A Rational Approach to Fighting Terrorism

 A version of this post first appeared on our Facebook page the day after the Westminster attack.

Victims of Terrorist Attacks in Western EuropeWhen it comes to terrorism, the UK is currently the safest that it’s been for decades.

People have been sharing a video of EDL organiser Tommy Robinson demanding that ‘people realise we’re at war’. If the UK and the west are at war with Islamic terrorism, we’re also at war with white nationalist terrorism. Last year Thomas Mair killed Jo Cox because she works with immigrants. The Canadian Alexandre Bissonette killed six Muslims at a mosque. Two years ago Dylann Roof killed nine people at a black church, in what he admitted was an attempt to ignite a race war. In 2011 Anders Breivik killed 77 Norwegians – in his manifesto he attacked Islam, feminism, and Cultural Marxism (which is literally Nazi propaganda – they called it Cultural Bolshevikism).

 

Continue reading “A Rational Approach to Fighting Terrorism”

A Quick Thought on Culture

A common argument made by right-wingers – supporters of Trump, Brexit, Geert Wilders and many others – is that western society is under attack like never before. Whiteness is often conflated with westernness in this argument. But what is ‘our’ culture?

To focus more specifically on Britain, a lot of what’s considered fundamentally British are relatively recent adaptations. The first Indian curry house was opened in Britain in 1809, curries dipped in popularity in the early 20th century, only rising towards their current level of popularity in the 1970s. Christmas trees didn’t become popular in the UK until the 1840s, when the German-born Prince Albert imported the tradition. It was the middle of the 17th century before tea became common in the UK. Potatoes, tobacco and chocolate didn’t come to the UK until the latter half of the 16th century.

Imagine you found yourself thrust back in time into your nation’s past, along with another time traveler. Your fellow time traveler tries to prevent a melding of cultures which resulted in the culture you know being formed. Would you assist them? If not, why would you do the same today?

If you think ‘they’ are diluting ‘our’ culture, what exactly is it that you want to protect? Which version of your nation’s culture is the pure version that you’re trying to uphold? If you object to parts of ‘their’ culture, do you object equally as strongly to similar practices in ‘our’ culture? If you object to halal slaughter of animals, do you object as strongly to abattoirs? If you’re outraged by Muslim paedophiles, are you as strongly outraged by the Catholic church’s systematic cover-up of abuse?

The argument is less clear-cut for for more abstract cultural changes, but essentially the same. There is, and never can be, a pure, undiluted version of a society. Change, one way or another, is inevitable. Obviously that’s scary while the process is ongoing, but change enriches us, makes our culture stronger.

Stoke Central: Labour vs not-Labour

The Stoke Central by-election is a conflict between Labour and Gareth Snell on one hand, and not-Labour and Brexit on the other.

paul-nuttall-by-euro-realist-newsletter-2009-09-04The specifics of UKIP and Paul Nuttall will drag down the latter – being a pathological liar and a party of clowns will not be attractive qualities anywhere in the world. Nuttall seems to be aware of this, not having attended either of the last two hustings for what is probably the biggest contest in the party’s history, and taken down his website for ‘routine maintenance’ just a week before voting.

Despite these specifics, Nuttall still has a chance of winning. In Stoke Central, 69.4% voted for Leave in the European Referendum, and there is the feeling among a lot of working class voters that neither Tory nor Labour can be trusted to make Brexit happen. This is part of a broader sense that parties don’t listen to voters.

It’s easy to laugh at Nuttall and UKIP. But as Donald Trump proves, just because a politician is ludicrous, we shouldn’t underestimate their ability to take advantage of a sense of abandonment.

 

Marie Stopes, Eugenics and Abortion

Marie Stopes, a contraceptive and abortion pioneer, was in favour of eugenics. This is a beloved trope of anti-abortionists, who argue that everything Planned Parenthood is tainted by this original sin.

marie-stopes-in-her-laboratory-1904-via-ms-australiaStopes’ politics are not a comfortable fit with the ideologies of the modern age. The Guardian’s Zoe Williams goes as far as arguing that Stopes’ politics were “slightly to the right of Hitler’s, just because her definition of defective is so broad”.

Continue reading “Marie Stopes, Eugenics and Abortion”

George Soros’ Professional Protestors

A common claim of the alt-right is that anti-Trump protests are fake movements, financed by the Democrat-supporting Jewish billionaire George Soros. This claim solidified in November 2016 with the claim that protestors were being hired via CraigsList. Politifact define the trustworthiness of the story as ‘pants-on-fire’; Snopes as ‘false’ and Media Bias Fact Check define it as a ‘blatant lie’.

One of the most prominent articles supporting this claim is a focus on social media posts showing that a woman who is part of a campaign group also attended a protest in her free time.

The woman in question is an employee of the ‘New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice’. The group’s Facebook page (which has just over 1500 fans) describes them as being “dedicated to organizing workers across race and industry to build the power and participation of workers and communities”. Three of the eleven reviews are 1-star, one of them because “this is the group who attempted to disrupt democracy”.

Continue reading “George Soros’ Professional Protestors”