Animals will suffer #duetoBrexit!!

 

I’d read Guido’s tale of the Independent and various other media outlets spinning a gigantic lie about the government not thinking that animals are ‘sentient’ and can feel pain and suffering gaining a willing and gullible audience, including a large number of lobby groups and organisations, who hyped the story as much as possible.  So it was with interest I listened to the Today programme…first their ‘what the papers say,’ and you’d be hard pressed to know what the story was about, they mentioned ‘fake news’ but what was it about?  They then gave the impression that the Independent was the victim almost of whatever was going on…this approach was set in stone at 08:10 as Webb interviewed Gove [who I have to say not totally impressed with…too eager to please and not got the killer facts to slamdunk what is a very stupid story].  Webb told us this was a story whipped up by ‘social media’ which the MSM got dragged into…not true as far as I can see…the Independent were pretty forthright in their story….as was George Osborne’s Evening Standard [which has deleted one, in fact several seem to have gone awol, of their guilty tweets about this…if they deleted everything they misled readers on about Brexit that would leave a few cartoons and the sports pages].  Webb worked hard to twist the story so that the Independent was almost right and the Government wrong…Webb, rather than seeking truth, sought to prove the Independent story was right.  Trouble is it wasn’t.  Far from it and very easy to demonstrate….literally 10 minutes on Google gets you a very full picture…certainly one more informative and insightful than the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme brings us.  Then again the BBC’s own report is far from innocent on this…and it’s own follow up still tries to suggest the government is somehow guilty of not caring about animal suffering.

For a start the Independent had already retracted the story last night…though remarkably it finds little fault with its own reporting.

Here is their initial headline….pretty clear what their sensationalist message is and what it is attempting to do….

The Tories have voted that animals can’t feel pain as part of the EU bill, marking the beginning of our anti-science Brexit

The Tories have already decided to scale back huge parts of what makes Britain the country we’re proud of – today it’s animal sentience, and tomorrow it could be something far worse

Oh but hang on….rapid retraction….of a sort…

Animal sentience: What is really going on with the controversial Brexit amendment?

Animal rights campaigners, politicians and journalists are involved in an argument about whether the Government believes animals are sentient. But what’s the truth?

Some claimed the vote showed that the Government didn’t care about animals. Supporters of the Government claimed that it was the result of “fake news”. 

The Government appears concerned that the reports will damage their popularity. Campaigners are worried that the law now protects animals less than it should.

MPs did not vote that animals are not sentient creatures. But neither did they vote for a law that would have recognised them as such.

‘Some claimed’!!!!  And get the last sentence…..suggesting there is no law that protects animals as ‘sentient’ beings.

Trouble is…there is.  And, if the BBC had done its work it could have read the House of Commons Library briefing paper on this subject published yesterday…so Webb could have had a copy.  He obviously didn’t or ignored it.

First it tells us how the EU defines ‘sentient’….

‘An EU Commission publication on the Animal Welfare Strategy 2012–2015 states that sentience means that animals are “capable of feeling pleasure and pain ”.’

The HoCL tells us that the Animal Welfare Act 2006

…makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to any animal. ‘Animal’ is defined in Section 1 to include all (non-human) vertebrates and may be extended by regulation to include invertebrates on the basis of scientific evidence that “animals of the kind concerned are capable of experiencing pain or suffering”. While the legislation does not specifically mention the word ‘sentient’, the Explanatory Notes for Section 1 mention that the Act applies to vertebrate animals as they are “currently the only demonstrably sentient animals”. 

Animals can feel pain, ipso facto they are ‘sentient’ and recognised as such under British law even without expressly using the term except in the expalantory notes.

And the ‘appropriate national authority‘ can extend the definition to include invertebrates if it is felt necessary.

There are many pieces of animal welfare legislation that protects animals and the vote did not lessen that protection at all…and indeed was intended to enable the government to strengthen the protection going beyond that offered already, legislation at present blocked by the EU.

It has been suggested that the vote last week on New Clause 30 of the EU Withdrawal Bill somehow signalled a weakening in the protection of animals – that is wrong. Voting against the amendment was not a vote against the idea that animals are sentient and feel pain – that is a misconception. Ministers explained on the floor of the house that this Government’s policies on animal welfare are driven by our recognition that animals are indeed sentient beings and we are acting energetically to reduce the risk of harm to animals – whether on farms or in the wild. The vote against New Clause 30 was the rejection of a faulty

EU rules prevent us from restricting or banning the live export of animals for slaughter. EU rules also restrict us from cracking down on puppy smuggling or banning the import of puppies under 6 months. Article 13 has not stopped any of these practices – but leaving the EU gives us the chance to do much better. We hope to say more in these areas next year.

All very emotive from the campaigners and exploited by the cnical anti-Brexit  mob like Osborne.  Ben Fogle is very BBC-like isn’t he?  Classic BBC.  Except for one thing…he admits it when he is wrong….

British law quite clearly recognises that animals can feel pain and suffering and thus are ‘sentient’.  What’s so difficult about that that the BBC can’t admit it without all sorts of qualifictions and whatifferies?

Will Justin Webb be doing a mea culpa on tomorrow’s show?

At least Laura Kuenssberg has put some effort in…

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Just to be clear

 

So a Labour MP tweets Labour’s narrative on the budget and what is more surprising, perhaps, is that the BBC comes up with exactly the same narrative almost word for word.

I had the misfortune to catch the first 5 minutes of Emma Barnett’s show.  It was more than eough, she’s always good value for money….this blog could run on her nonsense alone or what she calls ‘original journalism and surprising news stories.’

It’s certainly new and unusual though I’d have to question the ‘journalism’ claim…just seemed like a simple matter of regurgitating Labour’s anti-Tory, anti-Brexit propaganda today as Barnett informed us that the Tories were spending more on Brexit than on the NHS….and…just think how many hospitals, nurses and operations we could have if that £3 billion had been spent on the NHS rather than Brexit as promised to us by the Leave campaign on their bus.

Trouble is I was pretty sure Hammond had mentioned the figure of £10 billion for the NHS, it certainly wasn’t only £2.8 billion as Barnett was telling us. [And interesting to read the comments about the NHS on this BBC/Labour press release]

Checking his speech and we get an entirely different story…

It is central to this government’s vision that everyone has access to our NHS, free at the point of need.

That is why we endorsed and funded the NHS’s Five Year Forward View in 2014.

And met its funding ask – providing an extra £10 billion in real terms per year by 2020.

But even with this additional funding, we acknowledge that the service remains under pressure and today we respond.

First, we will deliver an additional £10 billion package of capital investment over the course of this Parliament.

To support the Sustainability and Transformation plans which will make our NHS more resilient.

Investing for an NHS which is fit for the future.

But we also recognise that the NHS is under pressure right now.

I am therefore exceptionally, and outside the Spending Review process, making an additional commitment of resource funding of £2.8 billion to the NHS in England.

£350 million immediately to allow trusts to plan for this winter

And £1.6 billion in 2018-19, with the balance in 19-20, taking the extra resource into the NHS next year to £3.75 billion in total.

Meaning that it will receive a £7.5 billion increase to its resource budget over this year and next year.

So the government is on target to fund the NHS with an extra £10 bn per year by 2020, there will be an extra £10 billion on top of this…and ‘exceptionally, and outside the Spending Review process, making an additional commitment of resource funding of £2.8 billion’.

So the £2.8 bn is on top of large increases in NHS funding…it is extra to already promised funding.  The NHS will get £7.5 billion over 2 years, the £3 billion for Brexit was also over two years….so the NHS is getting at least double what Brexit gets.

It’s the same story with wages….the BBC is going into overdrive telling us a big lie…..that income has stalled and that we are being ‘squeezed’ more than ever.  They pump out a forecast from a think tank, the IFS, as if it were the voice of God and use it to continue peddling their narrative that ‘we’ve never had it so bad’ and it’s all #duetoBrexit.  They introduced their news bulletin with the claim that things were grim as we are set to lose two decades of earnings growth….according to the IFS… does real world experience of people bear that out?  Doubt it.  Amusingly that was followed by a Freudian slip as the announcer told us Hammond’s Budget day had  ‘passed off better than many hoped’.  Yeah…I’m sure they were all hoping he’d fall on his face in BBC Towers.

Trouble is they ignore, as always, a few salient facts…such as a massive, and endless, influx of EU workers who undercut wages, we have had incredibly low interest rates for a decade, inflation has been low and only rose to 3% as a peak….as predicted [and Hammond predicted it would fall back to 2% next year…’With inflation peaking at 3% in this quarter, before falling back towards target over the next year.  And today I reaffirm the remit for the independent Monetary Policy Committee, and its 2% CPI inflation target.’], then there’s the Living Wage and the Minimum Wage rises, and of course tax allowances have increased enormously and will increase again next year giving us more cash in our pockets……

Making work pay is core to the philosophy of this government.

That is why we introduced the National Living Wage in 2016.

From April, it will rise 4.4%, from £7.50 an hour to £7.83.

Handing full-time workers a further £600 pay increase.

And taking their total pay rise, since its introduction, to over £2000 a year.

We also accept the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations on National Minimum Wage rates.

Today, income inequality is at its lowest level in 30 years.

The top 1% are paying a larger share of income tax than at any time under the last Labour government.

The poorest 10% have seen their real incomes grow faster since 2010 than the richest 10%.

And the proportion of full-time jobs that are low paid is at its lowest for 20 years.

When we came into office the personal allowance stood at £6,475.

From April, I will increase the personal allowance to £11,850.

The typical basic rate tax payer will be £1,075 a year better off compared to 2010.

And a full-time worker on the National Living Wage will take home more than £3,800 extra.

The BBC happily ignores all that as it blasts out sensationalist and alarmist headlines and context free brief news bulletins spreading gloom and doom as fast as it can and as far as it can.

The BBC’s reporting seems entirely out of touch with the real world…some might think deliberately so….here we have this from Kamal Ahmed who provided us with such insightful and intelligent briefings during the Brexit referendum…..the BBC, always peddling Corbyn’s Marxist line about capitalism….I seem to remember the BBC telling us it was dead 10 years ago when ‘Occupy’ was all the rage and on every journalist’s[BBC’s] lips as the coming future…

Analysis: Kamal Ahmed, BBC Economics Editor

What is the point of capitalism?

That might seem like a pretty big question, but one answer could be “to provide people the opportunity through work to become richer”.

What, though, if the economy fails in that endeavour?

If the system leaves you – despite all your efforts – worse off in December than you were the previous January?

Or worse off now than you were a decade ago?

It was Lord Adair Turner, the former head of the Low Pay Commission, who put it succinctly.

“The UK over the last 10 years has created a lot of jobs, but today real wages are below where they were in 2007,” he told me earlier this year.

“That is not the capitalist system delivering its promise that over a decade or so it will raise all boats, and it is a very fundamental issue.”

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THE TOP TABLE! OH NO WE ARE SUCH WEAK LOSERS NOW!

A seat at the top table and those other silly meaningless metaphors about losing “global influence”. What gibberish.

Now WE, yes you and I, have lost OUR seat at the International Court of Justice. Gosh how will I recover from this? They deal with such important matters as Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia).

“This is a failure of UK diplomacy“, says the BBC, and “a retreat from the international stage”. That’s it I’m getting in my nuclear bunker and I suggest you do the same, because Laos or Djibouti could invade any second and wipe us all out now that we are so tiny and frail. Little Britain all alone in the world. We’ll probably sink into the Atlantic some time soon if Laos doesn’t get us.

What these people are suggesting is that if we had a UK representative in the ICJ, they could simply ignore any kind of objectivity and legality in order to ‘influence’ things and make the rulings turn out in our favour – subverting international bodies to benefit the UK. Now that may be how many of these organisations work, and it’s certainly how the EU works, but to propose such a course of action says a lot about the neo-imperialistic approach some people support.

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Turning a drama into a crisis

 

 

Talk about ‘Fake News’!  The BBC’s most prestigious flagship current affairs programme, Today, broadcasts a piece of fictional tripe as ‘news’….

What appear to be the last diary entries of Jim Hacker, of Yes Prime Minister fame, have been unearthed. Sarah Montague spoke to Jonathan Lynn, the co-creator of the series.

Just blatant, contemptuous propaganda from the Remainders…apparently the voters just didn’t listen…to their betters…and so we must of course have another referendum as after all we have general elections every 5 years or so, thus no referendum is set in stone.

OK…we’ll have a referendum on the EU every 5 years if a second one voted to stay in the EU.  No?  Thought not.

And let’s not forget that it was the EU that kept peace in Europe for 75 years.

No…it was the threat of the ‘CCCP’ that kept everyone onboard, and it was American tax dollars, nuclear weapons and a massive standing army that kept the peace in Europe.

NATO not the EU…

 

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Cultural Compounds

 

 

 

 

 

Poor old Benedict Allen.  Thought he was off to meet some old chums in Papua New Guinea and comes back to the UK branded a racist, colonialist, imperialist white man by the Guardian.  Which you might think an irony as the Guardian must be the archetypal ‘white man’s burden’ model with its patronage of every ethnic, anti-white cause under the sun…..Don’t worry you little Black folks, you Muslims, you repressed Asians….the Guardian’s here to save you!

And what of Brexit and immigration?  Doesn’t the BBC et al love immigration because it brings such diversity and interesting and unusual cultures to our doorsteps….we don’t even have to get on a plane or a boat…we can just import the exotic natives and watch them from our cars as we go on safari around Brixton or darkest Birmingham.  An open zoo for the multicultural, metropolitan, cosmopolitan, elitist white man!   The Guardianistas love it!

Image result for nottinghill carnival

 

Today had a little discussion[08:20] on the subject with Ben ‘nice but dim’ Fogle and Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff [I think it turned out to be …Cuff is black and female.  Black or is she white?  Cuff is mixed race….but ‘black’  Naturally she makes a living as a ‘professional Black’…concerned with…… race, feminism, social justice and politics.  She has all the jive talk off pat and can populate her spin with all the righteous sounding phrases that have been coined by the race industry to make their case sound credible and important…she, and Hirsch, can do it without thinking…which is the problem.  

Sarah Montague didn’t say much but did stick up for Benedict Allen on a couple of occasions.  This might be because of the video above [sorry about the lack of quality] which is a BBC film of Frank Gardner with Benedict Allen earlier this year in Papua New Guinea.

Reporter Frank Gardner, centre, fulfilled a lifelong dream when he and explorer Benedict Allen, pictured behind him, voyaged to Papua New Guinea to reside with members of the Kandengi village

Thank God Ms Hirsch didn’t see this photo…King Gardner being held aloft by dusky natives ….

According to Frank, the Papuans were good-natured, taking care and patience not to drop him on the steep, muddy trails they carried him over, pictured

 

Hirsch complains that a photo of Allen in his western clothes alongside the native inhabitants in their own clothes is a picture of colonialist, imperialist superiority that treats the locals as interesting specimens.  She is pretty ignorant of anything about Allen as she complains about his ‘colonialism’.  Cuff tells us in her Guardian piece that he is “othering” foreign cultures and people with darker skin tones…..has he considered he could bring deadly diseases to an isolated tribe? That his presence might be unwelcome? Or that he is feeding into an ancient narrative of black savagery? His actions scream selfish midlife crisis.”  Hirsch thinks along the same lines.

Here is Hirsch winding herself up into a frothy state of indignation…

I don’t begrudge men like Allen for their adventures, but I do wonder if they have ever contemplated the imagery and messages they are creating from the perspective of someone like me. It’s a giant act of “othering”, of placing people like the Yaifo as scary savages under a white gaze, and promoting raw colonial era ideology.

Hmmm…not really true though is it, he’s done this all his life and he was revisiting the Yaifo tribe that he met 30 years ago….and in which he participated in a 6 week initiation ceremony…or ordeal.

The initiation had been designed to make me ‘a man as strong as a crocodile’. I was thrashed every day for six weeks.

Hirsch and Cuff have no idea what they are talking about and if anything it is they who are exploiting the Yaifo tribe as they use them, without any knowledge of what they think or want, to further their own racist views…and Cuff is a racist.  Her whole life is wrapped up in ‘being Black’…here’s what she thinks of Allen and Whites…

White men such as Benedict Allen should cease their meaningless, problematic “explorations” and focus instead on the ways they can counter the privileges they inhabit, at home and abroad.

She wants to ‘Black’ up Blacks…herd them into some sort of cultural, racially defined ghetto, her word…compound, in which they circle the wagons against outside influences…it’s how she makes a living…leeching off Black concerns about racism which are all too often whipped up by the likes of Cuff herself…keeping herself employed and ‘relevant’…just the usual ‘race-baiting’ agitator who want to generate the idea that Black people are oppressed by the nasty Whites….like the old joke about newspapers starting a war in order to sell more papers…except it’s not a joke here, it’s real…..a race ‘war’ in this case……

 

The aims of Cultural Compounds are to:

  1. Explore how African diasporic communities can take the lead in shaping, building and safeguarding their cultural entities

  2. Create an environment for live and online dialogue to exchange ideas and opinions and highlight urgent questions about Afro-Modernist cultural expression and inheritance in the UK and beyond.

 

Race card played to the full.  The irony is that it is people like Allen who really appreciate and celebrate local, native culture….People like Hirsch and Cuff, who live in their modern, metropolitan ghettos and write from their ebony and ivory towers in the right-on Guardian, having probably never been to Africa let lone ever tried to live as one of their African families or communities as Allen and Bruce Parry do.  They are plastic Africans…enjoying the benefits of Western civilisation whilst pretending to be African.

Racist hypocrits.  On this occasion the BBC, as said, was somewhat subdued, but providing a platform for such Blacktivism is what the BBC lives for…all those privileged white middle class boys and girls who are so guilty about their place in life….desperate to over compensate and, Robert Fisk-like, offer themselves up for some righteous flagellation because of past sins of the colonialists.

Wasn’t it ‘Africans’ who populated the world by emigrating out of Africa?  Colonialists?  We are all African.

A Single Migration From Africa Populated the World, Studies Find

Modern humans evolved in Africa roughly 200,000 years ago. But how did our species go on to populate the rest of the globe?

In the journal Nature, three separate teams of geneticists survey DNA collected from cultures around the globe, many for the first time, and conclude that all non-Africans today trace their ancestry to a single population emerging from Africa between 50,000 and 80,000 years ago.

All non-Africans are closely related to one another, geneticists found, and they all branch from a family tree rooted in Africa.

Related image

 

 

 

 

 

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Project fear strikes again!

Sky News has just reported on a new paper which claims households are more than £400-a-year worse off as a result of inflation caused by the Brexit vote. It may well be true, who knows. The BBC hasn’t actually reported on this yet, but it seems almost inevitable with a finding like that, so let’s see how long it takes them to plaster it on the front page of the BBC news site. Neverthless, isn’t it strange that they only interviewed the co-author Dr Thomas Sampson, failing to mention at all the three other co-authors, Holger Breinlich, Elsa Leromain, and Dennis Novy? I wonder why that is? Beautiful British names.

As for the report itself, it concludes that “the Brexit vote caused a negative shock to the UK’s expected
future economic performance leading to an immediate depreciation in the value of the pound”. If you do a quick search of the document you’ll find 92 uses of the word ‘import’ but only a single use of the word ‘export’. How very strange…

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Exit from Brexit

 

The Remainders keep telling us that they are defending democracy and doing it for Britain and are not at all trying to stop Brexit and return us to the crushing embrace of the EU…..this of course tells the lie of that…

 

The time has come for Theresa May to tell the nation: Brexit can’t be done

Alistair Campbell

You can hear this classic line from Alistair Campbell as he condescends to Gisela Stuart [8 mins 20 secs]…oh…he doesn’t care about the EU, he cares about Britain…can’t quite remember who elected him or who funds the EU propaganda rag that he edits…..

 

 

At least Campbell is honest about his call to stop Brexit, others less so and the BBC all too often allows them to get away with it.

Time for the BBC to be more robust and more honest when dealing with the likes of Clegg, Soubry, Umunna, Adonis and Cable and call them out on their dishonesty when they claim to be seeking only the best deal for Britain and they respect the referendum result.

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That ‘Golden Age of Islam’

 

‘Out thought and undereducated.  We have lost the ability to think, to acquire knowledge, to advance intellectually and then we wonder why our community is in such decay.’

 

‘Islam choked in the vicelike grip of orthodoxy….It was the end of tolerance, intellect, and science in the Muslim world. The last great Muslim thinker, Abd- al Rahman ibn Khaldun, belonged to the 14th century.’

 

MarkyMark in the comments draws our attention to this in the Guardian which illustrates why the BBC peddles the ‘glorious history’ of Islam in order to persuade us that the realities of Islam within our society today are  not the real Islam…Islam is peaceful religion that embraces human rights, women’s  liberation and forward thinking on many issues from the economy to science and philosophy…in essence Islam, the BBC insinuates, is not a threat to you or your culture and society…..

The scale of hostility in Britain towards Islam and Arabs is revealed in a YouGov survey showing most UK voters believe Arabs have failed to integrate themselves into British society, and their presence has not been beneficial.

The three characteristics most closely associated with the Arab world by British people are gender segregation, wealth and Islam, with extremism and a rich history the next two identified characteristics. The degree of association with innovation or forward thinking is miniscule.

In a survey that also reveals widespread self-confessed ignorance about the Arab world, a total of 63% say they believe Arabs have failed to integrate themselves into western society and live in isolated communities.

Faisal J Abbas, editor in chief of Arab News, said the poll showed on the one hand a shocking lack of knowledge of the Arab world.

“What is concerning is that these opinions are based on very limited knowledge about the region. The Arab world is home to some of the poorest countries in the world.

 

So we have have a shocking lack of knowledge about the Arab world.  Really?

Even Arabs admit there is a problem with ‘Arab’ countries:

Self-doomed to failure

An unsparing new report by Arab scholars explains why their region lags behind so much of the world

The barrier to better Arab performance is not a lack of resources, concludes the report, but the lamentable shortage of three essentials: freedom, knowledge and womanpower. Not having enough of these amounts to what the authors call the region’s three “deficits”. It is these deficits, they argue, that hold the frustrated Arabs back from reaching their potential—and allow the rest of the world both to despise and to fear a deadly combination of wealth and backwardness.

The most delicate issue of all, again carefully skirted by the authors of the report, is the part that Islam plays in delaying and impeding the Arab world’s advance towards the ever-receding renaissance that its intellectuals crave. One of the report’s signed articles explains Islam’s support for justice, peace, tolerance, equilibrium and all good things besides. But most secularists believe that the pervasive Islamisation of society, which in several Arab countries has largely replaced the frightening militancy of the 1980s and early 1990s, has played a significant part in stifling constructive Arab thought.

[Islam]….discouraging critical thought and innovation and helping to produce a great army of young Arabs, jobless, unskilled and embittered, cut off from changing their own societies by democratic means. Islam at least offers them a little self-respect. With so many paths closed to them, some are now turning their dangerous anger on the western world.

So Islam creates Jihadis not just by virtue of its teachings but because it also destroys the innovative and creative thinking that produces jobs and a civil, employed society…thus we get angry young men who ironically fight to defend the Islam that is the source of their problems.

 

We are told by the Guardian that…’The emerging picture – fear, ignorance and hostility – underlines the tensions in UK society about attitudes to Islam and the Arab world in the UK’….Well there’s fear and hostility…but based on knowledge not ignorance.  People look around and see what Muslims do and say, they look at the Muslim world and what Islam has done for those countries, they look at countries where Islam has infiltrated and they look at the result…they also look at countries where there is little to no Islam and look at the result…and they choose which one they like…No Islam.

 

Labour’s [ex] Nasreen Khan askedWhat good have the Jews done?

 

The Jews, in 70 years, have turned the desert into a highly productive, innovative, forward looking democracy…and that’s just Israel never minds Jews around the world…despite Israel being under attack for all of that time by Muslims who have produced what?  They have oil, but they didn’t find or develop that…the West did…and what do they do with the revenues?  Playboys and funding Islamists in the West….mostly.

The we have this from the Guardian…

The degree of association [of Islam] with innovation or forward thinking is miniscule.

That’s because Islam crushed innovation and forward thinking…don’t take my word for it, take a Muslim’s……

What has Mehdi Hasan got to say?

He states that there are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world….and between them they have a total of 10 Nobel prizes.  The Jews, with a population of 12 million have 150 Nobel prizes.  All 6 Jewish Universities are in the top 20 in a world ranking.  There are no Muslim universities in the top 200.

He goes on to say:

We wonder why we are losing battles, we are not being out fought, we are being out thought.

We are not under armed, we are undereducated.

We have lost the ability to think, to acquire knowledge, to advance intellectually and then we wonder why our community is in such decay.

Pervez Hoodbhoy is professor of nuclear and high-energy physics at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. This article is based on a speech delivered at the Center for Inquiry International conference in Atlanta, Georgia, 2001.

In the twelfth century Muslim orthodoxy reawakened, spearheaded by the cleric Imam Al-Ghazali. Al-Ghazali championed revelation over reason, predestination over free will. He refuted the possibility of relating cause to effect, teaching that man cannot know or predict what will happen; God alone can. He damned mathematics as against Islam, an intoxicant of the mind that weakened faith.

Islam choked in the vicelike grip of orthodoxy.

It was the end of tolerance, intellect, and science in the Muslim world. The last great Muslim thinker, Abd- al Rahman ibn Khaldun, belonged to the 14th century.

For Muslims, it is time to stop wallowing in self-pity: Muslims are not helpless victims of conspiracies hatched by an all-powerful, malicious West. The fact is that the decline of Islamic greatness took place long before the age of mercantile imperialism. The causes were essentially internal. Therefore Muslims must introspect, and ask what went wrong.

 

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Start the Week Open Thread

 

Britain’s standing in the world has been reduced [BBC fact] and we may lose our place on the International Court of Justice the BBC informs us….the unspoken term?  #duetoBrexit.  Note in the video Dimbleby once again denying that the BBC uses the term ‘inspite of Brexit’ or other forms of implying that.  Charles Moore also got similar treatment….and Guido has helpfully listed many examples where Moore and JRM are proved right and Dimbleby wrong.

Loads more BBC bias out there…..list it all here……

 

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Employing dirty tricks

 

“Full employment never meant zero unemployment,” says Christopher Pissarides, professor of economics at the London School of Economics.

 

Philip Hammond said there was ‘no unemployment’….naturally, with 1.4 million people without jobs, the usual suspects jumped all over him in politically motivated attacks….

Philip Hammond says there are ‘no unemployed people’

Speaking to Andrew Marr, the chancellor says “there are no unemployed people”, when asked about the threat to jobs posed by new technology.

Asked to clarify, he said the government had not forgotten the 1.4m unemployed in the UK, saying people were finding work “at a remarkable rate”.

Opposition parties have seized on the remarks, calling him “out of touch”.

 

Hammond, or ‘Spreadsheet Phil’ as he is also known, is a dry technocrat who allegedly lives and breathes figures [though seemingly unable to master the detail of his brief….hence ‘white van man’ and NI debacle]…..when he says ‘No unemployment’ he didn’t mean there are no unemployed people, he meant there was full employment, a  technical term which he clearly made a hash of explaining…. he should have expected the reaction he got…but perhaps might have expected better from the BBC who frequently state that there is a natural level of unemployment in any economy that is more to do with churn than actual inability to get jobs….and here is the BBC telling us that itself.….

“Full employment never meant zero unemployment,” says Christopher Pissarides, professor of economics at the London School of Economics.

Instead there is what the free market economist Milton Friedman termed a “natural rate” of unemployment, where nobody stays out of work for long, unemployment fluctuates between 5% and 6% with jobless workers quickly being hired in growth sectors of the economy.

‘No unemployment’ was a clumsy way of saying ‘full employment’

 

And here is the BBC again as Osborne proclaimed he was aiming for ‘full employment’ in the economy…

There are a number of different definitions of full employment:

Sir William Beveridge, the architect of the welfare state, thought it should be when 3% of the workforce is unemployed

Other economists have spoken of a higher “natural rate” of unemployment, where nobody stays out of work for long, with joblessness fluctuating at between 5% and 6%

And in August this year…

The increase prompted some economists to suggest that wages may finally be responding to an economy which is closing in on full employment.

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“The BBC is not biased” – BBC

 

If you have been following the Rohingya story, you will have heard how the Myanmar army cleared itself of wrongdoing this week. Jonathan Head, BBC South East Asia correspondent tells us:

To no one’s surprise, the army has exonerated itself of pretty much all blame. But its findings lack credibility, both because the inquiry was solely carried out by the very institution accused of committing the abuses, and because of the overwhelming testimony of so many Rohingya, detailing appalling atrocities.

If you have been following the accusations of BBC bias during the last few decades, you will have heard how the BBC cleared itself of any wrongdoing on numerous occasions. But its findings lack credibility, both because the inquiry was solely carried out by the very institution accused of committing the abuses, and because of the overwhelming testimony of so many viewers, detailing appalling bias.

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BBC reporting has a right wing bias

One of the worst and most ridiculous arguments goes like this: “the right say the BBC is too left wing, but the left say the BBC has a right wing bias, so it’s probably quite balanced in reality”. You’ve heard variations of this argument no doubt.

The BBC has many presenters, journalists, employees. Not all of them have the exact same opinion. Andrew Neil is clearly more right wing than Emily Maitlis for example. Laura Kuenssberg is clearly more right wing than a lot of Corbyn supporters would like.

Everyone is biased. Everyone has opinions and preconceptions, and anyway what would true neutrality even look like? Centrism is not unbiased, and even supporting democracy or economic growth are not unbiased. Everyone at the BBC is biased and they simply cannot help it.

BBC output can therefore be biased in different ways at different times, both right wing and left wing (whether this is all “balanced” or not is a different matter). Likewise, the Guardian publish some more right wing articles from time to time, despite their obvious left wing stance. The difference between the Guardian and the BBC is that the Guardian are openly left wing and don’t try to present themselves as some sort of neutral source of “facts” as opposed to “opinions”, like the BBC do. Another difference is that my bin isn’t full of nasty letters the Guardian sent to me because I didn’t pay for their newspaper license.

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All the world’s a stage….now Brexit has opened their eyes

H/T StewGreen

The BBC is screening a new programme today…a play from the National Theatre. 

In the days following the Brexit vote, a team from the National Theatre of Great Britain spoke to people nationwide, aged 9 to 97, to hear their views on the country we call home. In a series of deeply personal interviews, they heard opinions that were honest, emotional, funny and sometimes extreme.

The writers?   Carol Ann Duffy and Rufus Norris.

Both of course voted to Remain…Norris was shocked by the result and set out to find out why it happened…though you get the feeling he thinks Leave voters are somehow misguided despite saying this…

“We’ve got to try to do what little we can to address the complete vote of no confidence in our system that that was,” Norris said.

“I don’t believe 17.5 million people are racists or idiots. I categorically don’t. I think we’ve got to listen.”

What does he mean by ‘address the complete vote of no confidence in the system’?  Does he mean change the system or ‘educate’ the Leave voters into why they are wrong in their beliefs about that system?  You suspect the latter though he admits “The challenge is to keep our own personal politics out of it; the point is to give a voice to other people.”

He tells us:

“I think what comes through very clearly is a strong rejection of modern politics, the selfishness, the career-driven nature of it,” he says, summarising the fury that emerges from the interviews. “Everybody is fed up with their communities being broken apart, the breakdown of the NHS, the wealth imbalance in this country. You feel a real kick against the misinformation, an awareness that everything they are being told is fiendishly biased.”

But then we get possibly the real Norris…

Norris, who voted remain, is nevertheless furious at the way the referendum was conducted, the way the media reported it, the lies, the propaganda, and the unfolding events in the US. He is uneasy at the powerful influence wielded by the Daily Mail. “How can we have an unelected person steering the country this way? Paul Dacre? Who the fuck is Paul Dacre? Who is he? Why does he have so much influence?” He has to pause, reminds himself to calm down, and laughs.

He is uneasy at the powerful influence wielded by the BBC….”How can we have an unelected person steering the country this way?  Who the fuck is Lord Hall Hall?  Who is he?  Why does he have so much influence?”

And as for Leave voters…not idiots he claimed earlier…now, the real view?….

“What’s sad for me is that the referendum followed on from another referendum on these islands that was done very intelligently, where all the arguments were laid out clearly and everybody had a chance to look at both sides of the arguments and vote accordingly. The difference between that referendum and this one was massive. It was like the one we had was for idiots.”

And these Leave voters…what was the real cause for their vote maybe?  Extreme selfishness….

“With the death in belief of the great them – whether they are politicians, kings and queens or experts – what do we believe in? We believe in ourselves. Cameras now are only used to take photos of ourselves – not of anything around us. We know we are in an age of extreme selfishness.”

Clearly Leave voters were not thinking of the harm and misery that artists would suffer, the trauma of no longer being an EU citizen, never being able to go to Europe ever again, no more entente cordial, no more ooh la la…..how will they survive?  No idea that it is those who refuse to accept the vote who are selfish in the extreme then?

The Guardian’s take on the play…

I was struck by how often people’s fears, on a variety of subjects from the EU dictating the shape of bananas to the notion that asylum seekers are sending money home to “murderers and rapists”, seem to reflect the prejudices of the anti-European press…however well-intentioned, the show offers little in the way of fresh information or insights. We already knew that the EU had become a scapegoat for popular discontent and that there are serious fissures between, and within, the UK’s separate parts.

So he comes away with the idea that the Leave voters are all prejudiced and misled, that the EU is scapegoated and that Britain is divided.

It is a curious thing how the Remainers all like to paint Britain as a divided wreck, rent asunder by Brexit….why no such wailings after any general election…surely the country is even more split as the votes go to so many different parties?  Just a political trick to paint Brexit as a disaster.

And one more thing…apparently 96% of artists were pro-EU and yet…Brexit will result in more art being done by more people, by more ethnic people and be seen by a far more diverse crowd, not only that but artists will be [miraculously battling the drawbridges that went up after Brexit] increasing their cooperation and work with Europe and the world….some failure, some isolation and some withdrawal into the bunker of a ‘little england’….

Norris believed the vote would be a catalyst to increase collaborations with arts organisations in Europe and further. “We are a world leader and we are not going to give up that position,” he said. “For us it is going to spur an increase in our collaborations with European partners and our international work. Being isolated is bad for culture and is very bad for society and there is no way we are going to go down that path.”

Asked what the cultural landscape might be like in 10 years as a result of Brexit, Mitchell said: “The culture and the art we look at will be much more representative of the Britain that we live in: more black faces, more working-class types of art, more regional representation.”

In other words the bunkers and bubbles were in place well before Brexit and it was those most opposed to Brexit that occupied them…isolated and aloof from the real Britain.  Now they have to get off their backsides and really be creative and do some work.

 

 

 

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