Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Finally. Rubber bullets available for tomorrow's student riot

We can but hope.

The BBC reports that rubber bullets will be available to officers policing tomorrow's tuition fees protest by students in London.
In a statement, Scotland Yard said rubber bullets - also known as baton rounds - were "carried by a small number of trained officers", none of whom would be patrolling the route of the march.
As with previous protests there's likely to be violence, but sadly it probably won't be sustained or large-scale enough that the police actually get around to breaking out the plastic.

That hasn't stopped the Green Party's no-hoper in the London mayoral election, Jenny Jones, from expressing pre-emptive outrage.
She said: "The prospect of the police shooting at unarmed demonstrators with any kind of bullet is frankly appalling, un-British and reminiscent of scenes currently being used by murderous dictatorships in the Middle East."
I suggest Jones takes a trip to Syria, where they're using live rounds and tanks, and the death toll is over 3,500, to regain her sense of perspective. But presumably she believes the police should be prevented from defending themselves against the sort of violence seen at previous 'demonstrations', which included having a fire extinguisher dropped on officers from seven floors up.

She added: "Any officer that shoots a student with a baton round will have to answer to the whole of London."

I hate to break this to Jones, but I fear she may be misjudging the public mood, which is always a risk when you're so thoroughly disconnected from mainstream thinking that you believe windmills are the answer to Britain's energy problems.

After a year or so of watching the capital being smashed up by assorted mobs of left-wingers, anarchists and politically unaffiliated rioters and looters, I suspect that Londoners will be ready to grant the first police officer who takes out a rioting student with a rubber bullet the freedom of the city.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Occupy London: like OWS, without the sex attacks

My latest piece for PJ Media looks at the mess the Church of England has got itself in with the Occupy protest outside St Paul's Cathedral, and how church figures have been co-opted as useful idiots for a largely secular leftist movement. This mess is the entirely predictable consequence of the church's embrace of class warfare and other left-wing orthodoxies under the stewardship of Rowan 'Crazy Old Wizard' Williams...
Those protestors who have a semblance of an ideology, as opposed to those who are just there for the party, are leftists, and it’s doubtful that more than a handful will have ever seen the inside of a church. But they’ve cleverly leveraged the moral authority of the church, such as it is these days, to lend respectability to their cause (a “What would Jesus do?” banner is prominent in every TV news report).
The media have played along, with the Guardian in particular guilty of astounding chutzpah. The bible — if you’ll excuse the expression — of Britain’s secular leftists has run a stream of patronizing opinion pieces invoking the teachings of Jesus; a favorite theme, along with WWJD? is the story of Jesus chasing the money changers from the temple, from which several columnists have extrapolated that Jesus was the first anti-capitalist, and that if he were around today he’d be bunking down with the protesters.
This from a paper that misses no opportunity to sneer at traditional values in general, and at Christianity in particular (other religions, notably Islam, are of course exempt from such mockery). It’s said there are no atheists in foxholes, and they’re equally hard to find when Christianity can be co-opted to advance a left-wing cause.
By way of a companion to my piece, here's a video shot at the St Paul's camp by The Commentator. My favourite character is the old crusty getting high on super-strength cider, planning to pitch his plans for financial reform to a deputy governor of the Bank of England... What could go wrong?

Another thought: what would Hugo Chavez do if he was uncontstrained?

Friday, November 4, 2011

UKIP Rising

The Telegraph's Peter Oborne on the slow and steady rise of the Eurosceptics of UKIP, which he calls 'the Conservative party in exile'.
If a Left-wing party had reached Ukip’s size and consequence, the media would be fascinated. But, because of its old-fashioned and decidedly provincial approach, it has been practically ignored. In the 2004 European elections, the party gained a sensational 16 per cent of the vote. Had it been the Greens or the Communists that had pulled off this feat, the BBC would have gone crazy. Instead it chose not to mention this event, coolly classifying Ukip as “other”.
For the metropolitan elite, the party scarcely exists. This is why last Sunday’s YouGov poll showing that support for Farage’s party had crept up to 7 per cent – just one point fewer than the Liberal Democrats – gained no coverage. But the significance of this is very great. I believe that Ukip is about to take over from the Lib Dems as Britain’s third largest political party.
British politics is set to get very interesting in the next couple of years, for the first time in a long while, thanks in no small part to the bunglers in Brussels.

Euro orthodoxy and Euro heresy

At Presseurop, Michael Fleischhacker of Austrian daily Die Presse praises those daring to challenge the European elites:
Heresies have arisen at all times by asking questions. To question means to doubt, and doubt is the poison of orthodoxy.
What do the United Commentators from Europe want to tell us when they declare with deep indignation that a “No” from the Greeks to the resolutions of the Brussels Congress would have “unforeseeable consequences”?
Do they somehow mean to contend that the consequences of the previously adopted “measures” were foreseeable? Has this past year delivered even a single clue that this is the case?
And why should a country's citizens not be allowed to vote on measures that add up to a substantial limitation of their state sovereignty? Is it their fault that they don’t understand what it’s about, or is it the fault of those who can’t explain it to them?
And is it not true that they can’t explain it because they don’t understand it themselves? And why should they decide, though they understand it no better than those who are not permitted to decide?
The Telegraph puts things more bluntly:
It should surprise no one that George Papandreou’s proposal for a national referendum on the latest European bail-out deal should have lasted just 72 hours before being bulldozed into oblivion by the Germans and French. Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy made not the slightest attempt to observe any diplomatic niceties as they turned their fire on this troublesome outbreak of democracy. The Greek referendum must not be allowed to happen, they insisted – and lo, it will not. It was brutal to watch.
 Welcome to the new Europe. It is now generally accepted that the move towards fiscal as well as monetary union is the only feasible way in which the single currency can be made to work. Yet it will mean such bullying becomes the norm, since national sovereignty will routinely have to play second fiddle to the diktats not only of the European Central Bank, but also of a central European Treasury, whose creation can now only be a matter of time. Both will, of course, be dominated by the monetary union’s pre-eminent economy, Germany.
It's enough to make you nostalgic for the days when the EU at least allowed referendums to take place, and simply ignored the results.