Thursday 20 February 2020

The 2020 Vision

Politically, the last four and a half years have belonged to those who have suffered the most, under all three parties, since the Callaghan Government’s turn to monetarism in 1977. They made Jeremy Corbyn the Leader of the Labour Party, they decided the EU referendum for Leave, they reelected Corbyn, they deprived Theresa May of her overall majority, they delivered the scale of the Brexit Party’s victory at the 2019 European Elections, and they have given an overall majority to Boris Johnson because Corbyn had abandoned his 2017 commitment to Brexit. Had he not done so, then Labour would now be the largest party in a hung Parliament.

It is clear that the workers, and not the liberal bourgeoisie, are now the key swing voters. Yet the metropolitan liberal elite, and its allies in the right-wing Labour machine that controls several trade unions and almost the whole of Labour local government, are well into the coronation of Keir Starmer. But here along the old Red Wall, we have not exchanged one one-party state for another. The Conservatives must face the competition in which they profess to believe. Therefore, ours is the 2020 Vision of a new political party, a new think tank, a new weekly newspaper, a new monthly cultural review, a new quarterly academic journal, and much else besides. Each of those projects is distinct, and anyone interested in any one or more of them should feel free to contact me on

A New Political Party: The People’s Voice 

The People’s Voice will soon be registered as a new political party. Initially on the Brexit Party’s model of a Leader and supporters, the constitution of The People’s Voice will require a transition to internal democracy by a specific date, or else the party will be dissolved. I am already its Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North West Durham. In 2024, parliamentary candidates for The People’s Voice will have lived throughout the previous 10 years in the constituencies that they wished to represent or in immediately adjacent constituencies, and they will have annual incomes not higher than £25,000. Such candidates will also be required to sign the following statements.

First: “I am committed to upholding family and community values by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty. Economic inequality is incompatible with democracy, since it gives the rich far greater political power than the poor, whose votes are thus effectively negated. I would vote to bring down any Government that had used military force other than in self-defence. In the struggle for the universal good that is economic equality, the leading role belongs to the working class. In the struggle for the universal good that is 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. 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”.”

Secondly: “I welcome the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union as providing a double opportunity, both to reorganise the British economy under State direction, and to begin to develop a fully independent British foreign policy, including in relation to the United States. I welcome the Conservative Party’s moves in those directions. I speak for people who would be more than happy to bypass the Liberal Establishment and the right-wing Labour machine so as to work with Conservatives and others in order to secure direct representation on public bodies, in the media, and elsewhere. I refuse to recognise racists, Fascists or opportunists as the authentic voices of the accepted need to control immigration. I unreservedly support the Chagossian cause. I stand with Julian Assange.” 

Thirdly: “I regret the defeat of the miners in 1985. 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. 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. Life is the geological force that shapes the Earth, and 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.”

Fourthly: “Sex is a biological fact, and is immutable. There are two sexes, male and female. Men and boys are male. Women and girls are female. It is impossible to change sex. These were until very recently understood as basic facts of life by almost everyone. No one is “born in the wrong body”. 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. It is contrary both to 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.”

Fifthly: “I support a legal presumption of equal parenting, and I support due process of law, including the presumption of innocence. 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 oppose the increasing criminalisation of male youth as such. I identify strongly with the rage against deindustrialisation, with the rage against the harvesting of young men in endless and pointless wars, and with a growing number of young men’s closely connected discovery for themselves of the traditional Great Books and of the various schools of heterodox economics. Those Books and those schools have always been fundamental to the radical change of which those young men are now the vanguard. I stand with Julian Assange.”

And sixthly: “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. The definition of anti-Semitism in the Oxford English Dictionary is perfectly sufficient: “Hostility to or prejudice against Jews.” 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 towards white settler colonialism abroad. Anyone may convert to Judaism, so that Jews are no more a “race” than Christians or Muslims are. 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. The IHRA Definition is a denial of Black And Minority Ethnic, refugee and migrant experience, such as leads to the Windrush scandal and to the fire at Grenfell Tower. As a denial of the ancient indigenous Christian presence in the Christian Holy Land, it contributes significantly to the worldwide persecution of Christians. Since BAME and migrant communities tend to be working-class, there is also a clear connection to the injustices at Shrewsbury, Orgreave, Hillsborough, and, again, Grenfell Tower. 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. 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. 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, to the Chief Rabbinate, and to the Senior Rabbinate. I aspire to a single state throughout the former British Mandate of Palestine, a state in which human and civil rights would be constitutionally protected while everyone had precisely one vote.”

A New Think Tank: The Centre

The Centre is to be our new think tank, “To develop, formulate and articulate the broadly based opposition and alternative to the violent, extremist and anti-democratic ideologies of neoliberal economic policy, identitarian social policy, neoconservative foreign policy, and anti-industrial Malthusianism, strongly asserting that that opposition and that alternative constituted the real centre ground of British and wider politics.” The eventual intention is to hold three conferences per year, one initially at Durham, one in London, and one at an international location.

A New Newspaper: The Weekly Standard

The Weekly Standard will feature, on its odd-numbered pages, a weekly column by each of around 20 regular contributors, plus around five guest articles. The even-numbered pages will feature popular news stories relating to sport, television, music, and so on, plus advertising. We intend to make offers to the biggest clubs, programmes, acts, and so forth, for the right to publish whatever they liked within the law, the word limit, and the English language, and provided that it were exclusive content. Newsprint is far cheaper than it used to be, so 15,000 copies could be produced for well under £2000, and probably for less than £1500. Obviously, we would wish to aim a lot higher than that. We expect a retail price of one pound. There is also the possibility of a new fortnightly satirical magazine, to be published in the weeks that Private Eye was not. 

A New Monthly Cultural Review: The Wall

The areas that choose the Government deserve to have our cultures known to each other, to the country, and to the world. With a network of contributors across Wales, the Midlands, the North, and beyond, The Wall will make a leading contribution to that long-overdue process.

A New Academic Journal: The Great British Quarterly

The Great British Quarterly’s peer-reviewed articles will give a voice to the rural working class, and to the industrial and former industrial communities that were either outside the metropolitan areas or peripheral to them. A voice to those who cherished free speech and other civil liberties, including due process of law. A voice to those who sought a fully independent British foreign policy, with a critical and sceptical approach to intelligence and security agencies. A voice to those who found that the definition of anti-Semitism in the Oxford English Dictionary was perfectly sufficient. A voice to those who acknowledged the scientific fact of binary and immutable biological sex. And a voice to those who celebrated 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.

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