Tuesday, July 31, 2012
British Labour Party delighted at Games 'socialist' opening ceremony
Labour politicians yesterday hailed the Olympic opening ceremony as a ‘socialist’ event and ‘the best advert for the party for years’ – as the row over its political message intensified.
Artistic director Danny Boyle has been widely praised for Friday’s opening spectacular. But some Conservatives questioned the political undertones of a ceremony which at one point made a feature of the symbol popularised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Tory MP Aidan Burley was slapped down on Friday night for describing the ceremony as ‘leftie, multicultural c***’.
But several Tory Cabinet ministers, including Education Secretary Michael Gove, were yesterday reported to have voiced concerns privately.
Government sources acknowledged that some ‘suggestions’ had been made to Mr Boyle, but denied that a private screening of rehearsals for Cabinet ministers had provoked major controversy.
Some Labour politicians struggled to contain their glee about the ceremony’s message, congratulating Mr Boyle for ‘smuggling in wonderfully progressive socialist sentiments’.
Carl Sergeant, a minister in the Welsh government, took to Twitter to describe Friday’s opening ceremony as ‘the best Labour Party political broadcast I’ve seen in a while’.
Taunting David Cameron, he added: ‘Working class history, multicultural, NHS, CND, gay kissing. Well done, comrade Boyle! Bet Dave is wriggling!’
Mr Burley was widely criticised at the weekend for remarks on Twitter in which he attacked the political message of the opening ceremony.
The Cannock Chase MP, who lost his job as a ministerial aide after attending a Nazi-themed stag party last year, described the event as ‘the most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen – more than Beijing, the capital of a communist state! Welfare tribute next?’
Mr Burley added: ‘Bring back red arrows, Shakespeare and the Stones!’ He later said that he had not been criticising multiculturalism but thought its portrayal was ‘rather trite’.
London’s Tory Mayor Boris Johnson dismissed his comments, saying: ‘People say it was all leftie stuff. That is nonsense. I’m a Conservative and I had hot tears of patriotic pride from the beginning. I was blubbing like Andy Murray.’
Downing Street also distanced itself from Mr Burley. A spokesman said: ‘We do not agree with him.’
The Prime Minister called the opening ceremony ‘a great showcase for this country’.
But Labour MP Paul Flynn said: ‘Boris has been spewing wild meaningless superlatives hoping to obliterate the eloquent messages of Danny Boyle on NHS, CND, and the futility of war. Wonderfully progressive socialist sentiments and ideas were smuggled into the opening romp. The Tory Olympic twosome were tricked into praising the Trojan Horse.’
Mr Boyle, now widely tipped for a knighthood, dismissed suggestions of political bias, saying the theme was ‘this is for everyone’.
But reports surfaced yesterday of concerns among some Cabinet ministers about the political content. One report said Mr Gove had given the ceremony just four marks out of ten following a private screening of rehearsals.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is also reported to have raised concerns, although Home Secretary Theresa May is said to have backed Mr Boyle’s vision.
A spokesman for Mr Gove last night denied he had voiced heavy criticism of the ceremony and said he thought the event was ‘marvellous’.
Downing Street dismissed suggestions of Cabinet concern as ‘nonsense’. A source said ministers had been kept updated by Mr Boyle, adding: ‘If there had been disquiet about the themes of the opening ceremony, we wouldn’t have doubled the budget’.
The brother of comedian Rowan Atkinson, who played a starring role in the ceremony, also criticised the event’s political message, saying it had ‘strong strands of the parochial Left’.
Rodney Atkinson, a Eurosceptic academic, said the ceremony’s ‘assumption that the industrial revolution was oppressive’ was simply wrong.
But a survey by pollster Survation yesterday found that only 15 per cent of viewers thought the ceremony was ‘too political’.
Off sick for a decade... with acne or a cough! The astonishing cases among 885,000 British sickness claimants
Thousands of people have been on sickness benefits for a decade or longer because they suffer from conditions including acne, bad backs and persistent coughs.
Official figures show that 885,100 have been signed off as being too sick to work and given incapacity benefit for ten years or more.
They have a bewildering array of conditions. Nearly 70,000 have been signed off due to bad backs while a further 140,000 have been away from the work place because of ‘depressive episodes’.
Ten people have been on incapacity benefit for a decade or more because of acne, while 670 have been signed off because they are obese.
Some 1,020 have been claiming incapacity since at least 2001 because of headaches. Figures for the more debilitating migraines are collected separately.
It has also taken 30 people more than a decade to recover from fractured forearms.
More than 12,800 have been claiming benefit for their alcoholism since at least 2001, according to the figures, which cover claims up to the end of last year. Another 9,800 have been on benefits for their drug problems.
Twenty have been signed off because of conjunctivitis, an eye condition that can usually be cleared up within days.
A further 20 have been off work and on benefits with a cough listed as their main illness and 20 more claimants have been suffering from rashes.
Some 1,300 have been claiming incapacity benefit for a decade or more because of diarrhoea and gastro-enteritis.
Malaise and fatigue – something many workers can claim they suffer from – is the main condition listed for 4,390 long-term sickness claimants.
Most of the 885,000 who have been on long-term sickness benefit for a decade or more had not had any contact with the Department for Work and Pensions since signing on.
The department is halfway through reassessing the 1.5million incapacity benefit claimants to see whether they can be moved into work or need extra help.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: ‘Reform of the broken incapacity benefit system is about saving lives, rather than writing people off to a life on benefits as used to happen.
‘The reassessment of 1.5 million people on incapacity benefit and the work capability assessment we use means we can take account of conditions that change over time. If you can work you will get all the help and support you need to do so.’
He added: ‘These figures show the scale of the problem and the ludicrous situation that used to exist and why we are right to reform the system.’
It has also emerged that a record 3.2million Britons are now claiming Disability Living Allowance – treble the amount only two decades ago. This is a benefit paid to disabled people because of the extra costs they face, and many who receive it are also working.
Some 33 new claimants are signing on for Disability Living Allowance every day. The shocking figure of 3,226,790 claiming DLA is more than the entire population of Wales, or six times the population of the city of Manchester.
Taxpayers are now shelling out £13.4billion a year for DLA claimants, the same amount as the budget for the Department for Transport. DLA can be worth up to £131.50 a week depending on the severity of the condition. A care component of up to £77.45 a week can be claimed and a separate mobility payment can be worth up to £54.05.
The nanny state is responsible for all business success
Comment from Australia
President Barack Obama seems to share Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s fairly low opinion of entrepreneurship. In a recent campaign speech, Obama said: ‘If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that – somebody else made that happen.’
As someone with a tendency towards ‘foot in mouth’ disease myself, I’m always reluctant to pick on a somewhat off the cuff comment, but Obama’s statement is extraordinary. The implication that government support is crucial to the success of a business is at odds with basic economic principles. One commenter even described the notion as illogical.
Immediately before decoupling entrepreneurs from their business success, Obama talked about business owners not being smarter or working harder than others, as if business success is the reward for being intelligent or industrious.
Success in business is primarily about ideas and risks – entrepreneurs taking the risk of combining the factors of production to make a new or better product that meets a demand in the market. No one who actually understands business thinks working hard or being smart guarantees success; intelligence and industriousness only increase the chances of your idea making it and your risk paying off.
Obama’s view of business provides a rare insight into the underpinnings of today’s ugly entitlement mentality. If you believe that all businesses owe their success to government (funded by your tax dollars), it’s a short step to believing those businesses owe it to you to hand over their profits (hello, mineral resources rent tax).
That Obama seemingly doesn’t understand (or care) why entrepreneurship is important at least explains one area of contention. It seems the reason why progressives focus on redistributing existing resources rather than ‘growing the pie’ is that they don’t think businesses grow the pie – ‘somebody else’ makes that happen.
I’m glad they cleared that up though – it seems I’ve been wrong in believing that one of the greatest benefits of free society is that it rewards people for their good ideas. Apparently, business success is willed into existence by the sustainable low carbon, organic, government-supported collective hive mind chanting kumbaya.
Muslims are taught to be Insecure and Intolerant
The research and writings of Nicolai Sennels may have crucial, albeit exceptionally controversial and politically incorrect implications for understanding both the likely similarities as well as possible crucial differences between many Muslims and Westerners as far as politics, economics and religion are concerned. It is also important to include these postulations (even if clearly only imperfect generalizations) in any discussion as to how these cultural implications, where relevant, would affect the chances for a Muslim Reformation and the evolution of Islamic moderation.
Nicolai Sennels is a Danish psychologist who developed an unorthodox therapy at Sønderbro, theDanish youth prison. He taught the young prisoners about mindfulness meditation and developed a special program on anger management, focusing on teaching criminals with a low understanding of emotions and empathy, how to take responsibility for their own behavior. In 2008, the prisoners of Sønderbro voted the facility as the best prison in Denmark.
Seven out of ten inmates in the Danish youth prisons have immigrant backgrounds, and almost all of them are Muslims. Sennels was threatened by his superiors that if he were to discuss his experiences, he would risk losing his job.
Sennels decided in spite of the evident risks, to publish a book on his experiences, Among Criminal Muslims: A Psychologist's Experiences from the Copenhagen Municipality. Hereafter are selections from his interviews, which may be one-sided, may be hard-hitting, yet do open the door somewhat to issues often ignored:
Sennels: There are many differences between people brought up as Muslims and those who are brought up as Westerners. I identified four main differences that are important in order to understand the behavior of Muslims. They concern anger, self-confidence, the so-called "locus of control" and identity.
Westerners are brought up to think of anger as a sign of weakness, powerlessness and lack of self-control. "Big dogs don't have to bark," as we say in Denmark. In Muslim culture, anger is seen as a sign of strength. To Muslims, being aggressive is a way of gaining respect. When we see pictures of bearded men hopping up and down and shooting in the air, we should take it for what it is: the local madhouse passing by.
In Western culture, self-confidence is connected with the ability to meet criticism calmly and to respond rationally. We are raised to see people who easily get angry when criticized, as insecure and immature.
In Muslim culture it is the opposite; it is honorable to respond aggressively and to engage in a physical fight in order to scare or force critics to withdraw, even if this results in a prison sentence or even death. They see non-aggressive responses to such threats and violence as a sign of a vulnerability that is to be exploited. They do not interpret a peaceful response as an invitation to enter into a dialogue, diplomacy, intellectual debate, compromise or peaceful coexistence.
"Locus of control" is a term used in psychology, and relates to the way in which people feel that their lives are controlled. In Western culture, we are brought up to have an "inner locus of control,"
meaning that we see our own inner emotions, reactions, decisions and views as the main deciding factor in our lives. There may be outer circumstances that influence our situation, but in the end, it is our own perception of a situation and the way we handle it that decides our future and our state of mind. The "inner locus of control" leads to increased self-responsibility and motivates people to become able to solve their own problems. Muslims are brought up to have an "outer locus of control." Their constant use of the term inshallah ("Allah willing") when talking about the future, as well as the fact that most aspects of their lives are decided by outer traditions and authorities, leaves very little space for individual freedom.
Independent initiatives are often severely punished. This shapes their way of thinking, and means that when things go wrong, it is always the fault of others or the situation. Unfortunately, many Westerners go overboard with their self-responsibility and start to take responsibility for others' behavior as well. The mix of many Westerners being overly forgiving, their flexible attitude, and Muslim self-pity and blame is the psychological crowbar that has opened the West to Islamization (and consequent sympathy towards Shariah Law and Madrassas). Our overly protective welfare system shields immigrants from noticing the consequences of their own behavior and thereby learning from their mistakes and motivating them to improve.
Finally, identity plays a big role when it comes to psychological differences between Muslims and Westerners. Westerners are taught to be open and tolerant toward other cultures, races, religions, etc.
This makes us less critical, impairs our ability to discriminate, and makes our societies open to the influence of other cultural trends and values that may not always be constructive. Muslims, on the other hand, are taught again and again that they are superior, and that all others are so bad that Allah will throw them in hell when they die.
While most Westerners find national and cultural pride embarrassing, Muslim culture's self-glorification achieves the opposite with their culture and identity.
In general, Westerners are taught to be kind, self-assured, self-responsible and tolerant, while Muslims are taught to be aggressive, insecure and intolerant.
Integration in the West is dependent on motivation and freedom. Immigrants have to want to integrate, be allowed to by their family and friends.
People coming from cultures that are aimed mainly at physical survival, and in which religious practice and adherence to cultural traditions give more social status than having a good education and being self-supporting, usually are not very productive if they can live on the state. If on top of that, they can live in closed communities among others with the same culture and language, there is very little reason for them to get involved in our society. The only solution is to make the lack of integration so impractical and economically non-beneficial that the only attractive choice is to integrate or receive our offer of state-sponsored repatriation.
Through communal fear and coercion, the majority "voluntarily" prefer Sharia to integration.
Handling intellectually demanding jobs in our high-tech societies, it is not easy for people brought up to believe that the Qur'an and Hadith, not school and science, has the answers. Our workplaces demand that the employees are able to take initiative and be creative, difficult among people who are first of all expected to blindly submit and who live in surroundings that punish independent thinking and behavior, sometimes even with death.
Adams' and Maslow's views describe the goals and aims of the Western society as the full development of an individual's potential - this does not apply to Islam or the Muslim tradition. The aim of Islam and Muslims is dominance, not self-realization. Islam and Muslim culture is an aggressive movement, and giving space to female qualities such as sensitivity and empathy would be a hindrance.
Diplomacy, compromise, tolerance, democracy, compassion, sensitivity and empathy have to be locked away both on an internal and external level. On the outside, the oppression of women limits their influence, and their aversion against femininity in the outer world helps Muslims to also repress it inside themselves on the psychological level.
Oppression of women is thus a psychological method of hardening a culture on the outside and people on the inside.
The other reason why Muslims oppress women and female sexuality, is the fact that women are simply stronger when it comes to sex. And it does not work for omnipotent, jealous and insecure Muslim macho-men that they in the most naked and vulnerable situation of all are the weaker party. Muslim men compensate for this by oppressing their women and locking them up in apartments and ugly clumsy garments. In many Muslim societies, a women's ability to enjoy sex is simply destroyed by clitorectomy via a knife or a piece of glass.
True love can only exist on the basis of respect and equality. The emotional and sexual frustration that results from the inequality of the sexes and being forced to marry a partner that one does not love surely contribute to the aggression and emotional immaturity. As one said, "forced marriage is the earthquake and what follows is a tsunami of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, child protection issues, suicide and murder."
Muslim culture's degrading view of non-Muslims functions in the same way as war propaganda. By hearing again and again how evil, disgusting and unworthy the enemy is, empathy is removed, aggression is strengthened, and the step towards harming the perceived enemy becomes smaller.
Islam does not strive for freedom, happiness and love. Islam strives for the submission of Muslims to Allah and of non-Muslims to Muslims - a dark, cold and humorless world where men are forced to mistreat their women and everybody is a slave to a god whose only wish is the enforcement of Sharia down to the very last comma. They do what they can to reach their final solution, and we must do what we can to prevent it from happening.
We in Denmark are worried about the freedom of our women and the future of our children, and about our constitutions. And we know that the first and in many cases also the biggest victims of Islam are Muslims.
Our politicians and media aim for the soft middle in society in order to be reelected and to sell newspapers and ads, and it is therefore up to ordinary people to protect our values, society and constitution and not fear to lose a few politically correct friends on the way.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.