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The BBC is at it again…

For a wonderful account of the BBC’s world famous dispassion and impartiality, check this out.

Some views are more welcome than others it seems.

81 comments to The BBC is at it again…

  • Shawn

    This does not surprise me in the slightest. We get BBC World from about midnight to dawn here in New Zealand. A few nights ago I switched over from Fox (which a rival station has on at the same time) to see what was on the BBC. It was a panel discussion on the importance and value of Karl Marx and Marxisim, which which all the people invited to discuss the issue agreed was positive.

    As to the discussion on multiculturalism, multiculturalism and the police state it creates is a direct result of mass third world immigration. Libertarians can hardly complain about the problems created by allowing large scale immigration, while continuing to support it. Mass immigration, multiculturalism and the PC state are all connected. They are all weapons that the left and its Muslim and third world allies are using to destroy Western civilisation. Thats why libertarian support for open boarders immigration is so laughably absurd and contraditctory.

  • They are all weapons that the left and its Muslim and third world allies are using to destroy Western civilisation.

    I think you need to add a few more layers to your tinfoil hat. Since when has immigration ever been based on an ideology?

  • Gerald Joly

    Just when we Canadians thought we had reached the lowest of lows, with the scandals involving our new P.M. the U.S. government has issued a statement that Canada is probably one of the safest Haven`s for world terrorist groups. It is no wonder! Our immigration department simply has to many loopholes in it, that will allow applicants with very clouded pasts to enter our country under the guise of being refugees or under threat of death from their governments for crimes against their people!

  • Honestly, one has to expect this kind of behaviour from the BBC, or indeed any other organisation infected with a liberal bias and as such need to record appearances as a matter of procedure.

    That’s what this is; simply a procedural failure to capture the results of what can be thought of as a successful venture.

  • Pity it was the World Service – and all the more important that the story gets out quickly to as wide an audience as possible. If enough people hear about it, Dr Gabb will have done more for liberty by stepping on the BBC’s liberal corns than by any other broadcast he has made. I congratulate him.

  • Verity

    I hate the CRE and want to see it destroyed, but since it exists, I’d like to see them go after the toxic hatemonger Alibaba-Brown. She incites racial hatred every time she opens her humus depository.

    The producer who cut Dr Gabb off should be sacked. Not reprimanded. Cut off at the knees.

    Oh, why mess about! The BBC should be dismantled. They are not needed and serve no purpose other than to hose up money and spew out propaganda for the police state, of which this jackbooted government is a particularly keen supporter.

  • Verity,

    This government is not so much a keen supporter of the police state as its latter-day creator. To understand Sean Gabb’s view on this, why he said what he said and why he was cut off on air one must read his Free Life Commentaries, numbers 113 and 114. These deal with Blair’s great project for our country: the design of an egalitarian state with a capitalist economy, operated by a deracinated people.

    If you’ver noyt already done so, check out his website (www.seangabb.co.uk).

  • Shawn

    “I think you need to add a few more layers to your tinfoil hat. Since when has immigration ever been based on an ideology?”

    Mass immigration (which is what I said, not simply immigration) is supported by those who do not believe in the West as a distinct civilisation, who do not believe that Europeans, including Europeans living in North America and Australasia, have any rights to preserve our civilisation. Instead we must submit to an invasion forced upon us by the state and the U.N. Many times leftists have told me that Europe must accept mass immigration as penance for the supposed sons of Europes imperial past. What is that but a statement of ideology?

    When America’s previously sane immigration laws were radically changed in 1965, they were changed because of the multicultural ideology of those in Congress who supported the change.

    That the mass immigration foisted upon the West since the end of WW2 is based on ideology is blindingly obvious.

    It is a source of constant amusement to me that many libertarians rightly condemn political correctness and the multicultural ideology of the left, and then parrot the very same PC ideology when the subject of open boarders immigration comes up.

    It would seem to me that the only people wearing tinfoils hats are those who cannot see the contradiction, and who cannot see that forcing mass immigration upon peoples who have repeatedly made it clear that they do not want it is an inherently statist and authoritarian project.

  • Rudolf

    If, as is suggested above, mass immigration leads to a ‘police state’ (and, I have to say, this is for me a big ‘if’), it strikes me that Libertarians are hung on the horns of a dilemma, between the free flow of labour following the free flow of capital, and the infringements of liberty implicit in the suggestion of a ‘police state’. Although what specific evidence for such a state there is has not been mentioned so far. Sounds to me as if somebody has been taking the Daily Mail a little too seriously.

  • Verity

    Shawn – Your cogent arguments will simply be ignored or wilfully misunderstood by the one-worlders who occasionally haunt this space. Rudolf, for example, has failed to notice that Britain is now a police state with the clamping down on thought crimes and hate crimes higher on the agenda than clamping down on burglars. Burglars are now rarely sent to prison, even if they thoughtfully jot down their name, address and phone number on the pad next to their victim’s telephone for the householder to take down to the police station (if he can find one that’s open) to file his report. (The police don’t have the “resources” to call at the sites of burglaries any more as they have their politically incorrect crimes to crack down on.)

    Ignoring the will of the citizens, about mass immigration and the highest crime rate in the Western world, and imposing a statist agenda on a citizenry that doesn’t want it makes Britain a police state.

  • Rudolf,

    Certainly, one becomes innured to legal and social impositions on our freedoms of thought, association and action. They are the reality, after all. One concentrates increasingly, perhaps, on the freedoms that remain and becomes pretty much resigned to the taking away of the rest, even learns to do quite well without them. That’s how it goes.

    But if one steps back for a moment and realises that the extent of change cannot be assessed by a snapshop, that this is a process of several decades and that Englishmen were once free in ways in which we cannot possibly now attain … well, what you take for Daily Mail dyspepsia looks pretty damned justified to me.

    It is too easy to write off the monumental change in English society that mass immigration portends. It is a conflict-laden scenario, indeed not a scenario at all but the demographic future. It deserves deeper consideration than all this talk about tinfoil hats and the Daily Mail.

    On the issue of open borders there is, at least, Hoppe and Rothbard in his courageous later years. But the issue is not one which Libertarian theory need argue too hotly. It is one for the English as a whole, which brings us back to those departed freedom.

  • The idea that Hoppe is a libertarian is, to my view, not entirely clear. Perhaps he is. Just because a person is a libertarian I suppose that does not mean he cannot be a bigot personally. Maybe, maybe not.

    But people (such as myself) who support freedom of association and the liberty of individuals to move about in order to freely associate (i.e. support open borders) see the problem not as people who are moving from one place to another but rather the distorting influence of state doing things like subsidizing immigration and its costs.

    I like seeing high initiative people coming to Britain and looking for jobs/setting up businesses. What I do not like is people coming to Britain and getting my tax money, which means that far from attracting energetic people looking to better themselves in a land of opportunity, we are getting some people arriving who are little more than proxy muggers (and sometimes not proxy). The solution is not to keep them out but to simply to stop robbing me to pay them.

    The problem is not immigrants, it is the state distorting the environment into which people are deciding to immigrate.

  • Rudolph

    Verity, I am more than willing to weigh the evidence of any argument, whether I agree with it or not. I am just at a loss as to what can be presented to substantiate the suggestion that Britain is a police state (for clarity’s sake I should point out I live in London, and feel I would have noticed). As one who has been burgled, I share your frustrations concerning the often lackadaisical approach of the police, but it is hard to see how this points to a police state, and not the opposite (also ‘highest crime rate in the Western world’ – have I missed a trick here?). BTW, by ‘evidence’, I mean real events that have happened, not slogans.

  • Jacob

    Seems those talking about a “police state” have never lived in a real police state, therefore either know not what they are talking about or use words and terms in a fuzzy, irresponsible manner.

  • Jacob,

    Yes, we should distinguish between totalitarianism as the complete non-existence of freedom and the petty totalitarianism of the liberal left as unreasonableness of expectation. After all, “offenders” can lose their moral authority, status, employment and freedom. The difference in degree, though of course great, does not imply a difference in category.

    Further, the liberal-left has taken to itself only those oppressive means it requires for its own end. A true assessment of our situation would ask whether this end – I describe it above as a design for an egalitarian state with a capitalist economy operated by a deracinated people – is any less beneficent than Nazi Germany sans death camps or the Soviet Union sans gulags. That is the scale of change being not proposed but instituted. Again, I point readrs to Dr Gabb’s FLC no.114.

  • Verity

    Jacob, I think most Britons no longer feel they have a right to express their opinions freely. They monitor and self-censor themselves for fear of being branded “racist”, the highest crime in the universe. British people fear the state in a way they didn’t 50 or a hundred years ago.

    In Britain, uniquely, as far as I know (someone will jet in to correct me if I’m wrong) only the police and armed services have legal guns. This situation is a police state.

    The police have abdicated their raison d’etre, the protection of life and property, in favour of policing thoughts and manners.

    Against the will of the population, this government has abdicated its duty to secure our borders and is flooding the country will malleable supplicants who are dependent on its goodwill for a blind eye.

    This government, if it ever holds a referendum on the euro, is going to attempt to dilute the negative vote by allowing non-British who have no stake in British society or the future of the country, to vote in it. At the same time, whatever it says to the press, it intends to sign Britain on to a Mickey Mouse “constitution” which is a 300-page roadmap for single-interest groups (“respect for the transgendered”), but is nevertheless binding – and will not allow a referendum on whether the British wish to give up their country to be governed by a Monty Pythonesque Napoleonic code.

    The suggestion of any single of one of the items I have listed above would have appalled and outraged Britons of just two or three generations back.

  • JayN

    I believe that the use of ‘police state’ in the above has little to do with the ‘police force’, efficient or no, and more to do with the policing of our lives, actions and words which is being taken up by all manner of governmental organisations for whom the actual police force are merely the executive arm. Everytime Mr Blunkett waters down the legal defences of citizens, or new legislation is passed to ‘to protect us from ourselves’, or the CRE persecute an individual for speaking their mind, we move closer to a state which maintains control of it’s citizens through force.

    There is no inherent contradiction between saying we live in a state of escalating control and that no petty criminals are being caught. It just means that resources are being devoted to making sure we don’t say anything offensive, rather than securing our lives or possessions.

  • Jacob

    “This situation is a police state.”

    No ! This situation is NOT a police state. A police state is when they send you to the gulag for 10 years and then perpetual internal exile for criticising your government as you just did in the post above.

    Shutting Dr. Gabb’s microphone is an ugly, rude, deplorable act, but not a “police state”.

    The seriousness of your criticism is impaired by the use of implausible hyperbole.

  • Nigel Holland

    On the topic of a police state I recently witnessed the effects of Blairs “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” agenda. I’m happy with “tough on crime” but “tough on the causes of crime” leads straight to criminalising the innocent.

    I was visiting some friends recently when the police turned up demanding they sign an anti-social behavior order for their eldest son, whose 18. The family in question live on a council estate on the edge of Oxford. The reason the police turned up was the family fit a profile. The parents had their first child when they were 16, they went on to have 6 more children. So they are a large poor family living in an area with problems of “anti-social behavior”. The fact that none of the family have ever been in trouble with the law was irrelevant, the son is a stone masons apprentice and doing well.

    The parents refused to sign the order, the police informed them that if they didn’t their son would be arrested within 3 days. The next day a lady from the council arrived asking why they hadn’t signed the order, they informed her it was because their son was innocent. She told them they had to sign or he’d be arrested. The following day the parents and son went to the police station with a lawyer, it turned out the police had no grounds for the order or to threaten arrest. That afternoon the lady from the council turned up and this time told them the lawyer was giving them bad advice.

    The matter has still to be resolved.

    Having talked to other families on the estate, it turns out that anyone who fits the profile has been through the same process.

    Big Blunket is trying to criminalise the innocent.

  • Rudolph

    Verity, I must admit I would probably censor myself if I felt I was about to issue a racist statement, not through fear of the state, (without going into detail, the wishes of the state have never much entered into my lifestyle), but from respect for myself as well others. Why is this a bad thing? Concerning the term ‘police state’, if the criterion is one of the police carrying guns, this must make Britain one of the least likely contenders for the title – famously, very few British police are tooled up under normal circumstances: Jacob is bang on the money on this point. Not being funny, but do you actually live in Britain?

  • Verity

    Guessedworker – Thank you so much for Dr Sean Gabb’s link. I’ve just read Dr Gabb’s FLC 113 and it is brilliant! Why does not some Tory think tank grab him?

  • zmollusc

    Regarding the issue of whether britain is a police state or not: Do the people who claim that britain is NOT a police state think we re headed towards or away from being a police state?

  • Rudolph

    zmollusc, in spite of previous comments, I have some very serious reservations on that score: I found it very worrying that the police used anti-terrorist measures to disrupt a peaceful protest against the arms trade at the Excel centre last year, (while I am not naturally inclined to street protests myself, I consider it ‘a good thing’ that those who are have the right to do so without fear of harrassment). I also find the saturation of CCTV cameras on our streets fairly disquieting (and before some smartarse asks, no, I have nothing to hide – not outside my front door, anyway). It would be an exaggeration to say that this constitutes solid evidence of such a heading, but I think it represents a matter for much more concern than appears to be accorded to it. Still, this is still such a long way from the state of affairs in countries such as North Korea as to make the comparison risible.

  • “I would probably censor myself, if I felt I was about to issue a racist statement, not through fear of the state .. . but from respect for myself as well as others.”

    Oh, Rudi, you just haven’t cottoned on at all. We are talking here about censorship, of which self-censorship is a significant variety. Now, the English are nothing if not polite. We don’t generally seek to be gratuitously offensive to anyone we are not actually trying to shoot or bomb or against whom our national football team is contesting World Cup qualification. We don’t need any lectures on politeness. But I suspect that your self-censorship is less to do with politeness than multiculturalism and political correctness.

    Let’s be clear. Politness is consideration of the pleasure and comfort of your companion. Political correctness is the presumption of your inate and irredeemable sin. It starts with the knowledge that certain things one might feel or think seem to cause outrage – in fact, a new type of outrage that one never knew in childhood and of which one’s father never spoke. Little by little, you learn that certain races, genders, sexual orientations etc might – might – react with the aforesaid outrage. They, of course, quickly learn that to do so advances their racial group interests. By now the game is lost. It becomes extremely bad form to mention certain things in public. Social intercourse is corrupted. You cease to speak openly to anyone that you do not fully trust. The stage is set for the state to intervene and codify into law that which was originally dreamt up not in the lawyers offices or those of opinion formers not the radical halls of our universities, nor in Frankfurt nor in Gramsci’s Prison Notes, but in Lenin’s Soviet Union eighty years ago. It is politicheskaya pravil’nost. If you don’t know this you don’t know why the microphone was switched off on Dr Gabb or why you censor yourself. And you don’t know where it is all intended to lead. “Respect for myself” it ain’t.

  • Verity

    Rudolph, with respect, you are either intentionally or unintentionally missing the point when you write “I would probably censor myself if I felt I was about to issue a racist statement.” I am not talking about the natural restraints we all place on ourselves so as to stay civilised and not gratuitously wound another person. When I talk about self-censorship, I mean that subtlely imposed from outside with an iron fist to the point where rather than be misunderstood – and knowing that the “misunderstanding” will be intentional – people tend not to speak.

    I am not talking about angrily confronting someone with, for example, a slur based on their race or their sexual orientation because we are aware that a human is more than one characteristic and people are, in any event, born as they are. I daresay few who read or post on Samizdata would bring themselves to categorise another human being so for the simple reason that it’s too hurtful and it’s grossly unjust.

    I am talking about shutting down the discussion on immigration, for example, by using the term “racist”. (This word, by the way, has now been expanded miles beyond its real meaning, which is the unique characteristics of the six races of humankind. The meaning had to be manipulated, no matter how ignorantly, because of all the East Europeans who will have a right to move to Britain in May, and they are white, so they have to be accommodated by the term, too. So racism now means calling the man across the street a silly git.) This colonisation of the language is designed specifically to stop people expressing opposing views.

    People hesitate to say that single motherhood is destructive to society because the thought facists will accuse the speaker of being “prejudiced” against “the disadvantaged” – as though becoming a single mother is not a girl’s own choice but something that was perpetrated upon her, probably by the wicked Tories. Thus the debate gets shut down in all the areas where the government wants it shut down. People police themselves because debate has been delegitimised.

  • Rudi

    Very well, as I appear not to know why I don’t spout racism, perhaps I need to be told why I should. Let me be clear: I don’t give a toss about political correctness (which, if truth were told, I find as patronising as the comment above), I just prefer to live my life like that, not because I’m particularly polite, but because if everyone did, it would just make for an easier life. I understand this is not the only perspective in the world, and quite prepared to listen if somebody has a better idea, but in what social circles do you revolve, or what is it that you have to say, that you cannot speak your mind without fear of state recrimination?

  • Rudi

    My apologies. In the time it took me to post, Verity just addressed the matters I was ranting about.

  • “Little by little, you learn that certain races, genders, sexual orientations etc might – might – react with the aforesaid outrage.”

    You mean you want the freedom to denigrate others without being denigrated in return? You want to be able to say nasty things about racial minorities and homosexuals without having to listen to them saying nasty things about you too?

    “They, of course, quickly learn that to do so advances their racial group interests.”

    And what might those “racial group interests” be? Freedom from racial harassment and insult? Not everyone has the collectivist mindset you seem to possess, and if you think it right to protect what you feel is your own “racial group interest” (and your repeated references to “deracination” indicate that you do), you’re in no position to deny others the freedom to do the same.

  • Chris Josephson

    Verity wrote:

    Jacob, I think most Britons no longer feel they have a right to express their opinions freely. They monitor and self-censor themselves for fear of being branded “racist”, the highest crime in the universe.

    It’s the same in the US as well and I know many people who resent this and are starting to turn into bigots because of it. In the US, it’s the workplace and colleges where this is most easily seen.

    Everyone in the workplace here knows there are certain opinions you MUST keep to yourself because if you don’t you could be fired. Certain groups are protected and many in the non-protected groups see the unfairness of it. The rules are not equally applied.
    Some groups can make racist – or whatever – remarks about the non-protected groups and not get into trouble.

    There are groups you can say anything you want to about them. One group … white males. All the ills of society has been blamed on them. People feel free to speak about while males in ways they never would about other groups.

    Same is true for Christians, especially Catholics. Say anything you want about them. You could not say anything as critical about the protected groups.

    It’s a sad commentary on our societies when an organization like the BBC feels free to censor opinions it doesn’t like. Many of our countries have lost/are losing the ability to see an honest discussion about issues because one side of the issue may not be allowed to speak.

  • Hello Abiola,

    Your questions are easily answered.

    1. I do not seek the freedom to denigrate but to distinguish. I choose my words with care, so don’t twist them.

    2. The racial group interests to which I refer are those you so often seem to defend. Yes, here on Samizdata you wrap yourself in individualistic garb (“Not everyone has the collectivist mindset you seem to possess”). But in your scribblings elsewhere I have discerned not a whit of interest in libertarianism. Anyway, speak not for yourself but for the UK immigrants whom you claim to be such atomised souls. I will now look forward to your detailed denial of the existence their racial group interest. I bet we don’t hear it though.

    3. Where in my comments above have I denied “others the freedom ” to denigrate in return? C’mon, Abiola, you are a clever guy. Don’y let yourself down with such sloppy work.

    Catch you later.

  • Rudi

    It’s OK Chris, surely we’re all grown-ups here. What is it you want to say, but feel you can’t? (Use a pseudonym if you feel happier that way.)

  • Verity,

    Glad you approved of 113. I think 114 is better still, the best summation of the situation in this country that I have read. I would be interested to know what you make of it, though.


    I understand your reasoning. But smiling benignly at your companions while a silent, century-long revolution goes on all around you is not the English way. We are, or ought to be, made of sterner stuff.

  • Susan

    Freedom of speech no longer exists anywhere in Europe, or so it seems to me. Especially when the subject matter is Islam or Islamic immigrants.

    Melanie Phillips disabled her comments section yesterday, for fear that she would be prosecuted or sued for some of the things that people were writing.

    There was a long discussion about Islamophobia on her blog over the past few days and I’ll bet she was afraid of the “hate speech” police holding her responsible for it.

    This blog is aptly named. We headed for times where going against the grain of prevailing Leftist dogma is a state crime, same as it was in the USSR.

  • Harry Powell

    It’s off topic I know but Jacob asks whether it is hyperbole to describe Britain as a police state. The term is in need definition so let me suggest this one; a police state is one where the powers of the police are used to oppress the population. Which is quite a different thing from the totalitarian state of, say, the USSR where the state exercised super-legal power to arbitrarily arrest, detain, and execute – as the dissidents of the Brezhnev era constantly pointed out their arrests were illegal under soviet law. Now as to whether the characteristics of arbitrary police action such as search/detention/arrest on suspicion, confiscation of private property without compensation, secret evidence, diminished standards of proof in prosecution are accurate descriptions of our present situation I’ll leave for the other Samizdata readers to decide.

  • Rudi

    Absolutely. I’ve never felt pressured to observe political correctness, and I’m surprised you do. It used to get me into all sorts of bother at college when I was a student, (LSE, you lot would have hated it) when I would say what I had to say, only to be met with a horrified silence followed by outraged choruses of “you can’t say that!” The fact of the matter is that I do speak my mind, and I have never understood why people feel such pressure to be shoehorned into this ridiculous matter of what you can or can’t say. This is not a silent revolution deserving of an Englishman’s ire, this is childish silliness (“Ooh, you said a bad word!”), and better ignored. There is a difference between gratuitous, corrosive nastiness such as racism, and an honestly-held opinion that doesn’t fall in with the party line of credulous students. I’m going to shut up now, as I feel I am stating the bloody obvious, life’s too short, it’s nearly going-home time and the boozer beckons.

  • “The racial group interests to which I refer are those you so often seem to defend.”

    And what might those be? Come on, be explicit! Tell us just what these “racial group interests” I “often seem to defend” might be.

    “But in your scribblings elsewhere I have discerned not a whit of interest in libertarianism”

    Oh really? You clearly have a different definition of the term “libertarian” than the rest of us recognize. Point out where I’ve sinned against the libertarian credo, if you can.

    “Where in my comments above have I denied “others the freedom ” to denigrate in return?”

    Who said the following?

    “It starts with the knowledge that certain things one might feel or think seem to cause outrage – in fact, a new type of outrage that one never knew in childhood and of which one’s father never spoke. Little by little, you learn that certain races, genders, sexual orientations etc might – might – react with the aforesaid outrage.”

    I think what you mean is pretty clear. You don’t like the fact that “certain races, genders, sexual orientations etc” react with “outrage” to “certain things one might feel or think.” No, your denials to the contrary, I had you pegged right.

    You may not be aware of this, but there is not, and never has been, a right to say whatever one pleases without causing offence. Your exaggerations to the contrary, freedom of speech still exists in Britain – you and I both know that no one is going to arrest you for saying whatever you please about the mores and capacities of “certain races, genders, sexual orientations etc”, even if you had the guts to do so under your own name rather than hiding behind an alias. What bothers you about the present is that you can no longer get away with uttering derogatory comments about that vast portion of humanity that doesn’t meet with your approval without suffering any social ordure.

  • Verity

    Well, well, I intuited that Rudi was a posturing, over-confident, chippy bit of a lad from the petulant nature of his postings and his eerie, self-centered dismissiveness of the issues. Now he has revealed he’s been using his employer’s time to play around on blogs while keeping an eagle eye on the clock. Ooops! Two seconds from “going home time” so I can join the lads down the pub. LSE … what a hoot! What are you doing on a libertarian blog, you foolish boy? You are not articulate enough or educated enough (is this what they’re letting into the LSE these days? – why do I find that strangely cheering? ) to challenge anyone here. Abiola is far sharper and I suspect Guessedworker puts more intellectual energy into his replies to him than anyone has put into swatting you away.

    Guessedworker, yes No 114’s a cracker. Thank you.

  • Jacob

    “The suggestion of any single of one of the items I have listed above would have appalled and outraged Britons of just two or three generations back. ”

    You are romanticising the past. In the past other prejudices reigned, and other things were taboo. Like homosexuality. Like sex. Every epoch has it’s fashions, and tries to impose some code of correct speech. I don’t know if the limitations now are worse than in the past, but that is not the point.

    Seems to me, as Rudi and Abiola are saying, you can still speak your mind and nothing awfull happens.
    This does not mean we shouldn’t worry, and shouldn’t crusade for freedom, but it means that neither Britain, nor the EU are police states, or even remotely near it.

  • Abiola,

    I have seen you embattled on the race issue against inummerable and varied bloggers. You unfailingly attack the proposition from the same direction. You very much tend to be the aggressor and to use information, particularly from your specialism, in a high-handed way as if that must kill off your interlocutor. I think your first post here shows just how high-handed you can be.

    You use your genetic knowledge – prostitute it, I think, as many left-leaning geneticists do – in your private battle against heredity and human bio-diversity. You may actually believe in environmentalism and human equality, I don’t know. But I have a hunch that, as an African living in America, you just can’t accept the implications for blacks. This, then, is your input point to your own racial group interest. If I do you an injustice, tell us whether you believe in heredity or not, or how much heredity you believe in.

    Now your mis-reading of my post:-

    Firstly, this thread is not directly about race. It is about the liberal-left bias of British institutions, most notably the BBC. Those remarks of mine that you quote clearly describe the manner in which political correctness has arisen in English society. This is something I deplore. It is a transformation of language that pressages another of thought, then another of society as a whole. I believe that my father in his lifetime and I, in my childhood during the 1950’s was immeasurably more free without this marxist poison in our lives.

    Just how, Abiola, do you read into that what you do? You are running around blogland with a shotgun with hair trigger. Think before you shoot.

  • The UK is not a totalitarian society but, for some years now, there has been a gradual trend in that direction. The absence of a figurehead, presumably in the form of some pantomime dictator, should not be cause to dismiss or downplay the abundant and worrying signs.

    In the last decade we have witnesses not just a sustained attack on civil liberties but also a rapid growth in the establishment of various legal and social control mechanisms. As well as the more visible and high-profile aspects such as panopticon surveillance and the push for ID cards, there are also laws curtailing free speech, free association and freedom of enterprise and also subtler horrors such as the reversal of burden of proof in both civil and criminal proceedings and even the police exercise of extra-judicial and extra-legal actions.

    Taken in the round it all paints a rather melancholy picture.

    Abiola Lapite is quite right to say that laws relating to things we might say in public are nothing new. We have had long-standing laws against Blasphemy and Sedition which appear to have rather whithered on the vine. But what makes the situation now rather more dangerous is the abolition of our customs and civil traditions. A truly free and healthy civil society rests just as much (in fact maybe moreso) on the respect for tacit assumptions that evolve from that society.

    For example, there has never actually been any law in Britain that guarantees freedom of speech and ideas. Simply because a law was never needed. It was widely assumed and accepted that such a freedom existed and the Judiciary both abided by and upheld that assumption.

    Jacob and others are right to say that there is no comparison between Britain now and either Nazi Germany or Communist Russia as was. We are not even close. But, an honest analysis of our political, cultural and legal landscape has led me to the conclusion that all the apparatus, mechanisms and powers to create such a dystopia are all now well and truly in place.

    I suspect that the only thing preventing their full manifestation is the residual decency left in the system (and that won’t last!).

  • Henry Kaye

    We all have different experiences. My four grandparents were Jewish immigrants to the UK 100 years ago. They neither sought nor received any government assistance, financial or philosophical. Whilst they found it difficult to learn the language and adjust to the host country’s culture, they ensured that their (between them) 10 children DID assimilate. My parents, uncles and aunts became more English than the English as did my brother and I.

    The whole family learned to live with anti-semitism and quickly learned that the best way to avoid that evil was to ASSIMILATE. My school-mates knew that I was Jewish but quickly apologised if they made an inadvertent anti-semitic remark because I was just as English as them.

    My attitude to the current immigration question is that there is nothing wrong with immigration as long as the immigrants genuinely seek citizenship and intend to assimilate with the host nation’s traditions and cultures. My family did not seek to impose their foreign culture on to the English but earnestly wanted to become English. Their Jewishness was confined to the enclosed walls of their homes and their place of worship. It seems to me that such an approach is acceptable to the host nation. What is not acceptable is a determination by immigrants not only to maintain their national culture in a manner that causes discomfort amongst the English hosts but also to seek and accept legal protection in so doing.

    My Jewishness has been lost somewhere along the way and I find myself now talking as an Englishman who is proud of this country’s traditions, history and cultural heritage and would like to see our political and social leadership act in support of these ideals.

    I would not describe the UK as a police state but I agree with the thoughts expressed by Verity much earlier today. The policies enacted by our political leadership are causing individuals to be afraid to express their honest thoughts. Those thoughts are often not racist but rather a despairing attempt to retain our national identity.

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    Chris Josephson wrote:

    Same is true for Christians, especially Catholics. Say anything you want about them. You could not say anything as critical about the protected groups.

    It depends on who’s doing the talking. I remember at the end of 1999 we in the States had the controversy over the “Sensation” art exhibit in which one of the items was a representation of the Virgin Mary with pieces of elephant dung attached to it. The usual groups that defend the Catholic faith took offense at this, but were roundly derided by the chattering classes.

    A few months later, we had the Presidential primaries, with George W. Bush speaking at Bob Jones University in South Carolina. Bob Jones U is one of those institutions run by evangelical Christians, who have the tendency to say less-than-kind things about Catholics. Suddenly, the same folks who were being derided a few months back for getting offended over an obscene representation of the Virgin Mary were being lionised and portrayed by the chattering classes as put-upon victims. Frankly, I got the distinct impression that the media were acting a lot like Winston Smith.

  • Susan

    Ted, you are correct regarding the selective nature of the enforcement of politically correct speech codes. Surprise surprise, but they almost always serve the political agenda of the Left. For example, Christianity in general receives the butt end of derisive scorn 24/7. However, when the Pope, the Archbish of Canterbury and the World Council of Churches all came out strongly against the war in Iraq, suddenly they were transformed from foolish representatives of a dead ideology into wise and all-knowing spiritual authories.

    Once their usefulness as anti-war shills was unneeded, they went back to being foolish representatives of a dead ideology.

    The Left is kidding itself that people don’t notice these things. They do. That’s why “hate speech” codes actually increase racism and prejudice rather than decreases them.

    The kid who is always picked on almost always ends up hating the teacher’s pet.

  • Verity

    I’d also like to mention the hammering into law laws that no one asked for and that are designed to further pick apart the fabric of Britain. Example, the right to commit public indecency in public lavatories has now been enshrined in British law, as homosexuals now have the right to couple in municipal toilets. Meaning dads in some areas are now fearful of taking their sons into a public loo because of what they may encounter. So in some parks and commons, men and their sons will be reduced to furtively peeing against the walls outside in public while gays coupling legally inside, at the rate payers’ expense, get a free pass. This decadent law was not requested by any gay group. It was one more gratuitous grinding of the jackboot on the neck of decent, civilised Britain.

  • Anastasia

    What a fair and balanced site those ‘libertine’ loonies run. I’ll take the BBC thanks.

  • Susan

    Verity the US has the same sort of people pushing the same sort of agendas against public decency. For example, people who campaign for the “right” of the homeless to relieve themselves on the street — and not just Number 1, but Number 2 as well! The same sort of people also campaigned vigorously in the 70s against the government’s right to commit the mentally ill to a public facility against their will. We in the US do no longer have the right to commit mentally ill people to facilities against their will unless they pose a threat to themselves or the public. The catch is that no one knows if they pose a threat or not until they actually do something violent. Moreover, relieving themselves on the street does not qualify under “threat” to other people.

  • Anastasia,

    1. This is a ‘blog’ not a ‘site’
    2. We are not ‘libertines’, we are libertarians (although some us may be ‘libertine’ as well)
    3. You are most welcome to the BBC.

  • Verity

    Anastasia, like unto like.

  • Verity

    Susan, Guessedworker recommended reading Dr Sean Gabb at http://www.seangabb.co.uk and his Free Commentary pieces 113 and 114. Now that I’ve read them, I recommend them too, because he illuminates brilliantly the roadmap for everything we have been discussing here.

    It’s a jagganaut and I fear there’s no stopping it, although there’s a better chance in the US than in the UK, whose entity is already being ground by the harrows of the totalitarian EU into dust.

  • Chris Goodman

    I listened to a BBC radio news item the other day. It was a factual and balanced account of Conservative Party policy. It was slightly unnerving. I watched the BBC news cover the same item. It was equally measured and balanced. It was even more disturbing. The absence of the usual lack of balance (especially the lack of the sneering tone) only served to underlie just how bad some of the mainstream BBC news reporting has become in recent years.

    Maybe the BBC is going to get better I found myself thinking. I caught the end of Newsnight to see if it had changed its tone and heard Paxman outraged at the very suggestion that taxpayers subsidy leads to films being made that nobody wants to see, and I caught Libby Purvis on the radio apoplectic at the very possibility of universities marketing themselves. No change there then.

    Maybe it is just a matter of letting the Lefties go onto to new pastures. Kristy Wark for example is a good presenter of One Foot in the Past, and Jeremy Paxman is an effective quizmaster in University Challenge, but then I realised that many of the next generation of BBC journalists are even worse (think Andrew Gilligan) so yes, the only way forward is to let them set up their own television channel (maybe they could call it Independent Guardian TV) and let the Lefties pay for it themselves.

    It always makes me laugh I confess when I hear one well known BBC presenter who was exposed as a Soviet spy a few years ago (as was a then prominent Guardian journalist) adopt the “I am so reasonable” tone of voice so beloved of authoritarians. It is clear their time churning out Leftist propaganda while sucking at the public teat really ought to come to an end.

    As for the police State point, do you feel that if you express an opinion that for the Left constitutes a thought crime you will get the police knocking on the door? In the State funded sections of the economy expressing what the Left take to be a thought crime (not hard actually given that a thought crime is anything the Left find offensive) is tantamount to career suicide, and the number of times police knock on your door for thought crimes has increased in recent years (I seem to remember the pro-hunt presenter of One Man and his Dog Robin Page being put in prison overnight for suggesting in a speech that the hunting community should have the same liberties as homosexuals and Muslims) but we are still free to express our opinion about [deleted by a self-editing process].

    Not only is the case I can express my view that [deleted by a self-editing process] it is also the case that I can point out that [deleted by a self-editing process] so it is evident we still live in a society that cherishes intellectual diversity and freedom of speech. For example I can say that [deleted by a self-editing process].

  • Susan

    Verity, I did go back and read those articles by Sean Gabb and I agree with them largely. Actually what Sean Gabb defines as “post-socialism” has been variously described by US commentators as “Cultural Marxism” (from a famous essay by Lee Harris) and “Transnational Progressivism” by John Fonte (the latter often being shortened to the pejorative term “tranzi” on some “right-wing” blogs.) You can find the Lee Harris essay on Cultural Marxism at the Hoover Institute, and the tranzi essay by John Fonte at http://www.hudson.org. (I tried to find an exact link to the Lee Harris essay for you but couldn’t in the few minutes I spent searching.)

    Harris, Fonte and Gabb are all correct: the argument isn’t about economics anymore. The economic side of socialism has been killed off. Today’s powergrabbers are promoting something far more insidious and more difficult to defeat.

    Unfortunately, as Dr. Sean alluded, the Cultural Marxists will not be descredited until they have racked up as like a number of dead bodies and barbaric acts as the old-time economic Marxists. I fear that Islamism will be the ultimate beneficiary of their destructive acts, especially in Europe.

    You are correct that the resistance to the tranzi-Cultural Marxist agenda is strongest in the US — that is why the established tranzi outlets such as the BBC continually hammer away on the “evilness” of the US.

    Old-time economic socialism never really took off in the US because we don’t think about social and economic class in the same way as Europeans; thus there weren’t that many ready-made class resentments here to exploit as in Europe. Similarly, the US’s very strong cultural attachment to the melting pot concept of society is blunting the tranzi’s attempts to exploit racial, religious and ethnic divisions.

    They largely stick with exploiting the racial resentments of the two groups that offer the most promise: the descendents of the US slaves (not African-Africans, or Afro-Caribbeans, who both tend to do rather well in the US: see Jamaican-born Colin Powell, Harry Belafonte and Sydney Poiter) and Mexicans/Latin Americans. They use the awful past treatment of the Native Americans to pump up resentment and racial divisions among Mexicans/Latin Americans, although this is of course factually absurd. The Native Americans who were displaced by European whites in North America are not the same people, ethnically, linquistically or culturally as the incoming Mexican/Latin American immigrants. The argument that we must address the historic wrongs done to the native North Americans by offering special pleading and special treatment to Mexican/Latin American immigrants is akin to saying that Britain must make some sort of penance for the Highland Clearances by offering special treatment and special pleading to Italian or Albanian immigrants.

    They are also licking their chops at the growth of another promising new ethnic group to exploit in their power/societal deconstruction games: Muslims.

  • Nancy

    Henry Kaye,

    While describing your family’s experiences living in England, you’ve inadvertently pointed out one of the main differences between a free state and a police state. A free state “host country” appreciates and rewards attempts by foreigners to assimilate. A police state assigns the cage it wants you to inhabit and keeps you there, despite your best efforts. Jews in Nazi Germany were among the most assimilated people anywhere. Their efforts were not appreciated.

  • Susan

    Well said, Nancy!

  • Susan

    I am beginning to think that the free and productive people of the world should assemble somewhere in a remote area, just as was depicted in Atlas Shrugged, and let the tranzis and the rest of the world go to hell without them.

  • Millie Woods

    Ah yes, diversity. Has anyone ever explained with chapter and verse just how it has enriched us. While they’re at it they could have a go at the self-esteem the schools are supposedly inculcating in the kiddies. The last time I looked, no-one I know has become a better person after eating sushi or a kebab. As for the kiddies, when they manage to master a skill, they get gobs of self-esteem even if this is supposed to make those who still haven’t done so frightfully sad and suicidal.

  • Susan

    Exactly Millie. Children learn self-esteem by mastering new skills and taking responsibility for their own actions, not from top-down social engineering projects designed by ivory-tower “experts” telling them how great they are.

    In fact these “self-esteem” programs can actually damage children. What do they think will happen when a child is constantly told how great he or she is — with this feedback entirely divorced from any positive achievement or characteristic mastered by the child — and is then loosed upon the “real” world? The minute the now grown-up child is exposed to a situation where he or she is actually expected to produce, compete or achieve, his or her falsely nurtured self-esteem will collapse like a house of cards.

  • Verity

    Susan thinks free-minded people of the world should find a place and all go live together. This is precisely what the New Hampshire project is about. We’re all going to move in with Mark Steyn. No, seriously, there is talk of getting a 100,000 (or maybe it’s less) to move to New Hampshire, which is already a pretty liberal (in the real sense of the word, low tax, high gun ownership state) and use our votes make it freer yet. Someone more alert than me will remind me of the proper name of this project. It’s not loony. It’s real. There are real people working on it. If it really got going, I’d be the first in the queue to buy my ONE-WAY airline ticket! Can anyone remember what this project is called, and is there an email contact? Thanks.

    Susan, thanks for a brilliant posting above.

  • Dave F

    Orwell identified the BBC as the begetter of a future British police state in “1984”, which was actually “1948”. Readers might remember Room 101, which was, apparently, the number of the room from which the World Service broadcast propaganda during WW2, and well known to Orwell.

    All he got wrong was the year, and the fact that the “thought police” state has come about by degrees and by stealth, like slowly boiling a frog. He caught the reasonableness of tone pretty well.

    It is not too extreme to say it is a police state when the conduct of sexual relations, private and public speech, and the dynamic of fhe fam ily unit — in fact the social sphere – are directed and controlled by act , statute and regulation, policed not by men in jackboots but an army of well-meaning tyrants in nice clothes.

  • A_t

    Wow.. what a string of empty outrage.

    We don’t live in a police state. If you think we do, perhaps you need to visit some more oppressive countries & try publishing pamphlets denouncing the government, or walk around shouting about the great leader’s predeliction for ladyboys. I agree however that certain changes in British law of late have been worrying, & many aspects of how our country currently works (massed CCTV for one) could be exploited to assist in totalitarian rule if the wrong people got into power. These should be cut back as soon as practical, & we should all make a point of denouncing them.

    I don’t believe the BBC should have cut Sean Gabb off when they did, but to pretend that this is symptomatic of some larger censorship drive is codswollop. As has been pointed out many a time, the UK media overall has a left-leaning bias. This will probably be reflected in what gets said/broadcast, but this does *not* constitute some kind of state-run police state action.During the Iraq war, as far as I understand it, many US stations would not give airtime to voices opposed to the war, and there were some famous instances of rudeness/”censorship”. Does this mean the US is a police state? Yes, according to some fringey lefty types, but to most of us sane types, no… that’s just the US media landscape, which in turn reflects the US social landscape to a degree.

    If all currently existing UK media outlets don’t cater to your opinions, you’re free to start your own outlet (witness this website), & churn out your opinions. As far as I’m aware, the police won’t come breaking your door down for doing so (well, unless you’re inciting racial hatred, which is one of those aforementioned laws i’m dubious about, although I’m not aware of it being grossly abused so far). If enough people agree with your opinions, or are interested in hearing them, there’s nothing I’m aware of to stop you from setting up your own conventional media outlet, & starting a Libertarian Guardian or whatever. I’d suggest that the ability to set up an independent publication strongly opposed to the government line would be one of the first casualties of a true police state.

    & on an irrelevant point, but symptomatic of much of the empty outrage here, Susan:
    “For example, people who campaign for the “right” of the homeless to relieve themselves on the street — and not just Number 1, but Number 2 as well!”

    I don’t relish the thought of people crapping on the pavement, but being *homeless*, & seeing as public conveniences are increasingly rare these days, where do you propose they relieve themselves? Perhaps they could knock politely on people’s doors & ask if they can use the facilities? Or perhaps just pop into McDonald’s; they won’t mind.

  • Hello A_t,

    Well, at least we all know you aren’t a cultural marxist. I have a hunch that you are irredeemably middle of the left-curving road, though – hence the repetition of “empty outrage”. It isn’t empty. But you have to know where to look to find it.

    If you get a chance would you please check out http://www.seangabb.co.uk because I would be really interested in your view of his Free Life Commentaries 113 and 114. These describe the state we are debating. I’d like to know whether you recognise it or whether you will despatch Dr Gabb’s (for me) formidable effort as airily as you despatch our posts on this thread.

    See you later maybe.

  • Susan

    To answer the question about where I expect homeless people to relive themselves asked by A-t:

    I expect my government to enforce the vagrancy laws we had in our country up until the various “Liberation Movements” we had in the 1960s-1970s. Moreover, I expect the US Supreme Court to reverse its ruling of the 70s finding it unconstitutional for mentally ill people to be incarcerated in mental health facilities against their will (a decision that was actively sought by — guess who? — various stripes of “activists). Please note: there ARE facilities for the homeless in the US to get their basic needs from, but many do not go because they are mentally ill and/or seriously strung out on drugs and booze and/or extremely anti-social. They either PREFER life on the streets, or else they make life so miserable for other shelter residents that they are kicked out.

    There were far fewer homeless people on the streets of the US (and very few public crapping “activists” urging them on) before the “Liberation Movements” of the 60s&70s. Just like our crime rate was 2/3rds of what it was before the “social engineers” launched the “Criminal Liberation” movement that was supposed to end crime forever, instead causing it to skyrocket to unheard of heights in the 1970s. I also expect our schools and social insitutions to teach the things they did to children before the 60s-70s, such as taking personal responsibility for your own actions instead of focusing on how horrible society has treated you and demanding an ever-expanding array of “rights” without ever giving anything back.

  • Susan

    Verity, thank you for your over-kind comments on my humble posts. I’ve never heard of that plan by Mark Steyn, but sign me up! The old revolutionary spirit appears to be still alive in some parts of New England. Next-door-neighbor Vermont is the one that boasts their state motto as “Live Free or Die,” though.

    I think you’d like New England a lot; I certainly do. It really does look just like “Old” England phyisically and the culture is notorious for considering “self-reliance” an over-riding public virtue.

  • Nigel Holland

    Susan & Verity the New Hampshire/Mark Steyn project you are discussing is here Free State Project

    There’s a European one as well

  • Frank P

    Verity (and others who enjoyed Sean Gabb’s 113/114)

    Someone, I’m sorry I forgotten who, drew attention to this a couple of months ago on Melanie’s blog and I found it very illuminating; it explained much of what has happened over the past 40 years and what is now proceeding apace.

    May I suggest another page that develops the theme:


    It would be interesting to speculate about who are the followers of Gramsci’s creed within our current government. I suspect that Mandleson is the prime mover.

    Harry Kaye, Guessedworker, Susan, Verity – good to see the old firm still soldiering on in fine fettle, the demise of Melanie’s commentary nothwithstanding.

  • Verity

    Susan – All your comments about “the homeless” – Britain is a mirror image. “Care in the community” – meaning, emptying the mental hospitals and expecting neighbours to do the work of mental nurses and doctors, was the start in Britain. And yes, enforcement of public vagrancy laws would be a novel idea, if the police can ever find a minute from prosecuting “hate crimes” and domestic violence – the socialists’ new crime icon.

    But no! Mark Steyn isn’t involved in the Free State Project (thanks, Nigel)!! Poor guy! I just assumed that everyone in the entire world knows that Mark Steyn lives in New Hampshire. I just meant, all that freedom from taxes and freedom to pack heat, and Mark Steyn in the vicinity too!

  • Hello Frank,

    I think Mel’s comments will be back if she can discipline herself. She a terrific writer and a brave individual, having comported herself with true dignity from the liberal-left to the thinking right to a hateful cacophony from the former. But but but … as a blogger she just won’t give up her profoundly jew-centric worldview. and that’s where the difficulty arises. At least half her posts are aggressively zionist or anti-gentile, the latter pushing the utterly galling and tiresome line that we are all inately and irredeemably haters of the innocent jew. That’s bound to suck in people spoiling for a fight. It’s a rod she creates for her own back.

    I must say, after a while I found it too tiresome to argue the obvious against the “pooh’s” of this world and more or less gave up. I saw you were committed to the bitter end, though. Stout fellow.

    For what it’s worth, I think we need jews with us in the form of a few more Rothbards! About 50% of voters in the UK’s tiny (275,000) jewish population are said to swing to the left, 50% to the right. No doubt, growing Islaamicisation of the west is forcing the latter figure upward. Only a few months ago the Chief Rabbi called for restrictions on asylum seekers, which doesn’t sound a lot like the traditional view that jews favour weakening host populations.

    I’ll check that thread out, Frank, and let you know what I think.

    Kind regards.

  • Henry Kaye

    Hi Frank,

    In the words of the immortal Bilko: “Glad to see yer.”

  • Verity

    Yes, Frank, here we all are, including you.

    At the top of this thread, Perry referred to the BBC’s world famous dispassion and impartiality. So no suprise then that they report with pride the production of a booklet in 36 languages for use in the NHS to provide better service – oh, that famous NHS passion for service! – to people who don’t speak English.

    What was not addressed, of course, is what the hell they are doing in Britain without even rudimentary English. Or why the hell doctors and nurses should be indulging them with thumbing through phrases in Urdu to indicate, “This may hurt a little.”

    Two phrases not included, in goes absolutely without saying, are: “Do you have proof that you are you entitled to free treatment in Britain? If not, what is your ability to pay?”

  • Verity

    BTW, the BBC has taken to, on its website, routinely referring to France, Germany and Britain’s meetings as the Big Three. Do they really, really think people don’t see this manipulative propaganda for what it is – the furthering of the BBC’s own tranzi agenda?

    Or an even worse thought: perhaps most people *don’t* see it for what it is. Why do I get the feeling I want to scream?

  • Susan

    Well not everyone is here. Romulus for example. I miss him despite his incorrigible anti-Americanism.

    And then there’s bernie, Brendan, BeefQueen and guy chambers, from “the other side.”

    But good to see everyone else here.

  • Frank,

    Thanks for the link. A mixed bag on that site, including Christian stuff. I didn’t get any real flavour of the informal conspiracy that Fonte and Gabb describe. The Gramsci article was very restrictive. The International Gramsci Society has much more on him, of course, including the fact that the sitting member for the UK on the Coordinating Committee is Prof Richard Lester of Reading Uni. Apparently, they have really radical social events and annual conferences in exciting third world venues. Sounds pretty hip in a naff kind of way for first world academic revolutionaries.

    There must be a lot of published material giving the real inside line on Dr Gabb’s FLC 113 & 114 subject matter. But the best historical review I have found is Douglas Kellner’s article for UCLA. I unearthed it a year ago on:- http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/papers/cultmarx.htm

    It’s definitely worth the wade through 20 pages of occasionally turgid left-intellectual fayre. It runs the gamut from Marx and Engels approach to cultural forms up to the present day. There is some very good stuff on the UK, especially Stuart Hall’s little engine of change. Anyone who thinks Media Studies is some kind of joke non-course will get wise by reading this. The website for the Hall’s Birmingham outfit has been revamped recently. But a year ago it introduced itself to prospective students by informing them that if they wanted a career in the media this wasn’t the course for them. They would, however, leave qualified for a more “relavant” career in various academic, voluntary and educational sectors.

    Welcome to the revolution, folks.

  • Frank et alia,

    Thanks for the link. A mixed bag on that site, including Christian stuff. I didn’t get any real flavour of the informal conspiracy that Fonte and Gabb describe. The Gramsci article was very restrictive. The International Gramsci Society has much more on him, of course, including the fact that the sitting member for the UK on the Coordinating Committee is Prof Richard Lester of Reading Uni. Apparently, they have really radical social events and annual conferences in exciting third world venues. Sounds pretty hip in a naff kind of way for first world academic revolutionaries.

    There must be a lot of published material giving the real inside line on Dr Gabb’s FLC 113 & 114 subject matter. But the best historical review I have found is Douglas Kellner’s article for UCLA. I unearthed it a year ago on:- http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/papers/cultmarx.htm

    It’s definitely worth the wade through 20 pages of occasionally turgid left-intellectual fayre. It runs the gamut from Marx and Engels approach to cultural forms up to the present day. There is some very good stuff on the UK, especially Stuart Hall’s little engine of change. Anyone who thinks Media Studies is some kind of joke non-course will get wise by reading this. The website for the Hall’s Birmingham outfit has been revamped recently. But a year ago it introduced itself to prospective students by informing them that if they wanted a career in the media this wasn’t the course for them. They would, however, leave qualified for a more “relavant” career in various academic, voluntary and educational sectors.

    Welcome to the revolution, folks.

  • Frank P


    Melanie’s Blog:
    Judging by her articles promulgated from her main platform, the Daily Mail, I suspect that Melanie gets little opportunity to express therein her thoughts about the ramifications of the Middle East conflict or the wider problems of anti-Semitism, possibly because of editorial constraints; so perhaps her blog provides an opportunity to give forth on a subject that she obviously feels more strongly about than her paymasters.

    I am not of Jewish origin or religion (except that one of maternal forebears about four generations back was possibly Jewish) and I would guess that unless one is, it is not possible to empathise fully with the concerns she expresses and the fervour with which she does so. I certainly at least sympathise with her exhortations, even though, at times, I did feel that as a mere goy, I was lumped in with some of her generalisations. But as I know that I am not one of those of whom she complains, it does not offend me; on the contrary, because she stands up for, in general terms, most of the things which I hold dear, I am prepared to stand back during her scattergun sessions and give her some leeway.

    My own position on Israel is simple: it exists, it is a democratic country, it a friend of Western Democracy and it is under attack from a virulent anti-Jewish/Zionist, anti-American, anti-Christian militant Islamic movement that not only uses suicidal terrorism to kill and destabilise it’s enemies, but also expresses the objective of world domination. I’m not too keen on that philosophy, for sure. I know whose umbrella I’m under and I am not about to start poking holes in it, not do I appreciate those who drive jumbo jets through it.

    As for the previous 5,000 years of the history of the region, I have tried, but failed miserably, to make sense of it. I simply can’t keep that many cerebral plates spinning at the same time. Certainly Judaism seems to me to be perhaps the least proselytising of all the religions, in my experience anyway, and I think that British Jews have contributed greatly to our commerce and culture. A few, I know, have been some of our most successful villains, too, but pro-rata the Jewish sector of our populace probably produces less criminals than any other racial/religious grouping.

    Does Melanie “ask for” (as you put it) the abuse she was subjected to on her blog?
    Well – anybody who expresses strong views about anything must expect strong views to the contrary, I suppose, that’s the nature of an open forum. But I’m sure than many who were the most virulent certainly took advantage of her policy not to respond to posts – made clear from the outset. Had Melanie had time to debate each issue with her critics I’m sure her laser logic would have floored them, but I guess she prefers to let them hoist themselves with their own petard? But some of the posters abused the facility beyond the borders of legitimate debate and indulged in the sort of anti-Semitic garbage that one can only associate with Nazism. Moral relativism during war is inappropriate. We have to win the war. Why should she, like the BBC, in the name of ‘free speech’, give the enemy a free platform?

    It’s sad that it is no more. Melanie provided us all with excellent topics to kick off each thread and I enjoyed a great deal of the writing and commentary on all subjects. It was, however, addictive reading and I have been able to catch up with a backlog of undone chores since she granted us respite. But let us hope she eventually relents, opens up and uses the zap button more effectively (and I say that as someone who was zapped occasionally and no doubt deserved it).

    Gramsci et al. : I’ll look up the other postings – thank you for pointing out that Prof Richard Lester is a leading light. I shall dig deeper. You don’t think I’m in dire danger of corruption here, do you? During my Y Service days in the early Fifties I managed to survive many hours of agitprop, in particular Radio Tass and Pravda (in Morse, too) without succumbing to the cause. Do you think I’m immune?

  • Hi Frank,

    I respect your opinion of Mel P. I suppose that she is, at bottom, a passionate advocate, full stop. It’s her passion – allied, of course, to that sharp intellect – that lights her path on social issues and so appeals to my own native conservativism. But the same passion funnelled through her enthno-centric view of gentile hate is too much for me. She does not, you see, make sufficient effort to separate out the 99.99% of gentiles who don’t belong to Combat 18. It’s a scattergun approach, as you say. If I let loose in that way I would quite expect prosecution for hate speech.

    Frank, you and I are too long in the tooth to be corrupted by the kultur-kampferen.

    I’ve rather taken it as read that anyone half-serious and not actually in the Conservative PP already had a pretty good appreciation of Gramsci, the Frankfort folk and all. But I’m starting to wonder whether this is remotely so. When Sean Gabb first posted FLC 113, I started working it into comments, including here at Sammie. Not a soul responded until the magical Verity on this thread. Can it be that the broad right still has no common overview of the assault on the citadel?

  • Frank P


    The broad Right seems to have a common view about very little these days, it seems.

    Better correct the nominal inaccuracy about the UK coordinator for the IGS – it is Prof Jeremy Lester, not Richard Lester, methinks you were getting him mixed up with the late MIT Professor, or even The Nutty Professor (Eddie Murphy) a film directed by Richard Lester – but what’s in a name?

  • Memory going. Better get hold of some of that humanin stuff. In mitigation it’s been a while since I visited the IGS site – not one on my Favourites log.

    Seriously, though, what struck me about the site was the impression it gave of the cosy world of academic marxist studies. There’s no hint here of executive capacity. One is left to conclude that the marxisation of our public bodies, the imposition of PC speech codes, the rousing of group identities among the minorities and their targeting against the ruling hegemony, all this has just happened. It’s as though someone at a Gramsci conference in Rio picked up the Allies plans for D-Day and said, “I wonder if this might work. Let’s get some guns and boats.” It’s that amateurish.

    But, it has worked. The original conference conspiracy is lost in the trail of plastic coffee cups and footprints in the pile of the carpet. We are left wondering how the hell it happened and what we can do about it.


  • Henry Kaye


    Having been directed to the Sean Gabb site and read 113 with enthusiasm, I , too, wondered if all this was not already known to our political leaders on the right. I looked through all my correspondence with my elected representative and his evasive responses and concluded that 113 would be news – at least to him. So I’ve sent him a copy. It would be nice if I got a meaningful reply but I very much doubt it.

  • Henry,

    Find a way some time to let us know.

    Certainly, back in the days when the first requirement for a prospective MP in a safe seat was that he was a merchant banker nobody on the right understood the first thing about the new Left. I remember sitting in a London traffic jam with the radio broadcasting a programme about the left in education. I actually heard Terry Eagleton describe himself as the worm in Thatcher’s apple. That must have been in the first half of the ’80’s, and well before he published his seminal work on literary criticism. So the buggers weren’t shy.

    It’s the right’s fault that it was so concentrated on Scargill and Brezhnev and the Greenham women that it never caught sight of the culture warriors. It will be interesting to see if your MP has sharpened his focus or if he’s basically just another merchant banker.

  • Frank P

    To all ex-pats from Melanie’s blog

    Do you think the hosts of Samiz would object if we picked up Melanie’s post on “Social Suicide” today? It would be an appropriate thread on this blog, given the BBC are the main organisers of English cultural euthanasia. Whaddayathink?

  • Henry Kaye

    The same thought occurred to me. Most of Melanie’s articles/diary items make a good basis for discussion and the current one is particularly relevant. I don’t know how you start a thread although there is a comment on the right-hand side of the home page about sending an e-mail which might be posted as a thread if the editors see fit. Try it (you’re a bit more articulate than I).

  • I want to be with they own company,