This post was inspired (if you will) by the post and comments thread started by Andrew on Once More the other day, on the limits of the law in regulating speech and thought. There’s a lot of interest in this right now because the Government is presently attempting to pass its Racial and Religious Hatred Bill. There are arguments for and against the Bill, of course, although my guess is most of us on the Sharpener would probably rather the Bill didn’t become law, if given the choice. (Jim plays Devil’s Advocate here.)
Now, this post is only slightly related to the Bill. It’s as much about that much-talked-of thing, Political Correctness. Before you run for the hills, I have no great revelations to impart about green sheep or demanding men wear skirts. Not really my thing. I just want to run through some thoughts about Political Correctness, and our attitudes towards religion, and what they might say about the way we live now. These thoughts are almost certainly wrong and misguided, and (one hopes) maybe even a little Politically Incorrect; but I hope you wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind me sharing them with you…
Like Blair and New Labour, the British press have drawn a line under Iraq and moved on. Just as many of us suspected, Blair’s piss-poor victory at the General Election was enough to sweep his mendacity under the carpet.
Sure, we still get coverage of the various bombings and carnage but the reasons for all the death and destruction? Well, we’ve put all that behind us. The British media are now too busy bashing the Frogs, arguing the toss over the EU rebate and, as of this morning, ruminating over whither now for Michael Jackson (boy, watch what other stuff slips under the radar today).
Some people may have noticed a delay between them posting their comments and the comments appearing on the site. This is because the WordPress system that we use has a comment spam filter and any comment with more than one link in it is held back until it is moderated (by me, as it turns out, so be nice.)
That is all.
So, the thinking runs, a mate of yours has fallen on hard times, but still wants to be a member of your local club. Only trouble is they can’t quite afford the membership fees, and as they don’t smoke they don’t have the benefit of the club’s free cigars. So you and the other members chip in and give them part of the membership fee back as an act of good faith and to reimburse them for their lack of cigars. After a few years, your mate seems to be doing pretty well – spanking new suit, charging off all round the world, flashing the cash about with big charity donations. But you and the other club members are still giving him money, even though he’s now richer than pretty much all of you. You’d feel pissed off, wouldn’t you?
To Make My Vote Count , and a plea from Paul for the Tories to consider electoral reform:
The Tories, it would appear, havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t yet spent long enough in opposition to bother looking seriously at the ways in which the system they so ardently support is so prejudiced against them. It obviously didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t matter when they were in power, then the natural choice for the next Tory leader turned up on the other side, while a succession of odd little bald men led the party from one embarrassing defeat to another. They may yet spend another generation in the political wilderness, but looking at all the possible solutions, including electoral reform, would surely be a good idea.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not going to get involved in this debate about the effectiveness of aid thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s broken out since hairy Bob assumed the stump and started making pronouncements. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a classic of misdirection.
Because, you see, while folk are arguing about whether the money goes to kiddies or kleptocrats, the Geldof-Curtis Central Leadership Group are planning a coup. Read More
Constitutional issues have a curious ability to excite those with a particular interest in them to a near frenzy, while leaving the rest of the population at best bemused, at worst somnolent.
One such issue is voting reform, a subject already dealt with in some detail on this site. Another, and one with the potential to put an even more ferocious cat among the pigeons, is the West Lothian question.
Much has been written over the years about it, and a lot of that has had only a nodding acquaintance with actual facts. So, at a risk of sending some to sleep, I want to try to get to grips with what the West Lothian question is, and how, if at all, we should try to answer it. Some of the following posting is taken from articles I have written on my own site over the past few months.
In the eyes of the drooling clowns who use words like ‘dhimmified’ and who believe there’s a serious chance weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll end up ruled by sharia unless we Lock Up All Ay-Rabs Now, the Netherlands is on the front line in the Muslims’ attempts to destroy the West through excessive breeding.
According to their narrative, the EU constitution ‘no’ vote was a last-ditch cry from the Dutch Volk against evil BrusselsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s attempts to fill Holland with Koran-bashing types. This is a little odd, given that the EU forces member states to impose tough restrictions on extra-community immigration (and given that there arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t actually any Muslim countries in the EU), but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s important not to overestimate the power of logic when dealing with a Volk.
The analysis on why the Dutch actually voted ‘no’ has been done to death elsewhere. More interesting is where the narrative of “Holland besieged by immigrant plague” came from in the first place. We know who brought it to the fore – a nasty bigot who, largely because he was queer, didn’t get treated with the contempt he richly deserved [*]. But does it have any real-life backing?
This place has been hideously left wing for a week while Blimpish and I have had our backs turned, so I thought I’d rustle up some hate-filled bile to even the score.
Today Gordon Brown announced his plan to save Africa from poverty, which he hopes, in vain, to tie up at the G8 summit in Scotland next month. Well done, Gordon. You’ve triangulated the master of triangulation, Tony Blair, by getting your own name in lights above this one. Political strategy aside, however, I really don’t get this plan. I’m not an economist by trade, and I’m certainly not a political theorist. I’m self-taught in both fields, and proud of it, but it does tend to mean I’m probably more rigid in my own ideas than if I were brought up with them. The well documented phenomenon of people moving to the right as they get older is probably partly to do with people being tribally left through upbringing until they realise that right is, erm, right.
Carrots, that is. In fact, they’re not a fruit at all, and (whatever Tim Worstall says) the EU never suggested they were.
What carrots are is orange. They’re orange for entirely political reasons: in the sixteenth century, Dutch growers cultivated orange carrots as a tribute to William of Orange, and the colour stuck. A thousand years of yellow, white and purple carrot history, wiped out in a generation.
It could all have been so different. Read More