The Pied Piper


H/T Harley for Peter Hitchens’ Revenge of the Fruitcakes in American Spectator. It’s a perceptive article about Nigel Farage and the rise of UKIP. As Hitchens sees it, British conservatives have finally woken up to the fact that David Cameron isn’t really a conservative at all, and that the Conservative party has complete contempt for its conservative voters, who have only kept on voting Conservative out of habitual loyalty, and who are only now beginning to break the habit of a lifetime.

I’m not a conservative, and don’t know what conservatives think, but even I can see that Cameron is no conservative, and it doesn’t surprise me at all that conservatives are beginning to desert the Conservative party for UKIP, which Hitchens sees as the Conservative party in exile. He also finds it ‘interesting’ that some former Labour and Lib-Dem voters (like me) are also turning to UKIP.

So, vaguely beginning to form in the electoral air is a specter of elections yet to come, which must haunt the nightmares of all the existing parties and of the modern liberal establishment. What if all the morally and socially conservative people in Britain were to unite across class barriers and demand an end to the cultural revolution that has transformed their lives for the worse since the 1960s? What if a new electoral force came into being that did not just call itself conservative, but actually was conservative? What if a government came into office that had genuine intellectual and moral objections to the left-wing project of multiculturalism, economic liberalism, sexual revolution, and open borders, which has had the West in its grip for half a century?

This was the point at which I stopped agreeing with Hitchens. Because – and perhaps because I’m not a conservative – I don’t think that everything that happened since the 1960s has been a change ‘for the worse’. I am, after all, a child of the 1960s, and was fairly fully engaged in it. I’m not opposed to multiculturalism, or economic liberalism, or sexual revolution, or maybe even open borders.

I was actually quite content living in Britain until about 10 years ago, when it started to become another country, and an increasingly alien country. And the principal manifestation of this change for the worse was the smoking ban that was introduced on 1 July 2007. In fact, for me, the UK smoking ban is the very embodiment of everything that has gone wrong with Britain (and almost everywhere else as well) in recent years. It’s a piece of authoritarian legislation driven by eugenic pseudoscience. It marks the point when our political representatives metamorphosed into our political masters. And also when millions of ordinary people were made into lepers and outcasts. And when Britain ceased to be a free country.

If I will never vote Labour or Lib-Dem (and most likely Conservative) again in my life, it’s because they either introduced the smoking ban (Labour), or enthusiastically supported it (Lib-Dems), or half-heartedly resisted it (Conservatives). And that’s why Nigel Farage, standing  alone  in the street, determinedly smoking a cigarette, is such a refreshing change for someone like me. He’s one of us, not one of them.

But Hitchens is an antismoker, of course, and he can’t see the powerful symbolism and attraction of this image. In fact he even seems to think that smoking causes testicular cancer (which Farage survived). And in this respect, if in no other respect, Hitchens has drunk as much of the post-1960s kool-aid as anyone else. And if Hitchens doesn’t like cigarettes, he doesn’t seem to like beer either. And he tut-tuts that Farage isn’t a social conservative, because he has entertained the idea of decriminalising drugs, shock horror.

Hitchens is really as authoritarian as the contemporary smoke-banning British political class. But he’s an authoritarian conservative, and he would enforce conservative values just as vigorously as authoritarian ‘progressives’ enforce their idealistic values. What Hitchens wants is to roll everything back to about 1955, except for the smoking ban which he would retain. He wants UKIP to be conservative in that manner.

And I’m just sick of authoritarianism, of the Right or of the Left. The 1960s was, after all, a revolt against a stultifying and largely conservative form of authoritarianism. What we now have is a stultifying and largely left wing ‘progressive’ authoritarianism.

But my guess is that he is a demolition man, not a builder. His task is to destroy. He is a missile directed straight at the heart of David Cameron’s Tory Party. And when he has finished exploding he may, with luck, have cleared a space for the creation of something Britain has never really had but now badly needs: a truly conservative party, dedicated to national independence, the rule of law, liberty of speech and thought, the sanctity of private life, and the married family.

And here Hitchens may prove to be right. Nigel Farage is a kind of Joker or Pied Piper who may well end up destroying the Conservative party, for the reasons Hitchens gives, and in doing so he may well also usher in the sort of conservative party Hitchens wants. But in ‘exploding’ he must also vacate the stage, and be replaced by the authoritarian nonentities standing behind him. None of these will ever be photographed smoking and drinking. They’ll probably be as tyrannical as any ‘progressive’ modern lefty. Farage will lure in the voters with his blokish man-on-the-street image, and then they’ll take over.

And that will be the point when I stop voting UKIP. Because my vote is for the “raffish, irrepressible and troublesome” Farage, not for conservatism.

After I’d read the article, I returned to study the photo of Farage above it. I hazarded a guess that it was taken outside the pub in Stony Stratford where he came to speak against its proposed outdoor smoking ban. And a street view from Google maps proved that indeed it was the Bull Hotel on the High Street in Stony Stratford.


And so I would have very likely been standing only a few feet away from him when that photo was taken, perhaps still holding the handmade placard with which I drove across England to Stony Stratford that day. And I would have been smoking too.

About Frank Davis

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29 Responses to The Pied Piper

  1. Great analysis Frank! And I think we’re in pretty nice agreement on it politically. :) In terms of party politics here in the States, well, several years ago I was sitting one summer evening on a front porch in North Carolina talking to what would sometimes be called “some good ol’ boys.” I was a friend of a friend so they were trying to be nice and tolerant of the hippie, but finally one of them couldn’t take it any more and in a strong Southern drawl demanded to know if I was a Republican or a Democrat.

    I looked him straight in the eye and said, “Neither. I’m a radical.” LOL! They LOVED it! They all cracked up and we spent the next hour or so in a friendly but wild discussion of politics.


  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Yes Frank Id quite agree with you that its ”authoritarianism ” of both sides of the aisle responsible for it all. It is both sides in lock step that keep the aka new world order greased and running. Farage to me isnt just a blip on the radar screen but part of a worldwide change taking place on the political stage as the worlds people rebel from world nannyism! Iceland just got a completely new government of this new political class.

    Updated April 28, 2013, 9:10 p.m. ET

    Iceland Voters Oust Pro-European Leadership

    Independence Party members await results in Reykjavik on Sunday.

    Icelanders voted to bring back leaders who had ruled the remote island nation as it sank into economic collapse, signaling a more isolated future for a country that in recent years had appeared set to solidify ties with Europe.

    The Independence and Progressive parties—which had governed the small Nordic state in 2008 as a thinly regulated banking sector accumulated assets that dwarfed the country’s economic output—snagged more than half the votes in Saturday’s elections, according to final results published by national broadcaster RUV on Sunday.

    In Saturday’s election, the two parties were bolstered by promises of tax cuts and a swell of nationalistic sentiment. They have taken a hard line against European countries that sought compensation from Iceland after investors incurred billions of dollars in losses in the collapse of the three biggest banks in 2008.

    The Social Democratic Alliance, which had overseen economic recovery and pushed for European Union membership, saw support tumble as the electorate’s concern about personal finances overshadowed the ruling coalition’s ability to stabilize the economy.

    These Independent parties have taken large chunks of the votes across Europe!
    UKIP isnt a a product of just pissed off voters,its a product of over bearing regulation worldwide by old parties that have become the same in all ways!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      100K protesters flood Brazilian streets in protest
      SAO PAULO (AP) — In some of the biggest protests since the end of Brazil’s 1964-85 dictatorship, demonstrations have spread across this continent-sized country and united people from all walks of life behind frustrations over poor transportation, health services, education and security despite a heavy tax burden.

      More than 100,000 people were in the streets Monday for largely peaceful protests in at least eight big cities. They were in large part motivated by widespread images of Sao Paulo police last week beating demonstrators and firing rubber bullets into groups during a march that drew 5,000.

      We’re massacred by the government’s taxes — yet when we leave home in the morning to go to work, we don’t know if we’ll make it home alive because of the violence,” she added. “We don’t have good schools for our kids. Our hospitals are in awful shape. Corruption is rife. These protests will make history and wake our politicians up to the fact that we’re not taking it anymore!”

  3. Marie says:

    “And I’m just sick of authoritarianism, of the Right or of the Left. The 1960s was, after all, a revolt against a stultifying and largely conservative form of authoritarianism. What we now have is a stultifying and largely left wing ‘progressive’ authoritarianism.”
    Thats exactly what we have in Denmark too, and in all Europe. This change.
    And people are aware of it, only the politicians are blind and deaf, focusing upon their own power.

  4. I would disagree with one thing. The rot has been setting in since the 60s (and before). The “sexual revolution” and hippie subculture were no grassroots movements, but carefully crafted social engineering. The eugenics that led to abortion on demand, the LCP, “family planning” for depopulation purposes started in the 30s with Marie Stopes and Margaret Sanger, the former craving the creation of a master race through selective breeding and the latter wanting to eradicate the blacks. Our society is now founded on the “principles” of these individuals and many like them.

    Now, the Gates Foundation, with UK taxpayers’ money (I thought the Gates’s were billionaires dozens of times over and we were skint?), are using the same techniques in Africa.

    The Fabian Society knew in the 19th century that the only way to a fully socialist society was by destroying the family and have been setting about to ensure it becomes a reality slowly-but-surely, hence their tortoise as a symbol. Almost every Western government is guided by Fabian skulduggery.

    The global authoritarian movement (One Word Government/Global Governance/NWO: call it what you will) has been brewing for many decades and I see many bloggers, awake to most of it, but still don’t see the whole picture.

    For example, “equality” for same-sex relationships is supported by many libertarians, but it is simply another way of destroying the family and our culture. “Population Matters” even supports same-sex relationships as an additional way of reducing the population.

    There is rarely, if ever, a genuine grassroots movement. That’s why there are 27,000 fake (i.e. mainly taxpayer-funded) “charities” in the UK. The Government (EU/UN) wants to enact changes as part of the agenda and their “charities” cajole them with “statistics” and weighted opinion polls so that there is an impression that the desire for change is widespread. All done under the guise of “health”, “equality” or “saving the planet/environment”.

    So, people who disagree can be discredited with the usual names of “bigot” or “climate change denier” and easily dismissed and the agenda steamrolls ahead.

    All with the help of the mass media, which they also control, and why the internet is coming under attack, as the last bastion of free speech, now that soap-box speakers can be arrested if someone who overhears is offended, or a PCSO, fresh from his diversity training, believes that certain opinions (and taking photographs in the High Street) are illegal and the thought criminals must be punished.

    No, this all kicked off before anyone who is alive today was even born.

    It had to be done dead slowly. Imagine the armed forces coming home after the War (like a man I know who was shot down over France and held as a POW in Germany for two years – still buys flags from me) and everyone celebrating and going off down the pub, ordering a pint and lighting up – then shouted at to stand outside, while the cans of Glade are sprayed around in case the police come in and have them done. The locals wouldn’t have comprehended why they had sacrificed so much for the past six years. And then discovering that while they were distracted with the War that their sixteen year old lad can now legally be buggered by a fifty year old man and their children at primary school are encouraged to wear women’s clothes so they can “express their feminine side” (thanks again, Stonewall) and their own culture and flag, even, is considered racist and criminals have better “human rights” than their victims.

    Softly, softly, catchee monkey. And I know I spent far too long allowing myself to be treated like a monkey by going along with most of it. I used to vote Labour until about a decade ago, so I have lived the majority of my adult years as a thicko.

    • Frank Davis says:

      The “sexual revolution” and hippie subculture were no grassroots movements, but carefully crafted social engineering.

      There is rarely, if ever, a genuine grassroots movement

      Do you think that there is anything that ‘just happens‘ without somebody having planned it?

      Because I do.

      In fact, I think more or less everything just happens without anyone planning any of it. For instance, the weather.

      • Zaphod says:

        I think Stewart would like to replace secular authoritarianism with religious authoritarianism. That would be a real leap backwards. No thanks.

        Stewart, a lot of us do not believe in your god. His followers have a bad historical track record for violent repression and intolerance.
        Live your own life by your values, and let me live by mine, please.

        Frank, excellent post, as always.

  5. waltc says:

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Rand Paul over here. He’s a Libertarian who’s nominally a Republican but neither party likes him which is itself a recommendation. He staged a neat “Mr Smith Goes to Washington” filibuster and seems almost old-timey in a good way, in a way we used to think of America as being. I won’t agree with him on everything but if he sticks to some basic Libertarian guns, I’m all in for him.

    I have to respond to jax from yesterday on this riff: “Somebody once mentioned to me, not so long ago, that since WWII there hadn’t been a single period of more than (I think) about six months when the US had not been involved in some major conflict somewhere in the world. The theory was that the US’s involvement in any dispute they could inveigle their way into was down to the machinations of the very, very powerful US arms industry

    Not in any way to defend all of America’s “adventures,” but the old (WW1) Merchants of Death argument is both a little silly and simplistic and well as wrong, at least as seen by this Yank. While Ike warned to beware the military-industrial complex, our interventions– some good, some misguided but well-intentioned, some downright bad– have had different reasons as conjured up by different administrations (politics, world views) and different interests.

    It was 5 years (not 6 months) between the end of WW2 and Korea (1950) and the Korean (undeclared) War was presumably to prevent the takeover of SE Asia by the communists who were proving themselves again and again to be bad masters. It was an unwinable war to begin with because the Chinese were flooding the battlefield with endless waves of troops and cutting supply lines and the only way to stop that was to nuke them which was not an option. So it ended, territorially, where it began: the 38th parallel.

    However, I suppose without our intervention, all of Korea would be under one crazy Kim-something or another, repressing and starving the entire population and having nuclear weapons. to boot. I doubt that would have been better. SE Asia as a whole has not fared well since WW2. Laos, Cambodia, Burma aka Myanmar, North Vietnam etc. They got rid of their European colonial rulers and traded them for much worse. Yeah, we were not exactly saviors over there, but the repressive murderous governments they created all by themselves were indefinably worse and the damage they did was not “collateral” but quite purposeful. So while, Yes, we felt there were wider trade issues involved, and wider political map-games involved, there was also something humanitarian going on.

    Our involvement in the mid-50s in Latin America was not so benign, was occasionally shocking, and was equally motivated by corporate interests (bananas and pineapple but not artillery) as well as that political board game.

    I also briefly cite conundrums like Iran which is a model, in a way, for a lot of our interventions. Yes, the Shah had Savak and repressed opposition but the country, in terms of individual lives, was relatively free and thriving and the opposition he brutally repressed was the one that’s been in power since the Iranian revolution. More repressive to more people and more a threat to the Rest of The World. A lot of our choices, then, were between evils and lesser-evils and mostly the lesser-evils were better for the interests of, not just America, but the “free world.”. As (who was it? Truman? once said of Duvalier, “yes he’s a sonofabitch but he’s our sonofabitch.”I quit here because otherwise this will wind up as a small book.

    • nisakiman says:

      I have to agree with you about Iran – although there were problems with the Pahlavi dynasty, Iran in those days was a free and liberal country, Islam notwithstanding. I was there several times in the late 60s – early 70s, and Tehran was a jumping, cosmopolitan city. Women wore the latest fashions and were in positions of responsibility. Downtown Tehran was full of bars and clubs and the nightlife was great. Since the ‘Revolution’, the country has regressed a thousand years.

      • cherie79 says:

        Must agree about Iran, My late husband and I lived there until we had to be evacuated by the US military in Feb. 1979. wonderful they were too. I couldn’t believe that such a relatively educated and free society could ever become what it has. They were some of the nicest people I ever met, great wine products and their vodka was good too. I never felt remotely threatened while I was there. I admit we knew mostly the middle classes and ex pat Americans best but I think most expected Khomeni to be a benign father figure who would preside over a more democratic and decent society.From what I remember of my German History studies the establishment thought the same about Hitler, they could use his populist appeal and control him and we all know how that ended. From the exiles I have met since coming home resistence was riuhlessly supressed before anyone realised what was happening and by then it was too late. One driver I met said they would have an Islamic republic, I didn’t believe him at the time, but he was right. If Carter had stood by the Shah it would have been over quickly and with no Iranian revolution it is unlikely that the toxiic brand of Islam would have spread round the world. I loved Iran and it was always our wish to go back/

        • nisakiman says:

          Really long shot here cherie, (“Oh, you come from London? You must know my cousin Ravi; he lives in London…”) but you didn’t by any chance know a guy called Ali Jahan Shahi did you? He was deputy editor of one of the big English Language papers there (I think there were a couple) when I knew him in ’71, but I lost (occasional) touch after the revolution. Reason I ask is that he would probably have moved in your circles a fair bit, and it worries me how he may have fared in the post-revolutionary pogrom. He was a real freedom loving liberal and loved a good time, so he and the mullahs would not have seen eye-to-eye…

        • cherie79 says:

          I can’t remember the name now but one of the editors of the Kayan I think it was called, long time ago now, was quite a regular at various get togethers, nice guy with great enthusiasm for what Iran could be. No fan of the Shah, we used to call him (The Shah) ‘Fred’ if on the phone on the assumption Savak was listening! However he hated the Mullahs even more, said they were all corrupt and one good thing the Shah did was keep them out of power. I too wonder about Iranian friends and have tried to find out what happened to my Iranian/Armenian friend who was a nurse in the Teheran Clinic. I don’t know if she and her family got out. I would imagine that your friend would have contacted you but if it is the same guy I hope he got out quickly as he wasn’t the type to keep quiet and Khomeni crushed all dissent. I was there the day he came back and often thought of all those cheering young students, some of whom paid with their lives and some I met here in later years bitterly disillusioned. I would still love to go back as it always felt like unfinished business.

        • Reinhold says:

          And the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen in this entire world lived in Iran, too.
          She was a sister of a guy I became acquainted with, and they had wealthy parents in whose Mercedes Benz we drove around the city of Tehran by night, having a smoke.

        • cherie79 says:

          Must agree, some of the women were gorgeous, made me quite envious! beautifully dressed as well. Do you remember how cheap the cigarettes were, I think it worked out about £2 for 200 Rothman’s International – happy days.

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  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Juneau smokers fight back on senior housing smoking ban

    Killing away the seniors years before their time via forced eugenics policies set out from Obama and his ilk in Washington to its HUD administrator.

    The Smokers’ Graveyard.

    In Memory of all the smokers driven to their deaths by smoking bans.

    The family of an 85-year old Scotsman blames his death on Scotland’s smoking ban.

    According to the U.K.’s Daily Record, Jim Donachie, a former bus conductor, was at a pub on Tuesday night and wished to smoke a cigar. With smoking prohibited inside, he walked outside to light it, slipped, hit his head, and died.

    Donachie’s son, Stewart, denounced the ban in the Daily Record. “I believe that if the ban had not come in, my dad would have been sitting at the table and he would still have been here today,” he said. “I think there should be leeway for older and disabled people not to have to go out in the rain for a cigar or a cigarette.”.

    Scotland’s smoking ban has been in effect for less than a week………………..

    The Star

    A worker at a Manitoulin Island long-term care home has been charged with criminal negligence causing death in the case of a resident who died after he went out into the cold to smoke.

    Yes indeed Frank the graveyard is yet again an excellnt source.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Juneau smokers fight back on senior housing smoking ban

      Stone says one reason is the high cost of smoking, from a health and safety standpoint.

      “We put in smoke eaters, we put in all kinds of fans and we’ve double-insulated some of our elderly units where people have respiratory issues, but they’re still exposed,” she says.

      According to Stone, second hand smoke is virtually impossible to stop. Indeed, the lobby at Mountain View smells of stale cigarette smoke.

      It costs the agency an average of $500 to renovate an apartment between renters, Stone says, unless a smoker has lived in it. Then it’s nearly five time that.

      “Where there’s been a smoker we have to sometimes change the carpet. We have to paint the walls multiple times. Appliances can get damaged from cigarette smoke as well, the insulation around refrigerators and other appliances so we have to replace the appliances some times. Flooring in the kitchen, things like that,” she says.

      is just plain idiotic anti-smoker propaganda.

      My first reaction was to say: “Y’know what? Take your $#%&*-ing apartments and rent them out to the hordes of anti-smokers then”!

      Perhaps they’ll discover that the carpets will need replacing, appliances break down, the insulation around fridges get damaged as well as kitchen flooring being in need of replacement. Spillages/dampness and cooking fumes do their best to ruin many kitchens!!!

      Perhaps there is an opening for a new market there; SMOKER-FRIENDLY homes.

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  11. Radical Rodent says:

    Please do not feed the myth that UKIP is merely for disaffected Conservatives (whether real or surrogate) – it is for ALL the disaffected voters of this country. It is a movement for all those weary of the lies and deceit that is now (or, perhaps, has always been) endemic on politics; get rid of the career politicians (Cam-moron, Millipede, Cloggie, Dazy Davey, et al), and vote for people who have actually had SOME connection with real life.

  12. beobrigitte says:

    If I will never vote Labour or Lib-Dem (and most likely Conservative) again in my life, it’s because they either introduced the smoking ban (Labour), or enthusiastically supported it (Lib-Dems), or half-heartedly resisted it (Conservatives).

    This sums it up just nicely! Thanks, Frank!

    It would seem ludicrous to base a vote on one thing; in my case it has come this far.
    I vote for the party which treats me with the respect I deserve as a tax payer and does NOT kick me out the door when I wish to smoke a cigarette with having a drink INSIDE a pub.

  13. cherie79 says:

    I would have thought that UKIP was at least as attractive to most Labour voters as Conservatives since they are more affected by mass immigration and pressure on public services. Not the Champagne Socialists of course, they wouldn’t know a working man if they fell over one in the street and don’t have to live with the consequences of their actions. A long time ‘political junkie’ for university days, I can hardly bring myself to vote, not sure if I ever will again.

  14. Pingback: Hitchens on UKIP and Farage – Peter L. |

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