28 December, 2007
It transpires that an Austrian consortium is in the process of setting up Asylum Airlines, a company which will specialize in transporting failed asylum seekers back to their country of origin. The righteous folk at Indymedia are of course incensed -- to the point of making the sort of statement that would get a BNP official banged up for incitement.
I'm not sure what the fuss is about. Failed asylum seekers are invited to leave and are in some cases forcibly deported because their cases have been judged not to meet the criteria for asylum. They are no longer asylum seekers. They have failed to demonstrate that they deserve refugee status. They have no further business here. They are in the main would-be economic migrants who have tried to circumvent the immigration rules.
Of course such people should be deported if they will not leave voluntarily. Unfortunately, not all of them go quietly. They have little to lose and potentially much to gain by making as much trouble as possible, with the aim of wearing down the will of the authorities to the extent that it is easier to give in and let them stay. This leads to disruption at detention centres, at airports and on flights, to the extent that (as the deportees well know) airlines or their pilots will refuse to carry them. Eventually governments have to resort to chartering aeroplanes at huge expense.
I am not as unsympathetic as some readers might like to think. In an ideal world I would be happy to welcome every waif and stray who turns up on our shores, but ultimately it is numbers that are the showstopper. We cannot absorb every last African pauper, every last Fujianese, Sylheti or Mirpuri peasant who thinks the streets of London are paved with gold. And when it gets to the stage that entrepreneurs perceive a market opportunity in bulk FAS removal, that speaks more eloquently about the numbers and the seriousness of the problem than a hundred Daily Mail or Daily Express articles could achieve.
No, the only qualm I have about this development is that it is private-enterprise. To have profit-driven private enterprise running prisons and other activities involving forcible detention makes me uneasy. I have no problems with the principle, but I would prefer it to be operated by the state.
10 December, 2007
Nevertheless, the Routemaster is a symbol, a touristic icon of London, and I have no problems with it being retained as an attraction in tourist areas. Indeed, I frequently use the No 15 myself, as I did yesterday. Only to find that a flat screen TV display had been installed on the bulkhead behind the driver's cabin. Thankfully it was not yet operational, but no doubt it will be used to display advertisements for London's numerous touristic attractions.
Someone is losing the plot here. If the Routemaster is being preserved as a nostalgic exhibit of London past, then there is no place for this sort of thing. If they are going to put adverts in these vehicles, which might be a good idea for without them they do look rather stark, then why not replicas of old ads from the buses' heyday. Remember the tall thin advert for the British School of Motoring, always placed on the bulkhead I refer to, comprising the island of Great Britain driving a car, with the Isle of Man as its steering wheel?
If you're going to do touristic nostalgia guys, at least try to be authentic. Think of it this way: if you try to milk it for every last penny, it just puts the punters off and then everybody loses.
09 December, 2007
What on earth can they mean?
What on earth could the artist Johnny be insinuating?
(I 'ad that T Dan Smith in the back of the cab the other day. Nice geezer. Offered me a share in some funds stranded in a Swiss bank account, he did. He needed my bank details for some reason, which I didn't happen to have handy at the time. Shame really.)
Pun du jour
BY GEORGES! I was intrigued to find, among your 152 pages of brilliant gift ideas (Style, November 25) Catherine Townsend’s account of her torrid night in the Georges Cinq in Paris: “We sipped ice-cold champagne, then my ex carried me to the bed and gave me my final gifts – a solid gold vibrator and a diamond necklace.” Is there a Palme d’Whore for such journalism and, if not, why not?Well it made oi larf, anyway, but then I'm easily pleased.
So what, son?
I have no doubt the Guardianistas and NYTimes-istas will be all over this like a Global Warming denier gloating over a frosty day in August, but really, so what? As far as I know, I am at least 75% English with ancestors on this island going back 1500 years or more. The other 25% is probably either wholly Irish or a mixture of Irish and Scots, my Belfast great grandparents being a "mixed" marriage. I am happy with my ethnic and cultural identity. But suppose I were given the "Who do you think you are?" treatment and discovered a Lascar seaman or a Nigerian freed slave in my genetic history? So what? It's lost in the noise. It doesn't affect my phenotype, it doesn't significantly impact my effective genotype. Above all it doesn't affect my sense of cultural or ethnic identity or make me any more welcoming to the uncontrolled mass immigration that is destroying this country. Nor, clearly, does this ad hominem "discovery" somehow invalidate Professor Watson's identity or do anything to actually refute his thesis that sub-Saharan Africans are, on average, less intelligent that most other racial groups.
These people who are eagerly seeking out niggers in the genetic woodpile are the liberal equivalent of Nazi apparatchiks trawling through the records looking for Jewish ancestry. Perhaps Professor Watson should take pride in the high quality of his White ancestry which has so evidently compensated for the poor intellectual heritage of his Black ancestry.
Did I just say that? Yes I guess I did. Leave the poor man alone, you bastards! If you disagree with his opinion, put forward counterarguments and spare us this disgraceful sleazy ad hominem distraction.
08 December, 2007
The centre cannot hold
This morning the Today programme did an interview with Lord Goldsmith on the forthcoming release of a number of UK-based trouble makers from Gitmo. As usual, the website http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/ has a link to a streaming audio replay of the piece. It is titled:
08:10 Britains releasedOuch! Britains? This is the fucking BBC for Christ's sake. What are they employing for sub-editors (or their web equivalent) these days? Monkeys? Products of the UK's state ejukashun system?
And who are these people to deserve the name of Britons anyway? Assorted so-called refugees from the Maghreb and the Middle East with apparent connections to people who want to kill us. Britons? Do me a favour!
(I'm not normally given to swear-blogging. But today I will make an exception.)
Update (2007-12-09): Laban has posted a screenshot of the solecism.
06 December, 2007
Quote of the day
The redoubtable Dolly Parton
Thought for the day
04 December, 2007
Helen Suzman and democracy
One day last week though, I did stop to listen, and I was glad I did. The programme consisted largely of a biographical piece to celebrate the 90th birthday of the South African anti-Apartheid activist Helen Suzman, presented by Sue McGregor. Fascinating stuff.
One thing I had not known before was that Suzman did not support immediate universal suffrage in place of the Apartheid system. Instead she recommended a qualified suffrage based on education and/or wealth. A very practical and suitable solution which might well have worked. Under such a system, a few Whites would lose the franchise, and a small number of educated Blacks would gain it, as would a significant number of Indians and Coloureds. By defining the rules carefully, the power structure of the post-Apartheid South Africa would initially be little changed, but Indians, Coloureds and especially Blacks would know they had a right and a realistic opportunity to participate. If the bar were set fairly and transparently, and there was genuine and visible investment in improving the economic and education conditions of the Black underclass, this transitional solution might have been sold.
Instead we had immediate universal suffrage, leading to the rule of the mob, the politics of revenge and the economics of expropriation by the envious unskilled.
When will Western liberals learn that our system does not suit everybody? Universal suffrage works in educated, homogeneous, non-tribal societies. In a multi-ethnic society, particularly one so infused with mutual resentments, other structures, sometimes not democratic in our understanding of the term, may be more effective.
Headline of the week
What a jolly strange chap Mr Abrahams turns out to be. With friends like that Broon is digging himself well and truly into the broon stuff.
Not that it makes any odds. If the avalanche of incompetence, cupidity and sleaze that has marked the short reign of the Clunking Fist were by some remote chance to cause the fall of the current regime, it would be replaced by the Cameroons and Blue Labour and, as Laban reminds us, the Great Ethnic Replacement Project would continue unabated.
02 December, 2007
A rainy day in London town
When I went down to the station, I was dressed in a hooded anorak and waterproof boots (plus the usual other items, I hasten to add lest I conjure up in the mind of the reader images of the Blagdon Amateur Rapist). There on the station were the Nigerians, dressed in their finest Sunday-go-to-meeting pyjama suits, tiptoeing in unsuitable shoes round the huge puddles that form on the platform at the slightest excuse.
Are these people rather hardier than I have given them credit for; or are they just extremely thick?
A different perspective
Now, he speaks Indian English and I speak British English and they're a lot further apart phonetically, lexically, semantically and culturally than the offshoring industry would have you believe. Even after six months of working with him and his colleague, communication can often be quite laboured; but on this occasion his nuance was quite clear. When he marvelled at the overpowering, startling hyperdiversity that is London, what he meant to say was that we Brits are all completely bonkers for putting up with it.