Honesty, Reliability And Henry Bolton

It’s distressing. UKIP is enduring yet another self-inflicted crisis, this one created by our new leader Henry Bolton.

The Sun headline piece (here) on Thursday about Henry’s new relationship and last night’s Sunday Mirror piece (here) revealing his dumped wife’s views both indicate the nature of the crisis.

I had this article about it published on Kipper Central yesterday morning:

For me the issue is not about Henry Bolton’s private life.

Henry has told UKIP members that as a “national public figure” he is entitled to “a certain degree of privacy”.  I agree, although in the light of these sentiments it seems odd that his new girlfriend, topless model Jo Marney, should publish Instagram selfies of the two of them huddled together in front of a Christmas tree on Boxing Day. Henry knows full well that publishing personal pictures on the internet does not aid personal privacy.

The issue is, in fact, more about the party leader’s honesty and reliability.

During the leadership election campaign last summer and in full knowledge David Kurten’s political views and track record, Henry pledged that he would appoint David his deputy if he won the election. As the manager of David’s own leadership campaign, I realised this was a clever move: not only would David make an excellent deputy leader in the event that Henry won, but voters who found it difficult to choose between them could vote for Henry and get the two for the price of one.

A significant number of UKIP members took Henry at his word and gave him their vote.

Imagine my fury when, after his election as leader, Henry promptly reneged on his pledge and refused to appoint David. Clearly his word was not his bond and he had misled UKIP voters.

Also during the leadership election campaign Henry avoided publishing policies or a political manifesto, but instead deliberately turned the spotlight on to himself. He promoted himself as a solid reliable capable married man with an enviable track record and quality endorsements, whose Russian wife for work reasons lived abroad with their two young children. His personal character and track record were to be his vote winners.

And so it proved. After the shambles and chaos of the Steven Wolfe, Diane James and Paul Nuttall era, UKIP members were yearning for a solid, sensible, decent person of substance (to paraphrase Nigel Farage) and Henry won the job.

Yet now, under pressure from the media uproar surrounding his new relationship, he tells us that he and his wife in fact separated in July – before the leadership election started.

If this is true, why did he deceive us during the leadership campaign?

If it is not true, why is he deceiving us now?

UKIP’s all-powerful National Executive Committee meets next Monday, 8th January. We need a leader of honesty, strength and substance. In my view the NEC must hold Henry accountable for his unreliable behaviour and his broken pledges.

Welsh Gag

My following article was published last week by Kipper Central. Although it is primarily about the gagging of a UKIP elected representative, the freedom of speech issue it addresses is of course much wider than the party:

When UKIP’s National Executive Committee meets on 8th January there is one issue that should be top of the agenda: the shameful decision by the Presiding Officer of the Welsh Assembly, Elin Jones, to ban Gareth Bennett from speaking during Senedd debates in 2018.

Gareth is UKIP’s Assembly Member for South Wales Central.

During an Assembly debate about an Equalities and Human Rights report, Gareth made an excellent call for a grown-up conversation about minority rights and made the unarguable point that the increasing focus on the rights of minorities must ultimately impact negatively on the rights of the majority population.

By way of illustration he referred to the Westminster Tory government’s proposed amendments to the Gender Recognition Act which liberalise the process of changing gender, and he made these observations (here at 17.35 hours):

“There is only so much deviation from the norm that any society can take before that society completely implodes, and if we carry on down this road of appeasing the nuttiest elements of the transgender movement, then what we will face as a society, within a very short space of time, is total implosion.”

You’d have thought these remarks were mere common sense: Gareth was rightly cautioning against too much accommodation to the demands of transgender extremists or, he predicted, society will suffer.

But for the biased and hostile Presiding Officer, Plaid Cymru’s Elin Jones, political correctness trumps common sense. The following day, and at the prompting of a muddled Labour AM who accused Gareth of “homophobic rhetoric” even though he hadn’t mentioned gays or lesbians let alone been hostile to them, Ms Jones demanded that Gareth withdraw his comments. She claimed his views were “particularly hateful to the transgender community” and insisted that he apologise.

When he refused, she informed him he was barred from speaking in Senedd debates in 2018. He walked out of the chamber.

Although by all accounts Gareth remains personally relaxed and upbeat, his ban is a serious issue and an ominous threat to democracy and free speech.

Journalist Arwyn Jones pointed out on BBC Wales Live that banning an elected representative from speaking indefinitely in Senedd until they apologise is completely unprecedented.

Also Welsh commentator and academic Carys Moseley wrote that Senedd is “the first legislature in the world to ban a politician for criticising transgender activism”.

She continued: “The Presiding Officer’s overreaction was subjective, disproportionate and all too typical of those who enforce the concept of hate speech.

“Her role is equivalent to that of the Speaker of the House of Commons, and as such banning a politician from debate sets a dangerous trend, and undermines free speech and democracy.

“It is also a snub to everyone else in Wales who has serious reservations about the direction that transgender policy has been taking in the UK. It is saying you cannot be a politician if you think transgenderism is abnormal, which probably rules out most of the population.

“This is a sinister state of affairs that is unprecedented and completely unacceptable.”

Sinister and unacceptable indeed, so what is to be done? First, all Kippers must support and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Gareth.

But the matter is bigger than him and the implications are much wider than for just the Welsh Assembly.

So, second, Kippers must urge the NEC to take up the cause. The NEC should commit the party to supporting Gareth, confronting and challenging the Presiding Officer, and using all means possible in the UK to defeat this attack on freedom of speech. If you are a paid-up member of the party, you can contact the general secretary Paul Oakley at paul.oakley@ukip.org and request that the issue is put on the NEC agenda and discussed at their meeting on 8th January. For information copy in the chairman Paul Oakden too, at chairman@ukip.org.

And, third, Kippers and other concerned individuals can write a polite but firm email to the Presiding Officer herself, reminding her that in the UK we live in a democracy which embraces freedom of speech, and proposing that she revokes her ban on Gareth with immediate effect. Ms Jones’ email address is: elin.jones@assembly.wales or llywydd@assembly.wales. If you email her, I suggest you copy in Gareth for his encouragement: gareth.bennett@assembly.wales

A key issue of principle is at stake. We cannot simply sit on our hands.

Transgender Delusion

Living in a post-truth society means that we are not only easily susceptible to fake news but also to mass delusion. The latest delusion among the political class is the cruel deception that we can change our sex. I want UKIP to be the boy who points out that the Emperor has no clothes.

My article below was published recently  by UKIP Daily:

All cells in a person’s body have the same XY or XX chromosomes so we are either male or female. It’s clear. It’s not complicated. And exceptions are so rare as to be statistically irrelevant.

But scientific facts, like truth, are unimportant to the regressive liberal left who want to remake humanity according to their own Orwellian ideology. Deception is everything, so these cultural marxists – as well as their useful idiots in the wider political class – promote their dystopian society by following the Joseph Goebbels dictum that if you tell a big enough lie and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

Transgenderism is part of leftists’ political strategy, and it is a big lie.

It is a lie when they insist we can choose or change our biological sex. Our sex is fixed at birth and we can no more change our chromosomes than we can change our date of birth.

Just because, say, an eighty five year old suffers from acute thanatophobia (fear of death) and therefore insists he is actually twenty five in order to postpone his approaching demise, this does not mean we must buy into his delusion. Nor do we let him fight for his country, drive his car without the triennial over-seventy licence renewal or play football for the local under-thirties team. Rather, if we are compassionate, we call for a psychiatric counsellor to help ease his distress.

And if a five-stone teenage girl suffers from pocrescophobia (fear of gaining weight), insists she is obese and refuses to eat, the sensible response is not to affirm her in her delusion and withhold food from her. She has a psychological disorder and the caring response is to arrange professional treatment.

It is a similar deception or disorder when people claim they are the opposite of their birth gender. And when they demand that we buy into their dishonesty or delusion we should not simply roll over. We cannot agree to call a man a woman or vice versa just because they say so, as it is biologically and factually untrue.

No sane society would allow a convicted serial sex offender and rapist serve his sentence in a women’s jail just because he has decided to self-identify as a woman. Neither would anyone with common sense allow an eighteen year old youth to join the Girl Guides and go camping – sharing tents, showers and toilets – just because he has insisted on coming out as a girl.

Except that, of course, leftists have marched so far through the institutions spreading their lunacy that in the UK we now do both (here and here).

They have even marched into Downing Street. The Prime Minister has signed up and sanctioned their delusion by informing us that “trans is not a (mental) illness”.

And, like bullies, the cultural marxists and their fellow travellers are targeting our kids, especially the younger ones.

As politically correct as her boss, the Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening is pushing and promoting her Children and Social Work Act that makes sex education, including the teaching of transgender issues, compulsory in primary schools. And earlier this year the largest teachers’ union in the UK, the National Union of Teachers, demanded that transgender issues should be taught in nursery schools to toddlers as young as two. Yes, really: two.

As one educationalist told a conference recently, the teacher’s role is becoming that of “sowing confusion about gender identity” and policing “the values, thoughts and language of children to bring them in line with one particular ideological position”.

So it’s no longer about education. It’s about messing with young minds and, it seems, the younger the better.

Historically the number of young children with genuine gender dysphoria issues is minuscule; in 2009/10 just 19 of the nation’s primary school age children were referred to the relevant NHS specialist units in London and Leeds.

But the educational establishment’s strategy is to push their transgender agenda onto schoolchildren of all ages including the very young; to confuse them about their sexual identity; to get Ofsted to commend primary school staff that label four year olds ‘transgender’ because they want to dress up as the opposite sex; and then triumphantly to declare that – surprise, surprise – gender dysphoria is a rapidly growing issue.

The consequence of this indoctrination is that numbers of primary school children referred – though still miniscule – had quadrupled by 2014/5 and is rising.

The attack on children’s impressionable minds is relentless. Recently we have seen that drag queens are now being invited into nurseries to give transgender lessons to toddlers. And a government-funded LGBT organisation is avidly promoting colourful cartoon books for nurseries that provoke three year olds to question their gender.

This is tantamount to child abuse. Certainly it is massive state-authorised manipulation of young minds. Yet alarmed parents and horrified grandparents up and down the country feel they have no say and cannot protest or protect their children. To question the trans agenda is to risk being labelled ‘transphobic’, ‘bigoted’ or ‘hateful’ and cast into the politically incorrect darkness – as UKIP’s Welsh Assembly Member Gareth Bennett discovered this week.

So step up UKIP. This is exactly our territory. We have never been cowed by the politically correct. Rather, it is our calling and duty to represent the voiceless and powerless against the arrogant establishment.

We did it over mass immigration. We did it over Brexit.

We can do it too over the transgenderisation of our children – and we may even find ourselves moving up the opinion polls once again.

Kippers arise! The hour to defend our kids has come.

Islam And Freedom Of Speech In The Lords

As readers of this blog will know, I have sometimes sat in the gallery of the House of Lords listening to debates, and a couple of times I even sat in the Clerks’ Box on the floor of the House right by the Monarch’s throne which was cramped but enjoyable. This was usually in connection with my work with crossbench peer Baroness Cox on her private members bill that tackled gender discrimination in  sharia courts.

Recently I listened in on a debate about Islam initiated by UKIP peer Lord Pearson. My take on the debate, below, was first published by Kipper Central:

You’ve got to hand it to Lord Pearson of Rannoch. The former UKIP party leader doesn’t mind standing alone.

For years he has stood virtually solo in the House of Lords against hostile peers who are overwhelmingly pro-EU and Remain.

Now the Brexit referendum has been won he is turning his attention to Islam. And it’s clear that this too is unpopular amongst the political class who invariably mention the religion in hushed and deferential tones.

So once again his Lordship finds himself ploughing a lonely furrow and swimming against the politically-correct tide. In other words, Lord P is a true Kipper.

On Thursday he forced a Lords debate about some major tenets of the Islamic religion because, he said, no one is willing to talk openly about the nature of Islam. “You can say what you like about the virgin birth, the miracles and the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Lord Pearson said at the beginning of the debate. “But you get into serious trouble if you try to touch at all on the subject of Islam and what it really is.”

He mentioned the high Muslim birth rate and “the spread of sharia law whereby a Muslim man can have four wives.” Whenever people try to raise these issues, he continued, “we are told… we are spreading hate towards the Muslims”

Which is exactly what happened to him.

“The way Lord Pearson uses his ill-informed narrative to demonise the great religion of Islam and blame this religion for all the ills of the world actually fuels anti-Muslim sentiments that lead to hate crime,” railed Lord Hussain, illustrating Lord Pearson’s point.

“I begin by expressing my disquiet and resentment at the wording of (the debate motion),” protested Lord Sheikh. “I received numerous complaints from Muslims when it became known that this debate had been tabled. Islam is indeed a religion of peace… I feel that a debate such as this… can create discord and lead to further problems.” This peer proved Lord Pearson’s point too.

“The deliberate concept of the mischievous Muslims who can have four wives in the UK is nonsense,” remonstrated Lord Ahmed. “Nobody is allowed to have four wives.” His assertion flew in the face of recent Muslim research which found that 67% of Muslim women in the West Midlands say their husbands have more than one wife, and 7% claim their husbands have the full four wives permitted by Islam.

And by playing the Nazi card, Lord Ahmed also accused Lord Pearson of using hate speech: “Saying that Muslims are breeding more children and will take over is using the language that Nazis used against Jewish communities.” This is the same Lord Ahmed who four years ago blamed a Jewish conspiracy for the jail term he received for a dangerous driving offence after a fatal accident.

The debate achieved what Lord Pearson wanted – it got their Lordships talking about Islam and in the event not all were completely hostile. A Labour peer even complimented him: “The thing about Lord Pearson is that everyone thinks he is wrong, but he wins in the end – as he did with Brexit – so we have to listen to him carefully.”

It was progress, and the UKIP peer was having a good week. The previous day, he had intervened forcefully in the Lords during a discussion about hate crime.

There is widespread concern that the bar for recording hate crime falls lower and lower. You can now be reported to the police for a hate crime if a person – or even a bystander – merely feels you are hostile to or prejudiced against them on grounds of their race, religion, ethnicity or other protected characteristic. No hard evidence of hostility or prejudice is required.

A few years ago a report by the independent think-tank Civitas argued that hate crime legislation is reducing freedom of speech and has effectively introduced by the back door a blasphemy law that protects Islam from animosity and robust criticism. Police and prosecutors, it further claimed, are unfairly singling out alleged hate crimes by the majority population – termed ‘white’ or ‘ Christian’ – while ignoring other similar offences by minority groups.

Lord Pearson grasped the religious bull by both horns. “Will the Government confirm unequivocally that a Christian who says that Jesus is the only Son of the one true God cannot be arrested for hate crime or any other offence, however much it may offend a Muslim or anyone else?”

The Government minister flatly refused to give any such assurance.

In the light of this, Lord Pearson indicated later that he is deeply concerned that Christians’ freedom of religion is being curtailed and that Christians in the UK can now be arrested for simply preaching the Gospel as they are in Saudi Arabia, Iran and China. He made it clear to colleagues that he intends vigorously to pursue the Government on the issue.

So watch this space…

Islam And The West: Irreconcilable Differences

My post here was first published by Kipper Central:

“If you compare Jesus Christ who had so much influence on the Western world, and Muhammad who has had so much influence on the Islamic world, and look at their teachings and their lives and lifestyles and so on, it’s game, set and match to Jesus.”

The audience at the celebrated Conway Hall, high temple of humanism and self-styled ‘landmark of London’s independent intellectual, political and cultural life’, erupted with clapping and cheers.

I was participating in a recent public debate entitled ‘This House believes Islam and the West have irreconcilable differences’ and, given the irreligious nature of the audience, the warm response to my comment about Christ was unexpected.

Alongside me as proposer of the motion was Anne Marie Waters, founder of ShariaWatch UK, former Council member of the National Secular Society, and lately a high-profile controversial candidate for the leadership of UKIP.

The opposition were Sheikh Dr Muhammad Al Husseini, Senior Fellow in Islamic Studies at the Westminster Institute; and Dr Michael Arnheim, practising Barrister, author of books on religion, law and government, and former Professor of Classics and Sometime Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge.

So the academic qualifications were clearly on the side of the opposition; but the audience and the weight of the argument were on ours. The full debate can be viewed here.

I have real differences with Anne Marie over how to respond to the rise of aggressive Islam but on the night she and I made a good team. She tackled Islam as a social and political force and critiqued it from a human rights, women’s rights and freedom of speech point of view, whereas I tackled it head-on as a religion.

I did so by comparing Islam with Christianity as the origin and cradle of our western civilisation.

I was free to undertake this exercise because, while the second half of the 20th century saw an increasingly aggressive secularisation of society and a growing hostility to Christianity, 9/11 changed the world. Since then we have found ourselves reaching for our religious identity both as an acknowledgement of our roots and as our distinctive against rising Islam.

Professional unbeliever Richard Dawkins today happily calls himself a Christian atheist or cultural Christian. Similarly political commentator and fellow atheist Douglas Murray told a Canadian interviewer recently that we are all Christians whether we like it or not, that rational secular atheists all “dream Christian dreams and have Christian thoughts” and that our universal human rights are derived directly from Christianity.

My argument in the debate was straightforward: Islam and the West have irreconcilable differences because Islam and Christianity have irreconcilable differences.

Theologically, Islam flatly refutes the historical crucifixion of Christ which is at the heart of the Christian faith. And if, as Islam says, Christ was not crucified, then there is no true Christianity – which of course is Islam’s contention. The cross on our war memorials and in our graveyards, on our village church steeples and atop the Queen’s coronation crown – these all represent a fake event according to Islam, and consequently are a huge deception at the core of the UK’s heritage and culture.

From a political and social perspective too, the contrasting lives and teachings of the founders of the two religions are profound and irreconcilable.

Muhammad – the perfect role model for all mankind according to Islamic orthodoxy – was a religious leader, governor, lawmaker and military chief who slaughtered enemies of Islam as well as personal opponents, and who installed a state theocracy at Medina as a prototype for his followers. Even today Muhammad’s swords are proudly on display in the Topkapi museum, Istanbul.

Jesus, on the other hand, was interested in hearts and minds not physical territory, and in the power of persuasion not political power and military might.

From a rule-bound legalistic Judaism he inaugurated a new grace-fuelled spiritual religion (“the Kingdom of God is within you”), separated church and state (“render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s”), taught that love is a prime ethic (“love your enemies”), and refused to allow his followers to use force to defend him or promote his new faith (“put away your sword for those who live by the sword will die by the sword”). The only violence during his ministry was that done to him not by him.

Consequently, I argued, Muhammad and his teachings in the Quran are irreconcilable with Jesus and his teachings in the New Testament.  And the values and cultures of Islamic societies based on the former are incompatible with western societies based on the latter.

Anne Marie is not religious so she, of course, took a different approach in the debate. For her the West is characterised by freedom: freedom of speech, expression and religion; equal rights before the law; and science and reason. The blasphemy laws with death penalties in Islam and the subjugation of women into second class status are, for her, ample illustrations of why the West and Islam are incompatible.

She is a persuasive speaker and she argued her case powerfully. I admired her cool too, as she knew that, late on the same evening after the debate finished, ITV were to broadcast a biased and brutal character assassination job on her led by the lefty hatchet men from Hope not Hate, Nick Lowles and Matthew Collins.

It was entitled Undercover: Inside Britain’s New Far Right www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IM4wtEr4No, and Lowles and Collins were paraded across the programme as neutral “experts”, and in the credits as “consultants”.

The analysis was incoherent and low-level which may explain why ITV scheduled it for a late time-slot. And, despite an undercover reporter following Anne Marie for months, there were no condemning new revelations.

In the end the programme could only resort to smearing her, and did so by including her in the same broadcast as an investigation into real militant extremists, the banned anti-Semitic Hitler-praising occasionally violent Nazi group, National Action.

It was damnation by slur, defamation by association.

Hope not Hatefunded by billionaire global financial market-manipulator George Soros – tries to silence anyone who refuses to dance to its regressive lefty political agenda. For years it has directed its bile against patriotic, anti-establishment, anti-EU, anti-globalist, pro-localism UKIP – including during this year’s general election.

And Lowles and Collins have regularly pilloried Nigel Farage personally too. Based on his experience with them, Farage reckons Hope not Hate “are among the most hateful people in modern Britain”.

Now vilified by them as well, Anne Marie is in good company.

Grooming Gangs: Kick Out Culpable Authorities

The article below was first published by Kipper Central ten days ago. It stands out as the most horrific UK issue I have yet written about:

The anger arose within me and I felt like throwing up.

I was sitting in a neat tidy home in small-town England last week listening to the parents and sibling of an English girl who, aged 15, had been groomed by a gang of Pakistani men from nearby large towns.

In the following years, they told me, she was abused, raped, gang-raped, beaten, forced into drug-taking, endlessly made drunk, made pregnant, had six abortions, was trafficked around as a sex-slave and had been continually violated by the men.

I felt sick, and the helpless anguish of the girl’s family compounded my nausea. They seemed such a normal decent people.

“They tried to get her to learn the Quran off by heart,” they continued, “and when she forgot it, they beat her again. Once they covered her head with a bag and all she could hear was them sharpening knives close by her throat. She was petrified.”

“They think they’re ISIS and they’re living in England,” I muttered to myself aghast.

But this has become the new normal in 21st century Britain.

Since the late 80s, girls up and down the country have been abused by Muslim grooming gangs on an industrial scale; in the first fifteen years of this century there were convictions in Rotherham, Rochdale, Leeds, Blackpool, Oldham, Blackburn, Manchester, Skipton, Nelson, Preston, Derby, Accrington, Telford, Bradford, Ipswich, Oxford, Keighley, Birmingham, Leicester, Peterborough, Burton, Bristol, Sheffield, Chesham, Slough, Banbury and Aylesbury amongst others.

Overwhelmingly the victims were white English girls, although some came from Asian Sikh background.

Most gang members were Pakistani men. But some were Somalian, Iranian, Iraqi, Kurdish, Kosovan, Afghan, Bangladeshi and other nationalities. The common characteristic is that almost to a man the groomers came from an Islamic background.

And the court successes above are just the tip of an appalling iceberg. An official report says in Rotherham alone (population 110,000) there may have been as many as 1,400 abused girls. In 2014 police chiefs reckoned that there were tens of thousands of victims every year across the UK. In 2015 Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, calculated that there could be as many as one million victims of child sexual exploitation gangs nationwide.

The other defining characteristics of the abuse have been its local nature and its brazenness.

This hasn’t been an online groomer alone in his bedroom passing videos of his secret conquests to predators and paedophiles via the dark web, nor has it been a solitary old man in a dirty raincoat waiting furtively up a dark alley.

This is in-your-face, on the street, in shopping malls, outside youth centres and above the local chicken shop. With impunity girls have been collected from their home or school by local Muslim taxi drivers and taken to flats or derelict buildings for drugs, sex and abuse by gangs of Muslim men.

It’s right to be utterly disgusted by these people, and to want them jailed with the key thrown away.

It’s also right for a political party like UKIP to attack, expose, hold to account, condemn and campaign for the removal of those in authority – the local council, social services, children’s services, the police – who have allowed this to happen.

Research shows that one reason for their inaction has been complacency, bureaucratic bumbling and inadequate cooperation between the relevant agencies.

But the main cause has been paralysing political correctness and the refusal to tackle the issue for fear of being branded ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobic’ – or offending leaders of the local Muslim community some of whom may themselves be elected local councillors.

As a consequence young girls have suffered horrendously. And it is still happening. Today. Bigtime. Up and down the country.

A month ago I went out on the streets of Rochdale – home to the most infamous of the Muslim grooming gangs whose nine members collectively were jailed for 77 years in 2012. I was accompanied by courageous parents of rescued girls.

Dressed with anti-stab vests and body-worn cameras, they frequently run a night patrol around the town centre to try to protect girls from the predations of other grooming gangs. Despite the jail sentences, the issue is still very much alive in the town.

Political correctness and hostility has never deterred UKIP from doing the right thing. Brexit, mass immigration, opposition to gay marriage – the party has not been afraid to take on the political establishment.

For the sake of the girls, we should now campaign actively against those authorities up and down the country who are inert, stay silent or duckdive for cover when the grooming gang terror arises in their neighbourhood.

A recent report into the Rotherham grooming gang scandal found substantial failings, errors and missed opportunities by the local Labour council. But not one senior person has been sacked.

This is outrageous, and an opportunity for UKIP to do what it does best: expose the corrupt, venal, self-serving, mainstream politicians who run local councils and let young girls suffer across the country.

The next local elections are in May. Let’s campaign and kick out those responsible.

False Europe, True Europe & The Traditional Family

A couple of months ago a pan-European group of scholars and intellectuals published an excoriating attack on the EU and the continent’s political elite, and offered instead a better vision of the ‘true Europe’. A couple of weeks ago my comment  below was published on UKIP Daily:

In May a group of conservative intellectuals from across Europe, including British philosopher Sir Roger Scruton, met in Paris.

They were brought together by their concern about the ‘false Europe’ currently promoted by Europe’s governing class, arrogant liberals, virtue-signalling progressives and faceless eurocrats who stalk the corridors of power in Brussels and elsewhere; and by a desire to defend and promote the ‘true Europe’, our “precious and irreplaceable civilisation… a community of nations… that is marked by Christianity… and draws inspiration from the Classical tradition of ancient Greece and Rome”.

The result of their deliberations was published on 7th October in ‘The Paris Statement: A Europe We Can Believe In’. Although often couched in scholarly language, the Statement is a blockbuster and a gold mine – a blockbuster of analysis as it blows open the hollow pretensions of the ‘false Europe’ also known as the EU, and a goldmine of right thinking as it provides many intellectual riches within the tight argumentation of its mere 36 paragraphs.

For instance, in the third paragraph they write this precise, searing, illuminating condemnation of the continent’s political leaders:

  1. The patrons of the false Europe are bewitched by superstitions of inevitable progress. They believe that History is on their side, and this faith makes them haughty and disdainful, unable to acknowledge the defects in the post-national, post-cultural world they are constructing. Moreover, they are ignorant of the true sources of the humane decencies they themselves hold dear—as do we. They ignore, even repudiate the Christian roots of Europe. At the same time they take great care not to offend Muslims, who they imagine will cheerfully adopt their secular, multicultural outlook. Sunk in prejudice, superstition and ignorance, and blinded by vain, self-congratulating visions of a utopian future, the false Europe reflexively stifles dissent. This is done, of course, in the name of freedom and tolerance. 

The Statement argues strikingly too, that shrinking freedoms and growing restrictions mean that European citizens are being straitjacketed into an Orwellian underclass of voiceless conformity and homogeneity:

  1. At the same time that we hear boasts of unprecedented liberty, European life is more and more comprehensively regulated. Rules—often confected by faceless technocrats in league with powerful interests—govern our work relationships, our business decisions, our educational qualifications, our news and entertainment media. And Europe now seeks to tighten existing regulations on freedom of speech, an aboriginal European freedom—freedom of conscience made manifest. The targets of these restrictions are not obscenity or other assaults on decency in public life. Instead, Europe’s governing classes wish to restrict manifestly political speech. Political leaders who give voice to inconvenient truths about Islam and immigration are hauled before judges. Political correctness enforces strong taboos that deem challenges to the status quo beyond the pale. The false Europe does not really encourage a culture of freedom. It promotes a culture of market-driven homogeneity and politically enforced conformity. 

And, further, the Statement exposes the EU as a paralysing dystopian pseudo-religious empire from which we may be saved only by re-secularising and re-invigorating Europe (or, of course, by Brexit)?

  1. The work of renewal begins with theological self-knowledge.The universalist and universalizing pretensions of the false Europe reveal it to be an ersatz religious enterprise, complete with strong creedal commitments—and anathemas. This is the potent opiate that paralyzes Europe as a political body. We must insist that religious aspirations are properly the province of religion, not politics, much less bureaucratic administration. In order to recover our political and historical agency, it is imperative that we re-secularize European public life.

It’s brilliant stuff and provides many sticks with which to beat wearisome Remoaners and Eurofanatics.

But as a member of the Support 4 the Family group (S4tF) in UKIP, I was also forcibly struck by the Statement’s memorable declaration about marriage and the traditional family:

  1. Marriage is the foundation of civil society and the basis for harmony between men and women. It is the intimate bond organized around sustaining a household and raising children. We affirm that our most fundamental roles in society and as human beings are as fathers and mothers. Marriage and children are integral to any vision of human flourishing. Children require sacrifice from those who bring them into the world. This sacrifice is noble and must be honoured. We endorse prudent social policies to encourage and strengthen marriage, childbearing, and childrearing. A society that fails to welcome children has no future.

It also contends (para 10), “The bond of marriage allows both men and women to flourish in communion. Most of the sacrifices we make are for the sake of our spouses and children.” 

So for Europe and the UK to flourish once more we must throw off the selfish anti-family individualism of the political mainstream, and instead develop “social policies to encourage and strengthen marriage, childbearing and childrearing”.

This, of course, would be radical, politically-incorrect and subversive. In other words, it is exactly UKIP territory.

At the Torquay party conference in September, a motion was proposed by S4tF chair Alan Williams and seconded by S4tF committee member Dr Deborah Pitt that called for the appointment of a UKIP Spokesperson for Families and Children. It was passed by members virtually unanimously.

The Spokesperson’s task is to develop marriage and family policies in time for the next general election manifesto.

The membership has spoken. The conference resolution is now for the NEC and Henry Bolton as our new leader to implement.

In 2012 UKIP alone had the courage to oppose the redefinition and downgrading of marriage against vicious hostility and opposition. In 2018 we should grab this socially conservative territory once more, set the political agenda once again, and deliver party policies that will help children and families thrive and flourish.

Of Fog And Boomerangs

Recently a favourite commentator of mine, Brendon O’Neill, wrote a striking article about Islam that “slices through the fog of confusion, obfuscation and sheers dishonesty of public debate” (as Melanie Phillips says in another context).

Actually, of course, there is very little proper public debate about Islam. It is a belief system privileged by our Islamophilic political establishment and protected by politically-correct but unwritten blasphemy laws in the media and elsewhere which ensure that criticism of Islam – except of its most violent versions of course – is immediately shut down as Islamophobic, racist and/or hate speech.

This protection is shown to no other religion. “Show some damn respect for people’s religious beliefs,” a pious Piers Morgan instructed Tommy Robinson last week when the latter held aloft a Quran and claimed that Islam’s holy book is “the reason why we are in such a mess” following the London Bridge and Finsbury Park Mosque attacks.

This is the same Piers Morgan who was venomous in his disrespect for Christians and others who held to traditional Biblical views of marriage during gay marriage debates.

Brendon O’Neill’s article ‘After London Bridge: let’s start talking about Islam’ points powerfully to the dangerous social consequences of protecting Islam from criticism. He writes:

“This… privilege is not extended to any other religion… Islam is ringfenced from tough discussion; phrases which at some level include the word Islam are tightly policed; criticism of Islam is deemed a mental illness: Islamophobia. 

“This is incredibly dangerous. This censorious flattery of Islam is, in my view, a key contributor to the violence we have seen in recent years. Because when you constantly tell people that any mockery of their religion is tantamount to a crime, is vile and racist and unacceptable, you actively invite them to be intolerant. You licence their intolerance. You inflame their violent contempt for anyone who questions their dogmas. You provide a moral justification for their desire to punish those who insult their religion.” 

Get that? The censorship of criticism of Islam contributes towards Islamic intolerance and violence. It’s a brilliant insight that ‘pierces the fog’ of a dishonest public debate and rightly boomerangs back onto the heads of our political class some of the responsibility for Islamic atrocities .

I’ve done my own bit to counter dishonesty in the public portrayal of Islam. In an article published on UKIP Daily following the Manchester Arena suicide bombing atrocity I argued that from its violent foundation in the 7th century it has been impossible to argue sensibly that Islam is a religion of peace.

I wrote:

Why do politicians and other religious illiterates intone the vacuous mantra that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’ every time there is an atrocity like the Manchester bombing last week? 

9/11 should have stopped such nonsense in its tracks sixteen years ago. But no, they continue to inform us that Islamic terrorism has nothing whatever to do with ‘peaceful’ Islam. 

Theresa May gave Donald Trump and the Republican Party the benefit of her witlessness in a speech during her January visit to the US. “We should always be careful to distinguish between this extreme and hateful ideology and the peaceful religion of Islam,” she lectured them. 

The Prime Minister is of course just the latest in a long line of dissembling Western leaders. It started with President George W Bush. Six days after the 9/11 atrocity he went to the Islamic Centre in Washington to assure traumatised Americans that “Islam is peace” and that the religion has nothing to do with the “acts of violence” perpetrated by the airline hijackers. 

The problem with this supposed division between violent extremists and the rest is that all forms of Islam – from the “twisted version” propagated by ISIS to the most moderate westernised version – have one factor and focus that unites them: they all revere Islam’s founder and prophet, Muhammad. 

For Muslims he is second only to Allah, and indeed occasionally the Quran even gives him equivalent authority: “Obey Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad) that ye may obtain mercy” (3: 132). For every Muslim he is the greatest moral example in history, a mercy for the world and a model for all time. 

For centuries across Muslim lands it was impossible to raise objections to him as the objector would risk execution for apostasy. Glorified legends and sanitised stories about Islam’s prophet were able to flourish without contradiction, while outside the Muslim world there was minimal interest in the man or his religion. 

However, increasing post-WW2 immigration from Muslim countries and the dramatic 9/11 wake-up call has brought Islam into full engagement with the West for the first time. Therefore things have changed: the religion has become subject to our tradition of critical inquiry, Muhammad’s life and character have been put increasingly under the microscope and, particularly, the advent of the internet has enabled open scrutiny of both Islam’s founder and his religion like never before. 

Of course in the West it is our democratic duty to examine, challenge and debate any belief system that is impacting our society; that’s how a free society works. We’ve done it with Christianity and atheism. We’ve done it too with communism, fascism and even climate change. 

We are doing it now with Islam and, as this process is new to Muslims, it has made many defensive and over-sensitive to criticism. Nonetheless the job must be done if we are to remain an open society, and we must do it despite the efforts of the political class to protect Islam, of the liberal Left to damn critics as Islamophobic and racist, and of Islamic community leaders to play the victim card. We still have freedom of speech – just. 

For as long as Muhammad was a lone and persecuted prophet in Mecca, he cut a sympathetic Gandhi-type figure who simply preached his new religion to mostly deaf or hostile ears. But after his migration to Medina in 622 (significantly, the start-date of the Islamic era) he became the powerful warrior-governor of this desert community. 

It was here he resorted to violence if it was necessary to impose his (and, as he understood it, Allah’s) will and it was here at its foundation that Islam lost any claim to be a religion of peace. 

In his ten years as Medina’s governor Muhammad fought eight major battles, personally led eighteen military operations and oversaw thirty eight others. He himself was wounded twice. 

He had a poetess, Asma Bint Marwan, assassinated at night while she slept at home with her five children. She had been virulent in her criticism of him and called for rebellion against him so, apparently, she had to go. 

After one successful battle, Muhammad authorised and attended the slaughter of hundreds of prisoners; they were beheaded in batches and their bodies pitched into a trench he’d had dug in Medina’s market place. 

So it simply isn’t credible to sanitise Islam as a religion of peace. Even today Muhammad’s swords are proudly displayed at the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul for all to see, and until recently mainstream Islam gloried in its early history of military conquests and successful battles as a sign of Allah’s special grace towards believers. 

Muhammad was no peaceful religious leader like Jesus Christ or the Buddha, nor indeed was he a political pacifist like Gandhi or Martin Luther King. He used the sword frequently during the birth of his religion. 

Muslim community leaders may describe Salman Abedi’s massacre at Manchester Arena as “unIslamic” and politicians, media and police may explain that he was an ordinary young British Muslim radicalised by his regrettable links to Libya. 

But they cannot bolster their theories by arguing that true Islam has nothing to do with violence. At heart it is not a religion of peace and never has been.” 

Following Brendon O’Neill’s insight, perhaps I should add to my article a further conclusion: Political leaders who insist Islam is a religion of peace are deliberately promoting falsehood. This dishonesty boomerangs back onto their own heads through our increased mistrust of the political elite and increased doubts about the state’s willingness to protect us from the growing Islamic fundamentalism, militancy and violence – especially amongst young Muslim men – that they deny exists.

So if in the future people feel forced to take their personal security and defence into their own hands, who can blame them?

Another UKIP Christian Manifesto?

I published this piece on the UKIP Daily website recently. It resulted in some interesting online comment and discussion:

Nigel Farage caused a storm a couple of years ago when, against the prevailing political zeitgeist as always, he called for Britain to accept only Christian refugees from Syria. “They are a seriously persecuted minority… under attack on all sides… as Islamist elements seek to purge the (Middle East) of Christianity”, he argued.

Then, after Muslim migrants from north Africa threw Christian fellow migrants out of their boat to drown in the Mediterranean, he proposed that Europe should accept only Christian African  refugees “as they have almost nowhere else to go”.
So it was welcome when UKIP deputy leader Peter Whittle recently weighed in too. “There needs to be a prioritisation of Christian refugees from Syria,” he contended ten days ago. He was echoing the concern of renegade former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, that the UK government is “institutionally biased” against Christian refugees and “politically-correct” officials are discriminating against Christian Syrians in the UK’s refugee programme.

The political class is at best embarrassed by Christianity as the nation’s traditional religion, and at worst actively hostile. It prefers to support the religions brought into Britain post-war by immigrant communities, especially from South Asia. Remember Boris Johnson fatuously proposing that we should all fast for a day during Ramadan and then break our fast at the local mosque? I don’t recall him ever asking us all to pray during Lent and visit the local church on Sunday.

And when the then director-general of the BBC was accused by Ben Elton of letting Vicar jokes pass but not Imam jokes, Mark Thompson admitted that the public service broadcaster – flagship of Britain’s global soft-power with a world-wide audience, but also at the heart of British culture and paid for by you and me – does give special treatment to Islam but not Christianity “because Muslims are from a religious minority and… often from ethnic minorities”. It was classic liberal twaddle that patronisingly plays the victim card on behalf of the world’s second largest and most aggressive religion, and flagrantly repudiates the Beeb’s own claims to neutrality and impartiality.

UKIP is never afraid to stand alone or challenge conventional wisdom, so it is both bold and typical of the party that it insists on standing up for the nation’s traditional religion against the prejudiced political establishment. Neither is it surprising that UKIP broke new ground at the May 2015 general election and was the first and only national party to publish a separate Christian manifesto.

Nigel Farage contended in his foreword to the manifesto – it was entitled Valuing Our Christian Heritage – that “we need a much more muscular defence of our Christian heritage and our Christian Constitution. Ours is fundamentally a Christian nation… UKIP is the only political party… that still cherishes our Judeo-Christian heritage.”

The manifesto contained common-sense stuff. It recognised that children are best brought up “within safe, secure, happy families”; said that “reasonable accommodation” should be made legally for those in the workplace who cannot accept same-sex marriage; and backed faith schools “provided they are open to the whole community, uphold British values, do not discriminate against any section of society and meet required educational standards”.

UKIP is a secular party and, as far as I know, neither Nigel Farage nor Peter Whittle are regular church-goers let alone committed Christians. But they, and UKIP’s 2015 Christian manifesto, acknowledge that Christianity has a particular place in the culture of our society that Islam and other religions do not have. And, as I have argued elsewhere, UKIP is and should be a defender of the Faith.

In the name of multi-cultural tolerance and good inter-faith relations, liberal Scottish clergy at Glasgow Cathedral recently invited a Muslim student to read verses from the Quran during a service marking Christianity’s Feast of the Epiphany. As a good Muslim and in honour of Allah no doubt, he read the key Quranic verses which specifically deny Christianity’s central tenet – that Jesus is the Son of God.

When a courageous Church of England clergyman, the Revd Gavin Ashenden, objected strongly to this denigration of Jesus within Christian worship, atheist commentator Douglas Murray memorably commenced an article proposing an award for the cleric thus:

“Very occasionally — even in contemporary Britain — some good news arrives. No single       piece of news has been more invigorating than the discovery that a member of the clergy of the Church of England has found a vertebra.”

In the event Reverend Ashenden was forced to step down from his post as Chaplain to the Queen for being controversial, so Murray finished his article with an equally memorable conclusion:

“For the time-being, Revd Ashenden is on the retreating side. But in the long run he may not be. In a nation much in need of heroes, an Anglican Reverend has stepped forward, putting his sincere and serious beliefs ahead of the unserious and insincere pieties of our time. Everybody — secular or religious — has cause to feel enormous gratitude.”

UKIP members – secular or religious – should be willing to support Britain’s traditional religion. After all, Winston Churchill was a disbeliever who reckoned himself a buttress of the church rather than a pillar, as “I support it from the outside”.

UKIP ought to continue its pioneering work and publish the party’s second Christian manifesto in time for the June general election.

The Party Of The Family?

I wrote the piece below as a contribution to UKIP’s search for a new identity and purpose following the Brexit referendum. My timing was bad as it was published this week on UKIP Daily website the day after Theresa May announced the snap general election and party attention immediately focused on the campaign. But I reckon the argument is sound and the issue is vital… 

“Don’t go Daddy, I promise I’ll be good,” sobbed the little boy as his father walked out of home and through the garden gate for the last time, to move in with another woman. With his face pressed frantically against the window and tears streaming down his face, the lad wasn’t the last child to see his universe fall apart and, tragically and wrongly, feel personal guilt for his parents’ break-up.

His father didn’t return so the desperate boy, aged 4 and known to me, took to stabbing other children at school with his pencil and insisted on changing his first name.

Children are the vulnerable victims of family break-up, but others are affected too. Wider family, neighbours and friends, the local community and society at large are all involved in some way and pay significant emotional and/or financial cost.

And although social libertarians, self-centred inadequates and anarchists may insist on mailing ‘Celebrate Your Divorce’ cards and throwing parties when families fall apart, for most it is a difficult and draining decision that they do not wish to repeat. It is also deeply personal. But no one is an island and it is not only personal.

The Relationships Foundation (RF) in Cambridge calculates that family break-up (‘family failure’ they call it) is at crisis level and currently costs the UK exchequer £48 billion a year   – that’s £10 billion more than the UK’s total defence budget. It’s the equivalent of nearly £2,000 a year for each UK taxpayer, and rising.

You can find RF’s calculations here.

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) – formed in 2004 by Iain Duncan-Smith MP – has produced ground-breaking studies around the theme of ‘Breakdown Britain’. It has warned of a “tsunami” of family failure, with the number of lone-parent families – currently over 2 million – growing at 20,000 a year. CSJ also has identified areas of the country that have become “man-deserts” with few visible male role models for children, especially boys. Parts of Liverpool, for instance, have no father-figure in 65% of households and primary schools have not a single male teacher.

Sir Paul Coleridge was a High Court Family Division judge for years, seeing before him daily the human calamity of family breakdown and especially its heartrending impact on children. In 2012 he set up the Marriage Foundation “to champion long-lasting stable relationships within marriage” as the best domestic arrangement for the nurture and flourishing of children. The next year he was formally disciplined for speaking out about his support for traditional marriage, so he resigned from the Bench.

How have we got here? How come a High Court judge cannot promote the marriage-based family, despite its protection by Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? How come the political class will not talk about the growing crisis of family breakdown, let alone tackle it?

The silence is mainly a result of Gramsci and Alinsky or, if you prefer, a consequence of Cultural and Transformational Marxism.

Antonio Gramsci, who died in 1937, was the original Cultural Marxist theoretician. It is his political children and grandchildren who have dominated the post-war Left and undertaken his proposed ‘long march through the institutions’ of society in order to undermine, capture and destroy them – including of course the fundamental institution of marriage and family.

Fellow-travellers and useful idiots in the political class danced to the Cultural Marxists’ tune – often unwittingly – and this has led to today’s liberal authoritarianism that, like Communism, uses the power of the state to police language and supress freedom of speech, especially politically-incorrect speech.

It also led incidentally to the Establishment’s supine surrender to the EU superstate (now gloriously reversed by the people’s Brexit vote) and to the prosecution of pro-family Catholics who opposed to gay adoption. Melanie Phillips explains the phenomenon clearly.

The language of morality, virtue-signalling and political correctness is one of the weapons the Left uses to shut down opponents and capture our culture. Hillary Clinton’s college mentor, Transformational Marxist philosopher Saul Alinsky  who died in 1972, was the arch exponent. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it,” was his rule which, being translated, means “Demonise your opponents so the media won’t give them column inches or airspace”.

So if you opposed David Cameron’s 2013 same-sex marriage legislation, gay activist leaders Ben Summerskill or Peter Tatchell could smear you as a homophobic bigot and you’d find yourself ejected from the media mainstream and excluded from polite metropolitan society.

At the same time the elite – Conservative’s Cameron, Labour’s Ed Miliband and LibDem’s Nick Clegg, Gramsci’s ‘progressive’ grandchildren and lemming leaders of the political class – could link arms politically and celebrate together the destruction of faithful marriage as understood in these islands for over a thousand years.

Spiked Online editor and former Marxist Brendon O’Neill was a vocal critic of same-sex marriage. He slammed gay marriage campaigners’ Alinskyite demonization of opponents and exposed the state’s Gramsciite policing of language, for instance here.

What’s to be done? There is here a great opportunity for UKIP to do again what it does best: ignore the demands of political correctness, stop worrying about tomorrow’s headlines, confront the political establishment head-on and insist on pushing a vital but avoided social issue onto the national political agenda whether the old parties like it or not.

We did it courageously with Brexit and uncontrolled immigration. We stood boldly alone over grammar schools and gay marriage. For the sake of our children let alone the cost to the tax-payer, we should repeat this by tackling the crisis of family breakdown and promoting the traditional stable family.

In fact we should become the Party of the Family.

So what is the way forward?

First, Paul Nuttall should immediately appoint a ‘Spokesperson for the Family’ whose brief is to develop UKIP policies that protect and promote the traditional nuclear family. Also in our general election manifesto we should commit UKIP to appointing a Minister for Families.

Second, at its next meeting UKIP’s National Executive Committee should approve the application for SIG (Special Interest Group) status within the party lodged by the Support4TheFamily (S4TF) group of UKIP members. I helped establish S4TF two years ago with a view to giving legitimate voice to family values within the party alongside other voices.

Third, we should develop a UKIP Family Impact Assessment (like the Environmental Impact Assessment for major building projects) and apply it to all government legislation and regulation.

Fourth, UKIP should campaign immediately against our biased tax and benefits regime that makes it more advantageous for couples to live apart than together – the so-called ‘couple penalty’. The Marriage Foundation calculates it can be worth up to £7,100 a year for a couple with a child to stay separate rather than move in together.

Paul Nuttall has committed UKIP to stealing the patriotic working-class vote from Labour. In urban areas and council estates up and down the country, normal life is primarily about ‘my family and kids’.

If UKIP stands alongside the socially conservative working-class and middle-class, and distinct from the anti-family liberal establishment, we will soak up their votes and gain UKIP’s first proper seats in Parliament.