If there is a theme to this weeks LED it has to be prophecy – or at least prediction. For example it has been fairly obvious that if mainstream politicians continue to follow the wacky elitist ‘liberal’ policies of their educators and media bosses – then there was going to be a backlash by ordinary people who suffer from these policies. So let’s begin with Germany.
- The Far Right Return to the German Parliament.
The AFD – In a major shock, for the first time since the Second World War, a Far Right party has been elected to the German parliament. The AFD are expected to end up with 12.6% of the vote and 94 seats in the parliament. They are now the third largest party. The reason is because of their anti-immigration policy which itself has been fuelled by Merkel’s welcoming over one million immigrants into Germany. They have also benefited from the perception that the mainstream parties are largely the same and because of their
refusal to face up to the issues involved. The result of all this is that Mrs. Markel’s is now in a much weaker position – as is Mr. Macron, the French President, whose En Marche party only got 23 out of 171 seats in elections for the French Senate, at the weekend. Its interesting how many politicians and media pundits who were very quick to pronounce Theresa May ‘finished’ after a poorer than expected general election, have been silent about Merkel.
Part of Merkel’s problem has been the perception of the EU. The AFD are anti-Euro. The following is one of the reasons why.
(Since I wrote this it has been pointed out to me that using the term ‘far right’ is lazy and too simplistic. A criticism I accept and therefore I apologise – Douglas Murray has a wider understanding here
- a) Europe for the Wealthy –
Cyprus now sells citizenship to wealthy foreigners – more than 400 passports have been sold under the golden visa scheme with wealthy Russians and Ukrainians being the main recipients. They have to invest €2 million in Cypriot property or €2.5 million into companies or government bonds. There are no language or residency requirements – other than that they have to visit Cyprus once every seven years. Malta does the same scheme. But under the EU ‘open borders’ these millionaires don’t just become citizens of Cyprus and Malta, they become citizens of the EU. This is ‘freedom of movement’ – but it is a freedom of movement only for the wealthy – not for the poor. It’s Europe for the Few. At the other end of the scale….
b) Europe of the Poor – Statistic of the week – Of 8,096 people registered homeless in London in 2015/16 – only 3,271 were British. Nearly 3,000 were from Eastern Europe or Central – 1,546 were Romanian.
c) Europe for the Powerful – I thought this was very insightful from Roger Scruton – “And here we see why the so-called ‘democratic deficit’ in the European institutions is a built-in feature of them. The institutions were set up in such a way that they could be influenced from below, but controlled only from above. Accountability, however, means influence from above, but control from below – control by those whose interest is served, and who retain the ultimate remedy of ejection.” (from “The Uses of Pessimism” by Roger Scruton)
d) Europe for
the Scots – In an amazing piece of chutzpah I noticed several tweets from SNP politicians mocking Labour for not having a vote at their conference on Brexit and the Single Market. Why is this amazing? Because the last thing
the SNP will permit at their conference is a debate on Brexit. What they call a debate is really a statement of party policy – which by their own laws, every single SNP politician is obliged to back. There will be no debate. It’s a campaign rally – not a serious debate.
e) Are EU citizens welcome in the UK? – Having just welcomed a Hungarian into membership in our congregation (which also has Estonians, Dutch, French, German, Italians and Polish) I would say absolutely. Being out of the political system that is the EU does not mean we are out of Europe or that Europeans are not welcome here. But sadly far too many of those who are EU fanatics are willing to promote fears in order to push their own agendas – and so the myths of hate crime are played upon (this is not to say that hate crime does not exist – nor even that some of it is racist).
Remember the Polish man murdered for being Polish? Arek Jozwik was killed in Harlow in August 2016 – and much of the media, and politicians with their tweets, were quick to label it a Brexit hate crime. It turns out not to be true. But the same media and politicians who were so keen to jump on the Brexit equals racism bandwagon have been strangely silent about the truth. This article in The Spectator by Ross Clark is fascinating – “the idea that the referendum unleashed a frenzy of violence against foreigners culminating in the murder of Arek Jozwik — something which caused a lot of soul-searching among Leave as well as Remain voters at the time — has turned out not to be true. On that point, people on both sides of the Brexit divide should surely be relieved.
And this superb piece by Brendan O’Neill makes the same point…
Now when will we see all those politicians who jumped on the race hate crime bandwagon apologise?
Will Brexit Happen? The Truth about the EU…
Solas Conversations | The Strange Death of Europe
3) World running out of sand?
I found this information fascinating. Sand and gravel represent the highest volume of raw material used on Earth after water. 26 billion tonnes of aggregates were used in 2012 for concrete – enough to build a wall 27 m high by 27 m wide round the whole equator. You might think that there is plenty of sand in the vast deserts of the world but the problem is that it is usually the wrong kind of sand. That’s why the United Arab Emirates imported $456 million of sand, gravel and stone in 2014. Marine dredging of sand is something that really harms the environment. Half of all sand used in Morocco comes from illegal mining. In Tamil India 50,000 lorry-loads are mined every day and smuggled to nearby states. There are alternatives but they are more expensive for the construction industry. In 2014 India was using a tonne of concrete per Indian per year!
And I couldn’t resist this – nothing to do with sand – apart from the title but enjoy this from Metallica’s epic concert in Moscow! Maybe we should send them back to bring some peace and harmony between US and Russia!
4) Transgender Study banned….
This is an amazing story from the Times at the weekend. I heard it on BBC Radio 4 at 7:45am this morning. It was astonishing. A researcher had had a proposal accepted by the University of Bath to look into the increasing number of people who have reversed their gender reassignment (women for example who have had double mastectomies because they feel they are men, who now want to be women again). The researcher was told to resubmit his research proposal for ‘ethical perusal’ because there were concerns the research could be used for the wrong purposes. He was then told that he was not allowed to do it because it might cause the University to be criticized on social media (that’s a given – to anyone who knows the fanaticism of the trans activists) and it was better not to offend people. If that was not bad enough he was actually told, “Engaging in a potentially politically incorrect piece of research may harm the university”. This is the academic world we live in today. When activists for a particular cause tell you that ‘research has shown’, what they mean is that the only research that they will permit is that which ‘shows’ what they have already pre-determined!
The transgender agenda is not about research, or facts. It’s about politics, feelings and indoctrination. And the indoctrination is working! 56% of British men over 65 consider themselves to be completely masculine. Among men aged 50 to 60, the figure drops to 32% – and just 2% among 18 to 24-year-olds. 59% of women over 65 consider themselves completely feminine, as you 14% of women aged 18 to 24.
As for the intimidation – this article from the Times was also enlightening:
The battle over gender has turned bloody
Women who believe that their rights are threatened by transgender activists now find themselves at risk of assault
When is it ok to punch a woman? I’ve pondered this question since Wednesday evening when I watched a 60-year-old in specs and sensible shoes called Maria being smacked in the face. Yet I learn from her assailant’s defenders that it’s fine. Punch harder next time, guys! Because “acts of physical violence against those who are systemically violent are self-defence”.
I was at Speakers’ Corner waiting, along with about 80 others, to learn the secret location of a meeting entitled, “What is gender? The Gender Recognition Act [GRA] and beyond”. It was all very cloak and dagger because the original venue, a south London community centre, had cancelled the previous day on health and safety grounds. Which is one way of saying “trans rights activists harangued our staff and threatened, via various Facebook groups, to cause havoc if it went ahead”. Then, hearing of the Hyde Park rendezvous, they rang every conceivable venue within a mile radius to promise mayhem. Having failed to find it, about 15 of them arrived at Speakers’ Corner with placards saying “TERFs not welcome.”
TERF stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist. But lately the definition has expanded to include any woman worried that permitting men who “self-identify” as female to enter women’s changing rooms or refuges unchallenged makes her less safe. Which is exactly what will happen if reform of the GRA, as championed by Maria Miller, who chairs the Commons women and equalities committee, goes ahead this autumn.
TERFs, according to trans activists, are evil. TERF is the new witch. Search on Twitter for “TERFs must die” or “burn in a fire, TERF” and behold a cauldron of violent vitriol. Before the meeting, a trans-woman posted: “Any idea where this is happening? I want to f*** some TERFs up, they are no better than fash [fascists].” Search “punch a TERF” and you will find crowing approval of what happened to Maria.
So at Speakers’ Corner trans activists and feminists were chanting and taunting each other. Maria was taking photographs when an opponent grappled with her, snatched her camera and smashed it on the ground. Then a tall, male-bodied, hooded figure wearing make-up rushed over, hit her several times and as police arrived, ran away. I asked a young activist if she was OK with men smacking women: “It’s not a guy, you’re a piece of s*** and I’m happy they hit her”, came the reply.
After that, organisers whispered the secret venue and attendees peeled off towards the University Women’s Club where one of the feminists, an engineer, is a member. Activists chased them through Mayfair streets in a black cab, but were stopped at the door by the club’s magnificent pearl-clad chairwoman. And in a grand library the meeting finally took place, with the trans activists outside chanting; “Burn it down!”
I wouldn’t trouble Times readers, no doubt weary of reading daily about gender-fluidity and schoolboys in frocks, with this affair if it didn’t reveal such serious issues. Changes to the very definition of “man” and “woman” are being proposed, yet it is almost impossible to hold a public meeting to discuss them. Wednesday’s speakers were a lesbian academic and a trans woman. Two members of the LGBT group Stonewall initially agreed to take part in what was to be a debate, but dropped out. Winning arguments is far harder for the trans lobby than shutting them down.
Mainly because trans demands and women’s rights are often in such clear and irreconcilable conflict. Take Martin Ponting, jailed in 1995 for raping two girls, one disabled. After cosmetic surgery, but still possessing male genitalia, Ponting, now called Jessica Winfield, was moved to Bronzefield women’s prison but after making unwanted sexual advances to inmates has been segregated. Are you appalled that a rapist is confined with women prisoners, mainly non-violent offenders and themselves often victims of male sexual abuse? Do you think the Soham murderer Ian Huntley should never be allowed to transfer even if, as reported, he calls himself “Lian”? Then you too are a TERF and deserve to be punched.
When white supremacists marched through US streets, the left concluded it was fine to counter-attack heavily armed racist militia who posed a physical threat to ethnic minorities. But certain trans activists have extrapolated: they believe debate itself makes them “unsafe”, so it is self-defence to attack those who are “systemically violent”, ie anyone with whom they disagree.
This combination of declared victimhood and ruthless vengeance has so far achieved its goal: silence. Maria Miller, chairing her GRA inquiry, did not even call prison gender experts who submitted their fears that male sexual offenders transition into women to be closer — how amazing! — to potential victims. When Miller’s report went before parliament only one MP, the fearless Caroline Flint, raised potential conflicts with women’s safety, for which she was eviscerated online.
But the tide is turning and the trans activists have a lot more people to punch. Like women athletes who fear their sports will soon be meaningless if trans women are allowed to compete; teachers horrified by an epidemic of adolescent girls binding their breasts, persuaded by extreme internet blogs that they’re in the “wrong body”; psychiatrists fearful of demanded changes to gender treatment protocols which will make advising “wait and see” to confused teenagers rather than shoving them straight on hormones a hate crime.
So when is it OK to punch a woman? When she won’t do what you want; when you don’t like what she says. Some things never change.
5) Australian Marriage hatred.
Well, they did warn us it would happen. They said they did not want a referendum on same sex marriage because of the hatred it would allow to be displayed. They were right. The Australian referendum debate has turned really nasty – not as some feared with people taking the opportunity to express their homophobic hatred, but rather because of those who are all into ‘love and tolerance’ being full of hatred and intolerance towards any who would dare to disagree with them. This article gives one example – but there have been many others. The result is that there is apparently a backlash against these tactics and whilst the Yes to SSM campaign is still expected to win, it appears to be a lot closer than first anticipated.
This article from the Spectator in Australia is superb. When I argued against SSM a few years ago I was frequently asked – what do you think will happen? This is not the slippery slope. Well it was, and almost everything we predicted has already happened.
Manifestations of the ‘British gender revolution’ are not difficult to find. Transport for London, have prohibited the use of the ‘heteronormative’ words, such as ladies and gentlemen. Meanwhile, universities across the nation are threatening to ‘mark down’ students, who continue to use the words ‘he’ and ‘she’. Instead, ‘gender neutral pronouns’ such as ‘ze’, must be uniformly applied.
In retrospect, the silent majority in Britain remained silent for too long. Reflecting on redefinition, Ben Harris-Quinney, Chairman of the Bow Group think tank pondered that:‘Same-sex marriage was promoted in the UK, as an issue of supposed tolerance and equality. What we have seen, is the most unequal and intolerant outcomes of any political issue in recent history’.
At the same time, Ministers have denied worried parents the right to withdraw their children from primary school classes. Meanwhile, ‘outside educators’ teach children about sex positions, ‘satisfying’ pornography consumption and how to masturbate. Concerns regarding STI’s and Promiscuity, are derided as ‘old-fashioned’.
6) Catalonia and Kurdistan –
It’s fascinating what is going on in Catalonia and Kurdistan. The Catalans are trying to hold a referendum about Catalan independence and the Spanish government are claiming it is illegal and have started arresting people and confiscating papers. Meanwhile in Iraqi Kurdistan the Kurds are holding a referendum to see if they can achieve their dream – of an independent Kurdish state. This is unlikely to succeed because the Syrians, the Turks and the Iranians are all unlikely to see hope given to their own significant Kurdish minorities. I am a great believer in the right of self-determination of nations and peoples – but where does it begin and end? Those Scottish politicians who are offering their support to the Catalans, would that principle still stand if the Shetlanders wanted independence from Scotland? I am not convinced that the destruction of the nation state whether by superblocks like the EU – or ever ethnic splitting, is a good thing!
7) Animal Property Rights
This comes under the category of ‘it couldn’t get any madder’…. Well, each week we prove it can! The animal rights charity Peta dropped a legal case claiming that a macaque which took its own photo was entitled to the royalties rather than the camera owner – but only after the photographer agreed to donate 1/4 of his profits to an animal charity. The idea of animal property rights was advanced by Australian philosopher John Hadley in the Journal of Social Philosophy in 2005. He suggested that animals be given rights over territories and human guardians appointed to represent them in court! Thats great – who can I sue for the fox, dogs, cats and pigeons invading my garden! To say nothing of the ants, slugs and bugs!
Thought of the Week
Will we have to rename New York – because it is named after the Duke of York, was involved in the slave trade?
Tweet of the week. –
“reality” is a social construct and has all to do with interpreting information.”
Yes I really was sent this as apparently a killer argument! I accept that my expectations were not that high, the discussion so far hadn’t been great and my opponent was decked in an EU flag, and I usually find the EU fanatics to be emotive and lacking in logic and reason – but this was really special. Reality is a social construct! Just think about it. In effect it means that nothing is real….or only that is real which I feel to be real. This is real wacky, magic mushroom stuff. The only problem is that I think some of the people who are running the country think that.
Fact of the week –
Britons spend twice as long per week – over three hours – on the toilet as they do exercising 1.5 hours!
Story of the week –
I loved this story about Nixon. Kissinger’s account from Woodward and Bernstein The Final Days.
“The president was drinking. He said he was resigning. It would be better for everyone. They talk quietly – history, resignation decision, foreign affairs. Then Nixon said he wasn’t sure he would be able to resign. Could he be the first president to quit office? Kissinger responded by listing the president’s contributions, especially in diplomacy.
‘Will history treat me more kindly than my contemporaries? ‘
“Certainly, definitely, Kissinger said. When this was all over, the president would be remembered for the peace he had achieved. The president broke down and sobbed… How had a simple burglary, a breaking and entering, done all this?
“Kissinger kept trying to turn the conversation back to all the good things. Nixon wouldn’t hear of it. He was hysterical. ‘Henry, ‘he said, ‘you are not a very orthodox Jew, and I am not an orthodox Quaker, but we need to pray. ‘
Nixon got down on his knees. Kissinger felt he had no alternative but to kneel down too.. The president prayed out loud, asking for help, rest, peace and love. How could a president and a country be torn apart by such small things? Kissinger thought he had finished but the president did not rise. He was weeping… ‘What have I done? What has happened? ‘Kissinger touched the president, and then… tried to bring rest and peace to the man who was curled on the carpet like a child. Kissinger again tried to reassure him… Finally the president struggled to his feet. He sat back in his chair. The storm had passed. He had another drink”
LED 9 – Nabeel Quershi – Death of the Church in UK? – Scottish Parliament ‘debates’ Christianity – Jacob Rees-Mogg – George Osbourne and the Death of Thersea May – The Other Side of the Rainbow – The McCain version of “Family”