Friday, 29 January 2016

Malignant religious superstition

This blog would not normally concern itself with the kind of religious primitivism that is likely to be endemic in a place such as rural Pakistan. However, a case that was recently reported on the BBC Radio 4 The World Tonight programme warrants some analysis, as it has implications beyond its immediate locality, culture and tradition.

The case involves a fifteen year old youth who attended a sermon given by the local imam. The congregation was asked by the imam if there was anybody present who did not love the prophet Mohammed. One youth, mishearing the question, raised his hand. As a result the imam accused him of blasphemy in front of the congregation. Instead of taking the logical step of explaining that he had raised his hand in error because he had misheard the question, the youth returned home and took the drastic action of cutting off his own hand. The youth then returned to the imam to offer him the offending hand on a plate. He was hailed as a hero by the local population, and his father publicly declared that he was proud of his son's action.

It is clear from this incident that children in rural Pakistani villages, from an early age, are brainwashed into accepting, without any questioning, the tenets of Islam. The imam himself would have undergone the same indoctrination when he himself was a child, a process that has probably continued for countless generations. The fact that the youth's first reaction was to engage in this act of crazy self mutilation demonstrates the extent to which an individual can become enthralled to a prevailing religious superstition. The fact that the youth can be commended for such dysfunctional behaviour by his father and the rest of his village demonstrates the malign power that religion can impose over a whole community, where it has a monopoly over controlling the parameters of thought, beliefs and actions within a society.

There are lessons for British society to be learnt from this kind of incident. Although mainstream secular culture here has largely thrown off the kind of religious superstition that was still fairly widespread as recently as a couple of generations ago, in our own times a new secular religion known as political correctness has gradually been gaining ground in many British institutions. One aspect of this new belief system is its increasingly strong tendency to control and denounce any dissenting opinions to its ideology. To counter this threat to individual liberty it is crucially important that freedom of speech is preserved, and any attempts to undermine or reduce it are strongly resisted. So no subject should be off limits to public debate or investigation. Failure to do so could eventually result in the kind of madness that has overtaken this Pakistani village.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Britain's injustice system Part 1 – Defendant anonymity and statute of limitations

The British politically correct establishment enthusiastically supports the European Convention on Human Rights and the legislation and European Court which enforces its principles. There is of course nothing wrong in treating human rights seriously, indeed it is commendable. The question that needs to be addressed is what is the best vehicle to ensure that human rights are protected. During the many decades since Britain signed up to the European Convention many rights previously taken for granted have been eroded and this process seems to be accelerating. The European Convention rarely offers any protection against this encroachment of individual liberty. The reason for this is fairly straightforward, nearly every article in the Convention has a wide range of exemptions through which a Government with a determined agenda can ride roughshod over individual rights. This is the first in a series of posts examining how this unwelcome development has been carried out in practice. As a result of the furore following the accusations against Jimmy Savile the feminist controlled legal establishment has gone into overdrive in pursuing an agenda to control male sexuality. This is highlighted by the many investigations into aging celebrities and others for alleged sexual offences going back many decades. The time has come to reform the law on sexcrimes to restore a much needed balance that is fair to both sexes on what constitutes reasonable sexual behaviour.

One glaring double standard that needs to be remedied is that female accusers (now routinely termed 'victims') are granted anonymity whereas male defendants (now often described as 'offenders') face a barrage of destructive publicity in which their reputation and character is shredded and destroyed. There have been many calls for defendants to be also granted anonymity as was the case between 1976 and 1988. This was changed due to feminist pressure as it was thought that removing defendant anonymity would enable other women to 'come forward' with their own accusations. Superficially, in the interests of equality and fairness there appears to be some merit in granting anonymity to both accusers and defendants. However, the barrister Barbra Hewson has suggested that the names of both accuser and defendant should be made public as they are for non-sexual crimes. Hewson has courageously made some sensible suggestions on sexual offences reform which will be considered in future posts. Unlike her critics she uses logic and reason to back up her views and avoids the emotionalism which has been gradually infiltrating the legal process. Any woman subject to a sexual assault clearly has the right to expect the justice system to thoroughly investigate her claims and to prosecute the attacker. However, this does not mean that the legal process should be manipulated in order to waive the normal safeguards owed to those accused of a crime or, to incentivise accusers to come forward with complaints as a form of therapy or, in the current modish expression, to 'bring closure' to their feelings. If would-be complainants decide that going to court is not worth the trouble, that is a decision they are reasonably entitled to take and one which should be respected. It should not be seen as a failure of the criminal justice system or an attempt to silence women.

It is strongly in the interests of justice that those making accusations in court should be open to public scrutiny. There should be no shame, stigma or loss of reputation attached to women who are complainants in sexual assault cases, any more than there would be for all other crimes where there is no anonymity in court for accusers. Since there should be no shame, there can be no valid reason for the reluctance of women to appear in court without the cover of anonymity. Indeed granting anonymity in sexual assault cases only reinforces the outmoded societal view that there should be a stigma attached to the victims of this kind of crime. The sooner sexual assaults are treated in the same way as other crimes, the better it will for the defendant, the complainant and the justice system more generally.

Similarly, there should be no anonymity for defendants, since this would amount to secret trials. If someone has been charged with a crime it should be in the public domain if the interests of open justice are to be served. Justice should not only be done but should be seen to be done particularly where the state is potentially depriving individuals of their liberty. Evidence should be confined to the facts of the case being tried and matters irrelevant to this end should be excluded. Thus neither the accuser nor the defendant should have the indignity of their sexual history being revealed to the public gaze.

Many countries have a statute of limitations, after which specified time charges cannot be brought. It is right that British justice system continues to reject a statute of limitations since to introduce one would effectively allow criminals to escape justice. But it is equally unacceptable that crimes can be reported for the first time decades after they occurred. There appears to be only crime where this is not only allowed, but actively encouraged, and that is historic sexual assault cases. Any person reporting a burglary or a mugging years after the event would be given short thrift by the police. It is clearly unfair that men can face the threat of legal action hanging over them indefinitely in circumstances where no crime may have taken place.

If a crime has been committed it is reasonable to expect the victim to report it to the police as soon as possible. This allows them to begin their investigations while the evidence is still fresh. Sexual offences should not be an exception to this rule. So all sexual offences complaints should be reported to the police within one week of occurrence, unless the accuser has been physically restrained or abducted. These time limitations should only apply to the reporting, not the prosecution for which there should be no limit.

It is sometimes claimed by feminists that women often have 'sound valid reasons' why sexual assaults are not reported quickly. This kind of tawdry special pleading is entirely spurious, such excuses infantilise women, hamper police investigations, undermine the fairness of the justice system and provide a green light to those tempted to make false accusations. The only exception to prompt reporting should be for offences against children, where instead the child should be required to report any offence they have suffered by the time of their eighteenth birthday. Thus the younger they are when the offence took place the longer they will have to report it.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Eugenics pseudo science

The eugenicist Professor Robert Plomin recently featured on the BBC Radio 4 programme The Life Scientific. At the start of the programme he was introduced as a scientist who believed that every individual's intelligence is largely determined by their DNA. It is puzzling why some scientists make such wild claims based on theories for which there is no evidence. Plomin appears to be an egregious example of such a scientist, or more correctly, a pseudo-scientist.

Needless to say during the course of his unchallenging interview Plomin provided no evidence to back up his claim, relying instead on his studies into identical twins. The basis of eugenic claims relating to intelligence in identical twins was thoroughly debunked by the Institute of Science in Society. Strangely, whenever a theory is voiced that doesn't meet with the approval of the scientific establishment it is branded a 'superstition', but when a theory does have the approval of the scientific establishment it is claimed to be an 'established fact' (which, without evidence, it clearly is not). Plomin's claim that intelligence has a genetic or hereditary cause is a good example of this syndrome. During the programme both Plomin and his interviewer treated his theory as if it was self-evidently true.

Although it cannot be scientifically proven, Plomin is undoubtedly right when he claims that nature is likely to be a much stronger determinant of a person's intelligence than is nurture. However, what is impossible to accept (since there is no evidence) is that the level of intelligence of an individual has any connection with DNA, genes or heredity. It has been proven scientifically that physical characteristics have a genetic and heredity basis since there has been plenty of hard evidence to back this up. But absolutely no evidence has been discovered to justify the claim that mental or personal attributes have a genetic basis. Before the mapping of human genome geneticists (or more accurately eugenicists) claimed that single genes were the cause or source of mental or personal characteristics, including intelligence. But since the human genome has been mapped it has been discovered that no single gene, or even groups of genes, are the cause of mental or personal characteristics, or level of intelligence, as Plomin conceded during the programme. What the eugenicists now fall back on to justify their position is that the source of intelligence is somehow hidden away deep down in an individual's DNA, but that so far it has not been found, but eventually it will be after a lot more research. In pseudo science lack of evidence is never sufficient reason to abandon a pet theory. But on this issue Plomin and his ilk are chasing a will o' the wisp, since there is no possibility that that they will ever find any genetic basis for intelligence. Humans are far more than the product of chemical DNA, a viewpoint which scientists seeped in a mechanistic and materialistic outlook peddle unquestioningly. Ironically, Professor Plomin is living proof of the falsity of his theories on heredity, since he achieved eminence in his scientific field, despite coming from a relatively ordinary and humble background. It has to be faced that the professor and those who share his views are nothing more than eugenics pseudo-science hustlers.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Some dissident thoughts on Rotherham

The report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham last year unleashed a storm of anger in the mainstream media which has not yet abated, judging by the number of times it is still referred to in online discussions on the subject. In truth no one emerged unscathed from the claims made in this report, not the police, not Rotherham council, not the local Muslim community, not the teenage girls, not even the report itself or the way it has been commented on in the media. The findings are being used as a stick to beat the Labour Party for its alleged willingness, for reasons of cultural sensitivity, to protect and conceal the behaviour of favoured minorities, and as ammunition against the supposed 'cover up' of the extensive 'paedophiles network' fondly believed by many to be at the heart of the British political establishment. One revealing factor is that concern over 'child sexual abuse' now appears to override concern over 'racism' in the politically correct league table of priorities.

It is clearly outrageous that fathers who raise concerns about their daughters to the police are themselves arrested, or that teenage girls are doused with petrol, threatened with violence and passed around as sexual playthings by gangs of men. This blog has been vociferous in its condemnation of the sheer madness of allowing large scale open ended immigration of people who, through cultural and racial differences, can only with difficulty be properly assimilated into mainstream British society. However, this does not mean that the local Muslim community should be vilified for the clearly criminal actions of a relatively small number of their men, as many in the media are now doing. There is nothing in Islam which justifies or condones the worst kind of behaviour contained in this report. These men are clearly acting as freelancers outside the beliefs of the religion and community to which it is claimed they belong.

However, the report itself and its presentation in the mainstream media also raise serious concerns about objectivity, balance and fairness. Leaving aside the widespread uncritical acceptance of the curious arithmetic on how the number of 1400 victims has been calculated (in reality, only 15 accusers have so far reached court); the reporting has exaggerated the extent of the extreme events outlined in the previous paragraph by confusing and conflating them with what has mostly been occurring, consensual yet foolhardy sexual activity by teenage girls with older men. It heaps blame on the local authority child protection managers without any critical examination of the behaviour, outlook and attitude of the teenage girls, or any meaningful assessment of the powers or knowledge the authorities had available to them to micro-manage the girls' lifestyle choices.

What has been happening here is that teenage girls have exchanged sexual favours for drink, drugs, cigarettes, money, attention, affection (mostly bogus) and an invitation into a more glamorous, albeit degenerate, adult world. According to numerous surveys a third of teenagers below the age of consent are sexually active. So these teenage girls are behaving no differently in this respect from large numbers of their peers. What appears to differentiate these encounters is that some of the men appear to be acting in groups and are of an older generation than is generally the case with their white male equivalents.

As a result of this furore calls are now being made that it should be a criminal offence not to report suspicions of 'child sexual abuse'. However, this much overused and exaggerated term is now routinely assumed by the authorities to cover any kind of sexual or 'grooming' activity by, or with, a person under the age of consent. If this is brought into law, and includes young teenagers, it will keep our legal system very busy indeed, require the building of vast number of prisons and tie down much police time at the expense of pursuing other crimes of greater concern to the public.

It will also put an end to the 'Gillick competence' which allows medical professionals to provide contraceptives to teenage girls below the age of consent, without their parents' knowledge. This was seen as a safeguard against unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, which liberals in the 1980s fought hard to retain against a legal challenge. They even produced a badge with the message 'under16s are people not property', a viewpoint that is not much heard these days. As the Rotherham report makes clear young teenagers are now assumed to be the property of the state, and that it is acceptable that their private relationships should be controlled accordingly.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Where now for UKIP?

It is undeniable that UKIP are currently in the doldrums. The party must have been very disappointed to have only one MP after the general election. Their national share of the vote at 13% was a big improvement on the previous election but was less than half what they achieved in the 2014 European election . In the recent Oldham by election they polled 23% of the vote, but were still a long way behind Labour and some way off mounting a serious challenge in the seat which some were predicting. Another cause for concern is the spat between the leader Nigel Farage and the party's only MP Douglas Carswell. Unfortunately UKIP have form on this, witness the unedifying slanging match amongst those at the top of the party immediately after the general election. So UKIP has to get its house in order if the party is to be seen by the electorate as a credible contender for government. Some pundits are suggesting that UKIP are no more than a protest vote, or that they are just a one issue party. So it is important that with the Euro referendum coming up they present themselves to the electorate as a serious political party, with attractive policies on a wide range of issues.

So what should these polices be? Firstly, of course, is withdrawal from the European Union and the European Court Of Human Rights, allowing us to reclaim our national sovereignty, return the country to parliamentary democracy and restore the right to run our own affairs as a nation. Secondly, there will need to be severe restrictions on immigration, particularly of unskilled labour which has prevented the lowest paid workers from increasing their living standards. This is the true reason for the 'cost of living crisis' about which we have heard so much recently. Thirdly, UKIP will need to promote more vigorously their policy of reintroducing grammar schools, since they will enable intelligent children from disadvantaged backgrounds to better themselves, both culturally and through enhanced employment opportunities.

The above appear to be the policies for which UKIP are best known. It is to be hoped that in addition they will promise the repeal of the so called equality laws, which in practice compel employers to discriminate in favour of vocal minorities, against their likely better judgement. Similarly there should be a speedy removal of recent 'hate speech' legislation which is nothing more that a mechanism to stifle political debate, and which is incompatible with a nation founded on the liberty of the individual and free speech. There should also be an end to the obsession with meeting 'climate change' targets since they are based on nothing more than the leftist political hoax promoting non-existent global warming. UKIP should also distance themselves from the current nanny state outlook which attempts to micro manage citizens lifestyle choices on matters such as alcohol and supposedly unhealthy foods, which these days seems to include just about everything except vegetables. They should introduce marriage reform, by making divorce more difficult for couples with younger children and end the meaningless yet pernicious 'marriage' between people of the same sex. Finally measures should be taken to reign in the campaign by strident feminists (who are unrepresentative of most women) to use the law to stigmatise all men as potential sex offenders, rapists and/or paedophiles.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Headless Chickens

This blog fully supports the campaign of the Prince of Wales against the hideous and characterless buildings which have blighted British towns and cities since the war. They are part of an insidious agenda by cultural Marxists to destroy anything of beauty and to promote ugliness. However, Prince Charles is undermining his authority and credibility when he ludicrously described those who question the global warming orthodoxy as 'headless chickens'.

The Prince is baffled that in 'our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything until, that is, it comes to climate science.' This is a bit rich since he is on record warning us that 'companies developing genetically modified crops risk creating the biggest environmental disaster of all time', despite scientists taking the opposite view, concluding that GM crops are perfectly safe and, in the words of one expert, they deliver 'real environmental and economic benefits. Prince Charles is known to be a strong believer in the health benefits of homeopathy, despite the British Medical Association describing it as 'witchcraft' and the Government’s chief scientific adviser concluding that it is 'nonsense.' So much for his blind trust in science.

Prince Charles goes on to deplore the 'barrage of sheer intimidation, we are told by powerful groups of deniers that the scientists are wrong' This is the complete reverse of the real situation, since all the main political parties and the scientific establishment are united in a groupthink acceptance of the global warming hoax. What they all ignore is that the belief in man made climate change is not based on scientific evidence but on unproven and, so far, erroneous projections based on a dodgy theory.

The high watermark in slavish global warming scaremongering came during the period between the publication of the Stern Report and the broadcast of the Global Warming Swindle Channel 4 TV programme. The latter was virtually the first time that sceptical views on global warming were given an airing in the mainstream media. For their pains the producers found themselves on the receiving end of a barrage of abuse from those who had claimed that the 'science is settled.' It was during this period that parliament, to its shame passed the Climate Change Act 2008, opposed by only five MPs. Since then more and more ordinary people are beginning to rumble that the global warming hoax is politically, not scientifically, driven. Despite this sceptics are still relatively powerless and far from capable of 'intimidation' or forming a 'powerful group'. This however remains the position and strategy of the climate change scaremongers, but in time they will eventually get their comeuppance.