Anthony Hancock (1947-2012)

by Alexander Baron

Anthony Hancock was no saint, let’s be clear about that, but by the same token he is a man to whom all true lovers of freedom owe a considerable debt. What follows is a warts and all portrait from a purely personal perspective.

His friends called him Tony, which as most of you will know was also the name of a famous though in my humble opinion not particularly funny comedian. I always called him AH, another and far more appropriate double entendre.

I began reading Revisionist and related literature in 1980; one of the first such publications I read was The Hoax Of The Twentieth Century, which was published by Historical Review Press, the company started by the father and son team of Alan and Anthony Hancock. I didn’t meet the man though for another ten years, by which time I had moved back to London. Our first meeting was reasonably affable, especially as I had been given an introduction to him by a trusted third party, after that though, things were not so cordial, the reasons for which were due to not so much a misunderstanding as mischievousness by another third party.

This is where it gets rather complicated but I’ll keep it simple. At his Uckfield print works he employed on occasion someone I will call The Cameraman. Shortly before the London meeting organised by David Irving at which Fred Leuchter spoke, I did something totally innocuous which sent him into hysterics. I’ve related this in my book The Churchill Papers, but basically he decided to make me persona non grata with everyone on the so-called far right from then on. Among other things he conspired with Irving to send me a fake ticket for this meeting. This ticket was printed at Uckfield with the connivance of AH’s right hand man, Tom Acton. I know this because when I inquired about it prior to the hoax revealing itself, Acton sniggered. I thought AH was in on the joke, but as things turned out, he wasn’t.

This affair led to my exposing Irving, but it also led to bad blood between AH and myself. At one point I received an angry phone call from his other half lambasting me for phoning her at 3am. AH himself alluded to me as a neurotic little Jew with identity issues - I won’t say anything here about the photograph of my leaving a synagogue wearing a skullcap (my joke), nor about the fake document that was circulated by The Cameraman which purported to show that my birth name was Aaron Silvers!

It was obvious to me who had phoned the Hancock household at that unearthly hour, and later it clicked with AH too. Shortly after, he gave The Cameraman his marching orders; among other things, AH claimed he had passed information to Searchlight, not for any ideological reason, nor even for money, but because he was one of those people far right movements attract who like to play silly and at times dangerous games.

After I was attacked on my doorstep, sued Gerry Gable and then published Liars Ought To Have Good Memories, the ice between us thawed considerably. In his Searchlight blog obituary, after gloating over AH’s death, Gable makes a number of claims/allegations that have no basis in fact. A screengrab of the original can be found below, just in case he attempts to disown it at any time in the future.

According to Gable’s sick Jewish mind AH was a “safe-houser of international Nazis with links to terrorism”. Links is Gable’s favourite word, so many years ago I advertised his magazine on my links page so that I can claim he has links to me. The truth about this safe housing nonsense can be found in Liars Ought…above, suffice it to say that it was nowhere near as sinister as it sounds, nor is Roberto Fiore either a murderer or a terrorist as Gable has claimed more than once in print.

But back to AH: “long-time police asset in the non-political criminal underworld” - he did, it is true, testify as a key prosecution witness in a criminal trial, but that hardly made him any sort of asset.  “A convicted fraudster himself who, despite overcharging many far-right groups, who felt it too risky to go elsewhere for printing and publishing services, retained wide respect among fascists worldwide” - AH did indeed have a conviction for fraud, but he paid his debt to society, and that should have been the end of it. As to overcharging, I doubt that very much. He printed my second book on the Holocaust - Holocaust Affirmers - at a reasonable rate, though it was Gable and his libel co-defendants who paid the bill! He printed and published a non-political book I co-wrote, which lost him money, and he printed two of my pamphlets: The Man Who Invented “Racism” and Holocaust Revisionism After Irving v Lipstadt, one of them for free.

“Historically he was linked to violence and apartheid era intelligence sources in former South Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa.” This is meaningless drivel, one might far more accurately claim that Gable is himself linked to Zionist atrocities via one of his sons who served with that bunch of thugs and murderers known as the IDF.

Financially, AH was a bit of a flake, and it was this as well as an act of gross betrayal by a man he had known and worked with for thirty years that along with a deranged lawyer from Brighton was his undoing. The Great Tosspot Trial was a total farce. He phoned me one day out of the blue and asked if I would act as his McKenzie Friend in a legal dispute, presumably on account of my success against Searchlight. When is this, I asked? Right now, like the trial had already started. Again, this is a long story but the bottom line was that he had hired a builder to do some home improvements, who had ripped him off, and had then hired a lawyer, Martin Cray of Brighton, to sue the builder, which Cray did, then sent him an enormous bill.

I have no idea whether or not this bill was fair, though knowing what I do about litigation I know also that what lawyers and their regulating body call fair and what the man on the Clapham omnibus thinks is fair are two entirely different things. AH appears to have been really stung by this, and fired off a series of communications, one of which branded the lawyer a greedy and incompetent tosspot. And would you believe he sued for libel?

He had actually shown me some of the papers prior to the court case, and I had suggested that he make a payment into court to cover his back, which he did, but there was some technical issue with it which typically he failed to sort out, although Cray did drop the case against his other half, having sued them both, and the two of them counter-claiming. It was all both very complex and extremely messy.

If this case had been heard by a jury, they would have laughed it out of court, or at the very worst awarded Cray nominal damages, perhaps the cost of a sheet of fax paper or something, but by the time I turned up at the High Court it was being heard by a judge sitting alone, a recipe for disaster. The opposing counsel was a horrible little man, Matthew Nicklin; the guy was so arrogant in court that you’d have thought he was actually the judge.

The judge was even worse, although he wasn’t bent, Mr Justice Previté looked like something out of the Ark; I found out later that he was, or as good as, because he had worked on the Brabin Inquiry as Counsel way back in the 1960s.

Libel cases are among the few civil actions in which a plaintiff is entitled to a jury trial. The rule is that if either party wants one, then that is what it will be. Nicklin had though pulled the blinkers over the judge’s eyes by suggesting there were complex areas of law involved in the case which a jury would be too dumb to consider. The reality was, as the little shit well knew, that ordinary members of the public such as who sit on juries are not well disposed towards the legal profession, and a jury would have given Martin Winston Cray short shrift. As I said, by the time I came into the picture, it was too late to do anything but pray, and the judge delivered both an outrageous verdict and an even more outrageous judgment and cost order which no doubt he thought was both correct and fair.

One of the things AH had been accused of was commissioning a cartoon from Robert Edwards that was considered harassment. This is a very slippery slope indeed, but as it happens, Edwards appears to have produced the cartoon off his own back, although after the trial, AH commissioned another one which depicted the judge as Judge Perverty and Nicklin as Piglin, very apt that last one.

This was not the first time time AH found himself in a courtroom since I had made his acquaintance; there was to follow another civil case, but before that there was a criminal one that can only be described as ludicrous. The late Colin Jordan had suffered a constant stream of harassment from West Yorkshire Police in the 1990s after Gerald Kaufman MP had objected to a cartoon he had published, claiming it was anti-Semitic. Perish the thought. After Jordan had beaten the rap, the Filth dragged him into court over a short story called Merrie England 2000. At the time, Jordan was very ill; he died in April 2009, but the lowlife who control our criminal justice system wanted blood, so while Jordan had the proceedings against him stayed on health grounds, they proceeded with the non-case against AH as the printer. He was defended by that fearless champion of unpopular causes Adrian Davies, and was acquitted in September 2002, although he had to go all the way up to Leeds for the trial.

Like the pondscum and lowlife he is, Gerry Gable applauded all these proceedings, anti-fascist indeed, but the punchline is that Kaufman, who started the ball rolling, is now persona non grata with Organised Jewry because he has committed the cardinal sin of standing up for Palestinian rights. Some have even accused him of promoting an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory over the Middle East. Perish the thought.

The biggest problem AH faced though resulted again from his flake-like behaviour over financial issues. It started when Tom Acton, his long time friend and fellow print worker, ripped him off, and on top of that left him with a massive legal bill. Because AH didn’t address this, it got out of hand, way out, and coupled with the awful business of Cray v Hancock and a bent firm of auditors, it grew exponentially until he was in danger of losing everything. Again, I didn’t find out about this until it was too late to do anything but limit the damage very marginally, but I did point out to him that if he had been the Nazi Godfather a certain little shit claimed he was, the likes of Cray and Price Waterscum wouldn’t have messed with him. He took the point.

The terms Nazi and fascist are thrown around like confetti, but one thing Anthony Hancock most certainly was not was any kind of fascist; he was certainly both race conscious and Jew-wise, but like a lot of people who are smeared as such, he had definite Libertarian tendencies. It is of course our enemies who are the real fascists. His print works was torched twice; the first time by Searchlight scumbag Manny Carpel in 1980. The second time it happened he phoned me on the morning, and was close to tears. The obvious suspect was Carpel, but he had the perfect alibi; he was on remand in Lewes Prison facing some sort of antiques fraud rap. No one appears ever to have been brought to book for the second arson.

In addition to the Nazi-oriented stuff AH both published and distributed - books, magazines, audio and video - he stocked a fair amount of material that was in no way Nazi or even anti-Nazi. He was wise enough to realise that not only can’t you believe everything your own side puts out but you have to read widely to see all points of view because even the reds aren’t wrong all the time and about everything.

The Hoax Of The Twentieth Century is neither pro-Nazi nor anti-Semitic, in spite of the mindless ad hominem parroted incessantly on both sides of the Atlantic to this day. AH told me too that he sold quite a lot of conspiracy-oriented literature to Moslems, who are of course well aware of both the true nature and the power of International Zionism.

If there is one thing AH should be remembered for, it is helping to avert World War III. I realise what I am about to say now will cause some people to question my sanity, but they’ve been doing that for the last five decades anyway, so I really don’t care. I must though make this absolutely clear, when I say he helped stop World War III, I mean exactly that, furthermore I believe this was somehow divinely inspired. Not by a cosmic consciousness, because I don’t believe there is any such thing controlling the Universe; it is clear though that the Universe is intelligent, or can be construed as such, and that some of us - insignificant entities that we are on some minuscule world of one of countless trillion of stars - were put on this Earth for a purpose.

It was AH who suggested I submit a paper to the Global Vision Conference of December 2006. I had heard of it, of course, but it hadn’t crossed my mind to do so. So I sat down, wrote a paper based on my view of the Holocaust as it was then and had been since about 2000, ie that there were indeed some limited gassings in one and quite likely one or two other camps. I submitted this, and was chosen to go to Tehran.

While there, at the hotel, in the small hours, I experienced a revealed truth, and when I returned to London I wrote an article called The Truth About The Tehran Holocaust Conference - By One Who Was There.

I sent this article to Sahib Mustaqim Bleher who published it on the Mathaba website, and soon it was republished on or linked from hundreds and now thousands of websites: right wing, Islamic, anti-war, general news, and even left wing. I am convinced that along with the speech made by David Duke at the Conference, the publication of this article averted World War III by contributing to the butterfly effect that elected Obama over McCain, because if McCain had walked into the White House instead, I have no doubt whatsoever that the mad Jews of AIPAC and the ADL would have pushed his administration into attacking Iran, and that would have had enormous repercussions for the entire world, perhaps even a global conflict.

I don’t care what anyone says or thinks of this claim, I really believe this to have been the case. By the same token, I thought my life was over in November 2008; I was wrong, but only because someone or something up there still had and maybe still has plans for me.

A lot has happened since, we have seen both Operation Cast Lead and the Flotilla Massacre, and now it is not only wicked anti-Semites who are talking openly about how America dances to Zion’s fiddle but many mainstream politicians in comparison with a handful before, and Jews on both sides of the Atlantic. Indeed, there is now a mainstream Jewish movement against AIPAC, and we are seeing what Norman Finkelstein has called a break up in American Zionism.

In addition to this, the New World Order is being scrutinised by the alternative media including many people who are anything but right wing, so although we are not yet out of the woods, it is looking less and less like these mad Jews and their neo-con allies will be able to precipitate World War III. And again, I am convinced that if I hadn’t gone to Tehran and then written that article, the world would have been a very different place. And it was AH who was responsible.

Like me, Tony Hancock was an atheist, but guess what, God doesn’t like yes men, so he only admits unbelievers to Heaven. And when my work here is finished and I do make it through the pearly gates, AH will be on the other side to greet me, unlike Gerry Gable, who by that time will be in that other place along with his Kosher buddies Maurice Ludmer, Manny Carpel, and let’s not forget Harry Bidney.

Anthony Sandford Hancock born May 5, 1947, died June 11, 2012 - Rest In Peace.

Searchlight screengrab

Posted by Guest Blogger on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 05:44 PM in Obituaries
Comments (25) | Tell a friend

Comments:

1

Posted by daniel on June 15, 2012, 07:37 AM | #

I am convinced that ....the publication of this article averted World War III by contributing to the butterfly effect that elected Obama over McCain, because if McCain had walked into the White House instead, I have no doubt whatsoever that the mad Jews of AIPAC and the ADL would have pushed his administration into attacking Iran, and that would have had enormous repercussions for the entire world, perhaps even a global conflict.

This would indeed, be an important achievement. Speaking for myself, as one who is so averse to Blacks as to have held a modicum of empathy for the Republicans (as opposed to the Democrats, effectively a minority interest party, even before culminating in Obama), that I would have been wrong. It was Metzger who first belled the cat on the Republicans and right-wingers for me, but I must give credit to White Nationalists on the whole for being wise, as a culture, to the Republicans. Inasmuch as Anthony Hancock is responsible for steering WN’s away from Republicans and McCain, he has indeed, performed a life-fulfilling task. It was hard to turn away from someone even nominally White as opposed to a Black, given the all of nothing we’ve had to rally around. Its challenge gauges the difficulty of a next step, which is to overcome aversions to adopting some helpful perspectives and conceptual tools that our enemies have used against us.

Though I probably would not appreciate all the angles he took, he deserves a lot of credit for advocating our people and functioning in those horrible times when P.C. had taken full effect and before the Internet gave us an alternative meeting place, a place for Whites to be broadly confirmed in their essential views.

2

Posted by uh on June 15, 2012, 03:38 PM | #

The all-vetting daniel bot churns on, oblivious of its irrelevance ...

3

Posted by daniel on June 15, 2012, 04:00 PM | #

Posted by uh on June 15, 2012, 03:38 PM | #

The all-vetting daniel bot churns on, oblivious of its irrelevance ...


The all obstructing Ugh, oblivious to relevance.

There are reasons why Ugh wants to distract attention to what I say - and the reasons aren’t good for Whites.

4

Posted by daniel on June 15, 2012, 04:01 PM | #

...time for your medications, Ugh.

5

Posted by Classic Sparkle on June 15, 2012, 04:18 PM | #

Iran will get it soon enough.

6

Posted by daniel on June 15, 2012, 10:00 PM | #

Posted by daniel on June 15, 2012, 04:00 PM | #

Posted by uh on June 15, 2012, 03:38 PM | #

The all-vetting daniel bot churns on, oblivious of its irrelevance ...


The all obstructing Ugh, oblivious to relevance.

There are reasons why Ugh wants to distract attention from what I say - and the reasons aren’t good for Whites.

While Ugh revels in the errant preposition…

Iran will get it soon enough…


But not before a good number of people have been given the heads up, people whom Ugh deems unworthy because he such a fucking snob.

 

7

Posted by daniel on June 15, 2012, 10:01 PM | #

he’s such a fucking snob…

8

Posted by acrackedmoon on June 16, 2012, 03:46 AM | #

Right here is your problem, this is why WN will never capture more than a tiny fraction of the population. This is thoroughly crazy.

The pettiest politics imaginable: grown men prank calling each other early in the morning. And worse, talking about it years later.

Delusions of grandeur: Contributing to the butterfly effect that elected Obama? Good grief.

Holocaust denial: The craziest thing here is that holocaust deniers are people who would like there to be a holocaust.

Sheer incoherence: An atheist continually referring to fate, destiny, etc.

9

Posted by daniel on June 16, 2012, 04:53 AM | #

Sheer incoherence: An atheist continually referring to fate, destiny, etc.

Fate and destiny can be genetically directed, following historical logic and more. Children can be looked upon as a form of reincarnation, the hereafter, etc.

Delusions of grandeur: Contributing to the butterfly effect that elected Obama? Good grief.

Many of us have for decades seen the Republicans as nothing more than the flip side of the same coin as the Democrats. Nevertheless, you have a point there; even so, I have never heard any White Nationalist go into great lamentations that McCain did not win. This meeting in Tehran probably did not swing the White vote, but there has been consciousness among WN’s that McCain was not even worthwhile as the lesser of the evils.

The pettiest politics imaginable:

We’re trying not to be petty. That is why we’re not maligning the dead and are trying to give a fallen comrade his due.

10

Posted by Guessedworker on June 16, 2012, 06:11 AM | #

The Daniel who is a cracked moon,

I specialise somewhat in “demonstrating” anti-racism psychologically for the benefit of race-loyal white men and women.  By engaging with you I allow you to speak from your self - if you are able.  Sadly, most anti-racists are not.  But that’s because by “speak” I don’t just mean to voice your arguments, or even to explain your avowed motives and ideals as an anti-racist.  These hold little interest for a thoughtful “racist” since they are so easy for even the unthoughtful to dismantle.  No, my interest is your psychology and its relation to the condition of white ethnic identity, ethnocentrism, and survival in the age of advanced liberalism.  That’s what I aim to disclose.

Always assuming you are white, and not Jewish or of African or Asian or mixed descent, you appear to be a suitable case for treatment.  You are very angry.  You don’t actually know much about race and ethnicity, or the particular ethnocentrism you hold in such contempt.  You know next to nothing about Nature and man in Nature, his gene interests, morality, or, crucially, Mind.  You have an intelligence around the average for college boys (it is not adequate to help you here).  You are quite estranged from your self.  You are about to suffer an unpleasant awakening.

So ... judging from your blog you appear to hate white people very much.  Let’s begin by getting you to attempt, at least, to rationalise that hatred for us.  When did you develop anti-white opinions?

11

Posted by daniel on June 16, 2012, 08:15 AM | #

I trust that I am not “the Daniel who is a cracked moon”, since I have never said anything anti-racist nor done anything anti-White…just wanting to clear “my name” for the casual observer.

12

Posted by Leon Haller on June 16, 2012, 08:50 AM | #

acrackedmoon@8

I agree with some of this guy’s criticisms, though I’m on the opposite ideological side (and I visited his site, and he is a sick, unintelligible freak! I mean, PC to the max).

There is far too much pettiness in WN, as well as ideological sectarianism (though that was certainly true for the Communist Left as well; it may, indeed, even be a sign of a nascent, vibrant movement). Look at JRichards. He viciously slanders anyone who disagrees with his outlandish and mostly unsupported nonsense, even if the target is more or less on Richards’s professed side (I’m not completely sure that Richards is genuine, or, if so, sane, however). My experience with WN is that, at the individual level, the morality of the people associated with it is lower than what would be found in a typical collection of American mainstream conservatives (though, contrary to negative smears, the IQ seems generally higher; of course, I’ve never spent time among NSM or KKK types, so perhaps my experience has been of the best of the breed). Obviously, given my Christian commitment, it will be unsurprising when I assert that the reason for this difference is that most American conservatives are real Christians, while most WNs are not (a real limiting factor for WN growth potential, I believe).

Moon is wrong, however, in his dismissal of the potential for WN themes to get taken up by broader conservative groups. That’s already happening, and will continue to accelerate. This was one reason I had wanted Obama to win. He has been very polarizing, and yet, per my 08 prediction, he has also isolated the Christian Right, who would have assumed much greater prominence if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency. Unfortunately, he hasn’t stimulated the Racial Right’s growth as much as I had hoped (mainly, I hypothesize, because of his narrow focus on economics and foreign policy, the former having been a boon to the libertarian wing of the US Right).

Note that I shall be voting Romney in November (if it looks like he has a shot at CA; otherwise, it’s Third Party again). I encourage others to do likewise. Romney will be infinitely better for the economy than Obama, and things are desperate for many. Who wins in Nov really will matter to the economic prospects of most Americans.

13

Posted by justlettingyouknow on June 16, 2012, 09:21 AM | #

Looking at acrackedmoon’s page, this person claims to be Asian, and is likely a lesbian. Why? Because there is mention of queer women on..its site, and gay men are too self-serving to concern themselves with lesbians. Obviously, straight people rarely focus their writings on lesbians…at least, not in misdirected self-hate blogs.

14

Posted by Graham_Lister on June 16, 2012, 06:08 PM | #

@acrackedmoon

Hello! As Leon Haller mentioned you do make a couple of decent points about the behaviour and conduct of ‘WN’ types.

Anyway I’m not a ‘WN’ or fascist or even a ‘racist’ as such (I really don’t intrinsically hate anyone or any particular group) but I am a European patriot and moderately sophisticated non-liberal.

OK so I had a quick look at your website and you had a post about the “Western cultural imperialism bingo card”.

That’s interesting. Why? Well implicit in such a concept is that Western norms, ideals, ways of life are (i) not universal, and (ii) as such we must respect those differences and embrace the particular, and finally (iii) the hubris of the Western tradition in falsely attempting to pretend it is universal or stands in for all of humanity is deeply damaging for all concerned.

I would agree.

So if you’re looking in perhaps we could have a virtual conversation about some of these topics? I think you might be surprised by some of the ideas expressed. No-one sensible wants to live under a ‘flat’ regime of ‘spaceless universalism’ do they?

15

Posted by Leon Haller on June 17, 2012, 02:23 AM | #

Is there an administrator in the house?

Seriously, is it difficult to remove the spam? Never having managed a website, I don’t know, though it can’t be that hard, can it? Inadequate spam filtration and management could really doom MR (not that it’s not currently listing about in the doldrums, but I have hopes ...).

16

Posted by Alexander Baron on June 17, 2012, 08:01 AM | #

To the moron who sent me the anonymous letter, wrong on all counts:

I saw the proof from Organised Jewry.

I knew Lady Birdwood reasonably well and once asked her that question point blank; she denied it was him, and frankly it is not his style.

And if I were such a laughing stock, why have I spoken at New Right meetings no less than 7 times since May 2005? Nuff said.

17

Posted by Leon Haller on June 18, 2012, 06:01 AM | #

BREAKING NEWS >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

France just committed suicide by socialism! Apparently, attempted suicide via Islamization wasn’t working quickly enough!

Vive la france!

(fucking losers! They couldn’t even reelect Marine Le Pen! May the Germans forever tell you to FUCK OFF!)

(My White Zion looks more and more realistic, doesn’t it?)

Leon Haller

France turned a deep shade of pink
Jun 18th 2012, 8:37 by S.P. | PARIS


FRANCE turned a deep shade of pink last night after President François Hollande’s Socialist party won an absolute majority of seats at the second round of parliamentary elections on June 17th. With almost all votes counted, the Socialists by themselves took 314 seats, well above the 289 needed to secure a majority.

The result was a triumph for Mr Hollande. It frees him from dependence on either the Greens, who took 17 seats, or the left-wing Front de Gauche, led by the firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon, which secured only ten. It is a bigger majority than that obtained by the Socialist Party in 1988 and in 1997, though just short of its crushing result in 1981, the year that François Mitterrand, France’s last Socialist president, was first elected.

Voters also elected two National Front deputies giving the far-right party its first parliamentary seats since 1997: Gilbert Collard and Marion Maréchal Le Pen, the 22-year-old niece of Marine Le Pen, the party’s leader. She, however, lost her campaign for a seat in the former mining town of Hénin-Beaumont by a whisker. Her Socialist opponent took 50.1% of the vote, prompting the National Front to call for a recount.

On the right, the UMP party of Nicolas Sarkozy, the defeated former president, took just 229 seats. Some top figures lost their seats, including Michèle Alliot-Marie, a former foreign minister and Claude Guéant, the ex-interior minister.

There were two main upsets in the second-round voting. François Bayrou, a defeated centrist presidential candidate, lost the seat in south-west France to which he was first elected in 1986. His party, MoDem, has ended up with just two parliamentary seats, which is a deeply disappointing result for a once rising star in French politics. 

The other was the defeat of Ségolène Royal, Mr Hollande’s former partner and mother of his four children, who was the Socialists’ official candidate in the seaside town of La Rochelle. She lost to a Socialist dissident, Olivier Falorni, who took fully 63% of the vote there. A local politician, he had neither the party’s backing nor that, officially, of Mr Hollande. But the president’s current companion, Valérie Trierweiler, stirred a huge fuss by tweeting support for him all the same. Last night, a drawn-looking Ms Royal conceded defeat before results were officially in, quoting Victor Hugo: “A traitor always pays for his betrayal in the end.”

The big question is what will Mr Hollande do with this majority. He has been, in effect, on the campaign trail for much of the past year, so it has been hard to distinguish what part of his speechifying is merely electoral rhetoric. Now, the hard choices begin.

Having promised to stick to France’s commitment to reduce the budget deficit to 3% next year, Mr Hollande has been studiously evasive about how exactly he will achieve this. The European Commission says that it will remain at 4.3% without further savings. Yet Mr Hollande has vowed to create 60,000 new teaching jobs over five years, and has already prepared a decree that will reduce the minimum retirement age from 62 years to 60 for those who started work young. He has talked about taxing the rich more, but very little about where spending cuts might fall in an economy where public spending already accounts for 56% of GDP.

Moreover, Mr Hollande campaigned within the euro zone for a shift in policy away from austerity and in favour of growth-stimulating measures. Ahead of the European Union (EU) summit on June 28th and 29th, he has prepared a “growth pact” for discussion, which identifies €120 billion of extra spending within Europe. This is made up partly of existing sources of finance, such as €55 billion of unused EU structural funds, and partly of new loans, such as the creation of €4.5 billion of “project bonds” for investment in infrastructure.

What Mr Hollande may really be seeking with all this is political cover at European level for what could well turn out to be tough spending measures at home, and ones that his voters are not expecting. Agreement on a minimalist European growth package may well be possible. But Germany’s Angela Merkel is in no mood to budge on budgetary rigour, nor to concede on Mr Hollande’s more ambitious plans, such as the mutualisation of debt through Eurobonds. Whether Mr Hollande’s new growth pact would be enough to claim victory at home in his battle against austerity in Europe is far from clear.

18

Posted by daniel on June 18, 2012, 08:27 AM | #

Who cares if France wants to be more socialist? if it were a White country and was going to stay White while having a socialist bias, that would suit me just fine.

More, if it wanted to maintain its “civilization” in addition to being White, that would be ok with me too.

I don’t see either civilization or a degree of socialism as mutually exclusive to White Nationalism - on the contrary.

19

Posted by Silver on June 18, 2012, 11:10 AM | #

Haller, calm down. 

Firstly, the PS is about as ‘socialist’ as Tony Blair. 

Secondly, the most straightforward reading of the election is the UMP (biggest right/centre-right party) being punished for the economic situation, rather than any social-ideological lurch to the left.  The votes went to the centre-left PS and the green parties, not the lunatic left.  Indeed, the lunatic left, as represented by the Communist Party and other ‘revolutionary left’ outfits, continued to lose ground.

Thirdly, this was the FN’s best second round showing since the ‘97 election, and that’s without Jean Marie Le Pen’s star power.  That’s a good sign if you consider building toward the future.  Old-timers may be sick of hearing that phrase, but the old methods failed (and considering what they were up against never had any real chance anyway) and the demographic damage that has since been sustained is so enormous that it’s plainly insane to expect to turn anything at all around in one or two election cycles; building for the future is all that is left.  So it’s pretty silly to lose your head over France “turning socialist” when in the long run all that happened in 2012 will prove rather meaningless.

20

Posted by Graham_Lister on June 18, 2012, 05:03 PM | #

Haller as others have mentioned chill out.

Your hysterical over-reaction to the utterly unremarkable election of a mainstream centre-left party instead of an entirely mainstream centre-right one is very unbecoming and hardly worthy of anyone that wants to be taken as remotely serious on the broader meta-political issues.

Haller is your only ‘insight’ that a tax-cut or two (along with more ‘free-market’ reforms) will ‘save’ Europe? That’s pathetically superficial and you know it.

P.S. What is going on with your book-review and your other possible essays?

21

Posted by Leon Haller on June 19, 2012, 07:33 AM | #

If I start to respond, I’lll be here for at least an hour. Maybe later today.

Note, I saw the pictures of the cheering Socialists: lots of, uh, “diversity”.

BTW, do any British readers here read Standpoint? Too neocon or Jewish for you? Just curious, I rather like the writing, even if their philo-semitism really is too much.

http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/archive

22

Posted by Leon Haller on June 19, 2012, 07:40 AM | #

Come to think of it, and as a change of pace, I’d be curious to know what general interest academic or ideological publications people here subscribe to or regularly read. Any Wall Street Journal readers? TLS?

23

Posted by Leon Haller on June 19, 2012, 08:16 AM | #

A fairly good overview of the ongoing EU crisis (not rightist enough, but OK):

Europe’s Zero-Sum Dilemma

From the MAY-JUNE 2012 issue

Gideon Rachman | April 25, 2012

EUROPE’S DEBT crisis is threatening a political order that has been built up over the course of more than a half century. It is still entirely possible—indeed likely—that the European single currency will not survive the crisis. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has predicted that if the euro collapses, the European Union will crumble with it. The destruction of the EU would, in turn, remove the organization around which postwar European politics has been constructed.

Even if both the EU and the single currency survive, the current crisis is likely to extract an economic and political price that makes a mockery of many of the original hopes invested in the European Union. The founding fathers of the EU—men such as Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman—built their project around a brilliant and simple proposition. The purpose of the European project when it got going in the 1950s was explicitly political. The idea was to move Europe beyond the terrible wars that had disfigured the Continent during the first half of the twentieth century. But, while the goal was political, the means were economic. The founding fathers aimed to build a new Europe by initially concentrating on small, practical steps that brought tangible economic benefits. The idea was that economic cooperation would create shared prosperity and foster the habit of cooperation. The old national rivalries would be replaced by a win-win logic built around economic integration. As Europeans got used to working together and saw the benefits, further and bolder steps could be taken toward the “ever closer union” spoken of in the 1957 Treaty of Rome.

For more than fifty years, this vision worked beautifully. Europe prospered and grew—and hugely expanded its powers. By 2007, the year before the financial crisis hit, the European Union encompassed twenty-seven members. The simple coal-and-steel community of the 1950s had been transformed into a European Union with a single market, a single currency, common borders, and a common foreign and security policy.

Then came the global financial crisis. A sharp economic downturn in Europe exposed important weaknesses within the Union. Above all, it became clear that many countries had been running up unsustainable debts. In the new economic climate, Greece, Portugal and Ireland proved unable to fund themselves through the markets and had to apply for bailouts from the rest of the European Union. The borrowing costs of Italy and Spain soared, raising the prospect that they too might have to apply for financial help. Given the size of the Italian and Spanish economies and the level of their debts, bailouts for Italy and Spain might simply be unaffordable for the rest of Europe.

The debt crisis within the European Union is a lot more than a transient economic difficulty. In fact, it directly threatens the underlying logic of the European project. In good times, building Europe was all about creating a win-win dynamic based on sharing the fruits of prosperity. But in bad economic times, this positive logic has gone into reverse. Rather than sharing the gains of prosperity, Europeans are now arguing about who should bear the losses associated with recession and the debt crisis. Win-win logic has been replaced by zero-sum logic in which one country’s gain is another’s loss.

The political consequences of this have been dire. A European project created to bring nations together is now driving them apart. There is real bitterness in Germany at the idea that hardworking German taxpayers are having to subsidize the bankrupt economies of southern Europe. Semiracist stereotypes about lazy Greeks and law-breaking Italians are now common currency in the German press. These insults are being repaid with interest (unlike Greek bonds). In much of southern Europe, there is an explicit sense that the domineering German is back. Wartime images that the European Union was meant to have consigned safely to history are now bandied about again. Angela Merkel has been portrayed in Nazi uniform in cartoons in the Greek papers, and Nazi-era references are also rife in Italy and Spain.

TO UNDERSTAND how all this is likely to develop, it is important to make an accurate diagnosis of the origins of the crisis. Part of the problem is that

the much-vaunted “European social model” is costly

—and becoming more so as the population ages. The increase in debt and the fall in tax revenues, caused by the financial crisis and the resulting loss of investor confidence, exposed many dormant weaknesses of European welfare states.

But what might have been a series of national crises has become a European-wide crisis because of the existence of the European single currency. In retrospect, the decision to create the euro—made in the early 1990s and brought to fruition in 2001—was a fateful one.

The euro was swiftly and correctly recognized as the most dramatic single step yet taken toward European unity. As with the foundation of the original European project in the 1950s, the motive was primarily political. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany had altered the balance of power within Western Europe—and revived British and French fears of German power. Initially, the leaders of both Britain and France, Margaret Thatcher and Francois Mitterrand, sought to block German unification. When it became clear that this wasn’t possible, the French threw their weight behind the idea of a European single currency (an idea Thatcher strongly opposed). Both the French and German leaders at the time—strongly backed by Jacques Delors, the powerful president of the European Commission—argued that the solution to the new “German problem” was to bind Germany even more tightly into Europe, thus negating any prospect that a powerful reunified Germany could become troublesome on the Continent. The means to do this was the creation of the European single currency.

Today, now that the euro is in deep trouble, there are many in Germany who argue that their country was essentially forced to give up its beloved Deutsche mark as the “price for unity.” But this is a misreading of history. In fact, some of the most articulate and impassioned advocates of the European single-currency project were German statesmen such as Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Joschka Fischer, Germany’s foreign minister and author of the famous 2000 Humboldt speech extolling political union in Europe.

Even as the European single currency was being dreamed up and launched, skeptical economists warned that the European Union was not an “optimal currency area.” They argued that levels of productivity and indebtedness within Europe differed too widely. As a result, they maintained, relatively unproductive countries, deprived of the chance to devalue or inflate their debts away, might find themselves in an economic trap. More broadly, many Euroskeptics noted that there had never been an example of a successful and durable currency union that was not backed up by a political union—otherwise known as a nation.

The response to this Euroskeptic critique was threefold. First, many pro-euro economists argued that the very creation of the euro would foster economic convergence—creating an optimal currency area. Second, on the political front, some argued that a common currency could work without a political union on the basis of the rules and regulations of the Maastricht Treaty, drafted and signed in the Netherlands in the early 1990s. Third, some committed European federalists argued that political union would prove irresistible in due course. The mere existence of a single currency, they averred, would foster the expansive federal-budget growth and fiscal transfers within the EU that would be necessary to make the single currency work over the long term. This was how the European project had always worked in the past—with one step toward unity provoking the next. As Javier Solana, the EU’s foreign-policy chief, once colorfully put it in conversation with me: “Our philosophy in Europe is, ‘Jump in the pool, there is always water there.’”

It is tempting to respond that, in the current crisis, Europe has discovered that somebody forgot to fill up the pool. In reality, the Euroskeptic analysis of the flaws of the European single-currency project has proved to be much more accurate than the predictions of those who created the euro.

The single currency has not, in fact, fostered the economic convergence needed to make it work well. On the contrary,

as Germany acted to restrain wages and public spending in the first years of the new century, countries in southern Europe went on a spending splurge: the minimum wage doubled in Greece over the course of a decade; Spain experienced a wild housing boom; and Italy’s national debt shot back up toward 120 percent of GDP

. The result was that, by the time the economic and financial crisis hit in late 2008, the supercompetitive German economy was booming—while many of the economies of southern Europe were structurally uncompetitive.

The political assumptions behind the creation of the European single currency have also failed to be realized. The rules and regulations meant to ensure the smooth operation of the euro were swiftly violated. In particular, the Stability and Growth Pact, designed to prevent countries from running excessive budget deficits by threatening them with automatic fines, was essentially junked in 2003, when it became clear that France, Germany, Italy and Portugal all faced fines. Rather than the euro leading to deeper political union, it became apparent that European leaders were unable and unwilling to live with even the minimal common budgetary rules they had created.

European federalists argue the game is far from over. In Brussels, it is common to note that European unity has only advanced in moments of crisis. According to this theory, the current debt imbroglio within the euro area is finally forcing European countries to take decisive steps toward political union. The agreement of a new fiscal pact at a Brussels summit earlier this year is cited as evidence that the drive toward political union has resumed under the pressure of the crisis. The pact once again commits European nations to balancing their budgets, under pain of fines. But this time, the necessary provisions are to be written into domestic law—and to be policed much more efficiently by the European Union.

Believers in “ever closer union” argue the steps outlined in the fiscal pact are just the beginning. Over the next decade, they hope and believe Europe will finally agree to the issuance of common debt—otherwise known as Eurobonds. In return for agreeing to this step, the most powerful economies in Europe—particularly Germany—would demand decisive steps toward political union. In effect, the likes of Greece and Italy would trade sovereign control over their national budgets for the full backing of Germany’s economic might.

It could happen. But it seems very unlikely. This federalist analysis of how Europe will escape its debt crisis through the creation of a political union repeats and magnifies the original error made in the development of the European single currency. This mistake is to underestimate grievously the strength of national identity in the countries that make up the European single currency. Under economic and political pressure, these nationalist sentiments are actually rising—making it harder and harder for European politicians to agree to profound steps toward political union.

In domestic politics across Europe—in both creditor and debtor nations—leaders are experiencing a backlash against the European project and the further sacrifices of national sovereignty it is demanding. In Greece, parties of the Far Left and the nationalist Right have been gaining ground at the expense of the mainstream parties that led the country into its current parlous state. Even in Spain, where mainstream centrist parties continue to hold power, the traditionally pro-European Popular Party, now that it is in government, is taking an increasingly defiant attitude toward the budgetary strictures emanating from Brussels.

The trend toward less “pro-European” national politics is also visible in the creditor countries—those mainly northern European nations that have been called upon to bail out the southern Europeans. In the Netherlands, polls indicate a slump in support for the traditional mainstream, pro-European parties and a surge in support for the much more Euroskeptic parties of the Far Left and Far Right. This is hardly surprising, given that the Netherlands is under pressure to cut its own budget—even as it comes to the financial aid of Greece, Portugal and the others. In Finland, the nationalist True Finns have exerted enormous pressure on the government to take a hard line in European negotiations.

And in Germany—which is central to any resolution of the crisis—the government is very wary of committing itself to further bailouts or Eurobonds. Despite coming under intense international pressure to concede on these issues—from the United States as well as from the rest of Europe and the IMF—the Merkel government knows it is vulnerable to a public backlash, as well as to a challenge in Germany’s constitutional court. It turns out that German taxpayers, who were willing to pay huge subsidies to support the reconstruction of eastern Germany, are much less willing to subsidize Greeks or Italians. It is not just that southern Europeans are not fellow countrymen. It is also that there is no way of ensuring the German taxpayers’ money is spent properly. When a leaked German paper suggested that Greek economic and budgetary reforms should be overseen by a supervisor from Brussels (or Berlin), the very idea provoked an angry political backlash in Greece.

In this negative political climate, it is entirely likely that Europe’s new fiscal pact will not be ratified and will never come into force. Even if it does, many economists regard it as ineffective and possibly counterproductive. The hopes of European federalists that it will be the foundation for a much deeper political union also seem delusory and utopian, given the backlash against the whole European project across the EU.

 

24

Posted by Leon Haller on June 19, 2012, 08:16 AM | #

cntd.

IF EUROPEAN political union is not a practical way out of this crisis, what is likely to happen? Two possible futures beckon. The first is that, like an unhappy marriage, the union persists—even though it is clearly not working. In this scenario, southern Europe undergoes years of austerity, which drives the economies of countries like Greece, Spain and Italy into a depression. While there can be no doubt that all three countries might ultimately benefit from the labor- and product-market reforms being forced through, the transition to a new economy could be long and painful. Youth unemployment in Spain has already reached 45 percent. Although the official figures may mask a lot of employment in the black economy, prospects for young people across southern Europe are bleak. Given these realities, the potential for political radicalization is obvious.

This leads to the second possible scenario. Under these circumstances, new political parties come to power across Europe—and break with the European project as currently constituted. To function, the European Union has required a political consensus among the governments of the major European countries (and frequently the minor ones as well, given the need for unanimity on many subjects). Consensus has been achieved through peer pressure and because almost all governments were in the hands of the Center-Left or the Center-Right.


In a new political climate, this pro-European consensus could well shatter, and core policies of the EU could be challenged and begin to unravel. The most obvious and important pressure point is the euro. A prolonged depression in southern Europe could lead to some countries deciding to pull out of the euro—and to repudiate their debts. Such a course would severely threaten the financial systems of the countries involved and risk a banking crisis across Europe. But desperate times may lead to desperate measures.

It is also likely that other agreed aspects of the European project (the acquis, in Brussels-speak) will come under challenge. Immigration, particularly from the Muslim world, has become a hot-button issue for many of the parties that also are hostile to the European Union. If the crisis spurs an increase in migrant flows within Europe at a time of rising unemployment, that would probably increase pressure on governments to withdraw from the EU agreement on the free movement of labor. Since the right to live and work anywhere within the EU is one of the Union’s cherished “four freedoms,” such a political attack would be a severe blow.

Another blow could come from the challenge financial pressure poses to free-market orthodoxy. This threat is likely to gather force in a depressed EU, which was constructed upon the foundational philosophy of a single market. If the French begin to subsidize basic industries again or restrict the activities of investment banks based in London—both of which are entirely plausible scenarios—the EU’s powers would be under direct challenge.

What is unfolding in Europe is a tragedy of good intentions. For entirely honorable reasons, European leaders attempted to construct a political and currency union. For many years, this project advanced steadily, to the benefit of Europe and the world. But, faced with a severe economic crisis, the inherent flaws in the European project have been brutally exposed. Above all, the extremely fragile political legitimacy of the European Union has become apparent. Pace Chancellor Merkel, something called the EU will probably survive the current crisis. But even if it does, it will be a shrunken, diminished and chastened organization.

Gideon Rachman is the chief foreign-affairs columnist at the Financial Times and author of Zero-Sum Future (Simon & Schuster, 2011).

25

Posted by Alexander Baron on June 24, 2012, 07:27 AM | #

Since publishing my obituary of the tragic Anthony Hancock (more tragic than I realised at the time), I have received no less than 3 anonymous letters (he thinks he is anonymous) from an individual who has access to inside information. I don’t usually bother with anonymous gripes, especially when they impute my motives, but on this occasion only…refer to my book The Churchill Papers…in particular the photocopy of an article Friends warn of sadist on page 107.

I have also seen the photographic evidence; it was shown to me by two of the most powerful Jews in Britain. Now desist, go and find someone else to annoy.

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