Critical Comment

30. Dec, 2019

and the answer is… ‘Yes!’  [Originally Posted 15 Dec. 2019]

In the rain, the snow and in the sleet; and in the dark over-hung mid-December gloom, the peoples of Britain finally had their say – and they roared unequivocally, “Yes!”

But Yes – to what?

In the case of England and Wales the people gave themselves a massive vote of confidence. They emphatically rid themselves of the procrastinating, bedwetting nappy-masters who for too long had had the gall to call themselves their political representatives: moreover, they showed that they wanted sound and decisive leadership and, most significantly, they demonstrated that they were unafraid to take the next step of destiny in their proud history.

The peoples of Scotland also roared Yes – for or to what, no one, least of all themselves, is quite sure. Perhaps for long-held grievances against all things English; or some Quixotic notion of Rob Roy and Braveheart, hand-in-hand, skipping merrily with swirling kilts and skirling pipes across the misty heather; or perhaps, most likely, they just demonstrated a marked and continued disinclination to wean themselves off the comfortable teat across the Channel? That they would be happy to exchange democratic government from Westminster with tyranny from Brussels is logic defying. But then logic and an excess of nationalism never made good bedfellows. Whatever their reasons at least they roared in parochial unison.

Which is more than did the odd-bods across the Irish Sea. The party that refuses to sit in Westminster garnered more seats than the party that does. How does that work exactly? Is that a Yes? Yes I mean No.

But overall the result is a triumph of reason, a triumph for representative democracy and a tremendous slap-down for the political elites that tried so hard to deny ordinary Britons their birthright – the right to say how they are governed. It is to be hoped that this result will go a long way towards helping dispel the curse of class distinctions that has plagued British society far too long.

Thankfully, the public names of yesteryear – was it only last week – who were rabbiting on about second referendums, about revoking Brexit, re-nationalisation blah-blah are now confined to the trash cans, along with their billboards, posters, their supreme arrogance and their puerile dreams. The prize for the most perceptive journalism must surely go to Russia Today who observed that those who were promising a second referendum failed to realise that this election was the referendum!

The peoples of England and Wales will stand together and face a new future – a new uncertainty and a host of new challenges. They were a formidable team in the past – on Thursday 12 December 2019 they gave notice to the world that they are back!

15/12/19

..............

15. Dec, 2019

Those treasonous Berkos[1] are at it again?

[Originally posted on 24th October 2019]

 

The sorry slurry of nonsense pouring out of Westminster this week [24 October] confirms the complete and utter collapse of Britain’s once famed informal constitution. It also clearly marks the beginning of the end of political liberalism in the world. It is perhaps both ironical and appropriate that the country that gave the world the most open, democratic and successful concept of government known to man should be the first country to throw it away.

The behaviour of Britain’s politicians in the three years since the Brexit referendum is little less than public farting in the face of the British people. For this alone they should be arraigned and individually led out in chains from St Stephens Entrance to the Commons and publicly excoriated. 

As pleasing as such a notion sounds, we should remember that the maggots in the rotting corpse of Parliament dug far deeper – let us not forget the abhorrent period of New Labour under the baton of the odious WMD Blair and his luckless-lackey Gordon Brown. Moving on past this pile of excrement, who can forget the stench of the monstrous absurdity that was the Conservative-Lib-Dem dung-heap under the masters of sleaze that were Cameron and Clegg?

In the interests of their particular and immediate political purposes, the combination of the foregoing succeeded in wilfully tinkering with Britain’s long-established political processes to breaking point.   

 The Supreme Court is immediate case to point. Formally established on 1 October 2009 and authorised by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, this legal [and suspiciously American sounding] pustule was formally established as a direct consequence of New Labour ‘reforms’. Its intent was to assume the judicial functions of the House of Lords. However, that this elite should effectively tell the Queen to get stuffed is beyond belief! The precedent has been set authorising this non-elected body to tell the government of the day how to conduct its business.

The watching world was under the impression that the role of the monarch under Britain’s revered constitution, evolved and refined over the centuries, was to serve as the ceremonial Head of State and also as the legitimising authority of government. The fact that a court, and an only recently constituted court at that, has effectively told the current monarch to pull her head in has ripped the guts out of the carefully nurtured complexities of Britain’s prized political heritage.

Government by lawyers – the way to go lads! Well done Britons for that. When in doubt, copy the Yanks. Sadly, it serves you all right for not standing up to your politician’s years ago. 

Now, having allowed the political establishment to well and truly shaft you thus far, why not bend over a little more? Let’s hear it for the Sturgeonisation lobby and give the hairy-arsed Scots another go - after all, was it not the Bruce himself, from the dank depths of his gruel-sodden cave, who uttered the immortal words: “if at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again!’

Therein, lays the all-defining metaphor for twenty-first century referenda.

 


[1] Berko (a): one who is Berserk;   (b) Illness afflicting Members of Parliaments [{esp. Speakers}; characterised by bouts of megalomania; personality disorders and severe delusions of self-importance.

Berk {Aust. colloq.} Unpleasant person.  

*******

11. Oct, 2019

CHINA – an Appraisal

In the early 1980s I raised the spectre of the Spratly Islands as being a serious potential crisis point in international Sea Lines of Communications.

My representations were treated with ignore. I have since that time continued to press the point and, with grim un-satisfaction, I can now point to China’s unilateral militarisation of the South China Sea and, since 1995, fortress construction on the island atolls. China has dropped thousands of tons of sand and concrete on some seven coral atolls in the islands. Mischief Reef now accommodates a military-grade runway and port facilities and, only late last year, missiles were added to its fortification.

In July 2016 the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea or International Court of Justice ruled that China was in illegal occupation of this man-made fortification.[1] 

The ruling by a tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) pertained to case brought by the Philippines against China’s sweeping assumption of maritime sovereignty over the South China Sea.

The Panel found that China’s claims of historic rights in the South China Sea were without legal foundation. In a sweeping win for the Philippines, the Panel concluded that China’s activities within the Philippines’ two-hundred-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), such as illegal fishing and environmentally ruinous artificial island construction, infringed on Manila’s sovereign rights.[2]

Significantly, the Panel determined that the Spratly Islands are not islands in the legal sense, but rather, rocks or low-tide elevations. This naturally obviated any claims to exclusive economic zones.

It is instructive to consider this question in its historical context.

Next Tuesday will be the 70th Anniversary of the Peoples Republic of China [1st of October 1949] consequent to the Communist victory over the Nationalist Forces of the Kuomintang. Today that sad county is still in the process coming to terms with its internal problems and its position in the broader geopolitical picture.

China’s assertive projection of naked military power and its militarisation of the Spratly Islands would, at first glance, appear strangely at odds with its geopolitical and cultural history.

However, seen in the context of President Xi Jinping’s ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative it becomes readily explicable. Launched in Kazakhstan in 2013 this is one of China’s boldest ever foreign policies initiatives. It supposedly harks back two millennia when China’s Han Dynasty traded with Asia, the Middle East and Europe through the “Silk Road” of trails and caravan routes. Xi Jinping’s initiative plays upon that purported heritage with an ambitious plan for a new era of trade with the countries along the transport routes, extending from China through Central Asia into Europe. This route will commence in Xi’an and terminate at Rotterdam in Holland. This overland route is to be augmented by a 21st century maritime ‘Silk Road’ passing through Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East and onto Venice in Italy.

As ever, foreign policy can never be considered without at least a critical look at the domestic situation. In my long-held view, China’s miracle economy belies domestic volatility. China is home to several intransigent racial and cultural minorities anxious to throw off Beijing’s heavy hand. The economy is overheated and grossly uneven in its spread; expenditure on military hardware and adventurism disproportionate; China now finds itself engaged in a trade war is cannot afford and, as part of the international community, China has now made global economic commitments from which it cannot readily withdraw. 

What should be of far greater international concern is the fact that China is led by a dictator presiding over a clique of self-serving and powerful politicians, bureaucrats and military leaders under the guise of ‘communism’.

Considered to be China’s "paramount leader" since 2012, Xi Jinping officially received and assumed the title of "core leader" from the Communist Party of China in 2016. Naturally, broad visionary and emotional strategies suit his leadership interests – evoking the ‘glorious ghosts of Silk Road economics past’ is seemingly sound politics. However, he and the rest of the international community, would do well to remember that the slippage of the inglorious Mandate of Heaven brought a sticky-end to many an Emperor.   



[1] https://www.cfr.org/councilofcouncils/global_memos/p38227

[2] loc.cit.

11. Oct, 2019

Brass-Balls Boris Confounded by Parliament

In an extraordinary development in Britain today, the House of Commons voted down the Prime Minister’s call for immediate elections to resolve the escalating Brexit crisis.

It would appear that the ‘house of the people’ is too afraid of the people to face a direct and immediate election over the issue.

This pusillanimous decision by the so-called representatives of the people amply illustrates the disconnection between Britain’s political class and the aspirations and common sense of ordinary and decent people in that sad country.

Moreover, this decision and this disconnect amply highlights the poverty of today’s ‘liberal-democracy’.

Foreign Correspondent, 5 September 2019

*********

11. Oct, 2019

I would like to apologise for my silence of late. This has been, in most part, occasioned by my immersion in my new book.

I am working on a political history and defence of Christendom. This is proving to be lengthy, comprising some six parts covering history; divinity; civics; politics; traditionalism and polemics. This work is also a call for the decent interment of the remains of liberal democracy. I conclude by proposing some modest suggestions for a more traditional, accountable and open society.

No one can deny that we certainly live in interesting times! For any observer of world history and politics, 2019 is proving to be a fascinating year.  

Contextually the most symbolic, and perhaps the most immediate political contest, is the constitutional crisis in Britain. This contest sees the Prime Minister doing battle on behalf of the will of the people against the ‘Mother of Parliaments’ and the political ‘establishment’ over Brexit.

In America the sad and sorry ragtag rabble of total-progs [totalitarian progressives] still can’t seem to accept the fact that Donald Trump actually won the last presidential election.

In Europe the emergent New Right is challenging the anti-democratic monstrosity that is the European Union. In Australia the progressives lost the seemingly unlosable election to a reassuringly pragmatic conservative leaning Prime Minister.

This victory of common sense and security over progressive social engineering and economic nihilism belies however a far deeper social malaise across Australia. Individual states are preparing the roll-out of suites of ‘death laws’ through various late termination abortions and euthanasia legislation. That total-progs share the same preoccupation with killing as their less than illustrious Stalinist forebears is of continuing and great concern.

The lunacy of identity politics has been taken to new heights in the Australian state of Victoria where the increasingly irrational government of total-progs has passed legislation allowing misfits to choose their gender on their birth certificates.

However, moving well north of this arrant and anal nonsense are the real problems gripping the attentions of proper grown-ups, these include serious international military tensions – namely China emergent and the South China Sea; the problem of North Korea and its resident Rocket Man; freedom of passage through the Straits of Hormuz; escalating tensions between Israel and Iran – and then of course, last but by no means least, there is the United States-China trade war to consider.   

But taking stock, this is a year of significant anniversaries. From a perspective of great sadness, the year marks the centenary of the Treaty of Versailles [28 June 1919]. This ill-conceived document, intended to formally end the war of all wars, provided instead the roadmap to the Second World War. A century on and mankind has proved tragically and obstinately recidivist in this respect. The fact that the 28th of June passed in obscurity stands in part as testament to this recidivism.

This year is the seventieth anniversary of the Peoples Republic of China [1st of October 1949] consequent to the Communist victory over the Nationalist Forces of the Kuomintang. Today that sad county is still in the process coming to terms with its internal problems and its position in the broader geopolitical picture. Hong Kong has emerged, as many of us knew it always would, as a litmus test of the modern political reality of China. How it chooses to resolve this problem will determine its status in the eyes of the international community. I have no doubt the joss-stick auguries have been burning late into the night in the offices of President for Life, Xi Jinping.    

Also commemorating its seventieth anniversary is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO - 4 April 1949], also called the North Atlantic Alliance.  This venerable Organisation earned its britches in the Cold War as a tangible bulwark against the Communist Iron Curtain, but since the collapse of Communism it has itself been somewhat left out in the cold. It proved generally ineffective during the tragic shambles that was the collapse of Yugoslavia. Established by the United Nations Security Council in December 2001, the International Security Assistance Force was the NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan. This was supported with great variance of commitment, enthusiasm and success by its members.

Today NATO is a grab-bag intergovernmental military alliance between twenty-nine vastly differing North American and European countries. From the NATO website:

 Security in our daily lives is key to our well-being. NATO’s purpose is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.

POLITICAL - NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.

MILITARY - NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military power to undertake crisis-management operations. These are carried out under the collective defence clause of NATO's founding treaty - Article 5 of the Washington Treaty or under a United Nations mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organisations.[1]

In discussing anniversaries it is moot to recognise that Friday last [30th August] marked the twentieth anniversary of the referendum that secured East Timor its independence from Indonesia consequent to that country’s 1975 invasion of the former Portuguese colony. I have written elsewhere in academic detail the history of this country. My views on this basket-case remain unchanged after twenty years – it will remain a demi-European pimple on the rump of the Malay world and a continuing thorn in the side of Australia.

Given that Russia continues to loom, menacingly, on the increasingly dulled Western European consciousness, it is appropriate to reflect that it is also the twentieth anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s ascent to leadership in Russia. He has served his country both as Prime Minister and President and has indubitably stamped his authority throughout. Putin’s flaws notwithstanding, he has returned to this proud country stability, economic growth and international respect. He has also maintained, albeit perhaps imperfectly, democracy. Ironically, he and his country stand as a bulwark in defence of Western traditionalism. Moreover, under his watch Russia is providing the world with an alternative construct of both domestic and international relations.[2]

Tempting as though it can be, historians should never assume the role of ‘soothsayer’- but I intend to break this rule and suggest that Vladimir Putin will be judged most kindly by history. 

Concluding on a light note, with a Russian sense of the ridiculous, I was delighted by a headline on my RT News app over the weekend:  

Internet loses its mind over ‘racist’ Dior perfume ad featuring Johnny Depp & Native American dancer[3]

The following story was a wonderful account of the lunatic offenderatti and the question of ‘cultural appropriation’: for those that haven’t yet caught this riveting nonsense I reproduce for you, direct from RT:

      Dior has pulled posts promoting its ‘Eau Sauvage’ men’s perfume after a new ad for the fragrance triggered the PC cyber police. The ad’s unspeakable crime? Featuring a Native American grooving to Johnny Depp’s guitar.

A clip of the promotion, called ‘We are the Land’, was posted on Dior’s social media accounts on Friday. The teaser shows Depp, clad in a poncho, shredding on an electric guitar as a Native American, decked out in full ceremonial garb, performs a tribal dance.

In an apparent attempt to preempt internet outrage over alleged ‘cultural appropriation’, Dior noted that the spot was filmed with the help of Native American consultants. In a caption to a now-deleted Instagram post, the company wrote that the film was made in “close collaboration” with Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) “in order to respect Indigenous cultures, values and heritage.”

However, what some would argue was the brand’s attempt at preemptive damage control did little to help Dior escape the internet’s wrath, spurred by accusations of cultural appropriation and outright racism.

Many took issue with the French name of the fragrance, ‘Sauvage’ which can be translated into English in several ways, including ‘wild’, ‘unspoiled’, ‘unsociable’, ‘savage’, and ‘fierce’.

The majority of those incensed over the campaign, however, presumed the most obvious (which is not always correct), while pointing to the uncanny similarity between the word ‘sauvage’ and the English ‘savage’.

“Using Native American people and imagery to market a cologne whose name means ‘Savage’ is completely out of pocket,” a user wrote in one of the most-shared tweets.

“There’s no way in hell that Dior didn’t know that it was inappropriate to equate Native Americans as savages. They know what they’re doing. It’s purposeful,” another chimed in.

Some members of the indigenous community have joined the criticism, with one Twitterer, who identifies as a member of a Seminole Tribe, accusing the Hollywood star and the long-time face of the perfume of “profiting off a racist reference.”

In fact, it’s possible that Dior knew that the video would enrage the politically correct hordes lurking on social media – thus increasing the ad’s reach.

Others argued that neither the creators of the ad, nor Depp – an honorary member of the Comanche Nation since 2013 – did anything wrong, with the ad itself being a powerful homage to Native Americans.[4]

What can one say about such unselfconscious abandonment of common sense? And these total-progs are increasingly in charge of our lives. There is much to commend the dictum:

Revolt against the Modern World!

**************

[1] https://www.nato.int/nato-welcome/index.html 

[2] Dugin, Alexander. The Fourth Political Theory.

[3] 31 Aug, 2019 04:48. https://www.rt.com/news/467664-dior-depp-native-americans/

[4] loc.cit.