Category Archives: Reminiscences and Musings

When I Was Not Arrested in Egypt

Why Was I in Egypt Anyway?

In 1997, I moved back to London after having spent an interesting year in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Almaty was, even then, a quite large city, was at the time the capital of Kazakhstan, and boasted green spaces, tree-lined streets, pavement cafes, pretty girls in short skirts (or furs, depending on the season), a city as hot as 40C in high Summer, sub-zero and snowy in Winter.

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[immediately above, Pushkin Street, not very far from where I lived at one time]

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[above, Almaty in Winter]

On returning to London after 12 months, in late September 1997, I found that it was easier to be “offered” another overseas position than to actually get one. In the world of the headhunters, words are cheap. I found myself rapidly running out of funds in a London where the weather became wet and then cold and wet; in fact, my very first day back in London, it became necessary to visit Knightsbridge to buy a raincoat (unnecessary in Almaty, where it rains heavily for only a few days in the year). I went on holiday to Minorca and then, after a number of fruitless meetings re. possible contracts (everywhere Russophone from Moscow to Moldova to Baku and back to Almaty) sat down to decide where to winter, in the hope that a new contract might be offered in the upcoming new year; it was by now already early December.

It had to be somewhere both reasonably warm and reasonably (if not very) cheap. I considered the Canaries, Asmara (Eritrea) and a few other locations, before settling on Egypt, partly because I had been there before (only briefly though, a short break at the Luxor Hilton a few years before), partly because I knew that it could be cheap if one did not stay at a luxury-grade hotel, partly because it would be pleasantly warm even in December. There had also just been a terrible massacre at the Temple of Hatshepsut in the Valley of the Kings (across the river from Luxor), which led me to consider that there might be cheap flights and hotel rooms on offer.

What spoiled the flight part of the plan was that after the news media reported the massacre, the package tour and cheap flights people immediately cancelled all flights to Egypt. However, I had already decided by then to go, my resolve hardened by a pointless breakfast meeting at 0730 (!) with a couple of American “emerging markets” hucksters at the Mount Royal Hotel near Marble Arch, after which I got an overpriced taxi back to Little Venice in the pouring rain and chill.

Olympic and Egyptair were still flying, so I bought a ticket to Aswan via Athens and Cairo.

Egypt

Cutting through the detail of my first weeks in Egypt, I stayed in subtropical Aswan for 2 weeks before spending a couple of dull weeks at an almost deserted, beautiful and undeveloped beach (living in a large tent) near the then almost uninhabited and tiny settlement of Marsa Alam on the Red Sea. Served by one bus every day or two, it was hard to get to and harder to escape from… (now, over 20 years later, that almost derelict area is very different, has luxury hotels and even its own international airport!). From there I went, not without difficulty, to Alexandria, a journey of at least 12 hours by what in Tunisia is called voiture de louage (a 6-seat car shared by 5 customers and driver) and long-distance bus via Port Safaga, al-Quseir and Hurghada.

I had already selected a small 3-star hotel on the Corniche in Alexandria, thanks to my Lonely Planet guidebook. Walking distance from Ramla, the central place in Alex. However, unknown to Lonely Planet, the buses no longer terminated at Ramla for reasons of traffic control, so I ended up pulling my heavy (thankfully, wheeled) suitcases (inc. portable typewriter) miles along the Corniche (seafront).

After a day or so, I decided to stay in the supposedly good semi-gated beach suburb of Mamoura Beach, at the Eastern extremity of Alex. If possible, I would then rent a flat there via a local agency.

As anyone who has spent more than a brief holiday in Egypt will tell you, organization is not to be expected, chaos is the norm…

At the railway station, which was not busy, I got a local train. It terminated at Abu Qir, which was the place in or by the bay of which which Nelson defeated a French fleet at the Battle of the Nile in 1798 (the westernmost mouth of the Nile itself is now a few miles to the East of that bay).

Now I had bought a ticket to Mamoura. The train would then continue only for two or three stops until it finished its journey. The seats were polished wooden benches and the train’s journey passed at a snail’s pace. Eventually the train reached Mamoura. I disembarked. It was still mid-morning.

I was not entirely expecting the typically Egyptian scene outside the small station. Crowded streets, traffic, donkey-carts carrying aysh (flat and usually very tasty Egyptian bread), schoolchildren in uniform (this was the first day of Ramadan, so they had probably been sent home early). I had been expecting a quieter sort of place.

What I did not understand at the time was that I had got off at the wrong stop. I had assumed that the nearest station to Mamoura Beach would be Mamoura, whereas in fact the latter was a suburb to the East of Mamoura Beach. I should have disembarked at Montazah.

I had a map, but not a good one. I walked through a couple of crowded residential streets going North, in the direction of the sea. I came upon an Islamic cemetery, the wall of which had a gap on the other side. A small boy was climbing through it. I assumed (wrongly, again…) that he must have been going to the beach, so I followed. When I arrived on the other side, the boy had gone and I found myself in a large open area with some buildings in the middle distance. I saw some soldiers doing road repair on an unused roadway. Their sergeant, when approached, directed me (thanks to my Arabic phrasebook) to where there was the hotel (the only one) on Mamoura Beach, and where I had thought that I might stay. He helpfully wrote the name of that hotel (as I thought) on a scrap of paper, in case I needed to ask anyone else.

I carried on but was surprised to see that the beach, cut off by barbed wire, appeared to be mined. The skull and crossbones motif and a warning in Arabic and English made that plain. As for what I thought was some kind of disused military camp, it appeared now to be, well, an in-use military base. Oh dear…

I walked on and found myself next to a large ground-to-air missile battery, with 4 missiles in place, pointing upward at about 45 degrees.

Realizing that I had to get out, I moved across cut grass towards a distant wall, only to find that a small pack of what seemed to be wild dogs, sunning themselves near the wall, had noticed me. I slowly moved away, tracked parallel to my course by one of those dogs. This was not a military base as known in the UK, USA or even (where I had been in 1977) Rhodesia.

It was at that moment that an officer spotted me and sent over a young sergeant to me to see who was this European wearing chinos, climbing boots and a tweed-style jacket. After I had dropped the half-brick I was carrying (in case the dog attacked), the sergeant escorted me to the officer. A short conversation later (in which I tried to thank them for their help and to walk out of what I could now see was the nearby guarded exit from the base), ended with me taken a few steps to a nearby low building, which turned out to be the Officers’ Mess. Half a dozen curious officers came out, one with a wooden chair, which was placed in front of me. I was gestured to sit. The officers were not unfriendly (several shook hands with me), but just very curious. It felt like being treated as were the shot-down fliers of the First World War. The only thing missing was the bottle of champagne.

Minutes later, a car rolled up, which turned out to contain a major and a captain, who turned out to be the security officer (major) and intelligence officer (captain) of the base. The major searched me, including my boots (while still on my feet), then I was placed in the car and driven away. Thus began a boring but not uneventful day.

The major and captain (the latter more pleasant and I thought probably from a more cultured background, though that was just an impression). They questioned me over some Arab coffee (which I like). The captain spoke English, the major none or almost none. There was no rough stuff, no violence or obvious threat. However, they went over my reasons for being in Egypt, in Alex, in Abu Qir and, most of all, on their base.

It turned out that the address in Arabic scrawled by the sergeant I had encountered was not the Mamoura Beach Hotel but a special Soviet-style hotel for officers only, just by the base. Why did I have this in my pocket? Why did I have a Swiss Army knife? Why did I have a map, a small torch, a phrase-book? And so on. One officer casually remarked that, the year before, they had caught an agent of MOSSAD. I have no idea whether that was true, or if so what happened to him, and I decided not to ask, or to appear too interested in what happened to spies in Egypt. I just evinced what I hoped sounded like polite slight interest.

Several times, I asked for the British Consul. The responses were almost amusing, but it was hard to see the joke: “the Consul? Oh, no, the Consul is only for the most serious cases. You don’t want to be treated as a serious case, do you?” or “the Consul will be busy. We just need to ask a few questions more.” When I said that I needed access to the Consul because I was under arrest, the answer was “No, no! You are not under arrest. You are very welcome in Egypt!” (“Ah, so I am free to leave?” “Once we have asked a few more questions…”).

After a couple of hours of such light diversions, including my asking about whether the base had been once a British one, which was me trying to lighten the atmosphere as well as genuine curiosity (they said no), I was informed that I would be leaving, but only because some civilian colleagues needed to speak to me. This was not good news. The Mukhabarat (security police, secret police) is a ubiquitous and feared organization in Egypt. I had entertained a slight hope that the Army might just release me as innocent tourist with a warning not to stray in future. Vain hope.

I was escorted out of the office into a larger reception-style office crowded with ordinary Egyptian soldiers, many of whom were plainly there to catch a glimpse of me, though none said anything. There was also a very sinister body, a civilian, in a light brown leather jacket, with dark glasses and heavy stubble, who absurdly —in that situation— pretended not to have noticed that a foreigner was in the reception area. One of “them”, of course.

I was taken by car out of the base in a car driven by the young sergeant, my fellow passengers the captain and the major. Alexandria is about 20 miles long but only a mile or so deep. It runs along the coast. We were driving now from the edge of the city, past vegetable allotments and near the sea towards central Alex. It was not long before we were in one of the suburbs of Alex not far from the centre of the city (as I thought; I did not then know the city, of course). I thought that we were possibly in the Chatby neighbourhood. The car stopped by a quite high wall. A door was there. We were admitted. On the other side, there seemed to be a fine looking white house, like a small palace, amid luxuriant gardens. There was a little white painted waiting building by the entrance. We waited. The captain left. I lightened the atmosphere by asking the young conscript how come he was a sergeant at such a young age. He blushed as the major asked what I had said! When the sergeant translated it, the major laughed.

A civilian with a long scar down his cheek came to take me into the house. The soldiers left, the major shaking my hand. In a way, that seemed ominous.

Inside, the house was all marble, white and gold. I was shown into a glitz-palatial room, with white and gold chairs around a long low coffee table. It was the very image of the rooms in which Saddam Hussein used to receive his visitors.

Already gathered there were my new interrogators, several Mukhabarat officers. The only one who said nothing was Scarface, presumably there to provide the muscle in case the dangerous spy tried to escape or to kill those present with his bare hands.

A boy came in to take orders for coffee. Displaying all the confidence of my dozen words of phrase-book Arabic, I requested “aqwa mazboot, min fadlak” (loosely meaning Arab coffee with a little sugar please) and one of the Mukhabarat people jumped on it: “oh, so you speak Arabic?!” “I have a phrasebook, that’s all”. “But you ask for coffee with a good Egyptian accent…” and so I nearly became the first man hanged (well, not really, but halfway there) because I owned a good phrasebook. Thanks, Berlitz!

I tried the ask-for-British-Consul thing again, with the by-now-expected response: “The Consul will be busy…You are not under arrest…You are welcome in Egypt…We just have to ask a few questions” etc.

Then the polite but persistent questioning resumed: why was I in Egypt? Why was I on the military base? “What do you think of Israel?”; “I have always opposed Zionism”; “Oh, why would you answer thus to an Egyptian intelligence officer?” Smiles all round, mine by far the most nervous.

Another strange question: “what do you think of Princess Diana?” [who, as mentioned above, had died about 3 months previously]; “I have no particular view of her”; “Really?” [incredulously]…”all Egyptian people love Princess Diana”. Now it was my turn to respond “really?”. “Yes…I myself met Princess Diana here in Alexandria.” I supposed that that was plausible, Mohammed Fayed (father of her lover, Dodi Fayed) having originated in Alex.

Yet another strange question: “why do British government not clear the mines that they put on the beaches of Egypt?”, this a reference to the thousands, maybe millions, of landmines placed under the sands of Egypt (beaches and inland) by the British, Germans and Italians during the Second World War. There are even some on Red Sea beaches. The barbed wire with the warning symbol and English/Arabic “Beware Mines” is everywhere in some regions. I could only nod sympathetically and indicate that I had no influence or power over the British Government or its actions… All in all, this was a very odd little tea party or, rather, Arab coffee party.

In the end, after a couple of hours, it was decided that I had to return to my hotel on the Corniche to get my passport (I carried around only a photocopy). Scarface, a younger officer and a driver accompanied me.

The expressions on the faces of the staff at the hotel were telling: they were petrified. They knew at once who my “guests” were. The officers examined my baggage, my passport etc. They were most interested in the typewriter, my snorkelling equipment (especially the very large “professional”-size fins) and my sole reading matter: Barbarossa, by Alan Clark.

I was surprised that we did not return to the villa, but went to another, possibly more central neighbourhood (not knowing the city, I was trying to see clues to where we were). The driver was a professional, the only one I ever encountered in Egypt who did not use the horn incessantly. It was now drizzling as darkness fell, and as we drove slowly down a street of tall pre-WW2 houses, rather reminiscent of Paris (Alex having been effectively under joint Anglo-French control in the decades up to the late 1940s), the streetlights showed a steel barrier ahead, guarded by a phalanx of uniformed security police with submachineguns, the rain glistening on their short capes, again reminiscent of old Paris. They were ready for trouble, wearing not caps but steel helmets. As our car approached at a snail’s pace, the driver signalled twice using his headlights. The barriers were parted for us.

The car stopped. I was asked to disembark. The air was fresh and cool, as it often is at night in the Alexandrian winter. I was not restrained in any way. After all, to where would I run (even if I were not shot in the back)?

We were outside what had obviously been the townhouse of some wealthy merchant of the late 19thC. Depressingly, the windows were all barred. At first, I thought that I was going to be actually imprisoned in that place.

Above the door, the coat of arms of the Mukhabarat, incorporating the Egyptian all-seeing eye and a hawk or eagle (I think hawk: Horus was “the Hawk of Light” in ancient Egypt; that eye was his eye, “the Eye of Horus”). Also, the words, in Arabic and English, “State Security Headquarters, Alexandria”.

I was led in. At one time in the mists of history (well, pre-1945 anyway) the entrance hall must have been quite grand. A very high ceiling, a wide curved staircase leading up to the next floor, a crystal chandelier, a generally white and gold ambience. An entrance hall for a Hollywood film, perhaps one starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Or some version of Anna Karenina. The effect was spoiled, however, by the general lack of maintenance and cleanliness, the long sofa with its dirty fabric badly torn, and the battered old wooden table, at which sat a scruffy middleaged fellow in a warm jacket, his revolver casually in front of him on the table, together with a clipboard and a landline telephone.

Once I was left there, this individual struck up a conversation as I sat on the sofa that the Mukhabarat might have taken from a skip, so old and used was it. There was no-one else around. Kafka-esque. The “receptionist” told me that I was waiting to see the general in charge of all state security in Alexandria. He would then order my release. I had little confidence in that, having been given the run-around all day and knowing that Egyptians can have an odd sense of humour (and a certain streak of sadism, somehow, too). Still, I had no choice but to wait.

At one point, around 1900 hrs, some people arrived and ascended the staircase. The night shift? Or do secret police personnel find the night more congenial for their work? One fellow, dressed in what looked like an expensive suit, was obviously important, because the scruffy receptionist actually got off his rear to greet him. The new arrival looked rather comical to my mind, in that he seemed almost as broad as he was tall, like the British advertising cartoon seen on posters and TV in my childhood, “Mr. Cube”, who was the face of Tate & Lyle sugar. There was something slightly sinister about this man, though. He stopped part-way up the grand staircase and turned round to look at me briefly. His gaze was or seemed quizzical.

I was later escorted by the scruffy fellow upstairs and through quite bright, well-appointed corridors to a small but comfortable office occupied by, as the reader may have guessed, “Mr. Cube” and a colleague, the largest person I ever saw in Egypt. They were friendly enough, and Mr. Cube (aka General Cube, who introduced himself only as the head of state security in Alexandria) explained that before I could be released, he would have to be satisfied that I was not a spy. So we ran through all the same stuff all over again. Mr. Cube was not unfriendly and had some Turkish or Arab coffee brought in, the best I have ever had, served in exquisite tiny china cups. Very welcome after a foodless day (I had not even had breakfast).

At the end of our talk, Mr. Cube did a strange thing (but one I later read about in relation to both the Soviet and British intelligence services). He just looked at me, straight in the eye, and his friendly demeanour turned into something so chilling and indeed evil that it has stayed with me to this day. His gaze seemed to be penetrating deep into my consciousness. The word which came to mind later was “pitiless”. This was a man who might be capable of anything and quite probably had tortured and killed people. Then Cube turned off the terror as easily as he had turned it on, and pronounced that he thought that I was not a spy, but that he had to get clearance from Cairo before releasing me. He busied out of the office and his large assistant clapped me on the back in a friendly way (which felt like the blow from a large bear must feel).

Half an hour later and Cube was himself driving me back to my hotel in his own (very modest) little car (I think that it was a Fiat). It was almost midnight, about 2300 hours. He wished me a pleasant stay in Egypt (in fact I did stay, for another 2 months) and I entered the hotel again. Again the faces of the staff said it all. They obviously had not expected to see me again. The waiter even raised his arms in the air and quietly cheered, as if a goal had been scored.

Well, I did many other things in Egypt but that’s enough for now. If anyone ever asks me about my longest trip to Egypt and what happened, I just say that I was “not” arrested…

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Alexandria, San Stefano (now redeveloped)

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Early morning sea view from the Corniche at Alexandria

mamoura beach

above: the main residential road in Mamoura Beach, Alexandria, where I rented a flat a few days after the events described above; I lived there for a month

Mamoura

above: Mamoura Beach. When I was there it was off-season, January, but quite warm in daytime, though cool and often wet at night.

MontazahSta

above: Old Montazah Station, near both the Montazah Palace and Mamoura Beach where I lived for a month.

Notes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almaty

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxor_massacre

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marsa_Alam

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safaga

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Qoseir

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandria

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Alexandria

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Maamora_Beach

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Nile

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Qir_Bay

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Qir

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montaza

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavon_Affair

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Intelligence_Directorate_(Egypt)

https://www.historytoday.com/archive/goodbye-mr-cube

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_of_Horus

The short 1946 film below shows mainly the grounds of the Montazah Palace in Alex, not far from where I lived for a while; it also shows the Corniche.

Alexandria was much better under European rule and/or influence!

[above: scenes from pre-Nasser Egypt: Cairo, Alexandria and elsewhere]

[below: old Alexandria]

[below: amateur film from, at a guess, a few years ago. It shows some places I occasionally frequented, such as the Brazilian Coffee Stores in central Alex, mentioned in Lawrence Durrell’s books known as The Alexandria Quartet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Alexandria_Quartet]

[below, a critical look at Alexandria as it is now]

Below, another view of Alex as it is now:

Another (less impliedly critical) film, below:

above: scenes of Alex, the one immediately shown above being the Montazah Gardens, surrounding the Montazah Palace. Easy walking distance from my one-time temporary refuge at nearby Mamoura Beach. I was there a couple of times. An oasis of tranquility.

below: amateur video from the city 

A few further thoughts…

When I was first in Alex (as every foreigner calls it before long), my impression was of a kind of Miami Beach, or as such a place might be after large-scale devastation and/or long-term neglect. Ironically, one seafront part of Alex is actually called Miami! Maybe that’s where the more famous one got its name, but [see Note, below] apparently not.

Despite the acreage of decaying concrete there, despite the nuisance of a goodly part of the population, despite the traffic (and noise thereof), despite despite despite, there is something compelling about Alexandria, at least to me. The sea is a large part of that. The sea at Alex is so beautiful that not even the decaying concrete and the often-ghastly people can ruin it. I was there in winter, and it may be that winter, or perhaps slightly earlier or later, is the best time there. In any case, the 5+ million population swells even more in summer, and Alex must be unbearable then. When I was there, in 1998, the settled population was “only” 3.5 million, so has grown by about 50% in just 20 or so years! Before the Second World War, the population was below 1 million.

There is, or was, something indefinably romantic about Alexandria, despite everything (concrete near-ruins, street nuisances, general chaos, tasteless redevelopment —the most egregious example since I was there being the huge excrescence now at San Stefano). I am not sure that I have any wish to return to Alex, but I cannot say that I never shall.

Notes

“[Miami, Florida] was named for the nearby Miami River, derived from Mayaimi, the historic name of Lake Okeechobee “: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami#History

http://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/alexandria-population/

 

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An Unexpected Discovery

My blog, as regular readers will know, concentrates on ideas or matters of general import to society or the world. I do occasionally blog about other things, such as the less strictly legal aspects of my life at the English Bar, particularly if the story or anecdote has a humorous element or one which, to me, seems to say something about society as a whole.

When I blog about people I have known or had connection with, I usually keep them anonymous, or use initials only as identifiers. However, there are cases where the individual is either very well-known or, in my view, does not deserve the protection of anonymity.

Let us go back to December 2007, when I was beginning to have serious problems with the Revenue, problems which were not resolved until 2012. I made my last appearance in court (a truly ridiculous 3-day construction case at Central London County Court…long story, deserving a blog piece of its own some day) and left for my home in North Finistere, France (though I remained, purely nominally, a barrister in chambers, and at the practising Bar, until mid-2008).

Not long before I left for France for the last time (I had been bi-weekly commuting for 3 years via car ferry and air), a nuisance joined chambers. I had twice (successfully) opposed this barrister, one Brent McDonald, in fairly minor County Court negligence cases in the South West of England and had been frankly unimpressed by him. Though he seemed not unintelligent, he also seemed devoid of common sense: for example, insisting to a judge that a motor accident must have happened in a certain way because of the laws of kinetic energy! He was originally in the construction trade, I believe, and had a technical background. I disliked his attitude, which was very and unnecessarily confrontational. He was also a sore loser. If I am being completely honest, I thought that there was something wrong with him mentally.

That individual, I believe of Scottish origins, was, according to the senior clerk to chambers, married to an Indian (I think) woman, and they apparently had a child (in fact, if memory serves, two children). The Clerk said that he had plenty of good work, mostly legally-aided.

I was, at the time, a member of Rougemont Chambers, Exeter, which had burgeoned from a handful of people and not much work when I joined in 2002 to being a busy provincial set with a couple of dozen barristers and three clerks in 2007 (it is now merged with another set under a new name and is the largest set in Exeter and the largest in the South West outside Bristol).

The other members of chambers (it was always a surprise to me what poor judges of character many barristers are) were apparently impressed by McDonald at a reception chambers held for him, and the senior clerk was impressed by the list of solicitors supposedly willing to instruct him (and thus bring work and revenue to chambers). I abstained on accepting him into chambers, rather than voting against him, because both the Head of Chambers (who is now a Circuit Judge) and the Senior Clerk had persuaded all other members to approve him and I did not have the power to veto his acceptance.

In the first day or so, McDonald was not offensive and even remarked on how impressed he was that I was mentioned in the main legal directories (that “review” barristers and solicitors) as someone to brief on matters such as Caribbean and other offshore laws, and oil and gas questions, the latter particularly involving the Russophone jurisdictions where I had had very direct experience (including a year living in Kazakhstan).

It was not long, however, before McDonald started to buttonhole me on my political views, though only on the race question (including the Jewish Question). This was odd, because members of chambers rarely discussed anything political. McDonald was insolent and inquisitorial. To me, his attitude was unbelievable, not least because he had only just joined chambers and was in every way junior to me! Protocol is important to me. His demeanour was would-be intimidating, would-be bossy. I was fuming but courtesy also is very important to me. In fact, the bastard even remarked, half-sneeringly,  on how polite I was and how it was obvious that politeness was important to me!

McDonald effectively admitted that his antipathy toward me was based on (his kneejerk assumption about) my political views, combined with the fact that his wife and offspring (I think that he had two children) were non-European; as noted above, I believe that his wife was Indian. In the end, he grudgingly accepted that I had different views from his and we effectively agreed to avoid each other in chambers. Until he arrived, chambers had been a pleasant place. It was an object lesson in how one person can poison a whole environment very quickly.

So I left the practising Bar and my Exeter chambers and England, though not primarily (in fact, scarcely at all) because of McDonald (though his being there was certainly a disincentive to me, like the taste of a bitter piece of peel when eating a fruit).

I do not think that McDonald stayed long in those chambers before joining a larger set in Bristol, an offshoot of a London set. I noticed that he was himself now mentioned in the legal directories which he seemed to revere. They said that he “had come up through the ranks” and was well-regarded or some such.

I myself have always viewed such legal directories with skepticism, not so much because they recommended me at one time (!) but more because I had read glowing reports about people and organizations which did not chime with my direct experience of them, such as the “Emerging Markets” mini-department at Cameron McKenna (a large City of London law firm) for which I worked for 6 months in 1996-97, based for most of which time in Almaty, Kazakhstan (I later stayed on there, working with a very large American law firm).

That Cameron McKenna department was largely a Potemkin village created by an Australian woman of Russian-speaking (note speaking) origins, who would have been incapable of organizing the proverbial “piss-up in a brewery”, but who was very good at putting on an impressive front: when her department was about to be closed (when the **** hit the fan in various ways), about a year after I myself had moved on, that person not only managed to move just in time (and with a few toadies) to another large City of London law firm dealing with Russia, Kazakhstan etc, but the Times legal section and the main legal directories all (briefed by her and/or cronies, no doubt) lauded her new firm as having been “strengthened” by having this useless and devious woman and said toadies on board! (the last I heard of her, a few years ago, she had returned to the Antipodes and was an Australian trade delegate at a fairly high level, no doubt flourishing like the green bay tree…).

Anyway, returning to this McDonald character, I pretty much forgot about him for a decade, but then I started my blog and included a few reminiscences etc. So it was that I decided, recently, to see whether he was still at the Bar. To my surprise, I could not find him in the Bar Directory, or anywhere else, even by Googling. I did find some noted (i.e. appeal) cases, dating from 2008 or so. I wondered whether he had died, emigrated, even been disbarred! I drew a blank everywhere. Then I noticed that there was someone with the same surname at his last-known chambers. Not his wife at the time I knew him, because hers was a foreign, I think Indian, first name and this one was called Fran. Anyway, the Indian woman had not been at the Bar. So I thought that the surname must be co-incidence (McDonald being a fairly common name). Then, however, I noticed a few more facts.

It turned out that appeal cases from 2008 and later, proudly noted on that chambers’ website as having been done by Fran McDonald, had in fact been noted, in the law reports themselves, as having been done by Brent McDonald. I took a closer look.

The Bar Directory now has no public record for a Brent McDonald, but does now have an entry for one Lola Francesca McDonald…

Now a stranger move yet! It turns out that the barrister formerly known as Brent McDonald and now known as Fran McDonald has relocated to, of all places, the small New Zealand town of Nelson, at the top of NZ’s South Island.

What makes this move even stranger, on the face of it (and notwithstanding that Nelson seems a pleasant small town, reputedly the sunniest in New Zealand), is that McDonald (whether as Brent or Fran) was a personal injury specialist (though in Exeter he did other negligence-related and yet other work in the brief time when we were both members of Rougemont Chambers in 2007). There is no personal injury legal work in New Zealand (see below for the reason for this).

The legal directories said:

“‘…rising star [Fran] McDonald continues to act on severe injury and fatal accident cases in the UK and abroad. She is very popular.’ (2012)”; and

“‘[Fran] McDonald is solely focused on personal injury and clinical negligence.’ (2014)”

(note the square brackets: looks as if Fran was still Brent in 2012 and 2014, despite the “she”; as for the Legal 500, that organization does not note McDonald’s New Zealand departure in its latest online offering: see below)

 “WORK DEPARTMENT

Personal injury; public inquiry; clinical negligence; product liability; inquests.

POSITION

Fran is a specialist barrister acting in the field of personal Injury who is recommended in both ‘Chambers & Partners’ and ‘The Legal 500’. Fran’s practice is focused on personal injury, including fatal accidents, inquests and inquiries.

The favourable references cease after 2016. The reason is a little vague (to me at least). I have no idea how long “gender reassignment” takes (or whether Brent/Fran underwent it), though, apropos of nothing much, I did once own a copy of the memoirs of April Ashley, my copy sadly abandoned in France in 2009, along with 99% of my library of 2,000 books. The April Ashley book was rare, too, the print run having been pulped.

I presume that the apparent hiatus after 2016 may have had something to do with what must be a very trying metamorphosis for anyone.

What makes the emigration to New Zealand odd is that it is clear, on the face of it, that McDonald built up a solid reputation in England in personal injury and the related clinical negligence area, but has now relocated to a country where there is effectively no personal injury or clinical negligence work, because New Zealand has a “no-fault” system, based on universal insurance, assessment of injury etc (see Notes, below).

I notice that McDonald, despite and perhaps justly boosting his/her personal injury repertoire on the London chambers’ website (to the exclusion of almost everything else), now lists as specialisms “employment law” and, even more weirdly (to my eye), nautical matters!

Fran’s main specialism in Nelson is issues relating to employment law. After completion of his exams in the new year he will resume practice over his full range of contentious interests including tort law (negligence, trespass etc), insurance, commercial/contractual disputes, professional liability, property disputes, medico-legal matters, engineering and construction and health and safety legislation.”

and

Many of his cases over the years have had a nautical theme such as claims involving distraint of containerised goods, allisions or breach of contract especially where jurisdictional/conflict of laws questions arose. Fran is equally happy to bring or defend claims. For example, he acted for UK Marines injured on the battlefield at the same time as being counsel for over 1,200 Iraqis alleging they were imprisoned, tortured or had family members murdered by UK forces.

The Nelson law firm names McDonald as Fran, as do the chambers in London (of which he/she is still, it seems, a member), but the London website refers to “she/her” whereas the New Zealand one has it as “he/his”. All very confusing… In addition, the New Zealand law firm shows McDonald as male, in a suit, shirt, tie, with short hair. The London website shows Fran as, or as if, female, with matching hair. Even more confusing…

The New Zealand law firm, Hamish Fletcher, which McDonald has joined in Nelson, has —actually not too unpleasing aesthetically, from the architectural point of view— offices on the floors above some retail outlets: Specsavers, a clothing shop and a “vape shop”, as can be seen via Google Earth.

Well, there it is. I am no psychiatrist, but it appears that the underlying motive force here is a wish for reinvention: the young man in construction or engineering becomes a barrister, marries, has children, changes sets, changes locations, changes sex, emigrates to the far side of the world and to very different circumstances, even (as it appears) metamorphosing in appearance again.

In the Russian proverb, “the soul of another is a dark wood” [чужая душа темный лес].

Does the above story tell us anything beyond the egregious McDonald’s personal odyssey? Someone seemingly rootless… is that typical of the age, typical now of UK people? I myself was once called, in jest, “the wandering Aryan”! It does reinforce my view of “legal directories”, not to mention chambers’ and law firms’ websites!

What about the “gender bender” aspect? A lady barrister I knew in London once was convinced that pollution of the water and air was leading to feminization in the males of both fish and humans (she was looking at her boyfriend at the time!). Was she wrong? I merely pose the question. When both April Ashley and (btw) a later friend of mine, Della Aleksander, had “sex change surgery” in Casablanca (April Ashley in 1960, Della Aleksander sometime in the early 1970s, I believe), such things were outrageous enough to draw down huge tabloid press interest. Now, it sometimes seems as though everyone and his dog is having a “sex change”! I do not think we can simply shrug our shoulders at all this. It may be that we are coming to the point where our whole civilization is about to experience a crisis.

Notes

https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/regulatory-requirements/the-barristers’-register/?ProfileID=43962

http://www.oldsquare.co.uk/our-people/profile/fran-mcdonald

http://www.legal500.com/firms/9535/offices/9534/lawyers/90812

http://www.hflaw.co.nz/our-team/fran-mcdonald/

https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/resources/acc%E2%80%93helping-to-meet-the-costs-of-personal-injury

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accident_Compensation_Corporation

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson,_New_Zealand

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Ashley#Biographies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Ashley

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/11/15/when-reality-becomes-subjective/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2019/01/26/the-tide-is-coming-in-reflections-on-the-possible-end-of-our-present-civilization-and-what-might-follow/

Extra Note

Many readers of my blog will be aware that I ceased to be even nominally a barrister in late 2016. For those who are not, and are curious as to why, please see:

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2017/07/09/the-slide-of-the-english-bar-and-uk-society-continues-and-accelerates/

 

 

The Tide is Coming In: Reflections on the Possible End of Our Present Civilization and What Might Follow

Preliminary Word

This may be the most important article that I have written, or will write, for my blog. It goes beyond the usual matters of personal experiences, party politics, ordinary events in society, analysis of historical events etc.

I have been thinking of writing this article for some time. I always get distracted. It will examine, as well as can be done in brief format, whether our present society, culture, civilization, even species, can survive even in the short-term (here meaning the next few decades). It will also suggest some possibilities covering the next few years, next few decades and also a longer-term human future.

General Background

Living in the world, we accept, as the default position, that which we have known all our lives. We consider that to be natural or normal. However, a moment’s thought tells us that that is not so.

As is known (though by no means universally accepted, and still a subject for debate), the Atlantean period ended about 10,000 years ago. The most advanced people of that period were not the latest in time (the Seventh Race) but the Fifth Race, the Aryans. The remnants of that race emigrated from what is now the North Atlantic area to parts of the Earth where they founded new colonies. The main one was that of ancient (pre-Vedic) India.

The foundations of modern Europe lie with the Aryans and their post-Atlantean, post-Aryan descendants:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1317362/Europe-begins-Cities-built-swastika-painting-Aryans-remote-Russian-plains.html

“The place where Europe began: Spiral cities built on remote Russian plains by swastika-painting Aryans”

Ancient Turkic tomb stones on steppes of Hakasia, Central Siberia, Russian Federation.. Image shot 2006. Exact date unknown.

“Desolate: The Bronze Age cities were built some 4,000 years ago by the Aryans in a 400 miles long region of the Russian Steppe.”

The Aryans’ language has been identified as the precursor to a number of modern European tongues. English uses many similar words such as brother, oxen and guest which have all been tracked to the Aryans.” [Daily Mail report]

These ancient Indian texts and hymns describe sacrifices of horses and burials and the way the meat is cut off and the way the horse is buried with its master. If you match this with the way the skeletons and the graves are being dug up in Russia [on the border of Siberia and Kazakhstan], they are a millimetre-perfect match.’ [Bettany Hughes, TV historian, in UK Daily Mail].

During our own Post-Atlantean Age, the line of cultures (in the sense of different “civilizations”) has travelled through a succession of Aryan-founded cultures: ancient Indian, ancient Persian, then the Egypto-Babylonian-Chaldean (etc), Graeco-Roman, and now our own, which might be called “Germanic-Anglo-Saxon-American”.

The clue lies in language. The Indo-European language family stretches from present-day India to the British Isles and Iceland and back across Russia and Siberia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-European_languages

Our own present culture started around 1400 AD (or, in the alternative, “CE”). Its first fruits were a relatively brief recapitulation of the preceding culture, the Graeco-Roman. This recapitulation was what we term the Renaissance, and started in the homeland of the Romans, Italy.

In the future (postulated as expected to start around 3500 AD), another great culture will arise, based on the Slavonic or Slavic peoples; however, that takes us beyond the scope of this present study.

europe_prehistory

Present orthodox scientific consensus re. human or near-human presence in Europe

Some Changes During the Past 10,000 Years

This is not meant to be a comprehensive study (which would have to be at least of book length). I should like to highlight a few things as a foundation for what I shall write hereinbelow.

  • “From 20,000 years ago until 6,000 years ago, sea level rose steadily around the world.” [Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Barrier_Reef];
  • in Europe, the human population seems to have been small, perhaps very small, until quite recent times (meaning times more recent than 10,000 years ago). The famous Lascaux cave paintings (present-day SW France) are believed to date from perhaps 15,000 years ago.

390px-lascaux_painting

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lascaux

Leaving aside detailed consideration of yet more ancient times, the details of which are even more speculative, let us concentrate on the time between that period usually known as the Bronze Age (that is, the period which started no more than 5,000 years ago and in Northern Europe more recently, less than 4,000 years ago, and continued to as recently as 500 BC), and the present day.

Half of the Present-Day Inhabitants of Europe Descend from One Bronze Age Man

Recent advances in archaeological technology, DNA etc have established that over half of the present European population is descended from only one Bronze Age individual, who lived about 4,000 years ago.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3557782/How-men-spread-globe-DNA-analysis-reveals-populations-began-explode-55-000-years-ago.html

In fact, studies seem to show that most present-day Europeans are descended from only three such Bronze Age “kings”, “nobles” etc (in fact, such titles are nothing more than journalistic guesses). Indeed, if present-day non-Europeans and part-Europeans (resident in the Europe of today) are taken out of the equation, the proportion descended from those few might well be far higher.

This is not the place in which to speculate about what events caused only 3 individuals to be the progenitors of most of the European population living today. That speculation is better left to others with wide knowledge of palaeontology, archaeology etc. In any case, that is not the point of this article. The fact remains that almost everything we know as our present culture originated, genetically, from those few men and their families. As a 1930s poster had it, “National Socialism, The Expression of our Biological Knowledge”.

Just think about that: everything, pretty much, that we accept as the human-created world around us, from planes to cars to our housing, to our philosophies, sciences etc, comes from those few people, whose descendants are now the European peoples, and also many of the Americans, Australians etc in the world. Yet those ancient people themselves of course knew nothing of what has become our world.

Ways of Life

Many tourists visit ancient ruined temples, fortresses, whole cities, whose inhabitants fled or were killed, hundreds or even thousands of years ago. In some cases, natural phenomena such as interruption of water supply caused places to be abandoned. More commonly, the cause is found in the military or social collapse of a society. One does not have to visit such places as El Djem, Dougga, Karnak, Babylon, Susa, the great temples of South-East Asia, the ruined cities and pyramids of the Aztecs and Mayans, to realize that even the most developed civilizations sometimes just stop.

In England (and Britain as a whole), for example, we have the remains of several previous cultures:

“[Britain] was first inhabited by people who crossed over the land bridge from the European mainlandHuman footprints have been found from over 800,000 years ago in Norfolk[36] and traces of early humans have been found (at Boxgrove Quarry, Sussex) from some 500,000 years ago[37] and modern humans from about 30,000 years ago.

Until about 14,000 years ago, Great Britain was connected to Ireland, and as recently as 8,000 years ago it retained a land connection to the continent, with an area of mostly low marshland joining it to what are now Denmark and the Netherlands.[38] In Cheddar Gorge, near Bristol, the remains of animal species native to mainland Europe such as antelopesbrown bears, and wild horses have been found alongside a human skeleton, ‘Cheddar Man‘, dated to about 7150 BC. Thus, animals and humans must have moved between mainland Europe and Great Britain via a crossing.[39] Great Britain became an island at the end of the last glacial period when sea levels rose due to the combination of melting glaciers and the subsequent isostatic rebound of the crust.” [from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Britain#History]

When the Romans left Britain (410 AD is the usual date, but the decline of Roman Britain was a gradual process over very many decades on either side of the date of departure of the last legion), the existing inhabitants and later the incoming Saxons etc had to start anew. They were not equipped to continue Roman civilization and its way of life. Britain only started to climb to anything like the Roman level a thousand years later. Indeed, in some ways, Britain only reached a Roman level of lifestyle some 1,500 years after the Romans left, in the 19th and 20th centuries: central heating, good roads, a good level of general education, running water for the urban populations etc.

The biggest mistake that can be made in this area is to imagine that fallen societies are always replaced by more sophisticated, more advanced, more civilized societies. In fact, the usual situation is expressed by the staggered spiral. A period of advance is not infrequently followed by a retrograde motion, before another and greater advance can be made. So the Graeco-Roman period reached its greatest outward extent, only to decline internally, lapsing into weakness and decadence, before collapsing entirely; invaded and largely destroyed by peoples less civilized, who however had within them the seed of later greatness. “Dark Ages” followed, followed by several centuries of the upbuilding of culture by the “new” peoples before those peoples rediscovered antiquity in the Renaissance, which then led on to the Enlightenment and to a civilization of a new and different kind: scientific, interested in practical matters, which however incorporated into itself the earlier culture.

In terms of exploration of the world from Europe, we know that Columbus reached the islands of the Americas in 1492, and that Africa, Australia etc were only really explored by Europeans in the 19thC, so only about 150 years earlier than today, whereas Antarctica was actually unknown until sighted by a Russian ship in 1820.

Where We Are Now

It may be that our present (Fifth Post-Atlantean Age) culture has reached, or shortly will reach, its highest point, despite having run less than a third of its course. A vast array of scientific discoveries have been made since this age started in the early 15thC. Those discoveries have been exploited for both martial and ordinary economic uses. In the field of transport alone, there have been developed cars, motorcycles, trucks, tanks, trains, planes, rockets, powered sea-going craft, submarines, helicopters, hovercraft etc. In medicine, we have had the discovery of bacteria, of pasteurization, immunization, disinfection, advanced surgery (one only need think how primitive even basic anatomy was until the late 19thC), body scanning, antibiotics, organ transplants, powerful analgesics, homeopathy (controversial though that may be), DNA etc. All within the past 200 years or so, and much of it within the past 100.

The population of the Earth is now at what appears to be its greatest-ever extent, certainly in recorded history:

World population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Great Famine of 1315–17 and the Black Death in 1350, when it was near 370 million.” [Wikipedia]

The highest population growth rates – global population increases above 1.8% per year – occurred between 1955 and 1975, peaking to 2.06% between 1965 and 1970.[5] The growth rate has declined to 1.18% between 2010 and 2015 and is projected to decline further in the course of the 21st century.” [Wikipedia]

The 10 most populous countries contain about 60% of the population of the world, India and China having about 36% (with Bangladesh and Pakistan, over 40%) of the total.

As we see, the population of the world, though still growing, is growing at a fairly slow rate now, though still huge in terms of numbers. It may be that almost all those who were sent to (re)incarnation in order to experience the high point of our age (now nearly a third of the way through its course) are on Earth or recently have been.

What Might Cause the Immediate or Very Swift Collapse of the Present World Order and/or European Society, As Well As Population Reduction?

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse usually ride together: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Horsemen_of_the_Apocalypse

Many will speak of climate change, but that, in itself (leaving aside to what extent it exists— and what is the cause of it if it exists), will not change anything significant in terms of social order in Europe in the next 10-30 years.

Then there is the possibility of a strike by a large object from space, such as a meteor. Impossible to quantify. Some scientists say that the odds are shortening.

Another possibility is a massive tsunami, which might be provoked by a seismic collapse in the area West of the Canary Islands. If that happened, it would dwarf the recent Asian tsunamis and wipe out much of the population in Western Europe.

Pandemic: with the gradual lessening of effectiveness of antibiotics, this must be a possibility.

The most likely large-scale event to affect Europe in the next few years would be war between Russia and NATO, provoked by NATO as the armed wing of the New World Order. NATO troops, especially American, with a small number from Britain’s depleted spearhead, now often go on “exercise” on the very borders of Russia (Latvia, Ukraine etc) and have even been deployed there on a longer-term basis. Were a NATO-Russia war to occur and to go nuclear, parts of Europe would be devastated. The UK, still after 75 years “America’s unsinkable aircraft carrier” (in the words of Roosevelt), would be all but annihilated as the major strategic targets were destroyed: submarine bases in Scotland, the various early-warning stations, US airfields and other facilities in the UK, large ports etc.

However, even nuclear devastation (so long as it did not cause a nuclear winter) would not necessarily be the end of the story. The Japanese cities hit by atomic bombs in 1945 and almost entirely devastated were rebuilt and are now thriving: photos below show Nagasaki by night and by day, c.2018

inasamachi,_nagasaki,_nagasaki_prefecture_852-8011,_japan_-_panoramio

nagasaki_trolley_m5199

photo below shows Nagasaki industrial district after the American atom bombing in 1945

nagasaki

photos below: Hiroshima after atom bomb attack in 1945, and then today

the-explosion-of-the-atom-bomb-in-hiroshima-japan

1500px-hiroshimapeacememorialpanorama-2

In fact, such destruction was not confined to areas hit by atom bombs. In Japan, Germany and elsewhere, the devastation from conventional bombs and deliberately-created firestorms was quite as bad. Below, Tokyo and Dresden, 1945:

800px-tokyo_1945-3-10-1

dresden1945

Both Tokyo and Dresden are now once again thriving and heavily-populated cities, of course.

It is common knowledge that the nuclear weapons of today are far more powerful than those used against Japan in 1945. However, the principle is the same. In fact multiple warheads would destroy the same areas, those of the highest strategic importance; other areas would be affected only indirectly, especially those likely to be upwind (in the UK, Wales, Cornwall, Devon, the Western areas of Britain generally).

Chernobyl

The medical and other effects of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster have been terrible for very many people, especially in the Ukraine, especially those who lived near Chernobyl or under the path of its pollution. However, people generally do live unaffected by it, not only in Kiev (which was upwind of the “plume” of radioactive dust) but even (illegally or unofficially) within the “exclusion zone” (mostly now-elderly people who returned against orders to their former homes in the less built-up areas).

Below, before and after photos of the same street corner in Pripyat, the nearest town (until the disaster, 49,000 inhabitants) to the Chernobyl nuclear plant.

chernobylbeforeafter

Below, Pripyat today, in Summer, a ghost town…

pripyat_(02710024)

In fact, despite radiation and some undesirable genetic mutations and cancers, the animal population in the contaminated Exclusion Zone (i.e. nearly 20 miles in all directions from the Chernobyl reactors), an area the size of Hampshire, or 10 times the size of the Isle of Wight, has flourished since humans fled. Species rarely seen before 1986 are now almost commonplace: Przewalski’s horse, bears, wolves, elk, wild boar, lynx, among others.

Thinking The Unthinkable

Since 1945, the peoples of the world have, with reason, thought of nuclear war as the worst possible eventuality. The powers-that-be (on all sides) have encouraged that view. It has been part of the nuclear stalemate, the nuclear peace during the Cold War. Mutually Assured Destruction.

From The Kremlin to the White House, from Pugwash to Helsinki, from the Rand Corporation through Iron Mountain to Chatham House, and from Herman Kahn to Bertrand Russell, the post-1945 peace and standoff has been secured, in part, by the consciousness that nuclear war might well mean destruction of not only all human civilization but of all life on Earth. What if, though, that “Ur-fact” or Grundnorm is in fact only a partial truth?

Only a maniac could speak of nuclear war lightly. However, might our basic culture, if not the hugely-complex civilization based on it, be able to survive a major nuclear war? Not to think lightly of that possibility, and certainly not to promote it as a way forward, but might we (as a race or people), like the animals of Chernobyl, survive and eventually thrive if it happened?

Gaia

The “Gaia Hypothesis” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia#Modern_ecological_theory., that is, that the Earth is to some extent self-regulating (or even “alive” as an organism) was popularized from 1979 by the British scientist, environmentalist and futurist James Lovelock, but the essence of it, in more spiritual form, had been noted long before, notably by Rudolf Steiner, in some of his lectures. The latter also said that from time to time the Earth shrugs off unwanted irritants as a large animal does parasites from its body.

When we look at the Earth over the course of the present Fifth Post-Atlantean age, i.e. from about 1400 AD to the present day, we see how a relatively unspoiled natural world has been gradually polluted and abused. In 1400, even Western Europe had vast forests, few of which still exist to their original extent. That was even more true of Eastern Europe and Russia. Australia, New Zealand had not been discovered by Europeans; neither had the Americas, in effect, though in fact the Vikings knew of North America, had even visited it, but (for good reason) the Vatican suppressed that knowledge as long as it could, thus delaying for several centuries further European connection to the Americas.

The oceans were still pristine in 1400, and have become progressively more polluted and overfished in the past 600 years. Plastic waste has become almost ubiquitous on both land and sea.

As for the animal kingdom, many scientists think that we are living in a period of extinctions, a “Great Mass Extinction” of life on Earth. Unlike previous mass extinctions, this one is being caused mainly by human activity. We have all seen the struggle to protect the great (and small) animals of Africa, Asia etc, and those of the oceans.

Europeans have awoken to the world environment and its crisis, but that has mainly not been the case among the backward peoples: Chinese, Indians, Africans etc (speaking in group terms). Europe is at least now struggling to help the environment, but is outnumbered many many times over by the Chinese, Indians etc, most of whom have little understanding of the need for stewardship of the Earth, and who accuse the “West” of hypocrisy for its high per-capita consumption.

The human population of the Earth 10,000-12,000 years ago has been estimated as having been anything from 1 million to 15 million. In other words, speculation. The Roman Empire c.500 AD may have contained 50 or 60 million inhabitants, and China contained (another estimate) perhaps 100 million. The estimate for the whole world at the beginning of our age (c.1400 AD) is around 350 million. Now (2019) the world contains nearly 8 billion (8,000,000,000) people. Twenty times the population of 600 years ago, and those people are almost all each consuming hugely more than did people of former times. Something surely has to give.

The Path Ahead

I have blogged previously about the need for “safe zones” as a germinal ethnostate in the UK. I note that, in Germany, USA and elsewhere, others seem to have come to the same conclusion. People of social-national views are at least thinking about withdrawing from the present society and creating their own autonomous or semi-autonomous societies in rural areas. In its basic form, this idea is “white flight” and has been happening for half a century in North America; it happens now in the UK, Germany, France too. In more sophisticated form, the idea takes shape more consciously, not simply “white flight” away from the present society but also to the beginnings of a new society.

My past blog posts on the subject of “safe zones” etc:

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/how-we-can-be-ready-to-rebuild-european-culture-and-civilization/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/europe-will-soon-be-in-chaos-we-can-create-a-new-civilization-from-that/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/07/17/how-would-the-safe-zone-become-a-germinal-ethnostate/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/the-pressing-need-for-safe-zones-in-the-uk-and-across-europe/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/why-should-people-relocate-to-the-safe-zone-of-the-germinal-ethnostate/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/07/10/getting-real-about-repatriation-creation-of-the-british-ethnostate/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2017/10/17/post-collapse-survival-preservation-of-civilization-and-culture/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/from-secure-base-to-national-power/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/the-veneer-of-social-order/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/should-we-prepare-for-social-collapse/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/the-organization-of-community/

https://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/the-awesome-shigir-idol-depicting-the-ancient-spirit-world-originally-stood-tall-beside-a-paleo-lake/

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/woolly-mammoth-tooth-40000-years-14081528

The Role of Family

Nick Griffin, one-time head of the BNP, has written about how conventional politics is finished in Western Europe. He places his trust in the durability of the white Northern European family: the production of children to maintain the bloodlines or, as some term them,  “les rivieres pourpres”. While I cannot agree with him if he thinks that organization is unnecessary (I suspect that he does not go that far), it is certainly true that setting up little political parties, or having pleasant social evenings with like-minded political people etc is a dead duck at present, though we must never forget that Adolf Hitler was member number 7 of the DAP which became the NSDAP. Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

In the end, the future may be ours if we as a group have children who can bear our bloodlines into the future. In this study, I noted that one man long ago, about 4,000 years ago, is now known to have been the progenitor of over half of all European people alive today. I also noted that two other men were the progenitors of most of the rest of the people of European ethnicity who now live. Those three men created our present Europe and therefore most of the advanced world civilization of today. Three men!

It may be that a mere few people or even one couple will, through their children, be the transmitters of les rivieres pourpres into the future, that our present civilization will soon descend into bloodshed and chaos, but that the few who matter will survive and then create the future through their own bloodlines and via the culture and knowledge which they possess.

Notes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedic_period

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Iran#Classical_Antiquity

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egypt#History

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greece#Archaic_and_Classical_period

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Slav

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavic_languages

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_Europe

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lascaux

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_Europe#Bronze_Age

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze_Age_Europe

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Britain#History

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolithic#Europe

https://headtopics.com/uk/neolithic-britons-travelled-across-country-for-national-feasts-4-500-years-ago-new-research-claims-4722023

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-European_languages

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahnenerbe

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3557782/How-men-spread-globe-DNA-analysis-reveals-populations-began-explode-55-000-years-ago.html

https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-evolution-human-origins/most-european-men-are-descended-just-three-bronze-age-warlords-new-020361

https://www.theweek.co.uk/72022/half-of-all-males-in-western-europe-descended-from-one-man

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/04/25/half-of-british-men-descended-from-one-bronze-age-king/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-European_language

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1317362/Europe-begins-Cities-built-swastika-painting-Aryans-remote-Russian-plains.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia#Modern_ecological_theory

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynn_Margulis#Gaia_hypothesis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_event

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extinction_events

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagal_(Armanen_rune)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_impact_on_the_environment

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desertification#History

https://www.alphr.com/science/1005265/nuclear-bomb-map-reveals-how-likely-you-are-to-survive-a-nuclear-attack

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagasaki

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Report_from_Iron_Mountain

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pugwash_Conferences_on_Science_and_World_Affairs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helsinki_Accords

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Kahn

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pripyat

https://curiosity.com/topics/30-years-after-the-nuclear-disaster-chernobyl-wildlife-is-thriving-curiosity/

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5ba9015119c97

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https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/forests-climate-change-co2-greenhouse-gases-trillion-trees-global-warming-a8782071.html

ss

You carry in your blood the holy inheritance of your
fathers and forefathers. You do not know those who
have vanished in endless ranks into the darkness of the
past. But they all live in you and walk in your blood upon
the earth that consumed them in battle and toil and in
which their bodies have long decayed.

Your blood is therefore something holy. In it your parents gave you not only a body, but your nature. To deny your blood is to deny yourself. No one can
change it. But each decides to grow the good that one has
inherited and suppress the bad. Each is also given will
and courage.

You do not have only the right, but also the duty to pass
your blood on to your children, for you are a member of
the chain of generations that reaches from the past into
eternity, and this link of the chain that you represent
must do its part so that the chain is never broken.

But if your blood has traits that will make your children
unhappy and burdens to the state, then you have the
heroic duty to be the last. The blood is the carrier of life. You carry in it the secret of creation itself. Your blood is holy, for in it God’s will
lives.”   [SS Verlag: material for instruction of the Hitlerjugend]

ss

Some Thoughts About Venezuela, Socialism and Fellow-Travellers

I watched a BBC2 TV documentary about Venezuela. Something like Venezuela: Revolution in Ruins. I was of course au fait with the way in which other revolutions in history developed and, in many cases, degenerated: Russia/Soviet Union, China,
Cambodia/Kampuchea, Ethiopia, Cuba etc, even France (from 1789). However, I especially wanted to understand better why this country, Venezuela, rich in oil, huge in area, fertile, with a coastline on the Caribbean, a number of scenic islands and also a huge exclusive economic zone (EEZ) under the Law of the Sea, should be in such a condition that 3 million or more, 10% of its population, have now fled, that large numbers of its inhabitants are starving, or rummaging for food in trash cans or dumps, or are foraging wherever they can.

Why are basic items such as loo roll, bread, milk, even fruit (in a tropical country where many fruits grow wild) effectively unavailable? Why are basic medicines not available? Why is oil being imported when Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, exceeding even those of Saudi Arabia?

There is a natural human desire to make excuses for states espousing the overall values (superficially) espoused by the judging person. Thus we see pro-“socialist” people defending the Soviet record on human rights, living standards or generally, despite the early [Russian Civil] War Communism (under which strikers and others were shot, and anyone late for work could be imprisoned or sent to a labour camp), despite the Leninist and Stalinist repressions, the “GULAG Archipelago”, the Cheka/OGPU/GPU/NKVD/KGB etc. Thus we see people (British, other Europeans, North Americans, others) today defending Castro’s dictatorship in Cuba, despite the large number of persons shot, imprisoned or driven out under socialist rule.

The usual excuses for the failure of an old-style Marxist-Leninist socialist state are that:

  • foreign intervention ruined the economy and/or made the new regime more severely repressive than it otherwise would have been;
  • one or more individuals usurped or misused the power which properly belonged to “the people” and/or the “true” socialists;
  • existing private enterprises or wealthy persons either left the country (with their wealth) or stayed in the country and profiteered; in both cases, these parasitic classes of people sabotaged the socialist economy.

We can look at a few well-known examples to illustrate the syndrome.

Russia

Here is a typical example of a self-deluding socialist, one “Liz from Leeds”, heard via telephone on some daytime TV show (the black woman shown is the presenter):

Aaron Bastani and Ash Sarkar are supporters of Corbyn-Labour and part of a collective called Novara Media. I wrote about them —and others— in this article:

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/disordered-and-infantile-people/

In that clip, hereinabove, “Liz from Leeds” asserts that Soviet socialism failed because

  1. “14 foreign armies smashed it” and then
  2. “Stalin took over and imposed a state-capitalistic totalitarian state”.

(and, by the way, “revolutionary” talking-head Ash Sarkar, on the show as a guest, and who teaches Global Politics at a former polytechnic —!—, can be seen nodding in apparent agreement at this ahistorical nonsense!).

“Liz from Leeds” obviously has little or no real knowledge of what seems to be her main interest, because:

  • the Intervention by “Western” powers in Russia only started to occur in July 1918, about 8 months after the start of the Russian Civil War. By that date, the various factions in the Civil War had already been fighting for months;
  • the largest and most powerful foreign contingent, the Czechoslovak Legion, eventually had 40,000 soldiers (93% Czech, 7% Slovak) in Russia, but this was not a foreign army in the sense of a state-controlled force. Czechoslovakia only declared independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire in December 1918. The Czechs etc were in Russia because they had been fighting with the Russian Empire against the Central Powers (including Austria-Hungary) in the First World War.
  • most of the Allied troops were in or around a few ports: Archangel, Odessa, Vladivostok. The main British contingent was about 600-strong and confined to within a few miles of Archangel. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_intervention_in_the_Russian_Civil_War#Foreign_forces_throughout_Russia
  • all this in a country of vast extent (over 90x the size of the UK), encompassing 11 time zones, in which the Bolshevik forces numbered some 5.5 million (and the White or anti-Bolshevik forces about 2.4 million).
  • in other words, the Intervention was fundamentally a side-show in the Russian Civil War. The war started in late 1917, eight months before Intervention, and continued until late 1922, two years after almost all Allied forces had left in 1920 (though Japanese forces occupied small parts of the later-termed “Soviet Far East” until 1922, and part of Sakhalin Island until 1925); in fact, the larger contingents, such as the 23,000 Greek troops in and around Odessa (to protect Black Sea Greeks), were only there for three months;
  • while Intervention affected the development of the Soviet Union (established late 1922), it did so mainly in the psychological sense. In fact, there were still outbreaks of anti-Soviet fighting as late as 1934 (in Central Asia), but there was no foreign backing for that. It was purely local and regional.
  • As to personality-cult etc, Stalin expanded the slave-state aspects of the Soviet Union, but that already existed: Lenin and his fellow-Communists (Jews and part-Jews, mostly, such as Dzerzhinsky) set up that system as soon as they seized power (in one fairly small corner of the Empire, i.e. Petrograd and Moscow, initially): executions on a vast scale, prison camps, prisons, labour camps, secret police and so on;
  • the Soviet Union was “State Capitalism”, but that was not the creation of Stalin. It was there from the very start of Lenin’s rule;
  • even the system of “nomenklatura”, with its gradations of special rations (the best being the Kremlin Ration [Kremlyovsky Payok], which developed under Stalin into a whole sector of special-privilege shops, apartments, health services etc), started during the Civil War:  http://www.polithistory.ru/en/visit_us/view.php?id=1735
  • As to sabotage by parasitic classes, the Bolsheviks first destroyed (killed, exiled, imprisoned) the Imperial Family, then the aristocracy and the wealthy merchant class, but then moved on to those peasant families who were more affluent than average (the “kulaks“), then later to the peasantry as a whole (via Collectivization). Eventually new targets had to be found: a myriad of Diversionists, Deviationists, Trotskyists etc. “Enemies of the people”. By that time, most of the “former people” of pre-1918 had been exiled overseas, killed, imprisoned, or reduced to complete poverty in internal exile. Few existed in Soviet territory, outside camps and prisons, after the 1930s.

The “Liz from Leeds” school of cod-history is based on small nuggets of truth as well as large measures of wishful thinking. The Tsarist system was in need of reform; there were huge inequities; there was a foreign Intervention, though very limited, composed arguably of 12 mostly small forces rather than “14 armies” (and never intended to actually overthrow Bolshevism); there was the cult of personality (though it predated Stalin’s supremacy and was the child of Lenin, Trotsky/Bronstein and others in the early 1920s); there were wealthy or not-poor classes who could to some extent be described as parasitic (especially the absentee and rentier nobles). It is worth remembering that, pre-1914, the Russian economy was booming, and looked like overtaking Europe and North America before long.

However, the Soviet Union was badly flawed from its inception, and its evil seed was Marxism-Leninism. The idea that the political sphere (the State) should rule over both the economic sphere and the sphere of spirit, culture, education, medicine, was wrong in conception and was bound to lead to a greater or lesser disaster. The same mistaken conception brought low other lands (eg Cuba) and, our present interest, Venezuela.

In fact, the syndrome, in less savage or severe forms, also applies to the social-democratic regimes in Europe, such as the post-1945 British governments. Harold Wilson of the Labour Party blamed “speculators” and “the Gnomes of Zurich” (Swiss bankers) for the UK’s economic problems of the 1960s and mid-1970s, rather than nationalized industries and subsidies paid to industry and agriculture.

Below, a cartoon for “Liz from Leeds” and her colleagues in (?) the local social workers’ union or comprehensive school staff-room:

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Cuba

The same applies to Cuba: socio-economic inequities, leading to revolution. That revolution elevating personalities (Fidel, Che etc). State takeover of the economy, including all major industry and agriculture. Eventually, shortages, corruption (you don’t think that Castro lived like the poor mulatto saps he ruled, do you?), repression. Cuba even had ineffective foreign (US) interventions: the Bay of Pigs botched “invasion” by proxy, the sanctions regime imposed by the USA (termed “Blockade” by Castro); attempts to assassinate Castro in various absurd ways (eg poisoned ice-cream). As for scapegoating, the Cuban regime has blamed American policy, counter-revolutionary Cubans based in Miami, but also Cubans in Cuba and who wanted to leave in the 1960s and 1970s, which people were called gusanos (“worms”).

The Cuban economy was kept afloat by Soviet subsidy (direct subsidy and also via preferential pricing of Cuban agricultural exports to the Soviet Union) until the early 1990s. Cuba then had to introduce a free-market element to the economy, in order to prevent complete collapse.

Venezuela

So we return to Venezuela. Again, socio-economic inequities led to demands for reform. Eventually, a revolution by election happened, in 1998, in this case led by an Army general, Hugo Chavez. I have no idea what Chavez was like as a general (though judging by his botched first coup d’etat, in 1992, not very effective), but as a political leader I regard him as having been a blundering clown, sometimes well-meaning, genial, friendly, sometimes sinister and frightening. In fact, with his televized clowning, inability to master facts, and populist emoting, he was reminiscent of a certain British politician, one who is superficially on another ideological page— Boris Johnson.

As the TV documentary I saw noted, Venezuela’s oil wealth bankrolled the social programmes which improved the lot of many of the poorer Venezuelans. Chavez was voted into power by 56% of the population, mostly the poor and some of the “disenchanted middle class”.

No attempt was made to diversify the economy. When oil prices fell, Venezuela went into a spiral. The tensions within the country worsened, many left (the wealthy by air to the USA and other countries, the middleclass nouveaux pauvres and the real/always-been poor by car or on foot to neighbouring countries).

The US sanctions on Venezuela have enabled the Venezuelan government, now under Maduro, to claim, however implausibly, that those sanctions largely caused the economic collapse.

Chavez expropriated and redistributed land, again with “good intentions”, but the net result has been both a falling-off in food production and a great fall in dollar-exports, which in turn restricted the supply of foreign imports of food (and other goods).

Chavez blamed “speculators and hoarders” for the problems, imposed price controls, replaced private supermarkets by a chain of 16,000 State shops and supermarkets, which however now have almost bare shelves. Chavez also nationalized large food producers. The result has been a breakdown in food supply. Children are starving, adults and children alike scavenge in the trash for anything to eat. The Roman Catholic Church has asked those who discard any food waste to label it so that people can rummage in the rubbish dumps and trash cans for it. Meanwhile, the government set up 6,000 soup kitchens.

Thoughts

I have never been to Venezuela (nor any part of Latin America south of Panama), and I have only known one person who has visited the country (a girlfriend who attended a week-long international conference in Caracas in the 1980s). My views are therefore taken from what I have read and what I have watched on TV.

It is clear to me that Venezuela’s problems are, at root, political. There was always poverty there, but the cure has been worse than the illness. Chavez was a political clown, who had no idea how to run a government, let alone an economy, but who decided, amid clowning and behaving like a public entertainer, to take the reins of the economy firmly in his own hands. He took over the oil industry, agriculture, food production and distribution, imports and exports generally, even banking. He tried to run industries himself or via equally-inept cronies.

The result has been disastrous. Thousands and quite possibly millions may have died from lack of food and medicine, as well as via militarized repression (the troops always look fit and well-fed…). To my mind, those responsible for this politico-economic disaster could not complain were they to be taken out and shot. Chavez himself died a few years ago; his daughter is apparently one of the wealthiest women in the world. Before people start praising Chavez, they might start to ask where those hundreds of millions of dollars came from.

What Chavez should have done would have been to

  • regulate, tax, but not operate businesses;
  • by all means nationalize oil production, as a national strategic asset, but employ only experts experienced in upstream and downstream oil to operate it;
  • work with landowners (existing landowners and new entrants) to maximize and diversify domestic food production; set a cap on acreage held by any one family;
  • revalue the currency;
  • create social programmes from taxes raised, not directly from oil revenues.

All the same, there are those in British political life who praised Chavez: Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn, to name the two most prominent. They have been quiet about Venezuela for a while now, as that country slides into chaos, but some of their colleagues still beat the drum. Here is Chris Williamson MP (whom I am loath to impliedly criticize, because he is pro-animal welfare, and used to retweet me on Twitter occasionally; and because the Jew-Zionists hate him, but truth conquers all):

(in fact, the Venezuelan government has only hit 24% of its housing target, though the programme itself may be OK in principle).

It seems to me that the only thing to do in Venezuela is to rip up the Chavez-Maduro system and begin ad novum. That means a different government, an all-out war on crime, corruption and disorder, a private-enterprise economy (except for oil production), a clear and effective tax system, an appeal for all Venezuelans now overseas to return and to help rebuild. Also, the government has lost control of the borders of the State and has lost control of the streets. Gangs are rampant. Firing squads may be necessary. An effective border force must be set up. Above all, consumer goods and/or including food must be prioritized, urgently. In this case, butter before guns, up to a point at least.

Racial Aspects

Racial aspects are important. Cuba was ruled by Spanish-descended Europeans and to some extent also mestizos, until Castro drove most of them to the USA or elsewhere. Now Cuba has a far higher percentage of blacks than it had in 1959. Venezuela is about 54% mestizo, only 43% white (and that figure is out of date; there must be far fewer white people now).

Could It Happen Elsewhere?

Never say never. Russia was booming only four or five years before it fell into civil war and despair under Lenin. Cuba, though corrupt and unequal, was in a far better state in the 1940s and 1950s (even though plagued by the Jewish gangster Meyer Lansky etc) than it is now. From what I have seen on TV, much of Havana seems to be just falling apart, literally. As to Europe, who knows? Reasonably-civilized Yugoslavia fell into civil war and bloody chaos only 25 years ago.

Now that Europe has been invaded by untermenschen, who are breeding, who knows what lies ahead? Britain is increasingly non-white, while the real British (white) population is, in my view at least, less and less cultured. You only have to look at those who are now MPs. Many MPs, and not only Labour Party ones, would not have been seen in the Palace of Westminster before the 1990s, unless working as cleaners or office staff.

As to economy, we have seen that Corbyn-Labour (yes, well-meaning, as were many radicals and revolutionaries prior to taking power) has praised Castro, Chavez, even Lenin and Trotsky! British Labour Party policy may not go as far as that which Labour leaders have praised in other lands, but never say never…

Notes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuela

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Ch%C3%A1vez

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitism_in_Venezuela

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Ch%C3%A1vez#Political_ideology

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/disordered-and-infantile-people/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Civil_War

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_intervention_in_the_Russian_Civil_War

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czechoslovak_Legion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Dzerzhinsky

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_threefolding

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Economic_Policy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Economic_Policy#Disagreements_in_leadership

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Economic_Policy#Influence

19 January 2019, A Few Further Thoughts

Listening again to painfully naive “Liz from Leeds”, it occurs to me that her definition of “Communism” could apply to almost any self-describing political movement, as well as to, say, Christianity. In fact, Valentin Tomberg [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentin_Tomberg], whose mother and pet dog were both killed (tied to a tree and shot) by those lovely kind Communists after the Bolshevik Revolution, made the point in one of his works that it was the small “Christian” element in Communism that made people willing to support it and struggle for it.

“Communism” as defined by “Liz from Leeds” is the sort of platitudinous wishful thought that might be heard on Radio 4’s Thought For The Day. Stalin once cut short a discussion (which must have been unwittingly hilarious) among his mostly useless Politburo members, as to what “Socialism” (the earlier stage, in Marxist theory) was, by saying “I’ll define Socialism for you— it’s where the Red Army halts its trucks!”

21 January 2019: a few more thoughts

Some reading the above article may imagine that my being opposed to fossilized 20thC socialism must mean that I am a free-market anti-communist and nothing more. Not so. My views favour policies which are social, rather than socialist. For me, economic enterprises must be regulated and taxed (and that is the business of government), but not directly run by the State. By the same token, the world of business must not interfere with the organs of the State, must not buy or own politicians or civil servants.

29 January 2019

It occurs to me that Che Guevara was at least to some extent in the real world, unlike most of those who admire him…

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Reminiscent of Jack London, who said that

“I am a socialist, but a white man first.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_London

Update, 2 February 2019

Andrew Neil on BBC2 This Week nails Ken Livingstone to the mast…

and a further comment

Update, 4 February 2019

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6664121/How-Venezuelas-children-paying-terrible-price-countrys-failed-socialist-experiment.html

Update, 5 February 2019

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6667889/Rich-Kids-Venezuela-including-Socialist-leader-Hugo-Chavezs-daughter-flaunt-wealth.html

Update, 12 February 2019

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6696099/Venezuelas-children-starve-Maduro-refuses-let-aid.html

Below, an interview with Venezuelan quasi-dictator Maduro. While he is probably right to say that the USA would like to have a firmer superpower grip on Venezuela, Maduro cannot explain Venezuela’s fall into chaotic poverty by reference to that American wish or strategy. He’s an idiot…

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/03/02/venezuelans-fight-scraps-food-lifesaving-medicines/?playlist=structure%3Anews%2Fworld-news

Update re. “Mark Lewis Lawyer”— Questions Are Raised…

Preamble

The Jew-Zionist solicitor, Mark Lewis, was recently found guilty at a Disciplinary Tribunal on several charges brought by the Solicitors’ Regulation Agency. My blog has carried the following articles about him and about some of his egregious behaviour, which behaviour has been manifested for a number of years, certainly since 2013:

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/mark-lewis-lawyer-tries-to-have-part-of-the-case-against-him-thrown-out/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/12/11/mark-lewis-lawyer-disciplinary-case-now-updated-to-11-december-2018/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/more-details-about-mark-lewis-lawyer-and-his-abusive-social-media-presence/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/the-latest-revelations-about-zionist-supposed-top-lawyer-mark-lewis/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/self-publicizing-supposed-top-lawyer-mark-lewis-full-transcript-of-disciplinary-hearing-judgment-now-released-by-tribunal/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/12/22/mark-lewis-lawyer-latest-update/

The Tribunal Judgment

Lewis and his partner/carer Mandy Blumenthal (Lewis has also referred to her, in a British TV interview, as his “wife”), “made aliyah”, i.e. emigrated from the UK to Israel, in late 2018, after he had been found guilty by the Disciplinary Tribunal. At that hearing, Lewis’s Counsel told the Tribunal that Lewis “had no assets” except for his clothes, a mobility scooter and a private pension [said to be worth £70 a week]. Lewis had an income (salary, payable only until March 2019 when his notice period expires) of £10,000 (pre-tax, per month), and was also in receipt of Disability Living Allowance benefit, which he was exchanging (with Motability) for a car.

According to the published judgment of the Tribunal, the financial penalty imposed upon Lewis, the relevant part of which was a fine of only £2,500, was reduced from £7,500 precisely because of his impecuniosity. He was said to have no real property and to be living in rented property in London.

The published judgment of the Tribunal:

http://www.solicitorstribunal.org.uk/sites/default/files-sdt/11856.2018.Lewis_.pdf

Lewis’s Podcast Interview from Israel

https://www.patreon.com/posts/23894755

In this very recent podcast, Lewis was interviewed from his location in Eilat, the Israeli resort on the Gulf of Aqaba. Why is this relevant? Well, in an interview of 2011 with the London Evening Standard, Lewis said this:

“I was devastated,” he says. “I’d been turned down for so many jobs, I’m thinking to myself, I can’t go on any more, you can only get so many knockbacks. I’m giving in and going to my flat in Israel and retire in Eilat.”

In the recent podcast, Lewis goes on to say that, while he has no intention of applying for the Bar of Israel (because of his poor Hebrew), he may be servicing “clients” which he claims he still has in the UK; he even implies that he may be making (as solicitor-advocate, presumably) court appearances in English courts! Well, that would not at present be possible, unless he has been approved by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority as a sole practitioner (which he did not say he has been), or unless Lewis acts as a member of a law firm in England (which I doubt that he is or will be). Otherwise, Lewis would only be able to deal with legal matters the substance of which is outside the UK. He certainly could not appear in English courts.

In the podcast, Lewis talks about how he can work from Israel on UK work, using computers etc, and about how “there are planes to get you to court appearances”! Once again playing the “big shot”, this time once more the “top lawyer” who flies in to London or wherever else in order to appear in court on some important case. Hardy ha ha…big talk from someone whose own Counsel said at the Disciplinary Tribunal hearing that Lewis should not be fined much because “he has no assets” (except for his clothes and a mobility scooter!)…and whose recent flight to Israel was gratis, courtesy of the Israeli emigration authorities.

Incidentally, the podcast interviewer introduced Lewis as “one of England’s most distinguished lawyers”! Is there any limit to “their” lies and gall?!

Implications

So in 2011, Lewis owned a flat in Eilat, Israel…Does he still own one there? If so, he may have deliberately misled the Disciplinary Tribunal. Of course, it may be that he does not now own property in Israel and therefore did not mislead the Tribunal. He may simply have been in Eilat on holiday, staying in rented property or in hotel accommodation. It does raise questions, though…

Notes

The Evening Standard interview:

https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/mark-lewis-my-ms-consultant-told-me-not-to-do-anything-stressful-so-i-went-after-murdochs-phone-6370688.html

Update, 13 January 2019

See tweet below: are Lewis and Mandy Blumenthal already on the way back??

Update, 29 January 2019

Well, it appears that the egregious Lewis has now joined what appears to be a firm of Jewish or mostly Jewish lawyers based in London. I thought that he and his “partner”/”carer”, Mandy Blumenthal, were fleeing British “antisemitism”? Lewis made a big fuss about going to live in Israel, only a month or so ago!

So…the UK is OK as a place to make money for him while he lives in Israel? Or is he actually back in UK? If so, full-time or part-time (or, er, not at all…)?

https://www.patronlaw.co.uk/insights/news/

https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/writers/patron-law/

The firm in question seems to operate from 2A, Norland Place, London W.11. Norland Place is a small cobbled mews side-street in Notting Hill, as seen in the estate agency photos below (and on Google Earth).

http://frostmeadowcroft.com/admin/property/373_Norland_Place_W11,_1,2,3_-_SALES_Individuals.pdf?iframe=true&width=70%&height=100%

Other companies and/or firms appear to have been registered at 2A Norland Place in the past few years:

https://suite.endole.co.uk/explorer/postcode/w11-4qg

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09698940/filing-history

https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/planning/searches/details.aspx?adv=1&caseyear=13&decisionyear=2013&decisionmonth=12&batch=100&sapp=date%7Cdesc&pgdec=3&sapl=date%7Casc&pgplimg=3&sdec=ward%7Casc&pgapl=5&id=PP/17/03419&cn=210678+Dry+Architects+2a+Norland+Place+London+&type=application&tab=tabs-planning-1

http://www.brynlucas.com/contact/4592686120

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/notice/2649116

Where is Lewis resident?

According to Companies House, Mark Lewis was appointed a director of Patron Law Ltd on 23 January 2019. According to the 2-page pdf document attached to the filing document, Lewis gave his “Country/State where usually resident” as “United Kingdom”.

So did Lewis lie to the public and Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal in giving his (then upcoming) residence and/or domicile as “Israel”? Or has he made a false declaration to Companies House in stating that his “Country/State where usually resident” is the UK? Surely they cannot both be true?

Update, 30 January 2019

Update, 21 February 2019

Lewis has apparently been retained by two minor UK Jewish “celebrities” and is threatening to sue on their behalf somewhere around 70 people, all or almost all Corbyn-Labour supporters on Twitter. As in the notorious McAlpine case (with which Lewis was not involved), Lewis is demanding that those tweeted by him supply their real names and contact details as a preliminary to “settlement” (surrender) or legal action.

“@Rattus2384” (aka @grubstreetsteve) is in fact Stephen Applebaum, a prolific Twitter user (troll) from North London, who is a member or supporter of the “Campaign Against AntiSemitism” (CAA), as is Lewis. Applebaum’s tweet puffs Lewis to absurdity. He fails to mention that Lewis’s own Counsel at the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal a few months ago asked for Lewis to be let off lightly because Lewis “has no assets except for his clothes and a mobility scooter”!

“The UK’s most successful defamation lawyer”? Ha ha!

Update, 3 March 2019

Lewis pretending that his (honorary) “Doctorate in Law” was not given to him by his old poly just for being briefly sort-of “famous”…

Some of Lewis’s Tweets, Part of the Recent Case Against Him

170217-lewis-die-e1533384703639

Update, 4 March 2019

Meanwhile, some people [see the Jewish Chronicle link, below] find it hard to let go of the laughable illusion that Lewis is a “top lawyer” (in this case, “high profile lawyer”), despite the fact that “his employment was terminated” by his last three (if not four) employers (in acrimonious circumstances in at least two of the cases), despite the fact that Lewis was described by his own Counsel at the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal (which found him guilty of professional misconduct) as someone who “has no assets” except “his clothes and a mobility scooter“! Lewis also has effectively no income now, since his £7,000 net monthly salary from his last employers, Seddon’s, is cut off this month (the last month of his notice period).

Lewis, now resident in Israel but connected with a small law firm in London, has however been instructed to pursue tweeters on behalf of two unpleasant Jewesses also prominent on Twitter. I shall watch the progress of the actions (if proceedings are ever actually issued) with interest.

https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/rachel-riley-instructs-mark-lewis-to-pursue-libel-claim-against-corbyn-staffer-laura-murray-1.480971

Update, 7 March 2019

Below, another testimonial for the “top defamation lawyer”, Mark Lewis! Oh, no, wait…

Seems that some Twitter Zionists and others have not quite got the news, and think that “Mark Lewis Lawyer” is something more than a poisonous and near-insolvent bully impotently tweeting and threatening from his wheelchair or mobility scooter in Israel! Others, however, seem to be better informed…

I think that Karma is already having its effects on Lewis…

Update, 12 March 2019

The Jewish Chronicle hedges its bets now, referring to Lewis merely as “high profile lawyer”, no longer “top defamation lawyer” etc. The bastard’s £7,000 (net) a month from his former employer, Seddons, expires this month, so he may soon be feeling the pinch.

https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/rachel-riley-and-tracey-ann-oberman-reverend-and-the-makers-1.481351

Disordered and Infantile People

I am moved to write this by a couple of stimuli. First of all by a UK Labour Party National Executive Committee delegate (I think on the NEC as “youth” representative) to some recent conference in Cuba, and who said something like how wonderful it was to be in a country which showed how real socialism worked.

The second impetus came from an interview I heard on BBC World Service radio: an interview with an “artist” of whom I had never heard, called Tania Bruguera. Apparently, her father had been a Cuban diplomat and politician, and had actually handed her over aged 7 (or maybe I misheard and it was 17) to the security police with the statement that she had said anti-“Fidel” things and that the security police should do with her what they liked. She now says that that was a result of the Cuban system of selfish save-your-own-neck denunciation (rather than her own father being a complete shit, which is what she probably really thinks).

I looked up her “art” (“installations”, “performance art” etc). Unimpressed. To me, it looks like talentless rubbish. Having said that, she has the right to do it, which right is not accepted in Cuba. She is allowed to travel fairly freely. These days, she gets hassled and threatened, at times arrested, though not simply shot or chucked into a concentration camp or prison, which is what might have happened in the 1960s or 1970s.

There is the nagging feeling that Corbyn and many around him actually view states such as Cuba, 1980s Nicaragua, or even the Venezuela of recent years as success stories. I have previously blogged about Corbyn’s almost fossilized politics and policies, as well as his friendly or supportive attitude towards Cuba:

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/castro-and-cuba/

As regular readers of this blog will know, I am not totally hostile to Corbyn and at least some of his supporters (vis a vis the misnamed “Conservatives”), inasmuch as the Corbynists want to create a more equitable society in the UK, want to control or remove the Jewish-Zionist influence which has been so pervasive since about 1989, want people to have decent health, housing, social security etc. The devil, however, is in the detail.

The intellectual inconsistency of many of the Corbynists is shown by the fact that while they oppose Jewish exploitation of and behaviour toward the Palestinian Arabs, they ignore the same pattern when Jews exploit British, German or French (or Russian!) people; they also often still unthinkingly parrot “holocaust” propaganda. Corbyn and John McDonnell are themselves prime examples.

Another example: Most people accept that, in any market economy, more labour available means lower unit labour cost. Many of the Corbyn-Labour people disagree. They say that mass immigration makes no real difference to pay, even at the lower levels. Employers are to blame for exploiting employees and government is to blame for not simply setting a high minimum pay level. Faced with that kind of economic illiteracy, one tends to shake head and refuse to argue. Those people, though, genuinely think that all that has to be done for paradise to descend is for the State to lay down and enforce pay levels and, indeed, price levels.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman said, many years ago, that one can have a welfare state, and one can have open borders (and consequent mass immigration), but one cannot have both. When will Labour MPs and members wake up to this?

While there is room for relatively minor tinkering with pay and prices (minimum pay, enforced cheap prices in targeted areas such as public transport etc, even Basic Income —which I favour—), for the State to overwhelm the economic sphere is to invite the economic paralysis that caused even Cuba (and, famously, 1980s China) to introduce quasi-free market reforms, as indeed did Lenin himself in the Soviet Union, via his New Economic Policy of the 1920s. Complete State control of the economy leads to shortages or even economic collapse, as we see in Venezuela. I do not see much understanding of these truths in Corbyn or McDonnell.

It is in relation to mass immigration that we see the madness most obviously. In a sense, this is unsurprising. Polls have shown for some years that Labour is mainly voted for by the “blacks and browns”, in the sense that the one demographic which is very pro-Labour is that of the ethnic minorities (except the Jews, who hate Corbyn’s anti-Zionist tendencies).

I should not let anyone reading this go away under the misapprehension that I “prefer” the Conservatives to Labour. I oppose both main System parties, and Labour is at least (in parts, in some senses) anti-Zionist now. I also despise what the Conservatives have done since 2010 to trash society. However, anyone who thinks that Labour is a real alternative need only look at the total deadheads around Corbyn. Look at Diane Abbott, Dawn Butler (both of whom might well be Cabinet ministers under a Corbyn prime ministership!), or the recently disgraced MPs Kate Osamor and Fiona Onasanya (the latter will almost certainly be in prison soon). Not only blacks, by the way: Angela Rayner, for example, would probably be a Cabinet minister under a Corbyn government. Words start to fail…

I favour Labour over Conservative not because I imagine that Labour’s idiots are actually able to operate a government, but because

  • Corbyn and many of his supporters are now fighting directly against Zionism here in the UK, not merely in the Middle East; and
  • a weak government under Corbyn can lay the ground for social nationalism.

Notes

The title of this blog post of course refers back to the 1920 Leninist pamphlet usually referred to as Left-Wing Communism, An Infantile Disorder [Детская болезнь “левизны” в коммунизме], perhaps more accurately translated as The Children’s Illness, “Leftism”, in Communism. However, in using the words “infantile” and “disordered” to refer to some aspects of “Corbynism”, or some people in Corbyn-Labour, I do so advisedly…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tania_Bruguera

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/sep/26/tania-bruguera-interview-cuba-tate-modern-turbine-hall

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/dec/06/cuba-artists-tania-bruguera-arrest-crackdown-decree-349

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/12/02/troop-cartload-barrel-or-family/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/deadhead-mps-an-occasional-series-the-fiona-onasanya-story/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Economic_Policy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Economic_Policy#Disagreements_in_leadership

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Economic_Policy#Influence

Further Thought, 2 January 2019

I thought to include a few examples. Here’s one. Stupid enough to state on UK TV that she is “literally a Communist”! Hardy ha ha…but note that her absurd statement did not make her a pariah, despite the hugely bloodstained history of Communism/Socialism. Now what if she had said that she was “literally a National Socialist”? Hm…Ash Sarkar’s statement did not prevent her from continuing to write for major newspapers occasionally, and also to appear on TV from time to time. The Jewish influence over the mass media is right in front of us, and in the case of TV, “literally”!

Check out her Twitter profile!

“Ash Sarkar

@AyoCaesar

Senior Editor . Literature bore. Anarcho-fabulous. Muslim. THFC. Walks like a supermodel. Fucks like a champion. Luxury communism now!

Here is her Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ash_Sarkar which, unbelievably, states that she “lectures in global politics at Anglia Ruskin University” [former Anglia Polytechnic].

Wikipedia adds that “Sarkar’s great-great-aunt, Pritilata Waddedar, was a Bengali nationalist and an active participant in armed struggle against the British Empire in 1930s BengalHer grandmother is a hospital carer…Her mother is a social worker who was an anti-racist and trade union activist in the 1970s and 1980s. Sarkar’s mother helped “organise marches…

“The Times has described her as “Britain’s loudest Corbynista“…and Dazed magazine said she is one of “the voices resetting the political agenda in the UK”.” [Wikipedia]

Basically, an enemy of the British people.

and take a look, or rather listen, to one “Liz from Leeds”, whose incredibly naive and just plain wrong (inaccurate, ahistorical) idea of, inter alia, “why Soviet socialism failed” is actually unintentionally funny. “Novara Media” (the collective of Corbyn supporters Ash Sarkar, Aaron Bastani etc) tweeting that “Liz from Leeds” was correct! [the black woman shown is the TV show presenter]

Hey, “Liz from Leeds”! If you ever read this, I saw the cartoon below and thought of you!

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As for Ash Sarkar, she is not universally respected, even on Twitter! See below…

Update, 4 January 2019

More criticism via Twitter…

and here is another idiot, Hevreziya-Something, attempting to sound like a real “Communist” (who thinks that he –sounds more like she, but apparently not– can be “Anarchist” and –a male–“Feminist”, and a “Populist” etc all at the same time!…oh, and an economist…once he has finished school, that is, though he claims to have been commenting for years; age does not preclude political infantilism, I suppose)

he offers political advice in the tweet below, which made me laugh out loud (the bit about a General Strike in UK and USA, but the first tweet is also amusingly naive):

More?

Well, I think that I shall draw a veil over that particular “Communist/Anarchist/Populist” now! He/she probably has to go and wash its hair or something…

The trouble is that there are literally thousands of people, maybe hundreds of thousands, quite as stupid. Most support Labour. Many, such as Ash Sarkar and the Hevreziya-someone tweeter, above, are of non-European origin, but there are many others, such as the Englishwoman tweeting below, calling herself “Countess Helen Nonny Nay” [since this blog post was written, altered to Cringing Peasant Helen Nonny Nay], who thinks that white British families who want a better life should just “fuck off” as the UK welcomes the dregs of Africa and Asia to our shores…

Actually, the sad thing is that some of these people have their hearts sort-of in the right place in some respects— animal welfare, a better society, anti-Jew-Zionism (though most are still brainwashed by the “holocaust” scam/myth). The white Northern European ones would support social-nationalism were they not so indoctrinated and silly.

Update, 6 January 2019

Another idiot, Laurie Penny, who was at one time on TV occasionally (like Owen Jones), until even msm people realized that (like Owen Jones) she is pretty much a one-trick pony…

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/20/robots-racist-sexist-people-machines-ai-language

and

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/11/discriminate-conservatives-james-damore-suing-google-intolerance

and

https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/dec/03/willy-wonka-to-wind-in-the-willows-how-childrens-books-reveal-inequality

Do these people, the Owen Jones’s, the Laurie Penny’s etc, realize that their intolerance (yes, their intolerance) might one day not only bring society (the Social Contract) crashing down, but bring down the skies on their own little worlds? I doubt it.

czbdrdvwgaa_rt3

but then, the resistance…

bq-5c190938a8a72.png

spetsnaz

Marxism-Leninism as a political force was destroyed or ebbed away to nothing by 1989 and a host of (other) devils have rushed in to fill the vacuum…

dfbzlnnwaaal3ei

In the end, a complete cleansing of UK (and world) society will have to take place.

Further Update, 6 January 2019

I happened to see the photo below, a kind of “family portrait”: Ash Sarkar and Aaron Bastani in what is perhaps a room designed with reference to either “luxury Communism” or tasteless tat. You decide…

dwkvd5wx4aievjf

Below, Andrew Neil nails Ken Livingstone on Venezuela…

Not that everything said by Ash Sarkar (or Aaron Bastani) is wrong. This is right (because grounded in reality, not incorrect theory):

What Ash Sarkar and her ilk cannot accept, if only because it might imply that they themselves should clear out of the UK, is that mass immigration is, ultimately, “white genocide” by replacement of real British (i.e. white) people by blacks, browns and others.

Here we see some reaction to Ash Sarkar’s and Owen Jones’s doormatting for the Jewish lobby…

A Few More Thoughts about Corbyn, Labour, and Their Prospects

I have blogged previously about Corbyn, Labour etc. About Corbyn, I have not much changed my view, which is that

  • Corbyn is someone with an almost pathetic level of formal (and also, judging from his pronouncements, informal) education, someone with what at least appears to be a poor knowledge-base even in respect of those areas where he seems to think himself knowledgeable (eg the 1930s, Fascism, National Socialism, Marxism, Mosley, the Second World War and so on);
  • Corbyn was never expected to be more than a back-bench Labour MP and (in the view of many) an infantile crypto-Communist nuisance (perhaps more “anarcho-Communist”), and who was more likely to appear in the now-all-but-defunct pages of Militant (now, The Socialist), Tribune, Lobster or Private Eye than in the commentary columns of the more serious newspapers;
  • Corbyn’s election as Labour leader had something supernatural about it, in that he was only able to get the necessary 35 nominations to stand in the contest because he was nominated by a number of MPs who had no intention of voting for him!
  • Corbyn’s nomination was (to use the Leninist metaphor) the spark that created a raging conflagration in Labour;
  • Corbyn has, on the one hand, energized Labour’s activist base and “created” a party of between 500,000-600,000 members (though pre-2015 Labour did have a total of about 550,000 full members, affiliated members and registered supporters, of which 147,000 were full members); on the other hand, there is no evidence that Corbyn-Labour has solid support in the country as a whole;
  • The Jewish-Zionist element has tried to unseat Corbyn several times, by holding a second leadership election, as well as by a relentless msm and social media campaign;
  • As I predicted throughout would happen, Corbyn saw off all challenges despite his being a poor leader (indeed, scarcely a leader at all) and despite the relentless Jew-Zionist assault on his leadership; this again indicates the supernatural nature of, not Corbyn himself, but his placement as Labour leader. Corbyn is there for a reason;
  • Despite his strange fuzzy “sort-of-Marxist” or almost anarcho-syndicalist ideology (as it seems to me), Corbyn is actually not as alien a figure to many voters as are or were the “entitled” trustafarians David Cameron-Levita, George Osborne (both part-Jew, in fact) and Nick Clegg, with their cosmopolitan sheen of wealth, easy road to fame, inherited money and foreign origins. Corbyn is in fact, as I have said before, a recognizable English/British type, with his Lenin-meets-engine-driver caps, his vegetable-growing allotment, his non-Oxbridge bicycling etc. At any point from the 1920s or even the Edwardian age to the present day, such a figure might be encountered on, indeed, local allotments, in local Labour constituency parties, at the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ commemoration, the Durham Miners’ Gala, at steam fairs or on heritage railway lines, not forgetting marches and demonstrations in solidarity with this or that obscure foreign cause.

I have thought for some time, certainly since 2015, that voters in England (and maybe Wales, and even Scotland) today are voting (if at all) against and not for this or that party. I now see more mainstream commentators taking up that baton. Someone on the BBC World Service radio made the same point in the past week.

The Jew-Zionist lobby has thrown everything at Corbyn from “antisemitism” (which may even have rebounded to his advantage!) to his silly pro-IRA linkage in the 1970s and 1980s. Nothing has worked. Labour has not overtaken the Conservative Party by much (if at all) but has not collapsed in the opinion polls either. Likewise, the shambolic performance of the Conservative Party in government has not collapsed the Conservatives in the polls. To my mind, that is because there are huge numbers who are going to vote against parties rather than for them. That means tactical voting to exclude the most disliked party in any given constituency.

To me, it is telling that, when asked to give a thumbs-up or down re Corbyn as PM, he scores only about 25%; Theresa May scores slightly better, maybe 35%, but “Don’t Know” beats both of them at about 40%.

The odds must favour a hung Parliament. Neither main System party is now in a position to deliver a killer blow, though much depends on whether the SNP vote continues to decline or whether it holds up enough to maintain a serious voting bloc. It looks as if the SNP will hold on to at least 30 MPs, maybe more.

What is holding Labour back more than anything is the corona of “deadhead” MPs (many, though by no means all, black or brown) around Corbyn. The “Diane Abbott effect” has been seen in spades recently, with the Fiona Onasanya and Kate Osamor scandals.

In the end, I think that Corbyn has a good chance of being the next Prime Minister, though at the head of a minority government, so long as the next general election occurs before boundary changes kick in in 2022.

Notes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Corbyn

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Labour_Party_(UK)_leadership_election

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-syndicalism

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/deadhead-mps-an-occasional-series-the-fiona-onasanya-story/

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2018/12/02/troop-cartload-barrel-or-family/