Pride

On Thursday, the British electorate will vote in what is, in and of itself, a meaningless election. Some of them will also be voting in Local elections, which in some cases may actually have a genuine impact in their daily lives if they manage to either elect a decent Councillor or even change the political make-up of their local council for the better. Granted, few of those councils up for grabs are likely to produce a result where the local councillors actually clean the toilets themselves as occurs in Britain’s only UKIP-controlled Council of Ramsey – and I can assure you that kind of duty (see what I did there?) is not part of UKIP’s Local Election Manifesto – but even with the limited powers Borough Councils now posses, it can make some small difference.

So, why call the European Election ‘meaningless’? Well, in terms of what will change on the ground, it is. My wife asked that very question just last night, in the context of what a massive UKIP sweep would mean. And the answer is – nothing. Not one drop of the flow of the ‘invisible hand’ of massive European regulation which stifles the British economy would cease, as the bureaucracy has its inbuilt majority in the Toy Parliament in Brussels and it is highly unlikely that even the most optimistic projections of impending victories for anti-EU parties will break that stranglehold on the ridiculous rubber-stamping process masquerading as voting which takes place there.

But politics is so often about perception, not reality. All of the parties – UKIP included – are essentially running on their domestic policies rather than what they will achieve by being in the European Parliament, as they will achieve precisely nothing in legislative terms and they all know it. The EU question rests entirely on the outcome of the 2015 General Election and any subsequent such moments. It’s that simple.

So what about perception? Well, so often in any First-Past-The-Post system such as ours, perception of ‘who can win’ rather than ‘whose policies do I identify with?’ is king. And it really, really is. There are well-trafficked websites dedicated to tactical voting considerations – though as those are usually aimed at the more discerning anti-Tory voter with a view to encouraging people to vote Liberal Democrat where Labour can’t win the seat I suspect their traffic stats may be a little down in 2015, as I think five years of Coalition government will have somewhat soured many of those voters on the idea that a vote for the LIberal Democrats is an ‘anti-Tory vote.

So really when it comes down to it, for pretty much the last few decades the situation has stayed the same. At every General Election, unless the political climate has been created where a genuine extreme of loathing has been created for the incumbent administration that something truly overwhelmingly ‘anti’ takes place (1979 or 1997, for example) then the Conservative and particularly Labour parties have a pool of ultra-safe seats which they basically do not need to really try all to win in terms of expenditure or manpower – signage, leaflets, bussing in activists or senior Party figures and the like. I tend to refer to them as Chimpanzee Seats – shave a chimp, cover its modesty with a pair of shorts, stick a rosette of the appropriate colour on them and hey presto, Bonzo Oook MP will fit right in with the other braying, hooting simians as they wave their order papers at each other across the pretend divide inside the House of Commons.

What these Chimpanzee Seats do in practical terms is to allow both the two parties to concentrate on fighting in the marginal seats – the seats which are winnable and losable dependent on your point of view. Labour benefit most from this, and as the Lib Dems prepare to go begging for a post-Election Coalition with Labour next time they came together with them to destroy any hopes of the very necessary constituency boundary reforms which the Tories had pledged for this Parliament which would have blunted the massive edge the Labour Party has because of this factor.

But, almost without real warning, something has changed. Genuinely changed. Suddenly those Red and Blue rosetted chimps have come to the horrified realisation that quite a lot of their ultra-safe seats just aren’t so safe any more. Because there’s a new game in town, and it is carving out a place for itself outside of the usual political paradigm. Sure, they can still safely edge out this new political force from most of their Chimpanzee Seats when they can concentrate their resources in a Bye-Election. But at a General Election? Well, the Greens proved in Brighton what can happen when an insurgent Party concentrates its resources into one single seat when the other Parties are spread out fighting over half the country. And this new force has far more activists and is starting to attract far more in the way of financial clout than they are ever likely to be able to muster.

That’s right, folks. The racist bigots are here. And those Chimpanzee Seats are suddenly not so safe any more in a lot of cases. Seats which Labour and the Conservatives haven’t had to seriously contest for decades are suddenly in need of attention in case UKIP steals a march and takes them out from under their noses whilst they are focussed on South Marginal. And what must be worrying for the Establishment is that UKIP’s General Election polling figures are staying remarkably robust, constantly above 10% and in some polls rising as high as 20%. If that vote starts getting concentrated in a serious way into a couple of dozen constituencies then those seats stand a good chance of falling.

So, what to do about this dreadful upstart threat that dares to challenge the cosy consensus politics of Westminster? Well, that’s easy. Kill it.

I will not dwell overlong on the appalling nature of the media’s campaign against UKIP. There is after all a degree of what my Psych Major friend calls ‘confirmation bias’ involved with how people have received it. Those who genuinely believe that any opposition to an open door immigration policy or EU membership is racist and bigoted will of course lap up any story the Establishment media, sitting as it currently is with the Sword of Damocles Leveson hanging over it, is prevailed upon to print, no matter how blatantly inaccurate or misleading. Believing that around 0.3% of UKIP’s council candidates saying racist things means that UKIP and its members and voters are racist bigots whilst ignoring explicitly racist elephants in the room such as Diane Abbott and David Ward who are treated as perfectly respectable members of the actual House of Commons may not be logical, but logic is not massively at work for anyone who will scream at non-‘white’ UKIP candidates at public meetings their belief that they hate non-white people. Likewise, those who are drawn to UKIP because of its outsider status are simply strengthened in their belief that it is the right choice for them with every increasingly intense attack made against them, not necessarily because of any deeper feeling or conviction then that. This outsider status is of course especially strengthened when it emerges that it is indeed the Conservative Party – which tries to present itself as at least ever so slightly to the political Right – which is the source of the dirt which is being exhaustively dredged up and fed to the most Leftwing newspaper in the country by Cameron’s dirty-tricks brigade.

I always have maintained on the subject of freedom of the press that I support a Free Press 100%, but just wish it wasn’t this one. However after seeing how easily our actual supposedly Free Press has been prepared to whore itself out to the political establishment in exchange for the watering down of the Leveson recommendations to launch its asymmetrical war against UKIP, I am somewhat minded to change that view. Perhaps, just perhaps, this Free Press isn’t worth saving. If it is going to effectively act as State media and do as it is told when required to, why worry about whether or not that same State ‘officially’ regulates it or not? A difference that makes no difference is no difference, as the saying has it.

I’ve been ‘involved’ with UKIP since 1997, though in a very on and off fashion. When I think about it, I’ve pretty much done it all, I guess. I’ve been a Constituency Chairman, stood for Council, run local General and Euro Election campaigns (though in 2005 I pretty much had three men and a dog at my disposal, and if I’m honest the dog couldn’t always be persuaded to turn out). I’ve spoken at public meetings on the same platform with people as the late and much lamented Graham Booth MEP – a quietly hilarious man with a keen sense of the absurd, whose maiden speech in the European Parliament was delivered in the thickest Devonian accent he could muster in order to make a point about the ridiculousness of ‘one size fits all’ for an entire continent which confounded the translators no end, and who despite his ‘exalted’ MEP status was out delivering leaflets through Torbay doors the first time I called to book him for a meeting. I helped ‘out’ BNP infiltrators in Bath (which subject came up in the pub after a meeting last night in conversation with Gawain Towler who may well be about to become an MEP himself, as it turns out he had not long become UKIP’s Press Officer at the time) with the late and equally lamented Malcolm Wood, upon whose death I don’t mind admitting I actually shed a tear. Nigel Farage once also sat me down for a drink to ask me to consider standing for County Council, which was quite an interesting moment as I’d just finished amicably but rather (ahem) robustly arguing with him about not standing against proven anti-EU MPs in 2010 – an argument which it appears I eventually have now won, hah!

So when I say I have a pretty good inside knowledge of UKIP and what makes the people in it tick, believe it. So what’s the deal? Are they xenophobic Little Englanders, determined to keep Britain ‘white’ and very, very British? Hell no. In fact I meet a significant proportion who are very well travelled indeed, in fact on a leaflet drive over the weekend in Christchurch one of our number was called precisely that, a racist Little Englander. He then proceeded to list for his interlocutor the number of countries he had lived and worked in – not a small number I might add – flashed a picture of his deceased Indian born wife and walked away with greater restraint than I believe I could have mustered under the circumstances. One of our longest-serving members locally hates those dreadful foreigners so much that he spent three years in Iraq training the Shah’s air force. Another local official spends more time not far north of the Equator doing Aid Work (of the kind that doesn’t involve writing a big cheque to a corrupt African government) than he does in Britain.

But clearly xenophobic racists, the whole manjack of them. After all, it said so on the BBC.

So its not xenophobia. It sure as hell isn’t racism, in fact under UKIP’s level playing field Immigration Policy a much greater percentage of immigrants would be on the darker side of pale then the pasty white boys we are currently importing from the EU in droves. So what is it? Why give your time, your money, your commitment, endure the opprobrium of friends and family and now even risk physical harm as attacks on candidates are stepped up, and gauntlets of abuse must often be run by members at public meetings and during campaigning?

The answer is simple. Pride.

Pride in country, no matter what politicians have done to it. Pride in each other and each other’s sheer boneheaded dedication to a cause. I remember being sat on a coach with a chap called Chaz on the way to a Party Conference nearly a decade, talking about the brick wall we seemed to be banging our heads against electorally. Chaz was elderly, actually in damn good shape for his age but becoming slightly infirm despite his best efforts to keep fit. He was upset that he was soon going to be unable to physically put leaflets through doors.

“Carl, I’m 88 years old. What good am I to UKIP, to my bloody country, if I can’t even deliver leaflets no more?”

That’s what he said to me. That’s real pride. 88 years old, still wanting to do his bit and nurse the skinned knuckles we all end up with after a good day’s leafletting, and wanting to do it because he felt that someone had to for the sake of the country we all live in, and because he was damn proud to be one of the few who were fighting back then. That’s not a person to insult, to call a xenophobe or a racist, to treat with contempt and derision and to call disgusting and beyond the pale, even if you don’t like his politics. The keyboard warriors currently throwing their nasty, vicious snarks at people like Chaz have no pride in anything except their own narcissistic urge to be seen to be Good Guys.

Now, things are different. UKIP is, as they say, an idea whose time has come. All those years of grafting and losing elections that people like Chaz, and Graham Booth, and Malcolm Wood fought through with dedication, endless commitment and just so much damn pride are coming to an end. I am a hardcore atheist, but if any of those religious afterlives are for real, I know that the three of them are out there somewhere, looking at what people like them have achieved to bring us to the point where for the first time in a very long time millions of people are ready for a ‘Network moment‘, and punching the damn air as they watch the political class reach for a change of trousers every time a new opinion poll hits the newspapers.

These people, some my friends, some I wouldn’t associate with in a million years outside of politics, have managed to achieve something astonishing. They have brought UKIP to the verge of, to use Farage’s vernacular, the first genuine political earthquake in British politics in decades. With nothing but a fulltime staff in single figures, a single generous donation from one man, and the sheer bloody determination of a few thousand activists, we are very likely going to beat the entire dirty Westminster machine, its tame media lapdogs and all the bovine Liberals who have even been promulgating Daily Mail and Sun smearjobs as if they are unassailable truths when they have spent their entire lives denouncing them as utterly untrustworthy news sources without any trace of self-awareness whatsoever.

Whether we win the Euros or Labour councils manage to stuff enough ballot boxes full of ‘postal votes’ to stop us or not, whether we win hundreds of local council seats or none, one thing isn’t going to change. And it’s this.

I just could not be one damn inch prouder. Because like I said, that really is what its all about.

So, Abortion

Aside

Meet Mireille Miller-Young. She is one of those parody professors that most Liberals like to claim don’t actually exist, because American education isn’t really biased towards the most insane kinds of Progressive lunacy at all, honest guvnor. She is an Associate Professor of Feminist Studies whose areas of (ahem) study are, and I quote: Pornography; Sex Work; Black Film, Popular Culture and Art; Feminist & Queer Theory; African American & African Diaspora Studies; Visual Archives; New Media; Ethnography; Oral History.

Tell me you didn’t snigger just a tiny bit at the juxtaposition of the first and last items on that list…

Her dissertation was on the incredibly deep academic subject of ‘Black Women In Pornography’, and was gifted with one of those titles that just makes you wince at the thought of a ‘white’ person saying it…yes, she actually called it ‘A Taste Of Brown Sugar’. She even has a book coming out this year from Duke University Press – where else?

But all right DMF, you say. Loony Progressive Professors are dime a dozen in the US, its more unusual to find one who isn’t than one who is, so why bother writing about this one? Is it the incredible offensiveness of her claim to have been ‘triggered’ by the graphic signs being held up the Pro-Life protesters described in the article above, when she clearly has absolutely no idea of the appallingly debilitating effects of someone who actually has PTSD being actually triggered? Well, partly. I know people with genuine PTSD and have been there with them and for them when a triggering event occurs, and I can assure anyone not familiar with the symptoms that the absolute last thing someone in the midst of a PTSD attack is capable of doing is gathering a mob, stealing stuff and assaulting the people they stole it from. But so trivialised has the concept now become – especially in American academia, which always leads the way in taking a serious genuine concern and adopting a reductio ad absurdum attitude towards it that goes right out the other side of nuts – that the woman actually thinks that a picture that upsets her a bit is a ‘trigger’. I truly despise those who have done to Triggering what they have done to things like Racism.

But that’s not totally it. There’s also her use of the term ‘conscientuous objector’ to describe herself. The sheer effrontery of a pampered academic whose ‘job’ consists of spouting brainwashing diatribes on such non-subjects as those listed above comparing herself to people who in living memory were literally put up against a wall and shot to defend their principles is, for me, on a parity of offensiveness with the ‘trigger’ claim. It is clear that she genuinely feels that she is some kind of heroine for committing theft and assault just because the people she stole from and assaulted have an opinion that she dislikes. The idea that she might ever therefore justifiably be on the receiving end of similar treatment from the opposite side following her own example is completely incomprehensible to her. But then I think its pretty clear that like most Progressives inside the ‘Social Justice Warrior’ bubble, it is a practically unheard of event for her to actually personally encounter an opinion which diverges from the groupthink – in this case on abortion. And because of the basic Progressive drive to stamp out opinions which might challenge that groupthink, she is unable to react with anything but violence when confronted with them.

Which leads me to the main reason I chose to write about our parodical academic – the issue the people she attacked were there in the first place. One of my very good friends and I have a running joke whenever we get into heated arguments about the major issues of the day, or such arguments take place around us. He will wait for a suitably timed moment as the arguments wind down and reach a natural break, and then say with the utmost geniality: “So, Abortion!” in his Ulster lilt in a tone suggesting this should be the next topic. It breaks the tension wonderfully – particularly as said friend and I tend to pretty much either agree 100% or disagree 100% on any given issue.

The main objections to the stolen sign and the others, at least on the surface, was that they were basically close-up pictures of aborted foetuses. Gruesome indeed. Notwithstanding that the Prolifers were stood in the University’s ‘Free Speech Zone’, its not what you want to see on your way into class. Its upsetting, even horrifying.

Good. Be upset. Be horrified. Abortion is horrifying. It is even more so when it is so totally unregulated that even the women wanting to avail themselves of the right to choose can die on the table and the authorities still have to be dragged kicking and screaming towards investigation, whilst the mainstream media pretends that it just isn’t happening. This is the sort of thing that is supposed to happen when abortion is banned, remember?

So yes, I am Pro-Life. Fanatically so, even – but only after the point at which the foetus can experience sensory stimuli, at which point it’s a Life which is being extinguished when a woman chooses to abort. I don’t believe that Life begins at conception, which is the normal default position for those with baselines religious objections to abortion, because I am a pretty hardcore atheist. But a Life is a Life, and once the foetus is able to experience its own death, as far as I am concerned you are taking a Life if you abort.

Here’s the kicker, though. I still support the right to choose. That’s because of what you might call my most simple, basic moral principle. My philosophy on life, you might say. So here it is, DMF 101:

Just because I disapprove of an action, no matter how viscerally, doesn’t mean I think the State should stop other people choosing to perform that action.

I think abortion is every bit as appalling as the protesters that Mireille-Young attacked do. I think its the height of hypocrisy to support unrestricted abortion and then go all Three Wise Monkeys at the thought of all the dead, mangled babies – or even the live ones being beheaded by butchers like Kermit Gosnell and his willing staff. Just as I think its the height of hypocrisy to scream blue murder about State intervention into healthcare by rallying against Obamacare and then call for abortion to be banned by that same State in your next breath.

Being foursquare against the practice of abortion whilst still supporting the right to choose isn’t exactly a fashionable position, I know. But here I stand, etc. And that’s why I chose to write on this subject right now – not simply because this one single incident of Progressive violence amongst thousands has started to go viral and for once the perpetrator may actually face consequences for her actions. But because its worth reminding people of what abortion is, what it means. It isn’t politics by other means as many on the Left seem to think it is. It is mangled human remains, screaming children born for a few seconds of life before their souls are snuffed out by a man in a blood-spattered coat.

If that reminder upsets you, makes you angry with me for pushing it on you, deal with it. It ought to be a moral dilemma of epic proportions for every human being who supports the right to choose, as I do. There are times when I hate myself for doing so. There ought to be times when everyone else who supports the right to abort does, too.

Identity And Ingratitude

Here, Dumbjon skewers the hypocrisy of our ever-compliant Establishment Media rather beautifully with his usual laser focus. And he’s right, of course. The knives are well and truly out for all things and all people UKIP now, and the three ‘proper Parties’ are indeed more or less literally rummaging through the bins looking for anything that smells. Not for the likes of the Mail and the Guardian indepth investigations into an electoral system so utterly corrupt that our top electoral jurist says it is ‘vulnerable to fraud on an ‘industrial scale‘. They would rather repeat a nasty, grubby allegation by a former UKIP MEP who lets her identity politics trump her supposed commitment to Party and Country and has bitterly attacked those who threw their weight behind her to get her elected in the first place because they wouldnt give up massive ‘Group funding’ for the cause just because she didn’t like the identity politics of some of the *other* members of the EFD Group. Ironically, she now accuses UKIP of being viscerally homophobic, despite them being the only British Party to ever place a trans person high enough on their electoral list for the Toy Parliament to be pretty sure of getting a seat. Odd, that. You’d think such a deeply anti-gay Party would have never have allowed such a thing to happen rather than encouraging it…

Apart from the obvious hypocrisy highlighted by DumbJon, what Nikki Sinclaire’s part of the whole episode goes to show that for a certain kind of Identity-Obsessed person, nothing is ever good enough. For those kinds of people who define themselves and others purely by their perceived ‘Identity’, its really not enough that you treat a gay/trans/’black’/’purple with green spots’ person exactly the same way you treat everyone else. In the Orwellian Newspeak world of the Progressive, that’s not actually equality, you see. For them, Equality means treating people with greater or lesser deference and adjusting your behaviour and especially State resource allocation according to the ever-changing, impossible to properly quantify Diversity scale of Victimhood. And if you don’t do so, and fail to treat someone who falls into a ‘special category’ as a fully Essentialised little china doll who is unable to fend for themselves in the big, scary world of everyone else’s Privilege, then you’re an -ist or a -phobe and must then be cast into the outer darkness.

And that’s the trick, of course. To keep the goalposts moving constantly, in an ever-changing whirl of confusion – hey kids! let’s give it a fancy clever-sounding name too! – so that only the self-appointed Gatekeepers of the New Puritanism can decide our brand new morality for us, and of course reserve the right to try and punish and censor those who dont toe the line. Even if the line keeps moving, and can never be properly quantified. In fact let’s face it, especially if the line keeps moving, because our Progressive Nu-Puritans would absolutely hate it if they had no one to be outraged about and stamp on. Which is why UKIP received nary a word of praise from the usual suspects for getting Britain’s first trans MEP elected, but endless opprobrium for their loose ‘Group’ associations with less trans-friendly groups. Never mind that Labour caucuses (to use the Americanism) with Sinn Fein terrorists and Communists, and Francesco Fini’s cosmetically renamed Fascists sit in the largest Group in the Toy Parliament which the Tories were part of until very recently. Rather, as we see in the Ukraine – where the EU, the Progressives and virtually every western government is cheerleading for a new government which came to power by means of a coup and has actual, full-on Neo-Nazis for a Prime Minister, Deputy PM, and Agriculture and Energy Ministers – its Putin’s attitude to homosexuality which carries the day. Yep, stating flatly that you will ‘burn the ground under the feet‘ of your political opponents is definitely no biggie by comparison.

That’s Identity Politics for you. Minor levels of targeted discrimination against a Designated Victimhood Group are always far worse than intimidation and thuggery against all political opponents in the eyes of the Progressive Nu-Puritans – mainly because when it comes down to it, they are actually pretty big fans of such thuggery themselves. Free speech for me but not for thee, as the saying goes.

And when it comes to the nasty Identity Politics of the likes of Nikki Sinclaire, never a truer word was spoken. Democracy, freedom and those other irrelevances she is supposed to be fighting for can go hang – because if you’re not down with her Identity and willing to kowtow to her every demand related to it (which in practice means her every demand, period), such concerns are ultimately secondary.

Identity politics are very, very bad.

Sinking Without Trace

So it seems that all the spinning in the world couldn’t save Democratic Congressional candidate Alex Sink from turning a reasonably solid lead over her Republican rival into a loss in a Florida special election. Not only did she call a report noting that the marginal gains in the US Unemployment rate have only been made due to an unprecedented drop in the numbers of people actually in the workforce looking for work ‘an exciting prospect’, but also…well. Watch for yourself. Hard to imagine the level of shitstorm that would have been generated had her Republican opponent made a similar statement, isn’t it?

But what the moment does show is that there is the precise same attitude to immigration on the American Left which is present here on the British version. Firstly the assumption that ‘immigration reform’ can only ever go in one direction – towards amnesty and an ever widening open door. But secondly I actually think its the final line of the money quote (which is doubled down on in the ‘full’ speech which the Democrat spinners have been attempting to make out contextualises said money quote, I might add) which is far more appalling than the lazy stereotyping.

“We don’t need to put those employers in a position of hiring undocumented and illegal workers.”

So much for ‘a nation of laws’, eh? Just as EU laws on the Minimum Wage allow unscrupulous employers to circumvent such domestic British regulations by making bogus contracts with foreign workers under their own national wage laws – with the full blessing of every British Union leader except the suddenly deceased Bob Crow, I might add – in America the climate around the immigration issue has become so out of kilter from anything resembling the rule of law that here we have a Congressional candidate blithely making it clear that it is perfectly reasonable, normal and consequence-free for employers to openly hire illegal immigrants en masse in her district. That’s quite horrifying, and fortunately even in Britain we aren’t quite at the point where a politician can openly admit that.

Thirdly, there is the other shared assumption, the most damaging of all. And that’s yet another Leftist politician going down the ‘jobs that our nationals just won’t do’ route. You see how she did that? If they can’t get enough immigrants, they will just have to hire illegals because apparently Florida 13th is a district with zero unemployment amongst actual American citizens, in rather sharp contrast to the rest of the country. Though of course really the message is the same one peddled by British politicians – that only immigrants will do ‘certain jobs’. Because no British worker ever cleaned a toilet, or scrubbed a floor, or picked vegetables in a field, or stacked a supermarket shelf. We’re all lazy, we’re just not prepared to get our hands dirty in pursuit of a job.

I read a classic comment the other day on a Standard article, when Nigel Farage of UKIP slammed the same damaging stereotyping of British young people as all worthless and lazy and unwilling to work.

“Sorry, but our kids are lazy wet blankets with a sense of entitlement, mollycoddled to the point of pathetic. You come across as a racist blame-monger.”

The level of cognitive dissonance involved there is quite staggering. ‘Our kids’ can be written off into one homogenous mass as ‘lazy wet blankets’, but Farage is a racist blame-monger. The very essence of racism is the essentialising of a single arbitrarily defined group of people into one identical mass and assigning negative characteristics to them, but its the commenter who is doing that, not Farage. Imagine, if you would, the above same commenters horror if someone were to make a similar comment on, for example, an article written by Diane Abbott condemning high levels of unemployment amongst ‘black people’ on white oppression or something similar.

“Sorry, but our blacks are lazy wet blankets with a sense of entitlement, mollycoddled to the point of pathetic. You come across as a racist blame-monger.”

If the first comment made you nod but the second one fills you with outrage, I have some news for you. You are a bit of a racist.

I happen to have a damn sight more faith in ‘our kids’ and ‘our people’ in general than the Left and the Unions who are supposed to represent them do. Call me old-fashioned, or something.

Well anyway, somewhere along the line, things went wrong for at least one of those Leftist politicians who thinks that all pool cleaners and hotel workers must be immigrants, and that her own national working class doesn’t actually want to do the whole working thing. Looks as if the voters of Florida 13th didn’t find the idea of not having jobs as exciting a prospect as Sink does.

Let’s hope every American and British politician that shares her contempt for their own working classes gets the chance to experience the same excitement she must be experiencing right now.

Soon.

Ukrainian Follies

Hyperbole abounds, especially in the media. My eldest roared with laughter last night when a very earnest Channel 4 reporter described the Ukraine situation as ‘the greatest European crisis since the end of the Cold War’. I would love to see him go to Bosnia or Croatia and deliver that line. A death toll of zero due to the actual invasion of the Crimea, and a few dozen people in the Kiev area during the glorious revolution, and just as quickly as that, acts of genocide involving the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people are relegated to a footnote of history. I guess this is just what happens when you aren’t part of the news cycle any more…

Eldest didn’t find a further comment during a section of the report regarding ‘pro-Russian mobs’ which have been demonstrating in the Crimea and, rather more significantly, in larger cities and townships in Eastern Ukraine, quite as funny. In fact, she sputtered with annoyance at the double standard on display.

“We can’t be sure how real these pro-Russian mobs are,” opined our gallant reporter. He might as well have air-quoted the word ‘real’, considering the emphasis he placed upon it.

The people who used catapults to throw lethal missiles at what were then government personnel, buildings and barricades were, of course, described only as protesters or demonstrators. Only the pro-Russians out on the streets who appear not to have injured a single person thus far are ‘mobs’. And certainly no suggestion was made that the gallant protesters/demonstrators could have contained any ‘unreal’ agent-provocateurs looking to stir things up against the regime, as was clearly being intimated was the case with those ‘mobs’.

I don’t have a dog in this fight. Not at all. But I know a simplistic, partisan agenda being pushed by our ever-compliant media when I see one, and I deplore the plethora of generally quite perceptive people of my acquaintance and in the West in general whose brains dribble out of their ears the moment someone cries ‘freedom’ in a foreign nation they know absolutely bugger all about.

Was the Yanukovych regime corrupt? Yes. Was it authoritarian and fairly repressive? Yes. Was it democratically elected? Yes, albeit under dubious circumstances, but no more dubious than, say, a snap British by-election conducted in a Labour Party stronghold with tens of thousands of postal votes collected early by Labour supporters and counted by Labour placemen on a Labour council, where another party can clearly win the popular vote on the day of the actual election and yet lose the postal vote tally by a massive margin to…Labour.

So, the pro-EU Ukrainians – who we shall call the Goodies, because once again they have automatically been painted as whiter than white freedom-fighting Liberals with absolutely no skeletons in their closet whatsoever, no sirree – are doing nothing more than overthrowing a repressive regime to replace it with a liberal democracy of one stripe or another. Sound like a familiar narrative at all? Egypt, for example? Libya? How did that turn out, hmmm let me think…

But then there’s Svoboda. A *large* part of the political landscape in Ukraine. This isn’t the BNP with a couple of MEPs achieved through the D’Hondt system and a brief day in the sun where they managed a few dozen local councillors before fading off into the sunset. This is a party which makes up a sizable chunk of the national Parliament, achieving 10% of the popular vote at the last election and having no less than six Government Ministries in the new Cabinet either in their own right or in one case via a man who formed his own splinter group that thinks Svoboda itself is too moderate (!). They are ‘Social Nationalists’ (see what they did there?) and are rabidly nationalistic, anti-Jewish and anti-communist, or perhaps to be more accurate anti-Russian. Their Party Leader openly gives Nazi salutes at rallies, and they are to all intents and purposes a fully-fledged Neo-Nazi Party, with a hatred of ethnic Russians. Part of their program is to use Positive Discrimination programmes to favour those they classify as native Ukrainians, and also to remove the limited but unique autonomy that the Crimea enjoys as a municipal region of Ukraine.

So when Russia Today talks about fascist elements as prominent in the new Ukrainian regime, its actually not telling lies. To use the Channel 4 news reporter’s parlance, these are indeed ‘real’ Fascists. Yes, as the Huffpo piece spins, they are serving alongside a Jew and a Muslim in the new Ukrainian government, but the BNP had more than a handful of Jews amongst their number too, the most prominent of them being Pat Richardson, and that certainly didn’t and doesn’t stop media outlets such as HuffPo from calling them fascists without the slightest hesitation.

Or, to put it in easier terms given current domestic events, if five outright Neo-Nazis had senior spokesman posts in UKIP, would they be given a free pass just because their Small Business spokesman is a Muslim? Given our domestic media’s constant attempts to use the most incredibly tenuous of links (such as casting a woman who wrote her thesis in the seventies on Far Right parties and once accordingly attended some NF meetings during that time as proof that she is a neo-Nazi) to smear UKIP, it does beg the question of why a Cabinet literally stocked full of genuine Fascists is being given a free pass. Its not just illogical and inconsistent, its downright hypocritical as well. Our media is literally lauding Nazis, but then these are pro-EU Nazis so they are officially Goodies no matter what their other sins – contrast this to how the media describes Greece’s anti-EU Golden Dawn, who are far less openly Nazistic, barely murmuring to comment when their leadership was recently arrested and thrown in jail on the most tenuous of pretexts.

Then we have the officially designated Baddies. The Russkis. Estimates of the percentage of ‘ethnic Russians’ in the Ukrainian population vary wildly dependent on the source (I’ve read numbers anywhere between 20 and 40%, I suspect the truer figure is around 25% from what I can tell). That’s not a small number of people, and brings Svoboda’s 10% vote into even sharper perspective in terms of the makeup of the Goodies, as clearly none of those ethnic Russians will have voted for them.

Those ethnic Russians are only deeply concentrated in the Crimea, which as mentioned above enjoys a few special areas of autonomy which other regions of Ukraine don’t, a tacit acknowledgement to that demographic concentration which once again, our media is trying to avoid mentioning. Elsewhere they are mostly found in the east of the country, which was notable for the great absence of large Goodie demonstrations. This may be because it is the Eastern half of the country which is significantly more economically viable and productive and they were too busy working to build catapults and barricades. However, that reticence seems to be fast vanishing as those ‘unreal mobs’ grow in size by the day, emboldened by Russia’s invasion of the Crimea.

What these demographic, economic and political differences raise is the prospect of an actual, honest-to-goodness split in Ukraine. Commentators have poured cold water on the idea, saying that such a thing could never happen in a modern nation. Everyone will work together, neo-Nazis and the Russians they despise and all those in between, because soft power and diplomacy will always triumph, just as it did with Hillary Clinton and her Reset Button. Well, apart from that pesky invasion thing…oh, wait.

Just as in Afghanistan, just as in Iraq, we have in Ukraine a melting pot of differing nationalities and cultures, differing economic models, beliefs and aspirations desperately thrown together and lumped in as one due to lines on a map drawn by a bunch of mostly dead people, and from this we are to take the conclusion that this state of affairs is irrevocable, binding and must never be subject to change.

Why?

Why do we have this bizarre attachment to those lines on those maps? Why do we insist that under no circumstances can we have competing cultural groups, artificially forced together by their former lords and masters, be they Communist dictators or colonial empires, negotiating a settlement whereby they can amicably divorce from the administrative and political ties that bind them and create new nations of a culturally homogenous nature which will no longer be riven by historical tensions, hatreds and violence? How much blood and death could be avoided by an acceptance that there are regions of the world where the least violent solution to ongoing conflict is to allow the opposing sides to simply divorce geographically from each other and seethe at each other from the other side of a bloody great fence rather than insist that they stay cheek by jowl, keeping those hatreds burning high? You never know, they might even learn to live peacefully next to each other, even if they can’t manage it with each other*.

How does this apply to the Ukraine? Well, that’s where the Baddies come in. Putin is of course an officially designated Baddie nowadays, but it is a notable pointer to the somewhat…specific values of western Liberals that he only really became so after passing some mildly repressive laws against homosexuals. Mildly in relative terms, of course – by comparison to certain other countries which seem to attract rather less attention for their far more repressive and outright murderous attitude to homosexuality, at least. From the stupendous overreaction to the ‘Gay Laws’ passed by the Putin regime you’d have thought that it had never practiced any form of repression or totalitarianism against any of its people whatsoever before that point. I certainly didn’t notice Saint Stephen Fry making documentaries about the tens of thousands of cracked skulls which have occurred at the hands of Russian security forces during anti-regime rallies in the last decade or so, but then violent repression against all dissidents isn’t nearly as bad as mild repression against an official Victimhood Group if you are a Liberal, so this was what it took to wake some people up, it would seem. At least recent events in Uganda have started to be widely publicised by the Liberal commentariat, although once again other regimes which are literally murderous towards homosexuals are continuing to receive a free pass, because the Liberals are salving their consciences at actually criticising a country full of people on the darker side of pale by making it all about Uganda’s strong evangelical Christianity.

So to sum up, Putin – already a designated Baddie – has sent in troops to support other Baddies who still feel themselves to be Russian despite many of them never having been born there and to secure a set of genuinely strategically important military installations. Those Baddies, not without some justification given the prominence of figures who have an open, violent hatred towards them in the new government which they never voted for, are calling for help and demonstrating against the coup d’etat which has been so wildly celebrated by the West. So far he has only entered the uniquely ‘Russian’ area of the Crimea, but if violence breaks out in the eastern half of the country directed specifically against those same Russians he is clearly more than capable of sending troops into that area to (ostensibly) protect those populations. If Russia decides to exert itself, there is probably little militarily that Ukraine’s forces can do stop it doing so and creating little enclaves within the country as a whole.

So, ‘what is to be done’? Obama’s soft power and famously mocked Reset Button have clearly achieved precisely nothing to halt Russia’s expansionist ambitions, in fact its those supposedly moronic Republicans like Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney who called this one, isn’t it? The feathers have been getting everywhere this week as the American Left has been reluctantly forced to chow down on all that crow, its actually been quite amusing to watch. And as for Kerry’s ‘you just don’t do that’ remark, I have yet to relate that line to a single person who didn’t howl with laughter at an American official referring to invading other countries on flimsy pretexts as a dreadful, 19th Century Act. Russia has a far stronger casus belli for entering the Crimea than the US ever did for entering Iraq.

Well, I have an idea as to what should ‘be done’. Nothing. It’s not our damn business if one repressive regime intervenes to protect its diaspora and its own economic interests from a new regime on its doorstep which established itself by means of a coup and contains significant elements with an overtly violent antipathy towards that diaspora. There are no real Goodies here, unless its the ordinary Ukrainian who doesn’t really give a hoot whether he is a ‘native Ukrainian’ or an ‘ethnic Russian’ and just wants to live his life and feed his family. But those voices have been drowned out by the real and unreal mobs on both sides, and the western media and assorted collection of diplomats and posturing politicians absolutely do not want to hear those voices, as they have all worked damn hard to establish the Goodie/Baddie narrative in order to have their moments of thundering condemnation in the sun for their domestic publics to see.

As for the idea of sanctions from the EU, are you kidding me? There are countries in the EU which depend on Russian gas for significant proportions of their energy needs – some import over a third of their gas supplies from Russia, two thirds of that amount via pipelines which run through the Ukraine. And as for Britain, blighted by insane Greenery and Warmist hysteria leading to huge reductions in our generating capability, we also import a large amount of that gas which we simply cannot risk trying to do without. Britain’s ‘stretch capacity’ for electricity generation was less than 10% for expected peak demand this winter, and that’s according to the DECC’s very generous estimates. Generating companies themselves gave a figure of 5%.

That’s just 5% ‘spare’ generating ability for a ‘coldest, stormiest, worst-case’ scenario generated by the totally unreliable Met Office, whose track record in predicting the actual weather as opposed to rehashing Warmist talking points has been nothing short of abysmal in the last decade. And that’s before EU Directives force us to close still more coal-fired power stations this year. Therefore, the idea that we can start wielding any form of economic strength to force Russia into doing so much as blowing its nose when we literally need Russian gas simply to keep the damn lights on is laughable at best, and downright irresponsible even as a suggestion.

The fact that it is the meddling of the EU in its attempts to expand ever further eastwards (using British taxpayers money as what are bribes by any other name in order to sweeten the deal for Ukraine) which sparked this entire crisis seems to be going largely unremarked, with the media of course preferring to cast them as the benevolent Goodies who are the new regime’s closest supporters rather than the outside instigators of a coup, which is what they actually are. To use the aforementioned Channel 4 reporter’s parlance, the EU acted as a ‘real’ agent-provocateur in this situation**.

So, to sum up, we have a swiftly established Goodies/Baddies narrative which could lead to genuinely serious consequences for Britain and Europe as a whole, and is also redolent with hypocrisy in its wilful ignoring of the reality of the Goodies’ nature and agenda. Personally I think this is a very, very bad thing indeed, and the fact that neither side should in fact be a particularly attractive proposition for support should be promoted at every opportunity.

In fact here’s me, right now, promoting it. Tata for now…

DMF

*And yes, if the Scots vote for independence, good luck to them. They’ll need it once the English money tap is turned off at last and they realise how economically dysfunctional their little Socialist paradise actually is without those mean old sassenachs to subsidise it for them.

**I do note with Machiavellian admiration the way Angela Merkel was gladhanding Putin not that many moons ago as the new Nordstream gas pipeline was finished right before starting to offer those juicy trade incentives to Ukraine, whose own status as the major channel for Russian gas to Europe had therefore just been drastically altered by the opening of the new installation. See what she did there? Push for a new pipeline which will bypass Ukraine and affect its economy negatively, then start offering economic incentives to the same country she has just enthusiastically shafted if only it will shuffle out from under the Russian umbrella and under the EU one instead.