Saturday, 20 March 2010

Paved with good intentions.

A local child armed with fruit. It does not occur to them to eat it.

(Picture avariciously grasped here - be warned, I've wasted hours on that site tonight!)

People look out for themselves, first of all. We're told it's a bad thing and that we should put others first but few people can really do that. Very, very few. It's not evil. It's normal. If you're on a plane and you pay attention to the stewardess doing the Dance of the Orange Vest before takeoff (I confess, it depends what she looks like - just call me Mr. Superficial) you will note the part about the oxygen masks.

In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will drop down from the ceiling.

(Oh good, we're about to die and they've laid on a costume party)

Pull a mask towards you to start the flow of oxygen.

(She does not mention jamming your elbow into the neck of the pinstriped monkey beside you who's also trying to get a mask, but it's important. Those masks might not all be in working order)

Be sure to secure your own mask before helping others.

Is anyone going to be stupid enough to do otherwise? Yes. Some are. And that is why there are so few truly altruistic people in the world - they die out helping others. Natural selection kills them off. If you want to be of some help to others, be aware that you will be no help at all as a corpse in the way. The first thing to do is ensure your own survival, and then you can be really useful in helping others survive. Dead, you're just a lump of cold flesh blocking the exit. And you will soon start to stink way beyond anything pot-pourri can cover up. And if the plane crashes in some remote region, you will be on the menu. Before the airline food. I mean, we're not going to eat that stuff until we are desperate.

Those who want you to 'put others first' are always - always - asking for something. It's usually money or something sellable. They aren't really altruistic. They are not putting their lives on the line, just collecting money. They are not putting others first, even when they think they are. They are doing it for the money or the feel-good factor.

I'm not knocking that. Whatever the motivation, people who provide a genuine service to anyone who needs it are doing a good thing. Why shouldn't they take that feel-good factor home afterwards? They've earned it. If they are helping others full time, why shouldn't they be paid for it? Their lives are spent helping others and too damn right they should get something back.

But that's not altruism.

Our present government of all the tyrants have a big thing for targets. To be fair, which is generous because they are never fair to me, this is not a purely Labour problem. Tories play the target game too. Constantly Furious lays out how it works and why they use it.

The police are set targets of how many arrests they must make. Not convictions, not sensible arrests, not actual real crimes detected and dealt with, just arrests. Everyone around here knows it and everyone is exceptionally well behaved in the last week of every month because we all know they are looking for an arrest to tick the boxes.

What this means is that the police are no longer the ones who prevent crime. They depend on crime. There must be crime, or the police cannot make their targets. They cannot prevent crime. The target system will not allow it. If an area is ever totally crime-free, the police will not make their targets and will be deemed to have failed, even though they will have spectacularly succeeded. If there is enough crime for each officer to make a set number of arrests each and every month, they will be hailed as a success even though the constant or rising crime rate is actually a failure.

The police, originally intended to stop crime, are now dependent on its existence for their continued employment.

So it is with the charities, pressure groups, trusts, quangos and so on. Many start off with good intentions. There are the ASH and the Shenkerite types whose intentions were control-freakery from the outset, but most really did start out with good intentions.

They soon become businesses. They soon have chief executives and permanent staff, and those permanent staff soon realise that if they ever actually solve the problems they are there to solve, they will all be out of a job. Just like the police, their continued employment depends on the continued existence of the problem.

ASH do not want us all to stop smoking. They want to keep themselves employed. That is why they accept money from the producers of gum and patches that have a dismal record of success, lower even than 'cold turkey' as a stop-smoking measure. That is why they now want to promote the suicide pill as a stop-smoking measure. Well, it will work. You can't smoke when you're dead although I plan to have my body stuffed with tobacco and then get cremated. Then I want my ashes thrown into the faces of the people on my list so I can get right up their noses, one last time.

It is why ASH are so against Electrofag. With development, it could be a very good alternative to smoking. Even smokers get pissed off with ash dropping everywhere and having to empty ashtrays and all the general tidying-up-afterwards so if Electrofag could be made indistinguishable from real smoking, we'd go for it. ASH would be destroyed at a stroke. So they push the patches and the gum and the suicide pills and take money from those who make those things.

There is nothing altruistic about ASH. They are in it for themselves.

The Shenkerites push for policies that will penalise all drinkers and do nothing at all to stop 'problem drinkers' and they know perfectly well their policies will not work. They are not supposed to work. If they did, the Shenkerites would be out of a job.

Those are extreme examples. Those people started out Righteous and based their entire organisations on telling other people how to live. The people they demonise are only demonic because they have made them so. Smokers and drinkers were not universally despised ten years ago. ASH and the Shenkerites set up that publically acceptable segregation.

Let's try a group that might not have started out that way.

Stonewall. The gay rights group. It is true that gay people previously have - and still do - have to deal with bigotry. I am not talking about 'people who don't like gays' here. That's personal opinion and is harmless. I'm talking about people who actually go out and seek out gay people and do real, physical harm to them for no other reason than that they are gay. Seriously nasty people.

So, it was not at all unreasonable to form a group saying 'Stop hitting us just because we are different'. A group whose aims were to have gay people treated exactly the same as straight people in all aspects of life where the gay/straight issue is not an issue at all. A laudable aim and one I, as a straight man, can fully support.

I recall a conversation with a friend of mine about students. It is not obviously related to the gay issue but it will be. One of his students complained to him about another of his students who had his girlfriend over to stay, often. They had noisy sex and drank too much. My friend asked what I would do in that situation.

My response: 'Does it affect his work at all?'

His reaction; 'That's what I thought.'

If you have a student or employee who is performing their job perfectly well, then what they do outside work is of no interest or relevance. Whether they sleep with men or women or sheep or frogs or plastic inflatable otters or Daleks made out of chewing gum is of no consequence. As long as they turn up, do the job they are supposed to do, that is all an employer should care about.

But let's look at it from the employer's point of view. Nowadays, it is not as simple as an employer going 'Meh. I dinnae like th' poofters'. That employer has to have just so many cripples on his books, so many gays, so many ethnics, so many women, so many circus midgets, so many men from Atlantis, so many Oompaloompas, so many of each and every pressure group's favorite oppressed group. The only ones he can legitimately refuse a job are single white heterosexual males and smokers.

Is that a good thing? On the surface it may seem so, but what if you are an employer who has interviewed a single white straight male smoker who is absolutely perfect for the job, but have to turn them down because there's a useless orange Atlantean gay midget with one arm on the list and you have to tick those boxes?

What if you're the one rejected in favour of the box-ticking candidate?

All that is achieved by pressure groups is to single out their favoured minorities for attack. When Stonewall insist that Catholic adoption agencies must place children with gay couples, they fuel resentment from the agencies and from all Catholics everywhere. There are other adoption agencies. If Stonewall simply said 'go to this one, they are not bound by religion', there would be no problem. They don't. They pressure the government to force the few catholic agencies to comply.

Stonewall, in this case, are not helping to further equality. They are pushing for preferential treatment. No Catholic agency would let me adopt a child because I am non-religious, will definitely teach the child that smoking and drinking are not the deadly sins they are made out to be, would teach the child that contraception is a good thing and would certainly not bring that child up in any faith. The kicker would be the question 'Do you like children' to which my answer would be 'No, they are an annoyance at best and a disgusting food-to-crap converter with no material value at worst'.

So they wouldn't let me adopt. That's their belief and that's how it is, and I'll just have to keep paying for a chimney sweep. The Bible, which I have read, states quite clearly in several places 'No poofters' so it has always surprised me to find gay people joining a religion that states it hates them. If it's any consolation, it hates boozy reprobates too, no matter what their orientation. But that's a different topic.

No agency would let me adopt when they find out that the only use I have for a child is to get into those underfloor places I can't reach and to pass me the whisky when it's more than an arm's length away. This is not true of gay couples. There are many non-religious agencies. So why would Stonewall make such a fuss?

Because their existence depends on it. There are still gay-haters, just are there are still racists and mysoginists and anti-semites and so on and I don't mean those with mere moral or personal objection. I mean the actually violent ones. They will always exist. Stonewall now depends on those gay-haters in exactly the same way that the police depend on crime, ASH depends on smoking and the Shenkerites depend on drunken louts. They all provoke their targets

They push for 'rights' that are actually preferential treatment. ASH push for non-smoker's rights that are actually preferential treatment (before Stonewall decide to get all uppity with me, consider this - you can have a gay club. I cannot have a smoker's club). Disabled groups demand disabled access to silly places - such as locally, where an upstairs disco was shut down because they could not provide wheelchair access. There is another, ground floor, disco, which nobody in a wheelchair visits (duh) but that's not good enough. The disabled group, run by people who aren't, want it all.

They start out wanting to help. I'm sure most of their frontline troops believe they are helping and are getting that deserved feel-good factor from what they are doing. The top brass in every one of these charities is well aware that in order to keep solving the problem, the problem must continue to exist. It must never be solved. It must be perpetuated and exaggerated and pushed in everyone's face until the proof of the problem manifests in an attack.

I remember when anyone gay coming into the pub could expect to be greeted with 'Uh-oh, backs to the wall lads, hur hur' and it wouldn't have been very pleasant for the guy concerned, I'm sure. Probably very boring after the first hundred times. But it was over in a few moments and then anyone mentioning it again that evening would get 'Oh, shut up, we've done that'. Anyone physically attacking the gay man would have been surprised at how many would wade in to stop it. We might take the piss, but he's a mate and nobody gets a free beating at a mate.

Now, children are taught at school that gays are different. People hear all about 'gay rights' and wonder why the gays need extra-special rights that non-gays aren't going to get. Gays are treated as different in a way that makes those pub jokes seem so trivial as to be hardly worth mentioning.

No more jokes in the pub. That's illegal. In fact it's best to stay well away from that gay mate in case he takes offense at something. Nobody dares speak to him now. If he is physically attacked, everyone is scared to get involved. An improvement?

The pressure groups did that. By continually drawing attention to things that most of us didn't care about in the past, and by criminalising any mention of them.

Look how effective the self-perpetuating problem can be. Ten years ago, how did you feel about fat people? They were just fat people, right? Now, you consider them a cost to your taxes and you'll likely agree Something Must Be Done. Ten years ago, how did you feel about drunks? I mean totally incapable and incoherent drunks. Sad people to be ignored and avoided, right? Now they are a drain on your taxes and you hate them.

Those, like smokers, are groups you would have shrugged off as irrelevant to your life ten years ago, but now they are Evil Personified.

These are problems that have been created by special interest groups to keep themselves in funding.

Groups dealing with people who really did have a harder time in the past - ethnics, gays, disabled and so on - find it much easier. They didn't have to create the problem. All they have to do is keep it going.

There is no altruism. Everyone is looking after Number One first and that is not at all unusual. It is nature. Beware of those who say they are 'doing it for you'. They are not. They are doing it for themselves. Their jobs depend on you having a problem and if they fix it, they are out of a job. You are not the subject of an altruistic urge to make life better for you.

You are just their means of survival.


Angry Exile said...

Isn't even altruism selfish? Doesn't giving money or time or effort and putting others ahead of ourselves push various internal buttons? Buttons marked 'satisfaction', 'pride', 'self worth' and so on that give us a warm fuzzy and make us feel good about ourselves. Even acts of love press those internal buttons and in cases of actual self sacrifice the button may even be marked 'perpetuate my genes at the expense of my own life'. Still selfish from a certain point of view, though it's not one we take very often. The truth is that there are very few motivations, possibly none, that don't benefit the individual in some way or another, even if it's something intangible. That's probably something the Righteous dare not allow themselves to think out of altruistic concern for the risk to innocent bystanders from head pop shrapnel.

Anonymous said...

What a thoughtprovoking blog L-E. So realistic too - funnily enough, I'd thought of it in relation to Cancer Research previously - they bombard me with literature because I ran in a couple of the Race for Life thingys but actually it's the whole lot of them. Should be compulsory reading for all those do-gooder groups.

TheFatBigot said...

There is no real problem with do-gooding groups until they become a business. That is when they defeat the very purpose of their original existence.

Over the last thirteen years an awful lot of do-gooding businesses have been established with taxpayers' money. First in line for the scythe, say I.

Kevyn Bodman said...

Re. the 'put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others'.
I had always assumed that this was aimed at parents with children;perhaps that's because I can't conceive of a sane adult helping another adult, or indeed non-family member of any age, without looking after themselves first.

Wise analysis of the result of arrest quotas for police, and the need for charities/pressure groups never to solve the problem they campaign agains.
Thank you.

global warming farce said...

I suspect the global warming scientists initially believed that they were helping to save the world. Then the evidence became patchy as to whether the world was really heating up. But it was too late. Serious money was flowing into this research from companies who realised that a lot of money could be made by investing in 'green' technology. Then governments, the UN, BBC, world bank etc got involved and the scams got bigger ( carbon credit market at £600Bn ) and it's now all too much effort to say stop. Reputations could be shredded and people charged with fraud. So it's hunker down until retirement and let the farce continue.

Luke said...

Very true, very true; it's just a shame that no one I talk to can really see this argument, it's maddening!

Having seen this news story, I think the points that you've made can most certainly be pointed at the UAF:

I guess their Righteous logic must be working along the lines of - 'attacking peaceful protesters and police will inflame opinions and lead to an upsurge against us, we can easily blame this on those horrible violent right-wingers that are everywhere and yet invisible...'

Anonymous said...

Having endured (against my will, I hasten to add) the cringe-fest of yet another mass “begging” programme last night (Sport Relief), these are timely words indeed. If the whole world was well fed, well cared-for and in good health, how on earth else would legions of past-their-sell-by-date “celebs” across the country get any attention for being such Good Sorts and for Doing Their Bit for “charidee?”

Anonymous said...

Tony Blair's declared modus operandus was to take advantage of "self-interest". He knew that organisations would perpetuate the "thing that is to be eradicated" by becoming dependent on its existence.

The fuel for this was targets.

Very clever. He must've had help - he doesn't seem quite up to it intellectually. Although devious was his middle name.

Vladimir said...

Good writing. You are very good at bringing out the important points.

It's not the main subject of your article, but I do wonder if the whole "drain on the NHS" argument is ever going to end. Will any deviation from the perfect government-mandated lifestyle be considered a drain on national resources? It's transparently fascist, and yet so-called "liberals" love it, because it's "for our own good".

global warming farce said...

anon 13.51

It must cost a fortune for all these shitty sports relief bollox programmes. I'd ban them all.
We had one in Scotland last week. Two tossers kayaking down the Caledonian canal in February. The coldest winter since records began. Obviously being beeboid wankers they believed all their own global warming bollox. Most of the route was frozen. They had to walk the start and finish route.
But the backup was amazing. Vans, helicopters, camera crews, production team, expert instructors (before and during the kayaking), champagne finish ( I noted that no beeboids could be arsed to welcome them home - sane Inverness beeboids).
All that wasted money. It would have been better just sending the africans etc a cheque and save everyone having to listen to them moaning about being cold and tired. I thought the old bbc luvvy McCauley was going to croak.

P.T. Barnum said...

Altruism is self-interest, along with morality, religion and any desire to improve the lot of others.

Here's the result of a recent study into eco-friendly folks' ethics:

Faced with various moral choices – whether to stick to the rules in games, for example, or to pay themselves an appropriate wage – the green participants behaved much worse in the experiments than their conventional counterparts. The short answer to the paper's question, then, is: No. Greens are mean.

Found here:

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