politics

10 Best Books on International Politics

When we read books about politics, many of us may be more inclined to read about what happens in the Anglosphere. It’s natural really- it’s our language, closer to our culture and what we see about on the news.

It is, however, always refreshing to expand our horizons. Here are ten of my favourite books, handpicked, on non-Western international politics and history.

Dictatorland: The Men Who Stole Africa- Paul Kenyon

You may have already read my glowing review of this book and if you haven’t, get to it. This book discusses several contemporary and older dictators of Africa, from the slain Gaddafi of Libya to the man who has been in charge of Equatorial Guinea since 1979. It starts with colonialism, slithers through independence and continues afterwards. Some dictators were murdered, others remained for years or were finally booted out of office.

    It’s a great study of colonialism, the promise of freedom and how these countries suffered under the men who offered them so much. These nations should be rich due to oil and other resources, yet only a few manage to make money from said resources. We learn about dictators who are worth billions, contrasting with the people who live in abject poverty.

    Best Feature: Covers several countries, allowing the reader a greater scope.

    Queens of the Kingdom: The Women of Saudi Arabia- Nicola Sutcliff

    Everyone has their own preconceived ideas of Saudi Arabia, so prepare to have your views challenged. Sutcliff interviews a large number of women who live in the mystical kingdom- wealthy housewives, educated entrepreneurs and illiterate village dwellers among them. They give their views on everything from marriage to education.

    Some are thrilled with having their family keep them close and husbands who are their guardians. Others have experienced insurmountable horror with beatings and underage marriage. What links them all is a love for their culture and country, no matter what they think of their society.

    Best Feature: The women really tell you what they think.

    El Narco- Ioan Grillo

    Many readers will have watched Netflix’s hit show Narcos, which shows the work of the DEA in Colombia and the life of Pablo Escobar. Grillo’s book is the real deal, chronicling the Mexican drug cartels that have gripped the beautiful Central American nature.

    There’s no glamourising money, cars and women here. It’s all gritty, the truth behind the devastation. Kidnappings, murders and tortures are aplenty. Friends turn on friends. Journalists are targeted. Innocent people are killed in the crossfire.

    Best Feature: Grillo lays out the strategies of successive Mexican and American governments regarding the War on Drugs.

    Our Bodies, Their Battlefield: What War Does to Women- Christina Lamb

    I’ve read a lot of books and watched a lot of documentaries about depressing issues, but this book is easily the most shocking and heartbreaking thing I’ve ever read.

    From the refugee camps in Syria to the survivors of Rwanda, we learn about the use of rape as a weapon of war and what it does to women. These women have been raped and tortured. Babies and elderly women aren’t exempt from brutality. Governments ignore it. Rapists get away with it. Families and communities shun victims.

    It’s extremely brutal and doesn’t pull punches when it describes what happens to these women, but there are moments of hope that shine through.

    Best Feature: It shows how war rape has been used for centuries and in every corner of the world

    Shake Hands With the Devil- Romeo Dallaire

    Up to one million people were killed in the space of a few months in three months in 1994 Rwanda. This book is written by Romeo Dallaire, leader of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR). Dallaire had a front row seat to the slaughter, taking us from his early life in terror-ridden Quebec to his life after Rwanda.

    It makes one pretty angry- Dallaire desperately tried to get the UN to take notice of what was about to happen, but was ignored. People on the ground did nothing. Villagers slaughtered the people they lived with for years. Dallaire suffered from PTSD and attempted to take his life several times afterwards. It’s essential reading.

    Best Feature: It really portrays the absolute hell on earth that is the Rwandan Genocide

    First They Killed My Father- Loung Ung

    I’m pretty much a hard arse when it comes to movies, but the film of this book had me crying.

    Loung Ung was one of seven siblings in a prosperous, middle-class Phnom Penh. Her life turned upside down upon the arrival of the Khmer Rouge and rise of Pol Pot. Ung then lived through the unimaginable- the death of most of her family, living through forced labour and being a child soldier.

    It was a book that made me often wonder if I was actually reading a true story, for it felt like I was reading a fictional dystopia.

    Best Feature: Gives an inside view of one of the world’s most horrendous contemporary crimes

    Persepolis- Marjane Satrapi

    Unusual in that it’s a graphic novel, Persepolis is the true story of the Iranian-born Marjane Satrapi. Born into an intellectual, liberal Iranian family, Marjane Satrapi was young when the revolution happened. From the first time she was forced into a hijab, Satrapi hated the new regime. Her rebellious nature led her family to send her abroad out of fear she’d be executed.

    Satrapi contrasts her life in the West and in Iran. She talks about her family, what romance is like in the conservative regime and how she sneakily listened to American rock music.

    Best Feature: It’s a story of a fish out of water in a very real way

    Girl With a Gun- Diana Nammi and Karen Attwood

    Diana Nammi was only a teenager when she became part of the Peshmerga, part of Iranian Kurdistan. Nammi fought on the frontlines and in the process became one of Iran’s most wanted people. She saw death and survived it herself.

    Nammi now resides in the U.K., founded a charity for women and has been instrumental in the fight against child marriage. She had to move her for her own safety, but her love for her people is clear.

    Best Feature: Gives a great insight into Kurdish culture

    Without You, There is No Us- Suki Kim

    North Korea is the world’s most secretive country and in this book, Suki Kim infiltrated it. The journalist spent some time as a teacher for the elite’s sons. Her notes and documents had to be kept secret and her life was restrictive. Suki discusses how she became close to her initially unwilling students, where the two cultures learned about one another and how the prospect of watching Harry Potter thrilled them.

    It’s sweet but sad- these kids are just like us, yet live in a regime which doesn’t allow their full potential. On top of that, it’s a very personal look at North Korea instead of the outside analysis that is usually the only thing available.

    Best Feature: We get to know these teenage boys and their dreams.

    Nuclear Folly- Serhii Plokhy

    I’m cheating slightly here as a chunk of the book is set and about the US, but it gives equal treatment to Cuba and the Soviet Union. The year is 1962 and when recon planes catch sight of missile structures on Cuba, all hell breaks loose. We learn about the origins of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Castro’s desperate attempts to fight the US, Khrushchev’s role and how the Kennedy administration reacted.

    It’s pretty shocking to read how damn close the world came to nuclear war and how Robert McNamara (Secretary of Defense under Kennedy) only learned that the missiles were offensive and not just defensive thirty years later. Each of the three leaders had their own fate- Kennedy was assassinated a year later, Khrushchev was eventually pushed out for his role and Castro outlived them both by decades.

    Best Feature: Very intricate in details


    Photo Credit.

    Words not Deeds

    I think it’s safe to assume, second only to the United States, Britain has the largest ‘free speech network’ in the Anglosphere. Comprised of any array of pressure groups, organisations, commentators, broadcasters, forums, publications, and self-appointed champions and activists.

    Despite this well-funded and high-profile network of talking-heads, very few have spoken out in defence of Sam Melia, Yorkshire organiser for Patriotic Alternative, an organisation described by The Times as “Britain’s largest far-right white supremacist movement”. Gee, I wonder why?

    Of course, there have been a few condemnations of this ruling, although they have been written on the assumption that Melia’s points are just mindless bigotry, and that such vulgarity would be better combatted in an open forum. It’s assumed that even the general thrust of Melia’s angst isn’t up for serious discussion, or vaguely reflected by large sections of the public. In other words, it is (somehow) not legitimately political, even if one believes it to be wrong, for whatever reason.

    For context, last month, Leeds Crown Court returned a unanimous verdict after less than a day of deliberating after an eight-day trial. Sentencing has been adjourned whilst a pre-sentence report is being prepared and Melia been granted bail until he appears in court again on March 1st.

    In April 2021, police uncovered a catalogue of downloadable stickers which were being distributed a group known as the Hundred Handers, an anonymous group of anti-immigration activists led by Melia, responsible for series of so-called “stickering incidents” between 2019 and 2021.

    The court concluded that the stickers were “intended to stir up racial hatred” and “intentionally encouraging or assisting racially aggravated criminal damage”, further declaring that the stickering had “caused fear or alarm” – a delightfully vague and flexible justification.

    Moreover, the argument that knowingly supplying material with the mere potentiality of being used in one of a multitude of ways constitutes “criminal damage” isn’t just contrived, it necessarily extends beyond fascist activism, applying to every political cause under the sun.

    So, what did these stickers say? What made them so egregious that it was worth the court’s time? Well, one of them read “Labour loves Muslim rape gangs” – a slightly misleading statement, given that the Tories are a soft-touch too.

    Don’t just take my word for it. Following the acid attack by Abdul Ezedi, a known sex offender who was granted asylum on his third attempt after claiming he had converted to Christianity, Gillian Keegan, Education secretary and Conservative MP said:

    “This is not really about asylum, this is about the attack on a mother and her children, which was horrific.”

    Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Labour MP for Streatham, the constituency where the attack took place, echoed Keegan’s comments on Ezedi’s asylum status and the all-encompassing ‘importance’ of microaggressions stating:

    “His [Ezedi] asylum status is not really the issue of concern.”

    Indeed, the attack was horrific, but it’s abundantly clear that asylum is absolutely part of the equation, much more so than gender. Out of the 710 acid attacks in Britain last year, 339 of the victims were women whilst 317 were men. Erstwhile, had the Home Office not permitted Ezedi to enter the country, and for quite intuitive and grounded reasons, the attack simply would not have occurred.

    Unlike Melia, an unremarkable member of the public based in Leeds, one of the UK’s largest cities, who was found and arrested near-instantaneously, Ezedi, a man with a half-melted face in London, one of the most surveilled city on the planet, has evaded arrest for an entire week.

    Britain’s police are so befuddled at the whereabouts of that they’ve taken to handing out cash prizes to violent criminals and grovelling on live TV, asking Ezedi to turn himself over.

    Much has been said about the police’s waning capability and/or interest in dealing with serious crime, notwithstanding the many coppers who I’m sure are frustrated by the incompetence of their managers, but very little has been said about the force’s bizarre theory of mind.

    How is it possible that an institution which has “modernised” so much over recent decades, jampacking its personnel with psychiatrists, criminologists, therapists, and charity workers, simply not understand how criminals think? Either they’re bad at their job or they’re theories are bunk. I’m inclined to think it’s both, skewing towards the latter.

    Another of Melia’s stickers read “We will be a minority in our homeland by 2066” – “we” referring to White British people, “2066” referring to the date calculated from research conducted by demographer David Coleman, then-Professor at Oxford University, into Britain’s changing demographics back in 2013.

    Again, what exactly is the cause for concern here? Merely 10 years ago, Coleman’s findings were getting write-ups and openly discussed in ‘respectable’ centre-left outlets, such as Prospect Magazine, The Guardian, and The Independent. Throw in the BBC if you feel so inclined.

    This information, conducted by a highly respected demographer, out-dated though it might be, especially given the recent spike in immigration and the ensuing population growth, hasn’t been treated as a fringe, esoteric, and/or conspiratorial for the vast majority of the time it has been public.

    Yes, freedom of speech should apply to all; that includes alleged and actual fascists, Nazis, communists, socialists, anarchists, supremacists of all creeds and colours, and even Piers Morgan. If our political class were to ever come around to this, they’d understand the efforts of the state are best directed at dealing with people like Ezedi, rather than people like Melia.

    After all, if it has become the official view of the state that one can only express approval for such findings – that or nothing at all – then this absolutely should concern civil libertarians, whatever their political colours, regardless of what The Times says about the ‘offending’ individual and/or organisation in question.

    Other stickers distributed by Melia and the Hundred Handers said: “Mass immigration is white genocide” and “Second-generation? Third? Fourth? You have to go back”.

    This is where things get a little more controversial, although it stands to reason that freedom of speech isn’t valued (r feared) for its capacity to regurgitate uncontroversial points of view. When people marched through the middle of London, opposing what they perceived as a genocide by the Israelis against the Palestinians, were there protests en-masse? Were there legal repercussions for chanting ethnonationalist slogans of a foreign nation, such as From the River to the Sea? Not really, quite the opposite.

    Simply put, it cannot be right that one group seeking collective preservation is given the freedom to do so, with near absolute freedom in their methods, turning out in their hundreds of thousands, whilst another group seeking collective preservation, with very few members in their movement and no electoral representation or visible popular support, is denied basic freedom.

    This is not to say the protests weren’t problematic in other ways. Indeed, the problem with said protests was less to do with their opposition to the Israeli government and more due to the nature of allegiance revealed by the bulk of attendees, especially the organisers (Hiz but-Tahrir, an international pan-Islamist organisation, view their constituency in global, post-national terms) and the overlapping demographic implications for the broader body politic (it stands to reason that using one nation as a conduit for another nation’s interests is far from democratic).

    My view is elucidated rather well by Ronald Reagan, then-President of the Screen Actors Guild, testifying as a friendly witness before the House Un-American Activities Committee in October 1947:

    “As a citizen, I would hesitate to see any political party outlawed on the basis of its political ideology. We have spent 170 years in this country on the basis that democracy is strong enough to stand up and fight against the inroads of any ideology. However, if it is proven that an organisation is an agent of a foreign power, or in any way not a legitimate political party – and I think the Government is capable of proving that – then that is another matter.”

    Understandably, there are qualms as to whether either camp’s claim to genocide is technically accurate, although both would claim ongoing circumstances function in much the same way. This can be discussed in a frank and open matter without the throwing people in the slammer.

    As for the deportation stickers, once one accepts the likes of Melia on their own aforementioned terms – or, at the very least, is aware of the social implications of demographic change (i.e. social unrest) – one realises that a serious point is trying to be made, even if with an obvious hint of provocation.

    Right now, the police are suggesting Ezedi is being helped by those in his community. More than the unsubtitled announcement of this revelation, sidelining the otherwise English-speaking population from their own domestic affairs, this shows a severe, multi-generational, and absolute lack of assimilation. You can moralise about the efficacy of deportations all you want, but we needn’t pretend that growing foreign contingencies inside our borders hasn’t created major problems.

    In addition to naughty stickers, police also found a poster of Adolf Hitler on his wall and a book by Oswald Mosley at Melia’s home. For some reason, this is important. I’ve got books by and about Vladimir Lenin, Antonio Gramsci, Joseph Stalin, Chantal Mouffe, Karl Marx, Alain Badiou, and Giorgio Agamben and I’m not a radical leftist, or any kind of leftist for that matter.

    Of course, given the stickers and his choice of paraphernalia, we can safely assume Melia is pretty right-wing.  Then again, why should that matter? It is more than possible to have extreme views without being a threat to civilised society, just as one can hold moderate views to such a fanatic and unwavering extent that deviations from the illustrious ‘centre’.

    In the case of the latter, the persecution of such people is seen as a necessary precaution to protect their modus operandi – typically, “liberal values” or “liberal democracy” – much in the same way many ‘extremists’ view persecution of dissidents as a necessary precaution for protecting their own modus operandi: the revolution, the state, the proletariat, the volk, and so on.

    Indeed, views in and of themselves are basically harmless, although much of our political system evidently disagrees. In a similar vein to Keegan and Ribeiro-Addy, Conservative MP and Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee (yes, really) Caroline Noakes’ reaction to the Ezedi case centred around microaggressions – that is, words and mannerism whichcould hypothetically be interpreted as or lead to actions which are harmful:

    “I think there’s a really important message here which is, with respect, the media are not interested in microaggressions, they want to hear about the most egregious offences.

    “The stark reality is every day women will face misogyny and microaggressions. If you’re a woman of colour it will be worse, and we have to be better at understanding the culture that makes men think ‘that’s ok’. It’s not OK and you can see a pattern of behaviours that lead to really horrific crimes.”

    The inverse and counter-intuitive approach our politicians and judicial system take towards words and actions is so confounding it form the basis of a derivative dystopia novel. Alas, it is the quite logical conclusion of our liberal-democratic political system, in which swathes of policy are depoliticised by filtering them the language of rights.

    In Metapolitics, Badiou describes the role of political philosophy in reducing politics from a process of transformation defined by enmity to a passive exchange (a battle, some might say) of ideas:

    “The central operation of political philosophy thus conceived is… first and foremost, to restore politics, not to the subjective reality of organized and militant processes… but to the exercise of ‘free judgement in a public space where, ultimately, only opinions count.”

    This is certainly true, although it is quite clear that politics has deteriorated past this point, for the articulation of political philosophy itself is being drastically restricted. One is increasingly unpermitted to say or believe things happen or should happen for any other reason the one established by those in positions of officialdom.

    Not only has the uniparty agreed that nothing can really be done about people like Ezedi coming into the country, absconding the idea something can be done to prevent people of his ilk from entering the country, they decreed the cause as if it were not up for debate: Andrew Tate saying women can’t drive is the problem, not the Human Right Act (1998).

    Of course, Ezedi’s ability to game the asylum system via by the Human Rights Act (1998) was contingent on his claim of religious conversion, and the prospect of persecution should he return to Afghanistan, despite the fact he intended to return anyway.

    Contrary to initial claims, Ezedi’s baptism was conducted by a Baptist priest. Sure, progressive Anglican priests have played an enabling role in other cases of a similar nature, such as the Liverpool Women’s Hospital bombing, and comprise an annoying large section of the CofE’s internal structure, but let’s try and get our Protestant denominations right before we point the finger. The willingness of many on the right to attack the CofE, just to swipe at the easily and rightfully detested Welby, was generally quite pathetic, especially considering ultimate responsibility lies with the Home Office.

    In a time of liberal-left ideological hegemony, swelling with liberal universalism and race communism, you must ask yourself: do you have the populist gusto to berate the small handful of octogenarians who continue to read the Book of Common Prayer? Do you have the dissident bravery to attack what little semblance remains of Britain’s established Christian identity?

    Indeed, basically every other religious organisation in Britain is ‘complicit’ in charitable efforts designed to help refuges and converts into the country, real or not, with the bulk of anti-deportation charities and activists having no religious motivation and affiliation at all. The Board of Deputies of Jews has continuously opposed efforts to make asylum laws more strict, whilst the Muslim Council of Britain advertises relief and aid advice no different to that contained in the CofE document making the rounds.

    To any fair-minded opponent of liberal immigration policy, this should constitute an outrage. Alas, as Britain’s left-right becomes a proxy for the mutual animosity between Muslims and Jews, revitalised by the Israel-Palestine conflict, treating the established church as a conniving force is sure to become a new feature of our national common ground.

    According to an eruditely conservative Anglican friend, the clergy doesn’t spend much time catechising with little-to-no effort being invested into understanding the catechumen before their baptism. In a similar fashion to the Home Office’s treatment of asylum applications, everything is done at a recklessly fast pace, with some newcomers being confirmed into the Church a couple of months after their supposed conversion.

    Compared with more conservative parishes, in which the clergy spend well-over half-a-year getting to know their converts, it’s clear that one of the major problems facing the Church, moreso than accusations of whimsy naivete or malicious treason, and accompanying the already well-documented tendency of progressive Christians to reduce their theology to a grand metaphor, is the lack of zeal amongst much of its clergy. An unfashionable but necessary disposition, the pedantic conservatism of the Church has been sidelined in the pursuit of goal completely antithetical to the spirit of the Church itself: reflecting the society it wishes to elevate.

    Unlike the aforementioned individuals and organisations in this article, who are guilty of prioritising words over deeds, the current Church’s fixation on deeds very much detracts from the words on which such endeavours are meant to be considered, shaped, and executed.

    This hegemonic emphasis in the Church on being a do-gooder, on doing charity for the sake of charity, showing little-to-no consideration for textual analysis or well-rounded practical considerations, lest one wishes their faith to be pigeonholed as mere eccentricity or stuffy reactionaryism, runs deep into the “Quakerification” of the Church of England and post-war Britain generally. The extent to which Quakers are so charity-oriented is reflected by their small handful of members, the most “pious” of whom are on the fence as to whether they even believe in the essentials of Christianity or not.

    This is an unsurprising development when one considers the Quaker roots of the organisations integral to the maintenance of the status quo, forces to which the progressive elements of the Church have allied themselves: Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Lloyd’s Foundation, The Barclay Foundation, and so on. The next time some midwit reformer wonk tells you religion doesn’t matter in the nitty-gritty of policy – least of all, in a post-religious Britain – hit them with “Blairism is secularised Quakerism” and watch them self-combust.

    An avowed atheist, Clement Attlee, central architect of Britain’s post-war consensus, said of Christianity:

    “I’m one of those people who are incapable of religious feeling… Believe in the ethics of Christianity. Can’t believe in the mumbo jumbo.

    Eventually, Attlee’s sentimentally Christian, but ultimately Atheistic, path to a “New Jerusalem” would be supplanted by Thatcher’s scrupulous and austere Methodism. Contrary to characterisations made by detractors and supporters, insisting Margaret’s Method was rooted in relishing the vulgarity and excess of yuppies, it was explicitly founded on the individualistic Pauline doctrine of the New Testament.

    It would take Blair’s Quaker-ishness to bring the role of religion back into public life. John MacMurray, Tony Blair’s favourite philosopher (as described by Blair himself) became a Quaker near the end of his life, the culmination of his quasi-personalist philosophy, developed on the cusp of (although absolutely not opposed to) the development of modern liberalism. Thereafter, religion’s only permissible utility was its ability to make people feel less lonely in an atomised world, steering clear of anything beyond a shallow, practically non-existent, ultimately contemptuous consideration for scripture, symbol, or sacrament.

    Should it be any surprise that the Blairite state allows pseudo-Christians into our country so easily?

    Sure, a more critical approach to matters of faith would greatly benefit us in keeping foreign-born sex-offenders out of the country, but this runs against the current of a political obsession with words, not deeds. Nevertheless, if our system placed greater emphasis on Ezedi’s past deeds when processing his claim to asylum, and a little less on words slapped on a few dozen stickers, we’d be simultaneously safer and freer as a result.


    Photo Credit.

    Another Organization? Splendid!

    Popular Conservatism (PopCon) has just launched and it’s about as popular as booting a crippled dog into oncoming traffic. Spearheaded by Liz Truss, the shortest serving Prime Minister in British political history and the most unpopular Conservative politician in the country, the organization is begging to be ridiculed by the media and the public.

    However, whilst Truss is the face of the group, the organization is directed by Mark Littlewood, former director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a pro-immigration think-tank. Like Truss, Littlewood is a former Liberal Democrat, serving as director for Liberal Vision, a group of economic liberals within the party. Unlike Truss, he’s a former of the Pro-Euro Conservative Party (PECP), a minor offshoot of the Tories which campaigned for Britain to adopt the Euro and oust then-leader William Hague in favour of arch-Europhile Kenneth Clarke. After the dissolution of the PECP, Littlewood became an advisor to the Conservative Party under the leadership of David Cameron.

    Earlier in life, Littlewood worked for the European Movement, an all-party group campaigning for British membership of a federalised Europe; Liberty, the human rights advocacy group which spearheaded campaigns to implement and maintain the Human Rights Act; and NO2ID, a group which campaigns against the introduction of ID cards.

    So, what does Popular Conservatism stand for? Apparently, its aims are: “inform and educate candidates and MPs about the need to reform Britain’s bureaucratic structures” and “advance these policies across the country, whilst demonstrating their popularity.”

    According to Littlewood, PopCon is about: “Giving ordinary people, taxpayers and voters, their freedom back. That was what Brexit was supposed to be about: taking back control.”

    Taking Back Control? Why would Littlewood care about Taking Back Control? Littlewood changed his view on EU integration at the time of the referendum, writing in a personal statement:

    “Twenty years ago, I was a passionate and enthusiastic supporter of European integration. I was President of the UK branch of the Young European Federalists in 1996 and my first job was working for the European Movement. I was enthusiastic about the UK joining the single currency and I even supported the Pro-Euro Conservative Party, a breakaway from the Conservatives on the issue of Britain’s relationship with the EU.

    “Since then, and bit by bit, my thinking has evolved and the European Union, in my judgment, has increasingly become a force for heavy handed and petty regulation rather than for free market liberalism. The EU is no longer the deregulatory single-market it once aspired to be. Instead, it has become a monolithic and increasingly interventionist bureaucratic super-state. After considerable thought – and with a heavy heart – I have reached the conclusion that Britain would be best advised to leave the EU and I will be voting accordingly on 23rd June.

    “I believe there are risks and uncertainties involved in going for Brexit, but these are – on balance -risks worth taking. There is no guarantee that Britain will become a more outward-looking, globally free trading, open and free society outside of the EU. But there is, in my view, a pretty good chance of it.

    In summary, Littlewood’s euroscepticism (and by extension, the bent of PopCon’s brand of politics) is rooted in the belief the EU (much like the UK, presuambly) has become too protectionist, too nationalist, too conservative and too isolationist, hindering Britain’s ability to push ahead with economic and cultural globalisation. In the government’s own words:

    “Global Britain is about reinvesting in our relationships, championing the rules-based international order and demonstrating that the UK is open, outward-looking and confident on the world stage.”

    This aspiration, typically referred to as “Global Britain”, is uncommon amongst Brexiteers generally, but quite popular with a narrow clique of largely London-centric free-marketeers, comprised largely of Tory staffers, centre-right policy wonks, disgruntled civil servants, conservative commentators, and Thatcherite MPs. GBNews’ Tom Harwood, former Chair of Students for Britain, summarises the disposition of this demographic briefly but well: “open globalism, not narrow regionalism”. That’s right, we’re the real cosmopolitan internationalists, the left are the real provincialists!

    As many will remember, “Global Britain” was announced as the official post-Brexit endeavour of the Conservative governments of Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, albeit the first and second were over-encumbered by the withdrawal process and Covid to implement many of their desired reforms – besides, of course, importing an unprecedented number of immigrants. Consequently, whilst Boris was intended as the figurehead for Global Britain, the role ultimately fell to Liz “Boris 2.0” Truss.

    For clarity, there is nothing particularly radical about “Global Britain”. It has always been the Menshevik position within the Brexit coalition. Throughout the referendum it was occasionally used as a polemical tactic (i.e. Let’s Go WTO), but nothing more. Contrasted to the Bolshevik aspiration of turning Britain into an island fortress, derided by Britpoppers as “Little England”, the Menshevik aspiration is to turn Britain into a mass financial district, in which vampiric multinationals terrorise Middle England from above and an imported underclass of cheap labour, violent criminals, and ethnic displacement terrorises it from below.

    Of course, it’s colossally terrible but it’s not too dissimilar to the relatively liberal arrangement we had before Brexit and certainly no different to the arrangement we have now. Alas, this doesn’t stop PopCons from complaining the system is stacked against efforts at economic liberalisation. Yes, the planning system is needlessly complicated, but there’s no need for hyperbole; weaning people off microplastics and ultra-processed food isn’t Soviet.

    Essentially, both Global Britain and PopCon are tendencies born out of the ideas contained in Britannia Unchained, a book which seeks to answer the question on everyone’s mind: “How can we get white British people to work more for less and demographically replace them in the process?”. Making immigration uncontroversial by making it productive, saying NO to identity politics, saying NO to the Nanny State, Getting On Your Bike, STEM, India Superpower 2020, Peace… through Commerce. Real Tory Boy stuff.

    This leads into another problem with PopCon. It isn’t just its initial unpopularity, it has no idea how to be popular, despite the fact the answers have been in plain sight for years. Boris Johnson’s popularity peaked when he promised to end immigration and shouted “Fuck Business” to a Belgian diplomat. Theresa May, a completely unknown and irrelevant politician, reached unprecedented levels of popularity after the referendum when she was attacking “citizens of nowhere” to such an extent she was being compared to Adolf Hitler. David Cameron reached the height of his popularity when he was promising to reduce immigration and hold a referendum on the EU, threatening to leave the ECHR, and declaring state multiculturalism to be a failure.

    Compare this with Liz Truss. In her historically brief tenure, she tried to pursue free movement and trade with India and borrow billions to fund tax cuts for the rich. Suella Braverman, for all her many faults, understood during her leadership bid that leaving the ECHR and stopping illegal immigration are popular with the public, especially with voters in the Red Wall – policies which PopCon lightly sprinkled into their otherwise bland, derivative, and highly ironic attempt at wrapping Orange Book Liberalism in a flag.

    Flip-flopping seemed to be an integral theme of the PopCon event. As established, Littlewood and Truss are former Lib Dems, but Anderson is former Labour, Farage was pivoting back and forth between endorsement and dismissal throughout the whole thing, and Holly Valance gave an unrelentingly generic interview stating life is about being left-wing, making money, and then moving rightwards.

    This obsession with switching is bizarre, but it’s the recurring tendency one should expect from an organization which simultaneously fights for the so-called “rules-based international order” and complains about an arbitrary global humanitarian class undermining national democracy; fronted by a former Prime Minister and her group of orbiters who’ve done nothing in their 14 years of government to address any of the problems their organization hopes to “inform and educate” us about.

    PopCon doesn’t seem to understand that some of us have been aware of the Great Replacement, Cultural Marxism and The Blob since secondary school. We don’t need to be told that some people think there are more than two genders or that state-funded charities and quangos are jampacked with people who hate our country; we don’t need to be told liberal-left ideas and values are hegemonic, or that illegal immigrants take advantage of the welfare system. We are children of the revolution, for Christ’s sake!

    All the way down, PopCon is a group for people to scratch their heads at problems they have helped to create, assuming nobody else has identified them before, and offer milquetoast solutions with the galling expectation of jubilant applause.

    It is slightly comical. 2030 will arrive and Liz Truss will be explaining the drawbacks of the sexual revolution and quoting G.K Chesterton. Erstwhile, MechaBlair will be conscripting masses of young White British men to fight Populism in Ukraine and organizing taxpayer-subsidised migrant mega-orgies in The North. Indeed, trying to make political progress with the present batch of Conservative MPs is like trying to scale Mount Everest with Stephen Hawking; it’s really quite demoralising.

    Whilst Donald Trump is saying immigrants “poison the blood” of America, whilst Germany’s AFD is advocating mass remigration, whilst France’s Eric Zemmour is openly discussing demographic displacement, the British right is forced to contend with another attempt to rehabilitate Thatcherism, another attempt to undercut the emergent nationalist, protectionist, and socially conservative elements of the right which have been trying to take root in established positions since the referendum; another perversion of the anti-immigration spirit of Take Back Control (TBC), framed in terms of mere economic and legal technicality, adorning it with another SW1-friendly signifier to go with the rest: TBC as a vote for liberalism, as a call for localist devolution, as a general dislike of politicians, as a mere symptom of economic turbulence, as a nationwide Freudian psychodrama.

    Despite all of this, despite my complete contempt for PopCon, I’m glad it exists. In all sincerity and without a hint of contrarianism. PopCon is bad because it’s Tory-branded Globalism run by Thatcherite Zombies without a hint of self-awareness, creativity, or charisma, not because it’s “another organization” – a complaint I’m absolutely sick of hearing from supposedly disaffected voices.

    At present, Britain doesn’t have a political culture, but it wasn’t always this way. Indeed, some people (mainly our anti-political overlords and pseudo-Anglos within and adjacent to our circles) have espoused the notion that political organization is somehow terribly un-English. However, a brief glance at history tells us that beneath gentle-mannered disposition (some might say caricature) of the native population, political organization, rowdiness, and militancy – even outright violence – have existed for several hundred years in this country, boiling beneath the surface of even standard parliamentary exchanges.

    The snobbish anti-partisanship of those who are disgruntled by the lack of action but see themselves above political organization are an abject cancer. Everyone has remarked that MPs enter Parliament to immediately do something else, whether it’s charity work or presenting a TV show, but few have surmised what this means. It shows that power is contingent on the wider superstructure of society; the Overton Window must be adapted so political objectives can fully actualise themselves and legislated into reality, something the enemies of Britain have done and are currently doing very well.

    As such, we don’t need less organization or less division, we need more. More organization, more division, more militancy, more enmity, more ideology, more partisanship, more coups, more activism, more conflict, more metapolitics of every form and variety. Let the Darwinian selection processes of the political run wild; radicalise democracy against every rendition of liberalism and rejoice as it stampedes over the latter’s mangled corpse. No, PopCon doesn’t deserve to fail… it deserves to be killed.


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    Why we need a Hitchens-Navalny strategy for GE 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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    Open Borders Rely on Political Irrationality

    All too often, open-border policy stems from the fact that politics is determined by a class of people with deep-seated illusions about the facts surrounding immigration. Sweden is an ideal example of this pattern. Of all the countries in Europe, Sweden is especially notorious for having welcomed large numbers of refugees it could not properly integrate. In 2015, notes columnist James Traub, the country absorbed 163,000 of them. It has not gone well. Skyrocketing crime rates, mass unemployment among immigrants, and heavy strain on the welfare state have made Swedes weary of incoming foreigners. As a result, writes Traub, even Sweden’s Social Democrats have embraced ‘harsh language’ which used to be monopolised by ‘far-right nativists.’

    This year’s November issue of the academic journal Kyklos includes the article Misrepresentation and migration, which explores the causes of that initial Swedish openness to migrants. Authors Anders Kärnä and Patrik Öhberg note that the extreme permissiveness with which migrants were let into the country ran radically counter to the will of the Swedish electorate. Voters’ dissatisfaction brought a right-wing government to power in 2022 and fueled the rise of the hard-right Sweden Democrats. Backlash was so strong that in 2015 the country’s prime minister was forced to make a U-turn and advocate for tougher restrictions after pushing for open borders earlier that year.

    So why did the political class initially defy popular opinion to welcome hundreds of thousands of foreigners? Kärnä and Öhberg argue that Swedish politicians held far different views on the subject than their constituents. Polling coducted over the years shows that in every major party other than the Sweden Democrats, politicians were significantly less likely than their constituents to favour accepting fewer refugees until 2018. The authors conclude that pushback from the voting public, including through the emergence of the Sweden Democrats as a political competitor, eventually drove elected officials in other parties to revise their positions. Nevertheless, politicians from two of the three left-wing parties continued to be somewhat more pro-refugee than their constituents in 2018, the last year for which numbers are provided.

    Contrary to what one might assume, the disagreement between politicians and voters did not occur because the politicians were better informed than the common people. On the contrary, they were deeply mistaken about the effects of their policies. The authors cite survey data from 2015 and 2017, showing that most Swedish politicians thought the economic impact of accepting refugees was ‘positive in the long run.’ However, they demonstrate that this belief is contradicted by all available peer-reviewed journal articles and by all the expert analyses of the issue which have appeared in official reports by the Swedish government. The existing studies indicated, and still indicate, that refugees are harmful rather than beneficial to Swedish economic performance. In other words, the idea that refugees were good for the economy was a piety which the political class held against all evidence. 

    Sweden’s experience is not unique. The immigration debate in the United States  has also been marked by false ideas which politicians continue to hold despite overwhelming evidence against them. As Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies has observed, the notion that immigration can remedy ‘the aging of American society’ continues to be unquestioningly advanced by advocates of open borders even though it is blatantly inconsistent with the facts. The increasing average age of immigrants, their decreasing fertility rates, and the sheer size of the influx which would be required to offset American demographic woes make such a project impracticable.

    Kärnä and Öhberg’s paper considers the irrationality of unfettered immigration only from an economic standpoint, but it is harmful in other ways as well. In addition to economic consequences, accepting countless immigrants whose values are incompatible with those of the host society creates sociopolitical problems with no obvious solution.

    One such issue is organised crime. The Financial Times reports that, relative to population size, Sweden suffers from the third-highest rate of gun deaths of any EU country. A major cause of this epidemic is ‘[w]ell-established criminal gangs’ which are ‘largely run by second-generation immigrants.’ Sweden’s prime minister has identified ‘irresponsible immigration policy and failed integration’ as the root of the epidemic. Meanwhile, as France 24 details, the Swedish government is currently considering options which would let it deport ‘asylum-seekers and immigrants for substance abuse, association with criminal groups or statements threatening Swedish values.’

    The political repercussions of large-scale immigration are also severe, and the presence of people who do not share Western values presents a serious threat. For instance, Sweden’s left-wing parties have dithered in their condemnation of Hamas’s terrorist attack against Israel. ‘If you assume,’ explains journalist Richard Orange, ‘that the 200,000, or perhaps even as many as 250,000, Arabic speakers [in Sweden] are broadly pro-Palestinian, that’s an important voter base.’

    Dominik Tarczyński, a Member of the European Parliament from Poland, eloquently addressed the sociopolitical implications of immigration in a September speech. He pointed out that despite receiving no large-scale immigration, Poland was prospering economically, and said the Polish people did not want more migrants. ‘You know why? Because there are zero terrorist attacks in Poland,’ he explained, citing EU statistics.

    Europol’s data on terrorism do indeed bear out Tarczyński’s claim. The agency’s Terrorism Situation and Trend Report for 2023 provides a map of the EU showing how many terrorist attacks and ‘arrests on suspicion of terrorism’ each country experienced in 2022. Poland was among the handful of states where none of either occurred. France was arguably the country most affected, with six attacks and 109 arrests, though Italy suffered twelve attacks and carried out 45 arrests. Notably, jihadist terrorism prompted far more arrests than any other kind of terrorism from 2020 to 2022, although leftist and anarchist terrorism accounted for a few more attacks – 44 versus 30. Sweden experienced an attack during this period. Poland did not.

    The migrants’ cultural background is the key issue, more so than immigration itself. On another occasion, Tarczyński told leftist televison host Cathy Newman: ‘We took over two million Ukrainians, who are working, who are peaceful in Poland. We will not receive even one Muslim.’ This, he emphasized, was the will of the Polish electorate. If Tarczyński is representative – and he is – then Poland’s immigration policy is based on a realistic understanding of the effects of mass migration as well as on respect for the will of the people. As Kärnä and Öhberg show, both of these considerations failed to inform Swedish immigration policy for most of the 2000s and 2010s, and it is dubious whether they have enough of an impact even today.

    Tarczyński’s motto is ‘Be like Poland.’ Swedish politicians should take that advice to heart. To judge by experience, however, it will fall to Sweden’s voters to make them do so.


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    Lord Cameron and the ‘New Majority’

    A soft “What the hell” was heard from a reporter as former Prime Minister David Cameron stepped out of the car outside 10 Downing Street on Monday. The significance of the moment was quickly deduced as earlier Suella Braverman was sacked as Home Secretary and former Foreign Secretary James Cleverly had already walked through Britain’s most famous door: Cleverly becomes Home Secretary and Cameron, returning from political oblivion, replaces him as Foreign Secretary.

    The appointment of Cameron, who is not an MP in the House of Commons and had to be elevated to a peerage by King Charles III to take office, is not only something no one saw coming. It is also a manifestation that Sunak might lead the Conservatives back in a direction that does not resonate with the voters.

    A Look at the Political Realignment

    A political realignment has been evident in British politics for just as long as in US politics. And it was the Conservatives’ realigned political approach, which emerged with the Brexit vote in 2016, that gave them a large majority in the 2019 general election.  The landslide victory of Boris Johnson and the Conservatives was ultimately deliverable thanks to a large number of traditional Labour voters who switched in the hope of getting Brexit done.

    It showed that there was a large voter base that the Conservatives could not only win over, but also lead them to large majorities. I will call this voter base the ‘New Majority’. This ‘New Majority’ can be sketched as conservative to very conservative when it comes to social issues while supporting economic positions traditionally held by left to center-left parties.

    In conservative circles, the realignment towards this ‘New Majority’ is frequently viewed critically, especially by people who were thought leaders in the years before 2016. Primarily because they do not see this new orientation as being conservative, but rather interpret classical liberalism as being conservatism to advocate liberal social policy and economic libertarianism. This interpretation of conservative politics, however, is not only not conservative, but also a formula for guaranteed electoral defeat.

    The Case for Conservatism

    That this ‘New Majority’ should be the Conservatives’ target voter base and can be turned into a lasting majority is shown in the recent report “The Case for Conservatism” by Gavin Rice and Nick Timothy at Onward. As they put it:

    “There is significant political advantage to be gained in a political party moving towards the real centre-ground. A more culturally conservative policy platform would bring the Tory Party nearer to Conservative voters’ social values. Mirroring this, an economic policy platform emphasising greater fairness and security, rather than deregulation and individualism, would bring it closer to the economic values of both Conservative and Labour voters.”

    The report shows that there is a major disconnect between Conservative voters’ attitudes to economic and social issues and what the Conservatives are doing in terms of policy. In order to deliver policy that serves the electoral base, the report establishes 12 new core principles that lead to a “form of conservatism that takes long-established insights and principles and applies them to very modern challenges and problems. It argues for a conservatism that is popular and democratic, seeking to serve the whole nation.”

    This includes a desire for a more active state, moving away from the old Conservative emphasis on limiting the state as much as possible. Working towards a fairer social contract by doing more for workers and families rather than pursue tax cuts that only benefit the few – an approach that was the beginning of the end for Liz Truss. And for the preservation of the environment, including more action on climate change.

    On Suella Braverman

    So where does David Cameron fit into this vision? He doesn’t!

    Lord Cameron represents the pre-realignment form of the Conservatives, a form that makes policy not for those who find their desires reflected in the Rice and Timothy report but for the liberal elite who have benefited from previous Conservative governments.

    Not only that, this appointment must also be seen in the context of the sacking of Suella Braverman. Braverman is a prominent figure who covers many of the concerns of voters who put their faith in the Tories – often for the first time – in 2019. Furthermore, for many people who felt that Rishi Sunak’s policies did not sufficiently address the concerns of the ‘New Majority’, she seemed a possible successor.

    She spoke out against mass legal and illegal immigration. The Rice-Timothy report states “Currently, 63% of voters say that inward economic migration is too high” and “Polling conducted for Onward shows that there is a migration-sceptic majority in 75% of parliamentary constituencies.”

    She spoke out against multiculturalism. Rice and Timothy’s report cites a Demos study which found that “71% of British adults say they believe that immigration has made the communities where migrants have settled more divided, reaching 78% in high-migration areas.”

    And she spoke in defence of national identity. The Rice-Timothy report states, “A 2021 poll found that 61% of voters said they were very or fairly patriotic, compared to just 32% who said they were not very or not at all”.

    These three examples alone show that her views are in line with those of the British population and even more so with those of the Conservative voters of 2019, who form part of the ‘New Majority’.

    The Meaning of David Cameron’s Appointment

    Now Lord Cameron is given a place in the Cabinet, while Braverman is sent back to the backbenches. Although he has not directly replaced her, one has to imagine that the two personnel decisions are viewed hand in hand and show two very different pictures of Conservative politics.

    The ‘new majority’ will certainly perceive this as a vindication of pre-2016 policies and refrain from voting Blue in the next general election. One can’t have a former Prime Minister in the Cabinet, especially in one of the Great Offices of State, without them shaping, at least in part, what voters expect from the Party would they vote for them. And in this case, they are likely to see a return of social and economic liberalism, which, as Rice and Timothy show, as a “political outlook represents just 5% of voters”.

    Not only that, but the politicians in the Conservative Party who supported Cameron and often held up the Remain banner will feel validated by this and may feel the momentum in the party shifting back towards them. Now people such as former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine are saying that Rishi Sunak should even consider bringing someone like George Osborne back into the cabinet, or at least letting him work on the levelling-up agenda.

    What does this appointment tell potential voters? As Matt Goodwin puts it, “It’s telling them the Tories would much rather return to the pre-Brexit liberal Cameroon era of 2010-2015 than reinvent and renew themselves around the post-Brexit realignment, that they are simply incapable of reinventing who they are.”


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    On the Killing of Sir David

    This article was originally published on October 2021.

    On the 15th of October 2021, at around midday, police were called to Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, where a man had reportedly been stabbed 17 times. That man was Conservative MP Sir David Amess, who died roughly 2 hours later. The second assassination of a parliamentarian in 5 years, Sir David Amess MP was murdered whilst carrying out his duty as a representative, attending his weekly constituency surgery.

    As with similar tragedies, the conversation surrounding the event is entirely comprised of people fighting over which conversation “we should be having” instead. For instance, people of certain political dispositions were more aggravated by the press reporting that the assassin was of Somali origin, rather than the actual murder itself; wanting to talk about “muh racist Daily Mail” than anything of importance or substance. As disorienting as tragedies are, they can be a good source of sobriety, putting on full display the true nature of peoples’ character and allegiance.

    Whilst this should be a wakeup call for Britain to radically reform its asylum and immigration policy, mere policy reform will be a job half-done and therefore a lesson only half-learned.

    To summarise what has happened: a man from Somalia immigrated to the United Kingdom, acquired British citizenship, and assassinated a sitting MP in broad daylight. Leaving aside the fact that it shouldn’t be so absurdly easy for someone outside of Britain to enter the country and kill one of its elected representatives, it must be noted that there are two possibilities given this information: either the killer held his extremist views before entering the UK, or he was radicalized here.

    If the former, it would simply be a case of reducing or shutting off immigration from designated “high-risk” countries. However, given the prevailing ideology of the political and media establishment, such a solution would undoubtedly be resisted at every turn. If the latter, the need for policy reform doesn’t change (it shouldn’t be so easy to enter the United Kingdom from a country like Somalia, acquire British citizenship, kill an MP, etc.).

    However, what does change is the focus of the problem. If the assassin adopted his extremist views after he arrived in Britain, it means that Britain is producing, at the very least permitting, people to exist within its own borders that actively want to destroy it. In short: our policy problems stem from a deeper, ideological, and existential problem. Britain is indifferent to its own survival.

    Some may argue that this problem has been diagnosed before, and they would be right. If so, why diagnose the problem again? What good is there repeating what people know? Whilst Chesterton correctly notes that ‘obvious’ things cease to be so overtime, courtesy of people not wanting to remind themselves of what is ‘obvious’, that is not the point being made here. The point is that the remedies proscribed in recent years to this problem have been ineffective.

    Ever since 9/11, the hegemonic counter-Islamist rhetoric has been “We’re the West. We’re more liberal than you, we’re more diverse than you, we’re more inclusive than you, we’re more tolerant than you, and if you cross us there will be hell to pay!”. As with discussions surrounding the need to create cohesion between native and immigrant populations, “integration” is touted as the solution to mitigating Islamism at home. By demanding allegiance to a common liberal culture, espousing fundamental values of tolerance, inclusivity, diversity, and other vaguely defined terms, we can create a stable society.

    When the shared identity of a society is liberty, is tolerance, is inclusion, is diversity, it will tear itself, both ideologically and in practice, apart by its own contradictions. Liberty produces chaos, leading to surveillance and bureaucracy not necessary in high-trust, homogenous societies. Tolerance produces indifference to forces bent on destroying society and the Tolerance which it provides. Inclusion can only produce puritanical exclusion, for no amount of Inclusion will ever be inclusive enough. Diversity produces social fragmentation, which can only be overcome by producing a new monoculture; a watered-down culture, portioned by diversity officers, that nobody can identify with. Ultimately, the attempt to encompass all, necessarily alienates all. This is the doctrine of modern political liberalism.

    The logical conclusion of this ideological farce is what sensible people have known all along: order is a prerequisite to liberty, unanimity is a prerequisite to tolerance, exclusion is a prerequisite to inclusion, homogeneity is a prerequisite to diversity; all provided until they threaten the basis of their existence. These are courtesies, not identities; they are courtesies only possible when rooted in something more fundamental. As a result of this project, we have become a nation of identikits, slogans churned out by committees, and cohesion which relies on debilitating consumerism, ever-complicating bureaucracy and tyrannical officialdom; a society held together by paper instead of blood, and a nation that cannot inspire loyalty in its inhabitants. On the whole, not a sustainable state of affairs.

    At bottom level, our problem is a near flat out denial of the British in-group. Liberal technocracy has gutted Britishness and been prancing around in its skin. Over 1000 years – roughly 300 years of them in monarchical union – the United Kingdom, a bounty of organically developing culture, has amounted to Gogglebox, PG Tips, and twee jokes about the rain. It’s about politely asking if “the queue starts here” for the polling station. Remember: STRONG BRITAIN, GREAT NATION, STRONG BRITAIN, GREAT NAAAAATION.

    Perhaps because we are an island, relatively untouched and untroubled throughout our history, especially when compared to the geographical basket case of continental Europe, that we have never had to think about the nature of our identity in as much depth, making it suspectable to cynical exploitation by our current elites. See, the obvious isn’t so obvious!

    Given the repellent artificiality of our culture, is it any surprise that it spits out extremists of all shapes and sizes? Our inability, often refusal, to define ourselves, opting instead to abstract our identity away, leaves us vulnerable to evildoers that yearn to see the vacuum filled. Habri Ali was not only a naturalised British citizen, but he was also known to the police courtesy of his referral to Prevent. This man had every form of “education” about our “values” that could be provided, and it changed nothing.

    As much as liberal democrats – and even reactionary nationalists – might not like to accept it, nationalism and democracy are conjoined twins, the will of the people is wrapped up in the idea of “a people” of common identity rooted to a particular place, making the acceptance of democratic decisions possible. Bleating about the dangers of identity politics doesn’t change the fact that British identity politics must necessarily be treated as an exception.

    When the future of Britain hangs in the balance, it is more that right to ask: “who are the British people?”. If we are serious about making amends, the “conversation” we need to be having is this: what is Britishness? In my mind, one thing is for certain: a foreign-born Islamist that stabs a representative of the British nation to death isn’t British, and if he is considered British, then he shouldn’t be. I don’t care if he knows where St. Paul’s Cathedral is.


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    The Importance of Brexit

    “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom: it is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” – William Pitt (speech to House of Commons, 18 November 1783).

    In light of the recent immigration figures, many are starting to question if Brexit was really worth it. The revised figures from ONS show an unprecedented and almost comical increase in the number of arrivals after Brexit, with net migration jumping from less than 300,000 to over 600,000 between our departure from the EU in 2020 and 2023.

    So-called “Bregret” (portmanteau of Brexit and Regret) afflicts both Leave and Remain voters. Even Nigel Farage, the embodiment of British euroscepticism, has been quoted as saying: “Brexit has failed.” Of course, the full comment was along the lines of “Brexit has failed under the Conservatives” but this hasn’t dissuaded journalists and Remainers from circulating the quote as a form of anti-Brexit propaganda; particularly useful when all your senile prophecies of Brexit-induced calamity fail to manifest.

    Hoping to capitalise on this growing sentiment, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, after making a long-winded joke feinging ignorance of Britain’s existence, said the UK had “goofed it up” by voting for Brexit and said it should reconsider its decision to leave. Von der Leyen added that it was the job of the young to reverse Brexit and that re-unification was “the direction of travel” for the UK.

    Why exactly Von der Leyen believes reversing Brexit is top priority for Britain’s youth, I’m not so sure. Indeed, you’d be hard pushed to find something more lame than bustling about a European bureaucracy, tasked with placating the asinine prejudices of some overpromoted schoolmarm. I must say, I was hoping for greater clarity from the so-called grown-ups. One moment they’re saying good riddance, the next they’re asking us to come back. Truly, a terrible, terrible break-up.

    In any case, before we wallow in self-pity about our desire to be an independent country – and it must be said: the British right does love to wallow – let us remember several very important facts about our relationship with the European Union.

    First, immigration wasn’t “better” prior to Brexit. Circumstances have worsened, but net migration still increased each year of Britain’s membership. During that time, white British people were projected to become a minority in Britain within just a few generations, a trasnformation which people are slowly beginning to realise would be a disaster for a variety of intersecting reasons, from ethnocultural balkanization to a collapse in social cohesion and civic trust. The EU was more than happy to accommodate these arrivals through direct and indirect means, from inviting migrants to enter the continent en masse to funding NGOs to import them in the name of European Values, a concept which (just like British Values) has nothing to do with being European.

    Considering that we are navigating a new political relationship with the EU, our departure should’ve sparked greater interest in European politics. Alas, many politicians and commentators have chosen to overlook Europe in favour of America and the Third World. As such, many have forgotten (or just don’t care) about the state of EU governments and their ability – or rather, their inability – to grapple with mass immigration. Take the hint: our continental companions aren’t voting for nationalists in record numbers because they believe immigration is too low.

    In the Netherlands, net migration spiked from less than 100,000 to over 200,000 between 2020 and 2022. Likewise, Germany and Spain experienced a sharp increase in arrivals around this period, whilst Sweden, Denmark, and Italy continue to experience mass immigration and its consequences, despite their ongoing efforts to reduce the number of asylum seekers.

    Second, Britain’s membership of the EU didn’t just coincide with mass immigration, it deliberately made immigration far harder to control. Since Brexit, the government has used its powers to liberalise border restrictions, thereby dishonouring the spirit of the vote to Leave. This isn’t inconsequential abstraction. Our membership of the EU was officially discontinued via an act of Parliament, the European Union Act 2020. As Montesquieu tells us, for a law to be interpreted correctly, one must give credence to its unwritten aspects; the reasons behind why it exists at all. As such, it is more than legitimate to factor in the motivations behind the Leave vote, it is required.

    Minus a few liberal commentators on the SW1 circuit, the vote to leave the EU was motivated by a desire to see immigration reduced, giving rise to inquiries about the condition of our national sovereignty. In the field of electoral politics, this fundamental concern motivated support for a referendum, coinciding with the rise of the BNP in the early noughties, UKIP’s historic success in 2015, and the Brexit Party’s equally historic victory in 2019.

    The failure of the Rwanda scheme was an unfortunate setback for immigration restriction, but the Supreme Court didn’t strike down the Rwanda Scheme because of Brexit, the judges struck it down due to our commitments to the ECHR via the Human Rights Act (1998) and our status as signatories of the UN Refugee Convention (1951) and Protocol (1968). Indeed, realising our circumstance for what it is, it’s clear the solution isn’t less Brexit, but more Brexit.

    The EU’s cornerstone commitment to the free movement of people within its borders, alongside various liberal and humanitarian dogmas imposed at the supranational level via the European Court of Justice, doesn’t override such commitments, it compounds them. As such, EU countries trying to get a grip on migration have had to square off against the EU, ECHR and the UN simultaneously. Denmark’s own Rwanda scheme hasn’t borne fruit precisely because of its run-ins with EU law.

    Rejoining the EU, throwing away our potential to regulate migration because the current government is doing the opposite, wouldn’t be tactical, it would be stupid. It is like a freeman reapplying his shackles to avoid sticking his hands in a hot furnace.

    Third, if we re-enter the EU, we won’t have any bargaining power whatsoever. It’s evident that the EU is moving in the direction of more federalisation, not less. At the end of last month, the European Parliament approved a major treaty reform proposal, spearheaded by everyone’s favourite Belgian liberal europhile: Guy Verhofstadt.

    The proposal intends to transform the European Commission from an over-glorified think-tank, one comprised of representatives from every member state to a fully empowered executive cabinet, one comprised of individuals selected by the President of the Commission with less-than-reassuring guarantees of equal representation.

    The European Council and the European Parliament would be transformed into upper and lower houses respectively. In possession of equal power, the former would be headed by the President of the EU Commission (thereafter, the EU President) whilst the latter would be allowed to propose laws, remove commissioners, and nominate the President. National states would surrender control over policy pertaining to public health, law and order, industry and energy, education, foreign policy, defence, and border control, whilst giving up environmental policy in its entirety, entrenching a division of devolved, shared, and centralised competencies.

    However, the most consequential reform in the proposal would see an end to the EU’s principle of unanimity (all states must agree to a proposed reform) to QMV (Qualified Majority Voting) on a variety of areas, in which just over half (ranging from 55% to 65%) of all member states can initiate EU-wide reform. Touted as a means of making the EU more efficient and decisive, it would effectively allow countries to impose reforms one each other, without regard for democratic consent or national interest.

    Even if this proposal doesn’t produce something ‘radical’, federalisation remains a significant threat to national sovereignty across Europe. Keep in mind, the Lisbon Treaty took roughly eight years to materialise. Throughout those eight years, many compromises were made, but the end goal was fulfilled: it moved Europe towards unification with a Soviet disregard for democracy. At the time of our departure, the EU was already on the brink of federalising, possessing all the essential characteristics of a federal union minus central powers of tax-and-spend, something which could change in the near future.

    Despite our departure, it’s been business as usual, the EU’s transition from a trade confederacy to a political union hasn’t slowed down. If anything, it has sped up, spurred on by current events and heightening pre-existing political tensions within the union.

    As it stands, two blocs dominate European politics: a centre-left bloc lenient to federalisation and a centre-right bloc hoping to dilute and/or reverse certain aspects of federalisation. Many of the right-wing populist parties the British press enjoys construing as hardline fascists have little-to-no intention of leaving the EU. They belong to the aforementioned centre-right bloc, hoping to leverage fiscal handouts from the EU by using the principle of unanimity (hence why many are so keen on getting rid of it) whilst pursuing a more conservative approach on specific issues, such as immigration and judicial matters.

    As the three main net contributors to the European project (at least, since Britain left), the establishments of France, Germany and the Netherlands have become increasingly hostile to the perceived impertinence of their Eastern neighbours as well as eurosceptics within their own borders, eager to suppress the political influence of both to make their investments feel like a worthwhile endeavour.

    President Macron has waxed lyrical about “Strategic Autonomy” – that is, unifying Europe in response to the threat from Russia and ensure Europe can defend its interests in a world dominated by United States and China – whilst Chancellor Scholz has continuously voiced support for a federal Europe, classing it as politically inevitable and a top priority of his centre-left coalition government. As for the Netherlands, despite the triumph of Wilders, whose government is bound to face legal trouble with the EU over its immigration policies, the country has merged the last of its combat troops with Germany, further raising concerns about the possibility of an EU defence union, shifting the allegiance and direction of militaries away from their respective countrymen and towards a supranational authority.

    Erstwhile, Meloni’s Brothers of Italy softened its position on EU membership prior to its electoral victory, partially out of practical considerations (e.g. the failure of Salvini’s hard Eurosceptic approach, Italy’s relatively integrated relationship with the EU, and to maintain access to certain economic packages) and partially out of ideological hangovers, such as trying to pursue a diluted form of the European New Right’s “Right to Difference” at the continental level, coinciding with her party’s historical association with the Italian Social Movement.

    Orban’s Hungary also falls into this bloc but is a net beneficiary, meaning the desire to leave is far less potent. However, despite its generalistic support for EU integration, Hungary is decried as a subverise contrarian state, protected from having its voting rights revoked due to an informal alliance with Poland, another major net beneficiary. That said, since Donald Tusk’s victory in the recent general election, this alliance has basically broken down, making the Polish state’s position antithetical to what it was only a few years ago – that is, when it was decrying the EU as Germany’s Fourth Reich. There’s been talk about Hungary forming an alliance with Slovakia’s newly elected left-wing populist and eurosceptic government, but this seems more hearsay than fact.

    If Britain were to rejoin the EU, it wouldn’t matter if we aligned with the centre-left or the centre-right, as the outcome is very much the same: should we rejoin, we’re destined to be less free than ever before. A unified continent has never been in Britain’s interests. It wasn’t in our interests in the 1800s and it isn’t in our interests now, and there should be absolutely no excuse for empowering an organisation which does not respect our interests, regardless of our membership status.

    The Conservative Party is going to lose the next election because of its reactionary liberal tendencies, having betrayed the trust it was bestowed to act as custodian of the Brexit revolution. Consequently, a neo-Blairite Labour Party is going to take up the reins of government, not because of popular support but because disaffection with Britain’s increasingly unresponsive political institutions.

    Ever since the referendum, the entire political establishment has been scrambling to find a different route to the end of history, but these are largely short-term fixes. If the UK can be pushed back into the EU, the centrist anti-political demagogues of British civic life will be more than happy to oblige, and it is this reality which the Conservatives must face.

    If the Conservative Party wishes to survive the impending electoral winter. It must undergo a metapolitical transformation, the likes of which it hasn’t experienced since Disraeli carried the party across the threshold of the democratic age. It must realise the historical significance of Brexit, as a genuine and outright rejection of a depoliticised consensus, one which has moved democratically sovereign nations in the direction of becoming technocratically managed open societies.

    Given this, British politics should be bursting with excitement, overflowing with zeal about how best to navigate these unchartered waters, yet the political mainstream is utterly stagnant. It’s aware of its own imaginative poverty, yet does nothing to remedy it, opting to regurgitate the last ten years in whatever way it can. To spectate British politics is like watching a perpetually vomiting ouroboros, gagging on its own tail and drenching its body in sick, yet persists on its quest of self-consumption.

    This peculiarity is compounded by the fact Britain’s next steps are obvious. At home, we must undertake a great, national effort to ensure Britain can stand on its own two feet, building up social and economic capital in whatever way it can and without hesitatation. We must adopt a survivalist mindset, comparable to Singapore in the aftermath of its ejection from Malaysia. Abroad, we must realise that we have a hostile empire on our doorstep, headed by a vanguard of vandals dedicated to plucking the jewels from Charlemagne’s crown, eradicating any trace of its eclectic ruggedness and vitality, and melting it down for gold in the name of inoffensive minimalism and utilitarian ease.

    Downstream of their inability to let Brexit go, these vampires will stop at nothing to collectively punish the British people for voting against their influence. They’ve said so themselves and the people of Europe understand this. We should be funnelling money to hardline eurosceptic parties to undermine the EU from within. Instead, the British government is trying to out-regulate the Germans.

    At this moment, Britain is more than a nation, it is a political experiment, one which the entire world is watching. Having rejected the embodiment of the end of history, of the end of politics itself, we must consider ourselves the last hope of democratic sovereignty, the final chance for the nation-state to prove its worth in a world of empires. Should we rejoin the EU after only a few years of independence, the entire world shall bear witness to something far worse than the end of British freedom: the end of alternatives in an age of necessity.


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    The Right in Academia and Politics

    As a student at university, it’s easy to be aware that academia is dominated by the left. After all, it is the voices on the left we hear the most. Added to this, a Conservative Party that does not look very conservative at the moment and almost like they are out of ideas – just take a look at the agendas for the Conservative Party Agendas for 2023 and 2022. But over the summer, two academic conferences of note took place, which should bring a glimmer of hope to conservative students.

    The first, held at Churchill College at the University of Cambridge from the 6th to 7th July 2023, on British Intellectual Conservatism: Past and Present. This was organised by ResPublica and the University of Public Service. The second, held in the House of Lords from the 14th to 15th September 2023, on Margaret Thatcher: Her Life, Work, and Legacy. This had been organised by two research centres at the University of Hull. The first research centre was the Centre for Legislative Studies, which is led by Lord Norton of Louth, the second by Dr. Matt Beech who leads the Centre for British Politics. 

    The conferences, naturally, had different focuses but as a participant at both – and having had time to reflect on them, there are four things I found in common. These conferences were full of enriching academic thought, they were both thought provoking, provided a space to be reflective, and to think ahead to the future. In the current climate when it looks as though the Conservative Party will be unsuccessful at the 2024 General Election, both conferences highlighted the need for a better vision. 

    The two conferences in their own way provided a means to push back against the narrative we see that the right are out of ideas. Rather, the conference on British Intellectual Conservatism: Past and Present consisted of several panels, from Conservatism Today to addressing Free Speech and Conservatism. There were also two panels dedicated to two of the great leaders of the Conservative and Unionist Party, a panel on the Age of Churchill, another on the Age of Thatcher. All in all, the conference did exactly as the name of the conference said it would. A key focus of the conference was on the works of Roger Scruton and bringing his ideas, which may have been forgotten to the forefront. There is much to be learnt from this conference. 

    For the conference on Margaret Thatcher, many ideas were shared. The main takeaway raising the issue that politicians today do not have a long-term vision. Many who praise Liz Truss and her allies say “she did what Thatcher did” but what people fail to recognise and remember: Thatcher spent many years developing her ideas with a team before those ideas became policy.

    There are lessons to be learnt from the conferences. It is people, no matter their role in politics, whether they work in academia, policy or aspire to be an elected representative, who need to take a step back. There are many great people we can learn from, but the problem with the world today is everyone is looking for the next great thing.  The rivers of free-flowing conversation of ideas from conservative academics and politicians needs to be opened up before anything else can happen.


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    Notes on the Social Democratic Party Conference

    Upon arriving at Church House, I was asked for my name so I could receive my pass. I wasn’t on the list. After a few brief minutes, assuring the two very kind activists working the reception that I wasn’t a militant infiltrator, it turned out that I was on a completely different list – the VIP list. Jesus Christ, I thought, the Conservative Party never gave me a VIP pass!

    Making my way up the stairs to the conference hall, I walked in on the SDP membership voting on various motions; policy proposals that may or may not be adopted into the party platform. The Labour Party is hated for a variety of valid reasons; I would know, I tend to hate them for such reasons myself. That said, one of the benefits of being a Labour member, compared to being a member of the Tory Party, is the ability to influence policy through voting. Unfortunately, it comes with a catch: sharing a party jampacked with gay race communists.

    Conventional wisdom tells us that we cannot have our cake and eat it, but the SDP provides a pretty compelling counterargument. You can have a democratic party, one which gives people some degree of political influence in exchange for paying the membership fee, without having to contend with smelly environmentalists and minority-interest bandits.

    Just before he started his speech, Clouston made an offhanded remark about his reputation for soft-spoken oratory; a huge relief, given he isn’t an exciting speaker. That’s not a bad thing, by the way. On the contrary, it shows Clouston is self-aware which is a good thing… a very good thing. The last time a quiet man decided to “turn up the volume” everyone wanted him to shut up.

    For clarity, there is a difference between an exciting speaker and an engaging speaker. The former concerns form whilst the latter concerns substance, and there was plenty of substance to his speech, both in terms of delivery and content. Clouston knows he’s a natural priest, and there’s nothing more off-putting than a priest who tries to be exciting. As such, Clouston stuck to what he’s good at: giving clear, methodical, and authoritative sermons, dictating the creed to the congregation, plucking quotes from the writers and leaders of bygone ages like prophets from the Old Testament; an Apollonian counterbalance to the Dionysian rabble-rousing of the chain-smoking, ale-chugging Nigel Farage.

    And what was this creed, exactly? What was he cooking? “Vote positively” (if you believe in something, vote for it; that is, participate in democracy), “don’t vote Tory” (self-explanatory, in more ways than one), “don’t vote for anyone who doesn’t know what a woman is” (it’s certainly preferable to the alternative), “elect national leaders not charity workers” (Leeds is more important than Lagos), “don’t divide us” (stop being anti-white and turning Britain into a low-trust hellhole), “support conviction politicians” (hear, hear), “trade deficits matter” (HEAR, HEAR), and consider standing for election (we’ll get to this).

    Of course, Clouston wasn’t the only speaker. Rod Liddle gave an unreservedly pro-Israel speech, whilst Laura Dodsworth outlined the dangers of social engineering. Graham Linehan was brought out for his regularly scheduled post-cancellation rehab session. Hugo de Burgh, who really should get into voice acting, gave a good speech on the long-term consequences of short-termist politics. In other words, there was something for everyone, it wasn’t half-a-day of “The Left Have Gone Quackers!” and such.

    In-between speeches, it was abruptly announced that the SDP had received £1,000,000 from an anonymous donor. I could be wrong, but I’m guessing it was Paul Marshall. My evidence? First: I suspect the SDP is too dirigiste for the likes of Jeremy Hosking, even if he enjoys the so-called culture war aspects of contemporary politics. Compare this to someone like Marshall, who stood for parliament in Fulham in 1987 as an SDP-Liberal Alliance candidate and has provided support to organisations like UnHerd and the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship.

    Second: Marshall’s son was on one of the panels. Winston’s contributions largely revolved around wanting to do stuff, rather than talking about doing stuff. Too right! Pontification only get us so far. Eventually, reality itself must be confronted as it is. Best not to waste your courage on fixing problems made in your own head, so to speak.

    Still, discussions, forums, debates, etc. all have their place, and were present at the conference in addition to stand-alone speeches. Ross Baglin’s comments on the civil service were particularly welcome, as were his caveats to proposed fix-all technical solutions. As I have stressed to people many times, the political aspect of politics cannot be denied; the sooner we normalise viewing the civil service as a political problem, rather than some technical banality to be tolerated as part of British civic life, the better.

    Of course, as Baglin also pointed out, this partially relies on conservatives developing a politicised frame-of-mind, overcoming their instinctual tendency to pursue an undisturbed life. Indeed, this has been a challenge in the past and remains a challenge now, but it’s evident that right-wing ideology, having been pushed to the periphery of public acceptance, has also attracted a large contingent of anti-establishment dissidents. Instinctually open-to-experience and somewhat contrarian, most have no interest in leading a depoliticised existence. Any party prepared to meet them half-way is sure to benefit.

    However, despite the varying merits of the aforementioned, one could sense Matt Goodwin’s speech was the most anticipated, actualising in the most explicit form of praise one can receive on such occasions: a standing ovation. Concluding the SDP’s diagnosis of contemporary British politics was correct, and the consensus of the British public could be found in the party’s manifesto, Goodwin reassured members the only thing between their policies and a political breakthrough was a matter of publicity.

    Goodwin covered the bases you’d expect him to cover. Left-on-economy good, right-on-culture good, CRT is divisive, Gary Lineker is a libtard (please keep in mind, dear reader, that I am paraphrasing quite a bit). Goodwin’s insistence on using the term “political correctness” instead of “woke” – apparently, 95% of British people understand what the former means, compared to roughly 50% for latter – was a pleasant surprise, as was his call for total war against Britain’s public institutions and political duopoly.

    I shan’t hash out all of my contentions with everything that was said at the conference as they’re mostly theoretical points – that is, not specific to the SDP or even party politics in general – and deserve their own piece, if anything at all. Nor shall I conclude with my thoughts on what the SDP should do going forward. Like a corporate multinational stooge, I have outsourced such menial, unpaid labour to a young SDP activist, whose perspective is surely more valuable than anything I can provide here.

    Instead, I shall conclude with this: the last of Clouston’s eight points won’t be for everyone. For many, building a house and/or writing a book is obviously preferable to running for Parliament. However, if there is an SDP candidate standing in your area, and your MP isn’t Sir John Hayes or someone of reliable calibre, it wouldn’t hurt to support them (assuming you’re not planning to stay at home on election day).

    Putting aside the hang-ups one might have with the party’s chosen aesthetics, rhetoric and sloganeering, the SDP platform isn’t half-bad: protecting civil liberties, civil service reform, bringing now-foreign-owned industries and assets back under national control, and a generational pause on immigration is preferable to the prevailing consensus of mass servitude, debt, and immigration. One activist described the party platform as “Singapore mixed with Blue Labour.” Indeed, it’s unconventional; like ordering a bowl of rice to go with your lamb and mutton. An acquired taste, for sure. Possibly in need of some refinement, at least according to some. Nevertheless, there are objectively worse options on the menu. Zimbabwe mixed with Judith Butler, for example. Human flesh served with… human flesh.

    This isn’t so much an endorsement as it is a request to keep an open mind. As Barry Goldwater once said: “Extremism in the defence of liberty is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Similarly, conventionality at a time when national self-harm is standard procedure isn’t patriotic. When faced with such dire circumstances, a good dose of unconventionality may very well be in order, especially at the ballot box.


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