The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

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Postmodernism is fundamentally frivolous. Postmodernists routinely condemn racism and intolerance as wrong but then say that there is no such thing as right and wrong. They are clearly not being serious. Either they do not really believe in moral nihilism or they believe that racism cannot be condemned!

Postmodernism is in fact just a tantrum. Post-Soviet reality in particular suits Leftists so badly that their response is to deny that reality exists. That they can be so dishonest, however, simply shows how psychopathic they are.


2 September, 2014

The strange definition of "racism"

( https://www.youtube.com/embed/RWcVguB0GaY )

Lord Neuberger: giving democracy a hammering

When a UK judge makes a speech about human rights, the UK press will gleefully report anything he says about pesky foreign judges in Strasbourg. So long as he stands up for UK judges sitting in London, the press will be onside. This is unfortunate because UK democracy is being reordered by values and ideas stemming from within the UK and which have now got little to do with judgements given by the European Court of Human Rights. The Strasbourg court has become a convenient whipping boy for British politicians and the press. Yet while the press reports the whipping, it ignores the far more significant impact that human rights are having on UK democracy.

The Strasbourg court is a much maligned and weakened institution. This became clear earlier this month with its decision to award no compensation and no costs to 10 UK prisoners who claimed that being banned from voting was a breach of their human rights. Since the Strasbourg court had previously held that prisoners’ disenfranchisement was a breach of human rights, this decision shows that, as the former Justice Secretary Jack Straw MP observed, ‘the Strasbourg court looked over the abyss and backed off’ in order to avoid ‘a whirlwind of opposition on a scale that could well have undermined its legitimacy’. In future, the rule of law from Strasbourg can be expected to yield to a parliament that speaks with a clear voice and which is led by a prime minister who would be ‘physically ill’ if a contentious Strasbourg law were enforced.

Speaking shortly before the Strasbourg court’s capitulation on prisoner votes, Lord Neuberger, president of the UK Supreme Court, made his own modest criticism of the ‘inconsistent decisions’ made by the ECHR over the years, noting that the UK judiciary should ‘be more ready not to follow Strasbourg chamber decisions’.

Because the Strasbourg court has overreached itself by making a number of politically controversial decisions in recent years, the UK’s judiciary is keen to distance itself from that tainted institution. The objective being to avoid what former UK home secretary Jack Straw described as the undermining of ‘basic human rights’. By urging UK courts to exercise a little more independence from Strasbourg, Lord Neuberger has sought to insulate domestic human-rights jurisprudence from the criticism that is attached to many Strasbourg decisions.

Lord Neuberger’s modest Eurosceptic tone was heeded by the UK press, which reported the speech with these headlines: ‘Judges “too ready” to follow Strasbourg rulings says Lord Neuberger’ (Daily Telegraph);  ‘British courts “too ready” to follow European Court of Human Rights’ rules’ (the Guardian); ‘British courts should be “more ready” to ignore human-rights rulings made in Europe, says the UK’s top judge Lord Neuberger’ (Daily Mail); ‘Have confidence to overrule Strasbourg, says UK’s top judge’ (The Times).  The articles written under these headlines took their cue from one paragraph out of Lord Neuberger’s 43-paragraph speech.

Yet, contrary to the way Lord Neuberger’s speech was reported in the UK, modest Euroscepticism was neither the main nor most significant point made by ‘the UK’s top judge’. Lord Neuberger used the speech to make clear his enthusiastic support of human-rights laws. He described parliament’s passing of the Human Rights Act in 1998 as the start of ‘the age of enlightenment’. Lord Neuberger’s justification for human-rights laws was far more newsworthy than his remarks on Strasbourg. The most significant part of his speech was this passage on human-rights laws:

‘Particularly in the light of their recent history, mainland European countries appreciate the need for checks and balances, and realise that undiluted democracy is risky. The tyranny of the majority is bad enough and, as the past century demonstrated, it can lead to far worse things. However, you only have to look at the history of Germany over the past 100 years to see how valuable it can be for judges to be given a substantial role, supported by the rule of law, in protecting individuals against the might of the modern state.’

As a lawyer who has spent decades finessing arguments to make them sound persuasive, Lord Neuberger knows that it is better to be against something implied to be bad (‘undiluted democracy’) than to be against something good (‘democracy’). He also knows that it is desirable to attack something framed as bad (‘the tyranny of the majority’) rather than to attack something good (‘democracy’). And it is felicitous to deploy phrases that are self-evidently good (‘checks and balances’) as cover for something different (judicial collaboration with parliament over the making of laws). It is also powerful to imply that your argument could somehow have hindered German aggression and Nazism.

Despite the skilful use of these lawyerly devices, the gravamen of Lord Neuberger’s argument is clear. Democracy, in the form of parliament being sovereign to determine the law free of legal collaboration, ‘is risky’. Enacting laws on the basis of majority support is a ‘tyranny of the majority’. Without constitutional judicial oversight of Parliament, 100 years of Germany history may be repeated. In order to avoid this appalling vista, democracy needs to be diluted: democracy needs to be overseen by the judiciary using human-rights laws to protect the people.

Lord Neuberger’s approach is best understood with the example he gives of the Supreme Court’s recent consideration of the Tony Nicklinson assisted-suicide case. He notes how parliament has used the criminal law to impose a blanket ban on assisted suicide with primary legislation, the Suicide Act 1961 (which has been considered, updated and retained by parliament on subsequent occasions). He then posed this interesting question: ‘The point is whether that [act of parliament] means that the law on the topic is purely for parliament or whether the courts can say that, even though there is a clear statutory prohibition [on assisted suicide]… the court can say to parliament that that is contrary to the [European Convention on Human Rights] as it applies in the UK.’ He answered the question in favour of judicial involvement by noting that in ‘our recent decision of Nicklinson, we unanimously held that the courts did have that power’. A power, that is, to tell parliament that its legislation on this contentious issue of public policy is contrary to human-rights laws.

For various reasons, the Supreme Court did not declare the assisted-suicide law to be contrary to human-rights laws but a significant factor was that, as Lord Neuberger put it, ‘the courts should hold off giving a declaration of incompatibility so that parliament could consider the issue with the benefit of our judgements’. The Supreme Court has warned parliament that unless the law is changed it may be moved to declare the blanket ban on assisted suicide to be contrary to human-rights laws.

What we have here is a form of democracy where judicial opinions on matters of public policy are given particular weight. Laws are not simply made in parliament by elected representatives, for they require MPs to consider the views of learned members of the judiciary. As one judge of Supreme Court, Lord Wilson, put it, there is now a ‘collaboration between the courts and the legislature’. Or, as Professor Roger Masterman put it, ‘at the heart of [human-rights laws] lies the attempted reconciliation of judicial and political power, or – put another way – of interpretive and legislative power’ (1).

The relationship between parliament and the judiciary is now opaque. The UK judiciary cannot declare a law to be unlawful but it can declare a law to be incompatible with a human right. In theory, parliament can disregard such a declaration as the courts cannot require parliament to change the offending law. But Lord Neuberger drew attention to the practical reality of this process by noting that ‘the power now given to judges in the UK by… the Human Rights Act is demonstrated by the fact that, with one exception, parliament has always acted on every such [declaration] and cured any incompatibility’.  In theory, parliament retains its sovereignty, but in practice parliament exercises it after considering any judicial guidance that has been given.

In Lord Neuberger’s ‘age of enlightenment’, the judiciary’s powers have increased considerably. The constitutional relationship used to be that parliament made the law (save where parliament allowed the judiciary to develop the common law) and the judiciary interpreted it. This clear separation of responsibilities has broken down. Nowadays, the judiciary still interpret the law but they also have a ‘collaborative’ role in shaping it. Lord Neuberger noted that the Human Rights Act has effectively conferred ‘a law making function on the judiciary’.

Under the Human Rights Act, parliament’s powers are, in practice, diluted and the judiciary’s powers are strengthened. Democracy is degraded as the will of the majority is seen as risky. Lord Neuberger’s criticism of ‘undiluted democracy’ is effectively a criticism of the unfettered ability of parliament to make and change laws. This matters because parliament is an elected body. MPs derive their authority from the ballot box. An MP’s views are subject to public scrutiny and debate, with the electorate ultimately having the last word. MPs win or lose support on the basis of their political view of society.

The judiciary is not elected (and neither should it be). Judges derive their authority on the basis of their technical ability to understand and apply the law. Their judgements are formed after hearing submissions from lawyers about the law. Judges do not, at least not openly, form judgements on the basis of a political view of society.

The issue of assisted suicide highlights the key problem here. When MPs debate assisted suicide they make clear their moral and political standpoints, which means the public can engage with these arguments and ultimately vote the holder of a particular opinion in or out of parliament. Nine Supreme Court judges recently considered the issue of assisted suicide; they considered it with 16 learned members of the bar. Six months later they produced a judgement the length of a book. Few members of the public will read it. Their lordships were constrained to address the issue of assisted suicide within a legal framework rather than from a freely chosen moral and political framework.  The judges who made this ‘law’ are beyond democratic accountability. In a democracy, issues of public policy, such as assisted suicide, should be decided by elected representatives who should be engaging with the public and not collaborating with the judiciary.

The judiciary did not initiate this process; parliament gave the judiciary its new powers by enacting the Human Rights Act 1998. But the process that parliament initiated is now acquiring a momentum of its own, and speeches like Lord Neuberger’s warrant a serious public debate. Framing the discussion on human-rights laws simply in terms of Euroscepticism will only avoid or confuse the debate. What happens in the Strasbourg court is far less important that what is happening in courts north of the English Channel.


The NSPCC’s war on youth culture

The charity’s new anti-gang initiative sounds suspiciously like an assault on young people.

Following the widespread riots that plagued English cities in the summer of 2011, the Home Office published a report entitled Ending Gang and Youth Violence. Rather than blaming the riots on the provocations of a hostile police force, Westminster looked to the role that professional criminal outfits had played in encouraging the looting and criminal damage that spread through cities that summer.

Of those arrested in the riots, one in five were identified as gang members – considering the number of people who protested peacefully and consequently didn’t face arrest, the story of a criminally organised uprising seems more than a little threadbare. The Home Office reported that in London – the area with greatest concentration of gangs in the UK – only 22 per cent of violent crime more generally is gang-related. This proportion shrinks dramatically for the rest of the country. What’s more, there are no associated statistics to suggest that children or young people are particularly involved in these activities. In fact, one might safely assume that these actions are largely carried out by organised crime syndicates run by adults.

Why, then, has the NSPCC launched a national helpline to protect children from a gang culture that, though alive in some form, is hardly thriving? This week, the NSPCC, backed by the Home Office, set up a helpline to provide advice for parents concerned about their children’s involvement in gangs. The NSPCC’s statistical justification for the campaign is that one-in-six young people aged between 13 and 15 claims to know a gang member, yet it is startlingly vague about what being a gang member entails. It fails to clarify whether or not the adolescents surveyed are acquainted with members of violent criminal gangs or if some of their friends simply wear matching hoodies and spraypaint rude words on underpasses.

The helpline’s homepage lists supposedly telltale signs of gang association for parents to look out for. These include your child spending time with people you don’t know; coming home with unexplained injuries; getting into trouble at school; becoming secretive; and staying out late. The list does go on to include ‘evidence of violent or criminal activity’ as an indicator, but otherwise it reads rather like a rundown of the general behaviour to expect from any adolescent worthy of the name. It seems that the NSPCC’s latest crusade is not about tackling a criminal underworld that sucks in children; rather, it’s a concerted assault on the habits of young people and the elements of youth culture that pearl-clutching parents find distasteful.

Ever since teenagers have been a recognisable cultural force, young people have been drawn to gangs and sub-cultures. Admittedly, the NSPCC is fairly accurate in its assessment of the reasons for this. Gangs and youth movements provide young people with a rebellious outlet – a sense of identity and excitement that is made more attractive by a tinge of the illicit. Each new generation gives birth to a new youth culture – mods, rockers, punks, skinheads, casuals – and each new culture is immediately decried as criminal and violent. In every case, there exists a kernel of truth in the allegation of gang-style behaviour, but only a few of the young people involved in a particular sub-culture will ever engage in serious criminal activity; most stop at casual substance use, with occasional forays into dealing drugs. Serious violence is rarely as widespread as the attendant media panic would have you believe, and the young men billed as a threat to the nation’s moral fibre become a footnote in British cultural history within 10 years or so.

The NSPCC’s project indulges this timeless hysteria, as shown by the structure and spirit of its policy. A programme that earnestly sought to diffuse gang violence and impact the lives of at-risk children would presumably begin with those children in gangs. If sincere steps were being taken to end youth gang violence then helping community workers engage directly with gang members would doubtless be the first priority. Yet the NSPCC’s big idea is to provide an outlet for concerned parents.

In a statement about the project, John Cameron, NSPCC head of child protection, explained the charity’s decision to tackle gang violence, before adding: ‘Parents, carers and other adults often struggle to know where to turn when faced with a young person who they think might be involved in a gang.’

The NSPCC is quite clearly putting the cart before the horse here. After dubiously identifying gang violence as one of the key problems facing children in Britain, it goes on to explain a system that it has devised to alleviate the burden for parents and guardians. Confronted by the spectral presence of ‘kids with guns’, the NSPCC has responded with a 24-hour freephone helpline for worried parents.

This appeal to concerned parents betrays a deep-seated social conservatism at the heart of this new project. The reason the NSPCC finds gangs so barbaric is not solely because of the effect they have on vulnerable children, but because of their distasteful and anti-social presence in Britain’s cities and towns. Citing the involvement of children in gangs is a way of policing the idle young people who play alienating music from garish cars. The charity conflates the urban youth culture that their patrons find unseemly with the violent gang culture that affects very few children. In doing so, it does both groups a huge disservice. The cultural association and congregation of groups of young people is criminalised by a silent army of net-curtain-twitching vigilantes. And the few young gang members who genuinely need the charity’s help are offered the meagre comfort of a 24-hour phoneline.


Kick the thought police out of football - and smartphones

There is a scandal unfolding, involving football manager Malky Mackay, his sidekick Iain Moody and a series of ‘sexist, racist and homophobic’ text messages. But not quite in the way that has been widely reported.

    It is a scandal that a top law firm representing a private company, Cardiff City football club, should be able to get a High Court order empowering its ‘investigators’ to mount a dawn raid on the home of a former employee – Moody – seize his computers and smartphones and take digital images of ‘evidence’. This is a private financial dispute, between Cardiff owner Vincent Tan and the manager and head of recruitment he had sacked, over some allegedly suspect transfer deals. It is not the police pursuing terror suspects. What next – court orders enabling private goons to impound phones to see who has been tweeting rude things about their bosses or teachers?

    It is a scandal that a few of the thousands of private text messages which investigators found on the snatched phones should be reported to the Football Association, leaked to the media, and used to brand Mackay and Moody as ‘sick’ and ‘vile’ racists, sexists and homophobes, costing them new jobs at Crystal Palace and possible bans from football. If what we say or think in private is to be used as public evidence of a Thought Crime, they are going to have to turn football stadiums into prison camps to hold all the wrongdoers.

    It is a scandal that moral and media crusaders seeking to sanitise football have seized upon a handful of words in the highlighted texts as ‘proof’ that the beautiful game remains a secret hotbed of ugly bigotry. Having failed to find much racism or homophobia on the pitch or in the stands, these self-righteous prigs are delighted they might have discovered some inside a football man’s mind; they now want all players, officials and fans subjected to a re-education programme to teach us the correct groupthink.

Amid all the expressions of outrage about the vile, sick etc texts, few questions have been asked about any of this. Nobody even seems to have noted the irony of law giants Mishcon de Reya – a firm in the frontline of suing newspapers for alleged phone-hacking and invasions of privacy – acting as legalised hackers and invaders by trawling through Moody’s 70,000 texts and 100,000 emails, the cherry-picked details of which then end up all over the media. Instead, it has been a deluge of denunciations of Mackay and Moody, in a ‘debate’ about as one-sided as the Real Madrid forward line versus Cardiff City’s defence.

Sure, the few texts splashed across the news make unedifying reading (though they would surely only be shocking to the easily shocked). Mackay and Moody (it has not even been made clear who sent which text to whom) did themselves no favours by tapping in such messages as ‘Fkin chinkys’, ‘He’s a snake. A gay snake’, ‘Go on fat Phil. Nothing like a Jew who sees money slipping through his fingers’, ‘Not many white faces in that lot’ or ‘I bet you’d love a bounce on her falsies’. Guilty of private outbursts of puerile stupidity, m’lud.

But the notion that they should be sacked, publicly humiliated, if not hanged, and drummed out of football for these texts is far more outrageous and dangerous than any of their snickering text messages. It is not as if they used those words on a football pitch or in a board meeting. It was private correspondence between friends and close colleagues. We need not approve of what they said at all, but we should defend their right not to be put in the stocks for the digital equivalent of whispering to one another at the back of the class.

Treating the public and private spheres differently is vital to the healthy maintenance of both. Most of us – and especially some of us – will rant and rave about life and other people in private in a way that we would not in public. The private sphere is a refuge from the tough examination of life outside, and also where we formulate the things we want to say to the world and how we wish to say them.

In recent years, however, the distinction between the public and the private has become as blurred as a muddy touchline. Our voyeuristic political and media class increasingly demands that we be made accountable for what we do in private. Meanwhile exhibitionist public figures have turned their private lives into a profession.

The Mackay-Moody show reveals that things have now gone further still. Lord Ouseley is head of the government-and-FA-backed Kick It Out lobby, the witch-finder general in the phoney moral crusade against racism and homophobia in football. He seized upon the publication of those text messages with relish. ‘What you see at face value is not always reflective of the attitudes which are actually held deep down’, declared Ouseley. ‘It’s easy to present yourself as being reasonable and fair, and to behave in ways that hide prejudice and bias. However, any in-depth forensic examination or analysis of hidden views would be likely to reveal otherwise. That is what makes it difficult to eliminate and eradicate such prejudices, bigotry and even hatred.’

For Ouseley and Co, it seems, any public displays of decency are just a façade put up to disguise our inner bigot. What is real are people’s ‘hidden views’ based on ‘prejudices, bigotry and even hatred’. Thus we should be judged, not on our public words and deeds, but on the private prejudices that we do not express, but which can be discovered by ‘forensic analysis’ of our innermost thoughts. Then no doubt those who are somehow immune to prejudice, such as Lord Ouseley, can try to ‘eliminate and eradicate’ the racist within through a re-education programme.

Kick It Out and its media fan club have also been quick to use the Mackay-Moody scandal to give football another good kicking, insisting that those few texts are just the tip of the iceberg of ugly bigotry that is bringing the beautiful game into disrepute. Having spent years desperately trying and failing to find the spectre of serious racism in British football, the ghost-hunters have now fallen about a few stray private texts as ‘proof’ that the problem is rife. We might reasonably draw the opposite conclusion: that this overblown circus shows how rare incidents of real racism are around modern football, and that if anything brings the game into disrepute it is the shrill scaremongering of the phoney moral crusaders. But presumably that will only prove that we are at best in denial, and at worst part of the secret racist conspiracy.

Of course, nobody wants to endorse bigotry – although we surely ought to defend the freedom of thought and speech for pillocks, too, particularly in the privacy of their own home/phone. But this sort of manufactured outrage is likely to have a wider chilling effect on what people feel free to say or even think anywhere.

The dangerous trend towards policing private words and thoughts in sport and society, highlighted recently on spiked, inevitably brings to mind the descriptions of the Thought Police and thoughtcrime from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. And as ever, there is more to Orwell’s insight than is often assumed. The purpose of the Thought Police is not simply to punish those found guilty of mentally erring from the politically correct state diktat. It is also to encourage the rest to practice ‘crimestop’ – described by Big Brother’s public enemy number one, Emmanuel Goldstein, as ‘the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought… Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.’

Thanks, but I’ll take the risk of living in a relatively free world where there might be dodgy private texts lurking on somebody’s smartphone, rather than one where everybody’s inner thoughts are laid bare and we are safe in a blanket of collective ‘protective stupidity’.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


1 September, 2014

Football and its followers are not PC

Jim Davidson has become known for his use of controversial jokes about women, ethnic minorities, homosexuals and the disabled, but he rejects accusations that he is prejudiced against these groups

I've spent this month reviewing shows at the Edinburgh Fringe for The Daily Mirror and it really brings issues about what you can and can't say into focus.

I'm sure if a manager had sent a text using the c-word, this would have been held up as deeply offensive and possibly misogynistic. It is a word that is seen as utterly unacceptable by many and yet it is used by lots of people every day of their lives. Certainly, the majority of comedians I've seen in the last month use that word liberally and in every context imaginable without censure. Americans, in particular, are amazed that it's 'allowed'.

But who is right and who is wrong and who decides? Language is a tricky thing.

I went to see Jim Davidson, who played a Fringe show for the whole of this month. Despite growing up in the 70s, I have to admit to knowing very little about him. 'Chalky', snooker, liking ELP and being arrested, pretty much covered it. The one thing I do know is that I'm not supposed to like him.

Obviously, he's the bête noire of the liberal left and a whole generation grew up with Davidson as the establishment Tory against which to kick. My favourite comedians are Jerry Seinfeld, George Carlin and Bill Hicks. One of my favourite shows at the Fringe this year was by fantastic feminist comedian, Bridget Christie. I say this just to illustrate how Jim Davidson is not in my cultural universe.

Yet I didn't see any comedian better received. The audience of about 500 gave him a standing ovation and did so, from what I'm told, every night for a month. They laughed uproariously at what he said and were on his side throughout. However, by contrast, reviewers were very sniffy, calling him a 'throwback to an era comedy forgot'. If this is true of him, it is also true of many younger, modern comedians who perform very similar broad humour without criticism. It's a huge double standard. I have seen far less controversial comics perform far more 'offensive' material without attracting any ire at all. Davidson's critics were clearly reviewing the man and not the act.

When you see over 40 comedians within three weeks, it's not hard to spot those with the ability to amuse and those who don't and Davidson has it. He has superb technique (though I found it all a bit predictable and, as a result, a bit dull) but if you expected to see a tirade of sexist, racist comedy (and some reviewers clearly did), it wasn't that or at least, it was no more that than many performers' acts are. As I say, it was received to huge acclaim and it'd be easy to say this was because his audience were nasty, vicious bigots, but standing amongst them they obviously weren't, or at least, no more than any public gathering. They were largely working class and drawn from all ages.

Where this informs the football debate is that Davidson has clearly become emblematic for his audience. They see him as standing against the people who are sometimes called liberal fascists who, they feel, tell them what they can and can't say or think. They feel culturally dictated to by a self-appointed elite of people. They don't want to be told what to say, how to say it, or how to behave by these people. They don't want to be told they're misogynists, racists or homophobes when they feel they're genuinely not. Davidson rails against the 'PC liberal lefties' even though I'm pretty sure, this being Scotland, almost none of his audience vote Tory and most are probably on the left to some degree. This is all about the cultural, not the political.

This seems to be the same thing at the core of some of the more visceral responses in defence of the 'real football man' (as though working in football is in and of itself proof of your moral worth) Malky Mackay. Some feel it's not like he's committed a great crime; some feel that there is a witch hunt by over-precious people who are merely looking for an opportunity to be offended, people for whom their righteous indignation is forever on the point of boiling over. And, let's be honest, anyone who has been patronised by someone telling you to 'check your privilege' has probably felt some sympathy with that view. There can be an over-focus on expression rather than intent or belief. But as we know, words are tricky things.

Yet all this being said, I found those Mackay texts profoundly depressing and suspect they really do reveal the driving cultural tides in our football culture and in our society too. They reveal what most of us already know - that people say one thing for public consumption, but think another. It wasn't a mistake, he just didn't think it was wrong. We have to deal with the fact that in wanting to create a less divisive, bigoted culture, we have helped create a covert culture where the 'wrong' views are still held and expressed. Just shouting people down won't change that, indeed, it may help perpetuate it.

Talk of 'rehabilitating' him, as though he is ill, smacks of Brave New World mind control, but defending it with that most heinous of words, banter (a word we have long railed against here), is dumb too.

Extreme reactions - and the internet specialises in extreme reactions - make dealing with the issues these texts raise all the more difficult, as a result, most just keep quiet, scared that they put their foot in it and say something thought to be wrong.

We're all part of football culture and we need to sort this out and we won't do that if we just resort to calling each other names and trying to be superior. All sides need to exercise more understanding because I think we can agree we've all had enough of anger and intolerance. And anyone who disagrees is a c**t.


Caliph Cameron brings ISIS-style intolerance to Britain

Our rulers’ authoritarian response to ISIS is trashing freedom and tolerance

We know from their Four Lions-style Twitterfeeds and video statements that some ISIS members dream of co-opting Britain into their unforgiving caliphate. They fantasise about raising their black flag over Downing Street and enforcing harsh sharia law on us, doing away with what they see as our foolish traditions of tolerance and democracy. But it turns out they don’t need to. They don’t have to traipse across Europe to London, for our leaders have proved themselves willing to trash tolerance and democracy on ISIS’s behalf. Giving new meaning to the word irony, in the name of tackling the threat posed by the Islamic State David Cameron and Co are adopting some of the methods of the Islamic State, undermining free speech, free movement and universal justice.

It speaks volumes about the UK government that the only solution it can come up with to the problem of young Brits going off to fight with ISIS is draconianism. PM David Cameron got the ball rolling in mid-August with his promise to use censorship to try to stem the flow of British Muslims to ISIS’s ranks. He announced that anyone spotted waving the ISIS flag in Britain will be arrested. Also, anyone who praises ISIS – that is, who ‘glorifies terrorism’, which is a crime in England and Wales under the authoritarian Terrorism Act of 2006 – faces arrest, too. He boasted that 28,000 ‘terrorist materials’, including 46 ISIS videos, have been unilaterally removed from the internet by police. Some of these ‘terrorist materials’ have nothing to do with recruiting people to ISIS or explaining how to make bombs or anything like that – they merely express a favourable view of ISIS and other groups; that is, they ‘glorify terrorism’, they express an opinion. Yet they’ve been banned. As Cameron unashamedly says, there are limits to British tolerance: ‘We are a tolerant people, but no tolerance should allow the room for this sort of poisonous extremism in our country.’ So supposedly tolerant Britain will not tolerate the expression of disturbing views.

Home secretary Theresa May followed hot on Cameron’s heels by proposing the punishment of speech crimes committed by radical Islamists. May wants to re-introduce ‘banning orders’ against those whose words and ideas currently ‘fall short of the legal threshold for terrorism proscription’ – that is, against people who do not recruit for terrorist organisations, and who don’t even glorify terrorism, but who merely express hotheaded Islamist ideas. If a targeted Islamist breaks his banning order and gives one of his speeches about kuffars, then he will face arrest and imprisonment. For speaking his mind. This is intolerance in action. It sets a very dangerous precedent. If we allow May to rewrite the law to ban certain extremists from preaching or speaking in public, what’s to stop her from targeting other extremists in the future? Political extremists, perhaps, or eco-extremists, or Millwall-loving extremists.

Meanwhile, Tory backbencher David Davis, once hilariously thought of as a libertarian, has suggested British citizens who travel to fight with ISIS should be stripped of their citizenship – that is, made stateless. Not to be outdone, Conservative London mayor Boris Johnson, who also once posed as liberal, has suggested trashing hundreds of years of universal justice in the name of tackling the problem of Brits hooking up with ISIS. Any Brit who travels to Syria or Iraq should, through a ‘swift and minor’ change to the law, be presumed guilty of terrorism until they can prove otherwise, he says. There would be nothing ‘minor’ about such a change to the law; it would represent the undermining of one of the key planks of any system of law that considers itself democratic – that we should all be presumed innocent until such a time as the state has proven beyond reasonable doubt that we are guilty of an offence. ISIS must be delighted as it watches Boris score a low blow against our pansy, kuffar laws.

So, our rulers’ plans for Doing Something about the problem of Brits going to fight with ISIS is to restrict freedom of thought and speech, rein in tolerance, and overhaul Enlightened law. That our leaders have so speedily suggested a mass ditching of the values of the Enlightenment cannot be explained by the problem of ISIS alone, or by the videoed beheading of the American journalist James Foley by a Brit. After all, there have been beheading videos before, including ones executed by Britons (most notoriously the beheading of the American journalist Daniel Pearl by Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a one-time student at the London School of Economics). Rather, it is our politicians’ already-existing discomfort with what they see as the dangerous nature of liberty that propelled them post-Foley to undermine freedom and tolerance even further. Clearly viewing unfettered freedom as a moral bad, as the potential corrupter of fragile minds, they have allowed their illiberal prejudices to come to the fore in the wake of ISIS’s rise.

They are doing ISIS’s dirty work for it. Indeed, it is striking how closely our leaders’ proposed clampdowns on liberty echo ISIS’s own allergy to freedom. In banning extremist ideas on the basis that they might warp young minds, Tory politicians express the same fear of words and lack of faith in individual free will as can be found in ISIS’s propaganda. In the latest issue of its magazine, ISIS talks about ‘polluted ideologies’ and calls into question ‘the notion that the people can choose’, particularly the notion that they can choose ‘whether to follow the truth or to embark on a falsehood’. This is a very similar censoriousness to Cameron’s, being driven by a conviction that ordinary people cannot distinguish truth from falsity, and thus must be protected from foul ideologies, because ‘every time choice is allowed it will result in misguidance’, as ISIS says.

Our elites’ transformation of ‘radicalisation’ into something that just happens to people, like brainwashing, echoes ISIS’s conviction that there is no such thing as free choice. Indeed, ISIS says it wants to ‘eradicate the principle of “free choice”’, believing that it allows people to be overcome by ‘shirk, misguidance or heresy’. Fundamentally, authoritarian ISIS is driven by a view of people as weak-willed and requiring protection from ‘polluted ideologies’. There is ‘widespread ignorance amongst the people’, its magazine says: people are ‘like camels’. This is a less PC version of what the Caliph Cameron is saying – that certain ideologies pollute people’s minds, and so we must limit people’s free choice because they are incapable of deciding ‘whether to follow the truth or to embark on a falsehood’ (ISIS’s words, not Cameron’s, though I know it can be hard to tell).

This is the terrible irony of the draconian response to the ISIS / British Muslim problem: it actually imports ISIS-style illiberalism into the UK. It creates a secular Caliphate-on-the-Thames. It does to Britain what ISIS has only dreamt of doing to us, rubbishing our freedom and tolerance in the name of holding back ‘polluting ideologies’.

There are two massive problems with the draconian response to the ISIS issue. The first is its denting of liberty, not only for Muslims but for us all, where the home secretary might soon be able to decide if we are ‘extremists’ and imprison us on that basis alone. And the second is that it dodges the only thing that might truly address the problem of Brits signing up for ISIS: the battle of ideas, the fight to win the hearts and minds of British youth through demonstrating what is good and virtuous about our society and why they should stay here rather than travel to the misanthropic pseudo-state set up by ISIS. The key problem is our failure to enthuse young Brits with a moral vision, not the magical allure of Them over there. Which is why the draconianism of Cameron and Co is the worst possible response. We should become more liberal and tolerant and freedom-loving in response to the ISIS problem, not less, precisely as a way of communicating to our youths what our values are and why they are so superior to the people-hating, illiberal project of the Islamic State.


Tory MP claims Enoch Powell's 'Rivers of Blood' speech was right

A veteran Conservative MP has claimed that Enoch Powell was right to warn against immigration in his controversial "rivers of blood" speech.

Sir Gerald Howarth, a former defence minister, said that the Tory MP was correct in saying that the influx of immigrants of a "non-Christian" faith has presented a "challenge" to British society.

In a letter to a constituent, Sir Gerald said that the Trojan Horse plot in which extremists attempted to take over schools in Birmingham highlighted the problems.

He said: "Clearly, the arrival of so many people of a non-Christian faith has presented a challenge as so many of us, including the late Enoch Powell, warned decades ago.

"Recent events have illustrated that some of these new arrivals have a very different ethos from traditional Christian schools and we were right to intervene to prevent them from teaching divisive ideology to children born here."

Sir Gerald said that he stood by the letter and said his views had been reinforced by the child sex abuse scandal in Rotherham, where gangs of Asian men groomed and abused children.

He said that it is time for England to "fight back" against political correctness, adding: "If you don't like it, go live somewhere else."

He added: "For 40 years we have been subjected to a left wing political correctness which has stopped the British people from expressing perfectly legitimate and reasonable views. More than 1,400 children in Rochdale have paid the price for decades of political correctness and now people are speaking up."

Mr Powell delivered his 'Rivers of Blood' speech in Birmingham in April 1968, calling for the "repatriation" of non-white immigrants and claiming that the increased diversity would lead to riots. There is no suggestion that Sir Gerald advocated repatriation in his letter to a constituent.

Mr Powell was immediately sacked from the shadow cabinet after his comments by Edward Heath, the then Conservative leader.


Don't use the A-word: BBC accused of censorship over Rotherham child abuse by failing to mention that gangs were Asian

In current British usage, "Asian" means someone from the Indian sub-continent

The BBC has enraged licence fee-payers by allegedly downplaying the role of Pakistani gangs in Rotherham's sex abuse scandal.

Yesterday's landmark report singled out Pakistani men as the main perpetrators in the sexual exploitation of at least 1,400 children over 16 years - and warned council staff's fear of acknowledging their race compounded the scandal.

But this morning, four of BBC News Online's seven articles on the report made no reference to Pakistani men.

Blasting the BBC's omission as 'spineless and gutless', Jane Collins, Ukip's Yorkshire and Humber MEP, told MailOnline: 'Are they worried about being racist?

'There is no way around it: the people involved in this scandal were from the Pakistani and Kahmiri communities. 'We have to be brave. It's not about racism, it's about welfare.

'Unfortunately the people involved in this worried about being called racist. We have to face up to that fact and tackle this head-on in the community.'

Professor Alexis Jay, author of the council-commissioned report, highlighted political correctness as a key factor in the long-running scandal.

She warned police and council officials suppressed evidence of the crimes because they feared being labelled racist. 

Concerns about damage to community cohesion were put above the need to protect the vulnerable, the report said.

Readers took to social media in anger accusing the Corporation of sanitising its online coverage.

Reference was made to Pakistani men in the BBC's evening news broadcasts and this morning's radio. However, the lead articles online this morning simply referred to the perpetrators as 'criminal gangs'.

One commenter tweeted: 'BBC unable to even say "Pakistani" & point fingers. If your name is Cliff Richard however, they'll send a TV helicopter. #rotherham'.

Another said: 'The reference to perpetrators being virtually all Pakistani has been removed from the BBC piece #Rotherham'.

And one wrote: 'Main BBC News website story on #Rotherham does not mention Asian/Pakistani once, they are "criminal gangs"'.

The report stated: 'The issue of race, regardless of ethic group, should be tackled as an absolute priority if it is known to be a significant factor in the criminal activity of organised abuse in any local community.'

Council staff were given ‘clear directions’ from managers to downplay the ‘ethnic dimension’ of the abuse despite almost all the perpetrators being of Pakistani heritage.

Three separate reports warning of the scale of the abuse were ‘suppressed or ignored’ by the council because it was ‘in denial’ about the crimes.

Despite the appalling failures in the case, no one in authority has been sacked or even disciplined. MPs and charities said the scale of the abuse was almost ‘incomprehensible’ and called for a criminal investigation into those who helped cover it up.

And at least six victims have now launched a class action against Rotherham council and could be in line for millions of pounds in compensation.

A BBC spokesman said: 'Any suggestion we’ve sanitised our reporting is nonsense.  'Our coverage on BBC News, including online, has made it clear that the abusers were predominately Asian and that council staff feared being labelled racist.

'Stories on the website are constantly evolving but all have clear links to articles which explain the full context.

'We spoke to members of the Pakistani community in Rotherham on Today, BBC Radio 5 live, the BBC News Channel and more reaction is expected online later.

'As the story has evolved we have covered other key developments such as the resignation of the council leader and calls for the resignation of South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner and we’ll continue to explore all the different angles.'


Council of Muslim Organizations Thinks Americans Are Stupid

The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) public condemnation of ISIS press release is clever propaganda that doesn't say anything of substance against Islamic Jihadi Doctrine but does threaten every Americans right to free speech.

You will learn how CAIR, Muslim American Society (MAS), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Legal Fund of America, American Muslims For Palestine, Muslim Ummah of North America, and the other USCMO member organizations think the American people are stupid. (see press release at end of this article)

USCMO Lies About The Qur'an

US Council of Muslim Organization (USCMO) are amateur propagandists as they denounce the ‘IS' Islamic State for the beheading of journalist James Foley.

Oussama Jammal, USCMO Secretary General wrote in their press statement,  "It states in the Qur'an (5:32) that the taking of one life is the equivalent of killing of all humankind and the saving of one life is equivalent to the saving of all humankind."  Mr. Jammal is lying by omission because this 5:32 does not apply to those Islam deems as "spreading mischief in the land."   Those who "spread mischief in the land" refers to non-Muslims. Mr. Jammal must think the American people are too stupid to read Qur'an verse 5:32 and the following verse 5:33 which gives the reader full context.

???????? ??????? ????????? ???????????? ??????? ??????????? ???????????? ??? ???????? ???????? ???? ??????????? ???? ??????????? ???? ????????? ??????????? ?????????????? ???? ?????? ???? ????????? ???? ???????? ?????? ?????? ?????? ??? ?????????? ???????? ??? ????????? ??????? ???????

Qur'an 5:33 states, "The recompense of those who fight Allah and His messenger, and seek to make corruption in the land, is that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from alternate sides or that they be banished from the land; that is their disgrace in this world and in the Hereafter they will have a great torment."

Mr. Jammal, do you really think we Americans don't see what you are trying to do here?  You are parading a partial translation of verse 5:32 for American consumption but everyone knows the political Islamists practice 5:33 in the Islamic active kinetic war zones in the Middle East, Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Indonesia, Syria, etc....

If the USCMO would be honest, they would condemn verse 5:33 as an important factor too the continuous bloodlust of the Jihadis around the world. 

Having It Both Ways

The USCMO press release says, "condemn ISIS and rejects its ideology and actions...doesn't speak for 1.5 billion Muslims...and contravenes all aspects and tenets of Islam."

Here is the rub, most of the groups, in this USCMO alliance, support the terrorist organization Hamas.  Hamas,  The Muslim Brotherhood, and ISIS are all two sides of the same Islamic terrorist coin according to Arsen Ostrovsky  Huffington Post article.

"One need only read Hamas' own Charter and observe their methods, including using their own children as human shields, while openly professing to Israel "We desire death as you desire life," to see they are in word and deed made of the same terrorist cloth as ISIS." Ostrovsky writes.

It doesn't take any investigative skill to conclude that the USCMO will say and do anything to advance the false narrative implying political Islam in America is harmless.

The USCMO Warns America

The USCMO press release says, " The USCMO also warns the public to avoid spreading Islamophobia by using the actions of ISIS to characterize and demonize all Muslims, globally and here in the United States."

First, nobody in their right mind demonizes ‘All' of anything.  It is impossible to know what lies deep in an individuals heart but it is perfectly legitimate and necessary to question the motivations of Islamist political groups like the USCMO.

Mr. Jammal,   American people don't respond well to threats - What exactly are you going to do to us if we say something you don't like?  Are you going to publicly demonize us, have your member group the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) file a bogus lawsuits to try and stop our right to free speech, or will we be officially violating Qur'an verse 5:33 requiring exactly the violent actions you falsely condemn in your press release?


It's offensive that you, Mr. Jammal and the USCMO, would be so arrogant as to  threaten the American people to ‘conform' to your world view ‘or else'... what Mr. Jammal what do you mean by ‘else'?  Every warning has a consequence yet you are too cowardly to say what that is.

Your tactic of intimidation, Mr. Jammal, may work in the Middle East but it won't work here in the United States of America.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


Examining political correctness around the world and its stifling of liberty and sense. Chronicling a slowly developing dictatorship

BIO for John Ray

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take chidren away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

Postmodernism is fundamentally frivolous. Postmodernists routinely condemn racism and intolerance as wrong but then say that there is no such thing as right and wrong. They are clearly not being serious. Either they do not really believe in moral nihilism or they believe that racism cannot be condemned!

Postmodernism is in fact just a tantrum. Post-Soviet reality in particular suits Leftists so badly that their response is to deny that reality exists. That they can be so dishonest, however, simply shows how psychopathic they are.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amedment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

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To be continued ....
Queensland Police -- A barrel with lots of bad apples
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