In the Netherlands, the “Patriotic Spring” delayed 9

The elections in the Netherlands have not brought Geert Wilders and his party to power, as we hoped they would.

But his campaign, chiefly concerned with saving his country from Islamization, has had a permanent effect on Dutch and European politics.

In order to hold on to power, Mark Rutte – then and now again prime minister – had to display a sudden resolve in dealing with the Muslim threat … well that’s not exactly how it was described, but anyway with the Turks in the Netherlands, and Turkey itself.

Robert Mackey wrote at The Intercept on the day before the election:

Pre-election polls in the Netherlands, one day before voters choose a new parliament, suggest that Prime Minister Mark Rutte could be returned to office as the head of the country’s largest party, boosted by a wave of approval for his feud with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Rutte, who is trying to stave off a challenge from the virulently anti-Muslim xenophobe Geert Wilders, provoked fury from the Turkish government on Saturday by blocking Turkey’s foreign minister from the country. The foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, had planned to rally expatriate Turks in Rotterdam, ahead of an upcoming referendum in Turkey that would alter the Turkish constitution to give the office of the presidency more power.

Geert Wilders is not a “xenophobe”. That is the nasty name his enemies call him, they being the ruling elite of the Netherlands and the other European countries who have brought hordes of hostile Muslims into Europe to be a criminal threat and a financial drain. He is “anti-Muslim” in the sense that he does not want that suicidal policy to continue. (“Virulently” is thrown in to make Wilders, his Party, and his policies seem utterly disgusting and terrifying. It implies, “I, the politically correct journalist writing this piece, hate Geert Wilders and all he stands for.”)

After Rutte barred the foreign minister, and then expelled another Turkish minister who arrived in Rotterdam by car without permission, Erdogan first compared the Dutch to Nazis and then blamed them for the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995.

That massacre was, in fact, carried out by Bosnian Serb forces who overran the town, but a lightly-armed battalion of Dutch peacekeepers did fail to prevent the slaughter.

Images of the Dutch police using water cannon and dogs to disperse protests by Erdogan supporters in Rotterdam angered Turkish officials, but appeared to please the tabloid press and its readers in the Netherlands.

The Dutch pollster Maurice de Hond reported that 86 percent of those surveyed supported Rutte’s handling of the crisis, including an identical number of Wilders supporters.

As tensions between the two countries continued to escalate, members of President Erdogan’s ruling party beat a Norwegian journalist in Istanbul they mistook for a Dutch national, and Prime Minister Rutte told the BBC the Turkish leader’s comments were “more and more hysterical by the day”.

Wilders, a former member of Rutte’s center-right VVD party [Party for Freedom and Democracy] who now campaigns almost exclusively on a hatred of Islam — and praised Donald Trump’s efforts to ban Muslims from the United States — helped to stoke anti-Turkish sentiment last week, when he appeared outside the Turkish embassy in The Hague, surrounded by his bodyguards, and holding a banner that read: “Stay Away — This Is Our Country”.

Islam is a totalitarian, supremacist ideology. Everyone should hate it. And the reason Geert Wilders has those bodyguards – which the writer seems to be mocking him for, as if he were guilty of paranoia or cowardice – is that his life has been seriously threatened by you-can-guess-whom.

After Rutte’s crackdown on Erdogan supporters seemed to increase his popularity, Wilders tried to up the ante, calling for the Turkish ambassador to the Netherlands to be expelled along with his entire staff.

In response, Rutte told Wilders during a televised debate on Monday night that there was “a difference between tweeting from a couch and leading the country”. Wilders’ desire to escalate the confrontation even further, Rutte said, showed that he was not fit to lead the country.

In polling conducted after the start of the crisis, Rutte’s center-right party, the VVD, appeared to gain in projected vote-share, and seemed likely to emerge as the largest party in the next parliament, as the Wilders-led PVV [Party for Freedom] slipped to second in one poll and as far as fifth in another.

Buoyed by this surge in support, Rutte told the BBC correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse on Tuesday that he expected to defeat Wilders and keep the Netherlands from following in the footsteps of Britain and the United States by handing power to anti-immigrant extremists.

Despite a large number of undecided voters on the eve of the election, the Dutch system of proportional representation, combined with a splintering of support among a dozen or more parties, makes it likely that no one party will take more than 20 percent of the overall vote for the 150-seat parliament.

Even if the polls are off, and Wilders does emerge as the leader of the largest party, political analysts put his chances of leading the next coalition government at “the square root of not much” …

Well, now the election has been held.

Daniel Greenfield at Front Page tells “the real story of the Dutch election”:

The truly final results will only be known next week. But the current numbers show that the Freedom Party [led by Geert Wilders] has become the second largest political party in Parliament having gained five seats while the Labor Party has disastrously lost 29 seats.

Labor hit a post-war low. The media is spinning this as Prime Minister Rutte’s defeat of Geert Wilders, but the Labor half of the Second Rutte Cabinet just went up in flames. VVD [led by Mark Rutte] lost quite a few seats, but remains the largest party only because so much of the overall vote had dissipated. Rutte will now have to awkwardly build an unstable coalition out of four parties just to avoid dealing with Wilders.

It is quite possible though that Rutte will be trading the somewhat moderate Labor for GroenLinks [Green Left] which was formed out of, among others, the Communist Party of the Netherlands. When the media cheers that the “moderates” have defeated that terrible extremist, Geert Wilders, what they aren’t mentioning is that the alternative “moderate” coalitions may include the daughter party of the Communist Party.

The election was, in a sense, always rigged. The political system of the Netherlands fragments the vote and then puts it back together in government coalitions. The demonization of Wilders and the PVV was meant to ensure that even if his political party had won a majority, it would not have been allowed to form a government. And so Wilders won more by being in the second spot than by achieving the majority that some polls had predicted, while leaving the PVV unable to form a government.

Despite the attempts to kill it, smear it and destroy it, the Freedom Party continues to rise. And its enemies are being forced to respond to its ideas. The dangerous campaign by Turkey’s Islamist butcher, complete with threats and intimidation, helped Rutte salvage his government. But not his coalition.

The centrist politics that made Rutte’s government possible are imploding. The decline of Rutte’s VVD and Labor is an unmistakable rejection of the status quo. The gains in this election flowed to parties further out on the spectrum on the right and the left. The traditionally moderate Dutch are losing their patience. The polarization is eliminating the center and replacing it with some hard choices. …

Wilders had spoken of a “Patriotic Spring” sweeping the West. After the election, he said that the election results were a thing to be proud of. “The Patriotic Spring continues onward. And it has only begun.”

The media’s celebrations may also be badly misguided for another reason. In the wake of Brexit, the media largely forgot how it had mocked UKIP and [its leader] [Nigel] Farage as failures. But a political party doesn’t always have to win elections to have an impact. Rigging the system against UKIP didn’t keep the UK in the EU. Instead it ultimately had the opposite effect. Keeping Wilders and the PVV down may backfire.

Geert Wilders has fundamentally changed the conversation about Islam and immigration. And the political parties of the Netherlands are increasingly reacting to him. Wilders took an election in a country whose political shifts are generally of little interest to those living outside it and made it a matter of international interest. His courage and common sense have made him into a world leader.

Wilders had the courage to defy the assassins and murderers, the politically correct scolds and the bleeding hearts, the pallid men and women who counsel moderation in all things and at all times, to tell the truth about Islam and Islamic migration. That is what he will go on doing even as he lives under threat. And his courage inspires opponents of the Jihad in the Netherlands and around the world.

This election was an erosion of faith in the establishment and a show of support for Wilders. To become Prime Minister Wilders, the PVV will either need a truly massive victory or a fundamental change in the political environment. Wilders understands this. He knows that the role of his party is to fight a failing establishment. Everything he does builds support and momentum for either of the two roads.

The media is cheering a defeat that never happened. And just as with Brexit, it may find that it had overlooked the seeds of its own destruction in the dirty politics of its own making.

“This patriotic revolution,” Geert Wilders said, “whether today or tomorrow, will take place anyway.”

We fervently hope it will – in the Netherlands and other European countries. If it does not, Europe will be lost to the hideous tyranny of Islam.

Freedom of Speech 8

The essence of freedom is freedom of speech.

Our civilization depends on it, cannot survive without it.

It was the key that unlocked the genius of classical Greece, where science began, and where Socrates taught us to question everything, always.

It was the intellectual light that began to rise in the seventeenth century, finally dispelling the long darkness of church-dominated Europe; the thousand years when Christian dogma was held to be the truth, the only truth, and people were tortured to death for questioning it.

When Rome made Christianity the official religion of the Empire in 380 C.E., it discarded the wisdom encapsulated in the saying: Ubi dubium ibi libertas: where there is doubt there is freedom.

Freedom of speech is the life of the mind.

We have posted many articles on this supremely important subject, in our own words and quoting the words of others. Put “freedom of speech” into our search slot and you will find them. They are all worth reading.

The point we want to make with this post is that freedom of speech is gravely threatened with suppression – again.

Freedom of speech is the issue above all others that divides political opinion the world over. 

Freedom of speech must be absolute. Any restriction on it is fatal to it.

The Socialist Left – another dark international religion – is ever more passionately against it. Of course it is, because free criticism of it can destroy its power, just as free criticism of the old religions destroyed theirs.

In America it is being suppressed by force in the universities (see here and here and here) and on the streets (see here).

In Europe it has already been largely abandoned, because most of the continent has surrendered to invading Muslim hordes, whose ideology –  an invention of the dark ages – forbids it.

Freedom of speech was all the European Parliament had going for it that was of any use at all. Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), was able to promote his cause far and wide by speaking freely for it within the assembly, from where it was broadcast to the outside world. He also used it to expose the lies and bigotry of the European ruling parties, and the tyrannical nature of the EU itself. But now the European Parliament, an almost totally powerless institution created as window-dressing for the undemocratic European Union, has used what little power it has (just enough to rule itself) to bar any speech its leadership does not like from spreading beyond its hallowed hall.

Judith Bergman writes at Gatestone:

The European Parliament has introduced a new procedural rule, which allows for the chair of a debate to interrupt the live broadcasting of a speaking MEP “in the case of defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior by a Member”. Furthermore, the President of the European Parliament may even “decide to delete from the audiovisual record of the proceedings those parts of a speech by a Member that contain defamatory, racist or xenophobic language“.

No one, however, has bothered to define what constitutes “defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior”. This omission means that the chair of any debate in the European Parliament is free to decide, without any guidelines or objective criteria, whether the statements of MEPs are “defamatory, racist or xenophobic”. The penalty for offenders can apparently reach up to around 9,000 euros.

That’s approximately $9,600 at today’s exchange rate.

“There have been a growing number of cases of politicians saying things that are beyond the pale of normal parliamentary discussion and debate,” said British EU parliamentarian Richard Corbett, who has defended the new rule. Mr. Corbett, however, does not specify what he considers “beyond the pale”.

Although Richard Corbett is in fact British, it is misleading to describe him exclusively as that. Britain has a long, perhaps the longest, tradition of upholding free speech. Richard Corbett is first and foremost a Socialist. He is the Deputy Secretary General of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, and persistently voluble against British independence from the European Union.

In June 2016, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, addressed the European Parliament in a speech which drew on old anti-Semitic blood libels, such as falsely accusing Israeli rabbis of calling on the Israeli government to poison the water used by Palestinian Arabs. Such a clearly incendiary and anti-Semitic speech was not only allowed in parliament by the sensitive and “anti-racist” parliamentarians; it received a standing ovation. Evidently, wild anti-Semitic blood libels pronounced by Arabs do not constitute “things that are beyond the pale of normal parliamentary discussion and debate”.

Mahmoud Abbas later admitted that his accusation was false and retracted it.

The European Parliament apparently did not even bother to publicize their new procedural rule; it was only made public by Spain’s La Vanguardia newspaper. Voters were, it appears, not supposed to know that they may be cut off from listening to the live broadcasts of the parliamentarians they elected to represent them in the EU, if some chairman of a debate subjectively happened to decide that what was being said was “racist, defamatory or xenophobic”.

The European Parliament is the only popularly elected institution in the EU. Helmut Scholz, from Germany’s left-wing Die Linke party, said that EU lawmakers must be able to express their views about how Europe should work: “You can’t limit or deny this right”. Well, they can express it (but for how long?), except that now no one outside of parliament will hear it.

The rule strikes at the very center of free speech, namely that of elected politicians, which the European Court of Human Rights has deemed in its practice to be specially protected. Members of the European Parliament are people who have been elected to make the voices of their constituents heard inside the institutions of the European Union. …

The rule can only have a chilling effect on freedom of speech in the European Parliament and will likely prove a convenient tool in trying to shut up those parliamentarians who do not follow the politically correct narrative of the EU.

The European Parliament lately seems to be waging war against free speech. At the beginning of March, the body lifted the parliamentary immunity of French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. Her crime? Tweeting three images of ISIS executions in 2015. In France, “publishing violent images” constitutes a criminal offense, which can carry a penalty of three years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros. By lifting her immunity at the same time that she is running for president of France, the European Parliament is sending the clear signal that publicizing the graphic and horrifying truth of the crimes of ISIS, rather than being received as a warning about what might soon be coming to Europe, instead ought to be punished.

This is a bizarre signal to be sending, especially to the Christian and Yazidi victims of ISIS, who are still largely ignored by the European Union. European parliamentarians, evidently, are too sensitive to deal with the graphic murders of defenseless people in the Middle East, and are more concerned with ensuring the prosecution of the messengers, such as Marine Le Pen.

So, political correctness … has not only taken over the media and academia; elected MEPs are now also supposed to toe the politically correct line, or literally be cut off. …

Where does this clearly totalitarian impulse stop and who will stop it?

Perhaps the rebel nationalist movements in Europe will resist the anti-free speech campaign by winning the next state elections, encouraged as they are by the victory of Donald Trump’s patriotic movement in America.

But it is certain that the battle between the Socialist and Muslim dogmatists on the one side and the defenders of free speech on the other will be long and hard.

Yet more Christian victims of the religion of peace 1

The persecution of Christians by Muslims in the Middle East is not news. It is a continuous state of affairs, as much to be expected as unpleasant news is anywhere. It could even be said to be normal.

Among the few journalists who do not ignore it is Raymond Ibrahim. He reports on it frequently.

He recently wrote, at Canada Free Press, about a wave of attacks on Christians in Egypt:

Yet another murderous wave is taking Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority by storm, leading to yet another exodus from their homes.

Last week in al-Arish, Sinai, Islamic State affiliates killed a 65-year-old Christian man by shooting him in the head; they then abducted and tortured his 45-year-old son, before burning him alive and dumping his charred remains near a schoolyard.

The worshipers of  “Allah the Merciful” gouged out his eyes, according to witnesses.

Perhaps because of its sensationalist nature — burning a human alive — this story was reported by some Western media. Yet the atrocities hardly begin or end there. Below is a list of Christians murdered in al-Arish in recent days and weeks:

  • January 30:  A 35-year-old Christian was in his small shop working with his wife and young son when three masked men walked in, opened fire on him, instantly killing the Copt.  The murderers then sat around his table, eating chips and drinking soda, while the body lay in a pool of blood before the terrified wife and child.
  • February 13: A 57-year-old Christian laborer was shot and killed as he tried to fight off masked men trying to kidnap his young son from off a crowded street in broad daylight.   After murdering the father, they seized his young son and took him to an unknown location (where, per precedent, he is likely being tortured, possibly already killed, if a hefty ransom was not already paid).
  • February 16: A 45-year-old Christian schoolteacher was moonlighting at his shoe shop with his wife, when masked men walked in the crowded shop and shot him dead.
  • February 17:  A 40-year-old medical doctor was killed by masked men who, after forcing him to stop his car, opened fire and killed him. He too leaves a widow and two children.

… This recent uptick in Christian persecution is believed to be in response to a video earlier released by the Islamic State in Sinai. In it, masked militants promise more attacks on the “worshipers of the cross”, a reference to the Copts of Egypt, whom they also referred to as their “favorite prey” and the “infidels who are empowering the West against Muslim nations”.

As a result of the recent slayings and threats of more to come, at least 300 Christians living in al-Arish have fled their homes, with nothing but their clothes on their backs and their children in their hands. Most have congregated in a Coptic church compound in neighboring Ismailia by the Suez Canal. …

Now here is a short list of measures NOT being taken to help Christian victims of religious persecution by Muslims:

The Pope is speaking out often, loud, and clear against the states that order, promote, sanction, allow, or tolerate the capture, rape, murder, enslavement and displacement of Christians.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is doing the same, and vigorously pressing the British government to demand that the governments of Islamic states put an end to this practice under threat of stopping financial aid. (Only 1% of Egypt’s aid comes from Britain, but the top recipients of British tax-payers’ money include the Islamic states of Pakistan, Nigeria, Syria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh. Nigeria is the country where Boko Haram – an affiliate of ISIS – has been burning, raping, abducting and mass-slaughtering Christians for years. We have posted often about Boko Haram. In particular, see here.)

The Evangelical Christians of America are pressing the US government to do likewise. (US aid to Egypt = $1.5 billion.)

The United Nations is passing resolutions against it, both in the General Assembly and the Security Council, and taking action to prevent and punish it wherever it is occurring.

*

Here’s a little more about what the Pope is doing in regard to this matter.

Robert Spencer writes at Jihad Watch:

AP reported … that Pope Francis “embraced the grand imam [Ahmed al-Tayeb] of Al-Azhar, the prestigious Sunni Muslim center of learning, reopening an important channel for Catholic-Muslim dialogue after a five-year lull and at a time of increased Islamic extremist attacks on Christians.” …

Muslims have massacred, exiled, forcibly converted or subjugated hundreds of thousands of Christians in Iraq and Syria. Have these “improved ties” [between the Vatican and the grand imam] saved even one Christian from suffering at the hands of Muslims? No, they haven’t. All they do is make the “dialogue” participants feel good about themselves, while the Middle Eastern Christians continue to suffer. In fact, the “dialogue” has actually harmed Middle Eastern Christians, by inducing Western Christian leaders to enforce silence about the persecution, for fear of offending their so-easily-offended Muslim “dialogue” partners.

Has the Pope welcomed any of the persecuted Christians to the Vatican? Or is that honor reserved only for this man, who will allow for “dialogue” only when his Christian “dialogue” partners maintain a respectful silence about Muslim massacres of Christians?

The Pope has not welcomed Christian refugees. He invited a pair of Syrian Christian refugee siblings to move to Rome, but changed his mind, disinvited them, and welcomed three Muslim families instead.

The desirable dissolution of Europe’s unnecessary union 3

Why was the corrupt and undemocratic European Union (EU) brought into existence?

The Germans wanted to dissolve their guilt  – for starting two world wars and perpetrating the Holocaust – in the sea of a European superstate. Which they knew they could dominate through their economic strength.

The French wanted to be part of an entity that was more populous, more prosperous, and more powerful than the United States of America, even though it meant sharing power.

The ambitious politicians of Western Europe wanted a bigger stage to strut on. As well as a perpetual ride on a gravy train.

Eastern European nations had a more respectable motive for joining the EU after the collapse of the Soviet Union, under whose heel they had suffered for some 40 years: they saw the EU as a shelter from renewed Russian imperial ambition. Some of them – notably Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – are now defying dictatorship from Brussels, the EU capital, by refusing to admit unlimited numbers of Muslim “refugees”.

The annual budget of the EU is about 145 billion euros ($153 billion US dollars). By its own accounting, 4.7% of the budget is lost in fraud and corruption. That is some 6.97 billion Euros.*  

It employs 33,000 people.

There are 28 member states and 24 official languages. Every document has to be put out in all 24 languages.

The EU leaders see their supra-national, “post-nationalist” union as a model for world government.

The Council of the European Union governs by decree. The European Parliament consists of elected members but they do not have the power to legislate. They can approve or reject a legislative proposal, or propose amendments. In other words they give advice, but the Council is not legally obliged to take it. It is treated as mere opinion. For appearance sake, and as a result of case-law decisions by the EU Court of Justice, the Council must receive that opinion before it can act on its own decision. This is pure gesturism. The ritual salutes democracy without adopting it.

In sum, the EU is a political and economic monstrosity. It cannot and will not endure.

Elections this year in the Netherlands may well bring Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom into power. If so, there could be a referendum on whether the country should leave the EU (though legislation would be necessary to make this possible), and a majority vote in favor.

Nationalist movements in France and Italy may also bring those countries to leave the EU.

All of which threatens the continued existence of the rotten, superfluous, and positively harmful European Union.

From Gatestone, by Timon Dias:

At its core, what is the EU? And why, despite its vast resources, does it seem perpetually unable to make sense of the world and meet its objectives? …

First, there’s the EU’s primary internal contradiction: EU federalism is an ideology that propagates post-ideologism; a culturally amorphous post-ideological world. … It is acting as if the world has already arrived at this so badly coveted post-cultural/ideological end station.

This is why the EU’s foreign minister is convinced political Islam should be part of the solution for Europe’s bicultural malaise. It is why for almost a decade now, the EU is maintaining it is reasonable to expect a German fiscal discipline from Greece ― a country in which tax evasion has been a central pillar of its culture ever since it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire some 600 years ago. It is why the EU fails to grasp the fact it’s deepening the migration crisis by acting as a ferry service for human traffickers. It is why the EU refuses to acknowledge an inherently expansionist religion like Islam views Europe’s open borders as an invitation to conquest. And it is why it was caught off guard by the mass rapes in Cologne etc. …

In short, the EU is treating the world as if it’s already an earthly EUtopia in which everything can be solved through dialogue and the right subsidies. And that’s why it will keep on chasing facts until its imminent demise.

But there’s something even more fundamental obstructing the EU’s ability to solve crises.

The EU is artificial and unnecessary. 

What is the EU? The EU is a government looking for people to govern. It didn’t evolve organically from a community’s desire to be governed.

It was an elitist ideological hobby project ― one that European Commission first Vice-President Frans Timmermans a few weeks ago referred to as:

Arguably the most successful peace project in human history.

This, however, is a deception. A deception so pervasive, it has become the most pivotal element of the Eurocrats’ belief system. But the EU is no peace project. It neither caused nor consolidated peace.

True peace is being able to hurt one another, but simply not wanting to. In 1945, after centuries of conflict, European nation states finally reached this status. Subsequently, the European Economic Community (EEC) consolidated this peace in 1958 by entangling the French and German economies.

The EU came afterwards, without there ever being an actual need for it ― the continent was peaceful and that peace was consolidated. …

So, if the EU neither caused nor consolidated peace, what is the EU’s fundamental raison d’être? The simple answer is: it has none.

There is nothing fundamentally positive about Europe, that could not exist without the EU.

This is no trivial matter.

Because the EU is a highly artificial and non-organic governing body, one without a fundamental raison d’être, the EU’s priority objective, at all times, is self-preservation. Even when this means not solving problems at all.

The euro and migration crises serve as prime examples. The EU is not only not solving the euro crisis, it’s prolonging it by insisting fiscally dysfunctional member states remain member states, simply because their ejection from the EU would endanger and obscure the EU itself.

The same is true for the migration crisis. It’s not hard to solve. To simply stop being a ferry service for human traffickers and implement the very straight forward Australian model, is hardly rocket science. It’s no coincidence Australia’s migration architect claims Europe doesn’t even seem to be trying to solve this crisis.

In 2016, 490,547 migrants reached Europe. The total number of asylum applicants is almost 2.5 times higher at 1.205 million, which is a modest drop from 2015’s 1.323 million. During the first months of 2017, almost 13,000 arrived by sea.

So what is the EU’s priority during the migrant crisis?

Instead, the EU’s highest priority seems to be preventing nation states from bypassing the EU, by taking their own measures against the crisis.

For if that were to happen, the EU would lose its “greatest achievement”: the federal control of European national borders, without which, the EU is nothing.

The EU must go.

The nation-state with strongly defended borders must be resurrected as an ideal.

The British showed the way with Brexit – its majority vote last year to leave the EU.

President Trump lights the way for the European nations with his slogan, “Make America Great Again!”

 

*We quote an article on EU corruption by Richard Milton.

Have the EU’s accounts for the past 19 years been signed off by the auditors or not? The EU says they have been signed off, while critics in parliament and the media say they have not. So who is telling the truth about the accounts? What are the real facts?

First, a little background to the controversy. Since 1977, the EU’s budget has been audited annually by a body called the European Court of Auditors, based in Luxembourg. The Court is nominally independent, although it is funded by the EU.

In the 1980s, the EU’s budget became the subject of allegations of fraud, so in 1988 the EU formed UCLAF – the Unit for the Co-ordination of Fraud Protection.

A decade later, In 1997, the Court of Auditors investigated UCLAF and discovered that it was dealing with 40 cases of potential corruption, conflict of interests, favoritism or just bad management. Many of the cases had been brought to UCLAF by members of staff of the Commission reporting their suspicions about other officials.

In a report described as “devastating”, the Court revealed that no-one had been prosecuted for fraud and no-one was likely to be prosecuted, because UCLAF had no powers of investigation or arrest and there was no European prosecutor to take on such cases. It recommended that UCLAF be replaced by, in effect, an economic FBI with the staff and the powers to police the EU’s huge budget – a fully fledged operational fraud squad.

Later the same year, 1998, Paul van Buitenen, an assistant internal auditor in the European Commission’s Financial Control Directorate, turned whistleblower and wrote directly to the European Parliament expressing his  “discontent with the way the Commission services are dealing with irregularities and possible fraud”.

His whistleblowing led ultimately led to the resignation of the Commission presided over by Jacques Santer. His reward was to be suspended with his salary halved. He fought back and his exposures triggered the collapse of Santer’s Commission.

In the wake of the “Santergate” scandal UCLAF was replaced by a new organization, OLAF [Office européen de lutte anti-fraude]. This was said to be an improvement since OLAF had more staff, more money and clearer guidelines and was described as representing a move towards a more serious investigative prosecuting body. But it remained the case that only national member states could take legal action against suspected fraudsters – the same central weakness that had defeated UCLAF.

OLAF is notified of some 12,000 cases of possible fraud every year, and says that it adopts a “zero tolerance” policy towards corruption and fraud in EU institutions. In reality, OLAF must be somewhat more tolerant than “zero” as it investigates only some 200 cases per year – that is to say 98% of reported cases go uninvestigated.

This is the most likely explanation of the fact that, since 1999, OLAF has sent only 335 people to jail and recovered only 1.1 Billion Euros of EU money – less than one-thousandth of the amount unaccounted for.

One other obstacle to OLAF nailing anyone inside the EU is that EU law gives EU officials immunity from prosecution both while they work in the EU and then for the rest of their lives for any acts committed in the course of their duties. Even if OLAF managed to put together a case against an EU employee, he or she could not be prosecuted anyway.

This long history of corruption and fraud brings us to the case of Marta Andreason, who in 2002 was appointed the EU’s first Chief Accountant, the director responsible for budget execution and the EU’s accounting officer.

From the start, Andreasen was critical of the EU’s accounting system for being open to fraud, criticisms she raised with  her superior but to no effect. She voiced her doubts to Commissioner Michaele Schreyer and the Commission President Romano Prodi, and when she got no reply approached members of the EU Parliament’s Budget Control Committee.

Because of her doubts, she refused to sign off the 2001 European Commission accounts and went public with her concerns. She suffered a similar fate to Paul van Buitenen before her, and was sacked for speaking out (“failure to show sufficient loyalty and respect”.) In reality she was fired for refusing to sign the account and embarrassing the Commission by letting the cat out of the bag about the extent of fraud.

A series of other EU officials tried to blow the whistle on the fraud and corruption of their colleagues and all received similar treatment, Dorte Schmidt-Brown, Robert Dougal Watt and Robert McCoy. …

At this point, in 2002, EU officials realized that they could no longer conceal or ignore the extent of fraud and corruption in the EU budget and that they must act to try to restore public confidence in the EU’s financial affairs. So they did what most large bureaucratic organizations do in these circumstances. When you cannot change the facts, you change the way the facts are presented. So the EU turned to public relations to solve their problem.

From 2002 until the present, the Court of Auditors continued to audit the budget annually, but they no longer signed off the accounts as a whole. Instead, they have split the budget into two sections – the part to which they are willing to give a clean bill of health, and the part to which they are not willing to give a clean bill. The Auditors refer to this second part as its “opinion on the underlying payments which have been negative or adverse”.

To justify this change in established auditing procedure it came up with a number of arguments. The budget is too big and too complicated for us to expect them to account for every penny. Every large organization has amounts missing and unaccounted for. We can’t expect the EU Auditors to know every little thing that goes on inside member countries. The bit that’s not signed off is “only” a few per cent of the budget so it’s not worth making a fuss about. And, in any case, said the Auditors, although we do not know where the money went or who took it, we can say that it definitely wasn’t fraud or theft.

“Errors”, said the auditors,  “do not mean that EU money is lost, wasted or affected by fraud.” When asked to give an example of some money that had gone missing that wasn’t fraud, the EU said, “A farmer was granted a special premium for 150 sheep. The Court found that the beneficiary did not have any sheep. The corresponding payment was therefore irregular.” The missing money is accounted for by changing the word “fraud” to the word “irregular”. …

Remember, the question we are trying to answer here is … “Have the EU accounts been signed off for the past 19 years?” And the only honest answer to this second question is clearly, “No, they have not been signed off.”

What the EU has done is not to make extra efforts to get to the bottom of its accounts and sign them off, but to change the normal rules of accounts auditing so that they no longer apply to the EU, and to change the meaning of ordinary English words to try to persuade us that this procedure is acceptable. …

The amount not signed off by the Court of Auditors was “only” 4.7% of the budget.  The problem is that 4.7% of the budget is 6.97 billion Euros

Triumph in plain English 1

Nigel Farage, leader of the victorious Brexit movement which rescued Britain from the corrupt and undemocratic European Union, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), about the revolution against globalism and the international cabal of “unelected old men” (he could have mentioned the many unelected middle-aged feminists in it too) who want socialist world government, and proclaims triumphantly that “we are winning”.

Posted under Britain, Conservatism, United Kingdom, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, February 24, 2017

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The people’s revolution 3

…  and the bitter, vicious reaction of the overthrown ruling elite, is what America is experiencing now.

The globalist elite cannot believe they have lost. They know it is their prerogative to rule.

We quote a perceptive and important article by Daniel Greenfield, from his website Sultan Knish:

It’s hard to imagine a clearer contrast [than there is] between coastal elites and the heartland, and between the new economy and the old. On the one side are the glittering cities where workforces of minorities and immigrants do the dirty work behind the slick logos and buzzwords of the new economy. On the other are Rust Belt communities and Southern towns who actually used to make things.

Facebook’s top tier geniuses enjoy the services of an executive chef, treadmill workstations and a bike repair shop walled off from East Palo Alto’s Latino population and the crime and gang violence. And who works in Facebook’s 11 restaurants or actually repairs the bikes in the back room? Or looks through the millions of pictures posted on timelines to screen out spam, pornography and racism? …

If you live in the world of Facebook, Lyft, Netflix and Airbnb, crowding into airports shouting, “No Borders, No Nations, Stop The Deportations” makes sense. You don’t live in a country. You live in one of a number of interchangeable mega-cities or their bedroom communities. Patriotism is a foreign concept. You have no more attachment to America than you do to Friendster or MySpace. The nation state is an outdated system of social organization that is being replaced by more efficient systems of global governance. The only reason anyone would cling to nations or borders is racism.

The Left is obsessed to the point of mania with “racism”.

The Left is as obsessively racist as was the Third Reich, the Ku Klux Klan, apartheid South Africa.

The Democratic Party has always been racist, of course, from the time southern Democrats owned slaves, through the decades it manned the Ku Klux Klan, right up to this day, this moment.

The demographic most opposed to President Trump is not a racial minority, but a cultural elite.

This isn’t a revolution.

The revolutions happened in June in the UK and in November in the US. Brexit and Trump were revolutions.

The protests against them are a reaction.

Somewhere along the way the political projects of the left ceased to be revolutionary. The left won. It took control of nations and set about dismantling them. Its social and economic agendas became law. It ruled through a vast interconnected system of the bureaucracy, media, academia, non-profits and corporations. In Europe, democracy nearly vanished. In America, there were still elections, but they didn’t matter very much. A Republican president could tinker a little, but he couldn’t change things. The left would throw its ritualistic tantrums if he limited abortion funding or invaded Iraq. But around the isolated controversies, everything else would go on moving further to the left.

The left had come to envision its victory as inevitable. Its leaders enjoyed the divine right of kings bestowed on them by historical materialism. And so they couldn’t see the revolution coming.

The inevitable elites and their power were overthrown. The little people they had been stepping on stormed the castle. All their pseudoscience had failed to predict it. Suddenly the future no longer belonged to the City or to Palo Alto. And its denizens poured out into the streets to protest.

The protests are taking place in the name of oppressed minorities, but like any dot com logo, that’s branding. They are actually an angry reaction by an overthrown elite to a people’s revolution.

This isn’t really about Muslims. The angry protesters know as little about Islam as they do about rural Iowa. But borders and airports are an important metaphor.

President Trump said, “A nation without borders is not a nation.”

And that’s exactly what the left wanted. No borders and no nations.

If you make tangible goods or have a mortgage, you are more likely to want borders and a nation. If on the other hand you deal largely in intangibles, in information, in strings of numbers, in data on global servers and financial transactions around the world, in movies and music, in ideas, then borders are an unreal abstraction. If you get your rides from Uber, your house from Airbnb, your entertainment from Netflix and your dates from Tinder, if you don’t actually own anything, and have no plans for a family or anything more permanent than a virtual existence, who needs a nation?

Patriotism is an ideal grounded in real things.

That is an aphorism worthy of being enshrined in our culture:

Patriotism is an ideal grounded in real things.”

Our elites exist in an unreal world filled with unreal things. Their world is based on rapid communications that organizes the world in new ways. They have grown so dazzled by the potential of that organization that they ignore what is underneath.

That metaphor became reality with Brexit and Trump. The country rebelled against the city. People who were in the business of making and doing real things rose up against a virtual economy.

The elites are unable to understand the nationalistic and territorial impulses of either their own citizens or Islamic terrorists. Their strange social-plutocratic fusion of Marxism and technocracy sees it as a problem of sharing the wealth. All the popular uprisings can be put down with a bigger welfare state. Redistribute more of the profits from Facebook to Muslims and Trump voters. Problem solved.

But the problem can’t be solved by enlarging the welfare class. It’s a gaping cultural chasm.

People need meaning. It is meaning that gives them a sense of worth. The angry leftist reactionaries find meaning in their post-everything world. The shattering of this world has driven them into the streets. And yet they can’t grasp that it was the shattering of their world that drove so many working people to vote for Brexit or Trump. They refuse to comprehend that nations have meaning to more people than their post-national world order of interchangeable multicultural mega-cities does or that most people want something tangible to hold on to even if it requires labor and sacrifice.

It was a war between Davos, Conde Nast, GQ, Soros, MSNBC, Hollywood, Facebook and America. And America won.

The “resistance” is a collection of elites, from actors at award shows to fashion magazines to tech billionaires, decrying a popular revolt against their rule. They are not the resistance. They are dictators in exile.

And may they never rule again!

Posted under America, Britain, revolution, United Kingdom, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, February 18, 2017

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The atrocious ideology of the beautiful people 2

The Marxist Left has nowhere to go. Wherever it has gained power it has failed, and it has no new ideas. Like a demented parrot it screeches words at the world outside its intellectual cage: “Racist!”, “Sexist!”, “Xenophobe!”, “White male privilege!”, “Global warming denier!” – as if they were statements complete in themselves and nothing needed to be added. They are subjects without predicates.

For a hundred years, 1917-2017, the enemy of liberty, reason, humanity, justice, civilization itself was the Marxist Left.

From the beginning of its era of implementation – the seizing of power in Russia by Vladimir Lenin and his Bolsheviks – to its fading with a cacophony of screeches when its American president, Barack Obama, stepped down from power, the Atrocious Ideology was fomented and imposed on nations by intellectuals who knew how to argue at a dinner table or a Stammtisch, in a classroom or a newspaper column, but had no understanding whatsoever of how most people lived or to what they aspired.

From the 1920s onwards, a majority of the intellectuals in the free Western world embraced the collectivist ideology of Marx and Lenin and called for the ruin of their own house. In the Anglosphere (e.g.), the writers who enthralled the reading classes – though they esteemed themselves artists and above politics – were almost all dedicated to the destruction of their warm, comfortable, beautifully appointed, endlessly entertaining, safe nursery. And they convinced untold millions that to smash it and everything in it was the nobly ideal thing to do.

To take just one of the noble destroyers who thought they would enjoy Communism,[1] one who attracted, and continues to attract, devoted admirers, let us consider Virginia Woolf (1882-1941). She was not merely a typical member of that class, she was the leading light of it.

A revelatory portrait of her is to be found in an essay by the great British essayist, Theodore Dalrymple.[2]

Virginia Woolf,” he writes, “belonged by birth not merely to the upper middle classes but to the the elite of the intellectual elite”.

He concentrates his surgical analysis on one of her books in particular, Three Guineas.

It was about how women could prevent war.

Virginia Woolf’s  name is not normally associated with great affairs of state, of course. Quite the reverse. She regarded them with a fastidious disgust, as a vulgar distraction from the true business of life: attendance to the finer nuances of one’s own emotional state. Along with the other members of the Bloomsbury group – that influential and endlessly chronicled little band of British aesthetes of which she was the moving spirit – she was dedicated to the proposition that beings as sensitive as they to the music of life ought not to be bound by gross social conventions , and that it was their duty (as well as their pleasure) to act solely upon the promptings of the sympathetic vibrations of their own souls.  …

Despite its concern with war, the book is not a work of political philosophy or contemporary history:

No: it is a locus classicus of self-pity and victimhood as a genre in itself. In this it was certainly ahead of its time, and it deserves to be on the syllabus of every department of women’s studies at every third-rate establishment of higher education. …

The book is important because it is a naked statement  of the worldview that is unstated and implicit in all of Virginia Woolf’s novels, most of which have achieved an iconic status in the republic of letters and in the humanities departments of the English speaking world, where they have influenced countless young people. The book, therefore, is a truly seminal text. In Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf lets us know without disguise what she really thinks: and what she thinks is by turns grandiose and trivial, resentful and fatuous. The book might be better titled: How to Be Privileged and Yet Feel Extremely Aggrieved. … 

Her point about war is that it is waged by men, and men suppress women; and if instead they treated women as equals, there would be no more wars.

One might think that to descend from the aesthetic to the ideological plane would be distasteful for a woman of such languorous, highly strung, thoroughbred equine beauty as she; but under the influence of a general idea, Mrs. Woolf revealed herself to be a thoroughgoing philistine of the most revolutionary and destructive type, quite prepared to bring the temple crashing down about her ears, that her grudges might be paid back. Let my ego be satisfied, though civilization fall.

The temple of learning, that is. She had in mind one of the repositories of the riches of Western civilization – a Cambridge university college. A woman’s college. (A great achievement in itself as women’s colleges were only established at Oxford and Cambridge in the 1880s – in Virginia Woolf’s lifetime). She advises that it should be burnt down with all that it contains; all the books in its library consigned to the flames. The worthlessness, in her estimation, of all that accumulation of knowledge and wisdom in print on paper, suggests that she would be happiest if the whole venerable university were to be reduced to ashes.

Dalrymple quotes her:

And let the daughters of educated men dance round the fire and heap armful upon armful of dead leaves upon the flames. And let their mothers lean from the upper windows [before, presumably, being burnt to death] and cry “Let it blaze! Let it blaze! For we have done with this education!” 

Virginia Woolf was consumed with bitter, contemptuous, snobbish distaste for everything that did not appeal to her exquisitely refined aesthetic sensibility. Form, appearance, was all to her. She expressed a low shallow anti-Semitism in passages describing, with revulsion and disgust, the appearance of Jewish men. Yet she married a Jew! (They had no children. Did she, like her character Mrs. Dalloway in the novel of that name, lie alone in a narrow bed?)[3]

Food disgusted her too. She  was revolted (again) by seeing through the window of a London tea room, well-dressed women eating cakes.[4] They were fat. They obviously had rich husbands who paid for their cakes. Nauseating! Despicable! Thin-ness and sterility were aesthetic and moral ideals to her. Instinctively, her philosophy of life was based on anorexia.

Life was too messy, the world too unbeautiful for her. It was Jewish. It was fat. It was sexual, fertile, dirty. She sought water, drowned herself in the River Ouse near her country house in East Sussex. (The reason she gave in her suicide note was that she couldn’t face another attack of recurring insanity.[5])

Theodore Dalrymple describes the sort of academy that Virginia Woolf would have approved of. It is one with which we are all too familiar:

Mrs. Woolf’s ideal college … would be entirely nonjudgmental, even as to intellect. … Henceforth there is to be no testing of oneself against the best, with the possibility, even the likelihood, of failure: instead one is perpetually to immerse oneself in the tepid bath of self-esteem, mutual congratulation, and benevolence toward all.

And he concludes:

Had Mrs. Woolf survived to our own time … she would at least have had the satisfaction of observing that her cast of mind – shallow, dishonest, resentful, envious, snobbish, self-absorbed, trivial, philistine, and ultimately brutal – had triumphed among the elites of the Western world.

It triumphs chiefly now in the universities, where the diehards of the Marxist Left linger on beyond their time with that Atrocious Ideology of theirs, stale, dull, tragic, disproven.

 

NOTES

1.This essay displays Virginia Woolf’s distaste for capitalism, and asserts that [her being above politics] what she desired was “a communism of the soul”. And the author quotes this from Woolf’s novel A Room of One’s Own: “Masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that experience of the mass is behind the single voice.” It is a notion that Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren would heartily endorse.

2. The Rage of Virginia Woolf in Our Culture, What’s Left Of It by Theodore Dalrymple, Ivan R. Dee, Chicago 2005

3.  Mr. Virginia Woolf  by John Gross, Commentary Dec.1. 2006: “It also seems clear that the marriage worked. Many things about it are mysterious. Did, for instance, the fact that it was sexless leave Leonard constantly frustrated, or did it in some way suit him? We are unlikely ever to learn the answer to such a question, and perhaps it is none of our business.”

4. Yet Mrs. Woolf was not wholly consistent in her distaste for food, pleasure, or even sex. She also wrote this: “I want to dance, laugh, eat pink cakes, yellow cakes, drink thin, sharp wine. Or an indecent story, now – I could relish that. The older one grows the more one likes indecency.” (From Monday and Tuesday by Virginia Woolf.) Perhaps that was an aberrant thought that occurred to her in one of her periods of madness (see Note 5).

5. Virginia Woolf wrote to her husband:

Dearest, I feel certain I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that – everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been. 

*

Post Script:

Virginia Woolf and her coterie were erudite, cultured, brilliant – but nevertheless a silly lot.

Here’s one of them recording his significant thoughts:

 

‘All further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped’ 6

Chatham House, aka the Royal Institute of  International Affairs (a British institution traditionally sympathetic to Leftism and globalism), has conducted a survey which shows decisively that a majority of Europeans do not want their Leftist globalist rulers to complete the abominable plan of dissolving all borders and letting the Muslim Third World overwhelm their continent and extinguish their civilization. 

A majority of Europeans want a ban on immigration from Muslim-majority countries. 

This is what Chatham House itself has to say about it:

President Donald Trump’s executive order to ban citizens of seven Muslim-majority states from entering the US for 90 days, and temporarily freeze all refugee arrivals (including Syrians indefinitely), has been interpreted widely as an attempt to curtail the inward migration of Muslims, which Trump and his supporters argue pose a threat to national security.

Trump’s policy has generated a backlash among some of Europe’s leaders. Angela Merkel’s spokesman said the chancellor had “explained” the Geneva Convention to the president in a phone call discussing the order, while London Mayor Sadiq Khan argued that the invitation to the president for a state visit to Britain in 2017 should be withdrawn until the ban is rescinded. Meanwhile, leaders of Europe’s populist right-wing parties, including Geert Wilders, Nigel Farage and Matteo Salvini, have heaped praise on Trump.

Amid these competing views, where do the public in European countries stand on the specific issue of Muslim immigration? There is evidence to suggest that both Trump and these radical right-wing parties reflect an underlying reservoir of public support.

The evidence does not “suggest”, it demonstrates.

Drawing on a unique, new Chatham House survey of more than 10,000 people from 10 European states, we can throw new light on what people think about migration from mainly Muslim countries. Our results are striking and sobering. They suggest that public opposition to any further migration from predominantly Muslim states is by no means confined to Trump’s electorate in the US but is fairly widespread.

In our survey, carried out before President Trump’s executive order was announced, respondents were given the following statement: ‘All further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped’. They were then asked to what extent did they agree or disagree with this statement.

Overall, across all 10 of the European countries an average of 55% agreed that all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped, 25% neither agreed nor disagreed and 20% disagreed.

Majorities in all but two of the ten states agreed, ranging from 71% in Poland, 65% in Austria, 53% in Germany and 51% in Italy to 47% in the United Kingdom and 41% in Spain. In no country did the percentage that disagreed surpass 32%.

Public opposition to further migration from Muslim states is especially intense in Austria, Poland, Hungary, France and Belgium, despite these countries having very different sized resident Muslim populations. In each of these countries, at least 38% of the sample ‘strongly agreed’ with the statement. With the exception of Poland, these countries have either been at the centre of the refugee crisis or experienced terrorist attacks in recent years. It is also worth noting that in most of these states the radical right is, to varying degrees, entrenched as a political force and is looking to mobilize this angst over Islam into the ballot box, either at elections in 2017 or longer term.

What it means is that a Populist Revolution in Europe, encouraged by the election of Donald Trump in America, is gathering strength.

It is a real grass-roots resistance movement.

The question is, will it succeed through the ballot box in the general elections to be held this year? The Chatham House survey encourages optimism that it will, at least in some of the member-states of the European Unionand even partial success will hasten the end of that misconceived globalist enterprise. 

But it may be too late for Europe to save itself from Islamization. The indigenous populations of the European states are rapidly declining, while the Muslim populations are growing through natural increase. To put it plainly, Muslims have children, Europeans don’t.

Unless there were to be an expulsion of all Muslim citizens of foreign origin from every European state, the continent will be a majority Muslim region well before the end of this century.

Would even Marine Le Pen, the French nationalist leader who stands a good chance of becoming president this year, undertake mass expulsion if she had the power to do so?

Though governments and the media try to play the issue down, it is a looming crisis that may swell into civil war.

The Russian menace 4

The Democrats and the Left in general, emotionally unable to accept that they have been massively defeated in the recent general election, bring up one excuse after another to explain how the Republicans managed to get control of the Presidency, the House of Representatives and the Senate, all but 16 governorships, and a majority of state Legislatures.

One of the more persistent – and most laughably implausible  – excuses is that “the Russians” helped Trump to win by leaking (genuine and dishonorable) emails that had passed among members of the Democratic candidates’ team.

What is funny about this is that for decades the Left was pro-Russian, most ardently when it was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Now the fact that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, was head of an arm of the KGB,  is held against him by the former fans.

The same excuse, that the Russians are interfering in the election process, is being prepared for the likely toppling from power of the German government, a coalition of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), and the Social Democrats (SPD), led by Chancellor Angela Merkel. (In practice, all of them are socialist parties.)

This government has wrecked Germany, not yet as an economy, but as a nation. It is now a country in which women are afraid to go into public places for fear of being raped and murdered by Muslim immigrants, and where free speech is proscribed to protect the ever-growing Muslim population, and the government itself from criticism for having let in the Muslim hordes claiming to be”refugees”.

Those who would speak out, and do, against the influx of the “refugees” are routinely called “far right” or “hard right” – implying “racist” and “Nazi” (since the Left has got away with labeling Hitler’s National Socialist party as rightists).

The Financial Times of January 30 (only accessible online to subscribers), carries an article by Stefan Wagstyl headed Russia’s next target?, in which it is asserted that [many] Germans are “braced for Russian interference in this year’s federal election”, and that this has already been happening “during election campaigns in three regions” where “emotions were running high about the flow of one million refugees into Germany and support was surging for the hard right Alternative for Germany party [AfD]“.

The writer proceeds:

Now Berlin fears that Moscow could be planning another intervention …

Notice how a first intervention – in the US – is at this point treated as a fact –

… ahead of September’s Bundestag poll with the aim of undermining Ms Merkel. The chancellor herself has warned that thatRussian internet-based misinformation could “play a role in the campaign”. … Berlin’s concerns are heightened by US intelligence agencies; claims that Moscow interfered in the US presidential election through hacking into Democratic party computers and releasing information aimed at damaging Hillary Clinton to the benefit of Donald Trump.

So those unproved allegations, though alluded to as mere “claims”, are used as if they were established fact by politicians who wish they were true.

Why do they want them to be true?

An electoral defeat for Ms Merkel – or even a serious setback – would be a huge victory for Russian president Vladimir Putin. He is keen to break western unity on the sanctions imposed over Russian aggression in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea – unity largely orchestrated and upheld by Ms Merkel. In the longer term, he wants to divide the EU, split NATO and push back an alliance that has extended its reach deep into territory once controlled by Moscow.

Next comes one of the shining illusions of the Left:

Moreover, Ms Merkel is seen in Moscow as the pre-eminent representative of a liberal order that Mr Putin has long feared might undermine his authoritarian grip on Russia. If she can be humbled, her values could also be tarnished.

While we don’t dispute that the Russian government under Putin is authoritarian, we quarrel with the assumption that Merkel’s government is not.

That assumption is so embedded, it accounts for much of the bewilderment as to how Donald Trump ever came to be elected, and the conviction that all opposition to the ruling elite of Europe is “hard left”.  Wagstyl mentions that “her supporters, led by former US President Barack Obama, see Ms Merkel as a liberal beacon in a world of rising nationalism highlighted by Mr Trump’s victory, the UK’s Brexit vote and surging support for far-right leader Marine le Pen”.

So he sees “liberal” as the sweet opposite of naughty “nationalism”; and  the UK’s and US’s choice of independent nationhood and patriotism as identical to Marine le Pen’s movement – which can fairly be called “hard right” even by those of us who are sympathetic to all organized resistance to the  national-suicidal policies of the ruling elite. “Hard right” implies “fascist”. But if the word “fascist” means anything, it means authoritarian, and what are the ruling elite if not authoritarian?

Yet even the Russians still call the EU “liberal” – although, Wagstyl notices, they recognize that the days of such “liberalism” are numbered:

Sergei Karaganov, a foreign policy specialist close to the Kremlin, wrote this month that the world was witnessing the end of EU-style liberal politics. “The old world order is destroyed. We must start building a new one.”

It was perfectly honorable to want to “transfer western values east” into “post-Soviet Russia” through “a plethora of organizations, headed by the German-Russian Forum, financed mostly by German business, and the Petersburg Dialog, funded mainly by the German foreign ministry”. But now, the organizations are being used to channel influence the other way.

“Under Putin, these networks have taken on a different, more nefarious goal: to alter the rules of bilateral relations, influence German policy toward eastern Europe and Russia and impact EU decisions …”

An acknowledgment is made that the present attitude of the “liberal” globalists with Russia was not always thus. The “German political world” is “increasingly critical of Putin’s authoritarian rule” ( but not its own). And “elite opinion has grown wary of Moscow’s charms”.

As it is through the internet  that Russia can now “reach the general population” and influence the way it votes, the fear is growing of cyber attack.

German officials are especially concerned about the hacking of government networks for political ends. [There was] a 2015 attack on the Bundestag when huge amounts of data were removed [stolen]. The BfV intelligence agency blames this raid on a cyber group known as APT28 that is thought to be managed by the Russian secret service [our italics]. … The Kremlin has repeatedly denied that it played any role in US political hacking or the Bundestag attack and dismissed suggestions that it interfered in other countries’ elections.

And –

German security officials concede that they they cannot prove that the Kremlin was ultimately behind the Bundestag hack.

They only think it is “very likely”.

“The chancellor’s chances of losing the Bundestag poll are considered to be small. But” -Wagstyl sounds note of caution – “so  were Mr Trump’s chances of winning the White House.” And he concedes: “No one knows whether the Kremlin tipped the balance there, or what it might attempt in Germany.”

The drift of the entire article, however, is that the Kremlin wants to tip the balances, has tried to tip them, has succeeded in the US, and that if Ms Merkel’s “liberal” government falls, it will most likely be because of Russian interference. 

One good thing that emerges clearly from all this anxious suspicion is that the ruling elite is feeling very insecure. And well it might. The people over whom they exert their “liberal” power are rebelling, and are more than likely to unseat those “liberals” who established and dominated the old world order; who brought alien masses flooding into Europe without the consent of the people they rule – the people whom they are now smearing with insults, trying to silence with tyrannical legislation, and who may be about to dethrone them.

We hope they do dethrone them.

It must not be the Russians who then build a new world order. Theirs would be at least as bad as the old.

We hope for the success of western populism – of the Trumpist popular revolution – in Germany and throughout Europe.

Comedy corner: a clash of religions on Twelfth Night 3

A delightfully rib-tickling true story this, a farce in which half a dozen religions are involved.

The setting is a grand place sacred to Christians – a cathedral in Scotland.

The date of the farce is January 6, the twelfth night of the Christmas season. It is traditionally a night for joking, at least in the Anglophone world. Shakespeare has a bunch of naughty characters playing practical jokes in his play Twelfth Night. (Forbidden reading though  – “boko haram” – in the English departments of American universities, because Shakespeare is dead, white, and male, and could you think of any better reasons than those?)

Christians call January 6 “Epiphany”. The  Roman church decided sometime in the 4th century that “Jesus” was baptized by John the Baptist on that date.

It was also, Christians say, the date on which Three Magi (Zoroastrian priests) came to pay homage to the newly born “Baby Jesus”. (Which just goes to show Zoroastrians that Christianity wins – so there!)

Now the cathedral wasn’t just any old cathedral. It was St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow, and (says the Washington Times) “on its website the cathedral touts that it adheres to ‘liberal theology’ and engages in ‘ministry which is affirming, inclusive, open and non-judgemental’.”

So already we have four religions in play: Protestant Christianity of the British kind, the reigning sovereign being its head; Zoroastrianism, long since capitulated; and Marxism acoupled to Catholic Christianity in Latin America, under the name “liberation theology”.

Enter religion number five:

On that day holy to Christians, right there in the cathedral, a Muslim woman – on the invitation of the clergy – “read a passage from the Quran denying the divinity of Christ“.

It might be expected that the head of the faith in the United Kingdom of England and Scotland would and should raise an objection, call it an outrage, summon those responsible to explain why they did it and stand reproved if not condemned.

And, indeed, one of the Queen’s chaplains did object, in strong terms.

Breitbart reports:

The Scottish cathedral that allowed a girl to read a passage from the Quran denying the divinity of Christ should apologise to Christians “suffering dreadful persecution at the hands of Muslims”, the Queen’s chaplain has said. …

A [Muslim] girl sang Surah 19, which specifically denies that Jesus was the Son of God and says He should not be worshipped, during a service to St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow.

Now the Rev Gavin Ashenden, one of the chaplains to Queen Elizabeth II, has said the reading could be described as “blasphemy”. …

In a letter to The Times, Rev Ashenden says:

Quite apart from the wide distress (some would say blasphemy) caused by denigrating Jesus in Christian worship, apologies may be due to the Christians suffering dreadful persecution at the hands of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere. To have the core of a faith for which they have suffered deeply treated so casually by senior Western clergy such as the Provost of Glasgow is unlikely to have a positive outcome. There are other and considerably better ways to build “bridges of understanding”.

He also wrote in a post for the Archbishop Cranmer blog that it was highly unlikely a Christian would be invited to proclaim the divinity of Christ at Friday prayers in a mosque.

There was no dialogue in the Epiphany Eucharist; only a refutation of what Christians hold most dear and upon which salvation depends. In over 30 years of interfaith conversations, I have never yet come across a Muslim community which allowed those passages in the Gospels acclaiming the divinity of Christ to be read in Friday prayers.

As outrage grew over the reading, the head of the Scottish Episcopal Church [David Chillingworth] said he was “deeply distressed at the widespread offence”, saying Christians cannot offend their own religion in the name of inter-faith dialogue.

He declared:

We approach others with open hearts but we stand in the truth of the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

However, the cathedral’s provost, Kelvin Holdsworth, was unrepentant and even suggested that those who were offended were actually attacking him because he is gay.

So here now is the sixth religion: Political Correctness, affirming its doctrine of “anti-sexism”.

Kelvin Holdsworth wrote:

Having a recitation from the Qur’an in a Christian cathedral in worship is not a new thing. So it has indeed come as something of a surprise to find accounts of last week’s service appearing online and stirring up the most incredible pot of hatred I’ve ever encountered. This same Qur’anic reading has been given before in services and no outcry has happened. Is it because this is in a cathedral run by a gay man? Is it because the recitation was given by a young woman? Clearly those things are factors as they feature in some of the abuse.”

Oh yes, “clearly” that’s what this was all about! Not about Christianity, and not about the everlasting jihad of Islam against all who do not submit to its god. It was about being inclusive, open, and non-judgemental. Kelvin Holdsworth is not judging those who see a clash of doctrine in the event – which in any case should not be condemned for the decisive reason that it has happened before –  merely reproaching them for blasphemy against his religion.

So did the Established Church judge, or reproach, or reprove, or even just gently correct Mr. Holdsworth?

Not on your nelly, as the British used to say.

The Established Church of the United Kingdom fired the Queen’s chaplain.

Though they didn’t put it quite like that. They put it like this:

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “Dr. Gavin Ashenden has tendered his resignation from the honorary position of Chaplain to The Queen. The Royal Household has accepted the resignation with immediate effect.”

You couldn’t make this stuff up. And you gotta laugh.

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