Comment from Peter Hitchens in Britain
Amid the silly soap opera that now passes for British politics, in which we are supposed to care more about hairstyles and mannerisms than about the country, there was one moment last week when a decent man said something important
The brief flash of truth shone out like a gold coin on a dunghill. The man was Peter Lilley, older and wiser than when he used to sing daft songs to Tory conferences. Mr Lilley looks to me as if, like several others, he is trapped in the Unconservative Party and would blossom like an irrigated desert if only he could escape from it.
Because what he said was important, there have been far too few reports of it. Hansard for Tuesday, June 3, at 3.35pm, will give you the details, if you want them. But his clear, hard message was that 80 per cent of our laws are now made in Brussels, and Parliament has no power to reject or amend them. If you wonder why our Post Offices are all closing, it's thanks to an EU directive. So is the increasingly hated Data Protection Act. So are Home Improvement Packs and fortnightly bin collections. In 15 years' time our Parliament will have only two functions left - to raise taxes and declare war - admittedly things that our current politicians are rather keen on.
Mr Lilley's mischievous suggestion is that MPs' pay should be cut each time they hand over authority to others. Incredibly, many MPs don't know what is going on. If they ended up on the wages paid to district councillors - which is all they really are now - they might care more. His own stark words cannot be improved upon: `Few voters, or even members of this house, fully realise how many powers have been, or are about to be, transferred elsewhere. There are three reasons for this.
'The first is that governments of all persuasions deny that any significant powers are being transferred. The second is that, once powers have been transferred, Ministers engage in a charade of pretence that they still retain those powers. Even when introducing measures that they are obliged to bring in as a result of an EU directive they behave as though the initiative were their own. `Indeed, Ministers often end up nobly accepting responsibility for laws that they actually opposed when they were being negotiated in Brussels.'
So now you know. Not since Dunkirk, 68 years ago, has our national independence been so imperilled. But back then, we could see the danger. Now most of us pretend it isn't there.
British council killjoys warn children of dangers of crabbing - the CRABS get distressed
When fishing for crabs, you'd be silly not to think about health and safety. After all, those pincers could give the unsuspecting finger a nasty surprise. But on the seawalls and quaysides around Wells, North Norfolk, this summer, the welfare concerns are all about the crabs. As the schoolchildren head down to the seashore with their hooks, lines and buckets to see what they can catch, experts say they should pack a leaflet on crustacean care too.
About 10,000 leaflets will be handed out this weekend, following investigations by Cambridge University students, which revealed that overcrowding crabs in buckets could cause stress for the smaller ones and lead to fights.
Fishermen say children are sensible enough to work this out for themselves - and don't believe the leaflets are necessary. But nature organisations say the creatures' welfare is a real concern. The guide explains to youngsters how to look after any captives without causing them undue distress. Instructions include:
* Keeping only ten crabs or fewer in a bucket at a time;
* Holding the captives in seawater - and changing the water every hour;
* Making sure your bucket isn't in direct sunlight.
Graduate Will Pearse explained: 'We are not saying people shouldn't go crabbing, which is fun. But there are concerns at the way in which they are treated. We want people to learn about crabs and understand their captive needs. If you are going to spend the day with something that is naturally beautiful then show it some respect.
'One of the main problems is that people put too many crabs in a bucket which results in some at the bottom asphyxiating through lack of oxygen in the water and males damaging each other in fights. In the sea males grapple with each other and the weaker one retreats. But they cannot run away in a bucket and keep fighting, leading to limbs being torn off or shed as a defence mechanism.'
However, local fishermen were not won over. John Davies, of Wells, said: 'Caring for crabs is a good message to send out, but this could be a little over the top. 'The crabs the youngsters catch are tiny and much more resilient than the edible ones we catch. Shore crabs are pretty indestructible. And I think most children look after them well. Youngsters get hours of fun out of it.'
Mike Richards, 44, of Cromer, Norfolk, said: 'Kids who catch crabs with a hook and line are generally pretty sensible and don't overcrowd or boil the crabs alive in the sun so this leaflet is a waste of time.'
Fifty miles along the coast, at Walberswick, Suffolk, the organisers of the British Open Crabbing Championships were quite taken aback by the guidance. David Webb said: 'It does seem rather extraordinary that they are having to do this. They must treat crabs more harshly in Norfolk. 'Here when we hold the championship we insist on a maximum of two crabs in a bucket.' Last year's winner, Oscar Kane, eight, from Kent, caught a crab of almost 6oz.
The leaflets, paid for by the Norfolk Coast Partnership and the Wells Fields Study Centre, may ensure the safety of the local crabs. But if you're uneasy about the fate of others, worry not: The scheme may well nip into neighbouring resorts soon.
O, Stalinoid Canada
If you want to look ahead to the United States under Barack Obama and a an expanded Congressional majority for the Democrats, consider Canada.
Canada's greatest gift to the contemporary world of letters --- Mark Steyn --- is being persecuted for free speech in his home country. Columnist Steyn is being hauled before something called the "Canada Human Rights Tribunal," a parallel legal system to the normal Canadian courts, without all the bother of due process, the presumption of innocence, a defined and limited legal venue, and protection for free speech.
Four Muslim law students complained about Steyn for accurately quoting Norway's infamous Mullah Krekar, a Kurdish mujaheed who has been twisting his Norwegian hosts around his little finger for years. You see, Norway can't deport a fraudulent asylum seeker if he is subject to the death penalty back home --- no matter how many innocent people he's blown to bits back in Kurdistan. It's just an invitation for killer mujahedeen to enjoy Norway's free hospitality forever, and Mullah Krekar has been taking full advantage of it.
Said Mullah Krekar to a Norwegian newspaper:
"We're the ones who will change you . . . Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes. Every western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children."Steyn quoted Krekar in Canada's McLean's Magazine and both are now getting sued for reproducing Krekar saying that "the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes." Thus Muslims are using the PC Police to accuse Mark Steyn of repeating what a Muslim agitator said. Telling the truth is no defense. In Canada it's a basic human right not to have your malignant heroes quoted against you. Thus are human rights twisted into their opposites.
Forget the Spanish Inquisition. They're so five centuries ago. Today Canada's Stalinoids can simply punish people for speaking their minds. The Left rediscovered its Stalinist roots in the 1970s when the Boomer brigade conquered the culture. That's when Canada's farcical "Human Rights Tribunals" were created. Today, eighty percent of American college campuses have speech codes prohibiting politically incorrect speech. The ghost of Stalin stalks the earth, looking remarkably healthy.
As Mark Steyn tells it no one has ever been cleared by the Canadian Inquisition over the last 30 years. If you're accused, you get hanged. Say something critical about gays or Muslims north of the border, and you can be fined or made to pay your accusers for damages to their precious psyches. Write your criticism on a blog, even one based in the United States, and yes, you can be nailed in Canada. Touching, ain't it?
Want Shari'a law in your neighborhood? The Left has laid the foundations. They are allied with Islamists in Europe, Canada and the United States, simply by adding "Muslims" to all the victim groups with the right to persecute public critics. In Britain an arrest warrant has just been issued for blogger Lionheart for telling the world about Islamists in his neighborhood.
Unfortunately it's not rare. The Stalinoid plague has spread all over the United States and Europe. Our media constantly stamp out critics of the Left. We don't throw people in jail yet, but you can lose your job for saying the wrong words. Your reputation can be ruined. You can be bullied and harassed. Canada's national anthem, O Canada, has the words
From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.But that was sooo yesterday.
God keep our land glorious and free!
Islam's parasitic culture
After overrunning much of the civilized world during the latter half of the first millennium, Islam set about becoming a tasteful thief of the science, art, technology, and culture of its vanquished foes. Whatever was useful and furthered the advance of Dar al-Islam was borrowed and adopted by the Muslim conquerors, and anything else was discarded and forgotten.
Several centuries later, as Europe emerged from the chaos that followed the fall of the Roman Empire, the Europeans also became voracious borrowers. But the nature of their borrowing was different, and the evolution of Europe's hybrid culture diverged dramatically from that of Islam....
Beginning during the High Middle Ages - somewhere between the 12th and the 14th centuries A.D. - European technical and cultural development underwent an unprecedented acceleration. Starting from a position considerably behind contemporaneous civilizations - China, India, and the Arab World - the backward and benighted peoples of Europe raced ahead, and in just five brief centuries exploded across the globe to create the most powerful and advanced civilization that the world has ever known.
How did this come about? What made Europe different?
Like the Arabs, the Europeans of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance borrowed prodigiously from any other cultures they encountered. But, unlike the Arabs, Europeans incorporated, elaborated, and extended the knowledge and technology they acquired. Not content with simply utilizing what they stumbled across, they analyzed it, tried to understand it, and placed it within the ever-growing corpus of "philosophy", the body of knowledge that built on and extended the Roman and Greek classics....
There is much more.
He gives several examples optics being just one, where the Europeans took and idea and made something practical with it. In the Muslim world today there are virtually no inventors. Spain, which is no powerhouse when it comes to innovation has more new patents in a year that the entire Muslim world.
Islam has become a parasitic culture which creates little of value. Human bombs are the major GDP for the Palestinian culture.
The warriors of al Qaeda uses watches made elsewhere and weapons made by someone else. Even their IED's are made from components created by non Muslims. If radical Islam succeeded in conquering the world we would regress well beyond the Middle Ages.
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.