Tuesday, March 01, 2005



Theocracy in Britain, Liberal Democrat tax policy, and sacrificing children to the devil; Pt. 1.

[Prefatory Note: This post was originally intended as a comment on Liberal Democrat taxation policy. I thought it proper to commence by explaining why I thought that it was worth anyone taking the Lib Dems seriously. But the intro got out of hand. I’ll get on to tax in the next post. In summary, I have been driven to consider the Lib Dems because they are now the only non-theocratic party in England. But their tax policy is the work of Satan.]

Theocracy in Britain

The Labour Party is rededicating its commitment to sectarian schools run by creationists and Islamists, has changed its mind on getting rid of the sinister Christian blasphemy law, and is introducing a new mega-blasphemy law with its new offence of ‘incitement to religious hatred’.

These actions have given renewed vigour to theocratic thugs of all stripes, as has been shown by the outrages over the play Bezhti in Birmingham and the screening of ‘Jerry Springer – the Opera’ by the BBC. These have included both actual violence and threats of violence. (A threat of violence is, of course, a violent crime. Shortly after the Bezhti death threats, the Northern Bank robbery occurred. I noted with approval the comments of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, which emphasized very firmly that this was not to any degree a ‘victimless crime’ just because noone had been hurt. The threats against the staff of the bank helped elevate the crime to the highest level of seriousness. West Midlands Police, however, appears to derogate from these principles, as no arrests have been made over the Bezhti death threats and no police operation on the same scale as the that in Northern Ireland, or anything like it, has resulted).

Like the famous conspiracy to incite murder connected with the novel ‘The Satanic Verses’, the more recent threats and mob violence were, of course, not instigated in response to any actual law. (Unlike many other cases of mob violence, such as those against sex criminals). Rather, these people had a subjective perception that they, not the people they threatened and attacked, were victims of a ‘crime’.

The Seikhist terrorists behind the Bezhti violence, and their supporters in the local Catholic Church, explicitly referred to the Islamist actions against Rushdie with admiration, taking the view that their sects should seek to emulate the Islamists’ more aggressive public profile. Nobody, they claimed, would dare offend Muslims in the same way. The recent murder of Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands presumably added fuel to their jealousy.

The result is that there are de facto ‘laws’, duly enforced by sanctions: The publication of the paperback version of ‘The Satanic Verses’ was delayed, ‘Bezhti’ was cancelled and not subsequently shown at a second theatre which wished to show it, and noone dare screen ‘Submission’. (At least there have been arrests associated with the ‘Submission’ incident.)

Over here, the British Government has not responded with anything approaching a sufficient degree of condemnation or action against this gangster authority. On the contrary, its response has to been to encourage the notion that, when violence claims a religious motivation, the victim should be blamed. This is the practical effect of the religious hatred law and the blasphemy law. The Government have been quite clear that the new law is largely for the benefit of Muslims. (See Ken Livingstone clarifying as much in the Guardian).

As I have explained, actual legislation is not necessary for a de facto ‘law’ to exist. ‘Bezhti’ really was cancelled, it remains cancelled, and you still cannot see it or perform it.

That didn't happen in a dream.

Between the time of the cancellation of the performance and that of the next unmolested performances, this de facto law remains in operation in Britain. The importance of the new religious hatred law will be in its actual effects. The nation’s theocrats are gearing themselves up to ensure that this is far more extensive than the words of the legislation imply. For example, the Muslim Council of Britain, representing the beneficiaries of the new law, are interpreting it to mean that use of the phrase “Islamic terrorist” will be a criminal offence. (The rationale for this is that no terrorists are Islamic, therefore the phrase is just an attempt to incite hatred against people on religious grounds. Link not available.. will obtain.. here it is). The fact that this interpretation may not be the intention of the new legislation does not mean that this is not what will be enforced by private thuggery.

The Government are pressing ahead regardless. Why? What is there to be gained? The stated principle is that ‘Jews’ and ‘Seikhs’ are protected as members of racial groups under legislation against racial hatred. There is thus a lacuna under which racists can promote hatred against Muslims without risk. The British National Party has actually taken advantage of this. However, why must religious people have protection that I do not deserve? If ‘promoting hatred’ needs to be a criminal offence, why not make the new offence just exactly that? Can the BNP really be carrying out actions so dreadful that they require legislation, yet which would be OK if they were directed against me?

The real reason for the new offence is that it will be perceived by Muslims as giving them what they want.

However, this is no mere vote-grabbing measure. The quality of the new law is, I believe, not a relevant consideration in the Government’s wish to enact it. Yesterday, some much more important legislation was passed with a slender majority .

The ‘House Arrest’ provision in the new Prevention of Terror Bill is basically equivalent to internment in Northern Ireland.

Internment failed because it was such an effective recruitment tool for the Republican terrorists that it was plainly counter-productive. The Government wants to be fair or ‘more than fair’ to the group from which the next set of internees will be drawn to ensure the effectiveness of the anti terror legislation: The religious hatred legislation is not even supposed to be good law. So no surprise that it isn't.

there was a splendid bishop on radio five this moring from a pressure group dedicated to promoting xtian values on tv. he had many excellent points to make. they were that there were too many programmes like "the jerry springer opera"on tv that offended xtians. he was asked to name another of these programmes. his answer was "er, the straw......er, i don't know". another of his arguments was "eastenders isn't true to life".he chose to shout this urgently over somebody else speaking about something unrelated. his final point was in response to a caller who said that he, as a christian, did not particularly care one way or another about 'jerry springer' and if people wanted to watch it then it was fine by him. the bishop thought that the caller shouldn't go imposing his values on other people in this way.
Well, I'm no enemy of free speech, but I reckon that there are too many people imposing their views on the rest of us. Why don't they shut up before they're made to shut up? And if someone must silence them, why shouldn't that someone be us?
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