Pensioners, in that they can’t resist a free bus ride?
Best answer: Swivel-eyed loons who live in the past, endlessly banging on about Europe and putting ordinary people off.
Pensioners, in that they can’t resist a free bus ride?
Best answer: Swivel-eyed loons who live in the past, endlessly banging on about Europe and putting ordinary people off.
In the Telegraph yesterday:
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is now under fresh pressure to provide evidence on fake news and ads after politicians in the UK and Canada today jointly called for him to appear before an International Grand Committee in London.
In a letter penned to Mr Zuckerberg today, Damian Collins, chair of the Digital Culture Media and Sports Committee and Bob Zimmer, chair of the Canadian standing committee on access to information privacy and ethics said: “We believe that your users in other countries need a line of accountability to your organisation – directly, via yourself. We would have thought that this responsibility is something that you would want to take up.
“The hearing of your evidence is now overdue, and urgent.”
Zuckerberg has until 7 November to respond to the summons.
Facebook is already on the side of the Establishment. Do you remember when it was revealed a few years ago that Facebook had a team of employees sifting their newsfeed and making sure it tilted left? Maybe you don’t, because that has gone down the memory hole; you hardly ever see it referenced any more.
So this current story is basically the modern equivalent of a Communist government asking why the tractor factory is not producing enough tractors to meet targets. Or questioning why the editors at Pravda are allowing some unapproved stories in. Facebook is mostly doing what the Establishment wants, only it’s not doing it thoroughly enough. Why is any ‘fake news’ — ie. stories that make the populist right look good, and the Establishment bad — getting through? That’s what this is really about. Pulling Facebook completely into line by pretending it’s enabling the counter-revolution when really it’s doing what it can to prevent it without it looking too obvious.
In the same story, we get this:
Facebook’s new political advertising tool is under fire after approving a fake pro-Brexit advert marked as “paid for by Cambridge Analytica”.
The ad was really taken out by Business Insider as a test to see if Facebook’s system, which is supposed to be able to determine whether the people who are taking out the ad really are who they say they are. To which my response is, who cares who paid for the ad? Why isn’t anyone entitled to put up an ad for what they want, if they pay for it?
Or, at least, I’ll care about this when they start caring about George Soros’s spending billions on propaganda campaigns all over the world.
And a final nasty little sting in the tail:
BeLeave was discovered to have broken electoral law in July.
This has nothing to do with the story, and that judgement was a highly dubious one which may still be overturned. But because the author is one of those soft-left millenials that the Telegraph is so fond of these days, in it goes. But there’s no mention at all of Facebook’s aforementioned little helpers who already tilt the news.
Far-right plumber Dave Bloggs today visited the far-right London History Museum to view inflammatory material about far-right political extremists, including Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. Bloggs, who travelled on the far-right Docklands Light Rail service which has trampled over union rights by using driverless trains, was with members of his family, including his wife who is believed to be a far-right sympathizer. While in London he visited far-right food outlet McDonalds, which still allows its far-right clientele to drink from plastic straws if they ask for them. Eyewitnesses say that Bloggs was openly reading far-right literature on the train, including The Sun and The Times. One witness claims that Bloggs’s oldest son was reading a magazine which featured a white man on the cover, which experts believe indicates that it was probably far-right material.
Fellow passenger Juanita Gonzalez, a 28-year-old sociology student, described the scenes: “It was awful, like something out of a dystopian movie. They were brazenly wearing far-right clothing, the Dad for example had an England shirt on. One of the boys had the far-right white supremacist band Motorhead on his T-shirt. Motorhead have only ever had white band members of the band, and have never had a LGQBT member. They’ve also not signed up to the NME Rock Code of Conduct. I was literally shaking and crying. London is a tolerant, multicultural city, and people like this should not be allowed to enter.”
Fellow passenger Fifi Bangles, a 28-year-old Sociology student, concurred: “The worst thing was, they were all white. Just sitting there and laughing, like it didn’t matter. I was literally shaking and crying, and had to go and vomit in the toilet.”
CCTV footage indicates that the racist far-right pack, believed to be from the far-right North of the country, engaged in other anti-social far-right activities after their visit to the far-right shrine, including playing the far-right sport of ten-pin bowling, which is still legal in most parts of the country, and eating at a pub with a far-right sexist and nationalistic name, the Cock and Bull. Reports are also coming in that they ate a curry in an off-hand, insufficiently respectful manner.
Police have confirmed the far-right incidents, which numerous people reported to them, and said it is investigating. “Unfortunately this sort of far-right behaviour is still tolerated in other parts of the country”, said Chief Inspector Ruth Tavistock. “We are working with the government on an information campaign to warn visitors to London that these sorts of far-right activities are no longer tolerated in a vibrant, diverse, multicultural city like London.”
My first dateback out there after 14 years had a noticeable limp, drooled when he talked and knocked a glass of red wine over my white shirt before leaving me to search for a napkin to mop up the mess.
I could have left that pub in tears of despair about the dire pool of middle-aged men out there but instead I called my sister, told her what happened and had to pull the car over on the way home because I was crying so much with laughter.
So many media women are quick to tell everyone else that they need to be compassionate and love everyone and understand that no-one’s perfect and that everyone has their faults. They’re especially quick to criticise men who are picky about women, who don’t appreciate the wonderful qualities that women have that aren’t always immediately apparent.
Yet when it comes to themselves and dating they start talking like they’re the head of Hitler Youth. Zin vun haz ze limp. Zis is not acceptable for a vomen zuch as me. Introduce him to ze cleaning lady.
Compassion for everyone is right in the abstract, but for her personally only the cream of the crop will do. Don’t talk to me about hidden depths, he has insufficient control over his saliva glands. Everyone has worth and it’s wrong to judge people harshly, but don’t fix me up with a loser, I’m special and I’m not settling for a clumsy third-rater. Isn’t it wrong how advertising makes modern people think they’re better than everyone else? No, I’m not dating a guy with no degree, that’s beneath me.
And do we have the embarrassing self-regard section? Yes we do. Of course:
Get ready to fall in love
In the short time I was dating after my divorce, the person I fell for most wasn’t any of the men, but me. I’d listen to myself talk and be blown away by some of the things I had to say. I was a mother of two boys. I’d been bereaved. I’d been working for over 20 years. I had opinions and wasn’t afraid to share them.
But actually, when it comes to these sorts of articles, this woman is one of the better ones. She met a lot of guys she liked and found a long-term relationship, unlike that other Telegraph dating woman who claimed every guy ever found her intelligence — she got a 2:2 in French from Kent — intimidating.* And she admits elsewhere that she isn’t great-looking. So I’m not happy, because she’s supposed to be providing me with material and it’s fizzled out, so now I’m going to have to go looking through the Guardian.
But the general point holds. When you hear a modern woman criticizing men for their shallow tastes and unrealistic expectations, just think about what they’re going to be like themselves on the dating scene. Will they be looking for the nice man behind the surface disappointments? In a word: no.
*I was going to link to Newman’s fisking of this woman, but his site is not letting me search it.
Another sign that I’m not a young man any more: I now fancy Julie Andrews. When I was in my first bloom of youth Julie Andrews seemed like everything a man didn’t want in a woman. A prim, sexless, goody-goody, whose singing was frightful. No thanks.
But now when I see her in old films I have completely the opposite reaction: she’s a beautiful, passionate English rose with a pure heart, and an angelic voice, who you’d marry in a second.
So politics isn’t the only thing I’ve realised I was wrong about when I was a callow youth.
Anyway, the bad news is that a Mary Poppins sequel is about to be released. It’s not like I’m a Mary Poppins buff or anything, so I’m not going to be too outraged, but it just isn’t right…
One more thing: we’ve all laughed for decades at Dick van Dyke’s Cockney accent in the original film, but when you watch him in it, you have to admit that, accent aside, he’s pretty damn good.
“You’re afraid of change”, say Remainers.
‘You white people can’t handle being on the bottom for a change”, say anti-racists.
“Things have changed since your beloved 50s, get used to it”, says every leftist ever.
In other words, white old-style conservatives can’t handle change.
My analysis: Brexit, Trump, Hungary, scream scream scream scream scream, wah, bad orange man, looks like you leftists can’t handle the way the world is changing.
Get used to it. You change-hating losers.
I said the other day that the right needs to ensure that the law is enforced against leftists who break it, as too often they break the law in the name of their political views and get away with it. Here’s a test case (link now fixed):
A new group of “concerned citizens” is planning a campaign of mass civil disobedience starting next month and promises it has hundreds of people – from teenagers to pensioners – ready to get arrested in an effort to draw attention to the unfolding climate emergency.
If they’re prepared to get arrested then arrested is what they should be, and convicted. They’d demand the same if a nasty group of religious nutters broke the law in the name of their religion. (Well, not if they were Islamic nutters. If they were Christian.) And this is basically what these people are: a nasty group of religious nutters. Here’s a letter they sent to the Guardian:
we will not tolerate the failure of this or any other government to take robust and emergency action in respect of the worsening ecological crisis.
“We will not tolerate”? Well, I guess if you’re going to be a fascist you might as well talk like one.
The science is clear, the facts are incontrovertible
What’s clear is that none of you have a clue what you’re talking about.
it is unconscionable to us that our children and grandchildren should have to bear the terrifying brunt of an unprecedented disaster of our own making.
I’m going to suggest re-wording this to “an unprecedented disaster of our own imagination”.
Humans cannot continue to violate the fundamental laws of nature or of science with impunity.
We’re violating the fundamental laws of nature? Take that, gravity!
And to think that a load of Professors put their name to this.
Our government is complicit in ignoring the precautionary principle
Getting out of bed in the morning ignores the precautionary principle. Staying in bed in the morning ignores the precautionary principle.
and in failing to acknowledge that infinite economic growth on a planet with finite resources is non-viable.
All those Professors and Vice-Chancellors, and none of them have an even basic understanding of economics.
Instead, the government irresponsibly promotes rampant consumerism and free-market fundamentalism
The government that constantly interferes in the free-market? That one? And ‘rampant consumerism?’ Was the text for this letter copied from 1973?
Earth Overshoot Day (the date when humans have used up more resources from nature than the planet can renew in the entire year) falls ever earlier each year (1 August in 2018).
I expect the science for ‘Earth Overshoot Day’ is incontrovertible.
The “social contract” has been broken, and it is therefore not only our right, but our moral duty to bypass the government’s inaction and flagrant dereliction of duty, and to rebel to defend life itself.
The amoebae all support your rebellion, because without you they will be left to die by the government.
We therefore declare our support for Extinction Rebellion, launching on 31 October 2018. We fully stand behind the demands for the government to tell the hard truth to its citizens.
Hard truths, yes. Like previous hard truths that wannabe overlords like you have told the people, eg, “You all have to go and work in the paddy fields”, and, “If you read Western propaganda you’ll be arrested and shot”.
We call for a Citizens’ Assembly to work with scientists on the basis of the extant evidence and in accordance with the precautionary principle, to urgently develop a credible plan for rapid total decarbonisation of the economy.
The Citizens’ Assembly sounds nice, doesn’t it? As does “rapid total decarbonisation of the economy”.
There have been quite a few comments in the press recently about how no-one in the Tories wants to be seen as being involved in getting rid of Theresa May. Supposedly anyone who is seen to plunge the knife in will never be trusted by anyone ever again.
This may be true when you’re getting rid of a popular, election-winning leader like Tony Blair for no good reason, when it’s obvious that the only reason you’ve done so is because of your own personal vanity. But I don’t think it’s true when you’re getting rid of a universally-hated and traitorous leader who ran a secret operation to sell the country out. In that case plenty of people will regard you as a hero.
Who, exactly, likes Theresa May? She is reviled on the left to a Thatcher-like degree. (Not for any good reason, really, but the left is irrational in its hatreds.) The centrists and New Labourites are more tolerant of her, but none of them like her. The right loathes her. No-one will shed a tear for her, but many will hold parties to celebrate.
What the people will not forgive is not getting rid of her, but failing to get rid of her, as she tries her mightiest to keep Britain enmeshed with the EU to as much of a degree as she can get away with. The Tories will never be forgiven for that.
The Brexit side of politics is starting to sound like global warming fanatics with all the warnings against Theresa May:
Jan 2018: “We have to act now and get rid of Theresa May before it’s too late”.
Feb 2018: “We have to act now and get rid of Theresa May before it’s too late”.
March 2018: “We have to act now and get rid of Theresa May before it’s too late”.
April 2018: “We have to act now and get rid of Theresa May before it’s too late”.
Oct 2018: “We have to act now and get rid of Theresa May before it’s too late”.
Every day my Twitter feed is full of this stuff: Act now before it’s too late, from both greens and Brexiteers.
But of course in the case of Brexit there really is a genuine threat. Unfortunately it pretty much is too late now. The actions needed to have taken place at least six months ago. Although if they did actually vote her out tomorrow then perhaps Brexit could be salvaged. But it’s clear that they won’t. I can’t believe that there aren’t at least 48 MPs who want her out, so the fact that they haven’t put in their letters tells us that they don’t think they have the numbers for the vote of confidence. Look at the way they rolled over at the 1922 meeting yesterday.
So May is just going to trundle on obfuscating endlessly, playing for time, running out the clock, until it really is too late to do anything, and Parliament will then vote for the deal she presents, because they’ll be terrified of a no-deal Brexit where no time is left to sort out the problem areas. Tory MPs are mostly Remainers who are trusting that despite a Brexit betrayal they’ll still get more votes than Corbyn, although I think they may be in for a shock there. But the aim is to fudge the Brexit betrayal so the voters aren’t really sure of what’s happening, so they won’t get angry enough to desert the Tories when Corbyn is the alternative.
The only hope is that enough rogue MPs put their letters into Graham Brady despite being told not to by the other rebels. But May winning a confidence vote would be disastrous for Brexit. The only thing the rebels could do then is to try other wrecking tactics which would probably split the party badly and may bring on a general election (although I doubt they’ll have the balls for any of that).
Then again, wrecking the Conservative Party would be a pretty good outcome in my view. But not as good as getting a real Brexit. (Best of all would be to get Brexit and then see the Conservative Party destroyed.)
David Allen Green tweets:
There should never be a UK-wide referendum ever ever again. On constitutional issues pertaining only to some of the four member states of the UK, fine. But UK wider referendums are a negation of parliamentary supremacy, creating mandates which cannot be gainsaid.
This is partly what the whole Remainer screaming fit is about. It explains why they’ve gone so berserk over Brexit. It’s not just about trying to stop Brexit, it’s also about trying to prevent the public ever having such a direct say on anything ever again. They figure that even if they lose this battle, if they make the whole thing as difficult and (for the average person) as tedious as possible then no-one will ever want to have a public vote ever again.
So it’s about keeping the decision-making powers in the hands of the Establishment, and out of the grubby mitts of Midlands factory workers.
The only problem with that is that, although the Brexit process has become tedious at the hands of Theresa May, a lot of people have thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle of the great and the good — well, Blair Clegg and Adonis at least — thoroughly getting the wind up them, and losing the plot. And a lot of people have now seen that the Establishment is full of nutters, and they’ll now be more keen on geting a direct say in future, rather than letting the nutters make the decisions.
(And, of course, it hardly needs to be said that referendums work perfectly well in other decent countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.)
One of the ways the left wins is by constantly breaking the law with its protest actions and getting away with it. This is related to the ‘double standards’ issue I’ve talked about before, where the left gets away with things the right can’t get away with, because it controls so many important institutions, as well as most of the media.
The left thinks that you’re allowed to do anything, as long as your actions are a sincere form of political protest (assuming, of course, that you’re on the left). This attitude has been encouraged for decades by movies, TV, books, newspapers, academics, and so on. And mostly the left does get away with this. What’s more, it gets treated with kid gloves when law enforcement is finally forced to act.
This is one of the symptoms of the weakness of modern Conservativism. Governments that are supposedly conservative have been able to do little about illegal protesters, mainly because they’ve feared an Establishment backlash if they insist that that the law be enforced against leftist protesters. One of the things we desperately need from future Conservative governments is that they fight vested interests to make sure that leftists are properly prosecuted for their illegal behaviour.
Consider, for example, the situation in Democrat-controlled states like California, where black-shirt Antifa thugs get away with all sorts of fascist behaviour. Consider the environmental protesters all over the world who are allowed to halt work indefinitely by putting their bodies in harm’s way. In Britain and the US you’ll see protesters blocking traffic and the police act as their protectors rather than their arresters. Not to mention the millions of illegal immigrants in the West who will never be deported.
That’s why I was pleased to see this story:
Sweden is to prosecute the 21-year-old student who single-handedly grounded an aircraft preparing to deport an Afghan asylum seeker.
Elin Ersson broadcast her one-woman protest on Facebook in July, during which she refused to sit down on the flight from Landvetter airport in Gothenburg, thereby preventing it from taking off …
On Friday, Swedish prosecutors announced that Ersson would be prosecuted at Gothenburg district court “for crimes against the aviation law” after the incident on 23 July. She had not complied with the captain’s request and had refused to sit despite repeated requests from the crew, prosecutors said. She faces a fine and up to six months in jail.
She should really have been pulled off the plane and arrested by the police straight away. But at least the Swedes are prosecuting her.
Before you start feeling sorry for her, bear in mind that there would be no mercy for any right-winger who pulled a similar stunt. Look at the way the British Establishment have treated Tommy Robinson. Far from the right being the cold-hearted hard men about such things, it’s the left who are ruthless (as they always have been). If you’re not one of them then don’t ever expect them to treat you the way they treat their own.
And if she is allowed to get away with this, then such tactics will just ramp up.
As for my claim that leftist protesters don’t consider themselves criminals, see this quote:
“Elin’s bravery has inspired a lot of people,” said Gudrun Romeborn of the group Sittstrejken (Sitdown Strike), in which Ersson is active.
“But it is important to understand why so many people in the community are working for justice for asylum seekers in Sweden. They are not criminals. We are trying to stop deportations to save lives.
This is partly right. Technically she will be (if convicted) a criminal, but in the right parts of Swedish society she’ll never be regarded as one.
Notice also the complete absence of any sort of apology for blocking the deportation of a man who turned out to be a criminal.
But now for the bad news. Do you really think she’ll go to jail for six months? Three months? No, not me either.
I’m currently reading Robert Service’s bio of Stalin. It’s good so far, but it has one annoying aspect to it that almost every other history book or biography shares, and that is that it just doesn’t remind you enough of what the year in question is.
What I mean is that there will be plenty of lines like ‘”In March this issue became urgent, and X started to do Y as a result”. But what year is it? It’s never that clear what the year is. Is it 1931 or 1932, or have we jumped ahead to 1933 here? You go back over the pages you’ve recently read, but there’s no mention of a year for ages. Eventually you find one by going back further, and then you have to do some deducing to work out what the year is on your current page. It’s like the writer knows what year it is, they’re keeping track of it in their head, so they assume you know too, but you don’t, you’re not as expert on all this as the writer.
With some topics this may not matter so much but with political history it does. And you want to get the timeline right in your head, so you want to know whether it was 1923 that X happened, or 1924, not least so you can fit this in with related developments which you knew happened in 1923 and 1924.
It’s like cricket commentating on the radio. It’s really important that cricket commentators keep telling the listeners the score. That’s one of their most important jobs. But so many of them fail to. You turn on the radio to hear the score, and you have to listen to them waffling on about all sorts of rubbish, and eventually you might hear them say that Jenkins has turned one off his hip for a single, as though they’re slightly annoyed that Jenkins has interrupted their story, like a parent who barely stops the story they’re telling to their friends when they tell their child to stop doing something. If you’re very lucky they might tell you that Jenkins has moved on to 32 after the tuck, but you won’t get the team score. Eventually after ten minutes, if you’re lucky, they’ll deign to mention it.
This always drives me nuts. The only British radio commentator who regularly gives the score is Jonathan Agnew (although in all other respects he’s an extremely annoying commentator). History writers should not be making the same sort of mistake. Never just say ‘July’. It should always be July and the year, unless the year has already been given on that page.
There are also some other strange aspects to what otherwise seems a very good book. Stalin has to give up this job he has at the Tiflis (ie. Tbilisi) observatory and leave where he’s living because the authorities are persecuting the Marxists. The next few years he throws himself into being a dedicated revolutionary. But there’s nothing at all about how he gets any money to live on. And nothing at all about where he lives when he moves to different towns. He also escapes a prison, but there’s nothing at all about how this happened. Many people — colleagues, editors — read drafts of the book. Did none of them not think to raise these points? Were they already so familiar with the facts about Stalin’s life that they didn’t notice that Service hadn’t addressed some of them?
There also seem to be many episodes of Stalin’s life that are missing that I know from other sources. I don’t know whether Service thought the evidence for these was lacking, or whether he just couldn’t fit everything in.
The founder of a network established “to support individuals who have discovered their family relationships aren’t what they were led to believe” apparently lives in the 1950s:
Yet St Clair hopes that this will diminish the culture of shame that many of our forebears had to live with. “It was a different era 50 to 70 years ago, and no one imagined that these secrets could ever be revealed so easily. But with the advent of this new and easily accessible technology, I’m hopeful that the stigma of ‘illegitimacy’ will eventually disappear.” (my underlining)
Yes, perhaps by 2050, or maybe 2060, British people will no longer hide their head in shame at being born out of wedlock. It’s hard to imagine now, but maybe one day British women will actually have babies out of wedlock deliberately in order to get state benefits. That seems inconceivable now, but who knows how our descendants will see things? Pre-marital sex, a science-fiction concept to most of us now, may even start to become commonplace in the world of our great-grandchildren.
I have a new article up at the Conservative Woman, entitled “The Telegraph Wimmin’s section – a fact-free zone”. It’s a shortened version of some of the blog posts I have recently been writing about the Women’s section at The Telegraph, namely these ones: