Saturday, September 13, 2008

"The Decent Left"

Does anyone else hope that Jade Goody dies? I am not a big believer in karma, but this woman, a nothing from a no-hope job, impregnated with some of the most entrenched ignorance our society can instill, should certainly not be living well off the fees of various tabloids. I don’t care if she has cancer. Millions of people get cancer and that’s sad, but none of them make headline news for it. If the only way to keep her off our screens, out of the newspapers and absent from websites around the world is for her to die, let’s get it over with and knock her off.

This, via Bloggers4Labour, from someone called David Semple.

I don't know. I'm no fan of hers, but I hope she gets better - both in body and spirit. Anyway, if every loud-mouthed slapper in Britain died of cancer our demographics would look even scarier than they are already.

You'd think as a Labour supporter he'd approve of loud-mouthed slapperdom. Isn't that just equality in action ? Just as in a lot of the Sarah Palin commentary, you can't help wondering if there isn't an element of class hatred here. "A nothing from a no-hope job", eh ? I remember when the Labour Party existed to serve those people.

Still, he's on the moral high ground compared to some of his party colleagues. At least he wants her death to be quick and painless.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chance Would Be A Fine Thing ...

Guardian :
Labour frontbenchers including Douglas Alexander, James Purnell, and Tom Watson are briefing delegates to the Labour conference that the Tories have not really changed and will revert to their rightwing instincts within a year of being in office. The official briefing claims the key dividing line between the Labour and the Conservatives will be "a government that is on your side and a government that will leave you on your own".

If only. Wouldn't it just be great to have a government that would leave you alone. Police/law, defence, infrastructure (I'd renationalise water and sewerage - natural monopolies), medicine. That's medicine, not lifestyle lectures. Vouchers for schools. The rest would be up to us.

Not a cat in hell's chance though.

ISP To Avoid ?

I missed the Harry's Place brouhaha when I was away on holiday, and by the time I got back it was all over.

As I understand it, an academic called Jenna Delich had posted about a proposed boycott of Israeli academics (with which I disagree, btw) to a mailing list, and recommended an article hosted at (extremely) far rightist David Duke's site. My impression is that she probably had never heard of Mr Duke. I can't remember what I was googling myself a week or so back - probably something about the Eastern Front - and I found myself at David Irving's site. These things happen (the guy was a left favourite when he wrote The Destruction of Dresden (the download is hosted at a site which contains I know not what else) all those years ago, btw).

HP publicised this fact - in , let's say, a fairly robust fashion.

  • It is therefore reasonable to infer that Jenna Delich reads and takes her information on world events from neo Nazis... the UCU is circulating links to David Duke's website on behalf of Delich.
Delich rang her lawyers, the lawyers rang Harry's ISP, ISP pulled plug.

Now on the brouhaha, if a post is worth reading, my view is that you should link to it, though it be hosted by Satan himself. I don't think it is reasonable to assume that Ms Delich is a big DD fan - and I don't think HP believed that either. They were slapping her with a great big anti-semitic brush pour encourager les autres.

But ... I think you'd have had a job to prove libel or anything else. The fact that she was taking info from DDs site was true, although phrased in a way which (to me) suggested that her world-view derived therefrom.

Therefore her ISP should have thought a bit more before they pulled the plug. Looked like they picked the wrong blog. If I had a site worth hosting, I wouldn't use them. The former HP ISP is :

Tech Organization:Daily Internet Services Limited
Tech Street1:9 Regan Way
Tech Street2:Chetwynd Business Park
Tech Street3:Chilwell
Tech City:Nottingham
Tech State/Province:Nottinghamshire
Tech Postal Code:NG96RR
Tech Country:GB
Tech Phone:
Tech Phone Ext.:
Tech FAX:+44.1159725140
Tech FAX Ext.:
Tech Email:

This is a public information post.

"police refused to give any details about their backgrounds"

"If I were Mr Cohen I'd stop worrying about 'respect' and start worrying about the gay clubs of Leicester and Burnley"

First they came for the prostitutes, then ...

THE East End’s gay community has declared ‘enough is enough’ after a young man was left fighting for his life following a brutal homophobic stabbing by a gang of youths. A 20-year-old, known as Olly, was stabbed seven times in the back and chest, outside a gay-friendly pub this week. He remains in a critical condition in hospital and police have launched an attempted murder investigation.

Both Bethnal Green and Bow MP George Galloway and Abjol Miah, the leader of the Respect group at Tower Hamlets council, have called for all communities to condemn last week’s attack in Boundary Street. With 47 homophobic attacks in Tower Hamlets over the last 12 months, one man called the Advertiser to say: “It’s time we stood up for ourselves. I’m fed up with people almost excusing this kind of violence.”

Police have branded last Thursday’s assault as “evil” and are treating it as homophobic. Cops believe the 20-year-old had been walking to the gay-friendly George and Dragon pub in Hackney Road with a woman when he was attacked at the junction of Boundary Street and Austin Street in Shoreditch onThursday.

He was hounded by a group of around five teenage boys, hit over the head with a glass bottle then stabbed seven times in the back and chest. He underwent life-saving surgery at Whitechapel’s Royal London Hospital on Friday morning.
The stabbing is also being linked to an assault in the same area 24 hours before in which a man and woman were both attacked and were kicked and punched by a group of youths.

Det Insp Howard Way, of Tower Hamlets police, condemned the attack as “evil”, but although it was being treated as a homophobic crime, he was keeping an open mind about motive.

Three men have been arrested, but police refused to give any details about their backgrounds.
The commenters at Pink News aren't so coy.

I’m sorry to break it to you but I know for a fact that this attack was carried out by a group of Bengali lads. They had already had an argument with a group of guys who came out of the George and Dragon after goading them for being gay, then fired up by that 10 minutes later they charged at the victim attacking him ferociously. They are part of a known Bengali gang who have been causing trouble over the past few years, some of it homophobic. Recently a lesbian woman was attacked coming out of a local restaurant on Calvert Avenue. I myself have had stones thrown at me by them when walking home from the G&D.

It's not racist to acknowledge this fact – purely pragmatic. As a gay man living on the Boundary Estate where the attack took place I want to know who to be looking out for and be able to call the police helpline when a gang is looking threatening or up to no good. And that doesn’t preclude me from recognising that the vast majority of Bengali people are peace-loving and friendly, like those living in my block.

But we have to accept the fact that there is a growing extremist islamofascist strain of islam that is preaching hatred against gay and lesbian people and this is filtering down to the streets. Why is it wrong to condemn this? In precisely the way that we would condemn anti-Semitism, racism or homophobia from any other group.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Enough To Make A Cat Laugh

It was only yesterday I wrote :

When Bush won in 2004 there was an explosion of 'how could they be so stupid' stories in the liberal media on both sides of the Atlantic, but at least they could blame Osama bin Laden for playing General Galtieri to Bush's Thatcher. If McCain wins expect the gnashing of teeth to be heard around the globe.
It looks as though the pre-emptive gnashing, triggered by the latest polls, is with us already. Jonathan Freedland in an idiotic Guardian article. Idiotic, but in one sense deadly serious. Key theme is that the world already hates Bush. If they don't vote for the right candidate, the world will hate America.

"If it is deemed to have been about race - that Obama was rejected because of his colour - the world's verdict will be harsh."

What do you mean, 'if' ? I have no doubt at all that if this son of a black (absent) father and white mother loses, the world-wide Guardianista community will look no further than racism for the cause of his defeat (and I'll say that he should have made Hillary VP - he'd have walked it. Like many conservatives, I think she'd make a better president than McCain). Why should they look any further ? What's in it for them ? Nowt.

But what about the inverse racism of the Guardianista ? Mr Freedland, sir, I don't see Obama's "conspicuous gifts". I see a nice-looking chap, good talker, comes over well in the Blair/Cameron style. I don't see much, if anything, in the way of policy. He was against the Iraq war, but that's the past. He accepts that the surge has been a success. I don't think it'll be a disaster for America if he wins, although I'm prepared to be proved wrong. I'm somewhat uneasy that he seems to have a hung out a good deal with people who hate their country - in fact is married to one. But the responsibilities of office have a way of concentrating the mind. With John McCain, you know what you'll get - strong policy abroad coupled with mass immigration at home. Obama's more of a cypher.

The thing is, Freedland et al aren't focused on the policies either. Obama's colour (beige) is his USP for the Guardianista, as it was for those 200,000 young Berliners. Hey, isn't it cool that a black dude is standing ? His skin colour provides something vital (alas) in today's politics - making his supporters feel good about themselves. In my leftie days I remember going to Seattle and being impressed that a white town had a black mayor - had no idea if his policies were any good or not (a black town with a white mayor would of course have been proof that 150 years after slavery, the old power structures were still entrenched etc).

"For America to make a decision as grave as this one - while the planet boils and with the US fighting two wars - on the trivial basis that a hockey mom is likable and seems down to earth, would be to convey a lack of seriousness, a fleeing from reality ..."

But you're making your decisions on the basis of skin colour ! Your likeable black dude is being matched with a likeable (? you wouldn't guess from the comments or the Steve Bell cartoon) hockey mom !

You're damn right about the lack of seriousness and fleeing from reality. But that's been a characteristic of Western democracy for the last 40 years, and it's got a lot worse recently in the UK - since 1997, as a matter of fact.

The comments provide some light relief in among the tsunami of 'hicks' , 'inbreds', 'rednecks' and 'fascists' - the Guardianista's sophisticated critique of American society :

"What are you going to do Jonathan? Cut off our brie?"

(Ross suggests Operation Clark County II may be in prospect)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Yet Another One ...

Scribbles - and her friends ...

None of us have had children. No one close to me, from school, has sprogged. That's odd, right? We're all heading towards 40.
Well, as I keep blogging, it's not been that odd at all for thirty years now - which is one reason why the streets of Bearwood have changed a bit in that time.

A pity. Anyone who can produce a post containing the phrase "the full roundness of my bottom" - pure poetry - must have something. Yet whate'er that something may be, will it be passed on to another generation ?

Is It Ramadan Already ?

Seems to come round earlier every year ... Our Glorious Leader's message for the holy month. Did I miss his Lent and Advent messages ?

Note the strange half-swallow at the end of each sentence. "It speaks to me as it speaks to so many others". Is he putting his tongue in his cheek ?

John Baker Murder

PC Plod strikes again :

"We know that crimes where the elderly and vulnerable are targeted are committed throughout the country by organised crime gangs who pass information to one another, and that they move quickly around whole regions."
Hmm. Organised crime gangs who pass information to each other and who move quickly round whole regions ? Who could these folk be ?

Detectives arrested eight men on suspicion of murdering Reginald John Baker, 75, at his home in Beech Grange, Landford near Salisbury.

They were yesterday granted more time to question five men.

Mr Baker, known as John, was found dead on Friday after a neighbour called police, reporting to have seen two men run from his bungalow.

Hundreds of officers from several forces were involved in the arrest of the eight suspects, who are all in their 20s and from across the South West region, overnight on Friday.

Hundreds of officers to arrest eight men in widely differing locations ? The men must either be be very dangerous, have lots of violent mates, or both. What manner of rural community could create such a necessity ?

Doubtless we'll find out at the trial.

Only just realised ...

Former BBC Radio MD and current Scott Trust chair (the Scott Trust own the Guardian) Liz Forgan's rants on Any Questions, which I blogged today at B-BBC, contained the following :

a) the chair of the Scott Trust thinks Brown should go asap. No wonder her mate Polly's wielding the hatchet.

b) the chair of the Scott Trust thinks employment law should discriminate against men. You can see why Julie Bindel has the run of the place.

c) the chair of the Scott Trust thinks a 'global electorate' should vote in the US Presidential elections. Operation Clark County, described by this lefty as "one of the most ill-conceived liberal electoral efforts of all time", is perhaps explained.

They Love Mankind - It's People They Can't Stand

One of Susan's family dropped in the other day - lovely person, but marinaded in the sort of default leftish worldview that's so easy to maintain when you live in the seething multicultural hotbed of the Yorkshire Dales.

"I can't believe that the Republicans could select a small-town hick like that as candidate for vice-President !"
I try to avoid politics with Susan's family, but I rose to it and pointed out with some force that not so very long ago, the Left used to have something of a bias in favour of ordinary people. What happened to it ?

Via Harry's Place via David Duff, this from Clive Crook at the FT :

Democrats speak up for the less prosperous; they have well-intentioned policies to help them; they are disturbed by inequality, and want to do something about it. Their concern is real and admirable. The trouble is, they lack respect for the objects of their solicitude. Their sympathy comes mixed with disdain, and even contempt.

Democrats regard their policies as self-evidently in the interests of the US working and middle classes. Yet those wide segments of US society keep helping to elect Republican presidents. How is one to account for this? Are those people idiots? Frankly, yes – or so many liberals are driven to conclude. Either that or bigots, clinging to guns, God and white supremacy; or else pathetic dupes, ever at the disposal of Republican strategists. If they only had the brains to vote in their interests, Democrats think, the party would never be out of power. But again and again, the Republicans tell their lies, and those stupid damned voters buy it.

It is an attitude that a good part of the US media share. The country has conservative media (Fox News, talk radio) as well as liberal media (most of the rest). Curiously, whereas the conservative media know they are conservative, much of the liberal media believe themselves to be neutral.

Their constant support for Democratic views has nothing to do with bias, in their minds, but reflects the fact that Democrats just happen to be right about everything. The result is the same: for much of the media, the fact that Republicans keep winning can only be due to the backwardness of much of the country.

Because it was so unexpected, Sarah Palin’s nomination for the vice-presidency jolted these attitudes to the surface. Ms Palin is a small-town American. It is said that she has only recently acquired a passport. Her husband is a fisherman and production worker. She represents a great slice of the country that the Democrats say they care about – yet her selection induced an apoplectic fit.

For days, the derision poured down from Democratic party talking heads and much of the media too. The idea that “this woman” might be vice-president or even president was literally incomprehensible. The popular liberal comedian Bill Maher, whose act is an endless sneer at the Republican party, noted that John McCain’s case for the presidency was that only he was capable of standing between the US and its enemies, but that should he die he had chosen “this stewardess” to take over. This joke was not – or not only – a complaint about lack of experience. It was also an expression of class disgust. I give Mr Maher credit for daring to say what many Democrats would only insinuate.

It's an old theme (excellent linked piece despite the left perspective) - that metropolitan liberal Democrats are increasingly unable to connect with blue-collar America - but the good news for the Republicans is that, even with the economy heading South and the population of Mexico heading North (something John McCain is quite easy about), with GW Bush so unpopular that the Republicans are effectively campaigning without him - even with all these things, Democrats are unable to conceal their distaste for the US electorate on whose votes they depend. As Crook says :
The problem in my view is less Mr Obama and more the attitudes of the claque of official and unofficial supporters that surrounds him. The prevailing liberal mindset is what makes the criticisms of Mr Obama’s distance from working Americans stick.

If only the Democrats could contain their sense of entitlement to govern in a rational world, and their consequent distaste for wide swathes of the US electorate, they might gain the unshakeable grip on power they feel they deserve. Winning elections would certainly be easier – and Republicans would have to address themselves more seriously to economic insecurity. But the fathomless cultural complacency of the metropolitan liberal rules this out.

The attitude that expressed itself in response to the Palin nomination is the best weapon in the Republican armoury. Rely on the Democrats to keep it primed. You just have to laugh.

The Palin nomination could still misfire for Mr McCain, but the liberal reaction has made it a huge success so far. To avoid endlessly repeating this mistake, Democrats need to learn some respect.

It will be hard. They will have to develop some regard for the values that the middle of the country expresses when it votes Republican. Religion. Unembarrassed flag-waving patriotism. Freedom to succeed or fail through one’s own efforts. Refusal to be pitied, bossed around or talked down to. And all those other laughable redneck notions that made the United States what it is.

I don't think they can do it. I honestly don't (I don't think Nick Cohen does either - another great piece). When Bush won in 2004 there was an explosion of 'how could they be so stupid' stories in the liberal media on both sides of the Atlantic, but at least they could blame Osama bin Laden for playing General Galtieri to Bush's Thatcher. If McCain wins expect the gnashing of teeth to be heard around the globe.

Save The Gadget !

It's either a cunning plot to sell more of his excellent book, or the good Inspector is getting some grief from his superiors. Let us hope that all will be well. As the commenters point out, police blogs generally improve our opinion of the front line police officer, even if those higher up and their political masters may get a shoeing. And that's what counts - isn't it ?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Do You Save Lost Girls ?

How cultural memories vanish. The Victorian and Edwardian tradition of volunteer (not state-funded) organisations such as the Sally Army and individual initiatives like those of the Gladstones, aimed at turning young women away from prostitution, was once the subject of music-hall humour and popular cartoons.

Drunk in street to charity collector or purity activist : "Do you save lost girls ?"

"We certainly do"

"Can you save one for me for Friday night ?"

Now the phrase "do you save lost girls" returns no results in Google.

But I'm pleased to see the Gladstonian tradition is alive and well in the shape of Tooting's prospective Tory candidate Mark Clarke (no relation to Jan Coggan's mate).

The Conservative parliamentary candidate for Tooting is fed up with curb crawlers and seedy activities blighting the area.

He said: “If someone tells me they’re here now and I’m in the area, I’ll go down there with people from my family and ruin their business.

“We’ll offer them help and advice, but we’ll also just stand next to them so they won’t get any punters.”

Last Monday Mr Clarke and his girlfriend, Sarah, 30, spent three hours on Bedford Hill warding off vice girls after calls from residents.

They arrived at 10.30pm to reason with two separate prostitutes, who showered them with abuse before eventually leaving.

Mr Clarke said: “My girlfriend was quite distressed. One of them said, ‘I know people who can sort you out.’”

He added: “Most people in the community are afraid of tackling them. They think the pimp will get them, or they might get done for curb crawling themselves.

“But I can do this because everyone including the police knows who I am. They know I’m not harassing anyone.”

Curb crawlers ? Sack the sub-ed - shouldn't it be kerb ? To curb is to restrain or hold back - more the sort of thing Max Mosley might go in for. And most people in the Tooting/Streatham community might be afraid of them - but I know a community who aren't.

I've warded off vice girls on Bedford Hill in my time. When I lived there in the 80s you might be approached three or four times on your way up towards the common. A lot of the girls seemed to be from 'up North'. I remember being stopped by two of them as I laboured up the hill with my hands full of heavy supermarket bags (was it a Sainsburys next door to Balham station ?).

"I'm flattered, ladies. Do I look like someone who needs two girls for the evening ?"

A Small Postette

At Biased BBC.