Wednesday, August 07, 2019

UK: Right-on brigade exposes its own prejudices

By Trevor Phillips, who is black

It’s forbidden for Labour Party members like me to describe Boris Johnson as anything other than a racist and an Islamophobe, but while he is guilty of many distasteful acts I think I can say with certainty he is neither of those things. In fact, it’s this kind of brainless tribalism that has got us into our current mess.

The left-leaning bias against Johnson is most striking in the reaction to his cabinet appointments. A different prime minister would have been basking in the approval of the right-on brigade for having appointed more people of colour to the cabinet in 24 hours than all his predecessors managed in the past 300 years. But the gracelessness of modern politics is such that the very people who threw parties at the election of Barack Obama now complain about Johnson’s minority ministers. They sneer that the first non-white chancellor, Sajid Javid, is a “coconut” (brown outside, white inside), that the first ethnic minority woman to lead the Home Office is a dumb “snake”, and that the first black chairman of the Conservative Party is an “Uncle Tom”. This, of course, is a measure of their racism, not the prime minister’s.

The last jibe, by the way, is an ignorant and racist perversion of the heroic character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s eponymous novel. Abraham Lincoln attributed the clamour for the abolition of slavery to Stowe’s creation; so much for the anti-racist credentials of Johnson’s critics.

And yet the Corbynite glove puppets who are leading this disgraceful attack have nothing to say about a shadow cabinet that, perhaps for the first time in Labour’s history, boasts not a single member who professes the Jewish faith.

Should we not be judging our leaders as much by what they do as what they say? But in politics, words — and how they are deployed — matter. And the rule appears to be that you should never play the ball when it’s possible to play the man. If you can find a reason to denigrate a politician’s character then you never need to rebut, accept or even acknowledge their argument. In fact, on certain topics nowadays, unless you qualify by virtue of your race, you might not even have permission to hold an opinion.

I was recently invited to debate identity politics on a platform composed of five speakers, none of whom was a white man. I pointed out that it cannot be right to debate such an important topic without giving a voice to 40 per cent of the population — sex or race relations by definition should involve us all — yet the audience seemed bemused by the idea that being black or female does not confer privileges of speech.

Increasingly, second-rate invective and verbal intimidation are taking the place of a genuine clash of opinion. If politics is to recover public trust its practitioners have to regain a measure of respect both from the public and from each other. This is not principally a matter of etiquette, though old-fashioned good manners might help.

Some months ago, the think tank Policy Exchange launched a drive to persuade public figures to treat each other with greater generosity. I co-authored its report An Age of Incivility. Presciently, perhaps, we were joined by Jacob Rees-Mogg, now the leader of the Commons, and Nicky Morgan, the new culture secretary, both of whose roles could be vital in resetting the clock on our public manners.

In our first meeting we proposed that politicians might occasionally agree with each other, and that they might recognise that divergence of views is not always a sign of a moral deficiency. Everyone nodded sagely. So far not much has changed; perhaps we were just too polite. Expect us, in future, to insist that to be effective, you don’t have to be offensive.


Why is Mario Lopez apologising for telling the truth?

Anyone who blasphemes against the church of genderfluidity will be punished.

Actor turned TV host Mario Lopez was absolutely right about ‘trans kids’. He was right to say that parents should not cave in to their children when they claim to be the wrong gender. He was right to say it is ‘dangerous’ to accept a three-year-old’s word as gospel when he or she – or they? – claims to be the opposite sex. He was right to say, in his interview with Candace Owens a month ago, ‘My God, if you’re three years old and you’re saying you’re feeling a certain way or you think you’re a boy or a girl or whatever the case may be, I just think it’s dangerous as a parent to make that determination then’. So why has he now apologised for and recanted his apparently ‘ignorant and insensitive’ comments? Because genderfluidity is the new religion and no one is allowed to blaspheme against it. If you do, you’ll be dragged into the public square – social media – and denounced as a rank, unspeakable heretic.

The Lopez controversy provides a searing insight into the irrationalism and censoriousness of the trans fad. As he was unveiled as a new host on Access Hollywood this week, his comments from the Owens interview resurfaced online. Self-styled guardians of morality on Twitter went crazy. How could a show as popular as Access Hollywood employ someone who refuses to bow and scrape before the transgender ideology and its gospel of genderfluidity, they collectively screamed? Before long, presumably under pressure from his new bosses, Lopez was doing the 21st-century equivalent of flagellating himself in public for his blasphemous thoughts – he was ‘walking back’, as the media put it, his comments on trans kids. ‘Walking back’ is a PC euphemism for recantation, for publicly renouncing your previous heretical beliefs and swearing devotion to the one true church – in this case the church of trans.

‘Are you now or have you ever been trans-sceptical?’ That’s the sinister, 1950s-echoing question shows like Access Hollywood might as well ask all their employees. In the past you didn’t have a hope in hell of getting ahead in Hollywood or celebrityville if you were a Commie; now your chances are blown if you’re even just a smidgen doubtful of the transgender ideology. And yet there was nothing remotely controversial about Lopez’s comments. A great many parents, and others, will agree with him. Three-year-olds are stupid. That’s why they need constant care. Children in general, until they are into their mid- or late teens, don’t really know who they are and go through many fads and periods of experimentation as they work out their personality. The idea that we should nod along uncritically to every boy who says ‘I’m a girl’ is perverse. It represents a complete collapse of adult authority to say ‘Okay’ to the confused kid who claims to be a different sex. It is not transphobic for a parent to say to his son, ‘No, you’re not a girl – you’re a boy. You can’t wear a dress to school or use the girls’ toilets because you’re a boy.’ That’s good parenting, not bigotry.

There is indeed an element of danger, as Lopez said, to the ‘trans kids’ phenomenon. As recent revelations about the gender-identity Tavistock Clinic show, young children are being given puberty-blocking drugs, with little regard for the long-term consequences. Young girls are binding their breasts, so horrified are they by their developing female bodies, and teenage boys, many of whom will simply be gay, are shamefully wondering if their ‘feminine’ traits mean they should really be a girl. This is not healthy. The fashion for genderfluidity – a fashion no one is allowed to criticise – is nurturing confusion and even self-hatred among growing numbers of young people. Anyone who thinks it is healthy that 18-year-old women are having double mastectomies or that young males who think they are women are planning to take hormone drugs every day for the rest of their lives clearly has a different understanding of the word ‘healthy’ to the rest of us.

Like all fundamentalist religious beliefs, the ideology of genderfluidity demands complete subservience, even to the most irrational beliefs. Including the belief that it is possible to change sex. We know it isn’t possible. We know that every cell in a trans-woman’s body is male. We know that a blood test would reveal that these people are male. We know that if they stopped taking their drugs they would revert to male appearance. And yet we are expected to suspend our own knowledge, to disavow truth, and join in the collective incantation that ‘Trans women are women’. We are expected to lie, and if we don’t we are in trouble. You will be branded a bigot, a transphobe or a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) if you refuse to parrot untruths that have been repackaged as unquestionable commandments.

The public shaming of Mario Lopez is bad, for it confirms that the entrenchment of rigid, destructive trans thinking. More blasphemers must now step forward. There is no such thing as a ‘trans kid’; you cannot change sex; a person with a penis has no right to access waxing services reserved for women; trans-women are not women – these truths need airing, whatever the consequences.


Dumb black has made headlines after making a rookie error while attempting to rob a bank

According to the FBI, Michael Harrell, 54, allegedly tried to order a bank teller to hand over some cash from a US Bank located in Cleveland, Ohio in the US last Monday morning.

However, he made one glaring mistake.

He passed a note to the bank teller informing them it was a robbery — but the note was written on the back of a document from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) — which had the man’s name and address clearly printed on it.

“When the teller took the note, and looked at it and looked at the other side, she saw his name. He had used a note that he had used earlier at the BMV and it had his name on it,” Special Agent Vicki Anderson, of the FBI’s Cleveland field office, told WJW.

Ms Anderson said the victim referred to Mr Harrell by his name and gave him an unknown sum of money before calling the police, who later identified him on the bank’s security cameras.

She said the wannabe crook wasn’t the first person to bungle a robbery.

“We’ve had individuals drop cell phones that have all their identifying information in it,” she said.

“A lot of times, we’re sending out pictures, we have no idea who this person could be or what part of town they could be from.

“And when you present a note that has your name already on it, and address, it helps law enforcement tremendously.”

A warrant for Mr Harrell’s arrest has been issued.


'The loss of dignity - and friends': Elderly woman reveals her tragic story of life on the dole - amid claims Australia's welfare system is an 'embarrassment for our nation'

Judging by her shape, Ms Bartels eats well so what else is at issue?  It appears that being on the dole has "cost her dignity and friends".  It has not been good for her social life, in short.

But is the dole supposed to be good for that? Should the taxpayer be financing a good social life for everyone?  It would perhaps be desirable but I think there are too many other calls on taxpayer funds to make that a reasonable possibility

Note that she is only a few years away from going on the pension, which is similar to the dole, so she is just undergoing a bit early what would be an inevitable transition

The lady seems to think that the government should provide some avenue for getting her a job but that is absurd.  The number of employers who would take on an overweight elderly woman is vanishingly small.  We may deplore that but it is reality.  It is hard to see what any government could do about it

An elderly woman has told the Q&A panel about how living on Newstart has been the 'worst time of her life' - costing her dignity and friends.

Ricci Bartels became emotional on Monday night's program as she revealed she was forced on to unemployment benefits three years ago after being made redundant.

'I have paid taxes for 46 years… I've worked 20 years in the private sector and 26 years in the public sector for a not-for-profit community service,' Mrs Bartels said.

'I was forced on to Newstart at the age of 62 through change of management and subsequent retrenchment. I've experienced Newstart for three years, JobActive left me to my own devices. I could not find a job no matter how hard I tried.'

Mrs Bartels said the experience of being on welfare after so many years of dedicated work had been the 'worst of her life'.

The Newstart allowance of $555.70 a fortnight hasn't risen in real terms, adjusted for inflation, since 1994.

It is also more than two-and-a-half times less than the minimum, full-time wage.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out calls for an increase, despite calls from former PM John Howard and ex-Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce.

'To put it in a nutshell it (being on Newstart) is the worst time of my life, the loss of dignity, the loss of friends because you can't go out, you can't socialise, not eating proper foods even though I suffer various ailments, looking for a job applying for a job, not getting the job,' Mrs Bartels said fighting back tears.

Referencing a quote from Mr Morrison, she said: 'So my question to you wonderful panellists is this, what would you or how would you suggest people like me have a go to get a go?'

Mrs Bartels posed the question to the panel before host Tony Jones gave the Liberal member for Mackellar Jason Falinski an opportunity to speak.

'We have done a number of things in the government to try and make sure that our system, which is a $172billion welfare system per-annum, is as bespoke as possible in response to the needs of individuals as much as possible,' the backbencher from Sydney's northern beaches said.

'It may be in your particular case we haven't been as accessible as we need to be but we keep trying.'

Mr Falinski then touted Australia's existing welfare system Australia, evoking audible moans of disagreement from the studio audience.

'Australia has a very successful welfare and tax and transfer system … it's one of the reasons that we have very high income mobility levels and very low levels of income inequality especially compared to other nations,' he said.

Mrs Bartels addressed the question to the panel before host Tony Jones gave Liberal MP for Mackellar Jason Falinski (pictured) a chance to answer but he left Mrs Bartels disappointed

Mrs Bartels continued her line of questioning to Mr Falinski and quickly called him out for dodging the crux of her question.

'Jason, with respect, you haven't answered my question, what do you suggest people like me, at my age or at a young age for that matter, how do they have a go to get a go, this is so important, have a go to get a go, it is so divisive,' Mrs Bartels said. 

Mr Falinski doubled down on his comments that without knowing all of Mrs Bartels's circumstances he couldn't tell her what path she needed to take.

'If the system has failed you personally, in your particular circumstances, I can only apologise for that, I'd love to know more and create a system to make sure what happens to you doesn't happen to others,' he said. 



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


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