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11th September 2013: The world's gone mad and I'm the only one who knows
13th August 2013: Black is white. Fact. End of.
11th August 2013: Electric cars, not as green as they're painted?
18th June 2013: Wrinklies unite, you have nothing to lose but your walking frames!
17th May 2013: Some actual FACTS about climate change (for a change) from actual scientists ...
10th May 2013: An article about that poison gas, carbon dioxide, and other scientific facts (not) ...
10th May 2013: We need to see past the sex and look at the crimes: is justice being served?
8th May 2013: So, who would you trust to treat your haemorrhoids, Theresa May?
8th May 2013: Why should citizens in the 21st Century fear the law so much?
30th April 2013: What the GOS says today, the rest of the world realises tomorrow ...
30th April 2013: You couldn't make it up, could you? Luckily you don't need to ...
29th April 2013: a vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE, because THE ABOVE are crap ...
28th April 2013: what goes around, comes around?
19th April 2013: everyone's a victim these days ...
10th April 2013: Thatcher is dead; long live Thatcher!
8th April 2013: Poor people are such a nuisance. Just give them loads of money and they'll go away ...
26th March 2013: Censorship is alive and well and coming for you ...
25th March 2013: Just do your job properly, is that too much to ask?
25th March 2013: So, what do you think caused your heterosexuality?
20th March 2013: Feminists - puritans, hypocrites or just plain stupid?
18th March 2013: How Nazi Germany paved the way for modern governance?
13th March 2013: Time we all grew up and lived in the real world ...
12th March 2013: Hindenburg crash mystery solved? - don't you believe it!
6th March 2013: Is this the real GOS?
5th March 2013: All that's wrong with taxes
25th February 2013: The self-seeking MP who is trying to bring Britain down ...
24th February 2013: Why can't newspapers just tell the truth?
22nd February 2013: Trial by jury - a radical proposal
13th February 2013: A little verse for two very old people ...
6th February 2013: It's not us after all, it's worms
6th February 2013: Now here's a powerful argument FOR gay marriage ...
4th February 2013: There's no such thing as equality because we're not all the same ...
28th January 2013: Global Warming isn't over - IT'S HIDING!
25th January 2013: Global Warmers: mad, bad and dangerous to know ...
25th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
19th January 2013: We STILL haven't got our heads straight about gays ...
16th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
11th January 2013: What it's like being English ...
7th January 2013: Bleat, bleat, if it saves the life of just one child ...
7th January 2013: How best to put it? 'Up yours, Argentina'?
7th January 2013: Chucking even more of other people's money around ...
6th January 2013: Chucking other people's money around ...
30th December 2012: The BBC is just crap, basically ...
30th December 2012: We mourn the passing of a genuine Grumpy Old Sod ...
30th December 2012: How an official body sets out to ruin Christmas ...
16th December 2012: Why should we pardon Alan Turing when he did nothing wrong?
15th December 2012: When will social workers face up to their REAL responsibility?
15th December 2012: Unfair trading by a firm in Bognor Regis ...
14th December 2012: Now the company that sells your data is pretending to act as watchdog ...
7th December 2012: There's a war between cars and bikes, apparently, and  most of us never noticed!
26th November 2012: The bottom line - social workers are just plain stupid ...
20th November 2012: So, David Eyke was right all along, then?
15th November 2012: MPs don't mind dishing it out, but when it's them in the firing line ...
14th November 2012: The BBC has a policy, it seems, about which truths it wants to tell ...
12th November 2012: Big Brother, coming to a school near you ...
9th November 2012: Yet another celebrity who thinks, like Jimmy Saville, that he can behave just as he likes because he's famous ...
5th November 2012: Whose roads are they, anyway? After all, we paid for them ...
7th May 2012: How politicians could end droughts at a stroke if they chose ...
6th May 2012: The BBC, still determined to keep us in a fog of ignorance ...
2nd May 2012: A sense of proportion lacking?
24th April 2012: Told you so, told you so, told you so ...
15th April 2012: Aah, sweet ickle polar bears in danger, aah ...
15th April 2012: An open letter to Anglian Water ...
30th March 2012: Now they want to cure us if we don't believe their lies ...
28th February 2012: Just how useful is a degree? Not very.
27th February 2012: ... so many ways to die ...
15th February 2012: DO go to Jamaica because you definitely WON'T get murdered with a machete. Ms Fox says so ...
31st January 2012: We don't make anything any more
27th January 2012: There's always a word for it, they say, and if there isn't we'll invent one
26th January 2012: Literary criticism on GOS? How posh!
12th December 2011: Plain speaking by a scientist about the global warming fraud
9th December 2011: Who trusts scientists? Apart from the BBC, of course?
7th December 2011: All in all, not a good week for British justice ...
9th November 2011: Well what d'you know, the law really IS a bit of an ass ...


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"England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In Left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution" - George Orwell



Regular readers don't need us to tell them about the row over the Dutch MP Geert Wilders, who was banned by the government from entering Britain for a showing of his short documentary film "Fitna", so we'll confine ourselves to just a few questions:
1) Had anyone in the government actually seen the film? David Millipede admitted he hadn't, but still felt sufficiently confident about it to appear on television claiming that it was a repellent piece of racism and contravened British hate laws. How did he know?
2) Given that (a) the film is readily available on the internet (here it is), and (b) those members of the House of Lords who wanted to, watched it anyway, what was the point of the ban?
3) How come the government can overrule the wishes of the House of Lords who had, presumably, invited the man?
4) When, repeatedly and against the wishes of the majority of people in this country, radical Islamic preachers have been permitted to enter this country, spread their message of hate and prejudice, and even receive state benefits to do so, why is it suddenly in our best interest to refuse admission to a lone Dutch politician who opposes them?
5) The film tells the truth. The literal truth, and nothing else. It's very restrained, and limits itself to quotations from the Koran, and images of terrorist offences carried out in the name of Islam. What's wrong with that? The terrorist attack of 9/11 happened. The Koran exists. The exact and literal truth may be uncomfortable and awkward, but since when is it illegal or offensive?
It would be perfectly possible to do the same thing with the Christian Bible - images depicting inter-faith outrages in Northern Ireland, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition (that'd be a surprise - no one expects the Spanish Inquisition), the massacre of the Huguenots or the Cathars in France, set against some of the more lurid passages from the Old Testament. But that would be all right, of course. We all know that for the modern left-wing, the Christian religion is fair game.
6) Exactly what does the government hope to achieve by this unjust action? Do they seriously think that burying their heads in the sand is ever a useful thing to do? Do they hope that if they pretend nasty things didn't happen, it'll all just go away?
In fact all they have achieved is pretty much what Geert Wilders hoped for. They've annoyed the Dutch government - the Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen (a political opponent of Wilders) complained directly to the David Millipede in a telephone call described as "curt". And they've caused even more people to look at the film than would otherwise have been the case (and in case that didn't include you, here it is again).
Wilders 1, Millipede 0, I should think.
There are a few confused people who will argue that Wilders should have been banned because his views are extreme - he wants the Koran to become a proscribed book in Holland, and faces prosecution. Frankly, that's not an argument to be taken seriously. President Mugabe met the Queen, and was given an honorary knighthood. Saddam Hussain was once our best mate. People deeply implicated in Irish terrorism are now pillars of Westminster society. Compared to them, Wilders is small beer - but that's probably the answer, isn't it? Kicking little blokes is a hell of a lot safer than taking on real bullies, especially if those bullies might buy arms or nuclear power stations from us in the future.
Columnist Melanie Phillips summed it up rather well: "… Britain, the cradle of liberty, is sleepwalking towards cultural suicide. The British government allows people to march through British streets screaming support for Hamas, it allows Hizb ut Tahrir to recruit on campus for the jihad against Britain and the west, it takes no action against a Muslim peer who threatens mass intimidation of Parliament (that was Lord Ahmed. He denies it, though - GOS), but it bans from the country a member of parliament of a European democracy who wishes to address the British Parliament on the threat to life and liberty in the west from religious fascism.
It is he, not them, who is considered a 'serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society'. Why? Because the result of this stand for life and liberty against those who would destroy them might be an attack by violent thugs.
It was the same reasoning that led the police on those pro-Hamas marches to confiscate the Israeli flag, on the grounds that it would provoke violence, while those screaming support for genocide and incitement against the Jews were allowed to do so.
If British MPs do not raise hell about this banning order, if they go along with this spinelessness, if they fail to stand up for the principle that the British Parliament of all places must be free to hear what a fellow democratically elected politician has to say about one of the most difficult and urgent issues of our time, if they fail to hold the line against the threat of violence but capitulate to it instead, they will be signalling that Britain is no longer the cradle of freedom and democracy but its graveyard."

Archbishop John Sentamu recently widened the argument. "The intolerance towards Christians in the public sector is an affront", he wrote. "Last week, community nurse Caroline Petrie was suspended as a result of offering to pray for a patient's recovery. Yesterday, Jennie Cain, a primary school receptionist, was facing disciplinary action as a consequence of sending out an email asking friends to pray for her daughter. The facts of the cases differ in their contexts and circumstances, but at their heart is a seeming intolerance and illiberality about faith in God which is being reflected in the higher echelons of our public services.
In neither case was the woman in question seeking to convince others of the rightness or doctrinal purity of her religion. They were not waving placards or burning books. In their actions, they were as far away as it is possible to be from the caricature of a proselytising fundamentalism that seems to lie behind the views of those seeking to discipline them. However, the suspension of one of these women and the continued disciplinary action faced by the other leads us to questions about how it is that those who share or express a trust in God - or more precisely, in these cases, in the Christian faith - are deemed worthy of discipline.
I am grateful that in Caroline Petrie's case her employer has seen sense and has reinstated her, and that the North Somerset Primary Care Trust said that it recognised she had been acting in the 'best interests of her patients' and that nurses did not have to 'set aside their faith' in the workplace. I am hoping that Jennie Cain's employers may take a similarly enlightened view.
Asking someone to leave their belief in God at the door of their workplace is akin to asking them to remove their skin colour before coming into the office ...
Yet in the minds of those charged with implementing such policies, 'diversity' apparently means every colour and creed except Christianity, the nominal religion of the white majority; and 'equality' seemingly excludes anyone, black or white, with a Christian belief in God.
This was strikingly illustrated in the recent case of the dedicated foster mother who had cared for foster children for more than 20 years, but who was recently struck off by her local council. What was her crime? Did she harm or allow harm to be caused to her ward?
No. Rather because her 16-year-old foster daughter decided - of her own volition - to convert from Islam to Christianity, the local authority struck the foster mother from its list of approved carers.
Of course, as a modern, forward-looking nation, we should be able to work and live together, black and white, male and female, without fear of harassment or indignity based on gender, ethnicity or disability. However, such policies also rightly point to the fact that neither should a person's religion be the basis upon which they are subjected to any prejudice.
Why then, while our children are encouraged to celebrate the religious festivals of all the major faiths, are there those in public office who seem to be ignorant of how this country's established religion gave birth to this nation? Christianity has been at the heart of the history of this nation. British history, customs and ethos have been gradually shaped by Christianity."


The GOS is not a Christian - in fact, he finds all religious belief slightly ridiculous and rather dangerous besides. But the Archbiship's last statement is demonstrably true: for better or worse, Christianity lies at the heart of this nation. It's time we outgrew it, true. But the fact that at the age of 14 or 15 we tend to put away our toy cars and start playing with girls instead, is not a reason to feel ashamed of the toy cars. They were right for us at the time.
The GOS used to be a teacher, and other teachers will know exactly what he means when he says that in most classes there are one or two children who simply refuse to be taught. They sit at the back with their heads down, they resent any attempt to engage them, they don't do their homework … even if they don't actively disrupt the rest of the class, they make no secret of the fact that they don't want to be there and aren't going to play. So there.
The reason in many cases is that they're scared - scared of failing, and of being seen to fail. So they solve the problem by simply refusing to compete. It's pathetic, but it happens. A lot.
In the world today - an intelligent world in many ways, a world that has seen amazing scientific and cultural advances, that communicates with the speed of light, that achieves astonishing things in almost every field of cultural, artistic and sporting endeavour - it is sadly true that there are lots of people who just don't want to play. They're scared to compete, because they might fail. So they bury their heads in primitive belief systems, they use religion to justify their own often brutal behaviour towards each other and towards the outside world, and they strike out at all the normal kids around them who just want to get on with their lives, learn stuff and have fun.
It's perfectly true that many of them start from a pretty disadvantaged position: it's going to be harder for them to get on the first step of the ladder than it is for the inhabitants of prosperous Western nations or the children of prosperous parents, but we all started from the bottom at some time in history. Thousands of hard-working, intelligent, likeable Muslims and Jews and Hindus and Sikhs make a massive and welcome contribution to this country and carry no chip on their shoulder - because they had the courage to compete.
Mind you, ignorant prejudice and the instinct to appease ignorance rather than confront it are not limited to the UK. In India the editor and publisher of The Statesman, a highly respected Calcutta-based English-language daily newspaper, have been arrested on charges of "hurting the religious feelings" of Muslims because they printed a piece written last month by Independent columnist Johann Hari.
Hari, a liberal athiest, penned the comment piece, "Why should I respect oppressive religions?" at the end of January and it was later syndicated by The Statesman. In the article, Hari (somewhat prophetically) lamented how the right to criticise a religion is being steadily eroded around the world.
Muslim protestors have been causing havoc outside The Statesman's offices since it ran the article on Feb 5th and police have even used baton charges to disperse them. Staff at The Statesman have had to barricade their front doors for much of the past three days and rely on police escorts to get them to their workplace.
In his piece Hari defends the right to criticise all religions, including Islam, Judaism and Christianity. But the Muslim protestors appear to have been particularly upset by a paragraph that talks about the sexual history of the prophet Muhammad.
Hari writes: "All people deserve respect, but not all ideas do. I don't respect the idea that a man was born of a virgin, walked on water and rose from the dead. I don't respect the idea that we should follow a "Prophet" who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they wouldn't follow him."
So, just like the British government, the Indian authorities have weakly appeased ignorant prejudice. Ravindra Kumar and Anand Sinha, The Statesman's editor and publisher, have appeared in court and were granted bail.
The protests have stopped.
Finally, some pertinent words from another Independent journalist, Michael Bywater …

I'm sorry. I'm very sorry, but I don't accept those bankers' apologies. I found them offensive. A preening pack of middle-aged white men in suits, parroting the instructions of their PR advisers. Utterly insincere. An apology was not enough. A heart attack would have been better. One each. Or a stroke, just like the new NHS advertisements: face droops, arms fall limply by the side, meaningless drivel issues from the mouth, and their head catches fire.
I'm sorry if that offends any middle-aged white men. I apologise if my remarks have been misconstrued to cause offence to people in suits, or to the suit-making industry, which is struggling in these difficult times, and about time, too; frankly I wouldn't care if they all went belly-up and the bankers had to walk around naked with their shrivelled privates dangling beneath their smug little white paunches. I apologise for saying I wouldn't care if they all went belly-up. I also apologise for any offence I may have given to people with shrivelled privates. I am sorry if my remarks have offended heart-attack or stroke victims. I apologise to anyone whose head has caught fire, and I am sorry I said "victims" when the correct phrase is "persons of heart attack" or "cerebrally vascular-accidented individuals". I also apologise to anyone who may have found my finding the bankers' apologies offensive, offensive.
On the other hand, I do wonder what the hell is going on and why everyone has become such milquetoasts, so sensitive and quick to be affronted and just so generally bloody wet.
I apologise to everyone for calling them affronted, sensitive, wet bloody milquetoasts.
I find this constant clamour for apology offensive. I demand a full apology.
I am a man of the Zeitgeist. The cringe has become the posture du jour. (I apologise for the use of the phrase "du jour" which may cause offence as being élitist and hurtful to non-francophones.) (I apologise for putting the accent on "elitist".)
But it has gone on long enough. We are tired of it, and if you don't agree, be quiet. Your opinion is worthless and all your friends make hand gestures behind your back when you go to the loo. Some even follow you in and make hand gestures outside the cubicle. You didn't know that, did you? You thought it was cruising homosexuals, overcome by desire but they couldn't pick the cubicle lock because security staff had taken away their Leatherman tools. I apologise for the implication that homosexuals "cruise" in "loos". I apologise for the possibly offensively homophobic use of the word "Leatherman" when I could have said "Gerber" or "Victorinox", but I just couldn't resist a cheap gag. Fortunately, I have been able to resist the cheap gag about the phrase "cheap gag" or I would have to top myself.
I apologise to friends and families of suicide victims for saying "top myself". I apologise, though I am not sure to whom, for wondering whether there might not be something logically iffy about the phrase "suicide victims". Let's not go there.
I apologise if that last remark offends anyone who has gone there, particularly against their will. Slaves. Descendants of slaves. Soldiers. GI brides. Travelling salesmen. People who thought the satnav knew what the hell it was talking about. Everyone. We've all been there. Sorry. OK? Sorry.
Enough of this offended lark and apology twazzocks. We've flogged it to death, and I am damned if I will apologise for my use of "flogged" which may offend victims of flogging. (I apologise for my use of the word "damned" as I now realise it may cause of offence to the differently afterlifed.)
Take the Clarkson insult, which "provoked anger in Scotland". Never mind the anger; that's the default "ON" position in the red-top universe. We go straight from a supine apathy to anger. Nothing in between; and since supine apathy never sold papers, the base-line posture is inarticulate rage.
This kind of rage is what you might call a "hubry", a word I just made up and which derives from the Greek, hubris. A hubry is a symbol or a behaviour supposed to indicate the empowered status of the individual concerned, but in fact indicates the exact opposite. Driving aggressively in your company Mondeo is a hubry: it's supposed to say you're potent and like mega-alpha, right? But actually it says your a twat. BlackBerrying on holiday: another hubry, saying not that you're a hot shot, but a minion, not allowed to be out of touch ever. And anger, affrontedness and the taking of offence are military-grade hubries, revealing, not superhuman sensitivity but a petty, snivelling, clerkish powerlessness. If sentimentality is addressing the unaddressable, anger is sentimentality with an ape-scowl, and the apology is its obverse. So much for anger, but what of the anger Clarkson supposedly "provoked"?
First of all, he didn't provoke it. He didn't sit there thinking: "I know: I'll make Scottish people angry." He sat there thinking: "Gordon Brown's a clod. What a bozo. The fellow's a complete dork. And I'm so going to say so." It was the people of Scotland (and how many people do you need to be angry before you can talk about "anger in Scotland"?) who made themselves angry because the media told them they should be. But why? Clarkson didn't say that all Scottish people are one-eyed. He didn't say that all one-eyed people are idiots. He didn't say that Scottish people are idiots. What he said was:
1) Gordon Brown is one-eyed.
2) Gordon Brown is Scottish.
3) Gordon Brown is an idiot.
So (we might ask) what the hell is it that those angry Scottish people were angry about? They can't be angry at the notion that a Scotchman can be an idiot, since the idiot is a staple of Scottish mythology; no other nation would take the majestically drunken Glasgow numpty to its heart with such joy. They can't be angry that Gordon Brown has one eye, since having one eye is (a) a mild misfortune and (b) considered raffish, piratical and sexy war-wound.
So the only thing left is that they are angry because Gordon Brown is Scottish. Which is not something Clarkson can apologise for.
But in the end it was the roll-over-and-whimper BBC that demanded the apology, bowing from pressure to the RNIB, which with startling illogicality announced that "any suggestion that equates disability with incompetence is totally unacceptable", despite the fact that Clarkson's comment was not an equation. An equation is something like 1 + 2 = 3; Clarkson's comment simply said "1, 2, 3" which is a different thing: a playground jibe battening on idiosyncracies, just as I was called "four-eyes" and a chap who wore a leg-brace was called "Twizzle", and another boy who had an odd tic he did with his jaw was called "Crick". We are designed to spot differences and I was no more excluded or disliked for being Four-Eyes than Crick was for clicking his jawbone in Geog (Mr Clarke) or Twizzle was for creaking.
I've dwelt on Clarkson's insult, not because it was egregious (though it was splendid, and will remain with Brown for ever) but because it's easy to analyse. And analysis - clear thinking - is something that's been overwhelmed by the knee-jerk, sound-bite hubriasts of the politically correct.


The GOS says: I object strongly to the suggestion that driving a Mondeo makes you a twat. This is offensive to those of us who are twats.
Oh, and in case you missed it, here's that film again.
And here are the words of someone far more eloquent than I am - the inimitable Pat Condell ...


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