North Korea and South Korea are on the verge of declaring peace.
No one, I imagine, will be quite so disappointed by this dreadful news as the distinguished war historian Sir Max Hastings.
Here, almost exactly a year ago, was what Hastings had to say about the imminent prospects of a Third World War caused – he predicted – by Trump’s disastrous brinksmanship towards North Korea.
For national leaders around the world — and above all in Asia — there is a war-games scenario that chills the blood.
The United States delivers an ultimatum to North Korea, insisting it renounces its nuclear weapons. The half-crazed regime in the capital, Pyongyang, refuses. U.S. aircraft and missiles strike at Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear facilities. North Korea’s neighbour and ally, China, responds by hitting carriers of the U.S. Seventh Fleet in the Pacific. Suddenly, a major war erupts.
Such a horror story yesterday came a step closer to reality, when Donald Trump issued a warning that the U.S. would take unilateral action against North Korea should China decline to do so.
Hastings was by no means alone in this nervous assessment. So too, he went on to illustrate, were many of the world’s greatest experts and strategic thinkers.
Yes, you read that right. Not billion but trillion. That’s $2,500,000,000,000 which India was expecting to be paid over the next 15 years by the Western nations – ie mainly the U.S. – as a bribe for pretending to decarbonize its economy in line with the U.N. Paris agreement.
2016 was a great year for most of us – but just because we’ve gained the beachhead doesn’t mean we’re going to win the war.
With Brexit and Donald Trump, we’ve done the equivalent of capturing everywhere from Pointe Du Hoc to Pegasus Bridge. But just like with D-Day, the worst of the fighting is yet to come. Our enemy is fanatical, determined, well organised. Plus, they still hold most of the key positions: the big banks, the corporations, the top law firms, the civil service, local government, the universities, the schools, the mainstream media, Hollywood… Give those bastards half the chance and they’ll drive us back into the sea – which, in contemporary terms, means nixing Brexit (or giving us “soft Brexit”, which is basically the same thing) and frustrating all the things President Trump will try to do to Make America Great Again.
I use the war analogy first because World War II analogies never fail, but second because this really is a war that we’re fighting. The bad news is that wars are hard, costly and ugly. The good news is that we’re on the right side and we’re going to win. Here’s how:
We will never underestimate the wickedness of the enemy
The liberal-left loves to portray us as the bad guys. But that’s justprojection. From Mao’s China to Stalin’s Soviet Union, from Cuba to North Korea, history is littered with the wreckage of failed left wing schemes to make the world a better, fairer place.
As the great, now sadly-retired Thomas Sowell says, “Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.” Its malign influence is still with us today. Innocent boys being accused of rape on college campuses; genuine rapes committed by gangs of Muslim taxi drivers in northern England and by gangs of Muslim immigrants in German cities like Cologne; hundreds of thousands driven into fuel poverty, landscapes ravaged, avian fauna sliced and diced as a result of crazy renewable energy policies; a Nobel-prize-winning scientist driven out of his job because a feminist loser misreported something he said about women at a conference; generations of kids denied a rigorous, disciplined, useful education; the needless violence and tension engendered by #blacklivesmatter: we should never concede the moral high ground to the kind of people who make all this sort of stuff possible, no matter how many times they tell us how evil and selfish and uncaring we are.
We will always remember that we are better than them
I’ll give you an example: the dumbass lecturer at Drexel who tweeted that what he wanted for Christmas was “white genocide”. Should we be demanding that the university authorities sack him at once? Of course we shouldn’t.
The man has performed an invaluable public service: he has provided the perfect example of how ingrained the values of the left are in academe; he has shown prospective applicants to the Politics and Global Studies course at Drexel University in Philadelphia that unless they want to be indoctrinated with hard-left lunacy they might want to reconsider; he has further shown alumni of Drexel University who believe in old fashioned stuff like free markets that maybe they shouldn’t include their alma mater in their million dollar bequests, after all.
Sure, we should jeer and crow when we catch idiots like this man expressing reprehensible opinions. But the idea that someone should actually lose their job for something they said on Twitter ought to be anathema to those of us on the right side of the argument. One of the most thoroughly hateful things about the left is the way it tries to constrain free expression. If we play the same game, we are no better than they are. And face it: we just are.
We will take the fight to the enemy, not cower in No Man’s Land
One of the best things about 2016 for me was the way it gave the lie to the weaselish and wet aphorism – so often repeated by so many of our impeccably reasonable, sensible and balanced TV and newspaper pundits – that elections are “won in the centre ground.”
This was the Belial philosophy that gave us, in the U.S., that hideous continuum from the Bushes and the Clintons to Obama; and in Britain, the grotesque and malign Third Way squishery that took us from Tony Blair through to his (self-admitted heir) David Cameron and beyond. (It’s also the mindset which invented the disgraceful, sell-out concept of “soft Brexit”.)
No wonder so many of us had become so fed up with politics: no matter which party you voted for, whether the notionally left-wing one or the notionally right-wing one you still seemed to end up up with the same old vested interests, the same old liberal Establishment elite.
Of course we should always despise the liberal-left because their philosophy is morally bankrupt, dangerous and wrong. But I sometimes think that the people we should despise most of all are the squishes who pretend to be on our side of the argument but forever betray our cause. Sometimes they do this by throwing the more outspoken among us to the wolves in order to signal how tolerant and virtuous they are; sometimes they do this by endorsing some fatuous liberal position in order to show their willingness to compromise.
I call the latter approach the “dogshit yogurt fallacy.”
If conservatives like fruit or honey in their yogurt and liberals prefer to eat it with dogshit, it is NOT a sensible accommodation – much as our centrist conservative columnists might wish it so – to say: “All right. How about we eat our yogurt with a little bit of both?” We need to understand, very clearly, that there are such things as right and wrong; and that, furthermore, it is always worth fighting to the bitter end for the right thing rather than accepting second best because a bunch of lawyers and politicians and hairdressers from Brazil and squishy newspaper columnists and other members of the liberal elite have told us that second best is the best we can hope for.
On Brexit, for example, I’m with Her Majesty the Queen: “‘I don’t see why we can’t just get out? What’s the problem?’
“The economic crisis could spark a resurgence in the far Right,” warns a senior British government cabinet minister.
Warns? Well he would warn I suppose this guy – Balls is his name and that’s exactly what he talks – being as he’s so mindlessly, instinctively, incorrigeably left wing he makes Joe Stalin sound like Rush Limbaugh.
But speaking for myself I’d say a little bit more far Right is just what the world could do with right now. Our economies would recover more quickly; our kids would be better educated; our wives (qua Mayor of London Boris Johnson) would have larger breasts (if we so chose, though of course it wouldn’t be compulsory for small-but-perfectly-formed-breast-favourers like me); we’d earn more money and live longer and have all the leisure time we needed to do whatever we wanted, be it hunt foxes or smoke cigarettes or drive our 4 x 4s incredibly fast on no-speed-limit motorways or eat live ortolans in truffle and foie gras sandwiches or take long bracing walks in pristine landscapes unsullied by useless wind turbines or anything else we fancied, pretty much, because we’d be free, free, FREE!
Some of you might be wondering where the death camps fit into all this. And the Swastikas.
And the gay-bashing. And the Jew-murdering.
And my answer is: they don’t.
About the only Nazi/fascist thing I can envisage happening in my far-Right paradise – that and the fact that chic, Hugo-Boss-designed uniforms will be perfectly permissible among those who fancy such things – is that the trains will run on time. But that’s all.
You see when I talk about far Right, I don’t mean the caricature “all Conservatives are closet Nazis” version of supposed extreme right-wingery which appears in leftist propaganda from the likes of Mr Balls.
I just mean something a bit more robust than the limp-wristed conservatism currently espoused by a worryingly large number of US Republican and British Tory politicians. I mean real conservatism not “Compassionate Conservatism”, (which isn’t conservatism at all but diluted liberalism.)
Whenever I try explaining this to people (as I do quite a lot because hey, I’m on A Mission) usually their eyes glaze over or they look at me like I’m mad. “What?” they go. “How can you like cool music and be so heavily into freedom and call yourself right wing?”
My friends – I’m presuming you’re reading this because you want to be my friend and not because you think I’m evil and wrong and are just lurking here to annoy me – my friends, it is time that those of us on the right (and those of us who think we, er, might possibly be on the right, but are too scared to admit it, even to ourselves) came out of the closet and started standing up for ourselves and our cause.
Say it loud, say it proud: “I’m right-wing and I’m good and I’m happy in my skin.”
There. Don’t you feel SO much better?
I know I’ve been feeling a lot better, anyway, ever since I started becoming a fully-fledged, unabashed, practising right-winger.
Just recently, as I never tired of my reminding my long-suffering Facebook friends, I did a publicity tour of the US. Well, maybe a tour is too grand a word for it, given that I only stopped off in New York and DC. But I did do lots of talk radio, maybe thirty stations across the US, and just to ram home (so to speak) that gay analogy one more time, I came away feeling rather as my gay friends must have done when they finally plucked up the courage to tell their parents that, um, if they were expecting grandchildren any time soon then maybe it might not be too good an idea to hold their breath. I felt relieved of a terrible burden: the burden that comes of being right wing and forever having to hedge your views with semi-apologies, and nervous circumlocution, and long-winded explanations as to why is that even though you’re right wing your politics spring from the noblest of motives.
When you do the right-wing US talk shows, none of that is necessary. Au contraire. The more unashamedly right-wing you are, the more they love you for it. They take it as a given that being on the right is the right place to be. Which makes a refreshing change from doing pretty much any talk radio show in Britain, let me tell you. Over here – where most talk shows of note are in the control of the instinctively, unthinkingly left liberal BBC – your job as a right-winger is, at best, to provide freak-show amusement value; at worst, to afford prey for a series of carefully prepared traps with leaves on top and ravening tigers lurking in the pit underneath.
Your interviewer’s aim – this applies on TV as much as radio – will be to hold your opinions up to his audience’s righteous contempt by demonstrating that you are one or more of the following: a xenophobe, a racist, a climate-change denier, a Little Englander, a NIMBY, an elitist, a snob, or just a plain evil selfish bastard who doesn’t give a fig for anyone but himself. The BBC doesn’t do this deliberately. (Well, not often). It genuinely sees itself as a model of balance and reasonableness. Unfortunately, though, because it is staffed almost totally by bien-pensants recruited through the media pages of the left-wing Guardian newspaper, a BBC apparatchik’s idea of the centre ground is actually some way towards the political left.
But I have been sidetracked. There will be plenty of time in future blogs to have a go at BBC bias. My point in this inaugural one is to come up with some kind of statement of intent: who I am, what I stand for.
And what I stand for is a lot of things you wouldn’t necessarily associate with people on the right. Some of the things I value, admittedly, are straight down-the-line conservative. I believe in tradition; I go to church (though not nearly as often as maybe I should); I think foxhunting and staghunting are the coolest, most exciting sports ever invented (with grouse-shooting a close second); I believe that the English public school offers the best education in the world; I worship Johnny Cash; I get a terrible, aching, yearning feeling in my heart when I listen to Vaughan Williams’s English folk song suite; I play bridge; I like long country walks; and I’m utterly obsessed with World War II and am never happier than when talking to veterans – or indeed when hanging out with servicemen generally because yes, I do think meanly of myself for not having been a soldier, and I will always envy and admire those who have faced the ultimate test.
But not all my enthusiams are stereotypically right-wing. I’m liberal on recreational drug use, for example. Very liberal – though as I would prefer to put it “classically liberal” or libertarian. I like dance music. Led Zeppelin. Love. Radiohead. DJ Shadow. No seriously, my taste in music is pretty immaculate though I say it myself. And if you follow my recommendations up right, or go to my archive, I promise you, you’re in for many treats. I’m also a sensitive literary type. (Well, I write novels – the current series being set in World War II – which may not be quite the same thing. They’re full of graphic violence, black jokes and dirty sex, which the more straight-laced conservative type might find a bit near the knuckle). I like South Park. And The Simpsons. And culty, arthouse films like Lilya 4 Ever; Adaptation; Brazil and Being John Malkovich. I like Starship Troopers. The Sopranos. Band Of Brothers. Das Boot. And I’m really into vampire movies, so long as they’re evil vampires like in 30 Days Of Night, Salem’s Lot, From Dusk Till Dawn and Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, and not wussy vegetarian ones designed for girls like in that current teen-vampire film whose name I forget.
Oh and having travelled a lot in Africa, I care about the state of that continent and am fascinated by its people (though I don’t think, pace Bob Geldof and Bono, that the solution lies in bombarding them with aid). And I get on well with black people, yellow people, hispanics and Jews. Even Germans and French, sometimes. I don’t think I’m racist. Well, certainly no more than the next human being. And I have so many gay friends, it has been suggested that I might be a closeted gay myself. Or at least that I’m in denial. Heavily in denial presumably, given that I’m happily married with a wife and three kids.
Anyway, look, fuck it – oh yeah, swearing, that’s another thing I do, which I have to be much more careful about in the US where I know casual swearing is much less prevalent among educated people – I’ve told you quite enough to be going on with. Really, all I wanted to do here apart from offer you a gentle introduction to the kind of thing I do, is come back to that point I was trying to make at the beginning about the fact that being right wing is not the same thing as being a Nazi. Or a fascist. Or any of those other nasty slurs that left-wingers like the Balls man and Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky and the rest like to use against us in order to wriggle out of the need to engage us in honest debate.
And if you want an even more detailed explanation of why right wingers, no matter how extreme, are neither fascists nor Nazis, read Jonah Goldberg’s excellent Liberal Fascism. The Nazis were a movement of the left – National Socialists – not the right, and the only reason that today we imagine otherwise is because of a very successful propaganda campaign begun by Joseph Stalin, and continued by his fellow travellers and useful idiots ever since.
Me, I’m a nice guy. I love my family, love nature, like peace and love, and never drown kittens unless it’s strictly necessary. But you know what? Just recently, what with Obamaland and all, I’ve had this wonderful, liberating sense that I no longer need to apologise to my antagonists on the green-tinged liberal-left for who I am and the things for which I stand. There are people, I’ve realised just recently, whom I’m never going to convert through force of argument, no matter how eloquent my delivery nor how indisputable my evidence.
So to all my friends and would-be friends I say: welcome!