Category Archives: Miliband, Ed

Dalrymple consoles Toynbee

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 22.50.08The electoral defeat of Ed Miliband was doubtless a cruel blow, but at least Polly Toynbee, the eminent Hampstead writer and journalist, will not have to pay mansion tax in the near future, Dalrymple points out. No tanks on her lawns, yet.

Toynbee is very like Mrs Dutt-Pauker in the Daily Telegraph‘s ‘Peter Simple’ column (written by Michael Wharton and illustrated by ffolkes). The doubts Toynbee must now be entertaining about the future of the socialist movement she loves so well are likely to resemble those experienced by Mrs Dutt-Pauker when news came through of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Wharton’s column at the time read in part as follows:

Polly Toynbee: also owns a mansion in Tuscany

Polly Toynbee: in addition to the Hampstead mansion Marxmount, owns a country house in Sussex (Beria Garth) and a villa in Tuscany

Thousands of Hampstead liberal thinkers have suddenly discovered that the Soviet Union, whose little faults they have so long forgiven (‘after all, in spite of everything, it is a socialist country’), is in fact ruled by old-fashioned militaristic imperialists. Even at Marxmount, Mrs Dutt-Pauker’s fine white house whose tall drawing-room windows look out on the Heath, a chill of doubt runs through the handsome rooms. Fear breathes in the well-stocked Marxist bookshelves. The greatest of all Hampstead thinkers has seen a nightmare vision: there are tanks on her own broad, cedared lawns.

On the other hand, Dalrymple writes, it is possible that Toynbee would never have had to pay the mansion tax,

for the difficulties in implementing it would have been a convenient excuse for abandoning it.

Britain’s election disaster

Lynton Crosby: political engineer

Winner: political engineer Lynton Crosby

The worst possible outcome for the Greece of the North Sea

Examining the results of the 2015 UK general election, Dalrymple notes that now,

to all Britain’s intractable problems — low productivity, abysmal cultural level, addiction to debt — have been added political instability and the prospect of chaos.

The poll, he writes, was both one of the most important, and one of the most boring, for many years.

It was important because

Winner: Nicola Sturgeon resembles an efficient and dedicated but bossy and unpleasant schoolmistress

Winner: Nicola Sturgeon resembles an efficient and dedicated but bossy and unpleasant schoolmistress

it destroyed Britain’s reputation for political stability. This is of enormous significance for a country that is so heavily dependent on financial services, having little else to offer the world, for money doesn’t like political turmoil. Half a trillion dollars has left and might not come back.

It was boring because

all the candidates were boring. Apart from Nicola Sturgeon, who looked like an efficient and dedicated but bossy and unpleasant schoolmistress, all the three main candidates contrived to look the same. They had smooth, characterless faces and often eschewed [neck-] ties for fear of intimidating with smartness the slobs and slatterns who are one of the country’s largest constituencies.

Loser

Loser: conflict and chaos are coming

The candidates looked less like people than

products designed by political engineers.

Neither David Cameron nor Nick Clegg nor Ed Miliband ever cracked a joke,

at least not knowingly. No one in Britain can tell any longer the difference between earnestness and seriousness. A joke will only get you into trouble — someone will take it literally and be offended. It is best not to make one, even if you are capable of it, which in these three cases is doubtful.

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 23.59.36Cameron remains prime minister, but that is

not the same thing as political stability.

Britain’s first-past-the-post electoral system

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 11.19.59was workable and not grotesquely unfair when there were two overwhelmingly preponderant parties, but with the balkanisation of the political scene, the system is unworkable. The British now live in an unrepresentative democracy which produces gross distortions in parliament.

3.9m votes = 1 seat; 1.4m votes = 56 seats

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 23.58.23The biggest swing was to the UK Independence Party. It received 12.6% of the votes and one seat, compared with the Scottish National Party’s 4.7% of the votes and 56 seats. Dalrymple concludes:

No system that produces such a result can retain its legitimacy.

The system has given the SNP a near-monopoly of Scottish seats, so that

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 00.04.41the representation of Scotland in parliament would be worthy of the results of a Soviet election.

Moreover, for as long as the threat of Scottish independence remains,

stability cannot return to Britain. Chaos and conflict are just around the corner.

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 08.18.12Britain’s one

indisputably successful and world-beating economic activity [apart from binge-drinking], namely financial skulduggery, might contract or collapse, because such skulduggery needs an environment of political stability.

Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 10.34.06Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 23.18.10

Hobsbawm the hypocrite and moral monster

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 19.55.21

Companion of Honour (‘In action faithful and in honour clear’)

Both Dalrymple and Ed Miliband, leader of the British Socialists, had Marxist fathers, but in Dalrymple’s case

it turned me against all that my father stood, or pretended to stand, for. I saw that his concern for the fate of humanity in general was inconsistent with his contempt for the actual people by whom he was surrounded, and his inability to support relations of equality with others. I concluded that the humanitarian protestations of Marxists were a mask for an urge to domination.

In addition to the ’emotional dishonesty’ of Marxism, Dalrymple was impressed by

its limitless resources of intellectual dishonesty….I quickly grasped that the dialectic could prove anything you wanted it to prove, for example, that killing whole categories of people was a requirement of elementary decency.

Dalrymple lists Stalin’s countless useful idiots, prominent among them Eric Hobsbawm CH:

Being an intellectual is never having to say that you are wrong. To the end of his days the historian Eric Hobsbawm, whose twisted mouth was…an appropriate physical characteristic for so dialectical a materialist, and who never refused any honour offered him by the system he affected to despise, could not admit that supporting an ideology responsible for the deaths of scores of millions was an error of judgment so colossal that it amounted to moral blindness at best and moral monstrosity at worst.