After the end of World War 1, as countries across the globe took stock of the calamity that had befallen them, nation after nation made a commitment to honour the dream that so many serving soldiers, sailors and airmen had given their lives for.
As the reasons for the conflict became clearer to ordinary people the phrase ‘Lest we forget’ came to signify not only the millions of lives cut short but also the motivations and political ambitions of those who brought them to war in the first place. Nationalistic pride, a belief in our own mythical, almost mystical superiority and contempt for ‘Johnny foreigner’ bred an arrogance that was at once both isolationist and entitled.
Coupled with the unbridled political ambition of a few key players both in and out of government, the stage was (is) set for a conflict of gargantuan, of epic proportions.
Such was the situation in the run up to August 1914.
After the end of World War 1, as countries across the globe took stock of the calamity that had befallen them, nation after nation made a commitment to honour the dream that so many serving soldiers, sailors and airmen had given their lives for. As the reasons for the conflict became clearer to ordinary people the phrase ‘Lest we forget’ came to signify not only the millions of lives cut short but also the motivations and political ambitions of those who brought them to war in the first place.
To forget the hateful, profiteering, nationalistic tactics of war mongering politicians and investors is to risk repeating the same mistakes again.
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This morning’s announcement from Her Majesty’s government, if indeed we can still call it ‘Her Majesty’s’ will shock the country and shake our system of representative democracy and constitutional monarchy to its very core. For centuries now the reigning monarch has been the head of the Church of England, a Protestant organisation respected the world over and fully in-keeping with the character of Anglicanism worldwide as well as the prevailing culture across these fair Isles.
It was the tolerance and fair-mindedness of Anglicanism that brought an end to the religious wars that once so blighted our country. Even in N. Ireland, where the struggle is as much about national identity and exploitation as it is about religion per se, the Anglican church has called for peace, along with its Roman Catholic brethren.
We don’t have separation of church and state in this country as they do in the US. We still have Bishops and Archbishops in the House of Lords making laws for example, but those clergymen tend to act as much in a secular capacity as in a religious one. Such has it been for longer than any of us have been alive. And such, we imagined, it would remain. Until today.
As we know, early in this parliamentary term of office Boris used his overwhelming majority to push through an enabling act allowing him and his ministers the right to make law related both to Brexit and to Covid without reference to parliament and without notice to the populous. We saw this with the many announcements and U-turns regarding lockdowns and negotiations with Europe. One piece of legislation was announced late one evening after most people had gone to bed and resulted in arrests and prosecutions the very next morning as people went about their business completely oblivious to the fact that the law had changed while they slept.
And now they’ve done it again – under cover of the recent explosion in Covid19 infections Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the house and a vociferous Roman Catholic has single-handedly swept away the very basis both of our constitutional monarchy and our traditional political and religious structure. He has done so by claiming that only divine intervention can truly defeat covid and so we need, as a nation, to get right with God.
As of one minute past midnight this morning the official religion of England and Wales is no longer Anglicanism. It is, in fact, Roman Catholicism. The justification for this is ancient. It harks back to a deal made in the 13th century by King John (disparagingly known at the time as John Lackland) who gave this country to the Pope as a Papal serfdom in return for help in raising funds to wage war with France. The deal was struck in 1213 and annual payments of 1,000 marks were made in tribute to the Pope every year until 1290. After that they were irregularly offered until the final tribute was given by Edward III in 1333 in the hope that this would secure Papal favours on the international stage.
It did not and so the tribute was never paid again and although the English parliament eventually ruled the ‘sale’ of UK invalid, the Vatican has never formally relinquished its hold over the nation. Consequently, Brexit or no Brexit, England belongs to the Roman Catholic church and has done for over 800 years. Scotland was never part of the agreement in 1213 and so it remains to be seen how our brothers North of the border will fare.
It may be that the next big building project will involve a restoration not only of monasteries but of Hadrian’s wall as well. We’ll have to wait and see about that. What we do know is that there are few tory voters in Scotland so this particular incarnation of the ‘Conservative and Unionist party’ will have few qualms in letting our Northern neighbours adrift if it suits their short-term goals.
This is the backdrop behind Rees-Mogg’s modern religious coup. Relying upon ancient documents detailing the transfer of ownership from the crown to the Pope he has declared UK a fiefdom once again. This is possible because of recent legislation disempowering our domestic judges who are no longer in a position to overrule or even question the work of government. Further, the Roman Catholic backbench committee, ‘Opus Hominem’ has declared the acquisition of Catholic property during Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries unlawful and empowered Rees-Mogg to order a return of all Anglican properties to the English branch of the Roman Catholic church with immediate effect. Any clergyman or lay-congregant maintaining possession of such properties after midnight this morning will be guilty not only of theft but of heresy.
The new law goes further. Since there was no Anglican church in the 14th century, King John’s pact was made from the perspective of Roman Catholicism and as such, only Roman Catholic law can repeal it. At that time, and subsequently, failure to observe the tenets of the Roman church constituted heresy. Even if not originally baptised into Roman Catholicism, anyone professing to be Christian was covered by the Papal inquisition and punishable under its auspices.
This was the basis of the Albigensian crusades against the Cathars of Southern France. They were Christians whose ‘crime’, among other things, was to argue that they didn’t need a Priest to speak with God – they could do so directly. Very much like the Anglican position, as it happens.
Anglicans are Protestants and as such are equally liable to accusations of Heresy from ‘mother church’.
Of course, nobody will be getting burned at the stake or hanged as they did in centuries past but Rees-Mogg has identified his own, modern approach to undermining ecumenical relations in UK. Beginning this Sunday all citizens of England and Wales will be expected to attend Mass and give confession. Those not properly baptised have been given one month to do so after which they too will be expected to take communion in this newly Catholicised state. Those who fail to do so will face imprisonment and sequestration of funds to pay for the repair of church buildings destroyed since the dissolution.
This account of Draconian legislation is, of course, an April Fool’s day joke. But take a look at what’s really going on. Click the link here. These genuine new laws, taken together really will undermine our rights, our citizenship and our democracy. And there’s nothing funny about that.
April or not, the government really is taking us all for fools!
“There will be people who will have seen scenes of protests and asked, ‘Why aren’t the government doing something?’ The answer, in many cases, may simply be that we live in a democratic, free society.”
Theresa May, House of commons, July 2021
Today’s the anniversary of a crime. A terrible, heinous, unspeakable act that tore at the very fabric, of the society in which it was committed. An apparently lone criminal, in the most brazen way imaginable broke a law and a tradition that had existed for 55 years among the fine, upstanding citizens of Montgomery, Alabama in the good old US of A.
So what was this unspeakable act, this depraved antisocial behaviour that resonates across the miles and the years? Who was the criminal who on this day, December 1st 1955 set in train a series of events that would shake America – well, part of America to it’s bigoted, racist, ignorant core?
The criminal’s name was Rosa Parks and the act that would forever guarantee her fame was simple. Rosa Parks sat on a bus, on a seat reserved for white people – and that was against the law.
Sometimes it’s necessary to break truly unjust laws. Sometimes our very liberty depends upon it.
This session the UK government is taking the new police, crime, sentencing and courts bill through Parliament. It’s currently nearing the end of its passage through the Lords and is likely to become law very soon as there’s little chance of Boris’ sycophantic back-benchers opposing it. Among other erosions of civil liberties it aims to make anti-government demonstration illegal. Really. They’re going after our right to protest now.
This, yet again, is the stuff of dictatorship. The Nazis did the same thing shortly after gaining control of the Reichstag. It’s a blow both to our individual liberties and to our collective democracy.
When debating the bill at it’s second reading last July former Home Secretary and Prime Minister, Theresa May remarked…
“There will be people who will have seen scenes of protests and asked, ‘Why aren’t the government doing something?’ The answer, in many cases, may simply be that we live in a democratic, free society.”
So my question to you is this…
Do you have as much courage as a little woman from Montgomery Alabama whose lone protest on an Alabama bus ride helped bring down a system that had been tolerated for far too long?
The government plan is to amend the official secrets act to criminalise any reporter who effectively embarrasses the government. It means that anyone who publishes stuff like Hancock’s extra-marital kiss could face up to 14 years in prison.
“Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose.”
The reach of the act will cover anyone from journalists to bloggers, to keyboard warriors on Facebook and you don’t even need to have signed the act to be liable. But it gets worse. Click the video link below to watch a 6 minute video explanation of this appalling new proposal…
Yesterday a regular commenter on my YouTube channel pointed out that the government had agreed to abide by the ECHR and the Human Rights Act as part of the Brexit deal. This is true but, as a 5 minute google search showed, not without its caveats. Hardly surprising given the frequency with which this government of chancers breaks its international agreements. This country is already in breach, generally as a result of government policy of nearly every one of the 14 convention rights and there are plans to renege upon even more as I speak.
This morning’s article from the BBC news website, underlines the point beautifully…
This is a little nuanced and it will take a bit of explaining but there is a loophole which the government is relying upon to sidestep the convention. The conditions that apply to allow this are…
Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights allows countries to derogate (effectively put to one side) other articles of the convention in times of emergency. This was accepted into the UK legal system by the judicial chamber of the House of Lords in 1966. The conditions that allow this are very limited. They are…
in time of war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation;
only to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation;
any derogations may not be inconsistent with the State’s other obligations underinternational law;
In reforming the Human Rights Act, the British legislation mirroring the ECHR, the government is relying upon article 15 (the right to derogate) to create laws that are incompatible with European human rights. Since the British courts are bound to apply British law all they can do is issue a ‘Declaration of incompatibility’ and give leave to appeal to a higher court. Of course, the only court able to issue a contrary ruling would be the European court in Strasbourg and the route there was long and arduous even before Brexit.
As the BBC article points out…
“The government is pressing ahead with plans to limit how the public can legally challenge official decisions, despite fears it will damage justice.”
This attack on judicial review of government decisions, together with Boris’ enabling act which I described in an earlier video – click the little icon above to watch that one – takes us another step forward in our country’s relentless march toward dictatorship.
To quote again from the BBC article…
Critics call it an attempt to stop scrutiny of bad decisions.
“Judicial review most famously led to the Supreme Court’s judgement that Prime Minister Boris Johnson unlawfully closed down Parliament ahead of Brexit.
Any decision taken by a public body can be challenged in a judicial review before a High Court judge – and the power is used daily to examine whether officials are following the laws set by Parliament governing their work.
Recent examples include a challenge to exam grades being set by algorithms in England – the threat of which contributed to a government U-turn – and the blocking of the release of the so-called “black-cab rapist” John Worboys.”
They’re even providing a way to give wrongdoers a free pass, even when found guilty of existing law, potentially preventing anyone who has been wronged by the government from achieving appropriate legal remedy. This breaches articles 6, 7 and 13 of the ECHR as well as opening the door to breaches of every other part of the Convention in the process.
The result of all this, for the first time in living memory will be a government that is beyond scrutiny, that cannot meaningfully be challenged in court and that has already given itself the power to enact new legislation without reference to parliament or anyone else.
On one occasion they did this at 15 minutes to midnight the day before a new offence came into force, leaving no time for anyone to become familiar with their obligations before committing a brand new crime. This was the law, issued in September 2020, that limited drinkers to groups of 6 but allowed fox-hunters (itself ostensibly illegal in most circumstances) and grouse-shooters to meet in whatever size group they wished. Pub-goers and restaurant patrons faced £100 fines and a criminal record without notice the very next day.
Stephanie Boyce is president of the law society. Her judgement on the new legislation was…
“There is a great deal here that should ring alarm bells for people who come up against the might of the state”
Once again the Johnson regime is dragging our long-standing, traditional and internationally respected democracy over the coals and the outcome will not be pretty.
If you’re still unconvinced of Boris Johnson’s gradual Nazification of Britain then this final part of the film provides evidence not only of the parallels with Hitler but the way that the Johnson government continues to attack our rights and freedoms. Johnson is a dictator in the making and the nature of that dictatorship is far from benign.
But there is hope. Watch to the end to hear what we can do to change this terrifying trajectory. The Tory party knows nothing of loyalty to leaders once they are seen by the public for what they really are. We can use the Tory party’s own inherent callousness to overthrow this regime before it’s too late.
The government that follows will still be tory but at least it won’t be Nazi. That might not be a perfect solution but it beats what the current government has in store for us.
I’ve just made a pretty big claim, some might say an extraordinary claim and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Just what makes me imagine that this society, this land of my birth is becoming the very thing we opposed not only in wartime but on British streets as well?
This is the land of Cable Street, of Brick Lane where thousands of anti-fasciststook to the streets to oppose Mosley’s Blackshirts and Griffin’s National Front.
It’s the land of the Levellers, the Chartists, of Magna Carta and the Battle of Peterloo where working class artesans gathered peacefully to hear speeches against an oppressive British government and were massacred, by order of that government and the king, at swordpoint by local yeomanry and cavalry soldiers.
So, before we get too smug about our anti-fascist national credentials we should also bear in mind that in each of those other famous conflicts the police, the establishment and the government sided with the fash.
The people in power followed the money, as they often do.
And in recent years that money has been in the hands of far right donors, think tanks and agitators from Breitbart to Cambridge Analytica, from Eugenicist Dominic Cummings to disaster capitalists like Arron Banks and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
How did Adolf Hitler and his small band of National Socialists manage to take a sophisticated, developed and educated nation and turn it into a fascist state ready to march roughshod over the rights, the lives and even the existence of others?
This short film aims to answer that question, not only from a historical perspective but from a current affairs point of view too.
For over a decade now I’ve been speaking to anyone who’s prepared to listen about the path we’re on in modern UK – and not just here – across the developed world.
This isn’t about Godwin’s law, the internet trope that claims every disagreement ends with the loser accusing everyone else of Nazism. There are Nazis in UK but they’re pretty few and far between.
This is about the way that ordinary people, people who are far from Nazi are being duped by cynical provocateurs, rabble rousers and even politicians into accepting Nazi principles without even realising it.
It’s an expose – not an accusation. It’s a heartfelt plea to the millions of decent people in my beloved United Kingdom to stop for a moment, to take stock and to see where we’re headed.
Many people I know and love seem very happy about the recent deplatforming of the likes of Donald Trump and some others. I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been a Trump fan. But there’s a much wider issue here and it really should concern us all, especially those of us on the left who aren’t supported by the big corporations and billionaires who prop up social media platforms.
This video is quite old. It’s from the Left Eye View channel’s early days but it makes the point, I think. The relevant part begins at about 7:40.
This one is just priceless, coming as it does from the fash who also claim to be the guardians of freedom of speech!
Of course, we all know that of the two principles, freedom of speech and hanging political opponents it’s the latter that they really mean. But once again, they just haven’t thought it through.
If you believe in freedom of speech then you believe that the state should not intervene to limit or control peoples’ free expression of their beliefs. Since treason is a criminal act (an offence against the state) it would be up to the state to deal with traitors. That means criminalising speech.
Does that mean (of course we know it does) that when they advocate freedom of speech they only really mean freedom of speech for those who agree with them?
Does that mean anyone advocating for a non-fascist political stance is a traitor deserving of death?
Are they so afraid of opposing viewpoints that they want to make the entire country a safe space where they will never be challenged?
Of course this attempt to exterminate all those who disagreed with him is exactly what Hitler did. No, that’s not Godwin’s law – it’s genuinely, factually true. And how did that work out?
The best nuclear physicists went to work for the Americans.
The most efficient organisers, those with experience of running large municipal organisations along equitable lines were sent to concentration camps or murdered.
Many of their soldiers were taken up guarding many of their other potential soldiers (the German army contained many Jews and trade unionist socialists during world war 1).
The policy of excluding all this potential meant that the likes of Goerring ended up running the Luftwaffe leading to the loss of the Battle of Britain and ultimately the war. Had Britain fallen D-Day could never have happened and Europe would not have been liberated. It’s exactly what happened to the French military after the revolution. Military officers were usually aristocrats at that time and so, like all ‘aristos’, they were either executed or demoted leaving thoroughly inexperienced, newly promoted officers in their place. Naval battles like Trafalgar or the Battle of the Nile show just what an experienced officer like Nelson can achieve against such a force. Montgomery wouldn’t have stood a chance against the Desert Fox in North Africa and Normandy almost certainly wouldn’t have fallen to the Allies in 1944 had Rommell had sufficient quality officers supporting him in Libya and in Normandy. And let’s not even begin discussing the Manhattan project’s likely impact had the Allies deemed it necessary to use their new weapon on German cities the way they did in Japan.
When modern British fash advocate the death of all their political opponents they also advocate the removal of a wealth of talented people. In short they’re making the same mistake as Hitler and Robespierre. Were they ever to gain power in this country and carry out their ridiculous threat their own downfall would also be assured. They’re making enemies out of potential friends and all because of a flawed ideology that assumes some people are inherently better than others. It’s ludicrous!
But they don’t understand that either. Why not tell them?
The fash don’t often say this so blatantly but it’s very clearly what they mean when they offer violence to get their political way. When they talk about what they want to do to those who oppose them they clearly are drawing upon the mindset that tells them their entitlement comes from their physical strength. When gangs of swastika clad thugs terrorize the streets of UK, Europe and America they’re not inviting people to discuss policies, they’re threatening to crush all opposition.
And they have the cheek to call themselves democratic. It’s always worth pointing that out.
The usual retort is that lefties won’t talk to them. They’ll witter on about freedom of speech which is covered later in the series. A fun response is often to explain that you’re willing to talk it through with them right now… and then see if they can.
The sad fact is that most of them don’t understand the first thing about the ideology they espouse, the development of fascism and neoNazism or the manipulation of information that brought them to accept the current lies of the far right. You won’t win any contests here because the fash will almost certainly just insult you and move on but you will have demonstrated to them just how ill-equipped they are to defend their views and that’s a good start.
For those that suggest that might really is right ask them what they think about Stalin using the mighty soviet machine to kill millions of his own citizens. Then ask what they think of Hitler doing the same to millions of his own, German citizens. They’ll claim that Hitler’s targets weren’t ‘his own’ people which gives you two responses…
Why does that matter?
Did the socialists, trade unionists, Jews and disabled people he persecuted before the war began not have German citizenship, then?
Once again, the aim is to get them to understand that there are holes in their arguments. Many fash won’t have looked into their ideology enough to see those holes in the first place and exposing them to that fact may be the beginning of their road away from hatred.