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A Bit Of Common Sense

March 19, 2018

By Paul Homewood


A rather pertinent letter in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday:


SIR – Con Coughlin asks how the Government could leave us so exposed to Putin’s threat.

The answer is that the primary purposes of all departments of state are now made secondary to other aims. Energy production is secondary to ecological priorities. Education is secondary to the political agenda of the Blob.

Transport is about HS2 vanity projects, not helping solve the rail chaos suffered by millions daily. Law and order is secondary to fear and favouring cultural sensitivities. Actual defence is a very secondary issue for the Ministry of Defence apparatchiks.

Virtue-signalling is the main concern of post-Blair governance, and the public is starting to suffer the consequences of this tendency to prioritise activists over the common-sense majority.

Tim Bradshaw

  1. Jack Broughton permalink
    March 19, 2018 9:42 pm

    If this guy is not a politician, he ought to be.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      March 20, 2018 8:27 am

      If he was a politician he wouldn’t have written it.

    • John Fuller permalink
      March 20, 2018 7:25 pm

      Common sense like that would be completely out of place in Westminster!

  2. David Richardson permalink
    March 19, 2018 9:56 pm

    I could have written that myself, but not quite as well.

  3. Shep permalink
    March 19, 2018 10:07 pm


  4. Philip of Taos permalink
    March 19, 2018 10:09 pm

    He hit the nail on the head.

  5. Mike Jackson permalink
    March 19, 2018 10:17 pm

    Couldn’t have put it better myself! I have been “inveighing” (good word, that!) for years against the vanity project, virtue-signalling, make-sure-I-book-my-place-in-history antics of both Blair and Cameron and assorted other wannabees like Miliband and troughers like Deben.

    The Climate Change Act was the most egregious example but by no means the only one. As Bradshaw says, virtually every aspect of government for the last 20 years has been subordinated to the vainglory of party leaders and their toadies, hardly any of whom would have earned a position higher than parliamentary under-secretary in any post-war administration prior to 1997.

    Added to which, and as part of the same process of devaluation of government, ministers have grabbed at every passing fashionable coat-tail or leapt aboard any bandwagon that lobbyists or single-issue activists have driven up Whitehall in increasingly desperate attempts to be “relevant”.

    “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!” Or govern in the interests of the people who elected you, not the single-interest pressure groups, the environmental activists who could never win a democratic vote in a million years, or your own “place in history”!

    • Mack permalink
      March 19, 2018 10:27 pm

      Spot on Mike. Worth repeating Oliver Cromwell’s speech in full as he dissolved parliament in 1653. Bar a few honest souls, has anything changed?

      “It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

      Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

      Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

      In the name of God, go!”

      • save energy permalink
        March 19, 2018 10:51 pm

        “repeating Oliver Cromwell’s speech in full as he dissolved parliament in 1653. Bar a few honest souls, has anything changed?”

        Nothing much has changed in 360 yrs.

        Those who don’t learn from the mistakes of history,
        are destined to repeat the mistakes of history.

      • HotScot permalink
        March 20, 2018 1:02 am

        Was Ollie describing socialists?

        Seems like it to me.

        My ignorance of history is profound.

    • dennisambler permalink
      March 20, 2018 11:07 pm

      Deben speaks…

      European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – Committee (8th Day) (Continued) (19 Mar 2018)

      “Lord Deben: …what, unfortunately, the Government left out from what they said that they would achieve. There is a second reason why the amendment is so important. I am fortunate to be the chairman of the Committee on *Climate Change*. One of the things that is important to us is that we have a statutory position.

      When the carbon budgets, which we prepare, are passed into law by both Houses of Parliamentthey cannot be changed thereafter without the Committee on Climate Change saying that that is right and proper. That is how we in Britain have made sure that we do not go back on our climate change commitments.”

      • Gerry, England permalink
        March 21, 2018 1:57 pm

        Since when did pipsqueak committees get to run – or ruin – the country? Who voted for that? But of course who do you vote for that will change this?

  6. Robert Fairless permalink
    March 19, 2018 10:28 pm

    The author gets to the heart of the matter! Well said!

  7. Nordisch geo-climber permalink
    March 19, 2018 10:29 pm

    Hear hear! So true!

  8. Bitter@twisted permalink
    March 19, 2018 11:11 pm

    What an excellent letter.
    I’m surprised they printed it.
    Far to much common sense expressed.

  9. March 19, 2018 11:24 pm

    There too?

  10. CheshireRed permalink
    March 19, 2018 11:33 pm

    This is the result of 20 years of liberal politics, folks, all the way back to Blair’s New Labour in 1997. Since then the country’s politicians have absolutely lost the plot. We see the consequences every day.

    • Christopher Reynolds permalink
      March 20, 2018 8:08 am

      IMH the `rot’ started with Heseltine and Major…

      • March 20, 2018 11:17 am

        I am Joan Reynolds Gibson. Reynolds was my late mother’s maiden name. We descend from a Christopher Reynolds who came from Gravesend. England to Warwick, Co,, VA in 1622 aboard the “Francis and John.” His father, George, came from County Kent, but settled in Bristol and then London. Although he visited VA several times, he did not settle there, but his son did. My great grandfather Reynolds came to WV following the Civil War. He was from Meadows of Dan, VA where I have found a great many relatives. MOD is in Patrick County, just above the NC border in western VA.

      • Nigel S permalink
        March 20, 2018 12:45 pm

        Joan Gibson: Interesting stuff, thanks. Christopher Reynolds left Gravesend five years after poor Pochahontas died there and was buried at St George’s, Gravesend in the chancel (a place of honour).

  11. markl permalink
    March 20, 2018 1:31 am

    Well said but it’s not just the UK suffering. One wonders how people can vote this upon themselves and not realize what they’re doing.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      March 20, 2018 7:54 am

      You get what you vote for. But it’s also true that you vote for what you’ve got!

      A little look at post-war history shows the decline in membership of both Labour and Conservatives as the consumer society takes hold. Politics loses its urgency; we become complacent. Lacking a steer from the people politicians have no choice but to govern according to their own beliefs. At least that is part of the story.

      The other thing I have been banging on about for years is that if you don’t like what “your” party is doing, go and join it and change it. How many people who comment here or under articles in The Times or the Mail or the DT are members of political parties?

      Joke. Briefly. Isaac prays every week at the synagogue for a lottery win. Eventually God loses patience. “Isaac! Meet me half way on this. Buy a ticket!” Point taken? Ranting is fun but doesn’t change anything. It’s getting your hands dirty that gets the job done.

      Here endeth today’s lesson. 🙂

      • richard verney permalink
        March 20, 2018 9:28 am

        You cannot change politics, without changing the media.

        It is far more complicated than you suggest, as Brexit demonstrates. When Parliament voted to agree to hold the referendum, it also agreed to give effect to the outcome of the vote. But will it?

        The country voted leave. Since the EU is an intangible object, it consists of and is made up of its institutions, rules, regulations, conventions, laws, policies and practices. To leave such an intangible object one must necessarily quit each and every one of its institutions, rules, regulations, conventions, laws, policies and practices. You cannot leave a train by leaving one foot in the carriage, and there is only one form of exit from the EU which is now being referred to as a hard Brexit. A hard Brexit is simply Brexit, nothing more. There is no alternative to a hard Brexit, if effect is going to be given to the referendum.

        But politicians of all ilks are doing their utmost to stupefy the outcome of the referendum. We simply do not get what we vote for, and there is no real choice. For most people in these lands, they are disenfranchised, and nothing will change.

        And related to this is President Trump. Politicians of all ilk are against Trump simply because should he succeed, and should he be able to achieve something that career politicians have never managed to achieve, it will question their entire existence.

        What is the point of politicians, if a business man, with no political experience, can improve the lot of Americans? Just think, what if he succeeds in Making America Great Again.

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        March 20, 2018 10:34 am

        Richard, if you read any of my comments elsewhere you will see the fundamental faultline between your position on this and mine.

        The (advisory, let me remind you) referendum only asked one question and from that answer the diehard Brexiteers have constructed an entire edifice of assumption about what people actually voted for. Because that is what *they* voted for.

        I know a number of leave voters and not a few remain voters (like me) who are content to leave the EU if that is the majority view. But we all look at the extreme posture being shown by the Mogg Tendency (“our way or else!”) and give the same response “not in my name!”

        And I’m sorry, but the media have precious little to do with what I was writing about. That’s a cop out. If we want different politics the only people who can change them are us. The media, like the politicians, only set the agenda if we let them. Get half-a-million people to join the Conservative/Labour party, agree what Conservative/Labour philosophy is for this century then do the hard yards — the meetings, the doorsteps, the letters to your local paper and the national press, EVERY TIME they print something that goes against that philosophy — and watch the votes roll in. Eventually and provided the philosophy was right in the first place.

        In a democracy it’s always people power at the end of the day, unless we choose not to use that power. Either way, we get out as much as we are prepared to put in. If we are happy with rubbish candidates, ex-political gofers being rewarded with a safe seat, then we get rubbish MPs and rubbish government. Our choice; nobody else’s.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        March 20, 2018 12:30 pm

        Mike, I seriously don’t understand what you are claiming.Are you saying that people voted to leave the EU but still wanted the EU to make our laws and regulations and control our trade terms? That they wanted to leave but still have the ECJ above UK law? Or is this the rather ignorant understanding of Customs Unions that so many exhibit?

      • Athelstan permalink
        March 20, 2018 12:31 pm

        “(advisory, let me remind you) ”

        Well true but that can work – only if you lost.

        “advisory”……………….how convenient.

        That’s not what dave and george were telling us, camoron also said that, in the event of a leave majority vote that, the country would out on the 24th June – that’s why the PTB got rid and since then, every angle has been explored, every stone upturned in order to stymie what was actually a free vote and a pretty big majority – for out and by God people knew well what they were voting for, free but poorer – (maybe) but so be it.

        Mike one of the reasons we all contribute on here, one of the defining factors – governments lie to people – the green agenda is the biggest scam, mythologizing non existent threats is what they do, how easily people are cowed – is the other half of it and mendacious minds know that only too well.

        When was the last time a politician told the truth, when was the last time the media circus recognized the truth? We live in a world welded, built on untruths and spin and where, deceit is the only currency.

        There is trouble brewing, it is not the fault of the taxpaying public, who dutifully oblige, the law abiding people, the people who just get on with their lives, mainly labouring in the happy delusion that HMG is doing its very best for YOU!
        Well, the veneer of ‘civilization’ it was never a muchly thick patina, it is wearing ever thinner. Society? when morals went walkabout, corruption abounds, where people don’t know which side is up, the government spends, should I say fritters money like there’s no tomorrow but promising the earth, er, tomorrow,. Then, something’s got to give and oh yes throw in fiat money,
        The palace of lies, the house that the EU built is about to crumble away, see what comes next. I don’t know what will happen but I do know that it won’t be pretty, nor pink, it will be demolition done in crimson red though.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        March 21, 2018 1:51 pm

        Richard Verney is completely wrong regarding Brexit. A hard Brexit will cause massive damage to the UK economy that will take a decade or longer, or if at all, to recover from. If you define hard Brexit as WTO rules alone then the devastation will be like nothing anyone has ever experienced anywhere in the world. May & Co’s version is only going to be slightly better as there will be no ‘deep and special’ trade deal that can compensate for the loss of leaving the Single Market. Many people, as we can see, have fallen for the Remain lie that you have to leave the single Market if you leave the EU. Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland are all in the Single Market but none are members of the EU. Not that the UK should replicate their membership terms but we should take full advantage of the flexibility of the EEA agreement to produce a UK version. But sadly the politicians, lame media and many others still can’t tell the difference between customs controls – not that important – and border controls – which bring trade to a halt in many areas of the economy.

      • mothcatcher permalink
        March 21, 2018 4:44 pm

        The only way to get a soft Brexit is to demand nothing less than a Hard one. To go for a Soft brexit directly will reap the worst of the harvest in both worlds.

        Gerry is a defeatist, for whom his home country is merely an accident of his birth. Whether Brexit is or is not a success economically will depend only upon whether the drive and initiative formerly so much a part of the British character can be rekindled by the new freedoms that will appear. Quite possibly it cannot, especially with the capture of the educational establishment by the ‘blob’ having been so complete, in which case one might as well be a part of the EU as not. But some of us are not giving up yet..

  12. Richard Woollaston permalink
    March 20, 2018 6:37 am


  13. Andrew permalink
    March 20, 2018 8:38 am

    What a fantastic letter. I think it all started with Blair; remember ‘Cool Britannia’ and later on the ‘ethical foreign policy’? I also remember the party atmosphere and dancing in the streets (a few anyway) when he got in first time, but nobody will admit to supporting him now. Yet it was fairly clear what kind of an animal he was from the start. Jump to today and it appears that most modern day politicians model their approach on Blair. In fact, if a young Tony Blair appeared today for the first time would he not still sweep all before him? Does society get the politicians that reflect it and that it deserves (PH and readers of this site excepted)? Are we doomed to get Blair/Cameron clones in power forever with the only alternative being the far left? I hope that we can slowly return to sanity and perhaps we have taken the first steps.

    • Nigel S permalink
      March 20, 2018 12:53 pm

      Tony and Cherie have a great deal to answer for. I hope there is a God for them to answer to. I wore my Countyside Rally badge last Sunday in Hyde Park to commemorate the start of the Blair Terror.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      March 21, 2018 1:53 pm

      Blair and his liar-in-chief Campbell did huge damage by politicising the civil service and driving out competent and experienced people who would not make poltically biased decisions or statements.

    • mothcatcher permalink
      March 21, 2018 4:52 pm

      One might forgive Blair, to some extent, because his deceptions were predicated upon him having deceived himself first. He still believes all that he preached.

      Cameron should not get off so lightly. He followed Blair’s lessons in how to promote a fake idealism, and did so very successfully, but in his case he knew full well what he was doing. Every step was calculated.

      Of plausible demagogues who know how to work the system we have had enough. Men of principle, with a sense of public duty, are no longer visible.

  14. Vernon E permalink
    March 20, 2018 10:18 am

    No, it didn’t start with Blair, it started in the early 1960’s with Shirley Williams’s comprehensivisation of the education system and the start of liberal elitism in our institutions.

    • dave permalink
      March 20, 2018 2:53 pm

      “…it started…”

      Do not forget the charming …”If it’s the last thing I do, I am going to destroy every fucking grammar school in England. And Wales and Northern Ireland.*” … A Crosland, who was the Secretary of State for Education and Science in the Labour government, in 1965.

      *Source for the filthy quote: his wife in 1982.

      • Athelstan permalink
        March 20, 2018 11:43 pm

        Indeed, well said.

  15. March 20, 2018 11:05 am

    An excellent letter stating the problems succinctly, Is it any wonder that President Trump refers to energy independence and steel/aluminum manufacturing as matters of national defense?

  16. Dermot Flaherty permalink
    March 20, 2018 2:07 pm

    If we go back to the original letter, then while I agree with all the points made, I am still not certain how things have got to this state.

    Long ago it seemed to me that Tony Blair was far more about style rather than substance (Iraq, multiculturalism, etc.) and David Cameron simply aped this approach (and added the “green” Tory party stuff) such that the lack of attention to detail continues to this day.

    But where is the scrutiny in Parliament ? Where are the statesmen among the politicians ?
    How did Climate Change acquire the status of a religion such that anyone who questions the science is considered a heretic ? Where did this new puritanism come from ?

    Christopher Booker’s recent paper on Groupthink is well worth the (considerable) read and groupthink works particularly well when we have a “Save the Planet” aim. Who wouldn’t want to save the planet ?

    As for Defence, how many of today’s politicians have any experience of serving with the Armed Forces ? Do they really think that the answer to everything is “It’s the Economy, stupid !”. Fortunately we have Vladimir Putin around to remind us that not everyone thinks this way.

    Finally, I always knew that after the Brexit vote, whichever way it went, we would have the same bunch of MPs to implement the decision, and I am afraid that that also applies to Climate Change. God help us. As H.L. Mencken said “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard”.

  17. Dave Ward permalink
    March 20, 2018 2:08 pm

    @ Mike Jackson – you questioned Richard Verney’s claim that the media are the problem – but he is entirely correct, as THEY dictate what gets printed, or broadcast, and what doesn’t. So when you say “the letters to your local paper and the national press” I am sorry, but you are deluding yourself. I have given up wasting hours of my time carefully composing letters to my local paper, as I am sick of finding they either a) don’t get published, or b) are edited (frequently to completely alter my original meaning). You can’t fail to have observed the numerous complaints to the Beeb by Paul and other commenters on here.

    Surveys repeatedly show the majority of the public only watch the Beeb and Sky, or buy the major newspapers, and those of “us” frequenting blogs are the minority. And from my own experiences of discussing “alternative” news with friends and family, most either don’t want to hear, or maybe do, but would rather put it to the back of their mind. And nothing will change that until the s**t really DOES hit the fan, by which time it will be too late, and they will all bleat “But nobody told us”…

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      March 20, 2018 6:45 pm

      I think we have imposed enough on Paul’s hospitality on this subject so forgive me for not pursung this matter further. There is no meeting of minds nor ever likely to be.

      All I would say, Dave, is that I successfully combined 20 years as a freelance with a fairly active time in local politics. So please at least do me the courtesy of knowing what I am talking about.

      We are discussing a letter with which we all apparently agree which did get published. The media will react to their readership or die. To suggest there is nothing the people can do is simply defeatist but they need to be encouraged. How many of us even try?

      • Athelstan permalink
        March 20, 2018 11:50 pm

        Please don’t give up contributing Mr, Jackson, your views and piquant thoughts are always most rationally provoking, we all need to able to appreciate the other angle, from another perspective, through another’s eyes – even if you don’t agree, debate is the thing and we are all agreed on much if not all.

  18. March 20, 2018 2:26 pm

    Hear Hear!

  19. Philip Walling permalink
    March 20, 2018 4:08 pm

    When the lights go out the sheeple might begin to get it.
    Nothing, and I mean nothing, will work without electricity and we can’t make enough electricity with windmills. Nor can we rely on foreigners to send us gas or oil or God forbid wood pellets.
    We have hundreds of years worth of coal underneath the very power stations the pathetic politicians are closing down and yet we aren’t going to use it because of ‘climate change’. This is madness on stilts and it is destroying us.

    One little example of this utter idiocy is that the water for West Cumberland came from various Cumbrian lakes and travelled entirely by gravity. The Victorian engineers managed it without pumping. As we speak, a vastly expensive new system is being dug into the Cumbrian landscape to replace these old supplies which depends on electricity to work. If the electricity goes off (which it will sooner or later) thousands of house will have no water.
    Who the hell comes up with these schemes? And what’s worse, who approves them?

    When I asked the water company to explain why it was necessary I was told that one reason was to help the freshwater mussel population in the River Ehen that flows out of Ennerdale Water and is apparently suffering because there is less water coming out of the lake in dry times.

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