#DawkinsTweet @RichardDawkins #FeministsLoveIslamists

Shit-Storm Richard

A brief look back at the devastation caused by the last few days inclement weather.

Here we have a satirical cartoon. If you haven’t seen it, stop reading and watch it now.

;

Good, you’re back. Welcome.

As a piece of satire, it is, quite naturally, offensive to some – especially the people, organisations, or ideas portrayed in the satire. Still, in a free society, there is little they can do beyond commenting on the offence taken, or defending their actions as portrayed in the satire.

Specifically, in this case, initially at least (it was published on a popular YouTube channel on the 8th January) they chose to do neither.

That is until public figure, renowned atheist and evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, condoned the said satire through re-publishing it via his Twitter feed two days ago. One presumes he watched it, chuckled, then re-tweeted it.

dawkins

Isn’t that what we all do?

Said public figure, Richard Dawkins – not the satire contained in the cartoon – is then attacked. Not physically, of course, but let’s just say there were sparks flying off more than a few keyboards. Fingers scorched. Nails undoubtedly chipped and broken. I truly dread the day Google perfects voice-to-text. We won’t be able to hear ourselves read – let alone be ripped off by tax-avoiding Multinationals.

Anyways, back to the weather. Dawkins tweets brief statements in response to the attack, as one does, mainly regarding the need to ridicule small elements of feminism that have supported Islamism (the satirical point of the cartoon). He then suddenly deletes his tweet after being informed that one of the protagonists portrayed in the cartoon (the feminist, Thingy Binx – sorry, I can never remember her first name?) had in the past been trolled and threatened online.

Following the deletion, Dawkins then tweets (paraphrased here) that ‘no one should be subject to such threats and intimidation’, appealing to all and sundry ‘never to engage in such activity’.

Brilliant. Perfect play.

Considering he’s a history with Twitter, this looked like a professional team had been brought in.

Nevertheless, anyone who plays Call of Duty can tell you that no Battle-Plan, however good, will survive contact with the enemy.

‘Nice doggie… now, put the rabbit down’.’ ‘Grrrrrrrr.’

chanty binxFollowing this laudable appeal, his statements are pulled apart, dissected, rearranged and re-tweeted. Dawkins is then accused (without proof) of setting his ‘followers’ to harass and threaten the aforementioned individual. Supporters of Dawkins (don’t worry about him, he has loads) point out, to no avail, that the trolling of Ms Binx (Chanty! Yes, that’s it ‘Chanty Binx’!) occurred three years ago following a number of her online videos where she is seen to be loud, aggressive and obnoxious.

Yeah? So? What if she gets harassed online, again, eh, Mistah Big Noise Dawkins?

The attack on Dawkins continues unabated.

Crowds gather. Torches are lit. There are demands that he be reprimanded – or at least flailed publicly. Dawkins is almost instantaneously punished by the withdrawal of his invitation as keynote speaker at an upcoming north American conference, the ‘North East Conference on Science & Skepticism’.

Without contacting Dawkins, the NCSS released this statement (my emphasis):

The Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism has withdrawn its invitation to Richard Dawkins to participate at NECSS 2016. We have taken this action in response to Dr. Dawkins’ approving re-tweet of a highly offensive video.

We believe strongly in freedom of speech and freedom to express unpopular, and even offensive, views. However, unnecessarily divisive, counterproductive, and even hateful speech runs contrary to our mission and the environment we wish to foster at NECSS. The sentiments expressed in the video do not represent the values of NECSS or its sponsoring organizations (sic).

We will issue a full refund to any NECSS attendee who wishes to cancel their registration due to this announcement.

The NECSS Team

‘What’s this all about, a cartoon?’ ‘Yes, a cartoon.’ ‘Hmmm, that sounds familiar?’

Okay, let us for a moment turn away from the uncomfortable fact that the people who are accusing Dawkins and his followers of online harassment are busy harassing Dawkins online. Let’s instead look at what everybody else seems to be avoiding: let’s look at the cartoon:

The cartoon states implicitly (Dawkins says this explicitly in his re-tweet) ‘This is what a minority of feminists think‘. It does this in order to take a satirical stab at events that have unfolded over the past few weeks. Specifically, in Europe, and culminating in the mass sex attacks in Cologne on New Years Eve. It is a response to multiple situations where purportedly we have seen feminists and people on the left (my supposed natural allies) defending the indefensible (at times pro-actively and at others through a deafening silence) rather than be seen as racist, islamophobic, or ‘punching down’ on a minority.

This in itself is worthy of the greatest ridicule and mockery. It is both regressive and damaging.

Okay, first things first: Facts. Did these events happen?

Undoubtedly.

There was a deafening silence (and much confusion) regarding the handling of recent events in Europe. Following Cologne, a female German Mayor suggested western women could help themselves by ‘staying at arms length’ from people (Muslim men) who were patently organising sexual assaults.

Women were accused of dressing provocatively and encouraging sexual assault and rape.

Elsewhere, feminist Societies at British Universities, silent on Cologne, busied themselves opposing free speech and no-platforming feminist ex-Muslims whilst supporting the misogyny of Islamists – including gender segregation – and the banning of ‘offensive’ depictions of the naked body such as, would you believe, Michelangelo’s ‘Creation of Adam‘.

Police forces across Europe played down the extent of what had – and was – happening.

All of this allowed right wing nationalists and neo-fascists in Europe to take the lead and to denigrate minorities, immigrants and refugees, pushing for regressive policies such as mass deportations, whilst many on the left and feminism sat on their fat arses, scared shitless by their inability to respond appropriately and progressively to a mass influx of single, unaccompanied, unemployed young men from a war zone and hailing from a culture that holds a normalcy to the denigration, oppression and covering of women. A culture built upon a religion that replaces good and bad, moral and immoral (even virtue and sin) with Honour and Shame. A culture that quite openly sees the women who were attacked as shameful, and the men who attacked them as honourable.

The condemnation from feminism and the left that was so quick to materialise at the rapes and sexual attacks in Tahrir Square, for example, throughout the Arab Spring and after, was nowhere to be seen.

A bizarre mix of identity-politics, intersectionality, fear, confusion, dogma and yes, a desire to do good, led to a cultural relativism which in turn led to inaction, to paralysis. To an inability to produce, demand or even identify policy that would be both effective and progressive – whether on the streets of Europe or in its Universities.

Yes, yes, but… what about the cartoon itself?

Well, this brings us back to the initial ‘issue at hand’: did Dawkins re-tweet an abominable slight on women using rape as a joke that encourages death threats against an individual, or did he re-tweet a piece of satire.

Many supporters of Ms Binx, and those satirised, thought the former. I, and many others – feminists and people on the progressive left – do not.

For me, this has nothing to do with Dawkins per se – the actual issue at hand is the satirical content of a political cartoon coupled with the freedom to offend. What many saw as ‘stupid’, ‘offensive’, and ‘hate-speech’ that needed to be silenced, I saw as an excellent satire with a stunningly good tag. Let’s look at what they have done: The producers have conflated what are normally seen as polar opposites to show how a particular behaviour of one – either proactively or through inaction – can support, enhance, highlight or encourage the other.

This format typically leads to good satire.

That they did this using two ‘known’ characters in a ‘jolly duet’ is a ploy that is often used in satire and, indeed, was regularly used by Charlie Hebdo, specifically on some of their better covers:

635562506950226435-Charlie-Hebdo-L-Amour hebdo-exec untouchables

Satire is one of the greatest and most powerful weapons we have. Without the ability to ridicule, to mock, to offend, there is no such thing as free speech. Offence is the very basis of that free speech – and free speech is the foundation of the liberal state.

Political satire is literally a tool to offend. It is accessible, too. It just has to hold enough elements of truth to get its message across. It’s a satirical sketch, not some magnum opus. These people (Binx & Co) have never really met. They have never really sang a duet together. They merely ‘represent’ aspects of Feminism and Islamism in order to tell a story, to make a point.

The point behind this cartoon is valid. I got it. We may disagree as to its value regarding humour – you may not care for it, I do – the question is: was it wrong for Dawkins to retweet it? My answer to that is a definite ‘No’. Would I have retweeted it? Yes. It has satirical value. It has worth. But more than that, it contains within it the basis of liberalism – offensive free speech.

Questions, questions, questions.

The question is raised then, if Dawkins New Model Army were not busy piling faggots around the feet of Chanty Binx, and if the events that the cartoon attempts (well, in my opinion) to satirise had occurred, why would Dawkins be attacked (and punished) for re-tweeting it as an unnecessarily divisive, counterproductive piece of hatespeech?

Further, Why Dawkins? Why wasn’t the actual cartoon attacked?

Again ignoring the fact that Dawkins is now being harassed online for the unproven crime of harassing someone online, more and more this appears to be an attempt to silence both Dawkins and, via him, the cartoon itself. It parallels the regressive attacks by the authoritarian left on Charlie Hebdo.

Then, as now, it is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept of free speech and its intrinsic relation to offence – for without the ability to give offence, freedom of speech is worthless.

This misunderstanding has a real effect on policy decisions made by real people holding real power. In the past it brought killers closer to their victims whilst ceding power to the right. Now it is again empowering the right creating policies or calls for policies, here in the UK, Europe and the US, that will harm desperate refugees. People are being and will be physically hurt. Some of them lethally so.

This is not an online game of butt-hurt top trumps. It’s real life.

Yet regressive feminism, like its counterparts on the left, mirror religious dogma in that they seek to silence criticism. Rather than critically analyse, change and learn from its errors, all dogmas are forced to defend themselves, regardless of the truth elements contained in arguments against them. Hence the need and desire to openly punish a public figure like Dawkins: ‘maybe he’ll learn from this‘, was one response I read. Yes, maybe he’ll understand in future that his condoning a piece of satire that mocks and ridicules ideas that people hold dear will have consequences. How ironic then that these dogmas – from the left and 3rd wave feminism – will see people forced into the arms of the right, the segregationists, the nationalists, the isolationists and the fascists.

Once more, this is, in effect no different from The Hebdo affair – even the language from the left is similar: stupid, offensive, disgusting, juvenile, filthy, misogynistic, racist, islamophobic. All words, remember, that apologists for the Charlie Hebdo slaughter repeated ad nauseum. They victimised their targets, didn’t they. They crossed the line, didn’t they. Still, they were held accountable, weren’t they. Some people put them in their place. What did they expect? It was bound to happen. We expected nothing less. They went too far.

Even the fucking Pope, acting as an unrepentant apologist for Islamist murderers, reminded us that if you insult his mother you can expect to be punched in the face.

Yes, they deserved it really, didn’t they.

No. These were the anti-racists, the anti-sexists, the anti-Islamists, the anti-homophobes. Saying things that needed to be said in the only way they knew how to say it. Still, would they have deserved it had they been racists, sexists and homophobes? Of course not, for on their freedom lies yours.

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.

H. L. Mencken

Strangely, the Islamists who slaughtered these wonderful people, these cartoonists, were French Islamists – they understood satire. It’s what the French do.

They killed them anyway.

Kind of ironic to imagine that the murderers who killed those cartoonists in Paris understood satire better than Dawkin’s current attackers – from their point of view they killed them for all the right reasons. They knew what they were saying. They killed them not because they didn’t get it. They got it, alright. They understood the satire. They killed them, anyway. They killed them because the humour of these cartoonists brought them shame by exposing truth. By killing them, these imbeciles thought they regained honour.

I’ve referenced the similarities to Hebdo throughout this piece. I need to do it once more in order to reiterate that every time we agreed with those who demanded the right to silence people, who demanded the right to no-platform people, who demanded the right to not be offended, who demanded the right to safe spaces, who demanded the right to not be micro-aggressed or triggered, who demanded the right to curtail freedom of speech… we brought their killers closer to them.

Anvil Springstien.

Wanna’ know more?: Further Reading/Watching/Stuff:

Kenan Malik on Free Speech and Offence:

https://kenanmalik.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/talking-of-free-speech/

The wonderful Sarah Haider on the Necessity of a Liberal Critique of Islam:

National Secular Society. Anne Marie Waters (2012) Sharia Law & Middle Class Feminism:

http://www.secularism.org.uk/blog/2012/03/sharia-law-and-middle-class-feminism

Muhammed Syed & Sarah Haider. The Humanist – Charlie Hebdo & the Erosion of the Liberal Left:

http://thehumanist.com/commentary/charlie-hebdo-and-the-erosion-of-the-liberal-left

National Secular Society – The Islamophobia Delusion:

http://secularism.org.uk/blog/2015/06/the-islamophobia-delusion

John Cleese on Political Correctness:

Michael Nugent on Satire:

http://www.michaelnugent.com/2016/01/29/offensive-satire/

Carol Hunt writing for the Irish Independent:

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/carol-hunt/cologne-has-shown-us-the-clash-of-civilisations-is-a-critical-issue-34349677.html

You Tube ‘Science & (fairly) Anti-Feminist Vlogger, Thunderf00t’s take:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGTmwyKpz0o&feature=youtu.be

Maryam Nawazi & Goldsmiths Student Union:

http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/muslim-students-from-goldsmiths-university-s-islamic-society-heckle-and-aggressively-interrupt-a6760306.html

Clementine Ford on the attacks in European cities – a response to critics of feminist silence:

http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/why-some-peoples-outrage-over-the-cologne-attacks-is-racist-20160107-gm1ayd.html

Nick Cohen writes in The Spectator – Charlie Hebdo – The Literary Indulgence of Murder:

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2015/04/charlie-hebdo-the-literary-indulgence-of-murder/

Cathy Young – The Totalitarian Doctrine of ‘Social Justice Warriors’ [02/02/2015]:

http://observer.com/2016/02/the-totalitarian-doctrine-of-social-justice-warriors/

The debate on the issue @ Patheos’ ‘Friendly Atheist:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/01/28/richard-dawkins-responds-after-being-booted-from-necss-conference-2/

Last but not least – if you only read one. read this: The Shame and the Disgrace of the Pro-Islamist Left, written by Jamie Palmer

http://quillette.com/2015/12/06/the-shame-and-the-disgrace-of-the-pro-islamist-left/

This Sceptic Isle

Posted: December 20, 2015 in Comedy, Music, Politics

#UKNationalAnthem #TomorrowBelongsToMe

Memories, simply beautiful and then…

I was reading a half interesting post on Jerry Coyne’s fine and prolific blog, ‘Why Evolution is True‘, regarding the seasonal mating habits of the British. In the comments, someone posted a link to a humorous song called ‘I’m British‘. I mentioned in passing that this should be the UK’s National Anthem and this led to another poster offering his own contender for the honour: It was the wonderful Julia Hills singing ‘Being British‘ (from the brilliant UK TV comedy series ‘Who Dares Wins‘ which ran from 1983 to 1988).

Following the link brought back a few memories, so over a cup of tea, I had a thunk about my own contenders for this Sceptered Isle riven by an ever-growing gap between rich and poor, the powerful and the powerless.

I came up with two.

The first is a rant by London cabbie, Chunky Mark (Mark McGowan) that was put to music around the time of the Labour leadership election (I posted it then, under the title, ‘The Most Dangerous Man in Britain‘).

The second is from Luck & Flaw’s inimitable ‘Spitting Image‘ on the eve of the ’87 election. It is the final sketch before the outro. I remember being in a room full of twenty or so people. As the credits rolled, we all knew what the next five years would bring. Everyone was silent. All had tears in their eye’s.

It now seems more prescient than ever.

 

Anvil Springstien.

 

#ToryTown #MotherTeresa

This Just In…

[Click to Enlarge]

Mother Theresa

Original Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-35129463

Loosely Related:

NewsGrab™ ©

Old Man on The Moon Advert ‘Faked’!

Foodbanks to get Child Snatchers!

Lord’s Rebellion.

Tory Turkey’s to have ‘Own Union’.

Austerity Deterrence.

NewsGrab Collected Werks

Anvil Springstien.

 

Added Bonus Content:

Christopher Hitchens on ‘Hell’s Angel’ Mother Teresa:

 

His book ‘The Missionary Position‘ (wiki-link) is available on Amazon here.

Interview: (.pdf) Hitchens on Mother Teresa. by ‘Free Enquiry‘ magazine.

 

#NotInMyName #NicolasHenin #StopTheWar #DontBombSyriaPride's Purge Screen Grab

Interview with Nicolas Henin

The wonderful ‘Pride’s Purge’ (Tom Pride’s blog) has a really interesting video interview
with ex Isis hostage, French journalist Nicolas Henin. Henin spent 10 months in Syria in the company of Isis and says the West bombing them is what they want:

Today, of all days, as the British parliament debates and votes on the bombing of Syria, and as David Cameron disgracefully implies that anyone who votes against the bombing is a ‘terrorist sympathiser‘, the interview below should be watched and shared as much as possible:

[The Screen-Grab – above right – is a link to Tom’s blog which I thoroughly recommend you visit and follow. I’ve reproduced the video in its entirety below.]

Related on this blog: Liberté Égalité Fraternité

#TheLordsPrayer #SecularNation

Out of Our Cinema’s, Out of Our Schools, Out of Our Bedrooms and Out of Our Government

The Church of England is ‘astonished (…) disappointed and bewildered’ at what they see as a ‘plain silly’ decision to not screen their ‘Lord’s Prayer’ cinema advert in the UK. coelogoThey had hoped for the 60 second advert (video below) to be playing in UK cinemas prior to the holiday screenings of Star Wars. The advert features a montage of everyday people – a grieving son at a grave, a cop, gym users, a farmer, street preachers, a gospel choir – all speaking or singing ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ and ending with the slogan, ‘Prayer is for Everyone’. This is followed by the hashtag, #JustPray.

Well, patently ‘prayer’ isn’t quite for everyone. Certainly not the Digital Cinema Media (DCM) agency who handle advertising for the UK’s largest cinema chains. They released a statement saying it was the policy of the agency ‘not to accept advertising that was of a political or religious nature’, adding that they understood that some people may be offended by religious adverts if they were of another faith, or no faith at all.

Astonishing

Astonishing isn’t it, that the Church of England doesn’t understand in any way shape or form that this might be the case? After all, most polls show that church attendance is hovering around the 10% mark for the UK (for comparison I recall it being 39% for the States and 7% for Australia) and has a history of dropping around 1% per year. We are, for the most part, a gratefully faithless nation. I should add that pollsters are traditionally wary of figures regarding any country’s religiosity and feel uncomfortable stating a normal margin of error here, as when questioned about religious activity, people of faith (and here you may read ‘Christians’) are apt to lie.

Disappointing

Disappointing too, that Christians cannot see that people of ‘no faith at all’ tend to view faith as simply an excuse to believe absurdities without evidence. Faith is, of course, a recent phenomenon for the religious: In the past this virtue was entirely unnecessary as Gods of various persuasions and their acolytes would regularly part seas, flood planets, tear moons asunder, destroy whole cities, kill children at the drop of a hat, demand human sacrifice, fly winged horses, use teenage virgins vaginas as Star-Gates, and bring lots of the dead back to life as Zombies. Faith was simply not required. You just had to open your front door and there’d be a God out there doing Godly things.

Kids today would have loved it back then: it would have been like living in a Marvel Comic. I often wonder if they had baseball-type cards? Perhaps made from papyrus, mud or clay?

‘I’ve got ‘Pillar of Salt’ twice, swap you for ‘A Laughing Rock’, a ‘Talking Snake’ or ‘Uzziah Struck with Leprosy…’.

Following the Silence of the Gods which occurred around the time of the run-up to The Enlightenment, god-botherers of all persuasions began to pretend, in the absence of overt godly action, that their Gods would now speak to them personally and in private. When questioned as to said gods accent, choice of language, received pronunciation and the like, the faithful would mumble something about hearing their god via a ‘warm fuzzy feeling in the region of the groin’.

Bewildering

Bewildering in the extreme, isn’t it, to imagine that the 90% of us who have never felt the warmth of the Lord’s breath bellowing in our underpants, or have ever visited a church or mosque to converse with an imaginary deity, would want to begin a family evening in the company of our favourite cinematic characters with a Call to Prayer? Star Wars has more than enough fictional characters for one night, thank you.

It should be obvious from the figures above that very few of us have little desire to watch an advert – of whatever persuasion – that seeks to sell us a piece of bronze-age or medieval juju. Yet unbelievably, in this land chock full of Heathens and Infidels, our government demands that this happen every morning via collective worship in our nation’s schools. Perhaps in this neo-liberal age we should consider outsourcing our educational policy to much wiser folk? The good people at Digital Cinema Media should put in a quote – they’d certainly get my vote.

Plain Silly

Plain silly then, to encourage the religious further by urging them to open an ever growing number of religious schools, act as a proxy of the state whilst discriminating against same-sex marriage (their Gods apparently hate the pee-pee thing being anywhere near the poo-poo thing), or worse still, allowing 26 of the buggers to sit and vote in the UK’s second chamber – The House of Lords – as representatives of an established religion – something we have in common with, er… hold on, I wrote this down somewhere? Ah, yes, there it is… Iran.

Don’t get me wrong, I have some sympathy for the culturally religious. They, like I, did not choose the religion of the meaty hole they fell through at birth – no-one is faced with a multiple-choice at this juncture. There aren’t a number of holes, each with a label above – just one. It could be a Catholic hole, a Sikh hole, a Seventh Day Adventist hole. If you’re really unlucky, it could be a Mormon hole – or worse still, a Chelsea hole!

Whatever the hole, it remains purely a circumstance of birth. An event that marks us, Cain-like, until our passing into the much larger grand hole of infinity.

However, But, Some of My Best Freinds etc’

It is difficult enough, then, to shake off these social identifiers that have travelled with us through so much of our lives – no more so than when these identifiers are challenged forcefully from outside. The tendency to become defensive when confronted by physical or intellectual attack is understandable. It is hard to have a finger pointed at you, or a fist waved at you, as is the case presently with the Muslim community – a community who, for the most part, have nothing to do with the violence perpetrated in their name.

However, it must be said – so it might as well be me that says it – the actions of Islamist fundamentalists have nothing to do with cultural or moderate Muslims in the same way that cultural or moderate Christians have nothing to do with the recent American-funded campaign calling for the imposition of the death penalty for homosexuality in Uganda, or the actions of the literalists of Westboro Baptist Church, or Settler violence on the West Bank has to do with cultural or moderate Jews – yet the common denominator, the elephant in the room, the one factor that allows literalist movement along the spectrum from cultural, to moderate, to conservative, to fundamentalist, to murdering psychopathic gobshite – be it Christian, Jewish or Muslim, is the unquestioned and unevidenced belief in absolute nonsense – this relatively new fad of the religious, this thing called faith.

With this in mind is it wrong to ask the religious that they attack their texts with the zeal of a Thomas Jefferson, tearing away the nonsense until they are left with little more than the Golden Rule? Or, indeed to express at least surprise, or even mild anger, that they would be astonished, disappointed and bewildered, or see as plain silly, an objection to their missionary call to join them in talking to an imaginary man in a cinema. To join them in Faith.

Following the Paris attacks, the hashtag #PrayForParis began trending and was given prominence by the world’s press. The pious seemingly oblivious to the bad taste felt in the mouths of the godless by the untimely mention of any God. Joann Sfar, one of the surviving Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, responded to the hashtag with the following:

sfar

“Friends from the whole world, thank you for #prayforparis, but we don’t need more religion,”

Joann is right. Not only do we not need it, it would appear that most of us don’t want it, either. Please take it out of our cinema’s, out of our schools, out of our bedrooms and out of our government

Well done to Digital Cinema Media for standing their ground against such nonsense. May the Force be with them – along with music, kisses, life, champagne and joy.

Anvil Springstien.

Ps: By the way, he kissed his sister… Ugh!

lukeleiakiss

Free Special Added Bonus Content:

Quiz Time: Let’s play ‘Spot’ The Difference:

A Call to Prayer:

Another Call to Prayer:

Lest We Forget…

Posted: November 11, 2015 in Current Affairs, Politics

I re-post this article from September 16th, 2015 for obvious reasons. I’ve also included (below) a video response to much of the British media from the wonderfully concise Owen Jones.

#JezWeCan #NationalAnthem #ProsperityThroughPoverty #BattleOfBritain

‘Miss Miss, Corbyn’s not singing!’

bob

Lest We Forget

On the day when Prime Ministers Questions may prove to be the most interesting in years, in a week when an opposition leadership election forced a sitting prime minister to rapidly shoot off, somewhat Madonna-like, to visit poor people in the Lebanon, (I’m surprised he didn’t bring a brown baby back for the obvious photo-opportunity exiting the plane at Heathrow) we have the Murdoch press screaming like small schoolchildren at a birthday party, “Miss, Miss, Corbyn’s not singing!”

Apparently Jeremy Corbyn has ‘snubbed’ our glorious monarch by ‘refusing’ to mouth the words of the national anthem during the Battle of Britain memorial service whilst the entire Tory party, nay, the entire nation were standing to attention in front of their television sets, saluting and bellowing for all they were worth.

No doubt young Liz will have been in tears at Jeremy’s ‘snubbing’ on this her special occasion.

Another day in her long reign ruined by that selfish boy at the front.

What nonsense.

Someone ought to remind Murdoch, Cameron, and Tory MP Sir Nicholas Soames (the grandson of Winston Churchill no less) that the national anthem – sung or respectfully listened to – is not about the Queen and hasn’t been for quite some time. It is not like singing ‘Happy Birthday to You’. We are no longer subjects of an omnipotent Monarch sent by a powerful god to rule over us.

If we do sing the national anthem – or merely choose to allow that thankfully short melody to wash over us – say on an Olympic podium or before representing our country in a World Cup – it is because we associate it with membership of a collective entity or endeavour, namely England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the United Kingdom, Great Britain, the North East, or what have you.

That the words, like the figurehead herself, are anachronistic are neither here nor there – it is what they represent.

Likewise yesterday’s remembrance ceremony was not there to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It was to remember the sacrifice that young men and women gave in the fight against fascism and corporatism during the Second World War. A sacrifice that allowed the survivors of this conflict to return home to a land ‘fit for heroes’.

A land which would enact legislation upon their return – promised legislation – that would bring about a National Health Service, build homes, and develop a Welfare State that would reflect this collective endeavour from ‘the cradle to the grave’.

A land which would act like a beacon to the civilised world in how it treated its citizens, its old, its ill and its poor.

These are the very collective endeavour and ideals that Murdoch and Cameron wish to consign to the dustbin of history. The very collective endeavour and ideals that Corbyn and his supporters seek to rekindle in a nation that has had the product of this endeavour taken from it and placed securely into the bank accounts of the rich and the few.

It is a sad day when those that seek the imposition of a neo-liberal corporatist ideology that is more akin to the fascism that this nation fought against in those dark days when she stood alone, are those very same people that demand we wave the flag and beat the drum of petty nationalism.

It is a disgrace both to the memory of those who fought in World War II, and to the ideals that many in our families were to pay the ultimate sacrifice for.

Anvil Springstien.

Link to: Source – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-the-papers-34265028

[image: © Battle of Britain Memorial Trust]

Link to: Original Article – ‘Miss, Miss, Corbyn’s not singing!’

Full Link to: Owen Jones’ Video: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4nwf5eXD14]