These Cambridge Buttocks Have Restored My Faith in the Future of Western Civilisation

Check out these arses. Not just any old arses, either, but proper, educated Cambridge University arses. On a miserable, cold day in which I have been laid low with man flu, these pert buttocks have restored my faith in the future of Britain. (Especially – though I do not wish to prejudice your voting – the splendid pair belonging to Katie from Sidney Sussex.)

Can naked bottoms really be that socio-politically significant? Oh very much so, I’d say. Especially to anyone who has just read the quite monumentally depressing cover story from this week’s Spectator by Brendan O’Neill.  His argument is that political correctness has become so heavily entrenched in academe that our seats of learning are in serious danger of abandoning perhaps their most important function: opening up developing minds to new ideas and experiences.

If your go-to image of a student is someone who’s free-spirited and open-minded, who loves having a pop at orthodoxies, then you urgently need to update your mind’s picture bank. Students are now pretty much the opposite of that. It’s hard to think of any other section of society that has undergone as epic a transformation as students have. From freewheelin’ to ban-happy, from askers of awkward questions to suppressors of offensive speech, in the space of a generation.

This was certainly the impression I got the other day from the mostly university-age audience on that car-crash BBC debate programme Free Speech. What struck me forcibly was that these young people had given up on the ability to “think” in any useful or meaningful way. Not only did they lack the core knowledge base (history, current affairs) which might have informed their identikit, off-the-shelf opinions.

But they all appeared reluctant to offer any view that wasn’t “safe” – ie one that hadn’t been extensively pre-validated by the groupthink herd.  No one, for example, was prepared to question the premise that Muslims were blameless victims of “Islamophobia” nor that Britain, nay the world, is currently in the grip of something called “rape culture.”

Brendan O’Neill, who speaks on university campuses more often than I do, has noticed similar problems.

I’ve been jeered at by students at the University of Cork for criticising gay marriage; cornered and branded a ‘denier’ by students at University College London for suggesting industrial development in Africa should take precedence over combating climate change; lambasted by students at Cambridge (again) for saying it’s bad to boycott Israeli goods. In each case, it wasn’t the fact the students disagreed with me that I found alarming — disagreement is great! — it was that they were so plainly shocked that I could have uttered such things, that I had failed to conform to what they assume to be right, that I had sought to contaminate their campuses and their fragile grey matter with offensive ideas.

Where once students might have allowed their eyes and ears to be bombarded by everything from risqué political propaganda to raunchy rock, now they insulate themselves from anything that might dent their self-esteem and, crime of crimes, make them feel ‘uncomfortable’. Student groups insist that online articles should have ‘trigger warnings’ in case their subject matter might cause offence. The ‘no platform’ policy of various student unions is forever being expanded to keep off campus pretty much anyone whose views don’t chime perfectly with the prevailing groupthink.

Where once it was only far-right rabble-rousers who were no-platformed, now everyone from Zionists to feminists who hold the wrong opinions on transgender issues to ‘rape deniers’ (anyone who questions the idea that modern Britain is in the grip of a ‘rape culture’) has found themselves shunned from the uni-sphere. My Oxford experience suggests pro-life societies could be next. In September the students’ union at Dundee banned the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children from the freshers’ fair on the basis that its campaign material is ‘highly offensive’.

This is what is so great about those Cambridge arse photos. Yes, it’s quite true: one of the reasons I chose to write about them is because I wanted to run a photograph of Katie from Sidney Sussex’s bottom and this seemed like a half-way decent excuse.

But it’s also true that I believe that news features like this, run in Britain’s most popular online student newspaper The Tab, may be all that stands between today’s student generation and the eradication of the Western intellectual tradition by the kill-joy forces of cultural Marxism.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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3 thoughts on “These Cambridge buttocks have restored my faith in the future of Western Civilisation”

  1. Rich Vail says:26th November 2014 at 3:49 pmI have to agree with your assessment sir. For sometime I have worried about that the state of English society, but if these people can do this it may not be beyond redemption after all.
  2. Doubting Rich says:26th November 2014 at 4:36 pmMy only disappointment is that the young lady from my own college chose to be photographed with her underwear on. However it has sadly gone somewhat downhill since I left, the bar getting quieter as it steadily rose from near the bottom of the academic leagues of the University.
  3. jb001 says:1st December 2014 at 10:09 amDidn’t members of the Frankfurt School talk about eros as a means to achieve their ends James?Cultural Marxism is “liberating”, remember.

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Free Speech Is Ddead in Britain. I Learned This on a BBC Programme Called Free Speech

November 20, 2014

Is it just my imagination or was there a widely publicised report a few weeks ago by a professor called Alexis Jay describing in clinical detail how at least 1400 mostly underage girls were groomed, drugged and raped over a period of years in the northern town of Rotherham by gangs of men from predominately Kashmiri-Pakistani Muslim backgrounds?

The reason I ask is that earlier this week, I was publicly called a liar, an Islamophobe and a racist for mentioning this fact on a BBC TV debate programme called – laughably – Free Speech. “Boo! Hiss!” went the studio audience. “Not true” went the silly girl panelist sitting to my left. “List one contemporary problem facing Britain that’s NOT the fault of Muslims? Are there any in your mind?” said someone on Twitter with evidently strong and somewhat unnerving radical Islamist sympathies.

It’s normally at this point in the proceedings that the moderator comes to your rescue. I know Jonathan or David Dimbleby would have done. Grumble though I do on occasion about the leftist bias of their respective programmes Any Questions and Question Time, the fact remains that the Dimblebys are bright, scrupulous, supremely well-informed professionals. No way would they allow it to go unchallenged if one of their panelists said something that was perfectly true only to have the rest of the panel and (almost) the entire audience to shout him down as a racist, Islamophobic liar.

But the same, unfortunately, could not be said for the moderators on this particular programme, which was evidently designed as a kind of looser, more youthful version of Question Time, aimed at the 16 to 34-year old demographic. They pointed the mics willy nilly at panelists and members of the audience with little regard to the sense – or nonsense – of what was being said.

Certainly, there was no evidence of any presiding intelligence shaping the show or the direction and balance of the debate. For all the difference the Blue-Peter-level moderation made, we could have been talking about Miley Cyrus’s twerking moves or Kim Kardashian’s bum, rather than about highly contentious, very serious and potentially dangerous issues like so-called “rape culture” and the radicalisation of young British Muslims.

Afterwards various viewers who had been appalled as I was by this car crash of debate asked why I’d volunteered for it. “Why go on James? It’s like stepping into the cretins’ den,” said one. Other comments from sympathisers included: “I had to turn it off,”; “You must have the patience of a saint after last night’s “Free Speech”,” It’s not a debate, more a left-wing hate-session against anyone daring not to conform”; “Have watched you on the BBC last night. I have to say that even growing up in communist Poland I have rarely seen such a shameless set up and left wing propaganda show. I admire your courage really.”

And the answer is: definitely not for the money. (£150 in case you wondered). No, the reason you do these things is partly in the naive hope that this time it will be different – that for once you’ll find a BBC debate programme where your function isn’t to play the token right-wing nutcase for the torture-porn delight of an audience of rabid lefties. And also because someone has to put the alternative viewpoint across, otherwise all you’re going to get is a bunch of people spouting the usually right-on, progressive cant and just agreeing with one another. If no one does this, then the enemy will have won.

So that’s why I did it but, God, I almost wish I hadn’t….

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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UKIP Could Save Britain – But First It Needs a Coherent Economic Policy

Why does the monumentally tedious soap-dodging pseud Russell Brand still sell so many books?

Why is Ed Miliband, a man with the charisma of used dental floss and the intellectual nuance of Hugo Chavez, still seriously in the running to become Britain’s next Prime Minister?

And why is Patrick O’Flynn, the economics spokesman for Britain’s most libertarian mainstream party UKIP, flirting with the kind of wealth taxes and turnover taxes you’d more usually associate with the Greens or the Socialist Workers’ Party?

The basic answer to these questions is one and the same: because there are many, many voters out there who sense there’s something not quite right about this “recovery” we’re experiencing; that while the rich seem to be getting richer and richer, the rest of us are finding it harder to make ends meet than ever we can remember.

So when Brand, Miliband and Patrick O’Flynn publicly advocate greater government intervention to make things fairer they are pushing at an open door. What half way decent person wouldn’t want everyone to be paid a “living wage”, or for Google to pay its fair share of taxes or for the superrich to have to pay a bit more of the money (which they can well afford) for their diamond-and-foie-gras encrusted Manolo Blahniks and their pashmina-trimmed Murcielagos?

Well I wouldn’t, for one, and it’s not because I don’t care and it’s not because I don’t think there’s something seriously wrong with the state of Britain’s economy. It’s simply because I recognise that the statist measures which Brand, Miliband and O’Flynn are advocating are a major part of the problem they are presuming to resolve.

Put very simply, the crisis all the world’s Western economies are facing right now is a reflection of the relentless expansion of government. Free market capitalism (insofar as it ever existed) has been replaced by crony capitalism in which an unholy alliance of financiers, lawyers, corporatists, politicians, left-leaning charities and bureaucrats have been allowed to bleed the dwindling sector of the economy that still produces real, useful stuff almost dry.

This crisis has been accelerated since the 2008 crash by the policy of government money printing – aka quantitative easing (QE) – which has artificially inflated the price of assets (such as houses) putting them further and further out of reach of struggling wage earners.

To put it into perspective, here’s a paragraph from Dominic Frisby’s excellent book Bitcoin – The Future Of Money (Unbound).

In the US wages have gone from around $6,000 per annum in 1971 to $44,000 today. So while the money supply in the US has increased by 2,000 per cent, wages have increased by 750 per cent. The inequality in the UK is greater. Money supply has increased by 6,700 per cent, wages by just 1,250 per cent. Wages, in short, have failed to keep up with inflation.

So all those people out there who think Russell Brand has put his finger on something, that Ed Miliband has a point, and that Patrick O’Flynn is talking sense when he says the corporations are getting away with murder are absolutely correct in their instincts. Where they couldn’t be more wrong, though, is in imagining that the solution lies in giving more power to the alliance of statist forces which created the problem in the first place.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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One thought on “UKIP could save Britain – but first it needs a coherent economic policy”

  1. Mycroft says:17th November 2014 at 7:28 pmI posted this on Guidos chatterbox in response to the complete lack of understanding of where that ‘fund difference’ amount has gone.

    “I’ll explain, we need to stop the state funding big company’s low wages whilst not contributing their share of the profits, this is GOOD for the middle-classes and working classes, but BAD for Pariah and Croney Capitalism.

    It is the middle classes that have been attacked the most as they have to make up the shortfall.

    That will be almost everyone reading this!

    So the man is right and because this message comes from the ‘right’ it puts the fear of christ up the vested interests.

    If you want a future where you are not the milk cow for the state to make up for their total lack of due diligence to rein in the Pariah and Croney Capitalists then you HAVE to vote UKIP.

    I like the idea of of UKIP hitting hard the sh’ts that have stopped aspiration in this Country and this man is on the right track to do exactly that.”

    We have to apply this same strategy to the state itself, which has also taken a chunk of that fund difference.

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If Nigel Farage is the New Enoch Powell He Should Be Proud

Whenever I find my faith wavering in Nigel Farage and the UKIP project, all I have to do is open my morning newspaper to be reminded why they are both so very necessary.

Yesterday’s Telegraph was a case in point with its snide, insinuating story about how in 1994 Farage wrote to Enoch Powell – the Conservative intellectual and politician long acknowledged as one of his heroes – asking him to support his candidature in a local election. UKIP also wrote on several occasions to ask Powell to stand as a candidate in two national elections.

So far so very ho-hum. Powell – a highly intelligent, supremely principled politician with a fine war record, well loved by his constituents – would have been a natural fit for UKIP with his anti-EU views, his ability to connect with the views of ordinary people and his brave refusal to allow the immigration issue to be swept under the carpet as the Establishment was so keen to do then and remains so eager to do so today.

Why then the story?

Well, it was pegged to the fact that on Thursday night a priapic, soap-dodging, informationally-challenged pocket demagogue called Russell Brand accused Farage on BBC Question Time of being a “pound shop Enoch Powell.” And amazingly, the Telegraph was inviting us to take the view that this grandiloquent half-wit’s cheap shot – playing on the popular leftist meme that Powell was a “racist” because of his “Rivers of Blood” speech – ought to be taken as a valid criticism.

Wearing the mask of sage neutrality, the Telegraph opined in its accompanying editorial:

Whatever the stance one takes, it should be remembered that it was the language used by Mr Powell in the Sixties that so poisoned the immigration debate – and arguably made it so difficult to reopen until very recently. Back in 2005, Michael Howard was accused of having a “Powell moment” as Tory leader when he questioned the wisdom of uncontrolled immigration. That spectre has often been used to shut down such conversations, to the advantage of no one.

Hence, while many in Ukip will be unrepentant in their admiration for Mr Powell, they should surely take note of the bitterness that followed the “Rivers of Blood” speech, and consider the consequences of over-heated rhetoric. Certainly, a debate about the impact of immigration needs to be had – and it should be a prominent part of the mainstream political agenda, rather than left to fester on the margins. But this vital discussion is best conducted with calm, reason and respect for the feelings of others.

Ah yes. The old “over-heated rhetoric” canard.

It always puzzles me when I see one of my fellow journalists wheeling it out. It’s akin to a restaurant critic trying to make a virtue of the fact that from now on he’ll only be reviewing establishments that don’t serve meat; or a poet renouncing rhyme. Why would you want to do such a thing? Why would you want to shackle yourself in this way? The point, if your stock in trade is language, surely, is that you want to be free to employ it in all its rich variety – a bit of low snark here, a bit of Augustan rhetoric there. You’re appealing not just to your reader’s intellect but his emotions too. The idea that, say, strong imagery should be off-limits lest some bad person responds incorrectly is as absurd as ordaining that cars should only travel at 10 miles per hour because any faster and they might kill someone.

And exactly the same thing applies to political oratory. In the decades since Powell made that speech in 1968, it has become accepted wisdom that it killed free public debate on immigration stone dead and that the reason it did so was because of its inflammatory language. I’d concede the first part because it is depressingly, self-evidently true. But the second part is a nonsense.

It wasn’t Powell’s inflammatory language that killed the debate. What killed it was that a political and media Establishment which for various reasons didn’t want to have the debate – some for reasons of ideology, others out of moral cowardice – found it convenient to close it down by shooting the messenger. They didn’t have to close it down. There was no law that declared “If any politician quotes Virgil in a speech on immigration and some people get upset or offended by the fiery tone then for a period of no less than half a century the subject of immigration shall be off limits in case any more people get upset or offended.” Rather, it’s because, a craven political and media class chose to close it down, with consequences we are ruing to this day.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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This #waronwomen nonsense Is Getting out of Hand…

Today at Breitbart London our correspondent Virginia Hale has written a superb defence of the notorious comedian Dapper Laughs – a man whom none of us had heard of at the beginning of the week, but is now all over the UK media thanks largely to the concerted chittering of various feminist Social Justice Warrior groups who appear to think he is the living embodiment of that thing they like to call “rape culture.”

I’m glad Virginia wrote it because I wouldn’t have dared. I’m happy taking on the Islamists (not a group noted for their moderation when dealing with their enemies) and I’m not afraid of the environmentalists (though perhaps I should be, given what one of their number – an animal rights activist – did to the late Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn) but the neo-feminists are in another category of shrill, vengeful loopiness altogether.

They strike me as somewhat frustrated little poppets and I think I know what the problem is: they were born in the wrong place and the wrong century. Their natural habit, I reckon, would have been the hills and plains of 19th century Afghanistan, where they could have descended, ullulating wildly, onto columns of retreating British soldiers, knives at the ready to remove the poor chaps’ testicles and sew them up into their mouths.

But I digress. Another reason I’m grateful to Virginia Hale – apart from the fact that she has saved me from the above fate by saying on behalf of all us beleaguered menfolk the things that NO MAN DARE SAY – is that she has demonstrated there are still at least a few sensible women out there (I actually suspect they’re the silent majority) who are not buying into this “all men are rapists”/rape culture meme.

Nor is Allison Pearson who has written a cracking – and very brave – defence in her Telegraph column today of the footballer (and convicted rapist) Ched Evans, daringly headlined “Sorry, but all rapes are not the same.”

Here’s a sample:

I’ve spent two grim days reading about everything the former Welsh international did in a hotel in Rhyl in 2011. I have come to three conclusions. The first is that the verdict of the jury was inconsistent and quite possibly unsafe. The second is that the football pitches of England would be half-empty this Saturday afternoon if you removed every player who has done what Evans did. (And so would many of the clubs and pubs.)

The third conclusion is probably the most troubling. We live in an era where relationships among the young have changed beyond recognition. Casual hook-ups and the exchange of sexual favours are the norm. Even “nice” girls allow themselves to be used like inflatable dolls. (If confident enough, they can use men like playthings in return.) In such a free-for-all, what is meant by “consensual sex” becomes more and more blurred.

It’s daring and brave given what happened to the last female public figure to call for a bit of moderation and commonsense in the debate over whether or not Evans should be able to go back to his career as a professional football having served his jail sentence.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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I’d Rrather My Kids Were Killing Real Game than Playing Call of Duty on an Xbox

When is it wrong for a child to be taught discipline, responsibility and a love and understanding of the traditional ways of British country life?

When that lesson involves guns and game fowl, apparently.

Hence the story in today’s Daily Mail in which we are invited to be shocked by the fact that author and TV presenter Susannah Constantine has put up photographs on Instagram of her ten-year old daughter Cece beaming proudly, her face smeared in the blood of the first mallard duck she has shot and is pictured holding round its neck.

“Depressing”, “irresponsible” and “dangerous” claim the various animal rights campaign groups quoted in the article.

But for me – and, I would hope, the vast majority of Breitbart readers – the messages sent out by that charming photograph are the exact opposite of the ones that the animal rights fascists would like to impose on it.

How uplifting to see a ten-year old enjoying the outdoors rather than being hunched, as most of her contemporaries are so much of the time, over a computer!

How very responsible of this lucky girl’s wonderful parents to teach her such skills as fieldcraft, camouflage and markmanship, as well as imbuing her with an understanding of issues like conservation and the intimate relationship between meat and killing, and enabling her to operate on equal terms in a world traditionally dominated by men.

And how very safety-conscious to train her up from such a young age as to how to handle a deadly weapon responsibly.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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Frankie Boyle Says Not All Comics Are Lefties. Is This His Best Joke Yet?

Left-wing comedian Frankie Boyle has written an article in the left-wing Guardian explaining to his amen corner of left-wing readers that all his left-wing contemporaries who play left-wing comedy sets at left-wing comedy clubs, perform on left-wing TV panel shows and appear on left-wing comedy programmes on left wing BBC Radio 4 aren’t in fact left-wing at all but hold a broad array of political opinions.

Nice one, Frankie. One of your funniest.

You can tell his heart’s really not in the joke, though, because he keeps undermining it at every turn with sentences like this:

“Comedians, being decent sorts deep down, maybe just don’t take kindly to what they see as their fellows being targeted because of their race or gender.”

To appreciate fully what is so very wrong with this statement, you need to know the context of Boyle’s article. It was written in response to a very brave post on Facebook by comedian Andrew Lawrence having a dig at the “moronic, liberal back-slapping on panel shows like Mock The Week where aging, balding, fat men, ethnic comedians and women-posing-as-comedians, sit congratulating themselves on how enlightened they are about the fact that UKIP are ridiculous and pathetic.”

Boyle, it should be noted, is a middle aged and, though not balding or fat, has been a regular on Mock The Week, a comedy show so gag-destroyingly right on it might have been scripted by Polly Toynbee, Harriet Harman and Yasmin Alibhai Brown.

Understandably, Lawrence’s comments hit a raw nerve.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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The Establishment’s Attacks on UKIP Are Doomed to Backfire

By “the Establishment” I don’t, of course, mean the toffee-nosed, elitist right-wing conspiracy which exists largely in the perfervid imaginations of Russell Brand and Owen Jones.

I mean the new progressive Establishment which has dominated the cultural and political argument since at least the Blair era: the quangos, the seats of academe, the politically correct corporatists, the Eurocrats, the congenitally bien-pensant luvvies, the liberal media from the Guardian to the BBC, the charities, the identikit politicos in the Westminster bubble. They want to destroy UKIP not out of high principle but simply because it represents such a threat to the communitarian status quo. Here are some examples.

The Electoral Commission

In Standpoint Nigel Vinson tells the full, shocking story of how the Electoral Commission deprived UKIP of two MEP seats in the European elections in May – essentially by rigging the ballot paper.

A hitherto unknown party calling itself An Independence From Europe was allowed by the Electoral Commission onto the top of the ballot paper – and went on to claim nearly a quarter of a million votes from confused people who had almost certainly meant to vote UKIP.

The seats went to Green MEPs instead. At the time UKIP didn’t make a big deal of this, presumably because it didn’t want to sound petulant at a moment when it needed to sound exultant. But what happened here was the most extraordinary miscarriage of justice, perpetrated by a supposedly neutral, independent regulatory body which is clearly riddled with bias and is unfit for purpose.

Stand-up comics (aka The Wankocracy)

In the old days, on the Eighties alternative comedy circuit, all someone like Ben Elton would have to do was mention the words “Margaret Thatcher” – or even just “Thatch!” – for their audience to dissolve in smug, consensual, righteously scornful laughter.

Now this role as the butt of every second-rate lefty comic’s crap jokes has been taken over by UKIP. “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally it means they have not a single political argument left,” Baroness Thatcher once said. As her most plausible current heir, Nigel Farage should find this heartening.

The European Parliament

Last week in Strasbourg, the European parliament’s arch-federalist political establishment rigged the rules and gamed the system in a dirty tricks measure which could almost have destroyed UKIP. Christopher Booker tells the story here:

Ever since Ukip last May won 24 seats, the Parliament’s Euro-elite – led by its German president Martin Schulz, the arch-federalist once famously compared by Silvio Berlusconi to a Nazi concentration camp commandant – has been longing to cut Mr Farage down to size. Last week Mr Schulz thought his moment had come. When an obscure Latvian MEP was persuaded to defect from Farage’s group, it meant that it no longer included representatives of seven countries, the minimum qualification to be recognised as an official parliamentary group.

Mr Schulz triumphantly announced that the group was thus disbanded, which would have been for Mr Farage and his colleagues an utter disaster.

Under new rules introduced by Mr Schulz, not only would they instantly have to vacate their plush offices, losing the services of some 40 administrative staff and £13 million in cash and kind, Mr Farage would also have to retire to the back benches, no longer able to make those speeches at the front of the Parliament that have earned him millions of hits on YouTube, such as that in which he told Herman Van Rompuy that he had “the charisma of a damp rag”.

Scarcely had Mr Schulz exulted at his triumph over the hated Eurosceptics, however, than the group recruited a Polish MEP to make up the numbers again. Despite attempts to discredit this man as a “Holocaust denier”, because his party leader back in Poland once questioned whether Hitler knew about Auschwitz (Farage’s new colleague merely described Hitler as “an evil man”), Mr Schulz soon found himself having to call Farage back to the rostrum as if nothing had happened.

What’s almost as interesting as Schulz’s plot – and how close it came to succeeding – has been the way the story has been reported across the media. Had these dirty tricks been applied to any other mainstream party, the stink would have been enormous.

Instead, even in supposedly conservative newspapers, reports focused not on the monstrousness of Schulz’s wicked, blatantly anti-democratic scheming but on the essentially trivial views of some Polish nobody from a party with whom it was perfectly clear Farage had got into bed out of pure pragmatism rather than deep ideological kinship.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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Eight Lessons We Won’t Learn from Afghanistan…

1. Never invade Afghanistan

This was Britain’s fourth war in Afghanistan – and really the lesson should have been learned after the first one in 1842 when at least 16,000 British servicemen, women, children were butchered, froze to death, or were captured on the ignominious retreat from Kabul.

The point about the Afghans – and if the British imperial experience didn’t remind us of this, the more recent Soviet one should have done – is that war is their national sport and they will always win in the end. As the Taliban famously boast: “You have the watches. We have the time.”

2. Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them

Sherard Cowper-Coles, from 2007 to 2009 Britain’s ambassador in Kabul, recently recalled how British troops clearing IEDs and mines from the roadsides in Helmand province would occasionally unearth the bleached bones of their Victorian predecessors from the First and Second Afghan Wars.

The British may not have known much about Helmand when they were arrived, but the Afghans have never forgotten its significance: it was the location of another of their greatest victories over the British – the Battle of Maiwand in 1880 when Ayub Khan defeated a brigade under General Burrows.

3. Afghanistan was always a Pakistan v India proxy war and we got caught in the middle

It goes back at least as far as the Soviet invasion when India, then a client state of the Soviet Union, supported the Russians while Pakistan created and launched the Taliban to oppose them. But the tensions go right back to Partition and Pakistan’s fear that one day its giant neighbour will seek to destroy it. Afghanistan has long been seen by Pakistan as its place of final retreat and has therefore always sought to guarantee a pro-Pakistani regime in Kabul. India, meanwhile, has been using the Afghan conflict to destabilise its old enemy.

After 9/11 Pakistan claimed to have changed sides and it suited the US under President George W Bush to claim it as his principal regional ally in the War on Terror. But this was never more than a convenient fiction. As a US intelligence officer quoted in the BBC’s Afghanistan: The Lion’s Last Roar pointed out: “The President had said that he looked into [Pakistan president] Musharraf’s eye’s and found an ally. He couldn’t now come out and say: ‘Well actually, they are the Taliban’s number one supporter.’”

4. Britain’s generals are at least as bad – if not worse – than the ones in the First and Second World Wars. They could even give the ones responsible for Crimea a run for their money.

Essentially the recent Afghan war was created by and for the British army – as a budget- and skin-saving exercise. It needed a purpose after its failure in the Iraq debacle – culminating in its humiliating retreat from Basra airport. Afghanistan was sold to the British government by the military as a “good war” in which the Army could play to its strengths, established from Malaya through to Northern Ireland, as a peace-keeping/counter-insurgency force.

In one tiny respect this plan, cooked up by the Army’s generals, succeeded: Afghanistan gave the Army more intense and extensive combat experience than it has had since the Korean war. But this came at a terrible cost which should have been foreseen from the start.

Arguably the general most culpable for this is General Dannatt, Chief of General Staff from 2006 to 2009. He told the BBC documentary:

Looking back we probably should have realised, maybe I should realised, that the circumstances in Iraq were such that the assumption that we would get down to just 1,000 or 1,500 soldiers by summer 2006 was flawed – it was running at many thousands.

We called it the perfect storm, because we knew that we were heading for two considerable size operations and we really only had the organisation and manpower for one.

And therefore perhaps we should have revisited the decision that we the UK would lead an enlarged mission in southern Afghanistan in 2006. Perhaps we should have done that. We didn’t do that.

But this should have been perfectly clear at the time, not with hindsight. Even back then – and certainly more so as a result of the extensive cuts since – the British army has neither the manpower nor the materiel to fight two wars simultaneously. It was utterly irresponsible of Dannatt to try to draw down Britain’s military presence in Iraq at the very time the insurgency was getting more intense.

Nor did Britain have the strength to control Helmand province, the most volatile and warlike in all Afghanistan. The notion that it did – initially with a force of perhaps 300 actual combat troops – was just a joke.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

Related posts:

  1. The lesson of Arnhem and Afghanistan: heroism is no substitute for strategy
  2. Obama: when all else fails, blame Dubya and the CIA
  3. Why are we still feeding our soldiers into the Taliban mincing machine?
  4. Ron Paul is right. Military adventurism is a luxury we can no longer afford

 

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Eight More Good Reasons to Loathe and Despise Russell Brand

Russell Brand – soap-dodger, lech, former husband of the infinitely more talented Katy Perry – is the most irritating person on earth. This much we knew. But I don’t think any of us realised just HOW irritating till his most recent appearance on BBC Newsnight last night in which, besides revealing himself to be a 9/11 Truther, he also emerged as a preening, ignorant, manipulative bully with disturbing communist and Islamist tendencies.

If you haven’t watched the segment yet then don’t. Really, don’t. I’ve done it for you and the horror will haunt me for weeks.

1. Russell Brand is a 9/11 truther.

Asked by interviewer Evan Davis about the suggestion in his new book Revolution that the destruction of the Twin Towers looked like “controlled explosion”, Brand became characteristically evasive.

Davis: “Do you think that the Twin Towers were destroyed by agents of the American government?”

Brand: “You can read the book in whatever manner you would like to.”

Pressed by Davis, Brand then went on:

“I think it is interesting at this time when we have so little trust in our political figures, where ordinary people have so little trust in their media, we have to remain open-minded to any kind of possibility.”

2. Brand is an Islamist shill

Davis: “Most people would argue that it is ridiculous to suggest that anyone other than Al Qaeda destroyed that building.”

Brand: “What I do think is very interesting is the relationship that the Bush family have had for a long time with the Bin Laden family. What I do think is very interesting is the way that even the BBC report the events in Ottawa to subtly build an anti-Islamic narrative. I think that’s very interesting.”

3. Brand can’t see a stick without grabbing the wrong end

In a rant on energy, Brand describes a Britain in which “energy companies are subsidised by taxes while renewable energy is ignored.”

Er, Russell, renewable energy is the energy form most heavily subsidised by taxes – and precisely because, far from being ignored, it is being incentivised by government regulation.

4. Brand is all mouth and no trousers

A “Pope is Catholic” point, I know. But it really was quite extraordinary the lengths to which Brand went to avoid discussing something he had written in his book and which was then quoted by Davis: “Let’s kill General Motors. Let’s take it back from the shareholders, scribble out the name and the logo and let’s use its resources for something more valuable.”

If Brand is prepared to type this tripe and then benefit from it financially as herds of Occupy-style idiots rush to buy his book, why is he so unwilling to justify his position?

5. Economics to Brand is like garlic to a vampire.

Davis gently pointed out one of the flaws in Brand’s ‘argument’ on General Motors.

“Do you know who owns it?” he asked. “The United Autoworkers’ Union owns a chunk; the Canadian government owns a chunk…”

Brand’s response was akin to Damien’s in Omen II when his parents try to take him into a church.

And if you thought that was bad, you should have seen how Brand reacted when Davis tried to show him a graph.

“I ain’t got time for a bloody graph”, he said.

6. Brand is a demagogue in the tradition of Alex Salmond, Hugo Chavez, Che Guevara.

Never mind the fine details, just keep repeating the slogans, keep intoning the boo words and the mob will love you for it.

Brand: “Evan are you seriously telling me that corporations like Monsanto and Pfizer…” (turns sidewise to appeal to imaginary audience of approving listeners: Brand uses this technique A LOT) “…are operating on behalf of us ordinary people.”

Davis never said this. He never even implied it. But this doesn’t bother Brand. What matters is that he can slip in the names of companies he knows his target audience hate.

Warming to his theme, he subsequently attacks “corporations like Vodafone, Amazon, Google that don’t pay their taxes.”

This, as Brand knows, is Occupy gold.

Read the other reasons – including 7 which is the best – at Breitbart London

Related posts:

  1. Why the Child Benefit cuts have made me despise Cameron’s ‘Conservatives’ even more than I did already
  2. Green jobs? Wot green jobs? (pt 242)
  3. How the malign, totalitarian left played the ‘disability’ card to brand an innocent man a thought criminal
  4. The real cost of ‘global warming’

 

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