"Londonistan" shows how sick Britain is
A review by Hal G.P. Colebatch of "Londonistan" By Melanie Phillips
Has this book been reviewed before? If so, in light of the recent terror-bombings in Britain, another review may be called for. British Journalist and George Orwell Prize-winner Melanie Philips has written a chilling book, setting out how confused thinking, left-liberalism and obeisance to political correctness have led to Islamicist terrorism and extremism striking deep roots in Britain.
A major villain, she argues, is Blair -- not former Prime Minister Tony in this case, but Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, who emerges as a man driven by fear of seeming politically incorrect. An employment tribunal found that he had racially discriminated against three officers at a training school who had been disciplined for, in one case referring to Muslim headwear as "tea-cosies," and in another case for having, perhaps in honest mistake, pronounced "Shi'ites" as "shitties" and having said he felt sorry for Muslims who fasted during Ramadan. Sir Ian responded to this finding by declaring that he was "unrepentant," repeating that the remarks were "Islamophobic" and declaring that the police must "embrace diversity." When questioned about the murder of Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh for questioning Islamic attitudes to women, Sir Ian responded: "There were lots of fundamentalist Muslims who didn't shoot him," revealing a certain logical gap.
Phillips might have mentioned how, in words reminiscent of the confessions of Darkness at Noon or 1984 or China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, John Grieve, assistant deputy commissioner in the Metropolitan Police Service, and head of its Racial task force, groveled that "I am a racist. I know because Sir William Macpherson said that I am; the Home Secretary said that I am; countless members of the public inquiry said that I am ....The Metropolitan Police Service is an institutionally racist organisation. It must be because Sir William Macpherson said that it is; the Home Secretary said that it is ..."
This was not sarcasm but was intended literally and at its face value. Ray Honeyford commented in the Salisbury Review:
It clearly conveys the impression of a man experiencing inner torment, after having been reduced to the level of a small child by a chastising and tyrannical father. It is not only the words themselves that are disturb, even though they are indeed chilling, coming as they do from the mouth of a mature adult. It is the identity of the person who uttered them that causes the greatest feeling of alarm in the reader.
Melanie Phillips has something shocking on almost every page:
At various conferences to discuss the terrorist threat, senior police officers declared their respect for the Muslim Brotherhood and its mouthpiece in Britain, the Muslim Association of Britain, despite its extremist views and support for terrorism in Iraq and Israel. This enraged secular Muslims who were present, who protested that by cosying up to such extremists the police were betraying the Muslim community.
A particular favorite of the police contact unit appeared to be a Sheik who had called for suicide bombings in Israel and Iraq as a religious duty, and claimed: "We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America!" She documents the reaction of Muslim bodies in Britain to the London terrorist bombing, denial that they were anything to do with Muslims and threat of more to come often being combined in the same sentence.
Former Home Secretary Charles Clarke said that "there can be no negotiations about the reimposition of Shariah law, there can be no negotiation about the suppression of equality between the sexes, there can be no negotiation about the ending of free speech. These values are fundamental to our civilization and are simply not up for negotiation." This was attacked as an assault on Islam. All this is combined with a resurgence of Jew-hatred such as we might have thought perished in the West about 1945.
Melanie Phillips quotes a 2004 Home Office survey which found 26% of Brtitish Muslims felt no loyalty to Britain, 13% defended terrorism, and about 16,000 were prepared to engage in or actively support terrorism. A third believed Western society was decadent and immoral and that Muslims should seek to bring it to an end. The former Metropolitan Police commissioner, Lord Stevens, revealed that up to 3,000 British-born or British-based people had passed through Osama bin Laden's terrorist training camps. Other surveys gave at least equally alarming results: a BBC poll found 15% of British Muslims supported the 9/11 attacks. Even though these numbers were minorities, with a total Muslim population of 1,600,000, growing rapidly every week, they added up to very substantial numbers in absolute terms.
Four out of 10 British Muslims want Sharia law (which includes punitive stoning and amputation) introduced into parts of the country, and a fifth have sympathy with the "feelings and motives" of the suicide bombers who killed 52 people in the London terrorist bus and tube attacks.
Melanie Phillips claims: "British Muslims are overwhelmingly horrified and disgusted by the louche and dissolute behaviour of a Britain that has torn up notions of respectability. They observe the alcoholism, drug abuse and pornography, the breakdown of family life and the encouragement of promiscuity, and find themselves in opposition to their host society's guiding values."
That, perhaps, is where the other Blair, Tony Blair, comes in. Whether on not things will change under Gordon Brown is hard to say, but it is impossible to deny that the Blair government, for all Blair's military support of the U.S. alliance and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has presided over an ethos, first known as Cool Britannia, which could command little respect or loyalty from anyone. What does one make of a society where trading inspectors prosecute the vendors of pornographic videos on the grounds that their content is less pornographic than advertised, and where the Queen is made to confer a knighthood on a notorious icon of the drug culture? That is another aspect of Londonistan and, along with other elements, goes to make a very disturbing whole. Meanwhile, the director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity said in 2006: "The more fundamentalist clerics think it is only a matter of time before they will persuade the government to concede on the issue of Sharia law. Given the Government's record of capitulating, you can see why they believe that."
I am not always in agreement with Christopher Hitchens, but a comment from him is apt here:
I find myself haunted by a challenge that was offered on the BBC by a Muslim activist named Anjem Choudary: a man who has praised the 9/11 murders as "magnificent" and proclaimed that "Britain belongs to Allah." When asked if he might prefer to move to a country which practices Sharia, he replied: "Who says you own Britain anyway?" A question that will have to be answered one way or another.
The implications of the book are compelling, though to borrow a certain title and call them an inconvenient truth would be an understatement: Britain is going to have to bite on some very tough political bullets if it is going to survive as anything like the nation it has been.
A satirical reply to feminist values
By Britain's irreverent Jeremy Clarkson
We know from Big Brother that today's young ladies have replaced their appealing thongs with pants the size of spinnakers, and now comes news that the sales of stockings are in free fall. Down from 10m sales in 2002 to 5m in 2006. According to The Sun's woman editor - as opposed to the real editor, who's a woman - this is because girls have better things to do these days than get dressed up like a Parisian hooker every time they go to the shops. I absolutely understand that. Getting dressed in the morning is something that should never take more than 20 seconds and putting on a pair of stockings and suspenders can take anything up to three hours.
Actually this is only a guess, based on how long it takes me to undo a suspender belt. Even when I'm armed with a head torch and a pair of scissors. Anyway, I fully appreciate that in a postMrs Robinson world, where women work and raise children, stockings are to the wardrobe what the quill is to online banking. But here's the thing, girls. Tell us that you won't wear stockings because they are impractical and you may well find that we'll give up as well. At the moment we tend not to pick our noses when in your company because it is a bit slovenly. But if you're going to slob around in a pair of footless tights and a sack, then you won't mind if we bury an index finger in each of our nostrils and dig away.
I was at London's City airport this morning surrounded by a group of middle-aged chaps who, I presume, were going to Scotland to watch some golfists. At home, each of these men would, I'm sure, eat all their yoghurt and pretend to be interested in Victoria Beckham's opinion on interior design. But at the airport, with no wives and girlfriends to keep them in check, they quickly reverted to type. By 7.45am they were on their third pint and as I boarded my plane, I believe they were beginning a farting competition.
This is not a criticism. I recently spent a couple of weeks camping in Africa with 20 or so other men and you wouldn't believe how neanderthal we became. Or how quickly. Every morning would begin with a conversation about who'd been for their number twos, what the number twos had looked like, what they'd smelt of, how much more there was to come, and whether any records for sheer tonnage had been set. Then we'd move on to who'd crept into whose tent the night before, what it had felt like, and how long, if we were the last 20 people on earth, it might take for one us to sleep with James May.
You might argue that your husband is not like this, but I assure you that beneath the veneer you see at home, he is. He may do the washing up and take the children to the park, but when you're not around, he's like the light in a fridge. He's a completely different animal, obsessed with bottoms, buggery and belching. So, girls, do you want that sort of thing at home? Really? No? Well get down to the petrol station then and buy some bloody stockings.
You may say that tights are practical and warm but have you seen what they do to a bank robber's face? And hold-ups won't do either. Thanks to all that elasticated rubber, they ruin the shape of your thighs and, in all probability, cut off the blood supply to your feet, causing gangrene. And no man fancies a girl, no matter how sparkling her eyes and wit might be, if she is gangrenous. Pop socks, meanwhile, would be completely banned if I were in power. And anyone found wearing them would be made to parade in nothing else through their local town, and then shot.
It must be stockings, with a suspender belt, because what this combination does is mask everything that doesn't matter and lay bare everything that does. A picture is nice, but before you hang it on the wall it needs a frame. And apart from anything else, if you flash your stocking tops at a man you can, and I mean this literally, get him to do anything you want. Unless you have the figure of a bison obviously, in which case he won't do anything at all. Because he will be too busy being sick. Assuming, however, you have legs which clearly belong on a human, you only need let a man know you're wearing stockings and you will be empowered to a point you may have thought impossible.
I honestly believe that if David Milibandilegs really wanted to solve this Russian crisis, he could simply ask Rene Russo to reenact that scene from the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair and Putin would have the Litvinenko murder suspect on the next flight to London. And please, let's not have any of this "ooh, stockings make us sex objects" nonsense because that simply isn't true. We all saw Sharon Stone cross her legs in Basic Instinct and we all tittered in a schoolboy way. But when Rene popped a stockinged leg from that split skirt, I damn nearly fainted with admiration at the size of her brain.
Plainly she'd worked out that what she really needed to gain control over the entire New York police department was not a degree from Harvard. But a pair of 4.99 stockings from Pretty Polly. That makes her smart. As well.
Animal rights extremists not benevolent
With the recent charges that a major National Football League player had allowed cruel dog fights on his home property, the issue of cruelty to animals has been brought to national attention. Nearly everyone acknowledges the obvious - that a person who is cruel to animals, who enjoys sees seeing an animal suffer, is likely to inflict suffering on human beings. Cruelty to animals is one of the very few predictors among children of later criminal behavior. So, aside from altruistic concern for animals, we human beings also have a selfish concern about people who enjoy making animals suffer. People who enjoy hurting animals will very likely hurt us, too.
The problem arises when we assume that the converse is equally true - that just as cruelty to animals leads to cruelty to human beings, kindness to animals leads to kindness to people. It doesn't. Kindness to animals is entirely unrelated to kindness to human beings - except perhaps in the reverse order: People who treat people kindly are less likely to treat animals with cruelty.
But there is no connection whatsoever between treating animals kindly and treating people kindly. You know nothing about a person's treatment of people by knowing that he or she is kind to animals or is an "animal lover." Indeed, if there is any connection, it is more likely to be in the opposite direction. It seems that at a certain point of preoccupation with animals, there is a real chance that such a person may well treat people worse.
In his book "The Nazi War on Cancer (Princeton University Press, 1999)," Stanford Professor Robert N. Proctor writes a great deal about the Nazis' antipathy to animal experimentation. For example, the book features a Nazi cartoon depicting "the lab animals of Germany saluting Hermann Goring" for his protection of them. This Nazi protection of animals is described by the leftist writer Alexander Cockburn:
"In April 1933, soon after they had come to power, the Nazis passed laws regulating the slaughter of animals. Later that year Herman Goering [sic] announced an end to the 'unbearable torture and suffering in animal experiments' and - in an extremely unusual admission of the existence of such institutions, threatened to 'commit to concentration camps those who still think they can continue to treat animals as inanimate property.' Bans on vivisection were issued - though later partly rescinded - in Bavaria and Prussia. Horses, cats and apes were singled out for special protection. In 1936, a special law was passed regarding the correct way of dispatching lobsters and crabs and thus mitigating their terminal agonies. Crustaceans were to be thrown into rapidly boiling water. Bureaucrats at the Nazi Ministry of the Interior had produced learned research papers on the kindest method of killing."
In the case of the Nazis, the moral inversion is particularly dramatic, since the Nazis' opposition to experimentation on animals was accompanied by their support for the grotesque and sadistic medical experiments on innocent Jews and others in Nazi concentration camps.
The ancient Hebrew Prophet Hosea saw this inverted morality in his day as well: "Those who offer human sacrifice kiss calves" (Hosea 13.2).
For those tempted to caricature the argument presented here, I should make it clear that no one is making the absurd argument that animal rights activists are likely to be Nazis. Pointing out that the Nazis were major animal rights activists - and that Hitler was a vegetarian - is done only to offer a vivid illustration of how easily kindness to animals and cruelty to humans can coexist.
Human beings are not moderates, but extremists, by nature. Attitudes toward animals provide an excellent example. On the one hand are the innumerable human beings throughout history who have regarded animals as things to be treated as mercilessly as one would an inanimate object. This accounts for the widespread practice of cock fighting and other 'sports' that feature animals painfully killing one another for humans' entertainment.
And on the other hand are those, especially today, who equate animal worth with human worth - such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which inaugurated a campaign a few years ago called "Holocaust on your plate." The program equates the barbecuing of chickens with the Nazi burning of Jews. So, in our appropriate condemnation of those who organize dog fights, let's not fool ourselves about the impact of animal kindness on human beings' character. It simply doesn't exist.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.