Knaval Architects

Yesterday I said this:

I have no doubt Notre Dame will be restored, but there will be small but noisy campaigns for the money to be used elsewhere or the building replaced with something “more inclusive”.

Sure enough:

Yet the damage wrought by the Notre Dame fire has also raised important questions about the cathedral’s symbolic significance in an increasingly divided France, and how to rebuild (or which version of the cathedral should be rebuilt) going forward — and in some ways, these questions are one and the same.

It has been my experience that anyone who uses the term “going forward” is either trying to distract you from a catastrophe of their own making or is trying to sell you something which goes very much against your interests.

But for some people in France, Notre Dame has also served as a deep-seated symbol of resentment, a monument to a deeply flawed institution and an idealized Christian European France that arguably never existed in the first place. “The building was so overburdened with meaning that its burning feels like an act of liberation,” says Patricio del Real, an architecture historian at Harvard University.

If the claim is that “some people in France” resent Notre Dame, why the need to quote an American academic? Surely a Frenchman on the streets of Paris would suffice, no? Or did they tell you va te faire foutre?

What it means to be “French,” however, has obviously changed a great deal over the past few centuries.

I don’t think this is obvious at all. What is obvious, though, is that over the past couple of decades cultural Marxists have done everything they can to destroy any tangible means by which people can feel themselves French.

Although Macron and donors like Pinault have emphasized that the cathedral should be rebuilt as close to the original as possible, some architectural historians like Brigniani believe that would be complicated, given the many stages of the cathedral’s evolution. “The question becomes, which Notre Dame are you actually rebuilding?,” he says.

The one that was there last week, you cretin. And why does anyone care what an Italian professor in New York thinks?

Any rebuilding should be a reflection not of an old France, or the France that never was — a non-secular, white European France — but a reflection of the France of today, a France that is currently in the making.

Ah, finally we get to it. These grifting foreigners don’t want the French to restore Notre Dame to how it was, they want some steel-and-glass monstrosity to arise in its place, preferably bearing their name. That, or a mosque.

“The idea that you can recreate the building is naive. It is to repeat past errors, category errors of thought, and one has to imagine that if anything is done to the building it has to be an expression of what we want — the Catholics of France, the French people — want. What is an expression of who we are now? What does it represent, who is it for?,” he says.

If it’s up to the French people, why are you sticking your beak in? Now I know this is only Rolling Stone but the ashes on the floor of Notre Dame are still warm and already the postmodernists are turning up with a crane and a wrecking ball. Thankfully I’m confident the French will tell them where to shove it and restore the cathedral properly, but if this were Britain and St. Pauls a blackened shell you can be sure these sociopaths would be welcomed with open arms by half our political class. Knowing both countries quite well, the big difference I can see between France and the UK is the French establishment, at least for now, doesn’t seem to detest France quite as much as the British elites hate Britain. Right now, that’s a valuable edge.

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Nigel’s Main Sell

I’ve said before that the British right need to get a lot smarter if they’re to claw back any of the territory they’ve lost to the left in the past couple of decades, which is pretty much all of it. A few days ago Nigel Farage launched his Brexit party with a speech which immediately triggered outrage among establishment politicians and their lackeys in the media.

This was predictable, and a sign that those opposed to Brexit will do anything to shut down the debate especially if it’s headed by someone like Farage with the knack of drawing a crowd and getting them to vote. One hopes that those running the Brexit party knew this would happen and planned for it. The correct response to the faux outrage is not to highlight the many instances of racism, antisemitism, and incitements to violence on the part of the left, but to reframe every conversation, question, and remark back towards Brexit. As soon as they start explaining they’re playing the left’s game, and they’re not going to win by painting them as hypocrites. That only works with people who have shame and principles, and Farage’s opponents have none of either.

Rather than react to the media, Farage needs to take a leaf from Trump’s book and make them chase him. This means avoiding interviews and appearing on panel shows. Let’s be honest, nobody watching the BBC, Sky News, or Channel 4 is ever going to see something that makes them vote for Farage, so he has nothing to gain by cooperating with them. He needs to understand he’s not leading a normal party, so he can’t expect to behave like he is. He should let the mainstream media run with their lies and smears, because this will serve the dual purpose of keeping his name in the headlines and making them look ridiculous. Again, Trump has shown how this can be done. Instead, Farage should take to social media and podcasts to speak to his supporters, who will quickly learn where they can find him.

Most importantly, he needs to have one policy and one policy only: leave the European Union with a wholly new withdrawal agreement or no deal at all. Absolutely everything else should be ignored until this single, pressing issue is delivered. In fact, if it were me I’d say the party will disband once Britain has left the EU. This would serve to quell the bickering which has already started between his new party and UKIP. Nobody cares what UKIP’s policies are outside of Brexit, so they should agree to join forces until after the UK has left. Of course they won’t, which leaves Brexiteers with no choice but to abandon UKIP completely. By banging on about Brexit 24/7 to the exclusion of everything else, Farage also protects himself from the slings and arrows the ruling classes will throw at him:

“Racist? Why no, we welcome Leavers of all backgrounds. It’s Remainers who lie to the electorate that we object to. Next!”

Farage must not play their game, if he does he’s toast. He’s a smart chap when it comes to politics and he’s spent time around Trump. It’ll be interesting to see what he’s learned since June 2016.

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Worm Eaton

A couple of days ago New Statesman published an interview between their deputy editor George Eaton and the conservative philosopher Roger Scruton. Here’s how Scruton approached the interview:

I recently gave an interview to the New Statesman, on the assumption that, as the magazine’s former wine critic I would be treated with respect, and that the journalist, George Eaton, was sincere in wanting to talk to me about my intellectual life.

Turns out it was a hit job. Eaton littered the piece with quotes stripped of context which portrayed Scruton as antisemitic, an Islamaphobe, and derogatory towards Chinese. For example, the New Statesman interview contains this paragraph:

Perhaps most remarkably, he commented of the rise of China: “They’re creating robots out of their own people… each Chinese person is a kind of replica of the next one and that is a very frightening thing.”

Scruton’s actual words were:

“They’re creating robots out of their own people by so constraining what can be done. Each Chinese person is a kind of replica of the next one and that is a very frightening thing.”

It is clear from the full quote that Scruton is talking about the Chinese political system and its demands for uniformity from the population. By removing the words in bold, Eaton makes it sound as though Scruton’s saying Chinese people are indistinguishable from one another. Eaton claims he removed the context for reasons of space, which tells you he doesn’t care much for his reputation, that of New Statesman, or journalism as a whole.

When the interview came out, Scruton served as  an adviser on a government architectural committee. For reasons that are scarcely fathomable even for an outfit so inept, unprincipled, and cowardly as the Conservative party, UK Communities Secretary James Brokenshire fired Scruton. A spokesman for the Prime Minister said his remarks were “deeply offensive, completely unacceptable and it’s right that he’s been dismissed”. Even half-sensible Tories stuck the boot in:


New Statesman is less of a news journal than a leftwing agitprop organ. They publish Laurie Penny, for goodness sake. What the hell the Tory party are even doing reading it, let alone letting it dictate who they fire, I don’t know. For his part, Eaton posted this on Twitter before later deleting it:

In other words, it was a deliberate hatchet job by a lefty hack and the Tory party, perhaps thinking their reputation for incompetence, treachery, and cretinism was not quite solid enough from Brexit, walked right into the trap laid for them. As Scruton responded in The Spectator and news reached the dolts in Tory HQ that the interview had been misleading, they removed one foot from their mouths and replaced it with another:


So the sacking of Scruton was a panicked, knee-jerk reaction based on left wing propaganda they didn’t bother verifying. And these are the sort of people who think they should be running the country.

There are a few points to make here. Firstly, it shows the incompetence and lack of principles we’ve seen over Brexit is not a one-off: it runs to the very core of the Conservative party. Like a lot of people these days, they’re more interested in pandering to the metropolitan middle classes and people who hate them than their core constituents. They are also woefully inept. If Britain is to revive its political fortunes, the Conservative party needs to be destroyed, the building razed, and the ground it stood on soaked with anthrax. There is nothing left to save, and nobody to redeem (except the one MP who reads my blog of course, because by doing so she’s proven she exposes herself only to the best ideas).

Secondly, journalists like to claim they are under attack more than ever before. They do so on the rather pompous presumption they are guardians of the truth who hold the powerful to account. I doubt journalists in the UK are in any greater danger than ironing-board vendors, but if I wanted to increase the online abuse and threats media figures receive, and diminish public sympathy if and when one gets smacked in the mouth by a disgruntled citizen, publishing a brazenly dishonest interview and quaffing champagne in celebration when the subject gets fired is how I’d go about it.

Thirdly, I don’t give a damn if Scruton’s words weren’t doctored. The idea that anyone slightly to the right should be hounded from his position for holding opinions which don’t conform to the ever-shifting standard set by lunatics in university social science departments needs to be resisted, and hard. This is especially true when those on the left – even those in positions of substantial power – frequently engage in open racism, antisemitism, and misandry to rapturous applause from their followers. As I’ve said before, if the right are going to join the left in condemning their own every time they utter an unapproved opinion, they’re part of the problem. If the right can’t support Scruton now, regardless of what he said or didn’t say, could they at least have the decency not to complain during the next decade or two of cultural Marxist domination?

And maybe now’s not the best time to talk about principles either, Johnny:


Now where did I put my Gallic shrug?

UPDATE

Keep digging, Johnny:

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Plod Trans Action

I don’t remember when the legislation was debated, or even if it was debated, but I expect when the police asked for the powers to force website owners to reveal the identities of their subscribers it was done under the guise of identifying murderers, child abusers, drug traffickers, and terrorists.

But as always, once a government authority gets some power it wields it way beyond its original scope:

A transgender activist has won a High Court ruling ordering Mumsnet to reveal the identity of a user who allegedly abused her.

Stephanie Hayden tweeted an image of the court order, issued by Mr Justice William Davis, which requires the parenting website to name the anonymous user and provide their address, email and date of birth.

On the caption she wrote: ‘The days of defaming, abusing, and harassing transgender people on Mumsnet behind the cloak of anonymity are over.’

At the beginning it’s to thwart al-Qaeda’s plans to set off a nuke in the middle of London. Pretty soon it’s to prosecute people for upsetting transgenders online. Activist transgenders, that is:

Ms Hayden has been involved in several of online spats in recent years.

In 2018, she reported Father Ted creator Graham Linehan to the police for ‘transphobic harassment’ after he shared a tweet saying she was a ‘dangerous troll’.

Sitcom writer Mr Linehan was given a verbal harassment warning by West Yorkshire Police after transgender activist Miss Hayden reported him for referring to her by her previous names and pronouns on Twitter.

Wait, there’s more:

And in February, a mother was arrested in front of her children and locked up for seven hours after referring to Ms Hayden as a man online.

Three officers detained Kate Scottow at her home before quizzing her at a police station about an argument with an Ms Hayden on Twitter over so-called ‘deadnaming’.

The 38-year-old, from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, had her photograph, DNA and fingerprints taken.

Mrs Scottow denied harassing or defaming Miss Hayden and said she holds a ‘genuine and reasonable belief’ that a human ‘cannot practically speaking change sex’.

As well as potential police action, she is facing a £25,000 civil lawsuit over alleged defamation, use of private information and ‘harassment’.

She has also agreed to been made the subject of an injunction that bans her from writing about Miss Hayden online.

I expect that Hayden targeted Mumsnet – a forum mainly for mothers, i.e. women – quite deliberately in order to goad someone into saying something she could go running to the police with.

There are two things happening here. Firstly, the transgender movement – which the gay and bi-movements have decided to hitch their wagon to – are engaged in seeing just how far they can push the public until they no longer need to invent claims of being persecuted out of existence. Because if stuff like this keeps happening, that’s what’s going to happen. Secondly, the police and judges are involving themselves in a similar experiment. Pendulums swing in both directions, and when this one returns it’s going to take on the size and force of a wrecking ball.

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Paddy Feelz

I found this article illuminating:

The stampede for Irish passports since the UK voted to leave the EU has been widely interpreted as an effort by Britons to avoid hassle at airports. Produce proof of an Irish granny and voilà, no matter what happens with Brexit, you have a burgundy passport and can travel freely throughout the EU.

Applications for Irish passports have risen to record levels, with almost 250,000 requests since January, a 30% increase from the same period last year, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Of the 860,000 Irish passports issued last year, about 200,000 applications came from the UK.

The vast majority of those 200,000 British people applying for Irish passports haven’t the slightest interest in Ireland; they simply want the convenience of an EU passport. There was a time when citizenship actually meant something, and if you speak to Irish nationalists they insist it still does – although only in the very narrow sense of not being British. But now Irish citizenship is becoming something akin to a flag of convenience in the shipping world whereby the holder knows nothing about the country and cares even less. But whereas flags of convenience were sold as revenue-raisers by tax havens or failed states, Ireland seems almost proud to be handing out passports to those fleeing the horrors of non-Brexit Britain.

I supposed we shouldn’t be too surprised. Ireland sold its culture to corporations decades ago, proliferating around the world one fake pub with tin-whistle band at a time. I wrote about this here:

It’s interesting to note how St. Patrick’s day has become a meaningless excuse to get hammered while displaying just about every ignorant stereotype about Irish people you can imagine.

From what I can see, Ireland is fast becoming a meaningless blob of woke multiculturalism and supplicant internationalism with a fake green tinge. Their economy is based on giant foreign corporations paying little tax, and their prime minister is a gay man of Indian extraction. Their most important political decision in a generation, the lifting of the ban on abortions, had them throwing street parties. Not that there’s anything wrong with those per se –  it’s up to the Irish how they run their affairs – but it does indicate they’ve abandoned conservatism and gone full-on liberal in the American sense. I’m not convinced this is a path to success, longevity, and happiness for any society.

What’s ironic is the Irish hate the English, particularly the London-based elites who look down their noses at everyone else. They complain the media reports clumsily on Ireland, except for the BBC who still think it’s part of Britain. Most of all, they detest the arrogant political classes who ride roughshod over ordinary people and are never held accountable for their actions. Which is fine, but they’ve now added Brexit to their list of gripes, as if it were the Westminster ruling classes who voted Leave and the ex-miners in the provinces who voted Remain. It’s an odd thing to hate the English elites for Brexit when it is they who’ve done all they can to scupper it. Indeed, the way things are going Theresa May might well turn out to be the most pro-Irish British prime minister in history.

This contradiction is illustrated further in the examples The Guardian uses of Brits who are looking to flee non-Brexit and settle in Ireland:

“I’m building up to be an Irish citizen, that’s the long-term goal,” said Keith Donaldson, 37, an office manager from Jarrow in north-east England who moved to Dublin last year.

He has no Irish lineage but can apply for naturalisation after five years’ residency. “Some things you can’t do unless you’re a citizen,” Donaldson said. “I’ve started getting involved in various political groups. It’s about contributing, being a member of Irish society. I identify myself as being a Brexit refugee.”

Remarkably, the Irish seem happy to welcome Englishmen whose views are indistinguishable from those of the Westminster elites to come and meddle in their politics before he’s even got citizenship. This is quite some shift in attitudes.

“Moving here gave me the possibility to be here long enough and apply for citizenship. I have to be here for five out of nine years,” said Alexandre de Menezes, 39, a dual British-Brazilian national who teaches soil microbiology at National University of Ireland Galway. “Being half British was always important to my identity, but Brexit took some of the shine away.”

So he was already in Ireland.

Kate Ryan, 40, a food writer from Bristol, married an Irish man and lived in Clonakilty, County Cork, for more than a decade without thinking much about nationality. Then came the referendum.

“It was always in the back of my mind that I would go for citizenship, but Brexit has forced my hand,” she said. This week, Ryan lodged an application for naturalisation. In the absence of Irish lineage, it entailed reams of paperwork and will cost about €1,500 (£1,285). “I decided to crack on and get this thing done.”

This is a paperwork exercise which she probably should have done anyway.

Ryan is proud of her British heritage and regularly visits her parents – who voted for Brexit – in Wales. But she feels European. Becoming Irish would underline that identity: “I see it as an opportunity to redefine who I am and my place in the world.”

So she wants to become an Irish citizen in order that she identifies with something else, and her place in the world is defined by the paperwork she holds. Being a member of a modern, western society seems to have a lot to do with worshiping political institutions and little to do with shared history and culture.

Mike Clarke, who recently left Brighton to take up a post as director of campus infrastructure at Trinity College Dublin, envisages putting down roots. “I plan to stay in Ireland as long as I can. UK plc will take an awful long time to heal,” he said.

Clarke, who grew up in Croydon, south London, has an Irish grandparent, so has a smooth path to citizenship. “I’m a very proud Englishman and British citizen. But I think of myself as European,” he said.

I’m a very proud Englishman and British citizen but I’ll become Irish via bureaucratic fiat because I think of myself as European. Personally I have no problem with Ireland inviting in people who want to dine at the smorgasbord of multicultural identity, I’m just not sure their society will be strengthened by their doing so.

Bill Foster, the managing director of the Irish division of the immigration consultancy Fragomen, said he probably would not stay long enough to obtain citizenship. But for now, he is glad to have swapped London for Dublin.

“There’s a feeling here that we want to move forward and not hanker back to the past. Living here has made me feel more European in many ways,” he said.

I find it hard to believe he found London a hotbed of English nationalist Brexiteers, so what I think what he’s saying is, having moved from London to Dublin, he’s noticed he’s now living among a lot more Europeans.

What’s obvious from all this is the Irish professional classes have a lot more in common with the English professional classes than they think, and the Irish ruling classes aren’t a whole lot different from those who are squatting in Westminster. It’s only the fault lines of history that are preventing them seeing where the real divides are.

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The friend of my friend is my enemy

So while you have fake conservatives making sure nobody to the right of Tony Blair or George W. Bush can gain traction anywhere without being branded a racist and blocked from social media, the right also has another problem and that is an inability to pick its battles. Julia Hartley-Brewer is one of the leading advocates for Brexit, she rails against political correctness and argues in favour of free speech, and believes Britain’s immigration system needs a radical overhaul. All good, right?

Actually, no. Yesterday some hack in America posted on Twitter a short clip of a Trump speech in which he called asylum-seekers “animals”. Only Trump was specifically referring to MS-13 when he used that word, and the video had been edited to obscure that fact and the “asylum seekers” bit added by the hack. It was also not new; it dated back to May 2018 when the left pulled the same trick. In other words it was straight-up fake news. Here’s how Julia Hartley-Brewer responded:


When people called her out on it, she doubled down:


Actually, Trump doesn’t go around calling people animals. This is yet more fake news, but it’s also a sign of something more worrying, especially if you’re conservative. If you are pro-Brexit, anti-PC, and want stronger immigration policies I’d have thought Trump’s your man – especially if he’s specifically talking about keeping unspeakably violent criminals out of the country. If Britain does exit the EU, who do they think their biggest ally’s going to be? Who is their main target for a trade deal? Brexiteers should be doing everything they can to get Trump interested in their cause, and they should be thanking their lucky stars someone naturally sympathetic to them is in the White House instead of a wet globalist like Obama who detests Britain and loves the EU.

I’m going to be charitable and assume Hartley-Brewer is genuinely conservative and isn’t just saying this stuff to ensure the London liberal set keep inviting her to dinner parties, but what I’m going to say isn’t much better: she’s simply not very bright when it comes to politics. If conservatives and right wingers want any chance of clawing back lost ground in the culture war, they’re going to have to be an awful lot smarter than this. Firstly, that means being fully focussed on what you want. If Brexit is your priority, concentrate on that, and don’t concern yourself with matters unrelated to the task at hand. Otherwise there’s a good chance you’ll inadvertently strengthen your enemies and undermine your own cause. What did Hartley-Brewer expect to achieve by joining the left in bashing Trump? There’s simply no upside here, only downsides. And it’s not like Trump doesn’t use Twitter and has no idea who’s saying what. She’s blundered straight into a bear trap set by her enemies. If this were a real war, she’d be written off as a liability. Now I’m not saying Brexiteers and conservatives should agree with Trump or even like the man. But there is an option to, you know, just shut the f*** up. You don’t actually have to comment on everything; sometimes silence works wonders. If you don’t learn to pick your battles, don’t expect to win any.

Secondly, conservatives need to recognise who their true allies are. Churchill didn’t like Stalin very much, but realised he needed him to defeat Nazi Germany. There’s plenty of time for drawing up principles once the war is won, but while it’s ongoing you do whatever’s necessary to win. If British conservatives can’t stomach Trump as an ally, they’ve already lost (again). As I’ve said before, there are things to dislike about Tommy Robinson but if British conservatives find themselves unable to throw their weight behind him when he’s being hounded by the government for speaking his mind about immigration, they ought to get ready for another few decades of cultural Marxist domination. They also need to jettison the fake conservatives and those who lack the stomach for the fight. The sort of wet conservatives who appear in the mainstream media or in Parliament can be likened to America’s supposed allies in their mission to Afghanistan: the German military wouldn’t go out at night, the French complained the country was unsafe, and the Norwegians said they’d provide a medical tent. Only the English-speaking countries – the UK, Canada, and Australia – were prepared to get stuck in, kill some folk, and take casualties of their own. The rest are free-riders waiting to step in and take charge once the enemy is defeated, or simply carp from the sidelines.

If the culture wars were a boxing match, the referee would have stopped the fight years ago. Conservative fortunes won’t improve until they acknowledge this and change their approach entirely. They need to fight smarter. This means focusing on the handful of things they really want, seeking allies who want the same things, and getting rid of the grifters and hangers-on. Above all, it means shutting the f*** up for most of the time.

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Plodorian Guard

I’m fond of saying I don’t know whose side the British police are on, but I’m confident it’s not that of the general public. Yesterday the head of what looks like a police talking shop issued a helpful clarification:

Politicians and campaigners need to temper their language to avoid inciting disorder over Brexit, a senior police chief has warned, as it emerged more than 10,000 officers are on standby to tackle any unrest.

In what other country do policemen issue warnings to politicians over what language they may use? But yeah, our reputation is being damaged by Paras shooting at a poster.

Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), said it was “incumbent” on anyone in a “position of responsibility” to express their views in a way that did not incite violent behaviour.

I wonder what he thinks he’s doing right now?

“I am thinking about disorder and people being responsible in the way they speak,” he said. “There’s a responsibility on those individuals that have a platform or voice to communicate in a way that is temperate and not in any way going to inflame people’s views.

In order that Plod’s life be made easier everyone should stop expressing strong feelings about Brexit. And that includes those charged with delivering it.

“All groups of people need to think carefully. We are in a febrile atmosphere. If people who are in a position that they are going to be listened to they need to think about the language they are using so they don’t end up with unintended consequences.”

Such as people filming policemen being battered by thugs instead of helping? Those sort of unintended consequences?

His comments came as the NPCC disclosed more than 10,000 officers from units in all 43 forces trained to combat riots, public disorder and looting, are on standby. Some 1,000 are ready to be deployed within an hour of any trouble.

It’s amazing how rapidly scarce resources can be mustered when the interests of the ruling class are threatened, isn’t it?

The numbers are larger than for the 2011 riots

Given the police stood around doing nothing during the 2011 riots, I hardly think numbers are the problem. But whereas it was just ordinary people having their lives destroyed by criminals back then, this time it’s important people who are being threatened. I expect their orders will be very different.

More than 1,000 officers are also available to be deployed from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland with armoured personnel carriers.

Allowing those who were too fat, lazy, and ill-disciplined to join the army to dress in full combat gear and play war for a weekend. Yet another nasty habit we’ve inherited from our American cousins.

He said: “We’ve been very clear that policing support should only really be called on if absolutely necessary in dealing with the wider civil contingencies.”

Mr Hall added: “Our push has been back to those sectors, those parts of government, the private sector, to say ‘it’s your responsibility to look at your individual supply chains and you should not be looking to police to come in to supplement and keep your supply chain running’.”

Translation: we are only interested in protecting our political masters, not you plebs, and not your property.

One thing is certain. When the cataclysmic realignment of British politics finally occurs and the incumbent parties and politicians are swept away, it is imperative the police are disbanded and reconstituted with wholly new personnel as part of the same movement. They are as much a part of the problem as those politicians who refuse to implement the results of the referendum.

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15 Feral Street

This BBC story did the rounds on Twitter a couple of days ago:

“It is very scary,” says mother-of-four Melanie Smith, sitting on the sofa which doubles as her bed, a few feet from the oven and sink of her one-room studio.

Pressed close to her couch is one of the two beds that fill the rest of her flat and upon which her two sons eat, play and sleep.

Ms Smith is one of hundreds of residents placed at Terminus House in Harlow by councils in and around London, often many miles from everything and everybody they once knew.

The former office block – the Essex town’s tallest building – is one of hundreds up and down England which have been turned into housing without ever needing planning permission.

Almost everybody thought this was an example of appalling government housing policy, and did the usual thing of blaming heartless Tories. But while living in a tiny flat may be uncomfortable, there’s no reason why it should be deeply unpleasant. I’ve been to enough Soviet-era Russian apartments to know that’s true. What makes them unpleasant is this:

But since the building was resurrected as a housing complex in April 2018, crime has soared.

Police figures show that in the first 10 months after people moved in, crime within Terminus House itself rose by 45%, and within that part of the town centre (within a 500m radius) by nearly 20% – to more than 500 incidents – compared with the previous 10 months. More than 100 incidents involved violence or sex crimes.

Incidents included anti-social behaviour, burglary, criminal damage and arson. There has also been at least one drugs raid.

She said it was not safe for her children to go downstairs, even during the day, because of drug users who are “out of it”.

“It is very scary. You don’t know who is outside the door,” she said.

“Any arguments that happen, it is always, constantly, outside the door. Often you hear them banging against the door where they are fighting.

“The wall next to me – I had to clean the blood off it two weeks ago.”

It doesn’t matter where you go in Britain, areas where there are a lot of poor people or welfare recipients are plagued by a minority of anti-social scumbags most of whom are career criminals and many of them violent. It wouldn’t matter if the poor were housed in luxury flats in Canary Wharf if this element is not dealt with. Now I don’t know how you  can deal with anti-social people making everyone’s life a living hell without giving governments appalling arbitrary powers, but I do know that any initiative to tackle the problem – withdrawing welfare payments, harsher prison sentences, exile to the hinterlands – would be fiercely resisted by those now bawling at the situation the residents find themselves in.

The fact is British people are far too lenient when it comes to scumbags, and insist on subsidising their criminal lifestyles via a generous welfare system. So long as an industry exists to support and defend these people as they terrorise their neighbours, there’s not a housing policy in the world that can provide safe homes for the poor.

And isn’t this just typical:

Terminus House is covered by nearly 100 high definition CCTV cameras.

“We just want to make sure that all the areas are covered,” says Paul Jackson, regional manager at Caridon Property, which owns and runs the building.

“We do have some people that are vulnerable and it makes them feel safe. And should there be any incidents then they are covered and the police can use our system.”

The police can’t be bothered keeping law and order, probably because they know the court system won’t prosecute miscreants. So it falls to the building management to install that great British catch-all solution – more CCTV cameras – to enable the police to identify who battered that old lady half to death a few days after the incident. Politicians, the justice system, the police, and just about everyone else has utterly failed the poor. This whole story has little to do with housing, but by pretending it does the middle classes can virtue-signal while avoiding any discussion of the real problem.

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Utrinque Paratus

A video has emerged of soldiers of the Parachute Regiment firing pistols at a picture of Jeremy Corbyn, causing the chattering classes to wring their hands:


What reputation would that be, then? I’ve written before about the habit of certain Brits to assume foreigners share their elevated opinion of themselves, and I suspect the same applies here. No foreigner other than Irish republicans will give a damn about this video, and if Peston thinks it undermines a reputation of Britain being a peace-loving country where things are settled by debate rather than violence, he might be surprised to learn the Iraq War put paid to that. As one of my followers on Twitter said:

Sometimes people high up in our society talk as if they are the adminstrators of the wayward province of an empire.

Certainly, their idea of what foreigners think of Britain appears to be uninformed by talking to any. Our media continually tell us we’re a laughing stock because of Brexit, but fail to appreciate it is not those who voted leave who are mocked but the incompetence of the political classes. And where do you think this video sits alongside politicians flatly refusing to honour the results of a referendum in a ranking of things which damage Britain’s reputation overseas? Old Robert Mugabe must be chuckling to himself as I type.

As another of my Twitter correspondents noted, the Mother of Parliaments is now a laughing stock; the Parachute Regiment isn’t. I find foreigners’ impressions of the UK vary greatly, but quite a few wonder why we appear to be committing suicide by opening the borders to all and sundry. Their tone suggests they used to believe Britain to be a serious country run by serious people, but no more. Our chattering classes would also be surprised to find what many foreigners – particularly those from the Middle East – think of London having a mayor named Sadiq Khan. While we insist it’s a sign of our tolerance, they see it as abject surrender. My point is if our reputation abroad mattered as much as people say it does, we’d be doing things very differently.

As for the video itself, well, what can I say? Jeremy Corbyn supported the IRA when they were murdering members of the Parachute Regiment in Northern Ireland, so what do you expect? Yes, we can talk about professionalism and worrying precedents but if these are the topics of the day, the Parachute Regiment can take their place a long way down a list which includes politicians, parliament, the police, the courts, the CPS, the immigration service, and pretty much every branch of government I can think of. Let’s talk about their professionalism and the precedents they’re setting before launching inquiries into what paras get up to when on the range. If they murder someone or commit atrocities then let me know, until then I’m content that single men in barracks don’t turn into plaster saints.

Of course, elements of the right have responded to the video by doing what they do best: talking earnestly about propriety and principles, as if these mean anything on a battlefield which the left hold every square inch of in large part because to them they don’t. So the MOD at the behest of a Tory government will identify and sack these soldiers, the right will refuse to defend them, the left will celebrate, and their Culture War trophy cabinet will groan a little more under the weight. I get that people on the right don’t want to defend the soldiers, but they could at least remain silent and not do the left’s job for them. I’ve written before about how the right needs to stop defending their enemies; they also need to stop punching right at every opportunity (as they do whenever Tommy Robinson’s name is mentioned). The country is dividing, old alliances are crumbling and new ones forming. If the centre right wants to wrest back control of the country, they’d better start demonstrating to potential allies they are serious about it. Right now, that means being on the side of these soldiers of the Parachute Regiment, or at the very least saying nothing.

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David Lamin

Take a look at this video of Labour MP David Lammy:


Take away the London accent and you have all the characteristics – body language, tone, vocabulary, hand gestures, sentiment – of a third world demagogue who winds up in The Hague twenty years and a hundred thousand corpses after seizing power. If he were in uniform you’d think he was auditioning for the leading role in an Idi Amin biopic. Remainers are prone to complaining Brexit is making Britain a laughing stock. How do they imagine having MPs like Lammy makes us look?

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