Sunday, 3 July 2016

WISBECH, staunchly and overwhelmingly in the Brexit camp, can only sit back and watch as the Conservative Party play Punch and Judy while it finds a new leader - and Prime Minister. The Labour Party has little presence in the town. So little, in fact, that they could probably hold an AGM in someone's living room. The party national appears to be intent on shooting itself in both feet, but under the hapless Jeremy Corbyn a strange transformation is taking place.

The political Left in this country has, almost without a murmur, lurched dramatically to - the Establishment. Perhaps not the part of the Establishment which includes Old Etonians, elderly judges, members of Polo clubs and afficionados of the Henley Regatta, but the Establishment is a broad church. One of its congregations comprises media professionals, successful entertainers, 'spokespeople' for this and that minority, lobbyists for the ever-growing list of fashionable genders, the clergy of the Church of England, almost to a woman and, of course, the omnipotent men and women who lead Britain's trade unions. Those who sit on this side of the Establishment aisle are indistinguishable from those on the other side, certainly in terms of their affluence.

So these folk can be characterised by the wonderful phrase from the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful' - 'the rich man in his castle'. So who lines up behind 'the poor man at his gate'? And who represents him?

There was a time when the natural home for the British working class was the Labour Party. This was the party of Aneurin Bevan, and other passionate men and women. Clement Attlee? He was certainly an underrated and under-estimated politician, but he was a compassionate member of the upper classes, who chose to use his education and his learning to benefit those who had neither.

It has been a common cry over the last few days that those who had the temerity to vote to leave the EU were possessed of any combination of the following devils.

  • Blind ignorance
  • Racism
  • Economic illiteracy
  • Bigotry
  • Being old
  • Xenophobia
  •  Hate crime
  • Selfishness
Anyone lucky enough to tick all eight descriptions must surely have a very special place in hell reserved for them. But what if you did? What are the reasons behind the stigmata?

The simple truth is that the Establishment Left have no time for you. You don't fit their image of a 21st century Social Justice Warrior. Heavens, you may even shop at ALDI or, even worse, at LIDL.

When you are woken up
by the noisy activities of the twelve single men from Eastern Europe who occupy the house next door, you probably fail to recognise the cultural enrichment they are bringing to your community.

You may even have been observed
talking in a negative fashion about the diversity and cultural variety brought to many communities across the land by groups of Pakistani men and their innovative approach to personal relationships. And yes, I DO realise that these men have nothing to do with the EU. But the fact that the Leftist Establishment tolerates them and their obscene behaviour is just another part of the same problem.

Perhaps the old Working Class no longer exists. My mother and father were from humble backgrounds, but they wanted better. They didn't rejoice in their lowly upbringings, but battled to educate themselves so that they could move on. For them, upward mobility was not the subject of some smug, middle-class, satirical sitcom, but an worthwhile aspiration. They might not have made it, but they sweated blood to make sure that I did.

So what do we make of such charlatans as Polly Toynbee and Owen Jones? Both are the product of comfortable and affluent homes. No crime there, but neither would know a working class home, or upbringing if it were presented to them on a tray at an Islington drinks party. Still, they feel qualified to pour scorn on the millions of ordinary men and women across Britain who voted to leave the EU. Mock on, then - but perhaps your tenure inside the warm fold of Britain's establishment may yet rebound on you.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016


Does anyone hear confessions, please? It seems that I have committed a cardinal sin by supporting -  very publicly - the campaign to leave the European Union. And, what's worse, I actually voted Leave. The fact that I was in very good company in these parts - around three-quarters of us - hasn't made any difference to the venomous response of people I hoped would remain friends, even though we were on different sides of the argument.

I should have anticipated the problems, I suppose. The first hint of trouble was when the editor of a website I write for, and helped administer, more or less blamed me and my views for the tragic death of MP Jo Cox in the week before the Referendum vote. My extreme views, he wrote, had helped foster the atmosphere of hate which motivated the man who murdered her.

To be fair to him, and I am really trying hard here, he inhabits a world of authors and assorted media folk for whom left wing views are a given. Earlier in the piece, he had insisted I use a different Twitter account to help promote the website, as he feared my views might offend the literary establishment among whom he plies his trade. That was easily done, and I indulged him.

Once the sheer horror of what we had done on 23rd June dawned on him, he went public on the site, not with personal reference to me, but reflecting the abiding air of grief and loss within  artistic and creative folk across the land. How could we be so stupid?  This was a terribilem diem for the country, a step back into the dark ages. How did provincial clods like us even have the vote?

The result was, I suppose, inevitable. After a few days of stony silence, he told me that he could no longer work with someone whose views were so extreme and so abhorrent, and so I was sacked. There is, clearly, no leper in the arts and media world quite like that of a person whose views don't match the template of the card-carrying Guardianistas of literary festivals and book-signings.

Even former colleagues from the teaching profession took to social media to express their desolation. They were ashamed of being British, sickened and saddened by the desecration of something so beautiful and wholesome. Some could only vent their posting links to page after page after dreary page of the leftist bible, The Guardian. Incidentally, today's Times reported that a Freedom of Information request had revealed that that sainted national treasure, the BBC, buys 250 copies of The Guardian each day, just to make sure that its employees do not stray too far from the metropolitan liberal consensus.

Across the land, random acts of racism, which probably happen all the time, regrettably, were spotlighted as being the result of racist behaviour becoming legitimised by the decision to vote Leave. If that were not bad enough, the financial markets were in turmoil, and we were clearly heading for a meltdown not seen since, well the last meltdown. Needless to say, markets closed today, 29th June, up several points from their position before the Referendum vote.

The petition to hold a second referendum received huge support in a matter of hours. So huge - and worldwide - was the response, that signatories were found to come from such places as Korea, Tunisia and Hawaii.

As I write, I suspect that we who voted to leave the EU are in the process of being shafted by the politicians. David Cameron is in a peculiar position, having championed the Remain cause. The Labour Party is in tatters, and cannot play a sensible part in anything which follows. UKIP - and Nigel Farage in particular - are still the pantomime villains, despite their historic role in securing the Referendum in the first place.

So, there it is. Bless me Father, for I have sinned. What my penance is to be, I will reveal later.


Sunday, 21 February 2016

Wisbech has endured another spell of bad days, where the headlines have featured grim story after grim story. Firstly, we learn that Wisbech is one of the least integrated towns in Britain, in that the indigenous population go their own way, as do the large number of immigrants in the town, and ne’er the twain shall meet. This survey, by some think-tank out in the far blue yonder, has declared it so, and national media have been quick to pounce. It is small recompense to learn that our near neighbours in Spalding are even worse at getting on with each other than we are.

Next, and far worse, we have a poor woman in her forties being raped near, of all places, a children’s play area. It is a mistake to judge the impact of an event by how much it features on social media, but this nasty episode was not bumped up as much as it might have been, possibly because the rumour mill suggests that the woman was from Eastern Europe, and so not ‘one of ours’.

To cap it all, when news spread that a man had been stabbed at a house on Churchill Road, and was in hospital with life-threatening injuries, the doomsayers were quick to speculate that the men involved would not prove to be English. And so it was, when the news that the dead man – for this quickly became a murder case – and his alleged assailant were both immigrants, heads were nodded sagely, and there was a chorus of “I told you so.”

Anyone who thinks that Wisbech was a haven of enlightenment, peace and prosperity before the arrival of the immigrants, either has a defective memory, or took a bang on the head as a teenager, thus putting their earlier years into a kind of Disneyland soft focus. Wisbech has always been a knockabout, rough and ready, frontier-justice kind of town. I have written about murders, assaults and assorted villainy in the town, and you can find these in previous blogs – just use the search facility.

Have we experienced a descent into lawlessness since the immigrants arrived? My personal view is that you are much more likely to come to harm at the hands of a drunken Eastern European car driver than you are to meet with misfortune at the hands of a one of his colleagues wielding a knife. So why the fear and loathing? Why do local people write on Facebook that they don’t feel safe anymore?

There are several reasons, none of them being simple or conclusive. In no particular order, here are my views on the issue.

(1)  There are too many single men, 18-30, in the immigrant population. Young men the world over, when in each other’s company, with no family restraints, will behave badly, given half a chance. Put these men in a situation where they are frequently without work, sharing sub-standard accommodation, and with ready access to alcohol, and what could possibly go wrong?
(2)  There are winners and losers in the immigration game. Clear winners are people who have bought buy-to-let houses. Given half a chance, they can rent these out to people who, at face value, seem fairly respectable. But then, these respectable people turn out to be in the pay of bigger and more sinister interests. Maybe gangmasters, people smugglers? House and rooms can be let and sublet to the n’th degree, bringing much joy to the wallets of people at the top of the chain, and misery to those near the bottom.
(3)  Farmers and bosses of food-processing plants think all their Christmases have come at once. Farmers may well be paying the going rate for cabbage harvesting or asparagus cutting, but by the time the agencies have carved out their share, the workers are often left with the square root of sweet fuck all.
(4)  It is unfortunate, in so many ways, that Fenland is run by the Conservative Party. At the heart of their misrule at Town Council level is a man who actively supports the concept of HMOs – Homes of Multiple Occupancy. He vehemently opposed recent legislation to clamp down on the robber-landlords. He also defends the right of misguided young men to drink themselves senseless in public places. He is also very vocal in support of shopkeepers who want to profit by selling strong drink to these same young men. He takes every opportunity to criticise the police when – on rare occasions, admittedly – they attempt to enforce the law. He sneers at people who look to people like him and his political coterie for leadership, and a proper vision of what life should be like in a small town.
(5)  Immigrant numbers in Wisbech long since reached the critical mass which makes it unecessary for immigrants to learn English. A small percentage of New Wisbechians do want to learn, and I have the privelege of working with these groups, and a more genuine, good-humoured – and generous – group of people you could not hope to find. The fact remains, however, that they want to learn English because they are keen to learn, and keen to integrate – not because speaking English makes their daily lives any easier.

As I write this, we learn that one of the more charismatic people in political life – Boris Johnson – has thrown his weight behind the campaign to leave the European Union. This gives me a sense that we may be at the start of a long journey to reclaim our country. If that eventually happens, I doubt I shall be around long enough for the changes to affect me, but for my children – and their children – I can feel only optimism.

But what of the here and now? If we do leave the EU, nothing will happen to the thousands of people from the Baltic States and elsewhere who have made Wisbech their home. And why should it? Most of them are working here, paying their taxes, and getting on with life. Their children already speak English as well as most of the ‘natives’, and in a generation, people will wonder what all the fuss was about. My hope is that recapturing our borders with Europe will lead to a much greater awareness of our sense of nationhood, and what kinds of behaviour we expect from people who view our culture and traditions with scorn, but are very amenable to our generosity in terms of healthcare, schools and benefits. 

Angela Merkel has sown the wind with her catastrophic weakness on inward migration and, in terms of her political career, it is hoped that she will reap the whirlwind. What we decide on 23rd June this year may just be the first brick in the wall which saves us from the cultural devastation imminent in mainland Europe.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

As 2015 draws to a close, Pickwick has struggled up the mountain to the sunlit uplands of Political Correctness, to bring down some new guidance, so that we can all make the world a better place in 2016.

(according to that darling of The Left, Owen Jones)

1. THOU SHALT continue to laugh at UKIP with all thy heart, and all thy mind, and all thy soul. For not so do suggesteth that many millions of ordinary and unpretentious British citizens are NOT actually swivel-eyed loons, mindless bigots and malicious racists.
2. THOU SHALT laugh thyself into near incontinence at BBC Radio Four comedy panel shows, particularly The News Quiz. Yea, when Jeremy Hardy and Andy Hamilton cracketh jokes about UKIP, thou shalt laugh in abundance, verily until thy sides do split

3.THOU SHALT NOT take unto thyself a partner but they be called transgender, cisgender, gender neutral, F2M, polygender, two-spirit, M2F, pangender, transitional, or any combination thereof.

4. THOU SHALT NOT find derision in the words and wisdom of the Blessed Jeremy Corbyn. Nor from thy mouth shalt be uttered the phrase, "Out of touch bearded twat", neither shalt thou enquireth of Diane Abbott, "Who hath eaten all the pies?"

5. THOU SHALT NOT display, flaunt, wear a garment incorporating, or otherwise rejoice in the Union flag, the flag of St George or other symbols of repression and slavery. The flags of ISIS, Palestine, Pakistan, or the LGBT Rainbow shall be displayed in their glory. 

6. THOU SHALT NOT speak unto others, nor cause to be uttered, the word 'Christmas'. Midwinter, December Break, Solsticetide shalt ever be upon their lips. 

7. THOU SHALT continue to bow down in awe of the Holy Trinity of the North London Liberal Consensus, and thus thou shalt worship none other than The Guardian, and at the right hand Owen Jones, and at the left, the BBC.

8. THOU SHALT remember that God created the great monster Diversity and every whingeing minority that moves, of every kind, with which the social media swarms, and Social Justice Warriors of every race and creed. And God saw what he hath made, and sayeth, "Oh, Shit..!"

    9. THOU SHALT gaze with affection upon the works of those who bring drama workshops to refugees, gender awareness training for unbelievers, safe spaces for the victims of cultural oppression, and bountiful manna for those whose benefits hath been cut. 

10. THOU SHALT NOT forget that child grooming and rape, forced marriage, insistence on Sharia Law, public beheading, verbal assaults on the British way of life, religious hate speech, support for ISIS, indoctrination of the young, electoral fraud and refusing to accept British cultural values have Nothing To Do With Islam.

And this shall be
the greatest Commandment of them all.