Here’s the latest RNLI press release. Good to get more clarity from the most important society in the UK on these important issues:
I think this is true:
Boarding school children dominate the world of work because they do not spend time in their bedrooms in front of screens, a leading headmaster has said.
Rather than spending hours “hunched” over a computer or television at home, boarding school pupils can spend their time pursuing their passions, according to Martin Reader, headmaster of the £37,000-a-year Cranleigh School in Surrey.
But it’s not so much to do with boarding schools per se. It’s just a matter of excess screen time. There are plenty of working class kids at my kids’ school, and most of them spend all their time playing Fortnite. (A few years ago it was Minecraft, or watching Minecraft YouTube videos). The only thing that working-class kids will do that isn’t computer games is football. Whereas the middle-class parents run around like crazy taking their children to endless classes in ballet, tennis, piano, cricket, gymnastics, violin, drama, ice-skating, etc. Plus extra tuition in maths and other school subjects.
So it’s hardly a surprise that middle-class kids turn out to dominate the worlds of ballet, tennis, piano, cricket, gymnastics, violin, drama, ice-skating, not to mention the academic world. And it’s not surprising that working-class kids dominate the football world. Nobody complains about that, but they complain when someone from a private school who’s been acting since he was five gets a role.
The reason for the disparity is mostly down to the parents. The middle-class parents don’t have any more spare time than the working-class parents. They just give up their spare time to do these things for their kids, and run around like headless chickens for them. The working-class parents don’t. The middle-class parents are, as a result, completely frazzled all the time, while the working-class parents have much more relaxed lives.
Some call that privilege. I call it hard-working kids, and hard-working parents. We don’t call it privilege when a working-class kid gets good at football because he and his parents have devoted a lot of time and energy to his development. So why is it privilege when a middle-class kid who’s practised the violin for years does well for the same reason?
I’m not saying that either lifestyle is the correct choice. Does letting your kids be on screens non-stop from 4pm to 10pm — working-class parents typically let their kids stay up much later than the middle-class parents — actively damage them? I’m not sure it does (other than the lack of sleep, which may do). But perhaps it does damage them in an opportunity-cost way. There’s six hours a day they could have spent learning some skills. Sure you get good at video games. But most people, when they grow up, wish they could do other things well, other than wandering around on-line corridors shooting aliens. That just will not happen if most of your spare time is spent playing games and watching stupid YouTube videos.
But as for government intervention on screen time, this is an insane idea, as I blogged about last week. A government that can’t even police burglary should not be let anywhere near our children. In fact, a government that can police burglary really well still shouldn’t be let anywhere near our children, because that would be an intolerable interference in private life, and our right to live our own lifestyles. So that’s not what I’m advocating. I just want to point out some of the realities of the situation, some more of which I’ll blog about this coming week.
Another Theresa May government minister starts preparing the way for more government intervention in the private sphere:
Highly-addictive video games risk having a “damaging” impact on children’s lives, the Culture Secretary has warned after parents raised concerns about a hugely popular multi-player “survival shooter”.
I propose the fairy tale response. You want to talk to us about regulating children’s access to video games? Okay, well, we’re the King, and you’re the Prince wanting our daughter’s hand in marriage. To get her you need to pass some tasks that we set to show that you’re worthy, and not just a nasty, useless chancer who wants access to power. First of all, let’s see the government get control of law and order. That’s one of your basic tasks. No more burglaries that don’t get investigated. No more convicted murderers walking the streets. No more arresting people for jokes on Twitter. You have five years to get that sorted. If you succeed, come back to us, and maybe then we’ll listen to your talk about video games.
But before then you’ll need to do a few more tasks to prove yourself worthy. We don’t just give away our daughter to someone who can perform one of his duties, but who neglects the rest. So the next task is to go to the highest tower and… No, here’s a better idea. Get control of the borders. No more letting in hairy grown men who pretend they’re children. No more letting millions of illegal immgrants stay. No more letting jihadists come back in. No more banning right-wing journalists from entry. You get another five years to do that. We can’t pretend that we have any great optimism that you’ll achieve this, but our daughter is a princess, and we can’t have her getting schtupped by an enemy agent in disguise, can we?
So prove that you’re on our side before you get to carry her over the threshold and throw her on the bed. When you’ve succeeded — and we still have our doubts — then come back and we may start taking you more seriously. (Although she may kick you in the balls herself.)
Until then get your eyes off our daughter, and be off with you. Earn some respect with your actions, and enough of this endless prattling. You’re not the smooth talker you think you are. Begone. You have much work to do to prove your worth.
Following on from my post from yesterday, you may wonder why it is that right-wingers — whether UK Conservatives, US Republicans, or Australian Liberals — are so in thrall to the other side. Why do the Conservatives get bossed about more easily by The Guardian than the views of the shires? Why is it that when the Conservatives claim to endorse the views of their voters they’re really only paying lip-service to them, and in reality they’re doing almost exactly the same as what Labour would do?
One important reason has to be that they are steeped in the culture of the other side. Most people in politics went to University, and have worked in a field like journalism, the civil service, academia, the City, the charity sector, a union, teaching, etc. And those fields are all drenched in progressive leftism. Most people in those fields (even the City, although obviously to a lesser extent than a Union), are progressive leftists. The Guardian and the BBC are the reference points. So even if someone is an out-and-out Tory, they’re swimming in a progressive pool, and getting marinated in the stuff. It gets into parts of their philosophy without them realising it.
Going back to the religious analogy of yesterday’s post, it’s like most of the people of a country are one religion, and the rulers and the courtiers are another. Say the people are Catholic, and the country is Protestant. An ordinary person might start out as Catholic. Then he goes to University, which is strongly Protestant. Most of his Catholic friends renounce their Catholicism within a year or two, and become Protestants, but he stays true to his Catholic roots, or so he imagines. Then he joins the court, along with all his friends, old and new, from the University. Most of the people he works with are Protestant, and he is continually mocked for his Catholic views. Protestant writings are the reference point for most of the people he works with, and being caught with any strongly Catholic writings will make him a pariah.
He continues to maintain that he is a Catholic — perhaps he receives money from Catholic sources, which means he is minded to do this — and he claims to represent the Catholic views of the wider public. Moderate Catholicism, of course, but Catholicism all the same. But over time his views and behaviour become more and more Protestant, and without even realising it his behaviour becomes barely distinguishable from Protestant behaviour. And every time he puts forward some Catholic interpretation he is ridiculed and shamed, so every time he backs down and adapts his beliefs to something similar to what the Protestants at court think.
The people notice this, but they have no choice but to regard him as their representative at court because there is no alternative — the court will not accept anyone who has not come up through the system. The court tolerate him because they know that without some Catholic representatives at court the people will revolt, and they know they have him under control.
What usually happens in this sort of system? Eventually the people revolt. That’s what happens.*
*Especially if the court is clearly trying to turn the nation Protestant.
One of the reasons the left is currently spawning at a great rate is because because of all the platforms they’ve been given over the past few decades, allowing them to constantly preach their message.
Now, it’s obvious to anyone with a brain that the progressive left is the modern equivalent of religion. And a religion spreads when that religion has its own professional class, who have the time and money to enable them to spread the word. And especially when that religion has numerous pulpits available to them. So this teaches us something. If the right ever wrests power away from the left, it must make sure that this is not allowed to happen again.
Not that we can stop rich people funding their own pulpits, it’s a free country (or at least it used to be, and hopefully it will be again one day), but we can make damn well sure that the left don’t get to divert taxpayer’s money into funding their pulpits for them. The BBC, Channel 4, the advertising money given to The Guardian, all of those platforms must go. And all the public money that goes into the left’s professional class must be taken away from them, as well as the prestige they get from their powerful positions in Universities, quangos, the civil service, etc., which they also use a pulpit.
If they have to scramble to work for a living, like the rest of us, then that makes it harder for them to harangue us.
(This is not denying anyone their right to free speech, leftists will still have numerous opportunities to say their piece, it will just prevent them from being able to broadcast non-stop and to pose as the official voice of the country.
And if not getting your own TV show is being denied your right of free speech then I demand my own BBC show now.)
When a left-winger gets sacked or is forced to resign, the left just carries on as before, as if nothing has happened. If it was a particularly bad scandal then someone might mouth a perfunctory apology. And then carry on as before. They’re never chastened. They’re never cowed. They carry on as if they are God’s chosen messengers, because that is how they fell. That’s how the media make them feel. A scandal or cock-up is temporary. Their righteousness is forever.
Contrast this to when the same happens to a right-winger. The new person apologises. Cravenly. The whole party apologises. Even when there’s nothing really to apologise for. What’s more, they’ll even apologise for something unrelated to whatever the sacking was about. Was there a Conservative principle involved is some way, no matter how tangentially? Then grab that, and throw it overboard. Better still, drown it yourself with your own hands just to be sure. Even if there’s only a small puddle to work with, you make sure it’s dead. Vow that that principle will never again be permitted to ever enter the thoughts of any party member ever again. Vow to expel for life any party member who ever mentions it again. And follow through with this. The left of course, rarely follow through on any such threat, and even if they’re forced to, they’ll let that member back in in a few months whent the heat has died down.
If you think I’m exaggerating, look at Sajid Javid comment’s today after he was made Home Secretary:
Sajid Javid disowns ‘hostile environment’ phrase in first outing as home secretary
A hostile environment to illegal immigrants had nothing to do with why Amber Rudd was forced to resign. The issue was the wrong people being deported, and Rudd apparently lying to Parliament (or at least not knowing what was going on). But the left has of course used the opportunity to pretend that it’s all about the evils of deporting illegals, and rather than calmly explain why this is getting the wrong end of the stick, the Tories have once again caved in to people who will never vote for them anyway.
(Although it should be said that the whole ‘hostile environment’ thing is total BS anyway. Pretending to be tough is what the government does instead of actually doing anything about illegal immigration.)
Amelia Gentleman, the Guardian journalist who helped expose the Windrush affair, has to be a parody. Remember that there are two types of Guardian journalists. There are the posho lefties with their double firsts from Oxbridge, straddling the aristo-intellectual-arty farty worlds. And then there are the nasty little unhinged activist lefties like Owen Jones.
Amelia Gentleman is a paradigm example of the first. In fact, she’s so paradigm that she may even be the Platonic form for the type. She looks exactly how you’d expect this type to look. She comes from artistic stock (father an artist, his parents both artists.) She went to St Paul’s School. She’s married to Jo Johnson, a fellow posho. And not only did she go to Oxford, she went to Wadham, where all the best female posho lefties go (although Wikipedia says it was Balliol, also another lefty politician/journo stronghold).
And they’ve now put up a large photo of her in Wadham’s C. Day Lewis room, simply because (in their own words), there weren’t enough pictures of women up there. And a Guardian journalist was the best they could manage.
I expect she’s frightfully decent, although somewhat boring, in person. The best you can say about this sort of Guardianista is that they’re not as bad as the paper’s loony left columnists. And it’s nice that they can tolerate a Tory enough to marry one, rather than screaming and crying and running to The Guardian’s safe room if one comes within fifty metres of them.
Update: I’m wondering how this fits in with Tory politics. Jo Johnson was one of George Osborne’s team (they go back to Oxford, Johnson was one of Osborne’s team when Osborne edited Isis). But it’s unlikely to be part of Osborne’s grudge against May, because Rudd was one of Osborne’s buddies as well. So perhaps it is just a matter of Gentleman’s own interest in the case. She is a Guardian writer, after all, and as much an anti-deportation activist as a journalist — her Twitter feed is all about Windrush. (Unsurprisingly she seems to have no interest at all in investigating the government’s failure in deporting a multitude of illegal immigrants.)
I also note that Jo Johnson came to Rudd’s defence yesterday. Perhaps a case of saying sorry for what the wife was doing to her? (Worth watching just to see Jo Johnson in action, although ‘action’ is perhaps not the right word here. I expect he’ll have heard this a million times, but you have to say that Boris definitely got all the charisma in that family. It was textbook deflect-and-bore tactics, but who wants to die with that on their headstone?)
Japanese knotweed cannot be cured, a major study which tried 19 methods over three years has found.
Researchers from Swansea University conducted the world’s biggest ever study into eradicating the invasive weed at two sites in Taff’s Well, near Cardiff, and in Swansea.
But despite using various chemical solutions, physical projects and a mixture of the two, the scientists found no definite ways of killing the plant completely using current methods.
But is this because all the effective weedkillers have been banned? The only half-decent one you can get these days is glyphosphate, which is pretty lame. It works, eventually, on ivy, but if you try it on anything hardier, like holly, it’s useless. So it’s hardly surprising that knotweed laughs in the face of it. I bet there are are a few old chemists from the good old days who could nuke your backyard knotweed if they were allowed to.
And of course the state now wants to ban glyphosphate as well, using (as usual) dodgy evidence. Because the modern state can’t keep us safe from the real-world risks it’s supposed to be there for, but it’s second-to-none at protecting us from purely theoretical risks.
Update: Tim Newman is asking similar questions to me today.
You know, if there were any real journalists left these days, as opposed to cheerleaders for the state, then this would be an area ripe for investigation.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in The Telegraph:
This country is in a very dangerous situation. As if we need reminding, Michel Barnier told us pointedly this week that every national parliament in the EU – not to mention the Walloon assembly – will have a veto on the UK’s future deal with the European Union.
His message was that this veto will be exercised unless Britain accepts EU governance over everything from tax policy to competition, regulatory standards, and environmental rules, and accepts the sweeping extra-territorial reach of the European Court (ECJ). “Nobody should underestimate the risks,” he said.
If this is true — that no deal with the EU will be possible unless we become a vassal state of the EU, which isn’t going to happen no matter how much the establishment tries — then why are we still bothering with the charade of negotiating? Just walk away now.
The UK’s aim seems to be to drag things out while keeping quiet about what’s involved, so at the last minute they can say that unless we sign this deal we won’t be able to trade with the EU from tomorrow, and our planes won’t be able to land in Europe tomorrow, and so on, and so we’re left with no choice but to sign.
Perhaps David Davis is being clever, thinking that the British public, or at least the establishment, won’t tolerate us walking away at this stage, and expects a deal to be struck, but he thinks that later on the public won’t stand for what the EU wants, and at that stage we can walk away. But that seems like wishful thinking. It seems more likely to me that Davis and his team are now heavily invested in getting a deal signed. That makes it harder to walk away. That’s why we should walked away a long time ago.
This is why it’s more important than ever that the Brexiteers bring down May ASAP, and derail the betrayal of the referendum vote that’s currently taking place. The stitch-up is happening. It must be stopped.
Sadly I missed a very important announcement last month.
The old town crier is much missed. What was it?
The sparky and hip young royal Meghan Markle spent International Women’s Day this year urging young women to study STEM subjects. What an inspiration she is.
Verily. But what, pray tell, did Meghan Markle study at University? Physics?
Computer Studies then?
Applied Stats, at least?
No. If you must know, it was THIS.
THIS? Is that very scientific?
Well, not really. That’s Theatre and International Studies. My own acronym, I’m very proud of it.
Not much STEM in that, is there?
Not a lot.
Did she at least have to calculate some angles to understand audience sight-lines?
But hey, now that she’s a Royal, she’ll be able to rectify this oversight by enrolling in Biochemistry forthwith at the University of Chippenham.
Well, maybe the reason she didn’t do STEM herself was because she had her own personal dreams, dreams which didn’t involve her spending most of her life around centrifuges and autoclaves.
Maybe that’s true. But then, maybe, just maybe, most young women choose not to do STEM not because of gender stereotyping, but because they have their own personal dreams as well, none of which involve Bio-Rad Digital Droplet PCR Systems.
Tough luck. Meghan has ordered them to do STEM.
But isn’t she a tiny bit dim? Just a tiny bit?
No. She’s clever and feisty.
But even the The Telegraph’s Royal Correspondent seems to think she’s a moron:
Ms Markle, who spent time puzzling over instructions to help the girls with their work, said she was impressed with a programme which allowed them to temporarily edit web pages, saying the ability to change untrue information into “something positive” was “so cool”.
They can change a web page! Fake news will be a thing of the past!
Well, not everyone can use a computer.
I love this bit too:
The couple, who are both feminists according to Ms Markle
Everyone thought Harry was a lad, but he’s turned out to be a drip and a patsy, hasn’t he? Patsy and Sparkles. The Corbyn Royals.
(Hat-tip: Charlotte Gill.)
The other day I saw this on the Twitter page of Sean Thomas (one of my favourite online writers):
Am on a train listening to strangers, families, couples – all chatting, making friends, swapping stories, laughing. This is how humans normally interact. Then I go on Twitter: lots of strangers spitting anger, abuse, hatred. The internet is fucking us up. As a species.
What is revealed on the internet (or should I say social media — most blogs don’t display this sort of behaviour) is the hidden underbelly of our thoughts and feelings, which are normally covered up in a face-to-face social context by politeness.
This is not, of course, an original observation; in fact it’s the standard complaint about social media. But I did amuse myself recently by noting that the old ‘The Shadow Knows’ strip by Aragones in Mad magazine pretty much predicted, in its own way, social media. Take a look at some of his old Shadow cartoons: the Shadow is basically Twitter and Facebook, isn’t it? The id being let out of its cage. A window onto our heart. The subconscious being left at home alone when Mum and Dad are out for the night. All now posted freely for the world to see, no longer buried away in shame.
One of the bizarre things about taking kids to eat out in the UK is that most places you go to insist on serving kids’ drinks in the tallest, thinnest glasses you can possible imagine. In other words, the glasses that are most likely to be knocked over by kids. The restaurants seem to think that kids find such glasses cool. Which they often do. But no glass looks cool when it’s been upended by the an arm, and is spilling sticky sweet red stuff all over the table and floor, and maybe some broken glass to boot.
And there seems to be an direct relationship going on here: the posher the place, and thus the more embarrassment that is caused by knocking a glass over, the taller and thinner the glass.
So let me make it clear to any restaurant owners who may have come here by mistake, or any regular reader who is contemplating taking advantage of the demise of so many of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants by opening a few of their own: you serve kids’ drinks in the widest, shortest glasses you can find. Glasses that have a centre of gravity so low that they’re practically velcro’d to the table. Under no circumstances should you even contemplate putting anything made of glass that is taller than a soft drink can anywhere a child. In fact, with kids it’s best to think plastic. I don’t care how posh you are. Think plastic.
And for God’s sake, when there are children around get unneeded wine glasses off the table ASAP. If you leave a dozen wine glasses on the table a minute longer than necessary don’t expect a round dozen to remain when you come back. Expect instead to see broken bits of glass everywhere.
So apparently some businesses are starting to get off Facebook, mainly as a protest over the way Facebook has allegedly been handling data, and because they think there’s too much abuse hurled on Facebook. These reasons don’t greatly impress me, but what I have often thought over the years is: why are any businesses on Facebook? And why do they take it so seriously?
Sure, some businesses benefit by being on Facebook, they get recommendations through it that they may not otherwise get. Or people may just see them, or find them by searching Facebook. But that only applies to certain types of businesses. But a lot of businesses don’t benefit much from being on there. You may say, they aren’t disadvantaged either, so why not? But that doesn’t explain why they all think, or used to think, that being on Facebook is an absolutely essential thing for any modern company to do. But how does Nescafe having a Facebook change make you buy more Nescafe? And how does all the banal crap that corporates spout on their Facebook page make anyone buy from that company more than they otherwise would?
And most companies aren’t very good at Facebook. Even the ones who would definitely benefit from having a Facebook page, if they did it properly. For example, for local pubs and bars can obviously use Facebook to their advantage by advertising what they have on in the coming week: the quiz nights the open mic night, the steak night, the band on Friday or Saturday. But 95% of pubs and bars that have a Facebook page are absolutely hopeless at keeping this sort of thing updated. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a pub Facebook page that has a lot of this sort of stuff listed, but it’s all months out of date, because after a while whoever was doing it couldn’t be arsed. That always mean I give that place a miss. So that Facebook page actively sabotages that place; they’d be better off not having a Facebook page at all. If you need information about a company, the company website is usually better than the Facebook page.
So my advice to most businesses is to get off Facebook. And if you really need it to keep your customers updated, then update the bloody thing regularly, or else delete it.
I left this comment about the Henry Vincent affair at Tim Newman’s blog, and thought it was worth a post of its own here:
To see whose side the police are on, you need to look at who is in control of them. And that’s the modern progressive sociology- degree-left. And they are not on the side of the common man. They’re on the side of the travellers. Not that they particularly like travellers (travellers aren’t exactly feminists) but if it’s a common man who’s taken the law into his own hands versus travellers, the latter wins. That’s why the floral tributes are being protected.
If it was the other way around the tributes would have been removed quick smart and threats of disturbing the peace made to whoever put them up (as happened with the tributes to Lee Rigby, his tributes were removed by the council for being ‘unsightly’).
So the police aren’t doing a bad job at all from this perspective. They’re doing a good job of reminding the general public of where they stand. Remember, since Lenin’s time the left has been keen on sending out messages to the public through the authorities they have taken over.
At the rate they’re going, the British police are going to be awfully surprised when one day in the near future they are called upon to restore law and order and find the population treating them very much as part of the problem.
Or else the British public is going to be awfully surprised one day in the future when they’ve had enough of the police being like this and they finally try to do something about it, and find that it’s too late.
So: there’s the campaign for the Universal Basic Income.
And there’s the campaign for the legalisation of marijuana.
So what if they both succeed? A universal basic income, enough for anyone to live on without having to ever worry about getting a job. And marijuana a-plenty, all of it perfectly legal. Does anyone think this is going to end well?