Category Archives: political class

Latrine-cleaners and politicians

Dalrymple writes:

Someone has to do politics, just as people have to do other unpleasant jobs, such as cleaning lavatories.

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How Trump lets the side down

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-18-25-22

Can you forgive him?

This compulsion to keep election pledges

The leader of the free world, Dalrymple notes,

seems to be doing what is unforgivable in a democratic politician, for it will make life difficult for all the others who come after him: he is keeping, or trying to keep, his election promises.

Could anything, asks Dalrymple,

better prove his complete lack of probity?

The crumbling EU soft-dictatorship

screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-09-45-45Dalrymple suggests that many of the 52% who voted for Brexit in the UK European Union membership referendum might have done so

because they feared that the ‘European project’ was the creation of a vast sovereign state to slake the thirst for power of megalomaniacs of the political class, impossible of even minimal democratic oversight, a giant Yugoslavia.

The leaders of France, Germany, and Italy have said that they want to push forward to closer political union. Dalrymple comments:

Consider the following. The French government, whose legitimacy no one will deny even if he denies its competence, is attempting some weak reforms of the rigid French labour market. This has resulted in months of conflict and continued violence. But at least the reform is the work, or attempted work, of a French government. Imagine if the reform were imposed by fiat of a European government despite the opposition of the French government and members of the European parliament.

Fewer Moroccans!

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-00-21-17What, asks Dalrymple, was Geert Wilders’ crime?

He had discriminated against no one, but made a speech in which he called for ‘fewer Moroccans’.

The law against incitement to discrimination

is implemented in a discriminatory way. One sometimes has the impression that liberals want to provoke the very reaction that they say they fear, so that they don’t have to think about such unpleasant questions as, ‘How many Moroccans do we want or need?’

Wilders’ movement, Dalrymple explains, is

a reaction against the moral arrogance of the political class.

Dutch ethical narcissism

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-23-22-57In the Netherlands, Dalrymple points out,

a very large proportion of immigration was in accordance with the family reunification program. The original economic migrants, principally from Morocco and overwhelmingly male, were felt to be suffering from loneliness.

So it gave the political class

a nice warm and fuzzy feeling inside (a bit like that experienced in the gullet after a shot of whisky) to let immigrant labourers be reunited with their families—in the Netherlands.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-23-25-55One thing led to another,

and suddenly 11% of the population, much of it economically inactive, was of immigrant origin.

Unfortunately, Dalrymple notes,

those who had the warm and fuzzy feeling—which included the knowledge that they were not repeating the less than glorious record of their country during the Second World War—did not bear the consequences. But they felt good about themselves.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-23-26-50Into the stew of ethical narcissism

was poured multiculturalism. Its object in the Netherlands was the opposite of, or at least very different from, what it  became. Moroccan economic migrants were originally encouraged to maintain links with their homeland and continue their cultural practices so that when they became surplus to the Netherlands’ requirements for cheap unskilled labour—that is to say, of pensionable age or sooner if there were an economic downturn—they would be able to reintegrate easily back into Morocco. As Goethe said, however, grey is theory, but green is the tree of life.

For many years, Dalrymple writes,

the political class and much of the educated middle class refused to see that there was a problem—not only because it did not obtrude much on their personal lives, but because they had created it, and they would have to lose their ethical virginity if they tried to do anything about it.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-23-22-23Unfortunately,

molten lava has a habit sometimes of breaking through the placid surface of the earth. The rise of Pim Fortuyn was the tremor and his murder, as well as that of Theo van Gogh, the eruption.

Fortuyn has found a successor in Geert Wilders, who

is accused of incitement to hatred and discrimination. But it is quite clear that he has done no more in regard to Islam than, say, an anticommunist might have done in claiming that the implementation of communist doctrine inevitably leads to tyranny.

Stupidity of the British political class

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 20.23.22Dalrymple reminds us that in the 1975 EEC referendum, Scotland

was considerably less enthusiastic about membership than England.

Scotland, he notes,

had the only two regions to vote against membership — in one case by three-quarters of the vote.

These were areas that had been

economically dependent on fishing, and were very aware that, in an act of stupidity only too frequent among the British post-war political class, Britain had given away, in negotiations to join the EEC, its exclusive rights to fish its own waters.

Britain,

though an island with a very long coastline, now imports twice as much fish as it exports, and catches half of what it caught in 1970.

The unspeakable folly of ‘ever closer union’

Union with a man like you? Er, no thanks

Union with a man like you? Er, no thanks

Dalrymple suggests that many of the 52% who voted for Brexit in the UK European Union membership referendum might have done so

because they feared that the ‘European project’ was the creation of a vast sovereign state to slake the thirst for power of megalomaniacs of the political class, impossible of even minimal democratic oversight, a giant Yugoslavia.

The leaders of France, Germany, and Italy have said that they want to push forward to closer political union. Dalrymple comments:

Consider the following. The French government, whose legitimacy no one will deny even if he denies its competence, is attempting some weak reforms of the rigid French labour market. This has resulted in months of conflict and continued violence. But at least the reform is the work, or attempted work, of a French government. Imagine if the reform were imposed by fiat of a European government despite the opposition of the French government and members of the European parliament.

Sorry Britain, wrong answer

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 21.26.13Dalrymple writes that as soon as it became clear that, like bad pupils in a multiple-choice exam, the British population

had got the answer wrong in the referendum, it was only too predictable that efforts would be made to nullify the results.

A petition to have a second referendum

took five days to obtain three million signatories, including from 39,000 alleged residents of the Vatican City (popul­ation 800).

Those who argue for another referendum

claim that those who voted for the Brexit did not really know what they voted for, regret the financial turmoil they have caused, and would vote differently tomorrow. (There will be no day-after-tomorrow if they get the ­answer right.)

But, Dalrymple notes, no one could have missed the warnings of financial turmoil in the event of a vote for exit. Indeed,

they voted for an exit despite the warnings, possibly because they apprehended that the ­so-called European project is a recipe for unreformable bureaucratic dictatorship.

Tony Blair

has said that now that the consequences of the vote are clear, there should be another referendum immediately. For this flea-brained man, four days is an historical epoch.

The élite,

persuaded of its ineffable ­wisdom and transcendent right to rule the country,

is strongly tempted

to annul the result because it doesn’t like it.

Dalrymple points out that if the results are annulled,

as they very well may be, many of those who voted for exit will feel even more despised and sidelined than they do already. Many no doubt will decline into apathy, but some may resort to direct action, meaning violence: for it is true that some of those who voted for the Brexit were motivated by the crudest resentments.

Eurogibberish

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 19.10.53Gibberish, writes Dalrymple, is

the native tongue of European politicians.

The

European project

is

an excellent example, for what is the project referred to? It is a word bandied about whose precise, or even approximate, meaning is never vouchsafed to humble listeners or readers.

  • Is it a unified state? No.
  • Is it a federal state? No.
  • Is it a state at all? No.
  • Is it something other than a state? No.

What is it, then?

Dalrymple observes:

The uninitiated and the paranoid might think it is a slow, creeping coup d’état by a perpetual self-appointed class of bureaucrats and politicians who seek to bypass the tiresome necessity ever to consult anyone other than itself.

A continent limping towards the abyss

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 23.36.42Dalrymple points out that ‘ever closer union’

resuscitates old national stereotypes and antagonisms and increases the likelihood of real conflict.

He notes that politicians and bureaucrats,

like all people with bad habits, are infinitely inventive when it comes to rationalising the European Project, though they’re inventive in nothing else.

  • Without the Union, they say, there would be no peace; when it’s pointed out that the Union is the consequence of peace, not its cause, they say that no small country can survive on its own.
  • When it is pointed out that Singapore, Switzerland, and Norway seem to have no difficulties in that regard, they say that pan-European regulations create economies of scale that promote productive efficiency.
  • When it is pointed out that European productivity lags behind the rest of the world’s, they say that European social protections are more generous than anywhere else.
  • If it is then noted that long-term unemployment rates in Europe are higher than elsewhere, another apology follows.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 08.42.50The fact is that for European politicians and bureaucrats,

the European Project is like God — good by definition, which means that they have subsequently to work out a theodicy to explain, or explain away, its manifest and manifold deficiencies.

The personal interests of European politicians and bureaucrats,

with their grossly inflated, tax-free salaries, are perfectly obvious. For politicians who have fallen out of favour at home, or grown bored with the political process, Brussels acts as a vast and luxurious retirement home, with the additional gratification of the retention of power.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 23.41.11The name of a man such as Herman Van Rompuy,

whose charisma makes Hillary Clinton look like Mata Hari, would, without the existence of the European Union, have reached most of the continent’s newspapers only if he had paid for a classified advertisement in them.

Corporate interests,

ever anxious to suppress competition, approve of European Union regulations because they render next to impossible the entry of competitors into any market in which they already enjoy a dominant position, while also allowing them to extend their domination into new markets. That is why the CAC 40 (the French bourse benchmark) will have more or less the same names 100 years hence.

Dalrymple reminds us of the European Union’s role in corroding civil society.

Suppose you have an association for the protection of hedgehogs. The European Union then offers your association money to expand its activities, which of course it accepts. The Union then proposes a measure allegedly for the protection of hedgehogs, but actually intended to promote a large agrarian or industrial interest over a small one, first asking the association’s opinion about the proposed measure. Naturally, your association supports the Union because it has become dependent on the Union’s subsidy. The Union then claims that it enjoys the support of those who want to protect hedgehogs.

The best description of this process is

fascist corporatism, which so far lacks the paramilitary and repressive paraphernalia of real fascism. But as the European economic crisis mounts, that distinction could vanish.

One should not mistake the dullness of Eurocrats

for lack of ambition, or the lack of flamboyance for the presence of scruple. History can repeat itself.

Dalrymple says that whenever he reads the French press on the subject of the European crisis,

I’m struck by how little questions of freedom, political legitimacy, separation of powers, representative government, or the rule of law feature, even in articles by academic political philosophers. For them, the problem is mainly technical: that of finding a solution that will preserve the status quo (there is no such solution, but intelligent people searched for the philosopher’s stone for centuries).

As for the British political class,

it is composed largely of careerists,

and in the world of the Eurocrats,

ignoring arguments is the highest form of refutation.