Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Some thoughts on recent events

No, this is not about David Bowie about whom my feelings are lukewarm, at best. I refer to the events of New Year's Eve in Cologne and other Continental, particularly German cities as well as subsequent developments. My intention was not to write about it because there were so many people pontificating already but an exchange I had with a very well known journalist (no name, no pack drill, as they say) who thought that the official report, which confirmed that the Cologne attackers were "of migrant origin".When I asked why that is a surprise, given what we had heard from the women victims and why is it worse than if the attackers had lived in the country for a while, the reply was "because it plays into the hands of those wanting to sow division".

What can one make of that attitude? Can this journalist really think that the crimes are less important than the need to prevent "dissension", which cannot possibly be sown who think it is all right to attack women in the streets? Could this journalist have possibly preferred that the story of Cologne as many other similar but smaller stories had been buried by unsympathetic police officers and politicians? One cannot help suspecting that with this and many other journalists. After all, the media has been entirely complicit in the mess.

Other discussions I have had yielded some interesting moments as well. On a personal basis I can confirm that a good many people on the left are or are trying to be in denial about this. The number of assertions I have seen that this must have been a plot put together by the extreme right and other opponents of immigration is extraordinary. What that shows is the usual left-wing contempt for the people they allegedly support and a reluctance to understand that there are other cultures around and some of them are incompatible with ours. The notion that only Europeans or Americans are capable of deciding to do anything and everyone else simply follows instructions or gets caught up in a conspiracy is laughable but also dangerous. Yet there are many people around who do not even see anything wrong with that.

There have been the inevitable comments and articles about "feminists" being ready to sacrifice other women for their own rather skewed politically correct attitudes. That, I keep pointing out, is true only if we all accept that Guardian-type definition of a feminist being left-wing. Then it all becomes a general problem for the left. There are, however, many of us feminists, who believe in freedom and equality and who are not on the left. We have been discussing these issues for some time and intend to go on discussing them. Nobody, in my opinion, is more of a feminist than the Baroness Cox, who is fighting for the rights of women against Sharia law and who is much disliked by the left, including the so-called feminist left.

There are the inevitable arguments that we should look at male violence in general and not assume that some cultures encourage it more than others. Any discussion of that kind would take away attention from recent events and criminal activity and bog us down in pointless meanderings. Of course, there is something to be said for looking at the male violence angle but not quite what these people mean.

One of the big arguments against the decision to allow in refugees/migrants in large numbers (a decision that almost all European countries have been rejecting) was the fact that the majority of them were young men though enough women and children could be found for moving pictures in the media. Not only does that raise uncomfortable questions as to whether these are really refugees but should remind us that a sudden influx of tens of thousands young men is not that good a development and is unlikely to be conducive to keeping peace and law and order. When those young men come from societies, which have a very different attitude to women, then big trouble could be expected.

Unfortunately, having committed themselves to a certain series of actions, politicians together with the media that supported them and those entrusted with the preservation of law and order, preferred not to acknowledge that trouble was on its way. When it came (and that happened some time before this last New Year's Eve) official reaction was to dampen the fires, dismiss complaints, bury the news story and hope it will all go away. They may have feared a backlash, dissent, even violence aimed at the migrants but most of all it is their own position that was at risk and up with that they could not put.

As my friend and wise mentor John O'Sullivan put it on his Twitter feed:
Official silence, meant to prevent a backlash, fueled a backlash which, btw, is a racist term for critical opposition to foolish policies.
The story of violence against women at various occasions and in various parts of Europe (with Britain not exactly being exempt, what with our tales of gangs grooming young girls and years of official denial) has now become too big to suppress. The Police Chief of Cologne was thrown to the dogs and the Mayor of that city, having made some very stupid statements that basically blamed the victims, is whining that she has been attacked and criticized. The interview is well worth reading in full to see the political helplessness and need to blame everyone else. None of it is new but people have become less tolerant.

What we see here is quite normal for the political establishment. They make a colossal mistake or two, refuse to look at valid criticisms and discard any opposing ideas. When those criticisms turn out to be correct they find it impossible either to acknowledge it (with some exceptions) or to admit that the mess is now too big for them to deal with and they have no idea how to get out of it.

This has happened over and over again, the whole appalling mess of the eurozone being just one example. In the case of this particular mess there were two catastrophic decisions: one is to take in very large numbers of migrants/refugees from societies that are run on different principles without even a perfunctory check beyond the odd newspaper story; the other, older decision (and really it is hard to tell whether it was a decision or something that just happened) was not to insist that those who come to our countries and societies abide by our laws and our own cultural norms. That does not mean people cannot worship in their own way, wear clothes they prefer (though I have a rooted objection to the veil) or eat the food they like (that, above all). But there are more important issues such as the position of women in society. The decisions were challenged and criticized all along and these criticisms were dismissed as emanations of racism or xenophobia. Well, now the whirlwind is upon us.


  1. Succinctly put as ever. This report on the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-35292325 suggests there are still over 1,000 a day getting through. Though it does detail a range of measures the EU is taking to reduce the flow. Time will tell how effective they will be.

    Much will also depend on whether the Germans and Swedes allow family re-unification, which they previously have done. They're talking a bit tougher about this at the moment, but they might conclude it is the lesser of two evils than having hundreds of thousands of single males marauding around. But if they do that then because all the "refugees" are drawn from a younger age group they dramatically increase the chance of Muslim majorities in their own countries in a few decades. The European political elites seem to think they can make Muslims Europeans, whereas a good deal of the Muslim want to make Europe Muslim.

    Once again though the BBC should be thoroughly ashamed of the part they have played in all this. The reports by Fergal Keane where he only showed families arriving in particular stand out as an act of calculated deception.

    We live in interesting times.

    1. All times are interesting. My childhood, teens and early adulthood were spent in the shadow of the Cold War, which we appeared to be losing. That was much scarier.

      I agree with much of what you say. It is, as i said, one of the problems that, having made a couple of colossal and catastrophic errors, the political class is finding it impossible to acknowledge that or the obvious truth that they do not know the solution. The media's role in all this and the BBC's specifically is despicable.

  2. Hear! Hear!

    Especially your last paragraph.