Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Tea with Neagu Djuvara on my birthday

A nice birthday present was being invited to tea by Neagu Djuvara, the 100-year old Romanian historian and thinker.

I was pleased that my Romanian was good enough to understand pretty much every word he said. He welcomes Trump's election - Trump is the sort of 'primitive peasant' who is needed, 'a bull', rather than Hillary, who is 'too harmless'.

But he does not think Russia a threat to Romania - it's simply Romanians' habit to think Russia a danger. The real danger is Muslim immigration and the inevitable Muslim conquest of Europe.

He slightly offended the woman friend I brought with me, whom he seemed to enjoy, by saying she was was 'too intellectual for a woman'. She was not offended on behalf of her sex but because he might have meant she was not attractive. I saw yet again the unbridgeable chasm that separates Romanian from British thinking. 

I think he was flirting, but with 100 year-old savants it's not easy to tell.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

It's simply a question

Defence experts are convinced that defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq will disperse an Islamist diaspora that will wreak havoc in Europe, In that case, why don't we forget about destroying ISIS in the Middle East?

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Morally disgusting people praise Castro

Before the Castro tributes, the last time left-wingers were so funny was when Marchais, Yasser Arafat and the others welcomed the Moscow coup in 1991.

But it's not just the left. The BBC are kinder to Castro than they were to Lady Thatcher when she died:

“His critics accused him of being a dictator.”
The Lord Mayor of Dublin has opened a Book of Condolence for Fidel Castro to allow the people of Dublin to "pay their own respects", which is reminiscent of Eamonn de Valera signing the book of condolences in the German Embassy in 1945 on the death of Hitler.

Americans disapprove of it but owe their country's existence to colonialism

It's strange that Americans owe their country's existence to colonialism but are so prejudiced against it.

Other people's colonialism, that is. They have their own colonial empire. Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska, various islands, Cuba and the Philippines in the past, Europe west of Russia.

All the USA east of the original 13 colonies is the result of American colonialism, I suppose. Including the lands taken from Mexico, that the Mexicans are now reoccupying.

AJP Taylor, the greatest 20th century British historian said: 

“If the Germans had succeeded in exterminating their Slav neighbors as the Anglo-Saxons in North America succeeded in exterminating the Indians, the effect would have been what it has been on the Americans: the Germans would have become advocates of brotherly love and international reconciliation."

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Juncker, Hollande and Corbyn praise Castro, Trump rejoices

European Commission - Statement

Statement by President Juncker on the passing away of Fidel Castro

Brussels, 26 November 2016
Fidel Castro was one of the historic figures of the past century and the embodiment of the Cuban Revolution. With the death of Fidel Castro, the world has lost a man who was a hero for many. He changed the course of his country and his influence reached far beyond. Fidel Castro remains one of the revolutionary figures of the 20th century. His legacy will be judged by history. 
I convey my condolences to the Cuban President Raúl Castro and his family and to the people of Cuba

He has not so far gone as far as Eamonn De Valera who signed the book of condolence at the German embassy on Adolf Hitler's death.  

French President Francois Hollande has mourned the loss the "towering" former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, while noting concerns over human rights under his regime.

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hailed Fidel Castro as a “champion of social justice”, following the announcement of the former Cuban leader’s death, admitted there were “flaws” in the revolutionary leader’s long rule over the Caribbean island, but praised him as a “huge figure of modern history”.

Mr Corbyn said: 
“Fidel Castro’s death marks the passing of a huge figure of modern history, national independence and 20th century socialism. From building a world class health and education system, to Cuba’s record of international solidarity abroad, Castro’s achievements were many.For all his flaws, Castro’s support for Angola played a crucial role in bringing an end to Apartheid in South Africa, and he will be remembered both as an internationalist and a champion of social justice.”

They all sound much more enthusiastic about Castro than about Donald Trump and much politer. 

The kind words for Castro remind me of Tony Benn signing the book of condolence at the Chinese Embassy on Mao's death. Benn said in his diary that he was “a great admirer of Mao", though he "made mistakes, because everybody does”.

Gap in the Curtain

I'm thinking about The Gap in the Curtain, a novel I once read by John Buchan, about a professor at a house party who enables guests to have a glimpse of a copy of The Times published one year in the future. Had I had a glimpse of today's paper 18 months ago and seen Donald Trump was US President-elect, Britain was leaving the EU. Angela Merkel had invited millions of migrants without papers into Germany and JEREMY CORBYN was Leader of the Labour Party I'd have fallen about laughing and known the professor was a howling fraud.

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

I doubt if we can trust the figures for war dead in Syria. They are said to be between 301,781 (very precise) and 470,000.

When I was in Hama in 2006 I was told by my guide that 60,000 died there in the uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood in 1982. I see the number usually reported is 30,000. Sharmine Narwani in the Guardian in 2013 estimated it at 2,000.

Bill Clinton in 1999, said in fighting in Bosnia Croatia and Kosovo around 250,000 had died. Now people say 130,000.

Thoughts of the Day

[Mr. Renzi's] defeat has not made the eventual break-up of the euro more certain, because that is coming anyway. It has simply made it more obvious. William Hague

EU failures: 1 Monetary union 2 Foreign policy (MENA, Ukraine) 3 Migration policy 4 Radical Islam policy. EU deserved Brexit.

Refer to law lords as enemies of the people, and you're a fascist. Refer to ordinary people as a racist, moronic mob whose bovine idiocy has plunged the world into mayhem, and you're a liberal. 2016, you are drunk, time for bed. Brendan O'Neill

“Populism” is a scare word meant to delegitimize rebellions against political establishments and mainstream elites. It draws together under the same big, scary tent parties and causes that have a little in common otherwise. There is no “populist” ideology that unites these various dissidents the way Marxist ideology united international socialists for more than a century. John O'Sullivan

Thought of the Day

Fidel Castro has finally died

Fidel Castro has finally died. Many (most?) in Cuba are rejoicing secretly. But many are mourning, I imagine.

I used to think it interesting that Mao, Franco and Tito were still alive. That's a while back. "Eheu fugaces!' (I was very precociously interested in history as a very young boy.)

Donne said "Any man's death diminishes me" but Castro's not so much. Yet, oddly, there is always a slight sadness at the end of any era, even an evil one, though his era does not die with him. A number of people I met in Cuba liked him. Of course people were in tears when Stalin died.

In Miami, they are celebrating wildly in the streets.

Castro reminds me of the Communist turned Catholic Dorothy Day's remark
"Becoming a saint is the revolution." 
In 1960, she praised Fidel Castro's "promise of social justice" and that year she travelled to Cuba and reported her experiences in a four-part series in the Catholic Worker. In the first of these, she wrote: 
"I am most of all interested in the religious life of the people and so must not be on the side of a regime that favors the extirpation of religion. On the other hand, when that regime is bending all its efforts to make a good life for the people, a naturally good life (on which grace can build) one cannot help but be in favor of the measures taken." 
A number of other Catholics, like Graham Greene, admired Castro. But his ideas, predictably, failed Cuba, except for the poorest 10%. They were better off than they would have been in a free country.

There were signs that in his last years Castro took an interest in the Catholicism that he rejected in his youth. When he met Pope Francis the Cuban asked him to send him some books to answer questions that he had. I hope that, like Gustav Husak the Czech dictator, he made a deathbed conversion. He had become friendly with a Bolivian friar before his death.

Praising Castro never went out of fashion in the West (or in the Third World). I remember Arthur Scargill being asked by Michael Parkinson where socialism had worked and his reply 'Cuba'. But things changed when Michael Frayn reported that Cuba was throwing homosexuals into gaol. This was much worse in they eyes of the left than having political dissidents put in gaol. 

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The purpose of a nation is to exclude people

The purpose of a nation, like any other club, or like any house or dwelling, is to exclude people. This is its raison d'être. Discuss.

Excluding others is one important purpose of states, rather than countries, I suppose. I am not sure countries or nations should have purposes. I rather think they shouldn't.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Queen in this game is the Ace

The Queen will invite Donald Trump to Windsor speedily. She is the UK's not so secret weapon.

She meets all sorts in her job: Ceausescu, whom she knighted and later unknighted, the head of the IRA whose name I shall not utter, Mr. Corbyn, the Emperor Hirohito. 

Her grandfather knighted Mussolini and her father stripped him of the title, though I doubt he cared.

Mrs. May is 'trumping' Mr. Farage's card.

This is only the start of a religious war

"A world is collapsing before our eyes," tweeted the French ambassador to the USA, Gerard Araud, as it became clear Trump had won. He deleted it later but he was right, of course. As I watched, I suddenly felt sure that the election of Trump, with all his grave faults, was a last-minute victory for common sense in America and Europe.
But, if I hadn't thought that then, the reaction of his opponents in the USA and in Europe would have convinced me. One or two of the craziest American 'liberals' talk of resistance (armed?) or of killing Trump. 

The New York Times ran a piece by Californian Daniel Duane who said of his fellow Californians, "nearly everyone I know would vote yes tomorrow if we could secede" from the United States. These are the people who are horrified by Confederate flags.

The mainstream liberals compare the result to September 11 and routinely compare the President elect to Hitler or Mussolini. The liberal papers print misleading nonsense and untruths, while complaining about fake (conservative) news, which Twitter is trying to suppress by blocking Breitbart writers etc. 

Liberal tears were enjoyable, but now the power of the liberal American establishment begins to frighten me.
Trump and his first appointments are extremely Philo-Semitic and supportive of Israel, intend scrapping the accommodation with Iran (which saddens me) and yet are accused of being Anti-Semites, without any rational grounds.
Gerard Baker in the Spectator said that condemnation of Trump’s victory was taken up like the call of the muezzin from the media’s minarets.
"Much of New York City stumbled around in the fog of mourning. The principal of the school to which a colleague sends his child sent a note to parents explaining how the school would lead their children through their grief. ‘And now when we most want to weep and mourn, we must come to work and be a source of both solace and inspiration to all our young students,’ it said." 

Friday, 18 November 2016

The Left in deep mourning

How long ago 22 October seems..
"Aboard her plane, Clinton told reporters she is now looking past Trump entirely, delivering the ultimate insult for a celebrity showman who for decades has made a living of capturing attention.
“I debated him for four and a half hours. I don’t even think about responding to him anymore,” Clinton said when asked about Trump’s charge of a media conspiracy. “He can say whatever he wants to. He can run his campaign however he wants to, he can go off on tangents, he can go to Gettysburg and say he’s gonna sue women who’ve made accusations against him. I’m going to keep talking about what we want to do.”Increasingly, though, she’s talking about electing other Democrats who will help her do it. Democrats are hoping to win back the majority in the Senate and some are even dreaming that a tanking Trump could help them take control of the House despite what is currently a historically large Republican majority."

Though there were one or two voices, such as Helmut Norpoth's, 
that continued to say Trump was sure of victory.

He himself a week before the election seemed, to at least one British journalist, as if he had lost hope. But almost everything you have read this year or will read in the future is written by people who hate Trump. 

On the night he was very cautious before he believed finally that he had won. He's superstitious which is why he hadn't planned who would be in his administration before he won. He knows the gods punish hubris. 

Hillary knows that now. Or rather she probably doesn't. She thinks, as she said through tears on election night, that the FBI cost her the election. An election win to which she felt entitled.

One doesn't want to sound hard hearted but the deluge of tears for Hillary is blackly funny. Journalists were most distraught.  One compared sitting through the election results to an out of body experience. 

Hillary broke down in floods of tears and was unable to make a concession speech until the next day.

This lady in Slate said what many others think and say.

There’s No Such Thing as a Good Trump Voter

People voted for a racist who promised racist outcomes. They don’t deserve your empathy.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

"Post-truth" politics

"Post-truth" is Oxford Dictionaries' 'Word of the Year 2016'. When did a 'word' so annoy me? Not since Islamophobia? 

What I hate about the word 'post-truth', more than its mendacity, is its smugness. And the way it is a value judgement which people who use it think is an objective assessment. 

Because they think their opinions are objectively true and those who disagree are rather thick (or racists, or both). 

It goes with putting bureaucracy in place of democracy, which is how the EU works. Committees of intelligent, objective experts can decide the big issues, critiqued intelligently by Oxbridge arts graduates, who work for the Economist or the BBC and only have everyone's best interests at heart.

Suddenly the gates of the PC prison start to open: II

Identity politics is a bag of snakes. Hillary lost due to black identity politics in 2008 and due to white identity politics in 2016. Hoist by her own petard.

To mix metaphors.

But it was not just about Hillary, who was certainly a weak candidate. Moderate and left-wing Democrats lost seats in Congress and in the states. 

Would another better Democrat candidate have won? Joe Biden is a nice man, but in a change election he, like Hillary, was the same old, same old. More left-wing candidates would have had the same problem.

And would another Republican candidate have done better or as well as the Donald?

Jeb Bush had no chance with an electorate that wanted something new. John Kasich sought fastidiously to distance himself from most of his party during the primaries, in the way that McCain did in 2012. This is why he wasn't nominated. Ted Cruz would have terrified many of the Democrats who switched parties to vote for Trump. Marco Rubio was nice but too callow and inexperienced. Cruz and Rubio had both favoured a partial amnesty for illegal immigrants before they changed their minds. Mitt Romney, who in his career in private equity (a.k.a. asset stripping) laid off so many workers, was not going to appeal to voters in the rust belt.

Was it a sudden decision by voters on the day to take a gamble on Donald Trump? The Washington Post has data to suggest that it was

Yet Brad Parscale, Trump's data analyst, was sure by the Saturday before polling day that Mr. Trump was going to win. 

He says that votes were moving Mr. Trump's way before the FBI Director's shock announcement that further emails from Hillary had been discovered on Anthony Weiner's laptop. He thinks that neither the FBI nor the groping allegations changed the outcome. Trump won because people wanted change.

White identity politics appeared for the first time at this election and was the timely reaction to PC, a crazy way of thinking which was kept in place by rigorous thought policing. 

Ann Coulter yesterday had fun with this stuff.

In the modern Democratic Party, out-of-work coal miners are constantly denounced for their "privilege" by half-black girls at Yale -- who wouldn't have gotten in without the black half -- and who will be paid a quarter-million dollars as the "diversity coordinator" at some Fortune 500 corporation.
This was the kind of stuff to which many voters who don't like him hope that Trump will be the antidote. 

Suddenly the gates of the PC prison start to open

As  Rod Liddle said,

Their time has gone. Suddenly THEY are on the wrong side of history.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Will Italy be next and then France?

David McWilliams writes in the Irish Independent about the forthcoming Italian referendum on reforming the constitution, under the headline:

Why Italy is the next country to fall to Trumpism

'In terms of the big picture, the Italian election can be seen as yet another domino in a year of falling dominos. First we had Brexit, then Trump, and the next big one for Europe after Italy is the potential rise of Le Pen in France. Italy is the triplet in a quartet that will culminate in France, and, in my opinion, if the Italian elite loses on December 4, Marine Le Pen will win in France.'
The referendum is to approve or not proposed changes to the constitution, but a No vote, widely expected, may be take to be a vote to unseat the Prime Minister. He has threatened (or promised) to resign if the proposed reforms are voted down). This will precipitate a general election in which the Five Star Party will campaign to leave the euro.

That is in the future. The Five Star Party would need an absolute majority in both chambers of Parliament to hold a referendum on leaving the euro, but David McWilliams can imagine it happening.

Could Italy turn its back on the EU? Of course it could. In fact, why wouldn't it? Any country that can change sides in a world war is politically capable of changing its currency, don't you think?

The referendum is to approve or not proposed changes to the constitution, but a No vote, widely expected, may be take to be a vote to unseat the Prime Minister. He has threatened (or promised) to resign if the proposed reforms are voted down). This will precipitate a general election in which the Star Party will campaign to leave the euro.

That is in the future. The Five Star Party would need an absolute majority in both chambers of Parliament to hold a referendum on leaving the euro, but David McWilliams can imagine it happening.

Could Italy turn its back on the EU? Of course it could. In fact, why wouldn't it? Any country that can change sides in a world war is politically capable of changing its currency, don't you think?

I doubt that Marine Le Pen will become president next year, partly because France does not want to leave the EU, which she considers a modern version of Napoleon's empire. But it is not impossible. Brexit and Trump have shown us (the French included) that nothing is.

Donald Trump will find out that the powers of the US President are surprisingly curtailed. Those of the French president, when the government is not of his party, are very much more so. 

But, if she did defy the odds and reach the Élysée Palace, would Marine Le Pen's party then come to power on her coat-tails?

We live in interesting times. I learnt recently that 'may you live in interesting times' is not in fact a Chinese curse. I wonder if President Le Pen would be a curse or not. 

She wants to nationalise some banks, which sounds very alarming, though one remembers that Gordon Brown nationalised RBS and Lloyds. 

France’s three major banks – Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP), Société Générale and Crédit Lyonnais – were taken over by the state after the Second World War, and remained nationalised for half a century. President Francois Mitterrand’s socialist government nationalised the rest of the banking system in the 1980s. Most have now been privatised, Crédit Lyonnais only fully in 1999.

I wonder, especially when I see how even well-informed foreigners misunderstand Brexit, how often anyone ever understand's a foreign country's politics.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Things people say about Trump's victory

Conrad Black quoted Will Rahn of CBS blogging on “the unbearable smugness” of the media, including himself:

“We were all tacitly or explicitly #With Her.… Had Hillary Clinton won, there’d be a winking ‘we did it’ feeling in the press — we were brave and saved the republic.… Trump knew what he was doing when he invited his crowds to jeer and hiss reporters covering him. They hate us. And can you blame them? Journalists love mocking Trump supporters.… We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession. Journalists at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste, we believe we have access to a greater truth.” 

Lord Black went on:

"Even Rahn’s mother, the saintly Peggy Noonan, while saluting Trump’s victory and acknowledging the general failure to appreciate the depths of public anger, called upon the country to “help him” because he doesn’t know how to be president. As long as the president does not seriously violate the Constitution, the presidency fits its occupant, not the other way round. George VI stammered something to president Franklin D. Roosevelt when he visited in 1939, and said, “This Goddam stutter!” and Roosevelt said, “What stutter? You are the King and you speak as you speak. I could say ‘this Goddam polio,’ but our peoples support us because we hold our positions legitimately and do our jobs adequately, and having shortcomings themselves, aren’t overly concerned with ours.”
I don't believe the old King ever knew or used the word 'Goddam'. He did say (to W H Auden): Abroad is bloody.

Robin Lustig
The things you have to do as President: Obama has shaken hands with the man who was endorsed by the KKK.

Mr. Obama shook the hand of Senator Robert Byrd (Dem.), who was a former member of the KKK, as was Harry Truman (Dem.). Obama shook Raul Castro's and Hugo Chavez's hands, but shaking the hand of someone who, not by his wish, was endorsed by the KKK! That must have been an ordeal.

Incidentally, Obama was endorsed by the American Communist Party in 2008 and 2012.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Lest we forget

A day late for Armistice Day, this is Housman's one great poem, Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries. It's said to be inspired by the ‘Old Contemptibles’, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) of 1914— the professional British army that existed before Kitchener’s ‘New Army’ of volunteers and then conscription. 


These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth’s foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling
And took their wages and are dead.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth’s foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.

I don't think my grandfather, who fought in the First World War, read Housman. William Le Queux was more his thing. But Housman's A Shropshire Lad was carried in the pockets of a lot of our soldiers in the trenches.

Let's hope there are no more wars in Europe, though I think one is being waged even now.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Trump’s America and the new global order: the old order changeth but how much will it change?

'Everything HRC touches she kinda screws up with hubris.' 
Colin Powell, in his hacked e-mail, said it all. The hubris that led her to say to her audience
'Why am I not fifty points ahead, you may ask'
and then not attempt to supply any answer.

I am as bored as you are by the question of Hillary's emails but this fascinating clip that I just saw explains that she was using her private server for very secret emails. Worth watching. It was, of course, the secrecy, the lies and the cover-up that were the problem, not the danger to national security. Hubris, again.

But Hillary is now a footnote in history, like George Schultz or Adlai Stevenson, an undistinguished Secretary of State who will be remembered for being the first woman presidential candidate from a major party and her (sorry) role in her husband's administration, but mostly for facilitating the rise to power of Donald Trump.

2016 is the most important year in politics since 1989 and before that either 1968 or perhaps 1945. We are seeing a revolution and should be thankful it has taken a democratic, legal and non-violent form. 

The revolution is a reaction to the financial crisis that started in 2008 and to globalisation, which has benefitted many but from which many have lost out. It is a reaction to the way in which the left has moved from class politics to identity politics, embracing economic liberalism, social liberalism and mass immigration.

Viktor Orban hails a victory for the counter-revolution

Viktor Oran woke up delighted by Donald Trump's victory, as he told the Daily Telegraph. He sees another tectonic upheaval on the way, comparable with 1989 , of which he is a manifestation, not its leader.

“What has happened is that reality has broken through the ideology. We are moving back to reality, which means [respecting] the views of real people and what they think, how they approach these questions – not to educate them, but accept them as they are, because they are the basis of democracy.”

He sees Donald Trump's victory as a rejection of the Obama-Clinton worldview that “multi-culturalism and free movement of migrants is a good thing, by definition”.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Actually, I'd say Trump was a sort of genius but nevertheless....

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

― H.L. Mencken

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The view from India: 'Trump's victory and Brexit are the West girding its loins to face off the Wahhabi threat'

Here is a very interesting Indian view of Donald Trump's victory.
Under a Trump presidency, expect a profound rearrangement of the world order. This is Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations playing out. First it was Brexit, for essentially the same reasons. Now it’s Trump. The West is girding its loins to face off the Wahhabi threat that has arisen. It has no patience for a hoity-toity liberal elite that only gets in the way and compromises the West’s economic and social vitality. Americans are ready to put America first. That’s why Trump won.
Facebook fascinatingly shows you how the liberal elite think. An example is this comment left just now on someone's wall:
We had the demented moral relativism of the left making excuses for 9/11 and other such acts of terror, now we're seeing the demented moral relativism of the right defending Trump. This will show a lot of hypocrites up at least, there will be plenty who make excuses for one and not the other. We should come up with a name for them...
Find an equivalence between defending Mr. Trump and murdering 3,000 people and then complain about demented moral relativism. Isn't it wonderful? And people like that think Trump supporters are stupid.

And don't understand why the Donald was elected.

Someone else on Facebook yesterday opined:

This is the worst day in the entire history of the nation; worse than Pearl Harbor, worse than 9-11, worse than JFK's assassination.
How painful the next four years are going to be for these people, whether President Trump succeeds, as we must hope, or fails.  

Another reason Trump won

A lot of the craziness comes from cultural/ethnic issues—rural White Americans who feel they are losing their country, and they are right. They are losing their country. In the end, the power they now have will go away, but it’s a very difficult and dangerous time until then. 
That was the annoying Nobel prize winner and political polemicist Paul Krugman, in 2014. 

Professor Krugman, nevertheless, was shocked by the election result and took it hard. He tweeted:

I truly thought I knew my country better than it turns out I did. I have warned that we could become a failed state, but didn't realize 1

that it wasn't just the radicalism of the GOP, but deep hatred in a large segment of the population. How do we move forward? 2/

This tweet elicited the reply:

Yeah it's almost like when you deliberately try to destroy an entire group of people, they get mad.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

The phrase "épater les bourgeois" might have been invented for this moment

Social media on Trump

Ann Coulter ‏@AnnCoulter 14 Nov 2015
They can wait if they like until next November for the actual balloting, but Donald Trump was elected president tonight.

'This is like Brexit in at least this respect: The morning after, lots of people will be staring into their coffee and wondering how screaming insults at people didn't win them over.'

John Rentoul tweeted:
My fellow members of the metropolitan liberal elite: let's stop insulting the US electorate and try to work out why, shall we?

Latin American Trump

Ironically, Trump seems like he will be a rather Latin American leader. A populist in the Morales mould.

It wasn't about Hillary

Till last night I thought any Democrat but Hillary could easily beat Trump. Now I don't. 

It was a revolt against what Democrats and the GOP had become, against globalism. Bernie was part of the revolt too, but he could not have won. Biden has a down to earth, avuncular quality and is a nice man (though it's hard to respect a man who says he's a Catholic but backs abortion), but it wasn't about personalities. Except in that Trump's amazing coarseness and dangerous outspokenness was what made people see him as the antidote to identity politics.

Please remember that what we make of Trump is filtered through the American press, that is horrified by him (there are simply no words) and the European press that is always horrified by Republicans. 

In 2000 George W Bush was treated in the European media as a potentially dangerous idiot, who hadn't visited Europe. In the end, it tuned out that he had once, as a teenager with his mother and father on holiday. Reagan was always regarded in Europe as a dangerous fool, throughout his eight years in the White House.

Why Trump won

I am tired after only three hours' sleep last night but instead of blogging give you this from a very interesting article by Scott McConnell in 'The American Conservative'. The whole piece is here.

On some issues, establishment liberal opinion had moved so far to the left as to be unrecognizable. As blogger Steve Sailer noted, in 2000 the New York Times editorial page opposed amnesty for illegal aliens both because it would encourage more illegal immigration and because it would have deleterious effects on the employment and wages of lower-income native-born Americans. Sixteen years later, when Trump suggested that the core of immigration policy should be concern for its impact on the well-being of Americans, he was denounced as a raving bigot by the same New York Times...............

There is, of course, much racism in American history, and there are enormous crimes for which Europe continues to strive to atone. But neither anti-racism nor respect for other cultures should be turned into a national or civilizational suicide pact. Here what Irving Kristol famously wrote about Sen. Joseph McCarthy comes to mind: “There is one thing that the American people know about Senator McCarthy: he like them is unequivocally anti-Communist. About the spokesmen for American liberalism, they feel they know no such thing.”

In the now global faceoff between Western civilization versus mass immigration fused with multiculturalism, Kristol’s words describe with uncanny accuracy the dichotomy between Donald Trump and his supporters on one hand and those most feverishly denouncing him on the other. Among the former, for all their faults, are those who want, unequivocally, Western civilization to survive. About the latter, no such thing is certain.

Revolutions bring odd people like Trump to power

NC called for Trump. It does look like he will win. What a revolutionary year 2016 is like 1989 and 1789.

Trump is a demagogue and unknown quality but this is a non violent revolution. Revolutions bring odd people to power. Demographics probably made this the last time something like this could happen. I suppose the 1933 election was the last comparable election but the New Deal was largely a cut and paste of Hoover's policies.

It's partly a revolt by women against feminism and whites against mass immigration. The Trump voters don't think Trump is a good candidate but he is a battering ram with which to force a citadel.

Of course Trump is not far right or even right at all but Andrew Neil compares him to Orban and the Greek communist-ish government.

Facebook election is like Tolstoy

We don't know but it does look as if Trump will win. The BBC thinks so and so does Politico. Politico calls Florida and Ohio for Trump.

Is that Chinese curse may you about live in interesting times a genuine Chinese saying?

What FUN elections are on Facebook - watching ones friends' reactions - anguish and ecstasy. Better than Tolstoy's War and Peace or a great novel by Conrad like Nostromo.

I felt sorry this evening for all the idealistic Trump supporters who predicted victory.

Gore said he'll pass a law letting black people marry whites.

How can it be 16 years since I went to the US Embassy election night party in the Intercontinental? Some people voting today were learning to walk then.

I remember meeting two Romanian blondes at the party. One when I asked her who she wanted to win said

Bush because if Gore wins he has said he'll pass a law letting black people marry whites.

The other nodded. Those girls are now 40.

Romania has changed and so have we all.

Blogging the US election

Who is winning? Possibly Trump.

I can't forgive myself for sleeping through referendum night so shall blog this.

BBC woman says Trump is 4% ahead in Florida with results of 99% of precincts in and he has good chance of being POTUS. I remember Tom Gallagher saying to me earlier this year 'Imagine Brexit plus Trump' and both seemed very unlikely to me.

If Trump wins the US 'll have a 2 party system. Trump v. GOP establishment.

A huge victory for Trump in Ohio projected - a 12% lead!

A clever Facebook friend has posted this:

If Gary Johnson knew what A "Leppo" was (according to the urban dictionary a "chronic masturbator") then I might find myself in an easier position, but I still defend my right to not support Hillary or Trump but see Trump as the moral choice. I think the world is a very fucked-up place, and defend my right to see Trump as terrible progress in the right direction (a bit like the French Revolution). I think that the Clinton Foundation is worse than Halliburton (Discuss). But both organisations are symptoms of the same problem. I voted to remain in Brexit, something that I think pragmatically as a member of the 1% was in my best interests. But I am ashamed of that decision. Maybe now we will just have to live through The Terror. Trump is the most cuddly patriotic "democratic" (at heart) way of changing everything that's wrong. Whatever comes after a Hillary Presidency, will be much more "racist!" "sexist!" but less "fascist!" than McCain, Romney or Trump. To use an old UK cartoon as a metaphor, Electing Trump would be crashing into a tree. One other thing to think about. If Trump doesnt win Florida, it's all over. The Democrats have registered 600,000 new hispanic voters, but republicans have only registered 50,000 This is a democratic trend. Cuban voters in Florida are 53% vs 41% for Trump so it won't be Tony Montana's fault if Trump wins... Once Hillary wins. and illegals are given amnesty and huge numbers of other economic migrants from the middle-east and Africa are invited Obama's legacy will be fulfilled and the USA will become a despotic one-party state. When this happened in Europe (under the Roman Empire) and in the world (under the British Empire) this was a good thing. Under Hillary Clinton, I'm afraid.

Retweeted Virginia Dare (@vdare):
Yeah it's almost like when you deliberately try to destroy an entire group of people, they get mad.
“A terrifying night, and not just because Trump might win. It turns out that there is a deeper rage in white, rural America than I knew 1/”

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Drowned migrants are on Hillary Clinton's conscience

240 migrants, including women and children, drowned off the coast of Libya last week.

Hillary Clinton's Libyan policy is to blame. She was abetted by David Cameron, William Hague and Nicolas Sarkozy. Their overthrowing of Gaddafi led to this mass movement of migrants via Libya just as Colonel Gaddafi predicted when he said that “Europe runs the risk of turning black from illegal immigration, it could turn into Africa" and "new religions" could overwhelm Europe.

The only solution now is to arrest boats close to the coast of Africa and return migrants promptly to where they came from. Unfortunately Europe should resile from the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees and stop taking in asylum seekers. Things have changed too much since it was written in 1951.

In August 2011, Gadaffi's daughter Ayesha Gaddafi made three predictions in an interview about what would happen were her father overthrown - Europe swamped by illegal migrants, a terrorist camp on the shores of the Mediterranean and war among the tribes of Libya. All three have come true. Thanks to Hillary.

There are many arguments for and against her and Donald Trump. The strongest argument against her is that she has said last month that overthrowing Assad is "the top priority".

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Is the decadent West in terminal decline?

An article in Xinhua, the state-controlled Chinese news agency said that the US election shows 
the twisted mentality of an empire moving downhill.
That makes sense, though I think it is Europe that is in decline much more than America.

Christopher Booker in the Telegraph thinks the same. In an article headlined

It doesn't matter who wins the US election. The decadent West is in terminal decline
he says :
...Britons of the early Fifties could see the society this revolution has now brought about, with half of our children born out of wedlock, same-sex marriage, the all-pervasive cult of empty celebrity, the rise of intolerant “political correctness”, the woefully diminished standing of our politicians, our ever-rising sea of national debt, they would reel back in horror at our “decadence”.
The period since 2000 has been as dramatic as the one 1985-200. The disastrous wars of the last fifteen years have diminished the standing of the West, while its economic dominance of the world lessens. The Euro, immigrants and terrorism pose huge, insoluble problems for Europe. 

This reminds me of historians Neagu Djuvara's and Bernard Lewis's conviction that Europe's inescapable destiny is to become Muslim.

The fact that Europe, more united than at any time since the fall of Rome, feels it requires American, British and Canadian help to defend itself is very telling.

I increasingly feel that we may be living in a period like the reign of Marcus Aurelius, the golden age where Gibbon starts his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Come to think of it, there is something of an outlandish late Roman emperor about Donald Trump, perhaps a rich wheat importer who got his position in an auction held by the Praetorian guard. 

As Goldsmith put it,
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay.

Europe has been in relative decline since the late 19th century and no longer enjoys the ascendancy that it once did, measured in all ways, over the rest of the world. Clearly this process is continuing. On the other hand, Europeans are enjoying in many ways a golden age, as are most parts of the world, measured not only in material but in many other terms.

But think how few great men Europe (and the West in general) has produced since 1945, outside the spheres of technology, medicine and hard science. Who are the great writers, painters, composers, philosophers?

Christianity is flourishing in Africa, China and Korea, but Islam is flourishing in Europe. Europe is flourishing vicariously in the former British colonies of the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, but they are becoming much less European, less Christian and more multicultural. The old order changeth.

Few conservatives in England want Trump to win

A lot of Americans who like Donald Trump assume that British people who voted for Brexit also want Mr. Trump to win. In fact this is not so. 

According to a Gallup polls of 32 countries, 15% of British voters want Mr. Trump to win, 64% want Mrs Clinton and 21% don't know. I am told most committed UKIP supporters want Donald Trump to win but UKIP polls around 6% of the British electorate. Most people who voted for Brexit therefore do not want Mr. Trump. 

I live in Romania but I know that to most Britons he seems terrifying. We rarely respect American presidents because they are so different from our leading politicians, for many reasons to do with very different cultures and to do with our parliamentary system. Kennedy, George H W Bush, Obama and Romney were the sort of men who at a stretch seemed imaginable as British Prime Ministers - possibly Clinton and more easily Gore. The perpetually grinning Carter, Reagan the B-film actor, Pat Buchanan, George W Bush, Cruz, Ben Carson and Donald Trump certainly did or do not. 

This is partly about style and in Mr. Trump's case the looseness of what he says

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Why I hope Britain does not have an early election

I'd hate to see a British general election called now, even though my party would win by a landslide. And even though it would mean the end of moaning by the 48% of the population who voted to remain in the EU.

It would shoot our fox, Jeremy Corbyn. I don't want him to go. I want him to stay in place as leader of the Labour Party for four more agonising, painful years. An election defeat would let the left reset.