Soviet-Style Recycling

For some reason I’ve been sent an unsolicited email by an outfit calling themselves BusinessWaste.co.uk. I can only assume they think the contents make them look good. Do they? Let’s take a look.

Whole lorries full of domestic waste are being sent to landfill instead of going for recycling because people are just not separating their rubbish.

This is particularly case where a round has a large proportion of communal bins where the actions of just a few recycling refuseniks can spoil an entire housing estate’s recycling efforts, a national waste and recycling company says.

So there is a recycling system in place that can be rendered useless if only a few members of the public don’t comply with the requirements. Whoever devised such a system should be fired immediately and never employed again in any position other than perhaps to collect rocks from ploughed fields. Anybody – and I mean anybody – who has worked with the general public knows that no matter how hard you try to implement anything, there will be a substantial minority who through stupidity, malice, or both will simply not cooperate.

According to BusinessWaste.co.uk, the only solution could be lessons in domestic recycling funded in partnership between local authorities and the major waste companies in order to get the message across.

So the system doesn’t work because human beings don’t behave as the system expects them to. The “only solution” is re-education camps. Sorry, didn’t the Soviet Union end some time back?

“The truth of the matter is that only around 45% of domestic refuse goes to recycling these days,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall,

Is this good or bad? Anyone saying that 100% of domestic refuse should be recycled is engaged in religious worship not reasonable inquiry. We probably should recycle something, but we definitely shouldn’t recycle everything: for each material (or group of materials) we need to work out whether recycling it uses more resources (in terms of energy and cost) than simply burying or incinerating it. Perhaps 45% is too low but this is something that needs to be proved, not merely asserted.

“and one of the major reasons that we’ve failed to get this figure higher is that people still don’t know how to recycle.

Then the system of multiple bins with different collection days at varying frequencies is too complicated or confusing. Whose fault is that?

“And worse than that – there’s people who just don’t care.”

Hence the need for re-education camps and, if necessary, liquidation.

BusinessWaste.co.uk is already well aware that there is resistance to recycling from certain sections of society who are convinced – quite wrongly – that climate change and challenges to natural resources are a “con”, and that there’s no need to change lifestyles.

Who says they’re wrong? Somebody with a deep financial interest in their being wrong? Uh-huh.

“It doesn’t help when we have politicians who say we can ignore the opinions of experts, because this is one thing where all the world’s experts agree,” says Hall.

In other words, experts – such as Mr Hall – should be the ones setting policy and nobody should be allowed to question them. Lovely.

But it’s areas where the message hasn’t got through that practical lessons in recycling can help.

Citizens must undergo a minimum hundred hours garbage sorting, unpaid. For their own good.

One recent example where there’s been such a call is in the Berkshire town of Reading, where some domestic waste collections are so contaminated with the wrong kind of refuse that there is no option but to send the entire load to the town’s already straining landfill sites.

Build more landfill then. Oh we can’t, because of EU regulations written to address issues specific to Denmark and The Netherlands. But wait! We can, because we’re leaving: get digging.

In one estate in the town, communal recycling bins are left overflowing with general waste, and there’s also a problem with vermin, the Get Reading news website reports.

In other words, local governments, egged on by rent-seekers like Mr Hall, have taken a garbage collection system that worked well and turned it into one that doesn’t, then added rats.

The situation has got so bad, some residents are calling for lessons from their council to show their neighbours how to use the bins.

That’s one idea. Another is to give the council lessons in effective waste management which takes into account the whims of the public. Then Mr Hall can be put to work cleaning the insides of the bins that have just been emptied under the new system, and when he’s finished doing that he can start on the garbage trucks.

It’s a call that BusinessWaste.co.uk supports, because it means that the end result could be an end to people’s time and effort being wasted, and an increase in local recycling rates.

And let me guess: BusinessWaste.co.uk just so happens to provide such lessons. For a fee, of course.

Who’s going to pay?

As Meatloaf sang, you took the words right out of my mouth.

“Of course, there’s the problem of funding,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk ‘s Mark Hall, “And that’s where partnerships between councils and the major waste service providers could work wonders.

The partnership being the taxpayer coughs up for the lessons and Mr Hall’s company delivers them. Cha-ching!

“It’s in everybody’s interest to get this off the ground,” he says.

Well, it’s certainly in your interest. I’m not sure about everybody’s.

And, of course, there are savings to be made by not sending whole lorries full of waste to landfill, BusinessWaste.co.uk points out, saying that burying rubbish in the ground is an expensive business, and half-hearted council campaigns tend to fail miserably.

Landfills are expensive? Then why does the EU need to impose regulations and fines to discourage their use? Why does it need supra-national cajoling to get people recycling if the economic argument is already made?

As Reading resident Mark Williams told Get Reading, it’s the same on a local level where clean-up costs are more expensive that teaching people to get it right in the first place: “It will cost them more when they have to get it cleared up. The rats will come back so it’s an ongoing problem,” he told his local news service.

I know what’s happened here. Local governments have been told to recycle instead of dumping everything into landfills, and that requires sorting the rubbish. It is a near-certainty that the most cost-effective and efficient way of doing this would be to take everything to a giant, industrial-sized sorting facility and do it all there. But that would require capital investment as well as operational costs, and councils have blown their budgets on Diversity Outreach Coordinators and supporting fashionable lefty causes. So they’ve simply decided to instruct the citizenry to sort their rubbish at home in their own time and at their own cost, ignoring the obvious concerns that 1) perhaps millions of people individually rinsing out jam jars under the hot water tap probably isn’t energy-efficient and 2) some people are just not going to bother. Usually people declare that the sorting of rubbish takes no effort at all, but alas this idea is rather disproved by the fact that there seem to be people who can’t be arsed to do it. Sure, they may be being lazy but that also proves the sorting requires effort. Perhaps somebody ought to have considered this effort before switching the entire nation’s rubbish collection system to one which relies heavily on not a single person being bone-idle. This is Britain, not Japan.

From leaflet campaigns to door-knocking and practical demonstrations, a multi-pronged approach could really bring forth results, BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall explains.

This idiot really thinks the problem is people not being lectured enough by the government on environmental issues.

“And where the adults won’t listen, we can take the message into schools,” he says.

Start the brainwashing early, comrades! Let’s create a whole new generation of Pavlik Morozovs!

“Children and young people have traditionally been the standard bearers when it comes to changing adult habits on recycling.

So the people most receptive to your ideas are those whose education is incomplete and whose brains are not yet fully developed. What’s that telling you?

“After all, they’re the generation that’s going to have to clear up this mess we’re in.”

Aye. They’ll be the ones paying the price for your dingbat policies, too.

With millions of British people getting their recycling spot-on week-in, week-out. It’s a shame that there are a few who simply don’t get it right and wreck everybody’s efforts.

Wreckers! You couldn’t make it up.

Also, if I’d designed a system with a crucial, fundamental, and glaring obvious design flaw I’d probably be expected to say something a bit more substantial than “it’s a shame”, as if kitty just died of old age.

“It’s these people we have to reach,” says Hall, “The message is everything.”

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

This is a problem entirely of the government’s own making, a government that has been advised by rent-seeking idiots like Mr Hall whose religious-like devotion to recycling is surpassed only by his enthusiasm for treating citizens as if he was living in the Soviet Union, it was 1935, and Stalin had just appointed him head of the NKVD.

A Working Class Liaison Officer

I came across this via Obo the Clown on Twitter and thought it was good, especially given it concerned idiotic policies at the University of Manchester. I particularly liked this bit:

But words can maim, as proven by the recent disturbing video showing a female SJW reacting to the words ‘Hugh Mongous’ as if she’s been kicked in the tits. But while we outright condone micro-aggressions aimed at working-class students based on their race or gender, it’s perfectly legitimate and not micro-aggressive at all to smear them as knuckle-dragging racists one Sun headline away from setting fire to a mosque.

Luckily, the job criteria was simple: the successful applicant need merely ‘identify’ as working-class, leaving the door open for Princess Eugenie to apply just as long as she woke that day and decided she was a brickie called Keith. Because actual experience is no substitute for imagined empathy and it’d be a sad day if the student union discriminated against a plethora of capable candidates just because they’d never eaten a kebab, appeared on Jeremy Kyle or drowned one of their illegitimate children in a bath-tub.

The author, who goes by the name of Ben Pensant, has a blog here.

The Parallel Continues

Over the course of the past twelve months something rather interesting happened on social media. Certain people, mainly those who are middle class and wealthy, have gone from:

“The Republicans represent the 1% and Big Business, whereas the Democrats represent the poor people and ordinary workers. The Republicans couldn’t care less about the poor and would happily leave them to die, that’s why they oppose things like Obamacare and other Democrat policies which help ordinary people.”

To:

“The Republicans have preyed on the fears of the poor and ignorant and told them lies which have got Trump elected. It is all about education, all those with a college degree voted for Hillary because they understood the issues, but the Trump supporters are mainly uneducated and don’t understand the complexity of the world we live in. He took advantage of their fears over jobs and made the economic situation look much worse than it was so he could get elected.”

This switch happened almost overnight. One minute the Democrats are the champions of the poor and working classes and the Republicans are wearing top hats and lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills. The next minute the Democrats are the party of the college-educated elites who should be left to run things and the Republicans are only propped up by the ignorant masses and the fearful poor.

This is doubly interesting because if you swap Republican for Conservative, Democrat for Labour, and the US election for Brexit you get exactly the same switch. The refrain before Brexit was that the Conservatives were toffs who hob-nobbed around in London with their wealthy pals and Labour was the party of the poor and downtrodden workers. Then Brexit happened and the poor and the workers instantly became hordes of ignorant racists and the wealthy elites suddenly became wise, educated experts to whom everyone should listen. It was quite a change.

There is a reason for this, of course. Both the Democrats and Labour have long since abandoned the working classes and become parties for the over-educated urban elites, throwing the occasional sop to the poor to help maintain the pretence that they give a shit. The Republicans and Tories don’t give much of a shit either but the nature of their daily lives brings them into contact with ordinary people much more often and so they at least know they exist and have a vague idea that ignoring them or insulting them isn’t going to win them any votes. I’ve said this before, and if I didn’t then I should have, but the problem the Democrats and Labour have is not that they don’t know the opinions of ordinary people but they don’t seem to know such people even exist.

I wrote before the US election about the parallel’s between Trump and Brexit. I also wrote following the election that the Democrats, unable to comprehend their devastating loss, were in danger of lurching further to the left and into the political wilderness as Britain’s Labour did when they allowed a grassroots campaign to elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader. Via Bayou Renaissance Man I found this article which suggests I might be correct on this point and the parallels between the US and UK still hold:

Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) turned out en masse at ordinarily sleepy party caucuses earlier this month, electing a slate of delegates who could be poised to take over the largest Democratic Party organization outside of Washington, D.C.

As final vote totals trickled in, Sanders backers claimed to have elected more than 650 delegates out of 1,120 available seats chosen at this month’s caucuses. Those delegates will choose the next state Democratic Party chairman, along with other party officials.

Sanders supporters say they hope to change the very nature of the Democratic Party.

California is not the only state in which Sanders backers are trying to take over Democratic parties. The group is also organizing in Florida, Iowa, Colorado and Michigan, Jackson said.

“Hopefully, within a year or two, we’ll have a majority of the states covered,” Jackson said.

The only thing that remains to be seen is how many other countries will witness the same course of events in the coming months and years.

British Policing

There’s a good discussion going on over at Tim Worstall’s about this incident, where two blitheringly incompetent policemen tasered a Rastafarian who was being a dick, only he turned out to have been a police race relations adviser. The video of the tasering can be seen in the second link and it says so much about the state of the British police it’s hard to know where to begin.

So let’s take a step back. Growing up in Britain you are sort of taught that policemen are nice people who are there to help. Terms like “citizens in uniform” and “friendly neighbourhood policeman” are bandied about, and this mindset appears in the British culture in shows like Dixon of Dock Green and the Noddy series of books where Noddy invites the policeman into his house for a cup of tea. As far as I can tell, British citizens still view the police as people to be trusted, approached for help, and to cooperate with at all times. For how long this continues is open to question.

I recently referenced Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II, by Keith Lowe in another post and I shall do so again. One of the points made in the book was that Britain was fortunate enough never to be occupied during WWII and as such people are not wary of authorities in uniform. This contrasts sharply with places that were occupied, such as France for example. Here people think the gendarmes and other police forces are there to catch criminals and keep the piece, but are to be avoided wherever possible. They are not your friend, you don’t ask them the time or for directions, and nor do you invite them into your home for a cup of tea. You hope to go through life with a minimum of contact with them, and any other uniformed authority. The same view of the police and other security forces very much applies in Russia and I daresay in other European countries too.

My own dealings with the British police have been thankfully brief, but I was left distinctly underwhelmed by their competence. Others have not been so lucky – see the anecdotes of monoi and DocBud in Tim’s comments, and I have heard many, many other similar stories of police incompetence and/or dishonesty. Now I’m sure the police often do a good job and there are plenty of good policemen, and I am also under no illusions that their task is thankless and they have suffered far too much political interference. But, as somebody put it on another blog recently, the British police are increasingly acting like a blend of Robocop and the worst type of jobsworth you encounter in the public sector.

The policemen involved in the tasering incident I mentioned at the start of the post were a man and woman, with the woman being a sergeant and therefore the senior officer. Their control of the situation is pathetic, woefully so. Yes, the Rastafarian was being a dick but he is perfectly within his rights to do so: people in Britain are still allowed to go about their lawful business without Plod demanding to see identification. It is clear from the video that the police have no “presence”: they may as well be a couple of kids. The WPC appears to know everything about demanding respect and nothing about commanding it because faced with somebody who isn’t cooperating with a request to identify himself (but is otherwise harmless) she whips out her taser as a first resort. And once it’s out, you know she’s going to fire it, which she does, into his face. They have no authority over the situation at all, and as JuliaM of this blog points out wonderfully in Tim’s comments:

Authority is precisely what they lack. Instead, they have weapons.

This is what “diversity” policies have wrought (although they’re not solely to blame): a police force which cannot command respect, has no authority, panics at the slightest sign of legal non-cooperation, are unable to control the most benign of situations, and fires their weapons at the first chance they get. I am amazed this WPC is even a police officer so incompetent and unprofessional she is, let alone a sergeant. I’ve long since thought the British police is broken beyond repair, and it’s only a matter of time – perhaps one more generation – before they will be treated by the population in the same manner as European populations treat theirs. They will only have themselves to blame.

Bradley/Chelsea Manning’s West Wales Roots

I see that Bradley/Chelsea Manning is back in the news as Barack Obama has decided that giving Wikileaks classified information on the US military in Afghanistan is less severe than passing on information embarrassing to the DNC, and pardoned him/her.

I always paid attention to the news articles regarding Manning for no other reason than part of his biography reads as follows:

Born Bradley Edward Manning in 1987 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, she was the second child of Susan Fox, originally from Wales, and Brian Manning, an American. Brian had joined the United States Navy in 1974 at the age of 19, and served for five years as an intelligence analyst. Brian met Susan in a local Woolworths store while stationed in Wales at RAF Brawdy.

In November 2001, Manning and her mother left the United States and moved to Haverfordwest, Wales, where her mother had family. Manning attended the town’s Tasker Milward secondary school.

I was born in Haverfordwest and grew up in nearby Pembroke, and Tasker Milward was one of the big rivals of my local comprehensive school’s rugby team, alongside Milford Haven School. I knew the local Woolworths store that is mentioned, I used to get taken there as a kid where I’d look at the hoppers of sweets which were about as available to me as gold bullion. I have often wondered how much of the way Manning turned out is a result of growing up partly in Haverfordwest: they are all a bit odd down that way. Give it a year or two and we might hear that everything stems from his not being able to understand a damned word anyone was saying and the discovery that everyone was related.

On another issue entirely, the following Wikipedia paragraph is a good demonstration of how political correctness and the obsession with flexible pronouns is turning otherwise sensible English into gibberish:

Manning became the target of bullying at the school because she was the only American and was viewed as effeminate.

She was bullied because she was effeminate. This makes Tasker Milward school sound like a place where feminine girls were some sort of rarity. Actually, now you mention it…

Britain’s “Restaurant” Culture

Every now and again the comments section at Tim Worstall’s blog gets taken over by a discussion of British restaurants and how they compare to their European counterparts.  I think it was Bloke in Spain (again) who said a major difference is that people in Britain go to a restaurant for a special occasion, hence when the food or service turns out to be crap nobody wants to make a fuss because it would “spoil the occasion”.  By contrast, people in France go to restaurants because they are hungry and want to eat, and if the food or service is awful then the very purpose of going there has been defeated, and therefore they will complain.  This goes part of the way to explain the difference in dining experience between the two countries.

This article in The Telegraph, via Mr Worstall, would appear to support this theory:

Britain’s booming restaurant culture is fuelling record levels of childhood obesity, with today’s children spending at least twice as much time spent eating out as previous generations did, experts have warned.

French provincial restaurants are full of kids, and yet they are not all a bunch of porkers.  In fact, trying to find a fat French kid requires considerable effort.

Health officials said families no longer behaved as though dining out was a “treat” and have instead allowed restaurant meals and fast food to become a major part of youngsters’ weekly diet.

Dining out in Britain is often an endurance rather than a treat.

Today’s families are spending at least twice as much time eating out as those who grew up in the 1970s, its report warns.

People eating in restaurants generates a warning?  In most places this is considered a good thing.

She said parents needed help – including calorie labelling on menus – to look after their children’s health.

At which point my French readers wonder why British parents are so thick.

“Every day we are bombarded by cheap, high calorie food and drinks; what we see in the media, in our shops and on the street encourages us to consume too much and gain weight,” she said.

If this has anything to do with eating in restaurants, they’re keeping it secret.

We need action from across society to help the nation to consume less,” the senior official said.

I wish these idiots in charge would make up their mind as to whether girls are anorexic because of unrealistically skinny bodies displayed in adverts, or everyone is too fat because the media is promoting junk food.  And last time I heard, telling women they are too fat and ought to eat less was considered a no-no and big was beautiful.  Some consistency would be nice.

Research involving almost 2,000 people found 75 per cent had eaten out or had a takeaway in the last week, a rise from 68 per cent five years ago.

Only in Britain is eating at a restaurant considered the same as having a takeaway.

Last year, Harvard researchers discovered that people who eat out regularly are more likely to be overweight and to develop Type 2 diabetes compared to those who eat at home.

“We now buy a very large proportion of our food from the out of home sector. It is not a treat, it is an everyday event,” Dr Tedstone said.

Note there is no consideration of the quality of restaurant here.  A family eating at a four star brasserie is lumped in with somebody handing their kids a bucket of KFC.

“Children on average have three meals from the ‘out of home sector’ [restaurants, takeaways and fast-food outlets] every week,” she added. “That’s a lot of calories.”

This is wonderful commentary on how the British view eating out, it really is.  But as an article warning of the dangers posed by frequent restaurant attendance, it’s not so good..

One in five families now has at least two takeaways a week, the official added.

The headline of this article is “Britain’s booming restaurant culture fuels record childhood obesity levels”.  Well, I guess McDonald’s refer to their premises as restaurants…

Dr Tedstone said making improvements to restaurants and fast food would be crucial to tackling Britain’s obesity epidemic.

You want to improve British restaurants?  Good luck.

The nutritionist welcomed efforts by some councils were trying to limit the number of fast food outlets near schools, but said restaurants needed to do far more to help customers make healthier choices.

By hiring a decent chef who can actually cook things?

The nutritionist welcomed efforts by some councils were trying to limit the number of fast food outlets near schools, but said restaurants needed to do far more to help customers make healthier choices.

“Restaurants, cafes and takeaways can contribute by reducing portion sizes, sugar, saturated fat and salt across their menus …” she said.

Are British restaurants really so bad they need external advice on what ingredients to use in their dishes?

Thank God I live in France.

Racist Chelsea Fans Convicted in Paris

I’m glad about this:

Four Chelsea fans accused of aggravated violence against a black man on the Paris Metro have been given suspended one-year sentences by a French court.

Joshua Parsons, 22, and James Fairbairn, 25, had denied their actions of February 2015 were racist in nature.

Their co-accused, fellow Chelsea fans Richard Barklie, a 52-year-old former policeman, and William Simpson, 27, from Surrey, were tried in absentia.

They were also ordered to pay the victim 10,000 euros in compensation.

Souleymane Sylla was targeted at Richelieu-Drouot station as football fans made their way to a Champions League match between Paris Saint Germain and Chelsea.

The hearing at the Palais de Justice saw a video recorded by a passenger of fans pushing him off the Metro train.

I remember that happening and thought it was a disgrace.  The term “racist” has been bandied about to such an extent in recent times that it is now largely meaningless, thus leaving us with no term to describe proper racism.  And what happened in this case was proper racism:

Supporters can be heard chanting “we are racist, we are racist and that’s the way we like it”.

The AFP agency reported that after giving evidence Parsons apologised to Mr Sylla, a Frenchman of Mauritanian origin, but denied there was any racist aspect to what had happened.

Turning to Mr Sylla in court, Parsons said: “I am very sorry to Mr Sylla, but I was not racist in any way.”

Yeah, right.  God only knows what Mr Sylla must have thought: minding his own business in his nation’s capital and a bunch of foreign thugs deny him access to a Metro carriage because of the colour of his skin.  Had he been armed and shot his way aboard and I’d been on the jury, I’d have refused to convict.  Go and watch the video in the link if you think I’m being unfair.  The actions of these thugs are indefensible, and I can only imagine what Chelsea fans would think if a bunch of swarthy foreigners turned up in London and denied a native-born paleface access to the Underground.

I hope that 10,000 Euros sends them into bankruptcy.

Fracking Idiots

Via Tim Worstall, The Daily Telegraph dishes up some quality journalism on the subject of fracking:

Plans are being made for fracking to take place under Sherwood Forest where an ancient oak stands where according to legend Robin Hood and his merry men rested.

Ineos, one of the world’s biggest chemicals company, is poised to start looking for gas under Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, in a move which could lead to it seeking permission to frack the area.

So are plans being made to start fracking, or is Ineos looking for gas?  Which is it?

Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside.

The Government has committed to fast tracking permissions for exploratory work amid forecasts that trillions of cubic feet of shale gas may be recoverable from underneath parts of the UK.

Fracking is not the same as exploratory work, which takes the form (at this stage) of seismic surveys which do not involve drilling.

Documents show Ineos – via their land surveyors, Fisher German – have been in correspondence with the Forestry Commission since August 2016, regarding access to their land.

Access in order to drill?  No.

If these plans progress, Ineos’ seismic surveys would pass within a few hundred yards of the Major Oak, a 1,000-year-old tree near the village of Edwinstowe.

Pass within?  These people have no idea what form a seismic survey takes, do they?

According to local folklore, it was Robin Hood’s shelter where he and his merry men slept and hid from the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 15th century.

In a 2002 survey, it was voted “Britain’s favourite tree”.

Information The Daily Telegraph considers more important to impart to its readers than the differences between carrying out a seismic survey and drilling a well.

Guy Shrubsole, a Friends of the Earth campaigner, said: “Is nothing sacred? By hunting for shale gas in Sherwood Forest, Ineos is sticking two fingers up at England’s green heritage, all in the pursuit of profit.

“The public wants to protect their English countryside and prefers renewable energy, not dirty shale gas, which will only add to climate change.”

And on the last day of 2016 a self-appointed expert declared what the public wanted, a practice which hitherto seemed doomed following high-level episodes of catastrophic wrongness regarding Brexit and Donald Trump.

Ineos confirmed that it was looking to start work in Sherwood Forest but insisted that great care would be taken to protect the Major Oak.

Tom Pickering, Ineos’s Shale operations director, said: “Any decision to position a well site will take into account environmental features such as the Major Oak and the planning process would also consider those issues.”

No decision on fracking under Sherwood Forest had yet been taken, he said, adding that Ineos would “undertake an extensive exploratory programme of seismic data acquisition across our wider licence area to better understand the subsurface geology including the fracture systems”.

Asked how Ineos would protect the trees of Sherwood Forest, Mr Pickering added: “When we do drill a vertical ‘coring’ well in the area, there are many general and specific environmental protections in place and we will of course abide by them.”

There was a time when journalists asked difficult questions that forced companies to reveal information that had hitherto been kept hidden.  Nowadays, journalists ask questions which can be answered by a cursory ready of a company’s website.

Aleppo

Apparently there is a massacre going in Aleppo and people are saying this is the next Srebrenica or Rwanda. The UN is busy making meaningless noises and British MPs and other public figures are saying “we must do something”.

I’m not sure what everyone expected to happen.  The Assad regime was always brutal, and especially so since the Arab Spring.  Indeed, it was the Syrian secret police detaining and torturing teenagers – not the CIA – which turned the protests into a civil war.  Assad was never going to treat any defeated rebels with kid gloves, and massacres were likely to follow.  This is generally what happens when an armed rebellion is put down by the government in most parts of the world, the civilian population cops it big time.  It’s a shitty situation.

Those saying “we must do something” are talking about aid drops, as if that will achieve anything.  Others are calling for military intervention, which is even more stupid.  There might have been a window of opportunity to remove Assad and install a better government in 2013, but this was voted down in Parliament.  That window slammed shut soon after and when the Russians entered the fray on the side of the Syrian government, it was effectively bricked up.  Rather than complain bitterly that the Russians have outsmarted the strategic genius of Obama and Kerry and continue to arm jihadists in the hope that some of them would one day become the president of a new, democratic Syria the West should have accepted that Assad is here to stay so long as the Russians are bombing the opposition for him, and dealt with that reality.  Once Russia got involved, and started deploying the same tactics it used to such great effect in Chechnya (i.e. massacre anyone in range, friend or foe) the least bad outcome in Syria was a swift end to the fighting, meaning Assad back in control and the rebels defeated or chased away.

It’s pretty awful, but civil wars are like this.  If no side can prevail quickly, the suffering starts to increase exponentially and this has been going on in Syria for nearly 6 years now.  After this long even a return to the bad old days of Assad must be looking pretty good.  Few people want Assad in power and nobody wants to reward the Russians for their tactics, but what alternative is there?  It’s about time the West realised this, and understood that the poor souls in Aleppo are going to die horribly but hopefully they’ll be the last who do.

Not that I think any of this is the West’s fault, save for perhaps their role in extending the war by providing whatever minuscule assistance they did to the opposition (no, I don’t believe the CIA had a role in fomenting the civil war or “destabilising” Assad any more than I think they left Russia with no choice but to invade Ukraine).  Others disagree, though:

George Osborne has told MPs that they share some responsibility for the terrible events happening in Syria.

The ex-chancellor said the unfolding tragedy in Aleppo had not “come out of a vacuum” but was due to “a vacuum of Western and British leadership”.

Parliament had helped enable a “terrorist state” to emerge by voting against military intervention against the Assad regime in 2013, he said.

No, sorry.  I don’t know and don’t care why individual MPs voted against intervention in Syria in 2013, but there were an awful lot of very good reasons for doing so and not very many for getting involved.  Top of the list of reasons why not to get involved was our experience in Iraq and a public who is damned tired of fighting people who hate us supposedly on behalf of people who also hate us.  Britain made a lot of enemies by helping to rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein, and there was very little by way of gratitude from those who we ostensibly came to save.  We Brits are a thick-headed lot, but we seem to have learned our lesson in that regard: no more wars thanks, at least not for a while.  And especially no more wars to bring peace and democracy to Arabic lands ruled by oppressive dictators.  We’ve had a gutful of that, and all that comes with it.

However, those who really need to take note are those who live in the Middle East and places like it.  The US-led intervention in Iraq was deemed a “war on Muslims” and the Americans and their allies demonised in every possible way by locals and foreigners alike for how they executed the war and handled the aftermath.  They were not just criticised, which would have been more than justified, they were made out to be a rogue nation, carrying out atrocities on a scale not seen since World War II.  This was bollocks on stilts.

But the demonisation worked.  Well done.  America and its allies were detested, and eventually they left.  Only a short time later when people wanted them to come back to prevent yet more butchery, they politely declined.  Instead the locals got an altogether different military turning up, one whose savagery surpasses anything the Americans could dream up never mind get away with, and whose population back home would be completely unconcerned if indeed they bothered to learn about it.  And now we have Aleppo.  Suddenly the thought of the US military being in charge isn’t so bad is it?

But it’s too late.  America’s enemies both in the Middle East and the West who engaged in relentless hyperbole, propaganda, lies, and violence to force Westerners out of that part of the world are now going to have to deal with the grim reality that they’re not coming back, and the Russians are there to stay.  There will be people out there, possibly even some spending the night in a cellar in Aleppo waiting for the death squads to come at dawn, thinking they ought to have been more careful what they wished for.

Gay Men: A Problem After All

Owen Jones reports on what happens when a game of victimhood poker takes place when normal people have long left the table:

Racism is a serious problem within the LGBT community and needs to be addressed. Despite the determination of many minority ethnic LGBT people to do just that, it is not happening. “How can I be a bigot when I am myself a member of an oppressed minority?” is a prevailing attitude among some white LGBT people.

An attitude which prevails because of years of browbeating people into believing bigotry is based on who you are and not what you do or say.

But another far more pernicious reason is that the LGBT world revolves around white gay men to the exclusion of others.

So white gay men are a problem now? Here’s what I said the other day:

And that will be their downfall: they are so mainstream they won’t be able to maintain this minority, victim status for much longer and it is a matter of time before they come into conflict with the feminists and transgender lobbyists in the victimhood stakes.  Give it a few years and we’ll see gay men being discriminated against and passed over in favour of other designated victim groups simply for being men – gay or not.

Let me just swap out “a few years” for “a few months”.  Back to Owen:

According to research by FS magazine, an astonishing 80% of black men, 79% of Asian men and 75% of south Asian men have experienced racism on the gay scene.

This manifests itself in numerous ways. Some are rejected because of their ethnicity; on the other hand, some are objectified because of it. On dating sites and apps, profiles abound that say “no Asians” or “no black people”, casually excluding entire ethnic groups.

People have physical preferences when selecting a sexual partner?  Who knew?  Of course, this has been known for years in relation to heterosexual dating sites, but by implying it is unique to gays Owen Jones can get paid to write a column on it.

It’s like a “bastardised ‘No dogs, no blacks, no Irish’ signs”, as Anthony Lorenzo puts it. “On apps like Grindr,” writes Matthew Rodriguez, “gay men brandish their racial dating preferences with all the same unapologetic bravado that straight men reserve for their favourite baseball team.”

Grindr is an app for gay men to hook-up with one another for meaningless one-time sex.  How odd that this should not only contain users’ preferences but also boorish behaviour.  But here’s what I wrote the other day:

I genuinely think within five years we’ll have seen a case where an escort or prostitute is sued for discrimination, and dating apps and websites are being put under pressure to remove preferences based on race and other criteria.

We’re moving in that direction, aren’t we? Back to Owen:

Homi tells me he has Persian ancestry, and is “sometimes mistaken for being Greek, Italian, Spanish, etc”. Once, at a nightclub, he was relentlessly pursued by a fellow patron. Eventually, he was asked: “Where are you from?” When Homi answered India, the man was horrified. “I’m so sorry – I don’t do Indians! Indians are not my type.”

This suggests it is not appearance or skin colour that is the issue, but cultural background.  Presumably this isn’t important in homosexual relationships.

And it is not simply a western phenomenon. Luan, a Brazilian journalist, tells me his country has a “Eurocentric image of beauty” and there is a “cult of the white man, which is absurd, given more than half the population is black or brown”.

Thanks heavens this is not true of heterosexuals and Owen is able to provide us with a rare insight into race relations in Brazil through the prism of gay dating.

Others speak of their experiences of being rejected by door staff at LGBT venues. Michel, a south Asian man, tells me of being turned away because “you don’t look gay”, and being called a “dirty Paki”. He says it has got worse since the Orlando nightclub massacre, where the gunman was Muslim.

The gunman was Muslim?  I’m glad that’s been cleared up.

And then there’s the other side of the equation: objectification. Malik tells about his experiences of what he describes as the near “fetishisation” of race. The rejection of people based on ethnicity is bad enough, he says, “but it can be just as gross when someone reduces you to your ethnicity, without consent, when dating/hooking up”. His Arab heritage was objectified and stereotyped by some would-be lovers, even down to presuming his sexual role.

I can sympathise.  Coming from Wales, everybody assumes I prefer sheep to women.  That they are wholly correct on this point does not negate the fact that I am nonetheless subject to appalling racist bigotry based on where I was born.

When the Royal Vauxhall Tavern – a famed London LGBT venue – hosted a “blackface” drag act, Chardine Taylor-Stone launched the Stop Rainbow Racism campaign. The drag act featured “exaggerated neck rolling, finger snapping displays of ‘sassiness’, bad weaves” and other racial stereotypes, she says.

Whereas they should have just stuck to limp-wristed mincing and avoided mimicking stereotypical behaviour.

LGBT publications are guilty too. Historically, they’ve been dominated by white men, have neglected issues of race, and have portrayed white men as objects of beauty.

How dare they.

There has been positive change in recent months, one leading black gay journalist tells me, but only because of the work of ethnic minority LGBT individuals “holding magazines to account, setting up their own nights across the scene” and using social media, blogs, podcasts and boycotts to force change.

That rumbling sound you can hear is the bus under which white gay men are about to be thrown.

While LGBT people are much more likely than heterosexuals to suffer from mental distress, the level is even higher among ethnic minorities. Undoubtedly, racism plays a role. As Rodriguez puts it, seeing dating app profiles rejecting entire ethnic groups causes “internalised racism, decreased self-esteem and psychological distress.”

Trawling dating apps doesn’t bring happiness?  Who would have thought?

Many of the rights and freedoms that all LGBT people won were down to the struggles of black and minority ethnic people: at the Stonewall riots, for example,non-white protesters. The least that white LGBT people can do is to reciprocate and confront racism within their own ranks. Shangela, an actor, tells me that racism from the LGBT community “hurts more because it’s coming from people that I’m meant to share a kinship with”.

That’s the problem with expecting people to share your values based on their subscription to various victim groups.

The far-right movements on the march across the western world are consciously trying to co-opt the LGBT rights campaign for their own agenda.

Beware the rise of the Queermacht!

This week, Milo Yiannopolous – a gay attention-seeker who has become an icon of the US far right – was at the centre of a media storm because a platform to speak at his old school was withdrawn. In the Netherlands, the anti-immigrant right was led by a gay man, Pim Fortuyn, until his assassination. In France, reportedly a third of married gay couples support the far-right National Front.

Why, it’s almost as if a person’s sexual preferences don’t define their politics.

Being oppressed yourself does not mean you are incapable of oppressing others: far from it.

And the basis of 99% of Grievance Studies courses in American academia collapses in a heap.