I suspect they would have us pressing on with the Americans to Damascus and Teheran, whereas many of the present Ministers seem to want this horror over for us as quickly as the soldiers can be marched out of Basra.

As for all the police state laws, these the Conservatives have failed efficiently to oppose during the past six years, or have even supported. Nor let it be forgotten that it was the Conservatives who began to demolish the Constitution when they were last in power. Can we hope for any better from them? I rather think not.

How, then, about the most likely Labour replacements of Mr Blair – Gordon Brown and David Blunkett? Would they be any better? Again, not. Mr Blunkett is hard at work outdoing both Michael Howard and Jack Straw in the attack on due process. Mr Brown might be slightly less friendly to European integration, but this cannot be taken for granted; and he seems to lack Mr Blair’s belief in the marketising of public services, which is about his only worthwhile achievement.

So why hate the man? What is there to justify wanting him replaced by people who might only differ for the worse, if they differed at all?

The answer is that Mr Blair is so bad because he is so effective in the work of destruction. Let us compare England with America. The United States has a written constitution. Plainly, this has not preserved American freedom so well as its framers hoped. But at least it draws a visible boundary between what is constitutional and what is not. Everyone can see when a law crosses that boundary; and its clear wording provides a point around which libertarians and conservatives can rally—and can sometimes rally with success. Our own constitution is different. Though it has restrained power for longer than any other, it is not written. We have fundamental laws, but they are not easily perceived, and their breach is hardly ever obvious to those without a detailed legal and historical understanding.

We are free in this country because freedom is part of our constitution as conceived in the wider, old-fashioned sense of the word. It resides in our habits of thought and action. Now, this sort of constitution derives its stability not from the wording of a written document, but from a mass of conservative prejudice. Freedom is generally an administrative inconvenience. It stands in the way of privilege for wealthy business interests. The lack of detailed policing that it requires gives offence to the various moral entrepreneurs who make their way into politics and the media. Considered alone, trial by jury is an expensive and often inaccurate means of deciding guilt. Freedom of the press allows people to say hateful things. Unlike any specific disadvantages, their benefits are hardly ever understood by the mass of people. What keeps them, and all the other freedoms and protections of freedom, reasonably safe is that they are parts of an ancient and general order of things. They are legitimised in the main less by their rightness than by the appearance that they have always existed in this country.

There can be no doubt of the many benefits that have flowed over the centuries from our Constitution. Those Americans who dismiss it as a fraud should bear in mind that their own is barely a quarter as old, and that it is already falling apart. Even so, it is peculiarly open to attack at the margins. The restraints in power in this country are largely customary. They derive their force form the fact that they exist within a web of associations that tie the present to the past. Let these associations be removed, and with them will go the old restraints on power.

That is, for example, why compulsory metrication is so objectionable. Metres are more rational than yards, and probably more useful for most purposes. Compulsion aside, it is the break with the past that is objectionable—especially when the benefits, though undeniable, are not that great. It is the same with renaming writs as claim forms and bailiffs as enforcement agents, with changing the old forms of public address, with rearranging museum displays to make the English past shameful or incomprehensible, and with much more. Individually, these changes may be of no importance. It is their conjunction that is important. Let there be a sufficient conjunction of changes, and the setting within which freedom resides is destroyed. Disconnected from the web of associations in which they have come down to us, valuable protections like trial by jury and habeas corpus can be presented as more rubbish form the past to be cleared away—especially when they can be presented as hindrances to a cheaper and more efficient system of criminal justice. Unlike in America, where the Constitution must first be abolished or plainly turned on its head, we can be led into tyranny along a route where every step can be presented as of no great consequence, and where objectors can be dismissed as pedants or cranks. As Lord Eldon said against the claims for parliamentary reform—and, I am now inclined to think, rightly—”Touch one atom, and the whole is lost”.

What makes Mr Blair so dangerous is that he has been able, as no other politician could, to combine systematic destruction of the old order of things with reasonable economic policies in the short term, and to persuade large numbers of people for most of the time that his is not a very radical government. It is a radical government at the cultural level, but his genius has been to conceal this. I had lunch last month with a highly intelligent friend from my university days who announced as if it were an incontestable truth that “Tony Blair is the best Tory Prime Minister this country has ever had”. Not so. He is the least Tory. His most honest statement of intent was his speech to the 1999 Labour Conference, in which he attacked “the forces of conservatism”. It was so honest that it was soon removed from the Labour Party website. One of my friends at dinner the other week tried to claim that this was really an attack on resistance to change within the public sector. But he is wrong. I looked out the speech on The Guardian website – http://www.guardian.co.uk/lab99/Story/0,2763,202189,00.html. It is a manifesto for destroying every ancient association, so that any conservative defence of freedom—and this is the best one we have, I repeat—becomes impossible. The New Labour project has little to do with overturning the economic settlement imposed by Margaret Thatcher. It is, much rather, a cultural revolution. But his charm—his ability to make radicalism look other than it is—has cast almost a magic spell over much of the English middle class.

That is why I so long for his destruction. No one else in politics would be so able to do what he has done. Take him away, and the spell would be at least weakened. The problem of who should replace him is not, on this analysis, a problem. Anyone will do. Gordon Brown might be more socialist in his economic policies—but he would not so easily seduce the middle class formers of opinion. Iain Duncan Smith might be even less friendly to our remaining civil liberties. Anyone else might be worse is some other respect. But there is no one else in British politics with the same lethal blend of qualities to hide the work of destruction, or to make it seem an improvement on the past.

Of course, the war may have changed this. It has wiped that boyish smile from Mr Blair’s face. He has aged ten years in the past six months, and the result is not pretty. From now on, his every appearance in public will be attended by passionate demonstrations. Combine this with the unconcealable effects of his economic policies, and he may have lost his hold over the national mind. Until last year, perhaps, he could be compared to the Lloyd George of 1910—the man of the people standing up to the forces of conservatism. He may now be compared to the Lloyd George of 1922—the dangerous adventurer surrounding himself with all that is corrupt and all that blocks the way back to a gentler and safer and greatly more attractive past. Nothing may ever be easy for him again. Never again may his good intentions be so readily trusted. Perhaps, therefore, we have him where we want him—as the weak leader of a weak government, able to do little more that is bad while we wait for the Conservatives or some other party of replacement to pull itself together.

On the other hand, this is not certain. A Prime Minister in being is still a Prime Minister; and events may always bring a recovery of his standing and power. And though I am not often given to explosions of moral outrage, that photograph will not quickly fade from my memory. I cannot think of it, and of our vicarious role in its production, without wanting to shout obscenities. Let him be replaced, I say, and soon. It matters not who replaces him. His continued residence in Downing Street dirties this country. He is trash, and all I really want at this moment is to know that I shall live long enough to dance on his grave.

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22 comments

  • Metres are not more rational than yards. British Imperial measurements were based on features of the human body and far more useful because of that.
    Nowadays everyone carries at least one powerful computer, so anyone too feeble minded to work outside base 10 needn’t worry.
    The British Constitution has failed us. Blair, and his like, would be hanging from lamp posts by piano wire with placards saying “Traitor” if there was any justice in this country. But that’s long gone.
    Stick a fork in it, it’s done.

    • re.: Metric measurements being more ‘rational’ – I think the word ‘rational’ is offered as an antonym of ‘traditional’ or ‘customary’. Maybe ‘rationalist’ would be more accurate, but it doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue.

      • I am something of a rationalist. If it weren’t for the compulsion and the general attack on tradition of which it is a part, I’d have gone metric years ago. Tradition is something that is continuously filtered and renewed from one generation to the next. A voluntary and therefore gradual change from one system to the other is something easily accommodated. Even easier if English and metric are used in different areas – metric in the sciences, English at the retail end of commerce. As it is, I demetricated many years ago from Centigrade to Fahrenheit.

        • I differ, in that I would prefer to hold to Imperial, partly for personal and practical reasons – I do struggle with metric. If I am working on something, I know what is an inch or a foot or indeed a yard. Most of the time, I don’t even need to measure it in any precise way. But ask me to measure something at 2.54 centimetres or 10 metres or whatever, and I am lost and need to get out the measuring tape.

          The only metric I properly understand is the temperature one, Centigrade/Celsius, which I prefer over Fahrenheit, but that isn’t properly metric, in my view. For everything else, I prefer Imperial/English as the metric alternative stumps me completely.

          • I’ve lived in foreign countries and am reasonably familiar with the metric system. However, I agree that I think in terms of the English system. I can only imagine 45cm once I’ve reminded myself it’s really 18″

  • So many issues of concern come out of the Iraq War, it’s difficult to know where to begin.

    1. THE INTELLIGENCE OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC

    My recollection is that a majority of the public supported the Iraq War prior to the invasion. It was obvious at the time that the Blair government – and by extension, the press and media – were making a very poor case about the reasons to go to war, as the case was crude and weak, indeed cartoonish, nevertheless the government was widely believed.

    The average IQ among the population in Britain is somewhere between 90 and 100. (Important disclaimer: I’m actually a sceptic about IQ as a concept, but I believe it’s still a useful indicative measure, as long as we understand it shouldn’t be taken too seriously). It’s easy to forget that most of the people around us are only averagely intelligent and lack intellectual curiosity. I think most of the things that, variously, puzzle and outrage us about official behaviour can, at least in part, be explained by the intellectual limitations of the public-at-large. We forget that most of the people we see on the bus, train or Tube, or at work, or wherever, spend a large amount of their free time being saturated in official propaganda, some of it in an overt form and issued by the government via press and media sources, some of it in a less obvious format, such as Eastenders or Coronation Street, or the latest pop star, or filtered via supposedly ‘impartial’ sources, such as news programmes, or Question Time, or whatever. The government pitched their propaganda at roughly the level of a tabloid reader or TV soap opera watcher, relying on scare stories and “Hitler!, Hitler!, Hitler!” to persuade people of its case. This is the society we live in.

    2. THE ROLE OF THE CORPORATE MEDIA

    The media and press supported the War – and Blair’s other wars – overwhelmingly. Even today, it’s very difficult to find somebody in the media make a case against Blair’s pre-9/11 military campaigns, which were just as outrageous as Iraq but still meet with universal approval among the commentariat and press/media class. The same is true with regard to the military campaigns under the Cameron government, which have been equally reprehensible. I recall seeing only one person allowed to make a case against the Iraq War contemporaneously. The media then later turned against the War, and the Blair government, just as the public did.

    So we have a problem in this country with our press and media. The Levison Inquiry, I believe, had the wrong focus. Indeed, I think the Inquiry itself was as outrageous as the behaviour it was established to examine. Subject to general civil and criminal laws, it is no business of the state how journalists go about their work or what appears in newspapers and the media. What should have been discussed, and still needs to be examined, is ownership of the media. That, I believe, is the crucial issue. One must ask why the media discharged its duties so ably in the aftermath of the War, but acted as a government mouthpiece in the run-up to it. What changed in their assessment and why? They cannot say that the information available changed or that the war situation changed, since it would have been obvious from the beginning that the government was making a very poor case for the War.

    Most readers here will be familiar with Chomsky and Herman’s critique of the liberal media model. Their theory about ‘filtering’ provides us with some of the explanation needed, but I would say that their model doesn’t go far enough. They don’t tell us which group the ‘propaganda’ serves and why. Some people would say that doesn’t matter, but I would say it does.

    3. FOREIGN POLICY AND THE NATIONAL INTEREST

    I have today started reading Dr. Gabb’s book, ‘Neither Brussels nor Washington: Arguments for a British Foreign Policy’. In the 2016 Introduction, Dr. Gabb states:

    [quote]”My general principle is, and always has been, that the central purpose of British foreign policy is to preserve the independence of this country and the freedom of its people to live under their traditional laws and institutions.”[quote]

    Dr. Gabb then goes on to explain that the British Empire was a departure from this principle, did not promote the national interest, and indeed diverted attention from it.

    I would like to suggest a slightly different point-of-view, which is not necessarily inconsistent with what Dr. Gabb thinks. My general principle of British foreign policy is that it is, and always has been, aimed at preserving the interests of the British ruling class, whoever they may be from time-to-time. This understood, we can perhaps start to see more clearly what happened in Iraq, and in other military actions under the Blair government and previous governments, and also under the Cameron government. Blair’s (and Cameron’s) actions are not aberrations. Our foreign policy is not British, true, but it never has been and is not meant to be. Putting aside the wisdom of the Iraq War specifically, in broad terms Blair was simply acting as he is meant to act.

    The Second World War provides us with another case study. The historical memory of WW2 is now one of the pillars of false consciousness promoted by the cosmopolitan Establishment among the 90-100 IQ populace, and it is quite difficult to make a rational case for British intervention in Europe against the Nazis unless we look at foreign policy in elite terms. As soon as we examine WW2 from the viewpoint of the British people, we can see that our involvement served no useful purpose. Likewise with the Iraq War. How did toppling the Ba’athist regime help the British people? It didn’t, so we must ask: In whose interests was this war waged? Dr. Gabb would probably answer that, at least in part, it was waged in the interests of the British ruling class, but that this is not really a ‘who’ answer. I do not accept the premise that we are simply dealing with a Burnhamesque managerial elite that self-perpetuates across generations in the style of Orwell’s fictitious Inner Party. We are, in my view, up against something more complex, and oddly reassuring: a heterogenous elite that has its own peculiar ethnic/racial and economic/financial interests, with different factions, sometimes in conflict with each other.

    4.

    • I sent that accidentally. I’ll try and continue.

      4. THE POSSIBILITY THAT WESTERN POLITICIANS ARE BEING SYSTEMATICALLY BLACKMAILED

      In the Chilcot Report, it mentions that Blair was being put under enormous ‘pressure’ to prosecute a war in Iraq. I think there is a distinct possibility that some kind of organised blackmail is going on in the background in Western societies, targeting key figures, either when they are already in the relevant titular positions, or when they are identified as ‘up-and-coming’. I think it is logical to infer this, given the frankly odd decisions that are sometimes taken, even allowing for what I say in 3 above.

      The recent so-called ‘paedophile’ scandals, I believe, are meant to hint at the possibility. I also believe other major incidents in British politics, such as the Profumo Affair and the recurrent ‘Sleaze’ scandals under the Major government, are a manifestation of this. If there is government involvement in such a scheme, perhaps involving the intelligence services, then the architecture for it would have been put in place during the Cold War. The major scandals of the 90s – the Major government’s ‘sleaze’ and the Royal sex scandals – might have arisen as a fall-out from the formal end of the Cold War when many of the functions within domestic counter-intelligence would have been rendered redundant. Let us ask, for instance, how it was that so much was known about what MPs and members of the Royal Family were up to and how it was that journalists and even random ham radio enthusiasts were able to opportunistically pick up on meetings and conversations that should have been confidential or secret. An unkind observer would conclude that our domestic intelligence services might be working to blackmail or intimidate key figures.

      My theory would be that there is such a scheme, but that most of the victims are not aware of its particular features as they are not subjected to explicit threats, as such. Rather, exposure of some embarrassing fact or incident is carefully and subtly hinted-at, probably in a social context. In cases where the target has identifiable vulnerabilities – let’s say, is a drug addict, or an active paedophile, or a homosexual with a weakness for younger men – a honey trap will be used and photos or recordings will be taken, or the ‘police’ will arrive at an opportune moment.

      Undoubtedly, Blair could be candidate for such a blackmail scheme. He looks the type to have led a quite libertine youth – there are, shall we say, ‘rumours’ doing the rounds – and whatever the truth of the ‘whispers’ about him, there will be incidents in his past that he would have liked to have kept under wraps during the mid-to-late 90s as he was leading the Labour Party in Opposition, and then leading a new government, all the while attempting to present Labour in moral contradistinction to the supposedly ‘sleazy’ Conservatives.

      5. WAS NEW LABOUR REVOLUTIONARY/RADICAL OR CONSERVATIVE?

      The question about New Labour and the Blairites seems to be: Are they a radical leftist sect who were able to conceal their intentions behind mainstream and populist rhetoric, or were they just a cautious, ‘business as usual’ (i.e. right-leaning) social democratic-type government. Dr. Gabb favours the revolutionary/radical thesis. I notice Peter Hitchens also believes something quite similar. Many left-wing people think something like the latter, and would cite the Iraq War in evidence, in some cases arguing that the Blairites are Tories in disguise or whatever.

      As Dr. Gabb rightly observes, a great deal did rest on the personality of Blair and his charisma and appeal. Without him, Labour would not have been nearly as successful, but Blair’s superb presentation skills might in time come to be seen as the kernel of the Establishment’s downfall. They went too far on the key cultural fronts – especially immigration.

      6.

      • I’ve lost the rest of what I was going to post, but in essence what I was going to add is:

        [continuing] 5. in my view New Labour was neither Left nor Right. I twas spored in a notionally socialist/social democratic party, but it was basically just a power cult that arose among baby-boomers. I doubt Blair really fully understands who he is working for. He just accepts their money and the little vanities they grant him, like the chance to be ‘Prime Minister’. New Labour’s aims reflected a mixture of factors that began to take root or were pre-configured even before Blair was born, including (among other things):

        (i). generational attitudes among baby-boomers, who were/are very individualist, narcissistic and materialistic (Blair is the archetypical, 60s/70s-influenced baby-boomer);

        (ii). practical reality – for example, mass immigration is fundamentally a result of factors beyond the control of governments, including social and technological change in the West and poor development in the Third World;

        (iii). deindustrialisation of large parts of Britain, which meant that Labour had to change its policies and favour women, public sector workers, service workers, and so on, and their trade union funders had to adopt politically-correct nonsense; and,

        (iv). domination of London over the rest of the UK, which has created a politics and media that is geared towards urban metropolitan mores.

        I’m sure there are other factors that I could think of. The above are just the ones that spring to mind as I type this.

        The social liberalism of the 60s/70s generation melded quite well with the apparent economic liberalism of Wilson, Heath and Thatcher and the two sides effectively became one hideous movement. In the case of Heath and Thatcher, though they explicitly claimed to be advocates of economic liberalism, I don’t think their records in office can be regarded as representative of true Gladstonian liberalism. In any event, this joining of social liberals with economic liberals resulted in New Labour.

        6. THE FAILURE OF THE LEFT AND THE RIGHT TO STOP NEW LABOUR’S WARS

        The Left did not oppose war as such, or even the type of wars waged by Blair. They were, in a manner of speaking, in favour of liberal interventionism themselves. It’s just that they didn’t like the Iraq War. Their campaign against it was effective in galvanising the Left and encouraging a generation of young people to become activists – which has left its legacy today, in a very vocal and active radical Left in this country and the United States – but their campaign against the Iraq War was, in my view, poorly-focused and incoherent.

        They said that Blair was lying. This was the ‘Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire’ case against the War. But I’m not sure Blair was ‘lying’. (I assume here the proper definition of ‘lying’, which is to knowingly tell an untruth). And anyway, governments do have a tendency to lie when going to war – it’s what happens in wars. To complain about it is a bit academic, just like people who evince shock at civilians being maimed and killed in such circumstances. While regrettable, it is not, in and of itself, a proper basis for opposing a war.

        A better line might have been to point out that even if everything the government said about the Ba’athist regime was true, that could not justify British involvement in such a war, or the sacrifice of British lives, or indeed Iraqi lives. That’s because (i). there was no risk to Britain; and (ii). even if there was a risk to Iraq’s neighbours, that was a matter for them and it may be that they would have to accept that Iraq has the right to have such weapons in its own national self-defence and therefore they should seek to resolve matters peaceably. If anything, Britain should oppose such a war, not support it, still less take part in it. That sort of case would have led naturally to the telling question of why Britain was fighting a war that was not for its own national defence or involving any vital strategic interest.

        That case was not made by most of the Left. I would suggest the reason is because the Left quite likes wars, especially ‘moral’ ones like the Second World War, the dubious moral rationalisation of which still sustains them today. Understanding this, the pro-War Left loyal to Blair’s government made a great play of shaming anti-war politicians, both Labour and Tory, by accusing them of being ‘appeasers’, in an echo of the 1930s. Thus, what mattered to the anti-war Left was not so much whether the War actually served any useful objective or purpose for Britain, which would have exposed them more clearly to the ‘appeasement’ attack and also left them feeling uncomfortable in taking the side of a ‘dictator’. Rather it was whether Blair was telling the truth about this or that detail, or (as in the case of Robin Cook and others), what mattered were the legal niceties, such as whether Blair had secured a specific UN resolution.

        As for the Right, the Conservatives supported all of Blair’s wars, including this one, and only decided to throw Blair under the bus when it became clear that Iraq was a mess.

        7. THE CULPABILITY OF ANTHONY BLAIR

        For once, I can agree with the fickle mob (and Dr Gabb too) in that I think Anthony Blair should face justice. Not for war crimes as such (something I am opposed to), but for treason, sedition and related crimes. The penalty for Mr Blair, if found Guilty, should be the same as that usually expected for such crimes.

        • An interesting set of responses.

          • LOL. ‘Interesting’ is a very polite English response. I think I got a bit carried away, it’s a weakness of mine. I should make my comments shorter. I stand by most of it though.

        • Enoch's Eyebrow

          practical reality – for example, mass immigration is fundamentally a result of factors beyond the control of governments, including social and technological change in the West and poor development in the Third World;

          I disagree. Israel and Japan have long proved that mass immigration is a choice, not an inevitability. More recently, Hungary and various other East European nations are proving the same. The choice for mass immigration into the UK, US, France, Sweden, et al was taken by traitors against the will of the majority. The traitors did so at the behest of big business and the same small group that was behind the Iraq war. Not that big business and that group are entirely distinct.

          See Andrew Neather’s comments on the desire to “rub the right’s nose in diversity” and Lord Glasman’s comments on New Labour’s hostility to the English working class. And this in the LA Times:

          Now, the country [Japan] has begun a white-knuckle ride in which it will shed about one-third of its population — 40 million people — by 2060, experts predict. In 30 years, 39% of Japan’s population will be 65 or older. […]

          Last fall, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe convened a panel of Cabinet ministers and experts and vowed that his administration would “bring a halt to the dwindling birthrate and aging population and maintain a population of 100 million people even 50 years from now.”

          But barring a baby boom or a radical liberalization of Japan’s restrictive immigration policies, many experts say Abe’s goal is hopelessly out of reach. Although the government’s target fertility goal of 1.8 children per woman would still be below the replacement rate, even that isn’t realistic, Hayashi believes.

          http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-japan-population-snap-story.html

          Japan is far better off than the UK, which has a rising population.

          • (i). I should have perhaps used the term MIGRATION rather than immigration. The phenomenon is, in my view, due to high birth rates, political instability and poor development in the Third World. These factors create the opportunity for treasonous governments to then admit the immigrants into Western countries. I am not letting the government off the hook. I am just saying that the problem is the result of factors beyond the control of politicians. I agree there are steps that could be taken to deal with this.

            (ii). Japan and its people have certain attributes that make multi-culturalism there difficult, despite it being a relatively open society. As well as being an island, Japan is difficult to get to – you either have to cross Asia, through hostile countries without freedom of movement, or you have to cross the Pacific. The country has a ‘racist’ sensibility, in common with other north-eastern Asian societies. Japan in particular is very ethnocentric. Historically, unless I am mistaken, Japan did not expand its influence beyond East Asia/the Pacific until the latter 20th. century, so its only significant racial connections are with nearby East Asian countries.

            (iii). Israel – I’d rather not discuss this country in detail, given the policy of the Libertarian Alliance regarding these discussions. I think we should respect the owners of this blog.

            (iv). Andrew Neather’s article needs to be read in full to understand properly what he was saying. He was arguing FOR immigration, not against it. His article was not a mea culpa, rather it was a defence of what Labour had done. I stand by what I have said. Looking at this factually, Mr Neather’s take on things reflects an egocentric/Walter Mitty perspective among politicians who think that mass immigration is their initiative. It isn’t. It’s the result of global problems. Most of these people don’t really want to come here.

            • Enoch's Eyebrow

              These factors create the opportunity for treasonous governments to then admit the immigrants into Western countries. I am not letting the government off the hook. I am just saying that the problem is the result of factors beyond the control of politicians. I agree there are steps that could be taken to deal with this.

              And that won’t be taken while our politicians are in the pockets of billionaires and others.

              Israel – I’d rather not discuss this country in detail, given the policy of the Libertarian Alliance regarding these discussions. I think we should respect the owners of this blog.

              The policy of the LA is motivated by fear, which is something of a Catch-22. The LA’s fear of what will happen if people exercise their free speech here proves that people should be exercising their free speech here.

              Andrew Neather’s article needs to be read in full to understand properly what he was saying. He was arguing FOR immigration, not against it.

              Yes, I know he was for immigration. He was in New Labour. So was Barbara Roche, the true Brit who was immigration minister and called the UK “a nation of immigrants”. She specifically said in 2001 that she entered politics “to combat anti-semitism and xenophobia in general”:

              https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2001/may/23/immigration.immigrationandpublicservices3

              • I have asked you to desist from these allegations. There are other places where you will be more welcome. I will not repeat this warning.

                • Your fear is understandable, Sean. What isn’t, though, is that tee-shirt that you’re wearing with ‘I am a Libertarian’ written on it. Perhaps it’s time you took it off and just sat at home watching Coronation Street or something similar.

  • I must say, I find Dr. Gabb’s prescient essay to be remarkably insightful particularly since it is identical to a critique of Blair I wrote on the LA Alliance blog six month’s later!

    For my own part – I always loathed Blair from the moment I set eyes on him – the picture above summed him up best for me – the fact that other intelligent people couldn’t see it back in 1997 was a cause of considerable frustration.

  • Tom, it’s the morality that’s at fault – it is not in the self-interest of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker to rush to war but since when has anyone spoken up for the principle of self-interest?

    • I think you are right, but this type of ‘morality’ would rely on traditional conditions in which the state and government is weak and merely exists to provide a national defence. In such a situation, as you imply, individuals would be expected to exercise moral responsibility and there would be little time for the type of narcissism that passes for ‘morality’ today.

      I’m starting to think that part of the problem might be the existence of a large and interventionist state that removes moral responsibility from individuals.

      Here’s an instructive clip from a press conference in which a tabloid journalists, “Camilla” from the Express: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUol13WLKOo

      Our “Camilla”, I think Camilla Tominey, asks this question of then-leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage:

      [quote]”A lot of our readers are concerned about security. And I think not to scaremonger more, because we’ve probably had enough of it on both sides, but we are facing the prospect, somewhat terrifyingly, of Donald Trump perhaps becoming the next American president, a man who doesn’t seem to believe in NATO, who doesn’t seem to believe in protecting people abroad. If America abandons us and we leave the EU, aren’t we going to be left in a lot more of a precarious position, not least with the prospect of Putin still being in power.”[unquote]

      This is the mental poison that the 90-100 IQ populace are fed day-in, day-out. The ‘state’, embodied by politicians (e.g. Trump) is now thought to have moral agency of its own and must intervene here, there and everywhere to ‘protect’ us and put right moral wrongs. There are bogey men – Hitler, Saddam, Putin. If the state doesn’t act against them, then this is immoral and puts us in a ‘precarious position’.

  • Enoch's Eyebrow

    Chaucer anticipated Tony in The Knight’s Tale:

    Ther saugh I first the derke ymaginyng
    Of felonye, and al the compassyng;
    The crueel ire, reed as any gleede;
    The pykepurs, and eek the pale drede;
    The smylere with the knyf under the cloke;
    The shepne brennynge with the blake smoke;
    The tresoun of the mordrynge in the bedde;
    The open werre, with woundes al bibledde;
    Contek, with blody knyf and sharp manace.

    And who could forget <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1241482/RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN-Mandelson-run-Jubilee-God-save-Queen.html"Richard Littlejohn’s characterization of Peter Mandelson as “Iago played by Kenneth Williams”?

    As for Orwell:

    The hallway smelt of curry and fried chicken. At one end of it a coloured poster, too large for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a dark-haired man of about forty-five, with the mild-mannered features of an Anglican prelate. Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Anti-Racism Week. The flat was seven flights up, and Winston, who was thirty-nine and had a varicose ulcer above his right ankle, went slowly, resting several times on the way. On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG GABB IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.

    • I suppose Big Gabb would be a rather less onerous imposition compared to Big Brother (or indeed, Big Sister).

      • Enoch's Eyebrow

        Big Gabb says he opposes malaria. He definitely opposes the discussion of mosquitoes on the LA blog. I understand his fear, but if people had always felt like that, malaria would be a much bigger problem than it already is.

        • Malaria is already a big problem, and it appears that the mosquitoes are getting more and more troublesome. However, we can take comfort from the advice of our superiors that if we don’t mention them they’ll likely go away.

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