Some lessons from Brexit

I’ve been meaning to get my thoughts on the Brexit situation for quite a few months now, but I wasn’t totally sure what direction I should take with it as a post. In the end, I decided to sepearate what I’ve been thinking to different sections within this post to get what I’ve been thinking down in a more organized fashion.

Here we go.

 

A No Deal Brexit is inevitable

So for the last three years we have been in a peculiar state as regards Brexit. Rather simply leave the European Union, we have been struggling to craft a deal that would allow us to leave the European Union in a formal but incomplete sense, and far from do strictly what the voters want we have been trying to craft a deal that satisfies parliament. This, combined with the chaotic political developments concerning Conservative leadership as well as the snap election from 2017, has resulted in a quagmire with ostensibly no end in sight. For the last seven months or so it has become clearer than ever that the government is incapable of coming to a compromise that would prove congenial to the goal of ultimately leaving the European Union. The British Parliament was given the opportunity to vote not only on Theresa May’s horrifically bad deal but also many other deals that either get us closer to leaving or hinder the possibility entirely, and as far as I recall parliament voted just about every proposed deal down. At that moment it struck me that, maybe, parliament is incapable of deciding on what it wants to do, it cannot agree to a deal, and if that’s the case then to me it struck me that we are probably going to leave the European Union without a deal.

Of course, while it might be the only way forward for Brexit supporters like myself, it isn’t the only option for the establishment. With most of the other deals being non-congenial to the ultimate goal, the two main options at present are to either just cut our way out of the European Union in a No Deal Brexit or to hold a second referendum in the hopes that voters will change the outcome leading to a possible cancellation of Brexit. There are those who would maintain that we can simply stop Brexit entirely, as the Liberal Democrats in particular seem to think we can and should, but in my view that would not work out. All it would do is make the country a laughing stock in the sense that it gave Brussels a giant middle finger but they can’t even commit to it. More recently, it looks likely that a second referendum might not even happen anyway since the government appears to have rejected that option entirely.

Thus to me it seems clear: if we can’t cancel Brexit, and we aren’t going to hold a second referendum, then a No Deal Brexit to me seems to be inevitable. And, to be honest, it is probably going to be the only decision that makes sense in spite of all of the uncertainties and the possible negative consequences of doing so, and in the end it will be worth it considering a break from the European Union is the only way any socialist, or even simply social-democratic, agenda is going to be implemented without constant obstruction. Left-wingers who insist that we remain in the EU are fundamentally deluded if they think the European Union will allow their ideas to fully manifest. The European Union will not allow countries to pursue large scale nationalization on the grounds that they will interpret it as distorting competition, which is just a fancy way of saying it redirects capital away from private market forces and into the hands of the public sector. And considering the fact that the EU forced the social-democratic Syriza government in Greece to implement austerity measures, despite the will of the Greek people, we can assume that the EU will not take too kindly to whatever Jeremy Corbyn has in mind, let alone any actual socialist program. So, in the long run, in order to get what we want, we’re just going to have to take the No Deal Brexit and fight it out in our own country, for it will be the only way to complete the work of British popular and democratic sovereignty.

 

Bipartisan unity is a hollow fetish

If there’s one thing we never hear enough of when it comes to Brexit, it’s this talking point of unity. Namely, how we should be find a way to unite a divided country, with the unstated implication of this being that broad cross-ideological (or bipartisan) collaboration is the way forward. I fear the dictionary lacks the verbiage that would allow me to describe how stupid I believe this is. Take stock of the history of the Brexit talks, and then consider the fact that the Tories and Labour have within the last few months sought out cross-party dialogue, only for talks to collapse. In fact, just today Theresa May offered a proposal for a second referendum that failed to impress even the advocates for a People’s Vote. If this isn’t the easiest way to prove that any talk of unity is a pile of dog shit I don’t know what is. The unity that we speak about in regards to the Brexit situation is impossible. You cannot get any agreement between the pro-EU liberals and socdems and the hardened Brexiteers poised to take over the Conservative Party, and there is no compromise that can be cooked up between their respective positions that can get anywhere. Theresa May tried to get the best of both worlds before, and it was met with rejection by just about every political party as well as the voting public, and failed to pass every time it was put to vote in parliament.

Also, am I really hearing this right? The liberal media is talking about the need to unite the country? Really? After the Remain side that they by and large supported spent the referendum attacking voters who wanted to Leave, mocking the working class for intending to reject EU membership and even resorting to anti-white racism in some cases? They helped contribute to dividing the country (which, of course they would, just as the other side would, for all sides seek to oppose one another as they should in any serious political struggle), but now they want us to talk about how best to unite the country? Are you sure? If you believe that I have some moderate rebels I can show you. The only reason this talking point of unity is leveraged is power: the establishment wants cross-ideological collaboration because it means the possibility of securing an outcome of the Brexit deal that might be more suitable for a ruling class that, by and large, is still invested in European capital.

More broadly though, what business does the Remain side have uniting with the Leave side? What business to political tribes who have no business collaborating with each other have to do so? There’s nothing more insidious to me than the idea that some can claim to be above the political dichotomies that they exist within. Say if you were a right-winger, meaning you support a capitalist economy based in free markets and their corresponding property relations, as well as maybe a few more conservative social policies and neo-imperialism in the thrid world. What business do you have to be bipartisan with me, a guy who wants a society based in the democratic ownership of the means of production as well as the workplace, not to mention production based on need instead of profit, which means surpassing capitalism and doing away with the contradictions therein? Why should I work with you other than if you’re on the same side as me as regards freedom of speech or something (which is the only subject that might, just might, hold such collaborative potential)? And we can even apply this within either wing of the spectrum, which shows the error of the cries of “left unity”: why should I ally myself with someone who supports racial identitarianism dressed as progress, why should ally myself with someone who supports nationalism disguised as socialism, why should I ally myself who opposes democracy and favours unitary state authority?

The simple truth that those who bleat about cross-ideological unity have to face is that the defining characteristic of politics, the component that contextualizes it the most, is conflict. Politics is not about bringing two sides together. It’s about one side of politics defeating the other. Politics is conflict, it is struggle, you might even say it’s war by another means. And many of the things we value the most about Western Civilization were not discussed or compromised over, but instead they were fought for. Liberals who make this mistake will continue to persist in delusion praying for the siren song of slavery that they call unity. This is not to say that unity of purpose is not a virtue, and indeed the radical left has often paid bitterly for their lack of harmony and unity of purpose. It simply says that we cannot be expected to corrall two tribes of people with fundamentally different interests and goals and expect them to be on the same side.

 

Centrism doesn’t work

One of the most striking developments of British politics this year was the emergence of two new parties: Change UK (also known as The Independent Group) on the one hand, and the Brexit Party on the other. It is the former that we will address first. Change UK is the name given to a party formed by a small group of MPs who defected from the Labour Party, as well as the Conservative Party. The ex-Labour MPs cite increasing anti-semitism in the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s inability to handle Brexit while the ex-Conservative MPs cited that the Conservatives were poised to become the party of Brexiteers to the exclusion of its Remainers. Change UK then can be framed as a “centrist” project, uniting contingents of the two major parties in order to form a voice of moderation and progress. Of course let’s ignore the fact that the two sides that have come together were already the same anyway: both of them neoliberal supporters of the EU who are all just fine with austerity and privatization (the ex-Labour MPs consisting chiefly of pro-EU Blairites), that would be bad for their narrative.

Change UK has been, right from the get go, an unbelievable disaster. They are doing exceptionally poorly in polls, never getting any higher than 4% in voting intention, and to that effect they are second only to UKIP in terms of nationwide unpopularity. They seem reticent to give us a clear idea about what sort of policies they want, with one member Anna Soubry repeatedly dodging questions about policy by insisting that that’s not what their party is about, and they’ve even gone so far as to refuse to stand in by-elections because they consider them a threat to democracy. But more tellingly, for a party that was started in party as a reaction to bigotry within the Labour Party (which, while I don’t believe the party is institutionally anti-semitic like its opponents claim, we may have reason to believe Corbyn himself just might be), within hours of its launch the party was under fire for racist statements made by its members. Angela Smith referred to non-whites as “funny tinged” on national television, while Ali Sadjady had to resign because of comments about “Romanian pickpockets”, and Joseph Russo resigned after racist comments about black women. It’s little wonder that people don’t take them seriously. How can you take them seriously when they appear to be such rank hypocrites whose only purpose is to announce to the world their utter bourgeois class character.

But even if it weren’t for they brazen bigotry, there is no reason to assume their brand of ill-defined, feel-good liberalism was going to work in the current climate. Theresa May, the compromiser-in-chief, is a national failure, with her government being the first government in British history to be held in contempt of parliament. Hillary Clinton, the avatar of Third Way of neoliberalism in the 2016 US presidential election, failed to defeat Donald Trump. Matteo Renzi was forced to resign as Prime Minister of Italy following a constitutional referendum. Emmanuel Macron, who won the French elections in 2017, is now deeply unpopular in France in part because of his handling of the Yellow Vests. The liberal project commonly referred to as “centrism” is ill-equipped to face up to the deteriorating conditions and unravelling contradictions of contemporary capitalism – to be able to fight it would require a wholesale re-evaluation, nay, rejection of neoliberal ideology and a transcendence of the liberal framework, a task that Change UK simply aren’t up to.

Beyond that, however, the real reason for the failure of “centrism” is that the premise that we call centrism is an almost complete myth. The concept of centrism only makes sense within the liberal framework of politics, that of bourgeois democracy, that is to say wherein the lines of division are not based on class interest but instead on how different sectors of the bourgeoisie or petit-bourgeoisie believe capitalism should operate in confluence with an array of transient social issues. This framework is why many people still believe liberalism to be a left-wing ideology, even though it isn’t. The “left” and the “right” in this framework represent two shades of modern liberal hegemony, with the “left” representing moderate neoliberalism, social liberalism and liberal-progressivism and the right representing a conservatism that is itself based on neoliberalism and/or classical liberalism, all of which represent capitalist ideologies and operate within a capitalist framework. Centrism, therefore, can be reduced entirely to another form of liberalism, as is rather apparent when you examine the talking points of “centrists” to find that a large number of them support much of liberalism, but with a stronger . In addition to this centrism cannot be counted as a coherent political tradition on the grounds that it has no theoretical tradition that it springs from. Liberalism can be traced to a well-defined intellectual tradition that dates back to thinkers like John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire and others. Socialism can be traced to a well-defined intellectual tradition that be traced not only to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, but also to utopians like Henri du Saint-Simon and anarchists like Pierre Joseph Proudhon. Social democracy would be the tradition that emerges after the fact, stemming the ideas of thinkers like Ferninand Lassalle. Even conservatism (which I consider to be loose and incoherent) can be traced to some intellectual tradition, chiefly to the High Tories of old or to men like Edmund Burke. Centrism, however, does not have this. It’s just a generic term for liberals who aren’t social liberals or liberal-progressives but don’t commit to conservatism or to parties that called themselves “centre” parties. If you try to search for an theoretical work that has served to develop centrism as a political theory, you will find nothing. It is a rootless ideology of it even exists as such.

 

Nigel Farage is an opportunist

From the very beginnings of the Brexit saga, Nigel Farage has proven himself to be an exclusively self-serving weasel less interested in political struggle and more interested in the spectacle. Right after we voted Leave, Nigel Farage left UKIP whining about he wanted his life back, leaving UKIP leadership in a perpetual state of chaos. After Farage’s resignation, Dianne James was elected the leader of UKIP…for 18 days, then she unexpectedly resigned as leader and later quit the party and became an indepenent. Following this, another leadership contest was held in which the terminally insane Paul Nuttall emerged as the victor. After the snap general election in June 2017, in which UKIP was almost entirely annihiliated, Nuttall stepped down as leader, and then another leadership contest took place 3 months later in which Henry Bolton won. And then Henry Bolton had to resign after only 5 months in office because he kept seeing his then new girlfriend Jo Marney, who repeatedly made racist comments about Meghan Markle, immigrants and the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire, despite proclaiming that he stopped seeing her once these comments became public knowledge. After this, he was replaced the current leader Gerard Batten, who is expected to resign his position after the European parliamentary elections taking place this week. To put it quite simply: after Farage left UKIP, the party constantly shifted from one transient leadership to the next. In addition to this, it’s worth noting that some of the failed leaders and leadership candidates in UKIP have gone on to form their own political parties – Henry Bolton formed the Our Nation Party, and Anne-Marie Waters (who lost the 2017 leadership contest) formed the For Britain party.

Of course, while Farage’s reasons for leaving were patently self-centered and naive, believing that he can just get on with his life, confident that the Brexit situation would somehow resolve itself without him, he has maintained since about 2017 that his real concern is that UKIP is becoming a more extremist and radical party than he’d like it to be: citing the attempted candidacy of Anne-Marie Waters, an outspoken critic of Islam, and Tommy Robinson’s appointment by Gerard Batten as his “grooming gangs advisor” as evidence of the shift towards the far-right with a specific focus on the anti-Islam angle. The irony, of course, is twofold. First of all, Farage has a reputation of drumming up similar rhetoric about Islamic immigration during his time in UKIP: he’s said in the past that most of the refugees coming into Britain harbored ISIS militants, and has even gone so far as to say that Enoch Powell was essentially correct about immigration. There was also that notorious “Breaking Point” poster that UKIP released in the run up to the Brexit referendum, which suggested that immigrants were marching the UK in order to overrun the native population (not to mention inadvertendly resembling a Nazi propaganda film with a similar albeit more extreme message). So for Farage to whine about the party suddenly doing more anti-Islamic rhetoric in order to move away from being a single-issue party (you know, doing nothing but whine about Brexit) comes off as hypocritical. Secondly, he didn’t seem to mind when he was taking over the Brexit Party from Catherine Blaiklock, who was forced to resign after saying that black men are genetically pre-disposed to commit crime and has a reputation for anti-Islamic agitation, not to mention that under his watch the party has had to remove a guy for bigoted comments about the Grenfell Tower survivors as well as accusing Ed Miliband and Peter Mandelson of being “rootless”. Not to mention, some of the people Farage has taken on board for his Brexit Party campaign are arguably much worse than many of than the people he whines about for “Islamophobia”. Claire Fox, for example, believes that you should be allowed to watch child pornography, was a Trotskyist (take it from me, Trots are some of the worst people in the radical left and they’re despised not only by me but also anarchists and most Marxist-Leninists) who like other ex-Trots ended up writing for Spiked, and at one point supported the IRA, who didn’t even try to avoid murdering civilians in their struggle against the unionists, specifically defending the bomb attack they carried out at Warrington in 1993. Another member, the arch-Tory Anne Widdecombe, is on record for her support of gay conversion therapy and whining about “the homosexual lobby”, asserting that homosexuality was immoral and campaigning against gay rights at every turn, and defending the government’s policy during the 1990s of shackling pregnant female prisoners while they were receiving pre-natal care on the grounds that they might escape somehow. Farage has no problem with people like that in his party, but for some reason he doesn’t like it when UKIP want to be more than just garden variety free market conservatives complaining that Brexit hasn’t happened yet. Oh, and are we forgetting the times where he travelled to the European continent in order to coordinate with parties like Alternative für Deustchland, who are frequently in trouble for possibly flirting with neo-Nazism. Somehow Farage has a problem with garden variety anti-Islamic conservatives leading UKIP, but he doesn’t have a problem touring with (not to mention hiring) people who are easily more reactionary than them.

When the snap election in 2017 happened, Farage made a bold statement about how he would return to politics if Brexit was in danger of not happening. He would not do so until March 22nd of this year, when the Brexit Party’s campaign for the European Parliament elections was launched. In between that time, however, he’s been busy talking to Americans as their self-appointed ambassdor for UKIP and the populist right. To that effect he’s made numerous appearances on Fox News in order to talk about various pet political issues in the UK, to the point when I see Farage I have sometimes jokingly said “hey it’s that guy British guy on Fox News”. Fox News in turn tends to gush over him, treating him as the leader of the Brexit campaign and at one point even advertised him as the leader of the opposition even though his then-party was and still is a marginal force in government. He also joined Donald Trump at a campaign rally in 2016 in Jackson, Missouri, to vocally support him, and has since been a consistent advocate and defender of Trump. He has consistently spoken at the Conservative Political Action Committee since 2015, and has been guest speaker at Prager “University” to talk about the European Union. Until he announced that the Brexit Party would be campaigning, you would think this guy’s whole job was just circlejerking with American conservatives (with whom he seems to be very much at home ideologically) about how great America is and how the UK is teetering off the edge to statism and socialism. You might just say he’s more interested in given pompous, charismatic speeches than he is in actually he is in helping us to leave the EU, only rejoining that front when shit’s just about to hit the fan rather than stay on and fight for the thing he helped work for. This combined with some of his positions on foreign policy (he thinks the US should invade Iran for example) lead me to think of him as just another garden variety shill, with no real loyalty to the cause he attached himself to. I guess we can expect that much from someone who used to be a banker.

 

Boycott the European Parliament elections

There are many Leave supporters who are quite eager to support the Brexit Party, even among leftists such as George Galloway, on the grounds that their victory in the European Parliament might bring us closer to ending the delays to our departure from the European Union. It certainly looks like they might gain significant electoral traction, particularly in Wales. But I, however, cannot support them. For starters I have already explained why its leader, Nigel Farage is a charlatanous weasel, opportunist and hypocrite. For me to support him would him would be fundamentally dishonorable on that dimension alone. But beyond that, his support for leaving the European Union would be the only thing I have in common with him; the rest of the Brexit Party’s politics is almost entirely aligned against my own. Besides the already mentioned fact of the party’s willingness to incorporate the most groteque reactionaries in British politics, the Brexit Party also seems to be staunchly in the territory of right-wing libertarian fantasy land when it comes to the economic system. Farage has stated openly that he wants to abolish the NHS, which for all its problems is the main reason this country has managed to survive its post-war conditions, with a system based on private insurance. In essence, he wants to regress our country’s healthcare system to something resembling the horrific ponzi scheme known as the American healthcare system. Not even UKIP supports that and they’re supposed be the far-right party in this country! In fact, for a far-right party, UKIP, to their credit, supports some nationalization of industry at least according to their manifesto. If you’re a leftist and you want to throw your weight behind the Brexit Party just on the chance that we might Leave the European Union, you’re selling your principles and values down the river for the sake of opportunism and I cannot and will not do anything but reject you for it. The left must fight for Brexit, yes, but it must do so on its own front, without right-wing capitalists entering into the picture.

Sadly, however, if you want me to tell you who to vote for instead, I don’t think I can help you. I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about what to do in these elections, and I have concluded that I don’t believe the European Parliament elections will be useful for my goals. I have tried to find a credible left-wing Eurosceptic movement who might be closely aligned with my goals that I can vote for in Wales, and I have failed. There aren’t even any old school communist parties, who are traditionally anti-EU as well as anti-NATO, that might force me to swallow my displeasure for their tankie tendencies in pursuit of the greater good. There’s just Labour and Plaid Cymru, and both of them are entrenchedly pro-EU. If I support Labour, I’d end up supporting all the shitty candidates they have here in Wales, if I support Plaid Cymru, I might have someone lobby for Welsh independence but they’re going to just beg for us to stay in the EU, and to support the right-wing Brexit Party would mean helping them lay the groundwork for taking over the national government in order to turn Britian into even more of a shithole country than it is now. The only answer for me is to boycott for the European Parliament elections, and I suggest that other serious leftists do so as well.

Nothing but schadenfreude

I remember back when I was an art student in college, specifically at around 2012-13, and during one of our classes we were discussing a rumour that Jeremy Kyle, host of the widely syndicated The Jeremy Kyle Show in which all manner of the poor and destitute are trotted out to exploit their miserable situations through what can only be described as a modern day freak show, had been diagnosed with cancer, and at that time I drew controversy to myself in the classroom by saying that this was a positive thing and that I hoped that Jeremy Kyle died of cancer. The other students were kind of shocked to hear me say such things, either because a few of them I think liked his show (which is quite sad to be honest) or just their general alienness to the thought that anyone could wish a guy dead if he thought he was a scumbag.

The reason I bring this up is because that memory was, in a sense, reawakened by recent news. It seems The Jeremy Kyle Show is to be suspended indefinitely, apparently removed from ITV and ITV On Demand entirely, following news that a recent guest died a week after the filming of the show. In addition to this development, the episode in question will be subject to review on account of the death of the guest.

Now, I don’t really care about this isssue, other than the fact that the show is fairly obvious exploitation of the poor and their ignorance and as such a means of the capitalist superstructure to perpetuate its societal norms, but seeing the event brought back the memories of those days in college, where I would stand out for my politically incorrect, or perhaps simply insensitive, tendencies as regards certain subjects. And the fact is I don’t see myself having changed on the subject. In fact, I’m mildly pleased to find people on social media reacting this news in much the same way I reacted to the rumours of Jeremy Kyle having contracted cancer back during my college days. People are taking an interest in the exploitative nature of the show, and one guy’s even coming out of the woodwork to say he used to work on the show and suggests that much worse practices occur on a regular basis unbenownst to the public. I feel nothing but schandenfreude from all of this, and I say good riddance to this crap.

The spirit of Moses…

Sometimes it bears mentioning that America is not the only place where religion is invoked at the altar of what should be secular politics, just the country where you see it happen most often. Why last week we saw the Home Office scare away asylum seekers from Iran who converted to Christianity by using Bible verses. Apparently the idea was to scare immigrants who converted by arguing that Christianity isn’t peaceful, which to be fair at least they’re being honest about it this time around – though, mind you, I wouldn’t expect native Christians to be told that any time soon unless they encounter an atheist. But, that obviously is not what I’m here to talk about today. The subject of this post in particular is Boris Johnson, that famous former mayor of London who always seems to make himself look foolish. Yesterday he wrote an op-ed for The Telegraph, a flagship conservative paper here in the UK, in which he urged Prime Minister Theresa May to “channel the spirit of Moses” and “let my people go”.

It’s curious to imagine who he’s comparing to Moses here. Is he comparing himself to Moses in this one, or is he trying to compare Theresa May to Moses? In any case it looks ridiculous. Our relationship to the EU may not be democratic in any real sense, but it isn’t really comparable to the way the Israelites were treated under the Pharaoh of Egypt according to the Bible. For one thing, the Pharaoh according to the Bible wasn’t about to let the Israelites leave Egypt any time soon, and if he did he certainly wasn’t going to delay the exodus by a few arbitrary weeks while Moses figures out what the hell’s going on.

Of course, this has no real effect on whether or not we leave the European Union, and it doesn’t have too much affect on if we have a deal going for when we leave other than it makes the hardline Tories look like laughing stocks. But while Boris’ comments are absurd and ridiculous, and should be treated as such, it’s very fascinating to me that a figure like Moses would be invoked in such a way, as a liberational figure in our context. Well, he might have been a liberator in the sense of him leading the Jews out of Egypt, he was also a brutal war criminal.

In the Book of Numbers, God commands Moses to slaughter the Moabites and later the Midianites for certain religious transgressions. In Numbers 25, the Moabites engage in “whoredom” and perform sacrifices to idols, and some of the Israelites join them in worshipping Baal-peor (a deity from whom we get the demon named Belphegor)

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.” – Numbers 25:4-5

In Numbers 31, Moses receives commandment from God to slaughter all of the Midianites except for any young girls who are virgins.

“Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.” – Numbers 31:17-18

Knowing this I’m kind of curious just what the spirit of Moses means in this case, because I’m tempted to think it means slaughtering a people (one of whom by the way Moses had at his bedside the entire god damned time) because they beguiled the Israelites one too many times into doing in something more fun than worshiping Yahweh.

But the way this seems to play out, how a guy who we know from the Bible acted as a mass murderer, a war criminal and something of a dictator as well when he came to be in charge of his own forces out of Egypt comes to be known exclusively for leading the Jews out of Egypt and hence is seen as purely heroic rather than the mad dog he turned out to be very much reminds me of the way Michael Parenti talks about the wagon train and the swarthy hordes. I’ll leave the video for it at the end of this post, but to apply it to this situation is not especially difficult. Moses and the Israelites are the guys in the wagon train, they’re the “heroes”, the “human beings”, assailed by and forced to destroy the swarthy hordes, who in this case are literally every non-Yahwist tribe the Israelites encounter. In much the same way paradigm serves to rewrite the history of European and North American imperialism, it serves in the Bible to “justify” the brutal repression of non-Israelite peoples. The next time you think about the atrocities the Israelites commit in the Bible, keep this paradigm in mind. I don’t know about you, but that’s what I think about when I hear Boris Johnson talk about channeling the spirit of Moses.

“The Women of Midian Led Captive by the Hebrews” by James Tissot

Remember when I said we’re probably doomed? Well we might actually be doomed.

Back in February 2016 I gave my first take on the British referendum to leave the European Union. It was a deeply cynical take on both fronts, one that I’d sort of renege on two months later when I went from neutral to full-blown supporter of the Leave campaign. Since I voted Leave, the process of Britain leaving the European Union has been incredibly tumultuous. No sooner than we began the negotiations, we have had the Eurosceptic right see some of its key proponents bow out and leave things to whoever’s there to take over. Not only did the pro-Remain PM David Cameron resign, only to be replaced by the single worst Prime Minister I think of. Nigel Farage of UKIP left his party believing his work was done, leaving his party to practically die as a result of revolving door leadership, infighting and general irrelevance in the face of a seemingly confident Tory government, in order to spend his days on Fox News as that guy they have on whenever they talk about Britain (though he swears he’s coming back, any day now).

But for a while, things were going somewhat smoothly for the first half of 2017. The government seemed to be confident, and the economy wasn’t crashing like the Remainers said it was going to. Then, out of nowhere, Theresa May called a snap election in order to gain an even larger majority than she already had, believing it would secure the ultimate mandate for her government to leave the EU. In reality though, the opposite happened: while the Conservative party ultimately defeated Labour, they failed to gain a majority and were forced to form a coalition with the DUP, and her position as a negotiator and as a leader were greatly weakened afterwards. The once confident new leader overplayed her hand and showed herself to be nothing more than a weak, hubristic fool.

This year it was starting to look like Brexit was taking a turn for the worse. For all of our rhetoric concerning national sovereignty, a Brexit delivered to us from the right seems to be a case of shifting from one set of capitalist masters to another, as our government’s plan for a “more global Britain” means being more dependent on China. On the other hand, we could also be set to become vassals of the EU, technically leaving the European Union but still remaining subservient to their laws as though we never left at all. And now, it kind of looks like we are heading down just that path. It has recently been announced that the UK would be kept under European Union laws until December 31st 2020, despite us leaving the European Union. Theresa May also seems to be taking over the negotiations with Brussels as the main negotiator, which to me does not strike me as a positive move considering her incompetence over the last year, and is attempting to exercise her dominance in that regard by threatening a no deal Brexit if her fellow MPs don’t line up in support of her plan. Furthermore, the prospect of a no deal Brexit is leading to concerns of Britons having to stockpile food as though they were preparing for the end of the world following Dominic Raab’s comments on the subject.

Put simply, I feel like we’re getting the bad ending, the worst of both worlds in some sense. Without a plan for leaving the European Union (which, let’s be honest, David Davis seemed to suggest there wasn’t a plan at all), the Conservative government has put us in a situation where we have been making up the program for Brexit as we go along, leading up to a scenario where we are independent in name only. Despite the rhetoric of national sovereignty, we will remain subservient to the very foreign entity we struggled to break free of. And all the while there is the very real sense that the whole thing is going to fall apart and screw everyone over. It’s like Paul Mason was right all along in some respects. Meanwhile there is talk among liberal/social democratic Remainer circles of a second EU referendum, and talk among right-wing Brexiteer circles of replacing the Prime Minister who they view as a traitor to the country. But of course, the Conservatives are trying to assure us that everything is going to be just fine.

I still oppose the European Union (I think it should be destroyed and replaced by something along the lines of COMECON 2.0), I value national sovereignty, but I believe I’ve made the case that it is because of my value for national sovereignty that I have become deeply cynical about our current path. At this point my mind turns to the prospect of Welsh independence, if only because I think the EU issue won’t matter because the EU probably won’t let in an independent Wales or Scotland or the European Union will probably collapse within the decade. Funny, with America going down a horrible path of its own and England in a sorry state, I kind of feel lucky to be in Wales to an extent, and not necessarily for nationalist reasons (strange as that may sound). But of course, to speak of national liberation without socialism would be an empty exercise, for the simple fact that – and I think the current Brexit otucome is proof of this – the goals of national liberation, or even simple populism, cannot be fulfilled within a capitalist order which drives all things toward the globalization of capital and the value of profit and money over liberty and sovereignty.

All I can do at this point is to sit in my corner of South Wales, going about my life, waiting to see what happens next.

A note on Brexit and Europe

You know, in my post about my personal political development I talked about what I’ve seen of the right wing as a movement and what has led me to become fed up with it and instead move to the left – the actual socialist left; not a bunch of liberals whining about how Bernie Sanders could have won, or a pack of social democrats gassing on about how great Jeremy Corbyn is – but I neglected to comment on how this has related to issues in my own corner of the world; or, more specifically, Britain. So I’d like to write a bit about my current thoughts on the Brexit situation, with perhaps a nod towards British politics in general as well as the wave of European populism that I forgot to talk about in earlier months.

I’ll keep this is as simple as possible: the waters are looking increasingly shaky and uncomfortable at the moment. Given the numerous concessions my government seems to be making, the many times that Parliament has had to get their say on the vote despite this being a matter of the democratic will of the people rather than the political class, and then the European Union consistently trying to basically gerrymander the process so as to get it running all on their terms, I get the feeling that we might not get the hard Brexit that people like me wanted. However, this is not my only gripe. In fact, my primary gripe is increasingly to do with what the country is going to look like after Brexit, assuming we leave the European Union. Last month I heard that our current Prime Minister Theresa May refused to rule out selling off the NHS to private owners in the USA. Think about what that means for a moment: for all of its faults, the national healthcare system is a part of our national apparatus. We created it to serve our people. For it to remain under our control is an extension of our sovereignty as a nation. Simply privatizing it within our own country is one thing, but to sell it off to foreign buyers is completely different. Because if you do that, then guess who owns it? Not us, not our government, but private owners in another country, that will never be accountable to us. If we sell it off, we are giving away part of our national sovereignty to foreign corporate powers. This is almost literally no different from signing it away to the European Union, that giant capitalist trade union from beyond our borders.

Not to mention, it’s looking increasingly likely that we’re going enter into a situation where we’re basically going to be cucks to China. What do I mean by this exactly? Well for starters we are probably going to embrace China’s One Belt initiative, which is effectively just China opening up new markets at the cost of effectively undermining the sovereignty of the countries that initiative is getting involved with through economic dependency, and if that’s not enough, if Chinese media is any good indication of how they view us, if we take too long to do things that China likes they may chastise us, which I’m inclined to believe will not go down very well for us. The whole notion of “a more global Britain” that the Conservative Party likes to go on about it comes across as simply us transferring from one set of capitalist masters to another.

And this brings me to my main point: under the circumstances afforded to us by the capitalistic economic establishment, we’re not going to recapture the idea of national sovereignty and independence in any meaningful sense, because we are either still going to be dependent on the true economic incentives at play in the current system, hence we will always have new masters.

As I mentioned in my rant against Trump, I also see this reality at play within the political system of the United States of America. Consequently, I believe there is also reason to believe that this is how it will play out in Europe as a whole, except in their case it might arguably be worse. If people like Marine Le Pen or Geert Wilders, the unfortunate reality is that, whilst they may succeed in destroying the European Union by destabilizing it politically, the people of the nation states themselves may end up living in a more authoritarian countries. Not only have you got Geert Wilders who wants to outright ban Islam, thereby effectively sacrificing freedom of religious association, you also have Hungary: their president is an outright champion of the idea of “illiberal democracy”. He’s also been using this new anti-globalist current to elevate his political career and demonize his political opponents as being the allies of George Soros, conspiring to erode the Hungarian borders. In the absence of the EU, people like these could well make up the new political establishment in parts of Europe, and their answer to the tricky problems of the world is simply to give the state an iron hand while not address the root economic incentives that created the globalist phenomenon to begin with.

In closing, let me illustrate my position by using a quote attributed to Marine Le Pen, the right-wing populist candidate of the French elections, last year:

“They’ve made an ideology out of it. An economic globalism which rejects all limits, all regulation of globalisation, and which consequently weakens the immune defences of the nation state, dispossessing it of its constituent elements: borders, national currency, the authority of its laws and management of the economy, thus enabling another globalism to be born and to grow: Islamist fundamentalism.”

This is, whether she likes it or not, a description of capitalism. It is an economic ideology that is based on infinite growth and accumulation of profit, and to that end it must invariably transgress the boundaries of the nation state and its values, rejecting all limits to its growth and its ability to access new markets across the world, undermining the will of the nation states (which, funny enough, is kind of what the IMF does by pushing for its economics in third world countries that don’t necessarily want it, but the right never talks about this with regards to globalism even though it is clearly an example of economic globalism), and as a consequence it cannot remain a national grassroots system. It is at the heart of what the right now identifies as globalism, and funny enough the left has a somewhat longer of opposing the effects of economic globalization than the right does, just the mainstream left has now gotten on the globalist bandwagon and ceded the populist energies that once belonged to the left, allowing right-wing opportunists to hoodwink those energies from it.

Thus, I repeat my point: if you support the restoration of any kind of sovereignty, of popular democratic will, indeed of the nation state over the interests of globalism, then logically your true enemy is not the left, but capitalism. In fact, I say it’s high time the left regain the energies of populism and anti-globalism that the right has stolen from them.

Well, it happened, we’re on our way to becoming an authoritarian country

I know I already released a blog post this afternoon, but I feel I must release one quick blog post because I have just learned that in my country, the YouTube personality known as Count Dankula has officially been found guilty of hate crime. That is, in his case, the “crime” of uploading a “grossly offensive” video of him teaching his pet dog to do the Nazi salute and say “gas the Jews” as a joke. This trial has been a long and protracted affair, with Dankula having to appear in court numerous times before now being found guilty, and even now he will not officially be sentenced until April 23rd. It is also possible that Dankula may have a Restriction of Liberty Order placed upon him, which would entail him being placed under house arrest with a GPS tracking device attached to him.

In my opinion, the Scottish court has no idea what kind of horrible precedent it has set, not just for Scotland but also Britain at large. Today, it has been decided that you can be put in jail for uploading a comedic video on YouTube just to annoy your girlfriend and have a laugh out of it, simply because it has been deemed as offensive. I can only see this ending in the Scottish, indeed the British government as a whole, sending people to prison for similar activities, hell simply for writing posts on Twitter (as the Scottish police at one point already said they’d do anyway) because other people have judged them offensive. It is my view that we are not going in a free society for much longer, and that the British government is now very much on track to becoming one of the most authoritarian democracies in the Western world that I can think of.

Reflections on Brexit and British politics on the anniversary of the Brexit vote

Yesterday marks a full year’s departure from the UK referendum on membership of the European Union. Because we voted to Leave, some of us (myself included) have decided to mark June 23rd as our very own Independence Day, in recognition of the fact that we are becoming independent of the influence of the European Union.

One year later, I think we are still on the path towards the Brexit, but it seems things have been bungled in recent months. I regaled you all already with the outcome of the snap general election from just two weeks ago, but I will briefly explain again: Theresa May called the election thinking that she would snag a decisive majority in order to secure the “ultimate mandate” for Brexit even though she already had the democratic mandate to begin with, only to lose her majority through hubris, complacency and a terrible manifesto, forcing her to form a minority government with the DUP.

In the time between the Brexit vote and the snap general election, I have felt some changes in me politically, both in terms of my own political alignment and my opinion of British politics and the government. Before the EU referendum, I was constantly unimpressed with British politics to the point that I never voted in any elections or referendums until last year. In addition, when I look back, I realize that though I had a specific ideal that I wanted to uphold, I often times did not have a strong or precise ideological framework through which to pursue that ideal. That’s not a meaningless thing: freedom is an ideal and goal that is claimed by a diverse range of political movements in the modern age, what the difference between all of them is (1) what a free society looks like to them and (2) how they wish to achieve it (like with liberals vs conservatives for instance). Through my youth I’ve gone through self-styled anarchism, liberalism and libertarianism but without being all that well-read in either of them.

Because of my cynicism and lack of political knowledge, I was at one point sort of pro-Remain, even thought I didn’t like the EU at all, and there was no positive argument on my part – I only thought it would stop the Tories from enacting their more deeply authoritarian legislation. When I realized that such an argument made no sense and contravened my values, and I learned about what else the European Union actually did, I became more staunchly anti-EU, and from there an opponent of globalism in general. When I voted to Leave and found that my side had won, I felt meaningful democratic and national pride for probably the first time. We elected to kick the ass of a giant anti-democratic superpower in the making that didn’t give a damn about liberty, and we were in the process of saving the nation. But almost as quickly, the British government wasn’t having it, and with the help of progressive (and supposedly liberal) activists tried to block the democratic will of the people. They didn’t have their way, fortunately, but for the next year I would soon become reminded of everything I despise about British politics and the government.

I voted for the liberty of my nation state and its people, knowing that , only to see my government continue in the direction of authoritarianism that, let’s face it, it was probably already heading in by this point. The government seeking further control of the Internet, the police arbitrarily arresting people for “hate speech”, and in general not caring for the concept of freedom of speech very much to the point of still very much having a decidedly more European than American approach to the matter. Coupled with the fact that I’m pretty convinced that the British government doesn’t like the idea of strictly the democratic will of its people and principles of liberty, I remain thoroughly convinced that I fit more in the United States of America than in my own country.

However, in spite of all that, I’m willing enough to stand by the country on the issue of leaving, unless they compromise too much and the EU ends up taking us for a ride again. In the mean time, I am looking to form a strong ideological framework based on liberty, so that I can at the very least contribute to the battle of ideas that shapes the country, along with the West. I see pro-freedom ideas being on the decline in my country, so until the time when I live the dream and emigrate to America, I think I should try and spread those ideas in my own country. I’ll try and make time to read about politics, economics, history and related subjects (yes, in addition to my other reading plans) to build up my own framework.

Please don’t burn reason

So this week something terrible happened in the Kensington district London. On Wednesday, a fire broke out in the Grenfell Tower flat complex, resulting in the deaths of about 30 people and counting, with the final death toll as yet uncertain at the time of this writing, and the destruction of Grenfell Tower, with 76 people missing and feared dead. It is a national tragedy.

And it didn’t take long for the event to politicized. Many people took to protesting the government for its perceived inaction regarding the event, with Prime Minister Theresa May criticized for not visiting the victims. It is worth noting that May did visit the fireman in order to talk with them, presumably in order to try and assess the situation. Jeremy Corbyn meanwhile spent half an hour at a church hugging people, and then used the issue to advocate for the wholesale confiscation of private property in order to house those displaced by the fire.

Worse still, people are seriously trying to proclaim that the Grenfell fire was a crime – either the result of criminal negligence or an act of deliberate corporate malfeasance – without any evidence to suggest this and without an inquiry to produce any evidence of the kind. Labour MP David Lammy was a vociferous cheerleader of such a rush to judgement, advocating that arrests should be made and powerful people should be put in the dock for “corporate manslaughter”, without offering satisfactory evidence of course. Sadiq Khan, a man usually known for his inaction in the face of tragedy, is actually calling for “action and justice” in response to this whole thing. There is actually a movement now titled “”Justice for Grenfell” operating in the vein that this was indeed an act of criminal negligence and corporate malfeasance, and I’m just baffled because I’m not confident that we have any evidence yet that this is the case. Yet here I find people storming the Kensington town hall in what looked like an angry mob, demanding satisfaction, and some people claiming that the government is actively hiding the truth from the people, all without direct evidence. Are we going to start seeing Grenfell truthers soon?

More crucially, are we truly going to be allowed to give into mob mentality like this, rushing to judgement based only on reactionary whims? I know this must be horrible for the people in Kensington, and you can hardly blame them for having an intense emotional reaction to what is, by all accounts, a tragedy. But there is a danger that too little patience is being exercised for the government. It will take time to find all the answers, and a full inquiry will likely be a pretty slow process. In the meantime, there should be focus not just on gathering the facts in a calm and rational manner but also on recovery as people will need to find new homes, preferably in a manner that doesn’t entail full blown socialist confiscation of private property. I sincerely hope we don’t throw our sense of reason into the fire as well.

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A photograph taken of Grenfell Tower at the time of the fire

The 2017 UK general election results

Well, I know it’s late, but now that the dust has settled I think I’ve gathered my thoughts and I can safely say that this election has been a clusterfuck. I didn’t comment on the announcement of the general election as part of a rule I imposed on myself to not comment on current events and politics during the spring holidays so I can concentrate on down time and my plans for the blog, but now the time is right and I can offer my thoughts on the events.

First of all I’ll say straight up: this election was completely pointless. Prime Minister Theresa May called the election in April 18th out of nowhere, and I don’t think many people asked for it. May claimed at the time that she called the election in order to secure the ultimate democratic mandate for Brexit. However, as I saw it, we already had the mandate in every possible sense of the word. In case you don’t know, back in 2015 the Conservatives under David Cameron promised to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union, and the British people gave them a parliamentary majority, thereby giving the Tories the democratic mandate to hold that referendum. Then, last year, we held that referendum, as was promised to us by the Tories, and the majority of the British public voted Leave. This was the basic democratic mandate that we needed in order to invoke Article 50 and leave the Union, but time and again Parliament insisted that we couldn’t leave without giving the Parliament a say, even though it was not their place to vote on the issue. Parliament voted on the Brexit issue three times, and each time they voted in favor of triggering Article 50. So despite all the bullshit from the British political establishment, we had the democratic mandate already. I always suspected that the election was a response on May’s part to the constant whining from Remoaners (the term we Brits use to refer to pro-EU people who constantly whine about the referendum) who always refused to accept the democratic mandate of Brexit and refused to accept the legimitacy of Theresa May as Prime Minister because she was unelected, having been appointed via a leadership contest following Cameron’s resignation immediately after the Brexit vote. What irony then that we could have Gordon Brown as our unelected Prime Minister in 2007 following Tony Blair’s resignation and we’d hear ne’ery a word about the democratic legitimacy of his rule.

But anyways, in order to achieve this “ultimate democratic mandate”, she called the snap election to strengthen the Conservative Brexiter support in parliament and weaken the opposition. At first, it seemed like things were going very well for the Tories. They seemed to be the party that was going to support Brexit, and the other Eurosceptic party, UKIP, was becoming increasingly irrelevant. In fact, we had local elections a month before the general election, and the Tories absolutely dominated the polls, with Labour crashed and UKIP annihilated. All the Tories had to do was not fuck up.

And then, they actually released their manifesto.

And just like that, the Tories instantly became more reviled than ever. They announced plans to introduce more control over the Internet by the state, peppered with some nice Orwellian language to prop it up (“Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet. We disagree”). That alone, i think, instantly drove young and tech-oriented people away from the Tories, leading straight into Labour simply because they were the second largest party and weren’t the Tories. Oh but that’s not all. They also came out in support of fox hunting, despite that most of the country doesn’t want fox hunting to come back. They introduced a set of social care proposals that came to be collectively known as the “dementia tax” and the death tax (which is basically the same kind of idea that harmed Gordon Brown’s campaign), which was widely condemned as being directly harmful to the elderly, only for Theresa May to back-peddle on that policy almost immediately. She also apparently planned to scrap free school meals. Before the manifesto, she could have done nothing but endlessly repeat Brexit sound bites on a loop and she would have won the majority.

And that wasn’t the end for May’s woes. When it came time for the leaders’ debates, she almost never showed up to represent her party to debate the other leaders. From what I’ve seen of her she is a capable public speaker, and I think she could have defeated Corbyn in the debates. But no. She didn’t. For some reason she thought that getting into debates with the other leaders was pointless. This cowardice made her the subject of ridicule, for she was seen as incapable of defending her own policy ideas. Oh, and then there’s that questionable moment when she said “if human rights laws get in the way of stopping terrorism then I will change them”, which quickly became translated into “I will rip up human rights” by everyone else.

All of that served to give a black eye to the Tory party, to the point that in my thoroughly honest opinion it’s a miracle that the Tories managed to win more seats than they did. To their credit, the Tories managed to weaken the SNP’s hold over Scotland, and that’s no small potatoes: had they failed to break the absolute dominion the SNP had in Scotland, we would probably be forced to enter into a coalition with the SNP, maybe even with Labour being the larger party instead of the Tories. Not to mention, had the SNP performed worse, the Tories might have won an overall majority after all. But in many respects, they failed to achieve what they set out to achieve. They failed to win Wales for the first time, where Labour maintained their 100-year long hold over the region, they failed to achieve the decisive majority nationwide and they may well have alienated large sections of people that might otherwise have supported them. Far from strengthening their democratic mandate as May had hoped, the Tories had actually weakened it. And it was all down to Theresa May’s booming hubris and delusion. May thought that she was unstoppable, that she could do anything she wanted, propose anything she wanted no matter how stupid and awful, and the British public would still support the Tories in droves. But she was wrong, and now she looks set to pay the price for her arrogance.

And then there’s the Labour Party. Apparently Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters are delusional enough to believe that they have claimed victory yesterday, when in objective reality all they have “won” is a hung parliament in which they still gained 56 seats less than the Conservatives. He hasn’t really won anything, yet Corbyn talks about how he’s ready to launch his “new program”, while his supporters and the media make the election result out to be some kind of massive victory for Labour when all they did is lose to the worst Tory campaign ever. It’s like Kim Jong-un losing a game of soccer and the North Korean papers declaring he won somehow. Corbyn wasn’t alone either. Tim Farron of the Liberal Democrats joined him in claiming that this was some kind of golden opportunity for them and defeat for the Tories, even though they only won 12 seats. Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP did it as well. In fact, when a reporter questioned her about the possibility of a second Scottish independence referendum, she dodged the question as thought trying to deny that her referendum might not be possible.

And let’s talk about Corbyn himself for a moment. I personally find it baffling how the youth could ever support the Labour Party, let alone under Jeremy Corbyn. This is a man whose central economic proposals echo the old kind of socialism that Labour believed in before their historic defeat by Margaret Thatcher. Corbyn wanted to nationalize the railways and the energy industry, raise the corporate tax to 26%, raise income tax everyone earning not £100,000, not £200,000, not £1,000,000, but £80,000, grant extra powers to HMRC to prosecute whose who avoid paying taxes, and create a Ministry of Labour in order to grant more power to trade unions. The last time the unions had any power, they almost take over the government during the 1970’s. Before the 1980’s, everything was nationalized and the British government eventually began running out of money to pay for it. Corbyn himself is nothing more than a well-meaning moron, with often confused stances on key issues. He refused to say anything about immigration other than he would impose no cap on migration. He said nothing about Brexit other than he doesn’t want a second referendum. And when asked about whether of not he would retaliate in the event of nuclear strike, he repeatedly dodged the question and fumbled all over the place. He is also a relic of perhaps more radical times during the 1970’s and 80’s, which goes a long way towards explaining why his links with Sinn Fein and far-left movements, not to mention past involvement with violent extremist movements, has come to the far, which we’ll explore further later on.

The Labour party itself, it must be said, is still not a party of the working class as I see it, much as they would claim otherwise. Before Corbyn, it was the party of Tony Blair, New Labour and their corporate masters. Now it’s the party of Marxism, socialism and the middle class twatwaffles who actually support it, even though it doesn’t quite work the way they think it does. That said, they did still manage to gain a considerable amount seats across the nation (other than Northern Ireland). And most shockingly of all, Diane Abbot – perhaps the least competent MP Labour has to offer -, a noted anti-white racist and apologist for Mao Tse Tung’s regime, actually managed to increase her majority in Hackney North and Stoke Newington by around 9,000 votes and effectively winning in a landslide. All-in-all, I am glad that Labour didn’t win this one. Given not just Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbot, but also the presence of John McDonnell –  an avowed Marxist – and Seumas Milne – a communist apologist – in the party, I really don’t want to see those kinds of people in my government. Sadly, because Labour managed to do better in this election than they did last time and made out like heroes even though they won nothing, I don’t think the Marxists are going away, and it looks like they might actually influence British politics for the next few years. This is the Labour we have to live with now.

In the day of the vote and the day of after, I swear that the left, particularly the Corbynites, have been proving themselves to be very anti-democratic if not borderline or outright fascistic, if you’ll pardon the fairly liberal use of the term. The Corbynites actually went out of their way to buy tons of right-wing newspapers such as The Sun or The Daily Mail and burned every copy they bought, because they are apparently so confident about their candidate they just couldn’t stand media outlets talking shit about him. It’s basically the same thing as Christians burning Beatles’ records because they said they were bigger than Jesus: all you’ve gone and done is give the people you hate more money, and you look like literal Nazis. And on social media, I saw Corbynites come out virtue signalling about the importance of democracy and voting, only to bemoan to the public for voting against them and accusing them of ruining the country, with at least one even proclaiming that all Tory MPs should be jailed. And just like with Brexit, they’re supporting petitions calling for the overthrow of the democratically elected government so that their Dear Leader can become Prime Minister instead.

What really grinds my gears is simply this: how can young people justify voting Labour in order to oppose the Tories in order to save the Internet from Tory regulation, without any guarantee that Labour actually cares about Internet freedom? I’m not kidding. I haven’t seen any evidence that Labour has come out in support of internet freedom, not even after the release of the Conservative manifesto. In fact, Jeremy Corbyn has come out in support of passing laws that would crack down on what he deems “sexist hate speech”. In fact, it was the Labour Party (albeit before Jeremy Corbyn became leader) who promised to introduce a mandatory version of the Internet filters proposed by the Conservatives to block websites based on age verification. So all these people are doing is replacing one form of Internet regulation and control with another. The only difference, of course, is that in this election the Tories were more arrogant and in your face, openly proclaiming that they want control of the Internet, whereas Corbyn and the left use sneaky terms like “hate speech” and “misogyny” to justify regulating how people speak online. In short, the young people who were outraged by the Tories would have been better off if they voted for neither the Tories or Labour, and instead voted for literally any other party. And yet Labour managed to capture the youth, sometimes in the most cringeworthy way possible. Jeremy Corbyn may as well be Pastor Jim Colerick, and my generation ate it up just like that!

Actually, now that I think about it, maybe that can be counted as something of a victory for Labour after all.

We haven’t even addressed the other major part of this result yet. Because the Tories failed to win an overall majority, they will have to form a coalition for the second time this decade. The Liberal Democrats will not be forming the role of the smaller party, having already done that in 2010 and thus having no desire to repeat that outcome. Believe me, I wouldn’t want to see that either. Instead, that role goes to the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, who won 10 seats (which, for the UK as a whole, is less than the Liberal Democrats, but in Northern Ireland amounts to over half of all seats, making them the majority party). The DUP is a socially conservative party that was founded by a Protestant Christian preacher named Ian Paisley, who was apparently known for his staunch opposition to Catholicism, republicanism and homosexuality. Looking at them, they don’t seem to be as horribly evil as the salt-bearing Twitterati make them out to be, but they’re not that good a party. They are strident opponents of gay marriage, and the party has actively blocked the legalization of gay marriage in Northern Ireland. They are also known in Northern Ireland for having supported a campaign in 1977 to oppose the decriminalization of homosexuality.  And when the Good Friday Agreement was signed, the DUP were apparently the only major party to oppose it. It is, then, somewhat understandable why the DUP are treated with contempt, which leads me to wonder how they managed to achieve a majority in Northern Ireland. A lot of the anger I have seen directed at them comes from things their MPs have said rather than recent actions, but it’s not like the DUP were such a good party.

The DUP are also reviled by some sections of the media because they are accused of being sympathetic to Northern Irish terrorists, specifically a group called the Ulster Defense Association – a Loyalist paramilitary group that opposed Republicanism and wants Northern Ireland to remain in the UK. The group made headlines recently for shooting a man named Colin Horner in front of his child in broad daylight. DUP has recently stated that they do not accept endorsements from UDA, and I haven’t actually found any explicit links between the UDA and DUP other than the fact that the party’s leader, Arlene Foster, met with the UDA chief recently – by an unfortunate coincidence, that meeting took place 2 days after the murder of Colin Horner. But despite the vagueness of this connection, the left seems to be using the DUP and the UDA to smear Theresa May and the new government. To me, it seems that the same people who would’ve have defended Jeremy Corbyn, and by proxy the Labour Party as a whole, from accusations that he is sympathetic to the IRA – the Republican paramilitary who wanted Northern Ireland to be unified with the rest of Ireland – are now scaremongering about how our government is entering with the DUP because they are apparently supported by terrorists. And that’s strange to me. I have whereas I have little links between DUP and the UDA, in fact the DUP has outright condemned the DUP and other paramilitary groups, Jeremy Corbyn has not only refused to condemn the IRA on multiple occasions, but has also not just talked to Irish terrorists, he’s even invited IRA-linked individuals into Parliament, had tea with terrorists and opposed anti-terror legislation. Unlike the DUP, Corbyn has found himself in situations where he got involved with the side of terrorists, several times. Clearly, it seems that the left is playing the terrorism card where it suits them by, as is characteristic of them, creating false equivalencies.

I feel like I should be clear: I do not support the DUP in any meaningful way other than they were only realistic option for a Tory-led coalition. Like I said earlier, the Liberal Democrats outright rejected a new coalition with the Tories, and I don’t see the SNP forming a coalition with them either. Not to mention, both of them aren’t exactly pro-Brexit. And while I don’t support the Tories either, I want my government to carry on with the Brexit. And since the DUP at least wants some kind of Brexit, coupled with the fact that they had enough seats to actually prop up the Tories as a coalition partner, I simply don’t see any other coalition that would work. The alternative, to me, is a Tory-SNP coalition where the SNP grinds the Tory government to a halt on Brexit and could pressure them to give them what they want by using the threat of a second independence referendum as a bargaining chip. Oh, and I reject the idea of a Labour-led coalition with minor progressive parties. Not only is it mathematically impossible because none of those parties would have enough seats combined to make an overall majority, but it would also make for an unstable minority government without proper democratic legitimacy. Not to mention, Alex Salmond of the SNP suggested pretty much the same idea when it was called the “rainbow coalition” in 2010, and it would’ve been impractical for the same reason.

Of course the main issue for me is Brexit. Contrary to what you might expect from a party as traditionally right-wing as DUP, the party is actually soft on Brexit. They don’t want a “hard” Brexit – that is we leave the European Union full stop, including the single market and customs union – because they fear it would create a hard border between the UK and Ireland. Theresa May, by contrast, has been pursuing full departure from the European Union and believes that getting no deal from Brussels is better than getting a bad deal. This had led to concerns that the Brexit pursued by Theresa May will end up being watered down in order to keep the coalition together.

I know this has gone on for quite a while, but at this point I need to mention UKIP. Because I voted to Leave in the EU membership referendum, my choice was between either the Conservatives or UKIP – all the other main parties were pro-EU, and thus could not be trusted. For a while, I wasn’t totally sure who to go with, but then the local election results came (I didn’t vote in those, by the way, because all the local candidates in my town were leftists) and UKIP were resoundingly crushed. Because of that I felt I had no choice but to support the Conservatives in order to see Brexit go through. And then, when they released their manifesto, I just couldn’t reconcile their ideas with my own views or principles, so I considered either voting UKIP or spoiling my ballot in protest. Either reading the main points of UKIP’s manifesto, however, I decided it was better than the Tories – and that they can’t possibly fuck up worse than the Tories did – so I decided to vote for them, even though I knew the party was done for. And sure enough, UKIP tanked in the general election, winning no seats and taking an 11% drop in the vote share, which led the party leader, Paul Nuttal, to resign after only six months in office. However, some are suggesting that UKIP may yet become the benefactor of this disastrous general election, as former leader Nigel Farage has hinted that he may return to politics and to UKIP if he thinks the current government will compromise our exit from the European Union. Given the options available to me in today’s political climate, if this turns out to be true, I would be happy to support Farage and UKIP for the foreseeable future.

Overall, this election was an unfortunate one for everyone: neither Labour nor the Tories won, the other parties suffered significant losses (including the Liberal Democrats, whose former leader Nick Clegg famously lost his seat), and we are about to enter into what is technically a minority government propped up by the DUP, with an emboldened left-wing opposition, and a tumultous political climate where progress on Brexit is in danger of being pushed back. There is even talk of Theresa May being “done for”, with her being expected to resign within the remainder of this year and a new Tory leadership contest down the line is already being speculated. Whatever your views on either of the parties, or on Brexit for that matter, this will most likely go down in history as a major failure for the Tories, and May will come to be seen as a uniquely terrible Tory leader and arrogant Prime Minister. And all the while, I suspect that my country is not heading in a good direction regarding liberty, and perhaps would not have fared much better in that regard whether you voted left or right.

Pictured: the only sensible conclusion

When shit hits the fan

I did not plan to write something like this right now, and I am still supposed to working on my next post about Satanism and all that, but something happened recently that hit somewhat close to home, and I have reflected on it, as well as the reaction and possible ramifications.

As I’m sure you know, there was a terrorist attack on an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in which 22 people were killed, including children who have been subject to horrific injuries. It was a suicide attack carried out by a 22 year old man named Salman Abedi, and the possibility that he was operating as part of a wider terror plot rather than as a lone wolf is seriously being considered. I have two people who I work with who are from Manchester who have been talking about it yesterday, and I’m sure have contacted their relatives to see if everything is OK. As of today, the terror threat level in the UK has been raised to Critical, meaning that more terrorist attacks are expected to occur very soon. The country is putting itself on high alert, and there’s talk of troops being sent to patrol the streets as though this country has turned into fucking Israel!

And what did we do immediately following the Manchester attack? The usual. We cry, we mourn, we change our Facebook profiles and whatnot, pretend that they will not divide us, preach about diversity and inclusion, and then Muslims come out and pretend that they are the real victims, not the people that Islamic radicals blew to smithereens. Oh and don’t forget the Sadiq Khan message: terrorism is just like the weather now, “part and parcel of living in a big city”, just the bread and butter of the modern world. I can’t be the only one who’s had enough here.

Oh, and the Metropolitan Police have decided that any rabble-rousers who aren’t going on about peace and unity and all that bullshit and instead speak against Islam can be investigated for “Islamophobic hate speech”. Isn’t that just the cherry on top of the shit sundae?

Lots of terrorist attacks have happened in my day, not just in the UK but also the Western world, Europe in particular, and in my opinion too many. And every time it feels like the same cycle. For over 20 years, we in the West have tried dealing with this shit by either creating borderline police/surveillance states to diminish the civil liberties of their own people, we go to wars with Middle Eastern countries and then we try playing nice and needlessly shielding all Muslims and their shitty religion from criticism when most of us are mad at the terrorists rather than all Muslims, going so far as to discuss race where the issue does not belong (and both extremes seem to forget that Islam is not a race). None of this changes the problem. We strip away liberty, we cause destruction and then we bend over backwards to a force that wants us dead and our values defiled, all for nothing. And one someone comes up with a different solution, any at all. They are dismissed as xenophobic. The simple idea of controlled immigration is automatically deemed racist, because they believe that opposing immigration can only be based on hate. The idea that we should be tackling Islamist ideology is seen as “Islamophobic”, and racist, because people stupidly confuse Islam to be a racial group, rather than a religious one. The idea of promoting integration, promoting your own societal values and looking out for the interests of your own country is automatically, without context, denounced as fascistic, funny enough by people who don’t seem to know what actual fascism is.

And this whole spell that we should all just live with it is odious. Terrorism is treated like it’s a natural disaster, something that always has been and always will be with us. But that is madness! Terrorism isn’t something that occurs normally as part of civilized society. It is the product of the will to kill innocents on the part of violent individuals, in many cases an ideology that demands the radical and violent overthrow of a given social structure in favor of a typically authoritarian or totalitarian worldview and an array of societal ills that contribute to the growth of terrorism. You can’t just say this is a normal thing and an inevitable course of modern life that we can’t hope to solve. Sure, we will never be able to *completely* eliminate all terrorism from society at large, but to suggest that we shouldn’t even try and instead just live with it as though you would live with heavy rain and thunderstorms is not just defeatist, it’s also callous. We’ve tried carrying on as things were before, and I don’t think things are getting better. Not that such a thing ever happens when you decide to ignore a problem. And don’t give me any bullshit that this is some kind of blowback to the West, when terrorists kill lots of people in the Middle East just that no one notices, and right now the Philippines is in a state of martial law because of an Islamic terror group taking over a city in the country. What the hell did the Philippines do to deserve getting attacked by Islamists I wonder!

I think we need to come up with far better solutions than the kind we have offered for the problem, and we need to figure something out soon. Because the longer people keep seeing nothing change, and being told that nothing ought to change, eventually we’ll reach a point where they’ll say “we’re not gonna take it anymore”.