Islamophobic Vehicle Barriers

One of the more pleasant aspects of living in London is the ability to enjoy a walk around the numerous parks. If the weather is fine and I have some time I enjoy taking a stroll in my lunch break through one of the parks. Yesterday I struck out for Hyde Park for one of my favourite walks around the Serpentine lake. I was not able to do all of my usual walk as part of the park has been closed off as they make preparations for the Winter Wonderland Christmas festivities.

My circuit around the park normally ends at Hyde Park Corner, here there is a long road designed for vehicle access and as I strolled I stopped to consider the view to the entrance to the Winter Wonderland for in front of me lay masses of concrete blocks and huge metallic gates. A sense of the incongruous overwhelmed me, behind the hoarding work was taking place to prepare Santa’s grotto and other Christmas activities for children and their families, yet before them lay fortifications probably not seen in this country since the Second World War. I took a picture of what I saw and later on I tweeted the picture and a semi humorous message.

I used humour because it is a better way to get a message across than anger. Yet I am angry, when I was a child Christmas was a magical time, there was no sense of fear or foreboding just excitement and wonder. Back then my parents could take me to see Santa with a reasonable expectation that we would all get home alive. Now fearful parents – if they dare risk it, are forced to take their children through a field of fortifications, security and body searches to enjoy what should be and used to be an innocent life affirming act of human theatre.

I mulled this over further and thought about the drum beat from our politicians and the elite media about the thought crime of “Islamophobia”. The term itself is a portmanteau of Islam and phobia, Islam is the name of a religion, phobia is a Greek word meaning fear or aversion. Wikipedia describes phobia as ‘a type of anxiety disorder, defined by a persistent fear of an object or situation’.

Now I have no doubt that some Muslims have experienced unkind remarks from people and there has been some violence directed against some of them because of their beliefs. Lets not discuss here the relative degrees of the violence on either side, that is not the subject of this post. The violence on all sides needs to be dealt with – we are all equal under the law (at least that’s the way it ought to be). My issue here is how the term “Islamophobia” is somehow being used to stop people from speaking out about what they can all see in plain sight.

The concrete blocks, the metallic gates, the security personnel – they have all been placed there by the authorities, they have been placed there because they fear an attack from Muslim terrorists. Logically this does make the defences placed there by the authorities a consequence of their Islamophobia. If politicians and the media do not wish to use the term Islamophobia to describe this then we must demand of them a term that we can all agree on to describe the dark shadow of hatred directed at us all from one religion.

We do live in an age where we are losing the battle for our language. If the meaning of words is appropriated by one side to mean what they want it to mean then it becomes harder and harder for people to express their views, when the meaning is twisted and corrupted it becomes harder and harder to speak the truth. However it is a battle and one we have to win, the term Islamophobia is not a description of hatred it is a rational response to the violence of Muslim terrorists. If our politicians and media think otherwise and believe there is nothing to fear from Muslims then can they please explain the concrete blocks outside of Winter Wonderland?

So the next time your hear this narrative stand your ground and state – Islamophobia is not a hate crime, it is a rational response to the hatred directed against me and my loved ones. If you do not like that term then please can you provide me and everyone else a term to express our fears? Otherwise please shut up.

This is a battle for language that we have to win and I am afraid we either fight this battle or we are doomed to see more and more concrete blocks, if we are afraid now wait to see how much more fear our silence will bring us.

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Charities and the Dark State

Most of us support charity in one form or another. One of the more charming aspects of human nature is the way many of us gather together in a communal effort to raise money for a worthy cause. I have only run one marathon in my life, and I doubt I will run another as it damned near killed me, but taking part in the London Marathon was one of the best days of my life. Having decided earlier on to slow down and allow the elite athletes a chance to win the race, I was able to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the sense of being part of a beautiful act of human theatre and being part of something bigger than myself.

Privately I support a number of charities, sometimes for reasons of selfish altruism – I have a close family member with a serious illness. Sometimes I support a charity because it is the right thing to do – like buying a poppy or giving money to help people that survived a disaster like the Tsunami in 2004 – I guess most of us behave in this way. Whilst not all of us are mad enough to run a marathon, still at some point we have joined with others for a charity walk or bake in, put money in a tin for the RNLI or donate quietly to charities we support.

Somehow though something unwholesome seems to be happening to some of our charities. For a number of years I donated to a charity called Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), I supported this charity as a result of travels in my younger years to poorer parts of the World. I was always struck by the limited access to healthcare most of the human race suffers and how very fortunate we are to live in a wealthy nation where we are unlikely to die from an easily treated infection. I felt that by supporting MSF I would be helping people in the developing world so I was furious when MSF took it upon itself to fund a boat to ferry illegal immigrants across the Mediterranean Sea. My donations were to be used to help sick people in poorer countries, yet MSF somehow decided to use my money for people trafficking. Clearly I cancelled my donations – I think many others did as well.

Yet this drop in donations probably did not trouble MSF too greatly. MSF like many charities receive most of their money from Governments and unseen wealthy donors, since Governments themselves have no money the cash comes from taxpayers. So now we have a situation where taxpayers’ money is used to fund people trafficking and away from what the charity was initially set up to do. These large charities are often referred to as NGOs – Non Government Organisations, yet when you think about it putting the word Non at the beginning does not alter the fact that they are funded by Governments and would act in accordance with their wishes.

Now some would say NGOs are independent and superficially it would appear that way but it would take less than ten minutes of basic research to find most of them are headed by people close to the establishment. You may recall a recent leadership election in the Labour Party, David Miliband was expected to win but his brother Ed pulled off a surprise victory. David was left with a life of humble destitution on a salary of a mere $600,000 dollars a year as head of refugee charity International Rescue. Now I have no axe to grind with David Miliband but I do find something grotesque and even shameless in taking $600,000 a year from a charity. Clearly the refugee game is where the smart money is.

Questionable salaries aside what is seldom challenged is how the activities of some of these charities are working against the interests of the people whose taxes they spend. You may have noticed the term Sanctuary Cities being used by politicians and journalists, the term itself seems to have come from the United States. Sanctuary Cities are self declared centres of tolerance for illegal immigrants. Of course the preferred language is ‘refugees’ or ‘undocumented migrants’ but this does obfuscate the fact that being in someone’s country without permission is illegal. Sanctuary Cities take great pride in extolling the virtues of their tolerance, which is odd when you think about it, illegal immigration is against the law but somehow the administration of a city can boast about encouraging what is a criminal act.

Perhaps even more worrying is that no one seems willing or able to challenge the morality of a situation where taxpayer’s money is used to displace taxpayers from their own homelands. Surely if we want to help the world’s poor the best thing is to spend it where it is needed rather than import the world’s poor into our cities and displace our own poor? Maybe its just me but I find spending other peoples money in a way that destroys their communities is just a tad immoral?

The problem of Sanctuary Cities has found its way to our shores. City of Sanctuary is a charity supporting a network of groups across the UK and Ireland who are part of a movement to build a culture of welcome and hospitality within their communities. City of Sanctuary received £50K in funding in 2016/17 in a grant from Unbound Philanthropy (2016/17). Unbound Philanthropy keep the names of the donors secret but seem very active in providing finance to the charity version of people smuggling. This does seem mysterious – why the secrecy and why the web of cross funding and hidden identities of who is behind this?

Large parts of our charity sector seem to have lost their way, I would argue many now are actually doing harm – at least to the taxpayers that fund them. The sector itself – certainly at the NGO level has become a gravy train for establishment figures to maintain an influence over our lives with little or no public scrutiny into their activities or the real purpose of what they are doing. The opaque web of funding itself is of great concern. Whilst I am sure there are many wealthy donors who give money for no other reason than to help their fellow man, the system lends itself to corruption by less scrupulous individuals who seek to shape the world according to their vision. Sadly I feel this vision is a grim one for the people of the West, our own generosity and humanity is being used as a tool against us.

The NHS and how to become a hated tool of the State

 

In 1883 Germany introduced the Sickness Insurance Law, the first system designed to provide healthcare to the general population. The UK followed suit in 1911 with the National Insurance Act which provided a level of healthcare to wage earners. Healthcare provision in the UK was famously extended when the National Health Service was launched in July 1948, the first comprehensive system in the world, many commentators observing that this was a reward to the working class for the sacrifices they had made during the Second World War. Many Western European countries followed suit and within a few decades most developed nations in the world had introduced a system of universal healthcare.

 

In Europe healthcare is funded by a mixture of public and private contributions, some such as the Netherlands rely on compulsory insurance and a form of risk pool between insurers to ensure that everyone, whatever the state of their health is provided insurance. The system in the Netherlands also ensures that there is no financial advantage in providing insurance solely to healthy people since the levy to the risk pool becomes that much greater. The UK funds the health service via a single payer method, i.e. the State is the only source of funding.

 

Systems of healthcare and the methods of funding them are complex subjects and way beyond my level of knowledge to add anything useful to the debate however I do feel that the single payer method is beginning to lead the NHS astray from what it was set up to do and to lead it down the same dark path the BBC has decided to follow. For clarity my concerns are about the NHS as an organisation and not the Doctors (mainly), Nurses, Paramedics and Porters nor the cleaners, the administrators and other support staff that get out of bed every day to provide healthcare to the nation. The rot as I see it is at the top amongst the politicians, senior managers and civil servants.

 

You may recall a few weeks back Theresa May announced proposed changes to the way organs are to be obtained in the future. The current system for most people in the UK is that donors register their willingness for their organs to be used in the event of their deaths. To my mind this is a fine thing to do and I would encourage everyone to register, providing the gift of life to another even when you have passed has a heroic quality to it, we are all familiar with some of the wonderful stories of how this act has provided a level of comfort to grieving families. Theresa May has however proposed to change the way this system works from an opt in method to an opt out one. In other words your organs can be harvested unless you specifically say no. Now I have ethical concerns about this, your body belongs to your loved ones, not to the State. The State has no right to do this, it is an infringement into an area where the State and its agent in this instance, the NHS has any business.

 

There are of course arguments that this will save more lives, possibly – but so would allowing people to sell a kidney and I do not think that is an ethical thing to do either. In any case after the scandal at Alder Hay hospital where the unauthorised removal, retention and disposal of children’s organs was widespread I would certainly not trust the NHS with this kind of power.

 

In the same period the NHS has decided to dabble in identity politics by gathering data on the sexual preferences of patients – whether this is relevant or not. Now clearly in conversations between a GP and a patient this may be highly relevant but come on, I recently trashed my elbow playing cricket, what difference to the outcome would it make to find out if I liked the Scissor Sisters and adored Barbara Streisand? I struggle to understand why the NHS feels it needs this information in most cases – other than to play a bit of identity politics and, well, to be a bit creepy if you ask me. In any case my reading of the Data Protection Act is that there are very clear limits on how you gather personal data and you have to be very clear about why you need this information.

 

More widely I have noticed a more bullying, overbearing tone coming from the NHS, threats to withdraw treatment from people that are obese or smoke are increasing. Now pardon me I thought the role of the NHS was to provide healthcare, that is its purpose, where did it acquire the right to intimidate people? Who gave it this power? I don’t remember any political party offering to give it that authority in an election manifesto. Yet gradually over the years we have seen the NHS wade into the political arena to push its own dogma, the main mantras being;

 

– It is free at the point of service – this is of course not true, it is not free, the taxpayer paid for it upfront.

– It needs squillions of immigrants to function
– only in the sense that as a result of mass immigration we enjoy the correlation that the more immigrants you bring in the more immigrants you have to hire to treat them.

– It is the envy of the world
– it is not, no other country has adopted this model, for example, Spain, a country I am very familiar with has a far superior health service and uses a mixture private and state health provision. The NHS and the industrial complex around it has used its dominant position to prevent private healthcare providers from offering taxpayers an alternative.

 

The sanctimonious bullying is now filtering down the organisation, Rachel Clarke, an NHS Doctor felt that she had the authority from the taxpayer to make dark threats to a journalist (Katie Hopkins) via Twitter.

 

FYI Rachel you are paid by the taxpayer to treat people you don’t get to choose who –  period, shut up and do your job.

 

The creeping politicisation of the NHS, the intrusion into our private lives and the adoption of the poison of identity politics is in danger of turning the NHS into another BBC, a once trusted and fairly benign organisation into a dark, sinister omnipresent shadow in our lives. Sadly I fear my concerns and those of millions of others will not be heard and the NHS will go the same way as the BBC, a hated tool of the State.