Saturday, September 08, 2007


Isn't there a word for the kind of country where parties the Government dislike find their members being arrested for campaigning ?

How Do The BBC Think They Can Get Away With This ?

A major "compare and contrast" at Biased BBC.

Fertility By Ethnic Origin

Richard Berthoud in the 2001 ONS Population Trends 104, page 14 estimates the following total fertility (live births/female by age 45)

white 1.8
Afro-Caribbean 1.8
Indian 2.3
Pakistani 4.0
Bangladeshi 4.7

As Berthoud says "If the overall trend in Britain is from ‘old fashioned family values’ towards ‘modern individualism’, it can be argued that of the principal minority groups, South Asians, and especially Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, are behind the trend, with very high rates of marriage and of fertility, while Caribbeans are ahead of the trend, with high and rising rates of single parenthood."

Friday, September 07, 2007

Olchfa School

It's a big comprehensive, just down the road from my aunt, twixt Sketty and Killay.

When the head of year 9 had a stand-up at home with his sixteen-year-old daughter over the hours she kept, she told friends at school he'd punched and kicked her. So the governors sacked him - a teacher with 31 years service. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

His daughter Sioban - who was a pupil at the school - allegedly told friends he had punched and kicked her, the tribunal has been told. A police investigation was carried out and Mr Aldridge was arrested but no charges were brought. He was later dismissed by school governors after an internal investigation.

The teacher, who was also head of year nine, previously admitted there had been an "exchange of slaps" between himself and Sioban. Mrs Aldridge told the tribunal both her husband and daughter were cut during the argument, which started after Sioban returned home late for the second night in a row.

The first night being 3.30 am, the second midnight.

Of course, when your daughter stays out and then gives you lip, a parent should never physically chastise her. We can all see that the responsible thing to do would have been to change the locks on the house, then drive her down to social services offices and explain that you can no longer cope. We all know that smacking your child could do dreadful physical and emotional harm, whereas social services have a shining record in caring for difficult adolescents.

As for Siobhan Aldridge, who's managed to get her father sacked, at least she's got her youth to plead in mitigation of her disgusting betrayal. What excuse have the governors (whose names are by strange chance not on the school website) got ?

Deobandi Doom-mongers

Almost half of Britain’s mosques are under the control of a hardline Islamic sect whose leading preacher loathes Western values and has called on Muslims to “shed blood” for Allah, an investigation by The Times has found.

Riyadh ul Haq, who supports armed jihad and preaches contempt for Jews, Christians and Hindus, is in line to become the spiritual leader of the Deobandi sect in Britain. The ultra-conservative movement, which gave birth to the Taleban in Afghanistan, now runs more than 600 of Britain’s 1,350 mosques, according to a police report seen by The Times.

The Times investigation casts serious doubts on government statements that foreign preachers are to blame for spreading the creed of radical Islam in Britain’s mosques and its policy of enouraging the recruitment of more “home-grown” preachers ...

Seventeen of Britain’s 26 Islamic seminaries are run by Deobandis and they produce 80 per cent of home-trained Muslim clerics. Many had their studies funded by local education authority grants. The sect, which has significant representation on the Muslim Council of Britain, is at its strongest in the towns and cities of the Midlands and northern England.

Mr ul-Haq was at the centre of the amazing events at Birmingham Central mosque, involving a secret marriage, adultery, two murders and street demonstrations, which would have made national headlines in a Christian cathedral, and which I blogged about here and here.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Staffordshire Jihad ?

Or plain old wanton unpleasantness ? We'll let you be the judge.

In related BBC reporting, this story - of some obnoxious, ill-mannered natives - featured on the BBC News England page on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th.

Strangely, this story - of some obnoxious, predatory non-natives, never made the headlines at all.

Now I'm not at all keen on people who urinate on other people's belongings while they're at worship. It's the kind of offence the stocks were made for. But I still think the gang-rape of a lost 12 year old is a more significant crime. The BBC obviously don't.

(Btw, a few months back I remember reading of a case where some guys in Stoke on Trent harassed various families, telling them they were going to be killed by Al Quaeda. It never made national news although I think the bad guys were jailed - it was in a Stoke local paper. Anyone got a link ?)

“It is time for a national debate about children”

OK, Ed Balls, here are some contributions :

A mum whose daughter's nose was bitten off by a gang of girls has said police are "laughable" and the justice system is protecting criminals, not victims. Tracey Deall, 40, of Tolworth, said youths in her area were out of control after her 15-year-old daughter was attacked in March near Chessington South train station.

She said it had taken three weeks for police to contact her after the incident and a group still regularly terrorises residents by drinking, smoking and swearing in the street. "Police have lost control of the streets," she said, "I trusted the police and I now feel let down and unsupported. Gangs are running the streets and getting away with it."

Mrs Deall said her daughter is also being harassed on MSN messenger but said police have told her they are powerless to help. She said: "I almost wish I hadn't gone down the police road and wish I had got someone to sort it out myself. The police have said I just have to be patient. They are just giving these girls the green light to go around biting people's noses off."

Her daughter, who asked not be named, is still receiving plastic surgery treatment at St George's Hospital, Tooting.

OK, there are the bad children. Now the mad ones ...

According to Bromley police, six female patients aged from 15 to 17, all of whom are detained under the Mental Health Act, caused a "serious disturbance" in the hospital courtyard. A police spokesman said: "They had dug up block paving and cobblestones, smashed windows and harmed themselves with the broken glass. They were threatening staff and police with injury. Police contained the area and order was restored, with no injuries. All six patients were either taken to hospital with minor self-inflicted injuries or to secure rooms. None were suitable for arrest or detention. Our mental health liaison officer will be raising our concerns with the establishment over the actions of the staff on duty at the time, who seemed totally panic-stricken and unable to offer police any assistance during the incident. In view of this incident and the apparent confusion surrounding it, our mental health liaison inspector will be contacting the centre with a view to establishing a protocol for dealing with such occurrences in the future."

Oak View is a secure hospital for mentally ill adolescents aged between 12 and 18. It is owned by American firm Oak View Estates. The site started to concern nearby residents after being transformed into a medium-secure psychiatric facility in 2001 without planning permission. In the past three months, Bromley police have received 16 calls for urgent assistance there. And in the past month there have been 10 allegations of crime linked to the hospital.

Councillor David McBride, the Liberal Democrat leader on Bromley Council, resigned from the hospital's board in 2004 because of residents' planning concerns. Commenting on the incident, he said: "Residents have had concerns in the past about staff supervision at the hospital and I think this highlights this issue. I resigned from the board as I had residents coming to me about their concerns with the planning aspects and the fact the hospital just seemed to be growing. My concern was I wasn't going to be able to represent the residents as well as I could have done if I was on the hospital's board. This is meant to be a medium-secure centre with around 20 patients. We are not talking about a big wing with 50,60 or 70 inmates. How the hell did this happen over a four-hour period?"

In a statement, hospital director Lee Thorogood said: "On the night of September 1 several staff and a patient were assaulted by a number of other patients. As the risk and violence was beyond that normally experienced by healthcare professionals, police assistance was requested and the situation was resolved rapidly. The background to the incident will be reviewed and any necessary steps taken. The incident was contained within the hospital and there was no risk to public safety."

The comments are interesting.

"The local residents aren't at risk? Excuse me, but there has been a break out before. As to angry saying: "you would not even know it was there,". Sure, except for the screams that regularly echo around the surrounds, the police cars and ambulance crews that turn up on a regular basis."

Posted by: anone, Kent on 6:47am today
Oakview is a lovely place to work i must confess, the problem with the hospital is the current manangement who has no interest of the hospital or the patients at heart. No consistency in relation to the set policies, no boundaries when dealing with the patients despite thier history and challenging behaviours. Another problem is the silly issue of child protection and so call 'rights'. I should think that they should be given the right to 'kill' as well because that is the only right they haven't got at the moment. They bully and assault staff at any given opportunity all because is thier so called right huum! huum! i monder what the society is turning to in terms of these teenagers with challenging behaviours. what the goverment should do is to intervane immediately to resolve these crisis because the current management at Oakview as wel as the society has lost the plot completely.

Posted by: Colin, Bed 14, Ward D, Oak View on 8:33pm today
I think the staff are very competent at their job and contained the situation well. I heard nothing all night apart from Robert in the next bed howling at the moon.

Who Killed Julian Warrington ?

I don't know how many readers I've got in SE London. But no one should have to be posting this on their myspace page.

My Dad, Julian Warrington, was stabbed to death in his home Monday 3rd September about 3pm. He was living on Paulet Road in Camberwell, London at the time. 5 white men and 1 black man were trying to break in to at least 4 houses on that road. After breaking in one house they went next door and managed to get into my Dads house. My Dad had a week off from work, so he was just chillin in the living room on the computer when these men started kicking the main door. He must have gone to the inside door where they met and stabbed him repeatedly and left him to die.

My younger cousin was with him a few minutes earlier but popped down the road just before it happened. If he was there he would have been killed too.

The neighbour across the road saw the men kicking the door but thought though they were police so he just watched until he saw them exit, one holding a knife. He then called police and ambulance. By the time time the neighbour phoned my litle cousin to come back home, the paramedics were trying to save my Dad.

The men were in a white van and I was told there was also a black Focus car. So far they have found the white van abandoned on Lilford Road, and they have found the Black Focus. 2 men on Tuesday 4th Sep voluntarily handed them selves to the police, I dont know too much about their involvement. But they have been arrested. They have also arrested two more men on Wednesday. They are now looking for the final two. The police have said this case is moving extraordinary. PRAYERS DO WORK!!!

As my myspace friends or if you just happened to come across my page I am just asking if you could forward this message onto to your contacts. Maybe someone in your database or friends list was in the area about 3pm-ish or may have heard something that could help. Maybe they were out shopping in Camberwell Green and noticed a white van driving irratically. Anything they think might help.

My Dad was only 43 and a great man, he was a 9-5er who worked so much overtime to make me and my 3 little sisters (13yrs, 11yrs & 6months) happy. He was so lively always telling jokes and always tried to be the young 'cool' Dad. Some of the media have made it sound like he could be involved in something. i promise you he wasn't...he was a family man. He wouldnt be involved in any type of gang, or crime related activity to have any enemies. He wasnt ready to die. I need to find who killed my dad!


You can call CRIMESTOPPERS anonymously. You dont have to give your name or anything and they wont trace your call. Anything will help...I beg you... 0800555111

thank you,
Charlene aka CharChar


Swansea West Labour Party

From icWales

Concern at level of faith support for would-be MP

Jun 12 2007

by Martin Shipton, Western Mail

The selection of a new Labour candidate in a safe parliamentary seat has become embroiled in controversy after an influx of new members from the local Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities. At the next general election, Alan Williams will be standing down from the Swansea West seat he has held since 1964. A selection process to choose Mr Williams’s successor is under way, and a new candidate will be picked next month by local party members.

Among the contenders for the nomination is Dr Parvaiz Ali, who for the past 15 months has chaired Swansea West Constituency Labour Party (CLP). Some local party members say they have become uneasy about the large number of individuals of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin who have joined the CLP since Dr Ali took over as chairman. They suspect the new members have been recruited in a bid to secure the candidacy for Dr Ali. Dr Ali, who last month was an Assembly regional list candidate in Mid and West Wales, is head of nuclear medicine at Swansea NHS Trust. He says he has simply made a bid to recruit more members in recent months.

The Western Mail has had sight of documentation relating to the membership of Swansea West CLP. It suggests that before May of last year there were only around 10 members of the CLP with names indicating they had origins in Pakistan or Bangladesh. Since then a further 135 people with names associated with the two countries have joined the CLP, with almost 100 of them becoming members in the last three months of 2006. Meanwhile, since the beginning of 2006, only about 20 people unconnected to the two Asian countries have joined the CLP. About a third of the membership of Swansea West CLP now have origins in Pakistan or Bangladesh. By contrast, the ethnic minority population of Swansea is less than 3% of the total. Approximately 45 of the new Pakistani and Bangladeshi members do not appear on the electoral register in the constituency.

Naz Malik, a member of Swansea West CLP who is also director of Awema (the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association), said, “It seems to me that what has been happening is a blatant attempt at opportunism by playing the numbers game. I am, of course, very much in favour of people from whatever origin joining political parties. But the timing of this particular recruitment drive, and the fact that the vast majority of the new recruits are from two relatively small communities, suggests a conscious effort to target particular groups. If there is a desire to bring in more members from the ethnic minorities, why have none been recruited from Swansea’s Chinese or Filipino communities? It is most unfortunate that the vast majority of the new recruits are of the same faith as Dr Ali rather than from a mixture of groups. I think it is very regrettable that the Labour Party has done so little to address the under-representation of ethnic minorities in Parliament and at the National Assembly. This kind of mass recruitment by a candidate seeking selection is the consequence of that, I fear.”

Mr Malik said he was also concerned that a significant number of the new members did not appear on the electoral register. “That seems to me to raise questions about whether the individuals are entitled to membership of the local branches,” he said.

Dr Ali said, “When I took over as chair of the CLP 15 months ago, I made it clear that I would be seeking to recruit a lot of new members. I want to see as many people as possible in the Labour Party. I don’t care what background people have – I want to recruit anybody and everybody. If you lived in Swansea West, I would be seeking to recruit you. It is entirely up to members of the party who they vote for in the selection contest.” Asked about the new members who were not on the electoral register, he said, “That is not an issue. They can easily get on the register.”

A Labour Party spokesman said, “Welsh Labour welcomes new members from all communities in Wales. Being a member of the Labour Party is a valuable and worthwhile thing to do for people who care about the future of their country and communities. All members eligible to take part in the process will find it open, transparent and fair, with an opportunity to have their say on who represents them as the Labour candidate in the next general election.” It is understood that more than half the new members will be disqualified from voting because of a party decision to hold an early selection meeting.

Hmmm. I think the wise words of Ayoub Khan apply here.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Taxpayer-Funded Jihad

We've known for decades that left-wing causes are financed with taxpayers money - the pro-criminal, anti-punishment Centre For Crime and Justice Studies at Kings College London being just the latest example (see Ross F and Pommygranate).

You didn't think that radical Islam would fail to pick up on this, did you ?

Public libraries serving the densest population of Muslims in London have been inundated with extremist literature, according to a report. Multiple copies of books were found in Tower Hamlets that would feature on any jihadist reading list, the report obtained by the BBC said. Tower Hamlets Council said their Islamic collections had been imbalanced, but they were improving.

The report is available here (pdf).

By 'inundated' they don't mean someone's leaving leaflets on the tables. We're paying for this stuff.

It is to be expected – and indeed applauded – that public libraries in areas with large Muslim populations should be receptive and responsive to the interests of local people. However it now appears that because of mistakes by library staff, or the presence of ideologues in the library system, a number of publicly-funded libraries – in Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Birmingham and Blackburn – now stock excessively large collections of certain Islamic texts designed to incite hatred and violence.
In the opinion of the authors of this report, there is no harm in libraries stocking a small number of radical Islamic texts alongside a larger number of mainstream Islamic works and critical texts – just as a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf could be legitimately stocked in sections dealing critically with the Third Reich. However if the Second World War section of a library was stocked largely with books by Hitler and his followers, or if such books were stocked in a libraries’ ‘spirituality’ or ‘selfhelp’ section, questions would rightly be asked. Equally it is unhelpful for libraries to present books by radical authors such as Maududi, Qutb and ibn Abdul Wahhab as neutral guides to Islamic practices and beliefs.

It is not the aim of this study to point fingers and ask how so many libraries, including eight council-run libraries in the heart of Tower Hamlets (one of the UK’s most Muslim areas), have became saturated with extreme Islamist books. Certainly negligence has played a role; maybe senior library staff are unaware of the content of books in Arabic, Bengali and Urdu. However, the huge number of such books, in all languages, makes it unlikely that so many intolerant, and often violent, texts could have been acquired purely by accident. Whatever the cause, it is time that the UK’s library services regained control of their collections.

More On Stephen Sedley

I'm presuming this is papa - someone tell me if I'm wrong :

Bill Sedley

Born in 1910 in London of a Jewish immigrant family, Bill Sedley became a graduate in economics and law. He operated a legal advice service in the East End of London in the 1930s. Sedley was especially known for his defence of tenants’ rights in 1938-9 and for providing support for squatters’ rights and mortgage strikes after the war.

He founded the firm of lawyers of Seifert and Sedley in the 1940s with Sigmund Seifert and was a life-long Communist and supporter of the Morning Star even until his last days; he died in 1985.

Morning Star July 7th 1985

Stephen Sedley doesn't like George Orwell.

According to this Staggers piece on radical lawyers young Stephen was indeed a communist. They also say :

Some of the radical lawyers, though not all, had a grounding in Marxist politics. The chambers Cloisters was known as the Kremlin, the firm Seifert Sedley generally regarded as communist.

While not quite making the connection twixt Seifert Sedley and Stephen Sedley. But if you google "Seifert stephen sedley" you find quite a few cases where Seifert Sedley's man in court is one Stephen Sedley. This one, for instance, where "Stephen Sedley QC" is representing the plaintiff, the late Blair Peach, on behalf of Seifert Sedley.

(comments off on this post to prevent the Global Zionist Conspiracy getting its daily constitutional airing)

New Government Announcement

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Protection of the People Act 2007

1 In all legislation which has received the Royal Assent at the time of passing this bill -

(1) The following changes to such legislation shall take effect as from this date -

(a) remove the word 'subject', inasmuch as it refers to an individual person, likewise the word 'citizen', and

(b) replace with the word 'suspect'

Justice Sedley - Totalitarian

Didn't he used to be a member of the Communist Party ? Looks like you can take the man out of the Party, but it's harder to get the Party out of the man.

The whole population and every UK visitor should be added to the national DNA database, a senior judge has said. Lord Justice Sedley said the current database, which holds DNA from crime suspects and scenes, was "indefensible" because it was unfair and inconsistent.

Why's it unfair ? Because some ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented. Whitey - and the Chinese - and the Jews - and Koreans - and Indians) just doesn't commit enough crime.

Sir Stephen Sedley, who is one of England's most experienced appeal court judges, said: "Where we are at the moment is indefensible. We have a situation where if you happen to have been in the hands of the police then your DNA is on permanent record. If you haven't, it isn't... that's broadly the picture. It means that people who have been arrested but acquitted, some of them because they are innocent, some of them because they are just lucky, all stay on the database. It means where there is ethnic profiling going on disproportionate numbers of ethnic minorities get onto the database. It also means that a great many people who are walking the streets and whose DNA would show them guilty of crimes, go free."

I'm not sure we should be keeping the DNA of those arrested but not convicted, but let it pass. The suggestion that we should all be on the resgister just to keep some minorities company, so to speak, is outrageous. My contempt for this cretin knows no bounds.

UPDATE - I'd spit in his face if I didn't think he'd take a swab.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Money, men and women

Interview at Gene Expression with economic historian Greg Clark.

"I came to economics as an undergraduate expecting, as is the central view of economics, that the explanation for wealth and poverty would ultimately be located in social institutions and that people everywhere have basically the same aspirations and abilities.

But unlike most of my colleagues in economics I have always been interested in the mechanisms, and the fine details, of how things actually function. Much of modern economics is entirely theoretical, and even most empirical work in economics involves just looking at very high level correlations between variables such as income per person and education, or democracy, or the openness of trade.

When I set out in my PhD thesis to try and explain differences in income internationally in 1910 I found that asking simple questions like "Why could Indian textile mills not make much profit even though they were in a free trade association with England which had wages five times as high?" led to completely unexpected conclusions. You could show that the standard institutional explanation made no sense when you assembled detailed evidence from trade journals, factory reports, and the accounts of observers. Instead it was the puzzling behavior of the workers inside the factories that was the key."

Clark came to the conclusion that it's differences between the British and Indian workers themselves - maybe their culture, maybe their genes - that explained the difference. Naturally Laban will be on the side of the culture club. Some say that the recipe for economic success and productivity lies in the rule of law, limited government, property rights and sound currency - and Clark points out that these things existed in Britain for a long time before the Industrial Revolution.

They certainly didn't of themselves produce free markets - think of the guilds and the monopolies. And it's not genes that make the difference between 14th and 18th century Britain, unless the history books are missing something out. The culture must have changed between Edward I and Adam Smith.

I wonder how much sea trade, unregulated by guilds and monopolies and often exposed to competition (often decided by firepower rather than price, I admit - like some forms of competition today), although with its own complications of letters patent and financing, contributed to the idea of a free market - an idea that didn't seem at all obvious to many of our mediaeval forebears.

In a related big-human-theme vein (via), Professor Roy Baumeister on Men and Women.

The first big, basic difference has to do with what I consider to be the most underappreciated fact about gender. Consider this question: What percent of our ancestors were women?

It’s not a trick question, and it’s not 50%. True, about half the people who ever lived were women, but that’s not the question. We’re asking about all the people who ever lived who have a descendant living today. Or, put another way, yes, every baby has both a mother and a father, but some of those parents had multiple children.

Recent research using DNA analysis answered this question about two years ago. Today’s human population is descended from twice as many women as men.

I think this difference is the single most underappreciated fact about gender. To get that kind of difference, you had to have something like, throughout the entire history of the human race, maybe 80% of women but only 40% of men reproduced.

Right now our field is having a lively debate about how much behavior can be explained by evolutionary theory. But if evolution explains anything at all, it explains things related to reproduction, because reproduction is at the heart of natural selection. Basically, the traits that were most effective for reproduction would be at the center of evolutionary psychology. It would be shocking if these vastly different reproductive odds for men and women failed to produce some personality differences.

For women throughout history (and prehistory), the odds of reproducing have been pretty good. Later in this talk we will ponder things like, why was it so rare for a hundred women to get together and build a ship and sail off to explore unknown regions, whereas men have fairly regularly done such things? But taking chances like that would be stupid, from the perspective of a biological organism seeking to reproduce. They might drown or be killed by savages or catch a disease. For women, the optimal thing to do is go along with the crowd, be nice, play it safe. The odds are good that men will come along and offer sex and you’ll be able to have babies. All that matters is choosing the best offer. We’re descended from women who played it safe.

For men, the outlook was radically different. If you go along with the crowd and play it safe, the odds are you won’t have children. Most men who ever lived did not have descendants who are alive today. Their lines were dead ends. Hence it was necessary to take chances, try new things, be creative, explore other possibilities. Sailing off into the unknown may be risky, and you might drown or be killed or whatever, but then again if you stay home you won’t reproduce anyway. We’re most descended from the type of men who made the risky voyage and managed to come back rich. In that case he would finally get a good chance to pass on his genes. We’re descended from men who took chances (and were lucky).

So the men went out to try risky things, while the women played safe and waited for the best offer. In the words of a famous evolutionary biologist :

"You are just like all women. They are ever content to build their lives on any incidental position that offers itself; whilst men would fain make a globe to suit them."

Thomas Hardy, The Return Of The Native

But hold on - WHY did the men have to build ships and go off, or do other things to differentiate themselves ? Why couldn't they just stay put like the women and have one mate each ?

"For men, however, it was more a matter of beating out lots of other men even to have a chance for a mate" - that surely implies a lot of men wanted all the women (or as many as they could) for themselves - and presumably were willing to kill for them. We're back in Lawrence Keeley country, where warfare was endemic and a large percentage of males died violently before they could reproduce - but the women survived. At the prehistoric massacre site of Crow Creek, the bones of young women are under-represented. No prizes for guessing their fate.

So all of that culture and sex difference comes from our need to reproduce. And those novels and movies where the heroine prefers the bad lad to the steady guy, Heathcliffe to Linton, those complaints that 'women go for bastards' or that 'every woman loves a fascist' - there is or was some evolutionary truth there. Zar, zan, zamin - gold, women and land - that's apparently what the chaps really really want.

This makes me wonder again - because after all, we're (we being the native Brits) stopping reproduction - and a group generally considered to be the poorest and most deprived in the UK are, in reproductive terms, by far the most successful.

Just A Thought ...

The exit from Basra isn't a clearing the decks operation, is it ? On the grounds that the Shias are going to be pretty cross if/when Iranian nuclear plants get clobbered ?

Probably not. Probably just Gordon showing he's not Tony.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Poisoned Wells of Bangladesh

I've been aware of this dreadful story for a few years now - how aid projects dug (literally) millions of deep wells for Bangladeshi villagers - protecting them from the diseases associated with surface water, but exposing them to deadly levels of arsenic in what the World Health Organisation called "the largest mass poisoning of a population in history". (They went on to say "... the scale of this environmental disaster is greater than any seen before ...beyond the accidents at Bhopal ...and Chernobyl").

Dalrymple as usual makes some valid points.

Let us suppose that a commercial mining company had, in the course of its operations, poisoned the water supply of 70,000,000 people in this quite specific way. Would that have been regarded as "a sad irony", an unintended consequence of its search for profit, or perhaps as something rather more sinister and indeed typical of the way such companies operate? Would there not have been large demonstrations, probably turning soon to violence, against that company by those in the developed world who habitually express their solidarity with the impoverished victims of exploitation by their own nations' multinationals? It is unlikely that we would ever hear the end of the matter - in such a case, quite rightly.

When people buy their UNICEF Christmas cards, how many of them know what the organisation, and others like it, have wrought in Bangladesh?

I have a few friends who are aid workers - brave, adventurous types - just the kind of people who would have made terrific District Officers in the days of Empire. It's an interesting irony that they're nearly all left wing.

As I quickly discovered in Tanzania and elsewhere, foreign aid offers a lucrative career in good working conditions to middle class people of the developed world who want a little adventure in their lives, and who would once have been colonial officers; and it offers tempting opportunities for malversation of funds to their bureaucratic counterparts in the Third World. This symbiosis is the natural consequence of asking precisely the wrong question: not where wealth comes from, but where poverty comes from.

Separated At Birth

Sharif Gawad, cheerful right-wing ideologue.

Sunny Hundal, cheerful left-wing ideologue, blogger and Guardianista.

(It's not just the beard. The photos both have that lost-sixpence-found-a-fiver look - or as my late mother would say, "ten bob each-way on themselves !" I'm sure they're not really like that).

A Few Old Paint Tins From The Curate's Skip

Michael Portillo, born-again liberal, on immigration :

The biggest single change in postwar Britain is the transformation in who the British are.

The new diversity of races and religions makes a big difference to life in the UK. Some places have changed their appearance and norms of behaviour entirely. Many people will applaud the transformation for the diversity and enrichment that it has brought. But if the alteration of Britain can be presented in such positive terms, then it is all the more remarkable that it has occurred without the British people’s consent being sought.

There are many things in life that are commendable in small quantities, but pernicious in large ones. Why should immigration be any less debatable than tax? If one quarter of the UK’s new babies now have a foreign parent, is it fine to argue that it would be preferable if it were one in two, but disgraceful to suggest that one in eight would be better ?

His conclusion ? it's probably not good that the subject's pretty much off limits, but the Tories lost the last two elections, so there you are.

More on Open Britain - health tourism :

A confidential internal report on health tourism estimates that the bill for treating foreign patients amounts to at least £62 million a year, The Times has learnt.

The figure is “bound to be an underestimate” since new rules intended to prevent the abuse of the NHS by foreign patients are being ignored, according to the report.

Surprise surprise - maternity and HIV seem to be big targets. Does maternity also feature a 'free citizenship' bonus, which with extra 'right to family life' has the possibility of opening up residence to the parents as well ?

As we leave Basra, is the surge working in Baghdad ?

Peter Oborne on the corruption of the British political class.

I learned to swim late in life, in my mid-twenties, and having done so learned to dive here - they had a 10 metre platform in those days, the height Olympic divers use. Now it's 5m - and there are only six 10m platforms left in the whole UK, with the obvious effect upon the sport. Our old friend health and safety seems to be the culprit.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Luvvie Laughs

Great new comedy writing in the Observer, when somebody calling herself "Julie Delpy" creates a hilarious caricature of a wealthy liberal actress who really, really cares about 'the poor' :

Of course, Sarkozy thinks he's a little American, looking busy all the time. Maybe he should come over to the States and see how the poor are getting on ...

Though my home is now Los Angeles ...


I wonder how many of us raised in poor working-class communities, who became the first generation to go to university, recognise this picture, from John Lloyd's review of Andrew Anthony's The Fallout ? Not necessarily in relation to racism. I can remember being uneasy (a student with a full grant and some scholarship money), when I talked with my uncles, steelworkers who would rise at 5.30 am to go to their shifts. They just didn't have much sympathy, to put it mildly, for people who lived for years on benefits. At Uni the Claimants Union movement was in full swing, and 'ripping off the State' was in theory bringing the Revolution that much closer. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa ...

Anthony uses an account of his early years as a vivid, emotively charged account of a working class-born, council house-raised and comprehensive school-educated boy who came to question his parents' outlook. In one instance cited, his mother asked her local councillor why it was that she, a model tenant for many years, had become a much lower priority for rehousing than a newly arrived immigrant family. The councillor to whom Mrs Anthony complained was Tessa Jowell, until recently Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport; she gave her complaining constituent 'a brusque lecture on racism'.

This vignette recalls progressive, especially London, politics of the Seventies and Eighties, where largely middle-class politicians of the left did do good, did keep the local machines going, but with an overlay of moralising political correctness which assumed prejudice on the part of a white working class and innocence on the part of those with darker skins. In a comment which must be a painful memory, Anthony observes that at university, his 'enlightened concern was that she [his mother] didn't do or say anything that could be construed as racist ... I was now outside, like an anthropologist, looking in'.

With a similar, if rural, experience of growing up, getting out and looking back with contempt, I was hugely impressed and moved by the sad delicacy of his recreation of his mother, the regret that she should have been a victim of his newly adopted radical disapproval.

"Now he has suffered the consequences hasn't he?"

Anop Singh seems to have more of a grasp of what works and what doesn't than "Deborah Glass, IPCC commissioner for London and the South East". The consquences of his bad behaviour - he trousers 4K of our money courtesy of the Met - for the officers who tackled it, innovatively and with humour, written warnings on their records.

If you want less of something, don't subsidise it.

(via PC Bloggs)