- Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.
- Islam is seen as separate and 'other'. It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.
- Islam is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.
- Islam is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a 'clash of civilisations'.
- Islam is seen as a political ideology and is used for political or military advantage.
- Criticisms made of the West by Islam are rejected out of hand.
- Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.
- Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural or normal.
Monday, 24 July 2017
There is something sinister going on with islam and the authorities’ refusal to tak hat is perceived as a threat to our way of life seriously. Say that there are non-muslim no-go areas and you are shouted down with screeches of ‘racist!’ Point to the evidence and if they can’t ignore you, you hear guff about payback for colonialism, the fatuous mantra that ‘immigration is a net benefit’ and of course, diversity. How about this 2016 piece about the new diversity of SavileTown in West Yorkshire?
Yes, I know the Daily Mail is regarded as a banned publication by the bastions of free speech at the Ministry of Truth – the Guardian/BBC Axis – but this isn’t a hate piece. This is what millions of ordinary people see while they are hearing about our wonderful inclusive multiculturality. It’s the sort of cognitive onslaught that might be endured while undergoing brainwashing in a 1960s-style psychological thriller. No wonder people are afraid.
Yes afraid; not because of any imagined, hyped-up, far-right propaganda but through direct experience. We see barbaric acts of terror our screens daily. We have been subjected to relentless images of slaughter of the most brutal kind. And we hear daily how an enormous proportion of the ‘muslim community’ simply refuses to condemn any of it. For every reformist muslim paraded on television in refutation of our suspicions, there are thousands who nod in silent approval and thousands more who are happy to take to street praying in an insensitive and open act of defiance.
But we are the bad guys. The Metropolitan police published a report on hate crime against London’s muslim communities (I don’t recall seeing anything similar on hate crime against all of civilisation) in which they spell out what they regard as islamophobia (page 6).According to the definition they use, there are 8 components of islamophobia to wit:
Well, the first six seem to be the entirely normal observations of what islam actually is in the west and the last two appear to be the almost justifiable reactions of some in seeking to protect themselves from further assaults on our own culture. As a small, but typical, example, take the case of the woman suing a school for banning full face coverings. This is nothing to do with religion and everything to do with an invading ideology imposing its will on the kuffar. If they can ban the burka in Morocco why should such consideration be deemed oppressive in Britain? But what do we do? We attempt to place more and more muslims in positions of power over us; the police are also guilty of this.
It is as if the police force, who once it was once assumed used to defend without prejudice the law of the land now seems determined to thwart those aims. Bandits wear face masks; bank robbers, rapists; villains of all persuasions. In our culture (and how come there are no white British ‘community leaders’?) hiding the face is a mark of shame. Maybe the police should wear masks now? Fight back? We aren’t done fighting among ourselves.
Friday, 21 July 2017
David Davis is in bullish mood, as befits his Brexit Bulldog persona portrayed on Radio 4’s Dead Ringers. Meanwhile the malcontents of Remain spin yarns of endless protracted ‘transition deals’ which sound like nothing so much as the case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce in Bleak House, whereby the lawyers effectively spend all there was to be inherited. It’s as if some would prefer to see the country punished; brought to its knees in chains before the high and mighty EU and becoming a burden, rather than running free and becoming richer, to the benefit of all.
But this is the great human dichotomy, the contrast between optimism and pessimism played out every day on both the national stage and at the kitchen sink. Glass half full, glass half empty – for every positive outlook there is a Newtonian opposite reaction to dampen the mood. In every cloud, some find the silver lining; and while the optimist proclaims we live in the best of all possible worlds, the pessimist fears this is true.
Take the climate debate, for instance: None can know the future but just as preachers prophecy the end of days and the heavenly hereafter, the climatists claim to see the fireball of hell that awaits us – global warming – and set to appeasing Gaia by using yet more of her resources to build massive altars on which to sacrifice the nation’s wealth. Christopher Brooker’s excellent article is a must-read for those who see the futility at the heart of every shame-driven green project.
Where are the cheery bright-side observers? We need more men like Joe; the eternal optimist. At every bad situation he would always say “It could have been worse.”. The Somerset Levels floods? According to Joe it was a mere blip. The great financial crash? A simple correction. “It could have been worse” he blithely recited, with a grin, “It didn’t affect me at all, because I had no investments and nothing to lose.”
His three best friends hated this cheery acceptance of every ill wind as bringing sub-optimal gloom, so they came up with a story they thought not even Joe could find a worse scenario for. The next Saturday, only two of his friends showed up for their regular tee time. When Joe arrived’ slightly late, he looked at his watch and asked “Where's Geoff?”
One of the others said ”Didn't you hear? Yesterday, Geoff found his wife in bed with another man, shot them both, and then turned the gun on himself.” Joe looked shocked, but then shook his head and declared “That’s terrible... but it could have been worse.” His friends were aghast and one asked, “How the hell could it have been worse? Your best friend just killed himself, his wife and her lover!” And Joe replied, “Yes, but if it had happened two days ago, it would have been me!”
Thursday, 20 July 2017
Bread and circuses, as the satirical poet Juvenal wrote, was a metaphor for the practice of governments, rather than accomplishing worthwhile reform, of appeasing a selfish population and distracting them from harsh reality. Nowadays it is more akin to cake and condemnation, as developed world populations have more than ever before, yet are still not satisfied. And who better to condemn than those who appear to have even more still? To this end the publishing of the BBC ‘Rich List’ is a master stroke.
I feel sorry for each and every one of them – yes, even Gary Lineker – their reward for years of achievement being to taste the bitter wrath of the envious. Next stop will be publishing their tax returns so that the aggrieved can ignore the massive contributions they make to state coffers and instead focus on every penny they have managed, perfectly legally, to avoid. And why stop at the BBC stable: next up, leaders, administrators, moguls and magi will all be in the spotlight of public derision, purely for having slithered up that greasy pole.
On top of the basic malcontent, the media has cleverly contrived to make the BBC affair all about some imaginary gender/race/diversity pay gap, but it’s really about nothing so much as putting a group in the stocks for entertainment while absolutely nothing is done to change a single thing. Hot on the heels of Lineker-gate comes the revelation that some workers – who have yet to even contemplate retirement seriously - will only have twenty years to plan to keep working until the age of 68 before becoming a welfare waif. Outrage!
But nobody does angry injustice quite so well as the daily-multiplying ex-residents of Grenfell Tower. Not content with surviving the fire, by proxy in some cases, they are now determined to talk themselves into disability through post-traumatic-somebody-else’s-stress-disorder and demand that official after official sent to help them is sacked, dismissed or otherwise shamed. In this way they can prolong the perceived hurt and turn their salvation into madness; the kind of madness only lots of money and lots of attention can assuage.
But look, I mean really, take a good long hard look at yourself. If you are today raging against the BBC, the Kensington councillors, the hateful, hateful future government who might not give you a pittance until you work another few months, then you are where the fault lies. If you look at others earning more and think that they are the problem, treat yourself to this Spectator illustration, wherein a couple earning £70k pay tax enough to subsidise a couple on £17k to have pretty much the same lifestyle.
When life gives you lemons; lemonade. When you are schooled at Hard Knock High; knock back. One day you may discover that while reality sucks it’s going to suck a whole lot harder if you give the job of sucking to somebody else. Suck it up, snowflake, you get one life and it is nobody else’s responsibility to make it a good one. You want your daily bread? Bake it yourself. You want your circus? Go juggle.
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
Picture the scene: A child awakes to the sound of a running engine. From the window she sees her drunk father, slumped over the front steps, a bottle clutched in his hand. Behind him the door of his pickup truck is open and the engine idles. The girl goes to her mother’s bedroom where her mother, surrounded by what the newspapers like to call ‘drug paraphernalia’ is in a stupor and unresponsive to her child’s entreaties. She wakes her younger brother and while he is dressing she dials a number on the house phone. Cut to the girl and her brother sitting on the sofa. The doorbell rings, she answers and a large clown fills the doorway. The theme music swells “I’m loving it!” sings the familiar voice while a narrator describes MacDonald’s new home delivery service. Boom!
I like it; it’s no worse than the sort of stereotypes used by advertisers everywhere. Unfit parents? No problem; Maccy D’s got this. Or how about this funny comercial for Audi in China? (Go on, watch it) What’s wrong? It’s funny. Ah, maybe that is what’s wrong. Humour, almost by necessity, has a human subject; the errant husband, the idle child, the nagging wife, the intemperate vicar and there is no end to the chuckles to be had at the strange ways of ‘foreigners’, if that word is still legal. But the holy scriptures of the powers of PC decree that nobody must ever again be offended, thus all laughter must cease.
The Advertising Standards Authority is going to get tough on stereotyping. In other words they are going to reach into your televisual world and suck the joy out of it. No more mocking, joshing, ribbing, poking, or tickling of ribs. All future portrayals of persons of whatever shape, size, gender or origin must henceforth avoid inaccurately labelling human characteristics as remotely amusing. Don’t these virtue-signalling morons at the ASA have real jobs to do? I thought their remit was to ensure advertising was legal, decent honest and truthful; not wholesome, sterile, inoffensive and utterly dull.
Stereotypes exist for a reason, the reason being that most of us, inadvertently or otherwise, conform to them. But advertising stereotypes are not intended to portray anybody in any particular light, rather to cynically use pre-existing conceptions and – especially with humour – appeal to a bit of the brain that says ‘drink me’, or preferably ‘buy me, then drink me’. The Alice in Wonderland realm of the Mad Men is a bustling hive of subversive humour, cynical manipulation and appeals to the psyche; their sole purpose is to sell. And if efforts like this second Chinese example (go on!) do the trick, where’s the harm?
Good clean fun!
Racist, you say? Well, try making an interesting, re-watchable, memorable, commercial that is politically and factually correct in every detail, offends nobody, doesn’t schmaltz up the screen and doesn’t make you want to stab yourself in the eye. I’ll be waiting over here, chuckling at feckless dads, overworked multi-tasking mums and overbearing bosses... and not believing for one moment that they are meant to represent real life.
Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Some stuff has been agreed about HS2, but unless you are directly affected you won’t really care. Obviously if you have recently bought a new house in Sheffield, or you have spent forty-plus years farming a certain acreage of land, the effects of the declared route will be potentially devastating but hey, people survive earthquakes, floods, overwhelming forest fires and so on, so you are expected to take it on the chin, relocate and carry on.
But apart from the relatively few, sitting where the tracks may one day be, the only cost is the headline capital expenditure. Of course the projected £55billion might be better spent elsewhere; it could pay off the laughable Brexit ‘divorce bill’, or it could quiet the public service unions for a couple of weeks, or it could even help to mollify Nicola Spudgun’s incessant whining, although that is entirely debateable; she seems to exist to complain.
But of course it won’t be; that is the project won’t, as it were, be derailed over current spending concerns because this is ‘investment’ and therefore good spending. At least it is touted that way. It will bring inestimable benefits, they say. But to whom? Yes, there will be employment, but how much of that will go to foreign contractors, or taken on by migrant workers? How much of the huge sum of wages will find itself not invested locally but sent abroad?
It is scarcely creditable that a golden opportunity to train up our own will be missed – over the course of the project a whole generation of new civil engineers, project managers, construction workers and on and on, could be built up – but missed it will be. Too hard, they will say, to try and convert the recalcitrant, idle British from welfare to work. Too easy, they will discover, to go for the short-term cheaper option. And this is the great tragedy of the British state.
Is it a lack of confidence in our own? Is it kow-towing to Brussels and free movement? Is it, genuinely, a bizarre commitment to diversity at any cost? This apparent abandonment of all the things we used to be good at is part of the despair that my generation feels when they look at how our country is turning out. And in part it might explain some of the attraction of Jeremy Corbyn, who talks the talk of Britishness while at the same time condoning an economic ideology that would prove ruinous.
The tangible direct benefits of a finished HS2 are nebulous. In the decades it will take to complete, the aims set out some decades ago will be half a century out of date by the time they come to fruition. Nobody with any experience of human caprice claims that degree of prescience. But the potential benefits of putting the British first during the period of investment will be lost in our inability to discriminate in their favour. If we don’t start to right the wrongs of the last twenty years, very soon there will be no point.
HS2 - what it definitely WON'T look like
That £55billion (but of course it will really be many times that amount) could go to buy 350 of the new £150million-a-pop fighters, or half that number and the platforms to carry them. Or it could be used to build hospitals, schools, or reintroduce actual policing. It could even be put towards reversing the sudden declining life expectancy... or curing cancer. But it won’t be, will it? Like every other national ‘investment’ opportunity, it will be misspent, misappropriated and basically pissed up the wall until the day they abandon it, unfinished, five times over budget and twenty years too late.
Monday, 17 July 2017
Well, they’re back. Tony Blair, Stephen Kinnock and their moribund troupe of Remoaners are popping up everywhere, determined to thoroughly piss on the chips of all who wish to release us from the deadly chokehold of the EU. Project Fear, despite several charges on many fronts did little to dampen our ardour and if anything strengthened the resolve to leave; especially when George Osborne’s dire predictions failed to come true.
When economic Armageddon didn’t materialise and the drip, drip, drip of bad business news items was regularly cancelled out by prominent figures breaking ranks and declaring bonanzas a different tack was required. So they waded in with charges of racism. Shame on you, they cried, tish and fie and away with your xenophobia. Surely, they reasoned, if we malign their desires for sovereignty as little more than open hatred for other nationalities, they will cease to clamour for independence.
It didn’t work. So they said: ah, but we can already control our borders anyway; we just choose not to. And think of the farmers, they alarumed – with no easterners to pull their carrots the crops will rot in the fields and a pestilence will stalk the land. Bollocks, we said. But, but they sound-bit back: ‘nobody voted to become poorer’. But, but, we said, we don’t care. Bummer, they said, we need to find another chink in their armour of indifference to our pro-supranational zeal.
So, with a stirring Teutonic chorus of Ode to Joy – for let us not be fooled that the EU is anything other than the Fourth Reich – on came the spear carriers and assorted supporting cast, with their handy one-liners to pour scorn on the very notion that the UK could even survive in any civilised fashion outside the work camps of greater Germany. Barnier, Verhofstadt, Juncker, Merkel and Uncle Tom Macron and all, merrily singing – for once – to the same tune.
Then came the disparaging claims on social media that, ‘funny, you don’t hear many leavers these days, do you?’ Accusations of buyers’ remorse flew thick and thicker as they challenged Brexiteers to prove they knew exactly why they had voted leave; we told them what we’d always told them and poll after poll showed a majority in the country was heartily sick of the whole debate and just wanted to get on with departure. ‘But how shall we leave?’ they asked, ‘hard or soft’. We just leave, we said.
And so, finally, slowly, some toe-dipping into the murky water of negotiation began, at which the EU team scoffed; whatever you want, we’re not letting it happen. We’ll walk, said the team; you can’t said the enemy. Well, offer us something, said we; nope, said they. Then Tony Blair began hearing the voices again; the messianic mania is strong in this one. Look, he opined, but nobody was listening.
They were too busy deploying Project Pity. The Tory Party is in disarray; they are briefing against each other; there are leadership challenges... the latest attempt to pour scorn is to go around telling any news outlet that will listen, that they feel sorry for Theresa May. Poor Tess, they say, she has no feeling but despair, no empathy save that for a faded old flag, no allies, no friends; beset by a sea of troubles. I bet she wishes she could turn the clock back; what a shame the new Doctor Who has already been cast.
Thursday, 13 July 2017
The latest employment statistics are being bandied about; lowest unemployment for 42 years, apparently. But of course, the Labour Party doesn’t like it – it’s the wrong kind of full employment, they say and then cite falling living standards, portray more state funding for everything than at any time in the past as ‘cuts’ and generally whip up the fervour of discontent. How the memories fade, eh? Anybody remember the last time a left-wing Labour government was in power?
Compared to the late seventies, the 21st century is a cornucopia of riches beyond avarice. Walk down any supermarket aisle; the biggest problem today must be which of twenty identical products at food prices cheaper than at any time in history do you want to complain about. And the internet! My god, for some of us a hoop and a stick was once the height of technology and we had just two television channels, which broadcast for about six hours a night tops.
Today’s kids have instant and largely free access to all the world’s wonders and still they are not satisfied, using it to organise demonstrations about their meagre and cruelly shrivelled potentials; children pay for nothing today, not even music, which used to cost us a week’s paper round money for one lousy single. The closest we had to streaming was ‘dial-a-disc’. But none of this is good enough and the spirit of revolt still beats in revolutionary breasts stirred by the great tenets of the age: “Equality! Diversity! More free stuff!” They cry, as they don the mantle of victimhood.
Over the last day or so I have been gently joshing with a no doubt charming, caring, intelligent young lady who – possibly because she has yet to accrue the self-critical hindsight which comes with age – cannot grasp that there are very good reasons why some people would prefer to work with people more like themselves. Many immigrants to foreign lands tend to congregate and work together and certain parts of the muslim community are almost exclusively monocultural, but when it comes to whitey we must diversify or be crucified.
Confident in the certainties of the doctrines of multiculturalism – a system that has failed throughout Europe – she has been insisting that even small firms must have diversity at the forefront of their thinking to the point that employing somebody you feel you can get on with is practically racism and that you should instead hire the one with the shiniest CV, the blacker the better, even if he despises you and your white privilege. I am, of course, reading between the lines.
But she was having none of it and instead of quietly accepting that to prefer the company of your own is not bigotry, merely preference, she then moved on to the sexism segment of the leftist war manual: ‘ways to defeat the patriarchy’. Honestly, shop stewards were bad enough when they were merely jumped-up little Napoleons, but who would willingly employ one with a race and gender agenda to cleave to? No wonder we have the wrong kind of employment – our poor productivity figures are certainly impacted by the cost of policing work policies which seem to do nothing so much as churn out yet more unemployable victims.
Wednesday, 12 July 2017
I got into a war of words yesterday about ‘nigger’ and its connotations. Actually, it was more of a skirmish with no blood drawn and despite the antagonist wanting to paint ‘anti-racist’ slogans on every available wall and talk about slavery and black history and all the grievances that the clumsily-monickered BAME community spend their lives dreaming up, it is, after all, just a word. It is in common currency among certain groups and used in much the same way as I am greeted most morning at work with the cheery “’Allo, you cunt” and “Morning, fuckface.”
But those who chip away at the lexicon of difference in the name of celebrating diversity merely do the Left’s Marxist work, which is to sell grievance as an unalloyed good, attack tolerance of this whole charade as indifference and tout an agenda of race hate in the name of the furtherance of humanity. When it comes to words the left far surpasses the right who generally believe that a thing should be called what it is. The strange and uneasy alliance that constitutes most of the political and social activism practices the Orwellian craft of doublespeak - deliberately euphemistic, ambiguous, or obscure language – and seek to deny their detractors the words to respond.
Thrift is denounced as ‘Tory cuts’, increased public spending, year-on-year is similarly branded ‘Tory cuts’ and any Conservative politician who seeks to get a better deal out of this public spending, an increase in performance, say, is a ‘Tory cunt’. Of course the left has always been adept at selling bad things as good – unchecked immigration is celebrated as multiculturalism; an alarming rise in knife crime is merely the small price we pay for ‘vibrant’ communities. And a threat to bankrupt the country in order to buy votes is simply a bid to create a kinder, gentler, more equal society.
Which brings us, once more, to the Holy Grail of leftist dogma; equality. How dare the boss earn more? Why shouldn’t the lumpen proletariat share in the nation’s wealth to the degree they feel they deserve? Why shouldn’t my finger painting and mindfulness diploma hold parity with a degree in mechanical engineering when it comes to work? And how dare you insist that I put my actual name on my job application, so that racists can prejudge me and deny me my right to equality in everything?
Why? Because equality is a crock. Equality is sold as the acme of social achievement when it is in fact the opposite. Chains, of command, hierarchies, and leadership; promotion up these ladders is how we - humans and other animals - measure progress. I don't want to be your equal; I want to be your boss. If the customer is always right, does that not imply that the balance is in favour of him and against the equality rights of the salesman? We measure ourselves against others all the time and we judge our accomplishments not by how many crossed the finishing line simultaneously but by who came first.
And it's no good talking about equality of opportunity; human nature will skew that every time. All that counts is coming out on top; doing the best you can in the present circumstances, not spending all your efforts in a futile game of victimhood, bleating that somebody else, whom you don’t respect, has judged you and declared you wanting. Maybe you can't get to where you want to be in one lifetime, but don't you owe it to your children to give them the best possible head start when they pick up the baton? Forget equality; you can do better than that.
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
There is a convoluted provenance to the saying “the fascists of the future will be the anti-fascists” and it involves today’s so-called ‘Antifa’ convincing themselves that it predates Winston Churchill, to whom it is often credited and that it was in fact referring to patriotic movements, not to those who ‘oppose fascism’. Thus they feel justified in behaving as a violent mob to take down anybody who disagrees with them. Vandalism, Molotov cocktails, darts thrown at police, cars torched, paviours torn up and used as missiles; all essential weapons in the holy fight against the people who create all the jobs, pay all the taxes and generally allow society to function.
Jeremy Corbyn likes to talk about equality. He also likes to talk about kinder, gentler politics; for the many, not the few. So it was somewhat disappointing to see the mob mentality of his kinder, gentler comrades demanding the sack – and much worse - for Tory MP Anne Marie Morris for using a phrase that still has currency and was once very common indeed. Of course, it was downright stupid to have said ‘nigger in the woodpile’ but if you start sanctioning people for ‘offensive language’, where do you stop? Most of the rhetoric of the Momentum Mafia is pretty offensive, not to say downright ignorant.
The thing we should be getting alarmed about is how ready our political and media classes are to string somebody up for a hasty choice of words; as if nobody ever blurted out an anachronism before. When it comes to tolerance we really should play the white man. Yes, that’s what I wrote; let’s be more white about it all and let people get on and do their job as best they can. But, of course, we can’t do that, can we? That genie is long out of the bottle and civilised behaviour along with it; the slightest offence perceived, even by proxy, must receive the same censure as an outright and deliberate attack on an individual.
Of course, labelling all Tories as baby-eating, white supremacist, cancerous, society-destroying malcontents is fine, so by that standard Anne Marie Morris has got off lightly with only the ruination of her immediate career prospects, but how the left get away with industrial strength hypocrisy like this is still quite something to behold. And it was hilarious, as always, to see wee Owen Jones being triggered; honestly I pity the poor sod who dares to order a black coffee in his presence in the next few days.
Kiwi? That downright derogatory!
In the meantime, I have stuff to be doing – I work like a black, you know. So I’m going to polish my nigger-brown shoes, hop in a black cab and get to slaving away, balls out, down on the old plantation befo’ Massa gets in one of his black moods and sends one of his dogs out to give me a whipping. He’s not racist though, he just doesn’t like darkies!
Friday, 7 July 2017
Voltaire said, ‘If god did not exist it would be necessary to invent him.’ He said a lot of things that people quote all the time today; free speech, civil liberties, the tyranny of the unaccountable and so on. But this particular truism relates to the apparent needs of humans to look up to a higher power; the more intangible, the more untouchable the more, well, divine, the better. The Labour Party is rediscovering its religious fervour:
In the beginning was the word and the word was Corbyn. And lo, Jeremy looked upon his work and he saw that it was good and thus began the lord to dictate to his minions upon Earth the new
manifesto creed. As
his holy voice boomed down from the heavens, the scribe dutifully reproduced it
verbatim; by this do we know that his gospel is true, for what proof dost thou
need when the word is divine? Trust, have faith, that this is the path to
goodness and everlasting light.
‘That the illegal shall be made legal and that he who doth behead a man shall stand as high as he doth not, for the sin of inequality is met with the hardest of stares.
Bring me thy misfits, thy deformed and twisted souls that we may drink from their bitter bile and taste the sweet fluids of self-loathing; for all that is white is unpure and all that is brown shall be rewarded in heaven. Or at least found a good safe seat.
That thine living be bountiful thou must bring forth ever more voters; for only by increasing the population twelve-fold canst thou avert the catastrophe of overcrowding and strain on public services.
That thou shalt have no other god save me... and the NHS.’
On hearing the word the evil economic Philistines demanded to know more:
But, oh Jeremy, they asked wherewith shall come all the money for thy good works? To which the almighty Corbyn replied that as you seek, so should you find.
Puzzled, they asked again, from whence would come the money foretold in the prophecies that his children should prosper and grow fat? Patience, the lord entreated, the McDonnell of heaven shall maketh a plan.
And the Lord God all-Corbyn sent forth into the wilderness the angel John who endured for forty days and forty nights the deprivation of humankind, for to better understand their desires. And upon his return to heaven he announced that he had a fully-costed plan to save the world. This plan would bring riches on earth, build hospitals and schools and banish forever the inequity of poverty. All that the flock need do is have faith in the Lord.
Jeremy's Corbyn soldiers...
And Jeremy returned to the stump to give forth the good news. And he spake to the economists and the naysayers and the brutal Tory serpents who crawled on the ground and whispered poisons. Begone, he sayeth, thou art banished and forever more humankind shall dwell in heaven upon earth. Manna, in all its forms, shall be plentiful. But one doubting Thomas, one snake in the grass demanded to know more. “From whence shall come the money?” he shouted, at which the heavenly host fixed him with a beady eye and replied, “Hast thou never heard of PrayPal?”
Wednesday, 5 July 2017
The curious case of Charlie Gard is evoking Aylan Kurdi levels of public sympathy and outpourings of resentment against the naysayers. But the chances of him gaining any relief from further treatment, or even being aware of any such relief are vanishingly small. Medical opinion this side of the pond seems to suggest it would only prolong its suffering. People may say I’m heartless, but in my defence it’s true, I am heartless, or at least dispassionate about things I have no emotional investment in.
On the other hand, when it comes to medical science I’m all heart and kidneys and various other organs and I plan to donate what’s left of me at the end for medical experiments, so maybe those who wish to ship Charlie over to the USA are altruistically thinking of the possible future benefits for others? All the same it looks equally harsh, to me, that you should think it’s okay to donate this child for medical experiments. Ethics and morals; what’s to do?
And here is the problem for humanity; too much humanity and too little to occupy them so they flock to volunteer support for all sort of meddlesome causes, just as soon as they have consulted the oracle to check what their reaction should be. The case of Charlie Gard is perfect; people can express moral outrage that nobody is allowing this kid to be poked and probed and possibly tortured because, well because he’s a baby; it’s his human right to be experimented on!
They can express indignation and rage against the hateful authorities without knowing a single meaningful thing about the realities. But it also gives others the opportunity to look magnanimous and further their own aims. At the end of the day it has sod-all to do with me. Except for this annoying thread which I feel I have to tug on; non-jobs.
Making things, whether on a production line for mass consumption at rock bottom prices, or bespoke pieces for people with more money than taste; that’s a proper job. Passing on skills and knowledge to future practitioners in all fields; that’s a proper job. Reporting the facts of the latest scandal, invention, peace treaty or otherwise; that’s a proper job. Weighing up the evidence, reaching a verdict and sending the bad guys to jail; even that’s a proper job. They all have one thing in common, which is they can be justified, however poor we get.
But from whence sprung diversity coordinators, image consultants, opinion pollsters and the whole plethora of people without whose work the sum total of satisfaction with the world would be likely to increase a hundred-fold? The work which the devil has seen fit to gift these idle hands appears to do nothing but provoke division and unrest. Why should the meddlers make a living – sometimes handsome ones – from peddling discontent?
And why, when we have real concerns over prosperity, health, law and order and many other things do we even listen to the opinions – for this is all they are - of people whose self-created role is to find things to be dissatisfied with? If Charlie could speak, if Charlie had an inkling of the moralising and agonising over the minutiae over his case he might advise: physician, heal thyself.
Tuesday, 4 July 2017
News just in from the Hull Daily Mail - Babygro sparks outrage! The offending article of clothing for the unweaned makes a humorous quip, no doubt intended to lighten the mood for anxious new parents. But, oh no, the feminist militant tendency from mumsnet were right on it. In similar vein somebody tweeted “Dear @asda the phrase ‘boys will be boys’ breeds a culture where men aren’t accountable for their actions, a rape culture if you will.”
Jeez, Louise – and no doubt that remark will somehow prejudice opinion in some way towards anybody thus named – just what IS acceptable these days? Not very much: Racial characteristic-based jokes, mother-in-law jokes, fat jokes, thin jokes, shortarse jokes, disability-jocularity, gender jibes... even gingers are off limits. It seems that wherever you find humour – on the wards, at the front line, under fire, under stress, somebody will contrive to find it offensive. And of course somebody being offended is all it takes to turn it into something malevolent these days.
If it makes you laugh it should also make you nervous. If it makes you laugh out loud you want to be careful where you do that. If it makes a man laugh it is definitely offensive and if it makes a white man laugh it is almost certainly a hate crime. How soon before even body language will be a crime – oh wait, micro-aggressions already are in some quarters “I knew he wanted to rape me because of the way he smiled and said good morning... the monster!”
And this on the same day that The Betrayed Girls was aired; in comparison to this a baby tee-shirt saying “Daddy only wanted a blowjob” is so far from being ‘rape culture’ that it beggars belief anybody could think otherwise. When you hype up such insignificant things as being deadly serious how do you deal with things that are actually, you know, deadly serious? But of course, as I was writing only yesterday, the limiting of expression is one way in which the left - always the left – can limit critical thinking. And fun. In militant-world humour is probably a tool of the oppressors.
Meanwhile over on the Grenfell battle lines they are questioning whether a judge can be impartial because A) he’s white and B) He’s a judge and therefore, C) He’s middle/upper class and somehow therefore disqualified on commenting on anything at all. They are also deflecting attention from the subletting scandal, demanding amnesty for illegal immigrants for fear of somehow violating their human rights to be illegal immigrants. Have they any idea how offensive that is to honest working British people? Next thing we’ll have somebody dying in jail for handling bacon in the proximity of a mosque...
But at least there is one field left for humour; one type of person left who you are allowed to deride. Nobody cares about this particular group, although their time is no doubt coming. But in the meantime, while most human identifiers are verboten to the fun-pokers there is one last bastion of no-holds-barred comedy. Say what you like about paedophiles – they always drive slowly past schools...
Monday, 3 July 2017
We used to say that – speak your mind – with the general understanding that inflammatory and prejudiced thoughts expressed would be recognised and denounced as the bigotry they were. The speaker of unsavoury views would effectively condemn himself by his own words. As a system it worked really well. We used to also say ‘It’s a free country’ but as surely as the human rights movement has an oxymoronic monicker your rights to free expression are slowly being restricted to your own perimeter. Say anything against the orthodoxy and you are a Nazi.
At work, we Nazis had to seek each other out, slowly, cautiously feeling the way with the odd comment about current affairs; trial statements to see how they would be received. It took months, years even, until we could freely pose in brown shirts, doodle swastikas on the noticeboards, click our heels, grow Hitler moustaches and make homage to the Führer. It’s almost as if fascism is frowned upon, these days. But one day somebody went too far; in outrage at another atrocity committed by the religion of pieces, somebody said... the ‘W’ word. Can you imagine?
For any irony-deficient readers, that last paragraph just isn’t true. We use the ‘W’ word all the time; it makes us laugh and laugh because, you see, nobody is actually offended. Kids need to be taught that there is no need to be offended, that this is, indeed, within your power. It’s a choice. You can also choose not to instantly block people on Twitter, because otherwise you will never hear dissenting points of view, thus leaving you unprepared for the world outside your own tiny world of revulsion and self-loathing.
Instead, you should actively expose yourself to things you find painful to hear. You can challenge those opinions, those crusades, by all means, but expect to get a little resistance.
Me? I’ve been hearing shit from all sides all my life. And like you, I nod along to the stuff that sounds true and scoff at the stuff that is an obvious fabrication. On balance the measured response of people who have quietly got on with their lives rings far more truly than does the frenzied sloganizing of the marching classes.
Because, you see, the problems with mobs, with ‘movements’ is how awfully easy it is to demonstrate group-think. It’s ironic that it is usually Joseph Goebbels who is credited with the line ‘Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth’. I’ve been hearing a lot of lies of late. For instance, the crowd lapped it up on Saturday when Jeremy Corbyn told them that poor kids were not getting to university, against all the evidence that they are, in fact, attending in record numbers.
Let me tell you what you think...
Of course, if you only listen to what you want to hear, attempt to silence anybody who doesn’t share that view, empty-chair speakers of whom you disapprove, turn up en-masse to disrupt demonstrations contrary to your superior position and general lobby for the charge of hate crime to be levelled at whomsoever upsets your delicate sensibilities, it may not actually be they who are the Nazis.
Sunday, 2 July 2017
News came in the other day that Frankfurt is now a German minority city. In trying to excuse this, much was made of the detail that no other ethnic/geographic minority is represented in greater numbers than native white Germans, but the fact remains that the majority of Frankfurters are not indigenous. And this statistic only involves the documented aliens; it is well-known that certain immigrant populations have a habit of harbouring many illegals.
It’s a far cry from the Aryan dream, but of course that’s a source of delight to the so-called liberal elites who are so intent in atoning for the long ago sins of their grandfathers. But it is happening everywhere, not just in Germany. Coudenhove-Kalergi, they cry, the systematic eradication of the peoples of Europe, but is it all much simpler than that? For, seriously, how could you impose the will of a few warped theorists on the populations of the world's great democracies? Surely, the average voter would simply not stand for it.
The boiling frog analogy is often used to explain why what, in some eyes, is such an obvious plot; keep turning up the temperature and they won’t notice until it is too late. But we did notice; we noticed and objected decades ago. Unfortunately, a combination of white guilt, the dominance of leftism in political thinking and the drip-drip-drip of pro-mass-immigration and open borders ideology throughout the EU has left us with nations divided.
But that is the plan, they insist. Is it? Is it really? Or is it just the perpetual frailty of political leaders, forever seeking to follow the zeitgeist and fearing what backing the old order will do to their careers? Is it a deliberate infiltration into our systems of power, justice, education and social order by fifth columnists, or is it merely the result of courting the youth vote? Wilson was our first Prime Minister to openly seek the approval of the young, for whom the rainbow nation of peaceful integration is a misguided aspiration, but it probably came to its apotheosis during the Blair years.
Recognising where we are now, however, is far more important than seeking to point to some shadowy conspiracy. Our tolerance is being used against us and in its muddled, misguided way, the establishment appears to like it that way. The muslim community, in particular, seems to know how to work the system: closed communities, crying victim, demanding special treatment – and with every concession they see the opportunity for more. This appears to be happening in all the major cities of Europe - London, Brussels, Amsterdam are all non-majority native population cities now.
And what do we do? From the top they keep beating the ‘all immigration is good immigration’ drum, a tactic rapidly losing traction but doggedly adhered to. The form of words keeps changing but the message is the same; accept it, submit. Submission is the basic premise of islam. People like Tommy Robinson and Anne Marie Waters are derided as extremists, although they are just articulating what many of us have seen with our own eyes but do not have the platform, or the balls, to say it. They are pointing out what is wrong; not blowing people up. Who are the real enemies of the people here?
Where will it end? I think our society is too fractured to cope. In an effort to be emollient, to not cause offence, to be British about it, we are lying down and letting it happen. We all eat halal now because we have no way of knowing otherwise. We are all beaten into submitting to islamic demands that we respect their culture; police won’t police without the permission of the imams; white children are pictured imitating islamic prayer; female genital mutilation is, effectively, tolerated; sharia courts are allowed to proliferate. Unless a real resistance appears – because mainstream government is clearly toothless here – they have already won. Soon indigenous minorities will be the norm in the capitals and in a generation or so it will be whole countries. There doesn’t need to be a plan; we are accepting it; we are submitting.
Friday, 30 June 2017
Jon Snow was at Glastonbury. While he was there, among his kind of people, he joined in with the chant “Fuck the Tories!” Nobody with half an eye on his sleeve, where he wears his heart, pumping blood red with Corbynism, believes otherwise. Snow says he has no recollection of that, but of course he would say that. Blame it on the adrenalin, blame it on the hallucinogens, blame it on the booze; he hasn’t denied it. Did it happen, did it not - it doesn’t matter; we’ve all already made up our minds.
Those on the left want it to be true because it’s what they want, too. Those on the right want it to be true because it exposes him, once more, as not the neutral, dispassionate reporter he wants to appear. We all like to think we’re impartial when it comes down to things we should be impartial about, but we’re only human. Representing a news outlet there is a fanciful idea that a professional can do it without bias, but he’s only human.
Besides, this was in his spare time; this time he wasn’t being paid to be the mouthpiece of morose anit-liberal leftist opinion; he was just enjoying himself. Which is a rare thing, I’m told as grumpy old Jon Snow can be a prickly character off-camera. Let’s face it, you’d be grumpy if everywhere you went people shouted out “You know nothing, Jon Snow!” In his village he is known as a curmudgeonly old grouch but filled with like-minded killjoys, he generally rubs along.
Although there was that incident with O’Malley’s dog. O’Malley used to be a neighbour of Snow’s and when they lived next door he owned an Alsatian puppy, a great big, gangly, long-legged, sharp-toothed rascal of a thing who went through chew-toys as if they were sweets. In his early years this dog destroyed shoes, slippers, towels, blankets; you name it, he ate it... and Jon Snow took an instant dislike as the dog’s happy growling drifted across the garden fence to disturb his revery.
He peered over the fence, glared at the dog and summoned O’Malley to an impromptu conference. “Can’t you do anything about your dog?” he snapped. O’Mally replied, “Sure, he’s just a pup. He’ll grow out of it.” Snow wasn’t satisfied and said so in no uncertain terms. O’Malley was emollient but Snow was having none of it. As he raised his voice, his cheeks grew redder and he delivered a diatribe on social responsibility, the duties of a neighbour and what was and was not acceptable in polite society.
Now Jon Snow likes to sport a Panama and on this particular day a particularly expensive example crowned his grey locks. Mid rant, a gust of wind lofted the hat from his head and it floated off, into the path of the inquisitive puppy. The hat stood no chance and in seconds it was in tatters. Snow demanded recompense. O’Malley just shrugged; after all, the dog was just doing what came naturally and nobody had snatched the hat from Snow’s possession. “It was just an accident,” said O’Malley. “I don’t like your attitude” challenged Snow. O’Malley thought for a moment, then replied “I t’ink you’ll find it’s your ‘at ‘e chewed!”
Thursday, 29 June 2017
I had an interesting Twitter conversation yesterday, with an electrician. Typical of many in the building trades he seemed like a solid, reliable type, unwilling to cut corners, certain that he is good at his trade. In the course of the conversation he revealed, unintentionally, that his knowledge of the Wiring Regulations – as opposed to acting on third party advice (e.g. what other electricians say) – was at best limited. He was similarly unaware of the name of the qualification his own company’s apprentices were currently undergoing. Naturally he felt his years in the trade meant that, compared to the current intake his own training had been superior to theirs
This is a common theme in all the construction trades; regulations are constantly under review and legislation often serves to sweep aside what was current thinking a moment ago and usher in yet more regulation changes. It can be hard to keep up to date. It is also true that in recent decades there has been a tendency to excise much of the academic rigour from training in order to get earners onto the books as quickly as possible. Qualifications appear to be valued above actual competence, so there is a drive to water down the requirements and really get that sausage machine cranking out certificates.
Along with the new-age goals of diversity at any cost and an insistence on the bizarrely anti-human notion of equality, the dreaded blight of Human Resources has been felt in all quarters. Ticking boxes as they go, stuffing quotas and slapping each other on the back, competence, pride in your work and aspiration take a back seat in many industries in favour of pursuing the politics of business, rather than the business itself.
As a result, many working people – and this is as true of architects, engineers, surveyors, specifiers, designers and yes, regulators themselves - are rewarded not so much for a job done well as, well, a job done. If it carries the right signatures, conforms to the correct protocols and ticks the politically expedient boxes it is considered to be legally beyond reproach. If you can stick an EU emblem on it as well, then all to the good.
This is the cause of Grenfell. Not any political party, not any one piece of legislation, not any single person on a single committee. Nobody is to blame because nobody has done anything outside of what their jobs required them to do. If, as seems likely, the guilty party is the flammable cladding itself, there will be nothing to gain from pursuing restitution from those who were only doing their job, as specified, in a world united by global mediocrity.
Cheapest, fastest, first to market policies; catchiest, zeitgeist-driven, catch-phrase fuelled non-jobs; quick fixes, ‘solutions-driven’ marketing and the placing of personality ahead of reliability. No wonder they say modern life is rubbish. Our schools churn out cookie-cutter replicants with the same casual attitudes to life – anything goes, all must have prizes, forget merit; meet the criteria, tick the box and collect your reward for turning up.
Who is to blame for Grenfell? So many people involved, across so many years and so many administrations make it nigh-on impossible to say. A lengthy and costly inquiry may point the finger of blame but I have little faith in a genuinely satisfactory outcome. Calling for ‘justice’ is just another manifestation of the idea that somebody else is to blame, somebody else must pay. Lessons must be learned, they say; when will that lesson be that sometimes shit happens?
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Phillip Hammond recently said of the Brexit vote; ‘People didn’t vote to be poorer’. Well, of course not because that wasn’t what the referendum was about. I thought we, narrowly, voted to leave the EU for richer or for poorer and to take our chances in the wider world. It should be cause for excitement and opportunity. Instead, those wanting to remain are still rending their garments and pointing at poverty indicators, both real and imaginary.
But what is poor, anyway? There seems scant evidence that – despite all the politicised weaponising of foodbanks – people are actually starving, save through the neglect of those directly charged with their care. For the price of a packet of cigarettes you can feed a family; choose. Through choice people continue to thrive despite all attempts by governments of all hues to ‘improve their lives’. The best thing a government can do is provide basic infrastructure and then keep out of the way.
The second coming at Glastonbury demonstrated the friable nature of popularity; for months JC was derided as unelectable then suddenly, as if by command from on high, they chose to worship him. And lo, he came among them and foretold that all would be well, that one day we will all be given good jobs and good pay and we shalt live off the fat of the land. The people’s choice, for a few hours at least, was to bask in the glow of his glory and imagine he spake true.
But the entire economy – economics itself – is driven by choices. In the allocation of scarce resources it is the daily decisions we make that determines how the pie is divided. A vote for socialism is to take much of this choice off the menu. In the planned economy, in state provision of every essential need, it is the state that decides what we buy, what we pay for it, what we eat, where and how we live and what work we do. And this always leads to rationing and shortages because the government cannot possibly make those decisions in a timely enough fashion to satisfy your needs.
Choosing to take away choice leads to a lack of competition which leads to a reduction in productivity - the real engine of wealth. And what about the coming of the robots? If many low-end jobs are automated, which they will be to counter the lost productivity of human labour, how and on whom will taxes be levied to pay for the expanded welfare bill? Or would the government then have to actually seize everything just to make ends meet? Some left-field thinkers even believe we should abolish money and let the state decide who needs what and when.
Here’s the thing; people are fallible. In fact, we’re known for it. If anything, we are possibly more fallible in a group than when we act alone, in our own self-interest. Crowd-sourced group-think can cause people to actually act against instincts and urges evolved over millennia to keep us alive. In the echo chamber it is discordant to sing against the choir. Some speak of fear of letting anybody know they voted for the Tories, or for Brexit and students, who live in a world of peer-group conformity, are particularly driven to compliance. Rebellion, they cry... in perfect harmony... in perfect irony.
Meet the new boss!
Today Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour are dangling carrots they can’t afford to pay for as the Queen’s Speech is challenged. Seriously, who do you think most capable of protecting you, feeding you, educating you and seeing Brexit through: the overgrown hippy with a gleam in his eye and an adherence to a kindly-sounding doctrine which has failed over and over again, or the rheumy–eyed ancients who promise you nothing except to steer this ship as many before through the stormy seas ahead? Your choice.
Friday, 23 June 2017
A week and a half on from the Grenfell Tower fire (And how many unchecked variations of that name have been used across various media platforms?) and still the same old politics-as-usual. The Corbynistas have been in full flight-of-fancy mode, variously blaming the conflagration on Tory cuts, Tory councillors, Tory contractors, Tory planners, Tory specifiers Tory procurers, Tory cladding erectors and no doubt, Tori Spelling, Tori Amos and the elusive Vic-Tory too.
As a brief respite from the opportunistically manufactured national grief, John McDonnell’s clenched-fist ‘Day of Rage’ turned out – thankfully – to be a soggy squib of an affair as a few of the unwashed persuaded themselves they would somehow ‘overthrow’ their new Thatcher hate-figure, placard by placard. Inside the chamber Jeremy Corbyn piled into the Queen’s speech, claiming it was a meagre affair, thin gruel, insufficient, on the grounds that too few radical changes were proposed. Is this, then, the duty of government, to consistently lay down law after law? Or is it rather to create an environment where individuals can flourish and people can improve their own lives?
Talking of individuals, it turns out that a further 500,000 of them were added to the population in the last year; the pace of population growth far outgrowing our ability to accommodate them, feed them and continually subsidise the lie that we need them. Actually, that figure is only what is known; the Grenfell fire has revealed that we don’t even know how many, or who, were living in the tower block, legally or otherwise; one of the challenges of the coming days is to quantify the political mileage available from the unknown unknowns.
To this end Sadiq Khan’s team have assembled a panel of experts to gather information and form a strategy for extracting the maximum embarrassment from government and the maximum funding possible from the public purse. One of the first tasks is to work out how many lives were lost, how many displaced and how much compensation could be due. Part of the process was to recruit analysts to crunch the numbers, to which end a mathematician, a statistician and an accountant were interviewed for the job of leading the task force:
At the interview the mathematician declared that with, say, 127 flats and an average occupancy of 3.4 people per flat we were dealing with a potential total number of fatalities of 431.8, minus those who had been accounted for and thus a precise figure could be arrived at for both living and dead. He was asked to take a seat in the waiting room while they interviewed the next candidate.
The statistician took a slightly different approach, based on the fact that a number of flats were thought to have been sub-let multiple times. Let us suppose, he said, that 40% of the flats had been let out to unregistered tenants and let us suppose that, typically these would be immigrant families who were on the whole the vanguard for large extended families intending to settle in London. We can take a ball park estimate, based on the probability that at any one time 50% of these apartments contained people in transit, that somewhere in the region of a 1000 people would need to be accounted for and adequately compensated.
The hiring committee was impressed with how easily the statistician had dispensed with hard facts and plucked a number from thin air which suggested they could ask for twice as much as they had originally imagined. They asked the statistician to take a seat while they interviewed the accountant. The accountant took his turn, listened carefully to the question the committee posed and answered, simply, “How many do you want it to be?”
Wednesday, 21 June 2017
Forgive me, Blogger, for I have sinned. It is five days since my last blogfession. I don’t even offer any excuse, although plenty spring to mind. In fact, excuses seem to be very much the thing right now. Excuses for inaction, excuses for past actions, excuses for possible future actions; the hardest bit of politics seems to me to be getting your excuses in early, ideally before any blame has been apportioned. Meanwhile the show must go on. The show today being, of course, the subdued state opening of Parliament.
It’s like the worst kind of scripted reality show; mindless fodder for the lumpen masses, where wooden characters act out pre-ordained plots as onlookers agitate from the side-lines. Did I say agitate? Of course I meant – John McDonnell meant – peacefully demonstrate their kinder, gentler opposition; not in any way engage in a Day of Rage to bring down the government; oh no, that would be inflammatory, nobody meant that, did they, John? Hedging his bets McDonnell first called for insurrection then yesterday pretended he really meant ‘a bit of a march’ with a few mild placards.
And over on the other channel everybody is watching the Grenfell Game, wondering who is going to scoop the big prize. The various cheerleaders are whipping up the audience into a frenzy in an effort to ensure that as many as possible leave the game with more than they owned when they arrived. Compensation has gone from being the provision of relief from loss to a system of reward for giving the best depiction of entitlement. Playing the helpless victim of greater powers has become a new career for some and facilitating that victimhood is a full-time occupation for others.
To assist in upping the entertainment value, a bevy of modern-age virtues are brought to the front line: selective outrage, moral equivalence, the race card, the muslim card... along with a whole entourage of faux facts, from mangled statistics to downright lies. He said, she said, they did, we didn’t; the war of words is rapidly becoming a well-rehearsed soap opera in which everybody knows the format. Shit happens, everybody mucks in, politicians on all sides try to spin it as a triumph for themselves and a ‘sad indictment’ of the supposed motives of all the other competing sides. We’re all sinners now; casting the first stone is nothing to do with conscience, it’s merely a matter of timing.
Meanwhile, the world still turns. Those who pay for everything will still pay for everything. Those who have only ever taken will continue to take. And the poor sods in the middle scrabble for the safety and promise of salvation of the few scraps of flotsam from the wreckage. The ideologues’ multicultural, rainbow-nation dream has been a disaster and the disparate forces of malcontent, jostling to put their special interest centre stage at the expense of others threatens to tear it still further asunder. In pursuit of a world in which everybody wins, against nature itself, we are instead in a place where, with few exceptions, everybody loses.
Ask not what your country can do for you...
Whatever happens today, peaceful or otherwise, it has to be hoped that common sense and common decency prevail and the process of governing the country is allowed to begin again. Instead of demanding from society yet another slice of a finite pie of money, police, emergency services, ‘justice’ and so on, look to the other side of the Grenfell disaster. Follow the example of those who freely gave of their time and resources to help each other out. Margaret Thatcher said there was no such thing as society – and she was right. People conveniently forget that she went on to say: “There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours." Why, she was practically Jeremy Corbyn!
Friday, 16 June 2017
There’s a lot said on both sides of The House about immigration. In the wider world people adversely affected – and they are many – find it hard to comprehend how their circumstances have come about, while in other areas – usually those who have known little else – they refer to vibrant diversity and all its wonders. There are valid arguments on both extremes if they could only be heard above the clamour of political correctness, typified by the image of a politician, any variety, clasping knees to chest, rocking to and fro and loudly humming so as not hear any incorrect opinions.
Last night’s ‘comedy’ spot on Radio 4 was occupied by Paul Sinha's History Revision and jolly interesting it was too... were it not for the fact that this son of immigrants was banging one particular drum and banging pretty loudly, too. The tune was, ‘nothing good would ever have happened in the world without immigration’. And he had the history to prove it. Now, I know Sinha is a clever lad and I’m sure he would make for invigorating and stimulating company, but this trope is over-wrought and fundamentally flawed.
‘We are all descended from immigrants’ is irrelevant. ‘The NHS relies on immigrants’ is irrelevant. Immigration, in and of itself, is not the source of all things good, it is merely one of several facilitators. It is the individual, inspired by place and experience, that creates; his or her ethnic origin is often incidental. Sinha’s thesis, inspired by his love of history – literally an ‘amateur’ historian – was based on an acceptance of the innate ‘goodness’ of immigration.
Inventure Place, in Akron Ohio, is referred to as the American Inventors’ Hall of Fame and its exhibitive niches are mostly occupied by immigrants who came to The New World, did good and invented stuff; the USA is proud to adopt them as great American inventors. But there’s a bit of a chicken and egg game going on here – did the immigrants make it happen, or did America provide the means and opportunities? Or did they do their inventing elsewhere and bring the goods over on the Mayflower’s successors? Beware the easy conclusions wrought from a non sequitur.
Anyway, we’ve always had movement of people. One traditional mode of casual migration was the regular cycles of itinerant traders, slavers, tinkers and circus folk, the inspiration for many a running-away-from-home. A friend of mine disappeared one day, some years ago and much gossip ensued. But a decade later, when the circus came to town, there he was, in full carney slap, parading round the ring, an array of ironmongery hanging from a specially designed belt.
As the crowd watched he took from his belt a small hammer, such as are used by piano tuners, which he swallowed whole. The watchers gasped. Next, a toffee hammer disappeared down his gullet, quickly followed by a veneer hammer, a small ball pein and a much larger claw hammer. The applause rippled around the big top but then we were quelled to silence as the lights dimmed; for the finale he took up a six-pound sledgehammer and after some business twirling it around, tossing and catching it he struck a pose and then, with his head tilted far back, he slowly swallowed the hickory shaft until only the steel hammer head remained visible. With a gulp, this too was gone; the audience went wild!
The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd!
After the show, I caught up with him as he signed autographs and congratulated him on his remarkable achievements. He told me of his life and the wonderful people he had met, from all over the world. I remarked on his unconventional performance and asked if he had ever tried to swallow a sword, a much more familiar act. He shook his head. “No,” he said “that’s a job for the professionals... I’m strictly an ‘ammer-chewer.”
Thursday, 15 June 2017
In the past twenty-four hours I have been told I am a moron. I am also a disgusting person, as it happens. If both are true I plead ignorance; only following orders, etc. I’ve always found it curious how quick people are to label others as somehow beneath contempt while simultaneously providing an excuse for their lack of wisdom or morals. There is generally no point in disputing the charges and especially not in hurling back equally intemperate epithets, but it’s interesting sometimes to examine the claims.
Moron /ˈmɔːrɒn/ early 20th century (as a medical term denoting an adult with a mental age of about 8–12): from Greek mōron, neuter of mōros ‘foolish’. Well, most of this is refutable holding, as I do, several higher education awards and having lived a varied life of independence from the assistance of others. The foolishness, I grant you; I have made poor choices and endured their consequences, but who among us can claim otherwise? But, on balance, I’m not sure my being a moron would hold up in court as defence for my disgustingness. But wherewith comes that?
I admit, somewhat, a lack of general empathy for my supposed fellow humans, but then I have never been an advocate of equality at any cost and while I clearly see difference, I see no reason to pretend that diversity is an unalloyed good, especially where it also brings such obvious strife. The news media recently celebrating the diversity of the dead, whether by knife or truck or fire, are hardly covering themselves in glory as they simultaneously fuel the prurience and exploit the biddability of the masses, but, lest we forget, I’m the disgusting one here.
Yet I have killed nobody, threatened nobody and – while some may wish to tell themselves otherwise – I have refrained from hurling the spitting abuse which comes so readily to my detractors. This is the burden of pragmatism; I accept human frailty and see no reason to hide that acceptance. Why should I dress up my observations of humans reverting to the animal type they are just to meet some arbitrary notion of how kinder, gentler political minds think we ought to behave?
For instance I think that, yes, we should have subsidised housing to allow lower paid workers a decent place to live near where they toil. But I know that corruption would create favouritism in allocation, sub-letting would let in private renters or high earners in public office would seek to take advantage, as Bob Crow did. I would love to raise wages so that a working couple could afford bring up a family on a single wage; but I know that this will put millions out of work as industry seeks cheaper labour elsewhere. I’d like to cap fuel and food prices but I know that this would create shortages as providers decline to meet a demand which would not pay them for their effort.
Shiny happy people... and all of them broke.
The dream of plenty for all is just that, a dream. Maybe in some throwback commune where small numbers of people live in tribal harmony such equitable division of wealth is possible... but somehow every example of communal living is also an example of people eschewing much of the trappings of modernity. Maybe you can be nice but not rich, or else rich but not nice? Or, maybe, you can be both rich and nice as long as don’t openly enjoy the fruits of your success? When the left decide what they want and realise what we can afford maybe we could come to an arrangement other than what we have now. Failing that, keep pissing on those chips.
Wednesday, 14 June 2017
To all you toxic Britons, you xenophobes, you bigoted, narrow-minded racists, you sexist, homophobic, Brexit-voting bastards... welcome. Welcome to the new reality, you soon-to-be re-oppressed. Everywhere you hear it ‘Hope not Hate’. Don’t give in to Nazis, don’t let the ‘far right’, ‘hard right’, ‘alt right’, ‘extreme right’ win. Stamp out hate; hate the haters, destroy the right, kill them, kill them all! The incessant whine of progressive discontent has risen a couple of octaves to fever pitch since the Momentum surge and – in their eyes – vindication of all the labels they have invented to describe the objects of their animus. ‘Remainer’ sounds pathetic in comparison.
Admittedly the referendum result brought a thrill, a sense of belonging, the heartening realisation that in fact we were not just small, isolated pockets of rabid, fruitcake Little Englanders. We felt a sense of relief in the prospect of freeing ourselves from an unhappy relationship in which we had never felt comfortable, a divorce we had hoped for but never thought possible. Yes we did have a little gloat, a dig at our tormentors, a nose-thumb at the politically correct, kinder, gentler, yet somehow more rabidly bloodthirsty politics.
But now the left, who are easily raised to passionate anger, are back in the game and they are pretty full on. Since the disastrous gamble of Theresa May’s not-quite-snappy-enough election and the unexpected Labour vote-share, the activists have been in full gloat mode. Revenge is a word I keep hearing, spat out with some bloodthirsty glee; even at the height of our joy over Brexit we still harboured doubts it would come about, still kept our powder somewhat dry. But the whipped-up delirium of some of the leftist bully boys shows no such restraint.
In recent years we have seen the march of the left globally: book burnings, violent mobs contesting the free speech of others, empty-chairing invited speakers and campus revolts against anybody with differing views. We have witnessed openly anti-Semitic attacks and seen a sinister new alliance with islam, a religion whose extremely devout openly call for the killing of Jews, gays and apostates, in the name of such clearly misunderstood aims as equality and cultural harmony. Where do you start to discuss peace with a pink-haired, tattooed, transsexual, body-modified, professional protester who spits in your face and screams “death to the islamophobes”?
Who are the extremists here? Those of us who in the main, slog out our lives earning and saving and trying to be as little a burden as possible, who wanted to regain a sense of national pride before we died following a reasonable retirement, or the entitled hordes who march at the drop of a pink beret, sing The Red Flag and demand, with menaces, that we throw open the treasury doors, throw open the borders and throw out the rule book of society so that their muddled ideology of ‘anything goes’ can be allowed to hold sway.
Irony in action...
But, perversely, their understanding of equality and human rights does not extend to an acceptance of normal, decent, working people who have no political agenda. In fact segregation is the norm, with every sector of society identified and labelled and judged; exclusive ‘safe spaces’, gender-segregated work places, women-only and black-only events (anything but white men, eh?) and persecution of anybody perceived to have acted on or have displayed anything which they can seize on as ‘prejudice’. These hooded, armed, violent reactionaries call themselves Anti-Fascists? They look like Nazis to me.