Thursday, July 07, 2016
An independent Scotland as a bolthole for Remainers
Anybody who knows anything about the "United" Kingdom will be aware that it is anything but united. And that can be an emotional issue to many Britons. I once took part in a debate at Cambridge university on the question of whether the kingdom was united. It was meant to be a light-hearted debate but when I made a few basic points about the Scottish attitude to the English, I clearly stood on toes. There are many silences about certain topics in England and I had breached one such silence. So the debate became quite heated and unhappy. It's an example of why the English often call Australians "brash".
The fact of the matter is that the Scots despise the English and the English treat the Scots as a joke -- with their primitive bagpipes and men in skirts. Which makes the Scots hate them even more of course. And the two races really are different. The UK really is a bad marriage. The Scots are very socialist and England is at heart conservative. So when Margaret Thatcher swept to power it was on the basis of a big swing to the Conservatives in England only. Scotland swung away from the Conservatives.
And that divergence has slowly come to a head in recent times. In 1998, Tony Blair set up a separate parliament for Scotland with certain powers passed to it from the central government. Similar provisions were made for Wales and Northern Ireland. But that only stoked the fires. It gave Scottish opinion a focus and a mouthpiece that they were not slow to use. And the pressure built up to the point where a referendum was called in late 2014 on total Scottish independence.
The referendum was narrowly lost. A majority of Scots voted to preserve the UK. How come? There were of course various reasons but the central one was money. The dastardly English made clear that an independent Scotland could no longer use the British Pound as its currency. That really hit at Scottish hearts. Legends of Scottish thrift are well matched by Scottish reality. Scots are very attached to their savings -- which are of course denominated in British pounds. So Scots saw their savings melting away and that could not be.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister, is however a determined little bizzem and she has used Brexit as an occasion to revisit independence. True to form, when the English voted to leave the EU, Scots voted to stay in it. And Nicola wants Scotland to gain its independence from the English so that it can preserve its dependence on the EU. That may seem bizarre but it makes sense in Scotland. What it shows again is the Scottish attitude to the English.
And therein lies a great opportunity for England. A great heartburn which the English Conservatives put up with through gritted teeth is the presence of Scottish MPs in the Westminster parliament. Their solid socialist presence is a block on the English getting the government they choose. Most democratic elections are fairly close and that is mostly so in the UK too. So a UK election normally returns a small majority of Conservative MPs from England which is then outvoted by the socialist Scottish bloc. Without the Scots at Westminster it is possible that England would have a Conservative government more or less forever. That sounds good to Conservative ears.
So why was the Conservative government at Westminster opposed to Scottish independence? Why did they campaign vigorously for Scotland to stay in the UK? Power: The one thing that politicians like even more than money. Scotland is a nice bit of real estate and the English like to come and go there. And they like to have the ultimate say in Scottish affairs. To lose Scotland would feel like a defeat.
But Brexit has raised the issue again and this time there is a reason to rethink. The "Remain" vote in the Brexit referendum was large and they are right now very unhappy chappies. They have come out with the most astonishing bigotry towards the "Leavers". The vote did largely polarize between London and the North. The politically correct Londoners voted to "Remain" and the down-to-earth" Northerners voted to "Leave". And there was an age divide too. Older people remembered when Britain did quite well as an independent country so saw nothing to fear in independence. But for younger people, the EU was all they knew so they voted to "Remain".
Inhabitants of the Home Counties (around London) have always looked down on the Northerners. For them, civilization stops at Watford, a railway junction at the Northern edge of the Home counties. To their minds there are two Englands: North of Watford and South of Watford. And Northerners who move South had better lose their comical Northern accents or they will be treated as outsiders. They will be anyway but with a "better" accent they will be harder to detect.
So the hatred of the Northerners and the old that has emerged in the Home Counties after the Brexit result has just brought old antagonisms to the surface. But it is a real hatred and does need to be dealt with in some way. It has even brought out anti-democratic impulses in many. And I have a proposal for a way to deal with it.
The English should give Nicola her heart's desire and Scotland its independence. Scotland could then promptly make itself unfree again and join the EU. So English people who really do see an advantage in EU membership could migrate North without too much disruption to their lives.
Not many would in fact do so because of the old geographic loyalties I have mentioned but it would at least take away the rational argument against Brexit. The emotional argument would then be left to stand on its own, which would weaken it greatly.
And Edinburgh is a pleasant place. It is to Scotland as the Home Counties are to England. It is the traditional home of Scottish intellectuals, who are a distinguished band. So Home Counties people should find it broadly congenial. Scottish weather is even worse than English weather but to an Englishman that gives him something to talk about.
And an English community would probably develop in Edinburgh to ease the transition. Scots exhibit great reserve towards the English, which is why the English call them "dour". Scots are in fact quite the opposite of dour, of course. They are jolly, sentimental people who like a drink or three. But the English will never see that side of them.
But Australians can. Australians visiting Scotland also initially get the reserved treatment -- because to Scottish ears we "sound like the TV". Our accent sounds English to Scottish ears. And it is. An educated Australian accent is quite close to RP -- closer than most regional English accents. But we just have to identify ourselves as Australians in Scotland for the mask to be torn away. We are seen as fellow sufferers from the English so we are greeted joyously as brothers. So you see why the English would need their own social and business world in Edinburgh.
How could it all be accomplished? It just needs a vote at Westminster and a treaty. England could offer the Scots continued use of the pound as their currency in return for various Scottish concessions and the deed would be done. England would become a very conservative nation and Scots would have to start blaming themselves for the problems they currently blame on the English.
And the "Remainers" would have some of their teeth pulled. Their wishes would be accommodated to some extent. A great British compromise will have been achieved.
And the EU would presumably welcome Scotland with a gladsome heart. They would see it as a vindication of their project and a poke in the eye for the pesky English -- JR.
The stifling of dissenting voices in the EU
The British people fed-up with Brussels dictates voted on June 23, to exit the European Union. Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London and a leading voice for Brexit, argued (Economist June18-24 issue) that “Napoleon, Hitler, and other various people tried this out (forcefully unifying Europe-JP), and it ended tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods.” One of those coercive methods has been to limit, if not forbid, anti-immigration speech.
The elitist of the European Union (EU) have seen a rise in nativist protest movements throughout the European continent. The voiceless people of the states of the European Union have been forced to adopt multiculturalism and political correctness as their new civil religion, and their dissenting voices are now being squashed by a series of measures that amount to the curtailment of free speech.
Earlier this month, the European Commission, a powerful and unelected European Union’s executive branch, announced plans to combat “illegal online hate speech.” The same European Commission unveiled a code of conduct that will ensure that online platforms do not offer opportunities for “illegal online hate speech to spread virally.” Unsurprisingly, it is the European Commission that will determine what constitutes “illegal online hate speech” and not the people’s elected representatives in the individual European countries that make up the European Union (EU).
A press release headline issued by the European Commission (EC) in Brussels on May 31, 2016, read “The European Commission and IT companies announce Code of Conduct on illegal online hate speech.” The EC explanatory paragraphs read: “In order to prevent the spread of illegal hate speech, it is essential to ensure that relevant national laws transposing the Council Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia are fully enforced by Member States in the online as well as the offline environment. While the effective application of provisions criminalizing hate speech is dependent on a robust system of enforcement of criminal law sanctions against the individual perpetrators of hate speech, this work must be complemented with actions geared at ensuring that illegal hate speech online is expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms, upon receipt of a valid notification, in an appropriate time-frame. To be considered valid in this respect, a notification should not be insufficiently precise or inadequately substantiated.”
These provisions of the EC against hate speech have done little to prevent the rise of anti-Semitism in the EU countries, nor has it criminalized the anti-Semitic nature of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement, which singles out the Jewish state. It does, however, seek to stifle the anti-immigrant movement, which is trying to alert Europeans of the coming Islamization of Europe. In addition, the EC decision will adversely impact on the civil liberties of over 500 million Europeans.
The net impact of recent “speech” laws enacted by western governments has been magnified by even greater forms of private censorship on (predominantly Muslim) anti-immigrants. For example, most news organizations have stopped showing images of Mohammad, although no such self-censorship has been made regarding caricatures of other religious figures. In September, 2012, French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot was fined several times for comments she made about how Muslims are undermining French culture. In Britain, a 15-year old girl was arrested for “burning a Koran at school and posting footage on Facebook.”
The Wall Street Journal reported on September 14, 2015 that, “Facebook Inc. said that it would work with the German government Justice Ministry to fight xenophobic and racist messages on the social network’s platform, bending to German government pressure to clamp down on hate messages against migrants online.” While (Muslim) anti-immigrant expression is verboten in Germany, anti-Jewish hate is excused. A German judge convicted two German-Palestinian men of attempted arson against a synagogue in the city of Wuppertal, along with a juvenile accomplice. In his ruling however, the judge declared that the crime was motivated by the desire to “bring attention to the Gaza conflict” and not by anti-Semitism, which was the obvious case. For the German judiciary, it seems, protesting against the Islamization of Europe in general, and of Germany in particular, is a hate speech, if not a hate crime. Yet, arson against a synagogue is not…this perversion of logic has become widespread throughout the EU states.
While Germany is on its way to commit demographic and cultural suicide with the admission of millions of poor and uneducated Middle Eastern and African migrants, Sweden is already lost. The people of Sweden are allowing its radical leftist governing parties and its equally pandering press to expedite the process. The Gatestone Institute reported (December 22, 2014) that before the scheduled March, 2015 elections, the current Social-Democrat and Greens party had enacted “a measure far less publicized, and would come into effect that Christmas (2014). The new measure is designed to make it easier to prosecute those who offend immigrants, immigration policies, LGBT people and politicians online.” According to Gatestone “even immigrants themselves do not seem to be allowed to challenge immigration policy or immigrant culture. Last year a Somali-born female journalist, critical of immigrant culture, was intimidated to such an extent by the Swedish journalistic establishment that she decided Mogadishu (Somalia) was a safer place for her than Sweden.”
Only in Sweden does the government take out loans to make welfare payments to migrant Muslim gang-rapists. Also in Sweden “the fear of being labeled ‘politically incorrect’ keeps Sweden’s main political parties from engaging in an honest debate about integration.” And, while the government and its compliant leftist press blew out of proportion an attack on migrants, it had been silent on the rapes by mainly Arab and African Muslim migrants on Swedish women. The U.K. Daily Mail reported (March 4th, 2016) that “What is worrying is that if the Stockholm Station story has been blown out of proportion, it could have artificially fueled pro-migrant sentiment and made ordinary Swedes less ready to voice their worries about mass migration. Fears of a cover-up have been fueled by an investigation published by a flourishing online Swedish news outlet Nyherer Idag, showing that Swedish authorities hid from the public sexual assaults by immigrant gangs on scores of teenage girls at a popular Stockholm music festival booth last year and in 2014.”
Needless to say that in Belgium, France, The Netherlands, and in the rest of the EU states, anti-immigrant voices are stifled by archaic laws that are undemocratic to say the least. The West has traded Christianity and pride in its civilizational accomplishment for the falsehood of multiculturalism. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Soviet dissident, author and Nobel Laureate summed it up as early as 1978, when he was given the Harvard University Laureate Award. Solzhenitsyn used the occasion to give a politically incorrect speech, which President Carter and the mainstream press criticized. Nevertheless, Solzhenitsyn spoke truth to the western powers.
Solzhenitsyn didn’t mince words while he told America and the West that they were spiritually bankrupt. The West, he said, abandoned its moral and civil courage. “The Western system in its present state of spiritual exhaustion does not look attractive.” Had Solzhenitsyn lived today, he would also witness how freedom of speech is dying in Europe.
Left-wing German politician who was raped by migrants admits she LIED to police about her attackers' nationality because she did not want to encourage racism
Looks like she is hersrelf a Turk
A young left-wing German politician has admitted she lied to police about the racial background of three men who raped her in case it triggered reprisals against refugees in her country.
Selin Gören, the national spokeswoman of the left-wing youth movement Solid, was attacked by three men in January in the city of Mannheim where she works as a refugee activist.
The 24-year-old was ambushed late at night in a playground where she said she was forced to perform a sex act on her attackers.
After the assault she went straight to the police - but she did not tell them the ethnic make-up of the men, that they were speaking Arabic or Farsi.
Selin, aware of the backlash that migrants suffered after the events in Cologne on New Year's Eve - when hundreds of women were sexually assaulted and robbed by marauding gangs of immigrant youths - instead said she was robbed and said her attackers spoke German.
Now she has told Germany's Spiegel magazine why she lied. After her initial interview at the end of January she returned to the police 12 hours later to tell them the real story.
A friend talked her into going back to the police with the real story because another woman had been raped in the area - an accusation later retracted by the alleged victim.
Selin, who has visited refugee camps in Iraq where she was shocked at the squalor people are living in, did not want to stoke 'more hatred against migrants ín Germany.'
To help her cope she wrote an open letter to a fictional refugee and posted it on Facebook. It read in part: 'I am really sorry that your sexist and line-crossing treatment of me could help fuel aggressive racism.
'I'm going to scream... I will not stand by and watch, and it can happen that racists and concerned citizens name you as the problem. You're not the problem. You're usually a wonderful human being who deserves as much as any other to be safe and free.
'I will not stand by and watch and let it happen that racists and concerned citizens name you as the problem.'
She now says people must never 'twist the truth' even if it is politically expedient to do so.
A group called Gesa in Kassel - Active Together Against Sexual Violence - says that sexual assaults by many male migrants have increased.
'The perpetrators often come from cultures with a different image of women', said Steffi Burmester of GESA.
'They are alone and looking to banish their humiliation of flight with confirmation of their masculinity. This is neither to apologise nor to accept their actions, it is how it is.'
New York Times Censors Another Best-Selling Conservative Author....Writing on Free Speech
The New York Times appears to be playing games again with conservative authors, trying to keep them off its vaunted (and secretively manipulated) Best Sellers list. This has happened to Ted Cruz, to Dinesh D’Souza, and to David Limbaugh.
This case is more ironic: Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel has a new book out called The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech.
Every week, Nielsen's BookScan produces a ranking of book sales around the country, and is estimated to capture 70 to 80 percent of all retail sales. Most organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, use BookScan as their way of ranking best-sellers. According to BookScan's list on Wednesday, The Intimidation Game was the sixth bestselling hardcover book in the nation for the past week. It came out on June 21 from Twelve Books.
When The New York Times announced its latest weekend best-seller list on Wednesday evening, The Intimidation Game was nowhere in the the top 15. In fact, it wasn't even on the extended list of the top 20 hardcover bestsellers, despite outselling books that did make the list. It did come up as No. 13 on the New York Times's e-book bestseller list for July 10. So the Times is aware of its sales, but its secret-sauce formula is somehow keeping it at bay....like other conservative best-sellers.
The dust-cover may explain why the Times is acting allergic: "Timed to arrive at the height of the 2016 presidential season, The Intimidation Game will shine a much-needed light on how liberal activists and the Democratic machine bully the political process."
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.