"...The official “defining moment” of the campaign was Gordon Brown’s unguarded post-photo-op dismissal of Gillian Duffy as a “bigoted woman.” Mrs. Duffy, a plain-spoken working-class granny and lifelong Labour voter, had made the mistake of asking Mr. Brown, her party leader, a very mild question about immigrants from eastern Europe. He got back in his car and wrote her off, forgetting he was still miked. So she’s a “bigot.” He’s not. That’s why he makes all the decisions for her, and she just makes the best of them. What part of that don’t you understand?
The other “deﬁning moment” got less coverage. Another “pensioner,” 74-year-old Roy Newman, got sick of the various party hacks knocking on his door and put a sign up in his front window: “GET THE LOT OUT.” Ninety minutes later, two police officers arrived at his home to arrest him for “racism.”
Racism? Why, yes. His sign was a piece of white card with red and blue lettering. Red-white-and-blue, geddit? The colours of the Union Jack. If using the same colour scheme as the national flag isn’t coded racism, I don’t know what is. Mr. Newman was prevailed upon to alter some of the letters to yellow, thereby diminishing the racist subtext.
With bigotry and racism running rampant, it was inevitable that homophobia would raise its ugly head. Dale McAlpine, a practising (wait for it) Christian, was handing out leaflets in the town of Workington and chit-chatting with shoppers when he was arrested on a “public order” charge by police officer Sam Adams (no relation), a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community outreach officer. Mr. McAlpine said homosexuality is a sin. “I’m gay,” said Officer Adams. Well, it’s still a sin, said Mr. McAlpine. So Ofﬁcer Adams arrested him for causing distress to Officer Adams.
In fairness, I should add that Mr. McAlpine was also arrested for causing distress to members of the public more generally, rather than just the aggrieved gay constable. No member of the public actually complained, but, as Ofﬁcer Adams pointed out, Mr. McAlpine was talking “in a loud voice” that might be “overheard by others.” And we can’t have that, can we? So he was fingerprinted, DNA-sampled and tossed in the cells for seven hours.
The other day, upholding the sacking of a black Christian for declining to provide “sex therapy lessons” to gay couples, Lord Justice Laws ruled that “law for the protection of a position held purely on religious grounds is irrational, divisive, capricious, arbitrary.” Actually it’s the law of Lord Justice Laws that is increasingly “irrational, divisive, capricious, arbitrary.” Or as George Orwell, in Animal Farm, formulated it: all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. In the land of Laws, a gay is more equal than a Christian. A Muslim is more equal than anybody. A black man is more equal than a white man, unless the white man is gay and the black man a Christian. An eco-zealot is more equal than an Anglican. Not long before Lord Justice Laws’ decision on the “irrationality” of legal protection for Christianity, Tim Nicholson, a “Head of Sustainability” fired for questioning his property management group’s environmental policies, sued for wrongful dismissal under “Employment Equality (Religion And Beliefs) Regulations.” He wound up with the best part of one hundred thousand pounds after Mr. Justice Burton ruled that Mr. Nicholson’s faith in anthropogenic global warming was a “philosophical belief” on a par with religion. So the Employment Equality (Religion And Beliefs) Law protects belief in apocalyptic “climate change” but not in Jesus.
As for Muslims, in December Tohseef Shah sprayed the words “KILL GORDON BROWN,” “OSAMA IS ON HIS WAY” and “ISLAM WILL DOMINATE THE WORLD” on the war memorial at Burton-upon-Trent. But the Crown Prosecution Service decided his words were not “religiously motivated.” Phew! Thank goodness for that, eh? So a week or so back he walked out of court a free man, except for £500 in compensation to the municipal council for cleaning off his non-religiously motivated “ISLAM WILL DOMINATE THE WORLD” graffito.
I am currently slogging my way through a rather stodgy 650-page tome called Extreme Speech And Democracy. On the back is a question from Christopher McCrudden, professor of human rights law at Oxford: “What are the appropriate limits to freedom of expression in societies that wish to be democratic, multicultural, and committed to the human rights of all?”
Whether or not you regard that as a legitimate query, it’s certainly an irrelevant one. Because whatever you decide are the “appropriate” limits, by the time they percolate down to the transgendered liaison officer patrolling Workington shopping centre they’ll be reliably inappropriate. As I always point out in retailing the latest idiocy from Canada’s “human rights” fanatics, none of the above are “right-wing” in any sense that Steyn or Rumsfeld or Cheney would recognize the term. Mrs. Duffy is a lifelong Labour voter; Mr. Newman is one of those pox-on-all-their-houses types; the property company that fired Mr. Nicholson is so wretchedly politically correct it employed him as “Head of Sustainability,” a title of near parodic bogusness. Yet all fell afoul of Lord Justice Laws’ “irrational, divisive, capricious, arbitrary” laws. Because it’s hard not to. Because once you establish the principle that the state has the right to police ideas, sooner or later one of yours will catch their eye. I say “principle,” but that’s not really the word. The spirit is more aptly caught by a new joint initiative by the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission, the Manitoba “Human Rights” Commission and the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba to “promote and enhance the learning experience relative to human and treaty rights for all people living in Canada and around the world.” No idea what that means, but, as the CHRC press release says, this is the first time that these three useless taxpayer-funded sinecures have come together to “further their cause.” Since when do government agencies have ideological “causes”? And what happens if you disagree with their “cause”?
Professor McCrudden’s question on “appropriate” limits is very adroitly formulated: in today’s advanced Western society, there are no absolute rights—for all individual freedoms must be “balanced” against the state’s commitment to “multiculturalism” or “equality” or whatever other modish conceit tickles its fancy. Everybody talks like this now: for Canada’s Chief Censor, Jennifer Lynch, Q.C., freedom of expression is just one menu item in the great Canadian salad bar of rights, so don’t be surprised if we’re occasionally out of stock. Instead, why not try one of our tasty nutritious rights du jour? Like the human right to a transsexual labiaplasty, or (per a recent Quebec ruling) the human right to non-Eurocentric table manners. Real “rights” are restraints upon the state—“negative” rights, as constitutionalists have it; they delineate the limits of the sovereign’s power. But in the modern era “rights” are baubles in the state’s gift, and the sovereign confers them at the expense of individual liberty. Truly, this is an Orwellian assault on the very foundations of freedom.
As for the “balancing act” that Professor McCrudden urges between individual rights and broader responsibilities, only a truly free people have the incentive even to seek it. The more you haul nobodies off to the cells for putting up a poster or quoting the Bible, the more a timid conformist populace will keep its head down, mind its own business, and avoid broader social engagement—or at any rate non-alcohol-fuelled engagement. Big Government is dismantling civic identity, and the slow-burn bonfire of liberties in Europe and North America will eventually consume us all."
Yet another must-read that sums it up well. John Derbyshire's transcript of the May 7, Radio Derb broadcast:
"02 — U.K. election. We have a result in the British general election. David Cameron's Conservative Party has won a plurality of seats in Parliament, but not enough to govern firmly. It's hard to get very worked up about this, as the three parties in contention can fairly be described as Left of Center, Center-Left, and Tree-Hugger Left. Certainly there is nothing conservative about David Cameron's Conservatives. It would be very difficult indeed to name anything they wish to conserve: not Britain's ancient demographic core, not the nuclear family, not restraint in public financing, not liberties of speech or assembly, not public respect for the Christian religion, not Britain's traditional wariness of European entanglements, not Britain's traditional warmth towards and co-operation with the old British-settler nations, not civic order and the suppression of crime by fair policing, not respect for rank and authority, not control over the national debt … There is no subject you can name on which Cameron's "Conservatives" wish to conserve any more than Gordon Brown's Laborites, though I'll concede that neither party would call in the U.N. to force a macrobiotic diet on the population, as Nicholas Clegg's Liberal Democrats would. Cameron and Brown may want to make homosexuals a Designated Victim Class, with special rights and privileges, but Clegg's party would make homosexuality compulsory. In this respect, at least, the Brits have dodged a bullet. Frankly, I'm past caring. The old England I grew up in, the England of stoicism and bitter beer and dry humor, the England in which it was bad form to take public affairs too seriously, the England of puddings and bobbies and weird regional accents, of casual snobbery and dim old churches and the smell of soft coal burning, the England of, as George Orwell famously wrote, "old maids biking to Holy Communion through the mists of the autumn morning" — that England's as dead as the Wild West. It's been replaced by a multicultural bazaar with a feral underclass and a vast, suffocating public sector, neither of which it can any longer afford. The educated classes are sunk deep in ethnomasochism — hatred of their own ancestors, of themselves really. Teenage girls get pregnant and are given public housing and a dole, while married couples struggle to pay their tax bills. The borders are open to foreign agitators who loudly declare their hatred for Britain, while old folk who survived the bombs and shortages of Hitler's war are sneered at as Nazis. When you come home to find burglars have looted your house, don't bother calling the police; they'll just give you an incident number for the insurance company; but try flying the national flag in your front yard — a squad car full of cops will kick your door down and tase you in the living-room for "racism." I couldn't care less about Britain any more. I'm nostalgic for what used to be, but I don't have any illusions any of it is coming back. These smooth-faced managerial types aim only to drag their country further along the road to perdition, with just minor differences in the speed of dragging. I said my goodbyes to England long ago. Let's turn our attention to a place that is still, in spite of some of the same dismal trends, a real country."
Both my wife and I, but especially I, are anglophiles. Long before I met her, I spent biking holidays in Kent and the Lake District, and visited London often. Our honeymoon took us through the south and up north again till Blenheim Palace, where in the village nearby I paid respect to Winston Churchill at the site of the family grave.
... a bunch of insane politicians INCLUDING the so-called Conservatives are DESTROYING the country I loved so much in times past.
I am beginning to feel more and more like a lone Roman legionnaire in a foxhole outside Rome in 410, with a Visigoth army steamrollering toward me up front, and a fornicating and partying drunk bunch of degenerates in my back.
P.S.: the Roy Newman case. They said the Union Jack-coloured lettering on a white background could be considered ‘racist’. He was told there had been a single complaint and he was ordered to remove it or change it otherwise he would end up in court.