On Thursday Boris finally got the election he wanted. On Friday he blew his chances of winning a majority by ruling out a deal with that nice man Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party. The result is that the Brexit Party will stand candidates in the overwhelming majority of seats, potentially costing the Tories victory in around 90 marginal constituencies. The first December election since 1923 is likely to result in another hung Parliament.
The difference between the two parties of course is Boris’s disastrous deal. Unlike Boris, the Brexit Party are serious Brexiteers. Quite sensibly they regard Boris’s deal as BRINO – Brexit In Name Only.
Once Boris ignored my advice, back-channeled to Downing St. and repeated in this column, to advise HM the Queen to refuse Royal Assent to the notorious Benn Bill, he had to deal with the Brexit Party. That’s because he was never going to get a deal approved before Halloween. In turn that meant a General Election, which the Tories were never going to win without a deal with Nigel’s boys.
Frankly, it never occurred to me until earlier this week that Boris would stick his deal into the Tory manifesto. I know Boris isn’t the sharpest knife in the box, no offense intended. He’s a politician, after all, and it’s an iron rule of politics that electorates will only vote for people who are marginally smarter than they are. (The accepted IQ ceiling is 125, which means that most democracies are led by comparatively dumb people.)
To every rule there is an exception, however. President Trump is a lot smarter than he looks, no offense intended. In a phone-in with Nigel Farage after the election was called he suggested a Tory-Brexit Party deal. It had already been ruled out however.
Boris’s plan is insane, frankly. It could easily cost him those 90 seats, in other words a majority. This is a difficult election to call, given the probable amount of tactical voting, but I can’t see any way in which Boris can now win.
The good news is that the anti-Brexit vote is also split, four ways in fact, between Labour, the LibDems, the various German-sponsored nationalist parties and the eco-fanatic Greens, who are so dumb they not only believe in the EU they believe in global warming as well! Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable (mind you, so was Theresa May!). I can’t see him winning a majority.
The big uncertainty is how many seats the Brexit Party will win. If they’re sensible – and they have a sensible leader and no National Executive Committee – they will target Leave voting Labour-held seats in South Wales, the Midlands and the North.
The Tory manifesto is likely to be pretty dull. It’s unlikely to contain anything of serious interest to conservatives. The Johnson government has already caved in to the Cabinet Office over fracking and will probably do so over the abolition of death duties and the 80 mph motorway speed limit.
Boris’s reaction to Nigel Farage’s offer was frankly discourteous and pretty dismissive. Even more worryingly, it wasn’t terribly rational. He’s complaining that a deal might split the Brexit vote and let Jeremy Corbyn through, but that’s precisely what a deal would be designed to avoid.
Given the corruption of the EU, its history of buying up leaders to do deals and the suddenness of Boris’s deal, it is legitimate to ask whether or not any improper financial arrangements were made. I am not saying that they were, merely that in the interests of transparency there ought to be an assurance that everything is in order. The DVD have a huge slush fund, which used to be, and I think still is, is in the name of a Swiss-registered company, S, with its main account in Geneva. Typically in advance of an EU treaty we see large transfers from that account to a master distribution account.
As I say, predicting this election is not easy, but you are entitled to my view. My prediction is that the Tories will be the largest party, but that Boris has now thrown away his chance of winning a majority. I can’t see left-wing loony Corybn winning. I also predict that the Brexit Party and the DUP will hold the balance of power, dooming Boris’s deal and increasing the chances of a clean break from the EU on January 31st.
Boris is the third Tory Prime Minister in a row to have his premiership wrecked by the Cabinet Office and Europe. Boris is a good campaigner, but now that’s he house-trained he’s hampered by weak policies, that is to say policies acceptable to the Cabinet Office, who will effectively be drafting the Tory manifesto. There’s no way that the Tories will allow him to fight another General Election. With this one thrown away their thoughts will already be turning to Boris’s successor, who may well be that nice man Jacob Rees-Mogg. Boris is now damaged goods.
LibDem MEP Chris Davies is in the running for the silliest tweet of the week award. The silly tweeter, no offense intended, objected to Brexiteers wearing the poppy, on the basis that the EU was set up to preserve the peace in Europe (!).
As I have pointed out on these pages before the concept of the European Economic Community was dreamt up by the Reich Ministry of Economic Affairs between 1939 and 1941 as a means of ensuring German domination of the continent and the UK after German occupying forces withdrew. It was all to do with German control and nothing whatsoever to do with preserving the peace.
In any event peace was preserved in western Europe by NATO, not the EU, which even now lacks a significant military capability. NATO’s success was due in no small part to American and Canadian commitment, which the French in particular sought to frustrate.
Chris Davies is also historically illiterate, with respect. Peace was only preserved in western Europe. The process of creating the euro led directly to a series of brutal wars in the Balkans. The EU has brought war and ethnic cleansing, not peace.
This election is turning out to be a battle of the stupids. Labour’s economic projections are based on the crackpot theory that increasing tax rates increases the tax take. This ignores both economic reality and the Laffer Curve.
Tax increases have a negative effect on GDP, whilst tax decreases have a positive effect. To increase tax receipts you need to decrease taxes. Obviously if you decrease the rate to zero you get no tax income at all, but the same applies if you increase the rate to 100%.
The British people have a folk memory of the massive tax hikes imposed when German agent Harold Wilson was Prime Minister. The top tax rate, on investment income, was over 90%. Whilst Wilson, backed by the Cabinet Office, achieved his aim of inflicting short-term damage on the British economy it was at the expense of inflicting long-term damage on the credibility of his party.
The Ukraine nonsense
I think we now know the name of the ‘whistleblower’ – the CIA’s Eric Ciaramella. His connection to John Brennan immediately undermines his credibility. The CIA, and Brennan’s boys in particular, have been waging war on the Trump Administration since the election.
It can hardly be a coincidence that the CIA and Adam ‘von’ Schiff came up with this nonsense as Attorney-General William Barr and his team closed in on ‘von’ Mueller’s Russia hoax in their criminal investigation.
The cast of characters in the Ukrainian conspiracy includes a half-crazed, half-bird, dual national colonel of Ukrainian birth, who was worried about the Administration’s change of policy towards Kiev. Since the Ukraine is a German client state and was involved in the murderous attack on Flight MH17 the policy change was more than justified.
As I said last week this is dangerous territory for the Democrats. Although the Obama Administration, which was comfortable with the mass murder by the Chinese and the Ukrainians of innocent civilians flying in Ukrainian airspace, successfully blamed Russia for MH17, that outrageous and offensive lie could well be exposed in the run up to November 2020.
The good news is that Conan’s wounds are not life-threatening. Sounds like the valiant pooch is going to make a full recovery! I’m sure he’s had some extra dog biscuits, but I still think he should get the Dickin Medal.
I know that some valued colleagues here on VT are saying that the al-Baghdadi raid was a stunt and that the nasty old terrorist did not fall off his perch. Others are querying President Trump’s account of the raid. Since the bin Laden raid was staged, in the sense that the bin Laden who was whacked was not the bin Laden but a son, I can see where they’re coming from.
The problem with the “al-Baghdadi is still alive” argument however is no al-Baghdadi. If he really were still alive I would have expected him to be produced by now, or at least a video. There hasn’t even been a tweet. No, he’s dead alright.
The MSM are complaining that the feed into Situation Room was only an overhead feed. Correct, but there was gap of around 16 hours before the President’s historic broadcast. Do the MSM really think that the President of the United States’ sources on a major counter-terrorist operation are limited to an overhead feed from a circling drone? Of course they aren’t. I have no problems with the President’s description of al-Baghdadi’s last moments. Terrorists are cowards, who wage war mostly on unarmed civilians. I would expect them to cry and whimper when confronted with real soldiers.
Inhalers and global warming
A report this week complaining about the contribution asthma inhalers make to the Greenhouse Effect is in competition with a report saying that fracking causes earthquakes for the Silliest Report of the Week Award. Why asthmatics should be forced to give up their inhalers, or switch to the powdered variety, which I suspect is less efficient, in order to combat global warming is a bit of a mystery to me.
Yes inhalers put out minute quantities of CO2, but so what? Humanity’s contribution to global CO2 output is pretty minute anyway, only about one thirtieth. This is a classic example of Goebbels’ Big Lie technique. Researchers pushing the man-made global warming hypothesis rarely mention non-human CO2 emissions at all. Since only about 3.3% of CO2 emissions are human how can they affect the climate?
The other uncomfortable truth global warming nutters suppress is that CO2 is only a minor greenhouse gas, responsible for about 5% of the Greenhouse Effect. Global warming is for hysterical autistic teenagers. No responsible adult should be propagating this nonsense.
My reading this week
This has included F-4 Phantom by the late Tim McLelland (Ian Allan, 2013), a fine aviation author. This is an excellent book, marred only by some mistakes with the illustrations, confusing J-79-powered Phantoms with Spey-Phantoms, for example.
Still it’s one of the best books ever written about this fine aircraft. There are some fascinating insights into the Phantom’s selection by the USAF. (I never knew that the F-110, as the Air Force version was originally designated, was officially named the Specter – did you?) I also didn’t know that McDonnell started work on the British naval Phantom as early as 1963, having correctly calculated that our smaller decks required a higher angle of attack, achieved by extending the nose-wheel.
McLelland worked for the Guardian and wrote from a left-wing perspective. He was wrong with respect about the TSR-2 and the cancellation of CVA-01 and CVA-02, but there’s no doubting his aviation literacy. He also fell for North Vietnamese propaganda about their pilots like Le Hai achieving lots of kills with their inferior Migs. They were mostly flown by West German pilots, one of the untold stories about the Vietnam War.
However McLelland was generous in his praise for the fine work done in the mighty Phantom over ‘Nam by US Navy, USMC and USAF crews. The work of the USMC fighter attack squadrons is often overlooked, unfairly. There is no doubt that the Phantom would have achieved many more kills in ‘Nam but for the spurious directive from the German spy Robert McNamara requiring visual contact with the target before engaging, as though a radar contact over North Vietnam might be a United DC-8 off course.
This ‘tactic’ negated the advantage conferred by the Phantom’s fine radar and sophisticated Beyond Visual Range AIM-7 Sparrow air to air missiles. Keen to help the North Vietnamese win the war, ‘Mac’ also stopped you guys from hitting NVPAF airfields like Yen Bai. The FBI’s failure to arrest, try and fry McNamara (I appreciate that the FBI don’t do the actual frying) was one of the most egregious counter-intelligence failures in history. The DVD rang rings around the Fibbies in the Vietnam War, sadly.
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.