Sunday, 31 January 2016

Eurosceptics just don't have a credible case

They say we will have more money to spend on teachers and nurses and public services. No we won't. The fact of the matter is the EU does so many things and some of those things it does quite well. It will be the case that if we leave the EU we will still want participate in the economic and social life of the EU - as indeed many non-EU states do. And that is not going to come for free.

Moreover, there are spending commitments and leases taken out on our existing obligations. There are contracts to uphold and there are microscopic levels of integration that cannot be causally unpicked. So to say that we can calculate down to the last pound the sum we will save is a fool's errand.

All we know for sure is that we would likely pay marginally less, on the basis that we disengage from certain key EU programmes. Those would have to be replicated on a domestic basis so what we save comes down to how efficient our execution of it is. That will depend on UK government becoming efficient virtually overnight.

They say we will be able to make our own laws. No we won't. Regulations are the result of global conventions. If we want to export we will have to remain part of those conventions and meet the same standards. They say only exporters will have to worry about regulations. But that isn't true.

They say we can control our borders. To a point, I suppose we can. We can make it difficult and expensive to move people and goods. And maybe, just maybe deter a hundred thousand people a year from coming here. About that level it was when Ukip first started moaning about immigration.

They say we can get a better deal of our own - in just two years. But we can't. Single market access on better terms would prompt other countries to leave - so no better deal will be offered. We'll get an equitable arrangement, much like Norway - but that's as good as it gets.

They say we can leave the single market. But that's not going to happen. The regulatory framework of the single market is expanding, the world is converging on standards, and if we break away from that then there's only limited export opportunities. The argument may have stood up in 1985 but not in 2016. They say we will trade with the rest of the world, but they can't say what that means in practice. They think it might be something to do with the Commonwealth. They're in for a shock.

Course, Stronger In have gradually got wind of this. They are quite good at exploiting all these big holes and they will get better at it. If they get round to reading Flexcit, they will see that our own self-critique identifies much the same holes. If they do nearly as thorough job in the public arena as we have, they will take the arguments of Leave.EU and Vote Leave to pieces. They will cut through them like a hot knife through butter. It will almost be funny.

Course, our cause has many prominent figures, who by way of holding prestige are leaders whether they want to be or not. Redwood, Hannan, Hoey, Carswell, Banks and Farage are all leaders - and in that they share a common responsibility to be making winning arguments that hold up to public scrutiny. They have a solemn duty to provide detailed and accurate arguments so as not to expose the cause to vulnerability and ridicule. They also have a duty of care to ensure our side is not painted as backward looking little englanders.

On all counts they have failed. Not only have they failed, they have actively isolated themselves from anybody who would correct them. They take criticism as an attack. Such is their egotism. They are not interested in dialogue or even self discovery. They are content with hackneyed and mediocre arguments that have long since faded in relevance. Thus they are failures as politicians, leaders and people.

And if you doubt the veracity of any of my claims, you are welcome to challenge me on any of them. You will lose, but it's your time to waste. After which you'll be stood there naked, all shrivelled with nothing to go on but hackneyed eurosceptic bluster. You will rage and rage at me, as you have already done. You will spill your invective onto me as though it were burning acid that could melt through the floor. You will hate me because you will realise in one perfect instant that everything you have been told is wrong and you foolishly absorbed every last deep fried nugget without question or scepticism.

But don't think I'm attacking you. No, I have no time for that. I'm just standing here holding up a mirror and you don't like your reflection. I too have had that moment, where I saw that I was once very much like you. I had to ditch most of what I believed in and hit the books.

Now, I think very differently. I have blogged much of my findings and discoveries over the last two years to a cacophony of outrage that I would dare to contradict the orthodoxy - and that I refuse to show lemming like unity with a campaign that will take us over the cliff. In any other circumstance, this would be more your problem than mine, but you, dear reader, are very much my problem. You see, your obstinacy is what undermines our case. It is you who taints us in the public eye. It is you who loses the intellectual argument. It is you who embarrasses us.

I know I want to leave the EU. I know how to do it, what the costs will be and what the distinct advantages are. I know what the point of it is and I know what the mission before us is. You don't. Look closely in the mirror. You've been hating and moaning for so long that you've forgotten why you're even fighting. You settled on your opinions so long ago that you forgot to re-examine them and grow. You are the same person you have always been - and that's not a good thing. You have squandered years in which to prepare.

Moreover, you have allowed yourselves to be led up a blind alley by fraudsters, charlatans and idle incompetents. Those are the people you took for leaders. And now judgement day is coming - you stand divided, directionless, clueless and without a single standing argument. You chose to spit at us. Now suck up the consequences. 

Friday, 29 January 2016

The left fear Brexit because they hate democracy

You shouldn't vote for Brexit. No, because then howwid tories might get in. Then those evil nasty men will come and abolish human rights and reroute sewers on to beaches and put nuclear reactors in schools. They will abolish paid holidays and maternity leave and children will be forced to work for free from the age of ten.

That's the essential message of the Remain camp. If we have democracy people might vote for people who aren't pious leftists. The people might collective decide that they don;t mind the government dismantling decades of entitlements that nobody asked for and few utilise. Then leftists would have to do the unthinkable and get off their pampered backsides and start dealing in the substance of politics and prove that their ideas are worthwhile.

Because they are so fundamentally bankrupt of ideas (see Corbyn, Jeremiah) it would take some considerable convincing that they are fit for powerr - or that a conservative government really was as beastly as they perceive it to be in their infantile estimations.

In that time, we might find that adults negotiating their own rights and entitlements collectively and individually with their employers doesn't actually result in a draconian reduction in standards. We might actually find that added dynamism in the economy would mean tangible progress in increasing wealth rather than having well-to-do leftists legislating us into further inflation.

We would probably find that the prevailing orthodoxy has been wrong about quite a few things. We will also find they were right about other things and we shall have to fight to restore and preserve that which was worth having. And through political engagement we might just find a settlement that everybody can live with. This would be that much vaunted democracy thing.

But that isn't what the left want - which is why they there are so few left-wing eurosceptic voices. The left will not vote to preserve democracy. They despise it. The left are authoritarian power fetishists, and the UK political system has too many checks and balances for their tastes.

So the lesson here is that Brexiteers should bypass the left. The left is united against Brexit - the Greens, Labour and the SNP are all pro-EU. The toadying conformity to the orthodoxy is a fearful act, knowing that if the people were genuinely allowed freedom to decide their own affairs, their bankrupt ideas would be thrown into the dustbin of history. Debate is what they fear which is why they try so hard to shut it down through online witch-hunts.

While this blog wholly welcomes any effort to root out and marginalise naked bigotry and hate, there comes a point when the concerned voices of ordinary people get labelled as extreme. That then becomes the zetigeist where politicians are actively afraid to show solidarity with the opinions of voters.

The truth is, the far left are the minority. They do not speak for Britain, and so while being politically astute is advisable, be not ashamed to say that democracy matters more than their worthless entitlements and politically correct rights. The left are losers. Their ideas are beaten. The only thing preventing us challenging the orthodoxy is the fact democracy is on pause. Brexit is our chance to change that - and start putting things the way we want them.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Democracy is not for sale at any price

There are few forces more destructive than a bunch of people who have convinced themselves they are doing good things for the right reasons. Ask any Iraqi. And that's why I am intrinsically opposed to the EU. A well pampered broadly liberal class of politicians spoonfed with seductive "progressive" propaganda can easily engender a herd mentality that cannot be brought to reason.

If you tell well meaning people that the entity they subscribe to is about peace, unity, cooperation and pluralism, then at some point the ends justify the means - even if that means eradicating democracy. Then if you manage to establish the notion that the sky is falling in then there is no restraint at all.

Everything then becomes about popular sentiment and what appeals to the most number of politically engaged people. It assumed this is democracy. But on this scale, it's just a case of capturing a popular sentiment in order to assume a mandate for what they were going to do anyway - and if they can't secure agreement, just finance more "research" to manufacture a protest movement. That's why yoghurt weaving Greens and academia make such perfect "fifth columnists" - and it's precisely why the EU funds both.

At that level of politics you could have a resolution to save the planet with a subclause that explicitly demands the slaughter of the first born and because the substance is ignored in favour of the virtue signalling gesture, we end up with hugely damaging laws we are pledged to obey.

On the more mundane level this means stifled growth and lost opportunities, and on the more serious level, vanity legislation where each politician is in a bidding war to prove their right-on credentials. You don't have to be a rabid climate change denier to know this is true. This race to produce ever more stringent carbon restrictions may well look like progress but in real terms, it means higher taxes, slower growth, bigger energy bills and a marked decline in living standards - while at the same time producing negligible reductions in emissions.

When so much decision making is made at the global and regional level, too much power is taken out of the hands of ordinary people. It causes even greater political disengagement and reduces accountability by way of having fewer eyes watching our rulers. Why bother watching politics when a vote changes nothing? That then gives our political elites free reign to do as they please.

Just today we have seen MEPs crowing about a vote to hand over powers to the EU to close tax loopholes, but Christ alone knows what is tucked in in the details, in which will no doubt be a more pernicious power grab. There always is. The lefties won't give a monkey's about the detail because they only see the surface intent, when what we actually get is another salami slice of powers going in the opposite direction to the people.

When challenged, ultimately the lefties always come clean. See above illustration. They don't mind sacrificing "a little democracy" for extra tax revenue.

In broader terms, the basis for staying in the EU is that the Tories might change something they like. This is why there are few left wing eurosceptic voices. The left will not vote to preserve democracy. They despise it. The left are authoritarian power fetishists, and the UK political system has too many checks and balances for their tastes.

The problem here is that this principle is not a sliding scale. If you concede to it once you will concede forever. And that is why eurosceptic feeling is so utterly irreconcilable regardless of how apparently strong economic arguments are for remaining in. To us, democracy is not for sale at any price and we know from our knowledge of the EU that once the EU has a foot in the door, there is always more of a power grab to come. Slice by slice it affords itself more powers with virtually no protest.

As we have seen, so much decision making is done at the global level where there is no real democracy - before the European Parliament is even remotely involved, which should mean MEPs automatically refuse to wave through any decisions, but they don't. Talk to most of them and they believe they are the embodiment of democracy. We have but 751 MEPs (less than a YouGov sample size) deciding matters for half a billion souls. Even Ukip aren't that dim. 

Moreover, given how the odds are stacked against Britain, and how meaningless half the votes are, I actually don't blame Ukip for not turning up half the time. I doubt I would bother. This is why, as much as I despise Ukip for its ignorant bigotry and its stupid histrionics over everything and everything, I mind them less than leftists. At least I can count on Ukip not to blithely hand over more powers on the basis of a politically correct fad. They may be muddled on the details, but at least they know who the power should belong to.

As thick and crass as Ukip may be I prefer them representing Britain in the EU than any one of these smug virtue signalling leftists who think that being anti-Ukip is the fullest extent of progressivism. Time after time they show us how little regard they have for democracy and how little scrutiny they apply to their own thinking. 

Their toadying subservience to every right on fad regardless of the substance makes these people sheep - and in the end it is the conformists who enable the fascism they claim to stand against. They are the ones who eventually think the world would be perfect if only they could get rid of the people who don't think like them.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

What happens if we stay in the EU?

You've heard plenty from both sides about what happens if we leave the EU. Nobody is saying much about what happens if we stay. I'm going to venture a scenario based on my understanding of how things are going.

We can only speculate what happens in Westminster after the election. Events are so fluid that I wouldn't like to venture a guess. The EU is a more predictable beast. We know that it will need extra powers to keep the eurozone in tact. It will get them. We will have our two speed Europe. The EU will have almost total control over economic affairs in the eurozone and those nations not in the Euro will be way down the list of concerns.

Having asserted itself as a new power, it will push for more powers and more of a presence on the global bodies that make trade rules and regulations. It will use the courts to award itself more exclusive competences. On working parties at the ILO and other bodies, the observer status the EU has will be upgraded so it controls all of the votes all of the time, including ours. Any kind of veto will be extinguished.

From then, if we want a change in the rules that affect trade we will have to add it to the list of EU concerns. Only after many meetings to decide if we are allowed to put it on the list of concerns. We will have meetings about when to have a meeting. If there is a crisis between then everything goes on hold. And there usually is a crisis. When is there not?

Eventually a problem will become a crisis and the crisis will become and emergency. Only then will the EU act. It will then claim the only way to solve the problem is for the EU to have more control. As more financial shocks occur in the turbulent years to come, we will find the survival of the Euro is the primary concern and so our problems will not be their problems. We will be way down the list.

Sooner or later a problem will be so bad we find ourselves taking unilateral action to fix a problem only to be slapped with heavy fines by the EU for breach of treaty obligations. We then find ourselves on the fringes of the EU, with diminished influence within, no presence on the global stage -we're told how to vote in the UN general assembly and then we cease to be a nation in any real sense, except for when the EU is keen on bombing something. After all, the EU will want to keep up the illusion we are still a proper country.

Meanwhile, as more and more of the minutia of government comes under EU control we will find Westminster politics becoming increasingly more divorced from foreign affairs and trade, turning ever more inward and parochial, acting only inside the parameters set by the EU. No political innovations or new ideas not allowed by the EU will even be suggested.

As displacement activity, we will find Westminster assuming control of more and more local affairs that should be the province of local authorities - right down to the micromanagement of classrooms. (yes, more so than they do now). We will then see the trivial elevated to high importance in the media as it fails to realise there has been a complete transfer of governance to the EU.

Councils will be even less democratic than they are now as they become regional development agencies answering directly to Brussels when not carrying out the fringe instructions from meddling MPs. The consequence being British political life, and the media, becoming even more hollow and asinine than it already is, prompting a massive disengagement from politics.

We will see a resurgent Ukip - or a similar entity - and it will make more gains than Ukip ever did. Euro elections will be used as a mass protest and all we will ever get representing us are the kind of knuckle-scraping dunces that Ukip presents us with now. It will be out "two's up" to a government we didn't want and didn't ask for.

Meanwhile, the 51 Convention goes unreformed so more and more migrants flock to Europe. Nothing will be done about immigration. Politics will be more toxic and bitter than it has ever been. Possibly to the point of lone wolf terror attacks from the far right.

The stresses will be magnified across the whole EU so that all MEPs will be from fringe parties. There will be a rout of moderate voices from the European Parliament. The consequence of this is that the EU will seek to slowly and invisibly strip powers from the EU parliament - in a way that the media will not notice. It will become an administrative dictatorship.

After that, the consequences are anybody's guess. It could either see Britain slide into mass industrial action and rioting - or just a gradual slide into obscurity where nothing works every well, everything costs a lot and nobody has any money to spend on the good things in life. It will happen so slowly that nobody will ever remember it being different. Except for the ones who voted to Leave.

The future is an unhappy and poor one inside the EU where democracy becomes a thing of the past and prosperity only a distant memory. Our influence will fade and few will even care. It will be a winner takes all society and the winners will be few and far between. Britain will be a violent, disorderly and miserable place - and eventually we will see a political backlash that sees us leaving the EU by way of ripping up treaties. Then all the grimmest prognostications of Brexit will come true in ways that even the Remain camp never envisaged.

Knowing the EU as I do, knowing what is coded into the EU's DNA, I can't see it going any other way. It is not geared for democracy. It is not geared for competitiveness or agility. It is geared for centralisation, bureaucratisation and ever more control. It won't end well. It never does.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Here's a prediction.

The hacks of SW1 will get all excited about the new wave of airstrikes. Private clinical polling will tell the PM that support will collapse soon as the public has caught up with what has just been done in their name. Consequently the scale of the missions will be drawn down quite soon.

What we'll then see after the first wave of raids is a dispersal of ISIS forces, very well disguised from satellites and recon flights. The choice targets will be much harder to find and hit. Public scrutiny will be extremely close so the subsequent operations will be so risk averse that the abort rate will be over 60%. From the air, they won't be able to tell ISIS fighters from civilians.

We will waste quite a lot of airframe hours with sorties landing with no munitions launched. What we will then see is a massive inflation of operational costs as spares have to be fabricated from new. At this point the RAF will be telling the MoD that if they want to avoid a capability gap then they will have to reduce the mission times. Using up all the Tonka spares leaves us with nothing until Eurofighter weapons delivery systems are working. 2017 maybe?

Then the Americans will get snotty that they have to budge their scheduling around to slot the Brits in to add no capability they don't have already, and privately they will be taking the piss out of us while the French won't give a flying fig.

We will step out of the way and instead do loiter missions comprising of sixty minute slots where we may get to pop off a brimstone missile or two if we get some half decent intelligence from the ground. Pretty soon, everyone will have forgotten we are over there, the media will be bored of reporting it and then we'll just phase out strike missions, unless there is a terrorist attack on European soil in which case they will keep up the charade.

Eager to climb down, the government will invent a particular objective and then miraculously claim it has met that objective, saying that it can do more with intelligence assets for the coalition, launching surveillance sorties from aircraft we leased from America. What we should have done in the first place.

We'll be able to say we stood up with France to "defeat ISIS" when in reality all we've done is dispersed them until the next window of opportunity for a surge. Far from actually winning the peace, they'll form the rump of a new body along the lines of Hezbollah, so even if Assad wins the day his authority won't extend to territory where the airspace is controlled by the west.

Because there will be no satisfactory reckoning, there will instead be a low grade civil war that rages for decades much like Lebanon with daily suicide bombings and political assassinations.

We probably won't end up killing many civilians because our operations will be largely ineffectual, and when there are no observers on the ground, who's counting anyway?

I'm not sure about the exact details but we can say that it will be a risible show of force that will demonstrate privately to our allies that we are a waste of space, and most participants will call the whole damn thing a farce. The politicians though will walk away self-satisfied that they have done the right thing, and will applaud themselves for their strength and unity. Medals will be handed out by the dozen to bemused aircrew.

Meanwhile the public will be none the wiser because nobody in the media has the military literacy to understand what is going on and hacks will take MoD press releases as gospel. Meanwhile, us "ranting bloggers" will be nose deep in NATO reports and procurement orders showing the media up for the worthless hacks they are.

What nobody will clock is that the really evil bastards who did the really bad things will vanish without a trace and will never be held accountable for what they did.

Does that sound about right? Place your bets now.

Let's call these airstrikes what they are. Virtue signalling.

We're going to see a lot of comparisons with the existing air operation, the one about to start and the one of Libya. None of which are directly comparable.

Libya is unique in that there was an immediate humanitarian concern that could be reasonably affected by air power in a short time and there was every advantage in ensuring warplanes, SAMs and other ordinance was knocked out of action lest they end up put to use elsewhere.

Eventually though, regime forces soon learned how to evade airstrikes by blending in. After which, there was a high rate of aborted missions. The whole effort went off track as military stalemate was achieved. People then started asking "now what?" which was answered by removing Gaddafi. You can argue the toss as to whether that was a good idea. On balance I think it probably was (with a boatload of caveats) but there is no real endgame in Syria.

Firstly I don't see how we would identify ISIS forces unless they are directly engaged in hostilities, and if we can then it won't be for long as they adapt and blend in. We can disperse them and operate long enough so that it can't reform as an effective fighting force, in which case it will go dormant or move to the next most vulnerable spot (possibly Lebanon). What then?

There is also every possibility elements of it will merge with the rebels we are supposedly supporting. We won't have any idea who we are engaging with by that point. The downside of scattering ISIS is it very much removes the opportunity for the Syrian tribes to rise up and slaughter them so in a lot of ways, we are offering ISIS an exit strategy to a surge that cannot succeed anyway.

More to the point, we can't do anything useful like we did in Libya by getting rid of all the heavy ordinance in the region, because it's all under Russian protection and we don't have complete air superiority in the region. We'll be asking Russia for flyover permissions.

The moral posturing over this is seriously stupid and if you look on Twitter right now, the politicians and hacks are applauding the likes of Hilary Benn for a florid and rousing speech with absolutely no grounding in the very dangerous realities of what we are about to undertake.

All this high talk of "they hate us for our values" and "defeating fascism" is unmitigated crap. It's an opportunist surge which is nothing new under the sun in the middle east and most tribes lending their support to it see it as a vehicle for either seizing the spoils of war or doing a houseclean of the old order. Some with just cause. The threat that it does pose to us is managed by surveillance, not airstrikes.

Effectively ISIS is the new Al Qaeda style media demon to distract us - and what a pitiful public memory we have that we haven't learned any of the lessons. That the commons could vote it through on the basis of virtue signalling shows that our politics is now broken beyond repair, and our culture so twisted that representative democracy just cannot be trusted as a decision making mechanism anymore.

That the media is now pouring over the debate video looking to see how it affects the power divide in the Labour party and how many times Cameron was asked to apologise rather than examining the ramifications of a decision to go to war ought to be seriously alarming. This is very much bread and circuses. Just how SW1 parochial can you get? We're actually going to war in a very tight spot were Russia is also fighting. And nobody in our media thinks that's apparently a bad idea? No - better write a piece on how "brilliant" Hilary Benn's speech was. Pathetic. Sickening.

Bombing Syria won't end well.

Airstrikes are very much a vanity project in this and in most other instances. We have decided that something must be done, and have decided that air power is the means by which it will be done, without deciding what that something is or what the effects are, or even if the means can achieve it.

That does not sound like a reasoned proposition to me. It sounds childish. It's a kneejerk response to Paris to satisfy the egos of blowhards who think sending out bombers is the answer to every geopolitical crisis.

It has had some effect in Iraq against ISIS where we have had a reasonable idea of what's going on on the ground, a knowledge of which territory we are defending and the likely deterrents. But Libya proved that you can't really stage a sustained campaign without having good, trustworthy ground intelligence.

As the enemy works out the rules of engagement are, they find ways around them and ways to hide which means increasingly missions are aborted in fear of collateral damage. We then revert to face saving by going after targets of lower priority that are not engaged in immediate hostilities. We end up fighting round the edges, wasting a lot of money and a lot of time while burning up our credibility.

The enemy is not some brigade on a map with static allegiances. It's tribal, it's fluid, and allegiances can turn on a sixpence. One wrong bomb in the wrong place can change political alliances. We have little in the way of trustworthy ground intelligence to know which way things are going. We do have informants, but they are not always telling the truth and have agendas of their own. It's much the same as a political leak to the opposing party in order to attack factions on your own side. It's risky business.

If you believe that ISIS is some kind of unified force that can be neatly bombed until it vanishes then you have been playing too many computer games. The middle east is not Command And Conquer.

I am not opposed in principle to intervention, but this isn't a planned operation, nor is it in any real sense dedicated to a lasting strategic outcome. Saying suck it and see, let's start bombing and see what happens is foolish. To devise a route to success you first have to define what that success looks like - otherwise you're pouring petrol on the bonfire.

We are talking about contested air space with multiple agendas over ground we have already diplomatically conceded, with Turkey playing it's own games which are not yet apparent. There is no good reason to trust Turkey.

I do not believe that Britain's presence adds value to the operation in that we offer little capability that is not already oversupplied. As far as the Americans are concerned, they would probably view British air operations as battlefield clutter and a nuisance.

I also think this notion of "standing with our allies" by joining in is bovine. Just because the global elites are agreed that something must be done does not mean there is unified agreement of what that something is, and it not does it mean they have a mandate.

Where the power dynamic lends itself to bovine conformity it demonstrates that our political establishment is incapable of making a legitimate representative decision in this regard and only public deliberation can really produce a valid verdict.

Strategically it seems pointless, militarily it doesn't seem feasible, the objectives are vague with unknowable consequences in a situation where it really is up to Syrians. Even if we did quash one tribal surge we would just make room for another - and if, as ISIS was, it found itself militarily disadvantaged, it would resort to the same savage tactics employing any of the same tools against ISIS collaborators and allied tribes.

There are no good guys to pick in this, and in the end, Russia has decided Assad is staying in place. That is probably how it will end, and we are going to do absolutely nothing to challenge Putin in Syria for that regional influence.

What it does mean is that the risk of a "friendly" fire incident is increased and while nobody gives a shit that Turkey shot down a Russian mig, this gets hairy when British aircraft are accidentally shot down by Russian air defences.

I see plenty of potential for souring already deteriorating relationships while handing huge diplomatic leverage to Russia. What I don't see is a coherent plan to bring peace to the region or anything that enhances our security, or is even in the national interest. Taking home a souvenir t-shirt saying that we stood we France while we made yet another mess seems unnecessary for continued good relations with France.

The bottom line is that we have no track record in succeeding in these such endeavours. Applying our kind of intervention to what is already an unimaginable mess should make our further tinkering unthinkable. It will have more to do with the power positioning within our own dismal tribes than bringing about any lasting settlement to Syria. That should never be the basis for military action and the fact that it is says a lot about how degraded our politics is now. I think we need a little regime change of our own here at home.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Something MUST be bombed!

The London response to the Paris attacks is actually not the one to watch. In all likelihood it will follow the usual pattern of platitudes, followed by a bump in defence spending and some gratuitous and militarily useless air strikes. We’ll later see some or other new initiative to sift thought our Amazon receipts and Linked In requests in our Gmail accounts along with yet more risible policing policies. It is so predictable as to be boring to seasoned pundits.

As far as that goes, I don’t think there is anything I could add that you couldn’t get from the mainstream media and there are probably commentators better qualified to comment. My own view is that London has abdicated much of its own responsibility for governance to the EU and so we must look to Brussels to see where the real action is.

What caught my eye was the news that France asked for assistance under Article 42.7 of the Lisbon Treaty, in response to the attacks. Article 42.7 stipulates that “if a member state is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other member states shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power, in accordance with article 51 of the United Nations charter”

This article has never been invoked before. This is unprecedented. Many believe this to an automatic compulsion for EU member states to go to war. It isn’t and the EU would never insist in that it would show just how unlikely a unified response would be. Besides, the devil is in the detail.

In reality, it is little more than a gesture with so many loopholes as to be utterly meaningless - except for the gesture itself. In international politics, gestures are everything. It is an attempt to Europeanise our response and to put the EU at the centre of events rather than our respective heads of state.

We have already seen unanimous motions of support passed in a grandiose display of unity among our euro-elites but it doesn’t take long for the hypocrisy to shine through the cracks. Predictably, as with Libya, Germany has declined to offer up military assistance and if there is a larger military offensive it will be executed under the aegis of NATO with the EU trying to insert its brand wherever it can.

What this shows is that despite the EU’s continued efforts to usurp the nation state in all areas of interest from tackling climate change to regulating the more mundane aspects of everyday life from plastic carrier bags to the sugar content of condiments, when it comes to the holy grail of dropping bombs on people, it will never obtain that elusive supreme authority.

But then the EU has no need of such authority. The EU only ever needs supreme authority to push a “common position” that would otherwise not be realised. In this and in all such attacks there is already a common position. Something MUST be bombed!

After 9/11 we heard that same cry. It took a little while to decide who and where – and were we not already at war in Afghanistan and Iraq when the 7/7 London bombings took place, the RAF would have been bombing somebody somewhere. It seems to me that the response is uniformly the same every time. Death begets yet more death.

The West simply doesn’t know how to handle this kind of war. This is a war of ideology. We have a long history of fighting and winning territorial wars where armies fight armies and we have yet to shed that mentality. You cannot kill an idea with tanks and aircraft.

What we are looking at is a wholly nihilistic enemy that has neither the means nor the intention of fighting us directly. It wants us to destroy ourselves - and for reasons that escape me, our leaders seem hell bent on obliging them.

The way asymmetrical warfare works is to make your enemy afraid, put all kinds of barriers, suspect each other and spend extraordinary sums of money on war operations that accomplish very little, apart from create more refugees and the problems that go with it.

Thus far we've given the terrorists EXACTLY what they want. It took less than forty eight hours for a French aircraft carrier to set sail to the Middle East. If Iran were at all entrepreneurial they would open up a service depot for them in the gulf. There’s plenty growth potential there.

We can look forward to several months of pounding the desert with multi-million pound aircraft dropping ordinance costing in the hundreds of thousands to take out tents, Toyota trucks and dilapidated Russian APCs. Already an extra £2bn has been allocated for British generals to go toy shopping.

Next up will be the militarisation of borders, erecting further fences, more regulation placed on banking to detect irregular transfers, more snooping and whatever else they can think of that will diminish our liberty. After which ISIS will launch yet more attacks just to show how impotent we are.

Only when we have made a prison for ourselves will we be safe, by which time we will have dismantled our freedoms and given the nihilists the satisfaction of wrecking everything that’s good about the West. In that regard, if ever the moves to make our response to terrorism an EU wide response succeed, it will be less a mutual defence agreement – but a joint suicide pact.

Meanwhile, the right wing fear that Europe will become Islamic will not be through birth-rate demographics but through half of the middle east fleeing to Europe in terror of whatever boneheaded military stunt the West embarks upon next. For ISIS, that’s mission accomplished. 

Monday, 16 November 2015


Religious extremism I don't get. I can't speak to that. Political extremism I do understand though. Politics is a frustrating game. We can vote out MPs, but we cannot vote out their backers or the people pulling the strings and financing them. It's a game where money talks. Say the wrong things and your meal ticket dries up. Piss off the wrong people and find yourself unpersoned.

Challenge the orthodoxy in any way and all the platforms are snatched away from you. And as much as the guardians of orthodoxy cannot be removed, they cannot be persuaded. For with office comes prestige. Even their farts are applauded. Prestigious office or high standing within the bubble is a licence to talk crap and those who have the audacity to mention that the emperor has no clothes are labelled troublemakers.

Challenging them makes one rude and "aggressive" and impolite. Only by telling them how magnificent they are will they grant you an audience. They may momentarily listen, but they are surrounded by sycophants who are threatened by different ideas who will manoeuvre to block the outsider.

Without privileged access by matching their prestige, you don't have a voice. So if you ever wonder why I am angry and ranty it's because I speak to an establishment that cannot and will not listen. When they say I'm ranting, that is how they describe a long and detailed post. Our wafting establishment don't do petty detail. Such is for "ranting" madmen. And because they have their snivelling yes men among the lower orders, they will do their part in promoting the narrative that you're some kind of crank.

If that fails, and in my case it will always fail because I won't go away, they will pull all kinds of dirty tricks to try and keep me quiet. If I had a business they would go after that. My dad's had exactly the same pulled on him. Just today, an MEP pretended that a tweet disagreeing with him was somehow threatening and called it "a matter for the authorities". I may well get a visit from the plod tomorrow and it wouldn't be the first time. The message is clear. Keep quiet plebs, know your place, do not question your masters.

So in the face of an immovable establishment I can see why revolutions are necessary and why they are so murderous in clearing out not just the front line politicians, but also the court scribes who pass themselves off as journalists and all the party officials who have assisted in the political assassinations. Those guardians of the firewall that protects the orthodoxy. That is why revolutions are so vengeful.

They say an election is a bloodless revolution. But a revolution that does not purge the whole establishment is not actually a revolution. It's just window dressing. I can see this. And there are none so dangerous to them as men who can. Quietly they are ostracised and marginalised, sometimes to the point of insanity.

The psychologists call them "lone wolves" seething with anger. Ultimately revolutionary politics is the politics of the losers. The people who tried and failed to achieve political change. The ones who the establishment succeeded in beating down. Sometimes they are moved to terrorism.

As to whether it is ever justified, well, that entirely depends on whether you wanted them to win or not. Whether they were right or not. Sometimes an establishment order is so foul that it must be removed at any cost. That is why one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. But since our establishment does not resort to torture and murder, that is the best we can ever hope for from our politics. That is just how establishment orthodoxies work. We are a tribal species and it is in our nature to behave that way.

That power cannot be removed without savagery. Presently nothing about our establishment is so foul that it warrants murderous savagery, but every now and then one can fantasise. For while it is not foul enough to warrant murder, it is a foul and stinking corrupt cesspit, and hating them is the only sane and normal response to these men. Because they are scum. The very worst kind of scum; stupid, arrogant, aloof, devious and nasty.

So while I can never find sympathy with those who kill for a god, one can understand those who find empathy for those who would kill for an idea. After all, it is commonly accepted it is a fine thing to die for an idea. And if one of them one day succeeds, chances are, their target had it coming, and one day, in the right circumstance, the public might well be moved to pick up rifles and join them.

So you might ask why I am even bothering if it is so futile. After all, I get little thanks and no joy from it and the harder I work the more futile it is. I do so out of blind faith that fate may smile on me and maybe I will get through. We have at least to try to change things so that when we do finally give up and see these people murdered in their beds, we can say with some justification that we tried to stop it happening.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

We are the architects of our own prison.

Yea yea, another snobby pontificating pseudo intellectual telling you how to think. Yep that's me. I make no apology for it because you still have the freedom to ignore it. But listen anyway. Sky News, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express, along with the Guardian, the BBC and the rest of them know exactly which of your buttons to press. That's how they make their living, and so press those buttons they will. They set the bait, you rise to it. Every time you do the cash register rings.

These people are not in the business of reporting news. They are an adjunct of the entertainment media who use international events as their raw material. They don't want you to think, they don't want you to question them, they just need you to keep unquestioningly lapping up their bilge. They don't give a the first fuck that they toxify everything they touch or that your reaction makes for bad policy making or that the net effect of it is more death.

We have F16's, GR4's and all the high tech military equipment we could possibly want in the fight against zealots, but our enemies have the most potent weapon ever created. Our media. They use it with skill to drive a wedge between us and so long as the media keeps making a living, why should they give a tinkers damn?

But it isn't just them who use that weapon against us. Our own rulers do. They will never tell you want to think outright because they know that doesn't work. But they will lay out a trail of breadcrumbs to lead you to the conclusion they want you to reach. It is a battlefield of ideas, but mainly their ideas. Mine and yours don't get a look in.

They show a particular skill where it comes to excluding ideas they don't like. For sure, the columnists we see in the media are ordinary people just like me and you, but the ones they choose are carefully selected. There is no better way to discredit a good idea by picking a fool to promote it.

It's no coincidence that they roll out the red carpet for Nigel Farage, Owen Jones and Russell Brand. The ideas they represent threaten them, but they themselves do not. They are poor on the specifics but each in their own way represent one basic idea. That the power must be challenged and retaken from the establishment.

There is no better way to neutralise a threat than by taking their weakest spokesmen and allowing them access into the inner circle. Their egos are their undoing. Such men are tiresome, blethering egotists whose own self-regard leads them into a very human trap of believing they are infallible. From there they then speak on matters of which they hold no knowledge. It is we who do the rest in bringing them down.

Having seen us coming they know how to deal with the threat. It's like judo. Very easily can they turn our outrage into a sentiment against our own. We shout down the very ideas that threaten their grip on power. They draw their power from your outrage. That is the means through which they obtain our consent - and that is how they use use our own power against us. Left, right, divide and rule.

The bottom line is that by rising to their bait you consent to whatever they wish to do in your name. It is for this reason I watch no news programmes or read their newspapers for any purpose other than ridicule.

There's nothing I can get from the newspapers that I can't get from bloggers or by researching for myself. We do not need these people to tell us what is happening or how to interpret events. Every day I see better thinking on my own social media feeds than anything they provide. It's time we cut them out of the loop.

You can't seal yourselves off from them entirely and you cannot avoid their influence but you can strip them of their power by ignoring their output and and refusing to react. If we do that, we soon rob them of their hold over us and also rob terrorism of its power. Soon enough even the terrorists will learn that the worst atrocity they can think of holds no power over our ideas, is mourned on the first day and forgotten in the next.

Then, maybe, when those who rule us do not react to it on our behalf, on the basis of a manipulated sentiment, we will start to understand each other and not be afraid of each other.

The bottom line is that we will never be safe from the zealot and the madman. The darkest reaches of their minds are hidden from the prying eyes of the state mechanisms we have. All we can achieve by asking for more and more safety is to make a prison for ourselves and hand yet more power to the people who thrive on, and profit from our fear.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Europhiles don't think much of Britain do they?

There was no place to put this post other than here. This is one of my more immoderate views.

"Britain is too small, it can't survive on its own, and leaving the EU is risky. The future is unknown." That's the essential message from Europhiles. Basically, sniveling, pessimistic, Jeremiah cowardice.

Fuck that. Britain is a massive economy. It has dominated the world and culturally continues to do so. It is a power in its own right and we are perfectly capable of choosing our own fate and we have absolutely nothing to lose from breaking out from the herd and asserting our values in the wider world. This notion that we are small and timid little island that cannot fend for itself is a gross insult to our culture and indeed those who we remember on this day of all days.

Britain is an amazing country. It has shaped Europe and the world, it has pioneered workers rights and human rights and it leads the field in so many ways in spite of the EU, not because of it. 

As offensive as the europhile view of Britain is, it is also a reflection of what the EU itself is. As much as it cannot make a case for its own existence without resorting to a massive pack of lies, it has achieved so little that it has to steal the accomplishments of the global community and pretend they belong to the EU.

It actually has so little to say for itself that the Remain campaign mainly crows about roaming mobile charges as if the majority of us give a tinker's fuck. And even that is a global agreement and it's happening everywhere.

Brass tacks... If you want safety and security and certainty - go to prison. You will live a long, safe and futile life - but please don't condemn the rest of us to your miserable retreating vision of Britain. If you think that the pedestrian certainty the EU offers is the best we can get for ourselves, and that surrendering our voice at the global top tables is a price worth paying then prison is probably the best place for you.

There's a choice on the table here. We can either retreat deeper into little Europe, walling ourselves off from the big bad world, doubting our own capability and flushing our distinctiveness down the toilet - or we can decide that we are going to be a proper country and that we are ready to put on the big boy pants and act like one on the world stage.

We can either be a democratic free trading country in our own right or we can subordinate ourselves to a euro elite whose zealotry and hubris will drive all of Europe into the dirt. We can be authors of our own destiny and embrace the future, or we can look back on the failed ideas of yesteryear, saluting the ring of stars as we go.

Franky, if your opinion of Britain is so low that you think it's worth abolishing the country (and democracy) for a bit of economic certainty, then seriously, fuck you.

Monday, 2 November 2015

12 reasons why we're staying in the EU

1. Brits are pathetic whingers. It's a way of life. If they actually solved their problems they would be miserable. The further north you go the worse it gets. Hence Scotland.

2. The people who claim to be interested in politics are not. They just like the entertainment value of political gossip and have lost the capacity to tell the difference. The SW1 circus is sufficiently distracting enough that people won't engage in issues of substance.

3. Complexity. Leaver arguments require detail and precision whereas Remain arguments require no thought. Just the same grunting about three million jobs and repeating the same lies. They have full control over the institutions so they don't even need to formulate sophisticated messages.

4. Ukip. Ukip already fucked the dog for the leave camp by becoming a trade guild of village idiots, permanently souring the credibility of euroscepticism. It's irrecoverable.

5. Tories. London Tories with no exceptions are treacherous vermin. Their order of loyalty starts with the inner tribe, the wider party and those they can freely exploit. The notion that any voice other than their own should be heard is offensive to them. Thus they have used their position to take ownership of the campaign, employing two halfwit thieves to run it who haven't the first idea what they're doing.

6. Leave.EU. Basically Ukip Mk2 and about half as smart, made only marginally less awful than Ukip by the absence of Nigel Farage.

7. The left. Gone are the days where you could appeal to a leftist with arguments concerning democracy. The few who know what it is despise it.

8. The EU. The EU is made up of some extremely smart people who know exactly what they are doing and have seen us coming a mile off. They will spend a lot of money to bury all the symptoms of the problems they've created recently, knowing the electorate has the collective memory of a goldfish and a similar IQ.

9. Public ignorance. As much as people haven't the first idea what the EU actually is, the EU is adept at muddying the waters to keep it that way. Try to explain the critical differences between inter-governmentalism and supranationalism and you sound like a conspiratorial lunatic. A sizable portion will vote to stay in because they think it means cheap flights and no roaming charges. The rest think it is democratic because it has periodic voting rituals.

10. The media. The media is largely run by teenagers with no understanding of the issues and no historical context. They will not host a debate unless they can find actors to read from the predefined script. Anything outside those parameters melts their tiny brains. They have no idea what journalism is and no sense of obligation to improve the public understanding of anything. It's one of the few industries where making a quality product is detrimental to revenue - BBC included.

11. Eurosceptics. We are obsessives. We never stop droning on about it, we've been saying the same things for thirty years, nobody cares and even the people who think we're right would cross the street to avoid us - and I don't blame them either.

12. Human nature. Humans fear change. Humans do not like political risk and they will not rock the boat if things are tolerable - and though things could be manifestly better by leaving the EU, things just aren't bad enough to roll the dice.

I can't think of any good reason to be involved in this campaign other than the insights into human behaviour and the thrill of expanding my own knowledge through rigorous debate. The issues are diverse and far reaching, complex in nature and if you have even half a grasp of some of the themes I've been pushing just recently then you know something about 65m people on this rainy little island do not. It's worthwhile for that reason alone.

One lesson is clear - that the expression "knowledge is power" is demonstrably untrue. Nothing is more isolating in politics than having the first clue what you talking about, and the more you know the more alienated you become and the more estranged you become from the surreal pastiche that passes for British politics.

The only real reward in all this is eventually the public is going to get exactly the shitstorm it has invited through idleness and apathy and watching them whinge about it will be delicious. By then I will be having nothing to do with politics and instead will be obsessing over something useful that will make me some serious money. From that position I will take great pleasure in watching you suffer. I may even vote for Corbyn to hasten your demise. It's no less than you deserve.

Monday, 7 September 2015

How many Pakistanis can you fit in a Mini?

Somebody asked me "how many Pakistanis can you fit in a mini?". I'm really the wrong person to ask because I need specifics. If we are talking about the original model then legally, five occupants depending on whether it has been retrofitted with a central seatbelt, but then that's unlikely since there would be insufficient legroom. Outside of the realms of the law you could possibly fit a small child in the boot and perhaps one or two very small children on the laps of passengers. It really depends whether we are staying within law or whether we are pushing it into absurdity in some kind of world record attempt. If it is the former, the question must specify whether the vehicle is in Pakistan as the regulatory regime is different and the enforcement much less stringent.

But then there is also the modern variant of the Mini, which comes in many configurations including an estate version with fold down seats in the rear compartment. But this estimation also requires other parameters be considered in that there is in fact a factory approved, road legal six wheeled limousine variant for which there is no reliable dimensional data available. It also depends on the type of fixtures and furnishings which are also unspecified. This has an impact on the internal volume of the cabin. Certainly a champaign bar would reduce the carrying capacity.

We also need to specify whether the occupants would be alive or dead in that corpses can clearly be manipulated to occupy less space in a way a living individual would find impossible. Were the occupants dead, technically you could liquefy them and thus as a fluid would mean a much inflated figure. And then it depends on the ambient temperature as particle density could make the difference. Also, if it's a convertible and prone to leakage, then there are intrinsic limitations. I'm not saying it is an unanswerable question. Merely that you would have to be in full command of the facts and properly define the parameters of the question before taking anything like an educated guess.

This is actually a serious post though. We often hear the refrain "politicians never give straight answers". The media wants you to hold this view. This is how they assert their supremacy and power over politicians. How often have you listened to a weasel like Eddie Mair or Evan Davies or Jeremy Paxman bully a politician into giving a yes/no answer? Their assumption is that you are stupid, cannot cope with anything with nuance and need everything breaking down into binary options according to parameters that they themselves define - thus controlling the message and preventing politicians from adding new dimensions to a discussion. What is seemingly a simple question can be one badly directed, often deliberately so, that is adjacent to the central issue as a means of diversion.

To properly answer a question, you have to set out the circumstances, make distinctions between the respective components, specify your personal weighting on what you think are the likely parameters and then give your answer according to the scenario you envisage - rather than the paradigm you are being goaded to accept.

It is a highly effective tool of media bias, where the likes of Paxman build their prestige and reputations as a slayers of untruthful politicians when in fact they are political players in themselves attempting to frame the discourse to produce answers they want to hear, rather than what is pertinent to the debate.

Effectively it's the same as insisting on an answer as to how many individuals can fit in a 1960's Mini when in fact the Mini is a modern BMW variant. The interviewee will seek to avoid answering the question because its the wrong question, and yet they come off badly for doing so. This is how the media creates a toxic atmosphere and hostility to politicians which gives them power. Real power. They then become the trusted prism through which we conduct our national conversation.

There is a classic example of this on this Youtube where you can see Evan Davies attempting precisely this deception. He can't cope with the arguments Owen Paterson is making thus uses the technique to steer the discussion on to grounds he is comfortable with. THAT is how they own your opinions.

Mind the (skills) gap

It should be noted that the migration crisis that reaches our screens is not actually the concern of Britain. If we wanted to significantly reduce the inflow, while the revising 51 convention would solve the EU's problems, it would have only minimal effect on us. Where we have a virtually uncontrolled influx is from India. The way it works is they send their most capable in the family to take a highly paid job in engineering, IT or the medical profession. From there, they establish the right to bring in family who in turn can bring in their own extended family. That's if you actually want to call it a problem. But if you wanted to reduce the numbers, you would start there.

But before I started tinkering with human rights laws and immigration policy I would pop over the road and ask Airbus why it is they feel the need to advertise their aerospace engineering jobs there. They would tell me what we already know. There is a skills gap among our own, and a shortage of applicants even when the rewards of such a career are high. We need to a address a more philosophical question as to what is driving the poverty of ambition. I think welfarism has an influence among other factors and am happy to listen to opinions on that.

Though anecdotal, I think I have something of an insight. As a kid I was obsessed with aviation and like all young boys dreamed of being a pilot in the Royal Navy. But that seemed to me about as far fetched as being an astronaut. Then I thought of being an aerospace engineer. But then decided I wasn't smart enough. There is a perception that the profession is full of smart people who know how to do complex sums who went to Oxford. When I started working at Airbus I soon realised that nothing could be further from the truth. In most cases, aerospace engineers are a bunch of overweight hairy Bristolian men who sound like farmers who give their design solutions to Indonesian CAD jockeys.

See, you'd never know that growing up in Bradford where you fall out of school with very little clue of what's possible and certainly you grow up with the idea that kids from Bradford drive buses and mend cars. There were no apprenticeships and few opportunities to train. What I learned was how to tinker with computers while lounging around on the dole. The local college courses were crap, half of which closed down halfway through due to attendance atrophy - and the wages in the north seem to have a glass ceiling no matter how skilled you are.

I may be making excuses for myself, I don't know, but really programming chose me, and I didn't choose it for myself. That was just my ticket out. Of the people I used to hand out with, most resigned themselves to a pedestrian unambitious life - and I've always said that was a pity because I grew up with some great kids who could have been anything who have since been robbed of their vitality by Bradford.

Somehow, somewhere, we got it badly wrong, and I think it starts with our industrial policy and our welfare policy and I think we have set a course to become second class citizens in our own land as we are gradually replaced by a more agile, more willing and better qualified workforce.

It's always been the case that if you do well, the chances are that your kids do well, and your proximity to London improves you chances. So there is an inherent class barrier and there is a north south divide. I also think the north is being robbed of its talent as London sucks in the bright sparks so there are few people who have succeeded as role models.

I think also our welfare system does just enough to prevent poverty but pays so much as to suppress real ambition. The will to succeed is often born from failure and how can one fail if one is prevented from doing so?

We can also say that because there is now a global marketplace for labour and labour is a commodity, where corporates have no national allegiance, they do not feel duty bound to invest in people. They can import talent at will. Employers expect loyalty from employees but show none in return. They demand high skill sets but do not invest in training, nor do they interview on the basis of best fit and attitude, merely on whether boxes can be ticked in terms of skills. The have lost the ability to recruit and nurture real talent. Instead, they look overseas.

In the final analysis, if we want to slow the rate of immigration from India, we shouldn't be putting restriction on businesses and closing the borders. We should be upping our game to make sure our own young are in with a chance of applying and that they have the skills and the self confidence to compete.

There is no magic-wandery we can deploy in tinkering with immigration policy if our own people are not up to the jobs and can't even be bothered to do the basic jobs. If we take that approach why should businesses come here at all? They say that inequality is disappearing, but I would argue the inequality of opportunity is still rife for those with the misfortune to be born in the north. And while Westminster (actually Whitehall) still has choke hold on policy and governance, how can we even the odds? That is why we need The Harrogate Agenda.

We must have a humane policy, but we must still control our borders

As shambolic as our asylum policy is, the answer is not to open the borders. In many respects, that there are so few waiting at Calais is a sign that our border controls are actually working and the message has got out that if you get to Calais, you have reached a dead end. It's working as it should, which makes something of a mockery of Ukip's scaremongering.

If anything the ones in Calais are comprised of those who can't see any other option than the UK, or are determined to get in for more nefarious reasons. We are succeeding in keeping them out. While they make good TV during silly season, they are not actually central to our problem. It's a problem for Europe, but less so a problem for us. Our immigration problems are a wholly different strata of law and a wholly different type of migrant.

As to taking a share of Syrian refugees, it's a bit of gesture politicking that is neither here not there. It's an astute moving in building good relations with our neighbours. That's all. In terms of broader policy, it tackles only the symptoms, not the causes. It's one thing to say it's great for Germany to take 800k migrants. There is room and the former NATO bases are more than large enough. The question is, what about next year? Unless we turn off the tap by amending the 51 convention, they will keep coming.

Some have suggested abandoning any attempt to control the borders. There is certainly a case for liberalising border restrictions in that some migrants fear that if they come here on a limited visa they may not be let back in if they go home - so they remain here and disappear into the woodwork. Allowing free flow means that some migrants would, and very often do, go home. Certainly increasing the number of legitimate visas reduces attempts at forced entry. If anything irregular migration is a consequence of tight border controls. Nothing creates illegal immigrants quite like more immigration law.

But that is not to say we can or should open the borders. Some argue that humanity has the capacity to overcome the problems and that people are problem solvers. But the fact of the matter is that large influxes do cause problems and not short term ones either.

I like the idea that people are problem solvers. But as a rule they are entirely selfish in their solutions where the consequences of solving their own problems are somebody else's to deal with. That is why we have regulation of the civic sphere and planning to ensure basic standards of living and sanitation are upheld.

What we see when we have rapid influxes are entire communities who are wholly ignorant of procedure and pretty much do as as they want, from discarding refuse in the gardens, building over drain manholes, and then there's the antisocial behaviour that really does rip into community cohesion - the consequences of which are largely felt by the bottom decile. It's one thing for middle class urbanites to say "let them in" but the consequence of their moral posturing are felt by somebody else.

Already we have environmental health working overtime, not least to deal with overcrowding. You can take the lofty presumption that people do not equal more problems, but more people equals more cars - and more cars means more problems, more space constraints, massively disproportionate externalities and more pollution.

Then there is the aspect of safeguarding culture and heritage. Marxists certainly give me the impression that absolutely nothing is sacred and they would happily concrete over anything and everything is fair game. Immediate humanitarianism needs come first in their book. Again, that's a powerful moral sentiment, but at the same time, these are the same people who persistently complain about the lack of humanities and arts etc.

What makes Britain majestic is that some places and things are frozen in aspic. We do safeguard the distinctive and we do protect against urban sprawl in order to give people the cultural assets and the green spaces they need. Leave it to Marxists and they'd bulldoze everything until everywhere looked like the shit end of Croydon with no green spaces whatsoever. People who think Hackney Marshes constitutes a green space.

Part of what makes Britain something different is that the people here are custodians of something worth having. We have an island story that people come from all over the world to see. Preservation and cultivation of such assets are essential to the spiritual life of the island. I would argue that these things are the things that inspire us and are paramount.

While there is no theoretical upper limit, there will always be an absorptive capacity if we want to keep any semblance of social cohesion and preserve those features and freedoms that make Britain a desirable destination. That the open borders bunch would gladly see it wrecked makes them both philistines and hypocrites as well as fantasists.

We must always ensure that the rights of the settled are respected and that any influx that puts them in the minority, means the total breakdown of systems that facilitate the high quality of life we enjoy - those systems that make up the invisible government all around us that maintains those things we take for granted and are barely aware of. Without managing influx so that systems can keep pace, we very soon become that which most migrated from. Dirty, crowded, dysfunctional and unsafe.

In that respect, we are already overstretched, especially when I see presumably Pakistani youths in pyjamas battering each other with clubs on Hounslow highstreet in the day time and Somali gangs shooting at each other in Woolwich. Course, the pious bunch who would never venture to such places wouldn't see it, so again, it salves their moral problems but the consequences are visited on somebody else. In that regard, I find the open borders bunch not only risible, but contemptible.

Bloody cheek!

I love this notion that I'm supposed to be a "team player" after both Ukip and Breitbart have spent the last three years soiling the bedsheets in terms of winning the referendum - and then directed invective at me for saying so.

Then when the poor gal is a bit stuck she has the nerve to ask me to source a Youtube video for her pet hate rag. Clearly googling the keywords "riot Afghani Syrian Greece" and looking at the first five search results is beyond the capability of these little darlings. No wonder they are manifestly incapably of getting their facts right. You have to admire the nerve though.

Assuming I'd helped the dear gal it would have looked a lot like this:

Darkies from bongo-bongo land of military age have been rioting and looting on the streets of Athens culminating in clashes with ISIS terrorists as they divide their loot. It's all the EU's fault for having open borders (inserts something about completely irrelevant Dublin Regulations) and YOU are paying for it. (pads out for fifteen paragraphs, claims credit months after the Daily Mail ran it.)

Ho hum.