The Sun is the dimmest it has been for nearly a century.

There are no sunspots, very few solar flares – and our nearest star is the quietest it has been for a very long time.

The observations are baffling astronomers, who are due to study new pictures of the Sun, taken from space, at the UK National Astronomy Meeting.”

The start of global…cooling?

Sign the Petition

April 21, 2009

“Despite voters saying NO to giving Brussels any more power, the unelected bureaucrats are trying to pull off the biggest power grab in history by creating a new, unelected European President. Sign the petition to demand that every country must hold a referendum on any new Constitution or Treaty.”

WHY NOT SIGN THE PETITION?

“We demand that every country must hold a referendum on any new Constitution or Treaty which transfers more of our sovereignty to Brussels—the people must have a say.”

Hal Colebatch, author of “Blair’s Britain” has an interesting article in “The Australian” :

Thought police muscle up in Britain

BRITAIN appears to be evolving into the first modern soft totalitarian state. As a sometime teacher of political science and international law, I do not use the term totalitarian loosely.

There are no concentration camps or gulags but there are thought police with unprecedented powers to dictate ways of thinking and sniff out heresy, and there can be harsh punishments for dissent.

Nikolai Bukharin claimed one of the Bolshevik Revolution’s principal tasks was “to alter people’s actual psychology”. Britain is not Bolshevik, but a campaign to alter people’s psychology and create a new Homo britannicus is under way without even a fig leaf of disguise.

The Government is pushing ahead with legislation that will criminalise politically incorrect jokes, with a maximum punishment of up to seven years’ prison. The House of Lords tried to insert a free-speech amendment, but Justice Secretary Jack Straw knocked it out. It was Straw who previously called for a redefinition of Englishness and suggested the “global baggage of empire” was linked to soccer violence by “racist and xenophobic white males”. He claimed the English “propensity for violence” was used to subjugate Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and that the English as a race were “potentially very aggressive”.

In the past 10 years I have collected reports of many instances of draconian punishments, including the arrest and criminal prosecution of children, for thought-crimes and offences against political correctness.

Countryside Restoration Trust chairman and columnist Robin Page said at a rally against the Government’s anti-hunting laws in Gloucestershire in 2002: “If you are a black vegetarian Muslim asylum-seeking one-legged lesbian lorry driver, I want the same rights as you.” Page was arrested, and after four months he received a letter saying no charges would be pressed, but that: “If further evidence comes to our attention whereby your involvement is implicated, we will seek to initiate proceedings.” It took him five years to clear his name.

Page was at least an adult. In September 2006, a 14-year-old schoolgirl, Codie Stott, asked a teacher if she could sit with another group to do a science project as all the girls with her spoke only Urdu. The teacher’s first response, according to Stott, was to scream at her: “It’s racist, you’re going to get done by the police!” Upset and terrified, the schoolgirl went outside to calm down. The teacher called the police and a few days later, presumably after officialdom had thought the matter over, she was arrested and taken to a police station, where she was fingerprinted and photographed. According to her mother, she was placed in a bare cell for 3 1/2 hours. She was questioned on suspicion of committing a racial public order offence and then released without charge. The school was said to be investigating what further action to take, not against the teacher, but against Stott. Headmaster Anthony Edkins reportedly said: “An allegation of a serious nature was made concerning a racially motivated remark. We aim to ensure a caring and tolerant attitude towards pupils of all ethnic backgrounds and will not stand for racism in any form.”

A 10-year-old child was arrested and brought before a judge, for having allegedly called an 11-year-old boya “Paki” and “bin Laden” during a playground argument at a primary school (the other boy had called him a skunk and a Teletubby). When it reached the court the case had cost taxpayers pound stg. 25,000. The accused was so distressed that he had stopped attending school. The judge, Jonathan Finestein, said: “Have we really got to the stage where we are prosecuting 10-year-old boys because of political correctness? There are major crimes out there and the police don’t bother to prosecute. This is nonsense.”

Finestein was fiercely attacked by teaching union leaders, as in those witch-hunt trials where any who spoke in defence of an accused or pointed to defects in the prosecution were immediately targeted as witches and candidates for burning.

Hate-crime police investigated Basil Brush, a puppet fox on children’s television, who had made a joke about Gypsies. The BBC confessed that Brush had behaved inappropriately and assured police that the episode would be banned.

A bishop was warned by the police for not having done enough to “celebrate diversity”, the enforcing of which is now apparently a police function. A Christian home for retired clergy and religious workers lost a grant because it would not reveal to official snoopers how many of the residents were homosexual. That they had never been asked was taken as evidence of homophobia.

Muslim parents who objected to young children being given books advocating same-sex marriage and adoption at one school last year had their wishes respected and the offending material withdrawn. This year, Muslim and Christian parents at another school objecting to the same material have not only had their objections ignored but have been threatened with prosecution if they withdraw their children.

There have been innumerable cases in recent months of people in schools, hospitals and other institutions losing their jobs because of various religious scruples, often, as in the East Germany of yore, not shouted fanatically from the rooftops but betrayed in private conversations and reported to authorities. The crime of one nurse was to offer to pray for a patient, who did not complain but merely mentioned the matter to another nurse. A primary school receptionist, Jennie Cain, whose five-year-old daughter was told off for talking about Jesus in class, faces the sack for seeking support from her church. A private email from her to other members of the church asking for prayers fell into the hands of school authorities.

Permissiveness as well as draconianism can be deployed to destroy socially accepted norms and values. The Royal Navy, for instance, has installed a satanist chapel in a warship to accommodate the proclivities of a satanist crew member. “What would Nelson have said?” is a British newspaper cliche about navy scandals, but in this case seems a legitimate question. Satanist paraphernalia is also supplied to prison inmates who need it.

This campaign seems to come from unelected or quasi-governmental bodies controlling various institutions, which are more or less unanswerable to electors, more than it does directly from the Government, although the Government helps drive it and condones it in a fudged and deniable manner.

Any one of these incidents might be dismissed as an aberration, but taken together – and I have only mentioned a tiny sample; more are reported almost every day – they add up to a pretty clear picture.

Eye of the Needle

April 21, 2009

In the earth
there are doorways
from this earth
but they are narrow.

The weight of matter
keeps it down to earth,
as if the property called mass
is store-security, a clip-on
tag-alarm that stops us
taking our garment
when we leave the shop.

Thoughts are already things
before they’re set to ink.
Their heaviness is hard
to measure, but material,
being stuff in the head.
Weigh the brain before
and after thinking,
the difference is no
laughing matter, too real
to follow us through Exits.

Even light
is far too heavy.
It must be dark
through there.

Peter Goldsworthy

Thought for the day

April 21, 2009

“The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference”

Shari’ah law in the UK

April 21, 2009

There is confusion regarding shari’ah law within the UK. Yesterday I posted a link to Cranmer’s Blog with an article on Geert Wilders, which came complete with a video of the Dutch politician making a speech in the US. Wilders, in his speech, refers to the British adoption of Sharia law.

“Nonsense” was one response I received in a private email. “Shari’ah has no place in British Jurisprudence”.

However my understanding (which is far from definitive) is that Shari’ah has been officially adopted in Britain, with Shari’ah courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases. So no hacking off of limbs, or public floggings…not yet. Previously, Shari’ah court rulings were not enforceable, depending instead on the Muslims involved being voluntarily compliant to them. Now, however, Shari’ah courts have been set up in London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Bradford, with a couple more courts planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh, the actions of each court coordinated from Nuneaton.

It was Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi who took advantage in a clause of the 1996 “Arbitration Act” which states the rulings of Arbitration Tribunals are binding in law. So the courts became the arms of the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal. Likewise the Jewish Beth-Din courts operate under the same provision within the Arbitration Act – they, too, resolve civil cases from divorce to commercial disputes, and they have been in existence in the UK for over one hundred years, operating under the acts legislative predecessor.

So what I wonder about the poor Hindus? Where are their courts? Opening soon, perhaps…watch this space.

With all these different courts, and different laws operating alongside each other it’s no wonder there’s confusion. However with Shari’ah law it always appears to be the women who lose out?