Sunday, January 25, 2015

Civil rights

UK wide open to 'freeloading' EU migrants, warns Foreign Secretary

Britain is ‘wide open to abuse’ by EU migrants looking to ‘freeload’ on our welfare system, the Foreign Secretary warned last night.

Philip Hammond told MPs that a major reduction in EU immigration was needed to ‘satisfy British public opinion’ ahead of a planned in/out referendum on Europe.

Mr Hammond said Britain had already tightened welfare rules in order to discourage migrants, and would take further domestic measures. But he warned that changes would also be needed at EU level.

He told MPs on the Commons European Scrutiny Committee: ‘We are wide open to abuse. We have tightened up some things already and there are going to be more measures that we can introduce to make it more difficult for people from the EU to abuse our system.

‘But there will be some areas where we need changes (at EU level) to change the way the EU rules work if we are to have sufficient impact on immigration levels to satisfy British public opinion.

‘And that is what we want to do – we are politicians and we are getting a very clear message from the public that this is an issue of significant concern to them.’

Mr Hammond conceded that Britain would not be allowed to opt out of the EU’s free movement rules altogether – and said that David Cameron’s negotiations would focus on ‘the art of the possible’.

But he insisted that other EU countries were willing to be flexible because they are desperate to keep Britain in the EU.

‘I have visited 18 EU states and I am very clear that we will be able to negotiate a significant package of reform,’ he said.

Earlier, Mr Hammond told the Commons: ‘Free movement to work is one of the principles of the EU. Free movement to freeload is not one of the principles of the EU, and Britain is not the only country that is affected by this problem and not the only country determined to address it.’

Mr Cameron has pledged to renegotiate Britain’s membership of the EU ahead of an in/out referendum in 2017 if the Conservatives win the General Election.

Mr Hammond confirmed speculation that the referendum could be held earlier, saying he would like to see it take place ‘as soon as possible’.

The Foreign Secretary has previously indicated he would vote to leave the EU if the referendum were held on Britain’s current membership terms.

But on Tuesday he insisted he was open to changing his mind if the Prime Minister negotiates significant change.


Catholic Bishop on SCOTUS: ‘Hard to Imagine How Essential Meaning of Marriage ... Could Be Declared Illegal’

Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who heads the archdiocese of San Francisco, called attention on Friday to the “essential meaning of marriage” as “a bond which unites a man and a woman to each other and to any children who come from their union,” and which “society respects to its benefit or ignores to its peril.”

The archbishop, who is also chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, was responding to the Supreme Court’s decision to rule sometime in June this year on whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

The archbishop referred to the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling “on whether a state may define marriage as the union of one man and one woman” as “the most significant Court decision since the Court’s tragic 1973 Roe v. Wade decision making abortion a constitutional right.”

“It’s hard to imagine how the essential meaning of marriage as between the two sexes, understood in our nation for over two hundred years, and consistent with every society throughout all of human history, could be declared illegal,” he said in a statement released through the USCCB.

“To those arguing for a constitutional redefinition of marriage, one must ask: when did the Constitution suddenly mandate a novel and unfounded definition of marriage?” he said, adding, “To ask such a question is not a judgment on anyone. It is a matter of justice and truth.”

“The central issue at stake is: what is marriage? The answer is: a bond which unites a man and a woman to each other and to any children who come from their union. Only a man and a woman can unite their bodies in a way that creates a new human being. Marriage is thus a unique and beautiful reality which a society respects to its benefit or ignores to its peril.”

Archbishop Cordileone concluded, “Let us pray that the Supreme Court will be guided by right reason and render a true and just decision upholding the constitutionality of states to respect the institution of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

Pope Francis warned of the danger to the family through the redefinition of marriage over the weekend during a mass in Manila, Philippines.

“The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage,” he told the estimated 6 million people gathered for the Mass. “These realities are increasingly under attack from powerful forces which threaten to disfigure God’s plan for creation.”

The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Friday, Jan. 16, that it will consider same-sex “marriage” bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee with oral arguments in April and a ruling before the end of the current term in June.


Christian nurse claims NHS Trust she works for did not clear her of bullying Muslim colleague because it was 'politically incorrect', tribunal hears

A Christian health worker has told an employment tribunal that the NHS trust she works for did not clear her of bullying a Muslim colleague because it was 'politically incorrect'. 

Victoria Wasteney, 37, was disciplined for alleged bullying and harassment after Enya Nawaz, 25, told managers that the senior occupational health therapist had tried to convert her to Christianity.

Today, Miss Wasteney launched an employment tribunal against the East London NHS Trust, claiming her employers discriminated against her because of her religion.

Miss Wasteney accused the NHS of making her look like a 'religious nutcase' and said she never attempted to convert Miss Nawaz.

She told the tribunal that she believed she and Miss Nawaz were friends and alleged Miss Nawaz was 'manipulated' into complaining against her by colleagues who had an anti-Christian agenda.

Today Miss Wasteney claimed the Trust had failed to clear her of wrongdoing after a nine-month disciplinary process because it would be 'politically incorrect' to find a Christian innocent.

The Trust insists the disciplinary hearing was fair and they deny they discriminated against Miss Wasteney.

Miss Wasteney told the East London Employment Tribunal that her professional career 'had been jeopardised, her reputation damaged and relations with colleagues ruined.

She added: 'I was subjected to an ordeal of persecution dressed as a "disciplinary action" for an extraordinarily long time.

'All this was a result of a manifestly false complaint and it was obvious I had done nothing wrong. I was discriminated against because of my faith.'

Miss Wasteney, who describes herself as a born-again Christian, was working at the John Howard Centre, a secure psychiatric hospital in Homerton, East London.

She said she was always careful about discussing her religion at work because her managers had warned her it could 'get you in trouble'.

After Miss Nawaz joined the hospital as a newly qualified occupational therapist in 2012, the two women discussed Islam and Christianity, as well as work done by Miss Wasteney's church to campaign against human trafficking.

Miss Wasteney told the Daily Mail this week her colleague had 'definitely initiated' the conversations, before she invited Miss Nawaz to attend church events linked to the anti-trafficking work.

She said Miss Nawaz had then come to her in tears because she was upset about health problems.

Miss Wasteney said: 'I put my hand on her knee to comfort her and asked if that was okay, and said 'Would you like me to pray for you?'

'She said yes, so I asked for God to bring peace and healing. She left the office afterwards and said she was okay.'

Miss Wasteney also gave Miss Nawaz a book, I Dared to Call Him Father, about a Muslim woman who converts to Christianity, but denied it was an attempt to make Miss Nawaz convert.

She said she was shocked to learn her junior had made a formal complaint, but said Miss Nawaz had previously told her she had come under pressure from colleagues to do so.

The East London NHS Foundation Trust investigated Miss Nawaz's eight-page complaint in June 2013. Miss Wasteney was suspended on full pay for nine months while the investigation was carried out.

A disciplinary hearing dismissed some of the allegations but upheld three complaints related to the book, the invitation to church events and Miss Wasteney's offer to pray for Miss Nawaz.

It ruled that the episodes amounted to misconduct. Miss Wasteney was given a written warning, although she was not sacked and continues to work in another area of the trust. 

The claimant told the court she had been previously investigated by the Trust because of her involvement in the Discover Life Group, a Christian group for service users.

She said although the allegations were 'unsubstantiated,' the process had bred ill feeling among other staff members, who tried to warn Miss Nawaz away from her.

She told the tribunal the compliant was made against this background.

The claimant added: 'There had been a history of pressure being put on her to make a false complaint of this nature by certain people among the staff, probably motivated by religious prejudice.' 

She was suspended on the grounds of 'gross misconduct' - making her feel as though she was already seen as 'guilty' and her boss had been looking for an excuse to investigate her faith.

A hearing was held in February 2014, during which the claimant was told there had been a breakdown in the 'firewall' between her personal beliefs and her work, which she said made her faith seem as though it was a 'virus.'

She was given a final written warning as a result, which was later reduced to first written warning on appeal.

The claimant said: 'Despite these concessions, I find the outcome of the appeal unsatisfactory.

'Harassment and bullying are serious allegations, which were made against me but never substantiated.

'Simply put it was felt to be politically incorrect to find that a Christian was innocent. I am innocent of misconduct at work, and the respondent must acknowledge that.'

She returned to work in March 2014, but said staff were made to see her as a 'religious nutcase' and the 'hostility' she experienced pressured her into changing roles.

Ben Collins, representing the East London NHS Trust alleged Miss Wasteney used her senior position to pressurise Miss Nawaz into going to services at the Christian Revival Church.

He told the tribunal Miss Nawaz had said: 'I had texts from Miss Wasteney about prayer meetings. It is hard to say no to someone so senior.'

He also quoted a series of text messages between the claimant and Miss Nawaz in which she uses the fact she was 'stuck in traffic' as a reason for not being able to make a meeting.

Mr Collins told the tribunal: 'You said, “pray God to hurry you”. Could she have been giving excuses for not wanting to come?'

But Miss Wasteney said she was inviting Miss Nawaz to attend a social event at the church, which met at the O2 centre in North Greenwich, as she would invite a colleague to an exercise class.

Mr Collins told the court after a text message exchange in which Miss Nawaz described how her parents were involved in setting up a mosque in Birmingham, Miss Wasteney had responded: 'Jesus is the one who leads us into truth. I am so excited by what is being stirred in your spirit, making it into His presence is truly life changing.'

He said: 'Part of the case against you is that you are proselytising. Going back to the phrase "Jesus leads us into truth" you can see how your actions might have that effect.'


The curse of anti-semitism

By Bernard-Henri Lévy, who is what passes for a philosopher in France.  He is Jewish and very anti-Islam but has a substantial following in France.  He makes a very carefully reasoned case below.  It is from an address to a special plenary session of the United Nations General Assembly  -- which may get it some attention from the Left

This is one of the first times (Elie Wiesel and Jiddu Krishnamurti came before me) that a writer has stood at this dais from which so many great voices have rung out and where the cause of peace and brotherhood among peoples has achieved some of its most important and noble advances.

It is therefore with great emotion and with a deep sense of honor that I address you today.

But you invited me, this morning, not to hear me hold forth on the honor and nobility of humanity but rather to lament the renewed advance of the radical inhumanity, the total baseness, that is anti-Semitism.

In Brussels, just a few months ago, the memory of the Jews and the keepers of that memory were attacked.

In Paris, just a few days ago, we heard once again the infamous cry of "Death to the Jews!"--and cartoonists were killed for cartooning, police for policing, and Jews just for shopping and being Jews.

And in other capitals, many others, in Europe and elsewhere, faulting the Jews is once again becoming the rallying cry of a new order of assassins--unless it is the same order, cloaked in new habits.

The United Nations was founded to fight this plague.  This assembly was given the sacred task of preventing those terrible spirits from reawakening.  But they have returned -- and that is why we are here.

On the subject of this curse, on the subject of its causes and of the means by which to resist it, I would like to begin by refuting a number of current analyses that I fear serve only to keep us from looking this evil squarely in the face.

It is not true, for example, that anti-Semitism is just a form of racism. Both must be fought, of course, with equal determination. But one cannot fight what one does not understand. And it must be understood that, if the racist hates in the Other his visible and conspicuous Otherness, the anti-Semite hates his invisible and indefinable difference--and on that awareness the nature of the strategies that one will have to deploy is going to depend.

Nor is it true that the new anti-Semitism has, as one hears constantly, especially in the United States, its taproot in the Arab-Islamic world. In my country, for example, it has a double source that acts as a sort of double bind. There are, it is true, the many lost souls of a radical Islam that has become the most toxic opium invading the lost territories of our Republic. But there is also that old French monster that, since the Dreyfus Affair and Vichy, has slept with one eye open and, in the end, is not incompatible with the Islamofascist beast.

And, finally, it is not accurate to say that the policy of a particular state -- I am referring, obviously, to the state of Israel -- generates anti-Semitism in the way clouds produce a storm. I have seen European capitals in which the destruction of the Jews was nearly total, yet where anti-Semitism still thrives. I have seen others, farther away, where no Jews have ever lived--yet where the word "Jew" is a synonym for the devil. And I say here that even if Israel's conduct were exemplary, even if Israel were a nation of angels, even if the Palestinians were granted the state that is their right, even then, alas, this old, enigmatic hatred would not dissipate one iota.

To understand how anti-Semitism really operates today, we must abandon these clichés and listen instead to how it is expressed and how its supporters justify it.

Because, after all, the anti-Semites have never been content to say, "Well, that's how it is--we're bad people and we hate the poor Jews."

No.  They have said, "We hate them because they killed Christ." That was Christian anti-Semitism.

They have said, "We hate them because, by producing monotheism, they invented Christ." That was the anti-Semitism of the Enlightenment, which wanted to do away with religion altogether.

They have said, "We hate them because they belong to another species recognizable by traits observed in them alone and that pollute other species." That was racist anti-Semitism, the variety contemporaneous with the emergence of the modern life sciences.

They even have said, "We have nothing against the Jews per se--no, no, really, nothing at all. And we couldn't care less whether they killed or created Christ or whether they are a separate race or not. Our complaint is just that most of them are plutocrats bent on dominating the world and oppressing the humble people." That was the socialism for dummies that, throughout Europe, infected the workers' movement at the time of the Dreyfus Affair.

Today, none of those arguments works anymore.

For reasons having to do with the history of the terrible 20th century, very few people, thank God, remain unaware that all those anti-Semitic arguments resulted in abominable massacres and have therefore been, as a French anti-Semitic writer once said, discarded by Hitlerism.

So, for the old virus to resume its assault on people's minds, for it once again to inflame crowds of ordinary people, for great numbers of men and women to resume hating while believing that they are doing a form of good, or, if you prefer, to believe that there could be legitimate reasons to hate the Jews, a new set of arguments is needed, one that history has not yet had time to debunk.

Today's anti-Semitism says three things, at bottom.  It can operate on a large scale, convince, inflame hearts and minds, only by offering three shameful new propositions.

1. The Jews are detestable because they are assumed to support an evil, illegitimate, murderous state. This is the anti-Zionist delirium of the merciless adversaries of the re-establishment of the Jews in their historical homeland.

2. The Jews are all the more detestable because they are believed to base their beloved Israel on imaginary suffering, or suffering that at the very least has been outrageously exaggerated. This is the shabby and infamous denial of the Holocaust.

3. In so doing, the Jews would commit a third and final crime that could make them still more guilty, which is to impose on us the memory of their dead, to completely stifle other peoples' memories, and to overshadow other martyrs whose deaths have plunged parts of today's world, most emblematically that of the Palestinians, into mourning. And here we come face to face with the modern-day scourge, the stupidity, that is competitive victimhood.

Anti-Semitism needs these three formulations, which are like the three vital components of a moral atomic bomb.

Each taken separately would be enough to discredit a people, to make it abominable once more. But when the three are combined, brought into contact and allowed to form a knot, a node, a crux, a helix, well, at that point we can be pretty sure of facing an explosion of which all Jews, everywhere, will be the designated targets.

What a monstrous people, it will be said, to be capable of all three of these crimes!

What a strange picture is formed by this community of men and women adulterating what they should hold most sacred--the memory of their dead--for the base purpose of legitimizing an illegitimate state and sentencing the rest of the world's victims to silence deaf and dumb.

That is modern anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism will not return on a large scale unless it succeeds in popularizing this insane and vile portrait of the modern Jew.

It has to be anti-Zionist, it must deny the Holocaust, and it must feed the competition of pain--or it will not thrive: The logic is implacable, despicable, but compelling

To recognize that is to begin to see, symmetrically, what you can do to combat this calamity.

Let us imagine a UN General Assembly in which Israel would have its place, its full place, one country among others, no more and no less flawed than others, bound by the same responsibilities but enjoying the same rights--and let us imagine, while we are at it, that you unanimously acknowledge it to be what it truly is: an authentic, solid, and rare democracy.

Let us imagine a UN General Assembly that, faithful to its founding agreement, made itself the diligent guardian of the memory of the worst genocide conceived since man began to walk the Earth--imagine that 2015 was the year when, under your high authority and with the help of the world's most eminent scientists and scholars, the most complete, exhaustive, and definitive conference ever conceived on the attempt to destroy the Jews was convened.

And let us dream, somewhere between New York, Geneva, Jerusalem, or Durban, of a second conference--yes, a second--devoted to all the forgotten wars that cast their tragic shadow over the inhabited world but that are not talked about too much because they do not fit within the framework of the blocs or groups into which you divide yourselves.

And let us dream, then, that this second conference--by adopting the position opposite to the stupid and grotesque idea that a given heart has room for just one object of compassion and empathy--reveals what has been the real truth of the past decades: That it was by remembering the Holocaust that we immediately recognized the horror of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia; that it was when we held in mind the standard of inhumanity of the Holocaust that we understood without delay what was happening in Rwanda or Darfur.

I could multiply the examples, but this is the principle: Far from blinding us to the torment of other peoples, the will to forget nothing of the torment of the Jewish people is the best way to make salient, obvious, and unignorable the affliction of the Burundians, Angolans, Zairian, and so many more, including the Palestinians.

By adopting such a program, you would be fighting real anti-Semitism.

By first rehabilitating the Israel that the Assembly bore on its baptismal font 70 years ago; by next using your colossal authority to silence, once and for all, the negationnist lunatics; and then by aligning yourselves closely with the wretched and accursed who have been sacrified--in Durban, for example--on the altar of anti-Zionist madness; by doing those three things you would be methodically deconstructing, one by one, the components of modern anti-Semitism.

At the same time--I repeat--you would be defending universal human rights and the cause of humanity!

I would not be here if I did not believe that this forum was one of the few in the world--perhaps the only one--in which can be orchestrated that "solidarity of the shaken" of which spoke Jan Patocka, the great Czech philosopher, an idea that has been the throughline of my life.

When, in my country, the highest officials of the government recently said, "France without its Jews would no longer be France," they erected a dike against infamy.

But when, in that same country, we French saw a quarter of you, one head of state or government out of four, marching beside us to say, "I am Charlie, I am a police officer and I am a Jew," it was a reason for true hope for which we had almost stopped waiting.

Your presence here this morning, your will to make this event possible and perhaps memorable, your good faith and obvious will to act, all of these attest to the fact that on all continents, in all cultures and civilizations, people are beginning to realize that the struggle against anti-Semitism is an ardent obligation for everyone--and that is good news indeed.

When a Jew is struck, another writer once said, humanity falls to the ground.

When you go after the Jews, insisted an early opponent of the Nazis, it is like a first line crumbling under an invisible volley that eventually will hit the rest of us as it draws closer.

A world without Jews indeed would not be a world. A world in which the Jews once again became the scapegoats for all people's fears and frustrations would be a world in which free people could not breathe easy and the enslaved would be even more enslaved.

It is up to you now to take the floor and to act.

It is up to you, who are the faces of the world, to be the architects of a house in which the mother of all hates--anti-Semitic hate--will see its place reduced.

May you in a year's time, and the year after that, and every succeeding year, reconvene to observe that our mobilization of today was not in vain and that the anti-Semitic beast can be kept at bay.



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


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