Why are we still feeding our soldiers into the Taliban mincing machine? | James Delingpole

19th August 2009

The type of warfare all soldiers most loathe and fear is the type where you can’t shoot back. Every “Tom” relishes a firefight. It’s why he (or she) joined up. What takes its toll – as it did in Vietnam, and is now doing in Afghanistan – is the nerve-shredding anxiety of going out day after day on patrol knowing with near-certainty that somewhere on your route is the IED which is going to kill or maim you or one of your mates.

Talk to any politician who supports our Afghan engagement, and they’re quite likely to confide privately that the relatively small few deaths our military has suffered in Helmand is an acceptable price to pay for its front line role in the war on terror. I disagree. Sure the number of soldiers killed so far is quite small (we lost twice as many for example in the Fifties Cyprus “Emergency”) but what should concern us at least as much is the figure the MOD won’t give us: how many soldiers are being blinded, or losing arms or legs (sometimes both), or being otherwise maimed. The blessing of modern medical technology is also its curse: so long as they get to you in time, the military’s doctors can now enable you to survive the sort of wounds that given the choice you might not want to survive.

Why are we still feeding our soldiers into this Afghan mincing machine? I don’t mean “Why are we there?” – that’s a separate debate. I mean why are we adopting a strategy which seems to require tactics absolutely 100 per cent guaranteed to ensure that month after month (perhaps less in winter, when the fighting season stops) we get soldier after soldier coming back from Afghanistan, either in a coffin or crippled for life?

Reading the background to each new fatality is like experiencing Groundhog Day. Time and again it’s the same story: soldiers patrolling on a limited number of fixed (and easily recognised) patrol routes – “mowing the lawn” as it’s known – are either ambushed by the Taliban or blown up by one of several IEDs. During the evacuation of the casualty, another IED – cunningly placed for just this eventuality – takes out the rescue team. Carnage.

To lose one or two soldiers in this way might be considered unfortunate. But when you repeat the same mistake again and again, the phrase “Lions led by Donkeys”  comes to mind. And also “lambs to the slaughter.”

Don’t ask me what our exact strategy should be in Afghanistan. I don’t know. But whatever it is, as Richard North’s superb Defence of The Realm blog never tires of pointing out – simply cannot be one which requires our men on the ground to sacrifice their lives so unnecessarily. Obviously, we need more helicopters (to avoid the mined roads), more IED resistant vehicles (MRAPs) and as Gen Sir Richard Dannatt says today, more comprehensive surveillance. We also need many more men: a Coalition force level of at least 500,000 reckons an experienced former senior officer of my acquaintance.

What we most need, though, is understanding from our political leaders (less Brown, perhaps, who is beyond redemption, but at least from the coming Tory government) that this Afghan engagement is not something which can be brought to any even vaguely successful conclusion through half-measures.

Lt Col William Pender (rtd) nailed the problem exactly when he wrote to the Telegraph earlier this week:

The fundamental question, both for the Government and for Nato (if it is to remain a meaningful alliance), is whether defeat of the Taliban and establishment of a stable, long-term democracy in Afghanistan really is a vital interest.

If it is vital, then since national security is the prime duty of any government, whatever it takes in manpower – but primarily willpower – from all Nato member nations, must be allocated to fulfilling this aim. If this means putting economies on a war footing – fine.

If, on the other hand, these aims are merely desirable rather than vital – and with governments led by politicians with no personal military experience, and more concerned with interest rates, credit crunches and unemployment – why, let them say so. Then the nations that contribute combat troops can resign themselves to long-term attrition of their soldiers committed to an unwinnable war.

Or as one of the Toms sweltering out in Helmand might more succinctly put it: “Either **** or get off the pot.”

Related posts:

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  2. Where have Action Man’s gonads gone?
  3. Ron Paul is right. Military adventurism is a luxury we can no longer afford
  4. The lesson of Arnhem and Afghanistan: heroism is no substitute for strategy

 

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‘Dark Energy’ Reminds Us: Consensus Has No Place in Real Science

18th August 2009

So Dark Energy might not exist after all? Good. I’m delighted to hear it. Not that I have anything personal against this mysterious substance which until very recently scientists believed made up three quarters of the universe. (In fact if it does exist, I want some in a jar in my office. It sounds pretty cool).

No, the reason I’m pleased is because it shows the healthy, normal process of science in action.

Dark Energy was invented by cosmologists “to fit Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity into reality after modern space telescopes discovered that the Universe was not behaving as it should.”

“According to Einstein’s work, the speed at which the Universe is expanding following the Big Bang should be slower than it actually is and this unexplained anomaly threatened to turn the whole theory upside down. In order to reconcile this problem the concept of dark energy was invented”.

“But now Blake Temple and Joel Smoller, mathematicians at the University of California and the University of Michigan, believe they have come up with a whole new set of calculations that allow for all the sums to add up without the need for this controversial substance.”

“The research could change the way astronomers view the composition of our Universe.”

Or then again, it might not. Let’s just be grateful, shall we, that Temple and Smoller have been free to publish their research, without being vilified by the rest of the scientific community, risking their funding being withdrawn and being described as “dark matter deniers.”

As Aussie geology professor Ian Plimer points out in his excellent Heaven And Earth – global warming: the missing science, the row over whether Anthropogenic Global Warming does or doesn’t exist has led to a widespread public misconception about the process of science. It is not a static belief system but an ongoing learning process.

“Science is married to evidence derived from observation, measurement and experiment. Evidence is fraught with healthy uncertainties and scientists argue about the methods, accuracy and repeatability and veracity of data collection. If the data can be validated, then this body of new evidence awaits explanation. The explanation is called a scientific theory. This scientific theory must be abandoned or modified if the evidence is not repeatable or if the evidence is not coherent with previously validated evidence. With new evidence theories are abandoned or refined. A scientific hypothesis tests a concept by the collection and analysis of evidence. Hypotheses are invalidated by just one item of contrary evidence, no matter how much confirming evidence is present. Science progresses by abandoning theories and hypotheses and creating new explanations for validated evidence.”

In short, science is not, never has been and never should or can be about “consensus”. There is no consensus on dark matter. Anyone who claims that there is one on climate change or Anthropogenic Global Warming is living on another planet.

Related posts:

  1. Climategate reminds us of the liberal-left’s visceral loathing of open debate
  2. ‘Post-normal science’ is perfect for climate demagogues — it isn’t science at all
  3. If this is Britain’s energy policy, we’re toast
  4. Climategate: Science Museum’s green propaganda backfires

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How The West Was Lost (ctd): the Burkini | James Delingpole

August 16, 2009

The Burkini. You’d think it was a joke invention: a bit like the grotesque “Mankini” so hilariously sported by Sacha Baron Cohen on all those posters for Borat. What, after all, could be more absurd than melding the not-notably-sexy Muslim dress – the Burka – with the kind of achingly seductive kit worn by Brigitte Bardot in And God Created Woman?

But no, the Burkini is for real. It was designed by an Lebanese Australian Aheda Zanetti to enable women in thrall to extreme Saudi-style dress codes to go swimming on beaches and in public baths without incurring a beating or instant divorce from their characteristically tolerant and cosmopolitan menfolk.

“Practical and stylish,” is how they’re described on a BBC website. Hmm, up to a point. Practical if your primary goal is to protect yourself from box jellyfish stings; stylish, maybe, if your points of comparison are a gorilla outfit, or a Barbara Cartland pink dress, or a tent. But I do think we should be wary of viewing the burkini  in terms of a fashion story or an amusing novelty, when it also represents something more sinister. I’m sure the designer didn’t intend this, but the Burkini has become yet another weapon in the Islamist assault on Western cultural values.

When most of us think of militant Islam, we tend to think in terms of suicide bombs on London buses, planes flying into Twin Towers and 19-year olds getting their limbs blown off by Taliban IEDs. But as any extremist Imam could tell you, there are at least two ways in which a good Muslim can further the ongoing struggle to convert the whole world from the House of War (that’s the non-Muslim world) to the House of Islam (ie global submission to the will of Allah): one (see above) is by poison or the sword; the other is by honey.

So the Burkini is part of the honey campaign: all those parts of the Islamist war on the West that have nothing to do with killing people. This campaign includes everything from schoolgirls fighting legal battles (with the help of one Cherie Blair) to fight for their inalienable right to go to school dressed like a sack, to Muslim supermarket workers trying to dictate the terms of their employment (refusing to sell alcohol), to the ongoing campaign (apparently endorsed by our own Archbishop of Canterbury) for certain civil decisions in the Muslim “community” to be made under Sharia law. The goal is to establish the view that Islam is a religion should be allowed to trump everything, including the cultural norms of any non-Muslim society in which its adherents find themselves living.

Why should we care if women want to dress up in burkinis? Well we shouldn’t. It’s a free country. Where we should worry very much is when, in the name of weasel concepts like “tolerance”, “respect” and Multiculturalism, the wider society is bullied into adopting similar “Muslim” (ie Saudi-style, Wahhabist) dress codes too.

The Sunday Telegraph has provided three examples of this dangerous trend:

Croydon council in south London runs separate one-and-a half-hour swimming sessions for Muslim men and  women every Saturday and Sunday at Thornton Heath Leisure Centre.

Swimmers were told last week on the centre’s website that “during special Muslim sessions male costumes must cover the body from the navel to the knee and females must be covered from the neck to the ankles and wrists”

There are similar rules at Scunthorpe Leisure Centre, in North Lincolnshire, where “users must follow the required dress code for this session (T-shirts and shorts/leggings that cover below the knee)”.

In Glasgow, a men-only swimming session is organised by a local mosque group at North Woodside Leisure Centre, at which swimmers must be covered from navel to knee.

This is outrageous. A public swimming pool is not a mosque. It is a secular, leisure facility designed for (and funded by) the local community. If parts of that community feel unable to use those facilities for religious or cultural reasons, well that should be their problem and no one else’s. I dare say naturists object to the trunks/bathing costume dress code operated by local public baths, too. But I don’t think any of us would think that constitutes an argument for introducing special “Nudie” hours at local swimming pools, fun though that might be.

As I remember from my days living in East London (at the much lamented Haggerston Leisure Centre), it’s quite maddening when, after a hard week’s work, you suddenly find you can’t go for a Saturday evening swim because the pool has been set aside for the purposes of religious apartheid.

But apart from being annoying, it’s an absolute disaster for social cohesion. The reason for home-grown Muslim suicide bombers is that British Muslims are constantly encouraged to think of themselves as being different and apart from mainstream British society. Heaven knows it’s a message they hear often enough from their Imams. Is it really something they should be hearing from their local councils and swimming baths as well?

Related posts:

  1. Christian hoteliers prosecuted for calling Pope ‘Catholic’
  2. Burqa ban: What Barack Obama could learn from Nicolas Sarkozy about Islam
  3. Treating Islam with special reverence is cultural suicide and just plain wrong
  4. How the BBC reported Al Qaeda’s plot to blow seven US and British airliners out of the sky

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Reason no 12867 why not to vote Tory: the NHS | James Delingpole

14th August 2009

Britain’s National Health Service is an embarrassment to the Western world and the only thing that puzzles me more than President Obama’s admiration for this creaking, archaic, quasi-Stalinist, state-health-allocation relic is our future Prime Minister Dave Cameron’s.

At least President Obama has the excuse of being a Socialist. Dave Cameron is a Conservative. Supposedly. Yet listening to the Today programme this morning as his dreary, Pooterish Health Spokesman Andrew Lansley officially and emphatically distanced himself, Cameron and the Tory party from Dan Hannan’s “negative and distorted” view of the NHS, one did yet again find oneself asking the question: “Why the **** should we vote for these Blairite pantywaists? Does any of them – Hannan excepted – have a clue what are meant by ‘Tory values’?”

Related posts:

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Stephen Hawking would not have been left to die by the NHS | James Delingpole

August 14, 2009

Gosh, I’m not half enjoying all the horror stories American Conservatives are using to try to sabotage President Obama’s plans for universal healthcare. I particularly like the one about the Death Committee (do they mean NICE?) which sits to decide whether or not our elderly are to get life-saving treatment. But I fear the one about Stephen Hawking was pushing it a bit.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the Land of Freedom needs NHS-style universal healthcare like it needs an Ebola pandemic or Al Gore. But if you’re going to fight a propaganda war, I do think it’s important not to give ammunition to the other side. Choosing Stephen Hawking as your poster boy to ‘prove’ that President Obama’s healthcare proposals will be a disaster is probably not a good idea when a) he’s one of Obama’s “deep” admirers and is about to get feted by him at an award ceremony and b) when what you claim about him isn’t actually true.

No of course – contrary to the claim in a US business magazine – Professor Hawking wouldn’t have been allowed to die by the NHS if he had been British. We know this because he is, er, British and was being treated by the NHS for his Motor Neurone Disease long before he got famous writing the world’s most unread bestseller and became easily rich enough to afford private.

But I’m still not sure what this proves. The fact that Professor Hawking was not left to die by the NHS seems to me in no wise to demonstrate that our stagnant, creaky, wasteful system is not ripe for an overhaul. In one of the parallel universes possibly envisioned in his Brief History Of Time (don’t know: never read it; I’ve done War And Peace, though, which is a corker), it is quite possible that one Britain is running a much cheaper and infinitely more effective, Dan-Hannan-approved Singapore style health system; and that another Britain is abrim with splendid, clean, MRSA-free hospitals run by stern, buxom matrons and paid for by philanthropists who can afford to do so because of the splendidly low tax regime of a prime minister who very obviously isn’t Dave Cameron.

We just don’t know, do we?

Related posts:

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  4. Reason no 12867 why not to vote Tory: the NHS

 

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Sixto Rodriguez: the rock’n’roll Lord Lucan | James Delingpole

12th August 2009

The ‘rags to rags’ story of Sixto Rodriguez, the ‘Latin Bob Dylan’ who is back in the spotlight after 40 years in the wilderness

Sixto 1970

 

No one in the half-empty bar of the London business hotel gives a second glance to the man with the long black hair, heavy Roy Orbison shades and leathery orange features like an Apache Indian. But in the parallel universe I can so easily imagine, things look very different indeed.

Instead of the sweet looking girl – his daughter Regan – to mind him, this man is surrounded by suited heavies with radio receivers in their ears. Instead of jabbering German tourists ignoring him completely, the lobby is dotted with fans, rubberneckers, surprised passers-by doing double-takes, perhaps even the odd would-be groupie. And instead of the Barbican Thistle, we’re in the swankiest hotel money can buy: if not the Ritz or the Dorchester then somewhere ultra chic designed by Philippe Starck. What else would you expect of a Sixties musical legend?

‘Oh My God,’ people are murmuring in this parallel universe. ‘Is that him? Is that Rodriguez? Is he playing in London? Why didn’t someone tell me? How do I get tickets? Do you think maybe he’ll give me his autograph?’ The alternative Rodriguez lazily surveys the scene like some jaded emperor, the novelty of being worshipped and noticed having long since worn off. It has, after all, been nearly 40 years since the release of the album that first made his name: Cold Fact, the psychedelic folk album, which everyone recognises as a defining classic of high Sixties/early Seventies pop.

Except it didn’t quite turn out that way, and I want to commiserate. I’ve come to hear, straight from the horse’s mouth, the extraordinary, heartbreaking tale of how Sixto Rodriguez made one of the most underrated masterpieces in rock history, disappeared off the map, then emerged from oblivion decades later to find himself finally almost famous and being hailed retrospectively as ‘the Latin Bob Dylan’. Swedish film-maker Malik Bendjelloul, who is making a documentary about the singer, justifiably calls the saga ‘one of the greatest rock ’n’ roll stories of the last 30 years’.

‘Excuse me,’ I say, walking up to him (slightly nervously because he’s never done a face to face interview with a British journalist before, so no one is quite sure what to expect). ‘Are you –’, but before I can say another word, Regan steps forward and whisks me to one side. ‘My father’s really not happy right now,’ she explains. ‘This could be difficult. You just want to ask him a few questions, right? No photographs.’

‘Um, not quite,’ I say. ‘That’s the photographer you can see over there. And look, if your dad’s not in the mood, then maybe we shouldn’t do it. I mean, it’s a fantastic story he has to tell. A fairy tale, almost.’ Regan nods. ‘I’ll see what I can do.’

Disappointed and mildly irked, I loiter in the lobby to await the Emperor’s verdict.

‘My story isn’t a rags to riches story,’ Rodriguez says. ‘It’s rags to rags and I’m glad about that. Where other people live in an artificial world, I feel I live in the real world. And nothing beats reality.’

(to read more, click here)

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When are we going to stop blaming private schools, universities and ‘elitism’ for the failures of state education? | James Delingpole

11th August 2009

“State school pupils put off applying for Oxford and Cambridge because their teachers are reluctant to promote elitism,” claims the latest report from the achingly worthy Sutton Trust.

Hmm, yes. I’m sure there’s the odd case where this is quite possibly true. And I expect if you went looking hard enough among Britain’s veritable cornucopia of sink comprehensives, you might also manage to trawl up all sorts of other similarly compelling excuses as to why so relatively-few State-educated kids are getting into the top flight universities.

For example: pathological fear of teddy bears (especially when clutched by fey blond, aristocrats in cricket sweaters); hatred of punts, Pimms, walled gardens or dining halls that look like they come out of a Harry Potter film; discomfort with writing more than two essays a term; fear of learning; and, of course, climate change (the better universities – sorry Edinburgh, York and Durham no offence intended – being generally in the South which, as we know, will be roughly the temperature of the Central Sahara by the time this year’s school leavers sit their finals).

That’s just a few suggestions to be going on with. I’m sure, with a bit of application, the “researchers” at the Sutton Trust will be able to come up with plenty more. After all, they do seem to have a rare skill for overlooking the stunningly obvious, viz, that there is one dominating, supreme and utterly overwhelming reason as to why our posh universities are stuffed to the gills with privately educated kids: because privately-educated kids (and those lucky enough to have got into a grammar that hasn’t yet been closed) are about the only ones left in the country with sufficient academic ability to cope with a university degree course.

Organisations like the Sutton Trust which pretend otherwise are doing no favours to the underprivileged kids whose cause they claim to be championing. They are merely furthering this government’s despicable class war agenda. As Fraser Nelson puts it on a characteristically insightful blog over at Spectator Coffee House:

“The Sutton Trust is absolutely correct to point to social segregation as being one of the biggest problems in Britain today – but the problem lies with the schools, not the universities. The suggestion that snobbish admissions tutors are somehow to blame does the working class no favours by deflecting attention from the real problem.”

Nelson includes a graph showing the extent to which the state education system has been run down and dumbed down during twelve years of New Labour maladminstration (”education education education”: remember that one? How we laughed. How we’re not laughing now). It shows the percentage of candidates achieving three or more A grades at A level in 2007/08. For Independent schools the figure is 30.9; for selective schools 25.8; for comprehensive schools 7.7. This is disgraceful – but not for the reasons wearisomely advanced by the liberal left.

As Nelson argues, the growing state/private divide has little to do with money:

“Pouring money into the state schools has not been the solution – and there are now academic studies showing a surprisingly weak link between cash and outcome. And those who say “it’s all about money” should ask why  grammars do almost as well as the independents. It is the style, culture and ethos of a school that makes the difference.”

Well indeed. Quite the most terrrifying part of Nelson’s article, though, is the commenter below who thinks the solution to the problem is to ban all private schools. That way, this Stalinist charmer argues, all the pushy middle-class parents so good at steering their darling ones’ posho independent schools in the right direction would suddenly be forced to do the same for their neighbourhood state schools.

Quoi? Has this creature ever found himself in the position of trying to influence a state school’s curriculum, behaviour code, academic standards or policy in any area whatsoever? I think not, for if he had he would realise that the state sector could barely give a monkey’s what parents think, however pushy or articulate they may be. State schools take their lead from the government, from the local authorities, from the educational training colleges which fill their teachers’ heads with leftist bilge, from the unions, from the teachers – from anyone indeed but the children and parents whose interests they are supposed to serve.

Our dismal education system needs root and branch reform. We all know that. We also know that it is THE reason for the decline in social mobility which has, inevitably, made Britain unhappier, more resentful, and more bitterly divided. But until we have the intellectual honesty to address how this came about, we are not going to be able to resolve the problem.

Whether it’s the loathsome Peter Mandelson playing his class war politics (skewered here by Melanie Phillips) or the nice but misguided Sutton Trust coming up with its distracting thesis about “anti-elitist” state school teachers, we must resist with all our might those voices on the liberal-left trying to tell us that the problem with education is mainly down to graspy middle class people grabbing more than their fair share.

This is eyewash. The reason our state schools are in a mess is because of the “progressive” policies imposed upon them by generations of liberal-leftist educational theorists and government apparatchiks. The way to extract them from this mess is to make them as free as possible from State meddling, and to give parents the opportunity to reject those schools which are failing their kids and to choose schools which serve their needs well.

Punishing private schools and universities for the ideological bankruptcy of the “progressive” values which permeate our failing state education is not just morally and intellectually wrong. It’s cultural suicide.

Related posts:

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  3. Clarkson, the Baronet’s granddaughter and a pile of poo
  4. Why would anyone want to vote Tory? (Pt 1)

 

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Get a Grip

Being a right-wing columnist under New Labour’s liberal fascist tyranny is a bit like being a South Wales Borderer at Rorke’s Drift: so many targets, so little time. And just when you think you’ve got ’em all covered — Harriet Harman, ‘Dame’ ‘Suzi’ ‘Leather’, windfarms, George Monbiot, dumbing down, Mary Seacole studies — another one pops up unbidden from the veldt to torment you with his bloody assegai.

Take this new Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) epidemic. Did you know there was an epidemic? I certainly didn’t till I watched Monday night’s admirable Panorama investigation The Trauma Industry (BBC1, Monday). Rather I thought, probably, as you did, that it was an affliction confined mainly to battle veterans.

PTSD — shell shock as it used to be known — is the terrible shaking men got after they’d been under heavy bombardment in the trenches; it’s the flashbacks Nam vets have about the Charlie ambush that wiped out all their buddies; it’s the fits of rage that Falklands veteran Robert Lawrence suffers as a result of being shot in the head by a sniper. Definitely not the sort of thing you’d ever get after a low-velocity shunt in the Tesco car park.

Apparently, we’re mistaken though. It seems that PTSD is so widespread a threat to the health of the nation that it has now spawned an industry worth £7 billion. Yes, not million. Billion. That is the annual turnover of the personal-accident-injury business in Britain and a massive chunk of it is taken up by PTSD claims. Twice as many more people are treated every year by the NHS for PTSD — 220,000 — than are in the entire British army.

The Panorama reporter getting very angry about all this was the veteran war correspondent Allan Little.

(to read more, click here)

Related posts:

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  4. Reason no 12867 why not to vote Tory: the NHS

 

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Norwich North: If Only They Could ALL Lose

Quite the most depressing thing about tomorrow’s Norwich North by-election is that, whoever wins, it will be a ruddy disaster for all of us.

I suppose the very worst-case scenario would be a victory for the Green candidate Rupert Read. As Oliver Kamm has pointed out, behind Read’s personable manner and bunny-hugging vegan fluffiness, lurk some really quite terrifyingly hard core views.

After the Madrid train bombings, he crowed to the Independent:

“If you live by the sword, then your innocent citizens (though luckily not you) may well die by the sword. Aznar, Blair and Bush should choke on their words of condolence to the victims in Madrid. It is their atrocious criminal violence that has led to this counter-atrocity.”

Right, I see. So the 191 Spanish commuters torn to shreds by those bombs weren’t actually murdered by a nihilistic terrorist sect, inspired by the dream of restoring Spain to the Caliphate status it last saw in the Middle Ages and eventually bringing the whole world into the glorious realm of Dar Al Islam. No, it seems that the governments of Spain, Britain and US were the real culprits. Just, of course, as the US was to blame for 9/11; and Britain, I suppose, for the 7/7 tube bombings.

Kamm quotes a similarly, deliciously mad letter Read wrote in 1999, making the hitherto not obvious connection between government higher education spending and student suicides.

“British higher education is in a crisis that only increased funding can help resolve. Academics’ workloads have gone up while salaries have been cut. Class sizes have increased enormously. This “Labour” government continues to cut the budgets of universities each year.

“One consequence is that suicide rates among staff and students alike have roughly quadrupled, over the last 15 years. This is a horrifying fact – responsibility for which must be laid a the door of the departed Tory government, and of the current government.”

So there are two good reasons already why this nettle-tea-crazed justifier-of-terrorist atrocities should not be allowed within a billion miles of our law-making process or foreign policy. An even more compelling argument against, in my book, though, is the effect his victory would have on the Tories. Already, their “green” policy is quite hopelessly in thrall to Al Gore’s “we’re all going to burn: lay waste the landscape with wind mills” global warming meme. Imagine how much more dangerous they’d be if they got it into their woolly soft-left heads that the party hadn’t yet pushed its eco-message hard enough: within two years, they’d have restored the barter system, banned meat and forced us all to dwell in yurts, travel by coracle and live on mung beans.

So yes, a victory for Read would be the very worst of worst case scenarios. But I’m not sure that this is any reason to vote Conservative. A victory for the Conservatives would, of course, send out to Dave Cameron the very last message he needs to hear right now, viz: “Carry on as you are! You’re doing just brilliantly!”

In other words, if the Tories win this election it will mean: no change on their 51p upper tax rate; no change on their plans to squander more on the NHS; no change on their dissimulation on Europe; no change on their crazed, ultra-leftist green policies; still no honest discussion of immigration; still no sign that the Tories understand that what Britain needs most right now is less Government, less regulation, lower taxation and a restoration of the liberties which have been eroded by New Labour’s creeping, liberal-fascist nanny state.

It’s a damn shame really because I know – I met one or two of them at the Spectator party – that coming up through the Tory party are dozens and dozens of ideologically sound young Turks who understand exactly the medicine Britain needs if it’s not to fall off a cliff. My fear is that by the time they get to boot Dave’s useless progressives out, there will be nothing of the country left to save.

Related posts:

  1. Five reasons why the Conservatives deserve to lose the next election
  2. Evil, snarling, red-faced Tory toffs want to bring back fox-hunting!
  3. Why would anyone want to vote Tory? (pt II)
  4. Lib Dems: now even less popular than the BNP

 

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Lying Is Not the Way to Defeat the BNP

Do you remember earlier this month when the Government “proved” that there is “no bias in the allocation of social housing to immigrants”? I do, because Radio 4 didn’t stop crowing about it all day.

“So this totally nails once and for all the evil and racist myth that white, indigenous populations are discriminated against by housing officers,” ran the general tenor of Radio 4’s – and for that matter, all the print media’s – reporting of the issue. “Which means that not only are white, working class people even thicker and more wrong than we thought. But also, very probably, that ethnic communities and immigrants are more delightful and vibrant and generally cherishable than we had hitherto imagined.”

One problem with this factoid (which was announced with great fanfare by the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in a report on July 7) is that it has no scientific, statistical or evidential basis whatsoever.

We now know this because a leading statistical analyst, Professor Mervyn Stone of University College, London, has done the homework the news outlets which uncritically regurgitated the EHRC’s nonsense should have done at the time.

His conclusion? That “the figures that EHRC has disseminated as if they were evidence for the claim are of zero inferential value.”

They are meaningless because they break one of the cardinal statistical rules of failing to compare like with like:

“In support of its claim, EHRC misrepresents the meaning of two factual assertions:

“1. That in 2007 ‘less than two per cent’ (1.8%) of social housing was occupied by migrants who arrived after 2002.
2. That ‘nine out of ten’ (87.8%) such homes were occupied by people born in the UK.”

“To make any sense at all, a comparison has to be like-with-like, but this contrast is no such thing.”

“In 2007, the social housing stock was four million of which 72,000 (1.8%) were occupied by migrants and 3,500,000 (87.8%) by UK born. To estimate the chance of a new-migrant applicant getting a home, you would have to divide the 72,000 by the total number of migrant applicants entitled to housing. To estimate the comparable chance for the UK-born, you would first have to establish the number allocated between 2002 and 2007, before dividing it by the number of UK-born applicants for the same period.”

“No calculation of that sort was done for the EHRC study. In fact, the extra data that would be needed to do it are nowhere to be found in the EHRC report. If it were done, the correction would almost certainly reduce the gap between the 1.8% and the 87.8%. Could it even be reversed and accepted as evidence against the EHRC claim? That is a possibility because, as the EHRC report concedes, ‘most new migrants have no entitlement to housing’ and because most of the 3,500,000 homes occupied by the UK-born will have been allocated before 2002.”

The weasel phrase which should have alerted us to this skullduggery, says the Professor, is the EHRC’s claim that its researchers “found no evidence to support the perception that new migrants are getting priority over UK born residents”.

“We have found no evidence that….” Yes, now I think it about it, its a lawyerly formulation you hear being used an awful lot by government ministers, quangocrats and liberal-left fellow-travellers on programmes like Today and Any Questions whenever they’re trying to wriggle out of a well-justified criticism.

This puts their critics in an impossible position: how can they ask for evidence that there is no evidence?

Civitas, the think tank which commissioned Professor Stone’s report, has now made a formal complaint to the UK Statistics Authority asking it to appraise the reliability of the statistical methods used by the report and the statistical reasoning that underlies its claims.

As Civitas’s director David Green rightly says: “Government agencies have a duty to use public funds to commission objective research but the EHRC has failed the meet even the minimal standards of statistical rigour that the public is entitled to expect.”

Fat lot of good his complaint will do. A lie is half way round the world before the truth has got its boots on. The Labour regime knows this. God how its politically correct Quangos know this! And they will go on lying and lying with virtual impunity till the happy day they’re booted out office.

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