Of Standard Bearers and their Contempt

A disgrace to my country, England’s counterpart to the ghastly Indro Montanelli was Peregrine Worsthorne (1924-2020), adoptive son to the Bank of England Governor Montagu Norman.

Seething with contempt and hatred for Slavs, “inferior races” and generally, People Not like Us, most especially the Enemy within, i.e., the British working class, Peregrine saw himself as standard-bearer for those who have for centuries succeeded in living oh-so-enviably off pirate-wealth and pillaged colonies.

Although “inferiority” has manifestly switched sides, Peregrine’s faction, counting on US armed might and flying in the face of reality, has most certainly not laid down arms as one sees in the ex-Ukraine and the Middle East. Accordingly the article dated 1995 below, A POLICE STATE BEATS A WELFARE STATE, which might have struck one as a mere Blast from the Past, suggests that the British élite did not need the World Economic Forum to shew the way. Here, Peregrine baldly sets out the way forward for the Great and Good, now played out before our eyes as Western Governments take their orders and attempt to crush the rising swell of mass-based dissent on all fronts.

Mendelssohn Moses


By Peregrine Worsthorne

23rd July 1995
Sunday Telegraph

‘The key question facing 20th Century politics is how to provide our people with security during an era of quite revolutionary economic, technological and social change’, declares Tony Blair.

If an unanswerable question can be a key question, then I suppose he may be right. Not being a politician, however, I would myself put the question differently. Since the state will be unable to provide ‘our people’ with security in a revolutionary age, should politicians go round pretending that it can? To my question there most certainly is an answer: a resounding negative. My question and my answer really would be ‘new politics’, – i.e. honest politics.

For there will be no state-guaranteed security for ‘our people’ once China and the rest of Asia get their act fully together, come on stream, or what have you. That era has gone for good. Just possibly it could have continued if the West were still prepared to use force – neo-imperial force – to maintain it, but such has been the sapping of the Western will that nobody thinks the security of ‘our people’ – let alone that of any other people – is worth killing and dying for.

In fact I very much doubt if most people ever make a connection between a willingness to use force and the continued enjoyment of our relatively lavish social services. They assume that the West can get rid of the evils of domination and hang on to all of its agreeable consequences, one of which was enough wealth to provide ‘our people’ with security. For a time, of course, the Cold War provided the West with an excuse to carry on a form of covert imperialism. But with even that motivating force gone, nothing the West is minded to do will stop China and the rest of Asia seizing their place in the sun, regardless of how many shadows this casts over Western horizons.

Welfarism, in short, is an idea whose time has passed. This does not mean that there will be no welfare, simply that such welfare as there is will in general be enjoyed only by those who have the gumption and ruthlessness to forge it for themselves. It will be individual, not collective, welfare. This won’t be a matter of ideology but of necessity. Given that the state won’t be able to afford security for ‘our people’ from the cradle to the grave, all but a small minority of hopeless cases will have no choice but to fend for themselves. This is how it is going to be. Life for many of ‘our people’ in the late 20th and 21st Century is going to be nasty, brutish and even short – judging by last week’s dire predictions about the nation’s poor health.

Against this background one really cannot wonder, still less complain, about the frenzy of so-called greed. In fact I am beginning to understand and even sympathise with the likes of British Gas’s Mr. Cedric Brown. For most than most, these top businessmen know what lies ahead; can read the warning signals.

Their acquisitiveness, in short, is not so much greedy as responsible. Knowing that in the revolutionary times ahead, the State cannot provide security – whatever the politicians may promise – they are doing everything necessary to provide it for themselves: doing what everybody with family responsibilities ought to be doing if they possibly can. So today’s unbridled amassing of wealth does make sense. Instead of deploring it as a decline of morality, we should be welcoming it as an increase in realism.

Nobody accuses the farmer who rushes to garner the harvest before the storm breaks, of being materialistic. Nor should they the businessman who rushes to cash his share options – today’s form of good husbandry.

Once the hard times strike, it will be too late, rather as once the Second World War began it was too late to start hoarding food. But those who had the foresight to start hoarding well before the war were able not only to augment their own rations but also those of their less provident relations and neighbours. Who ere then the greedy materialists? – a question which Mr. Cedric Brown’s relations and neighbours, of which I am one, may soon have reason to ponder.

Newt Gringrich’s approach strikes me as more much honest than Tony Blair’s: brutally honest. No nonsense about how the state can guarantee security in a revolutionary age. He simply takes it for granted that it can do nothing much except one most important negative thing. It can promise not to get in the way of those who have it in mind to fight for their own survival. Because collective security cannot be realistically considered, the only responsible thing the state can do is to remove obstacles to the individual’s own search for security.

Neither of Britain’s two new young hopefuls, Mr. Blair or Mr. Redwood, has this degree of honesty. They talk as if through wise men putting their heads together there will eventually emerge some way in which welfarism can survive the withering of the welfare state.

To this end Mr. Redwood sets up a new think tank, and Mr. Blair confers with Rupert Murdoch – anything rather than admit the ugly truth that the aforementioned revolution is going to do what revolutions always do: release explosive social forces which will have to be contained by force.

No, I am not suggesting that we are going to have to move straight from the welfare state to the police state, but such a suggestions are nearer the mark than all the alternative systems of welfare churned out by such gurus as Frank Field, on the side of New Labour, and David Willetts, on the side of New Civic Conservatism. For, like it or not, public order holds the key to the way Britain weathers this oncoming revolution. Can it be maintained or will it break down?

Even Lady Thatcher is evasive on this score. She still goes on about monetarism and suchlike panaceas, rather than telling the public that the real key to the Thatcherite revolution was her determination, if need be, to use force to push it through. In her memoirs, she likes to cast Keith Joseph as Thatcherism’s most important ally. If fact it was the mounted police, without whose efforts the miners’ strike would never have been broken, and she would have proved as much a broken reed as did Edward Heath.

So far as Britain is concerned, there may be some greater assurance of security for ‘our people’ to be found by sheltering under the great German oak, which is presumably the euro-enthusiasts’ hope. One understands their enthusiasm. Seldom has the British Establishment looked less impressive – one display of indecisiveness after another – even more unlikely to guarantee security for ‘our people’ than Chamberlain’s crowd in the 1930s. But theirs is a pretty desperate hope: less doomed than old-fashioned nationalism but only by a whisker.

So this is the bottom line. In revolutionary times the only form of security for property and the bourgeoisie comes not from think tanks, but from tanks proper. Gingrich, like Richard Nixon, wields a mail fist, much disguised in an ideological glove, but clear enough for any but the blind to see. That is the real strength of new politics in America. No sign yet of anything comparable here, which is both a relief and a worry.