Wednesday, 5 November 2008

My last word on the Presidential election

Have lost my link for this picture, but I love it.

The stupid have spoken

Such is the way of democracy. Millions of brain donors have elected Osama as President Elect of the United States. A sad day for the United States and for the world.

We can only hope and pray that the harm which Osama wreaks over the next four years is not completely cataclysmic, and look forward to PALIN IN 2012.

Off to bed - calling it for B. Hussein Osama

Unfortunately. Although the exit polls right now look as though it will not be a complete wipe-out for McCain, it still does not look like it will be sufficient.

One of my favourite political quotes is, "If you have not been a socialist by the age of 20, you don't have a heart; If you are still one by the age of 30, you don't have a brain". I think it makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, however, elections are decided by an awful lot of brainless people.

Voters in the United States may be making a howling mistake. I pray that the entire world will not come to regret it.

Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders. Gott helfe mir. Amen.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Well done, Camden Conservatives!

Cranmer reports on a motion by Camden Conservatives to uphold the religious traditions of the country. Among other things, the motion says:

This Council also believes that the renaming of Christmas as a “Winter Festival” or any other non-religious nomenclature is part of the systematic erosion of Christianity in modern life, which itself is the cause of the loss of our sense of national identity and cohesion.

Well said, indeed. When I was young (not really so long ago), renaming Christmas as Winterval or assuming that non-Christians would be offended by it would have been considered to be absolutely barking mad. As indeed it is. However, we live in a country which has largely gone mad, so it is nice to see any organisation which has retained some marbles.

Unlike the nutjobs of the National Secular Society, which pompously describes itself as the leading British pressure group speaking out for the rights of atheists, agnostics and all other non-believers.

Since the 'leading British pressure group' has roughly the same number of members (and possibly fewer) as the Zoroastrian faith in this country, there appears to be no great demand for their services.

As always, the notion of 'multifaith' celebrations is a euphemism for 'no faith at all' - the agenda of the atheists is to undermine all faith, using Christianity as a convenient target to simultaneously undermine believers of all other faiths.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

I'll be praying for McCain and Palin to win...

As I have posted before, I am underwhelmed by the Republican nominee to be President of the United States. To compare either ticket to Ronald Reagan/George Bush snr or Bill Clinton/Al Gore demonstrates the paucity of talented people putting themselves forward for high office these days.

However, on one side we have a ticket which is committed to tax cuts and to keeping the free world safe. On the other side, we have a ticket which is committed to tax rises, because that is what socialists do. This will wreck any chance of the US economy recovering, which will have a major knock-on effect for the UK. Fact.

The next point is even more dangerous. Obama is naive, as you would expect of a jumped-up social worker. He proposes to negotiate directly with the hideously evil regime of Iran, without preconditions. That is a recipe for disaster.

Obama claims not to be a Muslim, yet many Muslims will consider him to be an apostate: as such, in an Islamic country he could be sentenced to death. He was enrolled as a Muslim at school in Indonesia and, as such, will be regarded by millions of Muslims worldwide as a Muslim. That will have serious implications for the Middle East (I shall not bother attaching the words 'peace process', for there is none), in which more than three quarters of people in Israel casting absentee ballots have backed McCain. The overwhelming factor is that McCain is perceived as being better placed to handle the Iranian problem.

Sarah Palin is a Christian woman, who is likely to become the first female President of the world's largest Christian country. I pray for her success, because in these trying times Americans and the world need God's blessing and to keep faith in our Saviour.

Here I stand, I can do no other

No, I am not comparing myself to Martin Luther. Despite my dramatics, I was never in danger of being burned alive as a heretic. However, it is an introduction to what I said to students on Friday.

As you probably know, it was Wear it Pink day, to raise money for the Breast Cancer Campaign. Lots of my students (who were looking very pink) asked me why I was not wearing pink.

My answer was:

I will tell you why I am not wearing pink today. By the end of it, some of you will hate me. It would be less controversial if I informed you that I was a paedophile or a bank robber.

I do not approve of cancer research, for the following reasons:

1. Cancer research charities support and fund research on animals. I consider this immoral and unjustified.

2. They use emotional blackmail to justify this. They will ask, "Would you rather an animal died, or Mrs Didactophobe?" The answer, of course, is that I would prefer an animal to die. However, I would also prefer someone else's wife to die than Mrs Didactophobe. This is not a reason to carry out vivisection on other people's wives; nor is it a reason to kill animals. So I say, "Keep the emotional blackmail. It is not logical. I don't buy it."

3. When we get to the level of emotional blackmail, we are turning cancer research into a superstition: putting a pound in a bucket so that your mum won't get cancer is no different to medieval peasants keeping in with the local witch to avoid their crops being blighted.

4. Cancer research charities are huge, moneyspinning operations. Annually, they rake in hundreds of millions of pounds. We still don't have a cure.

5. Cancer is an illness of wealthy societies. It tends to kill you once you have had quite a decent innings, and have survived a myriad of things which kill people in poorer countries. When there is an exception, it is usually because people have made themselves unhealthy, eg through smoking, drinking or drug taking.

6. The single biggest killer of people from ill health worldwide is a lack of clean water. It is not as sexy as finding a cure for cancer, but I have a monthly standing order for Water Aid, which seeks to help people in poor countries to overcome this problem. Put the hundreds of millions (and indeed billions worldwide) which are spent on cancer research into providing clean water, and we can save millions of lives. Guaranteed. Not just if the witch doesn't hex us.

There. Hate me or not? I am not trying to persuade anyone, but sometimes people need to hear the other side of a story, not just emotional hysteria.

I happen to think there are better things you can do with your pound.

The Famine Song

I have been a football fan for more than a quarter of a century. A long time. In that time, I have heard fans abuse players for (allegedly or in fact) being: cheats, illegitimate, ugly, too fat, too thin, too tall, too short, too rich, bald, hairy, homosexual, paedophiles, mentally disabled, physically disabled, rapists, thieves, terrorists, gangsters, junkies, traitors, or living up to racial stereotypes.

All have taken place without the offenders being arrested and without football or other authorities saying or doing anything about it. Fact. On other occasions, there have been arrests, condemnation etc for some of the above. Fact.

My favourite goal celebration of all time was that of Robbie Fowler pretending to snort the byline after scoring against Everton in 1999. I thought it was hilarious. A young man who had been subjected to the filthiest abuse and insults by foul-mouthed morons without anything being done to protect him chose to celebrate a goal by making a joke of what the morons were accusing him of. Suddenly he was treated as though he had been the perpetrator of the abuse. If he had been discovered to be planning a trip to Disneyland with Gary Glitter, Fowler would not have been treated with any less of a witch hunt. He was hit with a suspension and fine, whilst the hooligans escaped scot-free.

So, let us get to the latest controversy sweeping Scottish football. As always, it involves the Old Firm. Back in May, I made clear my feelings about Rangers. I would not change a single word of what I wrote. One thing I will say in defence of Rangers fans, however, is that they tend to be reasonable in accepting that you support another team (especially if it is not Celtic). On the other hand, Celtic fans who hear you criticise them are liable to immediately allocate you a place in their pantheon of demons, somewhere between Satan and the Rev Ian Paisley.

In recent times, Rangers fans have been developing songs which are more foul, depraved, racist and, to be downright honest and reasonable, which is not recommended in the west of Scotland, often more humorous than ever before.

"Nakamura ate my dog" alleges that Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura shares a taste that 8% or so of his compatriots do indeed admit to. Accusing him of actually abducting poor old Fido is, of course, quite unfair and untrue.

"Big Jock knew" alleges that former Rangers fan and Celtic manager Jock Stein knew and covered up the sexual assaults on Celtic youth players in the 1960s and 70s by James Torbett, the then coach of Celtic Boys' Club. Stein, in fact, sacked Torbett when he discovered the offences although he did nothing to have him prosecuted. In those days, to be fair, child abuse received much less attention than now. Sacking someone and considering the matter to be concluded is probably as much as most employers would have done.

However, The Famine Song really takes the biscuit for controversy. The lyrics urge descendants of the Potato Famine to 'go home'. After pressure from the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh, Rangers fans who sing the offending ditty are liable to be arrested.

My humble opinion is, however, that it is the least offensive of the above songs despite having received the greatest attention, for reasons which I shall explain. As they say on Dragon's Den, let me tell you where I'm at:

Some of my ancestors arrived in Ayrshire around the time of the potato famines. Some of them were from Ireland; others were from the Highlands (whose famine doesn't get the same attention for some reason). However, that was a long time and several generations ago. Where I grew up in the west of Scotland, for better or worse, is where I am from.

I think the Famine Song is directed against people who refuse to put the past behind them and who pretend to be something they aren't, so I am personally not offended by it. I think it is bizarre for Scottish-born Celtic fans to wave the flag of the Irish Republic (which didn't exist at the time) and spout their support for the IRA. I am no racist, but I don't have a problem with suggesting to people who prefer a foreign country over their own that they should go and live in the place they have such fondness for. If they love this country and want to be here, then that is fine.

One of my earliest memories of football is of being bewildered as a young boy when I heard Celtic fans singing pro-IRA songs and waving Irish flags. Most of us who have Irish ancestors are fully integrated into Scottish and British society: for those who refuse to let go, I am not convinced that they should not be invited to 'go' to where they consider to be 'home'.

A current controversy is that James McCarthy of Hamilton and Aiden McGeady of Celtic allegedly deserve the disapprobation of Scottish fans for treacherously choosing to represent the Republic of Ireland rather than Scotland, where they were born. I happen to think that young players like McCarthy and McGeady should want to play for their own country, which in their case is Scotland. I never had a problem with guys like Owen Coyle and Tommy Coyne choosing to play for Ireland later in their careers when it was obvious that Scotland weren't going to pick them, but young lads should be knuckling down and showing that they are good enough to play for their own country. Scottish fans rightly feel betrayed by them.