Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Here I Stand

“David Lindsay has generated a brilliant reconciliation of the conflicting strains of the Labour Tradition and is worthy of the closest attention.” Dr Maurice Glasman, Lord Glasman of Stoke Newington and Stamford Hill; Senior Lecturer in Political Theory and Director of the Faith and Citizenship Programme, London Metropolitan University; founder of Blue Labour.

Current orthodoxy – both in economic policy and right across the board – has so manifestly failed us that we desperately need some fresh thinking and a different way of looking at our problems. That is precisely what David Lindsay provides.” Professor Bryan Gould, Labour MP for Southampton Test, 1974-1979; Labour MP for Dagenham, 1983-1994; Shadow Cabinet Member, 1986-1994; Leadership Candidate, 1992.

“Before Red Tory and Blue Labour there was David Lindsay. He was arguably the first to announce a postliberal politics of paradox, and to delve into the deep, unwritten British past in order to craft, theoretically, an alternative British and international future. It is high time that the singular and yet wholly pertinent writings of this County Durham Catholic Labour prophet receive a wider circulation.” Professor John Milbank, Professor in Religion, Politics and Ethics, University of Nottingham. 

Those commendations were written in 2012. In 2019, the material contained here has elicited this response: “I warm to its spirit. It represents an important strand of thinking and feeling in our country which we ignore at our peril.” Those are the words of Professor Robert Skidelsky FBA, Lord Skidelsky, Emeritus Professor of Political Economy in the University of Warwick, author of Keynes: The Return of the Master, and co-author of How Much is Enough? The Love of Money and the Case for the Good Life

The next General Election will certainly result in another hung Parliament, regardless of who led any party, but simply because of what is now the shape of the three polities across which it will be held: England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. One MP will therefore be able to make a huge amount of difference. Here in North West Durham, it has become a commonplace that the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and I are each on 30 per cent support, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post.

I have no interest in being a paper candidate. But I will stand if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Anyone in a position to help, however much or little, please contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. I am a local, experienced and inclusive candidate whose radically practical polices are rooted in radically traditional values.  

A Local, Experienced, Inclusive Candidate 

I was born in 1977, and I have lived in North West Durham since 1982. I never went to school anywhere else, and I went to university at Durham. I was an elected member of Lanchester Parish Council from 1999 to 2013, a governor of Lanchester Endowed Parochial Primary School from 1999 to 2007, and a governor of Saint Bede’s from 2000 to 2008. I am currently one of Derwentside’s elected public governors of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust. I was elected unopposed. I have had several periods of involvement with Willow Burn Hospice since the middle of the 1990s. 

I have nothing against the present MP personally, and she may or may not be the Labour candidate next time. But at the turn of 2017 she had never set eyes on North West Durham, and there was no local involvement whatever in her selection as a candidate. She has never expressed any of the opinions articulated here. Indeed, she has expressed very few political opinions altogether. Hers is a certain mood or tone, rather than any specific programme or philosophy.

I am both a product and a feature of the political pluralism of North West Durham, where Labour holds fewer than half of the County Council seats, where the Conservative parliamentary candidate won 34.5 per cent of the vote last year, where the Liberal Democrat candidate cut the Labour majority in half in 2010, and where an Independent kept his deposit both in 2005 and in 2010. Wear Valley was controlled for a time by the Liberal Democrats, who remained numerous on it until its abolition. Derwentside was in practice controlled by an alliance between the Independents and that section of the local Labour Party which now supports my parliamentary candidacy; its Leader from that time, Councillor Alex Watson OBE, is one of my Campaign Patrons. My other Campaign Patron is Davey Ayre, a legendary local trade unionist.

As an example of my political approach, at the 2017 Election to Lanchester Parish Council, I voted for 15 candidates who were variously Labour, Independent, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and of No Description. 12 of my choices were elected, covering the first four of those five categories. The treatment of the County Durham Teaching Assistants made it impossible for me to vote Labour either for the County Council or for the House of Commons in 2017. For the record, I voted for myself and an Independent for the Council, and I voted for the Teaching Assistants’ Liberal Democrat champion, Owen Temple, for Parliament.

I believe in liberty, equality and fraternity. Liberty is the freedom to be virtuous, and to do anything not specifically proscribed. Equality is the means to liberty, and includes the Welfare State, workers’ rights, consumer protection, local government, a strong Parliament, and public ownership. And fraternity is the means to equality, taking such forms as trade unions, cooperatives, credit unions, mutual guarantee societies and mutual building societies. Liberty, equality and fraternity are therefore inseparable from nationhood, a space in which to be unselfish. Thus from family, the nation in miniature, where unselfishness is first learned. And thus from property, each family’s safeguard both against over-mighty commercial interests and against an over-mighty State, therefore requiring to be as widely diffused as possible, and thus the guarantor of liberty. The family, private property and the State must be protected and promoted on the basis of their common origin and their interdependence. 

I am therefore committed to economic equality and to international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends. Since there cannot be a “free” market in general, but not in drugs or prostitution, including pornography, so there must not be a “free” market in general. Since there cannot be a “free” market in drugs or prostitution, but not in general, so there must not be a “free” market in drugs or prostitution. Since there cannot be the unrestricted movement of goods, services and capital, but not of labour and thus of people, so there must not be the unrestricted movement of goods, services and capital. Since there cannot be the unrestricted movement of labour and thus of people, but not of goods, services and capital, so there must not be the unrestricted movement of labour. If “there is no such thing as society”, then there can be no such thing as the society that is the family, or the society that is the nation.

Only 40 years ago, a single manual wage provided the wage-earner, his wife and their several children with a quality of life unimaginable even on two professional salaries today. This impoverishment has been so rapid and so extreme that most people, including almost all politicians and commentators, simply refuse to acknowledge that it has happened. But it has indeed happened. And it is still going on.

I am not “For the Many, Not the Few”. I am “For Everyone”. I reject class conflict in favour of “a platform broad enough for all to stand upon”. Both the roots and the fruits of economic equality include economic prosperity itself. In the struggle for that universal good, the leading role belongs to the working class, of which the leading part is the trade union and cooperative movements. In the struggle for international peace, the leading role belongs to the working class and to the youth. Those struggles are fundamental and integral to each other, and the anti-racist and anti-imperialist struggle, which is indivisible in itself, is fundamental and integral to each and both of them. The class oppression in these Islands goes back to the Norman Conquest, while our particular form of capitalism was shaped by the slave trade, so that they both have racist and imperialist roots.

Jeremy Corbyn has opened up the debate on economic and foreign policy for the first time in a generation. Before the summer of 2015, Britain had an unquestionable State ideology in international affairs and in relation to the architecture of the economy. It was occasionally possible to make a small and probably jocular criticism of the Government. But it was effectively forbidden to criticise the State. Corbyn has brought onto the platform the voices of opposition in principle to politically chosen austerity and to wars of political choice. 

Nevertheless, Corbyn has overlooked his supporters by appointing his enemies to front bench and other positions. He has permitted a free vote on Syria. He has whipped an abstention on Trident. He has never brought the arming of the Saudi war in Yemen back to the floor of the House of Commons for another vote. His housing and transport policies go nowhere near far enough. He supports the Government’s indulgence of gender self-identification. He sides with neoliberal capitalism on the issues of drugs and prostitution. He wants a Customs Union with the European Union, possibly even at the price of accepting its State Aid rules. He is open to a second referendum on EU membership. He has accepted some of the Government’s baseless and collapsed claims about Salisbury, Amesbury, and Douma. He has acted against the social and ethnic cleansing of Labour Haringey, but not to secure justice for the 472 Teaching Assistants in Labour Durham. He has failed to prevent the expulsion of distinguished black activists from the Labour Party on trumped up charges of anti-Semitism. And he has failed to defend either Kelvin Hopkins or Chris Williamson. The same or similar criticisms may and must be made of figures such as Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.

I am not a Marxist. Marxism asks many of the right questions, but it also gives many of the wrong answers. Straightforwardly, I do not believe in dialectical materialism. Nor do I believe in Marxism’s sense of its own inevitability. We have had to fight for everything that we have gained, and we have to fight to save it. I stand in the pro-business tradition that came down to the Attlee Government from the ultraconservative figures of Colbert and Bismarck, via the Liberals Keynes and Beveridge, and which held sway in Britain until the Callaghan Government’s turn to monetarism in 1977. Britain did not experience a post-War decline. This country’s people were not worse off in the 1970s than they had been in the 1930s.

That British tradition grew from many and various roots, trade union and cooperative, Radical Liberal and Tory populist, Christian Socialist and Social Catholic, Guild Socialist and Distributist, Fabian and Marxist. It therefore corresponds in many and various ways to phenomena on the Continent and elsewhere that would not ordinarily be regarded as having much, if anything, to do with each other. And it corresponds closely but critically to the Hamiltonian American System as expanded by the American School, a pro-business tradition that between the 1860s and the 1970s worked to make the United States the world’s largest economy, with the world’s highest standard of living, culminating in the glorious achievements of the New Deal, which in turn made possible the Civil Rights movement. 

That was achieved through the strict division between investment banking and retail banking, with large amounts of what would in Britain be central government credit, at low interest rates and over a long term, to build great national projects, notably enormous expansions in infrastructure, which then paid for themselves many times over. There were pro-business tariffs and subsidies, and there was a pro-business National Bank to promote the growth of productive enterprises rather than speculation. Britain and America both need a lot more of this today. North West Durham needs it more than most. 

Therefore, I would appoint an Independent, a Labourite, a Conservative and a Liberal Democrat in each of the County Wards, ideally including at least one person in each of the former District Wards, to work with me and with local people. I would also appoint a Political Advisor from within each of the Independent, Labour, Conservative, and Liberal Democrat blocs.

In the coming hung Parliament, the price of my support for any Government, even a Corbyn Government, would be the necessary support for a number of projects in each of the former District Wards equal to the former number of District Councillors, together with justice for the 472 Teaching Assistants whose pay Durham County Council had cut by 23 per cent, and together with the implementation of the plan for the rail service in the North of England that was advanced in June 2018 by well over 20 local and regional newspapers (see Appendix A). The present MP for North West Durham has appointed as her Political Advisor the man whose political advice led the Teaching Assistants to their present predicament.

I am now working with all of the non-Labour members of Durham County Council and with the trade unions, to bring Volkswagen’s production for the British market to County Durham after, or even before, Brexit. I am more than open to further suggestions along similar lines. Among many other things, this project will guarantee the financial future of the Durham Miners’ Gala and of the Durham Miners’ Hall. The absence of the County Council Labour Group is that Group’s own sorry fault. I unreservedly condemn the decision of that Group to award to the Kier Group, with its history of blacklisting, the contract to build the new headquarters of Durham County Council.

I strongly support the exploitation of the vast reserves of coal in this country and in this county. That, and the extension of civil nuclear power, are the backbone of an all-of-the-above energy policy, and they are the means of delivering highly paid, highly skilled, high status, unionised jobs while securing independence from Arab oil, from Russian gas, and from coal that has been mined using child and slave labour. For example, wind turbines are largely made of steel, yet many people seem to be blissfully unaware of how steel is made. From Venezuela, Donald Trump intends his dynasty to supply a dependent world with oil deep into the twenty-second century. And from North Korea, Trump intends his dynasty to supply a dependent world with the coal of the Kim dynasty deep into the twenty-second century. Yet we have our own coal, right here under our feet. Britain was the world leader in clean coal technology until the Miners’ Strike. Britain can and must be that world leader again. It is a Yes-No question, “Do you regret the defeat of the miners in 1985?” The correct answer is, “Yes.” Horror stories about how coal was burned or mined in the Britain of the twentieth century have no relevance to the Britain of the twenty-first. At the same time, I am totally opposed both to open-casting and to fracking, which extract hardly anything while employing hardly anyone.

I would cooperate with people of all parties and none, in order to implement Theresa May’s original Prime Ministerial agenda of workers’ and consumers’ representation in corporate governance, of shareholders’ control over executive pay, of restrictions on pay differentials within companies, of an investment-based Industrial Strategy and infrastructure programme, of greatly increased housebuilding, of action against tax avoidance, of a ban on public contracts for tax-avoiding companies, of a cap on energy prices, of banning or greatly restricting foreign takeovers, of a ban on unpaid internships, and of an inquiry into Orgreave.

As the Member of Parliament for North West Durham, my Westminster office would be a global centre for the broadly based opposition and alternative to neoliberal economic policy and to neoconservative foreign policy, strongly asserting that that opposition and that alternative were the real centre ground. My candidacy is already endorsed by Dr Philip M. Giraldi, Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, Washington, D.C.; former CIA counterterrorism specialist and military intelligence officer; and foreign policy advisor to the 2008 Presidential campaign of Ron Paul. It also endorsed by Dr Leon Hadar of Chevy Chase, Maryland, and of Tel Aviv, Israel; Contributing Editor of The American Conservative; Commentator, Quillette; Washington Correspondent and Columnist, The Business Times, Singapore; and foreign policy advisor to the 2008 Presidential campaign of Ron Paul.

Radically Practical Policies

In central and local government until 1979, the Conservatives used to take housing at least as seriously as anyone else did. But since 1997, even Labour in government has failed miserably on this issue. We need a minimum of 100,000 new homes every year for at least 10 years, including council homes with an end to the Right to Buy, with the capital receipts from council house sales released in order to build more council housing, and with councils empowered to borrow to that end. We need a minimum of 50 per cent of any new development to be dedicated to affordable housing, with affordability defined as 50 per cent of average rents. 

We need rent controls. We need action against the buying up of property by foreign investors in order to leave it empty. We need to repeal the Vagrancy Act. We need to outlaw practices such as “poor doors” and discrimination in children’s’ play facilities based on the nature of their parents’ tenure. And we need a statutory requirement of planning permission for change of use if it were proposed to turn a primary dwelling into a secondary dwelling, a working family home into a weekend or holiday home. That would set the pattern for the empowerment of the rural working class, assisted both by the Land Value Tax and by a windfall tax on the supermarkets in order to fund agriculture and small business, with strict regulation to ensure that the costs of this were not passed on to suppliers, workers, consumers, communities, or the environment.

Like Peter Hitchens, and like the huge majority of the population across all political allegiances, I support the renationalisation of the rail services as each franchise came up for renewal, and thus at no cost. I would make that the backbone of a rebuilt network of public transport, eventually free at the point of use, and extending to every village in this or any other constituency. Even prior to that, I would require the approval of the House of Commons for any increase in public transport fares, with the cost of HS2 diverted to reconnecting many towns to the rail network. That would include several towns in North West Durham.

I was the first person ever to suggest that the trade unions develop an app in competition with Uber, and that is now developing well in the form of CabFair, an example of the key role of the unions in the mutualisation of the gig economy. Being disabled, I am dependent on public transport. Since I appreciate that the Member of Parliament for a rural constituency could never be entirely so, I would create employment in North West Durham by employing one or more drivers. Vehicle Excise Duty raises very little revenue, but it colours the debate on transport, so it ought to be abolished.

Privatised utilities are a racket. The same product, via the same wires or pipes, cannot possibly cost different amounts from different companies. Never mind from the same company, but on different tariffs. The utilities are currently delivered by cartels of pretend-competitors, instead of being where they belong, in public ownership. No one can claim to be patriotic or conservative while supporting the ownership of key parts of our national infrastructure by foreign states as such, but that is the result of privatisation. The “Royal” in “Royal Mail” now refers to the Emir of Kuwait, and the larceny of the Royal Mail cries out for a criminal investigation. As one benefit of a return to public ownership, I would insist on a National Grid for water. As another, I would insist on the requirement of the approval of the House of Commons before energy or water prices could be increased.

The creation of the National Health Service was in all three of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal manifestos in 1945. Even Margaret Thatcher barely touched it. It took New Labour and the Coalition to privatise much of it, and to grind down the rest with a view to a cheap sale, a process that is still very much ongoing. Instead of that, I support the enactment of the NHS Reinstatement Bill, the abolition of prescription charges throughout the United Kingdom, the abolition of eye and dental charges throughout the United Kingdom, the abolition of hospital car parking charges throughout the United Kingdom, the extra £350 million per week that was promised after Brexit, and the invitation of the Cuban medical missions to make up for the running down of the NHS, beginning in the two Sustainability and Transformation Partnership areas that covered County Durham.

The Fifth of July, which is the anniversary of the creation of the NHS, ought to be the United Kingdom’s National Day, and it ought to be marked as fulsomely as the United States marked the Fourth of July. I have also been arguing since the middle of the 1990s that Saint George’s Day, Saint Andrew’s Day, Saint David’s Day and Saint Patrick’s Day ought all to be public holidays throughout the United Kingdom, and away with pointless celebrations of the mere fact that the banks are on holiday.

The National Education Service is my dream policy. In Angela Rayner’s inspiring words, “The sum of human knowledge is the fruit of thousands of years of human labour. The discoveries of maths and science; the great works of literature and art; the arc of human and natural history itself; and so much more that there is to learn. All of it should be our common inheritance. Because knowledge belongs to the many, not the few [or, as I would say, knowledge belongs to everyone]. This is our historic purpose as a movement. Not just to be a voice for the voiceless. But to give them a voice of their own.” 

Within that, I would work with all my might to ensure that apprentices and trainees enjoyed the same benefits as were enjoyed by their peers in further and higher education, and vice versa, while promoting the understanding that we either funded higher education all the way up to doctoral level or we charged fees at every stage (with a very strong preference for the former), and while guaranteeing that the training and other standards for the private sector to match were set by national and municipal public ownership, itself reformed towards greater democracy and accountability.

The condition of a commercial school’s continuing charitable status should be its having been adjudged good or better by Ofsted, using the same criteria as for state schools, with the reports published, and with the value-added measure applied, thereby requiring those schools to have demonstrated how they had improved pupils’ abilities. At the same time, those schools regularly provide left-wing figures with a platform that they are seldom or never afforded by the schools of the municipal Labour Right. While we are seeking to make the world better, then we still have to live in it as it is. It is not hypocritical to do so as best we can. The hypocrites are the highly activist Education Ministers who buy their own children out of the practical application and implications of their policies. Their hypocrisy is never, ever called out. Well, it would certainly be called out by me. 

The Left and the working class, and perhaps especially the rural working class, need to bypass both the municipal Labour Right and the Liberal Establishment both in education and in the media. The EU referendum result has confirmed that the workers, and not the liberal bourgeoisie, are now the key swing voters who deserve direct representation on local public bodies, on national public bodies, in the media, and at the intersection of the public and media sectors. 

This was one of the areas the votes of which decided the EU referendum. We voted to reject 39 years of failure under all three parties, going all the way back to the adoption of monetarism by the Callaghan Government in 1977, the year of my birth. Brexit needs to meet our needs, which are for trade deals with the BRICS countries even while remaining thoroughly critical of their present governments, for integration into the Belt and Road Initiative, for full enjoyment of our freedom from the Single Market’s bans on such measures as State Aid and capital controls, for an extra £350 million per week for the NHS, and for the restoration of the United Kingdom’s historic fishing rights in accordance with international law: 200 miles, or to the median line. I am by no means opposed in principle to trade deals with the United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, but the NHS and food safety standards are among the things that are simply not negotiable.

I would insist on the specification in the Statute Law that the United Kingdom’s aid to any given country be reduced by the exact cost of any space programme, or of any nuclear weapons programme, or of any nuclear submarine programme, or of any foreign aid budget of that country’s own, but with the money thus saved remaining within the budget of the Department for International Development, and with the 0.7 per cent target intact.

As the Member of Parliament for North West Durham, my Westminster office would be an international centre for Modern Monetary Theory. The right-wing question is perfectly necessary in itself: where is the money for left-wing projects expected to come from? Modern Monetary Theory answers that question. Through its Jobs Guarantee, Modern Monetary Theory provides a way of preserving the bargaining power of the trade unions, through full employment with the Living Wage, while progressing to the Universal Basic Income that is increasingly favoured across the political spectrum. It is possible that the introduction of Richard Nixon’s Universal Basic Income might make possible the introduction of Jerry Brown’s flat tax. I am not necessarily advocating that, but it deserves to be explored. In any event, while very high rates of taxation on very high incomes ought not to be used as virility symbols, they have existed under Conservative Governments in the past, and there is an urgent need to redirect money to people who would spend it in this country. Rather than taxing income from work at a higher rate than income from share dividends or from capital gains, all income must be taxed on the same basis, as was the case under Margaret Thatcher.

The full powers of local government ought to be restored, along with the traditional committee system. Throughout the country, each of us should vote for one candidate, with the requisite number elected at the end, every four years. The cost of statutory services would continue to be met out of central government grant. But once the Universal Basic Income were in place, then Council Tax would be replaced with a voluntary flat rate charge, payable by as many adults as chose to pay it rather than restricted to one per address. Payment of that charge would acquire the right to vote and stand in local elections.

Likewise, the BBC license fee should be replaced with an optional fee, payable by as many adults as wished to pay it. The Trustees would then be elected by and from among those chose to do so. Candidates would have to be sufficiently independent to qualify in principle for the remuneration panels of their local authorities. Each of us would vote for one, with the top two elected. The electoral areas would be Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and each of the nine English regions. The Chairman would be appointed by the Secretary of State, with the approval of the relevant Select Committee. The term of office would be four years. One would not need to pay to listen to or watch the BBC, just as one does not need to be a member of the National Trust to visit its properties, or a member of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to be rescued by its boats.

I warmly welcomed the additional investment in jobs and services in Northern Ireland, and I continue to demand that Scotland, Wales, and each of the nine English regions receive the same per capita as part of the application of Modern Monetary Theory, including the Land Value Tax. I support the integration into the Belt and Road Initiative of all four parts of the United Kingdom, of all nine English regions, of all of the Crown Dependencies, and of all of the British Overseas Territories. In some way, all 99 lieutenancy areas, including County Durham, need to be so integrated, and need to receive such additional investment.

I would insist on the reassertion of democratic political control over the Bank of England, including that the approval of the House of Commons be required for changes to interest rates, and I would demand the assertion of democratic political control over the City of London, with a Glass-Steagall division between investment banking and retail banking. I would close all tax havens under British jurisdiction, since they would have the option of independence if they did not like it. The entire concept of non-domiciled tax status must be abolished. The Big Four accountancy firms must be broken up, and auditors must be banned by Statute from selling extras.

The State can and must buy a stake in every FTSE 500 company, large enough to secure Board-level representation, for the exercise of which the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be accountable to the House of Commons. After any investment in public services, the dividends would be distributed equally to everyone, through the same infrastructure that paid the Universal Basic Income. Employment rights must begin with employment, and apply regardless of the number of hours worked, as was promised by John Smith, but as was never delivered by New Labour. There can and must be a four-day working week by 2100. The war on cash is designed to ensure that the powers that be know every penny that we spend. We must resist. I will resist.

As a member of the House of Commons, I would campaign most actively for supporters of economic equality to be elected to the City of London Corporation, to the States of Jersey, to the States of Guernsey, to Tynwald, and to the legislatures of the British Overseas Territories. I would replace the House of Lords with a Senate based on the 99 lieutenancy areas, including County Durham. Each of us would vote for one candidate, and the top six would be elected, giving 594 Senators in all, serving for six years. I would transfer all non-ceremonial exercises of the Royal Prerogative, including Royal Assent, to six, seven, eight or nine of nine Co-Presidents, with each of us voting for one candidate, and with the top nine elected to hold office for eight years; as much as anything else, this would enfranchise the people who inexplicably looked to the monarchy to protect conservative values.

The term of office of the House of Commons ought to be four years. In addition to 600 constituency MPs, the whole country should elect 50 MPs, with each of us voting for one candidate, and with the top 50 elected at the end. There would thus be no need for Proportional Representation, about which I am uncharacteristically agnostic. I am also not convinced of the case for lowering the voting age, and I would therefore oppose doing so. The median age in the United Kingdom is now 40. Therefore, the economic, social, cultural and political dominance of the Baby Boom is in any case working itself out naturally.

A correct answer to “How much would it cost?” is always, “Less than one of your wars.” Due to the newfangled use of military action for purely policy reasons, there must be no British military intervention except in a specific British national interest and with the approval of the House of Commons. We need an end to this country’s poisonous relationship with Saudi Arabia and with the other Gulf monarchies. We need withdrawal from NATO, which commits us to the defence of Turkish Islamists and of Eastern European neo-Nazis, soon to be joined by Latin American caudillos, while charging us two per cent of our Gross Domestic Product for the privilege. We need bilateral peace treaties with all other European countries including Russia, with the United States, and with Canada. We need peace treaties with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and with the Collective Security Treaty Organisation. There must be no foreign military bases on British soil.

We need the renationalisation of BAE Systems as the monopoly supplier to our own Armed Forces, with a ban on all sale of arms abroad, and with a comprehensive programme of diversification in order to preserve the skills that were currently employed in the arms industry. Although it is obvious, when said out loud, that nobody is ever going to invade the British Isles, we need the cancellation of Trident in favour of rebuilding the conventional Armed Forces, in favour of care for veterans, in favour of flood defences, and in favour of an all-of-the-above energy policy based around civil nuclear power and around this country’s vast reserves of coal, with the commanding heights in reformed public ownership, with no need for fracking even in its own terms, and with the requirement of the approval of the House of Commons before energy or water prices could be increased. In the case of Trident, we could pay the affected shipyard workers quite eye-watering sums in compensation, and still save amounts that there were scarcely the adjectives to describe. “Would you press the nuclear button?” is a bad science-fictional question that would not be asked in any serious country. A correct answer to “How much would it cost?” is always, “Less than Trident.”

In 2017, the General Election literature of the present MP for North West Durham featured the name, the face, and the words of endorsement, of the Government Chief Whip at the time of the invasion of Iraq. Whereas I am not a member of the same political party as Tony Blair, and in fact I am actively pursuing a complaint to the Police about him in relation to his complicity in torture, as exposed by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament. A Chambers and Partners Band 1 legal practice is now on standby to pursue an action to bring about a Coroner’s Inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly, an action before the International Criminal Court against those who had brought slavery back to Libya, and an action before the High Court of Justiciary of Scotland inviting it to exercise its declaratory power against Blair and his accomplices in the aggression against Iraq in 2003. All of these actions are to begin immediately upon my election to the House of Commons. As are the actions to bring about a Coroner’s Inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess, and to challenge the legality of the bombing of Syria after the confirmation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that no nerve agent had been used at Douma. The present British funding of the White Helmets and of the “Free Syrian Police” must be diverted to our own emergency services. The Integrity Initiative, the Institute for Statecraft, and the 77th Brigade, must all be disbanded.

Radically Traditional Values

A complete economic and social free-for-all is being spread throughout the world by a force of arms to which none of the traditional constraints applies. That New Order is also secured at home by means of limitlessly draconian measures against “terrorism,” “antisocial behaviour”, “Russian collusion”, “online abuse,” and so forth. The Left is assumed to begin and end with Marxism, which is itself reduced to Antonio Gramsci and Max Shachtman, marginalising the great issues of economic inequality, class consciousness, international exploitation, and war. That New Left underwrites a liberalism that is reduced to Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman. And that neoliberalism is upheld by a conservatism that is reduced to Carl Schmitt, “the crown jurist of the Third Reich”, and to his friend and correspondent, Leo Strauss, who passed straight from Plato, Thucydides and Xenophon to Machiavelli and Nietzsche, bypassing Christianity altogether in order to create an elite that was morally obliged to lie to the rest of us. Welcome to neoconservatism, which was begotten by neoliberalism, which was begotten by the New Left.

It is contrary both to the whole history of human experience, and to the plain facts of biological science, to suggest either that sexual orientation is fixed, or that “gender” is “fluid”. If a scientific fact as basic and as obvious as biological sex can be denied, then so can any other scientific fact, to the ruin of human progress. Therefore, I reject the ludicrous theory of gender self-identification, and I will fight to my last breath to defend women-only spaces, as well as against the “gender reassignment” of children and adolescents, and as well as against the silencing of free speech on these issues. One such issue is basic fair play in women’s and girls’ sport.

I seek to rescue such issues as male suicide, men’s health, and fathers’ rights, from those whose economic and other policies have caused the problems in the first place. I am aware that young men are increasingly concerned about male genital mutilation. The only lasting legacy of the #MeToo lynch mob will be the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, whose record on any one of torture, Guantánamo Bay, mass surveillance, workers’ rights, consumer protection, environmental responsibility, treaties with Native American tribes, and healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions, ought to have seen him blocked by all Democrats and by enough Republicans. Joe Biden is complicit in war crimes. That, and not anything #MeToo-related, is why he is unfit to become the President of the United States. Sniffing the hair of a white woman is not worse than blowing the head off a brown woman.

The all-women shortlist system, of which the present MP for North West Durham is a beneficiary, has done more than anything else to turn the Parliamentary Labour Party from 50 per cent Broad Left in 1994 to 85 per cent Hard Right today. The changes to the British economy since 1977 have turned into the ruling class the public sector middle-class women who dominate the PLP, while the wars waged since 1997 have barely affected them, having largely been waged for explicitly feminist reasons, albeit to no good effect for the women of Afghanistan, and to catastrophic effect for the women of Iraq and Libya.

A position of being anti-industrial at home but pro-war abroad is ridiculous in itself, and bespeaks a total lack of comprehension of how wars are fought. But those MPs are Thatcher’s Daughters, unable to understand the rage against deindustrialisation and against the harvesting of young men in endless, pointless wars, and probably unaware of a growing number of young men’s closely connected discovery for themselves of the various schools of heterodox economics, and of the traditional Great Books that, for ostensibly if questionably feminist reasons, have been excluded from school and university curricula.

It is possible to detect a connected failure to appreciate that life is the geological force that shapes the Earth, and that the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere, not least by the uniquely human phenomenon of economic growth, so that human mastery of nuclear processes is beginning to create resources through the transmutation of elements, enabling us, among other things, to explore space and to exploit the resources of the Solar System. Instead, Mother Gaia reigns supreme, and we are expected to fight wars for Her even while, under Her petticoats, we shiver and starve in the dark.

As a mixed-race person, I refuse to recognise racists, Fascists or opportunists as the authentic voices of the accepted need to control immigration (see Appendix B)), a problem that has arisen as a result of the weakening of the trade unions. I deny the anti-racist credentials of the present MP for North West Durham, who has failed to move that Anne Marie Morris be expelled from the House of Commons for using language that would now be career-ending in South Africa or in the Southern United States. I am both mixed-race and disabled, and I am no stranger to abuse on either count, but I am opposed to “hate crime” legislation, believing instead in equality before the law. That equality, like free speech, free assembly, free association, due process of law in general, and the presumption of innocence in particular, have all been fundamental to every campaign for progress and liberation. They are all under threat today, along with everything that they have been fundamental to achieving. 

It is wrong to tell Israelis to “go home” when the State of Israel was founded in the year that the Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury. There are now fourth generation Israelis. There is a right to engage in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, and that right is enjoyed by public bodies as well as by private individuals. But academic and cultural boycotts are contrary to the fundamental character of scholarship, art and science. Sporting boycotts, like wars, tend to have a disproportionate impact on very young people with no public policy-making role, and it is not clear that they made any difference against apartheid in South Africa. 

The definition of anti-Semitism in the Oxford English Dictionary is perfectly sufficient: “Hostility to or prejudice against Jews.” The adoption of a far more extensive definition by the Crown Prosecution Service, effectively criminalising dissent from it without reference to Parliament, is constitutionally monstrous. Equally reprehensible is that adoption by local authorities in order to discipline the trade union representatives of their workers. Every critique of the divisive and anti-democratic role of “community leaders” is applicable to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, to the Jewish Leadership Council, to the Community Security Trust, to the Campaign Against Antisemitism, and to the Chief Rabbinate. The Liberal Establishment has imported the New York practice of branding as “anti-Semitic” any uppity black or other criticism of its hegemony and hypocrisy, be that its hypocrisy towards integration at home or its hypocrisy towards white settler colonialism abroad.

Israel was founded by anti-British terrorists of exceptional viciousness, and Israel armed Argentina during the Falklands War as an act of anti-British revenge. The expulsion of 700,000 people from Palestine on ethnic grounds in 1948 was as much a racist endeavour as any of the several other mass expulsions of the same period, notably those from the new states of India and Pakistan, and those of ethnic Germans from Central and Eastern Europe. There is nothing wrong with the dream of a single state in which human and civil rights were constitutionally protected while everyone had precisely one vote. But instead, by its enactment of the Nation-State Law, Israel has declared itself to be an apartheid state, while that Law remains in place. Yet anyone may convert to Judaism, so that Jews are no more a “race” than Christians or Muslims are. As my friend, the late Rabbi Lionel Blue, once said to me of the Jews, “You only have to look at us to see that we are all the descendants of converts.” Therefore, anti-Semitism is a form of religious bigotry, and not, in itself, a form of racism. That Hitler thought otherwise is not an argument.

We need an approach to climate change which protected and extended secure employment with civilised wages and working conditions, which encouraged economic development around the world, which upheld the right of the working classes and of non-white people to have children, which held down and as far as practicable reduced the fuel prices that always hit the poor hardest, and which refused to restrict travel opportunities or a full diet to the rich. The problem with the world is not that it has people in it. Which people, exactly? We must celebrate the full compatibility between the highest view of human demographic, economic, intellectual and cultural expansion and development, and the most active concern for the conservation of the natural world and of the treasures bequeathed by such expansion and development in the past. That expansion and development must now include space exploration, fuelled by, and fuelling, fusion power.

I challenge the practices of the meat, fish, egg and dairy industries from the perspective of those of us who have no objection in principle to them, and who wish to continue to consume and enjoy their products. Tony Blair and Hilary Armstrong, neither of whom voted for it in the end, used the hunting ban to buy parliamentary support for the Iraq War. But while it is the law, then it must be enforced as such. Pro-hunting claims that shooting and fishing would be outlawed have proved baseless, and I would be strongly opposed to any such proposed legislation.

Since the middle of the 1990s, I have been trying to get the story out about Harriet Harman and the Paedophile Information Exchange. I have paid a terrible journalistic and political price for it, but I have no regrets. Media that always knew about it simply ignored the whole thing, banning me from their websites and what have you, until a period of no more than two weeks when they needed to distract attention from Patrick Rock. Normal service was rapidly resumed, and it has continued ever since. No one has done more on this issue than I have. Even were Harriet Harman already the Speaker of the House of Commons, then I would oppose her re-election at the start of each Parliament. Having been proved right about paedophilia, I am being proved right about the Far Right. The two are connected. For example, Toby Young is a eugenicist of international importance, he is also a self-confessed sexual assailant and supplier of Class A drugs, and his involvement in eugenics has made him an associate of Emil Kirkegaard, who is himself an advocate of the rape of drugged children. Like Kirkegaard, Young is a stalwart of the world of the London Conference on Intelligence, thus of the Ulster Institute for Social Research, and thus of the Mankind Quarterly, which was founded in 1961 to defend the discredited notion that race was a biological category. Until a public backlash in January 2018 put paid to it, a man who believed that race was a biological category was to have been given charge of the Office for Students by a Government that did not believe that sex was a biological category. I challenge Toby Young to contest the North West Durham parliamentary seat against me. I issue the same challenge to Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who calls himself Tommy Robinson. Let us see how much support he really has among the white working class.

“Nutrition” is just a Latin way of saying “food”, and “hydration” is just a Greek way of saying “water”. The withdrawal of food and water is not the withdrawal of medical treatment. It is intentional killing. Parliament needs to legislate to make that clear. No mortal needs a right to die. What is being sought is a right to kill. Poor or sick, elderly or disabled, working-class or non-white, our people will not be euthanised out of existence. Nor must progress in medical science be halted by arbitrarily declaring a condition to be “incurable”. Everything was incurable once. I would find it intolerable to be able to understand but not to communicate, except that I would bear it rather than be party to the euthanasia of our people out of existence, or to the end of medical progress. My commitment to palliative care and to the hospice movement is absolute. I would also give the highest priority to the diversion of funds to ethically unproblematic research on adult and cord blood stem cells, which is delivering the goods in spite of criminal neglect.

We need to ban Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, to empower local authorities to limit the number of gambling venues, to insist on the use of that power, to end gambling on television, to end the advertising of gambling other than at venues such as casinos and betting shops, and to ban gambling with credit cards. And we need a single category of illegal drug, with a crackdown on the possession of drugs, including a mandatory sentence of three months for a second offence, six months for a third offence, one year for a fourth offence, and so on. Most certainly, that must include cannabis, which is linked to violent psychosis, and any medicinal properties of which are no more applied by smoking a spliff than those of opium would be by injecting heroin, or than those of aspirin would be by ingesting bark. I have never taken any illegal drug, and I challenge each and every other candidate for the parliamentary seat of North West Durham, either to say the same thing, or to give a full account of any past transgression, remorsefully acknowledging it as such. Radical change would be impossible if the workers, the youth and the poor were in a state of stupefaction, and that baleful situation, which has been contrived in the past, is being contrived again today.

Families need fathers. All aspects of public policy must take account of the urgent social and cultural need for highly paid, highly skilled, high status employment, which only the State can ever guarantee and which only the State can very often deliver, as the economic basis of the paternal authority, and thus of the paternal responsibility, that needs to be reasserted in relation to the key points of childhood and adolescence. We need a legal presumption of equal parenting. We need the restoration of the tax allowance for fathers for so long as Child Benefit was being paid to mothers. We need the restoration of the requirement that providers of fertility treatment take account of the child’s need for a father. We need to repeal the ludicrous provision for two persons of the same sex to be listed as a child’s parents on a birth certificate. We need paternity leave to be made available up to a set maximum at any time until the child was 18 or left school. And we need a foreign policy that did not entail tearing fathers away from their children in order to harvest them in wars. Of course, children also need mothers. The legalisation of uterine transplants into persons who had been born male, leading to deliveries by Caesarean section from bodies that had penises, would require an amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. I would fight against any such proposed legislation, to my last breath.

We need to give any marrying couple the right to register their marriage as bound by the divorce law that obtained prior to 1969, and any religious organisation the right to specify that any marriage that it conducted would be so bound, requiring it to counsel couples accordingly. We need to fix entitlement upon divorce by Statute at one per cent of the other party’s estate for each year of marriage up to 50 per cent, with no entitlement for the petitioning party unless the other party’s fault were proved. Now that opposite-sex couples have the right to contract civil partnerships, divorce can be made far more difficult, at least for people who had chosen marriage after this new arrangement had come into force. After all, if they had not wanted that, then they could always have had a civil partnership instead. And we need to remove the restriction of civil partnerships to unrelated couples, since there has never been any sexual aspect to civil partnerships per se.

We need to halt and reverse the proliferation of lap-dancing clubs, and we need to apply the technology that is already used for age verification in order to block pornographic websites altogether. Parliamentary Lobby access must be denied to the publications of companies that also published pornography, and to broadcasters that shared platforms with it, such as Freeview, Virgin or Sky. We need to define obscenity as material depicting acts that were themselves illegal or which was reasonably likely to incite or encourage such acts, with sentencing the same as for the illegal act in question in each case. We need to make it a criminal offence for anyone aged 21 or over to buy or sell sex, with equal sentencing on both sides. The Universal Basic Income, and Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee, would remove any conceivable excuse for prostituting oneself. It cannot be ignored that pornography has a central role in artificial insemination and in vitro fertilisation. The production of pornography must also now be one of the world’s principal causes of abortion.

We need a criminal offence of sexual activity with any person under the age of 18 who was more than two years younger than oneself, with a maximum sentence equal to twice the difference in age, abolition of different rules for “positions of trust” and for one sex rather than the other, a ban on abortion or contraception for those under 18 without parental knowledge and consent, and the application of the law on indecent images equally to boys and to girls. We need the removal of any financial liability of male victims for pregnancies resulting from their sexual abuse unless they decided as adults to seek to make contact with their children.

We need the replacement of the existing categories of sexual assault with aggravating circumstances to the general categories of offences against the person, such that the sentences could be doubled. There must be no anonymity either for adult defendants or for adult complainants. We need to reverse even the existing reversal of the burden of proof, rule out the legal possibility of being a specifically sexual assailant below the age of consent, and specify that intoxication was a bar to sexual consent only insofar as it would have been a bar to driving. We need to outlaw American-style internally administered “balance of probabilities” or “preponderance of evidence” tests to sexual assault allegations at universities or elsewhere, outlaw extradition to face charges that fell short of these standards, and exclude such convictions from any legal standing in this country. We need to end the practice whereby the Police and others blocked people’s progress into paid or voluntary work, even though they had been acquitted, by suggesting that they might have been guilty after all. C5 notices need to be outlawed.

The restoration of “due punishment of responsible persons” depends upon the restoration of a free society’s minimum requirements for a conviction. We need to reverse the erosion of trial by jury and of the right to silence. We need to answer the question of whether jurors necessarily had a stake in society by giving everyone such a stake through Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee, through the Universal Basic Income, and through the dividends from the public stakes in the FTSE 500 companies. We need to reverse the existing reversals of the burden of proof, not only in rape cases, but across quite a range. We need the abolition of conviction by majority verdict, which, by definition, provides for conviction even where there is reasonable doubt. We need the extension throughout the United Kingdom of the Scots Law requirement for corroborating evidence. We need to require that the prosecution present its case within 12 weeks of charge, or else that case be dismissed.

We need the abolition of the Crown Prosecution Service, so that the decision as to whether or not to charge should be made by the Police, while any high street firm of solicitors would have a partner whose specialisms included prosecution, with such work built into the firm’s ordinary caseload. We need the restoration of the pre-1968 committal powers of the magistracy. We need the abolition of the admission of anonymous evidence other than from undercover Police Officers. We need the exclusion of the possibility of conviction on anonymous evidence alone. We need to restore the provision that no acquitted person should ever have to stand trial again for the same offence, or at least for any offence allegedly committed after the enactment of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. We need an end to the secrecy of the family courts, the right to cross-examine in which ought not to be removed by mere accusation.

We need the exclusion of identity cards or any thought of them, and the exclusion of control orders or anything like them. We need the abolition of Police confiscation of assets without a conviction. We need the abolition of stipendiary magistrates sitting alone. We need the repeal of the Civil Contingencies Act, the repeal of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act, and the repeal of the Official Secrets Acts. We need the repeal of one-sided extradition arrangements. We need the repeal of the provision for “no win, no fee” litigation. We need the restoration and extension of Legal Aid. We need a return to preventative policing based on foot patrols, with Police Forces at least no larger than at present, and with the restoration of the network of police stations and police houses that placed the Police at the very heart of their communities. And we need the disbandment of MI5 in favour Police Officers who, while highly specialised, were nevertheless part of accountable community policing.

As the Member of Parliament for North West Durham, I would board a plane to Tehran and simply refuse to leave without Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. I am actively involved in campaigns for truth and justice as various, and yet as inseparable from each other, as Hillsborough, Shrewsbury, Orgreave, Grenfell Tower, blacklisting, spycops, Jean Charles de Menezes, Farepak, Remploy, the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme, Neil Clark (see Appendix C), George Bell, Julian Assange, Roger Stone, Alex Salmond, Cardinal Pell, Nick Sandmann and the Covington Boys, the scandal of Andrew “Picard” Boeckman, the very strange decision to prosecute Fiona Onasanya, the Miami Showband massacre, the Marikana massacre, the USS Liberty, support for the Dalits, support for the Rohingya and other minorities in Myanmar, support for the Chagossians, support for Abdullah Öcalan and the wider Kurdish cause, support for the deportation of Altaf Hussain to Pakistan, support for negotiated settlement in Kashmir based on self-determination for its people, support for an inquiry into the role of the Thatcher Government in the 1984 storming of the Golden Temple and in the events surrounding it, support for the Dorje Shugden practitioners who are being persecuted by the Dalai Lama, support for the Russian and other ethnic minorities that are oppressed in the Baltic States, support for the ancient indigenous Christians of the Middle East and North Africa, support for those in Israel who are opposed to the apartheid Nation-State Law, support for British Jews who do not identify as Zionists primarily or at all, support for the Jews and Zoroastrians of Iran, and the translation into English and the publication in the United Kingdom of Hernán Dobry’s Operation Israel: The Rearming of Argentina During the Dictatorship, 1976-1983.

My Westminster office would be a global centre for the coordination of these and numerous other campaigns for truth and justice at home and abroad.

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