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.