THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain

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Our Rubicon

Cameron warned against crossing the Rubicon of state control of the press. His Government is now preparing to cross it. | Conservative Home.
We are approaching a decisive moment. David Cameron nervously described Leveson's proposals to 'regulate' the British press as 'crossing the Rubicon' but as Paul Goodman says in the linked article his government is about to do it anyway. If people accept that government has a role in controlling commercial media (and 'regulate' is merely a statist euphemism for 'control'), then we are a blink away from wider controls. Already the daily fake 'scandals' about 'Twittter trolls' and 'Facebook bullies' are setting the scene.

Alea iacta est for freedom of thought in Britain. It seems the police are already more interested in what we say than what we do. Barely a day goes by without some schmuck on Twitter being interrogated by the police and it's already a worse crime to beat up or kill someone if thinking certain thoughts at the time.

The Left have been making 'social' excuses for non thought-crime for generations. Our judges, educated in our solidly left-wing universities, now routinely spout sociological clap-trap while handing out derisory sentences. The notion of personal responsibility is dead. In a telling moment for me an academic at a conference last year (he claimed not to be a Marxist, but admitted most of his colleagues were) told me that my personal achievements were 'pure luck' and that I was not morally entitled to the proceeds.

It's the flip side of the same coin. The evil that criminals do is 'society's fault' and the state must address not their conduct, but the 'social problems' that 'cause' it. The success of honest citizens however is to the state's credit and it is entitled to the proceeds. Socialism, despite the abject failure of the greatest political experiment in history, with more than half of humanity ruled by Socialists in the last century, is back. Watch out, because this time the Leftists have learned guile.

The leader of HM Opposition feels it aids his electoral cause to use 'the S word' openly and to dog-whistle even worse by defending the reputation of his proudly-Marxist father. Ironically, given the Left's fixation on 'hate speech' and 'hate crime' Socialism is a doctrine based on hatred; class-hatred and envy-driven hatred of success. It should provoke exactly the same revulsion as its cousin; race-hate-based National Socialism. That it doesn't is because the Left has infiltrated our education system and our state broadcaster (tell me again why a free society needs one of those) so successfully. Now it's coming for the rest of us.

The consequence will be just as it was in the Soviet Union. The more talented or industrious will either contribute less for lack of incentive, or will become the criminals these idiots already think they are. This phenomenon was illustrated by two Communist-era proverbs I learned in my years in Poland;
"Standing up or lying down, it's a zloty an hour" and "You are stealing from your family if you're not stealing from the State." 
Though I am sure the Labour Party will get most of the extra votes when we finally obey the ECHR order to restore the ballot to prisoners, that's not what the Left is up to. Nor are they claiming the credit for business-peoples' work just to damage our self-esteem. They are establishing as a 'given' in all political thought and policy-making the Marxist notion that individuals are mere flotsam on the tides of historical inevitability. They can only treat us as eggs to be callously cracked in their great steaming omelette of statism if they can convince themselves that we are trivial; that what we think, say and do and the choices we make don't matter. In short, that we are nothing in their great scheme of things.

To achieve the kind of sociopathic vileness that led their hero Hobsbawm (close family friend of the Millibands) to believe that twenty million deaths under Soviet rule would have been justified had the proposed communist utopia been created, or that it was sensible to drop a nuclear bomb on Israel (there's no anti-semite to rival a Marxist Jew) you need to reduce humans to ciphers. And to convince men and women that this is acceptable; that they really are mere pawns in a game that matters far more than the sacrifices made of them, you need to control their thoughts. It is no coincidence that the Left cannot abide the expression of non-Left views. It is not for nothing that they actively seek to make people fearful of non-Left thoughts. It is a Marxist necessity.

If our free will is irrelevant, our achievements mere luck and our wickedness attributable to our circumstances, then they are fully justified in using the immense power of the state to shape 'social forces', regardless of the human cost.

It is a short step from 'hate speech' to 'thought crime' and it's about to be taken. 'Regulation' of the press is just another brick in the wall.

A dialogue of the deaf (and dumb)

A woman was in full niqab at my local Tube station today. That I respect her right to dress as she likes, is for most libertarians all that there is to say on that subject. In truth, of course, there is much more. A wise friend of mine said recently that libertarians are wrong to treat such issues as cut and dried. We give the impression that we are uncaring, cold and more unlike other people than we really are.

This post of mine was a good example. My friend rebuked me for saying that "I don't care" if people want to enter into polygamous/polyandrous marriages, when I would actually be very concerned for any family member or friend embarking on one. He has a point. As witness the conventional lives that most of us lead, libertarians generally have a similar range of ethical scruples to everyone else. In a sense, we just have an extra scruple about interfering in the lives of others.

I would never advocate interfering with that young lady's right to dress as she does. That doesn't mean I don't have any other response. In truth my reaction was the same I would have to seeing her paraded in public on a leash. However much she and they might deny it, I feel it's degrading that her menfolk claim the right for her to be seen only by them. I feel her garb is the sign and symbol of misogynistic subjection.

Other libertarians might have different responses. We are not an army of liberty-minded robots. We are diverse, mostly rather ordinary humans with a range of views.

Why then do I feel so uncomfortable in expressing such a personal view? I am not afraid of being accused of islamophobia. As used in public discourse in Britain, I regard it as a bogus concept designed to close down discussion. Rather like racism, sexism and homophobia, it is usually no more than an incantation; a magic spell to shut opponents up.

Nor do I recognise the lady's right not to be offended. Someone is offended by any point of view. I am very offended by those who advocate enslaving their fellow-men on a time share basis; making them work for the state for months before permitting them to earn for their families. Yet I don't claim the right to suppress their foul views. There is no free speech without offence - real, imagined or bogus. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but if we want to live in a free society we can't ever allow mere words to hurt us.

My wise friend is right. If we don't talk about the many concerns we share with non-libertarians, we make it harder to win them over. We sound like cold, hard people lacking concern for our fellow men. It's not enough to say the lady in the niqab is entitled to wear it. We also need to say that, like our fellow citizens, some of us at least feel sorry for her and disgusted by the misogyny her garb represents.

In modern Britain, libertarians inevitably spend most of our time arguing against the increasing intrusion of the state into private lives. We need also to make clear that we only do so as a matter of ethical principle. It's not because we approve of whatever "evil" the state pretends it is trying to cure. We would oppose a hijab ban à la française in England for example, but that doesn't mean any or all of us are happy for the women concerned. Just because we claim no right to interfere doesn't mean we lack a moral response.

Perhaps the confusion arises from the fact that, in a radically statist society like ours, where government accepts no boundaries on its right to interfere, moral criticism is almost always the precursor to an attack on liberty. We used to separate the immoral (to be avoided in oneself and discouraged in others on ethical grounds) and the illegal (to be suppressed for the protection of others from genuine harm). That distinction has somehow been lost.

The loss is no accident, in my view. To advance their cause, statists have - in a cynical agitprop exercise - sought out "oppressed" groups and offered them the state's protection. They have given the right to those favoured groups (selected for the sympathy they evoke in a population of generally decent people) not to be offended and not to have hatred expressed against them. In doing so they have chilled free expression so effectively that it's hard not to imagine that was their objective. And they have caused a clamour from other groups to be added to the list of the elect.

The British media demonised the Polish and Ukrainian peoples as racist bigots in advance of UEFA 2012, for example. I am familiar with both countries and don't believe racism is more prevalent there than here. I simply think we have suppressed its expression here and in doing so may even have increased its incidence. Does that really make anyone's life better? Does it increase the chance of different communities growing together; learning to understand each others' concerns and to build trust? I think not.

The lady on the platform today may, as most human communication is non-verbal, have detected my unease. She may speculate as to its causes but she will never know the truth. Unless it's possible to talk openly to each other, how can we progress? How can we explain to those who are taught to assume we are hostile by our racist, sexist, homophobic and islamophobic natures, that we stand by the old English principle of "handsome is as handsome does?" That we really just want people to stop calling for us to be controlled like dangerous dogs and for all of us - citizen familes old and new - to sign up to the standards of tolerance and mutual respect that we think should define our society?

The key question is, as always, cui bono? I don't think it's the young lady in the niqab, who might well enjoy having me as a neighbour if not taught to fear me. I don't think it's the black and brown football fans who missed out on two wonderful countries. The only beneficiaries of this moral panic agitprop are those who seek ever more control over our lives. Every time we edit our speech for fear of PC "offence" we are losing the battle for our freedom.

Blood, soil and soccer

Half of Britons have German blood - Telegraph.
Dreamstime_10417855 Dreamstime_12482645
The linked article is hardly news, surely? Most Anglo-Saxons have only a hazy idea of where the Angles came from (Angeln in Schleswig-Holstein) but surely all of us know the Saxons came from Saxony? We are known by the hyphenated names of two German places, for goodness' sake - as if it matters. Englishness is not, and has never been, a matter of blood and soil.

What is surprising and disapppointing is that Der Spiegel thinks the English are;

"...the nation which most dislikes the Germans..."

Really?! I am afraid your editorial team needs to get out more. Having worked in various countries in Europe over many years, I can assure you that this is a fiercely-contested title. The English are not even in contention for a place on the podium. If we ever feel animosity* towards the Germans it is usually in the context of football, which is rather a compliment given that it's our national game. Being feared on the soccer field is surely better than being laughed at?

Who buys more of your cars than us? We even take BMWs (described by my father years ago as "German Cortinas") seriously, which rather suggests a partiality in your favour. Have you forgotten that Audi sales in Britain increased when the company adopted its "Vorsprung durch Technik" slogan (market research having shown we didn't know Audis were German cars)? We rate your kitchens and kitchen equipment highly too, as well as other furniture. My house in England is furnished almost entirely from Germany, because I showed the interior designer the cockpit of the AMG car I then owned and said "make it like this."

Of course we don't drink your wine or eat your food, but that's because God gave us the French as our neighbours. Unlike you, we weren't so bloody-mindedly nationalistic as to cling to a foul cuisine when something better was on offer.

All this waving whole nations over one's head stuff is nonsense of course. A Jew, a German and two Poles are among the ten best people I have ever met. There are two Jews, three Germans and a Pole among the ten worst. From this, admittedly anecdotal, evidence I have concluded that peoples of all nations, tribes and religions come in all ethical flavours.That's why racism is so stupid as to be not worth worrying about. People who have no better criteria than ethnicity for ranking themselves against the rest of humanity are cretins. As are people who are attribute any importance to them - like the editorial staff of Der Spiegel.

*OK, the way they impose their unique scheme of queuing with inanimate objects outside their jurisdiction is also annoying.

Time to move on?

When it comes to race, the move-on brigade can't dismiss the problems | Aditya Chakrabortty | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Not according to Aditya Chakrabortty, who is keen to hold onto the race card. Let's try not to suspect it's because he has few others in his hand. According to Aditya who, despite having the "wrong colour of skin" has somehow managed to land a job as economics leader writer for the Guardian;

...racism can still be as simple as being pulled over by a policeman for having the wrong colour of skin...

Yes, I suppose it can. It can also be as simple as assuming you were pulled over for having the "wrong" colour of skin. Perhaps it really is time to move on Aditya. But then reading some of your other articles, moving on from outdated dogma is not really your forte, is it?

King had a dream, but blacks now face a nightmare

American Thinker: King had a dream, but blacks now face a nightmare

The linked article is sad and touching. When will the minority groups in British society come to the same realisation? Their hopes and dreams have been ruthlessly exploited by the Left in exactly the same way - and with the same outcome. The racism industry is never going to declare victory, because that would be to make its hordes of parasites redundant. It is going to go on and on redefining itself. Racism is just too valuable a meal ticket (and an electoral dog whistle) ever to give it up. This, no matter how much it saps self-confidence, self-belief and self-reliance by giving certain groups (as capable of success as anyone else) a reason to fail - or at least a reason to stop trying.

At each election liberals say that blacks need protection from conservatives, but there are no conservatives anywhere near us. The only thing that all of the people who set the policies that affect us have in common is that they are all liberal. Our cities have been under liberal control for decades and they are also where the black economic and social indicators are the worst; and the mainstream civil rights movement, that claims to represent us, never questions whether or not liberalism is partially to blame.

Don't get me wrong. There were and are racists. They are stupid people, focussed on a trivial irrelevance. I can only pity people who have nothing more to be proud of than their ethnic origin. They should take up macramé or something; at least a well-crafted bedspread would be their own achievement. I first learned to pity them growing up among Welsh Nationalists; people focussed on a difference so trivial as to be laughable. People who admit they are defined only by their sense of cymreictod; a sense I once had, but abandoned when I realised I was expected to hate people I loved.

Such fools are not worth a second thought; to take them seriously is to make something of them they could never make themselves. Just look at the clowns in the BNP. What sane person can do more than laugh? To the extent such people can ever pose a threat (and we must of course be vigilant not to place them in positions of power) it is one to be triumphantly and contemptuously transcended. The way forward for "ethnic minorities" is the same way forward as for anyone else; self-reliance, family, friendship, kindness, education and effort.

No "liberal" or leftist can admit that, because it would be to expose themselves as the exploitative parasites they are.

Giving an unattractive nation a makeover

Labour wanted mass immigration to make UK more multicultural, says former adviser - Telegraph.
Dreamstime_11144159This story proves the Labour Party knows no ethical boundaries to state power. A government should serve the people, not seek to manipulate them. Social re-engineering of the people in the interests of the governing party is no part of a government's remit. Labour cannot even deny this particular exercise was against the peoples' will. Why else did it manipulate the data? If it had thought there was popular support for re-engineering the nation to make it "more attractive and cosmopolitan", it would have campaigned for election on that basis.

Let's face it however; what nation would elect a government that despised it as unattractive and parochial? In deliberately flooding our islands with millions of unnecessary immigrants, Labour concealed its "driving political purpose" and "concentrated instead on the economic benefits". Those benefits have proved illusory, but they were never what mattered to Labour.

I feel sorry for the immigrants concerned. They have been used as political weapons to attack the people they came to live among and can hardly expect to be loved for it. Yet this was not their fault. They sought, as sane humans do, to improve the lives of their families. They disrupted their lives; removed themselves from their communities; made huge efforts in many cases to come to a place they hoped would offer more life chances. Many with strong religious and cultural beliefs came because they were encouraged to believe they need not adapt in order to live in Britain. Now we know why. They were being deliberately imported in order to modify Britain; to adapt it to them. They have been cruelly used in a campaign not of their making. It is impossible to imagine any party but Labour being so cynical and arrogant.

This was about importing Labour voters, dramatically changing the country Labour has long despised and taking a mischievous chance to "rub the Right's nose in diversity." It was, in short, a betrayal of the nation. Labour has today been exposed as not merely unfit to govern, but unfit to live among the people it so hates. All involved in this exercise should emigrate to a country sufficiently "diverse" to be "attractive" to them. Perhaps Cuba?

The Boys Who Cry Racism

The Boys Who Cry Racism by Harry Stein, City Journal 15 October 2009.

The linked article is an excellent piece about how the once-serious issue of racism has become a casual political smear.

...the charge of racism is invariably a crock; indeed, that more than simply an expression of (often contrived) liberal moral outrage, it’s intended to be the ultimate conversation stopper. Ward Connerly, long the leader of the fight against racial preferences in America, observes that he’s had the experience more times than he cares to count of speaking before an audience, knowing that 99 of 100 people agree with him. “But if there’s one angry black person in the audience who disagrees,” he says, “that person controls the room. He’ll go on about the last 400 years, and institutional racism, and ‘driving while black,’ and the other 99 will just sit there and fold like a cheap accordion.” And Connerly is black himself. For the liberal opinion makers and trend setters who’ve set themselves up as America’s racial referees, the accused racist is always presumed to be guilty of at least something.

Do read the whole thing. What's true in America may be even more true in Britain, where the equality industry has a vested interest in finding racists under our beds. If the BNP is constantly in the news, it's not because its paltry ragbag of idiots represents a threat; it's because banging on about it keeps Trevor and his team in their sinecures.

What is the point of blogging?

Multimedia_pics_1386_1_photo_657Why am I still here? As I watched the British prisoners suck down to the murderous pixie who leads Iran, my reasons for political blogging died. Britain’s educationalists, for so long more dangerous than any external enemy, have triumphed. Those young sailors and marines displayed the cultural cringe that must now betray us all. Faced with a deadly enemy, they saw an equally-valid culture as worthy of respect as our own.

They  probably, as one of my readers commented,  "don't know who Nelson was". However, I am sure they know all about Britain’s “wicked” imperial past. They will know everything of her role in the slave trade, save for abolishing it within her empire (only the second country to do so) and then using her navy to suppress it elsewhere. They will not know that the Anti-Slavery Squadron of the navy in which they now serve liberated 160,000 slaves between 1811 and 1867 off the coast of Africa.

They probably don't know the history of people abducted into slavery by Muslim rulers from British ships and English coastal towns. They will know, however, of every time their country has fallen short of the high standards set by Ghana, Nigeria or the Islamic world. They will also know, in their guts, that Islamophobia is a terrible thing, though they will not be able to explain why. Frankly, they will have been so brainwashed that you could stick “ophobia” after anything you liked and they would be automatically unmanned.

Why then should they risk a beating - or even the indignity of being mocked for their resemblance to Mr Bean - for a country they have been taught to despise? A country which suspects anyone who respects its flag of being a fascist?

24_8601150455_l600If (happy fantasy) we could now purge our Ministry of Education, Universities, teacher training colleges and the staff rooms of our bog-standard schools, where could we find the people to replace those we defenestrated disinfiltrated? Generations have been lost to this self-loathing indoctrination. As Show of Hands sing in their song Roots;

We learn to be ashamed before we walk,

Of the way we look and the way we talk

The great public schools now teach to the same National Curriculum and even independent-minded teachers tell pupils not to lose marks by, for example, critiquing the poems from different cultures added to the GCSE English curriculum.

“Yes I know it’s technically poor dear, but there are no marks for saying so.”

Our decline and fall will not even feature the fun and games with which Ancient Rome distracted itself at its end. If you Google for examples, it becomes hard to argue that England is hopelessly decadent. Puritanism is still a powerful negative force and every description of a pleasure, even in the advertisments for spas and resorts, is accompanied by a ritual justification to do with how hard we all work. The English don't feel they deserve pleasure. We are unlikely even to fiddle as London burns.

When our time comes, I fear that as a nation we will submit as meekly to dhimmitude as the 15 submitted in Tehran. Perhaps one day, from the ashes of an Islamic Republic, a new England will rise.

Until then, is there any point in wasting breath, ink or bandwidth?


"You, the Queen, should be ashamed!" | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

Link: "You, the Queen, should be ashamed!" | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited.

Why draw the line at this? If the Queen should be ashamed of Britain's role in slavery, how ashamed should she be of the conduct of her own direct ancestors; the feudal masters of German serfs? Why don't we Britons apologise, or even pay compensation, to modern Germans for her family's past conduct? It would be every bit as logical as this man's demands.

Toyin_01_largeIf a racist is someone who feels morally superior because of the colour of his skin, then that is exactly what Mr Agbetu is. But who cares? His ideas don't diminish us, they diminish him. Why would any self-respecting man ever want to live the pathetic, shrivelled apology for a life of someone who cannot define himself by anything better than his ethnic origin? Why would anyone but a loser have such a hunger to be a victim?

Try Googling Toyin Agbetu. His every public utterance appears to have been an accusation of racism, or some  nonsense about the correct way to describe black people in Britain. He favours "African British" apparently. According to his organisation's website:

African  British is the term now used to describe the community previously mislabelled [by whom?] as Afro-Caribbean, Black British,  UK Black, Coloured and Black. It embraces all British nationals with antecedents originating directly from  Africa or indirectly via African diasporic communities, such as those in the Caribbean and South America

Good for him. We are happy for him to be British, but if that's not good enough, he can be whatever he likes. He has written and is in the process of directing a couple of movies at present, apparently. I can take a good guess as to the subject matter, but if anyone can prove me wrong, I would love to see a copy of the scripts.

How about this for a programme (again from his organisation's website):

We believe that the key to European progression is European people creating and evolving solutions for and by themselves. While we feel there is a need for certain non-European institutions to acknowledge their exploitation and degrading practices towards European people with a view to rectifying their moral wrongs, we believe it is even more essential that European people construct their own destiny. This essentially means that European people need to be enterprising and establish their own businesses, organisations, educational institutions and material, media, artistic outlets and ultimately a European centered approach to working with and for European people.

Except - you've guessed it -  for "European" you must read "African"

How much better if Mr Agbetu was to win respect by doing something useful, rather than just demanding it for the colour of his skin. I thought that's what anti-racism was about. Evidently, I was mistaken.

Europe must be united in criminalizing racism, EU lawmakers say

Link: Europe must be united in criminalizing racism, EU lawmakers say - Europe.

EusovietflagAssuming that there has been "...a strong increase in racist acts..." (and leaving aside for a moment who is responsible for most of them) what - properly viewed - is the evil to be addressed by law? Is it the racism, or is it the act?

If someone is attacked, their property damaged or their family's graves desecrated then what does it matter why? It is the evil act that should be illegal, not the evil thought behind it. Of course, the evil act already is illegal. So the "EU lawmakers" are indulging in that filthy vice of lawmakers everywhere; perverting the legislative process to make a political point. They are not proposing necessary laws. They are just yelling "Look at us. We are good people. We are not nasty racists."

I should bloody well hope not, so why don't you just shut up and do something useful?