British Values, ISIS & Welfare Bills

July 20, 2015 at 11:35 pm

A busy day in the world of politics today saw David Cameron start us off with a nice big speech that was apparently ‘years in the making’. It always fascinates me when politicians talk about ‘Islamist Extremism’, mostly because they haven’t a clue what it actually is, why it exists or how to stop it. This complete lack of awareness is fuelled by something similar to what NHS employees see every 5 years or so, people at the top turning up in their hospitals telling them how things ought to be run.

Why does this happen? It’s all part of the Westminster bubble effect that the SNP have been talking about for the past decade or so. Cameron and his ilk surround themselves with people who want to ‘make it’ in the world of politics, not with people who might actually have a bit of expertise in… something. Anything. Today’s speech was very much another product of this bubble. Nobody in the Conservative Party has a clue about extremism, except that they have to be seen to be doing something after 38 British Citizens were murdered in Tunisia.

Not only do they have no clue, they don’t have any friends who have a clue either. News that Maajid Nawaz, a former extremist himself and occasional stripclub-frequenter, allegedly helped David with his speech is no surprise either. Whilst the political elites in London think he’s the best thing since Halal Chicken, the rest of the Muslim population see him for exactly what he is: a fraud. He may well be a former extremist, but he doesn’t have a clue about British Muslims, yet claims to speak on our behalf. Note that his instantly forgettable book(s) about himself and how wonderful he is for becoming an extremist and turning his back on that are available in all good pound shops. Autographed with a personal message. Probably.

Anyway, the point is that the government seem to be using him, and people similar to him, as some kind of sounding board or yardstick for everyday Muslims in the UK. Which is almost as preposterous as the EDL using Anjum Chaudhary for the same purposes. They’re a pair of idiots on the opposite end of the scale: one’s an extremist that represents nobody and the other is a self-involved former extremist that represents nobody. And this is quite concerning, because Maajid seems to think that Muslims aren’t doing enough to combat extremism and now the government think this too. It’s no longer enough to condemn ISIS, we’re told. What more we must do, we are not yet told.

But let’s get something clear. Extremists don’t walk around the streets of Britain wearing Osama t-shirts or fluttering ISIS flags around in the wind. They don’t even talk about their ideas in Mosques. So on that basis, we genuinely don’t know who they are. Interviews on the tellybox with relatives/friends/neighbours of people who have left for ISIS or blew themselves up all have a pretty common theme: nobody saw it coming. Why? Because extremists don’t broadcast their views. Why? Because they know 99.99999999% of people they know are against it. Often in these interviews you’ll hear the friend pluck something innocuous out of thin air like: “He started boycotting Coca Cola, he changed after that”. It feels like this is the basis of this new government strategy to tackle extremism. Which is partly why it feels like thought crime. If I don’t want to buy Israeli chilli peppers, it’s because I don’t want to contribute towards a nation that kills children with impunity. Not because I harbour extreme views.

The new strategy gives the impression that British Muslims who oppose ‘conventional wisdom’ or Government policy are non-violent extremists and are on the fast-track to becoming the next Jihadi John. If you’re White and reading this, you may think that’s absurd, but it’s not you living in fear of your own thoughts. You may retort that you’re instead living in fear of your life, but as Mr Cameron himself said, these extremists kill Muslims too.

Just a quick note on the welfare bill that passed in the commons tonight, Labour MPs were told to abstain. But I’d suggest that had the people they claim to represent had done so in the same proportion on election night, their defeat would have been even more resounding. The rank hypocrisy of a system that urges you to vote, yet fails to vote itself makes me feel a little bit sick. Whether you agree with cutting £12bn from the poorest households and most needy in society is irrelevant, everyone who voted should feel betrayed by Labour’s disgusting mass abstention.

 

Five Months Off

August 27, 2014 at 7:37 am

It’s been a long while since I last posted anything here, so long in fact that upon logging on I was informed I needed to upgrade my WordPress version as I’m vulnerable to the Heartbleed vulnerability. Now I’m wondering if anyone even remembers what that is/was.

Anyway, I’m on a train heading for London having left the actual sunshine of Manchester (no, seriously) and heading through some thick fog in the Midlands. I don’t often do a lot during these train journeys, I like to watch the world go by and think about stuff but today I couldn’t help but notice a particular story dominating the headlines.

That story is of course the report into abuse in Rotherham over the past decade or so, which revealed that around 1,400 children were abused by gangs of predominantly Asian males, and by Asian they mean the Indian subcontinent.

Whilst that number, conservative or otherwise, is a complete shock, it should come as no surprise that Asian males played a significant role in this series of incomprehensibly disgusting crimes. The report claims that the authorities were afraid to raise the issue for fear of being seen as racist, and to a degree that’s understandable given the relationship between the Police and ethnic minorities in the UK, but it’s no excuse. If even half of this estimate involved Asian males, it’s not racism whatsoever, it’s fact.

I’m not sure what kind of response, if any, I will get for writing this, but my own experiences and observations of some Asian communities have been concerning. That’s certainly not to say that all Asian people are bad, rapists or child abusers, no. But if you yourself are Asian or have meaningful relationships with Asian people you will have undoubtedly experienced a bizarre attitude within a tiny minority of people within the community.

Without a shadow of a doubt, there is a small contingent of familie, Asian or otherwise, that raise their sons quite differently to the way they raise their daughters. Their girls are limited in what they can do, limited in who they can talk to, limited in where they can go and live life as instructed. In isolation, being treated as second class is bad enough, but it’s the way these particular families raise their sons which is of most concern.

In complete contrast to the daughters, the sons have almost no limits. They are the pride of the family and can do no wrong. They can make friends with whomever they wish, do as they please, go wherever they want. In isolation, this is perfectly normal and how any child should be raised – to have freedom. The problem is, their sisters are raised like slaves or servants. A great many boys will grow up realising that this is wrong and unfair, that their sisters deserve equal treatment and they will speak out, defend their sisters and support them.

But what of those who accept the status quo? A great many will meander through life without saying anything, accepting it for the way it is without any malicious intent. Then there are those who will exploit this status quo, that push the limits. I suspect that these are in a minority, but that the majority of the men in this Rotherham case come from that group. My theory is that they see that their sisters are beneath them, giving them a skewed view of what a woman is. Then they take this view and push it to the extreme. They are of course the pride of the family, the boys who will preserve the family name, so they get away with their minor indiscretions, giving them free reign to escalate further and further. The results of which we have all read about over the past couple of days.

It has to be said, that there are families of all colours, races and religions with a similar view. After all, the vast majority of prisoners are white, not Asian. So let’s not mistake this post as a racist diatribe against Asian people. It isn’t.

I’m just calling out my own observations and formulating a theory that applies to all races. From your own observations, can you honestly say you’ve never known a family like this?

The Dark Art of Condemnation

February 4, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Ever since 9/11, or possibly before but I was too young to notice or care, regular followers of current affairs and news have found themselves bombarded with a common phrase every time somebody does something really bad to somebody else. Whether that somebody is a country, a group, a politician, a pop star or just an ordinary person there always follows a wave of condemnations from a plethora of important people.

If there’s a bombing in a city however near or far, Obama will condemn, Cameron will condemn, Merkel will condemn, Hollande will condemn, Bob the Builder will condemn, Joey Essex will condemn, your average Tweep will condemn et cetera, et cetera… But I often ask myself, why? Why do these world leaders feel the need to condemn? It’s pretty obvious that bombing innocent people is not a very nice thing to do, why do we need our world leaders to tell us so? If they didn’t stop everything they were doing at that moment and summon a press conference immediately, would that affect our opinions of them or of the act itself? Would we think they were pro-bombing? Would we think bombing is good? I don’t think so, I don’t think so at all.

I look at the long list of people condemning these obviously gruesome and twisted acts and notice one or two common themes: They’re mostly white, and the ones that aren’t white are in a position where it pays to appease white people. Next time there’s some horrible unspeakable tragedy, note who condemns it.

That kind of brings me on to the reason I started writing this piece. I noticed Mo Ansar had been getting a bit of grief from career troll Louise Mensch and a whole host of hangers-on attempting to hound him in to condemning stoning. I didn’t follow the whole thread because I could feel my blood temperature rising, so I don’t know what provoked them into this frenzied keyboard attack but it did make me question what difference would it make if he did condemn it then and there? None, none whatsoever. If somebody had intended on stoning someone before the condemnation, their mind wouldn’t be changed after it.

This condemnation that was being sought, would have been a purely hollow one. Strikingly the people demanding it were all white, and this leads me on to my next point: why does Mo Ansar have to condemn acts carried by people purporting to be Muslim? Is it because he too is Muslim? Should we ask white female author and former politician to condemn every negative act ever carried out by whites, females, authors or politicians? Of course not, it’s ludicrous to suggest such a thing, but why do the white majority increasingly feel that minority communities within the UK must condemn horrid acts committed by said communities? It could be said that the white majority are actually characterising these horrid acts with that community, which may go some way to explaining the disgusting treatment reserved for black communities by the police. We are forever seeing the Daily Mail, Express, Star, Sun, Telegraph and Times publishing brash headlines characterising truly despicable acts as belonging to minority communities. Think Romanians, Bulgarians, Muslims, Blacks and even stretch it to include Welfare Claimants.

Britain’s spectrum of ‘normality’ is becoming increasingly narrow, whether that’s a product of harsher economic times, our current government or a mixture of both I’m not sure, but it is quite worrying that minority and/or vulnerable groups of people are being targeted by the white majority in such a way. The likes of Mensch and her merry little band of white keyboard bashing sheep are becoming increasingly common and increasingly racist. Mo didn’t respond to them by outright condone stoning, and why should he? Mo hasn’t partaken in the stoning of anyone or came out in favour of it before, neither does he belong to Mensch. He is not her slave to be ordered. Minority communities of Britain are not duty bound to condemn the acts of their brothers and sisters, no more than whites are not duty bound to condemn the acts of their fellow whites.

The next point about condemnation in the public eye is of course the outright hypocrisy of the condemnation. Barack Obama is a fine exponent of the hypocritical condemnation. Any time, any place, Barack is amongst the first to condemn an act of terror. So long as it isn’t carried out by US or NATO armed forces of course. If one of his own weapons of mass destruction were to, I don’t know, kill an entire wedding party in Yemen, then it’s a ‘regrettable mistake’ or something along those lines. Yet if a Yemeni insurgent who, I don’t know, is fed up of Americans killing innocent Yemenis kills a few US Soldiers then Barack is out there at the front of his blue-curtained press room condemning it as a violent, provocative act of aggression and terrorism. Other condemnations include Cameron criticising the likes of Iran for providing weapons to Syria. Sure, that’s no good thing. But on the other hand, Cameron sells weapons to Bahrain. To Saudi. To Egypt. All repressive regimes, all using it against their own people to stop them protesting.

So what’s the point of condemnation?

There is none. It’s empty, meaningless PR drivel aimed at programming the white majority into believing that whites are great and others less so, and turning the others against themselves, furthering the white cause.

“All the Interesting People Go To Hell…”

July 20, 2013 at 12:36 am

Yesterday I turned 28 and, inwardly at least, it provoked a little period of reflection. I don’t think this reflection was as a result of my age, or even of just getting a bit older, I think it was probably caused by the realisation that another year has passed. Another rung on the ladder has been climbed, slowly heading to the top.

A ladder is actually a pretty poor analogy for life though. If you’re climbing an actual ladder, and you decide after climbing 22 rungs that you don’t really like this ladder you can’t just hop on over to another one. You either keep climbing the one you’re on or you climb back down. In life, unless you’re Benjamin Button, you can’t really go back down. You also can’t get a new life either, though the way in which technology and science is progressing I wouldn’t rule this out before my current life is out.

If that does happen, I think I’ll choose to be some kind of Astronaut. Space is intriguing, seemingly infinite possibilities. But back to the ladder of life, you can’t climb back down or hop on to a completely new one. The reason a ladder is a bad analogy is because at any point in life you can re-invent yourself or change direction. You don’t have to keep going up and up and up, sometimes you stop climbing for just a second and think:

What if I were to actually look up, could I see where I’m going?”

The answer is no. You can’t successfully predict the future, but you can see where you think you’re going. If you’re on a ladder, you can’t really bend or contort it one way or the other unless you possess Uri Geller-style spoon bending abilities. Also, you can’t really re-invent your ladder either. You can’t suddenly make your red ladder turn blue. But in life you can re-invent yourself, if you’re working in a dull, monotonous, dead-end job you can quit or get trained in a new field or something.

That was a bit of a digression within a digression there, so back to reflection. I don’t think I’ve had to re-invent myself just yet, I think I’ve got to where I am today through a series of evolutions (try evolving a ladder!). I don’t mean that I’ve developed super-sensitive hearing or x-ray vision, though I could have a long debate with myself about which would be most fun, I mean that while 28 year old me is hugely different to 18 year old me that’s not down to a few one-off events, it’s more down to lots of tiny little ones.

You may think it’s obvious that I’d be different 10 years on, but I’m not so sure about that. I’ve lost contact with a couple of groups of friends that I had because I could see that whilst I was changing, they were not. At 20 I completely cut all ties with my school friends, some of whom I’d known all of my life, others since I was 11.

My closest friends used to go to clubs like Cream, Godskitchen and Gatecrasher (as did I) from the age of 16. From the outset I could see there was a difference between me and them. I went for the music, I was fascinated by it and was enthralled by it. They started that way too, but the allure of drugs was too much for them to resist. I didn’t get involved with all of that, I didn’t need or want it. I was already having great times as it was. It began with Ecstasy and weed, progressed through to Cocaine and Ketamin and pretty much anything they could get their hands on (mercifully not Heroin or Crack).

I could see all this happening and still took no part in it, the problem with drugs though is that even the lightest of users eventually become associated with batsh*t crazy addicts and/or some absolute filth. You’ll hear horrific tales of people hallucinating on Acid, thinking the world is out to kill them, leaping out of windows thinking they can fly. You’ll rub shoulders with bad influences, some just out to get as high as possible, others out to financially exploit them.

And so it was that I travelled across the country for a mate’s 21st to see Armand van Helden play at some club (he was awesome by the way). But it was a life-changing weekend for me, nothing drastic happened. My mates all took their drugs, got high, had fun and lived to get f*cked another weekend. It was what happened before we went out that changed everything. We were in his house, a three-story, terraced, inner city student house. There must have been 15-20 people in the house, spread out on all three floors getting ready for the night. On every floor the talk was of one thing: Drugs. Who was ordering what? When was the dealer getting here? Can he be trusted? How much do they cost? What time shall we take this? What time shall we take that? I tried talking of other things but it always came back to that.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so out of place in my entire life, and these were my friends. I think maybe I could have tolerated it if it weren’t for the following patronising sentence being repeated to me endlessly:

I’ve got big respect for you, not needing the drugs and sticking to your principles.”

So I cut contact, and I think it may well have been eight or nine years now. I still have them on Facebook but I never interact with them, and every now and then I have a look at what’s going on in their lives hoping they might have changed. Not yet.

So after that I found myself getting more involved with a different group of friends, these were heavy drinkers. I’d actually started drinking in pubs and clubs at about 15, not binge drinking, just socially. But from 19 through to 22 I was a full-on binge drinker. It was fun at first, though looking back I can’t ever put my finger on why it was so fun. I actually began awakening to this when I met a very special woman who showed me that life didn’t have to be like this. Then I heard a friend repeat a quote:

I think I’d rather go to hell, that’s where all the interesting people are.”

I don’t think this was his intention at all, but I really got to thinking about that and how it could be matched up to my life. If interesting people are those that go out to pubs or clubs and get hammered with their mates every night, what kind of tales would they actually have? It seemed to me that all their reminiscing could be put into a formula:

I went to <club x> with <friend y> and <friend z> and drank <drink a> and <drink b> and the DJ played <song c> and we all went mental, then I got off with <person d> and ate <greasy takeaway food e>.

It’s so boring, you can even make a formula out of it. Why am I doing it? So I stopped. But my friends didn’t, and still haven’t. And just as my old school-friends’ lives and conversations revolved around drugs, my uni-friends’ lives revolved around alcohol. So again, I couldn’t really engage in any kind of conversation with them. Again, I have them on Facebook but I don’t interact with them either.

I may come across as harsh for cutting them out, but I don’t regret it. If I didn’t do it, I dread to imagine where I’d be now. A small part of me still cares about them deep down, but I’m not prepared to be patronised again or have to adapt myself to fit in with their lives.

Now I find myself looking to the future and wondering where I’m going to be in one, two, three, five, ten or twenty years and I honestly don’t really know. I look around at the world and often don’t like what I see, and I’m not talking about people drinking or taking drugs. There are two big things going on:

  1. The rich and the powerful are becoming richer and more powerful at the expense of the poor and the weak.
  2. Those in the middle either don’t notice, just sit and watch or fight amongst themselves.

I’m in the middle, and I definitely do notice but, aside from writing the occasional blog post or tweet here or there, am I just watching?

The answer is yes. It’s time to paint this ladder a new colour.

Lead Female

April 28, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Lead Female

Manchester Marathon 2013

April 23, 2013 at 9:46 pm

In the court of public opinion the prosecutors are liars, the defence are ridiculed, the judges are bought and the jury are sheep.

Iain Duncan Smith And The Budget Of Life

April 1, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Sounds a bit like a fun 80s archeology-based action-adventure movie, doesn’t it? Well it isn’t. Against the backdrop of savage cuts affecting the UK’s poorest residents, the so-called ‘shirkers’, all of which have been instigated and delivered by IDS he now has the gall to claim that he himself could live on £53 per week.

My initial thoughts were of course that IDS was being ridiculous. I mean, how could a Cabinet Minister live on just £53 per week? Then my train of thought took me to ‘Offensive’, after all it’s downright outrageous that someone in the position of IDS could even hint at the possibility of such a paltry amount sustaining a family or even an individual for an entire week. Iain doesn’t share the same definition of struggle as those nearer the bottom of society’s cruel ladder.

Then I got thinking, could anyone actually live on £53 a week? Or do they merely exist. If a family is saving for a rare holiday or deposit on a house they can tighten their belts significantly for a month or two but what would happen beyond that? Would you still be ‘living’ or would you just be ‘getting by’? In order to survive on such a budget, life effectively gets thrown out of the window, you submit yourself to a routine of dull food, entertainment begins to become repetitive and monotonous, friends begin to exclude you as you can no longer afford the social outings. You enter into a rut.

Then the postman arrives. Overdue Water, Gas, Electricity, Credit card bills reminding you of better times long since passed. How can you afford these? Your clothes are beginning to age, shoes falling into a severe state of disrepair, what do you do about that? Sure you can show some of that ‘British Spirit’ Cameron & Co bang on about, and repair them with a sewing kit but how long can you maintain that? You’ve applied for eight jobs (along with 2,000 others), you’ve managed to get 6 interviews. They’re spread out across the city, you can’t drive remember you sold your car for £300 to get a new washing machine & fridge-freezer, you’ll have to get the bus. How much will that cost?

You get turned down by those 6 jobs because you didn’t have the right ‘experience’. You can’t just go on to the Internet to search for more, you cancelled that three months ago along with your Sky subscription. It was too expensive. The free paper comes on a Thursday and you spent your last few quid on bus fares last week. You’ll have to walk three miles in the rain to the job centre. No umbrella either, that broke last month.

You’re in the job centre, the advisor is nice enough but they look at the state of you and it’s clear they don’t hold out much hope. You’ve applied for another 5 jobs, one of them is manual labour on a farm at minimum wage. Your degree in Finance won’t do you much good out there, but all the Finance jobs have either vanished in this recession or have 1000s of better qualified, more experienced candidates applying for them. You’re walking home, soaked. The icy wind of this extended winter is slicing through your bones, the thought of a nice warm home to return to flicks into your mind briefly before being cast out by reality: Heating is too expensive.

You walk by a newsagent and read how George Osborne thinks austerity is the best way to resolve this mess, how Ian Duncan Smith thinks there are too many people scrounging and living the good life on benefits, how Michael Gove is ruining our education system and how David Cameron is overseeing this all with a big, plastic, smug grin. You see how we should all be proud of the Olympics and the fucking Jubilee and Will & Kate and their little fucking baby.

You carry on home, thinking about dinner. Will it be Super Noodles and Tesco Value Sausages today (which you read causes people to die younger) or Tesco Value beans on Tesco value toast with a bit of Tesco Value paprika to spice it up a little. Then you remember the paprika’s nearly finished. Your thoughts are interrupted by the sight of an old school friend driving by in his white Audi with blacked-out windows, the smell of weed billowing out of them. It’s so tempting. Either the weed to briefly forget about your problems or the crime to get some money.

You get home, plump for the Super Noodles and sit down in front of the TV. It’s a 20” colour CRT, you don’t have Sky anymore so you’re pretty much forced to watch inane drivel like ‘The One Show’. Mercifully your nasty old Nokia 3310 rings, saving you from the banality of free-to-air television. It’s the bank. You haven’t kept up the payments on the five grand loan you used to buy that car you sold. You’ve defaulted on it now, you owe them six grand. They want it within two weeks, otherwise they’ll hand it over to a debt collector. You think of your friend in the Audi. No.

You go to the cupboard, pull out the bottle of own-brand vodka and pour a double measure into a tumbler. You look in the fridge for a mixer, there’s nothing. You down it. And another. You turn back to the TV, boring. You drift off, awakening just in time to see that smug little bastard in the news boasting of some Tory policy that’s working down there in London. Well that’s fucking lovely isn’t it? Your head drops into your hands, how did it get this bad?

Does Iain Duncan Smith really think he could handle a ‘life’ like that? Regardless of whether you think he can, sign this: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/iain-duncan-smith-iain-duncan-smith-to-live-on-53-a-week and let’s see if he’ll put his money where his mouth is.

Hello WordPress…

April 1, 2013 at 8:40 pm

The clichéd first post is now over and done with.

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