• John O’Farrell: Not your average Labour Party candidate.

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    Now that the dust has settled following Eastleigh and Mr Huhne is “doing porridge” [For our overseas readers, slang for serving a prison sentence, porridge once being the traditional breakfast in the UK] in “chokey” [From the Hindi caukī; a shed or lockup] we would draw again your attention Dear Reader to Mr O’Farrell, the Labour Party’s candidate.

    British Gazette readers will recall in our article, “Diane James, UKIP’s candidate in Eastleigh: On course to win?” of the 24th February published in the last days before the Eastleigh by-election, we drew your attention to Labour’s candidate and the very effective hatchet job of an article by the Daily Mail’s columnist Andrew Pierce. In it, Andrew Pierce quotes Mr O’Farrell as writing “I felt a surge of excitement at the nearness of Margaret Thatcher’s demise, and disappointment such a chance had been missed…” which was something he wrote following the IRA bomb at the Grand Hotel in Brighton during the Tory conference in 1984. What Andrew Price did not go onto mention was Mr O’Farrell’s reflections as he had gone on to write; “…..I had immediately castigated myself for this thought and in my novel I was trying to be honest to make a point about hatred being a terrible thing…..” We think the reader will agree, this puts a different complexion on the statement. The conclusion that the British Gazette makes from Mr O’Farrell’s remarks is this: That Mr O’Farrell’s intense dislike of Mrs Thatcher equals the intense dislike many Eurorealists have of the Arch Traitor, Edward Heath.

    Andrew Price also quoted Mr O’Farrell as stating; “I wanted Britain to lose the Falklands for its own good…”

    Given our comments on the Falklands referendum contained in yesterday’s article, we would crave your indulgence Dear Reader for a little “What If” scenario, herewith below:

    It is an accepted fact of political history that had Britain lost the Falklands War, it would have resulted in the axiomatic defeat of Mrs Thatcher in the General Election that would have resulted soon afterwards.

    This defeat could have happened if the reaction of the Reagan administration had been different. President Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States and came to the office at the age of 70. Reagan’s style was the opposite of his predecessor Jimmy Carter. Whereas Carter involved himself in the day to day government of the USA, Reagan took a far more distanced approach. Reagan did not involve himself in the day to day government. Instead he assumed the role of a chairman of a board of directors. Reagan delegated the day to day government of the USA to a far greater extent than any of his recent predecessors, and of course all of his successors. At the time of the Falklands War, the Reagan administration’s support for Britain was crucial. The US supplied vital Sidewinder missiles of the latest type for the RN’s Sea Harriers. US military intelligence supplied Britain with the information gleaned from the US spy satellites. The US allowed the RN to use its base on Ascension Island – a British territory but leased to the USA following the “Destroyers For Bases Agreement” during WWII.

    This support was forthcoming due to the urging of the then Secretary of State, Alexander Haig. As General Haig, he served as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), the Commander of NATO forces in Europe, and Commander-in-Chief of United States European Command (CinCUSEUR) before retiring from the US Army in 1979. General Haig’s advocacy for the British cause did however not go unchallenged.

    One member of the administration argued that the USA should remain strictly neutral. This was Mrs Jeane Kirkpatrick. She was the US ambassador to the United Nations. She was known for her “Kirkpatrick Doctrine,” which advocated U.S. support of anticommunist governments around the world, including authoritarian dictatorships, if they went along with Washington’s aims—believing they could be led into democracy by example. She wrote, “Traditional authoritarian governments are less repressive than revolutionary autocracies.” Kirkpatrick served on Reagan’s Cabinet on the National Security Council, Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Defence Policy Review Board, and chaired the Secretary of Defence Commission on Fail Safe and Risk reduction of the Nuclear Command and Control System.

    She was one of the strongest supporters of Argentina’s military dictatorship following the March 1982 Argentine invasion of the United Kingdom’s Falkland Islands. Kirkpatrick had a “soft spot” for Argentina’s President Gen. Leopoldo Galtieri, and argued for neutrality rather than the pro-British policy argued for by the Secretary of State. The British ambassador Sir Nicholas Henderson described her as “……more fool than fascist……she appears to be one of America’s own-goal scorers, tactless, wrong-headed, ineffective, and a dubious tribute to the academic profession to which she [expresses] her allegiance.”

    Notwithstanding Sir Nicholas Henderson’s acerbic comments about her, Mrs Kirkpatrick had Reagan’s ear and General Haig only obtained Reagan’s support for the measures Haig wanted by threatening to resign.

    Let us now play out the “What If” scenario:

    Mrs Kirkpatrick persuades Reagan to declare that the US will adopt a policy of strict neutrality declaring that the conflict is out of area for NATO involvement. General Haig resigns as Secretary of State and Mrs Kirkpatrick is appointed in his place. The US Senate quickly confirms her in office. John Jeffry Louis, Jr. United States Ambassador to Court of St. James conveyed the advice of the US State Department to Francis Pym, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs that the UK should settle this by negotiation and that the USA would support the UK in such negotiations and very strongly urge Argentina to make a generous offer.

    The cabinet meets and Mrs Thatcher refuses to call back the Task Force. The Argentineans managed to damage both British carriers and the RN looses its air cover. The British Army fails in its attempt to take back the islands. The UK is forced into accepting a humiliating settlement.

    The consequences for the Thatcher government would have been as severe as they were in the reality for the Argentine Junta. There would have been a huge amount of anger at the USA’s attitude. This would have resulted in a majority Labour government – which at that time was led by Michael Foot. Remember the “Longest suicide note in history?” That would have been put into action.

    Let us consider the consequences.

    First the negative one: The Trade Unions would have had a stranglehold over British business. The closed shop would have had statutory force. There would have been no restrictive Trades Union legislation.

    Now for the positive ones:

    The coal industry would not have been decimated. Arthur Scargill’s claim that the UK coalfields produced the cheapest deep mined coal in Europe was correct. Arthur Scargill and the NUM would have seen to it that there would have been no privatisation of the electricity and other utilities and that there would have been more large efficient coal powered power stations like Drax built.

    There would have been no nonsense about CO2 – that was started by Mrs Thatcher as a ploy to help defeat Mr Scargill and close down the British coal fields.

    Lawful government would have been restored as Labour would have taken the UK out of the EU.

    The US would have increased its support for the European Community as the Labour Party would have withdrawn the UK from NATO and have unilaterally abandoned Polaris and all other nuclear weapons.

    The EC would have integrated deeper and faster without the UK’s participation making it politically impossible for a future Europhile UK government to re-enter.

    The Labour Party would eventually go down to defeat at a General Election due to overspending, government indebtedness and a failing economy as the over-powerful Trades Union Congress would have stifled enterprise. There would have been gradual reform of the British economy and industrial relations. The UK economy would however have benefited from a centralised publicly owned electricity generating capacity using coal – which is still the cheapest way of generating electricity so long as two important provisos are complied with:
    - that the power stations are as large as possible – for so far as coal powered generating stations is concerned, big is most definitively beautiful.
    - that no delusional idiot such as Mr Huhne suggests that the CO2 produced from these stations is piped under the North Sea!

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