|What We Think||Nationalist comment on the month's news|
A few thoughts on Iraq
With the war in Iraq being the big event of the past month, much of the space in this issue is inevitably given up to that subject. We will not say any more in this column save for just a few passing thoughts.
One of the constant themes of politicians and the media has been the lack of democracy in Iraq and the need to implant it there. Yet just a cursory examination of Arab/Middle Eastern/Muslim history and culture should tell us that democracy as we in the West understand it is totally alien to the traditions of the countries concerned and to their religious beliefs. None of them, save just one or two fundamentalist fanatics, tries to dictate to us westerners what political system we have. We should not try to dictate political systems to their peoples.
Saddam, they tell us, was a despot and had to be removed for that reason. Yet what happened immediately the US and British forces took control of cities like Baghdad and Basra confirmed what Iraqis and other Middle Easterners had always known: that the nature of the region and its peoples is such that strong autocratic rulers always have been, and always will be, required. Once such strong authority was perceived to have disappeared, an orgy of looting broke out. The looters said for Saddam Hussein what he was not able to say for himself: that in that part of the world, without despotism there is anarchy.
Much has been made of the cheering and smiling Iraqis who were said to have welcomed the US and British troops, and this has been taken up as a sign that the Iraqis were just waiting for liberation. But a closer look at TV pictures will show that this welcoming party was always small in number wherever it appeared.
Besides, people with experience of the Middle East will know that the psychology of many of the populations there is such that conquerors will always get a welcome precisely because they are conquerors. There is a strong survivalist instinct in such people to want to be seen as being on the winning side. It even exists in some Europeans too. Therefore these welcomes are a very poor gauge as to what Iraqis really think about the invasion of their country.
The immigrant flood continues
Does the evidence of rising public anger have any effect on the politicians responsible for the tide of immigration into Britain? Not a bit of it, so it would appear. Two front-page headlines on the same day last month illustrated the point.
The Daily Express of April 22nd had a header Asylum: 90% can stay in Britain. The following story quoted the latest findings of Migrationwatch, which were that a mere one in ten of asylum-seekers landing in this country ever get sent back after their applications have been processed.
Then The Sun featured in big letters Madness on its front page, going on to say that Britain is by far the most popular country in Europe for would-be immigrants, and that one in four in fact end up here. This should be no surprise because word has got out among those seeking a better life in Europe that the UK is by far the softest touch of all the countries they might be thinking of going to.
And that's not all. The very influential Labour think-tank Demos has suggested that Britain hand over all control over asylum seekers to a supra-national European body which should encourage, rather than hinder, high levels of immigration. In other words we should surrender once and for all the control of our own borders!
And another piece of insanity was recently revealed. The Government has come up with a new scheme to encourage legal immigration by offering jobs to up to 20,000 unskilled immigrants in the food-processing and hospitality industries. Apparently, it has occurred to some genius in the Home Office that the more immigration is legitimised the less of a problem illegal immigration will become!
It sounds a great idea. What next? Well how about legalising mugging? This would enable the Government to show lower crime figures and ease the strain on the police!
They create the problem; we pay for it
Chancellor Gordon Brown has pledged £330 million over the next three years to combat the terrorist threat to Britain. The Home Office has said that the money would be spent on improved security systems at ports and airports and on facilities for testing suspicious substances such as explosives. It would also fund improved resilience against terror attacks, such as training for emergency services to deal with major incidents.
We suggest that there is a much, much cheaper way of coping with the threat of terrorism in this country. It is twofold: (1) Put an end to foreign policies vis-a-vis the Middle East which provoke terrorist acts against us; (2) Throw out of the country the peoples from whom the terrorists are recruited!
Debating the obvious
A major conference was held last month to debate the problem of the failure of black pupils in the Croydon area to achieve better school results. It followed last year's GCSE figures which showed that 32 per cent of Afro-Caribbean youngsters who obtained five or more A* to C passes fell well short of the borough's overall rate of 48.3 per cent.
The conference took place at the Hilton Hotel in Croydon on April 12th, with the local Mayor and the Racial Equality Chairman Tremor Phillips in attendance. It was chaired by Diane Abbott, the black Labour MP for Hackney.
One of the organisers of the conference, one Nero Ughwujabo, said of the under-achievement of young Blacks: "This is a very serious issue and we want to explore what can be done to tackle it."
The conference focused on numerous sociological factors which, in the submission of some of the delegates, explained the phenomenon. One was insufficient parental motivation, and there was a call for: "fathers as learning mentors." The conference also discussed "building links with community and voluntary groups."
The precise cost of this event is not as of this moment known. But one thing that can be said is that, like similar events, it was a complete waste of time.
It was a waste of time because no one present would have dared to address the dominant truth that lies at the bottom of the whole affair. This is simply that - how shall we put it? - black people have different learning aptitudes from other ethnic groups, just as the latter have different learning aptitudes from each other. These differences are mostly inherent, that is to say rooted in the genes. It is not anti-black to acknowledge this; in fact, far more harm is done to Blacks by denying it and encouraging academic expectations on their part which cannot be fulfilled.
How many delegates at the Croydon conference would have been aware of this? We suspect far more than would appear the case. The trouble is that each and every one knew that it would have been the end of their job and their career had they stood up and said so.
Of course, a builder's foreman from any nearby site could have been called in and consulted on the matter at hand, and would have come up with a more intelligent answer to the problem than this assemblage of dignitaries - albeit that it might have been delivered in rather less than diplomatic language. This would have saved a lot of time and expense; but it would not, needless to say, have been appreciated.
Selection by coercion
In the meantime, the debate goes on concerning discrimination by universities against students from middle-class backgrounds. Last month Education Secretary Charles Clarke announced that the Government would be stepping up the pressure against those universities unwilling to fall in with its policies whereby youngsters from poor families should be given especially favourable consideration for university places, even if they had inferior academic records.
Apparently, an admissions tsar is to be appointed to oversee the preference scheme, and that person will be empowered to impose severe cuts in funding against the universities which fail to comply.
There are three observations that we might make on this appalling policy. The first is that it illustrates a bunch of politicians who for the past twenty years or more have been screaming against the evils of discrimination now practising discrimination themselves - specifically against the bright and the talented and on antedeluvian grounds of class bias. But since when has hypocrisy been new on the left?
The second thing that stands out is that we clearly have a government which just is not interested in seeing British centres of higher learning achieve the best possible standards - despite its leader's constant sloganising about: "Education, Education, Education."
Finally, there is obviously an unnamed factor in all this engineering which no one seems prepared to admit. The problem is not the shortage of working-class students at universities - because for a long time there has never been any bar to the brightest of those students getting there. The problem - dare we say? - is the shortage of black students at universities. This is an affront and an outrage to the high priests and priestesses of equality, and something has to be done about it - even if that means adopting inequality in selection procedures!
Murdering the IRA!
Huge public expense has been incurred by an investigation to determine whether British police and army officers colluded in the 198Os with loyalist paramilitaries to murder certain Irish republicans known to have links with the IRA.
The investigation has been presided over by Metropolitan Commissioner Sir John Stevens and has run on for 13½ years, no less.
The findings of the investigation are that, although there was no evidence of such a murder policy having the approval of any government, the policy did exist and was sanctioned at high levels of the RUC and Army. In effect, targets were passed on to the paramilitaries together with details of how the targeted people could best be located.
Charges are now expected soon against those found to be involved.
For our part, we cannot see what all the outrage is about. IRA operatives and their collaborators, guilty of taking part in acts of murder themselves, could hardly complain if they themselves became the targets of taking out operations. To those who complain that everything should be done strictly within the law, we would reply that Britain is in a state of war with the IRA and in such situations the rules of war, not those of normal law, have to apply.
No tears for Concorde
At long last it's been decided: the Concorde supersonic airliner is to be put out of commission.
This project was, right from the beginning, doomed to be a white elephant. It was conceived not for sound commercial reasons but essentially as a political symbol of cross-national European co-operation. At the time it came out in the 1960s it should have been clear that the future lay with large airliners and cheap air travel. Had Britain invested in this field instead of in Concorde, we might still today have a viable industry in the way of wholly British-made intercontinental civil aircraft. However, internationalism was the ruling policy in government circles, then as now, and we threw away our position as an independent producer in this field. Now America dominates the field and we can only compete with projects like the Airbus - European but not British. Will we ever learn?