The creeping dictatorship of the Left... 

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Postmodernism is fundamentally frivolous. Postmodernists routinely condemn racism and intolerance as wrong but then say that there is no such thing as right and wrong. They are clearly not being serious. Either they do not really believe in moral nihilism or they believe that racism cannot be condemned!

Postmodernism is in fact just a tantrum. Post-Soviet reality in particular suits Leftists so badly that their response is to deny that reality exists. That they can be so dishonest, however, simply shows how psychopathic they are.


28 February, 2011

Church of England shows some spine

Is this the first time in centuries?

The Archbishop of Canterbury has vowed he will never allow Church of England buildings to be used for gay weddings. Dr Rowan Williams told MPs that he would not bow to pressure to enable his churches to be used for same-sex unions.

His intervention comes as the Coalition consults on plans to allow civil partnerships between gays and lesbians to take place in religious settings for the first time. No church, mosque or synagogue will be forced to host the ceremonies - but some religious people are worried they could be open to discrimination suits if they do not open their doors to gay unions.

Some within the CofE have been calling on the Archbishop to move with the times and allow his churches to host gay weddings - pointing out that polls have shown that some two thirds of the British public would be in support.

But now Dr Williams, who was seen as a liberal when he took up his post, has indicated that on this issue he will ally himself with conservatives in the Church. He told MPs that the CofE believed marriage could only be a union between a man and a woman - and that he would not be changing course.

Challenged by Simon Kirby, the Tory MP for Brighton Kemptown, to explain what he would say to a same-sex couple wanting a church union, Dr Williams said he would not countenance weakening its teaching on marriage, and would not be dictated to by the Coalition.

Mr Kirby said the comments would alienate gay Christians and would make the Anglican Church look out of touch. 'I had hoped he might be more measured in his response and reflect on the cases for both sides of the argument more evenly, but he was very one-sided,' he said. 'Public opinion is moving faster than the Church on this issue and it is increasingly in danger of getting left behind.'

A consultation on allowing gays and lesbians to have civil partnership ceremonies in church will begin in April. It could even lead to gays getting full marriage rights.

Giles Fraser, canon chancellor at St Paul's cathedral, said the Church of England should be embracing gay equality in marriages. 'Gay relationships are perfectly capable of reflecting the love of God,' he said. 'Which is why the church should respond more imaginatively to the idea of same-sex blessings being celebrated in church.'

A spokesman for Lambeth Palace, the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: 'The Church still believes on the basis of Bible and tradition that marriage is between a man and a woman and does not accept that this needs to change. 'Civil partnerships now provide legal securities for same-sex couples but this does not, in itself, alter what we believe to be unique about marriage.'

Canon Glyn Webster, a senior member of the General Synod, said: 'It's only possible for a marriage to be between a man and a woman. I'm not saying there can't be loving relationships between people of the same sex, but that doesn't equate to marriage. 'I want the Church to keep to the policy of refusing to hold blessing services for same-sex couples.'


Why are British police so rude? Because they are trained to be


Last week the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) published complaint statistics for 2009/10. And for senior officers – indeed for the public at large – they make uncomfortable reading.

For the second successive year the number of complaints increased by eight per cent, to record levels of almost 58,400, but within that headline figure there are trends that should give us all pause for thought. Almost 50 per cent of all allegations related to rudeness, incivility and neglect of duty.

Even the interim Chair of the IPCC, Len Jackson, felt compelled to comment that ‘the number of rude and late complaints ... will require forces to develop an open dialogue with the public’. That is Whitehall code for: ‘This has got to change!’

No one who cares about the maintenance of law and order in this country could view these figures with anything but concern – they expose worrying issues that we ignore at our peril. It is not a trivial point of manners but a reflection of the extent to which policing has changed for the worse in this country over the past 25 years.

I witnessed these changes as they began in the late Eighties and as they accelerated over the Nineties and the past decade. For 35 years, until I retired in 2001, I served in two forces and at the Home Office, at every rank from beat PC to Deputy Assistant Commissioner and HM Assistant Inspector of Constabulary.

I believe that we are now feeling the delayed impact of more than two decades of poor decision-making in policing.

Once upon a time the general public could confidently expect courtesy from their local constabulary. Particularly in the years following the Second World War, an easy accommodation emerged which had its roots in the continuing respect for authority figures that was the prevailing attitude of the time, and in recognition of the fact that civil society needed effective policing as crime rates soared.

This contract with the public lasted until the early Nineties when, under the dual pressure of economic and social change, a new generation of chief constables and commissioners, who saw policing as a ‘business’ rather than a vocation based upon service, decided that things had to change.

The new policing, enthusiastically supported by successive Home Secretaries, was about targets, response times and ‘measurable performance’, lifted straight from the MBA syllabuses of the best universities.

Beat patrols on foot in uniform were not part of this brave new world; unless effectiveness could be measured and converted into a ‘bottom line’ cost it was of no use, and had to be scrapped. Police discretion was submerged under a tsunami of directions, guidelines and data-gathering.

Then 9/11 happened and it was decided that the police service was on the frontline in the ‘war on terror’. Almost overnight, we all changed from citizens to suspects. Terrorism legislation and spurious ‘officer safety’ policies led to the militarisation of policing and the greatest change in attitude that had taken place for a century.

Police officers, the majority quite young – the average age of an operational PC is under 24 – have been trained to believe that they are continually under physical threat and must therefore be continually on their guard. It is clear that a significant minority of officers see the public as their enemy and as a potential hazard to be dealt with aggressively.

There is no doubt that standards of behaviour and civility, across the whole of Britain, have changed for the worse over the past quarter century.
Courtesy and good behaviour have been abandoned by many in our modern, ‘me’ society. It is clear that a significant minority of officers see the public as their enemy and as a potential hazard to be dealt with aggressively

The police are products of that society; they attend the same schools, live in the same communities and have the same attitudes and prejudices as the best and the worst of us. But police officers should be held to a different standard of behaviour.

This change in attitude has to be set alongside the simultaneous withdrawal from day-to-day street patrolling that has taken place.

Once all young officers would spend their first few years getting to know local communities and local people by patrolling designated beats, tightly supervised with disciplinary sanctions by their sergeants and inspectors. That has been abandoned. Now new recruits, fresh from training which emphasises the primacy of their own safety over that of the public, learn from those senior to them, who also know no better.

A concerned officer recently gave me this extract from a force training programme – the tone is chilling. It says: ‘What the public consider rude is usually just no-nonsense commands and attitude. Unfortunately, when you try to reason with people, they take advantage. Therefore, when you need immediate compliance, you must use stern, unambiguous commands that require no interpretation on the part of the person being talked to. Through experience you must learn to command and dominate ALL interactions.’ The emphatic block capitals were in the original training notes.

So it is hardly surprising that of the 58,399 alleg¬ations of misconduct recorded by the IPCC last year, 11,576 were of rudeness and incivility. It is also deeply worrying and one would expect that the senior leadership of the police would be as concerned as you or I.

The official response from Deputy Chief Constable John Feavyour of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), to his credit, acknowledges that a problem exists and encourages the public to complain if they consider that an officer’s conduct has been unsatisfactory so that ‘appropriate action’ can be taken. Sadly there is little evidence to show ‘appropriate action’, which should mean minor disciplinary sanction by middle managers, is ever effective.

I know from experience the default position for too many junior officers is to ‘close ranks’ and deny that anything improper has occurred.

The police have never been held in lower esteem than they are today but the situation is not irretrievable.

Firstly, there must be assertive leadership from those at the top. Most ACPO officers are educationally and socially quite different to their personnel yet they see it as their role to be cheerleaders for their officers rather than critical leaders. Supervision and the maintenance of discipline, lost arts among today’s sergeants and inspectors, need to be relearned.

Lastly, and most importantly, there should be a programme of return-to-uniform foot patrols for all officers during the formative years of their careers to rekindle the skills of talking to people and appreciation of the value of mutual respect.

We are all better served if our police are approachable and courteous rather than granite-faced bullies.

Many officers, throughout the UK, want nothing more than to do the best they can for the public they serve, and are often embarrassed and disgusted by the behaviour of boorish colleagues.


Insane fishing policy may go

A classic case of bureaucratic destructiveness

European fishermen may be banned from throwing a million ton of fish overboard every year to stay within EU quotas following a campaign by the television chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Maria Damanaki, the EU fisheries minister, will unveil a proposal to ban the practice of “discards” which as arisen as a bizarre consequence of a quota system designed to conserve fish stocks by preventing over-fishing.

Officials are bowing to pressure for reform of Europe’s fishing industry after more than 650,000 people signed a petition calling for “discards” to be banned following a series of programmes publicising the issue on Channel 4.

Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Fish Fight series disclosed that around half of the fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back into the ocean dead because fishermen are afraid of exceeding their quotas.
His campaign to stop the bizarre "conservation" practice won the backing of celebrities such as Stephen Fry, Ricky Gervais, Jamie Oliver and Jeremy Paxman.

In his contribution to the campaign, Paxman wrote: “If this is conservation, then I’m the Mad Hatter.”

Under Europe’s landing quota system, fishermen are required to throw back any fish that are too young, overfished or for which they have no quota. In mixed fisheries, it can be impossible for fishermen to control the species that they catch in their nets.

The result is that thousands of tons of overfished cod are thrown back every year so fishermen can continue trawling for more prolific species such as haddock. The vast majority of the discarded fish die.

A study by the United Nations Agriculture Organisation estimated that 1.3 million tons of fish and other marine animals are thrown back every year – amounting to 13 per cent of all catches. Scotland’s fishermen alone throw away an estimated £40 million worth of fish each year.

Mrs Damanaki’s proposal suggests that all catches should be landed and counted against quota. It is believed to be backed by Richard Benyon, Britain’s fishing minister, as well as the Danish, German, French and Belgian ministers.

But the policy is understood to be opposed by Spain and other southern European countries because the reforms could mean fishermen would have to stop fishing when they have reached their quota for a particular species to avoid catching it accidentally.

There are also concerns over the possible enforcement measures, which could include installing CCTV on all vessels or employing observers to ensure fishermen do not discard fish illegally.

But Henrik Hoegh, the Danish food minister, welcomed the proposed changes. "Fish is a common property and a common concern and society now wants a say," he said.


Libyans failed by Leftist orientalism

David Burchell says that Leftist hatred of their own society led them to underestimate the suffering of ordinary people in Muslim societies -- and failed to provide such people with a model to aspire to

SEVENTY years ago my father, along with 14,000 other Australians of the Ninth Division, was domiciled in the sleepy Libyan coastal town of Tobruk, where all year round the sky shone a fierce blue, the earth glowed red, and the ferocious heat of day and numbing cold of night seemed drawn from some other planet, where the seasons spin by in a single day.

Over the last week Tobruk and its neighbouring cities have been at war again - only this time it is the Libyans themselves who have been driving out the tinpot fascist and his functionaries, while instead of Stukas it has been Muammar Gaddafi's superannuated Sukhois dispatching terror from the skies. Yet the Libyan people are striving to free themselves without any moral succour from us, and without any obvious positive models to follow, so the crowds on the streets are far clearer about what they oppose than what they wish to create. And, once again, we are partly to blame.

The wartime generation was compelled by its narrowness of sympathy to pretend that the native populations whose territories they desolated didn't really exist, or that their lives were inconsequential. We, by contrast, fancy ourselves creatures of global sympathy and unlimited compassion - and so, far from wishing other peoples out of existence, we prefer to invent foreign peoples of our own imagining, to whom we entrust the task of assuming our fantasies and justifying our fears.

Nowadays the late American literary critic Edward Said passes for a moral authority on the historical relations of the Arab and Western worlds, and every single month a multitude of clever, ambitious, wind-sniffing young academic researchers pay homage to his memory. Said fitted himself perfectly to the needs of our era: though his entire adult life was spent in Manhattan, he purported to present the authentic voice of Arab victimhood to an intelligentsia yearning to reject everything their own countries stood for, as an act of spiritual self-purification.

Like his soulmate Noam Chomsky, Said presented a political perspective of almost child-like simplicity: the West, in its domineering ignorance, was forever doomed to "other" the Orient, and to treat it as its inferior, even while Said and his disciples blissfully "othered" the Middle East themselves, as a sepulchre of Arab suffering, in a mirror-image of those they deplored.

Said's acolytes are probably less familiar with the articles he wrote over many years for the Egyptian state press - articles devoid of the criticism of any existing Arab government; (least of all Mubarak's); and which reduce all the problems of the Arab world to the actions of those two familiar pantomime villains, the US and Israel. You will not be surprised to hear that Said had nothing whatever to say about Libya's absurd Mussolini imitator, Gaddafi - except to heap abuse upon the US when it responded to the colonel's various terrorist provocations.

Said reserved special contempt for brave Arabs who criticised the region's political, economic and social backwardness. As he wrote, in his customary lachrymose tones, in Egyptian state weekly Al-Ahram in 2003: 'I recall the lifeless cadences of their sentences for, with nothing positive to say about their people, they simply regurgitate the tired American formulas: we lack democracy; we haven't challenged Islam enough, we need to drive away the spectre of Arab nationalism.'

These ideals Said found aesthetically repugnant, since they offered the possibility that the Arab world - that shimmering ideal about which he knew so little and spoke so much - might become more like us. Instead, like any good Orientalist, he wanted the Arab world to remain pre-modern, atavistic, romantic - a figure out of his own fervid imaginings. You can search Said's articles in vain for the words now on the lips of young people across the region: democracy, freedom, women's rights. Instead, like earlier colonialist bromides they are souvenirs of pure social and political reaction.

What seems obvious about the young Libyans in the streets of Tobruk, Benghazi and Tripoli - like young Iranians and Egyptians, and quite possibly many Syrians and Saudis too - is that they no longer want any truck with those miserable self-serving fantasies of Arab victimhood and Zionist sorcery. Instead, they merely want to live - as Said was lucky enough to do - in a "normal" country, where their persons will be treated with dignity and their views with respect. But about how to create such a country, beyond toppling statues and setting fire to police stations, they have been left almost totally in the dark - partly through the agency of their own rulers, and partly by us.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


27 February, 2011

Half of Britain 'would vote for far-Right parties if they gave up violence'

This report emanates from the fringe-Left group "Searchlight". It could be a fundraiser in the manner of America's sensationalist SPLC. The findings may be correct but would need independent checking

Almost half the country would back a far-Right party if they gave up violence, an astonishing new poll revealed today. A total of 48 per cent said that they would support a group that vowed to crack down on immigration and Islamic extremists. They would also restrict the building of mosques and order the flag of St George or the Union Jack be flown on all public buildings.

Anti-racism campaigners said the findings were a clear sign that Britain's mainstream parties were losing touch with many voters on the issue of race.

There has been a recent wave of support for extremists such as the English Defence League and the British National Party.

And the poll, which will spark fresh fears of racial tension, suggests that the level of backing for a far-Right party could equal or even outstrip that in countries such as France, the Netherlands and Austria. France's National Front party hopes to secure 20 per cent in the first round of the presidential vote next year. The Dutch anti-Islam party led by Geert Wilders attracted 15.5 per cent of the vote in last year's parliamentary elections.

The revelations will spark fresh fears of racial tension in Britain amid a new wave of support for extreme right-wing parties like the British National Party and the English Defence League.

Findings of the survey, the largest of its kind and involving 5,054 people, are in a major report called Fear and Hope – the New Politics of Identity, which examines views on race, immigration and multi-culturalism.

Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband and campaigning Left-wing Labour MP Jon Cruddas will officially unveil the report, produced for the Searchlight Education Trust, tomorrow. They will also launch Searchlight’s Together project to tackle extremism among white and Islamic -communities with the slogan: ‘A plague on both their houses’.

Mr Cruddas, who fought a successful campaign against the BNP in his Dagenham and Rainham constituency in east London, told The Observer that the findings pointed to a ‘very real threat of a new potent political constituency built around an assertive English nationalism’.

The report identified a resurgence of English identity, with 39 per cent preferring to call themselves English rather than British. Just 5 per cent labelled themselves European.

In one of the most revealing questions, pollsters Populus asked people if they would back a party that ‘wants to defend the English, create an English parliament, control immigration and challenge Islamic extremism’. A total of 48 per cent said they would either ‘definitely support’ or ‘consider supporting’ a party with such an agenda, if it shunned violence and fascist imagery.

The results will alarm both PM David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband, who are worried about the rise of right-wing extremists.

In the 12 months to last September, 238,950 migrants were allowed into Britain, the highest figure since records began. Sixty per cent of people thought immigration had been ‘a bad thing’ for England, against 40 per cent who said it had been ‘good’. Thirty-four per cent said immigration should be stopped permanently or until the economy improved. The report also found opposition comes from all races, not just ‘white Britons’. 'And 52 per cent of Britons agree that ‘Muslims create problems in the UK’.

Searchlight director Nick Lowles told the Sunday Mirror: ‘The harsh truth is we are in danger of losing touch with the public on race, immigration and multi-cultural¬ism.’


A Stranger in My Own Land

I have just returned to London, where I have lived since I was 11. I have been away for four years, living as an ethnic minority in a monocultural part of the world, amassing a host of stories to tell to disbelieving friends. On the whole, I am glad to return. I shan't miss some locals' assumptions that, being a white woman, if I was outside after dark, as I occasionally was, usually to walk the few metres between my house and the church, I must be a prostitute eager to give them a blow job. I shan't miss the abuse my priest husband received: the daubing of "Dirty white dogs" in red paint on the church door, the barrage of stones thrown at him by children shouting "Satan". He was called a "f***ing white bastard" more than once, though, notably, never when in a cassock. I will also not miss the way our garden acted as the local rubbish dump, with items ranging from duvets and TV sets, to rats (dead or twitching) glued to cardboard strips, a popular local method of vermin control to stem the large numbers of them which scuttled between the rubbish piled in gardens and on pavements. Yes, I am very glad to have left Britain's second city.

For four years, we lived in inner-city Birmingham, in what has been a police no-go area for 20 years. We know that because some plain-clothed cops told us when they asked to use our vicarage as a stake-out to bust drugs rings that pervade the area. Having heard a parishioner's tales of what his neighbours did to him when he was wrongfully suspected of having grassed up a cock-fighting ring, we refused, explaining that we had to live here, they didn't. Even during this time we saw the area change. When we arrived, the population was predominantly Pakistani. Now Somalis are there in equal number. Most of the run-down Irish pubs were turned into mosques during our time.

As a woman, it was difficult for me to gain many first-hand impressions of the Muslims. I was generally ignored by both men and women, and on the rare occasion that I had to interact, when for example a car was parked illegally and blocking my gate, I was addressed as if inconsequential. My husband, however, faithfully reported conversations which you may find somewhat alarming. One of our favourite dinner-party pieces is this: opposite our vicarage there is a "library" which has some computers, some burkas and occasionally tracts that say offensive things about Jews and Christians. My husband did his photo-copying there, and got on rather well with everybody. One day he was chatting to a man with a passing resemblance to Lawrence of Arabia, who had just arrived from Antwerp — one of an increasing number of Muslims who are arriving here with EU passports. He asked him why he had come to Birmingham.

He was surprised at the question: "Everybody know. Birmingham — best place in Europe to be pure Muslim." Well, there must be many places in Europe where Muslims are entirely free to practise their faith, but I suspect there are few places in which they can have so little contact with the civic and legal structure of a Western state if they choose. It seems to be particularly easy to "disappear" if that is their intention. A parishioner once described a lorry pulling up outside his house, the side opening to reveal stacked mattresses full of sleepy, and presumably illegal, immigrants, who staggered out into broad Brummie daylight. We heard tales of how houses are exchanged for cash payments in our area. An untaxed car was once clamped by a frightened-looking official at 8am, but within hours the owner of the vehicle had organised the clamps to be sawn off, and he sped away.

Another instance of separation from the Western world is revealed in the following: my husband frequently chatted to a neighbour who could be described as one of the more questioning Muslims, and who has often provided an insight into the locals' mindset. Even this man, however, believes what the whole community thinks: the 9/11 planes were organised by Jews. Everybody knows there were no Jewish people in the World Trade Centre that day, as they had been tipped off. Oh, and the Mumbai terrorists had been kidnapped and brainwashed by Indian people. The tendency towards denial is strong. When my husband mentioned the "dirty white dogs" graffiti to a local Muslim, the response was, "One of your people did it." I have to say that the police's response was no better when the local Methodists complained about the same thing. They chose not to believe it had happened, since we had removed all sign of it with the buckets of anti-graffiti chemicals we had stocked since we arrived. They asked, somewhat pathetically: "Are you sure it was racist?"

To a London reader, born and bred with multiculturalism, I know that my stories may come across as outlandish and exaggerated, and that I must surely be a BNP voter — I have observed people's expressions as they have listened to my tales of life in Brum. When I recently told a friend how a large Taliban flag fluttered gaily on a house near St Andrew's football stadium for some months, her cry of "Can't you tell the police?" made me reflect how far many of our inner cities have been abandoned by our key workers: our doctors and nurses drive in from afar, the police, as mentioned before, have shut down their stations and never venture in unless in extremis — they and ambulance crews have been known to be attacked — even the local Imam lives in a leafier area.

Only the priest remains, if you can get one — the thriving but clerically-vacant church down the road has had no applicant in two years. In their absence, we get stabbings that never make the news, dog- and cock-fighting rings, cars torched as pranks and cars used for peddling heroin. (One of the more amusing moments of our time came when a local lad provided one reason people often gave us stares when we drove past such deals: "Two white people wearing seatbelts — you've got to be cops.") In their absence, we simply have the witness of those who are unlikely to be heard, who, through a variety of unfortunate circumstances, have not been able to move out: the elderly, the infirm, the illiterate, the chronically poor. Indeed, some of the Muslim residents deeply regret the flight of the non-Muslim population. It is they who now have to live in a crime-ridden ghetto.

On holiday in Germany recently, we watched a TV documentary about how schools were coping with Essen's growing Muslim community, and how the community itself felt. When it was over, we turned to each other, and said simultaneously (a drawback of having been married for a while), "This could not have been made in Britain." At the moment, also in Germany, the whole country is debating Thilo Sarrazin's controversial book Deutschland schafft sich ab ("Germany abolishes itself"), in which the author — a former member of the board of the Bundesbank and the German Social Democrats — examines research about immigrant communities and then makes specific recommendations about the integration of the Muslim community. I have only seen scant reference to this in the British press, which usually dismisses it, wrongly and lazily in my view, as good old German racism. This has nothing whatsoever to do with race. The Muslim community in Birmingham, for instance, is made up of people from many continents and races, including Afghans, Yemenis, Pakistanis, Indians and Somalis.

There is no doubt in my mind that we need to have the same openness in discussing what is happening to many cities in Britain. If current demographic trends continue over the next few decades, the West Midlands, as well as other parts of the country, will become a predominantly Muslim area. Much more needs to be done to integrate the communities among whom I lived, and we need to be much less negligent of our own values too. Frankly, if we happened to walk down Broad Street on a Friday night, where mobs of identically undressed and mostly aesthetically unpleasing gals and lads were on the piss and pull, it was almost a relief to drive back to our ghetto enclave.

It is time to rub the rime from our eyes and to look clearly at the shape of Britain today. Everyone living here needs to be able to talk about what they see, without the lazy or fearful, but certainly paralysing, accusation of racism. Only then will we be able to discern what is best for the future.


Here we go again: Yet another false rape claim from Britain

A mother-of-three was jailed for falsely claiming she had been abducted and raped because she was worried her husband would find out that she had a one-night stand. Nicola Osborne, 32, told police she had been bundled in a car by a stranger and taken to a public toilets where she was forcibly raped.

Today the mother, from Portsmouth, Hampshire, was jailed for 18 months after her lie unraveled.

The hearing was told that Osborne, who had been drinking, was walking home when she began talking to a stranger in the street. She went home with him where they engaged in 'extensive sexual activity' and swapped telephone numbers before she left, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.

But it was as she walked home that she became upset as she realised the potential consequences on her marriage from the fling. Passers-by found her in a distressed state in the street and contacted police who she then told that she had been the victim of a stranger rape.

Martin Booth, prosecuting, told the court that a major investigation was launched which took up 548 hours of police time. He said: 'Other investigations had to be put on the back-burner as police resources had to be diverted to this case.'

He explained that a 26-year-old man was arrested after DNA samples taken from Osborne matched those taken from him for a previous minor criminal offence. The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested and detained for 12 hours following the incident on July 5 last year.

His victim impact statement, which was read to the court, said: 'I remember sitting in the cell and the door slamming shut. 'It's a horrible feeling, you feel like you are the only person in the world, I felt very frustrated as I knew I had done nothing wrong. I found it very humiliating.' He added: 'People like her make a mockery of women who have really been raped.'

Osborne pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to a charge of perverting the course of justice. Sentencing her, Judge Roger Hetherington said she had become 'entangled' in her lie. He said: 'I believe it suddenly hit you what the potential consequences were as to what you were going to be able to tell your husband about what you had been doing and a possible fear of pregnancy.'

He added that a custodial sentence reflected the seriousness of the offence which led to a 'vast deployment of police manpower' and caused 'intense anxiety' for the victim.


Australia: Parasitic white bureaucrats feed on black misery

IGNORANT outsiders are not helping to end the spiral of drunkenness in Alice Springs.

Many people live on the gravy train that runs on Aboriginal suffering. And there is no shortage of suffering. We are up to our necks, swimming in misery.

I don't write from a distant perspective of an observer. I write from deep within the misery. I am the one burying nieces and nephews on a regular basis and crying for a brother dead far too early from the abuse of drugs and alcohol. I'm the one who, after a long night on the streets of Alice Springs two weeks ago, was called down to the hospital because my niece was in intensive care after attempting suicide.

Yet one of the problems in Alice Springs is that people feel free to comment on contemporary Aboriginal society from the safety of their computer keyboards without venturing on to the streets of the town and observing the nightlife.

These people object that recent media reportage has all painted the same bleak picture of life in Alice Springs. There is a reason for that: it is because there is only one view late in the evening around KFC Cross, the junction of Todd and Stott streets.

Some claim that there are effective services already working hard to treat the problems. But there is nothing effective about youth services in Alice Springs. The Youth Action Plan, the result of bipartisan commitment and consultation across the sector, and the Youth Hub have never materialised.

Yes, petrol sniffing has been targeted through the introduction of Opal fuel. This program has been a boon for BP. Unfortunately, our youth have just moved on to other drugs, especially ganja. The underlying issues remain the same.

Aboriginal people don't need to be saved by the legions of outsiders who have come to Alice Springs to speak for us, to hold our hands, to encourage us to pursue their romantic vision of a traditional Aboriginal lifestyle. We can speak for ourselves.

The Aboriginal leaders in central Australia know that we have a deep crisis on our hands. We want action. We back local businesses and the local community's call for change.

At a meeting in Alice Springs on Tuesday, the business community was present in droves. So, too, were Lindsay Bookie, chairman of the Central Land Council, and Sid Anderson, my brother, president of MacDonnell Shire. All people of standing in central Australia want to see this crisis resolved by strong action.

Potential solutions include: real truancy programs, schools adequately funded for the full cohort of Territory children, implementation of the Youth Action Plan, business community input into the management and funding of the Gap Youth Centre, normalisation of the town camps; putting Night Patrol and Day Patrol services out to tender, significant welfare reform and land tenure reform.

Even more important will be establishing a new culture of accountability in the Territory. Our problems may be complex, but they are not insurmountable. Government must be accountable, bureaucrats administering program funding must be accountable, youth service providers must be accountable.

I expect a hostile reaction to these observations and proposals from those on board the gravy train. Too bad.

Aboriginal people are not lesser human beings and we are not animals. We want an end to segregated "animal bars" that allow members of our community the humiliation of lower standards of behaviour and dress. We do not want our children scared into obedience by dogs with gnashing teeth. We want to be treated with the same high expectations, rights and responsibilities as any other human being.

We cannot wait any longer for change. I am tired of the funerals. I am frustrated with those who refuse to act. The pain of living with the ongoing loss of our young people is almost unbearable.

I am no longer shocked by life in central Australia, but I am sad and extremely concerned about our future.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


26 February, 2011

Anger as word 'marriage' vanishes from British birth statistics

Married couples have disappeared from official family records for the first time. In a further blow to the status of marriage, records of the number of women who become pregnant will no longer show how many were or were not married. Instead, Government statisticians will publish the number of mothers-to-be who were in ‘a legal partnership’ at the time they conceived – which will include both marriages and women in civil partnerships.

Eight years ago Labour ministers ordered that the word ‘marriage’ should no longer be used on official documents because they said it led to discrimination against gays.

However, there has been a growing chorus of complaints that the censorship of the word will warp official records and erase the evidence which shows that married couples and their children live healthier and happier lives.

The Office for National Statistics’ new figures show that there were 896,300 conceptions in England and Wales in 2009. But, rather than referring to numbers inside and outside marriage, they only show that 57 per cent of pregnancies began ‘outside a legal partnership’.

The disappearance of marriage statistics has come despite a plea from Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith. In a major speech earlier this month, Mr Duncan Smith said: ‘I have asked my department to ensure references to marriage are included on relevant forms and research in the future.’


An old hatred revived in Britain

If it ever went away

What is worse, being falsely labelled a Tory or wrongly called a Jew? This question might have flashed through the mind of Aaron Porter, president of the National Union of Students, when police escorted him away from a group of anti-fees protesters in Manchester who taunted him with cries of "Tory Jew scum."

Given that Porter is not Jewish and is a member of the Labour Party, the choice of insult may seem bizarre. But Porter probably managed to decode the message. He knows that on the extreme fringe of left-wing activism in this country, "Jew" has become a term of political abuse.

Surprisingly, this does not always relate to Israel or Zionism — at least not directly. Shortly after the incident, Porter went on a fact-finding mission to Israel and the West Bank where he met Israeli and Palestinian students. But his venture into the Middle East imbroglio is not what annoyed the crowd in Manchester.

Porter was being heckled by protesters from that faction of the student movement who believe that the NUS under his leadership has not done enough to challenge the government's policy on university fees. They also condemn the NUS's refusal to do more in defence of those charged with various offences committed during the rioting in central London last year. They think Porter has sold out his members, not the Palestinians. So why on earth accuse him of being a "Tory Jew?"

There is a clue to this in the activity of Clare Solomon, president of the University of London Students Union. An ex-member of the Socialist Workers Party, now involved with Respect, she has consistently taken a more militant line in opposition to the hike in student fees and repeatedly outflanked Porter on the left.

In addition to her militancy on this front, Solomon has pronounced views on Zionism, Israel and the Jews. On Facebook last May, she declared that "there is no such thing as the ‘Jewish race'." She went on: "The view that Jews have been persecuted all throughout history is one that has been fabricated in the last 100 years or so in order to justify the persecution of the Palestinians."

Solomon has since apologised, explained that the offending words were written in haste and stressed that she does not dispute whether six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust. She denounced unreservedly expressions of anti-Semitism. But while she has made a welcome retraction, we are left with this articulation of her unfiltered thoughts, a statement of beliefs so deeply rooted that, until challenged externally, did not merit a moment's doubt or self-questioning.

That may be because in the circles in which she moves it is the received wisdom that supporters of Israel manipulate the Holocaust for their own ends. Yet how does this ideological fixture connect with university fees and the NUS in this country? Because, in these self-same circles there is a concatenation between Zionism, Israel, Jews and everything that is perceived as bad in the world.

As if to make the point right on cue, on the same day that Porter was being barracked in Manchester, hundreds of students in central London were demonstrating against university fees with the chant, "London, Cairo — unite and fight." In the eyes of this faction, the struggle against higher fees and the Coalition government in England is at one with the global struggle against American-backed authoritarian regimes who are propped up, at the behest of the American Jewish lobby, as a carapace for Israel.

To this segment of student militants the enemy is global capitalism, which is identified with the United States which is, in turn, identified with Israel. They are convinced that Jews run the US and that any effort anywhere to thwart the thrust of progressive politics is probably the result of Jewish interference. To them, it makes perfect sense to bark "Tory Jew scum" at Porter.

Yet, even if we can find a serpentine logic to their behaviour, is it anything more than the ephemera of student politics . Is it even worth noting? Well, yes — I think it should ring alarm bells. The danger is that in the sub-culture of the far Left and in the world of student politics such received ideas go unchallenged and cement young peoples' view of the world. It is from this matrix that the leaders of tomorrow emerge. As weird and transitory as it may be, this is the breeding ground for future trades union leaders, college lecturers, journalists, MPs, and even cabinet ministers. Think of Peter Hain, Sue Slipman, Jack Straw and Charles Clarke, who were the student leaders and activists of their time.

Most of those who are protesting today will eventually learn that the anti-globalisation conspiracy theories and the demonisation of Israel which is central to them are based on fantasy, and will quietly disavow them. Some may even develop a sense of shame for the things they thought, said, and did. Others will carry their stereotypical perception of Jews with them to the top of their chosen fields. The consequences of that will be incalculable.


When Politics Overrides Justice

(Shenandoah, Pennsylvania) In 2008, two male teens got onto a late-night, drunken fight with a male Hispanic who died from his injuries.

Derrick Donchak, 19, and Brandon Piekarsky, 17, were subsequently charged with crimes of violence, including murder, in the death of 25-year-old Luis Ramirez Zavala.

Donchak and Piekarsky were tried in May 2009 in Schuykill County Court on charges of murder, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, ethnic intimidation and simple assault. A jury returned verdicts of not guilty of all charges except simple assault.

Despite the acquittals, immigrant and racism activists pursued action against Donchak and Piekarsky in federal court. Legal scrabbling for an offense found that the Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to interfere, with violence or threats, with a person's right to live where he chooses to live.

Consequently, for violating the Fair Housing Act, Donchak and Piekarsky were tried in federal court on charges that they interfered with Luis Ramirez Zavala's right to live where he wanted.

Yesterday, Donchak and Piekarsky were sentenced to nine years in federal prison.

The MSM has characterized the case as a hate-crime conviction since the victim was an illegal alien and the alleged perpetrators were white males. I would contend that it was a political conviction.

Think about it. The case was about a late-night drunken brawl leaving one dead and, as a result, two guys get sentenced to prison for violating the Fair Housing Act.

It has to be political to make any sense.


Muslims are not the same as earlier immigrants to Australia

ALMOST everything George Brandis said this week about Australia's successful creation of an inclusive society "receptive and respectful of people of race and faith" is true.

In an opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald, the senator paid tribute to Australian tolerance by recalling his experience growing up in the suburbs in the 1960s. Amid the colonial terraces and semi-detached houses of Petersham in Sydney's inner west, Chinese, Greek and Italian families lived happily alongside their Anglo-Celtic neighbours, and half the youngsters at his local school came from non-English-speaking backgrounds.

The idea that Australia under the rule of Robert Menzies did not resemble apartheid South Africa or the segregated south of the US will shock those who subscribe to the popular view that the coming of Gough Whitlam changed everything.

Brandis usefully reminded us that a multicultural Australia pre-dated the official invention of that policy by the Whitlam government in the 1970s. He also reminded us that our proud and enviable history of integrating migrants since the end of the World War II is attributable in part to the essential decency of the overwhelming majority of ordinary Australians.

Australia became a successful nation of immigrants because the egalitarianism that is central to its national character -- the principle that Jack is as good as his mate -- was extended by "old Australians" to include "new Australians".

Hence there was no white flight from Petersham or other suburbs in response to the influx of migrants from southern Europe in the 50s and Indochina in the 70s because newcomers of all colours and creeds were made welcome and accepted into the workplaces, the schools, the churches and the sporting clubs of suburban Australia.

Brandis was also right to suggest that these achievements should not be put at risk by cheap populism that seeks to exploit prejudice for political advantage. However, the senator for Queensland went too far in trying to shut down the debate about multiculturalism.

The debate was sparked in Coalition ranks by the publication of Scott Morrison's alleged remarks in shadow cabinet about Muslim immigration and community concerns in western Sydney.

"I can still remember the playground taunting of Italian kids, from which I formed my lifelong detestation of bullies who pick on a vulnerable minority," Brandis wrote in a thinly disguised rebuke to his colleagues. "Whether they realise it or not, the same sentiment that drives those who bullied those kids then, animates those who beat up on Muslims now."

This is a variation on a common grievance aired by many members of the multicultural industry: "Australia is a racist country because kids teased me about what was in my sandwiches at lunchtime."

Judging how a civilisation treats minorities based on what eight-year-olds call each other is ludicrous. To equate this with a legitimate debate about the success or otherwise of Muslim integration is just as ludicrous.

This is especially so when this debate is belatedly being had in Britain, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Scandinavia, now that the evidence of non-integration and the failures of multicultural policy are undeniable.

Europe has discovered that a nation of tribes united by a common welfare state does not create the harmonious society multicultural theorists said it would.

Instead, divisions between native and immigrant populations have been entrenched and the social fabric frayed. Australia does not confront challenges on the same scale, but we are kidding ourselves if we think we have nothing to worry about.

From Petersham, it is a 15-minute drive southwest to Lakemba. It is 30 years since [mostly Muslim] refugees fleeing the civil war in Lebanon received asylum in this country, and still Lakemba and its surrounds remain ghettofied.

The usual pattern of dispersal by first-generation children of immigrants has not occurred to the same extent and the area is plagued with poor educational achievement, high unemployment and crime.

The community concerns that exist in western Sydney about Muslims and multiculturalism are based on these jarring realities on the disintegration of some parts of Sydney from the mainstream, and the failure to repeat the successful patterns of integration of other ethnic groups.

To blame racial or religious prejudice, whether formed in the playground or otherwise, is avoiding the real issue. So is reaffirming the national commitment to multiculturalism, as the Gillard government has done, as if that and the proposed anti-racism campaign will be a cure-all.

The conventional wisdom among most elites is that we should not discuss these issues because it will unleash the racist sentiments that still lurk in the hearts of most Australians.

I think the opposite is true. It is because most Australians believe in the immigration and integration of all comers that what is going on in southwest Sydney is of concern.

Perceptive politicians have picked up on this. Effective politicians will honestly address the issues and propose solutions. Ineffective ones will shut their eyes and lecture an unimpressed electorate about respecting "diversity".



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


25 February, 2011

British government wants to measure people's happiness

So it can "help"

Hundreds of thousands of people will be asked whether they think the lives they lead are “worthwhile” as part of David Cameron’s plan to measure the nation’s wellbeing.

Government researchers will begin questioning the first 200,000 over-16s across Britain from April to assess how satisfied they are with their lives on a scale of 0 to 10, and how anxious or happy they feel.

Further research is expected to focus on detailed areas that affect individuals’ perceptions of their own happiness, such as the state of their marriage, friendships and personal health.

The initiative has a budget of £2 million a year with the first four questions in the initial survey of 200,000 people costing £500,000 to conduct, according to the Office for National Statistics, which is running the scheme.

The Prime Minister believes the state can have a role in helping citizens “feel better” and has argued that successful governments should improve the quality of life as well as the strength of the economy.

His programme to develop Britain’s first “wellbeing index” follows a similar initiative in France, announced by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The ONS drew heavily on the recommendations of the French commission when drafting the first questions to be used to measure “subjective wellbeing” in this country.

Initially, four new questions will be included in the ONS’s integrated household survey from April. Respondents will be asked to give answers on a scale of 0 to 10 to the following questions:

· Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?

· Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?

· Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?

· Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?

Paul Allin, head of the wellbeing project at the ONS, said he was confident the questions would produce robust results and that any bias in the answers would be ironed out across such a large sample. “We essentially trust people to give us the answers they give us and we will work what they say,” he said.

Ultimately, the project aims to create a set of results against which the changing health of the nation’s feelings about itself can be measured. Officials also want to enable comparisons to be made between Britain and other countries and will be working with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Mr Allin said: “Subjective wellbeing is one approach to understanding and measuring the wellbeing of the nation. While we want to produce consistent results over time, we will initially regard the results as experimental. There is more work to be done.”

In developing the new questions, the ONS commissioned further research into subjective wellbeing. It found that life satisfaction in Britain had failed to keep pace with rising household income and GDP over the past 40 years.

Other findings from the report, which reviewed a wide range of existing research, suggested that women are generally more satisfied with their lives than men and young people are happier than the middle-aged.

Married people are happier than those who are unmarried and it is more important to “keep up with the Joneses” and match the income of your peer group than to have objectively high rates of pay.

However, the study also suggested that it is possible to be too happy. Excessively happy people can be “gullible” and make “careless” decisions. The optimum level of happiness is to be at seven or eight out of 10, the research said.


The Catastrophic Failure of European Multiculturalism

Europe's leaders have realized, and are acknowledging one after another, that that continent's multiculturalist policy--the idea that geographic areas could be ceded to immigrants from Islamic countries who would treat them as Islamic enclaves, rather than being encouraged to assimilate--has been a disastrous failure. CBN has a good report on the current status of multiculturalism in Europe. It begins:

France has some 751 "No Go" zones. The French government has labeled these areas "sensitive urban zones" that are dangerous for whites and non-Muslims to enter.

CBN's video begins with the story of a French shopkeeper who has refused to leave her home inside a no go zone:

In a northern district of Paris, a brave shopkeeper named Marie-Neige Sardin guards her newsstand like a military fort. As a white woman, she is a minority in the mostly Arab-speaking Muslim area.

Sardin has been the victim of dozens of crimes -- raped, robbed, and having acid thrown at her, as other residents try to get her to leave.

Still, Sardin -- the daughter of a French soldier -- calls her little shop "a piece of French soil inside occupied territory," and says she will not leave.


Oklahoma Police Captain Faces Disciplinary Action for Refusing to Attend Islamic Event

The Tulsa Police Deptartment is investigating a captain who refused an order to assign officers to attend an upcoming Islamic event because he said it would violate his religious beliefs.

Capt. Paul Fields was reassigned after he refused to order officers under his command to attend the Islamic Center of Tulsa’s Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, a spokesman for the department said. “It is my opinion and that of my legal counsel that forcing me to enter a Mosque when it is not directly related to a police call for service is a violation of my Civil Rights,” Fields wrote in an internal police department memo obtained by Fox News.

“I have no problem with officers attending on a voluntary basis; however, I take exception to requiring officers to attend this event,” Fields wrote in an e-mail to his superior officer obtained by Fox News. “I believe this directive to be an unlawful order, as it is in direct conflict with my personal religious convictions.”

Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan told FOX23-TV the event was about community relations, not religion. “This was not religious,” he said. “I would never assign a police officer to participate in religious service,” he told the TV station. “This is about a group who bonded together because of their religion. We are not going there because they are Islamic. We are going there because they are Tulsa citizens.”

However, according to a promotional flyer, the Islamic event included not just food and entertainment, but “presentations” on “beliefs, human rights, and women.” They would also be able to watch a Muslim prayer service and take a tour of the mosque. “It’s up to you,” the flyer stated.

Ibrahim Hooper, the spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called the incident an example of “anti-Muslim bigotry.”

Gary Allison, a professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law, said the case poses a dilemma. “It is true that individuals have their own religious beliefs and that they come to their workplace with their own religious beliefs,” Allison said. “The question is, how far can an employer go to require people to go against their religious beliefs for something to do the job that they are supposed to do?”


Australia: Muslims lose one

No cash to fund privacy curtains for female-only pool classes. How come nobody is asking the local mosque to fund this? Why should it be a bite on the taxpayer? Do we fund everything Muslims want?

THE State Government has refused a council's bid to help fund $45,000 curtains at a public pool so Muslim women can have privacy during female-only exercise classes. There were calls yesterday for the City of Monash to dump the controversial plan amid claims it promoted segregation and was a waste of ratepayers' money.

Monash Council confirmed the Victorian Multicultural Commission had knocked back a grant application to fund half the curtains' cost. Two weeks ago, the Herald Sun revealed that VCAT had given the green light for Monash to bypass equality laws and run the fortnightly women-only sessions.

Monash Mayor Greg Male said yesterday that the council still wanted to introduce the program, but it would have to pass the budget review process.

But Ratepayers Victoria president Jack Davis called on the council to scrap the plan, given the VMC's decision to reject the grant application. "They have made a wise decision - it only leads to segregation and we don't need that in Australia," Mr Davis said.

A spokeswoman for Multicultural Affairs Minister Nick Kotsiras said Monash had received a $1 million grant for a separate program and the VMC encouraged the council to re-apply for the privacy screen grant next time.


24 February, 2011

British woman on welfare owing £3,500 rent can't be evicted: New European human rights ruling could lead to thousands of tenants refusing to pay

Evicting a woman from her council home for failing to pay rent would breach her human rights, judges ruled yesterday.

Town Hall chiefs wanted to evict Rebecca Powell, who receives thousands of pounds in benefits, after she ran up more than £3,500 in arrears on the accommodation she was given because she was homeless. But the Supreme Court said that – under the controversial European Convention on Human Rights – this would be a breach of the right to ‘respect for a person’s home’.

Council leaders and the Government had fought the case and fear it may now be harder to evict thousands of council tenants who fall into arrears. Legal experts said there was an increasing ‘trend’ for tenants – including ‘neighbours from hell’ – to use human rights law to thwart eviction.

Passing yesterday’s judgment, Lord Hope made it clear the ruling had its origins in Strasbourg. He said the ‘time had come to accept and apply the jurisprudence of the European court’.

The ruling brought fresh demands for reform of Labour’s Human Rights Act, which enshrines the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law, and of the unelected Strasbourg court.

It comes in the wake of cases saying that prisoners must be entitled to vote and that paedophiles can apply to be taken off the Sex Offender Register.

Last night Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘It seems to me that the courts always find in favour of the human rights of people who are doing something wrong. We have got to change that balance, it is getting completely out of hand. ‘What about the human rights of the landlord to get their rent, what about the human rights of the taxpayer?’

Miss Powell, now 23, was given a home in Cranford, West London, by Hounslow Council in April 2007. By June the following year Miss Powell, who lives with her partner and four children, owed the council more than £3,500. She was entitled to around £15,000 a year in housing benefit which could have covered the payments, but had not applied for it properly.

Eviction proceedings began but were halted when Miss Powell appealed under the Human Rights Act. At one stage the council moved the family out in order to renovate the home at taxpayers’ expense, then moved them back in.

Yesterday, Lord Hope and Lord Phillips ruled that the council had not considered whether it was ‘proportionate’ to evict Miss Powell and ordered that the eviction be quashed.

Hounslow Council, anticipating defeat, has offered her ‘suitable alternative accommodation’ and she has never been without a home.

Judges will have to consider the ruling when looking at similar cases involving people who would otherwise be homeless.

Miss Powell has agreed to clear her arrears of £3,536.39 at £5 per week, or sooner if she can.


A police force once renowned for civility: British police now get 58,000 complaints in a year

The legacy of Leftist management that made quotas and box-ticking their over-riding goal

Police receive a formal complaint every 20 minutes for being rude, late, slow or neglecting their duty.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission revealed there were a record 58,339 allegations made against officers and staff last year. Overall, this is the equivalent of one in every five police workers being the subject of a complaint in a single year. Some 11,576 – or 20 per cent of the total – were for ‘incivility, impoliteness and intolerance’.

A further 14,983 complaints were for ‘neglect or failure of duty’, which includes being late, slow or not keeping victims of crime informed what is happening with their case. It comes at a bad time for the police, who are campaigning against budget cuts.

The Police Federation said the public would be ‘worried if the police stopped providing the current range of services as a result of budget cuts’. But a survey revealed that support for the police falls among people who have met an officer.

The Ipsos MORI poll found that, of those people who have come into contact with an officer, 12 per cent say their local police are performing ‘poorly’. Of people who had no dealings with the police, only 7 per cent said the service was sub-standard.

Overall, only 59 per cent of the public said the police were doing a good or excellent job. The IPCC figures show complaints against the police have increased for seven years in a row.

The report shows 33,854 different files of complaint were submitted – more than double the number in 2003-04. They contained 58,399 allegations of misconduct, with some people making more than one allegation, the IPCC said.

In some cases, individual officers receive multiple complaints. Last year, it emerged one officer in the West Midlands had to wear a headcam on duty to check his conduct following the allegations.

The complaints follow recent admissions by police that four out of ten victims of crime do not get a visit from an officer.

Police have also been under fire for wrongly writing-off thousands of vicious assaults and thefts as ‘no crime’. This happens when officers dismiss a person’s report of a crime without even making cursory inquiries. In effect, they take a decision the victim is wrong or lying.

Deputy Chief Constable John Feavyour, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: ‘Police officers have thousands of interactions with members of the public each day and these are of vital importance in maintaining the trust and confidence of the public in the police service.’


European Free Speech Under Attack

Defending the right to say that Islam is primarily a totalitarian ideology aiming for world domination


"The lights are going out all over Europe," British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey famously remarked on the eve of World War I. I am reminded of those words whenever I read about Europeans being dragged into court for so-called hate-speech crimes.

Recently, Danish journalist Lars Hedegaard, president of the International Free Press Society, had to stand trial in Copenhagen because he had criticized Islam. Mr. Hedegaard was acquitted, but only on the technicality that he had not known that his words, expressed in a private conversation, were being taped. Last week in Vienna, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, an Austrian human-rights activist, was fined €480 for calling the Islamic prophet Muhammad a pedophile because he had consummated his marriage to a nine-year old girl. Meanwhile, my own trial in Amsterdam is dragging on, consuming valuable time that I would rather spend in parliament representing my million-and-a-half voters.

How can all this be possible in supposedly liberal Europe? The Dutch penal code states that anyone who either "publicly, verbally or in writing or image, deliberately expresses himself in any way that incites hatred against a group or people" or "in any way that insults a group of people because of their race, their religion or belief, their hetero- or homosexual inclination or their physical, psychological or mental handicap, will be punished."

Early in 2008, a number of leftist and Islamic organizations took me to court, claiming that by expressing my views on Islam I had deliberately "insulted" and "incited hatred" against Muslims. I argued then, as I will again in my forthcoming book, that Islam is primarily a totalitarian ideology aiming for world domination.

Last October, my former colleague in the Dutch parliament, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, wrote in these pages of the way in which Islamic organizations abuse our freedoms in order to limit them. "There are," she wrote, "the efforts of countries in the Organization of the Islamic Conference to silence the European debate about Islam," citing their strategy "to pressure international organizations and the European Union to adopt resolutions to punish anyone who engages in 'hate speech' against religion. The bill used to prosecute Mr. Wilders is the national version of what OIC diplomats peddle at the U.N. and EU."

Indeed, in 2008 the EU approved its so-called "Council Framework Decision on combating Racism and Xenophobia," and the EU's 27 nations have since had to incorporate it into their national legislation. The decision orders that "racist or xenophobic behavior must constitute an offence in all Member States and be punishable by effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties." It defines "racism and xenophobia" so broadly that every statement that an individual might perceive as insulting to a group to which he belongs becomes punishable by law.

The perverse result is that in Europe it is now all but impossible to have a debate about the nature of Islam, or about the effects of immigration of Islam's adherents. Take my own case, for example. My point is that Islam is not so much a religion as it is a totalitarian political ideology disguised as a religion. To avoid misunderstandings, I always emphasize that I am talking about Islam, not about Muslims. I make a clear distinction between the people and the ideology, between Muslims and Islam, recognizing that there are many moderate Muslims. But the political ideology of Islam is not moderate and has global ambitions; the Koran orders Muslims to establish the realm of Allah in this world, if necessary by force.

Stating my views on Islam has brought me to court on charges of "group insult" and incitement to racial hatred. I am being tried for voicing opinions that I—and my constituents—consider to be the truth. I am being tried for challenging the views that the ruling establishment wants to impose on us as the truth.

When I stand before my judges I do so in defense of free speech and human liberty. Freedom is the source of human creativity and development. People and nations wither away without the freedom to question what is presented to them as the truth. There is reason for concern if the erosion of our freedom of speech is the price we must pay to accommodate Islam. There is reason for concern if those who deny that Islam is a problem do not grant us the right to debate the issue. I want to be able to make my case without needing to fear criminal prosecution. It is already bad enough that I have been living under permanent police protection for more than six years because jihadists want to murder me.

My trial is a political trial. It is tragic that after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, political trials in Europe were not cast onto the ash heap of history. Former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky has previously referred to the European Union as the "EUSSR." One of his arguments is that in the EU, as in the former USSR, there is no freedom of speech.

I should be acquitted. My trial in Amsterdam is not about me, but about freedom of speech in Europe. As Dwight D. Eisenhower, Europe's liberator from Nazism, once warned, freedom "must be daily earned and refreshed—else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die." Today in Europe, freedom is being neither earned nor refreshed.


Distorted history of U.S. naval aviation

Egregious slant towards blacks, women

A foundation set up to celebrate Navy aviation’s 100th birthday has disavowed an official history on its website, after former combat pilots complained of inaccuracies and political correctness.

As the first celebration commenced last month at a naval air base in California, a number of enraged former pilots began bombarding the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation Foundation with complaints. The Navy views the commemoration with high regard, with celebrations planned at Navy and Marine Corps air stations from California to Florida.

The foundation‘s official history slide show featured four “firsts” for women, such as the first female operations officer in 1992. It also accentuated humanitarian missions. But it devoted only two slides to World War II and barely mentioned Vietnam, during which the Navy orchestrated a decade of multiple aircraft carrier operations.

“There is ‘history’ and then there is ‘revisionist history’ written to support a political agenda,” said Roy Stafford, a former Marine attack aircraft pilot. “This timeline offered up the first female naval aviator and first female navy astronaut and first black Blue Angel pilot as major milestones and high-water marks for naval aviation to the exclusion of the real history makers. That just didn’t sit well with my simple Marine Corps mind.”

Mr. Stafford is among a group of retirees who wrote e-mails of protest that ended up in the foundation‘s lap.

Screen capture of the website for the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation Foundation (Courtesy of navalaviation100.org)
“The true facts are that women’s contribution to naval aviation has been minimal to nonexistent for 80 of the first 100 years,” said Mr. Stafford. “The simple truth is they were not there, not World War I, not World War II, not Korea nor Vietnam. Men who pushed the limits of mankind to levels never before reached, to relegate them to footnote status while elevating the social agenda is a disservice to all who went before them.”

The retired aviators’ irate criticisms directed at the 100th anniversary foundation were tinged with surprise, since it is run by men like themselves.

One of them, retired Marine Maj. Gen. Bob Butcher, told The Washington Times that after reading the e-mailed complaints, he agreed with them and the timeline was taken off the website. A reporter found the timeline still posted at a foundation address: NavalAviation100.org/the-history-of-naval-aviation.

Gen. Butcher, who is the 100th foundation‘s co-chairman, said the contested history was written by public affairs specialists. “It should not have actually been on the website,” he said. “But it did frankly get up on the website. And, of course, people objected to it because it was certainly not an accurate depiction of the significant events of naval aviation.”

Gen. Butcher, who is also chairman of the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation and Aviation Museum, said a new history is being written by the U.S. Navy’s National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla.

More here


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


23 February, 2011

Another legal attack on an innocent British family

On the basis of a bruised ear! While grievous harm to other children goes unchecked. It should never have gone to court but is typical of the biased practices of British social workers

A judge broke up a family in just 15 minutes, it was revealed yesterday. Judge James Orrell ordered that three children should be taken from their parents after doctors gave evidence in his court about bruising to the ear of one young child. The doctors said it was their opinion that the bruising could have been caused by pinching.

The ruling made at a family court in Derby was exposed after an Appeal Court judge overturned Judge Orrell's decision and condemned the way a family was nearly destroyed in a quarter of an hour. Appeal Judge Lord Justice Thorpe said he was 'aghast' at the handling of the case.

The incident came to light amid continued controversy over the secrecy in which the family courts deal with cases despite repeated scandals over misjudgements or high-handed behaviour by social workers and wrong evidence by expert witnesses.

Last year Labour Lord Chancellor Jack Straw ordered the family courts to open their proceedings to outside scrutiny. But judges have been deeply reluctant to let anyone but lawyers, social workers and expert witnesses into the courts, and have effectively kept them closed to all outsiders.

Judges and lawyers say the risk of the plight of vulnerable children becoming known to the public by name is too great and that such publicity would be greatly damaging to children.

As a result the public can know nothing of what happens, and must rely on regular assurances from judges and insiders that all is well and standards are maintained in cases that decide the future of parents and children.

Details often only become public if a family case comes to a criminal court - as happened when the circumstances of the killing of Peter Connelly, Baby P, were revealed when his mother, her boyfriend and his brother were tried at the Old Bailey in 2008.

In the Derby case social workers sent the evidence of the doctors to the court before Judge Orrell held his hearing. Their lawyers expected a preliminary hearing, but the judge heard the doctors and then ordered the social workers to remove the children from their home.

Lord Justice Thorpe said today: 'I am completely aghast at this case. There is nothing more serious than a removal hearing, because the parents are so prejudiced in proceedings thereafter. 'Once you have lost a child, it is very difficult to get a child back.'

He added of Judge Orrell: 'I know he is a very experienced judge and I know he has done wonderful work in Derby for many years. 'But there is a point where a judge’s brisk conduct of business in his search for protection of a child is just not acceptable. 'This does not seem to me like acceptable process or natural justice.'

Lord Justice Thorpe sent the case back to the county court in Derby, which handles the most serious local family cases, but he said any further decisions on the children's future should be taken by a different judge. He added: 'Judge Orrell is a pillar of the family justice system, but I do believe it is important that the parents have confidence in the tribunal.'

Lawyers for the parents said the judge listened to evidence from the doctors but failed to hear what the parents had to say. He had also failed to listen to the bruised child, who is said to be 'of sufficient age and maturity' to speak for himself.


'British justice has lost the plot': Now businessman forced to pay £5,000 damages to thieving employee he frogmarched to police faces court costs that could ruin him

Ask flooring company boss Simon Cremer if he regrets the day he took the law into his own hands, and it’s clear he is rather torn: he gives a yes-but-no answer. Not for a second, though, does he regret humiliating sub-contractor Mark Gilbert, whom he paraded through the streets of Witham, Essex, in September 2008 with a crude cardboard sign around his neck pronouncing him a thief.

He’d discovered that Mr Gilbert had written a company cheque for £845 to himself, forging his boss’s signature — and maintains that the walk of shame he subjected Mr Gilbert to, as he frogmarched him to the police station, was deserved.

‘I didn’t feel sorry for him then, and I still don’t today,’ says 46-year-old Mr Cremer, who became the talk of Britain after inviting the local papers to record his ‘citizen’s arrest’ for posterity. ‘Yes, it was humiliating for him, but I felt he deserved it.

‘He humiliated me, in my eyes, by betraying my trust and stealing from me. It made my blood boil to think he’d probably get nothing more than a slap on the wrist from the police.’

But would he do it again? Well, that’s a completely different matter. He hesitates to say ‘Yes’, for it’s obvious he very much regrets how much his actions will cost him.

And who could blame him for wondering if he was a little too swift to act. For the high price this small businessman must pay for his stand emerged this week. He could even end up being forced to sell his home.

Mr Gilbert, 41, a self-employed carpet fitter who has moved from Colchester to Bristol following the incident, sued Mr Cremer for £40,000, claiming the embarrassment of being paraded through the streets had left him too traumatised to work for two years.

He claimed he’d feared for his life after he was allegedly set upon, punched, tied up, and forced to read the thief sign aloud three times before being bundled into a back of a van to drive him to the High Street to be publicly shamed. ‘It was almost a relief,’ he said, ‘when I saw the police station in sight rather than a remote field.’

Last week in an out-of-court settlement, Mr Cremer — who vehemently denies Mr Gilbert’s allegations of violence — reluctantly agreed to pay him £5,000 in compensation for the ‘humiliation’ he suffered, rather than risk the crippling legal costs of fighting the case through the civil courts.

It was reported that Mr Cremer would be out of pocket to the tune of £13,000 after taking the legal costs into account. In fact, the bill he faces could be far higher than that. Later in the week, Mr Cremer says, the bill from Mr Gilbert’s lawyers arrived. The sum was, he says, an eye-watering £25,000. So that walk of shame could cost Simon Cremer a staggering £30,000.

‘I don’t want to pay Mark Gilbert a penny, because I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong,’ says Mr Cremer in an exclusive interview. ‘I would have preferred to fight his claim in the civil courts, but I couldn’t afford to.

‘When my solicitor phoned me after we settled, she said: “I hope you’re sitting down.” Then she told me what Mark Gilbert’s lawyers were charging. It sounded like telephone numbers to me — a heart-stopping amount. ‘With the recession, business is very tight, and I can’t lay my hands on that kind of money.

‘So, basically, Mr Gilbert can steal a cheque off me and get a couple of months’ holiday in Australia at my expense, while I may be forced to sell my home to settle his enormous legal costs. How can that be justice?

‘He was never threatened with violence. If he had, don’t you think we would have been arrested for assault? We only tied him up because I was worried about how he might react when confronted, and feared for our safety.’ He adds that they even put carpet down in the back of the van so Mr Gilbert wouldn’t get hurt.

‘I’m not a violent person. I spoke calmly to him at all times, and explained everything that was going to happen. Obviously he didn’t want to be embarrassed. Perhaps that was a stupid thing for me to do, but I stand by it and accept the consequences.

‘This will be the most painful cheque I’ve ever had to write, and the worst part is I’d never have been put in this position if he hadn’t stolen from me in the first place.

‘People have accused me of being judge, jury and executioner, but I had the evidence in my hands — the company cheque with my forged signature. He admitted it.


Australia: Camouflage uniforms (!) for prisoners

IF QUEENSLAND'S highest-security prisoners escape from custody, they could be difficult to recapture for one reason - their uniforms. Queensland Corrective Services has "camouflaged" 5470 of the state's 5631 inmates since issuing new-look green, khaki and denim uniforms last year.

The uniforms were designed by Brisbane TAFE students as part of a competition which provided $1000 prizemoney to three students.

While prisoners around the world are forced to dress distinctly to hinder their escape, Queensland prisoners could blend into their mostly rural surrounds. US prisoners wear orange or yellow jumpsuits and violent offenders wear red and white striped uniforms, while escape-risk inmates in the UK wear bright-coloured boiler suits.

But Queensland prisoners had the choice of a two-tone green T-shirt, singlet or jumper with shorts, tracksuit or cargo pants, which were made by prisoners at Lotus Glen, Townsville, Woodford and Brisbane Women's Correctional Centres. This colour scheme more closely resembles what armed forces wear to help them avoid detection in battle.

Opposition corrections spokesman Jarrod Bleijie said the gaffe was symbolic of the problems within corrective services. Mr Bleijie said escaped inmates would blend into the bushland surrounding most jails and would also be indistinguishable from non-prisoners in crowded spaces.

"Having just completed a comprehensive induction to Queensland prisons I was shocked to see first-hand the camo-like prison-issue uniforms," he said. "Many an eyebrow was raised when I mentioned the issue with prison staff and it was clear frontline prison officers had no input into the design. "You should be able to distinguish between an average `Joe Blow' walking down the street and a prisoner."

Corrective Services Minister Neil Roberts said the uniform would not be changed. "The words `Correctional Centre Issue' are clearly marked on the new uniforms in upper-case, white lettering, which is also slightly reflective," he said. [And those not in the know could well assume that the lettering describes STAFF!]

Mr Roberts said that some prisoners wore bright orange uniforms within workshops at high-security jails. "There has not been an escape from a high-security prison in Queensland since the Nationals were last in power in 1998," he said.


Survey finds many Australians are critical of Muslims and Jews

This report was of course headlined as showing "racism". It does nothing of the sort. As psychologists have known for decades, negative attitudes about various groups do NOT predict any wilingness or intention to treat the groups concerned badly (See e.g. here and here. Andrew Bolt has some sarcastic comments )

Half of Australians harbour anti-Muslim sentiments and a quarter are anti-Semitic, according to the biggest survey ever done on racism in this country. One in three also admit some level of racist feelings against indigenous people, reported the Herald Sun.

The survey of 12,500 people, conducted by leading universities, found Victoria to be one of the most tolerant states. But comparisons between 15 regions statewide show stark differences.

People in Melbourne's outer north, including the shires of Nillumbik, Whittlesea and Hume, recorded Victoria's highest rates of negative sentiments against Jews (31.4 per cent), Asians (26.8 per cent) and Britons (12.8 per cent).

Anti-Muslim feelings were highest in outer western council areas of Melton, Wyndham and Brimbank, but these areas also reported the state's lowest rates of racist attitudes to Asians and Italians.

The 12-year study found 84 per cent of people have seen evidence of racial prejudice. And more than 40 per cent believed "Australia is weakened by people of different ethnic origins sticking to their old ways".

Study co-author Dr Yin Paradies, from the University of Melbourne, said racism against minorities was most common in areas that were more highly populated by those minorities. "There is a general finding across the world that ethnic density tends to be related to levels of racism, but not always," he said. "The inner (Melbourne) suburbs tended to have very tolerant attitudes, but there is quite a bit of ethnic diversity there."

The council areas of Melbourne, Port Phillip, Stonnington and Yarra boasted Victoria's highest levels of "cross-cultural relations" and fewest calls for "pro-assimilation". However, inner Melbourne residents surveyed for the Challenging Racism Project also recorded the highest rates of anti-Christian (21.3 per cent) and anti-Italian (12.6 per cent) sentiments.

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Dr Helen Szoke praised Victorians generally, but admitted concern at some of the findings. "Multiculturalism isn't an end point. It's something we have to keep working on," she said.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


22 February, 2011

No liberation for Egyptian women

Jeff Jacoby

PERHAPS THE MOST SHOCKING THING about the despicablesexual attack on CBS correspondent Lara Logan in Cairo's Tahrir Squareis that to those who know Egypt, it wasn't shocking at all.

"Why is sexual harassment in Egypt so rampant?"asked the headline over a story written by CNN's Mary Rogers last November. A veteran producer and camerawoman who has lived in the country since 1994, Rogers reported that the experience of being publicly molested unites women across Egypt's social spectrum.

"Young, old, foreign, Egyptian, poor, middle class, orwealthy, it doesn't matter," she wrote. "Dressed in hijab, niqab, or western wear, it doesn't matter. If you are a woman living in Cairo, chances are you have been sexually harassed. It happens on the streets, on crowded buses, in the workplace, in schools, and even in a doctor's office." Rogers discovered the ugly reality soon after her arrival in the country, when, as she was walking home from work, a stranger "reached out, and casually grabbed my breast." After repeatedly enduring such obnoxious harassment, Rogers stopped walking to and fromher office.

In a swath of the globe notorious for mistreating women, Egypt is particularly infamous. According to a survey conducted in 2008 by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights, 83 percent of native Egyptian women and 98 percent of women visiting from abroad have experienced some form of public sexual harassment. More than half the Egyptian women reported being molested every day. And contrary to popular belief, most of the victims of this "social cancer," as theCenter called it, were wearing modest Islamic dress.

Not all sexual harassment is physical -- besides groping women's bodies, grabbing at their clothing, and indecent exposure, it can also include blatant ogling, sexual catcalls, and stalking. What happened to Logan, however, was serious enough to land her in a hospital.

CBS reported that on Feb. 11, the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak left office,Logan became separated from her "60 Minutes" crew and found herself "surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration . . . a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy." In an attack that lasted more than 20 minutes, she suffered what CBS called "a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating." Eventually she was rescued by a group of women and a squad of Egyptian soldiers. Logan was flown to the United States the next morning, and was hospitalized until February 16.

If this is how Egyptian men are capable of treating women in public, at a moment of national celebration and international attention, what are they are apt to do to women in private when they are angry or frustrated? Data compiled by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics indicates that half of all married women experience violence in Egypt, usually at the hands of their husbands. A different study, cited by the 2009 Arab Human Development Report, estimated that 35 percent of married Egyptian women have been physically attacked -- but the report cautions that violence against women is severely under-reported in the Arab world, because "the subject is taboo" and women who file complaints are considered shamed.

"Sexual violence is not an aberration [in] Egypt," writes Joseph Mayton,the editor of Bikya Masr, an online provider of independent Egyptian journalism. "It has a deep-rooted history." The subject flared briefly onto the public agenda in 2006, when a mob of men and boys rampaged outside a downtown Cairo theater, groping and tearing at any woman unfortunate enough to be within reach. But "after a few weeks of heated discussion," Mayton says, the customary silence and denial had returned.

The recent Egyptian uprising has inspired flights of excited rhetoric about freedom, reform, and a new beginning for Egypt. But the sickening assault on Lara Logan is a reminder that much of Egypt's cruelty and corruption had nothing to do with Mubarak or his regime. No nation or culture that subjects half its population to the degradation suffered by women in Egypt and so much of the Arab world can ever hope to rise to greatness.

In a famous letter written during America's revolution in 1776, Abigail Adams implored her husband John: "Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. . . . Abhor those customs which treat us only as the vassals of your Sex." That was cogent advice for 18th-century America. For 21st-century Egypt and the Middle East, it is indispensable. If there is no liberation for the women, there is no liberation.


Foreign squatters given legal aid to fight eviction from £1million house... as its British owner has to represent himself in court

Squatters who broke into and occupied a £1million house have been given hundreds of pounds of taxpayers’ money in legal aid to fight eviction. The intruders from France, Spain and Poland have been living in the three-storey five-bedroom townhouse for a month.

Meanwhile owner John Hamilton-Brown has been forced to rent a two-bedroom flat for his family while he battles to get the gang out of the house.

Neighbours said the property had just been sold when the 12 squatters broke in during the early hours of the morning after a window was forced open. Since then there has been more damage and endless parties – several of which have culminated in the police being called.

Yesterday, several of the squatters danced, waved flags, sang and played the guitar outside the property. They also bragged about how easy Britain’s laws were in allowing them to take over homes.

A French man who called himself Jean-Claude, said: ‘I came to England seven years ago because this is where the love is. We will speak to other people from all over the world to come here and live because it is so easy. Why can’t we live anywhere we want?’ A French girl with blonde dreadlocked hair added: ‘I love it here. We move around where we want and share our love. You should see the views in there – it’s amazing.’

Mr Hamilton-Brown, 36, applied to the county court last week to seek an interim possession order to enable him to claim the house back. He did not hire a solicitor because of the expense. But when he arrived at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court, in East London, he was amazed to find that two of the squatters had been granted legal aid and were represented by a duty solicitor. Because they were EU citizens and unemployed, they qualified for free legal representation.

Mr Hamilton-Brown had already been to the court four times since his home was invaded on January 21. At Thursday’s hearing, he was not granted the interim order that would have let him remove the squatters within 24 hours because of a legal technicality. He was granted a possession order – meaning he will now have to wait up to six weeks for a warrant that will allow bailiffs to remove them.

‘I was horrified they were given legal representation,’ Mr Hamilton-Brown said. ‘As I work and pay taxes, I’m at a disadvantage. ‘I’ve saved up for ten years to move into this house and this is what I get. It’s remarkable that they can get away with this.’

Mr Hamilton-Brown, a married father of two young daughters who is a director of a financial services company, added that neighbours had indicated that a lot of damage had been done to the property.

The house in Archway, North London, is near the homes of actress Patsy Kensit and comedian Rob Brydon. A legal notice put in the front window by the squatters states that anybody who enters without their permission could face six months in jail and a £5,000 fine.

A neighbour said: ‘They have more rights than we do. ‘They know what they’re doing on the legal side of things as they’ve been in houses before in the area.’


Four British Muslims slashed teacher's face and left him with fractured skull 'for teaching other religions to Muslim girls'

Four men launched a horrific attack on a teacher in which they slashed his face and left him with a fractured skull because they did not approve of him teaching religion to Muslim girls.

Akmol Hussein, 26, Sheikh Rashid, 27, Azad Hussain, 25, and Simon Alam, 19, attacked Gary Smith with a Stanley knife, an iron rod and a block of cement. Mr Smith, who is head of religious education at Central Foundation Girls' School in Bow, east London, also suffered a fractured skull. The four now face a jail sentence.

Detectives made secret recordings of the gang's plot to attack Mr Smith prior to the brutal assault. The covert audio probe captured the gang condemning Mr Smith for 'teaching other religions to our sisters', the court heard.

The RE teacher was targeted as he made his way on foot along Burdett Road in nearby Mile End on July 12 last year, Snaresbrook Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Sarah Whitehouse told the court: 'The evidence from what was said on the probe points overwhelmingly to a religious motive for this attack.'

It is believed the gang had made two earlier attempts to get at the teacher. They were due to stand trial for the attack at Snaresbrook Crown Court but pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

A fifth defendant, Badruzzuha Uddin, 23, admitted assisting the thugs by hiding blood-stained clothing.

Judge John Hand QC remanded the defendants in custody until sentence on a date yet to be confirmed.

Hussein, of Bethnal Green, east London; Rashid, of Shadwell, east London; Hussain, of Wapping, east London, and Alam, of Whitechapel, east London; have all admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent. Uddin, of Shadwell, admitted assisting an offender.


Life of crime predictable from age three for some children

At the age of three, most children will want to grow up to be a train driver, astronaut or princess. But according to scientists, some toddlers are already destined for a life of crime. Disturbing evidence has emerged that the psychological seeds of a criminal career can be seen before they even reach nursery school.

Abnormalities in the parts of the brain that handle emotions, guilt and fear are far more common in criminals than in law-abiding members of society, it shows. It is unclear whether these abnormalities are genetic, the result of upbringing or both – but they can be measured at a surprisingly tender age.

The finding means youngsters could potentially be screened to see if they are at risk – and then ‘treated’ to prevent criminal behaviour.

Professor Adrian Raine, a former Home Office criminologist, agreed predictive scans were many years off. But the father-of-two added: ‘If you told me my son had an 80 per cent chance of being a psychopath, but that he could be treated for it, I would have him treated. But it has to be a decision made by individuals, not by scientists.’

Professor Raine, who now works at the University of Pennsylvania, studied brain scans of prisoners. He found that murderers who kill in the heat of the moment are more likely to have a poorly functioning prefrontal cortex – which deals with reasoning and helps suppress base instincts.

Psychopaths who lack remorse, guilt or empathy tend to have smaller amygdalas – a region that handles all three emotions, he told the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Professor Raine also tested the fear response of three-year-olds by playing them a neutral sound followed by an unpleasant one, until the children learned the nasty sound always followed the neutral tone.

For most, the sound of the first tone was enough to raise their pulse rates and start a sweat. But a few showed no ‘anticipatory fear’ – a possible symptom of an abnormal amygdala, Professor Raine said.

The prospect of scans suggests a serial killer such as Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe could be spotted and treated as a child – but it also poses dilemmas. ‘It raises the question to what extent should we develop new biological interventions to reduce crime,’ Professor Raine said.


Psychologists have identified key personality traits in childhood which are linked to poor behaviour later in life.

Seven-year-olds with unemotional and ‘callous’ traits were much more likely to be involved in anti-social behaviour at the age of 12, a study by Dr Nathalie Fontaine, criminal justice expert at Indiana University, Bloomington, showed.

Other signs include not having at least one good friend, being unkind to other children and not being helpful if someone is hurt.

The experts stress that not all youngsters with the traits turn into criminals – and not all criminals had the traits as children, but that they increase the risk of a life of crime.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


21 February, 2011

Does Britain recruit its police from Mars?

They say to use a sign to warn burglars about expensive tools

Police told a man worried about his shed being burgled to put up a sign warning thieves that they could get electrocuted if they tried to pinch his valuable equipment.

David Bishop was given that advice after attended a police meeting in Tatsfield, Surrey, following a string of shed burglaries in the surrounding area.

Police previously told residents they should use 'good quality locks and bolts' and not resort to use home-made devices like putting wire mesh around shed windows as burglars may 'hurt themselves' and sue for compensation.

But this week, Mr Bishop a former BBC engineer in his 60s, said that he had approached a PCSO after the meeting to find out how he could protect his electrical gear, which is worth thousands of pounds.

Rather than being given sensible advice about how to store the valuable equipment - some which carry up to 30,000 volts - Mr Bishop says he was told to put up a fluorescent sign to warn crooks they were 'in danger'. He was told that the best sign to use would be a yellow sign with 'WARNING - ELECTRICAL TOOLS' written on it - and just in case the burglar didn't get the message - or couldn't read - he was also advised to add a 'lightning bolt' to indicate the danger. Mr Bishop was also told the sign needed to be fluorescent as 'most burglaries happen in the dark'.

Speaking this week Mr Bishop said: "Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous? "I am an engineer and obviously from time to time I have test equipment." He added: "The police already told me that I shouldn't have wire on the windows as it may hurt the burglars, so I asked a PCSO 'What do I do to protect my equipment?' "That's when I was told to make a sign warning people there were electrical goods inside.

"I couldn't believe it - and then I was told that it might be an idea to make it a sign that could be seen in the dark."

He added: "It could be potentially dangerous for anyone that broke in. Not for me, because I know where the on and off switch is, but someone breaking in could be killed. "The law is so stupid, and you never know what decision judges are going to make. "People do get fed-up with these people trying to help themselves to things which you have worked hard to gather together during past years." "We have a right to protect our property - criminals have far too much protection."

Crime reduction officer for the area PC John Lee, said: "We are constantly advising homeowners to protect their property and the contents of their shed or garage, however, a commonsense approach needs to be taken.

"To properly secure your sheds, Surrey Police strongly advises people to invest in items such as good-quality locks and bolts, and not to resort to homemade devices, as this could cause injury." Surrey Police did not wish to comment on the warning sign.


The world's most dangerous broadcaster

I have only just caught up with the BBC1 documentary on the Dutch politician Geert Wilders that was transmitted on Tuesday evening. Did I say documentary? ‘Europe’s Most Dangerous Man' was a vicious hatchet job that was a disgrace to journalism. More than that, it could be argued that by presenting Wilders as a latter-day Nazi who was likely to foment war in Europe between Muslims and non-Muslims, it was in effect inciting violence or the murder of a politician who is already under armed guard 24/7.

There were several aspects of this programme that should have caused any responsible broadcaster to sling it straight into the trash. First and most fundamentally, it simply turned the people threatening the free world into victims and the politician who is trying to defend the free world against that threat into a fascist. Muslims were presented as universally peaceful people signed up to democracy and human rights; Wilders was the presented as the extremist threat to democracy and human rights. Yet as Wilders himself was quoted as saying – even while the script was telling us that these words were ‘extremist’ – he was defending freedom against the threat from Islamists to extinguish those freedoms.

Worse still, look at the two individuals the film-makers used to level the most inflammatory charges against Wilders – individuals who were described as democrats assigned up to human rights. The first, Ibrahim Mogra, is from the Muslim Council of Britain – described by the programme as ‘an organisation seeking to promote a distinct Muslim identity in tune with British cultural norms and values’.

Yet this is the organisation with which the British government has twice broken off relations on account of its extremism. The first occasion was when it refused to take part in Britain’s Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony. The second occasion was in response to the MCB’s deputy general secretary, Dr Daud Abdullah, signing the Istanbul Declaration, a public declaration of support for Hamas and call for violence against the British Royal Navy and Jewish communities.

The film made no mention of this whatever. Instead it used the MCB man to attack Wilders as a dangerous extremist.

The second of these ‘moderate’ individuals wheeled on to attack Wilders was Sheikh Khalid Yasin. The film described Sheikh Yasin as ‘an American Muslim teacher extremely popular among young European Muslims’ who ‘has embarked on a mission to de radicalise them.’ Yasin denounced Wilders for ‘fanning hatred’.

Yet in the Channel 4 Dispatches programme ‘Undercover Mosque’ transmitted two years ago, Yasin was recorded saying:
‘We Muslims have been ordered to do ‘brainwashing’ because the kuffaar [non-Muslims] ... they are doing ‘brain defiling’ ... You are watching the kaffir TVs, and your wife is watching right now, and your children are watching it right now, and they are being polluted, and they are being penetrated, and they are being infected, so that your children and you go out as Muslims and come back to the house as kaffirs...The whole delusion of the equality of women is a bunch of foolishness. There’s no such thing.’

And Wilders is called ‘Europe’s most dangerous man’?

Worse, the film then adduced as the final proof of Wilders’s perfidy that he was a passionate defender of Israel. His crime, apparently, was to believe that Israel was ‘the last line of the defence of Europe’ – which indeed it is – and that to solve the Middle East impasse, Jordan should become Palestine -- which indeed it originally was.

Worse again, however, the film suggested that Wilders was an Israeli spy – and, in the words of Sheikh Yasin, that it was doing Israel’s dirty work for it:
‘I think that he [Wilders] has taken and embraced the idea of modern Zionism. And he is using the platform of modern Zionism to espouse the same concepts about Muslims in the world and the Koran, that the Jews cannot afford to say in Israel. But Mr Wilders can do them a favour. He can go outside of Israel with those same feelings and he can characterise the way that the Zionists characterise the Palestinians to legitimise their power. Mr Wilders can characterise Islam in the same way. This is what is taking place.’

So the film suggested, in effect, that Wilders was the front man for a kind of Nazi-Jewish conspiracy -- thus defaming both him and Israel in one go. Others smeared by association with him were the distinguished scholar of Islam (and indefatigable supporter of true Islamic reformers) Daniel Pipes, and the heroic Danish defender of freedom of speech Lars Hedegaard – who recently only narrowly fought off an attempt by Denmark’s pusillanimous prosecutors to silence him through a criminal prosecution for raising concerns about violence within some Muslim family life.

This travesty of a documentary was made by two radical Dutch film-makers for a production company called ‘Red Rebel’. Questions need to be asked how the BBC could transmit something on such an inflammatory subject which ignored the most basic standards of journalistic fairness, -- and was effectively the broadcasting equivalent of a flier distributed by the Socialist Workers’ Party.

But of course, we all know the answer to that already. BBC ‘group- think’ means that BBC executives will have assumed the lazy and vicious left-wing demonisation of Wilders is axiomatically true and unchallengeable. They will thus have suspended any critical faculties or professionalism to which they might ever have laid any claim. We are living in truly evil times.


Australia: Must not post pictures of drunken blacks?

For people in many areas of Australia, drunken Aborigines are a routine sight in the streets and parks -- even during the day. But you are not allowed to make any reference to that fact, apparently

THE Opposition has raised concerns about police officers using Facebook in light of revelations a senior constable posted photos of drunk Aboriginals in custody on the popular networking website.

Senior Constable John Trenouth is under investigation for allegedly posting the photographs on his Facebook profile on three occasions last year. He was only stood down from WA Police after the photos were exposed in the media. The pictures show the men intoxicated and barely conscious inside a police cell in the remote town of Wiluna in the Goldfields.

The caption on one photograph on Facebook reads: "I wonder if anyone will notice my spray-on tan?" The photographs were allegedly found on Snr Const Trenouth's "profile pictures" folder on his Facebook page.

Police internal affairs officers are investigating the allegations and have taken copies of the photographs, which appear to have been posted on August 11, August 16 and September 11 last year.

Opposition spokeswoman Margaret Quirk said that while the matter was under internal investigation, it was hard to contemplate any mitigating circumstances for the conduct.

Ms Quirk said she had raised her concerns about police officers using Facebook with senior police in the past. "As well as the issue of airing official information, the breach of privacy and ignoring official directives about the use of Facebook, this case involves even more startling clear racist overtones," she said.

"As part of recruitment training, police officers are given a four-day course on diversity and a component of that relates to Aboriginal culture.

"The senior constable's actions and attitude raise the question about whether he received this training and also suggests he was not suitable to work in remote Western Australia."
Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said Snr Const Trenouth had been stood down from duty and a decision about his future would be made at the conclusion of the inquiry.

"I will not tolerate racist behaviours or statements by members of the Police and I will act decisively against anyone who is found acting in a racist manner," he said.

"Significant cultural awareness and EO training is mandatory for police officers and staff and must be repeated regularly throughout their careers."


Australian government to dump country's most successful job training scheme

To prop up a failing scheme. McDonalds imparts precisely those habits and attitudes which are vital for success in any job -- but which are very poorly taught (if at all) by the schools. But McDonald's is a successful business, so is hated by the Left

Tens of millions of dollars in wage subsidies paid to McDonalds, KFC and other retail giants would be slashed as part of a radical plan to tackle skill shortages and boost apprenticeship numbers. In a bold blueprint to tackle an apprentice drop-out rate of 50 per cent, young workers in "traditional" trades such as plumbing and mechanics would be paid higher market-linked wages. They would also be able to fast-track their on-the-job training - qualifying much faster if they can prove they have the necessary skills.

But thousands of traineeship jobs in big retail stores, restaurants and fast-food chains are at risk, with a Government-appointed taskforce calling for major changes to $1.2 billion in annual subsidies.

The apprenticeships taskforce has also recommended a new "training levy" on employers to boost skilled workers and ensure the economy keeps ticking over. But the Minister for Skills and Workplace Relations, Chris Evans, has immediately stomped on the plan - putting him at odds with his own taskforce.

After a 12-month inquiry, the taskforce has warned Australia's 400,000-strong apprenticeship scheme needs "significant improvement" to make sure the economy has sufficient skilled labour. It wants a national apprenticeship "tsar" to oversee reform and recommends an army of "mentors" be used to ensure apprentices are getting proper training - and not being used as mere factory fodder.

In a controversial plan to cut a drop-out rate of 52 per cent, the Government has been told to slash tens of millions of dollars in traineeship subsidies paid to retailers, restaurants and fast-food outlets such as KFC and McDonalds.

In its final report "A Shared Responsibility - Apprenticeships for the 21st Century" the expert group - chaired by BAE Systems CEO, Jim McDowell - has slammed these subsidies as being little more than a "labour market program".

These amount to an "implicit wage subsidy to the employer of up to 20 per cent" but do little to boost overall skill levels, the panel has found. "We question whether the significant government funds currently being spent on employer incentives for these qualifications are providing any tangible benefit to the broader economy," the report - a copy of which has been obtained by The Daily Telegraph - says.

Senator Evans conceded the $1.2 billion paid by Canberra in annual subsidies for apprentice and traineeships had to change. "Clearly, we could target it better," the Minister told The Daily Telegraph.

But the Government will be picking a brawl with powerful employer groups and some of Australia's biggest companies - including Woolworths and Coles - if it cuts out millions of dollars paid in subsidies to these workers.

In a key finding, the taskforce said completion rates for apprenticeships "are unacceptably low" at about 48 per cent. "This represents a significant economic cost, given the time and resources provided for both on-the-job and off-the-job training," the panel said, in its report.

"There are a range of issues that commonly emerge from the research about reasons for non-completion, including: workplace or employer issues, lack of support, low wages and not liking the work."

It has called for the appointment of an apprentice "tsar" - a National Custodian - to drive these key reforms and take responsbilitiy for a system that is disjointed. Critically, the taskforce wants the Government's industrial umpire to consider linking apprentice wages with "going rates of pay" in particular industries.

This would mean that first-year apprentice - who is now paid $250-$300 a week - would receive higher wages on average, boosting their incentive to remain in the trade.

Senator Evans threw his weight behind the wages push. "We are going to have to make wages more attractive to encourage the best applicants for apprenticeships - because the alternatives (in work) are more attractive," he said.

The Government is also backing calls for a "competency-based" system that would allow apprentices to finish their training quicker. The Minister said he wanted to "drive quite a radical reform agenda" in apprenticeships, starting with the report's release today. And while he doesn't have a completion rate target in mind, the current completion rate "is a disgrace", he said.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


20 February, 2011

Coverup at pro-Left, pro-Muslim Amnesty International

As Oliver Kamm said last year: "Disastrously for itself and those who depend on its support, Amnesty is no longer the friend of liberty". More on the moral decay of Amnesty here

Human rights group Amnesty International has paid more than £500,000 in a secret pay-off to its former chief, it was revealed yesterday. The organisation paid out another £300,000 to its deputy leader, who quit at the same time in December 2009. Amnesty declined to discuss the payouts to former secretary general Irene Khan and her deputy Kate Gilmore. But the scale of the payments throws a harsh light on the group’s management decisions following years of increasing criticism.

The charity runs appeals for donations from the public, which include attempts to inspire money-raising campaigns among young people and in schools.

The payment to Bangladeshi-born Miss Khan, who has a reputation as a campaigner against poverty, was more than four times her annual salary of £132,490.

Peter Pack, chairman of Amnesty’s international executive committee, said: ‘The payments to outgoing secretary general Irene Khan shown in the accounts of AI (Amnesty International) Ltd for the year ending March 31 2010 include payments made as part of a confidential agreement between AI Ltd and Irene Khan. ‘It is a term of this agreement that no further comment on it will be made by either party.’

Miss Khan, the first Muslim to lead the organisation, has been criticised from the political left for her failure to do more to protest about abuses by American and British troops in Iraq, and notably for a muted response to the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.

Other critics accused the 54-year-old of doing too much to highlight abuse at Guantanamo Bay and too little to expose its inmates alleged links with the Taliban and terror groups.

Miss Khan also failed to impress all of Amnesty’s supporters with her emphasis on alleviating poverty. She insisted that human rights can only follow economic rights, but some believed Amnesty should have concentrated on political rights. Miss Gilmore ran into controversy in 2007 when Amnesty appeared to suggest that abortion was a human right. Roman Catholic supporters turned against her. Miss Gilmore insisted abortion was a right for women who had been raped.


Palestine an obsession of radical West, not Arabs

"UNTIL the Palestinians are given back their rights we're going to have instability throughout the Middle East," declared John Pilger on ABC1's Q & A last night. "That is central to everything."

Yet, one of the most striking things about the uprising in Egypt was the lack of pro-Palestine placards. As Egypt-watcher Amr Hamzawy put it, in Tahrir Square and elsewhere there were no signs saying "death to Israel, America and global imperialism" or "together to free Palestine". Instead, this revolt was about Egyptian people's own freedom and living conditions.

Yet on the pro-Egypt demonstration in London on Saturday, there was a sea of Palestine placards. "Free Palestine", they said, and "End the Israeli occupation". The speakers had trouble getting the audience excited about events in Egypt, having to say on more than one occasion: "Come on London, you can shout louder than that!" Yet every mention of the word Palestine induced a kind of Pavlovian excitability among the attendees. They cheered when the P-word was uttered, chanting: "Free, free Palestine!"

This reveals something important about the Palestine issue. In recent years it has moved from the realm of Arab radicalism, where Egyptians and other peoples frequently demanded the creation of a Palestinian state, and has instead become almost the exclusive property of Western middle-class radicals, such as Pilger.

Emptied of its nationalist vigour and militancy, the Palestine problem, it seems, is now of little immediate interest to protesting Arabs and is instead the ultimate cause celebre for Western liberal campaigners who like nothing more than having a victimised people they can coo over.

The power and allure of Palestine in Western radical circles is extraordinary. Palestine is the only issue they get excited about. But there is nothing progressive in their pro-Palestine fervour. It is not driven by future-oriented demands for economic development in a Palestinian homeland in the West Bank or Gaza. Instead it is driven by a view of Palestinians as the ultimate victims, the hapless and pathetic children of the new world order, who need kindly, wizened Westerners to protect them from Big Bad Israel.

Today's pro-Palestine leftism is more anthropological than political. It treats Palestinians less as a people who ought to have certain democratic rights and more as an intriguing tribe to be prodded and preserved. Some Western radicals have even adopted the fashions of their favourite tribe. Step on to any university campus in the West, or join any left-wing march, and you'll see concerned-looking youths wearing the Palestinian keffiyeh scarf, a politically correct version of blacking up.

This is the politics of pity rather than solidarity. Groups of Western middle-class youth have taken Palestinian pity holidays in the West Bank and Gaza. They turn up and marvel at the dignity of this beautiful besieged people, like those wives of old Victorian colonialists who discovered they rather liked the African tribes they had been sent to Christianise. "I've never met people like the Palestinians. They're the strongest people I've ever met", gushed British peace activist Kate Burton, who hit the headlines in 2006 after being kidnapped by a Palestinian faction in Gaza.

Of course, Westerners have often gone on moral adventures overseas, whether as missionaries or revolutionaries. What's different about Palestinian pity tourism is that these Westerners seek neither to convert Palestinians to a religion nor to take up arms with them, but simply to empathise with them, to immerse themselves in what they consider to be the ultimate victimhood experience. One pity-tripper wrote in the New Statesman about her experience living "under siege" in Bethlehem. "I'm beginning to understand what it must be like to be a Palestinian," she said.

That is the ultimate aim of these empathy tours, to have an experience that makes real the politics of victimhood that so many of these Western activists subscribe to. Where some bored Western youth who feel their everyday lives lack zest go on bungee-jumping trips in Peru, Western leftists who feel politics at home has been zapped of urgency go on tank-stopping trips in Palestine.

There is a profound narcissism in the pity-for-Palestinian movement. When American activist Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003, it gave rise to a play called My Name Is Rachel Corrie. The killing of British peace activist Tom Hurndall in Gaza in 2004 led to a film called The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall.

This is clearly all about Us - the good and pure Westerners who went to find themselves in Palestine - rather than about Them, the actual Palestinians.

There's now also a ship called the MV Rachel Corrie, which was one of those attacked by the Israel Defence Forces as it sailed to Gaza last year. Everyone who's anyone in Europe's liberal set is desperate to sail in her. MPs, thinkers, Nobel Peace Prize laureates, novelists . . . all have taken the MV Rachel Corrie to Gaza, super-keen to promote their whiter-than-white decency by standing, Kate Winslet-style, on the deck of a ship that is Against Israel. Because being "for Palestine" today is ultimately a self-serving way of advertising that you are Good, Decent, an opponent of the modern-day "Nazism" being practised by the Israeli state.

For these historically ignorant campaigners, Israelis are the New Nazis and Gaza is the new Warsaw Ghetto. As the title of a recent talk in London put it: "A New Hitler for a New Age? The Rise of Israeli Terror."

Palestinian pitiers have no time to think about the inconvenient fact that Hamas is an intolerant political entity that has no time for gay rights or women's equality. Instead, everything gets reduced to a Narnia-style story of wicked witches v happy fauns, because this is ultimately about providing vacuous-feeling Westerners with some much-needed momentum in their lives, not about untangling a messy political reality.

It's very revealing that Palestine has become less important for Arabs and of the utmost symbolic importance for Western radicals at exactly the same time. With the Palestinian people somewhat deflated, the Palestine issue can become perfect political fodder for the victim-oriented, fancy-dress radicals of the modern West.


Payback time for grasping British prisoners: Inmates to pay £76 costs each as judge throws out vote-ban compensation claim

Almost 600 criminals trying to make money out of the voting ban on prisoners were slapped down by a High Court judge yesterday. They had sought £5,000 each compensation for being unable to vote at the last election. Instead, Mr Justice Langstaff ordered them to PAY £76 each towards the costs of their action.

In a decision hailed as a rare legal victory for common sense, he ruled that European judgments should never be allowed to trump laws passed at Westminster.

It was a decisive blow for the authority of Parliament over the European Court of Human Rights – and the legal vultures demanding millions of pounds in compensation for prisoners.

Tens of thousands of prisoners had been expected to try to sue the Government because it has not bowed to Strasbourg and presented them with the right to vote in elections. Government lawyers had estimated an eventual bill to the taxpayer of close to £150 million. But that threat evaporated following yesterday’s ruling.

None of the 588 prisoners involved had been able to keep the services of lawyers to represent them because they were denied taxpayer-funded legal aid by the Legal Services Commission and no lawyer was willing to take on the case on a no-win no-fee basis.

Similarly, without legal aid they must pay the costs of their lost action themselves. The risk of having to pay costs appears to have affected the willingness of prisoners to pursue their claims once they realised they would not be given legal aid.

The case was heard in the name of Paul Hydes, a 36-year-old heroin addict serving life for burglary, firearms offences and violent robberies from lone women on a canal towpath in East London. When he was summoned from his cell at Pentonville to the High Court hearing, he refused to get into the prison van.

Mr Justice Langstaff was scathing about the claims made by the 588 who had joined the line for compensation over last April’s election. He said English laws, last restated by Parliament in 1983, said they should not vote. There were no legal precedents to change the law.

And, the judge said, even Strasbourg had refused to compensate the prisoner who won the 2005 test case over the voting issue which launched the wave of compensation claims – axe killer John Hirst. ‘There are no reasonable grounds in domestic law for bringing a claim for damages or a declaration for being disenfranchised whilst a prisoner,’ he said. ‘On the law as it stands the claim by Mr Hydes cannot hope to succeed.’

He said the Ministry of Justice’s costs for the case, of almost £46,000, were ‘entirely reasonable’ and each prisoner should pay a share. The £76 payment would take two months of prison work to raise.

Douglas Carswell, Tory MP for Clacton, said: ‘What will be most surprising about this judgment for most of my constituents is that we still have judges with common sense.’

The ruling has led to a deepening row between Westminster and Strasbourg. David Cameron – who said the idea of giving prisoners the vote made him sick to the stomach – first tried to limit voting to those serving less than four years. Last week MPs decided overwhelmingly on a free vote that Strasbourg’s ruling should be rejected and the prisoner vote question is a matter for the Westminster Parliament.

Britain could defy European human rights judges over prisoner voting with minimal risk of any penalty, ministers have been advised.

There is only an outside chance of serious punishment for any politician who decides to defy outright the judgments of Strasbourg.

Government lawyers who drew up the leaked analysis for Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said it was unlikely that Britain would be thrown out of the Council of Europe, the 47-nation European organisation that runs the European Court on Human Rights.


EDL: a wet dream for purposeless lefties

The English Defence League has provided an easy target for politicians and campaigners in search of a cause.

You could be forgiven for thinking it was 1936 all over again. Unite Against Fascism is rallying the troops against the English Defence League (EDL), declaring: ‘It’s time now to make a stand. We cannot allow racists to rampage through our towns, threatening and attacking Muslims or anyone else.’ Politicians are drawing comparisons between today’s situation and Oswald Mosley’s fascist marches in 1930s East London. And the media is publishing reams about the EDL’s ‘visceral, violent, anti-Muslim hatred’.

Are we witnessing the rise of twenty-first-century blackshirts? In a word, no. The EDL is not fascist; it doesn’t subscribe to a fascist ideology or, indeed, any ideology at all. Yes, it is obsessed with radical Islam and argues that the worst examples of Islamist ideas and actions are fundamentally problems of Islam itself. The EDL’s mission statement luridly argues that Islam is responsible for ‘the denigration and oppression of women, the molestation of young children, the committing of so-called honour killings, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and continued support for those responsible for terrorist atrocities’. Yet while the EDL’s beliefs about Islam are reactionary, and some of its members may well be racist, it is also a quite different organisation to far-right groups like the National Front or the British National Party.

The EDL’s appearance in towns across England, and further afield, doesn’t mark a major resurgence of the far right. The attempt to understand the rise of the EDL by reference to zombie categories both confuses the issue and exacerbates the problem. The EDL needs to be understood on its own terms in the social and political context of today, not through lazy comparisons with events that occurred 80 years ago.

The first question to ask is why is this happening now? In many ways, the rise of the EDL is an understandable response to the marginalisation of vast swathes of the white working classes in the UK. In the past, there existed a number of institutions that could represent their voices and interests; these are notable now by their absence. Once-vibrant trade unions, for example, now exist mainly as hollowed-out shells, obsessed with health-and-safety legislation and more interested in dampening down militancy than in pursuing industrial action. The modern trade union is more concerned with offering practical guidance and therapeutic support when members face redundancy than in fighting for its members’ interests.

Worst of all is the traditional mouthpiece of the working classes, the Labour Party. In recent decades, the Labour Party has become utterly dislocated from the working classes. In 1959, Labour’s support among the manual working classes was 62 per cent; by 1983 it had dropped to 38 per cent. Since then, it has been largely staffed and supported by the middle classes. So it’s no real surprise that New Labour makes no bones in revealing its contempt for the working classes, who have been stereotyped as football-obsessed, beer-swilling thugs. New Labour is no longer interested in representing workers’ interests and instead attempts to remould them into ‘acceptable’ citizens, pressuring them to eat healthy food, cut down on smoking and boozing, and to become cultured through, among many other things, the social engineering that is immigration policy.

As Brendan O’Neill has outlined previously on spiked, New Labour actively turned immigration into an elite weapon for the ‘social good’ of the country, in ‘a subconscious attempt by a disoriented elite to renew Britain, to redefine it, through altering the social make-up and elevating the virtues of the migrant above the virtues of traditional British nationalism and the native working classes’.

Today, any disgruntlement among the working classes is seen as the ‘bigoted’ response of a class going the way of the dodo, that ought to be silenced and re-educated through diversity-awareness classes and other such initiatives. At the last General Election in 2010, discussion of immigration was treated as taboo, with politicians even agreeing to sign pledges promising they wouldn’t mention the ‘I’ word when electioneering lest it stoke racial tensions and awaken the inner fascistic tendencies presumed to lie barely dormant in the white working classes.

Against that background, is it really so hard to understand why the working classes are organising themselves into groups like the EDL, when the organisations that traditionally represented them now treat them with such contempt and, indeed, have forced them to feel like outsiders in their own country? At a time of great alientation, when working-class white people are looked upon as strange creatures, and when they are forbidden from talking about immigration, the emergence of a group like the EDL has a perverse logic to it.

This leads to the second question: why is the EDL making such a big splash? The EDL is being blown out of all proportion. Labour MP Sadiq Khan has even accused David Cameron of ‘writing propaganda for the EDL’ with his recent speech on the failure of multiculturalism. The hysterical response to the EDL shows it has become an all-purpose tool for liberals, fascist-hunters and politicians, who want to carve out a sense of identity and purpose and re-enforce their smug sense of moral superiority over Others.

Where British National Party leader Nick Griffin has attempted to make his party more respectable, replacing skinheads and bovver boots with suits, the EDL ‘thugs’ are a liberal’s wet dream. They are a picture of everything liberals would imagine fascists to be: rowdy men, often with cropped haircuts, taking to the street and singing slurred, boisterous chants, wrapped in the St George’s flag and wearing hoodies. One liberal commentator has chastised the Daily Star for publishing ‘crude propaganda’ about the EDL, claiming its readers would be brainwashed like mindless, ill-educated drones: ‘Who can blame a reader who, after reading such a skewed version of events, is gripped with anti-Muslim fervour?’

From this standpoint, it seems clear that many liberal observers view the ideas of the EDL as contagious, and thus believe that EDL members should be quarantined, censured or censored, lest they infect other, dim-witted working-class people.

Meanwhile, the more radical left uses the EDL to gain a sense of purpose. And as has long been the case, the left is seriously censorious towards anything that is stamped as ‘fascistic’. The EDL can barely announce a public appearance without immediate attempts to stop it, with campaigners out on the streets with petitions for the home secretary to ban EDL demonstrations in the name of ‘protecting our communities’. Activists also complain to the BBC for giving the EDL airtime on Newsnight and name and shame pubs that let the EDL meet on their premises. All of this reveals a far more authoritarian instinct than anything exhibited by the EDL to date.

The EDL is trapped in a vicious circle. It exists largely because its members have no way of expressing their ideas or interests, yet when they do express them they are shouted down. To recognise that there is a basis for discontent does not mean that the EDL is right. There is much scaremongering by the EDL about the imminent threat of Sharia law being introduced in the UK - a nonsensical notion. However, when you listen to some of the concrete concerns of the EDL’s members, they don’t sound unreasonable. At the Luton march in February, EDL founder Tommy Robinson complained about schools banning the St George’s cross, lest it offend people, about council land earmarked for affordable housing being sold below its market value for a mosque to be built, and about the local shopping centre building a ‘multi-faith centre’ when ‘it’s been there for 40 years without one’.

These concerns do not really expose any problematic rise in extreme Islam but rather speak to the intrusive social engineering of the New Labour years, which has made many working-class white people feel marginalised. One woman who addressed the crowd on the EDL march in Luton announced to loud applause: ‘For many centuries, Englishmen have claimed and successfully fought for the rights of free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of conscience… We must stand up and reclaim our ancient liberties.’

The greatest threat to these liberties comes not from radical Islam, but the odious triad of smug observers, censorious left-wing groups and interfering politicians, who in equal measure both despise the EDL and are dearly thankful for its existence as it gives them a sense of purpose. Challenging these elitist views is something that would be worth taking to the streets for.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


19 February, 2011

The bureaucrats thrive in broke Britain

A legacy from years of Leftist government

The larger-than-life Communities Secretary Eric Pickles hit on something earlier this week when he proposed that any council employees earning over £100,000 a year should have their salary approved by councillors in an open meeting. Or, as he put it, ‘democracy-proofed’.

The only shame is that he didn’t go far enough. Surely the best way to ‘democracy-proof’ local government pay would be to get us, the voters, to approve or reject council executives’ remuneration packages.

Can you imagine the voters of Hartlepool — the same voters who face losing their hospital, bus service, three community centres and a library — rushing out to approve the 7 per cent salary increase just awarded to the town’s chief executive Paul Walker? His annual pay next year will be £168,000 — £25,000 more than the Prime Minister, and all to run a medium-sized town in the north of England.

The pay rise is an unbelievable cheek. Last month Hartlepool’s elected mayor Stuart Drummond — who is himself on a salary of well over £50,000 — wrote to the Government to protest about the cut in Hartlepool’s grant. And yet we now learn that, while the cuts will be affecting services desperately needed by the poor, there is apparently enough money in the kitty to stuff the pockets of the council’s top brass.

I know how the people of Hartlepool feel. Two weeks ago, I studied the new county council’s budget for Cambridgeshire, where I live, and discovered that my daughter’s transport to school had been selected for the chop.

Like many disabled children, she has a long daily journey to a school which is far from where we live. The nearest special school — built on a cheap greenfield site so that the sites of the two schools which preceded it could be sold to developers — is half an hour’s drive away.

That is not such a problem if the council’s education department runs minibuses to pick up the children, as it does at present. But if the service is stopped, some families who are already at breaking point will have to spend two hours a day driving their children to school. Following an outcry, the county council now claims that the proposal was a ‘drafting error’, and that home-to-school transport will still be available for parents who want it. I’ll hold them to that.

But still £1 million is to be cut from the disability budget, libraries are to close and bus services to be axed. Meanwhile, brass-necked councillors sat down to a three-course lunch midway through their meeting to discuss cuts.

One thing they didn’t do when they eventually slunk back to the council chamber was to take a penny off the pay of senior staff — the chief executive enjoys a £196,000 salary. When I asked my local councillor why not, I was astonished by the response. ‘I don’t know. I’m not on the remuneration committee,’ he said.

What is the point in electing councillors if they don’t even have the power to control pay rises for the unelected cliques who really seem to hold sway on our councils? It is the same all over the country: the old, the sick and the vulnerable are seeing services slashed while councillors and council executives live it up at the taxpayers’ expense.

In Birmingham, dinner ladies and education support workers are being sacked, while the chief executive continues to earn £204,000 and the council leader — which used to be a voluntary position until the mid-Nineties — earns £72,000.

In Suffolk, all lollipop men and women are to go, 16 care homes are to close, 29 out of 44 libraries are to be lost. And yet the county council is so cash-strapped that it will be paying its chief executive £218,000 this year.

Perhaps rather than sacking lollipop ladies the council might just think about cutting out the £400,000 it recently spent on ‘brain-training’ for staff, and the £6,000 it spent on staff ‘team-building’ exercises, including chocolate-making.

The sheer waste of money is staggering, Yesterday, the Mail reported how the Labour government public sector jobs boom during its 13 years in power left town halls employing as many as three million workers — and that one in four of them has no link to front-line services. Worse still, councils across Britain have continued to recruit for these non-jobs despite the recession.

So while dinner ladies go, bus services are axed and disability budgets slashed, councils have been advertising for ‘walking co-ordinators’ on salaries of £32,000, roller-disco coaches to make sure children can skate properly at £7.50 an hour, and climate change officers on nearly £40,000 a year.

Yet while making these outlandish appointments and awarding themselves bumper salaries, councils are trying to shift all blame for the cuts on to the Government. What’s more: they are getting away with it.

Remember Riven Vincent? She is the mother who a fortnight ago said she was considering putting her six-year-old quadriplegic daughter Celyn into a full-time residential home because she could no longer cope with just the six hours of respite care the council offered her a week — Celyn requires looking after 24 hours a day. She blamed everything on the cuts imposed by David Cameron, saying he had promised her during last year’s election campaign not to do anything to hurt disabled children.

She could instead have blamed Amanda Deeks, chief executive of South Gloucestershire District Council. Ms Deeks is not as important as David Cameron, though she is paid more — £186,590 a year, to be precise. If Ms Deeks took a pay cut so that she was paid the same as the Prime Minister, it would free up enough money to give Ms Vincent and ten other families an extra six hours of respite care a week. Had South Gloucestershire lavished a little less luxury on its new £31 million office in the town of Yate it would have provided much more still. Nevertheless, Ms Vincent went for David Cameron’s jugular. In many people’s minds these are already the ‘Coalition cuts’.

The London borough of Newham reckons we are all so cross with the Government that we won’t notice its own extravagance. Besides spitting vitriol about the Coalition in its in-house magazine (which costs £547,000 a year to produce) the borough’s £81,000-a-year elected mayor Sir Robin Wales (who rules in tandem with the borough’s £241,000-a-year chief executive) has made a video moaning about the unfairness of his reduced budget. The video holds forth about the great achievements of the council — omitting, for some reason, any mention of the £111 million that the council has just spent buying and fitting out its own spanking new waterside HQ.

It is so luxurious — fitted out with trendy lights costing £1,800 each — that it won a prestigious design award from the British Council for Offices, beating any bank headquarters. But the cost of this temple of extravagance has nothing to do with your child’s playgroup or your meals-on-wheels being cancelled, of course — that is all the Government’s fault.

It is extraordinary how quickly councils have gone from being quietly-efficient administrative bodies with town clerks and unpaid councillors to seeing themselves as businesses, with salaries, bonuses and perks to boot.

Until the Seventies, councillors received no remuneration whatsoever. Then they were allowed to claim expenses, which at first were very modest. Then, from the mid-Nineties, they were given allowances, which have since swelled into fat salaries — £118,500 in the case of Steve O’Connell, who rakes in the money sitting on the Greater London Assembly, Croydon Council and the Metropolitan Police Authority.

Meanwhile, the town clerks who were on modest salaries have puffed themselves into ‘Chief Executives’. During the boom years they started awarding themselves vast pay increases on the conceit that they could always be earning more in the private sector (though funnily enough few seem to make this transition).

Yet when the crash came and private sector earnings started to shrink, council executives continued to award themselves big pay rises. In 1997 councils employed an average of just seven staff on salaries of more than £50,000 a year. By 2008 that had swelled to 81.

We used to call greedy and wasteful councils the ‘Loony Left’. But now senior council staff have their noses in the trough left, right and centre.

At one school in the Hampshire town of Gosport, 19 staff are to lose their jobs, some working with children with learning difficulties, while the borough council has just sent four councillors on a junket to Spain to visit a potential bidder for the town’s waste services. The council argued that the councillors needed to check out the company — which hardly required a trip to Spain, given that it has a British subsidiary with offices on the Isle of Wight.

Meanwhile in Scotland, Renfrewshire Council is closing community halls, but spent £15,000 hiring an X Factor singer to switch on its Christmas lights.

We are all supposed to be in this together. But for some reason council executives seem to think that they are an exception.

These local politburos should stop blaming all cuts on the Government and admit their own greed and waste. It is high time that we, who are paying their salaries, got to veto their obscene levels of remuneration.


U.S. Marshals Threaten, Censor Libertarian site

For the first time, in its sixteenth year of publication, this journal of libertarian views and opinion — bound by an absolute moral resolve never to initiate force against anyone for any reason, nor to advocate or delegate its initiation — has been threatened by agents of the federal government and ordered to remove content from its website.

We have done so. When you learn, in a general way, what that content consisted of, you will be perplexed, at first, then angrier and angrier as you see what has been done to what was once a free country, and realize precisely who is most responsible for having done it.

Last August, TLE ran a piece by our frequent contributor Jim Davidson about the hypocrisy of the federal judiciary. Three federal judges had just authorized a practice in which armed government agents could feel free to trespass on a citizen’s property without a warrant or probable cause, in order to affix a GPS tracker to that citizen’s car.

Our columnist’s natural and logical response was to deprive these judges of privacy the same way they were allowing the privacy of the individuals who pay their salaries (however involuntarily) to be violated. Using only publicly available sources, he published their names, addresses, and other information. Let me state that again, so there can be no mistake: he published their names, addresses, and other such information which he had obtained from purely public sources.

This week — six months later — we have been notified, first by our domain registrar GoDaddy.com, then in an e-mail from the U.S. Marshals’ “service” that we must remove the offending article from _TLE_’s website, in order to assure the safety of the judges and their families. (This, of course, begs the question, why in the hell their information is publicly available if it constitutes a threat to their safety.) GoDaddy.com has refused to answer reasonable questions about this affair — such as precisely what Terms of Service we were in violation of — instead simply repeating the order to remove the material.

We have complied.

I used to have a little respect for the U.S. Marshals’ “service”. They had a long, distinguished history, and for some reason, they seemed cleaner to me, nobler, better than the bottom of the barrel scrapings infesting other federal “law enforcement” agencies, like the ones, for example, that disgraced themselves at Ruby Ridge and Mount Carmel.

I wonder if any of them ever thought, when they were growing up, dreaming little kid dreams of being the “goodguys” and saving folks from the “badguys”, that they’d end up merely doing the bidding of corrupt and irrational federal judges, thuggishly intimidating the very folks they once dreamed of saving, helping a new and unAmerican aristocracy to establish themselves as an elite with rights — like simple privacy — that ordinary individuals are no longer allowed to enjoy.

But we have complied.

And yet, our compliance is not without its cost. Everyone who reads this will now understand a little better what those who wish to rule their lives are made of. And they will know — as if they didn’t know already — that these distinguished, cleaner, nobler keepers of the peace are nothing more than a cruel myth. And that knowledge — enough of it — will be all that it takes to change the course of history.

Meanwhile, whom do we hold responsible for this unjustifiable violation of the First Amendment? The Republican administration of Abraham Lincoln was probably not the first, but was by far the worst of its time. Presidents like Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt began to see the people as their property and treated them accordingly.

The RICO Act was specifically designed to deprive the accused of representation in court. The authorities and their stooges in media work overtime to convince us that anyone who “lawyers up” is guilty. Agencies like the FBI and CIA are not authorized in the Constitution. Neither Republicans nor Democrats have ever said a word to stop these practices.

Now we have the Department of Homeland Security which officially regards the average American wage earner, homemaker, student, hunter, sportsman, scholar of the Bible or the Constitution as an uncaught criminal. The so-called Transportation Safety Administration shakes down just as many inmates of this nation-sized prison as it can every day.

So who is to blame? Those who do the shaking. Those who abuse their fellow citizens for no other reason than that they can. Or because the sociopaths in power have paid them to do so. And we, the abused, are forced at gunpoint to give them half of everything we earn.

And we have complied.


A voice of hate from the Australian media

To the supercilious Mike Carlton it's all obvious and anyone who disagees with him is stupid and evil. See the highlights in red below. He would be struck dumb if you took his hate language away. In good Leftist style, rage and self-righteousness is all he's got. Most of his articles are like the one below but I thought that it was time for someone to point out what they are

Bruce Baird did 20 years as a Liberal MP, in Macquarie Street then Canberra. In 2007 he retired as the member for the federal seat of Cook, which takes in Cronulla and much of what the locals like to call The Shire. People will remember him as the NSW minister in charge of Sydney's 2000 Olympic bid. Baird was a voice of decency in the Liberal Party, one of the so-called gang of four (the others were Petro Georgiou, Russell Broadbent and Judy Moylan) who had the guts to take on John Howard in 2005 in the hope of moderating the cruelty of his asylum-seeker policies.

That did him no good. His successful ministerial career in Macquarie Street cut no ice with Howard, who viewed him as a trouble-making Costello supporter and kept him in the outer darkness of the backbench. Come the 2007 federal election, Baird found that Liberal Party branches in Cook had been stacked against him, with a sudden influx of 400 new members. He saw the writing on the wall and at the age of 65 finally pulled the pin.

What a shame that his successor in the seat has plunged into the sewer. Scott Morrison, Tony Abbott's feverishly ambitious spokesman on immigration, is the man who disgraced himself and his party this week by whipping up that furore on the cost of the asylum-seeker funerals.

It was filthy politics, initially supported by his leader, of course, although public disgust eventually forced the two into a backdown for going, in Abbott's weasel words, " a little bit too far".

But the stench lingers. As the Herald's national affairs correspondent, Lenore Taylor, revealed on Thursday, Morrison was pushing the Coalition shadow cabinet to adopt an anti-Islam line as long ago as December. And he has no shortage of support. Abbott's recent proposal to cut $448 million in funding to Islamic schools in Indonesia was another blast of racist dog-whistling.

Kevin Andrews, the dolt who brought you the Mohammed Haneef fiasco, was bleating the other day about "ethnic enclaves" in Australia. Last week the ACT Liberal senator Gary Humphries tabled a petition in Parliament calling for a 10-year moratorium on Muslim migration to Australia.

Then there is the South Australian Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, a persistent Muslim-baiter, with his demands to ban the burqa and a recent tirade against the halal slaughter of animals. "I, for one, don't want to eat meat butchered in the name of an ideology that is mired in sixth century brutality and is anathema to my own values," he said. (Bernardi will get a shock if he is ever invited to a bar mitzvah, where the kosher meats will have been prepared in exactly the same way.)

This is One Nation stuff with a Liberal Party blue ribbon wrapped around it. As Bruce Baird said when I called him on Thursday: "There's no doubt the party has shifted to the right. It seems like One Nation is calling the tune. They are going for the blue-collar, right-wing vote. Moderate views in the federal party have largely disappeared."

Not quite. Joe Hockey spoke up for decency on the asylum-seeker funerals but then, for his pains, found himself under savage attack from a blog run by a Bernardi staffer. Baird rang me back to assure me that Julie Bishop, too, is on the side of the angels. But that's about it. We now have a federal opposition so shamelessly unprincipled that it will play the card of racist fear and hatred to claw its way back to power.


Australia: Druggie Muslims must not be arrested

A FORMER role-model for young Muslims who was arrested for cocaine supply yesterday won another court case, with the state failing in its bid to have her $18,000 payout for unlawful arrest overturned.

The State of NSW had appealed the payout awarded to Iktimal Hage-Ali in October 2009, arguing that the judge wrongly rejected the evidence of her arresting officers.

Judge Michael Elkaim originally found the arrest unlawful and officers wrong to have resorted to an arrest for such a small scale of supply when they knew Ms Hage-Ali was a person of good character with strong ties to the community.


Background from 2008

Eight days before she accepted her award at the art gallery, police had knocked on the door of the Hage-Ali family home at Punchbowl. They had been tapping her phone calls for the past three months and had taped her coded conversations with her childhood friend and cocaine supplier, Mohammed "Bruce" Fahda.

For their part, the police will argue they had a reasonable apprehension from their phone taps that Hage-Ali was involved in drug trafficking, even if there turned out to be no such evidence. She had told Fahda that she needed more drugs to supply to others, but Hage-Ali argues this was a lie and they were all for herself.


It seems to me that the police had ample reasons to arrest her and that the arrest was entirely proper -- JR


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


18 February, 2011

British cops get it right for once

Whining burglar locked up after HE dialled 999 to complain he had been shot with air rifle after breaking into family home

A judge has backed a teenager for dispensing ‘summary justice’ by shooting a burglar with an air rifle. Gary Holmes, 19, said he fired twice in self-defence when intruder Lewis Patterson, 20, went for him with an iron bar. Lawyers agreed that Mr Holmes, who feared for the safety of his girlfriend and her two-month-old baby, had acted within the law to protect himself.

Astonishingly, Patterson himself called the police to claim he was the victim. But he pleaded guilty at Hull Crown Court to burglary and was sent to a young offenders’ institution for 18 months.

Judge Michael Mettyear said: ‘This was quite outrageous conduct. It must have been very worrying and distressing for your victim. It’s true to say he got some summary justice but nevertheless it is something that will live with him for a very long time.’

Mr Holmes, a factory worker, was at his mother’s house in Hull when he heard his dog barking at around 9.30pm last October. He looked out of his bedroom window and saw Patterson in the back garden. Mr Holmes said: ‘He was swaying like he was drunk. I knew something was going to happen. He was not normal.’

Mr Holmes grabbed an air rifle he used for shooting rabbits on a farm and ran downstairs. ‘On the way I picked up three pellets and put two of them in the gun,’ he said.

He found Patterson in his mother’s living room. He was attempting to steal his £1,250 motorcycle, which he stored there for safe-keeping. ‘I told him to get out, not very politely,’ Mr Holmes said. ‘He just looked straight back at me. I put the rifle up to him and he stepped out on to the patio. ‘I know a bit about firearms and the law, so I warned him. I showed him the rifle and he came back into the house again.

‘That was when he raised the iron bar he was carrying. So I raised the gun back up. Then I shouted again: “Get out.” He just stared at me. ‘He kept coming at me with the bar so I shot him. He then started to come towards me again and threw a brick at me. I shot him again. If I had let him hit me, I could have been in hospital or dead.’ Mr Holmes added: ‘At the time I was in shock. Thinking back, it was just a reaction. I don’t just shoot people.’

Patterson fled on a bicycle but then contacted police to report being shot. He claimed he was hit as he walked past the property, but was exposed as a liar. He was not seriously injured.

Mr Holmes said he acted on instinct and didn’t have time to think about the consequences. He praised the police for how they handled the investigation, although he was initially concerned about being charged himself.

‘I never expected to have to shoot a person,’ Mr Holmes said. ‘The first officers who came seemed quite surprised when I said I had shot him. I don’t think they knew what to think. They seemed a bit confused about who they were going to be charging, so they sent officers from CID to take a statement the next day. ‘They said, because he had threatened me, that I should be fine.’

Local councillor Nadine Fudge said of Patterson: ‘Criminals know that they can get away with so much these days and that’s why he called the police.’

Chief Superintendent Rick Proctor, Divisional Commander for Hull, said: ‘Common law states that anyone can use reasonable force to protect themselves or others, or to carry out an arrest or to prevent crime. ‘We would always encourage the public to do what is reasonable to prevent and detect crime, but obviously not put themselves or others at serious risk of harm by doing so.’


A Tale of Two Bad Laws

‘Obamacare’ collides with Ohio’s regulation of the truth.

No person, during the course of any campaign…shall…make a false statement concerning the voting record of a candidate or public official —An Ohio law

The subject of abortion roiled Washington last week, as it has frequently done during the 38 years since the Supreme Court, by nationalizing the issue, made it the cause of a deep fissure in American politics. Last week’s interest in abortion could have been, but was not, because of the simultaneously heartening and (one hopes) unsettling report about stunning success in treating severe forms of spina bifida in utero. If babies can be surgery patients 19 weeks after conception, are they not babies rather than mere “fetal material” whose “termination” is a matter of moral indifference?

And last week’s interest in abortion could have been, but was not, because of recent stomach-turning (one hopes) reports about the routine butchery of babies at a Philadelphia abortion mill. There, according to the district attorney’s office, late-term abortions often produced living, viable babies who were then killed by “snipping”—using scissors to cut their spinal cords.

Instead, last week’s congressional interest in abortion was part of the aftershocks from last year’s enactment of the health-care law, an event that is having odd reverberations in Ohio’s First Congressional District, which includes Cincinnati. There, last November, Steve Driehaus, a freshman Democrat, lost his bid for a second term by 11,098 out of 201,518 votes cast.

Driehaus, a Catholic opposed to abortion rights, believes that he might have lost because of what he sincerely believes were false statements in broadcasts by the Susan B. Anthony List. The statements were that in voting for the health-care legislation he voted “for taxpayer funding of abortion.” Driehaus insists that “many organizations” supported the legislation “because” he and others secured language in it, and in an executive order issued by the president, that precludes federal funding for abortions.

SBA List, a pro-life political-action committee named in honor of the suffragette who called abortion “child murder,” believes with equal sincerity that its statements about Driehaus’s voting record were accurate. It says, accurately, that “every major pro-life group in the country agrees” that the health-care law allows taxpayer funding of abortion. The Conference of Catholic Bishops, which strongly favors reforms to broaden access to health care, nevertheless opposed the final bill because it thinks the law permits taxpayer funding of elective abortions, in contravention of federal policy since 1976.

That organization’s analysis (which can be read at USCCB.org/healthcare) stresses, among other things, the role of federal funds in subsidizing the purchase of health-care plans that include coverage of elective abortions. The National Right to Life Committee’s 23-page affidavit, arguing that the law contains “multiple provisions that do in fact authorize (i.e., create legal authority for) federal funding of elective abortion” can be read at nrlc.org/AHC/DvSBA.

The arguments of the pro-life groups are convincing, but the law’s pertinent provisions are so complex that Driehaus’s good faith should not be questioned. The law was cobbled together in haste. Many provisions are unclear because they were written to mollify one faction without angering another. Opacity was indubitably necessary for the dubious project of producing a congressional majority for legislation opposed by a large majority of Americans.

And then there is Ohio’s misbegotten “false statement” law, which is an invitation to mischief as a campaign tactic. Shortly before the election, when Driehaus learned that SBA List was planning to make its accusations against him on billboards, he got the law’s enforcement agency, the Ohio Elections Commission, to find probable cause for questioning SBA List’s assertion. The billboard company decided not to proceed when Driehaus threatened to sue it. Now Driehaus is suing SBA List for defamation.

This episode teaches two lessons. First, legislation that must be ambiguous and misleading, even to supporters, in order to be passed should not be passed. Second, no good can come of a law that makes government the arbiter of the truth of political speech.


Retire the racial bean-counters

Jeff Jacoby channels Dr. King

THE CENSUS BUREAU has begun rolling out state-by-state demographic data distilled from the 2010 Census. They include statistics on race and Hispanic origin that can be broken down with meticulous geographic precision. If you want to know how many African Americans live in Arkansas's Benton School District (1,302), or whether Maryland's white population has gone up or down since 2000 (down 0.9 percent), or which Vermont county has the most Hispanics (Chittenden, with 2,586), the Census Bureau can tell you. Spend a while with the census search engine, and you could be forgiven for thinking that the nation's racial composition has never been defined with such pinpoint accuracy.

Americans with parents of more than one race are one of the the fastest-growing demographic groups in the US.

In fact, the nation's racial composition has never been defined with less accuracy, and the margin of error is widening. Why? Because of the growing number of Americans like Michelle López-Mullins, who render the government's racial categories meaningless or obsolete. The University of Maryland student was introduced last week in a New York Times story that illustrates the difficulties faced by the bean-counters in an increasingly post-racial society:

"The federal Department of Education would categorize Michelle López-Mullins -- a university student who is of Peruvian, Chinese, Irish, Shawnee, and Cherokee descent -- as 'Hispanic,'" Susan Saulny's story began. "But the National Center for Health Statistics, the government agency that tracks data on births and deaths, would pronounce her 'Asian' and 'Hispanic.' And what does Ms. López-Mullins's birth certificate from the State of Maryland say? It doesn't mention her race.

"Ms. López-Mullins, 20, usually marks 'other' on surveys these days. But when she filled out a census form last year, she chose Asian, Hispanic, Native American, and white."

Though most Americans may still think of themselves as belonging to a single race, the multiracial population is surging. Racial boundaries are more permeable and easier to ignore than they have ever been before.

Today, one in seven new marriages -- 14.6 percent -- unites spouses of different races, according to the Pew Research Center. The interracial marriage rate has doubled since 1980, and is six times what it was in 1960. For some combinations, the rate of increase has been even more rapid. When Barack Obama was born in 1961, less than one new marriage in 1,000 was, like his parents', that of a black person and a white person. "By 1980, that share had risen to about one in 150 new marriages," Pew notes. "By 2008, it had risen to one in 60."

Although Obama identified himself simply as "black" in the census enumeration last year, a swelling cohort of younger Americans refuses to be so easily pigeonholed. The Census Bureau currently recognizes 63 possible racial labels, but that taxonomy is as limited and artificial as the one in an earlier age that sorted Americans into the categories of "white," "Japanese," "Chinese," "Negroes," "mulattoes," "quadroons," "octoroons," and "civilized Indians."

By what logic, for example, did the 2010 questionnaire classify Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese as separate races, yet lump Scandinavians, Arabs, and Slavs together as "white"? With so many millions of Americans dating, marrying, and loving across the color line, and with the population of blended Americans exploding, isn't it clearer than ever that the pressure to keep sorting ourselves into races that have no objective genetic meaning anyway is incoherent and counterproductive?

Yet instead of shutting down the racial bean-counters, the government is giving them new powers. The Times reports that new Department of Education rules require any student who acknowledges any Hispanic ethnicity at all to be reported solely as "Hispanic" in federal filings. That doesn't sit well with López-Mullins, whose Peruvian-Chinese-Irish-Shawnee-Cherokee family tree is considerably more diverse and interesting than the word "Hispanic" alone can possibly convey.

To be sure, some lobbies and grievance groups profit handsomely from aggravating racial distinctions. But most Americans have moved beyond the color-consciousness of generations past, and it's time federal agencies did too. Congress ought to instruct the Census Bureau to stop counting Americans by race, and to mark the occasion by installing at its headquarters a great monument bearing these words, which Thurgood Marshall wrote for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the 1950 Supreme Court case of McLaurin v. Oklahoma:

"Racial criteria are irrational, irrelevant, [and] odious to our way of life."


Vilifying the mainstream Australian population was a dumb idea

A surprisingly realistic article below from a writer for Australia's public broadcaster. Chris Uhlmann is political editor for the ABC news channel, ABC News 24. He makes the point that sanctimonious Leftist preaching and contempt for Australia has generated a backlash among young Australians against all that, a backlash that is now in full swing.

But persuading people was probably not the highest priority of the the Left. Most of all, they needed to vent their spleen. That they have ignited nationalism where there was virtually none before is however an amusing demonstration of how hate can be self-defeating

Each Australia Day acres of newsprint is devoted to worrying about the apparent rising tide of aggressive nationalism.

Young Australians have embraced January 26 in a way their parents never did. Flags fly from cars, men and women sport Southern Cross tattoos and gather to party in public places.

There is an ugly side to this, a few are using national symbols to exclude other Australians and that is unpardonable. But maybe we should try harder to understand where this assertive nationalism comes from.

Let's imagine for a moment that there might be an explanation for this phenomenon beyond the reflexive chant of "racism". Perhaps these young Australians were schooled in a society that venerated multiculturalism and they understood it to mean they lived in a nation of tribes: "Italian-Australian", "Vietnamese-Australian" and so on. The hyphenated Australians had clearly defined identities, symbols and even national dress and foods that made them distinct. That difference was celebrated as the essence of what made Australia good.

And the perceived threat to a multicultural society, endlessly explored, was the assumed intractable racism of the host population. So government reports were commissioned which proved the desperate need for racial vilification laws.

If you listened to the rhetoric of some of the champions of multiculturalism in the 1970s and '80s, it was also routine to hear that pre-war Australia was a deeply racist backwater where the food was awful and the people dull. One common mantra then was that it "didn't have a culture". Only after the immigration boom did the country get some and get interesting.

Where did that leave the sons and daughters of the pre-Second World War immigrants? What was the place of the currency lads and lasses?

Is it possible they grew tired of the grim assessment of their past and went in search of a more appealing narrative? Is it surprising that some should seek their own identity, find their own symbols, write their own mythology and define their sacred places?

Tony Wright noted in his book "Turn Right at Istanbul" that growing numbers of young Australians were making pilgrimages to Gallipoli. Many of the ones he met were there searching for a connection to a story they could call their own. This was an utterly spontaneous movement and completely at odds with routine predictions of the demise of Anzac Day that began to surface in the 1960s and '70s.

I vividly remember a university lecturer mocking Gallipoli as "mythology" and I wondered what was wrong with a nation-building myth. No right-thinking person in the multicultural '80s would think of deriding the tapestry of mythologies that binds other cultures.

Yet looking back in anger at every aspect of settlement since 1788 was such a common feature of the '80s and early '90s that it paved the way for the history wars.

In the decades multiculturalism enjoyed bi-partisan support and it was that rarest of public policies, it was perfect. Any attempt to question it or the enormous lobby it spawned was shouted down as racist.

Multiculturalism fell from favour during the Howard years, but the word was never removed from the immigration portfolio. By late 2006, the Labor Party was falling out of love with the idea too. It introduced two new words to the shadow immigration portfolio "integration and citizenship" and flicked multiculturalism into a junior portfolio.

The then shadow minister Tony Burke's explanation for the change was "Integration is how you make a multicultural society work". It sounds perfectly reasonable but it is not a construction that would have passed muster in the mid-80s or early '90s. Then words like "integration" and "social cohesion" were lumped with the anathema that was "assimilation".

Multiculturalism was dumped from the Immigration Department's name when Labor took power in 2007 and it was not included in any of Labor's portfolios under either Kevin Rudd or Julia Gillard.

Now it's being redeemed.

In a speech at the Sydney Institute the Immigration Minister Chris Bowen set out to resuscitate multiculturalism and to cast Australia's brand as unique. He sees it as very different from the experiment in Germany and Britain, where it is widely viewed as a divisive. Chancellor Angela Merkel says it has "utterly failed" and British prime minister David Cameron agrees.

Mr Bowen's opening gambit was that "our multiculturalism is underpinned by respect for traditional Australian values".

He pointed to a speech by former prime minister Paul Keating who said "the first loyalty of all Australians must be to Australia, that they must accept the basic principles of Australian society. These include the Constitution and the rule of law, parliamentary democracy, freedom of speech and religion, English as a national language, equality of the sexes and tolerance".

I'm sure that Mr Bowen would disagree, but, in practise, that was not the way multiculturalism was packaged here in the 1980s and 1990s. Then suggesting that there was any such thing as "Australian values" was an invitation to be abused by the multicultural industry. I know because I did and I was.

The dull, pre-war Australians, the ones who apparently got by without a culture, built those values. And despite Mr Keating's fine words the real failing of the last incarnation of multiculturalism was its acolytes almost never gave the host population any credit for creating the kind of society that could absorb mass immigration, largely without violence. That is an extraordinary achievement and one to be celebrated. But it rarely was. All too often the impression was that multiculturalism prospered in spite of the pre-war population, not because of it.

By 1996 so entrenched was the feeling that Labor had lost touch with its own people that the Coalition could win a landslide election victory by promising to govern "For All of Us".

So why is Labor re-birthing multiculturalism now? No doubt Mr Bowen believes it is the best policy for continuing to build a cohesive immigration-based nation.

But it is also a political strategy to help dig Labor out of the its border protection mess. It needs to shore up its left flank while it continues to run a hard line on boat people to neutralise the attack from the right.

Above all, it needs to head off any attempt by the Coalition to use shared values as a weapon in the immigration debate, because there is a deeply divisive issue simmering in the sub-plot of the immigration brawl.

What Ms Merkel and Mr Cameron were talking about when they dubbed multiculturalism a failure was a concern that Muslim immigrants in their countries are not integrating. Mr Cameron said that it was time to assert a "more active, muscular liberalism" where equal rights, the rule of law, freedom of speech and democracy are actively promoted to create a stronger national identity.

In short, when faced with a powerful set of alternative beliefs real border protection begins with clearly defining and defending your bedrock beliefs. No nation that doesn't do that can stand.

Here the problem is nowhere near as acute as it is in Europe. But that doesn't matter, what matters is perceptions. Both major parties know that the concerns expressed by Ms Merkel and Mr Cameron are shared by large parts the Australian community. It lies at the heart of the visceral reaction some people have to boat people. And the feeling is not confined to one ethnic group.

Until now this debate has been played out in code. But the game has just changed.

Now the Prime Minister is demanding that Opposition leader Tony Abbott distance himself from comments attributed to his immigration Scott Morrison that the Coalition go on the attack over Muslim immigration. Mr Morrison denies he made the comments in shadow cabinet. Tony Abbott has publicly recommitted the Coalition to a non-discriminatory immigration policy.

This is very dangerous water for both major parties and both would be well advised to tread carefully.

If Labor is to make a fist of its reunion with multiculturalism it must ensure that, this time, at its core, the policy loudly proclaims that that there are some bedrock principles that all Australians must share.

Alas, setting out to rebrand multiculturalism with yet another anti-racism strategy at its heart leads you to believe that Labor has learned little from the past. Once again the key message seems to be that the main problem with social cohesion is the insatiable racism of the host population. This dangerously misreads the public mood. There is an appetite for some muscular liberalism.

The problem with the Coalition is it seems to have yet to work out how it goes about governing for all of us.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


17 February, 2011

End this human rights insanity: British PM's fury as judges rule paedophiles and rapists should have chance to get off sex offenders' register

David Cameron declared war on unelected judges yesterday after they put the human rights of paedophiles and rapists before public safety. The Prime Minister said he was ‘appalled’ that Britain’s 50,000 sex offenders can appeal against being kept on a police register for life.

In a highly-charged intervention, Mr Cameron called for an overhaul of the ‘completely offensive’ rulings from the European Court of Human Rights which have influenced our own judges. ‘It’s about time we started making sure decisions are made in this Parliament rather than in the courts,’ Mr Cameron said.

And he announced plans to ensure MPs make laws rather than the judiciary. He told MPs that a commission to draw up a British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act will be set up ‘imminently’.

Home Secretary Theresa May called for a return ‘to sanity’ and pledged to do the ‘minimum possible’ to comply with the judges’ demands to protect the rights of paedophiles. She said: ‘These are rights, of course, that these offenders have taken away from their victims in the cruellest and most degrading manner. It places the rights of sex offenders above the right of the public to be protected from the risk of reoffending.’

Mr Cameron’s outburst puts him on a collision course with Justice Secretary Ken Clarke and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. But if he fails to deliver he will further enrage Tory MPs, who recently voted to reject a European Court ruling that prisoners should have the right to vote.

He spoke out after the Supreme Court, which is England’s highest court, ruled that rapists and paedophiles must have the right to be removed from the national sex offenders register if they can prove they are no longer a threat to children. It was relying on previous European Court rulings which enshrine the human right to privacy. It will mean offenders – such as former pop impresario Jonathan King, jailed for seven years for sexually abusing teenage boys – get the right to appeal against being on the register 15 years after their release from prison.

The judges said keeping serious offenders on the register for life was ‘disproportionate’ and a breach of their right to a private and family life.

The Prime Minister said it was ‘completely offensive’ to ‘have, once again, a ruling by a court that seems to fly completely in the face of common sense.’ He added: ‘I am appalled by the Supreme Court ruling.’

In response to the ruling, the Home Secretary announced new restrictions on convicted molesters who are released from prison to close a series of staggering loopholes left by Labour. Currently sex offenders on the lowest danger level simply have to attend a police station once a year, tell the police their name, date of birth and National Insurance Number and alert them to changes in their address.

In future paedophiles and rapists will have to alert the authorities whenever they are living in a house with anyone under 18. They must report to the police when they travel abroad, even for one day. Currently they can leave the country for up to three days with no restrictions.

Homeless sex offenders who claim they have ‘no fixed abode’ will have to tell the police every week where they are staying.

Mrs May also aims to close the loophole that means sex offenders can avoid staying on the register if they change their name by deed poll. Such a Bill, if implemented, would contain a series of non-negotiable declarations about the rights of the individual accompanied by their responsibilities. The idea would be to deter vexatious claims from serial litigants or criminals attempting to exploit human rights laws for their own personal profit.

But it remains unclear when the commission Mr Cameron intends to set up will report and who will head it. Senior government officials say the panel, chaired by an independent figure, will be asked to redraw the balance of power between Parliament and the courts, both in Europe and the UK.

Senior Tories conceded that dramatic change may have to wait for four years because of Liberal Democrat support for the Human Rights Act. But they pledged to put ‘more Conservative’ plans to crush the courts at the heart of the next Tory election manifesto in 2015.

Victims groups reacted with fury to the Supreme Court ruling. Andrew Flanagan, chief executive of the NSPCC, said: ‘Adults who sexually abuse children should stay on the offenders’ register for life as we can never be sure their behaviour will change.’

Lyn Costello, from Mothers Against Murder And Aggression, said: ‘I wonder what’s next? Are we going to say it’s against their human rights to lock them up at all? We’re playing with people’s lives.’


At last, a victory for the rights of the majority: Judges reject appeal by Muslims who shouted abuse at returning British soldiers

Judges yesterday staunchly defended the ‘rights of the majority’ as they threw out an appeal by a group of Muslims against their conviction for hurling hate-filled abuse at soldiers.

The High Court ruled that the men were not acting within their human rights when they heckled and jeered members of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment as they marched through Luton after returning from Afghanistan.

The anti-war protesters caused outrage when they called the troops – who had previously served in Iraq – rapists, murderers and baby killers. They also waved placards with slogans including ‘Butchers of Basra’ and ‘cowards, killers, extremists’.

Yesterday’s judgment was hailed as a ‘victory for common sense’. Politicians and campaigners believe the courts have sometimes helped promote minority rights and sensibilities over those of the majority of the British people.

After the Luton protest, five Muslim men were convicted of using threatening, abusive or insulting words likely to cause harassment, alarm of distress.

They appealed against their convictions at the High Court, arguing that they were legitimately exercising their rights to freedom of expression and to protest under European human rights laws. But in their ruling two judges said the men’s actions had gone well beyond ‘legitimate expressions of protest’.

Tellingly, they added that ‘the focus on minority rights should not result in overlooking the rights of the majority’.

Lord Justice Gross said: ‘There was all the difference in the world between expressing the view that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were illegal or immoral and that British forces should not be engaged in them and the abusive and insulting chants of the appellants. To attend a parade of this nature and to shout that this country’s soldiers were “murderers”, “baby killers”, “rapists all of you” who would or should “burn in hell” gave rise to a very clear threat to public order.’

He said the men were fortunate there had been no serious outbreak of violence and attributed their safety to ‘skilful policing’.

Lord Justice Gross added that freedom of expression was not an unqualified right and ‘the justification for invoking the criminal law is the threat to public order’. In striking ‘the right balance when determining whether speech is “threatening, abusive or insulting”, the focus on minority rights should not result in overlooking the rights of the majority’, he added.

Mr Justice Davis agreed, saying the right to exercise freedom of expression – under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights – ‘necessarily carries with it duties and responsibilities’. He added: ‘These were not just generalised statements of views, vigorously expressed, on the morality of the war but were personally abusive and potentially defamatory of those soldiers. ‘That the soldiers themselves were, as it happened, broad shouldered enough not to care one jot does not matter.’

Although the battalion is currently based in Cyprus, Bedfordshire is one of their main recruiting areas.

Trouble flared on March 10, 2009, when the 200 members of the battalion – who had lost 12 men during two tours of Iraq and one in Afghanistan – marched through Luton to a meeting with their colonel-in-chief, the Duke of Gloucester.

There were heated exchanges between members of the public who had turned out to cheer on the soldiers and the anti-war contingent, who had been penned into a small area for their safety.

Five protesters – Jalal Ahmed, 22, Munim Abdul, 29, Yousaf Bashir, 30, Shajjadar Choudhury, 32, and Ziaur Rahman, 33, all from Luton – were later found guilty at the town’s magistrates court of public order offences. Each received a two-year conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £500 costs.


Will Multiculturalism End Europe?

Multiculturalism has “totally failed,” says German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “State multiculturalism has had disastrous results,” says Britain’s David Cameron. Is multiculturalism a failure in France? “My answer is clearly yes, it is a failure,” says President Nicolas Sarkozy. Ex-Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has declared multiculturalism a failure in Spain, saying it divides and debilitates Western societies.

Only in Canada and the U.S., it seems, is the issue still in dispute.

Yet these European leaders are not leading anyone. They are far behind the people, and their belated appreciation of the idea of national identity is but a product of political panic. Take Merkel in Germany.

Last summer, Thilo Sarrazin published a book the title of which may be translated as “Germany Abolishes Itself.” Sarrazin argued that Germany’s gastarbeiters, guest workers — Turks, Kurds, Arabs — are dumbing down the nation. While Germany’s birth rate fell below replacement levels decades ago, these foreigners with less intelligence and much higher dropout, welfare and crime rates are rapidly replacing the declining German population.

“It is a matter of culture,” said Sarrazin, and “Islam is the culture.” This is why Muslim immigrants are “socially, culturally and intellectually inferior to most everyone else.” Yet Sarrazin did use the phrase a “genetic minus” to describe migrants from the Middle East.

Were these the ravings of a neo-fascist intellectual and closet admirer of the late Fuhrer? Not at all. Sarrazin was a proud member of the Social Democratic Party of Willy Brandt and a board member of the Bundesbank.

With Merkel and the German establishment howling for his head, Thilo resigned, unrepentant. Two-thirds of Germans said he had a right to speak his mind, a third said they agreed with him, and “Germany Abolishes Itself” has sold over a million copies.

It was in response to the firestorm of the Sarrazin affair that Merkel discovered that multiculturalism was a failure. Her EU colleagues have since been falling all over one another to agree.

Another factor has contributed to the sudden awakening of the EU’s elite — an explosion of anti-immigrant parties that are siphoning off working-class voters from socialist parties and nationalist voters from conservative parties.

Among these are Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front in France, the British National Party, the Vlaams Belang in Belgium, Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party in Holland, the Swiss People’s Party of Christoph Blocher, which won the battle to ban the burka, the Austrian Freedom Party and Alliance for Austria’s Future, the Jobbik Party of Hungary, the Lega Nord in Italy, which favors secession, the Danish People’s Party, and the Sweden Democrats, who just won a toehold in parliament.

What these parties share is that all are anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and ethnonational. They want to retain, or restore, a nation of, by and for their own kind, with its own history, holidays, heroes, language, literature, music and art. They are fiercely resistant to any dilution of the ethnic composition or cultural character of their countries.

What is the menace of multiculturalism these people see? From Moscow to Marseilles, from Stockholm to Sicily, they see the Muslims pouring in and creating tiny nations within the nation, and being unwilling to embrace a new identity as Englishmen, French or German.

And their fears are not unjustified. For just as the populist parties are deeply ethnonational, proud of their identity as Swiss, Austrian, German, English, Dutch or Flemish, the newcomers, too, are deeply ethnonational: Turkish, Arab and African.

And Islam is a faith that is itself anti-multicultural. Devout Muslims do not believe all religions are equal. They believe there is one God, Allah, and submission to his law is the path to paradise. They do not believe in freedom of speech and the press if it means mocking the Prophet. They do not believe in Western dress codes or mixing men and women in schools and sports. They do not believe all lifestyles are equal. Some think adulterers should be stoned and honor killings are justified for girls who disgrace the family.

They wish to live their faith and their culture in our countries, to live alongside us but to dwell apart. “If you come to France,” said Sarkozy last week, “you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community, and if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France.”

A little late for that. Some 5 million to 8 million Arabs and Muslims are in France, their birth rate is higher, and more are on the way.

The real questions: Whose idea was it to bring these people in? And what do France, Britain and Germany do if they say: This is a democracy, we will live as we wish to live, according to our beliefs, not yours.

How does a liberal, permissive society that celebrates diversity impose its values on a militant immigrant minority that rejects them?

Answer: It doesn’t. All the rest is chatter. This is what James Burnham meant when he wrote that liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide.


Australia out of step on Muslim immigration

Germany, France and Britain are critical but both major Australian parties are resisting the reality of Muslim difference -- and too bad what the public thinks: They can be "educated"

Scott Morrison's predecessor in the immigration portfolio has condemned as "un-Liberal" suggestions the party should capitalise on Australian fears about Muslim migrants.

Leading Victorian moderate Sharman Stone, who lost her portfolio to Mr Morrison when Tony Abbott replaced Malcolm Turnbull as Liberal leader, said such a move would be unpalatable. “That approach would be most un-Liberal and it is totally contrary to Liberal values and beliefs. Our values and beliefs are non discriminatory,” she told The Australian Online. “It was the Liberal Party that began the breakdown of the White Australia policy in the early 1960s. The Liberal Party has a proud record of being colour blind.”

Dr Stone's comments come after reports that Mr Morrison told a meeting of shadow ministers in December the Coalition should make political capital out of Australians' concern about multiculturalism and fears about Muslim immigration.

Senior Liberals Julie Bishop and Philip Ruddock are reported to have rejected Mr Morrison's suggestion at the time.

The growing debate in Liberal ranks about how to approach immigration and multiculturalism comes as Immigration Minister Chris Bowen offered an impassioned defence of Australian multiculturalism yesterday - rejecting a rising tide of criticism directed at the policy by European leaders - as he unveiled a new multicultural strategy....

The Gillard Government will beef up a campaign supporting multiculturalism in the face of what is seen as growing resistance to new arrivals. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen tonight revealed the campaign would salute what he called "the genius of Australian multiculturalism".

The Government will create a new independent organisation, the Australian Multicultural Council, and ACT senator Kate Lundy will be made parliamentary secretary in charge of managing multicultural programs.

The fresh emphasis on the policy comes amid growing public hostility towards asylum seekers, and against significant population growth through immigration.

There also is apprehension that the increasing number of Muslim migrants will produce big cultural changes, and even the introduction of Islamic-based legal codes.

"Australian governments do not defend cultural practices and ideas that are inconsistent with our values and ideals of democracy, justice, equality and tolerance. Nor should we be expected to," Mr Bowen told the Sydney Institute tonight.

"For those fleeing persecution, terror and hatred, they come to Australia in search of peace, justice and harmony. "For many others, they come in the hope of creating, in this new land, a new life for themselves and their loved ones for prosperity and in the knowledge that, in Australia, their children will not be discriminated against for their colour or creed.

"For these men and women, the last thing they want is Australia to change, to become less free, to become less democratic, to become less equal." [Has he listened to any Muslims lately?]

The minister said the new multiculturalism council would "act as a champion for multiculturalism in the community, will advise the Government on multicultural affairs and will help ensure Australian Government services respond to the needs of migrant and refugee communities". "We will also establish a National Anti-Racism Partnership and Strategy to design and deliver an anti-racism strategy."



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


16 February, 2011

British shed owners warned wire on windows could hurt burglars

Police have told residents to stop putting wire mesh on their garden shed windows – because they could be sued if a burglar is injured.

A spate of thefts in several towns and villages in Kent and Surrey over the past few months led to many householders taking action to protect their property.

Some have been warned by police that using wire mesh to reinforce shed windows was "dangerous’’ and could lead to criminals claiming compensation if they "hurt themselves’’.

Thieves target sheds to steal lawnmowers, power drills, bicycles and a variety of DIY tools.

Thomas Cooper, of Tatsfield, Surrey, used wire mesh to protect three of his garden sheds after two break-ins over the past four years. He decided to take action after reports of a rise in garden raids in the area. Mr Cooper said: “I reinforced my shed windows with wire mesh, but was told by the police I had to be very careful because thieves can actually sue you if they get hurt. "It is ridiculous that the law protects them even though they are breaking it.”

Last month Samantha Cullum, a mother-of-three, of Brasted, near Sevenoaks in Kent, had her whole shed stolen when thieves lifted it on to a lorry. She said: “We had some tools stolen every now and again, but this time they took the entire shed – I couldn’t believe it.”

Dave Bishop, of Tatsfield, said: “The law is so stupid, and you never know what decision judges are going to make. People do get fed up with these people trying to help themselves to things which you have worked hard to gather together.”

Pc John Lee, a crime reduction officer for Tandridge, said: “We are constantly advising home owners to protect their property and the contents of their shed or garage, however, a commonsense approach needs to be taken. “To properly secure your sheds, Surrey Police strongly advises people to invest in items such as good-quality locks and bolts, and not to resort to homemade devices, as this could cause injury.”

A police source added: “Homemade devices can cause injury and there have been cases where criminals have sued for injuries they have suffered while committing a criminal act. "We are advising people to do whatever they can to protect their property, but wire mesh is not one of the suggestions we would make.”


Wisconsin Takes On Big Labor

Wisconsin is yet again leading the way forward for the entire nation. Governor Scott Walker, in a bold and brave step, is making drastic and far reaching changes to the relationship between his state and the government employee unions that represent Wisconsin government employees. The changes could not come soon enough, as Wisconsin is facing devastating budget shortfalls.

The plan proposed by Governor Walker effects most state and local employees, including teachers. Most local law enforcement and fire fighters will be exempt from his proposal.

The proposal that Governor Walker has put in front of the legislature will greatly limit the role that the government employees’ unions play in Wisconsin. Walker’s plan would:

* Eliminates the ability of state employees to bargain over anything except wages. This excludes benefits and work rules from the bargaining table;

* Makes state & local employees right-to-work;

* Requires an annual vote for unions to remain recognized as workers’ collective bargaining representatives;

* Prohibits state agencies from collecting union dues;

* Requires wage increases above and beyond inflation to be approved by a popular referendum;

* Requires state employees to contribute half of the cost of their pension payments, up from nothing now. This works out to 6 percent of their salaries;

* Requires state employees to cover 12 percent of their healthcare premiums.

In effect, Walker’s plan completely curbs the power of the union — a good first move to get Big Labor’s money sucking tendencies under control.

Of course, Big Labor doesn’t feel good about Walker’s proposal. Reacting to the Governor’s plan, Wisconsin State AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt said, “Instead of balancing the budget on the backs of hard-working Wisconsinites, we need to come up with a balanced approach that looks at shared sacrifice from everyone.”

The statement from Neuenfeldt ignores the fact that the budget shortfall burden is indeed on the backs of hard-working Wisconsinites. After all, the taxpayers in Wisconsin are the ones who pay the bills that the government and the union, rack up.

And why shouldn’t taxpayers have the right to decide if state employees should receive compensation raises that are absurd anywhere else in the marketplace. Governor Walker’s proposal would drastically limit the ability of public sector unions to extort absurd levels of compensation from Wisconsin taxpayers.

If passed, the proposal would also severally limit the ability for the extremely partisan union in playing a major role inside of government. For far too long, the AFL-CIO has been allowed to run around the inner workings of government without check. This proposal would tamp down the role that the left-wing labor group can play in Wisconsin — a move that puts government on a more fair playing field for all Wisconsinites.

States across the nation should be looking at Governor Scott Walker’s plan as a model for their own states. As state budget crises loom from coast to coast drastic changes are needed more than ever. Allowing state budget malfeasance to continue only invites disaster. Wisconsin has set a path forward for states to reign in their out-of-control spending — we can only hope that others are paying attention.


Is "Islamofascism" a Slur?

Amil Imani

A few years back, President George W. Bush used the term “Islamic Fascism” in a speech. In no time at all, the Bush-bashers, Islamic propaganda organizations and the rabid left unleashed a campaign of assault on the President for insulting the Muslims and sullying the sanctified religion of Islam by linking its name with fascism.

Opportunistic Democrats were just too happy to lead the attack on the President. An aspirant for presidency, to the left of the [left] Democratic Senator from Wisconsin, Russ Feingold, was so indignant by this “horrific” slander of the President smearing the stainless name of Islam that he found it his solemn duty to write a letter to the President lecturing him on his unacceptable use of the terms. Did the President indeed slander Islam, or are people like Feingold Bush-bashers who for their own reasons would never miss an opportunity to berate President Bush as well as those who support him? Let the facts decide.

“Fascism is a radical political ideology that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, nationalism, militarism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism.” -- Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia

Let us examine each characteristic of fascism, one at a time, and see if the President was justified or did he indeed misspeak.

Radical: Islam is so radical that even the term “radical” does not adequately depict its true character. The founder of Islam, Muhammad, behaved in extreme ways whenever he could. Early on, in Mecca, among his tribe of Quraysh, he was ridiculed as a Crazed Poet. Ordinary residents of Mecca scorned him in their habitual way of treating the mentally deranged. What did Muhammad do? He personified meekness itself. He put up with extreme indignities, did not fight back and suffered abuses.

Time was on Muhammad’s side. Before long, he attracted followers, some of whom were men of power and influence, such as Omar, Osman and Abu Bakr. Then the pendulum swung. The long-suffering meek became the tyrannical avenger. He ordered all the idols in the idolatry of Mecca destroyed, including the one called Allah. Yet, he selected the same name for a non-corporeal deity who commissioned him as his messenger. Then Allah’s messenger Muhammad set out to systematically exterminate people he perceived as his tormentors and enemies—Jews of Medina, among others.

As for teachings of Islam, “radical” is the most fitting term. The Quran is full of black and white, right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable. Men who didn’t convert to Islam were labeled infidels and slaughtered; their women and children were taken along with all their belongings as booty. It was either Islam’s-way or the high way. This radicalism is very much in action today.

Political Ideology: Islam is and has always been political, in the form of Imamate, Caliphate or by proxy where Islam through religious divines controlled the state. Saudi Arabia, for instance, does not even have a constitution. The Quran is the constitution. The country has a king. Yet, the king is the supreme enforcer of the laws dictated by Islam.

In another Islamic country, Iran, where the mullahs rule, the constitution is squarely based on the Quran. Many laws are strictly drawn from the Shariah. The mosque is the state and no other competing political ideology is permitted.

Authoritarianism: Islam is theocracy, the rule of the clerics. The authoritarianism runs from the top to the bottom in a strict hierarchy with Allah at the top, to his Prophet, to the Caliphs or the Imams, to the lesser men of cloth along the chain of command. No one is allowed to contest or dispute the word and actions of the authorities. Islam and democracy, therefore, are inherently irreconcilable. In some Islamic circles Muslims speak of Islamic Democracy—an oxymoron.

Nationalism: To Islam there is only one world-wide nation, the Islamic Ummeh. To Islam the earth is Allah’s, political boundaries are arbitrary and there is only one legitimate nation—the nation of Islam. The idea of one world, one nation, is not new with Islam. A number of secular rules, rulers and movements had aimed for the same objective. Alexander the Great, for instance, strived toward this goal, so did Communism, and the World Federalists still hold the vision of world unification.

The festival of Ashura, where Shia Muslims commemorate the death of Husayn ibn Ali, grandson of Mohammed, in the Battle of Karbala.

Militarism: Jihadists are the army of Allah. The use of violence as an instrument of policy has been and continues to be central to Islam. Muslims war under the firmly-believed and widely-cherished set of ideas that are rabidly militaristic. “No matter which side is killed, Islam is the victor,” “You kill them, you go to paradise; you get killed, you go to paradise,” are two examples of exhortation to jihadism and war.

Anti-anarchism: Islam does not even tolerate the basic rudiments of liberty. Anarchism can be considered as liberty gone amuck. So, Islam is anti-anarchist as a matter of course. Furthermore, the very name of Islam means “submission.” And anarchism is 180 degrees from submission—Islam is the rule of the absolute—anarchism is the rule of no rules.

Anti-communism: Islam is based on the belief in a supreme being, Allah. This fundamental precept makes it incompatible with any materialistic philosophy, including communism. Islam, furthermore, places great importance on the rewards and punishment of the next life and denigrates the value of material existence—ideals disharmonious with the main tenets of materialistic Communism.

Anti-liberalism: Islam contends that it has the perfect divine prescription of life, brought to mankind as its eternal charter. Hence, human interventions and inventions are not only unacceptable; they are detrimental to the implementation of the perfect edicts. Liberal ideas trigger change. To Islam, any change from the perfect design of Allah, necessarily is in error and must not be allowed.

Islam fully meets each of the eight distinctive features of fascism. “If the shoe fits, wear it,” as the saying goes. Islam is fascist. Muslims and their apologists are guilty of denial and dishonesty. They have no ground at all for objecting to the contention that Islam is fascism. President George W. Bush did not misspeak.

If Muslims find fascism repugnant, then they should reconsider being Muslims.


A much ignored petition in Australia

Political correctness trumps the voice of the people

The controversial petition calling for a ban on Muslim immigration has been tabled 48 times in Parliament, The Canberra Times can reveal.

ACT Liberal senator Gary Humphries angered the Muslim community when he tabled a petition on behalf of three Sydney residents last week, calling for a 10-year moratorium on Muslim migration to Australia. Several other senators had declined to do so.

However, an analysis of the history of the petition which appears to originate with the Christian Democrat Party reveals it is not the first time Senator Humphries has tabled it. Another 35 politicians 19 Liberals, six Nationals, eight Labor MPs and senators and two Independents have also tabled it since 2007, several more than once.

The petition calls for Christians to be given priority in immigration and for a 10-year ban on Muslims coming to Australia "so an assessment can be made on the social and political disharmony currently occurring in the Netherlands, France and the UK".

Senator Humphries said yesterday he would have tabled it the first time for the same reasons as last week. Although he disagreed with its sentiments, he had a responsibility to allow people's views to be presented to Parliament.

He was "not anxious to become the patron saint of ... extreme points of view" and sorry the publicity had given some people the chance to express bigoted or racist views, but stood by his decision to table it.

"I would do so, and in fact I will do so, again, because this situation is bound to recur in some form or another; not necessarily this issue, but something else that people consider to be controversial," he said.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


15 February, 2011

An open letter to the British Prime Minister that asks him to put his money where his mouth is

From: Dr Frank Ellis

Dear Mr Cameron

I am writing to you in connection with the speech you delivered at the Munich Security Conference last week since its subject matter pertains not just to the security of the United Kingdom and other Western European states but also to the long-term survival of the indigenous population of this country itself: the ultimate security question.

You begin your speech by seeking to reassure fellow member NATO states that despite the dire condition of the UK economy Britain will continue to meet the NATO 2% defence-spending target. In general terms that is good. However, the standard government line notwithstanding – Labour as well as Tory – Britain is not made safer nor is our national security enhanced by the presence of NATO troops in Afghanistan. The NATO presence in Afghanistan has, I believe, more to do with the nuclear ambitions of Iran.

Now, you begin your discussion of the terrorist threat in the UK by saying that some of these attacks are carried out ‘by our own citizens’ and that the perpetrators, Muslims, ‘are prepared to blow themselves up and kill their fellow citizens’ (my emphasis).

But these Muslim terrorists do not regard me, us, as ‘their fellow citizens’. Indeed, they are correct: I am not one of ‘their fellow citizens’. Nor do I wish to be. Formally these people may have acquired a British passport but in what way can these people be regarded as ‘our own citizens’ when they live in parallel societies paid for by the white indigenous population and are at best indifferent to, and at worst murderously hostile, to the interests of the host indigenous population? If I went to live in Munich and started to make demands of indigenous Germans that they adapt to my folkways, habits and customs and threatened to kill them, would Germans regard me as one of their own? I doubt it.

True, Europe has suffered from terrorism before the arrival of Al Qaeda and its imitators. The key difference is however that groups such as The Angry Brigade (England) IRA (Northern Ireland), The Red Brigades (Italy), Direct Action (France) and Baader-Meinhof & RAF (West Germany) were all home-grown groups. People who were active in the IRA belong to the tribes of the British Isles.

Muslims have no such claim. They are alien. Islamic terrorism would not be a problem in the United Kingdom had we maintained strict control over our borders and not permitted the huge influx of immigrants from Pakistan, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Turkey and Somalia. This was and remains a direct consequence of the cult of multiculturalism, a cult that preaches the poisonous view that, for example, sub-Saharan Africans have as much right to live in Britain as the white indigenous population.

You say that: ‘Europe needs to wake up to what is happening in our own countries’. Who exactly needs to wake up? Millions of people throughout Europe who over the last 40 years have seen their cities turned into Third World slums, who have witnessed, and suffered from, the relentless influx of immigrants, Muslim or otherwise, who have seen their institutions – police, armed forces, health services – corrupted by multiculturalism, who have seen their primary and secondary schools and universities turned into centres of politically correct indoctrination, where to be white, middle class, heterosexual and Christian is to suffer a constant stream of insults and barely concealed hatred, where, on the other hand, to be black or non-white is to enjoy special, protected-species status since non-whites are supposed to be bearers of some wonderful gift (referred to as diversity) and a source of great wisdom. Those of us all over Europe need no lectures from you Mr Cameron on what has been happening.

If they are not exceptionally wealthy and have no choice but to endure the daily grind of commuting into our large cities or may actually have to live there, white people are confronted every day of their lives with the consequences of ‘vibrant multicultural diversity’ and have been for a long time. Take it from me they hate it and where possible they will avoid it all costs (white flight). If they work in the public sector and have large mortgages they will endure the consequences of the cult in silence, confiding their fears only to a trusted few.

All over Europe an unaccountable class of political-functionaries has sought to impose the alien cult of multiculturalism on the white indigenous populations. Your call that we need to stand up to Muslims - and it is not just Muslims – comes far too late and is, in any case, thoroughly dishonest. The danger to the white indigenous population posed by mass non-white immigration has been evident for a long time and politicians of all parties have either encouraged this process of dispossession or have been too cowardly to speak out in public. When, in his famous speech, Enoch Powell warned of what was to come he was mocked, derided and abandoned by people like you. The damage done to the indigenous population, its history, culture and future may now be irreversible. I pray to God that I am wrong; that it is not too late to save our nation.

Your attempts to distinguish between Islam as a religion of peace and Islamic terrorism are doomed to failure. Such is the overwhelming collectivist ethos of Islam and the complete absence of any respect for the dissenting individual that Muslims resident in this country who do not take part in acts of terrorism are not going to break ranks with the extremists. For Muslims the rule of law, free speech and liberal democracy are alien Western abstractions that mean very little. Given the choice between the rule of law, free speech and the civil society and Islam - in any shape or form - Muslims resident in this country will support the cause of Islam. There is no love for the British: we are just a source of welfare payments and material provision that would be impossible in Pakistan and Somalia (the reason immigrants come here).

You state the following: ‘It is vital that we make the distinction between religion on the one hand, and political ideology on the other. Time and again people equate the two’. Again, your attempt to separate religion from ideology is doomed to failure for the obvious reason that Islam, the ideology-religion, recognises no lay principle: it is all or nothing; it is Islam for the believers; Dhimmitude for the rest. Consequently, whatever action Western governments take to neutralise what they believe to be the purely political, ideological aspect of Islam, will always be interpreted as an attack on Islam as a whole. Indeed, such measures will be an attack on Islam as a whole since Islam does not recognise the division between state and civil society; the right of the individual to resist its collectivist ethos (just like communism incidentally).

The other factor that makes Islam a threat to the Christian West is the birth rate among Islamic immigrants resident in the West. The huge increase in the Muslim population throughout the West may well turn out to be the decisive factor that overwhelms the white indigenous population in their ancient lands, reducing them to a suppressed minority. In all the discussions about rising food prices, metals, access to water and productive farm land no one wishes to identify the real problem: specifically the reckless and unsustainable breeding of Third World Populations either in the Third World itself or in the Third World estates that Third-Worlders have been allowed to create in the First World.

You cite what has happened on the streets of Tunis and Cairo as an example of the compatibility of Western values and Islam: ‘hundreds of thousands of people demanding the universal right to free elections and democracy’. Middle-class, English-speaking protesters might well press the right buttons when interviewed by some BBC reporter but the underlying problem of Arab states and Sub-Saharan Africa is massive, out-of-control and unsustainable population growth. This is the Malthusian nightmare writ large and it is being played out all over the Third World. Egypt’s unemployed will remain unemployed (many of them are unemployable in any case). Hunger and hopelessness will gnaw at them. The results are predictable. Democracy and civil society are preposterous and irrelevant abstractions outside of Western Europe and will not feed people, certainly not in Egypt and Sub-Saharan Africa. Where populations spiral out of control, as they are doing in so many parts of the world, violence, exacerbated by religious/ideological fanaticism, is inevitable.

Concerning multiculturalism in the United Kingdom you state the following:

Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. We’ve failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We’ve even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values.

For the avoidance of any doubt your repeated exculpatory use of “we” does not include me and, I suspect, millions of other Britons. Your use of ‘we’ refers to the last Labour government and the xenophiles who sought to impose the anti-white racist cult of multiculturalism on the indigenous population. It is emphatically not the responsibility of the indigenous population ‘to provide a vision of a society to which they [immigrants] feel they want to belong’. If, according to you, the ‘we’ failed to provide this vision, then why did millions of Islamic immigrants join the first wave who could not find this ‘vision’? If they have no ‘vision of society to which they feel they want to belong’ why do they stay?

Why not go home to Somalia, Waziristan and Sub-Saharan Africa? That these millions of immigrants have no ‘vision of society to which they feel they want to belong’ yet still stay in the Christian-infidel-infested wasteland of Britain suggests to me that their continued presence in Britain has everything to do with the fantastically generous welfare provision they receive (all the wives included) and absolutely nothing at all to do with any lack of ‘vision of society’.

You have been reported as saying that multiculturalism has failed. I see no clear statement of that in your speech at all. In fact, you claim that it is the indigenous population that has driven Muslims into their parallel societies. That you are still advocating some form of the cult is clear when you argue that ‘instead of encouraging people to live apart, we need a clear sense of shared national identity that is open to everyone’.

National identity by its very nature is exclusive, partial and narrow. A national identity that is ‘open to everyone’ is not a national identity. National identity is determined by a combination of genetic, racial, cultural, psychological, geographical, linguistic and mental factors, tempered by the blows of history, by shared suffering in war and peace, by humiliation and glory, by the memory of those gone before. How can my English national identity be open to everyone? The answer is that it cannot. National identity that is open to everyone ceases to be a national identity; national identity that is open to everyone is just another way of promoting multiculturalism without using the m-word. In other words, it is a deceit, a ploy to disarm the critics of multiculturalism who have instinctively and rationally apprehended the cult’s national-identity-hating agenda all along.

As an Englishman who still values his national identity I have no desire at all to share it with others. Do Pakistanis, Indians, Chinese, Japanese and Zulus want to share their national identity with me? Of course not: and why should they? It is their exclusive property.

Nor do immigrants wish to share their identity with white Europeans. When, in 2008, he addressed a large Turkish audience in Cologne, the Turkish Prime Minister, Reccep Erdogan was quite clear by what he understood on the question of integration. He told his audience: ‘I understand the sensitivity you show towards the question of assimilation. Nobody can expect that you tolerate assimilation. Nobody can expect that you submit yourself to assimilation. Then assimilation is a crime against humanity.’ Erdogan’s vision of how he expects Turks to behave in Europe is just one of a number of reasons why a Muslim non-European state such as Turkey can have no place at all in the EU.

You argue that Muslims are attracted to extremism from a sense of not belonging. Again you claim that this is the failure of ‘the wider society’. You might like to ask yourself why indigenous Britons - ‘the wider society’ - do not wish to engage with Muslims. Here are some of the reasons why indigenous, white Christian (or heathen) Britons want nothing to do with Islam:

Suicide-homicide bombers; sharia; jihad; the obscene practice of female circumcision; so-called honour killings; stoning women to death; polygamy, the sexual grooming of white girls; extreme censorship; hatred of free speech; welfare parasitism; mosques; continuing, active terroristic hatred of white European host societies; and the cruel murders of Christians in the Middle East (and Turkey).

I am not convinced that you are serious about combating the damage done by multiculturalism.

More here

Britain's "unfair dismissal" tribunals

Millions of man-hours are wasted, as business people are obliged to give evidence rather than getting on with their jobs. Huge fees are racked up by lawyers and "expert witnesses", who are called on to pronounce on the exact meaning of an insult, and on all the unverifiable aches and pains and stresses that may constitute a disability.

The total cost of the system has been put at œ1 billion for British business, and it is rising the whole time. In 2010, the number of employment tribunal cases rose by 56 per cent, with an amazing 236,000 cases last year alone. Of course there are hundreds if not thousands of firms that simply don't have the cash or the energy to fight - not when it costs an average of œ8,500 to put up resistance, and about œ4,500 to settle.

Even when they fight and win, it can be a pretty pyrrhic sort of victory. A small manufacturing company with 45 employees decided to sack an employee who was caught stealing the company's booze. The company was completely confident that it had proved the theft against the employee - an alcoholic cleaner - but she sued for sex discrimination and breach of contract, and by the time the whole thing finished, nine months later, the firm was œ11,000 down, on what should have been a slam-dunk case.

No wonder firms are gun-shy of this kind of battle, and no wonder people (and their solicitors) have been emboldened to have a go. The stigma has gone from the obvious try-on. In fact the only stigma attaches to anyone who dares to question where we are going. Why did all three parties sign up to Hattie Harman's "Equalities Act", which is already threatening to be a new engine for vexatious litigation of all kinds? Because no one wants to seem opposed to "equality".

Where, you might ask, is the equality in a system that adds so much to the cost base of business that they can't afford - or don't dare - to take on more staff in a recession? For centuries people have fought to protect workers from discrimination and unfair dismissal, and it is of course vital that we should have these safeguards.

The trouble is that it is now becoming standard practice to follow any dismissal or redundancy with a discrimination claim, in the knowledge that the employer - often an emanation of the state - will find it easier and cheaper to cough up rather than argue. The result is that many genuine grievances and genuine cases of discrimination risk being lumped in with a load of codswallop, and the system is in danger, frankly, of being brought into disrepute.

Of course there will be many who think I am being too harsh. Times are tough, they may say, and people who face unemployment should be urged to go for everything they can get - like the people who think they are morally justified in overclaiming on their insurance for lost luggage.

But what about the people who don't qualify for any kind of "discrimination", or who don't feel that it would be right to launch a case? Who will speak up for them? What about the small businesses driven under by these extra costs? What about the psychological toll on society of a system that insidiously encourages people to lie or to exaggerate in order to get money from their employer?

The Government is right that it is time to end the tribunal madness, and to introduce a new culture of robust common sense, of the kind advocated by Trevor Phillips of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. Measures like Hattie Harman's Equalities Act should be assessed for their impact on jobs and growth, never mind "equalities".

If there is one way to entrench inequality in this country, it is to prevent British business from generating jobs. We used to compete on tax and on labour market flexibility, and the danger at the moment is that we are losing our edge on both.


Whaaaat! Australian Prime Minister apologizes for her Australian accent

What an insult to the people she supposedly represents! Just another instance of how Leftists hate the society in which they live, I guess

JULIA Gillard has apologised for her "dreadful Australian accent" during her visit to New Zealand. The Prime Minister was attempting a Maori greeting but mangled it. "I hope it was something Iike that in my dreadful Australian accent," she said.

The misstep came before a speech in Auckland where Ms Gillard heaped praise on Australia and New Zealand's mateship, thanking New Zealand's Civil Defence team for rushing to Queensland after the summer of natural disasters. "You brought mateship, you brought comfort and your work won't be forgotten," Ms Gillard told the Trans-Tasman Business Circle lunch.

She said Australia shared New Zealand's grief over the Pike River mine disaster and the Canterbury earthquake. "At a time of hardship and grief, Australia will always be there to help," she said.

Ms Gillard earlier said she was not offended by the New Zealand Government backdown on plans for her to speak to a session of their parliament in Wellington.

Arriving at a business lunch in Auckland this morning, Ms Gillard said she was honoured by the compromise that will see her address the NZ House of Representatives debating chamber when the parliament is not sitting.

"The details of these arrangements are properly a matter for the parliament of New Zealand. But I will be very, very honoured to be there," Ms Gillard said.

Mr Key dumped plans for Ms Gillard to become the first foreign leader to address the floor of the NZ Parliament this week after Greens MPs said they would block the move because it threatened the country's independence. Mr Key said he wanted to avoid an embarrassing situation where the Greens may disrupt Ms Gillard's speech.

Ms Gillard said she "got on very well" with the conservative NZ leader Mr Key.


'Bloodless persecution' predicted for Christians in Europe

Expert says European hostility to free, open demonstrations of faith growing

Christianity has been around what now is Europe since the first century, with some parts of the New Testament written to people in Greece and Rome. But a new report is warning that open hostility to Christianity across the continent is on the rise and intolerance is being paired with legislative power to attack and violate the religious rights of the faithful.

"There are signs that hostility towards free and open demonstrations of faith is growing. Christians are increasingly marginalized and are appearing more often in courts over matters related to faith. So I think that we are heading for a bloodless persecution," Gudrun Kugler told Mercatornet about her organization's newest report.

The report, called "Shadow Report on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe," cites page after page of examples of attacks on Christians and Christianity across Europe.

Kugler, who works with an organization that watches for intolerance and discrimination, said the report found that European Christians are under attack for their freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and parental rights, are targeted by hate crimes, emblems representing Christianity are being destroyed and they are subjected to negative stereotyping in the media.

"I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalization of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters," warned Pope Benedict XVI late last year, "even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance.

"There are those who would advocate that the voice of religion be silenced, or at least relegated to the purely private sphere. There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged, in the questionable belief that it might somehow offend those of other religions or none. And there are those who argue - paradoxically with the intention of eliminating discrimination - that Christians in public roles should be required at times to act against their conscience.

"These are worrying signs of a failure to appreciate not only the rights of believers to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, but also the legitimate role of religion in the public square," he said.

According to the report, the issue has reached the level of the European Parliament, where Italian member Mario Mauro last year finished his book, "War against Christians."

Equal exercise of freedom

"Discriminatory laws directly or indirectly prevent equal exercise of freedom," the report finds. "With regard to Christianity in Europe, this is often the case in the areas of freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

"The latter is understood to include the right to raise one's children in one's faith, to share one's faith peacefully with others, to publish religious materials without censorship, to change one's religion (by choice, not coercion) and to practice no religion at all," the report said.

"We often come across overly broad equal treatment or anti-discrimination legislation that causes indirect side-effect discrimination of Christians, criminalizing core elements of Christian teaching," it said.

For example, last October, former British MP Christine McCafferty urged the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to recommend limitations to conscientious objection when it comes to abortion.

"The draft report contained a limitation of freedom of conscience to individuals. Objecting individuals would have faced restrictions and blacklisting," the report said, describing the draft as "aiming at discriminating against Christians."

Then in Spain there was a judge who was suspended from his position for objecting to the adoption of a young girl by lesbians. And in the United Kingdom, a registrar was ordered to perform homosexual weddings despite the individual's personal religious objections to the procedures.

Further, the council in the UK city of Brighton demanded that a care home for elderly Christians provided information about residents' sexual orientation, and cut funding for the service organization when the demand was not met.

Fined for advertising traditional families

Regarding Christians' freedom of expression, the report found that Spain's government fined a Christian television network 100,000 euros for carrying advertising opposing the homosexual lifestyle, an anti-abortion campaigner was jailed for sending abortion photos to Queen Elizabeth Hospital and a street preacher in the United Kingdom was arrested after telling passersby that homosexuality is a sin.

"BHA (British Humanist Association) has called on the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, North Somerset Council, to visit Britain and South West England to shut down the zoo. The secular group claims the zoo is misleading tens of thousands of visitors annually and 'threatening public understanding' by questioning the traditional view of evolution," the report continued.

Regarding the collective freedom of religion, the report found, an Italian attorney, Georg Zanger, announced plans to sue members of the Catholic Church on grounds of membership in a criminal organization, and homosexuals disrupted Catholic services because the church was refusing communion to those who openly flaunted their rejection of church teaching.

And a homosexual advocacy law in the UK forced the Catholic Church to withdraw from adoption services and a proposal would have forced Christian churches to hire practicing homosexuals as youth workers.

'Only Muslims can be good people'

The change in standards also has encompassed education. In the Netherlands, students are taught that "Christianity would be abolished in the end, all other religions would disappear and everybody will convert to Islam." "After all," said the lesson, "only Muslims can be good people."

Regarding employment, in the UK, an Employment Appeal Tribunal ordered that Christians cannot act according to their consciences if their beliefs conflict with the promotion of homosexuality, and a foster care giver was suspended from her career for allowing a Muslim child in her care to convert to Christianity.

Perhaps some of the most egregious cases uncovered by the study include the rights of parents.

In Austria the government enforced sex education guidelines that "practically prohibit the teaching of authentic Christian sexual values," and in Germany, a mother of eight was jailed for eight days after she refused to send her nine-year-old son to school for its sexual education program.

Turkey requires students to study Islam and Sweden is trying to "curb the influence" of religion - in private church schools.

The study found that journalists and the media are contributing, with a situation in Germany where the German Daily "Die Zeit" wrongly accused Christians of favoring a radical law in Uganda and a popular BBC soap, "Coronation Street," featured attacks on the Christian faith.

Defamation of the Christian faith came from organizations such as International Planned Parenthood Federation, which said, "Fundamentalists and other religious groups, the Catholic Church and madrasas (Islamic schools) for example, have imposed tremendous barriers that prevent young people, particularly, from obtaining information and services related to sex and reproduction."

In Austria, a pro-abortion rally featured shouts of, "If Mary had had an abortion, we would have been spared from you!" In Germany, speeches at a psychotherapy congress on whether sexual orientation could be changed had to be delivered under police protection because of the "tolerance" of homosexual organizations.

Christianity 'destroys'?

Just recently in a Hungarian talk show, the statement was made that, "A child's life can be destroyed by two things: Christianity and pornography."

In Belarus, a mother was denied permission to pray at the tomb of her son, who had been executed by authorities, and a war memorial cross was destroyed in Amsterdam because Muslims said it "disturbed" them.

The results are "hate crimes" against Christians, the report said.

"Hatred of Christianity is often directed against church buildings," the report warned. "Acts of vandalism and desecration take place more frequently than many would expect. The French daily 'Le Figaro' reports one every other day in France alone. Some desecrations prove to be satanic acts, others an expression of disapproval of moral viewpoints of Christianity."

Against individuals, such "hate crimes" range from "beatings to killings," the report said.

Physical attacks have been reported by those witnessing at abortion clinics, priests have been beaten and stabbed and protesters have stormed into church services.


The report recommends that European governments ensure equal rights for Christians and modify legislation that attacks the Christian faith, watch for discrimination against Christians and take action when appropriate.

The European Union itself should examine its own legislation and make freedom of religion, speech and conscience a priority.

Kugler, a Vienna lawyer and advisor for the Fundamental Rights Platform of European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency, told Mercatornet that it's all religious freedom, not just that for Christians, at risk.

"We are all aware that Jews and Muslims experience intolerance and discrimination. But so do Christians - even if they constitute a nominal majority here," she said.

"I have the impression that journalists and policy-makers are often more anti-Christian than their fellow citizens. But they shape the mood of the country. What we observe is that Christians are increasingly being described as 'homophobic,' sexist, intolerant and unworldly," she said.

But there's a good reason for the attacks, too, she noted. "Christianity and the cross are a constant bone of contention. Perhaps crucifixes and other religious imagery are reminders that people ought to put their lives in order. Christians are also the last obstacle to a new vision of secularity which is so politically correct that it verges on totalitarianism," she said.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


14 February, 2011

I had to have five CRB checks ... it's crazy, says former Archbishop of Canterbury

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has criticised ‘unnecessary’ criminal record checks after disclosing he has undergone five just to conduct a service or preach a sermon. Lord Carey said that after he retired from his role in 2002, he had been asked by some dioceses to help out as an assistant bishop.

He said that every time he agreed to a new role he was required to have a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check – to vet those working with children or the vulnerable – even if he would not be working with children. ‘I had five sometimes,’ he said. ‘It’s crazy.’ Friends of Lord Carey, 75, who was an assistant bishop in Bristol and Southwark, South London, said the repeated CRB checks took place over several years.

As an assistant bishop, he would occasionally stand in for a bishop at a service, but would never have any role working with children.

One friend said: ‘Similar to supply teachers, clergy who work in a number of dioceses can have endless checks.’

He said another retired bishop, who had been asked to work in a neighbouring diocese, refused because he did not want to undergo the onerous checks.

Lord Carey made his comments on the BBC1’s This Week programme on Thursday night, the day before the Government announced it is to scale back Labour’s controversial Vetting and Barring Scheme. On the show he called on the Government to put flesh on the bones of its Big Society proposals by axing ‘unreasonable and repeated’ checks on volunteers who may never come into contact with children or vulnerable people.

Responding to the new Government plans yesterday, he said: ‘I welcome Nick Clegg’s proposals to relax CRB checks. Many people who have only occasional contact with children were forced through this hurdle unnecessarily in the mistaken belief that this safeguarded children. While child protection is vitally important, there must be a sense of proportion if all volunteering is not to be discouraged.’

Ministers say they want the checks, introduced in 2006 after the Soham murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, to be reduced to ‘common sense’ levels. The vetting scheme, which requires everyone working with ‘vulnerable’ groups to register, has been fiercely criticised for requiring checks on a staggering nine million adults, many of them volunteers.

Among those affected by the legislation were a group of cathedral flower arrangers who last year staged a rebellion against demands they undergo the intrusive checks. Twenty women from Gloucester Cathedral Flower Guild, including head flower arranger Annabel Hayter, 64, refused to have their pasts examined.

Miss Hayter, who was forced to resign because she refused to have the check, said: ‘It is insulting. They are all lovely ladies who would not hurt a fly. They are not paedophiles. When I can rise above the sadness of it all it is laughable, pathetic.’

The scheme was also forced on church bell-ringers and St John Ambulance volunteers who had to undergo the vetting process to clear them to come into contact with children.

But now it will apply only to professional childcare workers or teachers – those who have the most close and regular contact with children or vulnerable adults. The number who will need to have background checks will halve to around 4.5 million, officials predict.

Checks that are unnecessary and which breach an employee’s privacy could be referred to the data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner said. Employers found knowingly to have requested an unlawful check could face fines of thousands of pounds.

The quango due to administer the scheme, the Independent Safeguarding Authority, will be merged with the Criminal Records Bureau.

Those who do require checks will have their records constantly updated so a new trawl is not required when they move jobs. The measures will be contained within the Coalition’s flagship Protection of Freedoms Bill.


Why, Mr Broken Reed, is being controversial a sacking offence?

Who said these words? ‘Approximately 20 to 33 per cent of child sexual abuse is homosexual in nature.’ I will tell you. It was the Home Office, on Page 14 of Sex Offending Against Children: Understanding The Risk, published by the Policing and Reducing Crime Unit in 1998. I have a copy.

For saying roughly the same thing, Dr Hans-Christian Raabe has just been sacked – by the Home Office – from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). That’s right. He has been sacked from a body to do with drugs, for having unfashionable views about sex, views that the Home Office has itself espoused.

A pathetic creature called James Brokenshire has allowed his name to be put to the letter that formally dismisses Dr Raabe. This is the first known instance of anyone being fired from a Government post under the provisions of Harriet Harman’s Equality Act 2010, Section 149, though I don’t think it will be the last.

Mr Broken Reed did not actually sign the wretched epistle, as a smudged rubber stamp indicates. I don’t blame him. It is a cowardly document and so sloppily prepared it even manages to misspell Dr Raabe’s address.

Dr Raabe is accused of having expressed ‘controversial’ views on homosexuality and of having ‘failed to declare them’, though they are traceable in seconds on the internet and he had no good reason to think they had anything to do with his appointment.

It has come to something when a man is required to guess which past words of his may be regarded as ‘controversial’ when seeking a state appointment, and be dismissed for getting such a riddle wrong.

I have spent several days trying to discover exactly what the Home Office means by ‘controversial’ in this case, or who defines this word. No reply. I think we should also wonder why it is a sacking offence, in a free society, to be controversial.

When I asked them if their own publication’s words on the subject were ‘controversial’, they wouldn’t say. They’re hiding something.

And what they are hiding is this. That when the Prime Minister defined himself the other day as a ‘muscular liberal’, he meant exactly what he said. The official ideology of Britain, from Downing Street downwards, is a militant and highly intolerant political correctness, originating in Marxist thought and forced on us by EU directives (so much for ‘Euroscepticism’).

Interestingly, this miserable dogma is all he has to offer in response to the growing challenge of Islam in our streets and in our culture. Not centuries of Christian tradition, and the heritage of Magna Carta and the Glorious Revolution, but ‘equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality’.

The affair of Dr Raabe is one of the most fascinating episodes of modern times. The doctor, who is German-born and so at least can’t be accused of ‘xenophobia’, works in a poor district of Manchester and observes every day in damaged lives the dismal effects of the law’s feeble attitude to supposedly illegal drugs.

He can see for himself that the official policy of ‘harm reduction’ is actively doing harm. His appointment to the ACMD (to a seat reserved specifically for a GP) was a great moment for every mother and father who wants the State to stop complacently accepting mass drug abuse as an unalterable fact, and instead to help keep their children safe from the little packets of madness on sale at the school gates.

It was a great blow to the selfish, irresponsible people who have for years spread the false idea that drugs can be taken safely, and denied the growing evidence from the mental hospitals that many young cannabis-users go irreversibly, horribly mad.

His dismissal is a great loss to those who care about the lives and minds of the young.

I will reserve for another time an examination of the fascinating role of a senior figure in the supposedly impartial BBC in what happened next. He deserves a lot of time to himself, and I shall get round to that.

But let us say that a campaign to remove Dr Raabe, boosted by anonymous misty threats of resignations from the ACMD, roared rapidly into action.

And that, preferring political correctness to an honest, decent doctor worth dozens of any of them, this Government swiftly bowed to that campaign. And that the person directly responsible for this grovelling [Brokenshire] hawked himself to the people of Old Bexley and Sidcup as a ‘Conservative’. And they believed him. It would be funny if it were not so disgusting.


Secret filming at Muslim schools in Birmingham and Yorkshire shows pupils being beaten and 'taught Hindus drink cow p***'

It is an assembly hall of the sort found in any ordinary school. Boys aged 11 and upwards sit cross-legged on the floor in straight rows. They face the front of the room and listen carefully. But this is no ordinary assembly. Holding the children’s attention is a man in Islamic dress wearing a skullcap and stroking his long dark beard as he talks.

‘You’re not like the non-Muslims out there,’ the teacher says, gesturing towards the window. ‘All that evil you see in the streets, people not wearing the hijab properly, people smoking . . . you should hate it, you should hate walking down that street.’
He refers to the ‘non-Muslims’ as the ‘Kuffar’, an often derogatory term that means disbeliever or infidel.

Welcome to one of Britain’s most influential Islamic faith schools, one of at least 2,000 such schools in Britain, some full-time, others part-time. They represent a growing, parallel education system.

The school is the Darul Uloom Islamic High School in Birmingham, an oversubscribed independent secondary school. Darul Ulooms are world-renowned Islamic institutions and their aim is to produce the next generation of Muslim leaders. In fact, these schools have been described as the ‘Etons of Islam’.

This school is required by its inspectors to teach tolerance and respect for other faiths. But the Channel 4 current affairs programme Dispatches filmed secretly inside it – and instead discovered that Muslim children are being taught religious apartheid and social segregation.

We recorded a number of speakers giving deeply disturbing talks about Jews, Christians and atheists. We found children as young as 11 learning that Hindus have ‘no intellect’ and that they ‘drink cow p***’.

And we came across pupils being told that the ‘disbelievers’ are ‘the worst creatures’ and that Muslims who adopt supposedly non-Muslim ways, such as shaving, dancing, listening to music and – in the case of women – removing their headscarves, would be tortured with a forked iron rod in the afterlife.

In 2009 this school was praised by Government-approved inspection teams for its interfaith teachings. The report said that ‘pupils learn about the beliefs and practices of other faiths and are taught to show respect to other world religions’.

It seems that the inspectors were unaware of the teaching methods revealed by our undercover reporter, Osman. He was taken on as a volunteer at the Darul Uloom school in Birmingham in April 2009 and was allowed to sit in on some lessons – but not their Islamic classes.

So, in July last year, he went into one of the rooms where we’d heard they taught Islamic studies and left a secret camera to record the lessons. Filming intermittently over a period of four months, the camera recorded children being taught a hardline, intolerant and highly anti-social version of Islam.

During the same period our reporter also attended the Markazi Jamia mosque in Keighley, West Yorkshire, after hearing of serious allegations that children were being hit at its madrassa.

Madrassas in the UK are part-time after-school or weekend classes, often held in mosques, where children are taught to read the Koran. In Keighley it is not what they are being taught that is the problem, but how.

Again, Osman went into the mosque and left the camera in the room where classes took place.

The film shows children as young as six sitting on the floor of a large room in the mosque, one of the biggest in the country. The boys are hunched over wooden benches, rocking backwards and forwards as they rote-learn the Koran in Arabic. A man with a long white beard dressed in a traditional shalwar kameez – tunic and trousers – sits at the head of the class.

Periodically he gets up and walks behind the boys. As he passes, the children appear to cower and watch him nervously. It soon becomes clear why. He unexpectedly raises his hand and slaps a young boy hard on the head. Moments later he strikes another. And then he kicks a third child.

In just two days of filming in December 2010, the camera recorded the teacher hitting children as young as six or seven at least ten times, in less than three hours of lessons.

From what we could see, every single blow was pretty much unprovoked. We soon realised that the beatings were routine. The behaviour of the boys, the way they flinched and backed away when he approached, indicated that they were long-accustomed to being hit and kicked as they studied.

In another incident an older boy, left in charge of a class while a teacher is out at prayer, picks up a bench and threatens to hit a younger boy with it.

During the making of this Dispatches film I have often counted my blessings. I received my Islamic education at home. My mum would read the Koran with me and most of my knowledge of Islam came from within the family. Others have not been so lucky.

Osman was subjected to beatings at four separate madrassas in the East Midlands as a child. He says that for the nine years he spent going to after-school Koran classes, he was hit regularly, at least a couple of timesa week. ‘It destroyed my confidence,’ he says, ‘and the worst bit was never knowing when it was going to happen. I had a horrible teacher who would use his fists, a stick, a shoe, anything he could find. He’d just get angry and lash out.’

Osman’s young cousins go to the same madrassas he attended and told him the beatings were still continuing. This persuaded Osman to try to reveal the truth behind the private world of faith schools. Over a period of two years he bravely placed cameras in both schools and collected highly sensitive material for us. His experience of madrassas is not uncommon. But persuading people to go on camera about this has been difficult. One family who were willing to talk were too frightened to do so openly.

Academic and theologian Dr Taj Hargey invited me to visit his part-time Islamic school in Oxford where children are taught in mixed-gender classes.

Here I witnessed a modern and refreshing method of teaching. Pupils were told to respect other faiths, ask questions about their religion and recite from the Koran in English as well as Arabic.

Dr Hargey told me he set up this school because of claims that Muslim parents had made to him about beatings in other madrassas. ‘It’s an outdated, archaic concept,’ he says, ‘and if we inflict this violence we will sow the seeds of violence in them.’

Sir Roger Singleton, former Government chief adviser on the safety of children, and Ann Cryer, former MP for Keighley, want the law to change to ban physical punishment in supplementary classes, as it does in full-time schools. ‘It just isn’t acceptable,’ says Cryer. ‘We wouldn’t allow this to happen to white kids going to Sunday schools.’

If the law on physical punishment does change, that would be one way to protect the very young that attend these classes. But these part-time and full-time Muslim schools also need closer scrutiny – the regulatory system needs to be tightened up.

However, we have a Government that, on the one hand, gives grand speeches about tackling the causes of extremism, as David Cameron did last week, while, on the other, encouraging local communities to set up their own schools – including faith schools. It’s time to stop these mixed messages.

And Muslims can no longer sweep this under the carpet – they need to face up to what is happening behind closed doors. Many warn that if we don’t all tackle this toxic mix of hatred and violence head on, we will reap the whirlwind in years to come.


An easy way to boost Canada

Contrary to popular opinion, most politicians are not imbeciles. Many are clever and a few are brilliant. So low-hanging fruit in politics is hard to come by. If it's a vote-winner and doable and good for the country, chances are someone has already done it or is planning to.

So why, we have to ask, have neither the Liberals nor Conservatives yet seized the banner of Canadian "values-based" patriotism and made it their own?

It's waiting to be done. It should be done. Whoever does it will reap a powerful electoral benefit, maybe even a majority-building wave. They'll tap into sentiment that bubbles just beneath the surface everywhere across Canada, especially in Quebec.

So why haven't they done it?

Last week in Munich, British Prime Minister David Cameron made an extraordinary speech. Some young British Muslims, he said, find it hard to identify with Britain because "we've allowed the weakening of our collective identity. Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism we've encouraged different cultures to live separate lives apart from each other and apart from the mainstream."

Cameron continued: "We've failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We've even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values. So when a white person holds objectionable views, racist views for instance, we rightly condemn them. But when equally unacceptable views or practices come from someone who isn't white, we've been too cautious frankly, frankly even fearful, to stand up to them."

Cameron was condemned by opposition politicians, who said he was playing to Britain's far right. The Muslim Council of Britain called the speech "disappointing."

Here in Canada, there wasn't much response at all. It was as though the British PM hadn't opened his mouth. Or as though everything he said didn't apply equally here. When, of course, it does.

The recent spat over kirpans in Quebec's legislative assembly is a case in point. Three weeks ago a group of observant Sikhs were turned away from the assembly building after they refused to leave their kirpans, small ceremonial daggers, with security. This week Quebec MLAs voted unanimously to support the ban.

In Ottawa this issue has been handled with great delicacy - as though it were the unfortunate act of a misguided cousin. Neither of the major parties quite knows what to do when one "oppressed" minority flexes its cultural muscles in a clash with another "oppressed" minority. The political reflexes cancel each other out.

Canadians have grown accustomed over the past 40 years to thinking it's rude to assert shared values - secularism, free speech, gender equality, religious pluralism, racial equality, the right to laugh at anything - when they conflict with the religious observances of a minority.

Cameron's point is Britons can no longer safely allow this to continue. The demonstrated murderous capacity of British homegrown militant Islam, in particular, has proven this.

The same applies here. We must become more intolerant of intolerance. We must insist on live-and-let-live, rather than simply advocate for it and hope for the best.

A simple way to make this point in Canada would be to amend the Oath of Citizenship, to include a vow to uphold values of tolerance, liberty and gender equality. Yet none of the parties in Ottawa want to go there.

Why not? Conservatives are afraid it would backfire, alienating communities they're working hard to woo. And Liberals are stuck in their belief that state-sponsored multiculturalism is a sacred cow.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


13 February, 2011

Once again: British police not interested in real policing

They prefer to harass decent people over trivia. It's easier to meet their "targets" that way. A once-lauded police force has been destroyed by 13 years of Leftist control

A detective whose work may have saved the lives of seven prostitutes trafficked into Britain was allegedly told by her boss: `I'm not interested in trafficking. I am interested in burglaries.' Detective Constable Jennifer Coleman, 33, claims senior officers tried to `conceal' the scale of the trafficking because they feared a major investigation would tie up resources and leave them unable to meet crime detection targets.

DC Coleman told an employment tribunal that colleagues put the lives of many women in danger when they refused to raise the status of a human trafficking case she was leading to a nationwide level. The officer made the claims as she sued South Wales Police for discrimination under whistleblower laws. It is understood she is seeking a total of œ30,000 for loss of earnings and hurt feelings.

The tribunal in Cardiff heard that DC Coleman was seconded to a national serious organised crime task force in January 2006 to join an investigation into the trafficking of women from Eastern Europe to work as prostitutes in Britain. She was the officer in charge of two trafficking cases and the point of contact for two victims of a crime ring which had brought them to the UK and set them to work as prostitutes at a brothel in Cardiff.

In a statement, DC Coleman said she had `received positive feedback' for her work, but after nearly a year with the task force she was transferred back to CID. She claimed her CID colleagues treated her trafficking work with `disdain' and that her new `line manager', Detective Sergeant Chris Cullen, `did not appreciate' that she still had work to do on her human trafficking cases. DC Coleman complained to Detective Inspector Gary Osborne that she felt `bullied' and that this was impacting on her health.

On New Year's Eve 2006 she received a call from the madam of a Cardiff brothel in `a hysterical state' telling her that a trafficked woman was working as a prostitute at her premises and that the victim's pimp was `bashing at the door'.

The victim told police she had been trafficked from her home in Eastern Europe to Sheffield, then to Cardiff. The next day the victim said seven more women were being held in a brothel in Sheffield and forced into prostitution. DC Coleman made contact with a detective at South Yorkshire Police.

`He explained that one of the names I had given had been at the centre of a very large investigation into human trafficking,' she said. `The information I passed on saved the lives of seven females and has led to the arrest of national and international targets.'

DC Coleman, who still works as a detective for South Wales Police, said she knew her career would be finished as a result of passing information to South Yorkshire Police. She added: `I believe that South Wales Police did not want me to pass the intelligence on as it would have led to an expensive joint force investigation. It would have impacted on our detection rates.'

DC Coleman said she was told by DI Osborne not to deal with trafficking cases any more, but in March 2007 she received a message from a contact saying he had `urgent information about trafficked females in Cardiff needing assistance'. She wrote the details on a piece of paper and handed it to DS Cullen, saying: `I am aware I am not to deal with any human trafficking, therefore can someone deal with this.'

DC Coleman claims he took the piece of paper from her, screwed it up and said: `I'm not interested in trafficking. I am interested in burglaries.' He then walked off.

She was accused by South Wales Police's barrister, Jonathan Walters, of being `a plausible liar'.


Sexism alive and well in British Girl Guides

A teenage boy barred from a Girl Guides meeting has accused the organisation of sexual discrimination. Thomas Desai, 17, was invited by two female friends to join them at their weekly session at the Guide hut, but he was turned away at the door.

'I made the assumption, as girls are welcome to be members of the Scouting movement, I would be welcome,' said Thomas, from Crowborough, East Sussex.

Sex discrimination laws allow the Guiding movement to exclude boys, but Thomas criticised the organisation's 'backward ethos'. Guiding bosses have fiercely defended their stance, saying it was 'vital' in today's society for a girls-only group to be available.

Sixth-form student Thomas had been invited to a meeting of the Crowborough District Rangers, the section of the Guiding movement for 14- to 26-year-old women, where regular activities include hiking, cooking, crafts and challenges.

'I was disgusted,' he said. 'My friends were surprised. They thought I would be welcome. 'It's not as if I was some strange person going on my own. I was with friends. They turned me away just because I was a male.'

Thomas said he had always been fascinated with Girl Guiding. He said: 'The values of camaraderie and friendship within the movement, as well as the various activities members undertake, appeal to me greatly. 'I have never really had male-orientated hobbies. I'm not interested in football and rugby. I love cooking and eventually want to be a chef. I feel I can engage better with girls than boys.'

Guides were formed in 1910 as a movement for girls in response to the setting up of the Scouts, exclusively for boys, a year earlier.

In the past couple of decades, Scouts troops have been free to accept girls if they choose, but the Guiding movement has remained for girls only.

Thomas said the Guides should open its doors to people like him who were keen to get involved and do something positive but didn't see Scouts for them. 'We are living in 21st-century Britain, where discrimination is not tolerated in any form. Surely these days a person's sex should not define what they are and are not allowed to do,' he said.

'The Guiding movement encourages equality and acceptance, and yet seems to fail itself in practice. 'Times are changing fast and the movement needs to open its eyes and catch up with the rest of society. 'I feel let down that such a backward ethos is still acceptable.'

The Rangers' website describes their meetings as 'informal and spirited'.

Claire Cohen, spokesman for Girlguiding UK, said: 'The young man turned up unexpectedly at the location. He was spoken to by a person who was responsible for a younger age group.

'The Rangers leader had no knowledge of this and would have given him the same message but might have used a slightly more 'teen-friendly' approach to explain to him why we are a girl-only space.' She added: 'Our young members, whom we frequently consult, have repeatedly told us enjoying a safe girl-only space is one of the things they value most about their guiding experience. 'Throughout our 100 years we have always maintained this safe girl-only space for our members.

'We strongly believe that in today's world there remains a vital role for such a space, where girls can be themselves during a formative time in their lives without the pressures of having boys around.'


Yet another false rape claim from Britain

Such claims seem to average about one a week. It is fueled by the feminist practice of taking a woman's word against a man's word

A female chaplain at a Roman Catholic college narrowly avoided jail last night after she admitted falsely accusing a parish priest of rape when he ended their affair.

Father Patrick Udoma lost his job and his home and his life was `completely devastated' when Emma Templeton, 44, lied to police that she had been seriously sexually assaulted by him, a court heard.

The 45-year-old suffered the humiliation of being arrested by police at his church while conducting a funeral, had his home searched, mobile phone confiscated and was locked up for 23 hours in a cell and questioned.

Despite Father Udoma insisting that the pair had enjoyed a consensual relationship, officers refused to accept his protestations of innocence. It wasn't until five months later - when police discovered more than 200 intimate text messages between the couple on Templeton's phone - that he was finally exonerated and she was arrested instead.

Yesterday Templeton, who worked at Cardinal Newman University College, Birmingham, was sentenced to ten months' imprisonment, suspended for a year, after admitting perverting the course of justice.

James Burbidge, QC, the Recorder of Birmingham, said he accepted Templeton had not acted maliciously when she made the rape allegation, but added: `You have committed a very serious offence. `It was created when your relationship with Father Udoma appeared to be coming to an end, and from what you said to him you knew you could cause him trouble.'

Birmingham Crown Court heard that Father Udoma started a relationship with Templeton in 2008 while based at St Rose of Lima Catholic Church, in Weoley Castle, Birmingham.

Shenaz Musaffer, prosecuting, told the court that Templeton first made an allegation of rape against the priest to colleagues in January 2009. She also claimed to have tried, on two occasions, to take her own life by taking an overdose of paracetamol.

However, it wasn't until more than a year later, in April last year, that Templeton, of Northfield, Birmingham, made a formal rape complaint to the police.

Father Udoma was arrested and, under questioning, admitted he had engaged in consensual sex with Templeton on two occasions but said their relationship was over. He told officers she had warned him that she would not be able to guarantee what she would do if he `hurt' her.

Father Udoma was released on bail but it wasn't until September, when police discovered hundreds of text messages on Templeton's phone, in which she declared her love and respect for the priest, that he was finally told no further action would be taken against him.

Templeton was arrested and, the court heard, initially claimed she had lied because the priest had some kind of hold over her. Eventually, however, she told officers she had made the allegations up.

Sally Hancox, defending, said Templeton was of previously good character but had `issues' from her childhood and adolescent life which meant there was still an element of the `emotional child' in her. She added: `She allowed herself to become embroiled in a situation which for many reasons was inappropriate.'

Following the case, a former parishioner, who did not want to be named, told the Birmingham Mail that Father Udoma had been `tormented' by Templeton's `wicked' claims and `didn't deserve what happened to him'. She said he was conducting a funeral at his church on April 15 last year when police arrived to take him into custody.

It is understood Father Udoma has since been reinstated in a different parish.


British hotel owner sparks anger by putting up provocative sign declaring 'Poofters welcome'

A mixed message. "Poofter" is roughly equivalent to the American "faggot"

A hotel owner has caused uproar in his village after putting up a sign outside the building saying 'Poofters welcome here'. Mike Saqui meant the sign to be a pointed reference to the case where a Cornish B&B owner refused to let in gay couples. But many in his village in Hampshire's New Forest were left outraged and he was given a strong talking to by the police.

Mr Saqui wrote the message on the sandwich board outside his Penny Farthing Hotel, on a main road in Hampshire's New Forest. Residents feared they could be branded a 'village of bigots' but others insisted it was 'light-hearted' and urged councillors to 'lighten up'.

Chairman councillor Mark Rolle told the parish council meeting this week that he had been offended by the slogans. He said: 'There have been some amusing signs occasionally. But last weekend I found one that incensed me. 'The realms of decency were overstepped - we could be branded a village of bigots.' Coun. Rolle also said that when he phoned the hotel to complain, a member of staff told him the owner could 'put what he wanted'.

Councillor Paul Boyes said: 'I personally find it offensive. I think it is our duty to say something.' And Angela Trend added: 'I found it offensive. Some people aren't confident enough to go in and make a stand.'

However, other councillors disagreed. Leonard Cornell said: 'It's not offensive, it's a fact. On its website it is listed as gay friendly.' Councillor Pat Wyeth said: 'It wasn't particularly appropriate but it is not something the parish council should get involved with.

'On the whole it is only that last one and the one just before which caused offence. I honestly do not think it is something we should get involved with - the police should have a word if it oversteps the mark. If someone is offended by it, go in and say it.'

Mr Saqui, 45, said: 'This is a just a storm in a teacup and the parish council has overreacted. 'I've been writing fun, comical messages on the A-board for the last 10 years and no harm is meant by them. 'We have a small minded parish council who have their knickers in a twist and I just want to get on running a business.

'This is the political correctness culture gone mad. The latest message is not homophobic, we welcome gays, lesbians or whoever.

'After we did receive a complaint and I took the board in - and then I received complaints from people saying 'don't let the naysayers win'.

'I can't believe the police were sent round to have a word either, it's a ridiculous waste of their time. A few bad apples on the parish council will not stop me writing my messages.'

A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said police had 'spoken with the hotel's management about the issues'.


A black trouble-maker and a politically-correct council combine to do a lot of harm to innocent people

Anna Farquhar has spent most of her life helping others - first as a nurse, then running a branch of St John Ambulance, a job she performed with distinction for more than 20 years. When she retired, she took up voluntary work with the armed services charity Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA).

But the latest entry on her CV - and the reason you are reading about her today - is that of chairman of a local health watchdog in her native Wiltshire.

If truth be told, it was a job no one really wanted. It involved a mountain of paperwork, as well as endless meetings in draughty halls. But, aged 70 and a grandmother of five, Mrs Farquhar agreed to take on the job last May. The position, it should be stressed, was unpaid.

The only `perk', apart from the satisfaction that comes from doing such a valuable, if thankless, task was the free tea and biscuits provided when she and her fellow volunteers met up.

But today, the `thoroughly decent' Mrs Farquhar (not our words, but those of her colleagues) is a near-broken woman after being publicly vilified and humiliated.

What happened to her is not just a personal tragedy for Mrs Farquhar, but also an indictment of the kind of society we have now become, where the pernicious culture of political correctness holds sway and common sense has all but disappeared.

The story begins at a Scout hut in the village of Potterne Wick, near Devizes, where Mrs Farquhar lives with husband, Ian, 68, and where she has been a `pillar of the community' for many years. Could there be a more unlikely setting for controversy?

But it was here back in August that Mrs Farquhar's group, Wiltshire Involvement Network (WIN), convened. Towards the end of the meeting, Mrs Farquhar noted that gossip about NHS changes had been spreading within the health service, remarking: `You cannot help the jungle drums.' The phrase, as everyone must know, is a commonly used expression similar to `rumour mill' or `grapevine'.

Well, not everyone. Almost before Mrs Farquhar had finished her sentence, a voice from the public gallery rang out: `You can't say that.' The voice belonged to Sonia Carr.

Mrs Carr, 50, a veteran equality campaigner, claimed the remark was racist. Mrs Farquhar did not think she had said anything offensive, racially or otherwise, but apologised out of courtesy. That was the end of the matter. Or so it seemed. Mrs Carr even remained behind for refreshments and sandwiches after proceedings had been concluded.

One month went by, then two, then three. Finally, on November 17 - some 13 weeks after the meeting in the Scout hut - a ten-page report landed on Mrs Farquhar's desk with the sinister sounding title 'Complaint Investigator's Report'.

It had been commissioned by Wiltshire County Council. The authority, it transpired, had received an official complaint from Mrs Carr about the `jungle drums' aside.

But, as far as Mrs Farquhar was concerned, the document marked `confidential' might just as well have been produced by a Communist politburo, such were its astonishing findings. `The comment [jungle drums],' it informed her, `was inappropriate and caused offence.' Underneath, written in capital letters, were the words: COMPLAINT UPHELD. Indeed, those words seemed to be everywhere. Her colleagues had `failed to challenge' her statement: COMPLAINT UPHELD. There was a `clear lack of understanding of equality and diversity issues' among the group: COMPLAINT UPHELD.

Mrs Carr had been interviewed, of course, before the report was published. So, too, had members of other organisations that had dealings with Mrs Farquhar and her team.

Scandalously, though, the only person who wasn't interviewed was Mrs Farquhar herself or anyone on the 20-strong `steering committee' who were present in the Scout hut. Except one, that is. And she was the one colleague who agreed with Sonia Carr. Those with high blood pressure should perhaps turn away now, for this is only half the story.

One revelation, in particular, in the report that left Mrs Farquhar's good name besmirched - unjustifiably and unfairly in the view of practically everyone apart from Mrs Carr and the politically correct jobsworths over at county hall - leapt off the page.

The sentence read: `The complainant [Sonia Carr] explained that she suffered real pain and was emotionally upset by the comment made and this has had an impact on her health and her family.' Yes, that's the same Sonia Carr who stayed behind for sandwiches and mingled happily with Mrs Farquhar and her colleagues after the fateful meeting.

Presumably, Mrs Carr, vice-chairman of the Wiltshire Racial Equality Council, must have suffered a great deal of `pain' and `emotional `upset' in recent years. Why? Because this is not the first time she has she raised race issues. She has made a string of complaints against various public bodies, of which more later.

But still the council supported her unreservedly and, in the process, came close to destroying the reputation of a woman with an outstanding record of public service. That in itself is shocking enough. But the authority's policy of appeasement towards Mrs Carr hasn't just had disastrous consequences for Mrs Farquhar.

Like its counterparts up and down the country, Mrs Farquhar's organisation worked hand-in-hand with local authorities, monitoring NHS trusts and social care services, carrying out hospital inspections, among other things, and investigating grievances on behalf of patients.

Following the `jungle drums' farrago, all volunteers working under Mrs Farquhar - 200 of them across Wiltshire - were banned from council premises and meetings. They were even forbidden from communicating with councillors in any way. Funding to cover the watchdog's administration costs was punitively withdrawn.

So a valuable public service was paralysed and a scandal, which had dragged on for more than six months - at an untold cost to the taxpayer - had now managed to turn an army of well-meaning and selfless individuals into pariahs.

All because of an innocuous turn of phrase that has long been part of everyday speech. Wiltshire County Council didn't want you to find out about this, of course, and has done everything it can to stop information about the `jungle drums' affair getting out.

But the story was leaked to a local paper, the Salisbury Journal, last week. Cue a swift and embarrassing climb down this week when the `ban' was lifted and funding reinstated. Could there be a more shoddy abuse of power by a supposedly democratically accountable institution?

It follows the saga of a black councillor in Bristol who called her Asian rival a 'coconut' (slang for someone who is betraying their roots by pandering to `white opinion' because a coconut is white in the middle but brown on the outside) during a political debate.

Not a nice expression, certainly. Many might find it offensive. But common sense was the real victim when the councillor was prosecuted and subsequently convicted of racially aggravated harassment.

This offence was introduced under laws to deal with the Far Right marching through areas like Southall in Manchester or Islamic fanatics descending on military funeral processions in Wootton Bassett. Not squabbles in the council chamber.

The same culture - a kind of politically correct fascism - which resulted in `Coconutgate' and too many other examples to mention, was also at the heart of the `jungle drums' farce.

It's a culture epitomised and exploited by the likes of the wretched Sonia Carr, who has made a career out of causing trouble.

A separate complaint from Mrs Carr against Wiltshire Police is still under investigation. `I can confirm this lady has expressed concern about posters displayed at one of our stations,' a spokesman revealed yesterday.

The nature of the complaint? Mrs Carr, a married mother-of-two from Warminster, was unhappy, it is alleged, about the `lack of black officers' in the posters. Mrs Carr, whose husband is believed to work in the Army, has also complained about two officers at Wiltshire County Council, we have been told, and has targeted Anna Farquhar's health watchdog on a previous occasion, too.

That gripe arose from a public meeting, organised by the watchdog, at the Corn Exchange in Devizes in April 2009, to discuss how people with dementia can best be supported. One member of the audience pointed out that sufferers sometimes found it hard to eat non-British dishes prepared by volunteers from ethnic minorities.

Mrs Carr, who was present, demanded an apology for the observation, which she deemed to be offensive, from the then chairman Phil Matthews. He refused to indulge Mrs Carr after seeking legal advice. `I warned the council then about her,' said Mr Matthews, who, it turns out, is also member of the local Coalition Against Racism.

Even so, the row rumbled on for a year before Mrs Carr went away. A few months later she was back, `tut-tutting' from her seat in the Scout hut. Little wonder that Mrs Farquhar was heard to say `not this again' when Sonia Carr protested about her -`jungle drums' remark.

The man blamed - even by many of his own colleagues on the Tory-run council - for allowing the complaint to escalate is deputy leader John Thomson. `The law makes it clear that what matters is not the intention of the person who uses the phrase but whether anyone is offended by it,' he said.

By that logic, `Chinese -whispers', `black magic', `brown bread', and `Indian summer' could soon be on the banned list in Wiltshire - and elsewhere - along with countless other popular phrases. In fact, Cllr Thomson, like everyone else involved in this politically correct witch-hunt, is hiding behind the law (which includes a clear -`reasonableness test') to avoid -making sensible decisions. That is evident from the `confidential' correspondence between the council and the health watchdog.

In December, after the complaint against the watchdog was upheld, Mrs Farquhar sent a response to the authority `rejecting any notion of racism concerning the term "jungle drums"' and cited `its wide usage as a company name', giving as an example the Jungle Drums marketing consultancy in Dorset, whose previous clients include the Metropolitan Police. The council ignored the evidence.

Mrs Farquhar wanted to know what grounds there were for Sonia Carr's claim that she suffered `real pain', `emotional upset' and adverse effects on her `health and family'. The council did not tell her.

The report, Mrs Farquhar, pointed out, accused her of making a `weak' apology to Mrs Carr. `What does "weak" mean?' she asked. `Whose judgement is this? The Complaint Investigator [council officer Heather Ludlow who was at the meeting in the Scout hut] was not present at that particular point and must, therefore, be accepting the judgement of someone else.' The council did not respond.

Mrs Farquhar said that the procedures followed by the Complaint Investigator were `unsound and unjust', that the findings were `all in one direction' and that she and her colleagues never had an `opportunity to defend' their position, which `defies common justice'. `It is matter of great regret this matter has taken so long to resolve,' Mrs Farquhar said. `It has caused me great personal stress and I will be glad to get back to work serving the community.'

Colleagues say Mrs Farquhar has `visibly aged' over the past six months. At her home in Devizes yesterday, her husband Ian, 68, a former local government education official, apologised for his wife being unable to come to the door. `She is shattered at the moment,' he said.

At county hall, councillors said they were furious about the way the authority has behaved and would be calling for a public inquiry. One letter in the Salisbury Journal summed up the local mood: `How reassuring for taxpayers to know that our representatives, while debating our precious health service, can find the time and money to investigate what can only be described as trivial complaint.

`As for the council being "legally obliged"' to investigate, this compounds the idiotic with the futile. Why wasn't this individual taken to one side and informed that the term jungle drums offends no one?'

What a pity the useless Cllr Thomson or one of the highly paid (maybe that should read -`overpaid') officials he relied on for advice couldn't have taken such a view six months ago and spared a -`thoroughly decent' woman from a very public and humiliating ordeal.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


12 February, 2011

Now Sarkozy declares multiculturalism has failed

French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday declared that multiculturalism had failed, joining a growing number of world leaders or ex-leaders who have condemned it.

"We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him," he said in a television interview in which he declared the concept a "failure".

Prime Minister David Cameron last month pronounced his country's long-standing policy of multiculturalism a failure, calling for better integration of young Muslims to combat home-grown extremism.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australia's former prime minister John Howard and former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar have also in recent months said multicultural policies have not successfully integrated immigrants.


Canadian multiculturalism is failing too: Tarek Fatah

A prominent voice in Canada’s Muslim community said British Prime Minister David Cameron was “spot on” when he insisted British multiculturalism has failed. And just like Britain, Canada’s will fail, said Muslim Canadian Congress founder Tarek Fatah.

He said Monday that, like Britain, Canada has been too tolerant in allowing Muslim immigrants to settle into closed communities, some of which preach Islamic values and a hatred toward the West. “The Canadian multicultural model has failed, as the British model has,” said Fatah. “When first generation (Muslims) are more loyal to Canada than the second generation, then we have sufficient evidence to say that multiculturalism has failed.”

Citing the Toronto 18 terrorist plot as an example of the extremism that can result from ethnic isolation, Fatah said he hoped Canada can “pick up on” the points Cameron made in a controversial speech on Saturday.

While speaking at a security conference in Germany, Cameron called for an end to Britain’s “passive tolerance” of divided ethnic communities. He also said beefing up was needed in the prevention of extremism.

Fatah said Canada’s Liberal and Conservative governments push a tolerant, passive form of multiculturalism as a way of preserving votes. “The newcomer finds solace in his or her own community,” said Fatah, “and when there is states-sponsored multiculturalism, there are people who make money out of the marginalization of these people.”

Multiculturalism in Canada hasn’t failed, countered Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress. But pockets of younger immigrants — particularly Muslims — have been slow to integrate into a Canadian way of life. “(They) are not moving forward as quickly as we did in generations past,” said Farber. “You can have a large population of Muslims living in one area, and they have not yet seemed to be able to break out entirely from that one area and become part of the Canadian fabric.”


Cameron is right, and multiculturalism has failed

Some relevant facts from Australia

Andrew Bolt

HOW mad has multiculturalism made us? Dangerously so, when it’s had us financing even an Osama bin Laden fan club.

Let me tell you of this perfect example of all that’s wrong with multiculturalism, a policy to sponsor what divides us.

Then you might understand why the speech British Prime Minister David Cameron gave last week, demanding an end to the great multiculturalism disaster, must be heard here, too.

The Islamic Youth Movement used to meet in Australia’s biggest mosque, the one in Lakemba presided over by Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, for years the Mufti of Australia, despite praising suicide bombers, backing the Hezbollah terrorist group, calling the September 11 attacks “God’s work against oppressors” and saying uncovered Australian girls invited rape.

Among its activities, the IYM published a magazine called Call to Islam, edited by Bilal Khazal.

In it appeared fawning interviews with members of some of the world’s worst terrorist groups, including the one that bombed the World Trade Centre in 1993 and another that killed 58 tourists in Luxor, Egypt.

It even interviewed—and praised—al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, who’d already declared war on the West and was planning his September 11 attacks on the United States.

It also published articles by extremists such as its translator, Keysar Trad, now head of the Islamic Friendship Association, who wrote: “The criminal dregs of white society colonised this country, and now, they only take the select choice of other societies, and the descendants of these criminal dregs tell us that they are better than us.”

Now here’s how our government-funded prophets of multiculturalism and their fellow travellers dealt with this hotbed of imported hate and us-against-them separatism.

Khazal’s youth movement was not punished (at first), but given three government grants. Two were multicultural grants totalling nearly $7000 from the NSW Government, to teach its supporters not English but Arabic.

The other was a federal work-for-the-dole grant to spruce up its office and arrange its library of propaganda.

Yes, true. How perfectly multicultural. Here were our multicultural commissars, so broad-minded, encouraging young Muslim Australians to keep their distance, speak Arabic, loathe their new home and recruit others for their jihad.

So tolerant of us. So insane.

In 2001, SBS, the multicultural broadcaster, filmed him [Hilai] in his mosque praising suicide bombers as “heroes” days before September 11.

Then came the terror attacks, and rather than show Australians proof that the ideology that had just killed 2985 people, including 10 Australians, was shared in at least part by our most prominent Muslim cleric, SBS destroyed the tape.

It would give us the “wrong idea”, it claimed. Which actually means the “right idea”—about Hilali, Islam in Australia and the multicultural project of which SBS is a beneficiary.

It is true that our politicians have quietly rowed back a bit already from the extremes of the multicultural policies they so stupidly inflicted on us.

Even the Gillard Government no longer has a minister for multicultural affairs, rebadging that position as Minister for Citizenship instead. Meanwhile, extremists are more likely to be shunned, and multicultural agencies proclaim loyalty to Australian values, even if they do little to promote them.

It’s taken Muslim immigration to break multiculturalism here as it has in both Britain and Germany, where the Chancellor, Angela Merkel, three months ago declared the policy had “failed, utterly failed”.

Whether I keep wearing my Dutch clogs and eating poffertjes—or wear R. M. Williams and eat pies—is entirely my personal business, and there’s no public benefit in a government grant to make me stay more “Dutch”.

Similarly, it’s no business of, say, the Victorian Government to encourage groups that are marked off along racial, ethnic or religious lines.

Yet watch it go, showering $10 million a year in multicultural grants on the Somaliland Society of Australia, Burmese Muslim Community Association, United Women’s Group of Liberia, Hellenic Writers’ Association, Mexican Social and Cultural Association, and 2000 more of their like.

Our governments’ most fundamental duty is not to keep a community divided into tribes, but to defend the shared values that are our only hope of making a one out of many.

So how about a little more loving for the things that unite us, whether it’s our history, symbols, institutions or traditional values?

More here

Australia: Hefty bill for Muslim women's privacy at public swimming pool

Why can't the local mosque pay?

RATEPAYERS could be stung up to $45,000 to install curtains at a public pool so Muslim women can have privacy during a female-only exercise classes. The City of Monash has won an exemption from equal opportunity laws to run the sessions outside normal opening hours. The council says the privacy screen is needed for "cultural reasons".

It follows moves by other councils to introduce women-only sessions for the Muslim community, such as Greater Dandenong asking a tribunal to approve a ban on uncovered shoulders and thighs for those attending a family event at a pool.

Special exercise classes for women will be held at the Clayton Community Centre every second Sunday evening after VCAT gave the green light this week.

Ross Buscemi, director of refugee charity group the New Hope Foundation, said his organisation had lobbied for the sessions on behalf of Muslim women, mostly from African countries including Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. Mr Buscemi said the women had sought separate classes for cultural reasons and curtains or blinds were needed to protect their privacy because the centre had glass walls.

"At night, when the lights are on inside, everybody in there can be seen - it's a broader privacy issue, not just for the women," he said. "It's stopping anybody perving on anybody in there really."

But Ratepayers Victoria president Jack Davis said it was disgraceful for councils to subsidise programs that segregated people. "People come to Australia because it's a better place," he said. "So then you should become Australian and abide by the customs of Australia, not change Australia to suit your customs from another country."

Monash councillors accepted that the women couldn't use the pool in normal hours for cultural and religious reasons. They were told the special classes would address issues such as "obesity, social isolation and lack of physical strength".

Monash mayor Greg Male said the council sought funding from the Victorian Multicultural Commission to help meet the $45,000 cost of curtains or blinds for the pool.

Similar women-only programs at public pools are run at Monash University, Dandenong Oasis recreation centre and the Don Tatnell Leisure Centre in Parkdale.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


11 February, 2011

Hateful British police again

'Theft by finding': Woman who took potato waffles and pies thrown out by supermarket is handcuffed and charged with stealing

A woman was handcuffed and 'treated like a hardened criminal' after she helped herself to food worth £200 that had been thrown away by a Tesco store following a power cut. Dozens of people could not believe their luck after the outlet of the supermarket giant bagged up thousands of pounds of spoiled stock and left it out in the street.

Sasha Hall, 21, helped herself to potato waffles, pies and ham from outside the Tesco Express in Great Baddow, Essex. But she was stunned when police arrived at her home and arrested her for suspected 'theft by finding' and took her to the station in handcuffs.

'There was £3,000 worth of food going to waste on the street,' she told the Essex Chronicle. 'It had been thrown out, so I thought I could put it to better use. 'When the police came round I was so upset. I felt like a terrible criminal.'

The shop worker said the supermarket - which has the motto 'Every little helps' - should have been pleased that the food would be put to good use. She said: 'I would think the police have better things to be doing with their time than going after people who pick up potato waffles from the street. It's all been blown totally out of proportion.

'Tesco clearly did not want the food. They dumped it and rather than see it go to waste, I thought I could help feed me and my family for a week or two.'

Ms Hall, from Great Baddow, said she was shocked by the way the police dealt with the incident. 'They knocked at the door and said if I didn't open up they would use a battering ram,' she said. 'They handcuffed me and treated me like I was a hardened criminal and when we left they raided my house.

'I haven't got lots of money. I only make £600 a month. I'm on the brink of getting kicked out of my flat because I can't pay my arrears.'

A Tesco spokesman said: 'We are assisting the police with their inquiries. We seek to minimise waste in all our stores and where possible will seek to reuse and recycle it.'

Ms Hall, who works part-time at a rival supermarket in Chelmsford, is to appear in magistrates court on February 16 charged with theft by finding.


Couples turn to welfare fraud because we don't support marriage says prominent Tory as he attacks Britain's 'crazy' welfare system

Britain's ‘crazy’ welfare system is turning committed young couples into fraudsters because getting married or living together means they will take a drastic cut in income, Iain Duncan Smith warns today. So, instead of seeing their living standards plummet, many co-habiting couples on benefits are deceiving the State by pretending to live at different addresses.

Making the strongest defence of marriage from a senior government minister for more than a decade, he will launch a scathing attack on Labour for creating this ‘couple penalty’ in the welfare system. In remarks that set him dramatically at odds with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the Work and Pensions Secretary will insist the Coalition is determined to support marriage as ‘our most basic and successful institution’.

Mr Duncan Smith, who has long championed measures to support stable, two-parent families, will promise reforms to both benefits and tax in their favour.

Couples living together receive less than they would if they claimed separately, even accounting for the savings from sharing a home.

The result is that a majority of those who are out of work or in part-time work say they would be worse off living as a couple, with tens of thousands committing fraud by pretending they live apart.

While huge numbers of young people still aspire to get married, the hurdles placed in their way by the State risk the institution becoming the preserve of the better off, Mr Duncan Smith will say.

‘Not only that, but this crazy system can have the effect of pushing the most disadvantaged in society into the most destructive behaviour - namely criminal activity - as they attempt to get around the couple penalty by committing living together fraud,’ he will add. ‘There could scarcely be a more tragic state of affairs - government, in stifling people’s genuine aspirations to build positive and committed families, pushes them into criminal activity instead.

'Over the years the political establishment has frowned if a mainstream politician mentions marriage. The prevailing view was that to extol the virtues of this most fundamental institution somehow meant that you were going to stigmatise those who were not married. This is an absurd and damaging assumption.’

Mr Duncan Smith will commit the Government to tackling the couple penalty in benefit payments when it introduces its ‘universal credit’, a catch-all benefit replacing Labour’s complex range of handouts. The new system, he will say, will give ministers the scope to ‘make clear decisions over how they increase support for certain groups’.

In a speech marking the launch of Marriage Week, the Work and Pensions Secretary will also insist the Coalition will reward marriage through tax breaks – though the policy is on the back burner as the Government tackles the deficit and it is firmly opposed by the Lib Dems. ‘The Prime Minister continues to be committed to recognising marriage in the tax system,’ he will say.

Mr Duncan Smith will dismiss suggestions by Mr Clegg that supporting the institution is ‘finger wagging’. While ministers have no place moralising about people’s relationships, they must ensure a level playing field and consider the devastating impact of family breakdown, he will argue. The financial costs of family breakdowns are now estimated at between £20billion and £40billion each year, and there is clear evidence about the growing human cost too.

Those not growing up in a two-parent family are 75 per cent more likely to fail at school, 70 per cent more likely to become addicted to drugs and 50 per cent more likely to have an alcohol problem, Mr Duncan Smith will say.

Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, he will add, has found that children from separate families have a higher chance of living in poor housing and developing behavioural problems. ‘Young people are very clear that they want to marry… so if people from the youngest age aspire to make such a commitment in their lives, what stops them doing so?’ Mr Duncan Smith will ask.

‘Only those with money say that money has no bearing on whether people stay together. ‘Government cannot and should not try to lecture people or push them on this matter, but it is quite legitimate to ensure people have the opportunity to achieve their aspirations. ‘That is why we are investing £30million in relationship support and are committed to reducing the couple penalty.’

He will also suggest that marriage is the ‘best antidote’ to a culture of celebrity and self-obsession. ‘Today through our celebrity-focused media we give awards to so many different groups,’ he will say. ‘Yet the most basic institution, which nurtures each generation and from which so many of us draw our strength and purpose, goes unnoticed and unrewarded.’


Obama Administration hid the role of political correctness in spawning Fort Hood massacre

A Muslim soldier, Nidal Hasan, shot dead 12 soldiers and a civilian at Fort Hood, shouting the religious expression "Allahu Akbar." But the Obama Administration’s inquiry into the shootings falsely suggested Islamic extremism was not a factor in the shootings. Its report on the Fort Hood massacre did not even “mention the words ‘Islam’ and ‘Muslim’ once,” referring to the killer simply as the "alleged perpetrator." Instead, it claimed the tragedy resulted from “bureaucratic shortcomings” in the “sharing of information.”

But now Senators like Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins are taking issue with that whitewash report: “the federal government needs to drop the political correctness and call violent Islamic extremism what it is, according to a newly released report on the Fort Hood shooting by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.”

Prior to the shooting, the killer had said that Muslims should rise up against the military, "repeatedly expressed sympathy for suicide bombers," was pleased by the terrorist murder of an army recruiter, and engaged in hate-speech against non-Muslims, publicly calling for the beheading or burning of non-Muslims, and talking "about how if you’re a nonbeliever the Koran says you should have your head cut off, you should have oil poured down your throat, you should be set on fire." “In addition, Hasan openly had suggested revenge as a defense for the 9/11 attacks, defended Osama bin Laden, and said his allegiance to his religion was greater than his allegiance to the constitution.”

But the military did nothing to remove him from a position where he could harm others. Although his views were common knowledge, "a fear of appearing discriminatory . . . kept officers from filing a formal written complaint," the Associated Press noted. Moreover, “a key official on a review committee reportedly asked how it might look to terminate a key resident who happened to be a Muslim," as NPR noted.

As military attorney Thomas Kenniff notes, there is a climate of “obsessive political correctness” right now in the military. As Major Shawn Keller pointed out, in a column entitled “An Officer’s Outrage Over Fort Hood.” “There was no shortage of warning signs that Hasan identified more with Islamic Jihadists than he did with the US Army. . .But just like September 11, those agencies and individuals charged with keeping America and Americans safe failed to connect the dots that would have saved lives. Jihadist rhetoric espoused by Hasan was categorically dismissed out of submissiveness to the concepts of tolerance and diversity. . . . the leaders in Hasan’s chain-of-command failed to act . . . out of fear of being labeled anti-Muslim and receiving a negative evaluation report.”

The military is not like the outside world. In the civilian world, hate speech and anti-American speech are protected by the First Amendment (under Supreme Court decisions like R.A.V. v. St. Paul, and court rulings like Dambrot v. Central Michigan University). But in the military, soldiers get punished for bigotry or disloyalty all the time – but not Nidal Hasan, who escaped any punishment due to obvious favoritism.

In court cases like Goldman v. Weinberger, the Supreme Court has said that soldiers have fewer First Amendment rights than civilians. The military cites this all the time when it wants to punish soldiers for politically-incorrect speech, like the soldier who was punished for a sexist insult about liberal Congresswoman Pat Schroeder (D-Colo.) in the aftermath of the Tailhook Scandal. But the military did not apply not enforce its policies against seditious speech or bigoted hate-speech to this soldier, because of political correctness. Instead, it kept him working with injured American veterans, a position for which he was manifestly unfit.

Obama could barely bring himself to mention the tragedy, much less express sympathy for the victims, in his initial remarks about it, in which he buried any expression of sympathy in the middle of a speech filled with "wildly disconnected" ramblings about an unrelated topic, starting with a "joking shout-out." Even for liberal journalists, President Obama's initial response to the tragedy was embarrassing. Even the liberal Boston Globe, which endorsed Obama in 2008, chided the President for a speech lacking in "empathy" for the victims. Despite the shooter's open hatred towards America, the military, and America's non-Muslim majority, Obama insisted that the shooter's motive for the killings was unknown.

The Obama Administration then did its best to hide the role of political correctness in spawning the tragedy by appointing two supporters of racial preferences in the military – former Army Secretary Togo West and Admiral Vernon Clark – to handle the federal inquiry into the tragedy. This was like appointing a fox to guard a henhouse. At the conclusion of their inquiry, West and Clark came out with a ridiculous report that did not even mention the word “Islam” or “Muslim,” much less address the Islamic extremism that motivated the shootings. Based on these men’s track record, the Obama Administration expected – and wanted – exactly such a whitewash report.

“Clark was such an enthusiast for 'diversity'” that “he redefined the Navy’s concept of special minorities to include religious (read Muslim)" groups, not just racial minorities. Similarly, “Togo West never saw an affirmative action policy or minority preference policy he didn’t like,” and was such a diversity zealot that he filed an amicus brief in an affirmative-action case that didn’t even involve the military, unsuccessfully urging the Supreme Court to uphold racial quotas in the public schools – something it instead struck down in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District). Clark’s devotion to preferential treatment was reflected in his order “that the Navy increase the number of minority candidates for officer commissions by 25 per cent,” which “led to a double standard” at “places like the Naval Academy at Annapolis, where the entry standards for minorities are noticeably lower than for white applicants.”

Even today, military leaders remain wedded to the concept of “diversity” at the expense of equal treatment, engaging in racial discrimination at the military academies in the name of “diversity,” including mandating racial preferences in admissions. The Naval Academy illegally retaliated against a faculty member who criticized its use of racial preferences in admissions (the Naval Academy listed “diversity”as its “number one priority,” above learning).

Military leaders, catering to liberal Congressional leaders and the Obama Administration, cling tightly to the "diversity" dogma, demanding that those in the military keep silent rather than saying things that might call into question their "diversity" obsession:

"Naval Academy senior commanders decided during the World Series to remove two Midshipmen from the color guard that appeared. What was their offense? The color guard was deemed too white and too male. There was accordingly a push to make the color guard more 'diverse.' Two members of the color guard were removed and replaced by a Pakistani and a woman to achieve the requisite 'diversity.' The Pakistani unfortunately forgot his cap and shoes. He himself had to be replaced at the last minute by one of the two middies removed earlier. The midshipmen have reportedly been ordered not to speak of these events."

I am definitely not arguing for a ban on Muslims in the military.

The military has a critical shortage of, and need for, translators who speak languages like Pashto (spoken in Afghanistan), Urdu (spoken in Pakistan) and Arabic. These translators are often Muslim, and they should be welcome in the military. But neither should the military exempt Muslims from the rules of conduct imposed on soldiers of other religions.

That is an insult to the principle of equality under the law. Hasan's anti-American rants would not have been tolerated even in the armies of Muslim countries allied with the U.S., like say Albania.

In an absurd display of political correctness, early media reports on the tragedy barely mentioned the religion angle, choosing instead to highlight the irrelevant fact that the killer was an "army psychiatrist" or the false claim that he was a veteran with PTSD (which he wasn't: he never even served overseas).

Even after the killer's religious motive for the shootings became obvious, many liberal commentators, like The Atlantic's Max Fisher, were quick to deny it and jump to the opposite conclusion. Fisher lectured his readers that the killer "appears to not have been motivated by his Muslim religion, his Palestinian heritage . . . or any related political causes," and falsely suggested that those pointing to contrary evidence were "Islamophobic."



Equality and equal opportunity for women even during the processions of Holy Week

In a Spain with Zapatero's human rights even the Church is falling in line and stated the "total equality" of the members of the arch-confraternities that participate in the traditional processions. Such is the content of a decree on the new Diocesan regulation signed by the archbishop of Seville, monsignor Juan José Asenjo Pelegrina, that was distributed today to the media.

In the decree the archbishop calls for respect of the "total equality of rights" between members of the arch-confraternities, "without any discrimination because of sex, including the participation to penitence stations as an act of external worship".

The archbishop of Seville expressed "the will to end a process that dates back to 1997", so that women may participate in the penitence stations of the Holy Week, under the same conditions as the men, including in the role of 'costalero', the bearer of the heavy carts that replicate the steps of the passion of Christ.

Already in 1997 the Diocesan regulations established equal rights between the brothers and sisters of the arch-confraternities. In 2001, the then archbishop of Seville Carlos Amigo Vallejo insisted on this line in a call to the confraternities.

A few decades ago the first women dressed as Nazarenes appeared in the processions. Now they will also have to be accepted as bearers, thanks to the decree that will enter into force on March 2.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


10 February, 2011

Britain's intolerant and oppressive Left

Labour frontbencher Sadiq Khan should be thoroughly ashamed of his despicable, though utterly predictable, ­attack on David Cameron. Far from bolstering the Far Right, the Prime Minister has commendably reclaimed the debate about state-­sponsored multiculturalism. His speech was measured and not in the slightest way inflammatory.

For too long, anyone who has questioned this pernicious doctrine has been smeared as ‘racist’. Labour spent a decade and a half trashing those who expressed ­concerns about unlimited immigration and the refusal of some ethnic groups to integrate into British society.

And as a consequence, decent people found themselves smeared as extremists and a minority regrettably sought refuge in the arms of the BNP. Some of those same people are now ­flirting with the street thugs of the English Defence League. It’s because they feel they have nowhere else to go.

But be under no illusion, Nick Griffin is the bastard son of Jack Straw and every other Left-wing politician who has consistently tried to close down debate on this sensitive subject and routinely rubbished their opponents as racists and ‘Little Englanders’.

Falsely accusing someone of racism is as repellent as racism itself. But Khan will keep his job. You can hurl the most vile smears at anyone these days, provided you insert the word ‘Tory’.

Take the case of the Conservative MP Paul Maynard, who suffers from cerebral palsy and was cruelly mocked by Labour members in the Commons. Can you begin to imagine the reaction if some Conservatives had abused a disabled Labour MP?

They’ll get away with it, though, because he’s a ‘Tory’, so deserves all the contempt he gets. If the lads from Top Gear had insulted Tories instead of Mexicans they would have been hailed as heroes by the Left.

Most of the real hatred and bitterness in Britain comes from those who noisily ­proclaim their own ‘tolerance’ and are quickest to take offence at any real or ­perceived slight. After ‘homophobe’, ‘Islamophobe’, ‘sexist’ and ‘racist’, ‘Tory’ is their favourite slur.

Last week a moderate students’ union leader in Leeds was subjected to a barrage of abuse from demonstrators who called him ‘Tory Jew scum’ — despite him being neither Jewish nor a Conservative. But like ‘Tory’, ‘Jew’ is now an acceptable insult on the Left. So virulent is their hatred of Israel that all Jews are ­considered fair game.

As I exposed in a TV documentary a couple of years ago, the worrying rise in anti-semitism in Britain stems from an unholy alliance between the fascist Left and ­militant Islam.

If these protesters had been screaming ‘Muslim scum’ there would have been a whole host of arrests, questions in the House and a Panorama special on the BBC.

You might expect the Labour leader to have a view on this. Yet Ed Miliband, who is himself Jewish, has stayed silent. His energies are employed in denouncing the wicked ‘Tory cuts’.

There’s an entire industry devoted to seeking out offence and persecuting people for inoffensive remarks. In Wiltshire, a health watchdog has had its funding withdrawn because its chairman was overheard referring to ‘jungle drums’ at a ­public meeting in a local scout hut.

What unites these seemingly different examples of the Prime Minister, a disabled Tory MP, the students’ leader and the lady from the Wiltshire health watchdog is that all are victims of modern-day, Left-wing witch-hunts.

We live in an age when all language is monitored as closely as it was in Communist East Germany and careers are ruined at the drop of a so-called ‘offensive’ remark. Yet the self-appointed moral guardians of the Left believe they have a divine right to hurl whatever slanders they like provided they simultaneously proclaim their own goodness.

So it’s OK to monster ‘Tories’ and ‘Jews’ and make false, hurtful ­allegations of ‘racism’ against a thoroughly decent and selfless 70-year-old woman just as long as your heart is in the right place.

While the Prime Minister is big enough and ugly enough to handle the rough and tumble of political abuse, Mrs Farquhar has had her life turned upside down.

There will be no sanction against Sadiq Khan, or those Labour MPs who mocked Paul Maynard’s ­disability. The demonstrators who called the student leader ‘Tory Jew scum’ will not be prosecuted.

And the smearmonger from the Wiltshire Racial Equality Council will not be forced to apologise and will continue to seek out racism where none exists.

No doubt Sonia Carr considers Mrs Farquhar a symbol of ‘old’ Britain and therefore a perfectly legitimate target for vilification. She’s probably also suspected of voting Tory.


BBC bias still thriving

After failing to bounce the Lib Dems into a ‘progressive’ coalition with Labour, the BBC set itself up as the official opposition to the new Government.

Day after day, horror stories about the ‘cuts’ dominate the Corporation’s news bulletins.

The BBC could choose to report on the massive waste in local government and the 20 per cent pay rises enjoyed by council middle managers, whose ranks and remuneration have swollen under Labour and now cost us £2.8billion a year in wages alone.

It could draw attention to the vast sums of money frittered away on useless and time-­consuming bureaucracy in the police.

But instead it focuses on library closures and Labour’s ludicrous claims that thousands of police are to be sacked and we’re all going to be murdered in our beds because of the ‘cuts’.

All news organisations have an agenda tailored to their own audience. But the BBC isn’t a commercial operation. It is paid for by a poll tax, enforced by law. It has a duty to be ­impartial, yet pumps out a diet of Labour-friendly, political propaganda.

NPR is no better, being hopelessly skewed to the Democrats. But it’s financed by public subscription, not by a licence fee.

The BBC does many good things, but it takes its news agenda from the Guardian, one of Britain’s worst-selling, loss-making newspapers.

While the row over Rupert ­Murdoch buying out the whole of Sky rumbles on, two-thirds of people still get their news from the BBC.

Ten million homes voluntarily subscribe to Sky, so why not to the Beeb? Some people think subscription would spell the end of the BBC. No doubt the poor and minorities would be hardest hit.


An obsession with corporations is driving the Left crazy

Part of a general lurch to the Left among Democrats

In early January, the British medical journal BMJ completed an investigation into one of the most notorious articles in recent history: Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 study in The Lancet claiming that the MMR vaccine, designed to prevent measles, mumps, and rubella, causes autism. The Lancet had already retracted the piece in February 2010 (following a partial retraction in 2004), and Wakefield was stripped of his medical license three months later. BMJ concluded that Wakefield consciously distorted the medical histories of each of the 12 patients on which he based his study. “The MMR scare was based not on bad science but on a deliberate fraud,” Editor in Chief Fiona Godlee wrote. Such “clear evidence of falsification of data should now close the door on this damaging vaccine scare.”

Since the original article was published, vaccination rates have tumbled in the U.K. and U.S., while measles rates have shot up. Certainly Wakefield and The Lancet shoulder some responsibility for the damage done to public health. But bad information does not spread and trigger action (or, in this case, inaction) without a willing audience. The vaccine/autism link has been debunked repeatedly since 1998—by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine, and the British National Health Service, among many others. Yet the myth persisted. Why?

One reason is perfectly understandable: Reported incidence of autism was going up, and parents in this overprotective age were freaking out. Anti-vaccine sentiment also overlapped with the ideas of the all-natural wing of the counterculture. But a key precondition for believing and propagating the anti-vaccine myth was a fundamental distrust of corporations, especially the pharmaceutical variety.

“The story of how government health agencies colluded with Big Pharma to hide the risks of [the MMR-style vaccine ingredient] thimerosal from the public is a chilling case study of institutional arrogance, power and greed,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote in an influential, conspiratorial, and widely debunked article for Rolling Stone in 2005. “The evidence suggests our public-health authorities knowingly allowed the pharmaceutical industry to poison an entire generation of American children.”

You do not need to be an apologist for Big Pharma to observe that maybe it’s against the self-interest of an industry to deliberately poison its customers. So how does one arrive at such a monstrous conclusion?

In Kennedy’s case it’s of a piece with his belief that Republicans are in cahoots with big corporations to steal elections (such as the presidential race in 2004) and reintroduce fascism. “While communism is the control of business by government, fascism is the control of government by business,” he wrote in the 2004 book Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy. “My American Heritage Dictionary defines fascism as ‘a system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership together with belligerent nationalism.’ Sound familiar?” In Kennedy’s nightmare world, corporations can only be restrained by granting more power to a centralized government through measures such as nationalizing oil companies, re-instituting the Fairness Doctrine, and emulating the enlightened policies of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (the “kind of leader my father and President Kennedy were looking for” in Latin America).

Although the anti-corporate virus only occasionally infects the host with pro-Chavez insanity, even less extreme versions can do tremendous harm. Whenever you see an otherwise semi-sound liberal or progressive thinker succumb to fact-free paranoia, expect to find the c-word nearby.

The autism-vaccine fraud found its most receptive audiences in the left-leaning media outlets Salon, Rolling Stone, and especially The Huffington Post. Fear and loathing of corporations is at the heart of liberal revulsion at the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a ruling that you would otherwise think should warm a liberal’s heart, centered as it is on the right to broadcast a political documentary without approval from the government. Yet there was MSNBC host Keith Olbermann saying that Citizens United “might actually have more dire implications than Dred Scott v. Sandford,” the notorious 1857* decision that declared blacks had “no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”

If political hyperbole were the only byproduct of anti-corporate hysteria, we could safely laugh at it and move on to more pleasurable pursuits. Alas, we do not have that luxury. As two articles in this issue vividly illustrate, fear of corporations is directly responsible for a dreadful mistake: increasing government control over the Internet.

In “The Rise of Cybercollectivism,” Adam Thierer documents more than a decade of consistent—and consistently wrong—techno-pessimism from a parade of left-wing activists who believe state power is the only defense against a corporate takeover of all things online. In “Internet Cop,” Associate Editor Peter Suderman explains how that belief led the Federal Communications Commission to foist “net neutrality” regulations on a public that has never expressed interest in federal controls over what is arguably the single most remarkable development of modern life. Suderman shows that neutrality activists have managed to codify some of their goals even though they have yet to offer convincing examples of the corporate misbehavior they are trying to prevent.

That sort of anti-corporate policy nullifies the hard-won insights that many left-leaning policy analysts arrived at in the 1970s. December saw the passing of a great American: the academic and bureaucrat Alfred E. Kahn, father of airline deregulation. Kahn was a liberal Democrat who, after applying rigorous study to the impact of federal regulation on industry, came to the conclusion that in many cases regulation served to raise prices, blunt innovation, form government-sanctioned industrial cartels, and discriminate against new businesses. The market, not the government, was the most effective tool to discipline big business, because corporations that punished their customers were doomed to failure. In short, Kahn understood that misguided regulation produced exactly what Robert F. Kennedy Jr. claims to despise: big business and government entwined in unholy corporatism.

Liberals and Democrats in the 1970s —a decade that should have proved once and for all the folly of letting “the best and the brightest” try to build a technocratic nirvana—understood that loosening government control helped consumers at the expense of big corporations. The senator most responsible for pushing through airline deregulation was Kennedy’s uncle Ted. The staffer who did the most important legwork on the Kennedy-led Senate hearings was a guy who would later become a liberal Supreme Court Justice, Stephen Breyer. The most famous consumer advocate in favor of decontrol was Ralph Nader. And above them all stood a liberal president.

“I share the basic beliefs of my region [against] an excessive government intrusion into the private affairs of American citizens and also into the private affairs of the free enterprise system,” Jimmy Carter said in his one and only presidential debate with the man liberals now blame for deregulation, Ronald Reagan. “One of the commitments that I made was to deregulate the major industries of this country. We’ve been remarkably successful, with the help of a Democratic Congress. We have deregulated the air industry, the rail industry, the trucking industry, financial institutions. We’re now working on the communications industry.”

If only there were Republicans, let alone Democrats, who were as deregulatory in 2011 as Jimmy Carter was in 1978.


Mike Adams on atheists

Mike sees Christianity as a bulwark of liberty. In an American context that has some truth but a wider perspective might be of interest too

An atheist reader has asked that I devote a column to explaining what he sees as my contempt for atheists. In past columns, I have exhibited a careless tendency to lump atheists together into a single homogeneous category. In my experience, there are two distinct categories of atheists – the unbelieving atheist and the evangelistic atheist. Only the latter category is deserving of contempt.

There are a number of reasons why a person might identify himself as an unbelieving atheist. I believe very firmly that one can be reasonably mistaken in one’s unbelief. While I think atheists are uniformly wrong, I do not consider them to be uniformly unreasonable.

It may well be the case that the unbeliever was raised by atheist parents in a home without religious instruction. I know of atheists who were raised in homes without a copy of the Bible. Each had to rely upon second hand accounts of what the Bible says on a variety of issues. Most of them never got around to reading it firsthand.

Those who lack religious influence in the home and religious instruction at an early age are at a disadvantage in 21st century America. Long before President Obama declared that we are no longer a Christian nation, our courts and schools began to lay the foundation for post-Christian America.

There is no mistaking the fact that our public school system has become secularized to the point of relinquishing any claims of neutrality. Most schools have reached the point of being overtly anti-religious. Kids who have no firm foundation in Judeo-Christian ethics are likely to become highly resistant to conversion at a later age. You can thank our public schools for that. We all pay for public education in more ways than one.

The unbelieving atheist often sets a high standard of proof when confronted with Christian apologetics. That is what his culture teaches. He is also taught that religion and logic are incompatible. I recently heard someone say, “One can’t put the words logic and religion in the same sentence.” Of course, that statement contains a serious flaw: It uses the words logic and religion in the same sentence.

Regardless of what others say, we are commanded as Christians to provide a ready defense for our beliefs. And that calls for the use of logic and reason and evidence. We are obligated to polish our arguments. It is a part of our obligation to hold out a candle and light up the world.

But holding out a candle cannot help others to see the sun. If things have become dark enough for them our candle might even obscure their view of the stars. At some point they must be willing to look beyond isolated arguments. They must open their eyes and contemplate their surroundings. And they must look beyond concepts like “luck” and “random variation” to find a more complex and refined view of the universe.

I love my unbelieving atheist friends and I enjoy the conversations we have on many weighty issues. Even when they seem stubborn, they seldom seem unreasonable. The fact that many of them are politically conservative gives me great hope.

But the evangelistic atheist is a different breed altogether. One atheist evangelist sits in his office with piles of anti-religious books as he prepares his next lecture for his Sociology of Religion class. He curses more than he uses words like “a” and “the.” And he posts the headlines of the latest church scandal on his office door. He takes more pride in the failure of others than in his own personal achievements.

Another evangelistic atheist writes books distorting the history of Christianity and the life and words of Jesus – all the while calling it scholarship. He develops courses on “Atheism and Unbelief.” He even posts “Godless!” (Compete with the exclamation point!) in the “religious views” portion of his Facebook profile. Yet he claims emotional detachment on issues of faith and religion.

In short, the evangelistic atheist is characterized less by the absence of belief than by a zeal for destroying the beliefs of others. He is seldom politically conservative and almost always “very liberal.” Just take a few minutes to examine his Facebook profile.

The politically conservative unbelieving atheist must wake up and connect the dots between religion and politics and between social and fiscal conservatism. He must realize that the evangelistic atheist is on a political rather than religious crusade. His evangelism targets religion because he seeks to destroy the family. And he seeks to destroy the family because he seeks to replace it with the welfare state.

Our individual liberties are in jeopardy. But they may only be taken away by men if it is presumed that they are granted by men. We need fair-minded unbelieving atheists to reconsider the underpinnings of their beliefs. A godless conservatism is only one election away from extinction.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


9 February, 2011

The Lights Are Going Out All Over Europe

By Geert Wilders

Editor's note: the following is a speech by Geert Wilders' delivered at the resumption of his trial on February 7th, 2011. Wilders is charged with inciting hatred and discrimination by speaking the truth about Islam

The lights are going out all over Europe. All over the continent where our culture flourished and where man created freedom, prosperity and civilization. Everywhere the foundation of the West is under attack.

All over Europe the elites are acting as the protectors of an ideology that has been bent on destroying us since the fourteenth century. An ideology that has sprung from the desert and that can produce only deserts because it does not give people freedom. The Islamic Mozart, the Islamic Gerard Reve [a Dutch author], the Islamic Bill Gates; they do not exist because without freedom there is no creativity. The ideology of Islam is especially noted for killing and oppression and can only produce societies that are backward and impoverished. Surprisingly, the elites do not want to hear any criticism of this ideology.

My trial is not an isolated incident. Only fools believe it is. All over Europe multicultural elites are waging total war against their populations. Their goal is to continue the strategy of mass-immigration, which will ultimately result in an islamic Europe – a Europe without freedom: Eurabia.

The lights are going out all over Europe. Anyone who thinks or speaks individually is at risk. Freedom loving citizens who criticize islam, or even merely suggest that there is a relationship between islam and crime or honour killing, must suffer and are threatened or criminalized. Those who speak the truth are in danger.

The lights are going out allover Europe. Everywhere the Orwellian thought police are at work, on the lookout for thought crimes everywhere, casting the populace back within the confines where it is allowed to think.

This trial is not about me. It is about something much greater. Freedom of speech is not the property of those who happen to belong to the elites of a country. It is an inalienable right, the birthright of our people. For centuries battles have been fought for it, and now it is being sacrificed to please a totalitarian ideology.

Future generations will look back at this trial and wonder who was right. Who defended freedom and who wanted to get rid of it.

The lights are going out all over Europe. Our freedom is being restricted everywhere, so I repeat what I said here last year:

It is not only the privilege, but also the duty of free people – and hence also my duty as a member of the Dutch Parliament – to speak out against any ideology that threatens freedom. Hence it is a right and a duty to speak the truth about the evil ideology that is called islam. I hope that freedom of speech will emerge triumphant from this trial. I hope not only that I shall be acquitted, but especially that freedom of speech will continue to exist in the Netherlands and in Europe.


More BBC bigotry

What does the BBC think of Radio 4's 10m loyal listeners? Too many are white, Southern and elderly. If you want to see how bigoted that is, just replace "white" with "black"

You might assume that being declared a ‘national treasure’ and boasting 10million listeners a week means Radio 4 is doing ­everything right. Yet the station’s output is still not good enough for the BBC Trust.

In a performance review, it has ruled Radio 4 needs more northern presenters, a younger audience and to improve its appeal to ethnic minorities.

But the verdict prompted a fury yesterday from listeners, broadcasters and ­politicians, who branded the Trust’s ­findings ‘ludicrous’ and ‘patronising’.

Today presenter John Humphrys said: ‘Radio 4 is not too white, too middle class or too old. You would have to be daft not to think about how to bring in the next generation of audiences, but it should be done through quality.

‘Our listeners come to us as they mature, but also because of the content. If I am doing an interview I don’t think about how to make it appeal to a 16-year-old or a 95-year-old – I think about doing the best job.’

Today is just one of the stalwart programmes on which Radio 4 has built its reputation. Others include The Archers, From Our Own ­Correspondent and Desert Island Discs, hosted by Kirsty Young.

The BBC Trust - the corporation’s governing body - is estimated to have spent £10,000 on a consultation with 16,795 licence fee ­payers on the quality, distinctiveness and value for money of Radios 4, 3 and digital station 7, which is to be rebranded Radio 4 Extra.

The report, by BBC trustee David Liddiment, acknowledged Radio 4 sets ‘a high standard for speech radio’ and is seen by many as a ‘national treasure’ – but claimed it still needed to change.

The station should find ‘ways to build loyalty amongst younger, lighter listeners’, and needs to be promoted ‘among minority ethnic opinion formers through special content and marketing events’. It should also ‘give greater exposure to presenters from the North’.

The report suggested ‘taking Radio 4 programmes to high-profile northern events and venues, such as Gardeners’ Question Time at Harlow Carr [gardens]’.

The Trust said there had been a decline in younger listeners – the so-called replenisher audience that will become its core audience in the future. Five years ago more than 30 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 tuned in to the station, but that figure is now 26.6 per cent.

Mr Liddiment, from Yorkshire, told Today: ‘The public reaction has been phenomenal. They love the station. There are two buts. The station as a whole has a huge skew to the South-East of England, people in the North do not listen anywhere near as much. ‘The replenisher audience are not listening as much as they were.’

But his verdict prompted wide-ranging anger. Former MP Ann Widdecombe said: ‘Radio 4 is ­probably the only thing that caters for middle-class, middle-aged audiences. There is precious little for us on television.’

And former Today presenter Jennie Bond, 60, said: ‘What on earth is wrong with being middle class? A lot of people are middle class.’

Conservative MP Philip Davies said: ‘This is ludicrous. The idea that people in the North will only listen if there are presenters that sound like them is patronising.’

It is not the first time the BBC has tried to force Radio 4 to ‘broaden its appeal’. In 1994, a ‘light’ afternoon talk show with Northern Irish presenter Gerry Anderson lasted less than a year after attracting thousands of complaints.

Tim Davie, the BBC’s director of audio and music, said yesterday: ‘We welcome the Trust’s recommendation that we continue to build the appeal of Radio 3 and Radio 4 amongst potential new listeners.’


Tackle 'extreme Islam before it's too late', Australian conservatives warn

AUSTRALIA risks becoming a nation of "ethnic enclaves" that unknowingly buys livestock slaughtered "in the name of Allah", senior Liberal MPs have warned.

Opening up a new political faultline, former immigration minister Kevin Andrews lashed out at political leaders who failed to speak out on the rise of extreme Islam, claiming the silence contributes to the rise of One Nation-type movements.

Another Liberal frontbencher, Mitch Fifield, warned of the danger of "parallel societies" developing as has occurred in Europe where hardline Muslim groups preached sharia law rather than Western values.

Amid a robust debate in Europe over failed "state multiculturalism", Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi warned Australia must avoid the mistakes of nations that allowed religious fanatics to prosper "before it is too late".

The Government and the Greens dismissed the fears, saying the nation should focus on the "positive" aspects of its diverse ethnic heritage.

"There is a risk (of enclaves) in Australia," Mr Andrews told the Herald Sun. "What actually concerns me the most is that we can't have a discussion about it."

Senator Bernardi warned of a growing "cultural divide" in Australia as hardline followers of Islam turned their backs on mainstream values.

He cited the advent of Muslim-only toilets at a Melbourne university and the halal method of meat slaughter as cultural practices that must be opposed. "I, for one, don't want to eat meat butchered in the name of an ideology that is mired in sixth century brutality and is anathema to my own values," he said.

Senator Fifield, the Coalition's spokesman on disability, said he agreed with former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett that Australians needed to guard against rising ethnic hatred. "Australians certainly revel in diversity and embrace different cultures but they expect everyone to integrate and sign up to mainstream values," he said.

But Labor's parliamentary secretary on immigration, Kate Lundy, dismissed these concerns. "The Australian community is uniquely diverse and we have a proud record of successfully leveraging the benefits of migration," she said.

Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young called on MPs to focus on positive aspects of our ethnic mix.


Copt this!

By Michael Danby, an Australian Labor Party member of the Federal lower house

On New Years Eve this year, Egypt’s Christians celebrated the coming of the New Year. As they began to leave the Saints Church in East Alexandria, Cairo, a large explosion went off. 22 men, women and children were killed, and 98 people severely injuring, a Jihadist suicide bomb ripped through the Alexandria’s premier Coptic Church

The Copts represents 10% of the 80 million people in Egypt, and are the largest Christian community remaining in the Middle East. They are a link to ancient Egypt, as their Coptic language is the last remnant of the language of the hieroglyphs. Their culture and traditions pre-date Islam. The attack was not isolated, and came after months of escalating violence against the Copts in Egypt.

Many of the victims of this atrocity attack have relatives here in Australia, where the Coptic Community is 80,000 strong. Violence against the Copts in the Middle East has had consequences here too. On Coptic Christmas (7th January) four churches in Sydney were listed amongst 64 worldwide as targets by Al Qaeda.

Like many Australian Jewish religious sites, they too were forced into intensive private and government security lockdown

The attack on the Coptic Church in Egypt, and the subsequent protests that followed the bombings were some of the first public signs that the Mubarak regime was losing control. This of course all predates the current upsurge against Mubarak.

No amount of Grecian 2000 hair dye can hide the fact that Egypt’s tyrant, Hosni Mubarak, is in his mid 80’s. Prior to the demonstrations against Mubarak, I argued in News Ltd online publication The Punch, that in the campaign against the Copts, coupled with the blatantly rigged parliamentary elections, meant the end of Hosni Mubarak’s scheme to install his son Gamal, laughably known as ‘Gary’, will not happen. Game over with that one.

Egypt’s security chief, Omar Solmain, now installed as Vice president may be able to perpetuate the relatively secularist Egyptian regime. It is possible that the army backed, pro-Western regime will collapse. Despite the identical parrot calls of Fairfax’s McGeough, Koutsoukis and Fisk, there is much doubt about whether the Muslim Brotherhood or even an ostensible secularist like Mohamed El Baredei would run Egypt any better.

ASPI’s Carl Ungerer was right to point out that an election that brings the brotherhood to power may be the last election Egypt has.

The dramatic attacks on the Coptic Christians in Egypt, had an immediate effect in Australia involving the Al Qaeda listing of four local Coptic churches. Surprisingly, back around New Year, none of our Australian, Jerusalem-based reporters ventured to Alexandria or Egypt over that period. They are all in Cairo now, but this news lapse wasn’t just an Australian phenomena. Jeffrey Goldberg writing in the Atlantic Monthly, noted what he thought was ”the lackadaisical coverage of the most important story coming out of the Middle East now.” It’s easier to report from the comfort of Jerusalem’s coffee shops or sound off about the dreadful Israeli’s with Palestine confederates at the cosy American Colony hotel.

Goldberg was right to see the wider murderous anti-Christian campaign in Egypt and Iraq, indeed as a phenomenon throughout the Middle East. Just last October, Al Qaeda boasted of its slaughter in a Baghdad church. There Jihadists murdered 58 men, women and children in church, including priests praying at the altar; 80% of Iraqi Christians have fled the country targeted particularly by Al Qaeda of Iraq.

Christians are under siege from Islamist in the Palestinian territories. Only in Lebanon where the disgraceful Christian warlord General Aoun is in alliance with Hezbollah is there a brief reprieve for Nasrerllah’s benighted Christian collaborator . With his assistance, Iran via Hezbollah been able to install their proxy, Najib Mikati, as Prime Minister of Lebanon.

Counter intuitively to the perverse BBC/Guardian/Fairfax worldview about the Middle East, only Israel has seen the number of Christians increase from 34,000 in 1948 to 151,700 (according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics Report of 2010). Where is World Vision, Care or the Uniting Church, off on the same tangent with Israel-obsessed radicals of the Middle East Council of Christians?

In contrast, Pope Benedict insisted that: “Government’s do more to protect religious minorities.” Mubarak’s maladroit response was to withdraw the Egyptian Ambassador to the Vatican. Pope Benedict argued “Words are not enough in confronting religious intolerance, there must be a concrete and constant effort by the world’s nations”. US President Obama and French President Sarkozy also specifically denounced the anti-Coptic violence. There were questions about whether Australia had spoken out loudly enough. Although a delegation of senior Labor politicians led by Federal Minister Martin Ferguson, in which I participated, had a very useful meeting with the Coptic Bishop and most of Melbourne’Coptic Ministers.

Waheed Ra'fat, one of the managing editors of Mubarak’s NDP’s Al-Watani Al-Yom publication, with the usual diversionary and delusional , reacted to the attack on the Copts as follows:

"Mossad is the accused because it stands to benefit most from distracting Egypt's attention from what is going to happen in South Sudan on January 9]. .. The Mossad has a strategy of instigating fitna [civil war, disagreement and division within Islam."

Just as local Egyptian writer Mona Eltahawy writes: “Meanwhile, the uprisings are curing the Arab world of its obsession with Israel. Successive Arab dictators have tried to keep discontent at bay by distracting people with the Israeli-Arab Conflict.”

She obviously had in mind the Governor of Sinai who said Egyptian officials believed that a fatal shark attack in one of their resorts could have been a “plot” by the Mossad. And remember Saudi authorities arrested “a Zionist vulture” last month, in reality a bird tagged in a Haifa University bird migration experiment.

Peter Day, writing in the Australian Spectator, noted the violence against Egypt’s Christians meant its fate was on the line.

“Hani Shukrallah, an independent journalist and former editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram, writes in the paper that an Egypt free of its ancient Christian Coptic minority is for the first time not beyond his imagining. He hopes to be dead before that: ‘This will be an Egypt which I do not recognise and to which I have no desire to belong’.”

Sadly we need to be aware that the Middle East faces something wider even then the fate of Egypt. It is another aspect of Al Qaeda Jihadist war- the systematic attempt to drive Christianity out of the Middle East. This organised attack on Middle East Christians is but a part of the Salafist war waged against the world. It is fought by their many satellites and franchises from the Algerian “Salafist front of the Combat and Call”, to “Jemah Islamiya” in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Home grown Jihadists are what we in Australia have to fear the most. Fortunately for Australia, our security agencies and laws have so far foiled all attempts of terror attacks on mainland Australia. Even if all Jewish and Coptic sites in Australia have to remain highly guarded, it may be necessary so Australia continues to avoid mass causality attacks.


Don’t blame tolerance for Britain's multicultural mess

David Cameron is right to slam multiculturalism, but wrong to blame tolerance for fostering today’s lily-livered non-judgmentalism

British prime minister David Cameron’s rejection of state-sponsored multiculturalism is long overdue. He is right to say that it is divisive and corrosive. However, he shouldn’t blame the problems of multiculturalism on tolerance. Throughout his speech, given on Saturday at a security conference in Munich, he mistakenly argued that tolerance was responsible both for the failure of multiculturalism and for the growth in Islamic terrorism. ‘Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism’, he said.

But what is ‘passive tolerance’? Tolerance is anything but passive. Tolerance requires courage, conviction and a commitment to freedom - key characteristics of a confident and active public ethos. Tolerance upholds freedom of conscience and individual autonomy. It affirms the principle of non-interference in people’s inner lives, in their adherence to certain beliefs and opinions. And so long as an act does not harm others or violate their moral autonomy, tolerance also demands no constraints on behaviour that is related to the exercise of individual autonomy. From this perspective, tolerance represents the extent to which people’s beliefs and behaviours are not subject to institutional and political interference or restraint.

One compelling reason why a truly open society should support tolerance is because we recognise that it is through the clash of conflicting views and opinions that truth is gained. Even erroneous views, in the act of their being challenged, can contribute to the overall clarity of public life. It is not easy to be tolerant. It requires a willingness to tolerate views that one considers offensive, and a preparedness to accept that no idea should be beyond question. That is why tolerance shouldn’t simply be seen as an intellectual pursuit - it also requires cultural, societal support. Because the capacity to tolerate requires that society takes freedom seriously. Tolerating beliefs that are hostile to ours demands a degree of confidence in our own convictions and also a disposition to take risks. Tolerance encourages the freedom of individuals to pursue certain beliefs, and it gives society more broadly an opportunity to gain insights into the truth through encouraging a clash of ideas.

So when Cameron complains that, as a result of multicultural policies, mainstream British society has ceased to criticise and condemn the retrograde views and practices of minority communities, he should not point the finger of blame at tolerance – passive or otherwise.

Multiculturalism has nothing to do with true tolerance.

Multiculturalism demands not tolerance but indulgent indifference. It relentlessly promotes the idea of ‘acceptance’ and discourages the questioning of other people’s beliefs and lifestyles. Its dominant value is non-judgmentalism. Yet judging, criticising and evaluating are all key attributes of any open-minded, democratic society worth its name. It is crucially important to rescue the concept of tolerance from its confused association with multiculturalism.

Reclaiming tolerance

In contemporary public debate, the important connection between tolerance and judgment is in danger of being lost. The word ‘tolerance’ is now used interchangeably with the term ‘non-judgmental’. While a reluctance to judge other people’s behaviour has some attractive qualities, it is not necessarily a manifestation of social tolerance. All too often, non-judgmentalism is synonymous with not caring about the fate of others. Yet the precondition of a working democratic public sphere is openness to conversation and debate. Reflecting on our differences with other points of views, letting them know where we stand and what we find disagreeable in their opinions… that is the very stuff of vibrant democracy. Without it, tolerance turns into shallow indifference, an excuse for switching off when others talk.

The confusion of the concept of tolerance with the idea of acceptance of all lifestyles is strikingly illustrated by UNESCO’s Declaration on the Principles of Tolerance. It says: ‘Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human.’ UNESCO also claims that tolerance is ‘harmony in difference’. For UNESCO, toleration becomes an expansive, diffuse sensibility that automatically offers unconditional respect for different views and cultures.

The reinterpretation of tolerance as non-judgmentalism or indifference is often seen as a positive thing; apparently, open-minded people are non-judgmental. In truth, the gesture of affirmation and acceptance can be seen as a way of avoiding making difficult moral choices, and a way of disengaging from the challenge of explaining which values are worth upholding. It is far easier to dispense with moral judgment entirely than to explain why a certain way of life is preferable to another way of life that should be tolerated, yes, but not embraced. That is probably why the indulgent indifference of multiculturalism has gained so much traction in recent decades: in Britain and many other European societies, multiculturalism has spared governments the hassle of having to spell out the principles underpinning their way of life.

Evading the problem

To his credit, after noting that state multiculturalism has encouraged the segregation of different cultures, Cameron touched upon an uncomfortable truth - which is that ‘we have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong’. The absence of such a vision is not accidental, since multiculturalism requires that no system of values be regarded as superior to any other or looked upon as the desirable norm. In the multicultural outlook, the absence of a vision for society is not a failure, but an accomplishment.

In any serious discussion of the problem of cultural integration, the focus should surely be on the failure to outline, and give meaning to, the values that bind society together. It is always tempting to point the finger of blame at professional extremists for radicalising young Muslims, for example. But what is often overlooked is that it is not so much the lure of radicalism that causes these problems as it is society’s own reluctance to engage with and inspire its citizens.

For some time now, many European societies have found it difficult to forge a consensus through which they might affirm their past achievements and the basic values they uphold. Traditional symbols and conventions have lost much of their power to enthuse and inspire; in some cases they have become irrevocably damaged. This is strikingly illustrated in the constant controversy that surrounds the teaching of history. When the leading generation senses that the stories and ideals it was brought up on have ‘lost their relevance’ in our changed world, it finds it very difficult to transmit those stories and ideals with conviction to its children. Bitter disputes about historical rights and wrongs really reflect competing claims about interests and identities.

How to hold an intergenerational conversation in these circumstances is a question that society is unwilling to pose, never mind try to answer. Nevertheless, policymakers and educators intuitively recognise that this question needs to be addressed, somehow, and they are frequently forced to respond to the demand for values and traditions that can be imparted to children. Yet the provision of ‘relevant’ values, on demand, rarely succeeds - because unlike the conventions that were organically linked to the past, these values tend to be artificial, if well-meaning, constructs that are open to challenge. Unlike customs and conventions that are held sacred, constructed values must be regularly justified. The very fact that they were self-consciously invented draws people’s attention to the possibility of constructing alternative histories and traditions.

Back in 2006, the then UK chancellor Gordon Brown announced plans to launch a British Day in order to ‘focus on things that bring us together’. However, spelling out what binds society proved far too challenging a task, and the idea of British Day was dropped in October 2008. The government’s quiet retreat on this issue really represented an acknowledgement of the fact that national traditions that might inspire the public cannot be invented in committee meetings or through consultation with ‘stakeholders’. If society is itself unsure about what it stands for, then it is not surprising that schools lack the ability to talk about the soul of society.

A new curriculum for 11- to 14-year-olds launched in June 2007 said that ‘pupils will learn shared values and study national identity in the UK’. However, in the absence of any clarity about what constitute shared values today, teachers were worried about whether they could handle what they perceived to be a controversial subject. A survey of teachers’ attitudes to the teaching of patriotism found that one reason why they were apprehensive was because of ‘an uncertainty about how appropriate it is to promote patriotic attachment to Britain to immigrant students with existing attachments to their countries of origin’. The survey found that only 13 per cent of teachers interviewed believed that schools should ‘actively promote patriotism’. The reluctance of these educators to promote ‘patriotism’ could be interpreted as evidence of their lack of attachment to British values - but it is far more likely that their attitude expressed anxiety about teaching what they perceive to be a confusing, troublesome and difficult subject.

This confusion about what binds a community together took on a caricatured form in 2008 when the New Labour government quietly shelved a plan to publish a national song-book for primary school children. The government wanted to publish a collection of 30 songs that every 11-year-old should know, but the idea was rejected as ‘too divisive’. Gareth Malone, a leading figure in Sing-Up, the organisation charged with seeing this project through, noted that the experts couldn’t agree on which songs to include in the collection. Malone described it as a ‘hot potato, culturally’ and added that ‘you have to be realistic… you can’t be too culturally imperialist about it’. In the end, officials chose to evade the controversy that publishing a common song-book would have provoked, and opted instead to establish a ‘song bank’ of 600 songs.

If a society is too embarrassed to publish a list of national songs, how can it expect different communities to sing from the same sheet? There is little point in continuing to blame multiculturalism for the profound problems we face today. By all means let’s put an end to state-sponsored multiculturalism, because that would at least allow us to face up to the underlying problem: society’s crisis of values and of meaning. But let’s not diminish our commitment to the pursuit of tolerance. Tolerance remains an important virtue because it takes human beings very seriously. Through encouraging people to voice their beliefs, it helps create the kind of dialogue necessary for shared experiences and meanings.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


8 February, 2011

How Britain's so-called liberals have stifled free speech and become the very censors they should abhor

There is an old tradition of newspapers publishing fanciful or outrageous items on April Fool’s Day and inviting readers to spot them. The trouble is that nowadays there are unbelievable stories in almost every issue which would qualify. Amazingly — and depressingly — they are true.

Yesterday’s Mail reported that a health watchdog has had its funding withdrawn by Wiltshire Council after its chairwoman used the phrase ‘jungle drums’ to describe gossip. Anna Farquhar had noted that talk about NHS changes was spreading within the health service, remarking: ‘You cannot help the jungle drums.’

Sitting as a member of the general ­public in the local scout hut where the meeting took place was Sonia Carr. She objected strongly to the phrase ‘jungle drums’, regarding it as racist.

Mrs Farquhar immediately apologised for any offence caused, but Mrs Carr, a member of the Wiltshire Racial Equality Council, was unsatisfied, and submitted a complaint to Wiltshire Council, which launched an inquiry costing tens of thousands of pounds.

Six months later the council — which, believe it or not, is Tory — has produced a ten-page report upholding Mrs Carr’s complaint.

Mrs Farquhar and fellow members of her independent watchdog have been banned from council meetings and premises as though they were common criminals rather than people trying to improve their local health service. The council has also withdrawn funding that covered the group’s administrative costs.

It can’t be true, can it? I’m afraid it is. It may sound like a parody or send-up or an elaborate and not very good joke, but this is a fairly normal event in modern Britain — so relatively unexceptional that most of the media have ­chosen to ignore it.

Thousands of pounds have been wasted, and the peace of mind of a decent woman and her group shattered, all because a silly woman and a nincompoop council took offence at the term ‘jungle drums’.

There is, of course, nothing remotely racist about it. In the pre-telegraph age, jungle drums served as a very good method in parts of Africa and elsewhere of communicating messages over a long distance. That’s a fact.

The phrase does not make us think badly of Africans, nor does it diminish them or anyone else in our eyes. It serves as an effective metaphor for the rapid and sometimes mysterious way in which gossip is transmitted.

Though on one level the story is farcical, at a deeper level it is disturbing. One of the greatest threats to all of us in life is ­stupid people who are unaware of their limitations.

They can cause a great deal of damage. When their stupidity receives the backing of the law and the support of one of the institutions of the State — which is what Wiltshire Council is — it assumes a threatening, even sinister quality.

How did supposedly liberal people turn into petty tyrants? I believe that is what Mrs Carr, and many other people who regard themselves as enlightened, have become.

The intellectual history of the past 250 years has been one of increasing freedom of expression in politics, religion and literature. In the past 50 years that ­process has accelerated, so that it seemed there was practically nothing that could not be said or written.

Except when it offended the sensibilities of people who ­proclaim their liberalism but seek to censor others who say things they deem offensive. Even merely to hold views that diverge from the new orthodoxy on issues such as global warming or religion or traditional morality is to risk at best ridicule, at worst censure and contempt.

In short, the bigots who bear down on dissent have shifted from the Right or the portals of the old Establishment to the liberal Left and the new Establishment.

Of course, not all ­liberals are intolerant, any more than all members of the old Establishment were. But when we consider what we can or cannot say or write, we no longer think of the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Lord Chamberlain, but of the politically correct brigade who may declare — as in the case of ­‘jungle drums’ — the mildest and most inoffensive thought out of bounds.

Am I resting too much on the slender shoulders of Sonia Carr and Wiltshire Council? I wish I were.

Yesterday’s Mail also ­carried a story about Dr Hans-Christian Raabe, a Christian GP, who has been fired as a government adviser on drugs for having expressed ‘embarrassing’ views about homosexuality.

It turns out that Dr Raabe and several colleagues wrote a ­scientific paper six years ago in which they concluded that there was a ‘disproportionately greater number of homosexuals among paedophiles’.

Now I actually think he may be wrong, but equally I should have thought that his views on homosexuality had very little, if anything, to do with his ­competence to serve as a drugs adviser. But in the unreasoning, bigoted society in which we live he is simply deemed unsuitable.

Naturally, no one bothers to inquire whether there might be a scintilla of truth in what he wrote about paedophilia. The point is that it offends against what the politically correct crew believe has to be true.

The two cases are admittedly different in several respects but my point is that there is a new liberal tyranny which seeks to shut down debate and dissent. So-called liberals exhibit the very narrow mindedness they used to abhor, and an absence of that broadness of mind that was once the very essence of liberalism.

One phrase used by John Thomson, deputy leader of Wiltshire Council, particularly struck me. He said: ‘The law makes it clear that what matters is not the intention of the person who uses the phrase but whether anybody is offended by it.’ If this is true, we really are on the path to censorship by the ignorant. Anyone can be offended by anything.

Under some new law, or for all I know under an existing law, the Sonia Carrs of this world may object to the word ‘blackboard’ and, who knows, we may sooner or later be forbidden to order ‘black coffee’.

In literature, Kipling’s Jungle Book will be proscribed on the grounds that it is racist and demeaning. The whole of Kipling will surely have to be banned, along with books by Dickens and the novelist Wilkie Collins that are judged anti-Semitic.

And what about Shakespeare’s Othello? That must be outlawed because it portrays a black man as a ­murderer — implying, in the minds of the very stupid, racial stereotyping.

When journalists wonder whether they too will one day be subject to censorship for expressing unfashionable views, I tend to chuckle to myself.

But who would have dreamt even ten years ago that an upstanding 70-year-old woman, declared by her friends to be untainted by racism, who was trying to serve her community, could be humiliated and stigmatised purely for using the innocuous phrase ‘jungle drums’?

Every day I read or hear some mild remark that offends me. I can always take issue, of course. There is nothing wrong with good old-fashioned ­argument. But tolerant and broad-minded people do not run off to the law and try to get someone banned.

This kind of inverted ­McCarthyism is the action of bigots and tyrants — of people who want us all to hold their views and who will not tolerate dissent.

The world they are shaping is monochrome and rather frightening. It is the very opposite of what liberalism was supposed to be but, alas, it is what so-called liberalism has become.


Token sentence for vicious British female

A judge has blasted ladette drinking culture and lax licensing laws after a mother was blinded by a stiletto shoe in a horrifying attack.

Joanne Brown, 34, was left blind in one eye and scarred for life after she was attacked while enjoying a night out. Amy Leigh Smith, 17, pushed her to the floor while dancing on a ‘raised platform’ in a nightclub before stamping twice on her face - using her heel as a weapon.

Yesterday Judge Ian Trigger told Smith: ‘Our towns and city centres are becoming for decent law abiding people no go areas. ‘And the sole reason for that is the consumption by young people - women as well as men - of excessive quantities of alcohol.’ He told her: ‘Society is becoming increasingly fed up with the boorish and drunken antics of people such as yourself.’

Judge Trigger also lambasted the licensing laws which allow alcohol to be served in nightclubs up until dawn. He said the nightclub where the assault took place - the Pada Lounge in Wigan - was open at weekends until 6am. He said: ‘It beggars belief why the local authority permit places such as that to remain open until an hour of the day when people are starting to get up.’

Judge Trigger hit out after sentencing Smith to 33 months behind bars for the terrifying attack in the nightclub.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Brown, a mother-of-one, had been out for a meal with friends in May 2009 before going on to the nightclub. Graham Pickavance, prosecuting, said she had gone over to a friend who was on a raised dance floor to take her away from an argument. But as she turned to leave she was pushed over by Smith who then stamped on her face twice with her stiletto shoe.

Mr Pickavance said: ‘She came round in a small room with blood pouring down her face. She was taken to hospital because of the severity of bleeding to her eye.’ ‘There were at least two stamps on Joanne Brown’s head with her high heel shoes and that caused the optic nerve to snap which resulted in her being blinded.’

The court heard Miss Brown had to undergo three operations and has been left with a lazy eye and a scarred lip. The jury was told the assault had devastated the mother-of-one’s life and left her suffering from severe panic attacks.

Before the attack she had been working as a support worker and had real hopes of beginning a promising career. She said: ‘The person who did the assault on me has not only destroyed me as a person but has also taken my dreams away. ‘I had plans of moving to work with the Prison Service but this will never happen now as a result of my loss of sight.’

Smith was later picked out in an identity parade and pleaded guilty to assault on the first day of her trial in January.

Catherine Rimmer, defending, said: ‘She is horrified by her behaviour on this night. Going out and getting intoxicated is not something she did very often. She shouldn’t have drunk the alcohol that she did.’

Judge Trigger told her: ‘You over indulged in excessive alcohol and the consequences were almost inevitable. ‘You were in Pada Lounge during the early hours of that morning and were behaving in a drunken and boorish manner pushing people on a raised dance floor.

‘Because of some imagined slight you, wearing heels, approached her and stamped with one of those high heeled feet not once but twice on the prone and defenceless victim. It was on act which had horrendous consequences which will be with her for the rest of her life.'

Smith, who is now more than seven months pregnant, will have her baby behind bars.


Prominent Australian conservative politician wants Australian way of life for immigrants too

Australians must be vigilant about the threat from ethnic hatreds, and migrants should accept our way of life, says former premier Jeff Kennett.

As Europe debates whether multiculturalism has failed, Mr Kennett said Victoria had avoided the sort of "shocking experiences" in places like Britain, but there was no room for complacency. "You do have to make sure that you don't allow the issues of countries overseas to become imported here," he said. "People make the choice to come to Australia and have to accept our way of life."

Mr Kennett was responding to controversial comments by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who at the weekend dubbed multiculturalism a failure in the UK and linked it to the rise of Islamic extremism. "Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream," Mr Cameron said.

Mr Kennett said society should be vigilant about growing ethnic enclaves, but the trend in Melbourne was for migrant groups to spread out as they grew richer.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the PM emphatically supported multicultural policies and did not believe they had failed in Australia. Asked if Mr Cameron's speech was inflammatory and likely to cause division, the spokesman said: "The United Kingdom's policy decisions are a matter for the United Kingdom."

But John Roskam, head of the free-market think tank The Institute of Public Affairs, said Mr Cameron's stance was a warning to Western societies to promote their culture. "They have to communicate their values," he said. "People who become citizens of a country have to sign up for those values."

Melbourne's Catholic Archbishop Denis Hart said multiculturalism had succeeded but a big challenge was to ensure people respected each other's right to practise their religion and "be as they are".

Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Ikebal Patel said Mr Cameron's attack on multiculturalism was simplistic and trivialised the policy.


Leaders are right to confront failures of multiculturalism

Another comment from Australia

British Prime Minister David Cameron is no redneck member of the lunar right. On social issues, his positions tend to be liberal, in the traditional sense of the term. This makes Cameron's speech on radicalisation and Islamic extremism at the Munich Security Conference at the weekend of particular note.

When in opposition, the Conservatives were at times critical of Blair Labour's anti-terrorism legislation. But it seems that in government the Conservatives - now in coalition with the Liberal Democrats - have taken a tough-minded approach to extremism. Cameron has followed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in distancing himself from multiculturalism.

I used to be a strong supporter of multiculturalism and, at times, was critical of John Howard's apparent disdain for the concept. However, on reflection, I am coming to the view that some of Howard's critique was essentially correct and that Cameron and Merkel are saying what needs to be said in Europe.

The concept of multiculturalism worked well enough, provided it was understood that all groups within Western societies supported the system of democratic government and the rule of law that applied equally to all citizens. For the most part, this was the reality of Australian multiculturalism throughout the 1970s, '80s and '90s.

The problem is that, particularly in western Europe, the rise of radical Islam has led to a situation where a small minority of Islamists reject the West while choosing to live within Western societies, where they enjoy economic, political and religious freedoms along with health and social security benefits.

Last October Merkel addressed the youth wing of the Democratic Christian Union at Potsdam. There has been no official release of her speech, but there is no disputing the content. Her message was simple - namely, that what the Germans call "multikulti" has not worked.

Multikulti - meaning that anyone who wanted to come to Germany could do so and that everyone living there could get on with each other - was advocated by the Greens in the 1980s and '90s and enjoyed support from the Social Democrats.

This was an example of leftist utopianism. It led to a situation where little attempt was made to inculcate new settlers with any sense of national pride or patriotism.

Merkel was also critical of German policy in the 1960s, when there was a belief that all guest workers who came to Germany would return to their countries of birth after a few years. This did not happen with the Turks. From the late 1960s Australia began taking Turkish migrants on the understanding they would become Australian citizens. The Turks proved to be successful settlers; in Germany, on the other hand, little attempt has been made to integrate Muslim immigrants into German society.

Merkel recognises German society has a right to expect those who choose to live in it will learn German and adapt to the mores of the German state. She is reported to be critical of forced marriages within some Muslim families.

Germany continues to seek - and attract - immigrants and remains an accepting society in which no radical right-wing movements have emerged, unlike some other western European nations. But Merkel has come to the view that multiculturalism, as practised in Germany, has failed. Thilo Sarrazin, the former governor of the Bundesbank who happens to be a Social Democrat, has reached a similar, if more stridently expressed, opinion.

The British Prime Minister and the German Chancellor do not agree on some issues. Yet both are pragmatic politicians who have reached their assessments on multiculturalism as a result of empirical investigation.

In his address at the weekend, Cameron clearly distinguished between Islamic extremism and Islam; his target is the former, not the latter. He criticised what he terms the "soft left" who "lump all Muslims together, compiling a list of grievances, and argue if only governments addressed these grievances, the terrorism would stop". He pointed out that "many of those found guilty of terrorist offences in the UK and elsewhere have been graduates and often middle class".

Cameron believes that the ''doctrine of state multiculturalism" has led to a weakening of Britain's collective identity. He advocates less "passive tolerance" and a "much more active, muscular liberalism". Like Merkel, he wants to "confront the horrors of forced marriage", the victims of which are girls and young women. And he wants Britain to promote "freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality". He also proclaims the need for immigrants to speak the language of their new home.

The policy matters addressed by the leaders of Germany and Britain have already been covered by Christopher Caldwell in Reflections on the Revolution in Europe and Peter Berman in The Flight of the Intellectuals. Caldwell recognises that "Islam is a magnificent religion" but makes the point that "it is in no sense Europe's religion and it is in no sense Europe's culture". Berman is critical of well-regarded intellectuals such as Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash who have criticised the Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose life has been threatened due to her apostasy and her public campaign against Islamist extremism.

Traditionally immigrants have accepted the societies where they have willingly sought to live. This is no longer always the case, with calls for the imposition of sharia and the like.

Cameron and Merkel are correct in criticising multiculturalism and what it has become in western Europe - namely, a focus on what divides democratic societies. In Australia and the US, multiculturalism has not had such a negative effect. But it is reasonable to assume that it might do so one day unless we adopt a muscular approach to the affirmation of democratic rights.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


7 February, 2011

I'm victim of PC vendetta, says Christian drug expert as he is fired from British government advisory panel before he even started

A Christian GP claimed last night that he had been ‘sacrificed on the altar of political correctness’ after being sacked as a government drugs adviser. Dr Hans-Christian Raabe, a respected family doctor, was dismissed for holding ‘embarrassing’ views about homosexuality. He was appointed to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs less than a month ago and had not even had the chance to attend a meeting.

Home Office officials said he had failed to disclose being co-author of a study suggesting a link between homosexuality and paedophilia.

Anti-drugs campaigners described his sacking as an outrage. Many had welcomed him as a breath of fresh air on the ACMD, which has repeatedly called for softer attitudes to drugs, such as cannabis and ecstasy. By contrast Dr Raabe believes that children should be told to ‘say No’, rather than being told the safest way to consume a banned substance.

Dr Raabe told the Daily Mail: ‘I have been discriminated against because of my opinions and beliefs which are in keeping with the teaching of the major Churches. This sets a dangerous precedent: Are we saying that being a Christian is now a bar to public office?’

He added: ‘My appointment has been revoked based on the wrong perception that I could potentially discriminate against gay people – something I have never done; neither in my private nor professional life. Even the Home Office has not questioned my knowledge and expertise in matters relating to substance misuse and drug policy. ‘My appointment has merely been revoked as a result of my views on matters completely unrelated to drug policy.’

Dr Raabe was appointed to the ACMD by drugs minister James Brokenshire on January 10. But he immediately came under attack from unnamed drugs experts in Left-wing newspapers, a BBC internet blog and former members of the ACMD.

Following the criticism, Dr Raabe received a letter from the Home Office saying it was ‘minded to reconsider’ the appointment. Today it will confirm he has been sacked from the unpaid, three-year post. The department said he has been dismissed for failure to disclose a report which ‘raises concerns over his credibility to provide balanced advice on drug misuse issues’.

The comments on homosexuality and paedophilia attributed to Dr Raabe were taken from a scientific paper he co-wrote with six other medical practitioners six years ago. The paper, ‘Gay Marriage’ and Homosexuality: Some Medical Comments, drew conclusions from research and studies by other academics. Using this data Dr Raabe and his colleagues concluded that there is a ‘disproportionately greater number of homosexuals among paedophiles’ and warn this is of ‘grave concern’.

Officials say that, as part of the interview process, Dr Raabe was specifically asked to disclose anything about his professional or personal history that might cause embarrassment to the Home Office or ACMD. The Home Office said it had made it clear his dismissal has been made irrespective of his religious beliefs or declared political activity.

But Dr Raabe said: ‘In my case – holding on to traditional Christian views – I am being discriminated against by a Home Office Minister and am being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.

David Raynes, of the National Drug Prevention Alliance, said there had been a ‘witch-hunt’ against Dr Raabe. Mary Brett, trustee of drugs prevention charity Cannabis Skunk Sense, said: ‘This is absolutely outrageous. It is a bad, bad decision.’

Last night, a Home Office spokesman said: ‘Dr Raabe’s appointment to the ACMD has been revoked and we will be starting a recruitment campaign for a replacement GP shortly.’


A new height of nastiness from the British police

Persecuting the innocent is about all they are good for but this takes the cake

An elderly couple have been arrested on suspicion of the manslaughter of their daughter who was so blighted by obsessive compulsive disorder she spent up to 20 hours a day in the shower. Samantha Hancox, 40, was found dead in an armchair at the home she had hardly left in 18 years for fear of coming into contact with germs.

Her parents Ken and Marion Hancox dialled 999 but were later questioned for seven hours after being arrested and taken to a police station to be fingerprinted.

A post mortem examination revealed their daughter, their only child, died of dehydration and a skin infection.

Mr Hancox, 76, who has bone cancer, and his 77-year-old wife are on bail while further investigations take place into the death.

They told yesterday how their daughter, a former law student, suffered from acute obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) which left her a virtual recluse with a crippling phobia about germs.

As the condition took hold, Miss Hancox would wear socks on her hands which she scrubbed constantly. In her final years only her parents were allowed into the house to try to keep it germ-free.

Samantha studied law but left before finishing her course when her phobia worsened. In recent years, the troubled woman would shower for 20 hours a day and spent all her time cocooned in the front room watching TV

The couple from Tipton, Sandwell, West Midlands, criticised the lack of help they were given from mental health and social services teams as they laid bare the severity of their daughter’s illness.

Mrs Hancox, who is disabled and cannot walk, said: ‘Everything had to be wrapped up. When Ken went out shopping he had to change his clothes before he could come back in or walk around in his underwear. Sometimes she would even want us to burn the clothes. There was a fog in the house from her showering.’

She added: ‘How could they arrest us? We didn’t kill her, it was the OCD. She was our daughter and we loved her.

‘We tried to get help. All these psychiatrists kept coming and all they did was assess her and went away. Occasionally she was admitted to hospital briefly, but nothing was ever done to really help her. We even wrote to Tony Blair when he was prime minister.’ She said her daughter wanted to see a psychotherapist but was told the local primary care trust did not offer that service to patients.

In her last five years Miss Hancox’s state of mind had deteriorated so much that she refused to let any medical professional visit her at home, and was too scared to leave the house herself. Her parents said in her last 18 years she left the house only once other than for a hospital appointment.

They believe she ‘gave up’ fighting the condition last April after Mr Hancox went into hospital for an operation. She was terrified he would bring germs back into their three-bedroom semi-detached home.

She went off her food, Mr Hancox said, and by the time she died the following month her once healthy size 12 body was ‘skin and bone’. The night before she died, Miss Hancox apologised to her mother for not being able to eat her meal. Mrs Hancox said: ‘I think she was trying to tell me she was going to leave me.’

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that a 76-year-old man and a 77-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and are currently on police bail, pending further inquiries.’

No spokesman for Sandwell Mental Health NHS Trust was available for comment. Sandwell Council said it could not comment due to the police investigation.


British police chiefs fly "gay pride" flag... but are forbidden to put up the Union Jack

Police chiefs have come under fire today for flying the rainbow flag for lesbians, gays and bisexuals outside its police stations - when they are forbidden to display the Union Jack.

The multi-coloured 'Freedom' flag adopted by the gay pride movement in the 1970's is now flying at Suffolk Police's Ipswich HQ and its stations at Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft. The flags - which include the force's badge - are to mark lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history month.

But there was fierce criticism of the move after it was revealed that stations were not allowed, under force policy, to fly the Union Jack or the Cross of St George.

James Brady, 34, of Bury accused the police of being discriminatory - 'We don't seem to have a week celebrating hetrosexuality,' he said. 'It's very disappointing that the police are prepared to put up a flag for a minority at the same time as ignoring the vast majority of people. 'I am certainly not homophobic in any way - but it's double standards and ignores the roots and traditions of this country.'

Another resident Paul Kimpson, 59, said: 'It smacks of inequality and I am afraid it does seem to be yet another example of political correctness taking over from common sense. 'It's outrageous that the Union Jack can't be flown on days such as the Queen's Birthday and that the cross of St George is considered unworthy of being flown when appropriate.'

But Suffolk's Chief Constable Simon Ash, who personally ran up the rainbow flag at the force's HQ at Martlesham said: 'The flag signifies pride and inclusivity. 'We must continue to recognise and embrace differences while ensuring we provide a policing service to the people of the county who respect their differences.

'The flags send out the message that we will not accept crime motivated by hate and prejudice and will continue to champion equal opportunities. 'We have a commitment to tackle hate crimes [but not car theft or street violence] and we want the message to be clear to victims and offenders that offences involving disability, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation or transgender will not be tolerated.

'We are a force that values and embraces diversity among our own workforce and among the people we serve. I want this to be an organisation where everyone feels comfortable at work and is treated fairly.'

But the flags have prompted politically-incorrect comments from some rank and file officers.One said: 'I thought it marked Caribbean Week so I was thinking of coming to work in a grass skirt.'


Australian council flies "gay pride" flag instead of Australian flag

ST KILDA'S council is fending off flak over its decision to hoist a gay pride flag in place of the Australian flag. There are three flagpoles on most of the council’s town halls, but this week, while it kept flying the local and the national Aboriginal flags, the Australian flag was taken down. “The gay pride flag replaces the Australian flag, which is at the highest mast head,” City of Port Phillip mayor Rachel Powning confirmed this morning.

In a feisty interview with 3AW’s Neil Mitchell program today, the mayor denied suggestions it was degrading the Australian flag. “It doesn’t reflect in any way a view by council that does not think the Australian flag is an important national symbol,” she said. But not everyone agrees, with the council accused of pandering to minority groups by flying the gay community flag above other town halls.

Port Phillip Council's move to give the rainbow flag priority in the lead up to Sunday's Pride March in St Kilda has sparked outrage. RSL state president Maj Gen David McLachlan said councils should realise that they represent all Australians and not one particular community group.

“Whether people are heterosexual or homosexual or alternate they are Australians and the primacy of the flag in protocol is the Australian flag and that should be flown before all other flags," he said.

British Australian Community president Barrie Hunt said the move was insulting to the majority of Australians especially as two indigenous flags had been allowed to keep flying. “I can't see why they can't leave the Australian flag up," he said. “Take down the indigenous flags and put up the gay pride ones and the Australian flag. What's wrong with that?"

But Port Phillip Mayor Rachel Powning said the only protocol issue was that no flag could be raised above the Australian flag. “So what we do is take down the Australian flag temporarily prior to the Pride March and raise the rainbow flag," she said. “The important thing is that we always have the Australian flag on display in the council chamber which is the most important area in any town hall."

Cr Powning questioned why the flag issue was only raised when the council honoured the gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex and transgender communities. “It makes me wonder why people raise the issue at this time because we replace the Australian flag on United Nations Day, Sorry Day and Naidoc (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) Week," she said.

Cr Powning confirmed that the Aboriginal flag and the Torres Strait Islander flag were still flying in the lead up to the Pride March. “We think this is a very important event to support,” she said.

She said the council was following its own protocol on the issue, which allowed the Australian flag to be taken down in exceptional circumstances. “The protocol states that the Australian flag will be flown from the highest pole on every day of the year from all of our town halls, with the exception of a number of events including … pride march.”

A similar exception applied to United Nations day, Sorry Day and NAIDOC week, she said, although the policy was silent on how long those flags could be flown instead of the Australian flag. “Many of our residents are in fact gay people. And what we’re doing is sending a message to our residents that diversity is very important to the City of Port Phillip.”

She said the Australian flag continued to be unfurled in the council chamber.

The Pride March, held from noon this Sunday, February 6, from Fitzroy St to the Catani Gardens aims to support the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex community.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


6 February, 2011

Multiculturalism policies in Britain a failure, says British PM

David Cameron says a country needs to believe in certain values and to promote them, not just tolerate its citizens' differences

PRIME Minister David Cameron has condemned Britain's long-standing policy of multiculturalism as a failure, calling for better integration of young Muslims to combat home-grown extremism.

In a speech to the Munich Security Conference, Mr Cameron signalled a marked change in policy towards Britain's ethnic and religious minorities, saying the "hands-off tolerance" of those who reject Western values has failed.

He urged a "more active, muscular liberalism" where equal rights, the rule of law, freedom of speech and democracy are actively promoted to create a stronger national identity. "If we are to defeat this threat, I believe it's time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past," he said.

It was Mr Cameron's first major speech on Islamist extremism, an issue of major concern for British governments ever since four home-grown suicide bombers attacked the London transport system in 2005, killing 52 people.

The Prime Minister, who took power last May, argued that "under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream".

He said this had resulted in a lack of national identity in Britain which had made some young Muslims turn to extremist ideology. "Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism," Mr Cameron said. "A passively tolerant society says to its citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It stands neutral between different values. "A genuinely liberal country does much more. It believes in certain values and actively promotes them.... It says to its citizens: this is what defines us as a society."

Mr Cameron clearly distinguished between Islam the religion and the political ideology of Islamist extremism, saying they "are not the same thing". But he argued that non-violent organisations which present themselves as a gateway to the Muslim community but are ambiguous on Western values should no longer receive state funding, and should be banned from university campuses.

His speech echoed controversial remarks made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel last year, when she also called multiculturalism a failure, saying Germany had not devoted enough attention to the integration of immigrants. "What I mean to say is that for years, for decades, the approach was that integration was not something that needed to be addressed, that people would live side-by-side and that it would sort itself out," Ms Merkel said in November. "This turned out to be false."


Black American Dreads Black History Month

Comments by Lloyd Marcus below

I can’t help imagining Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus and all of the other race profiteering usual suspects joyously awakening Feb. 1 with a song in their hearts, “It’s The Most Wonderful Month of the Year.”

Ah, yes! Another Black History Month, time to pitch as many new “guilt trip” government entitlement programs as possible. “I mean, after all, we blacks are still victims of America’s racist attitudes and systematic abuse which has changed very little since the 50s. White America still owes us, dammit!”

See, I know how to sound like a good little colored boy who knows his place on the Liberal Plantation. Democrat Massa’s chief overseer Sharpton would be proud of me.

As a proud American who happens to be black, what I find most annoying about Black History Month — besides the concept of only one month to celebrate Black’s contributions to America — is race profiteers’ despicable divisive exploitation of the month.

Throughout American history, white folks, mostly Christians — there’s that dirty “C” word which the left despises — suffered, sacrificed and died to help set blacks free and move them forward.

And yet, Sharpton and company uses Black History Month to promote the image that every black achievement was made “in spite of” white America.

This month will be flooded with documentaries, specials, articles and commentaries about how America still sucks for blacks and has a long, long way to go to make things right.

Just once, I would love to see Black History Month focused on celebrating the tremendous contributions by blacks in all areas of American life. Include a few “shout outs” to decent, God-fearing, righteous white folks who helped. That would aid in bringing our nation together as opposed to the month being used divisively for political exploitation and extortion.

Black History Month should be a fair and balanced presentation of the history of Americans of African descent. Notice I said, “Americans” rather than “African-Americans”.

Our liberal anti-American public school system, the liberal media and black race-profiteering-so-called leaders make no effort to encourage black youths to be proud Americans. They even discourage it. Their efforts are focused on creating proud “Africans” who happen to live in America.

The fact that the highest office in the land is occupied by a black man confirms that the good in America’s history outweighs the bad. And yet, Sharpton and company would love to broadcast footage of the KKK lynching blacks 24/7 for the entire month of February. By the way, the KKK was founded by Sharpton’s homeys, the democrats. See video above for details.

Meanwhile, much of white America’s efforts to “do the right thing” are ignored. For example, how many black youths are aware that ending slavery was a major issue of the Civil War. On the side desiring to end slavery, 360,000 mostly-white soldiers died.

How many black youths know the Republican Party ended and abolished slavery in the United States and have championed Civil Rights more than any other political party? Click here for details.

I think about the whites who, by candle light, taught blacks to read despite it being illegal at that time. They risked being arrested, because they knew it was the right thing to do. And how about the whites who marched along side Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. What are they, chopped liver? Sharpton and company act as if these great Americans never existed.

What is Black History Month in the minds of most American youths? Is it a celebration of black achievement? I think not. It is a month during which black kids are taught they are victims and white kids are taught they are guilty.

For reasons only a psychiatrist can understand, liberals are obsessed with focusing on the evils of American history. There is evil and wrong doing in the history of every nation/people on the planet. But America’s history is overflowing with goodness and a sense of fair play.

Why? Because regardless of what the Left says, we were founded on Godly principles. In the long run, we always strive to do the right thing. We celebrate courage, righteousness and personal achievement. Peerlessly generous, Americans are swift to the aid of people in need regardless of where they live in the world. We rally around the underdog and cheer for the good guy.

Americans are good, great people. I have met many of them while traveling nationally on Tea Party Express. This is why it so offends me seeing them slandered and abused by the liberal media in support of black democrat race profiteers.

So folks, please ignore all of the Left’s guilt trips and focus on the tremendous contributions by blacks to mankind and our great nation.

Happy Black History Month!


Corporate advertisers in Australia insist on rigid political correctness

Christopher Pearson

GRAHAM Young is the founding editor of a well-regarded e-journal called On Line Opinion, and is a regular contributor to The Australian. I'd describe him as belonging in the centre of the political spectrum, perhaps tending to mild conservatism.

In December he published a piece arguing the case against gay marriage by the pro-family campaigner, Bill Muehlenberg, and then a series of spirited exchanges on the merits of the argument. It was not the first article he'd run on the subject ; that honour had gone to Rodney Croome, a gay activist. Nor were most of the essays run opposed to gay marriage.

Young commented on the blog in mid-December. "The On Line Opinion approach is one that many find difficult to accept, and we are currently under attack from a number of gay activists because we dared to publish [Muehlenberg's essay] which is mostly a pastiche of comments by gay activists, even though the majority of articles I can find on the site support gay marriage. And by attack I mean attempting to intimidate me, sponsors or advertisers. How ironic . . . when we are sponsoring the Human Rights Awards."

When I spoke to him on Wednesday, Young said it wasn't the first time advertisers had made life hard. A group called Ethical Investments had objected after their ads sometimes appeared on pages alongside articles questioning anthropogenic global warming.

On account of the Muehlenberg piece, Young told me two major advertisers had just pulled out: the ANZ Bank and IBM. Comparing this year's January gross ad sales with last year's, he calculated that revenue from his main category of advertising had fallen by 96 per cent. Young is worried that these bizarre decisions will adversely affect other websites as well as his own and could even lead to some of them closing down.

Courts might construe that as the result of an indiscriminate secondary boycott, in contravention of the Trade Practices Act.

That's because Young and a group of other political sites have formed a network called The Domain, to bundle up their readers as a more attractive package for advertisers. The sites are very diverse in terms of ideology, from the ultra-leftist John Passant, to the more mainstream centre-Left Larvatus Prodeo, Club Troppo, Andrew Bartlett, skepticlawyer and the likes of Henry Thornton and Jennifer Marohasy.

Obviously I don't agree with much of what some of them say and the tone of some is more virulent than you'd find in the letters page of The Australian. But clearly they have a right to exist and issues of principle are at stake here that go to the freedom of political debate in this country and the character of our civilisation.

I share the view most editors and journalists once took for granted. Almost any rational argument, no matter how abhorrent, deserves a run.

Aside from advocating terrorism, the only exceptions that come to mind are pieces casting doubts on the existence of the Holocaust and apologias for legalising sex with children or animals.

If anyone is proposing to compromise the freedom of political debate on Australian blogs, it shouldn't happen without a full debate and, like most people, I'd rather it weren't big corporations making the decisions.

So I approached the public relations people at IBM and the ANZ Bank, to find out whether the decision to punish an article against gay marriage by withdrawing their ads was corporate policy.

It seemed inherently unlikely that those organisations would want to express a view either way on such a contentious social issue, let alone in doing so to make decisions that put the survival of other, independent political blogs with a range of positions on the issue in some degree of jeopardy.

It also occurred to me that the sums were small enough - thousands of dollars a month, rather than tens of thousands - so that the decisions might have been taken at one remove, perhaps by the delegated authority of an advertising agency which might be trying to exercise some "soft pink power". In 20-odd years as a magazine editor, I sometimes encountered that sort of malarky.

The initial responses from the PR people in both corporations was that it was news to them and they'd get back to me before my deadline. The ANZ's Stephen Ries replied first. "ANZ does not advertise on any opinion-type websites that may cause offence or segregate any individuals or group. In this instance our advertising was placed through an automatic advertising placement service and once we were alerted to the content we removed our advertising.

"The removal of our advertising should not be viewed as a violation of free speech; it's simply that we choose not to advertise on blogs that do not align to our organisational values."

Oh, brave new world! Apparently anything less than uncritical endorsement of gay marriage no longer aligns with the ANZ's organisational values. What's more, the loss of ad revenue to all the blogs in the Domain network, irrespective of each site's stance on the issue, is neither here nor there and has nothing to do with their freedom of speech.

It's also worth noting that despite the blanket assurances of not advertising on opinion websites, the ANZ was advertising on [Leftist] New Matilda on Friday.

IBM's Matt Mollett's reply was more gnomic. "To optimise reach with its target audiences, IBM continuously reviews and refines its advertising strategy based on a range of considerations, including demographics and content."

Young suspects that the peg on which to hang the internal decision to withdraw advertising within both organisations was a code developed by IASH, the Internet Advertising Sales Houses, which he declined to sign.

The code is a triumph of political correctness gone mad, and badly needs rewriting. Schedule C provides that IASH Australia members "are forbidden to place advertising on sites containing barred content - in other words, any of the inventory defined below - in any circumstances. Content articulating views intended or reasonably likely to cause or incite hatred of any race, religion, creed, class or ethnic group. Content articulating views calculated to cause offence to or incite hatred of any individual or group."

The last sentence is the loopiest in the schedule. It forbids anything that might offend anyone. This would neuter not just contentious articles but the free flow of comment on them that gives blogs their character. As Young says, this section threatens any Australian discussion site. "No newspaper could sign up to this and have discussion threads that were anything other than anodyne."

Apart from making hay with the issue of free speech, I expect the other blogs will kick up a huge fuss, online and in court, about being incidental victims of a secondary boycott. Skepticlawyer blog's Helen Dale, with expertise at the bar and a gift for self-promotion, should have a field day.


Limits on advertising dangerous for democracy

By Andrew Norton, writing from Australia

Earlier this week, the Australian Electoral Commission released figures on political expenditure for 2009–10. Australia’s miners reported spending $22 million on their campaign against the mining super-profits tax. In 2007–08, the union movement spent a record $28 million on their fight against WorkChoices. Both the miners and the unions succeeded in getting policies altered.

Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday, columnist Peter Hartcher concurred with a 2007 Liberal Party view that spending on this scale is a ‘dangerous development for democracy.’ He feared that interest groups could veto policy, making it harder to implement needed reforms. Views of course differ on the merits of the mining tax and WorkChoices. But if governments launch major policy attacks on sections of Australian society, it can hardly be dangerous for democracy if their targets respond noisily and forcefully. This is what democracy is all about – differing views being expressed, with the public ultimately deciding who is most persuasive.

The real dangerous developments for democracy are the various attempts by governments to curb these protests. New South Wales has already imposed a state election campaign spending limit of just over $1 million for groups not standing for office. The Queensland government proposes an even more restrictive $500,000 for its state election campaigns. A promised federal review of election laws will almost certainly canvas similar political expenditure controls. Governments are protecting themselves from their critics.

What could be left uncapped is government propaganda. The AEC’s disclosure system does not apply to government, and so misses our biggest source of political advertising. Labor budgeted nearly $40 million for a campaign in favour of the mining tax, and the Coalition spent an estimated $55 million of taxpayers’ money promoting WorkChoices. Restricting non-government spending without controlling government advertising would further imbalance the political system in favour of the state.

It’s pretty obvious why political parties want to nobble their opponents. But I cannot understand why political expenditure laws get so little criticism from everyone else.

The above is a press release from the Centre for Independent Studies, dated 4 Feb. Enquiries to cis@cis.org.au. Snail mail: PO Box 92, St Leonards, NSW, Australia 1590.


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


5 February, 2011

Psychological projection: Islamists Accuse Egypt's Christians Of ... Radical Islam

The persecution of Egypt's Coptic minority is taking an ironic, and dangerous, turn: Islamist leaders are now projecting the worst traits of radical Islam onto Egypt's Christians. A psychological phenomenon first described by Sigmund Freud, "projection," is defined[1] as "the attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people." As such, consider the following excerpt from this recent report:[2]
In the last month various fundamentalist groups held ten demonstrations [in Egypt], each after coming out of mosques following Friday prayers, against the 86-year-old ailing Coptic Pontiff, in which he was accused of being a US agent, an abductor and torturer of female Muslim converts from Christianity, of stockpiling weapons in monasteries and churches to carry out war against Muslims, and of plans to divide Egypt to create a Coptic State.

All of these accusations are as inapplicable to the Coptic Church as they are applicable to Islamists. Let us first examine the context of these charges: "Abducting and torturing female Muslim converts from Christianity."

Context: The wife of a Coptic priest, Camelia Shehata,[3] was reportedly kidnapped by Islamists, but then returned to her family. In response, Islamist leaders began saying that she had willingly run away and converted to Islam, and, in fact, has been "re-kidnapped" by the Coptic Church, which has trapped her in a monastery where she is being "tortured" and "re-indoctrinated" to Christianity.

In fact, the opposite scenario - kidnapping Christian women and forcing them to convert to Islam - is a well documented[4] and a notorious phenomenon[5] in Egypt. So now the Coptic Church is being accused of behaving identically - not just kidnapping, but torturing, brainwashing, and forcing women to convert. Moreover, the fact that Camelia has appeared on video[6] fervently affirming her Christian faith and denying that she ever converted to Islam has been ignored, no doubt because Islam's ingrained notion of taqiyya,[7] or dissimulation, is also being projected onto the Copts. Finally, Muslims' own sharia law mandates that Muslim women who try to leave the faith must be incarcerated and tormented until they return to Islam, such as in the recent case of Nagla Imam.[8]

"Stockpiling weapons in monasteries and churches to carry out war against Muslims."

Context: On September 15, leading Islamic figure Dr. Muhammad Salim al-Awwa appeared on Al Jazeera,[9] and, in a wild tirade, accused[10] the Copts of "stocking arms and ammunition in their churches and monasteries" - imported from Israel, no less, as "Israel is in the heart of the Coptic Cause" - and "preparing to wage war against Muslims." He warned that if nothing is done, the "country will burn," inciting Muslims to "counteract the strength of the [Coptic] Church." Awwa further charged that Egypt's security forces cannot enter the monasteries to investigate for weapons (an amazing assertion, considering that Coptic monasteries are not only at the mercy of the state, but easy prey to Islamist attacks,[11] with monks tortured and crucifixes spat on).

Needless to say, such charges are unjustified: in a nation and society where Islam is supreme; where sharia law (which mandates subjugation for non-Muslims via Koran 9:29)[12] is part of the Constitution; where Copts have been conditioned over centuries to be happy just being left alone - is it reasonable to believe that these selfsame, downtrodden Christians, who make up 12%-15% of the population, are planning a violent takeover of Egypt? It is easy to see, however, why such charges resonate with Muslims; after all, Islamists are constantly arming[13] and stockpiling weapons[14] - a Koranic charge[15] - including in mosques, as they prepare to violently seize power across the nations, with Egypt being an especially coveted target. Ironically, Awwa himself ceded that "Muslims are arrested every day [in Egypt] for extremism and the possession of arms."

"Planning to divide Egypt to create a Coptic State."

Context: In a closed conference, Coptic Bishop Bishoy had the temerity to acknowledge history:[16] "Muslims are guests in this country, Christians are the original residents. Prior to the Arab invasion of Egypt, which took place in the seventh century, the majority of Egypt's population was Christian." As usual,[17] this otherwise historically accurate observation has enraged Muslims, been denounced by Al Azhar, and cited as "proof" that the Copts seek to divide Egypt and establish their own state.

It is actually Muslim minorities who habitually try to secede from non-Muslim countries, whether by creating their own nations (Pakistan), or creating enclaves in the West.[18] The notion of separating from the infidel is commanded in the Koran (e.g., 3:28, 4:89, 4:144, 5:54, 6:40, 9:23, and 58:22), codified in the doctrine of wala wa bara,[19] and imprinted on the Muslim psyche. Unsurprisingly, then, Muslims have come to project this divisive impulse onto the Copts as well.

There is perhaps no clearer example of Muslim projection than when Bishop Bishoy, in response to the recent upsurge in Coptic persecutions, declared that the Copts are reaching the point of martyrdom: amazingly, this, too, has been thoroughly "Islamicized" as a declaration of war-to-the-death, including by Awwa, who, during his Al Jazeera declaration, asserted that "Father Bishoy declared that they would reach the point of martyrdom, which can only mean war. He said, 'If you talk about our churches, we will reach the point of martyrdom.' This means war."

Of course, the notion that a martyr is someone who wages and dies in jihad [holy war] is intrinsic to Islam (e.g., Koran 9:111).[20] Even the authoritative Hans Wehr Arabic-English Dictionary translates shahid ("martyr") as "one killed in battle with infidels." On the other hand, Christian martyrdom has always meant being persecuted and killed for refusing to recant Christianity - and this is precisely the definition that has for centuries applied to Egypt's Copts, and the definition that Bishop Bishoy clearly intended. (See this article[21] for the pivotal differences between Christian and Muslim martyrdom.)

Islamists regularly abduct, abuse, brainwash, and compel Coptic girls to convert - and now Copts are accused of doing the exact same thing; Islamists regularly smuggle and stockpile weapons, including in their holy places - and now Copts are accused of doing the exact same thing; Islamists are constantly either trying to break away or conquer infidel nations - and now Copts are accused of doing the exact same thing; Islamic martyrdom means participating and dying in jihad - and now Christian martyrdom is defined as the exact same thing.

While anti-Copt sentiment is as old as the Muslim conquest of Egypt, this recent batch of false accusations is making Muslims more irate and paranoid, and foretells greater harm for Egypt's beleaguered Christians. According to sharia's dhimmi pact,[22] the necessary condition for Copts to be tolerated is that they live as subordinate, second-class "citizens." The Islamist psyche - and Egypt is increasingly Islamicizing - expects this.

Yet these recent charges portray the Copts as violent antagonists bent on war and conquest. If the Muslim popular mind accepts this new interpretation, far from subjugated dhimmis, or even co-equals, the Copts will be perceived as little better than infidel terrorists, and treated accordingly: that is, barbarously.

Much more HERE

The false rape claims start young in Britain

For the past few years, she has been an ­enthusiastic member of a church youth group. The club meets at her local ­chapel every Sunday where they say prayers and light candles before taking part in ­social activities and ­discussions on topical moral or religious issues.

So it was on the Sunday evening before the August Bank Holiday last year when this deeply disturbing but still unfolding story begins. The girl we shall call Lucy was 15 then; she is 16 now. Her true ­identity is protected by the law, for reasons that will become apparent.

At the weekends, her social life, like that of many of the teenagers in this Gloucestershire village, revolved around the youth group where ‘respect others’ is the most ­important rule. The words are printed on ­laminated cards which are given to youngsters when they join.

Lucy — pretty, bright and articulate — epitomised these ideals. Or so it seemed to those in charge; back in the summer she even attended a Christian summer camp. How bitterly ironic these details seem with hindsight.

One of Lucy’s friends at the club was David, 15 (again, for legal ­reasons, not his real name). He went to the same school as Lucy, but was in the year below her. David lived in a detached house at the ‘posh’ end of the village, about half a mile from Lucy.

The two regularly exchanged text messages. Some time on the night of August 29 last year, Lucy received one inviting her to come round to David’s home the following morning. By the time she arrived, David’s mother had left for work and his elder sister had gone out. David and Lucy were joined by two of their peer group; a boy and girl both aged 14. All four went upstairs to David’s bedroom.

They started to play a game of ‘dare’ with each other; a sexual version of the game. ‘I dare you to lift up your tops and show me your bra,’ was the gist of the first challenge. The ‘game’ culminated with Lucy and David disappearing under the duvet on the bed. They remained there for ten minutes. During that time they had full sex while their friends sat at a ­PlayStation in the corner.

Could there be a more graphic ­example of the sexualisation — and promiscuity — of too many children today?

Yet this is not the end of the story. The repercussions of what happened that morning five months ago in a ­village in the heart of so-called Middle England have been devastating, and are enough to shock any parent of a teenage child.

One week on from the game of ‘dare’, Lucy was at the club as usual. ­Sitting next to her in church was the same girl who had been with her in David’s room. Lucy began tapping a message into her mobile phone before passing the phone to her friend. Her friend read the ­message. It said: ‘I think I might be pregnant.’

That bombshell was followed by an astonishing accusation. David, she told her friend, had raped her that morning under the duvet. Lucy repeated the claim to her mother, who took her to the police station. David was arrested. In the ­harrowing days that followed, David was called a ­‘rapist’ — among other things — in the street by other youngsters who ­presumed he must be guilty. He wasn’t.

Lucy, it transpired, was lying. She was charged with making a false rape claim. And last week, she was ­convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice when she appeared before a youth court in Cheltenham; one of the youngest people in the country, it is believed, ever to be successfully ­prosecuted for such an offence. She will be sentenced later this month.

Why were detectives so sure Lucy was not telling the truth? Well, for one thing, it was not the first time she had falsely accused a boy of rape, of which more later. There were also two other ­youngsters in the ­bedroom, remember, when Lucy and David had sex. Neither of them ­corroborated her account.

One of those teenagers, a slip of a lad, is now sitting in his lounge next to his mother and stepfather ­recalling what really happened on that Bank Holiday morning. Did he know what rape was? ‘Yes,’ he replied. Was Lucy raped? ‘No.’ What did he think they were doing? Answer: ‘I thought they were just doing it.’

When they were ‘finished’, he said, David told him what he and Lucy had done under the duvet; it is ­inappropriate to quote that ­conversation in a family newspaper.

Nevertheless, no boy should have to go through what David has gone through. Or be forced to give ­evidence in rape proceedings as the boy now speaking to me did; a video of his ­testimony, which was played to the court, helped clear David, but ­condemned Lucy.

Lucy and many of her peer group, after all, were members of a church youth group. She describes herself on social networking sites as a ­Christian. Yet the well-behaved, ­crucifix-­wearing Lucy has a very ­different side, it seems. This is the heavily made-up, ­cigarette-smoking Lucy who was often to be seen around the village in sometimes thigh-skimming dresses with a variety of different boys in tow.

Some families had stopped their own children from associating with Lucy and say she has been sexually active since the age of at least 13.


British PM: It's time to stop tolerating the Islamic extremists and get immigrants to respect British 'core values'

David Cameron will today pledge to make Britain ‘a lot less’ tolerant towards Islamic extremists who whip up hatred against the West.

In a major speech on terrorism, the Prime Minister will argue that Britain has been too ‘passive’ towards organisations and preachers who poison the minds of young Muslims.

Mr Cameron will say Britain needs to be less tolerant and more judgemental when faced with ideologies that threaten the country’s basic values.

Signalling a major departure from Labour’s softly-softly approach, he will suggest that to ‘belong’ in Britain, individuals must sign up to core values such as freedom of speech, the rule of law and democracy. In a barely-concealed attack on the opposition, he will say: ‘It’s time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past.’

The Prime Minister will pledge to end all public funding for groups which give succour to extremist views. And he will call for action to ban extremists from radicalising young people in universities, prisons and internet chat rooms.

At a security conference in Munich today, Mr Cameron will say: ‘Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism.’

His warning comes just days after Britain’s independent reviewer of anti-terrorism laws, Lord Carlile, said that human rights rulings had made Britain a ‘safe haven’ for suspected foreign terrorists.

The Prime Minister will also hit out at Labour’s experiment with multiculturalism – calling it a failure. He says society has failed to provide a strong sense of what it means to be British, making it easier for extremists to prey on youngsters seeking something to identify with.

Mr Cameron pledges to end the state funding of groups that help foster extremist views, even if they are not directly linked to terrorism. He warns that there is a ‘spectrum’ of dangerous groups, ranging from those advocating suicide bomb attacks to those who ‘may reject violence, but who accept various parts of the extremist world view, including real hostility towards western democracy and liberal values’.

He goes on: ‘As evidence emerges about the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by what some have called “non-violent extremists” and then took those radical beliefs to the next level by embracing violence.’

Downing Street last night declined to name the groups Mr Cameron is referring to. But controversial organisations which have received state funding in the past include Hizb-ut-Tahrir and the Muslim Council of Britain.

Mr Cameron will warn fellow European leaders that they cannot tackle terrorism simply by tracking down extremists abroad in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan and must ‘wake up to what is happening in our own countries’.

But the Prime Minister will add that events in Egypt – where Muslim protesters are calling for democratic reforms – show that ‘Western values and Islam can be entirely compatible’.


More than one murder a week is committed by a thug on bail in Britain

More than one murder every week is committed by a criminal who could have been locked up, it emerged last night. Shocking figures show how 60 deaths could have been prevented if the criminal had been remanded in custody rather than released on bail after their first offence.

It will re-ignite the bitter row over Justice Secretary Ken Clarke’s proposals to slash the prison population by 3,000. A key part of the plan is to grant bail to even more suspects – both adults and juveniles – than is currently the case.

Critics fear this will lead to the number of murders by suspects on bail increasing further.

The Government does not routinely publish information about the criminal background of murder suspects. But Freedom of Information requests show suspects on bail represent one in 14 of all those who face the charge. Nationwide, that is the equivalent of 60 killings.

Campaigners say that, in many cases, they are violent partners arrested for an assault, who are then allowed back home – where they commit murder. In other startling cases, thugs picked up for yobbish behaviour are released back on to the streets to commit acts of lethal violence.

Rose Dixon, the chief executive of pressure group Support After Murder and Manslaughter, said: ‘Most of the families we deal with would say the criminal justice system isn’t robust enough. ‘People who are charged with domestic violence should be locked up for the protection of the women involved. ‘The statistics say that two women every week are killed by their partner or ex-partner – and in these type of cases we should look really carefully at how best to protect the victim.’

The survey of police in Britain found that, of those forces that kept the information, a total of 624 people were charged with murder. Of those, 43 were already on either police or court bail for a previous offence at the time of the killing.

When the missing forces are factored into the figures, it means that of the 870 people charged with murder last year around 60 would have been on bail for another offence.

The worst force was Lancashire – where six of the 31 people charged with murder last year were on bail at the time they allegedly committed the killing.

In South Yorkshire four out of the nine people charged with murder were on bail at the time while in West Yorkshire five of the 37 people charged were on bail.

Suspects are given bail as an alternative to custody while awaiting trial or sentencing. They are supposed to show good behaviour in return for not being locked up while the legal proceedings against them are put into place.

Yet there are a string of examples of violent and dangerous criminals who are granted bail. Two years ago Garry Weddell shot dead his mother-in-law while on bail on a charge of killing his wife. Other cases include Jonathan Vass, a 30-year-old ex-bouncer, who cut the throat of his former girlfriend Jane Clough, 26, while on bail for raping her. Last year he was jailed for life for the killing. Vass was originally put in prison to await the rape trial but was then released and went on to murder the nurse in the grounds of Blackpool Hospital.

Yesterday, Mr Clarke remained defiant, saying he had not once in his career produced a policy that was ‘instantly popular’. Writing in the Spectator magazine, Mr Clarke said: ‘My goal is a Conservative one: to find effective ways of punishing criminals while reducing public spending. ‘Prisons cost £4billion a year –over a billion more than they did in 1997. An adult prison place costs the taxpayer on average £45,000 a year; a young offender costs £60,000. ‘This would be money well spent if it stopped people from committing crime. But it does not.’

A Ministry of Justice spokesman added: ‘It is for Parliament to ensure that the framework used by the courts strikes the right balance between the rights of the individual and the need to protect the public.’



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


4 February, 2011

Google attacking news aggregators

Such as this site

Alternative news sites beware, Google is changing their algorithm to reduce your status to a spammer in an attempt to control the flow of information on the Internet.

Google has announced that it is fixing flaws in its algorithm that allows search results to be spammed, while also planning to weaken the search-ability of websites referred to as "content farms." Matt Cutts, head of Google's anti-spam team, writes:

As “pure webspam” has decreased over time, attention has shifted instead to “content farms,” which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. In 2010, we launched two major algorithmic changes focused on low-quality sites. Nonetheless, we hear the feedback from the web loud and clear: people are asking for even stronger action on content farms and sites that consist primarily of spammy or low-quality content.

The only clear reference from Google about problems occurring from "content farms" in regards to spamming search results is from China: "Last year Google faced a rash of webspam on Chinese domains in our index. Some spammers were purchasing large amounts of cheap .cn domains and stuffing them with misspellings and porn phrases." They claim this scheme led to "irrelevant" search results.

Yet, their goal seems to be to weaken what has been referred to as "news aggregating" websites as "one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content." This clearly describes many sites that present alternative news. However, plenty of alternative news sites and blogs have original material which they freely share, in part or in full, purely to support one another in disseminating the truth. This is of key importance to spread information in the absence of government or foundation funding, as enjoyed by much of the mainstream media. It is also a counter to censorship, so that a free market of ideas can flourish where people can investigate facts for themselves, rather than have opinions dictated from a limited number of sources.

According to a recent cheerleading article by TechCrunch, content farms indeed include websites that post any duplicate content word-for-word, "Now, finally, it sounds like they’re going to do more to take on sites that just repurpose content from other sites (hopefully including the countless sites that repost TechCrunch articles verbatim)."

What's odd is that everyone knows that original content already carries far more weight with Google algorithms than re-posted content. Additionally, backlinks from well-ranked relevant sites is also a huge factor in building a strong Google page rank, besides driving traffic to the source. Therefore, it would stand to reason that websites like TechCrunch should be overjoyed when other relevant sites post their content, as long as it is sourced with a hyperlink. Alexa ranks TechCrunch at 305 on the entire Internet, no doubt due to their 36,374 links that Alexa recognizes. Without allowing the sharing of their original content, this level of achievement would be impossible under the current Google algorithm.

For those who understand this concept, if they punish sites that re-post content such as news aggregators that link back to them, the source will surely lose traffic and overall ranking despite being heavy in original content. Which begs the question, what people have been asking for "stronger action against content farms?" Because gauging the rise in popularity of alternative media (i.e. news aggregators), it seems that Internet users themselves aren't the ones complaining.

It is obviously the entrenched dinosaur media that despises having to play on a level field, especially as it pertains to truthful reporting and analysis. Former executive editor of the Washington Post, Leonard Downie Jr., addressed "old media vs. new media" in a September lecture where he excoriated so-called content farms as “parasites living off journalism produced by others.” He even claims re-posting of material, even if sourced, is "stealing" as reported by Politico:

'The aggregators fill their websites with news, opinion, features, photographs and video that they continuously collect – some would say steal – from other national and local news sites, along with mostly unpaid postings by bloggers who settle for exposure in lieu of money,' Downie said.

'Though they purport to be a new form of journalism, these aggregators are primarily parasites living off journalism produced by others. They attract audiences by aggregating journalism about special interests and opinions reflecting a predictable point of view on the left or right of the political spectrum, along with titillating gossip and sex.

Revealing photos of and stories about entertainment and celebrities account for much of the highly touted web traffic to the Huffington Post site, for example.'

Downie rightly states that these sites attract an audience seeking a certain point of view, but ignores the fact that mainstream outlets do the same. Some would argue that the real strength behind news aggregators is the ability to expose the establishment's gross injustices and other inconvenient truths without all the "titillating" distractions. As the masses become more aware of establishment lies, they are flocking to alternative sites who cut through the BS and present a clear path to the truth.

Google's algorithm changes seem to be yet another tool being used to direct the flow of information away from the alternative media to selected mainstream news sources. It compounds actions already taken by Google in their involvement in upending net neutrality in favor of mega-media machines; the attempt by Congress to crack down on copyright infringement by blacklisting domain names; and copyright extortionist lawyers suing over wording in links.

It's obvious that the establishment will find a way to punish truth sites, either through technical penalization for re-posting material, reducing access speed, blogging taxes, lawsuits for copyright infringement, or by arbitrarily blacklisting the domain altogether.

At its core, this new Google algorithm seems to punish information sharing in favor of protectionist conglomerates with large writing staffs. We in the alternative media would do well to recognize that these actions being taken by the elite of the media world are just another sign of their weakened state. Now is the time for the alternative media to seek more writers and more cooperation.


German State bans burkas for government workers

The state of Hesse has banned the wearing of the burka – the Muslim dress that covers a woman’s face – by state employees during work hours, officials announced late Tuesday.

The decision was made by Interior Minister Boris Rhein in response to a worker at a local administrative office, or Bürgeramt, in Frankfurt who wanted to report for work wearing a burka.

The woman is just finishing a period of parental leave but has been given some extra time to reconsider her position. “We have allowed her a couple more days to think about the situation,” said Frankfurt city head of personnel Markus Frank. “We want to relieve the pressure somewhat.”

The 39-year-old woman had the option of returning to work without her burka. Before she went on parenting leave, she wore a headscarf only. But shortly before her scheduled return to work, she announced she wanted to wear a full burka on religious grounds. Daily Bild reported that there might be financial issues involved, as there had been discussion of a €40,000 settlement, though the woman’s lawyer had later talked of €18,000.

However Frank insisted the woman was not due for any kind of financial settlement. Nor is she being paid at the moment, because she is a part-time worker. “We will not pay a cent of taxpayers’ money for this,” Frank said.

The city was following the clear rule that workers in the public service must make their faces visible. Frank said he hoped that the woman would think the matter over and return to work without the burka. “We’re giving her another chance. Either she takes it or she doesn’t,” he said. “That is a clear limit that we are sticking to.”

Interior Minister Rhein said the state government was on safe legal ground because public service workers were obliged to be politically and religiously neutral. Veiled women conveyed the image that was not consistent with liberal and cosmopolitan values. “What’s more, the burka can be understood as a sign of an attitude contrary to the values of the western world,” said Rhein.

The environmentalist Greens members of Hesse’s state parliament backed the decision. “We regret the fact that it’s actually come to this debate because this abstruse interpretation of Islam by the city employee shows an image of Islam that has nothing to do with the views of almost all Muslims in Germany,” said Mürvet Öztürk, the integration policy spokesman for the party’s parliamentary group in the state.


Put Left-Wing Speech Control in the Cross Hairs

The most common left-wing objection to the right is that it wants to control others' lives. But, both in America and elsewhere, the threat to personal liberty has emanated far more from the left.

In the past generation, the left has controlled so much speech and behavior that these controls are now assumed to be a normal part of life.

Through the use of public opprobrium, laws and lawsuits, Americans today are less free than at any time since the abolition of slavery (with the obvious exception of blacks under Jim Crow).

Public opprobrium is known as political correctness, and it has suppressed saying anything -- no matter how true and no matter how innocent -- that offends left-wing sensibilities.

"Merry Christmas" offends leftist views on multiculturalism. So, it's largely gone. Honest discussion of male-female differences is also largely gone -- a lesson the former president of Harvard Larry Summers painfully learned when he simply asked if fewer women succeed in math and science because of innate differences between men and women.

Discussion of disproportionate rates of black violence is not allowed, no matter how well intentioned -- unless it is to "prove" how racist America is because of the high number of black men in prison.

In Europe -- and in all likelihood coming to America -- Christians who, citing the Bible, argue for a heterosexual ideal are arrested.

Thanks to the left, students at colleges get speech codes. They learn early in life that much speech is not permitted.

One may not favorably compare Western or American culture with that of any other. Led by Jesse Jackson, leftists chanted, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go" at Stanford University. And away it went.

The left owns the language. Married women are not to be referred to as "Mrs." but as "Ms." And the words "lady," "feminine" and "masculine" have largely gone to their graves. High school and college teams with American Indian names must drop those names because by definition, according to the left, they offend American Indians.

(This last example has always perplexed me. Why does the name Florida State Seminoles offend Indians? One caller to my radio show once responded to that question by asking me how I would feel as a Jew if some team took the name "Jews." I told him that I would be thrilled. For nearly 4,000 years, Jews have been looking for fans.)

Back to leftist controls on speech: One can only speak of male-female differences if the difference shows the female as superior. Thus to say women are innately more intuitive is perfectly acceptable, but to say men are innately more likely to excel at math is "sexist."

A woman may reveal as much of her body as she wishes. But if a man is perceived by a woman as looking too long at what she reveals, or if he comments on what she reveals, he may be fired from his job and/or sued for "sexual harassment." A woman may wear a miniskirt and crop-top, but a man may not have a calendar of women wearing miniskirts and crop-tops on his desk at work. That constitutes sexual harassment and a "hostile work environment."

Graphic torture and frontal nudity may be shown on screen, but smoking cigars or cigarettes may not. A Churchill museum in London has removed the cigars from wartime Churchill photographs, FDR has had his ubiquitous cigarette holder removed from his photographs, and the cigarettes have been removed from the Beatles' hands in the famous photo of them crossing Abbey Road.

The list of forbidden words and behaviors due to Leftist activism is quite extensive. The latest example is the left's war on any words or imagery that come from the worlds of war or guns.

Already, "crusade" has been removed from Americans' vocabulary -- lest it offend Muslims. Overnight, the left effectively banned the use of a perfectly legitimate word that usually described an admirable preoccupation with doing good -- "that newspaper is on an anti-corruption crusade."

Now, the left has announced that words such as "target" and "cross hairs" are offensive -- on the idiotic pretense that such imagery causes people to murder. If I were the CEO of Target stores, I would be concerned -- will my company be sued because of its name and logo?

Will the word "war" be next? Perhaps "war on poverty" caused murder. And how about "war on cancer" -- only God knows how much killing that caused. Perhaps we should now say "project to eliminate cancer." But, then again, doesn't "eliminate" have genocidal overtones?

It was understandable but mistaken for Sarah Palin to take down her map of congressional districts in cross hairs. There was absolutely nothing wrong with that map. Only the totalitarian left argues that it caused the murders in Tucson or anywhere else.

So what's the answer? If you love liberty, you must target the left and put its totalitarian tendencies in your cross hairs. We must shoot down political correctness and wage a crusade for truth and liberty. All those ladies and gentlemen who cherish personal and societal freedom must fight like great Indian chiefs, braving secondhand smoke if need be, in affirming a masculinity that has been under relentless attack. And yes, we must even endure the taunts of our foes and, at the appropriate time of the year, wish fellow Americans a "Merry Christmas."

Then, and only then, will we be able to vanquish lies, defeat the foes of liberty, and once again be able to proudly sing a national anthem that affirms that "the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there." If we don't, that line in "The Star-Spangled Banner" will go the way of "Merry Christmas."


British prisons treated like a holiday camp

Prison have become too soft and young criminals treat them like a "holiday camp", the Government's knife-crime adviser has warned. Brooke Kinsella, the actress whose 16-year-old brother Ben was stabbed to death three years ago, said it was time jails were turned back in to "places of punishment".

The former Eastenders star, who was personally backed by David Cameron in the election campaign, spoke out as she concluded her review in to tackling knife crime for the Home Secretary Theresa May.

Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, has already faced criticism that his planned reform of sentencing and rehabilitation will see tens of thousands fewer criminals go to prison.

Following her six-month review, Miss Kinsella said: "Many young offenders said they actually become accustomed to life in a young offenders institution, with some describing it as 'a holiday camp' – three hot meals a day, a place to stay, ways of being educated or earning a wage and quite often the opportunity to make friends or hang out with people they already know.

"Just as the new Government is making it more beneficial to work than to be on benefits, so too must we turn prisons and institutions back into places of punishment, where people want to get out and ensure they don't go back."

Miss Kinsella also criticised head teachers for not doing enough to teach about the dangers of knife crime in the classroom. She accused many of being too "afraid" because they worry having such lessons will give the school a bad name. She called for lessons to now start for pupils as young as ten and warned more than 20 children a weekend up in hospital with a stab wound.

Mrs May repeated the Government's view that any adult caught with a knife should expect a prison term and announce more than £18 million funding to tackle crimes involving knives, guns and gangs over the next two years.

"Off the back of Brooke's recommendations, we will invest money into changing attitudes and behaviour, alongside being tough on those who persist in being involved in senseless crimes," she said.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


3 February, 2011

Vicious British social workers again

They ignore abuses by the underclass and hound decent families over hypothetical problems. Ferals are "supported" (translation: Their abuses are ignored) while the children of decent families are taken away on the slightest excuse

A baby was found dead in his pushchair in front of a blazing gas fire - his body charred and burned - after social services missed 17 chances to save him.

Alex Sutherland, aged 13 months, had been dead for at least three days, according to a harrowing report published yesterday. He had faeces on his hands, legs and buggy, had severe nappy rash and had bruising on his head and body.

His mother, Tracey Sutherland, 39, a former pharmacist, was found nearby by police walking in the rain in her pyjamas and smelling of alcohol. She later admitted neglect and was jailed for 27 months.

Yesterday a Serious Case Review found Alex died despite numerous calls to social services from relatives, friends, police, nurses and a childminder. The report states there were 17 separate occasions when fears were raised over his welfare.

Yet he was not placed on the `at risk' register and was allowed to continue living with his mother at their home in Wythenshawe, Manchester, even though she admitted drinking up to six bottles of wine a day.

The case echoes that of Baby P - Peter Connelly - a 17-month-old boy who died in 2007 after suffering up to 50 injuries over eight months, despite being repeatedly seen by Haringey Children's services and NHS professionals.

In March 2009 a review by Lord Laming said a higher priority should be given to child protection. He said there was a lack of communication and joined-up working between agencies and he highlighted problems, with under-trained social workers and a `tick box' mentality.

The findings were published as Alex's suffering - and the failures surrounding his case - were heading towards their tragic conclusion. Yesterday's Serious Case Review spells out a catalogue of occasions when the authorities could have taken action.

The report, by Manchester Safeguarding Children's Board, condemned health and social workers, saying Alex's case was `poorly managed throughout' and his neglect was `both predictable and preventable'.

Referring to Alex as Child T and his mother as Mrs E, it said: `Child T was known to agencies because of Mrs E's misuse of alcohol, yet 17 expressions of concern (four of which alleged she was drunk) failed to trigger a reconsideration of the initial assessments that the likelihood of future significant harm was low.

`No single agency was responsible for failing to protect Child T from the chronic neglect which he suffered at the hands of his mother, but rather he was the victim of the multiple failures of all those agencies . to recognise the risks to which he was exposed and to take appropriate action.'

The report went on: `There were a number of contacts made with agencies by Mrs E's family and friends expressing concern about her drinking behaviour and the impact it had on Child T.'

It said the mother-of-two had had an alcohol problem throughout her adult life after being introduced to drink by her step-father at the age of eight. By 2007 she was drinking six bottles of wine a day and drank throughout her pregnancy. Just three weeks after Alex was born in October 2008, police were called to the house to find him lying on the floor in front of a gas fire while Sutherland staggered around drunk.

He was returned to his mother just nine days later after Sutherland insisted she would deal with her alcohol problems. After his death, Sutherland told police: `This is horrible, I'm a disgrace, an absolute disgrace. I didn't mean to harm him at all, absolute disgrace I am, sick in the head. Do I go to prison now?' She was jailed at Manchester Crown Court in April last year.

Laura Roberts, chief executive of NHS Manchester, said: `We are very sorry that we.did not fully recognise the extent of his neglect.'

Pauline Newman, the city council's director of Children's Services, said it was clear `there were areas where we could have done better'. She added: `We have carried out an extensive programme of work since this little boy died to ensure that staff fully understand the lessons that need to be taken on board from this tragedy.'

`We have also further trained staff to be assertive and challenging to parents who abuse alcohol.'

Ian Rush, the chairman of Manchester Safeguard Children's Board hit back at claims they did nothing to prevent the child's death. He said that Sutherland hid the true extent of her alcohol abuse from them. 'The report is clear in saying that the level of neglect this little boy was experiencing was preventable, had things been different at certain points and had people assessed the situation in a different kind of way,' he said.

Laura Roberts, chief executive of NHS Manchester, said: 'The death of this little boy was a tragedy and we offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends. 'We are very sorry that NHS Manchester, as one of the agencies involved in his care, did not fully recognise the extent of his neglect.


Liberal "Tolerance" Toward Bristol Palin

Though tolerance is not the highest virtue and hypocrisy is not the lowest sin, liberals have a dearth of the former while demanding it and an abundance of the latter while forbidding it.

Washington University's withdrawn speaking invitation to Bristol Palin is a textbook example both of liberal intolerance and hypocrisy.

The university invited Palin to share her views on abstinence during its "Student Sexual Responsibility Week" in February. But when it was disclosed that the school had offered Palin $20,000 to speak, open-minded liberal students objected and the university withdrew the invitation.

Let's look at some of the reasons the university offered for reneging on its invitation to Palin -- reasons that are much more diverse than the university's acceptable range of speaker choices.

The first objection was over the size of the honorarium. While $20,000 is a good chunk of change, it's not like it was a gift. Speakers are routinely paid more on campuses throughout the United States, many of whom couldn't possibly draw the kind of crowds necessary to pay their fees. With Palin's high profile, she doubtlessly could have generated an audience sufficient to cover her honorarium. If that's the case, this objection is unreasonable, especially when schools subsidize other speaker payments. And what does it say about a public institution that it would renege on what we must assume was its legally binding commitment to pay Palin for her appearance?

Of course, the amount of money was probably not the main reason for the student outrage, but just an added irritant to their revulsion that anyone related to Sarah Palin would set foot on their campus, much less at the university's paid invitation.

Soon, other reasons surfaced. One was that Palin is too controversial, a frequent complaint leftists selectively make against conservatives in a variety of venues. But no such student objections were leveled against the appearance at the university of Obama's disgraced "Green Jobs Czar" Van Jones, who resigned from his post when it was learned that he had been an avowed Marxist and had publicly denounced Republicans with expletives. And if Palin is controversial for her objectively innocuous views supporting abstinence, how about the Planned Parenthood contingency that will remain on the panel, militantly pushing the pro-abortion position?

Another objection was that Palin couldn't possibly relate to single mothers because she is not a single mother herself -- because she makes too much money. Apart from the fact that you don't have to be a single mother to lecture on abstinence in the first place, it speaks volumes about liberals that they disqualify people from categories based on their unacceptable (conservative) political views -- e.g., conservative blacks are not black. With all deference to liberals' distorted lexicons, Bristol Palin is unmarried and a mother, and is therefore a single mother.

Other liberals, on and off campus, objected that Palin isn't college educated and thus lacks the credentials to speak on a vaunted university campus. This is disgraceful sophism. Are leftists so arrogant that they believe they can't learn from anyone on any subject -- regardless of her experience -- who hasn't acquired knowledge through their approved method? Are reformed drug addicts or alcoholics forbidden to speak on the dangers of drugs and alcohol unless they're able to present their college diplomas?

Another equally lame excuse reared its head when liberals asserted that Palin had no business speaking on the subject of abstinence because she had a child out of wedlock, which disqualified her on the grounds of the mortal sin of hypocrisy.

What's most maddening about this is liberals' habitual misuse of the term hypocrisy. It is not hypocritical for someone to preach against a practice they committed in the past, have sought redemption for and are not presently committing -- especially if the purpose of the preaching is to help others avoid mistakes she made, rather than to condemn them. Common sense and experience tell us that the most effective teachers are often those who have learned from and can steer people away from their past misbehaviors.

The students' outrage was much more likely based on their personal angst that their school would invite someone as detestable as they find Sarah Palin's offspring to be, even if the school would have profited from the event.

Washington University student liberals showed their ugly side in this sordid episode -- displaying their intolerance for certain people and ideas in the name of tolerance, and their rank hypocrisy in the name of banning hypocrisy.

Sadly, they're too eaten up with their own self-righteousness to see through their mirrors clearly.


Two Lesbian High School Students Sue to Accompany Each Other to Dance

The acceptance that they get from this stunt will be largely delusory

Two lesbian high school students who fought for the right to walk together as part of a royalty court made their entrances Monday to the cheers of hundreds of classmates.

Sarah Lindstrom and Desiree Shelton wore matching black suits with pink ties and held hands as they entered the Snow Days Pep Fest at Champlin Park High School in Minneapolis' northwest suburbs.

The reaction came as a relief to the couple and school administrators. The district has been stung by criticism of its policies toward homosexuality and the alleged bullying of a gay student who killed himself.

"It felt amazing," said Shelton, adding that she was too nervous to notice dozens rise to give her a standing ovation as she walked in with Lindstrom. "I think we were too focused on getting to the stage." If there were any boos, they were drowned about by supporters. "I feel so much better," Lindstrom said while surrounded by friends after the rally.

Sarah's mother, Shannon Lindstrom, camera in hand, joined the other mothers of children in the royalty court after the rally. "They had a lot of courage," she said Shelton and her daughter. "Look how far we've come."

Students voted onto the royalty court traditionally enter the assembly in boy-girl pairs. After Lindstrom and Shelton, both 18, were elected, school officials last week announced a change in procedure: court members would walk in individually or accompanied by a parent or favorite teacher.

School officials said they merely wanted to prevent the two from being teased. But on Friday, two human rights groups sued on their behalf.

On Saturday, in federally mediated talks, school officials relented. The two sides agreed that members of the royalty court would be escorted by anyone meaningful to them, regardless of gender or age. "This is a new chapter for the district," said Sam Wolfe, a lawyer with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which filed the lawsuit along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and local assistance from the Minneapolis law firm of Faegre and Benson.

Young women in evening gowns and young men in dark suits walked through a makeshift arch and to the stage during the Monday afternoon pep rally complete with cheerleaders, dance teams and the school band. So did two young women in suits, and the crowd cheered for each one. "They did great," said Principal Mike George. "I'm proud of our students."

Several of the students in the crowd didn't understand what all the fuss over the lesbian couple. "Some people are against it, but they don't care if they walk down a stupid runway," said Maggie Hesaliman, 14. Melissa Biellefe, 16, said, "We're a pretty respectful school. Our rule is just let people be who they are."

Champlin Park is part of the Anoka-Hennepin school district, Minnesota's largest, which has been in the spotlight in the past year for its handling of issues involving gay and lesbian students. It has been in the crossfire for its policy of "neutrality" in classroom discussions of homosexuality. It was reached in 2009 as a way to balance the demands of liberal and conservative families, but neither side has been completely happy with it.

The issues flared again last year after a gay student, Justin Aaberg, killed himself. His mother has said she heard too late from Justin's friends that he had been harassed. Aaberg was one of six students who committed suicide in the district since the beginning of the 2009-10 school year, and advocacy groups have linked some of the other deaths to the bullying of gay students. However, the district said last month its own investigation did not find evidence that bullying contributed to the students' deaths.


Palestininan leader Reveals His True Agenda

In a recent discussion of the anticipated Palestinian state Mahmoud Abbas, leader in the territory, said he "would not tolerate one single Jew in his new country, Palestine." Speaking before journalists in Ramallah, he clearly and unequivocally noted, "We have already said completely openly, and it will stay that way: If there is a Palestinian country with Jerusalem as its capital, we will not accept that even one single Jew will live there."

Abbas rejected any suggestion that Jews in Judea and Samaria, who have lived in their homes for decades, could remain under Palestinian rule. Meanwhile in all negotiations, the Palestinian position is that "Palestinian refugees" have the right of return to Israel. Therefore, according to the Abbas proposition, Israel should open its borders for Arabs while Palestine closes its borders for Jews.

Here is the unvarnished truth. Arabs can live in Israel as fully fledged citizens with all the rights that status confers. They can have their own political parties, settle in their own communities and represent about twenty percent of the total Israeli population. But on the other side of the political ledger not one Jew, including those who reside on the West Bank, can remain once Palestine becomes an independent nation.

What more does one have to know about the Arab mentality? Sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander. There is and will remain different standards for Arabs and Jews. Hence, what precisely is a two state solution? An Arab state immediately becomes a threat to the very existence of Israel since Jews are recognized as the enemy and, by virtue of law, must be ostracized.

To make matters even more absurd, Abbas is considered an ideological moderate. After all, he doesn't call for killing Jews, only for a form of apartheid, of absolute separation. Should such a Palestinian nation be created, how long would it take for open hostilities between the two states to break out? Can an Israeli government that encouraged its citizens to move into the West Bank after the culmination of the 1967 war, now tell these residents that they must depart? Is the government prepared to extricate 250,000 people from this region?

These questions, and a host of others, will have to be addressed to meet the demands of a two state solution. But even more fundamental is the attitude of the Palestinians themselves. If Jews aren't permitted there, then presumably Jewish tourist dollars and investment capital are not welcome either. Where does one draw the line?

Clearly modesty is in order. If Abbas didn't have to mollify radical sentiment in the West Bank, these unmistakably racist comments would be an embarrassment and uttered only in private, if then. But his are the views of a radical sensing that the tide of world opinion is with him. Alas, he may be right since condemnation from the media elite over his forthright apartheid stance has not been forthcoming.

If this Palestinian state is created, Israelis should not have any illusions about what it will mean. Further isolation, increased hostility, border tension and suicide bombers are all in the cards. In fact, the deck is stacked against Israel and Abbas has made that fact patently clear.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


2 February, 2011

The incorrectness of Wikipedia

The NYT article below sees everything but the obvious in the fact that few women contribute to Wikipedia: That men are more interested in facts and women more interested in socio-emotional relationships. Men and women are the same, you see: Feminist bulldust. The fact that Wikpedia is voluntary and open to all DEMONSTRATES that men and women have inherently different interests. There is no oppressive "patriarchy" refusing to hire them

In 10 short years, Wikipedia has accomplished some remarkable goals. More than 3.5 million articles in English? Done. More than 250 languages? Sure.

But another number has proved to be an intractable obstacle for the online encyclopedia: surveys suggest that less than 15 percent of its hundreds of thousands of contributors are women.

About a year ago, the Wikimedia Foundation, the organization that runs Wikipedia, collaborated on a study of Wikipedia’s contributor base and discovered that it was barely 13 percent women; the average age of a contributor was in the mid-20s, according to the study by a joint center of the United Nations University and Maastricht University.

Sue Gardner, the executive director of the foundation, has set a goal to raise the share of female contributors to 25 percent by 2015, but she is running up against the traditions of the computer world and an obsessive fact-loving realm that is dominated by men and, some say, uncomfortable for women.

Her effort is not diversity for diversity’s sake, she says. “This is about wanting to ensure that the encyclopedia is as good as it could be,” Ms. Gardner said in an interview on Thursday. “The difference between Wikipedia and other editorially created products is that Wikipedians are not professionals, they are only asked to bring what they know.”

“Everyone brings their crumb of information to the table,” she said. “If they are not at the table, we don’t benefit from their crumb.”

With so many subjects represented — most everything has an article on Wikipedia — the gender disparity often shows up in terms of emphasis. A topic generally restricted to teenage girls, like friendship bracelets, can seem short at four paragraphs when compared with lengthy articles on something boys might favor, like, toy soldiers or baseball cards, whose voluminous entry includes a detailed chronological history of the subject.

Even the most famous fashion designers — Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo — get but a handful of paragraphs. And consider the disparity between two popular series on HBO: The entry on “Sex and the City” includes only a brief summary of every episode, sometimes two or three sentences; the one on “The Sopranos” includes lengthy, detailed articles on each episode.

Is a category with five Mexican feminist writers impressive, or embarrassing when compared with the 45 articles on characters in “The Simpsons”?

The notion that a collaborative, written project open to all is so skewed to men may be surprising. After all, there is no male-dominated executive team favoring men over women, as there can be in the corporate world; Wikipedia is not a software project, but more a writing experiment — an “exquisite corpse,” or game where each player adds to a larger work.

But because of its early contributors Wikipedia shares many characteristics with the hard-driving hacker crowd, says Joseph Reagle, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. This includes an ideology that resists any efforts to impose rules or even goals like diversity, as well as a culture that may discourage women.

“It is ironic,” he said, “because I like these things — freedom, openness, egalitarian ideas — but I think to some extent they are compounding and hiding problems you might find in the real world.”

Adopting openness means being “open to very difficult, high-conflict people, even misogynists,” he said, “so you have to have a huge argument about whether there is the problem.” Mr. Reagle is also the author of “Good Faith Collaboration: The Culture of Wikipedia.”

Ms. Gardner, citing an example that resonates with her personally, pointed to the Wikipedia entry for one of her favorite authors, Pat Barker, which was a mere three paragraphs when she came across it. Ms. Barker is an acclaimed writer of psychologically nuanced novels, many set during World War I. She is 67 and lives in England.

By contrast, Niko Bellic had an article about five times as long as Ms. Barker’s at the time. It’s a question of demographics: Mr. Bellic is a character in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV; he is 30 and a former soldier.

The public is increasingly going to Wikipedia as a research source: According to a recent Pew survey, the percentage of all American adults who use the site to look for information increased to 42 percent in May 2010, from 25 percent in February 2007. This translates to 53 percent of adults who regularly use the Internet.

Jane Margolis, co-author of a book on sexism in computer science, “Unlocking the Clubhouse,” argues that Wikipedia is experiencing the same problems of the offline world, where women are less willing to assert their opinions in public. “In almost every space, who are the authorities, the politicians, writers for op-ed pages?” said Ms. Margolis, a senior researcher at the Institute for Democracy, Education and Access at the University of California, Los Angeles.

According to the OpEd Project, an organization based in New York that monitors the gender breakdown of contributors to “public thought-leadership forums,” a participation rate of roughly 85-to-15 percent, men to women, is common — whether members of Congress, or writers on The New York Times and Washington Post Op-Ed pages.

It would seem to be an irony that Wikipedia, where the amateur contributor is celebrated, is experiencing the same problem as forums that require expertise. But Catherine Orenstein, the founder and director of the OpEd Project, said many women lacked the confidence to put forth their views. “When you are a minority voice Women are a MAJORITY!], you begin to doubt your own competencies,” she said.


Popular U.S. chicken chain under fire for anti-gay marriage donations

Christian businesses are not allowed to make donations to support what they believe in, apparently.

Fans of the addictive sandwiches of Chick-fil-A who also support gay marriage are facing a dilemma: Should one follow the dictates of the stomach or the conscience?

The privately owned chain, famous for closing on Sundays in deference to its founder's evangelical Christian values, donates to many Christian causes, scholarships, and organizations through its charitable arm.

But when a Pennsylvania restaurant donated sandwiches and brownies to a Harrisburg meeting of The Pennsylvania Family Group, a group that works to outlaw gay marriage, pro-gay marriage bloggers and gay rights organizations went on the offensive. The news quickly trickled into the mainstream. Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton wrote about it, and so did the food blog Grub Street, with the headline "Chick-fil-A is anti-gay."

President Dan Cathy posted a video response to the company's Facebook page in early January, no doubt hoping to quell the controversy. "Chick-fil-A serves all people and values all people," Cathy said, adding that the donation did not serve as a political endorsement. UPDATE: Cathy now says Chick-fil-A will no longer donate to any organizations that take a political stand on marriage.

Thousands of people chimed in on Chick-fil-A's Facebook page, many of whom said they would support the chain even more because of the donation and the controversy around it. "You have nothing to expain to your customers, we support your family values, and know that you mean no ill-will to those with other opinions," John Joyner wrote.

Others wrote that they would give up their favorite chicken with heavy hearts. "I've eaten and loved chick all my life. I am sad that me and my entire family must denounce the Chick until you publicly apologize and make an equal and opposite donation to the Human Rights Campaign or other civil rights group," Rob Augino commented.

Some people wrestling between their stomachs and their beliefs painted their sacrifice in grandiose terms. "Never again will I enjoy your spicy chicken sandwich," writes one morose former fan on Twitter.

It's unclear how many people actually intend to shun the Georgia-based chain on the basis of its opposition to gay marriage--and what impact a consumer boycott will have on the company's bottom line. So far, students at Indiana University South Bend got the chain booted from campus, according to a post on Change.org, which hosts petitions against the chicken restaurant. (UPDATE: University administrators say Chick-fil-A is only suspended, not permanently banned, from campus, according to The South Bend Tribune.)

The company's anti-gay marriage donations go beyond the alliance in Pennsylvania. The WinShape Foundation, the company's charitable institution, and the Cathy family have donated millions to Christian organizations and causes, including some that campaign against gay marriage, The New York Times writes. A couples retreat operated by WinShape does not accept homosexual couples, according to the blog Good As You.

Other businesses have found themselves the center of controversy for wading into political debates. Target and Best Buy were boycotted this summer after they made donations to a group that backed Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who does not support gay rights. Target apologized for the donations.


Australia: More Fascism from the modern Left

Leftist economist Ross Gittins, below, wants Australians all to say "Sieg Heil" and "Heil Gillard", apparently. He wails that his Fuehrer can't get no respect. He is totally oblivious of the fact that respect has to be earned. And a government that (for instance) is pigheadedly determined to waste $46 billion on a fibre broadband network that hardly anybody wants deserves no respect whatever

Gittins proves once again that all Leftists are Fascists at heart

So alienated have we become from the work of government we regard it as a giant soft cop - a magic pudding, where the idea is to take out as much as possible ("I've paid taxes all my life .") and put in as little as possible. How is this circle squared? Who knows, who cares?

But there's more to this affair than just our pathological objection to paying more tax. It's a dramatic demonstration of the way Australians are losing the ability to fall in behind a leader.

All of us know the nation's problems won't be overcome without decisive leadership. We regularly bewail our politicians' lack of courage and conviction, their reluctance to risk their personal survival in the country's best interests.

Yet we give our leaders so little loyalty. The announcement of a government decision is taken as the occasion for the outbreak of dissent. All those with a reason for objecting cry out and their criticism is amplified by the media, whereas those who agree fall silent. No one feels obliged to actively support the leader, even if just because she is our leader and someone has to accept ultimate responsibility for deciding what we'll do and how we'll do it.

Of course, no one wants to live in a country where the leader's will is never challenged. We each have the democratic right to oppose all government decisions by all legal means. But we also have the democratic right to support, defend or even just acquiesce in the judgment of the people we elected to lead us. [Who questions that right? I think Gittins really meant "duty" -- in the best Fascist style. Hitler called it the "Fuehrerprinzip"]

Why are we becoming so much more prone to arguing the toss than falling into line? How do we imagine making leadership so much more difficult for the leader of the day will leave us better governed? Why are we training our governments to timidity?

Part of the explanation is partisanship - our willingness to put loyalty to party ahead of loyalty to our community and its need for effective leadership. I didn't vote for these people, so I'll regard everything they try to do as illegitimate.

Trouble is, there is little partisanship running the other way. Consider the deathbed bastardry of Labor's own Kristina Keneally in objecting that NSW taxpayers deserve special concessions under the levy.

No, there's more to this than partisanship: there is a general loss of loyalty and respect for whoever is our leader. The government is always and everywhere fair game. Consider the lack of public censure of the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, for his utterly obstructive behaviour.

Having narrowly lost the last election, he's behaving like a spoilt child, refusing to support any policy proposed by the government, whether good, bad or indifferent.


Australia: New rules to give NSW women equal representation

The last shriek of a dying Leftist government. They will be out of office shortly -- before any such rules can be enacted.

Hitler saw evil in the over-representation of Jews in the top levels of German society. His socialist successors see evil in the over-representation of men in the top levels of modern Western societies. The routine Leftist inability to look at people as individuals rather than as group members is the same

Women will make up half of new appointments to New South Wales government boards and committees by the end of next year, the State Government says.

In a bid for gender equality, Minister for Women Jodi McKay announced the package which includes an "if not, why not approach" to equality, at the Rural Women's Awards last night. "Women comprise over 50 per cent of the NSW population yet currently only 38 per cent of all NSW government board and committee positions are held by women," Ms McKay said. "We want to make sure boards and committees better reflect the communities they serve as well as provide improved access to the benefits of a wider talent pool."

The new rules mean agencies will need to regularly report on progress, and more resources will be made available to encourage women to nominate for positions, including how-to guides, information sheets and case studies. "We'll also provide quarterly public reporting on how we're tracking towards the 50 per cent target," Ms McKay said.

A review will take place in 2012, which will consider whether further measures should be introduced, such as legislation, to increase the rate of progress towards gender equality.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


1 February, 2011

Once again, British justice turns on the victims

With their village plagued by the incessant ringing of a faulty burglar alarm in a deserted cottage, the parish council chairman and his deputy decided to do their duty. Edmund Done, 67, and his deputy Jim Curtis, 73, snipped the wire and silenced the device which had rung for 20 minutes every two hours for two months.

After that, peace was restored – until nine months later when the pair were hauled before a court accused of causing criminal damage and threatened with a possible three-month jail sentence for snipping the wire, worth 5p.

Following a two-year saga involving nine court appearances, and despite a protest campaign by almost 300 villagers, Mr Done and Mr Curtis were due to stand trial today before magistrates in Skegness, Lincolnshire. But the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the charges after the men accepted police cautions.

Yesterday, the two friends criticised the service for wasting an estimated £40,000 of taxpayers’ money on the case. ‘It is ridiculous that it has gone on like this,’ said Mr Done, a former motor engineer who has stepped down as parish council chairman in the village of Hagworthingham.

Mr Curtis, a retired farm labourer whose bungalow backs on to the offending Foxglove Cottage, said ‘We signed a caution on advice and that’s the end of the matter. It is not a conviction and we don’t have a criminal record. ‘The cost of all the court cases must be horrific. It was a hell of a lot considering the wire only cost a few pence.’

Although technically neither man has a criminal record, both would be forced to declare the caution if they had to undergo a Criminal Records Bureau check.

Mr Done said: ‘We did everything possible to contact the owner of the building but we could not find out who it was.If we had known who owned it then it could all have been sorted out amicably without all this cost. ‘The alarm should not even have been there as it is a listed building and the owner did not have permission.’

The law states that controlling noise pollution is the duty of the police and local authority. ‘But no one wanted to know,’ said Mr Done. ‘We appealed to the police and the district council but nothing happened. ‘It was only as a last resort that we cut the wire. It was done with the minimum amount of damage. What else could we do? The alarm had been going for eight weeks. The majority of villagers were fed up with it. It was disturbing people, particularly at night when it is very quiet around here. ‘It would ring for 20 minutes and then stop while its battery recharged then start up again a couple of hours later.’

It is unclear who eventually complained about the cut wire although villagers believe it must have been the cottage’s mysterious owner. Inquiries showed that, according to Land Registry records, Foxglove Cottage was bought for £55,000 in May 2002 by a Gillian Mary Makinson-Sanders.

Mr Done and Mr Curtis, who both received legal aid, were eventually charged and first faced Skegness magistrates in 2009. The case was adjourned for a variety of reasons and a trial due to be held in August last year had to be put off because Mr Curtis was ill.

The men insisted throughout that they acted for the good of the village – which was the setting for Tennyson’s poem The Brook – and 290 residents rallied round to support them with at least 15 coming forward offering to give evidence in their defence. Their plight even sparked a Facebook campaign called ‘Save the Hagworthingham Two’.

A spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: ‘This case has been dragged out for too long and cost taxpayers far too much money already. ‘It looks like these two men were simply trying to do the right thing and the cost to taxpayers of the action against them far outweighs the few pence cost of the damage they did to some wires. ‘It seems ridiculous that the CPS ever took this case seriously – they should have thrown it out long ago.’

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Crown Prosecution Service said ‘Mr Done and Mr Curtis have accepted a caution. That marks the end of the case.’ Lincolnshire police declined to comment.


A one-girl war on the sisterhood

Once a pushy contestant on The Apprentice — the BBC show seeking budding new entrepreneurs — mouthy Katie Hopkins popped up on Question Time last week.

They were discussing the departure from Sky Sports of TV presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys after they were revealed to have made insulting remarks about, and to, women.

West Ham United’s vice-chairman, Karren Brady — once an adviser on The Apprentice — had spoken out strongly against Gray and Keys, ­saying: ‘It makes my blood boil, if I’m absolutely honest. What really upsets me is the fact that only females in our industry are judged by their gender. And that is categorically wrong.’

Would Ms Hopkins, 35, sing from the same hymn sheet? Er, no. She said: ‘I think Sky Sports has completely lost its sense of humour. I think, as a nation, potentially we have lost our collective sense of humour. People like Karren Brady, who has appointed herself patron saint of all things equal, does not speak on behalf of all of the sisterhood.

‘Women don’t want equal treatment — they couldn’t handle it if they got it, quite a number of them. What a lot of women want is special treatment. If you look at all-female shortlists for positions, is that equal treatment or is that special treatment?’

Fellow panellist Edwina Currie reacted furiously, pretending to ­collapse with shock. She said: ‘I cheered when Andy Gray was sacked — “yes!”

‘Remember, he wasn’t just sacked for the off-colour remarks about the assistant referee, which were made before she’d even had a chance to show her competence; he was sacked after a series of clips showing him making offensive and unpleasant remarks. He’s a fat slob, an awful man and I’m glad he’s gone.’

Ms Currie played to the gallery, as you’d expect of an ex-politician. As did Labour MP Chuka Umunna and Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne. Author Will Self maintained his ­customary bored expression throughout. (If it had been a woman TV ­presenter accused of insulting a man, would Ms Currie have said: ‘She’s a fat slob, an awful woman and I’m glad she’s gone.’ I don’t think so.)

Ms Hopkins’s sentiments are not those you often hear on the BBC. Nor in newspapers and magazines. But she’s right. Equal treatment is never enough. Special treatment is what we’re all after.

Women are no different from men in preferring it. And positive discrimination — either on gender or race grounds — is special treatment, whichever way you look at it.

Men must tread carefully when they talk about women publicly, but it doesn’t work the other way. Women can more or less say what they like about men — on TV and elsewhere — without much fear of censure.

But the Sky affair has nothing to do with the unfair treatment of women. It’s to do with ungentlemanly ­behaviour. Not so long ago, broadcasters wouldn’t have employed men — even in sport — who amused themselves by making coarse remarks about women.

Now, standards have fallen. They seek out this kind of man, thinking he’ll help them bond with the yobbo audiences they aim to attract. The BBC is no different from Sky in this respect. Remember the Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand affair and their ‘joke’ about what the latter did to actor Andrew Sachs’s granddaughter?

But when their coarseness comes to light — as it did with Ross and Brand, and Sky’s Andy Gray and Richard Keys — the broadcasters pretend they’re shocked, as if they didn’t know all along what kind of people they’d hired.

Katie Hopkins is an unusual character. She has knocked around the world, competed in tough environments and isn’t shy about blowing her own trumpet. She calls herself ‘the undoubted star’ of The Apprentice and ‘the only candidate ever to say no’ to Lord Sugar — making a spectacular boardroom exit ­witnessed by more than six million viewers.

A former student at The Royal ­Military Academy, Sandhurst, she has worked as a brand consultant in London, Tokyo and New York. She runs ­marathons, has two daughters and appears often on TV and radio, as well as public speaking.

I expect she’s a royal pain at times, but her surprising contribution to boring, smug Question Time was a piercing arrow of truth fired into a blancmange of blather.


Australia: Another tired old Leftist sneer at national pride

Australians have got a lot to be proud about and the surveys reveal that national pride is widespread in Australia. But the pseudo-humorous writer below has nothing but contempt for people who display the Australian flag on their cars. Flags on cars are mainly flown on Australia day, anyway, which is surely an appropriate day to fly them.

His comment on people who want immigration reduced is particularly odious. He implies that they are gun-carrying racists. Since about two thirds of Australians want immigration restraint he must think that he is a very superior person.

The whole piece drips contempt for all sorts of Australians. His fellow haters on the Left will laugh, however

I quite like the Australian flag, and indeed the nation it represents. Certainly it could be improved a bit by the removal of the Union Jack from the corner (though that is an argument for another column), but generally the old girl does a pretty good job of whatever it is that flags are supposed to do.

There is, however, a considerable gulf between a dash of patriotism and national pride, and naked jingoism.

And here we're talking about those bloody plastic flags that flutter feebly from car windows at this time of year, screaming "Look at moi, look at moi!" which (in the world of Kath and Kim at least) rhymes with the equally boorish chant of "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, oi, oi!"

The funny part of this is you're more likely to see the little plastic flags adorning a Hyundai than a Holden ute. This does tend to beg the question of why, if you are so fervently patriotic that you feel the need to advertise the fact, do you drive a Korean-made tin can powered by two rubber bands and an overworked hamster?

Actually, the way motorists choose to decorate their cars can be quite informative, telling you a lot about what sort of driver you are sharing a particular stretch of road with.

Pair up the Aussie car flag with a bumper sticker that sports the slogan "F--- off, we're full", for example, and you have enough character-profiling to deduce that the driver is road-rage incarnate and definitely not the sort of bloke to greet with a single-fingered salute when he cuts in front of you at high speed. In fact there's every chance he keeps his One Nation membership card in the glovebox next to his handgun.

Then there's the shiny new four-wheel-drives with stickers advertising which elite private school the owner's progeny attend and whether said children are rugby or hockey brats.

This just screams out rich Ascot mummy with total disdain for the great unwashed around her, who will tend to wield her vehicle like a German Panzer tank crushing all before it.

Often this species of driver is also sighted with those increasingly ubiquitous "My Family" montages on the back . . . OK, so you've got a partner, you've procreated more often than is probably healthy for the national gene pool and you have two dogs. What do you want, some sort of medal?

This is an "It's all about me" driver who thinks nothing of trundling along at 30km/h below the speed limit in the fast lane and assumes handicapped parking spaces are just that handy.

Baby on board? Another breeder. Bully for you. Line up for your medal behind the My Family brigade.

Another one to watch for are larger vehicles festooned with stickers from exotic destinations like Winton, Birdsville and Broken Hill. If there's a tow bar attached to the vehicle you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to assume it's probably an elderly caravan owner which, by definition, means automotive sociopath: "I've paid my taxes, so it's my bloody road."


Britain's Human Rights Act: A crime against liberty

The current debate about control orders shows how human-rights legislation actually aids the state in its attacks on our freedom. Britain's Gestapo won't torture or kill you but there is not much difference otherwise. You have not even the most basic legal rights if they decide otherwise

In 1997, the then UK Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, introduced the Human Rights Bill into parliament. In a lecture given at the time he claimed the bill would be of major significance ‘protecting the individual citizen against erosion of liberties’ (1). Lord Irvine’s words were shared by many who considered themselves to be champions of liberty.

The events of 9/11 were soon to put Lord Irvine’s claim to the test. In 2001, the New Labour government introduced detention without charge but then replaced it, after legal challenges, with control orders in 2005. The Liberal-Conservative coalition government has now announced, after several more legal challenges, that control orders are to be replaced with what many are calling ‘control orders lite’. But contrary to Lord Irvine’s claims, the Human Rights Act has not protected the individual citizen against an erosion of liberties. In fact, it has empowered the courts to become closely involved in shaping the curtailment of liberty.

Detention without charge was promptly challenged by detainees relying on the Human Rights Act. The Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 allowed foreign nationals who were ‘suspected international terrorists’ to be detained indefinitely. This provision was a gross breach of civil liberties: detention on an indefinite basis, detention without proof of any crime, detention on the basis of a suspicion, and detention without the detainee having to know either the case or the evidence against him.

So when several of the detainees in Belmarsh prison challenged their indefinite detention, by relying on the Human Rights Act, Lord Irvine’s claim was put to the test. The detainees won the case but not on any basis that struck a blow for civil liberties. The House of Lords, in what became known as ‘the Belmarsh case’, found the detention unlawful on the basis that it was disproportionate to the state’s needs (2), which was human rights speak for saying that it was not wrong in principle. As the court put it, the measure went further than was ‘strictly required by the exigencies of the situation’.

In so far as any clear principle can be distilled from the 100-page judgment from nine judges, it is that the measure was discriminatory because it could only be applied to foreign nationals. Baroness Hale made the discrimination point by hypothesising about the injustice of legislation that proposed to lock up black, disabled, female or gay suspected international terrorists but not white, able-bodied, male or straight suspected international terrorists. As another judge pointed out, this gave ‘the impression that all that was necessary was to extend the power [to detain] to United Kingdom citizens as well’. The House of Lords came close to holding that an erosion of civil liberties would be tolerated so long as the erosion was non-discriminatory.

The government took its cue from the House of Lords and introduced new provisions, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, which did not discriminate on grounds of nationality. Control orders, as they are called, can be made against foreign and British nationals. Unlike detention without charge, control orders do not provide for detention in prison, but the controlee can be subjected to any number of restrictive measures that render him subject to a form of house arrest. Typically, the controlee is required to live at a particular address, is subject to a curfew, and his associations are restricted.

Control orders constituted a further erosion of civil liberties: control on an indefinite basis, control without proof of any crime, control on the basis of a reasonable suspicion, and control without the controlee having to know either the case or the evidence against him.

Control orders have resulted in further legal challenges, but none of them has found the control-order regime to be unlawful. Following three House of Lords rulings in 2007 in which several controlees relied on the Human Rights Act (3) , the then minister of state for security, Tony McNulty MP, was correct to claim that the courts have ‘endorsed the principles of the control-order regime’ (4) . The then home secretary, Jacqui Smith, claimed in the wake of the judgment that she was considering strengthening some of the existing restrictions (5).

Having resolved the issue of principle in favour of control orders, subsequent cases have shown the extent to which the courts have become involved in shaping the nature and extent of the controls. The personal nature of this type of enquiry is readily apparent from the Supreme Court’s most recent consideration of a control-order case (6). ‘AP’ was a controlee who was subject to a 16-hour curfew and was required to live at a specified London address until the home secretary required him to live in the Midlands, some 150 miles from his family. The Supreme Court grappled with the fact that on being moved to the Midlands ‘his mother has not visited him at all’, which ‘is just as upsetting for his mother as it is for him’. Apparently, the mother could not visit her son ‘because she has never left London alone’.

The judgment noted ‘another significant hardship for AP [in that it] is difficult for him to feel part of the local community [and] no one in the mosque has welcomed him into the community, or asked him how he finds the area or even what his name is’. And although AP, an Ethiopian, ‘has spotted the occasional Ethiopian… he has not tried to befriend them because he does not want to burden them with his problems. He goes to the gym, but people there see his tag and naturally think that he is a criminal’.

The court’s detailed consideration of AP’s welfare needs shows the extent to which issues of principle about civil liberties are not relevant to the court. Under the Human Rights Act, avoiding social isolation is far more important to the courts than upholding civil liberties.

The Lib-Con government’s Review of Counter-Terrorism and Security Powers carries on from where courts have taken the argument (7). The review notes the ‘extensive litigation’ which has considered the human rights of a right to liberty (Article 5) and a right to a fair trial (Article 6) and notes that ‘a number of [control] orders have been imposed and upheld by the courts’. The point that troubles the government about control orders is the one that troubled the Supreme Court in the AP case – namely the ‘significant impact on an individual’s health and personal life and their ability to go about their normal lives’ and the fact that ‘relocating an individual to a different part of the country raised particularly difficult issues’.

So in forthcoming legislation we can expect control orders by another name, which continue to curtail a person’s liberty without proof of any crime, on the basis of a reasonable belief that the person has been involved in terrorism-related activity, and without the person having to know either the case or the evidence against him. Whatever these orders end up being called, it is clear that they will have been shaped by lawyers and judges wielding the Human Rights Act.

It is not surprising that the UK Human Rights Act has been an ineffective tool in safeguarding civil liberties as there is no provision in the Act, or the European Convention on Human Rights, which the Act gives domestic force to, to outlaw control orders or their intended successors. The Act requires the courts to be satisfied that a particular measure is ‘proportionate’. But ‘proportionality’ causes courts to shape the scope of restrictive measures rather than to declare them unlawful.

Civil liberties are important because of what they establish about freedom. They create a framework within which the individual has freedom such as the freedom to speak, associate, live or work as he chooses. These freedoms are so important that their curtailment by the state should require the sanction of a judge and jury, satisfied of guilt beyond reasonable doubt, sitting in a criminal court. Control orders foster a culture in which personal freedom and liberty are seen as less important, as something that can be taken away providing the secretary of state and a judge find it proportionate.

Civil liberties and human rights have different qualities. Civil liberties are directed at curtailing the state’s power, whereas human-rights claims invariably seek to invoke more state power. Civil liberties aim to protect individual freedom, whereas human-rights claims invariably aim to regulate human behaviour. Civil liberties are premised on a belief in human rationality, whereas a human-rights culture and the legal regulation that flows from it are invariably premised on the belief that individuals are vulnerable and not resourceful. This can readily be seen in the AP case where AP and his family were treated as so lacking in resourcefulness that the Supreme Court seemed concerned solely by the alleged difficulties that AP had in making friends and going to the gym and that his mother had in getting a train to the Midlands.

‘Control orders lite’ may turn out to be a less intrusive form of control order. But this will be a reform induced by a concern about the welfare, vulnerability and perceived weaknesses of controlees. This reform will not be a shot in the arm for civil liberties.

No doubt further legal challenges involving the Human Rights Act will be brought against ‘control orders lite’. But whatever the outcome of these legal claims, the real fight for civil liberties will not take place in the courtroom and it will not be won by learned counsel with erudite arguments before judges. A human-rights culture may enable AP to make trips to the gym, but it will not protect the individual citizen against an erosion of liberties.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


Examining political correctness around the world and its stifling of liberty and sense. Chronicling a slowly developing dictatorship

BIO for John Ray

Sarah Palin is undoubtedly the most politically incorrect person in American public life so she will be celebrated on this blog

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take chidren away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

Postmodernism is fundamentally frivolous. Postmodernists routinely condemn racism and intolerance as wrong but then say that there is no such thing as right and wrong. They are clearly not being serious. Either they do not really believe in moral nihilism or they believe that racism cannot be condemned!

Postmodernism is in fact just a tantrum. Post-Soviet reality in particular suits Leftists so badly that their response is to deny that reality exists. That they can be so dishonest, however, simply shows how psychopathic they are.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amedment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds