Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Flag burning? Why not, it's a free country

The Guardian reported that the British police want to see the burning of flags at demonstrations in the UK outlawed. Indeed, the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority, Len Duvall argued that people;

"have the right to [demonstrate] but they must do so peacefully and without causing undue offence."

The Labour MP Shahid Malik also supports the police proposal; he added that these 'appear to be sensible proposals which I believe all sensible people, irrespective of religion or race, will support'.

Well, I'm sorry, but the police and Shahid Malik are talking complete and utter nonsense. For a start, the proposal is a blatant restriction on our right to free speech. I personally don't go around burning flags at demonstrations, but in a free society if other people want to do such things, why can't they?

Whether we like it or not, flag burning is a form of political speech. If the police, or anyone else for that matter finds it offensive, then that's just tough. I certainly wouldn't want to live in a society where the police determine how offensive a demonstration may be.

I militantly agree with Brendan O’Neill’s assessment of this issue, it's bad enough that free speech is under attack, on top of that, the police want to restrict our right to be offensive at demonstrations too - well, as O'Neill rightfully argued, they can just f**k right off.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Head of Commission for Racial Equality, is a bigot

It's bad enough that the British government have unveiled a dodgy plan, to basically treat Romanians and Bulgarians as if they were the new 'white niggers' of Europe. On top of that, the head of the Commission for Racial Equality, Sir Trevor Phillips, thinks it's perfectly acceptable to label these migrants as 'racists' , even though he admits it's based solely on 'anecdotal evidence'.

Neil Davenport, a writer for Spiked Online recently commented that 'Phillips comments also show what a dramatic turn around there has been on the immigration debate'. He's not wrong there. In the past, it was old-fashioned racists who wanted tighter controls on immigration to keep blacks out. Today, it's anti-racists who demand stricter rules on new migrants all because they apparently want to stop 'racists' from coming into Britain. The truth is, old school, and new school ignorant attitudes towards immigrants, are just bad as each other.

UPDATE: The Times (London) also thinks that Trevor isn't all that clever.

This post is reprinted from the Wall of Speech blog.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Romanians & Bulgarians, being treated like white niggers

Up until now, Britain, and the Irish Republic have allowed 'unlimited access' for migrants from European Union countries - not anymore.

Immigration to the UK, and Ireland, within the EU, has always been a hot issue ever since Poland joined the EU - however, the issue has taken a very disturbing turn for the worse. The Observer reports that the Home Secretary John Reid, will unveil plans to prevent thousands of people from Romania and Bulgaria coming to Britain to work.

In the past, draconian immigration laws were used to stop the flow of black immigration to the British Isles. Indeed, strict immigration laws were normally used as a way of keeping Britain all white, it also meant that new immigrants were seen as second-class citizens upon their arrival. These days however, politicians appear to bend over backwards by constantly reminding us that discussing restrictions on immigration 'is not racist'.

There are many leftists and liberals who seem to agree that restricting the right of free movement of undesirables like Romanians and Bulgarians is absolutely the best thing to do. Polly Toynbee argues that cheap imported labour actually serves to keep workers wages down - but as far as I'm concerned, such arguments are wrong and dangerous, they are what the revolutionary Russian leader Vladimir Lenin termed 'Social-Chauvinism'. If anything, workers have a common interest that transcend national borders. Pitting one section of the international workforce against another only serves to undermine international solidarity.

The notion that economic migrants from Eastern Europe are the sole reason why wages are low, actually lets New Labour and its Trade Unions off the hook. If workers' wages are low, then that is the fault of rubbish Trade Unions. Hostility towards an open door policy only reveals a profound hatred of freedom and the free movement of people. The demand to abolish all immigration controls is the only progressive answer to those who think the UK, and Ireland is 'full up' or being 'swamped' out.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

PETA: they love animals, but hate humans

Oh no, here we go again - the animal loving People For The Ethical Treament Of Animals (PETA), the famous liberators of chickens and all things furry, the people who gave us the "Holocaust on Your Plate" campaign; have taken their nauseating political propaganda to new condescending heights. Except this time, PETA have gone too far, they have accused parents who feed their children meat of being nothing but child abusers.

I'd like to know how PETA gets off trying to equate loving parents with being akin to kiddie-fiddlers. It's an insult, and it's enough to turn someone like me into an animal hater. PETA tries to defend their highly dubious position by arguing that they are speaking on behalf of children - according to PETA, children;

"are inherently compassionate and interested in animals. They would be appalled to learn that each year in the United Kingdom, more than 900 million mammals and birds – and countless fish – are killed for food."

Oh really? Well, it soon doesn't take children too long to realise that premature death comes as a part of the territory of being a chicken, a pig or a fish. The truth is, PETA are indulging in the worse kind of animal-obsessed self-flagellation, they are actively putting the welfare of animals above the welfare of children, and above the needs of families for affordable meat.

PETA claims that chickens "are probably the most abused animals on the planet", well... I think they are certainly wrong about that one, that title should go to the men and women who have to wring chickens necks for a living.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Madonna: treating Africans like playthings

There seems to be no end to the rumours that the multi-millionaire, ageing 'Queen of pop', Madonna is in the process of adopting an African baby that lives in a Malawi orphanage. Mind you, they still remain just stories at the moment without confirmation from her majesty Madonna herself, and her posh husband Guy Ritchie. Oh no, seems it's wasn't enough for Madonna to simply donate $3 million towards orphanages in Malawi - oh no, she just had to get herself one of those cute little orphans too. Well? What's wrong with that you may say, she's doing them a huge favour, isn't she?

Madonna, is an unashamed self-publicist, who's decadent perceptions seems to think it's perfectly acceptable to openly flaut Malawi laws on adoption all in order to get what she wants. What is more disturbing, is that the one year old African behind all this posing, David Banda, turns out he's not even an orphan anyway. The boy's father gave him up to the orphanage after his wife died, shortly after giving birth to David. The father simply couldn't afford to feed the baby.

The truth is, Madonna is treating all Africans as if they were children, just a little something to be played with, or even owned. She is simply following in the Victorian footsteps of Dr. David Livingston, and those other great 'saviours' of African people, like M'lud Sir Bob Geldof and his sidekick Bono.

Even Madonna's charity 'Raising Malawi' gives the impression that Africans are to be treated as if they were small children - it is condescending in its extremes. Does Madonna really believe that by snatching a baby boy away from his father and community, that this will be beneficial to the rest of the poverty stricken people left behind, after the world's press have moved on? Madonna has no answer to that, instead, she acts like a colonialist and treats the entire nation of Malawi as if it was just one of her little playthings.

UPDATE: The perils of adopting a non-orphan continue.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Remove politics from cancer

Last week, the millionaire actress, Nicole Kidman came to London to mark the launch of Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign. Kidman has a profoundly good reason for wanting to highlight breast cancer, her mother suffered from the terrible disease when she was only 17. For Kidman, and for many people, the fight against breast cancer is charged with emotionalism and subjectivity - however, we cannot, nor should we, allow the provision of cancer health care to be driven by such emotional campaigns.

The pink-ribbon breast cancer awareness campaign acually ends up pitching one cancer against another. The use of a high profile actress to bring this particular disease into the limelight risks dividing cancer sufferers - the pink-ribbon campaign has a tendency of pulling away the spotlight, and more importantly, it drives away precious resources from other cancer health research, like lung cancer. We should remember that lung cancer kills far more people than breast cancer in the UK. Lung cancer research hasn't got celebrities to stop the traffic to raise funds, or to influence debates and raise 'awareness'.

There is no doubt that cancer care in Britain needs to be radically improved, but the last thing we need is to attach values to different cancers based solely on its political profile. I'm not the only one who has reservations about the politicisation of breast cancer, the former professor of cancer medicine, Karol Sikora, argued in The Observer, that when;

"Nicole Kidman launched Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Madame Tussauds on Friday, she contributed to a process which will put breast cancer at a higher level than colon cancer in the political mind."

I don't think it's right, that when it comes down to rationing of resources in the health service, that breast cancer, with its pink-ribbons and high profile celebrities, is seen to fare better than any other cancer - is that really fair?


Do read: Honest Medicine's Julia Schopick responds to Sen. Joe Biden. Oct 2007

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