Saturday, July 04, 2009

Those Racist Tories Are At It Again ...

Two young Asians are walking in an Accrington street when a red 4x4 pills up alongside. A gang of up to eight young white men jump out and start hitting them in a totally unprovoked and seemingly racist attack. One of the victims gets her front teeth smashed as she is knocked unconscious.

Two of the attackers turn out to be the sons of a recently elected Tory county councillor. They were on the streets canvassing for the Tories while awaiting trial.

The councillor's reaction to the convictions ?

He said: "This is a very regrettable incident. It was out of character for my sons. They are both very sorry about the whole incident and they will never behave like this in the future.

"I am very proud of my sons and they are now moving on with their lives, education and future."

Naturally, the BBC, Mirror and Indie are outraged by this attack, as are the left blogs. The Telegraph and Times cover it in grave tones, and it's the subject of much soul-searching at Conservative Home, especially the reaction of the councillor. After speaking to David Cameron, the councillor and his sons make a formal and much fuller public apology, but the storm still rumbles on, as a Guardian piece notes that in the photograph of the councillor's election celebrations, in one of the most multicultural areas of the UK, not a single ethnic minority - or indeed female - face is to be seen.

The good news ? It was all a dream ...

(H/T - North North-Wester)

Friday, July 03, 2009

Really Ancient Music ...

Taking you back to the start of the 13th century ... Perotin's 'Viderunt Omnes' - first as written, for voices, and then for string quartet :

Let's go a bit further back - eleventh century. I wasn't sure about this trip-hop treatment of Hildegarde von Bingen's Viridissima Virga, by Swedish band Garmana, but it grows on you.

More from the source :

Thursday, July 02, 2009

NWOBN update

Remember this chap ?

Either the New Wave of British Nazism (NWOBN - © Laban Tall 2008) is as incompetent as the New Wave of British Jihad (NWOBJ - © Laban Tall 2007), or there's something funny going on.

If you were in possession of timers, weedkiller, firelighters and tennis balls in connection with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism, and travelling on the train, would you really take time out to be abusive to a railway servant, resulting in your arrest and discovery ? It makes you wonder if someone knew about him all along.
It looks as if, once again, Mr Cock-Up is at home while Mr Conspiracy is nowhere to be found :

Police uncovered the alleged threat that Mr Lewington posed by chance last October as he travelled to Lowestoft, Suffolk, for a date with a woman he had met on the internet. He was smoking and being abusive on a train and was arrested at Lowestoft for the public order offences, including urinating at the station.
Hmm. Very professional. Our hero is cut from the classic cloth of the 'far-right terrorist'. 43 years old, lives with his parents but hasn't spoken to one for ten years :

Mr Lewington lived the existence of a "loner", his parents told police, and had not spoken to his father for 10 years. He left school at 16 without qualifications but had worked in a number of electronics jobs. He had been unemployed for 10 years after being sacked from his last job for being drunk.

It's this little detail that gets me :

"Lewington had made a number of girlfriends he met over mobile phone chatlines, calling himself Aristocrat or Amadeus. "
'Nazi' or not, you'd have to have a heart of stone not to feel for the guy, whatever idiotic or unpleasant ideas he may have. Mike Leigh is probably writing a script right now. But enough with the sympathy already - what of his evil plans ?

Mr Altman said: "He had the parts which, if assembled together, would have created devices which if ignited would have caught alight and caused flames and fire.

"Later searches of the house where the defendant lived with his parents in Reading, in particular his own bedroom, revealed nothing short of a factory for the production of many such similar devices.

That's bad news. I have whole boxes of devices "which if ignited would have caught alight and caused flames and fire". They're called firelighters, and you buy them from Wilkinsons at about 47p a packet. Much cheaper than Tesco or Sainsbury. In fact I notice from the first report that firelighters were among the items on him when arrested. Why the big deal ?

"In addition to all of that the police discovered evidence that the defendant sympathised with and quite clearly adhered to white supremacist and racist views."
Ah yes. Like Mr Robert Cottage, Mr Lewington is about to find that "a desire to make improvised explosive devices, when mixed with right-wing politics, can be extremely hazardous to your liberty." Not that Mr Lewington's right-wing politics are my right-wing politics, mind you. As regulars will know, I'm more of a 'content of character' kind of guy.

If only I could say the same of Sunny over at Pickled Politics :

Another white terrorist against 'non-British' caught

I'll pass over the fact that he seems to be pre-empting the verdict. You could just imagine how Sunny would react if the Mail and Sun started producing 'Another Asian terrorist' headlines every time a wannabe jihadi got banged up - which a year or so back was about every other week. He'd have a fit.

I can understand his (and the BBCs) desperation to have a few 'oppos' to the flood of jihadi reports over the last few years. But the simple fact is that the overwhelming majority of "white terrorists" are about as dangerous as this guy, who also got Sunny hot and bothered.

“The court heard how 35-year-old MacGregor admitted sending a race hate email to Strathclyde Police threatening to blow up [Glasgow Central] Mosque if certain demands weren’t met. Included in the chilling message was a threat to behead one Muslim a week in the same manner construction worker Ken Bigley was killed after he was kidnapped in Iraq in 2004.

MacGregor followed the email up with a 999 call to cops on February 5, 2007. The court was told that during the brief call MacGregor claimed he was from the National Front and that a bomb was going to go off. He said: “A bomb will go off in the Central Mosque later this week. Now f*** off.” Cops raced to the Mosque to search it for explosive devices, but failed to locate anything suspicious.”

Now while unpleasant, that's not a terrorist attack. It's a mouthy drunken idiot - maybe a racist one, but drunken idiot nonetheless. What kind of terrorist gives the police a buzz or an email announcing their intentions ? There was a story a couple of years back which I read and now can't find - I think in the (Staffordshire) Sentinel, where a couple of unpleasant chaps harassed a pub landlord, telling him he was an Al Quaeda target. It's in that league, if that.

So there's really very little practical equivalence between the "incomer" terrorist and his native equivalent, other than incompetence (a tribute to Brit science education). Indeed, the only jihadis who seem to fit the "weirdo loner" profile of yer average native pyrotechnician seem to be converts like poor lost Nicky Reilly.

The differences, on the other hand, are significant. The main one being that unlike the native wannabes, 95% of wannabe jihadis are not sad loners. They have comrades, sometimes support networks, lots of ideological support even from those who aren't going to set any bombs anywhere. Quite a few of them have reasonably successful lives. There's a big Islamist sea for them to swim in. If 10% of UK Muslims - nearly twice the percentage that voted for the BNP in the Euro elections and got lefties in such a tizz - are prepared to tell an interviewer that they wouldn't tell the police if they suspected that a fellow-Muslim was a terrorist (another 10% either didn't know, were 50/50 or wouldn't say) that's a lorra lorra potential support.

I'm not saying that a loner can't be dangerous. David Copeland killed several people with his firework and shrapnel bombs. But, as you may remember, there weren't another four people trying to do the same thing a fortnight later. He was a one-off.

Unless you're very skilled, have a lot of time on your hands, a quiet place to 'work' and access to, say, fertiliser, no one-man outfit is going to make a terribly big bang. For that you need friends and comrades - something the NWOBN just ain't got.

Another point relating to the sea in which the fish swim. Were there a sea for the Neil Lewingtons of this world to swim in, it would presumably be some kind of British nationalist or nativist community. But, as readers may have noticed

a) the Brits aren't that keen on blowing people up. In fact, I'd go as far as to say they're agin it.

b) what little Brit nationalist community exists is under attack already as if it were sheltering dozens of bombers - even though, as noted, that's not the Brit way. It's all the nationalist sea can do to avoid being evaporated, without worrying whether its diversity includes a safe refuge for rare and somewhat unprepossessing species like Lewingtonis Brittanicus. The jihadis have dozens of forums, there are organisations like the MCB and the Muslim Parliament, which do not support terrorism but among whose supporters they can trawl for potential allies, not to mention more radical groups and more radical mosques. Not surprisingly, Searchlight aren't going to spend a lot of time trying to crack that particular nut.

PS - the Muslim survey is quite interesting - I see that the BBC report left out the bits that didn't tell the good story, like the 2-1 against homosexuals having 'the right to have relationships'. One of the most interesting is Table 15 - "Do you have friends or family in Afghanistan or Pakistan? If yes, how concerned are you about their welfare?"

One of the answers is 'No - do not have any friends or family there' - which gives you a rough idea of the proportion of Pakistanis in Britain's Muslim community. Overall, 45% have neither in Pakistan or Afghanistan - but by region - North 33%, Midlands 37%, South 56%. You see the Kashmiris and Pakistanis in the North and Midlands, the Bangladeshis in London and the South.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Way We Were

White City, London

While it's absolutely fascinating to read the stories of 40s/50s/60s Inner London childhood and the local characters of those days :

"Miss Knight who became Mrs Howie once took myself and three other pupils to her home for tea. I had too much Tizer and was sick on her sofa."

"Our milkman was Dai Jones who had a dairy opposite the Latimar Upper playing fields in Wood Lane. His dog ate our budgie! "

"During the air raids we would go down the shelters that lay between the u-bend shape of Phipps House. I can remember when I was four going down from the top floor and going in the shelters. I never liked the smell of them, but we had a lot of fun in ours with people playing the accordian and having a good old sing-song."
"Mr Garnett our Welsh Headmaster who was in his glory if the school excelled at any sports, such happy days, as was Christopher Wren especially Mr Ryder my 1st year form teacher, an inspiration to all that had the good fortune to know him. To read the tales of the General Smuts/shop owners/nanny no noes the toffee apple man plus numerous names and mates "you could write a book" about it all, but there was a sense of adventure/achievement and loyalty that came from that wonderful Estate, little crime, respect for teachers/elders and law and order (but I did love scrumping apples from the gardens near Wormholt Park) that was about the extreme extent of our law breaking."
(mind, you did get a few posters who used to go 'shopping without money')

not only has that world disappeared, but most of the people have gone too.

"... walked through Shepherds Bush market where we used to walk to get the bus when I was a teenager. My wife and I were the only white faces throughout the market and we were the only people speaking English"
"we now live in Bracknell"

"Moved to Brighton"




"St Albans"





"We're spread all over the world nowadays"

"Greetings from across the pond"

"I now live in Perth, Western Australia"

"I've lived in Canada for over 40 years "

British Jobs For Foreign Workers

I wrote a while back :

" Some say mass immigration is the Left's revenge on the working class for the Thatcher years, but that implies a degree of planning and forethought so is unlikely. It's more a cultural thing, but it does neatly coincide with a need for cheap workers.

People like Johann Hari and some Guardian commenters are calling for an increase in the minimum wage as the answer to the "problem" - the problem being that the natives are restless. They've missed the point. Keeping wages low are what it's all about... inflation has been 'hidden' over the last 10 years via a combination of the Chinese miracle (goods) and mass immigration/offshoring (services)"

Fraser Nelson in the Speccie :

The key finding: there are fewer British-born workers in the first quarter of 2009 than Q1 of 1997. The trend of employers preferring immigrants, which we saw during the boom, has become more marked still during the bust.

"The figures show the extent to which Brown’s “boom” was a mirage built not just on debt, but foreign labour. Most seriously, we can see a deep dysfunctionality in the UK labour market. Our system keeps millions on benefits (never less than 5 million have been on some kind of benefits since 1997) while meeting the needs of expanding the economy with a limitless supply of industrious immigrant labour. This means that the direct link between a growing economy and combating poverty is broken."
The latest release is here, but Nelson's got some more figures on Google docs.

"At no point in the boom did the number on out-of-work benefits fall below five million souls. Almost half have been on welfare for five years or more – and are, therefore, statistically more likely to die than to work again (I think he means more likely to die before retirement age - we're all going to die). As I say, were it not for immigration, we’d be forced to confront this problem or our economy would not grow. When I was a business journalist in the late 1990s, I remember writing stories about how bus companies were recruiting in homeless shelters because they couldn’t find the staff. The people in those shelters were being offered structure to their lives, from an employer forced by economic conditions to deal with the greater risk they pose. It was a sign of economic growth addressing social problems – as it should be.

But mass immigration has broken this link. It meant Gordon Brown could actually afford to keep so many million on benefits, as tax receipts were being generated by comparative newcomers. It was a lot easier than trying to reform welfare. Scandalously, that’s what Brown did. To my mind, it is the most contemptible failure of his time as Chancellor. He had the money, the economic boom, to sort out the welfare dependency that afflicts so many communities in Britain. But he took the easy, short term route. To use that analogy the Prime Minister is so fond of deploying, he walked on by on the other side. Why get your hands (and poll ratings) dirty with welfare reform when you can rely on immigrants to keep the economy growing and tax receipts flowing? And who wants to end up with disabled people chaining themselves to the railings of parliament, as happened when Blair tried welfare reform? Brown took the easy option. And his short-termism has condemned millions to worklessness and poverty who might otherwise have escaped it. "

To be fair, Blair is equally culpable. They bottled out on welfare reform because they could.

UPDATE - Telegraph :

The increase in immigrant workers coming to Britain has accounted for nearly every new job created by companies since Labour came to power, research suggests.

The number of British workers aged between 16 and 65 in the private sector has actually declined by nearly 90,000 since 1997, according to an analysis of official employment data.

These figures show that 1.1 million new jobs have been created in the public sector of which 28 per cent went to non British workers.

In the private sector there were 1.8 million new jobs, but 85 per cent went to non British workers.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Another Public School Leftie ...

Brigstocke is ideal for the BBC.

He attended Westbourne House School just outside Chichester before going onto King's Bruton School in Somerset.

Good private boarding school material.

More on Mr Brigstocke here.

I'll Have Whatever He's Having ...

Sunny Hundal on the now-traditional Iranian hostage-taking (haven't we got any ships in the area to provide hostages ?) and the available options :

"We can play this in two ways: by not making a big fuss and denying Ahmedinijad what he wants. He may then try and escalate the situation and will shoot himself in the foot or quietly release the staff. Or the EU could escalate this massively with a real threat of war very quickly..."

When I stopped laughing I reflected that Captain Mainwaring had the phrase for this :

"No, no ... I think you're getting into the realms of fantasy again here, Jones ..."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

More proto-metal ?

If you liked the Gun, try Juicy Lucy and Keef Hartley. More bluesy, but pretty metallic guitars.

Children's Literacy ...

Aged around seven, living in Cwmbwrla, I struggled with my uncle's childhood copy of R.M. Ballatyne's 1857 The Coral Island, with its fascinating descriptions of cannibalism in the South Seas (and I don't pretend it was anything other than hard going for a seven year old. Finished it though).

Re-reading that, or Robinson Crusoe, makes you realise what a high level of literacy prevailed in those times. The sentences are complex, dense with qualifications and sub-clauses.

"He bade me observe it, and I should always find that the calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind, but that the middle station had the fewest disasters, and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or lower part of mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so many distempers and uneasinesses, either of body or mind, as those were who, by vicious living, luxury, and extravagances on the one hand, or by hard labour, want of necessaries, and mean or insufficient diet on the other hand, bring distemper upon themselves by the natural consequences of their way of living; that the middle station of life was calculated for all kind of virtue and all kind of enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the handmaids of a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation, quietness, health, society, all agreeable diversions, and all desirable pleasures, were the blessings attending the middle station of life; that this way men went silently and smoothly through the world, and comfortably out of it, not embarrassed with the labours of the hands or of the head, not sold to a life of slavery for daily bread, nor harassed with perplexed circumstances, which rob the soul of peace and the body of rest, nor enraged with the passion of envy, or the secret burning lust of ambition for great things; but, in easy circumstances, sliding gently through the world, and sensibly tasting the sweets of living, without the bitter; feeling that they are happy, and learning by every day’s experience to know it more sensibly."
(from the opening chapter of Robinson Crusoe)

Occasionally at a market stall or bookshop I'll come across a book awarded as a school or Sunday School prize, and I never fail to be impressed by the standard of reading which was obviously expected.

Here's a closing paragraph from The Coral Island, noteworthy only because the English understood by millions of schoolchildren for a hundred years after its publication is now too tricky for a prospective Cambridge undergraduate - studying English Literature.

Before leaving, we had many long and interesting conversations with the missionary, in one of which he told us that he had been making for the island of Raratonga when his native-built sloop was blown out of its course, during a violent gale, and driven to this island. At first the natives refused to listen to what he had to say; but, after a week's residence among them, Tararo came to him and said that he wished to become a Christian, and would burn his idols. He proved himself to be sincere, for, as we have seen, he persuaded all his people to do likewise. I use the word persuaded advisedly; for, like all the other Fiji chiefs, Tararo was a despot and might have commanded obedience to his wishes; but he entered so readily into the spirit of the new faith that he perceived at once the impropriety of using constraint in the propagation of it. He set the example, therefore; and that example was followed by almost every man of the tribe.