This is a poem read by Thomas Daffern, who as well as being a poet and philosopher and historian, is also the Peace Druid of the Council Of British Druid Orders and has recently founded the European Council of Druids. He also founded and directs the work of the Order of Peace, Poets, Bards and Druids and has published 6 volumes of poetry to date, and recorded an audio version of them also. He has posted many times on this blog why he opposes Brexit as a serious dumbing down to the innate genius of the British people; as a sell out to the boring and bland accountant-bankers who run the City of London and who dictate the policies of the Tory Party, and who act from selfish and immoral ends and purposes. Here he marshals the flaming bolts of light from Lugh, the Bardic and Druidical Sun God, who gives his name to Lyon, Lugdunum (London) and Carlisle and many other great cities across Europe, in order to stop and prevent the breaking up of the Uk, and to prevent brexit, and invokes rather the Muses’ preferred vision of peace, harmony, love and unity as prevailing throughout the great European cultural sphere from the West of Ireland through to the mountains of Armenia.. in one landscape of peace.. But first, Lugh has one last heroic deed to perform, to kill the one eyed demon of Tory Island, Balor, and to this end, this poem shows the way, and acts as a call to valour and courage for all the true bards and sages of Britain, Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall and Europe to this sacred cause. Thomas lives in the Druid heartland of Gaul (France) where he runs the Museum of the Muses and directs the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy. He has a PhD from the University of London for his work as a historian of intellectual history and has lectured at the University of London and Oxford and served as a teacher of religious studies and philosophy in many British schools. He has performed at the Struga Poety Festival in Macedonia on three occasions.
Here as promised is my proposed emergency back-stop to prevent brexit – comprising a draft Parliamentary Bill to outlaw the Tory party for treasonously threatening the destruction of the united kingdom by implementing Brexit against the majority wish of the people of the United Kingdom.
The simple facts of demography are these, that the people of Scotland and the people of Northern Ireland did not vote to leave the European Union. They will therefore seek to rejoin the European Union if forcibly taken out, and this will lead to the breakup of the United Kingdom. The logic behind these statements are inescapable and factually based on long observation of the politics of both Scotland and Northern Ireland. So what ? What’s the fuss ? I have had several Brexiteers saying – if Scotland and Northern Ireland want to leave the UK, why not just let them ?
Well, here are just a few of the problems I foresee arising from the breaking away of Scotland from the UK.
- UK intelligence services: currently MI5, MI6, GCHQ all serve the nation to the best of their ability and try to keep us secure from foreign or terrorist threats. If Scotland becomes an entirely separate sovereign nation, she will either have to build her own intelligence services, and it cannot be pre-determined that her foreign policy will be the same as that pursued by the UK currently, or she will lay claim to a proportion of the existing UK services. Perhaps some serving intelligence officers will defect to join the Scottish service. It will put huge strain on many people and will make the UK a far less safe place to be. If Northern Ireland then follows Scottish independence and secedes, the strain will be even worse.
- The honours system: currently people who have done great works of service to the nation are honoured with various medal and awards, such as the MBE, OBE, DBE etc. if Scotland breaks away, will she have her own such system ? How can the remaining UK continue to use the term “British Empire” in their remaining medals system; the British Empire only came into being after the union of the crowns of Scotland and England and Wales under King James in 1603. Their dissolution will be the final coming apart of whatever remains of the British Empire. There will be long and bitter disputes about this and new names will have to be found north and south of the border.
- The monetary system: Scotland will want to use the Scottish pound in their new monetary system; English based national bankers and treasury officials will try to resists this; it will lead to bitterness and recriminations.
- North Sea oilfields: lines of demarcation will be drawn differently, this will lead to huge conflict and bitterness and legal disputes dragging on for years. The key thing is, both sides will become poorer in the long run and only the lawyers richer.
- The Ministry of Defence: at present the MOD serves to protect the people of all the UK; after the division of the UK into two or possibly three or four mini-nations, what will happen to the MOD and its resources ? There will be huge splits, arguments, disagreement and divisions about this leading to endless political and legal wrangling. One thing is certain – our nation as a whole will be much less secure than currently. The nuclear umbrella will have to be withdrawn from Scotland for such is undoubtedly the will of the Scottish people.
- The future of the monarchy will be in doubt, since it is quite likely that after independence, whatever they say in public, once independent, the Scottish government will hold a subsequent referendum on replacing the monarchical system by an elected presidential system. The monarch will thus revert to being monarch of a much smaller realm. It is possible other voices south of the border will also call for the abolition of the monarchy as an irrelevance. If the monarchy couldn’t even prevent the breakup of its own realm, what on earth is it for, voices will argue no doubt. So not only will Theresa May be the last UK Prime Minister, but Queen Elizabeth will be the last monarch, certainly of the UK. It is tragic and ironic therefore that a so cvative party is actually impreillign the constitutional fabir oc of hte UK which has survived since 1603 an d the Union of Scotland and Engla and Wales.
- If the UK breaks apart and Scotland achieves complete independence, other countries around the world which look to the UK, such as Commonwealth countries, for stability, hope and order in a chaotic and fragmented world, will be bitterly disappointed; they will see yet another once great power falling apart at the We have watched as Yugoslavia fell apart; as the USSR collapsed, as Afghanistan fell apart, as Iraq imploded, as Syria collapsed, as Libya disintegrated, as Ukraine ended up in an uncivil war. In some of these break ups we ourselves have played a not altogether glorious role. I have always hoped the Uk could play a genuinely creative role in actual peacebuilding and mediation. Now the world will watch as the once great UK follows the same route, and breaks up into warring and argumentative petty countries, leaping directly back into the dark ages. If you think I am being alarmist, then I suggest you study history and philosophy for 40 years as I have done. I also suggest you live in Scotland for 7 years and keep your ears to the ground. I promise you, there is a very strong probability all this will happen once Scotland votes for full independence from the UK so as to be able to remain in the EU, which was her own democratically expressed will. I take no joy in saying this, but as a Canadian dual British citizen who has lived and worked in both countries, and traveled and lectured in over 33 countries worldwide, I can say that I and my fellow Canadians, not to mention Indian citizens, where I have traveled widely and taught often, are appalled at the prospect of the UK breaking up into residual nations. Both Canada and India are modern federations and we suggest the UK should remain together and follow the same route. The House of Lords could be replaced by a Federal Senate as part of this modernisation process.
All these issues are huge problems in themselves. Compared with the breakup of the UK and all that it brings into focus, the prospect of remaining inside the EU however comes as a welcome option to remain together as one nation, at peace with itself (more or less) and with its neighbours. The question before us, is do we hate the EU so much that we are prepared to see the UK collapse, after over 400 years of common history as a result of this burning hatred? Or do the people of Britain love their own nation, the UK, more than they hate the EU ? After all, the EU is reformable, but once the UK is destroyed however, it cannot be rebuilt, and 400 years of history will have vanished like a pipe dream. A country whose unity was forged by Saints, as reflected in our national flag, will ave been broken apart by politicians.
I have tried again and again to impress upon the Prime Minister over recent weeks and months, but she has utterly and totally ignored my warnings to the point of adverse rudeness. She hasn’t the intellectual capacity to argue against me, and instead retreats behind bland platitudes which are as dull as they are factually incorrect. You can join me in any last minute efforts trying to impress upon the Prime Minister the urgency of this situation which now threatens our very future as a nation. I cannot see another way to retrieve this situation apart from calling a second EU referendum. I believe this policy would have the very greatest support from all thinking UK citizens. The Terms on which the second EU referendum should be conducted would have to be fairer than before; all voters 16 and over should vote, UK citizens living in Europe or elsewhere who remain UK citizens should all get to vote with plenty of time for their voting papers to arrive and return, and these votes should be counted at a separate central location in the UK. Unless there is a second referendum, I am afraid we are going to live through the breakup of the UK and I for one will not be happy unless I had done my utmost to prevent that happening.
It is also a thoroughly false argument repeated an nauseam by Tory Ministers to say that Brexit represents the will of the people of the UK. Of all registered voters only 72% actually voted, 28% didn’t vote at all for whatever reason (an abstention is actually a vote for the status quo, which is to remain in the EU), of those who did vote, 35% voted to remain, 36% voted to leave. This means that 64% of the total voters did not vote to leave the EU. What it means, is that if we are to leave the EU, 34% of the voters will have imposed their will over 64% of the rest. This is hardly a ringing mandate for such a massive change affecting the nation for years to come, and indeed, affecting the entire history of Europe. Or to put this another way, the combined number of voters who voted to leave the EU was 17,410,742. The combined total of those voters who either voted to remain in the EU or who voted to keep the status quo by not voting at all, was 29,089,259. which is 64% of the total. Please have a quiet word with the Prime Minister and do what you can to prevent UK break up. In addition, the Tory Party, which is masterminding this whole process, has only 120,00 members. So a minority gtroup, with reactionary views, mostly of an anti-intelectual antuyre, who stand for a variety of semoi-fascist, ractist adn xenophobic views, will have effectely engineered a secret coup in whch their own xenophopbic racist attitudes will have led to teh break up of the Uk, as the rest of the nations which make up the UK reject what is essentially a little Englaish attitude.
Who am I to be saying all this ? Why should anyone care ? Well, I have no outer political power or office and have never striven for such. I am merely a philosopher and intellectual, a Druid and an Anglican Christian, an expert in interfaith philosophical studies, an historian, and a poet, who has always believed in our constitution and in the UK, and believed that we can turn this UK into a peace-loving nation and help advance democracy, the rule of law, justice and fair play around the world, through our work in the UN and in the European Union,. This is why I accepted the job, on graduating, of setting up an International Institute of Peace Studies in London, and why I organised countless meetings, seminars, courses, and publications in the cause of an intelligent peace policy to be followed by the UK as a nation. I did this work not in any party politically biased fashion but on behalf of the whole community of our multitextured patchwork of peoples.
The majority of voters of Northern Ireland voted to remain in the European Union. The majority of voters of Scotland chose to remain in the European Union. The great majority of British citizens now want a second referendum of this most vital of political questions. Why has this current government interpreted the referendum results as a mandate for an absolute Brexit ? In my work as a political scientist and philosopher of peace over many years teaching at both the Universities of London and Oxford, I have never known of such a fatal miscalculation. The immediate consequences of this policy will result in the citizens of Northern Ireland being given a referendum by choice to join with the Republic of Ireland and remain in the European Union. All the demographics point to this as an almost certain outcome. Likewise the people of Scotland will lawfully demand a second independence referendum, and this time will vote for becoming an independent nation state within the European Union. Again, the implications of the Brexit policy are that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will have to be renamed Little Britain (England and Wales).
I have even written to the Queen warning her of the risks from imposing this fanatical and hard line Brexit by the Tories and received a polite reply from her correspondence secretary.
I wrote to her because I believe we all have a constitutional duty to help defend the integrity of the realm. Privy Councillors have a special sworn duty to protect Her Majesty from all enemies, foreign and domestic. I wrote therefore not as a Privy Councillor but as a loyal subject, to warn the Queen of the impending danger which I foresee for the UK. I assured her that if she consults with any genuine academics, constitutional experts, legal advisers, political scientists etc. they will also confirm that what I wrote is as true as anything ever can be when it comes to political science. I explained to her gently that If she is being told otherwise (the Scots will back down, the Northern Irish are not serious, etc.), then she is being mis-advised by party political place-men lacking in a fundamental overview of the situation. I explained to her that Melbourne was appreciated by Queen Victoria as a great Liberal Prime Minister, precisely because he told her the truth, not because he told her what she wanted to hear. I also pointed out that we seem to be lacking statesmen and stateswomen of his calibre nowadays.
Why am I going public with all this ? Well, Brexit is such a major policy blunder that all of us must do what we can to stop it.
So now I going the extra mile – and having tried warning the Prime Minister (politely) having tried warning her Majesty, having tried warning the general public, I have come to the realisation, in view of Theresa May’s recent performance in Strasbourg, where she attempted, ignorantly, to bully all 27 other European Union country leaders into “accepting her vision and view of what Brexit should look like, or she will just leave anyway” – which is frankly not how things are done in European politics. Most of the other European Union leaders do not want the UK to leave at all, and have now said openly they think the UK should be given a second referendum. I wholeheartedly agree with them.
Yet incredibly the Conservative Party and its leader continue on as before, steaming straight into the iceberg.
For this reason, I have now drafted the following legislation, and would ask that anyone with parliamentary contacts should share, copy, paste and publicize it. We need some politicians of integrity to come forward and back this Bill.
We are faced with an imminent tragedy of the destruction of the UK, which has been in existence since 1603.
The main party that is pursuing this policy against all common sense, right reason and democratic precedence, is the Conservative Party, hence the only final answer to solve this problem is to outlaw them as a treasonous body whose politicians must be either maliciously, or ignorantly, intent on destroying the country. Here follows the text of the Bill, whose text is I hope self-explanatory. I have also integrated this bill with the text of my earlier Parliamentary Duty of Veracity Bill, because the two issues are inextricably intertwined. The only reason we have got into this mess is because politicians have been lying and getting away with it, and still are. There therefore ought to be at the earliest opportunity a new Bill which makes lying in Parliament illegal, and here it is.
THE PROSCRIPTION OF THE BODY KNOWN AS THE CONSERVATIVE
AND UNIONIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN AND PARLIAMENTARY VERACITY BILL
Be it enacted by the Lords, spiritual and temporal and by the Commons here assembled, that a new bill be brought forward concerning THE PROSCRIPTION OF THE ILLEGAL, TREASONOUS AND TERRORIST BODY KNOWN AS THE CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN
An Act to make provision in relation to the PROSCRIPTION OF THE ILLEGAL, TREASONOUS AND TERRORIST BODY KNOWN AS THE CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN
To ensure that members of parliament, members of the House of Lords and others should renounce membership of this illegal and treasonous body known as the CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN or face arrest and imprisonment for belonging to a terrorist organisation
The purpose of this act is to enshrine in law the proscription of the Conservative and Unionist Party of Great Britain as an illegal, treasonous, and terrorist body whose continued existence is inimical to public well being, democracy and the rule of just law in the united Kingdom as well as of the continuation of the United Kingdom itself as a political entity.
Whereas it has been demonstrably proved that the CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN is determined to impose the severance of the membership of the European Union on the people of Scotland contrary to their express wish
Whereas it has been demonstrably proved that the CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN is determined to impose the severance of the membership of the European Union on the people of Northern Ireland contrary to their express wish
Whereas it has been demonstrably proved that the CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN is determined to impose the severance of the membership of the European Union on the people of London contrary to their express wish
Whereas it has been demonstrably proved that the CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN is determined to impose the severance of the membership of the European Union on the people of many parts of England and Wales contrary to their express and growing wish
Whereas it has been demonstrably proved that the CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN is determined to impose the severance of the membership of the European Union on the people of The United Kingdom as a whole contrary to their express and growing wish, and to refuse to permit them to obtain redress at a second national referendum on continued membership of the European Union
Whereas it has been demonstrably proved that the CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN is determined to impose the severance of the membership of the European Union on the people of The United Kingdom as a whole contrary to right reason, and in the face of imminent and direct threats that the consequence will be the imminent and immediate destruction and fracturing of the said United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Be it therefore recognised that the BODY KNOWN AS THE CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN BILL shall henceforth be recognised as ILLEGAL, because its actions have been shown to be at variance with traditions and customs of British democratic law and legal procedures, with principles of common law and the invisible architecture of the British constitution, both formal and informal, and with the principle of self-preservation that any nation state retains unto itself, and which is the fount and principle of law, duty and moral righteousness
Be it therefore recognised that the BODY KNOWN AS THE CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN BILL shall henceforth be recognised as TREASONOUS because its actions have been shown to be at variance with traditions and customs of British democratic law and legal procedures, with principles of common law and the invisible architecture of the British constitution, in as much as they bound to lead to the imminent self-destruction and self-dismemberment of the United Kingdom as a political entity, with the ending of the Act of Union of 1603 and the independence of Scotland, and the ending of the Province of Northern Ireland as part of the UK and its reunification with the Republic of Ireland
Be it therefore recognised that the BODY KNOWN AS THE CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN BILL shall henceforth be recognised as A TERRORIST ORGANISATION because its actions have been shown to be at variance with traditions of national self preservation and are leading directly to the dismemberment, destruction and fracturation of the state known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This outcome is so obvious to any analysis, that the conclusion is that it must have been entered into the same wilfully and malevolently by senior Conservative Politicians in collusion with foreign powers who wish to see the destruction of the United Kingdom, and who have already set their sights on the ending of the UK as it currently exists and therefore can be proved to have treasonous purposes at heart.
Be it THEREFORE enacted by the Queen’s most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lord’s spiritual and temporal and Commons, in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows; –
- Legal obligation laid on members of parliament to renounce membership in the henceforth illegal CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN, which is pursuing policies deliberately and malevolently which will lead to the breakup of the United Kingdom
- Legal obligation laid on all employees, committee members and officials of the sometime CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN to resign and dissolve the said association, which has been entered into for nefarious and illegal purposes and which is pursuing policies deliberately and malevolently which will lead to the breakup of the United Kingdom
- In view of the fact that the current imminent self-destruction of the United Kingdom has come about due to the deceitful, manipulative, and dishonourable ignoring and silencing of genuine oppositional voices in parliament, and by the pursuance of policies such as brexit which are likely to lead to the breakup of the UK, there is henceforth a Legal obligation placed on all members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords henceforth to tell the truth on all political matters brought before them, on all matters of official businesses or all matters of parliamentary business
- a) All members of the House of Commons (of whichever political party) are hereby required to speak the truth in response to questions put to them by any UK citizen whatsoever, on matters of official business either in writing or orally.
b) If found to have dissimulated, lied, obfuscated, falsely denied, prevaricated or otherwise mendaciously attempted to deflect the questioner, or to dissuade from asking the question, then a formal procedure would be inaugurated whereby an independent investigative committee on parliamentary truth standards would be convened to consider the evidence for mendacity.
c) If the charge of mendacity were upheld and proven to a high degree of likelihood, the Member Of Parliament would be automatically sent back or recalled to their constituency and a fresh election triggered for the said constituency.
d) Private and personal matters would be excluded from this provision, except so far in that they have bearing on matters of State or the business of government. Financial matters and other professional matters that have bearing on their official roles however would be included.
e) All members of the House of Lords likewise are hereby required to speak the truth in response to questions put to them by any UK citizen whatsoever, on matters of official business either in writing or orally.
f) All members of local councils and local authorities or their executive officers or staff are hereby required to speak the truth in response to questions put to them by any UK citizen whatsoever, on matters of official business either in writing or orally.
g) All government employees, members and officers of government bodies, committees and quangos and all civil servants, are hereby required to speak the truth in response to questions put to them by any British citizen whatsoever, on matters of official business either in writing or orally.
h) All members of the Royal Household and the Privy Council, the armed forces and all other agencies of the British state are likewise so required to speak the truth in response to questions put to them by any British citizen whatsoever, on matters of official business either in writing or orally.
i) Matters of national security concerning which questions might be put, would have to be argued before the Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) as being genuinely matters which cannot be answered in public. Truthful answers would however still have to be given to all such requests to a special committee of the Parliamentary Standards Committee, who would have the final say on whether to make the answer public or to communicate it to the respondent.
j) All holders of Public office, including those mentioned above, and also anyone who works as a public office-holder. This includes people who are elected or appointed to public office, nationally and locally, and all people appointed to work in: the civil service, local government, the police, the courts and probation services, non-departmental public bodies, health, education, social and care services. The principle of honesty also apply to all those in other sectors that deliver public services.
- The procedures for the calling of Parliamentary Investigative Truth Committees would be under the auspices of the Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL)
5.The jurors of the Parliamentary Truth Committees would be taken by random lot chosen from the official jury rolls of Westminster. No jurors would serve on more than one such Parliamentary Investigative Committee
6.The juries of other officials to be established in each local parliamentary constituency and to be formed of ad hoc members taken by lot from the local jury rolls.
7.The Oaths (or Affirmations) taken for formal and official office would be updated to reflect this new obligation of Veracity on taking up appointment.
8. If any holder of public office or government official has been found to have dissimulated, lied, obfuscated, falsely denied, prevaricated or otherwise mendaciously attempted to deflect the questioner, or to dissuade from asking the question, and a formal procedure has concluded there is affirmative evidence for mendacity, then the official concerned would be required to resign from office immediately, with one months’ severance pay only permitted.
9. This principle of honesty runs parallel to Parliamentary Privilege laws and privileges. Members of parliament are no longer permitted to make untrue accusations, deliberately lying, against fellow parliamentarians. Henceforth they are required to observe the principle of honesty if they wish to accuse their colleagues of wrong doing.
10.The new legal duty of veracity imposed by this Bill on all holders of Public Office cannot be refused by hiding behind “freedom of information” legislation. There are no cost ceilings involved in truth–telling. Nor can public officials refuse to respond honestly to questions on the grounds of “confidentiality” except without giving very good grounds to the Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL).
11. Frivolous, time-wasting and vexatious questions soliciting nonsensical information in inappropriate ways would be dealt with according to their desserts, and costs accrued to the frivolous questioner. Common sense rules would apply (e.g. what colour tie did you wear on December 19th 2014).
- The dissolution of the Conservative and Unionist Party shall take immediate effect on the passage of this legislation, and likewise, the Duty Of Veracity shall immediately become a principle in parliamentary law and procedure.
This act hereby passed and approved by order of Parliament and through the Grace of Queen Elizabeth 2nd, Sovereign, so help us God.
This provisional parliamentary legislation has been drafted by Dr Thomas Daffern, September 2018, in an effort to prevent Brexit coming into force, by the proscription of the key political force that is pushing it, an illegal treasonous and terroristic organisation, by any definition of the words, with only 120,000 members throughout the UK, yet which is imposing a policy against the wishes of the vast majority of the 62 million people who lives in the UK. Dr. Thomas Clough Daffern B.A. (Hons.) PGCE. D.SC. (Hon), PhD. is a philosopher, historian, teacher, poet, author, lecturer, musician, thinker, educator, consultant and peace studies specialist. His academic background includes degrees in European and world history (with political philosophy) and religious education, plus a long period of intense personal study in philosophy, religion and the history of ideas – together with over 30 years teaching experience in the same fields. He has also trained and practised in conflict management within communities and schools, specialising in multifaith and multicultural mediation. He is also a trained and experienced teacher in secondary schools, specialising in philosophy, religious education, history and citizenship studies. He was awarded his PhD from the University of London for a thesis which explores the history of the search for peace from 1945-2001 and which proposes a new field of historiography, Transpersonal History, as the best way to establish a rigorous discourse on peace among rival and contending spiritual and intellectual traditions, currently battling for hegemony on the planet. He is an expert in research techniques and methodologies on all aspects of history, religious studies, the history of world philosophy and transpersonal psychology. He has lectured in peace studies, philosophy and religious studies for many years at the Universities of London and Oxford, and has spoken at the UN Headquarters about the role of Universities in changing the climate of fear and violence on the planet to one of trust and wisdom-seeking. He is a founder and coordinator of International Philosophers and Historians for Peace and has worked with philosophers and intellectuals from many countries worldwide to help establish intellectual and spiritual networks for peace and goodwill. In 1990 he was elected in Moscow as Coordinator of International Philosophers for Peace, a specialist body of philosophers worldwide searching for peace and international understanding. He is Director of the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy (IIPSGP) which works across many academic fields to bring together all those with an interest in and a commitment towards the study of peace and philosophy on all levels of the personal and global and to applying the qualities of love and wisdom to the resolution of the problems and tensions of today’s world. IIPSGP arose out of a feasibility study which Thomas undertook for the University of London into the proposed establishment of an Institute of Peace Studies (from 1989-1992). IIPSGP now operates as an autonomous Institute with members scattered worldwide. Thomas is also Founder of The Global Green University, which has arisen from the work of IIPSGP and was launched in 2000 as a pilot project in complementary higher education, to bring into being a new global higher education initiative which can provide space for the deeper, holistic, transpersonal and ecological kind of learning. Dr Daffern is also European Coordinator of the World Intellectual Forum a new initiative like the World Economic Forum, but with a wider intellectual participation. Dr Daffern is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party in recognition that they are the major political force fighting brexit in the UK at present. He has personally co-chaired over 35 seminars in the House of Lords from 1993-2007 concerning all aspects of peace, policy and ethics, with the friendly help of members of the House of Lords. Further details about his work can be found on here: http://www.educationaid.net Comments, feedback, offers of legal help, offers of parliamentary support, to firstname.lastname@example.org
In this talk I grapple with the existential and ethical dimensions of Bwrecksit – who will benefit, who will suffer, both short and long term ? I go into the deep history of the situation we are in and explain that the long term consequences of this fatally flawed referendum choice, if implemented rather than being referred to for a second referendum, will be the breakup of the United Kingdom in its current form.
This talk is an appeal to the intellectuals of the UK and all who love and respect our country with all its diverse cultures, traditions, religions and communities living side by side, to stand up and prevent Brexit from being implemented. As a last resort, the author also proposes proscribing the Conservative party as a treasonable and terrorist organisation which is in the brink of pursuing policies that will destroy the country.
In this same draft bill it is also proposed that politicians in Parliament have by law to tell the truth on all matters of fact concerning business before parliament, and if found to have lied, automatically lose office, and lose their license to be a politician. As a licensed and fully qualified teacher, Dr Daffern explains that the political profession is the last resort of scoundrels and mountebanks, who need no qualifications, training, and are not monitored to ensure they are doing their job effectively on behalf of the people who elect them. On the contrary, as the current shower taking Britain to the Brexit cliffs show, they take the meaning of the words “unqualified” and “under-educated” and “untrained” to new heights of meaning.
This talk is based on the experience of living and teaching in Scotland for 7 years in a wild part of Argyll and uses the landscape and scenery of Argyll to explain what Bwrecksit will actually be like, to people who have not realised the full implications, drawing on the stunning scenery of the island of Mull and its cliff paths by way of analogy.
By the way the dictionary definition of Mountebank is as follows: It derives from the Italian montimbanco, which was formed by combining the verb “montare” (“to mount”), the preposition “in” (converted to im, meaning “in” or “on”), and the noun “banco” (“bench”). Put these components together and you can deduce the literal origins of “mountebank” as someone mounted on a bench – the “bench” being the platform on which charlatans from the 16th and 17th centuries would stand to sell their phony medicines. Mountebanks often included various forms of light entertainment on stage in order to attract customers. Later, extended uses of “mountebank” referred to someone who falsely claims to have knowledge about a particular subject or a person who simply pretends to be something he or she is not in order to gain attention. In other words, instead of being mounted on a horse, a mountebank was someone mounted on a bench. Perfect analogue for Brexiteers.
In this short talk I address what it is in British psychology that makes for the appeal of BWrecksit among ordinary people throughout the UK. It is not the intellectual appeal of the ideas behind BWrecksit (I explain how there is none). I argue instead that it appeals precisely to two features of British mentality: a deference to people in authority, and a stoicism or stiff upper lip mentality. Thus the worse BWrecksit becomes and the worst its consequences become clear, the more it will appeal to the UK to carry on, Dad’s army style. I give an example of my own life illustrating these two features of our mentality and explain why now is the time to consider jettisoning these two characteristics before it is too late..
In this short talk I am giving my views as a political philosopher, using the idea of Aristotle, that we should always require our political leaders to submit their own personal egotism to the general well being and happiness of the collective civilization they are supposed to be leading or governing. I explain in detail how the current government of the UK is falling woefully short by its fanatical implementation of BWRECKSIT and I give specific and detailed reasons why this is not a logical, intelligent, ethical or prescient path to be following. I then explore the very likely consequences of what will happen if they manage to bully parliament, the media, the opposition and the legal system into allowing BWRECKSIT to happen in March 2019. Within one year I predict there will be a second referendum for Scottish independence from the UK and this time, a resounding victory for the Independence vote. Hence, BWRECKSIT will immediately and directly lead to the permanent breakup of the United Kingdom. Having lived for many years in Scotland and England both, and also in Wales, I feel I know the pulse of both nations, pretty exhaustively, and can see definite trouble looming up ahead. The divorce of Scotland and England from one another will be lengthy, protracted, bitter, and lead to considerable pain and discomfort on many sides. It will leave England alone in its post BWRECKSIT nightmare. Scotland will happily return to the EU on achieving independence, and also join the family of Nordic nations, and pursue a peace path, removing nuclear weapons from her soil at once. But the negotiations will be painful and difficult. It is my considered opinion therefore as a political philosopher, that BWRECKSIT should be put to the UK electorate again, with all the full implications on the table, including the inevitability of Scottish independence from the UK should BWRECKSIT go ahead.
THE LEONARDO DA VINCI PEACE PRIZE
SPONSORED BY THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF PEACE STUDIES AND GLOBAL PHILOSOPHY (IIPSGP)
The prize will be awarded in two stages. The first will go to the architectural design for putting a top floor on the Pentagon, to house a New Department of Peace.
The Second phase will go to the lobbying team or political consultancy group, who manage to get the US Department of Peace Bill through both houses of Congress and signed into law by the President of the USA.
Both prizes will be awarded on the same day, when the first building work actually begins on the Nonagon, and after the President has signed the Bill into law.
RATIONALE: The Pentagon is currently the largest single source of expenditure on planet earth, and spends billions of dollars per year, and trillions over decades, all of which go to military and defence expenditure on behalf of the USA. It organises, finances and plans, the entire running of the USA military, including the Navy, the air force, the army, and also pays for all weapons research and development. It also manages the budgets of the military intelligence networks of the USA, which have spiralled into astronomical expenditure rates since 9/11. It is also responsible for paying for USA army bases around the planet, which are many in number. All this military-industrial complex which is fed from the Pentagon, is also the largest single aggregate consumer of energy on the planet and responsible for major pollution worldwide. Yet this vast expenditure I actually buying the USA as a nation very little security. Attacks on USA interests worldwide are ongoing. The rival major powers of the planet are not fading away, and continue to protest and oppose many aspects of USA policy, and also continue to develop their own military arsenals. All this vast expenditure by the Pentagon has actually witnessed many new wars breaking out worldwide.
THE NONAGON: The Nonagon will be a nine-sided building sitting on the top of the existing Pentagon structure, which will house the new USA Department of Peace. This will be voted into being by act of USA congress and the President. The budget of the Department of Peace will be exactly the same, in any calendar year, as the Department of Defence. Once the Nonagon is built, the easiest way to achieve this parity will simply be to cut the Department of Defence budget in two, and allocate one half to the new Department of Peace.
THE DEPARTMENT OF PEACE: The purpose of the new department will be to achieve peace worldwide in our lifetimes, by seeing a peaceful end to all ongoing wars and military and violent struggles taking place worldwide. Its aim will be to achieve bilateral peace and nonviolent treaties between the USA and every other nation on earth, pledging that neither will attack the other in military aggression or covert destabilisation and intelligence wars. Its tools will be: communication, mediation, dialogue, peace-building, confidence building measures, social development, poverty alleviation, providing alternatives to recruitment into terrorist armed groups through peace training provision, and above all educational provision, from school through university level to post graduate research institutions. It would be the aim of the Nonagon that every Ministry of Education worldwide will write and implement a peace education curriculum for all schools in their country, varying according to the prevailing cultural norms of that country. Likewise it would be the aim of the Nonagon, that all Universities in the world would have a department of peace studies in their universities, teaching and researching the whole field of peace from a variety of academic lenses, including political science, sociology, philosophy, religious studies, arts, literature, psychology, theology, humanities, history, ecology, earth sciences, natural sciences, biology, engineering, law, diplomacy etc. The Department of peace would have large budgetary resources at its disposal and would insist that development funding can be given to rebuild shattered post conflict communities, once all sides agree to a comprehensive peace plan that can be drafted, and presented by the Department of Peace.
THE EXISTING PENTAGON STRUCTURE The Pentagon was designed by American architect George Bergstrom (1876–1955), and built by general contractor John McShain of Philadelphia. Ground was broken for construction on September 11, 1941, and the building was dedicated on January 15, 1943. General Brehon Somervell provided the major motivating power behind the project; Colonel Leslie Groves was responsible for overseeing the project for the U.S. Army. David J. Witmer replaced Bergstrom as chief architect on April 11, 1941, after Bergstorm resigned due to charges, unrelated to the Pentagon project, of improper conduct while he was president of the American Institute of Architects The Pentagon is the world’s largest office building, with about 6,500,000 sq. ft (600,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq. ft (340,000 m2) are used as offices. Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defence support personnel work in the Pentagon. It has five sides, five floors above ground, two basement levels, and five ring corridors per floor with a total of 17.5 mi (28.2 km) of corridors. The Pentagon includes a five-acre (20,000 m2) central plaza, which is shaped like a pentagon.
THE FUTURE NONAGON STRUCTURE: The Nonagon will retain the overall internal size as the Pentagon below it, but will be a 9 sided building, instead of a 5 sided one. The existing height of the walls of the Pentagon is 22 metres high and consists of 5 storeys full of offices, in which the numerous employees of the Pentagon are accommodated. Likewise, the Nonagon will be 22 meters high and also consist of 5 floors likewise. This will bring home to everyone that the work of the Department of Peace is equally important as the wok of the Department of Defence. All prize entries for the Leonardo Da Vinci Peace prize must explain in detail how the Nonagon structure will be built so as to cap and sit aside the existing Pentagon structure, and must also explain how a 9 sides building can be made to fit safely and beautifully atop a 5 sides structure. On the very top of the Nonagon will be a purposely built World Peace garden for people to admire the views and enjoy nature at her finest, with trees and shrubs from all over the world, and with cooling fountains for hot summer days. There will also be meditation pavilions and prayer spaces for all world faiths to pray for peace and keep up a steady energy of goodwill for the work inside the Nonagon below.
All necessary facilities for the Nonagon structure to house the new US Department of Peace must be included in the plan, and specified by the architectural design presented. A detailed specification of the interior space design requirement for the Nonagon will be made available to candidates wishing to enter for the prize.
THE LEONARDO DA VINCI DIMENSION: Why Leonardo da Vinci ? Leonardo was a famous Italian artist, inventor, architect, designer, draughtsman, sculptor, mathematician, and scientist, whose work has become the very base line of the ideal of Renaissance genius. The American colonies of North and South America, and then the USA, were themselves born out of the European renaissance and the Americas are named after a fellow Florentine, Amerigo de Vespucci (1454-1512), who like Leonardo was a protegee of the Medici family of cultural and financial patrons running the Florentine democracy in its glory days. Amerigo and Leonardo could have met and discussed ideas together at the Academy in Florence. The necessity of the times mean that Leonardo had to spend time working as a military engineer and technical inventor, both for Lodovico Sforza, the ruler of Milan, which was one of the superpowers of the day, and for Cesare Borgia, the fierce military general working for his father, Pope Alexander Vl. In today’s world, many brilliant inventors, scientists and engineers likewise end up working for the military around the world, spending the best years of their lives designing weapons and high-tech equipment that will end up killing and maiming people all over the world. They also work for high tech military intelligence projects designed to pump out propaganda to weaken and demoralise self-defined “enemies”. But Leonardo’s vision was ultimately one of peace. As a Christian catholic and universal mystic, Leonardo dreamed of a world where the spiritual laws of love and wisdom would one day prevail over a world based on barbarism, cruelty and violence. He dreamed that peace can be furthered through art, science and beauty and the realisation and manifestation of the divine patters that underlie all our lives. He was an expert in sacred geometry and had studied Islamic and Jewish science, Sufism and the Qabalah, as well as advanced Christian philosophy and metaphysics.
The Leonardo Da Vinci Peace Prize has been launched as a project of IIPSGP following the Leonardo Da Vinci Peace Study day in France, and the visit to the Chateau of Amboise and Close Luce where Leonardo lived and died from 1516-1519, having been invited by King Francis 1st, the great renaissance King of France who did so much to boost education, scholarship, learning and the arts in France and Europe. The USA was itself a truly renaissance country, which historically also prizes and values renaissance thinking, and a whole lineage of savants and polymaths like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Buckminster Fuller, Edison, A.G Bell, Tesla, Einstein, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and many others, have contributed in the centuries since its foundation, to the advancement of humanity as whole, by developing numerous excellent inventions and technical and engineering devices. Whereas Leonardo da Vinci only dreamed of flight, the USA has developed the air industry. Whereas Leonardo only sketched ideas for self-moving automobiles, the USA has developed the car industry. The greatest statesmen and leaders of America, such as Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, F.D. Roosevelt, or J.F. Kennedy, have all realised that whereas the USA might have to fight unavoidable wars from time to time, the best long interests of the USA and the planet as a whole, are found in developing and securing peace. Thus the coming into being of the Nonagon and the Department of Peace represents the best brightest dreams of all the greatest visionary American citizens and pioneers. Peace was likewise the vision of the native peoples of North America, and in Deganawidah profound teachings on peace were shared before the coming of the Europeans. Many of the early settlers and pioneers who came to North America likewise dreamed of a country living at peace, such as William Penn. The Nonagon will represent the achievement of all their hopes and goals too.
IMPLICATIONS: Building the Nonagon will represent a major shift for the people of the USA and the world. By recognising that peace is an equally important goal for mankind as defence, it will send a signal to other nations to likewise follow suit. Instead of proving one’s friendship to the American people by match-spending the Pentagon’s massive budget, nations could instead develop their own departments of peace and develop their own peace projects in their own unique cultural contexts. instead of the USA military continuing to strive for strategic military dominance over all other nations, it could realise that the true way to security is via peace, not war. It represents a major shift of consciousness suitable for a third millennium, that shows mankind there is a way out of the current chaos and confusion caused by unsolved military conflicts worldwide. The Nonagon would tackle creatively and imaginatively the necessity to end peacefully (un)civil wars such as have been raging in Syria for too long, and the long-standing Israel-Palestine conflict over hegemony in the Holy Land. By building the Nonagon and prioritising peace, the USA would show it is serious about peacebuilding not only in the Middle East, but globally, and in this new mission it would hopefully be joined by its true friends and partners.
PRACTICALITIES: Fully trained and qualified architects and architectural practises are invited to submit their design plans for building the physical infrastructure of the Nonagon. Political lobbying forms and consultancies are invited to submit their plans to ensure the passage of the US Department of Peace Bill, including the wording of the bill. Both prizes will be judged by a professional team of architects and savants organised under the rubric of the IIPSGP. The final announcement will be made in Amboise at Clos Luce where Leonardo lived and died from 1516-1519. The prize will remain open until the building of the Nonagon commences.
GUIDING VISION: It has been well said of Leonardo that “He was like a man who had woken too early in the darkness when everyone else was still asleep” (Dmitri Merezkhkovski, 1901) The same will be said of the Leonardo da Vinci Peace prize and the Nonagon Project, but later, humanity will only ask why it took so long to think of it.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact Dr Thomas Daffern, Chair of the Leonardo da Vinci Prize Committee or Jeffrey Gayle, Architectural Adviser to IIPSGP, at IIPSGP, Leonardo da Vinci Peace Prize, 13 Grande Rue, Betete, La Creuse, 23270, France, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Following the attack on Syria by the USA, UK and France, on Friday 13 April and Saturday 14 April, a decision taken by Prime Minster Theresa May without consulting parliament, or the democratic will of the people of Britain, debates finally took place in the UK parliament on Monday 16 April and Tuesday 17 April. Although the quality of these debates were in some parts marked by excellent rhetorical flourishes and showed some basic understanding of the complexity of the situation we now find ourselves in as a world, the author has recorded his own detailed comments on these debates in the enclosed two talks. He has pointed out some major flaws not just with the thinking of MP’s as evidenced in the debates, but also points out some problems with the existing UK Constitution as it tries to deal with a new era of information warfare, propaganda and truth-deficits. The fact that the “secret intelligence” on which this military action was launched was shared only with members of the Privy Council, and does in fact appear to be flawed if not mendacious, raises the ethical and political question about whether we now live in the UK in a Kryptocracy., where secrecy, lies and half truths determine policies that could literally mean the end of life in the UK and Europe for generations to come. Is this right or just ? is it intelligent ? The speaker works through some major issues that are concerning everyone in the UK and globally right now about the whole tragic confict going on in Syria and above all, how we can best end it and mediate a genuine peace agreement, and why we should. He suggests that the UK’s foreign policy needs to be entirely rethought and a new branch of policy be developed, which he has christened “peace policy” to balance the work of our current think tanks who talk only of military and security policy, foreign policy and strategic policy. There is no joined up thinking going on whatsoever about peace policy in the government of the UK, as was made clear by the debates in Parliament this week; nor apparently is it going on in the Opposition. But these talks should interest not only UK citizens but also all Commonwealth, Europe, Middle Eastern, American and indeed Russian thinkers. The author is radically calling for joined up global thinking about peace, and a truly universal peace policy being developed. Among other things he calls for a new floor to be put on top of the existing Pentagon building: a 9 Sided circular shape (A Nonagon) which would house a new Department of Peace dedicated solely to peace thinking, mediation, and conflict resolution, just as the thinking of the Pentagon is dedicated to war fighting and covert destabilisation of countries around the world. The Pentagon is the biggest single drain on the world’s collective wealth, and is like a black hole literally siphoning off the collective wealth of the planet, in pursuit of the chimera of “security”. It needs capping, literally, and the drain of global wealth towards militarism needs to be plugged. The UK should likewise develop a genuine Department of Peace to offset the work of the Ministry of Defence. Anyone who cares about seeing truthful and intelligent peace thinking applied to shaping policy in the UK governing structures, and who is prepared for some genuine “blue skies” thinking, should listen in to these two talks.
Following the recent declaration warning against hastily jumping to conclusions over the Salisbury poisoning case, which I have signed and authored, along with philosophers and other intellectual colleagues from around the world, the situation in Syria has suddenly reached fever pitch in the Western media as if to stampede the world into a major military confrontation over the issues of a chemical weapons attack. This however prejudges the situation which has received no proper forensic and investigative analysis. Until then, we should all calm down, and find out who actually was responsible, then let them be dealt with according to international law and due process. Meanwhile the international community should be trying to mediate this civil war in Syria, not add to it by further militarisation. But for that to happen, we have to learn about the deeper background of this crisis. We have to be prepared to take the long term view. In this dangerous situation it is imperative that the voices of intellectuals and philosophers and academics can be heard above the conflicting claims and hysterical war rhetoric that we are hearing, even from our elected political leaders. Intelligent political leaders who wish to be remembered by coming generations as having prevented wars, rather than having triggered them, need to reflect soberly on this situation we find ourselves in. Please listen in to this important talk, share it widely with friends and colleagues, and try to get your MP’s, Lords, members of Congress, the Knesset and other elected political leaders to listen too. Hopefully, we can still avoid a planetary melt-down.. but we do all need to put our thinking caps on..
INSTITUT INTERNATIONAL DES ÉTUDES DE PAIX ET PHILOSOPHIE MONDIALE
Directeur, Dr. Thomas Daffern B.A. (Hons) D.Sc. (Hon) Ph.D. (B.A.)
Trésorière: Jenny Wheatcroft Département des Médias: Nicola Hague
USA and Canada Coordonnatrice: Almira Rzehak, Israël Coordonnatrice: Gila Haron M.A
Coordonnatrice des Balkans, Gordana Netkovska Italie Secrétaire: Francesca Dell’Ova
Londres Secrétaire: Nisa Saiyyid B.A. et Isabella Wessoly B.A.Coordinateur Francaise : Tori Milner Coodinateur Russe: Prof Chumakov PhD, Anna Ivanova B.A.
HQ: LE MUSEE EUROPEENNE DE LA PAIX, https://europeanpeacemusaeon.weebly.com/
13 Grande Rue, Betete, La Creuse, 23270, Limousin, Aquitaine, France.
Anglais bureau: 217 Ham Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 2QB
Tél. +33 05 8756 5489 / Mob. 07500 238523 Courriel: email@example.com
Sites Web: http://www.educationaid.net http://www.lulu.com/iipsgp https://thomascloughdaffern.wordpress.com/
Facebook: Institut international d’études sur la paix YouTube: IIPSGP1
A JOINT STATEMENT ABOUT TENSIONS IN ANGLO-RUSSIAN RELATIONS,
We the undersigned are British, Russian, European, Indian, American and other intellectuals and philosophers who have long campaigned for better peace and understanding between Russia, Europe, the UK and the rest of the world. We have been instrumental in organising conferences of Philosophers for Peace in 1985-1986, 1988 and 1990, and again in 1993 and often since then. Many of us have taken part regularly in meetings of the World Congress of Philosophy. Some of us are members of International Philosophers for Peace and the Prevention of Nuclear Omnicide and many of us are involved also in a new project, to establish the World Intellectual Forum. Through our contacts and networks, we have links to leading philosophisers and intellectuals all over the world, in Russia, Europe, UK, China, USA India, the Middle East, Israel, Latin America, Africa and so on.
We are issuing this emergency statement because of increased sabre rattling in the media arising from the tragic poisoning on 4 March 2018 of two Russians, Sergei and Yulia Skripal, father and daughter, one of whom lives in Salisbury and one in Moscow. They will hopefully recover but their lives are still in the balance.
It’s our considered opinion that these tragic poisonings were very unlikely to have been in any way sanctioned at any official level by the Russian government under Vladimir Putin and that any evidence put forward to the contrary by the UK government needs to be examined by an independent international committee of scientific and forensic experts. Responsible voices in the UK have increasingly questioned whether the UK government’s accusations against Russia are indeed accurately based. They must be tested out by genuine experts objectively. We suspend judgment until the actual evidence has been assessed by neutral third parties.
A crime has been committed on British soil, and allegations are being made that claim it originated in orders from the Russian government, but no concrete empirical proof is being given, simply innuendos and agitation.
This reminds us of the false evidence that was used to generate the invasion of Iraq in 2003, arguably the worst blow to peace in international affairs for many years, in which the media rushed to accuse Al Qaeda alone of being responsible for the events of 9/11 without any real evidence being produced, and then generated a media storm which resulted in somehow linking the events to Saddam Hussein, and this generated in turn a mass hysteria in the Western mind which somehow made invading a sovereign country legitimate in many minds. Of course, it wasn’t legitimate but an illegal action under international law but the media colluded in creating a false narrative that impacted on the way events turned out, resulting in the mass deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the destabilisation of the entire Middle East since then.
Now something similar is happening. The mass media in the UK has rushed to point the finger at Russia without real evidence being produced. All the available evidence shows that Russia would have far more to lose by authorising this killing, of an agent who had already long ago been sent back to live in the West. Why on earth would Putin now send a hit squad to kill someone they had already let go ? It is unthinkable that President Putin would be that stupid. There is also an unwritten rule that after official “spy swops” you don’t go on and kill those you returned, or the whole system is invalidated and trust breaks down completely. As intellectuals we have a duty to demand a very high burden of proof this time around. We urge all committed intellectuals to co-sign this letter with us and share it widely among fellow thinkers and responsible intellectual leaders in the UK, Russia and Europe. We cannot stand back and let this hysterical attempt to generate negative feelings between Russia and the UK go unremarked
Also possible as a hypothesis, is that someone from another international power, or an “unofficial” influence block inside the UK, has done this killing and then helped manipulate the media in order to blame Russia – why ? Because they want to destabilise further the friendships that have been building up in Anglo-Russian relations since the ending of the cold war and may simply have a strong case of “Russo-phobia” – because it takes people’s minds off domestic difficulties such as the likely impact of Brexit on the break up of the UK itself ! If they can whip up aggression against a foreign nation through false attacks, it takes people’s minds off critical decisions in the UK regarding brexit and its likely negative impact on the long term stability and well being of the UK itself. It is almost certainly the case that whoever did this killing in Salisbury wants Brexit to succeed and is prepared to use any means, fair or foul, to bring that about.
As leading philosophers of peace in our respective countries who worked through philosophical networks to help bring about the ending of the cold war between Russia (then the Soviet Union) and Europe and the UK and USA, we urge caution to all those in the UK and Russia who would like to turn this sad incident in Salisbury, England into something of major importance.
We ask both sides to submit their evidence and contra-evidence to responsible investigating bodies such as the International Court of Justice, and if a crime has been committed and allegations are being made, then let Interpol deal with it, let responsible European, Russian and UK policing agencies be tasked with tracking down the attackers. Let justice be done – in other words, let us not be too hasty to rush to our condemnations without allowing properly legal authorities to investigate in a responsible manner. Then, whoever turns out to have been guilty, let them be punished according to the law, both domestic and international. As philosophers we suspend judgement until the truth has been established beyond doubt.
Russia and the UK are both two ancient nations who have both learned the hard way that only true justice in the end lets a country flourish This is test case in our relations. Instead of hasty judgments, let true evidence and true legality prevail.
But the case raises an additional and equally difficult matter. In today’s modern globalised world, conflicts are being fought behind the scenes, by espionage agents, using cloak and dagger methods, or using the internet and cyber networks to spread black propaganda ad infinitum. We have entered a new era of “information wars”. Nobody knows anymore who to believe or how to trust anyone. It is as if our basic understandings of morality have broken-down and with that the distinction between right and wrong. Truth has become “whatever you can convince enough people to believe”. But this is not how the cold war ended. This is not how the UK and Russian emerged out of a long period of hostile relations to recognise each other as free nations both embarked on a search for justice, peace, prosperity and enlightenment, as are all nations worldwide. We urge therefore that a new international peace treaty be signed in which nations pledge not to use black espionage, black propaganda, fake news and disinformation against each other. Then acts such as this poisoning in Salisbury would be totally ruled out of order, and never permitted, under any circumstances. We ask that the governments of Russia and the UK make such a treaty, and pledge that they will conduct their relations honourably henceforth, and that although they may have policy differences, and may express those openly, they will never stoop so low as to use such underhand methods as covert attacks and killings on each other’s soil, or indulge in false flag attacks against their own citizens. In turn, once Russia and the UK have signed such a treaty, we will ask other nations (e.g. members of NATO and members of the Commonwealth of Independent States) to co-sign the treaty, and we will hope that the treaty can be adopted by the UN in general, by the EU, in the Middle East and that all nations can eventually sign it. This will take huge effort but we say the time has come for this.
For just as people have been campaigning to rid the world of all nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, we also believe, as philosophers and intellectuals, that the new sphere of warfare is now cyber-warfare, information war and covert propaganda and cyber-espionage – and that to establish true peace between nations we need to devise new treaties and new laws outlawing all such manifestations of ill-will and short term egoistical self-advantage of one nation against another. We suggest this new treaty be called THE INTERNATIONAL TREATY OF CYBER-PEACE
We leave the drafting of such a treaty to international lawyers, and urge that they begin the work without delay, both in Russia and the UK.
Meanwhile, we offer to help with philosophical mediation, through the Multicultural and Multifaith Mediation Service (MMMS) over how to resolve the problems arising from this tragic case in Salisbury. We would urge that the British and Russian representatives come to a face to face meeting in Paris to discuss the actual evidenced facts that are known behind this sad event, in private. Just as the Treaty Of Paris (1990) led to the ending of the cold war in Europe in 1990, we ask that the leaders of Russia and the UK, NATO and the CIS and other responsible international bodies such as the United Nations, take a deep breath, a step back and stop escalating the wars of propaganda between our respective cultures and countries.
The fate of the nations of the world is in the balance and we urge all responsible intellectuals and all genuine politicians who are concerned for the future well being of the planet, to come together and join us in the work of the World Intellectual Forum. We call for moderation in political views, humility and a recognition that as one global society, we the peoples of separate countries have to realise that our futures and our fates are bound up with each other and we need to transcend traditional enmity with new friendship, trust, honesty and respect.
Dr Thomas Clough Daffern, Director, International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy (UK and France), European Coordinator of the World Intellectual Forum; Secretary General, Philosophers and Historians for Peace, (www.educationaid.net), Vice President and European Coordinator, International Philosophers for Peace and the Prevention of Nuclear Omnicide (http://www.philosophersforpeace.org/), Chair, Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East (https://trcme.wordpress.com/)
Dr Igor Kondrashin, President & CEO, World Philosophical Forum, Secretary-General, Supreme Council of Humanity, International GUSI Peace Prize Laureate, Citizen of the Earth-XXI (Russia, Greece, Universal State of the Earth), Philosophical Coordinator of World Intellectual Forum
Prof.Dr. D. Swaminadhan Ph.D.(England), D.Sc. FIE, FNAE, FTAS, FAPAS, MISTE, MISCA. MIIPA, Global Chairman of the World Intellectual Forum, President, Mahatma Gandhi National Institute of Research and Social Action (MGNIRSA), Hyderabad, India; Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Medical Research (JNIAMER), Secunderabad, India; Chairman, Swaminadhan Research Foundation (DSRF), Hyderabad, India, Formerly:Vice-Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, (JNTU) Hyderabad,
Shlomo Shoham of Israel, retired Judge, former head of the Commission for Future Generations for the Israeli Knesset, and Legal advisor to the Constitution Law and Justice Committee in the Israeli Parliament, Honorary fellow of the Bertelsmann Foundation, Founder and Director of the Sustainable Global Leadership Academy, board member of the World Intellectual Forum
Prof. Dr Christopher Busby. Scientific Secretary, European Committee on Radiation Risk, Brussels, Director, Green Audit, UK, Director Environmental Research SIA, Riga,Latvia, President International Foundation for Research on Radioactivity Risk, Stockholm.
Here in France I have just finished giving a course at the European Peace Museum, which has taken place weekly this Autumn term. The theme was as follows: French And European Philosophical Thinkers And The Paths To Peace
Each week we have covered a different topic in this overall subject. It was a kind of crash course on French intellectual history, looking at the contributions made by significant French thinkers over the centuries towards the idea of peace, from different angles, different paths. It seemed to me an appropriate course to run from here, since we are establishing a new Pan European Peace Museum in this central part of France, which has already attracted visitors from across Europe, including the UK.
Totally unbeknown to me, at the same time, the Community of St Egidio was organising in Germany a gathering on on 11 September, on the exact same theme of PATHS TO PEACE in which World Council of Churches president for Europe and Archbishop emeritus Dr Anders Wejryd reflected on the times when churches have been able to make a difference by getting people to actually change politics and priorities, along with many other speakers at “Paths of Peace,” an international interreligious meeting of dialogue and prayer for peace held in the German cities of Münster and Osnabrück. The gathering explored topics such as eco-justice, terrorism, prayer, healing, children’s rights, and migration, among others. Speakers included the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Dr Ahmad al-Tayyeb; Rev. Dr Chris Ferguson, general secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches; and Angela Merkel, chancellor of the German Federal Republic. Another speaker was Dr S.L. Gandhi of the Anuvibha Jain organisation in Jaipur who was due to come and visit the European Peace Museum afterwards.
So that was an auspicious sign of synchronicity. My course started on September 25th and took place as follows.
French And European Philosophical Thinkers And The Paths To Peace
September 25th – Ancient Celtic Gaul and the Druid paths to peace
October 2nd—Bodin, Montesquieu, Saint Simon, Pierre Lerroux, Raymond Aaron and the Political thinkers’ path to peace
October 9th – Pascal, Descartes, Marie Curie and the Scientific Paths to Peace
October 16th – The French Jewish heritage and the Qabalist Path to Peace
October 23rd – Sartre, Camus, Heidegger, Hadot and Philosophical Paths to peace
October 30th – Postel, Doinel, Papus, Guenon, Faivre and the Esotericists’ Path to Peace
November 6th – Montaigne, Racine, George Sand, Proust, Victor Hugo and Literary Paths to Peace
November 13th – The Lodge of the 9 Sisters and the Freemasonic path
November 20th – Henri Corbin and the Islamic and Sufi path to Peace
November 27th – Monnet, De Rougemont and the pan-European path to Peace
December 4th – St. Bernard, Abelard, Teilhard de Chardin, Lanza del Vasto and the Christian Theological Paths to peace
Each week was set around the idea of “paths to peace” and was offered in the spirit that peace is a complex, multidimensional and therefore multidisciplinary task to track down. There is far too much “un-peace” in the world, not least in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Palestine/Israel.. and even closer to home, in the streets of many European cities.
I did a lot of work in researching each topic, although I was also able to draw on a lifetime’s prior research in studying these subjects and writing about them for many years. Since it is very topical at the moment, I thought I would upload to my blog the talk I gave no November 27th about the intellectual history of the European Union – who were its architects, and what did they think they were doing ? Everyone who studies the matter agrees that the founders of the European Union were primarily concerned to create an international system of interlocking relationships in Europe so that a major European war would no longer be possible. It was a “functionalist” creation, inspired by David Mitrany and other intellectual giants, to prevent the violence that had bedevilled European international relations ever since the 100 years war, or Caesar’s invasion of Gaul, from recurring, or the Greek civil war of the Peloponnesian war in which Athens and Sparta fought each other with furious violence, as recounted by Thucydides the Greek historian. In the 20th century, two vast European civil wars had dragged the whole world into joining in and countless millions had been killed,
Although not perfect, and like any political organisation, in need of constant improvement and constitutional adjustment to take account of new realities, the basic ideas are sound, and the fundamental architecture has served its purpose well. It has indeed prevented a recurrence of major wars in Europe since it was created (although it has failed to prevent the wars in former Yugoslavia or in Ukraine). Instead of walking away and committing Brexit (which should really also be called BREAKUK since it would lead directly to the breakup of the UK) I have instead called for the UK to remain and to help transform the European Union’s institutions along more popular and democratic lines, that the people of Europe can see it is actually working for them, and not against them.
Among the reforms I have proposed are two of special significance:
- No European Union civil servant or bureaucrat should be paid more than the salary of the lowest paid Prime Minister of the member states of the European Union
- The European Union should create a new outreach service, separate from its Foreign Ministry, called the EUROPEAN UNION MEDIATION SERVICE, which would have legal and intellectual autonomy as an agency of the European Union, with the sole aim of bringing about peace through mediation in states neighbouring the European Union, and in member states of the European Union itself.
Both of these ideas are sound, realistic, feasible and would restore quite a lot of credibility to the European Union if adopted.
But in order to reformat the EU, and to convince enough people who are dissatisfied with it to remain within and not to commit BREKUK / BREXIT, it is important that we all understand exactly where, how and why it was created. There is a woeful ignorance about the history of the EU and this is partly because the history of the EU is simply not taught in British schools. My own mother, Eileen Daffern, once worked for the University of Sussex European Studies Department, to create a course, including an A level in European Studies, for British Schools, but the project was never completed, and to this date you cannot study the history of the European Union in the British educational system until you reach University, and then only if you are reading a degree which includes this topic.
So, to make up for this lacuna, here then is my lecture on the history of the European Union as a path to peace, which I hope listeners will find of interest.
If the European Union was intended as a path to peace, why then is the UK about to get off the path and enter the bramble patch ? Do we really want to become the 52 state of the USA, the most heavily armed and most militaristic nation in the history of the earth, which has fought a total of at least 105 official wars since it came into being in 1776 ? This does not include unofficial and intelligence wars in which the USA has been intervening behind the scenes, in a proxy fashion. In neither world war one nor world war two did the USA come to support the UK immediately, only after it was in their own declared self interest. France however, on both occasions, was supporting the UK from the start. in world war one the USA didn’t join until 1917, and in world war two not till December 1941, which means that for the whole of the Battle of Britain, when UK cities were being blasted by the German air force, the USA was continuing as a neutral, and continuing to trade with Germany. Even Russia has a better track record of being an ally of the UK than that, since Russia fought alongside UK in the Napoleonic Wars, in the First world war, and eventually, in world war two. If anyone wants a list of the wars the USA has fought cine coming into being you can find it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_the_United_States
Rather than continuing down the BREAKUK-BREXIT path, it is my earnest hope, as I have said previously in this blog, that the UK will rethink and decide to remain in the UK. The tactical politics of how that might happen are interesting, but certainly, the current cabal of right wing conservatives currently running Westminster and destroying the UK will need to be replaced with centrist, intelligent, pro-European thinking people, similar to the Clegg-Cameron coalition that governed the UK prior to current debacle. Theresa May has made the worst job of being a prime Minister for a very long time, and her inability to respond to my own letters in any coherent or intelligent form, is simply indicative of a wider listening difficulty.
The late Mark Williams, who tragically died in October 2017, would have supported this analysis 100% and were he still alive he would have been sitting in the class, listening to this lecture and taking notes. The fact that he is dead means that I dedicate this lecture to his noble memory. May he rest in peace, but may the cause he fought for in his last year of life, the reversal of Brexit-BreakUK, succeed in turning around the ship of state into less choppy waters.
There is another footnote to add here: after giving this talk, I was researching for the final talk in this series, about the history of Christian thinkers in France and their paths to peace, and was looking into the history of Christian idealism in France. I wondered about the French Hegelian tradition, what had happened to it ? I knew about the famous lectures given on Hegel by Kojeve, and I knew that they had gone down as something quite extraordinary in French intellectual history, to which many of the greatest French philosophers had come along to listen to. But here is what I found out about Kojeve: Christian idealists: He was born Aleksandr Vladimirovič Koževnikov in Russia to a wealthy and influential family. His uncle was the abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky, about whose work he would write an influential essay in 1936. He was educated at the University of Berlin and Heidelberg, Germany. In Heidelberg he completed in 1926 his PhD thesis on the Russian religious philosopher Vladimir Soloviev’s views on the union of God and man in Christ under the direction of Karl Jaspers. (I also talked about Jaspers in my final talk in the series). The title of his PhD thesis was Die religiöse Philosophie Wladimir Solowjews (The Religious Philosophy of Vladimir Soloviev). Early influences included the philosopher Martin Heidegger and the historian of science Alexandre Koyré. Kojève spent most of his life in France, and it was from 1933 to 1939, that he delivered in Paris a series of lectures on Georg Hegel’s work Phenomenology of Spirit. This I knew already. Some of Kojève’s more important lectures on Hegel have also been published in English in the now classic Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit, in 1947. His interpretation of Hegel has been one of the most influential of the past century. His lectures were attended by a small but influential group of intellectuals including Raymond Queneau, Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, André Breton, Jacques Lacan, Raymond Aron, Roger Caillois, Michel Leiris, Henry Corbin, Jean Hyppolite, and Éric Weil. His interpretation of the master–slave dialectic was an important influence on Jacques Lacan’s mirror stage theory. Other French thinkers who have acknowledged his influence on their thought include the post-structuralist philosophers Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. In addition to his lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit, Kojève’s other publications include a little noticed book on Immanuel Kant, and articles on the relationship between Hegelian and Marxist thought and Christianity. His 1943 book, Esquisse d’une phenomenologie du droit, published posthumously in 1981, contrasts the aristocratic and bourgeois views of law. Le Concept, le temps et le discours, extrapolates on the Hegelian notion that wisdom only becomes possible in the fullness of time. Kojeve also wrote a study of pagan philosophy in Esquisse d’une histoire raisonnée de la pensée païenne, which covers the pre-Socratic philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, and Neoplatonism. This is interesting because in this talk, I also explain how the forced conversion of pagan philosophical intellectuals to a form of church-state Christianity, was a result of an intellectual error, based on fear, which had profound consequences in European intellectual history. I also explain how St Augustine converted from Manicheanism to Catholic Christianity out of fear, since Manicheans had been threatened with the death penalty just before he “converted”. This is never revealed in all the voluminous studies of Augustine that praise him as the “greatest of Christian thinkers”. In fact, as I explain in this talk, he had a negative impact on the history of the European mind. This is terrain that Kojeve also explored in his own writings, although whether he knew much about Gnosticism, Pelagius, Druidry and Manicheanism, remains to be uncovered. Certainly Hegel was very familiar with such advanced esoteric studies and included them in his magnifience synthesis of philosophical ideas.
Recently, three more books have been published by Kojeve: a 1932 thesis on the physical and philosophical importance of quantum physics, an extended 1931 essay on atheism (“L’athéisme”), and a 1943 work on “The Notion of Authority.”
What I had never realised before was that after World War II, Kojève worked in the French Ministry of Economic Affairs as one of the chief planners of the European Common Market. Kojève was an extraordinarily learned man. A polyglot, he studied and used Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan, Latin, and Classical Greek. He was also fluent in French, German, Russian, and English. Kojève died in Brussels in 1968, shortly after giving a talk at the European Economic Community (now the European Union) on behalf of the French government. So it means that I ought to have added Kojeve to my account of the spiritual and intellectual origins of the European Union. Here is a picture of his grave, in Brussels, which is where he was living and working when he died.
So the question really is – do we in the UK, and throughout Europe want to keep this extraordinary European Union in being, and transform it from a prevoyance of peace, into an actuality of international peacemaking, or are we happy to let Brexit/BreakUK go ahead, and gradually watch as neo-nationalist movements replace the genuine cosmic internationalism that the best European minds have advocated since Plato proposed the Republic of Philosophers, the Stoics posed their idea of the Cosmopolitics of the City of the Gods or the Druids wandered far and wide from Ireland to the Balkans in peace ? Do we want Cosmopoliticians like Kojeve and Monnet, or do we want petty nationalists running Europe ? At least once you’ve listened to this talk, you will know what’s at stake in the business of BREKUK-Brexit.
Listen, and enjoy… The other lectures of this series, including the last one of French Christianity and philosophy, will eventually make their way onto the new Global Green University website.