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"Well, here's another nice mess you've got me into" - Oliver Hardy


Political indoctrination in school
Melanie Phillips, writing in the Spectator last week, says
A reader has sent me deeply disturbing evidence of the indoctrination into hatred and lies being perpetrated in at least one of our schools. This is a questionnaire that was distributed to pupils at a large mixed comprehensive school in Britain (the reader has asked me not to identify the school for personal reasons).
The seven questions included litter, racism, refugees, a petition against 'British attacks on Iraq', dolphin-friendly tuna, racism again, and then this last question

You know that Israel's actions against Palestinian civilians go against international law. Which of the following do you decide?
a) People like us in Britain should stop buying goods made in Israel, to help put pressure on Israel to stop attacking Palestinians (3)
b) This conflict has nothing to do with us and there is nothing we can do (1)
c) Our government should put pressure on Israel to do what international law says, and cut down its occupation of Palestine (2)
d) We need to find out more about the conflict between Israel and Palestine before we say what we do (3)
The numbers in brackets indicate the score a student would receive for their answer - the higher the better.
We are now a country where the uninformed are instructed by the bigoted. From the Olympian heights of Britain's once unsurpassed education system, which produced the fairest, gentlest and most rational society on earth, Britain's children are now being equipped instead to inhabit Planet Virulence, where ignorance, irrationality and injustice rule.


More political indoctrination in school
And then there's the decision that Al Gore's inaccurate, politically-motivated and scientifically foolish film "An Inconvenient Truth" can legally be shown to 11-year-old pupils in British schools, despite the efforts of parent Stewart Dimmock to persuade the courts to outlaw it. And now Al Gore and the IPCC have got a Nobel Prize!
That just about takes the biscuit, doesn't it? The man runs a business selling "green investments", he distorts the truth, he is not himself a scientist and he ignores almost all scientific opinion. For instance he claims that world sea levels are going to rise by 20 feet, drowning thousands of square miles of land, inundating major cities and swallowing, among other things, half the Indian subcontinent. You'd have to search very hard to find a single scientist, even in the seriously flawed IPCC, who thinks the actual rise is going to be more than 15 inches over the next hundred years.
You might as well give a Nobel Prize to Osama bin Laden. After all, he's changed the way the world thinks just as much as Al Bloody Gore.

The plague
Being so incredibly ancient, The GOS went off to the doctor the other day to have his anti-'flu jabs, so he will no longer have to worry about Asian 'flu. Of course there are plenty of other diseases to fear. There's bird 'flu (12 dead this year). And SARS 774 deaths before it petered out). And the dreaded VariantCJD which turns you into a cow or something - 161 deaths worldwide.
Oddly the one sickness he won't be worrying about is malaria, which still kills 1.3 million people every year - but they're almost all Africans so I suppose they don't count. They are, for instance, a great deal less important than the holy cow Environment which prevents anyone spraying the malarial marshes with DDT or anything that might actually hurt the poor little disease-carrying insects.
Mentioning bird 'flu reminds us that Dr.Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic recently distinguished himself in a BBC documentary. "If you were a terrorist wanting to design a biologic weapon," he claimed, "you couldn't do better than designing a virus like this. This is really nature's bio-terrorism." Later he informed us that "the best scientific evidence is that one or two mutations will be enough to allow this virus to attach easily to human cells and thereby spread from one human to another." He was wrong, of course. The newest research shows that it would actually take 11 or 12 mutations.
Poland also informed us that "what really sent chills through the spines of virologists and vaccinologists was the recognition that this virus [avian flu H5N1] had now jumped species from birds into mammals." Shock, horror! But birds and mammals (particularly pigs, apparently) play a vital role in each year's seasonal influenza. A team of researchers wrote in the journal Virology that "most of the influenza virus genes that have appeared in mammalian gene pools over the past 30 years have been shown ultimately to have an avian origin."
Poland wasn't alone in wanting to cause the maximum panic to make himself appear important. The documentary's narrator more than once insisted that the virus "seeks world domination," while a Scottish doctor said "The human population has never been faced by a virus like this before. This is an utterly evil virus."
Just to make it clear, about this "utterly evil virus": avian flu 12 dead, C diff in Maidstone Hospital 90, malaria 1.3 million. Yep, that bird 'flu is utterly evil, all right.

In his Sunday Times review of Professor Grayling's new book "Towards the light - the story of the struggles for liberty and rights that made the modern west", Roger Scruton gave us an interesting slant on the hunting ban.
Hard-won liberties of the subject are being eroded in Britain and America. The right to hunt was recently taken away by a dictatorial House of Commons ... the right to hunt being the first granted at the French revolution as a symbol that the land was being returned to the people, and being enshrined also in the constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Such uneducated invasions of inherited rights are, it seems to me, far more indicative of the fragility of liberal political order than the identity cards of which Grayling complains at such length. I agree with him that the liberal order is under threat. But one of its greatest enemies remains the one identified by Burke - the airy declaration of abstract political goals, combined with a contempt for real people.

A Labour thinktank has named the migrant groups which are a drain on the taxpayer. Immigrants from Somalia, Turkey, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran are most likely to be out of work and claiming state benefits, it said, but immigrants from some other countries do better than native-born British in terms of the proportion who work, their level of earnings and the school performance of their children.
The report was produced by the Institute for Public Policy Research, which has close links to Downing Street. The institute has always in the past been supportive of Government immigration policy and its work has focused on the benefits rather than the downside of largescale migration. The report's results, which are based on an analysis of government figures, were produced for a Dispatches programme called "Immigrants: The Inconvenient Truth" broadcast on Channel 4.
They figures show that Somalis in Britain are the worst- off migrant group. Fewer than one in five has a job and four out of five live in subsidised council or housing association homes.
The report also confirms the widespread perception that Polish-immigrants work hard for less money than most British-born workers would accept. Australians are the only nationality in Britain more likely to have a job than the Poles. In the hours they work Poles are second only to the notoriously workaholic Americans. However, Poles earn on average the lowest hourly wage, 7.30.
Some migrant groups fail to turn educational opportunities into economic success. Groups whose children have not done well in school include Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Turks and Somalis. On the other hand, Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Sri Lankan and Iranian children all do better than average in school.
It's always nice to have one's prejudices confirmed! But then, if they turn out to be accurate, were they prejudices in the first place?

And finally
this thought from Ken Fisher, writing on Interactive Investor
The word 'politics' derives from the Greek 'poly' meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'tiny bloodsucking creatures'.


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