Saturday, November 12, 2005


Justin Huggler - can that really be his name ? Straight from a 60s thriller - is writing in the Independent about Multan, where the lads put up a fine display today against Pakistan and where apostate Mohammed Yousuf (formerly known as the Catholic Yousuf Youhana - and described in the BBC report as a 'new batsman') got 5. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.

This is the Indie, so naturally the ignorant must be told how different this place is, of the passionate devotion of the locals to their Muslim faith and how we should be careful to respect the local culture.

"Any of the womanising, for which certain other members of the team have a reputation, could be a very dangerous proposition indeed."

Indeed. Just as it was for a young black man in the Southern United States until sixty or so years ago. The spectre of the lynch mob and the necktie party must have cooled the ardour of all but the bravest.

We called those locals murderous racist bigots. To be fair, a local womanising in Multan would also be dicing with danger - probably more so than a white womanisr in the South.

But it's this that gets me :

" ... the locals were overwhelmingly hospitable to the English fans in town yesterday - all the more striking when you consider the city's troubled colonial past. In 1848, the British tore down the Fort here in revenge for the killing of an officer. "I don't know the history," said Shaukat Khan, a local yesterday. Perhaps it is just as well".

Neither, it seems, does Justin Huggler. In 1848 Multan was ruled by the Sikh, not the British Empire - an Empire in which the Muslims were given as hard a time by the Sikhs as they had previously (when the area was part of the Amir of Kabul's dominions) given the Sikhs. The arrival of British troops in the service of the East India Company, ostensibly in support of the Sikh Durbar, was seen by the local Muslims as indubitably a Good Thing. It was a Sikh mob (or more exactly a crowd of "Mazbis - outcasts, turned Sikh") who killed the two officers in 1848.

Today there are a lot fewer Sikhs in Multan, indeed in all the Western Punjab, following the unfortunate events of 1947.

UPDATE - Oops ! 1947 link is now corrected.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I Was Going ...

To post about the proposals from Blair's Islamic Taskforce which can help us to avoid future suicide bombings, viz :

Change our foreign policy

More lessons in schools about Islam, doubtless giving a broad range of views ...

"developing opportunities for young British Muslims to be leaders and active citizens" - aka a bit of positive discrimination.

"a national campaign to increase the visibility of Muslim women" - doubtless to be led by this lady and her lawyer.

Sharia law to be implemented "Within five years"

Policies against Zionist oppression to be implemented "in a traditionally British manner"

Oh alright, I made some of those up.

But anyway, the Magna Mater Melanie has written the post for me.

UPDATE - Interesting Kenan Malik piece on Islamophobia, including this gem.

"Are you seriously comparing Polly Toynbee with Nazi anti-Semites of the 1930s?"

It's One Rule For Us ....

Patricia Hewitt, March 2004, on politicians :

Speaking to the Guardian, Ms Hewitt admitted there was a serious groundswell of pressure across government to revert to the late-night parliamentary sittings hours ... in remarks that will infuriate some in the parliamentary Labour party, she said: "There are several of us that think going back to the 19th century working hours would be a disaster.

She said reversion to the old hours would be a defeat for the advocates of a decent work-life balance.

"We as a government introduced new laws a year ago to make it easier for parents to balance work and family. If we bottle it now as a parliament we are sending a message to business and the whole economy."

Patricia Hewitt, November 2005, on doctors and nurses :

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said she wanted patients to be able to get supermarket-style access to GPs, with surgeries opening seven days a week. The health secretary said some practices were already open from 8am to 8pm, and the move had proved popular with patients.

Ms Hewitt added: "With banks and supermarkets, they are open 24/7.

"But patients are telling us with the health service, you either see your GP or, out-of-hours, go to A&E.

"We need to make sure that GP surgeries become more accessible."

She said one way of providing incentives for doctors to have longer surgery opening hours would be to include the requirement in GPs' contracts.

Religiously Aggravated Crime Shock Horror

From the BBC :

Among the religiously-aggravated offences, the victim's actual or perceived religion was Muslim in 23 out of 34 cases.

It was Jewish in five cases, Christian in four, Hindu in two and Mormon in one. In four cases the religion was unknown.

Sir Iqbal Sacranie, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain said the CPS figures were "obviously very troubling".

34 cases out of ten million crimes a year (BCS figures, 2 million reported to police) seems rather a small number to me. It must be the ratio of Muslim victims that's troubling the good knight.

Well, the balance of these figures should certainly change for the better (from his perspective) when the 760-odd victims of July 7th are added.

PS - I notice that the conviction rate for all race offences was 84%. It just goes to show what the government, police and courts can do when they actually take a crime seriously.

UPDATE - the Scots are worried about racist attacks - and with good cause.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Tough On Terror ...

As the Government attempt 90-day internment without charge with the one hand, with the other ....

"Legislation allowing fugitives from Northern Ireland to return home is due to be published."

"Fugitive" is BBC-speak for "wanted murderers".

The 90-day rule is the greatest blow at freedom yet by Blair's Government. Those tempted to relax, on the grounds that this will only apply to bearded, brown-skinned chaps, should think again.

In the first place, said chaps are British citizens with all the rights and duties appertaining thereto. No Briton of any colour should be subject to arrest and lengthy imprisonment without charge or knowing the evidence against them. We have managed without such a law (in peacetime) for 700-odd years now. There is also a sharp distinction to be made between the cases of suspected British terrorists and suspected foreign ones. The Belmarsh detainees, all foreign, are able to leave the UK at any time if they so wish.

Secondly, anyone who thinks that this legislation will not be used elsewhere is optimistic to the point of gullibility. What better way of neutralising political opposition than taking out leaders and activists until an election is safely past ?

My fear is that were things to get worse in this country the temptation to use such a law would be irrestistible to our rulers.

UPDATE - in Hardy's words :

"Hurrah!" said Coggan, with a swelling heart. "God's above the devil yet !"

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


How have I missed this - the collaborative project to photograph every square kilometre of Britain and put the lot on the web ?

I have already fallen in love with Unst Bus Shelter, billed as the world's most luxuriously equipped shelter - and surely the first bus shelter with its own website.

Unst Bus Shelter, Shetland

Yet Another One ...

(an occasional series on the phenomenon of urban hipsters, right-on rebels or PC exemplars who for whatever reason need to get away from the vibrant multicultural melting pot of the city to a leafy, white and conservative area).

Those of you who love the beautiful post-industrial landcape of the lead-mining country around Pateley Bridge will surely be thrilled to know that among the ravaged structures and worked-out shafts may be found no other than Ablution favourite Janet Street Porter.

"I'd fallen in love, and within six months we'd bought a Georgian farmhouse in Nidderdale, complete with vegetable garden and conservatory. I have never spent more than four weeks away from Yorkshire ever since. It's a real place - unspoilt by tourism. A place where there are three cricket leagues, not one, in our valley. Where people might go to London for the rugby but never to go shopping. I even made a radio programme for the BBC using the catchphrase I picked up from my old gardener, Mr Bottomley: "You'll want for nowt in Pateley Bridge." This was his reply when I asked him if he'd ever been to London. He's only ever visited Leeds once - why leave paradise?"

Comment is superfluous.

More Christmas Light Shock Horror

From the BBC:

"A council may stop helping to pay for Christmas lighting displays because they are not politically correct. Waveney District Council in Suffolk says in a report that the festive illuminations do not fit in with its core values of equality and diversity".

What's worryinmg about reports like this is that they're starting to come from so-called Tory local authorities. It's an illustration of the prevalence of PC culture among council employees.

And here we see

a) why teaching is such a stressful job
b) what wimps we're becoming

"Our son's come home with a bruised arm"

"What ! Let's call social services and get the headmaster suspended"

I'll lay a pound to a pinch of poo that we have a chav-style family here. As the Policeman has often pointed out, there's no class of people more ready to shout for the police and social services.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Uphill Gardeners World

Johann Hari reveals that the world botting community are engaged in a fascinating experiment, whose results may have far-reaching implications for millions of people.

They're trying to develop new, drug-resistant strains of HIV.

The method ? Lots of bareback action with lots of partners, aided by lashings of crystal methamphetamine.

To his credit, Johann seems to think this is not a good idea.

But being Johann, he can't resist having a crack at the evil straights who have created this situation.

"The UK Gay Men's Sex Survey recently found that one-third of 20-year-old gay men do not know even the most basic facts about HIV transmission. Some 51 per cent didn't know that HIV is more likely to be passed on if he or his partner has another STD; 31 per cent did not know that water-based lubricant reduces condom failure; and, incredibly, 14 per cent did not know that HIV is more likely to be passed on if a man ejaculates inside his partner. This is the direct product of legislation that made teachers terrified to discuss gay sexual health issues with their students for an entire generation: there are hundreds of HIV-infected teens whose trail of infected blood runs back to Margaret Thatcher."

Of course - it's Thatcher's fault ! You have to wonder if even Johann can believe this.

What the Gay Men's Sex Survey certainly seems to have found is that a lot of 20-year olds are very ignorant indeed about STDs. And this is not surprising. For had the surveyors thought to ask other questions, they'd have found out that the best educated generation in history are ignorant about EVERYTHING.

14% unaware of the most obvious way of getting HIV ? This pales into insignificance beside the hideous fact that in 2000, 8% of young people could not complete the couple "Posh and _ ?", nor could 7% of them name "Fatboy _ ?".

After those two dreadful statistics it comes as no surprise that 92% don't know who signed the Munich Agreement, or that 84% don't know what the Domesday book was. How on earth can Johann expect them to know abstruse details about water-based lubricants ?

It could be worse though. In France 100% of North African teenagers think electricity substations are a cool place to hide from the police.

Dalrymple ...

On the interaction between young British Muslims and the liberal world view.

" ... the logic that has driven Western social policy for so long: that any difference in economic and social outcome between groups is the result of social injustice and adverse discrimination. The premises of multiculturalism don’t even permit asking whether reasons internal to the groups themselves might account for differences in outcomes.

The BBC peddles this sociological view consistently. In 1997, for example, it stated that Muslims “continue to face discrimination,” as witness the fact that they were three times as likely to be unemployed long-term as West Indians; and this has been its line ever since. If more Muslims than any other group possess no educational qualifications whatsoever, even though the hurdles for winning such qualifications have constantly fallen, it can only be because of discrimination—though a quarter of all medical students in Britain are now of Indian subcontinental descent. It can have nothing whatever to do with the widespread—and illegal—practice of refusing to allow girls to continue at school, which the press scarcely ever mentions, and which the educational authorities rarely if ever investigate. If youth unemployment among Muslims is two and a half times the rate among whites, it can be only because of discrimination—though youth unemployment among Hindus is actually lower than among whites (and this even though many young Hindus complain of being mistaken for Muslims). And so on and so on.

A constant and almost unchallenged emphasis on “social justice,” the negation of which is, of course, “discrimination,” can breed only festering embitterment. Where the definition of justice is entitlement by virtue of group existence rather than reward for individual effort, a radical overhaul of society will appear necessary to achieve such justice. Islamism in Britain is thus not the product of Islam alone: it is the product of the meeting of Islam with a now deeply entrenched native mode of thinking about social problems."

A Few Wet Leaves From The Curate's Gutters

Apologies for the posting hiatus - we've just bought a (second-hand) imported Japanese people carrier, and I spent the last few days getting to grips with an automatic gearbox and working out how you shift the seats. It's a sad sight as I approach a junction to see my left hand flailing in vain for the non-existent gear lever.

I don't have any views on what's happening in France one way or the other, so Clive Davis is as good a roundup of opinion as you could wish. What I have noticed is the BBC/Guardian reaction to it, as has the Dumb One.

The bit that got me was where various pundits were wheeled out on Radios Four and Five to say 'Thank God nobody's been killed. Had that happened, we'd really have a problem'.

Of course they weren't talking about burning disabled women on buses. They were worried in case any of the rioters were killed.

We're back to the BBCs view of criminals.

"Don't be nasty to them - you'll only make them worse".

We Are All Guilty

Guardian - the French are racist.

Times - so are the Scots (for which see this).

Trevor Phillips - so are all of you.