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 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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George Monbiot: The New Christopher Hitchens?

The road to soundness. . . .

George Monbiot's next incarnation

George Monbiot’s next incarnation

Many of the most brilliant Right-wing politicians, journalists and polemicists started out on the Left: Ronald Reagan, Christopher Hitchens, Peter Hitchens, Paul Johnson, David Horowitz, Martin Amis, Toby Young, Clive James, Rod Liddle… This isn’t a route I’ve taken myself because I never went through an egregiously stupid phase. But I quite understand and forgive those poor young whippersnappers who did – and really don’t blame them, especially if they were only doing it as a cynical bid to get into the knickers of hot hippie chicks.

So three cheers for another trot – George Monbiot – who has finally seen the light. Well, maybe one and a half cheers more like because our George still has some way to go before achieving Delingpolean levels of immense and unimpeachable soundness. But he’s definitely heading in the right direction. Just read what he says in his latest column for the Guardian’s Komment Macht Frei.

First some context. Monbiot is greatly exercised by the position taken by some members of the international Leftist brethren on the genocidal killing of 8,000 Bosniaks at Srebrenica in 1995 and of perhaps 800,000 Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994. He is disgusted at the way they have tried to play the significance of these massacres down, which he considers a betrayal of the kind of principles he always thought Lefties believed in.

So attempts to downplay or dismiss this crime matter too – especially when they emerge from the unlikely setting of the internationalist left. I’m using this column to pursue a battle which might be hopeless, and which many of you might regard as obscure. Perhaps I have become obsessed, but it seems to me to be necessary. Tacitly on trial beside Mladic in The Hague is a set of ideas: in my view the left’s most disturbing case of denial and doublethink since the widespread refusal to accept that Stalin had engineered a famine in the Ukraine.

I first raised this issue a year ago, when I sharply criticised a book by two luminaries of the left, Edward Herman and David Peterson. The Politics of Genocide seeks to downplay or dismiss both the massacre of Bosniaks at Srebrenica in 1995 and the genocide of Tutsis committed by Hutu militias in Rwanda in 1994. Their claims are extraordinary: that the cause of death of the “vast majority” of the Bosniaks at Srebrenica remains “undetermined”; that rather than 800,000 or more Tutsis being killed by Hutu militias in Rwanda, “the great majority of deaths were Hutu, with some estimates as high as two million”, while members of the Hutus’ Interahamwe militia were the “actual victims” of genocide.

What has changed since then is that the movement to which I thought I belonged has closed ranks: against attempts to challenge this revisionism, against the facts, in effect against the victims of these genocides. My attempts to pursue this question number among the most dispiriting experiences of my working life.

Monbiot feels especially let down by two men whom he considered to be heroes of the Left:

I wrote to Noam Chomsky, a hero of mine, who provided the foreword to Herman and Peterson’s book, asking whether he had read it and whether he accepted the accounts it contains of the Rwandan genocide and the massacre of Srebrenica. Watching that brilliant mind engage in high-handed dismissal and distraction has been profoundly depressing. While failing to answer my questions, he accused me of following the Washington script (I have posted our correspondence on my website).

John Pilger, who wrote a glowing endorsement of the book, volunteered this response: “Chef Monbiot is a curiously sad figure. All those years of noble green crusading now dashed by his Damascene conversion to nuclear power’s poisonous devastations and his demonstrable need for establishment recognition – a recognition which, ironically, he already enjoyed.” The leftwing magazine Counterpunch cited my article as evidence that I am a member of the “thought police”, and that the role of the Guardian is “to limit the imaginative horizons of readers”.

Thus has this infectious idiocy spread through the political community to which I belong. The people I criticise here rightly contend that western governments and much of the western media ignore or excuse atrocities committed by the United States and its allies, while magnifying those committed by forces deemed hostile. But they then appear to create a mirror image of this one-sided narrative, minimising the horrors committed by forces considered hostile to the US and its allies.

Yes, George. Quite, George. This is why Nick Cohen wrote his brilliant book What’s Left. It’s why Robert Conquest quit the Communist party in disgust and denounced all those fellow travellers and useful idiots – from George Bernard Shaw to Beatrice and Sydney Webb and Jean-Paul Sartre – who continued to support the Soviet system long after its barbarities had become evident. Hello, George? Duh, George! This is what the Left is like and always will be like. It’s why some of us are not on the Left, never have been on the Left and take an awful lot of flak from the Left when we point these small details of fact out.

Empiricism, that’s the thing. Things are either true or they’re not true. And if they’re not true it is clearly wrong to go on believing in them for the sake of ideological correctness. That’s what Lefties are doing all the time and, as you’ve rightly seen in this case, George – though sadly not yet on the issue of, ahem, “Climate Change” – it’s pernicious, corrupting and morally reprehensible.

Anyway, lecture over, dear Moonie Woonie. (I may call you Moonie Woonie, mayn’t I, now we’re on the same team, sort of? Or would you prefer Mooners? Or did you have a nickname at Stowe you’d rather I used instead?). Looking forward to meeting you at the next Ukip conference. Maybe we could do a double-header on a panel on – ooh, I dunno, let’s pluck a subject at random from the ether. Energy policy?

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Family Photos, Paedophile Scares and the Stasification of Britain

How Public Fears Drive the Stasification of Britain

No doubt you’re as shocked as I am by the story of the photographer in Scotland questioned by police after taking pictures of his 4-year old daughter eating ice-cream in a shopping mall:

Staff at an ice cream stall in Braehead shopping centre, near Glasgow, became suspicious when they saw Chris White taking pictures of his four-year-old daughter Hazel with his mobile phone at around 4pm on Friday afternoon.

‘He [the security guard] said I had been spotted taking photos in the shopping centre which was “illegal”… and then asked me to delete the ones I had taken,’ White told Amateur Photographer (AP).

When White said he had already uploaded two images to Facebook, and refused to delete them, the guard called police.

But what’s more depressing is the Braehead Centre’s non-apology apology. (H/T Welsh Toy)

Although Friday’s incident had nothing to do with a potential terrorist attack, the two retail assistants and the member of our security staff were faced with a situation they genuinely thought was suspicious. They witnessed a man taking photographs of a child, unaware that the man and the child were related.

I’m sure people will agree it is better safe than sorry.

Actually, I’m sure most people will agree that Braehead are a bunch of idiots.

You see, most people, when they see a man taking a picture of a child eating an icecream are not going to go: “Yikes! I wonder if that icecream contains Semtex and that camera button is the triggering device.”

Nor are they going to go: “Alert! Alert! Paedophile! That man is DEFINITELY a paedophile.”

What they’re far more like to do, even in this age where paedophiles and suicide bombers are apparently lurking behind every hedge, is think: “Ah. How sweet! There’s a dad taking a picture of his little girl.” Or possibly: “Rather him than me. They’re so much easier when they get a bit older.” Or: “Wish my girl were that age again. God teenagers are a pain!” You know: normal stuff; healthy stuff; sane stuff.

But for how much longer? The overreaction of the security guard – and subsequently of the police – are very much in line with a worrying socio-political trend. I experienced this myself about four years ago when an au pair took some family photos of a recent holiday to Jessops in London’s Strand to get them developed.

Next thing I knew I got a call from the Jessops branch manager.

“Are those your photos?” he asked, with a certain officious menace.

“Yes,” I said. “What’s the problem.”

“Well I’m afraid we’re unable to develop them. They contain inappropriate material.”

“What ARE you on about? Oh God. You mean the pictures of the kids playing nude badminton? Is that it?”

“I can’t go into specifics. But the staff member who had to process them felt uncomfortable. He thought the material was inappropriate.”

“What, you’re worried I’m a paedophile. Is that it?”

“No one’s saying that sir. I’m just saying that we are unable to process your holiday photographs.”

“Because the sight of eight-year olds, in the nude, playing badminton makes one of your staff members uncomfortable and he thinks it’s inappropriate?”

I later established that the Jessops staff member who had complained was an 18-year old male. There was a time when I would have wondered quite how thick or pervily overimaginative an 18-year old you’d have to be to read something sinister into a bunch of very obviously normal family photographs, just some of which happened show kids having fun with no clothes on. But not any more.

As a culture we’re now so paedophile-obsessed that when my kids sing the song that used to go “Never smile at a crocodile” they now sing “Never smile at a paedophile”. And when I hug and kiss them they sometimes call me a perv.

But even worse than this contemporary variant on 17th-century witchfinding is the jobsworthery and officiousness by which its absurdities are entrenched.

The only sensible, decent and right response of that the Jessops manager would have been a) to apologise profusely to the offended customer (who needless to say hasn’t used their services since) and b) to take the “offended” junior staff member aside for a quiet word to tell him to use his noddle in future.

The only sensible, decent and right response of the appalling Braehead shopping centre would have been a) a similar profuse apology to the photographer for the embarrassment and inconvenience (possibly with a gift voucher for Fried-Mars-Bar-U-Like or similar) and b) a quiet word with the security guard for having been such a heavy-handed, thick-skinned prat, and for bringing the name of BRAEHEAD SHOPPING CENTRE IN GLASGOW into disrepute.

Neither happened. This is how the Stasi gained such control over Soviet-bloc-era East Germany: thanks to the compliance of its many useful idiots in the broader society.


The Numpties have caved in. (H/T Pingu)

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4 thoughts on “Family photos, paedophile scares and the Stasification of Britain”

  1. Amr Marzouk says:11th October 2011 at 7:56 amThis happened to me 3 yrs ago in a shopping mall in Sydney but the guard left when my step- granddaughter(age 6 at the time) said “Come in Amr take the photo before the rocking horse stops moving”
    Amr Marzouk
    Manly Beach Australia
    PS when are you arriving in Australia
  2. James Delingpole says:11th October 2011 at 10:04 amI’m coming in January, now, Amr.
  3. James McComb says:11th October 2011 at 11:03 amHeads they win, tails you lose.Here on the Isle of Wight, we have the mainland’s ‘Hampshire police force’, to tell us right from wrong. They ingratiate themselves by claiming to be the ‘Isle of Wight police force’; and they sweeten the lie when inducing children to their perverse politics:

    Thus it is a HATE crime to scrutinize the gender or sexual orientation of another, whilst being de rigueur to presume the guilt of Wightmen- ‘better safe than sorry’.

    It should be noted that for the very rare occasions of ‘paedophilia’, it is usually committed by pederasts; a name that stretches back centuries. The Marxist-Feminist cultural subversives, have introduced the modern term of ‘paedophilia’, in order to smear the evolutionary innocence of fatherhood, so as to replace the family by the state’s bureaucracy, as witnessed by the ballooning of numbers of children farmed off into nurseries, or even taken forcibly into state care – ‘better safe than sorry’.

    In light of what I have said, it follows as a hate crime to point out: that there is a disproportionate number of homosexuals in positions of management in both the police force, and social services – ‘forewarned is forearmed’.

  4. John Fourie says:20th October 2011 at 11:12 pmJust came to your website to say that you are the lowest form of life. Lying and over exaggerating without even understanding the basics. Dont read anything this man says people he only wants you to go to his website to get some click, he is what we call an internet troll and does not deserve a second of your time. Please die so that the world can be a better place.

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How the BBC reported Al Qaeda’s Plot to Blow Seven US and British Airliners out of the Sky

Go on, have a guess. Did the reporting on the BBC’s website focus mainly on:

a) the warped, grisly, evil fanaticism with which a group of young Muslim men callously plotted the deaths of up to 10,000 innocent people.

b) the dispiriting fact that these would-be killers were not oppressed victims of some terrible tyranny but free citizens of a tolerant multiracial country whose state apparatus bends over backwards to accommodate the needs of its minorities.

c) what we really need to accept is: we deserved it and we had it coming to us.

Yup. You guessed it. c) is the right answer.

Here according to the BBC’s analysis is WHY they did it:

“The reason can be found in their own words, writings and martyrdom videos; a simple and seething anger over British and American foreign policy, and an overwhelming belief that Muslims were its helpless victims.”

(So: no reason for them to do what everyone else does and register their strong feelings through the ballot box, then?)

And here is how it reports the reaction of the “Muslim community”:

“Prominent UK Muslims have welcomed the conviction of three men for plotting to blow up planes flying to north America – but have warned that government anti-terrorist powers should be used wisely.”

Note how the reporter can’t even wait to finish his opening paragraph before weighing in with the inevitable clause implying that the REAL victims of this episode aren’t the travellers who must now spend their every plane journey fearing the worst, and hampered by the infuriating nuisance of being unable to carry liquids on their flights. They are, rather, all those unfortunate Muslims out there who now risk being inconvenienced by government measures to crack down on, er, Muslim terrorism.

The reporter goes on to quote the Islamist pressure group the Muslim Council of Great Britain as if it were the voice of moderation.

The Muslim Council of Britain’s Inayat Bunglawala said it showed the terror threat to the UK was “very real”.

“No sensible person can now doubt that there is a real problem out there that needs to be tackled,” he said.

But then – you guessed it again – comes in that all-important exculpatory “But”:

But the UK’s role in military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq had helped radicalize the plotters, he added.

The report goes on in much the same vein:

“British Muslims are just as horrified and appalled by stories like this as ordinary Britons – perhaps more so because it reflects unfairly on themselves and their faith.”

This view was backed up by a couple speaking to BBC Asian Network on the streets of Walthamstow, north-east London, where plot leader Ahmed Ali had lived.

“I think the word ‘Muslim’ shouldn’t be attached to such an activity,” said the woman. “I think the word ‘Muslim’, ‘mosque’ and the religion he belongs to shouldn’t be attached to this activity.”

Her husband said: “There are one billion Muslims in the world, so everybody’s reputation is damaged saying a Muslim has done this.”

Phew. And there was I thinking for a nasty moment that fundamentalist Islam might have had a hand in this devious and terrible plot. But apparently not. Thank you, BBC, for revealing the truth:

It was all the fault of British foreign policy and we were jolly lucky to get off as lightly as we did.

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