Saturday, January 28, 2006

Ian Blair - Seventies Throwback

For every believable thing Ian Blair says :

"we’re picking up from lots of people that they’re very frightened. There is another side to it, though. Who are the people who are frightened? People who previously had lives which were broadly exempt from crime are now finding crime coming to them. "

He says something utterly stupid :

"If you’re not broadly against the police when you’re a teenager, you’re not much of a teenager."

Yeah, man - off the pigs !

Dalrymple on Saturday

When history is dangerous, the present is dangerous.

It is amazing what a couple of assassinations can do.

On Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. I too remember seeing young men (Leicester City supporters at the Hawthorns) in the white boiler suits, umbrellas, bowler hats and eyeliner of the film. Burgess really was a great futurist. His ideas of the Pelagian and Augustinian governments, as expressed in The Wanting Seed, are relevant today.

Augustinian governments believe in Original Sin, that man is naturally given to vices which need to be checked. Tend to be hierarchical and militaristic.

Pelagian governments believe in Man’s perfectibility and innate goodness. As this fails to produce the perfect society, so do initially liberal Pelagians tend to turn towards coercion, more laws and greater police powers. Remind you of anything ?

‘’Pelagius is fond of police,
Augustine loves an army’’

It’s fascinating to see that the ideas of Rousseau, the hippies and the Guardianistas were being expressed nearly two thousand years ago by Pelagius.

They Come Over Here And Take Our Jobs ...

I thought this was the sort of thing we were supposed to do.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Ian Blair - Right But Wrong

So the media be institutionally racist, be it ?

He's not quite grasped it, has he ? To a white liberal - a fair description of our media class - crimes committed by non-natives aren't as newsworthy. Partly because 'that's what they do', and partly because honest reporting of crime in, say, South London, would raise awareness of something they'd rather ignore.

Or in two words, Ruth Okechukwu.

UPDATE - to expand a little

Non-Natives being killed, robbed or otherwise abused are in general only of interest to a 'liberal' if they can be used as a cultural weapon against their enemies. In short, if natives are doing the abusing. See for example the remarkable difference between the coverage of the racist murders of Anthony Walker and Isaiah Young-Sam. This applies in Britain and also abroad, where for natives read 'Westerners'. American Christians who condemn the practice of homosexuality, for example, will be the subject of more critical media commentary than Iranian Muslims who hang homosexuals. "It's what they do" is an attitude never spoken (only evil right-wingers stereotype like that) but always present - unwitting and unconscious. See also Darfur and (particularly) the Congo, where millions more people have been killed than were ever shot by the police of apartheid South Africa - to an almost total silence.

Here, Ian - one story that did make the papers. I bet you can't imagine why.

Riffat Pasha claims she was kept captive for five years at the house where she was assaulted and threatened with her life, Sheffield Crown Court was told.
Police became involved when she outlined her plight in a letter which she left in the ladies' toilet at Atkinson's department store. She wrote on the envelope that it should be delivered to police or a doctor she had met during hospital treatment for tuberculosis.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

It's That Day Again ...

So this post can be wheeled out again.

In other news : Simon Hughes says he's bowled the occasional doosra. This story will be dead within a day or two.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Arson or Attempted Murder ?

The BNP trial continues to be blogged by the defendants here.

"In Mark's speech he had referred to a Muslim businessmen who was arrested and convicted for barricading the doors of Manningham Labour Club, then petrol-bombing it while more than twenty elderly members were inside. Jameson points out that the local press cutting says that the fire-raiser was convicted of arson with reckless endangering of human life, but not of attempted murder."

At the time it struck me as an innovative way of fighting the far right - trying to incinerate a Labour club just down the road from where the ILP, predecessors of Labour, were founded in 1893.

Let's see what the Labour club's insurers have to say about the incident.

Manningham Labour Club was targeted by gangs on the rampage and resulted in some 22 members being trapped inside for one and a half hours while rioters hurled rubble and petrol bombs into the club and blocked the rear fire exit.

Just seconds after being released by the fire brigade from their horrific ordeal the building collapsed, and the police are treating the incident as attempted murder. At one point the gang surrounding the club was 600 strong and police are hoping that CCTV footage from the club may be able to show more details of those carrying out the violence.

Marsh, the club’s insurers, have met club officials and the insurance claim, estimated at £1 million, should proceed smoothly.

Publication: The Club & Institute Journal, August 2001

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Worth the wait. After a blogging hiatus, the other Wise Woman returns, calmly filleting the arguments of one Professor Anthony Grayling like a forensic pathologist, wielding logic in place of a scalpel.

Lovely stuff. A chunk of precious ambergris on the shore of the blogging seas.

UPDATE - one more thought. Let's posit that the propensity towards evil is roughly constant in all times and all cultures. I can call it Original Sin, someone else can call it a biological imperative. At best, this can translate to 'everybody needs someone to hate', at worst to genocide.

Under which system - religious or utilitaran - is this tendency most likely to achieve free expression ? After all, as Grayling said, there was implied (and often explicit) anti-Semitism in Christian tradition for two thousand years, over which time perhaps several hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed. It took an avowedly non-Christian regime to kill several million in three or four years. We should not forget, though we cannot quantify, the "acts of evil that religious scruples have restrained".

Bar Steward

Radio Four appointed a new controller last year. Like all new managers, he feels the need to change something for the sake of it. After all, that's what managers do - they manage change.

He's dropping the Radio Four theme. People aren't very pleased.

A Christian should not invoke the Black Arts, though there are precedents. But if anyone in the Great Wen can obtain some hair or nail clippings, a journey to the Wise Woman on Putney Heath might be in order. A fifty-guinea curse (with oak leaf clusters) should get his nails oozing blood over his Blackberry and his latte turning to ash in his throat. May 1,000 rent boys do to him whatever it is that rent boys do !

Resistance is not lacking, and is led by this excellent site. If you're never up at 5.30 am or don't listen to Radio Four, this is what I'm talking about - a fine blend of Brit folk themes (isn't 'Annie Laurie' in there just after Danny Boy ?), doomed apparently to be replaced by 'a discussion of the Whitbread Prize' (RealAudio). If I want to listen to some pseuds discussing a crap book, what's wrong with Front Row ?

It's enough to make me stop paying the "license fee" aka compulsory propaganda tax , which is increasing above the inflation rate again.

Doubtless Mr Damn Asser's succesor will bring a theme back in a year or two. Only it'll sound like this (2 meg mp3).

UPDATE - the correspondents to the BBC boards have got it right. For those of us who aren't normally early risers, the tune has memories. Early morning rising for long journeys, holidays, interviews. The end of a sleepless night wondering whether the error you found at 9 pm last night has just cost the company half a million. Babies' feeding time. Mallaig quayside after an overnight drive. Yeovil to Dorchester in the dawn, heading for the Weymouth ferry.

I don't even think M*** D****** has got Home Truths right. Couldn't stand it myself, but David Stafford filled Peel's comfy shoes remarkably well. How about scrapping Midweek and that circle of programmes featuring the same half dozen people - The Message, Front Row, A Good Read ?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Because thou art neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth

Christian Voice :

Ordinary people will be revolted by the sight of these couples embracing, and the recognition in our law of what the Bible describes as an abomination (Lev 18:22) and 'vile affection' (Romans 1:26) will bring judgment on our land from the same Almighty God who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

Catholic Bishops of England and Wales :

We believe the government's proposals to create civil partnerships for same sex couples would not promote the common good, and we therefore strongly oppose them.

Church of England :

Clergy who are approached by people asking for prayer in relation to entering into a civil partnership are reminded to respond pastorally and sensitively in the light of the circumstances of each case, having regard to the teaching of the church on sexual morality, celibacy, and the positive value of committed friendships in the Christian tradition.

Muslim Council of Britain :

"The practice of homosexuality is not acceptable. It is a sin"

The Saved Sect :

Recently, the British government legalised homosexual marriages. It was not enough the fact that they allowed homosexuals to practice their vile filth openly, but they felt the need to take a step further into the pits of humanity.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Old Men, Old Women, Young Babies

News that Chancellor Gordon Brown is going to be a daddy again came as an unpleasant shock to the Indie's Janet Street Porter (for whom see also this post).

"What kind of message does the news that Gordon Brown is to be a father at the age of 54 send to women ? Am I alone in thinking that the sight of a wrinkly, grey, washed-out, middle-aged man holding a tiny little pink thing in a nappy is faintly disgusting?"

I'm sure Janet's held the odd pink (and other coloured) thing herself in the past. But I think the message she's getting is that she won't be doing the nappy thing.

Ms Street Porter is a little older than me and comes from the class who made a career and a culture out of youth and from rejection of the culture she was born into.

"I was a bulge baby," she says. "There are a lot of us who were born just after the Second World War, to parents who met just before it, and this is what my book is about. These couples came from working-class backgrounds and they imposed a million rules on their kids. ‘Do this, don’t do that, eat those butter beans, don’t be late, don’t talk to people in council flats’ - they were snobs, too - and all fun was outlawed.

"From that has come a generation of high-achievers - Richard Branson, Paul Smith and Lynn Franks are all about the same age as me. But we’re restless types. We decided early on that we didn’t want to be like our mothers and fathers because they seemed Neanderthal and wore horrible clothes and we couldn’t actually believe they were our parents."

Ms Street Porter has triumphantly achieved not-being-like-parentness, although strangely the girl who rejected the 'million rules' became really, really good at "issuing orders and being a charismatic, team-leadery type".

Indeed, she's achieved not-being-a-parent-at-all. I can't help wondering if there's a link between her age, this fact, and her resentment of Gordon's sprogging.

"What all these old dads have in common is younger wives, wealth and no time"

What Janet has is a younger lover, wealth and no babies - and less time. In Betjeman's words :

"But I'm older now and done for
What on earth was all the fun for ?"

The Sunday Times has an interesting piece on the mainstreaming of porn culture, which takes in an interview with Candace Bushnell, whose 'Sex and the City' told the Bridget Jones generation that waiting for Mr Darcy was only one option. Here's a beautiful, intelligent, childless woman. Her beauty and intelligence will never be passed on to another generation.

By the time she met and married her husband, Charles Askegard, a 6ft 4in ballet dancer from Minneapolis — a literal Mr Big — she was in her forties and it was too late to have children.

Meanwhile, if you can believe his lawyer (admittedly a big ask), Shaker Aamer, a "Brit" on hunger strike in Guantanamera, is dying.

Aamer’s wife, 31, who lives in London with her four children and has asked for her name to be withheld, said: “This is the time to do something. My husband is not going to last.”

31, four children (doubtless supported by the taxpayer). How many would she have had by now had hubbie not been hanging out with bad guys ? Aamer may or may not die, but HIS intelligence and culture will be passed on - whatever it be.

(See also this post)

Email Address Change

It was labantall-at-freenetname-dot-co-dot-uk.

It's now labantall-at-hotmail-dot-co-dot-uk.

Any communications in the last 5 days will alas be lost.

Lib Dems Disintegrating ...

Ian Dale :

"No one can take any pleasure from this"

I fear, Ian, you have a very idealistic nature for a conservative. We are all sinners. (Sound of hastily smothered laugh).

You do have to question the judgement of one who was running for the leadership. Had he won and then been outed as using 'sex workers', he'd have single-handedly shattered the party.

Instead, the shattering appears to be a 'joint enterprise'. So far, two alcoholics and a punter. Next please !

Democracy In Action

Second item on BBC radio news this morning.

The UK's four child commissioners are demanding the government introduces a total ban on the smacking of children.
In a letter to Education Secretary Ruth Kelly, they say rules should be changed as a matter of "fundamental principle".

The arrogance of our ruling elite is truly breathtaking. Who voted for them ? And given their views, who would vote for them ?

I haven't researched the other three Commissars, but Al Aynsley-Green (England) is a full-blown Guardianista who would have made a lovely social worker, though to be fair he appears to have actually had a real and useful job up till now. If anyone has time to do some Googling on Peter Clarke (Wales), Kathleen Marshall (Scotland), and Nigel Williams (Northern Ireland, and ex-Lib Dem councillor) I'd be grateful.

The Commissar sites are as follows :


I liked the page on 'Rights'

The rights of children and young people are best defined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child :

This Convention, developed in 1989 and since ratified by every country in the world, except two (Somalia and the USA), spells out the basic human rights of children everywhere.

That's right, children are protected everywhere except in those two countries.

Northern Ireland