Friday, 28 July 2017

Mistaken Identity

Identity politics; it’s barmy, isn’t it? I mean, it’s hard enough some days to get through the day without having to worry about whether you’re using the correct pronouns when addressing others. And will you unintentionally offend strangers by appropriating their culture, whatever form that takes? Do Americans get miffed when they see people of other nations wearing tee-shirts and baseball caps?

And what about what’s written on that tee-shirt? Dressing your five-year old in a pink tee with ‘Princess’ in sparkly sequins might upset a minor royal; you never know. It will certainly enrage a feminazi, but then pretty much anything does. Mind you, this is fine because it is always hilarious to see a grown woman having a rant about somebody else’s innocent child and being utterly serious about it.

Talking of funny, one of the ironically wry things about identity issues is how ridiculous you look and sound sometimes when you both assume your identity and defend it. Whatever happened to ‘anything goes’? I mean, nowadays, in some societies a glimpse of stocking is looked on as something shocking; heaven knows! But some identities are more equal than others and one of those seems to be to have no recognisable individual identity at all.

There is a big debate in the west about the wearing of the burka; something that seems to be far less popular in many all-out muslim countries. Quite apart from the alien nature of this practice, which is seen as a deliberate provocation to many, hiding your face is not something we are comfortable with, here in the civilised world; although there are a fair few prominent feminists who we could bear to see a lot less of.

When you hide your identity, especially as a means of asserting it, it can arouse passionate opposition. What are you hiding? Why? And who are you, behind the veil, anyway? On one occasion recently, matters got a little out of hand. A man walked out of a city centre pub after a long, liquid lunch and on hitting the fresh air became a little dazed and confused. When he noticed a burka-clad figure walking ahead of him he rushed up and grabbed the figure in a bear hug.


As the burkee struggled the drunk clung on all the harder and started to laugh. Underneath the burka, legs were kicking and the head was jerking from side to side as the captive struggled, ineffectually, to break free. Eventually the man let go, still laughing and the burka-clad figure stumbled to the ground, gasping for breath. The man looked down and said “Not so tough now, are we, Batman?”

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Electrickery

So, the future is bright; the future is electric? The government announcement that by 2040 the petrolhead will be dead has garnered much comment over the last 24 hours, much of it based, quite rightly, on who is going to pay for it all. Well, who do you think? The government has no money of its own so this is yet another pesky green scheme whose targets will quietly be pushed further into the future and whose benefits may turn out to be minimal.

Nebulously linking that long-ago discredited 40,000 premature deaths to the use of fossil fuels for transport is just another project fear tactic. If you really want people to switch you need to pay them, not punish them. Introducing punitive taxation to now reverse previous government policy is showing too much of the stick and far too little carrot. With oil and gas more plentiful and thus cheaper than it has been for a long time, surely the shorter term answer is to continue to develop emission control.

But research into making safer oil-fuelled engines will stall if there is no future in it; the new gold rush will be battery technology and all the eggs will go into the single precarious basket of an all-electric world. I have no objection to electricity; indeed, I make my living from it. What bothers me is how ready those who lead us are to purchase new clothes for the emperor, without regard for the crowds who have to watch him parade in them.

Where, for a start, is all the ‘leccy’ going to come from? What if I don’t have a driveway and have to park my car on the roadside a hundred metres from where I live; how do I charge up? I can fill my tank in five minutes; what will the queues be like at the charging stations of the future? And will fast-charging affect battery life? Talking of battery life, there are studies that suggest the lifetime environmental cost of battery power may actually be more harmful than doing what we currently do. Has this been properly investigated before policies have been formulated? I very much doubt it.

Nobody knows the future, but we have survived the past; the devil we know. The taxes raised by selling petrol and diesel and by levying a road fund licence will vanish, so how will the government recoup lost revenues? Charging for road use, via traffic-strangling toll collection? Or by mileage, in which case how will this be monitored; trackers in every vehicle? Will our cars become part of the Internet of Things and if so with what consequences for individual liberty?

And sooner or later, you can guarantee it, somebody is going to claim that electric cars give you cancer. With more electricity around there will be more electromagnetic radiation. With more use of rare elements in batteries, more people will come into contact with materials never normally encountered before. What of those who make the batteries; what of those who dispose of them? Has anybody even thought of this?


No doubt all these obstacles and more will arise and be surmounted, but in just 23 years? That seems like a lifetime – in fact it is - if you are in the 18-24 group who will uncritically applaud this apparently planet-saving move. But in infrastructure spending terms this could put HS2 in the shade and that’s been hovering about for decades already and still nobody knows what, if any, real economic benefits it may bring. Are you sure you are ready to pay for all this, kids? Until I can see a saving, I’m sticking to diesel.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Plodding along

You would like to think that the police, with their much-vaunted initiatives to keep a finger on the pulse would know better. You would think that the police, who are supposed to both represent us and understand us, would think twice before they publicised the extent to which they have become tools; tools not for law and order, but for the furtherance of political agenda, criminalising all dissenters from the new orthodoxy.

No doubt Wiltshire Plod thought that getting their twitter intern to post, un-proof-read, an antagonistic tweet was a good idea. And that the use of a couple of iPhone emojis would impart an air of being down with the zeitgeist. But ‘your’ for ‘you are’ and ‘boys & gals’? Who else wonders whether they were paying attention during their gender sensitivity re-programming session? Here’s the ‘offending’ tweet, suggesting a reach way beyond even their Thought Police competence and budget.


Naturally, Twitter went to town; if there is one tradition that runs strong in this country it is pricking the pomposity of those who seek to bully and clumsily impose authority from afar. The police have long been accused of detachment from the front line and disengagement from the policed; this could have been an opportunity for them to admit their mistakes and play along.

But no, lessons have not been learned. After a day of light-hearted mild abuse and the odd more strongly worded criticism they got what they thought was a grown-up to write a response. Talk about putting out the fire with petrol. This sinister warning shows a grave misreading of the public mood and an utter lack of understanding about who or what controls and operates social media.


If the threatening language was intended to make us feel like criminals it worked. I now understand that anybody who dares to criticise the official line is as bad as a murderer or a rapist; not a muslim rape-gang rapist, of course, they are off limits to the long arm of the stupid. Quite apart from the sheer idiocy of pushing back against an online presence many times their size and geographically spread worldwide, the police seem to have forgotten that they police by our consent.

When they left the beat they began to lose our trust and respect. When they began to strut about like paramilitaries they put themselves apart from the public they used to be a part of. When they start to openly threaten potentially large numbers of ordinary people just having a laugh, they have exceeded their remit. The crowd turns on the slightest of whims; those size ten boots could so easily be on other feet.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Flip!

There is a healthy living to be made by selling out the human race for a bag of magic beans labelled 'Social Justice'. The latest burgeoning sector of the industry, drumming up trade for human rights activists and their camp followers is the gender-bending world of the non-binary brigade. Justine Greening has aided their crusade for the massive majority of the population to pay compensatory homage to their demands to be accepted as an utterly normal manifestation of human variety.

But, you see, ‘normal’ implies conformation to some model which occurs more frequently than others. Synonyms for normal are: usual, standard, typical, common and so on, but as gender dysphoria genuinely affects a minuscule proportion, then by a simple mathematical reality it is far from normal. This doesn’t mean that those with genuine issues shouldn’t be treated fairly and equitably by society, but giving people licence to declare a change of gender at whim is going to open the floodgates, just as defining hurt feelings as hateful has fuelled an imagined surge in hate crimes.

Nobody knows how many people are affected; some medical estimates put it as 0.01% but as transactivism has risen and the young are being persuaded, as with sexual preference, to give-it-a-go, try-before-you-buy, there are claims of it reaching 1%, a hundred times higher. Given that for flu an occurrence of 400 cases in a population of 100,000 (that’s 0.4 %) would be labelled an epidemic what are we standard models to make of a sudden massive increase in instances of trans-gender claimants? One thing is for sure; public money is bound to be involved somewhere.

I’m sure all of this is occurring organically, at least I’d like to be sure. I’d like to think this is simple a more open society allowing people to express themselves, explore their identity and find their place in the world, but is it? Some may use the phrase ‘cultural Marxism’ but that’s way too conspiracy-theory for me; I don’t credit human beings with the ability to maintain conspiracies beyond a tiny number of people. But it’s definitely a strain of leftism and fuelled by the notion that everybody should be allowed to be who or whatever they wish to be and if there is no profit in it, the rest of us should pay.

One thing is for sure and that is political interference is unlikely to improve things for anybody, gender-fluid or otherwise. A modernising Tory party loses its core support over this sort of thing and anyway, Labour does this stuff so much better, appealing as it does to a constituency all too ready to throw away what has worked for the many in favour of what might gain the votes of the few. But were does it all end?


When we made it easier for people to go soft-bankrupt more defaulted on their credit card bills. When uncontested divorce was made easier the divorce rate increased. When we made it acceptable to live on welfare forever we created an underclass of state dependents. Let people buy their own homes and we end up with a housing shortage. There is a clear direction of travel here; increase apparent freedoms and we shackle ourselves to runaway trains leading to unknown destinations. Will gender-flipping one day become compulsory? It's not going to end well.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Scared? Damn right we’re scared

There is something sinister going on with islam and the authorities’ refusal to tak hat is perceived as a threat to our way of life seriously. Say that there are non-muslim no-go areas and you are shouted down with screeches of ‘racist!’  Point to the evidence and if they can’t ignore you, you hear guff about payback for colonialism, the fatuous mantra that ‘immigration is a net benefit’ and of course, diversity. How about this 2016 piece about the new diversity of SavileTown in West Yorkshire?

Yes, I know the Daily Mail is regarded as a banned publication by the bastions of free speech at the Ministry of Truth – the Guardian/BBC Axis – but this isn’t a hate piece. This is what millions of ordinary people see while they are hearing about our wonderful inclusive multiculturality. It’s the sort of cognitive onslaught that might be endured while undergoing brainwashing in a 1960s-style psychological thriller. No wonder people are afraid.

Yes afraid; not because of any imagined, hyped-up, far-right propaganda but through direct experience. We see barbaric acts of terror our screens daily. We have been subjected to relentless images of slaughter of the most brutal kind. And we hear daily how an enormous proportion of the ‘muslim community’ simply refuses to condemn any of it. For every reformist muslim paraded on television in refutation of our suspicions, there are thousands who nod in silent approval and thousands more who are happy to take to street praying in an insensitive and open act of defiance.

But we are the bad guys. The Metropolitan police published a report on hate crime against London’s muslim communities (I don’t recall seeing anything similar on hate crime against all of civilisation) in which they spell out what they regard as islamophobia (page 6).According to the definition they use, there are 8 components of islamophobia to wit:
  1. Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.
  2. Islam is seen as separate and 'other'. It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.
  3. Islam is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.
  4. Islam is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a 'clash of civilisations'.
  5. Islam is seen as a political ideology and is used for political or military advantage.
  6. Criticisms made of the West by Islam are rejected out of hand.
  7. Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.
  8. Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural or normal.

Well, the first six seem to be the entirely normal observations of what islam actually is in the west and the last two appear to be the almost justifiable reactions of some in seeking to protect themselves from further assaults on our own culture. As a small, but typical, example, take the case of the woman suing a school for banning full face coverings. This is nothing to do with religion and everything to do with an invading ideology imposing its will on the kuffar. If they can ban the burka in Morocco why should such consideration be deemed oppressive in Britain? But what do we do? We attempt to place more and more muslims in positions of power over us; the police are also guilty of this.


It is as if the police force, who once it was once assumed used to defend without prejudice the law of the land now seems determined to thwart those aims. Bandits wear face masks; bank robbers, rapists; villains of all persuasions. In our culture (and how come there are no white British ‘community leaders’?) hiding the face is a mark of shame. Maybe the police should wear masks now? Fight back? We aren’t done fighting among ourselves.