Saturday, July 22, 2006

Open Britain

"Britain is now an open country, in immigration terms the equivalent of the drunk girl semi-conscious on the sofa as the party ends, being eyed up by a couple of dodgy lads."

At some stage - probably when they find there are no summer jobs left for their student sons and daughters, the liberal elite may just wake up to what's happening.

"The number of people joining the British workforce from the newest - mainly east European - EU member states leapt 145% last year, it was revealed today.

The dramatic scale of economic migration into Britain was uncovered today when the government published figures for the number of national insurance (NI) numbers being issued to foreign nationals.

According to the figures, over 50% more foreign national NI numbers were granted in 2005 than in the previous year, with a majority of the increase coming from the EU's 10 new countries.

Some 662,000 registrations were issued in 2005, 223,000 more than in the previous 12 months.

Most of the increase was due to applications from nationals of the latest batch of new EU members: the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia."

Ah, so it's only immigration from Europe that's increasing, is it ?

"Registrations of people from those 10 countries - who acceded on May 1, 2004 - shot up by 160,000 (145%), while those of other foreign nationals rose 63,000 (19%)."

Not that mass immigration from Europe is good news. As I've pointed out, the culture that makes the Poles hard-working good sorts is the culture of Catholic Poland. God only knows what their descendants will be like after 20 or 30 years here, but the precedents of the Windrush and Mirpuri migrations, also of decent hardworking types, isn't encouraging.

"The figures show the government massively underestimated the scale of eastern European migration. A Home Office study in 2003 predicted only 13,000 people would arrive from the new EU countries."

Ah yes. And the Guardian supported the government figures with their own dodgy surveys.

"The figures from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) also indicate that the new arrivals are young working adults. Only 3% of the foreign nationals are claiming benefits, a drop from 6% last year. If the new workers decide to settle in Britain and have families that figure would be expected to rise."

Ah yes. So they'd need to be young to settle and have families. And have their women with them.

"Some 82% of those registered were under 35 and only 7,000 were over 55. Males accounted for 54% of the 662,000."

These people aren't going home. The replacement of the English (and, as a spin-off, of the Welsh) continues apace.

UPDATE - see also "Britain's biggest wave of migrants in history"

Channel Swimming for Cats

The David Walliams swim a week or two back reminded me of the time in the 1960s when two cats competed in a cross-channel swim.

A French moggy named 'Un-Deux-Trois' was pitted against an English challenger, a tabby called 'One-Two-Three'. On 19 July, 1968, in large open cages towed behind boats, they set off from near Dover.

Who won ?

The English cat. Because ...

The "Un-Deux-Trois" cat sank.


Has changed its url. A fine blog. Find them here. I wonder if they've got RSS and links to individual posts yet ?

Other new links.

West Bournemouth UKIP. A fine body of men (and women - especially Belinda).

Nationalist News (in good old commie Britain). Had to think a bit about this. Could this chap be to the right of the BNP ?

In terms of my blogging sympathies, I tend to divide the blogs who aren't keen on mass immigration into the sensible chaps / chapesses like myself (Pub Philosopher or DFH would be typical), who are motivated by the bleeding obvious - that a huge influx of people with a different culture, especially at a time of cultural collapse and confusion among the natives - will almost certainly lead to disunity, strife, and danger for my children - and those blogs who just don't like the buggers full stop. (Which, of course, they have every right to do.)

I tend to think NN falls into the latter category. Nonetheless, my policy is to link to those who link to me.

I can always add a 'Parental Advisory'. After all, the Modern Crusader's been on the roll for years.

Indeed, if I found a link from his blog, I would link to Satan himself.

Friday, July 21, 2006

More Links ....

Dr Feelgood.

Claims to live in Manchester, but watches the Pears stuff the Bears at Edgbaston.

Likes Jude the Obscure, which I've always found to be Hardy's most unsatisfactory novel. Just as Alec D'Urberville is in many ways a more sympathetic character than Angel Clare (at least he knows what he wants - the most beautiful, wonderful and desirable heroine in all of world literature - ever), so Arabella is more appealing than the dreadful Sue, who would have been happier on a Women's Studies course at Reading (or Aldbrickham) circa 1978.

Dies Irae. Eclectic US blog.

Seamole has converted to "Christianity, the religion that worships the source of all Truth, who is Jesus Christ". He's become a Catholic and stopped blogging.

"I stopped writing here around the time of my conversion. I have other, better interests now, and new demands on my time." I like to think that God can speak through a blog as well as anywhere. But there are many ways to witness. (Not that I claim divine inspiration for anything here, being all too aware of my frailties - and the more aware, the more important it becomes to give thanks and praise.)

Sudan Watch. A noble cause, really more Mick Hartley's area than mine, although I do have an upcoming post. The world is having kittens currently over several hundred deaths in Lebanon. No one disapproves of killing people more than I, yet the much greater numbers of deaths in Sudan, Chad and the Congo are passed by on the other side. Because (IMHO) whitey's not involved.

Drunkablog. I like this a lot, but then I love America.

Very American, loads of pictures. Almost a photoblog.

Top Cat.

Christian, from Coventry. No posts since February !

Steve Sailer. IQ, genetics, racial differences, racial preferences (i.e. things that would be called racist if a white person did them), all sorts of things you're not supposed to talk about. But no swivel-eyed loon he.

Quietly Seething. Don't be too quiet.

Anti-Jihad Pundit
. Lots of stories, links. Busy. Does exactly what it says on the tin.

And I must link to Brussels Journal, currently the subject of police harassment.

Is It Worth it ?

"Perhaps you should have noted that the Victorians managed to reduce crime rates dramatically - at a time when the most enormous social changes were taking place.

Of course, they had one crucial advantage over the Roberts' and Toynbees of this world - that 'Old Testament in hand' bit, with its ridiculous emphasis on 'thou shalt not steal'.

I read 'Oliver Twist' to my small daughter over two or three weeks recently - never hacked my way through his prose before. The remarkable thing is, that with all the cruelties and injustices visited upon the young orphan, all the horrors of the workhouse and Victorian poverty, neither the author, nor any authority figure in the book, suggests that stealing is anything other than a great evil which should be punished severely.

Is there point to arguing with idiots ? Or lifers ? (Mr Erwin is coy about why he got his life sentence. That's why I guess it was murder.)

Not that I put Yvonne Roberts into either category. Her trouble is that she formed her mindset in the right-on Seventies and has made a reasonably successful career out of it.

To start acknowledging reality at this stage would entail too high a price, both in material terms (look at the problems the Magna Mater Melanie Phillips and Peter Hitchens find getting published, and the hysteria directed against Mel in particular) - and perhaps more importantly, in terms of self-image. To acknowlege that you've turned into one of the people you've been battling against for thirty years takes a sort of courage - even without the thought that your career and many old friendships may be at stake. Why do you think I blog anonymously ?

Against such considerations matters of truth, or right and wrong, come lower down on most people's moral scales.

Erwin James is a different case. Liberals love that frisson they get from close contact with the bad guys. John McVicar made a better living from being a former armed robber than he did from being a real one.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I Merely Report ...

I fear that very soon we will see another fake 911 in america followed by a fascist take over.

In Blairy England Brown is organising patriot youth groups in schools.

I fear for the future.

Yet More On Tommy Sheridan

This is really an addendum to my previous post, which suggested that 'money wasn't everything' and that socialists, Mr Sheridan in particular, should perhaps consider other inequalities.

One nineteenth-century socialist addressed the issue directly - the novelist Emile Zola. In his wonderful novel Germinal we meet the mine director M. Hennebeau, a conscientious man who worships and desires his beautiful, cold wife - who herself has no time for him, amusing herself with a sucession of lovers. They share their house with his nephew Negrel, a young engineer.

The miners have been on strike for two months, and are starving and desperate. They have started to riot and destroy pit-head workings, although not yet 'his' pit.

The translation is an old one, by Havelock Ellis - yes, that one. I've amended it here and there. My Penguin translation, by Leonard Tancock, is better, but it's in a crate as we have the builders in.

"... he was feeling cold at the heart when a captain, who had arrived running, was shown in, and told him of the mob's march on Mirou. Almost immediately, as he was finishing his coffee, a telegram informed him that Madeleine and Crévecoeur were in their turn threatened. Then his perplexity became extreme. He was expecting the postman at two o'clock; ought he at once to ask for troops ? or would it be better to wait patiently, and not to act until he had received the directors' orders ? He went back into his study; he wished to read a report which he had asked Négrel to prepare the day before for the prefect. But he could not put his hand on it; he reflected that perhaps the young man had left it in his room, where he often wrote at night, and without taking any decision, pursued by the idea of this report, he went upstairs to look for it in the room.

As he entered, M. Hennebeau was surprised: the room had not been done, no doubt through Hippolyte's forgetfulness or laziness. There was a moist heat there, the close heat of the past night, made heavier from the mouth of the hot-air stove being left open; and he was suffocated, too, with a penetrating perfume, which he thought must be the odour of the toilet waters with which the basin was full. There was great disorder in the room--garments scattered about, damp towels thrown on the backs of chairs, the bed yawning, with a sheet drawn back and draggling on the carpet. But at first he only glanced round with an abstracted look as he went towards a table covered with papers to look for the missing report. Twice he examined the papers one by one, but it was certainly not there. Where the devil could that madcap Paul have stuffed it ?

And as M. Hennebeau went back into the middle of the room, giving a glance at each article of furniture, he noticed in the open bed a bright point which shone like a star. He approached mechanically and put out his hand. It was a little gold scent-bottle lying between two folds of the sheet. He at once recognized a scent-bottle belonging to Madame Hennebeau, the little ether bottle which was always with her. But he could not understand its presence here: how could it have got into Paul's bed? And suddenly he grew terribly pale. His wife had slept there.

"Beg your pardon, sir," murmured Hippolyte's voice through the door. "I saw you going up."

The servant entered and was thrown into consternation by the disorder.

"Lord! Why, the room is not done! So Rose has gone out, leaving all the house on my shoulders!"

M. Hennebeau had hidden the bottle in his hand and was pressing it almost to breaking.

"What do you want?"

"It's another man, sir; he has come from Crévecoeur with a letter."

"Good! Leave me alone; tell him to wait."

His wife had slept there! When he had bolted the door he opened his hand again and looked at the little bottle which had left its image in red on his flesh. Suddenly he saw and understood; this had been going on in his house for months. He recalled his old suspicion, the rustling against the doors, the naked feet at night through the silent house. Yes, it was his wife who went up to sleep there!

Falling into a chair opposite the bed, which he gazed at fixedly, he remained some minutes as though crushed. A noise aroused him; someone was knocking at the door, trying to open it. He recognized the servant's voice.

"Sir--Ah ! you are shut in, sir."

"What is it now ?"

"There seems to be a hurry; the men are breaking everything. There are two more messengers below. There are also some telegrams."

"You just leave me alone ! I am coming directly."

The idea that Hippolyte would himself have discovered the scent-bottle, had he done the room in the morning, had just frozen him. And besides, this man must know; he must have found the bed still hot with adultery twenty times over, with madame's hairs trailing on the pillow, and abominable traces staining the linen. The man kept interrupting him, and it could only be out of inquisitiveness. Perhaps he had stayed with his ear stuck to the door, excited by the debauchery of his masters.

M. Hennebeau did not move. He still gazed at the bed. His long past of suffering unrolled before him: his marriage with this woman, their immediate misunderstanding of the heart and of the flesh, the lovers whom she had had unknown to him, and the lover whom he had tolerated for ten years, as one tolerates an impure taste in a sick woman. Then came their arrival at Montsou, the mad hope of curing her, months of languor, of sleepy exile, the approach of old age which would, perhaps, at last give her back to him. Then their nephew arrived, this Paul to whom she became a mother, and to whom she spoke of her dead heart buried for ever beneath the ashes. And he, the imbecile husband, foresaw nothing; he adored this woman who was his wife, whom other men had possessed, but whom he alone could not possess ! He adored her with shameful passion, so that he would have fallen on his knees if she would but have given him the leavings of other men. Other men ! She was giving them to this boy.

The sound of a distant gong at this moment made M. Hennebeau start. He recognized it; it was struck, by his orders, when the postman arrived. He rose and spoke aloud, breaking into the flood of coarseness with which his parched throat was bursting in spite of himself.

"Ah ! I don't give a shit for their telegrams and their letters! not a ****ing bastard shit !"

Now he was carried away by rage, the need of some sewer in which to stamp down all this vileness with his heels. This woman was a slag, a whore; he sought for crude words and buffeted her image with them. The sudden idea of the marriage between Cecile and Paul, which she was arranging with so quiet a smile, completed his exasperation. There was, then, not even passion, not even jealousy at the bottom of her sensuality ? It was just a perverse pastime, a habit, a recreation taken like an favourite dessert. And he put all the responsibility on her, he regarded as almost innocent the lad at whom she had bitten in this reawakening of appetite, just as one bites at an early green fruit, stolen by the wayside. Whom would she devour, on whom would she fall, when she no longer had complaisant nephews, sufficiently practical to accept - from one of their own family - table, bed, and wife ?

There was a timid scratch at the door, and Hippolyte allowed himself to whisper through the keyhole:

"The postman, sir. And Monsieur Dansaert, too, has come back, saying that they are killing one another."

"I'm coming down, good God !"

What should he do to them? Chase them away on their return from Marchiennes, like vermin whom he would no longer have beneath his roof ? He would take a cudgel, and would tell them to carry their filth elsewhere. It was with their sighs, with their mixed breaths, that the damp warmth of this room had grown heavy; the penetrating odour which had suffocated him was the odour of musk which his wife's skin exhaled - another perverse taste, this crav8ing for strong perfume; and he seemed to feel also the heat and odour of fornication, of living adultery, in the pots which lay about, in the basins still full, in the disorder of the linen, of the furniture, of the entire room tainted with their lovemaking. The fury of impotence threw him on to the bed, which he struck with his fists, belabouring the places where he saw the imprint of their two bodies, enraged with the disordered coverlets and the crumpled sheets, soft and inert beneath his blows, as though exhausted themselves by the embraces of a long night.

But suddenly he thought he heard Hippolyte coming up again. He was arrested by shame. For a moment he stood panting, wiping his forehead, calming the bounds of his heart. Standing before a mirror he looked at his face, so changed that he did not recognize himself. Then, when he had watched it gradually grow calmer by an effort of supreme will, he went downstairs."

And within a few hours there's a rampaging mob of starved proletarians in the streets outside ! It never rains but it pours.

The wonderful thing about Zola is that good and bad are never simple stereotypes. We've spent most of the book with the suffering, starving miners, crushed by the Company - of whom M. Hennebeau is the faithful servant.

Mechanically, M. Hennebeau, who wished to look out, went up to Paul's room on the second floor: it was on the left, the best situated, for it commanded the road as far as the Company's Yards. And he stood behind the blinds overlooking the crowd. But this room had again overcome him, the toilet table sponged and in order, the cold bed with neat and well-drawn sheets. All his rage of the afternoon, that furious battle in the depths of his silent solitude, had now turned to an immense fatigue. His whole being was now like this room, grown cold, swept of the filth of the morning, returned to its habitual correctness. What was the good of a scandal ? had anything really changed in his house ? His wife had simply taken another lover; that she had chosen him in the family scarcely aggravated the fact; perhaps even it was an advantage, for she thus preserved appearances. He pitied himself when he thought of his mad jealousy. How ridiculous to have struck that bed with his fists! Since he had tolerated another man, he could certainly tolerate this one. It was only a matter of a little more contempt, that was all. A terrible bitterness was burning in his mouth, the uselessness of everything, the eternal pain of existence, shame for himself who always adored and desired this woman, even in her degradation.

Beneath the window the yells broke out with increased violence:

"Bread! bread! bread!"

"Fools !" said M. Hennebeau between his clenched teeth.

He heard them abusing him for his large salary, calling him a bloated idler, a bloody beast who stuffed himself to indigestion with good things, while the worker was dying of hunger. The women had noticed the kitchen, and there was a tempest of imprecations against the pheasant roasting there, against the sauces that irritated their empty stomachs with tempting odours. Ah ! the stinking bourgeois, they should be stuffed with champagne and truffles till their guts burst !

"Bread! bread! bread!"

"Fools !" repeated M. Hennebeau; "am I happy?"

Anger arose in him against these people who could not understand. He would willingly have made them a present of his large salary to possess their thick skins and their facility of casual, guilt-free coupling. Why could he not seat them at his table and stuff them with his pheasant, while he went to fornicate behind the hedges, to tumble the girls over, making fun of those who had been there before him! He would have given everything his education, his comfort, his luxury, his power as manager, if he could be for one day the vilest of the wretches who obeyed him, free of his flesh, enough of a blackguard to beat his wife and to take his pleasure with his neighbours' wives. And he longed also to be dying of hunger, to have an empty belly, a stomach twisted by cramps that would make his head turn with giddiness: perhaps that would have killed the eternal pain. Ah! to live like a brute, to own nothing, to roam the fields with the roughest and dirtiest haulage-girl, and to possess her !

"Bread! bread! bread!"

Then he grew angry and shouted furiously in the tumult:

"Bread! is that enough, idiots!"

He could eat, and all the same he was groaning with torment. His desolate household, his whole wounded life, choked him at the throat like a death agony. Things were not all for the best because one had bread. Who was the fool who thought earthly happiness lay in the equal division of wealth? These revolutionary dreamers might demolish society and rebuilt another society; they would not add one joy to humanity, they would not take away one pain, by cutting bread for everybody. They would even enlarge the unhappiness of the earth; they would one day make the very dogs howl with despair when they had taken them out of the tranquil satisfaction of instinct, to raise them to the unappeasable suffering of passion. No, the one good thing was not to exist, and if one existed, to be a tree, a stone, less still, a grain of sand, which cannot bleed beneath the heels of the passer-by.

And in his torment, tears swelled in M. Hennebeau's eyes, and broke in burning drops on his cheeks. The twilight was drowning the road when stones began to riddle the front of the villa. With no anger now against these starving people, only enraged by the burning wound at his heart he continued to stammer in the midst of his tears:

"Fools ! fools !"

But the cry of the belly dominated, and a roar blew like a tempest, sweeping everything before it:

"Bread! bread! bread!"

"It is shameful, Tommy. It is shameful"

There's plenty of farce on show up there in Edinboro'. But there's tragedy too.

Mr Sheridan put it to Mr Green during cross-examination that the minutes were fake, and were part of a plot to topple him. “This so-called minute is as genuine as a ten-bob note, isn’t it?” he said. Mr Green replied: “No, Tommy, you know it is true.”

Mr Green then accused the MSP of taking “a shameful step to smear good comrades. For you to turn round and accuse the likes of myself of monstrous frame-ups is an appalling thing for you to do,” he said. “I can hardly believe you are doing this. You know that, like yourself, I have spent a lifetime to build up the socialist movement. You can lie, accuse me of monstrous frame-ups, none of it the truth. It is shameful, Tommy, shameful.”

Mr Green said that problems had arisen as to how the matter of the newspaper article should be handled. He said that Mr Sheridan had accepted that the claims were true but “wanted to prove the story was false”.

Party workers pleaded with him to drop the court case, knowing how much damage it would do to the party, he said.

“Nobody at the meeting favoured Tommy’s course of action. Everyone agreed that Tommy should admit the story or maintain that his private life is not for public discussion,” Mr Green said.

There's a real Freudian slip from Sheridan as well. The expression is 'bent as a nine-bob note'. The ten-bob note is genuine.

More On Tommy Sheridan

I wrote yesterday that if Mr Sheridan's colleagues were against 'privilege, inequality and greed' surely they must recognise that their leading light is consuming far more than his fair share of life's goodies.

Paul Stokes agrees.

"I have no doubt that the unfettered sexual marketplace operated in what we term the capitalist West is failing to allocate resources either fairly or efficiently. How else do we explain the fact that Scarlett Johansson never returns my phone calls ?

There are clear tendencies towards monopoly ... market failure is everywhere. Some people have strings of lovers. Others have none."

Christians believe that marriage and monogamy are the surest foundation for stability in family life and the successful transmission of a culture to a succeeding generation. But our rulers don't - and by the bastardy rates, neither do a large minority of Britons. Mum, kids, and whoever she's shacked up with at the time constitutes 'the family' as supported by New Labour - and Blue Labour too.

The government are tremendously keen on addressing disparities in income - between the deserving poor, struggling to get by on £31,000 of benefits (plus house and lots of extras) and the bloated plutocrat paying top rate of tax on his outrageous £37,000 salary (in the interests of fairness, the same rate as paid by a billionaire on his). Yet money isn't everything. I'm sure Chris Dillow would be able to lay his hands on the research which shows that people would rather have a high relative income than a high absolute one.

And there are other perceived goods too - like sex and power. Some people believe that these are simply a function of how much money you've got. Such people have spent little time on council estates. A violent criminal, even though only successful in his immediate neighbourhood, with a take-home income (mostly illegal and untaxed) of say £40,000 a year, has much more power and respect in his community than the marine underwriter from Dorking, on £100,000 post-tax has in his. He has more - and younger - women, too - especially if he always has access to drugs. People get out of his way. Everyone will know what he does, but no-one will want to tell the police. He gets served straight away in the local. Everyone wants to keep in with him.

The guy who lived four doors up from my father dealt smack and other drugs. Everyone on the estate knew it (he'd served a sentence for just that crime), they assumed the police knew it, but no-one wanted to give evidence and become a 'grass'. He had the best car of anyone on the estate, and he never got out of bed before two in the afternoon. He had some nice girls, too - nice as in pretty. On one occasion a large container arrived on the pavement early one morning, for once our man was up early and for the next three days an impromptu cash-and-carry liquor and tobacco business was run from the pavement, with cars being loaded up half way down the street.

Polly Toynbee would have us believe that the guy was 'poor' and 'disadvantaged' compared to the secondary school maths teacher in his own semi a couple of miles away. He appeared to me to be having a great time.

Perhaps this is why so many initiatives against crime and anti-social behaviour fail. Liberals seem incapable of grasping that criminal behaviour can not only be financially profitable, but profitable in other ways too, as well as great fun. It's a failure of empathy on their part.

The left's attitude to sex since the Glorious Sixties Revolution has been 'if it feels good, do it' - a mantra on which Graham Coutts is relying to get him out of jail. This laissez-faire attitude contrasts sharply with their micro-management of every facet of economic life.

As I wrote two years back :

In Victorian times a person could dispose of property more or less as he wished, whereas sexuality was subject to many legal and social restrictions. Now the situation's been more or less reversed.

Back before the sexual revolution of the 1960s, sexuality was a public, not a private affair. Marriage was a public ceremony, the only socially approved expression of sexual desire was within marriage, and married couples held a privileged position in law, some vestiges of which still remain. It was also a time when employers could operate a colour bar, hotels or guest houses could display 'no coloureds' notices, and a private citizen was free to discriminate or not as he chose on any grounds in any area of life.

The Old Labour sociologist Norman Dennis, in his 'Families Without Fatherhood', commented on the cultural change which elevated the freedom to have relationships as and when you chose, regardless of the damage to third parties (for example children or an abandoned spouse) to an absolute right. Already, he wrote, the the classic phrases of rampant capitalism come to mind as the number of fatherless families mount - "Cannot a man do what he likes with his own ? As for the other party, caveat emptor - let her take the consequences of her bad bargain !"

The only difference, he continued, was that now the State, through taxation, would take the consequences of a wrong choice of partner - ' sexual conduct the cast of mind is that I please myself, but if anything goes wrong, you must be responsible that my children come to no harm. In effect such a biological father is saying, "You must be a socialist so that I can be an egoist. My baby is the hostage through which I, who will not do my duty, will hold you to your duty."

Yet on the face of it there seems no logical reason why this state of affairs should continue. Attractive people (a class into which I must assign Mr - and Mrs - Sheridan) tend to get more sex. Yet the physical characteristics of attractiveness are just as unearned and unmerited as inherited wealth, an evil which Gordon Brown is attempting to wipe out.

Surely those Labour MPs and other egalitarians who would wish, for example, to abolish private education, should address themselves to the glaring sexual inequalities which enable Kate Moss to snog Jemima Khan - while Paul still awaits that call from Scarlett.

Which brings us back to Mr Sheridan. Take a look at the 2003 list of candidates and nominate those who appear in urgent need of congress. John Milligan looks like a nice chap, but when did he last indulge in coke-and-champagne-fuelled orgies ? Why have all the male candidates for Katrine's area (North East Scotland) got smiles on their faces ? Which three dictators does Bob Goupillot remind one of ?

There is no doubt - in my mind, at any rate - that, as well as giving up half his salary to party funds, Mr Sheridan should also share his other goods more equitably among the party faithful.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Spillane, Steyn

You, The Jury - Judge Steve Holland presides over the case of the most vilified author ever to sell 200 million copies.

* "The dialogue and action leave little to be imagined." - New York Times, 3 August 1947.
* "Able, if painfully derivative, writing and plotting, in so vicious a glorification of force, cruelty and extra-legal methods that the novel might be made required reading in a Gestapo training school." - Anthony Boucher, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 August 1947.
* "Lurid action, lurid characters, lurid writing, lurid plot, lurid finish. Verdict: Lurid" - Saturday Review of Literature, 9 August 1947.
* "His novel is a shabby and rather nasty little venture from the indefensible logic of its opening scene to the drooling titillation of its final striptease." - James Sandoe, Chicago Sun Book Week, 17 August 1947.

Spillane interview :

But what if it were today and the American Way is a series of crooked Presidents...what happens to Mike Hammer then?

That's demoralizing...then how can you do this...there was a piece in our local paper the other day about girls, 12, 13, in school, they're practicing oral sex. And when someone tells them to stop they say, 'what's wrong, the President does it'.

This comes out in the paper, a big deal. This guy has no sense of shame. I can't get over how many of the vets voted for him, he's a draft dodger. You understand the Kennedys, everybody says 'they're good Irish boys' but the phoniness of it all.

And that poor Kennedy boy who crashed. I'm a pilot, I got 11,000 hours, I was a big fighter pilot during the war, I just passed my physical...they hate it, I'm over 80, they don't want guys over 80 flying, anyway, he had what, less than 100 hours? All the pilots I know knew what happened to him, he spun out, and he couldn't drop his what we say about this guy, 'he ruined a damn good airplane'. And took people with him.

Mark Steyn on a favourite liberal myth - the Noble, Peaceable Savage.

"Both Keeley and LeBlanc believe that for a variety of reasons anthropologists and their fellow archaeologists have seriously underreported the prevalence of warfare among primitive societies. . . . 'I realized that archaeologists of the postwar period had artificially "pacified the past" and shared a pervasive bias against the possibility of prehistoric warfare,' says Keeley."

That's Lawrence Keeley, a professor at the University of Illinois. And the phrase that stuck was that bit about artificially pacifying the past. We've grown used to the biases of popular culture. If a British officer meets a native -- African, Indian, whatever -- in any movie, play or novel of the last 30 years, the Englishman will be a sneering supercilious sadist and the native will be a dignified man of peace in perfect harmony with his environment in whose tribal language there is not even a word for "war" or "killing" or "weapons of mass destruction." A few years ago, I asked Tim Rice, who'd just written the lyrics for Disney's Aladdin and The Lion King, why he wasn't doing Pocahontas. "Well, the minute they mentioned it," he said, "I knew the Brits would be the bad guys. I felt it was my patriotic duty to decline."

Well, good on you, Tim Rice !

Lawrence Keeley calculates that 87 per cent of primitive societies were at war more than once per year, and some 65 per cent of them were fighting continuously. "Had the same casualty rate been suffered by the population of the twentieth century," writes Wade, "its war deaths would have totaled two billion people." Two billion! In other words, we're the aberration: after 50,000 years of continuous human slaughter, you, me, Bush, Cheney, Blair, Harper, Rummy, Condi, we're the nancy-boy peacenik crowd. "The common impression that primitive peoples, by comparison, were peaceful and their occasional fighting of no serious consequence is incorrect. Warfare between pre-state societies was incessant, merciless, and conducted with the general purpose, often achieved, of annihilating the opponent."

Why then, against all the evidence, do we venerate the primitive? And to the point of pretending a bunch of torturing marauders devised the separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution. We do it for the same reason we indulge behaviour like that at Caledonia, Ont. We want to believe that the yard, the cul-de-sac, the morning commute, the mall are merely the bland veneer of our lives, and that underneath we are still that noble primitive living in harmony with the great spirits of the forest and the mountain. The reality is that "civilization" -- Greco-Roman-Judeo-Christian -- worked very hard to stamp out the primitive within us, and for good reason.

I'd Stick To Attacking Christians If I Were You, Mate - II

I posted a while back on the "battle of the designated victims" between the Muslim community and the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA), whose magazine called Islam a 'barmy doctrine' and accused its adherents of 'unrestrained and irresponsible breeding', the sort of thing people used to say about Catholics not so long ago. Not the first ding-dong between Pink and Green, either.

I noted that Islam wasn't big on turning the other cheek and suggested that Christians might make a safer target.

Judging by their home page, GALHA have taken my advice to heart. And so have the Gaye Police Association.

"The Gay Police Association (GPA) is being investigated after it claimed a rise in homophobic attacks was due to religious belief.

An advert, showing a Bible next to a pool of blood under the heading "in the name of the father", appeared in a national newspaper's supplement.

Scotland Yard said the inquiry "centres on whether the advert constitutes a faith crime."

The GPA refused to comment while the matter was still under investigation.

The advert appeared in the Diversity supplement of the Independent newspaper on 29 June, two days ahead of the Europride gay and lesbian parade in London.

It stated: "In the last 12 months, the GPA has recorded a 74% increase in homophobic incidents, where the sole or primary motivating factor was the religious belief of the perpetrator.""

Alas I couldn't find the figures on their website - there's a surprise. But we are all well aware of the huge number of homophobic attacks carried out by Christians. Why, Rasputin himself has blamed his flock for provoking such assaults.

As a citizen, it's good to see that the police are so aware of the communities from which such crimes are most likely to spring. I'm sure that, whichever religion it was preaching hate against the GLBT community, they would not hesitate to picture the relevant holy book next to a pool of blood, complete with quote.

And as a Christian, it's good to see that they recognise that the practice of Christianity is not compatible with the practice of homosexuality. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for your belief. These guys certainly did.

I Must Update My Links ...

I posted a comment elsewhere the other day to the effect that I admired the Spanish Nationalist General Moscardo.

This chap goes further - and he's only just started blogging. Vote Franco !

Do I hear 400,000 failed asylum seekers ? 450,000 from the gentleman on my left ...

Real life trumps satire yet again.

"Ministers are set to admit they may have significantly underestimated the number of failed asylum seekers living in Britain, the BBC has learnt.

Last year the National Audit Office estimated that the figure could be as much as 283,000 - but at the time the Home Office insisted that was too high.

But a trawl of files in the Immigration and Nationality department has produced between 400,000 and 450,000 case files. "

Figures, schmigures. What's the odd 50,000 files here or there ?

From Each According To His Abilities ....

Scottish Socialist Party North Eastern Candidate Katrine Trolle

To each according to her needs.

It certainly seems that the Scottish Socialist Party, like the early Christians, "hold all things in common". Yet if they're against 'privilege, inequality and greed' surely they must recognise that their leading light is consuming far more than his fair share of life's goodies. Just one of his many alleged encounters with the fetching Ms Trolle could have kept a poor crofter going for months, or inspired some ned in Easterhouse to brush his teeth, shower and change the sheets.

Members of the public queued outside Court 6 of the Court of Session in Edinburgh to secure one of the 18 seats in the public gallery on day 10 of a sensational case that has dominated headlines in Scotland over the past fortnight.

Mr Sheridan has brought a £200,000 defamation action against the News of the World after it printed claims in 2004-05 that he had visited a sex club and participated in orgies.

From the (admittedly limited) evidence available to me, this defamation suit would seem somewhat unwise.

Asked by Michael Jones QC, representing the Sunday newspaper, who was in the house, Ms Trolle replied: "Andy (McFarlane), Tommy (Sheridan) and myself."

Mr Jones said: "What happened?" The witness replied: "We had sex."

Mr Jones sought clarification as to what Ms Trolle meant when she used the term "we".

She replied: "All three of us."

Mr Jones asked: "Together?" Ms Trolle said: "Yes."

Good trades unionist practice would be 'one out, all out'.


“It’s better than television, I’ll say that,” admitted Jack Anderson, a pensioner who had driven up from Peebles for the trial. Each morning he joined the small gang who competed for entry. “It’s like a wee cinema in there,” a Sheridan family friend explained to a passer-by.

I like to think that Mr Anderson and the very wonderful Peebles blogger Kirk Elder are one and the same. Glorious stuff.

Mickey Spillane 1918-2006

It was one of those nights when the sky came down and wrapped itself around the world. The rain clawed at the windows of the bar like an angry cat and tried to sneak in every time some drunk lurched in the door ...

Fox News : "He was a quintessential Cold War writer, an unconditional believer in good and evil. He was also a rare political conservative in the book world. Communists were villains in his work and liberals took some hits as well. He was not above using crude racial and sexual stereotypes.

Viewed by some as a precursor to Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry, Spillane's Hammer was a loner contemptuous of the "tedious process" of the jury system, choosing instead to enforce the law on his own murderous terms. His novels were attacked for their violence and vigilantism— one critic said "I, the Jury" belonged in "Gestapo training school" — but some defended them as the most shameless kind of pleasure.

"Spillane is like eating takeout fried chicken: so much fun to consume, but you can feel those lowlife grease-induced zits rising before you've finished the first drumstick," Sally Eckhoff wrote in the liberal weekly The Village Voice."

Alex Cox on Kiss Me Deadly : "the roughest, least compromising film noir of them all"

"Hemingway hated me. I sold 200 million books, and he didn't. Of course most of mine sold for 25 cents, but still... "

Guardian obit.

"Those big-shot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar."

Philip Marlowe's dark counterpart.

"I have no fans. You know what I got? Customers. And customers are your friends."

"I'm the most translated writer in the world, behind Lenin, Tolstoy, Gorki and Jules Verne. And they're all dead..."

Interesting 1998 piece.

Unofficial site here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Community Action

"Residents and traders in Brick Lane, east London, have threatened protests and street blockades to prevent filming of a screen adaptation of a book by bestselling novelist Monica Ali which they claim is "racist and insulting" toward the Bangladeshi community. The Booker- shortlisted novel, Brick Lane, tells the story of Nazneen, a Bangladeshi woman who is sent to London for an arranged marriage, but later cheats on her husband with a radical young Muslim."

Quite right, too. After all, whose streets are they ? It's not as if they were a public space, open to just anybody.

Abdus Salique, chair of Brick Lane Traders' Association, who is coordinating the campaign from his sweetshop, said he feared the book would enrage younger members of the community. "Young people are getting very involved with this campaign. We had more than 100 people attend yesterday's meeting. They are willing to blockade the area and guard our streets."

"Of course, they will not do anything unless we tell them to, but I warn you they are not as peaceful as me"

If you like irony it's entertaining to see yet again the huge cultural gap between the literary Guardianista (who loved "Brick Lane") and the average Ibrahim in the street. Note also the 'our streets', a refrain much beloved of the left, going back through the anti-fascist years to Cable Street.

Mr Salique seems to know who he means by 'our'. Guardianistas aren't included.

UPDATE - see also this post on community action.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Wisdom of Vicky Pollard

"Teenage girls who plan to get pregnant do so to improve the quality of their lives, a report out today has found.

A study published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that girls as young as 13 see motherhood as preferable to working in a low-paid, dead-end job.

Far from the common assumption that teenage pregnancies result from irresponsibility or ignorance about contraception, some young girls actively choose to have a baby as a way to change their life and to gain independence and a new identity."

To 'gain independence', eh ? That sure lays to rest the hoary old right-wing myth about doing it to get a council flat.

Generally speaking pregnant teenagers should be a Good Thing. After all, the girls are at their fittest (in every sense) and should have the healthiest babies. The problem comes with Dad.

Back in those bad old days (aka 'the golden age that never existed') Dad wasn't necessarily too chuffed to hear the news. You'd have to get married or face the moral (and sometimes physical) sanctions of the community. Probably live with the in-laws until you got a place of your own. Work hard at the job until you could afford it.

The old disciplines of marriage, fatherhood and work have been wiped out by welfare, with the results you can see on White City, Matson or Hester's Way in leafy Gloucestershire any day of the week, any hour of the day or night.

Dad is now Gordon "lifting children out of poverty" Brown. "Job" ? what's that ? 27% of children in the UK have no father living with them. As Jill Kirby points out in the Sunday Times, hoodies need fathers more than they need hugs.

That Mr Hutton

Is at it again.

And this is a little gem from Norm.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Lebanon and all that ...

Pass. Haven't been following it, or any other news, closely enough, for the same reasons I'm not posting much. A vague feeling that Israel should be concentrating on Hezbollah rather than the road to Damascus - some say they're trying to stop the captured soldiers being spirited away to Syria or Iran. I'd have thought you don't need a main road to do that. Armchair strategist sits at home.

Norm has news and views, Natalie has a question for the BBC.

In other news ...

Many Angry Gerbils is another identikit leftie blog of the "Bush and Blair are the real terrorists" persuasion. Who reads them all ? There's one I see on UK Poliblogs a lot - huge cut'n'paste jobs of the latest Guardian whatever - 5 or 6 long cut'n'posts a day, lots of neat sidebar stuff (currently featuring a tasteful photo of an injured face, captioned "Shock and Awe 2003", which then changes to the Tavistock Square bus - "Shock and Awe 2005"), neat design - for about a quarter of the readership here, where the design hasn't changed since Day 1 and I'm currently posting every other day or three.

But I digress. He (and it always is a he) surely deserves a link for this wonderful sidebar graphic, which appeals to me greatly.

UPDATE - I don't mean to imply that low-readership blogs are valueless - far from it. Anyway, what's low readership ? "Less than mine, whatever that is". But rightie or non-political blogs tend to be idiosyncratic, individual. So many of the lefty blogs are meeting a need that the Indie already supplies.

Fairford 2006

If you've not got broadband, hit the 'back' button now.

When I was 11 or 12, I knew every Brit and American fighter jet off by heart, having studied the Observer's Book of Aircraft and the like. Lightnings, Hunters, Sea Vixens, Buccaneers, Phantoms, Starfighters ...

Now 'they all look the same to me ..'.

I think this is an F18 Hornet.

Whatever it is, it's damn noisy when he wellies it off the runway.

Hang on a min - what's that hiding behind him ? That tailplane looks familiar ...

Tally ho ! Next stop Dortmund !

Not really.

Viva Espana ! And don't mention the War on Terror !

OK, which nation fitted out a Hercules with a samba sound system ? Featured dancing aircrew ? And offered refreshments to visitors ? Especially pretty ones ?

I suppose, as with Argentina, that any nation producing top Formula One drivers will also have some top pilots.

Did you know that the Brazilian Air Force fought in WW2, flying P47 Thunderbolt sorties in Italy ? I didn't.

We watched the presentations of the Flying Scholarships For The Disabled. Moving stuff.

The first ever UK visit by the Pakistan Air Force - a 'thank you' for the international air effort.

"Immediately after the earthquake, Royal Air Force aircraft including C-130 Hercules and C-17s carrying CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopters, departed RAF Fairford to help deliver aid to the devastated region. The Royal Navy and Army also provided vital support.

US helicopters flew more than 3,300 sorties delivering relief supplies to the disaster area and transported over 15,000 people, including around 4,000 needing medical attention. An additional 250 US military and civilian cargo airlift flights delivered in excess of 7,000 tons of medical supplies, food, shelter material, blankets, and rescue equipment to Pakistan.

In March, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz visited Downing Street to thank UK troops involved in the humanitarian relief effort following the earthquake, which claimed 73,000 lives."

All part of that global war on Muslims I read so much about in the Guardian ...