Thursday, 11 February 2010

Distract and divide.

Home from smoky-drinky, soberish, because I have to work tomorrow. Fortunately I can set the start and end times for my working day, fortunate because I'm not tired yet. Midweek smoky-drinkies are always quiet affairs but are a good break anyway. Education was on the derision table for discussion this time. Apparently Channel 4 are doing one of their documentaries on it, and asking why so many children leave school barely able to add up. Dick Puddlecote could tell them.

There aren't many religious types at smoky-drinkies because, well, it's not a religious thing and we 'don't cares' tend to associate together. We don't indulge in religion bashing either. The religious aren't the ones banning us from the pubs. We know who the enemy is.

So when a Muslim woman wants to wear a headscarf, we aren't bothered. On the veil, the concensus was that it should not be worn in places like banks and post offices, shops should be allowed to refuse entry, it cannot be accepted on a passport or driving licence photo but in the street, it's up to the woman concerned. Personally I'd find it extremely difficult to talk to anyone in a veil but masks are not banned in the street and I don't want them to be. Masks are banned in places where they could be - and usually are - used in a robbery and that's fine with me. Veils should be too. They are masks.

If the veil is ever banned in the street, it will instantly be expanded to all face coverings. Old Holborn won't be able to wear his disguise and nobody will be allowed to have their scarf over their mouth when it's minus 20 and gale force ten. So that CCTV can see who you are. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, remember?

Try to think of one ban that actually stopped with the initial premise of the ban. There isn't one. They always expand beyond the original target, and most of those bans are still expanding. The veil is not the issue. It's just a way to get a new ban started. The veil is not the enemy. It's a distraction.

Knives were banned. It doesn't cover penknives, or didn't until the law started talking about 'carrying a bladed implement'. Now it can cover screwdrivers and nail clippers if the dusty old judge deems it so. Sikhs are going for an exemption on the grounds of religion. Well, why not? Everyone else is trying it, and everyone but the Christians are allowed to get away with it. Christians had better stay away from safari parks and zoos. They have lions and I bet someone in government has thought about it...

Even the Green God worshippers of the Church of Climatology have demanded their beliefs be respected as a religion. Which it is. One of the least convincing ones, but they have the 'obey or die' thing going so they've got the format right.

I have no objection at all to Sikhs being allowed to carry a knife. Not a single objection to raise on the matter. I object most strongly to being told I can't carry one and it's not because the Sikhs can, but for the exact same reason they give for being allowed to. Their reasoning is that they have never stabbed anyone so can be trusted with a knife. I have never stabbed, or even threatened anyone with a knife. Millions of people in this country have never done so either. So why can't we be trusted with them?

Why not just ban anyone convicted of a violent offence from carrying a weapon? It doesn't have to be an offence involving a weapon. If someone is demonstrably of a violent character, ban them from having any kind of dangerous weapon and review it, say, every five years. Ah, but that would involve actual thinking on the part of the government and the judiciary and they can't be bothered with all that. Far easier to lump the trustworthy in with the few who really are nutters and then fine people for having something they've never troubled any one else with.

So I say let the Sikhs have their knives. Instead of shouting about 'them' being allowed to have them, shout about 'us' not being allowed. Don't get distracted.

Hindus are rarely in the news. Some time back, in Aberystwyth, a Hindu group tried to prevent their sacred bull from being killed because it was infected with tuberculosis. Well, they lost, and rightly so, because Aberystwyth is a farming area and tuberculosis is very infectious. There was a high risk of transmission via simple interaction between the Hindus and other people (not that the people of Aberystwyth are big on interaction) as well as by rats and sparrows and the evil badgers who deliberately kiss cows while they sleep to make them ill. Oh, they think we don't know what they're up to with their stripy faces and innocent looks.

Anyway the Hindus lost that one. They are now in the news again and this time they've won one. They have won the right to be cremated outdoors instead of in a concrete furnace. How can this be?

But today the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, who headed a panel of three appeal judges, said " ... it seems to us that Mr Ghai's religious and personal beliefs as to how his remains should be cremated once he dies can be accommodated within current cremation legislation.''

The Telegraph considers this to mean -

A Hindu spiritual healer today won the right to be cremated on a traditional funeral pyre, opening the way for thousands of the cremations to take place in the British countryside.

An image of roasting corpses littering the countryside, hikers and dog walkers dodging the sparks while watching the skeletons dance, bodies burning like a human version of a foot-and-mouth outbreak. People living in twee villages and uniform suburbs waking to find a dead Hindu incinerated on their lawns while farmers wish for the days when all they had to contend with were crop circle loonies.

Turns out it's not quite like that.

Lord Neuberger asked Rambert de Mello, representing Mr Ghai, what his client wanted and was told that the funeral pyre would have to be of wood and be open to the sky but the site could be surrounded by walls and the pyre covered with a roof which had an opening.

What the Hindus are asking for is a Hindu crematorium. A specific place. You won't be able to toast your marshmallows on it while out for a stroll and you won't see the corpse burn. It will have a hole in the roof instead of a chimney. It will be sited and operated in accordance with existing crematoria regulations.

When I die - and it will happen because I'm a smoker, and ASH have someone in a white coat who will declare that only smokers die - I don't care if my body is burned, buried, dumped in a ditch, stuffed and mounted, broken up for spares (if there's anything left by then), shipped to the glue factory or turned into Soylent Green. I won't be in it. I'll be dead. To some, the manner of disposal of their body matters a lot. As long as that manner of disposal meets the approval of the law (ie not shrink-wrapped and sold in a supermarket as 'long pig') then why worry about it?

It's a distraction. All this 'oh, look, they can have this and we can't' type of reporting is a distraction. People are incensed and the natural response is 'We can't have it so they shouldn't have it'.

It's the wrong response. Instead, ask 'Well if they can have it, why can't we?'

Because it's banned. For 'you' but not for 'them'. Bans are a great way to divide and rule.

You can't carry that knife unless you're a Sikh. You can't wear a veil in the bank unless you're a Muslim. You can't have your earthly remains disposed of in a manner that is legal but unusual unless you're a Hindu. Hindus cannot wear a veil or carry a knife. Muslims cannot carry a knife or be burned on a pile of wood. Sikhs can't be burned on a bonfire or wear a veil.

We hetero male honkies are not the only ones being divided. It's happening to everyone.

You all know who's doing this, don't you?


JuliaM said...

"...nobody will be allowed to have their scarf over their mouth when it's minus 20 and gale force ten. So that CCTV can see who you are."

And there'll be no exceptions

Letters From A Tory said...

"Everyone else is trying it, and everyone but the Christians are allowed to get away with it."

Yup, that just about sums up every single piece of equality and political correctness legislation over the past 13 years.

Anonymous said...

Have fun leg-iron:

Furor Teutonicus said...

The religious aren't the ones banning us from the pubs.

I know of nine pubs here that have been closed by the "muslim council" (or whatever they call their community preasure groups) because "We don't want alcohol sold in "our" area.

So start thinking again.

Leg-iron said...

JuiaM - the rule is so that CCTV cab see their faces. Blimey, that was quick! Old Holborn had better avoid that pub.

I don't see how a beret is much use in obscuring anyone's face. Sounds like overzealotry has already crept in.

Leg-iron said...

Furor - that's a different argument, and one on which I am somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun.

If it's 'their area', fine. Seal it. They have declared they are not part of the UK so no benefits, no free electricity or water or gas. They'll have to negotiate contracts for those things. Nobody gets in or out, nothing is delivered, nothing is taken away. Anyone wanting to leave is classed as an asylum seeker and has to go through that process.

No discussion. No compromise. No middle ground. It's either part of the UK or it's not. There are no other options available.

Then see how long this 'our area' nonsense continues. My guess is less than a week.

We'll never have a government with the guts to do it.

Furor Teutonicus said...

We find ourselves in agreement.

But it WAS on religious grounds they stopped the locals that were NOT muslims from having the use of those pubs.

Which is evidence against you assumption that "The religious aren't the ones banning us from the pubs."

And do not forget, the Sunday and "good Friday" licencing hours in the U.K are PURELY because of religious preasure.

It was the "Wee frees" in Scotland, that stopped Ballachullish,near Glencoe, having a pub AT ALL for over a hundred years!

Which is all evidence against your comment that "The religious aren't the ones banning us from the pubs."

View from the Solent said...

O/T. An update to your nine hundredth hand smoke.

Is this a parody singularity?

Furor Teutonicus said...

Damn a repeat line there.

"Which is evidence against you assumption that "The religious aren't the ones banning us from the pubs."

Of course goes at the end.

Leg-iron said...

View - well, if they don't deliver any nicotine and smokers can switch to them with no problem, that bangs a last nail in the 'addiction' story.

As for their 'third hand smoke' risks, there's no smoke without fire and Electrofag has no fire. So it's just steam now, and is actually less dangerous than hanging your head over a bowl of hot water with camphor in it when you have a cold.

They'll still be banned.

Leg-iron said...

Furor - it's a question of scale. Get the big problem out of the way first. The government is doing more to shut down pubs than the religious at the moment.

The 'our area' issue needs to be stamped on hard. That's about much more than pubs. I just don't see a single MP willing to even mention it, much less do anything about it.

Neither does anyone else. It's that kind of desperate situation that let Adolf Hitler gain power, you know.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Again, we agree.

The religion thing was just a "point of order".

Anonymous said...

I hate to mention it, but isn't your solution to 'our area' suspiciously like something Hitler DID do to certain 'problem neighbourhoods?'

Not that I disagree... the idea does need stamping on, unless they've bought all the land or something. Then they can build a wall around it make up whatever crazy rules they like within as far as i'm concerned but there is no way their sensitivities should be allowed to dictate what anybody else does on THEIR own private property.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Well exactly. But many of Berlin inner city areas are run by ex, or wannabe Commys. And they bend over forewards to every demand the muslims make.

A pub may serve the customers base from a few city blocks. But when a complaint is put in, the whole area gets to vote. So of course, every single muslim is ORDERED, by their "elders", to vote in their favour.

What is even more annoying about this, is that you can garuntee, withing 6 to 12 months these old pubs open as "Kebab shops", which also sell, you guessed it, wines, spirits and beers! All of them owned by, on paper, "relatives" of the very ones who put the first complaint in.

But hay! Thats O.K, because the "demmocratic process" has been correctly used.

Correct to the letter of the law, but hardly to the spirit.

Leg-iron said...

Whoops - the difference is that Hitler was the aggressor. He wasn't defending his country against a mob of 'this is our area' thugs. He just wanted to kill people.

I suspect a severe approach like that might only need to actually be applied once. Thereafter, and cry of 'This is our area' would simply need to be met with 'Okay. If that's what you want...' and the speed of the climbdown would be too fast to measure.

Furor Teutonicus said...

I suspect a severe approach like that might only need to actually be applied once. Thereafter, and cry of 'This is our area' would simply need to be met with 'Okay. If that's what you want...'

One of them was called the Warsaw Ghetto.

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