Friday, 21 December 2012

thought-control is more than conspiracy theory

Jesse Ventura: click to go to Conspiracy Theory episodes
One of the new channels provided by Youtube carries Conspiracy Theories with Jesse Ventura. The doughty former Minnesota governor’s forays into X-Files territory are fun to watch but indicative of deeper suspicions that out leaders are out of control.

Brain Invaders was no different, centring on suspicions that US authorities are using microwave radiation to disrupt people’s thinking and even insert thoughts.

click to read 'Beyond Freedom and Dignity'
Somehow I doubt the programme’s thesis; yet behaviour control has been practiced since Pavlov showed he could condition dogs to salivate at the ringing of a bell, despite the absence of what had originally caused salivation. Later, BF Skinner wrote about how people could live sustainably in societies where their lives were planned in meticulous detail in a book was chillingly titled Beyond Freedom and Dignity.

But much more useful to the Establishment is to shape the very self to their designs so that our thoughts, and therefore our behaviours, fall within the parameters they set.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a "talking cure" whereby, in conversation with a therapist, the patient gradually learns to change the way they think about themselves, which in turn transforms harmful or even pathological behaviour. It is a wonderful tool and eases much misery, but it would be naïve of the Establishment not to see its wider applications.

Through the diversity industry, individuals get messages from all around about what they can and can’t say from day one, the intention being to condition what they can and can’t think. For example, why are British people of all backgrounds being discouraged from questioning the motives of those who agitate for an end to democracy, mutilation of young girls and use of rape as colonialist policy?

So let’s apply a talking cure of our own: let’s keep talking about the growing oppression under which we labour.

Charles Bond
300 words


Click for episodes of Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura on YouTube

Click for text of Beyond Freedom and Dignity by BF Skinner

Find out more about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at Resilient Mindset

How does our Language shape the way we think? by Professor lera Boroditsky

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

"plebgate": mischief, or coup d'état?

how The Sun reported 'plebgate'
In the "plebgate" row, the then Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell was supposed to have used the epithet after police officers refused to open the main gates of Downing Street to let him through with his bike.

Now, a Channel 4 News investigation casts the conversation into doubt. CCTV footage reveals both that a conversation of the length alleged was unlikely, and that witnesses referred to in the police log, leaked to the Telegraph, simply were not present.

An email sent to John Randall MP by a constituent also appears not only to have been fabricated but not even sent by the signatory, revealed as a serving police officer whom reporter Michael Crick described as "a very frightened man", who mentioned there were "others in the background". Ken Mackaill of the West Mercia Police Federation was shown to have reported dishonestly on a meeting with Mr Mitchell in the light of a Conservative Party Press Officer’s recording of the proceedings.

Mischief? Possibly: officers promoted under Tony Blair’s regime will be senior now, and many would jump at the chance of a senior ministerial scalp.

But what if this goes beyond mischief to the realm of conspiracy? A governmental Chief Whip arguably wields disciplinary powers second only to the Prime Minister. Anybody who can destabilise a Chief Whip could easily do the same to the Government, and a politicised senior police cadre who see the Labour Party as the king over the political waters might well have motive to do so in order to precipitate an election.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said he hoped people would support his actions when they “hear the full story", according to BBC News: I’m sure we’re all waiting with baited breath to hear how he justifies what might just have been the opening shot of a coup d’état.

Charles Bond
300 words


Andrew Mitchell 'stitched up' in plebgate row - video - 4 news

Bernard Hogan-Howe [Matropolitan Police Commisioner] on Andrew Mitchell officer arrest - BBC News

In full: Police log detailing Andrew Mitchell's 'pleb' rant - Daily Telegraph

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Newton massacre: the hardest lesson

Newton and Sandy Hook, from Google Maps
If truth is the first casualty of war, it can be no less persecuted in the search for meaning. And in the understandable quest for meaning behind Adam Lanza’s shocking gun rampage in Connecticut it’s not impossible that the press-driven quest for narrative will prove injurious.

For example, the Telegraph mentions Asperger’s and personality disorder in relation to Lanza. He may well be diagnosed with these, but it seems significant that these are the two conditions mostly used as catch-alls to hold individuals who fall between the cracks in psychiatry.

The American Psychiatric Association refers to "limited data available about this newly introduced disorder" (Asperger’s), while the diagnostic criteria in the US Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) are rather broad.

Personality disorders are a wide spectrum of conditions whose symptoms are not exclusively linked to the individual’s inner experience: DSM-IV comments that "An enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior the deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual's culture", potentially stigmatising many of us and dependent upon the diagnosing clinician’s assessment not just of the individual but also of the "expectations of the individual’s culture". Does somebody on a sink estate with aspirations to succeed have a personality disorder?

Lanza owned a copy of The Catcher in the Rye which the Telegraph article calls "the classic tale of troubled youth", but over 60,000,000 copies of the book have been sold and there haven’t been 60,000,000 massacres. (I found it marginally less interesting than watching paint dry.)

Reasons can help us understand, which may be important for many Newtown residents as they grieve for the victims of this awful massacre. But, tragically, perhaps the only reason is that there was no reason and there are no lessons to be learnt, except the hardest lesson, that of carpe diem. May the victims of this atrocious crime rest in peace.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Thursday, 13 December 2012

murder by suicide: the war against moderate British Muslims continues

The inquest into the death of former British Library manager Rema Begum has been told that the former British Library manager jumped to her death after a campaign of hate by a stalker who abused her over her "western" lifestyle.

Ms Begum had been described as "happy and bubbly", but suffered personality changes apparently resulting from the stalking, becoming depressed and forming an idea that she was "impure" after person or persons unknown sent a barrage of hate-male to both her and her parents. She "calmly" jumped from the Coq d’Argent restaurant in London.

If the facts above leave you nonplussed, it may clear things up a little to know that Ms Begum was a Muslim living a westernised life. It’s also surely not insignificant that she lived in Islington, a borough whose level of Islamisation has sunk to such depths that nine-year-old girls have been found in forced marriages there.

Rema Begum represented that which Islamism hates and fears most: a Muslim woman who had found happiness in integration.

This underlines the madness of the Establishment policy of trying to sideline patriots like the English Defence League by labelling us racists and fascists, when the freedoms of conscience, speech, association and worship we are trying to save are only meaningful if they are applied to everybody within these shores. When we struggle for these freedoms we do so not just for ourselves but for everybody, including those who came here for a better life but instead found themselves persecuted by the beard-and-burqa imperialists they sought to escape.

A country where one group of people are subject to oppression cannot call itself free. But freedom is costly: witness Rema Begum’s martyrdom in the cause of liberty. May she rest in peace in heaven – she’s been dragged through hell here.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Monday, 10 December 2012

get rid of this scum now

It’s entirely symptomatic of modern liberal values that, days after driving a devoted mother and wife to her suicide, the two DJs who did the deed appeared on Australian TV shedding tears for themselves and trying to make the case that it wasn’t their fault because it was a joke.

Jacintha Salhana, as is now well known, killed herself after putting Mel Grieg and Michael Christian, pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles, through to the nurse caring for the Duchess of Cambridge’s. Ms Saldanha no doubt belonged to the school of thought that held a nurse’s duty to her patients to be a sacred trust, and any violation of this to be an attack upon the patient and upon this trust.

I would like to say that it is incomprehensible such a stunt could have been aired, but we are talking about a station that in 2009 aired a show where a DJ hooked a 14-year old girl to a lie-detector and cajoled her into admitting to being raped at the age of twelve.

While the original, muscular liberals like Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Hobbes would have demanded Grieg and Christian mount the scaffold, what is specifically symptomatic of modern liberalism is that the white bullies are receiving counselling but the Goan family has been left dangling. It’s the same situation writ large that you see in many schools: bullies get extra attention and input, while the victims are left wondering whether it was all somehow their fault.

This is not about royalty or monarchism or any of the movements opposing them: responsible republicans are just as shocked. I ask only one thing of the Australian people and their government: please do something about the scum at 2Say FM radio now.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

the n-word: is hate based on race?

I’ve only ever said the word "nigger" once, at home after having heard in primary school. My Mum had lived in the US in the early 1960s, and was probably more aware of the word’s cultural history and emotional import than the person who had used it: her face fell into such a mask of disappointment that I never said it again.

What brought this back was a debate on Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 talk-show about a white man who has been cleared of using racially aggravated words or behaviour after shouting the n-word at a black man. Christopher Jones, a rap fan with more black friends than white, argued successfully that he could not be racist because the word is part of his everyday vocabulary.

Pauline Pearce: click to find out more
On Vine’s show was Pauline Pearce, a jazz singer and radio personality who famously upbraided rioters in London. She was debating with a hip-hop fan on the acceptability of the word, and both got into a muddle because they use the word as a term of endearment with black friends, but agreed that the term is offensive when used by white people.

elements from page - click for page
Then Vine read out an email from a Yitzhak Hussein, who said sometimes the n-word was acceptable, but the "p-word" never was. Jeremy’s had that debate before with similar conclusions: Pakistanis can call each other Paki – as in "Paki live TV shows" – but from whites the word is an insult.

Could it be that laws banning hate-speech are creating linguistic ghettos on the basis of the sinister and outmoded concept of race, where freedom of speech depends on the amount of melatonin in one’s skin? In that case I’m with Rowan Atkinson on his opposition to hate-speech laws: "feel free to insult me!" Just don’t take offence when I reply in kind.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Click to go to the Jeremy Vine Show 5 December 2012

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

300 needles found: why the surprise?

The Cambridge news reports that 3,000 dirty needles have been found in a flat in the east side of Cambridge. OK, I’ll bite and point to the elephant: in our high-surveillance society, in the middle of a city infested with CCTV cameras, why is Cambridge City Council surprised at such a large find?

Cllr Paul Saunders gives assurances that one user can generate a large amount of needles, and that’s true, especially when injecting a stimulant with a short half-life. But given how hard it is to evict somebody these days, I would guess that there were numerous complaints and a fairly sizeable body of police intelligence.

I don’t talk of eviction lightly. The psychology and biology of addiction cause a person’s life to turn around what they’re addicted to, and when they get that thing the chemicals released in the brain’s reward pathway make them believe they’re happy. When somebody beats an addiction, it’s almost always because they’ve experienced how bad things can get, often more than once. The former tenant now has a goal to attain: to get back into long-term housing. I wish him or her well, and hope the neighbours have a quieter life.

The same report quotes Cllr Simon Sedgwick-Jell advocating a "shooting gallery" where addicts can safely inject. This might yet be unavoidable as part of a treatment program using drugs prescribed after individual assessment, especially as heroin and cocaine production can only be interdicted by the international community.

But while a drugs-worker, users complained to me that prisons are full of drugs, even if they weren’t, stays for possession and even supply don’t last long enough to get clean, and some homeless shelters can be full of drugs. I would add that those remaining residential rehabs are finding survival ever more difficult: and these are all problems solvable within our borders.

Gerry Dorrian 300 words

Friday, 30 November 2012


check out 11.22.63 at


Check out 11.22.63 at Amazon

A novel centred on the assassination of John F Kennedy that was published the year before Barack Obama’s re-election campaign was always going to be controversial, especially when written by a Democrat who has compared right-wing "hate" towards Obama to the hate that culminated in Kennedy’s death on 22/11/63.

However, when the author is Stephen King, there’s always more to the tale – which is named after the above date, in American notation 11.22.63.

King mentions in passing in his time-travel epic that the "Tea-Party Society" sponsored leaflets promoting segregation: subsequent debate has stating that this organisation was an invention of King’s, while a Daily Kos article identifies it with a shadowy Democrat splinter-group called the Dixiecrats. Was he inviting comparison with the Tea Party, or commenting on the complex skein of prejudices within which the Civil Rights Movement would shortly emerge?

Lee Harvey Oswald 'backyard photo', taken by wife Marina
He ponders whether a re-elected JFK would have turned Vietnam into the quagmire that Lyndon Johnson did, and emerges with an answer I hadn’t foreseen. In fact, as the story progresses the number of tantalising possible routes to denouement increases, with the author following the line of least predictability. But conspiracy-theorists rest easy: from Lee Harvey Oswald (left) to George de Mohrenschildt, the usual suspects are all there.

Enoch Powell
But what of a JFK who survives 11.22.63? King offers an interesting take on Enoch Powell’s (right) dictum – Obama-worshippers take note – that "all political careers, unless cut off in mid-stream, end in failure". Posterity blesses the beautiful, and for political beauty being young and doomed is sine qua non.

More than this, King offers meditations on the nature of love, of duty, and ultimately of reality itself that kept me coming back for more: once I started work bleary-eyed through reading instead of sleeping. I heartily recommend that you read 11.22.63 for the 40th anniversary of JFK’s date with cultural apotheosis.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Leveson enquiry: blogs to inherit freedom of the press?

The Leveson enquiry into press standards reports today, amid fears that 300 years of press freedom in Great Britain are about to end. Even should this be the case, however, freedom of information will not cease but will merely move: to the blogosphere.

It’s surely no coincidence that the two publications in which comment is most free – ie in which editorial policy is for editorial policy to have the lightest touch possible – are the Mail and the Spectator, which both have sizeable and well-visited online presences (the Mail’s is suspected to be the only newspaper website making money). The Spectator has vowed to break the law if mandatory regulation is introduced, and one suspects that the Mail will carry regardless.

click to see Wired's list of news-breaking tweets
The blogosphere’s ascendancy became noticed in January 2009, when Jim Hanrahan (aka Manolantern) tweeted a photo of UA Airways Flight 1549 in Hudson Bay, scooping the New York Times. On the same network in 2011 a tech consultant inadvertently tweeted the start of the operation to kill Osama bin Laden, while in 2010 bloggers circulated a picture of Cambridge’s Labour parliamentary Daniel Zeichner - click to read morecandidate Daniel Zeichner performing a Nazi salute in election hustings before it made the newspapers, who seemed to still regard bloggers as something to scrape off their shoes.

Then Damien Thompson was promoted to the position of the Daily Telegraph’s blog editor: everything had changed. Now, when you hear phrases such as "the BBC has learnt…" it usually means that a news editor read it on a blog but either doesn’t want to or isn’t allowed to admit it.

Personally I buy papers for puzzles and get breaking news online, but if newspaper stories have to go through a central committee then papers will become mostly commentaries and blogs will inherit responsibility to maintain press freedom, much of which they carry already.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Monday, 26 November 2012

adoption assessor: "I have noticed you are blonde and blue-eyed"

The above statement was made to a woman who, with her husband, was undergoing assessment by social services to adopt a Guatemalan child. They had wanted to adopt a child in Britain, but were turned down for an interview after stating their ethnicity as "white British".

The Establishment seems to fetishize blonde hair and blue eyes in the way that they don’t, say, brown hair and hazel eyes. True, Hitler envisaged his Master Race as blonde-and-blue, but the quickest look at the top echelons of the Nazi establishment shows these characteristics to have been largely conspicuous by their absence.

Nevertheless, social workers especially seem to suspect people possessing blonde-and-blue to harbour a fascist agenda, which if you speak to them about it equates a socialist state minus even the perfunctory nod to democracy within our present society. This seems to hark back to the "blue-eyes brown-eyes" experiment beloved of diversity votaries, whereby people with brown eyes are invited to imagine the discrimination they would face in a world run by people with blue eyes.

This originated with an experiment US schoolteacher Jane Elliott had her third-grade pupils conduct in 1968, as a one-off, to help them understand the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King (left). In her version, however, the blue-eyes were initially discriminated against by the brown-eyes, and then roles were reversed. But fast-forward to 21st-century Hull Museums and teachers' notes present the experiment so that blue-eyes are exclusively the oppressors, with no reversals - the subtext being that oppressors are always blue-eyed, no matter their appearance.

In the first paragraph, I said that the couple wanted to adopt a child "in Britain" – not necessarily British or white or the other attributes that social-workerish types are programmed to associate with Britain. The types that, I hope, will see their fascist practices challenged by a huge vote for UKIP in the Rotherham by-election on Thursday.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


'When I told them we were white British, I was turned down without even being invited for an interview': Family's adoption ordeal at the hands of the 'thought police' - Daily Mail

Blue-Eyes, Brown-Eyes: The Experiment that Shocked the Nation And Turned a Town Against its Most Famous Daughter

Blue Eye/Brown Eye Activity - (teacher notes) - Hull Museum Education

UKIP fostering scandal: has Labour just lost the Rotherham by-election? - Andrew Gilligan

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Malala shows why we have asylum

Malala Yosoufsai: click for Daily Mail article
It’s now about a month-and-a-half since 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai was shot in the head in a school bus in Pakistan, for the crime of advocating for girls’ education. I’m not using "crime" ironically: the Taliban justified the assassination attempt by referring to Sharia law.

I believe bringing her to the UK was the right thing to do. We have the best medical facilities here, and we have an honourable tradition of offering asylum to people facing persecution in their own countries.

The desecration of this tradition by progressive governments is where Malala’s trouble starts. When masses of people flood into a country – in our case invited by Labour governments in return for votes – there comes a point at which they stop being individuals who are immigrating, and instead form a wave importing alien cultures wholesale. In a culture like Islam whose scriptures and votaries advocate exporting war and conquest this is asking for trouble: and all too predictably, British Islamists have announced a fatwa on Malala. Extremist cleric Anjem Choudary has said he is not asking for Malala’s death, but is silent on whether he would condemn another assassination attempt.

Malala and her family are in Great Britain on tourist’s visas which expire next year, but her father Ziauddin is an experienced educator and has been offered a job with the Pakistani consulate in Birmingham, so they may stay. That’s only right: they are an educated, articulate family whose views on women’s rights put many of their coreligionists to shame. Pakistan has historical links to Britain through its days as part of the Raj, and the Yosoufzais form a living embodiment of that relatively enlightened tradition.

I wish Malala well in her recovery and new life, and trust that the Establishment will be perspicacious in upholding her freedom of conscience and of expression against those who would curtail it.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Saturday, 24 November 2012

the UKIP two: political child-snatching in Rotherham

With the news that a Rotherham couple have had their foster-children snatched by social-workers because of their membership of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), yet more lights go out on British democracy.

Child-snatching on political grounds started with Toni McLeod, who fled to Ireland when social-workers threatened to remove her baby at birth because she supported the English Defence League, on grounds that the child would be "radicalised" by her beliefs.

At one time Ms McLeod had not been an advert for good motherhood, but that’s the point. Oppression of a population always starts on the margins of what the chattering-classes deem acceptable, and moves inwards once a bridgehead for the erosion of basic rights has been established. Two of those rights are freedom of association and freedom of speech: it’s no coincidence that Julia Layton defines two of fascism’s defining marks thus: "people cannot gather without permission, and they can't say anything negative against the State".

I use the word fascist advisedly. How else to describe a social services system which, reflecting the wider Establishment, stands by while children are abused but snatches vulnerable children from "exemplary" foster-parents on political grounds?

The Rotherham social-workers’ defence is that UKIP has "racist" policies. This implies that such a thing as race exists, and furthermore that patriots associate problems with immigration with certain skin-colours, as opposed to people importing cultures corrosive to our traditions whatever the amount of melatonin in their skin.

What next? If I agree with Tory MP Kris Hopkins that Muslim gangs are "grooming and raping white kids" will my children be snatched, and evidence that I read about it in the Daily Mail used against me in proceedings? Even a year ago that might have seemed a paranoid fantasy, but now it just seems a continuation of policy.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


Council defends taking foster children away from UKIP members - Daily Telegraph

Decision over UKIP couple fostering 'indefensible' - Gove, contains video from Joyce Thacker, Strategic Director of Children and Young People Services at Rotherham Borough Council

Rotherham's Stasi have handed UKIP a PR victory. Shame they had to tear apart a foster family in the process - Damien Thompson (interersting comments)

Why try to take baby from EDL mother but not from terrorists? - Daily Express

Click to view the Children's and Young People's Services page on the Rotherham Borough Council website

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

EDL Norwich demo 10 November 2012

Soon after putting money in a bucket to give Tommy Robinson a Christmas present in prison, it was depressing to hear of the release on bail of hate-preacher Abu Qatada. Jordan wants Qatada for questioning regarding very specific terrorism charges, whereas Tommy, head of the English Defence League, is in Wandsworth Prison, held on nebulous charges of conspiring to cause a public nuisance.

The bucket went round while the EDL was in Norwich to bear witness to our support for Dr Alan Clifford, banned by Norwich City Council from sharing a market stall in the city centre after one complaint about a ten-year-old pamphlet he wrote called Why Not Islam which the police saw fit not to take further.

One speaker at the national rally, called Julia, shared the stall with Revd Clifford and recalled being surrounded by thugs, one bearing a red flag on a pickaxe handle, who objected to her English flag. Beforehand, two students had asked her to remove the flag, which she flew to advertise charitable fundraising for St George’s Day Parades.

Unlike the police, who tackled the troublemakers, Norwich City Council continues to act not on pragmatic but on ideological grounds. Most recently, it misinformed stallholders that the EDL were coming to smash up the market, so it was cheering to see some stallholders had seen through their propaganda and remained open.

Norfolk Constabulary were great, clearing so-called "antifascists" from our way when they tried to block our progress to stop ordinary Norfolk residents hearing what we stand for themselves. They also quickly put a lid on our opponents throwing missiles, trying to goad us into a response and feed their narrative that we are thugs.

It has to be said, though, that while Tommy Robinson is in jail and Abu Qatada walks free, justice in Great Britain remains in the dock.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Click here to go to Open letter to the Christian faith leaders of Norwich on 300 Words

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

police elections 2012: Kevin Carroll for Bedfordshire

As Nicky Campbell said towards the during BBC1’s Police Elections 2012, elections for posts of Police and Crime Commissioner will have a huge effect on how we live. So it was disappointing that this show was a mere half-hour long but, to be fair, Nicky made every minute work.

Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty pointed out rightly that an elected official per Constabulary isn’t enough; we also need the rule of law. A lady on the discussion panel who lived in an area plagued by thuggery made the best possible case for an elected PCC: "authorities mark their own homework all the time".

A test case presented to the panel was Luton, with its "community tensions". We saw stock footage of the few English Defence League members who make the most noise, but (and this surprised me) it was followed by footage of extremists protesting against returning troops with banners calling them "murderers". There was no footage of them burning poppies, but this is itself a symptom of the real problem: that a group of radicalised individuals has preyed on men, women and children from every community bar none in Luton and elsewhere in Bedfordshire, with the authorities marking their own homework in response to complaints.

As shown, one of the five candidates contesting the Bedfordshire election for PCC is Kevin Carroll, and the above is one of many areas in which I believe he and Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock will work together to address, others being alcohol-fuelled violence, antisocial behaviour in general and Bobbies on the beat.

click to go to Kevin Carroll's webpage

Many candidates didn't know their Chief Constable's name; Kevin Carroll has had meetings with CC Hitchcock regarding the prospect of them working together. He is Bedfordshire's answer to the heartfelt plea of a householder interviewed for the program: "we pay our taxes too, and we matter."

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


Police Elections 2012: click for the version discussed above

Police Elections 2012: click for versions for other TV areas

Click to go to Kevin Carroll's bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner election website

Watch Kevin Carroll's PCC election video below or click here to watch it on YouTube

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

suppression of dissent always ends badly

I hadn’t heard of Revd Dr Alan Clifford before Norwich City Council banned him from having a stall in the because of his booklet about of Islam. I don’t know how large his congregation in the Norwich Reformed Church is, but the 1,000 hits his latest video-sermon gained in one day presumably enlarges it.

EDL LGBT division: click to learn more
Like others in the English Defence League I find it hard to agree with everything Revd Clifford says, eg about homosexuality. He himself probably isn’t a member of the EDL LGBT Division. But that’s the cornerstone of free society – an acceptance that people who disagree with you aren’t necessarily wrong. To put it only slightly differently, healthy democracy demands we recognise that disagreeing with a viewpoint doesn’t warrant banishment of the dissenter.

Suppression of dissenting voices always ends badly. To give an obvious example, when Winston Churchill was relegated to political Siberia in the 1930s because of his visceral opposition to appeasing fascists, Europe lost its last best hope for peace. If he’d been given his head and allowed help put together an expeditionary force when the Nazis were still weak, millions of British, German, Russian and of course Jewish lives might have been saved.

You could also point to Emile Zola (left), who had to flee to England after publishing J’Accuse, his letter condemning French President Félix Fauré on the anti-Semitic arrest of Richard Dreyfus on charges of treason. The French establishment’s pursuit of Zola strengthened the hands of anti-Semites, and contributed to the meat-grinder awaiting 2 generations down the line.

It’s not insignificant that Revd Clifford accuses the one person who complained about Why Not Islam – a complaint that the police rightly rejected – was himself spouting anti-Semitic rhetoric. Why was this person not banned? Are we sleepwalking towards another meat-grinder? Suppression of dissenting voices always ends badly.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


Watch Dr Clifford's video sermon below or click here to watch it on YouTube

Why not Islam by Revd Alan Clifford

EDL East Anglia Division on the Norwich Demo

Friday, 2 November 2012

Festival of Ideas: free thinking?

Mary Robinson: click for lecture
BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival of Ideas has launched with a lecture from Mary Robinson (right), former President of Ireland, arguing that women leaders would be better placed to face the challenges of the 20th century.

As polemical as the idea sounds, Robinson succeeded in laying out her case that women aren’t better than men, but rather have a different and complimentary way of approaching problems.

Observing the BBC shibboleth of abstention from some subjects, Robinson danced so studiously around her topic’s elephants as to qualify her for Strictly Come Dancing. For example, while mentioning Tahrir Square as an infamous centre of harassment, she didn’t actually mention Islam until after the lecture, when in conversation with Matthew Sweet about the role of religion in oppression of women she said she felt that growing up as a Catholic had helped her appreciate what girls go through in Islam.

Really? As tight a hold as the RC church had on quondam Ireland, where were the stonings, the honour attacks, the burqas?

Thomas Jefferson
The problem, I think, is the BBC is attempting to take on the mantle of the Freethinkers: people such as Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson (left) and Bertrand Russell who sought to break the chains of dogmatic belief, religious and otherwise.

Freethinkers were liberals in the classical, muscular tradition that birthed the United States and modern democracy. Their traditions, revolving around the protection of liberty, seem now to have been relegated to the fringes of debate, and freethinkers have been replaced by safe pairs of hands who bow to new dogmas like climate change and diversity. When the Festival of Ideas includes in its mix speakers who have, for instance, campaigned against female genital mutilation in Bristol and been ostracised by their community, or who struggle in other ways to maintain our diminishing liberties, I’ll be listening.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


Click for Mary Robinson's lecture opening the Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival of Ideas

Free Thinking Festival of Ideas homepage

Mary Robinson's page on The Elders' website

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Blue Collar Conservatism

As a blue-collar Brit and former Conservative I was interested to read about the "Blue Collar Conservatism" scheme.

It’s good that in eschewing the phrase "working class" the Tories recognise we don’t need Marxist vocabulary to define ourselves on every occasion. But I’m surprised they didn’t launch this initiative last summer when Peter Mandelson confirmed that Labour no longer connected with its traditional base:

Peter Mandelson: click to go to interview
Blue Labour…seeks to reconnect the party with its old, postwar, apparently white and male, industrial working-class base. These people have moved on, to other jobs, to other aspirations and, in the main, to an entirely different identity.

Better late than never – it’s just a pity that the launch comes so close to "plebgate"; possibly the recent poll revealing working-class voters are more right-wing than middle-class ones was the kickstart?

Personally I can’t foresee (re)joining a party that sees continued membership of the European Union, with the associated corruption and human rights messes, as a given. However, if I were still a Tory, I’d be asking why so little has been done about open-door immigration. There are obviously obstacles put in place by the Lib Dems, but surely politics is the art of the possible?

There are also the child-grooming gangs, preying predominantly on the children of blue-collar families. This isn’t necessarily tied to immigration, as many of the offenders were born here and are therefore British.

The list goes on: why do we fund India, which has its own space program? Why subsidise affluent European farmers more than dirt-poor African ones? Can we afford to give benefits to able-bodied people for minimal (if any) tax contributions?

I guess the caveat to Blue Collar Conservatives is: unless you put your blue-collar Brits in a political ghetto, you might start an avalanche that will change your party forever.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


Blue Collar Conservatism website

Sir George Young and four ministers join "Blue Collar" Tory group - The Daily Telegraph, November 2012

Middle class voters "more leftwing" than the working class - The Guardian, October 2012

Peter Mandelson versus Ed Miliband: Labour is fracturing and its leader hasn't noticed - The Daily Telegraph, July 2011

Friday, 26 October 2012

"first they came..." another extradition controversy

The latest controversy revolving around extradition to the US comes hot on the heels of the resolution of another two.

First came the extradition of Abu Hamza and four associates – the convicted terrorist’s sermons inspired 9/11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui as well as would-be shoe-bomber Richard Reid. Lawyers defended the eight-year long process by saying it shows Britain’s determination to be fair.

Gary McKinnon hacked into 97 American defence and Nasa computers, including one at the Pentagon, potentially endangering the country’s defence capability. Home Secretary Theresa May personally blocked the extradition because of the effect it might have on his health.

The third controversy concerns Tommy Robinson, co-founder and leader of the English Defence League, who has been arrested for allegedly entering the US illegally, having been invited to speak on the anniversary of 9/11.

While Abu Qatada was often free to roam and preach hate-sermons during his extradition process and Gary MacKinnon lived at home, Robinson is being held alongside Muslim prisoners. British Freedom leader Paul Weston was also detained, when he refused to leave the reception area of Wormwood Scrubs prison without news of Tommy’s whereabouts and safety. (Can anybody now doubt that habeas corpus no longer exists?)

And in what probably represents the point of the whole exercise Kevin Carroll, British Freedom candidate for the post of Police and Crime Commissioner in Bedfordshire, was arrested as well.

Tommy Robinson neither preaches hate sermons nor encourages others to be violent. He has never compromised another country’s defence. So if you are reading this I hope you will find his arrest sinister and disturbing, regardless of your views on the English Defence League. At the very least follow his case and, if his extradition should be placed on the fast track, ask yourself how you'll fare when it's your turn to stand up against the British Establishment.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Tommy Robinson has been denied legal aid and has had his funds frozen - please click here to find out how you can donate to his fighting fund!


Darkness descending in England by Pamela Geller

Update BF/EDL arrests - British Freedom

A Statement from Kev Carroll - English Defence League

Read First they Came by Pastor Martin Niemöller, from which I took part of the title of this post

Thursday, 25 October 2012

public outcry confirms age of consent in UK remains 16

Before 1875, the age of consent to sexual activity in England was 12 in those cases where officials could be bothered to investigate a complaint. Ten years later, crusading editor W.T. Stead (right) pointed out in a series of articles that "the moment a child is thirteen she is a woman in the eye of the law, with absolute right to dispose of her person to any one who by force or fraud can bully or cajole her". The age of consent was raised to 16 and, ever since, politicians and academics – predominantly from the left/liberal axis – have chipped away at the ruling.

That’s why the Savile child-abuse controversy is so significant. Peter Rippon, it is alleged, dropped Newsnight’s exposé on Savile because he considered the bulk of victims were "teenagers, not too young".

We plebs recognise sexual crimes by adults against under-16s as paedophilia. On our side is the UN definition of children in its Convention on the Rights of the Child: "every human being below the age of 18". Underpinning the UN’s assumption is a view of childhood as not just a biological stage but a social construct, extending through the changes of adolescence, a time when the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune can be lethal, as in the case of 15-year-old Claire McAlpine (left).

We cannot lose this momentum, both for Savile’s victims, and for those of child grooming gangs – for example the burgeoning bands of beasts in Rochdale, whose supporters insist that puberty renders a girl a woman.

Nevertheless, authorities still seem to see abuse as a foregone conclusion for a child from a troubled family. Let us hope those authorities see the danger of the outcry against the BBC spreading to all who think it is their right to bully and cajole our children for adult pleasures.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

W.T. Stead Resource Site

Monday, 22 October 2012

Savile and the BBC: let's stay focussed

Have you ever met a paedophile? If you’re fortunate enough not to have been sexually abused as a child, there are only two answers to this: yes, or I don’t know.

I was unfortunate enough to have had to work with beasts in a "therapeutic" environment, and have seen first-hand how extraordinarily manipulative many can be, so much so that even outside the sexual arena they can make the most outrageous propositions seem like perfect sense. Until, that is, they’ve got what they wanted and you’re left wondering how on earth you were fooled.

So in a sense I can empathise with Edwina Currie (right) who, when Health Minister in 1988, put Jimmy Savile at the head of a task force running Broadmoor Hospital, where he abused residents. Her decision must of course be investigated, but hopefully by a team staffed by people with experience of the persuasive and chameleon-like qualities of intelligent abusers.

Whether the same latitude should be shown to the BBC is in the balance. While I’m sure that many of its foot-soldiers are devastated by what the Corporation’s enabled Savile to do, senior people at the Beeb knew precisely what that was. At best they washed their hands of his victims, at worst persuading families not to pursue action because the fans wouldn’t understand.

What we have to do is stay focussed on how the BBC buried reports of Savile’s tendency and not get distracted by minutiae. Yes, Savile looked odd; he acted bizarrely; many thought him weird; he didn’t have a life partner. Yet these are not indications of predatory intent, either singly or in combination. We need to cast light on how ratings matter more than lives in the BBC’s shadowy corridors of power, not let our rage dissipate heatedly and ineffectively on our own straw men.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


Exposure: The other Side of Jimmy Savile - ITV documentary that started the ball rolling

Jimmy Savile - what the BBC Knew - Panorama documentary due to be broadcast 10:35 on BBC1: follow link for i-Player

Newsnight and Jimmy Savile - blog by Newsnight editor Peter Rippon on why the Savile investigation piece was dropped

End of the license-fee for post-Savile BBC? - 300 words

BBC abd Savile: remind you of anything? - 300 words

Thursday, 18 October 2012

open letter to the Christian faith leaders of Norwich

Open letter in response to Norwich Christian faith leaders' statement opposing a demonstration by the English Defence League. Click here to go straight to the letter.


  • Fr David Bagstaff, diocesan administrator of the Diocese of East Anglia (Roman Catholic)
  • Major David Jackson, divisional commander of the Eastern Region, Salvation Army
  • The Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich (Church of England)
  • The Rev Richard Lewis, regional minister of the Eastern Baptist Association
  • John Myhill, on behalf of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • The Very Rev Graham Smith, Dean of Norwich (Church of England)
  • The Rev Graham Thompson, chairman of the East Anglian District of the Methodist Church
  • Fr James Walsh, Dean of the Cathedral Church of John the Baptist (Roman Catholic)
  • The Rev Paul Whittle, moderator of the Eastern Synod of the United Reformed Church

Dear Christian faith leaders of Norwich,

I am writing to voice my disappointment at your statement regarding the English Defence League’s proposed march in Norwich, which is lacking in charity just as much as in knowledge about the EDL.

We are a diverse and inclusive group with supporters from many backgrounds, including Islam. We value the cohesion that comes from integration of different groups.

Our aim is a society where every man, woman and child is equal under the law of the land – a goal the patriot and martyr Benazir Bhutto, amongst others, soundly agreed with.

You wish us to refrain from raising awareness of the muzzling of one of your co-religionists, Pastor Alan Clifford of the Norwich Reformed Church, who was accused of spreading hate with his leaflet Why Not Islam. Are you sure it is us and not free speech you oppose?

I note that you align yourself with a group called We are Norwich. This has echoes of We are Walthamstow, an unelected group of 200 people who threw bricks and bottles at us in the name of the 250,000 residents of this area. Norwich has 140,000 residents – how many are members of We are Norwich? Who elected them? Who gave them a mandate not merely to say "we represent Norwich" but "we are Norwich"?

I wonder how many of you have experienced an EDL demonstration from our side. I invite those of you who haven’t to come to one of our demos to see us bear witness to radical equality. (You might be offended by the language, but that’s how we plebs talk sometimes.)

I also invite those of you who have no experience of us to ask yourselves: wasn’t it presumptious to put your name to a statement that judges us in a way your Founder would have considered intolerable?

Yours faithfully
Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Frankie Boyle: "antifascist" and racist

Frankie Boyle’s "racist" libel action against the Daily Mirror continues. Unable to conceive of any context in which a white person can use the “n-word” to describe black people in a non-racist context, I will welcome his defeat.

Frankie Boyle in BBC's Mock the Week
Boyle has long been a darling of the left for his scathing misrepresentations of working-class attitudes and values, so it’s significant that he was taken to task by the left-leaning Mirror – followed closely by none other than the Guardian. Perhaps the Savile scandal has reminded them that celebrity does not coat bigots in Teflon, in which case the mighty will fall in such numbers that we’ll need brollies.

The Guardian’s Bim Adewunmi – a bystander in Diane Abbott’s racism scandal – points out that "racist" has become a problematic word. It was once applied to people and behaviours that made, for example, the lives of many black people a misery.

But it’s problematic because of its misappropriation to be applied to whoever the politically correct disapprove of. So-called antifascist movements call, for example, the English Defence League racist, when all we demand is equality under one law for everybody: as the British Freedom slogan goes, it’s about culture, not colour.

All the more reason for Boyle to react with fury and fear at the appellation of "racist". As a self-confessed so-called antifascist, he helped torture the term into its present meaning, and knows well that in his circles if somebody is called "racist", the speaker means "fascist", ie "not one of us".

I make no apologies for talking about an ongoing case, because the BBC made none for appointing itself judge and jury on Question Time, 9 February 2012, over John Terry while his (unproven) case for allegedly using racist language was ongoing. As institutions and individuals are relearning, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


Comedian Frankie Boyle sues Daily Mirror for libel over 'racist comedian' line - Daily Mirror, 15 October 2012

I hate racism, Frankie Boyle tells libel case - Daily Mirror, 16 October 2012

The Frankie Boyle 'racism' case makes me question the language we use - The Guardian - Bim Adewunmi, 16 October 2012

Click to go to Question Time (9 February 2012) to see a discussion of the John Terry racism case when the case was ongoing and adjourned - discussion begins 43m 05s.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

BBC and Savile: remind you of anything?

Is the developing story of Jimmy Savile’s abuse and suppression of same sounding familiar? Let’s look at some relevant points, from a Daily Mail report into the affair:

  • A [BBC Newsnight] report into Savile shelved, and conclusions not passed on to police;
  • Individuals gagged by [BBC] authorities;
  • Reports from rank-and-file police officers in several police forces ignored.
  • Savile rendered ‘untouchable’.

Psychiatry defines "perseveration" as the continuation of a learned behaviour in response to new stimuli. This matters because individuals who managed the BBC’s studied denial of Muslim child-grooming will have moved onto different jobs, including reputation management. Upon hearing of the charges against Savile, they will have reacted to the new situation according to the old rules: oppose, obfuscate and obstruct.

Malala Yousafzai: click to find out more
I’m not using Savile‘s crimes to have a cheap shot at Muslims, many of whom are as much victims of Islamism as the rest of us are. Take Malala Yousafzai (right), the Pakistani schoolgirl shot for her brave stand against Taliban opposition to girls’ education. She’s a hero, like the women who found the strength to stand up and testify in The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, the ITV documentary that started all the furore. And all of them are victims of systemic ways of thinking that put abusive males at the top of the tree then maintain their position.

In February 2011, English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson told Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman about a series of issues relating to Islam in Britain, ending with 15-year-olds being "raped and pimped". Paxman’s response to this was "these are all personal issues of yours".

My contention is that such an automatic denial on the part of BBC apparatchiks to Islamist abuses became a learned behaviour that was then directed towards the victims of Savile and his accomplices. It’s time to shine some democratic light upon these reflex responses so that justice can start to be done upon the monsters who have enjoyed the BBC’s protection.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


Click to watch The Other Side of Jimmy Savile on ITV

Click to watch Jeremy Paxman interview Tommy Robinson for Newsnight on Feb 2011. The exchange ending with Paxman's comment "these are all personal issues of yours" begins at 5min 45sec.

Click to find out more about Malala Yousafzai on the Provoking Thoughts blog

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

end of the licence fee for post-Savile BBC?

The BBC’s chickens are coming home to roost like never before, with allegations of Jimmy Saville’s abuse of children being followed by indications of decades-long cover-ups of his and others’ activities. So is it entirely coincidental that YouTube has announced its drive to lure TV viewers with 60 new channels right now?

The idea isn’t new: YouTube launched a similar initiative in the US last year, and doubtless the UK additions have been on the drawing board for some time. But surely it would be commercial stupidity not to act just as millions of licence-fee payers wonder whether their money has been used to gag witnesses and even victims of child abuse?

I’ve had big problems with the BBC; for instance, refusing to apologise to Christians for airing Jerry Springer: the Opera despite over 60,000 complaints. And after airing the infamous pre-recorded Ross and Brand show, its first reaction was to smear its own customers by saying we hadn’t reacted until an article by Melanie Phillips alerted us to the fiasco.

Now, however, I see that the BBC itself isn’t the problem. The licence fee is the problem.

Celebrity Big Brother Series 5 logo
Remember Celebrity Big Brother Series 5 on Channel 4 where Jade Goody racially abused Shilpa Shetty? The broadcaster stuck to its guns in not removing Goody: although the controversy raised viewing figures to astronomical levels, Carphone Warehouse withdrew its sponsorship of the programme and anything Goody-related, for example her perfumes and her autobiography, were considered too toxic for high-street shelves. Millions were lost, and C4 lost the series.

Had Channel 4 been funded by licence-fee, it would have carried on regardless, much as the BBC does. The Saville child abuse row, and all the related rows waiting to explode, constitute the BBC’s Big Brother experience. After all this, don’t let "the unique way the BBC is funded" become their get-out-of-jail-free card.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


Esther Rantzen: I believe interviewees - This is Gloucestershire

Gloating cruelty, foul vulgarity and a BBC that has lost all sense of shame - Melanie Phillips on the Ross and Brand broadcast

Monday, 8 October 2012

ecstasy trial: a silenced voice breaks through

In 1997, the Independent launched a protracted campaign to legalise cannabis. Ten years later, an avalanche of evidence about the damaging effects of cannabis upon mental health forced the paper into making an apology for their previous stance. The latest fallout from Channel 4’s two-part documentary on Ecstasy shows that the station has not applied the Independent’s lesson to itself.

Professor Andy Parott from Swansea University’s Department of Psychology has said in a letter to the Telegraph that he agreed to take part in the programmes "with the proviso that I would be given time to summarise the scientific evidence on the damaging effects of the drug on the human brain. Unfortunately this did not occur."

Certainly, a couple of indications of sinister side-effects of the "hug-drug" in the first part of the documentary could have been explored but were left hanging. Firstly, one member of the audience who said he takes ecstasy regularly shared that he’d seen people die in front of him due to having taken the drug.

Secondly, a tendency to form good impressions of people while under the influence of E was found to linger a week later, after all traces of the drug would have left the body – indicative of a lasting effect upon the way users think, possibly even arising from changes in the connections between cells in the executive frontal cortex of the brain.

There’s a popular view, expressed by an anonymous commenter on my post on the first documentary, that "there's absolutely no evidence that legalizing drugs will create more harm". In a limited amount of cases it might not be possible to falsify this statement, but "drugs" covers a colossal range of substances and issues, and to make a blanket statement about even one led the Independent into an apology. Channel 4, take note.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


Click to read Professor Andy C. Parrott's letter to the Daily Telegraph (last letter on the page

Drug Live: The Ecstasy Trial Channel 4 - Part 1

Drug Live: The Ecstasy Trial Channel 4 - Part 1

Cannabis: an Apology - The Independent 18 March 2007

Why Channel 4's Ecstasy trail left me depressed - 300 words

Thursday, 4 October 2012

HIV treatment: let's learn from medicine's history

Imagine: you’re healthy, and your GP prescribes you antibiotics, telling you that if you take them for the foreseeable future you won’t get a chest infection.

Imagine further that you start taking the antibiotics and find that they give you diorrhoea (a not uncommon side effect). So you reduce the dose in order to mitigate the runs and everything goes swimmingly – until you contract an infection that has become antibiotic-tolerant because you weren’t taking enough to kill it, and end up with pneumonia.

It sounds far-fetched, but once older people were prescribed antibiotics prophylactically for a whole winter to stop them catching bacterial infections, which is partially the reason we have hordes of bacteria tolerant to antibiotics today.

And it’s about to happen again, in the field of viruses: HIV, to be precise.

It’s been announced that HIV treatment and care is now free for all undocumented migrants and non-UK citizens who wish to access it. And that’s only right: viruses don’t care about whether or not their carriers have passports.

What’s worrying, though, is that a head of steam continues to build for prevention of HIV transmission via Prep: pre exposure prophylaxis, meaning that antiretrovirals would be given to somebody who was liable to have unprotected sex with HIV-positive partners. Just like bacteria, viruses can become tolerant to medications, and antiretrovirals require over 90% compliance to prevent tolerance.

If Prep becomes recognised as HIV treatment, undocumented migrants will be able to access it as of right. It sounds sinister to wish to deny them this, but rolling it out would mean we create a reservoir of treatment-resistant HIV within our communities. And it would buy into the racist lie that men of certain ethnicities have trouble keeping it in their trousers.

Let’s learn from medicine’s recent past.

Gerry Dorrian
Former BBV worker
300 words


From today, HIV treatment is free for all who need it in England - nam-aidsmap

Large study suggests that more African people are acquiring HIV in the UK than previously thought - nam-aidsmap

HIV risk factors common in Central and Eastern European gay men who have migrated to the UK - nam-aidsmap

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

why channel 4's ecstasy trial left me depressed

click to watch The Ecstasy Trial online
Ecstasy may for some live up to its name, but as a former drugs-worker I was left rather depressed by Channel 4’s Drugs Live: the Ecstasy Trial.

The programme seemed geared towards presenting Ecstasy (MDMA) as a tool for treating PTSD, although there is a body of research proposing doing the same with the cheap and non-addictive beta-blocker Propranolol.

It has to be remembered that this is also a nightclub drug that has killed. It wasn’t until nearly the end of this first part of the documentary that a psychiatrist in the audience pointed out the difference between using MDMA in a clinical setting and to enhance a night out.

One of the presenters is Dr David Nutt, who was spectacularly fired from his post as head of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs for publishing a scientific paper claiming that horse-riding is more dangerous than Ecstasy. Then-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith decided he was being disrespectful towards E’s victims, and suggestions that drugs policy be made by scientists instead of politicians were met by Daniel Hannan MEP with "Perhaps we should abandon democracy and be ruled by Prof David Nutt".

Leah Betts
Ecstasy is part of the amphetamine family, a tribe that brings us little except pain. It can cause a temporary psychosis whereby people feel compelled to repeat actions, which may have caused Leah Betts’ death after compulsively drinking water following ingestion of one E.

Spend the weekend in an A&E department: most of the substance-based attrition you see will be due to alcohol, a legal drug. Whatever Ecstasy/MDMA’s therapeutic potential, I’m left with the feeling that Nutt is in pursuit of unfinished business in terms of legalising more drugs, which he seems not to understand will be used by people in non-clinical settings and will create more harm.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


Watch Drugs Live: the Ecstasy Trial on

Equasy – An overlooked addiction with implications for the current debate on drug harms by David Nutt, Journal of Psychopharmacology

Propranolol treatment of traumatic memories, Advances in Psychiatric Treatment

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

why the Czech Republic needs lessons in English history

In 1736, the British Parliament started taxing gin punitively because of the problems caused by rocketing consumption. Resultingly, the sale illegal spirits soared.

Why this matters to the Czech republic is that on 14 September its government has banned the sale of alcohol stronger than 20% proof within the country after liquor "turbocharged" with methanol left over 20 people dead and many people blinded by the neurotoxic substance.

Vaclav Klaus
Already, many Czechs are turning to slivovitz, plum brandy made in stills (palenice - below right) of varying sizes. While it’s unlikely that these unofficial distilleries would poison their clientele, many of whom will be owners’ friends, it remains to be seen whether those customers will return to legal alcohol; probably one reason why Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus (right) wants to see spirits return to shops. He probably also wants to help restore tarnished images, as Slovakia and Poland are no longer importing Czech booze.

It’s difficult to stop people acting stupidly: in Glasgow in the early 1980s several people were blinded after alcohol laced with methanol was taken to a party. But the present crisis seems to have been brought about by an organised gang. With £49,000,000 of export business per year with Poland and Slovakia at risk, no doubt the police will have been told to get results quickly.

However, the reason for the ban being applied when it was is that the EU would have imposed a fixed-term ban from on high if the government hadn’t acted.

Which is another reason for the Czech establishment to study English history. The liquor crisis, says Tim Stanley of History Today, was ended when the price of corn and other grains went up. There's more than one way for Brussels to skin a cat: I hope Prague keeps an eye on EU agricultural policies.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Monday, 24 September 2012

cover-up exposed: child grooming in Rotherham

click to subscribe to The Times
The Times has published an exclusive about how police in South Yorkshire conspire with child protection services to suppress the ethnicity of groomers and child-abusers in Rotherham. It will come to no surprise to members of groups like the English Defence League that the abusers belong mostly to the Pakistani and Iraqi communities.

But while depressingly familiar, one report is stunning in its implications for girls from predominantly white families in this area. The Times report states:

Police went to a house outside which a father was demanding the release of his daughter, who was inside with a group of British Pakistani adults. Officers found the girl, 14, who had been drugged, under a bed. The father and his daughter were arrested for racial harassment and assault respectively. Police left, leaving three men at the house with two more girls.

When a girl can be arrested for racial harassment for having the temerity to be sexually assaulted by members of an untouchable community, aren’t we well on the road to a situation where a woman can be stoned for adultery, which usually consists of having been raped?

Denis MacShane MP: read his statement on the crisis
The South Yorkshire Police need to be hit by complaint after complaint; and hopefully Denis MacShane MP (left), who told the Times senior police officers hadn’t "even hinted" at what was going on, will join in. (Although why an MP of a small town was unaware of such a huge scandal needs also to be asked.)

But if by some miracle this is cleared up (and that would be a miracle), it’s set to happen again, because a polished diversity industry continually deflects blame elsewhere, for example on the troubled families the girls come from – something else the Times article explodes. While diversity wraps whole communities in Teflon, none of our children are safe.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


The Times website is subscription-only: click here to find out more

female genital mutilation: Sunday Times exclusive - 300 words

Monday, 17 September 2012

mob violence vs freedom to offend: which will win?

go to the BBC's Citizen Khan website

The scene where Amjad gets punched was expertly set-up and textbook sitcom. It’s just unfortunate that in the first episode of Citizen Khan to portray non-Muslims, a Pakistani man is walloped in a pub called "The George" where the English flag hangs in the background.

Unforseeably, the episode arrived amid a crisis about The Innocence of Muslims, a featurette whose fake beards are admittedly criminal but otherwise contains nothing concerning Mohammed which has not been said by respected Islamic resources.

The film starts in a small US town on the Mexican border; the banners outside are in Arabic and an army officer ponders the prophet’s 61 wives. A murderous gang of Arabs (cue offending beards) come raiding while police look on and await further orders. Then we’re in sixth-century Arabia and have a whistlestop tour of Mohammed’s life which is sickening but accurate - check out the Koran and hadiths.

Christopher Stevens: read a profile at the Telegraph
I’d have given the film a miss had not Muslims publicised it worldwide with the murder of Christopher Stevens, the US Ambassador to Libya. Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil helped rioting mobs turn it into a freedom of speech issue by insisting both that Muslims are peaceful and that people should "pay for what they do" if they insult Islam. Even Tony Blair, arch-acolyte of diversity, has refused to condemn the film.

Salman Rushdie observed that without the freedom to offend, freedom of expression is meaningless. During the furore surrounding The Life of Brian, John Cleese said something similar: "nobody has the right not to be offended". When Islam grows up and stops associating its offence with the loudest voices and the sharpest knives, I’ll start listening to its hurt feelings.

Meanwhile, a scene in Citizen Khan where the title character regrets offending a non-Muslim might start to indicate that cooler heads finally have a voice within British Islam.

Tony Urquhart
300 words


Statement from Joseph Nassralla Gives Inside Story of Making of "Innocence of Muslims" film - Atlas Shrugs

The Innocence of Muslims on YouTube: not suitable for young children

US Consulate Attack in Libya: Profile of John Christopher Stevens - The Telegraph

BBC website for Citizen Khan

Citizen Khan - to grow darker? - 300 words