Tom Sullivan

Far-liberal Extremists and The Radicalisation of The Sensible Class

I tend to subscribe to the view that if you resort to personal insults then you have lost the argument, but every rule has its exceptions. When U.S. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene recently told Emily Maitlis to “fuck off”, I couldn’t help but feel some sympathy.

Maitlis, who spent many years at the BBC feigning traditional broadcast impartiality, has had no trouble morphing into her new role as a far-liberal talisman at The News Agents podcast (which has itself become something of a cult among the old gatekeepers of British media).

If I was being uncharitable, I would say that following the viral clip of Ms. Greene telling David Cameron to “kiss my ass” (after a Sky News reporter relayed the Foreign Secretary’s comparison of U.S. lawmakers to Hitler appeasers), Maitlis set out to get her own viral clip.

This wouldn’t be the first example of lazy journalism by The News Agents. The other week, they revealed an exclusive investigation into the GB News investor Sir Paul Marshall. The hard-working investigative journalists presumably worked day-in, day-out to present the public with these devastating findings. Sir Paul has a Twitter account and, as explained by arch-sensible Lewis Goodall amid a backdrop of otherworldly electronic music, has liked some tweets concerning mass migration to Europe. Shocking stuff, I know, but it gets worse.

Goodall presents some examples which he characterises as “quite extreme, especially on Isslaam, immigration and integration”. They include criticism of the Islamic call to prayer being recited inside a Parisian church and a clip of the Prime Minister of Hungary saying his country cannot be blackmailed into “putting children in the hands of LGBTQ activists”. The rest of the ‘investigation’ then finds other ‘extreme’ tweets, posted by some of the accounts which Marshall had ‘interacted’ with. It appears he is guilty of thought crime by association.

Against better judgement, I replied to the bombshell report saying I liked Mr Marshall more now. I did not expect this to provoke Mr. Goodall into asking me if I “approve of the political content of these tweets” and tagging my employer to ask if they were “comfortable with that”.

Maybe I’m a snowflake, but in my mind, that’s not intellectual sparring between journalists, but a measly attempt to instigate my firing from the company for which I work, also known as cancelling. I tried to respond, as Gavin McInnes often describes, by “talking to liberals in their own stupid language”, and stated I was the grandchild of Muslim immigrants (therefore, not ‘Islamophobic’) but I still thought we should be able to discuss our rapid demographic transformation. I was told that ‘no one is stopping’ me from discussing it and asked again to say whether I ‘agree’ with the content of the liked tweets.

As a reasonable person, I said I agree with some and disagree with others, and asked why he was tagging my employer into this conversation. Goodall then revealed his true colours, saying that as I agree with the migration-sceptic sentiments of some tweets liked by Paul Marshall, I should not “be working as a journalist for a reputable news organisation”, adding that the fact I “feel able to come and say that shows how normalised extremism has become”.

You see, we are allowed to say what we like and we have a free media, but if you dare agree with the sentiment of some people’s tweets that others do not agree with, then a public figure with considerable clout will alert your employer and call for your sacking as they accuse you of having extremist views. This censorious and frankly Soviet attitude of our sensible, friendly News Agent is sadly pervasive in our media and even has a strong grip over those working at organisations that explicitly position themselves as working to break this mould.

Many definitions of extremist are tautological, like the Oxford entry “a person who holds extreme views, especially one who resorts to or advocates extreme action.” Collins has gone with “a person who goes to extremes in political matters, a supporter of extreme doctrines.” Merriam-Webster’s entry for extremism is “the quality or state of being extreme, advocacy of extreme measures of views.” Great stuff, but the most interesting definition is given by Cambridge: “someone who has beliefs that most people think are unreasonable and unacceptable.” This is at least definitive. I don’t doubt this is the definition far-liberals subscribe to (consciously or not) but a problem lies within those key words: most people.

Following up their exclusive investigation into Paul Marshall’s Twitter likes, The News Agents have interviewed the other media mogul vying for The Telegraph, Jeff Zucker, who is leading the bid funded mostly by a high-ranking UAE royal and politician. Zucker declared to Jon Sopel, another sensible BBC-man, that The News Agents had “exposed finally that Paul Marshall is unfit to own a newspaper… that was clear from what your reporting last week exposed. We are clearly the best option for The Telegraph and The Spectator”.

Zucker’s decade-long stint as President of CNN saw that channel descend from a liberal-leaning and generally respected outlet to a collapsing parody of itself, irreparably damaged by thousands of hours of hysteria over the now disproven ‘Russia-gate’ allegations.

His reign also saw the network adopt a number of radical agendas including Covid-authoritarianism, accelerating uncontrolled immigration and carbon fanaticism. I’m not an expert on American social attitudes, but I’d expect ‘most people’ to find these beliefs ‘unreasonable and unacceptable’.

Most people wouldn’t agree with many Emirati customs either. Goodall’s view that engaging with critical views of mass migration to Europe from radically different cultures is racist extremism, would not be deemed reasonable by most people. The insistence of Maitlis that the many millions who have thrown their lot in with Trump are “conspiracy theorists” rather than concerned ordinary voters, would not be acceptable to most people.

I’m not trying to say ‘the other side are the real extremists’ (even though it’s an arguable case with this definition). I don’t find this word meaningful or useful – we already have words for those who advocate violence, and demonising people for not sharing an (alleged) majority view is not only unreasonable and unacceptable but the basis of all totalitarian societies.

In any case, watching The News Agents’ current tour of America is fascinating stuff. There’s a palpable sense they view themselves as political versions of Louis Theroux visiting rural Klan members or an Amish village. As a viewer though, the glaring perception gap between interviewers and interviewees cannot be missed. When Maitlis speaks to Congressman Byron Donalds, a black Trump-supporting Floridian, she asks him in incredulous tones whether he finds it “deeply offensive” when he hears Orange Man being racist and bad. Her questioning also includes some interesting remarks: “Donald Trump is trying to target the young black African-American: the masculinity vote”, asserts Maitlis. Her racial characterisations of the visibly bemused Congressman Donalds continue: “[Trump’s] lost a lot of women over the whole issue of abortion, so he’s going after young black men because they like his machismo”. The lack of self-awareness is truly astounding.

What happened to these people? As is often the case, they suffer from many of the afflictions that they ascribe to others. When the gammon awakening first took root at the advent of Brexit and Trump, we often heard about ‘the left-behind’, those people who, unable to deal with the changing world around them, had retreated to echo-chambers from which they sniped and lashed out. Look how the tables have turned!

In 2024, the far-liberals don’t even bother to hide their disdain for the masses with faux-empathy and anthropological labels. They don’t even engage with those they view as ideologically inferior anymore – they are simply to be mocked and then ignored. This is seen in the increasingly preferred format of propaganda, where mid-wit sensibles like James O’Brien angrily shout at and put down their listeners for being thick plebs.

What we are seeing is a radicalisation of those who view themselves as the sensible people in society. They are the dinner-party class and they have reacted to the deplorables breaking into the mainstream and creating thriving new media spaces by embracing their dismissive labels with a new vigour. While in the near-past there was some desire not to alienate the hoi polloi too much by calling them all whatever-ist or something-phobic, now the far-liberals don’t even try to restrain the scope of what they consider to be radical and extremist (as the inclusion of The Conservative Party, GB News, Reform UK, The Telegraph and even this esteemed publication in Hope Not Hate’s recent ‘State of Hate’ report shows).

As such, ‘conspiracy theorists’ and ‘extremists’ (and privately, ‘nutters’ and ‘cranks’) have become magic words for far-liberals to signal their virtue to each other, and to shut down anyone else who they deem politically incorrect. ‘The public are idiots’ and ‘voters are incredibly stupid’ are sentiments heard all too regularly from journalists off-camera. This fully closed mind has given up on intellectual curiosity and severed its connection with facts.

The conspiracies that they deride are often based on genuine intersections of vested interests and power structures, yet they have started to engage in their own conspiracy theories, alleging with little evidence that Boris Johnson is a FSB spy, that Russian interference decided Brexit and that dark shadowy forces are behind groups against lockdown and the endless restrictions on motoring. In their world, conspiracies are not engaged in by the elites against the people, but by the people against the elites – how about that!

These arguments can easily evolve into semantics so allow me to bring us back down to earth for a second – let’s picture in our head a hypothetical ‘normal, ordinary person’, and put to them a few differing positions and imagine what they’d say is the ‘extreme’ position:

  1. Increasing our population by many millions with spiralling numbers coming from the poorest and most backward parts of the world VS taking in a very small and manageable number who have genuine ties and come from compatible countries.
  2. Allowing endless thousands of unknown fighting-age illegal migrants from warzones to be escorted on dinghies into our country and to be put up indefinitely in hotels at the taxpayers’ expense VS using our armed forces to protect our borders from illegals.
  3. Encouraging and subsidising children to mutilate their genitals and take copious amounts of hormones and hard chemicals as part of a legally recognised ‘identity’ and proposing outlawing therapists from talking children out of that VS recognising transgenderism for what it is: a mental illness, often mixed up with autogynephilia and fetishes, made into an identity and promoted by the state.
  4. Sending billions of our taxes to military contractors via corrupt Ukrainian politicians so that a brutal war of attrition, that could have been ended a month after it started, continues to rage on even at the risk of nuclear armageddon VS telling Kiev that it has to become an explicitly neutral state and normalise relations with Russia so Europe can develop a new and lasting security architecture.
  5. Systematically discriminating against white people on a political, corporate and cultural level to rectify the microscopic racism that other people face while ignoring heinous crimes like rape-gangs and stabbing epidemics in order to not be racist VS judging people by the content of their character and not by the colour of their skin.

I’ll let you decide which set of views you think Joe Bloggs would find most extreme, but to my mind, there’s no question that the positions of the far-liberals represent the real extremism plaguing our country. They have no sense of proportion or measurement. Despite the negative effects of their Swiss-cheese worldview being all around, ideological sunglasses convince them that they are not only correct but are morally superior. This is insane.

Batya Ungar-Sargon, an American left-wing journalist and big news star has been disowned by elite Democrats for pointing out that the party has lost the working class to the MAGA movement. She recently gave an interesting analysis on Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast:

“Working class Americans, whether they vote for Democrats or Republicans, whether they are ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’, they all have the same views. Neither party is really speaking to them, they all agree by and large about the most important issues – polarisation is a totally elite phenomenon.”

We see this here in Britain too. The major parties attack each other in the media while rabble-rousing in Parliament over their cosmetic differences but they agree with each other on all the major issues of the day, and the public by-and-large disagrees with them.

There is nothing sensible or tempered about the policies enacted, both at home and abroad, over the past few decades. There is nothing democratic about the messages sent by voters being disregarded and ignored time and time again. When they try to gaslight you into thinking they are on your side, like Sunak’s recently discovered concern about Islamist extremism, do not forget that it is he who is presiding over the current record levels of both legal and illegal migration, and his party that has enforced failing multiculturalism and indirectly supported radical Islamic terror in the Middle East. All the toys will come out of the box for our Punch and Judy elections, but be in no doubt: all the far-liberal elites are equally responsible for our woes and operate as a uniparty (which neither you nor I am in).

Commentator and author Mark Dice advocates using liberal jargon in reverse, coining phrases like ‘anti-whiteism’ and ‘black fragility’. I think we need to start giving back what we get and incessantly label these dogmatists as far-liberal extremists. Instead of being on the back foot, constantly defending ourselves against smears and allegations, it’s high time to tell these lunatics that we, ordinary normal people, are the real sensibles of this country and that those destroying society with dangerous ideologies are those better described as extremist.

Yet if they still laugh gormlessly in your face, you could always just tell them to “fuck off”.

Photo Credit.

Why we need a Hitchens-Navalny strategy for GE 2024

A few days before the 2010 general election, Peter Hitchens wrote an article in the Daily Mail titled ‘This is the most important article I’ve ever written – and loyal Conservative voters will hate me for it’.

In it he argued that, despite being counterintuitive, voters must eschew the Tories if there was to be any chance of implementing a genuine, conservative agenda for Britain.

Much of its analysis of Britain’s woes are completely applicable today. He ends it by writing: ‘Five years’ from now we could throw the liberal elite into the sea, if we tried. But the first stage in that rebellion must be the failure of David Cameron to rescue the wretched anti-British Blair project and wrap it in a blue dress’.

Fourteen years later, not only is the anti-British Blair project wrapped in a blue dress still ruling the country, but David Cameron is again one of its leading figures, rubbing more shoulders at Davos and advocating military actions more brutal and destabilising than even Blair could dream of.

In 2019, Brexit allowed the Conservatives to completely refresh their image and successfully brand themselves as a populist national-conservative party. I myself, for the first (and last) time, voted for them in that election. For this I am ashamed.

What has transpired since is that, what we once identified as Blairism, is in fact part of a wider and even more sinister agenda. If what Hitchens realistically desired was an internal struggle within the Conservatives after a 2010 loss, what we can achieve today is that party’s shattering into a million tiny pieces.

‘But Labour will be even worse’, you will undoubtedly hear the Tory Boys cry. If this was convincing and arguable back in 2010, today it is wrong on its face.

If grassroots supporters and ordinary voters could hear how Tory journalists, politicians and advisors speak amongst themselves, they would be taken aback over how deeply their views are reviled and how deep the liberal rot is.

It is a party run almost entirely by childless, rootless metropolitans, whose view of conservatism is a Randian wet dream of identikit glass skyscrapers and GDPmaxxing.

When it comes to social values, foreign policy, education, health and every other significant policy area, there is no difference between them and the people who run Labour.

In fact, I would go as far to say that Labour is actually run by more ‘normal’ people. So why is it so important to destroy the Tories? Because of what comes after.

Starmer’s Labour is at this stage a well-oiled machine raring to go. Unlike the Tories, it does not pretend to be something it is not. It is an out-and-proud party of the Davos agenda.

Its current popularity is based on it not being the party to preside over the last decade and a half of chaos and decline.

If we are going to have a globalist government, let’s have the exhibitionists instead of those in the closet, as this will help the public correctly identify their enemies.

Right now, there is no appetite on the left to disrupt Labour from its course, but once they are in power it will not take long for the Corbynista wing to start making movements.

This could remove from Labour the contingent that actually can make some common cause with the dissident right (Euroscepticism, averseness to dangerous foreign entanglements, distrust of corporate and financial elites, and a belief in the nationalisation of strategic industries come to mind).

More important is what happens to the Conservatives. Hitchens correctly identifies the Westminster consensus as being ‘only propped up by state funding and dodgy millionaires’.

The funding is allocated based on the number of seats a party holds, and the donations on its prospects of power. A Tory wipe-out would kill both birds with one stone.

If the rump of it is allowed to remain as a significantly large party, it is likely to limp on and even capitalise on its new ability to talk the talk from the opposition benches without having to walk at all.

A vacuum, which we know nature abhors, must be created in its place.

Current polling shows that support for Reform UK could cost the Tories many seats in favour of Labour, despite Reform not winning any themselves.

Reform platform is a damn sight better than anything else out there, but Richard Tice’s neocon Tory-lite outfit will not bring about the reform we actually need. It could, however, be the catalyst for it.

Destroying the Conservative Party once and for all would be a noble and worthwhile aim, and would open the door for major, long-needed shakeup of our politics.

This is a strong argument that Tice would be well advised to use, but predictably he will say that the Brexit Party stood aside for the Tories in 2019 and they failed on Brexit and immigration, so this time they won’t stand aside.

He will, equally predictably, be countered with the argument that he will still let Labour in without winning seats himself.

Openly declaring war on the Tories as a necessary first-step in building a viable and genuine conservative political movement is something that is hard to argue against. Such a battle cry could also attract non-Tory voters.

The only Reform UK politician I have heard express this intent openly is its Co-Deputy Leader, Ben Habib. So it is not an impossibility that they take this line.

Habib is the real deal, but would need someone with the profile of Farage to meaningfully spread this message.

If the straightjacket of the two-party system can be broken, a genuine political realignment can take place, making the ‘Red Wall’ shift pale in comparison.

You might now be wondering where Alexei Navalny comes into all of this.

We have all heard of ‘tactical voting’, but have you ever heard of ‘smart voting’?

Umnoye golosovaniye was a website set up by Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation that had a single goal: letting people know who to vote for to have the best chance of ousting incumbent United Russia politicians.

Unlike British tactical voting, this was an integrated, mathematical system that had no limits or any other goals, and would advise you to vote for communist, ultranationalist and liberal candidates alike; whoever had the best chance.

Many in the ‘non-systemic opposition’ said it would be impossible to vote out the ruling regime in any case, and that engaging with it by participating in elections would only legitimise it. Yet Navalny argued convincingly that shouting from the side lines alone ultimately changes nothing.

For obvious reasons, success of smart voting was limited in the Russian system, but it is a strategy much better suited to our own system of illusory free elections, which are based on brainwashing and narrative control, as opposed to the more primitive techniques used by the Kremlin.

There, the process of voting itself has to be manipulated to maintain the status quo, with there being a limit to the amount achieved by propaganda alone.

Here in the UK, propaganda is the overriding method of keeping out the non-systemic opposition.

What this means is that our actual electoral system is, compared to the American one at least, largely free from rigging and ballot manipulation.

This provides opportunity to collapse, or at least fracture, what is an all-encompassing regime by using its own structures against it.

The Conservative Party is the weak link in the chain – and it can be broken.

The success of a British smart voting system would depend on how convincingly the argument is made.

If it is made well enough, we could indeed throw the liberal elite into the sea five years from now.

Photo Credit.

The Importance of National Storytelling

I’m warming myself by the fire where pork shish-kebabs crackle, as I gulp down sweet homemade wine with cured belly fat and black village-bread. We are at a friend’s dacha about 150 miles southeast of Moscow. As we drink the talk gets more political. Eventually a bearded armchair expert starts explaining a theory involving different ethnic groups having innate biological proclivities. He explained Englishmen were ‘sailors’, they live on an island, and they sailed around the world and settled new lands. Jews were ‘traders’ and therefore became widespread but remained on the outside. Russians were the ‘forest men’, who conquered the Eurasian steppes, uniting Slav with Turk in a forest-steppe continuum – or something like that. I didn’t realise until much later that this was a bastardised layman’s understanding of a genuine, developed school of thought now popular in Russia and beyond.

The once-obscure theories of Lev Gumilyov, the Gulag-surviving Soviet social scientist and son of influential poets, are now deeply embedded in the Russian mainstream. Gumilyov conflated nationality and ethnicity into ‘ethnos’ – a universal element of history that makes its foundation. He believed that each ethnos acquired ‘behaviour stereotypes’ in its early stages of development or ‘ethnogenesis’ (presumably what my drunk acquaintance was referring to), connected to geography but also to another concept – passionarity. Passionarity can loosely be defined as an intrinsic motivation towards purposeful activity. Putin has described it as ‘the will of a nation’; its ‘inner energy’. This became the ontological framework for Eurasianism which, part-philosophy part-ideology, is newest part of the story that Russia tells itself. In practice, Eurasianists believe that the post-Soviet states of the ‘near abroad’ are Russia’s natural allies, and not the Slavs or others to their West. They believe Russia and the states that surround it make up a unique, ‘Eurasian’ civilisation united by a ‘Tatar-Mongolic’ heritage, making up the heartland, destined to be in constant battle with the outer rimland.

This might sound like (and likely is) wishful ahistorical nonsense, but there are worse examples. Hungary is an observer state of the Turkic Council, and every year hosts the ‘Great Kurultay’ event, where participants from across the Turkic states and Turkic regions of Russia gather to ride horses and dress like Genghis Khan. The debates over Hungarian pre-history are as confusing and they are endless but basically, they also involve a lot of Eastern-European Turkophilia and dubious historiography. The Turks themselves are split between being a reincarnation of an ancient nomadic people in the body of a Kemalist republic or the rebirth of Islamic power rising from the Ottoman ashes. We might find all this story telling strange, but what stories do we tell ourselves today? What is the level of our ‘inner energy’?

One of the stories we tell ourselves is that ‘the West’ exists as a civilisational bloc due to a shared European and Christian culture, but how true is this now? Our leaders almost never define us in this way. We are instead liberal, democratic nations united by ‘shared values’. The power of ‘the West’ is invoked only when we are being convinced of virtues of the latest war. In this values-based understanding, Taiwan is just as much a part of the West as Israel and Japan are. When that loose definition can’t be convincingly stretched enough (thinking for example of our good friends Saudi Arabia), then we simply become ‘the international community’. All of this is collapsing in front of us, as forgotten civilisations re-emerge with powerful narratives. The West’s old stories do not even convince any more, let alone inspire.

If we look under the hood of this artificial construct of the modern West, we see that it’s held together by little other than the political, economic, and military ties of the globalist regime. I shouldn’t have to say that this does not diminish the magnitude of the West’s contribution to art and science, but a culture must be lived to exist. When it ceases to be, it becomes mere history. We must look at the reality of what today’s West is and not just where it came from. We can divide the modern West into roughly three parts (if we exclude for now the strange parallel Western world that is South America) and they are the Anglo-Saxon countries, the ex-communist states, and the rest of continental Europe. Let’s look at them one by one.

The nations that spent decades under communism are undergoing what can only be described as a cultural renaissance. Hungary and Poland are notable examples, but the pattern is at play across the former Warsaw Pact countries. Being frozen off from the rest of the West for all those decades has unexpectedly left these societies uninfected by the viruses of cultural guilt, atheism, mass immigration, degenerate pop culture and third wave feminism, just to name a few. In fact, the repression of national cultures, religion and traditional family life has led people to embrace and guard those aspects of their identity and lifestyle with a militant zeal. I am aware that most of these countries suffer chronic demographic issues of some kind, but unfortunately most of the world are now victims to a similar fate, so let’s park that for now.

These countries suffered occupation and oppression from many empires across the past centuries, all engaging in national struggles, only to engage in new ones as the red yoke fell. They are therefore not short of stories to tell themselves. The revival of Christianity in these lands only adds to the spiritual rebirth that is evidently sweeping this part of the world. Gone are its Orwellian regimes and rigid state ideologies, very obviously authoritarian, offensively so to our Western sensibilities. Yet the Brave New World-style totalitarian society that we now live in is less obvious, most of us refusing to see it despite it being all around us. It may well be the case that the future will see a new Iron Curtain, where EUSSR citizens try to escape to the sunlit uplands of Eastern Europe. This is what the direction of travel indicates.

Next up is the rest of continental Europe. For all its faults and afflictions, countries like France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and even Sweden, are in better positions to get out of the mess they find themselves in than, say, the UK (which finds itself in a near-identical mess). It turns out that the European system of proportional representation and regionalism is a far better bulwark against globalist top-down policies than the much revered Westminster system of government, as the success of Meloni, Wilders and other patriotic populists shows. Here, the inferior status of the English-language along with inherent protectionist tendencies have acted as shields from the extremes of financialised progressivism. Not having the world’s lingua franca as your native tongue adds a filter between national cultures and the globalist monoculture.

Despite most European capitals being marked with giant conquering rainbow flags, thousands of non-metropolitan regions maintain the standards and traditions of their forebears. Culture is preserved on the local level, with much disdain and distrust directed towards the centre. An understanding that traditional way of life relies on a healthy nation, rather than on liberal democratic values, is pervasive and comes naturally. Folk music, national dress, culinary customs, community events, religious occasions and even superstitious traditions are more prevalent and taken more seriously on the continent. These countries are locked in a tug-of-war between the chauvinist East and the emasculated West. Preserving these rich cultures by reclaiming the nation-state seems like a motivating purposeful activity and compelling story.

So, what do you do when you are a country made up of four nations? What if your language is not a delicate national treasure but the universalist tongue of billions? What if your country was set up by people from one part of the world, but is now populated by people from a different part? These are just some of the identity crisis challenges that face the Anglo-Saxon world today. What stories can these countries tell themselves about their place in history and their destiny as a people, outside of materialist comparisons? GDP rankings aren’t the stuff that give you goosebumps. Christian heritage holds these societies together, but actual belief in Christianity is largely missing. Other non-religious ‘values’, like ‘tolerance’ and ‘belief in the rule of law’ are as perverted as they are meaningless. Even Ireland with its unique story was until recently one of the most cohesive, vibrant, and successful of the English-speaking countries, but has now followed its cousin-countries down a road of ruinous self-flagellation.

The United States likes to tell itself that its constitutional system is so perfect that it has been able to melt the peoples of the world into a nation based on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s the official narrative. Like many official narratives, not only are they instantly challenged by people’s reality, but they are fundamentally untrue. The country was founded by settlers from a very small triangle of the world roughly covering England and Holland. Its system has worked only insofar as the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture has dominated. As we are realising to our horror today, our social order is not based on what laws we have, but on how ordinary people behave. Yes, it is illegal to commit rape and murder, but that fact is not the only thing stopping me from doing those things. Somehow, I also don’t want to.

America seriously struggled with integrating first German then Irish and Italian immigrants, due to what were then considered as huge differences in culture. In time, the shared aspects of European culture proved to be enough of a basis to integrate these masses of people into a new nation. Yet it was the efforts of a handful of Ashkenazi Jews in the early 20th century that would cement the homogenous American identity and bring it to life. Through the studio system, the barons of Hollywood’s golden era created folklore for a virgin country, projecting an Anglo good life and WASP values across the land and world. The American dream was not about getting rich but raising strong God-fearing families behind a white picket fence.

This America has long been lost and its 21st century replacement is on a trajectory to become part of Latin America. Like Brazil now, it’s set to become a country where the south is populated largely by White European evangelical Christians while its coastal cities are made up of wealthy gated communities and skyscrapers, separating the liberal elites from the mixed favelas and shanty towns. Adopting Spanish as a national language also adds to this analogy. Part of this region’s problem is that, with Europeans, Africans and natives mixed throughout the arbitrary post-colonial borders, it lacks convincing stories to tell itself. This is probably behind the Latin American habit of entering abusive relationships with radical ideologies.

This leaves us with the rest of the English-speaking countries, the British Isles, and their offspring. The British identity formed with the union of kingdoms and came into its own with the growth of empire. The Scots, Irish, English, and Welsh spread out from their small corner of the globe and settled its far-flung frontiers, producing developed and orderly societies. Far from diminishing the British identity, the loss of empire should have been an opportunity, a released burden, from having to govern large masses of alien people. The British world, with its shared state structures, language, and history, should have been a proudly embraced inheritance, ensuring the culture of these small islands lives on across the world. Instead, America took our place as the mother country, and along with the other realms we have all become part of the American world. Yet the American dream is now clearly a nightmare.

Interest in increasing ties between these extremely similar countries was revived during the Brexit campaign, with the idea of CANZUK, a proposed political alliance between Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK being one of the more promising projects. Its proponents argue that it makes sense for countries with similar economic, political, and legal systems to increase cooperation. Yet these systems have brought the same ills to all these countries. All these countries have had decades of mass immigration and state multiculturalism. All these countries engaged in inexcusable tyranny and criminal negligence during the covid years. All these countries are fully signed on to serving the military-industrial complex and the agenda behind the climate scam. All these countries are losing their identities far quicker than anywhere in Europe or even than America. Is there a common cause of this? It seems more likely than not that a once shared-cultural space left us victim to the same cultural decline, and the extreme liberalism of today’s CANZUK nations (even in comparison to ‘progressive’ European countries) suggests there’s something running through all that ties us together and has sent us all down the same wrong paths. It therefore seems unlikely that further integrating these countries in their present states would make anything better. There’s been such a demographic shift, an erosion of national sentiment and a detachment from the traditional culture of the British Isles, that the populations of these countries would reject this.

Another trait shared by these countries is the seeming inability to think outside of modern ideologies; leftism, capitalism, socialism, liberalism, secularism, nationalism, etc. These all take different objects of study, be it class, the individual, the nation, and increasingly in our post-modern world, race, sexual identities, and other perceived oppressed characteristics. What lies outside all these largely Western constructs is traditionalism. Traditionalism isn’t an ideology but rather a school of thought. It’s of course entangled with right wing politics, but it is a separate prospect. Time to the traditionalist is not linear but cyclical. We’re not going somewhere in the future but instead always coming back to a past. It’s seeing the immaterial in the material. The inherent virtue of tradition and moral good of beauty. It is possible to embrace this mindset without believing in God, but it’s easier when you do. Either way, it requires a breaking out of our utilitarian conditioning. Shun the bugman world!

There is a clear difference between the health and overall robustness of modern British and Turkish cultures, to give an example. This can be demonstrated in how cultures collide. In Turkey, the native culture reigns supreme, forcing all forms of art and entertainment to conform to local tastes or bend itself in some way. Netflix and Disney plus can’t just dish out subtitled versions of their usual fare, they must create locally produced, Turkish-oriented content or they won’t survive. Likewise, foreign music is a rarity on the airwaves, with outside genres being morphed and orientalised out of recognition before taking final form. International fast-food chains perform well but will never outcompete the legion of local takeaways with their motorcycle delivery armies. Even then, country-specific modifications are common. The point is, this is a robust culture that absorbs and bounces away outside elements. Modernity is only accepted once it has been infused with tradition, or domesticised.

Unfortunately, modern British culture does not absorb and shape incoming elements but rather accepts and is taken over by them. Such is the dogmatic nature of the near-official state ideology of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion, that the concept of a supreme, native culture is a thoughtcrime. If you told a Turk that Britain’s national dish was something called ‘Chicken Tikka Masala’ he would look at you with a mix of bemusement and disdain. Multiculturalism does not have to mean accepting foreign cultures as they are and putting them on a pedestal, but in the absence of a muscular home-culture this becomes a fait accompli. Britain, a country that just a few decades ago was a net cultural exporter, has undeniably lost its mojo. The reasons for this are likely to do with our modern economic system and the various cultural and sexual revolutions visited upon it in this period. Adding many millions of immigrants from the most incompatible parts of the world to the population in a short timeframe has undoubtedly contributed to the decline in shared identity, but it is not the root cause. Few offer a compelling way forward. Traditionalism offers a way to relook and renew.

There is something universalist in this perspective that deserves appreciation. Traditionalism has a ‘to each their own’ attitude that is especially attractive those of us who are sympathetic to non-interventionism and realism in international relations. At present, we ‘the West’, have not given up our position of the constant moral lecturer of the world. This position becomes ever more absurd as the reality of our corruption and social decay is further exposed. We lament the imprisonment of Alexei Navalny and other political dissidents in Russia yet have nothing to say about the imprisonment of Julian Assange or the death of David Kelly. We condemn the primitive corruption of local officials in the third world yet have nothing to say about the institutionalised corruption of our military and pharmaceutical industries and their revolving door self-regulating agencies. We scare ourselves with stories of China’s ‘social credit system’ while living in a comparable digital dystopia ourselves. We invade countries on false pretences, only to bait-and-switch into a Darwinian superiority battle of civilisations.

Our reaction to spending trillions of dollars, two decades and thousands of lives to replace the Taliban with the Taliban, is to Twitter shame Afghanistan for being culturally backward. It is therefore no surprise that Israel has done its own bait-and-switch, abandoning its anti-Hamas line in favour of posting pictures of gay IDF soldiers kissing, therefore demonstrating its cultural superiority compared to the backward homophobic Arabs. All this hypocritical and psychopathic nonsense is thrown out when you view the world through the traditionalist lens. It accepts the world as it should be; differing realms with their own ways of life. The world will not end if we simply let the Arabs be Arab and let China be China. The important thing is that we let Britain be Britain. We should own the right to be ourselves and drop the self-imposed burden of trying to change others. Live and let live – at the moment we do neither.

As far as cultural inheritances go, these islands are luckier than most. The rich tapestry of clans, tongues and kingdoms are genuinely ‘diverse’, and when you drive out of the big cities their beauty is on full display. This is a great lot to work with. As modern urban life becomes increasingly unbearable, it will be to the countryside and villages where people will escape and try to reconnect with the eternal. In the last few years especially, people of individual, independent, conservative, and alternative persuasions have (ironically) used the power of the internet to become part of a revival of traditional ways of eating and living. These people are entitled to (and do) make their own meanings and tell their own stories, but a nation is like an organism and relies on all its constituent parts to function properly. For this, we need grand narratives not of a brighter material future, but of a deep, spiritual, and eternal connection to the land and the people we share it with. It doesn’t particularly matter what stories we tell, but we need to think of some new ones because the old ones don’t work anymore. It will not make me popular to observe that the Second World War, for whatever reason, is no longer the unifying national myth that it once was (at least for Britain). Even countries like Russia, which treats the Second World War as a sort of national religion, needs other tales and stories to tell itself in addition to that. We need big narratives about who we are, where we’ve come from and where we’re going. Celebrating St George’s Day and Margaret Thatcher isn’t going to cut it. We are faced with a fundamentally different country at a critical time in its history.

Britain is a nation with extraordinary prospects that are being wasted because there is no vision. It has, to use Gumilyov’s terminology, low passionarity. Many British people to do not feel that group-specific inner biocosmic force inside of them, and that is a failure of culture over anything. My few childhood years spent in an Irish primary school imbued me with more of an appreciation and affection for that island and its culture than I ever got from a lifetime of secondary and higher education in the UK. The stories of my parents and grandparents, who as immigrants are more inclined to engage in cultural propaganda, instilled in me a visceral feeling of belonging and connection with my ancestors, and their cultures and histories. Yet I only truly connected with the traditionalist mindset after a long process of consciously deprogramming myself from the globohomo monoculture. I now experience a complete synthesis of my various identities, without succumbing to shallow partisanship. I see the beauty in and take strength from them all. The stories and traditions sustain me every day. These bedrocks of any culture need serious replenishing in our country. Our future depends on it. It won’t be an easy task and there are no overnight fixes. The many decades and multiple generations it took for the long march through the institutions to bring us to our current state can only be counteracted through an equally long period of renewal. As the cultural Marxists attacked the family and hijacked education, watching the consequences ripple through to the rest of society, so too must we rebuild the family and reclaim education over a long period of time. If this is viewed as a political project with goal posts, we will be doomed to fail. Instead, this should be viewed as an unending, cyclic process of passing on and telling stories to inspire meaning and bravery. So, reject modernity, embrace tradition!

Photo Credit.

Switzerland-on-Sea: Britain in a Multipolar World

“There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen.”

This quote is (dubiously) attributed to Lenin but I like it nonetheless as it appropriately captures the times we live in.

That’s not to say nothing’s happened for decades, far from it. The years following the last financial crisis have seen seismic changes across Western societies and the wider world. The Eurozone crisis, Middle East civil wars, tsunamis of illegal migration, Ukraine torn in two, Brexit, Trump, plummeting birth rates, economic stagnation, and the explosion in political corruption that resulted in the criminal psychological operation that was the pandemic and continues through war and ‘green’ policy. The weeks following Russia’s so-called ‘Special Military Operation’ felt like weeks when decades happened. Yet something about these last few weeks – with a war (even more senseless than the intra-Slavic trench slaughter) threatening to suck in the whole world – feels like we have moved into an accelerated phase of global change.

This is a familiar motif of history. Decades of failed rebellion against the Tsars eventually led to the February and October Revolutions. Newly educated generations in Africa and Asia quickly used their power and influence to kick out their colonial masters. The ticking time bomb of financialisation that started in the 1980s didn’t explode until decades later. Likewise, the absolute failure of decades of collective Western foreign policy, as dictated by the U.S. via NATO and other organisations, has now started to show some of its very worst consequences.

Never in living memory have we as a nation been more ignorant about international relations and had less perspective about our place in the world. The dumbing down of our foreign policy debate (and its incorporation into the ‘culture war’) is a far cry from even the Brexit era, when millions of Brits followed the machinations of our foreign entanglements with interest, engaging in relatively honest debates about what they should be and where our national interest lies.

In 2014, one of Nigel Farage’s major criticisms of Brussels was its ‘militant’, ‘expansionist’ and ‘absolutely stupid’ foreign policy. In a debate with then deputy PM Nick Clegg, he said the Lib Dems represented hatred and extremism by ‘constantly screaming out for us to go to war’, adding he was ‘sick to death of this country getting involved in foreign wars’. Farage said the EU had ‘blood on its hands’ for encouraging the Maidan coup in Ukraine, as well as ‘bombing Libya’ into becoming an ‘ungovernable breeding ground of terrorism’, and arming rebel militias in Syria ‘because they didn’t like Assad, despite being infiltrated by extremists’. How prescient.

Now, this type of critical discourse is almost entirely absent from our political spectrum and media. There has been a chilling uniformity of message on the blood-soaked meatgrinder that is Ukraine – more weapons, more money, Putin is Hitler, Slava Ukrainii. A feeling engineered by the unquestioned, key narrative of an independent democracy facing an unprovoked invasion (a narrative which is demonstrably untrue). With the latest conflict in the Middle East, the right has fallen behind Israel in complete lockstep, calling for deportations and arrests for speech expression, and taking a harder line than many Israelis. The left, barren of a moral compass and mentally ill, has resorted to second-hand asabiyyah and strange attempts to pinkwash Hamas, joined on the streets by the usually out-of-sight 3rd-gen Islamist yoof. It’s an ugly sight.

What is missing from all of this is Britain. What are Britain’s interests in this rapidly deteriorating international system? No one, it seems, has bothered to ask. This is a problem. The points I have made so far often provoke accusations of ‘isolationism’, and not realising that a stable globe is one of our most immediate needs. That is not in any doubt. What is highly questionable is the way we go about promoting that stability, as it clearly hasn’t been working.

In the West we still believe that we make alliances and enemies based on good and evil, or ‘shared values’, and we think this is the same as our interests. Whether ‘humanitarian intervention’ or ‘supporting democracy’, the arguments made against the abuses of certain countries must be applied equally or not applied at all, otherwise it is not a reason for action, but a pretext. The onus should be on those who argue for action, not on those who argue for not getting involved, to make their case. Especially with the mountain of evidence that outside intervention, militarily or otherwise, almost always makes countries worse.

A good case is made for this in A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship, a compilation of Ron Paul’s speeches to Congress over 30 years, each containing dozens of examples of foreign interventions and interference being counterproductive to U.S. interests. Yes, other countries are very often not nice places to live and have disagreeable cultures, but the best way to deal with them is engaging economically and not getting involved in their domestic politics. Our strategy has been to bomb countries and organise armed coups. Importing millions of people from these same countries has also turned out to be a bad idea.

So, if we step back from ‘policing’ the world, how then would we be able to ensure a stable international environment? Like charity, order starts at home. We preach to the world about how to run their societies when we have so many problems of our own. We defend the sanctity of others’ borders and sovereignty while making a mockery of our own. We accuse our selected ‘enemies’ of criminality, propaganda, and deception when we do a pretty good job of all that ourselves. In other words, we don’t speak softly and carry a big stick, we bark and scream. ‘Be change you want to see in the world’ – another made up quote attributed to a world leader – is a motivational meme but it should be an axiom of a ‘moral’ foreign policy if that’s what we want.

The hegemony of the West is coming to an end and there are no two ways about it. According to comedian turned IR expert Konstantin Kisin, ‘Multipolarity requires a decade-long process of the unipolarity disintegrating. And will inevitably result in an eventual return to unipolarity with a different hegemon. This is why this process should be opposed with everything we have’. I hate to break it to him, but that disintegration has been happening for a long time already and is not something that we can now ‘oppose’ with centre-Right politicians. Their neoliberalism is why we are so exposed, having exported our manufacturing and imported the world’s poor, while crippling ourselves with manmade social and economic breakdown.

The second point made by Kisin is interesting to dissect. Is it inevitable that the West ceasing to be the dominating ‘pole’ of international power will result in another power taking its place? No, it’s not. Unipolarity is a freak of human history. The positions of the U.S. and USSR after the Second World War created the bipolar world, and their respective empires. When the Cold War ended, the U.S. subsumed communist remnants becoming the pole of global power by default. It was the end of history, and liberal democracy was the endpoint of all human social evolution and the final form of government. On this basis the position of hegemon was squandered and abused.

The reality is that most of history has been a multipolar world and as we return to that state, it will not be peaceful or pretty. The man who coined the ‘Big stick philosophy’, Teddy Roosevelt, described his style of foreign policy as ‘the exercise of intelligent forethought and of decisive action sufficiently far in advance of any likely crisis’. To apply that to Britain today would mean gearing up to be a Switzerland-on-Sea; a discerning, independent, and sovereign nation.

When it comes to defence, Switzerland is (like the UK) blessed with fortunate geography and a long military tradition. Unlike the UK, it is not in NATO, it conscripts its young men, invests in its defence infrastructure, and does not take part in foreign wars. It is also a natural home for mediating and resolving international disputes, trusted by most countries around the world.

This strategic neutrality seems to work quite well for the Swiss and they do this while still aligning with the U.S. They even enjoy a boost in arms sales as other neutral countries prefer to buy Swiss weapons. Would Western civilisation collapse and the world be taken over by an Axis of Evil if the UK also left NATO, rebuilt its army, and took part in peacekeeping missions instead of wars? Probably not (If it collapses it will be for reasons of our own making). It is accepted as fact that we must dominate the world to protect ourselves from it, when in reality our attempts to do so have created the fragile state of affairs that exist today.

The fundamental mistake we make is being so certain that other countries will think and behave exactly like us. China is an ancient civilisation-state that has shown limited expansionist tendencies over many centuries. The last time Iran invaded a country was in the mid-18th century. Russia is psychologically bound by its size, geography, and history to be obsessed with feeling secure. These complicated civilisations have all been UK allies at various points during the 20th century and there is no reason why we can’t deal with them as unpleasant neighbours as opposed to mortal enemies. Unfortunately, our entire discourse ties us to the fate of the dying American empire. By taking on others’ enemies we expose ourselves to becoming targets.

Today in Britain, unchecked thousands of fighting-age purposeless men from the most turbulent, radical and traumatised parts of the world, are entering the country illegally via fleets of boats, the state seemingly powerless to stop it happening. Some would call that an invasion. Meanwhile, Tel Aviv has become the new Kiev as Prime Ministers old and new rush to get involved helping another country. Despite our politicians saying otherwise, the claim is always that they are there to create an outcome and environment that is in the UK’s interests. Well at the very least that would entail calling for a ceasefire, and at most it would mean pushing for a comprehensive political settlement. Trying to avoid a new wave of refugees, an oil price crisis and global recession would also be in our interest. There is no sign of this on Sunak or Johnson’s agenda, but there is a lot of talk about ‘finishing the job’, sticking to the narrative and facing down Iran and its proxies – the stuff of wet dreams for many a lobbyist in Washington DC.

It may be comforting to buy into the expertly packaged narratives being put out about this latest conflict, but some of us have seen this film before, and it doesn’t end well. In fact, it ends up in situations like Syria, where Hezbollah ends up defending the world’s most ancient Christian communities while Israel supports ISIS. It ends with the Jewish President of Ukraine overseeing neo-Nazi brigades fighting against Muslim and Buddhist soldiers over derelict villages. Clearly, the world is a complicated place. We used to know this. When will we give up our simple, black-and-white way of looking at it? When will we stop falling for the simplistic narratives fed to us?

Why should we have to listen to the arguments made about supporting a side in some conflicts, but not others? We are not asked to choose between supporting Azerbaijan or Armenia – because the media hasn’t told us to get angry about that. We are not asked to condemn Pakistan for expelling hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees – a humanitarian catastrophe in the making – because the media hasn’t told us to get angry about that. Have you even heard of the ongoing massacres in West Darfur? Why the hierarchy of atrocities? If the military-industrial complex does not have an interest in these places, you will not hear about them. You will hear about the corrupt oligarchies you are supposed to hate but not about special interests that run Washington DC. In this environment, the way we see the world and our place in it becomes highly distorted.

Instead of harnessing Russia’s vast oil and gas supplies and integrating it into a pan-European powerhouse, we have made it into an enemy and pushed it towards China (our genuine rival). Yes, Russia is a deeply problematic country, scarred by a century of communism. Yet they are people who you can do business with if you respect their interests and treat them equally. Instead of trying to bring Iran and Saudi Arabia together to heal and develop the Middle East (which China successfully started doing), we are now seizing on this opportunity to bang the drum for war with Iran while arming Saudi Arabia to the teeth. Yes, Iran is also a seriously problematic country, but we have meddled in their affairs and waged hybrid war against them for decades. We deposed their first democratic leader replacing him with a decadent monarch who sparked an Islamic revolution. Since then, our aggressive stance in the Middle East encouraged them to develop nuclear weapons. The P5+1 deal was a step in the right direction, and there is no reason we can’t go back to that kind of preventive diplomacy. Their resilience to our sanctions shows they are at least enterprising.We are not as powerful as we were, and the world isn’t as weak as it was – they want to make money and develop. Whereas we don’t even know what we want. So, we can either up our own game and grow together with emerging countries or die trying to maintain unipolar dominance.

The Monroe Doctrine, one of the founding foreign policy doctrines of the United States, holds interference into the affairs of South and Central America as hostile. In other words, it’s their turf. Yet we deny other major powers any legitimate sphere of influence. ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ isn’t cutting the mustard anymore. Just for a moment think of the anger up and down the land over the weekend, as foreign conflicts played out on our streets, at the same time as one of the few remaining events of ancestor worship in Britain. Now imagine how larger this anger would be if China had military bases in the Republic of Ireland, or if Russia was funding a violent Republican overthrow of Stormont. We need a sense of perspective.

At a time of peak ignorance of the rest of the world, our domestic woes in the UK have never been more connected to global goings on. This is the sad paradox we find ourselves in. Our soft power erodes as we dilute our culture and destroy the fabric of traditional, family life. Our hard power is under-resourced and overstretched, leading to no strategic objective, and resulting in a lot of dead or traumatised soldiers and many more people who hate us with a vengeance. Our foreign policy – which is completely dictated by the U.S. – has radicalised parts of the immigrant populations we have brought in and left us exposed to unknown numbers of hostile actors. Sanctions warfare is paid for by the heating and shopping bills of the working class.

Brexit exposed the reality of how deeply controlled the UK is by international organisations. If you thought trying to decouple from the EU was an impossible task, detangling ourselves from NATO and the U.S. intelligence apparatus will be an entirely different ballgame. Brexit also revealed a genuine desire by the British public to be that global, independent, sovereign trading-nation making its own deals with countries across the world, not beholden to outdated policies and the groupthink of corporate-controlled politicians and the technocrats under them. Well, to actually do that we need to embrace a multipolar world and have a bit of confidence in ourselves.

Just as Remainers said we were too small and insignificant to survive outside the EU, so too will people say that we are too small and insignificant to survive outside the NATO/U.S. umbrella. It is doubtful there will be a NATO in a decade from now, so we might not have a choice. It is also likely the U.S. will suffer greatly (along with the whole world) from the eventual collapse of the dollar, finding it hard to avoid some form of civil conflict. Until then the music will still play on the titanic, but will the UK have the sense to get on the nearest lifeboat? As much as a military alliance provides protection from potential enemies, it also forces members to take on enemies that they might not ordinarily have, leaving them more exposed and then in need of protection.

Those imbued with the neoconservative zest for spreading liberal values by the bullet and bombing the world into democracy will no doubt be horrified by the suggestions made here, not being able to conceive of a Britain that doesn’t play the role of shit on the U.S. jackboot. I recall a different Britain, however. One that had the best diplomatic service in the world, staffed by the greatest linguists. A Britain that had state capacity and the ability to execute its will. A country that despite its allegiances was able to identify and pursue its own genuine national interest. To return to this state we ultimately must fix ourselves domestically and as a society. Until then, it would do no harm to pursue a more sophisticated approach to dealing with the rest of the world.By learning the difference between being allies with a country and being stuck in a political-military straitjacket with them, the West has an opportunity to revitalise itself and thrive in a multipolar world.

Deprived of global empire, the U.S. will be able to fight off its leviathan corporate oligarchy and develop to full potential. Europe will be able to pursue its own security and economic interests, not just American ones. Realpolitik will make its triumphant return. The UK, perhaps in the best position of all, will be able to take advantage of not being a subordinate and truly become ‘Global Britain’. I urge readers to reject those who want a war of civilisations and embrace this positive, sensible, and more human way to approach our future and the world.

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Britain could be left holding the bag over Ukraine

The new Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps, in his first newspaper interview since taking up the position, called for British weapons manufacturers to set up shop in Ukraine and revealed discussions with Zelensky about the Royal Navy getting more involved in the Black Sea.

The biggest potential escalation was his suggestion that British military instructors be moved into Ukraine.

“I was talking today about eventually getting the training brought closer and actually into Ukraine as well.”

As of yet, the UK and allies have avoided a formal military presence in the conflict due to the risk of direct conflict with Russia, so these were major policy changes being floated.

The same day, former Russian President and now deputy chairman of the country’s influential Security Council, Dmitri Medvedev, posted on Telegram that such moves bring World War Three closer.

‘[This will] turn their instructors into a legal target for our armed forces… understanding perfectly well that they will be ruthlessly destroyed. And not as mercenaries, but namely as British NATO specialists.’

Just over two hours later, the Prime Minister had pushed back at the Defence Secretary’s comments telling reporters on the first day of his party conference there were no immediate plans for this:

“What the defence secretary was saying was that it might well be possible one day in the future for us to do some of that training in Ukraine. But that’s something for the long term, not the here and now. There are no British soldiers that will be sent to fight in the current conflict.”

Leaving aside Mr Shapps’ questionable ministerial record and lack of obvious suitability for his brief, this incident (which was conveniently brushed under the carpet of the Tory conference) raises some serious questions about decision making at the MoD.

Was this interview cleared with No. 10 and if so, are they now backtracking? Or did the Defence Secretary go off script and unsuccessfully try to use his own initiative?

Or was this government floating an idea and testing the waters? If so, they got their answer quick.

The sight of British soldiers returning in body bags in an election year might not be a big vote winner.

Government’s decision to ramp up support for Ukraine and double down on its all-or-nothing position comes as cracks in the alliance grow wider by the day.

As all this was unfolding, Slovakia was electing its next parliament, with an anti-Ukraine party winning the election. The country has already halted military aid to Kiev, joining the Hungarians.

Just two weeks ago, one of Ukraine’s strongest allies, compared it to ‘a drowning man’.

A dispute over grain exports got so bad that the Polish president said:

‘The drowning man is really clinging to anything available and it is somehow what the situation between Poland and Ukraine is like today… it is clinging to anything available. Can we hold grudges against them? Of course, we can. Do we have to act in a way to protect ourselves from being hurt by a drowning one, of course, we have to act in a way to protect ourselves from being harmed by the drowning one, because once the drowning man hurts us, it will not get help from us.’

This was quickly followed by the Polish prime minister announcing: “We are no longer transferring weapons to Ukraine because we are now arming Poland with more modern weapons.”

Next week will see Poland have its own elections, and like Slovakia, an anti-Ukraine party is doing very well in the polls, with hopes to be kingmaker.

The United States is not immune from political division over the conflict, with various presidential candidates from Donald Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy to Robert F Kennedy Jr calling for its end.

Domestic political pressure and war fatigue aren’t the only factors creating friction between Western capitals. After 20 months of being told victory is round the corner, reality is starting to bite.

This week NATO’s most senior military official told the Warsaw Security forum the West is running out of ammunition for Ukraine. Admiral Rob Bauer said: “The bottom of the barrel is now visible.”

UK Defence Minister James Heappey also added that the West’s stockpiles were ‘looking a bit thin’.

This might explain the eagerness to have British weapons manufacturers ramp up production by setting up factories in Ukraine, but it does not explain the stubborn continuation of a failed strategy.

A policy should be judged by its results and as of writing, Ukraine has lost hundreds of thousands of its young men, millions more have fled, its economy is decimated, and its state is on life-support.

Russia, meanwhile, has weathered the sanction-induced storm which turned out to be a strong breeze rather than the predicted tornado. Its economy has not only held up but is on track to grow.

NATO’s eastern flank, be it Turkey, Hungary, now Slovakia and potentially Poland, is already publicly disagreeing and diverging from the Washington-London line, and this is likely to continue.

And the Washington line, as we have only seen too well over the last decade, is liable to change rapidly depending on the outcome of the next election.

So, can Britain afford to continue its Johnsonian zeal for trying to fight Russia down to the last Ukrainian, or is it time to take back control of our foreign policy and start thinking seriously about Europe’s long-term security architecture?

I would hope that the government concerned with ‘long-term decisions for a brighter future’ would be reassessing its policy.

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