What has changed over the past year?
I sense that political correctness has passed its high point. Like all totalitarian creeds, it is in reality failing when it is seemingly at its most dominant. That is because all totalitarian creeds become ever more obviously detached from reality as they invariably become ever more extreme as the practitioners and enforcers of the ideology compete to show who is the purest ideologue. It is also catching more and more people who may have thought themselves safe from suffering any penalty from being non-pc in its clutches, for example, the Wigan FC chairman Dave Whelan, not least because of the growing ubiquity of digital devices available to record both the spoken and written word, so that even private utterances or writings are vulnerable to hacking, deliberate surreptitious recording or in the case of that which is written , the discovery of thoughts by third parties.
There has also been a considerable change in the past twelve months in the rhetoric on three vital matters: immigration, withdrawal from the EU and the political representation of England within a devolved UK. All have become much more in line with reality, both social and political. The change in the case of immigration is especially striking. None of this has as yet been translated into practical action, but honest talk about subjects for long treated as beyond the Pale by mainstream politicians and media is encouraging and is an essential prelude to meaningful action. The more the rhetoric moves towards reality, the harder will it be for the political elite to control matters. There is a genuine possibility of both an IN/Out EU referendum in 2017 and English Votes for English Laws after the 2015 General Election.
An EU referendum
Many of those supposedly in favour of the UJK leaving the EU are fearful or say they are that a referendum in the near future would be lost and talk of years of preparation of the electorate before a referendum is held. Richard North is a prime proponent of this argument. It holds no water for two reasons. First, if Britain remains within the EU we shall become ever more entwined in its coils to the extent that Britain would l find it very difficult to legally leave the EU. This process is already well in hand as the recent signing up to 35 Justice measures, including opting in again to the European Arrest Warrant, demonstrates. This has happened despite the profound implications of the handing of such power to the EU. Why was there no referendum? Because the European Union 2011 Act, only makes the holding of a referendum necessary on the granting of entirely new powers to the EU and/ or extending existing powers if the powers are part of an EU treaty concluded after the Act passing into law in 2011.
This failure to refer very important transfers of power to a referendum is no accident. There are no new treaties on the horizon for the very simple reason that the Eurofanatics fear they would l lose any referenda on another treaty and they cannot avoid such referenda because some countries such as France, the Republic of Ireland and now the UK require a referendum on a treaty to transfer further powers to Brussels. (The UK law could be repealed or amended to restrict the opportunities for a referendum, but that is unlikely because Ed Miliband has committed himself to it).
The second reason not to shy away from a referendum in the near future is simple. Suppose the worst happens and the referendum is lost . That is not the end of the matter. Rather it is the beginning as the Scottish referendum aftermath has demonstrated. A referendum would provide opportunities to put forward the case for coming out in depth in the mainstream media over a sustained period and to energise the electorate. That would provide the platform for future IN/OUT referenda. By its nature nothing is ever permanently settled in a democracy.
English votes for English laws
Even in its purist form with only English seat MPs voting on English laws this is not a permanent solution, but it is a staging post to an English Parliament. Once established it will quickly become clear that there will be perpetual dissent over what are English-only laws, squabbles over the continuing existence of the Barnett Formula and the practical difficulty of having a House of Commons where the majorities for UK business and English business might be different, for example, a UK wide majority for Labour or Labour led coalition, either relying for MPs from seats outside of England for their majority and a Tory majority in England.
The Tory and LibDem proposals put forward by William Hague today in publication The Implications of Devolution for England are messy with two of the three Tory options fudging matters by not restricting the proposal and the voting on of English-only legislation to English-seat MP and the LibDem proposal being a blatant attempt to smuggle in proportional representation by the back door by suggesting that an English Grand Committee be set up with its members selected to represent the proportion of votes each party . They also have a superb recipe for balkanising England by allowing different levels of representation on demand with differing powers if a city, council or region seek them. Labour have not put any proposals formally forward because they refused to join discussions on fitting England into the devolution mix. I will deal with the subject in greater depth in a separate essay.
The most dangerous general global threats are plausibly these in this order
- Mass immigration.
- Islam – It is a simple fact that serious unrest is found wherever there are large numbers of Muslims. When I hear Muslims and their liberal supporters proclaiming that Islam is the religion of peace I am reminded irresistibly of the film Independence Day in which the aliens emerge from their spaceship proclaiming “we come in peace” before blasting everyone in sight to smithereens.
3 Uncontrolled technology, which leaves the developed world in particular but increasingly the world generally, very vulnerable to suddenly being left without vital services if computer systems fail naturally or through cyber attacks. The glitch over the UK air traffic control gives a hint of how vulnerable we are.
The most dangerous specific threats to global peace and stability are:
– The heightened tension between China and the rest of the far East (especially Japan) as a consequence of China’s flexing of territorial ambitions.
– China’s extraordinary expanding shadow world empire which consists of both huge investment in the first world and de facto colonial control in the developing world.
– The growing power of India which threatens Pakistan.
– The increasing authoritarianism of the EU due to both the natural impetus towards central control and the gross mistake of the Euro. The Eurofanatics are playing with fire in their attempts to lure border states of Russia into the EU whilst applying seriously damaging sanctions to Russia. It is not in the West’s interest to have a Russia which feels threatened or denied its natural sphere of influence.
– The ever more successful (at least in the short run) attempt of post-Soviet Russia to re-establish their suzerainty over the old Soviet Empire.