The creeping dictatorship of the Left... 

The primary version of "Political Correctness Watch" is HERE The Blogroll; John Ray's Home Page; Email John Ray here. Other mirror sites: Greenie Watch, Dissecting Leftism, Education Watch, Gun Watch, Socialized Medicine, Recipes, Australian Politics, Tongue Tied, Immigration Watch, Eye on Britain and Food & Health Skeptic. For a list of backups viewable in China, see here. (Click "Refresh" on your browser if background colour is missing). See here or here for the archives of this site.

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.


31 May, 2013

Hormonal influence on homosexuality

Rodent data so far only

A chemical usually associated with how happy we feel could also play a pivotal role in our sexual preferences, researchers have discovered.

A Chinese team found that blocking serotonin, known as the brain's 'happy chemical' caused female mice to switch their sexual preferences.

It is the first time that sexual preference has been reversed in animals without sex hormones.

Yi Rao of Peking University in Beijing, China, and his colleagues genetically engineered female mice so that they could no longer make or respond to serotonin.

'Female mouse mutants lacking either central serotonergic neurons or serotonin prefer female over male genital odors when given a choice, and displayed increased female–female mounting when presented either with a choice of a male and a female target or only with a female target,' the team wrote in their paper,  which is published in the journal PNAS.

'Our results indicate that serotonin controls sexual preference,' they say.

'It's possible that the well-known effect of early sex hormone levels on partner preference and the serotonin mechanism described here are completely independent mechanisms,' Simon LeVay of Stanford University told New Scientist.

'In other words, serotonin systems may be part of the cascade of signals that translate sex hormone levels during development into sexual partner preference in adulthood.'


"Multicultural" Britain is a different place

Ricardo Miles, 21, Daniel Ikumelo, 23, and Adebola Alimi, 22, cycled through the streets of Hackney, east London, armed with a gun searching for enemies in a gangland feud.

When an unmarked police car pulled up alongside the trio, Miles turned and fired the .45 revolver at the officers. Fortunately the bullet hit the ground in front of the vehicle.

The gang members, including Adebola Alimi (pictured) were cycling through the streets of Hackney, east London, when the incident took place

Miles then tried to fire again, but the weapon jammed and he pointed it threateningly at officers as they sped off. They abandoned their bikes and threw away the weapon before fleeing over a footbridge on January 10 last year.

Miles, from Enfield, Ikumelo, from Islington and Alimi, from Hackney, are facing years behind bars after they were convicted of possessing a colt calibre revolver with the intent to endanger life, possessing ammunition and possessing a knife after a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court. They were remanded in custody ahead of sentence on July 5.

All three had denied involvement, claiming they were not at the scene of the shooting.

The court heard the trio, members of Hackney's Certified Southwold Road gang, had been looking for rivals from the Gilpin Square gang.

PC Richard Gilbert spotted the group acting suspiciously at around 11.30pm and approached them in the unmarked police care with another officer in the passenger seat.

'They were all fiddling with their waists, and I assumed they were going to drop something, or hide something, which is often the case,' he said.

'As they were doing that the male in the white produced a handgun and fired a shot towards us into the ground. There was a loud bang, a flash and then sparks just in front of the car where we were.

'I put the vehicle in reverse and tried to put some distance between us and the males in question. The male in white continued to point the gun towards us over his shoulder as they cycled away.'

Jurors were played CCTV of the three males firing at the car from only metres away in Mandeville Street, Homerton before fleeing over a footbridge towards Hackney Marshes.

They also dropped a knife at the scene, less than half a mile from the Olympic Park, the court heard.

Prosecutor Julian Jones said: 'These defendants were riding out into the Gilpin Square territory with the intention to endanger the lives of rival gang members.'

They were arrested in May 2012 after a long police investigation.

Jurors were read Blackberry phone messages between the defendants in the days after the incident saying they were 'on the run' because of 'madness'.   The messages mentioned someone taking 'a burst at the feds', slang for shooting at police officers.

There was another message sent a day after the incident from Ikumelo, to Miles, the shooter, saying 'if you have a picture of the whistle (gun) delete them all now.'

In 2010 Miles and Ikumelo were given suspended sentences for affray after two fighting dogs were let loose in a train carriage packed with commuters at Stamford Hill station following a fight between rival gangs.

Detective Inspector Neil Bradburn, from Trident North East Shootings Team, said: 'Today's result is the culmination of a great deal of hard work by Trident which has lead to the conviction of three dangerous offenders.

'More than 1,000 London gang members are now either locked up or subject to legal restrictions as a result of activity by the Met's Trident Gang Crime Command.

'This investigation clearly demonstrates that tackling gang-related violence remains a key priority for The Met and we will continue to target and convict those who choose to carry weapons and cause harm in London's communities.'


A long view of women

Fred Reed

 One grows weary, or at least I do, of feminists who complain constantly of imaginary discrimination. It makes no sense. They are in almost the only place and time in which women are not mistreated. Those who do not read history may not know the extent to which woman really have been—tired word, but accurate—oppressed.

For the hell of it I made a list of all the men of classical Greece I could name in five minutes, thanks to courses in philosophy and to general reading. Of men, 25 and counting, of women, two: Sapho, notorious for being a lesbian, and Xantippe, Socrates’ wife, for being a shrew. (I didn’t count mythical women like Cassandra and Clytemnestra.) The absence verges on total erasure.

More women are known from Roman times, most conspicuously Livia and Messalina I suppose, but mostly as poisoners and villainesses. In general women were nonentities. Men had life-and-death power over their wives and daughters, meaning exactly that: they could kill them if they so chose. It was not a theoretical power, but one at least occasionally exercised. To an American man in 2013 this seems insane, even if he has had adolescent daughters.

The pattern holds with variation in details almost everywhere. American Indians, savages but hardly noble, subjugated women utterly. Foot-binding, as lunatic a practice as the mind of man has conceived, was common among China’s upper classes. In India women were kept in strict isolation in purdah and, should their husbands die, expected to immolate themselves on the funeral pyres. What all of this was supposed to accomplish, I cannot imagine.

So much for the idea cherished in semi-literate courses in Women’s Studies that non-Western cultures have been female-friendly. They have not.

But in this feminists are right: The three mid-Eastern religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, do indeed have a ghastly record. The Jews I think were least bad, subjugating their women but not waging actual war against them. Christianity was hideous. The Catholic Church for three centuries practiced systematic sadism against witches, torturing and burning alive uncounted thousands of women. Torture meant crushed bones, dislocated joints, molten lead, and other pleasantries ordained by the Vicar of Christ.

Today the church has softened. It has given itself to the minor consolations of pederasty and to urging women who can’t afford them to have large families. This is an improvement.

Islam, intractably primitive, follows still the old ways. Girls in many places are not allowed to learn to read. Horrendous genital mutilation is horrendously common. Why the world puts up with this is a mystery. If I had been the British administrator of colonies practicing such mutilation, I would have had the fathers strung up naked on the town square and castrated with a blowtorch. Barbarous? Yes. But the cutting would have stopped in about ten minutes.

Curiously, in America more fury arises from the suggestion that men may be better than women at mathematics than from tens of millions of bloody clitoridectomies practiced on screaming young girls. Nobody, not the UN, not feminists, makes an issue of it. This too is beyond my comprehension, but maybe I just don’t comprehend well.

So why have misogyny and subjugation of women—these are not quite the same thing—ceased in much of the world, and very much so in America? Said subjugation has been so widespread through all time that one might suspect it to be a trait  genetically determined. But it isn’t. In Europe, North America above the Rio Bravo, Australia, and New Zealand among others, women are fully integrated into society.

Many places thought to be bastions of repressive masculinity no longer are. For example, Mexico crawls with female doctors, dentists, lawyers and such. About half of the students in my stepdaughter’s university (La Universidad Marista de Guadalajara) by impressionistic eyeball snapshot seem to be girls. Don’t buy stock in machismo. Slide rules have a brighter future.

Feminists believe that they brought about the change by a valiant struggle against long odds and awful men. (By which they seem to mean all men.) Not so, quite. Powerless groups seldom rise unless those in power decide to permit it. For example, Brown versus the School Board was passed by nine white men. Whatever one thinks of Roe versus Wade, the court was male.

It is odd that in America, where women enjoy historically unprecedented rights and opportunities, often greater than those of men—who don’t have affirmative action—feminists complain of oppression. It is fantasy. Consider the undying assertion that women are paid less than men for the same work. It was once true. Today there are fifty thousand slavering lawyers who would love to launch class-action suits, which they would be sure to win.

The trouble with basing your identity on fighting discrimination is that if you run out of discrimination, you don’t know who you are.

The attitude of European men to the change, to include most white American men, is interesting. Men I know are for it, though they may not think they are. Irritation with the unending bitching of the professionals of bitching, the compelled political correctness, the demands for special privilege, the noisy hostility of too many women—weariness with all of these can obscure a few truths:

American men do not want to oppress women. All the men I know very much like intelligent, educated women who do not wear chadors or burkas.  They like athletic, adventurous women with whom they can scuba dive and camp. (My younger daughter got her scuba ticket at age twelve, muchly with her dad’s support.) Many of my male friends have daughters. If any university tried to exclude them because they were girls, a law suit would instantly ensue.

But one mustn´t speak of this. If you speak unfavorably of the ill-breeding and obnoxiousness of professional feminists, they say that you hate women. The tactic is common. Criticize the treatment of Palestinians by Israelis, and you hate Jews. Object to the beating to brain damage of whites by urban black mobs, and you hate blacks. Yet it is not the race, sex, or faith that one objects to, but specific behavior of specific members of these groups. A very different thing.

We live in the middle of a social order that is, so far as I know, entirely new. To those who have grown up in it, it seems normal and, now, is. Seen against the backdrop of three thousand years, the merging of women into the polity is astonishing. How it will shake out in the long run is uncertain, but it seems to work well enough. Spare me the nineteen-year-old bimbos in Women’s Studies at Dartmouth telling me how oppressed they are, on daddy’s dime.


Shoplifters and burglars get the right to work in schools and care homes in Britain

Burglars, shoplifters and violent thugs will be free to work in schools, care homes and hospitals under rules which come into force today.

Thousands of criminals will have their records in effect wiped clean after as little as two years – meaning they will be hidden from prospective employers.

The changes to the criminal records regime follows a human rights ruling in January.

Details about which criminals will be affected by the ruling emerged last night.

Under existing rules anyone wanting to work with children or vulnerable adults must disclose any previous convictions or cautions – which stay on their records indefinitely.

But the Court of Appeal judgment said that requiring some minor offences to be disclosed was a breach of an individual’s right to a private and family life.

Yesterday the Home Office announced which offences would be expunged and which would remain on people’s records when they face an enhanced criminal records check.

Anyone with a conviction or caution for burglary, shoplifting or common assault will see it removed after a set period of time – as long as they were not jailed for the offence or committed any further crimes.

Adult offenders will see convictions cleared after 11 years, and cautions after six years.

Young offenders will have no visible conviction record after five and a half years, and no caution record after two years.

All serious sexual and violent crimes and all terrorism offences will remain on records indefinitely.

Critics said the rules were a ‘slap in the face for victims’ and would allow potentially serious offenders to get into sensitive jobs.

Peter Cuthbertson, chief executive of the Centre for Crime Prevention think-tank, said: ‘Treating  burglary as a minor offence is a callous insult to victims.  Many people who are burgled lose treasured gifts and never feel safe again in their own homes.

‘Already many victims see burglars avoiding prison and receiving community sentences that don’t protect the public.  To let those burglars have their criminal records wiped clean would be another slap in the face for victims.

‘If the Government wants to make this scheme workable and fair, they should ensure burglary always means a prison sentence so that no burglars will benefit.’

The changes to the Disclosure and Barring Service – which has replaced the Criminal Records Bureau – come into force today.

The appeal judges found in favour of a woman blocked from taking a job in a care home eight years after she was handed a police caution for theft from a shop in Sheffield.

The Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, said the decision to bar her from the job had breached her human rights under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

The verdict also included the case of a 17-year-old who failed to get a job at a sports club because he had to disclose a police warning he had received for theft when he was 11.

The judgment was condemned at the time for eroding the ability of politicians to ‘protect the vulnerable’.

Ministers have been given permission to appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court, and the case is likely to be heard in July.

The rules are being changed despite the appeal because of fears of legal action and demands for compensation. It is also feared that the original judgment raises much wider questions about the entire criminal records regime and when it can be used.

Civil liberties and privacy groups have backed the changes.

Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, said: ‘This is a victory for common sense and a long overdue change to a system that was ruining people’s lives.’

A government spokesman said: ‘This new system of checks strikes a balance between ensuring children and vulnerable groups are protected and making sure minor offences from the past do not make it difficult for people to get on with their chosen career.’



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


30 May, 2013

Machete attack horror:  Muslim outrage in Lancashire

MACHETE wielding thugs have left two men with ‘serious injuries’ after attacking them in an Accrington barber’s shop.

The two victims had been inside the shop in Ormerod Street when four masked men carrying machetes and knives forced their way inside.

Detectives investigating the incident said the gang attacked the pair before forcing them into the street.

The thugs also attacked a parked car during the incident at midnight on Saturday.

Police said they were alerted to the incident after witnesses called an ambulance.

The victims both suffered deep wounds and had to be taken to hospital by paramedics.

One of the men, a 23-year-old man from Accrington sustained a serious head injury while, the other a 24-year-old man also from Accrington suffered a serious cut to his arm, police said.

Both men are being treated at the Royal Blackburn Hospital and their condition was yesterday described as ‘serious but not life threatening’.

Detectives investigating the incident are now urging anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.

DI Claire Holbrook, of Eastern division’s public protect unit, said: “We are treating this incident extremely seriously.

“Despite the offenders wearing facial coverings we will endeavour to bring these extremely violent offenders to justice.

“I urge anyone with information about the attack to come forward and contact police.”

Extra police patrols have been launched in the area to try reassure residents. Police said they were looking for a gang of Asian [i.e. Pakistani] men in connection with the attack.


What if homophobia is also “natural”?

Most people I have talked to express an instinctive distaste for homosexuality  -- JR

If you’re like me, sometimes you are unlucky enough to watch an episode of Question Time that doesn’t feature Nigel Farage or David Starkey, and is therefore a festival of liberal banality. Last week’s programme, broadcast from Belfast, was one such: the only enlivening moment came when Ian Paisley (Jr) struggled to get beyond his remarks, made in 2007, that homosexuality “repulsed him”.

As I watched Paisley wriggle in his straitjacket of shame, I began to feel a tad uncomfortable. Because I, too, am a tiny bit homophobic. That is to say: when I see gay men kissing, I get a brief twinge of ewww – until my better liberal self takes over.

Before you beat me to death with rainbow flags, let me explain. I have homosexual friends (yes, this sounds like “I’m not a racist, but…”). One of my oldest friends is, indeed, a post-op transsexual. And I love my friends (platonically); I am therefore happy for them to have whatever kind of consenting adult sex they wish, and to marry with similar freedom.

I make this judgment not because I’m incredibly nice, but because I have a brain, and I’ve realised that homosexuality is genetic. Instinctive. It’s something people are born with. “Hating” gays for “being gay” is therefore like hating penguins for being flightless. Ludicrous.

Moreover, it’s quite probable that gayness extends some benefit to our species, as it is so persistent over time – and so common in virtually all species. Gibbons, for instance, like threesomes. Antelopes are prone to transvestism. Ducks are fond of lesbian orgies. American bison are bi-curious. Weasels are just completely kinkyboots. All this is true.

But if gayness is natural, why do I feel that brief, reflexive twinge of disgust when I see gay men kissing? Some would argue that I have been conditioned by society into accepting the norm of straightness, and my repulsion is therefore mere bigotry.

But what if it isn’t? What if homophobia is also “natural”?

Evolutionary psychologists have debated this point, and it is at least arguable that homophobia is unconscious – and inherited.  And it’s not hard to see why such a reflex might have evolved: before the era of the test tube baby and artificial insemination, parents who happily tolerated gayness in their kids would be smiling on the extinction of their genes. Not good.

All of which presents us with a liberal paradox. If we’re going to extend equal right to homosexuals, because homosexuality is perfectly natural, we also need to extend equal rights to homophobes, for exactly the same reason. How we celebrate this rich diversity is a difficult issue, though. Perhaps both sides could have marches on their special days, through different parts of the same town? Ian Paisley Junior could help organise.


Left Defends Accused Child Molester Because She’s Lesbian

When your 18-year-old daughter is expelled and charged with sexual battery of a child, one option is to go public and declare she’s a martyr under fire from anti-gay bias. That’s the approach taken by the parents of Kaitlyn Hunt, a Florida teen who faces two felony charges of “lewd or lascivious battery” on a child. And sure enough, the tactic has earned Hunt some high-profile left-wing media defenders.

According to the charges, Hunt, a senior at Sebastian River High School who was set to graduate this spring, pressured a 14-year-old girl four years her junior to be her “girlfriend” and engage in sexual activity with her. But when Kaitlyn faced prosecution from her underage partner’s parents, her own parents and gay activists immediately granted her victim status, claiming she was unjustly persecuted for being homosexual. 

Not surprisingly, leftie headlines followed. In the account of ThinkProgress (funded by left-wing sugar daddy George Soros), Hunt was “charged with felony for same-sex relationship with classmate,” while Huffington Post lamented that she “faces felony charges over same-sex relationship” and offers links to petitions and support pages for Hunt.

ThinkProgress quoted Hunt’s mother talking about the underage girl’s parents: “they feel like my daughter “made” their daughter gay. They are bigoted, religious zeolites [sic] that see being gay as a sin and wrong, and they blame my daughter.” [emphasis in original]

Talk like that is catnip to the libertine left, always eager to take a stand against sexual prudery and oppression – especially if evil religious types are involved.

But the sexual activity in question occurred when Hunt was an 18 year-old senior and her “girlfriend” was only 14. “Police said a 4 year age gap is a serious difference. They say a 14-year-old is not old enough to give consent,” according to a local news report.

Clearly, Hunt’s parents and her supporters in their “Stop the Hate, Free Kate” Facebook group disagree. They are portraying her story as a tragedy like Romeo and Juliet – two lovers separated by people who just don’t understand.

But the details aren’t quite so cute and pretty. According to the official charges, Kaitlyn took the lead in initiating lewd sexual activity with her minor girlfriend in the highschool restroom.

Hunt’s father said she’d be fine with pleading guilty to a misdemeanor – just not a felony. Hey, sometimes kids get rambunctious – sewing their oats [nudge, nudge]. Who didn’t engage in aggressive homosexual activity in a public bathroom with a fourteen-year-old back in high school?

Clearly, Hunt’s parents are onto something. If you can play the gay card, you immediately trigger knee-jerk support from the liberal media and homosexual activists anxious to topple any and all rules regarding sex. Who knows--with that kind of angle and pressure from groups like Anonymous and Change.org, maybe they’ll get those felony charges reduced to a “Get Out of Jail Free Card”... just because she was gay.


I was a radical Islamist who hated all of you


MOST people find it hard to imagine stabbing another human being, let alone almost decapitating someone with a meat cleaver.

To do so in broad daylight and in the middle of the road, while asking passers-by to take pictures, simply beggars belief.

Few can understand how the British jihadists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale could be filled with such hate.

I'm ashamed to say I can. For I was similar to them once.

I spent 13 years inside Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), the global Islamist organisation that first spawned al-Muhajiroun, the banned Islamist terrorist organisation founded by Omar Bakri Muhammad and Anjem Choudary.

Bakri and Choudary both knew Adebolajo, a 28-year-old who was raised as a Christian. Like Adebolajo, I was raised in Essex in an educated, middle-class and well integrated family.

Again, like Adebolajo, I went on to further education. He dropped out, while I gained a law and Arabic degree from The School of African and Oriental Studies and a Masters in political theory from the London School of Economics.

(The belief that all radicalised young Muslims must lack jobs or are socially awkward loners is a dangerous misconception. I did not lack career opportunities, nor did I lack friends or girlfriends.)

And I, too, was caught up in the aftermath of a Jihadist street murder in which a man was killed with a machete. It was 1995 and I was president of the Student Union at Newham College in East Ham. The union was nothing but a front for HT. We siphoned off money to our cause, giving lectures and preaching anywhere and everywhere - the street, the yard and the canteen, where I would stand on the tables and spout hate.

We were encouraged by Omar Bakri to operate like street gangs and we did, prowling London, fighting Indian Sikhs in the west and African Christians in the east. We intimidated Muslim women until they wore the hijab and we thought we were invincible.

And when an acquaintance of mine, Saeed Nur, slashed a Nigerian student, Ayotunde Obanubi, shouting the same battle cry as the Woolwich attackers: "Allahu Akbar" - God is Great - I watched him die and felt nothing. I did not incite the murder but I did nothing to stop it.

So how did it reach that point? And what turns a tiny minority of ordinary, young Muslim men into fanatical, cold-blooded killers? For my own part, once I became a teenager I experienced severe and violent racism. The neo-Nazi paramilitary group Combat 18 began to target me and my friends. On a few occasions I was forced to watch as white friends were stabbed merely for being associated with me.

At 15, I was falsely arrested at gunpoint for playing with a plastic gun. This was the early 1990s, genocide was unfolding in Bosnia, while the international community failed to act. Add this to my own internal identity crisis - I didn't know if I was British or Pakistani, Muslim or agnostic - and my disenfranchisement from mainstream society was complete.

However, it's what happened next that sealed my fate. I needed someone who could guide a broken and confused 16-year-old. Instead, I came across a charismatic recruiter espousing HT's cause who sold me the ideology of Islamism in the name of Islam.

But Islamism is not Islam. Islamism is the politicisation of Islam, the desire to impose a version of this ancient faith over society. To achieve this, Islamism uses political grievances, such as mine, to alienate and then provide an alternative sense of belonging to vulnerable young Muslims. Preying on the grievances of disaffected young men is the bedrock of Islamism.

Like all bigoted ideologies, it plays on the identity politics game, creating a "them and us", in order to provide a home for the "us" against the alien "other" and control the community by acting as the sole "representative" of Muslims.

One of the Woolwich jihadists ranted to onlookers: "You" have occupied "Our" lands. Spreading this sense of exclusive Muslim victimhood is crucial to the radicalisation process. I continued to spread hate for many years after Obanubi's murder, co-founding branches in Denmark and Pakistan where we targeted army officers in order to incite military coups.

I was aiming to do the same thing in Egypt in 2001, when I was arrested and tortured. Eventually I was convicted of membership of a banned organisation and sentenced to five years in Mazra Tora prison, where deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak is held.

It was then I began to sift through my layers of hatred and ignorance. I also encountered the kindness of strangers, especially Amnesty International whose campaign to win my release was led by an octogenarian in England I'd never met.

After much soul searching I was able to renounce my past Islamist ideology, challenging everything I was once prepared to die for.

De-radicalisation begins by breaking down the logic that once seemed unassailable and rethinking what you are fighting for and why. Hard to do when Islamists and Islamophobes feed off each other's hateful cliches.

We must not blame the security services for what happened. As long as a man can pick up a knife, these murders will be impossible to predict. The only way to try and prevent it happening again is to give those angry young Muslims another outlet. I have founded Khudi, in Pakistan, a youth movement which tries to counter extremist ideology through healthy discussion and debate.

We need a similar grassroots movement in Britain. The only way we can challenge Islamism is to engage with one another. We need to make it as abhorrent as racism has become today. Only then will we stem the tide of angry young Muslims who turn to hate. Only then will they stop listening to people like Omar Bakri Muhammad and Anjem Choudary.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


29 May, 2013

Stockholm riots leave Sweden's dreams of perfect society up in smoke

A week of disturbances in Sweden's capital has tested the Scandinavian nation's reputation for tolerance, reports Colin Freeman

Like the millions of other ordinary Swedes whom he now sees himself as one of, Mohammed Abbas fears his dream society is now under threat. When he first arrived in Stockholm as refugee from Iran in 1994, the vast Husby council estate where he settled was a mixture of locals and foreigners, a melting pot for what was supposed to be a harmonious, multi-racial paradise.

Two decades on, though, "white flight" has left only one in five of Husby's flats occupied by ethnic Swedes, and many of their immigrant replacements do not seem to share his view that a new life in Sweden is a dream come true. Last week, the neighbourhood erupted into rioting, sparking some of the fiercest urban unrest that Sweden has seen in decades, and a new debate about the success of racial integration.

"In the old days, the neighbourhood was more Swedish and life felt like a dream, but now there are just too many foreigners, and a new generation that has grown up here with just their own culture," he said, gesturing towards the hooded youths milling around in Husby's pedestrianised shopping precinct.

"Also, in Sweden you cannot hit your children to discipline them, and this is a problem for foreign parents. The kids can feel they can cause whatever trouble they want, and the police don't even arrest any of them most of the time."

This weekend, after six consecutive nights of rioting, Mr Mohammed was not the only one questioning the Swedish social model's preference for the carrot over the stick. Many Swedes were left asking why a country that prides itself on a generous welfare state, liberal social attitudes and a welcoming attitude towards immigrants should ever have race riots in the first place.

The disturbances erupted in Husby last weekend, after police shot dead an elderly man brandishing a machete inside his house. Angered at what they saw as police heavyhandedness, youths torched cars and buildings and stoned police and firefighters. Police were then forced to draft in extra manpower from outside Stockholm as the trouble spread to other immigrant-dominated suburbs of the capital and towns such as Orebro in central Sweden, where 25 masked youths set fire to a school on Friday night.

Up too in smoke has gone the notion that egalitarian Sweden, which has largely avoided the global recession, might be immune from the social problems blighting less affluent parts of Europe.

Sweden's centre-right prime minister, Frederik Reinfeldt, blamed "hooligans" but also talked sympathatically of the difficult "transition period between different cultures". Meanwhile politicians from the Swedish Left, which ruled the country for most of the post-war period, blamed the trouble on social spending cuts introduced by Mr Reinfeldt, whose Moderate Party vowed to trim - though not slash - the welfare budget when he took office in 2006.

But amid the soulsearching last week, perhaps the most telling comment was the one from Kjell Lindgren, the spokesman for Stockholm Police. "We don't know why they are doing this," he said, when asked for a cause for the riots. "There is no answer to it."

Certainly, wandering around Husby last week, it was hard at first glance to see quite what the problem was. Built in the 1970s as part of the "Million Programme" that aimed to give affordable housing for all Swedes, the estate is one of dozens on Stockholm's outskirts that now house mainly immigrant populations, including large numbers from Somalia, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Iraq.

However, comparisons to the Paris "banlieus", or indeed riot-hit Tottenham or Salford, are limited. Between the rows of clean-looking housing blocks are well-tended flowerbeds and neatly- kept public gardens, and in the shopping precinct, where an ornamental fountain still bubbles away, there are bars, shops, and a smart cafe-bakery that would not look too out of place in an IKEA catalogue. At eight per cent, Husby's joblessness rate is three times the Swedish average, but only slightly higher than that in the UK.

Likewise, although the rioting has been large scale by Swedish standards, seen up close it has less of the ferocity of the 2011 disturbances in Britain. When The Sunday Telegraph visited Husby late on Wednesday night, the highlight was a hit-and-run arson attack on two parked cars. Police were hardly to be seen, and when they did arrive, it was purely to protect the firefighters dealing with the car blaze rather than make arrests.

Instead, teams of well-intentioned volunteers from local community groups and Islamic associations mingled with the crowds of excited onlookers, politely suggesting that they expressed their grievances peacefully.

Among a large group gathered on an overhead walkway was Mohammed Abdu, 27, whose family came to Sweden from Eritrea when he was aged three, and who now works as a security guard. While he condemned the violence as "hooliganism", he claimed that many Husby residents still suffered from discrimination from the police and employers. Besides, he added, living in such a prosperous, advanced country offered no real satisfaction for those so conspicuously at the bottom of the heap.

"It's true that the welfare system here is an example to the rest of the world, so if you fall here you do not fall all the way to the bottom," he said. "But people don't like being dependent on social welfare, and there is hidden racism."

Not so, argued Yusuf Carlos, 32, a construction worker from Palestine. "It is just kids causing this trouble, that is why the police are not doing much about it," he said. "Sweden is fair towards immigrants and it isn't hard to find work, or not before these riots anyway. The problem is that the Swedish people are angry now. They don't know why people here in Husby are doing this, only that they come from this neighbourhood."

Certainly, claims of racism upset many Swedes, who have little colonial history, and whose decision to admit large numbers of Third World migrants from the 1980s onwards was born of no particular political obligation, more just a very Swedish sense of humanitarian duty to the wider world. From the very start, the government also sought to avoid creating a German-style "guest worker" class by promoting immigrants' rights and introducing a plethora of programmes to promote racial integratkion.

Yet despite Swedish language education being offered free to all long-term immigrants, ghettos of foreigners have flourished in recent years. So too have Far Right parties challinging the political class's long-standing pro-immigration consensus, who now command up to 10 per cent of the vote and may increase their share in next year's elections.

"We have tried harder than any other European country to integrate, spending billions on a welfare system that is designed to help jobless immigrants and guarantee them a good quality of life," said Marc Abramsson, leader of the National Democrats Party. "Yet we have areas where there are ethnic groups that just don't identify with Swedish society. They see the police and even the fire brigade as part of the state, and they attack them. We have tried everything, anything, to improve things, but it hasn't worked. It's not about racism, it's just that multi-culturalism doesn't recognise how humans actually function."

Aje Carlbom, a Swedish academic and author of a critical study into Swedish immigration policy, added that despite the increasing appeal of Far Right parties, mainstream Swedish politicians were still reluctant to even ask the kind of questions that the likes of Mr Abramsson was already offering answers to.

"Anyone who wants to regulate immigration is immediately classified as a nationalist, which also implies a racist as well," he said. "It is still almost impossible to debate this question."

Still, some of Husby's younger generation argue that it is unreasonable of Swedes to expect them to be perennially "grateful" for taking them in, even from the dire circumstances in their homelands.

Among them is local youth worker Rami al Khamisi, 25, whose family escaped to Sweden from Saddam Hussein's Iraq back in 1994, smuggling themselves first through Turkey and Russia and then across the Baltic in a fishing boat commandeered by a people smuggler. "I was six years old and the boat was packed with about 60 people," he said. "An old man died, and they threw him in the water because his body was smelling a lot."

That, though, he says, is his only real memory of the hardships of his early life, and as such, he finds it hard to be as thankful as his parents still are to his adopted homeland. "They compare it to Baghdad or Somalia," he said. "But we younger immigrants only really know Sweden, and we just compare our situation to the one around us."

With Stockholm still burning this weekend, though, that may be asking for just a little too much understanding - even in compassionate, generous Sweden.


Incompetent socialist Britain cares for no-one

Passengers packed into sweltering carriages, overflowing toilets, clueless staff and police called to quell a mutiny: My Bank Holiday nightmare on Britain's Third World railways which cost £125 a ticket for a 10-hour journey

Friday evening and Kings Cross station was bedlam at the start of the Bank Holiday weekend — but it was a happy kind of bedlam.

The working week was over and expectations were riding high as families, students, elderly couples, children of all ages and hundreds of tourists waited to learn from which platform the 7pm London to  Edinburgh train would leave.

Even the weather forecast was half-decent.

We were a group of four and had reserved seats in carriage C several weeks in advance. We paid £125 each for a return ticket.

Nearly eight hours later, on a trip that should have taken three hours and 40 minutes, we had still not reached our final destination — though we had long reached the end of our tether.
Friday evening and Kings Cross station was bedlam at the start of the Bank Holiday weekend ¿ but it was a happy kind of bedlam

Friday evening and Kings Cross station was bedlam at the start of the Bank Holiday weekend ¿ but it was a happy kind of bedlam

It was a journey that tested many of our fellow passengers to the limit; a frightening experience for some and confirmation that in so many areas of life Britain is nothing more than a Third World country run by overpaid incompetents accountable to no one.

Hundreds of us put up with it because, as a nation, we are still good in adversity. Perhaps the increasingly overused wartime slogan, Keep Calm And Carry On, has subliminally persuaded us that the shambles of day-to-day living in this country is a perfectly normal state of affairs and will never change. So why fight it?

But many of us who were stranded on the Nightmare Express might beg to differ. As one pensioner said to me at one point as the lights went out and the temperature rose higher and higher in our hermetically sealed carriage: ‘You can bet your life that if a member of the Cabinet were on this train, heads would roll.

As it is, we’ll be fobbed off with excuses and the promise of a refund — then the same thing will happen all over again in a few weeks’ time.

When we boarded our train, it did dawn on me that it was dangerously overcrowded. One of the guards on the platform practically pushed passengers on to the train, shouting: ‘Move right down the corridors, we need to get this train off.’ People did as they were told, taking their cases with them because there was no room in the racks near the doors.

Every inch of space was occupied. It took us 40 minutes just to get to our seats, and yet the hapless ‘train manager’ still had the audacity to ask passengers to ‘keep the aisles clear for your safety and comfort’.

He never dared move through the train to inspect tickets. He would have been lynched a hundred times over if he had.

Apart from the general sense that we were all jammed into a giant sardine can hurtling through the countryside, the journey progressed without incident for the first 30 minutes.

Then, shortly before Newark in the East Midlands, the disembodied voice announced that there was a problem with a section of the northbound track, and that our train was in a queue to use the southbound track for a mile or so — while, hopefully, going in a northern direction.

While we conjured visions of travelling all the way back to  London, those with connections to meet at York resigned themselves to a very long evening — or even an expensive night in a hotel. In the end, the to-ing and fro-ing caused a delay of two hours, during which the passengers around us became increasingly frazzled.

We were seated near a group of South Africans, who were preparing to run in the Edinburgh Marathon on behalf of the cancer charity Macmillan Caring Locally.

One of them said he had never seen such an overcrowded train, and asked me if there was a limit to the number of people allowed on board.

Shortly after Newcastle, the train slowed down and then, as we approached Berwick-Upon-Tweed, which was our stop, it came to a complete halt.  And remained stationary for a further 90 minutes.

The gormless guard had been replaced at Newcastle by a woman who said the train had stopped because someone had pulled the passenger alarm.

This might have been true, but the real reason was that the train before us — the 6pm London to Edinburgh service — had broken down in the station and all its passengers had been told to disembark.

Unsurprisingly, late on a Friday, when most of us are desperate for the week to end, tensions were running high, not least because the  station staff refused to open up the First Class lounge so the elderly or frail could shelter from the cold. The police were called.

I know this because my wife, who had driven up from London earlier in the day, was waiting at Berwick for us to arrive.

She said the scene was more chaotic than anything she had ever seen in India, whose railways are famous for their lunatic overcrowding.

Our guard finally told us about the broken-down train ahead of us. She said that ‘fault finding’ was ‘ongoing’, but she had no idea when we might be on the move.

As she finished her announcement, my daughter told me there was a distressed young man slumped on the floor by one of the doors. I went to see him and helped him to his feet.

He explained that he suffered from claustrophobia — then, suddenly, he began pounding the window of the door with his fist and shouting: ‘I need fresh air NOW!’

I told him to walk with me to the guard’s carriage at the other end of the train, where I knew there was a small window that could be opened.

On the way, we passed crying babies, despairing old people with vacant eyes, lavatories blocked in such a way that urine was seeping under the doors, and everywhere there was anger and bewilderment.

When we got to the buffet car, I asked for some water for the man I was accompanying. There was none.

As we entered the First Class carriages, a member of the train staff had the gall to ask if we had First Class tickets.

When we reached the little window at the back of the train, the young man gulped the air like a dog trapped in a baking car.

Then the lights went out again. This, the guard eventually explained, was because it had been decided that our train would couple up to the broken down one in  front and attempt to shunt it past Berwick station into a siding, and reverse back into the station.

Then all those leaving the train could do so, and those waiting on the platform at Berwick could continue their journey aboard our train — if only they could fit on.

Not once did any member of staff walk up and down the train to see if any passengers needed help. I came across a pregnant woman who told me she was expecting a baby in less than five weeks.

She was struggling in the heat, and her mobile phone battery was dead. I told my daughter’s boyfriend to sit with her and offer her his phone. Increasingly, the place began to feel like a relief centre in a war zone. We pulled into Berwick at 2.40am.

Those going on to Edinburgh eventually arrived at 3.39am, which means passengers who were on the 6pm from London had been travelling for nearly ten hours. Some Bank Holiday.

‘We are sorry for any inconvenience that may have been caused,’ was the last thing I heard our guard say, still reading from a script and still with an inflection that suggested she wanted us to feel sorry for the stress she was under.

The next morning, I was reading about the Government’s plans for the High Speed Rail link from London to Manchester. If ever there was a case of running before you can walk, this is it.

Our public transport is a disgrace. The East Coast Line, which is now State-owned and will remain so until at least 2017, is particularly dreadful.

Passengers are treated like fodder; no one takes responsibility for abject failure and not even the ‘duty spokesman’ knew the answer to most of my questions.

I wanted to know if there is ever a cut-off point on the number of people allowed to board a train. ‘I don’t have information about that,’ he said. Is there always water on board in case of emergencies? ‘There is sometimes in the guard’s carriage, I think.’

I told him I wanted the East Coast line to issue a statement. Which it did: ‘We would like to apologise to customers for the disruption on Friday evening.’

So that’s all right then.


Peers plot homosexual marriage revolt

Lords from all main political parties will unite next week in a last-ditch attempt to block the Government’s introduction of gay marriage.

Peers expect the Upper’s House debate over same sex weddings will go through the night or even into a second day, with a key vote that could scupper the policy regarded as “too close to call”.

The former head of the British army Lord Dannatt and Lord Lothian, a former Conservative Party chairman better known as Michael Ancram, are amongst those set to criticise the draft legislation in next Monday’s session.

Other opponents will include Lord Waddington, a former Home Secretary, Lord Luce, who served as a minister in Baroness Thatcher’s government, and Lord Singh of Wimbledon, a respected figure in the Sikh community.

The Sunday Telegraph has also established that the senior Tory Baroness Warsi, a practising Muslim, refused to lead the bill through the House of Lords when asked to do so by David Cameron, the Prime Minister.

Some peers believe dozens Lords who rarely attend Parliament will flock to Westminster to make their position on homosexual marriage clear.

Seventy-five members of the Lords have already asked to speak in the debate, suggesting that dawn could rise on the Tuesday morning before all the peers have their say.

Government whips are fighting calls to allow the Lords to hold a second day of debate on what has become the one of the most emotive issue in parliament for many years.

Some critics of same sex marriage legislation believe the policy undermines the institution of marriage while others simply regard it as a “distraction” from the country’s economic problems.

Mr Cameron has championed homosexual weddings and Tory strategists hope it will entice new voters to the party at the next general election.

However, gay marriage so far appears only to have played havoc with the Conservative party’s grassroots, sparking resignations of members and fierce criticism of the Prime Minister.

Lord Luce said: “You can’t suddenly pounce on the 2,000 year-old institution of marriage after such little consultation and with such little thought.

“This is all part of the Prime Minister’s 'modernisation’ of our party, whatever that word is supposed to mean. This is all being handled in a very slap happy, careless manner.”

This weekend there is speculation in Westminster that the Most Rev Justin Welby, the recently appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, will also voice his concerns about the policy in next week’s debate. One of his predecessors, Lord Carey of Clifton, has already put his name down to speak.

Lord Dear, the retired chief constable of West Midlands Police and crossbench peer leading opposition to the Bill, said that critics of the policy were not “anti-homosexual”.

“This is ill-thought through legislation that is being rushed through,” the peer said. “There are some 8,000 further amendments that will be necessary to existing legislation because of this single policy.

“Of those who said they would speak about half seem to be opposed. I really think the vote will be too close to call.”

If the Government loses the Bill, ministers could use the Parliament Act to drive the policy through. However, Lord Dear thinks this is unlikely.

He added: “The Parliament Act has been used only three times before. Opposition in the Commons in the Commons was strong and there is not strong appetite amongst the public for this.”

Lord Stoddart, an independent Labour peer, described the whole concept of gay marriage as “bogus”. He said he was baffled as to how gay people and lesbians would “consummate” their marriage.

“Without consummation the marriage could be annulled at any point,” the peer said. “No one has been able to explain to me how homosexuals or lesbians would be able to actually consummate their marriage.

“People who voice concerns about this policy are told that we are bigots. I honestly think the bigots are on the other side of the argument. Many homosexual people do not want this.”

Those peers who will vote with the Government include Lord Browne, the former BP chief executive and friend of Lord Mandelson, and Lord Deben, the former Conservative minister better known as John Gummer.

Lord Hodgson, a Conservative peer who expects to back the bill, said that the policy was “clearly a very divisive issue”.

He said: “I have children in their twenties who wonder what all the fuss is about and friends in their sixties who think this is the end of the world.

“The number of people who have put down to speak is quite staggering. We could go through the night on this… it looks very close.”

Nick Herbert, the Conservative MP who has campaigned for same sex marriage, said: “The Lords always has an important scrutiny role but they can’t ignore the fact that this BIll passed the elected House with a two to one cross-party majority.

“The Bill was debated for hours in Commons committee and every independent poll shows majority public support for the measure.

“Equal marriage is being introduced across the western world and I don’t believe peers will want to be out of step with changing attitudes.”


Woolwich attack: New bid to muzzle Muslim preachers

A high-level task force is to be set up in a fresh attempt to muzzle Islamist clerics who radicalise young men through extremist preaching.

David Cameron has ordered the setting up of the new body in the wake of last week's killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in the street in Woolwich, South London.

Made up of senior ministers, police officers, security officials and moderate leaders, the new committee will study a range of options, according to reports.

These inlcude banning extremist clerics from being given public platforms to incite students, prisoners and other followers – and forcing mosque leaders to answer for so-called "preachers of hate."

It was being made clear in Whitehall that the launch of TERFOR (the Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation Task Force) should be seen as an overhaul of the government's counter-terrorism strategy in the wake of Drummer Rigby's murder.

A senior Whitehall source said: "The Prime Minister is determined to challenge the poisonous narrative of extremist clerics and confront religious leaders who promote violence. We are looking at the range of powers and current methods of dealing with extremism at its root, as opposed to just tackling criminal violent extremism.

"We will look at ways of disrupting individuals who may be influential in fostering extremism. We cannot allow a situation to continue where extremist clerics go around this country inciting young people to commit terrorist acts. ‘We will do everything we can to stop it."

Sources said, however, that there must be no question of restricting freedom of speech. Any moves to do so would quickly bring Mr Cameron and other Conservative ministers into conflict with their coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


28 May, 2013

Until our leaders admit the true nature of Islamic extremism, we will never defeat it

By Melanie Phillips

Ever since the spectre of Islamic terrorism in the West first manifested itself, Britain has had its head stuck firmly in the sand.

After both 9/11 and the 7/7 London transport bombings, the Labour government promised to take measures to defend the country against further such attacks.

It defined the problem, however, merely as terrorism, failing to understand that the real issue was the extremist ideas which led to such violence.

Accordingly, it poured money into Muslim community groups, many of which turned out to be dangerously extreme.

When David Cameron came to power, his Government raised hopes of a more realistic approach when it pledged to counter extremist ideas rather than just violence.  This approach, too, has failed. The Government still has no coherent strategy for countering Islamist radicalisation.

Following last week’s barbaric slaughter of Drummer Rigby on the streets of Woolwich by two Islamic fanatics, the Prime Minister has announced that he will head a new Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation Task Force.  And the Home Secretary has said she will look at widening the banning of radical groups preaching hate.

But at the heart of these promises remains a crucial gap. That is the need to define just what kind of extremism we are up against.

The Government has been extraordinarily reluctant to do this — because it refuses to face the blindingly obvious fact that this extremism is religious in nature.

It arises from an interpretation of Islam which takes the words of the Koran literally as a command to kill unbelievers in a jihad, or holy war, in order to impose strict Islamic tenets on the rest of the world.

Of course, millions of Muslims in Britain and elsewhere totally reject this interpretation of their religion. Most British Muslims want to live peacefully and enjoy the benefits of Western culture. They undoubtedly utterly deplore the notion that the kind of carnage that occurred in Woolwich should take place in Britain.

And let’s not forget that, worldwide, most victims of the jihad are themselves Muslims whom the extremists judge to be polluted by Western ideas.

Nevertheless, this fundamentalist interpretation of the Koran is what is being spouted by hate preachers in Britain and on the internet, and is steadily radicalising thousands of young British Muslims.

Now the Prime Minister says he will crack down on such extremism. Yet after the Woolwich atrocity, he claimed it was ‘a betrayal of Islam’ and that ‘there is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act’.

The London Mayor Boris Johnson went even further, claiming: ‘It is completely wrong to blame this killing on the religion of Islam’ and that the cause was simply the killers’ ‘warped and deluded mindset’.

Yet the video footage of the killers — who had shouted ‘Allahu Akhbar’ when butchering Drummer Rigby — records one of them citing verses in the Koran exhorting the faithful to fight and kill unbelievers, and declaring: ‘We swear by Almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.’

Frankly, these comments by the Prime Minister and London Mayor were as absurd as saying the medieval Inquisition, for example, had nothing to do with the Catholic Church, but was just the product of a few warped and deluded individuals.

Their comments were also deeply troubling. For if politicians refuse to acknowledge the true nature of this extremism, they will never counter it effectively.

But then, government officials have always refused to admit that this is a religious war. They simply don’t understand the power of religious fanaticism.

Of course, there are fanatics in all religions. Within both Judaism and Christianity,  there are deep divisions between ultras, liberals and those in between.

In medieval times, moreover, Christianity used its interpretation of the Bible also to kill ‘unbelievers’, because early Christians believed they had a divine duty to make the world conform to their religion at all costs. That stopped when the Reformation ushered the Church into modernity, and today no Christian wants to use violence to convert others to their faith.

The problem with the extremist teachings of Islam is that the religion has never had a similar ‘reformation’.

Certainly, there are enlightened Muslims in Britain who would dearly love their religion to be reformed.  But they have the rug pulled from under their feet by the Government’s flat denial of the religious nature of this terrible problem.

Some people instead ascribe the actions of the Woolwich killers to factors such as thuggish gang membership, drug abuse or family breakdown. But it is precisely such lost souls who are vulnerable to Islamist fanatics and who provide them with father figures, a sense of belonging and a cause which gives apparent meaning to their lives.

Many people find it incomprehensible that such fanatics remain free to peddle their poison. Partly, this is because the Security Service likes to gather intelligence through their actions. But it is also because of a failure to understand what amounts to a continuum  of extremism.

There are too many British Muslims who, while abhorring violence at home, nevertheless support the killing abroad of British or American forces or Israelis, regard unbelievers as less than fully human, and homosexuals or apostates as deserving the death penalty.

Such bigotry creates the poisonous sea in which dehumanisation and religious violence swim.

To the failure to understand all this must be added the widespread terror of being thought ‘Islamophobic’ or ‘racist’.

It is quite astonishing that universities mostly refuse to crack down on extremist speakers and radicalisation on campus — despite at least four former presidents of Islamic student societies having faced terrorist charges.

In a devastating account published at the weekend, Professor Michael Burleigh, who advised the Government on revising its counter-radicalisation strategy, described how this process descended into a ‘sad shambles’. He related how the Federation of Islamic Student Societies (FOSIS) had created a sexually segregated environment in which young people were being systematically indoctrinated in anti-Jew, anti-homosexual and anti-Western hatred by Islamist speakers on campus.

But although the Government condemned FOSIS for its failure to ‘fully challenge terrorist and extremist ideology’, with the Home Secretary even ordering that civil servants withdraw from its graduate recruitment fair, the Faith and Communities Minister, Baroness Warsi, actually endorsed it by attending one of its events at the House of Lords.

Nor has the Government done anything to stop extremist preachers targeting and converting criminals in British jails at a deeply alarming rate.

On top of all this official incoherence is the paralysis caused by the excesses of the ‘human rights’ culture.

Thus the Home Secretary is facing a monumental battle to get through Parliament a Communications Bill that would give police and security services access to records of individuals’ internet use.

It is said that some of these extremist preachers exploit loopholes in the law. If so, then the law should be changed.

But we all know what would befall any such attempt. It would be all but drowned out by shrieks that we were ‘doing the terrorists’ job for them’ by ‘undermining our own hard-won liberties’.

Well, it’s time to face down such claims as vacuous and lethal nonsense.

The people threatening our liberties are Islamic radicals determined to destroy our way of life.

It is those who refuse to acknowledge the true nature of this threat who are doing the terrorists’ job for them.

And unless Britain finally wakes up from its self-destructive torpor, all who love civilised values — Muslim and non-Muslim alike — will be the losers.


I hate censorship but the BBC's wrong to pander to our enemies

By Quentin Letts

Back in the bloodiest days of Northern Irish terrorism, Margaret Thatcher called it ‘the oxygen of publicity’ – a vivid phrase for a knotty dilemma.

To what extent should the media report extreme views? The BBC is accused of giving undue prominence to Muslim demagogue Anjem Choudary, the cleric who stands accused of having inspired Woolwich murder suspect Michael Adebolajo.

Another associate of Adebolajo, one Abu Nusaybah, was arrested at BBC studios just after giving an interview about how the blood-soaked suspect was once courted by our security services.
Mrs May said it was inappropriate to interview Choudary in the wake of Drummer Rigby¿s death

The decision to 'go' with studio guest Choudary was that of a management which is even more remote from its viewers than our much-criticised politicians are from their voters.

Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday signalled her unease at liberal broadcasters’ readiness (some might say precipitous desire) to make media stars out of these unalluring men. Does she have a point?

Chauffeurs were dispatched to convey Choudary to BBC and Channel 4 studios, as though he were some sort of celebrity. He was accorded the full courtesies of a member of London’s ‘punditocracy’.

Had the make-up girls combed that beard? Sure looked like it. He was given the powdered, soft-backlit treatment normally extended to politicians and representatives of respectable views. So what did he make of the Woolwich butchery?

Choudary conceded to feeling ‘shock’. But he certainly would not condemn it.

Here was a so-called man of religion, dressed in the clerical garb of one of the world’s great faiths.

Yet he would not criticise two machete-wielding motorists who mowed down a pedestrian and then tried to sever the defenceless soul’s head from his neck.

Ye gods. And now over to Liam for the weather.

Defenders of the BBC will say it is important that we know such violent sympathies bubble under society’s facade. Society has, in its darkest pockets, men and women who believe in all sorts of Satanic misdeeds.

But liberals, rightly, would never contemplate giving them a platform on prime-time network television.

If they bubble under society’s facade, let them stay there. Don’t turn them into gurus for the masses.

As a journalist who dislikes politicians meddling in the media, I would normally be tempted to side with the BBC.

Indeed, I find it more difficult to feel disquiet about Channel 4, whose news reporting has long been testing and rigorous, even if it often dresses to the Left. It is harder to give the BBC the benefit of the doubt. This is a Corporation which for years has promoted political correctness at the expense of journalistic truth.

This is a Corporation whose news editors have been bullied into silencing criticism of working-class views about multiculturalism and immigration.

You agreed with Enoch? Your voice went unheard. The middle-class snoots of the BBC hierarchy would not hear of such intolerance.

You support the death penalty, English nationalism, a flat tax rate, an end to the welfare system? No airtime for you.

Would Anjem Choudary have been given such a comfortable ride on primetime telly if he had been attacking wind farms; if he had been calling for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union; if he had been questioning the MMR vaccine?

This conditioning of BBC editors as to what is and what is not ‘acceptable’ – a conditioning which earlier this month prevented them telling us the Pakistani background of most of the Oxford sex ring – explains how Choudary sauntered into a BBC studio to abuse our country.

Free speech is not the same as naïvely giving houseroom to enemies of the state.

When journalism tries too hard to be politically correct it becomes opaque, dishonest and, in this instance, culpably unpatriotic. The timing was wrong. The tone was wrong.

The decision to ‘go’ with studio guest Choudary was that of a management which is even more remote from its viewers than our much-criticised politicians are from their voters.

When the country’s most powerful media organisation (by far) is so out of touch, is it any wonder democracy is in such ill health?

No journalist wants to return to the days of Mrs Thatcher’s attempt to prevent Sinn Fein leaders ever being heard on air (the BBC, rightly, got round that authoritarian ban by employing actors to voice the words of Gerry Adams and Co).

But the comparison to Irish republicanism is instructive. Sinn Fein was and is a political party. Not so Anjem Choudary.

This row weakens the BBC. Politicians are pouncing. Shadow Justice Minister Sadiq Khan said that Choudary was an ‘offensive and obnoxious media tart’.

The Tories’ Lady Warsi deplored the promotion of extremist ‘idiots and nutters’.

Sucking up to the Centre Left and its grubby electoral scheme of multiculturalism was once seen by the BBC’s ruling Left-wing clique as a good career move.

It has backfired terribly, not just on them and on our country, but most terribly on the family of Drummer Rigby.


Suspected terrorist who tried to kill a French soldier in copycat attack was 'caught on security camera footage removing his robes'

Paris police today conceded that the stabbing of a French soldier was inspired by the terrorist murder of Drummer Lee Rigby.

Private Cedric Cordier, 23, was stabbed in the neck while on patrol in the business district of the French capital on Saturday evening. He is now recovering in hospital.

The attacker, who has not been caught, was 6ft2in, of North African origin and wore a long, Arab garment called a djellaba.

In a copycat of an ambush in London in which a British serviceman was murdered, the attacker struck in front of dozens of passers-by, stabbing his victim in the throat and neck.

Police spokesman Christophe Crepin said: ‘You don’t have to be a great observer to see that people are taking inspiration from what’s happened abroad.’

Politicians also acknowledged the similarities. ‘The sudden violence... could lead one to believe there might be a comparison with what happened in London,’ said interior minister Manuel Valls.

And defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that attack had undoubtedly been an ‘attempt to kill’ the soldier, whose regiment had recently fought in Afghanistan.

Two comrades from the 4th Cavalry Regiment were with him, and carrying automatic rifles, but they failed to react before the man ran off.

‘We are looking through video surveillance footage,’ said an officer at the scene of the crime. ‘He was seen taking off his Arab-style robes and running away wearing European clothing.’

Detectives are convinced that the attacker was ‘inspired’ by the savage murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, who was allegedly hacked down by two radical Islamists in Woolwich, south London, last Wednesday.

While Drummer Rigby was off duty, Private Cordier was on an anti-terrorism patrol in La Defense business district of west Paris.

France’s defence minister Jean Yves Le Drian said that attack had undoubtedly been an ‘attempt to kill’ the soldier, whose regiment had recently fought in Afghanistan.

Private Cordier lost a considerable amount of blood but would survive, and is being treated at the nearby Percy military hospital.

France is considered a hotbed of radical Islamists, and the country’s Vigipirate anti-terrorist surveillance plan is currently in action.

Last year Mohammed Merah, a 23-year-old French-Algerian Islamist, murdered three French soldiers near the south west city of Toulouse during a killing spree which also claimed the lives of four civilians.


Eleven people across UK arrested for making 'racist or anti-religious' comments on Facebook and Twitter about British soldier's death 

No free speech in England  -- except for Muslim preachers, of course

The murder of soldier Lee Rigby has provoked a backlash of anger across the UK, including the attacking of mosques, racial abuse and comments made on social media.

Eleven people have been arrested around Britain for making 'racist or anti-religious' comments on Twitter following the brutal killing in Woolwich on Wednesday.

The incident has also prompted a huge increase in anti-Muslim incidents, according to the organisation Faith Matters, which works to reduce extremism.

Before the attack about four to eight cases a day were reported to its helpline. But the group said about 150 incidents had been reported in the last few days, including attacks on mosques.

Fiyaz Mughal, director of Faith Matters, told BBC Radio Five Live: 'What's really concerning is the spread of these incidents.  They're coming in from right across the country.

'Secondly, some of them are quite aggressive very focused, very aggressive attacks. And thirdly, there also seems to be significant online activity...suggesting co-ordination of incidents and attacks against institutions or places where Muslims congregate.'

It comes as 22-year-old man appeared before magistrates in Lincoln today charged with posting a 'grossly offensive' anti-Muslim message on Facebook following the Woolwich murder.

Benjamin Flatters, of Swineshead, Lincs, faces a charge under the 1988 Malicious Communications Act following a message he posted on Facebook on 22 May which is alleged to be offensive to Muslims.

No details of the message were given at the hearing but another man was warned about his conduct on social media.

Flatters, who spoke only to confirm his name, age and address, was refused bail by Lincoln Magistrates following a 20 minute hearing.

The court was told he faces further matters including four charges of inciting under-age girls to engage in sexual activity by sending sexual messages by Facebook as well as two drugs charges.

Flatters was remanded in custody until Wednesday when he will appear before Skegness Magistrates via video link.

His court appearance came within 24 hours of Lincolnshire Police warning users of social networking sites such as Facebook that they face arrest if posts were likely to incite racial hatred or violence.

A force spokesman said 'We have received a number of reports from local members of the public about tweets and Facebook comments that could potentially incite racial hatred and violence.

'These are currently being investigated. If such communications are reported to us and they do breach the law, those messages may be monitored; captured and robust police action will be considered.

'We would urge people to consider the very real impact of their online comments in relation to this matter.'

Flatters court appearance comes after two men were arrested and released on bail for making alleged offensive comments on Twitter about the murder of Lee Rigby.

Complaints were made to Avon and Somerset Police about remarks that appeared on the social networking website, which were allegedly of a racist or anti-religious nature.

A 23-year-old and a 22-year-old, both from Bristol, were held under the Public Order Act on suspicion of inciting racial or religious hatred.

Detective Inspector Ed Yaxley of Avon and Somerset Police said: 'These comments were directed against a section of our community. Comments such as these are completely unacceptable and only cause more harm to our community in Bristol.

'People should stop and think about what they say on social media before making statements as the consequences could be serious.'

Two men will also appear at Thames Magistrates Court today charged with religiously aggravated threatening behaviour over an incident in an east London fast food restaurant on Thursday.

Labourer Toni Latcal, 32, and plasterer Eugen-Aurelian Eugen-Beredei, 34, both from London, were arrested following the incident at 9.15pm on Thursday.  Latcal was charged with religiously aggravated threatening behaviour and causing criminal damage, while Eugen-Beredei was charged with religiously aggravated threatening behaviour.

Surrey Police said a 19-year-old man has been charged in connection with comments placed on a social media website following the murder of the soldier.

Mohammed Mazar, of Balmoral Drive, Woking, has been charged with improper use of public electronic communications network under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.

A police spokesman said Mazar has been freed on police bail to appear at South West Surrey Magistrates' Court on June 11.

Superintendent Matt Goodridge said: 'Surrey Police will not tolerate language used in a public place, including on social media websites, which causes harassment, alarm or distress.'

Another unemployed 28-year-old has been charged by police after allegedly posting an offensive message on Facebook.

Sussex Police said Adam Rogers, of Kingsman Street, Woolwich, was arrested in Hastings, East Sussex, yesterday.

He will appear at Brighton Magistrates' Court later today accused of sending an 'offensive, indecent or menacing message' online.

A police spokesman said: 'The entry was allegedly in connection to an incident in Woolwich on Wednesday.'

Meanwhile, a 23-year-old woman has been charged with allegedly sending a 'grossly offensive' message on Facebook, Hampshire Constabulary said.

Michaela Turner, of Lumsden Road, Southsea, was arrested at her home yesterday evening after a post was uploaded at 10.42pm on Wednesday. The post has since been removed.

Turner was charged overnight with an offence contrary to Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003. She has been bailed to appear at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court on June 7.

A police spokesman said: 'Following the terrorist incident in Woolwich this week, Hampshire Constabulary is working closely with local partnership groups to safeguard all members of the community.

'This includes monitoring social networking sites, and we will seek to arrest and prosecute anyone inciting hatred or violence online.'

Police have also arrested three people ahead of an EDL protest for allegedly making racist tweets.

Northumbria Police said two people from Gateshead and a third from Stockton, Teesside, were held earlier. The EDL has planned their demonstration for months, but the horrific murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich on Wednesday has heightened tensions in the local community.

A counter demonstration by opponents of the EDL has been planned.

Northumbria Police said it will 'allow people the right to peaceful protest, protect the safety of everyone in the city and prevent serious disorder and damage'.

Newcastle area commander chief superintendent Gary Calvert said: 'We appreciate that the events in London on Thursday may have heightened community concerns about this weekend's planned protests in Newcastle.

'We are constantly monitoring the situation and will continue to adapt accordingly.'



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


27 May, 2013

London Police Took 20 Min to Respond to Muslim Beheading, But Quickly Arrest 85-Year-Old British Woman for Islamophobia

Priorities, priorities. Witnesses claim it took London police 20 minutes to show up and stop the two Muslim killers.  The official police narrative is something like 9 minutes for the unarmed police and 14 minutes for the armed police (those crazy Americans with their guns everywhere, really.)

But when it comes to something truly serious, like protecting Muslims from elderly British women, then the coppers were on the case.

“An 85-year-old woman has this afternoon been arrested after abuse was hurled at Muslims outside Gillingham Mosque. The pensioner was handcuffed and taken away in a van by officers attending the Canterbury Street mosque for Friday prayers. As worshippers gathered outside the venue, a woman at a nearby bus stop shouted: “go back to your own country”.

The arrested woman, from the Maidstone Road area of Chatham, was taken away by officers at about 1.45pm and is now in police custody. A Kent Police spokesman said: “An 85 year old woman from Chatham was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence.”

This woman survived WW2 and presumably learned all the wrong lessons about resisting fascism. But if she had been a Muslim beheading a British soldier, she could have just strolled away while the police took 20 minutes to come around.

And the same police that could not be bothered, when it came to protecting Muslims from angry Britons shouting things, then no expense was spared and no time wasted.

An extra 1,200 police officers were deployed on the streets of London after an impromptu English Defence League protest descended into violence in Woolwich, south-east London, following Wednesday’s terrorist attack.

EDL leader Tommy Robinson, was among a group of around 250 men, who gathered in Woolwich near the scene of the terror attack, chanting anti-Islamic slogans.

Mr Robinson told supporters: “They’re chopping our soldiers’ heads off. This is Islam. That’s what we’ve seen today.”

He added: “They’ve cut one of our Army’s heads off on the streets of London. Our next generation are being taught through schools that Islam is a religion of peace. It’s not. It never has been. What you saw today is Islam.

Well that’s a crisis. People are speaking the truth. Can’t have that.

If two Muslims butcher a soldier in broad daylight, the police will one day show up. But if 250 men chant that this sort of butchery represents Islam, then 1,200 officers have to be sent in to keep the peace. And by peace, we mean Islam.

In Bristol two men were detained following allegedly racist messages that appeared on Twitter following the terrorist murder. A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said two men aged 22 and 23 were being questioned over the incident.

He said: “The men were arrested under the Public Order Act on suspicion of inciting racial or religious hatred. They are currently in custody. Our enquiries into these comments continue.”

If the authorities had been similarly motivated to take in Muslims who incite racial and religious hated in the name of Islam, the attack in London would never have happened.

But why bother learning any lessons? Just shoot the messenger.

The spokesman added: “These comments were directed against a section of our community. Comments such as these are completely unacceptable and only cause more harm to our community in Bristol. “People should stop and think about what they say on social media before making statements as the consequences could be serious.”

Yes, do stop and think. You wouldn’t want to end up in jail for asking why the authorities are ignoring Muslim terrorism.


British guilty of disguised anti-Semitism, says Israeli minister

 A senior Israeli government minister has attacked British attitudes towards his country as "disguised anti-Semitism" and said that Britain was more hostile towards the Jewish state than other Western countries.

In frank comments on the eve of a visit to the Holy Land by William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, Yuval Steinitz, Israel's intelligence and strategic affairs minister and a confidant of Benjamin Netanyahu, voiced fears about British "animosities" towards his country.

Speaking exclusively to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Steinitz suggested that there was growing antagonism – taking the form of hostile media coverage, "incitement" and boycott campaigns – and intimated that a less friendly attitude may be being reflected in official Britsh policy.

He also issued a coded warning to Mr Hague and other Western statesman against lecturing Israel about Jewish settlement building in the West Bank, which the Foreign Secretary has repeatedly condemned.

Asked if Britain was still a "friend of Israel", Mr Steinitz replied: "It's difficult to say. Traditionally we had good relations with Britain and currently we have good intelligence cooperation with Britain and it's very successful.

[But] we are concerned about the relations, about what we see as some animosities, some incitement in Britain, in the media, made by NGOs [non-governmental organisation] against Israel. I hope we will be able to use [Mr Hague's] visit to improve relations."

He pointed to campaigns calling for boycotts of Israeli products, academics and universities – a movement which recently saw Prof Stephen Hawking, the renowned British physicist, withdraw from a conference hosted by Shimon Peres, Israel's president, next month in protest at the occupation of the West Bank.

Expressing "disappointment" at Prof Hawking's decision, Mr Steinitz said: "I didn't hear that Prof Hawking or other British academics, who are so easily boycotting Israel, are boycotting other Middle East countries. Or if they have reservations about America invading Iraq, they so easily boycott American universities. So some Israelis feel that there is some kind of double standards.

"The fact that Israel is treated differently, the fact that some people can say so easily, let's do something against Israel, let's boycott Israel, let's boycott Israeli products, this is some kind of disguised anti-Semitism. In past times people said that they are against the Jews. Now, especially after the Holocaust, nobody says that they are against the Jews, but people are against the Jewish state."

Mr Steinitz – a former finance minister – said British perceptions of Israel were more negative than those of other Western or European countries and drew comparison with popular sentiment in the US, Canada and Australia.

"There should not be much difference between people in America, Canada, Britain and Australia," he said. "[They have] the same language, very similar cultures. And still in America, Canada, in Australia in opinion polls, most citizens support Israel with a very warm feeling. In Britain it is much less.

"When you think that all four are Anglo-Saxon democracies, why should people in America, Australia or Canada have different relations to or appreciations of the minuscule Jewish state than the people of Britain? Just recently, there was a very general poll in the United States. The support for Israel in the United States was stronger than ever. I'm not confident that this is the case with Britain as well."

Asked if this difference in attitude might be reflected in the Foreign Office or in Government policy, he replied: "This might be the case."

Anti-Semitism existed in Britain to a "certain extent", he added, manifesting itself in negative attitudes to the Jewish state.

Widely believed to be Mr Netanyahu's favoured choice as Israel's next foreign minister, Mr Steinitz was almost certainly reflecting his boss's views. One official close to the prime minister has told The Daily Telegraph that Mr Netanyahu views British public opinion towards Israel as "very tough".

Mr Steinitz insisted that he was not accusing Mr Hague or other British ministers who had criticised Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank of anti-Semitism, saying this was a "legitimate view".

"Not every kind of criticism is anti-Semitism," he said. "I didn't say that any criticism of Israel was anti-Semitic or unfair even. If somebody has some criticism of Israel, this is one thing. The same person can also have some criticism of his own country.

"But if somebody is following criticism of Israel and becoming anti-Israeli, saying 'I'm ready to cooperate with Israel's enemies or boycott Israel, or Israelis or Israeli academia or Israeli institutions', this is something different."

But he rejected the view – voiced by Mr Hague and other Western statesman – that continued settlement building threatened to torpedo chances of a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

"I think those allegations about the settlements are fundamentally wrong. To come to Israel and say why are you doing this and this, this is totally wrong," Mr Steinitz said. He cited the dismantling of settlements in Sinai in Egypt after the 1979 Camp David accords as proof that Israel would uproot settlers in return for genuine peace.


The crisis of individualism

By Phyllis Chesler

Suddenly, the price of speaking one’s mind has gotten very high. You may agree on every issue save one; dare to share your independent or dissident view—and you might shut down the conversation or lose all your friends.

Since this kind of censorship and self-censorship has been going on for some time, people who want to stay out of trouble write under pseudonyms, smile carefully at meetings and dinner parties, but do not say what they really think, there is too much at stake.
I call this the crisis of individualism and the destruction of independent thinking. It is the death knell of free thought, free speech, critical inquiry, and Western civilization (at its best) as we have known it.

People who think, write, and speak out, are now being attacked for their ideas, not only on the page, but in very ugly and economically and physically violent ways.

Offend this man and your funding will be cut. Offend that woman, and you will no longer be published at certain sites. Every site has a political party line. Cross it—and you are crossed off their list.

Offend an ideological opponent and they might sue you or track you down, first on the Internet, then on the lecture platform, then up close and personal, at home or at work. This is happening in America and elsewhere around the world.

Perhaps they will spray graffiti right outside your door, as has just happened to a long-time member of the Jerusalem-and American-based Women of the Wall (WOW).

Now, this particular female worshipper knows that the hooligans know exactly where she lives. The bullies—who rioted ten days ago, ten thousand strong—mean to intimidate our bravest members—one by one. “You are only the first” was part of the spray-paint message.
I must note, with considerable joy, that on the day of the riot, (May 10, five hundred Israeli police officers protected the 200 members of Women of the Wall from the mob of zealots who cursed, jeered, threw chairs, stones, bottles, water, and blew whistles loudly during the women’s prayer service.

Five days later, on May 15, Israeli Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni, issued her intention to stand by the recent legal decisions which support WOW’s right to pray—and guess what? The Justice Minister must sign off on any proposed amendments to the regulations that govern the laws and customs of holy sites.

I suppose the targeting-by-graffiti is the response made by the kind of bully who feels he (or she) is losing and who cannot accept this.

Lethal hatred empowers and unleashes hate crimes, lynch mobs, beatings, murder.

Last week, in Russian Georgia, a priest-led mob of 20,000 attacked a small gay rights march, injuring at least 14 gay rights activists. Like their counterparts in Jerusalem, they believe that God is behind their views and therefore that violence in God’s name is justified.

A lot of violence is taking place in God’s name.

My friend and colleague, Hans Erling Jensen, the President of the International and Danish Free Press Societies was first sued for what he said about Islam; legally, he prevailed. Thereafter, a few months ago, he opened his door and found a gun sticking in his face. Luckily, Jensen wrestled with the masked gunman, the shot missed, the gunman fled. But now Jensen will be living at an undisclosed location and under Danish police protection for the rest of his life.

Something relatively small but infuriating also happened to me: The webmaster who had been in charge of my website for many years, suddenly locked me (and all my experts) out of my own site because he rather viciously disagreed with my support for Women of the Wall. (I am one of the founders of this group). He did not sue me, but his bullet-proof method of hosting my website cost me nearly ten thousand dollars in “exit” fees. And, he also managed to silence me for two months. 

In other words: People who think, write, and speak out, are now being attacked for their ideas, not only on the page, but in very ugly and economically and physically violent ways. Our barbaric attackers know no shame. And, they are everywhere.

I have a friend who is a religious Muslim feminist. Every day, she receives anti-Muslim and anti-woman hate mail. I have another friend, a gallant intellectual, who is being bullied and baited for her views on Islam. Her attackers are not Muslims but are, rather, those whose views on Islam are far more negative than hers.

It is crucial that people stop silencing themselves on either the left or the right. We must be willing to risk unpopularity and discomfort on freedom’s behalf. This is true globally and in terms of the ideologies that currently hobble free speech.

One also hopes that the pundit mobs will begin to research their ideas, since emotions and rumors do not constitute expert opinions. We must behave respectfully—especially when we are disagreeing with someone publicly or privately.

Vulgar amateurs on the Internet confuse an insult with an insight. Pathologically angry zealots (I call them “attack dogs on short leashes), denounce others—actually, almost everyone--mainly in order to shame and destroy them. There is no desire for civilized dialogue, no place for independent thinking, no concept of an honorable opponent.

If this does not stop, we are doomed. We will soon be living in a totalitarian state of mind. Actually, I fear we already are.


This is Just Beastly

The shouts for “marriage equality” and “equal love” continue unabated. Of course they have nothing to do with genuine marriage or real love, and everything to do with radical social engineering and kinky sexuality. And as we have been warning for decades now, once you start messing with marriage, soon anything goes.

And that is exactly what is now happening. All sorts of groups are demanding that their perverse sexual preferences be fully recognised, supported and given government endorsement. I have documented this both in my book, Strained Relations, and on my website.

As these demands are never-ending, so my coverage of all this will have to be never-ending. So let me look again at another “love” which is quickly and proudly coming out of the closet. Sadly there are now many calling for the legalisation of bestiality, or zoophilia. Yes, there is even a “scientific” name now assigned to those who want to enjoy “equal love” with animals.

And these are not just a few cranks and misfits. Sadly we have academics, educational institutions, and plenty of other respectable type groups calling for this. Indeed, simply google the euphemistic term “zoophilia”. When I last did this some 1.2 million hits came up. There are all sorts of zoophilia sites, organisations, groups, societies and advocates out there seriously promoting all this.

In fact, there is far too much material here for me to do proper justice to it, so let me just select a few representative examples. Let’s begin with this headline: “Those Who Practice Bestiality Say They’re Part of the Next Sexual Rights Movement.” The headline alone says it all: If the homosexual lobby can get their way with full recognition and legalisation, then why can’t we?

The article speaks of a Cody Beck who is quite serous in seeing his “rights” recognised: “Being a ‘zoophile’ in modern American society, Beck says, is ‘like being gay in the 1950s. You feel like you have to hide, that if you say it out loud, people will look at you like a freak.’ Now Beck believes he and other members of this minority sexual orientation, who often call themselves ‘zoos,’ can follow the same path as the gay rights movement. Most researchers believe 2 to 8 percent of the population harbors forbidden desires toward animals, and Beck hopes this minority group can begin appealing to the open-minded for acceptance.”

I mentioned that universities and academics are even happy to run with this. Here is another headline to get your head around: “Yale hosts workshop teaching sensitivity to bestiality”. Yes, that would be Yale University. The entire article is so incredible that I am tempted to quote the whole piece. But let me offer this much:

“On Saturday afternoon, Yale hosted a ‘sensitivity training’ in which students were asked to consider topics such as bestiality, incest, and accepting money for sex. During the workshop, entitled, ‘Sex: Am I Normal,’ students anonymously asked and answered questions about sex using their cell phones, and viewed the responses in real time in the form of bar charts. The session was hosted by ‘sexologist’ Dr. Jill McDevitt, who owns a sex store called Feminique in West Chester, Pa. Survey responses revealed that nine percent of attendees had been paid for sex, 3 percent had engaged in bestiality, and 52 percent had participated in ‘consensual pain’ during sex, according to an article published in the Yale Daily News on Monday.

“Event director Giuliana Berry told Campus Reform in an interview on Monday that the workshop was brought to campus to teach students not to automatically judge people who may have engaged in these sorts of activities, but rather to respond with ‘understanding’ and ‘compassion.’ ‘People do engage in some of these activities that we believe only for example perverts engage in,’ she said. ‘What the goal is is to increase compassion for people who may engage in activities that are not what you would personally consider normal.’ McDevitt referred to the range of activities discussed in the workshop as ‘sexual diversity.’ ‘It tries to get people to be more sensitive … to sexual diversity,’ McDevitt told Campus Reform in an interview on Monday. ‘We’re not all heterosexual, able-bodied folks who have standard missionary sex’.”

There you go: we need to offer “understanding” and “compassion” to those who are into zoophilia, or incest, or whatever. And the last thing we should do is cast any moral judgment on any of this: “‘It’s sensitivity training,’ McDevitt told Campus Reform. ‘Don’t judge other people, because we all have something we are embarrassed about’.”

One well respected academic has been quite cavalier about bestiality for years now. I refer to Princeton University’s Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, Peter Singer. He is rather infamous for a piece he penned back in 2001 called “Heavy Petting”. The online magazine Nerve, the site where it first appeared, seems to have pulled it, but one can still find the entire article elsewhere. He said this, in part:

“The existence of sexual contact between humans and animals, and the potency of the taboo against it, displays the ambivalence of our relationship with animals. On the one hand, especially in the Judeo-Christian tradition — less so in the East — we have always seen ourselves as distinct from animals, and imagined that a wide, unbridgeable gulf separates us from them. Humans alone are made in the image of God. Only human beings have an immortal soul….

“On the other hand there are many ways in which we cannot help behaving just as animals do — or mammals, anyway — and sex is one of the most obvious ones. We copulate, as they do. They have penises and vaginas, as we do, and the fact that the vagina of a calf can be sexually satisfying to a man shows how similar these organs are. The taboo on sex with animals may, as I have already suggested, have originated as part of a broader rejection of non-reproductive sex.

“But the vehemence with which this prohibition continues to be held, its persistence while other non-reproductive sexual acts have become acceptable, suggests that there is another powerful force at work: our desire to differentiate ourselves, erotically and in every other way, from animals….

“But sex with animals does not always involve cruelty. Who has not been at a social occasion disrupted by the household dog gripping the legs of a visitor and vigorously rubbing its penis against them? The host usually discourages such activities, but in private not everyone objects to being used by her or his dog in this way, and occasionally mutually satisfying activities may develop.”

This guy is actually saying all this with a straight face! And all this is not just theory or speculation. We have already had a number of cases of people “marrying” their beloved animals. As but one Australian example of this, consider this story:

“A young Toowoomba man yesterday tied the knot with his best friend – a five-year-old labrador. In perhaps a first for the Garden City, Laurel Bank Park hosted the wedding of Joseph Guiso and Honey, a labrador he adopted five years ago. Thirty of the couple’s closest friends and family were in attendance for the emotional ceremony, held at dusk.”

The news item continues: “Mr Guiso said as a ‘religious guy’, he could no longer take the guilt of living with Honey out of wedlock. ‘It’s not sexual,’ he assured the onlookers. ‘It’s just pure love.’ The couple is planning a short honeymoon to one of Toowoomba’s parks.”

And to give cat lovers equal space here, consider this story of a German man who married his own cat: “A German man has unofficially married his cat after the animal fell ill and vets told him it might not live much longer, Bild newspaper reports. It says Uwe Mitzscherlich, 39, paid an actress 300 euros (£260,$395) to officiate at the ceremony, as marrying an animal is illegal in Germany.

“Mr Mitzscherlich said he had wanted to tie the knot before his asthmatic cat Cecilia died. The cat and groom have lived together for 10 years. ‘Cecilia is such a trusting creature. We cuddle all the time and she has always slept in my bed,’ Mr Mitzscherlich, a postman from the eastern town of Possendorf, told Bild. Actress Christin-Maria Lohri, who officiated the ceremony, was quoted as saying: ‘At first I thought it was a joke. But for Mr Mitzscherlich it’s a dream come true’.”

Bestiality, zoophilia, and marriage rights with animals then is clearly the next step in the sexual revolution. Albert Camus once said, “A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon the world.” In this case it might be more accurate to say, “A man without ethics is a man loosed upon wild beasts.”



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


26 May, 2013

"Multiculturalists" revolting in Sweden too

STOCKHOLM police have called in reinforcements from across Sweden to quell a possible sixth straight night of riots in the capital's immigrant-dominated suburbs, with Britain and the United States warning against travelling to the hotspots.

Nearly a week of riots have put Sweden's reputation as an oasis of peace and harmony at risk.

The unrest has also sparked a debate among Swedes over the integration of immigrants, many of whom arrived under the country's generous asylum policies, and who now make up about 15 per cent of the population.

"We will be getting reinforcements from Gothenburg and Malmoe tonight," police spokesman Kjell Lindgren said on Friday, referring to the country's second and third largest cities.

He would not disclose how many additional police officers were due to arrive.

Another police spokesman, Lars Bystroem, told the Swedish news agency TT he had never before experienced unrest that lasted so long and was spread over such a wide area.

The nightly riots have prompted Britain's Foreign Office and the US embassy in Stockholm to issue warnings to their nationals, urging them to avoid the affected suburbs.

Firefighters were dispatched to 70 fires the night between Thursday and Friday, extinguishing torched cars, dumpsters and buildings, including three schools and a police station, the fire department wrote on Twitter. This was down from 90 blazes the night before.

Parents and volunteer organisations who have patrolled the streets in recent nights have helped decrease the intensity of the unrest, Lindgren said.

He said 13 people had been arrested overnight, bringing to 29 the total arrests since the start of the riots on Sunday.

Police, who have so far concentrated on putting out fires, are beginning to round up people suspected of criminal acts, according to TT.

"Even if we don't intervene, we regularly make video recordings and get information from the public. That way we can get people a couple of days later," said Bystroem, the police spokesman, to TT.

The troubles had begun in the suburb of Husby, where 80 per cent of inhabitants are immigrants, triggered by the fatal police shooting of a 69-year-old Husby resident last week after the man wielded a machete in public.

Local activists said the shooting sparked anger among youths who claim to have suffered from police brutality and racism.

One of the rioters in Husby told Swedish Radio racism was rampant where he lived, and that violence was his only way of being noticed.

"We burned cars, threw rocks at police, at police cars. But it's good, because now people know what Husby is ... This is the only way to be heard," said the rioter, identified only by the pseudonym Kim.

In the suburb of Rinkeby, six cars parked alongside each other were torched on Thursday night.

A police station and several shops in another area Aelvsjoe were set on fire, but the flames were quickly extinguished.

Each of the country's major insurance companies If, Folksam and Trygg-Hansa has received 20 to 30 claims for cars that have been torched, according to Swedish Radio.

Stockholm county police chief Mats Loefving said on Friday the rioters were local youths with and without criminal records.


Boycotting Israel does not bring peace closer or benefit humanity

Foreign Secretary William Hague should be applauded for signing an agreement to strengthen scientific cooperation between Britain and Israel

In Jerusalem yesterday, William Hague and Yaakov Perry, Israeli Minister of Science, Technology and Space, signed an agreement to strengthen scientific cooperation between our countries. Building on research programmes in areas such as regenerative medicine, the initiative expands cooperation into the fields of advanced materials and nanotechnology; agri-sciences, neuroscience and space research.

Marrying Israel’s passion for innovation with Britain’s ability to scale up and commercialise technological advances has helped UK-Israel trade more than double in the past decade. But the partnership sends a deeper message. It reflects a shared commitment to scientific research as an investment in a better future. Already, in a number of areas – most especially medicine, water treatment and alternative energy – it has made significant contributions to aid and development projects globally.

As such, the Foreign Secretary’s signing of this agreement stands in stark contrast to the small but strident boycott campaign that seeks to break down channels of cooperation and dialogue with Israel. Most recently, the campaign has pressured Professor Stephen Hawking into cancelling a trip to Jerusalem to participate in President Shimon Peres’s conference on “Facing Tomorrow”. Held annually since 2008, this brings together leaders, thinkers, innovators and academics of all faiths and nationalities to address pressing international challenges. It is a unique forum for discussion and debate which should, one would hope, appeal to anyone committed to progress and genuine scientific inquiry.

Dissuading Prof Hawking from attending a conference with a focus on Israeli innovation seems particularly invidious in view of the many ways in which Israeli technology has changed the lives of those with special needs. It was an Israeli bionic walking device that enabled the paralysed British horse-rider Claire Lomas to rise from her chair and complete the London marathon. Indeed, Prof Hawking’s own speech-generation device is operated by a silicon chip designed in Israel.

It is hard to see how spurning the conference could advance the boycott campaign’s declared goals of promoting Palestinian interests or the prospects for peace. Every year – including this year – the gathering has included senior Palestinian officials and academics. In the highly charged atmosphere of the Middle East, surely those rare spaces where genuine dialogue between the parties takes place should be cherished and not shunned.

But the campaigners have little interest in scientific inquiry or peace. Their aim is to isolate Israel – even if that involves the loss of innovation that benefits humanity or the rejection of the fundamental principle of academic freedom or the dismissal of genuine overtures of reconciliation.

Those who care about the prospects for peace work to support and strengthen those who seek peace on both sides. When the author Ian McEwan was subjected to a similar campaign of pressure to boycott Israel after being invited to receive the Jerusalem Prize, he insisted on attending. “My feeling was that I wished to engage with the best elements of Israeli society,” he explained, “and I don’t want to isolate those people.”

Wholesale rejection of the forums in which minds can freely meet and true engagement takes place is anathema to science and to reconciliation. If the moderates, innovators and visionaries are beyond the pale, who are you hoping will actually make peace?


Grandmother won't make Double Gloucester for cheese-rolling event after 'heavy-handed threats' from British police

Police have been criticised after banning an elderly grandmother from making a giant Double Gloucester wheel for an annual cheese rolling event.

The event started in the early 1800s and sees competitors chasing the massive 1ft diameter cheese down the 200-yard Cooper's Hill near Brockworth, Gloucestershire, as they race to reach the bottom first.

Farmer Diana Smart, 86, has been making her handmade cheese for the downhill run for a quarter of a century and it is something, she said, that brought her 'such joy'.

This year, however, Mrs Smart, who has provided the large piece of cheese since 1988, has now been warned off doing so after a visit by police.

Three officers visited her farm and told her not to donate five 8lb wheels of her cheese in a bid to prevent the "dangerous" event.

Mrs Smart said the "heavy handed" police visited her home last week and told in a "threatening" manner she would be responsible for any injuries caused – and so has pulled out.

"They threatened me, saying I would be wholly responsible if anyone got injured," she said. "I'm 86, I don't have the will or the cash to fight any lawsuits. It's crazy."

It is the first time in its 200-year history that police have banned a cheesemaker providing the cheese – leaving organisers outraged by the polices warnings.

A spokesperson said: "It's outrageous. Completely unbelievable. You cannot stop someone selling cheese. If they try and stop us we will use something else"

It has been found, however, following health and safety fears, 2009 was the last official cheese rolling event but unofficially the event is still held every year – without proper medical cover or insurance.

A Gloucestershire police spokesman said: "Advice has been given to all those who have participated in any planning of an unofficial cheese rolling event. We feel it is important that those who could be constituted as organisers of the event, are aware of the responsibilities that come with it so that they can make an informed decision about their participation."

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, slammed the police for threatening Mrs Smart.

He said: "Taxpayers will be appalled that the valuable time of three police officers was wasted trying to scare an elderly lady into withdrawing her involvement in a centuries-old tradition.

"People expect the police to be keeping us safe and solving crime, not badgering innocent old ladies.

"Anyone participating in the cheese-rolling needs to take personal responsibility for themselves and the idea that Diana Smart should be liable for any injuries is frankly ludicrous."


Useless British police again

If you "offend" someone they will be after you -- but stolen property does not matter to them

When Dean Parnell realised his iPad had been snatched from a table in a busy city centre bar, he was determined to get it back.

Within an hour, the quick-thinking solicitor had traced the £750 Apple tablet computer to four possible addresses ten miles away thanks to an in-built tracking application.

But despite repeatedly asking police to recover the device, he was told they were too busy to attend.

So he travelled from Birmingham to the village of Water Orton in Warwickshire to recover the iPad himself.

Last night, Mr Parnell, 45, condemned West Midlands Police for failing to help him.  He said: ‘I went to the police station. I was able to demonstrate that an apparent crime was taking place and I was turned away.

'I guess I am more angry about the way I had been treated at the police station than I was about an opportunist who had pocketed my iPad.’

The drama began on Friday last week when Mr Parnell realised the 32GB retina display iPad had been taken from a table in a bar.

Staff at a nearby Apple store showed him how to use the inbuilt tracking system and quickly pinpointed it to a train heading out of Birmingham.

Mr Parnell, from Northamptonshire, said: ‘The train stopped at Water Orton and the iPad began moving slowly as if someone was walking to a car park, then it began moving quickly.

‘I called the police and they said someone would be along shortly but no one turned up. I then rang them again and they said someone would ring me back, but they didn’t.’

At a local police station he was told nobody was available until the following day – even when he said there was a greater chance of ‘an incident’ without assistance from officers.

Four more calls to West Midlands Police proved fruitless - and during the final attempt he was told it was now Warwickshire Police’s problem because he was now within their jurisdiction.

Mr Parnell then had to ‘go through the whole story again’ and was told a patrol car would be there within the hour. It didn’t arrive, and when he called back, he was told the nearest car was still 30 miles away.

The commercial litigation partner eventually got the device back when he knocked at one of the four doors pinpointed by the GPS tracking application and recognised the stunned householder as a fellow patron of the bar he had been to.

The suspect returned the tablet computer – claiming he had found it and was planning to hand it in to Apple the following day. Police later gave him a ‘stern warning’.

Mr Parnell, who has now received an apology from police, said: ‘The whole event took some four hours from beginning to end. Had it not been for my persistence, my iPad would have ended up as another statistic.  ‘I appreciate the police may have been busy but it was their total lack of interest that was what really bothered me.’

Superintendent Danny Long, of  Birmingham West and Central Police, said the ‘standard of service’ fell short and that officers should have been dispatched quickly.

An investigation had found that a crime had not been committed, he said. Warwickshire Police declined to comment.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


24 May, 2013

Ain't multiculturalism grand?

A British soldier has been butchered on a busy London street by two Islamist terrorists, one of whom proclaimed afterwards: “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

In the first terrorist murder on the British mainland since the 7/7 suicide bombings of 2005, the men attempted to behead the soldier, hacking at him like a “piece of meat” in front of dozens of witnesses, before both were shot by police who took around 20 minutes to arrive.

After the killing, one of the men, believed to be a British-born Muslim convert, spoke calmly into a witness’s video phone.

Speaking with a London accent, holding a knife and a meat cleaver and with his hands dripping with blood, he said: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. Your people will never be safe. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying by British soldiers every day.

“We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. I apologise that women had to witness this today but in our lands our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don’t care about you. Do you think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start busting our guns? Do you think your politicians are going to die?

“No, it’s going to be the average guy like you, and your children. So get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back so we, so you can all live in peace.”

Witnesses said that the men used a car to run over the soldier just yards from the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, south-east London, before setting about him with knives and a meat cleaver as if they were “trying to remove organs”. One unconfirmed report suggested that he had been beheaded.

Passers-by said they thought at first that the attackers were trying to help the man, who was wearing a Help for Heroes T-shirt, and only realised they were killing him when they got closer.

As they attacked the soldier, one of the men shouted “Allahu akbar”, or God is Great, according to the BBC, while another witness said they appeared to pray next to the body as if the solder was a “sacrifice”.

Their victim, thought to be aged around 20, had reportedly been on duty at an Army recruitment office in central London and was on his way back to the barracks when he was murdered at 2.20pm.

It emerged that passers-by went to the soldier’s aid. One of the killers ordered that only women could tend to the body, not men.

There were also questions over why it took around 20 minutes for armed police to arrive on the scene, during which time the killers calmly walked up and down the road, carrying their bloodied knives and a pistol, while members of the public confronted them.

When police did arrive, both gunmen tried to rush at the police and were shot, reportedly by a female officer.

On Wednesday night they were under armed guard in separate hospitals. Their British accents suggested that they were “home-grown” terrorists and security sources said they did not believe anyone else was involved in the incident.

David Cameron described the attack, which had chilling echoes of a plot to behead a soldier foiled in Birmingham in 2007, as “absolutely sickening”, but said that Britain will “never buckle” in the face of terrorism. This morning he will chair a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency briefing committee to be updated on developments.

Speaking in Paris, where he had been meeting François Hollande, the French president, he said: “We have suffered these attacks before. We have always beat them back. We have done that through a combination of vigilance, of security, of security information, good policing.

“But above all, the way we have beaten them back is showing an absolutely indomitable British spirit that we will not be cowed, we will never buckle under these attacks. The terrorists will never win because they can never beat the values we hold dear, the belief in freedom, in democracy, in free speech, in our British values, Western values. They are never going to defeat those. That is how we will stand up to these people, whoever they are, however many there are of them, and that is how we will win.”

He added that “every aspect” of security would be reviewed. After a Cobra meeting last night, chaired by Theresa May, the Home Secretary, security was tightened at all London barracks.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London who attended the meeting, said: “I know that Londoners have been through terrorism before and this city has huge resilience.

“What we also have is the best, the most professional security services and the best police in the world to protect us and they are now going to get to the bottom of exactly what’s happened.”

The Queen announced that she would go ahead with a planned visit to the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery at Woolwich Barracks next week.

The murder appeared to have been planned to ensure maximum publicity, with the killers urging witnesses to take their picture “as if they wanted to be on TV”. One witness, identified only as James, said he and his partner watched in horror as they realised what they were seeing. He shouted at the men to stop, only for one of them to pull out a gun and threaten to shoot him.

After driving his car further up the road, he stopped and called the police, telling them to bring armed units.

He said: “These two guys are chopping this guy to pieces, literally hacking at something like it’s a bit of meat. These two guys were crazed, they were just animals. They then dragged the poor guy from the pavement and dumped his body in the middle of the road.

“They were standing there with the knives in their hand, waving the gun about. There were police at the end of the road but there were no police in the vicinity of the attackers. I think they were proud of what they were doing.”

The Muslim Council of Britain condemned the killing as a “truly barbaric” act with “no basis in Islam”.

A spokesman said: “We call on all our communities, Muslim and non-Muslim, to come together in solidarity to ensure the forces of hatred do not prevail.”


Nearly all children born to cohabiting couples this year will 'see parents split by the time they are 16'

Nearly nine out of ten babies born to co-habiting parents this year will have seen their family break up by the time they reach the age of 16, says a study.

Half of all children born this year will not be living with both natural parents when they reach their mid-teens, and almost all those who suffer family breakdown will be the children of unmarried parents, added the report.

The study, based on figures from the national census and large-scale academic surveys, extrapolates from current trends and calculates that just 9 per cent of babies born to cohabiting couples today will still have their parents living together by the time they are 16.

The report adds that the declining popularity of marriage and the rise of co-habitation will damage the lives of increasing numbers of children.

The figures were produced by researcher Harry Benson, of the Marriage Foundation think tank, who said: ‘The report provides solid evidence that married parents are more stable than unmarried parents.

‘The contrast between married and unmarried parents who remain intact by the time their children reach their teenage years demonstrates that marital status plays a crucial role in family breakdown.

‘With family breakdown costing an estimated £46billion a year – more than the entire defence budget – in addition to the immeasurable social damage, it is clearly in the interest of the Government and the taxpayer to work to counter this devastating trend.’

The study by the think  tank, which is headed by High Court family division judge Sir Paul Coleridge, was based  on findings from the census of 2001 and recent results from Understanding Society, a government-backed survey which charts the lives of people in 40,000 homes.

The report said that in 2001, four out of ten teenagers aged 15 were not living with both parents, and among the parents of 15-year-olds who stayed together, 97 per cent were married.

Understanding Society, a ‘longitudinal’ survey which asks questions of the same group each year, found that 45 per cent of teenagers aged between 13 and 15 are not living with both parents. It also found that of the parents who were still together, 93 per cent were married.

Co-habiting couples who were both registered as their children’s parents accounted for a quarter of family breakdown in 2001, but nearly half in 2012.

The analysis comes as the popularity of marriage is at an historic low. In 2010, there were 241,100 weddings in England and Wales compared to more than 400,000 a year in the early 1970s.

In 2009, the number of weddings was 232,443 – the lowest figure since Queen Victoria was on the throne.

Last month, David Cameron pledged to recognise marriage in the tax system before the next general election in 2015.

Mr Benson said: ‘Despite the evidence behind the stability of marriage, the Government seems fixed on airbrushing  marriage from family policy papers.

Whilst government  policy disregards the crucial  role marriage plays in helping couples stay together, the  epidemic of family breakdown will roll on.

‘Almost all couples who remain intact whilst bringing up their children are married. The most family-friendly Government of all time – as promised in 2010 – needs to recognise this hard  evidence and do something about it.’


The evidence that blows apart Mr Cameron's claim that gay marriage will strengthen families

A passionate rallying call, it was supposed  to encapsulate David Cameron’s political creed, boldly blending the progressive and the traditional.

‘Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is strong when we make vows to each other,’ the Prime Minister triumphantly declared at the Tory party conference in October 2011.

‘So I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a Conservative. I support it because I am a Conservative.’

Speaking yesterday on Radio??4’s Today programme, after the Commons voted on Monday to allow gay marriage in England and Wales, Mr Cameron said: ‘There will be young boys in schools today who are gay, who are worried about being bullied, who are worried about what society thinks of them, who can see that the highest Parliament in the land has said that their love is worth the same as anyone else’s love and that we believe in equality.

‘And I think they’ll stand that bit taller today and I’m proud of the fact that has happened.’

Over the past three years, the legalisation of same-sex marriage has become one of the flagship policies of Mr Cameron’s Conservative-led Government, even though it was never mentioned in his party’s manifesto at the 2010 general election.

For the PM’s inner circle of self-styled modernisers, this proposal is seen as a key instrument of change, a powerful agent that can ‘detoxify’ the Tory brand. By embracing gay marriage, the party will be able to shed its ‘nasty’ image and present itself as an inclusive, socially advanced force in British politics. 

The policy is also portrayed by its backers as a vehicle for reinvigorating the institution of marriage itself by promoting those values of commitment, loyalty, stability and personal responsibility that are considered vital to the creation of a strong society.

According to this argument, the process of opening marriage to everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, will be a catalyst for the revival of marriage generally.

For example, Culture Minister Maria Miller said in February, when putting forward the legislation to enshrine same-sex unions: ‘What marriage offers us is a lifelong partner to share our journey, a loving, stable relationship to strengthen us and a mutual support throughout our lives. I believe this is something that should be embraced by more couples.’

In the same vein, Mr Cameron’s favourite think-tank, Policy Exchange, proclaimed same-sex marriage will ‘encourage strong and stable families, and tackle the social breakdown that leads to poverty’.

But in the real world beyond excitable political rhetoric, we should be very wary of claims that a far-reaching change in family policy will help to strengthen our social fabric.

Indeed, it is one of the classic tactics of radical reformers to assert that a ‘progressive’ proposal is actually a means to achieving a traditionalist end. This is exactly what happened over the reform of the divorce laws in 1969/70.

Advocates argued that by making divorce much easier, the new law would do no more than help to end a few ‘dead’ unions that were beyond saving. By allowing this, it was argued, the institution of marriage would be left much stronger and more respected.

As we all know, it has hardly worked out like that. Just the opposite has happened.

Divorce rates have rocketed, marriage rates have plummeted and tens of thousands of children have been robbed of security.

A similarly disastrous outcome arose from another progressive policy — providing state support for lone parenthood outside marriage. Again, this was done with the best of intentions: to remove the stigma on single mothers and to provide for children whose fathers had abandoned them.

But in practice it has offered incentives to help the creation of fatherless families and the remorseless expansion of the benefits system.

The same applies to same-sex marriage today. The upbeat language of the Tory modernisers is based on nothing more than self-delusion and wishful thinking.

Look at what has happened in those countries that have already made same-sex marriage legal. In not one case has there been any indication of a wider revival in marriage. Indeed, in most countries its decline has merely accelerated.

In Scandinavia, where hostility to the two-parent family is central to the ruling political orthodoxy, the widening of the legal definition of marriage has done nothing to stop the institution decaying.

The same applies in Spain, where the Catholic Church still retains significant social influence and state policy has not been so antagonistic to traditional family life. Gay marriage was first sanctioned in 2005, and since then the decline in heterosexual marriage rates has been precipitous.

Likewise in Holland, where the traditional Protestant culture has fought against the increasingly predominant tolerant anarchy so beloved of liberal campaigners.

Since the Dutch legalised same-sex marriage in 2001, the concept of long-term commitment among heterosexuals has been evaporating — not least because of the parallel introduction of ‘registered partnership’ or ‘cohabitation agreements’ for heterosexuals.

Forty per cent of first babies are now born to unmarried mothers in Holland, a doubling of the rate since 2000.

This is tragic proof of the misguided belief that same-sex marriage could help to reinforce the value of traditional marriage. And, in any case, this belief has always been absurd and is wholly undermined by the evidence.

For the truth is that the drive for gay wedlock is precisely the same instinct that wants to destroy traditional marriage. It is part of the pernicious notion of social equality.

It is particularly revealing, therefore, that some of the most outspoken campaigners for same-sex unions, such as the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, do not seem to believe in the importance of traditional marriage at all.

Notoriously, he once derided plans to support marriage through the tax system as like ‘taking the 1950s model of  suit-wearing, breadwinning dad and aproned, home- making mother and trying to preserve it in aspic’.

Perversely, despite the hysteria and emotional bullying of some advocates of gay marriage, there does not even seem to be any great wish among gays or lesbians in any nation for official recognition of their relationships.

According to surveys from Holland, Belgium and Canada, only two to six per cent of homosexuals get married. Similarly, in Norway and Sweden it has been estimated that just one to five per cent of the gay population enter a civil partnership or get married.

Furthermore, research shows that long-term commitment among homosexual couples seems even more elusive than in heterosexual ones, undermining the fashionable belief among policy-makers that gay married couples can serve as role models for the restoration of marriage.

In Sweden, for example, male unions are 50 per cent more likely to end in divorce than heterosexual marriages, and the rate is even higher for lesbian couples.

The truth is that marriage between two loving parents of opposite sexes has for centuries been the bedrock of Western society, providing the best environment for raising children. But the radicals, with all their self-righteous importance, think they know better.

So they seek to denigrate and trivialise the institution, making weddings little more than something couples might like to do in the first flush of excitement at their new relationship.

Marriage becomes an excuse for a party, a bit of fun while it lasts, rather than a lifelong commitment based on the creation of the next generation.

This trivialising instinct is further proved by reformers’ demands for ever wider definitions of wedlock or civil unions.

From Brazil to Canada, there are even calls for civil unions to encompass three or more partners.

Here in Britain, the indefatigable campaigner Peter Tatchell has urged that civil contracts should accommodate those who are in close but non-sexual relationships, such as relatives, friends, even brothers and sisters.

He says: ‘Under my Civil Commitment Pact, partners could pick and mix from a menu of rights and responsibilities.’

So this is what the campaign for same-sex marriage has led to: a complete collapse in the power and meaning of traditional wedlock.

In the midst of an epidemic of fatherless families and spiralling welfare bills, we are all paying a terrible price for this dogmatic, posturing nonsense. And self-delusion from the Tories does not help.


Boris's sexual shenanigans and a landmark victory over our creeping culture of Stalinist secrecy

Many of our senior judges apparently dislike the Press and increasingly insist on the rights of privacy for public figures. So it was with some astonishment that I read a story on Tuesday morning that suggested the opposite may be the case.

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the public do have the right to know about the philandering past of Boris Johnson, Mayor of London. In so doing, it confirmed the judgment of a High Court judge, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, last July.

Note that the Court of Appeal is a very august institution. No less a figure than the Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, delivered the judgment, supported by two senior judges. This was a significant ruling.

The reason for my amazement is that I had assumed the higher judiciary shared the view of certain high-minded newspaper editors, the pressure group Hacked Off and most politicians that what a public figure does in private is entirely his or her own business, provided it is legal. Not so, said Lord Dyson and his colleagues.

The case arose because Boris Johnson, who is married, fathered a child during an extra-marital affair. The mother, Helen Macintyre, was living with someone at the time. The child’s family took action against this newspaper, which broke the story of her daughter’s paternity.

Lord Dyson stated that ‘the core information in this story, namely that the father had an adulterous relationship with the mother, deceiving both his wife and the mother’s partner, and that the claimant, born about nine months later, was likely to be the father’s child, was a public interest matter, which the electorate was entitled to know when considering his fitness for high public office’.

The Master of the Rolls added: ‘It is fanciful to expect the public to forget the fact that a man who is said to be the baby’s father, and who is a major public figure, had fathered a child after a brief adulterous affair (not for the first time).’ This was a reference to an earlier extra-marital fling.

What is interesting about this ruling is that there was no imputation of hypocrisy on Boris’s part.

Unlike some politicians, he has not presented himself as a family man or proclaimed his sexual virtue.

The former Lib Dem Cabinet minister Chris Huhne, by contrast, exhibited his close family in his 2010 election hand-outs while having an adulterous affair.

Boris is not a hypocrite. He doesn’t tell people to do one thing and then do another. By the way, I should mention that he wasn’t involved in this legal action. He wasn’t trying to suppress information about what had happened.

The point is that, even though Boris was not guilty of hypocrisy, in their Lordships’ view the public are entitled to know about his shenanigans because he is a leading politician seeking office.

Of course, the revelations may not injure him. Boris seems to be indulged by the electorate, as he is by those close to him. In assessing his fitness to be Mayor of London, some voters may even take the view ‘Good on yer, Boris’, though I suspect he may be assessed more critically when he sets his cap at No 10. Others may agree with Mrs Justice Davies, who accepted that Boris had shown ‘recklessness’ in conducting extra-marital affairs, which called into question his fitness for public office.

What matters is that people have a right to know so that they can make their own judgments. The Court of Appeal has unambiguously embraced a principle that was once widely accepted, but has in recent years come under threat as some judges have developed a privacy law under Article Eight of the European Convention on Human Rights.

A huge array of high-profile figures, including footballers and members of the super-rich, have been granted injunctions preventing the media from revealing their indiscretions. The Leveson inquiry into Press ethics has helped foster a climate of greater secrecy.

At times it has seemed that we were following the example of France, whose political class has often escaped media scrutiny as a result of draconian privacy laws, as well as a mood of deference on the part of the Press.

French newspapers for many years chose to ignore that Francois Mitterrand, president from 1981 to 1995, had a secret mistress by whom he had fathered a daughter. Journalists hid this fact until 1994.

The French Press did not write about the brutal and possibly illegal sexual antics (including an allegation of rape) of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a leading socialist politician and head of the International Monetary Fund.

If French experience is any guide, sexual misdemeanours and financial corruption not infrequently go hand in hand. Disregard the one and you may miss the other.

The Court of Appeal’s judgment appears to put a brake on our gradual adoption of French habits.

Of course, we don’t know what it would have said if Boris were a billionaire businessman or an England footballer rather than a leading politician. The extent of the public’s right to know in respect of public figures has not been precisely defined.

Nonetheless, the ruling is a boost to an open society. Incidentally, two senior judges also spoke in a spirit of openness yesterday when lifting a gagging order preventing the media from naming the triple child killer David McGreavy. According to their judgment: ‘It is a cornerstone of the rule of law that public justice be publicly reported.’

If only the police were as enlightened. A new-fangled body called the College of Policing has published guidelines that will force every police officer in England or Wales to declare any friendship outside the workplace with a journalist.

This sounds more than a little bit Stalinist. It will discourage police from having entirely innocent relationships with journalists in the course of which they might pass on information in the public interest about corruption or other misconduct. This measure will most certainly not promote a more open society.

Meanwhile, police forces across the country have unilaterally decided to keep arrests of suspects secret. Even the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, has expressed his disquiet, pointing out that naming a suspect can sometimes encourage further victims to come forward, as happened in the case of the disgraced broadcaster Stuart Hall.

If police are able to arrest suspects in secret, there is nothing to prevent them from bringing in any number of people for questioning, and then releasing them on police bail without the public being any the wiser. Is that the kind of society most of us want to live in?

In the wake of the Leveson inquiry, police leaders have demonstrated just how opposed to an open society many of them are. Now it emerges that the Metropolitan Police withheld a possibly highly significant document from the inquiry, claiming ‘public interest immunity’. What a row there would have been if a newspaper had kept back evidence!

The police evidently relish secrecy, but they’re not the only ones. Look at the Tories’ spine-chilling plans for secret courts to operate in terrorist cases, which, to their credit, the Lib Dems are resisting.

All of which makes me lift my hat to the Master of the Rolls and his colleagues for recognising that in a free and open society, the public do have a right to know.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


23 May, 2013

Obama Got Black at Morehouse But Didn’t Speak the Truth

Crystal Wright

Wow, after five years of his loyal constituents supporting him and receiving nothing in return, it was nice to see President Obama address this year’s all black male Morehouse College graduates. Obama even found his black vernacular as he always does before a black crowd, saying “I know some of you are just graduating, thank you Lordy.” As if all black people walk, talk, and think alike. Sickening and offensive.

Nevertheless, the last time Obama spoke to an historically black college or university was in 2007 at Howard University when he was trailing Hillary Clinton in the black vote for the Democrat presidential nomination. Can we say pandering?

Equally surprising during his Morehouse commencement address, Obama referred to himself “as a black man like you” something he rarely, if ever has done. Obama didn’t refer to himself as a black man during his re-election campaign either. In fact, quite the opposite, as America’s first black president he’s largely made it a point of distancing himself from black America but ironically need black Americans vote each time to win.

In his first term Obama had no appetite for the problems facing black Americans even though over 95% of blacks voted for him in 2008 and 93% in 2012. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Obama’s black voter water carriers, barely got one meeting with the president during his first term. According to the editor of the blog Crew of 42 and managing editor of Politic365, Obama has met with the CBC only three times since 2009.

In 2012, CBC Chairman Emmanuel Cleaver told the media that if Hillary had been president or any white person with the black jobless rate at 14%, “we’d be marching around the White House.” Instead, the CBC gave Obama a break because he’s black. And with this lousy record, Cleaver and CBC members told blacks to vote for Obama a second time and they did.

Obama is “black” when convenient. The president throws blacks a few bones during elections to keep them in his pocket, ignoring them the rest of the time and delivering them nothing for their loyalty. His Morehouse speech was a nice diversion for the mainstream media from the growing scandals (IRS, AP and Benghazi) in his administration.

But the speech amounted to dishonest, propagandistic rhetoric that glossed over the problems plaguing the black race, which have been hurt by liberal policies for the past 40 years. The historically black college located in Atlanta has a proud legacy of educating young black men like Martin Luther King Jr., many of whom went on to become leaders and successful men in life.

Obama told the young men they were “graduating into a job market that’s improving.” That’s hardly true, of course, because the black jobless rate has remained twice as high as the national average since Obama took office. “If you think you can get over in this economy, just because you have a Morehouse degree, you are in for a rude awakening,” continued Obama. This was closer to the truth.

As he has done on many other occasions, Obama vilified success. Even though he is a very rich man who sends his kids to private school, Obama told the Morehouse men don’t aspire and worry about “making money” or paying off your student loans, “ask yourself if the only option is to defend the rich and powerful.”

Obama mentioned many blacks live in “troubled neighborhoods across the country—many of them heavily African-American” with bad schools “where violence is pervasive.” Rather than asking the Morehouse graduates to “set an example,” numerous times throughout his speech Obama should have set an example himself and talked about how Black America is failing itself. He should have pointed out to these young men that the catastrophic problem facing blacks is our rejection of marriage.

Obama should have warned graduates 73% of black babies are born out of wedlock compared to 40% of whites and this is the direct cause of higher incarceration rates, lower high school graduation rates and the economic decline of blacks. He also should have mentioned the staggering statistic that 44,038 black children have been killed by guns since 1979, which is about 13 times more than blacks lynched over 86 years from 1882 to 1968, according to a Children's Defense Fund report.

Moreover, Obama also should have told the young black men, looking up to him as an example of success, that the only way blacks can truly help each other is by helping themselves first. Instead we heard Obama invoke the same, old broken record blacks must be the caretakers of other blacks. “If you know someone who isn’t on point, go back and bring that brother along.”

Why are blacks the only race constantly telling blacks they have an obligation to help each other along? No, blacks have an obligation to first help themselves along like any other race. Giving back should be something we all do but the Democrats’ message to black America always seems to be someone will be there to help you along, peers or the government.

I’m glad Obama connected with his blackness at Morehouse but he wasn’t honest in his speech. If Obama had been, it would have been an admission to the young black males at Morehouse that liberal policies have and are utterly failing black America.


Apology over children taken from UKIP foster pair 'too little, too late’

The council that told a couple it was removing their foster children because they were members of the UK Independence Party has been accused of attempting to cover up its “ridiculous” mistake after it issued a partial apology.

Rotherham borough council sought to draw a line under the controversy today by issuing a statement in which it admitted giving misleading media interviews but said it was in the children’s “best interests” to remove them.

Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, said the authority’s apology for its handling of the case “didn’t go far enough”.

“I’m afraid this is a bully-boy council trying to cover up for a ridiculous error and, as ever, it is ordinary decent people who are made to pay the price,” he said.

The council was widely criticised from all sides of the political spectrum after its social workers removed three siblings of ethnic minority descent from the experienced foster parents last November, saying that the parents’ membership of Ukip meant they supported “racist” immigration policies.

In interviews at the time, Joyce Thacker, the council’s director of children’s services, said the quality of the couple’s care was “not an issue”.

She added: “These children are from EU migrant backgrounds and Ukip has made very clear statements on ending multiculturalism. I have to think about how sensitive I am being to those children.”

The Telegraph, which first reported the story, understands that the husband and wife have not received any apology from Rotherham council and have not had any other foster placements since the siblings were taken away.

The wife said last year that she felt “bereft” to lose the children, adding: “We felt like we were criminals.”

In its statement, the council said it gave the impression in media interviews that the decision to remove the siblings was made solely because the couple were Ukip members.

It insisted that a “detailed” internal review had concluded that it was in the best interests of the children to take them from their foster parents.

The council said legal reasons relating to the welfare of the children prevented it from releasing further details, but it pledged to learn “important lessons” about the way it makes decisions, communicates and shares information.

It added: “The council can confirm that membership of Ukip would not prevent any individual from being considered as a foster carer in Rotherham and could not be a reason for removing foster children from a placement.”

The foster parents declined to comment on the council’s statement, saying they were considering taking legal action against the authority over the way they had been treated and did not want to prejudice any future court hearings.

A friend of the couple said the council’s apology was “too little, too late” and questioned why social services had handled the case so aggressively.

John Gilding, the leader of the Conservative group on Rotherham borough council, said he would be asking questions about precisely what action the local authority had taken to learn lessons and suggested that the response should have led to a resignation.

“For the furore it caused, I would think somebody should have been answerable, but I don’t think that will happen,” he said.


British justice boss to crack down on criminals freed early from jail

Justice secretary Chris Grayling has plans to crack down on criminals who are freed from jail halfway through their sentence.

Mr Grayling said he wanted to get tougher on Britain’s sentencing rules that let inmates walk free from prison early, and said he hoped to provide the public with “reassurance” over the coming months.

His comments follow the release of ex-Cabinet minister Chris Huhne and his former wife Vicky Pryce, who served only two months of an eight-month sentence.

Other offenders who did not serve their full sentence include Karen Matthews, who was released from prison last year after serving half of an eight-year sentence for kidnapping her nine-year-old daughter in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, sparking a huge manhunt in the area.

Philip Davies, a backbench Tory MP who has campaigned for longer jail terms, said an “overwhelming majority” of the public wanted offenders to serve the terms they were given.

Mr Grayling responded by saying he had “sympathy” with this view and hoped to be able to provide further “reassurance” in coming months, the Daily Mail reported.

The Conservatives have previously said it felt that “many people feel that sentencing in Britain is dishonest and misleading”.

Sources have revealed that Mr Grayling has ordered a review on changing the current sentencing regime, which was introduced by Tony Blair a decade ago, and allows everyone apart from the most serious criminals to go free after serving half their sentence.

Mr Huhne and Ms Pryce, who were jailed for perverting the course of justice by swapping speeding points, benefited from further time being cut from their sentences in exchange for wearing tags.

Mr Grayling's plans will initially focus on the most serious violent and sexual offenders, where they will have to earn the right to be released, instead of being automatically freed regardless of their behaviour while in jail.

Continuing their education or carrying out work behind bars and showing a willingness to earn the skills to go straight are among possible ways inmates could earn their right to be released.

The plan, which is likely to require additional prison places, will initially be limited to the more serious offenders because of budget constraints.

But Mr Grayling wants to move to a sentencing regime which is easier to understand and will rebuild public trust, with one option being to introduce a system where the courts can specify minimum and maximum sentences.

Under the new system, prisoners will only be able to leave jail after their minimum sentence is served by having earned their release.

Mr Grayling revealed his stance in questions at Westminster yesterday when Mr Davies asked him: “Chris Huhne and his former wife were released from prison recently after serving just two months of an eight-month sentence.

“In surveys that I have conducted, an overwhelming majority of my constituents believe that prisoners should serve their sentences in full. Aside from locking them up for longer, will the Secretary of State say how long he thinks people should serve in prison before they are released?”

Mr Grayling replied: “On this matter, I have a lot of sympathy with what [Mr Davies] says. I am looking closely at this area. I hope to be able to provide further reassurances to him in due course.”

Steve White, deputy chairman of the Police Federation, said prison sentences should do 'what they say on the tin'.

He said: “It is hugely confusing for the public who read that Chris Huhne is sentenced to eight months and then see him walk out weeks later. The same applies to someone convicted of murder and sentenced to life, something most people think is unequivocal.

“If it does not mean that the courts should say so. They should be open and honest. The idea that you get up to 50 per cent off for good behaviour, which in effect is lack of bad behaviour, is nonsense.”


Men can’t be expected to turn a blind eye to beauty

The last time I was back in Britain and stuck in the bowels of the Central Line on a Tube train limping painfully towards Oxford Circus, I found myself observing a group of teenage girls in prohibitively short skirts. “Look at him,” shrilled the loudest, prettiest member of the pack, pointing out a silver-haired gent peering over the top of his Metro. “He keeps staring at my legs.” The man turned a violent shade of puce and raised his newspaper still higher, in an attempt to block out all the body parts he shouldn’t be looking at.

I felt for him. The girl had very nice legs. The girl knew she had very nice legs, and had chosen to showcase them in a belt of fabric that would draw admiring glances from every male member of that carriage – and a few females besides. Yet she found it demeaning – or “disgusting”, to quote her friend’s empathetic murmur – to be reduced to an object of beauty. Women, she believed, in her indignant, third-wave feminist little head, are more than the sum total of their gloriously appealing body parts. So she happened to be beautiful. So what?

So what, indeed. But women seem to have got themselves into a tangle over beauty. If the media is any reflection (and it is), anyone would think that the majority of women now spend an inordinate percentage of their time worrying about their looks – and the rest of it actively trying to enhance them. Historians will tell you that this has always been the case, only modern women have tools at their disposal that even the corseted and bewigged Madame de Pompadour would have blanched at.

We can dye our skins, suck the fat from our bottoms and thighs, stretch and plump out our faces. We can subject our bodies to intensive fitness regimes, embark on scientifically tested diets and then flaunt parts of ourselves that have for centuries remained hidden in a provocative array of new fabrics and styles. But should any man (or woman) notice or – God forbid – point out the results of our efforts, we immediately rise up in revolt.

Take Laura Fernee, a 33-year-old science graduate from Notting Hill who poutingly decried her own beauty in yesterday’s papers as the reason she was unable to hold down a job. “I’m not lazy and I’m no bimbo,” she mourned. “The truth is my good looks have caused massive problems for me when it comes to employment.” Female colleagues were jealous and male colleagues “were only interested in me for how I looked. I wanted them to recognise my achievements and my professionalism, but all they saw was my face and body.”

Fernee is not alone in her self-made beauty inferno. Just the other day, a scrupulously turned-out, highly attractive friend remarked that a casual comment her boss had made about her dress had left her feeling “patronised”. Last month, President Obama was forced to publicly apologise for calling the California attorney general “good-looking”. Never mind that he had formerly praised Kamala Harris for being “brilliant” and “dedicated” – it was the “good-looking” that stuck in feminists’ throats.

I feel for modern men, just as I felt for the man on the Tube that day. They’re supposed to remain blind to the legions of women strutting through life and the workplace in thigh-highs and low-cut tops. And, of course, it’s our prerogative to do that. But in this digital age, the days of un-self-aware beauties (the most arresting kind of all) are sadly behind us. If you’re lucky enough to have that extra asset (which is all beauty is), use it cautiously – not as a weapon with which to beat the opposite sex. Better still, ignore it.

If Fernee is so disabled by her looks, she’ll be relieved to discover that nothing makes a woman ugly quite so fast as talking about her own beauty.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


22 May, 2013

'You're not doing this in my home': lesbian bed ban sparks threats and abuse

The owners of a New Zealand guesthouse who refused to let a lesbian couple share a bed are standing firm despite threats.

Karen and Michael Ruskin, of Pilgrim Planet Lodge, in central Whangarei, say they have received death threats and verbal abuse over their stance on homosexuality.

But they say they will not have their beliefs silenced, even if it puts their business at risk.

Lesbian couple Jane Collison, 30, and Paula Knight, 45, decided not to stay at the lodge on May 7 after being told they could only have a room with single beds.

They had booked online a room with a king-sized bed but Mrs Ruskin said that when the couple arrived they were told the lodge's policy was for same-sex couples to be put into a room with two king-single beds.

The engaged couple decided not to stay but could not find other accommodation until they got to Waipu.

Mrs Ruskin said she was sorry for the couple's inconvenience but was standing firm on her morals and the sanctity of her home.

The Ruskins live in the bed and breakfast-style lodge, where guests share lounge, kitchen and living areas.

"It's our home - it's not a motel."

Ms Collison filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, because it is illegal to discriminate against someone in the provision of goods and services because of their sexual orientation.

But Mrs Ruskin said there was an exception in the Human Rights Act relating to shared residential accommodation.

She said that in 2010 a gay couple also complained to the commission after being asked to sleep apart, but that complaint was withdrawn when the exception for shared accommodation came to light.

Mrs Ruskin said she and her husband did not hate homosexuals and were happy for them to carry on with their lives.

"Everyone knows what homosexual activity is. It's quite clear if two guys rent one bed you know what's going to happen. We have to protect our other guests."

But Mrs Ruskin said the homosexual community had shown nothing but hate toward the Ruskins' beliefs.  "We've been threatened to have our place burnt - it's pretty foul. They have zero tolerance if you say, 'No, you're not doing this in my home'."

The Ruskins acknowledged the lodge was a business but said there needed to be a place for morals in business.

The couple was Antioch Orthodox Christian and had a small chapel inside the lodge, but Mrs Ruskin said she did not discriminate against other religions, and Muslims and Jewish people had stayed in the lodge.

Ms Collison said what went on behind closed doors was none of the Ruskins' business.

"It is a closed bedroom. I'm not allowed to cuddle my partner in a shared bed, but if I walked in there with a random guy I picked up off the street she would let me in. This is my fiancee."


Ex-soldier told to repaint his St George's flag front door by housing association after it was deemed offensive and distressing

For ten years, Steven Rolfe has displayed the flag with pride.

But far from making him a patriotic citizen, his unorthodox St George’s banner has seen him branded a ‘nuisance neighbour’.

The 52-year-old former soldier painted the red and white symbol on his front door in 2003 yet only now have his landlords decided it is ‘offensive’ and must go.  He has 14 days to remove it – or face eviction.

Mr Rolfe, who served in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, said: ‘I’ve had this for ten years and nobody has said anything until now.

‘My landlords, Places for People, sent me a letter saying it could be deemed offensive, and that I was breaking my agreement over a nuisance.

‘I wrote back, asking for retrospective permission because it’s been there so long, but they weren’t interested.

'I’m ex-forces and I’m proud to be English. I’m not in the EDL or any other racist group. I’m very angry about this, and I won’t be changing anything. I want my day in court.’

The enforcement notice has sparked outrage among Mr Rolfe’s neighbours in Preston and Muslim groups have criticised the housing company’s stance. Ali Anwar, a Muslim  representative on the Preston faith forum, said: ‘As far as I’m concerned, a man’s home is his castle, and he should be allowed to express himself as he wishes.

‘This is political correctness gone mad. As a Muslim it really frustrates me that organisations become overly politically correct and make issues and tensions where there aren’t any. They don’t speak for the Muslim community.

‘The flag of St George needs to be reclaimed from the far right. There is nothing offensive about the flag and anyone who is proud to be English should be able to fly it.’

David Borrow, a former Labour MP who is now a local councillor, said: ‘The door has been like that a long time and, having spoken to the gentleman, I have no reason to believe that he is anything other than a decent member of the community.

‘I do not believe that he has intended the door to symbolise anything offensive, and I have heard no specific complaints.  ‘There are other doors in the city that have flags painted on to them, and there appear to be no problems at all.’

John Clemence, who is vice-president of the Royal Society of St George, said: ‘To say that the cross of St George can cause offence needs to be challenged.  ‘We are seeing more and more of this kind of complaint, and these jobsworths are causing resentment and inciting racial hatred.’

Places for People, which owns Mr Rolfe’s house, has since apologised for calling the flag offensive but insists its tenant must repaint the door because he did not have the proper permission to turn it into an England flag.

A Places for People spokesman said yesterday: ‘We do apologise for describing the door as offensive, which it is clearly not.

‘Under the customer’s tenancy agreement, they can make alterations and additions to their property, including external decoration, so long as they gain written consent from ourselves and meet our decoration specifications.

‘We have asked Mr Rolfe to repaint his door as he has not requested our permission and his door does not meet our decoration specifications.  ‘We are happy to discuss any future changes he may wish to make to his rented property.’

Mr Rolfe, who helps out in a friend’s chip shop, says he has won a Preston Council award for the appearance of his house and has flown the St George’s cross in the past.


Farmer accuses police of acting illegally after they refuse to hand back shotgun he fired at thief

More bastardry from the British police.  They HATE self-defence

A farmer, who shot at a metal thief as he attempted to get away in a van, has hit out at police after they refuse to hand back his guns.  Bill Edwards, 21, says he has struggled to find work six months despite being cleared of attempted murder because his guns are the tools of his trade.

The man from Scalby, Scarborough claims the police have acted illegally by keeping his property.

He was arrested last summer on suspicion of attempting to murder scrap metal thief David Taylor after he shot at Taylor’s van, loaded with stolen metal from remote farmland at Whin Covert, Riggs Head near Scarborough in North Yorkshire.

Mr Edwards’ four shotguns and two rifles - worth at least £3,000 - were all confiscated when he was arrested last August.

When he was finally released from police bail on December 20, he was given a letter from North Yorkshire Police stating they were going to review his suitability to hold a firearms certificate.

He always maintained he only turned his shotgun on the van because he feared for the life of his mother Louisa Smith, 50, as Taylor sped towards her while he fled the scene.

Taylor claimed that he was simply trying to getaway because Mr Edwards was shooting at him. He was later caught by police in a nearby village after a high speed chase.

Mr Edwards and his mother caught Taylor and an accomplice loading stolen metal cables into the back of his Ford Transit after spotting that outbuildings had been tampered with. The thieves jumped into the van and drove it towards the pair as they desperately dialled 999 for help.

Mr Edwards fired his shotgun, which was loaded with lightweight rabbit shot, several times, hitting the van’s windscreen and bodywork. No one was hurt. Police eventually caught Taylor when Mr Edwards gave chase and gave a running commentary on his mobile phone. But the crook was only charged with metal theft.

The 39-year-old from Scarborough escaped with just a £100 fine for theft after claiming he had been ‘traumatised’ by Mr Edwards shooting at him.

His father Gary, 67, said: ‘It's ironic because when this first happened he was a local hero. The farmers who employ him were queuing up to offer him work.

‘But the police have his guns and his firearms certificate and it seems legally they can take as long as they like to reach a decision.

‘They are still treating him like a criminal for defending his own property and his mother.

‘Bill does not have any work and feels very badly let down by the police.’

Mr Edwards added: ‘They have also got my air rifle which doesn't even require a certificate to possess.

‘They are the tools I need and not having them is costing thousands as my crop is being eaten by pests and I could not have lambs this year without controlling vermin.

‘When I work for other farmers they also require me to control pests. Not being able to do so prevents me getting work and if I do it is low pay.

‘Clay shooting is, was also my main hobby and social activity.’

He argues that once his firearms were taken off him, the police no longer had any legal right to retain them. Legally, Mr Edwards could buy guns and ammunition because his certificate has not yet been revoked.

However, he would need to present his firearms certificate - which the police have also retained.

Mr Edwards added: ‘They are breaking the law. I am left very disappointed with the police as they have illegally held my property since August.

‘Since no further action was taken in December and the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] made a very positive statement regarding my case, the police still have not communicated their decision on whether I am still fit to hold the firearms I need.’

The national representative body for shooting sports, the British Association of Shooting and Conservation, supports Mr Edwards’ cause.

Senior Firearms Officer Matt Perring said: ‘A gun is absolutely essential to a farmer.  ‘There is nothing like having your own gun to control the land.  ‘Otherwise the land owner can ask anyone else with a shotgun certificate to do the job.’

He said employers needed farm workers who were trusted to carry guns to stop pests and vermin attacking crops.  Mr Perring said: ‘Otherwise it's like asking someone to put up a fence with a broken arm.’

Mr Edwards said his family has lost thousands of pounds through theft and damage caused in a number of raids on their land.

North Yorkshire Police Professional Standards are still looking into a complaint from the family into how the whole case was handled.

A police spokesman said: ‘The investigation into Mr Edwards' complaint is still ongoing and so we are not yet in a position to comment.’


Another lying British female:  Woman who lied to police and said her ex-boyfriend raped her is jailed for eight months after her own mother reported suspicions

A woman has been jailed for eight months after falsely accusing her ex boyfriend of raping her.  Kirsty Debanks, 20, lied that Chris Newitt had attacked her the day after she suffered a miscarriage.

However, she finally admitted that she had made it all up when CCTV showed Mr Newitt was in Oxford city centre with his brother at the time.

Sentencing her, Judge Ian Pringles told Miss Debanks 'Those who suffer genuine rape are undermined by people like you. You undermine the whole system of justice.'  He added: 'I would be failing in my duty today if I was not to pass an immediate prison sentence.'

The city's crown court heard that police were called by paramedics to help control Debanks who was claiming to be having a miscarriage.

Prosecutor Jonathan Stone said the next day Debanks told police that Mr Newitt had raped her when she got home from hospital.

Mr Stone told the court: 'She said he had pushed her friend Tracy out of the address.  'He had pushed her (Debanks) down on the sofa. He said: 'You're going to f*** me whether you like it or not'."

Mr Newitt was arrested and questioned in police custody for almost six hours and subjected to forensic testing.

Officers visited her to begin the formal investigation but she told them she did not want to make a complaint only 'wanted the defendant to pay for what he did'.

She also refused a medical appointment and would not sign the officer's notebook to confirm her account.

However, later on she called police to say that she did want to make the complaint. In interview she described the alleged attack to them, saying Mr Newitt's face was 'pure evil'.

Miss Debanks' mother then called police and said something did not ring true in her daughter's account.

Mr Newitt protested that he could not have carried out the attack as he was in Oxford city centre with his brother at the time. When officers viewed CCTV footage it confirmed his account.

Debanks then called police herself and confessed that she had lied.

In her statement she explained that in fact she had gone to the pub with her friend Tracy to drink double vodkas and beers, then gone back to her home to continue drinking and smoke crack cocaine.

Tracy then suggested making the false claim, she said. Debanks only told the truth when her mother warned her the case would go to trial.

'She appeared to show no remorse. In fact she smirked as she gave her account,' Mr Stone told Oxford Crown Court.

Lucy Ffrench, defending, said Debanks had suffered a difficult time, including the loss of her father to cancer and of her uncle in a freak accident, as well as other personal issues.

'She has been looking in the wrong places for the attention she craves,' said Ms Ffrench.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


21 May, 2013

'How Jill Dando's death convinced me everything you know about crime is wrong': NICK ROSS tells the shocking truth about the murder of his friend and the real cause of crime

Nick Ross surely has a point below  about the importance of prevention but turning every home into a steel-shielded fortress seems impossibly expensive.  And how do you prevent street crime?  And even with an armed citizenry  -- as in some American States -- there is still a lot of crime

Crime has been with us since Adam and Eve and, surprisingly, God didn’t spot the solution.

Rather than punishing the miscreants, it might have been better had he put the forbidden fruit higher up the tree. We have been too slow to realise how strongly crime levels are dictated by temptation and opportunity.

It took a lot of research to persuade me of this.  When, in 1984, I started presenting Crimewatch, I shared everyone’s presumptions that crime is caused by criminals.  It seemed obvious: If we want to cut crime we must cut criminality.  Three years later, quite by chance, I had an epiphany.

I was reporting for the BBC and, at the start of China’s astonishing race towards modernisation, I stood on a top-floor balcony in a dusty town with the local mayor. He proudly pointed out the local hospital, a big school and a prosperous cluster of new houses.

Why, I asked, were some of the new homes surrounded by barbed wire? The mayor responded sorrowfully: ‘Burglaries,’ he said. ‘Mostly televisions.’ I said I hadn’t realised burglary was a problem in China.

‘It wasn’t,’ said the mayor.

‘So what changed?’ I asked.

The mayor recoiled slightly as though it were a trick question. After a moment he responded gravely: ‘We didn’t have televisions.’

Human nature remains more or less constant from one generation to another but situations change, and it is those evolving situations that largely determine how much is stolen, how many people are assaulted and how many citizens get hooked on drugs or even child pornography.

The message is that if you want to cut crime, you need to spend more time on low-hanging fruit.

By seeing crooks as the big issue, we tend to not to notice how important immediacy is.  We favour solutions which are remote – improving parenting, for example – rather than improving security at the scene of the crime.

We still need to catch offenders – I am a proud trustee of Crimestoppers – but we cannot arrest our way out of trouble.

I started looking to criminology for answers but found a lot of political diatribe and pseudoscience.

When my co-presenter, Jill Dando was murdered in 1999, I proposed a more rigorous approach and, with public support, we founded the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science at University College London.

It is now thriving and has helped me see that almost everything we are told about crime – certainly everything I once thought I knew – is wrong.

In some ways, my argument is a challenge to everyday reporting of crime. The human condition recoils from the mundane untidiness of reality.

Who, for example, can resist a good conspiracy theory – whether it’s flying saucers, or that 9/11 was organised by Mossad, or that Princess Di was murdered?

Take what happened after the murder of Jill.

She was then the most popular presenter on TV, so her shooting caused a sensation and, given her role on Crimewatch, people leapt to the idea that she had been killed because of one of her appeals.

Within hours, I was trying to calm the speculation down.

The immediate facts made a contract killing improbable but in any case the revenge motive would have been entirely without precedent in modern mainland Britain.

As more evidence emerged, the conspiracy theory became even less sustainable. The killer had hung around with no disguise at the wrong address – it was chance she turned up. He had no getaway vehicle and so had to walk away down a long straight street with no turn-offs.

He didn’t have a real gun or ammunition but home-made versions of both. He held the weapon in contact with his victim’s head, which would have showered him with tell-tale forensic evidence. And so it went on. All in all it was about as amateurish and clumsy as a shooting can be.

So I became alarmed when the inquiry seemed to be taking the conspiracy theory seriously.
I wrote privately to the head of the investigation, pointing out that when celebrities are shot, like John Lennon, the killer invariably turned out to be a loner.

It turned out that Britain’s top profiler at the National Crime Faculty agreed with me, but nobody took much notice. It was a frustrating as well as an upsetting time for me and for Jill’s other colleagues on the programme.

Yet, when this first conspiracy theory began to fade, I could not have imagined that another intrigue would replace it, one that was not just unconvincing but risible.

According to this new hypothesis, the author of Jill’s murder was Slobodan Milosevic. The reason was that a few weeks before Jill’s death, she had fronted an appeal for victims of the civil war in former Yugoslavia and there was conjecture that the Serbs had taken umbrage. Then, when a Serb TV station was hit by a NATO air strike on Belgrade, a plot was hatched to kill her.

However improbable, this Balkans theory made front-page news and became one of the most popular and persistent explanations for Jill’s death.

For the record, the idea was based entirely on a mild letter of complaint to Jill written by a Serb. It was so low-key that Jill’s agent only mentioned it to police, ‘clutching at straws’, some weeks later.

She thinks the Yugoslav connection is ludicrous and so do the detectives and all Jill’s colleagues who have been on the inside track of the inquiry. Yet crime and conspiracy theories go together as readily as Bonnie and Clyde. We love ’em.

Myth One: 'Crime is caused by a broken society'

Liberals and Left-wingers are convinced crime is caused by unfairness and poverty, and social conservatives are equally certain it is down to lack of discipline and failing values.

Yet there can be few clearer illustrations of the huge part played by temptation and opportunity than the rise and fall in car crime.

Car numbers reached ten million in 1970, or one for every two households, and that turned out to be a tipping point. Car theft boomed. Some 20,000 were reported stolen in 1968, and then, suddenly, in 1969 thefts rocketed six-fold.

Did something happen in that time to breed more deviance and badness? Less authority, less self-control, perhaps? Or more unfairness and therefore less compliance?

The numbers add up to a different story: Half the homes in Britain now had hundreds or thousands of pounds’ worth of property sitting out on the street unguarded and it was temptation on an ostentatious scale. It was also staggeringly easy.

My first car, a Mini, had almost no security at all. You could force the flimsy lock with one hand or prise open the sliding window and unlock it from the inside.

By 1990, there were 20 million cars and half a million thefts a year and by 1993, when ‘taking without owner’s consent’, or ‘twocking’ reached its peak, the annual risk of a vehicle being stolen was one in 30.

Then, in 1995, the problem started to decline, which is where social theories hit another problem. Community divisions like income inequality were growing, not diminishing.

Right-wing beliefs also faced a contradiction. There had been no return to hanging, birching or religious observance, and more and more children were born out of wedlock.

Yet car theft tumbled. Within ten years, recorded numbers halved, and by 2011 twocking had dipped below 100,000, the lowest figure since 1968.

For once, politicians were involved in wholesale and dramatically successful crime reduction. They put pressure on car-makers to mend the vulnerabilities in their products.

Immobilisers, intruder alarms, central locking, sophisticated keys, tougher door and boot designs were introduced and much more besides, and all of them had an immediate effect – especially immobilisers, which prevented hot-wiring of the ignition.  In little more than a decade, car crime plummeted in England and Wales by around two-thirds.

Myth Two: 'British justice is the best in the world'

When I started Crimewatch, I thought British justice was the best in the world.

After 30 years’ experience, I am now in contempt of court. It is not as open as it claims, it is slow, costly, and still believes that debate is the best way to establish facts. It is also more concerned with offenders than with victims.

When my 90-year-old father-in-law woke one night to find an intruder, the police were all one could have asked of them. His front room was strewn with glass, drawers and cupboards had been rifled and a random selection of trinkets stolen.

My father-in-law had come down the staircase brandishing his walking stick (‘Well,’ he told us, ‘I was in the Army’), shouted at the intruder to get out, and got a vague impression of someone climbing back out through the broken window.

The police made sure he had a cup of tea and stayed a reassuring half an hour. The next day, a forensic officer found a bloody fingerprint – the burglar had cut himself as he fled through the broken shards. So far, so good. And that was the last we heard.

Or at least, it was until we called them and were told they had identified the villain – a prolific  burglar – but would not press charges because, at 90, my father-in-law would not make a good witness. The matter was dropped.

It was a classic illustration of how the legal process has divorced itself from decency and common sense.

It should not have mattered if my father-in-law, nonagenarian, living alone, frightened and in semi-darkness, got the description wrong.

The fingerprint and blood left by the burglar were proof enough. The offender went on offending and the victim was abandoned.

What police will not have known (and since nobody kept in touch, how could they?) was how that small nocturnal trauma ruined the rest of my father-in-law’s life. Thereafter, he couldn’t sleep. He began hallucinating, seeing a strange man in his room and wandering round his house, a man who used his toothpaste and toyed with his possessions.

His confusion and anxiety were not caused by the burglar – it was diagnosed as a form of dementia – but the form it took undoubtedly was. At his insistence, after a lifetime of domestic tranquillity, his house was thereafter encased with burglar-proof steel mesh.

Myth Three: 'Poverty is the main cause of crime'

Instinctively, almost everyone thinks poverty is the prime cause  of crime.

This is especially true for the liberal Left, for whom it has been an article of faith, but even Right-wingers at heart share in the assumption that the poor are somehow dangerous.

Yet surveys show there is no correlation between a society’s experience of crime and its sense of fairness.

In any case, crime rose exponentially at a time of unprecedented prosperity when, in the famous words of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, Britain had, ‘never had it so good’.

Whatever else was causing crime to rise, it was not poverty. On the contrary, it was wealth, which brought with it progenitors of crime, including: higher wages and more credit, thus more to steal; more spare time; more late night carousing; more alcohol and drugs; more social mobility; more travel; and more anonymity.

We forget that the class system had been a huge restraining influence on the majority.

Its breakdown has changed our dreams and made us hope that they really might come true. It has made us aspire and made us envious.

As the pitilessly direct Conservative sage Lord Tebbit put it: ‘When I look at what we denounce as  the appalling conduct of “ordinary people” I see the way the rich have always behaved.

‘It’s just that they have had the resources to deal with the fallout.’

Myth Four: 'A 'wicked' minority is behind crime

The truth is that most of us cheat and steal and almost all of us can be persuaded to. Yet we rationalise our own behaviours, while we denounce the sins of others.

We have constructed a fantasy world in which we, the goodies, must be protected from a minority of potential baddies.

Most of us break the law. A third of British males born in the 1950s had acquired a criminal conviction by the time they were middle-aged.

If you think that sounds fantastic, several follow-up studies have shown similar results.

And what about the other two-thirds? Have they never been criminals? Or could it be that they never got caught and convicted?

A 2003 survey found almost half of us would evade income tax, two-thirds would dodge a fare or install illegal software, almost as many would steal office stationery and over a quarter would filch a hotel towel. For ‘would’ one might reasonably substitute ‘had’.

We all have ethics, and each of us has different limits, but sainthood is not the default position of humanity and for most of us our morals are for sale if the price is right.

Myth Five: 'There is more crime than ever before'

The more historical archives are analysed, the more it seems that violence was once a much larger part of life than it is now.

Historical records show the homicide rates in 13th Century England were about twice as high as those in the 16th and 17th Centuries, and those of the 16th and 17th Centuries were some five to ten times higher than today.

Recorded crime rose slowly from 1900 to 1930, then accelerated to the 1950s, after which there was a fearful lurch upwards that continued for 40 years.

After that, crime did not just dip, it plunged.

Almost all the downward trends were masked at first by figures recorded by police, but police statistics can be hugely misleading because most crime – including serious violence – is not reported.

Property crime began to tumble around 1995 and violent crime subsided five years later. Hospital attendance for wounding fell every year from 2001 onwards.

Homicide seemed to have peaked in 2002. The speed of crime’s decline had come to mirror the ferocity of its ascent.

So deeply rooted are our assumptions about crime and criminals that it sometimes seems as though no amount of evidence will shift them: the curmudgeon’s myth that crime is always rising, the deviancy delusion that offenders are abnormal.

But it really is true that opportunity makes the thief. To a vast extent it also creates the football hooligan, drink-driver, and knife-wielding youth too.

This is why crime rates rise, and it is how we make them fall. It is why burglary as well as car theft rocketed until we became serious about home and vehicle security. It is how we so radically curbed football violence and road fatalities.

It is the reason why so many British politicians got caught with their hands in the till until their expenses protocols were changed.

Crime requires more than a predisposition to offend. It will flourish when we make it easy and shrivel when we make it hard.


Freedom philosophy embodied in London buses!

It sounds unlikely but Boris Johnson makes the case

I remember what the doubters said when we first announced a new bus for London – a replacement for the beloved Routemaster. They said I was mad. The Labour Party said I was deranged. My opponents said I was a swivel-eyed loon, or words to that effect. They said we were showing an arrant disregard for health and safety, and that in any case, it would never be built.

Where is it, they used to sneer at me, as Sir Peter Hendy and Transport for London began the necessarily lengthy process of procurement. When’s the bus due, eh? And when the first prototype finally turned up in 2011, the machine managed to conk out on the M1 (because someone had forgotten that a diesel hybrid still needs to be filled with diesel). The sceptics laughed their pants off.

So it gives me unbridled joy to inform you that the new bus will shortly arrive en masse. A whole gleaming fleet of them is about to take over Route 24, from Pimlico to Hampstead Heath; and in the next two years they will cease to be a curiosity – a rare species of charismatic megafauna that you might spot once in the course of a safari. They will be a glorious and regular addition to London’s streetscape, as famous and as emblematic as the elephants of the Serengeti, whose noble and domelike brows they faintly resemble.

When I went to Antrim last week, and saw dozens of them being made in the new Wrightbus plant, I felt a sense of awe, and the deep certainty that this was the most wonderful project I had ever been involved in. It has clean, green hybrid technology. If the new bus fulfils the promise it has shown in tests, we will be able to save so much on fuel that it will actually come out cheaper than our current hybrid buses. With 600 of them on the streets by 2016, they will make a significant reduction in nitrogen oxides and particulates, and will help us to improve air quality in the city.

The bus is a masterpiece of design, conceived by Thomas Heatherwick, the magician who created the Olympic cauldron. It helps to drive employment throughout the UK – unlike the wretched bendy buses, which were made in Germany. London’s buses are creating hundreds of jobs at the plants in Northern Ireland, but it does not stop there. The engines come from Darlington, the seats are made in Telford, the seat moquette in Huddersfield, the ramps are from Hoddesdon and the “Treadmaster” flooring from Liskeard. Oh, and the destination signs are from Manchester.

It is the embodiment of the point I often make, that investment in London boosts the rest of the UK economy, directly and indirectly. We have stimulated the very best of British technology, creating jobs in this country, and yes, we are now looking to potential export markets.

All these features make the bus remarkable; but there is one more thing about it – the best thing of all. This bus stands for freedom, and choice, and personal responsibility. It not only fulfils a promise often made to Londoners by bringing back conductors; it restores to the streets of London the open platform at the rear – and in so doing, it restores the concept of a reasonable risk.

We all remember the pleasure of the old Routemasters. It wasn’t anything to do with the way their flanks heaved and throbbed like wounded old warhorses. It wasn’t the boggler-boggler-boggler noise or the fumes of diesel. It was the way you could sit on those banquette seats at the back, high over the wheel arches, and watch the road passing you outside. And if the bus got stuck in traffic, or at the lights, you knew that you weren’t a prisoner. You were allowed to get on and off at will, provided the thing wasn’t moving, and now that freedom and benefit will be restored.

Of course, you will have to be careful. You should look around to make sure there aren’t any motorbikes or cycles approaching. But if the road is clear and the traffic is stationary, and you want to hop off and do some shopping – or if you have missed the bus at the stop, and you want to scoot down the street to catch it up – then the option is there. You can hop on and hop off, like the hop-on hop-off hoplites [heavily armed soldiers of Ancient Greece] who were trained to leap from moving chariots and then back on again.

Yes, of course there is a risk; but that risk is manageable; and without it you have no opportunity to ascend or escape the bus if you want to. It is, as far as I know, one of the few recent examples of a public policy that actually gives back, to sentient and responsible adults, the chance to take an extra risk in return for a specific reward.

We need to develop this thought, because I worry that in the post-crisis world, we have become all too paranoid, too risk-averse. Yes, the banks made grotesque errors, largely because they could not understand the risks they were taking. But unless we allow businesses and banks to take reasonable risks, they will never hit the jackpot at all.

Why is it that Britain hasn’t produced a giant like Google, or Facebook, or Amazon? It is because such a business, in the UK, would not have been given access to the capital required. We are more hostile to risk, and, indeed, we are more hostile to reward. If you go to San Francisco, where so many of these tech giants were born, you can see the most bizarre tram I have ever set eyes on. People hang from it like gibbons as it swoops and clangs through the streets. It would never be allowed in Europe. But the San Francisco authorities evidently believe that Americans are more robust – more willing to be free, more willing to make their own assessment of a reasonable risk.

If you look at the state of the eurozone, and you compare it with the US economy, you can see the possible advantages of this approach. And that is the point of the hop-on hop-off platform. In restoring a culture of reasonable risk-taking, it is a platform for growth.


DOJ on ‘Gays’: ‘Silence Will be Interpreted as Disapproval’

Under President Obama, “justice” is anything but blind. Neither is it deaf. In fact, based on recent revelations, it appears to be watching your every move and listening to your every word. Still, if you happen to be a federal employee, now it’s even listening for your silence.

The only thing this Obama White House seems to generate is scandal. Well, here’s yet another to add to the growing list. In addition to the Benghazi cover-up, IRS targeting of political dissenters and the illegal seizure of media phone records, whistleblowers within DOJ have contacted Liberty Counsel to express grave concerns over this administration’s latest attack on freedom.

Our sources have provided Liberty Counsel an internal DOJ document titled: “LGBT Inclusion at Work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers.” It was emailed to DOJ managers in advance of the left’s so-called “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month.”

The document is chilling. It’s riddled with directives that grossly violate – prima facie –employees’ First Amendment liberties.

Following are excerpts from the “DOJ Pride” decree. When it comes to “LGBT” employees, managers are instructed:

“DON’T judge or remain silent. Silence will be interpreted as disapproval.” (Italics mine)
That’s a threat.

And not even a subtle one.

Got it? For Christians and other morals-minded federal employees, it’s no longer enough to just shut up and “stay in the closet” – to live your life in silent recognition of biblical principles (which, by itself, is unlawful constraint). When it comes to mandatory celebration of homosexual and cross-dressing behaviors, “silence will be interpreted as disapproval.”

This lawless administration is now bullying federal employees – against their will – to affirm sexual behaviors that every major world religion, thousands of years of history and uncompromising human biology reject.

Somewhere, right now, George Orwell is smiling.

The directive includes a quote from a “gay” federal employee to rationalize justification: “Ideally, I’d love to hear and see support from supervisors, so it’s clear that there aren’t just policies on paper. Silence seems like disapproval. There’s still an atmosphere of LGBT issues not being appropriate for the workplace (particularly for transgender people), or that people who bring it up are trying to rock the boat.”

Of course there’s “still an atmosphere of LGBT issues not being appropriate for the workplace.” When well over half of federal employees, half the country and most of the world still acknowledge objective sexual morality (and immorality), “the workplace,” especially the federal workplace, should, at the very least, remain neutral on these highly controversial and behavior-centric issues.

Still, to borrow from self-styled “queer activist,” anti-Christian bigot and Obama buddy Dan Savage, “it gets better”:

“DO assume that LGBT employees and their allies are listening to what you’re saying (whether in a meeting or around the proverbial water cooler) and will read what you’re writing (whether in a casual email or in a formal document), and make sure the language you use is inclusive and respectful.”

Is this the DOJ or the KGB? “[A]ssume that LGBT employees are listening …”? And what are “LGBT allies”? If you disagree with the homosexual activist political agenda, does that make you the enemy?

Yes, in any workplace, language should remain professional, but who defines what’s “inclusive”? Who decides what’s “respectful”? If asked about “LGBT issues,” for instance, can a Christian employee answer honestly: “I believe the Bible. I believe that God designed sex to be shared between husband and wife within the bonds of marriage”? Or is that grounds for termination?

Here are some more DOs:

DO “Attend LGBT events sponsored by DOJ Pride and/or the Department, and invite (but don’t require) others to join you.”

DO “Display a symbol in your office (DOJ Pride sticker, copy of this brochure, etc.) indicating that it is a ‘safe space.’”

Are you kidding? Does this administration really think it’s legal to induce managers to “attend LGBT events,” or to “display pride stickers” against their will? That’s compulsory expression. That’s viewpoint discrimination.

That’s unconstitutional.

But there’s more:

“DO use inclusive words like ‘partner,’ ‘significant other’ or ‘spouse’ rather than gender-specific terms like ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ (for example, in invitations to office parties or when asking a new employee about his/her home life).”

Oh, brother.  Sorry. Oh, gender-neutral sibling.

“DO use a transgender person’s chosen name and the pronoun that is consistent with the person’s self-identified gender.”
In other words, lie. Engage in corporate delusion.

“DO deal with offensive jokes and comments forcefully and swiftly when presented with evidence that they have occurred in the workplace.”

“DO communicate a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate jokes and comments, including those pertaining to a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.”

Who gets to decide what’s an “inappropriate joke [or] comment”? I thought we had a Constitution for that. It sure ain’t Big Brother Barack. Sure, I get it, it’s probably better not to start your work day with: “A lesbian, a tranny and two gays walk into a bath house …” but still, “no law … abridging the freedom of speech,” means no law. No matter how much Obama wishes it so, we don’t leave our constitutional rights at the federal workplace door.

The DOJ edict even addresses cross-dressing man woes:

“As a transgender woman [that’s a man in a skirt], I want people to understand that I’m real. I want to be recognized as the gender I really am [again, you’re a man in a skirt]. Yes, there was awkwardness with pronouns at first for folks who knew me before the transition. But it hurts when several years later people still use the wrong pronouns. And just imagine if people were constantly debating YOUR bathroom privileges. Imagine how humiliating that would be.”

Tell you what, buddy: I won’t “debate YOUR bathroom privileges” if you return to this planet. You’d better stay the heck out of the ladies room while my wife or two daughters are in there; otherwise, we have a problem. Women have an absolute right not be sexually harassed in the workplace – a right to privacy when using the facilities. To constantly worry whether a gender-confused, cross-dressing man is going to invade her privacy creates a hostile work environment.

This “DOJ Pride” directive is but the latest example of the “progressive” climate of fear and intimidation this radical Obama regime has created for Christians, conservatives and other values-oriented folks, both within and without the workplace.

I’m just glad the wheels are finally coming off.


Australia: Not "discrimination" to ban prostitute from motel

THE owner of a country motel who won an appeal against a sex worker who took a discrimination case against her says she is "ecstatic" that her business reputation has been restored.

Drovers Rest Motel manager Joan Hartley, who in 2008 told the sex worker she could not come back and rent a room for prostitution, said the motel had become known as "the whorehouse of Moranbah".

"Now I just want it known as the Drovers Rest - the nice, quiet, homely, friendly place it's always been," Mrs Hartley, 67, said. "I'm not a prude. I believe there is a place for these people, but that place is not in my motel."

Mrs Hartley, who with husband Evan, 68, has been running the motel for 13 years, said it had been stressful fighting the discrimination case.

"We are ecstatic, not only for ourselves, but because we've been able to win a situation where every motel owner can say 'no' to these people because they can ruin their business reputation," Mrs Hartley said.

On Friday the Court of Appeal overturned an appeal decision in Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which the sex worker won last year.

The court heard that on June 28, 2010, the sex worker, who had stayed at the motel for prostitution purposes during the previous two years, was told she would have to stay elsewhere in future.

In 2011 the legal sex worker, who had been earning $2000 a day during sporadic visits to the Drovers Rest, lost the first round of her discrimination case against the motel, then won an appeal in QCAT.

The motel owners appealed and on Friday the Court of Appeal unanimously found in their favour.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


20 May, 2013

Modern Britain

What you get when "There's no such thing as right and wrong"

With a heavily-armed policeman guarding the playground, assault rifle at the ready, it could be the scene of a terror alert.  In fact, this is a routine patrol just yards from a suburban primary school.

The show of force is designed to calm residents of an estate plagued by gang shootings.  In the past four months there have been nine gun-related incidents in Luton linked to the Marsh Farm and Lewsey Farm estates.

In the latest, a 16-year-old boy was shot in the back early on Saturday morning. He may never walk again.

The violence has left law- abiding families so terrified they welcome the patrols, even if they risk scaring children.  Faye Bell, 37, a mother of two, said: ‘The armed police might seem heavy-handed to some people but to us they are hugely reassuring.

‘It’s very sad that it has come to this but we need the police to be armed so they can protect our kids.’

The officers, with a dog unit, have been patrolling the estate near the rundown Purley shopping centre all week.

Marsh Farm residents told the Daily Mail yesterday that the armed patrols had given them the confidence to go outside.  Shannon Read, 17, said: ‘I don’t really come out of my house at all so it’s reassuring to know these patrols are here.  ‘I knew the lad who got shot on Saturday so it has been even more terrifying recently.’

Darren Putney, 46, added: ‘Some of the children on the way to school or in the play area look frightened.  ‘But the police need to make their presence known.’

The officers carry Heckler and Koch G36C assault rifles with 5.56mm calibre ammunition that can pierce body armour.

They were introduced in response to the threat of a ‘marauding’ terror attack, like the one in Mumbai involving a gang of men with semi- automatic rifles. The officer pictured also has a Heckler and Koch baton gun which fires ‘less lethal’ plastic bullets.

He is likely to have a hidden personal protection weapon such as a Glock 17 pistol.

Parents in Luton appear resigned to the patrols. Lisa Conway, 25, a mother of three, said: ‘A Taser gun is not going to be enough when you are dealing with armed gangs.’

Bedfordshire Police have also invoked Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, allowing them to stop and search without suspicion.

Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Richer said: ‘Obviously we are concerned that there could be further incidents and we are doing everything we can do to prevent it.’


More modern Britain: Councillors 'trading insults and speaking at official meetings in Bengali'

Councillors are trading insults and speaking in foreign languages at meetings, prompting concern that it undermined public accountability, it emerged tonight.

Some elected representatives have been accused of slipping into their native tongue at Town Hall gatherings, instead of conducting official business in English.

Some visitors have complained they have been unable to follow proceedings because, when councillors lose their tempers, they appear to trade insults in a foreign language.

Critics tonight attacked councils which allowed public officials to speak foreign languages at meetings, prompting fears the “divisive” practice undermined transparency.

The controversy emerged today at one of London’s biggest local authorities after a councillor formally complained that he was insulted by a colleague in the Bengali language, widely spoken by people from Bangladesh.

One councillor at Tower Hamlet’s council, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was accused of calling colleague Abdal Ullah, a “shurer batcha”, which is translated to mean "Son of a pig".

The comments came during a heated exchange between the pair at a meeting last month, triggering a row within the as the slur is considered extremely offensive to Muslims.

While Cllr Ullah, a Labour councillor, protested at the insult, many English-speaking councillors and other public visitors failed to realise its significance because it was issued in a foreign language.

Some councillors later claimed the issue was widespread and did not just involve trading insults.

It is understood that other members of the public have complained to Town Hall bosses about the use of Bengali during meetings.

It was also suggested that some of the Bengali-speaking councillors have been forced translate for their colleagues.

In a letter to the council's Standards Committee, Councillor Ullah raised concerns about the lack of power to enforce only English being used in council meetings.

“Whilst we may have our differences, councillors should afford one another courtesy in our exchanges rather than resorting to unnecessary and abusive insults,” he wrote.

"In my view the use of Bengali or other languages – other than in translation during public questions or petitions and so on – disrupts the transparency and openness of meeting by preventing some present from understanding the exchanges taking place."

Tonight, Peter Golds, the leader of the council’s Conservative group, said Bengali is was being “used in a very foul manner”.

He added: “At a full council meeting the language should be one that all members of the public should understand.

“It is a very serious problem here that a number of councillors insist on speaking in Bengali.”

"It is not just when they get emotional. It happens a lot. Even when they are travelling in a lift before going into a meeting, they will suddenly begin talking in Bengali.”

Brandon Lewis, the Local Government minister, last night criticised the revelations.

"This is a deeply worrying and divisive move. Council meetings should be held in English,” said the Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth.

"Using foreign languages not only undermines transparency and accountability, but it threatens to promote segregation and harm community cohesion.

"Councils in diverse communities should be encouraging everyone to learn and speak English and not practise the politics of division."

According to official figures, more than half of Tower Hamlets’ population are from non-white British ethnic groups.

Almost a third thirty per cent are of Bangladeshi origin, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in the 2011 Census.

A Tower Hamlets Council spokesman said tonight: "Council proceedings are carried out in English and members’ and officers’ conduct in the chamber is subject to the council’s code of conduct.”

A spokesman for the Local Government Association said it was the right of councillors to speak in a foreign language dependent upon each local council's constitution.

The councillor at the centre of the row did not respond to inquiries.


Council vetoes flag of St George after concerns raised about links to Crusades

A local council decided against flying the flag of St George after concerns were raised that it would offend the town’s 16 Muslim residents.

Eleanor Jackson, a university lecturer, said the red and white symbol could cause upset in Radstock, Somerset, because it was used during the Crusades 1,000 years ago.

The Labour councillor voiced her concerns at a meeting called to discuss which flag should be purchased to fly atop the town's repaired civic flagpole.

She said: “My big problem is that it is offensive to some Muslims, but even more so that it has been hijacked by the far right.

"My thoughts are we ought to drop it for 20 years."

Radstock Town Council, which serves a local population of more than 5,600 residents, eventually decided to purchase a Union flag to fly on Armistice Day.

The rainbow flag of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride movement will be flown at “appropriate” times of the year while an In Bloom flag will celebrate the town's achievements in the gardening competition.

The objections raised about the flag of St George were branded “oversensitive” by the local Muslim community while the Muslim Council of Britain said England's patron saint should not be associated with “any hatred of Muslims”.

Spokeswoman Nasima Begum said: "St George needs to take his rightful place as a national symbol of inclusivity rather than a symbol of hatred.”

Rizwan Ahmed, spokesman for the Bristol Muslim Cultural Society said: "I think they are going a bit far here.  "It is political correctness going a bit too far.

"Use by the far right is one thing, but to say that Muslims are offended I don't think is correct. We understand the flag is part of this country's heritage, and in fact many many Muslims will identify as being British themselves.

"In actual fact we are normal people. We have a sense of humour and have the same concerns as everyone else – we are not just some single group."

Lesley Mansell, the council chair, insisted that the discussion focused primarily on buying a Union flag.

“We were presented a list of every flag we can fly as a local authority but the council agreed that we did not want to fly all of them and simply wanted to purchase our own Union Jack," she said.

“The statement made by one councillor regarding the St George’s flag was not really taken into consideration.”


Australia: NT Chief Minister Adam Giles says fears over "Stolen Generation" are causing child neglect

Leftist fantasies hurting people, as usual.  Leftists have demonized social workers who took black kids from abusive, alcoholic homes.  So now the kids just get left there.  Leftist  "compassion" at work

NORTHERN Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles says he will remove neglected Aboriginal children from their parents and place them in adopted homes if necessary.

Mr Giles, Australia's first indigenous state or territory leader, said governments had failed Aboriginal children because of fears they would be accused of creating a new Stolen Generation, but he would not be put off by such accusations, The NT News reports.

"Whatever we do has to be about making parents take responsibility for their kids," Mr Giles said.

"And if they won't, (we're) prepared to provide alternative solutions. If that means those kids are loved and cared for by other parents, then so be it."

Mr Giles said despite the federal intervention, only one Aboriginal child had been adopted in the past decade.

"There are situations in the Northern Territory where nobody has been prepared to support a permanent adoption of a child for fear of Stolen Generation," he told the Northern Territory News.

"There is a lineup of families out there who say, 'If you want help with children, we'll be happy to foster a child, look after a child.'"

Mr Giles, speaking in an exclusive interview, said there would not be a mass grab of children, but he and his cabinet were ready to consider cases of child neglect on a case-by-case basis and move to protect them.

"I think it needs to be negotiated (with biological parents), but there has to be a point in time where you take the necessary steps to protect children."

Mr Giles said the legal mechanisms for adoption were already available, but governments had been reluctant to act.

The result, he said, was that in towns across the Territory, numerous children wandered in high-risk situations, often fearful to go home to households awash with alcohol and violence.

"Where there are couples who wish to provide love and support for children who are neglected and not cared for properly, and it can be determined that the parents will not be able to look after their kids properly till they're older, then we need to make that opportunity available," he said.

"You mean to tell me when we've got all these alleged cases of chronic child sexual abuse, children running around on petrol, going on the streets at night sexualising themselves in some circumstances, and there's only one permanent adoption, for fear of Stolen Generation?

"That is not standing up for kids."

Mr Giles said he wanted the public to know he was prepared to act and said his cabinet was fully behind him.

"If you've got kids who aren't being looked after by their parents, there's only so many times you can try and intervene to get that right," he said.

"And if it's not working, and those kids' lives are falling apart in front of your eyes, make a decision.

"It's not like we're coming in to take kids, but where individual issues come up, we will take that decision.

"People were too scared of Stolen Generation. And I believe that's why there's a lot of kids out there with such social dysfunction."



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


19 May, 2013

The Fascist reality behind far-Left "anti-racists" revealed

Nigel Farage was caught in a war of words with Scottish nationalists last night after he accused them of being ‘fascist scum’.

The UK Independence Party leader said the left-wing extremists who trapped him in an Edinburgh pub were the ‘ugly face of Scottish nationalism’ pursuing an anti-English agenda.

He challenged Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond to condemn the protesters who had chanted ‘Nazi, Nazi’, jostled him and told him to ‘go back to England’.

Mr Farage also hit out at the BBC after a Radio Scotland presenter appeared to question his right to debate Scottish issues.

In the extraordinary scenes on Thursday night the police forced Mr Farage to take refuge in the Canons’ Gait pub on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile for his own safety after the mob of supposedly anti-racist protesters launched the hostile demonstration against him, preventing him from leaving a press conference.

Dozens of activists from the Radical Independence group, most of them students, had gathered on the street outside the press conference, where a giant ‘Vote Yes for Scotland’ banner was held up.

Offensive chants included ‘you can stick your Union Jack up your a***’ and ‘go back to England, you’re not welcome here’.

The Radical Independence group is not formally linked to the Scottish National Party, but Mr Farage suggested ‘elements’ of the SNP had the same anti-English views. He said: ‘It was a demonstration dressed up as being anti-racism but in fact in itself was deeply racist, with a total hatred of the English and a desire for Scotland to be independent from Westminster.

‘My goodness me, if this is the face of Scottish nationalism it’s a pretty ugly picture.  ‘The anger, the snarling, the shouting, the swearing was all linked in to a desire for the Union Jack to be burnt and extinguished from Scotland forever.

‘I must say I have heard before that there are some parts of Scottish nationalism that are akin to fascism but yesterday I saw that face to face.’

Mr Farage hung up the phone on his BBC Radio Scotland interview after a presenter asked him to ‘remind me how many elected representatives you have in Scotland’.

He replied: ‘Absolutely none. But rather more than the BBC do.

‘We could have had this interview in England a couple of years ago, although I wouldn’t have met with such hatred that I’m getting from your questions, and frankly I’ve had enough of this interview. Goodbye.’

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie described Mr Farage’s treatment as an ‘attack on free speech’ and urged Mr Salmond to condemn it.

‘We’ve always known that supporters of independence can be very passionate for their cause but the offensive and aggressive behaviour toward Nigel Farage was unacceptable,’ he said.

‘Of course I disagree with Nigel Farage on his unpleasant and dishonest agenda but he will be defeated by argument not aggression.

‘It was deeply ironic when these self-proclaimed anti-racist campaigners told an Englishman to get back to his own country. Anti-racists turned racist but were too ignorant to notice. I am sure most people in Scotland will be appalled at this behaviour.’

George Galloway, the Respect Party MP, said the protest was bad for Scotland.

In a message on Twitter he said: ‘Events in Edinburgh yesterday forcing the evacuation of Nigel Farage were a pure embarrassment for Scotland. And the shape of things to come.’

The Yes Scotland campaign which is pushing for independence in next year’s referendum on Scotland’s future, distanced itself from the ugly protests.  A spokesman said: ‘Yes Scotland continues to run a positive campaign and we condemn any and all forms of intimidation.’

But the SNP said Mr Farage had ‘lost the plot’.  Mr Salmond, who leads the Scottish Nationalist Party, claimed Mr Farage knew ‘absolutely nothing’ about matters north of the border.

He added: ‘This is a man who doesn’t like getting challenged because when the obnoxious views of his party are put to him then his bubble deflates very quickly and that is what we saw in his panicky interview this morning.’

Lothian and Borders Police confirmed two men were arrested for assault and breach of the peace at Thursday’s protest.

One revealed on Twitter that he is English, and criticised Mr Farage for branding yesterday’s protest ‘anti-English’. He said: ‘As a proud Englishman, arrested yesterday for protesting, I dispute these claims.’

Liam O’Hare of the Radical Independence group also defended the protest, saying: ‘Our protest was to make it clear that UKIP’s rise in England is in no way reflective of Scotland.’


Shit British social workers again:  They ignored warnings about safety of 13-month-old boy before he was beaten to death by mother's boyfriend

Social services are under fire for failing to prevent a 13-month-old boy being killed by his mother's boyfriend - despite desperate warnings from his father in the weeks before his death.

Slater Sharkey was repeatedly being abused by Richard Morgan, who lived with his mother Rachel Peacock.  When the toddler died in December 2010, he was covered head-to-toe in 25 bruises.

His father Carl Sharkey had complained to officials that the boy was at risk, but they told him they had 'no concerns' for Slater and refused to investigate his care - later saying they were distracted by strategy meetings.

It has also emerged that Peacock took her son to a GP when he was having trouble breathing, but ignored the doctor's advice to visit hospital to treat the bruises on his head.

A report has criticised child welfare agencies for failing to act on a series of warning signs, and concluded that Slater was not 'properly safeguarded' in the 24 hours leading up to his death.

Although Mr Sharkey contacted both social workers and police, his concerns 'do not appear to have been acted on'.

The report found that as well as poor communication with the victim's father, information about the boy's welfare was recorded inaccurately.

'The child's father, who lived with him for the first ten months of his life, and who then cared for him overnight for the final three months of his short life, was not visible,' it said.

'He had to ring the social worker, rather than the other way around. He expressed concerns to the social worker, police and the HV, but these do not appear to have been acted on.'

A spokeswoman for the Durham Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) apologised for the failures and said no one could have predicted Slater's death

Gill Rigg, the author of a serious case review for LSCB, said that on the day of Slater's first birthday in November 2010 concerns had been raised when Peacock contacted medical professionals.

She wrote: 'There were sufficient concerns identified on that evening, and on the following day that could and should have triggered a child protection investigation had the totality of the information been considered at a strategy meeting.

'Slater's mother initially said he had stopped breathing but failed to seek help for several hours.

'Slater had a bruise on his forehead. His mother arrived at the GP surgery with no warning, and left before the GP could complete the referral to the hospital. She then failed to attend hospital as directed.'

Mrs Rigg said social workers had failed to challenge medical opinions about his injuries, and the meeting with the GP had not been recorded properly.

Senior managers claimed they had not carried out a review of Slater's care because 'too many strategy meetings were being held'.

But Mrs Rigg said the true explanation was 'more subtle', and a 'misunderstanding' meant senior managers had failed to properly safeguard Slater.

Following the review, in which Slater was referred to as 'Child R', Mrs Rigg said the boy's death was 'not predictable' but a 'different course of events' should have occurred in November 2010.

Following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court, Peacock, 31, was found guilty of cruelty and sentenced to a 12-month community order by Mr Justice King.

Morgan, who lived with Peacock in Tantobie, County Durham, claimed he had left the baby in the living room and found him collapsed when he returned.

He was sentenced to seven and half years in prison for manslaughter after a jury found he had inflicted the fatal injuries.


British Police chiefs prepare to defy government by imposing ban on naming suspects

Police chiefs are preparing to defy the Prime Minister by imposing a ban on identifying arrested suspects.

Despite warnings from David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May, the Association of Chief Police Officers is pressing ahead with plans to impose a policy of almost total secrecy.

A draft of its draconian new guidance – due to be approved next week – states: ‘Save  in exceptional and clearly identified circumstances, the names or identifying details of those who are arrested or suspected of a crime should not be released by police forces to the press or the public.’

It flies in the face of a hugely significant intervention by Mr Cameron on Wednesday, when he said there should be a ‘working assumption’ in favour of identifying crime suspects.  He backed Mrs May, who last week said that police should be free to name those who have been arrested if it is in the ‘public interest’.

Campaigners say it is vital that officers should not have their hands tied by rules that could prevent victims and witnesses coming forward.

In the case of Stuart Hall, a string of  victims contacted the police only after the media reported that the TV presenter had been arrested for indecent assault.

But despite the warnings, Acpo are pressing ahead with their guidelines.

The phrase in the rules ‘save in exceptional circumstances’ echoes the Leveson report, which called for anonymity in the event of arrests. This is despite Mrs May and Mr Cameron pointing out to officers that, while the issue was raised in the Leveson report, it was not one of the judge’s substantive recommendations.

Last night campaigners attacked the plan for secret arrests.

Kirsty Hughes, of the Index On Censorship, said: ‘De facto anonymity for people who have been arrested would reverse the principle of open justice we have in the UK and could lead to people being arrested and taken into custody without anyone knowing about it.

'It’s a very difficult balance to get right ... making public the details of the arrest can help to bring forward evidence and bring forward victims. Therefore it is completely in the public interest'

Peter Watt, director of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s helpline, said: ‘Sex offenders frighten children into staying silent and make them feel they are partly responsible for what’s happening. This can leave the victim feeling isolated and unaware there may well be others suffering the same ordeal.

‘When a suspect is named in the public interest – for example when there is a child protection issue or because the police believe there are more victims – it gives others an opportunity to come forward, which helps build a stronger criminal case.’

Last week, Mrs May wrote to police chiefs to insist they must not continue with the practice – which has been adopted by a third of all forces – of refusing to identify suspects even after they had been charged. One force insisted they had adopted the policy in direct response to Leveson.

But Mrs May said it risked undermining ‘transparency in the criminal justice system’.

She added: ‘I believe there should be a right to anonymity at arrest, but I know that there will be circumstances in which the public interest means that an arrested suspect should be named.’

On Wednesday, five days after the letter was first made public, reports on the BBC suggested this meant Mrs May was herself in favour of anonymity except in exceptional circumstances. However, when this was put to the Prime Minister by journalists, he made it clear this was not the case.

Mr Cameron said: ‘I know some people want to connect it specifically with Leveson. But actually it’s a long-standing debate about how to get the balance right between making things public, which as Theresa has said should be the working assumption, but also respecting privacy where that is appropriate.

‘It’s a very difficult balance to get right. On the one hand, making public the details of the arrest can help to bring forward evidence and bring forward potential victims. Therefore it is completely in the public interest. Sometimes it is right to respect the privacy of the individual because the publicity around these sorts of arrests can be genuinely life changing. There is no simple answer to this.’

Mr Cameron added: ‘I saw Theresa’s approach in advance and I think it’s the right one.’


My night with Pam Geller

While she is well known for her opposition to Islamist terror, with her notoriety for anti-Muslim rhetoric, Pamela Geller, as a subject, was someone whom I generally avoided.

Her campaigns against "Jihad" were notable, but mainly for the reactions they inspired and the way in which it highlighted the hypocrisy that some on the left in America demonstrate when it comes to Free Speech.

Islamism, with its determined mission of suppressing dissent and its fostering of ideals that inevitably lead to terror and repression, is despicable. But just as despicable is prejudice against Muslims and the presumption of guilt or sympathy for terror simply because of someone's ethnic or cultural background. I didn't know if Geller's words justified her reputation as a bigot and, to be honest,  I didn't find her interesting enough to inquire, so to my thinking she was irrelevant.

That changed recently when she stirred up a controversy in my part of the world. The York Regional Police Department leaned on one of its chaplains to cancel a speech by her because it didn't reflect their "values of diversity," threatening to remove him as a police chaplain if he hosted her at his synagogue. That would be reasonable if Geller's reputation was true. Yet retaining a Muslim chaplain who attended a conference organized by a group with direct terrorist affiliations, including with al Qaida, demonstrated the York Police's rather odd and hypocritical concept of "values of diversity."

It seemed to me that it would be worthwhile to hear what Geller had to say for herself, rather than to make a judgement based on what others said about her, so I accepted an invitation to hear her speech.

I'm glad I did, because just about everything I'd heard about Pamela Geller was a lie.

There was nothing "anti-Muslim" in anything she said. Her fight is with Jihadism, a fanatical ideology which  promotes violence and terror. Geller said her principal motivation is the struggle to preserve individual liberty, which Islamism, like Marxism, fights to repress.

The delivery was fiery and pugnacious, but her message in fact resembled that of Muslim reformers I know, such as Salim Mansur and Tarek Fatah, who struggle to spread the word that it is Muslims themselves who are victimized the most and harshest by Islamist totalitarianism.  Like those Muslim reformers, she warned that by turning a blind eye to Islamism in North America, we encourage its growth here.

Geller spoke against the repression of women and female genital mutilation and honor killings and the promotion of terrorism of which most American Muslims find abhorrent, but far too many Islamic leaders, such as those at the York Region Islamic Society, remain silent or even give tacit approval.

I could elucidate further, but that was in essence the entirety of her message and a review of her website and writings suggests that her talk last night is consistent with everything she has said in the past.

That doesn't mean I agree with everything Geller says or the ways she chooses to deliver it.

Her use of quotes from the Quran to vilify Jihadism is unfair. One could as easily cherry-pick quotes from the Old Testament that imply approbation of killing. The importance is not in the wording of ancient texts but the contemporary interpretation within a religion. By some, the verses in the Quran are taken literally, but by most they are considered antiquated and immaterial.

Her controversial anti-Jihad campaign in New York is another example. She had posters placed in the transit system which read, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man, support Israel defeat Jihad."

I would take issue with the use of the terms "civilized" and "savage." After all, it was the "civilized" Spanish Conquistadors who introduced the sadistic, ghoulish practice of scalping when they fought the "savage" natives of North America.

However, the west is in a war against those who intentionally target civilians for murder, who kill Gays, treat women as little more than property, and who believe free speech is subservient to their dictates. That we should support a liberal democracy fighting to defend its citizens against them is something anyone resembling a modicum of a moral compass should support.

Which raises the question of why Geller's reputation is so rancid.

The answer falls into two categories, one is that there are Islamist organizations whose purposes it serves to suppress her message. Those include Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups like the Islamic Society of North America, who portray themselves as mainstream, but have links to the most reprehensible practices and ideologies of hate.

The other are the useful idiots of Jihadism who are primarily concerned with maintaining their image as "community leaders" who promote tolerance, even if it means tolerating a doctrine that calls for suppression of free speech, illiberal treatment of minorities and outright murderous acts.

Unfortunately, some among the so-called leadership of the Jewish community are behaving like self-serving moral pygmies in order to bolster their own image, at what to them must be only the minor cost of truth and integrity.

A group with the grandiose-sounding name of the Toronto Board of Rabbis, which in reality only represents a handful of reform and nominally conservative Jewish congregations, publicly condemned Geller.  Referring to her "extreme criticism of Muslims"  they say they find her views "distasteful." They are unable to specify any of those distasteful views since they evidently haven't bothered to investigate what she actually has said or written and issued a condemnation based on rumor and reputation.

It is tragic that a group of people with the pretense of being "learned" and "community leaders"  behave like small-minded, sanctimonious ignoramuses who are an embarrassment to the biblical teachings they claim to uphold.

Tragic, but not surprising.

It's no secret that there is an implicit understanding among some of the heads of Jewish congregations and organizations. They go out and raise money as "community leaders" and make very good salaries in the process. They are called upon as "official Jews" when the CBC or Toronto Star wants a quote. And all they have to do to maintain that is to play ball and periodically  issue worthless platitudes about diversity and cooperation with people who hold them in complete contempt.

Meanwhile the people who actually stand up to those who want to destroy the Jewish State or speak out forcefully against terrorism and for free speech get portrayed by these "official Jews" as a "radical fringe."

But make no mistake about it. Many official Jews profess, albeit very, very quietly, to the radical fringe that they share their concerns. But not too loudly of course, because that might entail a cut in pay and prestige.

There are a few Canadian Jewish organizations, like the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center and CIJA, that do have integrity. But far too many are no better than the appeasers who, in the 1930's  felt it would be better to remain quiet and not rock the boat as the Nazis came to power in Germany and went about their work of genocide.

In fact, they are even worse. Because now with the lessons of history, the "official Jews" should know what horrors their appeasement of evil can bring.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


17 May, 2013

Naqba — Commemorating a Self-Inflicted Tragedy

Today, Palestinians and their supporters, as they have done increasingly over the years, mark what they call the naqba (Arabic for catastrophe). It was on this day 65 years ago that Israel came into existence upon the expiry of British rule under a League of Nations mandate.

That juxtaposition of Israel and naqba in not accidental. We are meant to understand that Israel’s creation caused the displacement of hundreds of thousand of Palestinian Arabs.

But the truth is different. A British document from early 1948, declassified only weeks ago, tells the story: “the Arabs have suffered a series of overwhelming defeats…. Jewish victories … have reduced Arab morale to zero and, following the cowardly example of their inept leaders, they are fleeing from the mixed areas in their thousands.”

In other words, Jew and Arabs, including irregular foreign militias from neighboring states, were already fighting and Arabs fleeing even before Israel had sovereign existence.

Thus, on May 15, what is now called the naqba consisted, not of an Israeli act of forcible displacement of Arabs, but of neighboring Arab armies and internal Palestinian militias responding to Israel’s declaration of independence and Britain’s departure with full-scale hostilities. Tel Aviv was bombed from the air and the head of Israel’s provisional government, David Ben Gurion, delivered his first radio address to the nation from an air-raid shelter.

Israel successfully resisted invasion and dismemberment — the universally affirmed objective of the Arab belligerents — and Palestinians came off worst of all from the whole venture. At war’s end, over 600,000 Palestinians were living as refugees under neighboring Arab regimes.

So the term naqba is misleading. Indeed, it smacks of falsehood, inasmuch as it implies a tragedy inflicted by others. The tragedy, of course, was self-inflicted.

As Israel’s UN ambassador Abba Eban was to put it, “Once you determine the responsibility for that war, you have determined the responsibility for the refugee problem. Nothing in the history of our generation is clearer or less controversial than the initiative of Arab governments for the conflict out of which the refugee tragedy emerged.”

However, the Palestinians do not mourn today the ill-conceived choice of going to war to abort Israel. They mourn only that they failed.

This is contrary to normal historical experience of disastrous defeat. The Germans today mourn their losses in the Second World War — but not by lauding their invasion of Poland and justifying their attempt to subjugate Europe. They do not glorify Nazi aggression.

The Japanese today mourn their losses in the Second World War — but not by lauding their assault on Pearl Harbor and their attempt to subjugate southeast Asia. They do not glorify Japanese imperialism.

The very existence of naqba commemorations is therefore instructive in a way few realize. It informs us that Palestinians have not admitted or assimilated the fact — as Germans and Japanese have done — that they became victims as a direct result of their efforts to be perpetrators. It informs us that Palestinians would still like to succeed today at what they miserably failed to achieve then. And it informs us that they take no responsibility for their own predicament, which is uniquely maintained to this day at their own insistence.

If readers doubt my word, consider this vignette from January 2001. That month, Palestinian rioters in the West Bank burned in effigy John Manley, then Foreign Minister in Jean Chrétien’s Canadian Government. His sin? — Mr. Manley had offered to welcome Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Canada after a peace settlement. The Palestinian response? Legislator Hussum Khader of Fatah, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas’ party — not Hamas or another of the Islamist groups — threatened Canada, saying, “If Canada is serious about resettlement, you could expect military attacks in Ottawa or Montreal.” A similar offer by then-Australian Immigration Minister, Philip Ruddock, also received a threatening Palestinian rejoinder.

Scarcely a typical response by a government official to an offer of refugee relief, Mr. Khader’s was illuminating. Setting up a Palestinian state and resettling the refugees and their descendants inside it or abroad would remove any internationally accepted ground for conflict. That is why helping to solve the Palestinian refugee problem is regarded as a hostile act — by Palestinians.

Naqba commemorations disclose that the conflict is about Israel’s existence — not about territory, borders, holy places, refugees, or any other bill of particulars.

Only when Palestinians accept that Israel is here to stay will the possibility of the conflict’s end come into view. In the meantime, responsible governments can discourage and repudiate naqba commemorations as a small but important step towards bringing that day closer.


British social workers already have overweening power -- but want more

A year ago, I wrote of a worrying case where Social Workers went to the High Court for permission to enter the home of a person of sound mind because ‘it was thought’ that possibly they were making decisions as a result of ‘undue influence’ by their son who lived with them. No one actually knew whether they were or not, but on the basis that they might be – such permission was granted. Fair enough, a judge had listened to the arguments from ‘a’ social worker – we are not allowed to know who – and a document was drawn up delineating what subjects the son was allowed to speak of to his parents in their own home…in particular, he should not discuss with his parents any arrangements for securing the family home. What happened to the home in which he and his parents lived was to be entirely a matter for the local authority to decide if and when they thought it should be sold…..presumably if and when the parents became vulnerable through mental incapacity.

Social Workers were outraged – why should they have to grovel before a judge and explain themselves before they could enter a home and decide the basis on which family relations should be conducted? The fact that they wanted to do so should be perfectly sufficient! They lobbied hard to be given an automatic right of entry to any household they wished, regardless of whether the occupants were vulnerable for any reason…in order to dole out health advice or dictate how individuals conducted their family affairs.

The Government agreed to consult on the matter. Raccoon readers were kind enough to make a magnificent response to the survey! The results of that consultation were published a few days ago. The Government were not minded to give that power to Social Workers:

We believe it is highly significant that members of the public were far more strongly against the proposal compared to health and social care professionals [...] it is clear that some people perceive themselves at greater risk of unwarranted intervention by social workers than of abuse in their home.

The Social Workers have thrown a hissy fit! We, the public, don’t understand! Nanny knows best! We have to be encouraged to eat our ‘five a day’, and Social Workers are the people to do it… no sooner was the Government’s conclusion to the survey announced than the Social Workers flounced into print:

A survey of social workers carried out by the College during the consultation had found overwhelming support for the power, with practitioners citing cases where they would have used it had it been available. Walker said:

“It seems that the weighting [the government has] given to individuals’ responses doesn’t reflect the evidence or the professional view.”

They are mobilising ‘the professional view’ to lobby the Government before the second reading on the 21st May of the Bill that would give them this power. This is becoming a battle of wills. Nobody is objecting to them going to court if they really believe that there is a specific problem in a specific household – but that is a world away from all Social Workers having the power to enter any house at any time and dictate how the occupants live!

Remember that Social Workers do not have to be publicly named, nor do the local authority have to be publicly named – There have been 358 applications from Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset councils in the last 3 years alone demanding the right to take control of households, their finances and the welfare of the occupants. Just in one relatively small area!

Newcastle MP Paul Farrelly has written to the Lord Chancellor demanding to know why Stoke on Trent City Council has requested that some families be imprisoned for challenging orders governing the welfare of their loved ones. (No public record exists of Judge Cardinal’s ruling on Miss Maddocks and secrecy rules forbade anyone to name Stoke on Trent City Council who had requested that Miss Maddocks be imprisoned. The social worker who gave evidence against her could not be named either.)

Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore said:

"It cannot be right that local authorities and council bureaucrats should run roughshod over the lives of individuals and their families. At the centre of elderly care must be the concept that families and loved ones must have a right to care and look after the best interests of patients, whatever their condition’.”

I have spoken to John Hemmings MP on this matter, and he told me this morning, quoting yet another case:

‘Although the senior judiciary have now moved to stop secret imprisonments for contempt of court, it remains that we have a number of other secret prisoners where there is no public accountability as to why people have their liberty denied. I have passed the Rachel Pullen case to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (RP v The United Kingdom). The key to this case is that as with many others in fact she does have capacity. It is simply that the courts have ignored all the evidence that she has capacity and only taken into account the single expert that says she doesn’t. I have provided examples of a number of cases where the capacity assessment is plainly wrong.

In England we allow a single social worker to imprison someone by claiming that they don’t have capacity – and the Courts will accept this. That is basically wrong.’

They are misusing the power they have at present, a power that they argued was essential to protect the vulnerable, the young, the elderly, the mentally incapacitated. Now they seek to extend that power to all of us, at any time, under any circumstances, just because they think they should – and they don’t want a nosy judge overseeing how they use that power.

They don’t like the fact that the Government listened to the public in that consultation – they want our voices to be overruled. What do we know, ignoramuses that we are?

Lord Reid once said:

“English law goes to great lengths to protect a person of full age and capacity from interference with his personal liberty. We have too often seen freedom disappear in other countries not only by coups d’état but by gradual erosion: and often it is the first step that counts. So it would be unwise to make even minor concessions.”

Please help to reinforce the will of those in parliament who are listening, and will try to protect our freedom. Lord Howe will be introducing the ‘Care Bill’ into the House of Lords for its second reading on May 21st 2013. Make sure he doesn’t think the public’s response to the consultation was a ‘fluke’ – and drown out the voices of the professionals!

Its in your ‘best interests’. You can e-mail Lord Howe via this link. Tell him that you do want your voice to be heard!


British police chief constable and council chief executive refuse to stand down despite catalogue of errors in Oxford sex ring scandal

The angry mother of a victim of the Oxford sex grooming gang last night demanded: ‘Someone needs to take the blame.’

Catastrophic failings by police and social services enabled the sadistic group to drug, rape and traffic girls as young as 11 for eight years. Victims repeatedly told police they had been abused and sexually tortured and care-home staff just watched as the men collected the under-age girls at night.

But despite the catalogue of appalling blunders and missed opportunities – and David Cameron warning police and council chiefs they faced ‘very searching questions’ – nobody is  prepared to take the blame.

Both Thames  Valley Police Chief Constable Sara Thornton and Joanna Simons, head of Oxfordshire County Council, say they will not resign.

Their defiance, a day after the seven vicious and ‘medieval’ predators were convicted at the Old Bailey, came as:

* It emerged that only one care worker has been sacked in the aftermath of the scandal.

* An MP urged courts to impose ‘the most severe penalties’ on the gang so the victims receive ‘the justice they were denied by the local authorities’.

* One of the UK’s largest police forces said tackling child sexual exploitation is now a bigger priority than gun crime.

Most of the eight-year campaign of abuse by the gang took place after Miss Thornton was appointed head of the Thames Valley force in 2007.

She yesterday apologised for not acting sooner, but when asked if she had considered resigning from her £160,000-a-year post, she said: ‘The focus has got to be moving forward. I think the focus for me is on driving improvements in the future.’

Five of the six girls were abused while in the care of Oxfordshire County Council’s social services department.  But Miss Simons also said she was not quitting her £182,000-a-year job as chief executive.

She said: ‘My gut feeling is that I am not going to resign because my determination is that we need to do all that we can to take action to stamp this out.

‘[We are] incredibly sorry that we weren’t able to stop this abuse any sooner ..... what we understand now is much more about the grooming process.  'We didn’t understand that going back seven or eight years ago.

‘All I can do is apologise if we didn’t listen enough, if we didn’t do enough.’

The mother of one of the victims, only 14 when the gang began plying her with drink and drugs before exploiting her for sex, said: ‘Oxford Social Services has failed our children and someone has to pay for it.

‘They were supposed to be looking after my child, yet the social workers went home at night knowing that she was being abused and did nothing.

‘The police are talking about there being more victims, something like 50 more girls, who they want to come forward.  But how can they expect them to have the courage to come forward when these six girls have been failed so badly.’

Speaking in New York, the Prime Minister refused to defend the Chief Constable and county council chief, saying the authorities would have to ‘respond for themselves in terms of what happened’.

Mr Cameron, an Oxfordshire MP, said: ‘It really is just appalling, absolutely appalling – it’s shocking what took place. Everyone’s going to have to ask some very searching questions about how this was allowed to continue for so long.’

As with similar outrages in Rochdale and Rotherham, police officers, social workers and staff in residential homes knew or suspected that children were being used and sold for sex by large numbers of men.

But a catalogue of opportunities to stop the abuse were missed from as early as May 2005.

Two of the three care homes where victims of the Oxford gang lived have been closed down.

But only one person has been sacked – a manager at Dell Quay, a privately run care home in Henley-on-Thames where the council placed girls, was dismissed after refusing to pay a victim’s taxi fare when she returned after running away.  The 14-year-old was driven back to Oxford where she was raped.

Steve Heywood, assistant chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said yesterday: ‘Our No 1 priority at the moment is child sexual exploitation. It is now ahead of gun crime. Expect a lot more convictions.’

Prosecutors have pledged to 're-review' three historic cases involving victims of the Oxford sex ring after admitting more could have been done to investigate their claims.  The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it would look again at the decision to take no further action over the allegations of abuse involving the girls from 2005 to 2006.

In one case, the CPS said information was requested from Thames Valley Police but the force did not respond.

Baljit Ubhey, chief crown prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern, said the CPS would now be more 'proactive' when dealing with sex abuse allegations.  She said: 'We want to encourage people who have experienced something similar to have the courage to come forward.

'What we shouldn't do is as soon as we see a weakness - the girls had taken drugs or alcohol or they lied about something in the past - that means, "this case is hopeless and we can't go ahead with it".  'Rather than be fatalistic and negative, it's about being really positive and saying, "how can we really get to the truth here?"'

Ms Ubhey admitted the CPS should have pursued Thames Valley Police when information was first requested about one of the claims.

The further allegations do not involve any of the defendants involved in the Old Bailey trial, she added.

'I think we could have been more proactive,' Ms Ubhey said.  'Of four cases we looked at, in three of those it's arguable we might have been able to do more.

'What I can't say is that we will change our decision. What I can say is perhaps we could have taken a more proactive approach in making further enquiries.'

Ms Ubhey confirmed a serious case review would be conducted following the conclusion of the trial.


Authoritarian Britain:  They can't be bothered about Muslim sex criminals raping young white girls but having a model railway in your home calls for action!

A model railway fan has been ordered to dismantle his £10,000 train set in his loft by his housing association on health and safety grounds.

Father-of-three Robert Burdock, 61, has 63 locomotives which whizz along 70ft of track around the perimeter of his attic.

His train set includes hand-crafted stations, depots, streets and tiny figures - which are all enjoyed by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

But a social housing firm now says Robert has made 'alterations' to the two-bed 1950s property in Buckfastleigh, Devon, without permission - breaching strict planning regulations.

Robert, who has lived in the home for fourteen years, says a housing official arrived to inspect a leaky chimney and told him the train set had to go.

Retired builder Robert said: 'I've been building train sets since I was 11. It's been a lifelong passion of mine and I take a real pride in creating things.

'When I moved into this house I decided I needed a project to keep me going as a hobby and I decided to build a railway in the loft.

'Some people like to spend their money down the pub or play a few games of snooker, but for me I build railways.  'I've made much of the scenery myself and spent anything from £8,000 to 10,000 on it.

'There's absolutely no way I'm taking it down now - if they want to evict someone over a train set that's up to them.'

Robert's woes began when he rang Teign Housing to report a leaking chimney at the £140,000 ex-council property where he lives with his disabled wife Linda, 64.

He says the only work he's ever done to make room for the train set was to put down flooring and replace a single, faulty electrical socket.

Robert, who retired due to ill health, said: 'They have said that unless I dismantle the railway, they will send in their workman to pull it apart so they can put right the changes I've made.

'All I've done is put down flooring that meets all the required regulations and I've even coated the little buildings I make in fire-retardant.

'Everything is based on trestle tables. I've not damaged a thing. This house was a tip when I moved in. I've spent thousands down the years doing it up.  'I even fitted my own central heating - you won't hear them complaining about that.

'People might think model railways are childish - but I don't think I'm being the childish one here.'

Teign Housing insists Robert's track has to go so inspectors can make sure the loft area is safe. The firm manages over 3,600 homes across south Devon.

Paul Davies, head of asset management, said: 'It is part of our tenancy agreement that tenants must seek permission to make any alterations to our properties so that we can make sure it is safe and meets the required building regulations.

'We have written to Mr Burdock to explain that all items in the loft space must be removed so that we can gain access and reinstate the timber members to ensure the property is safe.

'Once this work has been done, we will look at ways for Mr Burdock's train set to be accommodated safely.'



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


16 May, 2013

A quarter of young girls with absent fathers 'grow into depressed teenagers' but boys cope better with parental separation

Girls need fathers too

Almost a quarter of girls whose fathers were absent during early childhood suffer depression as teenagers, a report says.

Some 23 per cent will show symptoms such as sadness or severe tiredness later in life if their parent leaves before they turn five, researchers found.

It makes them almost 50 per cent more likely to have future mental health problems than older girls, confirming previous studies that suggest pre-schoolers cope badly with break-ups because they are less likely to have a support network of friends and other family members.

Those ‘coping mechanisms’ meant just 15 per cent of over-fives reported signs of mental distress later on – the same as those whose parents stayed together.

Boys coped best of all with early parental separation, with less than ten per cent in the youngest age range going on to suffer teenage depression, psychologists found.

However, that figure jumped to 17 per cent for the five to ten age group – ten per cent higher than boys whose parents stayed together.

Lead author Iryna Culpin, from the University of Bristol, said: ‘The measure that we used was a non-clinical diagnosis of depression.

‘In reality the largest group of children whose fathers were absent between nought to five years, the girls, were the ones who answered the most questions with “yes”.

‘Girls whose fathers were absent in middle childhood, or boys in general, were less likely.

‘We saw that girls who experienced divorce and a father’s absence in the first five years were more likely to develop advanced mental health, or health, issues, later in life.’

About a third of British children experience separations or divorce before the age of 16.

In order to examine the impact of the timing of a split on children, researchers asked 5,631 teenagers whether they had experienced symptoms such as sadness, unworthiness or extreme lethargy in the past two weeks.

The participants were from the Children Of The 90s project – a group of almost 20,000 youngsters born in 1991 and 1992 who scientists are studying to help discover the causes of leading health and social problems. Using the background data, the research team were able to track their family circumstances and pinpoint the effect of a father’s departure on their mental health.

‘We cannot place judgment or blame on anyone but we are suggesting these girls might be more at risk later on in life,’ said Miss Culpin.

‘This study is dependent on a host of other factors, such as social and economic factors developing independently as well.

‘We cannot accord for all the experiences children go through, but from our studies girls are more at risk if their fathers leave early on in their childhood.’

The research, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, also suggests young girls are ‘more vulnerable to negative personal events’ than boys. However, they are not necessarily more likely to suffer from depression throughout their life, Miss Culpin added.


Routine coverup of crime by British police

Police officers are afraid to speak out about the dubious practices being used to conceal true crime rates, a senior police leader has claimed.

Steve Williams, chairman of the Police Federation, said officers were under huge pressure to keep crime statistics down.

In some cases, mobile phone thefts were being recorded as lost property, while a spate of burglaries might be registered as a single offence.

But whistleblowers who might have exposed such practices in the past were now afraid to do so in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry into Press standards.

The inquiry also looked into allegations of inappropriate links between a handful of senior police officers and a small number of journalists and, as a result, some chief constables had now effectively imposed gagging orders on their staff, said Mr Williams.

‘The latest crime figures showed a 5 per cent fall in crime but, based on the anecdotes I’m getting, I am not sure that is the case,’ he said. ‘Pressure is being brought to bear on frontline officers on the way they are recording crime.

Frontline police representatives suspect many victims do not bother to report crimes because their local police station is closed. Others no longer insure household goods and therefore do not report losses.

‘Cops are very reluctant to speak to the media and say how it really is. Some chief officers have imposed almost a gagging order on their staff. I do not think the true story is getting out because of the “fear factor” in the wake of Leveson about the effect going public would have on officers’ careers.’

Last night the police watchdog launched a review of how forces record crimes. Tom Winsor, Chief Inspector of Constabulary, said it would examine claims that officers downgraded crimes to appear less serious than the offences which actually took place.

The latest crime figures published last month show the number of offences recorded by police last year fell by 8 per cent to 3.7million. The independent Crime Survey for England and Wales said the estimated level of crime fell by 5 per cent to 8.9million offences against adults, based on a survey of more than 40,000 households.

Over five years, police recorded 400,000 fewer offences than reported in the Crime Survey. Mr Williams, a detective inspector in North Wales who represents 130,000 officers in England and Wales, said: ‘There is a lack of understanding in the wake of Leveson about what police officers can and cannot do.

‘Officers feel that speaking to journalists will lead to them being labelled troublemakers and that it could lead to them losing their jobs, facing discipline or affecting promotion prospects.’

Officers at the Police Federation’s annual conference in Bournemouth yesterday confirmed manipulation of crime statistics is common.

One said that a town in the North East did not officially have a single mobile phone theft in a month, instead recording every single missing device as ‘lost’.

Another said teams of officials are employed to determine if offences could be re-categorised so that they can be recorded as less controversial offences or even no crime at all.  An attempted burglary might be registered as criminal damage.

Such changes improve the appearance of a force’s crime figures because they lower the numbers of high-profile crimes.

Announcing his review yesterday, Mr Winsor told the Home Affairs Select Committee: ‘Information is the oxygen of accountability and the information must be sound.’

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary will also look at allegations that some officers encourage prisoners to confess to crimes they had not committed in order to boost clear-up rates.

Earlier this year, the Office for National Statistics said officers were under ‘informal pressure’ to meet targets and could have downgraded some crimes.

Labour called for an inquiry into whether fewer crimes were being recorded as a result of cuts.

Police officers also suspect victims are finding it harder to report crimes because police stations are closing and fewer officers are on the beat.

Police chiefs say a reason behind the fall was the ‘over-zealous’ reaction of officers when new standards were brought in ten years ago.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘Crime is falling and police reform is working – recorded crime is down by more than 10  per cent under this Government.

‘At the same time, the independent Crime Survey for England and Wales shows crime is at its lowest level since records began.’


Boris is right: the world does not owe Britain a living

Much of the fault, to paraphrase Shakespeare, lies not in the EU’s yellow stars, but in ourselves

Boris Johnson, writing for The Daily Telegraph, made the point that not all of Britain's problems can be laid at Europe’s door

Over the past few days, a great deal of politicians’ time – and the media’s attention – has been devoted to the subject of Europe. This is only natural: the issue of our future relationship with the European Union, and the benefits and drawbacks of continued membership, is of utmost importance both to many within Britain, and to the future of our economy.

Yet it fell to Boris Johnson, writing on these pages yesterday, to make one significant point: that not all of our problems can be laid at Europe’s door. The supporters of withdrawal certainly have a case when they castigate the EU for its bureaucratic, protectionist impulses. Yet other members – notably Germany – manage to find markets for their products, and drive on the productivity of their workforce, while still being subject to the same rules and regulations. Much of the fault, to paraphrase Shakespeare, lies not in the EU’s yellow stars, but in ourselves: what the Mayor of London decried as our “short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills, a culture of easy gratification and under-investment in both human and physical capital and infrastructure”.

The lazy criticism of such comments is that they do down Britain. But that is to misunderstand the situation. Put simply, there are two components to the British disease, in its 21st-century form. The first is the structural weaknesses in our economy: the fact that while our workers spend long hours at their desks, they produce less while doing so than their American, German or even French counterparts; that we are still unable to make enough things that others want to buy, hence the fact that our current account deficit recently reached its highest level since 1989; that the state spends far too much and taxes too much, and uses that money more to promote dependency than to build the infrastructure on which future growth depends, such as new airports and high-speed rail networks.

The second part of the problem has to do with culture and mindset: put simply, the sense that the world owes us a living. And it is on this score that the Coalition is having more success. With its talk of a “global race”, reforms to education, raising of the pension age and capping of benefits, it is starting to make the case that our rivals are not just in Europe, but around the world – that the quality of our companies, and our curriculum, and our workers, must be measured not just against those of France or Germany, but China, Singapore, Brazil and everywhere else, and that we must be leaner and keener in order to compete. The good news is that, while this is not always a comfortable message, it is one in which voters increasingly see the sense.


UN declares that nations must punish speakers for racism, to comply with treaty

Menacing free speech, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has ruled that Germany violated international law by not prosecuting a former German legislator for statements he made in an interview with a cultural journal. The statements included comments critical of immigration and the alleged dependence on welfare of Turkish immigrants to Germany.

This disturbing ruling illustrates that international norms are at odds with American civil-liberties such as freedom of speech, making it inappropriate for U.S. courts to enforce them in lawsuits under the Alien Tort Statute, as left-wing American legal scholars have urged the courts to do.

German prosecutors had concluded that the former legislator’s remarks were protected by Germany’s (limited) free-speech guarantees because, while offensive, they were part of a “discussion” of “problems of economic and social nature,” and did not rise to the level of hate speech. (Germany generally bans hate speech; by contrast in the U.S., the Supreme Court voided a hate-speech ordinance in 1992 on First Amendment grounds. A federal appeals court has also ruled that a professor’s racially-charged anti-immigration diatribes were protected speech in the Rodriguez case.)

Law professor Eugene Volokh reprints the speech that, “according to the Committee, must lead to a criminal prosecution in countries that have ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.” (The U.S. has ratified that convention, but, as Professor Volokh notes, “I am pleased to say that the U.S. has not recognized the competence of the Committee to enforce the Convention, though most European countries have; the U.S. has also ratified subject to a specific reservation in favor of the freedom of speech.”)

Giving UN officials a veto over people's speech is a bad idea, especially given their weird, unrepresentative ideology, which often displays hostility to America. Their strange ideology is illustrated by the disturbing remarks blaming America for the Boston terrorist bombing by “Richard A. Falk, the U.N. ‘human rights’ official and Princeton professor. . . .Commenting on the Boston bombing, Falk wrote, “Should we not all be meditating on W.H. Auden’s haunting line: ‘Those to whom evil is done/do evil in return’?” “The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world. In some respects, the United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks, and these may yet happen, especially if there is no disposition to rethink US relations to others in the world.”

Earlier, I wrote about how it was a good thing that the Supreme Court blocked foreigners from suing in the U.S. over putative violations of “customary international law” by corporations and other defendants with deep pockets. Letting people sue over violations of “customary international law” would be like giving a blank check to lawyers with favored ideologies. International-law “experts” often define international obligations in ways that go far beyond what countries that ratified a treaty ever intended or contemplated, but which are appealing to “progressive” ideologies. Earlier, the UN “special rapporteur on torture,” Argentina’s Juan E. Méndez, sought to define as torture, in violation of international human-rights law, a wide variety of government policies, such as “restrictions on access to abortion” and “laws requiring sex change surgery before legal sex reassignment, laws that permit a parent to lose custody of a child solely because they use drugs, and mandatory HIV testing for ‘sex workers.’”

Letting people sue over violations of “international law” can be bad for civil liberties like free speech, equal protection, and private-property rights. Left-wing lawyers take vague international treaties and interpret them as mandating their ideological wish lists, such as restricting criticism of Islam and minority religions as “hate speech,” banning Mother’s Day as sexist, and mandating quota-based affirmative action. For example, the CEDAW equal-rights treaty has been construed by an international committee as requiring “redistribution of wealth,” “affirmative action,” “gender studies” classes, government-sponsored “access to rapid and easy abortion,” and “the application of quotas and numerical goals.” (Governmental racial quotas violate the U.S. Constitution, as do quotas imposed on private enterprises by the government. Government-enforced gender quotas also generally violate the Constitution.).



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


15 May, 2013

The Church of Scotland pisses on the Bible

Their antisemitism trumps all else

Earlier this month, the Church of Scotland issued a report titled "The Inheritance of Abraham? A Report on the 'Promised Land.'"

The essence of the report is that according to the Bible, Jews have no more attachment to the land of Israel than anyone else. Hence "promised land" is in quotation marks in the report's title -- because there is no promised land.

In the report's words: "The New Testament contains a radical re-interpretation of the concepts of 'Israel,' 'temple,' 'Jerusalem' and 'land.' When the Bible mentions 'Israel,' it does not mean Israel; when it says 'temple,' the Bible does not mean the Jewish temple; 'Jerusalem' does not mean the city of Jerusalem; and 'land' does not mean land. 

"Promises about the land of Israel," the report continues, "were never intended to be taken literally, or as applying to a defined geographical territory."

Even during the worst excesses of Christian anti-Semitism in the Middle Ages, it is doubtful that any normative Christian body declared that "Israel," "the temple," "Jerusalem" and "the land" no longer meant or were ever intended to mean what those words represent.

This claim is not only profoundly anti-Semitic. It is an act of theological forgery; it makes a mockery of the Bible as a coherent document and it renders Christianity inherently anti-Semitic.

It would be as if a major post-Christian religious body had announced that "Jesus," "Christ," "crucifixion" and "resurrection" had never meant what Christians and the New Testament had always understood them to mean. Imagine if a major Muslim body declared that Jesus means Muhammad; Christ means Quran; crucifixion means Islamophobia; and resurrection means the Hajj.

I have never equated criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. But the Church of Scotland report is not about criticism of Israel; it is about invalidating the Jewish people and invalidating the Jews' historically incontestable claims to the land upon which the only independent states that ever existed were Jewish.

--The Church of Scotland report asserts that the Bible does not support the existence of a Jewish state: "There has been a widespread assumption by many Christians as well as many Jewish people that the Bible supports an essentially Jewish state of Israel. This raises an increasing number of difficulties. ... "

--It asserts that justice and the existence of a Jewish state are mutually exclusive: "There is a direct conflict of interest between wanting human rights and justice for all and retaining the right to the land."

--It asserts that the Jews' return to Israel has no biblical basis.

--It asserts that the notion that the Jews have or ever had a special relationship with God -- one of the most oft repeated ideas in the Hebrew Bible -- is negated in that very same Bible: "That exclusivist tradition implied Jews had a special, privileged position in relation to God. But the prophetic tradition stood against this." The Chosen People is not chosen, in other words.

--It asserts that God's promise of the land to Abraham has nothing to do with the Jews; it is only about Jesus: "The promise to Abraham about land is fulfilled through the impact of Jesus, not by restoration of land to the Jewish people."

--It asserts that even Jesus -- that proud, religious Jew -- did not believe in any special relationship between God and the Jews: "Jesus offered a radical critique of Jewish specialness ... "

At the same time, this truly immoral document does not devote a word to why there were Palestinian refugees: While the Jews accepted the 1947-48 partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, all the neighboring Arab states rejected the partition and invaded the Jews in order to annihilate Israel at birth.

Nor does the report devote a single sentence to how Israel's occupation of the West Bank came about: In 1967, Israel's neighbors sought to exterminate Israel just as Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and most Palestinians and other Muslims in the Middle East today wish to now. And that only because of that war, won by Israel, did Israel come to occupy the West Bank of Jordan.

Nor is a word devoted to Palestinian national honoring of their numerous terrorists, or to the exterminationist and anti-Semitic propaganda that saturates Middle East media or to the widespread Palestinian support for terrorism (according to the just-released Pew Forum poll of Muslims, 40 percent of Palestinians support suicide terror).

And the Church of Scotland did not think it important to even hint at what happened in Gaza after the Israelis gave the whole of Gaza to the Palestinians: The Palestinians converted it into a terror-state that regularly launches rockets into Israel to kill as many Israelis as possible.

And, most vile of all, the Church of Scotland never once notes, let alone condemns, the Muslim countries and organizations that seek to annihilate Israel, an existential threat that no other country or people in the world face.

The Church of Scotland has given voice to the ugliest depiction of Jews since medieval times. The official reaction of the Scottish Jewish community is that Christian-Jewish post-Holocaust dialogue seems to have been a moral and intellectual waste of time. I do not agree. But if other Christian churches do not condemn the Church of Scotland -- despite its promise to revise its report to include a statement that Israel has a right to exist (!) -- even pro-Christian Jews will wonder whether the Scottish Jewish community's reaction is valid.

And how did this happen? The report is a combination of medieval Christian anti-Judaism and contemporary leftist anti-Zionism. For Jews and Israel, that's a lethal combination.


London Police give out cautions for a quarter of ALL crimes including rapes, drug trafficking and robbery

One in four of the crimes ‘solved’ by Britain’s largest police force last year involved the offender accepting a ‘slap on the wrist’, it emerged last night.

Nearly 30,000 cautions were handed to criminals in London for offences including robbery, drug smuggling and even rape.

They made up a quarter of the 118,000 crimes counted as solved by police in the capital during those 12 months.

Critics said the public and police are being short-changed by a rampant ‘cautions culture’ which lets off serious criminals.

The figures, revealed by a Freedom of Information request, showed the Metropolitan Police issued 28,998 cautions and youth warnings last year.

Among the cautions were 5,843 for violent attacks, 165 for sexual offences and, astonishingly, five for rape.  A total of 180 offenders were cautioned for grievous bodily harm or wounding, 131 for robbery and 318 for drug trafficking.

Police handed out 205,700 cautions nationwide in the 12 months ending in September 2012, according to the Ministry of Justice.

Among them were 40,148 for drug offences, 13,466 for violent assaults, 2,726 for burglary and 1,422 for sex attacks.

The figures represented a 12 per cent decrease compared with the previous 12 months, and a 44 per cent fall from 2007 when cautions peaked at 367,300.

Last month, Policing Minister Damian Green announced a review of guidelines for issuing police cautions as part of a wider crackdown. Mr Green said the Government’s goal was to see the use of cautions restricted to ensure serious criminals would never escape punishment.

The review, due to report next month, will examine whether cautions should  be banned for some offences. There  are fears that victims of violent and even sexual crimes are subject to a postcode lottery where attackers in some areas  are more than twice as likely to escape with a caution.

Ministers are also concerned at the way repeat offenders receive cautions for multiple crimes.

Tony Arbour, a Tory politician in London who uncovered the data, said justice was not being done and those who receive cautions ‘escape punishment’.

A Met spokesman said the force follows national guidance and cautions are issued only in the case of serious offences after discussions with prosecutors.

He said the force ‘supports’ the use of cautions, which are mostly used to deal with first-time offenders.

He added: ‘A caution is a serious matter, which can have significant consequences for the person’s future employment.’


Fanatical fools trying to blow us all up? They're the least of our problems...

By Peter Hitchens

Long ago I annoyed a prominent Irish republican. When we were mistakenly left alone together in the same hospitality room in a TV studio, he raged at me, white with fury, accusing me of being paid to persecute him.

It crossed my mind that I might be a terrorist target as a result. I pondered for a while, and concluded there wasn't much I could do about it.

Too bad. My father had spent long months on the Russian convoys in the Second World War, harried by appalling weather, U-boats, German surface raiders and the Luftwaffe, with half an inch of steel between him and a sea so cold that it would kill you in seconds.

Compared to that, my danger was tiny and barely worth worrying about. My only sorrow was that my minor risk was all in vain. Not long afterwards, the British State cravenly surrendered to the Provisional IRA, and called it 'peace'.

This has made me more scornful, ever after, of the ludicrous spasms we go into when criminal bombers strike at us. In the end these people are just immoral zealots who have turned to crime because they have an exaggerated idea of their own goodness.

In many cases they save us the trouble of killing them by doing it themselves. But if they survive, they deserve a fair trial and then a swift vertical journey through a trap door with a rope round their necks.

Yet instead, we do exactly what they hope we will do. We act as if they are important. We turn our countries upside down to take useless precautions against them. We give the police special powers. We make travel into a silly palaver of searches and checks of obviously harmless people. We destroy half our ancient liberties as we tramp and stamp about. Then, later on, we give in to the terrorists anyway.

None of these precautions works. They are as futile as the toy golf-ball detector which a cunning fraud successfully sold as an explosives scanner, and they work on the same principle. The client is so scared that he has stopped thinking, and will gullibly accept almost anything he is told.

If some fanatical cretin wants to bomb a marathon, how on earth can you stop him? We know that the American authorities had been warned about this particular cretin, but, short of locking him up without charge, what could they realistically have done?

'Our culture is already noticeably scared of Islam and gives it a great deal of leeway. My own view is that this will end in the slow Islamisation of this country'

Just before the July 7 outrages in London in 2005, our vaunted, boastful security organs were completely unaware that anything was going to happen (and, worse, our emergency services were sadly unprepared).

They have been trying to justify their enormous budgets ever since by rounding up groups of bearded, incompetent but talkative fantasists, and slinging them into prison for very long periods. They also periodically let it be known that they have saved us from lots of other nameless perils that they can't speak about. Well, perhaps.

Meanwhile we continue the hilarious pursuit of some furry-faced Muslim cleric, who seems to have been invented to demonstrate that we no longer control our own borders. The Government's legal bill must be enormous. What we won't even consider doing is leaving the EU and the Human Rights convention, the two actions that would free us to act as we wish.

Meanwhile, the real Islamic problem grows unnoticed – the quiet spread of Sharia law, female subjugation and polygamy in our country, mainly the result of the uncontrolled mass immigration that would have been a good deal easier to tackle than 'terrorism' ever was.

In the end, who knows where this may lead? Our culture is already noticeably scared of Islam and gives it a great deal of leeway. My own view is that this will end in the slow Islamisation of this country.

If you don't think we will wear this, look at the fascinating picture of Katherine Russell, widow of the unlamented Boston murderer Tamerlan Tsarnaev, an all-American girl, brought up in freedom, yet now shrouded in the submissive garb of the Muslim wife. I shouldn't think she thought that would happen to her, either. She is a metaphor for all of us.


Report details lives ruined for children put on sex-offender registries

Put on a sex registry for the offense of public nudity as a minor. Harassed by neighbors out of a home and banned from a homeless shelter because of an offense committed at age 15.

The New York-based research group Human Rights Watch issued an extensive report today on the life-shattering consequences of putting minors on sex registries for offenses — sometimes shockingly mild offenses — for the rest of their lives.

Filled with devastating stories of teens and young adults unable to put offenses behind them, the rights group's report is called “Raised on the Register: The Irreparable Harm of Placing Children on Sex Offender Registries in the U.S.”

The report is the product of a 16-month investigation into 581 cases and interviews with 281 sex offenders — median age 15 — in 20 states.  Prosecutors, defense attorneys, child sexuality experts and victims of “child on child” sexual assault were also interviewed.  The investigation explores how a burgeoning national web of laws in various states requiring constant registration and public disclosure of offenders’ identities has affected the lives of young offenders long after time served or rehabilitation. Some on registries have killed themselves, even before reaching adulthood.

The report begins with Jacob C., who was 11 years old when convicted of one count of sexual misconduct in Michigan for touching, not penetrating, his sister’s genitals. He was not allowed to live in a home with other children, was eventually put into foster care and was placed on a sex registry that was made public when he turned 18.  He struggled to graduate from high school, and was shunned because of his registration status. And when he enrolled in college, he said, campus police followed him everywhere. He dropped out.

Now 26, the report says, Jacob’s life continues to be defined and limited by a conviction at age 11.

Another case in the report: “In 2004, in Western Pennsylvania, a 15-year-old girl was charged with manufacturing and disseminating child pornography for having taken nude photos of herself and (posting) them on the internet. She was charged as an adult, and as of 2012 was facing registration for life.”

Sex offender laws, the report says, “that trigger registration requirements for children began proliferating in the United States during the late 1980s and early 1990s. They subject youth offenders to registration for crimes ranging from public nudity and touching another child’s genitalia over clothing to very serious violent crimes like rape.”

Registries can also include “people who have committed offenses like public urination, indecent exposure (such as streaking across a college campus), and other more relatively innocuous offenses.”

The Human Rights Watch report acknowledged that registration laws were designed to protect the public from offenders, and that they are based on assumptions that offenders are likely to violate again.

“But including youth sex offenders on registries assumes that they are highly likely to reoffend, which is not the case,” the report says. “Numerous studies estimate the recidivism rate among children who commit sexual offenses to between 4 and 10 percent, compared with a 13 percent rate for adult sex offenders and a national rate of 45 percent for all crimes.”

The report was prepared by Nicole Pittman, a national expert on the application of sex offender registration laws who was an attorney at the Defender Association of Philadelphia. She specialized in child sexual assault cases and registries, and has provided testimony to Congress and state legislatures on the subject.

The report calls current registry laws “an overbroad policy of questionable effectiveness” that leaves the public often unable to discern who on a registry is actually dangerous.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


14 May, 2013

RI Bishop on Gay Marriage: We’ve Entered ‘Post-Christian Era’

Bishop Thomas Tobin, head of the Catholic diocese of Providence, said the “gay marriage” bill signed into law in Rhode Island by its governor, Lincoln Chafee, constituted a “new challenge of the post-Christian era into which, clearly, we have now entered.”

Chafee, a liberal Independent who used to belong to the Republican Party, signed the bill making “gay marriage” legal in the Ocean State on Thursday, May. 2. That same day, Bishop Tobin, who represents 680,000 Catholics in 143 parishes, issued a pastoral letter to Catholics on the approval of “same-sex marriage.”

“In particular, I wish to invite members of the Catholic Church in Rhode Island to a moment of prayer and reflection as we respond to this new challenge of the post-Christian era into which, clearly, we have now entered,” said Bp. Tobin.

“First, like many others, I am profoundly disappointed that Rhode Island has approved legislation that seeks to legitimize ‘same-sex marriage,’” said the bishop.  “The Catholic Church has fought very hard to oppose this immoral and unnecessary proposition, and we are most grateful to all those who have courageously joined us in this effort. When all is said and done, however, we know that God will be the final judge of our actions.”

He continued, “Our respect and pastoral care, however, does not mean that we are free to endorse or ignore immoral or destructive behavior, whenever or however it occurs. Indeed, as St. Paul urges us, we are required to ‘speak the truth in love.’ (Eph 4:15)”

“At this moment of cultural change, it is important to affirm the teaching of the Church, based on God’s word, that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2357) and always sinful,” said Bp. Tobin.  “And because ‘same-sex marriages’ are clearly contrary to God’s plan for the human family, and therefore objectively sinful, Catholics should examine their consciences very carefully before deciding whether or not to endorse same-sex relationships or attend same-sex ceremonies, realizing that to do so might harm their relationship with God and cause significant scandal to others.”

Currently, “gay marriage” is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia. Last May, Vice President Joe Biden, a Catholic, said he was “absolutely comfortable” with homosexual marriage: “… men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying one another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.”

Several days later, on May 9, 2012, President Obama, who previously had claimed he opposed “gay marriage,” said, “For me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

Referring to the Rhode Island legislation making “same-sex marriage” legal, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordelione, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, said it “is a serious injustice.”

“"The meaning of marriage cannot be redefined, because its meaning lies in our very nature,” said Arbp. Cordelione.  “Therefore, regardless of what law is enacted, marriage remains the union of one man and one woman – by the very design of nature, it cannot be otherwise.”


At the Core of the “Gay Marriage” Debate

In Jeffrey Toobin’s recent article in The New Yorker, Wedding Bells, he resorted to name-calling to malign pro-marriage advocates, an all-too common tactic among the gay lobby.

In his article, Toobin wrote: “There are really only two reasons that gay marriage is still illegal in more than three-quarters of the country: that’s the way it has always been; and the very idea of same-sex marriage makes some people, well, uncomfortable.”

Then he went on to define that discomfort as “tradition and bigotry.” So much for returning the tolerance they preach and demand from others—others who actually have legitimate reasons for their beliefs.

The gay lobby—which I contend is the most powerful lobby in America today—has successfully infiltrated the minds of the less-grounded generation. And with that infiltration, they have dismissed the importance of what the Creator Himself demands of His creation.

They have succeeded in framing the argument, not from the creation point of view, but from one of justice and human rights. And who could oppose human rights? I, for one, applaud every effort to give the 100 million persecuted Christians around the world their human right to be left alone in peace.

But according to gay activists, human rights demand that gay couples be allowed to marry regardless of their gender. They are attracted to each other—why shouldn’t they marry?

That is a flawed argument, however. Marriage is a far more significant institution than trivializing it as between any two people who like each other.

In the Jewish and Christian understanding of creation, the Creator has ordained marriage for a far greater purpose than that short-sighted and shallow definition.

As the Anglican Book of Common Prayer declares: “Marriage is an honorable estate, instituted by God . . . and therefore not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, and soberly, and in the fear of God, duly considering the causes for which matrimony was ordained.”

Marriage is far from the concept of being just for two people who love each other—whether it be for a month, a year, or longer. Marriage is far from a hunger for sexual pleasure in whatever way one deems fit. Marriage is far from the idea that, if it feels good, then society must support you in doing it.

The Creator ordained marriage for three vital reasons: for the survival of humanity, for the procreation of children, and for lifelong companionship—specifically a lifelong companionship where one finds the only proper expression of sexual intimacy.

The Maker of humankind instituted that triune foundational bedrock, and one’s lack of religious beliefs cannot alter that elemental truth.

Many people argue that marriage cannot be looked upon with that triune purpose because so many marriages fail. The institution itself is damaged goods, they say. But that’s a false argument. Even if all marriages were to fail, that would not negate the purpose for which it was ordained.

Here’s the crux of the matter: loving someone, even if one intends for that love to be permanent, is not enough to constitute marriage. That trivializes marriage.

Although love is an essential ingredient for marriage, it is by no means the only ingredient—especially when that love is of the selfish nature so common today. Emotional love and good feelings will ebb and flow. But lifelong, deep commitment between a man and a woman, buttressed by children, is the Creator’s purpose for marriage.

Children need a father and mother. And the concept of a father and mother is based on a male/female relationship. There’s no getting around that. It is a foundational concept. But in bowing down to the powerful gay lobby, ten state legislatures have politicized and trivialized it.

I understand that some homosexual activists want recognition and feel that homosexual marriage is the only way for society to recognize them. But even if that happens, they won’t stop there. The next stage will be the demand that homosexual marriage be, not only protected and privileged, but preached as a virtue—even superior to natural marriage.

For deep down—too deep for some of them to admit or even recognize—they know they were created in the Creator’s image and are going against His ordained order. Thus their conflicted conscience will drive them to push society for more and more recognition. They will not be able to stop.

That is the proper understanding of the “gay marriage” debate. It is far more than just intimidating the people they falsely accuse of “bigotry.” It craves and demands respect, even from those who disagree with it.

I, for one, respect people with whom I disagree. That’s just general human courtesy. But no amount of name-calling will give those who reject the created order the respect they seek. That can only come from within, from a conscience that is aligned with God’s will for His world.


Britain's Health and Safety Executive debunks myths

A coffee chain told a customer that they could not serve half and half full fat and skimmed milk due to “health and safety”.

While a state of the art gym used the same excuse when it banned men from using the hairdryers on anything other than the hair on the head.

But now these have become the latest myths exposed by the Health and Safety Executive as they hit out at the spurious uses of the term which is abused to justify "ridiculous decisions”.

The watchdog is attempting to set the record straight as misuse is “trivialising” what protecting peoples health and safety really means, it said.

For the last year the HSE’s “myth busting panel” has been correcting statements, including that trapeze artists have to wear hard hats, that children should be banned from playing conkers, and that park benches need replacing as they are three inches too low.

HSE chair Judith Hackitt said: “We’ve uncovered and exposed abuses and misuses of health and safety right across Britain, and seen ‘health and safety’ trotted out to justify all sorts of ridiculous decisions… is it really too much to expect people to explain the reasons for their decision rather than just saying "elf’n’safety innit, guv"?”

The latest “staggering misuse” include Fitness First in Highbury, north London, who wrote "hairdryers can only be used for drying hair on the head".

The HSE concluded it was an “easy excuse” to deter “inappropriate” public use, adding: "The health club should give the real reason for their decision rather than hiding behind the catch all”.

Mark Doodes, 35, reported the "amusing" sign as he realised he could inadvertently be “abusing all sorts of regulations” without even realising it as companies make up their own rules on "health and safety" grounds.

A Costa coffee shop in Sheffield refused to mix milk for health and safety manager Melanie Ransom when she asked for semi skimmed and they did not supply it.

Mrs Ransom, who works in the construction industry, said abusing the excuse is dangerous as it trivialises a process which is essential to saving lives.

The HSE described Costa's excuse as a “clear case of poor customer service hiding behind the health and safety”.

Costa says it is a trading standards issue - as they legally cannot replace semi skimmed with a mixture of other milks because the mixture would not deliver the required fat content - and the employee got her wires crossed.

A spokesperson added: "We can however if the customer requests make the drink with a mix of whole milk and skimmed milk, but we would have to advise that it cannot officially be classed as semi-skimmed milk."


Britain's Feckless, Two-Faced Approach to Radical Islam

The UK government, simultaneous with its legal pursuit of extremists, has attempted to resolve the challenge through political accommodation with Islamist fanatics.

In an example of such conduct, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Pakistani-born minister for faith and communities in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition headed by Prime Minister David Cameron, spoke in March at a meeting of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS).

FOSIS has been criticized by Cameron's home secretary, Theresa May, for its failure to distance itself from extremist ideology; May has refused to meet with FOSIS leaders. The organization has been similarly censured by Liberal Democrat leader and current deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

Guest speakers at past FOSIS annual conferences have included Al-Awlaki, as well as other prominent fundamentalists, such as Azzam Tamimi, a Palestinian-British academic aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Baroness Warsi, an advocate of "engagement" with radical Islam, was until last year, a co-chair of the Conservative Party. Nobody believes she supports terrorism, but her approach to the problem betrays, at least, a lack of coherence. One cannot oppose radical Islam by "dialogue" with its exponents. Such an approach reveals at worst, a failure of will and nerve on the part of British authorities. Radical Islam must be confronted openly and defeated categorically.

Conservative member of the British parliament Patrick Mercer stated at that time that 100 million British pounds – about $150 million – had been spent on an overall set of anti-terrorism programs known as "Prevent," in the period 2007-09. This amounted to about 90,000 UK pounds per day (then equivalent to $135,000) on schemes to abate radicalism by "soft" methods.

These included the "Radical Middle Way" project, in which fundamentalist Muslim preachers were hired to travel around Britain with the message that while radical ideology is acceptable in the marketplace of ideas, the violence that it has produced is not.

Nevertheless, the "Radical Middle Way" – which received 1.2 million British pounds [$1.8 million], including 54,000 [$80,000] for its website, up to 2009 – continues to function. Its main participants include Abdur Rahman Al-Helbawy, son and colleague of Kemal Helbawy, the long-time representative of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain.

Other leading figures in the "Radical Middle Way" are highly-placed partners of the Egyptian-born, Qatar-based, Muslim Brotherhood-supporting hate preacher Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. These associates include the Muslim Brotherhood's star among Western-based intellectuals, Tariq Ramadan (grandson of Brotherhood founder Hasan Al-Banna).

As pointed out by the leading German scholar of Islam, Matthias Rohe, "with respect to the legal rules of shariah it was broadly accepted since the Middle Ages that they cannot be applied outside 'Islamic' territory and that Muslims are obliged to either respect the law of the land or to leave the country and to return to countries ruled by Muslims."

Rohe, in an article titled "Application of Shari'a Rules in Europe – Scope and Limits," in the Special Theme Issue – Shari'a in Europe, published by the authoritative journal Die Welt Des Islams, in 2004, cited this principle from Islamic legal works in Arabic published in Kuwait in 1990 and Lebanon in 1998. Every Muslim is taught that when the first Muslims fled from Mecca to Christian Abyssinia (today's Ethiopia) they were commanded by Muhammad to obey the Christian ruler or return to Muslim territory.

Mandates by ECFR include judgments that Muslim women may be ordered by their husbands not to visit female friends of the wife, if the husband suspects such relationships will harm the family or relations between the couple. Under ECFR rules, Muslim women must obtain permission from their "male guardian," that is, a family member, before marrying. Al-Qaradawi's effort to establish "parallel Shariah" in Europe legitimizes four wives for Muslim men living in non-Muslim Europe. ECFR reserves the right of husbands to initiate divorce from Muslim wives, unless a right to divorce by action of the wife is written into their marriage contract. It prohibits gender mixing between unrelated men and women, unless women are entirely covered except for their face and hands. It forbids Muslim women from leaving their homes unless accompanied by a "male guardian."

These concepts contradict European civil law, but ECFR does not represent Muslims living in Europe and integrated into Western society. It has excluded moderate French and German Muslim leaders, and nearly all of its members are immigrants from or residents in Arab or African countries. It is, however, affiliated with the Turkish Milli Gorus [National Vision] movement, an ultra-fundamentalist trend associated with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Milli Gorus has a significant, if low-key presence in Germany and the Netherlands.

Members of the "Radical Middle Way," such as Tariq Ramadan, Ibrahim Osi-Efa, Jamal Badawi, and Abdullah Bin Bayyah, are not moderate Muslims. They have demonstrated this by their commitment to the Muslim Brotherhood and the South Asian jihadi Deobandi movement, their defense of wife-beating, and their support for Wahhabism. Moderate Muslims have repudiated all these interpretations. These Islamist personalities are not appropriate partners for the British government in its effort to obstruct radicalization.

The planning of violent atrocities continues in Britain; the government has still failed to curb the spread of radical agitation, and actions like the visit of Baroness Warsi to FOSIS illustrate that a necessary, firm, and united opposition to radical Islam remains lacking at the official level. Nobody in the UK government should ask Muslims to abandon Islam as a religion, but a significant struggle against radicalism is justifiable and necessary.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


13 May, 2013

Britain's top police chief backs law to keep courts secret - even when journalists know the suspects

Britain's most senior police chief is backing controversial rules to ensure that all arrests, including those involving high-profile figures, are carried out in secret.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Metropolitan [London] Police Commissioner, has insisted that new guidelines being drawn up by the Association of Chief Police Officers are as draconian as possible.

It follows Lord Justice Leveson’s call in his report on the media for a blanket ban on naming suspects.

Under the new rules, police will be banned from confirming suspects’ names, even when journalists know their identity.

Without confirmation, the legal risks of incorrect identification will prevent the media publishing suspects’ names.

A senior source who is close to the proposed rules and has met Andy Trotter, the ACPO officer in charge of the guidance, said Sir Bernard was driving through the changes.

The source said part of the reason for his determination to enforce the blanket restriction was growing concern that Scotland Yard was committing disproportionate resources to high-profile arrests.

He said: ‘It was put to me that ‘‘we arrest so many people that it would be ridiculous to name everybody’’.’

The claim emerged at the same time as the former Director of Public Prosecutions condemned the police plans.

Lord Macdonald QC, said: ‘There should be a presumption police will reveal names of arrested people... It’s important the public are told who police are locking up.’

Sir Bernard, who is in charge of more than 30,000 police officers, is also said to be concerned about the harm caused by publicity surrounding an arrest when the individual may later be released without charge.

The police plan for ‘secret arrests’ is opposed by the Law Commission, the Government’s own adviser on legal reform, which believes it is in the interests of justice that police release the names of everyone who is arrested, apart from exceptional cases.

Lord Macdonald said: ‘My experience as DPP showed it is common that an arrest triggers other victims  to come forward.’

Yesterday it emerged that Home Secretary Theresa May had intervened in the debate by writing to all chief constables, saying she also backed plans for anonymity in arrests.

‘I believe that there should be a right to anonymity at arrest, but I know there will be circumstances in which the public interest means that  an arrested suspect should  be named,’ she said.


The collapse of liberty in Scotland

From hiding away cigarettes to hiking up the price of booze – Scotland is a world-beater in state nannying

The Scottish government has enforced yet another measure designed to help us help ourselves: it has passed a law requiring that all supermarkets hide cigarettes from public view.

This follows the enforcement of the public smoking ban in 2006; the raising of the legal age for buying cigarettes to 18 years; and a levy on cigarettes sold in supermarkets, which led some shops to stop selling them altogether. The aim is to create a smoke-free Scotland by 2035. One wonders if Scottish politicians also plan to make Scotland a heroin-, cocaine- and dope-free society, too. Good luck with that. Strangely enough, some Scots keep taking drugs despite their not coming in shiny packets or being sold at supermarkets.

With the proposed change to the voting age in Scotland, it’s possible that by 2035 16-year-olds will have the chance to elect their own government yet will be barred from buying cigarettes or even being allowed to see them.

It is not just cigarettes that Scottish officials are targeting. Alcohol prices are set to rise, again with the aim of creating a ‘healthier Scotland’. And Scotland’s public-health minister, Michael Matheson, wants to ban TV advertising of fatty foods before 9pm.

I took part in a debate about these measures on BBC TV’s Newsnight Scotland, alongside Dr Andrew Fraser of NHS Health Scotland and Dr Laura Williamson, a health researcher. Dr Fraser said we can’t have a ‘free choice and damn the consequences’ society. But at the same time, he said, it would be wrong to refer to the Scottish parliament’s behaviour-modifying measures as the actions of a ‘nanny state’. Rather, he said, this is an ‘informed state’. The government is simply providing people with information to try to help them make the ‘right decision’.

He said this is an important function of the state, because smoking and drinking have a negative impact on society. For example, smokers may die young, potentially leaving behind small children. And drinking, he says, impacts on the criminal justice system, causing crime and also creating broken families, leading to the further corrosion of society itself.

But these arguments are deeply disingenuous. Most people who smoke don’t die young; many, believe it or not, manage to give up smoking (despite those shiny packets). Most people don’t commit crimes when drunk, or beat their wives. And when Dr Fraser talks about the ‘dire state’ of Scotland’s health, what does he mean? The life expectancy for Scots born today is around 78.4 years – only a few years shy of Japan, which tops the international table at 82.7 years. By way of contrast, in 1900 life expectancy in Scotland was 45 years. Health is improving in Scotland, not becoming more ‘dire’. Dr Fraser’s non-nannying ‘informed state’ seems to be as much in the business of using dubious claims to try to change people’s personal behaviour as the old-style nanny state was.

In the Newsnight discussion, Dr Laura Williamson took, on the face of things at least, a more forthright approach to liberty and freedom. She described herself as an advocate of classical notions of liberty, and said she did not think poor people were stupid. However, she then argued that liberals like her are keen to protect the vulnerable from certain problematic and dangerous things, and thus there is a case for doing something about Scotland’s ‘health inequalities’.

There we have it, those weasel words, ‘health inequalities’. What is wrong with talking about simple, old-fashioned inequality? Why is that category being replaced by ‘health inequalities’? Could it be because where the idea of inequality referred to major problems like poverty and unemployment, which are hard to solve, ‘health inequalities’ allows such social issues to be redefined as simply matters of physical ill-health brought about by the fact that people who live on council estates apparently make the ‘wrong’ choices?

Dr Williamson, like many other liberals today, even classical ones, effectively argues that poor people’s socioeconomic situation means they don’t have the same capacity to make choices as middle-class people do. Poor people have a kind of choice inequality, apparently. ‘How free are these choices?’, she asked: ‘We are talking about multimillion-pound advertising industries. This is why cigarettes have been locked away and why we’ve gone for plain packaging.’

In other words, poor people are choice-poor, unlike the choice-rich middle classes – which means the poor need to be protected against the temptations of that big sweetie jar of cigarettes and alcohol, which must either be hidden away or made too expensive to buy. Through turning inequality into ‘health inequality’, and turning economic poverty into choice poverty, Dr Williamson and others are really pushing a radical form of paternalism. Sometimes, experts like Fraser and Williamson hide their illiberalism behind the idea that these behavioural policy changes are ‘good for the children’. The reality, though, is that too many of today’s politicians and experts think that we adults, especially the poor ones, are overgrown children who need constant help and guidance.

When I challenged Fraser and Williamson’s patronising approach to the public, Williamson shouted: ‘Haven’t you heard of addiction?’ Here, again, we have the representation of the hopeless vulnerable adult – the ‘addict’ – who can’t make real, rational, meaningful choices, and thus needs experts to make them for him.

Sadly, liberty is collapsing in Scotland, under the weight of political and professional elites who have become obsessive micro-managers and nudgers of people who were once thought of as moral, political, responsible agents. Williamson has a point: poverty, especially serious poverty, does make it harder for people to plan ahead and even to ‘plan’ their health. But so too does a culture that treats adults like infants, which calls into question our capacity to make free and responsible choices, and which invades poor estates in order to convince the people who live in them that they are vulnerable, pathetic and addicted, and in need of help.


Federal Student Aid Form Now Using 'Parent 1' and 'Parent 2' to 'Reflect Diversity' and Better Calculate Aid

Applying for federal student aid? The application no longer asks about a student's "mother" and "father." Instead, the U.S. Education Department is replacing those terms with "Parent 1" and "Parent 2."

"All students should be able to apply for federal student aid within a system that incorporates their unique family dynamics," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in the April 29 announcement.

"These changes will allow us to more precisely calculate federal student aid eligibility based on what a student's whole family is able to contribute and ensure taxpayer dollars are better targeted toward those students who have the most need, as well as provide an inclusive form that reflects the diversity of American families."

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), until now, has collected information about a student's parents only if the parents are married.

As a result, says the Education Department, the FAFSA has excluded income and other information from one of the student's legal parents (biological or adoptive) when the parents are unmarried, even if those parents are living together. The terms "mother" and "father" also fail to capture income and other information from one parent when a student's parents are in a same-sex marriage under state law but not federally recognized under the Defense of Marriage Act.

The 2014-2015 FAFSA will provide a new option for dependent applicants to describe their parents' marital status as "unmarried and both parents living together." Additionally, the new FAFSA form also will use terms like "Parent 1 (father/mother/stepparent)" and "Parent 2 (father/mother/stepparent)" instead of gender-specific terms like "mother" and "father."

The information provided on the FAFSA is used to calculate the student's expected family contribution, which determines a student's eligibility for federal need-based student aid as well as for many state, institutional and private aid programs.

"It is critical that both of a dependent student's parents help pay, to the extent they are able, for the educational expenses of their child," the news release said. "Collecting parental information from both of a dependent student's legal parents will result in fair treatment of all families by eliminating longstanding inequities based on parents' relationship with each other rather than on their relationship with their child."

While most students will be unaffected, the eligibility of some dependent students will change because of the additional income used in the calculation of the expected family contribution, the Education Department said.


The homosexual takeover of America

What is happening to our country? Gays, who represent less than 3% of our population, are trying to dominate our culture and society. Love whom you want. Love the one you’re with. People don’t really care. This is the message most people want to say but are afraid to because the LBGT (lesbian, bi-sexual, gay and transgender) community will verbally flog anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Between gay marriage, gay adoptions, forcing the Boy Scouts to admit gay scouts and scout masters, and lauding a rich NBA player for announcing he’s gay, the message is clear from gay America to the 97% of the rest of us. You will accept our lifestyle as mainstream. My response: “No I won’t.”

Notice when anyone rejects this gay agenda based on religious beliefs or personal views, they are called bigots or mocked. Appearing on Meet the Press May 5, 2013, Republican Newt Gingrich noted the Catholic Church is prohibited from performing adoption services in states like Massachusetts and the District of Columbia because the Church will only allow a married couple (by definition a man and woman) to adopt a baby. This is a perversion of societal norms all in the name of liberals forcing their political correctness down America’s throat whether her people have an opinion about it or not.

Liberals are eager to help the “gay lobby” with its takeover of America. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced March 29, 2013 plans to consider allowing Medicare to pay for sex change surgeries and invited public comments on the topic. Later that day, HHS abruptly pulled the proposal. While the agency said it was due to “an administrative challenge” of Medicare’s 1981 decision not to cover such operations, it seems news coverage of HHS’ proposal had something to do with its about face. I doubt Republicans in Congress would think sex change operations were a good use of taxpayer money.

There’s more. Democratic Senators are pushing to include a "gay couple's" provision in the comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Bowing to the gay strong-arming, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy will offer up the amendment, Uniting Americans Family Act, when the committee votes on the bill. The amendment allows “foreign same sex partners” of legal US residents or citizens to come to America and get a green card. Talk about a target for fraud. What test will the government use to certify people are gay and “permanent partners” and NOT people posing as gay to game the system?

As if the bill didn’t have enough problems with its amnesty push for over 11 million criminals and 301 amendments, Senators thought let’s make it even more outrageous. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy said he didn’t believe the gay partner provision will kill the bill. No, the immigration bill will die a slow death like the Senate’s gun bill did because it’s mired in mud.

Even though the jobless rate has stayed above 7.5% for the past five years and remains on track to be the longest period of persistent unemployment in 70 years, Democrats want to extend amnesty to as many people possible who aren’t even in the US yet. What’s next? Allowing relatives of foreign gay partners to come here too? The liberal logic is beyond nonsensical it’s downright comical.

No matter how many TV shows are produced about gay couples being married and raising children, or phones calls made by president Obama to gay athletes, homosexuality will never be the majority in our culture. I think it’s high time the 97% of the rest of heterosexual America stand up for the preservation of American society not the distortion of it.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


12 May, 2013

Britain's "new" Girl Guides

The Girl Guides have fallen to the Guardianistas. Julie Bentley, the new chief executive, says she wants to shed the organisation’s ‘middle-class reputation’ and attract recruits from more diverse backgrounds.

She intends to demonstrate that the Guides are ‘cool’. When she was appointed, she raised eyebrows by describing Girl Guiding UK as the ‘ultimate feminist organisation’.

Miss Bentley’s plans have been shaped by her own experience. ‘I am very working class and was never a Brownie or a Guide.’ Her aim to broaden the appeal of the organisation is commendable and she has promised not to ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’.

But there are fears in more traditional quarters over how far she is prepared to go in order to make the Guides more ‘relevant’ to 21st-century Britain.

Pilot projects are already under way in some areas. This column has been sent a copy of a newsletter and mission statement from a recently established, inner-city, combined Guides and Brownies group:

'Girlguiding UK is an equal opportunities organisation, which does not discriminate on the grounds of race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.  We particularly welcome applications from members of the transgendered, transsexual and intersex communities, who are currently under-represented.

However, we do discriminate on the grounds of gender, pursuant to the provisions laid out in the Positive Discrimination Act 2009.

Therefore, it has been decided to drop the name Guides. While superficially gender neutral it could include males, who as we all know are violent oppressors and potential rapists.

Guiding carries connotations of grooming, which is particularly inappropriate in light of recent revelations about a certain well-known children’s television entertainer, fortunately now deceased.

After due consideration we have also decided to drop the name Brownies, which is clearly offensive to persons of colour. Henceforth, to reflect our inclusivity, we will be known as the First Winnie Mandela Radical Young Feminists Project.

In keeping with our progressive agenda, we are scrapping uniforms, which have militaristic overtones and could be interpreted as conveying support for the illegal wars prosecuted by successive British governments in recent years.

We are sensitive to the fact that a rigid uniform policy may act as a disincentive to fashion-conscious Young Feminists, who are free to attend in appropriate clothing of their choice, including onesies.

Please note that our steering committee has decided that we will no longer be meeting in St Bartholomew’s Church Hall from this week forward. We are a multi-faith organisation and any association with the established Church may discourage members of minority religions from enrolling.

We were also disturbed to learn that the Rev Farage, the rampantly homophobic rector of St Bartholomew’s, is refusing to conduct same-sex weddings.

For the immediate future, Young Feminists are requested to assemble outside Accessorize, next to the boarded-up Woolworth’s in the Hugo Chavez Retail Experience (formerly the Arndale Centre).

This Friday we will be holding a candlelit vigil for Abu Qatada, followed by a kebab and Bacardi Breezer supper.

Some of you may have read on Facebook recently that we plan to reach out to those who previously would not have considered joining our organisation.

In keeping with this goal, we have introduced a number of new badges and activities which will help prepare Young Feminists for the challenges of the 21st century.

We will be offering a brand new Makeover badge, to include hair extensions and waxing, courtesy of our sponsors, Reinaldo’s Brazilian Beauty Spa.

Our popular Sewing category will be expanded to include instruction in how to effect a running repair to a flesh wound in the event of an unexpected and unprovoked ‘glassing’ at a rave.

To assist Young Feminists in the difficult task of life balancing, we are also introducing a Microwaving badge. This will involve heating up a ready meal of Pot Noodles in under two minutes before settling down on the sofa to watch The Great British Bake Off.

For our Survival Skills badge, we have decided to dispense with camping and orienteering. This winter, members will travel to Newcastle city centre where, dressed only in micro-skirts, thongs, skimpy vests and stilettos, they will be expected to endure eight hours outdoors in freezing temperatures, sustained only by 18 bottles of alcopops.

Extra marks will be awarded to all those who manage to complete the course without vomiting, getting arrested or ending up in casualty.

Instead of learning how to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, Radical Young Feminists will be taught the safest way to assemble a petrol bomb in preparation for the next spontaneous demonstration against student loans and the savage cuts.

A fortnight on Friday, a technician from Computerland will be holding a seminar on how to delete compromising, intimate photos that may have inadvertently been posted on Twitter and distributed over the worldwide web by treacherous and immature so-called boyfriends.

The following week, we are honoured to announce that the world-famous MP and Oscar-winning actress Glenda Jackson will be giving us a lecture on why Mrs Thatcher wasn’t a woman.

This will be followed by a rousing rendition of our new anthem, Ding, Dong! The Witch Is Dead. This classic tune has been chosen to replace the more traditional A Guide’s Got A Face Like A Ping Pong Ball, which was deemed to be offensive to victims of acne and associated skin disorders.

We are aware a number of parents/appropriate adults have expressed concerns that traditional values may be lost as our modernisation programme progresses. Please be assured that is not the case. Our new chief executive has promised that ‘the baby will not be thrown out with the bath water’.

In keeping with this spirit, we have arranged a visit from the Senior Nursing Sister at the local maternity unit for the benefit of any single mothers who may be interested in joining the First Winnie Mandela Radical Young Feminists Project. Creche facilities will be provided.

Her first lecture is entitled: How not to throw the baby out with the bath water .....'


More multiculturalism in Britain

Strolling down the street with a smirk on his face, this is the callous teenager who killed a frail 85-year-old for her purse.

Nayed Hoque and his friend Jiervon Bartlett pounced on Paula Castle in an alleyway near her home.

Partially sighted and recovering from a stroke, the grandmother was an easy target and suffered a serious head wound when she was knocked to the ground. She died a few hours later.

Nayed Hoque was locked up for manslaughter after knocking down and killing 85-year-old blind widow Paula Castle during a street robbery

Jiervon Bartlett was locked up for manslaughter after knocking down and killing 85-year-old blind widow Paula Castle during a street robbery

The Old Bailey was told yesterday that Hoque and Bartlett, both 15, were responsible for a litany of violent crimes including robbery, kidnap and assault.  They attacked another elderly person the day after mugging Mrs Castle.

They were jailed for six years yesterday – far too short a sentence according to Mrs Castle’s family. ‘They’ve repeatedly committed crimes, some of a violent nature, and they’ve targeted the vulnerable, the elderly, the disabled,’ said daughter-in-law Jane Castle.

‘They didn’t seem to have much remorse because they went out and mugged another lady the next day. The punishment doesn’t coincide with the crime.’

Mrs Castle was attacked as she walked home from the shops in Greenford, West London, last November. Witnesses saw Bartlett and Hoque loitering around the alleyway with hoods covering their faces.

Andrew Edis, prosecuting, said Mrs Castle’s emptied handbag was found discarded in a nearby garden.

Police discovered they spent the cash on a takeaway pizza and used her bank cards to buy mobile phone top-ups and a pair of Nike trainers.

After learning that Mrs Castle had died the pair robbed a second woman, Rose Mohamed, 75, of her handbag containing £120. Her bank cards were used to buy a pair of trainers and more mobile top-ups.

Both teenagers had repeatedly walked free from court despite being found guilty of serious crimes.

Bartlett had convictions for robbery, burglaries, kidnap and making threats. He attacked his 62-year-old foster father and took part in a violent burglary in which an autistic victim was robbed.

The court heard he has shown no remorse for killing Mrs Castle and stormed out of a probation meeting when he was asked to apologise to her family.

Hoque, who blamed Bartlett for killing Mrs Castle, has three convictions for assault, including two violent attacks on his own parents last year.

Both youths, from Southall, West London, admitted manslaughter shortly before they were due to go on trial.


These loving parents were branded abusers - yet the courts won't let them clear their names: SUE REID on a chilling case that raises profound new questions about justice and Britain's culture of secrecy

Playing in their large garden, this family look happy and content.

A pair of twins, a brother and sister aged two, reach out to cuddle their parents who, in turn, cling tightly to their youngest child, a boy of one who keeps crawling off at a fast pace towards the flower-beds.

The children are blissfully unaware that if doctors, police officers  and social workers had had their way, this scene would not be taking place at all. By law, in many cases such as theirs involving family courts, it is not possible to name those involved or identify where they live.

But we can reveal that nearly two years ago, the parents were wrongly accused of the most horrific crime: shaking their children, injuring their brains and breaking their bones.

At one stage, a police officer told the family: ‘This is the worst case of child abuse I have ever come across in my 16-year career.’

During 19 months of investigations, the parents were barred from being alone with the children. Therefore the twins’ maternal grandparents (both in their late-70s) had to care for them at night while the parents slept in a separate part of the family’s home, the connecting door locked on the orders of social workers.

Astonishingly, a bell on the electric gate at the garden entrance was also disconnected by social workers.  They said it was so they could make unannounced visits to check the parents were not attacking their children.

When the mother gave birth to her third child, by Caesarean, social workers claimed there was a risk that she would hurt him. They threatened to take the baby away (even though he was being breast-fed) until the mother could be supervised round the clock in her hospital bed.

But a little over two weeks ago, a High Court judge decided that the parents had not harmed their children. Mr Justice Baker said the couple were ‘besotted’ about them and should not face ‘one scintilla’ of criticism.

He refused to allow the youngsters to be taken into care by Devon Council and, in all probability, be put up for adoption.

The judge said the couple suffered from complex medical ailments which may have been inherited by the children and which made their bones and skulls fragile.

He concluded there was a ‘real possibility’ that — rather than being the result of abuse — the twin girl’s elbow was broken when her arm was pinned down by two doctors as they tried to insert a tube for blood tests.

A fracture of her brother’s rib was also ‘likely’ to have occurred at the hospital during a medical examination.

As the mother says now: ‘It has been a nightmare. So many mistakes were made. We have lived for months under this massive terror that council social workers would take our children away. I was made to feel an evil woman by social workers. They treated me like a liar. We were accused of being child abusers by the police.

‘Now we learn that some of our children’s injuries may have been caused at the hospital where doctors were accusing us.’

The coverup: Protecting the REAL guilty ones

It is, indeed, a disturbing story. But as this family get on with their life, there is another worrying aspect to this case.

It concerns the judge’s decision that the family cannot be identified and that their whereabouts must be kept secret until the children are grown up — even though they have done nothing wrong.

The ruling, by Mr Justice Baker at the High Court in Exeter, means that if this family allow the media to use their real names, they will be in contempt of court and risk being sent to prison.

They are frightened even to speak about their ordeal to neighbours or friends because in doing so they could identify themselves and the children as having been participants in the family court case.

These gagging orders have become normal in such family court cases where parents are eventually found innocent of any wrongdoing. Last week, Bill Bache, the family’s lawyer and an expert on family courts, said: ‘This ruling impinges on this family’s freedom of speech. This is very troubling.’

Mr Justice Baker’s ruling also means that only the one doctor actually named in his final judgment, when he cleared the parents, can be identified publicly.

As a frightening result, the identities of the social workers, the police officers and nearly all the hospital medics who provoked this family’s nightmare are now hidden behind a cloak of secrecy.

So why, one might ask, is this couple not allowed to say who they are — and shout publicly from the rooftops that they are innocent?


The euphemism imperative

President Barack Obama was proud to become the first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood last Friday. But not proud enough to utter the word “abortion.”

The right to abortion is the sneakiest, most shame-faced of all American rights. Its most devoted supporters don’t dare speak its name. They hide behind evasion and euphemism and cant.

So Obama sang a hymn of praise to Planned Parenthood at the organization’s annual conference without mentioning what makes it so distinctive and controversial. He said it is a group women “count on for so many important services.” He said its core principle is “that women should be allowed to make their own decisions about their own health.” He excoriated opponents involved “in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women’s health.”

Listening to him, you could be forgiven for thinking that the country is riven by a fierce dispute over whether women should be allowed to choose their own ob-gyns or decide whether to take contraceptives or to get cancer screenings. One side is pro-women’s health, the other anti. In his speech, the president said the word “cancer” seven times. About that he is happy to be straightforward.

Imagine if he had been similarly frank about the rest of Planned Parenthood’s work: “In 2011, according to your annual report, your clinics or affiliates performed 330,000 abortions. That’s a lot of abortion. Over 10 years more than 3 million. Thank you, Planned Parenthood. Think of all those women who wanted to terminate their pregnancies and you were there for them. That’s what you do. That’s what you are about. And that’s what this country is about.”

Before that crowd, he might have gotten rousing applause, but talking in such honest terms would have been a gross faux pas. Planned Parenthood’s image is dependent on averting eyes from its central purpose. According to a poll commissioned by the National Right to Life Committee, fifty-five percent of people don’t realize that Planned Parenthood performs abortions. In the past, Obama has said Planned Parenthood does mammograms, when it doesn’t.

The unwritten rule is that when the left discusses abortion it is never called “abortion,” but always referred to as “health” or, more specifically “reproductive health” — although abortion is the opposite of reproduction and for one party involved, the opposite of health. The former National Abortion Rights Action League, and then the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, finally settled on the name NARAL Pro-Choice America, effacing all reference to the procedure that it holds in such high esteem.

This is a strange reticence. The National Rifle Association doesn’t get defensive when it is pointed out that it protects the right to bear arms which allows people to buy guns. Charlton Heston, in the famous photo-op, didn’t hesitate to lift a musket over his head. The organization isn’t about to remove the word “rifle” from its name. The NRA conducts courses on how to handle guns safely, but Wayne LaPierre doesn’t try to pass himself off as concerned only with “munitions safety.”



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


10 May, 2013

Dzokhar Tsarnaev and the death penalty

by Jeff Jacoby

ACCORDING TO a Washington Post-ABC poll released last week, 70 percent of Americans want Dzhokhar Tsarnaev put to death if he is convicted of the Boston Marathon bombing. Support for execution was higher among some respondents (conservatives, the elderly, whites) and lower among others (liberals, young adults, blacks). But no matter how the results were sorted, within every demographic subgroup there was majority support for the death penalty in this case.

That is no anomaly. It is a reminder that despite the well-funded efforts of death-penalty abolitionists, the true level of approval for the death penalty in America remains very high.

If you take your cues from the headlines, you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

Maryland last week became the 18th state without capital punishment when Governor Martin O'Malley, a longtime opponent, signed repeal legislation before a crowd of applauding allies. That came about a year after similar action in Connecticut, where Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed a bill banning executions in April 2012.

Foes of capital punishment foes like to point to such developments as proof of America's ineluctable retreat from the death penalty. News accounts of declining public support for executing murderers have become something of a yearly tradition. Anti-execution activists regularly forecast the coming demise of Death Row.

"I don't know exactly what the timing is, but over the longer arc of history I think you'll see more and more states repeal the death penalty," O'Malley told reporters after signing the Maryland repeal. Law professor Jamin Raskin, a Maryland state senator, echoed that sentiment. "The trend lines are clear," he said. "There's nobody who's adding the death penalty to their state laws. Everybody is taking it away."

Everybody? It would be more accurate to say that some willful politicians have taken it away by flouting voters' wishes. The Washington Post reported in February that on this issue, a majority of Marylanders opposed O'Malley; 60 percent wanted the state to retain the death penalty as an option for especially heinous killings, while only 36 percent believed life without parole should be Maryland's harshest penalty.

In Connecticut, too, ending capital punishment meant riding roughshod over public opinion. A Quinnipiac University poll conducted as Connecticut's abolition bill awaited Malloy's signature found that 62 percent of the state's voters supported the death penalty, and that six out of 10 said the legislature's abolition decision was a "bad idea."

Elected lawmakers disregarding their constituents? Shocking, I know. Yet the death penalty for murder has commanded majority support for decades, rising to a record high of 80 percent in the 1990s. In no state, not even the bluest, has the death penalty been successfully repealed by referendum. Last November, as Californians were voting to re-elect President Obama, they were simultaneously defeating a ballot measure that would have abolished execution as the ultimate penalty for murder. Opposition to capital punishment enjoys plenty of support among media and political elites, and Americans are routinely reminded that most modern democracies have outlawed it. Yet whenever the question is put to voters directly – repeal or retain? -- they choose to retain it.

The horror Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is accused of is practically a textbook example of aggravating factors that would merit the death penalty — including the murder of a child, 8-year-old Martin Richard.

Of course no reasonable person suggests that every homicide should get the death penalty. What the great majority of Americans do believe is that for the most egregious or cold-blooded killers, execution should be a possibility. Most opinion surveys merely ask some version of the question Gallup routinely poses: "Are you in favor of the death penalty for a person convicted of murder?" But that understates the true level of support. Yes, there is an influential minority of Americans that opposes capital punishment, period. But the overwhelming majority of us believe that it should be available in at least some cases – the "worst of the worst."

Just where that line should be drawn – which aggravating factors should be required to make a crime death-eligible – is a legitimate subject for debate. But sometimes debate is superfluous.

The horror Tsarnaev is accused of is practically a textbook example of aggravating factors: Multiple murder, murder of a child, murder of a police officer, bombing in a public place, wanton cruelty, substantial premeditation, intention to terrorize. In such a case, should the judge and jury have the option of imposing the death penalty if they decide that's what justice requires? Seven out of 10 Americans say yes. Which is another way of saying that 7 out of 10 Americans are pro-capital punishment.


Overcrowding Cause for Prisoners Release, DOJ Says While Prisons Stand Empty, Underused

Leftists heart criminals

The Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General’s April 2013 report on the Federal Bureau of Prison’s plan for the “compassionate release” of old, sick and low-risk inmates cites cost savings and less crowded prisons as benefits.

But at a House Judiciary hearing last month, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), questioned a DOJ official on the status of five federal prisons that were either empty or operating at a reduced capacity.

Sensenbrenner, chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, first noted that the DOJ had paid $165 million for the Thomson prison complex in Illinois in October 2012 that still has not been “activated” before questioning witness Lee Lofthus, assistant attorney general for administration at DOJ.

“Mr. Lofthus, the Thomson prison was a white elephant,” Sensenbrenner said. “The Department of Justice purchased it last October from the president’s home state of Illinois.”

Sensenbrenner noted that Congress had opposed the acquisition “and the fact that DOJ has four duly constructed Bureau of Prison facilities that currently sit idle awaiting full funding for operation.”

Sensenbrenner asked Lofthus: “Why do we have five prisons sitting empty?”

“Let me start by saying that we bought Thomson because we needed the high security bed spaces for the federal prison,” Lofthus said. “BOP needs high security bed space.

“It is 52 percent overcrowded in the high security level,” Lofthus said, adding that the purchase was “getting value for the taxpayer.”

Sensenbrenner then asked Lofthus about the Federal Correction Institution (FCI) Aliceville (Alabama), FCI Berlin (New Hampshire), FCI Hazelton (West Virginia), and FCI Yazoo City (Mississippi) prisons’ statuses.

“Well, we’ve got four other prisons that are sitting empty that apparently aren’t as high priority to this day,” Sensenbrenner said, asking if there were plans to sell the facilities.

Lofthus said DOJ did not plan to sell them because the prisons in New Hampshire and Alabama already had inmates. But when asked the percentage of capacity, Lofthus said “off the top of my head” it was “approximately 10 percent.”

As for the other two prisons, Lofthus said the West Virginia prison was recently completed and the Mississippi prison was not completed.


Another coverup of black crime

Chechens aren’t the only refugees committing crime in Massachusetts.  A 20 year old Liberian Refugee, Charles Monroe, was recently arrested for stalking three teenage girls as they were walking to school in the morning in the Vernon Hill section of Worcester, right near the campuses of St. Mary’s High School and Worcester Academy.  My guess is that the girls probably attended the former.

In three separate incidents, Monroe pulled a knife on each girl as they walked alone to school.  The first two girls managed to get away.  But the other was forced into a nearby apartment building, where she was raped and sexually humiliated.

Nevertheless, his attorney asked the judge for leniency because “Monroe had a ‘very difficult upbringing’ in war-torn Liberia before he and his mother came to the United States through a church mission when he was 11 years old.”

I’m sure that upbringing can’t compare to the horror Monroe inflicted on an innocent 17 year old girl.

The Boston Globe refused to identify the race or nationality of the rapist [Worcester man convicted of assaulting 3 teen girls, Boston Globe, May 2, 2013].  But other outlets were more responsible.  [Liberian refugee jailed for knife attacks on Worcester schoolgirls, by Gary V. Murray, Worcester Telegram, May 2, 2013]

In court, Charles Monroe laughed as the charges were read.


We fought for equality. So why do greedy British wives still sponge off their ex-husbands?

The other day, a relatively new man friend drove me past a splendid detached house in a rich suburb of London, where prices are at least £1.5 million. ‘What do you think of it?’ he asked. ‘Nice,’ I said. ‘Are you thinking of buying it?’

‘I wish I could,’ he said. ‘It used to belong to me, but it’s now my ex-wife’s. She got it on our divorce.’

He had been banished to a dingy rented flat, he told me. This was all he could afford, as he was also paying out £800-a-month maintenance, as well as their children’s school fees.

Welcome to divorce, 2013 style.

Far from being an unlucky, isolated example, my friend is one of the growing number of men who find themselves losing everything through divorce.

Meanwhile, women, ever more, seem to be living by the principle of ‘don’t get mad, get everything’.

And often, they go on getting everything for years, long after time has been called on their marriage.

In these days of equal education, opportunities and access to professions, women are still humiliating themselves by expecting (and receiving) huge and continuing settlements when a marriage ends.

I consider myself a feminist, but I don’t see why today’s divorcing women should expect any kind of settlement at all.

What on earth is wrong with earning your own living and standing on your own two feet? If modern marriage is an equal partnership, divorce should be the same, surely, with both parties getting out what they have put in, as when any other type of contract ends.

Yet modern women are still positioning themselves as the weaker vessel having to be kept by a big strong man, whether married or divorced. We have fought for equality, and many battles have been won, but divorcing women are still making out they are pathetic little Fifties housewives unable to fend for themselves, before ruthlessly fleecing the men they once professed to love.

They should be utterly ashamed.

Depressingly, this year’s Rich List, for the first time, included a separate list for divorced women whose only source of vast wealth was that provided by their ex-husbands. The compilers of the list said that if you are an attractive woman, possibly your best guarantee of a huge income is to marry a super-rich man and then divorce him a few years later.

Slavica Ecclestone walked away with around £750 million after her divorce from Bernie, following a 23-year marriage and two daughters; Irina Malandina was awarded £155 million after 16 years of marriage to Russian Roman Abramovich and five children; and Diana Jenkins, former wife of Barclays tax expert Roger Jenkins, banked a handy £150 million at the dissolution of their ten-year marriage.

If you want to do the same, push out a kid if at all possible. Based on the Heather Mills principle, this will mean you can command an even better settlement. The presence of a child will ensure generous maintenance payments for years, maybe decades, to come.

I can’t help suspecting that many of these women who got themselves on the ex-wives list were never passionately in love with their high-earning husbands. To a greater or lesser extent, their marriages will probably have been soul-less arrangements from the outset.

It’s easy for an attractive woman to use her charm and wiles to entrap a rich man, all the time calculating the cash they receive when they can call time on the marriage.

So why can’t they put such time and forethought into developing careers and financial independence rather than sponging off someone else?

It’s significant that, so far, there is no Rich List for the ex-husbands of wealthy women. And of course, not every wife who endures the pain of divorce will end up quids in.

According to a new report, if you are a woman intent on a lucrative split, you should make sure you live in a city, as then you are more likely to be awarded continuing maintenance on top of the lion’s share of the marital assets. 

A survey of over 700 divorce cases found that metropolitan courts almost always award a better deal to ex-wives than provincial courts.

The report added that spouses who live in the country will most likely have to make do with a clean-break settlement, as they are expected to stand on their own two feet after divorce.

It’s not even necessary to set your cap at a vastly rich husband to do well out of divorce.

Divorce courts always consider the income or property the higher earner is likely to have in future. When a wealthy person divorces, it is often considered that the former spouse made him what he was — or played a major part.

Women who are married to ordinary earners can be set up for years with the house, car, custody of children and a regular lump sum in their accounts.

Some divorcees are reluctant to remarry, in case they kill the goose that lays the golden egg — maintenance usually stops when you have another husband to support you — so they content themselves with boyfriends, lovers and, as they get older, the mandatory toyboy.

The cruellest trick of all? Even years after divorce, an ex-wife can come back and demand more on the basis that she made a significant contribution to her husband’s wealth, or that she supported him with her own earnings.

Since 2000, ex-wives have been able to go back to the courts to demand a slice of their former husband’s pension. Pensions were brought into the divorce arena 13 years ago on the grounds that most pensions are in the husband’s name, and the marriage was ongoing as the pension fund accrued.

Michael Douglas’s first wife, Diandra Lukar, has just re-opened their case and is demanding a share of her former husband’s future earnings, 13 years after they divorced. This was after losing her case in 2010 for a share of Money Never Sleeps, as Douglas argued this film was made after their divorce.

But she is still  entitled to a share of earnings from films made during their marriage. This can also happen in the UK if the wife has no reasonable expectations of being a high earner in her own right. Karen Parlour, who divorced her England and Arsenal football star husband Ray in 2002, won the legal right to a one-third share of his future earnings in 2004 in a landmark case at the Court of Appeal. It set a precedent for former wives to bag themselves the share they would enjoy if they were still married.

When a wife has been brutally dumped, perhaps there’s more grounds for sympathy. But these days, an estimated 70 per cent of divorces are brought by women. What are these women being paid for, when no longer married?

In my circle of friends alone, I know of countless men who have fallen foul of greedy ex-wives who seem determined to see the men they married reduced to penury. It’s easy for an attractive woman to use her charm and wiles to entrap a rich man, all the time calculating the cash they receive when they can call time on the marriage.

One friend had been married for about 20 years when his wife decided she wanted a divorce. There were no particular grounds, and no one else was involved. Each sought out a lawyer, and the wife was awarded 85 per cent of the joint assets.

There were no children and she had never worked. After the divorce, she moved into a small cottage with enough money to see her out.  He had just enough money to buy a small flat, and had to start all over again. He got virtually none of the marital assets accumulated over the years, including a house worth £800,000.

My friend Alex Williams, the artist, came out of his first marriage of over 26 years at the age of 50 with, quite literally, nothing — not even a roof over his head. His solicitor felt that was the best she could do for him, and he was lucky not to have to pay maintenance too.

His children were then in their mid-20s, and his ex-wife continued to live in what had been the marital home — the home Alex had spent years renovating from a ruin.

Again, it was his then-wife who had called time on the marriage.

A few years after my own divorce, I updated a lawyer friend on my situation, telling him my ex was now living as a monk in a retreat centre and had taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. My friend’s first question was: ‘Does he pay your maintenance?’

‘Maintenance?’ I asked in surprise.  When we divorced, no lawyers were involved, and we did a 50/50 split with no further financial obligations on either side. It was a fair division and reflected what each had put into the relationship.

I could never have demeaned myself by accepting maintenance, and allowing myself to be a kept woman for years after divorce.

I know there are many cases where men have been the villains, having secret mistresses or have gambled or drunk away family funds. Rightly, they should pay for their misdeeds.

But in 2013, women who demand everything on divorce, and expect maintenance forever after, should hang their heads in shame. We must show everybody that we are not simpering victims, but proud, strong and, above all, financially independent.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


9 May, 2013

The allure of 'yellow fever': New documentary explores why so many white American men aspire to marry Asian women

"Asian" is too broad below.  The pattern described below fits women from the Philippines but much less so women from China.  The Chinese ladies are on average much brighter.

Australia's largest minority (about 5% of the population) is Han Chinese and do they have a visible effect!  Chinese-origin women in Australia want one thing and they will forgive a lot to get it.  They want a TALL husband.  So if you see a couple about the place that includes a Chinese lady, the man will be tall, almost without exception. 

He may be a tall Chinese but there are few of them.  He will usually be a tall Caucasian.  He may even be a bit of a dummy but the lady will put up with that in order to have children taller  than herself.  So it is not yellow fever in the men that is at  work but tallness-capturing by the Asian ladies.  They like big men

A new documentary, which airs tonight on PBS, explores the psychology behind yellow fever - the phenomenon that sees white men attracted to, and sometimes even obsessed with, Asian women.

Filmed and directed by Debbie Lum, a fourth-generation Chinese-American from St Louis, Missouri, Seeking Asian Female looks to discover why many men see Asians as ideal wives, a concept that is 'very painful for the Asian-American community,' Ms Lum told ABC News.

According to the filmmaker, there is an overriding perception that women of that particular race are more docile and make for obedient life partners, a stereotype that is offensive and often untrue.

Indeed, according to Goal Auzeen Saedi, a post-doctoral fellow in counseling at Stanford University, the dominant perception is that women from Asia are 'submissive'.

In a 2011 Psychology Today article, Dr Saedi explained that the men who desire Asian women - most of them Caucasians themselves - are sending an 'underlying message about power, dominance and white privilege'.

It is exactly that attitude that Ms Lum sought to expose in her debut feature-length film.

'Every Asian-American woman knows exactly what I am talking about,' she said. 'Men come up to you in a way that really looks like a stare, which lasts a bit longer than it should.  'You can feel it,' she continued. 'It's like they are looking through you.'

In the film, Ms Lum follows the lives of Steven, a twice-divorced 60-year-old on the hunt for an Asian bride, and Sandy, the Chinese woman half his age whom he meets on the internet and ultimately marries.
According to the website for the documentary, Steven first became interested in Asian women after witnessing the success of his son's marriage to a Japanese immigrant.

The 60-year-old, who works as a garage attendant at the San Francisco airport, spent years looking through mail-order catalogs and dating websites, trying to find the perfect mate.

'Over the course of the last five years there must be hundreds of different girls from China that I've been writing to,' he explains in a trailer for the movie.

Finally, Steven meets Sandy - a 30-year-old factory worker who grew up on a tea farm in the remote mountains of China.

He flies out to Sandy's home country to meet her, and two weeks later he returns to California with Sandy in tow, after she agrees to marry him.  'I'm happy as a clam,' he says in the trailer with a boyish grin as he introduces his fiancee to the film director.

But while Steven has fulfilled his fantasy by having a relationship with an Asian woman, the couple soon begins to struggle to communicate, since Sandy's English is basic and Steven doesn't speak a word of Chinese.

The trailer shows them bickering, with neither able to understand the other. 'What?' Steven yells to Sandy at one point. 'Speak in English!'

Ms Lum, who speaks Chinese, becomes a translator and mediator as both Sandy and Steven turn to her to resolve their issues.

Steven admits to the filmmaker: '[Sandy] has read a lot of things to me in Chinese. I feel comfortable with it, but I have no idea what she's saying.'

Ultimately though, their relationship works after Steven realizes that he can love Sandy despite her fiery temper, a trait which contradicts the stereotypical picture of an Asian female. Today, Sandy and Steven have been happily married for four years.

'[Steven's] obsession with any Asian woman has been replaced with a real-live Sandy,' explains Ms Lum, who admits that her own preconception of Steven was perhaps just as bad as those she sought to debunk about Asian women.

Still, Ms Lum said she hopes the film will start a conversation about negative categorizations in general - including those involving men like Steven.

'The story is about expectations and stereotypes, which are very related,' she said. 'Stereotypes about white guys, and expectations going into a relationship.'


Honest Examination of Race

By Walter E. Williams

One definition given for insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results; it might also be a definition of stupidity. Let's look at some cities where large percentages of black Americans live under poor conditions.

Experiencing a violent crime rate of 2,137 per 100,000 of the population, Detroit is the nation's most dangerous city. Rounding out Forbes magazine's 2012 list of the 10 most dangerous cities are St Louis; Oakland, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; Birmingham, Ala.; Atlanta; Baltimore; Stockton, Calif.; Cleveland; and Buffalo, N.Y.

The most common characteristic of these predominantly black cities is that for decades, all of them have been run by Democratic and presumably liberal administrations. Some cities — such as Detroit, Buffalo, Newark, N.J., and Philadelphia — haven't elected a Republican mayor for more than a half-century. What's more is that in most of these cities, blacks have been mayors, chiefs of police, school superintendents and principals and have dominated city councils.

You might ask, "What's the point, Williams?" Let's be clear about it. I'm not stating that there's a causal relationship between crime, poverty and squalor on the one hand and, on the other, Democratic and black political control over a city. Nor am I saying that blacks ought to vote Republican. What I am saying is that if one is strategizing on how to improve the lives of the poorest black people, he wants to leave off his to-do list election of Democrats and black politicians. Also to be left off the to-do list is a civil rights agenda. Racial discrimination has little to do with major problems confronting black people.

Today 72 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock. Being born and finding out that your mother is 17 years old, that your grandmother is 35 and that you don't know who or where your father is is not a good start on life. In fact, it's a near guarantee for school dropout, poverty and crime, but such a start in life has nothing to do with racial discrimination.

Law-abiding poor black people suffer the nation's highest rates of criminal victimization from assaults and homicide. More than 50 percent of homicide victims are black. Would anyone claim that this victimization is caused by racist groups preying on the black community? In addition to victimization, the level of lawlessness in many black communities has the full effect of a law banning economic growth. That's because the thugs are equal-opportunity thugs who will rip off a black-owned business just as they'd rip off a white-owned business.

Black education is a disaster, but who runs the violent, disruptive big-city schools, where education is all but impossible? For the most part, it's not white people. Go to a city such as Detroit and you'll find that blacks have been superintendents, principals and most of the teachers for years. Most black high-school students, in Detroit and other cities, can't read, write and compute as well as sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade white students, but is it because of racism?

What the elite teach is not only futile but counterproductive. For example, speaking standard English in an English-speaking country is critical for self-improvement. But that's not the lesson from the nation's multiculturalists, who call for the celebration of native languages and dialects. Sloppy-minded academics and assorted hustlers have taught that poor English, gangsta rap, men wearing pigtails and thug behavior should not be criticized but become a part of the celebration of diversity.

Black people could benefit from an honest examination of the bill of goods they've been sold. Such an examination would not come from black politicians, civil rights leaders or the black and white liberal elite. Those people have benefited politically and financially from keeping black Americans in a constant state of grievance based on alleged racial discrimination. The long-term solution for the problems that many black Americans face begins with an absolute rejection of the self-serving agenda of hustlers and poverty pimps.


Despite The Global Gasping, Niall Ferguson Has (Had!) A Point About Keynes

Harvard financial historian Niall Ferguson has gotten himself into the usual sort of Larry Summers / James D. Watson-style trouble for answering a question about economist John Maynard Keynes’s famous quip—“In the long run, we are all dead”—by cheekily pointing out that Keynes was a childless homosexual. There’s no transcript of his original remarks, but a writer who heard him speak wrote it up on his magazine’s website. [Harvard Professor Trashes Keynes For Homosexuality, By Tom Kostigen, fa-mag.com, May 3, 2013.]

Ferguson commented: “In the long run our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are alive, and will have to deal with the consequences of our economic actions.”

Ferguson has groveled, needless to say, but the Homintern is still pursuing him—see Niall Ferguson: Keynes Was Gay for Germany, by Jonathan Chait, nymag.com, May 7, 2013.

(In contrast to Keynes, the philoprogenitive Ferguson has three children by his first wife and one by his latest, the courageous anti-Islamist activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.)

Ferguson’s off-the-cuff comments generated a vast global spasm of gasping and tsk-tsking. A Google search of “niall ferguson keynes gay” comes up with over two million  hits.

Why the hysteria?

Because intellectual life has declined to the point where all that matters is Are You on the Side of the Good Guys or the Bad Guys? And the Good Guys are powerful groups of self-proclaimed victims.

Ferguson’s suggestion that family life can influence ideology is, of course, true. For example, Mitt Romney carried only 16 percent of the gay vote in 2012 in contrast to 57 percent of the married vote. Over the last four elections, the rate in each state at which whites are married has been the strongest determinant of the Electoral Vote.

But Ferguson felt it necessary to issue “An Unqualified Apology” [May 4, 2013]because he makes a lot of money giving speeches to financial organizations, so he can’t afford to offend Designated Victim Groups that play a major role within them—such as gays, Jews, and women. At this moment in our culture, gays are particularly dominant, and thus are looking for ways to throw their weight around to intimidate skeptics for good.

What’s more striking, though, are the Voluntary Auxiliary Thought Police who rush in to denounce heretics. As Dennis Dale commented during another recent brouhaha of ridiculous moral outrage:

The Left has routed us and is now chasing us into the weeds to cut us down individually--because they haven't even the capacity to imagine doing anything else.

What are they going to do, declare victory and behave graciously? Where's the fun—or more importantly the influence and cash—in that? They are like a vast standing army with nothing to do and no wish to return to civilian life.

Still, Ferguson was somewhat unfair. Keynes (1883-1946) betrayed today’s conventional wisdom by doing the supposedly impossible: he converted, permanently, from a homosexual lifestyle to a heterosexual lifestyle when—to the shock and dismay of his former Bloomsbury boyfriends—he married the popular ballerina Lydia Lopokova in 1925.

He wasn’t under any particular social or career pressure at the time. He just switched his affections.

Moreover, we can see that Keynes was concerned about the welfare of future generations of the British from his lifelong advocacy of….(wait for it) eugenics!

After all, in 1911 Keynes, along with the great statistician and geneticist Ronald A. Fisher, R.C. Punnett, and Horace Darwin, helped found the Cambridge Eugenics Society. Keynes was a eugenics activist throughout his life, serving as an official of the national eugenics promotion organization from 1937-1944. In the year of his death, 1946, Keynes made a speech citing eugenics as “the most important and significant branch of sociology.”

If Ferguson had excoriated Keynes for pushing eugenics, he would have not heard a peep of criticism. He just forgot who is riding high at the moment and who is not.


What the Left doesn't want you to know about Britain's £200 billion welfare bill

Amid much hand-wringing by the Left-wing Establishment, the Coalition has this month been pushing ahead with long-overdue reforms to Britain’s vastly expensive benefits system. 

Yesterday ministers began piloting a more efficient way of paying state handouts, called the Universal Credit. It follows changes to disability benefits and a trial to cap total welfare payments at £26,000 a year — the income of the typical working family. The cap, which is being trialled in four London boroughs, will be imposed across the rest of England, Scotland and Wales from July.

Most reasonable people might think the changes fair — generous even. Indeed, polls show that three-quarters of the public are in favour of sharp cuts in benefits and stricter rules on entitlement.

However, critics have condemned the cuts by the ‘cruel’ Coalition, and insist that if voters knew the full facts, they would change their opinion.

Here, we reveal the truth behind the claims peddled by commentators on the Left...


CLAIM: The welfare budget is being slashed in size and scope by the Coalition in a series of ‘cruel’ attacks on the needy.

REALITY: Between 1997/98 and 2010/11, benefit and tax credit spending in Britain increased from £122 billion to around £200 billion. This represents an increase of 60 per cent over the whole period.

As Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith recently admitted, the budget is not being cut at all — despite howls from the Left and BBC. It is just increasing more slowly than it would have under Labour.

At the end of the current Parliament in 2015, the Coalition is forecast to spend £206?billion on welfare. In other words, it will be higher even than at the height of Gordon Brown’s ruinous debt binge.

Working age welfare will fall slightly from £95.3 billion to £91.5 billion over the Parliament, but pensioner welfare will rise from £103.7 billion to £114.2 billion.
At the end of the current Parliament in 2015, the Coalition is forecast to spend £206 billion on welfare. In other words, it will be higher even than at the height of Gordon Brown's ruinous debt binge

At the end of the current Parliament in 2015, the Coalition is forecast to spend £206 billion on welfare. In other words, it will be higher even than at the height of Gordon Brown's ruinous debt binge


CLAIM: Only a tiny number of jobless families have large numbers of children reliant on the State for support.

REALITY: There are 160 families on out-of-work benefits with ten or more children. This figure was cited by the Left during the debate over the case of Mick Philpott from Derby, who killed six of his 17 children in a house fire and whose lifestyle was subsidised by taxpayers.

However, closer scrutiny of official figures shows that there are huge numbers of large workless households reliant on welfare.

There are 194,000 homes with three children; 76,310 with four; 25,980 with five; 8,760 with six; 3,200 with seven; 1,080 with eight; and 360 with nine.

Some 419,370 workless families have two children — which is the average number of offspring for all homes in the UK.


CLAIM: Millions of people in and out of work are having their benefits ‘cut’.

REALITY: Benefits, including out-of-work-benefits and tax credits, are increasing by one per cent. This is depicted as a cut because it is less than the rate of inflation. But it follows a period when benefits outstripped average wage increases.

In 2012/13, while average earnings increased by 2.9 per cent, most working age benefits were up-rated by 5.2 per cent.
There are 160 families on out-of-work benefits with ten or more children. This figure was cited during the debate over the case of Mick Philpott from Derby, who killed six of his 17 children in a house fire

There are 160 families on out-of-work benefits with ten or more children. This figure was cited during the debate over the case of Mick Philpott from Derby, who killed six of his 17 children in a house fire

If compared over the past five years, the gap is wider still: with the incomes of those in work having risen half as quickly as those on out-of-work benefits — at a rate of 10 per cent compared with 20 per cent.

Elsewhere in Europe, benefits have suffered real cuts: Ireland has cut unemployment benefits by four per cent a year for two years; Portugal has reduced it by six per cent; and Spain has cut payments to anyone unemployed for longer than six months by 10 per cent.

Much 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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


8 May, 2013

The unwavering Leftist race obsession

The latest British pro-crime idiocy: Dog owners could be forced to tie up pets in case they bite a burglar

Dog owners might have to tie up their pets to stop them attacking burglars, police have warned – amid growing controversy over a clampdown on dangerous animals.

The Association of Chief Police Officers say planned amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act could leave householders 'liable to prosecution' if their dog bites a burglar while they are out.

Ministers want to close a loophole in the law that makes it difficult to prosecute dog attacks that take place on private property.

The move – which will be included in next week's Queen's Speech – follows a string of attacks on children, postmen, and health visitors on private land.

The proposals will include a defence for people whose dogs attack a burglar while they are at home. But critics warn the defence will not protect owners if a burglar is attacked while they are out, or if the attack takes place in the garden or an outbuilding.

The loophole in the proposals will leave dog owners open to potential fines of up to £5,000 – or even a two-year jail sentence – if their pet attacks an intruder while they are not at home.

Now Acpo, the organisation which represents senior police officers, has warned that the plans will favour burglars.

In a letter to MPs they said the police 'would rather the householder was given a defence in law' to prevent prosecution if a dog attacks a burglar while they are out.

They added: 'The consequences would be that any individual leaving their dog in their home whilst they go out may be liable to prosecution should their home be burgled whilst they are away. We are confident that this is not what the Government had in mind.'

The Dogs Trust has also criticised the proposals, saying: 'If a trespasser is on private land it is nonsensical to criminalise a dog owner if that trespasser should be injured by the dog.

'Surely a trespasser must take some responsibility for their unlawful actions. Dog owners should only face criminal liability if the victim is present lawfully.'

Government officials have confirmed that homeowners would not be immune from prosecution if a 'dangerously out of control' dog attacked a burglar in their home.

But the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said ministers were still looking at ways to ensure dog owners would not be penalised for being burgled.


Child rapists taken of Sex Offenders' Register in secret... and police say it's to protect their human rights

Police have secretly removed dozens of convicted sex offenders, including paedophiles and rapists, from the Sex Offenders’ Register, the Mail can reveal.

Following a human rights ruling, the law was changed last year to allow sex attackers to claim they no longer posed a threat and apply to be taken off the register.

Since then, 43 applications have been approved behind closed doors, at the rate of one every five days.

About half of those who apply have been successful – including eight rapists and 27 child sex attackers.

Each case was signed off by a mid-ranking police officer following a paper review of the case. With the stroke of a pen, each convict was removed from the list, and is now free to walk the streets with no monitoring of any kind.

Those who are taken off the register no longer have to tell the police where they are living, even if they move near a school, or move in with a family with young children.

Nor do they have to tell the police about any overseas travel.

Forces are refusing to name those taken off the register, citing Article 8 of the Human Rights Act – the right to a private and family life – and data protection rules. And they say it would ‘compromise the health and safety of these individuals’ to name them.

Some are even refusing to give details of the offences committed, and victims are not routinely notified if their attacker has been deemed no longer a threat.

Child protection charities said the use of the law was setting back child protection, and questioned whether sex offenders could ever be reformed.

Claude Knights, director of children’s charity Kidscape, said: ‘This step removes a number of bricks from the wall of child protection, and takes us back to the level of a number of years ago.

‘The jury is out on whether someone who has committed these crimes can ever be cured. The worry is someone could be let off the register and commit further crimes and harm more children.’

Peter Cuthbertson, director of the Centre for Crime Prevention think-tank, said: ‘The Sex Offenders’ Register exists to protect the public from people who risk committing serious crimes.

'These decisions involve a very one-sided and backward understanding of human rights. It wrongly puts the welfare of serious sex offenders above concern for public safety.’

Ministers were forced to allow the law change after a human rights ruling in 2010 which said it was a breach of criminals’ rights under Article 8 to keep them on the register without any chance of appeal.

The case was brought by two convicted sex offenders. One, Angus Thompson, was jailed for five years for violently attacking and indecently assaulting a girl. He said the ‘stress’ of being kept indefinitely on the register had contributed to his ill health. The other was a man from Wigan who was 11 when he raped a boy of six. He said his name should be taken off because it prevented him from going on holiday.

There are about 37,000 sex offenders on the register.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘Sex offenders who remain a risk to the public will stay on the register, for life if necessary.

‘We argued strongly that sex offenders should stay on the register for life. But the Supreme Court decided they should be able to apply for a review of their case.

‘It is for individual police forces to decide how to manage known sex offenders living in the community, but those who pose a risk to the public will remain on the register.’


Pentagon Changes Mind, Says Soldiers May Share Faith

Following an uproar over a Defense Department statement saying that military personnel could be court-martialed for sharing their faith, the Pentagon has backed down on that position and now says soldiers are free to proselytize, as long as they don't harass others. “Service members can share their faith,” clarified Navy Lieutenant Commander Nate Christensen in a statement, “but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one's beliefs.”

Earlier the Defense Department had released an alarming statement saying: “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense.... Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis.” That statement appeared to come as the result of an April 24 meeting between military officials and Mikey Weinstein of the atheist group Military Religious Freedom Foundation, in which Weinstein pressured Air Force officials to enforce a policy that supposedly bans Air Force personnel from openly expressing their religious faith. The Defense Department has reportedly turned to Weinstein's group to hammer out policies on religious expression in the military.

Weinstein has gained notoriety for his aggressive campaign to sanitize the military of overt faith expressions by service members. He told Fox News that “until the Air Force or Army or Navy or Marine Corps punishes a member of the military for unconstitutional religious proselytizing and oppression, we will never have the ability to stop this horrible, horrendous, dehumanizing behavior.” Weinstein was referring to examples of supposed religious persecution within the ranks, and said that his group “would love to see hundreds of prosecutions to stop this outrage of fundamentalist religious persecution.”

The outcry from chaplains and religious leaders over Weinstein's rhetoric prompted the Defense Department to issue its updated statement backing down from implying that service members might be targeted for sharing their faith. According to Charisma News, the clarification came after the conservative legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking a clarification from the Defense Department on the issue.

“Members of our military should not be denied the very freedoms they fight to defend,” explained ADF Legal Counsel Joseph La Rue. “Freedom of religion and speech are paramount among those freedoms.”

La Rue noted that since there is little evidence of a crisis concerning overt religious proselytizing in the military, “we are still troubled over what motivated the original comments” from the Pentagon. He added that his group is seeking “to ensure that the Pentagon does not deny members of the armed services the basic freedoms that the Constitution guarantees all Americans.”

In his updated statement Lieutenant Commander Christensen insisted that the Defense Department “has never and will never single out a particular religious group for persecution or prosecution. The Department makes reasonable accommodations for all religions and celebrates the religious diversity of our service members.” He added that “when religious harassment complaints are reported, commanders take action based on the gravity of the occurrence on a case by case basis.” He did not elaborate on the actions that might be taken, but the previous Defense Department statement seemed to indicate that penalties could range from non-judicial punishment to a full court-martial.

In an e-mail Christensen explained that the Defense Department would work “to ensure that all service members are free to exercise their constitutional right to practice their religion — in a manner that is respectful of other individuals’ rights to follow their own belief systems; and in ways that are conducive to good order and discipline; and that do not detract from accomplishing the military mission.”


Australia: Monash University 'sexist' cupcakes furore

This is an established way of  highlighting official discrimination but all the evidence shows that, other things being equal, there is NO discrimination against women in the workforce

MONASH University students are in a social media frenzy about a "sexist" campaign where men were charged 20c more than women for a cupcake.

The Student Association’s Women’s Department sold the cupcakes as part of a campaign to highlight gender wage differences.

The cakes were $1 for men, 80c for women and 60c for transgender students.

A Facebook post calling the stall sexist has received nearly 1500 likes and attracted more than 900 comments on the invite-only Monash StalkerSpace Facebook page.

Tess Gian posted: “to the ‘Women’s’ stand on clayton campus selling cupcakes … that is not feminism. that’s sexism. You want to demand equality? It goes both ways.”

A Monash Student Association public affairs officer, who did not want to be named, said the stall aimed to “raise awareness of the gender pay gaps” that exist in the workplace. It was not sexist but “positive discrimination”.

Monash University law student Louisa Ashton, 21, was among those who stepped in to defend the campaign on Facebook.

Ms Ashton told Waverley Leader many of the angry students had missed the point.

“They were selling the cupcakes to reflect the exact pay differences in society,” she said.  “I think it was quite brilliant actually. It got people talking."

But Stefan Kotzamanis was one of many who slammed the idea.  “They honestly met in a group and thought having different prices based on sexes was a good idea?”

Rachel Archie Wall-e posted: “the best thing they could think of doing was baking? to promote women's rights? i don't want to inadvertently stereotype but their choice surprises me.”

More than 180 people "liked" her post.

The stall was held on the Menzies lawn at Monash and organised by the Monash Student Association’s Women’s Department for Blue Stockings Week, which celebrates women in higher education.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


7 May, 2013

"White flight" comes to Britain

White Britons are 'retreating' from areas dominated by ethnic minorities, a study has revealed.  Analysis of census figures shows that white Britons are leaving areas where they are in a minority and are being replaced by immigrants and other ethnic minorities.

As a result, nearly half of ethnic minorities – 4 million people – live in communities where whites make up less than half the population, the study by the Demos think-tank found.

Demos said the survey showed a 'spiral of white British demographic decline' as white Britons choose to leave minority-dominated areas.

Trevor Phillips, the former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said the findings should make us 'a little anxious', and were 'not good news for the cause of integration'.

He said: 'What ought to make us a little anxious is the “majority retreat” it has unearthed – white people leaving minority-led areas and not being replaced.'

In 2005, Mr Phillips warned Britain was 'sleepwalking into segregation' as the UK was dividing into 'ghettos' of particular races and religions.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the MigrationWatch think-tank, said: 'This is extremely serious. It is undeniable  evidence that we have indeed been  sleepwalking into segregation as Trevor Phillips warned, and it is the clear result of Labour's mass immigration policy.

'Public dismay at the pace of change in our communities largely explains why so many voted as they did in last week's local elections. The case for a sharp reduction in immigration is now overwhelming; we cannot possibly integrate new arrivals on anything like the present scale.'

Demos said the change was the result of 'white retreat', where departing white Britons are replaced by migrants and 'the natural growth of the minority population'.

Its analysis of the 2011 Census showed 4.6million ethnic minorities – or 45 per cent of the total – live in areas where white Britons make up less than half the population.

More than 600,000 white British Londoners have left the capital in a decade, it was reported earlier this year.  Census figures show that between 2001 and 2011 the level of 'white flight' reached 620,000.  It is the equivalent of a city the size of Glasgow - made up entirely of white Britons - moving out of the capital.

The figures mean that for the first time, white Britons are in a minority in the country's largest city.

At the same time, some rural areas have seen a rise in the proportion of people who describe their ethnicity as 'white British'.

Some 3.7million Londoners classified themselves as white British in 2011 – down from 4.3million in 2001 – despite the city's population increasing by nearly a million over the decade to 8.2million.  It was reported in February that white Britons made up 45 per cent of the city's population, compared with 58 per cent in 2001.

Behind white Britons, the largest ethnic group in London is Asians (18 per cent). Black Londoners make up 13 per cent.

Some 4.1million ethnic minorities live in council wards in which all whites – including foreign nationals – add up to less than half the total. That compares with only a million ethnic minorities – 25 per cent of the total – in the same situation at the time of the 2001 Census.

Such areas include Yardley in Birmingham and several council wards in East and South London, Demos said.

At the same time, it showed more ethnic minority families were moving into 'white-dominated' parts of the country.

There are now just 800 council wards out of 8,850 where the population is 98 per cent white. That compares with 5,000 in 2001.

Mr Phillips said: 'This very interesting piece of research reveals a number of vital findings about how people in England and Wales are living together.

'First, it shows a kind of “Ambridge effect” – a welcome minority advance into areas previously only the preserve of the white majority.

'It also demonstrates a greater degree of ethnic mixing within cities, although unfortunately this appears to be mostly between minorities.'

The 'Ambridge effect' refers to the arrival of ethnic minority characters in recent years into plotlines on the Radio 4 soap The Archers.

David Goodhart, director of Demos, said the survey identified a growing population which is 'geographically separate' and has 'limited familiarity with majority cultural codes'. He added: 'The greater concentration of the ethnic minority population means there is less opportunity for interaction with the white mainstream.'

Eric Kaufmann, a professor at Birkbeck College who carried out the detailed analysis, said: 'These results present a mixed picture. While ethnic mixing and integration is being helped by more minority people moving into England's whitest areas, the most concentrated minority areas are just becoming more so.'


More secrecy in official Britain

Yes, in the end it was a small spat that was sorted out quickly. But the refusal by Warwickshire police to name one of its officers charged with stealing from the force was not just worrying on its own account: the decision highlights an alarming trend in British public life towards secrecy.

On Wednesday, the Midlands force put out a bland statement saying that ‘a 54-year-old man from the Stratford area has been charged with the theft of £113,000 from the former Warwickshire police head-quarters at Leek Wootton.

‘The man, a retired police officer, will appear before magistrates in Leamington on May 22.’  A footnote added: ‘Due to a change in policy, we no longer release the name of an individual on charge.’

As a hue and cry developed at this astonishing statement, the force’s deputy commissioner, Neil Brunton, took to Twitter to try to justify the decision.

The policy, he insisted, ‘was changed recently to align with national policy post-Leverson (sic) and not because of today’s outcome’.

It would be nice if he could spell the name of the Lord Justice who spent a year looking into the Press — and the police.

But leaving that aside, he was suggesting the Leveson report had given the police the right to hide behind a level of secrecy of which authoritarian states behind the Iron Curtain would have been proud.

Within a few hours, mercifully the Crown Prosecution Service had intervened. It named the man as Paul Andrew Greaves.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said no new national guidelines had been issued post-Leveson on policy towards naming suspects.

Next, the newly appointed deputy police and crime commissioner for Warwickshire, Eric Wood, gave his force a public roasting.

Expressing himself to be ‘very surprised’ and ‘extremely disappointed’ by the goings-on, Mr Wood said he’d had ‘a number of robust conversations’ with the police chief.

‘We are committed to ensuring Warwickshire Police operate in  an open and transparent manner, and that lessons have been learned from the mistakes of the past 24 hours.’

The commissioner’s team responded quickly and efficiently, as did the CPS. They should be congratulated. Problem solved? Well yes, on this occasion. But the worrying culture underlying it has not.

Today, the Mail reports 14 police forces — nearly a third of forces in England and Wales — keep secret the names of people charged with criminal offences, releasing them only (if at all) just before those charged appear in court.

This flies in the face of ACPO guidelines that forces should name individuals on the day they face charges. It only increases suspicions that the police prefer to operate under their own rules and in secret.

The point is that a robust and healthy democracy needs guidelines that are consistent and needs to operate in a manner that is accountable and open.

The worst form of abuse of power is when the forces of law and order see their job as not just dispensing the law, but as making it and interpreting it in whatever way they see fit.

By deciding that individuals facing charges should not be named, the police appear to be doing just that.

In one sense, of course, Warwickshire police deputy commissioner Neil Bunton’s claim that things have changed post-Leveson is perfectly true.

When Lord Justice Leveson was asked by the Prime Minister to look into the standards and ethics of the Press, he divided his inquiry into three sections: journalists, politicians and the police.

At the same time, separate investigations were underway into the phone-hacking scandal that precipitated the crisis, and  into corruption in the form of inappropriate payments to the police.

Any form of criminal activity, be it listening into someone’s phone, hacking into a computer, bribery, harassment, impersonation and the like, must face  the full weight of the law. (Once in a blue moon, some of these activities might be justified, for example when they expose serious wrong-doing and are incontrovertibly in the public interest.)

The problem was that some members of the police were so in hock with some journalists, notably at the News of the World, that they turned a blind eye.

Clearly action needed to be taken. A report last year by Dame Elizabeth Filkin said that coppers should not be carousing down the pub late at night with journalists.

But Filkin went further, suggesting that all meetings between police and journalists should be made public, with records kept, and that whistleblowers unhappy with what was going on in their force should not tip off a reporter.

Some of her suggestions were incorporated by Lord Leveson into his report.

The problem with this is that some of the most important stories in the public interest, particularly about corruption within the police, always come through covert meetings with journalists or through whistleblowers and tip-offs.

Post-Leveson, the police have been on the defensive and seem to have interpreted the report as an excuse to become more secretive. This is a deeply worrying trend.

The irony is that they stop at nothing themselves to accumulate information about members of the public, including filming anyone who demonstrates and keeping a log on thousands of people who have not committed a crime.

Yet they hate it when members of the public film them or journalists try to find out what they’ve been up to.

As I stated in my two appearances before the Leveson Inquiry, one of the biggest problems in standards in modern British life is not that the public have been told too much about what’s going on; it is the reverse — the public has not been told enough.

Did we know too much about the bankers who helped to plunge this country into its worst economic crisis since the Thirties while trousering their eye-watering bonuses? Hardly.  Did we find out about what was really going on ahead of Iraq? Do we know enough about who is corrupt in public life?

I am not suggesting we should be told what the police are up to every waking minute. It is vital to balance the public’s right to know, on the one hand, with a suspect’s presumption of innocence on the other.

This is of such grave importance it is for judges or Parliament — not individual police forces — to determine.

For example, if someone is taken in for questioning — whether for a minor shoplifting offence or sex abuse — should their name be released?

What happens if the police and the CPS decide not to press charges for lack of evidence? Or if it is a case of mistaken information or identity?

By releasing a suspect’s identity under those circumstances, their name could be blackened for good.

But it is surely different when a suspect is charged. The threshold set by the Crown Prosecution Service for charging someone, in terms of the prospect of conviction and the public interest, is high.

Of course, that still means many people who go to court will be found not guilty.

There might be a tiny minority  of cases where, even when charges are made, a name  should not be released. But I struggle to think of the justification.

What is certain is that, by naming someone charged with a crime, witnesses can be encouraged to come forward with more evidence.

This is apparently what happened in the case of It’s A Knockout presenter Stuart Hall, who has admitted to indecently assaulting 13 girls, one of whom was nine.

His lawyers cited Lord Justice Leveson’s report in their attempt to keep his name hidden.

But after it became public when he was arrested in December last year in relation to three offences, more witnesses came forward and many more offences were uncovered.

The idea that a police force can unilaterally decide not to reveal a name, as Warwickshire police did, particularly when it  involves one of their own, is quite simply an affront not only to justice but to democracy itself.


The Slippery Slope of Gender Identity

Your 9 year-old daughter runs out of a public swimming pool shower, crying because a 45 year-old naked man is lounging in the sauna, "full monty." You call the police. The police arrest you for violating the man's rights and send both you and your daughter to "behavior modification counseling."


Because even though the man's "birth assignment" is male, he "identifies" as a female and you have violated his rights under your state's "gender identity equality" laws.

If you think this is just crazy and nothing like this could possibly happen in America, stop reading now and go back to the comfort of your Doonesbury cartoon. In Washington state, half of this scenario has already played out.

Late last year, a parent called the police after her daughter walked into a locker room and observed a naked man using the sauna. According to the police report obtained by Campus Reform, the transgendered man in question, a 45-year-old Evergreen State College student named Colleen Francis, was "sitting with her legs open with her male genitalia showing" with girls as young as six years old present.

Police, however, were advised by the local prosecutor's office that "criminal law is very vague in this area and it would be unlikely they could pursue charges."

Oh, how quaint those days when such behavior was considered "indecent exposure."

Evergreen State College spokesman Jason Wettstein told Campus Reform that the school must "follow a non-discrimination policy with the state."

"State law doesn't allow us to ignore gender identity disorder as one of the protected classes... therefore the transgendered individual has the right to use our facilities, including the locker rooms," he added.

If you're somewhat bewildered by the phrase, "her male genitalia," you don't understand the definition of "transgender," which is a term used to refer to "people whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex at birth."

The politically correct phrase to describe a boy, girl, man or woman is not "boy, girl, man or woman," but one's "assigned sex at birth," as though every human's genetic makeup is now some social designation created by committee.

So, what about charging the man with indecent exposure?

The police report specifies "criminal law is very vague in the area and it would be unlikely they could press charges."

Right now, California assembly members Tom Ammiano and Toni Atkins, along with state senators Ricardo Lara and Mark Leno, have co-authored a bill to "require" public schools to permit students to participate in sports and "use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil's records."

"Facilities" includes everything associated with, say, a swimming pool, including showers and sauna.

You are to presume that only those who truly feel they're living in the wrong bodies will benefit from these laws, not perverts who will use them to their advantage. After all, we all know pedophiles never choose careers or use devious means to get close to children, so don't even think that these lawmakers are aiding and abetting such molesters.

The truth is, there truly are men and women who don't identify with their gender.

It's a reality that does require tolerance and understanding. If public policy needs to be made to accommodate the transgendered, these "bathroom bills" are certainly not the solution.

Is it too late to find a more reasonable solution?

It seems the only fix is replacing the lawmakers enacting this legislation.

For them, it's bigoted for you to even consider a grown man who identifies as a woman exposing himself to little girls to be a problem. It's a matter of civil rights.

Colleen Francis defends himself, telling local television news station KIRO-7, "This is not 1959 Alabama! We don't call the police for drinking from the wrong water fountain!"

Ms. Francis forgets that Martin Luther King kept his pants on in front of little girls.


Media obsession with homosexuality

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III started tongues wagging when he posted this cryptic message on Twitter: "In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness."

This was in response to liberal activists showing their rabid intolerance by demanding, so obnoxiously, that the Washington Redskins be renamed the "Redtails." But the sentiment absolutely fits the reaction to professional basketball player Jason Collins proclaiming, "I'm black and I'm gay" in Sports Illustrated.

What? A gay athlete? Stop the presses!

This, somehow, was the largest news in the known universe. The "announcement is a monumental step towards greater equality," tweeted the lobbyists at the Human Rights Campaign.

With enormous ardor, on cue the news networks and sports networks fell all over themselves declaring this was world-historic. NBA stars like Kobe Bryant not only declared their support but bashed the "ignorance" of people who would disagree. People even wanted ESPN reporter Chris Broussard fired for having the unmitigated gall to declare an opposing view on that network, which he did eloquently:

"Personally, I don't believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly premarital sex between heterosexuals, if you're openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says you know them by their fruits, it says that's a sin. If you're openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be, I believe that's walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ."

Many, if not most, Americans believe exactly that — but they are supposed to be silent. Their views are, let's face it — Christian.

Kelly Dwyer at Yahoo! Sports tried to say it's a free country, but not on some "historic" occasions, and certainly not on ESPN. "The last thing (gay young men and women) need to see is someone like Chris Broussard, who ESPN (and by extension, the NBA) trusts as its voice both at games and in-studio, to be referring to them as sinners who are in 'open rebellion to God.'"

Leftists are very good at arguing from intimidation that any expression of an orthodox religious opinion on homosexuality is like handing a loaded gun to sensitive youth who think they fit on the "LGBTQ" spectrum. It's just a fancy way of saying "Shut up or the suicide is on your hands."

At the sports blog Deadspin, John Koblin was also furious that an opposing view surfaced. "How did a special hour-long edition of Outside the Lines, devoted to Jason Collins's announcement that he's gay, turn into 'The Anita Bryant Spectacular 2: Live From Bristol?'" Allowing a religious view into the debate was "the total fetishization of opinion."

Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise argued that Collins wasn't taking a side — it wasn't a "monumental step" for gay liberation? — so he shouldn't be criticized: "Those who took this opportunity to call Collins a sinner are using someone else's personal revelation to attack and play God. Collins did not come out to express his contempt for anyone else's beliefs. So why express contempt for his?"

Wise expressed contempt for the Old Testament, for the Ten Commandments and for conservative religious people: "We will pray for the misguided souls in this whole episode. We have to have faith that they can get better."

One has to wonder if Broussard can keep his job in the face of a left-wing mob that wants this supposed tumor of God talk to be surgically removed from ESPN. It's easy to remember how media pressure forced Rush Limbaugh off the ESPN air as an NFL analyst 10 years ago for expressing the factually true, but politically incorrect thought that the liberal media were rooting for quarterback Donovan McNabb to succeed because he was black.

The Los Angeles Times even submitted this to an online vote: "Should Broussard have said what he said on TV?" Fifty-five percent said it was "fair game," but 45 percent picked "Not the place." Almost half of America prefers "the tyranny of political correctness." Our newspapers are eagerly measuring if the censorship pot has arrived at the boiling point yet.

ESPN then issued a corporate statement of apology to the 45 percent that they'd allowed a debate. "We regret that a respectful discussion of personal viewpoints became a distraction from today's news. ESPN is fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins' announcement."

They regret a "respectful discussion" occurred? Like many media companies, ESPN has made "respectful debate" and "diversity" into antonyms. "Diversity" doesn't mean "diversity of opinions." It means the tyranny of forced agreement or forced silence



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


6 May, 2013

The good ole double standard

More hateful British bureaucracy

Some stories make my blood boil. You won’t always find them on the front pages or leading the television news bulletins. But they tell you more about the condition of modern Britain than most of what passes for ‘news’ these days.

Take the case of 19-year-old Kurtis Green, from Dersingham in Norfolk. For the past 12 years he has been lovingly tending the war memorial opposite his parents’ fish and chip shop.

It began when he was just seven. Kurtis saved up his pocket money to buy gardening tools and started clearing litter and planting bulbs.

Over the years he has devoted hundreds of hours of unpaid time to his task. When he was 15, he mounted a successful campaign to persuade councillors to spend £20,000 restoring the memorial with new flowerbeds, railings, seating and block paving.

Kurtis won a Norfolk Young People’s Role Model of the Year award and was congratulated by the Queen.

Thanks to his efforts, the local branch of the British Legion collected a prize for Norfolk’s most improved war memorial.

But Kurtis wasn’t content to rest on his laurels. Deciding the plants and flowers could do with more irrigation, he tapped into a nearby water supply, which had been installed as part of the restoration programme.

Together with a fellow villager, 65-year-old John Houston, he went about the work in a professional manner. At the insistence of the council, he took out public liability insurance and coned off the area where the trench was being dug.

Once the work was complete, the trench was filled in and new grass seed planted. ‘It actually looked better than when we started,’ said Kurtis proudly.

But this is where it all began to unravel. No good deed, as they say, ever goes unpunished.

While Kurtis and John were carrying out the work, along came a councillor and started taking photographs on his mobile phone. ‘The next thing we knew we were reported to the police.’

Dersingham parish council claimed the work had been undertaken without permission and accused them of theft and causing criminal damage.

As a result, Kurtis and John were interrogated for two hours by police. ‘All we have been doing is to help the community and we are being treated as if we are criminals,’ Kurtis complained.

‘The policewoman was trying to trap us. She kept asking us the same questions in different ways.’
Sounds about right. No doubt some dopey WPC who fancies herself as Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect.

Kurtis went on: ‘We were accused of causing criminal damage by digging up earth to see if the existing pipe was OK, but we left the area just as we found it.

‘I can’t understand what the theft is supposed to have been. All the soil we dug up was replaced and the only thing we took away was the dirt under our fingernails.’

A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: ‘The circumstances are now being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service. Police are aware of Kurtis’s efforts in cleaning up the memorial and we will work with all concerned to try to reach an acceptable resolution.’

If they are trying to reach an ‘acceptable resolution’, then why the hell has the file been referred to the CPS?

I’m only surprised that the Old Bill didn’t raid Kurtis’s house at 6am and then ransack the place for eight hours, confiscating his computers and carting off dozens of bin liners full of ‘evidence’.

Of course, in the days when Dersingham had a proper police presence, a resident bobby who knew everyone in the village, it would never have come to this.

PC Plod would have told any jumped-up parish councillor who wanted a young man prosecuted for tidying up the war memorial to take a running jump: ‘Push off, Fred, or I’ll nick you for wasting police time.’

These days, Dersingham villagers who want to talk face-to-face with a real live copper are requested to report to a ‘surgery’ in Budgens supermarket on a Friday morning, between 10.30am and 11.30am.

Turn left at the fish counter, second aisle down. Mind how you go. Time was, too, that most parish councillors saw themselves as servants, not masters, of their community.

Today, the majority of those who work in every level of ‘public service’ seem to regard the public, at best, as an inconvenience and, at worst, as the enemy.

OK, admittedly the Jobsworth mentality has always been with us, but the ubiquitous urge on the part of so-called ‘public servants’ to bully and punish their fellow citizens has never been more prevalent.

Dersingham council refused to identify the councillor who made the complaint. Tony Bubb, the council’s Lib Dem chairman, resigned on Monday, but we are told his decision had nothing to do with the dispute over the memorial.

Parish clerk Sarah Bristow said she couldn’t comment because the incident was being investigated by police, but added: ‘The parish council did not give anyone permission to do anything.’

That’s odd, because Kurtis says he took out liability insurance at the council’s insistence.

Even so, why should he need the council’s permission? He’d been tending the memorial for over a decade. His grandfather served in World War II and Kurtis says he started his clean-up campaign because it ‘was not in a fit state’ to honour those who had fought for their country.

‘In those days, it was a complete disgrace. I just decided to do something to help.’

Precisely. In a sane world, the council would have made the upkeep of the memorial one of its priorities, not fobbed off the responsibility to a teenager.

The real disgrace is that so many war memorials remain neglected. As memory of the two world wars fades, respect for those who made the ultimate sacrifice has faded with it.

Last year, a man in Hartlepool was fined for using a war memorial as a public urinal. So the idea that a young volunteer can face prosecution for cleaning up a memorial is beyond monstrous.

David Cameron used to bang on about the Big Society, though we haven’t heard all that much about it lately.

Surely Kurtis Green is a classic example of the Big Society in action, a welcome reminder of the millions of good people out there willing to give something back to the community.

Kurtis takes the idea of genuine public service seriously. In his chosen career he’s a chef in a care home.

As his mum, Sandra, says: ‘All he is trying to do is some good. He is a kind, hard-working boy. He’s got a heart of gold.’

Yet what thanks does he get for it? He’s accused of criminal damage and theft by a vindictive, self-important creep with a mobile phone camera and then treated like a criminal by the police, who try to trap him into a ‘confession’.

Makes you proud to be British.


Food Truck Bullies

“Bullying” has become a hot topic – from federal studies highlighting its dangers, to TV shows and “special” news reports, we constantly are admonished not to bully one another, and to stop bullying in our schools.  Yet, there is a growing form of bullying that has escaped the attention of bureaucrats and media do-gooders: government bullying of food truck vendors.

Anyone who works near or drives by a large office or industrial complex, particularly in major cities, has at least seen, if not patronized, these “mobile restaurants.”  These eateries-on-wheels offer the same quality of food found at brick-and-mortar establishments without the need to drive to one.  For workers looking to make the most of a short lunch break, food trucks are a huge convenience; and the diversity of foodstuffs offered truly is amazing.

Yet, food trucks increasingly are being targeted by government regulatory goons who use a variety of methods -- even those fabricated specifically to target food trucks – in an effort to regulate them out of existence. In cities across America, including New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Rochester, and many others, food trucks are fighting for their right to meet a growing public demand.

One might understand the need for increased government regulation and oversight if the rise of food trucks was in tandem with a rise in food poisoning, or major traffic congestion issues. However, like most government power grabs, food truck bullying appears motivated more by cronyism and anti-competitiveness than public health or safety.

“We were told by a couple people who work in the town of Henrietta, as well as on the board of the Town of Henrietta that they need to protect the big businesses of Henrietta,” says Paul Vroman, owner of Rochester-based food truck business Brick-N-Motor. Vroman recently found himself standing before government officials in the Town of Henrietta, New York, groveling for a permit to continue operating his food truck outside of a business complex. Even though Vroman had secured permission of the property owner, and notwithstanding that he operated at that location without incident for months, Henrietta officials demanded that Vroman plead for a permit to continue operating in the town; a permit not even issued by the city at the time.

What was the city’s excuse to bully Vroman and other food trucks in the area? “The town board has not approved [special use permits] because of their feeling that they’re in direct competition with people who have invested in a store, restaurant location and they didn’t feel that would be fair to them,” Henrietta Supervisor Michael Yudelson told a local news affiliate. The board is scheduled to decide Vroman’s fate, and the future of other street food vendors, this week.

A similar situation currently is underway in the city of Atlanta, where bureaucrats on the city council are waging war against street vendors. Even after a court decision last December, which eliminated a sweetheart deal that set-up a monopoly for the city, while still allowing them to loom over food trucks, Atlanta police are again roaming the streets, shutting down vendors.

The targeting of food trucks is a problem that reaches far beyond merely the rights of street vendor entrepreneurs themselves. The unchecked government aggression aimed at a very specific class of businesses is a troubling example of government cronyism at its worst. City officials, sometimes even using imaginary power, are becoming arbiters of “fairness” when it comes to business -- rather than leaving it to the free market. And, when picking winners and losers in the marketplace falls into the hands of government bureaucrats, consumers always lose.

By using government force to direct business, the positive evolution of the economy comes to a screeching halt. Just imagine if these local food truck bullies had even broader latitude to regulate businesses outside of the city limits. Online retailers like Amazon.com would likely be shut down because of their “unfair” advantage over struggling brick-and-mortar stores.

At the national level, one need look no further than the Obama Administration to see the effect of government cronyism. This administration has failed time and time again in its attempt to manipulate the energy sector, with disastrous consequences for taxpayers. Scores of “green” corporations are given government-backed loans as Obama attempts to use government power to force “green” technology on consumers. Dozens of these corporations have failed, costing taxpayers billions of dollars in losses; but the Administration’s “green” initiative remains undeterred.

Fortunately for street vendors, organizations such as the Institute for Justice are stepping in to defend these vulnerable small business owners from government bullies. IJ has established a national street vending initiative to help keep street food legal. Hopefully other individuals and organizations that believe in free enterprise and freedom will join in defense of these entrepreneurs.


This Is What Intolerance Smells Like

Susan Stamper Brown

President Obama's new "religious tolerance" consultant to the Pentagon, Mikey Weinstein, wants Christian military service members who openly talk about their faith in uniform to be charged with treason, which is a crime punishable by death according to military law.

By employing his consulting services, and as Commander-in-Chief, President Obama is effectively endorsing Weinstein's recently voiced and written views such as: "Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized [sic] and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation's armed forces."

Weinstein's inflamed word picture helps the rest of us understand what the world looks like to those who live with their eyes wide shut and sort of sounds like that old cereal commercial... except this time Mikey doesn't like it - Christianity, that is, so no one else should. And Mikey's giving the rest of us an object lesson in intolerance by showing us what liberal secularists are about: "It's our way, or we shut you down." In this case, Obama's anti-Christian hit man, Weinstein, proposes that honorable men and women in the military who speak about their faith should be charged with a crime worthy of capital punishment. Smells like bull to me.

In recent months, there has been a push against Christianity in the military. A few notables include a military training instructor labeling Jews, Christians, Catholics and Mormons as extremists alongside al Qaeda. The Army blocked a Southern Baptist website, citing it displayed "hostile content," (the Pentagon has since blamed it on a malware glitch), and an Army email was distributed warning fellow soldiers to beware of Christian ministry "hate groups." Each of these incidents could be reasoned-away individually, but they all have one thing in common: Intolerance has an unmistakable stench.

News has it that Mr. Weinstein endorsed the Southern Poverty Law Center's recent statement listing certain Christian organizations as hate groups. He also whole-heartedly agreed with comments made by radical Army Lt. Col. Jack Rich, who told his subordinates to be on the lookout for dangerous Christian soldiers who should be expelled from the military for their beliefs.

Lauding the Lt. Colonel's statement in a Huffington Post anti-Christian hit piece April 16, Weinstein said, "We should as a nation effusively applaud Lt. Col. Rich," and said America should go further to "vigorously support the continuing efforts to expose pathologically anti-gay, Islamaphobic, and rabidly intolerant agitators for what they are: die-hard enemies of the United States Constitution. Monsters, one and all. To do anything less would be to roll out a red carpet to those who would usher in a blood-drenched, draconian era of persecutions, nationalistic militarism, and superstitious theocracy."

Gee, if I didn't know better, I'd think he was speaking about why we are fighting the war on terror.

Religious intolerance reached the proverbial Foggy Bottom in the same article when Weinstein described Christians as "those evil fundamentalist Christian creatures" who hide behind the "facades" of "family values" and "religious liberty." The same attributes could be also pinned to America's founders, whom I suppose Mr. Intolerance would also deem as subversives.

It is obvious, foamy-mouthed Mikey has a bone to pick with Christians, and he's found an effective way to get what he wants by working for the president and the president's new military "yes man" Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Our fine men and women of the military, who are part of a historically noble institution, deserve so much better but are once again the punching bag at the expense of this intolerant administration.


Melbourne, Australia: Taxi drivers bar Aboriginal actors

Unsaid below is that most Melbourne taxi-drivers are Indians and that they have had huge troubles with refugee Africans robbing  and attacking them.  An Indian would be unlikely to be able to tell one black from another. The Aborigines were in other words victims of the politically correct refugee policy that imported large numbers of Africans, with their usual high propensity for crime, into Australia.  If you were an Indian taxi driver in Melbourne, you would run from black faces too

Aboriginal actors in town to rehearse an indigenous version of King Lear were repeatedly refused a fare by taxi drivers in Southbank on Monday night, and racially abused on the St Kilda tram Tuesday morning while making their way back to work.

The Malthouse Theatre is now scrambling to find Southbank accommodation for the cast, which includes eminent actors such as Tom E Lewis, star of Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Rabbit-Proof Fence star Natasha Wanganeen, Redfern Now star Jada Alberts, Chooky Dancer Djamangi Gaykamangu, and Ten Canoes actor Frances Djulibing.

Four separate cabs booked to pick up the performers from the Malthouse on Monday from 6.30pm refused the fare once they arrived and saw the passengers, according to actor Jada Alberts.

"It was a series of cabs," Ms Alberts told ABC Melbourne radio. "As one would rock up, then they would say they couldn't go that distance and drive away. It happened once they'd arrived, when they met the passengers."

Ms Alberts said that a white theatre worker was successful in hailing a cab to take the performers to their St Kilda hotel but "as she goes to usher the company into the vehicle, the cab driver gets a look at them and says 'can't do it' and drives away."

The fifth cab booked by the Malthouse did agree to take the performers to St Kilda.

This comes six months after musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu was refused a fare over the colour of his skin outside the Palais Theatre last December.

Although the Malthouse issued the cast with Myki cards so they could travel around Melbourne, several of the cast members were bailed up on the St Kilda tram on Tuesday morning by a fellow passenger who yelled that "you Aboriginal people, you don't exist in this country, you don't even have tickets". The passenger then told the driver to call the police and evict the Aboriginal passengers, a request the driver ignored.

"I know that it's not a usual occurrence, for those things to happen within the space of 24 hours was pretty heart-breaking for all of us to deal with," Ms Alberts said.

Playwright and actor Jada Alberts, left. Photo: Anthony Johnson
"We are now looking at accommodation options for all the artists within walking distance of the Malthouse so that they don't ever have to deal with this again," says the Malthouse's media manager Maria O'Dwyer.

"Obviously, this has been an extremely distressing situation and we are very upset that a very vocal minority in the Melbourne community have treated our artists with such disrespect – it's quite devastating that they have been subjected to such repeated racism in 'cosmopolitan' Melbourne."

"Some [drivers] pulled over for me (I am not Aboriginal), but drove away when I tried to usher the Aboriginal actors into the taxi. I tried hailing passing-by taxis with the same result (despite their lights indicating that they were available)," she wrote.

"The assumption that we have made is that the decision not to allow these people entry to your taxis was based in racism. Although, if you can offer any other explanation, I would love to hear it.

"I invite this as I am eager not to believe that I witnessed such a hideous display of racism, and that such disgusting and shameful acts are still taking place towards Aboriginal people in Australia."



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


5 May, 2013

UKIP: monster raving loonies?

The political and media classes' pathologisation of the UK Independence Party exposes their own cowardice

UKIP party leader Nigel Farage.  His party has just got 25% of the English vote

Nutters. Nutcases. Loonies. Morons. Crackpots. Cuckoos. Oddballs. Fruitflies. Fruitloops. Fruitcakes. When it comes to slang used to suggest that members of the right-wing libertarian UK Independence Party (UKIP) are mentally ill, mainstream politicians and the media have lobbed the entire urban dictionary at them.

UKIP’s latest diagnosis came at the weekend from polo-necked Conservative minister Ken Clarke. In light of the upcoming local elections, Clarke dismissed UKIP as a ‘collection of clowns’, full of ‘waifs and strays’ not sufficiently ‘sensible’ to become local councillors. His comments echoed UK prime minister David Cameron’s oft-quoted remarks from 2006 when he dismissed UKIP as a bunch of ‘fruit cakes and loonies and closet racists’. Cameron has refused to retract these comments, adding earlier this year that he still thought UKIP was full of ‘pretty odd people’.

Almost since its launch in 1993, politicians have chosen to paint UKIP as the successor to the Monster Raving Loony Party, full of – as Michael Howard, Cameron’s predecessor as Tory leader, put it – ‘cranks, gadflies and extremists’. The message is clear: on no account should UKIP be taken seriously as a political force. It deserves only ridicule. After all, how could any party that calls for the abolition of the smoking ban, or for the UK to leave the EU, be considered to be of sound mind? If you support UKIP, you need your head examined.

The volley of insults against UKIP has been ramped up in anticipation of this week’s local council elections, where UKIP looks set to gain its largest number of seats ever.

All the same, the insults keep coming. Many in the media seem especially keen to dig a disproportionate amount of dirt on UKIP, casting improperly vetted candidates as the norm (helpfully assisted, as suggested in a recent Telegraph blog, by the Conservative Campaign HQ). UKIP’s members are revealed not only as far-right sympathisers and Holocaust deniers, but also as climate-change sceptics peddling ‘cuckoo conspiracy theories’. And their irrational hatred of foreigners – UKIP calls for stronger immigration controls - often leads them to being diagnosed as ‘xenophobes’.

You don’t have to be a fan of UKIP to recognise these attacks on the party as being the lowest trick in politics: depict your opponents as mad and thus remove the need to engage and argue with them. After all, what would be the point? They’re suffering from all sorts of psychological conditions from rampant denialism to proliferating phobias. They are therefore utterly incapable of engaging in rational debate.

This cheap tactic of pathologising political opponents in order to avoid debate is widespread today. Take, for example, environmentalist campaigners’ branding of anyone who deviates from what they deem to be cold hard facts as ‘climate deniers’. Pro-gay marriage campaigners have used similar tactics, calling opponents prehistoric ‘knuckle draggers’ who, as ‘homophobes’, have an irrational fear of gay people. Now the same approach is being taken with UKIP: portray them as loons with fantastic ideas (and, yes, many are critical of climate-change orthodoxies and gay marriage) borne of irrational prejudice.

Such ad hominem slurs are both cynical and cowardly, reflecting the extent to which UKIP has managed to get under the skin of the Tories and the political class as a whole. It’s now reported that Labour leader Ed Miliband is opposed to the idea of UKIP leader Nigel Farage being allowed to appear in televised debates in the run-up to the 2015 general election. Apparently UKIP’s ‘brand of anti-politics could damage all three main parties in unpredictable ways’. The fear, it seems, is that UKIP may infect voters with its madness and upset the normal business of sensible mainstream party politics. The public needs to be kept away from the lunacy of Farage for its own sanity.

Ironically, in his attack on UKIP, Ken Clarke argued that ‘they don’t know what they are for’. Perhaps if the Tories - and, indeed, Labour and the Lib Dems, too – possessed a stronger sense of what they are for, they would feel less threatened by UKIP. And perhaps then, rather than cheap smears, a genuine public, political debate could take place.


Why the Left hates families: MELANIE PHIILLPS reveals how the selfish sneers of Guardianistas made her see the how Left actively fosters – and revels in – family breakdown...

For the Left, I am the target of deepest hatred. For my trenchant views, expressed in this newspaper, they call me ‘insane’, ‘reactionary’, ‘racist’, a ‘Nazi’, a ‘shroudwaver’, a ‘witch’ and a ‘warmonger’.  I have been accused of ‘unmatched depths of ignorance and bigotry’ and being the ‘queen of mean’.

It was even suggested (in a particularly extreme spasm of hyperbole) that I eat broken bottles and kill rats with my teeth.

This resort to crude insult against anyone who dares to challenge their shibboleths is typical of the Left.

It doesn’t argue its case. It simply tries to shut down debate by bullying its targets and labelling them as extremists and enemies of humanity in order to frighten people away from listening to them.

But they reserve a special loathing for me. This is not just because I refuse to be cowed. It’s because I was once one of them, one of the elect, a believer.

I come from the kind of family in which it was simply unthinkable to vote Conservative. For my parents, the Tory Party represented the boss class, while Labour supported the little man — people like us.

My father was haunted all his life by the poverty he endured growing up in the old East End of London in the Twenties and Thirties. His family of six lived in two rooms; he never had enough to eat. He left school at the age of 13.

As a university-educated young woman with hippie-style hair and an attitude, I, too, generally toed the standard Leftist line in the late Seventies and early Eighties.

Poverty was bad, cuts in public spending were bad, prison was bad, the Tory government was bad.

The state was good, poor people were good, minorities were good, sexual freedom was good.

And pretty soon I had the perfect platform for those views when I went to work as a journalist on The Guardian, the self-styled paper of choice for intellectuals and the supposed voice of progressive conscience.

The paper and I fitted each other perfectly. If I had been a character in one of the Mister  Men books, I would have been Little Miss Guardianista.

Those of us who worked there had a fixed belief in our own superiority and righteousness. We saw ourselves as clever and civilised champions of liberal thought.

I felt loved and cherished, the favoured child of a wonderful and impressive family.

To my colleagues, there was virtually no question that the poor were the victims of circumstances rather than being accountable for their own behaviour and that the state was a wholly benign actor in the lives of individuals.

It never occurred to us that there could be another way of looking at the world. Above all, we knew we were on the side of the angels, while across the barricades hatchet-faced Right-wingers represented the dark forces of human nature and society that we were all so proud to be against.

But then Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979; and although at The Guardian it was a given that she was a heartless, narrow-minded, suburban nightmare, I found myself listening, despite myself, to a point of view I had not heard before.

These Thatcherites were not the usual upper-class squires, but people whose backgrounds were similar to my own.

They were promoting the values with which I had been brought up in my Labour-supporting family — all about opportunities for social betterment, hard work, taking responsibility for oneself.

I always believed a good journalist should uphold truth over lies and follow the evidence where it led.

Trudging round godforsaken estates as the paper’s special reporter on social affairs, I could see the stark reality of what our supposedly enlightened  liberal society was becoming.

The scales began to fall from my eyes. I came to realise that the Left was not on the side of truth, reason and justice. Instead, it promoted ideology, malice and oppression. Rather than fighting abuse of power, it embodied it.

Increasingly, I saw how journalists on highbrow papers write primarily for other journalists or to impress politicians or other members of the great and the good.

They don’t actually like ordinary people — especially the lower middle class, the strivers who believed in self-discipline and personal responsibility. They dismiss them as narrow-minded, parochial and prejudiced (unlike themselves, of course).

But I always wrote with ordinary people in mind. Just as they were sceptical of intellectual abstractions, fantasies or Utopian solutions, so was I.

Bit by bit, I saw through the delusion of the Left’s supposedly ‘progressive’ politics. Increasingly, I turned away from their stupidity, hypocrisy and moral blindness. They, of course, dismissed me as contemptibly ‘Right-wing’, as if that was sufficient to destroy my argument.

But I am not ideologically driven. I hate the way political debate has been polarised into warring camps, with each side circling its wagons and striking ever more inflexible, dogmatic and adversarial positions.

My battle with the Left has never been from ‘the Right’, despite what they say. How can I be ‘Right-wing’ when I am driven by the desire to make a better world, stand up for right over wrong and look after the most vulnerable in society?

Rather, I fight the Left on its very own  purported moral high ground, which I once believed we all shared, but which I came to realise it had most cynically betrayed.

The defining issue for me — the one that launched me on a personal trajectory of confrontation with the Left and with my colleagues and friends — was the persistent undermining of the family as an institution.

By the late Eighties, it was glaringly obvious that families were suffering a chronic crisis of identity and self-confidence.

There were more and more divorces and single parents — along with mounting evidence that family disintegration and the subsequent creation of  step-families or households with no father figure at all did incalculable damage to children.

‘Too many children lack a consistent mother or father  figure,’ researchers told me.

Poverty, the Left’s habitual excuse, could not be the culprit since middle-class children were also not receiving the parental attention they required.

For me, the traditional family is sacred because it embodies the idea that there is something beyond the selfish individual. But it was being turned into a mere contract that either side could break more or less at will.

I listened to the evidence of those with no particular  ideological fixation or agenda, but who simply spoke of what they saw was happening.

From Zelda West-Meads of the marriage guidance counsellors Relate, I learned that, though many single mothers did a heroic job, it was the absence of the father that did such terrible damage to their children. So I described how fathers were vital to the emotional health of children.

Fatherless families were also at least partly responsible for a national breakdown in authority and rising levels of crime.

My view was backed in 1992 when three influential social scientists with impeccable Left-wing pedigrees produced a damning report.

From their research, they concluded that children in fractured families tend to suffer more ill-health, do less well at school, are more likely to be unemployed, more prone to criminal behaviour and to repeat as adults the same cycle of unstable parenting. But instead of welcoming this analysis as identifying a real problem, the Left turned on the authors, branding them as evil Right-wingers for being ‘against single mothers’.

Their sanity was called into  question. ‘What do these people want?’ one distinguished academic said to me. ‘Do they want unhappy parents to stay together?’

Eventually, he admitted that the authors’ research was correct. But he said it was impossible to turn back the clock and wondered why there was so much concern about the rights of the child rather than of the parents.

He turned out to be divorced — revealing a devastating pattern I was to encounter over and over again. Truth was being sacrificed to personal expediency. Evidence would be denied if the consequences were inconvenient.

Self-centred individualism and  self-justification ruled, regardless of the damage done to others.

Surely, though, the essence of being ‘progressive’ was to protect the most vulnerable? Yet these ‘progressives’ were elevating their own desires into rights that trumped the emotional, physical and intellectual well-being of their children — and then berated as heartless reactionaries those who criticised them!

The more this was being justified, the more it was happening. Rising numbers of people were abandoning their spouses and children, or breaking up other people’s families, or bringing children into the world without a father around at all.

Yet I, of all people, knew at first-hand what damage and anguish could be inflicted when a father’s influence was missing, even within an apparently model family like mine.

My roots were in a typical post-war British Jewish family that  originally came to Britain from Poland and Russia around the turn of the 20th century.  My Father, Alfred, was a dress salesman and my mother ran a children’s clothes shop.

We were not overly religious, but my parents had strong Jewish values of family obligation, a fierce sense of right and wrong and the unquestionable assumption that the more fortunate among us had a duty to help the worse-off.

My mother Mabel — witty, elegant, capable, intelligent, sensitive and beautiful — was the formative influence on my life. I was an only child and we were inseparable.

I adopted her views, her mannerisms, her likes and dislikes. She was the largest thing in my life, the sun that blotted out all other planets. She poured everything she had into me. She made all the decisions about my life.

It was she who decided that, despite the family’s modest income, I would be educated at private schools. It was she who gave me a love of books and of reading. It was she who imparted the values by which I have lived my life.

But she was emotionally very frail. When she was 16, she’d had a nervous breakdown after her father died of TB. Because she was so fragile, it fell to me to be her guardian and protector.

In my childish mind, I was responsible for her. I became what psychologists call a ‘parentified child’ — burdened with adult responsibility, and not a child at all. It never even occurred to me that this role was properly my father’s.

But he was just a figure in the background. I loved him — he was gentle, kind and innocent. But he never intruded into the sealed relationship between his wife and his daughter.

As a child, I never had an independent conversation with him about anything important. All such communication was mediated through my mother. He seemed to be no more than an overgrown child himself.

Physically present in my daily life, as my other parent he just wasn’t there. But nor, it seemed to me, were any of the other men in our extended family. Fathers tended to be bossed around as though they were children.

My grandmothers were strong women who laid down the law. Various uncles appeared to be squashed by their wives, from whom they retreated for a quiet life.

And my father — well, he seemed to my childish self to be just a shell. From infancy onwards, I would observe this and silently grieve.

Having experienced how the absence of proper fathering could screw up a child for life, I believed I was doing no more than stating the obvious when I deplored the explosion of lone parenting, female-headed households and mass fatherlessness.

But, to my amazement, at The Guardian, I found that over this and many other issues, I was branded as reactionary, authoritarian and, of course, Right-wing.

The result was social ostracism. One of the mentors I had looked up to — a thoughtful person, independent-minded and intellectually curious, or so I had thought — simply walked off rather than talk to me about these issues.

All this was very painful. I was accosted angrily by someone I had previously thought of as a friend. ‘How can you possibly say that family breakdown hurts children?’ he spat out at me. ‘The worst damage to a child is always done by the traditional nuclear family!’

I could only gaze at him, defeated by the stupendous shallowness of such an attitude. The ones who were the most aggressive and offended, I noticed, were those who had walked out on their families or were cheating on their spouses.

This revealed another sad truth about the Left. What matters to them above all is that they are seen to be virtuous and compassionate. They simply cannot deal with the possibility that they might not be.

They deal with any such suggestion not by facing up to any harm they may be doing, but by shutting down the argument altogether. That’s because the banner behind which they march is not altruism, as they kid themselves. It is narcissism.

It was increasingly clear that the Left, the movement whose goal was to create a better society, had lost the moral plot — and not just over the family. It embraced the doctrine that all lifestyles were equal and none could be deemed to be better than any other.

The more those around me demonised those of us who were clinging to moral precepts based on duty rather than self-interest, the more important it became to me to try to open people’s eyes to what was thus being ignored, denied or misrepresented.

I was particularly aghast when, in May 1993, a single mother of a six-year-old boy, who had been treated with a fertility drug, gave birth to sextuplets.

I wrote of the ‘reckless amorality’ of a society in which there was general jubilation among the NHS staff involved ‘for the brilliant  masterstroke of creating a single- parent family of seven’.

There were whole communities where committed fathers were almost totally unknown. Children as young as five were becoming highly sexualised from the example of their promiscuous mothers.

Family breakdown was dissolving the bonds of society and civilisation itself.

According to teachers, doctors and social workers I spoke to, young men were fathering children indiscriminately and children were growing up in unbridled savagery and lawlessness to despise their mothers and disdain men and all authority.

What really horrified these professionals was these disastrous consequences were being ignored.

The idea that a woman could be mother and father to her children — more, that it was her ‘right’ to choose such a lifestyle — led directly to the hopeless plight of often inadequate women struggling to raise children while the men who fathered them were, in effect, told they were free to do their own thing.

I was as perplexed by this as I was appalled. I had been brought up to believe the Left stood for altruism rather than selfishness, community rather than individualism, self- discipline rather than the law of the jungle and the survival of the fittest.

Instead, society was worshipping at the shrine of the self, and this was causing a rising tide of juvenile distress, crime, emotional disturbance, educational and relationship failure.

The fact that I continued to write along these lines regardless of all the abuse hurled to shut me up seemed to drive the Left nuts.

Yes, they espoused a doctrine of being tolerant and non-judgmental, but  not when it came to me. I was branded a ‘moraliser’, which appeared to be a term of abuse.

Most of the time, those hurling insults provided no contrary evidence or even arguments, just blanket denials and gratuitous abuse.

Those of us who inhabit the world of intellectual combat should not be too surprised by the missiles that are hurled our way.

But I believe my experience is symptomatic of what has happened to British society and western culture as a whole over the past 30 years.

Our cultural and political elites have simply turned truth and justice inside out and, with argument replaced by insult and abuse, taken leave of reality itself. They have destroyed rational discourse, polarised opinion and thereby undermined the possibility of finding common ground.

The result is that there are two Britains — the first adhering to decency, rationality and duty to others, and the second characterised by hatred, rampant selfishness and a terrifying repudiation of reason.


No more jailings in secret: Judges issue new ruling on contempt cases after Mail exposes sentencing scandal

Senior judges are to ban the secret jailing of defendants for contempt of court, the Daily Mail can reveal.

The decision comes after emergency talks over the way a woman was given a prison sentence for trying to take her father out of a care home.

Wanda Maddocks, 50, was handed a five-month jail term by the Court of Protection in her absence – and without being represented by a lawyer.

New instructions for judges will lay down that no one should be sentenced to prison for contempt of court behind closed doors.

A judge ruled that Miss Maddocks’ efforts to remove her 80-year-old father from the care home where she believed his life was in danger amounted to wilful defiance of the court.

The sentence was imposed by Judge Martin Cardinal at the Court of Protection in Birmingham without naming any of those involved.

No record of his ruling was published, and secrecy rules forbade anyone to name Miss Maddocks, her father, the local council that asked for her to be imprisoned or the social worker who gave evidence against her.

Judge Cardinal opened his court to the public for the sentencing, but the unlocking of the courtroom doors was announced  only to passers-by who happened to be in the corridor outside.

The Mail’s report of the Maddocks case provoked a major row over the Court of Protection, which decides on the affairs of individuals too ill to make decisions for themselves. The Court habitually sits in secret and few of its hearings have ever been subjected to public scrutiny.

The depth of political concern became clear yesterday when it emerged that Justice Secretary Chris Grayling wrote to Sir James Munby, the judge in charge of family justice, to ask him to include the Court of Protection in a review currently under way into the workings of the family courts.

The family courts – which handle cases of divorce and child custody, and which rule when children are taken into care or put up for adoption – are rarely open to the public and usually publish only anonymous details of judgements. Sir James is currently exploring ways to make them more open.

The talks on the Maddocks  case and secret imprisonment involved both Sir James, who is head of the Family Division of the High Court, and Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, who is the head of the judiciary.

Their decision to ban secret sentencing for contempt was taken before Sir James received the  Grayling letter.

Judge Cardinal sentenced Miss Maddocks last August after hearing that she had repeatedly broken orders not to interfere with her father’s life at the care home.

He found she had helped take her father to a court hearing and had also taken him to see a solicitor; that she had tried to publicise the case; had left offensive messages for social workers; and that she had given the 80-year-old former painter and decorator a wooden cross to ward off evil at his care home.

The judge said she had ‘the attitude of someone who is simply not going to obey court orders’. Miss Maddocks was arrested 11 days after her sentencing by police and court officials who waited for her when she visited the care home. She has said she was assaulted in Foston Hall prison in Derby by a fellow inmate who would  not believe she had not committed a serious crime or had a public criminal trial.

She served six weeks before being released after apologising to Judge Cardinal.

The judge also imposed a two-month suspended sentence for contempt on Miss Maddocks’ brother Ivan for his role in taking their father to a court hearing and to see a Birmingham lawyer. The suspended sentence, which was also imposed in secret, was handed down at a separate hearing in July.

Last week, after the Mail learned of the case, Judge Cardinal agreed that Miss Maddocks and her brother could be named, along with the council, Stoke-on-Trent.

The judgment in which sentence was handed down was also published for the first time.

Miss Maddocks’ father John died in January.

Miss Maddocks is thought to be the first person imprisoned by the Court of Protection. However no one can be certain because of the secrecy under which the court regularly works.

Family courts also have powers to sentence those who fail to obey court rulings with imprisonment. However the power is rarely used, not least because in family separation cases judges believe that to jail a mother who defies a court would harm her children.

One notable recent case of a family court imprisonment involved fixer to the rich Scot Young, jailed for six months by a High Court judge in January for persistent failure to account during his divorce case for the disappearance of his £400million fortune. The sentencing decision was made in open court.

Current civil procedure rules which govern the operation of the courts say that anyone sentenced to jail should be named.

Sir James Munby yesterday replied to Mr Grayling to say he would consider the Justice Secretary’s letter about the Court of Protection. Sir James is expected to wait before sending a more detailed response.


A Homophobic Nightmare

Michael Brown

I had a disturbing dream last night. I guess you could call it a homophobic nightmare. The fact is, wherever I turned in the dream, from McDonald’s to ESPN, charges of “homophobia” and “transphobia” were flying.

First I dreamed that I was sitting at McDonald’s with our two granddaughters, aged 12 and 6, and they needed to use the bathroom. “Go ahead kids,” I said. “I can see you from here.”

Off they went, under my watchful eyes, the older girl holding the younger girl’s hand, until they disappeared into the ladies room. But seconds later, they came running out, shocked.

“Grandpa, there’s a man wearing a dress in there!”

Stunned, I went to talk to the manager, but he informed me that this was the official policy of the franchise, pulling out a document that read, “We respect the rights of all customers and employees. We believe all people must have access to safe and dignified bathroom facilities regardless of their gender identity or expression. . . . Employees and customers may use any restroom that corresponds with and is based upon the gender identity they publicly and exclusively assert or express.”

When I asked him how this new policy respected the rights of my granddaughters to have access to safe and dignified bathroom facilities, he said I sounded homophobic (actually, “transphobic” was the word he used.)

Still stunned, I explained to the girls that my heart went out to this man, who was obviously very confused, and that we should pray for him. Then we headed back home where some of the neighborhood kids were having an animated discussion. Some of the older ones – perhaps high school age – were really passionate, so I asked them what they were talking about.

“Our school is so mean,” one of them said. “There’s a really cool guy who was born a girl and ran for Prom King, but our principal said he could only run for Prom Queen – even though he’s been a girl for one whole year!”

“Our principal is so homophobic!” another student opined. “You mean transphobic,” yet another student explained.

My mind was becoming numb. Yes, I cared about this young person, but what was the message for the other kids? And what were my grandkids thinking?

At that point my wife called our girls inside for dinner, and I went straight to my computer to check out the story. Was it really true? Sure enough, it was, and the ACLU was taking up the offended student’s cause.

“Time for a break!” I thought to myself – but it’s not because I dislike LGBT people. In fact, when I was just 5 ½ years old, my first music teacher was an openly gay man, and he would come to our house to give lessons to my sister and me, often accompanied by his partner. And both of them would then join us for dinner.

So, I grew up without a hint of “homophobia,” and, more importantly, as a follower of Jesus, it is second nature for me to treat everyone with dignity and respect, regardless of our differences. It’s just that I didn’t expect my granddaughters to encounter a man in the ladies room at McDonald’s, nor did I expect a girl wanting to be Prom King to be the topic of discussion among the neighborhood kids.

Getting back to the dream, as I was researching the Prom King story, I spotted a link on BBC News about Richard O’Brien, writer of the hit musical The Rocky Horror Show. According to the headline, he now described himself as “70% man.”

“What in the world?” I thought to myself.

So I clicked on the link to the article, which contained a totally unexpected, really sad picture. (If you think I’m exaggerating, go to the article.)

According to the story, “a decade ago, he started taking the female hormone oestrogen - and is happy with the results. . . . He has also developed small breasts. But O'Brien is not intending to go further and have sex reassignment surgery.”

“Enough with this!” I said to myself.

To be sure, I felt nothing but pity for this poor man, even if that makes me homophobic (or, transphobic) in some people’s eyes, but I was determined to change subjects, so I went over to the ESPN home page, only to find that the lead story was about . . . homosexuality. Who would be the first gay athlete to come out? And there was another article on Magic Johnson’s gay son, and another article on the top female college basketball player, who was also openly gay.

“Can’t I just enjoy sports for a few minutes without homosexuality coming up again?”

So I decided to go to another sports website, but there was breaking news there too: Jason Collins had just come out as the first openly gay NBA player.

Yes, I care about him as an individual too, but I had to wonder: Is homosexuality the biggest sports story out there?

So I turned on the TV to catch up on the latest scores, except the subject was not the NBA playoffs or the NFL draft. Instead, sports pundits were ganging up on ESPN reporter Chris Broussard who, when asked his opinion as a Christian about Jason Collins’ claim to be a practicing homosexual Christian, gave a straightforward Christian answer. “How homophobic!” everyone cried out.

And then I came to a startling realization. This was not a dream after all. I was awake the whole time.

This was a slice of America, April, 2013. Who can imagine what April, 2014 will look like?



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


3 May, 2013

A message to young women

An older woman writes of a life filled with great challenges and great joy.  She REALLY "had it all"

My house feels a little empty some days, now that my oldest has moved out. My youngest is a teenager now, and is mostly self-sufficient, and often I find myself remembering the joyously chaotic days when they were young. We spent our days adventuring, experimenting, discovering, and playing, and though I knew better, it really felt as though those days would last forever.

Last week, as I was washing dishes, I noticed that one of our sets of measuring spoons had come apart. It's a brightly colored set, held together with a red zip tie, and we have had it for so many years now, that I can no longer remember where we got it, or when. What I do remember, though, is that it was purchased as part of a children's cooking set; one of those primary colored things that are marketed for small children, along with a book of easy recipes that kids could cook with little parental assistance.

I'm not even sure we cooked anything from the book; neither one of my kids turned out to be much interested in culinary endeavors, but we always had shelves and shelves of equipment, tools, and books available, so that they were free to dabble at will in whatever might strike their fancy at any given time. The measuring spoons in question, though, were something I had used practically every day, as I prepared meals for my growing family, for what seemed like as long as I could remember. Seeing them broken apart brought on a wave of emotion, as I remembered many of the projects we had done together; the supplies bought, the messes made, even the things that sat on the shelf, unused, when the kids lost interest before they got around to using them.

I thought back to the hard times, too; the times I felt like I'd never get a full night's sleep again, or ever have the time to pursue my own interests (or even to remember what my interests used to be!). The days of meltdowns and tantrums and children fighting. The days of struggling to cook something, anything, with fussy kids pulling at my clothes, or hanging on my legs. The days the only thing I wanted in the whole world was to go to the bathroom alone, or take a shower or grocery shop without all hell breaking loose. Diapers that exploded, requiring a bath, no matter how inconvenient the timing. The years I spent, feeling like a human cow, confined most of the time to a rocking chair, nursing a babe for what seemed like most of my waking life.

And though some days I struggled to believe that I would indeed actually make it through, I never, ever actually believed people who told me that someday I'd miss it (in a period of desperation, I insisted that hubby get 'fixed'; I was convinced that I never wanted to go through it again). But the people who insisted that I would someday wish it hadn't gone by so fast were right; I miss it. I really, sorely do. All of it, and not just the easy, fun parts, either.

Today I was out grocery shopping again. I was alone, and I could take the time to leisurely examine items. I could scan the shelves, or the racks, just to see what might be new and interesting. It was peaceful, and I was unrushed. And then, as I turned a corner, I entered a freezer section, and was confronted with a bin of frozen pizzas. And I almost cried. My oldest never would eat much home-cooked food. She lived on frozen and boxed foods, at one point declaring that 'real food' actually came from a box. Just a few months ago, she would have been with me, and she would have, no doubt, gleefully filled the cart with those frozen pizzas. It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it, crying over frozen pizza? But I'd give all the peace and quiet back, just to have some more time to play with them, to admire their tiny faces, to kiss the boo-boos, and experience the world anew through their eyes again. Now I have all the time in the world, most days, to see to my own needs, to pursue the things that I need to or love to do, and sadly, to regret all the things I meant to do or wished to do and just wasn't able to manage, and the moments I wasn't able to muster the kindness and compassion I now desperately wish I'd been able to.

I'm extremely thankful, though, that we made some of the parenting decisions that we made. I feel blessed to have a husband who was willing to be the sole provider for all these years, so that I was able to stay home with the children full-time as they grew. I'm extremely glad that we decided relatively early to peacefully parent and unschool them, as well. Being able to be with them every single day, to guide them and to witness their achievements, to console them when they were disappointed, and to do my very best to answer their questions and facilitate their explorations is, I believe, the single best possible investment of my time, and the best gift I could give them; the gift of their childhoods, free from the controlling, authoritarian, over-scheduled and generally mean-spirited environments that children are usually relegated to. Connecting with love instead of disconnecting with control has proven miraculous as well. I believe it has made a huge difference in our lives thus far together, and I hope it has a positive impact on the whole course of their lives.

I cherished our time together, and though my parenting/unschooling years are not quite over yet, things are different now. As I have worked on this article, the other two members of the household are involved in their own projects; hubby is in the kitchen filming his YouTube show, and my son is firmly ensconced in front of his computer, where he spends much of his time, bug-testing a game. And while it's exciting to be able to use my time as I wish again, it's quite an adjustment, and I'm still adapting. I think I probably will be for some time.

I know that some days, every moment feels like an ordeal, and sometimes you just want them to grow up already, even if just a little bit. I know you probably won't believe me any more than I believed all the people that told me, but you will miss this. So hard though it may sometimes be, take that deep breath, count to ten, put yourself in time-out, rather than your kiddos, until you can respond with love, do whatever you have to do to keep on keepin' on. And enjoy it while you can. Take advantage of every opportunity that you are able to, and appreciate every precious moment, because it will never happen again, and you don't want to miss it.

The measuring spoons sat around for a few days, and I contemplated just throwing them out. We have another set, and since we'll be moving in a few months, we'll need to get rid of most of our possessions anyway. What's the use?, I thought. There aren't any children around these days to play with the brightly colored things anyway. But my hubby insisted we fix them. After all, we still use them every day. We found a new zip tie to hold them together. It's yellow this time, instead of red, but it still does the job. I imagine that we'll be using them through at least a few more adventures. Times, they are a-changin', but they're not over just yet.


J.C. Penney fires CEO after plummeting sales following gay ad campaign

Plenty of companies have argued that natural marriage is "bad for business"--but they'll have a tough time persuading J.C. Penney. After a series of radical decisions, the retailer is struggling to survive a 25 percent drop in sales.

It started in 2011 when the company hired Ellen DeGeneres, a vocal proponent of same-sex "marriage" as its spokesperson.

The choice drew fire from organizations like the American Family Association (AFA) because it was a departure from the store's longstanding values. When AFA's One Million Moms complained, J.C. Penney's new CEO, Ron Johnson, stubbornly dug in his heels.

Then, on Mothers' Day, the company shocked customers with a blatant endorsement of homosexuality in an ad that featured two moms--followed by a two-dads ad for Fathers' Day. Coupled with an overhaul of the stores' pricing system, the stock never recovered.

Now, months after the experiment failed, J.C. Penney has fired Johnson and replaced him with the former CEO, Myron Ullman.

Hinting that the problems are more political than the media is reporting, Ullman said bluntly,

Whether the retailer will learn from its mistakes is yet to be seen. But J.C. Penney's freefall should serve as a warning to other companies who are itching to jump on the same-sex bandwagon. Pandering to those who want to redefine marriage (and the rest of society with it) may earn you a pat on the back from the Human Rights Campaign, but in the long term, it's bad policy.

Americans want corporate neutrality in the culture wars, and when they don't find it, they will go elsewhere.


Open up secret courts demands British Justice Minister: Chris Grayling orders review of shadowy Court of Protection

Chris Grayling has ordered an urgent review of a controversial court that has the power to make life-or-death decisions – and even send people to jail – in secret.

The Justice Secretary last night asked one of the country’s most senior judges to consider steps to increase the transparency of the shadowy Court of Protection.

Set up in 2007 under Labour’s Mental Capacity Act, it gave the state draconian powers to intervene in the lives of those deemed unfit to look after their own affairs.

Controversy increased when the Daily Mail revealed last month that a woman had been jailed in secret after trying to remove her father from a care home where his family thought he was in danger of dying.

A judge ruled Wanda Maddocks, 50, should go to prison for five months for contempt of court even though she was not present or represented by a lawyer.

She is the first person known to have been imprisoned by the Court of Protection.

Several senior MPs expressed alarm at the case and suggested the Government should review its procedures.

Now the Justice Secretary has written to Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales, asking him to expand an existing review of the family courts to consider the use of secret hearings in the Court of Protection.

‘We have already agreed there is a need for greater openness in the family courts, with the intention that we make progress on this as soon as possible in order to ensure public confidence ...  he wrote in a letter seen by the Daily Mail.

‘As you will be aware, the issue of transparency in the Court of Protection has also recently attracted media attention.
Set up in 2007 under Labour¿s Mental Capacity Act, it gave the state draconian powers to intervene in the lives of those deemed unfit to look after their own affairs

Set up in 2007 under Labour¿s Mental Capacity Act, the Court of Protection gave the state draconian powers to intervene in the lives of those deemed unfit to look after their own affairs

'While we want to ensure that we balance the interests of safeguarding vulnerable adults with those of increasing the transparency of proceedings, I would welcome your views on how we might best achieve this.

‘Therefore I would like to invite you to consider if you might extend the scope of your work on transparency in the family courts to include arrangements for the Court of Protection.’

Ministers are expected to hold a meeting in the next few weeks with Sir James on how the review will proceed.

A Ministry of Justice source said Mr Grayling had been ‘deeply concerned’ by the idea of people being jailed in their absence and without any public scrutiny and believed reforms must be considered.

MP John Hemming, chairman of the all-party Parliamentary Group on Family Law and the Court of Protection, said: ‘At last the Government has stopped being complacent and pretending there is no problem.

‘They have been ignoring this issue for years. The Wanda Maddocks case was one where she was imprisoned for taking her father to a solicitor to get legal advice to prove that the courts were wrong.

'That can’t be right. There is a general problem of secrecy right across the family courts. If the legal system won’t stand up to public scrutiny there is something wrong with the legal system – not with public scrutiny.’

Former Liberal Democrat care minister Paul Burstow, who has been critical of the court, welcomed the move.

‘I think a review is timely and should allow us to ensure justice is being seen to be done. We need to bring this more into the light so people understand how this court does its job.

‘It’s also vital that where decisions are being made that have a very direct and considerable impact on families’ lives, that every effort is made to ensure that they actually know what is going on.’

Miss Maddocks was jailed for taking her father John out of his care home against the instructions of a court order that he should not be moved.

She served six weeks of her sentence. A judge ruled Miss Maddocks was causing her father ‘very considerable grief’ and ‘it seems to be only right she should go to prison’.

The Court of Protection, which handles 24,540 cases a year of which 2,700 involve the Official Solicitor, is increasingly being asked to sanction key medical decisions that will either prolong a patient’s life or allow death to take its course.

It also intervenes in other business involving property, financial affairs, divorce and other civil disputes when a person is deemed unable to make decisions.

Set up by the last government, the court was given powers to sit in secret. In practice, it has never opened to the public and only its final judgments are occasionally made available beyond the courtroom.

Niri Shan, a contempt expert with the law firm Taylor Wessing, said: ‘This is in every practical way a secret court. This is troubling. Five months is a long sentence. It is rare that a court will sentence someone to five months for contempt.’


Teenage girls are jailed for falsely accusing British father of two of flashing at them in revenge for long-running family dispute

Women never make false accusations against men, according to feminists

An innocent man falsely accused of being a flasher by two vindictive girls spoke of his ‘living nightmare’ yesterday after the pair were jailed.

The two teenagers told police that they were in a car when Jason  McCue, 34, approached them and  exposed himself.

The father of two was arrested a couple of days after the alleged incident in June last year.

He was forced to give DNA samples, his fingerprints were taken along with intimate body samples before he was charged with indecent exposure.

Lucie Rhimes and Ella Cooper, both 18, backed up their allegations by making detailed statements to the police.

Facing two years in jail for indecent exposure, Mr McCue was hauled before magistrates three times.  At the third hearing the distraught Mr McCue again maintained his innocence and was told he would face trial by jury at Crown court.

But just before the trial was set to begin in January, Rhimes confessed that the whole story had been made up.  Rhimes of Chorley, Lancashire,  admitted she had tried to frame Mr McCue after he had a disagreement with one of their families.

At Preston Crown Court, Rhimes, 18, and Cooper, 18, of Preston admitted perverting the course of justice and were each jailed for eight months.

After his name was finally cleared, Mr McCue revealed how the malicious allegations had turned his life upside down and that he had suffered a breakdown. He said: ‘I’ve been through months of pure hell. If they wanted to ruin me, it worked.  ‘The false accusations have caused mayhem for me and my family, and the doctor has had to sign me off with depression.’

Mr McCue, a builder, said: ‘Things like this can ruin a man’s life, and people should know the massive impact it’s had.  'I’ve been feeling embarrassed and ashamed for something I’ve not even done, because it’s easy for people to jump to conclusions.

‘My mum [who lives in Australia] is ill with cancer and I had been planning to look after her, but I couldn’t leave the country until this was sorted out. Imagine how that felt.

‘These girls may have thought it was some kind of joke but it was not a joke for me – things got well and truly out of control.’

Mr McCue had been walking down a street in Ashton-on-Ribble, Lancashire, when he saw Cooper at the wheel of her car at traffic lights with Rhimes in the passenger seat. Later, Cooper told her mother that Mr McCue had approached their car and exposed himself, and police were called in.

Officers were eventually alerted to the lies just days before the Crown court trial was due to start. Prosecutors offered no evidence against Mr McCue and a formal not guilty verdict  was recorded.

His partner Donna Masterson, 39, said: ‘There was never any doubt in my mind about Jay’s innocence, but people point the finger.  'It’s affected the whole family. It’s put a strain on our relationship.

‘Jay has been ill, and I have children who have to go to the same school as the girls’ families. I’d still have liked to have seen these girls get longer sentences. They didn’t show any remorse the whole time.

‘No matter what the vendetta someone has against a family, you cannot do that to someone. It’s the worst thing that someone can say about a man.’

She added: ‘When we found out that the case had been dropped just before it was meant to go to court, it was the best feeling ever.

‘It was great, knowing that the truth was out and the record had been set straight.’

Sentencing the pair, Judge Anthony Russell QC said: ‘In this case the most serious aspect is that an innocent man was wrongly charged with an unpleasant offence which has caused him distress and anguish, and affected his personal life and employment opportunities because, unfortunately, when mud is thrown it sticks.

‘This was an offence motivated by malice. You caused this man to suffer for a six-month period.’



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


2 May, 2013

Nursery assistant, sacked by British nursery for smacking her OWN daughter on the bottom, claims she was unfairly dismissed

A nursery assistant is claiming unfair dismissal after she was sacked for smacking her own daughter at work.

Kyshia Cammock, 25, lost her job at Little Folks Nursery in Birmingham after she hit her two-year-old on the bottom for misbehaving, a tribunal was told.

The mother is suing her former employers, Mishi Nurseries Ltd, for unfair dismissal and seeking compensation.

But Mishi Nurseries is fighting the claim and maintains Miss Cammock was sacked for gross misconduct after the incident, which is against company policy.

The police were informed at the time, the hearing was told, but no action was taken.  Miss Cammock was on a training scheme at the centre.

She has accused her employers of favouritism among staff, claiming she had been treated less favourably than others.

At the hearing, Miss Cammock said she had been told by management not to deny the smacking accusation because there had been CCTV footage. But it was revealed there was no such footage.

Tribunal judge Victoria Dean said she could not find any reference in a witness statement by Miss Cammock that acknowledged she knew about the firm’s policy against smacking children on the premises.

But Miss Cammock said during the hearing: 'I knew I was not allowed to smack a child.'

The nursery owners claimed the member of staff had been fully aware of the firm’s 'behaviour policy' regarding staff.

The case was adjourned to a later date, to allow more evidence to be provided.  Miss Cammock has yet to give verbal evidence.


You CAN'T have it all, says Net-a-porter boss: Entrepreneur reveals trauma at starting business while pregnant with her first child

She has long been regarded as one of the few women who has managed to juggle ‘having it all’ .

But Natalie Massenet has now revealed she deeply regrets her ambitious decision to launch her successful online fashion business when she was pregnant with her first child.

Mrs Massenet has confessed the experience left her so ’traumatised’ that she waited another six years before having her second child.

The 47-year-old entrepreneur, named as one of the world’s most influential women in February, created her online fashion empire Net-a-porter more than a decade ago, when shopping via a keyboard was in its infancy.

Net-a-Porter was reported to be worth £350 million two years ago.

Speaking at the Vogue Fashion Festival at the weekend, Mrs Massenet, who at the time was pregnant with Isabella, now 13, said: ‘At the same time when I started writing the business plan I was also pregnant. And I think fuelled by hormones and delusions that if I could build a baby why not a business?

‘I made a dreadful mistake or opportunity I’m not sure, of doing both of them at the same time, and it was enormously hard.’

She added: ‘I was so traumatised by having a baby and starting a business in the same year that it took six years for the next one to come along.’

Mrs Massenet, who is divorced from her French investment banker husband Arnaud Massenet, gave birth to another girl, Ava, and she jokes that she was ‘building the Net a Porter future consumer base one at a time.’

Mrs Massenet began her business with a team of 15 from an apartment in Chelsea, London.  They worked from one bedroom and used the spare as a distribution centre, taking orders via a nineties laptop connected to dial-up internet.

Today 5 million people visit the site’s weekly magazine and 2,600 people are employed. Mrs Massenet has offices in the UK, US and Hong Kong.

She said she still has to ‘pinch herself’ every now and again.

‘While we were in this little rickety apartment in Chelsea and while we had all of our stuff stacked in the back and only 15 people in the room we put all of our energy to what the consumer saw and aimed big, wanted to make people think this was a big company,’ she said.

‘There is no recipe for success, it’s as unique and individual as you are,’ she added. ‘People always ask is it hard being an entrepreneur and a mum and the answer is yes.

'But the reality is women do it all the time and thankfully we have mentors and women around us who can inspire us.’


Canada Wants to Join the Government Stupidity Contest

A recurring feature on this blog is the US vs UK government stupidity contest, which features examples of idiotic behavior by politicians and bureaucrats on both sides of the Atlantic.

Recent winners of this dubious honor include a rather amazing example of British road painting and a horrid incident of anti-gun political correctness by American school bureaucrats.

Our neighbors to the north must be envious that they’re not part of this contest. Based on what just happened in Quebec, Canada probably deserves to be in the conversation.

Mon Dieu!

First some background, courtesy of a story from the Guardian. It seems that the provincial government actually has language police.

    "They are known as the language police, a unit within the regional Quebec government that seeks to protect French from the rising tide of English. It deploys inspectors to rein in recidivist anglophones, take on big corporate transgressors such as Guess, the Gap and Costco and conduct spot checks to follow up thousands of public complaints."

But sometimes, these tax-funded Keystone Cops go too far.  Zealots in the Office québécois de la langue française (Quebec Board of the French Language) may have gone a step too far in picking a fight with an Italian restaurant… After a five-month investigation into an anonymous complaint, Massimo Lecas received a letter from the board telling him that his establishment, Buonanotte, had broken the law by including the words “pasta” on the menu and “bottiglia“, the Italian word for bottle, instead of the French word bouteille. Outraged, Lecas posted the letter for 2,500 of his Facebook friends to see. In doing so, he unleashed a political tempest over one of the most sensitive topics up for debate in the province. The outcry has forced the Quebec government to rein in its language inspectors, ensure exceptions to the rules are made for ethnic food and restaurant menus and order a review of how it handles public complaints.

By the way, this is not an isolated incident.

    "Lecas’s decision to go public with the letter from the language inspector has prompted other restaurateurs to come forward. One told how he was ordered to cover his microwave’s on/off switch and the redial button on a telephone with tape because they were in English. The chef’s grocery list, which was written on a kitchen chalkboard, was also found to have broken the law: steak frites may be a staple of Parisian bistros but, according to Quebec law, biftek is the only acceptable term. …Quebec’s recent budget included one notable increase: the yearly allotment for the language police."

So Canada definitely can make a claim that it belongs in the government stupidity contest. Though, to be fair, I should acknowledge that other governments also merit consideration.

*    In Germany, the government misplaced the sensitive blueprints of its new $2.3 billion spy headquarters.

*   In Italy, the government of supposed technocratic experts managed to appoint the wrong person to a job that shouldn’t exist.

*   In the European Union, watching free soccer broadcasts is now a human right.

*   In Greece, bureaucrats actually demand stool samples from entrepreneurs applying to set up online companies.

The moral of the story is that government – in all nations – is a festering black hole of waste. And if you ever feel that these incompetent and foolish people deserve more of our money, then I suggest you move to France, where the nation’s President generously has promised that nobody will have to surrender more than 80 percent of their income to the government.
Are You Happy that Your Tax Dollars Subsidized the Tsarnaev Family?

The bad news is that there are despicable and evil people seeking to kill innocents.

The worse news is that some of these pathetic excuses for protoplasm are subsidized by taxpayers.  It’s happened in France, Australia, and the United Kingdom.  And we now know that the Tsarnaev family was on he dole as well.

I used to think it was outrageous that the welfare state funded bad behavior (as illustrated by this humorous poster), as well as general laziness and moral depravity.

But there should be a special wing of the Moocher Hall of Fame for taxpayer-subsidized terrorists.


Australia:  Melbourne doctor's anti-abortion stance may be punished

A MELBOURNE doctor who refused to refer a couple for an abortion because they wanted only a boy has admitted he could face tough sanctions.

Dr Mark Hobart fears he could be punished for refusing to give the Melbourne couple a referral after discovering they were seeking an abortion because they didn't want to have a girl.

By refusing to provide a referral for a patient on moral grounds or refer the matter to another doctor, Dr Hobart admits he has broken the law and could face suspension, conditions on his ability to practice or even be deregistered.

But he was willing to risk punishment in pursuit of principles. He said he did not believe any doctor in Victoria would have helped a couple have an abortion just because they wanted a boy.

"I've got a conscientious objection to abortion, I've refused to refer in this case a woman for abortion and it appears that I have broken the rules," he said.  "But just because it's the law doesn't mean it's right."

The Sunday Herald Sun yesterday revealed the couple had asked Dr Hobart to refer them to an abortion clinic after discovering at 19 weeks they were having a girl when they wanted a boy.

Victoria's Abortion Law Reform Act 2008 specifies the obligations of registered health practitioners who have a "conscientious objection" to abortion.

Under the Act, if a woman requests a doctor to advise on a proposed abortion and the practitioner has a conscientious objection, he or she must refer the woman to a practitioner who does not conscientiously object.

"That is the letter of the law," he said. "It leaves me in limbo.   "It's never been tested ... it is a very complicated area."

Medical Practitioners Board spokeswoman Nicole Newton said doctors were bound by the law and a professional code of conduct.

"The board expects practitioners to practise lawfully and to provide safe care and to meet the standards set out in the board's code of conduct," she said.

Another doctor who was brought before the Medical Board in January for airing his views against abortion was cautioned and warned he could be deregistered if it happened again.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) here


1 May, 2013

Teachers and parents must do more to prevent crime, British police watchdog says

Teachers and parents must do more to instill what is right and wrong in children, a police watchdog warned as he accused public services of “abdicating” their duties to prevent crime.

Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, said too many bodies, such as education, health and social services, are happy to leave problem to a police service that can “never say no”.

He said crime prevention was the obligation of everyone in society and that schools and families had a responsibility to ensure children became law-abiding citizens.

In his first speech since taking on the role last year, Mr Winsor, a former rail regulator, revealed that police were using technology that was “next to useless” and was hampering their ability to fight crime.

He said it was “remarkable” that officers had to use “rudimentary and primitive” equipment in the modern age and called for urgent action.

He also warned that police forces would have to privatise more of their services if they are to protect the front line in the face of budget cuts.

Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi), Mr Winsor said crime prevention should be the priority for police but that it was not the sole responsibility of officers.

He said: "Parents and families, as well as schools and other educational institutions, must instill in children a strong appreciation of right and wrong."

"Prevention is also an obligation of health professionals, particularly in the field of mental health where undiagnosed or untreated illness can, as we know, lead to the commission of serious violent crime."

He added: “And the quality of interaction and cooperation between the wider public and protective services, including social services, health and education, needs to be improved, with each service fully and properly discharging its responsibilities rather than abdicating duty in favour of the one public service which will never say no.”

Mr Winsor said dealing with mental health issues was the biggest frustration for officers.

He also attacked the state of "slow and patchy" technology among police forces.  One officer used a personal digital assistant device, which Mr Winsor said he had not seen "in 10 years".  "It was next to useless," he added.

Speaking afterwards, he said that police officers would often put their own hi-tech smart phone in their locker when they put on their uniform and then go out with some “antiquated and primitive” device.

He also warned that police forces would have to consider more collaborations with each other and with the private sector in the face of cuts if they want to protect front line policing.

He said the provision to forces from the private sector and other public bodies would have to “increase markedly” for efficiencies to be found.

"Forces and police and crime commissioners will, as a matter of necessity, need to find new ways of exploiting opportunities to save money while maintaining operational integrity and increasing effectiveness,” he said.

He went on: "However big a force may be, it has neighbours, and offenders of course do not respect police force boundaries."

He added that "a police force which takes an isolationist view is not operating efficiently".


End of a cushy life in British prisons: Convicts 'will be denied Sky Sports and 18-rated DVDs'

Prisoners will be forced to work to end the culture of  ‘holiday camp’ jails.  They will also be denied access to Sky Sports and 18-rated DVDs and will no longer win privileges simply for keeping out of trouble.

Instead, offenders will start their life behind bars adhering to a spartan regime, wearing prison uniform and having to earn any perks.

Only by hard work or study will they be allowed television, full access to the gym, the right to wear their own clothes and to be able to spend any money they earn in the prison shop.

Inmates who wreck cells, start fires or damage prison property will be forced to pay compensation.

Announcing the shake-up in an interview with the Daily Mail yesterday, prisons minister Jeremy Wright said: ‘Prison is there to punish, it’s not there to be comfortable.

‘It’s there to be somewhere you don’t want to go back to and what we are doing in changing the regime is to make sure that message is there and heard loud and clear.

‘But it’s also a place where we expect rehabilitation to happen. We expect people to do those things that make it less likely when they come out that they reoffend.’

Inmates used to get full entitlements simply by avoiding violence; if you ‘kept your nose clean and didn’t punch the officers’, said Mr Wright.

But, in future, offenders will go on a new entry regime for the first fortnight of their sentence, during which they will have to wear uniform and be denied TV and use of the shop.

They will be required to join a work programme, education or drug rehabilitation course or some other purposeful activity. To mirror life outside, the ‘working day’ in prison will be extended to 9am to 5pm. If prisoners fail to comply with the new rules, they will be left on the ‘Basic’ new entry regime.

The changes follow a review ordered by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, who has criticised the ‘frills’ available to prisoners but unaffordable for ordinary families.

The ‘Incentives and Earned Privileges’ scheme will mean inmates no longer languish in their cells watching television.

They will be expected to ‘engage in their own rehabilitation’, Mr Wright said, in the hope fewer inmates offend when they get out. ‘Most people would expect that prisoners were engaged in work or purposeful activity when they are in prison and aren’t sitting around watching television.

‘We are going to expect prisoners to play their part and if they don’t they won’t be getting the privileges that previously they have had. If you show no willingness to engage with the regime, no willingness to engage in your own rehabilitation you will go down to basic.

‘If you don’t want to bother, if you don’t want to go to work, if you don’t want to go to education, if you don’t want to do the drug treatment that has been recommended for you, you will stay on basic, you will stay in the prison clothes, you will stay without a television and the money you have access to will be limited.

‘The choice is in your own hands.’

From the end of next month, 18-rated DVDs will join extreme video games in being banned in all jails.

Sky Sports and other subscription channels, which are permitted in private prisons, will be switched off permanently during the summer.

‘We just don’t think it’s right that prisoners should have access to subscription TV channels,’ said Mr Wright. ‘We don’t think it’s right because there are plenty of my constituents who struggle to afford those things and they don’t see, and I don’t see, why prisoners should get them.’

An enhanced regime will exist for convicts who show good behaviour and ‘give something back’. This could include higher spending limits.

He said prisoners shouldn’t be able to damage property ‘without consequences’ and officials would claw back the cash.

The announcement was condemned last night by Frances Crook of the Howard League for Penal Reform. She said: ‘The fact the prison population has doubled in the past 20 years has left prisons overcrowded and staff overstretched, with little choice but to lock people up in their cells all day with nothing to do.’


Huge benefits shake-up to make sure work always pays gets underway as Labour finally admits it is a 'sensible idea'

Labour signalled an embarrassing climbdown over welfare reform yesterday, as the biggest ever shake-up in the benefits system got under way.

In a surprise move, shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne indicated his party now backed the introduction of the new universal credit system, designed to ensure it always pays for people on benefits to go back to work or accept extra hours.

Labour voted against the scheme when it was debated by Parliament last year. But yesterday Mr Byrne said the universal credit system was a ‘fine idea’, albeit one with some details still to be ironed out.

Shadow employment minister Stephen Timms also said the scheme was a ‘sensible’ idea which would ‘potentially simplify’ the benefits system. The climbdown came as the huge change was launched yesterday with a modest pilot scheme in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester.

Fresh claimants will be required to sign up to the new system, which will see them receive a single benefit payment linked to their income.

Ministers believe the system will make it much easier for people to see that they would be better off in employment. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith hailed the new system as ‘nothing less than the start of a fundamental cultural shift of the welfare system’.

He dismissed Labour claims that the system was suffering from delays, insisting it would be rolled out in full by 2017 as planned. But the tiny scale of the pilot scheme suggests ministers have been warned the system is likely to suffer numerous teething problems before it is extended to handle millions of benefits claims.

Universal credit will replace a string of working age benefits – including jobseekers’ allowance, working tax credits and housing benefit – into a single monthly payment.

Ministers had once suggested that as many as a million claimants could be on the new system in the first 12 months. But the pilot scheme, which will run for six months, is expected to handle about 7,000 claims.

The new scheme has been dogged by persistent reports of problems with the complex IT system needed to ensure millions of benefit recipients receive the right amount of money.

Mr Duncan Smith also rejected criticism that the system, which has to be accessed online, would be too difficult for some benefit claimants.

He said extra help would be given to the 20 per cent of benefit claimants who do not use the internet, adding that computer skills were essential for anyone looking for a job. ‘Ninety-six per cent of all jobs now require some kind of computer interface, so that means if you cannot go onto a computer you will only be able to apply for 4 per cent of the jobs in Britain.

Labour said the new system was causing ‘confusion and delay’. Mr Timms insisted the party had always supported the basic principle, despite voting against it.


Neil has an IQ of 125 and runs his own business. So why won't a secret court let him spend his own money?

Neil Barker is, in many ways, a lucky man. At 36, he has a loving girlfriend, Valeria, a five-bedroom house overlooking the park in a smart West London suburb — and he’s made a dramatic recovery from a motorbike crash ten years ago which left him with brain injuries.

All he wants to do is to get on with his life  as a successful computer consultant and  property restorer — without interference from the State.

But a huge sum of his money is lying in a State bank account controlled by a hidden corner of the legal system: the astonishingly powerful Court of Protection, which has decreed that Neil’s accident means he lacks the mental capacity to handle his own financial affairs.

Neil, who is chatty and clearly lucid, told me last week: ‘It is very stressful to be told by the State that I am not able to make decisions about my own money or investments, especially when that is untrue and I have recovered my health.

‘I was given £1.8?million in compensation by the insurance company after my accident. A lot of that has been frittered away over time by the Court of Protection and I am powerless to do anything to stop it.’

His story is shocking. But Neil is just one of thousands of people whose financial assets are being managed by the Court of Protection (CoP), which was set up by New Labour’s 2005 Mental Capacity Act to make decisions for ill, confused or elderly people deemed to lack the ability to do so for themselves.

The CoP has draconian and sweeping powers. Judges, sitting alone and in secrecy, deal with thousands of cases a year, making far-reaching rulings about almost every aspect of citizens’ lives — and often those of their relatives, too.

They can compel people to undergo surgery, use contraception or have abortions.

They can decide if a life-support system is switched off, where a person lives and with whom — even if their marriage should be annulled and whether their last will and testament is torn up.

Equally controversially, the CoP judges can authorise what are called Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS), which allow council or NHS officials to restrain someone in a hospital, care home or re-training facility for as long as the State deems it to be ‘in their best interests’.

The Lib Dem MP John Hemming, who is campaigning for more openness in the CoP,  estimates that there are hundreds of these ‘secret prisoners’ across the country.

And while it might seem essential to have a court taking decisions to protect the vulnerable, the secrecy with which the CoP operates — with the public barred from hearings and the Press forbidden from identifying people involved in cases — is deeply disturbing.

Individuals who have disobeyed the court’s rulings or spoken out about what has happened to them or their relatives — even to their local MP — have been threatened with, or sent to, prison.

A legal expert who regularly attends CoP hearings says that the numbers imprisoned for falling foul of the court in the past five years may run into hundreds.

Just last week, the Mail revealed the case of Wanda Maddocks, who was sentenced to five months in prison by the CoP when she objected to her father, John, being sent to a care home against her will.  She has been able to reveal her story only because her father has died.

There is another power of this court that is also highly contentious. Astonishingly, £2?billion of vulnerable  people’s money is now under the  control of the CoP.

This enormous sum is held by another State offshoot, the Court Funds Office (CFO), which has the role of ‘providing a safe place’ for the funds.

Extraordinarily, as I have discovered, the money is in fact being used to help reduce our national debt  figure.

The CFO has sent the £2?billion to the UK Debt Management Office, an agency of the Treasury, where the funds are set against the billions that this country owes.

Furthermore, the life savings of those suffering from dementia, incapacitating diseases, or even old age — as well as people like Neil Barker, who have received accident compensation pay-outs and are deemed unable to run their financial affairs — are paid a paltry interest rate for the use of their money by the State: currently 0.5 per cent, just a third of the rate paid by National Savings.

Understandably, many of those who are caught up in the system object that they are left badly out-of-pocket.

Some families find that even though the CoP is in charge of their loved ones’ multi-million-pound negligence or accident awards, the money is not earning enough interest to cover their needs — even though its investment is meant to fund a lifetime of care.

Once the COP decides a person is incapable of handling their finances, a so-called deputy is appointed to make day-to-day decisions about their money.

The deputy is appointed by the judge and can be a family member. If no relative is suitable, then the court will choose a local authority representative, often a social worker, or a solicitor to carry out the task.

Many families are left in the unenviable position of having to ask the officially appointed deputy for money to care for their loved ones — and appeal to the CoP if they disagree with the decision.

Needless to say, thousands have complained about the court since 2007, when it began operations.

There are allegations of its officials — including some deputies — charging exorbitant fees, over-riding the wishes of relatives, frittering away money, raiding the elderly’s homes searching for documents and intercepting personal emails.

In a depressingly typical case, children’s author Heather Bateman was forced to seek permission from the court to use family funds after an accident left her journalist husband Michael in a coma.

She wrote a moving account of her family’s ordeal in Saga magazine: ‘Michael and I were two independent working people.

'We had been married for 28 years. We had separate bank accounts and most of the bills were paid from Michael’s account.

‘Now, to continue living the way we had always done, I needed to access the money in his account.

'The Court of Protection brought almost as much anger, grief and frustration into my life as the accident itself.

'It is an alien, intrusive, time-consuming and costly institution, which was completely out of tune with what we were going through. It ruled my waking moments and my many sleepless nights.’

Mrs Bateman even had to apply to the court for permission to pay the couple’s daughter’s university fees.

‘I could write as many cheques as I wanted up to £500. But if I needed more, I had to ask the permission of the court.’

Fury over the CoP has erupted on social networking sites and on help forums set up by charities.

Only recently the Alzheimer’s Society received this heartbreaking plea for help: ‘My family is having severe problems with a solicitor who has been appointed by the CoP as deputy for my mother of 87, who unfortunately suffers from dementia.

‘They have managed to make a complete mess of my mother’s affairs. She had capital of £40,000 and income of £850 a month.

'Her expenditure (predominantly on carers) was approximately £2,500 a month, meaning that, by now, she should have £27,000 of her capital left.

‘However, we are in a situation where her bank account is overdrawn. There are unpaid bills and direct debits.

'The carers have not been paid so, understandably, some are reluctant to continue working. This means my mother is not receiving the care she needs.

‘We are at our wits’ end, trying to find out why there is no money to meet her obligations. What really frightens me is what would happen to someone with no family to support them?’

This family is not alone. Stories of incompetence and even possible fraud have emerged in blogs and forums about the CoP.

In particular, there are tales of exorbitant fees charged by deputies. One retired lawyer was asked for £4,100 in fees to withdraw £5,800 of her own money.

In another case, the proceeds of the sale of a house, authorised by the CoP deputy, were paid into the wrong account.

And one family was charged £42,000 in fees for the legal paperwork to transfer a sick  daughter’s care to her mother after the father died.

But not all the grievances are about money. Take the case which emerged last year of pensioners Norman Davies and Peggy Ross, who were looking forward to going on their annual cruise when Cardiff Council intervened.

The council argued that it was not in the ‘best interests’ of 82-year-old Mrs Ross, who has dementia and lives in a care home, to go on the holiday.

Mrs Ross’s social worker decided the pensioner lacked the capacity to make a decision about whether she should go on the £3,200 cruise because ‘her ideas were not based in reality’.

She said the council was worried that Mrs Ross might wander off on the ship or fall overboard.

Just before the holiday, the council went to the CoP to obtain a DOLS to prevent Mrs Ross leaving her care home.

The judge, to his credit, refused to make the order, which has allowed details of the case to become public. The couple duly enjoyed a 16-day cruise around the Mediterranean.
The Lib Dem MP John Hemming is campaigning for more openness in the Court of Protection and estimates there are hundreds of 'secret prisoners' across the country

The Lib Dem MP John Hemming is campaigning for more openness in the Court of Protection and estimates there are hundreds of 'secret prisoners' across the country

However, lawyers and MPs have said it illustrates how the CoP is being used by council apparatchiks — social workers and care home workers, in particular — to  meddle with and control people’s lives.

Mr Davies, a lucid 81-year-old former engineer, who lives near Newport, said after the holiday: ‘They tried to strip Peggy of her rights completely. The whole thing was disgusting from start to finish.’

He is not the only person to think that of the CoP. At one recent hearing, a desperate mother asked the court to allow the life-support machine keeping her brain- damaged daughter alive to be switched off.

As is standard in the court, the daughter was referred to only by the letter ‘M’ to protect her identity.

But the judge also issued a Draconian injunction imposing secrecy for as long as  ‘M’ lived.

The ruling barred the media or anyone interested in the case from approaching a list of 65 people who play, or had played, some part in the girl’s life.

And it stifled any reasonable debate on the moral issues of the case and stopped her own family publicly expressing their views on what should happen or why.

The injunction made clear that those who made such inquiries, apart from to the solicitors of ‘M’, would be sent to prison or have their assets seized as a punishment.

This would probably not come as a surprise to Neil Barker. He says his life is being ruined by the CoP and that the court has lost him thousands of pounds.

This week, he told me that, after his motorbike crash in April 2003, he struggled to carry out everyday tasks because of a brain injury. Even going to the shops to buy groceries was a major challenge.

His family, to whom he is still close, were worried that he would not be able to manage his own money.

And when he won £1.8 million in a personal injury claim after the accident, they agreed that Neil’s pay-out should be placed in a CoP-controlled account.

A solicitor from the firm which dealt with the injury claim was appointed as his deputy by the CoP to make financial decisions on his behalf.

Neil says: ‘I thought at the time it would be nice not to worry about money, that it would be like an ordinary bank account with added security. But I was wrong.

‘Now I have made a full recovery, but the CoP refuses to let go.

'I have trained as a computer engineer. I have renovated a house successfully and sold it for a profit.

'I am well enough to run my own business, to manage my own finances, but I am not being allowed to do so by this court and the deputy.’

Neil explains that his own home was bought with £1.2 million from his pay-out — money the CoP agreed to release for the purchase.
Judges at the Court of Protection sit alone and in secrecy making decisions about almost every aspect of citizens' lives

Judges at the Court of Protection sit alone and in secrecy making decisions about almost every aspect of citizens' lives

But he adds: ‘The rest of the funds have been allowed to dwindle away. The interest rate on the money at the Bank of England account is so low that I estimate I have lost £75,000 over the years.’

At one stage — before the banking collapse and interest rates fell — Neil discovered that the bank where he was fixing the computers would have paid him eight times more in interest than what he was receiving from the CoP account.

That is not his only grievance. During his fight to free himself — and his money — from the clutches of the CoP, he has undergone a series of independent medical examinations which, he claims, prove he has fully recovered from his brain injury.

The DVLA has also tested his  driving and found him completely capable of driving a car. The cost of £4,500 for these checks had to be paid for by Neil himself.

Yet, still the CoP and the deputy have prevaricated and refused to release his money.

‘The most recent medical tests were two years ago by an eminent doctor who said I was like any other normal person,’ says Neil now. ‘My IQ was found to be more than 125, which is well above average.’

Speaking with the permission of his solicitor this week — who says his story is in the public domain because of a BBC interview he gave two years ago — Neil added, with some anger: ‘I am quite capable of managing my financial affairs, yet I am still being told by the court and the deputy that it is not the case.

'I am continuing my fight and I am starting legal proceedings against the CoP.’

It will be an epic battle, but one that most people in Britain must surely hope he wins.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING 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.  Email me (John Ray) 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