Joyless, Angry, Judgemental

Freedom of speech is not in anyone’s gift

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I will admit to being a fairly cynical person. Anyone who reads this blog will know I’m pretty sure that those who rule us are determined to keep their privileged positions in our society by whatever means necessary. I studied History at undergraduate level and as a postgraduate and have taught the subject for a quarter of a century. I am unpersuaded by the Whig interpretation that sees History as progress towards democracy and liberalism. I like Marxist methodology and some Marxist economics but, again, I am not persuaded that History will culminate in some classless society. Still less am I convinced by the eschatological delusions of the various Abrahamic religions. However, compared to some of the cynicism I read online, I am a wild optimist of the Professor Pangloss variety. Continue reading “Joyless, Angry, Judgemental”

Sara Khan Not Anjem Choudhary

Listen to modernist women not medievalist beard-wearers

In my first ever post I outlined my reasons for starting this blog. I said that I disliked the coarsening of political debate and the intolerance of differing opinions that has disfigured political discourse in the West over the past couple of decades. I also decried the triumph of emotion over reason and some people’s apparent inability to separate their opinions from their identity, as if disagreeing with the former was an attack on the latter. But most of all I wrote about how I was concerned about the ongoing march of aggressive, authoritarian, intolerant, far-right religion. Continue reading “Sara Khan Not Anjem Choudhary”

The Manchester Attack

The racism of the Establishment

Here we go again. It is only two months since an Islamist drove a car onto the pavement on Westminster Bridge and killed a bunch of “infidels” in order to get his reward from his imaginary friend. Now we in the aftermath of an other attack inspired by a twisted belief system that thinks the murder of children and teenagers attending a concert is pleasing to a psychopathic deity. Depressingly, the words used by Prime Minister Theresa May in responding to the events in Manchester are almost identical to those she used when commenting about those in Westminster. Are we, like Sisyphus and Bill Murray, condemned to repeat the same set of experiences over and over again? Continue reading “The Manchester Attack”

Britain’s Biggest Racist?

No, not him!

The word “racism” has become ubiquitous in recent decades. To deny the reality of racism would be to inhabit a paranoid world where the Kennedy Assassination is still unsolved, climate change is a Zionist plot and Kim Kardashian is an attractive, talented woman. I grew up in a country where black footballers were routinely subjected to monkey chants, where alleged comedians used racial slurs on primetime television and even cartoons used stereotypical images of black people to get cheap laughs. I believe that most people would not tolerant such things today. But as real racism has declined, accusations of racism have increased. Continue reading “Britain’s Biggest Racist?”

What Is Racism?

The old racism and the new

The finest English novel of all time – George Orwell’s 1984 – deals at length with how the debasement of language helped to create an unfree society. Indeed, Orwell included an appendix to his novel called “The Principles of Newspeak.” Words are vitally important in a free, democratic society and the way some words have been twisted to mean something different to their original meaning can be very damaging. The most disturbing example of the way words have been twisted is “racism.” Continue reading “What Is Racism?”