Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust’

Tomiwa Owolade States Salman Rushdie Was Right About Growing Threat to Free Speech

May 18, 2023

There’s an interesting opinion piece in today’s Evening Standard by the author Tomiwa Owolade. He was talking about the British book awards, which he attended on Monday, and the appearance there via video link by Salman Rushdie. Rushdie, remember, had suffered a near-fatal attack by an Islamist fanatic at a literary gathering in America back in August last year. Rushdie’s voice was hoarse, and the video accompanying the article shows him wearing spectacles with one lens blacked out, which were a result of his injuries sustained in the attack. But what impressed Owolade was that he didn’t talk about his own 30-year period hiding from murderous fanatics like his attempted assassin. He was receiving the Freedom to Publish Award, sponsored by the Index on Censorship. Rushdie didn’t talk about others who were suffering imprisonment and death for their writing, and didn’t mention authoritarian states like Russia, China, North Korea or Saudi Arabia. He spoke about the rising level of censorship in the supposedly liberal west, among nations that pride themselves on their tradition of freedom of speech.

“The freedom to publish,” Rushdie said, “is also the freedom to read. And the ability to write what you want.” But this conviction is now being weakened: “We live in a moment, I think, at which freedom of expression and freedom to publish has not in my lifetime been under such threat in the countries of the West.”

This is not a problem that’s confined to the political Right or Left. Rushdie mentioned the “extraordinary attack on libraries and books for children in schools” in the US. A recent report by PEN America has found that book bans are rapidly rising in the US.

Across the country, novels by distinguished authors such as Toni Morrison and Margaret Atwood have been banned in schools and libraries. Rushdie argued that this constitutes an “attack on the ideas of libraries themselves.”

But he also described as “alarming” the trend where “publishers bowdlerise the work of such people as Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming.” This is where editors are trying to ‘update’ novels by dead authors by removing or replacing offensive words or phrases. Rushdie argued that “the idea that James Bond could be made politically correct is almost comical.”’

Owolade concludes:

‘Rushdie viscerally understands the severe end of censorship; he has been nearly murdered for writing a book. But he is also rightly cognisant of, and opposed to, the milder threats. Because he recognises that the two ends are interlinked: once we accept that some books should not be allowed to be published, or read, or should have their content suppressed or bowdlerised in any other way, we accept the logic of those who think freely producing such books is a crime worthy of prison or death.’

See: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/opinion-salman-rushdie-was-right-to-warn-us-about-a-slippery-slope-on-free-speech/ar-AA1bm5Wk?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=b69b4d8033f74291ba9ae83adeb40dac&ei=26

I entirely agree with the article and Rushdie, which rather surprises me. I’m not a fan of his, and I honestly don’t think the Satanic Verses should have been published. There were three internal messages in Viking Penguin at the time advising against publishing it because it would upset Muslim opinion. I haven’t read the book, but people I know who have, including a lecturer in Islam, have assured me that it isn’t blasphemous. However, there’s something to about it in National Lampoon’s Book of Sequels that while it’s made clear that the book isn’t blaspheming Mohammed or the other principal figures of Islam on page 50, the book is so grindingly dull that no one ever makes it that far. The fatwa placed on Rushdie was a noxious piece of opportunism by the Ayatollah Khomeini, who wanted an issue he could exploit that would allow him to wrest leadership of the Islamic world away from the Saudis. The publication of the Satanic Verses came at exactly the right time, and so you had the rancid spectacle of mass book burnings in Bradford, Kalim Saddiqui telling his flock that ‘Britain is a monstrous killing machine and killing Muslims comes very easily to them’, and a demented Pakistani film in which Rushdie is a CIA agent, whose career undermining Islam is ended when God whacks him with the lightning bolt.

But we do have creeping, intolerant censorship in the west and it isn’t confined to either the left and right. I’m very much aware of the purging of radical authors, and particularly LGBTQ+ material from American libraries. I’m also not a fan of the Bowdlerisation of writers like Dahl and Fleming because they’re deemed to be offensive to modern sensibilities. The term ‘Bowdlerise’ is particularly interesting. It comes from the name of a puritanical Victorian publisher, who produced a suitable censored children’s edition of Shakespeare with all the Bard’s smut and innuendo cut out. I’m also concerned at the way publishers, students and lobby groups are trying to stifle the publication of works on such controversial topics as the trans issue and ban their writers from speaking in public or holding academic posts.

A recent example of this has been Oxford University Student Union’s reaction to gender critical feminist philosopher Kathleen Stock speaking at the Oxford Union. There were protests by the Student Union against her appearance as well as attempts to sabotage it by block-booking seats so that they wouldn’t be available to those who really wanted to hear her. She’s been denounced as hateful, people have declared they feel unsafe after her appearance, and the SU has cut its connection with the debating society. They therefore won’t be allowed to appear at fresher’s fairs and other Student Union sponsored events. The SU is also offering support to people traumatised by her appearance.

This is in response to a feminist intellectual who simply does not share the opinion that transwomen are women. Controversial, yes, but not hateful. What makes this affair ridiculous is that there have been real, noxious figures from the Fascist right who have spoken at the Oxford Union and suffered no such attack by the Student Union. People like Nick Griffin, the former head of the BNP, and the Holocaust Denier David Irving. If anybody deserves mass protests against them, and who really would make people feel understandably unsafe, it’s those two. I can’t imagine how Jews and non-Whites would feel in their presence, especially given the BNP’s history of violence against them. But they were allowed to speak at the Oxford Union, albeit to the surprise and disgust of many.

Rushdie’s right about free speech coming under attack in the liberal west. And the Tories, and particularly the Nat Cons are part of this. They’ve passed legislation severely restricting the right to protest and to strike, as well as the legislation providing for secret courts. And I don’t see Starmer changing this legislation, not when he said that laws like the Crime and Policing Act need time to bed in.

We really do need to wake up this threat, and that this isn’t a partisan issue if we’re going to defend freedom of speech and debate.

IEA Now Promoting Anarcho-Capitalism

May 10, 2023

How much further can the IEA go in its desire to end government interference? From what I’ve just come across on YouTube, all the way to Rothbard and anarcho-capitalism. I came across a video this afternoon from IEA London in which they interview someone about this form of anarcho-individualism.

The IEA are a hard right, Thatcherite bunch who’ve been advocating extreme free market economics since the 1970s. They believe in complete privatisation, including that of the NHS and the reduction of the welfare state, if not its complete abolition. Usually people who hold this ideology call themselves Libertarians or, more recently, Classical Liberals. They’re fans of von Hayek and Milton Friedman and believe that by going back to the complete laissez-faire capitalism of the early 19th century business will become more efficient and people freer and more prosperous. Which is why Friedman used to go on trips to Chile to see how his ideas were working out under that notorious advocate for personal freedom, General Pinochet. Because people wouldn’t democratically vote for the destruction of the welfare state, and so this could only be done by a dictator. The American Libertarians also weren’t averse to collaborating with real fascists and Nazis. One issue of their wretched magazine in the ’70s contained a number of articles by them and real anti-Semites denying the Holocaust. It was part of their campaign to discredit F.D. Roosevelt and his legacy. Roosevelt’s New Deal created the American welfare state. He was also the president that brought American into World War II. World War II is regarded as a just war. In order to discredit Roosevelt and thus the American welfare state, they wanted to destroy the notion of the battle against Nazism as a noble conflict. And so the goose-steppers were given their free hand to publish their malign nonsense in their pages. Then, when Reagan was elected in 1980s, they got a president who believed what they did, and so didn’t need the Nazis anymore. That infamous episode in their history was quietly forgotten.

And now the IEA are going from minarchism – the belief in a minimal state – to outright anarchism. Anarcho-capitalism wants the abolition of the state and its replacement by corporations. This includes police and the courts. The police would be replaced by private security guards, while the courts would also operate as private corporations. This, of course, causes problems. In a society without the state to enforce justice, why would any criminal submit themselves to the judgement of private courts with no power to enforce their decisions? They argue that competition by the courts to give the fairest decisions would result in criminals submitting to the same courts in the understand that they, and the other criminals, would all receive fair and just treatment and so order would be preserved. Which is real, wishful thinking.

Ordinary, Thatcherite free-market economics don’t work. Privatisation has not increased investment in the utilities, but left them in a worse mess. The gradual erosion of the welfare state has just increased poverty, not made people more entrepreneurial and self-reliant. Nor has led to a revival of charity in quite the manner Thatcher expected, although I’d guess that she, like Jacob Reet Snob, would point to food banks as a sign of its success. Liz Truss’ and her cabinet were all true-blue followers of Tufton Street free market ideas, with very many of them members of various right-wing think tanks, including the IEA. The result was that she nearly destroyed the British economy and had to be given the heave-ho. Despite this, she still thinks she was right. A week or so ago she was giving a talk in America in which she blamed her defenestration on ‘left-wing activists’. This is the rest of the Tory party she’s talking about. As Frankie Howerd used to say, ‘Oh, she’s off again. Oh, don’t mock. It’s rude to mock the afflicted.’ But it seems that ordinary libertarianism isn’t enough for some in the IEA, and that some of them have an interest in privatising the state itself.

If this was ever put into practice, it would result in a dystopia straight from 90s era science fiction, like the decaying Detroit of Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop but without the cyborg policeman to fight crime and bring down the corporate bad guys.

Private Eye Declares Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn Anti-Semites and Announces Labour Witch-Hunters After John McDonnell

May 5, 2023

I have a kind of love-hate relationship with Private Eye. Mostly I like it, but today I find myself wishing there was another satirical magazine around, one that wasn’t captured by the political-media complex. One that genuinely was subversive, crusading and really brought you the news that the papers and the lamestream media wouldn’t, and didn’t want you to know about. Because Private Eye is establishment. Its founders were all public schoolboys, as is its current editor, Ian Hislop. And yesterday it showed.

It ran an article on the imminent departure from politics of Diane Abbott for her letter to the Absurder stating that Jews don’t experience racism, and when they do, it’s like the prejudice against people with ginger hair. Unlike Blacks, who were enslaved and forced to the back of the bus under segregation. She ignored the Holocaust and the fact that across parts of Europe and America various institutions, like the universities, set limits on the number of Jews they would take in case they became dominated by Jews. I’ve also heard from people of Jewish heritage that California at one time wouldn’t allow Jews to own property. Abbott is completely wrong, as she’s been told by everyone.

I don’t believe, though, that Abbott is an anti-Semite. She just doesn’t believe anyone except people of colour, and that means primarily Blacks, suffer racism. And she doesn’t want racism by non-White ethnic groups discussed, because ‘they’ would use it to ‘divide and rule’. Aside from which, as Tony Greenstein has shown citing the stats, there isn’t a lot of anti-Semitism amongst severely normal Brits. 77 per cent of British people have positive views of the Jews. Five per cent hate them, and the reminder don’t care one way or another. Given those stats, it’s easy to see how she forgot about the real persecution Jews have historically suffered.

But this was not enough for the writer of the article on Abbott’s coming fall. The anonymous author, styling himself ‘Steeplejack’, said that her views were normal for Corbyn and his faction. He then quoted some Communist who said that Corbyn never really sympathised with the Jews because of their wealth. Okay, according to the stats 60 per cent of British Jews are upper-middle class. This section of the Jewish community doesn’t vote Labour. They’re Conservatives, as shown by Ephraim Mirvis, the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, nipping round to No. 10 to congratulate Tweezer on her elevation to Prime Minister. The liberal parts of the community generally vote Lib Dem, according to the same stats, with only a few voting Labour. And some parts of the Jewish community are very right-wing, like the two per cent who voted for the National Front in the 1970s. ‘Steeplejack’s’ article believed that it was quite right that Abbott was going to be retired and that Corbyn had been effectively purged from the party, and ended with the announcement that they were coming after John McDonnell next.

You’ll note that at no time does the article mention that Corbyn had and continues to have the strong support of that part of the Jewish community that hasn’t become entranced by the Tories. They didn’t quote anyone from Jewish Voice for Labour, Jewdas or the Jewish Socialist Group. Because they are the wrong sort of Jews. They’re all evil self-haters and anti-Semites because they support him and criticise Israel. They didn’t go to Shraga Stern for comment, who welcomed Corbyn into his synagogue. Stern’s a Haredi Jew. Their theology holds that Israel will only be restored with the return of the messiah. Until then, Jews should stay patiently in exile, working for the good of the wider community. The Haredi community has a strong respect for Corbyn as he stood by them when they opposed the commercial development of their historic cemetery. But again, the wrong sort of Jews.

Now we come to the question of the identity of ‘Steeplejack’. The last of the Eye’s correspondents pushing this nonsense was outed as a Blairite Guardian hack. I don’t know who this guy is, but the pseudonym suggests he fancies himself in the mould of Fred Dibnah, the steeplejack and broadcaster. Dibnah was very good at explaining industrial history and Britain heritage of invention, but he had very reactionary views. He didn’t believe that women should go out to work, for example. ‘Steeplejack’s’ monicker suggests he is similarly right-wing, though probably not to that extent. And he’s almost certainly another establishment journalist.

Which is what is wrong with Private Eye. You get the views of the lamestream media. It’s critical, but only up to a certain extent. The magazine thus pushed the line that Starmer was an anti-Semite for all it could, because that was what the establishment was saying, and the magazine and its editor and contributors shared the same fears of a socialist revival. It also won’t tell you that the current Ukrainian president, Volodomyr Zelensky, is a quasi-dictator very much in the same mould as Putin. Because Zelensky’s on our side against Russia, and so the people must not know that the Orange Revolution was stage managed by Obama’s Victoria Nuland at the State Department and the National Endowment for Democracy. Private Eye aren’t anti-establishment, just a slightly critical section of it.

John McDonnell and the Socialist group of MPs are one of the very few things keeping me in the Labour party. And now it’s clear Starmer wants to purge them, with the support of the media and goblins like Private Eye.

Tony Greenstein’s Book on the Shameful Links between Zionism and the Holocaust

April 24, 2023

Tony Greenstein is a Jewish British critic of Zionism and the state of Israel’s decade’s long ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and its grotesque propaganda campaigns to stifle any criticism, no matter how mild. Tony’s put up an excellent piece about the furore over Diane Abbott’s letter to the Absurder and her suspension from the Labour party. Tony makes an excellent case that the real reason for Abbott’s suspension and the howls and denunciations against her, it hasn’t been because she’s an anti-Semite. One of the groups pushing for her expulsion from the party is the Community Security Trust, which has very deep links to Mossad and has even invited Cruella Braverman to one of its dinners. It also claims to be in the spirit of the heroic 43 and 62 Groups of Jewish ex-servicemen who took the battle to Mosley’s fascists when they tried to come back after the War. While the CST wants to bask in their reflected glory, it has done nothing to physically challenge real fascists on Britain’s streets. What many Brits will find equally shocking is the revelation that the 43 and 62 groups weren’t brought down by their Nazi enemies, but by a concerted campaign by the cops. Shocking, but unfortunately not surprising. Lobster published an article a few years ago describing how the cops frequently had sympathies with Mosley’s gang, and would refuse to arrest them. Even when they were deliberately performing openly provocative acts like publicly making the toast ‘PJ’, which stood for ‘Perish the Jews’. I want to give a fuller treatment of Tony’s article tomorrow.

But Tony has also written a book about the noxious links between Zionism and the Holocaust. He’s blogged about these links again and again, showing his encyclopaedic knowledge of this very carefully concealed part of Zionist history. The book’s Zionism During the Holocaust: the Weaponisation of Memory in the Service of State and Nation. The review of it on Amazon runs:

‘”Tony Greenstein offers a comprehensive and incisive analysis of the indissoluble nexus between anti-Semitism and Zionism. This connection is exposed in its ugliest form during the Holocaust. You can trust a courageous and committed fighter against anti-Semitism, such as Tony, to guide us through this particular dark moment when Zionism and antiSemitism interacted in Europe’s darkest hour to educate us about its historical manifestations and implications for our time.”

Ilan Pappe, Professor of Middle East History, Exeter University

“This book is essential reading. Understanding the politics of the thirties and forties is essential if we are to ensure the horrors of World War Two never happen again. Tony Greenstein’s detailed reference to original sources leads to conclusions that cannot be ignored.”

Ken Loach, socialist film maker

“In this timely scholarly polemic Tony Greenstein authoritatively demystifies Zionism, convincingly depicting its long obscured and misunderstood connections with anti-Semitism, especially during its horrifying climax in the Holocaust. Essential reading for anyone that wants to understand Israel as a state built upon the premise of Jewish supremacy and sustained by a cruel apartheid regime to deny basic rights to the Palestinian people in their own country.”

Richard Falk, Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University and Chair of Global Law, Queen Mary University London

“The present book is about the entire history of this relationship between Zionism and anti-Semitism. Tony’s encyclopaedic familiarity with the dispersed relevant publications and his achievement in arranging the vast material in a coherent account are second to none.”

Emeritus Professor Moshé Machover, King’s College, London University

“This is a work of remarkable historical scholarship and analysis, its subject matter is as telling and relevant today as it ever was.”

Dr Derek Summerfield, Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer King’s College, University of London

“Greenstein’s book, meticulously researched and liberally peppered with quotations from original sources, will make uncomfortable reading for anyone who feels a sneaking sympathy for Zionism”.

Dr. Susan Blackwell, Dept of Languages, Literature and Communication, University of Utrecht

“The historical relationship of Zionism with antisemitic and racist regimes and movements has been an area long neglected by normative research, influenced as it is by Zionist assumptions; this is why Tony Greenstein’s book is so crucial, further developing the pioneering work by Lenni Brenner. Greenstein work is epic in scope, shedding light on dark corners, covering an immense historical, geographic, political and discursive arena; It provides an updated, comprehensive account and evaluation of Zionism’s complex interrelation with, as well as its uses and abuses of the Holocaust.”

Professor Haim Bresheeth, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

“In this substantial, detailed and scrupulously referenced account, the history of Zionist policies and practices before, during and after the Nazi Holocaust is examined in all its awfulness. Greenstein will no doubt be vilified by predictable opponents, but he offers a powerful alternative to the way most people would think about Zionism, given its current status as beyond criticism, on pain of accusations of anti-Semitism.”

Patrick Williams, Emeritus Professor, Nottingham Trent University’

See: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zionism-During-Holocaust-weaponisation-service/dp/1803693045

You won’t be surprised that Tony’s also been smeared as an anti-Semite and expelled from the Labour party. I also doubt you’ll be surprised by the fact that one of the figures spitting hate at Abbott is Steven Pollard, the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, who believes Islam is a threat to western civilisation, along with socialism and the trade unions. He and his wretched rag were among the chief figures behind the accusations of anti-Semitism against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters.

This isn’t about anti-Semitism, nor anti-racism. Starmer and his faction within the Labour party aren’t remotely concerned with racism when it’s directed against Blacks, Asians and Muslims. In fact the Labour right have been credibly accused of doing it themselves. Abbott was, I believe, one of the Black MPs and activists they bullied.

This is about purging the left and critics of Israel under the false pretext of fighting anti-Semitism.

Diane Abbott Has Whip Withdrawn for Claiming Jews, Irish and Travellers Not Victims of Racism?

April 23, 2023

But she does recognise they were victims of prejudice.

I’ve just seen the headline for a video put up by Sky News, stating that Diane Abbott has had the Labour whip withdrawn. This looks like it’s connected to a story that broke this morning, that Grant Shapps was demanding Starmer take action about her because of a letter she wrote to the Independent. She claimed that although Irish, Jews and Travellers suffered prejudice, they didn’t suffer racism. They were no laws in America demanding that they sit in back of buses, like there were Blacks during segregation. This has caused upset, with Lord Wolfson stating that his ancestors weren’t forced to sit at the back of the bus, but in cattle trucks.

The problem here is that Abbott has made the same mistake Whoopi Goldberg did on the American tv programme, The View, which got her suspended for a couple of weeks. Goldberg confused ‘race’ with ‘colour’, and so asserted that the Holocaust wasn’t racist, as both Jews and Germans were White. In fact, the term ‘race’ has a number of meanings regarding ethnicity, of which skin colour is only one. At one time it also meant lineage and biological sex. Thus, 18th and 19th century genealogists talked about the noble race of such and such aristo, meaning his ancestors. It could also mean a specific nation. One of the great 19th century poets – it could have been Tennyson – talked about the superiority of the ‘Anglo-Norman’ race, presumably meaning English-speaking British. When Count Gobineau founded modern scientific racism in the 19th century, he also talked about what he saw as differences between European races, meaning different European nations.

The Nazi persecution of the Jews was based on race, even though its victims were White. Whereas the Medieval persecution of the Jews was largely based on their religion, the Nazis defined Jewishness in terms of race, so that secular Jews and Christians of Jewish heritage were also persecuted. Karaite Jews were spared, not because they rejected the Talmud, Judaism’s second holy book along with the Bible, but because they were viewed as descending from the Khazars and so racially not Jews.

The persecution of the Gypsies by the Nazis was also racist, and a very strong case could be made out that so is the traditional hostility to the Romany. The Romanies entered Britain in the 15th century. According to the stereotype, they had dark complexions. Romany is one of the Indian languages, and the Romanies’ are believed to have their origins in India’s Rajasthan, from where they moved westward over the centuries.

As for the Irish, they were placed well below Germanic northern Europeans in the 19th century racial hierarchies. I think that Gaels like Gaelic-speaking Irish and Scots were viewed as the most primitive of the Celtic peoples. I did hear that one particular 19th century British racial fanatic even claimed that they were lower than negroes. And Irish people could also be subject to the same prejudices and restrictions as Blacks, as shown in the signs ‘No dogs, no Blacks, no Irish’.

Abbott is certainly wrong to claim that the Jews, Travellers and the Irish weren’t victims of racism, simply because they were White. Her statement that they were comes from the attitude, shared with Goldberg, that only Blacks and people of colour can suffer racism. She and Goldberg nevertheless acknowledge that the Jews, Irish and Gypsies were victims of prejudice and whatever else may be said about the two, they definitely have not denied the Holocaust. Part of the problem is that by defining the hostility Jews and the others faced as prejudice, but not racism, she appears to be denying that it could be as severe as that inflicted on Blacks. This is clearly wrong, as shown through the long history of discrimination, pogroms and expulsions against the Jews, culminating in the Shoah.

But I don’t think that’s the real reason the Tories wanted Labour to suspend her, or Starmer’s willingness to do so. Some of it may be because the Tories are still smarting about the sacking of Dominic Raab, and wanted to take a head of their own. There were several videos posted yesterday by butthurt right-wingers moaning that Raab had been brought down by ‘snowflake’ civil servants and the bar for anti-bullying had been set too low and so on. But to me the main reason is that she’s a prominent left-winger and a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn.

This is about purging the Labour left until the Labour party is as right-wing and neoliberal as the Tories themselves. Abbott’s ignorance and tactlessness over the issue of race merely provided an excuse.

The Trans Holocaust Is a Dangerous, Murderous Myth: Liberals Must Combat and Refute It

March 30, 2023

I hope this isn’t too controversial a post, because I know many of the great commenters here are strong supporters of trans rights. But I hope that whatever our differences, we can agree on this issue: the fear going around the trans community that there is a holocaust either underway or about to come is a toxic myth that may have played a role in the tragic shooting of six people at a Presbyterian school in America on Monday. Audrey Hale, the perpetrator, was a trans-identified woman, who believed she was a transman. She walked into the school with an assault rifle and proceeded to shoot the children and staff before she was shot in the head by the cops. It’s not really known what her motives were, and she is unusual in that while I’ve heard and seen YouTube footage of violence by transwomen, transmen have not, as far as I know, been personally violent. Hale did, however, leave a manifesto, the contents of which have not been disclosed to the public. Right-wing American commenters have claimed that the authorities won’t because they don’t fit the narrative of transpeople being an oppressed minority.

Several YouTubers and other commenters on the Net have made the point that part of the cause of the tragedy lies in the very militant, violent rhetoric among trans militants. I am not going to deny that there is prejudice against transpeople, but there is a real culture of violence amongst the trans militants. Gender critical feminists like Maria MacLachlan, who was herself assaulted by an angry transwoman, have posted a number of videos showing the very aggressive counter demonstrations by trans activists. There is also footage on YouTube of feminist campaigners being beaten to the ground by trans activists in Spain. There is also a feminist site on the Net which regularly posts examples of such violence. Kelly-Jay Keen, a leading trans activist, was mobbed and feared for her life when she spoke in Auckland, New Zealand. Maria MacLachlan has posted video footage of the various aggressive militant trans who greeted her when she spoke in Bristol. The militants were also supported by Antifa, dressed in black bloc, and Bristol Anarchist Federation. They tried to storm the police cordon around the demonstration. Wheeen n she spoke in Bristol the trans militants were supported by Antifa, dressed in black bloc, and Bristol Anarchist Federation. There were similar scenes when she spoke in Brighton, when the counterprotesters let off smoke bombs and one of them, a young guy, was dragged off because Brighton’s finest had found 12 knives in his bag. Similar, highly aggressive displays have been staged by trans rights protesters over the other side of the Pond. In one such instance, a young woman speaking at university was ushered by a cop into a cupboard to hide her from the angry mob chasing her.

And trans militant rhetoric is similarly violent. There are any number of posts on Twitter where the activists display guns with slogans like ‘I Kill TERFs’. Nicola Sturgeon caught flak the other week because, when she was trying to pass the Gender Recognition Bill in Scotland, she stood in front of a flag saying ‘Behead TERFS’ or some such. In their discussion of the recent shooting, the Lotus Eaters have used as their thumbnail a picture of someone standing next to a sign saying ‘Trans Right… Or Else’ with multiple pictures of AK47s.

Many trans activists seem to sincerely believe that gender critical feminists and their supporters are real fascists. This is nonsense, which MacLachlan has also disposed of in another of her videos. My own experience of simply reading their blogs and watching their videos is that far from being any kind of allies of Stormfront and the rest of the jackbooted horrors, real ‘TERFs’ tend instead to be respectable, middle-aged ladies, and that they largely come from the political left. That’s the direction MacLachlan comes from, and KJK started out as a left-wing socialist before she got censured from her Labour feminist group simply for asking why transwomen were women. They seem to be largely women, who marched against real fascism in the shape of the BNP, NF and apartheid South Africa. And they have not, to my certain knowledge, posted anything demanding the murder, let alone the mass murder, of trans people. Not MacLachlan, not the feminists at Redux, not gender critical gays like Clive Simpson, Dennis Kavanagh or the EDIjester, Barry Wall. Not even J.K. Rowling, for whom I have a fair degree of contempt because of her support for the libellous accusations that Mike was an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, simply because he supported Jeremy Corbyn.

Part of the problem is, I believe, the myth of the trans holocaust. There have been trans days of remembrance held in Britain and Scotland, but the numbers of trans people killed over here has been low. In Scotland they were about three, and no-one was killed last year. This should obviously be a source of pride. The figures are higher in America, but as a section of the population they’re still low. The stats the activists use to show that there is a trans holocaust underway come from Latin America. These are desperately poor countries, and some of them, like Brazil, have horrifically high murder rates anyway. And it’s unclear whether the murdered transpeople were killed because they were trans, or because they were sex workers.

But despite the lack of death camps or paramilitary mobs going from house to house looking for trans people, as happened to the Jews during the real Holocaust, this myth is spreading. The right-wing, anti-trans YouTuber, Arielle Scarcella, who is herself a lesbian, put up a piece in which she reported many trans people are joining the Pink Pistols. This is a network of gun clubs set up by the gay community in America and Canada to teach gay men and women how to shoot in order to defend themselves. I sympathise with the reason for them. There has been a violent hatred of gays in America and Britain, and in a culture like America which supports gun ownership as the citizen’s right to defend him- or herself, it’s natural that gays should also want to own them for their defence. Just like the Black Panthers decided that if the White man had guns, they wanted theirs too. But it means we’ve entered a very dangerous climate where scared, volatile people, afraid of Nazi-style persecution, are taking up arms amid angry rhetoric that calls for and legitimises the killing of their opponents. One internet commenter has even said that, given the circumstances, the shooting was entirely predictable.

This is where I hope genuinely liberal people, people concerned about the deteriorating state of social discourse over this matter can help, and particularly academics. Because we’ve been here before, folks, but from the other political extreme. I have a strong interest in folklore, and was for a time a member of the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research. This was set up by academic folklorists to investigate contemporary urban folklore. You know, vanishing hitch-hikers, UFOs, and other weirdness. But this was in the 1990s when the was another spike in American and western paranoia. It was when anyone and seemingly almost everyone with a computer was producing small press magazines or pamphlets ranting about THEM. President George Bush Senior sparked some of it after the Gulf War by talking about his New Order, which harked back to the Nazis’ rhetoric about their new European order, and even further back to the 18th century and the Illuminati and the words printed on dollar bills: Novo Ordo Saecularum – ‘New World Order’. Looking for an underlying explanation for the Gulf War, people found it in the old conspiracy theories about Satanist freemasons. And there were real fears of a resurgence of the militant extreme right following the rise of the Militia movement and Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing. Morris Dees, one of the major figures in the Southern Poverty Law Centre, published a book about their threat and links to the wider American Nazi movement. It’s been widely criticised, not least because one of the captains of one of the militias was actually Black. There were calls from someone who styled herself a militia commander for them to march on Washington DC. But the other militia members smelt an agent provocateur, and wisely kept to running around training in the hills.

The Society also covered some of the weird conspiracy theories going around America. The American far right at that time hadn’t taken in the fact that real, existing state communism in eastern Europe had collapsed. There was a paranoid fringe that believed it was all a ruse. Thus there were bonkers theories that held that the Russians had established secret bases in Canada and Mexico, from which the tanks would roll into America at the given signal. And God-fearing American Christians believed that they would be targeted for extermination under the One World Satanic state. There was a rumour going around Christians in Pennsylvania that the coloured dots on the state’s road signs indicated the sites of the concentration camps in which they were to be interned. It was all false. The dots were part of a code telling state highway workers when the signs had last been painted, so that they knew when they needed another coat. It had nothing to do with concentration camps for anyone.

And then, with 9/11 came the stories about the destruction of the Twin Towers, and the rise of Alex Jones. Jones has become infamous for his wild conspiracy theories. In one of them he claimed that Barack Obama was going to use an environmental emergency to force Americans into refugee camps and seize power to become an eco-communist dictator. And there were other weird attacks on the former president, in which it was claimed that he was secret atheist/Muslim/Communist/Nazi filled with a hatred of White America and planning its extinction. In fact, Obama was in many ways a bog-standard conventional American politician. He saw himself, as he’s said recently, as a moderate Republican. And there’s a very strong continuity between his bombing of Libya and continuation of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, with Neo-Con foreign policy.

Well, Obama’s been and gone. he was succeeded by Trump, who was succeeded by Biden. There are no concentration camps for anyone. But the ideas of a trans holocaust are merely an extreme left-wing version of the right-wing American fears about a holocaust of Whites and Christians. And it needs people to point this out. During the ’90s and after there were a number of academic books published about the paranoid fringe in America, sometimes as part of wider examinations of conspiracy theories like the infamous Jewish banking myth that inspired Hitler and the Nazis. This new myth of the trans holocaust needs putting in the same context. The fact that it comes from the left, and a minority group that sees itself as vicious marginalised and oppressed, should make no difference. It’s a myth, a dangerous myth, that does seem to be inspiring militant trans activists to violence. And the internet platforms should be helping as well. Nobody should be allowed to post material genuinely calling for the murder of others. It should be immediately struck down. Protests that it’s all a joke should not be tolerated. Since the rise of political correctness in the 1980s people find racist jokes genuinely distasteful. I cannot imagine decent people finding anything funny in jokes about killing Blacks and Jews. And the so-called jokes about killing TERFS shouldn’t be tolerated either. As for masked individuals turning up in black bloc threatening violence, that could be solved by invoking the legislation passed in the 1930s that outlawed paramilitary uniforms. It was aimed at Mosley and the British Union of Fascists. I think it may have become a dead-letter because of the paramilitary violence in Ulster. But there’s a strong case for enforcing it over here.

We have to fight the poisonous myths and paranoia in the militant trans community.

Before someone else with serious mental issues and anger against society because they fear they’re going to be put into a concentration camp because of their gender identity goes on another killing spree.

Video on the Holocaust Artist, Felix Nussbaum

March 30, 2023

Bit of art history. I found this video on Blind Dweller’s channel on YouTube. It’s about Felix Nussbaum, a Jewish artist who fled Nazi Germany only to be caught during the Nazi occupation of Belgium, and deported to a concentration camp in France. It was there that he painted many of the disturbing, surreal paintings of Jewish in incarceration, misery and despair. He managed to escape back to Belgium, where he was sheltered by friends, who provided him with painting materials and a studio. But he knew that it was only a matter of time before the Nazis caught up with him and he was sent to the Death camps. He continued painting, and some of his works have an apocalyptic edge. I am not remotely surprised. I can remember reading a description of the Nazi massacre of eastern European Jews, in which the dead and dying were piled up, and it struck me then that it was like the end of world with the forces of evil spewing violence and death. Eventually the Nazis did catch him, and he was deported to Auschwitz along with other members of his family, including his parents and brother, where they were murdered.

The video gives a full biography of his life, or as full as it can in so many minutes. Nussbaum was born in Osnabruck, and he and his parents at one time travelled to Italy to escape Nazi persecution. While he moved to Belgium, they returned to Germany, where I think they were victims of the Nazi persecution. Since his death, he has become celebrated for his works and there is a dedicated museum to him in his home town. The thumbnail below shows one of his paintings. The subject of the painting, holding up his passport stamped with the French and Flemish word for ‘Jew’, is believed to be a self-portrait. There are other characters in his painting which are also believed to be depictions of Nussbaum himself. In one, painted in the French concentration camp, he is one of a number of Jews, dressed in the prayer shawl, worshipping at a makeshift shrine the inmates had made themselves.

I am absolutely amazed that Nusbaum was able to paint during the horrors as I thought the oppressive conditions would have prevented him. I also admire his Belgian friends for hiding him. I don’t know about Belgium, but Nazi Germany passed laws punishing those sheltering Jews not only with death for those actually hiding them, but also for their entire families. Under these circumstances, it took real courage to do so, and the Jews that were hidden by gentile friends and sympathisers appreciated how much those that did so risked.

Nussbaum is a fascinating artist, whose talent graphically lays bare the reality for Jews of this most horrific period in European history. In my opinion, he deserves to be better known and appreciated.

The Polite, University Educated Racism of Novara Media

March 23, 2023

A few days ago I found a video posted on YouTube by Laurence Fox’s Reclaim the Media. This was a short piece of part of a debate he’d had about racism with Ash Sarkar, one of the women of the left-wing internet news and comment channel, Novara Media. This was about whether Whites could experience racism. Sarkar denied that they could, because they enjoyed White privilege. She maintained this stance even when Fox raised the issue of White working class boys, who perform worse academically than Blacks and other ethnic minorities and girls. I’m not surprised Sarkar continued to maintain this view. Novara have posted a couple of videos denying that White working class boys are underprivileged compared to other ethnic groups, and even that the White working class constitutes an ethnic group at all. Sarkar has said very proudly that she’s a communist, particularly when she was exasperated by the attitude of one of the TV hosts interviewing her. But it’s not entirely the Communism of classical Marxism, which saw class as the motor of history and oppression. It’s partly the postmodernist revision of Marxism of Critical Race Theory. This replaces class with race, declaring that Whiteness is a bourgeois quality that ensures that Whites enjoy a privileged position denied to people of colour. This attitude comes partly from the intersectional Marxism of Herbert Marcuse, a member of the Frankfurt School. Frustrated by the failure of the American working class to rise up against capitalist, Marcuse instead urged radicals to look to the ‘people of the ghetto’, groups traditionally confined to the margins of American society. This included Blacks, gays and feminists. CRT denies that Whites can experience racism through a highly contrived redefinition of the term. In their view, racism = prejudice + power. In bourgeois western society, Whites have a power denied to Blacks. Therefore they cannot suffer racism. This is profoundly wrong and in itself deeply racist. It also has highly dangerous implications that may encourage, or at least demand that a blind eye be turned to real racist violence against Whites.

The term ‘privilege’ suggests aristocratic ease, of the type enjoyed by David Cameron. Before he became prime minister, this Eton-educated aristo certainly didn’t have to worry about getting a job. He was actually approached by the Crown to work for it. But the vast majority of White Brits don’t have this privilege, and especially not those at the very bottom of society. One of my old schools had an annex for its first year pupils in a run-down area of Bristol. This was in a grimy back street called Boot Lane, at one end of which was a public toilet frequented by tramps. These were men who enjoyed absolutely no social advantages at all, and their life expectancy was no doubt extremely limited. The life-expectancy of the homeless, I’ve heard, is about three years. Sarkar, by contrast, is middle class and university educated, as is her fellow presenter Dalia Gabreal. Gabreal, who also promotes the nonsense of White privilege, is the co-editor of an anthology of postcolonialist texts. They enjoy a privilege denied to the White underclass, but it’s a privilege that they, imprisoned by Critical Race Theory, cannot acknowledge.

The idea of White privilege also glosses over and ignores the fact that previous generations of working class Whites could be victims of grinding poverty until very recently. Examples of this can be found on YouTube in a series of videos about poverty in Britain in the 1970s. Whether Sarkar, Gebreal and the others of Novara realise it or not, the idea White privilege plays down this poverty, which could be extreme with the bland attitude that however tough it could be for Whites, it’s worse for Blacks. On average, this is true, but not always. While Novara has shown a deep concern for working class poverty and exploitation, the constraints of Critical Race and Postcolonial Theory means that it is unable to recognise or accept the fact of anti-White racism nor that Whites do not uniformly enjoy privilege.

While it comes from the Marxist left, Critical Race Theory’s view that whiteness is intrinsically oppressive is very much of the same type of ideological racism as fascism. This divides society into the race or nation and its oppressors. In the case of the Italian fascists, the true nation was that of Italy and its people. In Nazism it was Germany, and the enemies were the Jews. This binary opposition Noel O’Sullivan, a Conservative historian of fascism, traces back to the new style of political activism that began with the French Revolution. This divided France into the authentic nation of the ‘tiers etat’, the third estate – the common French people, and their oppressors, the aristocracy and clergy. He quotes one French revolutionary who made this very plain, as well as his intention to shoot the country’s noble oppressors. O’Sullivan makes the point that this opposition can be applied to other groups, as demonstrated in the magazine of a radical feminist group, Medusa. This declared that only women were human, and men were an inferior species. Critical Race Theory revises this racism so that the authentic, oppressed nation are Blacks and other people of colour, while the racial oppressors are White.

This attitude is extremely dangerous. The critics of Critical Race Theory and other postmodernist ‘isms’, Peter Boghossian, James Lindsey and Helen Pluckrose, submitted a number of spoof papers making extreme claims to various postmodernist academic journals. One of these incorporated quotes from Mein Kampf, but with ‘Whiteness’ substituted for Jews. This was accepted. There have been a series of controversies over the other side of the Pond in which Black academics have announced on TV programmes or internet meetings that they want Whites to become extinct. And there has been real racial violence against Whites. Thomas Sowell describes a few in his book, Race and Culture, noting that the mainstream media either does not cover them, or if it does, the report is framed so as to exonerate the attackers. They acted as they did as a result of the oppression of White America. Racial violence against Whites isn’t confined to America. Over twenty years ago the number of racist murders of Whites was nearly equal to that of ethnic minorities, and the level of racist abuse and attacks against Whites exceeded those against other demographics. This was covered by the mainstream media until the BNP sought to exploit it. But many Black and ethnic minority activists do not want racism against Whites recognised. At a conference of Black and ethnic minority activists a few years ago, three of them criticised the government for including anti-White racism in official statistics. In their view, only racial abuse and violence against ethnic minorities deserved to be counted. Critical Race Theory’s contrived redefinition of racism does the same: it is intended to deny that Blacks can be racist.

Critical Race Theory is also dangerously defective in its Eurocentricismt It assumes that only White Europeans and their descendants in America and the New World can be racist. It ignores the fact that other cultures have also traditions of racial hierarchies and ingrained prejudice. For example, Muslim Arabs also developed ideas of the inferiority of Black Africans on the one hand and White Europeans on the other. India and China also have their own ideas of racial superiority and inferiority. Western Blacks have also developed a distinct racist ideology in Afrocentrism. There is a series of Afrocentric works promoting the idea of White inferiority in vicious, splenetic terms. At the same time, Black Muslim sects like the Nation of Islam and Ansaaru Allah also hold that Whites are racially inferior oppressors, who are due to be annihilated by God at the coming apocalypse. I’ve also come across British Muslim texts that are explicitly colonialist. One of these argued that just as the British allowed other peoples to enter their colonies and keep their laws and customs as a way of populating their territories in North America, so Muslims should be allowed to form autonomous communities in America and Europe. These forms of Black and extra-European racism are largely unknown to most western people, and there is real opposition to discussing them. The Labour politician, Diane Abbott, has said several times that discussing the different forms of racism amongst ethnic minorities would allow ‘them’ to ‘divide and rule’. But these tensions between different ethnic groups in Britain outside the Black/White dichotomy exist and have led to riots. A few months ago, there was rioting in the north of England between Muslims and Hindus. The acceptance of the idea that only Whites can be racist among liberal Whites has also been assisted by the idea of the Noble Savage. This goes back to the 17th century, and views primitive, non-European societies as somehow nobler and more virtuous than western civilisation. It is also a product of the tradition of European and indigenous opposition to imperialism. This concentrates on the horrors of western imperialism but similarly ignores those of other imperialist regimes, such as the Ottoman Empire. The refusal to accept that other peoples are also capable of terrible racism, and the idea that only White racism is to be tackled, led to the police and authorities turning a blind eye for twenty years to the Pakistani grooming gangs.

I find the denial of anti-White racism, and the bitter racism of some Black activists deeply worrying. Because Critical Race Theory declares that all Whites enjoy such privilege and that the level of racism in society remains constant, it comes very close to the old accusation that all Whites are racist. While I doubt very much that it’s supporters would see it as such, it is very close to racial essentialism of the type that causes anti-Semites as intrinsically hostile to Whites. I am very much afraid that this will encourage anti-White attacks and pogroms, but there will be no action taken or condemnation of these because of the racial attitudes promoted by CRT. Sarkar, Gebreal and the rest of Novara doubtless believe that they are sincerely anti-racist and they probably are so in their personal relationship with Whites. But they, along with numberless others of the same views, hold a twisted redefinition of racism that legitimises racism and violence against Whites, while denying that this is possible at all.

Simon Maginn Tears Apart Baddiel’s Myth of Anti-Semitic Labour Leaflet

March 21, 2023

Simon Maginn is, I believe, a Jewish Labour member of the type Starmer, the Blairites and the Israel lobby despise. He’s put up a series of videos critically refuting the anti-Semitism smears in the Labour party, each one dealing with a separate part of it. In this video he attacks a story retailed by former comedian David Baddiel in his book, Jews Come Last, that going around one Labour conference was a pamphlet about the Holocaust that mentioned all the other groups target by the Nazis except the Jews. The central theme of his book is that crimes and offences against Jews are taken less seriously than those against other books. Baddiel was also one of the media figures telling the world and anyone who would listen that Jeremy Corbyn was terribly anti-Semitic and so was the Labour party. I don’t know whether the man Julie Burchill once described as looking like his fellow comedian’s, Rob Newman’s, afterbirth, is just naive and gullible, and has simply swallowed everything the British media said about Corbyn and the Labour party, or whether he is actively malign.

As Simon shows, there is zero substance to this story, making it impossible to check. The leaflet has never been produced, and there are no accompanying details about it. Baddiel doesn’t mention what conference it was at, or where, who produced it. There was a pamphlet produced by the Socialist Workers in 2008 in Leicester that didn’t mention the Jews. This seems to have been a genuine oversight and the result of bad editing by the writers, rather than actual anti-Semitism. But it was not by the Labour party and was long before Jeremy Corbyn became its head. Simon therefore considers this allegation refuted.

As for crimes against other groups given priority over Jews, one of the allegations at the beginning of this century made against the French authorities was that they treated Islamophobic crimes more seriously than anti-Semitic offences. But this was because there was greater prejudice against Muslims than Jews. If I remember correctly, only 5 per cent of the French population considered that Jews weren’t real Frenchmen compared to 30 per cent plus for Muslims. Jews were given less priority not because of anti-Semitism, but because of its absence. If something like this is happening in Britain, my guess is that it’s for the same reasons. Tony Greenstein has cited statistics several times which show, contra the allegations of the Community Service Trust and the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, that the majority of severely normal Brits either have positive views of Jews, or consider them no better or worse than anyone else. And even without the smear campaign, my own impression is that people take allegations of anti-Semitism and Nazism extremely seriously.