The hounding of Kate Hoey MP

A Principled Independence Campaigner under attack from her own party.

Kate Hoey gave us an inspirational speech at our CIB rally of 2016, a little more than a month before the referendum  So it is sad to report that her Vauxhall constituency Labour party passed a vote of no confidence and wants the Labour party to withdraw the whip from her. Forty five party members out of a branch membership of 2,300 turned up for the meeting and only three abstained from the vote. The other forty two voted in favour.

Kate told the Independent “ Not a surprise – my local party activists are solid EU remainers, I will always put my country before my party and helping my constituents is a priority . After 29 years as an MP I am quite relaxed about the vote and it won’t influence me in any way how I vote in the future”.

She was one of four Labour MPs to vote with Theresa May’s government on a crucial vote that resulted in the prime minister narrowly avoiding defeat. She was also one of the 42 Labour MPs who actually voted in support of Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

Kate will no doubt be looking ahead with her usual firmness and vigour to deliver what people voted for in the referendum. We also owe her a considerable debt for deliverance from one of the nastier projects of the European Union some twenty years ago.

A principled independence campaigner for all her political life, Kate is particularly remembered for her part in frustrating the attempted introduction of the uniform EU legal code Corpus Juris in 1998 which would have abolished long-held British rights such as jury trial and habeas corpus. Kate was a Home Office Minister at the time and promised to veto it. Labour MEPs  supported the new legal system in Strasbourg, Tony Blair did not have the stomach to disown Kate publicly but she was later moved to Sport. Neither did Blair endorse Pauline Green MEP (Labour) the leader of the European Socialists who contrived a motion in the EU Parliament to “welcome” this appalling denial of British freedoms*, a motion which was also supported by Conservative MEPs, contrary to the stated policy of their own party.

We hear that another principled Labour supporter of independence and democracy, FRANK FIELD MP is facing similar action from his constituency party.

All friends of freedom will wish them well.

* For the full background to this vital and still continuing threat, please see Torquil Dick Erikson’s articles at savebritishjustice.wordpress.com . The European Arrest Warrant (EAW), so beloved of Mrs May, is an offshoot of this alien philosophy, achieved by a totally unjustified “Mutual Recognition ” amongst the very different legal systems used in EU states, in particular as between our system, derived from Magna Carta and the systems used on the continent, largely derived from the Inquisition via Napoleon.

Corbyn – misled and misleading

This letter from our Chairman appeared in the Derby Telegraph on Friday 2nd March

Sir,

MR CORBYN IS MISLED & MISLEADING

EU documents are rarely an easy read, so very few people bother to read them. Even politicians tend to rely on commentators or journalists, who also don’t read them, but who will tell people what they want to hear. Mr. Corbyn appears to be amongst the non-readers. Like many MPs, he seems to believe that the EU Customs Union facilitates swift movement of goods through border controls. It has very little to do with that and is mainly concerned with harmonising tariffs.

Turkey has an agreement with the EU Customs Union yet the crossing point to Bulgaria at Kapikule is notorious for delays. Lorries can be stuck there for days at a time. As studying EU documents is so boring for readers as well as for Mr Corbyn, I refer to another part of his recent speech.

“A Mini will cross the channel three times in a 2000 mile journey before the finished car rolls off the production line. Starting in Oxford, it will be shipped to France to be fitted for key components before being brought back to BMW’s Ham’s Hall plant in Warwickshire where it is drilled and milled into shape. Once this process is complete, the Mini will be shipped to Munich to be fitted with its engine before ending its journey in the Mini plant in Oxford for its final assembly…”

This statement is pure fantasy. Assembly is carried out at the BMW plant in Oxford. The Swindon plant produces body pressings and sub assemblies and the Ham’s Hall plant near Birmingham has made the engines since 2006.

Most of BMW’s aluminium block and head castings are made at Landshut near Munich and some of the machining is done at Steyr in Austria where other components for the Mini are also made. Since 2013 most of the machining and main assembly of the Mini’s engines is done at Ham’s Hall. The complete engines are mated with front suspension and steering units which are fitted to the cars as sub assemblies in the Oxford plant.

Mr Corbyn’s ignorance of the process of motor manufacture with its supply chain of components brought together and cars assembled in one plant is perhaps excusable in a man who has no industrial experience. But where did he get his strange ideas from? The answer is the media. This part of his speech may have been lifted from an Evening Standard article from July 2017 which, in its turn, may have been lifted from a Guardian article of March 2017.

Given his reputation for getting back to the roots of the Labour party, Mr. Corbyn could have consulted an engineer trade unionist who would have put him straight and stopped him making such an ass of himself. Yet the listening media took him seriously and did not realise it was being fed rubbish. So perhaps it doesn’t matter. People may draw their own conclusions about the reliability of the rest of his speech.

Yours faithfully,

Edward Spalton

Photo by Chatham House, London

Customs Union confusion – yet again

Jeremy Corbyn gave a speech about Brexit in Coventry today. He was 100% correct in his observations about the Government’s progress (or lack of it) :- “They can’t agree amongst themselves about what their priorities are or what future they want for Britain after Brexit….. The truth is we really don’t know much more about where they’re actually heading in these talks.

On the other hand, he has fallen into the trap into which a number of other politicians have fallen – he fails to understand what a customs union actually is.  He said, “During the transition period, Labour would seek to remain in a customs union with the EU and within the single market. That means we would abide by the existing rules of both.”

Why? if he wants us to stay within the single market, remaining in the customs union is superfluous. His reasoning is that “when 44 per cent of our exports are to EU countries and 50 per cent of our imports come from the EU, then it is in both our interests for that trade to remain tariff-free.”  That is fair enough, but Norway, which is not in the Customs union, manages virtual tariff-free trade with the EU. EFTA and EEA membership is sufficient.

Corbyn’s confusion is laid bare when he says that “Labour would seek to negotiate a new comprehensive UK-EU customs union to ensure that there are no tariffs with Europe and to help avoid any need for a hard border in Northern Ireland. ” How can the EU be part of a customs union with the UK while being a customs union in and of itself?

He then went on to say “But we are also clear that the option of a new UK customs union with the EU would need to ensure the UK has a say in future trade deals. A new customs arrangement would depend on Britain being able to negotiate agreement of new trade deals in our national interest.” If the UK was able to make its own trading arrangements, then it could not be in a customs union with the EU. The whole point of a customs union is that it includes a common external tariff. If we negotiated a trade deal with, for example, Australia while the EU did not have one, what would be the point if we were forced to charge the same tariff as the EU on Australian goods?

Perhaps Mr Corbyn and other advocates of either remaining in the EU’s Customs Union or somehow creating a new one with the EU should see what goes on at Kapikule on the border between EU Bulgaria and non-EU Turkey. Turkey is linked to the EU’s customs union, so you would expect reasonably seamless movement across the border. According  to this report, however, this is far from being the case, with delays for lorries sometimes lasting for several days.  A customs union may be a good idea for micro-states like Monaco or San Marino, but not for a country like the UK, where each year, over 2 million lorries pass through the port of Dover alone.

What we desperately need is a customs clearance agreement with the EU, or else we could face “Operation stack on steroids” on the M20 after Brexit Day.  Unfortunately, if so many of our senior politicians cannot distinguish between customs clearance and a customs union, there are good reasons to fear that Kent may become gridlocked with lorries in a mere 396 days’ time.  Yes, it really is getting that close and on the basis of today’s speech, it seems that the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition has no more idea of how to save us from such a disaster by delivering a sensible, workable Brexit than our Government.

Photo by Peanut99

Crony capitalism – how it works:- a letter from our Chairman

This letter from our Chairman appeared in the Derby Telegraph.

Whilst Mr. Corbyn is rightly making a great fuss about the terms on which private providers like Carillion contract for the provision of public services, the fashion for this type of arrangement reached giddying heights under Labour government.

One of the most notorious contracts was the sale in 2001 by the Inland Revenue of two thirds of its office buildings for £370 million which they leased back for £144 million per annum, including maintenance costs. Over the period of the whole contract period , the actual cost is estimated to be £4.2 billion. The much increased value of the office premises will benefit the contractor, a firm based in a tax haven!

Why does any government make such a silly bargain? Our old friend, the EU comes into it. Under the Growth & Stability Pact, governments are required to restrict their borrowing. By making the contractor put up the necessary money, the government keeps the debt off the public accounts. Of course, the contractors pay a much higher rate of interest than the government would have done and then have to add a profit on top. The increased cost is spread over many years and few people notice but the taxpayer is far worse off.

There is another advantage for those in the know. Ministers and senior civil servants, who awarded large lucrative contracts during their careers, retire from public office and spend a year with their inflation-proof pensions. They then reappear as directors and consultants for the contractors, using their insider knowledge to sell their services to their former colleagues in government. This process is known as “the revolving door”. They come back in again to their old ministries, demonstrating that private finance contracts provide very well-paid second careers for those who have left the public service.

The privatisation of Royal Mail demonstrates another aspect of EU influence. The EU’s Postal Directives decreed that letter and parcel deliveries must be part of a European market in postal services and not a nationally provided public service. Many people of widely ranging views supported the retention of this national institution. The Labour and Trade Union Movement did so too but suppressed the fact that this privatisation was the result of EU laws and continued to support EU membership.

Back in 1983 Michael Foot was the Labour leader and his policies were very similar to those of Mr Corbyn. Ken Clarke remarked then “The great thing about Europe is that it makes most of Labour’s policies illegal” . At least Mr Foot drew the obvious conclusion – that we should leave the then EEC. So it is strange today to see all but a handful of Labour MPs trying to wreck the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. It has now passed its third reading in the Commons which is one step along the way of removing those EU influences which drove the process of privatisation.

Yours faithfully,

Edward Spalton

A Wake-up call

In June’s General Election, a majority of young people voted for the Labour Party. It is hard to prove this statistically as votes are not analysed by age group, but we only have to look at our university towns, which are increasingly Labour strongholds, for evidence. This June, Canterbury, which boasts both the University of Kent and Christ Church University, turned Labour for the first time since the constituency was created in 1918.

From the Brexit point of view, Corbyn’s strong showing – and thus likely survival as Labour leader for the time being – is good news inasmuch as he is at best lukewarm about the EU. On the other hand, those young people who turned out in large numbers to support him are far more Europhile than their new hero, and what is more, the many areas where they do agree with him are a cause of great concern. They revolve around an ideology which, if it was ever implemented by a future Labour government, would take us out of the frying pan into the fire. The uncomfortable reality of how close Mr Corbyn came to No. 10 should act as a wake-up call to those of us who voted for Brexit because we value our freedom.

When I was the same age as Corbyn’s young admirers, the Labour Party contained a solid bloc both of MPs and members whose roots lay more in Methodism than Marxism. A pro-soviet socialist element could be found, but it was widely mistrusted both inside and outside the Parliamentary party. The collapse of the USSR may have been a blessing for the inhabitants of Eastern Europe, but it allowed something equally odious to creep in almost unnoticed – the so-called “Cultural Marxism” of the Frankfurt School. This influential group of Marxist academics came together in the 1920s to analyse why the 1917 Russian revolution failed to spread round the world. They decided that the principal obstacle was Western society, with its Christian foundation. By the 1960s, they had drawn up their battle plan to conquer it, described by one of their young acolytes, Rudi Dutschke as “the long march through the institutions” – subverting society by a gradual take-over of the professions, including educational establishments. The Blair government may have taken Labour away from the planned economy beloved of classic socialists but instead brought political correctness, a typical weapon from the Frankfurt School’s armoury, out from the fringes of so-called “loony left” councils to the mainstream.

Corbyn and his associates, while seeking to bring back the classic tax-and-spend and planned economy of Socialism, are also very much in tune with Cultural Marxism. The thought of such a man seizing power is truly worrying for anyone who values our historic liberties – regardless of his lukewarmness towards the EU. But 40% of the electorate and a still higher proportion of young people voted for him on June 8th. This is the hard fact, even though many of them would not have realised what a Labour victory would mean. After all, many university graduates voted Labour over one issue – the party’s promise to abolish university tuition fees. Many of them would have had no idea of the link between socialism and tyranny because of the way history is taught these days and even fewer realise that it would have been their generation which would ultimately have to spend the rest of their lives footing the bill if Corbyn’s la-la-land spending policy had ever been implemented.

Some, we hope, will become wiser on getting a job. After all, Winston Churchill once said, “If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain.” However, such has been the infiltration of these toxic ideas into our schools that something drastic will be required to rescue our young people from the consequences of the indoctrination they have suffered. Furthermore, Corbyn’s supporters are not just confined to the young or inhabitants of our “vibrant” cities. Evidence even from the pleasant rural neighbourhood where I live points to all too many people with “no brain”, even though they themselves would be badly affected. One study forwarded to me recently suggests that Labour’s proposed land value tax would have resulted in everyone around here being asked to cough up at least £5,000 per year in Council Tax, including my Labour-supporting neighbours.

Can anything be done to save us from this situation? It is very worrying that we are turning out young people unfit to run a cockle stall, let alone the country. What happens when government will fall into the hands of “Generation Snowflake” with their “safe spaces”, no-platforming and propensity to go into meltdown whenever their iPad malfunctions? It would be a gross generalisation to portray all young people – or even all young Corbyn supporters – in these broad terms, but the pathetic pro-EU student demonstrations we saw after the referendum vote a year ago points to there being all too many of them.

What is more, things are getting even worse in our schools. We are now seeing primary schools introducing gender-neutral uniforms or even allowing five-year-olds to decide whether they want to be boys or girls. What will happen when these confused young children turn into adults?

One thing is clear:- these developments have only reached such alarming levels because of either cowardice or complacency  – or perhaps both – within the Conservative Party. Even UKIP has been contaminated, with Suzanne Evans describing herself on her personal website as “Deputy Chair”. Sorry, Suzanne, but in my books, a chair, whether deputy or not, is something you sit on.

The only way to take on this poisonous ideology is to tackle it head on, find its weak spot and assault it on every front. This general election offers yet further proof that no other tactic works. You can’t win battles by offering a diluted version of your opponent’s ideology. The 1950s-style interventionism of the Conservative Party’s latest manifesto not only failed to compete with Corbyn’s 1970’s-style socialist revivalism but did little to enthuse the party’s natural supporters. Mrs May’s team made a mistake in trying to tack left that nearly proved fatal.

So what is the weak spot? It boils down to one word which permeates everything in the Corbynite Left’s thinking – loathing. Given the Frankfurt School’s mission was to subvert Western society, they must have realised that a contended, culturally cohesive prosperous nation was never going to show much enthusiasm for their project. In a country like ours in particular, this therefore called for extreme measures. We must be taught to loathe ourselves and our historic values. Chris McGovern, the Chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, has written extensively on how the school history syllabus has been radically amended with this end in view. Children are taught all about our role in the slave trade but not about our subsequent efforts to stamp it out. Our country’s great heroes like Winston Churchill are airbrushed out of history. In 1995, to mark the 50th anniversary of V-E Day, the Department for Education sent a teaching video about World War 2 to every school in the country. The primary school version lasted 34 minutes   but allocated only 14 seconds to Churchill, stating only that, “People thought he helped the war end in Britain.” The video did emphasise, though, “It was quite sexist in the war.”

And this leads onto another form of loathing – towards all those traits not in conformity with political correctness. The loathing is displayed in a particularly venomous form towards anyone who manifests them today. Try engaging with the PC zealots on the internet and you will know what I mean. The left has hijacked the high moral ground and regards it as its own exclusive property. Anyone who challenges its nostrums must be attacked and if open abuse fails to change their minds, they must be visited by the boys in blue and sent on an equality and diversity course.

Naturally, a generation brought up to believe they are citizens of a country with a loathsome past are not going to believe it has the resilience and resourcefulness to survive as a self-confident self-governing nation, hence the Europhilia of so many young people. Patriotism is anathema. Let us not think that Corbyn’s lack of enthusiasm for the EU somehow makes him a patriot. His refusal to sing the National Anthem and his long-standing close links with the IRA are sufficient evidence to refute any such notion.

Christianity, in particular, is to be loathed although for some strange reason, not Islam – even in its most extreme forms. When the left-wing polemical atheist Christopher Hitchens began to attack Islam, he faced strong criticism from others on the political left. Hichens’ great sin was being consistent with his atheism, but in so doing, he broke a foundational principle of the Frankfurt School – the need for toleration of minorities, even if some of these minorities treat women badly or commit terrorist acts. This redefinition of tolerance pressurises any majority, especially if it holds strong principles, to loathe itself for its alleged blinkered, prejudiced attitudes.

And of course, self-loathing is encouraged in other ways. What is the desire for a sex change but self-loathing? It is unsurprising that, according to the World Health Organisation, suicides have increased by 60% in the last 45 years. In the UK, far more men than women commit suicide. In a world of strident feminism (another Frankfurt School creation), men should loathe themselves, well, just for being men.

Is there anyone who can step into the breach? Thankfully there is. The discussions between the Tories and the Democratic Unionist Party has put the spotlight on a party about which many may have previously known very little, due to a tendency to shy away from the complexities of Northern Ireland’s politics. While the political left is spitting blood at the prospect of any deal which will bring them into the government, here are a group of politicians who have refused to play their silly games. Self-confident and patriotic, opponents of abortion and gay marriage, the DUP is like a breath of fresh air in the confusing political atmosphere of Westminster at the moment. It stands up for our armed forces, supports grammar schools and proclaims patriotism, individual freedom, law and order. When assaulted by the PC brigade, it stands firm. Although not above controversy and the occasional scandal, it has conveyed a far greater impression of responsibility and integrity than any UK mainland-based party in recent years.

In recent conversation, I have heard more than one wistful comment to the effect that, “If the DUP were to put up a candidate here, they would get my vote.” There is a lesson here for all of us. A totalitarian ideology based on loathing can be conquered by people of integrity and conviction who offer an optimistic future.

After one of her resounding election victories, Mrs Thatcher expressed a hope that Labour may never again win power in this country. Some were hoping for a similar result when Mrs May called this snap election. It didn’t come anywhere near happening, but could yet come to pass if enough people wake up and recognise that the big gap in UK politics is not in the mythical “centre ground”, but for a party of freedom and enterprise; a party proud of our country and its great history; a party prepared to expose the lunacy of the left, take its assaults on the chin and battle on until our young people are reclaimed from the Corbynite abyss. Will the Tories finally pick up the long-discarded mantle of Margaret Thatcher? Could UKIP arise from the ashes? Should the DUP step in and field candidates in mainland UK constituencies? Time only will tell, but the full benefits of Brexit will be lost unless there emerges a party unequivocally committed to replacing the politics of loathing with sanity, hope and pride in our country, its historical values and institutions.

This article first appeared in the Euro Realist bulletin.

Where does Sturgeon go now Corbyn says Brexit means Brexit?

This piece by Brian Monteith of Global Britain originally appeared in the Scotsman and is used with  permission.

The Labour leader, from his new position of strength, is revealing his true Trotskyist approach on Europe, writes Brian Monteith

It was not just the Queen’s Speech that passed last week – the greater battle of the day was on a different field altogether – it was hard Brexit against soft Brexit, and it was hard Brexit that won resoundingly. The margin of 322 against 101 was larger than even that of the vote to invoke Article 50, despite Theresa May losing her overall majority, so what have we just witnessed, what is going on?

Thursday’s vote was not just a victory for May’s proposals on how to achieve Brexit, already laid out in her Government’s White Paper, but a resounding show of strength by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who afterwards dismissed three shadow ministers who dared to break his whipping for an abstention by voting for a soft Brexit. This is a new Corbyn, a hard Corbyn willing to deliver a hard Brexit. Clearly emboldened by his comparative success in the General Election (even though he lost more seats than Callaghan or Kinnock, who both resigned as a result), Corbyn is now revealing his true self – the blood-red socialist against the EU corporate state.

Corbyn’s past shows him as a man who voted as regularly against the empowerment of the EU to the cost of the UK’s sovereignty as any Tory Eurosceptic rebel. His reasoning was different, however, believing that the development of an EU superstate would enshrine open-season capitalism behind a high customs union wall that would diminish trade with the poor of the world. The trade unions would be emasculated and British workers would be impoverished as millions who could not find work in the African states denied tariff-free access to the single market would instead supply a steady flow of cheaper immigrant labour.

At so many levels – be it the EU’s privileged elite against the masses, those inside the single market against those outside it or those in the euro against those outside it, the EU is indeed a heady political cocktail designed for the few rather than the many.

Unfortunately for Corbyn, his election as leader of his party by its members and trade unions left him at the mercy of the overwhelming majority of the parliamentary Labour Party that supported the European project with an unalloyed devotion. His first act was to ditch his Euroscepticism and play for time, so he could gain strength. Hence his tussles with his former shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn. (Ironically it was Corbyn that better represented the views of Tony Benn on the EU than his son Hilary.)

The General Election has changed all of that. Now the majority of Labour MPs doff their cap to their leader, believing he has rejuvenated his party and may yet one day lead them to victory. And now from this position of strength, and with a manifesto that to all intents and purposes mirrored the Tory approach towards a so-called hard Brexit, Corbyn is able to drop his mask of europhilia and reveal his true Trotskyist approach by 
challenging once more the EU corporatist state.

Make no mistake, what this metamorphism means is that the UK is leaving the EU – and it will be Corbyn who will help the Tories do it.

Where does this leave Nicola Sturgeon when a hard Brexit is delivered? By that I mean the UK being outside the single market and customs union, with all immigrants from around the world treated equally, denying the special treatment given to people from the EU.

In Sturgeon’s own mind a hard Brexit might provide a fresh pretext for her to push once more for Indyref2 – but paradoxically it also makes the case for independence that much more difficult to win.

For an independent Scotland outside the UK but aiming to be back in the EU, a hard Brexit must mean a hard divorce with the UK, resulting in a hard border and, of course, giving up our fishing grounds that will have only just been won back.

While the newly liberated UK will be free to decide its own economic future, striking advantageous trade deals with the likes of India, China and the US (three of more than 30 already being considered) Scotland would be tied to the slowest growing economic region in the world and bound by all its growing regulation. In addition, by 2020 the EU budget will grow by more than 15 billion euros and plug the black hole of 10bn euros caused by losing the UK’s annual payment. Scotland would have to bear its share of the existing EU budget plus this additional 25bn euros.

Even a Scotland in the European Economic Area will not soften the blow. It would be like moving from the bridge to be shovelling coal in the boiler room.

Sturgeon’s Scotland will be just like Norway (in the EEA) or Poland (in the EU) – both sitting next to Russia, with border posts, different currencies and the possibility of a tariff wall – only the barriers will be between England and Scotland.

Where also does this leave the EU negotiators when they can see a more united House of Commons than even on the vote to invoke 
Article 50? Do they climb down on some of their more perverse claims? The signs are that they are already retreating on the demand for the European Court of Justice to have jurisdiction over EU citizens in the UK.

And if they do climb down and a deal is struck, where again does that leave Sturgeon? Would a softer Brexit not neutralise any pretext for a second Indyref? Will the Scottish public not ask: “Seriously, what is the problem?”

The votes on Thursday were probably missed by most people who are only given the glibbest of reports by our broadcast news, but they were momentous and have changed the nature of the Brexit debate substantially. It appears May did not need a stronger majority to deliver Brexit after all – it was Corbyn who has benefited and it is Corbyn who looks like making Brexit mean Brexit.

 

Photo by Ninian Reid