Wednesday 31 October 2007

Indoctrination in Schools

A SCHOOL was yesterday accused of MAKING teachers dress up as Asians for a day [traditional Chinese costume, was it?] – to celebrate a Muslim festival [not traditional Chinese costume then].

Kids at the 257-pupil primary have also been told to don ethnic garb even though most are Christians.

The morning assembly will be open to all parents – but dads are BARRED from a women-only party in the afternoon because Muslim husbands object to wives mixing with other men.


Sally Bloomer, head of Rufford primary school in Lye, West Midlands, insisted: “I have not heard of any complaints.

“It’s all part of a diversity project to promote multi-culturalism.”

Well, that makes everything okay then! I must remember to use that line next time I get stopped for speeding...

Compelling children and teachers to dress up in Islamic garb is bad enough, but replicating the overtly sexist practices of Islamic states (which
is what the women-only party was doing) is another thing entirely. Ms Bloomer is not only indoctrinating children into possessing the general opinion that Islam is just as good as Western Civilisation (if not better), but is also expressly endorsing some of Islam's most discriminatory practices. Is this the kind of person you would want in charge of your children?

I also wonder whether, in the interests of the "diversity project to promote multi-culturalism", Ms Bloomer will in future force Muslim children and staff to adopt Western dress, for the purpose of celebrating Christian festivals such as Christmas and Easter? No? Well, of course not: we mustn't upset the Special People, must we?

Hat-tip: Najistani

Tuesday 30 October 2007

Remember, "Islam is Peace"

Books calling for the beheading of lapsed Muslims, ordering women to remain indoors and forbidding interfaith marriage are being sold inside some of Britain’s leading mosques, according to research seen by The Times.

Some of the fundamentalist works were found at the bookshop in the London Central mosque in Regent’s Park, which is funded by the Saudi regime and is regularly visited by government ministers. Its director, Ahmad al-Dubayan, is also a Saudi diplomat and was among those greeting King Abdullah when he arrived in Britain last night for his official state visit.

Extremist literature, including passages supporting the stoning of adulterers and waging violent jihad, was also found on sale at many other mosques regarded as mainstream institutions.

Just because they support violence doesn't stop them being mainstream. This is Islam we're talking about, after all.

More than 80 books and pamphlets were collected during a year-long project in which researchers visited 100 mosques across Britain.

One book, Fatawa Islamiyah, which urges the execution of apostates, was found in bookshops at Regent’s Park mosque and at the huge East London mosque in Whitechapel. Muhammad Abdul Bari, the secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), is the chairman of the East London mosque.

The researchers said that they found further controversial works during visits to mosques in Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Oxford and High Wycombe.

The Times has learnt that five of the books that were acquired by researchers had been also found in searches during Scotland Yard antiterrorist investigations since 2001. About half of the books collected were in English – raising questions about the emphasis placed by the Government in combating extremism by training more English-speaking imams. The other publications were in Arabic or Urdu. The report, The Hijacking of British Islam, is published by the conservative Policy Exchange think-tank and was written by Denis MacEoin, a Fellow at Newcastle University and expert on Islamic issues.

The researchers found hardline material at a quarter of the 100 mosques visited during the project.

The report said: “On the one hand, the results were reassuring: in only a minority of institutions – approximately 25 per cent – was radical material found."

Well, call me an Islamophobic scaremonger (please do, I'll take it as a compliment!), but 25% of institutions seems like a rather worryingly significant minority to me. After all, just think how panicky the left gets over the BNP, an organisation which does not advocate killing anyone (except possibly convicted murderers and child abusers), and does not support the subjugation of women. From the anguished squawking you hear from the likes of al-Beeb and The Guardian, not to mention all three big parties, you'd think the SS were goose-stepping through Parliament Square every time the BNP win a council by-election in Blackburn or Calderdale. And yet the news that "only" one out of every four mosques is openly stocking such ripping reads as Women Who Deserve to Go to Hell ("1. The Grumbler … the woman who complains against her husband every now and then is one of Hell"), or Islamic Verdicts ( “And if he apostatises after that, his head should be chopped off, according to the Hadith: ‘Whoever changes his religion, kill him’”) is described as "reassuring". This, I think, tells you rather a lot about Islam.

Monday 29 October 2007

NHS Newspeak

Cranmer has an interesting - and rather infuriating - post up about the production of a pamphlet for NHS staff, entitled "Good LGBT Practice in the NHS":
Among other things, the booklet instructs:

All staff should participate in awareness raising sessions so that they are fully aware of appropriate and inappropriate language…

And what constitutes this appallingly homophobic and offensive language?

Using the terms ‘husband’, ‘wife’ and ‘marriage’ assumes opposite sex relationships only and will automatically exclude all LGB people. Using the term ‘partner’ and ‘they/them’ to refer to the partner will avoid this problem. This is also inclusive of all heterosexual couples, regardless of their marital status…When talking to children, consider using ‘parents’, ‘carers’ or ‘guardians’ rather than ‘mother’ or ‘father’.
What an excellent use of taxpayers' money the publication of this pamphlet is. Not to mention, the cost of providing "awareness raising sessions" to teach NHS staff not to use such offensive and (thankfully) rarely-used terms as 'husband' and 'wife'. Of course, some antediluvian individuals might argue that it would be better to spend taxpayers' money on medical treatment for the sick, or return it to the taxpayer. But only bigoted homophobes could possibly share in that sentiment.

Sunday 28 October 2007

SIOE attack update

It appears increasingly evident that the murderous attack on four SIOE activists attending a rally in Copenhagen last Sunday was indeed the work of the far-left. The Danish blogger Kimporator has found a post on an anarchist forum, in which the writer brags about the attack, in the following terms:
Lately there have been a tendency that people believes everything that they read on nazi-pages, latest SIAD’s lie that knives were used against them last Sunday. Anders Gravers, his wife and their wannabe-bodyguards [among those attacked was a 74 year-old woman: was she a "wannabe-bodyguard"? - FR] got their well deserved (and plentiful) beatings, but naturally knives weren’t used! Don’t believe everything that you read on the net, especially not when it is on nazi-pages!!
This comment, together with the rest of Kimporator's post, was translated from Danish into English by the English-language Danish blogger, Zonka.

Regarding the content of the anarchist's remarks: they clearly indicate an affinity with the attackers. Furthermore, they imply that the writer has personal knowledge of the circumstances of the crime. Thus, he claims to know which weapons were, and which were not, used in the course of the assault. I think that it is therefore reasonable to infer that these anarchists are claiming responsibility.

Regarding the denial that knives were used, I would say, first, that I would tend to be rather hesitant to believe the words of anyone who regards beating elderly women about the head with iron bars (something that they have not denied, but have rather boasted about) as evidence of their heroic resistance to fascism. Secondly, I agree with Zonka, when he says:
I don’t really care whether they used knives or “just” iron rods their assault was an attempted murder on political opponents… and even had they “only” used their fists it would be just as despicable, showing only their own fascist leanings.
And that, really, is the crux of the matter. Whatever the precise details of the attack (and, as I indicated above, I regard SIOE's account as much more believable), the fact remains that these extremist thugs have absolutely no qualms about using force to intimidate and silence political opponents. And yet they have the temerity to accuse SIOE (who have never initiated violent attacks against anyone) of being the Nazis in all this!

Hat-tip: The Midnight Sun

Harry Potter and the (vain) Search for the Philosopher's Brain

In the world of Hogwarts there are certainly inequalities. But at the same time, since culture is open to all, Hermione – the child of Muggles – can outperform Malfoy, the child of wizards.

So what appears as elitist is in fact real equality, as opposed to the false equality of the Muggles. In this, Harry Potter is a war-machine against Thatchero-Blairism and the 'American way of life'.
So says left-wing French philosopher (oh dear, oh dear, oh dear) Jean-Claude Milner, speaking on the day that the last Harry Potter novel was released in France. He added that:
Reading it, one can see that J.K. Rowling -- like many cultured English people -- believes there was a real Thatcherite revolution, that it was a disaster, and that culture's only chance is to survive as an occult science.
Which rather ignores the point that British culture was not destroyed by Margaret Thatcher, but by generations of leftist "intellectuals" attacking all notions of cultural worth, partly through their doctrine of multiculturalism, but mainly through their conserted effort to destroy all notions of high culture, to assert that all forms of "artistic" expression are equally valid (think of the kind of trash that, year-on-year, wins the Turner Prize, for example, while any artist who attempts to produce anything of any value whatsoever is denounced as "kitsch", or dismissed as someone who "paints pretty pictures", or, worst of all, accused of being "old-fashioned"). It is the left, not Thatcherism (or even "Thatchero-Blairism", whatever that is), which has been in the vanguard of the attack on culture.

But the eminent philosopher, that worthy heir to the mantle of Aristotle, has more pearls of wisdom up his sleeve:

According to Mr Milner – a professor of linguistics at Paris university – the scene in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in which Harry's aunt is blown up like a balloon is a satire on Thatcher.

"Here we can see a reference to [the film] The Great Dictator by Chaplin, featuring an all-powerful middle class figure gone mad.

And one cannot help but note that the aunt is called Marge – a clear allusion to Thatcher."

Um, "a clear allusion"? Really?

Marge is short for Marjorie. Not Margaret. And I have certainly never heard anyone refer to Baroness Thatcher as "Marge". Had the character been called Maggie, he might almost have been one-hundredth of the way to having a valid point. As it is: he's talking merde.

However, while the professor is clearly either mad, stupid, or, most probably, both, he does make some valid points about the extent to which culture has been undermined (I would agree, for example, with his belief that education is good in itself, rather than simply as a means to an economic end), even if he wrongly blames the right for doing the undermining, and wrongly implies that it will be the left that will save it.

As a further point of interest, I would add that this is not the first time that a lefty has used the Harry Potter stories to illustrate their point. Dumb Jon has previously recorded Liberty's Shami Chakrabarti using the boy wizard to illustrate a point about torture, while, in the aftermath of JK Rowling's recent outing of Dumbledore, a spokesman for the homosexual organisation Stonewall practised torture on a defenceless victim, when he said:

It shows that there's no limit to what gay and lesbian people can do, even being a wizard headmaster.
Sadly, satire was left so badly injured by the treatment he received at the spokesman's hands, that the decision was made to turn off his life support machine...

Frankly, it's just bizarre the way the left seems obsessed with finding deeper meanings in what is no more than a rather successful set of children's stories. And Professor Milner's intervention, with its blatant factual inaccuracies, is more bizarre than most. Still, what else do you expect from a twenty-first century professor of linguistics? The cancer of post-modernism has been eating away at universities across Europe and America for forty years, and this is the result: legions of professors who spout utter crap, the actual intellectual content of which would disgrace an educationally subnormal five year-old, but who routinely denounce those who disagree with them as being "anti-intellectual".

SIOE in London

Just a brief note to say that my report on Friday's SIOE demonstration in central London is now up at ATW, together with photographs and a video from the protest. Click here to go to the report.

Friday 26 October 2007

Murderous assault on SIOE activists

Earlier today I attended the SIOE demo in London. I shall write more about this tomorrow, but at this point I will say that, despite the apparent threats of violence emanating from certain quarters, the demonstration passed off peacefully.

Regrettably, the same cannot be said for a SIOE demonstration held in Copenhagen last Sunday, the 21st October. On that day, the Danish organiser of SIOE, Anders Gravers, his partner, and two other SIOE activists (one of them a seventy-four year old woman) were subjected to a vicious, sustained, and murderous attack by a gang of thugs. As Mr Gravers' car, in which they were all travelling to Sunday's demo, pulled into a car park in Copenhagen, it was surrounded by a gang of men brandishing iron bars. They proceeded to smash the windows of the car, attempted to haul Mr Gravers from the vehicle, and beat him and his passengers with the iron bars. Mr Gravers sort to defend himself with the best makeshift weapon that he could lay his hands on - a fire extinguisher - and in the struggle one of his assailants attempted to stab him in the chest with a knife. Had Mr Gravers not been wearing a stab proof vest, it is probable that he would have been killed. The thugs also attempted to stab one of Mr Gravers' colleagues, before beating a retreat. Full details of the assault, as well as some quite graphic images of the injuries sustained by the SIOE activists during the course of the attack, can be found at SIOE's website here, and I would strongly recommend having a read. So far as anything is known about the attackers, it is believed that they were members of the pan-European extreme-left group Antifascist Action, rather than Muslims.

Despite the severity of this attack, Mr Gravers flew to London to attend today's protest. I must say that it is something of a salutary experience to find oneself in the presence of a man who, just five days before, literally came within an inch of being murdered on account of his political views. The implications of the attack also give one pause for thought. First, it is simply shocking to think of this kind of anti-democratic, fascistic, thuggery taking place in 21st century Europe. Secondly, it is a reminder of the risks which some, if not all, of those who actively challenge Islam, and its far-left allies, are running. This incident could very easily have ended with the deaths of one, or indeed, all, of the SIOE activists who were attacked, and, from the actions of the attackers, it appears likely that they actually intended to kill Anders Gravers, at least. It should also be remembered that this attempted murder comes almost three years to the day after the actual murder of the anti-Islamist Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, by the jihadist Mohammed Bouyeri. Of course, the fact that people like Mr Gravers and his colleagues are prepared to take such risks in order to resist the very real threat that Islam poses to Europe should simply spur the rest of us on to work harder to support the same cause. If Mr Gravers is prepared to put his life on the line, then it surely behoves all of us to at least do something to attempt to defeat the kind of people who attacked the Danish activists last Sunday.

Looking after their own

On the BBC news website this evening, I find the following mildly bizarre paean in praise of the frugality of Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw:
Push bike pushes MP expenses down
The MP who claimed the lowest expenses in Devon and Cornwall for 2006/7 says it is because he travels almost everywhere by bicycle.

Ben Bradshaw, the Labour MP for Exeter claimed £131,000 - more than £30,000 less than the South West average.


Mr Bradshaw, who also travels standard class on the train to Westminster, said he was aware of who foots the bill.

"It's important for all politicians and public servants to remember it's the people's money that's being spent," he said.

While Mr Bradshaw is no doubt to be congratulated on doing more than other South-Western MPs to keep his expenses in check, it does seem to me to be a tad odd that, while an entire article is devoted to the fact that Ben Bradshaw has kept his expenses down to £131,000, no mention whatsoever is made of Tory MP Philip Hollobone, who has managed to reduce his expenses to a mere £44,551 (i.e. one-third as much as Ben Bradshaw's). Hollobone has achieved this by the expedient of not employing any office staff. So, why is Bradshaw's "lowest expenses in Devon and Cornwall" considered so much more newsworthy than Hollobone's far lower "lowest expenses in Britain"?

Could the following fascinating biographical details of Ben Bradshaw possibly hold the key, I wonder?
In 1986 he joined the BBC as reporter with BBC Radio Devon. In 1989 he became the award winning Berlin correspondent with BBC Radio and was serving in the city at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall. He became a reporter in 1991 with BBC Radio's The World At One programme, where he stayed until his election to Westminster.
And that's not all:
When first elected in 1997, Ben Bradshaw was one of the first gay MPs to be out at the time he was initially elected, along with Stephen Twigg. He lives with his partner, Neal Dalgleish, who is a BBC producer.
So, the MP who appears to be receiving inexplicably favourable publicity courtesy of the BBC is an ex-Beeboid, in a relationship with a Beeboid.

A wonderful thing, impartiality...

Victory for the fascists

I see that James Watson has resigned from his position as Chancellor of New York's Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, following the recent controversy generated by his remarks about the link between race and intelligence. It is reasonable to assume that the outcry raised by certain elements has been instrumental in inducing Dr Watson to resign his position. As such, this can be chalked up as a victory for the anti-free speech fascists.

Because, as I wrote here, that is what many, if not most, of those who have attacked Dr Watson are: fascists. They are people who have hounded a renowned scientist out of his job, not because he was incompetent, but because he expressed views that they deemed to have gone, in the words of the director of the Science Museum, "beyond the point of acceptable debate". They have stifled debate on a scientific issue, and attempted to intimidate scientists and lay people alike into not raising or discussing the issue, solely because they deem discussion of this issue to be "offensive". As I have asked before, what word, other than 'fascist', is adequate to describe such people?

I would also point out that this is a very significant victory for the fascists. After all, this goes far beyond the case of Frank Ellis, where the fascists merely brought about the "early retirement" (i.e. sacking) of an average university lecturer, Here, they have caused a Nobel laureate, no less, to lose his job. The message now goes out, that no one is safe from the machinations of the race hustlers. Today is a black day for all supporters of free speech.

Thursday 25 October 2007

As ye sow, so shall ye reap

I see that the Hollywood actress Halle Berry has sparked controversy in the United States after suggesting that a distorted picture of her made her look like her "Jewish cousin", on account of its prominent nose. As is to be expected, the cry of "racism" has gone up from some quarters, although not with anywhere near the volume that would be raised if a white actress had made similar remarks. Ms Berry has now issued what the Daily Mail describes as a "grovelling apology".

In these days when an accusation that one is a racist, however irrational, can destroy one's career, I feel an instinctive sympathy with anyone who has the charge undeservedly levelled against them. And I do feel that the reaction to this comment has been over-the-top: what she said was hardly in the Mel Gibson league, after all, still less in the realm of the really hardcore Jew haters. At the very worst, what she said was mildly distasteful.

So, in these circumstances, I would usually be expressing the hope that this ridiculous story, such as it is, would blow over as quickly as possible. But then I remembered that Halle Berry is one of the most vociferous race baiters in Hollywood. She'll raise the cry of racism against a white person whenever the opportunity presents itself. Well, now the tables are turned, she's getting a taste of her own medicine, and I don't have the slightest bit of sympathy. I very much doubt that this latest incident will kill her career, but hopefully it will at least damage it a bit.

For a change: a nice news story

In a comment on my post about Stephen Gordon, who carried out a vicious assault on a 96 year-old war veteran, and got off with a three year supervision order, Daphne wrote the following:
FR, you have the absolutely worst stories anywhere on the blogosphere.

I need to go take my Prozac after reading you!
So here, for Daphne, and also for any readers who may feel, as I sometimes do, that this country is definitely doomed, is a story of the kind that makes one proud to be British:
He was carrying a gun with intent to rob. She was behind the till at a Tesco petrol station.

With the odds so heavily in his favour the gunman must have thought the next few seconds would be a breeze. He had not, however, allowed for the formidable Linda Faulkner.

Instead of surrendering the £15 cash from her till, the 51-year-old turned to the raider and told him she was too busy to deal with him.

"I just got on with it," she said. "British people don't stop work just because someone is trying to bully us with guns."

Yesterday David Collinson, 42, was beginning a seven-year jail sentence after he was convicted of robbery at Gloucester Crown Court.

Judge Martin Picton paid tribute to Miss Faulkner with a £200 court award and told her she had shown ' remarkable courage' in standing up to the armed raider.

Exactly. I am also pleased to note that Collinson got a pretty decent sentence, even bearing in mind that he may only serve half of it. Certainly a lot more reasonable than that given to Stephen Gordon. All in all a happy ending all round, except for the bad guy.

Now, if only our politicians could learn to stand up to the Islamofascists, the EU, and the other scum who threaten our country, in the same way that Linda Faulkner stood up to this criminal thug, then we might be in business!

Wednesday 24 October 2007

Thought criminals make bad parents

They are devoted foster parents with an unblemished record of caring for almost 30 vulnerable children.

But Vincent and Pauline Matherick will this week have their latest foster son taken away because they have refused to sign new sexual equality regulations.

To do so, they claim, would force them to promote homosexuality and go against their Christian faith.

The 11-year-old boy, who has been in their care for two years, will be placed in a council hostel this week and the Mathericks will no longer be given children to look after.

The devastated couple, who have three grown up children of their own, became foster parents in 2001 and have since cared for 28 children at their home in Chard, Somerset.

Earlier this year, Somerset County Council's social services department asked them to sign a contract to implement Labour's new Sexual Orientation Regulations, part of the Equality Act 2006, which make discrimination on the grounds of sexuality illegal.

Officials told the couple that under the regulations they would be required to discuss same-sex relationships with children as young as 11 and tell them that gay partnerships were just as acceptable as heterosexual marriages.

They could also be required to take teenagers to gay association meetings.

When the Mathericks objected, they were told they would be taken off the register of foster parents.

The Mathericks have decided to resign rather than face the humiliation of being expelled.

Mr Matherick, a 65-year-old retired travel agent and a primary school governor, said: "I simply could not agree to do it because it is against my central beliefs.

"We have never discriminated against anybody but I cannot preach the benefits of homosexuality when I believe it is against the word of God."

Mrs Matherick, 61, said they had asked if they could continue looking after their foster son until he is found a permanent home, but officials refused and he will be placed in a council hostel on Friday.

She said: "He was very upset to begin with. We are all very close, but he's a mature young man and he's dealing with it."

Who on Earth stands to benefit from this? Certainly not the child being raised by the Mathericks: he is being returned to the tender mercies of the local authority care home as a result of this. Neither will other children benefit: if there is, as there appears to be, a shortage of foster parents, then surely it is totally adverse to the interests of children in care for the number to be reduced still further. Does anyone think that the Mathericks are bad foster parents? Well, they seem to have fostered 28 children without any problems, not to mention having raised three children of their own. It seems that they have both experience and a devotion to the work of fostering. Is there even any suggestion that, were a child with homosexual tendencies to be placed with them, they would do him any harm? No - simply because a (foster) parent might disapprove strongly of some of their (foster) child's lifestyle choices does not mean that they cannot raise them in a loving and appropriate manner. I would add that I find it very unlikely that foster parents - or, indeed, legal parents, whether by birth or by adoption - commonly sit their eleven year-olds down and lecture them on the wonders of homosexual relationships, or that they take their teenagers to "gay association meetings" (whatever those are). Yet, somehow, children do not seem to be growing up permanently scarred by the absence of these formative experiences. I would therefore suggest that they are, at best, completely unnecessary.

No, this decision, and the Labour laws that lie behind it, have nothing to do with the welfare of children, or, indeed, of anyone else. Rather, they constitute yet another attempt to persecute thought criminals - particularly those of the Christian persuasion - and they represent the subordination of the interests of individuals and of the public at large to the dogma of the liberal-left.

Islamic radicalism in Britain's jails

Al-Qaeda prisoners in UK jails are being hardened instead of reformed, top Whitehall sources have told the BBC.

A major programme of radicalisation is underway in prisons, targeting vulnerable young men and preaching violent jihad, it has been claimed.

The BBC's Frank Gardner said sources claim Islamist convicts are undergoing the same process IRA members did at the Maze prison in Northern Ireland.

Ministers hope to tackle the problem by training prison imams, he added.

Frank Gardner, the BBC's security correspondent, said that senior Whitehall sources told him that convicted al-Qaeda inmates and their associates are using prison to build up networks and address books, making contacts with other prisoners who have supplied false documents and even weaponry.

Sources add that among 9,000 Muslim prisoners in England and Wales, a small hard core are devoted to recruiting other young men to extremism.

One government official said that they see prison as an extension of Jihad: if kept together they form a cell, but if dispersed they seek to spread their beliefs.

And despite this, the government reportedly wants to build Muslim-only prisons. Clearly, it is the opposite approach that needs to be taken: spread Muslim prisoners as thinly across the entire prison system as it is possible to do, so that they mix with other Muslims as little as possible (this would also have the benefit of limiting their ability to forcibly convert other prisoners, a practice that has been reported at some jails), keep those Muslims who have been convicted of terrorism offences in solitary confinement, and prevent other Muslims known to harbour extremist views from mixing with their coreligionists. I won't claim that this approach would completely eliminate the problems arising from Islamic radicalism in our prisons, but it would be a big improvement on the system as it is at the moment.

Monday 22 October 2007

Wanted: Lynch Mob

A paranoid schizophrenic who punched a 96-year-old war veteran in the face, leaving him blind in one eye, walked free from court yesterday after a judge ruled that detaining him was not in the best interests of the public.

Stephen Gordon, 44, was captured on CCTV launching a savage, unprovoked attack on defenceless Shah Chaudhury after they bumped into each other on a crowded tram in south London.

Other afternoon passengers, including children, looked on in horror as Gordon called Mr Chaudhury a "b******" and lashed out at the great-grandfather with his clenched right fist.

In a statement to Croydon Crown Court Mr Chaudhury, a British citizen, said he had been standing in the aisle of the tram because nobody would give up their seat for him.

Which is bad enough in itself, although hardly surprising: London is, after all, the world centre for rudeness and discourtesy. On crowded tube trains I have actually seen healthy young people, who would be quite capable of standing for a few minutes, pushing the elderly out of the way in their selfish desperation to get a seat for themselves.
He was gripping a rail with both hands to steady himself when Gordon tried to squeeze by under his arms.

In the process Gordon’s hat fell off, triggering the attack.

“I had done nothing to provoke him,’’ said Mr Chaudhury. “The driver and the other passengers came to my aid and I was taken to hospital.”

At a trial earlier this year Gordon, of Academy Gardens, Croydon, was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm.

During the trial Gordon claimed that Mr Chaudhury had punched him.

Causing GBH with intent carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The attack was vicious and unprovoked, the victim was about as defenceless as you can get, and has suffered severe adverse consequences as a result of the attack (as well as losing the sight in one eye, he has suffered a general deterioration in his health, and now resides in a care home) and Gordon appears to have been completely unrepentant. In these circumstances, what sentence do you think Gordon got?

He was sentenced yesterday to a three year supervision order which requires him to receive psychiatric treatment.

“At first blush it is not a difficult sentencing exercise, an immediate and significant prison sentence would well be justified,” Judge Kenneth Macrae told the court.

“That said it would do nothing to protect the public in the future and my real concern is the public. It seems to me that the best way of ensuring that he is not a risk, is in relying on various support from psychiatrists and probation officers.”

I would suggest that Gordon would be still less of a threat to the public, were he to reside behind the sturdy walls of one of Her Majesty's prisons, while receiving "support from psychiatrists". Judge Macrae also seems to have completely rejected any notion that Gordon should actually be punished for his behaviour, or that the sentence given should aim to deter anyone else from pursuing a similar course of conduct. Indeed, it would rather appear that Gordon has got off almost scot-free. What does that tell us about the extent to which the criminal has become favoured over the victim in the British criminal justice system?

Personally, I would rather like to see Gordon strung-up from a lamppost. And, I can't say that I'd be all that upset to see Judge Macrae swinging alongside him...

Sunday 21 October 2007

Journalistic Integrity

Did you see that the Independent has been caught reproducing a foreign office press release almost verbatim on pages two and three of last Thursday's edition? The press release, which concerned the new EU (not a) constitution, was published under the grand heading of "10 Myths about the EU treaty", and consisted of an attempt to disprove certain (often justified) criticisms that have been directed at the "reform treaty".

The story was first broken by Neil O'Brien at the Spectator's Coffee House blog, although I first became aware of it via Guido Fawkes (who has also written a follow-up post here, regarding the response of the Independent's editor Simon Kelner). I'd recommend reading these links to get the full story. In the meantime, I actually have very little to say about this. After all, what can I add, which is not immediately apparent from the facts?

Race Hustlers: Powered by Duracell

Those race hustlers really do just keep on going. Following on from the complaints made by Keith Vaz, the Society of Black Lawyers, and the Association of Muslim Lawyers against the Solicitors Regulatory Authority, the somewhat, ahem, less than savoury police officer Ali Dizaei has also become involved. Hmm, Ali Dizaei making groundless accusations of racism - just fancy that!

Readers who perused my other post on this issue may recall that Vaz, together with his cronies in the SBL and the AML, had accused the SRA of discriminating against non-white lawyers. Their (sole) evidence for this? The fact that a disproportionately high number of non-white lawyers and law firms were investigated and disciplined by the SRA. More on the strength of this argument below. Anyway, last week the SRA held a meeting with Vaz, and representatives of a number of non-white lawyers' groups. Dizaei was also present (why he was I know not), and during the meeting he addressed the SRA's chief executive, Antony Townsend, in the following, less than temperate, terms:
What you need to do is concede the point that there is a level of activity in your organisation that is ipreating [sic] below the radar, which is racially discriminatory. You may be in charge of an organisation which is institutionally racist.
He went on to suggest that the SRA was "in denial mode".

First things first: what the Hell does "ipreating" mean? I've never heard it before, and the only use of it of which Google is aware is Dizaei's. So, is this a case of The Times inexplicably and bizarrely misspelling the word 'operating', or is it an attempt at appearing intellectual, by using big words, gone awry?

Of greater importance, however, than such linguistic issues, is the fact that Dizaei, Vaz, the SBL, and the AML, have, as I pointed out in my previous post, made absolute and unconditional accusations that the SRA is indulging in discriminatory practice, despite a complete absence of any actual evidence of such discriminatory practice. Rather than producing such evidence, they have simply inferred that discrimination is taking place, from the fact that a disproportionately high number of non-white solicitors are being investigated and disciplined. In so doing, they have rejected the statement of an impartial consultant, to the effect that the facts as they are did not support the conclusion that the race hustlers have reached, and they have also rejected even the possibility that there could be any explanation for the discrepancy, other than discrimination. In particular, they have refused to even consider the possibility that non-white lawyers could, for whatever reason, simply be disproportionately likely to be deficient in terms of competence and/or ethical standards. For that is surely the conclusion which the SRA's figures would appear to support, particularly in the absence of the slightest real evidence of discrimination. And yet Dizaei and friends resolutely refuse to even accept the possibility that this could be the case. In these circumstances, I would suggest that it is not Townsend and the SRA who are "in denial mode" regarding the facts of this case.

Saturday 20 October 2007

Britain's youngest thought criminal?

The race hustlers are really out in force at the moment. I'm not quite sure why - there isn't a full moon or anything. But out in force they are, and here is their latest good deed:

A headteacher has defended her decision to investigate an allegation that a four-year-old boy was guilty of racism during a game of chase.

Anne Phipps acted after Rocky Smith spat at a 10-year-old black boy on the school's playing field. She said she had no choice but to pursue the accusation, despite the child's age.

The investigation, at Bedenham Primary School in Gosport, Hants, has angered Rocky's parents.

How very intolerant they must be!

Mrs Phipps said: "When a child makes an allegation of any kind, whether it's bullying, racism, or general unhappiness, we investigate by talking to them. We couldn't dismiss this.

"A nursery nurse spoke to Rocky and I spoke to the older boy. We talked to them about what happened and why it might have happened. That's what an investigation is in a primary school.

"In this case, a little boy did think something had happened and felt he had been singled out. But after investigating, I decided this was not the case – it was just naughty behaviour."

Note that even professional race hustlers are mystified by Mrs Phipps's behaviour:
Tunde Bright-Davies, the chairwoman of the Racial Harassment Forum, said: "A very young child can hate another person because of the colour of their skin – I have met with a boy of six who said he used to be racist."
Of course, one might wonder whether the testimony of a six year-old can be considered conclusive proof of anything, other than, perhaps, the suggestibility of six year-olds. Nonetheless Ms Bright-Davies is quite correct when she adds:

"But with the circumstances of this incident, there was no name calling, no racial connotation, no 'get away from me', so you can't found racism on just spitting.

"I don't know why it was investigated as a racist incident."

The only explanation that I can think of, is that a white child did something very mildly unpleasant to a black child. In such circumstances, a certain kind of race-obsessed liberal will infer that, because the "perpetrator" was a designated oppressor, and the recipient a designated victim, the action must have been racially motivated. Thus I was once accused of "racism" by a grossly obese, utterly humourless, and terminally liberal German, simply for telling a joke at the expense of an Indian, even though the joke had nothing to do with race. This attitude, whereby racism is specifically sought out in even the most innocuous of situations, is clearly one possessed by Mrs Phipps. Such a wonderful thought, isn't it, that this is the kind of person in charge of our children?

I do note, however, that Mrs Phipps implied that a complaint of racism had been made by the ten year-old black boy. If so, then I must say that he is a child of very promising genius in the art of race hustling. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that he could even be the new Keith Vaz, and to express the hope that his parents will do all they can to nurture his undoubted talent. It really is quite impressive for a ten year-old to be so well acquainted with the magical properties inherent in accusing someone whom one dislikes of the heinous crime of "racism". Of course, it is somewhat less impressive for a ten year-old to go running to teacher over the actions of a child less than half his age, but I suppose that the value of playing the victim is now being instilled in Britain's children almost from birth, and that this, at least, is a lesson many are learning.

Friday 19 October 2007

Gathering the kindling: thoughts on the fascism of "liberals"

I see that the Wicked Dr Watson has now been suspended from his job as director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, as a result of his heretical comments on race and intelligence. He has also been banned from the Bristol Festival of Ideas, where he was due to give a talk next Wednesday. According to the festival's organiser Andrew Kelly, "James Watson's opinions were unacceptably provocative". Interesting, isn't it, that we now live in a society in which people talk openly about the need to silence "unacceptable" opinions? Meanwhile, I'm wondering how long it's going to be before the liberal lynch mob does what it clearly wants to do, and burns Watson at the stake...

Of course, to call these people liberals is perhaps somewhat misleading. After all, whatever else liberalism stands for, the word does imply a belief in the importance of individual liberty. And it is patently obvious that people who attempt to impose limits of acceptability upon freedom of conscience and freedom of speech, who have people removed from their jobs for transgressing those limits, and who seek to make the expression of opinions inimical to their own illegal, are not in any sense advocates of liberty. What they are is unclear. There are many words that might describe them - some of which are rather colourful - but the most accurate that I can think of is 'fascist'. So far as I can see, the people who are hounding Dr Watson today, the people who hounded Frank Ellis out of his job last year, and the people who, in the future, will no doubt hound many others for expressing the same opinions as Watson and Ellis, or for expressing other views that they dislike, are nothing other than fascists. Certainly they are deeply evil.

It is to be hoped that Dr Watson will not lose his job over this. As I understand it, America has laws designed to protect the right of citizens to express their opinions, without the threat of punishment, legal or extra-legal, hanging over their heads - surely these should operate in Watson's favour. But, whatever happens, I hope that this whole sorry business will cause at least some people in Britain to wake up and smell the proverbial coffee: to see to what extent freedom of speech and conscience has been eroded in this country, and to see the extent to which those we call liberals, are more commonly deeply authoritarian, and utterly opposed to liberty.

Update: The white-hating racists at BLINK, satisfied that Watson now appears likely to lose his job for his thought crime, have demanded that he also return his Nobel Prize as a mark of his contrition. Not because he did not earn it, but simply because these scum wish to extract as much blood money as they can from the wicked heretic - to bring him down to his knees in supplication before them - and because they wish to do all they can to intimidate anyone else who might harbour any politically incorrect thoughts into suppressing them. After all, if they can bring down a Nobel Prize-winner, who else is safe from their evil machinations? One wonders whether, should Dr Watson inexplicably refuse to return the honour, they will seek to have him stripped of it?
As I said, these people are fascists, plain and simple.

Racial Quotas Watch

On Sunday I wrote about Vivienne Westwood's desire to force fashion magazines to put a certain percentage of non-white models on their front covers. As I wrote at the time, I thought that this was a particularly bad idea, particularly since there was not even any actual evidence to establish that widespread discrimination was taking place. However, Westwood's authoritarian demands were positively benign, when compared with recent comments by Britain's only black High Court judge:
Mrs Justice Dobbs also raised the idea of quotas to increase the numbers of women and non-white judges. She challenged the Judicial Appointments Commission - which believes that quotas would undermine the principle that judges are appointed on merit - by arguing that merit would not be an issue if there were enough good candidates from the ethnic minorities.
Of course, there is nothing to suggest that the introduction of quotas would have the effect of increasing the number of good non-white or female candidates. Rather it would have the effect of artificially increasing the number of successful non-white or female candidates, which is a very different thing altogether.

I am not aware that Mrs Justice Dobbs has alleged that any discrimination against non-white and female candidates is occurring during the appointments process. Certainly she does not appear to have produced any evidence of discrimination. As such, it can only be inferred that the reason non-white/female applicants are not being appointed in large numbers to the High Court bench is that, for one reason or another, an impartial appointments commission is deeming them to be inferior to other candidates. On this basis, it would appear that Dobbs's proposals would result in the appointment of judges who at present are being turned down as inferior candidates, while superior candidates were rejected, for no reason other than that they were white men. Clearly, this would have far more significance than simply turning down a would-be Vogue cover girl for being white. The notion of inferior candidates sitting on the bench as a result of racial quotas has profound implications for the administration of justice. Justice requires that the best candidates be appointed as judges. It is questionable whether this is what happens at the moment, but it is patently obvious that this is not what will happen if Mrs Justice Dobbs has her way, and, as such, it is to be hoped that her proposals will be strongly resisted.

Amis condemns Islam, Muslim Nobel laureates stunned

The author Martin Amis has claimed he feels 'morally superior' to Muslim states which are not as 'evolved' as the Western world.

Responding to long-running accusations that he is Islamophobic, Amis launched a fresh invective against the Muslim faith and many of its followers.

He admitted his late father and grandfather had been racist but then claimed radical Muslims were the real racists, misogynists and homophobes.

Surely not! Everyone knows Muslims are the most tolerant people on Allah's green Earth, don't they?

In an interview with Jon Snow on Channel Four News, Amis declared: 'I feel morally superior to Islamists, by some distance. I feel an intellectual distance to Islam.

'There are great problems with Islam. The Koran recommends the beating of women.

'The anti-Semites, the psychotic misogynists and the homophobes are the Islamists.'

Well, what can you say? It's all true.

Days earlier, Amis shocked festivalgoers in Cheltenham with claims that Muslim states are less 'civilised' than Western society.
He "shocked festivalgoers"? I don't know about you, but I'm sure that I can think of a couple of revelations that might shock me rather more. The revelation that bears shit in woods, for example.

Ultimately, you'd have to be severely mentally ill, or, which is much the same thing, Muslim, to dispute the supremacy of Western Civilisation over Islam. What great technological, cultural, or social advances have come out of the Islamic world in the last century, for example? Or in the last five centuries, even? None that I can think of. And to pretend that Islamic states, almost all of which are impoverished third world despotisms, are not vastly more backward than any nation in Europe, is simply grossly dishonest.

But of course, if there is anyone out there who disagrees, anyone who believes in the great wonders of modern Islamic civilisation, then they are always welcome to pack their bags and move to such an Earthly paradise as Syria, Saudi Arabia, or Iran.

Wednesday 17 October 2007

Definitely not goodthinkful

I am indebted to Mr Smith for bringing the following story to my attention:

One of the world's most eminent scientists was embroiled in an extraordinary row last night after he claimed that black people were less intelligent than white people and the idea that "equal powers of reason" were shared across racial groups was a delusion.

James Watson, a Nobel Prize winner for his part in the unravelling of DNA who now runs one of America's leading scientific research institutions, drew widespread condemnation for comments he made ahead of his arrival in Britain today for a speaking tour at venues including the Science Museum in London.

The 79-year-old geneticist reopened the explosive debate about race and science in a newspaper interview in which he said Western policies towards African countries were wrongly based on an assumption that black people were as clever as their white counterparts when "testing" suggested the contrary. He claimed genes responsible for creating differences in human intelligence could be found within a decade.

The newly formed Equality and Human Rights Commission, successor to the Commission for Racial Equality, said it was studying Dr Watson's remarks " in full".
Is that a threat? As Mr Smith puts it:
Somehow I can't shake the feeling that 'studying the remarks in full' translates to 'seeing if we can jail this one after the Nick Griffin fiasco'.
Personally, I doubt that even the EHRC would go so far as to seek the prosecution of a Nobel Prize-winning scientist for making comments that have at least a degree of support among those who have done research in this area. But you never know with these race relations industry nutters. Each time you think that they have reached the absolute nadir of sanity and decency, they manage to surprise you by going lower still.
Dr Watson told The Sunday Times that he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really".
Similar comments were made by Dr Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics in a paper published last year. That sparked a bit of a row as well, although at least no one tried to prevent him from expressing his views. Dr Kanazawa should perhaps have counted himself lucky. Earlier in 2006 Leeds University's Dr Frank Ellis had been forced out of his job by left-wing student groups for asserting a link between race and intelligence (Dr Ellis, a lecturer in Russian, made his comments in an interview with a student newspaper). Thankfully, the evil racism of Doctors Ellis, Kanazawa, and (particularly) Watson is being challenged by a far more eminent scientific expert, exemplar of moral perfection, and all round good guy:
Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: "It is sad to see a scientist of such achievement making such baseless, unscientific and extremely offensive comments. I am sure the scientific community will roundly reject what appear to be Dr Watson's personal prejudices.

"These comments serve as a reminder of the attitudes which can still exists at the highest professional levels."

To quote Mr Smith again:
Isn't it nice when unelected race-agitators of such prestigious background know better than Nobel-winning scientists?
Meanwhile, the 1990 Trust, which publishes the virulently racist Black Information Link, has also got its oar in:
Anti-racism campaigners called for Dr Watson's remarks to be looked at in the context of racial hatred laws. A spokesman for the 1990 Trust, a black human rights group, said: "It is astonishing that a man of such distinction should make comments that seem to perpetuate racism in this way. It amounts to fuelling bigotry and we would like it to be looked at for grounds of legal complaint."
And, reportedly, they will be backing up their arguments with a paper to be published in a peer-reviewed journal early next year...

As I said above, I doubt that even the EHRC will go so far as to prosecute Dr Watson for making these remarks. But the fact that the 1990 Trust is even putting forward the suggestion that he should be prosecuted (a suggestion which, I would point out, even Vaz appears to have shied away from making) really does highlight quite what a bunch of little fascists they are. What other word can describe people who wish to have academics prosecuted for expressing a view, however controversial, on a scientific issue?

Regarding the substance of Dr Watson's claims, I think it more likely than not that he is correct, although I appreciate that arguments have been raised by scholars on both sides of the debate. What I would point out, though, is that while there are those who do not believe that race and intelligence are linked, and who have attempted to disprove such a link by means of calm and rational argument, the far more common reaction, as demonstrated by Keith Vaz and his fellow race hustlers (as well as by PC white liberals), is simply to scream "racist" at anyone who suggests that there could even possibly be such a thing as inherent racial differences. Sadly, the word 'racist' is probative of nothing: it is simply not a rational or objective argument, no matter how often it is repeated, with what vehemence, or at what volume. The fact that we may not like what Dr Watson and others have said about this issue - the fact that we might be happier if what he has said were untrue - does not mean that it is untrue, and simply expressing one's dislike of Dr Watson's views with the cry of "racist" does not disprove anything that he has said. If Keith Vaz or anyone else disagrees with what Dr Watson has said, then let them debate with him on the issues. The attempts of those on the left and in the race relations industry to shut down debate on this issue simply serve to undermine their own position, by suggesting that they are not sufficiently confident in their own arguments to hazard them in debate with their opponents.

Update: Another great scientist has now weighed in on the issue:

The Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has today condemned the comments made by scientist Professor James Watson, reported in the Independent newspaper today.

Mr Livingstone said:

'Professor James Watson’s comments about the genetic inferiority of Africans, and of black people being less intelligent than white people, represent racist propaganda masquerading as scientific fact.


That a man of such academic distinction could make such ignorant comments, which are utterly offensive and incorrect and give succour to the most backward in our society, demonstrates why racism still has to be fought.

'His offensive and grossly inaccurate comments will no doubt be seized upon by extreme right wing groups to fuel their campaigns of hatred.

'Such views are not welcome in a city like London, a diverse city whose very success demonstrates the racist and nonsensical nature of Dr Watson's comments.'

Quite how London's success disproves Watson's views is unclear to me, I must say. Indeed, the fact that a successful city like London is situated in Britain, a European country, rather than in, say, sub-Saharan Africa, would seem to give support to Dr Watson's claims, insofar as it has any bearing on the matter.

I'd also point out that, his remarks about London aside, Livingstone also makes no attempt at argument, but simply repeats and rephrases the word 'racist' over and over and over again.

Update (2): Now, via Pub Philosopher, I see that the Wicked Watson has been banned from the Science Museum. Despite the fact that the talk that he was due to give on Friday had sold out, the museum cancelled the event, on the grounds that the evildoer's comments had gone "
beyond the point of acceptable debate". Personally, I'd always assumed that science was about the fearless and impartial search for truth, and that a museum dedicated to science would be the last place to be intimidated into censorship by the squealing of an irrational lynch mob. Clearly I was wrong.

Racists, racists, everywhere...

...or so Keith Vaz does think.

Really, I am starting to wonder whether there is any profession, institution, or organisation which is safe from unjustified and unevidenced accusations of "racism". Apart from organisations set up solely for the benefit of non-whites, of course. The latest "racist" organisation, as identified by Keith Vaz and other race hustlers, is the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

The SRA's crime is that they have investigated and closed down a disproportionately large number of black and Asian solicitors' practices. Reportedly, 62% of solicitors investigated by the SRA in 2006 were non-white. This prompted complaints and threats from the Association of Muslim Lawyers (AML) and the Society of Black Lawyers (SBL), and Vaz, himself a former third-rate solicitor of sorts, has now followed suit, asking the justice secretary to investigate the practices, not of the solicitors who are being found to have committed breaches of conduct, but of the regulatory body which is making these findings.

Now, one would expect Vaz, and his friends in the AML and the SBL, to have produced some evidence of actual discrimination taking place, before they started throwing accusations of racism around. However, they have completely failed to do this. Rather, they base their claim that there is widespread racism solely on the fact that a high number of non-white solicitors are being investigated. As the AML's Mahmud al-Rashid put it: "the figures show there must be discrimination at the SRA".

No, they don't show that. Rather, they show that a disproportionately high number of non-white solicitors are being found guilty of incompetence or dodgy dealing by an impartial tribunal. Now, Vaz, the AML, and the SBL may dispute that the SRA is an impartial tribunal, but their arguments are entirely circular, consisting as they do solely in the fact that the SRA is investigating a high number of non-white solicitors, therefore it is racist, therefore the fact that it is investigating a disproportionate number of non-whites is down to discrimination, therefore it is not an impartial tribunal. In the absence of any actual evidence showing discrimination, this argument simply does not stand up. As lawyers, those kicking up a fuss here ought to be able to work that out for themselves. As race hustlers, however, they clearly have no need of such bigoted and Eurocentric things as logic and reason.

Anyway, as I was saying, all that the SRA's investigation really shows is that non-white solicitors are disproportionately likely to be found to be incompetent or ethically dubious. Now, in the circumstances, I would suggest that it would behove both the AML and the SBL to do a bit of soul-searching, and wonder why it is that their members are disproportionately useless or bent. Perhaps it's down to the fact that a lot of those specifically black and Asian law firms that are getting closed down are restricting their recruitment to blacks and Asians (and, indeed, to those blacks and Asians who are either committed race hustlers, or who are unable to get jobs at proper firms), and, in consequence of this severely restricted recruitment policy, are recruiting people of a lower than average standard. Maybe there are other reasons for the discrepancy. But in any event, the SBL and the AML would do well to consider those other reasons, and possibly to consider what they can do to help their members improve their, apparently deficient, professional standards, before they start accusing others of being at fault. Of course, this is never going to happen. Being race hustlers, they adhere to the race hustler's mantra, that whenever a non-white does anything wrong, the first (and, indeed, the only) response should be to scream "racist" at the nearest white person, until they cave in and submit to the race hustler's demands. It is to be hoped that the SRA, and the Law Society, of which it is part, will stand their ground.

Tuesday 16 October 2007

Today's thought criminal

A priest has been interviewed by police on suspicion of inciting racial hatred for expressing his Christian views in his parish newsletter.

Father John Hayes, 71, was quizzed for more than an hour after commenting on the case of a Muslim girl who went to court over her wish to wear a full veil in class.

A sergeant and community support officer turned up without warning at his presbytery after an allegation was made to a Scotland Yard 'hate crimes' unit.


Last night the priest said his 'offending' remarks had concerned Shabina Begum, who, represented by Cherie Blair QC, claimed unsuccessfully that it was her human right to be allowed to wear her jilbab, a loose gown, in class.

After hearing an interview with the girl, Mr Hayes suggested in his internet bulletin to his parishioners that it was never possible to convince anyone by argument in matters of religion.

"My point was that you have to demonstrate what it means to be Christian through your actions," he said.

"Apparently someone in my congregation was unhappy with my comments and, after waiting a year, went to the police to say he had been 'disturbed' by it."

A fortnight ago officers knocked on the door of his home next to St Mary's Church, Hornchurch. They said they had been sent by a superintendent.
At least the matter ended there, and Fr Hayes was not arrested. Nonetheless, one has to wonder about the mentality of the person who complained about this. Possibly the complainant was motivated by personal animosity towards Fr Hayes, but I find it more likely that they were just another member of the self-appointed liberal thought police, who delight in setting the cops on those who express views they disagree with, all in the name of 'diversity' and 'respect'. In any event, prosecution for wasting police time would seem to be well merited.

As for the police: well, what else did you expect? A proportionate response? Objectivity? A focus on preventing or solving real crime rather than harassing septuagenarian clergymen for making vaguely non-PC remarks? If so, then I'm afraid that you're living in the past.

Hat-tip: Laban Tall, who also makes some interesting observations regarding the comparative importance attached to Ramadan and Lent by the media-political elite.

Monday 15 October 2007

The manager has the full support of the chairman...

That's what football clubs say when they're in real trouble, isn't it? It usually heralds the impending ignominious sacking of the manager. This story put me in mind of it:
Sir Menzies Campbell's position as Lib Dem leader is "under discussion", his deputy Vincent Cable has told the BBC.

But Mr Cable said he did not think Sir Menzies' job was under threat, despite some in the party wanting him to go.

He urged the party not to panic over recent poor opinion polls in what was currently an "extremely febrile and volatile" political environment.

Mr Cable said he thought Sir Menzies would reflect on the position and "probably" would want to stay in post.

I suppose he might just last until the New Year. Then, if not before, we should see yellow blood upon the snow.

Update: Okay, "until the New Year" was evidently out by about two and a half months. Had I said "until dinnertime", I might almost have been accurate. I assumed that he'd try to cling on for at least a month or so, though.

The Counterbalance to Al Gore's Propaganda

THE tormentors of Al Gore, who last week won a legal victory against his film, An Inconvenient Truth, are to step up their battle by sending British secondary schools a documentary attacking the science of global warming.

Channel 4’s The Great Global Warming Swindle has become one of the most notorious documentaries of the year, attracting complaints from dozens of scientists and viewers.

This weekend, however, the campaigners behind the High Court case said they planned to send copies to 3,400 secondary schools “to counter Gore’s flagrant propaganda”.

Gore is a joint winner of the Nobel peace prize for his efforts to educate the world about climate change. An Inconvenient Truth has also won two Oscars.

The distribution of The Great Global Warming Swindle is being funded by Viscount Monckton, who is part of a counter-campaign to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change.

Monckton was one of the backers of Stewart Dimmock, the Kent lorry driver and school governor who took the government to court for sending copies of Gore’s film to schools.

The two are connected through the New party, a right-wing group whose manifesto was written by Monckton and of which Dimmock is a member.


Monckton has obtained funding from a right-wing Washington think tank, the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI), to create a second film that will also be sent to schools. Entitled Apocalypse No, it parodies Gore, showing Monckton presenting a slide show in a vitriolic attack on climate change science.
Much as I applaud anyone who takes on the ridiculous puffball of pomposity that is Al Gore, and while I believe that the introduction of his film into secondary schools is nothing short of flagrant brainwashing, I have mixed feelings about the decision to send these two films to schools. The first reason for this is that I imagine that it will, in the main, simply be a waste of good money. After all, what, realistically, is the chance that either film will be shown to pupils when it arrives at the school, and, more specifically falls into the hands of the overwhelmingly left-wing members of the teaching profession? My guess is that in most cases the DVDs will go straight into the bin. Surely the money would be better spent on challenging Gore's propaganda in other ways: an advertising campaign to publicise the criticisms that Mr Justice Burton made of his film, for example.

My second problem is that, whatever the merits of The Great Global Warming Swindle, it is, like An Inconvenient Truth, intended less as an impartial analysis of the science of global warming, and more as a tool for the promotion of a certain viewpoint. As such, it is hardly the ideal viewing matter for children in schools. Of course, this problem is not so much the fault of Viscount Monckton and his supporters, as of the government, since it was they who decided to transform science classes into brainwashing sessions, when they chose to send Gore's film to every secondary school in England. As such, one could perhaps say that showing the children The Great Global Warming Swindle would simply have the effect of achieving balance. But it would be preferable if neither film were shown to children, and if they were simply given an objective introduction to the scientific issues.

Sunday 14 October 2007

The evil of Vogue

I see that Dame Vivienne Westwood, described by the Telegraph as the "founder of punk style", has opened a new front in the war on "racism". Apparently, the fashion industry is institutionally racist, and fashion magazines such as Vogue are among the worst offenders. According to Westwood, non-white models are not used in sufficient numbers on the cover of such magazines.

Well, that may be true, although, like so many of those who claim that non-whites are being under-represented (Jimmy McGovern, anyone?), she has not actually produced anything beyond anecdotal evidence in support of her claim. This anecdotal evidence, such as it is, consists in the fact that the editor of a fashion magazine told her that she tried to limit the use of non-white models on the front cover of her magazine, because when they were used, sales fell. Perhaps that is true: after all, I would imagine that people generally are more likely to buy a fashion magazine if it has a cover picture of someone who bears a resemblance to them, and Britain is a majority white country, for the present. There are also a number of magazines, and probably some fashion magazines among them, specifically aimed at a black or Asian audience: how often do they feature white models on their front covers, I wonder?

In any event, this is all speculation, in the absence of any hard evidence of widespread discrimination. However, if Vivienne Westwood had her way, widespread discrimination would soon become commonplace in the fashion industry. Discrimination against white models, that is. Because Westwood's solution to the alleged problem of discrimination, is to force the editors of fashion magazines to use a certain proportion of non-white models on their front covers. Because, as any fule kno, racial quotas are the solution to all of society's problems.

So, to sum up: Vivienne Westwood decides, without any evidence, that there is a massive problem of institutional racism in the fashion industry. She then decides that the best solution is the one that bears the closest resemblance to the smashing of the proverbial walnut with the proverbial sledgehammer, and demands that private companies be compelled to adhere to fixed racial quotas in the photographs they print in their publications. In so doing, she would appear to be advocating the restriction of free speech, since it is, of course, an inherent aspect of free speech that one can publish what words or images one chooses (subject to a very small number of restrictions, such as libel laws). I would add that in making this rather authoritarian demand, the multi-millionairess nobly expressed her willingness to sacrifice other people's profits in pursuit of her goal. What an obnoxious, sanctimonious, little cretin she appears to be!

Elsewhere in the interview in which she made her accusations, she announced that she has switched her political allegiance from Labour to the Tories, on the grounds that the current government is "the most autocratic we have ever had". Well, she may well be right about that, but I think that it is the height of hypocrisy for someone who advocates the imposition of compulsory racial quotas on private publications to kick up a fuss about anyone else's real or presumed authoritarianism.

Disease-ridden voters

They are worlds apart: the brash, gun-loving, God-fearing, Southern fans of Nascar racing, and the button-downed, suit-wearing political elite in Washington.

But the loathing of the Nascar crowd for the inhabitants of Capitol Hill has reached new heights after the decision by Washington political aides to get inoculated before attending a race this weekend.

To compound the error, the aides in question are Democrats, a party that has been so keen to regain the votes of white Southern males that it has even given them their own demographic term: “Nascar Dads”. The decision to get immunisations, against hepatitis, tetanus and diphtheria, is as much a political blunder as a cultural clash.

The trip was part of the House Homeland Security Committee’s investigation into public health preparedness at mass gatherings. Nascar races attract crowds of up to 300,000 predominately working-class fans.

The Democrat chairman of the committee instructed the aides to get the immunisations and the Republicans pounced, claiming Democrats were treating Nascar supporters like Third World inhabitants. “To suggest vaccines are needed to attend Nascar races is insulting to millions of hard-working Americans,”said Tim Walberg, a Republican congressman.
How many people, I wonder, have died from diseases picked up at Nascar races? Do the Democrat aides have access to figures showing that to attend such an event unvaccinated is to sign one's own death warrant? Because they must surely have had some evidential basis for choosing to be inoculated. Otherwise, we'd have to conclude that the American political class regard their own working-class with utter loathing and contempt. And that couldn't possibly be the case, could it?

Friday 12 October 2007

Witch Hunt of the Day

From the Lancashire Evening Post:
A young Tory student leader has been expelled from the party and suspended by the University of Central Lancashire for making vile homophobic comments online.

"Vile", they say! What an excellent example of fair and unbiased reporting! Still, it's only the local press: I doubt many journalists on regional papers can even spell 'impartiality', let alone put it into practice.

Fergus Bowman, a second-year politics and religion student from Lancashire, resigned as chairman of the Conservative Future society at UCLan's Students' Union when the comments, on social networking site Facebook, came to light.

He has since been thrown out of the Tory party by national officials.

Mr Bowman, 22, who lives in Catterall near Garstang, has also been banned from the Students' Union while the university investigates. He has apologised to a student newspaper for his comments.

The comments have now been removed from Facebook, but copies seen by the Lancashire Evening Post show Bowman was listed as the head of a group called "Homos burn in hell".

Its homepage featured a picture of a hooded Klu Klux Klan [sic - what was I just saying about standards among representatives of the local press?] member beside a burning cross and the remark "everyone knows homosexuality is against God's wishes".

So, Mr - or should I say, Grand Wizard - Bowman is clearly an out-and-out Nazi. Either that or the picture of a KKK member and the over-the-top language indicates that this group is a bit of a joke.

Mr Bowman went on to make a reference to the link between homosexuals and the AIDS virus.

On another webpage, showing an obscene picture of a man exposing his private parts, Bowman wrote: "And people wonder why I'm anti-semetic."

Again, is this more likely to be an admission that he curls up at night with a copy of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, or a joke (possibly one in poor taste, but a joke nonetheless)?

And he branded members of Garstang Country Hotel and Golf Club, which is near his home, as "semi-civilized, illiterate degenerates" on another forum.

The Conservative Party and student leaders have united to condemn Mr Bowman's comments, some of which were made on webpages which anyone could access freely.

A Tory spokesman said: "Fergus Bowman's comments are appalling and we condemn them absolutely.

"He has been expelled from the Conservative party. There's no place for homophobia in today's Britain.

"The Conservative party actively support gay rights."

Students' Union president Chris Lowden said: "We are committed to equal opportunities.

"Fergus's comments breached our constitution. We cannot and will not tolerate such material coming out from one of our members."

A UCLan spokesman confirmed Bowman had been suspended from university while an internal investigation is held. It is expected to take two to three weeks.

Personally, I think that the Tory Party, the university, and the students' union are all guilty of a gross overreaction. It seems quite clear that Bowman was, at worst, guilty of making jokes in somewhat poor taste. Well, so what? Since when were undergraduates expected to behave like paragons of virtue? And, in any event, it's not like he was inciting murder, is it?

But if the Tory Party want to expel him, then I suppose that that is their right. True, doing so may make them look like a bunch of humourless, censorious, liberals, but as an independent political party they have a right to choose who they do, and who they do not, want as their members.

The actions of the University of Central Lancashire give cause for far greater concern, however. Universities are supposed to be bastions of free speech. They are supposed to be places in which the open expression of opinions is encouraged, no matter how vulgar, distasteful, or offensive they may be. It is deeply disturbing that a student can now be suspended, and possibly face expulsion, from a university, simply for making jokes that might cause offence to members of designated victim groups. And the decision to suspend Bowman is not without recent precedent, either: remember the Cambridge Motoons saga? It seems that genuine free speech is becoming an increasingly rare commodity at our universities.

Still, I suppose that Fergus Bowman should just be grateful that Jack Straw's wonderful new anti-thought crime laws aren't in place yet. If they were, he could be looking at seven years in chokey...