THIS is the first of a new Readers’ Forum (replacing our previous Readers’ Comments) every Saturday which will feature a selection of the best, most pertinent and amusing comments of the week that have caught our eye.
In response to Andrew Mahon: Senseless certainty of Professor Lockdown,
One of the boons of social media is that it’s the work of but a moment to find a professor of epidemiology who agrees with whatever opinion on lockdown that you feel most emotionally drawn to. Well done, Andrew, for showing some originality by reversing this process.
Well said. ‘Those who speak with too much certainty, who avoid the scrutiny of other scientists or the warnings of experts in other fields, and who are quick to support policies based on their own questionable findings, are not true scientists.’ The climate hoax was just a simulation for this PlanDemic of the ‘progressives’. They are so hungry for their Global One World Agenda to have us all in one basket and under the control of their jackboot tyranny. We are but ‘users’ or ‘consumers’. Long forgotten is the word ‘citizen’!
In response to Paul Horgan: Starmer promotes fanatic who wants to cleanse the world of Tories,
Bill E Rubin wrote:
The Decline and Fall of the UK – as described by a police officer in Brighton in the 1990s:
‘Brighton had become a town of beggars, squats and drug users. It had always had a seedy side. The difference now was that it was all out in the open. You could not walk fifty yards in the town centre without falling over a wino in a shop door or a Big Issue seller with obligatory DSS-financed dog . . . the beggars were extremely intimidating, and especially targeted the commuter rush to the central railway station.
‘Very little seemed to be happening to stop this general decay . . . I became more disillusioned with policing methods . . . the sheer quantity of work left officers bogged down with paperwork.
‘The fear of receiving complaints, the awareness that your supervisor would crucify you for an error made in good faith, the lack of back-up in manpower terms, led to a negative mindset. Many young coppers would drive past incidents or aggressive groups of lads kicking over bins and being a general nuisance because it was not worth the hassle of being drawn in . . .
‘In England it seemed that very few had a decent word to say about the police. Certainly little respect . . . there was a complete lack of appreciation of the day-to-day threats that an officer faced. I remember two middle-class couples coming out of a wine bar in central Brighton sniggering at the stab-proof vests we were now wearing as a matter of routine. They did not have a clue . . . Another annoying perception was that all coppers were corrupt. It was complete b*ll*cks. We went out of our way to follow procedures which were in many respects overly fair to criminals. I came from a generation of policemen who would not accept so much as a fiver from a member of the public, even if you had gone out of your way to help that individual out.
‘The court system was failing victims . . . the justice system simply smacked offenders on the wrist and sent them back out on the streets to commit further burglaries, robberies and assaults. The courts had become an ordeal for the victims, with the odds in favour of the criminal. I felt complete sympathy for individuals who did not want to give witness statements. The police could not protect them against intimidation.’
Deadly Beat by Richard Latham; Mainstream Publishing, 2001.
In response to Margaret Ashworth: The Midweek Hymn,
Thank you, Margaret, for bringing this hymn to us. This was one of the hymns that my wife and I chose for our wedding forty-nine years ago. We thought then that it was a very appropriate prayer for a Christian couple, and we still think the same now.
In response to Michael Fahey: A Big Night to forget,
‘BBC . . . does not represent the people.’
I am not so sure about that, given the number of sheep around me who dutifully turn out to clap like seals and the number of ‘love OUR NHS’ messages chalked on pavements, painted on fences, etc.
In response to David Fraser: In a fight to save our nation, we can’t all survive,
We are living through an extension of what was started with Diana and we are now seeing the results through generations being brought up with a safety-at-all costs attitude ripe to be welcomed into the warm embrace of the big state using your health and a giant state institution to do it. If you sacrifice freedom for safety you deserve neither.
David Anderson wrote:
Welcome to the end to which secularism has been taking us. Christianity, its antithesis, addressed the question of death with the dual announcement that 1) We must die because of sin, but 2) There is resurrection life through Jesus Christ. This dual ‘now/but not yet’ message provided the intellectual resources to both try to make the ‘now’ as good as possible, whilst also applying realism – the best will not be achieved through human effort, which is limited in its possibilities.
But secularism, having got rid of 2) by fiat, finds itself having to desperately try to pretend that 1) is not true either, because otherwise there’s no hope. If we’re all still doomed, then what’s it all for? Ergo, we can’t all be doomed. The NHS will save us all, or almost! The main problem with secularism, thus, is its conflict with reality.
In response to Neil Lyndon: Hate crime tyranny of the Sturgeon Taliban,
Bill E Rubin wrote:
Powerful writing, Neil. What you describe as going on is utterly terrifying. It is hard to believe that the construction of a totalitarian Big Brother state is going on in the UK, formerly a shining beacon of democracy and justice guiding the rest of the world.
On the subject of hate crimes, the most objectionable part of this whole category of deeply-flawed laws is the abolishment of the time-honored requirement of objective evidence that a crime has been committed.
If memory serves me correctly, it was the reforms to the Criminal Justice Act in 2003 that introduced the dangerous element of subjectivity: put simply, a hate crime has been committed if my accuser says that he or she perceives what I did or said as motivated by hatred.
This reform passed into law without much comment, but was actually terrifying in its implications because it overturned at the drop of a hat the rule of law and ancient principles of justice stretching back to Magna Carta.
British people are now all under threat of being branded as criminals and of being sent to prison merely because their accusers say that they made hateful remarks. The perceptions of the victims, however misconceived or wrongly motivated, have entirely replaced the objective standard of what the reasonable person (the man on the Clapham omnibus/Bondi tram) would conclude. These corrupt and evil laws are a gift for people full of hatred for and ill-intent towards others.
Colonel Mustard wrote:
The SNP justice minister behind all this is Humza Yousaf, a career politician with a background in Muslim student politics at Glasgow University and a protégé of Bashir Ahmad, another SNP politician who wanted Scottish hospitals to treat Palestinians wounded in Israeli defence operations. Yousaf was also involved with the international charity Islamic Relief which Israel banned on grounds that ‘the fund is a central player in financing of Hamas’. It is also believed by the UAE and Germany to have links to the Muslim Brotherhood. HSBC severed ties with the charity because ‘cash meant for humanitarian aid could potentially end up with terrorist groups abroad’. Yousaf’s wife is Nadia El-Nakla who works for SNP MSP Shona Robison and is chair of SNP Friends of Palestine.
There is no evidence of any legal expertise in Yousaf’s career, which has been wholly within SNP politics. The initiative to make ‘stirring up’ a criminal offence seems to be a Trojan Horse. ‘Stirring up’ can be done without intention, as distinct from ‘inciting’ which is deliberate and already exists in law. It is yet another woolly term contrived to avoid the need to prove a guilty intent, the mens rea, of an offence, but which could be levied subjectively by activist groups to shut down controversy.