Posts Tagged ‘Universities’

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.

SNP Leader Stephen Flynn Tears into Starmer for Dropping Pledge to End Tuition Fees

May 3, 2023

This is a very short video from the PoliticsJoe site on YouTube of the leader of the SNP in Westminster having a very sharp dig at Keir Starmer for his betrayal of the country’s students. Flynn says that David Cameron convinced his coalition partner, Nick Clegg, to drop his pledge to end tuition fees. Flynn therefore has to congratulate Rishi Sunak on similarly convincing Starmer to drop his commitment to ending tuition fees. Of course, the Tories are highly delighted. Sunak grins like a maniac and looks around him to the Tory benches, who are also enjoying the joke immensely. Starmer just sits there with an expression half-grimace, half-stupid grin. Sunak then take to the despatch box to state that more people have gone to university under the Tories than ever before. Flynn responds by taking the floor again to say that the Conservatives don’t believe in ending tuition fees, the Liberal Democrats don’t believe in ending tuition fees, and now Labour doesn’t believe in ending tuition fees. He therefore appeals to the Speaker, ‘isn’t it true that all of them mainstream parties have failed Britain’s young people?’ Sunak responds by stating that more underprivileged young people are going to university in England than in Scotland.

I don’t like the way Flynn handed Sunak an opportunity to make the Tories look good, but his gibe at Starmer is right on target and deserved. As for more people going to university under the Tories than ever before, that’s probably true but it’s the continuation of a trend that began under Blair. It also doesn’t answer the real point underneath Flynn’s statement, which is that students are being burdened with mountainous debt. As for more underprivileged young people going to university in England rather than Scotland, that’s because the population of England is far greater than Scotland and there are more universities. Sunak is not helping students, as they’re faced not only with student debt, but also with the costs of living away from home during the cost of living crisis.

But Starmer isn’t going to help students either, although he still seems to want people to believe that he might with his wibbling that the current system is wrong and Labour will look at alternative ways of paying tuition fees. Well, some of us can remember Thatcher’s big plan in the 1980s to get businesses to sponsor students at university, even if they weren’t studying a subject related to the sponsor. That idea didn’t last long, despite all the fanfare. I don’t think any similar alternative to state payment of tuition fees Starmer might dream will last long either. The Guardian was similarly sceptical about Starmer’s ambiguous statement. They compared it to Schrodinger’s Cat, a metaphor for the behaviour of sub-atomic particles in quantum physics. In the metaphor, a cat is locked in a box with an instrument measuring atomic decay and a flask of poison. The atomic device randomly decides whether or not to smash the flask and release the poison, killing the cat. How can you tell if the moggy’s alive or dead? You can’t unless you open the box and make an observation. Until that time, the cat is both alive and dead, in the same manner that, in quantum physics, particles can be in two contradictory states until the scientist makes an observation. Starmer’s position on tuition fees is like the cat: it both is and isn’t in favour of dropping tuition fees.

But quantum physics, while it holds sway in the sub-atomic world, doesn’t work in the macro world which is subject to Einsteinian relativity. Similarly, Starmer’s position on tuition fees comes down to him deciding against ending them and betraying students. He wants us to believe otherwise, but that’s what it amounts to.

His repeated betrayals and breaking of pledges and promises have made him a laughing stock. As a leader, he’s a treacherous liability. And unfortunately we can’t blame this on Tory influence.

Starmer Preparing to Abandon Pledge to Scrap Tuition Fees

May 2, 2023

He’s doing it again! Starmer is about to break another pledge. Are there any promises he won’t break, any principles he won’t betray? Sky News and the Independent have reported that during an interview on Radio 4 this morning, the Tory infiltrator in chief of the former Labour party announced that he was considering dropping his promise to end tuition fees. According to him, the economy is different now than when he made the pledge. Excuse me, but I’ve heard this one before. Whenever a politician goes back on a policy they’ve previous supported, one of the excuses trotted out is, ‘Now is not the time’. Tweezer did it when she went back on her election pledge to have workers in the boardroom. It also, I think, brings to mind a quote from Malcolm X. X warned his followers to be aware of betrayal by White liberals. I think he may have said that they were worse than Conservatives, because the racists were honest about what they were. But when it came to reforms to empower Blacks, White liberals would often give the excuse that they agreed with them, but the time was not right. This isn’t racial politics, but it does accurately describe Starmer and his mentality regarding radical reforms.

The Independent’s article describes how Blair brought in tuition fees, how they were initially capped and then raised and then raised again by the coalition government of Cameron and Clegg. The interviewer on Radio 4 brought up the fact that Starmer had made a series of pledges, like taking the utilities back into government ownership, and then dropped them. So Starmer replied by saying that it was quite wrong that Labour had dropped all of these pledges. Really? Mike over at Vox Political has a long list of all the promises Starmer’s broken. And he started, more or less, on day one when he was elected head of the party. He said he was going to retain Corbyn’s policies, which he then dropped, one by one, just as he persecuted the former leader’s supporters. As for Corbyn himself, one of the YouTube channels showed just how two-faced Starmer was about him by showing clips of Starmer giving glowing testimony about Corbyn before later going on to decry him. It’s all a bit Stalinist, like the way under Communism the latest member of the Politburo was hailed as men of great intelligence and integrity who would lead the workers’ to victory over capitalism before being denounced as an evil capitalist imperialist lackey and co-conspirator with Trotsky a few weeks or months later. Communist politicians and apparatchiks during Stalin’s reign used to read Pravda to see if they would be mentioned as the intended victims of yet another anti-Soviet plot that existed only in Stalin’s paranoid imagination. If they were, then they could tell that they were in favour with the old brute. If they weren’t, it meant that they’d fallen out of favour and could so be expecting a knock at the door from the NKVD/KGB. And the victims of the show trials were frequently smeared as collaborators with Trotsky. I supposed the contemporary Labour party equivalent is being accused of supporting Corbyn and being an anti-Semite.

But Starmer still wanted people to think he was sincere about reforming tuitions fees. He said that the present system was unfair and Labour was looking at alternative ways they could be paid. How? I don’t see any alternative. Either the government pays the tuition fees or the students have to. There may be some fudge, so that the government pays it as a loan, but you’d still be stuck with students having to pay them.

The paper went for comment to the head of Labour Students, who really wasn’t impressed. She rightly mentioned that students are now faced with mountains of debt and stated that this would be Starmer’s ‘Nick Clegg moment’. This referred to Clegg’s pledge to end tuition fees, which he immediately reneged on once he was in power with Cameron. And the decision to retain or raise tuition fees, I’ve forgotten which, was Clegg’s. Cameron was apparently ready to let him honour his policy announcement. I was doing a Ph.D. at uni when Clegg went back on his word, and naturally the former head of the Lib Dems was not popular amongst some students. Indeed, for some of them he became synonymous with treachery.

Starmer’s hesitancy about this decision, his determination to reject it while telling everyone that he still supports it, reminds me of his indecision over changing the Gender Recognition Act. Starmer was first in favour of it, then when the issue helped to bring down Sturgeon in Scotland he announced that it wouldn’t be a priority for Labour, before changing his position yet again and swinging back to support it. But in answer to that knotty question ‘Do women have penises?’ Starmer tried to have it both ways and declared that 99.99 per cent of women don’t have penises. All that did was provoke more ridicule and allowed Sunak to score points for the gender critical side by saying that no, women don’t have penises.

Apparently, it doesn’t matter what the issue is, Starmer will break any promise he makes about it while telling you that he still supports it. He really can’t be trusted.

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.

Rafe Heydel-Mankoos Arguments Against Slavery Reparations

March 23, 2023

Rafe Heydel-Mankoo is one of the inmates of the IEA’s New Culture Forum. I heartily despise the IEA, but I do find myself agreeing with some of what the New Culture Forums says. This video is taken from a Cambridge Union debate over whether reparations should be paid for slavery. Heydel-Mankoo was one of the speakers against the motion that it should. He states at the outset that he has a particular interest in this as a child of empire. The Mankoo part of his double-barrelled surname suggests to me that he’s part Indian, as do his features. He also confesses that if this was 1807 or 1834, the dates when first the slave trade and then slavery itself was abolished in the British empire, he may well have crossed the floor and agreed wholeheartedly that damages should be paid for the horrendous suffering enslaved people had endured. But it is not 1807, 1907 or 2007. Six or seven generations have elapsed between the present Black generation and the time their ancestors were enslaved. Reparations are a matter of tort, and while damages should be paid to people who have genuinely suffered, the present generation of Blacks are immeasurably better off than their ancestors in Africa. Ethically, should they profit from the suffering of their ancestors? Is it right that people should be held accountable for the crimes of their ancestors? The advocates of reparations want it to be paid by the British taxpayer. There were also only 3,000 slaveowners in Britain. The major of people lived and worked in grinding poverty in conditions near serfdom. Is it ethically right that they descendants of poor workers should be asked to pay reparations? There are also demands for the payment of reparations from countries like Barbados. Sixteen per cent of this country, however, are foreign born. Is it right that they should be required to pay reparations for something they had nothing to do with? And what about Africa? They supplied the slaves to Europeans, and so shouldn’t the be required also to pay reparations? What about the Arabs and Muslims who enslaved Africans centuries before Europeans and continued to do so before the British and French put a stop to it? And what about slavery in Africa today? The International Labour Organisation estimates that seven out of every thousand Africans is a slave: 10 million people. In 2017 CNN reported hundreds of slaves are sold every week in Libya. He would have far more sympathy for the claim for reparations if the people making it showed equal concern for the plight of today’s slaves. Where are the protests outside the Nigerian high commission, the embassies of Niger, which has a hundred thousand slaves today? What about Mali and Chad and Sudan and Cameroon. It’s almost as though there’s an ulterior motive to ask for reparations exclusively from Britain.

He also asks how far this should be taken. Should Britain demand reparations for the attacks of the Barbary pirates? At the same time as enslaved Africans were crossing the Atlantic, one million Europeans were enslaved by the Ottoman slave states of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. And this carried on after the abolition of the slave trade by the British. But Britain should not demand reparations from north Africa. It’s time to move on, and so should we.

He then turns from slavery to colonialism, and asks what damage it has done to those now living in the Caribbean. Most of the countries of the Caribbean are successful middle-income countries. The GDP per head of the Bahamas is higher than Portugal and comparable to Spain or Italy. Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis and other former British slave colonies have higher rankings on the UN development index than many other South American countries such as Brazil and Mexico. It is not clear to him how the British empire has disadvantaged the Caribbean nations. Comparing the modern Caribbean with the West Africa, the homelands of West Indian slaves. The GDP per capita in Benin is $1,430. The GDP per capita in Barbados is $17,000. Life expectancy in Benin is 62. In Barbados it is 79. Rather than write cheques to well-off parts of the world, why not send money to countries that actually require aid? Financial aid, not attempts to cleanse one’s soul. While slavery was abhorrent to those enslaves, had they remained in Africa the lives of their descendants would have been markedly worse..

What is Britain being asked to pay reparations for? Because Britain wasn’t the first empire to practise slavery in Africa, in India, in America. But it was the most benign and the benefits from it far exceed those of Islamic and Indian empire, that carved up India, of the Ashanti empire, of the Dahomey Kingdom, or the hundreds of thousands of slaves that were ritually sacrificed every year in Benin. The Benin Bronzes, that have been mentioned, commemorate those who owned slaves. Why is there a celebration of these?

Why are we apologising for Britain? Are we apologising for introducing new food storage polices, which led to a decline in the subcontinents processes of famine? Every forty years in India there was a famine. The population of India soared from 170 million to 400 million over the course of the Raj.It was because medicine and health and food standards and storage were better than they had been that the population surged.

Let’s not forget what Britain did for women’s rights. It was through the British empire that we have had the progression of women in Africa and India. India’s history is one of female oppression. It was the British who abolished suttee, the burning of widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. It was the British who stopped the infanticide of young girls and it was the British who allowed Hindu widows to remarry. Facts are facts. Universities were brought into Africa and India by the British. There would be no system of democratic legislatures in these regions without the empire. He quotes Steven Pinker as saying that before the British empire, these states were more violent than even the most modern states. While many wrongs were committed in the 19th and 20th centuries, the success of Britain’s colonies in the 21st century is due in large part to their colonial inheritance The English language and law enabled them to become global players. Their police, military, the civil service, the judiciary, parliament, the universities in every region of the world you go to, the British colonies are those most likely to be the healthiest and most democratic.

He ends by quoting the great Black civil rights activist and socialist Bayard Rustin, a friend of Martin Luther King, who received King’s posthumous congressional medal of freedom from Barack Obama: ‘If my great-grandfather, who picked cotton for fifty years and who made some money. He’s dead and gone, and nobody owes me anything.’

It’s a powerful speech, and from the way they fidget and pull faces the students behind him simply don’t want to hear what he says. But these are arguments that definitely need to be heard.

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.

The Anti-Semitism Smear about Jackie Walker and the Slave Trade Demolished

March 21, 2023

Here’s another short by the excellent Simon Maginn tearing to shreds another Labour anti-Semitism smear. This was against Black Jewish anti-racism activist and critic of Israel, Jackie Walker. Despite her Jewish blood, religion and active involvement in her community, Walker was smeared because she said, in a discussion about the slave trade with two friends on the internet, that many Jews, her ancestors included, became the chief financers of the slave trade. Walker is an historian and very careful with her facts. Her comments about this are based on thorough research by respectable academic historians. However, this statement was seized by her enemies and twisted so that it was claimed that she said that Jews controlled the slave trade. One of those retailing this lie was BBC journo Nick Robinson, who put out a tweet about it.

But as Simon points out, ‘many’ does not mean ‘all’. People did complain to the Beeb about Robinson’s tweet, and simply got the reply that Robinson recognises his mistake and apologises. So, as Private Eye would say, that’s all right then. I’ve strong suspicions about Robinson. He was leader of a student Conservative group at his old university. When Alex Salmond was leader of the SNP, who were campaigning on Scots independence, Robinson asked him a question during a press conference about whether the Scots financial sector in Edinburgh would close down and shift to England if Scotland went independent. Salmond gave him a full answer, saying that they’d looked into it and it wouldn’t happen. This wasn’t the answer the Beeb and Robinson wanted, so they edited the footage throughout the day, making it look as though Salmond hadn’t answer the question. Finally they edited his answer out altogether, so that Robinson could claim he hadn’t answered it. A very clear case of bias.

Video on Pioneering Black American Painter Jacob Lawrence

March 8, 2023

I know very, very little about Black American art. I’ve heard of Grandma Moses and the Harlem Renaissance, and that’s about it. I’ve been watching a number of art history documentaries on YouTube, and this piece about Jacob Lawrence from Paul Priestley’s Art History School channel came as something of a revelation. Lawrence was one of those great figures you’ve never heard of, a true pioneer. He was, for example, the first Black American artist to be taken up by a major gallery. This short video tells his story.

Lawrence came from dirt-poor working class parents, and at various times throughout his career he worked menial jobs simply to pay the rent. He was inspired to become an artist by looking at the Renaissance masters like Giotto on display in New York museums. He was exhibited in a gallery when he was only 18, but still had to keep that day job. His parents would have preferred him to have been a mailman. He carried on like this, painting while working day jobs and occasionally taking art courses for some years until he made his breakthrough and the big galleries began picking him up. During the War he did his national service in a segregated regiment, but was later moved to a desegregated one and served as a war artist. He also met various avant-garde artists, who had fled to America from the Nazis. After the War he was taken up by a number of increasingly prestigious galleries and foundations. The stress of the sudden fame and recognition was sadly too much for him. His mental health deteriorated and he was forced to spend time in a mental hospital. He recovered, and journeyed to Nigeria to explore Africa’s artistic heritage, while lecturing on the influence of African art on western modernism, like the Cubists. He also gained a post as university art teacher.

Much of his work is naturally about Black American history. He was also fascinated by Haiti’s history, and painted a series of pictures about this subject. He also painted a series on the migration of Black Americans from the south to the north after the Civil War, as well as at least one painting of the anti-slavery fanatic, John Brown. He was concerned to paint from every day life, and so much of his paintings show people at work, building, doing carpentry and so on. He also painted scenes based on his incarceration in the mental hospital.

His style is simplistic, and the figures do remind me a little of some of Picasso’s works, like The Bathers. But somebody also said that if you looked at them, there was too much craftsmanship for them to be naive. He also uses bright, vivid colours. It’s a great introduction to one of the unknown masters of modern American art.

Starmer’s Five Missions for Improving Britain – Sounds Good, But Where’s the Substance

February 24, 2023

I got a round robin email from Starmer yesterday, announcing that he had declared his five missions for building a better Britain in Manchester. He set them out, along with the usual requests for donations. Sorry, not sorry, Starmer – I’m not going to donate. You have my membership fee and that should be enough. It was under Corbyn, when millions joined because of his inspiring, socialist vision. Now you’ve purged the party of those people and driven the rest away through phoney accusations of anti-Semitism designed to placate the Israel lobby rather than do anything against real anti-Jewish hatred. You’ve also lost the contributions of many trade unions because of your anti-working class policies. As a result, you’ve shrunk the party, lost the confidence of ordinary, traditional Labour voters and supporters, and placed it in a dire financial strait. All to ingratiate yourself with the Tory voting right and their press. I am not going to donate until you reverse these policies, and especially not until you readmit and apologise to everyone you’ve smeared as a Jew-hater. And especially to the Jewish victims of the witch hunt.

David, this is an important moment for the Labour Party as we prepare for government.

Today in Manchester, I set out how my Labour government will be driven by five missions:

  1. Secure the highest sustained growth in the G7
  2. Build an NHS fit for the future
  3. Make Britain’s streets safe
  4. Break down the barriers to opportunity at every stage
  5. Make Britain a clean energy superpower

I believe that delivering on these five bold missions is how we will restore Britain’s pride and purpose, giving our country its future back.

To do it, we must win the next general election. We must be ready to show the country that Labour will build a better Britain. That there is light at the end of the tunnel.

David, donate to win today:

……

No more sticking plaster politics.

Mission driven government is a different way of doing things. It sets the direction, a clear plan for the years ahead and spells out the fully costed steps to achieving them.  

It requires everyone to play their part, in every community, in every part of the country. A real partnership between government, national and local, businesses, trade unions and civil society.

With missions comes greater stability and certainty – instead of a government chopping and changing all the time, blowing with the wind. 

Step by step, we will show how each mission will be achieved. So that everyone, in every part of the country, feels that they are moving forward, and that life is getting better.

But without reforming the role of government, we will achieve nothing. That is why Labour must win. Together, delivering on our five missions, we can build a better Britain.

 ….

Thank you,  

Keir Starmer

Leader of the Labour Party

Let’s go through them.

  1. Secure the highest sustained growth in the G7.

A good promise, but nothing any other party wouldn’t promise. The Tories promised that Brexit, more cuts to the welfare state and further privatisation would deliver economic growth and prosperity. That hasn’t happened. The only way to do it would be to reverse the Tory policies, including the wage restraint that is pushing so many working people into poverty and starvation. But there are no promises by Starmer how he intends to deliver this mission. Possibly because, like his hero Blair, he intends to take over the Tory policies and try to implement them better.

2.Build an NHS fit for the future

Again, every politico would promise this. The Tories have been doing so, even while privatising it. The madder of them have even stood up in parliament to demand its privatisation quite openly, or the introduction of charges, thus violating its founding principle that it should be free at the point of delivery. Blair did nothing about privatisation, except to push it through even further. The only way to restore the NHS is to reverse its privatisation. But Starmer does not promise that, and I suspect he really wants further private involvement in the health service.

3. Make Britain’s streets safe

Again, a great promise. The Tories cut the number of police drastically, and as a result crime has massively increased. The Labour party seem to be serious about tackling the issue, as a few weeks ago I got another round robin email from them, this time from Angela Rayner, laying out their intentions and including a questionnaire so the party could get suggestions and feedback about their concerns from their members. The seriousness with which they take this mission might be because law and order are a particular concern of the right. But it isn’t just a question of more coppers. It also means launching social programmes to deter kids from crime and tackle some of the underlying causes, which include poverty, lack of opportunities and the glamour of gangsta culture among young men in some communities. The police have also been criticised for apparently being more concerned with appealing to gays through appearing at Pride marches and dressing up as rainbow-coloured bumblebees rather than tackle crime. Some of those making that criticism are gay themselves. Will this also be tackled, while making sure gays are protected, and are confident that they are being protected like every other citizen?

4. Break down the barriers to opportunity at every stage

Again, sounds good, but it’s something that would also come from the Tories despite all the evidence to the contrary. And Blair’s record on social mobility is not good. It was already declining under Major, and stopped completely under Blair. A key method for restoring social mobility would be to start investing in schools and giving them the proper funding to buy equipment, pay teachers a proper wage, and restore state school buildings. And state education would be greatly improved by returning the academies to state or local authority control. But the academies are a failed Tory idea that Blair took over and promoted, so that’s not going to happen.

It also means creating jobs in areas like manufacturing, which have been decimated by the focus on the financial sector, and which have traditionally employed the working class, along with proper work training schemes. Not everyone is suited to academia, and there is quite a high drop-out rate according to friends of mine who worked on such policies. For those in higher education, tuition fees need to be cut, especially for poor and working class students, who are worried about being able to afford their education. Student loans are not good enough. It also means inspiring and opening up the professions to White working class boys as well as other traditionally marginalised and underperforming groups, such as Blacks and women. But I suspect this will be ignored and the traditional exclusive focus on BAME and women will continue, ignoring working class Whites.

5. Make Britain a clean energy superpower

This is possible. Labour certainly come across as far more serious about this than the Tories, who have consistently opposed it while boasting about their Green credentials. Remember Cameron’s boast that his would be the Greenest government ever? That lasted right up until he got his rear end through the door of No. 10. Then the windmill he had on his house came off, and it was back to promoting fracking.

Will Starmer go the same way? I don’t know. It’s possible. He’s broken every promise he’s made so far, and Blair attracted the same lobbying groups and companies who funded the Tories and guided Tory policy, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the same polluting industries sidle up to Starmer and he goes the same way.

Looking at them, two of the three missions look like they are being seriously tackled by Labour, at least at the moment. But I have little confidence in the rest as this would mean tackling Thatcher and her legacy head on. And that’s the very last thing the Blairites want.

Tories Now Ordering Universities to Stop Training So Many Medical Students

January 28, 2023

So much for anything the Conservatives may tell us about putting more money into the health service and training more medical professionals to fill the gaping shortage left by underfunding, overwork and burn out. It’s because of the extra work doctors have had to perform due to the crisis that so many are leaving the NHS. We need new doctors, not to mention more nurses and other medical professionals, trained up. But the Tories really don’t want to spend the money. The excellent Maximilien Robespierre has put up a short video on his YouTube channel reporting that it costs £160,000 to train a doctor until he or she graduates. Some of this is paid by the students themselves in their tuition fees. But it still costs the state, and so the Tories have instructed the universities not train so many. Those universities that do will be fine £100,000.

Other countries are also experiencing problems training doctors and medical staff, but they also have better access to foreign doctors to fill the vacancies. But we don’t. Thanks to Brexit, 4,000 of the 37,000 foreign doctors working in the NHS have since left.

All this is, as the Sea-Green Incorruptible explains, done to keep two of the various factions in the Tory party happy. The block on spending money is to keep the small government Tories on side, while the ban on foreign recruitment is to placate the bigots and racists. And in the meantime ordinary people face queues and cancellations, while the doctors that remain are worked to point of exhaustion and beyond.

But still, they’ve got to give those big tax cuts to their rich donors.