Category Archive 'Britain Sinking into the Sea'
30 Sep 2021
After social norms had been inconveniently interrupted by the Second World War, presentations at court were revived by George VI in 1947. But the business was less exclusive, less glamorous than before. And it felt uncomfortably anachronistic in a postwar Britain which was struggling with rationing and bomb damage. The presentation party went into a slow decline until finally, in November 1957, the lord chamberlain’s office announced that there would be no more presentations after the following year’s Season. “The present time is one of transition in the sense that the traditional barriers of class have been broken down,” admitted the author of a rueful leading article in the Times the following day. “It has long ceased to be true to say that the Court is the centre of an aristocracy, the members of which form a clearly recognizable section of the community.” Princess Margaret was more succinct: “We had to put a stop to it,” she said. “Every tart in London was getting in.”
So 1958 was to be the last royal Season, and anxious social commentators predicted that its demise heralded the end of the Season altogether. In fact, the hectic round of social activities continued into the 1960s, with the overlapping worlds of aristocracy and plutocracy simply getting on with the business of bringing out their daughters and advertising their availability for marriage. Traditional fixtures were maintained—Queen Charlotte’s Ball, the Royal Caledonian Ball, both held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair—as were the great sporting occasions—Royal Ascot, Henley Royal Regatta, Wimbledon, and the Royal International Horse Show at White City Stadium.
There were also the private events, the cocktail parties, the “small dance” in Holland Park or Hampstead, perhaps shared between two or three debutantes, the grand ball with royal guests. There were around a hundred private dances each year well into the 1960s. Mothers whose own debuts had taken place in prewar days went for familiar venues—stalwarts like the Hyde Park Hotel and Claridge’s, the Ritz, the Dorchester. Others, with impressive addresses in Mayfair or Belgravia or Chelsea, opted for their own town houses.
But around half of the coming-out dances held both before and after the end of presentations at court didn’t take place in London at all. In 1956, for instance, Lady Cynthia Asquith gave a ball for her granddaughter at Stanway House in Gloucestershire, the Jacobean country home of her nephew Francis, Earl of Wemyss and March. Also in Gloucestershire, Mrs J. H. Dent-Brocklehurst gave a ball for her daughter Catharine at the family’s 15th-century seat of Sudeley Castle. The Marchioness of Abergavenny brought out her daughter, Lady Anne Nevill, at Eridge Park in Sussex; Mrs Bromley-Davenport did the same for her daughter at Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire, which had belonged to the Davenport family since the mid-18th century.
The country house was coming to rival the traditional hotel and the Mayfair mansion as a fashionable venue for a coming-out ball, as indeed it had been for years both in Ireland, where the season revolved around the Dublin Horse Show in August, and in Scotland, where the best of the Northern Season’s autumnal entertainments had always taken place in private homes. And while the country house made for a very different experience—guests were more likely to meet with country doctors, inebriated clergymen, and horse-mad matrons rather than the determinedly sophisticated types that might be found at the big London dances—it was usually a pleasant one.
“The best dances were in the country, in some castle or huge house,” remembered Angela Huth, who came out in 1956. Fiona MacCarthy, who came out two years after Angela and, like Angela, went on to forge a distinguished career as a writer, reckoned that “the Season only came alive out in the country.” People dressed less formally and were generally more relaxed. “In the last hour or two of a good party in the country, as dawn rose on dancing partners sleepily entwined on the dance floor in the garden, even girls who had their reservations about the Season felt fortunate indeed.” Angela Huth agreed: “The unforgettable part of the country dances was the return to the house at which we were staying to find the brilliance of the previous evening veiled in early mist, melancholy wisteria drooping more heavily, mourning doves cooing—all so uniquely English that tears came to tired eyes.”
29 Jun 2021
Dr. Arianne Shavisi, on the left (in more ways than one).
In Britain, there has recently arisen a patriotic, Feel-Good movement calling itself: “One Britain, One Nation.” It was founded in 2013 by one Kash Singh, a Punjabi who immigrated to Britain with his parents at the age of six and who grew up to become an Inspector with the West Yorkshire Police.
One Britain, One Nation (OBON, for short) has called for “schools across the UK to celebrate One Britain One Nation Day on 25 June, when children can learn about [British] shared values of tolerance, kindness, pride and respect”, and in particular for children to sing a patriotic song written by school children at St John’s CE Primary School, Bradford titled “We are Britain and we have one dream / To unite all people in one great team.” (Gag me with a spoon!)
All this goody-goody, goo-goo-ism has attracted the support of Boris Johnson, Joanna Lumley, Brandon Lewis, Lord Tebbit, Lord Steel of Aikwood, and various religious leaders, including bishops and imams.
What can one say? It’s not my kind of thing, but it is obviously true that human beings differ in all sorts of tribal ways in every society and need to tolerate one another’s differences and get along, and recent immigrants ought to be grateful to be where they are and should be endeavoring to assimmilate, not complaining.
I came across an editorial this morning in the hoity-toity London Review of Books by one Dr. Arianne Shavisi, who is a Senior Lecturer in Medical Ethics & Humanities (Clinical and Experimental Medicine) at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, a specialist in feminist bioethics, gender studies, global health ethics, social determinants of health, and the philosophy of mind, and a Free Speech opponent.
Dr. Shavisi has degrees like a thermometer from Oxford and Cambridge, and in addition to her university position sits on editorial boards, publishes in prestigious venues, and even advises the British Government on Abortion and Women’s Health. Pretty darn good for a first generation British subject fresh off the banana boat.
You would think this young woman would be grateful to Britain and the British people for letting her parents in, doubtless as refugees from the crazed mullahs’ fanatical regime. Dr. Arianne gets to swan around Decolonize STEM Symposia in overalls and a t-shirt, instead of burying herself in a voluminous black Chador. She can walk down the street or even drink wine without worrying about getting arrested by the Morality Police. She can abuse and attack the country lives in and she is not thrown into a dungeon.
But, no, she is not grateful. In fact, she confusedly considers her Aryan/Arianne self to be a person of color and some sort of victim of Racism, simply because she is a person of foreign, and therefore minority, origin and not a member of the native majority. How terribly, terribly racist and unfair!
She is also a fountain of Marxist CRT nonsense.
From the London Review of Books editorial opposing OBON:
White children experience white privilege regardless of their household income. That doesn’t mean their lives are a piece of cake, it just means that race isn’t part of their burden. Whiteness inoculates them against certain forms of social marginalisation, but it provides little protection against poverty and its variegated effects. (By contrast, wealth fortified with whiteness is practically a superpower.) The problem is therefore not that poor white children are being taught that they’re privileged along the axis of race, it’s that they and others are not being told they’re oppressed along the axis of class. Rather than subtracting conversations about white privilege from our classrooms, we need to ensure that children also learn that the system is designed to keep them poor.
That nefarious system obviously failed to stop her Persian immigrant self.
You can’t demand that children be proud any more than you can ask them not to be ashamed. Poverty and racism pose material barriers, but they also fill people with a shame that is antithetical to their thriving. As Hannah Gadsby put it in her 2018 show Nanette: ‘When you soak a child in shame, they cannot develop the neurological pathways that carry thought.’ Learning is much harder when you’re hungry or humiliated. The government has no place asking children of colour to be proud of a country that fails to recognise racism, and it has no place asking poor children to sing for a country that sells their hunger to private companies which send them half a carrot.
Describing her 2018 talk “Refining the Case Against Free Speech“:
In this talk I counter the claim that free speech is under threat in universities, and instead submit that new opportunities have arisen to make knowledge exchange more inclusive. I argue that there is good reason to demand “political correctness” in the discussion of certain issues, and that far from standing in the way of free exchange, political correctness aims to make that exchange more widely accessible. Political correctness, if judiciously implemented, is a form of censorship whose purpose is to embolden and amplify the voices of the most marginalised and silenced communities within our society, and to bring their experiences and standpoints into collective discourses. I suggest that academics should endorse restrictions on permissible academic speech, with the aim of producing educational spaces within which epistemic outcomes are optimised for all social groups. One concrete strategy is to seriously engage the potent, but currently much-maligned, regulatory functions of “safe spaces” and “no platforming,” which I define and defend against common objections.
25 Sep 2020
Here is Kristie Higgs’s petition that got her fired. (click on the image for larger version)
Toby Young, in the British Spectator, explains how you can lose your job even for anonymous on-line dissent.
Kristie Higgs, a 44-year-old school assistant, didnâ€™t realise that criticising the sex education curriculum at her sonâ€™s school on Facebook would get her fired. For one thing, her account was set to â€˜privateâ€™, so only her family and friends could read it. For another, she was posting under her maiden name, so no one could connect her with her employer. Finally, the school that sacked her for expressing these views wasnâ€™t actually her sonâ€™s, but another one altogether. This seems a pretty clear case of a person losing her livelihood for dissenting from progressive orthodoxy.
Kristieâ€™s case is being heard at an employment tribunal in Bristol this week. The dispute relates to two Facebook posts from two years ago. In one, Kristie urged her family and friends to sign a petition objecting to mandatory new sex and relationship lessons in English primary schools. In the other, she shared an article by an American conservative Christian commentator criticising the promotion of â€˜transgender ideologyâ€™ in childrenâ€™s books. â€˜This is happening in our primary schools now!â€™ Kristie said.
Someone circulated screenshots of these posts to Kristieâ€™s colleagues at Farmorâ€™s School in Gloucestershire, where she had worked for seven years, and predictable outrage followed. Senior members of staff compared her views to those of â€˜Nazi right-wing extremistsâ€™, according to Kristie, and someone lodged a formal complaint with the head, claiming her posts were â€˜homophobic and prejudiced to the LGBT communityâ€™. Kristie was summoned to a â€˜disciplinaryâ€™ at a hotel just before Christmas, where she was cross-examined for six hours by three of the governors, supported by three members of staff. When Kristie tried to explain that her objection to her son being taught that a woman could have a penis was rooted in her Christian beliefs, she was told: â€˜Keep your religion out of it.â€™ After the hearing she was dismissed for â€˜illegal discriminationâ€™, â€˜serious inappropriate use of social mediaâ€™ and â€˜online comments that could bring the school into disreputeâ€™.
There are two free speech issues at stake here. The first is whether an employerâ€™s social media policy, limiting what employees are allowed to say on Facebook and other platforms, can legitimately be extended to private conversations, particularly when the employee has taken steps to disguise her identity. On the face of it, that looks like a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to privacy. The second is whether Kristieâ€™s comments constituted â€˜illegal discriminationâ€™ as defined in the UKâ€™s Equality Act 2010. Did they create an â€˜intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environmentâ€™ for LGBT colleagues, even though they wouldnâ€™t have known about them if they hadnâ€™t been circulated by someone trying to get her into trouble? Or is she permitted to express such views by Article 10 of the ECHR, which protects the right to freedom of expression?
Kristieâ€™s legal team can also appeal to the Equality Act, which makes it illegal to discriminate against employees for their possessions of various â€˜protected characteristicsâ€™, including religion and belief. Her lawyers will argue she lost her job because she expressed her belief about the immutability of natal sex. However, when Maya Forstaterâ€™s lawyers made that argument in an employment tribunal last year â€” she was sacked for refusing to use trans womenâ€™s preferred pronouns â€” the judge said her gender critical beliefs werenâ€™t â€˜worthy of respect in a democratic societyâ€™.
Kristieâ€™s treatment is -obviously deeply concerning for believers in free speech, but thereâ€™s another aspect of her case that worries me. According to a recent white paper, a Bill will soon be brought before parliament empowering Ofcom to regulate the internet. Under the proposals, Ofcom will be able to impose punitive fines on Facebook for not removing content that political activists find â€˜offensiveâ€™, even if it doesnâ€™t fall foul of any existing speech laws.
Twitter already bans users for misgendering trans people, so it wonâ€™t take much of a push for all the social media companies to ban people for criticising trans ideology. The Free Speech Union has just produced a briefing paper warning of the dire consequences for free speech if the governmentâ€™s internet censorship plans become law, and I urge you to read it. Soon, it wonâ€™t just be Kristie Higgs who is punished for challenging woke dogma. It will be all of us.
25 Jun 2020
Central image on breast star of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.
The Guardian finds the image of St. Michael defeating Satan to be racist and offensive.
Campaigners are calling for the redesign of one of Britainâ€™s highest honours personally bestowed by the Queen because they say its badge resembles a depiction of a white angel standing on the neck of a chained black man.
The Order of St Michael and St George is traditionally awarded to ambassadors and diplomats and senior Foreign Office officials who have served abroad. It has three ranks, the highest of which is Knight Grand Cross (GCMG), followed by Knight Commander (KCMG) and Companion (CMG).
The imagery on the awardâ€™s badge portrays St Michael trampling on Satan, but campaigners say the image is reminiscent of the killing of George Floyd by white police officers in the US that led to worldwide protests.
A petition calling for the medal to be redesigned has attracted more than 2,000 signatures on change.org. The petition, started by Tracy Reeve, says: â€œThis is a highly offensive image, it is also reminiscent of the recent murder of George Floyd by the white policeman in the same manner presented here in this medal. We the undersigned are calling for this medal to completely redesigned in a more appropriate way and for an official apology to be given for the offence it has given.â€
Bumi Thomas, a Nigerian British singer, activist and specialist in visual communications, said the imagery on the badge was clear. â€œIt is not a demon; it is a black man in chains with a white, blue-eyed figure standing on his neck. It is literally what happened to George Floyd and what has been happening to black people for centuries under the guise of diplomatic missions: active, subliminal messaging that reinforces the conquest, subjugation and dehumanisation of people of colour.
â€œIt is a depiction on a supposed honour of the subjugation of the black and brown people of the world and the superiority of the white, a construct born in the 16th century. It is the definition of institutional racism that this image is not only permitted but celebrated on one of the countryâ€™s highest honours. Whilst statues are being pulled down and relocated, emblems and symbols of this nature also need to be redesigned to reflect a more progressive, holistic relationship between Britain and the Commonwealth nations.â€
Sir Simon Woolley, the director and one of the founders of Operation Black Vote, which campaigns for greater representation of ethnic minorities in politics and public life, said he was appalled by the badge.
â€œThe original image may have been of St Michael slaying Satan, but the figure has no horns or tail and is clearly a black man. It is a shocking depiction, and it is even more shocking that that image could be presented to ambassadors representing this country abroad,â€ he said.
â€œThis is the past that informs the present, and thatâ€™s why it symbolises everything that Black Lives Matter are campaigning for. It provides a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is to acknowledge it and own it, but the opportunity is to put it right. It is easy to get rid of an image, but I would like root-and-branch restructuring, because most of the institutions created by the empire are still there.
â€œFor most black and brown people, there is nothing good about the empire. Most people will see this as an image of George Floyd on a global scale and a symbol of white supremacy.â€
06 May 2020
Harry shooting driven birds at Sandringham in better times.
The Sun is happy to poke fun at Harry for giving up his guns to please his boss Meghan, but “Royal Correspondent” Matt Wilkinson, and whoever-is-his-editor, were themselves obviously neutered so long ago that they never owned any to give up.
Since it was a pair of Purdeys that were sold, they were obviously shotguns, not “handmade hunting rifles.”
The Star simply stole the same story from The Sun, and they refer to Harry selling his “handmade shooting rifle collection.”
Prince Harry has flogged his handmade hunting rifles after giving up bloodsports to please wife Meghan.
A fellow hunter bought the pair of prized Purdey firearms, thought to be worth at least Â£50,000, in a private deal.
Harry learnt to shoot as a child and once killed a one-ton buffalo.
But Meghan is opposed to hunting and pals hinted the Duke of Sussex would give up to appease her.
Harry, 35, was also absent from the recent shoots at Balmoral and Sandringham. He sold his two British-made guns five months ago â€” before he and Meghan, 38, quit the UK for a new life in North America.
A friend of the anonymous buyer said: â€œHe bought them because he wanted them, not because they belonged to Harry, but he was quite chuffed when he found out. They are beautiful examples and heâ€™s very pleased with them but heâ€™s not the sort of yperson who wants to boast about the royal connection.â€
Last week conservationist Dr Jane Goodall said she expected Harry to turn his back on bloodsports.
05 Feb 2020
The Telegraph has today another of those stories that makes you want to launch some Hellfire missiles from a drone at another elite university.
Cambridge University Studentsâ€™ Union has said that having military personnel at freshersâ€™ fair is â€œalarmingâ€ for attendees and could â€œdetrimentally affectâ€ their mental health.
Students voted to ban any societies from bringing firearms along to the fair after Stella Swain, the welfare and rights officer, argued that some people may find them â€œtriggeringâ€.
The motion said that the presence of firearms and military personnel at the fair shows â€œimplicit approval of their use, despite the links between military and firearms and violence on an international scaleâ€.
Ms Swain, who proposed the motion, pointed out that CUSU had previously committed to supporting efforts to â€œdemilitariseâ€ the university, and that freshersâ€™ fair should not be a place for â€œmilitary organisations to recruitâ€.
â€œThe presence of firearms and military personnel at freshersâ€™ fair is alarming and off-putting for some students, and has the potential to detrimentally affect studentsâ€™ mental welfare,â€ the motion said.
Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of the British Forces in Afghanistan, labelled the motion as â€œpathetic, to say the very leastâ€.
03 Nov 2019
The British newspaper the Scottish Sun reports on a recent pronouncement from an “Instagram Influencer.” I know what Instagram is, but I had not been aware that it had “influencers.” I also had not really been aware that British millennials successfully rivaling ours in deficient masculinity. Wow!
Freddie Bentley, 22, said he thought the schoolsâ€™ curriculum on the devastating conflict should be cut back because it was â€œso intenseâ€.
Bentley, who appeared on The Circle, told Good Morning Britain today: â€œIt was a hard situation, World War 2, I don’t want anyone to think I’m being disrespectful.â€
He added: â€œI remember learning it as a child thinking â€˜Oh my God it’s so intenseâ€™.â€
He thought that any mental health issues a youngster may have could be worsened by learning about the war that saw the Allied forces defeat Nazi Germany.
He told the showâ€™s presenters Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway: â€œ’I don’t think encouraging death or telling people how many people died in the world war is going to make it better.â€
Instead of youngsters learning about the horrendous war that claimed at least 70million lives, Bentley suggested schools could instruct pupils in topics such as understanding Brexit and how to get a mortgage.
He said: â€œThere’s so many problems going on in the world, like Brexit, that’s not taught in schools.
â€œWhen I left school it hit me like a ton of bricks – I didn’t know anything to do with life.”
Currently, Key Stage 3 pupils learn about about the war, covering areas such as the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, the Battle of Dunkirk and Winston Churchill’s leadership.
03 Oct 2019
On Tuesday, a British [employment tribunal] ruled that belief in the Bible was â€œincompatible with human dignity.â€
That statement came in a case involving Dr. David Mackereth, a devout Christian who had worked as an emergency doctor for the National Health Service for 26 years. He said he was fired from his job because he refused to call a biological man a woman. The courtâ€™s ruling stated: â€œBelief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others, specifically here, transgender individuals.â€ The court added. â€œâ€¦ in so far as those beliefs form part of his wider faith, his wider faith also does not satisfy the requirement of being worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not in conflict with the fundamental rights of others.â€
Also reported by the Independent and by the BBC:
The hearing was told he would refuse to refer to “any 6ft-tall bearded man” as “madam” following a conversation with a manager at an assessment centre and later left his role.
The tribunal panel – sitting in Birmingham – found the [Department for Work and Pensions] DWP had not breached the Equality Act. It stated there was no contravention and dismissed the complaints.
“A lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others,” the judgement said.
Dr Mackereth, 56, said he was “deeply concerned” by the ruling.
“Without intellectual and moral integrity, medicine cannot function and my 30 years as a doctor are now considered irrelevant compared to the risk that someone else might be offended,” he said.
“I believe that I have to appeal in order to fight for the freedom of Christians to speak the truth. If they cannot, then freedom of speech has died in this country, with serious ramifications for the practise of medicine in the UK.”
20 May 2019
The Regents Park Police recently proudly posted a photograph of the arms cache collected from a local charity shop, and destined for destruction so that they will not fall into the wrong hands.
I see a large number of undoubtedly dull used paring knives, a few old and cheap chef’s knives, a lowest quality used carving knife, several bread knives, two sharpening steels, two carving forks, a letter opener, a cheap tourist-trade replica barong, a cheap and inaccurate tourist version of a tanto, one fencing foil (these are all blunt), a cake frosting spreader, and a spoon (!).
Now, thank goodness, with that deadly spoon safely off the street, citizens of Regents Park can sleep safe in their beds.
16 May 2019
Lady Butler, Floreat Etona!, 1882, private collection. The work depicts Lieutenant Robert Elwes of the Grenadier Guards, who was killed at the Battle of Laing’s Nek on 28 January 1881, during the First Boer War.
In the Spectator, James Delingpole complains that Oxbridge Colleges are these days making a point of discriminating against graduates of famous Public Schools, and that the rot has so far set in that Bolshie dons are giving Eton boys “gratitude lessons” and lectures about Sexism (!).
Across the country, private school parents who have scrimped and saved about Â£40,000 a year for fees are increasingly finding that their sacrifice is being rewarded by near-automatic Oxbridge rejection for their blameless offspring.
And who is speaking out against this class war-driven injustice? Almost no one. Which is why Anthony Wallersteiner, headmaster of Stowe, took so much flak for telling it like it is. â€˜The rise of populists and polemicists has created a micro-industry in bashing private schools,â€™ he told the Times. â€˜Thereâ€™s a much more concerted effort by [Oxbridge] admissions tutors to drive down the number of places given to independent schools,â€™ he went on â€” to a deafening chorus of near silence from his fellow public school heads.
Wallersteiner is dead right but the reason he wonâ€™t get much support from his peers is because most of them, deep down, agree on private education: that itâ€™s a bastion of unearned privilege, that it needs shaking up in order to accommodate itself to the modern world and that one really mustnâ€™t grumble if its boys and girls are penalised by the system because, hey, maybe thatâ€™s only fair.
How do I know this? Because Iâ€™m just coming to the end of more than a decade of putting my kids through private school and what Iâ€™ve witnessed is a creeping malaise not dissimilar to the one afflicting the Conservative party: institutions that no longer believe in their own brand, that are desperate to pretend they are something they are not (and never should be) in order to impress the kind of people who are always going to hate them anyway.
Take those â€˜gratitudeâ€™ lessons at Eton. These have been launched, apparently, â€˜after a review of teachers and staff found that they felt gratitude was an important trait which was not promoted by the schoolâ€™. Classes may teach things like how to â€˜write thank-you cards for everyday acts of kindness: â€œThank you for taking time to talk to me today.â€â€™ Can the school really not see what a massive own goal this is?
First, it plays into the hands of all those who think that Eton boys are a bunch of pampered, arrogant, entitled, snooty toffs. But the vast majority in my experience are supremely well-mannered, considerate and modest. And also fully conscious of their duty to give something back.
When Boy was there, for example, he gave up an afternoon every week to visit a local comprehensive school to help mentor a boy and a girl through their English Literature GCSEs. It wasnâ€™t compulsory â€” simply a reflection of the Eton public service ethos that is instilled in the boys from the moment they arrive. Often the formative work is done by their house â€˜dameâ€™ â€” the mother substitute who teaches them everything from how to dress properly to the importance of thank-you letters. These â€˜gratitudeâ€™ classes are fixing a problem that never existed.
Second, it is deeply off-putting to the kind of parents who should be sending their children to Eton: not ones who want it to be like every other touchy-feely progressive institution but ones who appreciate that its idiosyncrasies and traditions and archaisms are what make it so great. There was terrifying talk at the beginning of the new Head Manâ€™s tenure that the schoolâ€™s penguin uniform might be abolished. Happily, this got a lot of resistance, not least from the boys. But itâ€™s a measure of just how much madness there is abroad in the private education sector right now that serious consideration was given to destroying, on some trendy whim, arguably Etonâ€™s most distinctive selling point.
Boy had a fantastic education at Eton. But almost everything that was good about it, from the arcane terminology to the kit to the remarkable independence the boys enjoy, was the result of the accumulated values of its first 550 years of existence. It was not the result of any measures that modernisers have introduced in the past decade or so.
Here are a couple of things that particularly irked me: one or two bolshie beaks palpably not giving a toss about the massive increase in Oxbridge rejections because, hey, this actually gelled quite nicely with their own lefty prejudices; and the lecture â€” which an entire year group was forced to attend â€” by Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project.
Eton attracts some incredibly highâ€“powered speakers from all manner of fields: world leaders, explorers, entrepreneurs, you name it. But all these talks are voluntary, because thatâ€™s how Eton rolls: right from the start you are expected to forge your own intellectual destiny.
Apparently, though, it was deemed so important the boys should be lectured by a third-wave feminist on entrenched male privilege, gender injustice, and the inner rapist just waiting to burst out of every young man given half the chance, that this particular lecture was made compulsory. Apart from bespeaking a terrible lack of faith in the boysâ€™ manners and sense of sexual propriety, it represented a de facto endorsement of the kind of culturally divisive, hard-left identity politics which schools like Eton ought to be resisting at all costs, not glibly endorsing.
02 Apr 2019
Heathrow Airport Concourse.
The Zman is not a big admirer of “diversity” and “inclusion.”
The first leg of my journey was a stop in London. When booking the trip, the cheapest flight took me through Heathrow, with a half day layover. I hate having to run to make connections, as that often ends in me missing my connection, so I donâ€™t mind a few hour gap between flights. Having almost a full day between flights was not ideal, but it beat the alternatives when I was booking the flight. My plan was to leave the airport and do a quick tour of London, but that plan got scuttled by British security.
When leaving the airportâ€™s secure area, I was pulled aside for the rubber glove treatment by whatever they call their security forces. I was taken to a room and asked the usual questions. Then they asked to examine my phone, which got them upset, as there is nothing on it other than some classical music I loaded for the trip. I keep nothing on my phone as a rule. This one is brand new, so the browser does not even have some history on it. That lack of a information seemed to upset them.
That led them to ask to look at my laptop. I use a travel laptop, so if something happens, Iâ€™m not missing important parts of my life. This one I just setup with Linux and a new solid state drive. This only increased their anxiety, so we spent an hour or so playing Petrovich and Raskolnikov. My Russian visa did not help matters. Iâ€™ve gone through this a couple of times in American airports, but this seemed different. Maybe Iâ€™m imagining things, but I got the strong sense of being on a list. Maybe it was just the culture gap.
You see, thatâ€™s the other thing. The British Starsky and Hutch were Apu and Mustafa, two brown guys from over the rainbow. Their English was fine, but it had the hint of the exotic, suggesting they grew up speaking something other than English at home. They also had the narrowness that is typical of the South Asian. Thereâ€™s always a barrier that exists between the Occidental and the Oriental, despite the degree of shared experience. There is an inscrutableness there that always leaves a degree of uncertainty between usâ€¦
After getting sprung from gaol, I was free to explore the giant shopping mall that is the Heathrow airport. The best I could tell, all of the employees were either brown people from over the horizon or Eastern Europeans. I got something to eat and all of the wait staff was not British. Given the international flavor of the passengers, you would be hard pressed to know you were in the heart of Britain. They donâ€™t even have televisions playing the BBC or local sporting events. Heathrow is a foreign country disguised as an airportâ€¦
Iâ€™ve been in a great many airports in my life and I have a weird fascination for them. Most airports serving big cities are really just complex systems that have evolved over many years to solve evolving problems of air travel. An airport is a solution for a problem of modern life. As a result, you can learn a lot about the evolution of human organization by observing what happens at the big airports. Their design is similar everywhere, but everywhere is not the same, so the airport says something about the local culture. …
On the fight from Lagos to London, a couple of Africans were across the aisle, one row up, from where I was sitting. Both were dressed up in what Hollywood tells us is traditional African dress for African royalty. Their accents suggested Ghana to me. At some point, the male got very agitated at the person in front of him, who had reclined her chair. He started violently shaking her chair-back and hollering something. Two stewards came over and gave him a lecture about his behavior and airplane etiquette.
Watching the two of them struggle to understand how to be passengers on an airplane, I realized what it would be like to bring Stone Age people into this age. The two of them were just too dumb to navigate plane transport. They were frustrated by the food service process. They struggled to understand simple directions. When the plane landed, they got up and started walking down the aisle, while the plane was still taxiing to the gate. They are primitives incapable of existing in a modern society, without constant supervisionâ€¦
Walking around Heathrow, it is easy to see why our rulers love multiculturalism. They look at the diversity you see at a big intentional airport and they think of it as the Casablanca of this age. It makes them feel worldly and sophisticated. That brown guy in their department with the perfect continental English is not just a colleague. He is a symbol of what makes them special. They are not provincials. They are worldly cosmopolitans. They never see the other side of it. They just see the good part of the transaction.
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