The Parliamentary Assembly for the Council of Europe: Aggressively Annexing the Land of Make Believe

If the Ukrainian crisis shows one thing it is this: Western media and governments appear to have lost all ability to reason, think and deal with facts. Their pronouncements and indictments of Russia are increasingly unhinged, and are all made to cover up the uncomfortable truth that it was the West — US/EU/NATO — not Russia that caused this crisis.

Take this from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). This is a resolution passed on 9th April, and was based on a report entitled, Recent developments in Ukraine: threats to the functioning of democratic institutions:

The Assembly regrets that the democratic changes and  political developments in Ukraine have been overshadowed by the developments in Crimea. The Assembly strongly condemns the Russian military aggression and  subsequent annexation of Crimea, which is in clear violation of  international law, including the United Nations Charter, the OSCE  Helsinki Act and the Statute and basic principles of the Council  of Europe.

This is almost funny. I have highlighted in bold the most absurd parts, both of the name of the report, and the resolution. Let’s look briefly at these statements:

1. Threats to the functioning of democratic institutions

What functioning democratic institutions is this referring to? The democratically elected leader of the Ukraine was Viktor Yanukovych. In case PACE is unaware, he was toppled by a violent and undemocratic putsch on February 22nd. The threat to the democratic institutions of Ukraine came several weeks ago. Did they miss it?

2. Democratic changes

Once again the report’s authors appear to occupy the land of “cloud cuckoo”, having aggressively annexed the country of “make believe”. What democratic changes are they referring to? Mr Yanukovych was not removed by a democratic vote. He was forced out by far-right nationalists/neo-Nazis, some of whom now occupy positions in the new “government” in Kiev. The current junta has received no mandate from the people and apparently, some people in east Ukraine don’t much like this form of “democratic change”.

3. Developments in Crimea

Notice how the change of government in Kiev, which came via Molotov cocktails and bullets, is describes as a “Democratic Change”. The change of government in Crimea, on the other hand, which involved no Molotov cocktails, no bullets and a landslide 97% vote in favour of joining the Russian Federation, is described as a “development” which has overshadowed events in Kiev. Yet here is the simple truth: One really was a democratic change. The other wasn’t. Guess which is which.

4. Including the United Nations Charter

I hold the UN to be a particularly corrupt and dangerous threat to national sovereignty, and so I’m not too bothered by what it thinks of all this. Yet to say the Crimean decision to become part of Russia is contrary to the UN Charter is yet another departure into dreamland. Here’s what Article 1 of the UN Charter states is the aim of the organisation: “To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace”. 97% of Crimeans who voted in the recent plebiscite apparently don’t qualify for the equal rights and self determination of peoples mentioned in the Charter. Anyone know why?

Clockwork Clegg

Astute observers of political tactics will notice certain themes that crop up time and time again to shut down debate. A decade ago, anyone bringing up the subject of immigration in British politics was accused of “playing the race card”. Actually, this was a perfectly legitimate area of discussion, but accusing the other side of “playing the race card” had the intended effect of closing down all debate on the issue.

A decade or so later and you don’t really hear this term ever used. The reason for this is that since the beginning of the century, Britain has seen levels of immigration unprecedented in the nation’s history. What was deliberately made a taboo subject back in the early years of the century can now no longer be ignored, and even politicians on the left – for example Ed Milliband — have been forced to start talking about the issue. Are they “playing the race card” when they do, or was this always a legitimate point of debate?

Another empty slogan used to shut down debate is the term ”Little Englander”. This is derogatory term used by pro-EU politicians to portray their anti-EU opponents as nothing more than silly little isolationist xenophobes who want to bury their heads in the sand and take the North Korea approach.

Actually this particular slogan turns out to be highly ironic. Which country is little? The one that cedes control of its borders, its laws, its economy, its currency and even its foreign policy to a government in another country, or the one that retains control of all these things?

In last week’s debate on Britain’s relationship to the EU, the Deputy Prime Minister pulled another tired cliché out of his hat, using it on more than one occasion as he attempted to convince voters he was right to insist that Britain must remain within the EU. What was that cliché? Here it is:

“I don’t believe in the dishonesty in saying to the British people that you can turn the clock back. What next? Are you going to say we should return to the gold standard or a pre-decimal currency, or maybe get W.G. Grace to open the batting for England again? This is the 21st century, it is not the 19th century”.

It’s the clock thing. Right on time, regular as a Swiss timepiece, just when he realised he was losing badly in the discussion, there was Clockwork Clegg introducing the tired and fundamentally dishonest cliché about turning the clock back. And what is more, he did it in a sentence accusing his opponent of dishonesty.

The debate — whether Britain should remain in the EU or out of the EU — has nothing whatsoever about turning any clocks back. Exiting the EU does not in any way mean that we will all lose internet access, go back to driving Morris Minors and eating bully beef. Nor does it mean that those desiring to exit the EU want to see these things happen.

The debate is about the future, not the past, and whether that future should be as a sovereign nation or as part of a supranational institution. Neither position is any more modern than the other one. Nither position any more antiquated than the other. The desire to exit the EU is in no way synonymous with a desire to get rid of everything modern, or to resurrect 19th century England cricketers, and for a high ranking politician to suggest it is, is laughable and pitiful at the same time.

No, the desire to head for the exit door is simply a desire for the laws, parliament, borders, economy, judiciary and military to be controlled by the British government, rather than by a foreign power. It is an argument of small, local government, versus big, distant government. Mr Clegg knows this just as well as I or Nigel Farage does. The “turning the clock back” cliché is just a way of obscuring these positions. And the funny thing was this: as he said it, I — and I suspect many people across the nation — just yawned. For he really did sound extremely crusty, tired and antiquated as he said it.  

The European Union Representative for High Irony and Plumbing the Depths of Hypocrisy

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, Catherine “gosh-surely-all-those-nice-chaps-in-balaclavas-and-combat-gear-and-nazi-symbols-can’t-have-been-responsible-for-shooting-both-police-and-protestors“ Ashton, has released the following statement on the European External Action Service website:

“I strongly condemn the pressure by activists of the Right Sector who have surrounded the building of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Such an intimidation of the parliament is against the democratic principles and rule of law.

I call on the Right Sector and other parties in Ukraine to refrain from the use or threat of violence. They need to hand over any unauthorised arms to the authorities immediately.

An impartial and credible investigation into the circumstances of the death of Oleksandr Muzychko during a detention attempt by the police is needed. I welcome the setting up of an ad-hoc investigation committee in the Verkhovna Rada today.”

Anyone who has been following this crisis in any depth — by which I mean not relying on the western media propaganda machine to inform you what is going on — will have trouble knowing quite how to respond to Ms Ashton’s statement. Should we laugh, cry or reach for the sick bowl? Perhaps all three would be appropriate.

So Cathy is concerned that nationalistic forces are destabilising the country and undermining democracy. You and me both, Cathy. The problem though is that Cathy has spent the last three months supporting who? Why, nationalistic forces that have been destabilising the country and undermining democracy.

Apart from the statement about Oleksandr Muzychko, everything else she said in this statement could have been said about the events leading up to the putsch on February 21st, when the democratically elected and constitutionally lawful president of Ukraine was ousted, at the behest of extreme nationalists, with the Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) at the forefront.

Where was Cathy back then? Where was her statement condemning ultra-nationalists like Pravy Sektor when they were surrounding parliament buildings and using extreme violence to oust the elected government back in February? There were no such statements back in those days, because Cathy and her colleagues were content back then to use those nationalistic forces to achieve their goal: the removal of the pro-Russian government, replacing it with a pro-EU, pro-NATO government.

What’s changed? Well of course now they have their unelected, unconstitutional, illegitimate government in place, certain elements of the far right — such as the Pravy Sektor — are now an embarrassment to them. So having been used as “useful idiots” to do the will of the US and EU, they must now be side-lined by being portrayed as destabilising forces (which they weren’t back in February of course).

To sum it up:

Cathy Ashton and her colleagues in Brussels and Washington used the far right to overthrow the democratically elected government of a country they had nothing to do with. What’s more, they knew full well who these far right people were, Victoria Nuland and John McCain forging close ties with the leader of Svoboda — Oleh Tyahnybok — an organisation whose origins are clearly supportive of Nazism. Having achieved their aim, they are now trying to integrate some of the more “moderate ” factions of the far right (such as Tyahnybok) into the mainstream, and they are doing this partly by now speaking out against some of the more “extreme” factions – such as Pravy Sektor — even though these factions were clearly responsible for the overthrow of Yanukovych back in February, which was backed by the US, the EU and of course Cathy Ashton.

The hypocrisy and double standards take the breath away. I suggest a promotion ought to be in the pipeline for Cathy. And I can think of no better title than European Union Representative for High Irony and Plumbing the Depths of Hypocrisy.

You don’t have to be a friend of Vladimir Putin to see this

I almost feel embarrassed about writing about the Ukraine crisis, yet again. But it is clearly the single most important event at the moment — in fact I would say that it is above September 11, 2001 in terms of defining moments of the century so far.

Why is it so important? Because the whole issue is, at heart, an issue of national sovereignty versus globalisation. In the Western media and governments, the issue is being presented as the free, democratic West, versus the aggressive, imperialist Russia. This is a total myth.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the USA, together with the EU has been the main imperialist force in the world. The USA, EU and NATO, have interfered in country after country, toppling regimes, or funding people to topple regimes for them. They bombed Serbia, dropping something like 23,000 bombs on a country which had nothing to do with them. They (not all of course) invaded Iraq, resulting in the deaths of anywhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people — depending on who you listen to, not to mention the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, and the deaths of their own military personnel.

They spent 10 years in Afghanistan and achieved precisely nothing, other than more deaths. They have conducted drone strikes on countries bringing about more deaths. They encouraged and supported the Arab Spring which has been such an astonishing success that Syria has now been involved in civil war for three years, Libya is a lawless hellhole, and Egypt is just about to elect a military strongman, three years after they got rid of … you guessed it, a military strongman.

And now Ukraine. According to Victoria Jane Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State, the USA has spent $5billion on promoting “democracy” in Ukraine (

The methods have differed, but the goals are the same, and so too are the results. Whenever you hear talk of “promoting democracy”, whether it be in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria or Ukraine, the pattern makes it clear that what the USA and EU really mean is “regime change”.

Why did they desire regime change in the Ukraine? After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Western nations gave Russia an unwritten guarantee that they would not be seeking to expand NATO to the Russian borders. Yet that is exactly what they have tried to do. Poland and the Baltic states were all brought in, but the biggest prize of all was Ukraine — mainly because had the West managed to install a puppet government in that country, they would have been able to put NATO forces all the way up to Crimea and the Black Sea. The purpose? To effectively hedge Russia in.

In other words, the Ukrainian crisis has come about not through Russian aggression — Putin does not appear to have had any particular designs on Crimea before this crisis — but rather from the West. It is the folly of the USA and the EU in thinking they could meddle with this country and Westernise it — just as they have tried and failed to do in all the other cases mentioned above — that has precipitated all that has followed. It is their folly which has led to a government which includes known neo-Nazis in Ukraine. It is their folly which led to the largely ethnic Russian population in Crimea to seek to become part of the Russian Federation and to Putin taking them up on this desire.

The Western fury against Russia is driven not by any moral consideration. How could it be since it is the West that has time and again acted as aggressors in other people’s countries? Rather it is the fact that this little scheme of theirs — to get Ukraine under US/EU/NATO influence in order to threaten Russia — has backfired spectacularly and the very opposite of what they had hoped to see has come to pass. The Black Sea region is now under Russian, not NATO control, and frankly there is something deliciously ironic in all this.

I realise that saying all of this will leave me open to the charge of “siding with Putin”. This is exactly the charge levelled today by the UK’s deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, against Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP. Mr Farage, quite rightly pointed out in his debate with Mr Clegg that the EU has “blood on its hands” for encouraging revolution in Ukraine, something that apparently shocked Mr Clegg.

I don’t suppose that Mr Clegg would welcome the comparison, but he has just fallen into the same way of thinking that George W. Bush fell into many years ago, that is, attempting to portray this kind of thing as a black and white issue in which we — the West — are always the good guys and they — Russia in this case — are always the bad guys.

The world is never so simple and there is an alternative to this silly thinking. Maybe they’re both corrupt and evil. Certainly the Western governments, with their repeated intermeddling in other countries affairs, the despicable levels of spying and surveillance perpetrated by the USA and UK, and along with all the other encroachments on liberties which have taken place over recent years in the USA and the undemocratic EU, shouldn’t exactly cause anyone to think that these people are apostles of light and champions of freedom. And you don’t have to be a friend of Vladimir Putin to see this.

Worried About Le Pen’s Mob? It’s all Just a Front Really

The news that the far-right, anti-immigration party, Front Nationale, has made big gains in French local elections has caused consternation in European media and government. The BBC, for example, ran the following headline today: France election: National Front gains trigger alarm. The Financial Times ran an editorial entitled “The dangerous rise of Marine Le Pen” in which they commented that “The implications of Ms Le Pen’s triumph go well beyond France. It is an early herald of the serious gains that extremist parties are poised to make in May’s European elections… France’s mainstream politicians must stop the rot while they still can”. And just for good measure the French prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, called on “all democratic forces” to close ranks to keep the FN out.

So the media and the political elites are worried by all this. Understandable, although it should never be forgotten that parties such as FN only ever make big gains after mainstream parties have consistently ignored the legitimate concerns of ordinary folks.

But the thing that staggers me is the sheer, unadulterated, mind-boggling irony of this outcry, coming as it does at the same time as something far more sinister and hideous is going on — with the full backing of the Western media, the EU, the EU member states, and the USA.

For the last few weeks, the country of Ukraine has been governed by an unelected, coup-installed mob. The Western media have almost entirely ignored this, but the ”government” in Kiev is comprised of people who make Front Nationale look like a teddy bear’s picnic.

Just in case you haven’t heard — and you may well not have done, given the almost total failure of the Western media to report it — here is a list of some of the people your government — if you are in an EU country or the USA — is both supporting and legitimising:

  • Andriy Parubiy (Secretary of the National Security & Defence Council) — founder of the Social National Party of Ukraine, a Party modelled on the Nazis, which went on to become Svoboda.
  • Oleh Tyanybok — current leader of the far-right Svoboda Party.
  • Dmytro Yarosh (Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council) — leader of the neo-Nazi organisation, Pravy Sektor
  • Oleksandr Sych (Deputy Prime Minister) — member of Svoboda.
  • Andriy Mokhnyk (Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine) — member of Svoboda.
  • Ihor Shvaika (Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food) — member of Svoboda.
  • Oleh Makhnitsky (Prosecutor General of Ukraine) — member of Svoboda.
  • Dmytro Boulatov (Ministry of Youth and Sports) — Member of the far-right Ukrainian National Self-Defence (UNA-UNSO).
  • Tetiana Tchornovol (Chair, National Anti-Corruption Committee) — Member of the far-right Ukrainian National Self-Defence (UNA-UNSO).

If this list of names doesn’t by itself unduly trouble you, check out the following film on YouTube:

The presenter of this delightful promo film for the Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), is none other than Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of the organisation and, as mentioned above, currently serving as Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council. Not-so-cuddly Dmytro recently said of Russia in a speech, “Let the ground burn under the feet of the occupiers! Let  them choke on their own blood when they attack our territory! Not  one step back!” Nice man. Hilary Clinton, who recently accused Vladimir Putin of being another Hitler, is currently supporting the government of which Dmytro and his neo-Nazi friends are members. Nice one Hilary!

So next time you hear Western politicians and media sounding the alarm over parties like FN, remember this: They don’t mean what the say and they don’t actually care. If the Ukrainian affair has proved anything, it is that when the interests of Western governments and media are at stake, they will support anybody in order to get their own way — even neo-Nazi types that make Le Pen and her Front Nationale crew look sort of nice.

United Nations Declares Scottish Referendum Unlawful

The UN today voted on the following US-drafted resolution on the proposed Scottish independence referendum to be held later this year:

“This referendum can have no validity, and cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of Scotland; and calls upon all States, international organizations and specialized agencies not to recognize any alteration of the status of Scotland on the basis of this referendum and to refrain from any action or dealing that might be interpreted as recognizing any such altered status”.

Can that be right? Surely this would be contrary to Article 1 of the UN Charter, which states the aim of the organisation is “To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace”.

Oh sorry, I got my facts wrong. Turns out the Scots are allowed to exercise their right to self-determination by holding a referendum. But for some reason the people of Crimea don’t seem to have that right!

20 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Before Russian to Judgement Over Ukraine

In situations such as the one currently going on in Ukraine, it can be awfully hard to discern what has happened and what is currently happening. Various sides, all with vested interests, let rip with truths, half-truths and no-truths. Who to believe?

I think that the way around this is to try to get a feel of the general narrative that is going on. Yes there will be lies and selective propaganda on both sides, but what is the overarching theme?

Without in anyway believing that Russia and the pro-Russian forces in Ukraine are necessarily telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, or that they are acting wisely in all things, it has become increasingly clear to any discerning person that the West — the European Union, the United States of America and the Western media — have been profligate with their propaganda and have multiplied folly like it was going out of fashion. Without discovering all the facts about everything that is going on — which is just about impossible for anyone — it is possible, simply by asking a few poignant questions, to show that the EU and US, despite their pious posturing, have not only been the chief culprits in the chaos that is now taking place, but that their moral bankruptcy makes them utterly incapable of condemning what they are terming “Russian aggression”.

If you have been taken in by their phoney rhetoric and posturing, I would ask that you just take a few moments to answer the following 20 questions, rather than buying the standard West vs Russia = Good vs Evil line that the EU and US are portraying this as:

1. There is no doubt that the government of Viktor Yanukovych was corrupt and inept, but the uncomfortable fact for those who use this as a pretext for his recent removal is that he came to power in free and fair elections — and mainly because the previous government was seen by millions as corrupt and incompetent. So if corruption and incompetence in government are the touchstone issues of whether the people can protest that government out of power, would a section of the population in the previous administration have had the moral right to remove them by protest, or would that have been undemocratic?

2. Far too much is made of democracy, as if it had the power to cure all ills. Yet it is the barometer by which the EU, the US government and the Western media measure the legitimacy of a government. According to this standard, which is the democratically elected government of Ukraine – the government of Viktor Yanukovych, voted into power in free and fair elections back in 2010, or the present government of Oleksandr Turchynov, which the Ukrainian nation have never voted for?

3. If disillusionment with a government is sufficient reason for protestors to insist that a government resign, and to stay until they get their way, would the EU and the US government support similar protests in London, Berlin, Paris or Washington calling for the removal of these various corrupt administrations and staying put until they achieved their aims?

4. The government of Viktor Yanukovych was no doubt corrupt, but if it was quite as bad as we are now being told, why were there no major protests before the decision to accept a Russian bailout, rather than an EU trade deal?

5. If the government of Viktor Yanukovych was so oppressive towards the people of the Ukraine, why was the EU so keen on doing a trade deal with it? Does the EU make a habit of entreating tyrants?

6. Given that the democratically elected President of a major European country decided to accept a deal with Russia rather than with the EU, what business had the EU then got in sending ambassadors to Kiev to side with the protestors? Was this a violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and if not, why not?

7. Imagine that President Yanokovych had decided to accept the EU deal instead of the Russian deal and instead of Western Ukrainians occupying central Kiev, imagine that the protestors were all from pro-Russian parts of the country. What would the EU and US have said if Russia had sent ambassadors into Kiev to give speeches to the crowds egging them on to bring down the government? Is it possible that this would have been described as aggressive interference, together with the usual talk of the Russian menace and a new Cold War? If so, why do we not label EU and US actions in these terms?

8. Were the likes of Baroness Ashton (EU) and Senator John McCain (US), who went to Kiev and voiced support for the protestors, being neutral or deliberately provocative and did their actions encourage the toppling of the democratically elected and legitimate leader of Ukraine?

9. If this was a peaceful protest, from whence came all the guns, ammunition and Molotov cocktails which were thrown at the police killing 13 of them and injuring 130?

10. If this was a peaceful protest, what were the large contingent of far-right neo-Nazis from groups like Pravy Sektor and C14 doing there?

11. Did Baroness Ashton or Senator McCain notice the presence of heavily armed, balaclava-clad men making Sieg Heil salutes and wearing the Wolfsangel symbol? If they did, were they not disturbed by this and did they ever have second thoughts as to the wisdom of getting involved in this complex country?

12. After the worst violence, President Yanukovych agreed to a deal with the opposition, brokered by the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland. After he was driven out, neither the opposition or the three EU countries did anything to insist that the deal be honoured. Why?

13. After the deal was signed, the leaders of the crowd in Independence Square refused to accept it. Instead they threatened to topple the government if the President hadn’t resigned by 10am the next day. Was this democracy in action?

14. After Mr Yanukovych fled to Russia, a new government was formed, largely on the approval or disapproval of the leaders of the revolution. Was this process more or less democratic than the election of Mr Yanukovych 4 years previous?

15. The new Ukrainian government, which has the full support of the EU and US, contains several members of Svoboda, the far right nationalist party with links to the sinister, violent neo-Nazi group, Pravy Sektor. Do the EU and US governments believe that having neo-Nazis in prominent positions is likely to prove better for the Ukrainian people than the government of Viktor Yanukovych?

16. Is it possible that in seeing a new government in Kiev put there by and stuffed with people who are calling for an ethnically pure Ukraine, Russians and Jews in the country might just have a reason to be afraid?

17. If the EU and US really believe that the process used to kick out the old government was able to confer legitimacy on the new government, why will they not accept the actions of the Crimea in declaring themselves independent of the Kiev government, especially as this process, unlike that in the Maidan, cost precisely no lives whatsoever?

18. One of the first things the new “government” in Kiev did was to revoke a law protecting the status of the Russian language, spoken by millions in certain parts of Ukraine. Was this the kind of thing you would have expected to see from a government that has the interests of all Ukrainians, including Russian speakers, at heart?

19. The EU and the US have spent the past 20 years dropping bombs in other peoples’ ethnic conflicts (Serbia/Kosovo), invading other countries (Iraq & Afghanistan), or sponsoring the armed overthrow of various governments (Egypt, Libya & Syria). What grounds do they have for condemning Russia for apparently violating Ukrainian sovereignty?

20. Given that none of the conflicts mentioned above involved people from the EU or the US, but given the fact that Ukrainian conflict does involve millions of Russians, doesn’t Russia have a far greater pretext for protecting its own people — people who have asked them to come and protect them by the way — than the EU or US ever did in their plethora of national-sovereignty-ignoring conflicts?

What do You do When the Mob Takes Over the Government of Your Country and Threatens Your Very Existence?

Let’s suppose that both France and Britain are independent countries — I mean independent in the sense of not being a part of the EU Superstate — and that Brittany and Normandy are mainly populated by British people: people who speak British, think British and whose culture is overwhelmingly British.

Let’s suppose that the ruler of this independent France is a corrupt bureaucrat from the Brittany or Normandy region whose first language is English and whose geopolitical leanings are towards Britain, rather than towards the EU. He is disliked by many throughout France, but the problem they have is that he was elected in what was a free and fair election four years ago. The other problem is that corrupt as he is, he was elected to replace an opposition who were equally corrupt. It seems that in France no matter who you vote in, you’re going to get a corrupt government (purely hypothetically, of course).

Let’s suppose that the EU are unhappy about this situation. They don’t much like the fact that France is independent; in fact they don’t much like the fact that any country is independent. Even more than this, they dislike the fact that the French leader leans far more towards Britain than he does towards the EU. Nonetheless, instead of letting France decide its own future, this does not deter them from doing all they can to try to bring France into the EU, aided and abetted by the Americans, who also have a vested interest in the situation because they have in recent years become obsessed with bringing in a new global world order in which national sovereignty is done away with (except for America of course).

Let’s suppose that the EU offers a trade deal to the government of France, but the French leader decides not to take it, instead accepting a deal offered by Britain. This decision enrages many French, who want the country to move more towards the EU and away from Britain. To vent their frustration, many of them take to the streets of Paris, protesting against the decision taken by the President and calling for him to reverse his decision or quit.

Let’s suppose that to begin with the protests are fairly peaceful. But as they go on, the far-right nationalist group, Droit Secteur, jumps on the bandwagon and join the protestors. Droit Secteur make Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front look like fluffy bunnies, and unlike the original protestors, they are not interested in EU integration. On the contrary, they long to see an ethnically pure France — free from Jews and free from the British speakers in the North. Armed to the teeth, they don their balaclavas and their Nazi slogans, and set up camp in the Place de la Concorde, awaiting their opportunity to overthrow the corrupt, yet democratically elected government.

Let’s suppose that the EU sends in various ambassadors to make speeches assuring the crowd of their support in this “fight for democracy”. Not to be outdone, the Americans also send in various high-profile figures to wander through the camp, greet the people, and make orations about something called “freedom’n'democracy”. Do they notice the existence of a large contingent of neo-Nazis in the camp, replete with guns and Hitlerite slogans? Perhaps they do; perhaps they don’t. If they do, it doesn’t seem to trouble them as they have higher causes to think about.

Let’s suppose that trouble kicks off, with the “peaceful protestors” somehow managing to kill 13 policemen and wound 130. At that point, the President gives the police authority to use live ammunition, and in the ensuing mayhem many of the protestors are killed. The media in the EU and America, completely ignoring the fact that many of the protestors were heavily armed and clearly intent on violent revolution, claim to be outraged by the President’s actions against what they call the ”peaceful, pro-democracy protestors”.

Let’s suppose that the French President agrees to meet with leaders of the opposition to try and end the bloodshed, and along with foreign ministers from three EU countries, they hammer out a deal. Amongst other things, the deal compels the President to give an amnesty to protestors being held in jail; states that elections must be held no later than December that year; says that the President will not impose a state of emergency, on condition that the authorities and opposition refrain from further use of violence; and gives an assurance that an investigation will be launched into the acts of violence committed during the unrest, under joint monitoring from the government, opposition and the Council of Europe.

Let’s suppose that within hours of the agreement being reached, the crowd — or armed revolutionaries as we must now call them — reject the deal and insist that if the leader has not resigned by 10am the next day, they will overthrow the government and kill him. Realising that his life is in danger, the corrupt yet democratically elected leader of France flees for his life and ends up a few days later in Cornwall.

Let’s suppose that rather than insisting on the opposition fulfilling the agreement which they signed, the EU instead stands by and watches various opposition factions as they form a new government, and despite the fact that nobody in France voted for them, but rather they were “agreed” upon by the armed revolutionaries, the EU hails them as heroes, refers to them as the legitimate government, and calls this a victory for democracy.

Let’s suppose that the very first thing that the new regime in Paris, chosen by the armed revolutionaries, does is to attempt to revoke a law which had given protected and equal status to the English language in places where English was widely spoken — such as Brittany and Normandy. The majority of people of Brittany and Normandy feel understandably threatened by this act of hostility, and so hold their own demonstrations where they wave British flags and align themselves not with Paris, but with London. The governments of Brittany and Normandy then announce that they do not recognise the legitimacy of the new mob-elected government in Paris, and so are effectively breaking away from France to become independent — a decision which will be put to a referendum a month later.

Let’s suppose that the mob-elected regime in Paris reacts with hostility against this, calling the governments of Brittany and Normandy illegitimate, and starts sending out signals that they will not allow Brittany, or Normandy or any other region to declare independence. These threats, together with the revoking of the protection of English law, are sufficient to make the majority of people in Brittany and Normandy extremely worried about what is going to happen.

And finally, let’s suppose that the leaders of newly-independent Brittany and Normandy call upon the British government to give them military protection against what they understandably see as a threat to their very existence coming from the illegitimate mob-elected government in Paris.

Now over to you. What do you suppose the British government should do in reaction to this request?

With Impartial Advice Like This, Who Needs Propaganda?

The Daily Telegraph, that bastion of conservative moral values (ha! ha!), has just carried out a sting operation on some independent Crisis Pregnancy Centres (CPCs) around Britain. They sent undercover reporters into some of these centres, posing as women in need of advice, and then reported on the findings. According to the article, counsellors at one CPC informed the reporter that abortion could lead to a propensity to sexually abuse children, and at another clinic a reporter was informed that having an abortion could leave them unable to carry future pregnancies to full term. It was also claimed that abortion could lead to an increased likelihood of developing breast cancer.

The article goes on to say that these disclosures will “add to growing calls for increased regulation of abortion services amid fears that both pro-life and anti-abortion clinics and services are not offering reliable advice.” The report also quotes a Department of Health spokesman as saying, “It is vital that any woman considering an abortion is offered impartial and non-judgmental counselling, accurately advising her of all her options, so that she can make an informed decision”.

Now I don’t really want to comment too much on what the workers in the CPC centres actually said, suffice it to make one or two observations. Firstly, the main thrust of the report is that these clinics are giving misleading information. However, if they are then the words pot and kettle spring to mind. The title of the report was “Abortion will make women child sex abusers — independent clinics warn”. Well actually the advisor in question said no such thing. She claimed that there was a statistical likelihood and a correlation between the two things, but she certainly did not say that “abortion will make women child abusers”. Note to Telegraph: If you are going to do undercover sting operations and report back to your readers on the scandal of misleading information being given, maybe a good idea to ditch the misleading and scandalous information which do not represent what the person on the receiving end of your sting operation actually said.

As for the actual claim that there is a statistical correlation between abortion and the sexual abuse of children, I have no idea and have seen no statistics to confirm or deny. But whilst it is of course highly unlikely that there would be a statistical cause and effect between the two things, the fact that a woman is prepared to dispose of her baby via a vacuum cleaner and hospital incinerator does not really induce me to think that her attitude to children is all that healthy. Of course she might end up regretting it, or even repenting of it, but in the absence of either regret or repentance, am I really supposed to think that such a woman is going to be as doting a mother towards any children that do make it through her womb unscathed, as a woman who for whom the vacuum and the incinerator are abhorrent? No, I am not asserting anything like cause and effect, nor even asserting correlation – just merely posing the question: “ceteris paribus, who would I feel safer placing my children in the hands of?”

Then there is the Telegraph’s shock and horror that one advisor claimed abortion can increase breast cancer. Again, I have no statistics available to check out this claim, but here is something of interest taken from the website of Cancer Research UK  — an organisation that has no particular axe to grind against abortion, so far as I am aware: 

“People often forget this when talking about breast cancer, but having children protects against the disease. Women are less likely to develop breast cancer if they have their first child at an earlier age. Their risk also goes down the more children they have and the longer they spend breastfeeding. These simple associations can explain a lot of the differences in breast cancer rates between developed and developing countries. One study calculated that if women in the Western world had the same number of children as women in the developing world (and breastfed as long), the rates of breast cancer would halve”.

So if Cancer Research UK are right, and having children protects against breast cancer, then it would seem to follow — would it not — that not having children would increase the risk, right?

Now, what are two of the major methods used by women in the Western world to prevent the birth of children? One of course is the contraceptive pill, but interestingly enough, Cancer Research UK, in a rather bizarre refusal to apply basic logic, say this:  

The Pill probably hasn’t had a big effect on breast cancer rates. It only slightly increases the risk of breast cancer. Women take it at a young age when their natural risk is low, and that risk disappears quickly when women go off the Pill”.

This is frankly bizarre. Whether the Pill itself — i.e. the chemical effects — is a major cause of cancer, I’m not sure that anyone really knows. But if there’s one thing I know about the Pill, it is that it has one major aim: to prevent women from having children. So to come out with statements like “having children protects against the disease” and “women are less likely to develop breast cancer if they have their first child at an earlier age”, and then to claim that a pill which is designed to stop women having children has almost no effect on breast cancer rates is…well as Professor Kirke might have said, “Logic. Why don’t they teach logic at these schools”.

But there is another major method of birth control used in the Western world. It’s called abortion. And in case the folks at the Telegraph are unaware of what abortion does, well it leads to women not having children, it leads to many women delaying having children, and it certainly means that the women who do it aren’t going to be doing a whole lot of breastfeeding. So all those things that Cancer Research UK point out as protecting against breast cancer — having children, having them early, breastfeeding — they just happen to be things that abortion precludes.

Let’s see if we can wrap this point up for clarity’s sake. According to Cancer Research UK, having children protects against breast cancer. Therefore, not having children must increase the risk of getting breast cancer. Therefore, any method that prevents a woman from having children — be it the contraceptive pill, or abortion — must increase the risk of breast cancer. So the claim that there is a connection between abortion and breast cancer is not quite as misleading as the Telegraph would have us believe.

Aside from those particulars, there are a few more general comments that need to be made. Let’s just say that the advisors caught out by the Telegraph had got some of their facts wrong, and let’s just say that through this one or two babies ended up making it through the rest of the pregnancy without being shredded. Just how great an evil would this be? I mean, when set against the other 200,000 babies that don’t make it each year in Britain without being shredded. Go on Telegraph, which one would be the lesser of the two evils? 

Secondly, how brave of the Telegraph, that bastion of conservative moral values (ha! ha!) to pick on a few independent pregnancy centres where a few ladies are just trying to save a few babies from being shredded and incinerated. Did they not have the guts to pick on the mighty Marie Stopes International, or the awesome British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS)? Or has the Telegraph abandoned the last remaining conservative instinct it may have had and decided to join the illiberal left as they kill babies. What they have done is the moral equivalent of picking holes in Oskar Schindler’s methods. 

And finally, what can we say of the claim made by the Department of Health that women need “impartial and non-judgmental counselling”, and the claim made by the Telegraph that “…confusingly these centres sometimes look like the official organisations properly trained and regulated to give out advice about abortions – such as Marie Stopes or the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS)”.

Properly trained and regulated? Impartial? There is no impartiality on this subject. There can be no impartiality where the killing of human beings is concerned. Somehow Marie Stopes and BPAS have managed to convince people that their advice is impartial. Yet their “impartial” advice given by their “properly trained and regulated” advisors has put more Britons to death than died in the first and second world wars combined. With properly trained organisations giving impartial advice like this, who needs propaganda? 

Ken Ham, Bill Nye and the Keepers of the Truth

I haven’t as yet managed to see the debate between the creationist, Ken Ham, and the Science Guy, Bill Nye, which took place in Kentucky just this week, but I just want to make a few comments on the reaction — or rather pre-reaction — to the event from some in the upper-echelons of the evolutionist faith. I say faith, since having never witnessed macro-evolution occurring, nor having any idea how abiogenesis could have occurred, it would be improper to call it science, wouldn’t it?

It seems that creationism is not far off being on a par with Nazism in the eyes of some, and its advocates are to be treated with the same kind of contempt that you might normally reserve for fans of Adolf Hitler.

So, for instance, we had Mark Joseph Stern of Slate magazine claiming that “Nye lost the debate just by showing up”. I love this. Try flipping it around: “Nye won the debate just by not showing up”. Did you get that? Is that how debate works in the eyes of these guys? Is this how you treat those with differing opinions? How very liberal and enlightened!

Then we had Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago, who wrote that “Nye’s appearance will be giving money to organizations who try to subvert the mission Nye has had all his life: science education, particularly of kids.” Again, the message is don’t go near them. They smell and you’ll only walk away with the vile stench of Bibline upon you if you come within a mile.

The high priest of the faith, Richard Dawkins, takes a similar line. He wrote on his website a few years ago, ”They [creationists] need the publicity. We don’t. To the gullible public [my italics] which is their natural constituency, it is enough that their man is seen sharing a platform with a real scientist…Inevitably, when you turn down the invitation you will be accused of cowardice, or of inability to defend your own beliefs. But that is better than supplying the creationists with what they crave: the oxygen of respectability in the world of real science”. The gullible public bit is great isn’t it? Can’t have the masses hearing both sides of the story can we now Richard? Whatever next?

I can only wonder why it is that these guys are so reluctant to engage in debate. Okay, I know I am just a member of the gullible public, but something does smell a little fishy here doesn’t it? I know they would respond by saying that it’s not that they are afraid of losing, only that the creationist might gain something. This line might work if I had been born yesterday, but I wasn’t and so it doesn’t.

Let’s do a little thought experiment here to test their line of reasoning. Let’s say that Ken Ham, rather than being the head of Answers in Genesis, was actually the head of an organisation called Answers in Nazism. And let’s say that he had a fairly wide ranging publication promoting pro-Hitler views, and that he had somehow managed to open a Museum of the Third Reich in Kentucky, which was dedicated to the promotion of Nazi propaganda, denying the holocaust and deliberately stirring up anti-Semitism amongst the American public.

Now would I want an expert on Nazi Germany to go to his museum, and in front of millions of viewers debate him? You bet I would. Or would I be concerned that doing so would give him the “oxygen of respectability”. No way. And the reason for this is that I am so confident that the evils and stupidity of Nazism are self-evident and easily proven, that I believe any real expert on Nazi Germany and Hitler would not have too much trouble trouncing him in debate and showing his views to be stupid and downright evil.

Would I fear giving him a platform? Not at all. In fact, I would think there would be far more to fear by leaving him to carry on selling his publication and duping the public than there would be in someone taking him to task in open and honest debate. Shutting people up rarely works.

So why don’t evolutionists take the same line? Why do they refuse — with the exception of a few like Bill Nye, and full credit to him — to engage and show the views of Ham to be the idiotic, stupid and even evil opinions that they say they are? As I say, if they are that stupid, they ought to be easy to refute. It seems to me that there are two reasons.

The first is that there are clearly massive holes in evolutionary theory, which those holding to the theory have kept hidden from the public. For example, the lack of any mechanism whereby abiogenesis could have occurred; the differences between micro-evolution and macro-evolution; the lack of the millions of graduated transitional fossils which you might expect to see if evolution were true; the many examples of “evolutionary examples in the fossil record” which turned out to be hoaxes; the inability of evolution to account for the soul and morality; and even the lack of any creature alive today that you could point to as a living example of a transitional creature. It’s that gullible public again, Richard. But in point of fact, it’s your lot who have lulled much of the public into accepting evolutionism as fact, despite the fact that it has properties normally associated with a colander.

The second reason is even more fundamental and it is this. Since the time of Darwin, the vast majority of scientists have staked their reputations, their scientific credentials and in some cases their whole lives on the foundation of the Darwinian idea of natural selection. If the holes in Darwinian natural selection are exposed — and there are many — they fear that the water will begin to seep in, then to pour in, and before you know it the whole edifice will disappear under a tidal wave of questions and difficulties for which Darwinism just doesn’t stack up. If this were to happen, the credibility of much science for the last 150 years would be shot to pieces and a new age of scepticism would arise.

There is more than a whiff of the medieval church’s attitude to the Copernican revolution about this, which is ironic as it is usually creationists who get tarred with this particular brush. We have an establishment who claim to be the keepers of “the truth”, and we have a few outsiders who want to ask questions, but are ignored, belittled or slandered when they try to do so.

What does this signify? It signifies that the keepers of “the truth” fear that “the truth”, and along with it their positions, will be trashed if “the truth” is ever exposed to honest scrutiny. It signifies that they fear the gullible public may find out and no longer buy their wares. Such a situation cannot be countenanced. But the refusal to debate and the condemnation of Bill Nye in some quarters for doing so is a dead giveaway. There is a lot at stake here, if they allow their views to be properly scrutinised. It is a risk many of them calculate is just not worth taking.