Sunday, 24 June 2012

Advice from a Chinese Communist

"I hate the burka," said the woman from Camden, leaning towards me over her vegetarian starter. "You see more and more of them in North London. Today on the Tube coming her there was a woman wearing one right opposite me. It was so sinister, just that little grille with her eyes peering through, I got up and moved to another seat. It really makes me feel uncomfortable."
A journalist called Dave said to me, "For me, Islamophobia is a non-word. Would you blame someone for Nazi-phobia?" A young Iranian on my left said that he did not regard the outcome of the Egyptian election as valid. Why? Because he said, (grating pepper on his pollo diavolo which was by no means spicy enough for him) when you have one dictatorship, it does not create the conditions for a true democracy to flourish. It can only be succeeded by another dictatorship, which is what happened in Iran and what is now happening in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood. The cross-dresser on my right agreed. Everybody in the room was completely unanimous in deploring the spread of Muslim schools in the UK. Why on earth was the left-wing in the UK so in love with Islam and determined to subsidize it in the guise of multi-culturalism?
This event was the 5th anniversary celebration of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Great Britain, held at the Grappolo restaurant in London yesterday. The CEMGB was founded to support people breaking free of their islamic upbringing. The penalty for leaving Islam is not just a scolding from your parents - it is death, and it is carried out quite frequently. There are ex-Muslims who have to change their identities and flee across state boundaries to try to escape reprisals. Unfortunately the CEMGB is run by utter wets whose main idea in leaving Islam is to sign up to another tyrannical, sterile ideology, that of pinko-Trot-Guardianistas.
     Maryam Namazie who runs CEMGB, is the dumbest of the dumb. She typically writes "Religion is just stupid sh-t which somebody made up." Er...yeah, thanks for that, Maryam. Apparently you can get awards for that kind of in-depth analysis from left-wing organizations such as the Secular Society.
    Rushing back to Oxford, I just had time to change before going out again to the reunion dinner of an Oxford College. At the Pimms stage, I met an elegant young lady in a pink satin cocktail dress that showed off her enviably svelte figure. Pinned to the dress was a name label revealing that she had matriculated at the college only two years ago. She explained to me that she had come from China to do a one-year postgraduate course in Economics and now had an internship in an investment analysis company in the City. I half-jokingly told her that we needed some Chinese economists to come and show us how to run banks, as our banks are not doing very well in Europe or America. Soon she was telling me all her opinions on current affairs. She thought that it was a pity that Francois Hollande had come to power in France, and that his policy of raising taxes would very soon drive a lot of businesses and business people out of France. Why pay 75% income tax when you can just move away? It amazed her that here in the UK we had so many taxes. Income tax, council tax, VAT, corporation tax, capital gains tax. And the highest rate of tax starts at £35,000! Why did we accept this extraordinary burden?
I told her that I had been brought up in the pre-Thatcher era when super-tax was 85% and it started when you earned about £10,000 per year. Mrs Thatcher had been called an ogre for reducing taxes to 60%. Ms Xiang laughed and thought this was incredible. "If you want to get the economy going," she said, "it would be better to reduce tax to a maximum of 20%" What about the welfare state? My Chinese economist said that she thought we were far too reliant on the welfare state. "Most people here don't save money," she said, "That is one of your problems."
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