Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Few Moorhens In The Curate's Paddock

"The slippery slope gets steeper and more slippery by the day"

The Magistrate on Labour's new Domestic Violence legislation, where "Under the new rules an order can be made following conviction for any offence and even where someone is acquitted in order to better protect victims. Breaking the terms of a restraining order is a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in prison."

"Of the utility and entertainment to be derived from Biography in general, not a word need be said - more especially from the Lives of those military men who have acted upon Christian principles, and while fighting under the banners of an earthly sovereign, have not forgotten that they were soldiers of the Cross"
from The life and diary of Lieut. Col. J. Blackader of the Cameronian regiment, and deputy governor of Sterling Castle, who served with distinguished honour in the wars under King William and the Duke of Marlborough, and afterwards in the rebellion of 1715 in Scotland.

A Stoke City fan, Neil Warburton, is fighting for his life after being attacked in Birmingham last weekend - a story which seems to have escaped the major media (via PragueTory)

Historian Andrew Roberts points out that the late Teddy Kennedy suggested "repatriating" Ulster Protestants to the UK mainland.

Religious faith declines :

Methodist churches, down from 14,000 in 1932 to 6,000, and closing at the rate of 100 a year ...

But not all faith :

A generation ago the churches in Britain seemed unassailable. The first mosques in Britain opened at the end of the 19th century but by 1961 there were just seven mosques, three Sikh temples and one Hindu temple in England and Wales, compared with nearly 55,000 Christian Churches... By 2005 the number of churches had fallen to 47,600. According to the organisation Christian Research, another 4,000 are likely to go in the next 15 years. In the Church of England alone, which still has 16,000 churches, 1,700 have been made redundant since 1969. Over the same period, the number of mosques in Britain has grown to almost the number of Anglian churches that have closed. The Islamic website Salaam records a total of 1,689 mosques.

Ceri Peach, of Oxford University, said in The Geographical Review: “The new cultural landscape of English cities has arrived. The homogenised, Christian landscape of state religion is in retreat.”

Christians burned to death in Pakistan by mobs :

At least six Christians were killed in religious unrest in Punjab during the weekend, after days of tension sparked by the rumoured desecration of a Koran. Officials said the rumours which led to the unrest were false.

Saturday's attack happened in a neighbourhood in Gojra town in Punjab when six Christians were burnt to death and scores of houses were set on fire by a Muslim mob.

Attacks against minority religious groups in Muslim-majority Pakistan have been common and have often gone unpunished, says the BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad.

While we're on the subject of burning religious opponents, was Mary Tudor all that bad ? David Womersley at the SAU blog reviews Eamon Duffy's revisionist Fires of Faith: Catholic England Under Mary Tudor. His earlier The Stripping of the Altars is a fine book.

More Catholicism : Damian Thompson wonders when a bishop who values the Latin Mass will be appointed.

"Hello, Emergency, which service please ?"


"What religion ?"

Sikh victims of crime in London are to be given the option of asking for a police officer of their own faith to work on their case. This new service from the Metropolitan Police (Met) aims to make use of the officers' specialist knowledge of Punjabi culture to help with cases like forced marriage and so-called honour crime. Officers within the Met have told the BBC Asian Network that crimes in the community have gone unsolved and unreported because of a lack of understanding of the culture by officers from a "white" background. Palbinder Singh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Sikh Association (MPSA) said: "It's about understanding and appreciating difference. "I don't believe a white officer is ever going to be fully conversant with a Sikh for example. "We have got evidence in the most serious type of crimes where Punjabi culture itself is the issue, that they haven't been properly investigated."
It is obvious that when policing in any society, knowledge of the particular culture or subculture you're dealing with is an asset. But it should be the knowledge that's important, not the officer's race or religion. You can just imagine what would happen to a native police officer who stated publicly that black officers couldn't deal with white issues.

British engineering may no longer be the envy of the world, but British social engineering is thriving. You get what you ask for - as Labour attempt to use higher education as a weapon of 'social justice', so do the punters give them what they want.

Sixth formers are lying about their family backgrounds to meet university "social engineering" admissions criteria, it can be revealed.

More social engineering - just as in Burnley, in Oldham.

Five of Oldham’s 15 schools are to be shut by 2011 and replaced by two academies. In the process, the segregated communities will be thrown together. Critics call it social engineering – and so do supporters, who say we have no alternative... Altogether, twenty urban areas have been identified that could benefit from “forced mixing”.

An interesting take on the current political scene and 'how to stop the BNP' at a new socialist blog, Meanwhile At The Bar :

Labour is undergoing a catastrophic haemorrhage in its former heartlands. The wider left is in as bad a state, if not worse. This is evident not just in Labour by-election defeats in places like Crewe and Glasgow East, but perhaps more importantly in the long term in party membership. To take one example in Cumbria, membership of Workington Constituency Labour Party, was around 860 in the late 1990’s but is now approximately 140. That is a lot of canvassers to lose.

Putting aside the new Labour careerists, if you consider the core of the trades union movement and ‘old’ Labour, it is clearly ageing. This is particularly true of groups closest to the revolutionary left such as Durham Miners Association. Anyone hanging their hat on an old Labour/trades union revival to see off the BNP is certainly taking a gamble. There is not a 50 year old version of Dave Douglass out there, or a 40 year old version, nor a 30 year old version and there sure as hell is not a 20 year old version. That world has gone, and it is not coming back.

It is also the case that some of the ‘old Labour’ heartlands targeted by the BNP lack the sort of multi-cultural social scene that so undermined the National Front in the late 70s and early 80s. Instead of an easy interaction of young black and white people around music and football, many such towns either have tiny ethnic populations, or Asian communities with far lower degrees of integration, interaction and inter-marriage than we saw between white and West Indian communities thirty years ago. What will undermine the BNP culturally in old Labour heartlands?

As I've said before, we're at the start of the final section of the yet-to-be-written classic, The Breaking of the English Working Class.

"You walk around, and you want to help them. You want an economic and a social and a cultural revolution. You want to remember them as they were, full of pride and hope for the future. You want them strong, and confident. Knowing that their day is to come, but come it will, as they used to believe. But you know it isn't and you know that you cant really do anything about it.....

It is a spirit, a culture, a world that has passed. It was a fleeting moment in political history ; a moment in which it was thought that the collective could achieve more than the individual. It will never happen again. All that is believed in the 1990’s by ‘Labour’ and Conservative is that the successful entrepreneur is the ‘key player’ in the economy. There's nothing else. There are no grand ideas anymore. Nothing we can strive for, and be proud to call our own."
The above quote from Dave Douglass' site is from a review of 'Coal Was Our Life', a 90s revisitation of the classic 'Coal Is Our Life', written in the 50s by my hero Norman Dennis, Fernando Henriques and well known Trotsyist and WRP member Cliff Slaughter.

That's more or less what I was saying six years ago :

I simply can't see them (the BNP - LT) going away - because, in marketing-speak, they're meeting a need that no other party is attempting to meet.

Not a need to be racist (I'm sure that's met too, but I don't think that has a wide appeal), but a need to be proud of one's nation, to feel that you belong, have a culture, a history and a homeland.

Pupils with English as a first language are now a minority in inner London schools.

Catholic schools in the inner cities are running out of Catholics :

The Tablet, a weekly Catholic magazine, found that in Oldham, Blackburn, Wolverhampton and Birmingham there has been a sharp decline in the proportion of Catholics being educated in local faith schools. At English Martyrs in Sparkhill, Birmingham, just 36 of the 410 pupils are Catholic while the vast majority are Muslim. Most of the non-Catholic parents let their children attend assemblies although a church visit led to “friction”.

Belgian policeman are no longer allowed to check the identity of a woman wearing a burka.

But how do they know if it's a woman ?

The offenders involved in the armed robbery were described as Asian in appearance and two were wearing dark clothing and had their faces covered. The third person was dressed in a burka.

We can thank the British police and social services for the court order against 13-year old Laura Dekker, who wanted, with her parents' blessing, to sail round the world single-handed - but is now in the care of the Dutch authorities.

It emerged during the legal proceedings that the teenage girl had been placed in foster care by British police after she sailed single-handed from Holland to Britain in May. Police in Lowestoft and social workers decided that the return journey was too dangerous and placed Miss Dekker in a home until her father came to collect her. Dick Dekker, Laura's father who at the age of 12 sailed from Ijmuiden harbour across the North Sea, collected her from the home and defied the authorities by letting her make the sea crossing alone. The British police then contacted their Dutch counterparts who alerted the Utrecht social services, leading to Friday's custody decision.


ba ba said...

Its that last story that made me hop out of my van after hearing the news on classical FM yesterday, waving my fist with my son in hand (Not the hand that was bunched into a fist, luckily, but the left one), and run into the house fuming about the state, about how he isn't going to primary school (A popular theme we both agree on) and I'm going to make sure we can afford private secondary, and about how the thin end of the wedge is nigh.

I wonder how many of the childeren of the social meddlers who made the decision are fat, dope smoking fools in the making. I heard that the decision was made because 'It might be dangerous' and could 'effect her development'. Words failed me - then they didn't and came forth all at a rush.

Philistines and fools! Have they not heard how Richard Branson's parents challenged him to do similar things? Its all in his autobiography you know. Social workers, aught to be shot, meddling fools.

Laban said...

My personal view is that she seems a little young when the North Sea is the most she's done solo. Perhaps an Atlantic crossing first would be in order as a 'dry' run ?

But she and her parents are experienced sailors. IMHO they are the people who should decide, not social workers.

Martin said...


They should not.

A child of 13 is too young to sail around the world on her own; and her father's contemptuous approach towards legal intervention more than adequately demonstrates why such intervention was necessary in the child's interests. He's obviously a real thruster, a real bull who's not prepared to let anyone or anything stand in his way. It is at such times as these that the irrestisible force of his ego must be compelled to meet the immoveable object of the authorities' duty to protect the public. It is just as well he enjoy a rich man's hobby such as yachting - God only knows how he would react in a dispute over the height of a leylandii bush.

It's a novel spin on 'Home Alone' - 'All at Sea'?

Anonymous said...

According to the ONS, approx 5000 children are born to 'German' mothers per year in the UK. The figures only go back to 2004 but that is still approx 30 thousand children.

Am I alone in thinking that these children are not native Germans but probably the children of Turkish-Germans who have settled in the UK?

Anyone got any info?


JuliaM said...

"IMHO they are the people who should decide, not social workers."

Spot on.

"...her father's contemptuous approach towards legal intervention..."

Well-founded contempt, I have to admit. Makes me think a lot more of him, too...

Martin said...

"Well-founded contempt, I have to admit. Makes me think a lot more of him, too..."

With the greatest respect, Julia, that comment reeks of being a spastic, reflexive, dog-whistle libertarian response. This man was willing to commit what can only be described as a monstrous act of parental neglect. There is no other way of dressing it up. Would you still defend his right to do what he did if his daughter were swept overboard in the Southern Ocean at the age of 14? I'm afraid that in such situations, 'The Road to Serfdom and 'Atlas Shrugged' don't provide the answers.

The situation in this case is quite clear. Whether or not this child consented, indeed whether or not the child was the main driver of the plan, what was being proposed here was systematic child neglect. There is no other reasonable way to describe it; it was contrary to both the letter and the spiriti of the relevant Dutch and British laws; and it had to be stopped.

Rob said...

The Sikh 'option':

Sikh officers may well understand the culture better. But is this the appropriate person to be investigating? What if the Sikh officer is sympathetic to the neanderthal culture being investigated, and tips off the family regarding a 'renegade' female?

Laura Dekker:

Fancy standing out from the crowd and doing something unique. You should be getting pissed and pregnant instead. No wonder the British social workers locked you up.

"The situation in this case is quite clear."

At what age would she be able to make the decision? 14? 16? 18? If she had said she wanted to get pregnant, would you lock her up for that?

Anonymous said...

Re: the girl, I support the parents over the social workers. She's trying to excel in her sport (solo yachting). It's similar to calling the social workers for young gymnasts. (And I've seen a GB development squad training session. It is not all sweetness and light, trust me.)

Re: the mega-schools in Oldham, surely the long-term response will be to clear the whites out of larger and larger parts of the town? Can't the twats see that?

ba ba said...

Branson's upbringing in a nutshell, from here;

Branson’s parents took extreme measures to encourage their children’s independence. While driving home one day when Branson was just four years old, his mother made him get out of the car miles before they had reached the house and insisted that he find his own way home. Not surprisingly, Branson got lost. But, it was a lesson he would never forget.

Soon, Branson and his siblings began setting challenges for themselves. One Christmas holiday, Branson bet his Aunt Joyce ten shillings that he would be able to swim by the end of the two weeks. He spent hours in the ocean each day practicing but still could not keep himself afloat. Finally, as the family was leaving on the last day, Branson made his father stop the car so that he could have one last chance at swimming. He ran to the ocean, pulled off all his clothes and despite the huge waves, managed to swim a circle. He had won his ten shillings.

Sent to boarding school until he was 15, Branson found success on the field rather than in the classroom. He excelled in a wide range of athletics, which found him popularity at school, but he struggled with his academics because of his dyslexia, which at the time was a relatively undiagnosed problem. “Since nobody had ever heard of dyslexia, being unable to read, write or spell just meant to the rest of the class and the teachers that you were either stupid or lazy,” he recalls. “And at prep school you were beaten for both.”

Sent to a different school, Branson was initially expelled for his nocturnal visits with the headmaster’s daughter. But, after writing a fake suicide note, Branson got the expulsion overturned. Back in school, Branson set up Student Magazine at the age of 16 and opened the Student Advisory Centre a year later, which was a charity to help young people. After his first issue of Student, the headmaster of Branson’s school wrote a note saying, “Congratulations, Branson. I predict you will either go to prison or become a millionaire.”

In the next forty years, Branson would go on to prove his headmaster right on both counts.

Martin said...


The desire to excel indicates a commitment to excellence. The desire to stand out from the crowd is symptomatic of narcissism. If you've ever been to a comedy show put in by Oxbridge undergraduates at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, you'll know what I mean.

The correct age for doing these things? Well, I don't know. Probably at some point after she's had her first period, I would guess. Never having had this experience myself - and take it from me, you don't really learn much when you receive your mandatory sex education from the Jesuits - I am told that this is just the sort of time when a girl needs her mother. When her hormones are doing a good impersonation of a southern storm, the last thing the lassie might need to be doing is sailing through one on her own.

One would not wish to lock up any young woman for being 'pissed and pregnant' - the only thing this child has in common with those children would seem to be absent fathers with antisocial tendencies.


While I congratulate you on acknowledging the difference between wishing to excel and wishing to do one's own thing, don't you think that there is a significant difference between a gymnast who probably spends their sporting life never being a distance of more than about 12 feet away from other gymnasts, their coaches and their parents, and a yachtswoman in a boat hundreds of miles away from anyone else? If the parents aren't at the gymnastic sessions, presumably the coaches stand 'in loco parentis'; in Laura's case, all that we know is that the parentes are loco.

Ba ba

Have a shufty of this 1971 video of Richard Branson, one has to say looking at his most Gremlin-like, organising an abortion; if that's what encouraging children to be independent does to them, well, I rest my case -

Virgin Records - home of Tubular Bells and tubal ligations.

Anonymous said...

"specialist knowledge of Punjabi culture to help with cases like forced marriage and so-called honour crime..."

The knowledge required, presumably, is that these things are part of their culture and therefore cannot be interfered with, but must be allowed to proceed "for fear of causing offence".

Anyone betting I'm wrong?

Anonymous said...

A Christian church for every 1000 people? We must be more religious than I thought.

But one mosque for every 2000 people? Maybe they aren't as religious as we thought. But then again the IRA aren't known for being regular church-goers but it didn't stop them killing 3000 people for being the wrong flavour of Christianity. All you need is a flag to rally around - and any flag will do.

Naturally we would expect some Christian churches to close as "white flight" from inner city areas now overtaken by Islam leaves them without punters. But maybe it is time they started building a few more in the West Country. Both my local Catholic church and my local Anglican church are full to overflowing on feast days.

Anonymous said...

Richard Branson ended up in trouble with Customs and Excise and darling mummy had to re-mortgage her home to bail him out. Not so independent after all.

Of course she should be allowed to sail solo. Then next year someone could try it at 12years old. Then 11. Then 10.... right down to 4 years old perhaps? To be honest I doubt if it would make Guiness. They don't like adding records that are considered by many to be foolhardy and which would set a bad precedent.

JuliaM said...

"With the greatest respect, Julia, that comment reeks of being a spastic, reflexive, dog-whistle libertarian response."

Good grief, letting people make their own decisions, unhindered by the State, actually terrifies you, doesn't it?


The desire to excel indicates a commitment to excellence. The desire to stand out from the crowd is symptomatic of narcissism."

And the fact that some people do stand out from the crowd - sometimes as no more than an accident of birth, and no effort on their part - terrifies you even more.

"The correct age for doing these things? Well, I don't know. Probably at some point after she's had her first period, I would guess. Never having had this experience myself - and take it from me, you don't really learn much when you receive your mandatory sex education from the Jesuits - I am told that this is just the sort of time when a girl needs her mother."

She a competent sailor but a natural bodily process will throw her for a loop?

Mr Grumpy said...


I don't have any stats but I think it's unlikely that there's a particularly high proportion of Turks among the Germans in Britain.

Germans tend to settle here either because, like my other half, they have married Brits or because they can't find a job in Germany's inflexible labour market. Either way they tend to be highly educated and skilled.

Turks have been left to form a parallel society in Germany (sound familiar?), and educational underachievement is chronic. Many have minimal command of German, never mind English. So I'd guess that if anything they would be underrepresented among migrants to Britain.

Btw your 5000 children will include many whose parents are only here temporarily.

Martin said...


"Good grief, letting people make their own decisions, unhindered by the State, actually terrifies you, doesn't it?"

Of course not. Using an artificial straw in the wind political ideology to justify a parent's completely unnatural decision to recklessly endanger their child's life certainly does.

"And the fact that some people do stand out from the crowd - sometimes as no more than an accident of birth, and no effort on their part - terrifies you even more."

As I may have mentioned before, I suffer from a severe and quite unusual form of Tourette's Syndrome. In my house, it's pretty much Standing Out From The Crowd, Sometimes As No More Than An Accident Of Birth, And No Effort On Their Part, R Us.

What is happening in this case is that the child may perhaps be being pushed into standing out from the crowd, when it is not at all clear that she is neither old nor skilled enough to attempt the feat she is apparently wanting to undertake. That is not a natural desire to excel, but a recipe for disaster. As far as ye old bodily functions knocking her for six goes, I don't know - and I'm really very uncomfortable at the thought of her life being put at risk in an attempt to find out.

Are you? What would you say if she loses control of her boat and, you know, dies if she can't cope with everything going on about her? Would you say 'Oh, she was doing what she wanted', or would you pull out your hair and rent your clothes while repenting of the foolishness of the argumemts you made that helped send her to her death? Does the fact that this child might die on this exploit mean nothing to you? Has your addiction to an entirely manufactured ideology blunted your appreciation of the value of human life? I mean, we can all ask what we think are the tough questions, to which we expect straight answers. Sometimes better not to do that, mind, lest the tough questions to which staright answers are expected be asked of you.