Farage was stitched up by Steph and Dom and Channel 4

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Steph and Dom are the posh-sounding, drunk couple from Gogglebox – the surprise hit programme where people are recorded sitting on sofas giving a running commentary on the TV shows they are watching.

If they had been reviewing Steph And Dom Meet Nigel Farage, I like to think, they’d have been very rude. ‘What a right pair of slippery tossers,’ they would have yelled, chucking canapes at the incredibly bad mannered, disturbingly callous pair of smug hypocrites on the screen. ‘Leave the poor sod alone. He’s supposed to be your guest.’

All right, so the poor sod can take it. He’s Nigel Farage – taking it is what he does. But I still felt rather sorry for him, the way he was stitched up like a kipper on what he must have thought would be an agreeable, booze-filled romp with basically like-minded chums. They weren’t though. They were snakes in the grass.

The couple run Britain’s grandest B & B – a vast Lutyens/Jekyll pile in Sandwich, Kent called The Salutation. They’re clearly brilliantly successful at what they do and I bet that they’re the most delightful hosts. Which made it all wrong, somehow, that their job on this show was to mix hospitality with inquisition. It made for uncomfortable viewing because you were never quite sure how to respond: was this car-crash TV you were supposed to be watching or just light-hearted jolly japes?

Farage, clearly, was similarly confused. On the one hand, he obviously liked the idea of encountering the perhaps the only two people on earth with a bigger appetite for booze than he has. On the other, he was clearly thrown by their weird behaviour.

There was one scene, for example, where Steph threw a fit because Dom had taken Nige down to the boozer for a sharpener or three before dinner and they came back quite well oiled. (Which she must have known about well in advance because these TV reality docs are planned almost to the frame). Farage looked sheepish as she bollocked both him and Dom, which I thought was simply not on. Bloody rude in fact. You do NOT drag guests that you’ve barely met into your pervy marital head games.

But they did. At times they were like sinister giggling children in some sub-Henry James horror story, plotting by the grand staircase how best to make their guest look more ridiculous, while deluding themselves that this was all rather delightful, harmless fun. When Farage tripped down some steps and spilt champagne all over his pressed Farah-style trousers, for example, they gleefully whipped them off and offered the silliest replacements they could find in Dom’s wardrobe: ripped, faded Bros-style jeans; tartan trews; leathers.

Mind you, this did provide the programme’s single worthwhile insight: that our Nige, au fond, is not a very sophisticated type. He dresses like the golf club secretary because that’s basically where he’s coming from. He likes a smoke and a pint, likes fishing. But what he definitely doesn’t do is metropolitan trendy or Oxbridge louche or uber-country-smart-set feral craziness. There is – whisper it – a touch of the Pooter about him.

Read the rest at the Spectator

Sydney Siege: the left responds with its usual sensitivity

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We don’t know how the Sydney siege is going to end yet but of one thing we can be pretty sure: the main concern of Australia’s national broadcaster ABC will not be the suffering and fear experienced by those innocent people who have been held hostage; rather it will be that there might be some anti-Muslim backlash.

How do we know this? First, because ABC is so left wing it makes the BBC look like Fox News. Second, because this is how sensitive, progressive types always respond to incidents of this kind. (One of the BBC’s first reactions after the 7/7 bus and tube bombings was to despatch various reporters to Muslim “communities” to canvas them for evidence of growing Islamophobia).

Thirdly, because it has already started with a Twitter hashtag campaign called #Illridewithyou.

The story of how the campaign started is, admittedly, quite touching. An Australian woman called Rachael Jacobs saw a Muslim woman commuter on the train looking “isolated and fearful” and apparently trying to remove her headscarf so as to avoid attracting attention. Ms Jacobs approached her and said: “Leave it on. I’ll walk with you.”

Individual acts of kindness like this are lovely. But when they mutate into Twitter hashtag campaigns they acquire a smug, bullying sanctimoniousness which not only demeans the original act but which, worse, skews the debate about Islamism in a very unhelpful, self-defeating way.

One of the more notable facts about Islamist terror incidents in the West, be they 9/11 and the Boston marathon bombings or the 7/7 tube and bus bombings or the Bali bomb which killed so many young Australians, is how very little they have changed public attitudes to Muslims in general.

Which is to say that – despite the best efforts of organisations like Tell Mama to prove otherwise with dodgy stastistics – there has been NO significant anti-Muslim backlash and NO outbreak of “Islamophobia” in the West. People are more than capable of distinguishing between Islamist extremists and the broader Muslim community and – so far at any rate – have behaved towards the latter with just the sort of tolerance, sympathy and generosity of spirit displayed by Ms Jacobs towards that commuter.

What that Twitter hashtag campaign does is subtly to imply otherwise: “There are loads of bigots out there who’d like to take it out on innocent Muslims. But I’m not one of them. I’m lovely and caring and I’m bloody great,” it says.

Well I’m sure you are lovely and caring and bloody great, all you “Illridewithyou” luvvies. But you’re also – in my experience – so delighted by your own sensitivity, so certain that you hold the moral high ground that you feel it enables you to duck all responsibility for engaging with the Islamism problem seriously.

Being nice to peace-loving, law-abiding Muslims is a necessary condition for putting an end to Islamist extremism – but it is definitely not a sufficient one. You can perform as many random acts of kindness as you like – but it ain’t going to cut much ice with the girl-kidnappers of Boko Haram or the decapitators of Islamic State or the rogue operators like the Sydney cafe hostage-taker. They’ll just take you for a sap. Or, as Osama once put it, for a “weak horse.”

Read the rest at Breitbart London

If Nigel Farage is the new Enoch Powell he should be proud

Enoch-Powell

Whenever I find my faith wavering in Nigel Farage and the UKIP project, all I have to do is open my morning newspaper to be reminded why they are both so very necessary.

Yesterday’s Telegraph was a case in point with its snide, insinuating story about how in 1994 Farage wrote to Enoch Powell – the Conservative intellectual and politician long acknowledged as one of his heroes – asking him to support his candidature in a local election. UKIP also wrote on several occasions to ask Powell to stand as a candidate in two national elections.

So far so very ho-hum. Powell – a highly intelligent, supremely principled politician with a fine war record, well loved by his constituents – would have been a natural fit for UKIP with his anti-EU views, his ability to connect with the views of ordinary people and his brave refusal to allow the immigration issue to be swept under the carpet as the Establishment was so keen to do then and remains so eager to do so today.

Why then the story?

Well, it was pegged to the fact that on Thursday night a priapic, soap-dodging, informationally-challenged pocket demagogue called Russell Brand accused Farage on BBC Question Time of being a “pound shop Enoch Powell.” And amazingly, the Telegraph was inviting us to take the view that this grandiloquent half-wit’s cheap shot – playing on the popular leftist meme that Powell was a “racist” because of his “Rivers of Blood” speech – ought to be taken as a valid criticism.

Wearing the mask of sage neutrality, the Telegraph opined in its accompanying editorial:

Whatever the stance one takes, it should be remembered that it was the language used by Mr Powell in the Sixties that so poisoned the immigration debate – and arguably made it so difficult to reopen until very recently. Back in 2005, Michael Howard was accused of having a “Powell moment” as Tory leader when he questioned the wisdom of uncontrolled immigration. That spectre has often been used to shut down such conversations, to the advantage of no one.

Hence, while many in Ukip will be unrepentant in their admiration for Mr Powell, they should surely take note of the bitterness that followed the “Rivers of Blood” speech, and consider the consequences of over-heated rhetoric. Certainly, a debate about the impact of immigration needs to be had – and it should be a prominent part of the mainstream political agenda, rather than left to fester on the margins. But this vital discussion is best conducted with calm, reason and respect for the feelings of others.

Ah yes. The old “over-heated rhetoric” canard.

It always puzzles me when I see one of my fellow journalists wheeling it out. It’s akin to a restaurant critic trying to make a virtue of the fact that from now on he’ll only be reviewing establishments that don’t serve meat; or a poet renouncing rhyme. Why would you want to do such a thing? Why would you want to shackle yourself in this way? The point, if your stock in trade is language, surely, is that you want to be free to employ it in all its rich variety – a bit of low snark here, a bit of Augustan rhetoric there. You’re appealing not just to your reader’s intellect but his emotions too. The idea that, say, strong imagery should be off-limits lest some bad person responds incorrectly is as absurd as ordaining that cars should only travel at 10 miles per hour because any faster and they might kill someone.

And exactly the same thing applies to political oratory. In the decades since Powell made that speech in 1968, it has become accepted wisdom that it killed free public debate on immigration stone dead and that the reason it did so was because of its inflammatory language. I’d concede the first part because it is depressingly, self-evidently true. But the second part is a nonsense.

It wasn’t Powell’s inflammatory language that killed the debate. What killed it was that a political and media Establishment which for various reasons didn’t want to have the debate – some for reasons of ideology, others out of moral cowardice – found it convenient to close it down by shooting the messenger. They didn’t have to close it down. There was no law that declared “If any politician quotes Virgil in a speech on immigration and some people get upset or offended by the fiery tone then for a period of no less than half a century the subject of immigration shall be off limits in case any more people get upset or offended.” Rather, it’s because, a craven political and media class chose to close it down, with consequences we are ruing to this day.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

How Nigel Farage outfoxed the Breast Nazis

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Claridge’s is one of London’s finest five-star hotels, popular with royals and aristocrats, film stars and rock stars. But if you’d tried taking afternoon tea there over the weekend, you would have had to run the gauntlet of a rather less glamorous crowd: a bunch of around twenty-five not especially yummy-looking Mummies, making a political point with their lactating dugs and their freezing babies, in affirmation of their apparently unalienable right publicly to breast-feed their babies where and when they will.

The protest was sparked by an incident last week involving a woman called Louise Burns. In the course of taking afternoon tea at Claridges, Ms Burns had started breast-feeding her baby at the table. A waiter, solicitous of the other diners in the room, had brought her large napkin in order to cover her modesty. This Ms Burns found so upsetting and offensive that she decided to tweet before and after photographs showing her apparent humiliation.

Then the Offence Mob got on board. And then UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage got roped into the argument with comments which were represented by his numerous media critics as yet further evidence of his Blimpish sexism, misogyny and remoteness from the modern world.

As the smoke begins to clear, though, I suspect that yet again it’s going to be Farage who comes out of this story with his credibility enhanced while it will be his enemies who emerge looking petty, vindictive and out-of-touch.

Here is a reminder of what Farage said, when ambushed by a question about the issue on LBC radio.

“I’m not particularly bothered about it, but I know a lot of people do feel very uncomfortable, and look, this is just a matter of common sense, isn’t it? I think that given that some people feel very embarrassed by it, it isn’t too difficult to breastfeed a baby in a way that’s not openly ostentatious.

“Frankly, that’s up to Claridge’s, and I very much take the view that if you’re running an establishment you should have rules.”

When asked by the presenter whether new mothers should go to the toilets to breastfeed, Farage replied: “Or perhaps sit in the corner, or whatever it might be – that’s up to Claridge’s. It’s not an issue that I get terribly hung up about, but I know particularly people of the older generation feel awkward and embarrassed by it.”

In the heat of the moment, under the pressure of live radio I’d say that that was a pretty reasonable, fair and measured response. But this didn’t stop his critics doing their usual damnedest to smear him.

The Guardian made much of his use of the word “ostentatious.” (Inevitably it prompted an #ostentatiousbreastfeeding Twitter hashtag). While the Prime Minister’s office sought to take advantage of the situation by issuing a priggish statement saying it was “totally unacceptable” to make women feel uncomfortable about public breastfeeding.

But it’s Farage – not the Guardian or David Cameron’s press people – I suspect who is most closely in line with what the majority of British people actually feel on this subject.

For the more squeamish and decorous older generation, it still remains something of a culture shock when a young mum whips out one of her titties in a public place to feed her baby. In the old days this simply wasn’t done. Well, not outside places like Africa.

But even for younger mothers, breastfeeding in public is not so clear-cut an issue as the progressive, professional offence-takers on social media would have us believe. That is because, culturally, we are in a transitional stage. Yes, it’s true that thanks to the propagandising of all those Breast Nazi campaign groups who believe that giving your baby formula milk is tantamount to child abuse, lots of young mothers have persuaded themselves that breast is best.

But at the same time, though they don’t like being confined at home all day, they still don’t feel altogether comfortable about feeding their babies in public places because, being – as women generally are – sensitive, empathetic sorts, they recognise that not everyone out there is on quite on board with this brave new world where apparently the done thing is for lactating mums to whip out their bosoms at will.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

Girls don’t need Body Confidence And Be The Change badges. They do need to know how to cook, bake and sew

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The new head of the Girl Guides (or ‘Girl Scouts’ as they are known in the US) has boasted of the fact that she’s rubbish at cooking and said that if she were a girl joining the organisation today the badge she’d most covet would be one that celebrates Body Confidence.

Oh dear. I think I’ve just gone and qualified for an achievement badge of my own. The Projectile Involuntary Peristalsis Badge (With Oak Leaf Cluster).

Julie Bentley, who took over the Girl Guides last year, was being interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. We learned that despite never having been a Brownie or a Girl Guide herself, and despite never having done a proper job remotely connected with the kind of outdoorsy, hearty, briskly demanding activities in which the Brownies and Guides used to specialise, Ms Bentley nevertheless has very forthright views on the organisation’s purpose.

“It is not about itchy brown uniforms and sewing and baking. It is a modern, contemporary, vibrant organisation.”

I’m sorry to hear that Ms Bentley wants to dismiss “sewing and baking” as belonging to an antediluvian past which has no place in the “modern, contemporary, vibrant” Girl Guides.

Ms Bentley doesn’t sound like the kind of person who much enjoys physical exercise, but if only she’d summoned up the will to press one of her fingers onto her TV remote in the last few years one thing she might have noticed is a very popular programme called The Great British Bake Off.

Lots of girls manage to watch this programme without being oppressed by its apparently old-fashioned, uncontemporary, non-vibrant message that baking is a desirable and fun skill to acquire. Indeed, many have been inspired to take up competitive home baking as a result – again, without any obvious jeopardy to their female self-esteem.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

How green activist scientists rigged the EU pesticide ban which has cost farmers and businesses billions

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“‘Victory for bees’ as European Union bans neonicotinoid pesticides blamed for destroying bee population” read a front page headline in the Independent last year.

It was the culmination of an intense burst of campaigning by left-wing pressure groups Avaaz, Change.org, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, BugLife and the Environmental Justice Foundation which erupted from nowhere last year.

One minute, no one had heard of “neonicotinoids”. The next, it suddenly seemed as though everyone knew for certain that this pesticide was responsible for the “colony collapse” devastating the world’s bee populations and that therefore it should be banned by the EU as a matter of urgency.

Among those who lent their weight to the campaign were the fashion designers Vivienne Westwood and Katharine Hamnett, the National Treasure Stephen Fry and dozens of activists charmingly and amusingly dressed in bee costumes. The impression given was that this issue was an absolute no brainer on which the jury of the wise, decent and informed had long since delivered their verdict: anyone who spoke up in favour of these evil chemicals was clearly nothing more than a science-denying bee-hating bastard in the pay of Big Pharma.

So why, almost instantly, did I smell a rat? Well apart from the obvious clue – any campaign involving Vivienne Westwood is, by definition, stupid, silly and wrong – there was also the matter of the unseemly haste with which these campaign groups were trying to force the legislation through. And the fact that the bully-mob tactics being used here were so redolent of the ones I’d seen elsewhere used by environmentalists to justify their scientifically dubious campaigns against everything from the forestry industry to the harmless trace gas carbon dioxide.

Green on the outside, red on the inside: that’s what these Watermelon campaigns are really about. So, with the help of investigative journalist Richard North, I began looking into the true story behind the ban.

What we found was appalling if not altogether surprising. The ban – heavily opposed by Britain’s then-Environment Secretary Owen Paterson – had rather less to do with proven necessity than it did with political horse-trading.

Indeed, the scientific evidence for justifying the ban seemed flimsy to the point of non-existence.

How then, could all these celebrities and campaign groups and environmental activists and EU apparatchiks and progressive media outlets (from the Guardian and the BBC to Huff Po) have been persuaded otherwise? On what kind of science were they basing their claims?

Well, now thanks to a happy internet leak we have our answer. It turns out that the “evidence” was cooked up at the suggestion of a cabal of activist scientists working for a supposedly neutral and independent environmental organisation called the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Read the rest at Breitbart London

These Cambridge buttocks have restored my faith in the future of Western Civilisation

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Check out these arses. Not just any old arses, either, but proper, educated Cambridge University arses. On a miserable, cold day in which I have been laid low with man flu, these pert buttocks have restored my faith in the future of Britain. (Especially – though I do not wish to prejudice your voting – the splendid pair belonging to Katie from Sidney Sussex.)

Can naked bottoms really be that socio-politically significant? Oh very much so, I’d say. Especially to anyone who has just read the quite monumentally depressing cover story from this week’s Spectator by Brendan O’Neill.  His argument is that political correctness has become so heavily entrenched in academe that our seats of learning are in serious danger of abandoning perhaps their most important function: opening up developing minds to new ideas and experiences.

If your go-to image of a student is someone who’s free-spirited and open-minded, who loves having a pop at orthodoxies, then you urgently need to update your mind’s picture bank. Students are now pretty much the opposite of that. It’s hard to think of any other section of society that has undergone as epic a transformation as students have. From freewheelin’ to ban-happy, from askers of awkward questions to suppressors of offensive speech, in the space of a generation.

This was certainly the impression I got the other day from the mostly university-age audience on that car-crash BBC debate programme Free Speech. What struck me forcibly was that these young people had given up on the ability to “think” in any useful or meaningful way. Not only did they lack the core knowledge base (history, current affairs) which might have informed their identikit, off-the-shelf opinions.

But they all appeared reluctant to offer any view that wasn’t “safe” – ie one that hadn’t been extensively pre-validated by the groupthink herd.  No one, for example, was prepared to question the premise that Muslims were blameless victims of “Islamophobia” nor that Britain, nay the world, is currently in the grip of something called “rape culture.”

Brendan O’Neill, who speaks on university campuses more often than I do, has noticed similar problems.

I’ve been jeered at by students at the University of Cork for criticising gay marriage; cornered and branded a ‘denier’ by students at University College London for suggesting industrial development in Africa should take precedence over combating climate change; lambasted by students at Cambridge (again) for saying it’s bad to boycott Israeli goods. In each case, it wasn’t the fact the students disagreed with me that I found alarming — disagreement is great! — it was that they were so plainly shocked that I could have uttered such things, that I had failed to conform to what they assume to be right, that I had sought to contaminate their campuses and their fragile grey matter with offensive ideas.

Where once students might have allowed their eyes and ears to be bombarded by everything from risqué political propaganda to raunchy rock, now they insulate themselves from anything that might dent their self-esteem and, crime of crimes, make them feel ‘uncomfortable’. Student groups insist that online articles should have ‘trigger warnings’ in case their subject matter might cause offence. The ‘no platform’ policy of various student unions is forever being expanded to keep off campus pretty much anyone whose views don’t chime perfectly with the prevailing groupthink.

Where once it was only far-right rabble-rousers who were no-platformed, now everyone from Zionists to feminists who hold the wrong opinions on transgender issues to ‘rape deniers’ (anyone who questions the idea that modern Britain is in the grip of a ‘rape culture’) has found themselves shunned from the uni-sphere. My Oxford experience suggests pro-life societies could be next. In September the students’ union at Dundee banned the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children from the freshers’ fair on the basis that its campaign material is ‘highly offensive’.

This is what is so great about those Cambridge arse photos. Yes, it’s quite true: one of the reasons I chose to write about them is because I wanted to run a photograph of Katie from Sidney Sussex’s bottom and this seemed like a half-way decent excuse.

But it’s also true that I believe that news features like this, run in Britain’s most popular online student newspaper The Tab, may be all that stands between today’s student generation and the eradication of the Western intellectual tradition by the kill-joy forces of cultural Marxism.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

Labour’s hypocrisy on immigration is breathtaking

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EVERY time I pop to the shops, I’m reminded that the Britain of my childhood has gone for ever.

These days I’m as likely to hear Bulgarian, Polish or Romanian as English. And while I have no objections to any of these no doubt decent, hard-working, law-abiding people individually, I cannot help but feel the country I grew up in is no longer my own.
The burgeoning popularity of Ukip suggests that I’m not alone. But until recently it wasn’t something you could admit in public without being called “racist”. This was one of the Labour party’s most successful and dangerous achievements in the wake of Enoch Powell’s 1968 Rivers of Blood speech.For four decades, Labour created a climate in which even to question the idea that mass immigration, “multiculturalism” and “diversity” were an unmitigated good was tantamount to being a member of the National Front.Typical of this was Labour’s response during the 2005 general election campaign to a speech by the then Conservative leader Michael Howard in which he said: “It’s not racist to talk about immigration. It’s not racist to criticise the system.

It’s not racist to want to limit the numbers. It’s just plain common sense.” According to Labour spokesman Peter Hain these were “scurrilous, Rightwing, ugly tactics”.

But will Hain, I wonder, condemn the comments by a senior politician earlier this week that “It isn’t racist to be worried about immigration or to call for immigration reform”?

Somehow I’m guessing not. Though the words sound remarkably similar to Howard’s the MP speaking them this time was none other than Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper. As breathtaking hypocrisy goes, this takes some beating.

Not only does it breach Labour leader Ed Miliband’s pledge last week that: “What we will never do is try to out-Ukip Ukip” but it is also an outrageous attempt to duck responsibility for a crisis which is of Labour’s making.

The increase in immigration since the late 1990s was significantly influenced by the government

House of Lords

Between the 1997 arrival of Labour’s Tony Blair as prime minister and the departure in 2010 of Labour’s Gordon Brown, immigration in Britain soared by 45 per cent – from around 327,000 immigrants per annum to 596,000.And those are just the ones officially recorded by the Office For National Statistics.Once you add illegal immigrants that figure may double to more than one million a year.

“The increase in immigration since the late 1990s was significantly influenced by the government’s Managed Migration policies.”

That’s a quote from a 2008 House of Lords economic affairs select committee telling us something that Labour is now very reluctant to admit: that the 2.3 million migrants added to the UK population between 2000 and 2009 didn’t arrive here as a result of some forgivable border control oversight.

They came as a direct consequence of Labour policy. We know this because of a Labour whistleblower called Andrew Neather – a former speechwriter to Tony Blair, as well as Labour home secretaries David Blunkett and Jack Straw – who later became a newspaper columnist.

In one of his articles he revealed that Labour’s wholehearted embrace of mass immigration had a “driving political purpose” – to “make the UK truly multicultural”.

Read the rest at The Express

Free Speech is dead in Britain. I learned this on a BBC programme called Free Speech

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Is it just my imagination or was there a widely publicised report a few weeks ago by a professor called Alexis Jay describing in clinical detail how at least 1400 mostly underage girls were groomed, drugged and raped over a period of years in the northern town of Rotherham by gangs of men from predominately Kashmiri-Pakistani Muslim backgrounds?

The reason I ask is that earlier this week, I was publicly called a liar, an Islamophobe and a racist for mentioning this fact on a BBC TV debate programme called – laughably – Free Speech. “Boo! Hiss!” went the studio audience. “Not true” went the silly girl panelist sitting to my left. “List one contemporary problem facing Britain that’s NOT the fault of Muslims? Are there any in your mind?” said someone on Twitter with evidently strong and somewhat unnerving radical Islamist sympathies.

It’s normally at this point in the proceedings that the moderator comes to your rescue. I know Jonathan or David Dimbleby would have done. Grumble though I do on occasion about the leftist bias of their respective programmes Any Questions and Question Time, the fact remains that the Dimblebys are bright, scrupulous, supremely well-informed professionals. No way would they allow it to go unchallenged if one of their panelists said something that was perfectly true only to have the rest of the panel and (almost) the entire audience to shout him down as a racist, Islamophobic liar.

But the same, unfortunately, could not be said for the moderators on this particular programme, which was evidently designed as a kind of looser, more youthful version of Question Time, aimed at the 16 to 34-year old demographic. They pointed the mics willy nilly at panelists and members of the audience with little regard to the sense – or nonsense – of what was being said.

Certainly, there was no evidence of any presiding intelligence shaping the show or the direction and balance of the debate. For all the difference the Blue-Peter-level moderation made, we could have been talking about Miley Cyrus’s twerking moves or Kim Kardashian’s bum, rather than about highly contentious, very serious and potentially dangerous issues like so-called “rape culture” and the radicalisation of young British Muslims.

Afterwards various viewers who had been appalled as I was by this car crash of debate asked why I’d volunteered for it. “Why go on James? It’s like stepping into the cretins’ den,” said one. Other comments from sympathisers included: “I had to turn it off,”; “You must have the patience of a saint after last night’s “Free Speech”,” It’s not a debate, more a left-wing hate-session against anyone daring not to conform”; “Have watched you on the BBC last night. I have to say that even growing up in communist Poland I have rarely seen such a shameless set up and left wing propaganda show. I admire your courage really.”

And the answer is: definitely not for the money. (£150 in case you wondered). No, the reason you do these things is partly in the naive hope that this time it will be different – that for once you’ll find a BBC debate programme where your function isn’t to play the token right-wing nutcase for the torture-porn delight of an audience of rabid lefties. And also because someone has to put the alternative viewpoint across, otherwise all you’re going to get is a bunch of people spouting the usually right-on, progressive cant and just agreeing with one another. If no one does this, then the enemy will have won.

So that’s why I did it but, God, I almost wish I hadn’t….

Read the rest at Breitbart London

UKIP could save Britain – but first it needs a coherent economic policy

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Why does the monumentally tedious soap-dodging pseud Russell Brand still sell so many books?

Why is Ed Miliband, a man with the charisma of used dental floss and the intellectual nuance of Hugo Chavez, still seriously in the running to become Britain’s next Prime Minister?

And why is Patrick O’Flynn, the economics spokesman for Britain’s most libertarian mainstream party UKIP, flirting with the kind of wealth taxes and turnover taxes you’d more usually associate with the Greens or the Socialist Workers’ Party?

The basic answer to these questions is one and the same: because there are many, many voters out there who sense there’s something not quite right about this “recovery” we’re experiencing; that while the rich seem to be getting richer and richer, the rest of us are finding it harder to make ends meet than ever we can remember.

So when Brand, Miliband and Patrick O’Flynn publicly advocate greater government intervention to make things fairer they are pushing at an open door. What half way decent person wouldn’t want everyone to be paid a “living wage”, or for Google to pay its fair share of taxes or for the superrich to have to pay a bit more of the money (which they can well afford) for their diamond-and-foie-gras encrusted Manolo Blahniks and their pashmina-trimmed Murcielagos?

Well I wouldn’t, for one, and it’s not because I don’t care and it’s not because I don’t think there’s something seriously wrong with the state of Britain’s economy. It’s simply because I recognise that the statist measures which Brand, Miliband and O’Flynn are advocating are a major part of the problem they are presuming to resolve.

Put very simply, the crisis all the world’s Western economies are facing right now is a reflection of the relentless expansion of government. Free market capitalism (insofar as it ever existed) has been replaced by crony capitalism in which an unholy alliance of financiers, lawyers, corporatists, politicians, left-leaning charities and bureaucrats have been allowed to bleed the dwindling sector of the economy that still produces real, useful stuff almost dry.

This crisis has been accelerated since the 2008 crash by the policy of government money printing – aka quantitative easing (QE) – which has artificially inflated the price of assets (such as houses) putting them further and further out of reach of struggling wage earners.

To put it into perspective, here’s a paragraph from Dominic Frisby’s excellent book Bitcoin – The Future Of Money (Unbound).

In the US wages have gone from around $6,000 per annum in 1971 to $44,000 today. So while the money supply in the US has increased by 2,000 per cent, wages have increased by 750 per cent. The inequality in the UK is greater. Money supply has increased by 6,700 per cent, wages by just 1,250 per cent. Wages, in short, have failed to keep up with inflation.

So all those people out there who think Russell Brand has put his finger on something, that Ed Miliband has a point, and that Patrick O’Flynn is talking sense when he says the corporations are getting away with murder are absolutely correct in their instincts. Where they couldn’t be more wrong, though, is in imagining that the solution lies in giving more power to the alliance of statist forces which created the problem in the first place.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

Journalist, Author and Broadcaster