The Inertia of the British Middle Classes

The fascinating social experiment which is the United Kingdom got a bit more interesting last week when a bomb was planted on the London Underground. Fortunately it failed to fully explode, but it burned a number of people as the carriage passed through Parsons Green tube station, leaving behind a smoking Lidl carrier bag with fairy lights and crocodile clips which people seemingly walked right up to and photographed. Obviously they didn’t know it was a bomb, which leaves me to assume they were merely outraged at carrier bags littering the tube, bags they thought had been banned.

The media are, as usual, doing everything they can to obfuscate over who planted the bomb. Check out this BBC report:

An 18-year-old and 21-year-old are being held over the explosion, which injured 30 at Parsons Green station.

The house being searched in Sunbury-on-Thames belongs to a married couple known for fostering hundreds of children, including refugees.

Friend Alison Griffiths said the couple had an 18-year-old and a 22-year-old staying with them recently.

She described Mr and Mrs Jones as “great pillars of the community”, adding: “They do a job that not many people do.”

Lots of people have 18 and 21/22 year olds staying with them. What we want to know is are these the same ones who planted the bomb? The BBC can’t quite bring itself to ask the question, let alone answer it.

When the British government decided to admit thousands of child refugees from Iraq, Syria, and everywhere else it was obvious that many were not refugees and an awful lot of them weren’t children. The authorities didn’t even bother hiding this, such is their contempt for truth and transparency. They were warned time and again that these people weren’t being properly vetted and, having come from a war zone, some of them could be Islamist nutters bent on waging jihad once in the UK. Nobody cared: not the government, and nor the population.

Sure, people made noises on social media but when Nigel Farage brought up the issue of refugees in the last General Election the middle classes howled in outrage and backed that nice man Corbyn instead. However you interpret the results of the GE, one thing is clear: the bulk of the British people seem quite unconcerned about refugees and mass immigration. Proof of this is the reaction of the media and middle classes to people on the continent like Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen. They wrung their hands at these nasty, racist people and cheered when the Netherlands and France “rejected hate” by electing nice, reasonable people who avoided mentioning Islam, terrorism, and immigration as much as they could.

The British middle classes have gone into full-on meltdown over Donald Trump, with many wanting him banned from the UK and others openly calling him a white supremacist. The same people reacted with apoplectic outrage when the rather mild and reasonable Jacob Rees-Mogg said that, being a Catholic, he opposed abortion in all forms. Apparently there is no place for opinions like that in British political discourse, and he was branded a dangerous extremist. The chances of someone like Rees-Mogg, i.e. a genuine conservative being elected British Prime Minister are slim indeed.

What people want is the sort of wet centrist that Cameron personified. Looks like a nice young man, not especially bright, will say whatever makes people happy and won’t really try to change anything. He’s basically the nice-but-dim uncle your parents let run the kids’ birthday party, a safe pair of hands. They don’t want the other uncle who goes on anti-nuclear marches and everyone suspects is a bit of paedo, and nor do they want the one who’s been in the marines and swears too much. People don’t like Theresa May because she exudes soulless mediocrity and reminds people of the dinner lady nobody liked in school, not because her policies are stupid.

This smouldering bucket on the tube has proved that beyond doubt. The policy of admitting in unvetted migrants from the Middle East and passing them off as child refugees was central to the government of which Theresa May and Amber Rudd were part. Okay, perhaps the 18-year old was a child when he got admitted. It would certainly explain the amateurish bomb-making efforts. The instructions on Fisher Price detonators were always hard to follow. I digress.

My point is that anyone who had not been following politics for the past few years would think the British public would be going absolutely mental at this government and the last for pursuing this insane policy, which has bitten them on the arse in the very manner everyone said it would. But no, the media and middle classes are as muted as ever in the wake of an Islamist bombing, hands are being wrung about a possible Islamaphobic backlash, Sadiq Khan has requested the BBC play the same speech he did last time to save him the effort of repeating himself, and all focus is on how Boris Johnson isn’t fit to be Foreign Minister because he said some things Remainers don’t like.

One can only conclude from all this that the majority British public, and certainly the middle classes, are not unhappy with the situation. Economists have this wonderful term called revealed preferences whereby you watch what people actually do rather than listen to what they say. Well, I’ve seen the reaction of the British public to Wilders, Le Pen, Rees-Mogg, Trump, and Farage and I’ve also seen their response to a series of Islamist bombings aimed at killing as many Britons as possible. What conclusion am I supposed to draw?

My guess is most people live nice, comfortable lives. They have enough food, a warm dry bed, a roof over their heads and more luxuries than their parents ever had, including a second car, foreign holidays, and an expensive phone. By historical standards they are financially secure (nobody is going to evict them from their home, and they can always get another credit card), and most are raising one, two, or three absolute brats who give the mother that unconditional love she’s craved since her student days when she watched far too much telly. It’s not just material, they have spiritual satisfaction, too: in the absence of a religion they have taken to virtue-signalling, backing righteous causes such as banning carrier bags, and making the world a better place – by opposing nasty men like Donald Trump, for example.

One should never discount how much intertia resides in a population so satisfied. Let’s be honest, nobody wants to change anything very much while things are going so well. If a giant bomb went off in London next week killing dozens of people and a fringe politician came out of the woodwork and said “By fuck, enough’s enough, I’m gonna solve this!” the middle classes would shit themselves and would cheer the Met as they arrested him for hate speech and carted him away in a paddy wagon decorated with LGBT livery. The chances of any individual being blown up or mown down by an Islamist nutter in the UK are miniscule, and for most people it’s simply not worth rocking the boat by electing someone who’s willing to harbour robust opinions, never mind actually do something.

In other words, Islamic terrorism is an acceptable price to pay to avoid upsetting the material and spiritual status quo the middle classes enjoy. And that’s why nothing gets done about it.

Anyone want to come up with a better explanation?

(Incidentally, this isn’t just a British thing: the German election is about to see Angela Merkel rewarded for her insane immigration and refugee policies with another term, running against someone who makes her look sensible. Again, what conclusion am I supposed to draw?)

Share

The Grenfell Tower and Sprinklers

From the BBC:

London’s fire commissioner says the Grenfell Tower blaze must be a “turning point”, calling for sprinklers in all high-rise council flats.

Dany Cotton, commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said: “I think Grenfell should be a turning point.

“I support retrofitting – for me where you can save one life then it’s worth doing.

“This can’t be optional, it can’t be a nice to have, this is something that must happen.

“If that isn’t one of the recommendations (of the Grenfell Tower inquiry) then I will be so very disappointed.”

Firstly a little on the background of Dany Cotton:

Since 2017, she has served as the Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade and is the first woman to hold this position. She had previously been the Director of Safety and Assurance at the London Fire Brigade. In 2004 Cotton became the first woman to be awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal. She is the National Chair of Networking Women in the Fire Service.

Aged 19, she had been a full fire-fighter for just three months when she attended the Clapham Junction rail crash. In 2007, she was assigned the post of Area Commander, becoming the highest-ranking woman in the British Fire Service.

Her professional biography seems to be a lot more about being a woman than a firefighter. But let’s look at her remarks.

Retrofitting sprinklers into an existing building will be extortionately expensive:

Croydon Council, in south London, has taken the decision to retrofit sprinklers in its 25 high-rise blocks at a cost of £10m.

I bet that figure will triple. Of course, somebody who has only every worked for a taxpayer-funded organisation like Cotton wouldn’t care too much about what things cost. Look at this statement again:

for me where you can save one life then it’s worth doing.

For a public servant in charge of safety to come out with this is rather illuminating, as it appears she has no idea about how resources are applied to minimise risk. When it comes to safety, you want to spend the money in the areas where it will have the most impact. For example, do you spend £10m on sprinkler systems if the same money spent on networked fire alarms and better fire doors would save more lives? This is something a risk assessment and cost benefit analysis would tell us, and this is what should have been done. The fact that we have the head of the London Fire Brigade saying sprinklers should be retrofitted regardless of cost and their effectiveness suggests that it hasn’t. Then again, nobody seems even in the slightest bit interested in what caused the initial fire, so perhaps we ought not be surprised.

The money from these sprinklers has to come from somewhere, and this will mean cuts to other services or an increase in rents. If the latter, it will push those at the margins into cheaper, less safe accommodation. The video here is not an outtake from The Lord of the Rings but an interview with a spectacularly smug and idiotic Welsh MP talking about Wales being the first country ever to make sprinklers mandatory in all new homes:

I hope they will just look and listen, and I think this idea about over-burdening and over-regulating has proved that we do have to have those regulations. You know, sprinklers have been around since 1886 and the building industry haven’t used them successfully so, you know, if you’re not going to use them in goodwill, then as we have done in Wales, we’ll mandate for you to use them to keep people safe.

Aside from the first sentence being gibberish, at no point does it occur to her that there are good reasons why not a single country in the world has insisted sprinklers are installed in ordinary homes since their alleged invention in 1886. But apparently the Welsh know better and have made it compulsory, and now want to foist this idiocy on the rest of the country.

All this will do is push up the cost of housing, which in the UK is the last thing you want to do. Again, this will simply push those at the margins into cheaper, less safe accommodation. And presumably all homeowners and tenants will know exactly how these systems work and are maintained. I know I wouldn’t.

There’s also the issue of how effective sprinklers are in houses and flats. My understanding, at least from how they’re deployed on oil and gas installations, is they exist to keep surfaces cool and stop fires spreading as opposed to putting fires out. From what I can work out, the fire protection philosophy in buildings is to contain the fire using fire doors, use sprinklers to stop it spreading and keep the escape ways clear, giving you time to evacuate. The fire brigade then come in and put the fire out. In other words, they make sense in places with a proper evacuation plan but not so much in stand-alone private residences.

Interestingly, I’m sat in a 40-storey tower built between 1982-85 which has no sprinkler system. They have fire hoses on each floor but (and I’ve just checked) no sprinklers in the offices, corridors, or stairwells. Is the building unsafe? Probably not. Every door is a fire door, they have a decent alarm system and in the event it goes off everyone evacuates. I suspect a more modern tower would have a sprinkler system in, but I am reasonably sure its purpose would not be to put out an actual fire.

Would sprinkler systems help in a tower like Grenfell? Probably. Would they make much difference in the absence of fire doors and an evacuation procedure? Probably not. They might keep the stairwell clear, but if they’re installed in the apartments themselves you can expect a lot of spurious discharges as people set them off by mistake or maliciously, which would upset those in the flats below. Are they worth the money? In a new-build block, probably. But to insist they’re retrofitted regardless of cost or the lives they’ll save is madness, as is mandating their installation in new-build houses. The money would be far better spent on other fire-safety measures.

I think people have seized upon sprinklers as the solution of the day without really knowing what they’re for or how they work, let alone what they cost. That the head of the London Fire Brigade doesn’t seem to know any better ought to shock, but actually it doesn’t, not at all. This is the new normal. At least she’s got a few medals.

Share

More on Jacob-Rees Mogg

I spent a chunk of yesterday discussing Jacob Rees-Mogg on Twitter with a bunch of people who don’t like him. Their concerns appear to be as follows:

1. JRM doesn’t believe in abortion. This is in itself bad, because the UN has apparently declared access to abortion services a human right.

2. JRM has a history of voting against abortion rights. This is evidence that if he were to become PM, this would become the Tory party line and he would change legislation to ban abortion. Given his control over healthcare spending, he could even do this without changing any laws.

3. By voting against abortion rights, JRM was “imposing his personal views” on other people.

Where to begin?

Firstly, JRM opposing abortion is an abomination to the left. There was a time when dissenting views were tolerated, but now only absolute acceptance of today’s shibboleths is allowed (Helen Dale makes this point here, on a different subject). Secondly, that the UN has declared something a human right is meaningless. Much as though supranational outfits such as the WHO and UN enjoy trying to set domestic policies on a global basis, it is pointless unless the people who make up the various societies go along with it. But that’s a subject for another post.

The second point raises two issues. Is voting history as an MP a good indicator over which direction a PM will lead their party once in power? I suspect it is, provided they’ve toed the party line. If they’ve voted in dissent of the party line on highly specific subjects, like abortion, it probably isn’t. For JRM to become Conservative party leader he would need to be in-synch with the other MPs on most issues. His views on abortion are likely to be out-of-synch with most Tories (but not all), hence he would be voted leader because of his other qualities and views. In other words, he’d be a solid Conservative with some outlying views on abortion. Would he then be able to make banning abortion the party line? No, he wouldn’t.

Of course, this assumes that he’d want to. Lefties assume that a PM, once in power, will immediately set about making his own personal views the party line, because this is what lefties do whenever they get in power anywhere. Yes, there is an awful lot of projection going on in the criticism of Jacob-Rees Mogg. The right have traditionally been more interested in pragmatism than ideological purity and imposing ruthless discipline of the party line (which is why they’ve lost the culture wars). It is almost certain that JRM, should he become PM, would not risk tearing his party apart in order to foist his minority views on abortion onto them. The left don’t believe it of course, one chap even saying he would ban abortion and abandon secularism across the country “if he could”, based on his personal views and voting record. Again, that’s because this is what their side would do once in power. The idea that JRM might hold principles in his head to do with not imposing ones unpopular views on the citizens of a representative democracy once in charge is alien to them.

The third point was rather tedious to keep having to deal with. The UK is a representative democracy, whereby MPs are elected to represent their constituents in the drawing up of legislation and voting it into law. This is a messy compromise to avoid the leader of a nation standing accused of “imposing his personal views” on the citizenry. In order to beat JRM over the head, lefties have declared that his voting on various issues is in itself “an attempt to impose his personal views on others”, as if the entire legislative process with all the consultations and horse-trading that accompanies it never took place. I could understand if he was championing an anti-abortion bill, or insisting health bills contained anti-abortion clauses, but merely voting a certain way is imposing one’s personal views on others? Since when?

Since JRM popped up, that’s when. Naturally, lefties have no problem with the absolute mountain of legislation which is imposed on the long-suffering British population via activist MPs, lobbyists, health-fascists, and other special interest groups which do represent the personal views of a very few people. That much of this is railroaded onto the statute books without proper scrutiny or debate doesn’t bother them one bit, and this is all ignoring the giant, lumbering elephant in the room: the EU.

Of course, they don’t believe half this stuff they’re saying about Jacob Rees-Mogg. They’re just throwing words around hoping some of them will stick: “he wants to impose his personal views”, “he doesn’t respect women’s rights”, “he’s an extremist”, “he’s a deadbeat Dad“, “we can’t take a chance”. They’ve looked across the Atlantic and seen this is how their counterparts are behaving and copied their techniques. But they didn’t stop to notice that it doesn’t work and, if anything, is rather counterproductive.

The British left have spotted a young, very bright, ambitious Tory MP who appears to be gaining somewhat of a following and, despite his poshness, is somehow quite likeable. He also appears to have integrity and principles, and so naturally scares everyone else – including a very great many Tory MPs – absolutely shitless. Their response has been to seize on the rather insignificant (at least in the UK) topic of abortion in order to paint him as a dangerous extremist who will take the country back to the Middle Ages. I give it another week and he’ll be labelled a white supremacist Nazi. This is exactly what American liberals did to Trump, and all it did was get him elected. The more the left express their hysteria over JRM, the more people will take a look at him and either like what they see (for the most part) or be glad he’s upsetting the right people.

Lefties project, but alas they don’t learn.

Share

The Ratchet Effect in Politics

There is an infuriating but effective method of political campaigning employed by the British left which goes as follows:

1. Labour wins election in 2005. Raises spending on X in 2006, 2008, and 2009.

2. Labour lose power in 2010, Tories come in.

3. Tories propose cutting spending on X in 2012, which would take spending back to 2008 levels.

4. Lefties scream that spending is being slashed to where it was in 1882, conjuring up visions of starving children in Dickensian workhouses.

It’s known as the ratchet mechanism whereby spending can only ever be increased but never, ever reduced. The middle classes – who are enormous beneficiaries of state expenditure – suck it up without question, not even realising the expenditure will drop only to 2008 levels (and things weren’t that bad then).

There’s a similar thing taking place now in the US, only it’s not to do with spending. Yesterday I came across this superb video explaining the phenomenon of Mattress Girl, the Columbia University student who falsely claimed she was raped and responded to his non-prosecution by dragging a mattress around campus. It is 47 minutes long but worth watching if you wish to understand the Title IX row that’s going on in America.

For those who can’t be arsed to watch it, I’ll summarise:

1. Emma Sulkowicz, a student at Columbia University, had a friends-with-benefits arrangement with a fellow student, Paul Nungesser. They’d had consensual sex once or twice and, if her text messages are anything to go by, she fell for him pretty heavily. He wasn’t interested in a relationship with her, and she threw a wobbly and claimed he raped her. Anyone sane reading Sulkowicz’s text and Facebook messages to Nungesser after the alleged rape would conclude the sex was consensual and her actions thereafter were of a jilted lover seeking revenge.

2. She didn’t go to the police for various rather convoluted reasons, but complained – quite a while later – to the university authorities. They investigated (as best they could) and concluded Nungesser didn’t rape her.

3. She then begins a campaign claiming sexual assaults and rapes are rife on college campuses, and she is but one of thousands of “survivors” whose ordeals are being brushed under the carpet while the rapists are allowed to roam free to rape and rape again.

4. Feminists seize on her story and amplify Sulkowicz’s campaign, giving it national prominence. Article after article pushes her version of events uncritically, and unanimously refer to her as a “survivor”, implying Nungesser raped her. The campaigners set about digging up other rape “survivors”, and claim there is an epidemic of sexual assault and rapes going unpunished across America’s college campuses. According to their figures, Ivy League campuses present a greater risk of rape than the worst African war zones. The campaign gains the attention and support of feminists in or close to the Obama Administration – particularly New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand – who takes up the cudgels on behalf of Sulkowicz, swallowing her story whole and inviting her to the State of the Union address.

5. The feminist campaign, which is based on unalloyed fabrications, targets Title IX of the United States Education Amendments of 1972, which says:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

In response, in 2016 the Obama administration – which is stuffed full of deranged feminists and headed by a man who lacks the balls to control them – issues a 19-page Dear Colleague letter which contains the following instruction:

We recognize that sexual harassment represents unacceptable conduct, and those found responsible should be appropriately sanctioned. Some of us have witnessed the injustices resulting from institutions that downplay or ignore sexual harassment on their campuses, and we commend OCR for taking a proactive approach to this problem. In pursuing its objectives, however, OCR has unlawfully expanded the nature and scope of institutions’ responsibility to address sexual harassment, thereby compelling institutions to choose between fundamental fairness for students and their continued acceptance of federal funding.”

In other words, the Obama administration bought into the rape-on-campus hysteria driven by the feminist movement, and effectively instructed colleges to remove due process for male students accused of rape. The presumption of innocence would be removed along with other obstacles such as proving guilt. The onus was on believing the women without question and throwing men under the bus – all in the name of liberal feminist politics.

Many people, and not just white male rapists, were appalled at this development branding it a contravention of a person’s right to a fair trial under the Constitution. Once Trump got elected the feminists lost their influence over the administration, and he appointed the decidedly non-feminist Betsy DeVos as Secretary of State for Education. One of the reasons her appointment was so viciously opposed by the Democrats, especially women, was partly because they knew full well she’d roll back the more lunatic policies of the Obama era (the other was that she’s likely to upset the unions).

This week DeVos has started to rescind the Title IX guidelines issued in the Dear Colleague letter, and – predictably – the left have gone absolutely ballistic, accusing her of siding with rapists over their victims. But it’s not just demented feminists on Twitter. Consider this:

Twenty state attorneys general published a letter to Betsy DeVos on Wednesday, urging the Secretary of Education to maintain the sexual assault reporting guidelines for college campuses currently found in Title IX.
The letter was co-signed by state attorneys general from around the country including Pennsylvania, Iowa, Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico and Hawaii.
“We’re calling on Secretary DeVos to listen to law enforcement and trust survivors of sexual assault by keeping these protections in place and putting student safety first,” lead author of the letter Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a press release.

This is nothing to do with justice or the rule of law and everything to do with the promotion of poisonous, divisive, liberal politics. Even the BBC manages to be fairly even handed, reporting that:

During a speech at George Mason University in Virginia, Mrs DeVos called the Obama-era guidelines a “failed system” that had done a “disservice to everyone involved”.

“Instead of working with schools on behalf of students, the prior administration weaponised the Office for Civil Rights to work against schools and against students,” she said.

She said the definition of sexual assault was too broad and that too many cases involved “students and faculty who have faced investigation and punishment simply for speaking their minds or teaching their classes”.

Mrs DeVos, however, noted that acts of sexual misconduct are “reprehensible, disgusting, and unacceptable”.

“Every survivor of sexual misconduct must be taken seriously. Every student accused of sexual misconduct must know that guilt is not predetermined,” she continued. “These are non-negotiable principles.”

It’s clear that every piece of Obama-era legislation, no matter how wrong-headed and unconstitutional it may be and how little debate or even thought was involved in its writing and adoption, will be defended to the death by Democrats, Republicans who wish they were Democrats, activist judges, and unhinged protesters determined to override the wishes of the people and make America ungovernable. We saw the same thing earlier this week with Trump’s decision to overturn the 2014 DACA policy, which Obama signed off in his office without bothering to run it through Congress.

The good news is that I doubt most Americans are taken in by this squawking in the way the British middle classes are, in fact I think the opposite is probably happening. Like a torch shining on cockroaches, I think a lot of Americans are grateful that Trump’s actions are revealing the true nature of their political elites, and they’ll be taking a careful note of who said what come election time. The other good news is that this process is happening at all: had Hillary won, the Title IX guidelines would have probably been enshrined in law.

UPDATE

This article by Emily Yoffe in The Atlantic is long, but worth reading. Choice quote:

Its report for the latter half of 2015 included a new category: third-party reports in which the alleged victim, after being contacted by the Title IX office, refused to cooperate. These cases made up more than 30 percent of all undergraduate-assault allegations.

Mark Hathaway, a California attorney who has dealt with several no-complainant complaints, says that the zeal with which these complaints are sometimes handled can be wounding psychologically to both the accused and his partner. Hathaway represented a young man who was in bed with his girlfriend in her dorm room. They were fooling around but not having intercourse. In the next bed was the girlfriend’s roommate and a male student. They thought that the girlfriend had had too much to drink to be able to consent to sexual activity. They mentioned their concern to a resident adviser, who was obligated to report it to the Title IX office, which then opened an investigation. “The girl says nothing happened; it was all consensual,” Hathaway told me. “But the school still goes forward.”

Thank you feminists, and Obama.

Share

Jacob Rees-Mogg and Abortion

Lefty middle-class commentators began squawking their heads off yesterday when it transpired that Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, a potential candidate to replace the hapless Theresa May, was – gasp! – opposed to abortion and gay marriage. Cue lots of hand-wringing, pearl-clutching, and denouncements from the high priests of decency and the guardians of acceptable political discourse. You know, those people who had their finger so closely on the pulse they didn’t see Brexit coming and said Corbyn would be wiped out in the last election. Those people.

Note that Rees-Mogg didn’t say he was seeking to outlaw abortion or gay marriage: he simply said, being Catholic, that he opposes them. In the not too recent past this wouldn’t have been an issue. It is was never expected that a political leader’s views matched those of the voter in every detail, and differences of opinions on certain issues were normal. The voters didn’t care what a candidate thought about minor issues, nor even what he thought about the major ones particularly: they were more interested in their policies and their intentions once in office, not their personal opinions.

Blair changed all that. He came along and aligned himself perfectly with the liberal middle classes simply by changing his views to match whatever the latest opinion poll said they wanted to hear (Iraq excepted). Cameron worked out this was a winning strategy and did the same thing (Brexit accepted), and now this has become the norm: political candidates are supposed to make the right noises in front of the metropolitan media elites, and if they don’t pompous twats will start saying things like “they’re not fit for public office”. What used to be said only in relation to a candidate’s criminal history or unethical behaviour is now splashed around simply for having dissenting views. And there was me thinking it was elections which sorted out which candidates the public want in office, not elites working cushy jobs in London.

It’s not difficult to see what’s going on here. The lefty middle classes don’t care about abortion, it’s a non-issue in the UK, they’ve just seized on it because it’s a divisive subject in the US and they think they can use it as a stick with which to beat Rees-Mogg over the head. Both they and wet “conservatives” cluttering up the Tory party simply don’t like the idea of a proper, traditional conservative leading the Conservative party: they prefer wet bellends like Cameron who pander to the left while pretending to be Tory. A simply test of whether Rees-Mogg’s critics are genuinely looking to uphold principles on abortion and gay marriage is by seeing how they approach politicians of other conservative religions who hold similar views. Well, yes, indeed.

Of course, the chattering classes are saying Rees-Mogg has no chance and he’ll consign the Conservative party to oblivion, but they said the same thing about Corbyn and Labour and look what happened. Most of this is projection of their own prejudices, these idiots haven’t a clue what they’re on about. But that doesn’t mean they’re wrong: every now and then a blind squirrel stumbles on a nut. Much as though I’d like to see proof that Britain is ready for a genuine conservative in the style of Rees-Mogg, I suspect he’ll be seen as too posh and too out of touch for most modern Brits. From what I can tell, they want a wet, middle-of-the-road nice guy like Cameron, or someone who will tell them exactly what they want to hear while incessantly meddling like Blair. I might be pleasantly surprised though, and for that reason I’d like to see him replace May as head of the Conservative party. Whatever happens, I suspect his personal views on abortion will be an irrelevance.

Share

Diana Revisionism

I’ve managed to avoid any TV programmes and articles on the subject, but we’ve recently had the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death. I remember it well, particularly the shameful “outpouring of grief” that followed, whereby millions of seemingly sane and ordinary people with no connection to the promiscuous princess wept in the streets. Since then, the mass feigning of grief in order to feel part of something has become a recurring theme in British life, and has spread to other English-speaking countries (witness the embarrassing scenes in Australia following the death of cricketer Phil Hughes). For me, the death of Diana (or rather, what followed) marked a turning point in Britain becoming something of a joke. I always found it hard to take the British public seriously after that.

I have a Ukrainian friend who for some reason has a strong interest in the British royal family. She was rather surprised when I told her that before she died, Diana was an unpopular and rather divisive figure. Many people, myself included, thought she was an embarrassment and I was particularly annoyed with her muddle-headed campaign to ban land-mines, a subject she knew nothing about. She went to Africa and encountered victims of the millions of Soviet and Chinese landmines scattered willy-nilly around the continent’s many war zones, then returned home and harangued the British Army – who carefully map their minefields, and use them only for essential defensive purposes – into giving them up. My initial reaction to her untimely death, before it transpired she’d got into a car driven too fast by a guy who was drunk, was that she’d stepped on the toes of somebody with a considerable interest in land mines.

The idea that Diana was universally loved and adored is pure revisionism (see PCar’s comment here for example). In the months preceding her death, Viz ran an amusing series called “The Queen of Hearts” which used photos of her with fictitious captions. One of them was of her holding the leg of an African child in a hospital:

Diana: Is this your leg?

Child: Yes.

Diana: Is it supposed to be that colour?

Child: Yes.

They also took the piss via spoof collectible offers, such as The Lady Diana Pubic Soap of Hearts.

Then there was this incredible correction issued by the National Enquirer after news came in that she was dead:

The switch of stance typifies the tabloids’ reaction to Diana’s death, and since then there has been nothing but whitewashing.

The other thing I find annoying about Diana, one a bit closer to home, is the way her sycophantic admirers have hijacked the Flame of Liberty in Paris:

The Flame of Liberty (Flamme de la Liberté) in Paris is a full-sized, gold-leaf-covered replica of the new flame at the upper end of the torch carried in the hand of the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World) at the entrance to the harbor of New York City since 1886. The monument, which measures approximately 3.5 metres in height, is a sculpture of a flame, executed in gilded copper, supported by a pedestal of gray-and-black marble. It is located near the northern end of the Pont de l’Alma, on the Place de l’Alma, in the 8th arrondissement of Paris.

The Flame of Liberty became an unofficial memorial for Diana, Princess of Wales after her 1997 death in the tunnel beneath the Pont de l’Alma (see death of Diana, Princess of Wales)[3] The flame became an attraction for tourists and followers of Diana, who fly-posted the base with commemorative material. Anthropologist Guy Lesoeurs said, “Most people who come here think this was built for her.”

They’ve even had to add a separate plaque nearby half-acknowledging the monument’s unofficial role as a Diana memorial. However, this annoyance is tempered somewhat by recalling the response of the French authorities when it was suggested that the design of the Alma Tunnel was unsafe and contributed to her death, along the lines of:

“There’s nothing wrong with the tunnel if you don’t drive through it at suicidal speeds.”

With characteristic French stubbornness they resisted calls to alter the tunnel, and it remains unchanged to this day.

Share

Sex Pests in Schools

I met up with an old friend yesterday, the only person I’m in touch with since my schooldays. We went to a private school, the kind people send their kids to in order to provide them with the vital networking opportunities that will set them up for life. My friend works as a personal bodyguard for rich and famous people, and before that he was a mercenary.  If somebody is threatening you and you want them duffed up, he’s the man to call. A handy chap to know by all accounts, but possibly not the sort of contact the parents of Tarquin and Jeremy have in mind when they fork out £30k per year each. He was a good friend to me though, and still is.

As we were chatting about our time in school he mentioned one of the teachers had been jailed for child abuse. This didn’t surprise me in the least. Although he was convicted for crimes he committed in schools prior to joining ours, there were always rumours surrounding him and he exhibited odd behaviour. There was some substance to the rumours too, because just before I left he was swiftly but quietly removed from his post for inappropriate conduct with a boy, who complained to his parents. The only detail we got was that he locked himself in a room with the boy, what else happened I don’t know, but when I read the news reports of his conviction this locking of the door was mentioned as being a modus operandi of his.

About a year before this incident we were all surprised when he married the mother of a classmate of ours, who also had a younger brother at the school. We knew the mother because she was somewhat of a MILF, and us rabble of teenage boys would make lewd remarks when she came to pick up her sons at the end of term. I didn’t know the younger son, but the older one was in most of my classes. Like a lot of the boys there he seemed a bit lost and unsure of himself, but he was a good kid. We ribbed him mercilessly when this teacher, who everyone joked was a pervert, married his mother and moved in with them but I was just mature enough to wonder if this wasn’t a little sinister. I remember one of the sensible teachers remarking that this was not a good move and the older boy should get himself out of there ASAP. Yesterday my mate told me the news reports said he targetted boys who were blonde, slim, and athletic, which I confirmed when I read them myself. That easily fits the description of the two boys whom he stepfathered, aged around 14 and 17. A few years later I heard the older lad had gone straight off to university and seemed to be doing all right. I have no idea about the younger brother.

What I remember about the teacher’s dismissal was that he was “asked to leave” rather than sacked and reported. This was probably to protect the reputation of the school. Several years before there was an incident in a comprehensive school my brothers and sisters went to, where a male teacher formed a relationship with a girl around 13 or 14 years old. He too was shuffled off quietly, allowing him to take a post in another school a few hundred miles away. A family friend who’d been in teaching for years said this was common, because nobody wants to own up to having employed a sex pest and enabled them to prey on pupils under their watch. I don’t know if the teacher from my school got another job, but the news reports described him as a “former teacher”. The assaults took place in the late 1980s but the first victim only came forward in 2013. That’s a big gap.

Earlier this month I spent a week on holiday with a university friend, who currently works as a teacher. I asked her what would happen now if somebody was caught abusing children in their care. She said they’d be run out of town on a rail, their name added to the sex offenders register, and they’d never be allowed to work with children again. I hope that is true.

Share

Rotherham and Charlottesville

I’m with Streetwise Professor here:

The battle over the monuments is not really about the monuments. It’s not even really about the legacy of the Civil War. It is about the left’s vision of what America was, is, and will be. Here’s the most important thing to remember. The hard-core left that is the driving force behind extirpating the icons of the Confederacy does not see it, or the Old South, as an exception, a deviation from an otherwise laudable and righteous history: they see it as just one manifestation of the fundamental evil of America, evil that is writ on every page of history from 1607 on down. In this worldview, the United States has been, from even before its formal beginning, characterized by racism, sexism, and oppressive capitalism. It is not something that is basically good, but which has fallen short of achieving its lofty ideals: it is something that is fundamentally rotten, and which must be transformed by any means necessary.

There is an argument to be had regarding the future of Confederate monuments and statues, but nobody wants that. The people calling for the removal of the monuments have no idea who Lee was and are probably incapable of understanding the complexities of the Civil War. The Confederate statues are simply the latest in an ever-expanding list of political demands issued by an unelected mob which, for now, appears to have the run of the place. Rest assured, if every Confederate monument was taken down and melted into scrap this evening, the mob would be on the streets demanding something else by lunchtime Saturday.

One doesn’t have to like General Lee, the Confederacy, or slavery to realise that clamping down on this poisonous and dangerous movement ought to be a priority for ordinary Americans. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to want to, perhaps believing the mob can be appeased, or contained, or kept away from them and their families. Realistically speaking, they may be right: most people’s lives go on unaffected by the mob, and choosing to ignore it rather than risk serious escalation isn’t completely ridiculous. But they may be wrong, and when it is their door being burned down it will be too late.

One of the most shameful events in British recent history is the Rotherham child abuse scandal. What makes it doubly shameful is that it fell to the odious, far-right leader Nick Griffin to raise stink about it – which cost him a night in the cells for his efforts. Everybody else stayed silent while teenage girls were being systematically abused with the authorities covering it up. This is bad enough in itself, but if the sole voice trying to raise the alarm is a neo-Nazi, then the country has deep problems indeed. My point is that it should never have been left to Nick Griffin to bring the plight of the Rotherham teenagers to public attention, ordinary people should have been doing that and they didn’t.

So lets go back to Charlottesville. Why did it fall to a bunch of neo-Nazis to defend the Confederate monuments from a mob bent on destroying American society? Where was everyone else? Sure, I know their motivations for protecting the statue were far from pure, and pretty damned disgusting. But that’s what everyone said about Nick Griffin: he’s only highlighting teenage girls being gang-raped because of the race of the perpetrators. Sorry, but so what? We should ignore the outrage because the one person trying to do something about it has impure motives? As far as cop-outs go, that’s a Saturn V.

Perhaps those who elected Donald Trump thought they’d done their bit in November to stop the systematic destruction of America’s history and institutions and didn’t need to do any more. Hopefully after Charlottesville they’ll now understand what is at stake and not leave the defence of what underpins their society to a gaggle of neo-Nazis chanting racist slogans. If they can’t or won’t, or start mincing their words in order to maintain their social status with those who hate them as Mitt Romney and others did yesterday, we should conclude it doesn’t mean that much to them. If that’s the case, then the mob will deserve their victory.

Share

Trump, Trannies, and the Military

From the BBC:

The White House has not yet decided how it will implement the president’s ban on transgender people serving in the US military.

What’s to decide? Here’s the background, buried way down in the article:

The decision to allow transgender people to serve openly in the military was made by the Obama administration last year, with a one-year review period allowed for its implementation.

The policy included a provision for the military to provide medical help for service members wanting to change gender.

As with so much else, Obama signed off on a highly controversial policy very late in his tenure, ensuring his disciples continued their Messiah-like worship but leaving the trouble of implementation to his successor. Of course, this was likely the whole point: if Trump won, which he did, it would sit there like a landmine – which has now gone off. Presumably White House will implement its latest policy by winding things back to, ooh, mid-2016.

As is expected, the media is presenting this as if transgender folk have been happily serving in the US military for decades and Trump came along and banned them for political reasons:

Why now? With the Trump administration being buffeted by the Jeff Sessions political death watch, the ongoing multi-prong investigation into the Trump campaign, the healthcare drama in the Senate and the impending Russian sanctions bill, perhaps the administration decided this was a good time to change the subject and rally conservative forces to his side.

Really? Or perhaps Trump is telling the truth when he says:

Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.

It is a sign of how out of touch the media has become that they believe most Americans think transgenders serving in the military is a not only a good thing, but a fundamental right. It’s quite amazing how rescinding a provisional law brought in 9 months ago can be presented as an attack on American values, but this is what happens when people live in bubbles.

One figure being widely circulated is that there are 15,000 transgenders currently serving in the military. Given transgenders make up less than 1% of the population and the law allowing them to serve came in less than a year ago, this is impressive recruiting. Or maybe there was an entire division of transgenders just waiting for the law to change so they could sign up? Or perhaps the figure is utter bollocks.

Mr Trump said his decision was based on consultation with his generals, but there has been a mixed reaction.

Former Defence Secretary Ash Carter, who lifted the ban last year under President Obama, said: “To choose service members on other grounds than military qualifications is social policy and has no place in our military.”

Quite right.

Several British military generals also condemned Mr Trump’s decision, including the commander of the UK Maritime Forces, Rear Admiral Alex Burton, who said “I am so glad we are not going this way.”

British? In other words, the BBC couldn’t find any American “generals” to support their claim that the reaction was “mixed”, so they had to find some Brits. I’m sorry, but a British Rear Admiral criticising US military policy is a bit like the assistant coach of Pennar Robins football club saying he doesn’t like the tactics of Jose Mourinho. Nevertheless, the BBC devotes an entire article to their witterings:

Commanders from British armed forces have opposed any ban on transgender people serving in the military.

Rear Admiral Burton of the Royal Navy tweeted: “As a Royal Navy LGBT champion and senior warfighter I am so glad we are not going this way.”

With the possibly exception of the Royal Marines and Trident, the Royal Navy has been an utter irrelevance since the Iranians demonstrated its impotence by capturing and humiliating its sailors in 2007. From what I can tell, It exists in its current form mainly as a social welfare program, as is the case with most European militaries. Naval commanders tweeting like a teenage girl doesn’t do much to change my mind on this. And what is an LGBT champion?

[I]n June, Defence Secretary James Mattis agreed to a six-month delay in the recruitment of transgender people.

So who is the better placed to make a judgement on this? James Mattis or some arse-licking British Rear Admiral?

Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock tweeted: “So proud of our transgender personnel. They bring diversity to our Royal Navy and I will always support their desire to serve their country.

Ooh, somebody’s got with the program, hasn’t he? Embracing the notion that “diversity” is a noble end in itself, to which all else must be sacrificed, is but one requirement of arse-licking your way to the senior ranks of the Royal Navy.

“I suspect many who doubt the abilities of our diverse service personnel might be more reluctant to serve than they are to comment.”

Never mind the trannies , I’m more doubtful of the abilities of the senior command!

In February, the Army’s LGBT champion, Lieutenant General Patrick Sanders said: “Only if individuals are free to be themselves can we release the genie of their potential.”

Another LGBT champion? Soon we’ll have more of these than we will main battle tanks! And don’t militaries rely on conformity and unit cohesion, not free individuals “being themselves”? Obviously not the modern military, which is – as I said – basically a social welfare program.

The Ministry of Defence told the BBC that President Trump’s tweets were “an American issue”.

Yet senior commanders are free to criticise his military policies via Twitter in their professional capacity? You need to get a grip of your people, mate.

A spokesman added: “We are clear that all LGBT members of our armed forces play a vital role in keeping our nation safe. We will continue to welcome people from a diverse range of backgrounds, including transgender personnel.”

Which is only possible because the Americans you pompously condemn have ensured you will never have to actually fight.

I’m not normally a fan of defence cuts, but I must say, I’m warming to them rapidly.

Share

Wiltshire Police Dig In

Yesterday I said the British police had hit rock bottom and started to drill. Last night they shipped in some dynamite:

The Wiltshire Police sound like the NKVD without the charm and humour. And at least the Chekists had a few poets languishing in their cells who could have helped them write a decent tweet: the above reads like it was written by someone whose entire literary consumption consists of warning signs.

Wiltshire police wrote the tweet in response to the kicking they were getting on social media from their earlier stupidity, which by last night was circulating stateside. Rather than give someone a bollocking for tweeting shite and engaging in self-reflection, the police did what they always do: lash out in petulant fashion with threats. Having gotten quite used to bossing the population around on the street, tasering and arresting anyone who doesn’t immediately show deference to their authoritah, they thought they could do the same thing online. As they’re going to find out when America wakes up, they can’t.

Several people have pointed out that the Wiltshire police are making threats outwith their powers: they have no authority to ban people from posting offensive material, unless they’re referring to blocking them from their Twitter feed. The only thing that surprises me is that this surprises anyone. The police have become so used to making up the law as they go along, often deliberately misinforming citizens as to what the law is in order to get their way (particularly with regard to photographing things, and especially when the police are called in support of some jobsworth in a hi-viz vest), that they probably no longer know what the law is. The police don’t care either: their modus operandi is to make an arrest and subject the person to a lengthy, expensive, and damaging process in order to clear their name. If and when he does, he will be out of pocket but the policemen involved will get off without so much as a reprimand. The process is the punishment, the police know it, and they abuse it.

Personally, I think if it is proved that a policeman deliberately misled a member of the public into thinking he has broken the law when he hasn’t, the PC concerned should be given a written and final warning. If it happens again, he’s booted out and banned from policing for life. Otherwise we might as well replace our current lot with cheaper police from Nigeria.

If you talk to policemen on Twitter, their first line of defence is to say you don’t understand how things work, and ten of them pile in to say that the police don’t make the laws, they only enforce them. Their assumption is that you don’t know this. The point they miss is that much of the public don’t blame the police for enforcing shitty laws, but they detest the way they go about it with such obvious glee and pomposity. If the police adopted an attitude of “Sorry mate, but we have to do this…new laws, y’see” the public might think better of them. But they don’t, they fall over themselves to enforce these appalling laws – and boast about their powers online.

The second line of defence for policemen is to make you out as some sort of crank, way out of tune with the general public. They’ll all reiterate how much the public values them as per the latest polls, and most will talk about what a great job their colleagues are doing. Policemen seem to think their poor public image can be rectified by having policemen praise each other online. Others will say things like “the emergency services do a great job”, hoping the genuine appreciation people have for firemen and paramedics will rub off on hapless Plod. Eventually they’ll dismiss you as being a paranoid outlier and block you. One even said he was glad he was able to protect the public from “people like me”, as if this engineer with a blogging hobby was a danger to anyone. Seemingly not appreciating the police and showing signs of defiance makes you a threat in the eyes of Plod.

Personally I’m all for this sort of idiocy on Twitter. As I’ve said before, the sooner the public understand the nature of the British police and abandon the romantic Dixon of Dock Green image, the better. In the comments under my last piece, Schrodingers’s Dog says:

Clearly a major role of the British police seems to be the enforcement of a left wing political and social agenda. As such, the rest of us should be thinking in terms of non-cooperation with the them.

I can only agree with that, and I think that’s where we’re headed. Criminals and their families have famously refused to cooperate with the police, but so have the people who swim in the same waters. They figured out that the police are not on their side, never have been, and never will be: any mutual interests are coincidental and temporary, and in the long run cooperation simply isn’t worth it. It’s only a matter of time before ordinary people reach the same conclusion.

Share
Posted in UK