Tuesday, June 04, 2019

According to the British Army, it’s extremist to be a patriot

The British Army thinks soldiers who love their nation are suspect. How utterly bizarre

According to the British Army it is extremist to be patriotic. In a startling confirmation that political correctness is no longer the sole preserve of woke students and Corbyn-loving trustafarians and now has virtually every institution in the land in its deathly, censorious grip, the army – the actual army – has decreed that loving one’s nation too much is a sign of a warped, diseased mind. When soldiers – the people expected to give their lives to defend the nation – are being instructed that fondness for your nation is an iffy attribute, you know modern Britain is in serious moral trouble.

The ‘patriotism as extremism’ decree came in an internal army document on the giveaway signs for right-wing extremism. Army chiefs are told to look out for certain ‘indicators and warnings’ that an individual soldier might be leaning towards an ‘extreme right-wing’ outlook. These indicators include referring to oneself as a ‘patriot’, becoming ‘increasingly angry’ about ‘perceived injustices and threats to so-called “national identity”’, using the word ‘Islamofascism’, and describing political correctness as a ‘left-wing or communist plot’.

What is bizarre, if not outright perverse, about these indicators of ‘right-wing extremism’ is that just a few years ago such outlooks would have been seen as essential attributes for every aspiring soldier. Patriotism? Surely that’s a necessary moral and political principle for the young men and women expected to risk life and limb in defence of the country? Feeling angry about threats to national identity? Surely that, too, is a pretty good emotion for defenders of the nation to feel? If the people we encourage to take up arms against the nation’s enemies are not allowed to feel strongly about threats to national identity, what is the point of having an army at all?

As for labelling the use of phrases like ‘Islamofascism’ or ‘PC is a left-wing plot’ as warning signs of right-wing extremism, that is just a transparent and deeply sinister attempt to thought-police soldiers and punish them for holding certain views. Views, it should be noted, that a great many people hold. I’m not a fan of the term ‘Islamofacism’ and I think it’s far too simplistic to refer to the culture of PC as a ‘communist plot’, but many good, normal people do refer to Islamist terrorists’ mass slaughter of their fellow citizens as a form of fascism and do believe that PC is the handiwork of left-wing cliques. There’s nothing wrong with these views. They certainly aren’t proof that someone is descending into a skinhead-style nutty extremism.

The idea that using the word ‘Islamofascism’ makes you a bit of a fascist is possibly the most striking thing about the army’s mad list of indicators. One of the most serious threats to Britain’s national security at the moment is extreme Islamist terrorism. Hundreds of British citizens have been killed both at home and abroad by Islamist terrorists in recent years. Many British soldiers are among the dead. To pathologise and demonise soldiers’ strong feelings about the Islamist terrorist threat – so that any squaddie who says something like ‘fuck these Islamofascists’ can be reported to his superiors for extremist speech – strikes me as utterly self-defeating and a sign of the moral rot afflicting Britain’s political and military institutions. Although maybe talking about the moral rot of the elites is an indicator of extremism, too?

There is nothing extreme or evil in love for one’s nation. There is nothing wrong with calling oneself a patriot. There is nothing bad in wanting to stand up for a sense of national identity. Many people feel these things. And soldiers are trained to feel these things. An army that views patriotism as dangerous and standing up for Britain as suspect is an army that will soon be incapable of defending the country from external threats.


British police recruit rejected because he was a white heterosexual male joins force which discriminated against him

A university graduate will finally get to "follow in his father's footsteps" as he joins the same police force which rejected him for being a white heterosexual man

Matthew Furlong, 25, is expected to take up his position with Cheshire Police almost two years after he first applied to join but was rejected as the force was running a diversity drive.

Cheshire Constabulary, in which Mr Furlong’s father is a serving detective inspector, was found guilty of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, race and sex following an employment tribunal earlier this year. 

A settlement has now been reached and Mr Furlong will be joining as a student officer in September, his lawyers said.

At the time of his tribunal victory, Mr Furlong had said: “My dad has served more than 20 years with Cheshire Police and I had always wanted to follow in his footsteps, ever since school. Not just anywhere but in the place I grew up.”

He said that his experience had “completely shattered my confidence in the police force recruitment system” and noted that if he had “lied on my interview form and said I was bisexual” then he would have got the job.

Mr Furlong's lawyers said it was the first reported case of its kind in the UK, after the employment tribunal ruled the constabulary used positive action - where employers take steps to recruit certain groups of people with different characteristics - but in a discriminatory way.

Jennifer Ainscough, an employment lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: "Positive action is an incredibly important tool to aid diversity in the workforce but this case is a reminder that it must be applied correctly to ensure that employers still recruit candidates based on merit above all else.”

Cheshire Constabulary Deputy Chief Constable Julie Cooke said that the processes had been put in place “with the best of intentions”. She added: "We accept the findings of the tribunal and have looked very carefully at our entire recruitment practice.”


When Did Our Government Decide It Could Tell Patients What To Feel?

By: Dr. Dovid Schwartz

Everyone’s afraid. I’ve been a licensed psychotherapist now for more than half a century — in hospitals, clinics, and private practice. I know how much so many of us are driven, not just by our dreams and hopes and abilities, but by the things we are afraid of.

My patients come to see me because they are struggling with fears, of one kind or another. Feeling enslaved to something stronger than themselves, they want to be free.

Some struggle with their sexuality, or with same-sex attraction. They want to move past those feelings; they ask for my help. So I listen. I make some suggestions, which they are free to embrace or ignore.

Before 1973, when the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders, no one objected if people — of their own volition — asked a therapist to help them overcome feelings they didn’t want.

In 1986, for example, the most revered Torah leader of our community, the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, wrote to a young man struggling with these very issues, encouraging him that “You surely know that there are doctors and psychiatrists who treat [this], and have been successful in many cases. I know a number of cases of people who had this problem but eventually overcame it, married and raised a family … the problem is controllable, for if it were beyond human control, HaShem [the Lord] would not have made it a sin.”

But things have changed, with the rise of LGBT activists whose agenda requires not only acceptance of such behavior, but society’s full-on endorsement of it.

Last year, the New York City Council adopted an ordinance making it illegal for therapists like me to provide our services to people uncomfortable with their same-sex attractions, or confused about their gender identity.

Understand: The law says therapists are perfectly welcome — even encouraged — to help a patient who wants to explore, develop, or come to peace with homosexual or transgender feelings. But if we offer professional assistance, at their request, to people who want to reduce same-sex attraction or embrace their biological sex, and if city officials find out about it, we can be fined thousands of dollars.

In other words, it’s legal in New York City to help someone who wants to identify as homosexual or transgender. But it’s illegal to help someone who doesn’t want to embrace those desires.

The ordinance is actually calculated to increase fears. Not only among therapists who can’t afford the financial penalties (or bad publicity), but also among our patients.

People come to therapists to confide deeply personal things they would never tell anyone else — sometimes, things they’ve never even admitted out loud to themselves.

But my patients trust our conversations to be private, and depend on me to keep these discussions in strictest confidence. That trust is absolutely essential to their healing and ability to move through and beyond the issues they’re struggling with.

All of that changes, once they begin to fear that their government might demand to pry into our conversations. That fear could keep them from seeking help at all, even though they’re suffering from real psychological and emotional problems. But New York officials apparently prefer that people live with their fears and confusions, if that’s what it takes for activists to know our city is politically correct.

I trust my patients. People warn me that someone might feign a problem, just to get me in trouble. That’s a risk I’m willing to take, to help my patients. But, sadly, not all of my colleagues feel that way. Some are telling patients who express these homosexual and transgender concerns, “There’s nothing I can do — you’ll just have to live with this.”

What a terrible thing to tell anyone: There is no hope. No one can help you.

After 53 years of offering the best help I can to people struggling with everything from crippling addiction to family problems, I cannot bring myself to turn away people who ask for my assistance — even if city officials want me to do so.

That’s why I am working with Alliance Defending Freedom. They’re helping me file a federal lawsuit against the city of New York for violating my freedom of speech… and infringing not only on my own religious faith, but on that of my patients as well.

Raised as a secular Jew, I embraced the Orthodox faith as a young man. My faith frames my life. I live in the heart of an Orthodox Jewish community; most of my patients share my religious beliefs and convictions. In discouraging them from seeking help, I’m effectively directing them to live in disobedience to the Torah and its teaching. I will not do that.

All of us are part of a community. For those communities to be healthy and function well, we must be able to trust each other. We can’t simply tell those who are struggling to get over it… that a changing culture doesn’t allow them to ask questions, or seek answers, or reach out for help.

That’s cruel. It’s intolerant. But more than that, for me — it’s a violation of my profession, my constitutional rights, and my deepest personal beliefs. And of the lifelong responsibility I’ve had to assist those who seek my help. They come to me with their fears. I will not send them away with more.


Living on the dole

Yesterday, in response to calls to raise Australian unemployment payments by $75 a week I wrote briefly:

In my youth I lived on the dole for a time.  It was then  £2/7/6 pw., if that notation means anything to anybody these days. Equal to $70.00 these days. I lived well and even saved money on it.  But I spent nothing on beer and cigarettes and I ate exclusively at home.  I could even afford an egg or two with my breakfast porridge.  Eggs, porridge and milk are very cheap to this day and form a very solid  foundation for a day's nourishment. And you can generally get day-old bread for a song. Good for toast. I don't think it is hard at all if one is not spoilt by uncompromising expectations

My comments that in my youth I lived on an unemployment dole of $70.00 pw evoked some incredulity. The current dole in Australia is $200 more than that. Why the difference?

For a start, I initially gave the actual dole I received: £2/7/6.  I then used the Reserve Bank's online calculator to translate £2/7/6 in 1960 to current dollars.  And $70 was the answer.  The Reserve bank calculator was based on official price indices so is a very scholarly figure which makes allowances for just about anything  that might distort the answers that it gives.  So I think we might have to live with the fact that I really did live on that little.

So how?  A revealing part of the answer is that before I went on the dole I had a job as a junior clerk -- in which I was paid around £6 pw So ALL young sprouts at that time had to live on very little by modern standards.  I was 17 in 1960.

Note the age factor.  As a junior I did not get the full dole.  The full dole was the equivalent of about $100 pw in terms of current purchasing power. But it's still not much, is it?

So how come?  I am afraid the explanation is pretty simple.  We ALL were a lot poorer 60 years ago.  The vast influence of international capitalism has been incredibly enriching for us all over time.  Back in 1960 we did have a lot of the things that people now do but we had to work a lot longer for them.  We did for instance have motor cars but only the well-off had new ones. My father never had a new car in his life.

Eating out was almost unknown but most people could afford a square meal at home at dinner time.  But it was a VERY square meal. Day after day, month after month and year after year it consisted of the same thing: Meat and 3 veg.  Australia has great herds of beef cattle so even working class people could often afford steak a lot of the time but when that failed there were always sausages or minced beef. And it was amazing what you could do with mince. The 3 veg. that came with the meat ALWAYS included some form of potatoes (usually boiled) plus a selection of boiled beans, cabbage and carrots. If you were a bit fancy you might get cauliflower. 

So EVERYBODY lived very economically in those days. They had to.  But there were also people who were really poor -- people who spent half their money on beer and cigarettes mainly.  They had to live the way I did: feeding themselves mainly off milk, porridge, eggs and day-old bread with plum jam on it.  Day-old bread was generally available for half price or less and made very good toast.  And you bought plum jam in big tins to keep the price down. Most houses had a substantial backyard where you could grow most of your fruit and vegetables if you were thrifty.

Food aside, unemployment was less than 2%.  You could get on a steam train and go interstate to visit family and friends at vacation time. There was always the family car for local trips. The newspapers had lots of interesting news, particularly from overseas. You could hear all the latest songs on the radio. The ladies could buy pretty dresses occasionally and even in small towns there were several bars where one could drink cold beer after a hard day's work.  What else is there?  So it wasn't too bad, all told. And there was a lot less obesity!

What I have writen above is a very abbreviated account  of working class life in Australia in 1960 but I think it still has the lesson in it that unemployed people today have lots of scope to cut back rather than raiding the taxpayer for money that will keep them in the style that they aspire to.

And there are some unwise people for whom no dole would ever be enough.  There is a story here of a "struggling" Sydney single mother who spends two thirds of her dole on rent.  And where does she live?  On Sydney's prestigious and very expensive North Shore.  And she feels hard done by! I lived in a small Queensland farming town when I was on the dole. For people with "expectations", that would not do at all at all, of course


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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


No comments: