Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Birds ...

Our house is under attack by long-tailed tits, who for the last 2 days have been pecking at the windows, seemingly trying to get through them. But when we open the windows they don't come in.

It's something that the birds seem to be prone to, though no-one quite knows why. Attacking reflected rivals ? Draw the curtains and they stop, moving round to a different window.

Earlier they'd come round the windows and cleaned up all the spiders webs (and any associated eggs etc) in the corners of the wndows - apparently they use spider web in their nests.

Relentless LTT attack videos here, here, here and here with added cat. All the videos seem to be February/March, so it's obviously something to do with the time of year.

The cat one's really rather neat.

"the determination that no one who dies shall go unmourned ... "

I think I've finally found the names, otherwise airbrushed from history, of the Asian people who died when Handsworth Post Office was set ablaze during the 1985 riots.

An AP report in the Lewiston (Maine) Daily Sun of Sept 10, 1985 (page 31 of 47) has the following :

"Police say they found two bodies in a burned-out post office in Lozells Road, Handsworth. They did not identify the victims, and said two other people were missing. Local presss reports said the two people who perished in the post office fire were Kassamali Moledia, 38, and his brother Amir, 44. They noted the Moledias were of Asian descent and that shops owned by Asian immigrants were the targets of some of the rioters."
What happened to the missing people, I wonder ?

Moledia is quite a rare name in this country or even in India - one or two in Leicester but otherwise rare even on the Web.

"We No Longer Own It"

The following, by BBC presenter Dotun Adebayo, was, according to 'Damon', a commenter at the Pickled Politics site, printed in the Voice newspaper in September 2008.

Damon's view of it : "It seems all kinds of people can feel this ”loss of hegemony”. When it’s articulated by the white working class (in places like East London) it’s usually called racism."

He also posts it somewhere Laban doesn't hang out at a great deal, the Billy Bragg forum.

I'll let it speak for itself, but I wonder - what would have been the career trajectory of a white BBC presenter writing such a piece, lamenting the loss of an earlier (John Major's ?) Brixton, mourning his dashed hopes that the area "would ever be white" or complaining that "all the shops are now owned by"? Would they still be at the BBC ?


There used to be a time when everyone knew that Brixton belonged to us.
We fought for it, and made love for it.
Some of us even died in that corner of the landscape that would ever be black.

It didn’t mean that white folks weren’t welcome, all that it meant is that they KNEW it was ours, the same way as when I go to Norfolk or Suffolk, or any of the shires, I know that it’s NOT ours.
I’m on my ‘p’s and ‘q’s when I go up country, because I don’t have the backative to claim it as mine. And all the youts know this, so they’ve got the bottle to shout out ”N*****!” from across the road when they see you walking down one of their village streets or quiet country lanes.

I don’t have a problem with that because I KNOW when I venture out there I’m in a white mans country and the white man makes the rules.
Brixton was different though. Babylon THOUGHT he made the rules until Brixton made a stand against the so-called Operation ‘Swamp 81′. As the late Bernie Grant MP would say, the police got a ”bloody good hiding” that time.

There were of course casualties on both sides. But at least the message was clear all around the country that Brixton belonged to us. And so did Tottenham. And so did Hackney and Stonebridge and Peckham and Handsworth and Moss Side and Cheetham Hill and St Paul’s, so on and so forth.


Where ever you had an inner city, you had a corner of England that would be forever Jamaican or Nigerian or Bajan or St Kittian. We didn’t just put down roots, we put down down-payments on those areas, or at least our parents did. And like the law states, if you own a piece of this green and pleasant land, it’s yours.
Nobody can take it away from you (unless you divert the mortgage payments to buy a Ferrari).
But 27 years on, Brixton no longer belongs to us. I went down there the other day and discovered another country. Oh, we were still evident. It wasn’t like ‘’spot the black man” but we no longer own it.
The bars, the clubs, the resturants and shops no longer belong to us. With the exception of a pattie shop or two, Brixton belongs to everybody but us. It’s the same in Tottenham and Hackney. We spend most of the money, but virtually the only things we own are barbershops and hairdressers.
We’ve got ourselves to blame. Look at the Asian community. They came here at more or less the same time we did. They didn’t just put downpayments on the areas they claimed, they bought them outright.
Often jointly, communally, together as one family. So when you go to Southall, Alperton, Ealing, Whitechapel, and the other London areas they own, it’s all about Indiashire, Londonistan and Bangla-Brick Lane. They own the houses, the businesses AND the councils.
So who do you think makes the rules in those areas? It’s not the Women’s Institute and the Rotary Club and the Freemasons, I can tell you. Forget the local parish church and the sound of Bow Bells, it’s the Hindu temples and the mosques that call the shots, and if the Imam wants to call the belivers to worship at five in the morning, that’s up to him.

Like I said, we’ve got ourselves to blame. We had it all in the palm of our hands and we threw it away. We could have been contenders. We could have controlled entire neighbourhoods, businesswise and otherwise.
We should be in control of our local councils in those areas where we are/were the majority.


But after the street battles that won us our victories of the past (and not just us, because let’s face it – Asian communities benefited from the blood we shed in the eighties - (not the two Asian people burned to death in Handsworth Post Office - LT) we rested on our laurels. Like ex-slaves, we indulged our new found freedoms far too long and partied until it was 1999. By then of course it was too late.

During the eighties and nineties more drugs were pumped into the black communities of Britain than ever before. I lived in and worked in Brixton at the time. Previously it had been all about the good sensi (or collie or lamb’s bread, as it used to be known). After the riots of 1981 and 1985, we began to see the emergence of hard drugs – heroin, speed, then cocaine, and then, of course, crack.

The drugs did their job, They subdued our people into submission. Those very same crack addicts that you see in ‘black’ neighbourhoods are the same guys who used to live on the frontline ready to protest at the injustices we suffered. Those injustices are still here, but if you ask the warriors of old to come out and demonstrate, they’ll fall prostrate, begging for one more hit.

You see, in winning the streets we really didn’t win anything. The streets belong to everybody, whatever your local gang might think. Real power and real wealth is all about who controls the means of production, the judiciary and executive.

The Nigerians of Peckham know this. They are the new Jamaicans. It remains to be seen whether they will be seduced into not buying the freehold of that corner of south east London that will forever be ‘Lagos’.

There's enough material here for an entire conference.

(cross-posted at Biased-BBC)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Night Is Music Night - The Day That The Circus Left Town

Wild animals are set to be banned from circuses after a consultation found overwhelming concern by the public. Ministers said they were "minded" to bar animals like lions and tigers from big tops in England and campaigners hope the rest of the UK will follow. More than 90% of the 10,576 respondents said they wanted to see a total ban.

The consultation by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said there were currently four UK-based circuses using non-domesticated animals including lions, tigers, kangaroos, llamas, camels, zebras and crocodiles. Some 95.5% of those responding to the consultation said they did not think there was any species of wild animal which could acceptably be used in circuses. And 84% of people said they wanted to see ex-circus animals rehomed in zoos or sanctuaries.
I presume the 'consultation' meant that the various animal rights bodies mailed all their supporters and told them to mail HMG. No one asked me or mine - we didn't know there was a consultation. I can't imagine that 95% represents public opinion.

It's not that "you don't know what you've got till it's gone". That implies that you've known it. No more will children be taken round the tents in the afternoon to see, smell, maybe touch - as the beasts are being fed and watered. And when the circus goes, can the zoo be that far behind ?

Would you necessarily associate the divine Ms Kitt with a Big Top ?

"They'll kill me, you know"

Saro-Wiwa’s tribe, the Ogoni, numbers about half-a-million people living in an area of four-hundred square miles in the delta of the River Niger. Unfortunately for them, their land of forests and creeks was discovered in the 1950s to be oil-bearing. According to Saro-Wiwa, the oil companies —principally Shell—have extracted $30 billion worth of oil from Ogoniland in the last thirty years, in the process degrading the soil, polluting the water, and causing the Ogonis to live under the eternal light of gas flares. And the Nigerian federal government to which Shell paid enormous royalties has spent none of them on Ogoniland, which remains without proper roads, schools, clinics, or facilities of any kind. Instead, the royalties have lined private pockets and built an extravagantly luxurious new capital at Abuja.

“The rascals, the rascals!,” Saro-Wiwa exclaimed, and shook the room again with his laughter. Rascal is a word that is generally used with a degree of affection, so what Saro-Wiwa said next was all the more shocking. “They’ll kill me, you know. They’ll kill me.”

He was right, too. Dalrymple on the Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bob White 1924-2010

He was the eternally correct and reserved Air Force pilot. He didn’t drink. He exercised like a college athlete in training. He was religious. He was an usher in the Roman Catholic chapel of the base and never, but never, missed Mass. He was slender, black-haired, handsome, intelligent — even cultivated, if the truth were known. And he was terribly serious. He was not a beer-call fighter jock.” - Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff.

Bob White, the 5th American in space but the first in the world to get up there in a winged craft - and more importantly, to fly it back down through the atmosphere and land on a runway, has died aged 85. He was also the first pilot to exceed Mach 4, Mach 5 and Mach 6.



Robert Michael White was born in New York City on July 6, 1924, and entered military service in 1942. He flew more than 50 fighter missions during World War II before he was shot down over Germany in February 1945 and taken prisoner.

After leaving military service in December 1945, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from New York University. Re-called during the Korean War, he served with a fighter squadron based in Japan, and in the mid-1950s he was assigned to Edwards.

Returning to combat in the Vietnam War, he flew 70 missions over North Vietnam and received the Air Force Cross, the service’s highest award for valor after the Medal of Honor, for leading an August 1967 attack on an important railway and highway bridge in the Hanoi area. He retired from military service in 1981 as a major general.

Al Hallonquist's tribute site with good links :

As Allavie rolls the B-52 onto the heading of 222 degrees, at the launch speed of 0.82 Mach, I start the first-stage ignition. Think of this as a pilot light on a gas stove; there is no real power yet because it’s "idling." Joe Walker calls the countdown: "Four…three…two…one…LAUNCH!"

I flick the "Drop" toggle switch. The X-15 falls away and I shove the throttle forward. The acceleration is tremendous, and as I pitch up in a 40-degree climb, the G-forces build. X-15 pilot Bill Dana was fond of saying that because of the 4 Gs against the chest endured during powered flight, the X-15 is the only aircraft in which he was glad when the engine quit.

The plan called for an 80-second burn to reach 282,000 feet and Mach 5.15. But this engine performed very well, and by topping off the LOX, I was able to burn the engine for an extra two seconds, which allowed me to accelerate to Mach 5.45 and peak at 314,750 feet, becoming the first person to fly an aircraft above 300,000 feet and also the first pilot to fly a winged vehicle into space.

The X-15 now starts to decelerate... at this (airless - LT) altitude my standard controls are ineffective, so the aircraft is now using jets of hydrogen peroxide to control yaw, pitch, and roll, keeping the nose on the proper heading.

When re-entry begins, the "eyeballs out" negative G forces start to build. I place my helmet against the reverse headrest, which allows my helmet to settle forward slightly and stay in place as the aircraft decelerates and the pressures on my body increase. Without this headrest, the negative G forces would push my head so far forward I could lose sight of the control panel.

The X-15 soon encounters enough atmosphere to regain the use of the aerodynamic control surfaces. Coming out almost directly over Edwards Air Force Base, we are still at Mach 3-plus and around 75,000 feet, much faster and higher than previous X-15 flights. Overflying the landing site, I make one circle and roll out on heading, having lost enough altitude to be right on target for the lakebed runway. The Gs are so great that after the flight I find a huge patch of burst capillaries all over my right shoulder and chest .

Men Without Religion

I can't share the horror of so many secular liberals that - gosh - Muslims associated with religious organisations like the Islamic Forum for Europe are joining the Labour Party and bringing their religion with them.

I think the secularist crowd might be urinating into a Force 10 here. Used to the increasing marginalisation of Christianity in the political sphere over the last 50 years, they haven't realised that the past isn't necessarily a guide to the future.

60 years back the Labour Party, it was often said, owed more to Methodism than Marxism. And the Christian culture of those days was reflected in the law of the land. Most shops were shut by law on Sunday, the Biblical injunction not to spare the rod was implemented in the (single-sex) schools, sex education was non-existent, abortion and homosexual practice illegal. It was shocking for an unmarried couple to sleep together and a disgrace to have a baby out of wedlock. Divorcées would not be considered for the honours list or the Royal Enclosure at Ascot. Violent young criminals were birched, older ones were flogged, and murderers were hanged. Two years' National Service was compulsory for 18-year-olds. Small children sat in rows in the classroom and were caned if they misbehaved. This was Britain under the oft-feted Attlee Government of 1945-51.

The long march of the secular left through the institutions is now pretty much complete. By 2000, in a Telegraph interview, Ken Livingstone could say :

"I think there is a romanticised view that Trimdon Working Men's Club in the Prime Minister's constituency - solid working-class, patriotic - is the backbone of the Labour Party. They overlook the fact that a lot of Labour voters in the teeming cities are irreverent and radical. Labour succeeds when it brings together that respectable working class with what I call the radical urban perverts... I'm not going to talk about it (homosexuality) now, either. The point is that, 20 years ago, it was a damaging accusation: now it's almost an essential accessory for Cabinet membership!"

That was before 9/11. A couple of years later Ken was inviting Yusef Al-Qaradawi to London. No radical urban pervert he.

Do I digress ? The point is that secular Britain is the exception, not the historical norm. Nature abhors a spiritual vacuum.

We have once more, in London and many other of our major cities, large numbers of relatively young people with strong religious faith. Muslim immigrants and their descendants in the UK have a far lower incidence of births out of wedlock and sexually transmitted disease than other groups in the UK - in fact Swinging London as was is now the place where the highest proportion of babies are born to married parents. London is becoming a Godly place again, after a 40-year interregnum.

To imagine that this faith will not impact upon political life is the acme of gullibility. Why should hundreds of thousands of voters not express their faith at the ballot box ? And why should their faith not impact the Labour Party as that of the Methodists did ?

(These developments are distressing to me, even while I applaud some of their results. Because decreasing bastardy and increasing fertility in London are not the result of the native British changing their behaviour for the better, but statistical evidence of their replacement by other - in some respects better-behaved - people.)

Quote of the Day

In many senses, this will be a good election to lose. The ravine twixt government expenditure and income is so wide, and the push needed to close the gap so strenuous and painful, that both major parties have decided to leave the kiddies believing in Santa's little Lapland workshop, with its busy elves.

Why make them unhappy at their tender age ?

Martin Wolf in the FT.

The government bears substantial responsibility for the vulnerability of the economy and public finances and is, even now, relying on optimistic assumptions. It is not providing the fiscal insurance needed against worse outcomes. It is obvious why the government has made that choice: it does not want to frighten the horses. But the horses – the British electorate – are deluded. Since the economy is substantially smaller than expected, the size of the state has to follow. The question is how and when...

Letting the electorate into the know is – most politicians agree – not what politics is about. In such a crisis, that is more than a pity; it is a disgrace.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Unluckiest Man In Europe ?

I blogged many a year back on an unfortunate chap in London who kept being accused of rape by different women, none of whom knew each other, and acquitted - five times over many years. One day he was accused and convicted (at which point his two previous rape convictions were revealed). Perhaps it turned out he'd been fortunate after all, given the five acquittals.

There's an Italian living in the charming small Dorset town of Charminster (or he was until recently - this Austrian report says he's not to be found) who moved there via Bournemouth from Potenza, Italy after being the last person to see sixteen year old Elisa Claps, who disappeared without trace in 1993 after meeting him in Holy Trinity Church. There was no forensic evidence against him but according to this most detailed site he served two years for perjury, not satisfying an investigating court with his evidence.

Nine years later two young children returned from school to their Bournemouth home to find their mother brutally murdered - a murder with a couple of odd features. As ill luck would have it, our Italian, Danilo Restivo, lived just opposite. He was arrested and questioned by the police several times but no evidence against him could be found.

In 2007 some ill-intentioned fellow posted him a couple of cartridges from Italy.

Now the desiccated body of poor Elisa Claps has been found - in the roof of the church where she was last seen. God rest her soul - and Heather Barnett's, too.

The whole thing's most odd. Surely the church was searched when she went missing ?

Meanwhile, the discovery of Elisa's body has thrown up more speculation

The discovery was made only on Wednesday despite renovation work taking place on the church twice since her disappearance, prompting claims that her body may have been moved since she was killed.
Not only that, but according to the same Austrian report ...

A local newspaper has also printed claims that Elisa was killed by a priest who worked in the Most Holy Trinity Church at the time she vanished, and died two years ago.

"It's impossible Father Mimì Sabia didn't know anything about what had happened in his church. The truth is that he got Elisa pregnant and killed her," La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno reported an unnamed local source as saying.

Another local priest, Father Marcello Cozzi, said: "There was an atmosphere of a conspiracy of silence in those years. I think someone wanted to help the killer evade capture."
Well, that would certainly help explain why she ended up in the roof, but what of our perjuring Dorsetshire Italian ? The police seem to think that the same person killed both people. I can't see a fornicating Italian priest heading to Bournemouth to eliminate a total stranger somehow, even after all the other recent Church revelations.

Most puzzling. Let us hope the forensic people can bring aid and comfort.

Monday, March 22, 2010

"There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies"

The Japanese, admittedly a tad late, get natalist :

Several sectors of the Japanese economy are tipped to benefit from the Y2.2 trillion programme, through which families will receive payments of Y13,000 (£97) every month for each child if the new Government is able to push its much-vaunted programme through parliament.

Payments will rise to Y23,000 a month in the second year of the scheme as part of the Government’s effort to demonstrate that the State will permanently be on the side of families and childrearing.

The past two decades have witnessed relentless declines in the Japanese birth rate, prompting a range of demographic concerns, from a lack of elderly care provision to long-term fiscal catastrophe.
At getting on for £175 per month per child, presumably tax-free, it appears to this father of four, taxed as a single person, to be a pretty good deal. The previous deal was Y10,000 per child, increased from 5,000 for the first two and 10,000 for subsequent kids in 2007. So for four children you're talking an increase in 3 years from Y30,000 to Y92,000 - tripled, and at current exchange rates nearly £700 a month.

By contrast, the UK Child Benefit rate is £20 pw for the first, and £13.20 for subsequent - about £250 a month for four. I'm sure there are various tax credits in addition for those who can navigate them, but they're a fairly recent innovation. And of course, for non-earners, there are all those various welfare state goodies - free housing, council tax etc.

You have to wonder if such a policy will work for Japan, and whether one could work over here.

Of course a much less generous policy has worked already for some UK communities.

While most graduate girlies might not fancy a council flat and £100 a week, the assorted benefit package is quite enough to keep the Williams sisters or a Karen Matthews in their accustomed lifestyle.

And imagine thirty or forty years back, when early arrivals in Bradford or the Isle of Dogs brought the news back to Mirpur and Bangladesh that the UK taxpayer would pay you to have babies - the locals probably thought the deal too good to be true. When all the other goodies - free health care and education, money even if you didn't work - were added in, no wonder V.S. Naipaul's manpower export experts were busy.

I think it unlikely that our rulers will introduce such policies any time soon. Japan are doing it for a reason - they have minimal immigration and want more Japanese babies, not babies per se.

In the UK, we don't need to do that sort of thing. The current incentives are quite sufficient if you just want babies, as we reached the point of inflection back in 2001. Then it was that the increasing number of births to immigrant mothers started to more than compensate for the shortage of births among clever grads or ordinary Janes. Now we're on a roll - or somebody is :

The equivalent of more than 2,000 new primary schools will be needed within the next eight years to cope with a massive increase in pupil numbers, figures suggest. Places need to be found for almost 550,000 extra pupils by 2018, it was disclosed. The projected rise is believed to be down to a sharp increase in birthrates combined with an influx of immigrants in some areas...

Last year, MPs said that the extra pressure on primary places was a "direct result of mass immigration" into the UK. The Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration said the number of births to foreign mothers increased by 64 per cent in the last eight years. At the same time, birthrates among UK families increased by only six per cent. It accused the Government of being "in denial about the consequences of their losing control of our borders".
The quote which opens this post is apparently 1943 Churchill (I've never found a proper reference - anyone got one ?).

"There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies"

In 1943 we knew who Churchill was talking about. For which community now will it be 'a fine investment' ?

UPDATE - Sho(t)gun weddings :

Everything, from the generously elasticated rental dress to the special anteroom for napping, is part of the “Double Happy” service — once a niche market for pregnant brides, but one that now represents nearly a third of the hugely lucrative Japanese wedding industry.

The shift reflects changing attitudes in Japan. The historic taboo of pregnancy outside marriage was largely abandoned during the 1990s but a strong tradition of being married by the time of the birth remained.

By 2004 the national average of ten months between marriage and the birth of a first child had fallen to six.

Equally important, social commentators say, is the psychological effect of Japan’s bigger demographic problem. For 28 consecutive years, the country’s population of children under the age of 15 has fallen to a new low. For the parents of young women, that relentless decline has had a profound effect — in a country where fewer and fewer women are choosing to have children, a daughter’s pregnancy and the prospect of grandchildren is hugely welcome.

Byers Plays The Dallaglio Defence

When former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio aired various sex'n'drug topics to a pretty lady who turned out to be a News of the World journalist, his response when the solids struck the fan was to claim that there was no truth in what he'd told her - he was just bragging to impress.

Dallaglio does not dispute the comments attributed to him, but claims he was lying in an attempt to impress people he thought were offering him a big-money sponsorship deal, but subsequently turned out to be journalists.

While not exactly a strategy which covers anyone in glory or improves the reputation (although it throws an interesting sidelight on business morality that he had no worries about making the remarks to a potential sponsor), it at least keeps the most serious career consequences away.

It looks as if former Minister Stephen Byers is taking the same option :

Mr Byers, the former trade and industry minister who is standing down as an MP at the election, told an investigative reporter that he had secured secret deals with ministers, could get confidential information from Number 10 and was able to help firms involved in price fixing get around the law.

He also suggested bringing clients to meet former Prime Minister Tony Blair, the investigators allege.

According to the investigators, Mr Byers, who stood down as a minister in 2002, claimed to have put pressure on the relevant minister to change policies on behalf of rail and bus operator National Express and, on a separate occasion, on behalf of supermarket giant Tesco.

The next day Mr Byers retracted his claims, saying he had "never lobbied ministers on behalf of commercial interests" and had exaggerated his influence.

Mr Byers also told the undercover reporter that - after contact from supermarket giant Tesco - he spoke to business secretary Lord Mandelson about the proposed food labelling regulation who "got it delayed and then got it amended".

Lord Mandelson said he had "no recollection" of talking to Mr Byers about the issue.

A Tesco spokesman said: "We did not speak to Mr Byers on food labelling, regulation or indeed any other issue. These claims are completely fictitious and Mr Byers has acknowledged this to us."

Better to be thought a liar than a crook, I suppose. And Tesco would say that, wouldn't they ?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

NWOBJ Update

I pointed out last year the contrast between the social isolation of adherents to the New Wave of British Nazism (NWOBN - © Laban Tall 2008) as compared with those of the New Wave of British Jihad (NWOBJ - © Laban Tall 2007) :

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

The differences, on the other hand, are significant. The main one being that unlike the native wannabes, 95% of wannabe jihadis are not sad loners. They have comrades, sometimes support networks, lots of ideological support even from those who aren't going to set any bombs anywhere. Quite a few of them have reasonably successful lives. There's a big Islamist sea for them to swim in. If 10% of UK Muslims - nearly twice the percentage that voted for the BNP in the Euro elections and got lefties in such a tizz - are prepared to tell an interviewer that they wouldn't tell the police if they suspected that a fellow-Muslim was a terrorist (another 10% either didn't know, were 50/50 or wouldn't say) that's a lorra lorra potential support."
Rachel Cooke in the NS reviews Episode 2 of the BBC's 'Generation Jihad' documentary and mentions Episode 1 :

In the first programme of the series (8 February), Taylor went north, to West Yorkshire, to talk to two men who, thanks to their fondness for gore tapes and al-Qaeda's nonsensical dribblings, had fallen foul of Britain's anti-terrorism laws. I'm not qualified to say whether they should indeed have served prison sentences for their activities. But they were loathsome: ignorant, boastful, utterly lacking in imagination or - and here's the irony, given their belief in the umma - any kind of empathy...

Episode 1 - Pt1, 2, 3, 4 (proselytising in Peckham), 5 and 6. Some nice shots of Halifax, Savile Park and the road to Sowerby Bridge in 1 and 2.

The case of our old friend Hamaad Munshi, aka 'Britain's Youngest Terrorist' and grandson of a leading imam, features. But I missed the convictions of the two men here, Rizwan Ditta and Bilal Mohammed, who got four years and three years for distributing jihadi videos and possessing suicide vest instructions. Mohammed and Ditta were released after half their sentences, but you wouldn't say from the long interviews they gave the BBC that they were exactly penitent.

To be fair to them, the terror laws are somewhat debateable - as I've said before, I'm a little - more than a little - concerned about the legislation under which you can be charged with possessing items "likely to be of use for terrorism" - a category so vague and wide-reaching as to render pretty much the entire UK population liable to arrest. A road map ? A Stanley knife ? Every arable farmer with a bag of ammonium nitrate is a potential mass-murderer. Perhaps they should be taken into preventive custody.

In Mohammed's case, suicide vest instructions are pretty damning. One could potentially have explosives or firearms out of enthusiasm for shooting or making bangs, or even (see Robert Cottage) for alleged self-defence, but it's difficult to argue that blowing yourself up is a hobby.

As for Ditta, cheering on our enemies is reprehensible, and he deserves to be publicly horsewhipped, but is it criminal ? When our Yankee colonists ('Provincials') revolted 200 years back, they had some UK supporters, but we didn't bang them up. Sir Gilbert Eliot :

"The parricide joy of some in the losses of their country makes me mad. They don't disguise it. A patriotic Duke told me some weeks ago that some ships had been lost off the coast of North America in a storm. He said a thousand British sailors were drowned — not one escaped — with joy sparkling in his eyes all the time... In the House of Commons it is not unusual to speak of the Provincials as 'our army'. This is not general, however ..."

While Sir Gilbert was mad with rage, he didn't want the Yankee fans imprisoned.

Be that as it may, recall that this somewhat rambling post opened with the thesis that unlike the NWOBN, the NWOBJ aren't socially isolated. Well, our two boys aren't exactly being shunned by their fellow-Muslims in Halifax. Back to Rachel Cooke's review :

I thought back to the first part of the series, to the two cocky young men in their nylon tracksuits and flashy trainers, newly released from prison. Taylor asked them how their communities had welcomed them back. Cue wide smiles all round. The food, the presents! The money, the visitors! No one thought that they were terrorists, or anything like terrorists. It was more a case of: "Hail the conquering heroes!"

I think we have a problem on our hands.

UPDATE - not much social isolation here either:

Radical Muslim gangs are imposing a form of sharia law inside some of Britain's prisons, a BBC investigation has found. Non-Muslim inmates at the high-security Long Lartin jail have been forced by the gangs to stop playing "Western" music and take down pictures of women from their cells, according to one former prison officer there. Prisoners at the jail, although allowed to cook their own food, are not allowed to prepare pork for fear of offending the Muslim inmates, the officer said.

The officer, speaking to Radio Five Live's Donal Macintyre show, told how younger prisoners were targeted for forced conversion to Islam by the gangs. "They went along because they were intimidated. They genuinely weren't of the Muslim faith," she said. "I knew one lad quite well, who was approached by the radical Muslims and he changed. He was being controlled and bossed around and he wasn't even allowed to look at me or speak to me. "He just seemed very frightened all the time. He used to be forced to pray at certain times and he was even forced to grow a long beard even though he didn't want to."

One Catholic prisoner who refused to convert was seriously assaulted after being repeatedly threatened by the gang, the officer said. "He said every so often they would come to his cell and hold the Koran up through the small window in the cell door and start running their fingers along their throats," she said.

The officer's testimony is consistent with findings by the official prison watchdog, the chief inspector of prisons. In a report last year, the inspector, Anne Owers, quoted a number of prisoners at Long Lartin about the increasing dominance of Muslim gangs in the jail.

Long Lartin was, said one, "turning into an American-style jail, [where] if you are not in a gang, you're in trouble. People are converting to Islam for protection."

or here :

The Muslim prison population in England and Wales has sharply increased in recent years. The BBC's Ushma Mistry hears from former inmates and prison officers who claim gangs of Muslim prisoners are an increasingly powerful force.

"Muslims run it. Muslims run the prisons and there's nothing the screws can do about it. For a Muslim you'd say it's good but for a non-Muslim, it's very, very bad," a former inmate called Jay says.