Hit the North

There’s such delicious irony at today’s announcement (trailed assiduously for days, including fake photo scoops) of cancelling HS2 to Manchester, in Manchester. It confirms the UK as a joke project, incapable of real-world ambition at any scale despite the ridiculous rhetoric of Brexit about being a great power.

Reality: Global Britain can’t get past Birmingham.

It confirms too Britain as an antiquated entity running on 19th C infrastructure, the perfect metaphor for a constitutionally retarded backwater. Also confirmed by this announcement is Britain as a deeply centralised state where vast funding swirls around the power-base in London, with Barnett Consequentials inconsequential and huge swathes of the north of England and Wales treated with complete contempt.

The beleaguered Prime Minister will try and spin this with the line that it would still be going ahead, but just on the existing tracks. The idea that Sunak’s government is on-track – or that high speed rail can function on old railways is treating people as being very very stupid.

There is no ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and there is no prospect of a modernised Britain. This is a deeply reactionary centralised state, a government in its death throes run by quasi-fascists all on show at conference eagerly displaying rampant homophobia, transphobia, racism and bigotry. They have no filter, no need to display these views through the prism of metaphor or hinting sheepishly at what they really mean (‘Are you thinking what I’m thinking?’). This is the party of 30p Lee and a Hurricane of Immigration, of segregated hospitals and transportation to Rwanda and diseased hulks to house asylum seekers. These is no pretense at what this is any more.

The Party’s Over: Now What?

Seasoned commentators, and the general public have stared at the spectacle of the Tory conference in disbelief. The Tory party is over. It has been replaced by a simulacrum of its former self, feasting prematurely on its own anticipated demise and joyfully spewing out disinformation lies and conspiracies with a knowing grin.

They know they are lying, we know they are lying, they know that we know they’re lying.

The radicalisation of the Conservatives has been grim viewing as the ascendancy of Nigel Farage, Suella Braverman, Penny Mordaunt and Priti Patel foreshadows things to come.

There is no Conservative Party with discernible wings from ‘left’ (whatever that ever meant) to centre to right – there is just the right and the hard-right.

Who cares?

It’s worth standing back and recognising the impact of this.

If the Conservative party have moved to the far-right – to occupy spaces previously inhabited by the fringes of fascist parties and projects – the Labour party have shifted too and now occupy the sort of ‘centre right’ ground previously owned by the Tories. This means that the inevitable election of Labour which is sending the Tories into such meltdown will effectively be the election of a Cameronian conservative party.

Don’t believe me? Yesterday we heard one of the most deeply hateful, bigoted and racist speeches ever spoken by a UK government representative and Labour’s response was either silence or complicity. There is of course a danger in nostalgia for the Old Conservative Party, and there is certainly continuity of the far-right from within it, but this something new, unhinged and unfiltered.

When Labour win in Rutherglen tomorrow, as they surely will, it will be celebrated as a symbolic victory, a landmark in the road back to normality and a confirmation that all is well for the ascendancy of Sir Keir Starmer.

Britain’s new right has come snarling out of the Brexit debacle, humiliated and exposed and is now on full-scale war against all the usual suspects. Now – emboldened by their imminent demise – the Tories are like wounded animals conducting a scorched-earth policy against many of their own policies as they stagger towards electoral defeat.

There is a connection between infrastructure failure and the rancid politics of the hard-right on display at conference and across your timelines. The abandonment of HS2 will be re-spun as a victory for localism, for small-scale thinking, against the horrors of the metropolitan elite. It will be re-packaged as a victory against centralism and the Big State, against ‘woke trains’ and the dystopia of Net Zero. In a blizzard of lies and disinformation Sunak will stand victorious in a bedlam of disgusting politics.

The irony of this is that Scotland isn’t even mentioned in this debacle. The HS project was originally billed as ‘uniting the whole country’ – a symbol of the values and strengths of the United Kingdom. It certainly is.

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  1. 230904 says:

    Yep, the Conservative Party is certainly launching its next leadership election around the finges of its current conference, with its various factions coalescing around their preferred candidates, each ramping up the rhetoric to appeal to its particular constituency in the broader church.

    The question is: how can the other UK parties, including the SNP, take advantage of this disintegration of the current ruling party to further their own political interests?

  2. Mark Howitt says:

    I can’t bring myself to watch that video. The writing – superb as always – is nightmarish enough.

  3. SteveH says:

    Is this something like the SNP unable to manage the procurement and manufacturing of a couple of ferries?

    Is this SNP that has overseen the decline in Scottish life expectancy?

    Is this the SNP is unable to accept that a Woman is defined as a biological female?

    Or the SNP which has a non-white leader who spat out the word “WHITE” with a racist sneer when referring to the top job holders of institutions in a country that is 95.4% ethnically white?

    Scotland has seemingly abandoned it’s traditional liberal social justice attitudes for which it was well respected for the madness of critical theory social justice, that has its roots in neo-marxism and post modernism, and its obsession with race, sexuality, gender and the other grievance minorities promoted by Gramschi and Marcuse.

    1. Gramschi you say?

      Fascinating stuff

      1. Derek Thomson says:

        I admire your attempt at sarcasm Mike, but surely you’ve got to draw a line somewhere? Are you going to allow every racist clown, as SteveH clearly is, to infest these pages?

        1. 230904 says:

          I don’t think ‘racist clowns’ (or anyone else, for that matter) should be ‘cancelled’ by denying them a platform for their narratives on public fora. We should rather engage with and deconstruct those narratives. Otherwise, you’re just creating a ‘bubble’ for yourself and letting those whose behavioural dispositions or ‘beliefs’ you find offensive go unchallenged.

          1. Derek Thomson says:

            Engage with racists and deconstruct their arguments. Aye, that should work. I’m currently reading “Our Fathers Fought Franco” about guys from the Pans and Musselburgh who went to Spain to fight the fascists. Clearly, they should simply have engaged with them and deconstructed their arguments.

          2. 230904 says:

            Cancel racists and their arguments? Aye, that should work! Clearly, the guys from the Pans and Musselburgh and internationally, who engaged with Franco’s nationals in Spain critically, in both thought and deed, should simply have ignored them and just hoped they’d go away.

          3. Derek Thomson says:

            Are you the smart punt (not punt) from a previous thread? What’s your point caller, if such you have?

          4. We’re averse to banning people from this forum, but people should be reminded of our position vis a vis Trolls and others …

            Secondly, ad hominem attacks and personal abuse won’t be tolerated. If you don’t like an article that’s fine – but try and address the authors ideas – not the person.

            Third, while we tolerate some people using pseudonyms, and this can be useful, if we feel you are doing this simply so you can spread bile, you’ll be removed.

            Finally, racism, xenophobia, or misogyny won’t be tolerated. Neither will climate change denialism. It’s 2023.


          5. 230904 says:

            @ Derek

            My point here is to engage with and challenge SteveH’s ‘alt-right’-type last-ditch defence of white supremacy against the rising pluralism of the postmodern world.

            And Mike’s right: there’s far too much name-calling and ad hominem fallaciousness on this site and on social media generally. That’s one of the reasons I post my writing pseudonymously here and heteronymously across the internet generally; it makes me immune from that kind of bullying. (Mind you, the abuse my pseudonyms get here is tame compared to that directed against some of those I voice on other blogs, especially those that speak to the harder end of the traditional ‘right’.)

          6. SteveH says:

            Yes. Cancel me. Call me extreme names. Its the only tools the critical social justice warriors (woke) are capable of using.

            Then’s there’s the abuse of language to obfuscate what they really mean.

            Debate or using reasoned arguments opens ideology to closer scrutiny. I’m up for it!

            You see I wouldn’t want you to be cancelled. I just want you to be honest and explain what you mean, and be prepared to defend it with empirical data.

            The migration issue is too big to ignore, or fob off with name calling.

    2. 230904 says:

      Unfortunately, Scotland hasn’t yet gone beyond its capitalist ideology of modernity, with its Enliughtenment theory of justice as social control, and entered fully the postmodern world of laissez-faire, each-to-their-own, pluralism.

      And, by the way, ‘white’ isn’t an ethnicity. ‘White’ is a racialised classification that’s been used (since only the late 1820s) as part of an unequal dichotomy to discriminate the morally pure from the morally impure. This dichotomy, on which the whole ideology of ‘white supremacy’ depends, is one that critical theorists have helped deconstruct over the past 60-70 years through their immanent critiques.

      The deconstruction of ‘white supremacy’ and racialised classication in general is part of the ongoing task of decolonising civil society and its political and cultural institutions. Your ressentiment at the progressing of this global task is evident from your posts.

      1. Derek Thomson says:

        One hates to channel Travis Bickle, but are you talking (typing) to me? Just a straight yes or no will do, please.

        1. Derek Thomson says:

          Naw you’re no, apologies.

    3. SleepingDog says:

      @SteveH, I think it was the colonial administrations of the British Empire which were obsessed with race, not to mention a few poets (“The White Man’s Burden” is obviously gendered too). A racial hierarchy was used to discriminate between people to impose British racialised chattel slavery.

      Far from being theoretical, the historical evidence is overwhelming, clear and detailed. For example, I haven’t finished reading the book, but Elizabeth Kolsky’s Colonial Justice in India: White Violence and the Rule of Law is apparently based on an analysis of 150 years of violent crime. Racial violence, misogyny and unequal access to law and justice feature prominently. Britons in India literally got away with murder, mutilation, torture.

      There was an interesting programme on Al Jazeera about the rise of white Christian nationalism in the USA, which movement seems to employ cartoonishly crude rewrites of history and scripture, and with the power, money and influence of their backers, these ahistorical ideologies are being pumped into other countries including the territories of the British Empire/UK. Master Race theories are live, mainstream (indeed streaming) and very dangerous for many people (and indeed for the rest of the living planet, given the anti-environmentalism of that grouping). Perhaps you would be better investigating the obsession with race that neo-Nazis have?

  4. Alan C says:

    That speech by Baverman was frightening but not as scary as the sight of Andrew Boff being dragged out of the hall for expressing an opinion, and the police geting involved wtf! Are the police now the tories personal bodyguards?

    I dread to think what tactics they’ll employ if/when they realise Scotland has had enough and is desolving the ‘union’

    1. SteveH says:

      So, what was frightening about what she said. Be specific. We are in this mess because the ruling elites have avoided a difficult and existential threat.

      There’s needs to be an open and honest discussion on what is turning into a disaster for Europe.

      You need to be grown up and not throw around terms like racist and dangerous.

      If you have travelled in the very countries the migrants come from, you will know that they are amongst the most corrupt, totalitarian, racist, bigoted and unsafe in the world.

      We are importing people of cultures that are not as free, safe and caring as ours. Those who make the journey to our shores need to adapt to our culture than the other way around.

      The Tories, Labour, Libs, Greens, Plaid C., SNP are guilty for diminishing of our democracy and those things that make Britain the desirable place it is to so many from the 3rd world.

      Its time to dump the Neo-Marxist woke madness promoted by the arrogant graduate elites.

      1. Derek Thomson says:

        “If you have travelled in the very countries the migrants come from, you will know that they are amongst the most corrupt, totalitarian, racist, bigoted and unsafe in the world.” Well, quite. You obviously have, all of them, eh? And what were you up to in these corrupt, totalitarian, unsafe countries? I think we should be told.
        “Those who make the journey to our shores need to adapt to our culture than the other way around.” What, the oligarchs? The Ukranians? Hong Kongers? That’s not who you mean, is it?
        Since you list every mainstream political party in these islands (more or less,) as being guilty of diminishing “our” democracy, might I ask who, in your opinion, is to save us from the Neo-Marxist woke madness?

        1. SteveH says:

          Technical training and upgrading their technology mostly.

          Since Thatcher, Blair etc we have seen the rise of a technocracy, a graduate elite. These are the new rulers. Rulers who have turned their backs on the majority non-graduate working classes.

          The political elites have been pushing power up to supranational bodies, and sideways to non-elected quangos.

          We also absorbed the identity politics from the US through the arrogant academics and intelligentsia who hate their own country and heritage.

          As with all existential threats, its the non-grads and working classes who will sort the problem out.

          We have seen throughout Europe, the rise of populist parties. The clue is in the name.

          For all you left wing elites. Your arrogance is the reason Brexit happened, why BoJo got the landslide in 2019. He screwed up. Now its the time of the rise of the new parties. The mainstream media won’t give them airtime until they can’t avoid it.

          A sleeping giant is waking.

          1. Derek Thomson says:

            “A sleeping giant is waking.” When I read that, I found myself unable to stop hearing Jack Dee saying “In my pants.” The woke-eating tofurati are the only ones who will get that, unfortunately.

          2. SteveH says:

            Enjoy the coming storm.

          3. 230904 says:

            Are you sure that it won’t be the graduates, like Suella Braverman (a barrister, FFS) and her ilk, who are ‘woke’ to the existential threat to white supremacy and who exploit the discontent of the Lumpenproletariat for their own political ends, rather than the feckless Lumpenproletariat itself, who will ‘sort the problem out’?

          4. John says:

            Stevie H – you appear to have both a deep hatred for educated people, a large on chip on at least one of your shoulders, authoritarian outlook on life and a previous career in the military.
            You sound like an ideal recruit for the Wagner private army of Vladimir Putin.

          5. SteveH says:

            Hatred? No. Suspicion and dismay? Yes.

            Education is fine. Indoctrination isn’t.

            Free speech? Yes. Compelled speech? No.

            The academy has largely adopted a groupthink based on critical theory. It doesn’t ask is disparity caused by racism, its asks how is it caused by racism. It prejudges without critical thinking playing any part in the process.

            Some universities the validity of science and objective truth (verifiable facts) because it was developed by white people.

            These ideas come directly from Neo-Marxism, who objective is not social justice or equality but the destruction of Western (white) society and an end to capitalism. This has infected most of the academy, whose graduates now run the institutions. Marcuse et al called it the “long march of through the institutions” linking it to Mao Zedong’s long march.

            Graduates associate more with other graduates. Graduates tend to see themselves as superior by virtue of their degrees and shared university experience.

            85% of Westminster MP’s are graduates, with the majority coming from the Russell group of Uni’s.

            Woke infected graduates despise our nation’s history, heritage and sense of national identity, although Scotland’s bid for independence has uncomfortable nationalistic overtones which graduates generally find repulsive, but accept as the price to break up the union, and allow Scotland to submit itself to the power of the unelected EU commission.

            Likening me to a serving Wagner soldier is yet another sad attempt to demonise me. How did I get from being a veteran of the democratically and lawfully governed loyal British forces to being a totally immoral unaccountable viscous unscrupulous Russian mercenary?

            Suggests either a dishonest twisting of the facts or an inevitable product of your unconscious bias. Which is it?

            Yes, I do value the rule of law, but authoritarian? Its a big leap. Especially since you don’t really know me. A serious lack of hard evidence about me seems to give you no problem in condemning me.

            But then, that is very much the graduate elite attitude I have witnessed towards the non-graduate working classes. Even Labour abandoned the very people it was set up to serve and protect.

            Its amusing now how the Tory and Labour grad elite politicians are now moving towards manifesto’s that are more acceptable to the Red Wall Northern working classes. The smell of power seems to have forced them to start listening to the great unwashed again.

            Education is wonderful – even essential, but should not be used as a status symbol or as proof of membership of the elite.

          6. SleepingDog says:

            @SteveH, where do you think UK universities get their income from? Dark money from woke think-tanks? Or in the real world, investments in arms corporations and fossil fuel companies?
            “According to GAAF, the University of Glasgow currently invests £5.5 million in fossil fuel companies and £6.8 million in arms companies. Based on the group’s research, this figure has recently doubled for the 2022/23 period.”

            The Campaign Against the Arms Trade says:
            “Military organisations – including arms companies and the Ministry of Defence – annually sponsor hundreds of projects at UK universities.
            “These research projects help arms companies to ensure that certain research is done, that good links are maintained with universities and that there are lots of students willing to work for them.”

            Pharmaceutical and other industrial chemical corporations are very influential on university course and research, while foreign donors can buy huge amounts of influence.

            Meanwhile, UK universities continue to cut courses on subject like History (including suspending one recently on African History).

            These are all materially evidenced. Your conspiracy, on the other hand, seems largely confined to you making unsubstantiated assertions and achieving an impressive level in mass mind-reading. The idea that Vice Chancellors up and down the country are hell-bent on destroying the institutions they work for is quite hard to credit. Perhaps you imagine university students are indoctrinated zealots, just like British soldiers are indoctrinated to believe the people their bosses want killed are indoctrinated zealots. In my own limited experience, students tended to be somewhat lazy, hedonistic, politically apathetic, often drunk or high, or bent on self-advancement, and often rather flitted from one thing to another. Of course there are militant groups, but all the evidence I’ve seen suggests they are a (loud, sometimes aggressive) small minority.

            Not only that, British universities via to open branches in some of the most repressive states around the world: if anything, spreading Western institutions, culture and educational methods (that is basically reason groups like Boko Haram give for their resistance/terrorism). So, I suggest you get a reality check (or provide some actual evidence).

          7. SteveH says:

            You make some v good valid points.

            Neo-Marxism has totally captured the US Academy, and has made a good job at spreading it to the rest of the Western academy.

            True money talks. I routinely visit universities (mostly STEM research departments).

            Chinese tutors, researchers and students are very evident.

            I see there is a hard core of (mostly) humanities tutors and students who have dominated the conversation.

            The arms trade is a necessary evil. How long do you think our democracy would last if we gave up our military capability?

            I have worked in Russia, China and many totalitarian states. I can assure you we wouldn’t last long. They’re not bothered about our Western culture. Indeed they love it when we self-flagellate with woke ideals. They see it as weakness.

            The freedoms you now enjoy are dependent on the very system you hate, and on people like me who were prepared to die to defend what we have.

            You are looking for a world that is not possible at this stage of human evolution. Western democracy and the rule of law is the best we have.

            We know Marxism doesn’t work. Africa’s and S. America’s experiment with it in the 60’s and 70’s is largely why they are still in chaos. You won’t remember the Angolan war. I do, in detail.

            Take your comments on Boko Harum. They are Ismalists, part of a movement like Al Quaeda and Daish – intent on a world wide caliphate. It’s a political movement centred mostly in Wahabi extremism. They are the least spiritual of all the followers of Islam. Try reading “The Ismalist” by Ed Husain. Its a far more complex story than simply rebelling against the hegemony of Western culture and philosophy, or even devotion to Allah and the Prophet (PBUH).

            I know many muslims. I employed Pakistani’s, Lebanese, Egyptians to work in the Gulf, and have worked with many more.

            Look at how many Muslims come to Britain. Many say Britain is a great country to be a Muslim.

            Sadly, some of the cultural baggage has come to Britain all. A friend from Pakistan tells me they have brought the “village” with them. These means their communities are dominated by a small group of men who use religious language to impose their will. He hates Islam and the way it stifles his freedom to speak. He is fearful for his family if he does.

            My opposition to the graduate critical social justice ideology and groupthink is its demand that all should adopt its ideas and accept its twisted view of our society and the demand that we accept our “white privilege” and roll over.

            Its not going to happen! The harder it is promoted, the greater the push back. Now more non-grads are aware of it, the more its religious-like zeal will be challenged.

            The Trans-activism movement, have by their very extreme behaviour triggered a societal correction. Sadly, it will be the trans people who will bear the brunt. The dishonest way in which the gay pride movement was hijacked is now triggering a push back by gays. The same with feminism.

            The “Antiracism” industry is another scam that is showing it true purpose. Try looking at the ”Don’t Divide Us” org. You will see a push back, largely by non-white academics and professional people. They recognise the lack of agency it implies, and the division it promotes.

            Martin Luther King Jnr got it right.

            Sadly, we are in a world where individual qualities are overwhelmed by questionable group identities and global pressures. All driven at breathtaking speed by tech.

            Having seen extreme poverty and crushing corruption, I have no desire for it to be recreated in Britain to the same level.

            The West’s rich and powerful would completely oppress the rest of us if you give them a chance. Why do you think corporates bang on about diversity, pride etc. it hides their sins.

            The traditional left-wingers (whom I respect) tried to draw attention to the iniquity of wall street and the City of London after the 2008 crash. The corporates started spouting about DEI, and throwing cash at Stonewall UK, BLM etc., and suddenly the Woke brigade were defending the same corporates who carried on doing their dodgy corrupt practices.

            Its only ordinary people who have suffered. The disparity between the very rich and poor/ordinary citizen is greater now. The poor & non-grads have less say now than 40 years ago. Labour sold them out and the conservatives forgot that they had a duty to preserve our freedoms and the good aspects if our society that make Britain great.

      2. 230904 says:

        It’s only an existential threat to the current establishment – the whole matrix of official and social relations within which power is exercised in Britain and within which ‘white’ lives are privileged over ‘black’ lives – which will have to change if we’re going to successfully integrate the ‘others’ who migrate here into civil society. ‘White’ supremacy in America, Australasia, Britain, and Europe is indeed under threat from the migration of people displaced by climate change, persecution, poverty, and violence; but that’s not a bad thing.

        1. SteveH says:

          How noble. Britain is one of the least racist countries in the world. Certainly better than most of our European neighbours and definitely better than all of Africa.

          Neo-Marxism isn’t about helping people from the 3rd world or minorities, Its about implementing a mad equity based society that in reality would descend into chaos and horror. Look at California and Oregan. More homeless people die from extreme left wing politics than ever before.

          Look at the post-George Floyd period. In the US 1000’s more black people die at the hands of other black people than ever before.

          BLM politics are corrupt. Collors et al have a large property portfolio, whilst the $m collected have helped no one. Look at

          Kendi’s $40m Boston Uni antiracism centre. It produced two mediocre papers. That’s $20m a paper.

          Its all a scam.

          Maybe you don’t care about your children and successive generations. Fortunately others do.

          1. Derek Thomson says:

            ” Look at California and Oregan. More homeless people die from extreme left wing politics than ever before.” Eh? Are you American, by the way?

          2. 230904 says:

            What’s race got to do with any of this? As I’ve already said, I’m using ‘white’ as a non-racialised classification. White supremacy is about privileging morally pure people (natives like yourself) over morally impure people (all those migrants whom you’re demonising as invasive agents of corruption and/or parasites) in our society; it’s got nothing to do with the colour of your skin. It’s in this sense that Suella Braverman is, like yourself, a ‘white supremacist’.

          3. SteveH says:

            Its nothing to do with race. I have worked with many people of all races all over the world. I have probably had more exposure to people “not-like-me” than you probably have. I have have made many personal friends.

            Some have even told me that we are mad allowing so many people in.

            It’s really all about the country coping with being overwhelmed, not only with insufficient infrastructure but culturally, religiously and politically with people for whom Britain’s way of life and values are alien to them. What’s in it for them to adapt to us? To adapt to your critical social justice ideas even?

            How many people can we absorb year on year?

            What freedom of speech concessions do we have to make to pander to their religious and cultural sensitivities. When there is opposition to gender/sexuality minorities from people whose home cultures reject such diversity? What are you going to do?

            As migrant populations grow, do you think they will not want to tell you how things should be that affect your freedoms?

            London will soon be mostly non-white, with multiple ethic groupings where people can’t speak English, snd view each other with suspicion. Where e.g. conflict will occur because women aren’t covered up?

            The law of unintended consequences will be evident. It is now.

          4. 230904 says:

            But the country’s not being ‘overwhelmed’. Granted, we need to use some of the surplus value that migrant labour generates to develop the social infrastructure we need to integrate them into our population, but we need to do that anyway. We can barely house, educate, and care for the existing labour-force, let alone the enhanced labour-force migration brings.

            Nor at our cultures being overwhelmed by those that migrants bring with them. As I said before, it’s not a matter of our being unable to assimilate other people to our own cultures (we used to call that ‘civilising’ the savages); it’s about integrating our several cultures into a plural multiculturalism to our mutual enrichment.

            No one needs to make any concessions on free speech; everyone can express their values and conform to their behavioural norms as they please as we currently do. What’s stopping you from saying or doing what you want within such limits are have always had to be imposed in the interests of maintaining that peaceful and productive communal order that’s conducive to the best interests of everyone alike? How does increased diversity in our society change that?

            Sure, London is a multicultural and multilingual city. It always has been a cosmopolis; the idea that it was once ‘white’ (ethnically and culturally pure) is a myth. The cities of the English Midlands are even more cosmopolitan. And, yet, people are generally managing to rub along together without any great intercommunal conflict. In fact, what little conflict that does occur is typically stirred up by troublemakers like yourself, who sow suspicion and animosity within those communities. This mutually enriching cosmopolitanism is a cause for celebration rather than fear-mongering.

            As I’ve banged on for ages on Bella and elsewhere (and I know I’m repeating myself, but it bears repeating), ‘alt-right’-type nativism and its antipathy to ‘incomers’ is the land stand in an ethos of democracy of a pre-democratic dirigisme, an insistence on ‘purity’ that’s unwilling to let people go their own way in a culturally diverse and plural society. The varying experiential situation of different people makes it normal, natural, and rational that they should proceed differently in cognitive, evaluative, and practical matters. That diversity is nothing new; thorough history, we’ve managed to maintain for the most part a general harmony of constructive interaction despite the diversity, dissensus, and dissonance that’s normal in human society.

            Rather than demonise ‘others’ in general and migrants in particular, you should ‘acquiesce in difference’; you should accept and come to terms with the fact that others will differ from you in opinion, values, customs, and modes of behaviour. You should also respect your own and others’ autonomy, conceding as equal to your own their right to go their own variant way within the framework of such limits communities everywhere have always imposed on themselves in the interests of maintaining a peaceful and productive communal order that’s conducive to everyone’s interests, irrespective of their differences.

            The fact is that we live in an ‘impure’, non-black-and-white, ambivalent world. To be at home in that world, you need to accept the fact that ‘white supremacy’ is unattainable; you might as well try to hold back the tide. In a world where pervasive and irreconcilable diversity is the natural human condition, you need to learn to live with that diversity, in society with others who are different from you. And to continue to rub along together, we need to decolonise our institutions to facilitate peaceful and productive social interaction between our communities in the face of our differences and dissensus.

            But, of course, this is all just ‘fake’, a dangerous heresy put about by an elite conspiracy to undermine your ‘white’ (‘morally pure’) society and lead you to perdition, which is the sine qua non of the alt-right’s conspiracy culture, against which all evidence and rational argument founders.

      3. SleepingDog says:

        @SteveH, your use of demeaning language, including “3rd world”, sounds pretty arrogant to me. Many countries were wrecked first by colonialism, then by neocolonialism, using among other things corrupt financial practices and corrupt European banks, favoured by dictators installed and backed by old colonial powers (I’ve studied this at undergraduate level). You might want to refer to actual histories (although the British have draconian official secrecy, some of their imperial co-conspirators are a bit more blasé).

        As well as the City of London, many of the British Empire’s corrupt financial practices are conducted in its offshore tax-haven colonies, something the EU was planning to crack down on before Brexit.

        I think it was only after 2010 that bribing foreign nationals became illegal in the UK. Before that, it was standard business practice in the British Empire. Now, I guess they don’t shout about it.

        1. SteveH says:

          Well I grew up in poverty, experiencing hunger, living in degrading flats with slime on the walls. . A crap secondary education. Experienced police harassment. I don’t recall many middle class people like you treating people like me very well. I think I qualify as oppressed.

          I saved myself by joining the armed forces. How many friends have you known getting killed? Even as a civvy I took on tough jobs. Although I have been laid off several times.

          So you learned about colonialism as a UG. Typical academia. Why do you people with the most privilege hate your own people and country so much?

          People like you think you are morally superior to everyone else and put out this critical theory/post modernist bull as some kind of proof of your superiority.

          Well, when the sh*t hits the fan its people like me you turn to.

          So, keep spouting your Marcuse nonsense. People are growing tired of it.

          I may not have studied humanities in Uni but I have researched the nonsense that is now taken as gospel in Uni. Except I see it for the divisive rubbish it is.

          1. 230904 says:

            That’s one hell of a chip you have on your shoulder there, Stevie, boy. You’re positively dripping with ressentiment. It’s no surprise you’re susceptible to directing the sense of hostility, to which your ressentiment gives rise, toward the global conspiracy you’ve been groomed to identify as the cause of your frustration and disappointment and to blame for the sh*tt*ness of the life you describe. That’s the great appeal of ‘alt-right’-type conspiracy theories: they absolve you from having to assume any responsibility for the ‘evils’ that have befallen you.

          2. SteveH says:

            Cheeky. You don’t know me at all.

            To dismiss what I say based on your amateur psychology says more about you.

            My point is that I can spot middle class bull from a long way off.

            People who bang on about things that happened generations ago will say nothing about the modern slavery in Africa today. Hypocrites.

            None of the critical social warriors will give up any personal advantage or privilege, but demand the rest of society does. Its mostly performative activism.

            The whole critical theory based ideology re race, gender, decolonisation is truly divisive and dishonest.

            Malcolm X warned black people about white liberals, saying they were not the blackman’s friend. They were simply using race to attack white conservatives.

            Scots who bang on about poor migrants amuses me. Scotland is 95.4% white. What do they know of immigration issues?

            I’ve made my point. Enough now.

          3. SleepingDog says:

            @SteveH, oh dear, kind of shot yourself in the foot with your ‘amateur psychology’ quip. So what you’re saying is that you would only take my comments seriously if I had an academic qualification in Psychology (instead of two years study)? No, it wasn’t about you, it was about British armed forces (one of the few nations to recruit child soldiers) conditioning. You may have resisted the ‘pipeline to fascism’ or been the kid who stole all the Nazi books from the school library, it doesn’t matter to me. British culture is largely composed of ‘banging on about things that happened generations ago’, so I don’t know what your point is there, either.

            With the professional British armed forces running from the Afghan Taliban, their presence in places like Kenya and Cyprus objected to and resented by locals, garrison towns suffering drunken rampages, jails full of their alumni and the organisation admitting endemic barrack-bullying and accused of a ‘culture of institutional misogyny’, I’m not sure who is supposed to feel safer by their presence?

            There was an interesting Storyville documentary on BBC iPlayer. NATO may be the greatest evil the world has ever produced, but the documentary suggests it may be one of the dumbest too. Don’t worry, put your patriotic knee-jerk reflex on hold, this was a Danish soldier returning to see what happened after Danish troops left: it’s called ‘Winning Hearts and Minds’. This ‘warlord culture’ is the kind of legacy requested by NATO to the failed states it creates, and perhaps not too different from super-corrupt British military culture either.

          4. SteveH says:

            Shooting myself in the foot? Grow up.

            Painting me as some sort of far-right military person is a typical “Guardian” newspaper reader’s approach to reality. Labels designed to negate any views I may have. Thing is, your opinions are just that – yours, only yours.

            The British military have kept you and yours safe for generations. To say the military are bad because of punch ups in garrison towns, and harassment is pretty limp.

            Go to any University town you will see drunken students making fools of themselves of a weekend. We also hear of tutors and students being accused of sexual harassment.

            Anyway. I’ve got better things to do then having friendly chats with you.


          5. 230904 says:

            Who radicalised you, BTW? Did it happen while you were in the army. It so often does.

          6. SleepingDog says:

            @SteveH, I went to bed hungry some nights for a period as a child, and spent some years as an adult in an underclass, but what of that? Very different people can emerge from the same family, same domestic circumstances, same environment or same institutions. To suggest that we are primarily formed from our social classes is a curiously Marxist view you hold (that seems to have been a major weakness of Marxism, the idea that class consciousness should be necessarily paramount).

            I think it is something of a moral weakness to take comfort in a reassuring lie that paints others as bad, or your ancestors as great, so you can feel better about yourself. I had questions about the society I lived it, and sought answers in the way most open to me. That is not only curiosity, but taking responsibility. I gather one of the USAmerican civil rights movement’s slogans is ‘dissent is patriotic’. I was often a dissenting voice in my study groups, so the idea that I just swallowed some ideological line is at odds with my experience. You may prefer a totalitarian militaristic state, but some of us think we can do better.

            I have only the vaguest notion of who Marcuse might be, and I view postmodernism as a crock (and a support for neoliberalism and bad science). My studies did look at some theory, but in the North–South Relations in International Politics I alluded to, it was research-based. You might want to look up ideas like capital flight, the history of Barclays Bank, the role of MI6 and CIA in Africa, Middle East and South America, IMF, World Bank, debt and hunger, cash crops, anti-union transnational corporations, and so on. You do know that British and USAmericans overthrew the democratically-elected government of Iran in a secret coup, one of many such instances? And where do you think dictators send their children to be educated? Who does your beloved royal family chummy up to?

            Anyone can experience the death of those close to them, but the British soldier on campaign is expected to kill or help kill others, and their record should be scrutinised. I’ve read recent works by Joe Glenton and Simon Akam, not sure if you are familiar with them, but disfunctionality, overspend and losing wars seem pretty evident. I am not sure where you think the British military have played a positive role post-WW2. Not only that, a substantial number of them these days are foreigners, so perhaps you resented the presence of many people you served with. As someone who has studied a bit of psychology, I can see how ideas from the field were taken and applied to conditioning recruits. As Glenton writes, there is imposed a hierarchy of hate, and at the very top: civilians at home. Seem familiar?

            By the way, the term ‘institutional racism’ was used to describe the Metropolitan Police by pillar of the establishment Sir William Macpherson:
            I cannot say what is being taught across UK universities these days, and quite possibly a certain amount of rubbish (approximately my view of a University of Glasgow’s gender studies course leader’s output, not necessarily of the content of research). But to dismiss all of it as conforming to some kind of pan-academic magical-thinking plot without understanding academic teaching is just bigoted. I only studied colonialism because I was studying a particular module in political science. I would not have encountered colonialism if I was studying brewing, or dentistry, or applied mathematics, say.

            Anyway, you’re so wide of the target I’d advise you to redo your basic political training and maybe read a decent book, or at least watch a Noam Chomsky video on YouTube. He eats postmodernists for breakfast.

          7. 230904 says:

            Indeed, Steve; all I know about you is what’s revealed through the medium of your posts, as you do me. The difference is that I don’t assume the existence of any ‘middle-class’ or ‘Marxist’ or any other radical conspiracy behind your posts, or claim any special insight into the arcane nature of that conspiracy.

            Rumours of such a conspiracy (and that’s all they are and can ever be, unsubstantiated rumours) are nothing but a ploy that populist leaders on the left and right of the traditional political spectrum use to gather a lumpenproletarian mob, the various grudges and grievances or ‘ressentiment’ of which they can then mobilise in pursuit of their own material and/or ideological ends.

            You’re being taken for a patsy, Stevie, boy, by those populist radicalisers whose rhetoric you regurgitate in your posts. Away and read a book!

          8. Mike Parr says:

            Well, I was raised in a hole in the road by a single mother – people used to throw us bread… (Python did a rather good sketch on this). “Woke” shorthand for “fairness and justice” regardless of anything (class, wealth, skin colour etc”). Nobody in their right mind would say they were against “fairness and justice” – but a daft word like woke allows people to say all sorts of strange things. That said, the position of Liebore in terms of what it won’t do, has primed things for people to become very unhappy indeed – & this is perhaps what Mr SteveH is referring to. There is no difference between vile-liebore and the vile-tories – both despise the “working class” by inclination & by policy. (I’m an engineer by profession and came from “the working class”). Fact of the matter is, the political class has failed totally to, for example, develop an industrial strategy – something fit to replace the old coal-based economy. But the reality is, that they were (& are) functionally incapable of doing so – given their backgrounds. The current “markets are the solution” approach which all parties parrot, is likewise, doomed to fail. Anyway, please continue the culture wars I am sure it will help the working classes.

          9. SteveH says:

            That’s the con. Critical social justice is a Neo-Marxist con job. Critical Race Theory begins with the premise that having white skin makes you an oppressor, and being non-white makes you the oppressed, or without agency. Trad Marxism makes the working class the oppressed. But working classes rejected Marxism as unworkable.

            Then the Neo-Marxists added intersectionality, this meant adding sec, sexuality, gender, ableism, migrant status and even fatism to the hierarchy of oppression.

            The laughable part is that if you challenged it then you were a racist, or a sexist, homophobe, transphobe as applicable.

            This meant you had to embrace the religion or be cancelled or excommunicated if you opposed the ideology.

            Compelled speech is a factor in this scam.

            Of course its complete cynical twaddle.

            Now, if you were as old as me you’d remember traditional liberal social justice where injustices were challenged and opinions changed in time. CRT etc did bring the equality act into force. The nee Woke are late to the party, but still want to be seen as noble activists.

            All I see is performative activism.

            When I hear terms like microaggressions, I roll my eyes.

            I sighed when I saw the snide reference to the Python sketch. Can’t the woke ever debate without a sad bit of sarcasm or ad hominem? I’ve had all the full range of naff references to far right etc, and even compared with a Wagner Group mercenary.

            The non-graduate majority are waking up to this graduate nonsense, and are less fearful of saying what they think. Even the politicians are starting say things the majority want to hear. That is until they get elected.

            The Tories, Labour and SNP have undermined Scotland and the UK. Time for a new force in politics. Its coming!

      4. John Wood says:

        Oh SteveH, how could I resist engaging with this! Do you seriously believe this nonsense or are you paid to write it?

        It’s probably because I’m just part of an arrogant graduate elite, but you ask ‘what was frightening about what she said. Be specific’. What she said was pure fascism. It was what our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents fought and died to resist. We are in this mess not because ‘the ruling elites have avoided a difficult and existential threat’, but because they have deliberately created it.

        I agree that there’s needs to be an open and honest discussion on what is turning into a disaster for Europe. It is attitudes likes yours – as expressed here, parroting extreme propaganda – that are driving this disaster. 21st c Fascism is keen to hide its inevitable jackboots beneath sharp business suits but underneath it is the same old beast.

        I think that people who throw around expressions like ‘You need to be grown up’ do so only because they are completely incapable of putting forward a grown up argument. And ‘terms like racist and dangerous’ do mean something, and may need to be used in a discussion.

        I have indeed travelled in the very countries the migrants come from, and I know that their ‘corrupt, totalitarian, racist, bigoted and unsafe’ governments have mostly been installed by us; because western arrogance was well expressed by Elon Musk in his famous tweet that said ‘we’ll coup who we please’ if we want their resources. After all other countries, other people, only exist to be exploited and destroyed. The Tories – and now it seems, other political parties, demonstrate by their words and their actions that the UK itself is amongst the most corrupt, totalitarian, racist, bigoted and unsafe in the world. In fact, perhaps we are the worst of the lot.

        We are not ‘importing’ people, they are fleeing the consequences of our foreign policies. Unless you refer of course to Suella Braverman and Priti Patel who who have clearly adapted so well to our supposedly ‘ free, safe and caring’ culture. The Tories – and the current leadership of the Labour party – are now exhibiting the exact opposite of a ‘free, safe, caring’ culture.

        I agree that the Tories, Labour, Libs, Greens, Plaid C., SNP are guilty of diminishing of our democracy – but this is because they are all of them now bought and sold for (mainly) US gold, a parcel of rogues and liars who are addicted to unlimited wealth and power. A unipolar world. Desperate people only seek safety in Britain because they have nowhere else to turn. It’s hardly attractive when filled with ideas like yours.

        Its time to stop using meaningless words like ‘Neo-Marxist woke madness’ whoever is promoting them.

        We just need to stop the endless fearmongering and rediscover our humanity.

  5. Duncan Sutherland says:

    I thought I saw the Tiber foaming with much blood, but actually it was merely the Wokerati foaming at the mouth after the latest insightful observations from the Home Secretary.

    There IS a “hurricane” of mass migration coming, for reasons which are hot hard to understand. You may not like the message, but it is pointless to shoot the messenger . . . or cancel her, as the hurricane will still come, and you will not be ready for it.

    This has nothing to do with racism. Forget that. It is about numbers, huge numbers and gigantically huge numbers such as no society can absorb. Get off your hobby horse and take the blinkers from your eyes.

    1. 230904 says:

      And that ‘hurricane’ (along with other crises) might succeed in blowing down the structure of official and social relations through which power is currently exercised unequally in Britain and oblige us to evolve a more just, democratic establishment.

      The task is not to ‘assimilate’ migrants into the current British establishment, but to modify the current British establishment to integrate migrants into our evolving collectivity or ‘union’.

      Don’t forget that it was the Great Migration of the 4th-6th centuries of the Christian Era of European history that led to the fall of the Roman Empire and the arrival of the Scots and the English in Britain, and where would we have been had it not been for that global demographic event? It will likewise be the Great Migration of our own era that will lead to the fall of the current global hegemony of ‘white supremacy’ and the advent of a more ‘plural’ humanity.

      1. SteveH says:

        Pure Marcuse. Destroy society but not have a clue how to get through the wars, famines, and horrors that would ensue. Or, to stop a totalitarian despot from destroying any notion of freedom or equality or safety. Do you think they would put up with CRT nonsens?

        Have you already forgotten the revolutions that brought the Soviet Union or People’s Republic of China into being?

        A weakened Western society will make sure the non-democratic barbarians will destroy the very things the migrants have come for, and those who have fought and died for.

        What do you reckon being a vassal state of a China or Russia would be like?

        1. 230904 says:

          Yep, critical theorists get a particularly hard time under totalitarian regimes.

          You keep saying that migration will ‘destroy’ society, but there’s no empirical evidence that migration – even the Great Migration of the early Christian era in Europe – has ever destroyed society. It’s only ever ‘destroyed’ the prevailing establishment insofar as the integration of new communities into the host society has required the whole matrix of official and social relations within which power was formerly exercised in that society has had to change. A society itself will only die if it fails to evolve in response to the demographic changes to which it’s subject.

          Now, of course, you can simply dismiss this argument by calling it ‘pure Marcuse’ or ‘CRT nonsens[e]’ or ‘left-wing wokeism’ or ‘graduate elitism’ or whatever; but mere name-calling is hardly a convincing counter-argument. Where’s your empirical data? Where are you reasoned arguments? (You’re talking to a hoary auld time-served philosopher or ‘gadfly’ here; distinguishing name-calling from evidence and reasoned argument, and evaluating that evidence and argument for its soundness and sufficiency, is my special forte. But be warned: it annoys people no end.)

    2. John says:

      Duncan – a few facts for you may help:
      1.The vast majority of immigration is legal and includes many people from war zones and people to fill vacancies to maintain our public services.
      2.2/3rds of asylum seekers turn out to have a right to live here under current international human rights legislation. Therefore only a relatively small number of people are illegal immigrants.
      3.The UK is an island which makes it much more difficult for people to get into illegally.
      4.The people crossing the channel are put their live at risk due to morally bankrupt people smugglers. The Tory government are paying lip service to minimising this problem (impossible to solve) by not engaging with EU and also hype it up for political benefit. They are also not processing asylum seekers quickly enough
      (funding cut here) and this is excacerbating problems and increasing costs which true to form they are trying to blame on everyone else.
      5.There may be some economic migrants (getting on their boat (bike) to look for a better future but majority of immigration is due to people displacement from wars and increasingly effects of climate change.
      6.Like it or not, the UK (including Scotland) has a real demographic problem and increasingly needs more you people to work to support industry, public services and pay taxes to help pay for NHS, pensions of older people like me.

        1. 230904 says:

          Spot on, John. I’d only add that we need to decolonise our traditional institutions in order to integrate that future labour force into Scotland’s civil society and British society more generally.

          SteveH and the equivalent of the alt-right on this side of the Atlantic would like to do a King Canute and ‘fight them on the beaches’ to keep Britain and Europe ‘white’. They’re on a hiding to nothing, I’m afraid.

    3. SteveH says:

      Yes. Spot on.

      The mass migration needs to be tackled now. It will not be pretty, but it needs to be considered as if we are going to be at war. A war where tough decisions are needed and needed now.

      1. John says:

        StevieH – I am heartened that you think my comments outlining the facts of immigration in UK are spot on.
        I am uneasy with your terminology of wanting to fight a war on immigration since one of the major causes of immigration is war due to fear of death & torture, hunger, loss of home and ability to support individuals and families and loss of all economic prospects.
        Not withstanding my unease I will give you a list of things we could declare war on to help reduce migration:
        1.War and warmongers
        2.Climate change
        3.Lack of education especially around birth control in parts of world.
        4.Performative politics which ignores the real solutions to reducing and mitigating migration rather than excacerbating issue for purely populist political ends.

        1. SteveH says:

          I agree.

          Yes, my language is not ideal. But were are at a crossroads where things will get tough for all of us.

          Helping people in their home environment is the best solution. Although I fear we may be too late.

          We have to fight the corruption and totalitarianism that dominates these lands. Would that not be called colonialism.

          We are now in a cultural and political war with China, Russia, Iran et al.

          Our social liberal ideals are being used against us.

          As a country overwhelmed with migrants in a short space of time will leave us totally weakened and incoherent.

          I have seen terrible poverty, and conditions that were horrific. But these are not the people who make it to our shores. Its the ones with money, influence and who are more likely to be self-serving.

          1. 230904 says:

            Those ‘liberal ideals’ that are being used against us… Are those the same laissez-faire liberal ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity – freedom of movement sans frontières, pluralism/multiculturalism, and human solidarity – that you’ve been denigrating as ‘elitist’ and ‘woke’?

            Even if those ideals were being used against us, the appropriate response wouldn’t be to surrender them in the way that you (and the alt-right and its British and European equivalents generally) advocate we do.

          2. SteveH says:

            You have clear never travelled outside of Europe.

            I’ve worked in many non-democratic countries. You have no idea what corruption and totalitarianism is.

          3. Derek Thomson says:

            “We are now in a cultural and political war with China, Russia, Iran et al.” Who are “et al”?

          4. 230904 says:

            But what does the corrupt and undemocratic nature of those regimes have to do with your claim that migration will destroy society, Steve, ma man? You’ve just introduced a non sequitur into your argument. That makes it even less convincing.

          5. John says:

            Please stop writing you agree with me and then follow it up with a diatribe that is at odds with points I am making.
            I can take being disagreed with.

            Please try and address points I am making rather than making unsubstantiated claims.

            Vast amount of immigration is currently legal and is government sponsored either for economic needs or for humanitarian needs.
            Migration has benefits and disadvantages.
            Benefits include people with skills not available in UK or more likely willing to undertake vacancies which local people are unwilling to fill – often lower paid with unsocial hours. The other benefit as I have said previously is that these migrants are younger and will pay taxes which helps this country in all sorts of ways. This is a situation that can only be partially alleviated by increasing birth rate in UK but these highly unlikely as a consequence of personal choice and government policy such as 2 child cap.
            Disadvantages tend to be around how migrants are placed in areas with already high deprecation and not in affluent areas of the country which places greater strain on failing public services – failing because of lack of government investment. There is a potential problem with local people feeling loss of identity when a large number of people from a different background are placed in their community but this goes back to migrants being dumped on already underprivileged areas. God forbid they would be placed in leafy suburbs!
            Lastly re illegal immigration the UK is an island which is the best defence and it is therefore inevitable that those that try will be younger and fitter due to difficulties in journey. The problems of illegal immigration could be greatly reduced by a government who was serious in working with neighbours in preventing it and in processing those migrants that make it to Uk quickly and efficiently none of which the current Home Secretary is doing.
            Lastly the vast majority of people do prefer to live in country where family and friends are but circumstances, ambition and curiosity will make them look father afield. In the overwhelming number of cases it is hostile local circumstances that will make people take the journey of illegal immigrants.
            In medical terms illegal immigration is a symptom of the diseases such as war, poverty, torture and increasingly the effects of climate change.
            It is up to everyone to take actions which deal with the underlying disease.

          6. Wul says:

            SteveH, why not visit your nearest refugee or asylum-seeker-helping project?

            Spend some time with the actual, real-live people who have travelled here seeking safety. Get to know them. Ask them about their lives, hopes, families and their homeland. Share a meal with them.

            Once you’ve done this, see if your attitude towards them has changed. See if you feel less frightened and threatened. Come back and share your findings.

          7. SteveH says:


            How many migrants should be allowed into Scotland in e.g. the space of a few years? 100,000, 1,000,000, 5,000,000?

            Say you’ve let in 1,000,000 in that considered period of time.

            Accommodation is now in serious short supply, benefits funds are depleted and being cut. Your eldest has a chronic medical condition but can’t get a hospital bed, because numerous migrants have come in with conditions hitherto untreated in their countries of origin. Your youngest can’t get a place in the local school because migrants have been given priority. Local authorities are now only able to fund the most important mandatory Services. Streets and amenities are neglected. Your towns and cities are already falling into disrepair.

            Do you decide a limit has now been reached? Reluctantly you do.

            But then one sunny day a few dozen boats arrive in England carrying say, 350 more poor migrants in search of a new, better life in welcoming Scotland. At what point do you say “sorry we can’t cope with any more”?

            Do you say “That’s alright. Never mind the limit. Sure, you can come in and take priority over my family for housing, jobs, benefits, healthcare, education.” I’ll just work harder and longer to support your needs, whilst having less for my family?

            You protest to the government to do something. They say OK if you want to be generous and allow more migrants in, we’ll just raise taxes to cover the extra financial burden.

            At what point do you change your mind, become resentful, and want urgent action to stop the next few 1000’s heading your way? Do you say: “They should come in regardless of the consequences?” Perhaps you think there should be better border controls with England so the migrants stay in England or Wales?

          8. SleepingDog says:

            @SteveH, I think you’re describing British colonialism. Are you suffering a bit from karmaphobia?

            I’ve just got to the bit in Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent where Priyamvada Gopal describes Keir Hardie’s 1907 fact-finding mission to India, where he finds the European incomers receiving all the privileges your feverish dreams could imagine. For example:
            p182 “Publishers were convicted of sedition for merely noting that Europeans who murdered Indians were given very slight sentences”.

            Indeed, British critics like Hardie and Indian activists like Bal Gangadhar Tilak were asking that very question of when resentment was going to tip over into action to throw the British out. But in the real world, the British ensured their incomer privileges by cruel oppression, military force and various underhand tactics (divide and rule etc).

          9. Derek Thomson says:

            You should have been banned from this forum right at the start. Just another bog-standard racist, with all your bog-standard racist tropes. There are plenty of forums for people like you and you should go and join your mates there. I’ve just re-read your last post and I’m really angry now. I’m sick of people like you, infesting my country with your racism. You’ve had your arse kicked before, you racists and nazis, but in all probability history will repeat itself, to the shame of all humanity. “Enjoy the coming storm” you said to me. I won’t enjoy it, but people like you probably will.

          10. SteveH says:

            Typical, anyone sharing a view you don’t like are branded and labelled with terms like “racist.”

            Neo-Marxists like you have done it so often it has lost any meaning.

            I would say the totalitarian attitudes you display are more akin to fascism and Nazism then anything. Today’s Antifa movement are also the true fascists, trying to silence anyone not like them.

            Your call to cancel me Is perfect proof of your lack of democratic political thinking. I would never suggest you be cancelled for your personal opinions.

            The reality is that mass immigration is an issue for Europe, that high-minded language like yours merely attempts to hide. Clearly it is not yet an issue in Scotland, where 95.4% the population is ethnically and culturally Scottish/British white.

            When it comes to racist language maybe you should listen to the rant by Humza Yousaf where he spat the word “white” numerous times. What does he expect in a country 96% white.

            If a white person had shouted “brown” in exactly the same way in a speech about top appointments in Humza family’s country of origin – Pakistan, he would be branded a racist.


            Neo-Marxists like you are the white saviours who use race as a weapon against their political opponents or those they simply don’t like. It’s a scam to define all white people (except woke white) as oppressors and all non-white as oppressed. At the very least it’s patronising for non-white people.

            If you really want to make a difference why don’t you campaign against the enslavement of some 10m black Africans by their fellow Africans, or the rape and murder of black Christians by black Muslims in Nigeria, Mali, Somalia? Why don’t you campaign against the oppression and harassment of gay Africans in 30 out of the 54 African countries where homosexuality is illegal? Why don’t you campaign against the forced medical sex conversion therapy of gay men in Iran, who have their genitalia removed and are forced to take cross-sex hormones?

            There are more social justice activists and organisations campaigning in Britain than in all of non-Western countries combined. They campaign in a country that international studies show Britain is one of the least racist and bigoted countries in the world, scoring better than any EU country. In Britain it is the easiest and least dangerous place to be a social justice warrior. All I see is performative activists. For some it’s simply a career. An easy job that carries a Salary and no risk.

            Look at BLM or The Runnymede Trust. What use are these organisations and their performative career activist staff? Can you tell me of anything useful they have done? Does the money they lavish on good salaries and junkets really do any good?

            Collors, the Marxist trained, founder of the US BLM left the organisation is a mess, walking away to enjoy her multimillion $ property portfolio.

            Ibrahim X. Kendi is being investigated for the collapse of his University of Boston Antiracism Institute, which blew $US42m, producing only two mediocre papers.

            Spare me your critical social justice abuse of language. You and all the other Neo
            -Marxists and followers of Herbert Marcuse and Antonio Gramsci ideology have been truly sussed.

          11. Derek Thomson says:

            Made me chuckle, that did.

          12. SteveH says:

            I thought it might. 🙂

          13. 230905 says:

            There should be no arbitrary limit placed on the number of migrants allowed into Scotland; the labour market should be left to self-regulate this. The ‘problem’ is that there is a growing disequilibrium between the economies of the global north and the global south; the free movement of capital and labour will rebalance that equilibrium.

            Housing is indeed in short supply; our infrastructure of social services like health care, education, and policing are inadequate to meet the needs of a growing population. But the answer to this ‘problem’ isn’t to restrict the flow of labour into our economy; it’s rather to use the additional surplus value (or economic growth) which that labour generates to develop better infrastructure.

            The idea that we should prioritise the needs of ‘natives’ over those of ‘incomers’ in the distribution of public goods and services betrays your white supremacist leanings. At the heart of that privileging is the assumption that ‘natives’ are ‘white’ (i.e ‘morally pure’) and therefore ‘more deserving’ of those goods and services than ‘black’ (i.e. ‘morally impure’) ‘incomers’ are. This demonisation of migrants is deplorable.

          14. SteveH says:

            All other non-Western countries prioritise their own people. Russia, China, Japan, African countries, Arab countries – everyone.

            Why shouldn’t Western European countries do the same?

            Importing cheap labour is only to the benefit of the rich elites.

            We have been importing cheap labour into the UK for years, and it never solved our labour problem. All it does is create social cohesion problems and shortages of infrastructure and services.

            Free markets are OK so long as they are not allowed to run riot. Corporates will do whats best for themselves. Even the ones which bang on about diversity and sport pride flags. In fact, those are the worse.

            Importing cheap labour has done nothing more than undermine the wages and voice of the British working classes. It is the same in many European countries.

            All the UK mainstream parties had abandoned the non-grad working classes in favour of minorities. Why are the graduate elites surprised at Brexit or the rise of populism?

            Mass migration is now the last straw. Treat it seriously or accept the social unrest and other consequences.

          15. 230905 says:

            No, Steve; you certainly shouldn’t be cancelled. Your doing a fine deconstructive job of displaying the ressentiment that underlies the rhetoric of white supremacism.

            You’re doing your cause no favours here. Maybe you should find a nice, wee, cosy alt-right echo chamber in which to vent your frustration and hostility and sense of powerlessness in community with other, more kindred spirits at the loss of your ‘white’ privilege. You’re convincing nobody here.

          16. SteveH says:

            “Super racism”? Define racism, and I don’t mean the critical race theory version by Bell, Delgado, Crenshawe, DiAngelo, kendi et al.

            True, I am frustrated by the arrogance of the graduate elites who share the same critical theory based ideas and language, and who now sneer at the non-graduate working classes, as if all the questionable behaviour of the past is now down to the white working classes of today, with their “white privilege”. It didn’t feel like being privileged growing up in poverty, harassment and neglect.

            The middle classes who routinely screwed-over the poor and the working class, now identified as the educated graduate elites, are trying to exonerate themselves by their performative use of social justice language and the cancelling of anyone who don’t agree with them.

            The reality is that the group with the least bright future by having the least performance in education in Britain are the majority of white working class boys, and the tiny poulation of travellers.

            The ones who bang on the most about minorities and trendy woke ideas are the most privileged, and know that when it comes to competing for influence and benefit, they will always be on top.

            All of those reading these posts who agree with putting me down as the villain here, look into your own motives and those of your social group. Consider your own unconscious bias. Try using critical thinking to challenge your beliefs. The academy has served you poorly, indoctrinating, rather than educating you. Are your skills and knowledge of real use to society, or does it just mark you down as a member of the educated elites club. Be honest with yourselves – if you can.

            Look at the younger generation. The woke educators and influencers of our society have created a generation of confused, narcissistic people, who have been told that they can be harmed by the words and ideas of others that don’t gel with the woke religion they’ve been indoctrinated with.

            Anyway, this is my last post on the subject. What upsets many of you is that you thought this site was a nice wee echo chamber for your own beliefs where you can have your membership validated. I clearly have gone and spoilt that illusion.

            I expect a pile on now, as I will have touched a lot of nerves.

            Good luck to you. But know this, the CSJ revolution is being pushed back. A rebellion is in progress to restore sanity, honesty and open discussion.

          17. 230905 says:

            @ SteveH

            We shouldn’t copy those countries because they’re wrong; privileging ‘natives’ over ‘incomers’, ‘white’ people over ‘black’, the self-identifying ‘morally pure’ and therefore ‘deserving’ over the ‘morally impure’ and therefore ‘undeserving’ (it all amounts to the same thing) is undemocratic. As a society, we should aspire to be better than than.

            Migrant labour isn’t any cheaper that ‘native’ labour. Both are subject to the same national minimum wage legislation. To reduce their labour costs, rather than import labour, British and other European businesses tend to outsource their operations (where they can) to other countries, where labour is cheaper. The problem with that is that those workers don’t, as those who come here to work do, contribute tax and national insurance to help pay for our public services.

            And the problem with the Lumpenproleteriat (your non-grad, non-working class) in the post-industrial global north is that it’s been lost to social production and can no longer function as a pool from which labour can be recruited. As Marx said, it’s ‘feckless’ both as a productive force and an agent of revolution; at best, it can only serve populist politicians as a disaffected mob.

          18. 230905 says:

            ‘Super racism’? Have you perhaps mislaid your spectacles? I’ve been talking about white ‘supremacism’, and I’ve been talking about it (as I explained earlier) as a non-racialised classification. White supremacism is about privileging morally pure people (natives like yourself) over morally impure people (all those migrants whom you’re demonising as invasive agents of corruption and/or parasites) in our society; it’s got nothing to do with the colour of your skin. It’s in this non-racialised sense that yon non-grad class warrior, Suella Braverman, is a ‘white supremacist’ like yourself.

    4. John Wood says:

      So Duncan, what is your solution to this problem? Are you approving of Suella Braverman’s hateful speech and actions? Might it not be better to try to help the refugees in some way – perhaps by adopting a foreign policy that supports them so they never have to leave their countries of origin in the first place? Why are people from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Africa, South America, Ukraine, etc etc fleeing their countries leaving their homes and possessions behind? Do you seriously suggest that they just love the idea of living here? It is because of us, and they ay we treat them and their countries. Who created the ferocious dictatorships, the wars, the economic exploitation that leaves people so desperate that they need to run for their lives? We have the means to end this. Why don’t we just do it? Call me a conspiracy theorist but looks deliberate to me.

  6. Niemand says:

    Environmental groups like The Woodland Trust and The Wildlife Trusts said the route’s northern leg would have destroyed “nearly 190 hectares of woodland, hundreds of kilometres of watercourses and thousands of hedgerows.” They welcome the cancellation and so do I. I know people will downplay or dismiss this aspect but the reason our wildlife and natural environment has been so decimated over the decades is largely incremental, not wholesale and the arguments I have seen about ‘just a few trees’ is the exact attitude that has led to that destruction.

    1. 230904 says:

      Yes, that’s the curious thing about the whole affair: many who were vehemently critical of the development at the start are now just vehemently critical of its termination.

      It’s queer the contradictory sidings that dogmatic Tory-bashing will shunt you into.

      1. Niemand says:

        There is much gnashing of teeth about these new oil fields in relation to climate change but when it comes to our own local natural environment, it can swing for it if it means we can have supposedly better trains from London to Manchester. But worse than that, it can swing for it if we can make hey at the Tory’s expense (but substitute any political party for Tories, it is the principle that matters).

        HS2 was totally ill-conceived in the first place and just like the new oil fields, we need to find a better way than ripping up yet more great swathes of the countryside and habitats.

        1. 230905 says:

          Indeed, and I wonder if any future independent Scottish government would spurn the exploitation of the remaining reserves of oil in its territorial waters to (as the current UK government is doing) offset its balance of payments deficit or as security against public borrowing on the international financial market. I bet it would.

          1. John Wood says:

            Why so sure? Look at the Scandinavian countries. At least they get some benefit from their resources. Ours are all sold on the international markets while people shiver and starve.

          2. 230905 says:

            But the party line is that, to save the planet, we need to keep that oil and gas in the ground rather than exploit it. Would a future independent Scottish government spurn the exploitation of the remaining reserves of oil in its territorial waters to (as the current UK government is doing) offset its balance of payments deficit or as security against public borrowing on the international financial market?

  7. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    I’m confused….(I’m not really)…..

    The North of the ‘country’ versus the North of the UK ?

    Are we, Scotland, now the North North of the UK or still the North of the UK ?

    Is Andy Burnham right to say that “the ‘North’ is always overlooked”….is that the “North” of the country or the “North” of the UK ? …or is Andy Burnham assuming we all know he means the North of England thus he need not be specific and spell it out as one who is the Mayor in a city in the North of England that has just ‘lost out…..’ as in Manchester no longer included via HS2 …..mind you he is indeed right the “North is overlooked” but then there is more than ONE North in the UK that is very much overlooked…is there not.

    In fact the North North of the country, Scotland, is being ignored as one who is never overly highlighted as one that ‘missed out’ being included in HS2 yet was once promoted , via being a part of Britain, as being included as ones that were very much to be seen as beneficiaries of this Tory rail project……..

    So then are we in Scotland considered to be no longer the North of the UK but instead are “North of the (Red) wall” ? (or rather now the North North of the (Red) wall….LOL)……..minus us being included in Tory government projects….obvs.

    1. 230905 says:

      That would be the north of England, NMRN, as distinct from North Britain, which Scotland occupies. To confuse matters even more, those ‘North’ signs you see on roads in the Central Belt of the Scottish Lowlands are referring to the north of Scotland.

      It’s all relative; no ‘North’ is absolute. Nothing’s absolute (including, paradoxically, the truth of that statement itself).

      1. John says:

        To talk about ‘The North’ rather than North of England on national tv in UK is geographically incorrect as the north of England is in effect the midlands of UK. If you are reporting to the UK (as opposed to England) it is technically geographically incorrect well as being Anglocentric.
        If you are in Scotland and heading north you are going to north of UK and north of Scotland so your attempt at trying to find some equivalence in geographical terms is incorrect and frankly pathetic.

        1. Niemand says:

          Oh come on this is piddling rubbish. When in England, ‘The North’ has a specific meaning in relation to the South, South East, South West and Midlands etc *of England*. There is no discussion about high speed in Scotland at the moment or even into Scotland so everyone with a brain knows when he says the North he means the north of England. People in England routinely use such terms not to exclude or forget Scotland but because it is clear their frame of reference is England so there is not need to say ‘the north, of England’. There is nothing Anglocentric about it, any more than someone in Edinburgh talking about ‘the north’ of Scotland. Of course they probably more likely to say the Highlands but highlands of what you could equally ask? In the history of England the north / south divide has deep historical roots for all sorts of reasons.

          1. John says:

            I am not arguing that when talking to people in England about England then describing the North will of course refer to the North of England and similarly on Scottish News.
            However when discussing anything in a UK context which is national BBC and Sky News, not to mention national politicians the correct terminology is the North of England. This is geographically and factually the correct term which any broadcaster or politician should be using.
            Similarly the Advanced British Standards announced bySunak refer to England only so why use the term British as it is again factually incorrect.
            I have also heard historians on BBC programmes refer to the UK monarch post 1606 as the King/Queen of England.
            These are small points I agree but they are factually incorrect and betray an ignorance (and in some cases an arrogance towards)the other nations in UK.
            What is wrong with asking someone in authority to use the factually correct term?

          2. John says:

            I should also add that I lived in North West of England for several years post 1997. I personally used the term North West whenever talking about the area in an English context which was frequently as I worked in NHS. I also used the term North West of England when talking about area in a UK context. exactly as I do in a Scottish context. It is not difficult to differentiate and be factually correct.

          3. Niemand says:

            Well I have lost track of what context we are actually talking about. Yes, if there is a clear sense a discussion is about the whole UK then it should be north of England. But when it comes to HS2, an entirely English thing and right now, specifically all about a line going from Birmingham to Manchester, then that does not apply and ‘the North’ is completely fine and clear and should have no negative implications on anyone’s patriotic sensibilities.

            Can this sort of thing be a problem otherwise? Yes and it can equally apply more ‘locally’ too where centres of power in both England and Scotland tend to talk about the area they are in as being the whole respective country. But the HS2 discussion is not one of them and it highlights a problem – the desire to look for this kind of slight or neglect in just about everything. It actually undermines the real examples by crying wolf endlessly.

          4. John Wood says:

            Here’s the context for you: HS2 is not supposed to be an entirely English thing. It was supposed to be UK infrastructure, to benefit the whole UK. This is why Scotland has paid about 10% of the cost. However, wherever you call the ‘North, it will not reach it and I suspect never would, because it was never really about any sort of ‘levelling up’ (it never is). Its only real purpose was to drive the economy of the growing ‘London area’ at the expense of the rest, enabling the better off to reside in the cheaper Midlands and commute in. I very much doubt if any of the money saved by cancelling the Birmingham – Manchester bit will be spent in the ‘north’, unless there are Tory donors who would benefit. Certainly none of it was ever going to benefit us in Scotland. Perhaps we should be demanding a refund which we could then spend on, for example, upgrading the single track, unelectrified Victorian lines into Inverness? ‘Patriotism’ has nothing to do with this. Its about justice and a politics that serves the needs of the global super-rich at the expense of everyone else. Why have they cancelled it? because since Covid, it isn’t worth investing in (except of course for the Tories’ friends in the construction industry). Who wants to commute from Birmingham to London anymore when the target market can live anywhere they like and work from home? And when Sunak and his friends go everywhere by helicopter or private jet? Can you seriously imagine any of them actually using a high sped train?

          5. 230905 says:

            HS2 would have provide the ‘missing link’ in the West Coast high-speed line between Mancester/Leeds and London. Passengers would have been able to catch HS2 trains at Glasgow Central. A new train stabling facility was to have been built in Dumgall to stable, clean, and maintain the HS2 trains serving Scotland and North West England, which would have provided us with 100 skilled jobs.

            It’s been estimated that HS2 would have benefitted Scotland’s economy by over £5bn a year. It would have joined up Glasgow and Edinburgh with fast, zero carbon train travel to other cities in the UK. It would have advanced the UK and Scottish governments’ shared ambition of three-hour rail journeys between London and Scotland’s Central Belt, reducing the attractiveness of air travel. Scottish companies had already been disproportionately successful in winning lucrative contracts in the construction of the Manchester/Leeds to London link.

            But, you might say, apart from all that, what has HS2 ever done for us?

        2. 230905 says:

          I agree, John; as I said, ‘north’ is a relative term, a large part of its meaning depends in any context on what it’s ‘north’ in relation to. That’s why, to avoid ambiguity and the possibility of misunderstandings like that which NMRN pretends, we should always qualify it with a reference to that which it’s ‘north’ in relation to (e.g. North London, North England, North Britain, North Europe, the global north, etc.); though, in ordinary speech, we can, more often than not, successfully infer this reference implicitly from the conversational context in which it’s being used.

          1. 230905 says:


            I also agree that the Advanced British Standard is a misnomer, as it won’t be awarded throughout the whole of Britain.

            From 1603 until 1707, the kings and queens of Scotland were also (separately, as if were) the kings and queens of England. For example, James VI of Scotland was also, wearing his other crown, James I of England. The union was only a personal one, not a political one; the two kingdoms weren’t politically united into one until the Treaty of Union in 1707, when the monarch of England and the monarch of Scotland became the monarch of the united kingdom of Great Britain. But you’re right to a certain extenf: technically, there’s no longer a king of England (or a king of Scotland); technically, there’s only a king of Great Britain and (since 1921) Northern Ireland.

            And there’s nothing wrong with pulling someone up for using a misnomer. Making a grudge and grievance out of their use of that misnomer, on the other hand, is petty and (as Niemand said) piddling.

          2. Derek Thomson says:

            Stop being so bloody patronising. I’m sure most of the folk who read this blog are aware of the dates of the Unions. And if you think that these “misnomers” aren’t deliberate, well, good for you, crack on. Some of us know better.

          3. 230905 says:

            Well, it was John who raised the matter, not me. And John clearly didn’t know the dates of the unions; he mistook the date of the union of the crowns for 1606 and the personal union of the crowns for a political union. He stands corrected.

            And, yes, I do think that the misnomers that are being seized upon by nationalists to stoke their grudge-and-grievance populism are due more to ignorance rather than to some anti-Scottish conspiracy. I’m not well disposed to conspiracy theories generally.

          4. John says:

            I have to admit when it comes to being pedantic I cannot hold a candle to you.
            Niemand may think I am overreacting to some piddling incorrect narrative.
            I would counter that by saying that many people I know both independence supporters and unionists supporters are irritated by this type of factually incorrect terminology and find it rather demeaning towards Scotland.
            I would also counter that people like Niemand and yourself talking me down for highlighting these issues are demonstrating that well known phenomenon the Cringe!

          5. 230905 says:

            Who’s taking you down, John? Didn’t I say that there’s nothing wrong with pulling someone up for using a misnomer or for factual inaccuracy, like saying ‘British’ when you mean ‘English’ or getting the date of the union of the crowns wrong or mistaking a personal union for a political one. More power to your elbow!

  8. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Well seems that’s me and the burden that I carry as in my ” grudge-and-grievance populism” telt….for sure….for sure…..LOL


    1. 230905 says:

      I never took you as bearing the burden of ‘grudge and grievance’ populism, NMRN. That certainly doesn’t come across in your posts, which (granted) is all I’ve got to go on. I’d have pegged the presence you project here as insouciant and mildly sardonic.

      1. Not-My-Real-Name says:

        No worries….I could nor resist being a wee bit petty in my response to you LOL…..and yes also a wee bit “sardonic”…..as to being ” insouciant” I didn’t even know what that word meant…had to look it up LOL…..fair’s fair…..you got me LOL

        Anyway hope you have a nice day 230905 …..Not-Your-Real-Name though Ha Ha (didn’t want to risk using yet another…LOL…as in an overload)


      2. John says:

        Reply to your comment re Union of Crowns.
        You are correct in that the monarch was king of England & Scotland from 1606 until union of parliaments in 1707.
        If I insist upon factual accuracy from others it is only correct that I acknowledge when I have myself not been accurate.
        I would add that historians appearing in media (as opposed to myself an interested amateurs with a Higher History) have a professional duty to be factually accurate.
        If I were to complain about a historian describing the monarch between 1606-1707 as the King of England in a UK context rather than King of England and Scotland I would be being pedantic.
        I did complain about a historian describing Queen Victoria as being the Queen of England in what was a UK context as this was factually and historically incorrect and carried underlying assumption that UK & England were interchangeable terms which is omitting Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland and insulting them by omission in my opinion.

        1. 230905 says:

          1603. James VI of Scotland inherited the throne of England in 1603, not 1606, after which he was the King of Scotland AND the King of England. The two kingdoms were merged into a single United Kingdom in 1707. Thereafter, the reigning monarch was properly deemed the King or Queen IN England or IN Scotland (as in answer to the question ‘Who’s the Queen IN Scotland?’, the answer being ‘Victoria is.’ between 1837 and 1901) rather than the King or Queen OF either.

          These wee prepositions are crucial to our national pride and dignity; getting them wrong is insulting and worthy of complaint. No wonder we’re so aggrieved at the enormity of the matter that it wad gar u1 exit the Union in the huff. How dare they…!

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