We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

No, the Tory Party is demonstrably not a ‘broad church’

It is often said the Conservative Party is a ‘broad church’ and not just a party of free marketeers. This was certainly true back when Margert Thatcher was party leader, given she had to endure the likes of Michael Heseltine et al.

But the de facto coup d’état by ‘Wets’ (better described these days as ‘Blue Blairites’) has left Elizabeth Truss as Prime Minister in name only. She has proven to be weak, a lady very much for turning; unable to even reduce the top tax rate to where it was for 12 years under the last Labour government. And plans to cancel an increase in corporation tax during a recession have also been stymied. So, safe to say the Tory Party is not sufficiently broad church to include actual small-c conservatives, because anyone suggesting a lower tax future is not going to be allowed to run the show no matter what. The Tory WANCs (Tories Who Are Not Conservatives) have demonstrated they are very much in control.

In the recent internal election, the party membership rejected Rishi Sunak, the policy continuity candidate most of the Parliamentary party wanted, instead choosing Truss, who wanted to try something different. But the Blue Blairites would have none of it. If the party members were unwilling to vote the way they were told to, the grandees would just strongarm Truss’ chancellor of choice out of office and replace him with Jeremy Hunt, an unrepentant Remainer, Sinophile, and distilled essence of Blue Blairite Blob.

So please, do not ever say the Tory Party is a broad church because it is not. And if you say it to my face, I will do my best to defenestrate you. A few weeks ago, I was certain to vote Tory again. Now, not only will I not, I will vote against them as the party deserves to not just defeat but to be crushed. The aftermath will be grim given the alternatives, but not only it is inevitable, it is probably necessary. The absurdly named Conservative Party as currently understood need to burn so there is at least a possibility something better can take its place.

Samizdata quote of the day… why Truss crashed and burned

They wanted Sunak; Tory members wouldn’t have it. The media, the political and civil service establishment, the City, were all out to get her. They acted against her (and Kwarteng). The Tory backbenches panicked; Sunak’s supporters saw the opportunity, and in effect we have now had a very British coup d’etat.

However, this does give me hope. Because the whole country can now see the UK government edifice for the rotten cesspit it truly is.
Truss will fall, one month or six, it makes no real difference. We will get ‘business as usual’ from the same morons who wrecked Brexit, inflicted net Zero, killed our economy and our civil liberties.

So where do we go from here? Well, it’s now obvious that a Tory vote is a wasted vote; it’s equally obvious that voting Labour Libdem or SNP is also pointless. So we may – finally- get the realignment in our politics that we have needed for so long.

I just hope people are paying attention.

Alan Melville, commenting on Sp!ked and describing the situation much as I see it now.

Samizdata quote of the day… hell, quote of the month

You’re going to pay over $12 for a six-rack of an IPA that barely tastes like an IPA in a market already over-saturated with IPAs, especially as craft breweries go. The flavor is negligible, and no part of it is enjoyable, even if you’re the sort of masochist who loves having their taste buds scorched by more hops than a rabbit farm. The beer doesn’t stand out in any positive way, especially in a place like Virginia that’s fertile ground for local breweries, all of them featuring their own particular IPA (or several).

Matt Sampson, who really know how to write a beer review

Samizdata quote of the day

You say the third-best time to negotiate would be now. I can see why you would want that, but you’re not a party to the negotiations. Russia and Ukraine are. And why would Ukraine negotiate now?

As I said from the outset, what Ukraine needs is long term security. Not words on a piece of paper. Actual security. If they don’t get it, the lives they “save” now will be lost double when Russia inevitably invades again. And, yes, I’m sorry, long term security for Ukraine means NATO membership which Putin would not agree to as things stand.

And so we are where we are.

Konstantin Kisin

Samizdata quote of the day

The great strength of these [Iranian] protests – the sudden, overwhelming way in which they have spread, fuelled by social media – could also be their undoing. As we saw so tragically in the wake of the Arab Spring, this new generation of leaderless, internet-based movements can lack the coordination, durability and ideological focus to topple the despotic leaders they rage against.

Tom Slater

Pondering the ongoing Ukrainian counter-offensive

Here is an interesting thread about the ongoing Ukrainian counter-offensive by Mick Ryan.

Ukraine’s counter-offensives – “Seven months from Kyiv to Kharkiv”

Yet another outstanding dissertation from Perun looking at the big picture. It is long but jam packed with good analysis.


First there was #GamerGate and then there was #NAFO

I have written here about the #GamerGate phenomenon before, which was a series of rolling online flash mobs, events and activist commentary mostly doing its thing circa 2014-16. This was kicked off by something specific but quickly evolved into a far wider reaching grassroots pushback against rampant corruption, collusion and ever more woke politicisation in games ‘journalism’ and indeed games themselves.

Naturally the gaming press harrumphed with indignation, howling that GamerGater was an unconscionable harassment campaign; its largely nameless supporters all racist/sexist/homophobic. And much to their shock it didn’t work. GamerGaters ridiculed their evolving official narratives. And to the PR wonks working for MSM publications and their assorted vassals, none of it made any sense, which is why they still make sure the preposterous Wikipedia entry conforms to the official narratives (i.e. very little relation to reality). Too bad guys, you can’t bomb a hashtag.

GamerGate was something that drove (and still drives) many people insane, living rent free in their heads for years. Even now, the mere sight of GamerGate mascot Vivian James (video games, geddit?) can cause hilarity and rage in certain people.

Vivian James

Fast forward to 2022 and behold #NAFO: the North Atlantic Fellas Organisation.

And who are ‘the fellas’? A large and growing online pack of attack dogs countering, dare I say smothering, official Russian troll factory output, as well as other pro-Kremlin talking heads online. And their mascots are daft cartoon dogs (variations of a Shiba Inu to be precise). If journalistic collusion was a constant target of #GamerGate, the Russian troll farms are the modern analogy to that, constantly targeted and smothered by NAFO posting either pro-Ukrainian counter-narratives or just ridiculing or flagging up pro-Russian ones.

Many people, particularly those operating within institutions, don’t understand #NAFO for same reason PR departments of various video games companies & press outlets didn’t (and still don’t) understand #GamerGate.

Is #NAFO engaged in ‘information warfare‘? Absolutely. They even get a shout out from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence. But they are not managed out of an office in Langley, Virginia nor by some adjunct of the Ukrainian intelligence services. #NAFO is a hashtag, a phenomena, it isn’t “run” by anyone, because it doesn’t need to be. Like GamerGate, NAFO is a confluence of the motivated willing in every timezone on the planet.

And just as GamerGate had a single original trigger, which was then largely forgotten as the ‘movement’ grew and started attacking larger more juicy prey, NAFO started as a fund raising effort for the Georgian Legion (a now battalion sized unit of about 600 within the Ukrainian army made up mostly of Georgian volunteers). At blinding speed, NAFO rapidly morphed into a wider distributed online effort supporting Ukraine in the “information space”.

NAFO… daft, puerile, bonkers, pervasive. But it works.

Well he does have a point…

The next version of the Stugna software is going to have a “share to social media” button on the screen

– ‘Disruptive Politics

The breakthrough continues

These maps become out of date by the time I post them (Izyum has actually fallen it seems).

The general directly presiding over this astonishing display of operational art is General Oleksandr Syrskyi, who along with his boss Valerii Zaluzhnyi is going to be much studied in the future.

See larger version of this excellent map by Martinn

A Russian military disaster unfolding

The news from Ukraine is so remarkable, I have spent three days oscillating between exuberance and sceptical incredulity of the claims of a huge penetration of Russian lines. But now there are images of Ukrainian infantry on the edge of Kupyansk, a crucial strategic rail junction, others showing units on the banks of the Oskil river. This suggests that in three days, the Ukrainians have come close to undoing what took Russia four bloody months to achieve.

This graphic is already out of date, with video evidence showing Ukrainian mechanised forces approaching Izyum from the north.

Having drawn Russian reserves and focus towards Kherson to face a much announced offensive, Valerii Zaluzhnyi appears to have totally played his opposite number: Ukraine has struck with a fast moving combined arms offensive on a completely different section of the front, achieving near complete tactical and operational surprise. Astonishing.

Update: Ukrainian infantry in Kupyansk, and next to the town hall. Last week it was 60km behind the frontline.

Update again: claims that Ukraine has taken Lyman, which if true suggests at least possibility of Russia retreat a considerable distance away from the Ukrainian axis of advance north of Izyum. However treat as RUMINT at this stage until we see OSINT pictures & videos.

Konstantin Kisin delivers a master class…

… in calmly ripping an interviewer a new orifice. Behold and enjoy.