Saturday, 30 April 2011

How Britain Became a Haven For Islamic Extremism

Wikileaks must be running out of stuff to reveal; the latest revelation is that London is a haven for wannabe terrorists and terrorist recruitment.  They show how by the late 1990’s Finsbury Park mosque had become a haven for migrant extremists, who were then radicalised along with British born Muslims, and then shipped off to Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.  One US intelligence official describes London as a “haven for Islamic extremists from Morocco and Algeria” and “an attack planning and propaganda production base.”

To anyone living in the real world as opposed to an imaginary multiculturalist daydream, the above will not come as a surprise.  The multiculturalist ethos – which essentially meant that all cultures were to be seen as good as one another, and that integration was unnecessary – contributed to cultural ghettos filled with toxic cultures such as the extremist brands of Islam.  Throw in lax immigration and asylum policies, and an unquestioning and overly generous benefit system, and you have a pretty attractive prospect for those who want to come over and spend less time working and more time spreading hate.

This problem has been around for years, and yet since then we have been unable to fix it by the hard left telling us that mentioning or trying to deal with this problem and its causes is “Islamophobic.”  This has led to a situation whereby radical nutjobs can come across unchallenged, live off benefits, and spread hate as openly as they like in full knowledge that if anyone raises a finger against them they will have an army of armchair leftists throwing a hissy fit on their behalf about “fwee speech.”

I’d love to ask a radical Islamist what they find more amusing; the fact that we let them do all this, or the fact that we are all shocked when we discover that the perpetrator of the latest terrorist attack is British born, or has spent time in Britain.  Perhaps instead they would point me in the direction of another of the latest leaks that states that 16 Guantanamo detainees sent back to Britain – who are labelled as “high risk” and therefore likely to commit a terrorist attack – have been paid a reported £1 million in compensation.  That’s right; we are now giving money to likely terrorists.  Maybe next time we could just plant the bombs for them and save them the hassle?

The left-wing narrative that Islamic terrorism originates from countries that have been attacked by “imperialist” Western countries such as Britain and America does not even come close to being a legitimate explanation when dealing with British born Islamic lunatics.  Instead, we are brushed off with the explanation that radicalised British youth are simply “disaffected” by British society.  No more detail or explanation is given, as long as we realise that this is all our fault, and not theirs, and that more government spending in the forms of “outreach” programmes are required.

In this the left are correct – it is our fault.  It is our fault that we have a stupidly lax immigration and asylum policy.  It is our fault that we hand out benefits like sweets so that people like Abu Hamza can live a comfortable life while spouting hatred.  It is our fault that we have such a warped understanding of free speech that those calling for the death of Britons are protected, but those protesting those speeches are not.  It is our fault that we have allowed ourselves to follow a warped doctrine of multiculturalism that means that even the most vile and evil of cultures must be tolerated and “celebrated” as legitimate forms of diversity.

The revelations by Wikileaks should be yet another wake up call to the evil that we are allowing to fester and grow in our society.  Welcoming foreign people and cultures into Britain is something that has always reaped great benefits for Britain, but removing the normal checks and balances – both from the law and from societal pressure – that usually accompany the process, has allowed those who would harm Britain to benefit and to progress in their aims.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Britain is Avoiding Double Dip...For Now

It has been revealed that Britain's economy has grown 0.5% in the the first three months, with businesses and finance increasing by 1%.  It's good that it the economy is growing and not shrinking, and it shows that Ed Balls has so far been incorrect to predict a double-dip recession.  The Prime Minister has rightly been rubbing this in Labour's face at PMQs, especially as it is significantly better than anything Labour was producing in their last few years in office.  Also, it is genuine growth, not Labour's artificial growth from increased government spending of money we don't have.

However, it's important not to get too cocky.  0.5% growth is growth...just.  Balls has a point when he says that the economy has stagnated in the last 6 months - it has.  It would have been a hell of a lot worse has Labour been allowed to keep spending and to hike taxes even more, but let's be honest - this is not what Cameron and Osborne would have hoped for when they got into office a year ago.

2011 is critical for the Tories.  We have a decent last three months economically under the belt as we head into local elections.  The rest of the year is crucial.  If the Coalition can stave off double dip, and get the economy back on its feet with more growth, then Labour are utterly screwed, and it bodes well for future elections.  However, should the economy double-dip, then Labour will be given the opportunity to blame the Coalition for not doing the right thing on the economy (despite the fact that Labour would have made it worse) and will be able to declare that Keynesian economics would have worked - even though it wouldn't.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - the Coalition is doing the right thing re: spending cuts.  Yet if it wants sustained growth in the long-term, it needs tax cuts for all. It is the ridiculous tax burden that is stagnating the economy, not the spending cuts.  Despite the protestations of the left that "tax cuts for the rich" are awful etc, and the political furore that will result from the economically ignorant, significant tax cuts for small and large business owners will make the economy boom; it will increase tax revenue and it will decrease unemployment.  They are so close to being successful on this, but if they don't get the guts to slash taxes, the economy won't get back on its feet, we may face a double-dip, and that will hand Labour a massive victory.

I'm calling it now, if there are no proper tax cuts within twelve months - the next national election will go to Labour.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Left's "Alternative" Has Backfired in America

This week’s announcement by leading rating agency Standard and Poor’s that it has changed its outlook for the United States from “stable” to “negative” is abysmal news both for America, and also the British left.

The announcement – that essentially states that there is a one in three chance that the USA could lose its much valued AAA credit rating within two years – is a stinging condemnation of President Barack Obama’s refusal to make any significant spending cuts and instead to spend even more than his predecessor. Despite a handful of cuts passed through the House of Representatives last week, they look insignificant in the face of other legislation such as the $1 trillion entitlement package known as Obamacare. The message from S&P is clear: the US leadership is not serious about dealing with its deficit and debt, and therefore is putting its economy at significant risk.

For America to lose its AAA rating would be disastrous. To know this, one only needs to look at the way the market reacted when the announcement that America might lose its AAA rating was made: US government bond prices fell alongside the S&P 500, gold prices jumped to a new record of $1,496, and the dollar fell sharply against the euro and the pound. One shudders at the thought of the untold damage it would do to the American economy if they were actually to lose the AAA rating.

Britain on the other hand is judged quite well by Standard and Poor’s. Despite suffering a recession twice as severe as that of the US, the UK is praised for being on a credible fiscal consolidation plan that “sets the country’s general government deficit on a medium-term downward path, retreating below 5% of GDP by 2013.” Simply put, George Osborne is doing the right thing, and Britain is on the right track.

Not only is the praise of Tory policy bad for the British left, but the condemnation of the Obama Administration’s economic policy is also a condemnation of the so-called “alternative” that many on the British left have been calling for in recent months. Obama’s pseudo-Keynesian economic policies of tax and spend are exactly the same as those being called for by senior left-wing politicians in this country, and Obama’s programme has been specifically held up as the example to follow by both Ed Balls and Ken Livingstone.

The ludicrous Obama policy of spending oneself out of recession has backfired spectacularly and yet is the policy that is still advocated in Britain by left-wing groups such as the Labour Party, the Socialist Worker Party, and unions such as the TUC. Their “alternative” is being played out in America, and is bringing the once strong leader of the free world to its knees.
Had Britain followed this outdated form of economics – which was the reason our recession was so brutal in the first place – then we would not only be in the same precarious situation in which
America now finds itself, but it would be even worse as for smaller nation like Britain that would be less able to absorb the shock of the consequences of a drop in credit rating.

The left’s economic policies have been wrapped up in fluffy language and good intentions. Unfortunately, economic reality takes little notice of either of these two things, and this warning shot fired by Standard and Poor’s should wake those who thought our deficits and debt were low priorities out of their slumber. If Britain wishes to be open for business once again, and begin rebuilding its once strong economy, it must continue along the line of cuts as it is doing. Should it fail to do so, it will follow its allies across the pond into another economic crisis. We must not allow left-wing groups here to convince us to drag us off our present course.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Cameron is Wrong About Oxford

Politicians are never more dangerous than when they think they know more about something than those who are experts at it. Enter Prime Minister David Cameron.

This week, Mr Cameron – a Prime Minister who should know better – picked up on an (incorrect) statistic that only one black person got into Oxford last year. Then at one of his “PM Direct” meetings, he drew attention to this “statistic” and described Oxford University’s behaviour as “disgraceful.” Uh-oh.

The first problem with Mr Cameron’s argument is that it isn’t true. The figure in question referred to the fact that only one black Caribbean person was accepted into Oxford University last year. In 2009-10 nearly 17,000 Oxford students disclosed their ethnic identity, and it was discovered that almost a quarter were from ethnic minority backgrounds, and 1.5% of students were black. Considering the Census of 2001 revealed that black people make up 2% of the population, the number is a little low, but not as far off as the Prime Minister would have his audience believe.

Yet that is beside the point. It is not the job of Oxford University to pick candidates that make the University representative of the population at large. Neither is it Oxford’s responsibility to have an equal number of the sexes, a set number from state and private schools, a correct percentage of students from the north rather than south, nor whatever it is that a politician has decided it will be politically expedient to be outraged by.

It is the job of Oxford University to be the best university it can be, and to attract the best students that it can. It appears to do this well – it does not gain the exceptional reputation that it has by being poorly run, or by picking average candidates over good ones. Although Oxford has vague guidelines, such as high demands for A-levels and a general correlation between excellence and acceptance, its success comes from being able to spot a good candidate from the crowd, one who will be able to thrive in the unique atmosphere that Oxford has, and one who will ultimately go on to be a testimony to the Oxford education he/she received, and therefore attract prestige (and donations) to the university.

So, when Oxford decides to take on fewer from a specified group, whether it be people of a particular race, economic background or type of schooling, we can safely say that it is not because Oxford selection is stupid or snobby or racist. If this were the case, the quality of entrants would decrease, and Oxford would no longer be one of the best in the world.

Instead, what Mr Cameron should be asking is why the standard of excellence is not being met by those groups. If politicians want to know why fewer people from state schools are being accepted, then perhaps they should look at the wretched state of so many of those schools, instead of running off to the nearest microphone to accuse Oxford of snobbery and elitism. This applies also to the issue of race. If Mr Cameron wants to describe something as “disgraceful”, then instead of moaning about Oxford, perhaps he should note that in 2009 29,000 white students got the requisite grades (AAA excluding general studies) for Oxford, compared to just 452 black students. To what extent this can be blamed on schools, ghettoisation, various cultural influences etc is a debate for another time, but what is clear is that it is not the fault of Oxford University.

Politicians are not entirely wrong to point out the fact that the lower numbers of ethnic minorities and people from state schools going to Oxford is “disgraceful.” Yet this is the fault of our over-politicised schools, our growing left-wing culture of encouraging mediocrity and snorting at success, the bigotry of low expectations aimed at children from ethnic minorities, and a whole host of other problems too exhaustive to list.

Mr Cameron has identified a problem, but by blaming Oxford, all he has done is to attempt to treat the symptoms, not the cause. As a result, he might get a smattering of applause from surprised trendy lefties, but he won’t be solving the problem he has identified – in fact, he might even be making it worse.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The London Rioters and Their Targets

My latest article is out in The American Thinker.  Once again it is on the March 26th rioters and is a reflection on the precise nature of the targets that they chose, and what it says about the ideology of the left.

I note that the anger of the rioters was directed at note only banks and other institutions, but also places of luxury such as confectionary store Fortnum and Mason, as well as The Ritz.  This is well in line with the left's continued assault on luxury and culture, which ultimately hurts the rank and file man or woman in the street - not the rich that the left claim to be punishing or attacking.

"Last Saturday, London was hit by what is now a regular occurrence in Britain: the violent rioting and looting by a growing number of socialist, militant environmentalist and anarchist groups, intent on dishing out as much harm as possible to British capitalism. 

Although (as state controlled BBC told us over and over again) the actual rioters were a relative minority of the protesters, they appear to have implicit support from the majority of the approximately 400,000 that descended upon the capital.  Spokespersons for the marchers seemed angrier at "the media" for covering such violence than those who were violent, and one can see from the coverage of the event that for every small gang of violent thugs, there was a much larger crowd of leftists behind them cheering them on.

This is nothing new; anti-capitalist marches during G8 summits, protests against hikes in tuition fees, and now protests against spending cuts have all ended in rioting and destruction of property, without any sign of opposition from the majority of protesters.

What is interesting about the riots is the targets that were chosen.  Yes, there were the usual symbols of Chomskyite "anti-corporate" rage, such as Starbucks, McDonalds and various banks.  Yet, other targets, such as Nelson's column, The Ritz, and luxury confectionary store Fortnum and Mason are notable for being targets of a different kind of rage -- something best defined as an anti-cultural iconoclasm from the left.

Although the left claim that the targets were attacks on the privileged rich, a closer look allows us to see the root of such attacks in socialist ideology.  For the left have not changed their ideology, they have only changed the way in which it is expressed.  The destruction of a nation's culture, history and the luxuries a nation provides has always been a cornerstone of socialist revolution.  From the book burning of Mao's China to the destruction of the Russian Orthodox churches in Lenin's Russia, leftists have always attacked the symbols of a nation's culture and its luxuries.

The more traditional, anti-religious iconoclasm -- as seen most notably in Lenin's Russia -- can still be observed whenever one accompanies a leftist on a trip to the Vatican.  They can be guaranteed to at some point sniff, "These jewels and churches should be sold off and given to the poor" while failing to see that it is usually the poor who are finding spiritual nourishment in those churches that our leftist comrades would have sold off.  They can almost certainly be relied on to add "that is what Jesus would do" despite it almost being a word for word quote of Judas, not Christ[i].

Yet it is a more anti-cultural iconoclastic spirit that motivates leftists to smash up "homes of the rich" such as The Ritz and Fortnum and Mason.  While the socialists may believe they are punishing the bourgeoisie for their high living and exploitation of the proletariat, they are in fact often punishing those whom they claim to be helping..."
The rest of the article can be found at The American Thinker here.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Beware the Tyranny of the Majority

There is nothing easier in this world than spending other people’s money, and conveniently there are a lot of politicians prepared to make it possible for us to do so. But is it just to do so?

One of the things I have been pondering since the March 26th mass tantrum in London are two slogans I saw emblazoned on various pieces on private property and signs. One said “Burn the rich” and the other said the less controversial “Tax the rich.” I imagine many people would agree with the latter but disagree with the former, while failing to see the misguided mentality that connects the two.

“Tax the rich” is something we hear of so often now that we take it for granted. We accept that not only is it “fair” for “rich” people to pay a higher amount of tax in real terms, but that it is also acceptable for them to pay a much higher percentage of income tax. Additionally, we accept that the government can occasionally place special taxes on rich people, such as the mansion tax in New York City, or the supposed “one off” bankers bonus tax that is currently in vogue. However, one may ask – is this behaviour acceptable?

Arthur James Balfour – who was Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905 – once said, “The tyranny of majorities may be as bad as the tyranny of kings.” Indeed, the concept of the tyranny of the majority is one that has worried many political thinkers – most notably the American Revolutionaries – who consequently put limits on government in order to prevent such a tyranny from occurring. It is a concept that one might not have heard explicitly but one that we are all aware of. Although we accept the principle of majority rule, we recognise that it has limits, and if 51% of people voted to execute the remaining 49%, that this would not be a legitimate use of democratic power, and would be a tyranny of the majority.

To counteract this problem, democratic theory recognises that man has certain rights, and that government has certain limits. Democracy cannot be an excuse for the tyranny of the majority over the minority – even the majority can only vote for certain things.

From this, we state that it is not right to “Burn the rich”, even if it is approved by the majority, for the majority do not have the right to enact tyranny upon a minority. Yet does this principle not also mean that a democratic society has no right to levy special taxes solely on a minority, i.e. the rich? Is this not the imposition of tyranny by the majority onto a minority of rich people?

Taxation should be a burden shared by all. It is natural that rich people should pay more money in real terms than those who earn less, but there is no reason except for governmental overreach that means that the rich should pay a higher percentage of tax. People who are paying little or no income tax then forcing people on high incomes to pay 40-50% of tax is not “fair”, it is simply tyranny lite. If we accept that one group of people has the power to place certain taxes on another without their consent, what is to stop them in theory from imposing a 100% tax, or simply confiscating their property altogether?

The more democratic and genuinely fairer way of taxation is to implement either a cap, as has been done in Hong Kong (the highest tax bracket is 20% and most income is taxed at 2%, 8% or 14%), or a flat tax as is currently being considered in Poland and Australia.

This would mean that the majority calling for a tax hike would be bearing similar hikes themselves, meaning that they would be less likely to call for obscene confiscations of income like we have been seeing in Britain in recent years. Additionally, it would prevent the hypocrisy of high and mighty armchair activists and Che wannabes thinking themselves saints for proposing outlandish spending proposals, whilst demanding that a minority pay for their inspired ideas. They would have to put their money with their mouths are.

It would also lead to a great deal more fiscal responsibility from our population and our government. For the majority might be a little more timid about calling for ridiculously wasteful spending programs if it is their taxes as well that are to be hiked in order to pay for it. Yelling “Get someone else to do it” is seen as the height of rudeness and laziness in a social setting, yet write it down on paper and we call it the Labour Party’s Election Manifesto.

I doubt that this change in taxation will happen very soon, for it will always remain a lot easier to spend other people’s money. Certainly, activists on the left know full well that their movement would be nowhere near as popular if instead of scrawling “Make the rich pay” on the wall of Fortnum and Mason they scrawled “Make everyone pay.”

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Time to Let the Police Fight Back

It is difficult to know where to start with Saturday’s “March for the Alternative.”  Do I comment on how, despite the name, no alternative except for “spend more, tax more and deny the deficit at all costs” was put forward?  Do I challenge the protesters’ claim to represent the majority of Britons, when considering the turnout was around 400,000 they cannot even claim to represent the majority of public sector union members (approximately 4 million) even if one ignores the fact that the majority of the crowd were students and rent-a-mob?

My initial thought was to point out that the Suffragettes, the American Civil Rights movement and the South African anti-apartheid movement that Ed Miliband unironically tried to compare the protest to, were all fighting for freedom from state tyranny, not trying to impose such tyranny on others as the radical marchers wish to do.

Yet as I thought of the above, all made me chuckle and shake my head.  The thing that made me really angry about the whole march was the left’s treatment and disregard of the police, and I do not just mean the violent minority.
As much as the left in both Britain and America try and stoke up fear about the rise of the “violent right”, such groups have absolutely nothing on the organisation, aggression, and sheer violence of the violent left.  Every time there is a G8 protest, a tuition fees protest, or an anti-cuts protest, you can guarantee that London is getting smashed up, and police officers will be injured.

We knew this for weeks, and yet organisers and marchers seemed not to care either before or after.  The organisers were too busy worrying about whether the police response would be a bit too rough for their liking, and the so-called non-violent protesters on the day were cheering the violent ones on, not calling for them to stop.  The most telling of pictures is the one that accompanies this article – one violent protester attacking a police officer, while three grinning lefties film the officer with glee in the hope that he retaliates so that they can send their images off to the BBC as evidence of “police brutality.”

After the march, there have been the typically vague statements of “regret” by organisers of the violence, yet such statements seek only to assure us that they were “a minority” instead of showing genuine remorse for the violence, destruction of private and public property, and injured Bobbies that they left in their wake.

Since then we have had articles in the Guardian informing us that actually the violence is all exaggerated by the media.  The Guardian’s Michael White informs us about how wonderful and “carnival-like” the march was, describing the trespassing UK Uncut (who broke into private stores and defaced and smashed them up) as “wholesome”, and condemning TV for covering the hooligans and not the “real” story.

Well, the real story was that 31 police officers were injured, 11 of which were taken to hospital.  Protesters used smoke bombs, petrol bombs, and light bulbs filled with ammonia – all three of which can kill a police officer.  But instead, the left are more concerned that the camera didn’t pick up on their “witty” signs.

We have seen no videos of police getting injured, we know of none of the names of the officers, nor have there been any interviews with the officers in question to see if they are okay.  We do not even know what the injuries are that they received.  Yet all the “non-violent” protesters were lurking with their phones and cameras, waiting for that moment of police “brutality” that they can run off with to the BBC, howling like a child with a bruised knee at the injustice of it all.
Whenever a protester is injured, we are told about it at length and in detail, along with interviews with the “victim” about how scarred and traumatised they are by the whole thing.  We are lectured constantly about the sheer, unadulterated horror of kettling – the “controversial” (so says the Guardian) tactic by which our poor, persecuted student revolutionaries have to suffer the indignity of standing around for a bit.  Yet, cave a police officer’s head in with a piece of wood, and no-one seems to care -just as long as no-one hurts one of our precious Che wannabes.

What is so abhorrent about this whole process is that 31 officers didn’t need to be injured on Saturday.  Yet, the Met have bowed to the pressure of the professional left who howl about how shocked and appalled they are whenever an officer dares to swing a baton in the direction of a protester.  It has resulted in a softly softly approach that only served to put police officers in danger of serious injury or worse.

It is time to stop kowtowing to the professional left and to start protecting our officers by allowing them to fight back against these cowards posing as revolutionaries.  If these latte drinking Bolsheviks want a fight, then fine.  They can bring their ammonia filled light bulbs, and our boys in blue will bring tear gas and a good baton swing – let’s see who goes home crying to Mummy.