These Islands — An Open Letter
3 doors down from my house in Berlin, cobbles commemorating
Jews deported and murdered in 1943
These Islands have played a distinguished part in articulating a civic British nationalism in Scottish public life. That matters.
When the Orange card is played again in a Scottish Election, and 10 Downing Street head-hunts out-of-the-box-thinking eugenicists, that matters.
But, there’s always a but.
These Islands Board Member Nigel Biggar is threatening that good work.
Last year, he organised a conference on the theme of ‘censorship’. It is not unreasonable that that would have questionable speakers. Here’s the programme, make your own mind up.
Let us look at 3 in particular.
The keynote is Eric Kaufmann, author of Whiteshift, Populism, Immigration And The Future Of White Majorities. Clearly ethnic nationalist forces are on the march in the UK and the US, the subject is critical.
But is Kaufmann a reporter on, or celebrant of, the phenomenon? Make your own mind up. Kaufmann’s work makes me decidedly uneasy but, in my opinion, doesn’t put him entirely beyond the pale.
Second, the once-British Lenin, Frank Furedi. The RCP cult he spawned (Living Marxism, the weirder, if that is possible, end of the Brexit Party, Spiked) have made a certain type of free speech their calling card.
It is a free speech that stretches from the right to be offensive on Twitter all the way to blowing up Mrs Thatcher and the Tory cabinet in Brighton.
But for all the noise, they are also genocide deniers.
Their former party and magazine collapsed under legal costs after they accused the ‘fake news’ MSM of fabricating evidence of Bosnian Serb mass murders.
Thirdly Bruce Gilley. He sprung to prominence when he hijacked an academic journal to publish his own un-peer-reviewed article of which the abstract reads:
For the last 100 years, Western colonialism has had a bad name. It is high time to question this orthodoxy. Western colonialism was, as a general rule, both objectively beneficial and subjectively legitimate in most of the places where it was found, using realistic measures of those concepts. The countries that embraced their colonial inheritance, by and large, did better than those that spurned it. Anti-colonial ideology imposed grave harms on subject peoples and continues to thwart sustained development and a fruitful encounter with modernity in many places. Colonialism can be recovered by weak and fragile states today in three ways: by reclaiming colonial modes of governance; by recolonising some areas; and by creating new Western colonies from scratch.
War crimes, there is no way to ‘create new Western colonies from scratch’ without them, because creating a new colony is a war crime.
But the kickers comes this year.
First up with the recent call in The Daily Telegraph by Andrew Roberts for the Prime Minister to purge academia.
The thrust of this article is that now that the Tories have won a majority the Prime Minister needs to purge universities and the arts to ensure the opposition can’t win — a call for British Orbánisn.
Surely the great defender of academic freedom will rush to protect it from such an imposition? Au contraire.
With a flash of lightening, the conference on censorship, the cry of victimisation issued from the lofty heights of a column in The Times is revealed as a fraud.
And this week the announcement of a Free Speech Union — the first cause championed by his co-founder, Toby Young, is that of Andrew Sabisky.
The Sabisky case is not free speech. Nobody is proposing he be arrested, or his reddit posts or blog comments be censored. This is not an employment case of a tree surgeon employed despite his membership of the NF.
Sabisky was selected because of his beliefs, beliefs that include reproduction management for the underclass, an intrinsic race basis for intelligence and eugenics.
This is not a game, this eugenics debate, this return, this ‘scientific’ racism. This is not defending powerless free thinkers at the fringe of academia — this is defending the right of a Prime Minister to staff his policy organisation with people like Sabisky.
This is about breaking down the norms of a free and just society.
Recognition of the Russian colonization of Crimea, denying genocide, or calling for the purging of Scottish academic and civil life of opponents of the Scottish Government would all be grounds for exclusion from civil debate and discourse in Scottish politics — and rightly so.
The notion of First Ministerial advisers promoting Picto-Scotti fantasies of ethnic superiority is grotesque and unthinkable.
If it were not, I would hope and expect These Islands to lead the charge against it. Tom Holland honourably jumped boots first into Labour’s anti-semitism row.
Nigel Biggar is not fit to be on the board of These Islands. To lose the leading British civic nationalist organisation to Orbánist ethnic-populism would be a profound loss. Don’t leave us, Scotland needs you.
4 doors down from me in Berlin there are three brass cobbles set in the pavement. One for Arthur Rosenhow deported from Graefestraße 3 in 1943 to his death in Auschwitz. A pair for Jenny and Isidor Bukofzer, deported at the same time, fate unknown, marked with three hopeful question marks.
I like to think the Bukofzers got away, but those question marks are a stark reminder that never again is now.