Patel’s press muzzle is far from pretty

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.”

(George Orwell)

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…

Patel’s plan to oppose free speech is straight out of Hitler’s 25 point plan

“A free press is one of the pillars of democracy”

(Nelson Mandela)

Nazi Britain: a warning from history part 4

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.

Nazi Britain: a warning from history part 3 of 4

Now all of these rights are at risk – which of them do you want to lose? Which do you want other people to lose?

Would you like suspected foreign criminals to be deported without conviction in court?

Would you like to go to prison for crimes you were merely suspected of without being found guilty?

If your answers to those questions are different you’re falling for the propaganda.

Home secretary Priti Patel even stands by a system of immigration that would have excluded her own parents who were kicked out of Uganda during Idi Amin’s purges and fled here for their own safety.

She’s also presiding over the mass deportation of EU and other immigrants, many of whom have lived their entire lives, or close to their entire lives here in the UK.

Those granted leave to remain will be forced to do so under new regulations effectively making them second class citizens in the land they have always called home. Swap the word Jew for Muslim and it’s a move that could have been taken straight from Adolf Hitler’s 25 point plan.

Nazi Britain: a warning from history part 2 of 4

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.

Nazi Britain: a warning from history part 1 of 4

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.

Far right bingo card: Britain’s a Christian country

I’m a British citizen. I’m also an atheist. I used to be a Christian but I changed my mind in 1993 and have never been tempted to return to Christianity or indeed any religion whatsoever. Does that mean I’m no longer British?

Let’s just think this through, shall we?

I was a Christian because I was brought up to be a Christian. It wasn’t my idea – my parents chose my religion and the Church of England claimed me as a member of their congregation long before I had a chance to think it through for myself. I was a Christian because of somebody else’s choice: Because of somebody else’s rules.

That’s what it means to claim that Britain is a Christian country. Other people used to be Christian and they decided in advance that the rest of us would be Christian too. Some people accepted that label and even fewer accepted the lifestyle and beliefs associated with it but the vast majority did not.

I do not know a single right-winger, let alone far-right winger who follows the religion based upon Jesus Christ. Not a single right-winger that I’ve ever met demonstrates compassion for the poor or concern for those who are disadvantaged. I’ve never come across a single racist who understands empathy or would follow the instructions of the Nazarene to sell all that they own and give the money to the poor.

So far as I can see, those who claim this is a Christian country do so only to justify their hatred of those who follow other beliefs. They show no understanding nor consideration for Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus or anyone else. Theirs is a Christianity of convenience behind which they conceal their hatred and mean-spirited, even murderous stupidity.

As it happens, I do know some perfectly nice, reasonable, charitable and compassionate Christians but none of them are far right. Actually none of them are even just ‘right wing’ in its moderate sense. They may vote tory occasionally but not because they agree with tory policies so much as because they don’t really take an interest in politics and don’t quite understand what conservative ideology is. But I don’t know a single Racist, fascist, neoliberal or neoNazi who has any legitimate claim on the writings of the New Testament.

I’ve come across neo-Nazis who want to machine gun desperate refugees from the whilte cliffs of Dover. I’ve debated with Fascists who want to deny trade to Muslims, thus destroying their livelihoods and forcing them out of UK. I’ve argued with far right thugs who think it’s appropriate to assault hijabi women on the streets or even to throw petrol bombs at shops owned by brown people but I’ve never met a single one of them who knows how to forgive or to turn the other cheek.

So let’s give the far right their way. Let’s give them their entire argument right now.

Let’s say that this really is a Christian country.

And then we can watch them all take their anti-Christian barbarity somewhere else.

If Britain is a Christian country then there’s no room for you here. Off you go – make some space for the real Christians to house more refugees.

Far right bingo card: A different species

This isn’t just ironic, it’s a wonderful illustration of the complete and utter misunderstanding these racists have of the process of natural selection they claim to rely upon. The basic confusion appears to be based in old testament assumptions where the term ‘kind’ is used instead of the more modern ‘species’ (Genesis 7) and where slavery actively is supported along with the purchase and/or capture, absolute ownership and slavery (including sexual slavery) of those who are ‘different’ (Exodus 21). Exodus and Deuteronomy define such enslaved foreigners as ‘property’ or ‘money’ and permit passing them on as chattels to future generations as part of a patriarch’s estate.

These early passages were used as justification for the slave trade which caused so much death, hardship and misery. They were also used to support Plato’s ‘ladder’ of human superiority with black women at the bottom and white, European men at the top. Such primitive notions have no basis in fact and indeed modern scientific consensus clearly shows just how ridiculous these notions actually are.

Modern biology defines speciation in several ways, the strongest and most generally agreed upon is based upon the viability of offspring. To put it another way, if two rabbits can produce offspring that themselves are capable of producing further offspring then they belong to the same species. If their offspring are incapable of producing offspring with earlier generations of rabbits then they would no longer be rabbits. We see this speciation event in modern ring species. For example Salamanders living around the rim of Death valley can all breed with their immediate neighbours, right the way around the rim but those living at the extremes cannot interbreed. Over the immense distance of the valley’s rim selection pressures and remoteness have led to the development of two different, non-interbreeding species of Salamander. This is a process of speciation observed in geographical terms rather than temporal.

No modern human population is unable to produce viable offspring with any other modern human population. Racists understand this very well. That’s why they’re so bothered about miscegenation (racial inter-breeding). What they don’t understand is speciation.

They don’t appear to understand basic humanity either but that’s another story.

Far right bingo card: Free speech

I’m getting really tired of far right snowflakes demanding the death penalty for anyone who says things they don’t like.

They seem to want to make the whole world a safe space where those nasty lefties don’t say things that the fash don’t want to hear.

So much for free speech and freedom of expression!

Until you believe in freedom of speech for those with whom you absolutely disagree, you do not believe in freedom of speech at all.

I recently received a comment on my Youtube channel suggesting that I should be hanged as a traitor. The commenter, whose own channel was full of free speech videos (which he clearly interpreted as being racist without consequence) thinks we should hang British citizens for speaking their minds. Sorry – who’s the traitor again?

He has no idea about the meaning of freedom of speech, no idea about how the law works, no idea what traitorous really means and definitely no clue about the purpose of actual justice.

When someone commits a hate crime, for example humiliates a young Muslim girl in the street they should pay her compensation (and replace the scarf they took from her). That’s restorative justice. It focuses upon righting the wrongs.

Now, if I post a video in which I walk around Bury Park in Luton, thus proving that it isn’t a no go area for white people, who have I harmed? Who is the victim? Who should I compensate? What would be the justice principle that would led to me being hanged?

It’s become increasingly clear over the last few years that the real snowflakes in this country are the far right, the racists and the pig-headed bigots who want to destroy all opinions but their own. And that’s fine by me. If they want to be snowflakes and run away from other people because they use words to express ideas that frighten you, fair enough.

But don’t dress your snowflakery up as justice or pretend it’s about free speech because it clearly isn’t. It’s just snowflakery!

Or is it fuckwittery? It’s hard to tell sometimes.

Far right bingo card: Representing the working class

It seems ridiculous to me for anyone on then right wing of politics to claim to represent the working class. The right has always been about exploitation, about keeping us, the riff raff in our place and about squeezing every last drop of profit from us that they can get away with. That’s why the working class has always opposed the right – because it’s the right that uses our hard work to enrich others. This was obvious once but over the years the inequalities of life have become so normalised, so expected that many people think they’re inevitable. But they’re not.

Why should it be inevitable, for example that business owners can earn hundreds of thousands a year whilst their employees survive on subsistence wages?

Why should it be inevitable that these same business owners pay so little tax whilst their employees cannot access the public services they need because the country hasn’t the funds to provide for them?

Why is it that the people who do the hard work, put in the long hours for minimum wage, aren’t the ones who see the rewards from their labours?

These are the questions that the left want addressed and that’s why socialist parties insist upon better wages for working people. Thast’s why we demand proper taxation strategies to ensure that those at the top of the income ladder pay something toward helping those at the bottom. After all – they’re not the only people who invest in businesses.

As the late, great, Tony Benn once remarked…

“Your people invest their money… My people invest their lives.”

When the right wingers oppose the left they’re not doing so on behalf of the working class – they’re undermining us.

When the right wing oppose brown people or Muslims, Poles or LBQT citizens they’re not supporting the working class – they’re dividing it. This is the strategy of the cynical ‘man’ at the top of the tree. He knows that a united working class could easily force him to accept a fairer system so he works hard to keep us at each-others’ throats. And the stupid little neoNazi with his EDL tattoo or his Britain First mug spreading hatred between working people of different races or creeds is part of that machinery of oppression.

The real enemy of the working class is the wealthy tax avoider with his offshore account who leeches funds earned by our labour out of the only economy that could help improve our situations.

When you give tax relief to working people they spend it – that money goes back into the economy and other businesses prosper, local traders and local employees start to feel more confident and their money circulates. Everyone gets wealthier. When you give it to the rich banker he just puts it with the rest of his unnecessary pile in the Cayman Islands and forgets about it.

The far right claim to represent the working class whilst supporting right-wing policies and policy-makers such as our present government whose ministers gorge themselves whilst ordinary people are forced into destitution. Our conservative ‘masters’ vote to reduce benefits payments for the most needy and yet give themselves a ten grand bonus just for staying at home. When you support these nest-featherers you do not represent the working class.

The right wing has normalised its abuses so much that many of our own people think it’s inevitable that working peoples’ children should go hungry over Christmas and that a 10% tax cut for millionaires is just how it ought to be. Even the most obviously weak excuses don’t demonstrate just how badly they’re being played by a cynical financial elite.

And they call us ‘cucks’!

These people don’t represent the working class – they undermine it by falling for the divide and conquer politics of those who purport to be our ‘betters’. And in doing so they maintain the very system that treated them so unfairly and made them so very angry in the first place.

They’re on the wrong side and they don’t even know it!

Far right bingo card: Ashamed to be white

I’ve lost count of the number of fash who’ve accused me of being a traitor to my race. Having first made this ridiculous allegation (as though whiteness was something deserving of loyalty in the first place) they then find themselves in the unenviable position of having to explain it. The most common method, equally hyperbolic but surprisingly popular, is to claim that it’s because I’m ashamed to be white. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I’m no more ashamed to be white than I’m proud to have dropped ear lobes or an ‘inny’ navel.  I might just as well be ashamed of the length of my armpit hair or the crinkliness of my scrotum for all the sense it might make. They’re all just irrelevant accidents of birth – an artefact of my genetic heritage with no bearing upon my rights, my value, my character or my worth. The truth is that, far from feeling ashamed, I simply don’t care.

But shame is an interesting concept. It’s a self-judgement that tends to be total. This is most easily understood when we consider our awareness of wrong action.

If I do something reprehensible then I can regret the deed. I can use that regret to accept my folly and to motivate me to make amends. It’s not a judgement about who I am – it’s not my ‘all’, it’s my human fallibility that is at issue and once I’m aware of my mistake I can work to make amends. Regret, then can be a positive force for growth.

That’s different from shame. Shame isn’t limited to a particular deed or behaviour. Even if it begins that way it quickly grows to become all-encompassing. Ashamed people tend to judge everything about themselves through that single, shame-coloured lens and in their own opinion they will always come up wanting. There’s no incentive to make reparation from shame because there’s no way to overcome it.

Shame is destructive and toxic. Regret is instructive and often developmental – it helps us grow.

Now, let’s consider whiteness through those same lenses.

I’m not defined by my whiteness. I’m as much defined by my behaviour as by any of the countless physical characteristics I possess from skin colour to the shape of my jaw. Compared to the way I treat those around me the colour of my skin is considerably less significant. Also, since I didn’t do anything to cause my skin colour I have no business feeling either regret about it or pride in its ‘achievement’. Let’s face it – there’s nothing to be proud of in passively accepting your genetic make-up. It’s just who you are. The genes that formed you in your mother’s womb had absolutely nothing to do with your choices or actions in the first place.

The same is true for shame. Skin colour is not a defining characteristic any more than the thickness of my browridge or the prominence or otherwise of my ‘Adam’s apple’. So I can’t possibly feel shame about something so trivial in the greater scheme of who I am. Nor can I regret in any personal, blameworthy way a situation I didn’t cause. My skin colour has absolutely nothing to do with my worth or with my choices. It truly is an accident of birth.

So why do racists want to pretend I’m ashamed of my colour when the reality is obviously so different? I’m pretty sure that for many of them it’s just an excuse for themselves.

They know, deep down just how bigoted and irrational they are. They need to deflect attention away from their own shortcomings and on to the imagined faults of those around them. So they accuse me of a shame which they acknowledge is irrational whilst attempting to hang on to the pride that, somehow, they want to portray as reasonable.

But unfortunately for them, you can’t have it both ways. If there’s no place for shame, there’s no place for pride either.

Skin colour, like scrotum wrinkliness is irrelevant in both cases. And they know it!

Far right bingo card: Hang the leftie traitors

Hang the leftie traitors

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?

Fuckin’ snowflakes!

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?

Far right bingo card: Might is right

Might is right

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…

  1. Why does that matter?
  2. 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.