Britain needs to be more family-friendly – but not on Corbyn’s model

Jeremy Corbyn is back in the news, though for admirable and respectable reasons this time. In a speech to the Commons on Tuesday, Corbyn argued that the current two-child limit to parental support benefits is immoral, specifically immoral to the 3rd, 4th or 5th child born to that parent, and instead it’s time “to scrap the two-child limit on benefits, and create a social security system that treats people with dignity, care and respect.”

It is quite common for socialists to claim that “it’s time” for the measures they propose, thus implying it has been a deliberate, cruel choice thus far to not pursue the measures, rather than caused by any practical limits. Nonetheless, stopped clocks and all that, and Corbyn has actually managed to touch on a problem quite serious in the British polity: we have an aging population and a declining birth rate, a combination which is, put nicely, a demographic time-bomb. 

It was not that long ago that a Tory minister received quite substantial criticism for proposing a pro-natalist policy, which must of course raise eyebrows as to why Corbyn is being lauded for proposing something so similar. I think we can chalk that one up to a mistaken belief that the unnamed minister was attempting to “engineer” a birth rate change whilst Corbyn just wants to support the children born anyway. 

Corbyn is, fundamentally, correct. The British state needs to do more to support children, but the focus should be on families, rather than children alone. By focusing on “children”, Corbyn is – unintentionally, I think we need to admit – neglecting the role parents play in both the creation and support of children. An avalanche of studies show the advantage children experience when both of their biological parents are involved in their childhood. Most importantly, the family is the finest form of welfare available in the world, and thinking the state can ever do more than supplement that welfare is misguided at best.

Since Corbyn has wandered into normative questions, we also need to clarify what is actually “immoral” in his eyes. Is it that further children would not get any support from the state? Perhaps, but then the immorality is not caused by the state, it is caused by nature as a rule and ameliorated by the state as an exception. Is it that, in providing support for the first two children but not any subsequent children? Maybe, but it is a dubious claim that state welfare is an expression of moral worth, though I appreciate I am battling with a socialist on this. 

Moreover, this might be a typical “nasty party” attitude to take, but why does Corbyn stop at the 5th child? Why not make the point regarding the 10th, or 20th child? Pro-natalist policies are good, when they support the lives of children already in the world, but if we are not careful we can generate a trap in which it pays to have children, and not work. Incentivising parents to have more children when it is the state supporting them and not their own employment is risky business.

What it should be doing instead is less direct. Instead, the British state needs to foster an environment that is more supportive of families, both in the material and in the attitudinal sense, which I explored in a recent paper with the think tank Civitas. What is an unfortunate truth of this situation is that birth rates are almost uniformly a symptom of the social environment, with a positive correlation between economic development and falling birth rates. As far as I know, no developed nation has successfully broken this link, but that does not mean it cannot be done. 

If the economic development of a nation has a bearing on birth rates, but birth rates are not the primary concern of national governments in their economic policies, then we cannot rely on the economic argument only, but there is still the possibility that economic policies could be shaped around families more. For one, as the Tory minister suggested, reforming the tax system to offer tax breaks in proportion to children (in both number and age) is an obvious option. The fact that Hungary has pursued such policies suggests it is possible, so the political will is all that stands in the way.

Inevitably, we need to think about housing. Property offers the most secure physical environment for parents to raise children in, especially as they make the transition from tenants to owner-occupiers, with which comes a greater degree of security. As has become common to remark on, millennials and Generation Z are facing crises of home-ownership, and without the security that can offer, families will start later and later, which not only has an effect on birth rates, but will mean those children born will be born into a world of insecurity. 

Corbyn is right that the British state needs to support children more, but he has missed the key point: the British state is not hospitable to families, and needs to be restructured to be so.

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A Response to Polly Toynbee

“Know thyself” is a most fundamental axiom of Greek philosophy that has been repeated into cliche in philosophy and religious studies classrooms around the world. And yet it is a concept that many seem to forget. To ignore our fundamental presuppositions and the grounding of our beliefs is foolish and to unwittingly seek to undercut them is ideological suicide. 

These thoughts follow my reading of Polly Toynbee’s recent article in the Guardian which seeks to essentially de-Christianise Christmas celebrations and throws around the terms ‘cultural Christianity’ and ‘humanism’ as a way to legitimise her thoroughly anti-Christian position as some kind of reasonable middle ground/self-critique. A contradiction for sure, as she lampoons the foundations of Christian belief and excoriates the actions of early Christians. If we attached power cables to Friedrich Nietzsche’s grave, his rolling would probably solve the present energy crisis our country is currently undergoing. 

Cultural Christianity, at the very least, demands an adoption of Christian morality and admiration for Christian tradition and history that is ridiculous to maintain in lieu of actual religious belief and makes me wonder why one doesn’t go all the way to believe in God too. Perhaps we consider the morality of ‘love thy neighbour’ as not necessarily an exclusively Christian belief but the very mindset that the European and American lives in are framed by Christianity – from the Protestant work ethic to our preference for monogamous relationships. Believing in the morality, mindset and general worldview of Christianity without its origin and basis, the teachings of Christ and the existence of God is vapid and naive. Why is marriage a sacred, inviolable contract if its primary advocate is not even real? (or dead).

This mindset is ultimately pointless and shallow and seeks to provide its own moral foundation with an appeal to some kind of tradition, popularity, or history – merely copying a greater tradition than itself. Ms Toynbee’s self-critical cultural Christianity is further called into question as nothing more than a veneer in her decidedly un-historical diagnosis of Christianity as anti-philosophical, anti-mathematical and anti-intellectual. The church is aware of its failings as a human institution, our own doctrine expects this and our scripture reminds us to be constantly vigilant against sin and our nature. Unfortunately, examples in history can be dragged into scrutiny to illustrate the failures of our forefathers. Maybe certain Popes and church leaders resisted the progress of science, or maybe the condemnations of 1277 sought to strangle ‘heretical’ elements of Aristotelianism out of medieval philosophy, but it isn’t appropriate to attribute particular mistakes by fallible humans to the wider religion. To do so is to be blinkered to what Christianity has provided and what it stands for.

Many of the greatest leaps in mathematics and science were accomplished by monotheists, algebra was pioneered and beautifully developed during the Golden Age of Islam and much of modern science owes its exposition and articulation to Christianity: Newtonian physics, Mendelian genetics and even the Big Bang Theory originate from Christian scholars. As for philosophy, while the discipline in the medieval period did develop in partnership with theology, the enlightenment saw the emergence of important secular thought among many Christian thinkers. For one example, Immanuel Kant, the father of modern philosophy, sought to use God to justify human freedom and escape relativism and nihilism; providing a philosophical framework that has shaped the European zeitgeist. There is a good case to be made that most Anglo-American philosophy that traces back to Hume is essentially a secularisation of the work of William of Occam; a Franciscan monk. Yes, certain Christians supported the barbaric practice of slavery but subsequent Christians spearheaded the abolitionist cause and rebuked their forebears. To accuse Christianity of being backwards because some nuns teaching children attempted to use theological themes to encourage good behaviour is intellectually immature. Ms Toynbee can chase caricatures and mistakes by certain people in order to try and hurry Christianity out the door as much as she wants but her arguments are largely rebutted by a cursory reading of history. There is no real correlation between Christianity and intellectual stagnation. 

A point that is interestingly used to drive her case forward is to complain about the largely ceremonial title of Fidei Defensor, which our monarchs adopted as an ironic jest at the Papacy. It is a somewhat nickel and dime point to analyse the declaration of the Anglican church’s independence – remember that the monarch is also the (ceremonial) Supreme Governor of the CofE: a broadly ceremonial title. Surely then, in an institution that is allegedly racist and backward, we should be welcoming Charles’ declaration to defend all the faiths of all of his subjects even if he is styled with a ceremonial, historic title? Dwelling on the ‘the’ seems to be counter-productive. These nickel-and-dime points come across as the bread and butter of this article – We can see another example of these snipes in her discussion of assisted suicide. To say that life is sacred and that assisted suicide is a slippery slope somehow makes our elected officials dangerous radicals that are out of touch with the electorate. This polemic move is extremely dishonest. See the advancement of medically assisted suicide in Canada as an example of the practical risks associated with this policy. 
Maybe this response article is also rising to the nickel and dime bait. The debate could rage forever, as glib anecdotes and controversies are thrown about to illustrate the evil of the ever-vengeful skydaddy and his charlatan prophet. But let’s not forget the message of Christmas in the Gospel – a message of love, hope and the salvation of mankind by God who loves His creation and wants nothing more than to reconcile our broken relationship.

Let’s remember that the secular values we associate with Christmas – family, reconciliation, joy, giving and altruism – stem from a message of divine love and peace with a promise to end human suffering. Ms Toynbee’s vision of a secular winter holiday is not possible without the Incarnation.

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A Quasi-Defence of Classical British Education

A couple of weeks ago, enough to make this piece seem dated, our Prime Minister Rishi Sunak contended that all students should be taught mathematics to the age of eighteen. As one would expect with anyone holding a convicted belief in anything these days, such remarks were held to scant regard and I suspect that like most Toryism of the modern day, that with conviction with give way to that with expedience and this policy will be dropped by the waysides at the slightest pushback in parliament.

However, the criticism that has spawned from this rare moment of genuine conviction from our prime minister is probably far more interesting than his own aspirations of what would have manifest.

As a sidenote, I expect that should this compulsory maths to 18 intention go through, what will likely happen is that the ever-beleaguered adolescent must now come to grips with the ire of all office workers: Microsoft Excel, only too early for their time. It is infeasible in the least that people who struggled to get a 4 in their foundation papers for GCSE maths could go on to study integrals. Maths is unlike other subjects in that one must have a command of the knowledge foundational to the next level, it is not a matter like in history, of switching periods or method of analysis to an area you may find more interesting. There are limits for everyone be it in wit or will. I, much like everyone else reading this article, is likely aware of our own maths limitations, it’s all too human.

But the furore about what should be taught instead of maths, or anything else for that matter, is as I’ve already said far more interesting. Of course, the first conviction of the modern vision of education, a cookie-cutter idea of turning an innocent child into the taxpaying office worker to satisfy the top-heavy pension-state is very tempting. In a world of material, the person is personified by their work, after all. Teach people about taxes! Teach them about compound interest! Teach them how to start their own businesses! Teach them about how to tie their shoes! Et cetera, et cetera. 

For someone however who normally takes a very technical view towards things, I’d like to take a moment to defend the British style of education in which people choose their A Levels and focus on honing their skills in a certain area, be it in humanities or technology, as opposed to being taught what the education cynics would prefer people learnt, which is essentially accounting 101 or what the cabinet desire, learn all the maths possible until your brain turns into C++ code.

In the first place, can we please clear up the idea that education is only, or even primarily about getting people ready for work? If you are leaving school at eighteen (good choice by the way) your job is likely going to have nothing to do with what you studied, nor has it ever been like this. The two original skills we most valued in school, maths and English, were primarily about getting people up and ready to learn information by themselves. Economists do not use a “can do their own taxes” rate when measuring educational development, they measure either literacy or time in school. Most people do not learn about their own job, or about their hobby because they were taught in school. For the degree educated among us and who retain passion for their subject, how much do you really owe your subject knowledge to the university instruction and how much to your own passion and research?

Education is, no matter how wearily and poorly it does it these days, a matter of getting people to learn things for themselves and maintain some level of function in society. Before the SNP took charge of Scotland, most state schools still taught Latin and Scotland retained a reputation as one of the premier education systems of the world (that has been dashed, you may finger point at whodunnit somewhere else). No, I’m not saying Latin is what makes a good education, but I don’t think it’s useless either if people are willing to learn it and be passionate about it.

I’m not going to pretend that a society in which everyone is a “critical thinker”, or “free thinking” Twitter user is either realistic or good. The reality is that humans are by and large not critical thinkers. But I think there is something to be said of the idea that education is not about doing your taxes (have these people never heard of PAYE?) but about rounding yourself out cognitively and figuring out who you are amongst peers.

Some of the greatest in British history studied what many would consider ‘useless’ in modern standards. The traditional British education was to go to Oxford or Cambridge and study classics or the law, after which one could study whatever one wanted, or indeed get a premium job in the civil service. All this was during the period of time in which British innovation was the envy of the world. I struggle to see how if more children were taught the properties of triangles during the 1840’s how the Industrial Revolution could have been anymore revolutionary.

I think the likely final avenue here of discussion is the frequently cited immense rise of Asian cognition in the economic space and the pre-eminence of the Chinese and Japanese companies and workers in the tech sphere. To be frank I do not think either that the rising ability of these nations need pose any threat to us in this country unless we decide it does. Liz Truss reportedly after a visit to China thought we all needed to study more maths and I’ll admit, the Chinese mathematics curriculum is terrifying. Calculus in many parts of China is taught as young as twelve, but that alone need not merit fear from anyone. Firstly, China’s economic coming dominance is vastly overstated by their own figures, but more importantly an economy isn’t just data scientists and modellers. Have people ever stopped to think that maybe too many mathematicians is also a bad thing? The most fundamental feature of all economies, the ability to produce food and water, is almost never going to feature maths beyond that which we use in Excel. Nor for that matter do most electricians, plumbers, journalists, chefs, manufacturers, technicians or even IT workers need to know how to find an eigenvector. 

Our other example, Japan, is perhaps an even more damning verdict of teaching a high number of students to eighteen mathematics than the former. Japan is a great country and I have little bad to say about them as a culture, but their economy has not been saved by maths being taught to eighteen. If you think the UK productivity figures are bad than Japan’s are lamentable. Japan lags the rest of the west in productivity despite a highly technical education. In spite of this 85% of Japanese Students will take maths to eighteen with math PISA scores that dominate the free world.

It is hard to assess the economic impact, let alone geopolitical impact of teaching everyone maths. But I’m comfortable in saying that if China or Japan are our examples of high-level STEM education, I’m not going to tie myself in knots. Britain’s productivity issue probably lies elsewhere.

I’m not attempting to be biased here, I myself have studied two different STEM subjects at higher education, but for me it seems expertise and skill is unlikely to be unearthed by your schooling. In my view then, don’t make the poor children study maths or accounting; adolescence is a strain unto itself. Let people pick their own interests, and the chips fall where they may.

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The Church has let men like Prince Harry down

The King has allegedly asked the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to mediate in the current royal drama with a view to repairing things before the Coronation. Reading extracts of Prince Harry’s ‘Spare’ I can’t but help think that though this is intervention is to be welcomed there is a sense in which Harry is typical of a lot of modern men who have been let down by the one spiritual organisation that is meant to guide them over the pitfalls and perils of this mortal coil. 

Harry’s complaint is that he is ‘spare heir’ and therefore a marginalised victim of the system, or what the royals dub ‘the Firm’. This is a difficult premise to swallow in the light of a life of opulent privilege. Anyone who takes up the daily recitation of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer will soon be confronted with a different of ‘spare’ that might as well come from another planet because it is so in-modern. “Spare thou them, O God, who confess their faults, restore thou them that are penitent.” If only Harry had been shown how to orientate his life on this concept of ‘spare’ things might have turned out differently. 

Tragically Harry’s nuggets in  ‘Spare’ betray an arid post-faith intellectual landscape where the classic virtues are absent. Humility, forgiveness, duty, sacrifice are sidelined whereas woke truisms and Californians therapy gobbledigook are at the fore. Did no one at Eton or in his confirmation classes drill in the Mosaic Ten commandments hanging up in many school chapels, least of all “Honour thy father and mother?” (Exodus 20.12) As he plotted with his ghost writer to disclose every petty family squabble did he not stop to weigh up the terrible dishonour it would bring to his father, the now present king? Perhaps those charged with his spiritual upbringing gave up too early? All indications from ‘Spare’ is that the teenage happy-go-lucky cheeky-chappy Harry was early on inhaling the wrong incense and needed a more bespoke approach to his religious instruction. As it is he now declares himself predictably as “spiritual but not religious.” Yawn! 

To borrow from the gospel of Mark, for what shall it profit a man, if he shall gaineth the biggest deals with Netflix, Spotify and Random House, and lose his own soul? It’s easy to dismiss religion and then tune out the meatier questions because they do not suit or harmonize with the confectionary lite buffet that presents itself as DIY “spirituality”.  What do I know anyway, I’m just a vicar? To Christ’s haunting question “What can he give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8.37) Harry’s industrious accountants have “done the maths” and monetized this to a balance sheet of around a quarter of a billion pounds, give or take.

 If only Harry had embraced the manly faith of his late grandmother, Her Majesty the Queen, then he wouldn’t be sinking in a quagmire of seances, quack therapists,  and crystal healers. They saw you coming, Harry!  And, to add comedy to tragedy he is stupendously oblivious  to the singular truth that is apparent to everyone else on the planet, ie, that this is not going to end well for him. The ton of cash from the books and TV series will not save his soul from disintegration. It will add to the mental inferno. He  now stands at the event horizon of an implosion, a galactic supernova which is the all consuming black hole of his fragile ego. And yet who cannot forget that when his grandmother deployed ‘spare’ it was always in the context of the misfortune of others. “Let us this Christmas spare a thought for those in the world who are less fortunate than us.” Spare indeed.

I feel sorry for Harry because he is a victim. He is a victim not of any antics at Buckingham Palace but a victim of himself and his ego.  He is his own worst oppressor. The pathetic thing is that we the plebs are all rather enjoying it. Hands up, I confess this has brightened things up from the rainy normal January blues along with the prospect of paying half my stipend on an exorbitant heating bill. That’s why Spare is flying off the shelves. It’s an Easterenderseque tittle-tattle of royal soap opera that makes our bored and wayward souls horny. 

Could the Church have helped to prevent this? My worry is that the current Anglican iteration is so panicked about appealing to wokism that Harry probably wouldn’t have been able to distinguish it from his wife’s current expensive appetite for tree hugging West Coast workshops. “Commandments? Oh, don’t concern yourself too much, they are merely ‘suggestions’ Your Highness for lifestyle enhancements. ” Here is a man displaying a profound lack of Christian catechesis. He thinks he can have God on his own terms. 

Maybe as Anglicans we should take the blame, as a religion we have failed him? Biblical fluency would have slammed the brakes on this kind of misadventure years ago. Regular and proper prayer would have constructed a spiritual fortress with a moat and a high vantage point that laughs off the psychological hobgoblins and foul fiends.  In Spare Harry talks of an RE teacher at Eton walloping him with a heavy Bible. Clearly not hard enough.

Harry is typical of a lost generation of men starved of meaning and direction. He and those on the other end of the spectrum who drool over the ridiculous Andrew Tate, are like pelicans wandering a neon wilderness tapping at leftovers and carcasses. Whereas Harry has an army of sycophants and celebs to tell him what he wants to hear, these men and boys scuttle around the cyberspace of Tik-Tok, Instagram and Youtube to collect morsels of ready made prejudices. Some of the more intellectually inquiring find solace in New Atheism, but increasingly the gleeful nihilism of Dawkins adds up to little succor these days. 

Most youngish men dropping into their Anglican parish church will soon realise that they are misfits in a club that struggles to connect with their concerns or knows what to do with them. Politically correct sermons are also a big turn off. The average vicar it seems has yet to learn from the Jordan Peterson rockstar phenomenon which points to younger generations (men and women) lining up in their thousands for a psychologically full-on wrestling of a demanding meaning to life. This is why he packs auditoriums whereas many of us have half empty churches. Key to this is inverting the victimhood narrative and saying instead “Get your house in order and be a positive force in the world, by the grace of God, you can do it.” 

Tragically the Anglican existential need to cosy up to the culture zeitgeist can put it on the wrong side of history, repeatedly. Just over a hundred years ago vicars and bishops casually deployed eye watering jingoistic rhetoric from their pulpits to rally this same constituency of young men to the trenches. The most infamous being the manipulative monster that was Arthur Winnington-Ingram, the bishop of London. He gleefully toured the country and packed churches where he signed up sixteen year olds to the Front. His crazed sermons including rants of  “Kill the Hun!” Thank God we can’t imagine Sarah Mullaly or Justin Welby doing this. But, it does at least highlight there was a period in history where young men and princes  like Harry Windsor were seen as the saviours of our civilisation even if the salvific work they were asked to shoulder was in reality a big con, an industrial scale slaughterhouse.

Having dipped my toe in the media world I now find myself at the receiving end of a mailbag of letters and emails mostly from Millennials, men (but not exclusively) around Harry’s age and lower who have found Christianity afresh. For various reasons lockdown prompted a considerable number to reevaluate the old faith. Typically they are rebels and misfits who find that the best way to dissent from the woke globalist revolution is to grasp Christianity. The gospel is for them the new anti-globalist movement.  I see in them a hunger for demanding gospel which is both generous and orthodox, intellectual and spiritual stretching. They do not want to be fobbed off with social justice platitudes and are prepared to suffer well for their faith, even job loss is necessary. This is an energized constituency that for some reason the Church is apathetic to. Please, please bishops wake up! 

So, what urgent spiritual advice could be given to the Duke of Sussex? Clergy, if the prince happens to trip into your confessional let’s not pander with the gushing words of  “there, there!”  He requires a direct approach. This is because he is like the earnest rich young man in the gospels who is strangulated by his possessions, privilege, and status and ends up walking away from Christ? Doesn’t he see that raking in millions and millions while surrounding himself with the Hollywood luvvies is the proverbial camel that he will never never never squeeze through the eye of the needle? No amount of Elizabeth Arden cream can help either. He needs to give it all up for a radically simpler quieter life.

Is any of this feasible for a royal like Harry let alone all those lost men the churches fail to inspire? Harry doesn’t need to go back to Edward the Confessor to find a role model. He could look no further than his quirky yet saintly great grandmother, the forthright Princess Alice of Battenberg, the Duke of Edinburgh’s mother. She had her troubles with mental health and ended up in and out of sanitariums. Opinion was divided over whether she was a mystic or a nut. Yet, unlike all the made up woke gongs that Harry and Meghan have received, Alice had a real award for her work in saving Jews from Nazis. Israel recognises and honours  her as a righteous gentile. She also sold everything and became an Orthodox nun. As a no nonsense woman, she would be the last person on the planet to ever describe herself as a “victim”. She rolled up her sleeves and got on with life doing endless good without fanfare or neediness. I suspect history will ‘spare’ her a bigger and more godly footnote than Harry Windsor unless he seriously and radically changes his ways.  And for bishops and archbishops maybe the lesson is that a church that preached and presented an Alice Battenberg Christianity, might not only reach out to guys like Harry but also find a remedy for its own seemingly terminal decline.                

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Neoconservatism: Mugged by Reality (Part 2)

The Neoconservative Apex: 9/11 and The War on Terror

11th September 2001 was a watershed moment in American history. The destruction of the World Trade Centre by Muslim terrorists, the deaths of thousands of innocent American citizens and the general feeling of chaos and vulnerability was enough to turn even the cuddliest of liberals into bloodthirsty war hawks. People were upset, confused and above all angry and wanted someone to pay for all the destruction and death. To paraphrase Chairman Mao, everything under the heavens was in chaos, for the neoconservatives the situation was excellent.

After 9/11, President Bush threw out the positions on foreign policy that he’d advocated for during his candidacy and became a strong advocate of using US military strength to go after its enemies. The ‘Bush Doctrine’ became the staple of US foreign policy during Bush’s time in office and the magnum opus of the neoconservative deep state. The doctrine stated that the United States was entangled in a global war of ideas between Western values on the one hand, and extremism seeking to destroy them on the other. The doctrine turned US foreign policy into a black and white war of ideology where the United States would show leadership in the world by actively seeking out the enemies of the West and also change those countries into becoming like the West. Bush stated in his 2002 State of the Union speech:

“I will not wait on events, while dangers gather.  I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer.  The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons.”

The ‘Bush Doctrine’ was a pure expression of neoconservatism. But the most crucial part of his speech was when he gave a name to the new war the American state had begun to wage:

“Our war on terror is well begun, but it is only begun.  This campaign may not be finished on our watch – yet it must be, and it will be waged on our watch.”

The ‘War on Terror’ became a term that would become synonymous with the Bush years and indeed neoconservatism. For neoconservatives, the attack on 9/11 reaffirmed their pessimism about the world being hostile to the United States and, in turn, their views on needing to eradicate it with ruthless calculation and force. A new doctrine, a new President, a new war – neoconservatism certainly held itself up to its ‘neo’ nature. With all this set-in place and the neoconservative deep state rearing to go, they could finally start to do what they had always wanted to do – wage war.

Iraq and Afghanistan became the main targets, with Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein and the Taliban becoming public enemy’s number one, two and three. A succession of invasions into both countries, supported by the British military, ended up with the West looking victorious. Both the Taliban and Saddam Hussein had been removed from power, Al Qaeda was on the run, and various of their top leaders had been captured or killed. It was ‘mission accomplished’ and thus time to remould Afghanistan and Iraq into American-aligned liberal democracies. Furthermore, the new neoconservative elite saw to demoralise and outright destroy all those who had been associated with the Hussein regime and Islamic radical groups and thus began a campaign of hunting down, imprisoning and ‘interrogating’ all those involved. However, this is where the neoconservative project would begin to fall as quickly as it had ascended.

The Failure and Eventual Fall of Neoconservatism

A core factor to note is that the neoconservative belief that one could simply invade non-democratic and often heavily religious countries and flip them into liberal democracies proved to be highly utopian. As Professor Ian Shapiro pointed out in his Yale lecture on the Demise of Neoconservatism Dream, the neoconservative’s falsely believed that destroying a country’s military was equivalent to pacifying and ruling a country. The American-British coalition may have swiftly destroyed the armies of Hussein of Iraq and cleared out the Taliban in Afghanistan but they did not effectively destroy the support both had amongst the general population. If anything, the removal of both created an array of intense power vacuums which the neoconservatives could only seem to fill with corrupt American aligned Middle Eastern politicians as well as gun-ho Generals and neoconservative elites who knew very little about the countries they were presiding over.

One such example is Paul Bremer who led the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq after the Hussein regime was overthrown. His genius idea – that totally would get the Iraqi people on the side of freedom and democracy – was to disband the army and eradicate the Iraqi civil service and governmental authorities of those who were aligned with Hussein’s Ba’ath Party; terming it De-Ba’athification. Both led to a plethora of Iraqi’s losing their jobs and incomes and being smeared as enemies of the new American led regime – even low level teachers and privates were removed despite the fact that many of them joined the party simply to keep their own jobs.

While seen as a tactical way in which to remove any potential opposition to the CPA, the move created more opposition to the new government than any dissident anti-American group could have wished to have created – turns out making 400,000 young men, who know how to kill a man in sixteen different ways, unemployed isn’t the best way in which to show your care for the Iraqi people. It also didn’t help that Bremer and the CPA failed to account for a variety of funds and financial given to him for the reconstruction of Iraq, leading to a variety of financial blackholes and millions of dollars that simply disappeared.

Insurgent groups grew and assassination attempts on Bremer became commonplace to such an extent that even Osama Bin Laden himself placed a sizable bounty on Bremer’s head. Opposition to Bremer was so fervent that he was essentially forced to leave his position in the CPA by mid-2004 with his legacy being one of failure, instability and corruption, a legacy which the Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich called “the largest single disaster in American foreign policy in modern times”.

Removing opposition instead of attempting to work with it and use their expertise is something the US has done before, especially after WW2 with the fall of the Axis regimes, but the neoconservative mind has no tolerance or time for those who oppose American values – leading to brutal methods being used against those who do not comply.

It was under the neoconservatives that Guantanamo Bay was opened, a prison known for its mistreatment of prisoners and dubious torture methods. It was under the neoconservatives that Abu Ghraib prison, a feared prison under Hussein’s regime, became a place in which American soldiers and state officials were allowed treat and use interrogation methods on prisoners in manners that violate basic human dignity. And it was under the neoconservatives that began a mass surveillance state in their own country via the so-called ‘Patriot Act’ which put the privacy of American citizens in great danger. The Bush administration claimed that these abuses of human rights were not indicative of US policy, they were and the neoconservatives were the one’s responsible.

Luckily, these abuses were quickly all over mainstream news both inside and outside the US and horrified the population at large, even those who had once been pro the War on Terror. Furthermore, soldiers who had fought abroad came back with horror stories of their fellow soldiers abusing prison inmates and how they’d left Iraq bombed to the ground, displacing families and with casualty rates of up to and around 600,000 Iraqi civilians. The American mood turned against the war and by the end of Bush’s tenure in office 64% of Americans felt that the Iraq war had not been worth fighting.

The average American who felt angry and upset at their freedoms being threatened by Islamic terrorism became just as angry and upset when they saw their own country committing atrocities and taking away the freedoms of others. While it may seem cliche to point out the hypocrisy, this was one of the first times American’s had been exposed to the reality of what their state was really capable of. As Shapiro elucidates, the real legacy of the Iraq war and the War on Terror is that it destroyed America’s moral high ground. A high ground America has never been able to reach to since.

Barrack Obama and the Democrats attacked the Republicans and their neoconservative wing for their human rights abuses, the unjustified invasion of Iraq and implosion of America’s moral standing on the international stage. It is not unfair to say that Obama’s intoxicating charm and message of hope for America was desperately wanted in a post-Bush era in order so that Americans could try and forget the depravities that their country had fallen to in the early 2000s. He promised to pull out of Iraq, close Guantanamo Bay and replace the neoconservative doctrine for one based on diplomacy and moderation.

Bush and the majority of his neoconservatives left office after the election of Obama – in which he beat the then darling of the neoconservative right John McCain – and have since failed to re-enter the halls of power or indeed even their own party. The Tea Party movement supplanted neoconservatism dominance over the Republican Party and those still clinging on for dear life are being cleared out by the new America First aligned Republicans who wish to supplant the war-hawks and globalists with non-interventionists and nationalists.


It is not radical nor unfair to say that not since the fall of the Berlin Wall has an ideological group lost its grip on power so completely as the neoconservatives have. 

With the failure of nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan, the grotesque violation of individual liberties at home and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, neoconservatism, and indeed even the US government, became synonymous with warmongering, authoritarianism and out and out international crime. To quote Stephen Eric Bronner in his book Blood in the Sand:

“Like a spoiled child, unconcerned with what anyone else thinks, the United States has gotten into the habit of invading a nation, trashing it, and then leaving without cleaning up the mess.”

Neoconservatives like to hand-wring about the ‘evils’ of Middle Eastern dictators while they allow dogs to tear off the limbs of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, spy on innocent American citizens and bomb Afghani schools full of children into oblivion. Thanks to the neoconservative project of the early to mid-2000s – elements of which still are in place today – the United States became a leviathan monstrosity of surveillance, torture, corruption and warmongering.

It is interesting to see that after being the “cause célèbre of international politics”, neoconservatives are now the frequent targets of ridicule and scorn. And deservedly so, especially considering what neoconservatism has devolved into. The Straussian and genuinely conservative elements of the political philosophy have been ripped out, replaced with vague appeals to liberal humanitarianism and cucking for globalist organisations like the UN and NATO. The caricature of neoconservatives wanting drag queens to be able to use gender-neutral bathrooms at McDonalds in Kabul has shown to be somewhat accurate. After all, neoconservatives exist to promote ‘Western values’ in foreign countries, so naturally what they will end up promoting is the current cultural orthodoxy of progressive leftism, intersectionality and social decadence. An orthodoxy I’m sure Middle Easterners are desperately clamouring for.

However, despite their dwindling ranks and watering down of the ideology, the essence of neoconservative foreign policy remains intact; they still think the world should look like the United States. Therefore, it is unsurprising to see neoconservatives calling for every country in the world to be a liberal democracy along with the American model, or for Western troops to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely. Not only are these convictions still deeply held but are a direct expression of wanting American global hegemony to persist. On a deeper level, the recent pearl-clutching and whining from neoconservatives about the whole ordeal is simply a reflection of the anxiety that they now hold. Their ideas about what the world should look like have come collapsing before their eyes. And they can’t bear to face the fact that they were wrong.

This collapse has been occurring for some time and hopefully with the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, and the recent moves amongst elements of the right and left to adopt a more non-interventionist approach to foreign policy, the collapse of neoconservatism will remain permanent. After all, the neoconservatives who backed President Joe Biden – thinking he would spell a revival in their views – have now had an egg thrown in their face. Biden has proven himself to not be aligned with neoconservative foreign policy views.

Despite his claims that ‘America was back’ and his past support of foreign interventionism, it is evident that Biden has no real ideological attachment to staying in Afghanistan. In turn, he seems to have found it relatively easy to pull out and then spout rhetoric that wouldn’t be uncommon to hear at a Ron Paul rally. He stood against nation-building, turning Afghanistan into a unified centralised democracy and rejected endless military deployments and wars as the main tool of US foreign policy. Biden, alongside President Donald Trump, has turned the tide of US foreign policy away from military interventionism and back towards diplomacy. A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.

However, while the ‘War on Terror’ may firmly be at an end – the American state has worryingly turned its eyes towards a new ‘War on Domestic Terror’. A war that political scientist and terrorism expert Max Abrahams worries will be catastrophic for the United States, quoting Abrahams:

“The War on Terror destabilized regions abroad. It’ll destabilise our country all the same… We cannot crack down on people just because we don’t like their ideology…otherwise the government is going to turn into the thought police and that is going to spawn the next generation of terrorists.”

The neoconservatives may have lost the war on terror but the structures and policies they put in place to fight that war are now being used, and being used more effectively, against so-called ‘domestic terrorists’. The American regime’s tremble in the lip is so great that it now believes the real threat to its existence lies at home. While this ‘War on Domestic Terror’ is still in its early stages, it is clear that the neoconservative deep state’s toys of torture, mass surveillance and war are now being put to other uses. Only time will tell if it will have the same consequences in America as it did in the countries it once occupied.
With the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq; the continued rise of anti-interventionism on the right and left; and the memory of the failure of conflicts in the Middle East fresh in people’s memories, neoconservatism has been all but relegated to the ideological graveyard – its body left rot under the cold soil for eternity. A fitting fate.

“A neoconservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality” proclaimed the godfather of the ideology. But in the perusal of utopian imperial ambitions it has now suffered the same fate – neoconservatism has been mugged by reality. A reality it so desperately and violently tried to bring to heel. 

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Who Controls Europe’s Streets? The Migrant Riots of 2022-23 as a Glitch in the Matrix

“We were suddenly gifted people”, shrieked the German Green Party politician Katrin Göring-Eckardt in 2016. This happened at the annual gathering of the EKD, the German Lutheran protestant Church (after the Catholic Church, the second largest denomination in Germany) which has become an adjunct outlet of the Green Party. Shortly before that, the narrative of “all those great Syrian doctors“ was born.

However, nobody is talking about migrant doctors – or itinerant rocket scientists – these days. Instead, the Dutch and Belgian police were nervously biting their nails as they watched the games of the Moroccan soccer team during the 2022 World Cup.

If Morocco won, there would be riots – in Brussels, The Hague, Rotterdam and elsewhere. If Morocco lost, the outcome was much the same. The outcome of the games did not seem to matter all that much.

What did seem to matter to these future brain-surgeons (even in the third generation) was to show to their (not so) new home countries where their true loyalties lie and who controls the street.

In France, The Grinch that stole Christmas from French policemen arrived in the form of Kurdish rioters. Some lunatic, white Frenchman, had opened fire on visitors of a restaurant and culture center.

This resulted, of course, in riots – much as anger and grief about senseless violence is understandable, but why take it out on French society at large? It is not like Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey are doing a better job at keeping Kurds safe.

You thought all that would fulfill the allotted contingent of migrant rioting for a year? Enabling European cops to kick back the heavy boots, put their feet up, sip a Glühwein or a hot toddy? Not so fast.

Germany’s imported future nuclear physicist community was happy to oblige. This time, to their credit, they were not sexually assaulting women in their hundreds – as happened in 2015/16, just months after Angela Merkel had thrown open the borders.

Instead this year the “gifted people” had graduated to attacking ambulances, firemen and, of course, policemen. In one instance a Fire-engine was lured in an ambush, 25 masked thugs attacked the fire engine, the firemen had to retreat and part of the equipment was looted.

No, this is not Kabul or Mogadishu but Berlin, in the country formerly known as Germany.

If Germans had ever doubted subsidizing their public broadcasters with  8 billion Euros in compulsory fees) – this New Year’s Day the public broadcast delivered a stellar piece of hard hitting investigative journalism.

A gallant young reporter, the Berlin correspondent of the Tagesschau (the flagship of the public broadcaster’s news media) rode to the rescue – and twisted himself in an argumentative pretzel in order to avoid saying the obvious (i.e. who the rioters were).

Here is the transcript (link, fast forward to 2:42):

[Main newsreader]: “So, who are the perpetrators? What do we know to date?”

[Hapless, deer-caught-in-the-headlight-Berlin-correspondent Thomas Rostek]:

Talking of the perpetrators‘ is always a little bit difficult in such contexts [sic!]“.

As a matter of fact, the, uhm, The Union of German Policemen, has already, uhm, commented on this and said that these are group-dynamic processes, uhm, therefore in society as a whole there was meant to be this, uhm, great pressure, now on the occasion of 2 years of pandemic and now one is just, uhm, trying, uhm, uhm, exactly, that you can also easily obtain, pyrotechnics [meaning: fireworks, flares, fire crackers] then that this just, uhm, led to great problems. Correct.“

[Main newsreader, very serious]: “Thank you for the assessment. Thomas Rostek in Berlin“.

Wow, so this is the kind of eloquent, hard hitting journalism that you are getting for just 8 billion Euros annually. Also, do they no longer teach using conjunctions such as “because” or “therefore” in journalism schools? Either way – we are getting solid comedy gold:

Even the logic starved brain of a public broadcast journalist, could only take so much reality denial: His cerebral cortex switched into “I am outta here” modus.

Explaining away violence against firefighters by pointing at a pandemic and „group-dynamic processes and pressures from society at large“ (whatever that is supposed to be) would have been difficult even had he mastered the proper use of conjunctions.

Let’s ponder on the symbolism of this journalistic masterpiece: Since 2015 we have been dealing with a well-oiled world explanation machine. This machine has perfected papering over the increasing cracks between reality and publicly desired narratives. Alas, increasingly glitches are showing in the matrix.

Thought experiment – you have built a Hundertwasser (Google him!)styled airplane, that looks great but contradicts physical imperatives for flight (e.g. Bernoulli Principle and Newton’s laws) and thus cannot fly. Dealing with this collision between reality and wishful thinking can be done in a variety of ways:

Strategy No. 1 – Denial: “Nonsense, the plane can fly!”

Strategy No. 2 – Placation: “Ok, it can’t fly, but it is ‘not very helpful’ to say that, mmkaay?”

Strategy No. 3 – Not reporting or banning such unwanted news to page 30 of the newspaper

Strategy No. 4 – Adjusting the definition: “Ok, part of flying is rolling on the tarmac, and that has worked really well, so technically it has been flying, sort of.”

Strategy No. 5 – Attack at a personal level: “If you say one more time that this thing ain’t flying you are a terrible person, and you hate birds, and women, too.”

Strategy No. 6 – Glitch in the matrix/meltdown: If all papering-over measures are failing, one can always resort to pseudoscientific gobbledegook and say “uhm” a lot and have a good old fashioned meltdown.

Strategy No. 7 – Waiting for the news cycle, change the topic and use censorship: Recover from No. 6 meltdown by:

a) Hope the next news will make the viewers forget about the meltdown

b) Talking about “insurrections” (such as a bunch of German pensioners planning a coup with crossbows – yes I kid you not)

c) “Politicians, please help and give us new censorship laws.”

For this still young 2023 to be on the lookout for glitches in the matrix, they are occurring more frequently, as reality collides with the desired mainstream narratives more and more.

In the meantime even the notoriously unfunny public German broadcasters (same should apply to the BBC, CBC and NPR) are delivering comedy gems for eternity – enjoy! 

On a more serious note – this should go without saying – the aim of this article is not to blame entire communities for the acts of a minority. I have worked with plenty of young people from some of the countries of origin that seemed to have been disproportionately involved in the recent riots. I have found them to be very hard working, polite and highly polyglot. This is precisely why we should be having a debate about what has gone wrong.

Have we at times attracted the wrong subset from these countries? What about our vetting processes in the face of open borders? If we do not believe in ourselves as a country, why should they? If we do not enforce our own norms and laws – aren’t we bound to create communities stuck in a nihilist limbo?

Important questions that should be asked and discussed, but that are subject to the “Lala, nothing to see here”/ostrich treatment of the mainstream.

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Squandering a Revolution

Ignore the snarky joylessness of self-important losers and the performative perplexing of Very Serious Political Commentators, the past few days have been hilarious. Brought down by inadvertent kamikaze molester “Pincher by name, Pincher by nature” Chris Pincher, appointed to be (you couldn’t write this) a party whip, amounts to more than another Gay Tory Predator scandal. Instead, we are finally witnessing the end of Johnson’s inert and wasteful premiership.

Here I was thinking we’d be dealt an anti-climactic resignation over a piddly piss-up. All those times half-wit pundits, with their mundane alcoholism, lapsed anuses and hyperlinked relatives on Wikipedia, insisted that “it’s over” for Boris, only for such prospects to be dashed when a big fat *nothing happens*, effectively wore down the belief that Johnson could be removed at all.

However, just as a monkey could write Shakespeare if given enough attempts, journalists occasionally conjure the ability to publish something with a kernel of veracity, in this case – the government is imploding because Johnson feigned ignorance of Pincher’s pinching.

As funny as it is to see Boris’ top guys do a 180 in less than 24 hours, contrasted to the inexhaustible ride-or-die energy of Nadine Dorries, you came here for Insightful Political Commentary; a lucid outline of What is To Be Done, you came here for The Ideas. Very well, ladies and gentlemen. After all, chaos is a ladder.

Like most conservatives, I am torn between my hatred of Johnson and my hatred of full-time Johnson-haters. The former was handed an unconstrained sledgehammer to smash the Blairite machine. Criminally underutilised, it was primarily used for tasks completely incongruent with the telos of a sledgehammer – Building Back Better, Levelling Up, etc.

Adding insult to injury, the constructivist rhetoric was entirely devoid of actual construction. Housing prices continue to climb, the borders are wide open, the tax burden continues to punish the most productive, supply-side solutions to energy problems are practically non-existent, and all ‘attempts’ at resolving [REDACTED] have mounted to nothing more than superficial lip service to whip up momentary support from disaffected voters. For a man versed in the classics, Boris should know Heraclitus’ First Cause – Construction and Destruction were born joined at the hip, the fire which festers within a blacksmith’s forge and the fire which springs from a Molotov cocktail are the same force.

In the case of the latter, the full-timers sincerely believe that Boris has made extensive use of his loaned hardware, obliterating Those Ancient British Traditions: the NHS (1946), the HRA (1998), Supreme Court (2005), Britain’s membership of the EU (1992), etc. Ironically, had Johnson aspired (never mind achieved) more than a measly fraction of the aforementioned, he would be leading by double-digits.

The derangement of these full-timers makes one wish Johnson had made like Caesar and crossed the Rubicon. If not to pursue a revolutionary agenda, then to amplify the deserved misery of Britain’s worst inhabitants; the type of people that Tumblr-format tweets about having integrity in politics – “The Parties, The Lies, The Cheese and Wine, it’s DISGUSTING” – as they listen intently to the most recent episode of Alastair Campbell’s podcast.

It’s old news, but it’s worth remembering that Boris is not a conservative. He’s a liberal whose self-obsession disrupted what would have been his natural Brexit alignment. He’s managed to court support from people who would otherwise not have supported him, knowing full well they have little realistic alternative. A socially liberal chieftain of a socially conservative tribe, a Globalist commander of a nationalist army, Boris’ betrayal of both sides of Britain’s politico-cultural schism are finally converging, depriving him of what he values the most: popularity. Like Louis XVI awkwardly donning the revolutionary bonnet, Johnson found himself divided between his political inclinations, those of his new compatriots, and his desire to remain popular irrespective of circumstance.

A high-tax, high-immigration, high time-preference, low-wage, low-cohesion, low-growth Britain with a political life routinely interspersed by the misdeeds of a Prime Minister that backstabs his own supporters and elevates pillow-talk policy over national priorities. Brexit was always more than technical independence from the EU. Sovereignty was never the ultimate end. The Leave coalition was underpinned by the pursuit of sovereignty, but it was the prospect of exercising this sovereignty that brought about the electoral realignment. It was why the Nationalist-Brexiteer majority and the Globalist-Brexiteer minority could co-operate. Not a means to an end, but a means to greater means, and from these greater means a true ultimate end. A half-baked means (see: ECHR), but a necessary means, nonetheless. Even without Brexit, to waste such a supermajority, as a Conservative, should be grounds for life imprisonment.

In case you haven’t noticed, I am not outraged at “THE LIES”. Expecting politics to be free of lies, noble or otherwise, is like expecting the sea to be free of fish. It’s that a national revolution, literally decades in the making, has been squandered by a fat, self-absorbed, Etonian mutt that cares more about getting cummies from mid women and supporting The Current Thing like the insufferable libtard he is, rather than using a historic opportunity to liberate his country from institutionally inflicted self-harm; a stranglehold that will certainly be reinforced under a Labour government.

Speaking of Labour, how is the mortician doing? Has he recovered from his divorce yet? If the polls are to be believed, he’s doing better than a country with half-serious political system would allow. I do not believe mass reconversions to Labour will occur. The next election will be decided by the magnitude of [c]onservative disaffection.

And what of future Conservative leadership? Oh joy, a choice between Loony Liz and Total War Tom; an accidental hot war with Russia vs an intentional hot war with Russia. Decisions, decisions. Then again, what do you expect when given the option between an ex-Liberal Democrat and a dual-citizen neocon? It all screams “Look at me, I’m a rat that will jump wherever!”.

Rishi? The ‘Diversity Built Britain’ guy? Okay sure, he didn’t run cover for Pincher but he’s still a dull gremlin with a non-dom wife – not a good look! Besides, he’s still “implicated” by “Partygate” – an even worse look! Hunt deserves more contempt than can be articulated by the human tongue. Javid is an NHS fundamentalist. Not only does he worship the NHS, but he also unnecessarily attacks people on Twitter that dare to criticise it. Braverman is a Judas Goat – either she puts up or shuts up. Does anybody have an opinion of either Gove or Zahawi that isn’t associated with unnecessary underhandedness?

Mordaunt will be Theresa May 2.0 – the untainted candidate that slides in from the side-lines, garnering popularity from the prospect of some maternal reconciliation. Indeed, thoroughly disgusting prospect. This country can’t endure five seconds of political excitement without wailing like an infant. Speaking of Theresa May, she’s rumoured to be a potential “caretaker Prime Minister”. Does nobody remember her premiership? She embodies this country’s infuriating sentimentalism towards mediocre politicians. Furthermore, the timeline will be unbearable. Every sycophantic bint with a “Bloody Difficult Woman” tote bag from 2017 will re-emerge, squawking about the totally-not-astroturfed-and-definitely-politically-attractive notion of Compassionate Conservatism.

For all his faults, at least Boris had some charisma. One suspects people were banking on 2019 to make Parliament a little less boring, replenish it with at least a few interesting people. But no, we got potato sacks.

It is easy to imagine that Johnson will become a Girardian scapegoat for the coming Parliament – an environment defined by his ostracization and anything that can be construed to be representative of his presence (very easy for a man with the track record of an erratic ape). Onto him, all the ‘sins’ of the past 3 years will be unanimously piled; his resignation will represent an exorcism that alleviates whatever is political convenient for his ex-compatriots and the neurotic full-timers. An insulated circlejerk which will barely disguise an aggressive repositioning against the progressively minded – “if Johnson’s premiership was the result of Brexit, then nothing like Brexit can happen again”, and so on.

In the end, whatever maximises political randomness may best serve the betrayed. January 6th kino isn’t coming to Britain (we’re far too boring for something like that), but there’s certainly no reason to support the Conservatives at the next election. At this point, democratising the Conservative Party should be on the table. We cannot carry on with a system which consistently produces such terrible representatives – ones which can so easily abuse (literally and figuratively) the party’s support base and continuously get away with it.

Brace for the self-righteous gush that will begin to flow courtesy of Johnson’s neuron-cranking retardation. The BBC will find another reason to put Ian Hislop on the television and use “Should I Stay or Should I Go” in whatever slapdash documentary comes out of this. Unfunny comedians will tune into radio shows to compare Johnson to their ex-boyfriends. “The 2022 UK Government Crisis Shows the Enduring Problem of White Male Fragility. Discuss.” (40 marks).

Enoch Powell said that “all political careers end in failure”. On a technical level this is true, but few political careers end with the squandering of a revolution. The boy who wanted to be king was gifted the crown on a velvet cushion and, when placing the crown onto his head, dropped it into the gutter. Here’s hoping the crown can be retrieved by someone of kingly calibre and salvage the future that could have been.

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To be Anti-Refugee is to be Pragmatic: A response to Mike Bevan (Britmonkey)

A recent article written by the YouTuber Britmonkey (Mike Bevan) discusses the case in favour of increasing the number of refugees. I would like to preface this response by saying that his article is clearly well researched, sourced, and written. I find myself somewhat sympathetic to his line of arguments, but at the same time completely opposed to his conclusions and recommendations. In the current scenario we face as a nation, it is a wholly pragmatic and reasonable opinion to be against the idea of increasing the numbers of refugees taken into Great Britain. In this article, I would like to go through his arguments and make the case as to why I, and so many others, would disagree with him; my article is written in good faith, and I look forward to his reply (if he chooses to make one).

Britmonkey’s opening remarks around clarifying what he means by a refugee come across as extraordinarily reasonable when compared to most pro-refugee pundits. It is true that many of the people claiming asylum in Britain are not genuine refugees, but instead are economic migrants. The fact of the matter is, however, that the British state continues to treat these people as refugees. Despite the bluster and talk of the ‘tough on crime’ Tories, virtually none of those entering this country illegally are deported home – those who are, are done so at vast expense to the taxpayer. Despite this, the British pro-refugee charity cabal still continues to act as though the Royal Navy is going out into the channel and sinking boats by the dozen, whilst the home secretary dines on the flesh of those who managed to slip past a fictional iron barrier to Great Britain. My question to Britmonkey is this, if we are to take people on face value, how on earth are we supposed to determine who is and isn’t a genuine refugee? If we are to start a process of filtering the two groups, who will be allowed to determine who is and isn’t a genuine refugee? (A task which the current British state seems woefully incompetent at, at the current time) and what qualities will be used to determine who is and isn’t legitimate?

Britmonkey goes on to argue that we should be seeking to allow considerably more people from Hong Kong, Ukraine, Iran etc to gain access to Britain. Clarifying that he himself understands handing out 21 million visas to all the stateless peoples of the world would be insane and impossible, he does not deliberate on what exactly the number should be. The government allowed  in 89,000 Ukrainians, 21,000 Afghans, and 76,000 HK residents last year (and have handed out close to 150,000 BNO visas total for HK citizens). We have therefore already taken in 186,000 refugees last year at a minimum and could potentially be taking close to another 80,000 more if all BNO visa holders decided to make the move. This is an eye watering number and blows the 4,000 French refugee figure of 1792 he cited out of the water. Coupled with the fact that current migration to Britain last year hit half a million – this is already almost completely unsustainable, how does he expect us to take in more?

Britmonkey goes on to discuss Britain’s immigration policy in the Victorian era and points out that there were no immigration restrictions at all at that time – this is certainly true, but what he does not mention, however, is that immigration to Britain between 1800 to 1945 (a 145-year period) was just shy of 2.4 million, an average of a measly 16,500 a year. As mentioned previously, Britain took in half a million people last year alone, how can he claim it is fair to equate those two groups? It is totally unreasonable, therefore, to use this line of argument. The world is more connected than ever, and whilst those borders were open, the Victorians did not have the technological ability to bring in the scale we do now. I wonder if the British public in the 1800’s would have been as willing to keep their country borderless if they had access to jet planes, huge passenger ships, and a large tunnel running under the English Channel? I doubt they would.

The article continues with an appeal to British right wingers who have delusions of contemporary British prestige. Britmonkey states that Victorian was so committed to free asylum, that they were willing to cause international incidents to maintain it. Much as I lament to be reminded of it, Britain is not in the same position as it was in the 1800’s. We are not the most powerful nation on earth anymore, we do not have fleets of ironclad greyhounds patrolling the high seas. We have a failing service economy and a second-class Navy (and armed forces in general) that would struggle to function without the support of NATO. Britain should be bold on the world stage, but we should also accept the fact that we are not in a position to bully or blindside foreign powers anymore for the sake of refugees – as Britmonkey suggests we are.

The author then goes on to contradict himself. He seems almost happy that the ‘noble’ anarchist refugees that we took in in the 1850s were convicted of planning a terror attack against the French government (justifying it by saying that British politicians at the time were okay with it because it harmed France),  and then goes on to say that he is not suggesting we do the same today – explaining that we should instead use these examples to forge a new policy on what a political refugee is. This is a hypocrisy. Either Britain was wrong to take in anarchist terrorists in the 1850s, or it is right that we take in potential terrorists today. He seems unbothered to apply Victorian logic when it suits the argument, but refuses to again when it might hinder it.

Britmonkey talks briefly about how we are helping to hinder the efforts of anti-western powers by taking in their dissidents and allowing them to continue their activism campaigns. I do not believe that this is true. Firstly, the news cycle and the public zeitgeist are much faster now than in the 1800’s, we talk about issues for days instead of decades now. Unfortunately for those poor and threatened people of Hong Kong, most of the world has either forgotten about their plight or simply doesn’t care anymore – despite the efforts of their active dissidents abroad online. Secondly, I would argue that taking in the most threatened dissidents hinders any attempt at resistance. Much in the same way that evaporation has a cooling effect on water by removing its hottest and most energetic molecules first, allowing exiles to leave freely seems to only cool down dissent and remove the troublemakers – essentially pulling the thorn out of the tyrannical despot’s side for them. This is of course conjecture, but perhaps the reason we no longer see much dissent in HK and other places like it is because a lot of their most vociferous activists have left?

In regard to crime, I hope that his statistics on low crime levels in Germany post the 2014 refugee crisis are true. I would argue that Germany is an exceptional case example, given the high levels of historic Turkish immigration to Germany have left them to more easily to accommodate Islamic immigrants (again, I appreciate that this is merely conjecture on my part so take that with a pinch of salt and remember that I hope he is correct). In comparison, I could also just as easily point to Sweden, which has seen a dramatic increase in homicides since 2011 (from 81 in 2011 to 113 in 2021).

I think Britmonkey handles the next section of his argument well. He recognises the fact that, throughout most of history, the exiles and refugees who came to Britain were of western European decent and would not struggle as much to integrate into British culture. The English, French, and German languages all come from similar roots, Western Europeans are generally Catholic or Protestant, and (so as not to be a coward and dodge the elephant in the room) all of these people are Northern European Caucasians and look very similar. With the exception of Ukrainians, the same cannot be said of most of the modern refugees that he talks about. I am not using this as an excuse for those who seek to attack people based on their race, I am merely pointing out that peoples of remarkably different backgrounds do often struggle to integrate without direct intervention. This is a trope that been seen throughout all of history.

In terms of his next point that the average refugee stays for less than 10 years, I have no quarrel with this statistic. All I would say, however, is that that same article he cites in his article also concedes that the numbers on this statistic change every year. We also have not yet had time to adjust the numbers to better reflect the current type of refugee that comes here. Indeed, it is very likely that the vast majority of Ukrainians will return to Ukraine once the war is ended, but it would be foolish to apply the same logic to those from Hong Kong and Afghanistan (unless Xi Jinping succumbs to a mysterious change of heart (or death); or the Taliban simply decides to ‘give in’ to the protestors respectively (both seemingly very unlikely scenarios within the next 10 years)).

In conclusion, whilst I appreciate that Britmonkey is not advocating that we let the world in, and he is not falsely equating economic migrants with genuine refugees, I still think that his argument is flawed. Whilst I strongly agree with his view that we should attempt to be altruistic and remain a beacon of liberty in the world, I think it is unpragmatic to assert that we have the state capacity or ability to take in more refugees than we currently do. We are no longer the wealthiest country on the planet, we can’t even build enough new houses to match our own population growth (quick sidenote, the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 should be abolished), and we already do take in a considerable number of genuine political refugees every single year.

I hope that Mike Bevan will read this article, and I sincerely look forward to his reply if he chooses to make one.

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Neoconservatism: Mugged by Reality (Part 1)

Well, they finally got Liz Cheney but she sure deserved what was coming to her. After being thwarted by the President Trump backed conservative lawyer Harriet Hageman from her once safe seat as the Republican candidate and Congresswoman for Wyoming’s sole congressional district, Cheney now finds herself in the wilderness amongst an array of anti-Trump Republican candidates who have been falling like flies in recent Republican primary races for Congress.

The overwhelming paleoconservative pro-Trump wing of the Republican party has taken no prisoners and given no apologies for enacting democratic vengeance on those who they perceive to be traitors to the America First agenda. Decrying many, including Cheney herself, as RINO war-hawks who are more interesting in pandering to Democrats and embezzling public funds into the pockets of the corrupt military-industrial complex than standing up for the American people.

The successes of the America First Republicans have been many, but dethroning Cheney from her seat is being lauded as the crowning jewel of their recent achievements. Not just because she was anti-Trump, but because she belonged to and was essentially the heiress to an ideological sect that these AF Republicans have declared as their public enemy No.1 – neoconservatism.

Neoconservatism is not exactly in vogue in political modernity nor do you hear many politicians and pundits wilfully adhering to the label as a badge of honour. If anything ‘neoconservative’ has become a derivative label to signify an ‘establishment’ Republican who is in bed with organisations and people who lie and work against the American people. However, neoconservatism was once the coolest ideological kid on the right-wing block and had a plethora of supporters who carried the mantle unashamedly. More than that, neoconservatives were a powerful force to be reckoned with at the turn of the 21st century, to such an extent that much of the establishment at that time were self-professed neoconservatives.

How can a group that was riding on such a high and essentially controlled everything worth controlling have floundered and failed to such a large degree? (their ideology now being as respectable as a Pagan nudist in a Catholic Mass). To answer this question, it is important to first understand what neoconservatism is.

What is Neoconservatism? 

Neoconservatism found a home in the American and British right-wings during the early 20000s, although its origins largely date back to the 1960s. Those associated with the term often declared that neoconservatism could not be coherently defined, nor had a unified manifesto or creed. It is worth noting that this has led to neoconservatism becoming a largely misused term; often being reduced to an epithet in which to throw at anyone who supports an interventionist foreign policy. However, the idea that neoconservatism cannot be coherently defined is not entirely accurate. One only has to look at the plethora of books, articles and journals that illustrates the existence of a coherent intellectual underpinning of neoconservatism. And no intellectual is more important to neoconservatism than Irving Kristol.

The often titled ‘Godfather of neoconservatism’ aptly summed the political philosophy up as the position a liberal adopts after he is “mugged by reality”. What Kristol is illustrating by this turn of phrase, is that the origins of neoconservatism fundamentally come out of the liberal (by which I mean American progressive) side of the political spectrum.

During the 60s, some sections of American liberals increasingly saw that the promotion of liberal social values, weak foreign policy and the ‘Great Society’, as envisioned by President Lyndon B. Johnson, were proving ineffective and misguided. The New Left counterculture, hippie peaceniks and the policy platform of the 60s Democrat Party caused a group of American liberals to move away from this new ideological consensus amongst the left and encouraged them to form their own amongst the right – namely neoconservatism. But it is specifically the peaceniks that neoconservatives hate the most. In Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea, Kristol lays the blame at the feet of New Left intellectuals for creating much of the pacifistic feeling that existed during the 60s and 70s – sneering at them as ‘sermonising clerics’ who spend their time inflaming passions without having any real grasp on foreign policy. Neoconservatives saw themselves as the remedy to this epidemic of pacifism pushed forward by countercultural leftists, New Left intellectuals and pro-détente Democrats.

While the 60’s were important in formulating the movements ideological malaise, neoconservatism would not see a rise in interest in it until the end of the Cold War. With the USSR gone and the US reigning as the supreme victor of not just the war against Communism but the 20th century at large, many neoconservatives saw this as their opportunity to solidify the US as the dominant power for the next century. This solidification would come about via the development of a new view on US foreign policy which, by today’s standards, is quite radical. 

The 1992 ‘Defence Planning Guidance’ document, which was written by the then Under Secretary for Defence for Policy Paul Wolfowitz, can be seen to be the quintessential source in order to properly grasp what neoconservative foreign policy is all about. The document states:

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defence strategy and requires that we endeavour to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

In its purest essence then, neoconservative foreign policy is about eliminating potential threats to American global hegemony. But more importantly, eliminating these threats to ensure that America has no rivals, allowing for it to solidifying itself as the superior and dominant power on the world stage. This desire to eradicate all potential threats to secure the safety and dominance of a nation and its ideology is reminiscent of Trotskyist positions concerning ‘permanent revolution’. A ‘permanent revolution’ is the belief that socialist revolutions need to occur on a worldwide basis to combat global capitalist hegemony and, more importantly, secure the futures of pre-existing socialist states. Mirroring Trotsky, Kristol explained that:

“American democracy is not likely to survive for long in a world that is overwhelmingly hostile to American values, if only because our transactions (economic and diplomatic) with other nations are bound eventually to have a profound impact on our own domestic economic and political system.”

This link between neoconservatism and Trotskyism is not an original formulation. Paleoconservatives such as Paul Gottfried and Pat Buchanan have spent their entire careers evidencing this link between neoconservatism and Trotskyism as well as stressing the fact that various neoconservatives were ex-Trotskyists, including Kristol himself. Due to what paleoconservatives consider to be the Trotskyist and thus revolutionary nature of neoconservatism, they consider neoconservatism to be one of the most dangerous ideological groups in existence, with Gottfried writing:

“What makes neocons most dangerous are not their isolated ghetto hang-ups, like hating Germans and Southern whites and calling everyone and his cousin an anti-Semite, but the leftist revolutionary fury they express.”

Alongside Trotsky, Leo Strauss’s influence on neoconservatism is equally as important and, some would say, equally as controversial. However, unlike the Trotsky association – which neoconservatives unequivocally deny – various neoconservatives state Strauss as being a primary influence on their thinking. Strauss’ belief that liberal civilisation was faltering came from a belief that the West had become increasingly nihilistic – Strauss being heavily influenced by the Nietzschean diagnosis of a post-‘God is Dead’ world. “The crisis of the West consists in the West’s having become uncertain of its purpose,” wrote Strauss, and it was this pessimism that led Strauss to the position that it was only the West’s immense military power that gave it any measure of confidence. 

This pessimism bled nicely into neoconservatism and justified their views concerning the need to create a new global hegemony in which America was its lord and master. Furthermore, the obsession with military strength as a means to combat this pessimism is a direct inheritance from Strauss and – as elucidated by the Kristol quote earlier – is a core motivator behind neoconservative views on foreign policy. Neoconservatives are fundamentally pessimists, something that they do have in common with their paleo and more mainstream conservative counterparts.

So, if neoconservatism believes in foreign interventionism as a method in which to establish and maintain American global hegemony and quell the nihilism innate in modern America, the question remains: what does American global hegemony entail? Ultimately, it entails every country adopting the values of the United States i.e. liberal-democratic capitalism. For the early 20th-century historians reading, this may sound similar to President Woodrow Wilson’s position on US foreign policy – you would be correct. Neoconservatives see themselves as being the inheritors of the Wilsonian tradition regarding foreign policy and this fact becomes quite starkly clear when one looks at American involvement in the First World War. 

The famous American First World War propaganda poster ‘Make the World Safe for Democracy’ is a great example of the ethos of Wilsonian foreign policy. Enter the war, win it and then use the aftermath to overturn European monarchies so that they can become democracies and thus fall under the sphere of American influence. The austrolibertarian political philosopher Hans Hermann Hoppe elucidates in his book Democracy: The God That Failed the significance of Wilson entering the United States into the First World War:

“World War I began as an old-fashioned territorial dispute. However, with the early involvement and the ultimate official entry into the war by the United States in April 1917, the war took on a new ideological dimension. The United States had been founded as a republic, and the democratic principle, inherent in the idea of a republic, had only recently been carried to victory as the result of the violent defeat and devastation of the secessionist Confederacy by the centralist Union government. At the time of World War I, this triumphant ideology of expansionist democratic republicanism had found its very personification in then U.S. President Wilson. Under Wilson’s administration, the European war became an ideological mission—to make the world safe for democracy and free of dynastic rulers.”

Replace ‘Wilson’ for ‘Bush’, ‘European’ for ‘Middle Eastern’ and ‘dynastic’ for ‘theocratic’ and you have the foreign policy platform of a modern neoconservative. Like Wilson at the end of the First World War, neoconservatives saw the end of the Cold War as an opportunity for a new ‘Pax Americana’. A time in which they could universalise the American system of liberal-democratic capitalism and thus eradicate the potential for any ideological opposition. This idea somewhat echoes Francis Fukuyama’s seminal work The End of History and the Last Man, in which he illustrates, via the use of a Hegelian historical framework, that liberal democracy has emerged as the final and universal form of human governance, with the United States as its custodial head. Neoconservatism (a label Fukuyama once associated himself with), via American military involvement abroad, simply wishes to bring about this new American-dominated epoch closer to the present.

Interventionism for the sake of strengthening and maintaining American global hegemony isn’t the only element of neoconservatism that makes it unique from regular American conservatism. In the words of Ben Wattenberg (a key neoconservative intellectual), neoconservatives also believe in a “muscular role for the state” at home. Hence, neoconservatives advocate for sizeable welfare states along with heavy regulation and taxation of the economy to ‘rig’ capitalism in the manner they wish it to operate. To use the language of James Burnham, one can describe neoconservatives as being the rightist torchbearers of the managerial state that began under FDR via their wish to maintain and even expand the post-Second World War welfare-warfare regulatory state. While a jaded right-libertarian like myself finds this abhorrent, neoconservatives do not share the libertarian fear of state power, as Kristol wrote:

“Neoconservatives are impatient with the Hayekian notion that we are on ‘the road to serfdom.’ We do not feel that kind of alarm or anxiety about the growth of the state in the past century, seeing it as natural, and indeed inevitable.”

Authoritarianism, welfarism, managerialism and, most importantly, a pessimistic belief in military intervention as the tool in which to promote and enforce American ideals abroad and secure American dominance internationally are all core elements of what defines a ‘neoconservative’. But while these ideas were being developed in the 60s and thereafter, it wasn’t until the dawn of the 21st century that neoconservatism would find its hands tightly wrapped around the levers of power.The Ascendancy of Neoconservatism

When George Bush Jr took his oath of office in January 2001, it was not thought that he would become a president known for foreign wars and the growth of the American welfare-warfare state. Bush’s candidacy for president did not chest thump about the might of the American military, nor did it view military intervention as the sole way in which America should conduct itself on the international stage. Nor was Bush particularly authoritarian, at least in comparison to his contemporaries. As Stefan Halper’s book America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order highlights, Bush’s platform on foreign policy was originally in direct contradiction to neoconservatism. Many neoconservatives were so opposed to Bush that some ended up funding and supporting Bush’s primary opponents such as John McCain (a long-time icon of the neoconservative right) and stressed amongst neoconservative allied Republicans that “getting into bed with Bush is a mistake”. However, once it was clear Bush had won the candidacy, and later the presidency many neoconservatives flocked around him and were overjoyed. They now found themselves away from the think tanks and university campuses they resided in and finally within Washington’s halls of power; taking key positions in the Pentagon, the Vice President’s Office, and the National Security Council.

Vice, a film about the life and career of Vice President Dick Cheney, perfectly illustrates the extent to which neoconservatives were now in control. In one memorable scene, Cheney (played by Christian Bale) signals to his Chief of Staff Scooter Libby to explain the “lay of the land” of the Bush administration to his new team. Libby gleefully highlights how, thanks to the incompetency of Bush’s team, Cheney-allied neoconservatives now ruled the roost. Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton, David Addington and the Vice President’s Daughter Liz Cheney (remember her?) to name but a few, formed core parts of the new neoconservative regime. From the State Department to the Pentagon to the Oval Office itself, neoconservatives now had unobstructed access to the steering wheels of power that would allow them to drive the American state in the way they saw fit. The neoconservative state had finally arrived.

However, one crucial part of the puzzle was missing – an excuse. The neoconservatives couldn’t swing the American state in the manner they saw fit without a viable reason. After all, their policies and ideas would prove immeasurably unpopular with the general public and indeed other members of the political class. Especially considering the administration was already perceived to be on a knife-edge after only winning the election by 537 votes. So, they simply bided their time until an opportunity presented itself.

Luckily for the neoconservatives now riddled throughout the Bush administration, they did not have to wait for long.

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On The Foreign Aid Sector

Foreign aid is a somewhat controversial subject.Those in favour argue that as a developed nation, we are morally obligated to help those who need it. They argue that it will improve the lives of others and that it is a great use of soft power. Opponents argue that charity should begin at home, that we have our own problems to deal with and that it has done nothing.

Regardless of your view on the matter, you cannot deny one thing- that the foreign aid sector is in need of dire reform. It’s not the sector that its advocates promise us that it is. It’s a sector rife with sexual violence, corruption, the spreading of illness, mistreatment of children and misallocation of resources. A movement that should be helping others is doing the complete opposite.

Let’s Talk About Sex (Violence)

One problem with the aid sector is the sheer amount of sexual violence that occurs within it. A person only needs to browse articles about UNICEF and others to see the deluge of scandal.

Women are encouraged to sleep with aid workers in order to obtain jobs. Children and women are raped, used as prostitutes. There are illegitimate children and abortions. It is not just one or two workers or just a single organisation. Numerous men and organisations were named by a variety of women.

One Congolese women died after a botched, illegal abortion. The man who’d impregnated her ghosted her after she told him. Who’s going to tell her children?

Haiti was another victim of deviance.

It is a country that has suffered political instability, dictators, and natural disasters for years. Even before the tragic 2020 earthquake, aid rushed to Haiti, so did those who sought to violate the innocent. For years, peacekeepers raped and abused Haitian citizens. Children as young as seven were raped. One report found 265 children whose mothers were abandoned after falling pregnant. These women suffered as family and neighbors cast them out. Peacekeepers took advantage of the poverty by offering food and money to minors in exchange for sex.

Even if these things were done to a consenting adult, it is a gross abuse of power and sexual manipulation. Sri Lanka, the country where most of the offenders came from, eventually paid up. The UN also took its sweet time to apologise, eventually owning up in 2016.

Let us not forget the famous whistleblower Kathryn Bolkovac. The former American police officer discovered a huge sex trafficking ring in the war-torn Bosnia, with young children involved. Further digging from Bolkovac revealed that those involved were foreigners, with many aid workers included. These crimes were actively ignored or covered up by the powers that be. After attempting to blow the whistle, Bolkovac was demoted, then fired. She luckily eventually gained help and did reveal it to the world, but barely anything was done. Whilst Bolkovac would eventually win money for wrongful dismissal, the company would not do much else. Even years after Haiti, Congo and Bosnia, cases are frequently dug up today.

Money, Money, Money

In 1983, a devastating famine hit the African nation of Ethiopia. News cameras from around the world broadcast images of devastation and starvation to the homes of millions. Donations poured in from average citizens. ‘We Are the World’ and ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ topped the charts. Live Aid gave us classic performances from the biggest acts of the age.

Most of it didn’t go to the starving Ethiopians. A large portion went to arming militants and the dictatorial government of the day.

We all hear jokes about how palaces are built with aid money and sadly, it’s not incorrect. Aid to Afghanistan went to the Dubai holiday homes of the elite. Rebels, politicians and tribal chiefs are stealing money destined for the starving population in Yemen. A sixth of foreign aid ends up in the bank accounts of the wealthy and the powerful.

Who can forget the Oil-for-Food scandal in Iraq?

Just look at how much the heads of charity organisations are on. Since taking on the role of CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), David Miliband has seen his pay treble in eight years. A recent £20K pay rise has seen him with a new salary of £768K. That’s over $1M. This money, as one would expect, is helped by taxpayers’ money.

We can wax lyrical about the pay of CEOs in private charitable organisations, but it’s still pretty darn shady. When it’s coming from taxpayers, well, still not great. Over $1M could pay for malaria treatment or schooling for a child. Instead, it all goes to rich fat cats.

Ineffective Bureaucracy

Aid isn’t easy. You don’t just dole out cash to a hospital or a school. Aid creates bureaucracy. There are multiple layers, not least in the ground. You must pass through so many people- it may create jobs, but it also creates problems. Before it reaches those who need it, it’s gone.

In countries with mass amounts of corruption, money is siphoned off to numerous individuals. Politicians and those in charge often get kickbacks in order to get things moving. It changes hands far too often.

The world was horrified by Biafra in the 60s, Ethiopia in the 80s and Haiti in the 10s. Yet, years later, we still see adverts for starving children being forced to walk for miles for water. International aid has not found a way to break decades of issues. It is not necessarily their fault- wars and disasters are pretty hard to predict- but the point still stands.

Where are the schools? The water pumps? The hospitals?

Sometimes it’s not safe for aid workers. It just might not be feasible. They also need to pull their fingers out. How can they help when they’re based in cities? How can they help when the assistance of officials is based on bribery?

Take Indonesia for example. The country has attempted to put themselves in the forefront of the international aid community with a pledge for millions. That’s all well and good, but it’s a conversation that’s been going on for years. Bureaucracy has prevented management and funds being properly allocated.

As the government argues with itself on the merits, or lack thereof, of international aid, they need to look at reform first. We cannot support a sector that rapes children, can’t allocate resources and takes money from the mouths of the needy.

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