At the risk of falling foul of Godwin’s Law …

I’ve been quiet of late, because I’m in Jordan. Ordinarily trips to foreign parts bring a spike in my blogging as I regale you with my hilarious anecdotes and pithy observations. But, firstly, the hilarious anecdotes usually start with large-scale consumption of a substance somewhat frowned upon here; secondly, my pithy observations are being saved up (believe me); and, thirdly, I’m ridiculously busy trying to learn Arabic, which it turns out is something of a tricky language.

But things in Britain go on without me, it would seem, and pretty horrifically so (not least because as every week passes, things get roughly 5% more expensive for me here). I don’t have time for a long rant, or the mental energy to be excoriatingly insightful, so all I intend to do is provide you with a short list some of the anti-Jewish legislation passed by the National Socialist government in Germany in 1933.

February 27, 1933: The Reichstag Fire Decree curtails civil rights in the face of “communist violence.”

  • 2014: R v Incedal and Rarmoul-Bouhadjar becomes first trial to be held entirely in secret, the gagging order is upheld in 2016.
  • 2016: Theresa May announces British troops will not be subject to the European Court of Human Rights.

March 31, 1933: Decree of the Berlin city commissioner for health suspends Jewish doctors from the city’s charity services.

April 7, 1933: Law for the Reestablishment of the Professional Civil Service removes Jews and Communists from government service.

  • 2015: Home Secretary Theresa May launches drive against “entryists” in public service.
  • 2016: UK government bans foreign-born LSE staff from advising on Brexit.

April 25, 1933: Law against Overcrowding in Schools and Universities limits the number of Jewish students in public schools.

  • 2016: Schools must collect data on the nationality and citizenship status of their pupils. Amber Rudd introduces restrictions on overseas university students.

Look, obviously these comparisons are not exact. I am not claiming that the approach of the Conservative government is anything like on the scale or malignancy of the pre-war Nazi-controlled Weimar Republic. But what I am saying is that both of these represent, in an environment of economic strife, a systematic and institutional process of marking out a group of the population as “other,” making them lesser human beings to be monitored and restricted, and identifying them as responsible in large for the economic problems and potentially actively repugnant to the ideals of the state.

As well as scale, there are differences in kind. I can think of two in particular:

  1. In the Weimar Republic, the economic conditions were utterly disastrous for the whole populace (this is not to demean the experience of the half million plus forced to use food banks in 2015), but were also imposed from outside by the punitive stringency of the Treaty of Versailles. In contemporary Britain, the economic straits are a consequence of policies of precisely the same government (or, at least, the same party) that now seeks to blame them on their selected “others.”
  2. Most obviously, Hitler was a maniac, whereas Theresa May is an intelligent and, one presumes, fairly rational human being. The data exist showing that migrants bring a net economic benefit to the UK; that even in the jobs most affected by immigration—low-paid semi-skilled or unskilled service jobs—the effect of migration on wages equates to about 2p per hour; and that migration has virtually no effect on employment levels (and where it does, it is migration from outside the EU that has the effect). No-one would suggest that the Nazis should have known better, because knowledge was irrelevant to their programme. Theresa May does know better—she can hardly be unaware of these data—but knowledge does not appear to be relevant to her programme either. This, above everything else, is deeply worrying.

I get back from Jordan in late December. I have been, whilst here, thinking hard about whether to stay in the UK and fight the good fight; or to leave for other shores and let the country descend into institutionalized xenophobia without me. The latter option is winning out at present … I can just see nothing, nothing good that can come of our present direction, nor any practical way to change it.

Zac Goldsmith, a man with integrity?

Zac Goldsmith ran a racist campaign for London Mayor. You know that, right? He mailshot Indian voters telling them that Sadiq Khan’s party wanted to put a wealth tax on family jewellery. He repeatedly used the dog-whistle word “radical” in talking about Khan, and attempted to claim he was in cahoots with the “one of the most repellent people in the country,” the imam of Khan’s local mosque, Suliman Gani, who he claimed to be a supporter of ISIS—a claim which rather unravelled as it transpired that the gentleman in question had regularly spoken in events denouncing ISIS, had broken with Sadiq Khan over the latter’s support for equal marriage (which is, to be honest, on the repellent scale—but rather further down it that Goldsmith was implying), and tweeted a lovely photograph of himself posing with, um, Zac Goldsmith, who looked rather more comfortable next to this apparently scary West-hater than he does attempting to do what a sizeable portion of the population do with thoughtless ease. And he penned this article for the Daily Mail (hold your nose).

But if not leaping to his defence, at least nodding a little in his favour, his sister! Jemima tweeted this a while ago:

Sad that Zac’s campaign did not reflect who I know him to be- an eco friendly, independent- minded politician with integrity.

Here’s the thing, though, Jemima. Integrity means sticking to your principles, no matter what. You can’t turn it on and off as suits you. That’s, um, lacking in integrity.

Zac Goldsmith is either a racist, in which case he may well have integrity, but a racist with integrity is still a racist. Or he is not a racist but ran a racist campaign, in which case he has no integrity. It has to be one or the other—and, whichever way it is, London is rather better off without him.

 

 

For shame

The government have—narrowly—managed to defeat the Dubs amendment to their immigration bill, which would have extended the pitiful number of refugees we are accepting to include an additional 3,000 unaccompanied children, after arguing that it would act as an “incentive” for families to make the difficult Mediterranean crossing.

To which there can be no response but: fuck you. Fuck you, every single one of the 294 inhuman, vile, despicable, callous, soulless, revolting, xenophobic bastards who voted this amendment down. Fuck you again, and then fuck you backwards. After a short pause for respite—because I, unlike you, am not inhumane—fuck you again. And again, and again, and again. Also: fuck you.

This, my privileged friends, is the incentive for making the crossing.

Assad Crimes in Syria

Destruction in Syria. Flickr/FreedomHouse. Public domain.

If there are unaccompanied children in Europe, my loathsomely indifferent parliamentarians, then one possible cause could be that their parents are here:

Mass-Grave-of-230-Killed-by-ISIL-Terrorists-Found-in-Syria

Mass grave following ISIS massacre. News Impulse/Creative Commons.

And in the instance that there are living parents who have sent their children on ahead of them… well James Brokenshire, Home Office minister suggests that the Dubs amendment would “inadvertently create a situation in which families see an advantage in sending children alone, ahead and in the hands of traffickers,” and, James, you may well see your own children in such cold-bloodedly exploitative terms, but I would suggest that when parents do send their children on alone, it is rather more likely because they cannot make the trip themselves, but do not want this to happen to their sons and daughters:

The body of a child lies on the ground next to other bodies afte

What happens in war. Flickr.com/FreedomHouse. Creative Commons.

The fuckers who voted down this amendment constitute the moral detritus of humanity, and those—like the odious James Brokenshire—who did so suggesting that any of the victims in this horrific war act out of calculated cynicism and not simply from desperation make me aghast and ashamed to live in a country governed by such hatefully indifferent, shameful, vile, sordid, steaming excreta of the world.

 

A masterclass in leading questions

We received in the post today a mailshot from our local prospective Conservative candidate, Ben Howlett. Ben wants to know our opinion on some matters, and posed some multiple choice questions to help him understand public opinion. My brother, who might know a thing or two about putting together a survey, has done a rather nice little analysis of it which you can see here.