Ken Clarke 175

I am a long term fan of Ken Clarke, who walked today with the SNP and Caroline Lucas through the lobby to oppose the racist motivated disaster that is Brexit. Personally I dislike referenda in the extreme, those of us who genuinely are of the common clay know better than to romantically ennoble our peers. I strongly suggest you spend a couple of hours talking with ordinary punters on Ramsgate High Street before you decide they should determine the detail of high policy. I am decidedly with Edmund Burke on this issue.

The same goes for Scottish Independence. The majority of countries in the entire world achieved independence in my lifetime, and the vast majority of those without a referendum. At least seven member states of the EU obtained their current form and boundaries in the last three decades, without referenda.

If the elected representatives of the Scottish people – the MPs, MSP’s or both – were to come together as a national assembly and declare independence, that would precisely meet the process by which the large majority of countries in the world, including many EU members, achieved independence. The actual confirmation of that independence is by recognition at the UN, and nothing to do with internal process. The UN does not prescribe a referendum, which is very much the exception not the rule.

To return to Ken Clarke. A few years ago I debated against him at the Cambridge Union. After the post-debate reception, I returned with Malcolm Rifkind and Ken Clarke by the last train to London. Clarke came from first class to standard to find me and insisted I join them. He had a most expensive looking substantial pigskin briefcase. He opened it to produce, encased in foam moulding like a professional camera case, a bottle of perfectly chilled champagne and four flutes. A great man.

Signed First Editions are now available direct from this blog! You can leave a message naming the dedication you want. Sold at cover price of £25 including p&p for UK delivery, £29 for European delivery or £34 everywhere else. Ideal Christmas presents!!

Signing Instructions

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

175 thoughts on “Ken Clarke

1 2
  • John Spencer-Davis

    Dreadful views. I am with Noam Chomsky on this one. People are socialised into believing they are too stupid and ignorant to think about issues of high policy, which should be left to their betters. Right. Look what happens then.

    Not worthy of you, Craig.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        Shrug. Afraid I don’t take anything you say very seriously: you are a right one to talk about things being poorly thought out.

    • craig Post author

      Yes these “dreadful views” are the principle on which human society has almost always been organised, everywhere. Of course why people are too ill-informed to take key decisions is a completely different question.

      But it is unanswerable that under direct democracy we would today have hanging and no immigration, and almost certainly all kinds of restrictions on Muslims.

      • John Spencer-Davis

        That is not a reason why a highly educated population used to taking a full and considered share in political life and proceedings would not reach conclusions that you or I would find agreeable.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        ” Clarke came from first class to standard to find me and insisted I join them. He had a most expensive looking substantial pigskin briefcase. He opened it to produce, encased in foam moulding like a professional camera case, a bottle of perfectly chilled champagne and four flutes. A great man.”

        Was it because he shared his champagne with you that made him a “great man”? or

        Was it that he was compos mentis after having shared many glasses of champagne that made him a “great man”

        • sentinel

          One of the consequences of the EU referendum is that it might lead to the reunification of Ireland.

      • K Crosby

        Anarchism is the most common form of human organisation in the history of the human race….

  • Velofello

    Well thank you for this article. just what are we waiting for? A collie dog to reassure us that we are safe in the fold?

    Nicola, 62% declared that Scotland wishes to remain in the EU. We have 56 MPs for independence, of 59 MPs. Who are the foes against us, Wee Ruthie’s 24% of the Holyrood election polling?

    Please just get on with it, use the forthcoming “learned’ deliberations of the wiggies talking over these few days, and declare independence.

  • gyges01

    “the racist motivated disaster that is Brexit” sad to read you are reducing racism to a slogan in the exercise of power.

    • craig Post author

      Not at all. A very high percentage of the Brexit campaign was open anti-immigrant campaigning. Not all, but a substantial majority of Brexit supporters are racists.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Isn’t there a parallel with Trump and the white voters who supported him:-

        “Make America great again” or

        Make America white again?

        To be fair many who embraced Obama’s “hope” are doing the same with Trump’s “hope” and some are not themselves – racist. (Just one man’s view). The real problem is that Trump loyally panders to his base and is not readily willing to say the right thing to tone down the racist message hidden in his rhetoric or at least disavow when some supporters are openly racist.

      • Anon1

        A substantial majority of 17 million of us are racist, folks. You heard it here first.

        In fact, ALL concern about immigration is racist, as Craig wrote in another spirited attack on the plebs and their little Englander ideas about deciding what’s best for themselves.

      • David Armstrong

        Just wondering, Craig, if you think there are any other reasons, apart from being racist, why someone might support an anti-immigration agenda?

  • Loony

    What an asinine post.

    Brexit is not about racism. It is about an attempt by ordinary people free themselves from the crushing yoke of neo-con inspired globalism. It is in fact the opposite of racism. It is about a country that retains sufficient independence of spirit to attempt to lift the siege of Southern Europe – a siege that is intended to hurtle the states of Southern Europe into the third world.

    Look how they despise the youth of the nation – no jobs for anything but a tiny minority, fake educational qualifications for everyone, and a lifetime of servitude to put a roof over their heads. To cap it all their self proclaimed betters despise them so much that they intend replacing them with a wholly new population.

    No-one cares if you and your ilk scream racist – people are being crushed and they are not going to be crushed without making some effort to defend themselves. People have a lot more to worry about than the latest manifestation of elite sneering and elite contempt. It was exactly the same contemptuous attitude toward poor that led to 60,000 casualties in the first hour of the battle of the Somme. Nothing changes.

    • K Crosby

      That’s not true, the pre-1914 army was professional and the army had to compete with respectable employers so offered fairly good conditions and a paternalist officer class, not soulless Prussians. The calamity on 1 July 1916 was circumstantial. Notice also that the German 2nd Army was defeated that day as well.

  • Dave

    Ken Clarke has been described as a good chancellor due to a growing economy when he was chancellor, something he has not disputed, but he is a fraud because “his success” was the result of promoting an economic policy with which he disagreed. He in fact supported membership of the Euro-currency and supported the European Exchange Mechanism which was the anti-room to joining the Euro-currency, but it was leaving the ERM that promoted the UK economy, whereas he wanted to remain in the ERM and wanted to join the Euro-currency!

  • Clark

    “… it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion”

    Edmund Burke, 1774, Speech to the Electors at Bristol at the Conclusion of the Poll

    The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke. Volume I (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1854), pp. 446–8

    Burke was a leading sceptic with respect to democracy. While admitting that theoretically, in some cases it might be desirable, he insisted a democratic government in Britain in his day would not only be inept, but also oppressive. He opposed democracy for three basic reasons. First, government required a degree of intelligence and breadth of knowledge of the sort that occurred rarely among the common people. Second, he thought that if they had the vote, common people had dangerous and angry passions that could be aroused easily by demagogues; he feared that the authoritarian impulses that could be empowered by these passions would undermine cherished traditions and established religion, leading to violence and confiscation of property. Third, Burke warned that democracy would create a tyranny over unpopular minorities, who needed the protection of the upper classes

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Indeed. How much of the general population in his constituency was Edmund Burke’s “constituents”?

      The rude unwashed, given power to decide their own affairs, might have done irrational and inconvenient things, like demanding a rise in their living standards, for example. Better to leave it to the cool and intelligent property-owning male heads: anything might happen once politics are “let loose among these peoples” (Winston Churchill).

  • Anon1

    Ken should have been put out to pasture long ago. He doesn’t like “populism” (current in-vogue term to describe popular revulsion against sneering liberal elitists such as Craig). Farage wiped the floor with him the other day.

    Craig views himself as an “intellectual” who knows better than the plebs what’s best for them. As this short video shows, self-appointed “intellectuals” have been nothing but a disaster for society since the day they were given prominence.

  • Soothmoother

    So in a democracy only some people are fit to have an opinion/choice. Ken Clarke is great because he invited you to First Class and gave you Champagne. Was the Champagne on tax payer expenses or from Ken’s personal money. Did you pay for the upgrade to First Class? Why didn’t you invite Ken to standard class for a John Smiths? I want independance for Scotland and I don’t want Scotland to be in the EU. My reason’s are not racially motivated.

    • Anon1

      “I want independance for Scotland and I don’t want Scotland to be in the EU”

      At last a Scots Nat I can respect.

  • Sid F

    You see raycism everywhere which is why, incidentally, I’n sure your book on Burnes is anachronistic tripe – trying to shoehorn your puerile poltical views unti his victorian life.

    Glad to see you’re on the mend though.

    • Anon1

      “I’n sure your book on Burnes is anachronistic tripe – trying to shoehorn your puerile poltical views unti his victorian life.”

      Yup. Just as predicted.

    • craig Post author

      Your capacity to be sure about something you haven’t read is ludicrous, While Anon1, who hasn’t read the book, endorsing the entirely ignorant opinion of somebody else who hasn’t read the book as proof of the correctness of his own prejudice, is hilarious.

      • Anon1

        I have read it. It’s exactly what I expected and told you I was expecting. Your intense hatred of Britain, which manifested itself only after you were sacked from the FCO for being an arse, permeates everything you write.

      • Sid F

        I’d trust anon1 before i trusted the brazenly astroturfed reviews you’ve been pleading with people to post.

          • Sid F

            I read on this blog that you were encouraging people to post positive reviews on Amazon et al. That’s astroturfing.

          • Wolsto

            No it’s not. Getting a hundred people to go and add fictitious positive reviews is astroturfing. Encouraging people to add a review if they have enjoyed the book is just normal business practice. Even my local take-away ask me to put a JustEat review on if I’ve liked my meal!

            I really dislike the sort of online poster you seem to be a classic archetype of. I’m sure a blog like this is meant to encourage dissenting voices and engaged discussion, but the level of rudeness and self-importance your posts make this place unnecessarily unpleasant below the line.

          • Sid F


            There is a world of difference between a take-away asking some random customer to post a review and CM begging his acolytes on a blog to write positive reviews because he needs the money that the positive effect of astroturfed reviews might have on sales. If you can’t see the difference then you’re deluded.

          • Wolsto

            Craig’s own words:

            “…once read leave a review of the book, on Amazon, Goodreads, or any other available forum. Please note that I am not asking you to puff the book – I should be very grateful if you could leave completely honest reviews”

            which I’m sure you must have read yourself. Yah booh sucks to you.

    • DG

      I am not sure whether the root cause is low growth or who the fruits of growth go to? i.e. Rampant inequality. If you are not paid very much it is difficult to spend very much. The way the banking crisis was handled has not helped. Massive fraud in several sectors by multiple banks with next-to-no jail sentences, and money given to banks to shore up their balance sheets rather than ordinary consumers who would circulate it round the real economy.

  • anti-hypocrite

    Anyone who is a long term fan of Ken Clarke cannot be trusted one bit.

    You are an anti-democrat.

    • lysias

      Wise privileged statesmen do not look down on the hoi polloi. People like Cleisthenes, Pericles, Jefferson, and FDR.

  • RobG

    Ken Clarke was a high level member of the Thatcher government, and amongst other things was Chancellor of the Exchequer and Home Secretary; this during a period which was later revealed to be mired in child sex abuse scandals (Jimmy Savile being the most oblique).

    Craig might fear for his life, but I find his praise of Clarke a bit odd (likewise, no mention at all of Pizzagate, despite it being the biggest thing out there right now). Clarke might be any number of things, but he has also been tainted with the paedophile brush, and has won lawsuits related to this.

    When are people going to wake-up to the fact that there are things that are very, very, very wrong here?

    • craig Post author

      RobG there is a search box for the blog. If you care to look, you will see I have consistently been a fan.

      One sad thing about so many of the commenters here is that they find it impossible to conceive you can admire somebody with whom you do not agree on everything. When you consider it properly, only admiring people wth whom you always agree is only a measure of your own self-regard.

      • Shatnersrug

        Haha Craig! Now that’s what I call throwing the cat amoungst the pigeons!

        They’ll all be back here tomorrow don’t worry ;-).

      • RobG

        Craig, I’m the same, in that at the moment I’m siding with people on the right of politics (Pizzagate, which you never talk about); likewise with the EU referendum. One finds oneself in with strange bedfellows.

        Can you at least be brave and give some comment on ‘Pizzagate’?

        I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s sick to death of these paedo scandals being covered-up by the likes of you.

        • Wolsto

          You want comment on ‘Pizzagate’? Ok.

          Pizzagate is yet another wild internet conspiracy, which builds on the vague topicality of dreadful revelations of establishment child abuse to introduce fevered post-factual inventions about prominent American politicians. This would be almost fine if the only end result was that deluded basement dwelling ‘truth’ seekers had something new to froth over, but it has sadly led to innocent restaurant staff being threatened by a vigilante gunman, and perpetuates the dilution of serious online political discourse by half baked rumours and click bait lies.

          There are enough real reasons to criticise political figures without making ones up. There have been some terrible public revelations in the news over the last few years, this does not mean every public figure is a paedophile.

          • Habbabkuk

            I very much endorse the above comment.

            As you correctly say, “here are enough real reasons to criticise political figures without making ones up”.

            I welcome Wolsto to this blog as a much-needed addition to the voices of sanity.

  • lysias

    Average Athenians did rather well in determining the policies of their city-state. By and large, juries do a good job. Give people the opportunity and the power, and most of them will rise to the challenge.

    The decadence of present Western society is largely due to the way that average people are denied power.

    • craig Post author

      As is very widely understood Lysias, the Athenian citizens were a small and highly educated minority sustained by a much larger pool of non-voters. You haven’t heard the phrase helot society?

      • lysias

        I’ve seen estimates that citizens were about half the population of Attica. Exclude women and children, and the adult male citizens would have been about a quarter or a fifth of the population. A rather broad-based system, considering what the economics of the time were like.

        Read a bit of Aristophanes, or one of the orators, and you will see that most Athenian citizens were not that highly educated.

      • lysias

        And today’s juries — at least here in the U.S. — represent most of the population, and, as I said, they do a good job. As I have had the opportunity to observe when I have been on a jury.

        Give people a challenge, and most of them will rise to the occasion.

        The trouble with restricting power to elites is that, instead of acting like wise statesmen, they will do everything to suit their own interests. Give that power to everybody, and, to the extent that abuses still exist, the abuses will be very diluted.

  • Ruth

    i find the branding of Brexit as a ‘racist motivated disaster’ quite extraordinary. My main reason for voting for Brexit was that in the EU, the UK had in fact adopted a policy which is highly discriminatory. As the UK can’t stop EU citizens from entering, it can stop non-EU nationals and to make immigration figures look better, it’s restricting entry in this area. I’ll give you an example – the wife of a UK/Libyan national was refused a visitor’s visa on the grounds that immigration didn’t believe the letter supplied by the husband’s company was genuine. This is quite bizarre as the husband has been working for the company for at least 10 years and his wife had been granted a visa on the same basis a few years before. Worse, immigration refused visas to his children who are British by descent. They claimed that the children didn’t have their mother’s permission to travel but immigration knew very well that the father was resident in Libya and no permission was required. All this, I believe, is Uk Immigration’s policy to cut right back on non-EU entry. If the wife in this case had come to the UK she could have claimed asylum as there is civil war in Libya.

    • craig Post author

      Ruth, yes I know a lot of the West African community who voted for Brexit on that basis. Anybody who believes that the Tories, UKIP and other Brexiteers want to limit EU immigration in order to increase non-EU immigration is exceedingly stupid.

      • Anon1

        No, they’re playing you at your own stupid game of shrieking ‘waythist’ at everyone on the flimsiest of pretexts.

        That’s what you’ve done. You’ve made ‘racist’ a meaningless term.

      • Ruth

        But surely someone who believes that non-EU entry in the UK will get easier if we stay in Europe is exceedingly stupid.

        • craig Post author

          No it won’t, you are right and I would have to be exceedingly stupid to believe that, so I don’t. But what you are saying is “Libyans are not allowed in so Poles should not be allowed in either”. No more, no less.

  • Tim Murray

    The noise about Brexit seems irrelevant to me.

    The EU was destined to collapse as soon as monetary union was pushed thru for political reasons. That process should have taken decades for it to succeed as very different economies needed to mesh together.

    At the moment when a country or bank fails to meet the rules, money appears on a computer screen, and the can kicked down the road.

    That fraud is all that holds the EU together, and financial reality will force a massive readjustment, leading to political readjustment, making Brexit redundant all along.

    • craig Post author

      But by that reasoning the unification of Germany should have been a disaster, as two vastly unequal economies were merged with a single currency, and a ludicrously unrealistic conversion rate being gifted to the East Germans. But the political will was there for Germans to take the strain and make it work.

      While you are absolutely right of course about the ideal way to do a currency union, it is amazing the extent to which non-ideal ways can be made to work. We have had a couple of decades now of shrill prediction of the imminent demise of the euro, yet it still operates. I am not inclined to take your repeat of the same prediction any more seriously.

      • lysias

        East Germany had something like a quarter of the population of West Germany, so it was not too big to be digested.

      • Kempe

        Both parts of Germany were industrialised manufacturing based economies with common roots but some might argue that re-unification hasn’t been a success. It cost ¢2 trillion over 20 years but living standards in the former East still lag far behind the West.

        • Habbabkuk

          That is true but another question might be : what would living standards be today in the former G”D”R if reunification had not occurred? I suggest lower than today.

      • Tim Murray

        The problem with financial predictions is that the system is rigged. An Italian bank went bust in August with 5 billion euros unpayable debt. No worries, just put the money on a screen, bank solvent.
        Stocks collapsed? A central bank “buys” them to restore their value. With money on a screen.

        And so on. A member of the USA Fed Reserve said they could do this to infinity.

        One day this bluff will be called. Deutsche Bank and several Italian banks are said to be 2 motnhs away from collapse at most. Put your money into whisky.

        • Fredi

          Agreed Tim. Todays interest rates tell us all we need to know about what our ‘money’ is really ‘worth’.

          It’s only a matter of time, a crash that will make 2000 and 2007 look like a walk in the park is imminent. We face economic devastation like no other, history will judge the EU as a complete and utter failure after that, there will be no debate to be had. The phony ‘monetary system’, will implode upon itself globally.

          The sad thing is that the collapse will be blamed on whoever is ‘on watch’ at the time and not on the foolish elite whose policies of 30 odd years led us to this.

        • Habbabkuk

          Tim Murray

          In your first para you explain how banks are saved from bankruptcy.

          Most people would probably welcome the fact that the banks are so saved and would fail to see what is wrong with this method.

          But be that as it may : you obviously believe that this is not sustainable, saying that “one day this bluff will be called”.

          Could I ask you to justify in more detail the nature of this “bluff” (in what does it consist), who will be “calling” it and why will they be calling it?

          Thank you.

  • Anon1

    Question for Craig:

    Can you explain “anti-immigrant Tory racism” from the perspective of the host population that has received a record-breaking 650,000 immigrants admitted to this country in the last year alone by the Tory government?

    Thanks for your time.

  • bevin

    “… these “dreadful views” are the principle on which human society has almost always been organised, everywhere. Of course why people are too ill-informed to take key decisions is a completely different question…”

    This is not really true.
    During most of human history people in local communities took most of the important decisions in their lives. And they took those decisions generally on the basis of consensus after exhaustive discussion. Hence the commons and agricultural decisions in villages were governed by community courts and Juries which appointed officers, including constables to regulate the economy.
    And the situation was very similar in most countries- vide Ancient Law by that critic of democracy Sir Henry Maine or almost any decent anthropological work, I would recommend Bruce Trigger on the Hurons.

    What Craig is referring to is class society, and particularly capitalist society in which, indeed, the views of ordinary punters are trivialised and ridiculed. It is a complex question but not one on which the anti-democratic elitist view, based on ignorance, can be taken as correct.

    As to this
    “But it is unanswerable that under direct democracy we would today have hanging and no immigration, and almost certainly all kinds of restrictions on Muslims.”

    Two kinds of observations spring to mind: the first is that direct democracy has as much an effect on consciousness, and on the seriousness with which individuals discharge responsibilities as systems which alienate citizens from decision making do. The second is that there is no evidence that public opinion, which was so much against capital punishment that it demanded its abolition, has changed to the extent that the Capital Punishment lobby would win a campaign and referendum.
    It was in the heighday of Burke’s influence that capital punishment in England was extended from a few to more than a hundred crimes. It was under the rule of an elite educated in the Enlightenment that the Special Commissions on Swing were held, that women were hanged for stealing a handful of potatoes and children for taking handkerchiefs.
    During most of our history we have been ruled-badly, unjustly and with enormous biass towards the wealthy- by societies organised as Craig suggests is inevitable.
    The march out of this darkness into the improvements of old age pensions, social health services, and proper care for the vulnerable, meals for school children, council housing and midwifes for the poor was led not by elites, university trained and comfortably situated but by Trade Unionists and masses of pinched face, half starved workers voting not for selfish reasons but for the good of all and particularly for those incapable of defending themselves.
    As to Burke. there is much to be said for and of him but his views on politics were those of a hired gun for the Rockingham Whigs who switched his allegiance to Pitt largely in the expectation of getting his son Richard the title of Lord Beaconsfield.
    The bottom line in politics is this: if you have no faith in the people then with whom should power reside?
    Or is this just another delayed reaction to the Scots Referendum?
    Do you no longer wish to see a Referendum on that question? Or do you hew to the view that while punters in England cannot be trusted to govern, their Scottish brothers can be?

    • craig Post author


      I thought I was entirely plain.

      I do not agree with referenda. I do not believe they should be held.

      I think they are an entirely alien tack-on to what has always been a Burkean democracy. There have been very few indeed and they don’t really work. I agree with Ken Clarke that the EU referendum should be viewed as no more than an indication of public opinion – very evenly split – on a matter which parliament should decide.

      I believe we should not have a second Independence referendum but the Scottish parliament should simply declare Independence. What I happen to believe is of course neither here nor there in terms of what will happen.

      I think the EU referendum should be ignored

      • Anon1

        “I do not agree with referenda. I do not believe they should be held.”

        You agreed with them when the Scotch one was being held. But then you lost.

        “I think the EU referendum should be ignored.”

        You disagree with referendums because you keep losing.

  • giyane

    The reason for the Brexit referendum, which was entirely in the hands of David Cameron, is an evil strain of completely snobbish arrogance manifested in pure racism inside the Public School political class.

    Businessmen are usually immune from this for obvious reasons, and ordinary people on the High Street are also immune, except that they pick up the problems in their everyday lives which immigration presents.
    Feeling pain from actual experience is totally different from snobbish arrogance.

    This is the problem, the Etonians. The people who gave my grand-father a miserable time at a Public School because he was French. Inside the Tory cabinet Boris tries to conceal his loathing for Europeans through joviality. But Mrs May doesn’t have a racist bone in her body.

    Brexit has happened because David Cameron’s class hates foreigners. Please don’t confuse the trials of the English people who stretch out a hand of welcome to foreigners and get rebuffed, with the deeply embedded racism of some of the Public School political class.

    • craig Post author


      Absolute rubbish. English working class racism is a very real and virulent phenomenon. Why that is, is an important question. But to pretend it doesn’t exist and racism only exists among the toffs, is nonsense.

      • giyane

        I’ll give you an example, since you know nothing of ordinary people’s experience.

        I was chatting with my Kashmiri friend whose house I have just re-wired and discussing the project of the new Girls’ School for the mosque. He said: ” The youngsters who have been brought up in this country are happy to lend a hand, but the youngsters who have been brought up back home start making politics as soon as they get involved with the work. They upset everyone and nothing gets done.

        I know it’s a long term position of yours that immigration doesn’t affect us. I may be rubbish, but I happen to think you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • giyane

          Craig, I with my long Muslim beard and working on building sites for 20 years, am not trying to deny working class racism. I only said that Cameron is the man who decided to hold a referendum. Nobody forced him to do it. He did so knowing the chances of a racist backlash and the political system under which we live.

          He , like the Queen, belong to a class that cravenly values Britishness.

        • Habbabkuk


          “I may be rubbish..”


          Assuming you’re being serious, that is a terrible thing to say about yourself – and you should not say it.

      • Anon1


        Perhaps you just haven’t a clue about ordinary working people’s experience of mass uncontrolled immigration?

      • Old Mark

        English working class racism is a very real and virulent phenomenon. Why that is, is an important question. But to pretend it doesn’t exist and racism only exists among the toffs, is nonsense.

        And to pretend that working class racism only exists in the minds of English proles, and not in the heids of their Scottish proletarian neighbours, is rose tinted nonsensical bollocks of a comparable degree.

  • Roderick Russell

    It always seemed to me that what Edmund Burke’s career was really about was providing cleverly thought out and debated excuses to “justify” the unjustifiable – that is the continuation of the unearned privileges of the establishment.

    After all Burke was defending a parliamentary system that in his day was hardy representative as less than 10% of the population had the vote. To say the least he was ambivalent about that most racist of institutions – slavery, and represented a system that hanged starving children for sheep stealing. I have to confess to preferring Paine to Burke.

    Personally I think that a society is better governed if the people are directly involved. It is not just that the people usually have more common sense than the establishment, it is also that they are immune from both soft and hard corruption since they cannot benefit from it. A.J.P Taylor thought that the Swiss system was the closest to real democracy in the world today, and it seems to work very well for the Swiss people. As you know it relies heavily on direct forms of democracy – such as referenda.

    • craig Post author

      And why then is this people’s paradise of Switzerland the largest refuge for the world’s most corrupt cash and corrupt people and institutions? And please note their most famous recent referendum was in favour of racist anti-immigration populism (2014).

      • Anon1

        Highest quality of life on earth. Minimal state, virtually unmolested by leftist wankers trying to make everything equally shit.

        We should dispense entirely with politicians and parliament and implement democracy directly via mobile phone app.

      • Roderick Russell

        As you know, Switzerland is a country that on the surface has nothing much going for it: throughout its history it has been landlocked and surrounded by the great powers of Europe (2) it’s made up of multiple different cultural and linguistic groups whose home countries have often been at war with each other (3) and has very few natural resources of its own.

        By these measures it should have failed as a country. Yet it has one of the highest standards of living in the world and I think this has a lot to do with the highly democratic political system that they have chosen.

        As for corruption and the use of tax havens: That’s everywhere. The pain fact is that organized criminals and some politicians are corrupt, and that the rich (sometimes legally) don’t pay their fair share of taxes anywhere. Most of this stuff is organized through major financial centers like London and New York. Indeed one might ask oneself why is it that so many of the world’s worst tax/Legal havens are onetime or current British colonies?

      • Habbabkuk


        I take it you referred to the recent referendum on setting a cap (on a temporary basis) on the number of people from the EU allowed to work in Switzerland? If so, I don’t agree that that result was a reflection of “racist anti-immigration populism”.

        A truer measure of whether the Swiss are subject to “racist anti-immigration populism” was the James Schwarzenbach referendum of the late 1960s/early 1970s (I forget the exact year and am too idle to google it). It failed.

  • giyane


    The latest conundrum for the Saudi head-choppers is Trump’s blonde hair. That’s really going to cross their sexual-fancy wires. God knows why politicians want to rape children. Something to do with having to work under psychopaths and keep schtum for a very long time in order to gain a toehold on the slippery pole of power?
    Raping children empowers them and the kids have to keep shtum?

    Radio 4 World Tonight produced an oily US snake salesman tonight to tell us it was all fake news.
    I get accused sometimes by fake Muslims of being a fake Muslim. People who start on the ‘fake’ banter are usually the real fakes.

  • Dave Lawton

    Oswald Mosley was a European Union fanatic.He must have done good brainwashing
    number on Ken Clark who went on to join the Bilderbergers another Nazi inspired
    organisation.The thing about brainwashing the brainwashed are not aware they are brainwashed.
    As Churchills adviser Frederick Lindemann said in a 1930`s lecture.

    • Old Mark

      Mosley and Ken Clarke were indeed both committed advocates of European union, but only one of them had Nazi leanings; however KC was willing to overlook this aspect of Mosley when, as a Cambridge student, he famously invited Sir Oswald, who was then persona non grata in polite society in the UK, to address the Cambridge Union-

      Perhaps one of the reasons Craig rates KC as a ‘Great Man’ (rather theatrically over egging it IMO) is that both of them don’t mind offending the priggish and self righteous, and in consequence I’m inclined to give both of them the benefit of the doubt, despite not agreeing with a lot of what either of them they say.

  • eldudeabides

    Craig, you operate my favourite political blog.

    I have nothing but admiration for the stand you took, during your career, and your input to the political debate.

    Indeed, over the years, I have found myself agreeing with you on just about every issue of any note…..apart from the EU/Brexit.

    But, woow, do we disagree BIG TIME on Brexit.

    The EU is a corrupt project, run by big business, for big business, and in the interests of big business – the neoliberalists. The globalisation agenda, can be found in North America too. The middle class has been wiped out across the first world. It’s all about endless cheap immigrant labour keeping wage levels down – and profits up. We see that in the US. We see that in Europe.

    Globalists use their cry of RACIST, at anyone that dares oppose their agenda.

    In Britain today, some 16 million people, i.e. some 25% of the population, has less than 100 pounds savings to their name. I travel around various British cities, and I see beggars. Even in the heart of Edinburgh this summer, I find beggars…..homeless folk, out in all weathers. I never saw beggars 30 years ago.

    I find ordinary people that have not had a meaningful pay rise in a decade. In my line of work, I was getting good pay 26 years ago. The same job today, some 26 years later, is paying a mere 4 quid an hour more. And yet, the 1 percent, have never had it so good.

    The same in the US. Almost 50% of Americans retiring right now, have only one years worth of savings to their name. In the US, with cray living costs they are going to be screwed. One third of US families, would struggle to raise 400 dollars in the case of a family emergency.

    Moving beyond economic issues. How could anyone support an EU that is up to it’s armpits in blood – i.e. aiding and abetting war crimes. Dark prisons in Poland and eastern Europe, torture, and facilitating rendition flights across the European mainland. And no truth-teller would be safe in Europe. The likes of the very brave Julian Assange, or Edward Snowden, would be handed over to the American regime, at the very first opportunity.

    To call us racist – really is poor form. You, a man of your intelligence and decency, should be way above that.

    The real racists, are those who demand to be able to have unfettered access to cheap foreign labour (that they can use and abuse, offering little or no rights) – and at the same time refusing to employ/pay local workers (because locals would need a fair wage).

    THOSE are the real racists in our society.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      That was an interesting and heartfelt comment, and points up a major problem for the Remain philosophy. Some Remainers, like Craig, can sincerely and even passionately agree with Leavers that the current political system is corrupt, inegalitarian, and urgently in need of massive reform, to say the least. But can they agree that the EU epitomises and embodies the flawed system, and that accepting it is to accept no hope of change? They can’t. Worse, the tunnel-vision faction of the Scottish independence movement sees no contradiction between its wish to be shot of the (corrupt, etc) UK and its desire to subordinate its governance to the European apparatus.

      I voted Leave in the expectation that if it won, it would shake up a system immobilised by the interests of hedge funds and complacency of politicians, and by heck, it did that, didn’t it? I also voted Leave because I am something of a devotee of British independence, because it makes no sense to have a vast pool of unemployed native Brits being pushed around by the DSS while cheaper labour is imported from abroad, because our housing and other infrastructures are catastrophically inadequate in the face of uncontrolled immigration, and because I fully understand and empathise with those who have seen their neighbourhoods taken over, and priced out of their range by yuppies in the financial services industry., as well as those who rather liked England when everyone spoke English and didn’t start demanding special treatment because they didn’t.

      Now, obviously, leaving the EU isn’t going to cure all that. The most likely outcome assuming the institutionalised and unaccountable powers behind our illusion of democracy allow an exit at all, is that we find ourselves being run by and for the benefit of spivs like Fox and Farage, dealing in a conscience-free zone with anyone who will send us money, which, let’s face it, is roughly how we’re run now… but without quite a lot of the pretence and hypocrisy. Well, that’s a start.

      I don’t get exercised about being called a racist any more. If it’s legitimate to agitate for African and Asian cultural autonomy – aka’diversity’ – within the UK, (while it’s apparently racist to oppose that agitation, I don’t), or for the recognition of Sc otland’s unique cultural identity, I reckon it’s legitimate to argue for English cultural autonomy within England, as well as against the progressive bastardisation of what was once, in world terms, a relatively civilised culture.

      (Rant ends.)

      • eldudeabides

        Thanks Ba’al Zevul, for the kind words and detailed reply.

        Yes, unfettered immigration has collapsed our infrastructure.

        And like you, I am delighted if the hedge funds and financial folk in London are up in arms.

        The EU project is corrupt. We were railroaded into this big business entity. In February 1975, the vote was about a trading area – NOT to hand over our nation, into a big EU single nation.

        Yes, the immediate danger in leaving the EU, was the westminster spivs would now run the neoliberalist show, and they’d collude with their US corporate fiends, and profit from selling of the NHS, etc.

        But in my opinion, our immediate battle was always to first get out of the EU…..and the second battle, was then to try and establish democracy within the UK again. One battle at a time.

        Like you, the term racist now has lost much of it’s meaning. Its the same as their other tool inthe MSM, when they cite antisemite, at those who would defend Palestinians.

        Indeed, on my travels across the world, I find the British to be among the least racist I have ever encountered.

        As for the EU and Scottish independence. I wanted independence in 2014. But the game has changed now. Post Brexit, and with the collapse in oil prices, it would be madness now, for the Scots to leave the UK and tie their futures to the EU. The EU is sinking below the waves. Nobody in their right minds would want to jump onto it.

    • Laguerre


      I couldn’t see what the relationship was between what you are complaining about and the EU. Most of the globalisation you complain about comes from Westminster, and is not going to diminish post-Brexit. Indeed it is going to increase, because we are supposed to depend on our trade with India and Canada, etc. Even more so when the US creeps into your argument. What has the situation of the US to do with the EU?

      • sentinel

        And what do you think the quid pro quo for the UK’s exports to India (population, 1:25billion and rising) will be?

    • Nick

      Brilliant post. I voted leave and for some reasons you stated. The real racism is big business pushing unfettered immigration not to push up the immigrants living standards,but to erode the incumbent populations living standards. Point this out and they scream racist at you. Yet they are the real racists. So let us the indigenous people not aim our hatred at immigrants purely trying to best provide for their families just as we it for the elitest snobs who don’t have to live amongst the dystopian choas they have created.

      • eldudeabides

        thanks for the kind words, Nick.

        Totally agree with you. Let’s confront the real racists, the elite, and their brainwashed globalist puppets, who are the genuine racists.

        I have the odd friend/relative who voted to remain. They just cannot realise the real issues that are being played out.

        And I try to convince them not to listen to the BBC, ITV or the newspapers. The only truthful thing in the media, are the sports results.

        But those i know who are remainers, are ALL on big salaries or big pensions. The system has worked for them, I surmise, and that is why they don’t see any problems.

    • John

      Thanks eldudeabides. Saved me a bit of time, and significant thought.

      Like you, much respect to Craig for his actions while in the FCO, and his excellent blog stuff on Scottish independence.

      But being called a racist for opposing the eu for decades is wearing a bit fucking thin.

      • eldudeabides

        Thanks for the reply, John.

        I totally agree, being continually labelled as a RACIST does wear thin very quickly.

        I suspect there is a correlation. The one or two friends/relatives that I have, that voted REMAIN, are all on big salaries/pensions. I surmise that the system has worked for them – so they have no problems with it. Plus, they don’t want to think about things, or consider the truth.

        As I said above, the REAL RACISTS are those who smear and ridicule us. They crave unfettered immigration, in order to use and abuse cheap immigrant labour, which they can offer small wages, and no rights to.

        And at the same time, they refuse to employ local people at real wage rates, and with limited pension rights or job security.

        So I would call out the remainers, and suggest that many of them are full-blown RACISTS.

  • Kempe

    ” Personally I dislike referenda in the extreme ”

    Well this is new coming from someone who has participated in three over the past five years and who was bubbling with excitement at the thought of a Yes vote in the Scottish one.

    • craig Post author

      Don’t be even more of a fool than you normally are. I disagree with first past the post elections too, but of course I participate in them when they happen. You have to live within the political system that actually exists, whatever you may wish to change it to.

      I refused to participate in either the EU or AV referenda. On the EU referendum the choice of an establishment political leadership to lead the Yes campaign was always a disaster and why I did not participate. On the AV referendum, I think AV is possibly the only electoral system just as bad as first past the post.

      • michael norton

        Here’s a good question:
        almost everybody i know voted for BREXIT,
        almost everybody was convinced REMAIN would win because all the BIG GUNS, including Ken Clarke were sure we should remain within the European Empire, those that were most sure, were those few, who have or could, really make a killing out of it, really feather their own families nests, like the family Kinnock.
        If you go on the internet and just type in Kinnock, you are hit with Neil Kinnock Greed.

        Yet, most were sure we would not be allowed to leave the E.U.
        because the Elites were so adamant we must remain.
        Yet we did vote to leave by a slim margin.

        If, as some remainers say, that the voters got it wrong, let’s have another more specific Referendum, I feel, the majority for BREXIT would be greater.

        So, if the Remoaners are so sure of their position, bring it on
        BREXIT 2 the Freedom Referendum.

      • Kempe

        ” I refused to participate in either the EU or AV referenda. …..On the AV referendum, I think AV is possibly the only electoral system just as bad as first past the post. ”

        Really? Back in April 2011 you told us you were going to vote for AV as it was “a little better” than FPTP.

        Not voting = low turn out = the loonies and extremists win.

1 2

Comments are closed.