|What We Think||Nationalist comment on the month's news|
BNP leads, they follow
Well what do you know! Newspaper readers all over Britain woke up one morning in late May to find that Tory boss, Iain Duncan Smith, who on the eve of the local government elections earlier in the month had joined the anti-racist chorus slagging off the British National Party, had apparently hopped on the racist bandwagon. IDS had spoken of the deal offered Britain by the French authorities whereby France would close down the Red Cross refugee centre in Sangatte in return for our taking in the 1,300 would-be migrants who were staying there, and he had said: "Not one of those 1,300 should be allowed to set foot in Britain on the terms that seem to be on offer."
Leaving aside the question of whether the migrants should be let in on other terms, Mr. Duncan Smith expanded his views in an exclusive article in the Daily Mail on May 24th, in which he spoke of the French "laughing at Britain": over its soft stance on refugees and saying that this country was being taken for a ride which prompted that paper's regular columnist Andrew Alexander to speak somewhat scornfully of IDS a couple of weeks later. "We should be glad to know," he said, "that Iain Duncan Smith is getting tough. Or, at any rate, what the media seem to think is tough" and he went on to remark on this new stance saying: "Wow! That must have sent shivers down the Government's spine!"
So why this dramatic Damascus conversion of Iain from the bleeding-heart liberal on immigration that he was before May 2nd into the right-wing hard-liner he was so obviously attempting to appear following that date? Simple. He had seen from the big upsurge in the BNP's vote all over the country that there was political mileage to be had in posing as the latter - at least just for a little while.
Of course, IDS's tough stance over the Sangatte refugees issue is just about as sincere as his flabby stance on race and immigration had been earlier. He is a politician, and in today's climate politicians feel constrained to say whatever the current popular wind prompts them to say - quite regardless of truth, principle or the national interest. Quite evidently, Andrew Alexander was not fooled, and neither should the rest of us be.
Tony the coffin-chaser
None of us should be surprised at the rumpus that has blown up over Tony Blair's cack-handed attempt to make personal and political capital over the death of the Queen Mother. Everyone should know the story. Officials at 10 Downing Street made approaches to Black Rod, the traditional title of the Royal Family's ceremonial representative, suggesting more of an up-front role for Mr. Blair in the funeral procession and service than had originally been decided upon. In fact, these approaches built up to a bout of repeated pestering which clearly annoyed Black Rod - otherwise known as General Sir Michael Willcocks - though the latter was reluctant to say so publicly.
The next thing was that certain newspapers got hold of the story and headlined it. This didn't please No. 10 at all, and it put in a protest to the Press Complaints Commission. The PCC did not uphold the complaint in the way that Downing Street had desired, as it had abundant evidence that the story of its pressure on Black Rod was true - the most damning piece of which was a memo that he (Black Rod) had sent to the PCC on the subject. On the other hand, the PCC did not feel that it could find firmly in favour of the newspapers concerned - for that would upset the cosy relations it had with the premier and his office. A fudge was decided upon whereby the complaint by No. 10 would be dropped in return for an agreement that the Black Rod memo would not be made public.
All in all, not a glorious episode in the career of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, but Tony surely should have known he was playing with fire when he authorised his staff to pressure Black Rod on the matter in the first place. It just seems that, as in the case of the funeral of Princess Diana, Tony just cannot bear a public occasion to take place in which he does not appear in the star role. The man's egotism, narcissism and vanity are totally insufferable - the more so when measured against his lamentable record in dealing with the real problems besetting Britain.
Dubya on the rampage
President Bush, apparently, has told his military commanders to bring him Saddam Hussein "dead or alive." Now that is the kind of language which mafia godfathers tend to apply to their gangster rivals, but it appears that today one of the world's leading statesmen can speak thus and not subject himself to undue censure either from fellow international leaders or the global mass media. There were just one or two tut-tuts from the press in this country, but that is as far as it went.
Let us remind ourselves of the actual situation. There is not a shred of evidence that Saddam Hussein threatens the United States or any other western nation. We are merely told - regularly to the point of tedium - that he is a rather dreadful fellow who is supposed to have weapons of mass destruction at his disposal; but so far he has not used them and, we suspect, will not do so in the future - even if indeed the stories that he has them are true. Just what would he have to gain? Only the absolute certainty of a full-scale attack by the US and its British satellite which would blast him and his country off the face of the earth.
Our holier-than-thou liberal pols and media are always prattling on about international law and ethical foreign policies. Yet here is a world leader using this 'dead-or-alive' talk and it seems to be taken as quite normal and acceptable - if just a little strong of expression. Just supposing Adolf Hitler had used such words about his enemies - Churchill or Roosevelt for instance. Now that really would have been outrageous!
Arise Sir Mick
We should never have been surprised. With this Government, the only remarkable thing is that it didn't happen sooner. Mick Jagger has got a knighthood. Jagger is one of the most repulsive specimens to strut the public stage in this country for many a year. It would be best, for the sake of not antagonising some of our readers, that we refrain from commenting on the flavour of his music. Suffice it to say just that he was a serial womaniser unfaithful to every female who (heaven knows why) was seduced by him, including two wives. He once went to jail for drug-taking, and like most others of his kind set an appalling example to the millions of young people who were brainwashed into idolising him. He is a self-centred exhibitionist whose chief obsession in life is money - of which he has made a vast amount but never donated to any worthy cause.
In other words, he is the perfect candidate for honours in Tony Blair's Britain which he has been given in just another cynical political move which perfectly illustrates the decadence into which the system has sunk.
Saint Nelson condemns our jails
Nelson Mandela, idol of good progressives everywhere, has been on a visit to this country during which he put in an appearance at Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow and met Lockerbie bomber Ali Mohamed Al Megrahi. The former South African president was not at all pleased at the solitary conditions in which Mr. Megrahi was confined, describing them as amounting to 'psychological persecution'.
Now ain't that sad! We wonder how concerned Mr Mandela is about all the psychological hardship endured to this day by the relatives of those killed at Lockerbie.