Saturday, July 18, 2009

Abolish the BBC

Non-British readers may not realise that we in the UK have to purchase a TV licence. This currently costs £142.50 a year. If you own equipment capable of receiving a TV signal, and you do not pay it, you could go to prison. It is, in fact, a tax on having a TV. Where does the money go? It goes to pay for the BBC.

Is that a good thing? On the one hand, we do get four TV channels and countless radio stations without any commercials. That in itself seems like a blessing at times.

On the other hand, there is also the question of political bias. I have touched on this already in other articles. Angry Harry drew my attention to this interesting piece in the Mail:

The [British Broadcasting] Corporation often takes its cue from the Guardian. The two organisations share the same values. As a privately owned newspaper, the Guardian is free to pursue whatever agenda it chooses. Not so the BBC. As a publicly owned broadcaster funded by the licence payer, it is supposed to eschew partisan or biased stories with a political agenda. Reference

Day after day, week after week, the BBC adopts the Guardian's Leftist preoccupations and prejudices. The relatively low-selling newspaper serves as the Corporation's brain, and many of the progressive causes it promulgates are taken up by the BBC with its far wider reach.

Other national newspapers, some of which sell many more copies than the Guardian, do not enjoy such honoured treatment.

In an article last weekend Peter Sissons, until recently a newsreader on the BBC, revealed how a couple of months ago he was instructed by a BBC producer not to ask Harriet Harman, Labour's deputy leader, why the Queen had not been invited to the 65th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy. The reason given was that it was a Daily Mail campaign.

To his credit, Mr Sissons went ahead, and asked the question all the same. But the point stands.

A Guardian campaign would be adopted unthinkingly by the BBC. One by the Mail, even though it may reflect the concerns and interests of a far larger readership, is a no-go area in the minds of BBC bosses.

The point here is not about newspaper rivalry. The Mail can doubtless look after itself without a helping hand from the BBC.

What matters is that the public-funded organisation, with its enormous and, in some areas, near monopolistic power, should embrace a relatively narrow set of values which belong to Guardian executives and readers rather than the general population.

I have also been concerned for a number of years about the dumbing down of its output. It still does produce some excellent material, but this is becoming rarer. It increasingly produces a lot of crap. I'm a fan of science and history documentaries, and once upon a time, the BBC would have been my first port of call. It is not even worth watching now. Where is the science on the BBC? Discovery Channel is far superior. Auntie Beeb dishes up an endless diet of reality shows, makeover shows, and soap operas. I could get that for free elsewhere, if I wanted it. I don't see why I should buy a licence for it. I think it is fair to say that its golden years are behind it.

The BBC is a relic of a bygone age. It played a valuable role in propping up national morale during the second world war, broadcasting government messages to 'Keep Calm and Carry On'. Those days are long gone. We now live in a globablised world of plural, privately owned mass media outlets. Most of us now have broadband. Why on earth would I want to buy a TV licence?

Pehaps the best course of action with regard to the BBC is just to abolish it altogether. I'm not suggesting it should be closed down and everyone thrown out of work. It can be broken up and privatised. There will be no more license fee, and no more state funding. Once it has to support itself financially, we will see which parts of it manage to survive. This will be good for the BBC too: it will become, like the Guardian, free to adopt any editorial line it chooses.

Jacqui Smith Admits She Was Not Up to the Job

"Jacqui Smith has admitted for the first time that she was not up to the job of Home Secretary. Reference

She said she was thrust into one of the biggest posts in Government without any training and called for MPs to receive help before they become ministers. She also suggested that any successes she had in her post were down to 'luck' rather than skill.

Her comments are sure to be used as ammunition by those who believe that too many of today's 'professional politicians' cannot run a department because they have little experience of management in the outside world.

Before she quit, Miss Smith was widely tipped to be demoted anyway following her dismal period in charge of the Home Office, marked by a series of blunders, including saying she would not feel safe walking in Hackney at night.

The former Home Secretary also faced strong criticism over her role in the arrest of Tory MP Damian Green in a leak inquiry, and when it emerged that one in five foreigners cleared to work in security jobs were illegal immigrants.

In March she was humiliated when it emerged she had used Commons expenses allowances to pay for her husband's porn films and a bathplug worth 88p.

Miss Smith's comments echo those of Estelle Morris, who resigned in 2002 as Education Secretary after admitting she wasn't good enough for the Cabinet role".

I commend Ms Smith for her honesty, but this is ammunition not just for those who believe that politicains have too little experience of management in the outside world. It is also a damning condemnation of Labour's policy of women-only short-lists. Such 'positive discrimination' has led to the over-promotion of under-qualified non-entities, simply on the grounds that they tick some statistical box with regard to race and 'gender' quotas.

How many of those fabled 'Blair babes' have actually risen to distinguish themselves in high office? Not a single one that I can think of. But not for the want of opportunity.

Just before anyone accuses me of misogyny, I do believe that women are capable of being good politicians, and I cite Margaret Thatcher, Barbara Castle, Betty Boothroyd, Shirley Williams and Anne Widdecombe as just a few fine examples. The difference is, these women had to get the job on the basis of merit. They didn't just have high office handed to them on a plate because they happened to be female.

History will remember the Blair Babes as a bunch of mediocre non-entities: if it even remembers them at all. After a few lacklustre years in power, those that were left decided that if they couldn't win the game, then they were going to wreck the chessboard.

The recent 'Petticoat Putsch' or 'Pygmies' Revolt' turned out to be a damp squib that failed in its clear attempt to topple the government. It was the women of the cabinet - feminists every one - who stuck the knife in. They even gave themselves a typically feminist name: “Women Against Gordon”, in ironic reference to the Wives And Girlfriends of English football.

Caroline Flint paraded herself around the media claiming that she did it because Brown is sexist and questioned her loyalty. "I resigned because he questioned my loyalty": I'm still trying to work that one out. I do not believe that Brown is 'sexist': Flint just didn't get her own way, and is now stamping her foot in petulance.

Hazel Blears had to tearfully beg forgiveness as she faced de-selection by her constituency. “Hazel Blears faces being ousted from her seat by Labour activists furious at the 'treacherous' timing of her Cabinet resignation. The former Communities Secretary was reduced to grovelling to save her skin in Salford". Reference

All of this should be a signal lesson in the wrong-headedness of positive discrimination.

While nobodies like Smith and Blears milk the expenses system, and Party apparatchiks pull the strings in these misconceived social experiments, it is the country which pays the price. While these second-raters preen and fiddle, the tax-payers are not receiving the quality of government that they deserve.

Neil Lyndon on Feminazi Eugenics

I wanted to draw your attention to a recent article by Neil Lyndon in The First Post, Synthetic sperm brings mad feminist dream a step closer

"The news that scientists at Newcastle University have artificially created human sperm - in pursuit of research into the causes of male infertility - has triggered yet another outing for that hoar-gnarled feminist fantasy of a world without men.

"A world without men? How Wonderful !!!!" writes a contributor to the Daily Mail's website.

"Women have always known that men are a waste of space," declares the Daily Mirror. "Now British scientists have proved how unnecessary blokes truly are by creating the first human sperm from stem cells."

"Bye bye baby," celebrates the Fairfield Life blog. "The new science means the biological role of the father is under threat."

These lightweight, flibbertygibbet voices are continuing a tradition as old as feminism itself. A potty eugenicist strain has always infected that ideology and it continues today, frequently espoused by leading heavyweights of our culture."

Lyndon briefly sketches the history of feminist eugenic thinking.

As I commented at the bottom of the article, the remarkable thing about such feminists is the level of juvenile spite on display. Do they really think anyone is going to be impressed? They seem to think that flirting with Adolf Hitler - because that is what they are doing - is somehow grown-up and cool. They don't seem to realise how stupid and tawdry they look. The truth is that men will only be redundant until the first time there is a spider in the bath or the dishwasher breaks down. It really is an exercise in childish posturing.

I invite you to go there and post your own comments.

'Vast majority' of allegations against teachers are false

"Teachers accused of abusing pupils should be given greater protection to counter a rising tide of false allegations, according to MPs.

Ministers should consider giving teachers similar rights to anonymity as children or rape victims amid fears thousands of careers are wrecked every year.

The cross-party Commons Schools Select Committee warned that the "vast majority" of complaints made against school staff lacked foundation.

Unions claim pupils are often motivated by revenge after being reprimanded for bad behaviour.

MPs disclosed how one child aged just seven told a head teacher: "I will get you suspended".

In a report published on Thursday, the committee quoted a Government study that suggested more than 4,000 complaints were made against teachers and school support staff in 2006/7.

But research from teachers' leaders shows only one-in-20 allegations ever leads to a criminal conviction".


It is interesting to observe the double standards that the media have adopted over the issue of false accusations. When it comes to teachers, the fact that "only one-in-20 allegations ever leads to a criminal conviction" is taken as evidence that the courts are working efficiently and the vast majority of allegations are therefore malicious. Outside the field of education, the low conviction rate is seen as a scandalous disregard for victims; it is assumed that all allegations are true, the courts are not working, and that 'vast numbers of men are getting away with it'.

Apparently children - and men - sometimes tell lies, but women never do. This, my friends, is ideology.

Why does the press take this realistic view regarding accusations against teachers, and at the same time such an irrational, negative view with regard to accusations against men?

One reason is that teachers are organised; it is the unions who are conducting this research and kicking up a fuss. Men in private life can be picked off one by one.

Another reason is good old-fashioned sexism. You know, that thing that feminists are supposedly against? The vast majority of teachers are women. People are reluctant to think that women ever commit violent or sexual crimes, even though there is plenty of evidence that they do. The assumption, therefore, is that the accusations against them must be false. With men, on the other hand, the assumption is 'no smoke without fire'.

The press operates the same double standards over injustice in the family courts. In cases such as that of Sally Clark, there was a great deal of sympathetic press coverage. When it comes to the appalling treatment of men in the family courts, on the other hand, the assumption is that they must have deserved it.

Note: Why is it the case that the vast majority of teachers are women? Because men have been driven out of the profession by, among other things, fear of false accusations.

A third reason is that government and public alike understand the need for an efficient education system, and the false accusations pandemic is seen, rightly, to be undermining that.

The current developments with regard to teachers sound like a step in the right direction. However, we need to apply these measures across the board. ALL adults facing allegations of child abuse and sexual assault should remain anonymous until convicted. False accusers should not be allowed to remain anonymous once they have been exposed as liars.

The best system would be that both parties be granted anonymity during the case. The trial would be held in open court, but with the same kind of reporting restrictions used to protect the anonymity of minors accused of crimes. The one who loses the case (either the rapist or the false accuser), will have their anonymity removed, and can be named and shamed in the press. The other party will retain the right to anonymity, but can choose to waive it if they wish.

As I said elsewhere, merely failing to secure a conviction does not make you a false accuser. There must be clear evidence that deception has taken place, false representations submitted, along with a motive. This would result in the dismissal of the original rape charge, and the instigation of new charges against the accuser. Only if convicted at this second trial, would the accuser lose anonymity.

This is the only fair procedure that I can think of. If anyone has any issues with it, I'd be interested to hear them.

Book Recommendation: Family Court Hell

I've just been reading Family Court Hell, by Mark Harris.

I knew the family court system was biased against fathers, but Oh My ******* God! I just never imagined the degree of bias and outright corruption which are the daily routine in the secret, closed UK family courts.

Mark Harris is a father of three whose wife left him for reasons of her own. Part of the book is written by Harris' daughter, and nowhere does she hint that Harris had done anything to deserve the treatment he received. His ex-wife wanted to cut him out of his daughters' lives permanently, and the divorce industry, social services and family court system conspired with her to try to ensure that this happened. In fact, it seems that in the early days of the case, Social Services were actually coaching the ex-wife to act against Harris, in pursuit of their agenda, not hers.

The mother moved a new boyfriend into her home, who was violent and abusive towards the girls. Harris and the girls complained vociferously about this, and every relevant authority colluded to ignore their pleas. The mother wants the man and girls to live with her, and her wishes are absolute.

Harris had to fight for 10 years to see his children, all of whom wanted to see him as well. The mother, the boyfriend, and various professionals including child psychiatrists, pressured and coached the girls for years to force them to say that they did not want to see their father. If the girls went to see him, they were punished.

I can't even begin to describe in this article the injustice, the incompetence, the absurdity, the dishonesty of what took place. You must read the book for yourself. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Mark Harris was imprisoned for waving at his own daughters in the street.
  • A psychiatrist expert witness made false representations to the court, saying that Harris has a personality disorder, and that he had been making hoax bomb threats. Harris managed to disprove all of these allegations. The expert in question is still practising.
  • The boyfriend made repeated threats under oath to kill Harris, and no action was taken.
  • The girls were being chronically abused by the mother and boyfriend, and no action was taken.
  • Harris was one of the fathers behind the emergent protest movement, and there is clear evidence that the security services have made strenuous efforts to close this protest movement down.

This book should not only be read by separated fathers, it should be read by every British citizen. You need to know where your tax pounds are going, and what kind of country you actually live in. I guarantee you will be shocked by what you read.

A Spanner in the Workplace

Officially known as 'R v Brown' (Regina - i.e. the State - versus Brown) "The Spanner Case concerned a group of homosexual men who engaged in consenting sadomasochistic activities of a reasonably extreme nature. The ‘aggressors’ were convicted of varying degrees of ‘assault’ on the basis that the consent and, for the most part, enthusiastic participation of their ‘victims’ were contrary to the public interest. Their appeals to the Court of Appeal, House of Lords and European Court of Human Rights all failed. In legal terms, it seems, sadomasochism is criminal if anything more than very minor injuries result, regardless of the unambiguous consent of the ‘victim’. In direct contrast, even if death results, boxing is not a criminal activity as long as the rules are followed." Reference

I was discussing this case with a couple of friends, a lawyer and a psychologist. I was taking a strongly liberal line that anything consenting adults do in private is no-one else's business, that there is a fundamental human rights issue at stake.

It was argued that these guys were injuring each other to the extent that they had to go to hospital, and therefore, as they are imposing an external cost on to society, then it is no longer their private business. Their activities are, in this way, analogous to smoking (and smokers pay a vast amount of tax which offsets their health care). I think this is a valid point.

Boxing and extreme sports are different, as participants do not deliberately set out to injure themselves or each other; of course accidents sometimes happen, and sportspeople should get some insurance to cover those costs themselves.

However, this insight has some bearing on the issue of working mothers. In a recent article about mothers' pay, Catherine Rake commented that "The choice of whether and when to return to employment is, of course, a very personal one". Stating the reasons for mothers' "pay penalty", the article concludes "Poor access to childcare is the main reason for this disparity. "Reference

If the rest of us have to pick up the costs for women's decision to have children, then it is no longer 'a very personal' choice. The current situation is that an employer cannot ask a female candidate at interview if she intends to get pregnant in the near future. This is regarded as none of the employer's business, and would be discriminatory to boot. However, if she chooses to, then the employer effectively has to pay her not to work, and her childless colleagues have to pick up the slack.

This stunning system of privilege has not escaped the notice of middle-class women. Often, their intention is simply to milk the system for maternity benefits.

A woman of my acquaintance, discussing her family plans, told me: "I'm just going to wait until I get my promotion next month, and then I'm planning to get pregnant". She liked the idea of sitting at home on an even higher salary than she already had. When asked why she was not entitled to 12 months on full pay, she replied "There are too many women where I work. Not enough people to pay for it". What she meant of course is that there are not enough men to pay for it. Not enough men working there to finance all the women's lifestyles and do their jobs for them while they sit at home.

The employer's intention when recruiting is to get a job of work done, and a woman candidate's intention is often to get her baby paid for. There is a conflict of interest here. This is resolved in the feminist mind simply by putting women's interests first. Rake, like most other feminists, advocates government-funded creches. There is no regard for the effect that this will have on families, children, employers, or the wider society. A woman's rights are unlimited, and trump everything else. No questions asked. However, as in the Spanner case, if your activities impose an external cost onto the wider society, one that the rest of us have not agreed to, then it is no longer just your private business. It is public business. The choice of whether and when to return to employment is only "a very personal one" if you are wealthy enough to fund your lifestyle yourself.

Rake's Latest Shock Findings

"Motherhood 'devastating' to women's pay

Women suffer a devastating impact on their pay after having children, a new study has found. Research for campaign group the Fawcett Society showed that childbirth marked the start of a "great divide" on earnings, which continued even after children left home.

Before becoming parents, men and women were equally likely to be employed but, after having children, 57 per cent of mothers of under fives were in paid work, compared with 90 per cent of fathers.

Mothers working full-time suffered a pay "penalty", while pregnant women were vulnerable to discrimination, according to the report.

Dr Katherine Rake, director of the Fawcett Society, said: "The choice of whether and when to return to employment is, of course, a very personal one.

However, it is critical that those mothers who choose or need to be in paid work should be able to do so without suffering a pay penalty."

Shock! Horror! People who go to work EARN MORE MONEY than people who DON'T go to work! When oh when will the government act to address this disgraceful injustice!