Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What the destruction of traditional British values has done to Britain

Officially Bulgaria may be the EU's most corrupt country, says Kapka Kassabova of her former home, but Britain is scarier

Let's go sightseeing. I live in a central Edinburgh neighbourhood called Broughton. It's the kind of neighbourhood where the deli, health-food shop and independent wine merchant are housed in Georgian buildings and rub smug shoulders in the daytime. The night-time is another matter, especially come Friday, when the belligerent drunk hordes from downtown trickle down Broughton Street.

If you were unfamiliar with native ways, you'd think you were walking through the aftermath of a small but vicious war. Rivulets of urine crisscross the pavements as you slalom between puddles of fresh vomit, discarded takeaway cartons smeared with ketchup, and the occasional survivor swooning in an alcoholic daze in some corner, watering the nearest pot plant. In the morning, everything is swept again.

Well, not everything. On a Saturday morning, it's normal to walk past the Calabrian restaurant and find its spotless window smashed. And the boutique next door, and the cafe next door to that. On a Sunday morning, it's normal to find all the cars parked in my street with their side mirrors smashed. It's normal to find the glass entrance to my building smashed, to have it fixed, and then smashed again. And so it goes in our pleasant neighbourhood. And when, in the middle of the night, I hear the pimply youths smash the entrance door downstairs yet again, I'm too scared to go and remonstrate. When I see a lad pissing in the street, I'm too scared to say: "Oi, this is not a public toilet". In my first year in Britain, I was foolish enough to do this, and nearly got my nose bloodied a few times for my civic behaviour. I've learnt my lesson now. I just turn the other way, walk faster, pretend it's not happening. That's the British way, right?

Since I arrived in Britain four years ago, casual knife crime has multiplied. I have become frightened of random violence - and cowardly too. If I see yobs attacking someone because he looked at them "funny", would I interfere? You bet I wouldn't. And yes, I hate myself for it.

Now let's zoom across Europe and visit Broughton's counterpart in central Sofia. My family has a small apartment there. The area is called White Birches, and the balconied buildings are indeed white, though there are few birches. This is a pricey area, and last year our building enjoyed a shoot-out between two drug-smuggling rings. The brisk illegal activity explains the expensive cars that line the potholed streets, along with the beauty salons, gyms and designer-furniture shops. In the evening, women chat on broken benches. At night, homeless dogs rummage in the overflowing rubbish containers next to the parked BMWs.

Bulgaria is officially the most corrupt country in the EU. Civil society is in its infancy. The ruling classes and the law are infiltrated by organised crime. "Other countries have the mafia," said a former counterintelligence chief, "but in Bulgaria, the mafia has the country." Some guides to Sofia advise you not to go into nightclubs frequented by "businessmen" with more than three bodyguards. These men are collectively named mutri, or mugs, and they sport Gucci sunglasses and big necks.

They might have the country, but they don't have the streets. Homeless dogs, putrefying rubbish and potholes aside, I'm never afraid to walk home in the dark from the tram stop. I'm never scared of finding some drunk pissing in a doorway, or having someone stick a knife in me for looking at them funny. The glass doorway to our building has never been smashed. Angry teenagers don't carry knives. They grow up and become mutri and then they carry guns. Poor, corrupt, post-totalitarian Bulgaria is much safer for the ordinary person on the street than wealthy, civic, post-empire Britain.

So what is going on? Alcohol, I think. Alcohol, too much money, and poor food culture. The average disaffected British youth has enough money to regularly buy a drink, a knife, and the latest mobile. His Bulgarian cousin has a family to fall back on but no extra cash. He is busy looking for work or emigrating. Destroying public property is a waste of time to him. Besides, in Bulgaria practically everyone except the mutri is disaffected, but practically nobody vomits in the streets.

Not that every yob here is disaffected. Most of them are very affected indeed, with their tailored shirts or hen-party outfits, until they throw up over each other. Britain boasts a centuries-long binge-drinking tradition. You drink on an empty stomach. You drink not to enjoy, but to forget who you are. Drunk sociopathy is the norm. Why, it's almost charming. It absolves you of all crimes, because by the time you've sobered up, you've forgotten everything, which is the whole point of the exercise.

And although the Friday-night yobs that turn Edinburgh into a vomitorium don't have the country in that they don't own the police and the law, they own something as important: the streets. The streets is where we spend a lot of our time. And if on weekend nights the streets are a war zone, what sort of civil society do we have? A rubbishy one, with the dogs of self-hate rummaging in it.


Stealth Jihad: How Islam is Infiltrating Your Neighborhood

What if Christians demanded the following:

1. If anyone around Christians at work or school eats pork then they would get fired or severely chastised because we believe that scarfing down pig really offends God (and of course his people). Yep, BLTs-according to our take on Christ's commands-really ticks him off and therefore bacon should be banned. Not only that, but any food that has even trace amounts of Porky the Pig in it must be verboten and banished from our presence everywhere we go because we're Christians, and Christians don't dine on swine. This means Jell-O shots at Tu-Tu-Tango's and Jell-O served to kids at school ceases to be because Jell-O, hello, contains a wee little bit of a wee little pig, and this pisseth the Lord our God off!

2. All public schools must have several regularly scheduled 15 minute breaks throughout the school day for Christians to roll out their TBN prayer rugs and pray for revival. If not, we will raise Cain and Abel.

3. Public schools must become sex-segregated so that we, the washed, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost and fire crowd won't be sorely tempted to swap spit with the hot Daisy Mae looking chick in pottery class. Matter of fact, why don't public schools just carve out for us Christians a special school within the school, lest we become sullied via association with the unwashed masses and other religious persuasions, which we utterly detest. Howzabout that, mamasita?

4. Any and all the stupid, violent or sexually weird stuff that misguided Christians have done and are doing is to be scrubbed from the historical record, and the only thing that gets reported and taught is that we are the most peaceful, perfect people to ever schlep this planet. Anyone who thinks or speaks to the contrary will get the stink eye and be called a hater. Indeed, all criticism of Christians should be banned, and those who bring up our foibles, draw unfavorable cartoons of us, and don't parrot our squeaky-clean spin get branded as bigots or Christophobes and should be threatened with prison.

5. Footbaths are to be installed in whichever universities my brethren and I attend (at the public's expense) because Jesus was into foot washing, so I want a footbath, dammit! And if this means tuition gets hiked up to provide this for all Christians on campus, well . . . tough. I don't care. My feet must be ritually washed, or Jesus gets angry-and when he gets angry, people die.

6. Any video games that Sony or whoever puts out that might accidentally offend Christians must be 86'ed. However, if other religions get offended via video it's okay, just as long as my flavor ain't disssed, can you dig it?

7. We must receive exemptions from the IRS from paying interest on back taxes because that's against Christianity.

8. When the Christian church accidentally yields up a violent vocal dillweed from our ranks who hates America and is on the State Department's terrorist watch list, instead of throwing that loopy bastard in prison we demand that the U.S. Army make him a sergeant. Capice?

9. Encourage the Christian high school student who wants to assassinate our President by giving him the "Most Likely to Become a Martyr" award during graduation.

10. Make students in the public school system who don't believe in Jesus memorize portions of the Gospel of John, adopt Christian names and shout in the classroom, "I love Jesus, yes I do. I love Jesus. How `bout you?!"

Would any of points 1- 10 tick you secularists, atheists and agnostics off?

If Christians ever attempted any of the above they would be righteously ridiculed, castigated and condemned by the MSM, school administrators, cartoonists, talk radio, the blogosphere, Rosie, the coven on the View, religious leaders, the ACLU, Alec Baldwin and president elect Barack Obama. All of the aforementioned people would land on our crotch firmly with both feet. Heck, Christians can't even say "merry Christmas," cheer on traditional marriage, or champion the life of an unborn baby without being called Hitler, haters of humanity and intolerant bigots of other people's values. But Islam can.

Yep, Islam is making outrageous demands upon American life and culture, and we're bending over and taking it from them, though we would be insanely intolerant of any other religious group-especially Christians-who had such particular and peculiar demands.

In Stealth Jihad, Islam expert and New York Times bestselling author Robert Spencer blows the whistle on a long-term plot by Islamic Jihadists to undermine the United States. According to Spencer, this effort aims not to bring America to its knees through attacks with guns or bombs, but to subvert the country from within-by gradually Islamizing America. The ultimate goal, the stealth jihadists themselves declare, is nothing less than the adoption of Islamic law in the United States, that's all!

BTW . . . this is already happening, and Robert shows the reader in blistering detail how American liberties are having to bow and kiss the ring of Islamic rules and regulations. Indeed, the stealth jihadists are already warm and snuggly within the American political, educational and media landscapes.

My advice, boys and girls, is . . . buy Bob's book, drink a red bull, wake the heck up and fight for your liberties not to be walked on by anyone anywhere.

One last ditty for the skeptics who don't think "it" could happen here: I'm sure that's what the Brits thought 20 years ago. Red Bull, anyone?


British Tories keen on allowing the return of a clip round the ear

Long overdue

The police would be formally discouraged from taking action against adults who tackle misbehaving youngsters under a Conservative government, Dominic Grieve, the Shadow Home Secretary, reveals today. Fear of legal action, not violence, holds most people back from confronting antisocial behaviour, Mr Grieve said in an interview with The Times. He said that the recent arrest of a father for smacking his seven-year-old son highlighted the need to reassert adults' rights to remonstrate with misbehaving children.

"The key issue is that if you turn up at an incident where children have been misbehaving and adults have intervened [and] the child says, `That man slapped me', and there is no visible mark on him, do you say, `This is a very serious matter and I'm taking you down to the police station', or do you say this is something that, historically, people have the discretion to do?

"If someone appears with a black eye or a bruise, or has been beaten with something, that's a completely different thing from someone making an assertion that that adult touched me in the course of telling me not to misbehave," he added. Mr Grieve also criticised ministers for failing to challenge Muslim groups when they gave platforms to extremists and holocaust deniers.


Barnardo's bunkum

Do British adults really look upon children as `vermin'. or did the charity find what it wanted to find in its latest public survey?

`It is appalling that words like "animal", "feral" and "vermin" are used daily in reference to children', said Martin Narey, the chief executive of the children's charity Barnardo's, as he unveiled a new survey this week which apparently shows that adults in Britain suffer from an `unjustified and disturbing intolerance of children' (1).

Yet who was it that introduced these foul words into the public debate about kids? Barnardo's itself! It was the pollsters employed by Barnardo's to survey 2,021 people who asked loaded questions about whether children can be viewed as `feral', even as `animals', who are `infesting' our streets.

What Narey, and the subsequent media coverage, implicitly presented as a groundswell of intolerant prejudice against animalistic children is nothing of the sort. Rather, Barnardo's has carried out a shameless piece of advocacy research, designed to discover the prejudices that it is convinced (by its own prejudicial outlook) are lurking within the adult population.

The media have had a field day with Barnardo's survey findings. `Britons fear and loathe "feral" children', says Reuters. Some media outlets have taken the research as evidence that adults have a warped view of kids (see the Guardian, for example), while others have welcomed it with open arms as confirmation that British yoof really are going to hell in a handcart. `Half of British adults are scared of children who "behave like feral animals"', screeched the Daily Mail (2).

The coverage all springs from Barnardo's press release, titled `The shame of Britain's intolerance of children'. It tells us that `more than a third (35%) of people agree that nowadays it feels like the streets are infested with children'. Something about that wording doesn't ring true. Have you ever heard anyone say the streets are `infested' with kids? I haven't, either. But then, no member of the public volunteered to Barnardo's the view that Britain's streets are `infested'. Rather, the image of `infestation' was introduced by the Barnardo's-employed pollsters.

They put the following statement to their 2,021 respondents, `Nowadays it feels like the streets are infested with children', and asked them to agree or disagree. How is one supposed to respond to such a bald, black-and-white statement, where there's no room for manoeuvre? What if you are, say, an elderly person who thinks there probably are too many kids hanging around on street corners, when they could be in youth centres or on football pitches instead, but you would not necessarily use the word `infested'? Do you say `agree' or `disagree' to the survey statement?

In the event, eight per cent `strongly agreed' and 27 per cent `agreed', adding up to Barnardo's total of `35 percent' who think the streets are infested with children. A large majority, 46 per cent, `disagreed'; and strikingly, 14 per cent `strongly disagreed', almost twice the number who `strongly agreed'. Maybe some of this 60 per cent who disagreed or strongly disagreed with the idea that Britain's streets are infested with children were thinking to themselves: `What a disgusting sentiment. Why am I being asked this question?

Even worse, having introduced the noxious notion that Britain's streets are `infested', and found that some people seemed to agree, the chief executive of Barnardo's then went on to say that `it is appalling. that words like "vermin" are used daily in reference to children' (3). Are they really? The survey doesn't mention `vermin' and so far as we know none of the respondents volunteered the belief that children are verminous. Rather, Barnardo's is extrapolating from its already loaded question about `infestation' the loaded idea that British adults have an `unjustified and disturbing' view of children as `vermin'. No we don't. You just think we do.

The question on whether children are `feral' was even more convoluted. `Most adults think children are feral', claimed the newspaper headlines, as if Barnardo's had uncovered a scientifically measurable prejudice against young people (4). In fact, Barnardo's put the following statement to its respondents: `People refer to children as feral but I don't think they behave this way. Do you agree or disagree?'

Eh? Come again? I write and edit words for a living, and even I was bamboozled by this statement. Does one say agree or disagree to the first part (`People refer to children as feral') or the second part (`But I don't think they behave this way')? It took me a couple of minutes to work out that I would say `agree'. Forty-two per cent of respondents agreed with Barnardo's statement (that is, they agree that people refer to children as feral but don't think that is a useful description), while 45 per cent disagreed with Barnardo's statement, which presumably means they think children are in some way feral (at least I think it does; I'm confused again). Not surprisingly, 13 per cent said `Don't know', which was by far the highest `Don't know' response for the whole survey. If there had been a choice that said `I have no idea what you are talking about', I imagine it would have been selected by, ooh, at least 20 per cent of the respondents.

Whatever this bizarre question on feral children tells us - about Barnardo's scribes; about the illiteracy of pollsters; about the duplicity of advocacy research - it does not scientifically prove that `most adults think children are feral'. Just as the responses to the loaded statement `British children are beginning to behave like animals' - with that horrid animal image being projected on to public debate by Barnardo's itself - does not tell us everything, or anything really, about how adults view, interact with and care for children.

The black-and-white nature of Barnardo's questioning must have also proved problematic in relation to the issue of `professional help'. The following statement was put to the respondents: `Children who get into trouble are often misunderstood and in need of professional help.' Forty-nine per cent of respondents disagreed, and this was held up in Barnardo's press release as evidence that adults are not sufficiently sympathetic to the plight of children. On the other hand, the response might signal a healthy suspicion towards `professional help'. Certainly the mums and dads among the 2,021 respondents might kick against the idea that troubled children need outside intervention rather than discipline or care within the family home.

Barnardo's has simply found what it wanted to find: that British adults don't understand children, and in fact even fear and loathe them, and thus we need expert charities to educate the British public about how wonderful children are and how we should look after them. Charities like, oh I don't know, Barnardo's maybe? It is telling - in the extreme - that these survey results were released just a few days before Barnardo's is set to launch its first-ever TV advertising campaign calling upon us all to `stop demonising children'. How convenient to discover that `most British adults' demonise children just before you launch a campaign against the demonisation of children. The gods have smiled on Barnardo's.

It is of course true that adult society has a somewhat fraught and even fearful relationship with young people today. As a consequence of a growing sense of insecurity, and a collapse of adult solidarity, young people are increasingly looked upon as either vulnerable victims or potentially violent tearaways. This view of youth is stoked by politicians, the media and even children's charities, all of whom feed us a constant diet of anti-social behaviour scares, stories about chavs, slags, gangs and knives, and concerns that childhood obesity and binge-drunkenness will turn our children into feckless adults. However, this does not mean that adults think children are vermin or animals that are infesting our streets. And by squeezing today's difficult relationship between adult society and young people into this moralistic straitjacket, in which everything is reposed as a war between dumb adults and victimised children, Barnardo's is only making matters worse.

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by Barnardo's advocacy research. This is a charity (founded in 1867) that has long relied upon presenting children as victims and adults as buffoons. As one study of Barnardo's early years in Victorian times says, `Barnardo's philanthropic narratives' set out to `popularise the plight of poor children. while simultaneously casting the adult poor out of the English community and calling into question their basic rights to citizenship' (5). Today, too, Barnardo's is popularising the idea that children are victims while questioning adults' moral priorities. All the better to boost the fortunes of a charity that loves to play the role of in loco parentis.



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, OBAMA WATCH (2), 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 readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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