Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Few Unpaid Bills From the Curate's In-Tray

As a lefty student, I remember the Socialist Labour League (which transmogrified into the Workers Revolutionary Party) as being a particularly committed and hard-working set of idealists, who always seemed to think revolution was just around the corner. "The current crisis of capitalism" was a recurring theme - and indeed back in the 70s it did seem that way. Someone I knew actually joined the Army in order that he'd have the required skillset come the revolution.

Of course, the whole thing was an authoritarian shambles, if there can be such a thing, run by someone who, it transpired, had a long and inglorious (if impressive) track record of persuading impressionable young recruits that it was their revolutionary duty to service the wants of the great leader. "From each according to her abilities, to one according to his needs". Hmm. Small socialist party, charismatic leader who likes putting it about ? Couldn't happen nowadays, could it?

The whole sorry story is here. For those who don't want the dialectic, the early 70s are here. I wouldn't have cast Ted Heath as Bonaparte myself, for all his faults :

During the election campaign Healy proclaimed that Heath was intent on installing a police-military dictatorship, and Workers Press carried a series of bloodcurdling headlines to this effect.
And Downfall is here. Though it was the defeat of the miners that broke the movement :

Convinced that police-military dictatorship was imminent, he had £20,000 in cash and a BMW car secretly stashed away in order to flee the country in the event of a fascist coup.
the final nail in Healy’s political coffin was :

... the eruption of a sexual scandal centring on his corrupt relations with women comrades. Again, there was nothing new in this... All of this, however, had been kept from the membership ...

It was later stated that the women Healy pressurised into having sexual relations with him ‘mistakenly believed that the revolution – in the form of the "greatest" leader demanded this, the most personal sacrifice of all. They were not coerced ... physically, but every pressure was brought to bear on them as revolutionaries’. The situation was ‘not so much rape but ... sexual abuse by someone in a position of power and trust’. It was, Dave Bruce comments, ‘wholesale sexual corruption in a manner analogous to these religious sects. There’s a very close parallel’.

Paul Kingsnorth is a green lefty who doesn't think open borders are a good thing. He's a tad worried about where we're going. Worth a read.

"You are all racist, I'm telling you" - Munshur Ali, convicted of raping two thirteen year olds, tries a defence that might have done better before the verdict. To be fair, were he as innocent as he claims, he may have had a point - but I don't think consent (his defence) applies to such a young age - no matter what your ethnicity.

The vanishing work ethic, the jail inferno (Rikers Island) and Dalrymple on inflation - all at City Journal, or would be if they could fix their mySQL database.

"#HY000Host 'tmiweb52.vwh.net' is blocked because of many connection errors; unblock with 'mysqladmin flush-hosts'"
Listen to the man, won't you ?

Evidently Savile Town - is this just random targetting ? To be fair, this kind of thing happens all over the country.

Yobs targeted the Thornhill-bound Arriva bus as it pulled away from a stop in Savile Road late on Saturday night. It was the second successive night the Thornhill bus had been attacked.

The passenger who was injured, a man aged 56, told how stones smashed windows on both sides of the bus. The attack happened at 11pm opposite the BP garage. The man, who is white and a local businessman, rushed off the bus to chase the youths, bleeding from a cut to his face.

“They told me not to come shouting in their area,” he said. “I told them it was my area as well. I was born and bred in Dewsbury. “There were other Asians around and they said what happened was wrong and it would be sorted. I don’t want to scare people but they have to know what is going on.”

Two weeks ago The Press reported how three white boys, one aged 12 and two aged 14, were set upon by a gang of Asian youths nearby. The teenagers were confronted and asked why they were walking through Savile Town. One boy was struck on the side of the head, causing his ear to bleed.
I think the Press isn't listening to the local Community Cohesion Partnerhip. Anyway, maybe Savile Town's always been that way.

It was seventy years ago today :

By 1945, more than six million Polish citizens had been killed (18 per cent), almost half of them Jewish. Nearly half of Poland's territory had been forcibly annexed by the Soviet Union. The country's capital, Warsaw, was a desert of ruins, more completely destroyed than any European city. And Poland's precious independence, so rashly guaranteed by Britain, had sunk without trace, not to resurface until 1989.
The Polish government has kept its cool. Premier Tusk repeated yesterday that he wanted to make Poland's wartime experiences widely known, but also that he wanted to improve relations with Russia...

The Polish media are less restrained. Excited discussions are taking place on radio and television. Total disbelief is the commonest reaction. Behind the talking heads of its panellists, one TV channel has been running non-stop documentary film sequences. They show Ribbentrop and Molotov in Moscow, huge columns of Soviet tanks and cavalry rolling across the Polish frontier and the scenes from the town in central Poland where on 23 September 1939 German and Soviet forces staged a joint victory parade.

As the Russian government must realise, however, Poland will only be the start of a long, uncomfortable season. After Poland, it will be Finland's turn, and the 70th anniversary of the Winter War. Stalin's aggression against Finland in November 1939 was every bit as blatant as his actions against Poland. His German partner was not involved, and the despatch of a million troops into a neighbouring country to deport the entire population of the frontier area can hardly be described as the doings of a neutral well-wisher. It led to the expulsion of the USSR from the League of Nations. And after Finland, there will be Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania. At every stage, there will be scenes of peace-loving tanks, of executions and deportations, and of weeping patriots.

So Vladimir Putin has some explaining to do next Tuesday.

Everyone knows about the Palestinians driven out in 1948. Not so many know - or care - about the former inhabitants of what used to be East Prussia and Western Poland. Admittedly the Palestinians hadn't started WW2. While I can see the ancestral appeal of Israel, I always thought it would have been just if East Prussia had become the Jewish State. Stalin would doubtless have vetoed the idea. After all, they already had the Jewish Autonomous Region.

Back home in Germany, Erika Steinbach is hardly a household name. But in neighboring Poland she is a national hate figure, caricatured on magazine covers as a Nazi in SS uniform. Her offense, in Polish eyes, is that she claims to speak for the millions of ethnic Germans who were expelled from their homes in Poland and elsewhere in eastern Europe after World War II. These accusers say she is revising history and drawing a moral parallel between the cruelties the Germans inflicted and the sufferings they later endured.

The recriminations go to the heart of the resentments that still bubble up from the war that broke out with Hitler's attack on Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. Today, as Polish, German and Russian leaders join on Tuesday to mark the anniversary, Polish-German relations are at one level an idyll of open borders and shared membership in the prosperous, democratic European Union.

But at another level, they are one rancorous episode after another: a Polish prime minister demanding greater voting power in European forums to make up for Poland's war-related loss of population; a German magazine article that stirs Polish outrage by saying Germany had the willing help of Poles and others in executing its genocidal actions; and now a new museum in Berlin, championed by Steinbach, that will exhibit the hardships of the world's refugees through history, especially the wartime Germans.
Many of my generation are children of the war, one way or another. Were it not for Hitler's rise, my father's parents would never have sent him to England, my mother would not have been in the WRAF. I was talking about it to a friend with a Polish surname not so long ago.

"Which part of Poland are your forebears from, then ?"

"They're not - my father was from the Ukraine"

"The Ukraine ? How on earth did he end up here ? Didn't all Soviet soldiers - and prisoners - get sent back to Russia ?"

"Ah, but you see - he was on the other side !"


Anonymous said...

i While I can see the ancestral appeal of Israel...

i He was born into a Hungarian Jewish family in Budapest...

i In The Thirteenth Tribe (1976), he put forward the controversial thesis that Ashkenazi Jews are not descended from the Israelites of antiquity, but from the Khazars, a Turkic people in the Caucasus who converted to Judaism in the 8th century and were later forced to move westwards into present-day Russia, Ukraine and Poland.

Your Kingsnorth link doesn't work for me.

Anonymous said...

Wait there's more...

At the bottom of the wiki Arthur Koestler page there is this:

The Invention of the Jewish People

The Invention of the Jewish People (Matai ve’ech humtza ha’am hayehudi? ) is a "controversial"[1], book by professor Shlomo Sand, a Tel Aviv University historian. The English translation is being published by Verso Books in October 2009

I only point this out as a conscientious lefty. After all, the Jews are a majority in Israel, and therefore like the English in England, it is only right that their identity be denied so that minorities do not feel oppressed. Or something.

Rob said...

"We take these sorts of incidents very seriously"

But not seriously enough to describe them as racially motivated, which you do at the drop of a hat when the roles are reversed. So you aren't taking them seriously at all.

Ross said...

Wasn't Vanessa Redgrave involved in the rape cult known as the Workers Revolutionary Party?

fellist said...

Re: Kingsnorth:

Recent articles: Englishness is a Cultural Identity

This is a claim that Englishness belongs only to the individual and can be defined only by the individual: and he may choose to define Englishness as Welshness.

It's nonsense - and I suspect not unrelated to Kingsnorth's own family arrangements:

Perhaps I should come clean about my personal investment in this argument. Not only was my grandmother an immigrant - meaning that my own 'racial coding' would probably not meet BNP requirements for true Englishness - but my parents-in-law were immigrants from India in the 1970s. This makes my wife, in the charming PC terms of which Vron is so fond, a 'BME', and my daughter of 'mixed ethnicity.' It also means, according to both the BNP and Vron Ware, that neither of them can be truly English for, apparently, Englishness is 'racially coded' - only for white people.

Wouldn't it be more reasonable for Kingsnorth to redefine his own 'identity' and come up with a name for his kind of family than to redefine the English out of existence? Isn't that called 'ethnocide' and isn't it just a mite selfish? What about OUR personal - and collective - interests?

Mark said...

Heather MacDonald's City Journal article on Rikers Island is up to her usual high standard.

Her conclusion should be framed & mounted on the wall of Dame Anne Owers's well appointed office-
'the order that the lobbyists, academic critics, and neo-Foucauldians see as oppressive is inmates’ only hope for safety and even, perhaps, rehabilitation. The recent insights of urban policing—that order matters, that small violations lead to greater crimes, and that information must be gathered and analyzed—are all equally pertinent to jails, where chaos and corruption always threaten'.