These are all the Blogs posted on Tuesday, 18, 2010.
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
“BumbleBee” Stings: CAIR distributes anti-Jewish Cartoons to children at worship sessions
“BumbleBee” is an undercover investigator who has infiltrated CAIR: Shades of Chris Gaubatz’s exploits chronicled in Muslim Mafia by his dad and Paul Sperry. “BumbleBee” appears to be a former Muslim who still is able to function inside the Muslim Brotherhood front. This latest newsletter presents “Bumblebee’s profile:
A) I am a former Muslim working very closely with CAIR and their supporters.
B) I am a former Muslim who for years observed first-hand the very violent aspects of Sharia Law that the Muslim Brotherhood endorses.
C) I have worked at CAIR National and their other chapters. I worked at several social events for CAIR. I travel with CAIR and possess intimate knowledge of the CAIR leadership on both a personal and professional level.
D) I witness illegal and unethical actions being committed by CAIR leadership.
E) I witness politicians, media, and law enforcement that visit CAIR executives in order to secretly plan projects to overthrow our U.S. Constitution and replace it with Sharia Law.
F) I have knowledge of every small and large funder of CAIR National.
G) I have witnessed illegal financial transactions being arranged by CAIR executives.
H) I have first-hand and supporting evidence in addition to what is being provided in the newsletter.
I) I, BumbleBee, will testify under oath in a U.S. court or in a Congressional setting, but will not speak with media.
What is “BumbleBee’s” objective you ask?
To promote legal action against Islamic-based terrorist supporters in accordance with U.S. laws. Ultimately, it is the goal of "BumbleBee" to provide an overwhelming amount of factual, first-hand, proof and information from sources inside CAIR National. In addition it is the goal of BumbleBee to encourage other employees like myself who have the inside knowledge of CAIR's illegal, immoral, and unethical practices to report the offenders to my web site. BumbleBee will use all information obtained and provide it to the people or organizations that can impact CAIR legally.
Once a week each Tuesday “BumbleBee” releases their latest dossier items. This week, one of them, is about anti-Jewish Cartoons being distributed at CAIR worship sessions. No surprise there. ‘Bumblebee” notes:
I have been at CAIR and ISNA events that have anti-Jewish Cartoons and are distributed freely to their worshippers at these events. What was most disturbing to me was the anti-Jewish cartoons were being given to children as well during these events. The executives and their supporters such as Congressman Keith Ellison are aware of these defamatory cartoons being distributed during these events. (See JPG Here).
The other item concerns who appears on CAIR sign in sheets. “BumbleBee” notes:
It is amazing that whoever “BumbleBee” is has not been identified by the CAIR security Jihadis. Until the identity of “BumbleBee” is unveiled we will post their latest dossier items. Nonie Darwish of Former Muslims United wrote to “BumbleBee” suggesting that they join up with the human rights group. Their identity would be kept “unidentified”.
One of these days, some Congressional group will hold a hearing on CAIR, its Muslim Brotherhood connections, sources of Saudi and Gulf Emirate financing and nail them on an Article 6 Sedition charge. Credit that to the Gaubatzs, father and son, and to BumbleBee.
Connecticut GOP Congressional Candidate Rick Torres is a hero to Former Muslims
Rick Torres is running in the GOP primary for the 4th Congressional District in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Given the adverse comments by Connecticut CAIR Chapter head, Mongi Dhaoudi about Torres’ recent anti-Muslim comments in a primary debate, Torres is a real hero to former Muslims and all Americans concerned about Islamization of America. An Islamization abetted by the Obama Administration outreach to the Muslim ummah both here and abroad. Dhaoudi , in an MND article by Jim Khouri :
.. . called on state Republican leaders to repudiate what [he] termed “intolerant statements” made by Bridgeport Republican Town Committee Chairman Rick Torres.
Torres was alleged to have said:
“…. It turns out, folks, they [Muslims] are here, they’re among us. We are at war with Islam. I don’t tolerate people who are not tolerant.” It was also reported that Torres said that he “wants America’s mosques and Imams to openly condemn terrorists’ actions.”
Dhaoudi, the Connecticut CAIR Chapter leader said in response:
“Rick Torres is completely out of touch with reality and contradicts statements made by his party’s own leaders”. Presidents Bush and Obama have both said America is not at war with Islam, and local and national media outlets have frequently reported on the strong American Muslim repudiation of terror.”
That is the kind of taqiyyah we would expect from Mr. Dhaoudi, a minion of CAIR . CAIR is a Muslim Brotherhood front , one of the unindicted co-conspirators in the 2008 federal Dallas Holy Land Foundation trial and conviction of the Muslim charity leader who funneled $12 million to a designated foreign terrorist group, Hamas.
Torres comes about his opposition to the totalitarian doctrine of Islam from his family experience in Cuba. Note this from the MND article:
Torres was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1959. His father, Juan, a Cuban immigrant and a political activist whose radio program had been shut down by the Batista regime, welcomed the Cuban Revolution. In 1961, Juan took his family back to Cuba to help Castro lead his native land out of tyranny – or so he thought. It took Juan only a couple of months to become disillusioned with the communist dictator, and another 5 years to secure permission to leave Cuba again. In 1967, Rick and his brother were brought back to Bridgeport – with not much more than the clothes on their backs.
Perhaps Former Muslims United (FMU) should give Rick Torres an assist by sending Mr. Dhaoudi, one of the FMU Freedom Pledge letters asking him and his CAIR chapter leaders to abjure death Fatwas against apostates. If the Connecticut CAIR Chapter doesn't respond, their non-response might be used by Torres to embarrass 4th CD incumbent Democrat Jim Himes, if Himes doesn't pipe up to support former Muslims’ human rights. Bravo to Rick Torres. We hope he wins the GOP primary to contend against Himes in the upcoming November election. Given his family’s experience, he has personal knowledge of ideological tyranny and violations of human rights. Something we doubt Democratic Congressman and Obama supporter Jim Himes does.
"JUNEAU, Alaska - Bristol Palin is hitting the speakers' circuit and will command between $15,000 and $30,000 for each appearance, Palin family attorney Thomas Van Flein said Monday.
Van Flein confirmed a report by celebrity news website RadarOnline that the daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has signed with Single Source Speakers."
The inimitable child of an inimitable mother, Bristol, still unwed but said to be looking, just for laughs, for a husband named Meyers or Myers, will thus be receiving, for a single lecture, very close to what I make in an entire year. This does not sit well with me. I hope it does not sit well with you.
So I've decided that it is time for me to entire the business of lecturing. But with a twist or two. As an animated one-man Chatauqua, I would prefer to be engaged by those who want me to show up at intimate gatherings for a dozen or twenty, rather than to lecture to mass audiences of muffler salesmen at an annual convention. Best of all would be to be engaged to come to your house, and to have dinner with your impossible children, or obstinate husband or misguided wife, or some of your friends, or your law partners, or business partners, or others with whom you are associated and wh,o in their stubborn refusal to make intelligent sense of things. are driving you crazy. Or there may be some political figure, known to you, possibly someone just starting out, who should listen, and get things straight. And you will decide to engage me to convincingly, irrefutably, with all mental exists and evasions barred, set them straight on Islam and a great many other things. I would do, that is, just what you would do, and may have even have tried to do, or would if you thought they would listen to you. But you believe deeply in comparative advantage. You know how to make money, I don't, but I, on the other hand, may be able to do a few things that you can't or won't, so it makes sense to engage me. Companies often hire outside consultants to come in and tell everyone in the company what many were not willing to hear from those within, Why should not individuals do the same? I would show up, your Outside Consultant on the splendors and miseries and worries about this Giddy Globe, and put right those who need to listen, among your family members, or friends and acquaintances, leaving you free to do what you do best. Yes, if you want a consummate outsider, I'm your man.
And, what's more, you may find this hard to believe, but a money-back guarantee comes with this offer. Either I will match, or surpass, in my presentation, whatever Bristol Palin may present in her lectures, and at a fraction of the -- well, we'll settle on a fee later -- or you will get all of your money back.
Yes, I know. Ms. Palin, as a result of all that healthy Alaskan air and those eistedfodds, is quite ship-shape in her Bristol fashion. And I could stand to go to the gym more often. But that does not affect the kind of goods that she, and I -- her now declared competitor -- have on offer.
Think about it.
And if you find yourself interested, please write to the Editor of NER, who has kindly agreed to forward all inquiries.
Kierostami Denounces The Iranian Government For Imprisoning Panahi
Iranian Director Says Art Is Under Attack at Home
By Bob Tourtellotte
Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami said on Tuesday his government's imprisonment of colleague Jafar Panahi is "intolerable," and that film-makers and art in general are under attack in his home country.
Kiarostami, debuting his "Copie Conforme" ("Certified Copy") in competition at the Cannes film festival, said that for decades independent filmmakers in Iran have faced obstacles created by a government seeking to control their work.
"The fact that a filmmaker has been imprisoned is, in itself, intolerable," Kiarostami said at a festival news conference, through an interpreter.
"Jafar Panahi was inclined to make his film under clandestine, illegal circumstances, but that's not his responsibility alone. The responsibility is that of the authorities who prevent him from carrying out his profession.
"So when a filmmaker -- an artist -- is imprisoned, it is art as a whole which is attacked, and it is against this that we should react," Kiarostami added.
Panahi, a maker of films that examine social issues in the Islamic Republic, was a supporter of Iranian opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi in last year's disputed election that saw President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad retain power.
On March 1, Panahi and family members were held by Iranian security guards at his home, and since then Panahi has been in prison. Officials have confirmed the arrest but said it was not politically motivated, yet reports have said he was making an anti-government film which Panahi's son has denied.
"If the Iranian government continues to refuse to release Jafar -- if Jafar remains in jail -- then at least we need explanations," Kiarostami said. "Because I don't understand how a film can be considered to be a crime, particularly when a film has not been made."
HOLLYWOOD, CANNES REACT
Prominent filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and others have petitioned for Panahi's release, and French government ministers also asked that he be freed so that he could attend the Cannes festival.
Panahi won the Camera d'Or prize at the Cannes for his 1995 movie, "White Balloon," and was to sit on the 2010 film jury.
On Sunday, a report on Mousavi's website said Iranian security officers went to Panahi's house and threatened his family members with arrest if they spoke to the media.
Indeed, as his Cannes film festival news conference began, Kiarostami said he had been asked to call Panahi's wife in Tehran, but was unable to get through.
One reporter asked Kiarostami about speculation Panahi was on a hunger strike. The director could not confirm such a protest, but talk of a hunger strike caused the star of Copie Conforme, French actress Juliette Binoche who was sitting next to Kiarostami, to shed a tear.
"The Iranian government has been trying to create obstacles which are placed in the way of independent filmmakers, he said. "That is a situation we have had to live with for 40 years,"
Copie Conforme is not likely to create a controversy within any government. Set in Italy, it tells of a man (William Shimell) and woman (Binoche) who initially seem to be mere acquaintances but, it is later revealed, may be married.
In fact, it is never entirely clear if they are a couple, and the movie challenges audiences to decide if their marital status -- whether real or a copy of reality -- is even important to how we judge them as people.
"The value of a human being depends very much on how you look at it," Kiarostami said.
In Israel, A Diseased Interpretation Of "Academic Freedom" Helps Not Merely "Tenured Radicals" But "Tenured Traitors"
A perfectly sensible, and very mild resolution, was offered for consideration at Tel Aviv University the other day by an American donor to that university, Marc Tanenbaum. It provoked holier-than-thou horror from many -- but not all -- of those in solemn conclave assembled.
Here is a discussion of the matter by isi Leibler:
In the politically correct world of infantile leftism, words like sedition and disloyalty have effectively been erased from the political lexicon. Indeed, those daring to employ such terms are automatically smeared as “McCarthyite” or fascist.
But despite Israel being surrounded by Moslem nations whose primary objective is to eliminate Jewish sovereignty from the region, a growing minority of Israeli academics, funded by Israeli taxpayers and Diaspora Zionist philanthropists, exploit their universities as launching pads to undermine and delegitimize their own country. Some even promote global boycott, divestment and sanctions of the very institutions which provide their salaries. They teach their students that the state in which they live was born in sin, that Israelis behave like Nazis and morally justify the campaigns by our enemies to demonize and delegitimize us.
What magnifies this obscenity is that university administrators feel obliged to maintain the continued tenure of such immoral and anti-social degenerates on the grounds of academic freedom. Can one conceivably visualize any other institution providing salaries to employees actively working towards its destruction?
The issue came to a head at the recent meeting of the Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University when Marc Tanenbaum, a long-standing American donor and supporter, submitted a resolution calling on the University Senate to review conditions governing the status of academics indulging in “inappropriate behavior” such as promoting academic boycotts of Israeli universities, and recommending that academics be prohibited from listing their affiliation or academic titles whilst engaged in domestic or international forums of a political nature.
The president, Professor Joseph Klaffter, intervened. Grasping the microphone from Tannenbaum, he railed against the resolution and proclaimed that under his watch such a resolution would never be carried and demanded that it be withdrawn. When the initiators called for a vote, he refused to submit the resolution and adjourned the meeting - ironically, on the spurious grounds of academic freedom. Tannenbaum resigned and pledged to mount a campaign to highlight the undemocratic manner in which the university authorities were protecting those who were actively undermining the university and the State.
Regrettably, the TAU scenario represents a microcosm of how the loony left have imposed a regime of madness in this country. It is noteworthy that Anat Kam, who exulted in stealing classified IDF military information in the name of freedom of expression and attempted to present herself as a heroic figure, was educated at TAU, in a philosophy department in which professors called for a global boycott against Israel.
Examples of unacceptable behavior abound: the Chair of the Philosophy Department, Professor Anat Biletzki, is a close supporter of Asmi Bishari ,the Arab MK calling for the dismantling of Israel; Biletzki also gathered signatures for a high school student petition justifying the right to refuse to serve in the army; Anat Matar, another lecturer at the philosophy department, initiated an (unsuccessful) campaign to deny the right of Col. Pnina Sharvit-Baruch, who headed the international IDF law division during the Gaza war, to lecture at its law school on the grounds that she would “justify the killing of civilians, including hundreds of children”; the Law School convened a conference on the subject of the alleged mistreatment of “political prisoners” at which one of the principal speakers was a former terrorist who had been sentenced to 27 years for throwing a bomb at Jews on a bus; Professor Adi Ophir campaigned to lobby embassies in Tel Aviv to impose sanctions against Israel to prevent atrocities in Gaza; TAU academics were prominent signatories in a petition backing the US Berkeley boycott against Israel; two professors, Anat Matar (who earlier participated in a London conference promoting a general and academic boycott of Israel) and Rachel Giora recently signed a petition denouncing The Boston Museum of Art for sponsoring an exhibit of Israeli medical and high tech achievements; etc etc.
Freedom of expression is a treasured feature of democracy but the dividing line must be drawn between academic freedom and breaching the law or indulging in subversive activity. Some liberals like Alan Dershowitz believe that students have “the right not to be propagandized by the classroom by teachers who seek to impose their ideology” and oppose the exploitation of universities by academics as anti-Israeli launching pads, but still insist that lecturers should never be limited even if they promote false narratives which poison the minds of the students and encourage them to hate their own country. Dershowitz believes that the danger of limiting such activity exceeds the damage that can be inflicted and is confident that ultimately truth will prevail.
But that does not justify those who delegitimize and demonize their country being provided tenure of employment. Setting aside the fact that in most societies under siege such behavior would be defined as subversive, I question whether for example such an approach would apply to an academic telling his students that Arabs are racially inferior or that Hitler’s genocidal policies were justified. Or for that matter would academics insisting that the world is flat still be assured tenure in the name of academic freedom? I vouch that such people would soon be out of their jobs and justifiably so.
But in this crazy environment it is only the mad left which claims to be victimized when their unconscionable behavior is exposed. For example, in a petition signed by over 80 TAU faculty members, Alan Dershowitz was denounced for indulging in “incitement” for having described as “hypocritical Stalinists”, academics like Rachel Giora and Anat Matar who support boycotts of Israel. Professor Hannah Wirth-Nesher went so far as to accuse Dershowitz of seeking to impose Teheran standards on Tel Aviv. Hebrew University Professor Shlomo Avineri observed that “the attempt to ‘protect’ those who belong to the left whilst employing McCarthy like methods against those associated with the right is nothing but hypocrisy, which has no place in academia”.
Regrettably the State has failed to act in this area because it has become intimidated by the term academic freedom. Likewise out of fear of being labeled McCarthyites or fascists, the Knesset has also been loath to do anything.
I have no doubt that opinion polls would confirm that the overwhelming majority of Israelis would vehemently agree that there are red lines beyond which academic freedom should not be permitted to justify antisocial or subversive behavior such as calling for the boycott of the state.
Universities are the incubators in which future leaders of society are nurtured. It is surely elementary common sense to ensure that such institutions lead the way for constructive participation in civil life. Academics should not be above the law or permitted to engage in anti-social activities on the grounds of academic freedom.
It is a disgrace that we have reached such a deplorable state of affairs under successive governments. Such activities would never have been tolerated under the social democratic Mapai hegemony and I have no doubt that our founding Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, a genuine Labor Zionist, would have turned the country upside down to bring an end to such outrageous behavior.
As this WSJ editorial suggests, this is a strategic fiasco. Add to this, Iran’s de facto alliance with Cuba and Cesaar Chavez’s Venezuela, Russia’s arms deal with Syria, China’s deals with Iran, and we have the basis for a global anti-American coalition with America stripped of its gutless European allies that are seeing their currency collapse.
The gang below smells blood, American blood.
From left to right, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, joined hands after signing a nuclear fuel swap deal, in Tehran on Monday.
DEARBORN, MICHIGAN (ANS) - Not far from the birthplace of the American automobile industry, the Muslim call to prayer can be heard amid the late-afternoon street noise. Outside the mosque is one pastor distributing Christian literature, ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within.
“There are thousands of Muslims in Michigan and we want to reach out to them,” says Pastor George Saieg, founder of the Ministry to Muslims Network (www.ministrytomuslims.com). “I want Muslims to have the freedom to choose if they want to follow Jesus.”
For the last few years, he and his team have attended the Arab International Festival, held in Dearborn, Michigan. The event attracts several hundred thousand Arab Americans, and Pastor Saieg finds it an ideal venue for Christian outreach.
But last year Pastor Saieg ran into an obstacle. Instead of being able to distribute thousands of Christian books and DVDs on the public sidewalks surrounding the event, the city erected barricades throughout a two-block area surrounding the festival where they prohibited literature distribution. Anyone caught violating the new rules was subject to arrest.
“They forced us to be inside the festival at a booth under the mercy of Muslim security guards,” Saieg says. “One of the security guards has ‘Hezbollah’ tattooed on his arm.”
Pastor Saieg believes the change in rules -- along with the intimidating presence of the private security guards -- diminished his effectiveness. Instead of distributing 20,000 pieces of Christian literature as in previous years, they only handed out 500 pieces at their booth.
“People are afraid to come to my booth because they are being watched,” Pastor Saieg says. “They know the penalty for a Muslim to come to Christ is death.”
“You can’t create a First Amendment-free zone,” says Robert Muise, an attorney with the Thomas More Law Center. Muise is pursuing an injunction against the city to overturn the prohibition. “This was well beyond a private festival. The city’s fingerprints are all over this thing,” Muise notes. “In 2009, the city provided $40,000 free police service to the Arab Chamber of Commerce for the event.”
Undaunted, Pastor Saieg plans another outreach June 15th to 21st, coinciding with the festival. “We'll have more than 20 hours of workshops and lectures regarding answering Muslim objections along with methods of reaching Muslims,” he says. Participants will also engage in door-to-door evangelism, with mosque and park outreaches throughout the week.
One of the lecturers will include Dr. Tom White, U.S. director of Voice of the Martyrs. Several Muslim imams will be present in a debate format during the festival. “I want people to pray for this event,” says Pastor Saieg. “There is no assurance of salvation in Islam, but there is in Christianity,” he says. “That is what our Muslim neighbors need to know.”
In that he is wrong; there is assurance of salvation (if having eternal unending sex with virgins, drinking wine, and eating grapes counts as salvation) in Islam, as long as one is willing to kill and be killed in the name of Allah. On second thought, maybe Pastor Saieg is correct, this is not salvation but damnation.
I cannot imagine a city in the U.S. placing any limits whatsoever on Muslims carrying out da'wa, but in Dearborn we see that Muslims have already successfully carved out their own Christianrein and Judenrein zone.
The main website of the English Defence League has been taken down. This is outrageous.
I have taken the statement which Trev Kellaway sent to Atlas Shrugs from the Forum, which is still working.
English Defence League Website Apparently Taken Down For Telling The Truth About Islam Trevor Kelway, EDL
Today the English Defence League Website has been suspended, apparently because of an article that describes, using suras from the Koran, how Islam looks on the Kuffar (non-Muslims). This latest act of censorship is reminiscent of the way Geert Wilders’ short film, Fitna, has been demonised for revealing truth. Wilders juxtaposed Quranic quotes with acts of terror, the article in question did not even go that far. It seems that the thought police are about their work again, suppressing debate, denying reality, and bolstering established interests.
Apparently the reason provided for this blatant act of censorship was that the article ‘contravenes UK racism laws’. If this is the case then it means one of two things, that the Quran itself contravenes UK racism laws or Islam has an exemption from UK racism laws, and is treated as a special case. Since the Quran is still available for sale on the shelves of UK bookshops it must mean that the latter is true. That being so effectively means that the UK is already under a form of Sharia law which demands that Islam is above criticism and completely outside the realm of rational debate. When the Racial and Religious Hatred Act was put before Parliament the British people were assured that freedom of expression would not be a casualty. It would appear that the British people were seriously misled and that the Racial and Religious Hatred Act was nothing other than a Sharia enabling act designed specifically to usher in a period of Islamic rule.
Promoting hatred is wrong and if our legislation exempts religiously inspired hatred then the laws currently on the statute book is not fit for purpose. All the law seems to do these days is empower those who want to undermine freedom and equality before the law, and discriminate against those who want to protect the British way of life. This is wrong and is an affront to our democratic system of government because it acts as the handmaiden of tyranny. Far from promoting multiculturalism, such legislation is effectively promoting the monoculture of Islam. Our legal system has effectively been subverted and is now simply a crude instrument of Islamic da’wa.
It is amusing to think of the great and the good cowering in their holes simply because they are chilled to the bone over the revelation of the truth. They construct a picture of the world that is not based on reality but on their feelings, and about their desire to push forward the programme of globalisation without regard to culture or popular will.
The elephant is in the room, and the EDL is pointing to it. The ‘elite’ is acutely aware that the EDL is fully capable of mobilising large scale support and making it impossible to continue to hide their distortions and false premises. They worry that the truth will be revealed to the masses with such clarity that only the imbecilic and the corrupt can deny its presence.
It seems that the authorities really fear the EDL, and fear it because it occupies the intellectual high ground. Those who currently rule Britannia perhaps spent too much time in the smoky haze of the 1960s if they imagine that people cannot see what they are up to and that they will fail to peacefully oppose them and their nefarious scheming.
It does seem strange that barely a week since David Cameron became Prime Minister, this happens.
At this time of national economic crisis Ben Macintyre ponders the all-important question: Cameron or Clegg - who is the posher? From The Times:
It is most odd,” said my friend, a Frenchman now living, like most sensible Frenchmen, in London. “Your country has given birth to twins. This Cameron and Clegg, he is the same person, no? They are both, how you say, posh?”
“Yes,” I explained. “But they are different sorts of posh.”
He looked confused: “But both went to private school, both are rich, both are sons of financiers. Even the hair is similar.”
“True,” I conceded. “But they are not the same species of posh. David Cameron is Eton-Oxford-country- clubby-cutglass-shooting party sort of posh, whereas Nick Clegg is Westminster-Cambridge- metropolitan-foreign-glottalstop-trustfund sort of posh. Cameron is upper-upper-middle class with a dash of English gentry, but Clegg is middle-upper-middle class with a hint of European aristocracy. These are quite different things.”
From the look on his bemused Gallic face I could see I was not getting through. So I started from basics.
In British society there are not three classes, but an infinite variety of sub-classes, governed by a multiplicity of minute distinctions, invisible and incomprehensible to anyone outside the system. These are partly dependent on wealth, geography and education, but also on lineage, accent, pastimes, parsimony and where you buy your shoes.
In France, there are just two classes: the ruling and the ruled. The revolution made very little difference to this. In Britain, as pointed out by John Prescott (working-middle-class- peer-to-be), there is only one class, the middle one, to which we all belong. All members of the middle class are equal, but some are more equal than others.
“Aha,” said my French friend, Frenchly. “Then who is more grand, Cameron or Clegg? Who is plus posh?”
This is a tricky question, and one worthy of Anthony Powell, the great observer and chronicler of the English class system. An insatiable snob, Powell understood better than any other novelist, with the possible exception of Evelyn Waugh, the minute gradations of British class and social placement that once separated, say, a baronet who has joined the middle class from a self-made peer who buys his own furniture.
The drawing of such distinctions, not just between but also within classes, is a peculiarly British urge. As Lord Robert Cecil once wrote: “Directly Man has his most elementary material wants, the first aspiration of his amiable heart is for the privilege of being able to look down on his neighbours.” So who, in the new Cameron-Clegg ménage, is looking down on whom? Which was born with the longer silver spoon?
Cameron would seem to be posher, genealogically. He is a descendant of William IV and distantly related to the Queen. His mother is the daughter of a baronet. His mother-in-law is a viscountess. Samantha Cameron is authentic old money county posh, being the eldest daughter of Sir Reginald Adrian Berkeley Sheffield, 8th Baronet and a descendant of Charles II.
But there is blueish blood in the Clegg veins too. His grandmother was a White Russian baroness. His great uncle was clubbed to death by his own peasants, which carries a certain aristo-cachet. His great aunt was a spy: it is well known that before about 1992 MI6 did not recruit anyone who was not directly out of the top drawer. On the other hand, his ancestors on the other side were Dutch colonial entrepreneurs: yes, trade.
Cameron’s manners are exquisitely upper-class. Unlike Clegg, who did not hesitate to barge in during the televised debates, Cameron fell silent when interrupted, and when asked to be quiet, he was. This may explain why he didn’t triumph in the debates.
Cameron is said to enjoy shooting pheasants, whereas the closest Clegg has come to blood sports is at the Liberal Democrat annual conference. “Eton and Oxford” still sounds immeasurably grander than “Westminster and Cambridge”, which sounds merely clever. Cameron is clubbable (Whites, the Bullingdon) in a way that Clegg is not.
Cameron eats fish and chips and enjoys reading cheap paperbacks, which is itself a mark of extreme poshness. Only the very grand are instinctively frugal, as demonstrated by this week’s revelation that the Queen Mother rented a television set for her Scottish castle.
Clegg’s accent is fluent BBC, with a hint of the Estuary twang perfected by Tony Blair (lower-upper-middle class). Cameron’s accent, according to friends, used to be rather more “fruity and patrician”, and his vowels have grown flatter as he has ascended higher.
George Orwell once said of Winston Churchill that the Prime Minister was “too old to have acquired the modern ‘educated’ accent ... he speaks with the Edwardian upper-class twang which to the average man’s ear sounds like Cockney”. Today, Clegg has the “educated” accent and Cameron the Edwardian remnants, but to the average man (and Frenchman) they sound identical.
I think it's obvious who is posher: Cameron, because Clegg tries too hard. Effortless brilliance - nice work if you can fake it.
"Clubbable" is an interesting word. I can't define it, but I know who is and who isn't:
David Cameron - clubbable
Nick Clegg - not
Boris Johnson - clubbable
Ken Livingstone - not
Shakespeare - clubbable
Samuel Beckett - not
Charles II - clubbable
Oliver Cromwell - not
Stephen Fry - clubbable
George Galloway - only in the sense that you want to hit him with a club
God - clubbable
Allah - not
There should be a word "pubbable" for those of us not posh enough to be clubbable. And if someone isn't clubbable or pubbable, they are not to be trusted.
Anyone with a sibling knows that a background and DNA in common do not guarantee a complete coincidence of views. Thus, it is not in the least surprising that the most famous pair of brothers in English-language journalism, Christopher and Peter Hitchens, should disagree about almost everything. The former is a vociferous and voluble atheist, the latter a reconvert to Anglican Christianity. The former strongly supports, and the latter strongly deplores, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The list of disagreements could be extended indefinitely.
This is not to say that no similarities of temperament can be discerned in the brothers’ two memoirs, now being published at more or less the same time. Both brothers were rebellious from an early age; both have been attracted to areas of danger; both have delighted to twist the tails of those who otherwise might have been counted as allies; and both have a tendency to radicalism, if by radicalism we mean the expression of opinion opposite to what is generally accepted in the milieu in which one moves.
Both have abjured former opinions and attitudes, although Peter has done so more completely and straightforwardly than Christopher, who seems to have great difficulties with his past commitments, for reasons that I shall speculate on. The memoirs are very different: Peter’s is roughly half the length of Christopher’s, is less personal (Peter does not mention, for example, that his mother committed suicide in Athens), and displays a concern with his brother’s opinions that does not seem to be reciprocated. Christopher looms large in Peter’s book (indeed, is almost the occasion of it) but Peter is a marginal figure in Christopher’s—less important than, say, Martin Amis.
Even those who disagree strongly with Christopher Hitchens cannot deny that he is talented, amusing, witty, and erudite, with an impressive range of literary reference at his disposal. His personality is engaging, and he does not seem spiteful, malicious, or petty (common characteristics of those who lead the life of the mind).
As is often the case with memoirs, however, the most vivid (because the most personal) part of Hitch-22 is what describes Christopher’s early life; much of the rest is about his political commitments, which already are well known and (at least to me) are interesting mainly for the light they shed on his character.
Thanks to Theodore Dalrymple for his comparison of Christopher and Peter Hitchens. The two brothers are the exceptions that prove my rule of not trusting the non-clubbable. Peter Hitchens's opinions and politics are to be trusted, being like my own, while Christopher's are not. But Christopher is clubbable, while Peter is not. Oh well, you can't win 'em all.
Christopher Hitchens is a former Trotskyist, or to quote George Galloway, a drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay. Trotsky himself had something of the popinjay about him, if this passage, quoted in Dalrymple's piece, is anything to go by:
The shell in which the cultural construction and self-education of Communist man will be enclosed, will develop all the vital elements of contemporary art to the highest point. Man will become immeasurably stronger, wiser, and subtler; his body will become more harmonized, his movements more rhythmic, his voice more musical. The forms of life will become dynamically dramatic. The average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx. And above this ridge new peaks will rise.
Or as Goethe might have said: über allen Gipfeln sind Gipfeln.
Trotsky's dynamically dramatic new human type will need a beautiful new world to live in. Here, from a Pseudsday Tuesday past, is an empowering reminder of Trotsky's idea of beautiful:
'The Shatura electric power station is a thing of beauty. Gifted and devoted builders made it. Its beauty is not put on, is not an affair of tinsel decoration, but grows from the inherent properties and needs of technology itself. The highest and only criterion of technology is fitness for purpose. The test of functional fitness is economic efficiency. And this presupposes the most complete correspondence between part and whole, means and end. Economic and technological criteria fully coincide with aesthetic ones. One may say, and it will not be a paradox, that Shatura is a thing of beauty because a kilowatt of its power is cheaper than a kilowatt-hour of power from other stations situated in similar conditions.'
One may say it, certainly, but it will be less a paradox than a load of twaddle. My local branch of Kwik Save sells baked beans that are cheaper than you can get at Tesco. Does that make it a thing of beauty, and therefore, perhaps, a joy for ever (or forever)? How, in any case, can a "kilowatt of power" be cheaper than a "kilowatt-hour of power"? Readers, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought a kilowatt-hour was a unit of energy, and a kilowatt a unit of power. It's a bit like saying that £20,000 is more money than £20,000 per annum. Unless I'm missing something, I think Trotsky didn't know watt's watt. Watt's more, the power station is hideously ugly.
And now for the obvious Trotsky question: what's an ice pick like you doing in a skull like that?
The leader of a terrorist cell planning an attack on Easter shoppers in Manchester cannot be deported back to Pakistan in case he is tortured, a tribunal has ruled.
Police did not find any explosives when they swooped on the cell in April last year, but MI5 has maintained that the men, all students from Pakistan, were “members of a UK based network linked to al-Qaeda involved in attack planning.”
The Special Immigration and Appeals Commission said it was satisfied Abid Naseer, the alleged ring-leader, was behind an “imminent” al-Qaeda backed plot but said he risked being tortured if he was returned to Pakistan.
The men were never charged but the Home Office attempted to deport Naseer and nine others on security grounds.
Eight of the ten men, who had all arrived in Britain on student visas, chose to return to Pakistan. The two remaining men, including Naseer, have now won their attempt to remain in Britain.
The Home Office said it was not planning to appeal but it is thought the men are likely to be placed under control orders on their release from prison at huge expense to the public purse.