08 September, 2013
The EDL in - or almost in - Tower Hamlets
Well worth a gander. It's also worth noting, as Esme mentions in another post, that reports that
in the ever-impartial Sindy is spin by omission. The 160 arrested were in fact from the hordes of the Self-Righteous and not from the EDL.
To explain this embarrassing anomaly by recourse to stereotype. The Righteous are pampered middle-class White mummy's boys who believe their political violence doesn't cause actual harm and is in any case justified by the Rightness of their Cause, so how dare the police arrest them; while the EDL are drunken lowlife chavscum who are familiar with the ways of the Old Bill and know how to behave in their presence.
Fact o' life, innit.
Give the buggers an inch...
Marriage is a core and a virtually universal human institution. It is a practical one the formalization of which probably developed as human social groups progressed from bands of 20 or 30 individuals concerned primarily with where their next woolly mammoth steak was coming from into settled societies of hundreds for whom the accumulation of stored agricultural surpluses, the capacity to allow social specialization and the bequeathing of valuable durable property had become a reality.
Marriage is essentially to do with the procreation and above all the rearing of children. It provides a framework to support the inheritance of property and of status, it reinforces and enforces the obligations of loyalty and mutual support within the family. It serves to protect the pair bond between the parental couple. It doesn't "celebrate" that pair bond for its own sake, but supports it in context.
I oppose the concept of "gay marriage" because it is wrong-headed. It is at best a romantic misunderstanding of the institution, and at worst a destructive, possibly malign, jealousy. Also, it is not, as its supporters indignantly insist, without consequence for the rest of us. As one below-the-line commenter in the Daily Mail article which I link to later puts it,
If two men are married to each other, it does not affect your life in any way what so ever. Whether they want to marry in a church or at city hall, how does this affect anyone else's life. Mind your own business and you will be better off. I would love to be adopted by Elton John and his husband, imagine how interesting their life is?
Well, Sunshine, it affects the lives of the rest of us by necessarily and fundamentally redefining marriage. It refocuses the institution on the public celebration of the sexual pair bond to the effective exclusion of the broader societal context.
When the iDave, in his futile project to detoxify the Tories, pushed through his gay-marriage legislation, he made great show of the famous "quadruple lock", which would protect the consciences of established religion like a moral forcefield surrounding the Holy Grail.
So how's that going then?
Millionaire gay fathers to sue the Church of England
for not allowing them to get married in the church
The first legal challenge to the Church of England's ban on same-sex marriage was launched today [2013-08-02 —EG] - months before the first gay wedding can take place.
Gay father Barrie Drewitt-Barlow declared: 'I want to go into my church and marry my husband.' He added: 'The only way forward for us now is to make a challenge in the courts against the Church.'
The legal move means an early test for David Cameron's promise to the CofE and Roman Catholic bishops that no church would be forced to conduct same-sex weddings against the will of its leaders and its faithful.
And what drives the ire of this — how can I express this within the constraints of polite discourse? — this brace of smug, smarmy, self-righteous shirtlifters? Well, they claim to be "practising Christians", alright, but I think the heart of the matter lies in this comment
I am a Christian - a practising Christian. My children have all been brought up as Christians and are part of the local parish church.' Mr Drewitt-Barlow, 42, who owns a surrogacy company based near the family home in Essex and is opening another in Los Angeles, added: 'If I was a Sikh I could get married at the Gurdwara. Liberal Jews can marry in the Synagogue - just not the Christians.(My emphasis.)
'It upsets me because I want it so much - a big lavish ceremony, the whole works.'
Ah, yes, Judy Garland syndrome. Barrie doesn't really want to marry in church to satisfy his deeply-held religious convictions. No, he longs to dress up in a posh frock and toss his bouquet into the waiting throng of bridesfairies. Much as I don't wish to descend into the mire of stereotyping, I suspect that this motivation, the desire for the big, glitzy, showbiz ceremony with the legitimacy provided by a "proper" church wedding, is a big unacknowledged driver behind the self-centred campaign for "marriage equality".
And while I'm being unpleasant to Mr Drewitt-Barlow, what to make of this,
Mr Drewitt-Barlow and his civil partner Tony have been a celebrated couple since 1999, when they became the first gay couple to be named on the birth certificate of a child. They now have five children through surrogate mothers.
I'm not entirely convinced that this serves the intended purpose of birth certification. Yes, they register inheritance and succession rights, inherited generally from the legal guardian who is not necessarily the biological parent. But should they not also, and primarily, register biological inheritance? I don't know the gory details in the case under discussion, but presumably Barrie wanked into a test tube to become the biological father, but Tony sure as fuck didn't provide the egg which was impregnated with Baz's jism and carried to term by some lucky female surrogate.
This is not a trivial matter. As it goes I was watching a doco on RT the other day, which described the life of a man who had, against the odds, become a moderately successful Russian academic. His parents had each been raised in (separate) Soviet orphanages following the liquidation of their own parents. As adults, they met as strangers, fell in love and married, leading to the birth of our hero. Eventually it turned out that they were in fact brother and sister and their son suffered both deafness and blindness as a genetic consequence of the unknowing incest.
Not directly related to Barrie boy's situation to be sure, but a clear indication of the dangers of subverting necessary social procedures for the purpose of political self-gratification.
A curiously more insidious case crops up in dear old CiF, where Peter Moskowitz whinges
I have read Peter's complaints, but to be honest I can't really get my head round their substance, if any.
I think this BTL commenter gets to the heart of it,
There's going to be quite a lot of this stuff about. And much of it will grope about, successively displacing its incoherent focus onto particular remaining or imagined grievances, demanding — to cruelly misparaphrase Moskovitz — an ever-more homonormative society. I doubt these people will be truly satisfied until homosexuality becomes effectively compulsory. "So you're a straight geezer, are you? Well, I'm sorry Duckie, we'd just like you to demonstrate your antihomophobia by sucking my friend off. Alright"
The initial error was in presenting civil partnerships as a form of marriage-lite for gays. Society has no legitimate interest in the formal celebration of a sexual pair bond between two adults per se. Society does have a legitimate interest in protecting the property and other rights which might flow from the sharing of goods, accommodations and facilities which are generally involved in such a relationship. The mistake was to present the legislative support in a marriage-like ceremony in a register office rather than as the signing of a contract in a solicitor's office.
And also to restrict the civil partnership to gay couples. After all, to offer a somewhat archaic example, there is a situation in which a person becomes the full-time carer and companion to an invalid elder in return largely for shelter and sustenance. A role traditionally exercised by an impoverished spinster from the elder person's extended family. If the elder eventually dies intestate, the position of the carer is precarious. Well, you know the sort of thing I'm getting at. If the civil partnership legislation had been extended in principle to encompass such broad situations of mutual financial and property dependency, the insidious civil partnership = marriage lite heffalump trap might have been avoided.
02 September, 2013
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT
With English Owners
The previous owners of the shop are described as
It has been run by English people of East Asian descent and of Greek descent.
I'm not really sure what that actually means.
The usual suspects are up in arms, of course. The local MP, no less, the mayor and some local teacher all express their horror and disgust. The teacher fumes
In this day and age, it shouldn’t matter who you are being served by.
Well, up to a point, Gary. I would add the rider
... if they know what they are doing.
because I think Mr Bradbury has a valid point. When I lived oop north, admittedly 30 to 40 years ago now, you never gave much thought to the quality of fish and chip shops. Chippies were damned near universally run by British people who knew what was expected. They were pretty well all of a high and consistent standard. A noticeably duff chippy would quickly lose custom and go out of business.
Then I moved to London, where the chippies were generally run by non-European foreigners. They were run as an adjunct to whatever kind of "ethnic" nosh the shop in question was peddling, and understanding how to correctly cook and serve fried fish and chips was of low priority. I quickly learned that while the chips might (sometimes) be acceptable, the fish was almost always a no-no. Apart from anything else, the Chinese seem to have particular difficulty with the concept that filleting a fish involves removing the bones.
There were rare, honourable exceptions. The Fryer's Delight in Theobald's Road, WC1, run by an Italian family, was a place to which a fussy ex-pat northerner could return again and again with complete confidence. But generally if I want acceptable fish and chips in London, I journey out to the Edge, where the White tribes still live.
If Mr Bradbury is saying "Come to me; I'm English and understand the intricacies of English food", then is that really more shocking and less valid than Mr Wu saying "Come to me; I'm actually from Szechuan and I understand the intricacies of Szechuanese cuisine.?"
Or is Mr Curson just another glib xenomaniac Guardianista racist who believes that the English have no culture of their own?
01 September, 2013
Lee Rigby: a very belated RIP
Not that I don't have equally unpalatable opinions about other "serious" issues, I hasten to add. Some of which may well surprise you if you've simply been extrapolating your political profile of me purely from my determinedly uncompromising attitude to the consequences of the ongoing and uninvited demographic unpheaval in this country. I'm not quite the monomaniacal "little Englander" obsessive you might imagine, striding purposefully about the living room in my bowler and my union-jack weskit, menacing imaginary cringeing darkies with my perfectly-furled brolly.
Anyway, the purposeful striding's off the menu at the moment — my damned knees have "gone" again.
But yes I regard immigration and race and the helter-skelter demographic upheaval that is going on in this country, as well as in the rest of "the West", as keystone issues. You want me to spare time to fret about the future of British education and its impact on Britain's economic prognosis, do you? Well, if those processes are set to take place within a cultural and genetic heritage wtih which I share as little as I do with Jared Diamond's beloved Papuan headhunters, then I'm afraid that's not a race I have a dog running in.
There you go.
And Woolwich is my manor; I'm not a native but I've lived in the area for the last 34 years, so I do have at least a basic familiarity with the place.
And finally, for what it's worth, the late Mr Rigby was a fellow Manc, raised as I understand it on the Manchester Corporation overspill estate at Langley, about two miles from where I grew up some 40 years earlier in Moston. There are Rigbys in my extended family as it goes. Who knows, Lee and I may even be distantly related? Well, in principle, maybe. In practice, it's not particularly likely. The surname Rigby is a common one in South Lancashire, deriving ultimately from the speech of the Norwegian Viking settlement of the Wirral in the tenth century. It is a non-specific geographical surname meaning little more than, 'im as lives at t'top o' th'hill, a byname which will doubtless have been repeatedly and independently awarded numerous times as the descendants of the Viking settlers spread out into the uplands of Central and East Lancashire.
So why then have I remained silent on this and every other matter for the past five months?
Simple fact is, I've been unwell. In a damned sight better state of health than young Lee has been since May, it needs to be said, but initially confined to quarters, subsequently lethargic and easily tired, and even now suffering a lingering general feeling of what I will presumptuously refer to as chronic secondary aproctosis*, which has frankly become a comfortable mental habit which I need to shake off. In short, while much of my time over the last few months has been devoted to developing a deep and passive familiarity with the delights of daytime television, I have still kept up with the news media and the blogosphere, but have not felt sufficiently motivated to put finger to keyboard. Indeed, my touch-typing was effectively trashed by loss of muscular co-ordination for a while, so basically it's been a chronic case of "WTF, innit".
Anyway, enough of that. Time to get my arse into gear and say something.
Despite my proximity to the action, there is, to be honest, relatively little I can add to what is already widely known about the Lee Rigby atrocity. On the afternoon of Wednesday 22 May, as it turned out, I made my way into beautiful downtown Woolwich for a change of scenery; it was the the first time I'd ventured quite so far from base in weeks. Unknown to me, some 500 yards away two madmen, secure in their solipsistic victimism, were cheerfully hacking a random off-duty British soldier to death and then standing round waiting for a round of applause. Other than a police patrol car putting on its blue lights and turning sideways-on to block entry from Woolwich New Road into Thomas Street for no immediately visible reason — a road traffic incident somewhere, I vaguely conjectured — there were no immediate signs of anything untoward, certainly nothing impacting the General Gordon Square area where I was at the time. The vibrant diversity that is Woolwich continued to vibrate at its accustomed languid frequency.
It was not until I got home and turned on the rolling news on telly that I learned what was going on. So no eyewitness reports of blood and gore or ancedotes about chatting amiably with the murderers from me, I'm afraid.
Actually, watching the news reports and the relentless helicopter footage of the crime scene was a curiously semi-detached experience, partly a function of my general grogginess, to be sure, but also because we seem to be getting inured to atrocities and bizarre goings on in general. There was no sense of proximate threat. Just, "Oh, another murderous atrocity in London, well ain't that just so damn-all vibrant? Hey, don't I recognize that pedestrian crossing?"
But then I don't really do arm waving and sobbing histrionics, to be honest. I guess I'm your dour North European type. Push me too far and I might well draw my broadsword from its trusty sheath and chop your impertinent fucking head off, but I won't make a big production number out of it.
One more observation from the epicentre and that's my lot in my self-appointed role as your Woolwich correspondent. I next visited downtown Woolwich on Saturday 25th, mainly on a resupply run to the emporium of Mr Sainsbury, my grocer. As is my custom, I called in to The Great Harry for a bottle of three of finest Russian lager. The Woolwich Wetherspoon is a rough but well run sort of boozer, which attracts a substantial sprinkling (about 5% of the clientele) of Nigerians. Before the 2011 fire they tended to congregate in one corner but since the rebuilt pub reopened they seemed to have integrated better, condescending to socialize with the natives. On that Saturday following the atrocity they seemed to be totally absent.
I mentioned this to one or two of the other regulars, who didn't seem to have noticed. There was no detectable animus against Nigerians as being responsible through some sort of collective guilt. In fact, despite the presence of the instashrine 400 yards up Wellington Street and the media circus, the matter was just not discussed. The Nigerians seem to have chosen to make themselves temporarily scarce, whether out of self-induced fear or out of respect I don't know. Other Black groups, like West Indians, milled about much as normal.
The single aspect of the Lee Rigby atrocity that sticks with me is the persistent attempts by the media and the establshment to spin it as our fault, by which I mean, of course, the fault of the native White population. The perps and their probable hangers-on having been speedily arrested, attention turned to the perceived danger of the aggrieved White population kicking off and carrying out a murderous pogrom on innocent Muslims at large. We sashayed seemlessly from condemnation and analysis of the two self-righteous murderous Black savages (you can't say that - Ed) to the need to protect innocent British Muslims from the inchoerent fury of White racists.
The useful idiot Fiyaz Mughal and his TellMAMA operation were recruited to support the assertion of a massive upswing in anti-Muslim sentiment. Unfortunately, as Gilligan made clear, most of the incidents were people mouthing off on Twitter and hijabi women imagining they were getting funny looks off people.
A series of "attacks" on mosques was breathlessly reported. Gone a bit quiet, that. Let's see, what do we know? there was some aggro from a Ukrainian nutter, some Danish chap waving his arms about, who turned out to be Somali "refugee" resident in Denmark, a couple of vaguely explosive doodahs discovered in alleys near mosques, and of course the unexplained burning down of a Somali club/mosque, which looks more and more like an opportunist insurance job. I may be wrong of course, I got bored with all this bollocks and gave up following it. But on the whole it looks less like a rampaging army of Angry White Fascists bearing flaming pitchforks and more like a lot of panicky wogs waving their arms about and applying their own dismally low standards of behviour and expectations of others to a culture they don't understand.
But anyway it's all over now. Lee Rigby has been buried. The perpetrators of this isolated and untypical "incident" await the formality of trial. And the Government has successfully protected innocent Muslims from the barely repressed rage of the British racists. Pity the racist wimps didn't actually kick off and kill people as we'd
* aproctosis. Not a word you'll find in the medical dictionary, but actually a suprisingly common affliction. The meaning is easily construed from its etymology
a- = lacking
proct(o)- = arse
-osis = disease
If I'd had the balls, I would quite like to have used it on the thankfully few self-certified sick notes I submitted during my working life.