Sunday, 30 May 2021

In search of Gina MacMiller

 

There is a problem with the long-term Pro UK campaign that started when the SNP were first granted an independence referendum and continues up to now. All we want is a quiet life with Scotland remaining in the UK. As soon as the prospect of independence diminishes, we cease to pay attention. There will now be a few years of Pro UK drift and when the SNP engages in its next push, we won’t have done any preparation and we won’t be ready. It was like that in 2014 after we won, it is like that now.

Compare and contrast the Pro UK campaign in Scotland with the Remainer campaign after it lost the 2016 referendum. The Remainers came out fighting after they lost and many of them are still fighting now. The Remain/Rejoin campaign has famous figures. It has vast amounts of money and political influence. It can get its stories on the media. It’s rearguard after losing the referendum very nearly won. I disagreed with this campaign, but I must admit the Remainers put up an incredible fight. The Pro UK campaign has nothing to compare with its skill, its tenacity and its determination. We have no Gina MacMiller. We need to find her and we need the whole British media, business and political establishment to back her.



At the moment we have a unique situation in the world. Britain is in danger of being partitioned, but many British citizens are either completely indifferent or even cheering on the SNP. Large numbers of Brits care more about the UK leaving a trading bloc than the breakup of our country. No one else in the world feels this way. It is bizarre that the country we fought to defend through world wars and the Cold War should be surrendered with a shrug. What were we fighting for? What was the point? I wonder why we even have an army if we don’t wish to defend our country. In that case better by far to save the money and surrender to the Russians or Al Qaeda without a fight.

The first task is to get rid of the idea that we are English first or Scottish first and British a distant second. It is this that creates the indifference and the idea that it doesn’t matter if Scotland departs. Saving a bit of money by not sending it to Scotland would pale in comparison to the loss of prestige that would leave the UK weaker and something of a laughing stock. The instability created by the breakup of Britain would damage all of us economically and make us less secure. We would cease to be British. Our island would be divided. Nothing would ever be the same again.

The next task is to make all British citizens realise that it is their fight as much as ours in Scotland. We need your support and your help. We must together begin planning how to deal with the next SNP attack on our country.

The SNP plans to ask for a referendum when the pandemic is over. We must all maintain pressure on Boris Johnson not to grant one. In that case the SNP suggests that it might hold an advisory referendum without permission. We need a Gina MacMiller backed with some of the best lawyers in Scotland to challenge the legality of this. This will require a lot of money. At the moment the Pro UK campaign has very little money. It is divided. It has no famous faces ready to lead. In fact, it barely exists at all. All we have is Gordon Brown popping up now and again, plus Liberals, Labour and Conservatives fighting among themselves. There is no charismatic leader ready to take on Sturgeon. There is no organisation. There is no plan. It is as if we want to lose.

At every stage of the process, we need to challenge the SNP through the courts. Every step on the way towards an independence referendum must require the SNP to fight. If the SNP wins one battle let it fight another and another until attrition wears it down.

If the courts allow an advisory referendum without permission, we must have an organisation that unites in boycotting it and ignoring it. This won’t happen without planning and without famous figures who can obtain the media access to make sure nearly all Pro UK people in Scotland fail to take part. There must be no one for Sturgeon to debate against. No one from our side to give TV interviews. Let the SNP win 100% as if Scotland were North Korea.  This would humiliate Sturgeon and would be a major set back for Scottish nationalism.

Looking further ahead if there ever were a legal independence referendum, we should make it clear that we would continue to fight even if the SNP won a majority. If it was legitimate for the SNP to fight against Brexit, it would be legitimate for Gina MacMiller to fight against independence even if the Pro UK argument lost. The task then would be to fight the rearguard at each step.

Firstly, all Pro UK Scots and Pro UK parties should refuse to take part in any negotiations. We should quietly campaign for the UK Government to give Scotland the worst possible deal, just as Remainers campaigned for the EU to make life as difficult as possible for Brexit Britain. Having obtained the worst possible deal for Scotland we should then argue for a second “People’s vote” to confirm whether Scotland really wanted independence. Meanwhile we should use every procedural and legal trick to delay Scottish independence actually happenings so that the whole nationalist campaign and argument gets bogged down and loses energy. Let us prorogue Holyrood & wear broches with spiders to obstruct the SNP and reverse the result. Let the SNP know right now that we will always oppose them.

A properly organised Pro UK campaign could make clear to the SNP that the route to independence is going to be long and hard with a tenacious opponent willing to do anything to stop it happening. If the Pro UK half of Scotland vowed not to cooperate with the SNP if it ever achieved its goal of winning an independence referendum, if we vowed to campaign to rejoin just as the Remainers did with the EU, if we made it clear that we would never accept Scottish passports but would remain British no matter what the SNP did, then we could make their goal practically impossible to achieve. The SNP needs the cooperation of Pro UK people to make independence work. If we all refused our consent the SNP would be defeated right now.

We are in search of Gina MacMiller. We need British people who are willing to campaign like the Remainers campaigned. But as yet there is no sign of them.

There was some excitement leading up to the Scottish Parliament election. Party campaigners and people putting up signs in fields were busy trying to stop the SNP. But even though the SNP came extremely close to winning an overall majority and has a majority with the help of the Greens, we all felt a sense that we needn’t worry for a few years, so we can go back to sleeping.

We have been fortunate. Perhaps we have a few years to prepare a campaign that would make life difficult for the SNP at every step. We need money. We need famous faces, not just politicians to get involved. We need Gina MacMiller and the pop stars, actors, writers and academics who fought against Brexit to fight for Britain. We need business interests to back us with their millions. If you are a company worried about how independence would damage your profits, don’t wait, but rather, if necessary, quietly, help us develop a Pro UK campaign team that would be ready whenever it was needed.

If we can organise a Remainer rearguard against Brexit we ought to be able to do still better against the SNP. If we can’t do that, we will shame everyone who ever fought for Britain, for while they gave their lives we didn’t give a toss.

Saturday, 29 May 2021

Battling in Batley

 

There is a byelection in Batley and Spen because its MP Tracy Brabin has become Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds, which is an area in Buckinghamshire. What this means in ordinary English is that she became Mayor of West Yorkshire and had to resign her seat. Quite why Britain still indulges in this sort of medievalism is rather beyond me, but perhaps its quaintness attracts tourists.

Byelections usually don’t interest me at all. I don’t believe I have ever been to Batley and I had to look up that Spen is a river. But this byelection does interest me for a number of reasons.



I am a Conservative, but I try not to be tribal about it. I usually vote Conservative, but I don’t always. At a General Election I will hope for a Conservative Government, but I have supported the Lib Dems in the past and also Labour. I supported Brexit while recognising that there were some good arguments for Remain. But above all I support British democracy. I don’t want there to be permanent Conservative Government. I want Labour or an alternative opposition party to eventually form a government. I want this because democracy requires change of government otherwise it becomes corrupt.

The biggest problem for democracy in Scotland is partly our obsession with the constitution, which means that the Scottish Government is never judged on its record, but rather on its desire for independence. But more important than this is that there is at present zero chance of another party or parties becoming the Government. This has led to mediocrity and corruption, which can only be eliminated of by kicking the SNP out. But because we cannot kick them out, we are stuck with mediocrity and corruption.

Labour needs to change and another defeat like the one in Hartlepool might hasten that change. It is for this reason that I would suggest the voters in Batley and Spen might vote for George Galloway and his Workers Party of Britain.

It is odd for a Conservative to be recommending a party like this, but on the two key issues of the past few years I agree with the WPB. It supports both British unity and Brexit.

I disagree with George Galloway about many things. I support free markets, low taxes and small government. In foreign affairs I support the United States and Israel. I dislike singling out Israel for criticism that would not be applied to other countries acting in a similar way.  

But reasonable people can disagree about these issues. I put forward my views as clearly, forcibly and as reasonably as I can. But others can legitimately disagree, not least because I may be wrong.

There is a problem with free markets and capitalism in general. Corporations have become monopolies, which have an unhealthy control over our lives. Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter have crushed competition. Central Banks around the world have been printing money to the extent that money has become something of a confidence trick with nothing concrete to back it. The world of work is going to change radically over the coming decades and many jobs will become obsolete.

Just as previous revolutions made the jobs of Smith and Cooper archaic so too the Internet revolution is making shop workers unneeded and shops unnecessary. If workers can work from home, how long before those jobs are replaced by cheaper workers from other countries? We need new jobs and new thinking to deal with unemployment.

If we are not careful, we will end up with mass unemployment with most of the money belonging to international corporations. How then do we determine wages? Free market doctrines of supply and demand may struggle if few of us are employed and we are unable therefore to supply anything. Free markets only work when each of us has a reasonable chance of trading our skills and work for wages. But if the market is in the hands of corporations who produce everything then it would be rigged against the majority who could no longer take part.

At this point we may need ideas from the Left in order to find a way to divide fairly the wealth of a society which we would be as excluded from as during the era of barons and serfs.

If Labour wins the Batley and Spen byelection it will continue as it is. Keir Starmer is not going to be Prime Minister, so Labour must find someone who could be. It will only do so if it keeps getting defeated.

It will hardly matter if the Conservatives win another seat. Boris already has a huge majority.

The best chance of getting some real change and some new ideas is if George Galloway is elected. If Mr Galloway were an MP, he would be an ally of Pro UK Scots even if some of us disagreed with him about some of his policies. It is unlikely that one MP would be able to create socialism in Britain, but he might just bring some useful new thinking about the problems of capitalism. Even free marketeers like me would like to hear these ideas.

Mr Galloway will not take any votes from the Conservatives. His appeal is to Labour voters. His continual and long-term support of Asian people may prove attractive to people of Pakistani and Indian origin in Batley. An articulate Galloway is more likely to bring their concerns to the attention of the Government than anyone else they might elect.

George Galloway was right about both wars in Iraq, while I was wrong as was Tony Blair and much of the British establishment. He is not afraid to speak his mind, which is the aspect of his character that appeals to me most, even when I disagree. Too many MPs are dull drones who haven’t got an original thought in their minds. Galloway is not that and never has been.

From a Conservative perspective the more votes the Workers Party of Britain gains, the more likely either it will win or the Conservatives will. The last thing Labour wants is someone who can attract Left-wing votes with an appeal to core Labour values rather than muddle and mush.

I have supported Alliance for Unity (All for Unity) for the past year. It didn’t do as well as we hoped, but allies should still support each other. So, I wish Mr Galloway well in Batley and Spen and will follow the result closely. It would be a great result for all Pro UK Scots if Mr Galloway were elected. It would help our argument far more than if either the Labour or Conservative candidate wins.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Do we even want to defeat Sturgeon?

 

The current Pro UK electoral strategy amounts to the Scottish Conservatives continually banging on about independence to scare the Pro UK vote into voting for them. Labour meanwhile tries to ignore independence in the hope that former Labour voters forget that it is still officially a Pro UK party. The Lib Dems hang on in the North, but are now a dismal fifth, with no prospect of that changing. Everyone else is nowhere.

The key lesson we learned after the Scottish Parliament Election is that it is extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, for a new party to win any seats. The Liberal Democrats won 137,152 (5.06%) of the list votes, but did not win a seat. No one else was close.



There were twenty other parties plus a number of independents, but even Alba with Alex Salmond was 100,000 votes short of winning a seat. The highest placed Pro UK list party All for Unity had the advantage of George Galloway who is regularly on Television. It had Jamie Blackett who worked extremely hard and who writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph. It had others like me working behind the scenes. But still it only got 23,299 votes (0.86%).



There were a variety of reasons for this, but the primary one is that lack of media exposure. Unless a new party takes part in the TV debates it might as well not exist. The BBC and STV create a closed shop which no one can break into so long as coverage is limited to the five parties that already have seats. The justification for doing so is that Alba and All for Unity didn’t merit a place at the debates because they got so few votes. But how is a party to ever begin if it is strangled at birth by lack of TV oxygen.

What media coverage All for Unity got was relentlessly negative with certain journalists just following orders to protect Conservative list seats. Fair enough. Politics is brutal and every party has the right to defend its seats. But if our task is to protect the territorial integrity of the UK, something like the All for Unity strategy will have to be adopted eventually. We cannot simply repeat the Lib Lab Con strategy that guarantees defeat because each of them campaigns for both votes everywhere.

The Conservatives argued that if the SNP won an overall majority, it would have a mandate for indyref2. It was an effective vote winning strategy. But it was also extremely short sighted and stupid. The SNP might have won an overall majority. Only marginal changes would have given them one. An overall majority with our voting system is difficult to achieve, but it is not impossible. Next time the SNP may succeed.

 It is arbitrary anyway in a parliamentary democracy to require the SNP to win an overall majority in a system designed to prevent one. What matters is that the SNP cannot logically win a mandate for a reserved issue in an election to a devolved parliament. A coalition majority is all that is needed for a devolved issue.

The Conservatives, by allowing the possibility of the SNP gaining a mandate for independence, were risking the future of our country in order to gain a few extra list seats in the Scottish Parliament. But having gained a reprieve Mr Ross proposes five years of the same strategy. He will campaign for the Conservatives to form the next Scottish Government while knowing in his heart that it is simply impossible that sufficient Scots will vote Conservative to defeat the SNP. Even if per impossibile the Conservatives won all of the Labour votes in Scotland, they still would still not beat the SNP.

There are two ways to defeat Scottish nationalism. Firstly, we must unite as much as possible. Secondly, we must take over the Scottish Greens.

If there is to be a list only Pro UK party (and this is up for debate) then there has to be only one. It may seem good fun setting up your own party and playing at politics, but it is simply stupid that there were so many Pro UK list parties. If all of the Pro UK list parties had merged and pooled their efforts there just might have been the chance for us to get some media coverage and we would have been in touching distance of winning a seat.

All for Unity is the best placed, so it would make sense for it to be the Pro UK list party. But let’s get all of the leaders together to fight it out, decide who has the best chance and let’s all back that one party.

So too it makes zero sense for people to stand as independents. The number of votes for all of the independents combined was not enough to win a single seat. Unless you are someone very famous and with a lot of money that is not going to change.

With a single Pro UK list party, we might be able to influence the Lib Dems, Labour and Conservatives to at least stand down in those seats where they cannot win. Ideally in my view these three parties should merge to become a single Pro UK centre party. They are not ideologically that different anyway. Mr Anwar and Mr Ross are both centrists, the only thing that stops them being in the same party is tribalism. If there were no Tories in Scotland there would be nothing left for the SNP to hate and much of the motivation for independence would be gone. With a different Pro UK list party we would have good chance of maximising the Pro UK vote, which might just defeat the SNP and make Ross or Anwar First Minister.

Unless the SNP wins an overall majority, it will depend on the Scottish Greens. The Greens are a Scottish nationalist party masquerading as an environmentalist party. There is no logical reason why environmentalism should require Scottish independence. Green politicians in Europe and other parts of the world are not arguing for the break up of their countries. Moreover, many Green voters in Scotland do not support independence. If enough Pro UK Greens could get involved with the Scottish Greens it might be possible to change party policy on independence.  If that proves impossible a Pro UK Green Party could split the Green vote and give Pro UK environmentalists a party to vote for. The Scottish Greens are the soft underbelly of Scottish nationalism and are perhaps the best chance we have of depriving independence supporters of a majority.

If there are going to continue to be numerous Pro UK list parties splitting the vote and making it impossible for a list only party to win even one seat, then it would be better if we all just voted Labour Lib Dem or Conservative. But that is to concede defeat for the next election and the one after that. Only a united Pro UK vote can defeat the SNP.  We need an alternative Pro UK voice that can put pressure the established parties, because this is the only strategy that can win. But the last thing we need is yet another new Pro UK list party, we need them all to be disbanded except one. It’s time we were not selfish about this.

The party best placed to become the Pro UK list party is All for Unity. We need money, famous faces, media coverage and above all we need unity.

If there continue to be multiple Pro UK list parties and continual squabbles with Conservatives over the scraps of list seats it will be hard to motivate people to campaign for anyone over the next five years. All Pro UK people need to find a common strategy that has a chance of winning. If we don’t we might as well concede defeat now. We might as well conclude that we do not even want to defeat Nicola Sturgeon. 

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Some new benches in Cambridge

 

I spent about five years in Cambridge in a very multinational, multicultural college. There were students from all over the world. It’s is hard to think of a race, nationality or faith that was not represented. I never once witnessed an incident that even hinted at religious or racial prejudice. It is hard to even imagine a more liberal environment. If there were a place less likely to have racist microaggressions, it could only be a place where everyone was from the same religious, national and racial group.

The fact that I didn’t witness something doesn’t mean that it didn’t exist. Perhaps the African students and Indian students were continually racially abused when I wasn’t there, but they never told me about it. But in those days, we thought that racism was about using insulting language, or treating someone worse because of their race or religion. We thought that the ideal was to treat everyone the same and not to pay much attention to things like skin colour and religion. The task was to get rid of prejudice and unpleasantness between all people no matter where they were from.



Now I discover that Cambridge University thinks that it is a hotbed of racism with students and staff continually behaving in a racist fashion. It is a place so full of discrimination that it thinks it necessary that staff and students can report each other for both micro and macroaggressions. I would be surprised if there is really more racism in Cambridge now than there was some years ago. Who would dare make an off-colour joke? Who would dare eat a falafel? Who would dare even wear a keffiyeh in case someone accuses them of cultural appropriation?  

When I was in Cambridge racism was not a usual topic of conversation. I mentioned neither race nor gender, nor sexuality in my dissertation. These were simply non-issues in most subjects. But if even then before the present Enlightenment there was minimal levels of discriminatory language, how much less must there be now with everyone monitoring each other for the least transgression. Yet still Cambridge is such an oppressive, unwelcoming and discriminatory place that students and staff must tell tales on each other.

It isn’t Cambridge that has changed but rather the definitions of what makes someone a racist.

Cambridge defines racism as

 

Racism is a system of oppression, woven into the fabric of societies, institutions, processes, procedures, people’s values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviour. It is a system of advantage that sets whiteness as the norm, manifesting in societies’ valuing and promoting (implicitly or explicitly) being white. It is a system where people from racially minoritised backgrounds are more likely than white people to face multiple obstacles in life, from being targets of direct or indirect discrimination and micro-aggressions.

 

Did the University use either reason or experience to come up with this definition? It’s hard to imagine an experiment that would prove racism to amount to just these characteristics and none others. But it is unclear that a native speaker of English would define racism in this way either. This Cambridge definition does not follow logically from the OED dictionary definition of racism which says nothing about whiteness. But if the Cambridge definition of racism follows neither from reason nor experience, why should anyone believe it to be true? We could cast it to the flames along with Hume except he has already been cancelled.

I’ve only ever met or heard about racist individuals, because only people rather than societies, institutions etc can be racist. To suppose that the Manchester United team can be racist while none of the players is racist is absurd. If the team is racist, it is only because the players are racist. Institutional racism therefore makes little sense, because it is pointless blaming an institution, when only the people who make up an institution can be racist or can be persuaded to cease to be racist. Blaming the group for the sins of the individual is unjust.

It becomes clear from the Cambridge definition that it thinks that racism is only something that white people can do to other races. But what if I lived in an overwhelmingly black society in Africa. In this society blackness would be the norm quite reasonably, because nearly everyone would be black. These black people would likewise most probably value and promote being black and their black culture. It may well be that I would face some prejudice living in this society. They might comment on my paleness and might be curious about my hair. I might find it difficult to make friends and people might call me names based on my skins colour. But according to Cambridge none of this would be racist.

Unfortunately, also for the Cambridge definition those countries with hardly any black people would be the least racist, because there would be no one to be prejudiced about. But the rural Aberdeenshire of my childhood was 100% white, but full of racist prejudices about the black people we had never met.  Muti-racial societies are far less prejudiced.

Worse still because monoracial countries like Japan, or parts of Eastern Europe are free from racism, the blame for racism in Britain is obviously down to the arrival here of people from other races. But if it was Windrush that brought racism to Britain, should we really be celebrating it? If racism is caused by the presence of black people in a society dominated by white people, the logical solution would appear to be unfortunate for those black people.

The Cambridge definition implies that only white people can be racist, which means that black people cannot be racist against white people, even if they act towards them in a discriminatory way and even if they use racist language towards them. It also means that black people cannot be racist against other black people. This is no doubt the reason why Sasha Johnson the Black Lives Matter activist thought she could safely call another black person the short form of the word “racoon”.

She claimed that person she called this did not understand what racism was when he objected. No doubt she was using something similar to the Cambridge definition.

Racism as a moral issue must be an issue for everyone equally. Why should white people be interested in not being racist if they discover that only they can be racist, but that black people can avoid being racist simply because of their skin colour. We are all human beings and all equally capable of prejudice, discrimination and hurtful behaviour.  To give one group of people the ability to describe others as racist, which may have serious consequences for their lives, when that group cannot itself be called racist is to have two classes of citizens.

It is to create a bench for the racists marked whites, because the definition amounts to all whites are racist and cannot do anything about it no matter how hard they try and a bench for everyone else marked colored. This is how Cambridge has made progress since I was there.  

Sunday, 23 May 2021

The SNP witch doctors

 

A woman studying at Abertay University has been disciplined for saying that women were born with female genitals and that it was a fact that women were generally less strong than men. This means that she has been disciplined for telling the truth.

It would be interesting to find out about the political views of those who complained and those who judged that this woman has done something wrong. They would of course be on the Left. Nearly everyone at university is. But this being Scotland and in particular this being Dundee it is difficult to imagine that they were not Scottish nationalists either of the SNP variety or the Green variety.



Environmentalism does not obviously have any connection either with independence or with pronouns, but then large numbers of Scottish Green voters are quite happy to remain in the UK, they just want it to care for the planet a bit more. So too there is no obvious reason to suppose that SNP voters care very much about transgender, cis gender or non-binary pronouns. They just want independence. But they get the woke stuff as part of the package whether they want it or not.

Most people don’t care that much about pronouns. If you worked in the average job and tried to make your colleagues call you “they” rather than he or she, you might find the level of compliance rather disappointing. It would be fine if you worked in a university or a law office, but otherwise if you look like a man people will call you, “he”, if you look like a woman, they will call you “she”, and if they can’t tell they will avoid saying anything out of embarrassment.

Vanishingly few Scots think that a person with male genitalia can be a woman. Wearing a wig and a dress does not change this. I have never met someone who thinks that a man can give birth.

Scottish nationalism may be woke and obsessed with policing pronouns and disciplining us for saying things that are self-evidently true, but in this respect it has left the voters behind. The SNP may succeed in re-educating its supporters to conform with transgender ideology, but only insofar as it doesn’t affect these people’s lives.

If your little girl ends up in a swimming pool changing room with male genitalia, you are going to begin to look for a different party no matter what you think about independence. If you get kicked off your course or lose your job for telling the truth as you were taught as a child, you will begin to rethink voting for the SNP. If woke was a vote loser in Hartlepool, it will eventually become a vote loser in Scotland too.

The SNP have a great emotional argument about independence, which most frequently fails to answer even basic questions about what an independent Scotland would be like. It doesn’t need to because the emotional argument is so powerful. But if at the heart of Scottish nationalist ideology there is also a transgender ideology which likewise fails even a basic logical test, it begins to look as if Scottish nationalism is mere irrationalism. Why should we trust the Scottish Greens about the environment if they think men can be women? It’s like trusting a party that believes squares can be round. Why should we believe SNP claims about an independent Scotland if they think that women are not born with female genitalia? It’s like trusting a party that thinks cows don’t have udders.

The problem that the SNP and Abertay University have is how to define the word “woman” if it is not someone who is born with female genitals. They end up being unable to define what a woman is. How do we learn words? We learn from our parents and then wider society. Words are not made up by each of us and they are not defined by inner feelings. Rather we learn the word “red” by pointing to post-boxes and we learn the word “green” by pointing to grass. If we make a mistake we are corrected. Each of us is called a boy or a girl based on our external appearance. This makes it meaningless to suppose that a person can define being a man or a woman on his own initiative. It’s like thinking you can define what red is or what a cup is. It is simply a mistake to suppose that the meaning of words including the word “woman” is defined inwardly. It has absolutely nothing to do with an inner feeling. We are defined by the linguistic community in which we live. Every word we speak is learned and controlled by the community of language users we are a part of.

To suppose that someone who grew up as a boy might feel that he is really a woman is to simply misunderstand what makes someone a woman. If I am a woman, I have no more idea of what it would be to feel like a man, than I have an idea of what it would feel like to be a cat. I have a female body, if being a woman is different from having a female body, I have no idea what this being might be. I might as well say that I feel like a Martian.

Suppose a man says I feel like a woman. How would he know that he really felt that way? What would make such a statement true? What would make it false? If we are not allowed to refer to the person’s body or appearance, we are left with nothing with which to determine if someone really does feel like a woman or is mistaken. But if that is the case, we are not talking about truth at all.

A few days ago, I read about a singer that I had never heard of before who claimed that she was now non-binary and wanted to be called “they” and “them”. But how did this singer determine she was neither he nor she, but rather they? Why not it? How did she verify the claim that she was not a she and neither was she a he? What physical characteristic led her to this conclusion? If there was no physical characteristic which mental or emotional characteristic told her that the whole world must now call her “they”? But how did she know that this characteristic truly told her this rather than falsely misled her? There is no criterion of truth of what is going on inside my head. What would count as being mistaken, when there is nothing outside of me to do the judging. This is like buying six copies of the same newspaper to check that it tells the truth. But if there is no standard by which to judge the truth or falsity of my inward claims, we are simply not dealing with a factual matter. There is no truth here, because there is no possibility of falsity.

If being a woman is not a matter of her physical appearance then being a woman ceases to be a matter of fact. There ceases to be any truth or falsity in claims to be a woman. This is where Abertay and the SNP are leading us. But if there is no truth or falsity about being a woman and that it is purely subjective, this will have implications about other subjects. If being a woman is not about physical appearance, there is no reason to suppose that being black is a matter of skin colour or being a tiger is a matter of having stripy fur. But this will mean that Abertay University will very quickly have very little left to study. If being a woman is no longer an objective matter of fact verifiable externally, then I should be free to deny the existence of atoms and electrons because I cannot see them and judge Darwin to be wrong because he didn't account for how evolution allowed men to become women. Quite soon being a black hole may quickly be a matter of self-definition, subjectivity and black hole rights, which will leave physics rather stranded.  

Transgenderism and the whole woke ideology destroys truth as we have understood it since the world began. It puts subjectivity at the heart of thinking rather than logic and reason. This destroys Higher Education and makes it pointless. You may as well employ witch doctors and sack lecturers. Worse if irrationality is at the heart of the SNP we have to face the fact that we are being ruled by witch doctors in which case watch out in case your head ends up in the stew.




 

Friday, 21 May 2021

Cancelled for telling the truth

 

I have been on Twitter since March 2012. It is essential for my writing. Without Twitter and Facebook whatever I write would be read by almost no one. Think of the situation prior to the Internet. If you wanted to write you had to either work for a newspaper or magazine or try to write for a publisher.  The only realistic alternative to this was to write for the equivalent of a parish newsletter.



Building an audience and a following takes enormous effort. Don’t bother to start if you are unwilling to put the hours in with minimal recognition to begin with. My earliest statistics on Blogger are from October 2012. I briefly used another site before that.

I started with 312 views that month.

All through the years building up to the 2014 referendum I would get a few hundred views for each article. Then by 2015 I would sometimes get a few thousand views a month.

It’s not much fun writing when no one reads. It defeats the purpose. But if you are not prepared to be ignored, give up now. Even J.K Rowling must have despaired at the hours she had put into Harry Potter only to see her work rejected. There are any number of J.K. Rowlings, some equally talented who never had their books published in their lifetimes.

But I kept getting up early on Saturdays to write my articles and gradually my readers increased as did my followers on Twitter.



I have a simple Twitter strategy. I hardly follow anyone. But anyone (within reason) who follows me I follow back. I think it’s a matter of courtesy. It leads to embarrassment sometimes because I don’t have time to check who I follow. I sometimes get messages from people who think I might pay for naked pictures. But unless you have something on your profile that makes it obvious you are undesirable, you will get a follow.

My other strategy is to block indiscriminately. Any swearing and you are gone. Any personal criticism of me and you are gone. If we’ve interacted before I might give you a second chance, otherwise not. I learned in the early days not to interact with Scottish nationalists. I write my articles, but I don’t have long debates with them. It’s pointless. After years of blocking my time line is mainly free of Scottish nationalists and I can get on with promoting my articles without having to waste time.

If you are writing articles without anyone helping you, it is necessary to make them both interesting and original. If you are merely repeating what is in the newspapers there is no point and you won’t get anywhere.

To be original you need to be willing to be controversial. I don’t put limits on what I can write except that it must follow logically. If the logic takes me to a place where some people don’t like so be it.

A while back I wrote about vaccines and some of my followers were angry. I’m in favour of vaccination and find it difficult to understand those who are not. Some people decided to unfollow. I unfollowed back. I can only write what I think. You may disagree with me about the Middle East or about Trump or about Tories, but you may later agree with me about the SNP.

But the election is finished. I cannot keep writing about the SNP every day. There must be new topics. You will disagree with me about some of them. That is the point. Politely disagree by all means, but I won’t necessarily respond.

Twitter is different when you have nearly 40,000 followers. I only ever look at the notifications. I probably won’t see your tweets. It’s not that I’m ignoring you, I just don’t see you. So too I get endless direct messages. Many of them are very welcome. But I can’t respond to everyone who says Hi.

Don’t expect to make much money from writing. For years I made a tiny amount from Google ads. You have to make £60 before they pay out and I would count each trickle of coins until eventually I had enough. This past year things have changed. I have been able to write more and the number of my readers has grown massively. But I still make a relatively small amount. One hundred thousand readers a month might bring in £100 pounds, but the hours required to earn it amounts to maybe £5 pounds an hour, so if you want to earn money you are better off working in Tesco. I don’t like to ask for donations as I have decent job that pays the bills. I’m happy to share everything I write for the free cost of a link back to my site. I don’t know how anyone makes a living from writing. That’s a problem for writers, but it’s also a problem for readers.

I am grateful to Twitter and Facebook, but I have had problems with both. I share my articles to various Facebook groups, but once in a while Facebook decides to ban me for doing this too often. Twitter decided a few years ago that it wouldn’t allow me to post my blogger links so I had to buy a domain. It was worth it anyway, because having your own domain helps a site. But on each occasion trying to solve the problem with either Twitter or Facebook was less than rewarding.

If you’ve ever tried to contact Twitter you will find that there is no one to contact. You just get a computer asking you questions and you end up in a loop. It’s not worth bothering. Find your own solution instead.

 

Yesterday I found myself on the Twitter naughty step. The problem was that I had told the truth.

Someone I didn’t know replied to one of my Tweets with a question.

Why do you think Hamas fires rockets?

I should have ignored the question of course, but I replied.

To kill Jews.



This is self-evidently true. Hamas does fire rockets because it hopes they will kill Jews. It may have other reasons, but killing Jews is certainly one of them.

For this my account was suspended for 12 hours.

When faced with the suspension I was told that I could appeal, but that my account would remain suspended until the case was decided. Alternatively, I could delete the tweet, but in that case I could not appeal. I deleted the Tweet. If I had appealed who knows how long I would have been suspended.

The absurdity of the situation can be illustrated by asking the question.

Why did the Germans build gas chambers?

The answer obviously is to kill Jews.

But to suppose that it is anti-Semitic to give this answer is ridiculous. In fact, to say for example that the Germans built gas chambers for another reason, for example to kill rats, would be a form of Holocaust denial, which would be anti-Semitic.

My tweet and the context in which it was written is so obviously not anti-Semitic, that I begin to wonder at the crudity of Twitter’s algorithms. Perhaps the phrase “kill Jews” is not allowed, for which reason you might get banned for saying “It is wrong to kill Jews, just as it is wrong to kill Muslims”.

Then again, I have heard that British slang for a cigarette can get you banned as can the word for a Welsh meatball.

I have put an enormous amount of time and effort in to building a following. It is disturbing to find that for something accidental and absurd I might be banned. I think I am one of the politest users on Twitter, but all that counts for nothing if the computer says No.

Someone should write a modern version of Kafka’s the Trial, with Twitter as judge, jury and executioner. Perhaps I will.

But there is no point complaining. Twitter has its rules and we must work around them.

I have decided I need a Twitter insurance policy. It is a second account. It uses my full name.

@EuphemiaDeans

I would be grateful if you followed this account. So that if Twitter decides to ban me again, I at least will have the means of getting to some of you. If I can be cancelled for telling the truth, we all can.


Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Why do they only demonstrate when Jews are at war?

 

What are the deadliest wars of the 21st Century?

 

1 The Syrian Civil War             2011-Present         535,000 deaths

2 War on Terror (including       2001-Present         493,500 deaths

Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan)     

3 War in Darfur                        2003-Present         286,827 deaths

4 Yemeni Civil War                  2014–Present        233,000+ deaths

5 Mexican Drug War                2006-Present         106,800 deaths

 

By contrast the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1948 has killed only 116,000 people in over 70 years.



The War on Terror was given a lot of media coverage, when Western troops were involved in the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it is rarely on the TV news now and has not been for some time. The Syrian Civil War was given extensive coverage, but much less since ISIS was defeated. The other wars are barely covered on the news at all.

Only specialists pay much attention to the Yemeni Civil War or have any idea what it is about. Few people could even point to Darfur on a map. Going a little further back, I am shocked to discover that the Second Congo War (1998-2003) cost the lives of between 3 and 5 million people. How many British people could say more than a sentence about it? I couldn’t.

I can recall no demonstrations in London outside the Mexican Embassy protesting about the Mexican Drug war. No one much demonstrates outside the Sudanese Embassy either and no one at all says anything nasty about Mexicans or Sudanese people because of their involvement in these wars.  

I don’t recall mass demonstrations in London about Syria’s use of chemical weapons against its own people, nor were there crowds complaining about Russia when it bombed various Syrian cities indiscriminately to help its ally Assad.

Since 2005 when Hamas was first elected in the Gaza Strip there have been various conflicts but the death toll is around 3,500. It’s a little more than Palestinian deaths from Covid.

It is reasonable for people to criticise Israel to the same extent that they criticise any other country for doing the same thing. It’s also reasonable to criticise Hamas. Any war between people is regrettable and should be avoided.  But the word for people who only demonstrate when wars involve Jews is anti-Semitism.

If you didn’t notice the War in Darfur, didn’t make signs and didn’t drive around London seeking Sudanese people to shout at and abuse, why are you concerned with a relatively small conflict in Gaza?

There is something odd about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It stirs emotions like no other. There are any number of post-war conflicts with massively higher death tolls, which have been forgotten or never noticed, but if Israel is involved it immediately goes to number one news item and demonstrators get out their placards.

After the Second World War new countries and new borders were established and there were huge population transfers. Millions of Germans were expelled by force from what is now Poland and Russia and large numbers died. So too Poles were expelled from what is now Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine to where the Germans had been living.

The Partition of India led to 10 to 20 million people being forced to leave their homes, many did not survive.

I have never heard of demonstrations in London asking for the post war border of Germany and Poland to be redrawn and the descendants of those displaced being allowed to return home. Neither in India nor Pakistan are there refugee camps on the border where people fire rockets into the country they were displaced from. How do you suppose the Pakistani Army would respond if Indians fired rocked into Pakistan? How would any country in the world respond?

It was unjust what happened to the Poles when the Soviet Union invaded their country in 1939 and later annexed part of it, but if Poles were now sitting on the border with Belarus shooting rockets, there is little doubt how Belarus would respond even if the Belarus border is the result of injustice.

Prior to 1920 there was no nation state called Palestine. Rather there was a province of the Ottoman Empire. There were no Palestinians, rather there were Syrians who lived in Ottoman Syria which included modern day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel.

Palestine only came into existence with the British Mandate. Jewish migration to the region accelerated especially after World War II. The United Nations decided to partition Mandate Palestine. The Arabs tried to destroy the Jewish state, but lost the war in 1948 and continued to lose in 1956, 1967, 1973 and so on. The Palestinians were crammed into ever smaller territory, because with each war they lost territory. But if the Soviet Union can annex parts of Poland, and Poland can annex parts of Germany, is it only Jews who cannot gain territory after winning wars?

Jewish people have the same rights to live where they do as any other migrant. If 9 million Jewish migrants don’t have the right to live in the Middle East, why do 44 million Muslims have the right to live in Europe? If Jewish migration to the Middle East is wrong, why is Muslim migration to Europe right?

It appears as if the benefits of multiculturalism only apply to Europe and not to Palestine. If descendants of migrants such as Humza Yousaf can fight to partition Britain, why couldn’t descendants of Jewish migrants fight to partition Palestine not least because they were the majority in their part? If Muslims can create a Muslim state in Pakistan in 1947 there can be no moral reason for preventing Jews from doing likewise in 1948. 

Israel having been legally established in 1948 has the same right as any other state to defend itself. If a country is attacked it has the right of self-defence to defend itself. The task of any armed forces is to win, while suffering as few casualties as possible.

Having decided that conventional war was impossible to win the Palestinians embraced unconventional war and terrorism. But while no one questions the right of the French, the British and the Americans to fight terrorism, Jews do not have this right.

The situation in Israel is analogous to the one between Germany and Poland and India and Pakistan. People were displaced by war. It was horrible as all wars are. It was unjust. But Germans do not sit in refugee camps firing rockets at Poland, nor does anyone else who has been displaced by war except in Palestine.

The injustice is that while Poles would be allowed to defend themselves from Germans shooting rockets, Jews must give in to the demands of Palestinians, which would not involve peaceful coexistence, but rather the destruction of Israel and the expulsion its population if it were lucky enough to survive.

Anyone who favours the destruction of the Jewish people in Israel is an anti-Semite anyone who thinks Jews may not defend themselves against people who wish to destroy them, is an anti-Semite. Anyone who cares not at all about any war except when it involves Jews is an anti-Semite. Anyone who thinks everyone has the right to migrate except Jews is an anti-Semite.

The only peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict involves neither side starting a war. If one side initiated the conflict by firing rockets it is at least partly to blame. Only when both sides resolve not to start a conflict will there be peace. But there can never be peace so long as one side wishes to drive the other into the sea. If you support people who wish to do this, you are an anti-Semite.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Some crowds are more equal than others.

 

There are two types of crowd one virtuous and one vicious. In London thousands of demonstrators crowd the streets protesting against violence in Gaza. In Glasgow protestors successfully prevent immigration officers from deporting two Indians who did not have leave to remain in the UK. These demonstrations are praised. Almost no one mentions the danger of the Indian variant of Covid being spread by virtuous demonstrators either in London or in Glasgow. But when other crowds gather in parks or on beaches to enjoy themselves they are deemed to be irresponsible Covid spreaders. All crowds are equal but some crowds are more equal than others.

Covid of course is unable to determine whether a demonstration is protesting about the murder of someone in Minnesota, a war in the Middle East, football fans celebrating or people sick of lockdown protesting about restrictions. If the virus is spread by one crowd it is equally likely to be spread by another.



Virtuous demonstrators will argue that at least their crowds have a purpose. They were able to stop the two Indians being deported. They were able to show the Israeli Embassy what they thought about Israel’s actions. But the two Indians will most likely be deported at a later date and it is doubtful that Israel’s actions will be changed by demonstrators in Britain. Black Lives Matter demonstrators in Britain saved no lives in Minnesota, but may have cost lives here by spreading illness.

It would clearly be wiser if there were no crowds, but it is hardly likely when the police and media reward one type of virtuous crowd while condemning another when the risk of spreading illness applies to all crowds. A police force that appeases one crowd by refusing to enforce the law has no moral authority to condemn another. Justice must be blind. This is why she has a blindfold. To give way to one crowd because you agree with it and think its cause moral, while condemning another because you think it frivolous or wrong is to misunderstand justice. But to be unjust is to be immoral. An immoral Justice Secretary neither understands morality nor justice.

Immigration policy is reserved, which is one reason why the SNP is willing to support protestors complaining about its implementation.  But if Scotland were independent with its own immigration policy, would it allow people to remain here who had overstayed their visa or who had never applied for a visa at all. Perhaps an independent Scotland would have visa free travel with the whole world. There would be no need to claim asylum on arriving in Scotland because anyone who could get to Scotland could stay no questions asked. Is this what the Glasgow demonstrators want? Perhaps they think they do.

But if Scotland had such an immigration policy there would be no real distinction between a Scottish citizen and any other citizen in the world. Each would receive a Scottish Passport on arrival at Glasgow Airport, each would have the same rights as every other Scot just by turning up here.

The SNP want to introduce a Universal Basic Income. But the amount that this would pay Scots would far exceed average wages in most of the world. So, for the cost of a flight to Scotland anyone who wanted to could simply give up working where they live and move to Scotland and not merely receive better education and healthcare than they do at present, but a passport that would enable them to travel visa free anywhere in the EU assuming Scotland was a member.

The UK at present does not have such an open borders approach to immigration. But if an independent Scotland did, it would immediately require Scottish passport holders to apply for a visa, otherwise the whole world would be able to get to London merely by flying to Glasgow. It might be that EU member states would likewise be dubious about allowing visa free travel from Scotland. Who needs to walk to Germany if you can simply fly to Scotland? So, an open borders policy might prevent Scotland joining the EU.

Alternatively, an independent Scotland might decide that it did require visas and immigration policies. But this would require laws and those laws to be enforced. If someone were living in Glasgow without the legal right to do so, Scottish immigration officers would arrive to enforce the law. Would there still be demonstrations? But if Glaswegians always succeeded in preventing immigration officers from deporting anyone, the result would be the same as giving Scottish passports on arrival at a Scottish airport. If anyone arriving at a Scottish airport knew that immigration law would never be enforced other countries might look at Scotland as a backdoor entry point to everyone in the world which would make them think twice about allowing free movement between Scotland and themselves.

The UK post Brexit has been remarkably generous to EU citizens living here. The process of applying for leave to remain was both easy and free. EU states have not always reciprocated this generosity making it difficult for British citizens to continue living in the EU.

The UK has immigration laws that allow people to apply for visas of various kinds and there is a route to citizenship that is open to all. We allow asylum seekers to apply and most succeed in staying here indefinitely. We have a legal process of deporting people who break the rules and this rarely leads to some people being deported. This is no different from every Western country.

If the SNP want open borders between an independent Scotland and the whole world, let it be honest about this and campaign for it. But if it doesn’t then we must assume that immigration laws would be enforced, because a law that is not enforced isn’t a law at all while one that is only enforced according to the whim of a Justice Secretary is neither fair, nor equal, nor just.

Once you go down the route of applying the law selectively, whether with regard to crowds, or immigration, you begin not to have the rule of law at all. To suppose that the law cannot be enforced on Christians at Christmas or Muslims at Eid is to suppose that we are not equal before the law. Some crowds are more equal than others.  

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Decolonising the curriculum

 

I have been asked to help decolonise the curriculum where I work. I take this to mean I must remove all subjects that benefitted from colonisers or colonialism, all writers who were involved in or benefited from the slave trade or indeed all books that nice people in 2021 should disapprove of.

My first task is to remove all books in Latin, because Latin was the language of Empire, colonisation and oppression. The Romans colonised Britain and most of Europe and they owned slaves, indeed they enslaved lots of Ancient Britons, though rather fewer Caledonians, for which reason we ought to demand compensation from the Italians.



So out goes Virgil, Catullus, Augustine and Aquinas and much of what was written prior to about 1800.

Next, I will remove all books in Scottish Gaelic. This language descends from Middle Irish and only arrived in what is now called Scotland because the Scotti colonised us. When the Scottish arrived in Scotland from Ireland it is likely that they had slaves and oppressed and enslaved some of the indigenous inhabitants of Scotland. For this reason, Scots should demand compensation from Ireland for 1500 hundred years of occupation plus we should demand reparations from each other for enslaving each other.

It’s worth remembering too that the people who built Scara Brae and Stonehenge did not speak Celtic, so the Scotti, Iceni etc were also colonisers, oppressors, enslavers and genocidal brutes.  

However, it was not merely the Scotti who colonised Britain, it was also the Angles, the Saxons, the Jutes, the Vikings and the Normans. They too captured Ancient Britons and made them into slaves and worst of all drove them westwards to occupy Wales. So, we will have to get rid of all of the books written in the languages of these colonisers and their descendants. Unfortunately, this involves getting rid of not merely the German and Scandinavian books, it also necessitates getting rid of the French books and worse still the English books. After all English is just a modern form of the oppressor language Anglo-Saxon.

Greek was the language of the oppressor in Ancient times being used to colonise from Iberia to Crimea. So that means we will have to get rid of Homer, Plato and the New Testament.

Hebrew was the language of Moses when his people colonised Caanan. So, I’m afraid the Old Testament will have to go too, not least because other inhabitants of the region also have a long history of enslaving, blinding

Should Israel from Philistian yoke deliver;

Ask for this great deliverer now, and find him

Eyeless in Gaza at the Mill with slaves

 

Above all we must not be like the Philistines.

Russian will obviously have to go, not merely because Russians owned slaves (serfs) until 1861 but also because the Russian Empire expanded from Muscovy all the way to Vladivostok and colonised millions of non-Russians in the process.

We don’t have that many Arabic books, but they will have to go too after all Arabia spread its language and culture all the way from Spain to Indonesia and certain rather well-known Arabians from history owned slaves.

Unfortunately, the Confucius Institute and all of the Chinese books they have given us are going to have to go. China colonised not merely Tibet and Xinjiang and, in the process, set about eradicating the indigenous languages and cultures there, it also colonised Taiwan and Inner Mongolia. So, no more Chinese books for us.

Japan won’t fare any better having colonised Korea and Manchuria.

By this stage we are left with a few books in Basque and Polish. It seems impossible to find any other country that hasn’t colonised someone else. But then I remember that Poland only exists because it was originally colonised by the Slavs from Central Asia, so the Polish books have to go too.

In order not to use the language of any oppressor the first task will be to teach students a language of someone who hasn’t oppressed anyone. Then we will translate all of the oppressor books that can still be read without too much contamination of our new found purity. The task then is to find a language that is completely decolonised.

The choice narrows down between Navaho, Basque and Swahili. Our main problem is the limited number of people who speak both Ancient Greek and Hebrew as well as Basque, Navaho and Swahili. But disaster strikes. Having gone to great lengths to translate books into languages that have not oppressed or enslaved anyone we discover that people who spoke these languages have at various times owned slaves, moved to places that they were not previously or replaced people who were there before. So, our great efforts to speak Basque, Navaho and Swahili are for nothing.

We think about translating each book into a made-up language such as Esperanto or Klingon, but we are faced with an apparently insurmountable problem. How can we teach about scientific discoveries and mathematical breakthroughs which came about because of people who benefited from either slavery or colonisation? However perfect Newton might or might not have been he could not have discovered what he did if Britain hadn’t colonised and enslaved other people.

We are unable to use anything whatsoever from North or South America, unless it is from Native Americans, but it turns out that even Native Americans are not native, because their ancestors colonised North and South America by walking across the land bridge which once connected Alaska with Asia.

Perhaps if we turned to Africa for a place that had never colonised anyone and which had only ever been a victim of slavery. But unfortunately, we discover that the whole of humanity is descended from African colonisers who spread from there to everywhere. Worse we discover that rather a large number of Africans were involved in the slave trade and that African Americans are more likely to be descended from slave owners like Thomas Jefferson than any other Americans. This leaves the metaphorical descendants of Jefferson and Sally Hemmings to claim reparations from each other and themselves.

We find that those people in Britain most likely to complain about colonisation have themselves colonised certain British cities by replacing the indigenous people, culture and languages with their own. This is usually called multiculturalism. But while the plantation of Ulster clearly oppressed the Irish, did it not also bring with it multiculturalism? And if Protestants oppressed in Ireland, why didn’t Catholics oppress in return when we had the plantations of Glasgow and Liverpool? To be on the safe side we must remove books about all of them.

Decolonising the curriculum continues until the last vestige of oppression and repression is removed. All the tainted books are piled up in front of the library. There is no more philosophy, no more medicine, no more law, science, mathematics or indeed anything else that is connected with colonies, colonisers or slavery.

As I look on the pile of burning books from the library, I consider the three books that remain. No one was able to read them because they used alphabets that to us were mere squiggles. One might be Georgian, the other Greenlandic and the third Ge╩Żez, but no one can be sure.

We have only a limited number of courses next year but at least we have decolonised the curriculum.