Protecting Elites from our Anger…

Today, there’s been a call from MPs for them to receive more robust protection from abuse at the hands of protestors.

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Speaker John Bercow has described the abuse and harassment of MPs outside Parliament “a type of fascism” and called for a change of policing policy.

He said recent incidents, including Tory MP Anna Soubry being verbally abused on Monday, were “intolerable”.

More than 60 MPs have called on police to improve their response to abusive protesters outside Parliament.

The Metropolitan Police have said they are ready to “deal robustly” with any instances of criminal harassment.

Ms Soubry was shouted at – including being called a liar and a Nazi – during live TV interviews on BBC News and Sky.

The former minister was later called “scum” and jostled as she tried to re-enter the Palace of Westminster.

The above is the way the ever-supine BBC has framed MPs’ response. The Times is a bit clearer about what their response has been:

John Bercow is to write to Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, increasing the pressure on her to act over the abuse of MPs outside parliament.

The Speaker of the Commons is expected to urge police to do more to protect MPs following a string of incidents including one which saw protesters chant at Anna Soubry, a leading Tory MP, that she was a Nazi. The number of MPs who have signed a similar letter to Ms Dick has reached 60 and is rising.

Ostensibly, this is on the back of repeated episodes of abuse directed at Anna Soubry, though I have no doubt that other MPs have had similar experiences. I have little doubt about the veracity of claims that it is primarily female MPs who have faced this sort of abuse – after all, feminists and their ‘male feminist’ allies have shown no compunction about haranguing women who do not share their idiosyncratic views.

There are a few really interesting things about this.

The first is that Ms Soubry has faced screams of “NAZI”. As much as I disagree with Ms Soubry to the point of despising her, it is patently ridiculous to call her a Nazi or a fascist. The claim is that those shouting at her are extreme right-wing Brexit supporters. I’m not going to address the veracity of this claim as it’s immaterial. What’s interesting is that the practice of screaming “NAZI” at those with whom one disagrees is a practice that was minted by the far-left ‘Antifa’ types.

(Like many cultural and political trends, it started in the USA and took very little time to permeate the rest of the Anglosphere.)

It started with increasingly shrill protestations that x or y utterance/act/opinion was racist. This tended to silence people who did not wish to be tarred with this particularly damaging brush, however reasonable and hitherto mainstream their opinion happened to be. The more this slur has been deployed though – and the more outlandish, absurd and openly malicious the usage – the more it has lost its power and meaning: if everyone and everything is racist then nothing and no-one is racist.

It moved on, of course, via sexist and homophobic, to Islamophobic then Nazi. The same applies. Like antibiotics, deployment starts off being extremely effective, yet through lazy and inapt overuse, the terms lose their efficacy, and need to be superceded with something more powerful.

You could tell, though, that this stratagem was heading up the garden path to oblivion when we started to see people being referred to as ‘literally Hitler’. If I have to unpick that and explain the myriad problems with the claim, you’re in the wrong place.

There had long been a view that if the far-left are the enemy, and they are, a valid tactic is to turn their own weapons against them. So is it any surprise if we see extremists on any spectrum you are to imagine using these proven (if time limited) tactics against those elsewhere in the spectrum of opinion on any given matter?

The second interesting aspect of all this is that MPs imagine they are entitled to special protection from this sort of abuse. They are not. They have sat idly by while anyone who supports Trump or Brexit or the Tories, or is pro-life, pro-church, against gay marriage etc is smeared, intimidated and shutdown using these exact tactics.

As much as the de jure or de facto situation may be different in France or Germany, MPs in this country are citizens with the same rights and responsibilities in law as any other citizen. To even suggest that MPs should be entitled to any sort of special treatment is offensive in the extreme in the context of UK political history. I mention France and Germany deliberately, as it seems there is a strong correlation between MPs calling for special treatment and protection and MPs who support remaining in the EU, with its Napoleonic Codes and its special status afforded to powerful elites.

We did not, for example, see calls from Jacob Rees Mogg for special protection when his family and housekeeper were harangued in the nastiest possible way by protestors outside of his home. But Anna Soubry can’t abide people calling her nasty names on College Green in the heart of Westminster.

The third respect in which this interests me is that it is just the latest development in people’s open expressions of disgust with an increasingly vile, selfish, disconnected elite class of those who brandish power over the public.

For most people it started with the expenses scandal 10 years ago, the fallout of which included a token number of sacrificial lambs and some minimal changes to MPs’ expenses rules. For the most part though, abusers of the expenses system sailed on with impunity, unpunished for their egregious theft of taxpayers money, and worked on developing ways to best exploit the revised rules.

Since then, there have been many episodes that have illustrated the widening chasm between the people and the politicians. Many of these episodes have highlighted that it isn’t just the politicians themselves who act as if they are a higher class with special powers and immunity from the rules that the rest of us are expected to abide by.

The grooming scandal is an example that seems to expose the privilege and ineptitude of all of those in the hierarchies of power. This is a scandal that was repeatedly raised by parents of the girls, maverick politicians and the rare brave journalist. For the most part though, MPs, the police, social workers and the media were complicit in disregarding the ghastly treatment being meted out to tens of thousands of working class girls by the protected class of Muslims.

It matters not whether the powers that be turned a blind eye due to cowardice in the face of cries of Islamophbia and racism, or due to the fact that they genuinely bought into the ideology that permitted the situation to emerge and continue over decades.

It was a watershed in the divison of society between ‘the elites’ and ‘the ordinary people’. Ordinary people could see perfectly well how wrong the situation was, and how wrong the powerful were, and yet the elites were either complicit or in complete denial, until the moment passed when inertia was no longer an option.

This brings us to Brexit, of course, which has become the schism from which things ‘the way they have always been’ may never recover. The elites in the media and politics are blatantly riding roughshod over the will of the people. The social contract is broken beyond repair.

That MPs are effectively demanding protection from the public is proof of this. It is a canary in the coal mine.

I have been sceptical in the extreme about claims we are seeing a seismic shift, foretelling the shattering of the peace and the shredding of the social contract.

I have been of the view that most people just don’t care, and are very happy to be mollified by the bread-and-circuses provided to them. If indifference isn’t bad enough, some people seem very happy to defend the status quo against all attacks in an almost comical performance of Stockholm Syndrome.

For the most part, even those who are deeply unhappy with the situation that has been unfolding for a decade are far too invested in the status quo, with their jobs, houses, debts, investments and status.

I think that any meaningful form of dissent – even cutting satire – is more difficult and fraught with danger now than it ever was before in my lifetime in the UK. Pervasive surveillance, nebulous catch-all laws that are being applied ever more broadly, curtailed access to justice and an army of useful idiots amongst the citizenry all conspire to make the expression of unorthodox opinions ever more fraught with risk of being shunned, shutdown, bankrupted and imprisoned. And when you get to prison, you’d better convert to Islam or you’re really screwed unless you’re a hard case.

But perhaps those who look with hope to the Gilets Jaunes, the Italian government, Trump, the Brexit vote and the burgeoning populist movements in other European countries are right after all. Perhaps the masses are ready to throw off their chains. Perhaps MPs are waking up to this possibility which is why they are starting to ask for special protections from the people who they are supposed to be representing.

One thing is for sure: with households carrying more debt than ever, with a housing market built on articficially low interest rates, and the threat of negative interest rates for those with any savings, come the next financial crisis, there will be more people than ever before losing everything. And you know what they say about people with nothing left to lose.

There’s something that has been a peculiarly American obsession, born of the frontier spirit: disaster planning. Establishing a literal or financial shelter, buying supplies, moving money out of the wobbling financial system. Maybe this will spread to Europe. I think we are starting to see it with people moving some of their limited wealth into gold and cryptocurrencies

Perhaps. In the meantime, here’s X Factor, I’m a Celebrity and Match of the Day, followed by Black Friday, January sales, Easter, summer in the Balearics and a rise in mortgage interest rates, energy bills, taxes and net immigration.


Related reading:

(1) Rory Sutherland in The Spectator – A Principled Argument for a Hard Brexit

Apart from the needless fear it generates, it is also slightly dubious to suggest that it is the gilets jaunes or the Five Star Movement or the supporters of Brexit or even Donald Trump who are acting intemperately. It is perfectly possible to argue that these movements are a sensible, overdue reaction against governments that have imposed economic globalisation on the world at a pace that is entirely inconsistent with the human lifespan and the speed at which we can adapt to change.

(2) Andrew Cadman in The Conservative Woman – MPs beware – Direct Democracy is on its way

Purely representative democracy is entering its twilight: as this site has long argued, it has become a socially destructive system that cannot fix the major problems it has helped caused, or deal with the reality of modern society.

(3) Adam Piggott on Pushing Rubber Downhill – 2019: The Year of the Powderkeg

2018 was the year of the awakening for normies. The reason for this is that it was also the year that the prog left pushed as far as they were able to, not due to any limitations of permission but more from a want of energy and resources on their part. The progs acted with impunity not only because they are able to but because when things turn against them it will happen fast. One must make hay and all that.

(4) The Guardian – Average UK household debt now stands at record £15,400

The level of unsecured debt as a share of household income is now 30.4%, the highest level it has ever been at. It is well above the £286bn peak in 2008 before the financial crisis, the TUC said. That figure also included student loans, but tuition fees then were £3,000 a year compared with up to £9,250 now.

(5) The Guardian – Storm ahead? Here’s how to prepare for a financial crisis

Every 10 years or so a financial crisis hits global markets – and it’s 10 years since the last one. This week the IMF warned that not only are the storm clouds of the next global financial crisis gathering, but also that the world financial system is unprepared for another downturn.



.. and still I’m loving every minute of it.


The details of “bullying” and “intimidating” behaviour towards IPSA workers and volunteers, published by the watchdog in response to Freedom of Information requests, are likely to heighten fears that many MPs have still not accepted the changes made to their expenses system since its widespread abuse was disclosed by The Daily Telegraph more than a year ago.

One thing is for sure. Every time any new legislation is proposed, it’ll be measured by the IPSA yardstick, to see if we’re going to be treated in the way they themselves so despise.

Given how completely indistinct this new bunch are from the old bunch, it’s only a matter of time.

At least the message seems to have sunk in with tired old has-been Tom Harris.

IPSA was born out of panic. It is proof positive that whatever the failings of a headless chicken, it can at least piece together legislation when it’s joined by 649 other headless chickens.

The worst possible time to legislate is in the middle of a crisis; the worst people to draft that legislation are the very same individuals whose behaviour has caused that crisis in the first place.

MPs do not deserve any sympathy for the mess in which we now find ourselves. Nor will we receive it. The mess is entirely of our own making and it is up to us to sort it out. IPSA was an expensive and unnecessary mistake. You should not compound your own mistakes by repeating them or by refusing to admit it was a mistake in the first place.

I wonder when it’ll dawn on the rest of them, if ever.


Post mong, ergo propter mong.

It was bound to happen.


The Steven Seagal movie On Deadly Ground involves scenes of graphic violence and shows multiple killings using weapons including shotguns, rifles, submachine guns and grenades.

Hmmm. This calls for an expert opinion. Aha! There’s one, in the side bar…


Prof Browne, an expert in forensic and child psychology, said there was "no doubt whatsoever" of a link between violent films and games and violence on the streets.

Okay, Prof Browne. I propose an experiment. Show that Seagal film, on BBC1 at 9pm tonight. We’ll all watch it, then see if there are any massacres.

Meanwhile, in anticipation of the cries of “BAN IT. BAN IT ALL!”, I’ve drawn up a list.

In the highly unlikely event that I ever decide to go on a murderous rampage, I shall make it plain that leading up to the terrible event, I was influenced by the following:

  • Listening to The Now Show on Radio 4, with special guest Jeremy Hardy.
  • Reading a George Monbiot Book
  • Watching Britain’s Got Talent
  • Playing music by Mumford and Sons
  • Following @BevaniteEllie on Twitter.

If the legacy of my bloody rampage was that lot being cast into the abyss, I don’t think history would judge me too harshly. Do you?


Word of the day: Ochlocracy


Ochlocracy (Greek: οχλοκρατία or okhlokratía; Latin: ochlocratia) is government by mob or a mass of people, or the intimidation of constitutional authorities. In English, the word mobocracy is sometimes used as a synonym. As a pejorative for majoritarianism, it is akin to the Latin phrase mobile vulgus meaning "the fickle crowd", from which the term "mob" originally derives.[1]



Populist pre-election shite and nothing less.


Freedom Lovers Say: Fucking have that

Smoking martyr freed thanks to all of you who contributed, in spirit, blog and wallet.

Ten quid very well spent in my view.

I’ll hand over to Old Holborn and Anna Racoon.

Nick Hogan is safely back behind bars. Not the bars which the government sought to contain him behind for failing to act as an unpaid policeman and report his customers for smoking – even when he was not on the premises to witness them to doing so – but the bars, the snug, and the restaurant of his own private property, the Swan with Two Necks, in Chorley, Manchester.

It was with the greatest pleasure that I was able to telephone Denise Hogan, his wife, a few minutes ago, and ask her to go and collect her husband from the Forest Bank jail in Pendlebury.
The indefatigable Old Holborn had moved heaven and earth, above and beyond the call of duty, to arrive at the jail with £8,664.50p in cash, to exchange with the Custody Officer there in return for Nick Hogan’s freedom.

Nick was jailed as an example to us all, that when the State barks ‘jump’ you only question ‘how high’.

He didn’t. He said ‘Why’?

Bloody good work by all involved.


Bits & bobs

Just a few things I’ve happened upon today, that I can’t be bothered to construct full posts about.

Someone called Matt Flaherty has written a letter to the CPS expressing concern about the Paul Chambers #twitterarrest case. It  very nicely articulates the concerned raised by the choice of path the CPS has taken in this instance. Sadly, since Mr Chambers has already pleaded guilty, it’s too little too late. As an expression of all that’s wrong with this case, though, it’s a fine piece of writing & I commend it to you.

Many years ago, I used to frequent a web forum, where a chap once boasted how he’d secretly videoed himself shagging various women, by using a hidden camera. A free-for-all ensued and debate was split along the lines of “get in there, good lad – hope you caught the money shots” and “err – that’s certainly immoral and probably illegal – you’re a fucking sleezebag, mate”. This, would have been somewhere between 2002-2004, I guess (I couldn’t find the thread in 2 hours of searching last night), but I was reminded of it when I read this item, about a bloke who has just been jailed, having been rumbled for precisely this activity.

Mad Mel nails The Tories’ hopey-changey-wishy-washy bullshitfest with aplomb.

In spite of Tory optimism that their marginal seats strategy is mitigating the nationwide narrowing of the polls, YouGov have a poll of 60 key marginals, showing that the gap in the marginals is 2% too.

The Jon Venables thing continues to rumble. The beying of the general pubelick continues to grow in pitch and amplitude. #bbcqt last night was awash with it (Will Self here). It is, though, annoying to think that, if the papers are right, Venables has been habitually flouting various of the conditions of his licensed release. Robert Thompson is still at liberty. Do you have a dysfunctional Scouse loner with a sketchy background in your workplace? Renting a flat from you? In your bed? Have you checked under your bed for monsters and trolls? Meanwhile, Venable is getting another new identity after his ID was rumbled at the prison he’s in.

Bit of a contradiction here:


Which one is it? I think we all know. I’ve suffered these bi-weekly collections for a couple of years now and they are a fucking joke in half a dozen different ways.

Incidentally, they’re installing RFID chips in bins again. Look for a circular black plastic thing, recently inserted in the underside of the front lip of your wheelie bin. Remove. Microwave for 2 minutes. Reinsert.

Brown’s in front of the Chilcot inquiry today. Outcome likely to be, “meh – he got away with it again.”

I’ve added the Big Brother Watch site to my blogroll, because, if I’ve nothing to say on any particular day, it’s usually because they’ve already said it with aplomb.

The Met office are to stop issuing seasonal forecasts, because they’re shit at it. Presumably, this will give them more time to spend cooking their global warming datasets.

This took a while to float back to the surface.

[Airline Bomb Plotter] Ali’s wife has also been charged under anti-terror laws for allegedly failing to inform authorities of the plot. However, she strongly asserts her innocence.

She’s just been cleared after a 3 week trial. Good.

More crap anon.