Seven Shoddy Excuses Lefties Use to Justify the Paris Massacre

1. “You can’t shout fire in a crowded theatre.”

This hackneyed faux-truism is the Expecto Patronum of squishy liberal apologists. That is, when the going gets tough and they’re forced to do that difficult thing – defending free speech – they reach desperately for this magical formula, rather as Harry Potter does when faced with the Dementors. Once the phrase has been uttered, they seem to think, the argument has been made for them and the nasty, scary problem will go away – as no doubt the Lib Dems’ Vince Cable did when he used it in the most recent edition of BBC Question Time.

But the analogy just doesn’t work for at least three good reasons.

First, if the theatre wasn’t on fire, as seems to be implicit, why would anyone want to say it was? You just wouldn’t. Not unless you were mentally ill. So really, to observe that “you can’t shout fire in a crowded theatre” is a bit like saying “you can’t put your willy in a pit-bull’s mouth”. Trivially true. But so what?

Second, any legal restrictions there may be on shouting fire in crowded theatres which aren’t on fire have to do with protection of life and property rights. You might cause a stampede which could lead to fatalities; at best you would damage the theatre’s box office. These laws, therefore, are an expression of common consent. Not so the prescriptions on blasphemy which terrorists like the Charlie Hebdo murderers would like to impose on us. In order for them to become so, we would have all to agree that the precepts of Sharia law are something we should all obey, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Currently we don’t, though it seems to be the case that people who wheel out the “crowded theatre” aphorism think that we should.

Third, as Mark Steyn argues here and here, the theatre is on fire.

2. “Offensive”

I see that in a Daily Guardiangraph leader today the Charlie Hebdo cartoons are described as “offensive.” Was this adjective really necessary? It seems subtly to concede the case that the French cartoonists had it coming. But last time I checked “offensiveness” in the West was not a capital crime. Indeed, freedom to cause offense is surely one of the defining qualities of a mature, socially liberal culture. It’s how we explore the boundaries of what is and isn’t acceptable, by testing ideas – good and bad ones alike – in the crucible of debate. If people are wrong, we are free to tell them so – and explain why they are wrong. If we simply decide that some things cannot be said simply because they are “offensive” this enables aggrieved minorities to close down any argument they dislike without its ever being aired in public. This is not freedom of speech, but the opposite.

3. “Provocative.”

The first time I heard this justification was – bizarrely – from an old university friend of mine in the aftermath of the brutal 2004 murder of Theo Van Gogh. Sure it was jolly sad and upsetting, she argued, but frankly the guy was an outrageous provocateur who deliberately courted controversy so we should hardly be surprised that he came to a sticky end.

Wow! I never met Theo Van Gogh but I’m pretty sure that, had I asked him, he would have said that being shot in the street was not part of his life plan. Nor was it for the Charlie Hebdo team. They did what they did not, I suspect, because they wanted to but because they felt they had to. Why? Because of precisely the kind of cultural surrender they would have recognised in my university friend’s response to Theo Van Gogh’s death.

4. “Islamophobia”

It’s a nonsense term, of course, because phobias are traditionally a fear of something irrational. But it’s also a classic example of something the progressives are forever enjoining us not to do: victim-blaming. Those millions who gathered in Paris and elsewhere yesterday at the Charlie Hebdo vigils: do we imagine that any one of them wants anything other than to live in peace and harmony with their Muslim neighbours? It’s really about time that lefty apologists like Owen Jones stopped responding to every new Islamist atrocity as if it were otherwise.

5. “Anders Breivik”

If Anders Breivik had never existed the left would have had to invent him. He is the (allegedly) right-wing bogeyman they can wheel out at every turn – as Vince Cable did on BBC Question Time – to ‘prove’ that modern terrorism is not an exclusively Islamic phenomenon. The correct response when they try to play this game is: “OK. Apart from Anders Breivik, name two more. Even one more….” (Note incidentally how Owen Jones goes for the double here: Islamophobia and Breivik)

6. “The spectre of the Far Right.”

Another favourite cliche of progressive apologists, as witness most BBC reports on the killings in Paris. Yes, all right, so it seems that most of the evidence – well, all the evidence, actually – points to the murders being the work of fanatical Islamist cells. But it never does any harm, if you’re a liberal, to spread the blame a bit by suggesting that Marine Le Pen and her resurgent Front National (aka “the spectre of the Far Right”) may have played their part in “stoking tensions…”

Oh and one more thing to be noted about “spectres”: being insubstantial, they lack the ability to kill people.

Actually, two more things: Owen Jones again. He’s gone for the treble! (“The favourite target of the Far Right in Europe is…Muslims”). Go on, my son! Back of the net!)

7. “Editorial foolishness”

This is quite similar to point 3, but let’s give a special paragraph of shame to the senior Financial Times editor Tony Barber for that disgraceful apologia for terrorist violence he published the day after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Charlie Hebdo has a long record of mocking, baiting and needling French Muslims. If the magazine stops just short of outright insults, it is nevertheless not the most convincing champion of the principle of freedom of speech. France is the land of Voltaire, but too often editorial foolishness has prevailed at Charlie Hebdo.

What Barber (and his craven ilk) don’t seem to realise is that are many, many of us out here who could produce any number of such niggling criticisms of Charlie Hebdo and who, too, secretly rather wish they’d never gone and published those bloody cartoons. But that’s really not the point. They did it to establish a principle. We may not agree with how they did it and few, if any, of us would have done it ourselves. But the principle for which they were fighting ought to be sacrosanct. Either you have free speech or you don’t. Any one trying to argue otherwise has no business being a journalist.

From Breitbart London

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One thought on “Seven Shoddy Excuses Lefties Use To Justify The Paris Massacre”

  1. CleanEnergyPundit says:30th January 2015 at 11:55 pmTo my earlier blog at http://tinyurl.com/pdy7eka about the effects of the “Nuremberg Meme Funnel”, I have added some points and extended bibliography in the light of Charlie Hebdo – which might be of interest.

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Yes the Greens Are a Joke – But Not a Funny or a Harmless One

Many years ago, when I was a young diarist working for the Daily Telegraph’s Peterborough column, my bosses dispatched me to cover the Green Party conference. This wasn’t because I was particularly anti-Green at the time. Rather it was because, of all Peterborough’s staffers, I was known to be the one least interested in politics and the political process, so it seemed entirely appropriate to send me to the big joke event in the conference season, rather than to one of the more serious events.

The only thing I remember about the event was being inveigled into some fringe activity in which I was forced to participate with various Green delegates in some kind of non-competitive group bonding exercise where we all had to roll about on the floor. Someone let out the most repellent fart. It smelt evil but everyone present politely conspired to pretend that everything was normal. I sense something similar going on right now in the collective efforts of the media chattering classes to present the Green Party as a viable, vibrant and credible force in UK politics in the approach to the General Election.

Here are some reasons why I think they are wrong.

1. Green Party membership is on the up and up. Yes but so what?

Apparently the Green Party’s membership has now overtaken UKIP’s. I’m quite prepared to believe this but I think it says more about the fiendish zealotry of the sort of people attracted to environmental causes than it does about the Green Party itself. It’s not as though the Green Party has suddenly gone and recruited a brilliant, inspirational go-ahead new leader – au contraire: see Nathalie Bennett, below – nor as though it has undergone some manner of dramatic, Clause 4 style, policy reinvention.

Nope. It’s just that of all the parties, the Greens are the one whose target market accords most closely with the kind of people who flock to sign Change.Org petitions and join Twitter mobbings and go out on street demos (or better still, attend week-long protest camps where they can smoke dope, get to use the yurt and possibly get to rub shoulders with Vivienne Westwood). These people are signers, joiners, astroturfers. As a percentage of the population they are quite small but in terms of exerting political pressure they punch far above their weight by being highly committed and – for a bunch of dope-smoking crusties – surprisingly well organised. This Green Party membership surge is just another part of that strategy. I don’t believe that it will translate into anything significant at the polls.

2. Natalie Bennett

You know how at the beginning of each new primary school year there are one or two teachers you pray aren’t going to be the ones to whose class your children have been allocated? And it’s not that these teachers are malign, necessarily. It’s just that they’re wet, agonisingly prey to all the usual PC groupthink and frankly a bit thick – so, while you know your kids won’t necessarily be unhappy during their year with Ms X, they’re not going to learn anything  more useful than how to colour in a picture of Mary Seacole for their Black History Week project. Well I’ve met the Green Party’s leader Natalie Bennett and I’m afraid she’s one of those.

3. Watermelons

It stands, of course, for “green on the outside, red on the inside”. But as Matthew Holehouse rightly notes in this analysis of the Green Party’s policies, that doesn’t mean they’re as bad as Karl Marx whose main concern was the way wealth was distributed. No – and this really can’t be pointed out often enough – the Greens are much more dangerous than Karl Marx, because though they share his attitude to redistributionism they are also ideologically opposed to the one thing capable of offering each generation a better standard of living than the previous one: economic growth. A vote for the Greens is far more than a protest: it’s a vote for collectivisation, stagnation and immiseration.

4. They’re worse than a joke

Ohohoho yes, the Greens. When I originally started writing this piece, I couched it in flippantly humorous terms, with jokes about a world where your house would get confiscated and handed over to a bunch of crusties, with your garden shed being allocated for dogs-on-ropes they use for their street begging ventures and the suggestion that it would be like living under Enver Hoxha only with more dreadlocks, juggling and pois (Young Poi-oneers, anyone?).

Truth is, though, to laugh at the Greens is to underestimate the viciousness of their ideology – which is an unholy mix of economic illiteracy, pathological altruism, and misanthropy, built on a foundation of ignorance, self-delusion and mendacity. These people aren’t just misguided fools. The policies for which they have agitated over the years – punching far above their weight (see 1) – have caused the world and its inhabitants real harm. For the full ugly details read this damning new report by Andrew Montford for the Global Warming Policy Foundation called Unintended Consequences Of Climate Change Policy. These caring, nurturing hippies have blood on their hands. They should be ashamed of themselves and certainly have no place on the moral high ground.

5. In office they’re a disaster

As witness the hell they inflicted on the Green Republic of Brighton and Hove. It’s redolent of the loony left councils which ran various London boroughs in the 1980s, only with added eco-worthiness. So: out-of-control spending and uncollected rubbish, but with added nonsense like proposals that everyone should experience meat-free Mondays.

6. What all this is really all about, of course, is UKIP

The reason the “rise of the Greens” is getting so much enthusiastic coverage is because the mainstream media appears to have decided en masse that anything is better than UKIP, even a party which, if it got anywhere near the reins of power would bomb the UK economy back to the Dark Ages. An unfortunate side-effect of this shameless bias towards Cameron’s Conservatives (who, of course, fear and loathe UKIP far more than they do Labour) is that it means few journalists, commentators and broadcasters are subjecting the Greens to any kind of serious scrutiny. If UKIP had a single policy half as lunatic as the ones the Greens have got, it would be front page news for the next four months.

From Breitbart London

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Prince of Wales calls for Climate Magna Carta to Cave the Planet from Global Warming

The Prince of Wales has demanded a “Magna Carta for the Earth” in order to save the planet from global warming – thus calling into severe question the abilities of those hapless dons who were charged with teaching him history when he scraped into Cambridge back in the early Seventies.

Had those history professors done their job, Prince Charles would surely be aware that Magna Carta was – at least insofar as it matters to us most today – a charter which protected the rights of the many against the tyranny of unaccountable power. But the kind of sweeping, pan-global, UN-enforced climate treaty the Prince is proposing represents the precise opposite.

Prince Charles, who made his speech to an invited audience at his International Sustainability Unit’s meeting on Forests, Climate Change and Development in London yesterday, is the latest of a number of international celebrities, ranging from rapper Pharrell Williams and President Obama to the Pope, who have spoken of the urgent need for a new global climate agreement.

Nor will he be the last. The purpose of all these high-level declarations of intent is to pave the way for the UN’s next round of climate talks in Paris this December which, campaigners hope, will result in the most significant treaty of concerted international action since the Marshall Plan.

This is what Mary Robinson – former president of Ireland, now the UN’s special envoy on climate change – meant when she told the Guardian that “this is the most important year since 1945.”

What she failed to add is that 1945 (more specifically, Berlin after the Soviets had arrived) is exactly what the global economy will start to resemble if the UN green technocrats get their way. Despite mounting evidence that there is no connection between rising CO2 levels and catastrophic global warming, the UN’s climate “experts” remain resolutely wedded to the idea that “carbon” (aka the natural by-product of almost every industrial process) must be regulated out of existence.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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The NHS and Global Warming: Two Tinkerbells That Must Die

Nigel Farage says that nurses working for the NHS should be able to speak English. I agree. What a pity that this is about the most daringly controversial criticism of the NHS we’re likely to hear from almost any politician, of whatever political hue, in the run up to the General Election.

That’s because, though the Conservatives, Labour, UKIP, the Greens and the Lib Dems hold widely divergent views on many of the key issues – from taxation to welfare to defence to education – there is one topic on which they are all in full agreement: the NHS, gawd bless it, is the envy of the world and must be preserved at all costs. Why, as Danny Boyle reminded us at the London Olympics opening ceremony, it’s an achievement far greater than the Industrial Revolution.

And as David Cameron keeps telling us, it’s Our NHS – like a beloved old family pet only much more useful because your cat can’t cure you of cancer or treat you to heart triple by-pass surgery or a gastric band operation if you’re morbidly obese, nor does your dog wait patiently behind a desk in the doctor’s surgery to explain, no actually, it’s no good prescribing you antibiotics for that nasty cold you’ve got because a cold is a viral infection not an bacterial one, but no worries, I’m not charging you for this asinine waste of my time and taxpayers’ money because that’s what we’re here for, we’re this endless source of bounteous freeness…

It’s a brave person indeed who would dispute this rose-tinted assessment of our cherished National Treasure. And for a politician to say so – even one as outspoken as Nigel Farage – it would more or less amount to career suicide.

Don’t you think this state of affairs is rather sinister? I do. It reminds me of that awful period after the death of Princess Diana when, for weeks, you weren’t allowed to say that the national outpouring of untrammelled mawkishness was possibly a bit un-British and overdone. Or, worse, of those standing ovations that you had to give Stalin which went on for hours because the first one to stop clapping feared being taken away and shot.

And there’s one more thing it reminds me of – something I’ve been writing about for quite some time now, so I know whereof I speak. This sacrosanct status the NHS has acquired, where you can’t venture any kind of criticism, no matter how reasonable, for fear – at best – of being told what an awful person you are, and – at worst – of having your reputation publicly trashed and your career destroyed. It’s so painfully redolent of the Establishment omerta about another of the great religions of our time. The Global Warming religion.

My fellow Evil Climate Change Denier (TM) Andrew Montford has noticed the similarities too, in this post at his Bishop Hill site. It’s titled Why Do Good Intentions In The Public Sector Lead To Evil? – which is a question I could have answered by referring him to an aphorism of Christopher Booker’s.

“Evil men don’t get up in the morning saying ‘I’m going to do evil!’. They say: “I’m going to make the world a better place.”

This, of course, is why those working within the NHS have apparently so little compunction about destroying those within their ranks, however eminent and decent, who are not “with the programme.”

For chapter and verse on what happened to one senior NHS practitioner – cancer surgeon Joseph Meirion Thomas – who spoke out, I do recommend you read this excellent article in The Spectator by Freddy Gray.

Meirion Thomas was not afraid to point out numerous problems with the NHS in sundry articles, among them: that the NHS’s overstretched budget is being eroded by “health tourists” from abroad claiming services to which they are not entitled and for which they do not pay; that the politically correct obsession with gender equality is promoting too many female doctors who aren’t pulling their weight; that GPs are an anachronism.

Read the rest – there’s more! – at Breitbart London

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What Ched Evans Did Was Ugly and Sleazy. But His Lynch Mob Tormentors Are Barbaric

I wonder how many of the thousands of people petitioning for Convicted Rapist Ched Evans not to be signed by Oldham Athletic Football Club are remotely interested in football, let alone the prospects of Oldham Athletic Football Club.

My guess is about six. Or possibly seven if you count Labour leader Ed Miliband (who I suspect only took up being a “fan” of his alleged team Leeds United in a desperate attempt to make himself look “normal.”).

Whatever the exact figure, we can be certain that it is going to be vanishingly small. That is because the people campaigning against Convicted Rapist Ched Evans are all either angry female Social Justice Warriors (who like football about as much as they like washing the dishes, jokes, or shaving their armpits) or (spiritually, if not always physically) castrated male Social Justice Warriors (who may once have liked football but now recognise that it is the very embodiment of the vile, misogynistic, racist, disablist machismo which makes modern Britain such an oppressive place for women to live, way worse than Mosul or Islamabad or Teheran, probably..)

Note, by the way, that I am calling Convicted Rapist Ched Evans by his correct media name. I believe he used to be called just Ched Evans, once. But apparently he lost that right when, despite having served two and a half years of a five year sentence for rape, he made the mistake of a) showing insufficient remorse (possibly on the advice of his lawyers, because he is appealing against the sentence; probably also because he feels that he is the victim of a miscarriage of justice, on which more in a moment…) and b) imagining that having served his sentence he would be able to pick up the pieces of his ruined life and attempt to continue with his career doing the thing he loves and which he’s apparently quite good at – being a professional footballer.

Personally, I’m suspicious of this Convicted Rapist Ched Evans tag. I don’t dispute that, technically it’s accurate. But it seems to me that it is being brandished not so much to enhance understanding of his case as to obfuscate its complexities and to tarnish his name beyond redemption.

“Convicted Rapist” to anyone unfamiliar with the case is a phrase which will surely conjure up images of the very worst kind of sexual crime: a powerful predatory male following a woman down a dark alley, perhaps, and raping her violently at knife point.

Except this isn’t what happened.  Far from it.

One of the very few people in the media brave enough to have pointed this out is columnist Allison Pearson. A proper journalist, Pearson did what few commentators on this affair have done: she read up everything she could about the details of what happened on the night of the crime. Here is what she found:

Sensitive readers should look away now. Footballer Clayton McDonald, a friend of Ched Evans, picked up a 19-year-old girl who was drunk at 4am, and went back to a hotel room with her. McDonald texted Evans: “I’ve got a bird.” McDonald and the girl then had sex. Evans turned up, and the court was told that the girl asked him to perform oral sex on her, which he did. Evans then had sex with the girl, whom he claimed was enjoying herself. A hotel porter said there was no sound of distress or cause for alarm. A few of the footballers’ charming mates showed up and filmed through a window. The next morning, Evans departed via an emergency exit. The 19-year-old awoke to find she was naked, with, she says, no memory of what had happened to her. That evening, she reported McDonald and Evans to the police.

Sordid, definitely. Rape? Well possibly, but it rather depends on your definition and the mood of the jury on that particular day. Personally, I’d say that detail about Evans performing oral sex on the girl at her request ought to have been the clincher: is that really the act of a brutal oppressor on a helpless victim?

And certainly, when Pearson asked the girls in her local beauty salon about the case they weren’t nearly so convinced as all the vengeful harpies screaming for Evans’s blood apparently are.

“Sounds to me like she woke up, realised she’d been dogging, felt really embarrassed about herself and called the police,” said Hayley, aged 22. The other young women agreed. Hayley told me she had almost been raped herself, when she was “totally pissed”, by her boyfriend’s best mate. She had never mentioned the incident because she thought it would make her unpopular with their social group, who would regard her as a prude. It would be Hayley who was shunned by them, not the guy. Another therapist said that lots of girls from her school went to posh London clubs to try and bag themselves the ultimate prize: a footballer. I’ll spare you the lengths those girls would go to.

But I really don’t get the impression that Ched Evans’s tormentors are particularly interested in nuance or mitigating circumstances, let alone in points of broad principle.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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  4. Since when was racist bullying the only ‘wrong’ form of bullying?

One thought on “What Ched Evans did was ugly and sleazy. But his lynch mob tormentors are barbaric”

  1. drabux says:7th January 2015 at 12:56 amHow dare you play the ball rather than the man!

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Sydney Siege: The Left Responds with Its Usual Sensitivity

We don’t know how the Sydney siege is going to end yet but of one thing we can be pretty sure: the main concern of Australia’s national broadcaster ABC will not be the suffering and fear experienced by those innocent people who have been held hostage; rather it will be that there might be some anti-Muslim backlash.

How do we know this? First, because ABC is so left wing it makes the BBC look like Fox News. Second, because this is how sensitive, progressive types always respond to incidents of this kind. (One of the BBC’s first reactions after the 7/7 bus and tube bombings was to despatch various reporters to Muslim “communities” to canvas them for evidence of growing Islamophobia).

Thirdly, because it has already started with a Twitter hashtag campaign called #Illridewithyou.

The story of how the campaign started is, admittedly, quite touching. An Australian woman called Rachael Jacobs saw a Muslim woman commuter on the train looking “isolated and fearful” and apparently trying to remove her headscarf so as to avoid attracting attention. Ms Jacobs approached her and said: “Leave it on. I’ll walk with you.”

Individual acts of kindness like this are lovely. But when they mutate into Twitter hashtag campaigns they acquire a smug, bullying sanctimoniousness which not only demeans the original act but which, worse, skews the debate about Islamism in a very unhelpful, self-defeating way.

One of the more notable facts about Islamist terror incidents in the West, be they 9/11 and the Boston marathon bombings or the 7/7 tube and bus bombings or the Bali bomb which killed so many young Australians, is how very little they have changed public attitudes to Muslims in general.

Which is to say that – despite the best efforts of organisations like Tell Mama to prove otherwise with dodgy stastistics – there has been NO significant anti-Muslim backlash and NO outbreak of “Islamophobia” in the West. People are more than capable of distinguishing between Islamist extremists and the broader Muslim community and – so far at any rate – have behaved towards the latter with just the sort of tolerance, sympathy and generosity of spirit displayed by Ms Jacobs towards that commuter.

What that Twitter hashtag campaign does is subtly to imply otherwise: “There are loads of bigots out there who’d like to take it out on innocent Muslims. But I’m not one of them. I’m lovely and caring and I’m bloody great,” it says.

Well I’m sure you are lovely and caring and bloody great, all you “Illridewithyou” luvvies. But you’re also – in my experience – so delighted by your own sensitivity, so certain that you hold the moral high ground that you feel it enables you to duck all responsibility for engaging with the Islamism problem seriously.

Being nice to peace-loving, law-abiding Muslims is a necessary condition for putting an end to Islamist extremism – but it is definitely not a sufficient one. You can perform as many random acts of kindness as you like – but it ain’t going to cut much ice with the girl-kidnappers of Boko Haram or the decapitators of Islamic State or the rogue operators like the Sydney cafe hostage-taker. They’ll just take you for a sap. Or, as Osama once put it, for a “weak horse.”

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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How Nigel Farage Outfoxed the Breast Nazis

Claridge’s is one of London’s finest five-star hotels, popular with royals and aristocrats, film stars and rock stars. But if you’d tried taking afternoon tea there over the weekend, you would have had to run the gauntlet of a rather less glamorous crowd: a bunch of around twenty-five not especially yummy-looking Mummies, making a political point with their lactating dugs and their freezing babies, in affirmation of their apparently unalienable right publicly to breast-feed their babies where and when they will.

The protest was sparked by an incident last week involving a woman called Louise Burns. In the course of taking afternoon tea at Claridges, Ms Burns had started breast-feeding her baby at the table. A waiter, solicitous of the other diners in the room, had brought her large napkin in order to cover her modesty. This Ms Burns found so upsetting and offensive that she decided to tweet before and after photographs showing her apparent humiliation.

Then the Offence Mob got on board. And then UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage got roped into the argument with comments which were represented by his numerous media critics as yet further evidence of his Blimpish sexism, misogyny and remoteness from the modern world.

As the smoke begins to clear, though, I suspect that yet again it’s going to be Farage who comes out of this story with his credibility enhanced while it will be his enemies who emerge looking petty, vindictive and out-of-touch.

Here is a reminder of what Farage said, when ambushed by a question about the issue on LBC radio.

“I’m not particularly bothered about it, but I know a lot of people do feel very uncomfortable, and look, this is just a matter of common sense, isn’t it? I think that given that some people feel very embarrassed by it, it isn’t too difficult to breastfeed a baby in a way that’s not openly ostentatious.

“Frankly, that’s up to Claridge’s, and I very much take the view that if you’re running an establishment you should have rules.”

When asked by the presenter whether new mothers should go to the toilets to breastfeed, Farage replied: “Or perhaps sit in the corner, or whatever it might be – that’s up to Claridge’s. It’s not an issue that I get terribly hung up about, but I know particularly people of the older generation feel awkward and embarrassed by it.”

In the heat of the moment, under the pressure of live radio I’d say that that was a pretty reasonable, fair and measured response. But this didn’t stop his critics doing their usual damnedest to smear him.

The Guardian made much of his use of the word “ostentatious.” (Inevitably it prompted an #ostentatiousbreastfeeding Twitter hashtag). While the Prime Minister’s office sought to take advantage of the situation by issuing a priggish statement saying it was “totally unacceptable” to make women feel uncomfortable about public breastfeeding.

But it’s Farage – not the Guardian or David Cameron’s press people – I suspect who is most closely in line with what the majority of British people actually feel on this subject.

For the more squeamish and decorous older generation, it still remains something of a culture shock when a young mum whips out one of her titties in a public place to feed her baby. In the old days this simply wasn’t done. Well, not outside places like Africa.

But even for younger mothers, breastfeeding in public is not so clear-cut an issue as the progressive, professional offence-takers on social media would have us believe. That is because, culturally, we are in a transitional stage. Yes, it’s true that thanks to the propagandising of all those Breast Nazi campaign groups who believe that giving your baby formula milk is tantamount to child abuse, lots of young mothers have persuaded themselves that breast is best.

But at the same time, though they don’t like being confined at home all day, they still don’t feel altogether comfortable about feeding their babies in public places because, being – as women generally are – sensitive, empathetic sorts, they recognise that not everyone out there is on quite on board with this brave new world where apparently the done thing is for lactating mums to whip out their bosoms at will.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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2 thoughts on “How Nigel Farage outfoxed the Breast Nazis”

  1. Carrie says:11th December 2014 at 8:19 amAnd there was I thinking you were a libertarian James! Sadly disappointed that you’ve been sucked in by the PC brigade, if you don’t want to see a baby doing what is not only natural but also vital to its well being, then don’t look. Simples.
    1. Karl says:14th December 2014 at 4:54 pmI think you’re missing the point Carrie. If a guy walked topless into Claridge’s on a hot summer’s day then I expect he’d be asked to leave. Personally, I’ve no problem at all with breastfeeding in public but I think it’s about the freedom of an establishment to uphold it’s rules at it sees fit. If people don’t like those rules then they are perfectly at liberty to go elsewhere.

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Girls Don’t Need Body Confidence and Be the Change Badges. They Do Need to Know How to Cook, Bake and Sew

The new head of the Girl Guides (or ‘Girl Scouts’ as they are known in the US) has boasted of the fact that she’s rubbish at cooking and said that if she were a girl joining the organisation today the badge she’d most covet would be one that celebrates Body Confidence.

Oh dear. I think I’ve just gone and qualified for an achievement badge of my own. The Projectile Involuntary Peristalsis Badge (With Oak Leaf Cluster).

Julie Bentley, who took over the Girl Guides last year, was being interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. We learned that despite never having been a Brownie or a Girl Guide herself, and despite never having done a proper job remotely connected with the kind of outdoorsy, hearty, briskly demanding activities in which the Brownies and Guides used to specialise, Ms Bentley nevertheless has very forthright views on the organisation’s purpose.

“It is not about itchy brown uniforms and sewing and baking. It is a modern, contemporary, vibrant organisation.”

I’m sorry to hear that Ms Bentley wants to dismiss “sewing and baking” as belonging to an antediluvian past which has no place in the “modern, contemporary, vibrant” Girl Guides.

Ms Bentley doesn’t sound like the kind of person who much enjoys physical exercise, but if only she’d summoned up the will to press one of her fingers onto her TV remote in the last few years one thing she might have noticed is a very popular programme called The Great British Bake Off.

Lots of girls manage to watch this programme without being oppressed by its apparently old-fashioned, uncontemporary, non-vibrant message that baking is a desirable and fun skill to acquire. Indeed, many have been inspired to take up competitive home baking as a result – again, without any obvious jeopardy to their female self-esteem.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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How Green Activist Scientists Rigged the EU Pesticide Ban Which Has Cost Farmers and Businesses Billions

“‘Victory for bees’ as European Union bans neonicotinoid pesticides blamed for destroying bee population” read a front page headline in the Independent last year.

It was the culmination of an intense burst of campaigning by left-wing pressure groups Avaaz, Change.org, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, BugLife and the Environmental Justice Foundation which erupted from nowhere last year.

One minute, no one had heard of “neonicotinoids”. The next, it suddenly seemed as though everyone knew for certain that this pesticide was responsible for the “colony collapse” devastating the world’s bee populations and that therefore it should be banned by the EU as a matter of urgency.

Among those who lent their weight to the campaign were the fashion designers Vivienne Westwood and Katharine Hamnett, the National Treasure Stephen Fry and dozens of activists charmingly and amusingly dressed in bee costumes. The impression given was that this issue was an absolute no brainer on which the jury of the wise, decent and informed had long since delivered their verdict: anyone who spoke up in favour of these evil chemicals was clearly nothing more than a science-denying bee-hating bastard in the pay of Big Pharma.

So why, almost instantly, did I smell a rat? Well apart from the obvious clue – any campaign involving Vivienne Westwood is, by definition, stupid, silly and wrong – there was also the matter of the unseemly haste with which these campaign groups were trying to force the legislation through. And the fact that the bully-mob tactics being used here were so redolent of the ones I’d seen elsewhere used by environmentalists to justify their scientifically dubious campaigns against everything from the forestry industry to the harmless trace gas carbon dioxide.

Green on the outside, red on the inside: that’s what these Watermelon campaigns are really about. So, with the help of investigative journalist Richard North, I began looking into the true story behind the ban.

What we found was appalling if not altogether surprising. The ban – heavily opposed by Britain’s then-Environment Secretary Owen Paterson – had rather less to do with proven necessity than it did with political horse-trading.

Indeed, the scientific evidence for justifying the ban seemed flimsy to the point of non-existence.

How then, could all these celebrities and campaign groups and environmental activists and EU apparatchiks and progressive media outlets (from the Guardian and the BBC to Huff Po) have been persuaded otherwise? On what kind of science were they basing their claims?

Well, now thanks to a happy internet leak we have our answer. It turns out that the “evidence” was cooked up at the suggestion of a cabal of activist scientists working for a supposedly neutral and independent environmental organisation called the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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These Cambridge Buttocks Have Restored My Faith in the Future of Western Civilisation

Check out these arses. Not just any old arses, either, but proper, educated Cambridge University arses. On a miserable, cold day in which I have been laid low with man flu, these pert buttocks have restored my faith in the future of Britain. (Especially – though I do not wish to prejudice your voting – the splendid pair belonging to Katie from Sidney Sussex.)

Can naked bottoms really be that socio-politically significant? Oh very much so, I’d say. Especially to anyone who has just read the quite monumentally depressing cover story from this week’s Spectator by Brendan O’Neill.  His argument is that political correctness has become so heavily entrenched in academe that our seats of learning are in serious danger of abandoning perhaps their most important function: opening up developing minds to new ideas and experiences.

If your go-to image of a student is someone who’s free-spirited and open-minded, who loves having a pop at orthodoxies, then you urgently need to update your mind’s picture bank. Students are now pretty much the opposite of that. It’s hard to think of any other section of society that has undergone as epic a transformation as students have. From freewheelin’ to ban-happy, from askers of awkward questions to suppressors of offensive speech, in the space of a generation.

This was certainly the impression I got the other day from the mostly university-age audience on that car-crash BBC debate programme Free Speech. What struck me forcibly was that these young people had given up on the ability to “think” in any useful or meaningful way. Not only did they lack the core knowledge base (history, current affairs) which might have informed their identikit, off-the-shelf opinions.

But they all appeared reluctant to offer any view that wasn’t “safe” – ie one that hadn’t been extensively pre-validated by the groupthink herd.  No one, for example, was prepared to question the premise that Muslims were blameless victims of “Islamophobia” nor that Britain, nay the world, is currently in the grip of something called “rape culture.”

Brendan O’Neill, who speaks on university campuses more often than I do, has noticed similar problems.

I’ve been jeered at by students at the University of Cork for criticising gay marriage; cornered and branded a ‘denier’ by students at University College London for suggesting industrial development in Africa should take precedence over combating climate change; lambasted by students at Cambridge (again) for saying it’s bad to boycott Israeli goods. In each case, it wasn’t the fact the students disagreed with me that I found alarming — disagreement is great! — it was that they were so plainly shocked that I could have uttered such things, that I had failed to conform to what they assume to be right, that I had sought to contaminate their campuses and their fragile grey matter with offensive ideas.

Where once students might have allowed their eyes and ears to be bombarded by everything from risqué political propaganda to raunchy rock, now they insulate themselves from anything that might dent their self-esteem and, crime of crimes, make them feel ‘uncomfortable’. Student groups insist that online articles should have ‘trigger warnings’ in case their subject matter might cause offence. The ‘no platform’ policy of various student unions is forever being expanded to keep off campus pretty much anyone whose views don’t chime perfectly with the prevailing groupthink.

Where once it was only far-right rabble-rousers who were no-platformed, now everyone from Zionists to feminists who hold the wrong opinions on transgender issues to ‘rape deniers’ (anyone who questions the idea that modern Britain is in the grip of a ‘rape culture’) has found themselves shunned from the uni-sphere. My Oxford experience suggests pro-life societies could be next. In September the students’ union at Dundee banned the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children from the freshers’ fair on the basis that its campaign material is ‘highly offensive’.

This is what is so great about those Cambridge arse photos. Yes, it’s quite true: one of the reasons I chose to write about them is because I wanted to run a photograph of Katie from Sidney Sussex’s bottom and this seemed like a half-way decent excuse.

But it’s also true that I believe that news features like this, run in Britain’s most popular online student newspaper The Tab, may be all that stands between today’s student generation and the eradication of the Western intellectual tradition by the kill-joy forces of cultural Marxism.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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3 thoughts on “These Cambridge buttocks have restored my faith in the future of Western Civilisation”

  1. Rich Vail says:26th November 2014 at 3:49 pmI have to agree with your assessment sir. For sometime I have worried about that the state of English society, but if these people can do this it may not be beyond redemption after all.
  2. Doubting Rich says:26th November 2014 at 4:36 pmMy only disappointment is that the young lady from my own college chose to be photographed with her underwear on. However it has sadly gone somewhat downhill since I left, the bar getting quieter as it steadily rose from near the bottom of the academic leagues of the University.
  3. jb001 says:1st December 2014 at 10:09 amDidn’t members of the Frankfurt School talk about eros as a means to achieve their ends James?Cultural Marxism is “liberating”, remember.

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