Monday, 26 October 2009

If I ruled the world.....

In a comment on my previous post Irony rules, OK? concerning Saudi Arabian ‘justice’ I said:

The West's insatiable need (or greed) for oil motivates it to prop up and subsidise these corrupt and barbaric regimes, and thereby to connive at our own destruction. Much of the billions of 'petrodollars' they take from us return into Europe and USA as funding for Saudi-promoted Wahabbi'ist mosques and 'faith schools' which preach and teach disdainful abhorrence of the local culture and open democratic society.

If there ever was a Trojan Horse...

Phil then posted the following:

The alternatives:
We stop buying oil from them.
We invade them and change their regime.
We fund internal revolution.
We buy their oil but limit all other interaction.

I only think the first and last are worth discussing. If the UK stopped buying their oil others would continue and the UK would continue to receive the same petrodollar investment into religious incitement to insurrection. However, the UK wouldn’t need to support the government and could cease to being hypocritical.

We could buy their oil without supporting them in other ways and we could do more to stop religious incitement of hate.

These are obviously very difficult political and ethical issues. What clearly we in the west should not do is what we are doing – openly supporting dictatorial and theocratic governments who suppress their own people and directly or indirectly invest in insurrectionist activity within our countries.

What are your suggestions?

My response:

Cripes – as Mayor BoJo would say – you are turning Anticant’s Arena into an Instant Oracle for solving the world’s problems…..

Well, here goes:

The ethical issues aren’t difficult at all. First and foremost we need to recalibrate our national moral compass, which has gone sadly wonky in recent years because of all the claptrap and bullshit which passes for public debate. Free speech must be restored to its time-honoured place in our affairs: that includes the freedom to offend, and the abolition of ‘hate speech’ crimes designed to stifle the expression of honest differences.

The political issues are more complex, but for a start:

1. Renounce humbugging diplomatic utterances such as the Queen’s having twaddle about “shared values” put into her mouth even on vapidly formal occasions such as State banquets. It is perfectly possible to be polite to visiting foreign guests without being hypocritical.

2. Admit that TES (aka Lawrence of Arabia) was a bit of a charlatan, and that his rosy visions of the House of Saud as lithe young warrior-chieftains roaming the desert in flowing robes on pedigree white stallions is not entirely borne out by the current effete crop of Saudi princes.

3. Limit, as you suggest, our relations with Saudi Arabia to strictly commercial transactions which do NOT include the sale of arms to them, or the corruption and bribery which goes along with that.

4. Persuade the US (a) to abandon the fatuous policy of ‘liberal interventionism’, because we cannot foist our Western version of democracy upon people who don’t want it, any more than we can allow them to subvert it in our own countries; and (b) to withdraw the automatic ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card which is currently in the pocket of the Israelis, as a prelude to working seriously to achieve an even-handed Middle Eastern settlement of the Palestinian problem and wider issues, including Iran.

5. Make it crystal-clear to the Saudis, and to Muslims living in Britain, that anti-Western propaganda, whether on religious grounds or not, and the financing of terrorist operations through bogus charities, will result in long prison terms for those found guilty, followed by deportation even if they are accredited diplomats.

6. Stop pandering to social and quasi-legal practices such as ‘Sharia law’ within our borders which run counter to our domestic traditions and values, and ensure that there is only one law – UK law - for everyone residing in or visiting these shores.

The Oracle has rather run out of steam, but perhaps that’s enough for the time being.

Racial pride is fine. Racial hatred is wicked

Of all the manifold stupidities of current political debate, the mantra that ‘racism’ is a mortal sin of which any respectable person should be thoroughly ashamed is probably the most absurd.

Every human being belongs to one or more races. There is no such thing as a ‘raceless’ person. There is no such thing as a hundred per cent. racially pure person, whatever the ignorant claims of racial supremacists. We are all, to a greater or lesser degree, mongrels – many of us, including myself, proudly so. And we are all – or should be – proud of the races to which we belong and with which we identify. Sometimes this can be a mistaken pride, because every race has an associated cultural tradition which is far from perfect, and blots on its historical record of which it should not be proud. But the natural instinct of every human being and group is to stick up for its own, right or wrong.

There need be nothing bad about this. Where it becomes socially toxic is when people use race as a weapon against others. This is woefully common, and occurs not only as direct aggression but as manipulative social engineering. If the recent assertion by a former speechwriter for Tony Blair and other Labour ministers is true, the huge increases in the numbers of migrants coming into the United Kingdom over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and to "rub the Right's nose in diversity" – a euphemism for irrevocably changing the country’s population mix in ways which were bound to cause friction between the existing inhabitants and newcomers from different backgrounds, cultures and religions.

For such a drastic step to be taken by a government not only without previous public debate, but whilst deliberately avoiding one, is cynically arrogant in the extreme and, in the eyes of many, a piece of treachery unparalleled in our history. This alone, unless disproved, shows Labour to be unfit as a governing party.

The attempt to avoid serious debate of this issue, and to damp it down as much as possible, has been an ongoing ploy of the ‘Politically Correct’ multiculti brigade throughout the past decade. This has not been a one-party issue; all of the mainstream parties have been anxious not to listen to the concerns of those who dislike the speed and scale of immigration – or, if they have grudgingly listened, have smugly asserted that the critics are quite wrong and that immigration is wholly beneficial, so if you don’t like it you must lump it. And then they are stupid enough to be at first dismissive, then growingly surprised, and now alarmed, at the rise in support for the British National Party.

Whatever else one may think of the BNP – and I for one don’t think much of it – forcing this concern into the open is at least one service – possibly the only one – it has performed for our politics. Now it is up to the mainstream parties to get off their backsides and ensure that the BNP does not garner the fruits of the disgruntlement their own culpable neglect has spawned.

If they are to do this, there will be have to be a much tougher, more principled and realistic, approach to legitimate concerns felt by those whose historic home towns have been in some cases unrecognisably transformed during the past few years. There must be a firmer stance against those who, having been welcomed into our country, express open hatred of our traditions of free speech, fair play, tolerance of different lifestyles, and pluralistic social mix. There can be no room for British ghettoes, self-imposed or otherwise.

It is not wrong to require adherence to basic British values from all British citizens, including newly arrived and first-generation ones. People who choose to live here have to recognise that there are civilised standards they must adhere to. Religious and cultural diversity are to be welcomed; imported religious exclusiveness and cultural apartheid are not. No-one should be expected to abandon their own beliefs or cultural ways as long as these do not conflict with fairness, justice, and the rights of the individual which have been struggled for and painfully achieved here down the centuries.

But evil customs such as ‘honour killings’, female genital mutilation, and the social subordination of women must be tackled head on in Churchillian “up with this we will not put” mode and ruthlessly stamped out, whether they are adhered to as cultural or religious or both. People who believe they have a mandate from their god or their tribal customs to beat their wives and murder their daughters irrespective of the law of the land are not wanted here – let them go and do these vile things somewhere else. No British government, of whatever political complexion, is fit for purpose which fails to make this crystal clear not only by words but also through decisive action.

Those who preach that all traditions and cultures are equal but different and should he patronisingly tolerated in our midst, even though in some respects primitive by our standards, are wrong and deluded. They seek to atone for the alleged sins of past white colonialism by turning a blind eye to things which no decent modern society should tolerate. This is pseudo-liberalism gone mad and colonialism standing on its head. Some traditions do enshrine values which are superior to others; and where these values conflict there can be no compromise. To think otherwise is to collude with primitive bigotry and cruelty, sometimes amounting to barbarism, by speciously painting culprits as victims. Those who do so resemble W.S. Gilbert’s “idiot who, in enthusiastic tone, praises every century but this and every country but his own”. These featherbrained folk have ruled the roost (fast, thanks to them, becoming a dungheap) for too long. Surely it cannot be much longer before their time is up and their shallow ideas are thoroughly discredited and rejected by the electorate.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Irony rules, OK?

One of the most egregiously silly posters on the Guardian’s comically named and rigorously censored 'Comment is Free' site solemnly informs us that Islam is an “overwhelmingly peaceful and gentle religion whose people have been abused by the West for hundreds of years”.

Here is the latest peaceful and gentle story from that land of milk and honey and haven of sweetness and light, Saudi Arabia, with whom, our revered Queen assured us not so long ago, we have "shared values".

As Private Eye would say, “Shome mishtake, shurely?”

Friday, 23 October 2009

The powerlessness of prayer

A correspondent in a letter to the National Secular Society’s Newsline relates the following:

In a small Texas town, Mt. Vernon, Drummond’s Bar began construction on a new building to increase their business. The local Baptist church started a campaign of petitions and prayers to block the bar from opening.

Work progressed right up till the week before opening, when lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground. The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that - until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means. The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building's demise in its reply to the court.

As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork. At the hearing he commented, “I don’t know how I’m going to decide this, as it appears from the paperwork that we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that does not!”