High life

Austerity has turned honest Greeks into criminals

Even law-abiding citizens are turning to the black market — and who can blame them

11 March 2017

9:00 AM

11 March 2017

9:00 AM

A lousy fortnight if ever there was one. Two great friends, Lord Belhaven and Stenton and Aleko Goulandris, had their 90th birthday celebrations, and I missed both shindigs because of this damn bug.

Lord Belhaven’s was in London, at the Polish Club, but flying there was verboten. Robin Belhaven is an old Etonian, served as an officer in Northern Ireland, farmed in Scotland, and has four children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He spent 35 years in the House of Lords when that institution was a responsible arm of the government and not a cesspool full of smarmy lawyers. His wife Malgosia is Polish-born and never fails to stand up for that country by reminding everyone how courageously the Poles fought against both the Axis powers and the commies, and how their Catholic faith has helped the people survive both evils.

The Belhavens I met recently, 15 or so years ago, but I feel we are very close friends. Their beautiful daughter, Olenka Hamilton, is a journalist who quit her EU job in Brussels in disgust, as rare a happening as Diogenes finding an honest person with his lamp. Poland is doing fine, despite the EU’s meddling and the media’s campaign against its conservative government. Poland and Hungary are doing well because of a lack of ethnomasochism (hatred of one’s own skin colour) and the self-loathing so prevalent in western societies today. Keeping Africans out has raised the temperature of the European élite to boiling point, but they can go and reproduce themselves. Poland for Christian Poles and Hungary for Christian Hungarians, says Taki. No matter how much money George Soros pours into those two countries in order to subvert them, Catholicism and nationalism come first. Yippee!


My oldest friend Aleko is no stranger to these pages. We met and became friends 72 years ago, and for me to miss his 90th was misery indeed. But the bug I’ve had kept getting worse and the doc finally ordered me to bed: so no Athens, no reunion with very old friends, no nothing. I spoke with Aleko over the telephone and also to his butler, who is called Plutarch. Anyone whose personal man is called Plutarch has to be a great man, and Aleko is definitely that. Mind you, whenever I’m in Athens nowadays I get a bit sad seeing a once warm, wonderful place turned into one big begging bowl. Those madmen who accepted the criminal terms of the EU bailout are driving around in government-issued limos, while the country’s middle class disappears. Austerity measures have driven even law-abiding Greeks to go off the books and get involved in the black market. No Greek will pay 70 per cent tax, as the new measures require, and many people have stopped reporting their income to avoid paying such taxes. Unpaid taxes have now soared to €95 billion, and businesses simply do not have the financial resources to meet their tax obligations.

What gets me is that there are still people who regret Brexit, the best move Britain has made since Trafalgar. I was always against tax-avoiding Greeks, but no longer. Not one penny should go into that black hole. After all the misery of the past seven years, the debt has risen exponentially, something a know-nothing like me knew would happen when the crisis began. The EU is the most evil institution in the world, enslaving people with red tape and regulation. We should have left a long time ago, but Tsipras likes to go to Brussels and serve drinks to the mega crooks, and to hell with the Greeks. His days are numbered, of course, but the damage has been done.

And now for the really bad news: a loyal Spectator reader whom I have on tape reading High life and laughing about my political incorrectness has just been murdered by African thugs, namely Samburu and Pokot cattle herders. Tristan Voorspuy was a Guards officer who settled in Kenya’s farm heartland and, like our own Aidan Hartley (who writes about his friend on p57), farmed the land and protected the animals. He rode his horse out to inspect ranch houses torched by the murderers, who are protected by the politicians in Nairobi, and a cowardly invader shot him and his horse.

My friend Lara Livanos told me about Tristan, how much fun he was and what a brave man those thugs killed in cold blood. Local politicians have taken advantage of the movement of cattle herders due to drought conditions, inciting them to invade ranches and drive white farmers out, and what are the Brits doing? Sending more aid so that the African élite can travel first-class to Europe and enjoy first-class hotels and hookers.

Ring your local MP and tell him or her that the next time they vote for one penny of aid for Africa they can forget your vote. It is the least one can do to avenge this cowardly murder.

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