Thursday, 31 December 2015

Diversity humbug

For decades now the liberal establishment has been extolling the supposed joys of diversity brought about by open ended large scale immigration of cultural aliens into this country. Most ordinary people regard such propaganda to be self-evident nonsense. But liberals live in a world of their own and have no qualms about displaying their contempt for those who hold different views. Since liberals control the levers of power and realise that nobody can effectively challenge them, they know they can get away with this kind of delusional propaganda. The only benefit diversity has brought to Britain is a much wider choice of cuisine. All the rest of the package engenders alienation, separation and division.

A good example of the conflicts inherent in the diversity agenda was the publicity over the Al-Madinah free school in Derby. The Ofsted report concluded that the school was dysfunctional and found to be inadequate in all the categories assessed. The school had appointed teachers who were unqualified and inexperienced. All female teachers, regardless of their religion, were required to wear hijabs, and the boys were not allowed to look at the girls, not that they would have seen much since they too were required to wear hijabs. Claims were made that the girls were getting a second class education compared to the boys, and that they were treated as inferiors. Reports suggested that pupils had to attend three prayer sessions every day, an hour of Koranic studies and another hour of Islamic studies as well as Arabic lessons. Other claims made were that pupils were banned from playing string instruments, from singing and from reading fairy tales. So the curriculum was quite a lot different from a typical bog standard comprehensive.

The establishment of free schools outside the control of local authorities is the flagship education policy of the current Conservative government. They are funded directly by the Education Department, are non selective by ability and no charge is made for the pupils attending them. Supporters claim that they create more local competition, drive-up standards and allow parents to have more choice in the type of education their child receives, similar to those who send their children to independent schools. In principle, the idea of free schools is a good one, which would be made even better if selection by ability was permitted.

None of the parents appear to have withdrawn their children from the school as a result of the damming Ofsted report. Some have commented that as the school has only recently been established mistakes can sometimes happen and these can be corrected in time as staff gain more experience. But the reason why parents are largely supportive of the school is because they approve of the policies, including the female dress code, the discrimination in favour of boys, the priority given to learning the Koran and about Islam, and the eschewing of non Islamic practices such as singing and the playing of music.

The idea of free schools is to give parents more choice and at this school they were given it in spades. By and large most of the parents appear to have approved of the education the school was providing their children. Neither liberals nor conservatives can complain. The liberals because the school promotes and provides diversity; the conservatives because it provides a real choice to parents. The state, through its agent Ofsted, should leave the school alone. But it would appear that when it comes to the crunch liberals do not want to see too much diversity, or conservatives too much parental choice. Of course, to all indigenous British people the curriculum at this school is clearly obnoxious, but that only demonstrates the malignant folly which underpins the promotion of the liberal diversity agenda.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Homosexual muscle flexing

Militant homosexual activists are flexing their muscles again. Stephen Fry called for the last Winter Olympics to be moved away from Russia because of the recently introduced 'anti-gay' laws there. The British Humanist Association expressed outrage because over forty schools had the temerity to introduce policies which restrict the promotion of homosexuality.

Had it been possible to write this blog fifty years ago it would have supported the decriminalisation of homosexual activities between males. Unquestionably, at that time homosexuals were persecuted for their private sexual behaviour. This was a gross and unwarranted intrusion by the state into their private affairs as citizens. Moreover, the police shamelessly abused their position by trawling through address books to frame individuals and by the use of agent provocateurs as a means of entrapment.

However, it is worth remembering that most of the public then thought that the law prohibiting sexual activity between males should stay on the statute book. There were widespread fears that homosexuals would corrupt the nation’s youth and that the law should be there to protect vulnerable young men from the perceived threat of supposedly predatory homosexuals. Most people today can now see that this threat was widely exaggerated.

Because they were once persecuted homosexuals continue to both play the victim card and agitate to silence opposition to their agenda. With regard to the supposed 'anti-gay' law in Russia, the actual purpose of this law is to prevent the dissemination of information on homosexuality to under 18 year olds. The new law was passed 434-0 by the Russian duma, 137-0 by the Russian senate and in an opinion poll was supported by 86% of Russian people. Thus it has clearly not been imposed as a result of a bigoted presidential diktat as some have suggested. In the UK there are strict laws against private individuals showing images of sexual activity to under 18s, and the Russian law is, in principle, little different. The age of consent for homosexual relations in Russia is 16, the same as in the UK. So Stephen Fry’s comparison of this new law with the treatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany was clearly grotesque and offensive.

Turning closer to home it is disturbing to note that all schools are now expected to promote homosexuality as a normal sexual orientation. None of the schools that were singled out as 'homophobic' have specifically denounced homosexual relations or preached hatred of homosexuals. They just do not want to promote homosexuality as being equal to heterosexuality, a reasonable position to take and one that the vast majority of people would most likely support. Needless to say the spineless Department of Education (in a supposedly Conservative government) has sided with the homosexual agitators against the right of schools to decide their own policy on this matter.

Friday, 18 December 2015

The Victorian social purity movement reborn

So what is going on – Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall, Rolf Harris, ageing celebrities, teacher & pupil eloping to France, Graham Ovenden, teacher with images of children in underwear, sexualisation of girls, objectification, internet porn filters, child abuse images, teacher sends indecent images to pupil, no more page 3, lads mags banned, inappropriate touching, compulsory trousers for schoolgirls, predatory 13 year old girl and so it continues. This is no longer just a moral panic; the Victorian social purity movement has re-emerged in a new virulent form. The driving force is feminism, aided and abetted by children’s charities, the gutter press, opportunist politicians and the more neanderthal elements of the British public. The common factor in all the above news stories is that the 'villains' are all male and the 'victims' all female.

The aims of the Victorian social purity movement were to elevate morality, largely through the abolition of prostitution and the sexual double standard which existed between men and women. From the last three decades of the nineteenth century to the outbreak of World War I, the feminist crusade to purify sexual conduct focused on the need for men to control their sexuality, considering that it was the mission of women to re-educate them on their behaviour. The leading figure in the movement was Josephine Butler who condemned the double standard of sexual morality, in which men were allowed to engage in sexual activity outside marriage, while women who did the same were punished or ostracized. Her solution was to preach a single standard of purity and restraint for all. She believed women were naturally devoid of sexual impulses and that men must learn to control theirs. Male abstinence was considered to be the only way to end the evil of prostitution.

The movement was high minded seeking to elevate human relationships to a more advanced level, and for the most part was not openly anti male in its motivation. Moreover, the arguments were not without merit since prostitution was commonplace and venereal diseases were rife. At the time there was undoubtedly a double standard which has now significantly lessened, although it has by no means disappeared. But the long term effect, coupled with the severe prudery and puritanism of the churches, was to instil in society a widespread guilt and shame on sexual matters that was not lifted until the 1960s.

The current feminist campaign to control and denounce male sexuality is much less high minded since its object is to demonize men, although this is rarely stated openly. Modern feminism has its roots in Marxist thinking and thus it has been uncritically accepted by the politically correct elite who control British institutions. Opposition has been minimal to this incremental agenda. Most men are cowed into silence and are reluctant to voice their concerns about what is going on. Only a relatively small minority of women are openly feminist and thus they are unrepresentative of the vast majority of women, most of whom take a common sense attitude towards the opposite sex. Nevertheless, because of the enormous influence wielded by feminists, their orthodoxies are regarded by the liberal establishment as near unchallengeable. Feminist distortions are repeated endlessly without serious examination or challenge, with the end result that the public are now beginning to accept them as truth. The movement to control male sexuality has gained in strength since the Jimmy Savile furore broke, as the news items above demonstrate. Men will need to find their voice if they are to avoid being branded as sex offenders in increasing numbers under the new puritan regime.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Paris global hot air summit

So we can all breathe a sigh of relief that global leaders at the Paris climate summit have decreed that the increase in global temperatures will be limited to 1.5 degrees. It is difficult to understand the delusional mindset behind this statement or the absurdity of this gathering, based on what must be the greatest 'scientific' hoax of all time.

Science is supposed to be based on evidence. In truth there is no evidence that man made global warming is occurring. There was a very slight increase in global temperatures in the final quarter of the 20th century. This followed a slight cooling in the previous quarter which in the 1970s prompted scientific 'experts' to proclaim the start of a new ice age. During the first 15 years of the 21st century global temperatures have been stable, although there is no evidence yet of a cooling trend as some climate change sceptics have suggested.

During the 20th century CO2 emissions steadily increased and the rate of increase also steadily increased. In the 21st century the rate of increase increased still further despite the Kyoto Protocol and other agreements that were intended to curb the growth of CO2 emissions. During the past century and longer CO2 has grown significantly, but the global temperature has fluctuated only very slightly. CO2 is only a trace gas in the atmosphere, in quantities far too small for the projected emissions to have much impact on global temperatures. Thus there is no correlation between man made CO2 emissions and global temperature.

The global warming hoax is not based on scientific evidence but instead is politically driven by a relatively small number of scientists with their own leftist agenda. They are aided and abetted by journalists and political fellow travellers. The name of their game is political control and globalism. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union they accept that currently they are unlikely to achieve their ends by traditional economic means. But they realise that they are more likely to attain them through a global green agenda for which the global warming hoax is a front. The ragbag army of 'climate change' demonstrators who paraded in many European cities during the summit are the very same anti-capitalist protestors who picket G7 meetings, where they are at least more open in their objectives and agenda.

The Paris summit delivered a major political objective as developed nations agreed to hand over 100 billion dollars per annum to 'developing' nations to help them combat a non existent threat from non existent 'climate change. The British Government was in the vanguard of this sell out, and needless to say it was supported by the major opposition parties.

The global warming monster is now seriously out of control. It will lead to a massive hike in energy costs to consumers, the risk of another global financial crisis as a result of the corrupt carbon trading scams, and the introduction of absurd, and potentially geologically dangerous, 'carbon capture' programmes, involving the storage of the harmless gas CO2 without which all plant life would die, and which all animals, including humans, are dependent upon.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Is Peter Hitchens right about cannabis?

The Mail On Sunday journalist Peter Hitchens is unusual in that he more or less writes what he thinks, rather than adopting the more usual practice of mainstream journalists of writing what they like to believe most people think they should think. So he comes across as authentic and not just another clone. He is particularly good at exposing the miasma of cant which continually seeps out of the rotting British politically correct establishment. Hitchens has written a book about British drug policy The War We Never Fought subtitled The British Establishment’s Surrender To Drugs. Although the book is ostensibly about drugs in general in practice it focuses almost entirely on one particular drug, namely cannabis.

Hitchens argues that since the early 1970s liberal inclined politicians of all parties have adopted a policy of progressively reducing the penalties for the possession of cannabis, implementing it behind a smokescreen of tough rhetoric on the evils of illegal drug use. He further argues that because cannabis has been classified as a 'soft' drug it is no longer seen by illegal drug users or the general public as particularly dangerous, compared to 'hard' drugs such as heroin or cocaine. As a result he concludes that the 'war on drugs' has been lost, and that it can never be won because effectively there has never been a 'war'.

Unfortunately, the drugs issue poses a serious dilemma for the Right as two of its most cherished principles come into headlong conflict. The first principle is that individuals should be allowed to pursue their private lives without undue interference by the state. The second is that any behaviour which undermines the stability and fabric of society has to be subject to some form of control. Hitchens clearly believes that the second principle should take precedence. Moreover, his objection to drug use is not based solely on damage to health, or the potential deleterious impact on wider society, but additionally on more morally censorious grounds as when he denounces 'social and cultural revolutionaries who see the freedom to fuddle their own brains as a pillar of human liberty'. He believes that 'self stupefaction is absolutely morally wrong', describing drug taking as the 'purest form of self-indulgence'. Hitchens is happy to proclaim himself to be a puritan, for example declaring that if alcohol had just been invented he 'would support the most severe legal measures to penalise its use and drive it out of our society.'

Peter Hitchens is one of those pundits who have a tendency to link the ills of our present time with the 'permissiveness' of the 1960s. Thus the increased use of cannabis in the late sixties, particularly by pop stars, provided it with a glamorous image which encouraged the young people of the time to 'experiment' with the drug. Law enforcement action against cannabis increased from 185 cases in 1959 to 162,610 in 2009. So clearly there was a massive increase in cannabis use during this half century. Hitchens advocates much more punitive enforcement of the law on cannabis possession, arguing that high penalties would act as a strong deterrent to illegal drug taking. However, nowhere in his book does he outline in practical terms how this might be achieved or consider what the consequences of such action might be.

The only way that a punitive enforcement strategy could be enforced would be by vastly increased stop and search action by the police against the public, and to carry out a lot more 'drug busts' in citizens’ homes, coupled with stiff prison sentences for those caught with illegal drugs. Although most people are probably opposed to illegal drug use they are unlikely to welcome random and repeated searches of their person or homes as a way of addressing the problem. Additionally, some sections of the public will be violently hostile to such action which, as we have witnessed in the recent past, can lead to civil disorder on a large scale. Moreover, our prisons are already full, so a vast prison building programme would have to be introduced to accommodate the large number of people caught by a punitive illegal drug enforcement policy.

Hitchens would probably argue that heavy sentences would so drastically reduce demand for cannabis that no extra prison places would be needed. Bur the reality is that the amount of cannabis use in Britain is now so vast that even the most vigorous enforcement action would only scratch the surface of the problem. In effect the war against cannabis has long been lost, because of the sheer weight of numbers and an available supply chain. In the circumstances it make sense to legalise the drug and tax it in a similar way to alcohol and tobacco. The police could then concentrate on crimes which target genuine victims, prisons could be closed and the government's tax base broadened. Given the huge number of ordinary people already taking the drug there should be minimal impact on social stability. Any health problems for the NHS will be more than covered by the additional revenue which legalisation brings. Additionally, stronger strains of the drug could be taxed more heavily.

In the short term, Peter Hitchens ideas are unlikely to be implemented. However, although the liberal establishment may have soft peddled on cannabis possession for the last 40 years, it does not follow that it will continue to do so. The puritan streak within liberalism is now well and truly on the march, as we have seen with the continuing incremental measures to control tobacco and more recently alcohol and 'unhealthy' food. Liberal puritans strongly believe that they have every right to use the power and apparatus of the state to intervene and control private behaviour they find objectionable. The time cannot be far away when the liberal establishment changes direction and starts to tackle cannabis use in an increasingly punitive way. So ironically Peter Hitchens remedies on cannabis possession are likely to be introduced by the very liberals he condemns for allowing the use of the drug to grow in the first place.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Margraret Thatcher - a retrospective appraisal

This post will attempt to contrast and compare the Britain that existed when Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 and after she left office in 1990. There is no doubt that the pundits are correct when they claim she divided opinion. She was a conviction politician unafraid to speak her mind, yet in office she was never quite as bold as many of her supporters, or critics, would have us believe.

The main political issues at the end of the 1970s were high inflation and unemployment dubbed 'stagflation', over-powerful trade unions, the Cold War, relations with Europe, poor educational standards, third world immigration, excessive public spending, inefficient nationalised industries and the belief that Britain was in terminal decline. So how did Margaret Thatcher address these problems, and what were her successes and failures? Alas, the results are mixed.

To control inflation she relied on monetarism, which prioritised controlling the money supply. Combined with the strong pound and high interest rates, this strategy sent unemployment sky high peaking at over 3 million, devastating British industry in the process, and increasing public spending still further. Although both inflation and unemployment dipped in the mid eighties, by the time she left office they were again both rising, this time due to the misguided policy of her chancellor Nigel Lawson in shadowing the Deutsch-mark.

Margaret Thatcher was undoubtedly right when she claimed that 'you cannot buck the market', but by the time she discovered what Lawson was up to the damage was done. However, the fact that inflation did fall substantially in the mid eighties as a result of monetary control, brought an end to the advocacy of an incomes policy (i.e government control of wages and prices), a modish dirigiste panacea to supposedly control inflation, supported by the 'progressive' politicians of the time, most notably the Liberals and SDP. In conclusion, her economic record was patchy, with growth lower than under Macmillan, Wilson and Blair. Today inflation has been relatively low for some time, indicating that monetary control, not an incomes policy, has been the key to this success.

The privatisation of nationalised industries was the most radical element of the Thatcherite agenda. The most successful transfer to the private sector was undoubtedly that of British Telecom. Under nationalisation consumers had to wait months for a phone line to be installed. The technological developments in telecommunications since the mid 1980s have been spectacular, so full marks to the Conservatives for facilitating this outcome. Another obvious privatisation candidate was British Airways. It now seems incredible that this airline was once a part of the British public sector. The benefits from some of the other privatisations are less clear cut, most notably the supply of electricity, gas and water. Given the level of complaints these privatised utilities continue to attract, the jury is still out on whether privatisation of such natural monopolies has necessarily been entirely beneficial. Nationalised industries are not necessarily inefficient, for example, the London Passenger Transport Board and the Central Electricity Generating Board were highly regarded. Nevertheless there is no case to be made today for renationalisation, so Margaret Thatcher’s legacy on this initiative is likely to remain secure. Moreover, she is to be commended for ending the ratchet effect by which trade union dominated Labour governments were ideologically committed to bringing more industries under public control. Another plus is that she created a climate where private enterprise and entrepreneurship could flourish, which continued even through the New Labour years.

Both Harold Wilson and Edward Heath failed to reform the trade unions. Margaret Thatcher was very much more successful. Adopting a gradualist approach she handed trade unions back to their members by requiring elections for union officials and for industrial action. Abolition of the closed shop (which compelled all employees in a company to belong to a union) was a necessary measure that was long overdue. Her most spectacular success on this front was facing down the year long miners strike in 1984-85 led by the unreconstructed Stalinist Arthur Scargill. Her victory in this dispute brought an end to trade union militancy and henceforth the trade union movement was largely sidelined in the decision making process.

Ironically the 'progressive' militants who were then rooting for a miners’ victory would within a decade be championing policies that would lead to pit closures, as they became converts to the global warming hoax. Trade union influence and importance is today only a shadow of what it was in the 1970s. The upside of this is the nation is no longer held to ransom by Marxist militants, the downside has been the growth in McJobs and short term contracts, resulting in much more job insecurity.

Margaret Thatcher was dubbed the Iron Lady by the Soviet Union even before she became prime minister. She was implacably hostile to the global menace from this source that was rightly branded the 'evil empire' by President Ronald Reagan. The stationing of nuclear armed cruise missiles on British soil provoked violent opposition from the political left, demonstrating their true colours and sympathies by their appeasement towards the Soviet threat. The militant feminist Marxist commune outside the Greenham Common air base was the most visual public embodiment of this one sided pacifist naiveté. The inability of the rigid Soviet economy to compete with the US 'Star Wars' defence strategy led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Margaret Thatcher can claim full credit for her part in ending the Cold War and the nuclear threat from a totalitarian communist super-state.

During the 1975 referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Economic Community (EEC) Margaret Thatcher was one of the most prominent supporters for a yes vote to stay in. At that time the Conservatives were proud to be called the party of Europe, and anyone in the party questioning the validity and purpose of the European mission was given short shrift. Membership of the EEC was seen in a positive light and contrary views were largely suppressed.

Although for most of her premiership Margaret Thatcher fully supported EEC membership, her enthusiasm for Europe was far cooler than that of Edward Heath. This became apparent at one of her first meetings with European leaders when she ruffled quite a few feathers by stridently demanding that Britain’s contribution should be renegotiated and our money returned. Although her viewpoint was eminently reasonable since Britain was proportionally the largest budget contributor, she was heavily criticised both at home and abroad for being out of step with the spirit of European co-operation - in the euro-jargon she was perceived as being insufficiently communautaire.

After protracted negotiations her government succeeded in obtaining a rebate which Britain retained until it was diluted by Tony Blair. During her period in office Margaret Thatcher signed the Single European Act, which further strengthened the powers of the European Community (EC) over our affairs. During the late Eighties the Conservative party became more critical towards Europe. Margaret Thatcher, in her Bruges speech was the first Tory leader to question the drive towards greater European integration and the creation of a European super-state. She had finally woken up to the threat to British sovereignty, and since then the Conservatives have become the most euro-sceptic of the main parties, although shamefully still continuing to support British membership.

Margaret Thatcher was the education secretary who closed down the most grammar schools, and as prime minister she did nothing to restore them. She did however introduce the Assisted Places Scheme, which allowed children, whose parents could not afford the fees, to obtain free places at schools in the independent sector, provided they could pass the entrance exam. However, although this was a welcome move, the numbers taking up such places were relatively small. At the same time the Tories also introduced the 'Parents Charter' which gave parents more rights on the choice of school, along with some other measures. Although a step in the right direction such limited action did little to address the mounting concern about the standard of education provided in the state sector.

It was not until the late 1980s that the Tories started to address the problems of education more forcefully, but alas not necessarily more effectively. Tory reforms introduced from the late 1980s included establishing a national core curriculum, replacing O levels and CSEs with a single GCSE examination; giving schools more control over their own budgets, allowing schools to expand up to their physical capacity; establishing 'City Technology Colleges' supported by industrial sponsors and allowing state schools to opt out of LEA control, by applying for grant maintained status funded by the Education Department.

Unfortunately, these proposals sent out a mixed message. Those that encouraged parental choice, and freed schools from the dead hand of LEA 'progressive' educational orthodoxy, were welcome. But the introduction of the national curriculum and assessments were highly prescriptive measures, which can now be seen as precursors of the managerial and interventionist approach that was later developed to a fine art by New Labour. GCSE assessment included a large element of course work, unlike O-levels which were purely examination based and thus appreciably more rigorous academically. This confusion demonstrated the lack of will by Margaret Thatcher to implement the radical policies that are essential if educational standards are to be raised.

During a television interview shortly before the 1979 election, in an uncharacteristically unguarded moment, Margaret Thatcher spoke about the fears of being 'swamped' by people of alien cultures. This was widely interpreted by many voters, without any real justification, that the Tories might actually have been thinking seriously about taking some action against open ended large scale third world immigration. In reality, over the period of Margaret Thatcher’s premiership, the number of third world legal immigrants averaged about 50,000 per year.

However, during the eighties the issue of immigration went off the boil, despite several instances of rioting. This was partly due to a media blackout on the numbers of third world immigrants still entering the country, despite the Tories’ supposedly 'firm but fair' immigration policies. There is plenty of circumstantial evidence that Margaret Thatcher was personally hostile to third world immigration into Britain, but it is an inescapable fact that when in office she did virtually nothing to deal with the problem. This must be judged as her biggest lost opportunity. Strong action at that time would have help address what many consider to be now an intractable problem, the full consequences of which have yet to be played out.

It was during Margaret Thatcher’s government that the insidious growth of political correctness first became apparent. It first came to widespread public attention with the antics of the 'loony left' councils and Ken Livingstone’s GLC, with its 'rainbow' coalition between racial, religious and sexual minorities and hard-line Marxists. Margaret Thatcher has been reviled by liberals for introducing the 'Section 28' regulation, which prevented local authorities from promoting homosexuality, particularly in schools. Although no prosecutions followed as a result, it probably acted as a brake on some of the more pernicious 'gay' propaganda that was then beginning to be targeted at young people. Section 28 has always been intensely loathed by the left, but the public largely supported it, as was shown by the results of an unofficial referendum held in Scotland some years ago. Needless to say, now that Section 28 has been lifted, the gay propaganda machine has gone into overdrive and we now have a gay history month in schools.

This then is a brief overview of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy as prime minister. She could be very radical on some subjects such as privatisation and the sale of council homes, but overcautious on others, for example large scale immigration and education reform. Nevertheless there is no doubt that she was the most dominant politician during the final decades of the twentieth century and her importance and stature will long be remembered by posterity. It is clear that the politically correct class still detest Margaret Thatcher, which suggests that she must have been doing something right.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Political correctness at the BBC

A revealing insight into the politically correct agenda of the BBC is contained in the book Can We Trust The BBC? written by former Today journalist Robin Aitken. It provides an insider’s account, from a conservative perspective, on how the BBC’s supposed impartiality is heavily skewed through the prism of political correctness. The book exposes the 'unhealthy and arrogant elitism' which permeates the BBC and the contempt shown by staff towards ordinary people who do not share the BBC’s liberal and leftist default position.

The book lists the BBC’s never openly acknowledged, yet all pervasive 'core values' which are worth recording in full. These are:- 1) anti-racist; 2) pro-abortion; 3) pro-women’s and gay rights; 4) pro-UN; 5) pro-EU; 6) pro-union and anti-big business; 7) pro-high taxation; 8) pro-government spending and intervention in industry; 9) anti-private education; 10) anti-private health care; 11) pro-local democracy and local councils; 12) pro-multiculturalism and ethnic minorities generally; 13) pro-foreigner and foreign governments, especially if they are left-wing; 14) anti-American; 15) anti-monarchist; 16) anti-prison. This blog agrees with this analysis with the exception of (11) about which the BBC appears neutral. Several more could be added to the list, namely:- 17) pro-man made global warming theory; 18) pro-paranoia over paedophiles; 19) pro-benefits of immigration; 20) pro-casual sexual promiscuity; 21) anti- 'objectification' and 'sexualisation' of women yet pro 'homo-eroticism' of males.

These then are the default positions of not just the BBC, but the political elite who control most of our institutions. Not all of the BBC’s outlook on these issues is necessarily bad or wrong-headed, but it does mean that any debate on them is often one sided or distorted. And whilst its not exactly North Korea, any journalist who deviates too far from the BBC party line may soon start to feel isolated, and to wonder whether their opportunities for advancement might start to become obstructed.

The book rightly points out the unique privilege that the BBC enjoys through the licence fee, described as a 'flat rate tax' which everyone with a TV has to pay. It adds that this privilege should come with a price, namely, that everyone should get a 'fair deal' from the BBC. Because of the 'inherent bias' the writer concluded that this contract with licence payers has been 'corroded'. Also described is the 'group-think' mentality within the BBC where unfashionable (i.e right wing) views are marginalized, important debates are closed down and many issues of public concern are largely ignored.

As the book makes clear, there is nothing wrong with broadcasting being partisan, provided this is upfront and open, that people have a choice and that a diversity of views is encouraged. Currently Radio 4 has a monopoly on nationwide speech based radio and there is no British equivalent to the openly right wing Fox News in the States. The book catalogues the large number of BBC journalists who enjoy close links with the Labour party and/or were previously employed by the Guardian and Independent newspapers. If the BBC is serious about achieving genuine impartiality it would hire more journalists from right wing newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail. Until it does so the BBC will be regarded by many as little more that a propaganda platform for liberal establishment orthodoxies.

Friday, 27 November 2015

The homosexual marriage fallacy

The House of Commons voted by a substantial majority in favour of same sex marriage. On a free vote over 90% of Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs voted in support, whereas Conservative MPs were fairly evenly split between support and opposition. A Home Office spokesman said the British government believed that 'if a couple love each other, and want to commit to a life together, they should have the option of a civil marriage, irrespective of their sexual orientation'.

Cardinal O’Brien, the former leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, denounced the idea, accusing ministers of 'intolerance' over measures that he considers would 'shame the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world'. The cardinal argued that 'this is not about rights, but is rather an attempt to redefine marriage for the whole of society at the behest of a small minority of activists'. Gay campaigner Peter Tatchell believes that 'gay marriage is about love and commitment. These are Christian values, so I don’t understand why the cardinal objects to gay couples getting married. Churches have redefined marriage in the past. They no longer oppose divorce and the remarriage of divorced couples. There is no reason why marriage should not be redefined to include lesbian and gay couples'.

Opinion polls have shown majority support for this redefinition of marriage, although a sizeable minority remain hostile. Unfortunately most of the debate has centred on the issues of equality and religious freedom, largely ignoring the most important aspect of marriage, the interests of children. Some critics have complained that the proposal for same sex marriage did not appear in any of the major parties’ manifestos. However, none of the changes over the past fifty years which have transformed the nature of marriage, or given additional rights to homosexuals, were included in earlier manifestos.

Until relatively recently, in every country throughout history, marriage has always been between a man and a woman. The main argument made in support of same sex marriage is one of fairness and equality between homosexual and heterosexual couples, since same sex relationships can be as equally loving and long lasting as those between people of the opposite sex. However, legislation can never make equal what biology has made unequal, namely that heterosexual couples can procreate, whereas homosexual couples cannot.

Marriage, if taken seriously, demonstrates a clear responsibility and commitment by both husband and wife to the upbringing of children, which is recognised by the state and wider society. The purpose of marriage is not a recognition by society of a couple’s love towards one another. It instead should be recognition by the state and wider society of a couple’s commitment to stay together, thus ensuring a stable and loving environment in which their children can be raised. Easy divorce, which prioritises the relationship between parents over the interests of children, has drastically undermined marriage, created broken families and diminished the life chances of millions of children. It is an odd fact that liberals, who show the least concern over marriage breakdown, are usually the most enthusiastic advocates of same sex marriage.

It is no doubt the case that there are many same sex couples who have a loving, long term commitment to one another. However, this should be a matter of no concern to wider society or the state. What is of concern is that a married man and woman are committed to staying together to raise children until they are of an age to look after themselves. Whether the parents are still in love or are faithful to one another, although desirable, is secondary to the main concern, namely providing a secure and stable home for their children.

Since homosexuals cannot procreate, and should not (other than in exceptional circumstances) be responsible for the raising of children, it follows that so called homosexual marriage is purposeless and pointless, and any arguments in its favour are based on the fallacy that a sterile homosexual relationship has the same societal validity as a fulfilling heterosexual union that will allow the procreation of children. The reason why homosexuals should not raise children is because the upbringing of children is better served by being raised by a father and a mother, as nature intended, who each bring their own distinctive qualities and characteristics into the child rearing role, a significant advantage which same sex couples clearly cannot provide.

Predictably, some of the more sanctimonious supporters of same sex marriage have insultingly branded their opponents as bigots and 'homophobes' the latter a Marxist inspired word the purpose of which is to denigrate critics, stifle debate and self proclaim their own supposed superior moral virtue. It is to be hoped that further consideration of this legislation will focus more on the real purpose of marriage and what will most benefit children, and less on attempting to appease a small, vocal and politically privileged sexual minority, seeking an impossible equality. Marriage is far too important an institution to be devalued by attempting to normalise relationships which by their nature are intrinsically and fundamentally abnormal.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

A meaningless pardon

A royal pardon was granted to the World War II Bletchley Park code breaker Alan Turing. There is no doubt that Turing made an enormous contribution to the war effort, but the good he undoubtedly did should not have exempted him from prosecution if he was suspected of law breaking. Turing was convicted of gross indecency with another male in the early 1950s, and compulsory required to take a course of drug treatment in an attempt to control his homosexual predilections. His pardon would only have been granted at the behest of the nominally Conservative leader David Cameron, who in practice leads an extremist politically correct government. This decision is the latest in a long line of abasement by the political establishment towards the minority homosexual lobby.

Pardons of this kind are completely meaningless since they reflect the social mores or obsessions of the time in which they are granted and pay no heed to the circumstances of the era when the sentence was handed down. This particular pardon is also highly selective in that it singles out an individual who has achieved fame or greatness whilst ignoring the many thousands of ordinary men who were found guilty of the same offence. It creates a dubious precedent since a pardon is normally granted only when the person is innocent of the offence and where a request has been made by someone with a personal interest, such as a family member. On this occasion, the pardon was granted without any such requirements being met.

It should be remembered that in the 1950s there was no general public clamour to repeal the laws against male homosexual activity. At the time there was widespread revulsion at such behaviour, which was considered to be unnatural, sinful and disgusting, a view many still hold. For example the Sunday Pictorial compared homosexuality to a 'spreading fungus' and all kinds of alarmist nonsense was propagated on the dangers homosexuals supposedly posed to the nation’s youth. Neither the political establishment, nor the wider society of the time, showed much interest in challenging this warped outlook.

The Wolfenden Report of 1957 recommended decriminalizing homosexual acts involving adult males over 21. However, it was shelved for nearly a decade by the Tory government, fearing a public backlash if it was implemented. The Wolfenden Report made it clear that, although in favour of law reform, it was in no way suggesting that society should condone or approve of homosexual behaviour. It also flagged up concern that the decriminalising of homosexual acts could result in 'large-scale proselytising' by homosexuals, which is indeed what happened. Nevertheless, the Labour government was right to implement the Wolfenden Report recommendations in 1967, since the state should have no place in policing the private sexual activities of its citizens.

It is clearly the case that Turing was convicted under an unjust law. But that does not mean that he should have been pardoned, since to do so is an abuse of the legal system, by rewriting history to conform with current orthodoxies on what should be lawful. Turing was convicted under due process of law for the time and the verdict should stand.

It is worth pointing out that the individual with whom the nearly 40 year old Turing was having a homosexual relationship was a 19 year old unemployed youth he had picked up outside a cinema. There is no doubt that the behaviour of the police and the authorities towards Turing was outrageous. He had reported a burglary to the police and ended up being charged with gross indecency. Then, like now, the police much prefer to persecute middle class 'sex offenders' rather than pursuing hardened criminals.

Turing pleaded guilty and it might be argued he got of lightly by agreeing to take a course of drug treatment aimed at controlling his homosexual predilections, since he could have received a two year prison sentence instead (he might have got five years had the offence been committed during the years 1967-1994). It was only as recently as 1994 that Turing’s offence was decriminalised since his partner was under 21. Turing died two years after his conviction. It is unclear if this was suicide due to eating an apple laced with cyanide or accidental due to the inhalation of cyanide fumes from the potassium cyanide he was using to electroplate his cutlery.

It would be interesting to speculate on which of our current laws will attract the vilification of future generations. There are likely to be quite a few. Today, alarmism over private sexual behaviour continues; now the victims are no longer homosexuals but instead normal heterosexual men. Recent court cases have demonstrated that any physical approach by a man towards a woman, however mild and however long ago, risks the perpetrator receiving a stiff prison sentence.

It would be interesting to know whether in decades to come there will be campaigns to pardon the elderly Stuart Hall for the spurious claims made against him for which he was pressurised into pleading guilty in order to avoid being charged with child rape. Or for the savage sentence given to the former teacher Jeremy Forrest, who committed the heinous crime of travelling to France with his girlfriend. None of the crimes this individual was convicted of were criminal in France and the British authorities breached the terms of his extradition by charging him with sexual offences. Or the Rolf Harris convictions for offences which supposedly took place at venues where there is no evidence he ever visited. All these miscarriages of justice are systematic of what happens when a collective institutionalised hysteria gets out of control. Sadly, but alas predictably, those who most vociferously play the homosexual victimhood card for past persecutions are the least likely to notice the kinds of persecution that have now arisen in today’s society, dictated by highly restrictive feminist notions of what constitutes appropriate sexual conduct by males.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs

One of the more perplexing features of modern society is the compulsion of white liberals to denigrate their race, their culture and their country. An example of this mindset is the determination of the liberal media to promote the notion that today’s politically correct multicultural world is morally superior to the supposedly reactionary society of the past, particularly the two decades after the end of World War II. One facet of this is the increasing use of the phrase 'No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs' to stigmatise a whole generation for their callousness and insensitivity. It is amazing how a myth can be created on little or no evidence, yet still acquire widespread acceptance by an incurious public. How many people have actually seen such a sign? Virtually nobody. How many people believe such a sign used to be widespread in the bad old days? A very large number appear to do so.

An example of how this myth is perpetuated was shown in the BBC TV programme Turn Back Time: The Family, which transported modern families, with different income and social backgrounds, back in time to live successively in Edwardian and later 20th century periods through to the 1970s. Set in three houses of differing sizes at the Lancashire seaside resort of Morecambe, the concept was an original one and the whole series was most watchable. For the last two programmes, covering the 1960s and 1970s, a West Indian family was introduced into one of the houses, with much emphasis on the prejudice faced by the new arrivals. Racial prejudice also came up in one of the episodes of Inspector George Gently. Set in late 1960s Newcastle, the story involved the violent death of a young West Indian woman, and the search for her killer.

The BBC rarely passes over an opportunity to parade its liberal credentials. Both TV programmes made much of the display of the 'No Irish No Blacks No Dogs' sign. In Turn Back Time it was shown in the window of a house for rent with the shocked West Indian family looking on in disbelief. In Inspector George Gently it was placed in the window of a lodging house by an openly racist landlady. In both programmes several opportunities were taken to portray the majority of white people of the time as ignorant bigoted racists with the West Indians as their innocent victims.

The impression deliberately fostered was that rented housing in England was awash with this notorious sign during the 1960s. This however is a myth, and is used shamelessly by liberals to rewrite history. From firsthand experience this blog can confirm that such a sign was never sighted at that time in London where most West Indians were settled. There would have been no cause to display it in Morecambe, where the number of West Indians would have been virtually zero during this period. Of all the large English cities Newcastle was the one with the lowest West Indian population, again the numbers are likely to be near zero. Research on Google Images reveals the same solitary photo showing this sign at a B & B establishment which appears to be a small terraced house. This presumably is the sole source of this legend which for decades liberals have deceitfully milked for all it is worth.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Death cult jihadist massacres in Paris

The civilised world has been shocked and outraged, but alas not surprised, by the barbarous murder of over 120, mostly young, French citizens in Paris by fanatical jihadists. The uncompromising brutality of these acts in the name of an alien religious zealotry, demonstrates the extent to which European people have been exposed to malign forces outside their control and not of their making.

Many liberal pundits are blaming the French Government's actions in Syria and other places for providing the motivation for the radicalisation of the terrorists. But this viewpoint only looks at the symptoms; the root cause is the crazy deranged policy of governments over the past half century in allowing open ended immigration of people who, by race and culture, largely remain unassimilated into mainstream society. And this mad policy continues unabated despite all the many warning signs of which this is the latest.

It should be remembered that his heinous crime took place despite the European political establishment’s long term fixation with combating white 'racism', its facile promotion of the fallacy of multiculturalism and the heavy handed and intrusive equalities agenda which privileges minorities.

A similar outrage could, of course, happen again in Britain. The security services have repeatedly claimed to have foiled several such plots. For decades politicians from the main political parties have been self righteously lecturing the British public on the supposed enrichment and diversity that open ended third world immigration has brought to this country. Through the promotion of multiculturalism this has contributed to the creation of innumerable Muslim enclaves in British cities that are isolated and separated from mainstream British society. Many of these 'British' Muslims repudiate any allegiance to this country and are openly hostile and contemptuous of what they see as our decadent Western lifestyles. Unfortunately, it has to be conceded that they may have a point given the sometimes degraded behaviour of certain elements in our society.

Many politicians seem to have a strange predilection for setting themselves up as Islamic scholars by pronouncing that ISIL (and the Taliban, al-Queda, Boko Haram etc) are 'perversions' of Islam. There are absolutely no grounds for this viewpoint, which appears to be a consequence of decades of delusional self inflicted brainwashing that Islam and western society are somehow compatible. In fact ISIL is no more a perversion of Islam than Methodists or Seventh Day Adventists are perversions of Christianity. If sufficient adherents of a religion consider their own sect to be the only true interpretation of their faith who is to tell them that they are wrong?

Separated Muslim communities constitute a serious threat to our country as they provide a haven for religious fanatics who want to destroy our society and the way of life that they hate, which is a continuing affront to their strict Islamic values. Such people may not be large in numbers as yet, but they could still create havoc if they chose to do so. It should be remembered that a few hundred IRA terrorists kept Northern Ireland and parts of the British mainland in thrall for decades. Radicalised British jihadists could do the same. Although Enoch Powell spelt out the madness and folly of large scale third world immigration, even he failed to spot the deadly danger which we could now all face from this quarter. This is what worries politicians who have yet to face up to the fact that this is a problem entirely of their own making.

So what have we done that radicalised Muslims in western countries should want to carry out these acts of terrorism? Some say that if we had not invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, then the problem would not have arisen. This is a somewhat naïve supposition - the attack on the twin towers took place before these invasions. In any case, if the conclusion was reached that it was in the national interest, for security reasons, to invade these countries, it is ludicrous to suggest that a relatively small minority community should be allowed a veto over such actions.

Human nature being what it is, it is probable that as a whole Muslims, like Christians, embrace a wide variety of views, from the fanatical at one end of the spectrum, to those who pay no more than lip service to their professed faith at the other. The latter are likely to outnumber the former quite considerably. Unfortunately, it is the small proportion of fanatics who cause all the trouble.

Large numbers of Muslims, not just the fanatics, believe that mainstream British society is fundamentally degenerate and depraved, and an affront to their lifestyle and religious beliefs. Thus, a huge culture clash exists between the Muslim community and the majority indigenous population. Moreover, a significant number of Muslim men appear culturally divided, living in western countries but not having any real sense of belonging, or owing any allegiance, to their home countries. The fanatics aim is to turn the whole world into one Islamic state under sharia law, similar to that practiced by ISIL in the areas they control. Their message appears to be increasingly attractive to many young Muslim males (and some females), giving them a sense of purpose, and a means of hitting back at a society which they have come to despise.

The reason why we are all now at risk from radicalised home grown jihadists is due entirely to the misplaced moral superiority of the British political elite, who for two generations have piously ignored the many warnings of disaster that would likely result from the reckless encouragement of mass third world immigration.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Educational Reform - some ideas

Although the amount of money expended on education has increased considerably since the fifties there are widespread fears that the quality of education has not kept pace, indeed in many schools standards have clearly fallen. For many the main concerns are the lowering of educational standards for the brightest pupils, poor motivation for less academically minded children, lax discipline, over-centralised control, lack of meaningful parental choice, too many government imposed targets and tests, the pursuit of egalitarian and social engineering ideals at the expense of educational and academic achievement and an obsession with modernism at the expense of established tradition. So what should the response be? There appear to be two main options, one is a return to selection and grammar schools similar to the pattern that prevailed in the 1950s. Alternatively, a more radical way forward would be to move to a 'voucher' system, which has been heavily touted by some think-tanks. Neither approach is perfect, but a judicious blending of the two could bring clear benefits without too many obvious disadvantages.

A return to the system of selection and grammar schools would have a number of benefits - it is tried and tested and it succeeds in educating to a high standard the most able pupils without additional costs to parents. Very importantly, it provides a ladder of opportunity to intelligent children from a working class background that benefits both the pupils themselves and society in general. Grammar schools also have appreciably better records on discipline and tend to instil a greater espirit de corps in their pupils. However, the downside is the limited opportunities available to the majority of children who fail to gain a grammar school place - secondary moderns are rightly seen as poor substitutes, and those who attend them run the risk of being stigmatised as failures. In addition, many critics consider the eleven plus exam to be not always a reliable guide to a child’s potential and, when this system of selection operated on a national basis, the proportion of grammar school pupils could vary between 20% and 40%, a disparity that many would regard as unacceptable.

The voucher system has been heavily promoted by radical thinkers on the Right for over thirty years. This system involves giving every parent a voucher worth the equivalent of the average cost of educating pupils in the state system. So, for example, if the average cost per annum of educating a pupil in the state sector is say £5,000, the voucher would have a monetary value of £5,000. However, it can be spent in any school, not just those in the state system. So, for example, if a school in the independent sector charged £8,000 pa for each pupil, it would be open to parents to use the voucher to contribute £5,000 towards the fees, but they would have to find the remaining £3,000 from their own resources. So, in short, under the voucher system money would follow the pupil. One further benefit is that voucher money would go to schools directly– under a system of control by local education authorities over 30% is siphoned off to bureaucrats. In the 2005 general election the Conservatives proposed a typically watered down version, marketed as 'better school passports', but crucially the voucher would only be accepted in state schools, seriously weakening its impact. The current enthusiasm for academy schools has the same shortcoming.

There is no doubt that the principles underlying the voucher system are very attractive. It would allow parents the maximum degree of choice and, also, render the role of educational authorities almost completely redundant. So it would bring to an end all attempts by the leftist egalitarian ideologues in town halls to impose their utopian social engineering agenda on the nation’s schoolchildren and their parents. Such a system, once introduced, is unlikely to be reversed, as most parents would resist attempts to hand back to bureaucrats, control over the choice of their children’s education.

However, there are possible drawbacks; one is that a voucher scheme has never been implemented in practice in this country (but it has, in more basic formats, been successfully introduced abroad). Although it looks fine in theory, there could be some teething problems after it has been brought into operation. A second area of concern is that the system would cost more from the public purse since parents who currently send their children to independent schools, about 7% of total pupils, would also receive a voucher. Nevertheless, such an increase could be defended since a sound education system benefits not only the pupils themselves but also society as a whole.

The voucher system would have the added benefit of drawing money into the education system as parents avail of the opportunity to top up their voucher from their own resources. It would also end the divide between the public and private sectors since, in effect, all schools would become private. Defenders of the status quo claim that a voucher system would “set school against school”. But this is the essence of competition since it provides the incentive for all schools to raise their game, and also encourages the creation of new schools in areas where there is currently a local monopoly. Such critics are fundamentally opposed to the notion of selection by ability, their motivation instead being misplaced egalitarianism, not educational excellence. Leftists also want to ensure that paternalistic town hall bureaucrats remain in control of education since they fear, probably correctly, that most parents are unlikely to share their social engineering priorities.

However, the major drawback to the voucher system is that it would channel taxpayers’ money to relatively well off parents with less academically gifted children in the independent sector, to the detriment of poorer parents with bright children who would have appreciably less purchasing power. Such a disparity is unlikely to be acceptable to the electorate. So to address the problem the voucher system could be usefully modified to ensure that the benefits are shared by all sections of society. To achieve this, all schools participating in the scheme would be required to allocate a fixed minimum proportion, about 25%, of places to children who would be accepted for the standard voucher amount without a 'top-up'. Such 'scholarships' would be awarded through competitive examination, the criteria to be decided by individual schools, so there would be no return to the eleven plus. This should allow all the benefits of the old selective system without the drawbacks of the secondary moderns, since the voucher system will facilitate the raising of educational standards in all schools.

To encourage the widest possible participation, any schools in the independent sector that opted out would forfeit their charitable status. A system along these lines would allow maximum parental choice, raise educational standards, channel the brightest children towards the best schools, facilitate extra funding from better off parents, eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and end all social engineering by liberals in the education system. In practice, most parents will probably want to send their children to their local school. Under the present system they have limited choice, but if there is a risk that they can go elsewhere, schools will be forced to improve if they are to retain the confidence of parents.

Friday, 6 November 2015

President Putin in the dock

There can be no doubt that western governments, led by the USA and its vocal and loyal sidekick Britain, are carrying out a well orchestrated campaign to denigrate and demonise President Putin of Russia. They are aware that at best he pays no more than lip service to the politically correct obsessions that have taken such a hold in the west.

This orchestrated campaign first came to light a couple of years ago with the massive publicity given by the British state broadcaster the BBC, and other liberal media outlets, to the trial of the Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot. The three women involved indulged in gratuitously offensive behaviour in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral. They justified their actions as a political protest against the Russian Orthodox Church leader's support of President Putin. The women were found guilty of 'hooliganism motivated by religious hatred' and given a two year prison sentence.

The liberal media in many Western countries were aghast at the verdict and the harshness of the sentence. Ageing has been pop stars such as Madonna and Sting also registered their outrage. What was more disturbing though was the way that Western governments joined in the chorus of disapproval. Foreign Office minister, Alistair Burt expressed 'deep concern' at the sentence, which he considered a 'disproportionate response to an expression of political belief.' The US State Department was 'concerned about both the verdict and the disproportionate sentence' urging the Russian authorities 'to review this case and ensure that the right to freedom of expression is upheld.'

Pussy Riot ideology is presumably based on the short lived British punk scene of the late 1970s. Politically this was noted for its nihilist rebellion against a supposedly reactionary British establishment that in reality was rapidly being hijacked by liberal subversives. Musically it is remembered for its lack of musicianship, compositional ability or vocal talent. Trendy, left inclined, music critics, true to form, heaped uncritical praise on this base and trashy cultural phenomenon, whilst at the same time dismissing as 'dinosaurs' bands of huge musical creativity such as Genesis, Yes & Jethro Tull.

Liberal critics have focussed on the severity of the sentence given to Pussy Riot, the attack on freedom of speech, and accused the Russian government of engaging in a show trial as a means of persecuting political opponents. In the case of the British and American governments this is rank hypocrisy. In the USA you can receive a 15 year sentence for possessing an erotic image of your 17 year old girlfriend, or a 25 year sentence for stealing razor blades. Needless to say there has never been a peep of disapproval from the British Foreign Office that these sentences might be disproportionate.

On freedom of expression the British historian David Irving received a three year sentence by an Austrian court for comments he made over a decade earlier questioning the factual accuracy of events in World War II. There was absolutely no criticism from the liberal media, or the British government, on this sentence and attack on freedom of expression and historical inquiry, for actions that are legal in Britain. With regard to show trials, Britain is developing some form here, with the two trials of BNP leader Nick Griffin for comments he made about Islam, and the trial of footballer John Terry for remarks on the football field. No demands here from liberals or the British government that the right to freedom of expression should be upheld.

The truth is that liberals are not particularly interested in freedom of expression. Whenever they can get away with it they seek to control expression within increasingly narrow parameters consistent with their own sensitive, elevated and increasingly self righteous viewpoint. Sacrilegious behaviour by feminists in a Russian Orthodox cathedral evidently comes within these parameters. A white nationalist rock band invading the Regents Park mosque to make insulting and abusive comments about Sharia law, almost certainly would not.

On the issue of gay rights, in a news bulletin the BBC opined that many people 'would have been outraged' by the comments of President Putin, for having the temerity to include both paedophiles and homosexuals 'in the same sentence', both in a condemnatory manner. This blog shares this sense of outrage. It is quite unacceptable to link eighteen year old youths who are in committed relationships with their fifteen year old girlfriends, with predatory middle aged men who seek out youths for casual sex.

The British politically correct establishment is in no position to wag a censorious finger at Putin’s Russia. They have handed down savage sentences to the artist Graham Ovenden, the teacher Jeremy Forrest and the broadcaster Stuart Hall. They are hounding aging celebrities for, at worst, relatively minor misdemeanours alleged to have occurred decades ago. They have promoted the crazy out of control hysteria over Jimmy Savile without a shred of hard evidence to back it up. There was the Lib Dem defamation campaign against the hapless Lord Rennard over his clumsy chat up technique. And finally they have sponsored the notion, now ingrained in society, that all adult males are potential paedophile monsters.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Coal Not Dole

Thirty years ago the nation was locked in an epic battle between the Thatcher government and the National Union of Mineworkers led by the communist sympathiser Arthur Scargill. At the time 'progressive' opinion was firmly on the side of the miners, in so doing turning a blind eye to the failure of the union to hold a ballot. The popular slogan of the striking miners was 'coal not dole'. At the time, Scargill warned that if the miners lost this battle, the British coal industry would be destroyed. Most commentators thought he was being grossly alarmist, but in the event he was to be proved entirely correct. Within ten years 80% of the mines had been closed.

During the mid 1980s Labour politicians still broadly supported the interests of working class communities, but this was beginning to change. Although many questioned Scargill’s tactics, and his confrontational style, they nevertheless had much sympathy for the miners, and firmly supported the continuation of coalmining on a large scale. The Labour Party 1983 manifesto promised to 'give priority to the coal industry and the use of coal as a fuel'. There was no mention then of global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels, despite this theory being first postulated by scientists nearly a century earlier.

During this period the issue of acid rain, caused by sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from coal fired power stations, was high on the environmental agenda. The problem was addressed by the introduction of catalytic converters and air scrubbers on power station which much reduced the problem. Acid rain was a good example of a genuine environmental issue, whereas global warming is a bogus one.

The 1980s was a period of transition for 'progressives'. They were moving away from the traditional sentimentalised and uncritical support for the white working class and trade unions, towards the identity politics of race, gender, sexuality and environmentalism, as espoused most notably by Ken Livingstone’s GLC. It is interesting to speculate on what would have happened if Scargill had won his battle with the Tory government and all the coal mines had remained open. Would the global warming hoax have gained as much traction with 'progressives' if it meant a confrontation with what would have been a still powerful NUM?

A prominent member of the Labour shadow cabinet during the miners strike was the recently deceased Michael Meacher. Being on the left of the party it can safely be assumed that he would have sympathised with the miners cause, and would have supported maintaining coalmining on a large scale and thus the continuing use of coal fired power stations. However, in keeping with many other self styled 'progressives' Meacher was converted to the global warming hoax and wanted to see all coal fired power stations shut down as soon as possible. In his blog he asked the question 'If austerity today is right for the long term future, why isn’t stopping climate change right for the same reason?'

Meacher’s question was of course fatuous and he must have known it. The answer he is looking for is very simple. The Government's austerity programme is driven by the need to reduce the public sector deficit. This is a real immediate problem confronting the Government which needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency, so we have to take the pain that comes with it. Although the government’s strategy can be questioned, there is no doubt that this is a real issue which all but the most purblind can see needs addressing.

Climate change, on the other hand is based on dubious projections on what might happen in the future. It is not based on evidence on what is happening now. For example, the Met Office predicted mild wet winters and hot dry summers, but in recent years we have experienced the opposite. The global warming hoax is promoted by the Left and is politically driven. The Right have recognised this and try to expose the hoax for what it is - a means by which the Left are attempting to increase state control over ordinary citizens. Thus there is clearly no need to accept restrictions for something that is only happening in the delusional imagination of the Left.

Meacher must have known why the Right support restrictions caused by austerity measures, but reject them if they are promoted by global warming alarmists. He was just making mischief in a very unsubtle way. Nevertheless his question is revealing since the assumptions behind its faux naiveté expose the extent to which 'progressives' have completely lost a grip on reality.

Friday, 30 October 2015

The transgender agenda

It is an interesting pastime watching the gradual evolution of politically correct obsessions. It started with class, then race, then sexuality, then 'gender'. During the past decade or so a new topic has been gaining ground, namely concern for what is termed the 'trans-gendered community'. Needless to say anyone not fully paid up to furthering this recent obsession is routinely demonised in the by now usual way, through the reflex use of a newly coined pejorative word, in this case 'transphobia'. Persons transgressing the PC code on this matter are accused of 'monstering' this evidently very sensitive 'community'.

The veteran feminist Germaine Greer has recently become a victim of this agenda. She has over many decades been one of the most vociferous opponents of the sin of 'sexism', which amongst feminists and 'progressives' very quickly became shorthand for attacking and silencing any views that might lend support to normal male heterosexuality. So it is fitting that she is now being devoured by the PC intolerance monster she helped to create. On this issue, however, she does have a point, namely the outright rejection of the ludicrous claim that men, who have had themselves castrated, automatically become women indistinguishable from those who are born female. As a result she has fallen victim to student unions' favourite adolescent pastime of 'no-platforming' any person who might offend their PC ideological purity, in this case Cardiff University where she was due to give a talk.

It is the case that a relatively small number of children are born of indeterminate sex, a problem which can usually be addressed medically. Clearly there can be no criticism of individuals who find themselves in this position, or of medical specialists who do their best to treat them. But the trans-gendered community, which the PC brigade sponsors, does not much concern itself with such people. Instead, it focuses on adults who have chosen to mutilate their bodies in the delusional belief that they will be transformed into the opposite sex. In this respect men attempting to become women considerably outnumber women trying to become men.

This issue came to wider public awareness a couple of years ago following an article by the journalist Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail about a teacher, formerly male, who returned to the same school as a 'woman'. Littlejohn claimed that the teacher’s transition would be 'too challenging' for the primary school children adding 'let them enjoy their childhood, they will lose their innocence soon enough.' He further declared that the teacher was 'selfish' for returning to the same school.

Tragically the teacher concerned committed suicide two months later. Over 200, 000 people called for the Daily Mail to sack Littlejohn. The coroner investigating the death accused the newspaper of 'character assassination' having sought to 'ridicule and humiliate' the teacher. Littlejohn may well have been at fault in mentioning the teacher by name, but the general thrust of his comments on the possible impact on children seems to be reasonable. However, one comment requires further investigation namely his view that the teacher was entitled to 'gender reassignment' surgery, a procedure that Germaine Greer has no problem with either.

One liberal establishment campaign which this blog supports is that to outlaw the forced genital mutilation of young women and girls, which takes place in some minority communities in this country for religious or cultural reasons. It seems very strange that the same people who rightly seek to prohibit this practice are vociferous in their encouragement of vulnerable and confused individuals seeking the genital removal or mutilation of their own bodies in an attempt to become the opposite sex. It could be argued that the girls and young women subject to female genital mutilation are being forced into this against their will, whereas adults seeking a sex change are doing so out of their own free choice. However, such a distinction is simplistic and does not take into account the seriously disturbed psychological condition, both before and after, of those seeking to change their sex.

There must be countless number of individuals who do not identify with the more extreme stereotype images ascribed to their sex. For instance, the loud mouth macho males who only seem interested in sport, or the simpering females only concerned with fashion, celebrities and gossip. Humans come in all types, and there must be many who identify with the qualities that are assigned, sometimes positive, sometimes negative, to the opposite sex. There is absolutely nothing wrong with identifying with the characteristics of the opposite sex, but any individual who takes this to the extreme level of wanting to mutilate their body, and undergo a lengthy course of hormone therapy, in an attempt to change their sex must clearly have some deep psychological problems which need addressing.

According to some shocking statistics from the USA, transgender persons are 25 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population, with nearly 40% of them actually attempting suicide. These statistics show that sex change operations do not remove, but instead seriously increase, the psychological problems which these already vulnerable people suffer. Thus the focus should change from promoting and supporting the growth of the supposed transgender community, to preventing such people from destroying their lives and their bodies through the encouragement of their unrealisable fantasies. A transgender person can never become a member of the opposite sex and the reality is that they will invariably face hostility, disgust and ridicule from wider society.

In order to end this problem before it gets any worse legislation should be introduced to make it a criminal offence for any member of the medical profession in Britain to carry out, or facilitate mutilation, and/or use of hormone therapy, in an attempt to change the sex of any of their adult patients. Although, this will not end this pernicious practice entirely, as determined individuals can still go abroad, it should reduce the problem quite significantly.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Green Marxism

The mid 1960s was in many ways a more decent and civilised society than the one we live in today. But in one respect at least, there has been some improvement, and that is in concern for the environment. Until the late 1960s, with the exceptions of nature conservation and cleaner air, neither governments nor the general public placed a high priority on improving the environment. But now it is an issue that is firmly in the political centre stage due to ceaseless campaigning by influential pressure groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. For the Green Party it is of course their top political priority.

Despite its relatively poor showing in elections the Green Party in Britain is highly influential, compared to UKIP, which in the last general election gained significantly more electoral support. The reason why the Green Party has more influence than UKIP is that it is a politically correct party that sings from the same hymn sheet as those who currently wield political power. UKIP, on the other hand, is regarded as right wing and is thus ignored, if not despised, by those now holding the levers of power.

Although care for the environment must be a high priority it should be based on facts and evidence. Measures to protect the environment should not be at the expense of destroying the economy and people’s livelihoods, or in needlessly increasing state control over the lives of citizens, or based on scare tactics and exaggeration. Many people in the green movement are motivated by a concern for the environment, but for others with a leftist fanaticism it provides a platform, and a front, to achieve their political ends. Entryism of this kind has been accurately identified as 'Green Marxism'.

The greatest political scam of our age is the global warming hoax. On the political spectrum the further people are to the left the more they promote the hoax, whereas the further they are to the right the more they try to expose this delusion for what it is. The reason for this is that the climate change agenda has been hijacked by those using it as a front for achieving Marxism through the back door. With its massive state interventionism it provides an ideal mechanism for political apparatchiks to control the lives of ordinary people, who are thus reduced to pliant clients of the state. Political correctness is another way of achieving this objective, this time through controlling people’s thoughts and behaviour through the perversion of language.

Green campaigners are seen by many as well intentioned, harmless do-gooders, whereas in reality some can be opportunist, malignant anarchists. Time, once more, for the lemmings to wake up before it is too late.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

South Africa - is the dream over?

For over thirty years liberals mounted a hate campaign against a society that had achieved enormous prosperity through hard work in the face of considerable adversity. The people involved were white South Africans, who created the Dark Continent’s only functioning western developed state. This was clearly an unequal society and the native population was routinely and systematically denied the civil rights enjoyed by the white minority. In this respect South Africa was no different to the many British colonies to the north, or to those under the colonial rule of other European countries such as France and Portugal. The white authorities in South Africa undoubtedly carried out many shameful acts to maintain their rule and to keep order, but so too did the other colonial powers, for example the British in Kenya during the Mau Mau uprising.

With the ending of colonial rule in most African countries by the end of the sixties South Africa became increasingly isolated. The white population in the African colonies was very small and after independence most chose to emigrate. This option was not available to the nearly 4.5 million whites living in South Africa. They had a choice to either surrender to black majority rule under the ANC and a likely descent into chaos, or to maintain the status quo to protect the prosperous civilisation which their industry and enterprise had created. They chose the latter much to the fury of Western liberals.

South Africa was an easy target for vociferous liberals anxious to hawk around their elevated consciences, since they would not be the ones to suffer the consequences of their white guilt trip. After several decades coming under attack from international sanctions and internal terrorism, eventually the whites under De Klerk agreed, after a referendum, to enter into negotiations with the ANC. As a result De Klerk handed power to the ANC in 1994, without the whites being given a second referendum to decide whether the terms he agreed were acceptable.

An interesting book, South Africa’s Brave New World by S. W Johnson, gives a wide ranging account of what has happened in South Africa since the ANC came to power. It is not an easy read due to the exceptionally detailed, but necessary, recitation of events, and the fact that most of the main participants are largely unknown in Britain. Johnson is himself a South African liberal who opposed apartheid. With the experience of living in the country his views on this were absurdly naïve. He is clearly disappointed and disillusioned with the turn of events since 1994, but he really should not be surprised since, as he acknowledges, they were predicted by the overwhelming majority of white people who broadly supported the apartheid system.

For most of the period covered by Johnson’s book Thabo Mbeki ran the country, first as vice president and then as president from 1999 to 2008. Although diligent he was a control freak who sought to dispense patronage on a grand scale. Most of the main political offices were filled with his ANC cronies, few of whom possessed the necessary administrative skills required for running their government departments. To compound the problem experienced white public officials were quickly shunted out and replaced, under the guise of affirmative action, by unskilled and unqualified blacks. Corruption was rife, resulting in a significant proportion of public funds finding their way into the bank accounts of a new seriously rich black political elite. As a result public services such as hospitals, roads and water supply quickly began to deteriorate. The surplus of electricity generation facilities which the ANC inherited was so mismanaged that regular power cuts eventually became routine.

Administrative incompetence and corruption was not the only problem. Crime skyrocketed, with South Africa becoming the murder and rape capital of the world. An additional self inflicted wound was Mbeki’s denial over the cause of Aids which resulted in an estimated 300,000 unnecessary deaths. Most disturbingly, over 1200 white farmers have been brutally murdered, proportionally much more than in neighbouring Zimbabwe. The vast majority of blacks are just as impoverished as they were under apartheid. Over one million whites have fled the country, mostly the young and enterprising. With the exception of the Aids scandal these developments were long predicted by the white population living in the country.

White liberals in Britain have moved on to other dubious causes such as tackling 'homophobia' or promoting the global warming hoax. They have never given any thought to the disorder, with worse to follow, that they have visited upon the people of South Africa. On this matter they are guilt free, as they continue to bathe in their sense of moral self righteous superiority, regardless of where this blinkered and, in this case, destructive outlook can lead to.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Minimum pricing for alcohol

The question of minimum pricing for the sale of alcohol has been on the authorities agenda for a few years now. There is clearly a campaign building up here, not of course arising from genuine public concern, but instead from health campaigners, many of whom are taxpayer funded. So is there any merit in minimum pricing for alcohol?

Since the days of Hogarth's Gin Alley, governments have always sought to control the price of alcohol, with two objectives. One is to cut alcohol consumption and thus reduce the level of drunkenness, disorder, incapacity and the long term deleterious impact on health. The second is to increase revenue, thus avoiding the need to search out alternative sources of taxation which may be more unpopular, inconvenient or costly. So the principle of government raising the price of alcohol is long established, something which the more vociferous bloggers opposing minimum pricing sometimes appear to overlook.

Two main factors are driving the attack on alcohol consumption. One is the belief that government should be more proactive in ensuring that the public pursue more healthy lifestyles. The second is the 'binge drinking' scare, aided and abetted by the tabloid media. It is undoubtedly the case that alcohol is cheaper now than in the past. However, this only applies to alcohol bought from retail outlets, in particular large supermarkets. Drinks bought in pubs are still about as expensive in real terms as they have been for a long time. So a much wider gap has arisen between alcohol consumed (mostly) in the home, and that in pubs. This must be one factor causing the closure of many pubs. Many, particularly younger, people, are 'preloading' drink at home before a night out, and then just 'topping-up' in a pub afterwards, thus saving a significant amount of money for the same degree of intoxication.

Since, in real terms, the price of alcohol is lower than in the past the obvious solution would be to increase the duty when sold in retail outlets, but not for drinks in pubs. However, there appears to be some reluctance to pursue this course. This may be due to an EU directive which prevents differing rates of taxation between the two. If true this would be another example of how we are no longer able to govern ourselves as we think fit. Ironically, minimum pricing may itself be in breach of EU competition rules.

Minimum pricing as a principle seems an odd idea from a Conservative government as it appears to be reintroducing, by the back door, retail price maintenance that was abolished for most items by a previous Tory government as long ago as 1964. The benefit will not accrue to the government, since there will be no increase in tax revenue. Instead the benefit will go to retailers who will increase their profits, since costs will remain the same.

The government has suggested a minimum price of 40p per unit of alcohol. Critics have rightly suggested that this is only a start, and that pressure will mount for it to be continually ratcheted upwards. This is because one of two outcomes will occur. The first is that there will be little or no reduction in alcohol consumption. Health campaigners and binge drink alarmists will then argue that the minimum price is too low and that it should be increased. The alternative scenario is that it does lead to a noticeable reduction. In which case, those pushing minimum pricing will argue that since it works, the minimum price should be raised to reduce consumption still further. By this means the price of alcoholic drink will increase incrementally over time, becoming far more expensive for everyone.

It must be concluded that minimum pricing is a much more pernicious way of controlling the price of alcohol than duty or taxation. This is because, by the use of the latter means, the government's main concern will be to seek to optimize its revenue. Tax alcohol too much and the total tax yield will fall as consumption falls disproportionately, tax too little and revenue is lost since it would have risen more than the smaller fall in consumption. Thus reduction in consumption is a side benefit, the main objective is an easy means of raising revenue. So the relative price of alcohol will continue to be roughly stable over time.

Minimum pricing, on the other hand, gives the health and temperance fanatics and agitators a mechanism for increasingly imposing their outlook on the rest of society, which in this case is likely to be contrary to the wishes of the vast majority of people who drink sensibly and socially. For this reason the minimum pricing of alcohol should be opposed. This is despite the fact that minimum pricing at a low level would allow pubs to be more competitive, an objective which can better be achieved by imposing differing levels of alcohol duty between retail outlets and pubs.