Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Night Music - The Testimony of Patience Kershaw

 Charming though the Unthanks version is, I always feel that Gary and Vera Aspey get closer to the heart of this moving Frank Higgins song. From their 1974 LP Seeing Double, which I believe is no longer available - correct me if I'm wrong.

As the reproletarianisation of Britain continues, and the life-pattern of our children starts to move towards that of their great-grandparents (a low wage, rent all your life, a few years of retirement on a small pension before death - with the added tweak that they'll be surrounded by strangers who owe them no loyalty or solidarity), they'll be learning the lessons all over again - the lessons their great grandparents knew but their parents forgot.  The song was inspired by 17 year old Patience Kershaw's testimony to Lord Ashley's Mines Commission of 1842. The Mines Act of 1842 that resulted prohibited the employment in the mines of all women and of boys under thirteen.         It's good of you to ask me, Sir, to tell you how I spend the day  It's in a coal black tunnel, Sir, I hurry corves to earn my pay.  The corves are full of coal, kind Sir, I push them with my hands and head.  It isn't lady-like, but Sir, you've got to earn your daily bread.   I push them with my hands and head, and so my hair gets worn away.  You see this baldy patch I've got, it shames me like I just can't say.  A lady's hands are lily white, but mine are full of cuts and segs.  And since I'm pushing all the day, I've great big muscles on my legs.  I try to be respectable, but Sir, the shame, God save my soul.  I work with naked, sweating men, who curse and swear and hew the coal.  The sights, the sounds, the smells, kind Sir, not even God could sense my shame.  I say my prayers, but what's the use? Tomorrow will be just the same.   Now, sometimes, Sir, I don't feel well, my stomach's sick, my head it aches.  I've got to hurry best I can. My knees feel weak, my back near breaks  And then I'm slow, and then I'm scared these naked men will batter me.  They can't be blamed, for if I'm slow, their families will starve, you see.  All the boys, they laugh at me, and Sir, the mirror tells me why.  Pale and dirty can't look nice. It doesn't matter how I try.  Great big muscles on my legs, a baldy patch upon my head.  A lady, Sir? Oh, no, not me. I should have been a boy instead.   I praise your good intentions, Sir, I love your kind and gentle heart  But now it's 1842, and you and I, we're miles apart.  A hundred years and more will pass before we're standing side by side  But please accept my grateful thanks. God bless you Sir, at least you tried.
"Over the centuries, laissez-faire argumentation for low wages has shifted from insisting upon the iron necessity of child labor to the wonderfulness of open borders. But the combination of monetary interest driving intellectual arguments remains very similar." - Steve Sailer.

Who Will Light The Olympic Flame ?

Any suggestions ?

female 1/2 on
male evens
woman in hijab 3-1
disabled female athlete 4-1
ethnic minority London schoolgirl 9-1
ethnic minority London schoolboy 15-1
woman in burka 16-1
Fabrice Muamba 20-1 (Coral are currently offering 66-1 - a snip)
celebrity chef 25-1
Gok Wan 25-1
mother of victim of racist murder (minority) 30-1
British soldier (disabled, minority) 50-1
victim of 7/7 bombing (minority) 100-1
victim of 7/7 bombing (white) 200-1
British soldier (disabled, white) 200-1
Muhammad Ali 250-1
Gazza 250-1
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown 250-1
able-bodied heterosexual white male 250-1
British soldier (minority) 300-1
British soldier (white) 400-1
Julie Bindel 500-1
Billy Bragg 500-1
Rose West 1000-1
Laurie Penny 1000-1
mother of victim of racist murder (white) 300,000,000-1
Sir Geoffrey Boycott 600,000,000-1

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dumb Britain

"Danger: Fiery lava is flunged tens of feet up in the air splashes down Mount Etna on the island of Sicily, Italy"

Flunged ?

But this one's quite evil.

"The big thaw: Greenland ice cover vanishes in just four days"

Greenland has a couple of miles of ice cover - miles deep. What they're reporting is that satellite data appears to show surface melting - how much is not specified - over nearly all that ice cover. If the Greenland ice cap had vanished we'd be a smaller island, as East Anglia would be submerged.

What's particularly bad is that a more measured - or better sub-edited - report the previous day, by Seith Borenstein, ran as follows :

Even Greenland's coldest place showed melting. Records show that last happened in 1889 and occurs about once every 150 years.

Nasa says three satellites saw what it calls unprecedented melting over four days beginning on 8 July. Most of the thick ice remains. But what was unusual was that the melting occurred over a widespread area.

Nasa says the melting area went from 40 per cent of the ice sheet to 97 per cent. Until now, the most extensive melt seen by satellites in the past 30 years was about 55 per cent.

Scientists cannot say yet if the melting is from global warming or natural.

One should never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by stupidity. The Mail, like the Telegraph, seems to hire illiterate subs - the Indie goes for scientific illiterates. Fair play to the Indie's commenters - they're ripping into the headline in fine style. One of them adds quotes which make it plain that either writer Steve Connor or the subs are guilty of suppressio veri as well as suggestio falsi.

"Given the decades-old ice-core evidence, "you could make the case that it's not unexpected to see it now," the University of Georgia's Mote said."

 (not that such things are any bar to a career in journalism. Previous correspondent Charles Arthur is now at the Guardian. And in the economics field, former Telegraphist Edmund Conway - the chap who thinks the offspring of the Karen Matthews' of this world are going to be paying the ageing boomers hospital bills - is now economics correspondent at Sky News.)