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Discussion point: the fate of the ISIS bride

What do you think should be done with her?

Former MI6 director says schoolgirl who joined Isis should be ‘given a chance’

Although Shamima Begum has shown no remorse, Richard Barrett says Britain should be strong enough to reabsorb her

A pregnant British teenager who fled to Syria with two schoolfriends to marry an Islamic State fighter should be “given a chance” and allowed to come home, a former director of global counter-terrorism at MI6 has said.

Describing Shamima Begum as “a 15-year-old who went badly off the rails”, Richard Barrett said British society should be strong enough to reabsorb her, despite her lack of contrition. By contrast, he said the immediate reaction of the British government “has been a complete lack of concern for her plight”.

Begum fled her home in Bethnal Green, east London, with two schoolfriends to join Isis fighters in Syria in 2015. Interviewed this week in a refugee camp in the north of the country after fleeing Isis’s last stronghold, she told the Times that she was nine months pregnant and had fled the fighting after her two other children had died. “I’ll do anything required just to be able to come home and live quietly with my child,” she said.

Those words do get my sympathy. The next ones, less so:

She did not regret going to Syria, she told the newspaper, and expressed support for the murder of journalists, whom she said had been “a security threat for the caliphate”. Seeing a severed head in a bin “didn’t faze me at all”, she said, adding that her husband had surrendered to a group of Syrian fighters.

34 comments to Discussion point: the fate of the ISIS bride

  • Pat

    She is also reported as believing that those beheaded by ISIS, being non-muslim, were likely to rape Muslim women. Hence her unconcern at their fate.
    It would be terrible if she were to live her life in fear of rape, so she should be denied access for her own good, and be assisted in gaining entry to some place where everyone is Muslim- say Iran

  • Paul Marks

    The former Director of MI6 shows the utterly destructive nature of the “liberal” elite – rather than being tough and realistic Mr Barrett is an idiot. Oh his IQ may be very high and he may have lots of academic qualifications – but he is still an idiot.

    The young female Islamist does not even have to pretend to repent – as Mr Barrett (and the rest of the “liberal” elite) has no idea what Islam is and just thinks her behaviour is some sort of stage (teenage rebellion) which she will grow out of.

    A real liberal, such as Prime Minister Gladstone, studies the Koran and the Hadiths and the life of Muhammed – and knows what Islam is, what its supporters believe and what they are likely to do. A patronising idiot “liberal” such as Mr Barrett does not believe any of that is necessary – all religions are the same to Mr Barrett (because he knows nothing about any of them – and does not bother to find out) they all teach love and kindness and are metaphors with God not really existing as a being.

    “Liberals” such as Mr Barrett control the West – which means far from being “strong” as he claims, the West (including the United Kingdom) is WEAK – incredibly WEAK.

    Real strength is not tanks or aircraft – still less pop music and Association Football (what “liberals” think Western Culture is) – real strength is a set of principles and beliefs that human beings are willing to die for and to kill for.

    This “15 year old” did not “go off the rails” – she was (and is) part of a belief system of some 14 centuries, a belief system that contains very many highly intelligent minds. Far more learned and wise (with a dark and twisted wisdom) than Mr Barrett can conceive of. On paper Mr Barratt has all the advantages (tanks, aircraft, vast wealth…) – but in reality, he is nothing.

    Mr Barrett and the rest of the “liberal” elite are nothing – they know nothing, and they are not willing to learn. And the enemies of the West (in all their dark and twisted wisdom) know it.

  • Dalben

    I don’t know what the UK’s laws are. I would think any citizen should be able to return to their country. They might also have to face charges relating to terrorism or aiding their countries enemies if those apply. If they don’t apply then you don’t get to make up laws just because you don’t like the person.

    If you were asking my judgment about whether I wanted such a person in my country as opposed to what the law should be I would be inclined to say no.

  • Nullius in Verba

    Mmm. Freedom of belief. I may detest what you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it.

    The question is simple: is she a risk with regard to harming others?

    Someone can support the American army shooting ISIS terrorists, say, saying they’re a “security threat”, but if it’s merely moral support, verbal support, it’s not ‘harm’ as such. She’s on the other side. Would you like a chance to win her over to your side? Are you strong enough to survive if she’s not persuaded? Whose values do you propose to live by? The side of ‘Freedom of belief’? Even for beliefs you detest? Or the side of ‘You’d better believe what I believe’?

    Yes I agree, don’t deceive yourself over what Islamists believe, and by all means keep an eye out for actual threats of harm from such people. But don’t turn away from the principle of freedom of belief by saying “But ‘freedom of belief’ doesn’t mean the freedom to believe X”…

    On the other hand, if you think she’s going to go out and kill someone…

  • Agammamon

    1. Britain should be strong enough to ‘reabsorb her’. But it really doesn’t seem it is anymore – at least not in anyway other than a ‘we’re bringing the Caliphate to you’ way.

    2. She doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with *the reasons* those people are fighting – she just doesn’t want her and her child to die. Too bad. You’re a martyr for the cause dear.

    Leave her there.

  • Agammamon

    Nullius in Verba

    Would you like a chance to win her over to your side? Are you strong enough to survive if she’s not persuaded?

    The UK doesn’t seem to be allowing anyone that chance anymore. If you make your case as to why Britain is better – then you’re guilty of racism, harrassment, etc and the local cops will be coming by for a strongly-worded chat, assuming they don’t just haul you off.

  • Vinegar Joe

    She and her husband committed crimes in Syria and so she should be handed over to the Syrian authorities.

  • Eric Tavenner

    Nullius
    I firmly believe in freedom of belief.
    She made a choice based on her belief. She now has the responsibility to endure the consequences of that choice.

  • K

    So, a government that arrests people for typing wrongwords on the net is recommending amnesty for terrorist sympathizers? Lewis Caroll would appreciate that, and this whole FN century I think.

  • Eric

    As the article points out, she has a right to return to the UK because she’s a citizen. The UK was never at war with Syria and didn’t recognize ISIS as a legitimate country one could be at war with, so I don’t see how she could be charged with treason or some sort of state crime. Surely there’s some statute that allows the government to prosecute someone for aiding a criminal organization, even if no involvement by that individual in a specific crime can be proved?

    I don’t think she should be left to raise a child. That poor kid is guaranteed to end up a subway bomber with a mother like that.

  • James Strong

    We should follow the law.

    I don’t know what the law is; it’s almost certainly not what I would like it to be.

    I would like to

    a) Refuse her entry

    or

    b)Arrest her at the border and put her on trial, while taking the baby into care.

  • Rob

    By contrast, he said the immediate reaction of the British government “has been a complete lack of concern for her plight”.

    Even this shambles of a government can get it right occasionally, though I suspect dissident elements are responsible for this unusually robust statement.

    Society needs to be strong enough? What he actually means, I think, is society must be callous enough of the victims and allow her back. Callous also of the future victims when she straps a bomb to her back and blows up a train. What is that against an abstract concept of a nation’s virtue?

  • john in cheshire

    Asia Bibi and her family are in real fear for their lives; they would no doubt not be a burden on the state and would certainly not pose any danger to us. But they are ‘ only Christians’ so they don’t count for anything. Our cowardly politicians and civil servants won’t allow her to relocate here for fear that some of the ghetto muslims will get uppity.

    This dreadful muslim woman and her family should be stripped of their British citizenship and and told they must all sod off to live among their fellow muslims. The same for all such cases.

  • bobby b

    Doesn’t sound like she was running around with a Kalashnikov or a long knife herself. I’ll bet there are many many Muslim Brits who are more “radicalized” than her already hanging about the UK.

    So, I’d think she’d be unlikely to be a danger (beyond simply being another jihadist Muslim), and she might even help matters by spreading around just how bad life was in the Caliphate.

  • […] Discussion point: the fate of the ISIS bride […]

  • It’s pretty rich for establishment liberal Barrett to say we should be “strong enough to reabsorb her” when he knows reading Churchill’s description of islam to her will see her demanding that we be arrested for islamophobic hate speech – and quite possibly we would be. He knows as well as any other SW1 type that showing any such strength is a crime.

    The question is simple: is she a risk with regard to harming others? (Nullius in Verba, February 15, 2019 at 12:57 am)

    No, ‘the question’ (not the only question by a long chalk, but certainly one) is whether she is already legally guilty of a criminal act – giving aid and comfort to the enemy, for example.

    If we are allowed to arrest people because they risk harming others in the future rather than because they have done wrongful things in the past then I have quite a long list of names I can supply for consideration – though, now I examine my list, many on it seem to share the same name as their first or last name and sometimes as both.

    For the record, it seems obvious to me she is at the very least likely to be a “target here” snitch to more violent friends if, for example, she spots a Jew or a Coptic Christian in some neighbourhood.

    For myself, I’d rather see Lauren Southern allowed to visit the UK than this girl, but I suspect Mr Barrett supported the Home Office expelling Lauren. I do not recall his saying the UK should be strong enough to endure her very even-handed (exactly what others had just said against Jesus) remarks about Mohammed.

  • Behind Enemy Lines

    I’ll do anything required just to be able to come home…”

    She is home. And she needs to stay home.

    But: who cares?

    Seriously, people. It’s 2019. Why are we having these stupid debates? It’s thirty years on from 1989. I remember crossing over into the Eastern bloc, reading real samizdat with a real dissident, imagining what an amazing life of sudden freedom and happiness we had to look forward to. Today, look back at what these thirty years have brought us. Today’s constant yelping on exhausted themes gets us nowhere. Intellectual arguments about muslim terrorists and their idiot lefty accomplices in MI6? It’s all pointless. The time for argument, debate, intellectualising . . . it’s all over. We’re either going to exercise power, soon, or it’s going to be exercised over us. For goodness’ sake, let’s stop moaning about the obvious and start planning a way out of this mess.

  • Mr Ed

    What law has she broken? Has she aided and abetted murder or some other actual offence? If so, and the evidence justifies it, charge her. If not, what impediment can there be to her returning to the UK?

    On the other hand, one may ask at what point the right to self-defence is engaged to the extent that giving no quarter to enemies is ever justified, in terms of natural justice (not the bullshit international law concept)?

    Perhaps 6 years in Gitmo watching David Wood videos on an endless loop would be regarded by the UK government as a violation of her human rights.

  • TomJ

    The UK was never at war with Syria and didn’t recognize ISIS as a legitimate country one could be at war with, so I don’t see how she could be charged with treason or some sort of state crime.

    The Treason Act makes no mention of countries, merely of the Queen’s enemies. Given we were bombing them, I think it’s reasonable to class them as the Queen’s enemies; the RAF does its best not to drop weapons on people who aren’t.

    Doesn’t sound like she was running around with a Kalashnikov or a long knife herself.

    What law has she broken? Has she aided and abetted murder or some other actual offence? If so, and the evidence justifies it, charge her.

    The Act makes it illegal to have adhered to the King’s enemies in his Realm, giving them aid and comfort in his Realm or elsewhere; I rather suspect she was giving aid or comfort, so yes, charge her.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “What law has she broken?”

    Membership of and support for a proscribed organisation, under sections 11 and 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

  • Mr Ed

    NiV

    Membership of and support for a proscribed organisation, under section 11 and 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

    Not sure that she was a ‘member’ of anything, perhaps a camp follower or a bride of a jihadi.

    11 Membership.

    (1) A person commits an offence if he belongs or professes to belong to a proscribed organisation.

    ‘Support’ under the Terrorism Act 2000 is surprisingly limited in definition.

    12 Support.

    (1) A person commits an offence if—

    (a) he invites support for a proscribed organisation, and

    (b) the support is not, or is not restricted to, the provision of money or other property (within the meaning of section 15).

    (2) A person commits an offence if he arranges, manages or assists in arranging or managing a meeting which he knows is—

    (a) to support a proscribed organisation,

    (b) to further the activities of a proscribed organisation, or

    (c) to be addressed by a person who belongs or professes to belong to a proscribed organisation.

    (3)A person commits an offence if he addresses a meeting and the purpose of his address is to encourage support for a proscribed organisation or to further its activities.

    I hope that a certain bearded politician looks at that wording closely.

    And a ‘meeting’ requires 3 or more people…

    (5)In subsections (2) to (4)—

    (a)“meeting” means a meeting of three or more persons, whether or not the public are admitted, and

    (b)a meeting is private if the public are not admitted.

    Although under that act S130 the scope of the Act was no wider than the United Kingdom.

    130 Extent.

    (1)Subject to subsections (2) to (6), this Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.

    (2)Section 59 shall extend to England and Wales only.

    (3)The following shall extend to Northern Ireland only—

    (a)section 60, and

    (b)Part VII.

    (4) Section 61 shall extend to Scotland only.

    (5) In Schedule 5—

    (a) Part I shall extend to England and Wales and Northern Ireland only, and

    (b) Part II shall extend to Scotland only.

    (6) The amendments and repeals in Schedules 15 and 16 shall have the same extent as the enactments to which they relate.

    It was extended in 2003 to cover specified offences by UK nationals or residents overseas, e.g. S63B.

    63B Terrorist attacks abroad by UK nationals or residents: jurisdiction

    (1)If—

    (a)a United Kingdom national or a United Kingdom resident does anything outside the United Kingdom as an act of terrorism or for the purposes of terrorism, and

    (b)his action, if done in any part of the United Kingdom, would have constituted an offence listed in subsection (2),

    he shall be guilty in that part of the United Kingdom of the offence.
    (2)These are the offences—

    (a)murder, manslaughter, culpable homicide, rape, assault causing injury, assault to injury, kidnapping, abduction or false imprisonment,

    (b)an offence under section 4, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30 or 64 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861,

    (c)an offence under any of sections 1 to 5 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981,

    (d)the uttering of a forged document or an offence under section 46A of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995,

    (e)an offence under section 1 or 2 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971,

    (f)an offence under Article 3 or 4 of the Criminal Damage (Northern Ireland) Order 1977,

    (g)malicious mischief,

    (h)wilful fire-raising.

  • Stephen W Houghton II

    Who will rid me of these troublesome teens.

  • Paul Marks

    Nullius in Verba.

    “Would you like a chance to win her over to your side?”

    I am sorry, but that is basically illegal (under the vague “laws” of the United Kingdom). To win this lady over to our side one would have to prove to her that Islam is false and evil (not true and good) and that Muhammed was an evil man (not a good man). But this would be “Islamophobia” – and someone like Mr Barrett would not ALLOW us to even try to win her over to our side.

    There is no ideological training to oppose Islam – not even in the modern Church. Both the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church have long forgotten the arguments against Islam they used to teach (which is why the Pope says such absurd things – Pope Francis is not lying, he honestly does not know anything about Islam). And Mr Barratt and his “liberal” chums would just come out with absolute nonsense about how Muhammed was a “good man” whose teachings have been “perverted” and “distorted” by Islamic State.

    Mr Barratt does not know anything about Muhammed or his teachings – he just ASSUMES that Muhammed must have been a “good man” and that he must have taught “peace” and “tolerance”. And it is not just Mr Barratt – it is the entire “liberal” establishment elite.

    “Do you think she is going to kill someone”.

    The lady personally supports beheading opponents of Islam (or the beheading of “hypocrites” – Muhammed defined as a “hypocrite” someone who claimed to be a Muslim but made excuses rather than going on raids with him, because they did NOT want to kill or enslave infidels) – she has seen the headless bodies and supports what was done. So the spirit is certainly willing – it is just a question of how good she is with weapons.

    Muhammed often promised peace and then launched surprise attacks – murdering and enslaving, it was favourite tactic of his (and, to be fair, it was a very effective tactic). But the lady does not even have to falsely promise peace – she can be quite open about the fact that she has no loyalty to this country, indeed that she wants to DESTROY this infidel place and “liberals” will demand that she be let anyway.

    Why not give her an automatic rifle and a RPG as well? Surely it would be unfair to expect the lady to buy these things for herself – the taxpayers should provide them for her as a welfare right. Although YES Muhammed did urge the faithful to wait till the time was right to launch at attack – that is why the early Mecca verses (before he had an army) are honeyed with words that sound peaceful and tolerance, they are abrogated (as every schoolboy used to know) by the later Medina verses, when Muhammed had built up his army.

    Traditionally followers of Islam are taught to sound peaceful when they are tiny minority – and only to change their tune after their numbers have built up. And that is sound military logic – I do NOT criticise it.

    Someone said “she is a British citizen – so she has a right to be here”.

    The traditional term was “British subject” – I do not know when this word “citizen” started to creep in (this is not the Republic of Rome – it is the United Kingdom).

    Anyway the key test is loyalty to the Crown – is this lady loyal to Queen Elizabeth the Second? Of course NOT – as the Queen is an “infidel”.

    This young lady REJECTS the basic requirement of being a British subject – i.e. loyalty to the “infidel” Queen.

    “But in America we have Islamic members of Congress and…..”

    Yes you do – and they regard the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States as accepting their right to spread Islam, but do they believe there is any right to LEAVE Islam, or to “mock” Muhammed. Under Islamic law such things are punished by death – so what do these Islamic Members of Congress believe in, do they believe in Islamic Law or do they believe in the Constitution of the United States? They can NOT believe in BOTH. The two legal systems are not compatible.

    Members of Parliament who call themselves Muslim in the United Kingdom may know nothing about Islam – that is quite possible, they may be lovely kind people perfect-in-every-way. But then they are NOT Islamic.

    Two quick questions.

    A Muslim man leaves Islam – should he be killed?

    And.

    A person mocks Muhammed – should they be killed?

    If someone does NOT answer both these questions with “yes they should be killed” they are NOT Islamic (unless they are following the Islamic doctrine of deceiving infidels – and say “no” with their mouth whilst saying “yes” in their mind) – because they have rejected basic legal doctrines of Islam.

    They may call themselves “Muslim” but they are NOT – not if “Muslim” means “someone who believes in the doctrines of the Islamic faith”. There is such a thing as objective reality – Islam is a set of doctrines, it is NOT “well my mother said be kind to everyone – so being kind to everyone is what Islam is about”. Muhammed was an orphan – he did not place “what your parents tell you” above what he believed to be the commands of God. Which is also why Muhammed did not talk of God as the “father” of the people – he had no father as a boy, so talking of God as a loving father seemed strange to him.

    What did Muhammed say about someone who says they are a Muslim whilst not following the killing stuff? He said such people were “hypocrites” – and he said they should be killed. Hence those headless bodies that the lady looked at in Syria. Islamic State did exactly what Muhammed said should be done – indeed what he did himself.

    For all I know even all of the above is illegal under British law – the law changes so often and is so vague that I assume that everything is illegal. Even the mildest dissent makes a person a THOUGHT CRIMINAL.

    That is why it is impossible to “win this lady over to your side” – any attempt to put the above arguments to her would simply result in the person making the arguments being reported to the Thought Police.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “To win this lady over to our side one would have to prove to her that Islam is false and evil (not true and good) and that Muhammed was an evil man (not a good man).”

    Not at all. As I said above, “our side” holds to freedom of belief. It’s only acting on it that we object to.

    “The lady personally supports beheading opponents of Islam”

    Again, freedom of belief versus freedom of action. As far as I’m concerned, she can support it verbally and in her mind as much as she wants. But is she likely to actually do it? Or help someone else do it?

    I’ve come across people who argue openly that all politicians should be hanged. I’ve come across people who have argued for the death penalty for rapists and paedophiles. I’ve even come across Americans who have voted for a government that has actually carried out judicial executions!

    The Catholic Church used to execute heretics, witches, and atheists. We used to have the death penalty for homosexuals, from 1563 to 1861, the US until 1873, and parts of Australia until 1949. “Bring Back Hanging” for serious crimes used to be a notoriously popular Conservative view!

    I don’t agree with her. I don’t like her views. But if all she’s doing is cheering, and not participating, then that’s freedom of belief.

    “Anyway the key test is loyalty to the Crown”

    There are a lot of born-and-bred British who would fail that test!

    “If someone does NOT answer both these questions with “yes they should be killed” they are NOT Islamic (unless they are following the Islamic doctrine of deceiving infidels – and say “no” with their mouth whilst saying “yes” in their mind) – because they have rejected basic legal doctrines of Islam.”

    They’re certainly not orthodox Muslim. But then, very few Muslims nowadays actually are. Islamic law forbids all sorts of other things, like for example living in a non-Muslim country, except for purposes of trade or da’wa. So every Muslim who want to come and live in Britain is, ipso facto, not a Muslim. And when they watch TV, listen to music, when Muslim women leave the house unattended, or mix socially or at work with the opposite sex without a guardian, or a hundred other rules and strictures, they’re also not being a Muslim.

    By that definition, there are virtually no genuine Muslims left, anywhere. ISIS was their attempt to return to orthodox Islam, and the other Muslim states in the Middle East actually helped us stomp on them! They saw that sort of thing as really bad publicity.

    For the past couple of centuries, Islam has been corrupted and watered down, and just as the Western world did a century ago, the Islamic world is being steadily secularised. They’re decades behind us, but they’re walking down the same path – the one that led us from Medieval Popes Militant who could topple Kings with a word to the Church of England holding a tea party to welcome their new lesbian bishop. With scones, and jam and cream.

    I would argue that they’re being corrupted by contact with us. You can’t destroy Islam by military might – not without sinking the world into an era of blood and horror that would make the second world war look like a picnic. If you try to use force to change people’s minds, they fight back. It’s dangerous to isolate them – cultural progress stagnates in isolation and they breed faster than us. But ideas and beliefs spread and multiply even faster than people do. But we can seduce them with prosperity and freedom.

    So you *don’t* start by attacking Islam and Mo as false and evil. You start off by finding reasons in Islamic law to delay, compromise, and bend. Then you sell the (false) warm-and-cuddly Islam. Keep all the nice bits – charity, fasting, dress codes, prayers, pilgrimage, food, purity, etc. The bits that are a matter of personal choice. And just edit out the coercive bits. Just as Christians and Jews don’t talk about what Moses did to the Midianites, or the early Church’s view on slavery, so our New Muslims stop talking about the darker bits of Mo’s history. Kids grow up not knowing that stuff. Just the prayers and charity and foot-washing parts. Then gradually relax the enforcement of all that – let the kids watch TV, listen to Western music, wear Western T-shirts and jeans, go out and have fun.

    Eventually, probably in about 50-100 years time, Muslims will be welcoming their first lesbian Imam with jam and scones, or a bacon butty breakfast. And soon after will give it up entirely.

    Cultural change is slow, and activists are impatient. When we argue for conversion by cultural contact, their response is to keep asking every five minutes why it hasn’t worked yet. How long did it take *our* society to move from Alan Turing’s trial to the Graham Norton show appearing on prime-time TV? The SJWs have got it wrong. If you want to make society more accepting of homosexuals, you don’t do it by stamping on people who disagree, or shouting in their face about how evil they are. You instead offer them entertainment, good music, plays, musicals, TV, comedy involving homosexuals, and you just treat it as normal. You don’t give them political correctness and speech codes and sensitivity-to-diversity re-education camps, you give them Larry Grayson, Boy George, Charles Laughton, Kenny Everett, Sir Ian McKellen, Graham Chapman, Elton John, Stephen Fry, and Queen. People pick up their beliefs from the society they live in.

  • Nullius in Verba (February 15, 2019 at 5:52 pm), just before the outbreak of the U.S. civil war, there was a discussion between Seward (later Lincoln’s foreign minister) and a Judge Campbell (southern democrat) about how needless this civil war thingy was. Both men, representing their different sides, agreed that almost no slaves were being taken into the territories, that slavery in the south would over time evolve out of existence (they speculated it would take 50 years or so), and there was just no need for lots of americans to do all this shooting each other and dying stuff.

    I think the argument that slavery would have declined in US society without a civil war is a good deal stronger than yours above about where our society will go (though still very far from certain, and their 50-year-timescale even less so). We will never know, because they had a civil war anyway.

    Even if you were right (I’m most dubious – the trends you note coexist with trends like the left going anti-semitic – but that’s a separate issue) it does not mean it will matter.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “(I’m most dubious – the trends you note coexist with trends like the left going anti-semitic – but that’s a separate issue)”

    It’s another good example of moral change. I remember when reading Shakespeare at school, they carefully explained the background to Shylock’s portrayal and character in the context of English society at the time…

    The left didn’t become anti-semitic only recently. They’ve always been anti-semitic, and until fairly recent times, so was the rest of the world. Hence the Zionist desire for a homeland where they didn’t have to be constantly on the defensive. (Ironic, right?)

    It used to be that everyone hated the Jews. Now everyone hates the Jew-haters. The charge of anti-semitism has proved a most effective attack against the Labour Party.

  • Chip

    “Britain should be strong enough to reabsorb her.”

    Being strong means incurring costs and those costs won’t be felt by former heads of MI6.

    They are felt by neighbours, people out shopping and poor, parentless girls at the margins of society.

    The elites benefit from virtue-signaling while anonymous innocents pay the price of their virtue.

  • It used to be that everyone hated the Jews. Now everyone hates the Jew-haters. (Nullius in Verba, February 15, 2019 at 11:01 pm)

    Nullius, to me, you seem to be living in a fool’s paradise. In this post, I describe encountering a full-blown native-descended British antisemite almost three decades ago. My description expresses the ‘meeting a flat-earther’ feel it still had for me even that recently. The left of the UK into which I was born had many faults but their attitude both to Jews and to Islam had more sense and more consistency than today.

    The charge of anti-semitism has proved a most effective attack against the Labour Party.

    Despite its propaganda advantages, I would in this respect prefer the world of my youth where the charge would be most ineffective – because lacking the accuracy it has today. And this ‘most effective charge’ has yet to be so effective as to remove Corbyn from the Labour leadership. I think your unidirectional view of how this and similar issues evolve is violently contradicted by a too-well-known recent episode – and by a great many other up-and-down cycles in history. Things will indeed get better – except, of course, when they get worse.

  • Nullius in Verba

    Niall,

    Yep. You said “I encountered the only native Briton I’ve ever met who agreed with Hitler” and described the general reaction as “The man both felt and acted utter astonishment: his step back, pointedly dropped jaw and angled-back head well-conveyed what we all felt.”

    I think that expresses my point quite well – the general “consensus” view in society is that anti-semitism is considered socially “bad”, to the point where people feel astonishment if they come across anyone who not only still believes it, but proudly admits to it in public!

    It used to be the other way round. Even among the more sensible population, Jews had roughly the same sort of reputation that fat-cat plutocrats and payday loan companies like “Wonga” do today. (I do recall the look of astonishment on some of my friends faces when they were having a rant about the evils of Wonga and I decided to defend them. Your incident reminds me of that.)

    Some groups are “in” and other groups are “out”, and you stay “in” with society by virtue signalling your support for “in” groups and your opposition to “out” groups. The groups change, but the fact that we have such groups and the way we behave towards them never does.

    Cultural protectionism has the same roots in territorial instincts as economic protectionism. We build walls around “us” to keep out competition from “them”. We regulate society so that “them” will be driven out, or forced to change to fit in and be more like us. We protect and preserve the ways of “us”.

    But the rise of Industrial Western society has been associated with the dismantling of the old barriers. We trade globally. We communicate globally. Our culture is going global. Languages are going global. Technology is global. We still have the same protectionist, territorial instincts we always had, but we’ve learned to get round them. And wealth and prosperity and freedom are rising as a result.

    I’m trying to do a ‘Hans Rosling’/’Julian Simon’ here. Poverty and conflict most certainly haven’t gone away, and we’ve got a long way to go, and it’s going to take decades-going-on-centuries to finish the job. Any doom-sayer can still point to kids scavenging on rubbish dumps in India or subsistence farmers scratching a living in mud huts and shanty towns in Africa, and say our optimism is ridiculous in the face of all that. And if you mean are we going to fix that in the next ten years or twenty years, then of course we’re not. But a hundred years? Yes, I’d bet on it. The world still won’t be perfect, but most of it will be what we today would consider pretty good. And the same goes for cultural protectionism and inter-cultural conflict, too.

    That’s my opinion, anyway. I don’t demand that everyone has to agree with me on it. 🙂

  • gong cult

    Mr Ed
    February 15, 2019 at 1:48 pm
    If this is prosecutable under British law – she’s fried ! just wonder if any one has the balls to do it !!!

  • She has stated: “Lots of people should feel sympathy towards me.”

    Her immense sense of entitlement is what will ensure that very few will, and that not many outside the PC/SW1 crowd will even pretend to.

    Sadly, her immense sense of entitlement may be evidence that she has assimilated one aspect of modern British culture at least.

  • TDK

    I think that expresses my point quite well – the general “consensus” view in society is that anti-semitism is considered socially “bad”, to the point where people feel astonishment if they come across anyone who not only still believes it, but proudly admits to it in public!

    People don’t own up to being anti-semite. They say “I’m not an anti-semite but…”

    Nobody imagines themselves as the bad guy.

    I’d like to be as optimistic as you that we are moving towards more tolerant times but I can’t see how. When I was a child growing up during the admission of Kenyan and Ugandan Asians, it was noticeable how integrated they were. They did not dress or behave very differently from the British people around them. They did not look like they just arrived from Pakistan. There were racists around but it wasn’t the only game in town. I hung around with mixed groups and they did exactly what you say: they were more tolerant and open than their parents generation. Then came Identity Politics and Multi-culturalism. Instead of promoting the melting pot, now we were to regard native culture as an affront to recent immigrants – a barrier to them getting on. We elevated community leaders to positions of prominence with the result that only the least westernised could possibly represent their communities. We tackled the Rushdie affair with indifference and made a knight of a man who thought killing too good for Rushdie. But has that had the desired effect? No; Now Muslims are more ghettoised than ever they were in the 1970s even though the open thuggery of groups like the NF is vastly reduced to the point where Tell Mama’s statistics are made up mostly of verbal insults. Ask yourself: did radical Islam get promoted by the older generation or by the younger. I don’t deny that older people had money and influence but it got picked up by the youth.

    Today I meet Muslim youths who genuinely believe that they live in a deeply racist society and that Islam is under siege throughout the world. They may not commit terrorist acts but they show understanding towards them. They are schooled in two shibboleths that many Western progressives promote: the West is guilty of sin for it’s racist past and present and asking immigrants to adapt to their host societies is deeply racist.

    So to me the movement is all towards a more extreme version of Islam. I don’t see the progress to secularisation.

    Cultural protectionism has the same roots in territorial instincts as economic protectionism. We build walls around “us” to keep out competition from “them”. We regulate society so that “them” will be driven out, or forced to change to fit in and be more like us. We protect and preserve the ways of “us”.

    I tend to agree, but to have a competition we have to have genuine competing offering . Currently we have only two choices Brand A: Dead White Men who are guilty of everything evil that ever happened now or in history, or Brand B: the authentic voice of your native culture (don’t called them noble savage), unadulterated by Western additives.

  • Nullius in Verba

    I agree Identity Politics and Multi-culturalism are a step backwards – although I’d say they were from Western cultural side rather than Islamic. That’s ‘us’ doing that. The nearest the orthodox Muslims get to ‘multiculturalism’ is dhimma and devshirme and all that.

    I’m just saying it’s only a small part of the overall change in society – one we see a lot of headlines on, but headlines are by definition always about the exceptional rather than the everyday.

    On the one hand the environmentalists keep pointing us to new Atrocities Against Nature By Industrial Civilisation. Plastic bags seems to be the latest. On the other, people like Bjorn Lomborg are telling us that the environment is – overall – getting cleaner and safer as industrial society gets richer. Who is right?

    Are the environmentalists winning the culture war? Or is Industrial prosperity?

  • Mr Ed

    Meanwhile, in Estonia, a kind-hearted rescue mission turned out not quite as expected, but ended happily, whereas here, the would-be rescuers know the true nature of that which they wish to rescue, and that nature is what motivates them.

    Estonians rescue wild wolf from ice thinking it was a dog

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