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Who are you trying to fool?

On July 29th 2004 John Kerry accepted the Democratic nomination with the words, “I’m John Kerry and I’m reporting for duty.” Then he gave a little salute.

Odd, even for Americans, who I know from The Brady Bunch sometimes call their own fathers “sir”. By Kerry’s own account he had committed atrocities during his naval service in Vietnam. His view of the US Navy was such that on April 23 1971, as part of an anti-war protest by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, he had thrown his medals – or possibly just the ribbons – over the fence in front of the US Capitol.

Never mind whether the claims by the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were fair or not, the metamorphosis of medal-throwing Kerry to reporting-for-duty Kerry would have been a propaganda own goal even if that group had never existed. Because who on Earth did he think he was appealing to with the salute? As I said in 2006, “What a low opinion of Republicans Democrats must have if they thought that throwing them this little crumb would be enough to gain their votes. Look, he’s a soldier. You like soldiers.”

The Brexit saga has had its own little “reporting for duty” moment over the last week. Gina Miller (remember her?), the Labour peer Helena Kennedy, and the Conservative peer Maurice Saatchi (remember him?) launched yet another anti-Brexit campaign, “Lead not Leave”, billing it as a form of Remain that Leavers could get behind.

It did not go well. Within hours tweets were flying about saying things like,

Christ alive! Just had a glance at Lord Saatchi’s draft Bill for @thatginamiller’s Lead not Leave campaign. Reading this, I can only assume it’s a plot by someone with an obsessive hatred of Germany to guarantee that the UK leaves the EU. Have a look. Dreadful bullshit. 1/

That series of tweets by Steve Bullock @GuitarMoog described a speech in the House of Lords by Lord Saatchi that has now been deleted from the “Lead Not Leave” website. Here it is. Among other things it said that the UK should demand as a condition of it consenting to remain in the EU that the UK should have equal votes in the EU to Germany, despite having a smaller population. The little matter of gaining the agreement of the EU to this drastic and morally unjustified change was not covered. Why should the Germans put up with the UK suddenly deciding they should be put back on probation, as if World War II happened last year rather than a lifetime ago?

And what an insult to Leave voters to assume that all that was needed to get them on side was to insult the Germans. You don’t like Germans. Here’s some anti-German stuff. Now get with the program.

14 comments to Who are you trying to fool?

  • Mr Ed

    I can’t help reading ‘Lead’ as a chemist would read ‘Pb’, and it all sinks from there.

  • bobby b

    “Odd, even for Americans, who I know from The Brady Bunch sometimes call their own fathers “sir”.”

    Keep up with the times. More and more are calling them “ma’am.”

    I was always amazed at how the Dems fastened on to Kerry at the time of his presidential attempt. His history with them was less than impressive.

    Garry Trudeau was arguably one of the preeminent progressive voices for decades with his Doonesbury cartoon, and he had a lot of contempt for Kerry. Check out two of his several strips devoted to Kerry back in the 70’s:

    https://nowandthen.ashp.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/kerry.png
    http://images.ucomics.com/comics/db/1971/db711022.gif

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b – the Democrat move to John Kerry was quite rational. He had the MONEY (by marrying the widow of the Republican Mr Heinz) and he had the most leftist voting record (at that time) in the United States Senate – he was one of first of the “Woke” billionaires – and backed by other “Woke” billionaires in 2004, before the term “Woke” was even used – back then it was “Radical Chic” fashionable for the very rich to back the far left.

    Even in the 2004 the Democrats were the party of the very rich and the very poor. And John Kerry, who introduced young Barack Obama as the keynote speaker at the Democrat Convention of 2004, was typical of the far left of the time.

    John Kerry was a man whose life was one long lie – not just his TREASON (giving Aid and Comfort to the Enemy) during the Vietnam War – for which in a previous generation Mr Kerry would have been hanged (not only did Mr Kerry spread enemy propaganda before the United States Congress, on oath, he acted as an enemy agent in Paris), he also dinned out on totally fictional “victim politics”.

    Much like Elizabeth Warren who has spent her life pretending to be American Indian (and profiting from her pretence in the law and academia), John Kerry pretended to be Irish, he endlessly (year after year, decade after decade) he told the story of how his poor Irish grandfather was discriminated against in 1920s Boston – “No Irish Need Apply”.

    Two problems with the story – first the Irish actually controlled Boston in the 1920s and had done for years – Mayor Curley was a proud Irish Catholic and made it his life’s work to drive Protestant “English” out of Boston. So John Kerry had turned the discrimination on its head (turning the real victims into the persecutors). But there was also another problem – John Kerry’s grandfather was NOT Irish, he was a Jewish gentleman from Vienna who changed his name to “Kerry” in order to fit in with the Irish Catholics who controlled Boston. I believe that John Kerry’s brother is a rabbi.

    The “legend” (to use the language of his beloved KGB – who backed the people he worked with in the 1970s) of John Kerry was that he was a Working Class Irish Catholic – he was not Irish (at least his grandfather was not), and he came from a wealthy home (not Working Class) and married into still more money.

  • Paul Marks

    Almost needless to say….. almost the entire “mainstream media” backed John Kerry in 2004, just as they were to back the person-of-Marxist-background Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

    President Bush had done everything the Economist magazine asked him to do – “No Child Left Behind”, and the Medicare expansion, and the war in Iraq (oh yes the Economist magazine were in support of that war – and all the other wars), and yet in 2004 the Economist magazine backed John Kerry against President Bush. That (in 2004) is when I gave up on the Economist magazine – when I came to the conclusion that they would always back the left (even against a RINO like Bush). And I was proved correct – against the ultra moderate (read RINO) John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, the Economist magazine (and the rest of the “liberal” elite) backed the person-of-Marxist-background Barack Obama. God damn the “liberal” elite – to use the language of the European Union officials, may they BURN IN HELL.

    Natalie is quite correct – the “liberal” elite in the United Kingdom think we oppose being ruled by the European Union because we are evil bigots who hate German people.

    Perhaps I will check with the Secretary of the local Twinning Committee with a German Town – that would be ME, I am the Secretary of the local Twinning Committee with a German town. I do not hate German people or German culture – I think it is one of the great cultures of the world, and I very much want the people of Germany to free themselves from their own elite (Chancellor Merkel and co) and become an independent nation, governing themselves.

    It is not bigotry to want ordinary people (ordinary British people and ordinary German people – and so on) to be free.

    And yes, John Kerry, ordinary people in Vietnam to be free also – and the Marxist bandits that you helped put in power to be hanged from the lampposts.

  • mickc

    Germany should always be on probation. It has a history of leaders who become disconnected from reality once Germany becomes succesful and powerful. The result is generally not good news for neighbouring peoples; the most recent example being Merkel’s invitation to Islam to take over Europe.

    Nick Ridley was right, all those years ago; the best Chancellor we never had.

  • Eric

    Kerry was the living avatar of the American dream, that through intelligence and hard work you can marry vast sums of money.

    You’re right, though. Kerry and the remainers made the same misstep – once you start believing your own “slack-jawed yokel” caricature of the opposition things can go horribly wrong as you set about trying to manipulate actual human beings.

  • Alisa

    “What a low opinion of Republicans Democrats must have if they thought that throwing them this little crumb would be enough to gain their votes. Look, he’s a soldier. You like soldiers.”

    It is obvious to me that Kerry’s posturing was not aimed at Republican voters, but rather at the ‘undecided’ – namely, voters who normally don’t follow politics, but come elections find their “civic conscience” or something pressured to vote nonetheless. Assuming that many of them have certain feelings (as opposed to actual thoughts) about patriotism, the military, etc. that are not necessarily aligned with the Kerry-style Left, at the time that posturing made political sense for Kerry, because these people are often the ones who can easily tip the scale of close elections. I suspect there could be something similar at play in the Brexit context, where patriotism may be taking the simplistic form of historic dislike towards Germany.

  • This is weird. Just as a British politician releases a leftist campaign so embarrassing that they end up deleting parts from its campaign website, here in the States Alexandria Occasio-Cortez finally posts her “Green Nude Eel” and ends up taking it down because it’s so embarrassing. Or maybe it just violated the terms of her account at FurAffinity.

  • Paul Marks

    Correct Alisa – Mr Kerry and the present “Remainer” leadership wish to falsely appear as patriots to the uniformed “floating voters”.

    By the way – I believe that John Kerry appeared before Congress IN UNIFORM to deliver enemy propaganda, Aid and Comfort to the enemy, during the fighting in the early 1970s.

    I must stress that an individual does not need to personally open fire on American forces in order to be guilty – giving Aid and Comfort to the enemy is quite sufficient. And John Kerry did that – both in Washington D.C. and in Paris.

    In no way could the Marxist forces in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia possibly be described as liberals – no one could honestly make that mistake. Even the Economist magazine at the time understood that the enemy were Marxists and supported the war. John Kerry was knowingly siding with Marxist forces against the United States in time of armed conflict, deliberatly giving the enemy Aid and Comfort for the intended purpose of the defeat of the United States of America, as was as the intended purpose of the defeat of anti Marxist local people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

    The guilt of the Mr Kerry is beyond any reasonable doubt, and I do not believe there is a Statute of Limitation in relation to treason.

  • Runcie Balspune

    There is a point about German influence, it is notable that the post-Maastrict move towards political union began just after the reunification of Germany and a substantial increase in Germans, and the consequent increase in vote share.

    Germany does have an unequal vote share even with the intentional disproportionate pro-rata population, especially compared to France and the UK.

    However, the “lead not leave” brigade are in the business of stable door security, if the EU had moved to towards an American model, having directly elected principals, a true electoral college and even a second house with 2 representatives per member state, and the MEPs could propose laws as well as veto them, then perhaps we would not be in this mess, we could actually feel like we had influence, we could even feel that we could “lead”.

    They’ve had nearly 50 years to bring about a transformation into a true democracy, and there is no sign they are starting now.

  • CaptDMO

    *sigh* Mindful that I’m from the US, and these aren’t my monkeys, and it’s not my circus….
    Brexit- “Get OUT….GET OUT NOW!…The call is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!”

  • Alsadius

    I think that proposal is actually less appealing to the EU than Brexit would be. It reminds me of Canada’s negotiations with Quebec, only without even the veneer of democracy and fair play. I can see why the UK might like that deal, but it’s about as realistic as AOC’s “Green New Deal”.

  • […] Solent at Samizdata reports on some foolishness by the idiots at ‘Lead Not Leave’ which has even fellow Remainers shaking their heads […]

  • Paul Marks

    Runcie Balspune – what the American example, at least since the 1930s, actually shows is that Federal governments grow like cancers – and without limit.

    A good look at the “Debt Clock” on the fiscal side, and Register of Federal Regulations on the regulation side shows that the Federal Government is NOT limited.