Saturday, January 14, 2006

Yes, it's Gordon"Union Jack" Brown !

I told you this would be fun.

The solutions will be the entertaining bit. Having knocked down Britishness over 40 years, they're arrogant enough to believe they can rebuild it with a few citizenship lessons, a rebuild of the history curriculum and some media pressure. They'll find destruction is much easier than construction.

As promoted in the Guardian, on the BBC, on the Today programme :

Britain should have a day to celebrate its national identity, Gordon Brown will propose in a speech portraying Labour as a modern patriotic party.
The chancellor is to use his first major speech of 2006 to urge Labour supporters to "embrace the Union flag".

"The Union flag should be a British symbol of unity around our values. All the United Kingdom should honour it". says this noted Briton.

And what exactly are the values around which we should unite ?

"We should assert that the Union flag is a flag for tolerance and inclusion."

That's a good selling proposition which will unite us all.

"The Union Flag - it means whatever you want it to mean."

or how about

"The Union Flag - unite around - whatever ..."

Bwah-hah-hah-ha-ha! Gordon, stop ! You're a Jelly-bellied Flag-flapper !

Jennie Bristow wrote about this in spiked a year or more back.

"Britain's core national values consist of the unwillingness to promote core national values - a sense of national pride in non-judgementalism, provided the line is drawn on certain key law-and-order issues ('[P]eople should not be allowed to smoke dope on the street because it is part of their culture', says Phillips. 'That is nonsense. It is against the law.').

Phillips sees this apparent dumping of multiculturalism in favour of a core of multicultural Britishness as recipe for an 'integrated society'. It looks more like a re-statement of every New Labour pronouncement on citizenship, every left-leaning tract on the problem of social fragmentation, every desperate attempt to address the problems within Western culture, while still praising the virtues of diversity and the important contribution of the politics of difference."

This Josie Appleton piece on citzenship tests is also worth revisiting.

"Rather than face up to our inability to give 'content and meaning' to British citizenship, the issue becomes one of their inability to understand our ways.

This explains the immense difficulty the government has with drawing up guidelines for immigrants. The exercise of trying to tell immigrants how to be British is becoming an embarrassing demonstration of the fact that the elite doesn't know itself."

I can see the future British identity, as the Native Brit percentage of the population continues to decline. The Fabians should be studying the recent history of Fiji, where the population is split 50-50 between native Fijians and the descendants of immigrants from the Indian subcontinent.

Friday, January 13, 2006

David Aaronovitch Blog ...

One of those Times-type blogs with pre-moderated comments, but nonetheless a welcome sight.

Great comment by Matt Murrell (who blogs here).

"Most blogs by professional writers tend to give up on them in the end - there's just too many people out there who view it as a chance to exercise (my emboldening - LT) their own personal demons."

Picture of man taking one of Satan's little imps for a morning stroll.

Matt is an English graduate. I wonder if he thinks that standards aren't declining ?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Lib Dem Leadership - Decisions, Decisions

I don't know who I want to win, now that the wheels (RealAudio) have fallen off Ming The Clueless.

Do I cheer on Simon 'Let The Burglars Out' Hughes ?

Mark 'Give Ian Huntley The Vote ?' Oaten ? Or his punitive twin, Mark 'Give Car Thieves Go-Karting Lessons' Oaten ?

Or is Don 'Hot Sixteen-Year-Old Action' Foster the coming man ?

Little-known millionairess Lynne "Alcohol is bad - lower the drinking age" Featherstone ?

North West MEP Chris 'Legalise Heroin' Davies ?

Perhaps Baroness Tonge might explode onto the scene.

My money's on Paul 'Captured Forever' Marsden to switch sides again. If Blair starts talking about Iran and WMDs he'll be off like a flash.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Ding-Dong Battle

A strike by bustling centre-forward Andy Armitage in the 15th minute put the Pinks ahead, but the Greens equalised straight away and Armitage was carried off after a heavy challenge.

Soon the visitors were two-one ahead through Sacranie, with a fine volley as Tatchell appealed in vain for offside. But the Aussie striker spotted a gap in the Green defence and slipped through to score as Sacranie went in the book for dissent.

And we're only midway through the first half. What a battle !

(see also this earlier post)

Superb 1-2 For Scots Judge

A straight right to the victim, then a magnificent left to the bereaved.

Lady Leeona Dorrian, a civilised type of judge, fond of skiing and French wine, raised the odd eyebrow last year when she sentenced a woman to three years probation for kicking a grandmother to death in a row over a parking space.

The sentence caused outrage in Scotland. 30,000 people signed a petition condemning the sentence. The Crown appealed and the killer was sentenced to four years.

Judge Dorrian has been known to jail killers for as much as five years - if they're drunk drivers involved in a crash which kills their passenger.

The victim's husband had also been assaulted by the killer's partner.

“I was getting beaten until another man pulled him off me. Then I looked over and saw Ann slumped beside a fence at the side of the road.

“She was purple with bruises and I couldn’t find her pulse so I yelled, ‘You’ve killed my wife’. But he just sneered, ‘That’ll be right’ and walked away.”

Judge Dorrian deferred sentence on this charming chap for six months. The full majesty of the law has now descended. Judge Dorrian has 'admonished' him. After all, he hasn't beaten anyone up for six months that they know of.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Quote Of The Day

Former hip young gunslinger Tony Parsons :

"Charles Kennedy's drinks cabinet was a better friend to him than his shadow cabinet"

Yes, It's "Faith-based Homophobia" !

Coming to a police station near you.

"The Gay Police Association (GPA) reports that there has been a 75 per cent increase in calls on its 24-hour action line and gives warning of a rise in “faith-based homophobia” from Christian and Muslim officers.

Vic Codling, the national co-ordinator of the GPA, writes in the latest edition of Police Review that there were 14 cases last year involving homophobia based on religion. They included officers who had refused to work with gay officers or were withdrawn from groups discussing equality within forces."

I'm getting old. I just can't keep up with these new trends.

Yes, It's Crackdown Time !

Here we are again ...

"We need a radical new approach if we are to restore the liberty of the law-abiding citizen. My view is very clear: their freedom to be safe from fear has to come first. Yes, in theory, that is what is supposed to happen through the traditional court processes. In practice it doesn't."

"The real choice, the choice on the street, is not between a criminal law process that protects the accused and one that doesn't; it is between a criminal law process that puts protection of the accused in all circumstances above and before that of protecting the public."

The stopped clock is right twice a day.

Actually, the more I look at Blair's speech the more uneasy I become for British liberty - and the more angry at his dishonesty. More later.

It's That Time Of Year ...

There are some conferences and enquiries that you just know are going to be totally useless and achieve nothing - like Helena Kennedy's enquiry into political disengagement. I wrote at the time :

I think it unlikely that she'll register the truth - that the high levels of disengagement are due to the fact that people like Baroness Kennedy have been running the country for the last 30 years.

Fabian conferences are always good for a (hollow) laugh - one look at the speakers and you'll see that if the guests are part of the problem, solutions will be thin on the ground. Can you take seriously any organisation that organises conferences on 'Mainstreaming Social Justice for the 21st Century' ?

Last year the theme was 'The State And Human Happiness". Here's my take on it - you can probably get an idea of my views if I tell you that the Richard Littlejohn link no longer works.

This year will be a hoot.

"Who do we want to be? The future of Britishness"

Featuring a gallery of true Brits - Yazza, Madeleine Bunting, Iqbal Sacranie, Tariq Ramadan, Nick Cohen, Trevor Phillips, Tristram Hunt, Shami Chakrabarti, Stephen Twigg.

Not forgetting of course Mr England (except those who should be duffed up) himself - Billy Bragg.

We know what the trouble is, of course. Forty years of cultural destruction have done a pretty good job on 'social cohesion' - to the point that signs on buildings proclaiming 'Community Centre' or 'Community School' are a sure indicator that the area is certainly uncontaminated by community.

But the ruling class are pretty easy about lumpen natives - they keep social workers employed and they only make other poor people's lives a misery. Besides, we can stamp on them if we have to. Look at the passport and other controls on football fans - nary a protest on restrictions which would have been an outrage applied to, say, murderous Irish republicans.

But 7/7 has just awakened one or two people. Just the odd chap thinks that :

"One of the things that makes this country work is a deep-felt respect for a democratic way of life. I'm not sure some recent immigrant groups have absorbed that ethos."

Although for many speakers the only problem on the horizon is some 'backlash' from those evil natives, I'm prepared to accept that some of them are actually coming to the realisation that some kind of national identity is a good thing. For 'British' of course, not English.

Too late, mate. The solutions will be the entertaining bit. Having knocked down Britishness over 40 years, they're arrogant enough to believe they can rebuild it with a few citizenship lessons, a rebuild of the history curriculum and some media pressure. They'll find destruction is much easier than construction.

On the broad and pleasant road that leads to hell, this conference is a delightful wayside hostelry.

UPDATE - I'm not against the teaching of 'black history' per se, as part of British history. Children should be taught about the Indian divisions in the WWI trenches, even more so the gallant havildars and sepoys of Victorian Empire. These soldiers fought for Britain, or the Queen-Empress. That is their historical importance. But our liberal rulers are incapable of teaching that. To Yazza or Iqbal Sacranie, those soldiers fought on the wrong side. The children will be taught that what is historically important was their skin colour. Not a recipe for cohesion.

And as for the native Brit kids, especially the English ?

As Misty In Roots used to sing :

"Teach the youth the truth"
"Let them know their history"
"Let them know their culture"

White working class Brits, once heirs to one of the great cultures of history, have been the main victims of the triumph of 60s counterculture and the rise of the polytechnocracy. The social pathologies of the UK underclass, as described by Dalrymple and logged at this site, are characteristic of any society that's lost its culture and been offered welfare payment in compensation. An anthropologist coming to study the UK underclass would be best advised to read about Native Americans, Inuit, Aborigines first.

Monday, January 09, 2006

A Neat Blog

Face Right is a thoughtful blog. Although politically distant from people like Eric (who seems to blog mostly here these days) or Mick Hartley, like them he has an unerring eye for interesting stuff.

From this post :

"4th Generation warfare is not novel but a return, specifically a return to the way war worked before the rise of the state. Now, as then, many different entities, not just governments of states, will wage war. They will wage war for many different reasons, not just "the extension of politics by other means." And they will use many different tools to fight war, not restricting themselves to what we recognize as military forces. When I am asked to recommend a good book describing what a Fourth Generation world will be like, I usually suggest Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century."

"More broadly, the nation-state is losing its monopoly on war, and its hold on its citizens loyalty, in a growing portion of the world. The two are closely related. One of the most important roles of the state is to protect its people. When it loses the ability (or perceived ability) to do that, it will lose the loyalty of the people. People's loyalties will transfer to whatever organizations can protect them.

In much of the world, the nation-state's hold was never strong. A creation of the West, the nation-state never became the primary loyalty in much of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East; in fact, many countries in those regions, while states, were never nation states. Most of their citizens continued to see themselves as members of a clan or tribe or religious grouping, not a nation. As Western power recedes, the old loyalties are reasserting themselves."

Read the whole thing - and the links. Lots to think about, whether you agree with all of it or not.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sharp Wit

The BBC celebrate the late Labour MP Tony Banks, "known for acid tongue and sharp wit", who "will be remembered for his hilarious insults"

"Tory MP, Terry Dicks, was dismissed as "living proof that a pig's bladder on the end of a stick can be elected to Parliament".

The former sports minister, who became Lord Stratford last year, showed reputations did not intimidate him when he accused Lady Thatcher of having "the sensitivity of a sex-starved boa-constrictor" during a Commons debate.

He added to that by calling the former Prime Minister a "half mad old bag lady" on another occasion.

Former Chancellor Kenneth Clarke was "a pot-bellied old soak" while another former Prime Minister John Major was "so unpopular, if he became a funeral director people would stop dying".

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats were "woolly-hatted, muesli-eating, Tory lick-spittles"."

Just let me pick myself up off the floor - that is so funny.

First Ronnie Barker. Then Richard Pryor.

Now another comic genius has left us.

UPDATE - perfect comment on the BBC 'Have Your Say' page.

"He had the courage of his prejudices, and he tolerated that of which he approved".

Two Adventurers

Norman Vaughan was the last surviving member of Byrd's 1928-30 Antartctic expedition. A lifelong teetotaller, Vaughan first drank champagne on his 100th birthday. He died six days later. Whether these facts are connected I do not know.

What a life.

"By this stage Vaughan had fallen out with a fellow dog-driver, Arthur Walden, who felt that the young man had usurped his position on the expedition; so sure was Vaughan that Walden would do him harm that he took to sleeping in secret locations outside, despite the freezing temperatures."

"In the summer of 1942 two B-17 bombers and six P-38 Lightning fighters made emergency landings on the Greenland Ice Cap, having received a false compass heading from a German U-boat and having run out of fuel. The crews were supplied by air-drop until Vaughan and others were able to bring them out by dog-sledge.

He was later sent back to retrieve a top-secret bombsight, which could have fallen into the hands of the Germans, who maintained a wartime weather station on the east coast of Greenland."

"The following summer, Vaughan returned to the Heritage range to be flown into the Queen Maud mountains where, supported by a party of nine, he reached the summit of "his" mountain, Mount Vaughan (10,320 ft high) on December 14 1994, two days before his 89th birthday.

On six occasions after he reached the age of 70, Vaughan completed the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race; and when he was 96 he carried the Olympic torch in Juneau, passing the flame from a wheelchair."

And Heinrich Harrer has died aged 93. A famous pre-war Alpinist and Olympic skier, he was climbing in the Himalayas when WWII broke out. His escape from a British internment camp and trek to Lhasa, where he remained as the Dalai Lama's tutor until the Chinese invasion, is the subject of his wonderful book 'Seven Years In Tibet'. Unlike modern trekkers, Harrer was penniless and a wanted man. He arrived in Lhasa ragged, exhausted but indomitable, speaking Tibetan with a rustic accent which greatly amused the Lhasa nobility who took him in.