Saturday, January 22, 2005

Uncharted Territory

In a (perhaps surprisingly for the Guardian) sober and factual piece, reporting rather than opinion, Leo Benedict looks at Britain's coming future. Native Brits are projected to be a minority in the United Kingdom by the century's end. Sooner in England. Within ten years in London and Birmingham. Read the whole thing.

According to the last census, in 2001, 30% of London residents had been born outside England - that's 2.2 million people, to which we can add the unknown tens of thousands who didn't complete a census form. And even this total takes no account of the contribution of the city's second- and third-generation immigrants, many of whom have inherited the traditions of their parents and grandparents. Throughout the 1990s, Greater London was the fastest growing part of the UK - and yet the white population in that time actually fell.

Despite the 'mongrel English' bit (what does he mean ?) this paragraph is illuminating.

In fact, the mongrel English, fissured with post-imperial self-doubt, neither American nor fully European - nor even Welsh, Irish or Scots - have a rather thin national identity all round. We are proud of our country, but we can't remember why. In Londoners - who seldom have a word of praise for the great city of their birth - this is especially pronounced. The private English also seem less susceptible to big ideas. Our national religion is perhaps the weakest in the world, and in the 2001 census almost 16% of Londoners said they had "no religion" at all - more than all the Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Buddhists put together. Londoners resent immigrants less than they might, in short, because they have so few values left to be threatened.

Spot-on there, I think. Although to be fair the natives have also voted with their feet. In this Madeleine Bunting piece from the same issue of the Guardian the phrase 'white flight' is used without irony quotes.

It's not all gloomy. The news that black Africans now outnumber Afro-Caribbeans in the capital should mean less talk of 'black crime' - the two communities have very different cultures. Think Damilola Taylor. Think the people who killed him.

No matter what your politics it's worth a read. Credit to the Guardian - and how often do I say that ? I enjoyed the piece on my favourite recent arrivals - the Koreans of New Malden, whose youth hang about the streets in threatening gangs on a Sunday morning, playing guitars, singing hymns and inviting you to their churches.

In fact only one ethnic group isn't covered - the poor, old, valueless (both spiritually and politically) Native Brits.

Have a nice day.

Twelve Racist Sexists And True

There are striking differences (table from this report) in the imprisonment ratios of different ethnic groups in the UK. These differences are blamed by Guardianistas on the innate racism of the Native Brits.

Black people are imprisoned at five times the rate of white due to racism. South Asian (of Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi) origin are imprisoned at rates 25% less than white due to ... er ... er ...

And women are imprisoned at rates 95% less than men due to ... er ... committing less crime ?

The police in London and Manchester have been shown to be institutionally racist - so more black people are arrested than white .
And less South Asian ... er .. more black people are arrested than white.

The Crown Prosecution Service is institutionally racist - so more black people are charged. Then juries convict them.

At last society is about to address the hidden racism and sexism of the secretive jury system.

Deliberations of juries in criminal trials could be studied, under plans being considered by the government.
Research could look at the key factors behind a verdict and whether there was any evidence of gender or racial bias.

However, the issue of understanding how a jury comes to its verdict and "what would help them most in the presentation of cases" would require researchers to ask individual jurors their views, but not specifically about the cases they are judging.

Under the consultation, if a jury was influenced, for example by racial bias, then a court should investigate, Lord Falconer said.

In a racist society, the idea that jury members should be representatives of the general public is no longer acceptable. Such people will inevitably bring their racism and sexism into the jury room. Only enlightened people with correct views should serve. This initiative is a valuable first step towards that end.

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Price Of Parenting

Just one unbelievable statistic from the new CPS report on state subsidy of single parenthood (or State bias against the two parent family, if you prefer).

A two-parent, one-earner family on average income (£24,000), with a mortgage and two young children is now just over a pound a week per
head better off than a lone-parent household entirely dependent on the state.

BBC report here.

UPDATE 22/1: Note that the figure is per head. So the 3-person lone parent household is 25% down in cash terms on the four person. Still a very good deal. Yesterday's Daily Express didn't seem to have quite grasped this, running a headline that implied the lone parent household received almost the same amount in total.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Alternative Inaugural Speech

Hat-tip to new sidebar person American Princess for the link to P.J. O'Rourke's Inaugural Address, on the theme of the Ten Commandments.

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." Let's be fair about this. We did see a lot of white, non-Hispanic Democrats in churches in 2004. But they were all running for president. And the churches were inner-city black churches. I happen to know that there are churches in the white, non-Hispanic suburbs where these Democrats live. Apparently jerks can't find them.

And welcome to a very well-written, thoughtful and polite pro-EU blog, Lose The Delusion. Some good stuff there, even for someone like me who thinks the EU is Satan's work.

(By strange coincidence I finished my post yesterday about the Bishop of Worcester, checked the site stats - 'Visitors This Week - 666'. Coincidence - or a message ? And if the latter, did it refer to the Bishop or me ?)

One more English blogger for the road. It's not about politics, but it's too good to miss. The tribulations of Jonny Billericay and his long-term life partner - the fearsome (or long-suffering) LTLP.

Try this sample from last October.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil

It's Hajj week in the Guardian and on BBC, with lots of interesting items about this ancient religious festival.

They both cover the speech of the Grand Mosque's imam, who said that scholars must preach moderation to confront militants, who were using "misguided and void" interpretations to justify violence.

All cheerful stuff. Strangely they don't report another sermon to pilgrims yesterday, by the ruler of Iran.

British officials anxiously played down comments after Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told Muslims making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that (Brit author Salman) Rushdie was an apostate whose killing would be authorised by Islam, according to the Iranian media.

His words came during a lengthy tirade against “Western and Zionist capitalists” and the US-led War on Terror.

I remember when Rushdie was a favourite Guardian person, the Zadie Smith of his day, when he attacked Brit racism and every well-read liberal's bookshelf had its copy of 'Midnight's Children'. Now they wouldn't micturate on him were he on fire - as long as the faithful were burning him.

If only Combat 18 (semi-mythical Nazi monster. Believed, like the Griffon and Wyvern, to be extinct) were threatening him. He'd be all over their front page like a rash.

Golden Age Watch

A favourite self-hating liberal theme is what I call 'the myth of the myth of the Golden Age'.

There never was a Golden Age of the family.

There never was a Golden Age when crime was low.

In today's Indie you can read Gary Hart on the myth of the Golden Age of America.

Gary who ? Well, if ever a man had a Golden Age, it was Gary Hart. He was 20 percentage points ahead in the nominations for Democratic presidential candidate in 1988 - when the married Senator decided to take the beautiful Donna Rice for a cruise.

Nazi Activity In London

From the Evening Standard.

Jews attacked by 'Nazi' gang

At least eight assaults in Stamford Hill have been carried out by a gang of up to four men described as black and Asian.
The victims were kicked, punched and headbutted while the attackers made Nazi gestures.

The Times thinks the Nazis might have something to do with the religion of peace.

Police are examining the possibility that followers of an extremist Islamic group may be behind the attacks. In the past, leaflets have been distributed purporting to come from a militant organisation.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

An American With No Sense Of History

(a resurrected draft post from the summer. The Indie piece is now here. Most anti-US stuff published in the Guardian or Indie ends up on Common Dreams)

Who the hell is James C. Moore ? Is the famously Americanophobic Independent using him as living proof of the 'Stupid Yank' syndrome which it espouses ?

I fear not. As far as the Indie's concerned, a Yank who doesn't like GWB is its friend.

Let's start with the title, "When morality vanishes from the battlefield, the war is lost". Now there's a case for that argument, depending on the kind of war you're fighting. If you don't give a monkey's about hearts and minds, morality can go by the boards without affecting your chances of victory one iota. There wasn't much morality about the Eastern Front from 1941-45 - do you want to argue that the Soviet Union lost ? But if you want the people with you, morality's important. Most commentators would assume that we'd like the Iraqis with us. So we need to be moral. A pity Mr Moore never explores this argument.

Instead, he embarks on a history lesson as told by someone whose entire learning comes from a few PBS documentaries. And bad ones at that.

Of Julius Caesar "As grand a general as Caesar was, though, he fought with no more moral purpose than to expand the glory of the empire ... Caesar's and, ultimately, even Rome's undoing was that their armies drew blood without a righteous cause. A soldier must fight for something more eternal than the emperor's reputation."

Ultimately, eh ? Well, in the long run we're all dead. But the Roman Empire lasted another 400 years after Caesar. Most political leaders would settle for their work lasting 40 years.

I can just hear them in 350 AD.

"The barbarians are coming !" "I blame that Julius Caesar. Drew blood without a righteous cause, his armies did." "Never !" "Aaargh !"

He continues "The notion of empire is still as misguided today as it was when the legions of Rome were marching the earth. " Maybe so. Any argument to support that ? Sorry. We just have to take it on trust that (omong others) the Incas, Mayans, Brits, Ethiopians, Ottomans, Mamelukes, Vikings, Persians, Russians, Moghuls, Zulus, Sikhs, Mongols (and lots of Chinese, Japanese and Koreans about whose history I know as little as, well, as James C. Moore knows about any history) were misguided. As they may have been. After all, what did the Romans ever do for us ?

"America and Great Britain, however, have always been able to rationalise their presence in foreign lands with intellectual constructs. We may have been extracting natural resources and other treasure to sustain our own homelands, but we were educating and civilising the natives whose countries we were occupying. We gave them our governmental institutions and our religion and were convinced that we had improved the backward colonies. We were wrong, of course, and the deadly lesson, whether it was learned by Her Majesty's armies in Africa or American troops in Vietnam, is that the occupied never want to be occupied. "

Let's leave aside the story of the British Empire and the question of whether America has in fact got any colonies at all. Just a couple of obvious points - that Her Majesty's Armies in Africa stuffed absolutely all military opposition, to the point where the 'deadly lesson' meant in practice the torture and slaughter of farmers and their families, or nuns and priests - anything else being outside rebel capabilities. The truth is that in two hundred years the stiffest opposition the British faced in Africa were the Boers and the Afrika Korps (though respect to Cetawayo and the Fuzzy-Wuzzies in Sudan).

The second point is that in both Africa and Vietnam, the 'occupied' were the ones who started the vanishing morality process, not the occupiers. It was the 'anti-imperialist' movement that specialised in torture, arbitrary killing, the deaths of whole communities deemed unreliable. (In Africa these things have continued even without the imperialist presence).

Yet the wars were 'won' by the occupied in both cases (the imperialists got out), despite military defeats.

"Caesar slowly came to understand that the further his armies were from Rome the more difficult it was for them to retain power. Geography may be less of a challenge to the modern military, but the battle still offers the same teachings."

Wrong again. "Shorten your weapons and extend your frontiers" was a Roman maxim quoted by Churchill.

"Both Bush and Blair have tried to convince the world that Iraq had to be invaded as the first front in the war on terrorism."

Afghanistan ?

"Stopping al- Qa'ida and ridding Iraq of Saddam and his torture chambers provided the moral justification for rolling our armies across those ancient plains".

WMDs ? Where are they ? It's remarkable how no anti-war voice would accept the moral case for toppling Saddam - until the Abu Ghraib revelations enabled them to juxtapose the case against evil-creature-of-the-West Saddam (those Rumsfeld photos !) with the case against only-obeying-orders (those Rumsfeld orders !) Lyddie England.

"The war in Iraq began with a lie and it has spiralled into an even greater immorality, which is where all lies eventually lead". You can believe that the leaders of the two great democracies deliberately started a war on false pretences. I don't. It's nearly always cock-up rather than conspiracy.

"Our bombs and bullets cannot tell the difference between the innocent and the enemy" ..' whereas the enemy's can ? ... "and in our effort to learn the distinctions we have resorted to immoral tactics". I think this means that we're mistreating people to try and sort the bad guys from the good - if it means anything at all.

Towards the end, after the obligatory swipe at Bush and Blair's Christianity, he displays something a bit more sinister than ignorance.

"A beheading is repositioned as an independent act of evil rather than retribution for our own moral collapse. Everything is opinion; nothing is fact. This is the most insidious form of immorality."

"Nothing is fact" could describe most of this piece. But the beheadings of Ken Bigley and others were acts of evil. To call them 'retribution for our own moral collapse' is disgraceful. It's also exactly what Zarqawi claims. In reality our 'moral collapse' consists of bringing to justice people who do bad things - on our side or theirs.

Our enemy glories in doing bad things . James C. Moore is happy to justify this evil to score a few points from George W. Bush. And the Indie is happy to follow.

Two Bishops Of Worcester

Today is the feast of St. Wulfstan, last Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Worcester, who rebuilt St Oswald's cathedral.

Wulfstan was an early anti-slavery campaigner, preaching in Bristol against the selling of English slaves to the Norse in Ireland and stopping the Bristol trade for a while (admittedly only after a slaver who continued to trade was seized by a mob and had his eyes put out).

He was also noted for his piety - once slapping the face of an eleventh-century groupie in front of the altar during a service - an act which gained widespread approval rather than accusations of domestic violence.

The current Bishop of Worcester, Peter Selby, has improved on this tradition, abandoning an old-fashioned Biblical theology for a Guardian-based one. While the Commandments are broken on an industrial scale in his diocese, the good shepherd concentrates on the issues that really matter to his flock - Third World debt, women bishops, the Iraq war, asylum seekers, our overcrowded prisons and the hideous oppression of gay clergy.

When a threatened prosecution against a UK-based gay website for linking to James Kirkup's notorious and blasphemous (and crap) poem on Christ was dropped, the Bishop was first to cheer.

The Rt Rev’d Professor Peter Selby, the Bishop of Worcester, stated that:

‘It was hard to believe that there was ever a case for this investigation, let alone for a prosecution. This whole event comes across as yet another example of the continuous harassment of lesbian and gay people. No moral cause can possibly be advanced by avoiding honest attention to people’s experience and the valuing of their gifts and resorting instead to promoting the fear which love is supposed to cast out’.

If you really wish you can follow the link to find the poem, hosted overseas. It surprises me that the Bishop considers necrophiliac activity with Our Lord to be 'people's experience' and that writing about it is 'honest attention' - but what do I know ?

St Wulfstan is currently rotating at 3,800 rpm.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Humphrys on Steyn - Steyn on Howard

Fron The Irish Left - Dail member Michael D. Higgins ('the leader of undergraduate, anti-American politics in the Irish parliament') has attacked a Steyn column in the Irish Times.

"Higgins' spluttering incoherence ("homophobia"?), his utter inability to address Steyn's arguments, and his thinly veiled call for censorship, shows the intellectual poverty of the Irish left. It's very amusing really, watching the innocent, poorly-read, Irish Times reading lefties try to deal with a full-on neo-con like Steyn. It is obvious they never even heard of Steyn before he dropped like a bomb into the complacent, insular waters of their Irish Times. They have probably never even heard of most of these writers either. To 1960s lefties like Higgins, the neo-conservatives are from another planet. The Irish left don't read them and don't understand them. They only read their own - which is why their opinions are so narrow and insular."

His open letter to Richard Dawkins is good too, although I disagree with him about religion, and think he (Humphrys) has an idealistic, almost religious faith in democracy.

Steyn on Michael Howard in today's Telegraph.

If I had to pick the single most revolting remark from this bogus Reichsfuror (Prince Harry's Nazi fancy dress), it would be this: "I think it might be appropriate for him to tell us himself just how contrite he now is."
That's Michael Howard, the leader of the supposed Conservative Party. What's conservative about demanding people submit to public self-abasement? Wasn't it the Commies who used to insist you recant on TV and then disappear into re-education camp? A conservative party ought to be a refuge from the sanctimonious nannytollahs of the age. But, from his shabby Kerryesque opportunism on the war down, Mr Howard has no discernible coherent political philosophy - except for his all-pervasive authoritarianism, into which his repellent call for a display of princely contrition fits all too neatly.

The Envy Of The World

The culture of death seems well entrenched in the NHS. Forgive a layman for thinking that people with 'swallowing problems' needed food and water through a tube. Apparently starving to death is the correct treatment.

Charlotte Wyatt is still (currently) alive though, despite the best efforts of Portsmouth NHS Trust. But soon we will be as civilised as the Dutch.

Monday, January 17, 2005


Every so often you find a new writer and wonder how on earth you've not seen any of his/her stuff before. I could follow the links for days before I exhausted the riches of Irishman Mark Humphrys' site - some of the best stuff I've read. Not so much a blog as a mixture of comment and links.

Two terrific resources are The Mind Of The Left, in which among other targets he skewers the left racism which cares more for victims of white oppression than of black, and The Irish Left ("Sinn Fein - Ireland's nationalist socialist party"), most of which applies just as much to the 'British' left.

Great stuff. More on this site later. To the sidebar under 'Links' near Thomas Sowell and David Warren.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Two Americans, an Estonian, and an Englishman

Welcome to the good ship U.S.S. Neverdock, and to Oklahoman blogger Chris Greenfeather of Right Wing & Right Minded. Not sure if he's actually from Muskogee, though.

As part of my policy of return linking, welcome to what I've called the Big Estonian Blog - though it's more of a big list of resources. Those I can understand are pretty good, but I confess to not having a clue as to what the whole thing's about. If anyone can speak Estonian and tell me what the rest means, please do.

Rural southern England seems awash with bloggers - Mr Free Market and the Englishman are already as close as two men can be without having to sign one of Mr Livingstone's civic unions. New blogger Gorse Fox seems to hail from West Sussex - how long before he's bumping into Blognor Regis, I wonder ? I've added the Fox to the English section.