Friday, March 25, 2005

You Get What You Pay For

Barry Beelzebub and the Yorkshire Post on the Scott family of Wakefield.

Yorkshire Post plays a straight bat :

Mr Scott quit his job as a factory packer three years ago. He said: "I didn't like work and when Barbara found it difficult with her arthritis I gave up work to help with the kids."
Every week, the family receives £482 income support and £71 child benefit.
As three of the children have learning difficulties, they receive £197 disability benefit, adding up to £39,588-a-year compared to the average salary of £24,000.
They live rent-free in a three-bedroomed council house complete with £1,000 widescreen TV and fancy hi-fi system in Portobello, with their eight youngest children, but are on the waiting list for somewhere larger. They don't have a car but a free minibus is provided by the council to take the children to their special schools.
Mrs Scott said she wouldn't change a thing. "I don't go out at all but Anthony goes to the pub sometimes. We don't have to scrimp and save and we can afford to buy the kids everything they want at Christmas and birthdays.
"The girls are all into Barbie. The boys are more expensive – they ask for Power Rangers and video games."
None of her three eldest children work, although daughter Lisa already has two children and son Steven has a baby.

Whereas Mr B:

As is often the case, some or all of the Scott clan claim to be "disabled". At least three children, while physically fit, have "learning difficulties" (ie. are thick, badly behaved and lazy), Mrs Scott suffers from arthritis (ie. is obese, but is fit enough to catapult offspring from her elasticated womb at regular intervals) and Mr Scott cannot work because he also has learning difficulties.

Surely it cannot be that difficult to teach him the basic facts of life in the hope that he might at least learn to keep his appendage in his trousers in future?

Mr B also reveals that :

It appears that £100,000 of your money has gone to something called the Gipsy and Traveller Law Reform Council which lobbies Parliament on gipsies' rights (why they feel the need to bother, I don't know) while grants of up to £3,000 have gone to individual gipsy groups trying to get planning permission (or completely ignore it, as the case may be).

But he's only working up steam for this week. How long before Trevor Phillips' Thought Police are on the case ?

"There is a myth about those people we call travellers. The image we treasure, conditioned by Enid Blyton children's books, is of a gaily-painted, horse-drawn caravan, meandering its way down country lanes as swallows fly overhead and the sun beats down. We tolerate the fact that Mrs Gippo sells heather and clothes pegs door to door while Mr Gippo does the odd spot of scrap metal dealing. They add colour, after all, to our sad, grey, suburban lives.

"The reality of the situation is that some of these people are nothing but scum. They're a bunch of no-good, work-shy layabouts who cynically exploit the political correctness of Labour-run councils and who wouldn't know an honest day's work it bit them in the arse. They content themselves with resurfacing pensioners' driveways at £1,000 a throw while Cousin Joey slaps a bit of mortar on the chimney pot for another five hundred notes, cash in hand. Oh, and they steal babies."

You Pays Yer Money ...

As Dead Men Left welcome the arrival of Islamophobia Watch, Paul Anderson declares "long live Islamophobia".

There must be something to this Islamophobia thing if it can encompass both me and Polly Pot. Inclusive or what ?

Elsehere a Guardianista on the "Islamophobia myth".

At this point, a gratuitous link to the wonderful Dhimmi Watch, which isn't so much about Islamists as about the way liberals kow-tow to them (note the irrelevant cultural metaphor - inclusive or what II ?).

Help Make Tim Worstall Rich !

There's more than one way of creating wealth via the Web. Tim has signed up with a company who will pay him a rather over-generous commission for attracting visitors to their site. Decent of them, but it won't last for ever. I'm presuming the company isn't run by a personal friend of his.

See his post for full details. Tell all your friends ! I think I'll post this over at Urban75, where the massed anti-capitalists may be up for it.

Occasionally it does happen that a company misjudges its promotional spend. The most recent example I can think of was the Hoover 'Free Flights' disaster, in which a bright wheeze (two free flights for every appliance sold) to clear an overproduction backlog proved too popular and ended up costing them £48 million.

The Tocharian Mummies

OK, so Fisky blogged on this subject nearly a year ago. And the most comprehensive site may have an agenda (although of course a site called Black History would raise no eyebrows. So are we conditioned).

But what a story.

In a remote part of Western China archaelogists have found not only evidence of an extinct Indo-European language, Tocharian, but the mummified remains, up to 4,000 years old, of the Indo-Europeans themselves.

Source -

They were some of the earliest horsemen known to history. They seem to have practiced ritual sacrifice (the fate of the poor toddler, his tears still preserved, isn't very nice), although later becoming Buddhists. They wore woollen plaids and tartans. Blonde or red hair, plaited.

I'm not competent to judge the more grandiose claims of the White History site - that a great Indo-European civilisation existed along the Silk Road which may have provided China with Buddhism and its early Emperors - ethnologists and linguists can argue it out (try following this), but the story is fascinating. If they can just find the Chinese Romans it would be the icing on the cake.

Source -

One down note. The area where these discoveries have been made, not so far (on Chinese scales) from the Kirghiz, Kazakh and Tajik borders of China, is neither ethnically nor culturally Chinese. Rather like, say, Tibet 50 years ago. Islam is influential and there has been unrest. China will be keeping a nervous eye on what's happening just across the border in Kirghistan.

Given these factors and traditional Chinese chauvinism, evidence that the indigenous population are descended in part from an ancient Western stock would not exactly be the happiest news in the Chinese capital. And as for the thought that the great Chinese Empire may have been, even in part, created by roundeyes ...

So the mummies, many of which are apparently slowly deteriorating in storage, may not be priority number one when the Chinese Arts Council are handing out the grants.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Was The War Legal ?

Top headline on the BBC this morning and all day.

Quite frankly - who, outside a couple of hundred thousand Guardianistas, gives a monkey's ? And exactly when did the Left start being so keen on obeying the law ? The same people twitching about Iraq will doubtless be at Faslane or Aldermaston this Easter, trying to do as much criminal damage as possible.

I suppose as far as the left is concerned, obeying the law is something the straights ought to do, the left on the other hand refusing to be bound by bourgeois legality.

And this law. Who enacted it ? Who voted for it ? I understand the Geneva Conventions, agreed by a large number of governments in the 1920s. But where did this 'international law' come from ?

I don't remember this kind of mullarkey the last time we invaded and brought democracy to a dictatorship which had attacked several of its neighbours. I'll have to get the history books out.

Ah yes.

Mrs Malice Ahon (Lab, Halifax) - "Can the Prime Minister tell us why he declared war without a second League of Nations resolution ? Already over 100,000 innocent Germans have been killed."

Mr Jeremy Corbyn (Lab, Islington)- "It is surely up to the Polish people to liberate themselves. They will not be grateful for your imperialist help. It's all about lignite, if you ask me. This war is simply a pretext to secure the Silesian coal supplies."

Travellers Tales

It’s time for all self-righteous men and women to stand up against Howard’s plans for gypsy pogroms, the bulldozing of their caravan sites, and the boiling down of Romany bones for soup, his opportunistic response to the shrill campaign of hatred waged by the Sun, Mail and Express against these colourful characters with their brightly painted vardas and their dukkerin.

When I moved to the sticks from the multiculti city some twenty year ago, my views of travellers were an amalgam derived from reading Jeremy Sandford and George Borrow, and listening to songs like this and this in folk clubs. I swore never to enter the pubs (and they were not a few) with ‘No Traveller’ signs on the doors. As far as I was concerned, they were just people like anyone else – the signs were just what I’d expect from the conservative bigots you’d find in a country town.

My village had two permanent traveller sites, one at either end. I got to know a few of them (in the pub with their wives). Nice people. When my motorbike broke down, one of them gave me a lift to Brum each day for a fortnight in his scrap wagon. But these were the respectable class of the site. You’d read about some of the less respectable young men in the local court reports. Still, apart from one massive domestic (full story here), you’d hardly have known the sites were there.

My local – one of three pubs in the village – fell on hard times. The bikers who made up the bulk of the customers had found new, more fashionable haunts further afield. The old regulars had switched pubs when the bikers arrived, and the landlord was stuck for customers. I would still wander up for a beer though – it was only 50 yards up the road.

One night I strolled up at 10 o’clock and noticed the car park was full of Transits. I wandered into the bar which was full of men – not a single female.

I was an easy-going, idealistic hippy type, not the cynical chap I am now, so when a young man plonked himself in front of me, put his face rather closer to mine than was comfortable, and said ‘Alright, mate ?’ I took him at face value, smiled back and chatted to him like an old mate (this total unawareness of my situation was probably of assistance in dealing with aggressive dealers in the car parks of Aston pubs as well). He didn’t seem as friendly for the rest of the evening as his initial approach had suggested, and I walked home thoughtfully. I didn’t visit the pub again for a fortnight or so, and then I heard it was closed.

The travellers (still without their women) had been boisterous for a few evenings, but then things got out of hand. Closing time had always been flexible, but when the landlord tried to put the towels on one Friday after midnight, he was forcibly prevented from doing so, the phone leads were yanked out (mobiles were still a yuppie toy) and a successful evening ended with the till from behind the bar making its exit in the back of a van. End of a traveller’s pub.

Although the men were all local, village opinion was surprisingly sanguine – what did he expect ? And in any case, the Prices and their patriarch were to cover themselves with glory within eighteen months.

One day the village awoke to find a new travellers site. A digger had moved the concrete blocks and flattened the gate into a field by the industrial estate. Twenty vans and assorted lorries and cars were on site. The Smith family had arrived.

Word soon spread. ‘Old man Smith’s got 8 sons’, said the local policeman, ‘but four of them are inside at the moment’. The young men of the site took to wandering up and down the village with rottweilers, taking a good look at everything. Sheds, outhouses, garages, barns were emptied of their contents – chainsaws, power tools, mowers, bicycles - at first by unknown hands and then what was left by the owners. People took to wandering round their gardens with iron bars at dusk and before going to bed. It really did feel like a state of siege.

What was worse was that the police and council seemed powerless. One man had his motorbike stolen and saw the young men riding it round the site. The police told him he’d have to go and get it himself. The village soon came to the conclusion that the police were desperate to avoid confrontation and that the travellers knew it.

Only one local man set foot on the site. He lived in the council houses immediately opposite, and his car was vandalised by some of the site children.

As told in the pub the night after, he walked onsite and asked to speak to the patriarch. As he waited, he was surrounded by the young men. Out came Old Man Smith and our man told his story. ‘What are you going to do about it ?’ the old man asked him, looking round at the young men. ‘You can beat the ---- out of me’ replied the villager, ‘but you’ll always have to watch your back if you do’. The old boy considered, then peeled off a sum of money from a large roll. ‘Will that pay for it ?’ General opinion was he’d been rewarded for courage rather than for the threat.

Soon after came the incident that indirectly led to the Smiths departure. The village shop was run by a charming spinster who also cared alone for her Downs syndrome brother. Everyone knew her and liked her. The Smith ladies had been in the shop that morning and bought a doll. In the afternoon they brought it back with no box, filthy and minus an arm. She wouldn’t return the money and there were bad words spoken.

At two o’clock the following morning the shopkeeper was woken by the crash of the plate glass shopfront as a block went in through it and what cigarettes and spirits were kept on display went out through it. The police arrived half an hour later, interviewed the shopkeeper, still in her nightclothes, on the pavement through the car window. Then having ascertained that the emergency glaziers had been called, ‘We’ll be off then’. They were actually going to leave her alone in the shop. She wouldn’t let them leave.

Up to this time the Prices had kept out of it. Whether the shop incident was connected only they can say. But a few nights later pretty much the entire Price menfolk – two camps worth – paid a visit to the Smiths, a visit which ended with shotguns being fired and armed police being called out. Suddenly the village was full of police cars, with a couple parked permanently at the entrance to the camp. The Smiths moved on a week later to torment some other poor souls and Old Price was the toast of the village.

I don’t want to give the impression that such visits by itinerants were frequent. We probably had four such in fifteen years, but all of them were trouble. I started to understand the blocked off laybys and the concrete blocks in the gateways of the fallow fields.

The other real trouble – involving violence and vandalism in addition to the usual epidemic of thefts - came from Irish tinkers, about whom I blogged here, but failed to mention the manner of their departure. Unlike the Smiths, there were probably only a dozen men all told in this group. The land on which they’d camped was owned by a Bristol ‘businessman’, who had run illegal Sunday markets until the council got an injunction. One aftenoon a couple of cars containing the businessman and seven men arrived at the site. The businessman got out and had a shortish conversation with the occupants, following which the two cars went for a little cruise around the vans before driving off (all this was witnessed by a friend and his wife, a local journalist, who lived a hundred yards from the vans). The site was clear in a week (clear of people, that is. The local council paid for the site to be cleared as a health hazard). Where the travellers went we knew not.

Only four such incidents in fifteen years, lasting probably six months altogether. We’ve been lucky really – the legendary Johnsons, Gloucestershire's finest, have never paid a visit. But when you’ve lived through such a visitation you get a little twitchy when you drive past a field that was empty on Friday and on Monday contains twenty vans. I left the village for my present home seven years ago. The nearest illegal camp is some five miles away, one of three in the area, close enough for me to find three young men in the garden a fortnight back, taking a look and enquiring if I knew of any cars for sale cheap ? Their car was newer than mine. And yes, I did take the number.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The NSPCC Needs To Be Stopped. Full Stop

Richard Webster's new book on the Bryn Estyn affair is out. In it he describes "the greatest series of miscarriages of justice in recent British history – how innocent lives have been destroyed, the public deceived and millions of pounds wasted in a witch-hunt against innocent people".

More detail on his excellent site, as well as the title link, to Dea Birkett's demolition of the NSPCC.

As readers may have gathered, I'm not a big fan of social workers. Indeed, when then-Southampton manager Dave Jones was accused, I thought 'Social worker. Liverpudlian' and would have given him ten years on those two counts alone (mea culpa - he actually seems to be a fine chap and conducted himself with tremendous dignity during his ordeal). But the more I read of Mr Webster's work the more convinced I am that grave injustice has been done to hundreds, if not thousands of social workers, who are, after all, God's children.

Webster's book is released as in Rochdale, an apparently innocent man is murdered after being accused of being a paedophile.

Naturally the Independent is blaming 'the right' for the killing.

Rising hostility toward minority groups, clamour for tough sentences against offenders and a sinister desire for retribution are being driven by an increasingly prevalent right-wing agenda.

Yet I don't remember the Indie, who have contributed towards the jailing of dozens of innocent people, and the wrecking of the lives of hundreds more, campaigning against false accusations of paedophilia at children's homes. Indeed, in 1994, a retired police officer was awarded £375,000 against the Independent On Sunday after they implied he was a paedophile. The Observer repeated the allegations.

The Independent was a key player in the Bryn Estyn affair.

In a powerful campaign, carried out over a period of some three months, the Independent now published a series of news stories, features and leaders whose apparent aim was to create a sense of national outrage over what had happened.

Largely because of the campaign conducted by the Independent, a sense of crisis gradually developed, and, on 17 June 1996, an evidently reluctant government was forced to announce the public inquiry which had been demanded.

The BBC is also implicated in false accusations.

You can get the true believer's view, so assiduously fed by the Independent, as sensible sites like this one, or at David Icke's.

Stephen Pollard !

Yo is da man !

Blogging From Bed ...

With a stinking cold and a broadband connection. Hence heavyish posting, fuelled by endless cups of tea.

As the blog gets more links, it's harder to keep up with what people are posting. so I thought I'd set up a Bloglines account. For those as ignorant as I, it's a site which enables you to grab the RSS or Atom feeds from your favourite blogs and see who's posting new stuff.

So yestre'en I put together my bloglist, and discovered to my horror that some of my favourite writers don't have site feeds.

So Peter Cuthbertson, Natalie Solent, John Pierce, Village Hampden, Jim Miller - get those feeds sorted !

Five Days Without Food Or Water

You can't say the US Courts aren't independent. Their latest judgement means that Terry Schiavo will be dead in a day or two, starved to death as Tony Bland was in Britain (four years after Tony Bland was killed, another Hillsborough victim, Andrew Devine, came out of his 8-year coma and, while severely disabled, can communicate with his family).

Her poor parents.

As Dumb Jon points out, over at the BBC 'Have Your Say' page, they're wetting themselves with glee.

We get the 'up yours, Christians' perspective :

If the Lord wants to keep you alive and functioning then he doesn't need any artificial help from mankind. Pull the plug and let's see whether the Lord takes her or raises her up whole. Why would you want to keep her trapped in a vegetative state when heaven is only a breath away?

Michael Hoffman, London

All these right-to-life protestors with their cross-smudged placards should surely have something better to do than interfere in a purely family affair. I am curious as to how some consider it compassion to leave her in this state; a state where she has no idea what is going on, cannot feel pain or pleasure, cannot exercise any form of control. Not to mention that there is no hope in her case for recovery since parts of her brain are irreparably damaged. From a Christian perspective, surely she would be more happy in heaven?

Alex Mangan, 17, Swindon, UK

The 'property of the husband' view :

The right belongs to the husband and nobody else particularly when she is in a permanent vegetative state and there's little or not hope of recovery. It's better to let her die in peace and with dignity.

Catherine, Singapore

And one I was waiting for - ths comparison between a totally innocent woman and a murderer or rapist :

I find it ironic that a president that has supported the death penalty in cases of people deemed by the courts of having educationally sub-normal status yet proposes to stop the natural course for someone whose only crime is having people to care for her. If something like 17 Judges have heard this case and sided with the husband than no one should be above the law - not even a president with a right wing Christian agenda.

Simon, Singapore (any relation to Catherine) ?

Of course there is only one category of brain-damaged person who should be kept alive at all costs. People like Radley-educated Clive Stafford-Smith, and his coterie of well-heeled PR and media types at Reprieve UK fight for the right to life of the Tracy Housels (BBC interview and wall-to-wall coverage here) of this world.

On the evening of 6 April 1985, Ms Drew took a night off from nursing her sick mother, to go ballroom dancing. On her way home she stopped for a cup of coffee at a truckers' lay-by, where she met Housel. She was last seen alive, driving off in her silver Ford Mustang with Housel in the passenger seat. The next day her badly beaten body was found by the side of a road. She had been beaten with a stick and allegedly raped. Her body was so badly disfigured, she could only be identified through dental records.

UPDATE - via Booker Rising, Thomas Sowell on Schiavo.

"What is harder to understand is the fervor and even venom of those liberals who have gone ballistic - ostensibly over state's rights, over the Constitutional separation of powers, and even over the sanctity of family decisions. These are not things that liberals have any track record of caring about. Is what really bothers them the idea of the sanctity of life and what that implies for their abortion issue? Or do they hate any challenge to the supremacy of judges - on which the whole liberal agenda depends - a supremacy that the Constitution never gave the judiciary?”

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

What A Great Site

And a great title.

The Derby Gripe. Straight to the sidebar under England. Any more like this about ?

Recommended - Mary Hinge's page of wisdom. Samples :

The most painful household incident is wearing socks and stepping on an upturned plug.

In every plate of chips there is a bad chip.

Labour detect more Nazi Jews

Do we see a pattern here ?

First a brave pioneer - Tam Dalyell and his Jewish cabal.

Flying pigs. Fagin.

Ken Livingstone calls a Jewish reporter a 'concentration camp guard'.

Now Kevin McNamara, Labour MP for Hull North, has attacked Michael Howard's racist suggestion that travellers should be expected to obey the same planning laws as ordinary people, saying the policy had 'the whiff of the gas chambers'.

How long before Labour MPs start hissing at Howard, as if he's a Spurs supporter at Stamford Bridge ?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Oops !

The theory :

Home Office Minister Hazel Blears on internet grooming by paedophiles :

'As part of our commitment to protecting children on the internet we have introduced a new grooming offence in the Sex Offences Bill and made the maximum penalty for possession of child pornography five years. At the same time a Home Office task force has produced guidance for web, chat and messaging services and run public awareness campaigns to inform parents and children of the risks posed by child internet crime.'

The practice :

'A Labour Party official has resigned after being arrested on suspicion of "grooming" a schoolboy on the internet. Peter Tuffley, 27, was arrested after a 13-year-old boy failed to return to his home in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on Saturday 12 March.

The teenager went home the following day but inquiries by police later revealed he had spent the night at a man's flat in Liverpool.

Mr Tuffley worked as a Labour Party regional organiser in Warrington.

He had previously worked in the Salford constituency office of Police Minister Hazel Blears.'

Not the first time Ms Blears has been long on rhetoric and short on reality.

Happy Birthday To Me !

Two years old yesterday. First ever post is here.

Looking back my worries about looting and law and order were pretty accurate, too.

Vote Fraud Update

Fair play, now - I'd have thought the Indie would have thoroughly approved of postal vote fraud which benefited the Labour party. You live and learn.

In a long list of allegations, including claims that "threats of deportation were made to first-generation migrants if they did not sign postal vote papers to vote Labour", it contends that blank ballot papers were "completed by Labour candidates and activists rather than voters", and that "postal votes were collected in a completed form by Labour party agents, opened, the vote changed and resealed". Here, too, the three winning Labour councillors - Mohammed Islam, Muhammad Afzal and Mohammed Kazi - deny any wrongdoing. All six Labour councillors in Bordesley Green and Aston strenuously deny they had any knowledge of, or consented to, any corrupt practice in the course of their campaigns.

But the fact that these cases are being heard raises huge issues. They coincide with a third case: a former Labour councillor in Blackburn, Mohammed Hussain, faces a possible jail term after pleading guilty last month to conspiracy to rig the 2002 town hall election by getting supporters to fraudulently fill in more than 200 blank postal votes. And alarm bells should be ringing nationwide, because these cases coincide with the build-up to a general election.

They even utter a truth which dare not speak its name.

It's a sensitive issue, but electoral bodies and experts privately agree that inner-city areas of high ethnic-minority population are vulnerable to manipulation of the postal vote system. Ayoub Khan says: "One aspect of the culture is a system of hierarchy that doesn't just extend within the family - it extends into the families of your first cousins, second cousins; and within most extended families there are certain adults who play a very key role." In other words, the deep respect in which elders and senior family members are held means that "key adults and community leaders who have affiliated themselves with a party are in a position where they can extract postal votes in the hundreds".

As I posted last summer:

"It is likely that Labour will consider electoral fraud a price well worth paying for an increased turnout. Which means that future elections where the result is tight will be decided by fraud and/or intimidation. Bad will drive out good as the losers decide 'they're doing it, so we'll have to'. The ruling party will be able to tilt the process, as the police ignore fraud by some parties but prosecute frauds by others. A whole new breed of lawyers specialising in electoral law will exist.

The future ? Soviet levels of turnout and Third World levels of fairness."

"George Bush, Uncle Sam, Iraq will be your Vietnam"

They really, really want that to be true, don't they ?

"The sun shone and banners waved ..." says the Guardian, as an anti-American march took place in London.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, the gallant Vietnamese are struggling against US hegemony, expressed as it is in the vile form of educated, independent women who don't wear the right clothes.

In Latifiya, to the south of Baghdad, radical Sunni insurgents have pasted leaflets on shop walls warning women and girls not to appear without a hijab to cover the head and face and prohibiting the use of make-up. Anyone who failed to adhere to these laws “would be punished by death”.

Some die because their work brings them into contact with American or Iraqi officials, others because their advocacy of more rights for women offends certain religious fundamentalists.

A few seem to have been singled out for failing to conform to an extreme Islamic code of dress and for abandoning traditional lives at home.

Zeena al-Qushtaini, a divorced mother who owned one of Baghdad’s best known pharmacies and had contracts with coalition forces, dressed in western clothes and mingled with women activists.

“Lady Zeena”, as she was known, was wearing a diamond necklace and ring when she was shot twice in the head after being abducted. Her body was found dressed in a full-length black abaya that she would never have chosen to wear, the headscarf covered in blood.

Tawheed wal-Jihad, the group run by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, released a film of her murder and that of her business partner, Ziad Baho, who was beheaded.

Islamic militants have killed 20 women in the northern city of Mosul and a dozen more in Baghdad. The victims shared a common desire to live freely and a vision of a better role for women in Iraqi society.

A better role for women - that would never do, would it now ?

See No Evil

Imagine a demonstration by French Muslims being attacked by hundreds of white thugs. It would be all over the Guardian and BBC like a rash.

Strangely only Scott and the BNP have noted this story from Paris.

Le Monde newspaper carried disturbing interviews with attackers and victims in last week's trouble - both sides agreeing that the violence was exclusively carried out on white boys and girls by black and Arab teenagers.

"If I went, it was not to demonstrate but to take telephones and beat people up. There were groups of people running about stirring things up, and in the middle these idiots - these little French people just asking for it," an 18-year-old of Tunisian origin called Heikel said.

"We came to demonstrate against inequalities and we got beaten up. It's as if they thought that we - the "white Parisians " - had plenty of money, that we could buy a new mobile phone tomorrow," said Tristan Goldbronn, 16, who was badly hurt.

Police estimated that between 700 and 1,000 youngsters came into the city centre to spoil the March 8 demonstration, most of them from the Seine-Saint-Denis department in the northern suburbs.

Heikel, who attends a secondary school in the area, told Le Monde that the mainly white Parisian students who took part in the march - known in street parlance as "bolos" - were seen as spoilt and privileged, and therefore fair game.

"A bolo - he's a sitting duck, a victim," he said.

UPDATE - apologies. Bloggers Faute de Mieux covered the attacks.

Personal Family Matters - A Guide for Liberals

Hitting your significant other - bad.

Smacking your child - bad.

Starving your wife to death ? Well, as Terry Schiavo's husband so rightly said - it's a personal family matter. One really shouldn't interfere.

Amazingly this was the line taken by the BBC Today programme interviewer (RealAudio).

It was followed by a couple of related reports. As Britain becomes ever more civilised, and the dark days of the 1950s slip further and further from memory, so the number of assaults seems to rise. That's OK - just the inevitable result of disparities in our unjust society. But if the assaults are carried out by males on females - bad news. Domestic violence is creeping down the age range. I'm surprised we haven't seen a survey revealing that 100% of children with siblings have hit and been hit by them. Once that was called being a kid. Put it in the DV box and you have a major problem for society.

"This survey reveals a generation of girls, many of whom are growing up believing that aggression is an acceptable part of life" said an NSPCC spokesman.

If you watch Eastenders, so regularly plugged on Children's BBC, or Casualty, you'll realise that aggression is depicted as the ONLY way of dealing with difference.

The moral bankruptcy of the children's charities was beautifully illustrated by the Barnardo's spokeswoman asked (RealAudio) about her 'manifesto for children'. Her reply ("4th richest country in world .. one in four children in poverty"), apart from being based on relative incomes (meaning that if all UK incomes doubled poverty would remain the same), took zero account of the moral and spiritual poverty which produces cases like this, the attempted sale of a two year old girl by her underclass mother. Full report here, for 1 week only.

The couple can't be all bad though. They use the approved modern method of caring for a young child.

"She wakes up at 8. If you want to keep her in bed till 10 keep it dark," she said.

"She'll watch a video all day. Just put a video on. Any Disney video."

Sunday, March 20, 2005

James Hamilton

Ok, so he's a trick-cyclist (the old British Army slang for a psychiatrist), a profession I've always regarded as fundamentally useless (otherwise why is the amount of mental illness proportional to the number of therapists and amount of therapy ? Or are they both symptoms ?).

But he's posting some great stuff at the moment. Try this post, in which he addresses some of the issues that were bothering Paul Anderson at Gauche a week or two back - most of which boil down to 'what's happened to the Left ?'

Hamilton takes as his theme this US piece by Lillian Rubin. It's highly relevant to the UK, and will become more so. Sample quote :

Back then there was a saying that "A conservative is a liberal who got mugged on his way to the subway." When I first heard it, I was outraged by those flip words; now it seems to me that they weren't entirely wrong. So today I wonder if a conservative isn't a working-class guy who heard the "liberal elite" (as the right has effectively labeled us) tell him he had nothing to fear when experience told him otherwise-not just on crime but on a whole slew of issues that have turned the country into a cultural and political battlefield.

I think the piece, and James Hamilton's comments, are directly relevant to the questions asked by Paul Anderson. My view is simple - that somewhere at the height of Thatcherite hegemony the middle class UK left jettisoned, with a sigh of relief, the white working class, put a couple of five-skinners together and concentrated on the politics of race, gender and sexuality. The process continues.

As racial and identity politics became increasingly strident, we were right on economic issues but tone deaf to the cultural and emotional sources of white working-class fear and anger. They objected to what they saw as minority privilege, and we called them racist.

Archbishop 'showing signs of Christianity' shock

UPDATE - Times and Seasons visitors, welcome. I think Adam wants you to see the picture at the bottom of this post.

In a radical departure from orthodox Church of England doctrine, Rasputin has laid aside his concern for Fairtrade chocolate, the oppression of gay clergy, third world debt, the G8 summit, domestic violence and proactively reaching out to broad sections of the community on a multidisciplinary basis while empowering a cross-section of service providers, and addressed himself to the Sixth Commandment.

Writing in the Sunday Times, he points out that "it is impossible to regard abortion as anything other than the deliberate termination of a human life".

Alas the word 'kill' is conspicuous by its absence, and the Mad Monk spends the next three paragraphs reassuring nervous types that "the idea that raising the issues here is the first step towards a theocratic tyranny or a capitulation to some neanderthal Christian right is alarmist nonsense".

But great oaks, little acorns etc.

In the same paper, my bete noir Rod Liddle continues his 180 degree switch and seems determined to corner the market in political incorrectness, this week taking a pop at nutters and headcases, otherwise known as those with "mental health issues". I'm still trying to work out if his radical switch from Guardianista par excellence as the editor of Radio 4's "Today" programme, to a chap who presents documentaries about the 'Immigration Time-bomb', is a road to Damascus job or whether he's a careerist who can sense the way the wind's blowing.

(For amusement, the complaints at the NAAR site exhibit a well worn feature of the immigration debate. "I welcome a full and honest debate. But not with people I disagree with".)

Finally, the wonderful and fragrant Church of England cleric Joanna Jepson has lost her case against the medics who killed a baby on the grounds of its cleft palate.

Apparently there were some 50 deaths a year (source unknown and probably in the 'one in four a domestic violence victim' category) through illegal abortion pre-1967. To prevent this putative evil, 1,365 babies were killed after 22 weeks (the approximate age at which a baby becomes, with medical help, viable outside the womb) last year. And another 180,000 before then, of course. Per year. Five million or so since 1967.

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The Reverend Joanna Jepson

... higher taxes to pay the state to become the best possible nanny to all babies ....

Says Polly.

"The nanny state is the good state" says Polly.

"Tell it like it is: only the state can buy the things that make people happiest" says Polly.

In the immortal words of windowlicker :

Imagine a Birkenstock stamping on a human face - forever.