Archive | Star & Crescent RSS feed for this section

Hurrah for the DUP! An Election Reflection with Sir Eugene Nicks

20 Jun

unnamed

Many Conservatives are concerned about their parliamentary party’s new deal with a hard right-wing, terrorism-linked outfit from Northern Ireland. Not so our regular pundit Sir Eugene Nicks, QC, KBE. 

Good Lord that election was a close shave, wasn’t it? We almost had for PM that buffoon who looks like he’s just staggered out of a folk music festival from 1967. And I know how much Star & Crescent readers hate him and his Monster Raving Stalinoid Labour Camp Party!

Alright, Mrs M’s campaign had about as much style as a solicitor has moral scruples or my old mate Peter Griffiths had cultural awareness, but I for one am very very very optimistic about our new collaboration with those lovely ladies and gentlemen of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). We are, at last, returning to our roots as true reactionaries. If only Mrs T* were still here to giggle about it as much as I am right now.

Read more here.

Advertisements

Election ’17: Evading the Brainwash with Gareth Rees and Tom Sykes

1 Jun

The_fin_de_siècle_newspaper_proprietor_cropped

Gareth Rees has been following politics for fifty years and has written about it for the Guardian, Contemporary Review and S&C. He chats to S&C editor and contributor to New Statesman and Private Eye, Tom Sykes, about how the Labour Party has changed, the ‘infantile’ clicktivists of Facebook and the need for scepticism towards the ‘back to the seventies’ slur and others.

Tom Sykes: What was the first election you were aware of?

Gareth Rees: Harold Wilson’s in 1964. It was exciting. There was a lot of involvement at my school – we had mock elections and it was a big deal. Posters were everywhere and there were vans with loudspeakers going round. I think today the parties know pretty much which constituencies they need to win and they focus on them. I’ve hardly seen a poster here [in Portsmouth South] because it’s not a marginal seat. It’s all decided in the marginals these days.

TS: Did you get a sense that there was a clear choice between Tory and Labour in ’64?

GR: God yeah.

TS: Was there a point in your life when you felt like there stopped being a difference between them?

GR: I suppose the Tony Blair era, wasn’t it? Everybody was aiming for the centre but that seems to have changed with the latest Labour Party manifesto. It’s clearly different this time.

TS: Many are saying that Corbyn isn’t up to the task of being Prime Minister.

GR: That’s media brainwashing. The old guard of the Labour Party have undermined him, betrayed him, so it’s made his position look weak. Having said that, I’m not sure about some of the people on his team. Emily Thornberry seems a bit flaky to me and so does Diane Abbott. They’re not masters of their briefs, which you need to be if you’re going to be in government.

TS: It’s interesting that initially he was trying to reach out to the right wing of the party and appoint them in positions in the shadow cabinet. It seems like he’s the one who’s been conciliatory.

GR: If his opponents in the party had got behind him I think things would be really really different now. What are people like that doing in the Labour Party anyway?

TS: Perhaps people called Tristram shouldn’t be let into the Labour Party in the first place. Do you feel the media coverage of Corbyn has been…

GR: Disgraceful. The tabloids are a disgrace.

Read on here.

War is a Politician’s Vanity Project

23 May

img_2431

Graham Horne of the anti-war campaign group Veterans for Peace (VfP) talks to S&C editor Tom Sykes about what the coming election could mean for Britain’s arms industry, foreign policy and international relations.

Tom Sykes: Will the election have any impact on VfP’s campaign work? Is VfP getting behind any of the candidates?

Graham Horne: As far as I’m concerned, it’s a case of steady as you go and keep taking the tablets. Whatever comes out of the election is unlikely to affect VfP. We are strictly politically neutral. We do not endorse candidates of any description whatsoever. At the same time, we will talk to anybody who wants to make common cause towards peace and against interventionist wars wherever they may be in the world.

TS: In the past you have interacted with a politician that will figure heavily in this election: Jeremy Corbyn.

GH: We have had one or two dealings with Corbyn, that’s true. It appears that he’s been pressured by his party to adopt a multilateralist approach to nuclear disarmament, whereas he personally has always been a unilateralist, as I understand it. Yet again, we’ve got what appears to be a duplicitous and perfidious politician who will go against his heartfelt conscience in order to gain votes. This makes me cynical, I’m afraid. I just don’t trust any of them. We at VfP have known for a long time that lobbying the Labour Party to, say, return to a unilateralist policy is a busted flush. It’s a waste of effort.

TS: If the Tories win the next election, as predicted, will British foreign policy change? What about the prospects of further conflicts abroad?

GH: Theresa May has been talking about raising defence spending. It’s what the militarist establishment and the military-industrial complex like to hear. It wouldn’t surprise me if the politicians were planning for a war in the near future, given their track record in recent years. They may dress it up as they usually do with the doublespeak of ‘humanitarian intervention’. ‘We’re bringing food or liberation to an oppressed part of the world,’ something like that. Remember the same rhetoric about Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan? And look how worse off those countries were after we’d finished with them.

We know May’s going to walk through the door with a thumping majority because of our corrupt first past the post system. She’ll want a war because prime ministers in the past, Labour and Tory, have had one. Attlee had Malaya and the Greek Civil War, Eden had Suez, Heath and Wilson had Northern Ireland, Thatcher had the Falklands, Blair had Iraq and a load of others. War is a vanity project for a politician. May might come to be affected by ‘the Falklands factor.’ Now I don’t know if you remember 1982?

TS: Just about.

GH: In the opinion polls in 1981, Thatcher’s government was looking like it’d get a beating in the 1983 election. She’d come in on an anti-working-class ticket and she’d hit the ground running, attacking everything in sight. It was a bit like what the Tories are doing at the moment. Thatcher was thrown a lifeline in the form of General Galtieri of Argentina, who himself was dealing with a lot of internal political pressures. His invasion of the Falkland Islands was an answer to her prayer because, when you bang the nationalist drum and declare a war for a ‘righteous cause’, next thing you know your party’s in power for the next 15 years.

Read more here.

What Donna Can Learn From Donald

19 Apr

Photo credit; Screenshot from Saint Hoax’s #ElectionsDragYouOut video

In the spirit of boosting the ‘special relationship’, Sir Eugene Nicks KBE of the All-Portsmouth Conservative, Regressive and Imperial Association (established 1799), celebrates the similarities between the leader of Portsmouth City Council and the new leader of the Free World.

Isn’t this a whizzo time to be alive, readers? Me old mucker and business partner Donald Trump’s doing sterling work as the Lord High Maniac-in-Chief of Ol’ Washington Town. How delightful that, right now, his pus-coloured mane is drooping all over the nuclear red button. He’ll probably be dribbling over it too, but that’s one of many problems of his that I vowed to keep confidential.

I may be the only man on Earth – while it’s still here, anyway – who is personal chums with both Donald and Donna, his near-namesake and counterpart over here as leader of Portsmouth City Council. In other words, I’m on excellent terms with the most powerful, egotistical and offensive person in the world… and Donald Trump. And I view this connection as what the Donald might call a ‘golden shower opportunity’ – I think that’s business jargon for something or other – to bring two great minds and two great cultures closer together as we enter an exhilarating new epoch of hope, freedom and tolerance. Or something to that effect.

Read the rest of the article here.

Democracy in Portsmouth? It’d Be a Good Idea

27 Feb

In the wake of recent protests both local and global, I question how representative our elected representatives really are – in Portsmouth and beyond.

Criticisms of democracy have been around since the birth of democracy itself. But new questions are being asked in the West about how fair, efficient and representative our systems are given the allegations of dirty tricks in the run-up to the EU referendum and the election of Donald Trump with almost 3 million fewer votes than his opponent Hillary Clinton. The unprecedented protests against Trump across the United States are, in part, a symptom of public frustration with a perverse procedure that, on four occasions in American history, has handed the presidency to the candidate who won the electoral college but lost the popular vote.

Read the rest of this article here on Star & Crescent.

Brexit Doesn’t Go Far Enough

9 Dec

We present an almost considered opinion about the EU referendum from our columnist Sir Eugene Nicks QC, KBE, Policy Advisor to the All-Portsea Conservative, Regressive and Imperial Association (established 1799).

I trust all Star & Crescent readers are as delighted as I am by the result of the Grand Patriotic Plebiscite. This was a victory for fear over love, belief over thought, orderly queues over anarchic free-for-alls and knee-jerk invective over rational debate. In short, we as a nation – and as a city – succeeded because we played to our strengths. Read more here.

If You Want a Nincompoop For Your Neighbour…

7 Dec

We reluctantly present some words of praise for Portsmouth’s most (in)famous Conservative by Sir Eugene Nicks QC, KBE: soldier, lawyer, lover, brother, mother and Policy Advisor to the All-Portsea Conservative, Regressive and Imperial Association (established 1799). Read them here!

The Siege of Somerstown Part III

5 Dec

The Siege of Somerstown: Being a Portion of the Records of a General of the Fifth Hants Involuntary Air Rifles Concerning an Infantry Sortie on Behalf of the Crown and Portsmouth City Council’s Department of Colonial Warfare

After leading an infantry charge against the recalcitrant subjects of the Empire’s outer reach – or Somerstown to use the native designation – General Sir Eugene Nicks finds himself detained by the infamous headman known only as Kev. To survive he must depend on his wits, his courage and his enormous regulation moustache. Read it here.

The Siege of Somerstown Part II

3 Dec

The Siege of Somerstown: Being a Portion of the Records of a General of the Fifth Hants Involuntary Air Rifles Concerning an Infantry Sortie on Behalf of the Crown and Portsmouth City Council’s Department of Colonial Warfare.

Having lost his master spy to assassination by scratch card, General Sir Eugene Nicks must lead the charge against the uppity indigenes of the savage and mysterious casbah known in the local lingo as Somerstown. Read it here.

The Siege of Somerstown Part I

1 Dec

The Siege of Somerstown: Being a Portion of the Records of a General of the Fifth Hants Involuntary Air Rifles Concerning an Infantry Sortie on Behalf of the Crown and Portsmouth City Council’s Department of Colonial Warfare

Sir Eugene Nicks, QC, KBE is a modest man who doesn’t normally like to discuss his highly distinguished and widely decorated military career. But as a regular columnist for Star & Crescent he is duty-bound to share his recent experiences and one of these was his appointment by the Civic-Colonial Governess to lead a detachment of troops to repress a nationalist uprising in Portsmouth’s own ‘heart of darkness’.

Read it here.