I’m misting up.

Australian religious seer, Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, has compassionately described rape victims thus:

If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?

The uncovered meat is the problem

If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred

Via Tim Blair (yet again). It seems this follows another Australian Sheikh, Feiz Muhammad’s gentle suggestion last year that rape victims deserve to be raped.

UPDATE – The Sheik apologised, saying he certainly didn’t mean to offend anybody. What he really meant was it’s OK to rape prostitutes.

UPDATE 2 – The Sheik apologised for his apology…(cont. p.94)

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Douglas Adams, in The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy made a very British joke about the origins of the human species.

On a distant planet a terrible, if unspecified, disaster was looming. The population was divided into three parts: the scientists and thinkers, the doers (engineers, plumbers, businessmen), and the middlemen – advertising agents, telephone sanitisers and the like. The middlemen were sent out on a spacecraft and the rest promised they would follow. But the middlemen hadn’t heard anything from them for a while… and then they crashed into the Earth.

While this rings true, in modern Britain, evolution meant that some people with enterprise developed. And what enterprise was shown here, in the cradle of the Agricultural and Industrial revolutions; the home of the Elizabethans who crossed in the Atlantic in ships the size of double-decker buses; the birthplace of the eighteenth-century Bulldogs and the mighty Victorians.

Unfortunately, it seems, they all buggered off, emigrated to Australia and the USA. Our national character now seems to be that of the people, in Adam’s book, who haven’t built a wheel yet because the Tincture Committee hasn’t yet decided what colour it should be, though it has set up a focus group.

While we spend, for example, £300M for tattoo removal on the NHS, in America they produce genuine technical innovation by having fun.

If anyone missed the DARPA Grand Challenge, which was won this year, check out their website. A $2M cash prize was offered to the first organisation that managed to put a fully autonomous, full size vehicle through an arduous 132 mile desert course in less than 10 hours. Teams were organised in Universities, private companies, or just by enthusiasts; think Robot Wars with Humvees and 4x4s. It was won last year by Stanford University. The next competition will be in an urban environment. Two million dollars! An interpersonal facilitation development counselling team-building consultancy focus group wouldn’t get out of bed for that kind of money. But DARPA got weird-looking vehicles, diesel smoke, unmanned jeeps crashing through rivers…

Now we have, or rather they have, the Space Elevator Games, with entrants like the University of Saskatchewan Space Design Team. And this one cost just $400,000 in prize money (which hasn’t been won yet). The idea of a space elevator came from Arthur C. Clarke. It is likely to be a signature of technology sometime later this century, as another idea of his, geostationary satellites, have been for decades already.

And that’s where the real tragedy of this lies. Clarke is, of course, an Englishman. Computers were developed to a significant degree by the British. The world wide web was designed by an Brit. The jet engine… There is enormous talent, enterprise and innovation in this country. We are not a nation of telephone sanitisers. But we are governed by them.

Last year, Gordon Brown made a speech in which he promised to make Britain a centre for science and technology. On the same day, Hull University announced it was going to close its Maths Department. The year before, when Exeter University announced the closure of its Chemistry Department, Sir Harry Kroto announced he was going to return his Nobel Prize for Chemistry in protest. We are going through an unprecedented collapse of science in particular, and of genuine education in general at the same time as we see a massive resurgence of religious fundamentalism and religious “education”.

We cannot survive this. It is national suicide. It will impoverish us, diminish us, condemn us to a twilight of superstition and ignorance.

But we can fight back.

And one way, one small start, would be the announcement of a few small prizes – game show money – for technical achievement, but fun technical achievement. There’s no better way to harness the ingenuity, time, expertise and enthusiasm of thousands than to offer, say, £2M for the first fully autonomous aircraft to perch on a scaffolding pole like a bird after completing an obstacle course. In the great scheme of public expenditure, this is less than peanuts. It is nothing.

But in our dreams, our hopes, and in our future, rebuilding our scientific heritage is everything. Labour has shattered it. They will continue to destroy for as long as they hold power. We can’t really, on past performance, expect anything from the Tories except the dessicated, over-intellectualised management of national decline.

We deserve better. Where are we going to get it from?

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I hold two passports – British and Australian. I’m very sad indeed to say that I’d prefer the former to be an English passport nowadays but I have no reservations about the Australian one. I’d give anything to have a Prime Minister like John Howard over this side of the world, and I’m very proud about the role the Australian troops have been playing in the war against the 21st Century equivalent of the Nazis.

Beccy Cole is an Australian singer who is also proud of the Diggers and she has toured some of the places they are stationed at the moment, entertaining them, supporting them and, it has to be said, significantly enhancing the landscape wherever she has gone. That has made her some enemies among the anti-civilisation movement; in some places her posters have been defaced and torn down.

She has responded with a song.

Via Tim Blair, who got it via Blackfive, who got it… well, you can read the other links if you click through.

But before you do, listen to the lady.

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We knew at the time that France’s opposition to the invasion of Iraq was largely driven by its oil interests – Elf was a major player in Iraq’s oil program. Then we learned that a bit of graft might have been an influence.

Now EUReferendum has a characteristically excellent post surveying French foreign policy. Sample:

Given that the continuous and expanding threads of evidence point to France as a country that has, from Vietnam through Algeria and a succession of African colonies up to and including the Ivory Coast, exercised a wholly malign influence, we really do have to ask ourselves whether this is a country with which we can afford to be associated.

Read it all.

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In the comments to this post, Ismaeel-Hanif Hijazi, a representative and spokesman for the allegedly moderate Muslim Action Committee, made the following comment:

Ismaeel said…

I believe people shouldn’t be threatened or attacked if they make reasoned and informed criticisms. However when they are gratuitiously insulting and provoking, my stance is somewhat less rigid. After all isn’t a provocation a defence in English law? And we are after all discussing about freedom of expression within the context of obeying the law. In case you are in any doubt by the way i uphold obeying the law of the land in which you are a citizen with rights and duties.

(Emphasis added).

There’s no getting round it. Ismaeel thinks that criticism is sufficient provocation for violence. The fact that he tries to argue this is within the law makes absolutely no difference.

The Muslim Action Committee was formed to organise demonstrations over the Danish cartoons controversy and made much of their “peaceful” and “non-violent” stance. They plainly retain the right to be violent if they consider it appropriate. They are closely allied with the Khomeinist Islamic Human Rights Committee and have been trying to stake a claim to public recognition on the back of that crisis and that organisation.

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Is the Labour Party facing electoral meltdown as a direct result of its own policies?

I wondered in an earlier post what the motives might be for the recent change in attitude towards Muslims on the part of the government:

It must be a deliberate policy. I can see no other explanation than that their private polling has revealed a serious threat to their position with the bedrock of their support, the white working class.

Now there is a changed approach to migrant labour and E.U. expansion. From The Times:

“Two years ago the Government predicted between 5,000 and 13,000 people a year would come to work from the eight countries who were joining the European Union. According to official estimates around 600,000 have arrived.

“Quite a few Labour MPs are now picking up a lot of anguish in their constituencies over the impact of this influx of low-paid workers. John Denham has stated that in his Southampton constituency the wage rates for labourers have now halved. That directly harms a lot of natural Labour Party supporters.

David Cameron has been making reassuring noises about taxation and spending – reassuring for the enormous public sector workforce who would feel their jobs were threatened by cuts. He knows Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. But perhaps a lot of Labour voters are wondering whether they did just that by electing “New” Labour three times in succession.

Migration affects core traditional Labour voters (who are actually very conservative, socially) more than any other section of the population, in downward pressure on wages, reduced availability of housing, the social changes to the places where they live, increased crime and the sense that the place of their birth has become a foreign country wherein their children have to attend schools in which even English speakers are in a minority.

It’s also true that while the Tories have been agonising about “looking like Britain”, with more gay, more women and more ethnic minority candidates, the Labour elite don’t look anything like their own supporters. That’s why Prescott has been kept around so determinedly.

Traditional Labour voters are very hostile to the Tories, but not necessarily to the idea of voting for some other party. UKIP has lost the most boring party leader of my lifetime – in a competitive field – and now has in Nigel Farage a man who can perform better than any of the major party spokespeople, when he is on advantageous ground. It remains to be seen how he will do with issues like the Health Service.

And then, unfortunately, there is the B.N.P. – a socialist party, but of the national rather than international variety.

The evidence of changed government policies towards Islam and eastern European migration suggest the Labour Party is gravely concerned.

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