Archive for the ‘Hospitals’ Category

Richard Tice Calls for the Partial Renationalisation of the Water and Power Companies

February 1, 2023

Reform posted this short video, just over two minutes long, on their YouTube channel. In it, their current fuehrer calls for the partial, and rather half-hearted renationalisation of the water and power companies. He tries to connect this with Brexit, and has a dig at Starmer for initially backing it and then dropping it, saying he was no longer interested. Tice begins by stating that we are being badly served by the water companies, who are foreign-owned and so use various dodges to avoid paying tax. No other country allows vital parts of their infrastructure to be owned by foreigners. This is quite true, and Mike has been pointing this out on Vox Political since forever and day. This has been the case since they were privatised by the Tories great, molten idol of private enterprise, Maggie Thatcher, in the 1980s. He wants them partly renationalised – 50 per cent owned by the state, 50 per cent owned by pension funds, and placed under private management. This, he feels, will bring it the best of both state and private enterprise.

He’s wrong, of course. There is no magic solution behind private industry. When they’ve been handed state enterprises or institutions, their policy has always been the same: sack people and make those who remain work for less in poorer conditions in order to deliver profits and shareholder dividends. This has been done in the NHS, when hospitals and doctors’ surgeries have been handed over to private companies. In the case of GPs, this has also resulted in unprofitable patients being dumped and their surgeries closed. It also reminds me slightly of the restructuring of industry under the Nazis. Companies were linked together in a series of industrial associations, set up as private companies but membership of whom was mandatory under the Nazi regime. These associations were under the direction of the state planning apparatus running the economy. And the head of these industrial associations always came from private industry, even when the companies under him were state-owned. Obviously Tice isn’t calling for an extension of this system to British industry as a whole or its transformation into a centrally-planned economy. But he makes the same assumptions that Hitler and the Nazis, as well as the Italian fascists did, about the superiority of private industry. And as a true-blue Brexiteer he tries to link it to Brexit by saying that, as with the departure from the EU, this is all part of Britain taking back control.

Still, Tice has got something right, even though I think his speech is partly influenced by a BBC report today that Oxford Council has called for the end of water privatisation, as well as the outrage of the massive profits the private power companies have been making while energy bills have rocketed.. He’s clearly looking around for policies which he thinks will resonate with the public, and so has recognised, albeit grudgingly from the half-hearted way he wants it done, that the majority of the British public want the renationalisation of the public services. Of course, he’s still extremely right-wing in demanding more cuts to the welfare state, which he’s justified with the bogus explanation that British people need to move into low paid jobs in order to stop the British state importing more foreigners to do them. I posted a piece yesterday rubbishing that, and you should also read the comments on the piece left by the greater people reading this blog, who have added much more relevant information. But it is interesting that in this area of policy, Reform has moved left of Labour.

Not that I’ll believe they’ll keep their promises, anymore than I believe Starmer will.

That Preston Journalist Accuses Starmer of Being a Tory: He’s Right!

January 10, 2023

The very right wing That Preston Journalist has taken time off from sniping and criticising Nicola Sturgeon, and instead fixed his sights on Keir Starmer. Earlier this evening he posted a video stating very clearly that Starmer was a Tory. The thumbnail for this is a meme which shows a rubber plant on one side, and a Tory plant, Starmer, on the other. It’s very short, just 1 minute 44 seconds. The Journalist’s reason for calling Starmer a Tory was the Labour leader’s statement that the NHS needed reform. Although met with a chorus of criticism, Preston Man believes this is glaringly obvious. I agree. It is obvious, and the real solution would be to renationalise it and clear out the private medical companies and advisors who are a waste of money. But unfortunately I suspect this is not Starmer’s view, and that he really wants to follow his wretched, squalid hero Tony Blair and push the health service’s privatisation even further. But Preston Hack also believes that Starmer’s a Tory because of what he said about being fiscally prudent. Starmer stated that he was against austerity, had always been against austerity, but in government they would be careful about expenditure. They would be prudent. This, you will remember, was Gordon Brown’s mantra when he was chancellor: ‘We will be prudent’. He said this so often that according to Private Eye the assembled gentlemen and women of the press started calling him Dear Prudence after the Beatles song. Personally, I preferred ‘Help’ and ‘Helter Skelter’. As a Chancellor, who kept tight control of expenditure in order to avoid the boom and bust cycle, Brown was successful. That is until the bankers went berserk and almost destroyed capitalism. Brown prevented it by injecting our own reserves, for which he’s been blamed for wrecking our economy. But I really believe there would have been global financial collapse if he hadn’t.

And it remains the case that the bankers’ disastrous antics were exploited by the Tories, keen to push through austerity and punish ordinary people in the name of further enriching the superrich. But we were all in it together, as Cameron lied.

The trouble is, Blair and Brown were both neoliberal pushing through Tory policies of privatisation and welfare cuts. Moreover, by the time Brown got his feet into No. 10, New Labour had outlived any popularity with the British public. They were fed up with its managerialism, the spin, the condescension towards working class voters, Blair’s warmongering, the cuts to welfare services and hospital closures. I think Brown also put people off with his surly demeanour, although how much of that was real and how much an false image manufactured by the right-wing press is open to debate. He did not himself no favours by referring to an elderly lady, objecting to eastern European immigrants, as ‘some bigot’ when he thought the camera and microphone were off. But I think this may have been the last nail in his electoral coffin.

But back to Starmer, it really does look to me that once he’s in power, it’s going to be Blairite Tory politics as normal. Some of the great commenters here have suggested that the best policy would be to get him into power then bash him. At the moment, I think that is the best policy, considering that there are no alternatives and another round of Tory government would destroy this country. But I am not optimistic about Starmer’s government.

Simon Webb’s Speech to the Traditional Britain Group: A Critique

December 29, 2022

One of the great commenters on this blog asked me the other day if I’d watched Simon Webb’s speech to the Traditional Britain Group, which has been posted up on YouTube. Webb is the man behind History Debunked, in which he criticises, refutes and comments on various historical myths and distortions. Most of these are against Black history, as well as racial politics. Occasionally he also presents his opinions on gay and gender issues. Like other YouTubers and internet commenters, you need to use your own discretion when watching his material. Sometimes, when he cites his sources, he’s right. At other times he’s more probably wrong. As much of his material is against mass immigration, particularly Black and Asian, and he believes that there is a racial hierarchy when it comes to intelligence, there’s some discussion of the man’s political orientation. He’s definitely right-wing, reading the Torygraph and attacking Labour as ‘high spending’. But it’s a question of how right-wing. Some people have suggested he’s English Democrat or supports a similar extreme right fringe party.

The other day he gave a speech at the Traditional Britain Group, which is a particularly nasty set of rightists within the Conservative party. There was a scandal a few years ago, you’ll recall, when Jacob Rees-Mogg turned up at one of their dinners. Mogg claimed he didn’t know how far right they were, but was shown to be somewhat economical with the actualite when someone showed that he’d actually been warned against associating with them. They are fervently against non-White immigration and some of them have a dubious interest in the Nazis and the Third Reich. I’ve also been told that their members include real Nazis and eugenicists, which is all too credible. They also want to privatise the NHS. I found this out after finding myself looking at their message board a few years ago. They were talking about how they needed to privatise the health service, but it would have to be done gradually and covertly because at the moment the masses were too much in favour of it. Which has been Tory policy for decades.

Webb’s speech is about half and hour long, and takes in slavery, White English identity and how Blacks have taken ownership of the subject so that it’s now part of theirs, White guilt over it and the industrial revolution and how White Brits are being made to feel ashamed of imperialism. He also blamed Tony Blair for mass immigration and claimed that it was due to this that the health service was collapsing.

The British Empire

He started off by saying that when he was young, everyone believed that the British Empire was a good thing and that we had brought civilisation to Africa and other parts of the world. I don’t doubt this. He’s older than me, and so I can believe that the received view of the Empire in his time was largely positive. Even the Labour party broadly supported imperialism. Its official stance was that Britain held these countries in trust until they were mature enough for self-government. This has changed, and there is a general feeling, certainly on the left, that it’s something we should be ashamed of. But this has come from historians and activists discussing and revealing the negative aspects of colonialism, such as the genocide and displacement of indigenous peoples, enslavement, forced labour and massacres. The end of empires tend to be particularly bloody, as shown in the various nationalist wars that ended the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans and the French possession of Algeria. Britain fought similar bloody wars and committed atrocities to defend its empire, as shown in the massive overreaction in Kenya to the Mao Mao rebellion. Jeremy Black, in his history of the British Empire, also argues that support for the empire fell away from the 1970s onwards as British youth became far more interested in America. I think the automatic condemnation of British imperialism is wrong and one-sided. It’s also somewhat hypocritical, as the same people condemning the British Empire don’t condemn other brutal imperial regimes like the Ottomans. It’s also being used by various post-colonial regimes to shift attention and blame for their own failings. But all this doesn’t change the fact that some horrific things were done during the Empire, which politicians and historians have to deal with. Hence the shame, although in my view there should be a space for a middle position which condemns the atrocities and celebrates the positive.

Britain and Slavery

He then talks about how slavery is now identified solely with Black transatlantic servitude. But he argues that the White English can also claim slavery as part of their identity. He talks of the first mention of the English in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, when pope Gregory the Great saw some English children for sale in the slave market in Rome. Asking who such beautiful children were, he was told they were Angles. At which Gregory punned, ‘Non Anglii, sed angeli’ – ‘Not Angles but angels’. At the time of the Domesday Book 10 per cent of the English population were slaves. And the mob that tore down Colston’s statue in Bristol were unaware that the city had been exported English slaves over a millennium before. These were shipped to the Viking colonies in Ireland – Dublin, Wexford and other towns – from whence they were then trafficked internationally. Slavery existed long before Black transatlantic slavery. The first record we have of it is from 4000 years ago in the form of document from the Middle East recording the sale of slaves and pieces of land. While they weren’t aware of transatlantic slavery at school, they knew slavery existed through studying the Bible. The story of Joseph and his brothers, and the Israelites in Egypt. But slavery has now become identified exclusively with Black slavery and is part of the Black identity. It’s because we’re supposed to feel guilty about slavery and feel sorry for Blacks that Black people over overrepresented in adverts, on television dramas and even historical epics, such as the show about the Tudors where half the actors were Black.

Webb is right about slavery existing from ancient times. There are indeed documents from the ancient near eastern city of Mari in Mesopotamia recording the sale of slaves along with land and other property, as I’ve blogged about here. One of the problems the abolitionists faced was that slavery existed right across the world, and so their opponents argued that it was natural institution. They therefore also claimed that it was consequently unfair and disastrous for the government to abolish it in the British empire. He’s right about Pope Gregory and the English slaves, although the word ‘Angli’ refers to the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that settled and colonised England with the Saxons and Jutes after the fall of the Roman Empire. Angles in Anglo-Saxon were Englas, hence Engla-land – England, land of the Angles, and Englisc, English. Bristol did indeed export English slave to Ireland. Archbishop Wulfstan preached against it in the 11th century. We were still doing so in 1140, when visiting clergy from France were warned against going for dinner aboard the Irish ships in the harbour. These would lure people aboard with such promises, then slip anchor and take them to Ireland. The Irish Vikings also imported Black slaves. One chronicle reports the appearance of a consignment of blamenn, blue or black men in Old Norse, in Dublin. David Olasuga has also claimed that they imported 200 Blacks into Cumbria. Bristol’s export of White English slaves is mentioned in a display about it in the city’s M Shed Museum, which also contains the statue of Edward Colston. I do agree with Webb that there is a problem with popular attitudes towards slavery. Its presentation is one-sided, so that I don’t think many people are aware of it and its horrors outside the British Empire, nor how White Europeans were also enslaved by the Muslim Barbary pirates. I very strongly believe that this needs to be corrected.

Black Overrepresentation on TV

I don’t think it’s guilt over slavery alone that’s responsible for the large number of Black actors being cast on television, particularly the adverts. I think this is probably also due to commercial marketing, the need to appeal to international audiences and attempts to integrate Blacks by providing images of multiracial Britain. Many adverts are made for an international audience, and I think the use of Blacks has become a sort of visual shorthand for showing that the company commissioning the advert is a nice, anti-racist organisation, keen to sell to people of different colours across the world without prejudice. At home, it’s part of the promotion of diversity. Blacks are, or are perceived, as acutely alienated and persecuted, and so in order to combat racism the media has been keen to include them and present positive images of Black life and achievement. There are organisations dedicated to this task, such as the Creative Diversity Network, as well as systems that grade companies according to how they invest in multicultural enterprises, such as television and programmes with suitably racially diverse casts. Webb has himself talked about this. He’s also stated that Blacks are disproportionately represented on television, constituting only 6 per cent of the population but a very large proportion of actors in TV programmes and adverts. This might simply be because other, larger ethnic groups, such as Asians, aren’t so concerned with entering the entertainment industry and so aren’t represent to the same extent. Hence, Blacks sort of stand in for people of colour as a whole. As for adverts, I’ve also wondered if some of this might be purely commercial – a concern to sale to an emergent, affluent, Black market, perhaps. It also struck me that it might also be a make work programme. As I understand it, there are too many drama graduates for too few roles. This is particularly going to hit Blacks and other ethnic minorities because Britain at the moment is still a White majority country. There have consequently been demands for colour blind casting, as in Armando Iannucci’s recent film version of Oliver Twist. A year or so ago one Black actor announced that there should be more roles for Blacks or else they would go to America. As for the casting of a Black woman as Anne Boleyn, this seems to follow the theatre, where colour blind casting has existed for years. I think it also follows the tacit demand to create an image of the British past that conforms to modern multicultural society rather than how it really was. And some of it, I think, just comes from the feeling that as modern Blacks are as British as their White compatriots, so they should not be excluded from appearing as historical characters who were White. I think these considerations are just as likely, or more likely, to be the causes of the disproportionate number of Blacks appearing on camera than simply pity for them as the victims of slavery.

Blair Not Responsible for Mass Immigration

Now we come to his assertion that Blair was responsible for mass immigration. When he made this declaration, there were shouts, including one of ‘traitor’. I don’t believe that Blair was responsible for it, at least, not in the sense he means. The belief that he was, which is now widespread on the anti-immigrant right, comes from a single civil servant. This official claimed that Blair did so in order to change the ethnic composition of Britain and undermine the Tories. But did he really? This comes from a single individual, and without further corroboration, you can’t be sure. In fact Blair seems to have tried to cut down on immigration, particularly that of non-Whites. In order to dissuade people from coming here, he stopped immigrants from being able to apply for welfare benefits. The food banks now catering to native Brits were originally set up to feed those immigrants, who were no longer eligible for state aid. I also recall David Blunkett stating that they were going to cut down on immigration. The Guardian also accused Blair of racism over immigration. He had cut down on non-White immigration from outside Europe, while allowing White immigration from the EU and its new members in eastern Europe. The right had also been concerned about rising Black and Asian immigration for decades, and in the 1980s Tory papers like the Depress were publishing articles about unassimilable ethnic minorities. This started before Blair, and I don’t think he was deliberately responsible for it.

But I believe he was responsible for it in the sense that many of the migrants come from the countries Blair, Bush, Obama and Sarco destroyed or helped to destroy in the Middle East, such as Libya, Iraq and Syria. Blair had made some kind of deal with Colonel Gaddafy to keep migrants from further south in Libya, rather than crossing the Mediterranean to Europe. This was destroyed when Gaddafy’s regime was overthrown by Islamists. The result has been the enslavement of Black African migrants, and renewed waves of refugees from North Africa fleeing the country’s collapse.

He also stated that the industrial revolution, which was something else that was traditionally a source of pride, is now considered a cause for shame instead. Britain had been its birthplace and given its innovations to the rest of the world. However, we are now expected to be ashamed of it through its connection to slavery. The cotton woven in the Lancashire mills came from the American slave south, while sugar came from the slave colonies of the Caribbean. We’re also supposed to be ashamed of it because it’s the cause of climate change, for which we should pay reparations.

The Industrial Revolution and Climate Change

Okay, I’ve come across the claim that the industrial revolution was financed by profits from the slave trade and that it was based on the processing of slave produced goods. However, this is slightly different from condemning the industrial revolution as a whole. You can lament the fact that slavery was a part of this industrialisation, while celebrating the immense social, technological and industrial progress itself. After all, Marx states in the Communist Manifesto that it has rescued western society from rural idiocy. The demand that Britain should feel ashamed about the industrial revolution because of climate change comes from Greta Thunberg. It is, in my view, monumentally stupid and actually shows an ignorance of history. It’s based on an idealisation of pre-technological societies and an idealisation of rural communities. It’s a product of European romanticism, mixed with contemporary fears for the future of the planet. But the agrarian past was no rural idyll. People in the agricultural societies before the urbanisation of the 19th century had very utilitarian attitudes to the environment. It was a source of resources that could be used and exploited. The nostalgia for an idealised rural past came with the new generation of urban dwellers, who missed what they and their parents had enjoyed in the countryside. And rural life could be extremely hard. If you read economic histories of the Middle Ages and early modern period, famine is an ever present threat. It still was in the 19th century. The Irish potato famine is the probably the best known example in Ireland and Britain, but there were other instances of poverty, destitution and starvation across the UK and Europe. Industrialisation has allowed a far greater concentration of people to live than would have been possible under subsistence agriculture. Yes, I’m aware that overpopulation is a problem, that industrial pollution is harming the environment and contributing to the alarming declining in animal and plant species. But technological and science hopefully offer solutions to these problems as well. And I really don’t want to go back to a subsistence economy in which communities can be devastated by crop failure.

The call for climate reparations, I think, comes from Ed Miliband, and in my view it shows how out of touch and naive he is. I have no problem the Developed World giving aid to some of those countries threatened by climate change, such as the Pacific islands which are threatened with flooding due to the rise in sea levels. But some countries, I believe, are perfectly capable of doing so without western help. One of these is China, which also contributes massively to carbon emissions and which I believe has also called for the payment of climate reparations. China is an emerging economic superpower, and I see no reason why the west should pay for something that it’s doing and has the ability to tackle. I am also very sceptical whether such monies would be used for the purposes they’re donated. Corruption is a massive problem in the Developing World, and various nations have run scams to part First World donors and aid agencies from their money. When I was at the Empire and Commonwealth Museum one of these was a scheme for a hydroelectric dam in Pakistan. The Pakistani government was calling for western aid to finance the project. Britain refused, sensing a scam, for which we were criticised. Other countries happily gave millions, but the dam was never built. All a fraud. I suspect if climate reparations were paid, something similar would also happen with the aid money disappearing into kleptocrats’ pockets. There’s also the problem of where the tax burden for the payment of these reparations would fall. It probably wouldn’t be the rich, who have enjoyed generous tax cuts, but the British working class through indirect taxes. In short, it seems to me to be a colossally naive idea.

But these ideas don’t seem to be widespread. When he announced them, there were shouts from the audience to which Webb responded that it was coming, and they should wait a few years. Perhaps it will, but I’ve seen no enthusiasm or even much mention of them so far. They were mentioned during the COP 27 meeting, and that’s it. Thunberg’s still around, but after all these years I think she’s somewhat passe. At the moment I don’t think these ideas are issues.

Mass Immigration Not the Cause of NHS Crisis

Now let’s examine his statement that it’s due to immigration that the NHS is in the state it’s in. This is, quite simply, wrong. He correctly states that while Britain’s population has grown – London’s has nearly doubled and Leicester’s grown by 30 per cent – there has been no similar provision of medical services. No new hospitals have been built. As a result, where once you could simply walk into your doctor’s and expect to be seen, now you have to book an appointment. And when it comes to hospitals, it’s all the fault of immigrants. He talks about a specific hospital in London, and how the last time he was in that area, he was the only White Brit in the queue. This was because immigrants don’t have GPs, and so go to the hospital for every problem. We also have the problem of sick and disabled people from the developing world coming to the country for the better services we offer. A woman from the Sudan with a special needs child will therefore come here so that her child can have the treatment it wouldn’t get in the Sudan.

I dare say some of this analysis is correct. Britain’s population has grown largely due to immigration. One statistic released by a right-wing group said that immigration was responsible for 80 per cent of population growth. It’s probably correct, as Chambers Cyclopedia stated in its 1987 edition that British birthrates were falling and that it was immigration that was behind the rise in the UK population. I don’t know London at all, and I dare say that many of the immigrants there may well not have had doctors. I can also quite believe that some immigrants do come here for our medical care. There was a case a few weeks ago of a Nigerian woman, who got on a flight to London specifically so that she could have her children in a British hospital. I think this was a case of simple health tourism, which has gone on for years, rather than immigration.

But this overlooks the fact that the problems of the NHS has been down to successive Thatcherite regimes cutting state medical care in Britain all under the pretext of making savings and not raising taxes. Thatcher closed hospital wards. So did Tony Blair, when he wasn’t launching his PFI initiative. This was supposed to build more hospitals, but led to older hospitals being closed and any new hospitals built were smaller, fewer and more expensive. Cameron started off campaigning against hospital closures, and then, once he got his backside in No. 10, carried on with exactly the same policy. Boris Johnson claimed that he was going to build forty hospitals, which was, like nearly everything else the obese buffoon uttered, a flat lie. And Tweezer, Truss and Sunak are doing the same. Doctors surgeries have also suffered. Many of them have been sold off to private chains, which have maximised profits by closing down those surgeries that aren’t profitable. The result is that people have been and are being left without doctors. If you want an explanation why the NHS is in the state it is, blame Thatcher and her heirs, not immigrants.

Conclusion

While Webb has a point about the social and political manipulation of historical issues like the slave trade and the British Empire, these aren’t the reasons for the greater appearance of Black actors and presenters on television. Blair wasn’t responsible for mass immigration, and it’s underfunding and privatisation, not immigration, that’s responsible for the deplorable state of the health service. But he’s speaking to the wrong people there anyway, as the TBG would like to privatise it.

I am not saying it is wrong to discuss these issues, but it is wrong to support a bunch of Nazis like the TBG, who will exploit them to recreate all the social inequality, poverty and deprivation of pre-modern Britain.

Lachlan Stuart Defends Women’s Rights Against Trans Ideology at the Left-Wing Labour ‘Expel Me Rally’

December 23, 2022

There’s been a new, serious development in the battle over women’s versus trans rights. Yesterday the Scottish parliament passed their gender recognition act, which lowers the age at which people can declare themselves trans to 16 and further limits the time required to live as a member of the opposite sex and the medical supervision also demanded to make it easier for trans identified people to be officially recognised as members of their declared sex. The issue is enormously controversial. Feminists and other people across the political spectrum have criticised the trans ideology because of the way it impinges on women’s sex based right. The ideology and legislation based on it demands that trans-identified men should be given comprehensive access to women’s spaces, which raises problems for women’s safety, privacy and dignity.

Already some men are claiming to be trans, according to the Scottish Daily Record to get transferred from men’s to women’s prison. According to the Record, these men do precious little to behave like women in jail and when they come out revert to identifying as men. There is also the problem that some of those men are violent sex offenders against women and girls. In Scotland this includes a hulking 6/3” brute who tried to indecently assault a 12 year old girl in a public toilet. Black American anti-trans YouTuber Karen Davis has pointed to 50 to 60 per cent of incarcerated transwomen being there for sex offences. She put up a post the day before yesterday commenting on a report that an American female prison officer is suffering from PTSD thanks to being ordered to monitor a trans-identified man on suicide watch, even when he relieved himself or masturbated. This brought back personal memories of sexual abuse. From the newspaper account, the woman was a conscientious officer serving in a women’s prison. She had absolutely no problem watching the female inmates at risk from suicide, self-harm or banging their heads. The prisoner in this case demanded that female officers were part of the team watching him.

I do feel that he did so deliberately to cause upset to the female officers. Way back in the 1980s I read a piece about the cons in male prisons, who masturbated in front of female officer. They were nicknamed ‘gunslingers’ and there seemed no way to stop them doing it. Not even making them wear pink prison uniformed helped. The laws allowing transwomen into the female estate was clearly passed with the best of intentions. I can easily imagine that men’s prisons, for unaggressive, feminine men, let alone those who genuinely identify as women, would be hell. But I feel that very evil, predatory male offenders are abusing it to gain access to vulnerable women.

There are similar questions over hospital care, particular women requiring intimate treatment and would naturally prefer that this is done by someone of their own sex. It is also a problem in sports and sports changing rooms. One of the complaints by Lia Thomas’ teammates was that he was persistently naked in front of them, leading to their obvious embarrassment and discomfiture. Some women are also required by their religion not to be seen by men in an undressed state. Kelly-Jay Keen and her people from Standing For Women held a rally at the open air swimming baths in Hampshire. There were three such baths. One was for men only, another for women only and a third that was mixed sex. The women’s baths had open up to transwomen and this posed a problem for Orthodox Jewish and Muslim women, who could not share it with men, even those who identified as women.

I gather that the passage of the law resulted in angry scenes at the Scots parliament. One irate feminist lifted her skirt to reveal her private parts. A petition has been started to repeal or amend the new act. There is also the question how it will be received by the Westminster parliament and whether Rishi Sunak will overrule it. And if he does, what will this do to the UK? There are theories that Sturgeon is using the act to widen the divide between Scotland and the rest of the UK as part of her independence campaign.

There are also deep implications for the political parties. It’s an issue that crosses the political divide, but conservative activists like the American YouTuber Matt Walsh consistently misrepresent opposition to gender ideology as coming solely from the right. The EDIJester, however, put up a video about it yesterday stating that he has no confidence in Sunak to combat the act and the advance of the trans ideology. He states that if Sunak doesn’t overrule it, then critics of the gender ideology will have to look to founding separate political parties.

Kelly-Jay Keen has already taken a step in that direction with her decision to stand against Keir Starmer under the Standing For Women banner at the next election. Starmer has fully embraced the trans ideology, which has led to several awkward scenes. When asked whether women have cervixes, he replied that it wasn’t a question that should be asked. Other senior MPs have dodged answering the simple question ‘What is a woman?’ Keen was originally going to stand against Eddie Izzard if he got selected as the Labour candidate for Sheffield, This didn’t happen, and so she’s decided to go after Starmer. She particularly feels that Labour under him has betrayed women. At the last Labour conference, trans activists were allowed a platform, but the LGB Alliance, which campaigns exclusively on gay issues but not trans, was excluded from having a place.

This is why I’m putting up this video of Labour policy-maker and gay rights activist Lachlan Stuart speaking at the 2020 ‘Expel Me’ rally. Stuart was a member of Corbyn’s team that included comprehensive support for trans rights in the manifesto. After the election, which he thinks gave people like him enough rope to hang themselves, he went back and reconsidered his opinions. He has now reversed them because of the above issues of women’s privacy, particularly regarding medical care. He states he is haunted by the idea of his mother being examined for cervical cancer by a man. He states that his research uncovered numerous cases where women were abused or disadvantaged by the policy. He was also very concerned at the way the treatment for people with problems with their gender identity only seemed to go in one direction – to transition. He also makes it clear that when he dug into the issue, he found a network of lobby groups and the persecution of doctors and other health professionals who dared to challenge the ideology.

Stuart was a member of the gay rights movement and the solidarity campaign between gays and miners back in the 1980s. He describes campaign against Thatcher’s Clause 28, which sought to ban the promotion of homosexuality in schools. Considering Thatcher’s own association with fascists like Chile’s General Pinochet and the outspoken hatred of gays by many Tory MPs, there was a real fear that this would lead to renewed persecution. He talks about the Solidarity with Miners campaign, and urges his audience to watch the British film, Pride. He states that they didn’t no-platform some of the extremely bigoted and homophobic miners, and speaks with real pride about the first cheque his organisation received from a Welsh miners’ union. He also talks about the way trans activists have distorted some of the policies in the manifesto. This was a clause which committed the party to age appropriate and respectful sex education. This is a real issue, as some schools have been pushing teaching children about gender identity at primary school. He also states that the policy was also meant to educate children that violence against women is unacceptable. But the clause has been taken and expanded by the trans rights activists to mean educating children about trans people at any age.

He also talks about the way his new criticism of the trans ideology has resulted him losing friends and support from other organisations and party members. Stonewall backed away, and Dawn Butler stopped taking his calls. But he remains determined to carry on. And if the party don’t like, they can expel him.

This could become an important issue for all parties at the next election. Kelly-Jay Keen intends to use her position as an aspiring MP to get round the ban that councils and other organisations have imposed on her campaigning. A few years ago she paid for the dictionary definition of woman as ‘adult human female’ to be displayed on a billboard in Liverpool. This was taken down on the orders of Liverpool council, which ruled that it was hateful.

Gender critical feminists are unfairly accused of being fascists by the supporters of the trans ideology. This is flat wrong, but there is a real danger that this issue is being exploited by the right and the extreme right. This includes the real fascist outfit Correct, Not Political. They stage counter demonstrations against Drag Queen Story Hour, gay rights marches and environmental, socialist and trade union rallies, along with anything they think is ‘commie’. Their livestreams begin with old footage of Mosley and his Black Shirts marching, in uniform and with the ‘Roman’ salute, all to the Adagio for Strings, as if it was a tragedy these ratbags were rejected by the British working public and rounded up by the government and interned on the Isle of Man. They’ve also posted discussions suggesting they believe in the stupid, noxious and murderous conspiracy theories about Jews and Masons. And unfortunately, one of the places they targeted for a protest was a library near me in south Bristol, which was staging a Drag Queen Story Time.

While I profoundly disagree with the trans ideology, I don’t want to see trans people persecuted. I’ve no doubt the majority are decent people who just want to get on with their lives. But there are fears that ordinary trans and gay people will suffer from a terrible backlash because of the very visible support for the ideology by intolerant activists. I don’t doubt that if they had their way, for example, Correct, Not Political would round up trans people and gays for imprisonment. There are signs that might be happening in America because of the controversy over Drag Queen Story Hour. I came across a report on YouTube that a Democrat politician in New York, who supports it and went to a drag show, had his offices and home vandalised with accusations that he was a ‘pedo’ and a ‘groomer’.

We need to keep this debate well out of the hands of the far right. And there is obviously a place in it for left-wing activists, because people like Stuart are serious when they state that they tried to reconcile their new opposition to trans ideology with support for them as a minority. Quite apart from the absolute need to protect ordinary, decent people from victimisation and prejudice because of their sexuality or gender identity or expression.

Australian News Report on Premature Baby Incubated in ‘Artificial Womb’

December 22, 2022

This is further to the video I put up earlier about the possibility of artificial wombs and EctoLife’s wretched proof of concept video promoting their plans for a hatchery. This is another video that came up for me on YouTube. It’s a news report from Sydney’s 7 News posted by the Women and Infants Research Foundation about a very premature baby, who was kept alive and brought to term through being incubated in an artificial womb. In fact the womb is a plastic bag filled with oxygen to help the baby’s lungs develop naturally. It’s clearly related to the biobags developed at the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital, although those were filled with amniotic fluid. The video looks forward to further experiments on baby lambs where the bags would be filled with amniotic fluid. As it is, although the bag used was described as an artificial womb, it’s not that far from a conventional incubator.

While I’m obviously pleased that this technique was able to save the baby’s life, and hopefully other babies like him, I have very strong moral reservations about the development of true artificial wombs and the type of hatcheries that EctoLife are keen to develop. The fact that this technique has not become mainstream suggests that it either doesn’t work as effectively as predicted or else medical authorities are extremely worried about the ethical implications of this research.

CBC News Report on Infant Lambs in Experimental Artificial Wombs

December 15, 2022

I found this video on YouTube after the reports the other day about the company, EctoLife, unveiling its concept of a mass hatchery for the artificial gestation of human babies. This video is five years old and comes from the CBC/ the National, and is on experimental artificial wombs, ‘biobags’, created by Dr Emily Partridge and her team at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital. These appear to be clear plastic bags filled with a fluid closely approximating the amniotic fluid of the womb. The animals being gestated in them are infant lambs taken from their mothers by C-section, and fed through an artificial umbilical cord. The experiment is being done to see if this technique can be used for severely premature human babies that have been born after 23 weeks. At the moment a great number of these babies die, and those that survive need special care, such as being put on ventilators because of their delicate, undeformed lungs. They may also experience health problems for the rest of their lives. The report notes that the lambs in the biobags appear to be breathing normally, even developing wool. After being used in the experiment, they are euthanised and the bodies dissected as part of the experiment.

I knew that there were experiments on goat fetuses in this direction, as it was discussed in a ’90s issue of Scientific American, but was unaware of this experiment. While this isn’t as chilling, nor as far-fetched as EctoLife, and there is a genuine, medical purpose behind the research – the artificial gestation of premature babies, rather than the mass manufacture of human infants – it still nevertheless brings the prospect of the artificial hatcheries of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World a step closer, with all the ethical questions that brings.

Short Questionnaire by 38 Degrees Seeking People’s Views on the State of the Health Service

November 25, 2022

Here’s another email I got from the internet petitioning organisation seeking to gauge people’s views on the current state of the health service, and the particular issues they are most concerned with, as part of a wider campaign to defend it. Two of the questions, not on this email but there if you answer the questionnaire, ask you if you would be willing to speak to TV, radio or the press or talk about it on social media, and ask you for your telephone number if you would like to be part of that aspect of the campaign. I filled it out, as I am very concerned and angry about how they’re treating the NHS, but clearly not everyone will want to take it that far or give their home phone numbers.

‘David, the 38 Degrees community has been campaigning for YEARS to get the NHS the funding and workforce plan it desperately needs. It’s why we drove an ambulance with our message to Rishi Sunak across the country over the summer. [1] Now, we need to think about our next move.

If we’re going to keep fighting for what’s best for our NHS, it’s going to take all of us getting involved. And that means we should all have a say in what we do next. By taking this quick survey we’ll know what’s really important to all of us, and then together we can plan our next big NHS campaign.

So, David, will you take a quick survey and have your say on what we should do next? It takes two minutes. Here’s the first question to get you started:

How concerned are you about the current state of the NHS?

Very concerned

Concerned

Neither concerned nor unconcerned

Not concerned

Not at all concerned

Not sure

Things are so bad that ordinary people can’t help but speak up. A 77-year-old patient caught Prime Minister Rishi Sunak off guard by telling him to “try harder” to improve nurses’ pay, and a patient told Health Secretary Steve Barclay that he was doing “bugger all” about long ambulance waits. [2]

38 Degrees has a proud history of campaigning to protect our NHS. From fighting for a fair pay rise for NHS staff, to ensuring the NHS is properly funded and staffed, as well as opposing plans to raise the age limit for free prescription charges – we’ve fought relentlessly for an NHS we can all be proud of. [3] And with so many challenges left that fight is far from over.

By sharing your opinion in this short survey, we’ll be able to prioritise the issues we campaign on together. But to make the best plan we can, we need all of us to share our views.

So will you take this short survey today to help us keep fighting for the future of our NHS? It only takes two minutes. Here’s the first question to get you started:

How concerned are you about the current state of the NHS?

Very concerned

Concerned

Neither concerned nor unconcerned

Not concerned

Not at all concerned

Not sure

Thanks for your support,

Flo, Mike, Jonathan, Angus and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:

[1] Express & Star: Ambulance protest greets Tory Party members at hustings
[2] The Guardian: Woman confronts Steve Barclay on NHS outside hospital
Evening Standard (paywall): Rishi Sunak told by patient to ‘you are not trying, try harder’ to give nurse’s pay rise
[3] 38 Degrees: NHS Staff Pay Rise Campaign
38 Degrees: We need to properly fund and staff our NHS now!
38 Degrees: Keep prescriptions free for Over 60s

EDIjester on the Pro-Trans Ideology to Be Taught in Welsh Schools

November 18, 2022

EDIjester is another gender critical gay YouTuber. He produces video specifically tearing into the gender ideology and how it is corrupting medicine, education and legal practice. In the video below, he turns his scathing attention on the RHSE curriculum for Welsh schools introduced by the devolved Welsh government. It is the subject of a damning report compiled by a group of concerned parents and m’learned friends, whose conclusions the jester summarises.

The report found that the curriculum, which corresponds to the personal and social development curriculum being taught in English schools, is based Posthumanism and Queer Theory, and is aimed at primary school children as young as three. It is part of a general project of queering and is based on the vile theories and research of John Money, a monster who experiment on children, and that of the French postmodernist philosopher and paedophile Michel Foucault. This raises the important issues of belief and safeguarding. The new curriculum views children as sexual beings from birth and safeguarding and child protection as inhibiting rather than protecting their proper growth. It promotes a sex positive attitude, including criminal sexual activity for and among children. One particular point of concern is that the child’s sense of self is referred to as ‘gender’ rather than personality. Its ideological basis in Queer Theory is prioritised over real human experience and characteristics. It erases the reality of biological sex and diverges from established definitions of sex and sexual orientation and this in turn erases the existence of gay men and lesbians. Moral considerations are viewed as irrelevant to this sex positivity and parents cannot opt out. It is also not based on factual evidence and stakeholders, such as the educators who actually teach children – nursery nurses, teachers, teaching auxiliaries and so on – were not consulted. There is also the implied assumption that any opposition to this curriculum comes from the New Right. The jester states that the people responsible for curriculum are so far left that to them everyone is the New Right. The curriculum also views legitimate safeguarding concerns as dismissible. It also promotes the mental alienation of parents from their child’s education, disregard for family life, of which the jester notes there are all types. It sidelines protected beliefs such as religion in favour of its own quasi-theological ideas.

The jester is absolutely horrified by this, and urges people to reblog and retweet the video, write to their MPs, and consult the resources on the report and the curriculum it critiques to which he links on the YouTube page with this video.

This all sounds very alarmist and exaggerated, but I have absolutely no doubt he’s fundamentally correct. Unfortunately, the gender ideology is very strongly influenced by the two academics the video names as well as others, who wanted to erase the boundaries between adults and children. I admire the Welsh government, but here the educational curriculum they are promoting is absolutely horrific.

He is also worried by a report by the NHS which removes sex as a protected characteristic in favour of gender, and so allows the treatment of women patients, for example, by trans-identified men. This carries real dangers, and not just in the NHS. One woman who was due to have colorectal surgery at a private hospital was refused treatment because she made it clear she didn’t want trans-identified men treating her. This created a scandal, and the hospital company has found her an alternative in one of its other hospitals.

The relevant links

The NHS Seven Principles and the Erasure of Sex https://www.gov.uk/government/publica…

The Report on Welsh Schools from Safe Schools Alliance – PDF for Report at Bottom of Page https://safeschoolsallianceuk.net/202…

Write to your MP – Do It Now https://www.writetothem.com/?gclid=Cj…

American Left-Wing Politico Robert Reich on Striking Nurses

October 24, 2022

Robert Reich is an American left-wing politico and political commentator. I think he used to be in the cabinet of one of the Democrat presidents. A month ago, American nurses were striking. I don’t know if they still are, but I was struck by how similar the problems they face are with those facing our frontline healthcare workers, among whom our nurses were also considering strike action.

Robert Reich

Robert Reich1 month ago About 15,000 nurses in Minnesota walked off the job today to protest understaffing and overwork — marking the largest strike of private-sector nurses in U.S. history. The nurses are demanding that hospital administrators give them a role in staffing plans, changes to shift scheduling practices, and higher wages. “I can’t give my patients the care they deserve,” said Chris Rubesch, the vice president of the Minnesota Nurses Association and a nurse at Essentia Health in Duluth, Minn. Striking nurses at some hospitals said their shifts are often short five to 10 nurses, forcing nurses to take on more patients than they can handle. Folks, it should come as no surprise to anyone that our nation’s nurses – much like other workers deemed “essential” during the past two and a half years – are at a breaking point. The destruction brought on by the pandemic coupled with an unjust economic system that enables billionaires to pay a lower tax rate than our nurses, teachers, and frontline workers has led many to rise up and demand fair conditions. Solidarity with these nurses, and all other workers organizing on the job. At the end of the day, this strike is not just about addressing the needs of overworked nurses, but tackling the inadequacies of our penny-pinching healthcare system that values profits over patient care.’

Don’t fall for the guff that capitalist healthcare is better.

History Debunked Explores British Asian History in Opposition to Black History Month

October 24, 2022

My favourite internet historian, as some commenters have dubbed him, Simon Webb, has put up a couple of videos yesterday and today on the great, forgotten figures of British Asian history. These were men and women of real achievement, and he uses them to ask an important question: if Britain really was as racist as it has been claimed in the 19th and early 20th centuries, why did these men and women succeed, largely through their own merits? Why, therefore, is it only Blacks who have their own special history month, but not Asians, who seem content not to have one? These are actually good questions, and I think they show much about the difference in situation between Blacks and Asians.

He began yesterday with a video contrasting Mary Seacole, the restauranteur and entrepreneur, who is often claimed to be a Black counterpart of Florence Nightingale, with an Indian female doctor, Annie Wardlaw Jagganadham. This lady was born in 1864 in Adhra Pradesh, India and studied medicine at Madras. She came to Britain to study medicine at Edinburgh university, qualifying as a doctor in 1890. She then became house surgeon at the Edinburgh Hospital for Women and Children. Her brother was also a doctor, as were her nephews.

She was one of a number of other Indian medical students in this country in the 1890s including Gandhi, who qualified in 1891.

Today, Webb has put up another video on Dadabhai Naoroji, an Indian Zoroastrian, who was elected MP in 1892. When taking office, he swore his oath not on the Bible, but on the Zoroastrian holy book, the Zend Avesta. In 1919 another Indian gent, Satyendra Prasanna Sindh, became a member of the British government and simultaneously the House of Lords, becoming the First Baron Sindh. Webb’s a man of the right, and he could have added to this list of Indian MPs Shapurji Saklatvala, a Communist who stood as a Labour party candidate and was elected first Labour MP for Battersea North in 1922 and then Communist MP for the same constituency in 1924. But I suspect that would have been too much for his right-wing principles. But he made a video a few years ago about an Indian raja who became a Tory MP in the 19th century.

Whatever the political point Webb is trying to make, these are really interesting figures. Saklatvala and his White British comrade Newbold, were deeply concerned with imperialism and the oppression of the indigenous peoples, speaking about Ireland, India and Mesopotamia, as Iraq was known at the time.

As for the reason why Chinese and Asian Brits seem uninterested in having their own special history month, I suspect part of this might be because they are culturally more self-confident and economically more self-reliant than Blacks. China, India and Islam have a long history of cultural achievement and scientific invention. If you look through popular books on the history of scientific inventions, you see any number in the ancient and medieval worlds that were discovered or created by Chinese, Indians and Muslim mathematicians, doctors, engineers and scholars. And their descendants are well aware of them. This has found its way into jokes. One of the characters in the Asian comedy show, Goodness Gracious Me, was an Indian father who shouted ‘India!’ at the mention of various inventions and discoveries, whether they were actually made by Indians or not. Then there was an episode of Lovejoy, in which the dodgy antiques trader was trying to procure an ancient Chinese piece of art for a Chinese Hong Kong banker. This businessman spoke only Chinese and was accompanied by his Chinese interpreter. The character was passionately proud about his country’s heritage of invention, announcing at every opportunity that something or other was a Chinese invention, even when it wasn’t. This eventually reached the point where his interpreter had to say to him, ‘Oh no, Mr. – I don’t think we invented motorcycles!’ These are clearly jokes laughing at Indian and Chinese pride, but I don’t recall anyone taking offence.

Both Chinese, Indians and other Asians have been victims of racism over here, and their countries conquered and exploited under imperialism, but it seems to me that they are confident enough in their own achievements that they don’t feel the need for an Asia history month. They also seem much more determined to raise their economic and social position through their own efforts, something the Black American conservative writer, Jason Riley, wishes Black Americans would do rather than concentrate on gaining political power.

Blacks are in a slightly different position. Those of West Indian descent are acutely aware that their ancestors were slaves while the Black community as a whole seems to know little about African history. African civilisations have suffered from the prejudice of White scholars. It’s depressing reading through the book Colour Prejudice, published in the late 1940s, and seeing so many western scholars declaring that Black Africans had made no innovations and their civilisations were worthless. Some of this doubtless was due to racism, but another problem may have been that many African cultures didn’t have a written literature and built with wood a highly perishable material in the Africa climate, and so archaeological evidence of these cultures were easily obscured over time. Also, a lot of Black history necessarily happened overseas and so isn’t taught in British history. Hence the arguments for Black History month to make Blacks aware that they also have a history of achievement in the hope of inspiring them to go and raise their social and economic position to the same level as Whites and mainstream society.

Indian born Communist MP for Battersea North Shapurji Saklatvala. From James Klugman, History of the Communist Party of Great Britain, Formation and Early Years, Vol. 1 1919-1924 (London: Lawrence & Wishart 1968).