It happened in Sudbury, as the Daily Mail reports:
A high Street butcher in Suffolk has been forced to take down its window display, as shoppers are said to be offended by the sight of bits of dead animals.
Hanging pigs’ heads, limp rabbits and dead pheasants were upsetting the children.
The senseless twits behind the hate campaign mounted against JBS Family Butchers of Sudbury say they are trying to protect their children from the ugliness of ‘mutilated carcasses’.
This seems implausibly puritanical. Any child with internet access and a stack of video games will have seen far worse.
These sentimental folk are part of an ever-growing collective ignorance about food and farming that is immensely damaging not only to the countryside, to farming and to animals — but also to ourselves.
Our lack of understanding of where food really comes from is helping to create mountains of food waste and a population of fat, unhealthy Britons.
This kind of urban deracination has real consequences. People who think that meat is manufactured somewhere in a factory laboratory look upon all animals as lovable Disney characters and are eager to ban hunting and all the other field sports. Meanwhile, demand for antiseptic and completely uniform food items makes old-fashioned family farming and human animal husbandry impossible and meat animals are that much more certain to be raised in unnatural factory farm hatcheries. Human ignorance and alienation from Nature and the countryside is bad for agriculture, bad for animals, bad for the countryside, and impoverishing to human culture.
Sally is gone that was so kindly,
Sally is gone from Ha’nacker Hill
And the Briar grows ever since then so blindly;
And ever since then the clapper is still…
And the sweeps have fallen from Ha’nacker Mill.
Ha’nacker Hill is in Desolation:
Ruin a-top and a field unploughed.
And Spirits that call on a fallen nation,
Spirits that loved her calling aloud,
Spirits abroad in a windy cloud.
Spirits that call and no one answers—Ha’nacker’s down and England’s done.
Wind and Thistle for pipe and dancers,
And never a ploughman under the Sun:
Never a ploughman. Never a one.
Halnaker Mill was first mentioned in 1540 as belonging to the manor of “Halfnaked”. It was built for the Duke of Richmond as the feudal mill of the Goodwood Estate. The surviving mill is thought to date from the 1740s and is known to have been standing c.1780. Halnaker Mill was working until struck by lightning in 1905, damaging the sails and windshaft. The derelict mill was restored in 1934 by Neve’s, the Heathfield millwrights as a memorial to the wife of Sir William Bird. Further repair work was done in 1954 by E Hole and Sons, The Burgess Hill millwrights. The mill was again restored in 2004. The mill is owned by West Sussex County Council.
Halnaker Mill (or Ha’nacker Mill, reflecting the true pronunciation) is the subject of a poem by the English writer Hilaire Belloc in which the collapse of the Mill is used as a metaphor for the tragic decay of the prevailing moral and social system.
A naval toast in HMS Elephant the day before the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801.
The Daily Mail reports that the ancient customs of the Royal Navy are falling victim to political correctness.
Royal Navy sailors will never again make their traditional Saturday night toast and drink to ‘Our Wives and Sweethearts.’
The toast, which prompts the response, ‘May they never meet’, has been banned because there are so many women officers serving in the Navy.
The seafaring tradition – often made with a tot of rum – has stood for 200 years, but will now be changed so that servicemen and women toast ‘Our families’ instead.
The instruction was issued by the new Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral David Steel.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: ‘To reflect cultural changes and our modern and inclusive Navy, two of the naval toasts, used at mess dinners, have been updated.
‘The Royal Navy values the diversity and range of its personnel and it is only right that its traditional toasts should reflect the fact that women have been at sea for over 20 years.’
The other tradition which has changed is that the Tuesday night toast will be made to ‘Our Sailors’ rather than to ‘Our Men’.
Admiral Lord Boyce, a former Chief of the Defence Staff, blasted the rule change as ‘unnecessary’
The custom has been practised since Admiral Nelson’s era but after women first served in service vessels in 1990 it has become increasingly outdated. ...
Other time-honoured toasts which follow the toasts to the Queen will remain unchanged.
On Mondays, a glass is raised to ‘Our ships at sea’, and on Wednesdays, sailors drink to ‘Ourselves (as no one else is likely to concern themselves with our welfare!)’.
On Thursdays they toast to ‘A bloody war or a sickly season’, referring to the better prospects of promotion in wartime in the 19th century and pestilence.
‘A willing enemy and sea room’ is toasted on Fridays, referring to the reluctance of other navies to face the British, and on Sundays they drink to ‘absent friends’.
The change to tradition was not well received by some former sailors.
Former Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Lord Boyce said: ‘In my view this is an unnecessary genuflection in the name of PC-manship and I have no intention of following it.
The Inquisitr tells us that a predictably inevitable step in the leftist agenda has arrived in Europe.
Standing up while urinating may soon be illegal for men in Europe. Male representatives on the Sormland County Council and the Left Party are pushing for “sitting only” public restrooms. Exactly how the self-avowed socialist and feminist political party plans on enforcing the allegedly more sanitary restroom habits of males remains to be seen. Supporters of the law against standing while urinating also believe that male health will be bolstered when urinating while sitting on a toilet so the bladder empties more effectively, according to the Huffington Post.
If upright male urination becomes too politically incorrect to tolerate in Western Europe any longer, legal citations may soon begin flying. The Naked Scientists website notes that a similar movement is also brewing in Germany, France and Holland.
If anyone doubted that the regime of political correctness in Great Britain, there is this story in the Telegraph to change his mind.
A Welsh woman has been made to pay compensation for using a racist slur against an English woman after calling her “an English cow”.
len Humphreys, 25, of Garndolbenmaen, near Porthmadog, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment, after she branded Angela Payne, who had an affair with her father, an “English cow.”
The court in Prestatyn in North Wales heard that Humphreys levelled the insult at Ms Payne when she went to her house in Rhyl to collect some of her father’s property and told her : “Leave well alone, you English cow”.
For Angela Payne it was the final straw, said prosecutor James Neary, as Humphreys’s mother had previously been warned by the police about her conduct. The court heard Humphreys had also called the victim other names previously.
Andrew Hutchinson, defending, said that Humphreys’s parents had been married for 32 years but her father had then started the other relationship, going “backwards and forwards” between the two women. “Emotions were running high,” he explained.
Humphreys was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay Angela Payne £50 in compensation.
Someone is seriously supposed to be injured by the application of the term “English” as a pejorative? Absurd.
Old fogey, white male Theodore Dalrymple reviewing hip, young black chick Zadie Smith’s new novel, NW (as in North West London, specifically, apparently, NW6, Kilburn, once a working-class Irish neighborhood, now a lower-class varied multicultural district) promises an entertaining clash of values and perspectives.
According to Dalrymple, the celebration of the glorious diversity of it all—
Sweet stink of the hookah, couscous, kebab, exhaust fumes of a bus deadlock. . . . Polish paper, Turkish paper, Arabic, Irish, French, Russian, Spanish, News of the World. Unlock your (stolen) phone, buy a battery pack, a lighter pack, a perfume pack, sunglasses, three for a fiver, a life-size porcelain tiger, gold taps. . . . TV cable, computer cable, audiovisual cables, I give you good price, good price. Leaflets, call abroad 4 less, learn English, eyebrow wax, Falun Gong, have you accepted Jesus as your personal call plan? . . . A hundred and one ways to take cover: the complete black tent, the facial grid, back of the head, Louis Vuitton–stamped, Gucci-stamped, yellow lace, attached to sunglasses, hardly on at all, striped, candy pink; paired with tracksuits, skin-tight jeans, summer dresses, blouses, vests, gypsy skirts, flares. . . . Security lights, security gates, security walls, security trees, Tudor, Modernist, postwar, prewar, stone pineapples, stone lions, stone eagles. Face east and dream of Regent’s Park, of St. John’s Wood. The Arabs, the Israelis, the Russians, the Americans: here united by the furnished penthouse, the private clinic. If we pay enough, if we squint, Kilburn need not exist. Free meals. English as a second language. Here is the school where they stabbed the headmaster. Here is the Islamic Center of England opposite the Queen’s Arms. Walk down the middle of this, you referee, you!
—is tempered by the story of two black sisters, Keisha and Cheryl Blake. The former studies hard and becomes a wealthy and successful lawyer, the latter becomes an unwed mother living on the dole.
Keisha (who’s changed her name to Natalie) is unhappy, finding she has traded her life for a career and living only to work, while worrying about having relinquished her identity, her “authenticity.” Her sister Cheryl rejects her offers of assistance (and implicitly her familial connection and authority) preferring “independence” based upon state support.
All of which understandably lights Dalrymple’s fuse.
Natalie may not feel authentic, but this [fictional situation] certainly does. It illustrates how completely the state has smashed up family solidarity. Cheryl and the rest of Natalie’s impoverished family neither look for nor need Natalie’s help, though she is becoming a wealthy woman; they look to the state to provide. At one point, when Natalie criticizes the public housing where Cheryl lives, her sister responds, “If I wanted to get out of here I’d get another place off the council before I come to you.” For Cheryl, independence means being independent of people close to her and dependent on a bureaucratic apparatus. Nothing could be more socially atomizing, more promotional of the raging egotism exemplified in the [1995 murder of a Roman Catholic headmaster who tried to stop an interracial gang beating].
Dalrymple also has a few harsh words to say about Natalie’s class neuroses.
Natalie’s unease about her authenticity, with its undertow of guilt about her success, seems to me plausibly and truly delineated. The fact that she should feel this guilt means that she has thoroughly absorbed an egalitarian ideology, for there can be only one reason why to rise in a meritocratic society by your own efforts should occasion guilt. That reason is that one feels that everyone ought to be equal—equal in outcome—whatever one does or does not do. Though she has risen by her own merits, though what sixties radicals called “the system” has put no formal obstacles in her path, though her sister’s manacles are all mind-forg’d, Natalie cannot believe that she deserves her good fortune or that her newfound wealth is evidence of social justice rather than its opposite.
Dalrymple considers the kind of multiculturalism that Zadie Smith reflexively tries to celebrate as a social and cultural disaster featuring little mutual benefit, but rather the addle-pated surrender of Western civilization to barbarism on the basis of left-wing sentimentality and bad ideas. According to Dalrymple, Zadie Smith’s NW really offers
a bleak assessment of multicultural society, which ends not in cross-fertilization, as in fusion cooking, but in paranoia as a way of life, mutual incomprehension, egotism, and solipsism. A day-to-day tolerance of one another’s existence is an insufficient basis for an attractive or even a productive society. Something more is needed.
Interestingly, Dalrymple compares Smith’s community of fashion perspective to that of Catholic, anti-modernist French author Richard Millet, who recently published Éloge littéraire d’Anders Breivik [A Literary Elegy on Anders Breivik], who killed 77 promising young leftists at a Labor summer camp, as a kind of personal protest against the multicultural remodeling of Norway. Millet said that, though he did not approve of Breivik’s crimes, his opinion was that “Norway got what it deserved.”
I am quite interested in reading that essay, which is available, I find, only in French (via Amazon UK) in a collection of three essays titled Langue Fantôme. I have ordered a copy.
One of my Yale classmates yesterday forwarded this New York Times editorial denouncing the National Rifle Association’s efforts to prevent sophistors, economists, calculators, and “leading experts” on violence from artfully collecting data and massaging statistics in order to produce a scientific, apparently empirical case favoring gun control.
Why would the naughty NRA oppose data collection and scientific research by well-credentialed experts?
The NRA sensibly opposes these so-called empirical studies because it knows that when you get to establish the principles used for collecting data and the methodologies employed in arranging the assembled information and evaluating the results, you possess the ability to prove any case you want to prove, empirically. The NRA knows that figures lie and liars figure, and that there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Where does such empiricism lead? Just look at Britain where conventional pocket knives are banned as “offensive weapons” and “leading experts” have been calling in recent years for a ban on pointed kitchen knives.
[Accident & Emergency] doctors are calling for a ban on long pointed kitchen knives to reduce deaths from stabbing.
A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase – and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings.
They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon.
The research is published in the British Medical Journal.
The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all.
They consulted 10 top chefs from around the UK, and found such knives have little practical value in the kitchen.
None of the chefs felt such knives were essential, since the point of a short blade was just as useful when a sharp end was needed.
The researchers said a short pointed knife may cause a substantial superficial wound if used in an assault – but is unlikely to penetrate to inner organs.
They won’t stop with taking away our guns. As the example of Britain shows, they will go to the most absurd lengths in criminalizing innocent and harmless possession of marginal examples of weapons in their fanatical pursuit of the elimination of every kind of risk and hazard by the calculative power of human reason operating through the coercive agency of the state.
A disabled caravanner who kept a penknife in his glove compartment to use on picnics has blasted the authorities after being dragged through court for possessing an offensive weapon.
Rodney Knowles, 61, walks with the aid of a stick and had used the Swiss Army knife to cut up fruit on picnics with his wife.
Knowles yesterday admitted possessing an offensive weapon at Torquay Magistrates Court. He was given a conditional discharge.
But speaking after the hearing, he said: ‘It’s a stupid law. Now I have a criminal record.’
Call someone an Australian in today’s politically correct Britain and you can get arrested and fined for racial abuse.
A woman has been found guilty of racially abusing her New Zealand-born neighbour – by calling her an Australian.
Petra Mills called Chelsea O’Reilly a ‘stupid fat Australian’ during a drunken tirade outside her home.
The insult was witnessed by police officers who Mills herself had called after a domestic row with her husband. Czech-born Mills, 31, was arrested and charged with racially aggravated public disorder. She denied the charge but was found guilty at a trial this week.
Miss O’Reilly, 21, who has dual British and New Zealand nationality, told magistrates: ‘She called me a stupid fat Australian b****. Because of my accent there can be some confusion over my nationality.
‘She knew I was from New Zealand. She was trying to be offensive. I was really insulted.’
The incident happened in Macclesfield, Cheshire, on September 4 after Mills had been involved in a row with her husband, Michael. Iain Mutch, prosecuting, said Miss O’Reilly and Mills had been neighbours for 18 months…
Mills also admitted assaulting a police officer by kicking him. She was fined £110 for racially aggravated public disorder and £200 for assault, and ordered to pay both victims £50 compensation and £500 court costs.
A Russian ship believed to be carrying helicopters and missiles for Syria has been effectively stopped in its tracks off the coast of Scotland after its insurance was cancelled at the behest of the British government.
The British marine insurer Standard Club said it had withdrawn cover from all the ships owned by Femco, a Russian cargo line, including the MV Alaed.
“We were made aware of the allegations that the Alaed was carrying munitions destined for Syria,” the company said in a statement. “We have already informed the ship owner that their insurance cover ceased automatically in view of the nature of the voyage.”
The Royal Navy blocked invasion of the British Isles by the Spanish Armada in 1588 with cannon-fire and cutlass. So formidable was the Royal Navy’s fighting superiority in 1805 that Admiral Jervis was able to quip: “I do not say that they [the French] cannot come—I only say they cannot come by sea.”
Where in days of yore, England maintained command of the seas with “hearts of oak,” clearly today Britain has succeeded in substituting hearts of ink.
One pictures Napoleon glaring in frustration as Marshall Bertrand reports that Lloyds’ has cancelled the invasion fleet’s insurance, so the fleet cannot embark.
Lord Montararat, in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe, opposes reforming the House of Lords alleging the existence of some mystical connection between the conservative nature of the institution and Britain’s historic greatness:
When Wellington thrashed Bonaparte,
As every child can tell,
The House of Peers, throughout the war,
Did nothing in particular,
And did it very well:
Yet Britain set the world ablaze
In good King George’s glorious days!
He may very well have been right. Certainly, Parliamentary Reform in 1911, and afterwards, has been a hallmark of a period of astonishing decline.
The Independent, on Friday, remarked on the remarkable abilities of some hereditary peers to bring levels of practical experience and unusual expertise on subjects and in forms never found among professional politicians.
The main argument against reforming the House of Lords is that there are people in it who would be unlikely to get elected but bring a specialised knowledge that the average politician lacks. The truth of this was brought home by a question printed in yesterday’s edition of Hansard from the Countess of Mar, who is in Parliament because she is the elder heir proportionate of her father, the 30th Earl of Mar, who died in 1975. He inherited the title from his second cousin once removed, both being descendants of the sister of the 27th Earl – as you probably already knew. The Countess is a farmer. Who else would table a question asking: “What testing is carried out in addition to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and Borrelia afzelii for tick-borne diseases including Bartonellosis, Ehrlichiosis, Borrelia garinii, Babesiosis, Louping ill and Q-fever, and for other zoonoses such as tick-borne encephalitis, Boutonneuse fever, Tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever…”? The minister’s answer was quite long, but can be summarised as “it depends”.
British taxpayers got to pick up the Herald’s College bill of 15,000 pounds for devising John Bercow, the new Speaker of the British House of Commons, brand new coat of arms.
I’d say that the heralds and pursuivants must have developed an actual animus toward the new Speaker.
They succeeded in persuading him that a ladder (alluding to his rise from humble origins) was a compliment, that four gold balls were alluding to his enthusiasm for lawn tennis (and not his Hebraic ancestry), and that those hideous Islamic scimitars are Saxon seax knives representing the county of Essex (where he went to a red brick university). Right, sure they are!
The motto “All Are Equal” between pink triangles with rainbow striping on the back of the scroll really devastatingly tops the whole thing off resulting in the most extraordinarily oxymoronic expression of the triumphant elevation of the spirit of leveling to established status in the hierarchical realm of heraldry. One can just imagine the guffaws emanating from the studio in the Herald’s College.
It is impossible imagine a better metonomic image of Britain disarmed.
The recent breakdown of civil society in British cities has been widely associated with welfare state entitlements and an all-encompassing liberal egalitarianism which insists on treating criminality as victimhood. A version of society Kipling predicted: “[T]he brave new world begins, when all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins.”
But it must also be noted that the left’s aversion to punishing crime has consistently featured a single notable exception, a passionate determination to make a conspicuous example of any law-abiding citizen competing against the state’s monopoly of force by daring to defend himself against crime and violence. In such cases, liberal authorities have consistently been out for blood.
Joyce Lee Malcolm, a professor at George Mason University has made the study of the British experiment a personal specialty, and reports in the Wall Street Journal on some of the atrocities produced by the contemporary administration of justice British-style and their results in multiplying crime.
Great Britain’s leniency began in the 1950s, with a policy that only under extraordinary circumstances would anyone under 17 be sent to prison. This was meant to rehabilitate young offenders. But the alternative to incarceration has been simply to warn them to behave, maybe require community service, and return them to the streets. There has been justifiable concern about causes of crime such as poverty and unemployment, but little admission that some individuals prefer theft to work and that deterrence must be taken seriously.
Victims of aggression who defend themselves or attempt to protect their property have been shown no such leniency. Burglars who injured themselves breaking into houses have successfully sued homeowners for damages. In February, police in Surrey told gardeners not to put wire mesh on the windows of their garden sheds as burglars might hurt themselves when they break in.
If a homeowner protecting himself and his family injures an intruder beyond what the law considers “reasonable,” he will be prosecuted for assault. Tony Martin, an English farmer, was sentenced to life in prison for killing one burglar and wounding another with a shotgun during the seventh break-in at his rural home in 1999. While his sentence was later reduced to five years, he was refused parole in 2003 because he was judged a danger to burglars.
In 2008, a robber armed with a knife attacked shopkeeper Tony Singh in West Lancashire. During the struggle the intruder was fatally stabbed with his own knife. Although the robber had a long record of violent assault, prosecutors were preparing to charge Mr. Singh with murder until public outrage stopped them.
Meanwhile, the cost of criminal justice has convinced British governments to shorten the sentences of adult criminals, even those guilty of violent crimes, and to release them when they have served half of their sentence. Police have been instructed by the British Home Office to let burglars and first-time offenders who confess to any of some 60 crimes—ranging from assault and arson to sex with an underage girl—off with a caution. That means no jail time, no fine, no community service, no court appearance.
In 2009, 70% of apprehended burglars avoided prison, according to British Ministry of Justice figures. The same year, 20,000 young offenders were electronically tagged and sent home, a 40% increase in the number of people tagged over three years.
All sorts of weapons useful for self-defense have been severely restricted or banned. A 1953 law, the “Prevention of Crime Act,” made any item someone carried for possible protection an “offensive weapon” and therefore illegal. Today there is also a list of devices the mere possession of which carries a 10-year sentence. Along with rocket launchers and machine guns, the list includes chemical sprays and any knife with a blade more than three inches long.
Handguns? Parliament banned their possession in 1997. As an example of the preposterous lengths to which zealous British authorities would enforce this law, consider the fate of Paul Clark, a former soldier. He was arrested in 2009 by Surrey police when he brought them a shotgun he found in his garden. For doing this personally—instead of asking the police to retrieve it—he received a five-year prison sentence. It took a public outcry to reduce the normal five-year sentence to 12 months, and then suspend it.
The ban on handguns did not stop actual crimes committed with handguns. Those crimes rose nearly 40%, according to a 2001 study by King’s College London’s Center for Defence Studies, and doubled by a decade later, according to government statistics reported in the London Telegraph in October 2009.
Knives? It’s illegal for anyone under age 18 to buy one, and using a knife for self-defense is unlawful. In 1991, American tourist Dina Letarte of Tempe, Ariz., used a penknife to protect herself from a violent attack by three men in a London subway. She was convicted of carrying an offensive weapon, fined, and given a two-year suspended sentence.
The result of policies that punish the innocent but fail to deter crime has been stark, even before the latest urban violence. The last decade has seen a doubling of gun crime. According to the latest annual report of the Home Office (2009), there was a 25% increase in crimes involving contact, such as assault and battery, over the previous year.
Mark Steyn tells us, describing the recent British riots and looting as the Welfare State’s logical dead end.
Her Majesty’s cowed and craven politically correct constabulary stand around with their riot shields and Robocop gear as young rioters lob concrete through store windows to steal the electronic toys which provide their only non-narcotic or alcoholic amusement. I chanced to be in Piccadilly for the springtime riots when the police failed to stop the mob from smashing the windows of the Ritz and other upscale emporia, so it goes without saying that they wouldn’t lift a finger to protect less-prestigious private property from thugs. Some of whom are as young as 9 years old. And girls.
Yet a police force all but entirely useless when it comes to preventing crime or maintaining public order has time to police everything else. When Sam Brown observed en passant to a mounted policeman on Cornmarket Street in Oxford, “Do you know your horse is gay?”, he was surrounded within minutes by six officers and a fleet of patrol cars, handcuffed, tossed in the slammer overnight, and fined 80 pounds. Mr. Brown’s “homophobic comments,” explained a spokesmoron for Thames Valley Police, were “not only offensive to the policeman and his horse, but any members of the general public in the area.” The zealous crackdown on Sam Brown’s hippohomophobia has not been replicated in the present disturbances. Anyone who has so much as glanced at British policing policy over the past two decades would be hard pressed to argue which party on the streets of London, the thugs or the cops, is more irredeemably stupid.
This is the logical dead end of the Nanny State. When William Beveridge laid out his blueprint for the British welfare regime in 1942, his goal was the “abolition of want” to be accomplished by “co-operation between the State and the individual.” In attempting to insulate the citizenry from life’s vicissitudes, Sir William succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. As I write in my book: “Want has been all but abolished. Today, fewer and fewer Britons want to work, want to marry, want to raise children, want to lead a life of any purpose or dignity.” The United Kingdom has the highest drug use in Europe, the highest incidence of sexually transmitted disease, the highest number of single mothers, the highest abortion rate. Marriage is all but defunct, except for William and Kate, fellow toffs, upscale gays and Muslims. From page 204: “For Americans, the quickest way to understand modern Britain is to look at what LBJ’s Great Society did to the black family and imagine it applied to the general population.”