Archive for the ‘Hospitals’ Category

My Petition on 38 Degrees for Bristol and Surrounding Councils to Get Power to Run Bus Services

September 9, 2022

I realise this a local issue to my hometown of Bristol and the surrounding districts, but other towns and areas up down the country are in the same position. Last week one of the bus companies serving the city, Bristol Community Transport, went bust, leaving many areas in Bristol without a bus service. At the moment the bus companies serving the city are First Group and Stagecoach, and there are fears that they’ll only provide buses for the profitable routes. The services in jeopardy are 52, 53, 54, 55, 62, 505, 506, 511, 512, 515 and 516. There have been council meetings about it. At one of these, one councillor said that leaving commercial companies to run bus services was like teaching pigs to fly. Sarah Woodward, a local councillor for Bath And North East Somerset, has said that local councils should have the power to run buses, either by nationalising them or awarding franchises.

She’s absolutely right, and I’ve put up a petition about this on 38 Degrees. This runs:

‘To: Karin Smyth, Kerry McCarthy, Darren Jones, Thangam Debonnaire,, Lynda Chalker,

Give Bristol and Surrounding Councils Power to Run Buses

Last week one of the bus companies serving Bristol, Bristol Community Transport, collapsed. This follows years of poor funding for the city’s buses so that many services have been cut, particularly to the outlying suburbs. There is now no bus service connecting Whitchurch in the south-east to the city centre. Many people therefore have to rely on taxis to get into town, and these can be very expensive. A taxi from Whitchurch to one of Bristol’s main hospitals, the Bristol Royal Infirmary, can cost £17 to £21. There is a real danger that the commercial bus companies serving the city will cut services further to concentrate on the profitable routes.
Many routes are not commercially profitable, but they are vital for people to get to work, their children to secondary school, to hospitals and clinics and to shops and other services further in town.
Bristol Councillor Don Alexander has said that the commercial services are failing the city. Liberal Democrat Councillor for Bath and North-East Somerset Sarah Warren has said that what is needed is for local authorities to be given the power to nationalise bus companies or to run franchises.
She is correct. This is exactly what is needed. Local transport authorities should have the power to create and run their own bus companies or award franchises so that buses keep running to outlying districts in and around Bristol. And these companies should be properly funded.

Why is this important?

Bus services are vital for people without their own transport. Not everyone has cars and motorcycles, and Bristol council is trying to stop people driving into the city. While some goods and services are available online, many aren’t. Some people, particularly senior citizens, are not on the internet. And many people would in any case wish to use real, physical shops. This is quite apart from the many instances where people need to travel into the city, such as for medical reasons.’

If you want to sign it, the petition’s at:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/give-bristol-and-surrounding-councils-power-to-run-buses

Lloyd George Predicts the NHS

September 1, 2022

It was Lloyd George who introduced state old age pensions, as well as state medical insurance for the working classes allowing those insured to get medical treatment from an approved panel doctor. There were limits, however. Treatment only went to the insured person, not their relatives. The insurance didn’t cover the cost of hospital treatment, except for tuberculosis treatment. There was, however, a maternity grant. Despite its limitations, George appears to have looked forward to the future appearance of something like the NHS. In 1919 he founded the Ministry for Health in line with his statement ‘at no distant date, the state will acknowledge a full responsibility in the nature of provision for sickness’. I found this in Roy Porter’s Blood & Guts: A short History of Medicine (London: Penguin 2002) 160-1. Porter says, however, of the new ministry that it was more of a substitute rather than a springboard for action.

Nevertheless, a part of the foundations of the future NHS had been made, and it shows you how the far the Tories are trying to take us back that with the privatisation of the NHS they are trying to remove state healthcare provision. Just as Maggie wished.

Liz Truss Co-Author of a Report Which Demanded Savage Cuts and a £10 Charge to See the Doctor

August 19, 2022

This is another piece from the Mirror which reveals precisely what a prize right-wing scumbag Liz Truss is. According to the article, ‘Liz Truss report demanded vast cuts and £10 fee to see GP – ‘true colours’ in full’ by the paper’s political editor Dan Bloom, the Tory leadership contender was the joint author of a 2009 report published by the think tank, Reform, calling for massive cuts to public spending. This included cutting pensioners’ benefits, doctors’ pay by ten per cent, and imposing a £10 charge for seeing the doctor.

The article begins:

‘Liz Truss is accused of showing her “true colours” in a paper that called for vast spending cuts and a £10 fee to see your GP.

The runaway favourite to be Prime Minister was one of seven people who wrote a 44-page slash-and-burn policy document for the 2009 Budget.

The ‘Back to Black’ paper for the Reform think tank recommended cutting £28bn in a year by introducing “user charges for GPs” and whittling 10% off doctors’ pay.

It also demanded ministers “remove pensioner gimmicks” to save £3.2bn, force civil servants onto a four-day week with a 20% pay cut, and hike the pension age at the last moment.

And it called for major military projects to be axed – including the Royal Navy’s planned aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

Despite her being Deputy Director of Reform at the time, Ms Truss’ campaign bizarrely claimed: “Co-authoring a document does not mean that someone supports every proposal put forward.”

Despite saying it shouldn’t be in 2009, a Truss ally insisted the likely Prime Minister does believe in an NHS free at the point of use – and she’ll not cut GPs’ pay or defence spending as PM.

Ahead of tonight’s Tory hustings in Manchester, an ally argued: “The purpose of a think tank is to put forward bold, radical ideas in the hope the government will pick up one or two.”

A campaign spokesman added of the document written 13 years ago: “This is a nearly two decade old document written against the backdrop of Labour bankrupting the economy.”

But Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “Liz Truss’s track record shows her true colours. She is out of touch and out of step with the public.’

The article can be read at: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/liz-truss-report-demanded-vast-27781979

Ah, we’re back to the old ‘high spending Labour’ refrain, in which Labour is accused of bankrupting the economy and that savage cuts to public spending, meaning primarily the NHS and the welfare state, are needed. Do I believe that somehow, in the past thirteen years, she’s had some kind of conversion to Nye Bevan’s vision of an NHS that provides everyone with care, free at the point of use?

No. Because she’s a liar in a party of liars.

Remember the last election when an independent fact checking organisation found that while Labour had made no untrue statements, the number of lies the Tories told was off the scale in the thousands?

And the Tories don’t believe in the NHS. Not since Maggie Thatcher wanted to privatise it, but was only prevented by a massive cabinet revolt. Since then they’ve privatised everything they could, starting with the ancillary services and progressing to the medical services, as these have been contracted out to private medical companies and hospitals. And the other year various Tory scumbags were demanding an expansion of the list of services for which fees could be charged.

If she doesn’t believe in these cuts now, it’s only because that they’re a political liability. It looks to me very much that she strongly believed in them when Cameron was in power and Gideon, sorry, George Osborne was chancellor.

You cannot trust her with the NHS.

You cannot trust her to look after the elderly.

And you cannot trust her on defence.

Get her out, and her foul party with her.

Academic Historian Gad Heuman on Post-War Caribbean Emigration to Europe

August 8, 2022

I found this paragraph on Caribbean emigration to Britain and other Europeans countries after World War II in Gad Heuman’s The Caribbean: A Brief History, 2nd Edition (London: Bloomsbury 2014):

‘In the period after the Second World War, migration patterns chanted: large numbers of Caribbean men and women migrated to the metropole. In labour-starved post-war Britain, for example, hospitals and transport services organized massive recruitment schemes to bring in workers from the Anglophone Caribbean. The first West Indian immigrants arrived from Jamaica on board the Empire Windrush in 1948, and one estimate put the total of migrants to Britain in the decade after 1951 at roughly 250,000. Concerned about the effects of this immigration, however, Britain passed the Commonwealth Immigration Act in 1962, severely restricting the flow of future migrants. Elsewhere in Europe, France received about 200,000 migrants from Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana, and the Netherlands in 1980 had roughly the same number of immigrants from its former colonies in the Caribbean. The Netherlands has had a particularly large number of migrants from Suriname. When Suriname became independent in 1975m roughly 40,000 Surinamese, mostly of Indian and Javanese descent, fled the country, fearing discrimination by the new regime.’ (p. 184).

After another paragraph about Caribbean migration to the US, which is measured in millions, Heuman talks about the effect of emigration on the Caribbean on the next page. He writes

‘Migration has inevitably had significant effects in the Caribbean itself. It has created problems in that it has deprived the Caribbean of some of its most productive people. Since a large proportion of emigrants are relatively young, it has meant that the demography of some parts of the region have been badly skewed, leaving behind an unbalanced population of generally older people. At the same time, the remittances of of Caribbean migrants have been a very significant element in many Caribbean economies. As an example of the impact of remittance money, Bonham Richardson reported that Carriacou, a small island in the Grenadines with a population of around 6,000 people, received over $500,000 in remittances in one year in 1970. Remittances, then, are a major contribution to the GNP of most Caribbean countries. Moreover, without emigration, much of the Caribbean would now be overpopulated, creating unsustainable social and economic tensions in those societies.’ (p. 185).

It’s struck me that the importance of remittance money and the problem of overpopulation has been one of the factors driving emigration from the Developing World, not just the Caribbean but also Africa and India. Modi made a speech a little while ago stating that India would continue producing top-class technicians for the rest of the world. Apart from the graduates employed in call centres owned by western firms, it struck me that this was a policy designed to send highly educated Indians abroad because there wasn’t the work for them available in India and that the country also depended on them for their remittance money.

My Email to Reni Edo Lodge about the Commemoration of Black Lynching Victim in Liverpool and Claims of British Human Experimentation on Blacks

August 3, 2022

I’ve also sent another email to the Black writer and activist Reni Edo Lodge, again occasioned by claims about her work by History Debunked’s Simon Webb. A few years ago she and David Olasuga were present at ceremony in Liverpool to set up a memorial to Philip Wootton, who drowned in the city docks fleeing from an angry mob during the race riots and other upheavals in 1919. Webb has written a book about the year, and posted a video on YouTube claiming that Wootton was hardly an innocent victim deserving such a memorial. According to contemporary newspaper reports, Wootton and other Caribbean sailors had been fighting with a group of Swedish and Russian sailors. They stabbed a policeman when he attempted to break it up, before fleeing to their lodging. They then shot at the cops. Wootton attempted to escape out the back door, but was pursued by the mob to the docks, where he slipped and fell in. The memorial was filmed and broadcast on the Net by the Beeb. I therefore asked her what evidence she had to contradict this account, and if not, why she wanted to memorialise someone who was apparently a violent thug.

Webb also claimed that in one of her books, Lodge makes the false claim that Blacks in Britain were denied medical treatment and experimented upon. I am very much aware that this was the case in America, but am not aware that it happened on this side of the Pond. So in the email I also asked about this, what her source for it was, what evidence and so on.

There was no contact address for Lodge herself, so I had to go through her agent. Here’s my email:

‘David Sivier,

Bristol,

Dear Madam, 

I writing to you in the hope that you may be able to help with an inquiry about an event your client, Reni Edo Lodge, took part in a few years ago In Liverpool. She and the historian David Olusoga took part in a ceremony at the docks to lay a memorial to Philip Wootton, a Caribbean sailor who was lynched during the ethnic riots that hit Britain in 1919. This ceremony was filmed and screened online by the BBC. This video was reviewed by Simon Webb of the History Debunked channel on YouTube, who is the author of a book on the upheavals in Britain during that year. He claims, based on contemporary newspaper reports, that Wootton was hardly an innocent victim. He and other Black sailors had been fighting with a group of Swedish and Russian sailors to avenge an attack on one of their number in a pub the previous evening. During this fight, knives were drawn and when a policeman attempted to intervene, he was stabbed several times and there was an attempt to garrotte him. Wootton and the other Black sailors then attempted to retreat to their lodging, where bullets were fired at the surrounding mob, hitting three policemen. Wootton attempted to flee out the back door, but was pursued by the angry crowd until he fell in the docks, where he presumably drowned. Such is the account of the incident according to contemporary reports, at least according to Mr Webb.

If these accounts are true, then this is very different from the more sympathetic victims of lynchings, such as the young Black man who was murdered for having a White girlfriend or disrespecting a White man in the Deep South. Wootton, it seems from this, was a brawling, violent, murderous thug, who should not be commemorated as some kind of martyred hero. 

I’d be very grateful, therefore, if Reni could provide me with any evidence she has showing otherwise, and which might better support the erection of the memorial. If she cannot, I would be grateful if she could give an explanation why she believes it is important that such a highly morally ambiguous figure should be commemorated so.

I’d also greatly appreciate it if you could also help me with another query. Mr Webb has also reviewed one of your client’s books on Black British history, I’m afraid I’ve forgotten which one. He has said that Reni claims in the book that Blacks were denied hospital treatment and medically experimented upon in Britain. I would also like to know if this is true. Does Reni actually say this in one of her books, and did it actually happen? I am painfully aware that this certainly did happen. You can find articles on the horrific experimentation in 19th century American medical schools on pregnant Black women, and of course, the notorious Tuskegee experiment in the 1930s.. In the 1990s there was also understandably great outrage when declassified government papers revealed that nuclear testing had been carried out on unwitting citizens, many of whom were people of colour. But I am not aware that Black people in Britain were denied medical treatment or experimented upon. Could Reni provide me with further information on this, citing any evidence she has for it, including academic papers, government documents and so on.

I hope you will pass these queries on to Reni, and look forward to her reply.

Yours faithfully,

David Sivier’

Again, I’ll let you know if I get one.

Right Said Fred and the Lotus Eaters Take on Drag Queen Story Hour in Britain

August 2, 2022

Remember Right Said Fred, the pair of baldies who set the charts alight with their hit ‘I’m Too Sexy’ a few years ago before fading once more into pop obscurity? The two brothers have emerged recently to give their considered opinions on various issues. They were on GB News a few days or so ago, and the Lotus Eaters put up this video in which they discuss the Drag Queen Story Hour tour round Britain with infamous ex-kipper, Carl Benjamin, aka Sargon of Akkad. Or as I dub him, Sargon of Gasbag. This drag tour has met with protests in Reading, and in two libraries in Bristol, whose library service I think is behind the tour. One of the brothers is gay and the other straight, but gay friendly. That brother describes how he worked in gay pubs because everyone thought he was gay. They come across as normal blokes with a common sense attitude towards drag and Drag Queen Story Hour.

They don’t believe in Drag Queen Story Hour because they don’t consider it suitable for children. It’s a highly sexualised performance, and, as they explain, there’s a reason why it’s put on between midnight and one O’clock in the morning in gay clubs. I think this is part of the problem. I don’t know what the performances are like over here in Blighty, but some of the protests in America have been directed at grossly inappropriate drag events aimed at children. There was one a week or so ago in Texas, where children were taken to a bar to see the drag queens go through very sexual dance routines, including scantily clad trans strippers having money shoved into their underwear. Whatever you believe about gay or trans acceptance, it seems very clear to me that this went way too far. You wouldn’t take young children to an ordinary, straight bar to see such performances, so it shouldn’t be acceptable to take children to this kind of display either.

Regarding transgender people themselves, one of the brothers had a friend who transitioned from male to female. The brother states that it was his friend’s decision, and he met with her for a drink afterwards. He just accepted it. This was before the issue became politicised, and it is this politicisation that he dislikes. He believes that Stonewall and the other gay organisations have taken up promoting the trans issue in order to remain relevant and continue as organisations. I’ve heard this from other gay critics of the transgender ideology. The former head of Stonewall looked forward to a time when it would be obsolete as completely unnecessary. There’s a feeling that this was achieved when gay marriage was finally legalised. At this point, gays finally had equality, at least de jure. It now seems to some gender critical gays that the new head of the organisation seized on the transgender issue as a way of continuing its existence. And many gay people are unhappy with the emphasis on trans because of the way it appears to them to have taken over the gay rights movement to the exclusion of gays themselves.

The two brothers also aren’t fans of the Pride festivals and marches. One of the brothers says he doesn’t like it because of all the banners boasting corporate sponsorship. He states that for every person at the march, there are 10 gay people at home wondering what on Earth it all has to do with them. The other brother says he doesn’t understand what they have to be proud about, because it’s like him being proud of being 5’10”. To his credit, Sargon of Gasbag puts him right and says it was all about fighting the terrible prejudice a few decades ago, as with the infamous Clause 28. This sought to ban the discussion of homosexuality in schools, but was met with very strong opposition so that it could not be enforced.

The brother is also not impressed with gays resenting the presence of heterosexual couples in their pubs and clubs. He sees it as another form of prejudice, and so nonsensical coming from the gay community. It is, he says, like being a Jewish Nazi.

Then they move on to one of the books the drag queen, Ada H. Dee, had written and from which he was reading. This was about three goats uniting against a threatening wolf. I believe this may have been the book with the anti-bullying message one of the great commenters on this blog mentioned in his comments to my post about the protests in Reading and Bristol. They see this book as another example of intersectional woke propaganda, as the goats are coloured pink, brown and black, while the wolf is white.At one time I would have said that they were reading too much into it, but unfortunately there are sections of the LGBTQ+ movement which is highly politicised and does support intersectional feminism and Critical Race Theory.

The video includes footage of the protests in Reading and Bristol, though it’s mostly about Reading.

I’ve made clear many times my attitude towards the Lotus Eaters and their rotten libertarianism. But this time they do seem to have a point and the anti-left sneering is kept to a minimum. And regardless of where you stand on the trans issue, there is one thing the brothers have done which I hope most people can support. They went round children’s hospitals meeting children with cancer who’d lost their hair, just show them that it wasn’t all bad being bald like them. I thinks that’s great, so kudos to them for doing it.

And here’s the video for their song from 2006, from Radial By The Orchard’s channel on YouTube.

Talk By Journalist Abigail Shrier Attacking the Trans Craze and Its Pseudoscience

July 13, 2022

But again, not transpeople themselves. This is another video that does an excellent job of attacking the faulty science and mental pathologies behind the alarming growth in girls and young women, who now believe they’re trans and are seeking medical help and transition. Shrier herself isn’t a doctor or psychiatrist, but a journalist who was asked to look into this phenomenon by friends. They were going through the immense problem of having a daughter declare herself trans, and were concerned that no-one else was covering it. So Shrier looked into it, eventually publishing a book “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters”. Shrier gives her presentation at Hillsdale College. She starts by describing herself as a social conservative, and her audience appears to be composed of conservative Christians. Some of them openly declare during the question and answer session that they believe the transgender craze to be actively demonic. Her cool silence when they do suggests that she may be an atheist. She doesn’t share their religious beliefs, but she is very appreciative of the warm support they give her.

Shrier also is very keen to make a clear distinction between transpeople and the trans rights activists. She has trans friends, whom she describes as the warmest, kindest, nicest people. This is in sharp contrast with the vicious intolerance of the trans rights activists, who have tried to get her book banned. The trans rights activists try to silence their critics through abuse, death threats and doxing on twitter, very aggressive and intimidating counter demonstrations, and by threatening scientists, doctors, medical professionals, journalists and other critics with accusations of transphobia with the consequent danger of losing their jobs.

She argues that the increase in trans identified girls is a social contagion, rather than women who genuinely have the condition simply coming forward because social prejudice against trans people has eased. This is because previously there were very few referrals for gender treatment and the majority of these were from boys and men. Now the vast majority of young women. If this was also a case of naturally occurring gender dysphoria, there would also be a corresponding rise in older women, and particularly older men coming forward as well. This has not happened according to her. Most of the audience, including doctors and psychologists agree, although one scientists stands up at the end to declare that they are seeing a corresponding increase in these groups. Shrier does accept that she cannot know what might have occurred, if the culture was different.

She also believes that it’s a social contagion because of its similarity to other social psychological disorder like anorexia and bulimia, which particularly affect girls and young women. Women form networks amongst their friends, which share and take on each other’s pain. And so these friends may also become infected with their friends’ psychological ailments. She states that hospitals keep women with eating disorders apart, as they encourage themselves to lose weight. The classic pattern for the girls and young women declaring that they are trans are typically that they have no previous history of transgenderism. They don’t identify as boys during their childhood, and there is nothing that suggests that they secretly do. Then they discover the trans sites on the internet, or make friends at university with other girls, who believe they’re trans, and so come to believe that they also are really boys in the wrong body.

One of the questions she’s asked is whether her own book is skewed towards the gender critical side, and she talked to more people from that side of the debate than those who supported conventional pro-trans explanation. She replies by stating that she went out to talk to both and original didn’t have any preconceived ideas about it.

Shrier has appeared on a number of other videos being interviewed by Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson and others. She’s well worth listening to on this issue. The videos nearly an hour long at 58 mins so you may be able to only catch a small slice of it.

Tolerant Muslim Preaching and Complaints of Misrepresentation in ‘Among the Mosques’

June 25, 2022

I’ve started reading Ed Hussein’s Among the Mosques, his account of his journey through Muslim Britain looking at its culture, differences, and values. He did so by going to the mosques and other Muslim cultural and religious centres in Dewsbury, Manchester, Blackburn, Bradford, Birmingham, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. While there, he met and talked to ordinary local people as well as the worshippers at the mosques, hearing their views and concerns. It was met with a storm of controversy when it came out because he talked about the conversations he’d had with Whites,, who’d suffered from racism, bullying and assault from Muslims in their areas. This was angrily denied, and a people went on Twitter to claim that the area he was talking about wasn’t Muslim but a posh White district. But the critics were talking about a different area from that visited by Hussein, and the book states this. The controversy seems to show the inability of some on the left to deal with the reality of anti-White racism by ethnic minorities.

But I don’t think the book does present a biased image of British Islam. Yes, in some areas, such as Dewsbury, the Islam practised – Deobandi – is austere and based on a theology of cultural separatism, in which Muslims are called to create and maintain a separate cultural and religious identity in preparation for the emergence of the caliphate. In other areas and mosques, the preaching and observance is more relaxed. Manchester’s Central Mosque is Barelwi, a sect based on the teachings of a 13th century Indian Sufi preacher. Their worship includes music, song and dance and the imam’s address was about interfaith tolerance as shown by Mohammed’s example.

Hussein writes

‘The imam continues to develop his theme of the need to change and improve ourselves based on our love for the Prophet. He encourages us to study the life of the Prophet Mohammed and how he acted towards people, even his enemies. Each time his name is mentioned the congregation again kiss their thumbs. The imam talks about the Prophet’s compassion, his kindness to his enemies, his message of co-existence with the Jews, Christians and pagans in seventh century Medina.

‘Are we such model citizens? Do we make our Prophet proud? he asks rhetorically, raising his hands with an exaggerated shrug like an Italian.

He quotes:

Qad ja’akun nur. Certainly a light has come to you.

That light is the prophet and the Qur’an, asserts the imam. ‘Are we radiating this light? Do our neighbours and friends in this country see us as carriers of love? The Prophet is shifa, he is healing. Has he healed our lives?’ (p. 46.) This isn’t that far from the various Anglican and other Christian clergymen in this country also preaching about the need for tolerance and love to heal ‘broken Britain’.

Earlier in the chapter he meets with a Muslim woman, Faiza, and her husband, who has come to the meeting as a chaperone as Muslim women may not meet strange men unaccompanied. She wears the niqub, and tells Hussein that she has reported three of her work colleagues to the HR department because they think she’s an extremist for doing so. She also talks about how the Muslim community in Manchester has been misrepresented thanks to the wretched suicide bomber at the Ariane Grande concert.

”One of the suicide bombers, Salman Abedi, was from a mosque in Didsbury here in Manchester,’ Faiza explains, adding in exasperation: ‘We have almost seventy mosques in this city. Yes, twenty-nine innocent kids died. And over a hundred were injured. For what crime?’ she shrugs. ‘One suicide bomber – one salafi – caused the incident, but what about the hundreds of Muslim taxi drivers who immediately took the injured to hospital? The drivers didn’t charge for this, but just offered their compassion and help. And why do we forget all the Muslim doctors and nurses at the hospital>’ Faiza is speaking passionately but intelligently.’ (p. 38). Elsewhere in the chapter he describes how all the mosques in the area condemned the bombing, but this wasn’t reported in the press coverage. And other Muslims tell him that they tried to warn the authorities six times about Abedi but were ignored. It’s a familiar story I’ve heard about other Muslim extremists – the congregation at the local mosque were worried, and attempted to alert the authorities only to be ignored.

I haven’t finished the book yet, but it seems to me that Hussein is trying to present a fair picture of British Islam. Islam, like most other religious, isn’t a monolith but composed of a number of sects, which may differ considerably in their theology and practise. Indeed, the title of one book we had in the library at College on Islam was The Sectarian Milieu. There are serious issues and challenges from some of the more austere sects, which reject mainstream cultural values and integration. And Muslims are like everyone else – human beings -, and so may have their own prejudices and biases. And some are no doubt racist thugs and bullies, just like some Whites.

These issues have to be squarely addressed, not denied, or distorted so that all British Muslims become tainted due to the actions of violent extremists. If we don’t do this, then it’ll be left to the real bigots and Islamophobes like Tommy Robinson and the EDL.

Answering Simon Webb’s Question about the Contribution of the Windrush Migrants

June 23, 2022

Yesterday, right-wing Torygraph reading internet historian Simon Webb over at the History Debunked channel responded to the Queen’s speech, in which Her Maj referred to the ‘profound contribution’ of the Windrush generation. Webb asked what that was. He’s put up another video today repeating the question, and commenting that nobody was able to give him an answer. A number of people told him he was racist for asking it. So he repeated it, giving as an example of a profound contribution made by an immigrant community the Gujarati shopkeepers who kept their shops open up to eight or nine in the evening rather than shutting at five O’clock. This is a benefit, because it’s led to a change in opening hours which means you can buy whatever you want at any time without having to worry about a rush when the shops open a nine.

I’ve left a reply there answering his question. Here it is:

Okay, Simon – it’s a fair question, so I’ll bite. After the War there was a labour shortage which the Black Caribbean immigrants helped to fill. They were particularly needed in nursing and the care sector. Not a spectacular contribution, but a contribution nonetheless. And here in Bristol the St. Paul’s Carnival is a major local event and very popular, despite that part of the city’s poverty and crime. There’s also a statue up in one of the more multicultural parts of Bristol to a Black writer, actor and playwright of that generation.

Okay, the actor and playwright is obscure – he was mentioned a few months ago when racists vandalised the bust to him, probably in reprisal to the toppling of Edward Colston’s statue. And the St. Paul’s carnival is local to Bristol. Nevertheless, it is spectacular and very popular, with White Bristolians coming into to see it and it is one of the major events in the city’s calendar. As for Black Caribbean workers helping to fill the labour shortage, that’s true whether they did so in response to national appeals for workers or if they were simply looking for better wages and opportunities. And I’d also say that Bristol was made morally better by the boycott of the local bus company because it wouldn’t employ Blacks. The bus boycott was given great support by the-then Bristol MP, Wedgie Benn.

I think Webb might be asking the wrong question, or expecting the wrong kind of answer. He clearly wants to hear about a distinctive contribution made by the Windrush generation. Something revolutionary. But even if the Windrush generation’s main contribution was as workers, the same as White Brits and the other New Commonwealth immigrants that arrived at the same time, that’s still an important contribution. And our hospitals and care homes did need their nurses and ancillary staff.

And just before the Windrush arrived, we were assisted during the War with workers and soldiers from the Caribbean. There’s a bit about them in an anthology of articles on Black and Asian British history, Under the Imperial Carpet. There was, I believe, even a Black RAF pilot, who I’m sure deserves to be better known. As for the post-War years, I’d say that the most profound contribution of the Afro-Caribbean community in Britain has been in the performing arts and particularly music. Apart from some great Black musicians, they also introduced into Britain new musical genres like Ska and Reggae, which were also taken up by White performers. Oh yes, and they introduced the steel band to Britain. One of the school’s in Bristol’s St. George’s ward had one.

I’m very much aware that the Black British community has its problems – higher rates of unemployment, low academic achievement, drugs and crime. But nevertheless they’ve also brought benefits and made a genuine contribution to British society, and Her Maj was quite right to talk about it.

The Lotus Eaters Read Out Detransitioners’ Harrowing Stories of Pain and Regret

June 14, 2022

Readers and followers of this blog know very well how I feel about Sargon of Gasbag and the Lotus Eaters. He and they are arch-Conservative reactionaries, fully in support of the Brexit that has wrecked British trade and the agreement that has so far kept the fragile peace in Ulster. They’re fully behind privatisation, but refuse to believe that the Tories are selling off the NHS – even though it’s right under their noses – because they don’t see how anyone would want to buy it. They’re also strongly anti-feminist, believing in traditional sex roles and that a woman’s place is in the home. Sargon himself did much to destroy UKIP, simply by joining it under Gerald Batten’s fuhrership. When he did so, a number of local UKIP parties either disaffiliated from the national party or simply dissolved, and a large proportion of their membership, who weren’t racists, walked away. When this happened, I put up an angry video from one such Kipper who was absolutely livid about Sargon and other figures on the populist right, like Count Dankula and Paul Joseph Watson joining. I also utterly despise their attitude. I find them smug, complacent, and resent the way they continue to push the smear that Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters are anti-Semites. Corbyn wasn’t, and we’re not. Especially not the Jewish brothers and sisters who have been abused, smeared and purged simply because the fanatically pro-Israel right hates them condemning Israel’s decades-long ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. As for the Lotus Eaters’ libertarianism, all their arguments in favour of this daft ideology were answer over a century ago by writers like T.H. Green, who supported the New Liberalism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

But I have to give Carl Benjamin and his mates credit where credit’s due. On some issues, such as the transgender debate, I think they’re right, or mostly so. Now I shall repeat: I do not support discrimination against, abuse, violence or persecution of people simply because of their sexuality or gender presentation. But there are very serious issues regarding trans ideology, the Queer Theory that informs it, and the medical-industrial complex that supports it. Quite apart from the dangers it poses to women’s sport, dignity and safety. Such as the danger to women in prisons when they are jailed with biological men, often brutal sex criminals, simply because the man identifies as a woman.

And one of the major issues is that there are powerful commercial and ideological incentives to push young people who feel dissatisfied or alienated from their birth gender towards transition. I believe that some people genuinely suffer from these issues, and have benefited from transition. My problem is not with that. My problem is with the attitude that has now emerged among gay and transgender activists that such problems are automatically a reflection of a permanent sexual identity among those suffering them. An identity which it is forbidden to question or to treat with anything but support and affirmation. According to academic research, 60%-85% of teens suffering from gender dysphoria grow out of it. The majority of them becoming gay men or women, but otherwise happy and secure in their sexual identity. And the process of transition itself also carries serious health risks. As has been admitted, puberty blockers like Lupron are not reversible, and their long term effects are unknown. The cross-gender hormones given to those making the transition can damage the heart and other organs, as well as reduce bone density. And the sex-change surgery itself may create complications that require additional surgery to correct.

Medical transition can be immensely profitable for the doctors, surgeons and clinics performing it. In Britain, I believe, there are only a small number of NHS clinics performing such treatment and so there have sprung up a number of private clinics to take over the slack. And private healthcare is all about profit. Decades ago the Beeb broadcast a documentary about the American private healthcare system, revealing the immense number of unnecessary operations that were carried out, simply because they made money for the private hospitals and surgeons. Something like this may be going on here as well.

There is a small but growing number of ‘detransitioners’. These are transpeople, who bitterly regret their decision, and are seeking as far as possible to return to their birth sex. I say small, but that’s in comparison to the people now deciding that they want to transition to the opposite gender. The online detransitioner community numbers about 20,000. Which to me is a lot.

Here Sargon and his co-host read out their stories of deep regret, and as Sargon himself says, it’s harrowing stuff. Most of the stories come from women who transitioned to men, though there is one from a man, who transitioned to a woman. They were all very young when they started to transition, some about 18 and 20 years old. One former woman says that she was 16. All the detransitioners are repelled by their new bodies and regret the loss of their natural, biological gender. One detrans woman says that she is in mourning for it. And at least one of them has serious health issues, including having to sleep for 14 hours a day, because of the treatment.

Transitioning has worked for some, but not these. This is why I strongly believe that when it comes to such radical and life-changing treatment and surgery, the greatest care should be taken to ensure that this is genuinely and absolutely appropriate for the patient.

This is why I strongly oppose the affirmation model and the attempts by trans activists to outlaw conversion therapy for trans people. Because there is the real danger that it is an attempt to ban really appropriate psychiatric treatment for people, who will be harmed, not helped, by transitioning.