Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Nation Revisited # 137, March 2018

Readers' Messages

I welcome comments from readers, even if they are critical. Joe Owens wrote to say that I am just preaching to the converted and regurgitating the same old stuff. He may well be right. Bernard Franklyn complained that the population has become apathetic, and he is undoubtedly right. Robert Lyons contacts me from the USA and John Beattie from Canada. I hear regularly from John Bean, Frank Walsh, and Eddy Morrison, and from my comrades at the Friends of Mosley. We all have our own opinions but we share an aversion to Zionism and Old Gang politicians.

messages are not so welcome. I am not Jewish but I have been mistaken for one. During the 1967 Arab-Israeli War I was buying a shirt in the OK Bazaar in Cape Town. The Jewish woman serving me was obviously upset and I asked her what the trouble was. She said that she had family in Israel, and then she said: "Anyway, what's a nice Jewish boy doing here when you should be fighting in Israel?

Some readers have concluded that I must be Jewish, or in the pay of the Jews, because I don't promote the Great Conspiracy Theory. Others have accused me of being a Freemason, or a homosexual because I don't attack them. This kind of thinking is dangerous nonsense. I know nothing about Freemasonry and what consenting adults get up to in private is their business. I do not attribute the sins of the world to any particular group but to greedy men and women of all persuasions.

Why do I bother? Well, it's ten years since the last financial meltdown and the experts are predicting another one. When major companies like Carillion go under we can expect trouble ahead. We could be in for another slump but our useless politicians are preoccupied with 'Brexit'. We live in interesting times and I shall continue to monitor the situation.

Those with good presentation skills can make videos or address meetings, but I shall continue to write my blog and enjoy receiving your messages. It may be a waste of time but you never know, I might influence someone out there, and if I do it will be worth it. 

What to do with the Banks

The financial crisis of 2008 showed how vulnerable the banks are. They don't make a profit by managing accounts, paying bills, and handling salaries and pensions. They make their money by investing in stocks and shares and by lending at interest. This is condemned as usury by critics of the banking system but a reasonable rate of interest on loans and deposits is necessary. Islamic banks don't apply interest rates but they use transaction fees to cover their costs. If the banks have enough money on deposit to cover loans they are successful but if they lend more than they can cover they are in trouble.

efore Margaret Thatcher deregulated the banks in 1986, credit was restricted and bank managers checked up on their customers, but that all changed when the banks were allowed to lend much more than they had on deposit. For about twenty years they got away with it until some financial genius in America decided to sell packages of sub-prime mortgages. This started a bubble all over the world as investors scrambled to get rich quick, and like all bubbles, it burst.

The resulting crash brought down Lehman Brothers in America and Northern Rock in the UK. Soon, the government had to bail out most of the banks. The alternative would have been to let them fail which would have cost people their homes, jobs and pensions. Disaster was avoided but many people thought that the government should nationalise the banks altogether.

The trouble is that governments would inevitably dip into bank deposits to finance important things such as; buying American missiles, giving foreign aid to ungrateful dictators, and building high-speed railways that cut the journey time from London to Glasgow by ten minutes.

They would rob the banks just as they robbed the National Insurance scheme. If all the money that had been paid in by the workers had been properly invested in a dedicated pension fund our pensioners would be comfortable instead of just about managing.

The only bank owned by the government is the Bank of England. It was established in 1694 to refit the Royal Navy and raised £1.2 million in twelve weeks by selling bonds. That was a lot of money in the seventeenth century. The BOE was nationalised in 1946 but many people think that it's still in private hands. Amongst the bank's assets are 310 tonnes of gold. This is well below our neighbours; Germany - 3,374, Italy - 2,451, France - 2,435.

The Thatcher experiment with deregulation resulted in the banks taking unnecessary risks but since the financial crisis of 2008 they have restricted credit and helped to strangle the economy.The problem is cultural as well as economic. In the old days, people were cautious and the banks avoided risk-taking. Banks, insurance companies, and pension funds need a gently expanding economy administered by honest men and women. The government should have a controlling share; say 51%. The banks employ 2.1 million people and contribute £35 billion a year to the exchequer. We need their skill and experience but they shouldn't be left to their own devices.

International finance is dominated by powerful families that swindle the nations of the world with impunity. They are what the Soviets used to call 'Rootless Cosmopolitans'. They are ruthless manipulators but your average high street banker is simply a service provider. Jesus whipped the money changers out of the temple but we must rely on regulation.

The Tory Legacy

rejudice against foreigners is deeply ingrained in the Tory Party. Their arguments about sovereignty and free trade sound reasonable but they are really motivated by petty nationalism of the worst kind. The sort of jingoistic rubbish that one finds in the Daily Mail. Their hearts are hardened
and their minds are closed.

When Selwyn Lloyd was appointed Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in 1951 he protested to Winston Churchill: "But Sir, there must be some mistake. I do not speak any foreign language. Except in war. I have never visited a foreign country. I do not like foreigners. I have never spoken in a foreign-affairs debate in the House. I have never listened to one." Churchill growled back: "Young man, these all seem to be positive advantages."

Almost everyone in Europe was overjoyed when the Berlin Wall came down. Between 1961, when the wall went up, and 1989, when it came down, 239 people died trying to escape from East Berlin. The bankrupt DDR propped up its economy by selling political prisoners. They sold 33,700 people to the West and detained thousands more in their notorious prisons. The 'Stasi' policed the country by fear with a vast network of spies and informers.

But Margaret Thatcher was unmoved by the plight of our fellow Europeans. In December 1989 she told the assembled heads of Europe: "We beat the Germans twice, and now they're back." She was bitterly opposed to German reunification and couldn't understand why the French supported it. She never understood that the Common Market was about peace and security. She thought that it was a purely commercial venture. That's why she was happy to wear her famous jumper in 1975 bearing the flags of all nations.

President Donald Trump is of Scottish and German ancestry but he is unashamedly anti-German. He is the natural ally of Boris Johnson, the leader of the hard right extremists that have hijacked the Tory Party. If Theresa May falls they will take us out of Europe and negotiate a trade deal with America. They pretend to harbour no grudges against the Germans or the French, but it's not true. They say that they're against the EU and not against Europe, but they are lying. They are motivated by fear and hatred, like Margaret Thatcher, and by Atlanticism, like Winston Churchill.

Of course, they are perfectly entitled to their opinions but they shouldn't pretend to support British independence when they are ready to turn us into the 51st state of the Union. Conrad Black made a persuasive argument for Anglo-American Union when he owned the 'Daily Telegraph', but at least he was open about it.

Economic Nationalism

In answer to a reader's comment, the BNP website explains their economic policy.

"We call our idea economic nationalism Luke, read my post above which describes the basics of the banking system we propose. Taxes are high under the present system because government spending must come from either borrowing or taxation. If the government borrows via bond issuance the national debt increases and so does the interest on the debt leading to high taxes further down the line, so it's a no-win situation. A sovereign government can issue its own currency completely debt and interest-free if it so wishes and has the moral fibre to do so, but the big bankers would hate it and that is why it is not done." 

The article to which he refers calls for restrictions on imports and the encouragement of British manufacturing. Of course, such policies would be reciprocated by those nations that send us goods. If we stopped importing German cars the Germans would certainly stop importing British cars.

The article calls for the ending of foreign aid and our withdrawal from the Middle East. Those are achievable objectives but it should be remembered that foreign aid and military assistance are often linked to lucrative trade deals.

The BNP wants the British government to issue debt and interest-free money, but it has been doing so for years. Between 2009 and 2012 the Bank of England issued £375 billion in 'Quantitative Easing' and in August 2016 it authorised another £70 billion.

If QA works our economy will be saved but if it doesn't we will follow Zimbabwe into bankruptcy. At one point they had multi-billion Zimbabwe dollar bills in circulation until the currency was replaced by the US dollar.

Money doesn't have to be backed by gold or foreign currency reserves but it must have the confidence of those using it. The value of any currency is decided by international consensus. Any country that defaults on its debts is blacklisted, but a nation deeply in debt, like the United States, is trusted because of the underlying strength of its economy.

The BNP have come a long way since one of their members answered my question about their economic policy by saying: "we don't do that left-wing crap." Economics is the key to understanding politics. We have not been self-sufficient since the eighteenth century and we need to trade with our neighbours. We also need skilled workers from abroad. We can choose where we get them from but until we train our own people we will need them. These are facts that cannot be trumped by emotion.

The far-right's economic policies were copied by John Tyndall from Oswald Mosley's pre-war British Union. When the British Empire was destroyed by the Second World War, Mosley abandoned Imperial Preference and moved on to Europe. But Tyndall clung rigidly to policies that were no longer viable. Economic nationalism and compulsory repatriation are the twin fantasies of the far-right.

The Housing Crisis

The Chancellor's decision to cut stamp duty for first home buyers is welcome but saving £5,000 on a £500,000 home in London will not solve the housing crisis. And nor will making 'affordable' homes part of any new development. The thousands of flats being built along the Thames in London are selling for £1,000,000. They are mostly being bought by wealthy foreigners as an investment. An 'affordable' flat would cost 80% of the selling price - £800.000. That still puts them beyond the reach of most people.

There is no point in building houses in cheaper parts of the country. People want to live in London, Birmingham, and Manchester because that's where the work is. And they need to be a sensible distance from their place of work. Some people are wasting four hours a day commuting; time that they should be spending with their families.

We need social housing on a grand scale and a new Rent Act to protect private tenants. The government has promised to build a million houses in the next three years but we don't know how many of them will be for rent, or how many will be genuinely affordable. Margaret Thatcher's dream of a property-owning democracy has not been realised. Seventy-three years after World War Two we still have a housing shortage.

'Right to Buy' gave millions of people the chance to own their own homes but it depleted the available housing stock and almost killed social housing. We must get back to building safe family houses that people can afford. The tower block experiment ended in disaster. Old people and families with children cannot live in high rise blocks. We need houses with gardens and all the necessary services; sewers, roads, broadband, transport links etc. If the government carries out its promise to stop land banking and make more land available, it can be done.


When Dr Beeching was asked to make the railways pay he started by listing loss-making lines for closure but he got carried away with enthusiasm and butchered the network. Years later, Margaret Thatcher did the same thing with coal mines. She could have shut down the most unprofitable pits but she closed down practically the entire industry. The government is now rebuilding the railways and we are importing coal that we could have produced ourselves. That's what happens when common sense is abandoned and dogma takes over.

Adolf Hitler should have sued for peace following the collapse of his invasion of the Soviet Union in 1943, but he fought on and wasted millions of lives, including his own. The top Nazi generals tried to reason with him but he was convinced of the superiority of the German armed forces, even when Field Marshal Paulus surrendered at Stalingrad and Field Marshal von Manstein was defeated at Kursk. Another example of dogma coming before reality.

If we leave the EU and import cheap food from outside Europe we will undercut our own agriculture. At present our farmers are protected by the Common Agricultural Policy but the Tories will let 'market forces' prevail. 

Politicians have good ideas from time to time but they sometimes go too far. They pretend to know what they are doing but their projects often end in failure. Margaret Thatcher went ahead with the Poll Tax despite being advised not to. She was right that everyone should pay for local services, but there is no point in a tax that people can't pay. Theresa May was also right that a lot of old people are comfortably off, but she was foolish to threaten to stop their Winter Fuel Payments just before an election. Both women put dogma before common sense.

We live in changing times. Artificial intelligence, medical science, and automation are changing the world. We must embrace new ideas, such as geopolitical union, social responsibility, and a universal wage, and not allow dogma to hold us back.

Our 'Black' Ancestry - John Bean

Without exception, the UK daily press and all main TV channels have welcomed research at the Natural History Museum which, they said, shows our ancient ancestry was black. It is the media's interpretation of a facial reconstruction on the skull of Britain's oldest skeleton, the 10,000-year-old Cheddar Gorge Man.

A typical press report on the findings began: "The earliest Britons were black-skinned with dark curly hair and possible blue eyes." This came from a Henry Bodkin of the Daily Telegraph, a so-called serious Tory paper. The photo produced everywhere shows that the face was a dark bronze and the hair was straight down to mouth level and then became wavy. Perhaps our Mr Bodkin wanted it to appear more African with complete curly hair. As for the definitely blue eyes, well you can't have that with an ancient African, hence it was "possible" blue eyes.

I make no criticism of the pioneering work of the archaeologists who found scraps of DNA in the ear of the Mesolithic 'Cheddar Man'. They then cross-referenced the genomes of modern inhabitance with known origins of living near the area of the Gorge. Their DNA now comprises roughly 10 percent of the genetic makeup of most white people living in the UK. But the maximum figure of 10 percent is not good enough for the heading to Mr Bodkin's report. This says "The first Britons were Black - and their DNA lives on in most of us."

That was also the view of a dusky lady on the BBC, who went even further by suggesting that the overwhelming majority of Brits throughout the UK were black in origin. Ignore the fact that 90 percent of our ancestors were Celts, Saxons, or Vikings (the Normans were cross-breeds of French and Viking). Furthermore, Archeologists in mainland Europe have recorded ample evidence in DNA testing that their 'whiteness' goes back at least ten millennia.

NR Comment

Piltdown Man was discovered by Charles Dawson in 1912 and only refuted in 1953. For 41 years the world's leading scientists accepted the hoax as the 'missing link' between man and ape. Sometimes politically motivated scientists find what they are looking for. 


All articles in Nation Revisited are written by Bill Baillie unless otherwise stated. The opinions of guest writers are entirely their own. This blog is protected by the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19: "We all have the right to make up our own minds, to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share ideas with other people."


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