Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Don't believe me, believe the telly

A few months ago I met an old school friend in a café in London. Her political views are very left-wing. She told me that, disillusioned with the Labour party she now votes Green. She confronted me with the discovery that I had joined UKIP and had even been a candidate in the May election. She was thunderous in her disapproval.
We spent the entire evening having a furious political argument. Among other things I told her that it does not make sense for British people to be paying to destroy their own jobs. How do we do that? By paying subsidies to the EU, which provide the so-called "Structural fund" out of which private companies get funding to move to areas with lower corporation tax and cheaper labour. This means that jobs here in Britain are being scrapped. So as well as paying the tax which created the problem, we then have to support them on the dole. It is a lose-lose situation.
I tried to tell her all this but she denied it. She would not listen to me. In fact she shouted and shouted until she had shouted me down. She resorted to bringing accusations that UKIP is a racist party, accusations which are of course completely unfounded.
TV rarely dares to criticize the EU - particularly bearing in mind that there are laws against doing so - but last Monday night the Dispatches programme reported on EU corruption and money-wasting and included a detailed account of how the Twinings tea company of North Shields in Tyneside just got £10 million of EU “structural funds” to move their factory to Poland where they will take advantage of cheap labour. They supported it with documents and personal interviews with some of the 286 workers who face redundancy.
The same cause underlies the closure of the Corus steel works and countless other examples. So we ARE paying to destroy our own jobs.
http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north-east-news/evening-chronicle-news/2009/11/03/tea-maker-twinings-moving-jobs-to-poland-72703-25079452/
Meanwhile in Eastern Europe, companies set up with EU funding proceed to hire cheap Chinese workers, creating protest and scandal among the local population there:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/chinese-workers-in-romania-protest-against-withheld-pay-1631859.html

http://www.euromonitor.com/Romanian_migration_raises_concerns_over_labour_shortage

Of course this issue is nothing new. For a decade we paid huge subsidies to Ireland where firms which could have operated in Britain set up and enjoyed a short-term delusory boom with our money, undercutting our products. The so-called Celtic Tiger was bred at our expense. Now we are expected to bail it out.
In the present economic climate, the Twinings and Corus workers are unlikely to get another job. Do they want to move to Poland or Romania? The so-called free movement of labour is not freedom for them at all. It may become coercion very soon.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Why I think that Gay Rights have Gone Too Far.

Anybody who even dares, nowadays, to suggest in public that gay rights have been, or could be, taken too far, is automatically dismissed with the absurd term “homophobic”.
Let me say at the outset that the word “homophobia” is nonsense. The first half “homo” means “the same” - just as it does in “homophone”, “homologue” and “homogenous”. The second half, “phobia” means an irrational fear. So if the term “homophobia" meant anything at all, it would mean “fear of yourself” or “fear of the same thing”.
It is a pretentious, confused pseudo-word. Such terms are coined by ignorant people who are trying to stifle discussion and impose a form of bigotry that is no less bigoted for being relatively new and fashionable. Frequently people make a casual comparison between being black and being gay. It is a way of trying to short-cut the political argument, and hastily appropriate all the anti-racist laws on behalf of homosexuals. That, too, is nonsense. Nobody – except islamic extremists – wants to re-criminalize homosexuality. That is not what I am advocating. I am saying that recent moves to increase what are called gay rights have gone too far and are in themselves unjust.
The fashionable view is that "sexuality" is a right and that no country should be allowed to legislate regarding it. If so, then why do we have laws against polygamy, paedophilia or rape? They are all forms of sexual behaviour. What about stalking, flashing, or sending people obscene E-mails? That's sexual behaviour too.
Homosexuality (as Jean-Paul Sartre said) is simply a form of behaviour, not like being black at all. Black people could and did for thousands of years live independently on another continent, but homosexuals can only exist as a by-product of a heterosexual society. Homosexuals are completely dependent on heterosexuals to create them. Curiously they never express any gratitude for this, while complaining constantly of persecution. If I want to shock people I have only to point out that dear Oscar Wilde, the gay’s favourite martyr, witty though he was, went to gaol entirely through his own fault. He brought a false libel charge, which is a criminal offence, and he could have got five years for perjury, instead of merely two for making use of rent-boys. I wouldn’t like my son to be used as a rent-boy and I think Oscar got off lightly. The biography by Richard Ellman admits that Oscar and his friends gang-raped an under-age boy. People should learn to accept responsibility for their own actions.
Deciding how far to take one right invariably means considering how it might impinge on another. What is happening now is that “gay rights” have been so over-inflated that they are cutting into the rights of the majority. We have recently seen cases where hotel keepers have been forced by law to rent a double bed to a same-sex couple and adoption agencies compelled to place children with them regardless of the agency's religious affiliations. I think both decisions are wrong. To call that "gay rights" is infringing the right of the hotel keeper or the adoption agency to follow their own ethical and religious beliefs, a right which is actually enshrined in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
When it comes to adoption, it makes no sense to argue for the “equal rights” of a homosexual couple because nobody has a right to adopt. Adoption takes place in the interests of the child, not the adults. Prospective parents have always been vetted and ruthlessly excluded on grounds of income, age, mental and physical health or family history. Nobody ever treated them as equal. The adoption societies have always acted in what they feel is the best interest of the child concerned. And what about the child’s rights? Surely it has a right to a parent of each gender? That, after all, is what Nature gives every child, and the point of adoption is to re-create as far as possible a natural family for that child. To talk about gays having a right to adopt is to treat the child like a form of merchandise. It is wholly unacceptable.
If fairness is the issue, it seems fair to me to give a child to couples who have experienced biological sterility or repeated miscarriage, because they really can’t have a child of their own. Their need is greater than that of those who simply choose a same-sex partner. The same cannot be said in the case of adoption by for example, a black couple with a history of infertility. Black and gay are not the same issue.
Undoubtedly in my view, it is wrong to force any adoption society to go against its ethics. What about the connection between homosexuality and paedophilia? Why hush it up? [* See note below.]
Amnesty International, the once-prestigious organization that campaigns for Human Rights all over the world, is now preoccupied with gay rights to what appears to me to be a disproportionate extent. I call it disproportionate because it gives so little attention, by comparison, to the appalling persecution of heterosexuals in countless countries of the world. There are dozens of places where heterosexuals cannot choose their own partner without facing violence, social exclusion, murder, torture or imprisonment by their families. A recent TV programme, Unreported World: Love on the Run, highlighted this problem in India where it is estimated that as many as 900 young couples have been murdered in the last few years, simply for wishing to marry without their families’ consent. There has been a wave of violence across the country’s northwest states.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/episode-guide/series-2010/episode-18

How much do we hear about this issue in the news? Why have we not granted any of these people asylum? Why does Amnesty International consider it a lesser issue than gays being verbally insulted by policemen in downtown Chicago?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/indian-couple-electrocuted-aafor-daring-to-marry-outside-caste-2001570.html

To get a sense of proportion, let us compare this to the issue of Christians being persecuted all over the world. Yes, thousands of people are subjected to a range of discriminatory behaviour world-wide merely because they want to practise Christianity. Some of them are imprisoned, sacked from their jobs, deprived of their property, driven out of their homes or killed. We curry favour with China and other non-democratic regimes, ignoring their record on religious freedom.
http://www.releaseinternational.org/pages/downloads/world-update-webcast.php

Campaigners here in England tell we must give legal aid to gay Nigerians who want to live here because they face persecution in their native country. What gives them priority over Christians who are persecuted in Nigeria – of which there is very good evidence? Why is there so much fuss made on Wikipedia and the like about gay rights and so little about heterosexual rights, or Christian rights?

Gay rights have got out of all proportion. Rather than claiming equality, homosexuals are in many respects now claiming privilege and special treatment. That is not fair. In fact, it is deeply unjust. It is time that we got our priorities back in order.

UPDATE
Since I wrote this, an employee of an adoption agency has been sacked for refusing to co-operate with gay adoption. A bishop protested that this is religious discrimination and he is right.
Our government bends over backwards to be fair to minorities - what is so fair about sacking Christians?


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Well Done Oklahoma!

I applaud the people of the state of Oklahoma, U.S.A., who have voted with an overwhelming majority to ban any future introduction of Sharia law or concessions to it in their state.
By so doing, they are defending democracy, humanity and women's rights.
Critics say the ban was unnecessary because there are only about 1% of Muslims living in Oklahoma. That is an illogical criticism. Would they prefer it to be passed somewhere where there are 40% or 50% Muslims? Or 60%? The best possible time to pass a law - and the only democratic time to do it - is when you have a large and comfortable majority.
Percentages are not the only factor in making an issue matter. There are already impudent criminals in the U.S.A. who demand to be tried for their mass murders and conspiracies under Sharia law, not that of the U.S.A. They hold U.S. passports yet they despise its laws and openly admit that they do not regard them as valid.
We have the same problem here in Britain. Muslim terrorists and assassins announce publicly that they do not recognize the jurisdiction of British courts. They don't mind living here, sending their children to state schools and universities, using the N.H.S. and the community centres built for them by local authorities, but they think they can follow a higher set of laws that overrides our own. That is intolerable and I am glad that the state of Oklahoma has got the guts to tell such people to keep well away.
One of the many signs that our own Archbiship of Canterbury is batty and out of touch, is his foolish flirtation with the prospect of allowing Muslim communities to operate any form of Sharia law here. I don't want to see amputation in Andover, stoning in Staffordshire, polygamy in Portsmouth, gays guillotined in Gloucester, or girls hanged from cranes in Croydon for not wearing their headscarves or burkas. Britain has suffered too much from confused liberal compromise with an ideology that does not represent tolerance or freedom. If we did let people to follow Sharia law here, we could expect to see Salman Rushdie's throat publicly slit, and a similar fate for any "apostate" Muslim, i.e. one who decides that they no longer believe their ancestral religion.
Oklahoma has not banned the practice of the Islamic faith, so it has upheld the U.S. constitution which guarantees freedom of religion. What it has done is make it clear that religious difference does not entitle you to different status under the law.
Oklahoma has acted with foresight. Do you wait until the flood comes up to your waist before building a dam? Do you wait until you have got terminal cancer before insuring your life? Of course not. To act well in advance is prudent. In future nobody who goes to live in Oklahoma can say that they were not warned that they would have to respect the law and the culture that they find there.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

We Told EU so!

First Greece, then Ireland, who next in the euro-slump?
Obstinate folk who still try to defend our EU membership are fond of saying that by being inside it, we get "influence".
What does that influence consist of?
Can we make their laws? No.
Can they make ours? Well, yes, for example by forcing us to give the vote to criminals in gaol.
Doesn't sound like what I'd really call influence.
What we do get is a series of mammoth bills for the ailing economies within the Euro-zone that have already had billions in EU subsidies to build up their economies. Greece got massive EU investment. So did Ireland. Then when the hand-outs ceased, they just fell apart.
The same thing is happening in Spain and Portugal. For decades we paid tax for them to get EU grants, investment and subsidy to create a short-term boom. But all the growth was artificial and it soon petered out. There was nothing solid there. In fact, genuine businesses were driven out by subsidized ones. Now they are bankrupt and - surprise, surprise ! - we are having to dig into our own pockets for another round of billion-pound subsidies to keep them from collapse.
We and our children and our grandchildren yet unborn are going to have to pay the bill for our prodigal governments and EU folly.
The clever profiteers who thrive on subsidies and know how to exploit them have mainly done a flit now, moving over to Eastern Europe where they can get the next lot of "re-structuring" grants. They can set up new companies in Romania, employing illegal Chinese workers, and do it all with the tax you pay.
Why else do you think VAT is going up to 20%?

It is time that the idealists who still defend the EU took off their blinkers.
Will we have to wait until the whole crazy EU edifice falls apart to be free of it?

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

You Lucky Bastards!

It seems perfectly obvious to some people what your "human rights" are are. Rights are, in the words of the American Declaration of Independence, a self-evident truth. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, isn't that plain? And the right to life included the right to carry a weapon to defend that life didn't it? - at least according to the Americans who have always interpreted it that way.
What is self-evident to one person is dubious and unacceptable to another.
Yesterday the Cleggeron government was forced to buckle under and agree to a dictate of the European Court of Human Rights, which told us we must give the vote to criminals inside prisons. A General Election may now be decided by murderers, and laws made by those who refuse to keep laws.
Their right to vote may appear a self-evident truth to some people but to others - including me - it is no such thing. It is an unjust claim, made in violation of our right to run our own country and impose penalties on law-breakers. How much right to vote do the victims of murder have? Can they sway a General Election?
If our government had any backbone, it would immediately withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights in protest, and say that we never signed up for this dictatorship when we agreed to that convention long ago. But of course our government hasn't got that much backbone. If it dare not protest about a 2.9% increase in budget for the EU (which of course has no connection with the Court of Human Rights) it certainly won't have the guts to stand up to bullying from The Hague.
The Cleggeron government is made of jelly.
Human rights have suffered inflation like so many things. Twenty years ago Amnesty International used to campaign for people like Mordechai Vanunu, the weapons whistle-blower, imprisoned for eighteen years in Israel, and Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Nigerian environmental protester and leader of the Oboni minority, who was hanged in 1995 by the military government of Nigeria for being rather a nuisance.
Nowadays Amnesty sends out cards requesting that members protest about gays being harrassed by policemen in downtown Los Angeles. The Close Campsfield protestors are trying to make a martyr out of every Nigerian migrant who is or can claim to be "gay" on the grounds that he is in danger in his own country.
They have lost all sense of perspective. To me, a human rights issue would be that of the girls aged 11 or 12 who are trafficked here from Nigeria - by Nigerians of course - to work as slaves and prostitutes for years on end. They are kept locked up, beaten, threatened with death if they try to escape, and some of them are actually killed.
It is a delightful feature of multi-culturalism.

Comparing such cases to the problems of anti-gay harrassment, one is tempted to say to the gays, "You lucky bastards!"

Monday, 1 November 2010

Fear of Flying

We've had exploding shoes, and exploding underwear. Now it's exploding ink-cartridges concealed inside a computer printer in the cargo compartment of a plane - the latest way for Al-Quaeda to tell us that they don't like us. And yet, amazingly, the word "Islamophobia" is still one of the most fashionable in the vocabulary of the trendy and media-conscious. What on earth can it mean?
In psychiatric terms, "phobia" means an irrational, ungrounded fear, a fear that is without cause, based on delusions. However, for people living in Europe or America, a fear of Islamic militancy and extremism is not irrational or delusory. It is well-founded, a fear surely based on abundant evidence.

PETN is the newest toy of those who regard it as a religious duty to blast passenger planes out of the sky and ignite the largest and most populous buildings they can find. Instead of trying to improve the conditions of life in Yemen or Somalia, they dream of an afterlife where they will be rewarded for detonating devices in mid-air. They also don't mind kidnapping idealistic aid workers, who go to Afghanistan to try to help the civilians struggling to survive.
Niceness and tolerance are the answers of the politically-correct classes. But niceness and tolerance do not always work on militants. Offered a home and a vote in this country, some of them prefer to stab their MPs with a dagger.
What worries me most about the case of Roshanaura Chaudry, the fanatic who tried to assassinate Steven Timms, Labour MP for East Ham, was not just that she resorted to the tactics of Charlotte Corday, but that when arrested and charged with attempted murder, she had the cheek to deny the jurisdiction of the British court. What country does she think she is living in? What right has she got to live here if she does not acknowledge the validity of British laws? If she wants to live under Sharia law, why doesn't she go to Iran or Saudi Arabia or wherever the prevailing regime shares her views?
There she can enjoy the sight of women who refuse to wear their burkas being flogged, imprisoned or even hanged in the middle of the street. She'd be locked up if she even attempted to comment publicly on political matters.
I doubt very much if this militancy would really stop if we withdrew our troops from Afghanistan. I feel that nothing more can be gained from that war (even supposing anything at all has been) and I am not going to wear a poppy this year, as it may be taken as a sign that I support it. But I suspect that even if the state of Israel were wiped out tomorrow, that would not placate Islamic militancy. There are fanatics who really want to impose their system on the entire globe and don't care how they do it.
It is the people who say we have no cause to be fearful who are being irrational.