Abolish EDMs! Abolish Bob Spink!

For fucks sake…

BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION ADVERTISEMENTS ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Spink, Bob

That this House notes that posters with the slogan There’s Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life, appear on 800 buses in England, Scotland and Wales, as well as on the London Underground; notes that this causes concern to Christian and Muslim people, many of whom feel embarrassed and uncomfortable travelling on public transport displaying such advertisements and would not wish to endorse the advertisements by using that public transport; regrets that the British Humanist Association backs the campaign; and calls on Ministers responsible for public transport and advertising media to investigate this matter and to seek to remove these religiously offensive and morally unhelpful advertisements.

An Early Day Motion, for those that don’t know, is “a pointless and ineffectual statement by a group of MPs, pronouncing judgement upon some event, or calling for some course of action, which other MPs are invited to add their signatures to.”

What do they achieve? Well, usually nothing, but they are a good way for MPs to be seen to be “doing something.” Even if that something is ineffectual and pointless.

The above EDM is a particularly sub-par example, but it gives you an idea of the sort of cretinous ramblings which MP’s in marginal constituencies with sincere concerns promote.

Anything that is “religiously offensive and morally unhelpful” should never be banned. Read that again religiously offensive and morally unhelpful, he wrote those words and thought “Yeah, lets ban those fuckers from being morally unhelpful!”

For Christ’s sake, [1] you know what would be morally unhelpful Bob? Shutting up, it would lower my blood pressure and might get me a few more years in. Although that would require thinking less, and if you thought less then you might slip into a catatonic dose. [2]

This is the point of living in the UK, we’re better than fucking Saudi Arabia, we can say, and promote what we want. No amount of swing voters concerned members of the public are worth appeasing over those freedoms.

Parliament does a lot that is unhelpful, sometimes, perhaps often, it does things which are damaging. But, tying up its time which could be usefully spent with useless shit like this is the height of arrogance and ignorance. Well done Bob, hope there’s lots of easily manipulated Christians and Muslims in Castle Point in Essex, because you’ll need their support, nobody sane would vote for you.

Just written this and realised its a rather old EDM, doesn’t matter, the man’s still a credulous nincompoop.

[1] Religiously offensive; check.

[2] Morally unhelpful; check.

Does Socialism cause Racism?

Alternatively Titled: Does Libertarianism cause Stupidity?

Sunny Hundal has demanded Labour adopt a Class War strategy. Devil’s Kitchen has decided that this is analogous to a Race War strategy. It appears I have to come out of my brief pre-2010 hibernation to settle something.

The relative merits of concentrating on the class interests of the Tories will be discussed elsewhere by others (as will DK’s total misunderstanding of what class is). What I want to turn to is why DK feels it necessary to reach for polemic where Sunny is talking about electoral strategy.

Once again, we see how the Left prefers to label people by their differences—and why? So that human beings can be kept at each others’ throats—through the generation of class envy, race hatred, religious differences. This is an old, old tactic which I call divide et impera—divide and rule—and I have written about it extensively.

It is better for people to be labelled, put into boxes and the differences between them emphasised—rather than uniting them in the realision that we are all human beings together—because that causes problems and tensions.

And then slimy political fucks like Hundal can rise up and present their solutions to the problems that they created in the first place. In short, people like Sunny want to pigeon-hole people and to create emnity between them because it allows cunts like Sunny to seize power.

Last month DK’s quote of the day from Charlotte Gore and her post inspired by Hayek’s Road To Serfdom.

It may be that the socialists are the most vocal anti-racists, but it is they who’ve created the economic conditions in which racism thrives. It’s they who’ve created a country with a growing obsession with stopping “foreigners” taking advantage of our welfare state, and it’s they who’ve spent the last 100 years telling everyone that Free Trade (which includes free movement of people) is a bad and terrible thing, it’s they who’ve told everyone that the job of the state is to pick sides and pick winners…. and they’re acting surprised, shocked and outraged when people who see themselves as losers in the current system want to use the state for their own purposes?

What exactly did they think would happen? I mean, really? The only way to stop National Socialism in the UK is to stop socialism.

For DK and Charlotte this is one of key critiques of even fairly mild state intervention. In my view it is a totally fallacious one. What Charlotte Gore, and DK, suggest is that once states (read: Socialists) have created even a modest welfare state they have set the scene for conflicts because they have been seen to pick sides and the creation of an “other” becomes central to politics.

We will look at 4 countries – US, UK, Australia and Germany - because they are the ones I have information for and because I think they provide a reasonably adequate sample. Of course, I would prefer to do more but I don’t have the resources or the time at the moment.

If DK and Charlotte Gore are correct then you would see a fairly strong correlation between the introduction of a relatively comprehensive welfare state institutions and the introduction, shortly afterwards, of restrictive immigration controls.

In Great Britain we introduced Industrial accident insurance in 1897, relatively comprehensive Healthcare and some unemployment insurance in 1911 and had a state Pension by 1908. In contrast to this the UK passed its first Aliens Act in 1905 three years before the introduction of the state pension. The controls in the act were fairly mild but it did represent a big break with the past where Britain had allowed total free movement of people, to match its free trade rhetoric. The big restrictive act was the Aliens Act of 1914, which was later augmented in 1919. This act was very restrictive and in effect barred even those claiming asylum entry. But this act was instigated by the greatest war the world had ever seen; the state whipped up hatred but this was hardly something dreamt up by those of the left. In fact, in 1948, the the year the NHS was foundered, Labour passed a law reaffirming the right of all subjects of the British Empire to settle in these isles.

A similar, although different story is evident in Germany. In many ways autocratic Germany lead the way in social insurance, it was the first state to introduce Industrial accident insurance in 1871 with healthcare following in 1883 and a pension in 1889. A relative laggard in comparison to other institutions in place. unemployment insurance was introduced in 1927. The were also early restricters of the right to migrate, passing their first law before our own 1905 Aliens Act. This part of Germany’s story (very) roughly matches DK’s and Charlotte’s view, but the post-war Federal Republic of Germany confounds it again. In the post was period Germany lacked legislation covering minimum wages and so on but possessed an advanced welfare state. However, up until 1993 German had the most liberal law on asylum in Europe and perhaps the world. Its Basic Law read “Persons persecuted on political grounds shall enjoy the right to asylum.” This no ifs and buts policy led German to become the one of the largest refugee accepting country in Europe up until 1993 when the law was changed.

Even the country most likely to follow DK and Charlotte’s picture of the world, Australia, tells a different story. Race relations in Australia have always been fairly strained, and its mistreatment of its aboriginal peoples well documented as is the unofficial “White Australia” policy that operated until the late 1960s. They introduced Industrial accident insurance in 1902, a pension in 1909 and Healthcare and Unemployment insurance in 1945. Following these reforms they followed a racist immigration policy to safeguard them. But the genesis of this policy was not in response to the above reforms, the framework was instigated by the Immigration Restrictions Act 1901.

The most interesting country to turn to is the United States, because this is one which utterly frustrates their arguments. In 1924 the US introduced an incredibly harsh immigration regime, that limited the number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already living in the United States in 1890. However, it was not until 1930 that Industrial accident insurance was introduced, 1935 that a state pension and unemployment insurance was introduced, and 2010(?) before relatively comprehensive healthcare was introduced (lagging Germany by 127 years).

The idea that racism and religious sectarianism spring from the very people who battle against it is hardest must be appealing to the right. Everyone loves a counterintuitive insight, especially one which is so satisfying and provides a stick with which to beat one’s enemies. Sadly for the DK and Charlotte their’s is not an argument based in fact. It seems racism is a far more complicated phenomenom than they are willing to accept.

That’s it for now

I hope you all enjoyed Christmas. I doubt I’ll be blogging again until the New Year. Its been a blast blogging in 2009 and I hope things will only get better in 2010.

I would like to say a big Thank You to Paul and Dave at Though Cowards Flinch, Phil the Very Public Sociologist, Anton Vowl of the enemies of reason, MacGuffin of Tabloid Watch, Sunny and everyone who’s written at Liberal Conspiracy this year, everyone who blogs at The Third Estate, Claude of Hagley Road to Ladywood, Angry Mob, Unity of the Ministry of Truth, Chris Dillow, Jamie Sport of the Daily Quail, Giles Wilkes the Free Thinking Economist, Duncan with the economics blog, the ever readable Tim Worstall, Eric the Fish, the entertaining and insightful Mr Eugenides, Five Chinese CrackersPaul Sagar of Bad Conscience, Paul Krugman, Ben Goldacre of Bad Science, Will Straw and all at Left Foot Forward, Carl Packman of Raincoat Optimism, Thomas Byrne of “best named right wing blog 2009″ ByrneTofferings, the Heresiarch of Heresy Corner and the much missed John Q Publican.

You are the boggers who inspired me to start blogging, or who I discovered through my first 8 months and helped me keep going. Thank you all and I wish you all the best of health and success through 2010.

A Happy New Year to you and all the blogosphere!