Saturday, September 02, 2006

Encore Une Fois !

as we should all know by now, migrants coming to the UK are :

a) valuable, hard-working people without whom the economy would immediately collapse

b) victims of exclusion and racism which means they have much higher levels of unemployment than the natives

From the Guardian :

Large numbers of economic migrants from the eight new EU countries who are unable to find work or accommodation when they arrive in Britain are putting a strain on homeless services in London.

Some agencies report that more than half those attending night shelters and day centres are recent arrivals from central and eastern Europe. Of those requiring help, 68% are from Poland, although all eight countries that joined the EU in 2004 are represented, a survey found.

"This situation could become far more serious," says a report by the charity Homeless Link, which surveyed 43 London homeless agencies in March.

No worries. These are all new arrivals who'll soon get jobs, aren't they ?

The survey found that 40% of the homeless from the new EU countries had been in Britain for more than a year.

Wow. Instant underclass.

Diana ! O, Diana !

Three years ago I noted that the sixth anniversary of Diana's death had passed with hardly a ripple of attention.

Now Hywel Williams has noticed, too. But the comments are the most telling - reminders of those hysterical days.

"I well remember the morning of Diana's funeral. I went for a ride on my motorbike round the streets of south London, utterly empty as though in a scene from a disaster film, and wondered what madness had overcome my fellow citizens. Sorry, subjects."

"The day of the funeral I dedicated to motorcycling and rode from the Midlands to Wales with nearly no traffic away from the Motorways, in fact I saw a few other bikes but only one or two cars. In fact it seemed that the majority of the population had disappeared that morning."

"Well, I walked rather than rode a motorbike. I was going to browse in a friend's bookshop, who had defiantly announced he was not going to shut up shop in mourning. But when I arrived, the shop was indeed closed, like all the other shops in town. When I asked why, he told me he had received threats when it became known he was defying the national madness."

"Yes, I was very sad at Diana's death. It's always sad when a young life is lost because of not wearing a seatbelt."

And commenter snowflake revives the People Power myth in full strength. You'd never guess that Major in 1992 got more votes than Blair in 1997. But it's worth a read because it encapsulates neatly the media class fantasy.

"I think this article completely misses the point of the events of 1997. It wasn't really about Diana, and it wasn't really about Blair (he'd only been in his job a few months and hadn't yet got to grips with the full extent of the PM's power).

No, it was about the massive power of the Demos. First they'd sent a mailed fist smashing through the conservative government, and not just threw them out, but humiliated them. In the early evening you had Portillo on TV positioning himself for a leadership bid, and in the early hours of the morning he was gone. The chairman of the 1992 committee (somebody Lane-Fox?) got defeated by an 18-year old Labour chap who hadn't expected to get elected, and Lane-Fox was on TV saying dazed, "he's too young, he's too young", and was clearly affronted that his constituents thought he was worth less than an 18-year old.

And then the public, giddy with power, turned on the Monarch during Diana's death. It wasn't about Diana really - they just used the occasion to bring the Queen to heel, forcing her to lower her flag on the Palace, forcing her to come back to London, even forcing her to bow her head to Diana's coffin, as the cortege drove past (what it must cost the Queen, who hated Di). Remember that people had only found out a few years earlier that the Queen was not paying tax, whereas Queen Victoria had done so, and people were generally cross with the monarchy, esp as they seem more old-fashioned than Victoria. It was about sending a warning to the monarch.

That year was pure People Power, we've never seen anything like it before or since."

Friday, September 01, 2006

Anti-Christian Hate Marchers ?

"They were asked, while in uniform, to hand out leaflets during a demonstration where they had legitimate concerns about being the subject of taunts and jokes, and in which, in some cases, their religious sensibilities were being grossly offended by people dressed as priests and nuns lampooning the Church." - Archbishop Mario Conti.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Full Conti

When you look at the 2006 CoE and the 2006 Catholic Church, you can't but wonder if the Reformation was a ghastly mistake.

Following the decision announced today to discipline Strathclyde Fire Fighters who refused to distribute leaflets at a gay pride rally, Archbishop Conti of Glasgow - where the rally was held - has expressed his solidarity with the fire fighters.

Archbishop Conti said: "We have followed this case with concern. Today's decision is dismaying. There was no question of these officers' competency or commitment being called into question, nor was there any suggestion that they were refusing to come to the assistance of people in danger.

"If you stereotype them as terrorists, they'll turn to terrorism"

I suppose this is the theory that gives us high levels of youth crime. If only we didn't demonise the little angels, youth crime wouldn't exist. Such sensitive souls.

The new Miss England, Hammasa Kohistani, may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but her comments are still of interest.

The attitude towards Muslims has got worse over the year. Also the Muslims' attitude to British people has got worse.

Even moderate Muslims are turning to terrorism to prove themselves. They think they might as well support it because they are stereotyped anyway.

7/7 Bombers 'like Crusaders'

I wish the Church of England would make up its mind.

After 7/7 the line was "nothing to do with religion ... peaceful Muslims ... diversity ... valuable contribution ..."

As the Bishop of Lichfield said :

... just as the IRA has nothing to do with Christianity; so this kind of terror has nothing to do with any of the world faiths ...

Turns out that it WAS about religion after all. Canon Philip Gray of Blackburn was a former vicar in the Lichfield diocese, but the wise words of his Bishop seem to have fallen on stony ground :

The London bombers are being bracketed with Christian crusaders by a senior member of a diocesan bishop’s staff. Both share the “same religious passion,” he says. The claim, which is certain to spark fierce controversy, is made by the chaplain to the traditionalist Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Nicholas Reade.

Canon Philip Gray, who has been the bishop’s chaplain for four years, also suggests, in comments about terrorism, that Christians “rejoice over the bloody deaths of martyrs”. The 39-year-od chaplain makes the forthright suggestions in an article marking the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on America, which appears in the September issue of See, the Blackburn diocesan monthly. Canon Gray says: “Behind modern fanatical Islamic terrorism lie many spiritual and religious passions and narratives also found in the Christian tradition.

I think my favourite bit of Gray's Elegy is this :

We cannot simply ignore the violent passion of Jesus cleansing the temple with whips. We are never told of the collateral damage possibly resulting from his action ...
We need to consider deeply the fact that the same religious passion and spiritual single-mindedness lies at the heart of a London bomber and a Christian crusader ... what boundaries must the Church draw between taking up our cross, and the crass immorality of crusaders ? When does a freedom fighter become a terrorist ?

When indeed. How can you satirise that ?

"religious passion and spiritual single-mindedness"

"crass immorality"

The Triumph of Comprehensive Education

Fascinating stuff in the Times about the Spatial Literacy project, which among other things allows you to map the incidence of your surname worldwide.

But it was this bit that struck me :

Sharon was the most downmarket name, followed by Michelle, Lee, Tracey and Darren. Using GCSE results to show areas where middle-class parental pressure was highest, the research suggested that Felicity, Katherine, Philippa, Penelope and Elisabeth were the poshest first names. “We believe they can be described as the poshest, though you could argue they are the cleverest,” Professor Webber said.

Professor Webber doesn't strike me as a stupid man. As a director of Experian and developer of the MOSAIC system, he probably knows as much about social class and geography as anyone.

So forty years after the privately educated Labour education secretary Anthony Crosland promised to close every grammar school in the country, a man who knows considers educational attainment to be the most useful shorthand for social class in Britain.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Rasputin - May Contain Traces of Christianity

"I don't believe inclusion is a value in itself. Welcome is. We don't say 'Come in and we ask no questions'. I do believe conversion means conversion of habits, behaviours, ideas, emotions," he told a Dutch journalist.

"Ethics is not a matter of a set of abstract rules, it is a matter of living the mind of Christ. That applies to sexual ethics."

The archbishop said that he was determined to preserve the unity of the church from being destroyed by the warring factions in the gay crisis. He said he has backed a resolution which says that homosexual practice is incompatible with the Bible.

The Rev Giles Goddard, the chairman of Inclusive Church, a liberal group, said the archbishop's comments revealed an "astonishing" change in his position. He added: "The implication is that there is no justification in scripture for the welcome of lesbian and gay people. It appears that he has moved into the conservative camp."

Chris Bryant, a homosexual Labour MP, said that many people would feel betrayed by the archbishop's comments. "The Church of England wouldn't survive without gay clergy in inner cities.

"People will feel this is a huge betrayal. Rowan has refashioned the Church of England into a narrow-minded, conservative sect."

I think he just doesn't want to go down in history as the bish who split the Anglican Communion. Still wouldn't trust him an inch. The good news is that now, neither will anyone else.

"Language Students"

Are these kind of language students these kind of language students ?

Guess Who's Back - In The Guardian

Theo Hobson :

It's as if the spirit of Mary Whitehouse is saying, "Right, if you're going to ignore and mock a nice old Christian granny saying this stuff, let's see what you make of hundreds of angry Muslims. Then maybe you'll stop and think about the toxic trash you put on telly. No more Mrs Nice Lady."

There's nothing like a few pounds of explosive - and the threat of more - to concentrate the mind of a Guardian reader, is there now ?

(More Guardianistas invoking Mrs W here, here, here and here.)

BBC Conned Yet Again ?


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

BBC Conned Again

Zombietime busts wide open the alleged attack by the IDF on two Lebanese ambulances.

Laban posts at Biased BBC.



One reveller told BBC News: "They came and surrounded the first sound system and then got closer and closer until it turned into a proper confrontation and they started beating people."

Essex Police said any complaints would be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.

Police Oracle Forum

We were about to move in to break up the rave when the decisions were changed. We went into an illegal rave - just as night fell (in the middle of a slippery, recently dug up field - there were a lot more than 600 people there!!!!!) The decision was made that we would go in with CUSTODIAL HELMETS - no shields and no batons - as we didn't want to appear confrontational!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

God I was shi**ting myself!!

As soon as we got in there we got hammered - there must have been about 50 Essex officers at this stage!! The crowd were throwing missiles, broken bottles and large planks of wood, pushing, shoving, using dogs and using violence towards us - it was horrendous! We had to withdraw to the carrier to get our protective equipment and then it all began! (Did we honestly expect a huge crowd of people who had organised an illegal event on someone else's land and refused to comply with police requests to pack up and leave without any problems?)

At one stage I thought we were going to get the kicking of our lives! We had to rapidly withdraw several times, then had to contain the area until other officers from other forces arrived - 4 forces in all.

Parochial Blogging

Scribbles of Brum on social work moral panics, the delightfully named Lady Death at Then The Road of Entities 2 on Merry Hill, Redditch and White Britons.

She's from Halesowen. I used to drink at the Loyal Lodge on Furnace Hill long ago, before it turned into a posh eaterie. The landlord would still be in his vest at lunchtime, a barmaid offered to sell me a gun one day (declined). The beer was looked after but the pub wasn't - used to watch the darts players wiping the chalked scores off by using the curtains !

One rainy lunchtime I was sinking a pint of Ansells mild when the pub's dalmatian strolled into the games room, cocked a leg against the fruit machine, urinated against it (soaking the carpet), and strolled out. That pub had character.

Elsewhere, not content with exporting scallies and smack to North Wales (in exchange for teachers, footballers, stolen antiques and garden statuary), the European City Of Culture is now exporting other forms of rubbish (via cymuned).

Every Time I Read ...

... a story like this from Wales, I think "another English hippy".

Monday, August 28, 2006

You Are State Property

Listening to odd bits of news during my week away, I had a feeling of the liberal tide being perhaps just past its height and now on the turn. The Government's continuing about-turn on multiculturalism, a growing acceptance among our rulers that the criminal justice system is biased in favour of the bad guys (although the pro-criminal lobby will argue that the problem lies with the stupid public's perception), the uber-liberal chair of the Youth Justice Board complaining that teachers can't discipline pupils - all straws in the wind.

But the tide is still pretty damn high. There was lots of media blather about "Fat Britain", as if it was anything to do with the Government whether we're fat or not. Aren't people responsible for their own eating and exercise regimes, and shouldn't the Government keep its nose out ?

Of course not. We - that is you and me - are taxed to pay for the NHS. And fat people use the NHS more - cost more. So your fatness is now of interest to the government. Your lifestyle is not your own. "We pay for you - we own you. And what's really funny is that we bought you with your own money."

(Of course there are exceptions to this. Practising sodomites can expect unlimited NHS resource to be applied to tackling the consequences of their lifestyle. Not so for smokers, say, or drinkers.)

The Government raises some £500 billion a year in tax - around 43% of GDP. You can buy a lot of people that way - and they do, in the form of the Guardian-reading, state-funded classes who, surprise, regularly vote for more state spending.

But that's not enough for our rulers.

"As the Government has become ever more obsessed with the issues of cultural diversity and alleged institutionalised racism, so contract compliance is sweeping through our civic order. All kinds of public organisations, from police authorities to charities, from Whitehall departments to quangos, are now demanding that private contractors prove their devotion to the new creed of the State. Given that spending on public sector procurement is estimated to be worth more than £100 billion a year, contract compliance can be used as a powerful tool of change."

Ha ! Thought you could avoid all that PC stuff in the private sector, did you ? Think again, little man.

And at the same time as the assault on the private sector commences, so the screw is tightened on public sector employees.

The professional firefighter's job is difficult and demands high standards. It requires fitness, intelligence, self-discipline, determination, integrity and compassion.

There are stressful and hazardous situations to be faced. The firefighter has to deal with these and provide comfort and reassurance to people who may be affected by them.

So says the Strathclyde Fire Service on its recruitment page. You might think the stressful and hazardous situations to be faced involve things that are burning. How wrong you'd be.

Four firefighters have appeared before a disciplinary hearing over their refusal to hand out leaflets at a gay pride march in Glasgow.

Another five men, who are also based at the city's Cowcaddens fire station, had their cases considered last month.

All nine will be given a written decision later in the week.

Some of the men were opposed to attending the event on religious grounds while others did not think it was part of their core duties.

However, gay rights campaigners argue that firefighters are public servants who cannot be seen to discriminate.

The firefighters were reported by superior officers after the Pride Scotia march in June for disobeying orders.

Words fail me. You can contact Strathclyde Leafleting Service here.

Back At Last ....

with a small post at Biased BBC.

Lovely holiday, btw - the waves at Caswell were actually big enough to surf on rather than bodyboard. Not that I can surf, but it made for an exciting time for the kids - waves big enough to knock them down. They stayed in the water for three hours at a stretch.