Saturday, 31 January 2015

European Outlook # 14, February 2015

Paris Murders

The terrorist attacks on a Paris newspaper office and a kosher supermarket must be condemned. But the choice of targets was ironic. Charlie Hebdo is an “anti-fascist” publication that calls for the banning of the Front National, and the supermarket caters for customers who generally support Third World immigration.  

French Jews are fleeing to Israel in record numbers to escape terrorism but it has been suggested that the clampdown on tax-evasion is the real reason.  

There are plenty of psychopaths trying to kill us apart from al-Qaida. David Copeland planted bombs in Brixton Market, Spitallfields and Soho because he hated blacks, Asians and homosexuals. Anders Breivik slaughtered Norwegian teenagers; Tim Mcveigh and Terry Nichols dynamited the government offices in Oklahoma City, the IRA bombed crowded pubs, ETA concentrated on killing holiday makers, and the Chechen separatists attacked schools and hospitals. All terrorists regardless of race, creed or colour should be eradicated. Nothing can justify mass murder.

Global Capitalism

Goods and people have been moving around the world for a long time. When the  body of a patrician Roman woman was discovered in the City of London she was wearing the remains of a gold-embroidered dress from Iraq and precious stones from Japan. Roman roads and ships enabled them to conquer the known world. Their legions in Britain were mostly Gauls from what is now France and Belgium. When they departed our shores, after four hundred years, we were invaded by Anglo-Saxons and Danes and finally by the Normans.  All of these people were white; Blacks and Asians only came to Britain in significant numbers after World War Two.

Ukip blame the EU for immigration but from the passing of the British Nationality Act of 1948 to when we joined the Common Market in 1973 millions of Commonwealth immigrants came to the UK. In the early fifties we took in an average of 3,000 a year, by 1956 this had risen to 46,200 and by 1961 to 136,400. The Commonwealth Immigration Act was passed in 1968 but this did not stop the influx which averaged 72,000 a year throughout the seventies. Nigel Farage says that he wants to regain control of our borders by quitting the EU but if we kept out European immigrants, at the risk of seriously damaging our economy, we would still be taking in the surplus population of Africa and Asia.    

There is growing hostility to global capitalism from nationalists who want to protect their own industries, from ecologists who favour localism, and from opponents of immigration. But goods and people will always cross borders so we must have reciprocal trade deals in place and a managed migration policy instead of a free-for-all.

The world’s largest container ship, the CSCL Globe, was recently  unloaded at Felixstowe. She is 400 metres long and carries 19,000 containers full  of Chinese goods for sale in the UK. It’s easy enough to talk about making our own cars and computers but a Chinese-made laptop would cost two or three times as much if it was made in the UK. It’s true that the people making it would be earning money that could be spent at home. But who will be the first customer to pay two or three times as much as they need to?

So far as world trade is concerned the EU is a red herring. In or out of Europe the UK would still be part of the same global capitalist system. The best we can hope for is that the EU returns to its founding principle of self-sufficiency. A market of half a billion people is big enough to defend itself but an isolated Britain would have no chance. We can train our own workers and specialize in quality goods but we cannot compete with Chinese mass production or grow coffee, tea or bananas; global capitalism is here to stay.

With Kitchener to Khartoum

The US State Department has offered a reward of $10 million for information leading to the death or capture of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-appointed Khalifa of the Islamic State in Levant. One hundred years ago a similar war was fought in Sudan. General Herbert Kitchener’s Anglo-Egyptian army defeated Abdullah al-Taashi at the Battle of Omdurman in 1892, ending the Mahdist Revolt. The bravery of the Dervishes was chronicled by several Victorian writers including Winston Churchill and Rudyard Kipling. Here is an extract from With Kitchener to Khartoum by GW Steevens.

“And the Dervishes? The honour of the fight must still go with the men who died. Our men were perfect, but the Dervishes were superb – beyond perfection. It was their largest, best and bravest army that ever fought against us for Mahdism, and it died worthily for the huge empire that Mahdism won and kept for so long. Their riflemen, mangled by ever kind of death and torment that man can devise, clung round the black flag and the green, emptying their poor, rotten home-made cartridges dauntlessly. Their spearmen charged death every minute hopelessly. Their horsemen led each attack, riding into the bullets till nothing was left... Not one rush, or two, or ten, but rush on rush, company on company, never stopping, though all their view that was not unshaken enemy was the bodies of the men who had rushed before them. A dusky line got up and stormed forward: it bent, broke up, fell apart, and disappeared. Before the smoke had cleared another line was bending and storming forward in the same track... From the green army there now came only death-enamoured desperados, strolling one by one towards the rifles, pausing to take a spear, turning aside to recognise a corpse, then, caught by a sudden jet of fury, bounding forward, checking, sinking limply to the ground. Now under the black flag in a ring of bodies stood only three men, facing the three thousand of the Third Brigade. They folded their arms about the staff and gazed steadily forward. Two fell. The last dervish stood up and filled his chest: he shouted the name of his God and hurled his spear. Then he stood quite still, waiting. It took him full; he quivered, gave at the knees, and toppled with his head on his arms and his face towards the legions of his conquerors.”

GW Steevens was the Daily Mail correspondent attached to Lord Kitchener’s Anglo-Egyptian Army. He was an unashamed imperialist but he respected the Dervishes as fearless warriors. Lord Kitchener was a great general but he would not have won the Sudanese War without a military railway, a telegraph system, artillery, Remington rifles, Maxim guns, gunboats, ammunition barges, field hospitals, an intelligence network, and all the benefits of modern technology.

The bravery of the Mahdi’s army was put down to religious fanaticism but soldiers fight for many different reasons; for their king, for their country, for their regiment, or simply for their mates. It has been said that patriotism is the religion of politics.

With Kitchener to Khartoum by GW Steevens was first published in 1898, is available from  

People I have known

Further to my piece “Two New Books” in European Outlook # 13, I have been asked for my impressions of the leaders of the patriotic movements of the sixties. I was only a teenager at the time but I did meet most of them.

The League of Empire Loyalists was run by AK Chesterton. He mixed with retired senior officers and ex-colonial officials but he always had time for a South London lad with a head full of revolution. I was fascinated by his eclectic mixture of opinions. He was certainly right-wing in his defence of the Empire but he believed in social justice. The following passage is from an article he wrote for the BUF Quarterly; it was entitled “Corporate State or Crime State:”

“Purchasing power must everywhere be increased, the demands of our own fellow-countrymen met by the development of our own industries and our own vast imperial resources: poverty must be replaced by plenty; flabby defeatism by a virile will to live and achieve. Thus will the foundations be laid for the long-term policy which is destined to secure among our people a unity of apperception upon so high a level of awareness that the social conscience will go step by step with the changing needs of the times, making it impossible for the essential dignity of human life ever again to be degraded by the overlordship of profiteers whose quick-thinking brains and ape-like morals still constitute so large a menace to our race.”

 AK didn’t drink but he enjoyed socialising. I liked him very much.

Austen Brooks, his deputy, was a likable and capable man – a typical Royal Navy officer. The easy going culture of the LEL owed a lot to him. My politics have matured since those days but I remember the Empire Loyalists with affection. You could not meet nicer people.

I met Andrew Fountaine, the president of the 1960 BNP, at the Narford Camp in 1962. I cannot claim to have known him but I got to know John Bean, the leader of the party, and I have been friends with him ever since. John Tyndall was straightforward but very old-fashioned. Colin Jordan favoured shock tactics but he went too far and ended up in prison. We were glad when he and John Tyndall joined the National Socialist Movement. Following their departure the BNP became a proper political party that contested elections.

Union Movement was founded by Oswald Mosley in 1948. The closest I got to him was at his 80th birthday celebration at the Ecclestone Hotel in 1976. He was still an impressive figure and I will always remember him surrounded by his old comrades.

Jeffrey Hamm effectively became leader of Union Movement in 1968 when Oswald Mosley withdrew from party politics to concentrate on writing and broadcasting. In his 1983 autobiography Action Replay he remembers the attempt to form a National Party for Europe:

“In March 1962 Mosley convened a conference in Venice of Europeans from a number of countries, and a “Declaration of Venice” was issued, stating a common policy on which all could come together in forming a “National Party for Europe.” Unfortunately, much of the enthusiasm manifested at the conference evaporated when the delegates got home and faced criticism that a concrete project of this kind was too precipitate, and consequently Mosley’s idea never got off the ground. The beating of the nationalist drum is no doubt exciting for those content to march up the hill and down again bearing a banner with a strange device and shouting meaningless slogans. But the derisory and falling votes polled by nationalist candidates in the elections of February and October 1974, and again in May 1979, prove that nationalism does not win elections.”

It will be interesting to see if his words hold true for the 2015 general election when Ukip, the latest nationalist party, is hoping to make a breakthrough.

Jeffrey Hamm was a brave and honest man who suffered imprisonment, physical injury and personal sacrifice for the movement. He encouraged me to write for Action and he was always optimistic. I cherish his memory. 

Marxism and Capitalism

When right wingers accuse their enemies of being Marxists they credit Karl Marx with views that he never held. He was the grandson of a rabbi but he disliked Jews and vilified them in his essay “On the Jewish Question.” He also looked down on non-Europeans and described his political rival Ferdinand Lassalle as “part nigger.” We are told that the Frankfurt School is responsible for multiracialism but Europeans had already created mulattos long before the Frankfurters started lecturing us.

Nationalists maintain that people are naturally race-conscious until they are brainwashed by left wing propaganda; but just as many people are colour blind until they are exposed to right wing propaganda. Liberalism may agree with Marxism about Race but that doesn’t make them the same thing. Marxism is essentially authoritarian and atheistic whereas Liberalism is democratic and agnostic.

Richard Coudenhove Kalergi (1894-1972) founded the influential Pan Europa movement in 1923. He was an Austrian aristocrat of part Japanese ancestry who believed passionately in Europe. But he dismissed the Master Race theory and glorified great Europeans such as; Saint-Pierre, Kant, Napoleon, Mazzini, Victor Hugo and Nietzsche. He advocated assimilation but he was a lifelong anti-communist.

Another bĂȘte noire of the far-Right is the former Irish Attorney General Peter Sutherland. As EU Commissioner and head of the World Trade Organisation he proposed mass migration to mitigate the impending population collapse in Europe. He is a former chairman of BP and currently heads Goldman Sachs International. There is nothing even remotely Marxist about Peter Sutherland, he is conservative, a Catholic, and a strong believer in the free market economy. But he doesn’t believe in racism.

A third contender for most hated public figure is Michael Heseltine; a patriot who defied Margaret Thatcher over the Westland helicopter affair and championed British industry as Chairman of the Board of Trade. He is a successful businessman, a sworn enemy of the militant Left and a “one nation” Tory. But he is opposed to racism and favours total integration.

These men may be race mixers but they are not Marxists. They are part of the liberal tradition stretching back to the French Revolution and the abolition of slavery; a worldview that predates Marxism and has nothing to do with a great conspiracy involving Jewish bankers and academics. The dominant creed of the modern world is global capitalism led by the United States and China. It’s not surprising that a black man like Barack Obama and a Chinaman like Xi Jinping are indifferent to the future of the white race. To the capitalists we are consumers defined not by race but by spending power.

Russian Gas and Oil

Britain is facing an energy crisis that’s been predicted for years. Many of our power stations are unfit for purpose. Our nuclear plants will have to be decommissioned, our coal-fired plants do not meet environmental standards and we don’t have enough gas-fired plants. Gas is not pollution-free but it’s cleaner that coal and much cheaper than nuclear.

Gas prices are falling as industrial production slows down throughout the world and the United States exploits fracking technology. We are still producing gas from the North Sea and there is plenty available from Russia and Norway, via existing pipelines, and from Algeria, Qatar and the United States by tanker.

We are subsidizing French and Japanese contractors to build a new generation of nuclear plants. This is the cleanest form of energy when all goes well but the disasters of Chernobyl and Fukushima show what can happen when it goes wrong. Wind turbines and biomass generators are not serious contenders and coal will need further research and development to meet new emission standards. The obvious answer is gas. We should do deal with the Russians to import gas through existing pipelines. But Dave Cameron and the rest of Europe’s leaders have signed up to the America’s economic war. All of them, except Tayip Erdogan of Turkey, are just as cowardly. France has damaged her shipbuilding industry by reneging on the Russian naval contract. Poland has seriously damaged her agriculture by cutting off supplies of vegetables to Russia. Germany is paying over the odds for gas and oil, and the City of London has lost billions of dollars of Russian investment.

America’s foreign policy is as dangerous as ever. Barack Obama should remember that the oil boycott of Japan resulted in Pearl Harbor and ended in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Bill White 

American blogger Bill White who is currently serving a 7 year prison sentence has been given another 17 years in a federal prison for sending threatening emails to court officials. He has now been given access to the Internet and is posting on the White Republican blog:
Nation Revisited of December 2013 published a letter from Bill White sent from Roanoke City Jail.

He was replying to an article I wrote for Comrade of November 2013 entitled “Read Your History.” I blamed the Nazi’s defeat in WW2 on their underestimation of the Russians.  Bill White rejected my historical analysis and blamed Hitler’s downfall on bad luck. I published his reply and wished him well. He is a stalwart enemy of plutocracy who does not deserve to be persecuted for his opinions.

Torture and Threats at John Polk Correctional Centre

Letter from Bill White to Harold Covington: 
June 24th 2014

Hello, Harold

Terrible things are happening, and I only hope that this letter is able to reach you.
I almost died yesterday, and I’ve gotten one concession – I have been moved to a larger cell with dimmer lights. As you know, the jail tortured me with terrible bright lights for 34 days, from May 20 to June 23. On June 17, shortly after I made the mistake of mentioning I’d sued the jail, they began provoking confrontations. That night, after being awakened in the middle of the night, I stopped eating and drinking until six days later when they took me to medical and let me sleep in a dark room. I lost 18 pounds.

Today, after eating and drinking water, my blood pressure stabilized. I am still weak, my innards are in a mess, and I may have kidney or liver damage. I am not permitted to recuperate in medical, and I am now back in the isolator.

The day after the jail began its provocations, a Sergeant (name redacted) decided to physically and sexually threaten me. He threw me against a wall in handcuffs and threatened me with a drawn taser after describing to me his sexual fantasies about stripping me and watching me on camera. Then he ordered me to stop complaining.

While I lay dying – and if I was not moved, it was entirely my intention to follow through to death – the jail cut off my communications with the outside world. They may still be cut off. If this letter reaches you, they are not.

I have no phone access and only today was allowed to buy stamps. I was told by the jail that I could only send legal mail and that before I could send it they would need to determine whether it was about my case or a “personal” letter to my attorney, i.e. whether I was discussing the mistreatment to which I had been subjected.

Also, throughout this entire time the jail was lying about me. A roly-poly buffoon, one captain (name redacted) sent out an e-mail comparing my lawsuit about the torture of an inmate complaining that someone else’s piece of cake was bigger. (It is not clear to whom this e-mail was sent. – HAC). Knowing that I was dying, this chucklehead just laughed and slouched it off – “that’s inmates for you.”

What is happening in this place, Harold, can only be described as pure evil. Yet the fault for this evil equally lies with those that tolerate it.

I would like to say more, but I can’t. I am waiting for more news. The lights have been turned down – a small thing. Things are happening, and I will let you know of them if and when I can. I don’t know, really, if I am OK or not, or what they are planning.

Sincerely, Bill

Rich and Poor States

The UK Press are reporting the result of the Greek general election as a protest against the EU. But most Greeks support the EU and know that their economic troubles result from borrowing too much money before the collapse of 2008. Germany and the Netherlands also use the euro but they are booming in comparison, and Albania is even poorer than Greece but they have never belonged to the EU or used the euro.

The European Union is a group of states bound together by common purpose. Nobody expects all the states of the USA to be economically equal. Rich states like New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts have a yearly income of $65,000 but poor states like Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi manage on $38,000. But Americans accept that they are one country, with one currency, one central bank, one flag and one army. In Europe we are lacking in solidarity and our continent is divided by mean-spirited nationalism.

The United Kingdom is another example of “federalism.” Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are much poorer than England but most of us do not object  to our taxes being shared with the Celtic countries

We need a European Government dedicated to raising wages and conditions to an acceptable level. With equal pay and social benefits throughout Europe the problems of free movement of Labour would be solved.

Unfortunately we will not achieve genuine unity with reactionaries like Dave Cameron at the helm. He is living in the past and relying on our “special relationship” with America. Until we break our psychological dependence on the Atlantic Alliance we will stay on the periphery of Europe.

                                           Alexis Tsipras

A little country like Greece with only 11.4 million people could easily be restructured by the European Central Bank. When the UK was bankrupt in 1944 the United States lent us the money to recover. It took us over half a century to repay the loan but we did repay it. The ECB should offer the new Greek Government of Alexis Tsipras the same consideration.     

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