Thursday, 22 June 2017

After The Speech, The Action

So, no ending of the Triple Lock, no means-testing of the Winter Fuel Allowance, no taking away of free school meals, no bringing back of Secondary Moderns for most people, and no repeal of the ban on foxhunting (a ban that I have never liked, but there have come to be certain principles at stake).

We did this. Never forget, fellow-voters, that we did this.

But no energy cap in the Queen's Speech, either, despite that policy's popularity.

In the coming Leadership contest, will there be a candidate committed to Theresa May's programme of workers' and consumers' representation in corporate governance, of shareholders' control over executive pay, of restrictions on pay differentials within companies, of an investment-based Industrial Strategy and infrastructure programme, of greatly increased housebuilding, of action against tax avoidance, of a ban on public contracts for tax-avoiding companies, of a cap on energy prices, of banning or greatly restricting foreign takeovers, and of a ban on unpaid internships?

Indeed, there will be. That candidate will be the man whose very presence first put those issues on the agenda at all.

That man is Jeremy Corbyn. And that contest will be the next General Election, sooner rather than later.

Lost In Space

The Queen's Speech addressed the important matter of space flights.

To give some context, I suggest that you look up the bus times to and from Lanchester in the evenings, on Sundays, and on Bank Holidays.

Or even the train times between Durham and Newcastle in the evenings.

This Government, if it can be so described, is living on another planet.

As, for that matter, is the nominally Labour majority on Durham County Council.

To Fill The Space

If the Daily Mail really wanted to annoy The Guardian, then it would give a weekly column to Jeremy Corbyn.

And why stop there? Seumas Milne and Andrew Murray are journalists.

Only this weekend, John Pilger told Neil Clark that the "liberal Right" Guardian was full of "precocious windbags". 

He did so on a programme that is ordinarily presented by George Galloway, a sometime Mail on Sunday columnist who remains an occasional contributor.

So that's six: Corbyn, Milne, Murray, Pilger, Clark and Galloway. One for every day.

Meanwhile, The Guardian will just have to make do with Owen Cohen, the little boy who wants to be Nick Cohen when he grows up, as if it were possible to do both.

In any given year of Tony Blair's Premiership, he was the most prolific freelance on Fleet Street, writing "exclusively" for every national newspaper.

There is another General Election coming up, so Corbyn and Milne need to be offering the former's byline on a weekly basis to each of The Sun, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Daily Star, the main national stables of local and regional newspapers, The Sun and the Daily Mail again ("and twice on Saturdays," as it were), and the Mail on Sunday.

That would cover all seven days of weeks in which there is no time to be precious.

Why should those papers carry such columns? Pay them.

Get the unions, or whoever, to pay them what they would have been paying someone else to fill the space. At least.

Shy bairns get no chocolates.

Re-Housing All Round

Jeremy Corbyn says it, and it happens. Anyone would think that he were Prime Minister.

Indeed, Conservative MPs now question him in Parliament as if he were. They are facing up to the inevitable.

He, too, will have a much swankier residence in the West End before very long at all.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

To Cap It All

Those whom the fire at Grenfell Tower has rendered homeless now face being moved out of their city of London, and in some cases moved hundreds of miles away.

MPs who are rightly bemoaning this, Jeremy Corbyn voted against the benefit cap.

Did you?

Accepting The Timetable

And so it begins.

"Europe" as the excuse to remove a Prime Minister under whom civil order might break down, if it has not already done so.

How the years roll back.

Civil Contingency, Indeed

It turns out that requisitioning is perfectly legal under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

I'd have to check, but the Conservative Party probably voted in favour of that Act. If anyone will have voted against it, then it will have been Jeremy Corbyn.

The Conservatives have certainly had long enough to repeal it. They have never done so.

Of course, that applies to the property of people who live here full-time and pay the tax. Never mind to the property of people who don't.

DUPed No More

The day before the Queen's Speech. The day before. I ask you!

Is no deal still better than a bad deal, Prime Minister?

And you'll be shaking the Magic Money Tree all over Northern Ireland, on which its fruits will rain down as if this were September.

Monday, 19 June 2017

"A Revenge Attack"?

That's what they all say.

And does anyone seriously suggest that there is no connection, none whatever, between the perpetrator in this case, and either the 1980s Far Right that produced both Thomas Mair and several current or recent Cabinet Ministers, or the Ulster Resistance, symbiotically related to the DUP?

If I were a betting man, then I would bet on very, very, very close ties to both of them.

Meanwhile, it may be impossible to secure every mosque all the time, but how hard can it be, or how unimportant can it be considered, to secure one of Europe's largest mosques during Ramadan?

All in all, bring on the General Election.

A Purchase On Things

Compulsory purchase orders seem to be perfectly fine when the full-time homes of middle and working-class people are standing in the way of a runway, or a motorway, or HS2.

Why, then, are they not perfectly fine when properties occupied barely, if at all, by enormously wealthy people who do not ordinarily live in this country are needed to order to accommodate people whose homes have burnt down?

One Last Golden Summer

The sun is beating down, and two hundred thousand people are expected to hear Jeremy Corbyn at next month's Durham Miners' Gala, in preparation for this year's second, rather more decisive General Election.

As I approach my fortieth birthday in September, it seems that my youth has one last Golden Summer left in it after all.

It's My Baby Too


The BBC can still have its moments.

That Which Divides Us

All right, it has been over a year now, so here goes.

Jo Cox's cliché-ridden maiden speech attracted no attention at the time, and her Memorial Fund is channelling money to the White Helmets.

As Vanessa Beeley set out to the great Neil Clark on this week's Sputnik, the White Helmets are really just a trading name of the al-Nusra Front.

Is funding such an operation even legal? It certainly ought not to be.

This week's Sputnik was also notable for the greater-than-great John Pilger's brilliant description of the "liberal Right" Guardian as "precocious windbags".

Resist This

Sammy Wilson, who was then the DUP's Press Officer and who is now a DUP MP, chaired the founding rally of the Ulster Resistance.

Ian Paisley (the Elder, so to speak), Peter Robinson and Ivan Foster all spoke at that rally.

Emma Little-Pengelly, who is now the DUP MP for Belfast South, is the daughter of Noel Little of the Paris Three.

One could go on.

All in all, the two organisations are more than casually acquainted.

Would you want Sinn Féin in the Government of the United Kingdom, although it is telling that the DUP long ago stopped being bothered about having it in the Government of Northern Ireland?

If not, then you cannot stand for this, either.

Speech and Drama

Supporters of Boris Johnson ought to absent themselves from the Division on the Queen's Speech, although of course turn up for the Motion of No Confidence that would follow the Government's defeat.

Does Johnson want to be Prime Minister, or not? We never did quite find out last year. This is his second chance. And in life, there are no third chances.

Ernest In Town and Jack In The Country

LADY BRACKNELL : [Sternly]... What are your politics?
JACK: Well, I am afraid I really have none. I am a Liberal Unionist.
LADY BRACKNELL: Oh, they count as Tories. They dine with us. Or come in the evening, at any rate.

There are 13 of them in the House of Commons now, I suppose.

After the defeat of the '45, Toryism, as such, barely featured in Scotland until the split in the Liberal Party over Irish Home Rule.

At least arguably, it still doesn't, or it doesn't anymore.

The above exchange is sometimes omitted from modern productions of The Importance of Being Earnest.

It probably never ought to have been, and it certainly ought not to be so today.

The Germany Test

The death of Helmut Kohl has crystallised in my mind the concept of the Germany Test.

From Sunday trading to nuclear weapons, if Germany does perfectly well without something, then so could we.

If it is mass incineration that you want, then we have just seen it.

Had it happened a week earlier, then the Prime Minister would now be a man who makes no bones about the fact that he would never press a nuclear button (a science-fictional question that he is never asked in any grown-up country), while the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be a man who would simply refuse to pay for nuclear weapons.

As Peter Hitchens writes:

It continues to amaze me that we spent a large chunk of the Election campaign discussing the renewal of our grandiose and unusable Trident missile system, which allegedly protects us from enemies we don’t have in a war which ended 26 years ago.

And that we think we are so great and wonderful and important that we can launch wars in Iraq, Libya and Syria.

But we could not even protect the victims of Grenfell Tower from horrible, needless deaths that a child could have foreseen.

The Long and Winding Road

Ah, the spirit of the Swinging Sixties.

Congratulations to Her Majesty’s new Companions of Honour, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Terence Conran, on having so successfully brought down the British Establishment.

For all its alleged left-wingery, and its ability to annoy the forces of conservatism no end, rock’n’roll was made up of common or garden proto-Thatcherites, often tax exiles.

The only exceptions were David Bowie and Eric Clapton, way out on the Far Right.

The Sixties Swingers hated with a burning passion the Labour Government of 1964 to 1970.

The pirate radio stations were their revolt against its and the BBC’s deal with the Musicians’ Union to protect the livelihoods of that union’s members.

Behind this union-busting criminality was Oliver Smedley, who was later to be a key figure behind the proto-Thatcherite Institute of Economic Affairs.

Viewers of The Boat That Rocked, now a mainstay of late night television, should consider that the Postmaster General so mercilessly ridiculed in it was in fact Tony Benn, and that the Prime Minister who legislated against pirate radio was Harold Wilson.

Those Swingers used the lowering of the voting age to put what they thought were the Selsdon Tories into office in 1970.

They then went on to entrench their own moral, social and cultural decadence and libertinism, first in the economic sphere during the 1980s, and then also in the constitutional sphere under Tony Blair. 

David Cameron accepted uncritically the whole package: moral, social, cultural, economic, and constitutional. Indeed, he embodied it.

The coming Boris Johnson accepts uncritically the whole package: moral, social, cultural, economic, and constitutional. Indeed, he embodies it.

When is this country going to wake up to what has really been happening over the last 50 years?

Of the original 17 Companions of Honour, however, five were trade union leaders, Labour politicians, or both.

A sixth was a leader of the women's suffrage movement which had not at that time attained its objective.

A seventh was soon afterwards to expand her social reforming work into Independent Liberal political activity.

Two more were Liberal Unionists, of whom, by the way, there are arguably now 13 in the House of Commons.

If the industrialist Viscount Chetwynd took the Conservative Whip, then he was the only person on the list who was in any sense politically involved with that party, and even then barely so.

The pattern was set for many decades thereafter: relatively right-wing Labour politicians by pre-Blair standards, a few downright left-wing figures, trade union leaders, upper and upper-middle-class Boadiceas of social reform, luminaries of the Australian Labor and New Zealand Labour Parties, an extremely long-serving editor of the Manchester Guardian, a prominent campaigner on behalf of the rural working class.

Peace activists were notably numerous.

The first Prime Minister of independent Papua New Guinea remains, while the first Prime Minister of independent Trinidad and Tobago was also a member.

There was even an Indian nationalist politician.

The one who had been Prime Minister of Northern Ireland had been a founder-member of the Ulster Unionist Labour Association, and had gone on to chair it.

There was a distinct preponderance of Nonconformist ministers, as well as towards Scotland and, strikingly in view of its relative smallness within the population, towards Wales.

There were brilliantly maverick clergymen, generally influenced by Tractarianism, such as the Church of England used to produce: Wilson Carlile, Dick Shepherd, Tubby Clayton, Chad Varah. 

Varah did not die until 2007, yet he is already an unimaginable figure.

There were plenty of other people, too, including lots of Tories. But the old Radical tradition was very much in evidence.

Alas, no more.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

While Ensuring That The Views

Whenever there is a social movement in this country, then it is accused of being a bunch of professional agitators and middle-class hypocrites.

That is now happening even when people complain that their homes burnt down because they had been kept unsafe in order to save tiny sums of money while ensuring that the views from the nearby luxury flats were not unduly affected.

Take Back Control

There are shades of Brexit about Theresa May's attempt to do a deal with the DUP, and about the sight of Sinn Féin in Downing Street, throwing its weight around.

The time has come to refuse to allow the composition or the programme of our Government to be determined, either by 10 members and fellow-travellers of the Ulster Resistance, or by seven members and fellow-travellers of the IRA.

The time has come to ask ourselves whether or not we still wanted to keep Northern Ireland and its utterly bizarre little polity, entirely regardless of whether or not the Republic wanted to take it.

The time has come to Take Back Control.

Prime Mover

I do not believe that Theresa May is heartless or what have you. But she is no good at being Prime Minister.

As the extremely bitter chapter on the Poll Tax in Margaret Thatcher's autobiography makes clear, she herself never believed for one second that she had been brought down by or over "Europe", as if that had been what had placed her anything up to 20 points behind Neil Kinnock in the polls.

She regarded her own removal from office as Britain's greatest ever concession to "the Far Left", and she was right.

The All-Britain Anti-Poll Tax Federation made no bones about being the Militant Tendency (no friend of either Kinnock or European federalism, of course), which has justly crowed ever since that it brought her down.

Not only was and is that the view of, for example, Dave Nellist. But it was also the view of Thatcher herself, in a print bestseller, in the associated television series, and to her dying day.

"Europe", however, was the convenient excuse. As it will be again when May is removed. "She was got rid of to stop Hard Brexit," we shall all be told, and not at all because, however unwittingly, she had been on the brink of plunging urban England into riots, if they had not already happened by then, and Ireland into a many-sided civil war.

May herself will never have any of this, complaining to the end that she had been forced out to placate the Momentum shirt-wearers and the SWP placard-bearers who had organised the storming of Kensington Town Hall, and to prevent distress to the Sacred and Royal Person of Gerry Adams, who was Europe's nearest approximation to an Asian god-king, including the Pope.

All of that will be true. But the millions who have bought Thatcher's memoirs over the decades have almost always remained unaffected by the mere facts of her defenestration. How many people are even going to buy May's memoirs, still less read them, still less have their minds changed by them?

As for the prevention of Hard Brexit, for which there was never a parliamentary majority in the first place, consider that the Prime Minister who is going to be installed in order to deliver that prevention will almost certainly be Boris Johnson.

He, of course, wrote two Telegraph columns on the referendum, one for Leave and one for Remain, before making a calculation in terms of his own advancement as to which he was going to file. His beautiful assistant, and clearly intended successor, is to be Michael Gove, whose decision to back Leave has left everyone else entirely bewildered from the moment that he made it.

Still, they will deliver a few of the essentially Corbynite goods on Grenfell Tower and on the wider issues of housing and the fire service, despite Johnson's very weak record when he was Mayor of London, and they will not go into any kind of coalition with the DUP.

Just as the Major Government got rid of the Poll Tax, implementing a watered down version of the Labour policy instead (it remains in place to this day), while changing nothing of the substance, rather than the rhetoric, of Thatcher's European policy, completing her Single European Act by signing what everything in her record made obvious would have been her Maastricht Treaty.

Think on.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Known Unknowns

Yes, there needs to be a Coroner's Inquest, and not only a public inquiry, into Grenfell Tower.

There has never been an Inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly, either.

Let's have them both.

And remember, we need Trident to keep us safe. We don't need sprinklers. But we do need Trident. Remember that.

The Kohl Face No More

I know that it was wrong, but my first reaction was, "You mean that Helmut Kohl was still alive?"

Worse Than Weak, Worse Than Wobbly

The persistence in office of this Prime Minister is now practically guaranteed to bring riots to London, even to the very West End, and all out war to Northern Ireland.

Away with her.

This is nothing new or foreign. It last happened in Britain as recently as 1990.

Read the extremely bitter chapter on the Poll Tax in Margaret Thatcher's memoirs.

She knew who had really brought her down, and it was not Geoffrey Howe.

Theresa May: The Beginning of The End

In the morning, she was openly mocked by the Queen.

Yes, the Queen.

And in the afternoon, we have the storming, now followed by the siege, of Kensington Town Hall.

Yes, Kensington.

This is all very "Crown and People against the Whig oligarchs". Look it up.

More That Unites Us

Thomas Mair, the murderer of Jo Cox one year ago today, described himself to the Police as “a political activist”, and so he was.

No Irish Republican organisation has murdered a Member of Parliament in the present century or in the preceding decade, and the people responsible are now such pillars of the British Establishment that they are entertained at Windsor Castle. No Islamist or Leftist organisation has ever murdered a Member of Parliament. But the Far Right has done so, only last year.

Although a “strong supporter” of Israel did attempt to murder George Galloway while he was the MP for Bradford West. These days, though, that constitutes part of the Far Right. Give that a moment to sink in.

National Fronts come and BNPs go, EDLs come and Britain Firsts go, but certain institutional and organisational manifestations of the Far Right are perennial, hitherto even permanent. Mair’s is the Springbok Club, which is run by the people who also run the London Swinton Circle. And that, in turn, was addressed by Liam Fox (born 1961) and by Owen Paterson (born 1956) as recently as 2014.

Ah, those old 1980s Tory Boys, in their Hang Mandela T-shirts and all the rest of it. Wherever did they all end up?

In the Thatcher and, to a lesser extent, Major years, there were Ministers who were members of the Western Goals Institute or the Monday Club. Those crossed over, via such things as the League of Saint George, to overt neo-Nazism on the Continent, to the Ku Klux Klan, to apartheid South Africa, to Ian Smith’s Rhodesia, to the juntas of Latin America, to Marcos and Suharto, to the Duvaliers, and so on.

Nick Griffin’s father, Edgar, was a Vice-President of Iain Duncan Smith’s Leadership Campaign. He answered what was listed as one of its official telephone numbers (in his house) with the words “British National Party”.

The days of treating even support for the NHS as Loony Leftism, while maintaining no right flank whatever on the officially designated political mainstream, are well and truly over. The dominoes have already started to fall. Some highly prominent people in what incredibly still thinks that it is now this country’s perpetual party of government need to be very, very, very afraid.

Send Her To The Tower

The Queen has managed to visit the former residents of Grenfell Tower.

So her Prime Minister's claims about security were clearly baseless.

Theresa May has got to go. Taking Boris Johnson, Nick Hurd and Gavin Barwell with her.

Where is her party? Or has it lost its touch?

Caught Red Handed

Tim Farron gained seats, but he's still gone. Theresa May lost seats. She'll be gone, even from being gone. 

Farron is no martyr. He does himself no credit by pretending to be one. It is simply that, with people like Vince Cable, Ed Davey and Jo Swinson back in Parliament, he was no longer needed.

For good or ill, those are all former Ministers, two of them at Cabinet level. They just needed Farron out of the way. And now, they have got him out of the way, even though he did quite well at the General Election. They have an efficiency of which the likes of Yvette Cooper cannot even dream.

But then, we already knew that. The Lib Dems knifed the far more impressive Charles Kennedy (a totally pro-life Catholic, by the way), and they would have had no difficulty knifing Farron. Indeed, they did have no difficulty knifing Farron.

Remember that his views would have disqualified him from even contesting the Leadership of the Conservative Party, still less winning it.

And so to the DUP.

The problem with the DUP is not that its MPs hold the same views on abortion and on same-sex marriage as at least one MP who nominated Jeremy Corbyn for Leader, as at least one Campaign Group MP who stood down in 2010 having been John McDonnell's campaign manager, and as at least one active Corbyn supporter who has recently returned to his previous role as a stalwart of the Labour Left in the House of Commons.

No, the problem is the Ulster Resistance, which has never disbanded, with at least seven brigades or divisions still active in Northern Ireland, with at least one support brigade still active in Britain, and with the daughter of one of the Paris Three now the MP for Belfast South.

The story of the Paris Three has it all where the Far Right of yesteryear is concerned. Some of the detritus of all of that is now in Cabinet, in one case ostentatiously reappointed to it. Some holds the balance of power. And some committed, one year ago today, the only murder of a sitting MP in the present century.

More profoundly, the problem is a part of the United Kingdom that can give 10 parliamentary seats to an outfit such as that, and seven of its remaining eight seats to Sinn Féin.

If they persisted in such voting habits in what is now the age of hung Parliaments as the norm, then the people of Northern Ireland would need to be confronted with the question, entirely regardless of whether or not the Republic would take them, of how much longer they expected the voters of Great Britain to keep them on.

Self-determination is a two-way street.

Under Scrutiny Again, Indeed

No, Tim Farron.
 
Arguably any religion, and certainly Christianity, is not, and can never be, "a private matter".
 
On that principle, there would never have been a Liberal Party.
 
Note that Theresa May simply answered "No" to the question on which Farron repeatedly um-ed and ah-ed.
 
The Conservatives now describe same-sex marriage as their own proudest achievement. What, ever? Quite possibly, yes.
 
The Lib Dems made Farron Leader despite knowing his views and his record. It was the media that made a fuss, until eventually his party also felt compelled to do so.
 
The Conservatives, by contrast, would never have permitted such a Leader in the first place.

It is in fact a perfectly accurate answer that we are called to concentrate on our own sins, not on other people's.

And have you ever heard a sermon on homosexuality? I mean, ever? I haven't. Yet you would think that it was all that we ever thought about.

Automatic For The People?

The cladding used on Grenfell Tower cannot legally be bought or sold in the United States.
 
Where you can buy an automatic machine gun in a supermarket.
 
Think on.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Speech Impaired

At the present rate, the Queen's Speech will have to be the King's Speech. And that King will be George VII.

Remember when they said that if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister, then Gerry Adams would be in Downing Street, telling him what to do?

Well, Gerry Adams was in Downing Street this afternoon, telling the Prime Minister what to do.

Nice of him to slum it, I suppose. Sinn Féin royalty normally prefer British royalty to mere politicians, and British royalty cheerfully return the compliment.

At the same time, Corbyn was at Grenfell Tower, meeting the survivors whom Theresa May had refused to meet.

Oh, and Conservative Campaign Headquarters is letting it be known that it is preparing for a second General Election.

Corpus Christi

Do many Catholics still believe in transubstantiation? Well, if such things were ever taught in Catholic schools, then more of them might.

But anyway, so what? What matters is that the Church teaches it. Catholics who dissent from the Teaching of the Church are just wrong, objectively speaking. That is all that there is to it.

Only the Catholic Church provides such objectivity, which is perfectly encapsulated in transubstantiation.

It was only from Christianity in general, and from Catholicism in particular, that science acquired the idea that some propositions were just plain true, so that others were just plain false.

And it was only from Christianity in general, and from Catholicism in particular, that science acquired the idea that there was an investigable order in the universe; even if that order is a law of chaos, then the point still stands.

Faced with a changed intellectual environment which denies those foundations rather than simply presupposing them, science must return to the system that first asserted them in the midst of a former such environment.

That system is Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular.

Thus, for example, while and by affirming the objective existence of the substance distinct from the accidents, transubstantiation also affirms the objective existence of the accidents, which are the objects of scientific investigation.

Transubstantiation is the bulwark against the Postmodern assault on science. Nothing else is.

Therfore, come one, come all, to what promises to be an excellent Day of Recollection with Fr Tom McHale at St Joseph's, Gateshead on Saturday 1st July, organised by the wonderful Association of the Eucharist.

Beginning at 10 o'clock in the morning, there will be talks by the priest, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Confession, and Mass. No charge. No need to book, or anything like that. All welcome. Bring a packed lunch.

Changing The Systems

Selling anything to Saudi Arabia or Qatar is effectively giving it to al-Qaeda and IS.

BAE Systems should be renationalised, as the monopoly supplier to the British Armed Forces and to nobody else, with a total ban on the sale of arms abroad.

As with, say, Trident, skills are transferable, and ensuring that they are transferred is no small part of why we have a State.

Burning Issues

Ah, Nick Hurd.

Eton and the Bullingdon Club. Son of Douglas Hurd. Son-in-law of Michael Ancram. So, where did he get that accent?

Oh, and he was one of at least 71 landlord Conservative MPs who voted against an amendment to require that rental properties be "fit for human habitation".

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a landlord. But there sure as hell is with this.

The Left should have moved into housing years ago. As with education, why do we waste our energy on polishing the jewels in the crown of the municipal Labour Right?

Something very similar applies to broadcasting. We do we waste our energy on polishing the jewel in the crown of the metropolitan Liberal Establishment?

Not that we do, of course. As with the EU, we saw, and we vociferously articulated, the problem with the BBC long before anyone else did.

But no one listens until the Tories say something. That was why no one listened to Pilgrim Tucker and the Grenfell Action Group.

Well, they are going to have to listen now.

The Left should have moved into broadcasting years ago.

It needs to bypass the metropolitan Liberal Establishment in order to make the alliances necessary to ensure a voice in the new structures of Sky and of the Channel Four Television Corporation.

(Rupert Murdoch already owns talkRADIO, to which The Mother of All Talk Shows will return at seven o'clock tomorrow evening. I for one will see anything special about the BBC when it broadcasts anything like that, or like Sputnik, or like Going Underground.)

The Left should have moved into broadcasting years ago.

It needs to bypass the municipal Labour Right in order to make the alliances necessary to ensure a voice in the structures of the Academies programme.

It also needs to continue to cultivate ties to the public schools, which host its leading figures on a very regular basis, in the starkest possible contrast to the state sector.

And the Left should have moved into housing years ago.

Over, if I may, to Pilgrim Tucker and the Grenfell Action Group.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Bachelor Uncle's Day

When is it?

Be warned, we have rather more refined tastes.

The Teaching Assistants At The Durham Miners' Gala

Once again, meet in Durham Marketplace at eight o'clock that morning, Saturday 8th July.

At 5:30 the previous evening, at Redhills, Ken Loach will deliver the Inaugural Davey Hopper Memorial Lecture. Not to be missed.

Linen In Public

Alas, unlike this, the print edition of the Northern Echo does not give the world the opportunity to marvel at my beautiful linen suit.

That is a pity, not least because it had given the world the opportunity to marvel at my beautiful pinstriped suit.


The extreme weakness of the prosecution's case against me was evident yesterday, and its lack of preparation was disrespectful to all concerned, including one of the investigating Police Officers, who was present in the public gallery. 

Indeed, the judge was highly annoyed that the correct material had not been uploaded. "This is the Crown Court," he reprimanded counsel, one Louise Harrison.

The Crown Prosecution Service has no case against me unless and until it produces the alleged fingerprint evidence, but yesterday it failed to do so three months, to the day, after I had first been arrested and fingerprinted.

Among those who attended to support me was the Labour Movement legend, Davey Ayre.

No one in the wider Labour Movement regards the ruling Group on Durham County Council as anything other than the Coal Board and the pit owners of the present age.

The Councillors think that they are the miners. But the miners certainly don't, and nor does anyone else. Including Brother Ayre.

I am starting to think, not only that a Solidarity March and Rally really could be held on the first day of my trial, Wednesday 6th December (yes, December!), but that the Police might participate in it.

They certainly ought to do so. In its incompetence, the CPS has treated their work with contempt.

Towering Questions

About housing.

About the blocking of attempts to improve it.

About the warnings that the landlord had already had, but had got away with ignoring.

About his decision to spend £10 million on cladding the building in such a way as not to give offence to the residents of the nearby luxury flats, when that cladding was highly flammable, and when a mere £300,000 would have bought a sprinkler system instead.

About cuts to the emergency services, especially the fire service.

About the record of Boris Johnson on that issue when he was Mayor of London.

And about the very recent record of Gavin Barwell when he was Housing Minister.

Even More Messily Absurd

"Professional tweeter Donald Trump, with nudges from his retinue of advisers, is once again proving himself a crass amateur when it comes to international diplomacy.

"Two weeks ago he visited Saudi Arabia to do a sword dance with Saudi royalty, enjoy a confab with other Gulf monarchs, and, according to Trump himself, sort out Islamist terrorism.

"And, incredibly, thanks to Trump’s intervention, an already chaotic situation in the Middle East, in which local disputes are almost always simultaneously international conflicts by proxy, has become even more messily absurd, as two US allies, both of whom host the US airforce, are now being pitched into battle against each other."

Tim Black sets out how Trump is tearing apart the Middle East

Liars Lying About Nearly Everything

My friend Philip Giraldi is a very great man.

Goodbye, And Good Riddance, To Centrism

"If those of us in the media spent less time lecturing about the wisdom of the status quo, and more time treating disaffected voters like the overwhelming majority they are, we might at least stop face-planting on our election predictions. We're not the center anymore, and we have to stop acting like we ever were," explains Matt Taibbi.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Spot The Deliberate Mistake

An editorial on press freedom has been published jointly by The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph.

Running From The Right, Indeed

As far as the Conservatives are concerned, they have already run from the Right, as the Americans say, once  this year.

It cost them their overall majority.

Nothing like, for example, grammar schools, or means testing the Winter Fuel Allowance, is going to be in this Queen's Speech, even were such a thing ever to arrive.

Or indeed in any Queen's Speech, ever.

What matters now is keeping the DUP onside economically, keeping Ruth Davidson onside both economically and socially, and taking the Conservative Party out of the danger zone that is being a less than two and a half points behind Jeremy Corbyn's Labour.

It would take well under a million switched votes to make Corbyn Prime Minister, and the Lib Dems alone took well over nine hundred thousand last week.

Forget about grammar schools. Forget about austerity, very much. The Conservatives are back to their default option as the means whereby ideologically uncommitted public schoolboys wield power by lavishing money on the elderly.

Except that now, Boris Johnson or whoever is also going to have to lavish money on the young, or at least on students, since they have taken to voting in enormous and decisive numbers.

Then there are farmers of Scotland, the middle classes of suburban and rural Scotland, the farmers of Northern Ireland, and the Protestant working class of Northern Ireland, all with their hands held out for sweeties that, since they are going to get them, lots of other people are also going to want.

The difference is that the Left actually understands, and indeed writes, this kind of economic policy. The Bullingdon Club does not.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Union City Blue?

We may be living in the last days of the United Kingdom.

No one has ever asked the huge, and still growing, population of England whether it wanted its only electoral options to be "such Tory Government as the DUP might let you have" and "such Labour Government as the SNP might let you have".

The only solution is the election of a majority Labour Government later this year or early next year. A Labour vote in every constituency. No exceptions. No excuses. There is a time and a place to be precious. This is neither.

In the meantime, a Leader from the Right is not the Conservative Party's answer to having been brought within two and a half points of defeat at the hands of Jeremy Corbyn. Economically, it is not the way to keep the DUP onside. In any area, it is not the way to keep Ruth Davidson onside.

Boris Johnson, meanwhile, is never the answer to anything.

Plea and Trial, Indeed

"The purpose of tomorrow’s hearing is a for a Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing, it is an opportunity for us as the Defence to enter a Not Guilty Plea and set a timetable for the upcoming trial, it is purely administrative."

And so it drags on, after the local elections and the General Election alike have been and gone. Does the phrase "You've made your point" mean nothing to anyone anymore?

Saturday, 10 June 2017

General Election Roundup

I told you that there would be a hung Parliament.

Nicola Sturgeon has some nerve, calling for Theresa May to resign because she had taken her party from a hung Parliament to a minority government. Sturgeon took her own party from a hung Parliament to a minority government. I said then that she ought to resign. And I say now that May ought to resign.

So much for "the ruthless Tories". If that were true, then May would have been removed yesterday morning. If they have any sense, then they will put in David Davis, who is mildly anti-war, and who is a good civil libertarian who fought and won a court case on those issues alongside Tom Watson. He is also a friend of George Galloway's.

If there is another General Election this year, then vote Labour in every constituency in Great Britain. No exceptions. None. We could sort out any difficulties once we had won.

Labour has just won Kensington, the wealthiest constituency in the country. Anything is now possible. Anything. Those who say that Labour's policies were more popular than Jeremy Corbyn was, they were Labour's policies only because Corbyn was Labour's Leader. Both the policies and the Leader have clearly gone down well in Kensington.

The attack line about murky connections to Northern Ireland 30 years ago has been blown out of the water by the fact that Theresa May now intends, not in the 1980s but today, to be sustained in office by a party from over there which has its own history of paramilitarism, and which has a large financial scandal still hanging over it.

Now, the DUP has its moments. Its votes helped to stop David Cameron from intervening in Syria. It is economically populist, favouring investment in infrastructure, as well as the retention of the Triple Lock on pensions. But even so. The facts are the facts.

Craig Mackinlay has been re-elected. Although I would not have voted for him, I am quite pleased about that. As for Nigel Farage, he can no longer use the line that he has changed politics forever. If the seven times failed parliamentary candidate came back, then it would have to be on the grounds that Brexit was in mortal danger. Well, which is it, then?

Every good wish to Laura Pidcock now that she is the Member of Parliament for North West Durham. At 29, she clearly intends to stay for 35 or 40 years, The never-consulted Constituency Labour Party is already on manoeuvres. How do I know that? How do you think?

She really does need to move here, having made such a fuss of the unnecessary claim that she already did. And she needs to become known at Westminster for the right reasons, not the wrong ones. No one wants a Geordie Jess Phillips. (Yes, of course I know that neither she nor her constituents are Geordies. But Private Eye or the Fleet Street sketch writers will not know that.)

With Laura installed, there is literally no remaining reason for the County Durham Labour machine's continuing persecution of me. It ought to withdraw its action forthwith. Indeed, it ought already to have done so by now. Its failure to do so has no motivation beyond malice and spite.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Fit To Print

Ladies, if I may be so bold, today is the 104th anniversary of the death of Emily Wilding Davison.

She had thrown herself in front of the King's horse at the Derby four days before, in a protest demanding that women be given the vote.

I doubt that I shall ever quite forgive the Labour Party for having made it impossible for me to vote for it today.

In most cases, everywhere outside County Durham (other than Easington) and outside Manchester Gorton, you should vote Labour. But I can't. And it hurts.

This time tomorrow, either Laura Pidcock will be the MP for North West Durham, or Laura Pidcock will not be the MP for North West Durham.

Either way, there will be no remaining reason to persecute me, and I trust that the astonishingly ongoing attempt to do so will finally be dropped.

Anything else would be too malicious and vindictive for words.

Two months ago, I had never voted for a Lib Dem candidate for anything. Lib Dems are surprisingly thin on the ground in Lanchester.

But I have now voted Lib Dem twice.

For Lanchester Parish Council, where no party ever runs a full slate and I trust that none ever will, I cast my 15 votes variously for Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Independent candidates, and for those of No Description.

12 of my 15 preferred candidates were elected, from the first four of those categories.

That was not a one off, although the Lib Dems had not put up here in the past. I have no need to be too tribal about politics, since my own position is so obvious.

My parliamentary staff in 2020 would have comprised, and my parliamentary staff in 2022 will comprise, a broadly ecumenical spread.

Of course, overarching and undergirding my many causes is that of bringing together the many critiques of neoliberal economic policy and of neoconservative foreign policy.

If anyone elected today fancied having me on the staff in order to pursue some or all of the many research options in that link, then do please get in touch.

Bottom of the pay scale, of course. That would do me so long as I could carry on living here.

Don't worry about anything that might still be hanging over me. Has a parliamentary pass ever been refused to anyone, anyone at all, who had ever been nominated for one by a Member of Parliament from Northern Ireland?

Those projects, and many others besides.

My work to secure the translation into English, and the publication in this country, of Operation Israel, which is my friend Hernán Dobry's definitive account of Israel's arming of Argentina during the Falklands War.

My work for the Dorje Shugden practitioners, who are persecuted by the Dalai Lama.

My work on Modern Monetary Theory, my discovery of which ranks in my life as a light bulb moment second, although strictly second, to my discovery of Thomism.

And so on.

In the meantime, if the print media are dead, then someone needs to tell George Osborne, and someone needs to tell the authors of this morning's front pages.

The Sun's was an important reminder that that newspaper's almost entirely public school staff are in fact engaged in a joke on their readers.

But the reason why alternatives have never come to anything has been because of a failure to appreciate that the sport and the showbiz are what hook those readers.

Having bought the paper for those stories, they then read the politics as well.

It's obvious, but this point is lost on an awful lot of people.

It is not, however, lost on me. Watch this space.

In fact, don't just watch this space. Especially if you are looking for an investment opportunity, then do please get in touch.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

But YOU Probably Should Vote Labour

Why am not being loyal to Labour?

Oh, I don't know, perhaps because nationally it has placed me under a lifetime ban from membership for almost as long as Laura Pidcock has been old enough to vote, while locally it is trying to frame me in a criminal trial.

And why am I not rallying to the Red Flag of Laura Pidcock?

A tougher one, I admit. But perhaps because it is hardly as if she kept that Flag flying during the Blair years.

I have no doubt that she sincerely opposed the Iraq War. But she was a 15-year-old schoolgirl at the time.

I, on the other hand, was arguing the case on the General and Executive Committees of the Constituency Labour Party of the then Government Chief Whip.

Laura's last leaflet disgraces her by carrying this photograph, accurately captioned though it is.


Laura also claims to live in Lanchester when she does not. She lives in Cramlington, where she recently lost her seat on Northumberland County Council.

Laura's greatest disgrace, however, was when she walked out of the Teaching Assistants' Solidarity Rally because a speaker, from this constituency, had called for a vote against all Labour candidates at what were then the forthcoming elections to Durham County Council.

Due to the advice of middle-aged adolescents close to Laura Pidcock, people who have never been involved in grown-up politics in their lives, that strategy was not adopted.

As a result, Labour retained Overall Control, justice for the Teaching Assistants is far from guaranteed, and those who have wronged them remain unpunished.

It is therefore imperative, both that Grahame Morris be re-elected at Easington, and that all other Labour parliamentary candidates in County Durham be defeated.

Moreover, here in North West Durham, we have the privilege of being able to vote for Owen Temple, who has been and who remains, with Alex Watson, one of the two greatest champions of the Teaching Assistants' cause among Durham County Councillors.

However, you are probably not reading this in North West Durham, or even in County Durham at all.

If you are in Manchester Gorton, then I implore you that the present global situation is such that the whole world is crying out for the return of George Galloway to the Mother of Parliaments. Do your duty to the human race.

Everywhere else in Great Britain, much the same can be said about the need to make Jeremy Corbyn the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in place of the current Saudi puppet regime in Downing Street and Whitehall.

So, yes, everywhere outside County Durham (other than Easington) and outside Manchester Gorton, Vote Labour.

The Enemy Within?

In 2015, the Conservatives' safest seat was North East Hampshire. But even there, 5,290 people voted Labour.

6,394 people voted Labour at Maidenhead. 7,229 did so at Esher and Walton. 5,415 did so at Surrey South West. No fewer than 10,191 did so at South Northamptonshire.

Assume, therefore, a bare minimum of five thousand Labour votes per constituency in Great Britain tomorrow.

That would give a bare minimum of 3.16 million people whom the Government, at least for the next 48 hours, honestly, genuinely and sincerely believed to be terrorist sympathisers, if not active terrorists.

At least five thousand of those would be living in any parliamentary constituency that you cared to name. Newbury, say. Or Beaconsfield. Or Arundel and South Downs.

When "Theresa May and Her Team" look out at the country that they govern, and which they aspire to continue to govern for at least another five years, then that is what they see.

Expect them to legislate accordingly.

Apologists For Terror, Indeed

The Bomb Iran Brigade, that is.

Someone just has bombed Iran, and in exactly the same interest as our own Government and our own Labour coup-plotters long to do so.

That interest is not Israel, or at least not primarily so. That interest is Saudi Arabia, the darling of Britain's apologists for terror. I refer, of course, to Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Amber Rudd.

Iran has many faults. But those faults do not include funding the people who bomb Manchester and London, or supplying them with the arms that we have been stupid and wicked enough to sell in the full knowledge that that was where they were going to end up.

Oh, and remember that, with China, Qatar now owns our National Grid. That would be bad enough. But when "regime change" comes to Doha, watch who benefits in this as in so very many other areas.

Well, what would you have instead? Public ownership?

Joseph Stiglitz: Only Labour Gets It

Two years ago, this Nobel Laureate in Economics declined to sign my pro-Corbyn letter that ended up in The Times.

But only because his New York Times contract required him to maintain a certain neutrality.

However, he has not now written for The New York Times since February.

And, by the look of this, a good thing, too.

A Black Day On The Black Mountain

As Montenegro accedes to NATO, re-read this searing critique by Doug Bandow, former Special Assistant to President Reagan.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

One Week To Go

Remember, there wasn't enough evidence even to bother keeping tabs on Khuram Butt.

Just as there isn't enough evidence to charge anyone in relation to Hillsborough.

And just as there isn't enough evidence to hold so much as an inquiry into Orgreave.

But challenge the 100-year hegemony of the rancid right-wing-if-anything Labour machine in County Durham, and see what you get.

A week today, my trial is still scheduled to go ahead.

With a total disregard for human life and for public safety by everyone from Simon Henig to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Either of those could already have stopped it by now.

A formal complaint will be made against the CPS, at least.

"Imagine Diane Abbott As Home Secretary"?

She couldn't possibly be any worse at it than we all now know that Theresa May was.

Home Secretaries who go on about how "tough" they are, and that is most of them, always turn out to have been rubbish when you check the facts. Michael Howard arranged Royal Pardons for his violent, drug-dealing cousins in Swansea.

And you don't have to imagine Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary. Astonishingly, such is in fact the case.

Not only that, but he is already popping up on the airwaves to invite us to imagine him as Prime Minister.

No one knows who is going to be the Prime Minister at Christmas. But we all know who that is not going to be.

It is not going to be Theresa May.

As for Philip Hammond, is he still the Chancellor of the Exchequer even today? In recent days, tax policy has been announced by Michael Fallon.

Enough Is Enough

Five years ago, that slogan was used by the Police Federation.

Against Theresa May.

Oh, well, no one has ever accused her of originality.

Today's Reality

There is a person called Reality Winner.

Not a horse.

A person.

Monday, 5 June 2017

"And Bully's Special Prize..."

Those of you who were once Labour stalwarts in this constituency, and who now call me "Speedboat" because "Here's what you could have won", you are very, very, very naughty.

Hanging Together

A hung Parliament needs Owen Temple.

A hung Parliament needs George Galloway.

And a hung Parliament needs Craig Mackinlay, in a magnificent two-fingered salute.

Laura Pidcock's latest leaflet says that she lives here. If she wins, then that needs to be brought to court.

It also features yet another promising young man who will end up as one of the bitter middle-aged men of Labour and ex-Labour politics in North West Durham.

There are quite a few of us about.

Clean Off The Qatar

Yes, of course Qatar sponsors terrorism.

It also owns more of London than the Queen does, including the Shard, One Hyde Park, Chelsea Barracks, and Harrod's.

And of course Saudi Arabia, to which we sell huge quantities of arms, sponsors terrorism.

That is why Theresa May will not even publish the report into the subject.

Jeremy Corbyn has been saying all of this for decades.

No Sting In The Tale

One of my A-level English teachers once handed out The Handmaid's Tale, told us to find the rude bits, and then collected it in again, exclaiming, "Well, you can't possibly do that!" We did Huckleberry Finn instead.

Two hours in, and we do not seem to have missed anything. I am still waiting for anything to happen, or even for anyone to say very much. This is being shown in the summer because during the dark nights, the audience would have fallen asleep.

To Strengthen and Develop The Economy


The Conservative manifesto calls for continued austerity, which will tend to slow the economy at a crucial juncture, against the backdrop of Brexit negotiations.

Their spending cuts have hurt the most vulnerable and failed to achieve their intended debt and deficit reduction targets.

In contrast, Labour’s manifesto proposals are much better designed to strengthen and develop the economy and ensure that its benefits are more fairly shared and sustainable, as well as being fiscally responsible and based on sound estimations.

We point to the proposed increases in investment in the future of the UK and its people, labour market policies geared to decrease inequality and to protect the lower paid and those in insecure work and fair and progressive changes in taxation.

There is no future for the UK in a race to the bottom, which would only serve to increase social and economic inequality and further damage our social fabric.

On the contrary, the UK urgently needs a government committed, as is Labour, to building an economy that really works “for the many, and not only the few”.

Followed by the names of 150 economists.

Solutions in Search of Problems

In February, half of some 850 British passport holders whom MI6 had given the green light to go and fight in Libya or Syria had returned. Half. Is there a D-Notice on this story? Or can the official media just not accept that it is true?

"We have given the Police more powers, but Jeremy Corbyn voted against them," declares a Prime Minister who is hopelessly out of her depth, although who wouldn't be?

Corbyn was not the only one, though, was he, David Davis? Davis also has a good, if not a Corbyn-style excellent, record of opposition to the wars that cause the trouble. Imagine if he were Prime Minister this time next year.

Anyway, these powers clearly haven't worked, so Davis was clearly right a lot of the time, and Corbyn was clearly right all the time. Those, and the yet further measures that are predictably being trotted out, have been solutions in search of problems for as long as I can remember.

Back in the Major years, Michael Howard wanted to deploy them against rat boys, who are forgotten now, but who were considered a terrible scourge in those days. His then Shadow, Tony Blair, perfected the art of triangulation by seeing, and then raising, each of Howard's bids.

One of New Labour's greatest achievements, a trick that it managed to pull twice, was to convince the public that Michael Howard was a nastier politician than Tony Blair. On the second occasion, Blair's nastiness had already become fully apparent on a global scale.

Theresa May's erstwhile Shadow, Yvette Copper, is itching to repeat the tactic, but her husband's cavorting has finished her off as a credible figure. He is tellingly not trying to recapture the seat that he lost a mere two years ago.

Such things as identity cards, and Police powers to detain people for prolonged periods without trial, have not prevented terrorist attacks in Continental Europe, or, to be mildly euphemistic, farther afield. But then, the people who want them here do not want them for that.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

One Spirit, One Body

The whole Church was baptised with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, which we celebrate tomorrow, and She manifests that baptism through a rich plurality of gifts, the charisms.
 
The whole Church, and thus every member, is therefore both Pentecostal and Charismatic.
 
Every gift is a charism, and each is always given for the good of the whole body, in response to Her evangelistic activity, in the context of Her sacramental life, and subject to Her gift of discernment.
 
She exercises that gift within Her institutional life, because the institutional Church and the charismatic Church are inseparable, being two aspects of a single reality.
 
It is wholly unscriptural to impose any requirement that anyone exercise any particular charism in order to be considered a full, believing member of the Church.
 
There has never been the slightest doubt that the charisms include healing, exorcism, prophecy and words of knowledge, nor really even that they include speaking in tongues.
 
Furthermore, healing is here understood as even those of us not raised in the Charismatic Movement understand it: it is the restoration of the human person to wholeness, which might or might not take the form of healing as understood by medical science, depending on what is known best to the Holy Spirit, Who is the Wisdom of God.
 
Similarly, the performance of exorcism is restricted to suitably qualified people, and it is only ever used against the power of that objective evil which we can but thank God that we do not fully understand.
 
Prophecy is recognised as the gift of being able to read the signs of the times and to communicate effectively what is thus read, so that there is always foretelling in the forthtelling, while words of knowledge are always relevant, always wise counsel and always independently verifiable.
 
Speaking in tongues is never without the interpretation of tongues, and together they make it possible to understand where such would not otherwise be the case.
 
By contrast, glossolalia is not a Biblical word, but a twentieth-century running together of two such words in order to describe a twentieth-century phenomenon associated with the denial that those who do not exercise it have been “baptised with the Holy Spirit”, with the degeneration of worship into banality and incoherence, with the refusal of legitimate ecclesial authority, with the denial or minimisation of doctrine, and with the transfer of ecclesial authority to parachurch leaders.
 
For example, as well as having been miraculously healed, the great Dominican Saint Vincent Ferrer was also blessed with the gift of tongues.
 
Other than Ecclesiastical Latin and despite his English father, he had no language but Limousin, which was what they spoke in his native Valencia in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
 
Yet he was a tireless itinerant missionary, preaching to tremendous effect in Aragon, Castile, Switzerland, France, Italy, England, Ireland and Scotland.
 
Whereas glossolalia is, it is worth repeating, a twentieth-century running together of two Biblical Greek words in order to describe a twentieth-century phenomenon that does not occur in the Bible.
 
Is it Saint Paul's “tongues of angels”? There is nothing in Scripture to support that view.
 
The true gift of tongues is as manifested by Saint Vincent Ferrer OP, Biblical scholar, philosopher, thus doubly informed and doubly informing theologian, and thanks to that ongoing formation a gloriously successful preacher of the Gospel, not least to the Jews, precisely as an ordained priest and a solemnly professed Religious in perfect unity with the See of Peter.
 
These and the other charisms serve to re-root Theology in experience, and to call the whole Church to watch at all times for the Second Coming.
 
They restore the integrity of the Liturgy by freeing it from over-formality and over-conventionality. And they release the ministries of women, young people, the poor, and others who experience marginalisation and oppression.
 
Yet there is never any question of any one gift being used to decide whether or not someone has been “baptised with the Holy Spirit”, because it is the whole Church that has been so baptised.
 
Nor need there be any degeneration into banal and incoherent services; indeed, any such degeneration, like any refusal of legitimate ecclesial authority, or any denial or minimisation of anything taught by the Magisterium, is a sign to the institutional Church, in Her exercise of Her charism of discernment, that the spirits being tested are not of God.
 
And nor is there any transfer of ecclesial authority to parachurch leaders, because there is no parachurch.
 
Rather, there is the Holy, Catholic and Roman Church.

“The Most Dangerous Man In The Most Dangerous Country In The World”

This morning, I received the following anonymous letter from the United States, which I reproduce here as the single paragraph that it is:
 
Your England betrayed and partitioned Bharat. Your England betrayed and partitioned Eretz Israel. Who speaks for that England today? Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott, Len McCluskey and George Galloway are all over 60. Ken Livingstone and Ronnie Campbell are over 70. Dennis Skinner is over 80. Tony Benn and Tam Dalyell are dead. Angela Rayner, Richard Burgon, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Laura Pidcock could never appeal to your “Middle England”. But you, David Lindsay, are not yet 40 and you appeal to the middle class, you have friends on the right from London to Washington, D.C. You are the most dangerous man in the most dangerous country in the world. That is why we, the defenders of Bharat, the defenders of Eretz Israel, are sending you to jail and sending you to your death. If somehow you avoid the prison cell that we have prepared for you, you will be killed. We will attend your trial at Durham Crown Court on June 13 and any days following to make sure of it. Once you have been in that cell, you will be killed anyway. This letter has been sent to all the parts of your little network: “Councillor Alex Watson OBE”, Owen Temple, Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott, Len McCluskey, George Galloway, Ken Livingstone, Ronnie Campbell, Dennis Skinner, Angela Rayner, Richard Burgon, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Laura Pidcock, the Durham Teaching Assistants’ Committee, the Durham Miners’ Association, Durham Unite Community, the Durham Stop the War Coalition, the Durham People’s Bookshop, the Nottingham Centre for Theology and Philosophy, The Word, the Morning Star, the Northern Echo, The Universe, the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner, and all the rest of them. All those enemies of Bharat and Eretz Israel know that we, the defenders of Bharat and Eretz Israel, are either going to send you to jail and then kill you when you come out, or kill you if you are not sent to jail. You are not going to Parliament, you are going to prison, and then you are going to be killed. We are the heirs of Nuthurum Godse, we are the heirs of Moshe Sneh. You are going to be killed. You, David Lindsay, are going to die at our hands for Bharat and Eretz Israel. So is any lawyer who acted in your defense in any case, anywhere in the world, for the rest of your life. So is any witness who testified in your defense in any case, anywhere in the world, for the rest of your life. So is every member of any jury or bench that acquitted you in any case, anywhere in the world, for the rest of your life. All those will be killed for the defense of Bharat and Eretz Israel.
 
I am about to hand in the following to Durham City Police Station:
 
This morning, I received the letter that is attached to this statement. The envelope is also attached, from which you will see that it was posted on Friday 26th May in the United States, a country that I regret to say that I have never visited.

I have of course kept copies of the letter and of the envelope; attached to this statement are the originals. Moreover, I have of course made all living persons named in the letter, as well as my solicitor, aware of its existence and of its contents.
 
In the light of this communication, I find that I am the victim of an act of intercontinental terrorism, from one nuclear-armed state (the United States) to another (the United Kingdom) in the name of the current governing ideologies of at least two more (India and Israel).

I demand that the outstanding criminal charge against me be dropped, that any other investigation against me be terminated, that all relevant files be closed, and that all record of my arrest and charge be purged.

I demand that the items of property seized from me and, quite improperly, from a member of my family be returned immediately. I demand a public apology, and that I be compensated in what is, under the circumstances, the extremely modest sum of, after tax and other deductions, four times the Durham County Councillor’s annual allowance of which this action has deprived me. In other words, a net figure of £53,200.
 
I demand that the American Ambassador, the Indian High Commissioner and the Israeli Ambassador be summoned to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to account for this turn of events.

I demand that all known supporters of Narendra Modi and the BJP, or of Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud, or of any of their respective coalition partners, be brought in for questioning, both in the United Kingdom, and in the American state identifiable from the postmark on the attached envelope, as well as in at least all of the neighbouring American states.

I demand that the staff of the Crown Prosecution Service who made the decision to charge me be interviewed under caution as to their ties to either or both of India and Israel. I demand that the Leader of Durham County Council, Councillor Dr Simon Henig CBE, be arrested and interrogated as to his personal, family and other links to either or both of Israel and the Crown Prosecution Service.

And I demand the arrest, and the comprehensive interrogation, of Oliver Kamm of The Times, of Damian Thompson of The Spectator, and of  [name redacted, because he goes crying to Google whenever I fight back].
 
As of yesterday, it is the publicly stated position of the Prime Minister that the CPS is bringing at least one case that is “unfounded”.

Not merely likely to lead to an acquittal, but baseless and groundless as a prosecution; not merely inadequate as to its basis in evidence or as to its grounds in the public interest, but having no such basis or grounds whatever.

That is the publicly stated position of the Prime Minister. And now, this. How many more, one wonders? There is a strong case for a Royal Commission into the CPS.
 
In the meantime, my work goes on, with my efforts positively redoubled by this atrocity.

My work to secure election to Durham County Council and to Lanchester Parish Council in 2021, and as the Member of Parliament for the constituency containing Lanchester in 2022; I neither rule out, nor rule in, the possibility of standing for Police and Crime Commissioner in 2020.

My work to defend, restore and expand the public transport on which, as a disabled person, I am dependent.

My work to secure justice for Durham County Council’s Teaching Assistants, including, since unfortunately we were unable to deprive Labour of overall control of that authority this year, my work to secure the re-election of Grahame Morris at Easington, the defeat of all other Labour candidates in County Durham at the forthcoming General Election, and the election of Owen Temple here at North West Durham.

My work to secure the election of a Labour Government overall, with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister, implementing almost all of the current Labour manifesto, and supported by George Galloway as the Member of Parliament for Manchester Gorton.
 
My work to unite the trade unions and all the non-Labour sections of Durham County Council, in order to bring the Volkswagen Group’s production for the British market to County Durham after Brexit, in very stark contrast to the mere management of other people’s poverty for 32 years and counting.

My work to ensure that apprentices and trainees enjoyed all the privileges that were extended to their peers in Further and Higher Education, and vice versa. My work to secure the representation of the working class, and especially of the rural working class, on all public bodies, as well as in the media.
 
My work to give voice to the fact that the workers, and not the liberal bourgeoisie, are the key swing voters. My work to give voice to the fact that identity issues must be located within the struggle for economic equality and for international peace.

My work to give voice to the fact that the leading role in the defence of universal public services belongs to those who would otherwise lack basic amenities (the working class), while the leading role in the promotion of peace belongs to those who would be the first to be called upon to die in wars (the working class again, but perhaps even more so the youth, who were right about the First World War, right about the Vietnam War, and right about the Iraq War).

My work to give voice to the fact that the decision of the EU referendum by people and places that voted Labour, Liberal Democrat or Plaid Cymru means that the concerns of those people and places ought now to be the focus of political attention, and not least of the negotiation of the terms of Brexit.
 
My work of opposition from the start to the failed programme of economic austerity.

Against all Governments since 1997, my work of opposition to the privatisation of the NHS and other public services, to the persecution of the disabled, to the assault on civil liberties, to every British military intervention during that period, to Britain’s immoral and one-sided relationship with Saudi Arabia, to the pernicious military alliance with Turkey, and to the demonisation of Russia.
 
My work to remove the obscenity of weapons of mass destruction, with Trident cancelled in favour of properly staffed, properly paid, properly accommodated and properly equipped Armed Forces, as well as civilised care for veterans, as well as flood defences, as well as cybersecurity, as well as intelligence and counterintelligence, and as well as civil nuclear power.

My work in favour of civil nuclear power, and in favour of the exploitation of this country’s vast reserves of coal, in the clean extraction and incineration of which Britain was once the world leader, as the twin pillars of an “all of the above” energy policy that would guarantee high-wage, high-skilled, high-status jobs abroad while delivering independence from the tyrannical and unstable sources of much of the world’s oil and gas.
 
My work with and for the ancient indigenous Christians of the Middle East and North Africa (and not least of the Holy Land), my work with and for the Jews of Iran, my work with and for the Dalits, my work with and for the Chagossians, and my work with and for the Rohingya, among others. My work of demanding that Altaf Hussain be deported to stand trial in Pakistan.

My work in rejection of any approach to climate change which would threaten jobs, workers’ rights, the right to have children, travel opportunities, or universal access to a full diet. My work to rescue issues such as male suicide, men’s health, and fathers’ rights from those whose economic and other policies have caused the problems in the first place.

My work, as a mixed-race person, of refusal to recognise racists, Fascists or opportunists as the authentic voices of the accepted need to control immigration.

And my work to safeguard the overseas aid target of 0.7 per cent of GDP, by specifying in the Statute Law that the United Kingdom’s aid to any given country be reduced by the exact cost of any space programme, or of any nuclear weapons programme, or of any nuclear submarine programme, or of any foreign aid budget of that country’s own, but with the money thus saved having to remain within the budget of the Department for International Development.
 
This list is very far from exhaustive.
 
In this county, as a matter of policy, no one would ever be arrested, still less charged, with anything relating to the law against cannabis.

In this country, no one would run much risk of arrest, never mind charge, never mind conviction, never mind anything more than the most derisory of sentences, for what has long been the illegal activity of foxhunting, to which the Police act as escorts, arresting only anyone who might seek to obstruct this criminality or to object to it.

No one other than a Premier League footballer, and even then probably only one from the “wrong” club, would run any risk of arrest or prosecution for “digital penetration” of a 15-year-old girl who had, furthermore, been out drinking with the complete impunity of everyone from her parents to the relevant licensees.

No one other than a minister of religion, or possibly a teacher, would run any risk of arrest or prosecution for any kind of sexual activity with a 15-year-old boy. Yet look at how I have been treated, and for reasons that have now been communicated to me directly by the perpetrators.
 
In the light of that communication, I find that I am the victim of an act of intercontinental terrorism, from one nuclear-armed state (the United States) to another (the United Kingdom) in the name of the current governing ideologies of at least two more (India and Israel).

I demand that the staff of the Crown Prosecution Service who made the decision to charge me be interviewed under caution as to their ties to either or both of India and Israel. I demand that the outstanding criminal charge against me be dropped, that any other investigation against me be terminated, that all relevant files be closed, and that all record of my arrest and charge be purged.

I demand that the items of property seized from me and, quite improperly, from a member of my family be returned immediately. I demand a public apology, and that I be compensated in what is, under the circumstances, the extremely modest sum of, after tax and other deductions, four times the Durham County Councillor’s annual allowance of which this action has deprived me. In other words, a net figure of £53,200.
 
I demand that the American Ambassador, the Indian High Commissioner and the Israeli Ambassador be summoned to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to account for this turn of events.

I demand that all known supporters of Narendra Modi and the BJP, or of Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud, or of any of their respective coalition partners, be brought in for questioning, both in the United Kingdom, and in the American state identifiable from the postmark on the attached envelope, as well as in at least all of the neighbouring American states.

I demand that the Leader of Durham County Council, Councillor Dr Simon Henig CBE, be arrested and interrogated as to his personal, family and other links to either or both of Israel and the Crown Prosecution Service.

And I demand the arrest, and the comprehensive interrogation, of Oliver Kamm of The Times, of Damian Thompson of The Spectator, and of [name redacted, because he goes crying to Google whenever I fight back].