Thursday, 31 December 2015

European Outlook # 25, January 2016

Politics and Religion

Republican hopeful Donald J Trump would say anything to get elected. In 1995 he attended a Sinn Fein fundraising dinner in New York just before the IRA bombing of London's Canary Wharf but now he has called for Muslims to be banned from the United States because he is worried about terrorism.

We expect politicians to save our country and religious leaders to save our souls. These are separate objectives that should not be confused. Politicians should not stray into theology. In Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland tribal loyalties are divided between Catholics and Protestants but that situation is improving and sectarianism is almost unknown in the rest of the UK.

Muslims are currently linked to terrorism but most of them are as innocent as the Catholics at the time of the IRA bombings or the Jews during the Stern Gang massacres in Palestine. Most people are not murderers and no faith has a monopoly on violence. The “Islamic State” killers in Paris were Muslims but Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, was a Protestant, Tim McVeigh who killed 168 and injured over 600 people in the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995 was a Catholic, and Aaron Alexis, who killed 13 people at the Washington Navy Yard in 2013, was a Buddhist.

Terrorism has been a problem since the first century when Jewish Zealots stabbed occupying Roman soldiers and local collaborators in an attempt to separate Judea from the Roman Empire. In 70 AD the Emperor Vespasian reacted by destroying the Temple in Jerusalem, killing a million Jews and scattering the rest of them throughout the world. Modern governments are not so efficient. They use the latest technology to fight terrorism but fanatics usually find a way. All we can do is stay vigilant and beware of unscrupulous politicians.

We are obliged by the European Convention on Human Rights to provide freedom of thought, conscience and religion but we are entitled to enforce our own laws. If immigrants, of whatever religion, want to sexually mutilate their daughters or prevent them from being educated they should go back where they came from.

Overtaken by Ukip

The parties of the far-Right are still clinging to policies that were cast in stone when the NF was founded in 1967. They are trying to compete with Ukip but they lack the necessary financial backing, organisational ability and leadership. Their results at the last general election clearly show that Nigel Farage has overtaken them.

But despite his popularity the majority of British people are not anti-European; millions of them fly south for their holidays every year and there are thriving expat communities throughout the Continent. The spontaneous British support for France following the latest terrorist outrage in Paris showed a commendable spirit of European solidarity. There was no such popular support for Kenya or India when they suffered similar atrocities.

Ukip have got 23 members of the European Parliament and one Tory defector at Westminster. People support them because they are worried about immigration but they are wasting their time voting for Ukip. They only object to EU immigration but the majority of our immigrants come from the Commonwealth. The latest figures show that 180,000 people came to the UK from the EU in 2015 and 201,000 from outside the EU (Daily Mail 26-11-15).

If the British people vote to stay in Europe in the coming referendum we can rally to a new party that looks to the future. We desperately need a modern party to fight against racial replacement and unrestrained capitalism but the so-called nationalist parties are wasting their time. In France a similar pattern has developed. The Front National was blocked by the Old Gang in the regional elections but their anti-EU stance did not help them. Most French people are worried about immigration and terrorism but only a minority want to leave the EU.

Seeing Things

I once attended a health and safety course where we were shown a short film to test our powers of observation. We were told that questions would be asked so we all concentrated. We saw a group of people in a lift lobby playing an impromptu game of volley ball. I made a note of how many men were involved and how many women, and I tried to remember what they were wearing. After the film the instructor asked us what was unusual about it. One woman asked: “what was the gorilla doing”? When the film was played for the second time we all saw a man in a gorilla outfit, strut across the screen pounding his chest and glaring at the camera but we never noticed him the first time.

We see what we expect to see and react accordingly. A friend of mine sees the world in terms of nationality and religion. If he met a man with a wooden leg he would probably say that he had met a man from Birmingham who was born in Australia of a Polish mother and an Irish father, who was raised as a Catholic but married a Protestant girl from Belfast. Eventually he might get round to the fact that the fellow had a wooden leg.

Nationalism is constrained by intellectual barriers as permanent as the Sahara Desert or the Atlantic Ocean. I used to know an old soldier who reacted to a harsh decision against England in an international football match by demanding that all important games be refereed by an Englishman. Only then, he insisted, would we get fair and impartial decisions. He was a veteran of WW2 and a good man but incapable of seeing beyond the white cliffs of Dover. He also maintained that the Germans committed war crimes because their officers lacked the British sense of fair play.

Ingrained prejudices and national stereotypes colour our perceptions. Nigel Farage is a clever politician but his vision is distorted by jingoism. He sees threats to our national identity that do not exist but he can’t see the danger of isolation. When people vote in the coming referendum on Europe it’s to be hoped that they think objectively and see things clearly.

Reforming Nationalism

Not so long ago the BNP had two MEPs, a member of the London Assembly and more than fifty councillors but now they have gone the same way as the National Front. The NF was founded in 1967 and fielded 303 candidates in the 1979 general election but following Margaret Thatcher’s implied promise to limit immigration their vote collapsed and they have never recovered.

Nationalist dislike Ukip because they welcome black and Asian members and they hate those of us who support European unity, even though we oppose Third World immigration and unrestrained capitalism. The established political parties accommodate various factions within their ranks but the nationalist are not so flexible.

Oswald Mosley explained Union Movement’s policies in his many books and pamphlets but since his death, over thirty years ago, there has not been a patriotic party with viable policies.

Nationalists have wasted half a century dreaming of Empire but it’s never too late to wake up. The EU is run by the same liberal politicians as the UK and the United States but they can be replaced and so can their defeatist ideology. Years ago people turned a blind eye to drinking and driving but today it’s socially unacceptable. Culture has been modified by education and the same process can be used to replace liberalism with common sense.

People born in the twilight of Empire have their reservations about Europe but their children and grandchildren are not so insular. If the patriotic parties want to survive they must sink their differences, find an inspirational leader, and embrace European unity.

Motorways for Britain

In 1937 the British Union of Fascists published a pamphlet by Alexander Raven Thomson entitled “Motorways for Britain”. More than twenty years before the opening of the M1 the BUF was planning for the future. He was inspired by the modern roads being built by Benito Mussolini in Italy and Adolf Hitler in Germany. The National Government of Neville Chamberlain was content to patch up our ancient roads but Raven Thomson proposed an entirely new network of Motorways covering the whole country.

In those days we used to refer to the Great North Road and the Great West Road. Following this custom he called his proposed roads “ways”. The Southern Way from London to Dover we now call the M2. The Regency Way from London to the South Coast is the M3, the Eastern Way from London to East Anglia is the M11, the North Way is the M1, the Western Way is the M4 and the Watling Way is the M6.

The Motorways were just one of the revolutionary ideas pioneered by the BUF. Raven Thomson concluded his pamphlet with the words:

“Our failure to solve the traffic problem in this generation, after leading the world in the construction of railways a hundred years ago, is a measure of the national decline into which financial democracy has led us. Britain must awake and take her rightful place in the forefront of modern progress, instead of lagging behind the Authoritarian Governments of the Continent. Let our Motorways of the future be an example of engineering skill to the world, and let us adopt a method of government which will break financial restrictions and release the unbounding energies of the British people.”

Unfortunately it was not to be. Britain declared war on Germany in 1939 and the BUF was banned the following year. We eventually built the Motorways but we still have a government that's incapable of making a decision on the expansion of Heathrow Airport. 

The End of The World

The terrorists known as “Islamic State” dominate large areas of Syria and Iraq and operate all over the world. Together with their close allies in Africa they are engaged in a murderous campaign of bombings and shootings. They use the Internet to spread propaganda and finance their operations by stealing oil, robbing banks, taxing captive populations and selling people into slavery. IS prisoners of war have told Syrian officers that the world is coming to an end. They share this conviction with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and similar groups who quote passages from the Bible and other holy books in support of their beliefs.

This idea has been around for a long time. The British journalist and broadcaster Malcolm Muggeridge once interviewed a leading Jehovah’s Witness. Muggeridge put it to him that his movement had predicted that the world would end in 1914. He replied that although the world had not ended it had been “a very bad year”.

Karl Marx also thought that the world was coming to an end. He foresaw a new world; a workers’ paradise free from landlords and bosses ruled by the deserving Proletariat. This idea was taken up by Pol Pot who turned Cambodia into a vast concentration camp dedicated to the extermination of the middle classes. He instituted a new calendar based on Year Zero and encouraged children to denounce their parents and wives to desert their husbands.

Those who believe that we are all doomed see nothing wrong with shooting people at random, blowing up aircraft full of holidaymakers, or destroying ancient monuments.

There is something of this madness about the far-Right. They drone on about the imminent demise of the White Race and the end of civilisation but unlike the fanatics of IS, who look forward to the plump virgins awaiting them in Paradise, few of them have any hope of Salvation. Anders Breviek and his ilk might hope for a place in Valhalla but most of them are  pessimistic agnostics who take refuge in drink, drugs and fantasy.

The good news is that the world is not about to end and most of us have never had it so good. It is hardly surprising that political parties preaching self-pity and total damnation do not attract votes. Adolf Hitler was popular when he promised a thousand year Reich but his ratings dropped dramatically when he tried to organise national suicide. As Nick Griffin discovered, hope springs eternal in the human breast but persistent pessimism is unpopular.

The Lesson of History

Any criticism of Adolf Hitler provokes indignant emails from his supporters who have rewritten history to suit themselves.  According to them he was reluctantly pushed into war by the Allies but nevertheless allowed the British and French armies to escape at Dunkirk. In fact, the Royal Navy had developed “degaussing” technology that enabled us to neutralise magnetic mines and rescue our troops. They say that he didn’t invade Britain in 1940 because he still hoped for peace but it was really because the Luftwaffe was beaten by the RAF in the Battle for Britain. They claim that his invasion of Russia was thwarted by the bitterly cold winter but the Red Army fought in exactly the same conditions. And they say that he was innocent of war crimes but as the leader of the German nation he must be held responsible.

Adolf Hitler did not perform an economic miracle based on Wagnerian romanticism or Aryan mysticism. He restored Germany to prosperity by appointing Hjamar Schacht, a Rothschild-trained banker, as Minister of Economics. Schacht introduced a program of public spending that stabilized the currency and banished unemployment. His “New Plan” was similar to Roosevelt’s “New Deal”; a Keynesian economic system financed by interest bearing bonds. He also attracted international exporters to the German market. He wrote: 

“It has been shown that, in contrast to everything which classical national economy has hitherto taught, not the producer but the consumer is the ruling factor in economic life”.

Hitler sacked Schacht in 1937 for opposing military spending in preparation for his disastrous invasion of the Soviet Union.

                                  Hjamar Scacht 

All the armies engaged in WW2 committed atrocities including the Germans. They suffered terribly under the post-war Allied occupation but their fate was no worse than that endured by their enemies, particularly the Poles and the Russians.

The world would be a different place if WW2 had not happened but we are where we are and there is no point in looking back. We must learn the lesson of history and make friends with the Russians instead of trying to wipe them out. A properly united Europe – as opposed to the current EU – would have the will and resources to preserve European civilization. Instead of trying to rewrite history we should organise ourselves and look to the future.

Letter from America – Robert Lyons

Older folks remember the good old days when there was no security when boarding a plane for wherever. Those days are long gone, they’re a distant happy memory and will never return so we’re more or less resigned to hideous security procedures we’re subjected to these days when we travel.

The realization of what created the need for these ridiculous procedures in the first place was the amateurish and inept handling of the international situation, especially in the Middle East by our own elected officials.

The power given TSA (Transportation Security Administration) agents who prod, grope and otherwise seem to enjoy humiliating us in any way they can when we travel through airports aren’t to be blamed. It’s the whole rotten system of hiring people with marginal intelligence, little education, and who can’t find jobs anywhere else, not to mention low morale, so what can we expect?

Those marginal or borderline types who are paid little are given the power and will exercise it to the fullest. It’s the same with the police and the military, so we’re subjected to their will and have to grin and bear it otherwise any sigh of dissatisfaction will only result in further humiliation.

The US wastes trillions of dollars on homeland security, adding whole new levels to the federal bureaucracy. All this waste being created with the object of “keeping us safe”.

In the US, it seems, the people will go for any stupid idea that they feel will “keep us safe” even if it means all our Constitutional rights are being eroded. One day everyone will wake up and discover they have no freedoms left. Seeing all this happen I feel the terrorists have won, for a small expenditure in lives and money they have bankrupted the West both morally and financially. It’s a sad, sad situation and I fear for our grand kids.

Noting the border situation in the EU, it appears that with the current immigration crisis, and now terrorism, the EU’s borders are being shattered by the reversion back to nationalism and the closing of borders. The “no borders” concept may have been a good idea while it lasted but appears to be falling apart due to the reality of the situation brought on by the idealistic excesses of the leaders, namely Merkel.

Security varies greatly upon which international airport you happen to arrive at or leave from in the EU. In general all the international airports throughout Europe do a good job and have adapted the US concept very well. We’ve found that Heathrow’s procedures appear to be the most strict and irritatingly redundant, resulting in having to pass through security again and again from one secure area to another in the same airport. Heathrow keeps building terminals but I don’t think they’ll ever have enough.

To keep travelling is getting tougher and tougher, sadly the end of our travelling days are in sight. As we age it’s becoming too much of a hassle.

Nation Revisited

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