The only good Muslim is a bad Muslim

Norwegian MuslimsOur papers are filled with Muslim apologetics, essentially saying that there’s nothing about Islam that can possibly prevent its exponents from effortlessly adapting to any Western society.

This claim is an article of secular faith and therefore impervious to rational argument, appeals to history or Islamic scripture and indeed the avalanche of empirical evidence before our very eyes.

That last should by itself clinch the argument for anyone who genuinely desires to find the truth rather than merely ventilate an ideological bias. Rather than inclusivity and pluralism claimed for Islam by the Oxford imam Dr Hargey et al., Islam manifestly promotes resentful particularism.

After all, the conditions of virtual apartheid in which so many British Muslims live are self-imposed, rather than thrust down their throats by an oppressive government. Anyone who wishes to become British in every other than just the legal sense can do so without hindrance, and I would be the first one to cheer.

Life within those self-imposed ghettos isn’t necessarily all bad. In fact, there are many things in Islam that we might envy.

Respect for one’s elders and the tradition they embody, the importance of family, widespread worship, contempt for drunkenness, drugs and pornography – these are all admirable, taken one by one. However, when mixed with less admirable features, they add up to a civilisation that’s incompatible with ours.

It was the Russian philosopher Valdimir Soloviov (d. 1900) who remarked that too many Christians aren’t true to their great religion, while too many Muslims are true to their bad one. Such devoutness isn’t always voluntary.

Unlike Christianity, which was spread by suicidal missionaries, Islam was spread by homicidal warriors. Coerced conversion was the order of the day, and Muslims have never been encouraged to question their faith – and always discouraged to leave it. The punishment for apostasy is death, and good Muslims still don’t regard this as a quaint anachronism.

There are some 300 verses in the Koran, conservatively counted, that prescribe violence, plus 41 calling for jihad. Unlike the violent passages in the Old Testament, these are all open-ended, not tied into a particular situation or historical context.

This alone – before we’ve even begun to discuss Muslim matrimonial practices, treatment of women, dress code and some such – should suffice to show that Islam, for all its sterling qualities, cannot be automatically presumed to foster traditional British moderation in its adherents.

This isn’t to say that all Muslims are avid killers of infidels and apostates. Far from it. Some of them are Muslims in the same sense in which Leon Trotsky was a Jew or Richard Dawkins is a Christian.

They were born to a faith whose practices they don’t really follow and whose dictates they don’t necessarily obey. Such Muslims may indeed be really moderate – what they aren’t is really Muslims.

The argument that violent Muslim zealots constitute only a minority doesn’t quite wash either, even though I’m sure it’s technically true. Every outburst of mass aggression has always been instigated and led by a small cadre of impassioned elite turning the inert masses into lemmings.

This holds true for the American Founders who professed to be acting on behalf of the people, whereas most of the people were either indifferent or downright hostile to their cause.

It was the case with the handful of French and Russian revolutionaries who then proceeded to annihilate millions of those in whose name they were allegedly acting.

It’s also true of ‘Islamism’, which is the PC for Islam.

There’s nothing new about these comments, heretical as they may sound to modern ears half-deafened by progressivist din amplified by the newly hatched (and often legally enforced) PC orthodoxy.

A few decades ago even schoolchildren would have shared the common perception of Islam, as enunciated, among many others, by Winston Churchill: “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytising faith.”

Today’s commentators can’t express themselves so forthrightly in the mainstream press. They’re expected to profess acceptance of Dr Hargey’s assurances that Islam is inclusive and pluralistic. Only the inveterate cynics among us dare say “Yeah, yeah, known for it”, and then only in private or at best on line.

I don’t think our papers should open their pages to Muslims and their apologists when they utter demonstrable falsehoods. Freedom of the press doesn’t, or at least shouldn’t, protect freedom of alien propaganda full of deliberately misleading lies.

Such openness makes us strategically vulnerable. Public opinion still matters in Britain and, while few readers of our newspapers are likely to develop particularly warm feelings about Islam, many may well accept the mythical difference between Islam and Islamism as real.

If sufficiently widespread, this public sentiment may have an adverse effect on policy, if only by giving our congenitally vacillating government an excuse to replace muscular response with, at best, police action.

Meanwhile, Mrs May gave a dressing-down to Boris Johnson for daring to say that the Saudis are involved in all sorts of beastliness by proxy. The ensuing debate revolves around the trade deals Mr Johnson’s frankness may jeopardise, rather than on whether or not his statement is true.

Post-truth society indeed.


What’s wrong with populism?

rallyQuite a lot, I’d suggest.

Nothing, goes Douglas Murray’s typically impassioned argument in The Mail. Populism is “the BBC’s new buzzword, being used to sneer at the ‘uneducated’ 17 million who voted for Brexit”.

This disagreement points at the inadequacy of political taxonomy in general. If an English conservative wants to preserve Western civilisation and a Russian conservative wants to destroy it, or if an Australian liberal wishes to limit state power and an American liberal wishes to increase it, then one may be forgiven for doubting the value of those terms.

Populism is a way to excite grassroots sentiments by appealing directly to the masses over the head of established political institutions. If so, the very fact that Brexit was settled in a referendum makes it an exercise in populism on either side of the watershed.

Hence our view of populism is in this context affected by how we feel about the referendum’s outcome. Since the BBC doesn’t like the result, it uses the term ‘populism’ pejoratively. Murray, on the other hand, is happy with the result, which is why his feelings about populism are warm to the point of being febrile.

The BBC makes its evaluation of populism contingent on the result it yields. But then so does Murray: when populism produces a Brexit, he likes it. Presumably, when it produces a Hitler, who goes on to kill six million Jews, Murray’s view of populism changes.

That means his heart is in the right place: all decent people believe that Britain must regain her sovereignty, and all such people deplore democide. However, one may doubt that such taxonomic relativism testifies to a particular depth of thought.

A fair argument can be made that unchecked democracy ineluctably degenerates into populism. That has been clear to political thinkers since the time Plato referred to democracy as ‘mob rule’ and, 2,000 years later, John Adams was terrified to see that the American republic he had co-founded was turning into a democracy.

However, modern democracy still tends to preserve some residual checks, in my view insufficient but still not nonexistent. Populism leapfrogs them and lands in the midst of the troubled waters of vox populi, which, upon examination, turn out to be a morass.

Murray’s ideologically neoconservative commitment to Democracy (always implicitly capitalised) prevents him from seeing that vox populi can be confidently expected to strike false notes more often than true ones.

The Germans were denied the opportunity to vote for Hitler after 1933, but, given the chance in, say, 1938, they would have given the Nazis a landslide. Moving from Past Subjunctive to Present Continuous, the Russians are supporting their criminal KGB junta in overwhelming numbers, and many Cubans are mourning the death of the worst tyrant in their history.

Staying with that grammatical tense, one can’t help noticing that Putin’s name is emblazoned on the banners of the European populist movements that are producing results Murray likes so much.

Bulgaria’s Ataka Party, France’s National Front, Belgium’s Vlaams Belang, Greece’s Golden Dawn, Hungary’s Jobbik, Italy’s Forza Italia, Austria’s Freedom Party are all locked in passionate embrace with Putin. And even some leaders of our own dear UKIP are known to admire Putin’s crypto-fascist junta.

This intercourse isn’t wholly disinterested: France’s NF, Hungary’s Jobbik and Denmark’s People’s Party are known to have helped themselves to Putin’s rouble. I don’t know about the others, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case with them too.

Even a good populist cause attracts bad people – to this law there are no known exceptions. For example, as the Crusaders were moving toward the Holy Land, all sorts of creepy-crawlies came along for the ride. Hence the murders, rapes and looting that cast aspersion on the Crusades in perpetuity – even though their cause was just and noble.

Populism always introduces an element of entropy into politics, when rabble-rousing may turn politics into mob rule. Any serious, and especially conservative, political thinker has to be wary of the resulting potential for disaster.

The subterranean tremors in European politics are producing tectonic shifts, and the long-term outcome is unpredictable. In the short term, the EU seems to be moribund, and, if so, hooray. But then what?

When tectonic plates smash together, eruptions ensue. What sort of lava will this particular eruption disgorge? I don’t know, Murray doesn’t know, and nobody knows.

The EU is a wicked contrivance lacking legitimacy on any historical, moral or intellectual level. In purely empirical terms, it’s mainly responsible for creating a social powder keg ready to go off at any moment, with assorted populists lighting the wick. For contrivances like that never just fizzle out – they go out with a bang.

But would we be happy with Putin’s Russians acting as feudals to Europe’s vassals? European anti-EU populism is already tinged with fascism – do we want it to reach tropistically for the fascist sun shining out of a certain portion of Putin’s anatomy?

Implosion of the EU is likely to create troubled economic waters, in which national-populist demagogues will profitably fish. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t wish for that vile construct to disappear, but it does mean we should be on guard against populism – and take every measure to protect ourselves from its inevitable excesses.


Another neocon weathervane

niall_fergusonMy book Democracy as a Neocon Trick was published in 2014, but the elasticity of the neoconservative conscience continues to fascinate me.

Neocons think like apparatchiks mouthing the party line: all that matters to them is knowing the wind direction. Their answer is always blowin’ in the wind, which makes their writing look as if it all came from the same author.

Their arguments, treatment of facts, conclusions are as identical as those of the party apparatchiks from my Soviet childhood. Even the British authors, nice gentlemen sporting bespoke suits and expensive accents, are indistinguishable from their American Parteigenossen.

Like any apparatchik, a neocon will change his mind whenever the wind changes. For example, a hack may be sputtering venom at the very mention of Trump’s name until the very moment the election result has been announced – and then, with nary a blush, proclaim the very next day that the result is cordially welcomed.

Considering this collective propensity, it’s astonishing that Niall Ferguson has waited almost six months to do an about-face on Brexit. Such tardiness testifies to his self-restraint: the temptation must have been strong not to wait even six minutes. It doesn’t, however, testify to his honesty.

Yesterday he tweeted his change of heart by listing EU failures: “1 Monetary union 2 Foreign policy (MENA, Ukraine) 3 Migration policy 4 Radical Islam policy. EU deserved Brexit.”

Now which of these failures weren’t evident six months ago? The EU’s monetary union was then as disastrous, foreign policy as craven, migration policy as catastrophic, radical Islam policy as supine. Nevertheless Ferguson was then responding to the clarion call of compulsive internationalism that neocons hear in every tonal detail.

In his mea culpa, Ferguson adds: “My mistake was uncritically defending Cameron and Osborne instead of listening to people in pubs. Issue was not GDP but future migration.”

The issue was neither GDP nor even future migration, but political sovereignty and upholding the constitution of the realm. All else is strictly derivative. If a professional historian and commentator doesn’t realise that, he should take a remedial class in his chosen disciplines or, better still, abandon them altogether.

I know this may come as a surprise to Ferguson, but one doesn’t have to choose between poodle-like loyalty to the neocon cause and heeding boozy rants in pubs. Another epistemological expedient exists: it’s called intellectual integrity and sound judgement. But then what do you expect from a paid-up neocon apparatchik?

During the run-up to the referendum, Ferguson was true to the Trotskyist genesis of neoconservatism. In that good tradition, he eschewed rational argument, opting instead for vile invective.

Words like ‘morons’ happily rolled off his pen whenever that implement made contact with paper. His articles Fog in Channel: Brexiteers Isolated from Britain’s Duty to Save Europe and Brexit’s Happy Morons Don’t give a Damn About the Costs of Leaving were filled with vituperative diatribes, masking the crepuscular thinking in the background.

His stock in trade was rhetorical fallacies, such as argumentum ad populum: the belief that a proposition is true because many people support it. Thus Ferguson took a roll-call of “leading historians” and found out that more of them supported Remain. Specifically, “70 historians gathered at 11 Downing Street to affirm their support for EU membership.”

The remote possibility that historians who think differently weren’t invited to George Osborne’s home didn’t occur to Ferguson – he forged right ahead, undeterred by elementary demands of intellectual honesty.

He then switched from fallacy to sycophancy: “US administrations since the heyday of Henry Kissinger have consistently favoured UK membership in the EU.” True. So what?

Recent US administrations may indeed have believed that such a development would be in American interests, but Ferguson’s argument is meaningless – unless of course he thinks, as he probably does, that our interests are always identical with American ones, especially as seen by US neocons.

Then came the clincher: “the president of the United States… advised against Brexit”. That argument relied on the universal agreement that Obama is blessed with near-papal infallibility. Since little in his record supports that belief, this was yet another infantile rhetorical so-what.

“No one can seriously deny,” continued Ferguson, “that the process of European integration has brought an end to centuries of Franco-German conflict and has settled the German question for good.”

QED. If you dare deny, you aren’t serious. Ferguson must have attended the Trotsky class in polemic techniques. He certainly skipped the Aristotle one in logic.

What “settled the German question for good” was the military castration imposed on Germany by the victorious allies in 1945 and since then enforced by Nato. France, whose belonging to the victorious alliance wasn’t entirely unequivocal, is consequently stronger than Germany militarily, if weaker in every other respect.

On and on he then went, bristling with effrontery, mouthing platitudes that any moderately intelligent man knew to be not only clichéd but also false. Nothing presaged the about-face to come.

Now Ferguson has performed his pirouette, many of those “happy morons” who campaigned for Brexit all along are welcoming him as one of their own. I’d happily do the same if only I could contain the emetic impulse. Alas I can’t, and my wife disapproves of throwing up on the floor.


There’s no such thing as religion

hilairebellocHilaire Belloc argued that there isn’t even such a thing as Christianity. There’s only the teaching of the Church and variously heretical deviations therefrom.

Belloc might have overstressed the point. However, this doesn’t mean he didn’t have a point.

It’s impossible to lump together under the same rubric Catholicism with, say, Christian Science. The Christ worshipped by the former has little to do with the Christ venerated by the latter.

So much more intellectually frivolous it then is to believe that various creeds, such as Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism, are sufficiently similar to be classed together as ‘religion’.

‘Intellectually frivolous’ can segue into downright cretinous in the able hands of Richard Dawkins who disavows ‘religion’ because of the profusion of terrorist acts perpetrated in its name. The syllogism is simple, and idiotic in its simplicity: Muslims commit terrorist acts; Muslims are religious; therefore the fault lies with religion in general.

It would be unchivalrous to apply pejorative modifiers like ‘idiotic’ to Rachel Sylvester. Alas, her comments on Dame Louise Casey’s report on integration suggest that Miss Sylvester in particular suffers the deficit of logic ascribed to her sex in general.

In broad strokes, the report says that many Muslims live in self-imposed apartheid, often to the point of not realising that Britain isn’t actually a Muslim country.

Dame Louise attaches most of the blame to the Muslims themselves, but also some to our government, so eager to accommodate diversity that it has “ignored or even condoned regressive, divisive and harmful cultural and religious practices for fear of being branded racist or Islamophobic”.

Thus many Muslim children speak bad English, live in Islamic enclaves and go to schools where all pupils are Muslims. That makes them ripe for radicalism.

The diagnosis is good – now what’s the conclusion? Oxford imam Dr Taj Hargey offers some sensible ones in his Mail article. He correctly blames uncontrolled immigration, accompanied by a manifest lack of effort on the part of the government to make sure migrants coming to Britain accept what Britain is.

Dr Hargey proposes solutions: making sure that new arrivals take an oath of allegiance, learn English, repudiate rites that contravene British law, attend mixed schools and so forth.

This is a logical response to Dame Louise’s report, even though Dr Hargey’s measures aren’t going to succeed because his key premise is wrong: he rebukes “Wahhabi-Salafists” because “they reject the inclusive and pluralistic ethos of Islam’s scripture…”

By ascribing inclusiveness and pluralism to Islamic ethos Dr Hargey loses some of the merit points in my estimation. If taken to task on the issue, he’d no doubt cite many inclusive and pluralistic verses from the Koran, ignoring one minor detail.

Mohamed dictated most of them while still in Mecca. When he took over Medina, he began to kill people in large numbers, justifying such activities in the Koran. As a result, the Islamic holy book contains 300-odd verses explicitly calling for the killing – or, at a kinder moment, ostracism – of Christians and Jews.

Islamic scholars solve the contradictions by applying ‘abrogation’: in case of conflict, the later verses take precedence. The Centre for the Study of Political Islam (CSPI) estimates that the ‘religion of peace’ takes abrogation seriously: it has killed 270 million infidels in the 1,400 years it has been in business.

I’m sure that intelligent Muslims like Dr Hargey can find a way of reconciling their faith (and its theology) with being loyal British subjects. But anyone who holds a realistic view of human nature has to realise that such Muslims constitute a minority so infinitesimal that it wouldn’t make a dent in the findings of Dame Louise’s report.

Also, the ‘British values’ that Dr Hargey wants the Muslims to embrace understandably exclude Christianity, the core of every other ‘value’. A quick look at the Queen’s 1952 coronation oath will confirm that Britain is constituted as a Christian commonwealth, which must create a problem for any devout Muslim, even one as intelligent as Dr Hargey.

But at least he doesn’t defy logic. Dame Louise has identified the problems; Dr Hargey proposes solutions, perfectly logical if perhaps unrealistic. But Miss Sylvester, while accepting Dame Louise’s findings, lets her sex down yet again by following up with staggering non sequiturs, which seems to be her stock in trade.

Because Muslim children grow up in ghettos and attend schools with no white faces around, Miss Sylvester thinks Mrs May should abandon her professed commitment to faith schools. Not specifically Muslim schools, but all of them, including Catholic and Anglican ones.

“[Mrs May’s] aim is to encourage diversity of provision,” writes Miss Sylvester, “but the change will surely also deepen divisions at a time when religion is the source of so much tension and concern.”

“Religion”, my dear Miss Sylvester, is “the source of so much tension and concern” only to intellectually disadvantaged ignoramuses who know little about either religion or Britain, and understand even less.

It’s not too much religion that’s the problem. It’s too much Islam.

Christianity underpins British culture and civilisation, along with its every law and institution. Christian schools, which incidentally provide much better general education than comprehensives, teach that.

Hence the more British pupils attend Christian schools, the more civilised they – and Britain – will be. The more Muslim children attend Muslim schools, the less civilised they – and Britain – will be.

There’s no such thing as religion in general. There is, however, such a thing as hacks who ought to retrain for a new career. Digging ditches would be my suggestion.

One integrated Muslim

yayatoureA recent survey shows that over half of British Muslims want to integrate fully into British society, even though there’s no such thing according to Margaret Thatcher.

What I like about the survey is that, while 93 per cent are strongly attached to Britain, an almost identical number, 94 per cent, either aren’t sure al-Qaeda had anything to do with 9/11 or are sure it didn’t.

However, I’d rather not contemplate this overlap, nor indeed the validity of such surveys. I want to concentrate on the positive: more than half of British Muslims want to be British first and Muslims second.

That means adopting the customs of the host nation, and I’m happy to see that for once it’s a footballer who sets a bright example to follow.

Manchester City’s midfielder Yaya Touré isn’t even British – he plays his international football for Ivory Coast and has only lived here for six years. Yet Yaya is so eager to fit in that a couple of days ago he was done for drinking and driving.

Welcome to England, Yaya! Now get yourself thrown out of a couple of night clubs a few hours before kick off, punch a bouncer en route, and your application for British citizenship, should you choose to submit one, will be fast-tracked. Use me as a reference.

What adds a slight piquancy to the situation is that Yaya is a devout Muslim. In fact, two years ago, citing his faith, he refused to accept a bottle of champagne customarily awarded to the Man of the Match.

There are two possibilities here. One, in the intervening two years Yaya has travelled farther down the road to integration, all the way to the destination of a drink-driving charge. Two, his disdain for bubbly was a public gesture of defiance, while in private he was integrated all along.

If so, this is yet more grist to the mill of rabid right-wingers who maliciously claim that a Muslim can be a good Englishman only if he isn’t a good Muslim. Moreover, they aver, and I hope you’re sitting down, that Islam is inherently at odds with Britishness, what with the Koran’s 300 verses calling for violence towards Jews, Christians and other infidels.

How dare they claim such incendiary rubbish when there’s a survey showing that over half of British Muslims are dying to become integrated, even if that means dying of cirrhosis?

Those extremists don’t have a leg to stand on. Or rather wouldn’t, if the aforementioned survey were the only study on offer. Alas, it isn’t.

There’s also the upcoming report by Dame Louise Casey, identified as the government cohesion tsar. I have several issues with that job description.

First, if we insist on using Russian titles to describe British officials, it should be ‘tsarina’, not ‘tsar’. Yes, I realise we mustn’t be gender-specific on pain of ostracism at least, but political correctness hadn’t yet arrived at the time when either title was common currency.

Second, it sounds as if Dame Louise’s remit might be cohesion of the government, which would be a good idea, considering the non-stop bickering in the cabinet. But let’s not be pedantic: I know what the title means.

Dame Louise is to promote integration, mainly of the Muslim community. Yet her report will say that, though we indeed have Muslim communities, some of them are rather less integrated than the honorary Englishman Yaya Touré.

Apparently, thousands of Muslims inhabiting Islamic ghettos in places like Blackburn, Bradford or Dewsbury successfully combat their strong urge to integrate. In fact, many have only a vague notion of what country they live in.

Inhabiting a world circumscribed by Muslim housing estates, schools, papers and TV channels, they don’t realise all Britain isn’t quite like that.

According to those who’ve read the report, “Certain Muslims, because they are in these communities and go to Muslim schools, think Britain is a Muslim country. They think 75 per cent of the country is Muslim.”

The actual proportion is 4.8 per cent, but that’s an easy mistake to make. For example, going to my local Sunday market near Parson’s Green I sometimes wonder if I’m actually in France. Most customers are resident Frenchmen, who are profusely grateful when I supply French translations for such incomprehensible English words as ‘parsnip’ and ‘swede’.

The French diet doesn’t typically include winter vegetables, while the Muslim diet in those northern enclaves apparently doesn’t include anything British. Integration isn’t cohesive enough, or else cohesion isn’t sufficiently integrated.

For example, the chief inspector of schools has identified 21 predominantly Muslim schools in Birmingham where there are no white pupils at all. Nearly half of those schools are “less than good”, which is the government for lousy.

A Whitehall source says: “The report will say that we are in a vicious circle where some institutions are so wrongfully interpreting their version of political correctness that they are gifting the far right.”

Much as one objects to the use of ‘gift’ as a verb, the source has a point. If the government does nothing to prevent the perception of so many Muslims becoming a reality, “the far right” might – and I wouldn’t want to predict the consequences.

Meanwhile, here’s to you, Yaya. You’re on the right track, mate.


Cherie Blair’s guide to English

cherie_blairIn a ‘70s song, ‘mother’ was half a word. To Cherie, it’s not even that (although, as a throwback to my American past, I sometimes use it to describe her hubby-wubby).

Obsolete words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ should, according to her, be replaced by ‘parent’. This constitutes a seminal contribution to our language, rivalling those made by Shakespeare, KJB and Dr Johnson.

Cherie hasn’t quite enlarged on the full ramifications of her proposal, but then it’s too sweeping.

Love Labour’s Lost would have to be rewritten to say “My parent’s wit, and my parent’s tongue; assist me!”, while Hamlet would first talk to the ghost of his parent and then make his parent poison themselves [sic].

And don’t get me started on the Bible. About time we upgraded those texts to say “Parent, forgive them” and “Our parent who may or may not be in heaven”. All in all, ‘father’ appears in the Bible 879 times, and ‘mother’ 245, so there’s work to be done.

Actually, Cherie’s proposal has more to do with politics than linguistics, as she explained: “I think we shouldn’t be talking about mothering or fathering – we should be talking about parenting… what I think is very encouraging… is we see young men now who are much more hands-on fathers than their own fathers.”

The statement springs from deep conviction, and Cherie is much more committed to progressive doctrine than Tony is. Tony would apply for dual membership in UKIP and BNP tomorrow if it suited his purposes.

Cherie, on the other hand, isn’t a politician but a greasy eminence (as they say in French). So she can afford to have the power of her feeble convictions, one of which is that men and women aren’t just equal but identical, some physical fixtures notwithstanding.

Actually, making that qualification Cherie inadvertently struck some reactionary notes: “… obviously women physically give birth…”.

That’s being shamefully retrograde. Thanks to modern science, a man can now give birth too, provided he used to be a woman who decided she was really a man, had herself modified accordingly, but kept her uterus as a little keepsake.

Essentially Cherie is proposing to change God’s design. That’s fine, it’s even commendable, but what’s reprehensible is that she also proposes to overlook the real gospel of modernity, Darwin’s slipshod theory, which, according to Richard Dawkins, explains everything.

Actually, one feels ashamed even to mention science, which has produced piles of microbiological, physical, cognitive, behavioural, physiological evidence on the differences between men and women.

Science is nowadays an extension of politics too. If science says or, worse still, proves that male and female brains, among other things, are different, it must be ignored or ideally outlawed.

For example, physiology tallies with my empirical observation that men’s minds are more logical. This isn’t to say that no woman is capable of sequential thought – only that in my long life I’ve met 10 men endowed with that ability for every one woman.

That makes men better at philosophy, while women are better linguists (witness Cherie). Offhand, I can only name one significant woman philosopher (Elizabeth Anscombe) and perhaps half a dozen insignificant ones. But women hold their own in management and politics, which both benefit from their innate housekeeping skills.

But we aren’t talking about the face value of the argument. We’re on the subject of its politics, and Cherie’s views put into practice have produced a social equivalent of Chernobyl.

An ideological commitment to making women work full-time is greatly responsible for the destruction of the family. For it takes about £35,000 a year to replace the services provided by a full-time mother (female parent?).

Given our tax brackets, a woman would have to be on at least £50,000 just to break even, more to get ahead. These days, such salaries require commitment above and beyond – so who’s going to look after the children? An emasculated man, half-committed to his own job, and therefore half-paid?

A family where both parents go to work doesn’t get two salaries: typically it gets one salary split into two. That certainly happened in the only industry where I ever drew a salary: advertising.

When Cherie’s bra-burning progenitors drove women to work back in the late ‘60s, it became legally unacceptable to keep them out. Agency bosses were perplexed: they could create the odd job here and there, but certainly not enough to accommodate the influx.

Hence they started paying men less, which had the knock-on effect of forcing women to work: men were no longer capable of providing for the family. This destroyed the organic family relationships wired into our DNA by the combined efforts of God and Darwin. That’s to say it destroyed the family.

This is definitely a factor in more than half the marriages ending in divorce and half the children being born out of wedlock. It’s also a factor in zero-sum population growth: every time a baby is born, a man disappears.

Words are cheap, but dear at the price. Progressivist nonsense spouted by the likes of Cherie is sociocidal every which way, but what does she care? Ideology comes first. Really, Cherie and Tony deserve each other.

The protracted youth of David Aaronovitch

davidaaronovitch“The hero of my youth was just another tyrant,” writes Mr Aaronovitch of The Times with a note of nostalgia for his youth and Castro, now both departed.

Fair enough, we’re all stupid in our youth. For example, when I was 20, I thought A Hundred Years of Solitude was a great novel. How much dumber can one get?

Until 25 or so, our brains aren’t even wired properly, so what do you expect from youngsters? As long as they realise the error of their ways upon reaching maturity?

Aaronovitch evidently has. He has called Castro a tyrant, hasn’t he? As an adolescent, he thought Castro was a romantic hero, but now he knows better. Nature has taken its course.

Here he is, writing about his silly youth: “In 2001… I was still prepared to defend Fidel.” And: “… a little bit of salsa and cigar remained in my soul until that day in 2008 when it vanished.”

This gives an insight into Aaronovitch’s developmental timeline. Still an impetuous child in 2001, he had grown up by 2008, having purged his soul of all that salsa and cigar nonsense.

One infers that Aaronovitch’s biological maturity occurred somewhere in between those chronological milestones. Still a teenager in 2001, say 19 years old, he turned 26 or so in 2008, his brain now functioning at full capacity, all inane illusions left behind.

Just in case, I googled Aaronovitch to confirm the chronology. And what do you know? He was actually born in 1954. That makes him 47 in 2001, when his soul was still filled with salsa and cigars.

By any medical standards this has to be a case of retarded development. Aaronovitch’s youth lasted into his mid-40s and still lingered on seven years later. Must be some kind of hormonal imbalance, or else perhaps his mother dropped baby Davie on his head when breast-feeding him.

So what Damascene epiphany happened to young David, now 54, in 2008? He went to Cuba and was warned at a police station to watch whom he was talking to – or else. Flash! The retarded youth fell off his high horse and saw an image of Castro in the sky, saying: “Why do you love me so? Can’t you see I’m a tyrant?”

That experience broke through the dam of ignorance, and Aaronovitch started writing about Castro’s concentration camps, executions and boat people, rather than just Cuba’s free medical care.

Of course until 2008 he hadn’t known about Castro’s concentration camps, executions and boat people, although he had known about Cuba’s free medical care. Until then Aaronovitch must have been working down in the mines, where his access to information was limited and it was too dark to read anyway…

Hold on, the same Wikipedia article says he had by that time been a top journalist for at least 30 years, having enjoyed a brilliant career at the BBC, The Independent and The Times.

Thus he had access to some of the best data banks in the world, which means he knew all along about Castro’s concentration camps, executions and boat people. Curiouser and curiouser.

Hence, until he grew up in 2008, young Davie saw nothing wrong about a regime that murdered and imprisoned political opponents, spied on everybody, destroyed free press and – while at it – a previously thriving economy. A regime so ghastly that people were prepared to risk their lives to run away – with 77,000 dying in the process.

Therefore his sudden change of mind means he either didn’t have much of a mind to begin with or didn’t change it at all – or, actually, both. Aaronovitch was in 2008 and still remains an inveterate, unreconstructed leftie, whose understanding of the world hasn’t advanced from the time he indeed was a child.

Having tried to sell one cock-and-bull story, he then tries to flog another: “Now I know I am a latish convert to liberal democracy, though I don’t think I’m overzealous for all that; one lesson I learnt was to eschew heroes and over-complete ideologies.”

What matters in this instance isn’t so much what he converted to as what he converted from. Once a communist, always a communist, I say (making an exception for those undergoing a religious conversion).

Specifically on the subject of Latin America, Aaronovitch’s newly discovered commitment to liberal democracy didn’t prevent him from adoring Hugo Chávez, albeit with less ardour than Castro.

You see, unlike Chile’s Pinochet, who saved his country from Castro’s proxy Allende, Chávez was democratically elected, as indeed was Allende. Riding the wave of their electoral success, both Allende and Chávez nationalised industry, collectivised agriculture, supported every terrorist regime or organisation on earth, had their opponents silenced or arrested, and plunged their countries into penury.

But that’s fine with our new, not overly zealous, convert to liberal democracy. Chávez and Allende were democratically elected, so what’s the problem?

Of course they share that distinction with Messrs Hitler, Perón, Mugabe, Putin and Ahmadinejad, whom Mr Aaronovitch probably dislikes. Yet that doesn’t make him ponder that perhaps it’s not method of government that matters but what kind of society it brings forth.

That would be delving too deep for our eternal adolescent. Anyway, you can’t expect him to find time to think. He’s too busy forming opinions.

One Soviet stooge eulogises another

richardgottThe Guardian’s obituary on Castro reads like hagiography, understandably. Castro was merely a radical exponent of the same ‘philosophy’ The Guardian preaches in slightly muted tones, which is at base hatred of every founding tenet of our civilisation.

The Guardian has never seen a left-wing despot it couldn’t love, nor any leftie slogan it wouldn’t happily run up its flagpole. Naturally, Castro’s Cuba has always been one of its cherished causes.

Yet even I was surprised to see who wrote that revolting panegyric. If I were The Guardian’s editor, Richard Gott would be my last choice for this commission. Call it decorum, call it prudence, but I wouldn’t want someone exposed as a KGB agent of influence to write a eulogy for a Soviet puppet.

One would think that Gott’s 1994 exposure by KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky would have destroyed the hack’s credibility even in the eyes of Guardian readers. Apparently not.

After the truth came out, Gott, at the time the paper’s literary editor, admitted being in the pay of the KGB and resigned: “I took red gold, even if it was only in the form of expenses for myself and my partner. That, in the circumstances, was culpable stupidity, though at the time it seemed more like an enjoyable joke.”

Gott shares his sense of humour with Philby, and I’m sure he enjoyed the joke at the time. Yet in some quarters such jesting is called treason – the Soviet Union at the time was, as Russia still is, an avowed enemy of the West.

Soviet missiles were, as Russian missiles are, trained at us and our NATO allies. Soviet chieftains were, as Russian ones are, issuing threats of nuclear annihilation. The Soviet Union was, as Russia is, the deadliest enemy the West has had since Genghis Khan, although Islam is vying for this distinction too.

For a Western journalist, selling his services to the KGB was, and still is, tantamount to selling his soul to the devil, a transaction that can sometimes be regretted but never revoked.

Gott claims he got nothing but expenses, £10,000 or so in total. Yet, even if that’s true, it’s the thought that counts. The sum is peanuts by the KGB’s standards, and not a fortune by Gott’s. Yet some questioned that his services, whatever they were, would have been worth even that pittance to the KGB.

Such doubters simply don’t understand the nature of that sinister organisation. Weaned on spy novels, they see KGB activities as cloak-and-dagger stuff, stealing secrets, running agents high up in Western governments, ‘whacking’ (in Putin’s parlance) leading anti-Soviet figures.

True, the KGB did, and still does, all those things. But its principal function always has been, and still is, not just subverting the West’s military strength, but poisoning its mind and thereby paralysing its will.

Agents of influence like Gott were the toxic bacilli, they were, and still are, the slow-acting poison building up within the West’s brain. When it has reached a deadly concentration, the body will die. Without the brain to move it, the military muscle atrophies.

Any country that deserves to survive would have locked Gott up for life. But hey, even Anthony Blunt, exposed as one of the ‘Cambridge Five’, remained at large. Losing his knighthood was the spy’s only punishment, as his resignation was Gott’s.

Selling one’s soul to the devil is bad enough, but offering it for free is truly satanic. I’m certain that Gott did the KGB’s bidding not for a few pieces of silver but out of an innermost conviction. He genuinely believed, and still does, in the cause promoted by history’s most murderous cabal.

The KGB no longer serves Russia; it’s now the other way around. What with 85 per cent of Russia’s ruling elite made up of KGB officers, whatever they call themselves now, the KGB isn’t an arm of the country’s government. It is the country’s government.

Its status has changed, so have its slogans, but the objective of destroying the West hasn’t. And, as in the past, it has no problem recruiting Western quislings, mostly voluntary ‘useful idiots’ serving the cause with disinterested alacrity.

Since the KGB has changed its tune, the choir of its witting or, typically, unwitting shills has to intone different songs. The dominant parts are carried not by leftie falsettos but by rightie bassos, the booming voices of Fillon and Le Pen, Trump and Berlusconi, Hitchens and Booker – all those who are just as useful and idiotic as their leftie precursors.

But the nostalgic notes of admiration for the Soviet Union are still being struck by the likes of Gott. Hence his 4,000-word hagiography of Castro, with nary a mention of the tyrant’s tens of thousands of victims.

Not one word about Castro’s driving a sixth of Cuba’s population into exile and reducing the rest effectively to penal servitude. Nor about the destruction of a previously sound economy. Nor about the suppression of the free press, spreading military subversion all over Latin America and Africa – not even a single rebuke for bringing the world to the brink of nuclear catastrophe.

This time the panegyric is paid for by The Guardian, not the KGB. One may be excused for wondering if there’s a valid difference.

Fat? Smoker? No surgery

fatsoFree medical care fails on all three counts: it’s not free and it’s about neither medicine nor care.

The state uses ‘free’ medical care as a justification for putting its foot down. The foot may come down with a big thud, as in Cuba, or furtively, as in Britain. But come down it will.

Those Cuban ingrates were prepared to risk their lives to escape free medical care. They’d rather be ripped off by those greedy US medics – really, there’s no pleasing some people. Alas in Britain we have nowhere to run.

The NHS has just approved plans to withhold non-urgent surgery for the overweight and smokers. This includes hip replacement, removal of tonsils and hernia, and other procedures that feel urgent enough to those who need them.

Someone ought to remind the NHS what medicine is for. Here’s the multiple choice:

a) teaching good behaviour, b) punishing bad behaviour, c) increasing the power of the state, d) treating the ill. If your answer is a), b), c) or all three, apply for a senior position with the NHS.

The logical inference is that the NHS doesn’t really need doctors, nurses or hospitals to achieve its principal goal, increasing state power.

It should cut out the middlemen (frontline medical staff and facilities) and employ only those who take the direct route to the desired destination: regulators, administrators and directors of diversity.

This is already happening without much fanfare: administrative staffs are mushrooming, hospitals or their departments are closing, the number of beds has gone down from a pre-NHS 400,000 to today’s 150,000 (although in the interim the population has grown by 20 per cent).

Yet so far this process has lacked an honest, forthright justification. This it has now been mercifully provided by Rachel Sylvester of The Times. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Miss Sylvester but, when I saw the title of her article (Closing Hospitals Can Help Us Save the NHS), I knew we’d get along just fine.

Here was a kindred spirit, someone who knows what the NHS is really for, I thought. Then I read the article and realised mournfully that we aren’t soul mates after all.

First, she doesn’t really understand the aetiology of the disease she set out to treat. “The financial problems facing hospital trusts are matched by a growing workforce gap,” she writes. In plainer words, hospitals don’t have enough money to hire enough qualified staff to treat patients.

Rather than pondering why this problem didn’t exist before the country was blessed with the arrival of the NHS, Miss Sylvester goes off on all sorts of tangential non sequiturs, justifying the derisory Russian quip about woman’s logic (something I emphatically and unequivocally disavow, I hasten to add).

A logical chain of thought would have some essential links: 1) We must have enough hospitals with enough staff to treat us; 2) Not having enough money to hire them isn’t an option; 3) The current system manifestly can’t satisfy this requirement; 4) Therefore the current system must be replaced with something known to work, such as the pre-1948 medical care in Britain.

Instead Miss Sylvester bemoans the high cost of hospital care (£400 a night), and states the blindingly obvious fact that “nobody seriously wants to spend more time than they have to in an institution where they are at risk of infection…”

That risk didn’t exist when our hospitals were run by two people, head doctor and matron, rather than by accountants and directors of diversity. Nor did the problem of finding enough qualified staff exist then – as it doesn’t exist anywhere else where socialism and medicine go their separate ways.

Other than that, her statement is one of those non sequiturs: it in no way denies that people should be able to stay in hospital for as long as it takes to get better. All this sets up the non sequitur to end all non sequiturs: her proposed solution.

Approaching the problem with the soldierly directness of Alexander the Great, Miss Sylvester proposes shutting down most hospitals and A&E units for lack of funds to pay qualified medics. Instead the few remaining medics should be concentrated in a few centres.

She cites Professor Naomi Fulop, who is an advocate of this system, as saying: “It may seem counterintuitive for an ambulance to drive a critical patient straight past the nearest hospital, but it saves lives.”

It won’t, dear, if this experiment is tried on a large scale. It’ll be a disaster. Even with A&E units operating at most hospitals, it now takes hours to be seen. Now imagine the logistic catastrophe of bleeding and apoplexic multitudes descending on the few centres in a city the size of London, where the average traffic speed is 9 mph.

Of course, when your turn comes, you’ll be seen by a medical ace, which is a comforting thought – if you don’t happen to be bleeding too fast.

Now I have a better solution: we should have enough local hospitals with enough qualified people to save lives. If the NHS can’t provide that, it’s not hospitals we should close down but the NHS.

Alas, this line of thought is impossible in a country where ‘free’ medical care is a religion, and the NHS its church. We don’t think about the NHS; we just worship it – all the way to disaster.

When IQ clashes with PC, reason loses

joustSome readers’ comments on my yesterday’s piece touched upon the issue of IQ. That jogged my memory and I recalled an article I wrote on this subject years ago. Committed as I am to responsible recycling, I thought I’d re-run it, for the subject continues to be topical.

Say ‘chairman’ instead of ‘chair’, and you’ll be accused of being politically incorrect. This re-emphasises that everything in modern life has become politicised, denying the very reason in the name of which modernity was shoved down people’s throats in the first place.

And modern politics precludes rational debate: the choice is between shrill propaganda and vile abuse. The moment today’s big-enders smell a little-ender, they won’t listen to arguments. As in any war, truth doesn’t matter. Only victory does.

Take IQ, for example. Its fans claim it measures intelligence. It does nothing of the sort. It measures potential for intelligence, which potential may or may not be developed.

Thus someone with a modest IQ of 110 (the average IQ of an American college graduate is 115), such as William Stockley, can become a Nobel prize winner in physics; someone with a low IQ of 86, such as Andy Warhol, can become a famous artist; and someone with a genius IQ of 187, such as Bobby Fischer, can become a dysfunctional moron away from the chessboard.

IQ testing may be a useful tool, for example in determining someone’s suitability for a job that depends on being able to solve practical problems quickly. In a sane world we’d decide where IQ is applicable and where it isn’t, and leave it at that.

In our mad world, however, equality has become such a political shibboleth for the post-truth post-Christians that they’ll deny obvious facts in its name. Whoever dares to mention the easily provable fact that different groups, be that class or race, have different median IQs will be accused of racism, fascism, elitism or some other faddish ism.

That happened, for example, to Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, authors of the bestselling 1994 book The Bell Curve, who were subjected to the kind of savage salvos that were never aimed by the same people at, say, Castro or Arafat.

The accusers are undoubtedly entitled to their own opinions, but they aren’t entitled to their own facts. And these show that a) median IQ scores do differ from one group to the next and b) they are the most reliable predictor of practical success in almost any occupation (except perhaps, on current evidence, public service).

For example, in spite of being discriminated against, the Malayan Chinese are heavily overrepresented in top positions. All sorts of spurious explanations are offered for this, but never the real one: the median IQ of the Chinese is a hugely significant 16 points higher than that of the ethnic Malays.

In the US, the descending scale of median IQ scores goes from the East Asians (refuting the Eurocentricity argument against IQ testing) to the Jews to the other whites to the blacks, and this happens to correspond to the relative scale of these groups’ practical success in life – as measured by education, income, family stability, propensity for crime and many other indicators.

No matter. Actual reality is no longer allowed to interfere with the virtual, PC kind. If the facts don’t support the egalitarian bias, then so much the worse for the facts – and for whomever as much as mentions them.

Material success is the main desideratum of the modern world, but political correctness – that is, imposing virtual standards on the real world – matters too. The first serves the all-important body, the second strokes what used to be called the soul, and now is called whatever psychobabble term is in vogue.

The two clash on the issue of IQ, with our materialists parlaying their high scores into practical success while bleating all along that IQ scores mean nothing. They do mean something. But not very much.

Before Jesus Christ became a superstar, intelligence testing, had it existed, would have been dismissed as a quaint irrelevance. The ability to get ahead in life was then not regarded as the indicator of human worth.

It went without saying that, on average, some groups of people tended to be more intelligent than others – and civilised people considered it foolhardy to think that any single representative of any group could be presumed to be intelligent or stupid simply because he belonged to that group.

Because it came from a sphere that was infinitely higher, the true equality shared by all towered over the transient inequality of worldly success. The bogus equality of the modern world, however, has to presuppose parity where none exists: practical ability.

Deception is the only way out of this conundrum: as empirical evidence destroys this presupposition everywhere we look, the evidence must be either falsified or, better still, hushed up. In this the modern world displays more ruthless consistency than Christendom ever did in opposing, say, the heliocentric theory.

A note to the PC purveyors: some facts have nothing to do with politics. They are just facts. Take them for what they’re worth, however little or great their value is. For denying facts is neither amusing, nor grown-up nor especially clever. Ever had your own IQ checked?