Friday, 12 August 2011

War-Droids on Parade

Yesterday evening (August 11th), whilst returning from the local IoW Newport Lidl, there was a woman in her 30s, looking somewhat dazed and bemused; wearing autumn clothes, and surrounded by about six fully kitted (armoured but no guns) Hampshire coppers, who were clumsily taking it in turns to persuade her to go into one of the three police cars that had arrived, and parked themselves about on the pavement.

And to add to the overkill, a cycling bobby, and a female PCSO turned up; though the latter continued walking by, seemingly as lost as the 'target'.

So a quiet simpleton, possibly walked out from one of the psychiatric wards from up the road, is mobbed by a bunch of over-trained war-droids. Needless to say, the next reaction is for her to panic. She spent the next 5 minutes screaming for help; whilst her Majesty's finest, stood holding their collective dicks.

Tonight will be the Cowes' firework display; which typically draws the largest crowd the Island ever experiences, bar the musical festival possibly. But the crowd at the fireworks is predominantly local families.

Amongst this traditionally peaceful gathering, will always be the minority of drunken lads and lasses; who in the past have been contained by no more than a friendly ‘tut-tutting’, when the language has gone a little over to the blue side.

This year, the Hampshire Police force, priding themselves as the most gay friendly force in the country, has given us fair warning that police levels will be elevated this year to counter any 'trouble' at the event, in light of the riots on the mainland.

What's the bet that next year it won't be as much a family event? Give a dog a bad name…

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Anders Behring Breivik; the new Marinus Van der Lubbe?

As left and right face each other in their perpetual moral standoff, the Breivik rampage appears to offer the left a major propaganda coupe. With a 1500 page manifesto to cherry pick from, and an extensive internet activity trail in the wake of Breivik’s self publishing, under various aliases, the left will fulfil its own image of the right by proxy, according to its bent.

Indeed, so hot is the war of interpretation and association, that Breivik’s wikipedia page has been rapidly evolving from a collection of dry reports as they fed in from the initial press releases on the 22nd July 2011, into a maelstrom of rhetoric and pejorative adjectives, as Breivik’s character is being perpetually reassessed to form an ever more exotic and potent mud-pie, to sling at the opposing political side.

Breivik is relatively unique, or if familiar to any science, of such a rare breed as to be near impossible to categorise by mere association. Any expert in the phenomena of rampage killings, would risk ridicule as though possessing a PhD in the nature of horses, whilst pontificating with authority about unicorns. This episode is becoming an exercise, not of rational understanding of the human condition, but a public display by those desperate to ride their personal political hobby-horse, entitled “Why all good people like me, are not infected by the ‘Breivik’ touch... YOU’RE IT... NYAH NYAH!!!.”

As an illustration, how many on the left will point out that from the age of one, Breivik, along with one of his step sisters, was raised by his single-parent mother? Thought not.

One of the collateral victims by indirect association, was Dr Theodore Dalrymple; whose selected writings were included in Breivik’s manifesto, via a third party quote. Dalrymple is a noted critic of policies of which the left wing hold dear; but his measured style could not possibly be considered inflammatory, except to puritans of the left extreme.

Below is a short analysis by Dr Dalrymple, that appeared in the Daily Express 26th July 2011:

HOW does a man in one of the most peaceful societies in the world come to the conclusion that shooting a large number of people unknown to him is to serve the cause of his country?

Several ingredients must be in the witch’s brew of Anders Breivik’s mind.

First is resentment; second, self-importance; third, the desire for fame or notoriety; fourth, the search for a transcendent meaning to life, and fifth, a difficulty in forming ordinary human relationships, whether of love or friendship.

A final precondition is an above-average level of intelligence, for this is necessary in order to rationalise the commission of a deed that would otherwise be repugnant.

Resentment arises when you are not treated or rewarded as you think you deserve to be. Your merits, whether by virtue of birth or accomplishment, go unrecognised. You are therefore a victim of injustice. By definition you can do no wrong when you try to right them.

Self-importance prevents you from putting the wrongs you think you have suffered into any kind of perspective. You do not see that, by the standards of most people, you have suffered little. You cannot see the difference between mere inconvenience or distaste and severe oppression.

In a world in which celebrity seems so important, obscurity is felt by many as a wound to their ego. Why should others be famous and not me?

If you cannot achieve celebrity by force of talent, then you can do so by means of murder – witness the Crossbow Cannibal.

A wider cause gives meaning and purpose to your life, and persuades you that your resentment, your anger, is not petty or personal, but something much grander. Breivik thought that by acting on his personal resentments he was a saviour of Europe; he might just as well have been an animal rights activist as a nationalist. His monomania relieved his inner emptiness. A difficulty in forming normal human relationships is another cause for resentment of a man like Breivik, and of yet another wound to his ego. It has to be compensated for somehow, and producing an event of historic importance is one way to do it.

A man must be intelligent to act like Breivik – for he needs not only to plan and execute his “historic” deed, but to be able to weave a coherent, if paranoid and ultimately stupid, justification for it.

The pity for others of a mass killer like Breivik is nil; for himself, infinite.

Dalrymple also writes here:

It is always hazardous to pronounce on the mental state of someone one had not met, and about whom one knows only a little and third-hand. But all the same, one is tempted...

The first trap to avoid is to say person x did act y because [he] is or has z, and we know he is or has z because he did y. This is circular.

But there does seem to be evidence that Breivik was narcissistic, grandiose, paranoid, socially and sexually inept, and deeply resentful. This is a horrible mixture, though any explanation will always be incomplete and not pluck out the heart of his mystery.

I think it unlikely he is legally insane according to the M'Naghten rules that govern legal insanity in a lot of the English-speaking world. He knew the nature...[a]nd quality of his act and that [it] was (legally) wrong, to use the wording of the rules, and therefore would not be entitled to a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Despite the relative uniqueness of Breivik, there is a genuine risk that the left in positions of authority, or its influence upon, will use this atypical episode as an excuse for enabling further legislation against free speech and association.

Compared with another leftwing political system, whose parliament building, the Reichstag was set ablaze by one Marinus Van der Lubbe, it is to the great credit of the Prime minister of Norway, that he announced his intentions of maintaining the principles of liberty, despite the reflexive reactions to the contrary.

Returning to the Narcissism theme, referred to by Dalrymple above, there seems a certain characteristic link with martyrdom demonstrated by both Breivik and Lubbe:

Breivik: ... [T]he purpose of the attack was to save Norway and Western Europe from a Muslim takeover and "The price for this they had to pay yesterday"... A former classmate has recalled that he was an intelligent student who often took care of people who were bullied.

Lubbe: ... While working for the Tielmann factory a strike broke out. Van der Lubbe claimed to the management to be one of the ringleaders and offered to accept any punishment as long as no one else was victimised, even though he was clearly too inexperienced to have been seriously involved. During the trial, he tried to claim sole responsibility and was purportedly hostile to the idea of getting off free.

Like all martyrs, they crave the ultimate love. To fulfil that which they may feel they have command over; as happens when a child is raised and allowed to manipulate a parent or guardian, who mistakenly offers a display of affection to their charge, in purchase of a moment of peace. Whereas the unconditional love from a father, which is given and never purchased, is immune from such manipulative corruption; and any cherished child that tried to buy love with a selfish plea, would be met with by sour scorn.


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Happy Fisherman’s Day

There was once upon a time a fisherman and his wife who lived together in a piss pot near the sea. Every day the fisherman went out fishing, and he fished a long time. Once he was sitting there fishing and looking into the clear water when his hook went to the bottom, deep down, and when he pulled it out, he had caught a large flounder. Then the flounder said to him, "I beg you to let me live. I am not an ordinary flounder, but an enchanted prince. Put me back into the water, and let me swim."

"Well," said the man, "there's no need to say more. I can certainly let a fish swim away who knows how to talk." Then he put it back into the water, and the flounder quickly disappeared to the bottom, leaving a long trail of blood behind him.

The man then went home to his wife in the piss pot and told her that he had caught a flounder that had told him he was an enchanted prince, and that he had let it swim away. "Didn't you ask for anything first?" said the woman. "No," said the man. What should I have asked for?"

"Oh," said the woman. "It is terrible living in this piss pot. It is filled with stench and filth. Go back and ask for a little hut for us."

The man did not want to, but he went back to the sea, and when he arrived it was all yellow and green, and he stood next to the water and said:

Mandje! Mandje! Timpe Te!
Flounder, flounder, in the sea!
My wife, my wife Ilsebill,
Wants not, wants not, what I will

The flounder swam up and said, "What does she want then?"

"Oh," said the man, "I did catch you, and my wife says that I really should have asked for something. She doesn't want to live in a piss pot any longer. She would like to have a hut."

"Go home," said the flounder. "She already has it."

The man went home, and his wife was standing in the door of a hut, and she said to him, "Come in. See, now isn't this much better." And there was a parlor and a bedroom and a kitchen; and outside there was a little garden with all kinds of vegetables, and a yard with hens and ducks.

"Oh," said the man. "Now we can live well."

"Yes," said the woman, "we'll give it a try."

Everything went well for a week or two, and then the woman said, "Husband. This hut is too small. The yard and the garden are too little. I want to live in a large stone castle. Go back to the flounder and tell him to get a castle for us."

"Oh, wife," said the man. The flounder has just given us the hut. I don't want to go back so soon. It may make the flounder angry."

"I know he can do it," said the woman, "and he won't mind. Just go!"

So, with a heavy heart, the man went back, and when he came to the sea, the water was quite purple and gray and dark blue, but it was still, and he stood there and said:

Mandje! Mandje! Timpe Te!
Flounder, flounder, in the sea!
My wife, my wife Ilsebill,
Wants not, wants not, what I will

"What does she want then?" said the flounder.

"Oh," said the man sadly, "my wife wants to live in a stone castle."

"Go home. She's already standing before the door," said the flounder.

So the man went home, and his wife was standing in front of a large palace.

"See, husband," she said. "Isn't this beautiful?" And with that they went inside together. There were many servants inside, and the walls were all white, and there were golden chairs and tables in the parlor, and outside the castle there was a garden and a forest a half mile long, and there were elk and deer and rabbits, and there were cow and horse stalls in the yard.

"Oh," said the man, "now we can stay in this beautiful castle and be satisfied."

"We'll think about it," said the woman. "Let's sleep on it." And with that they went to bed.

The next morning the woman awoke. It was daylight. She poked her husband in the side with her elbow and said, "Husband, get up. We should be king over all this land."

"Oh, wife," said the man, "why do you want to be king? I don't want to be king."

"Well, I want to be king."

"Oh, wife," said the man, "how can you be king? The flounder won't want to do that."

"Husband," said the woman, "Go there immediately. I want to be king."

So the man, saddened because his wife wanted to be king, went back. And when he arrived at the sea it was dark gray, and the water heaved up from below. He stood there and said:

Mandje! Mandje! Timpe Te!
Flounder, flounder, in the sea!
My wife, my wife Ilsebill,
Wants not, wants not, what I will

"What does she want then," said the flounder.

"Oh," said the man, "my wife wants to be king."

"Go home. She's already king," said the flounder.

Then the man went home, and when he arrived at the palace, there were so many soldiers, and drums, and trumpets, and his wife was sitting on a high throne of gold and diamonds, and she was wearing a large golden crown and on either side of her there stood a line of maidens-in-waiting, each one a head shorter than the other.

"Oh," said the man, "are you king now?"

"Yes," she said, "I am king."

And after he had looked at her awhile, he said, "It is nice that you are king. Now we don't have to wish for anything else."

"No, husband," she said, "I have been king too long. I can't stand it any longer. I am king, but now I would like to become emperor."

"Oh," said the man, "why do you want to become emperor?"

"Husband," she said, "go to the flounder. I want to be emperor."

"Oh, wife," said the man, "he can't make you emperor. I can't tell him to do that."

"I am king," said the woman, "and you are my husband. Now go there immediately!"

So the man went, and on his way he thought, "This is not going to end well. To ask to be emperor is shameful. The flounder is going to get tired of this." With that he arrived at the sea. The water was entirely black and dense, and a strong wind blew over him that curdled the water. He stood there and said:

Mandje! Mandje! Timpe Te!
Flounder, flounder, in the sea!
My wife, my wife Ilsebill,
Wants not, wants not, what I will

"What does she want then," said the flounder.

"Oh," he said, "my wife wants to become emperor."

"Go home," said the flounder. "She's already emperor."

Then the man went home, and when he arrived, his wife was sitting on a very high throne made of one piece of gold, and she was wearing a large golden crown that was two yards high, and guards were standing at her side, each one smaller than the other, beginning with the largest giant and ending with the littlest dwarf, who was no larger than my little finger. Many princes and counts were standing in front of her. The man went and stood among them and said, "Wife, are you emperor now?"

"Yes," she said, "I am emperor."

"Oh," said the man, taking a good look at her. "Wife, it's good that you are emperor."

"Husband," she said. "Why are you standing there? I'm emperor now, and I want to become pope as well."

"Oh, wife!" said the man. "Why do you want to become pope. There is only one pope in all Christendom."

"Husband," she said, "I want to become pope before the day is done."

"No, wife," he said, "the flounder cannot make you pope. It's not good."

"Husband, what nonsense! If he can make me emperor, then he can make me pope as well. Now go there immediately!"

Then the man went, and he felt sick all over, and his knees and legs were shaking, and the wind was blowing, and the water looked like it was boiling, and ships, tossing and turning on the waves, were firing their guns in distress. There was a little blue in the middle of the sky, but on all sides it had turned red, as in a terrible lightning storm. Full of despair he stood there and said:

Mandje! Mandje! Timpe Te!
Flounder, flounder, in the sea!
My wife, my wife Ilsebill,
Wants not, wants not, what I will

"What does she want then?" said the flounder.

"Oh," said the man, "my wife wants to become pope."

"Go home," said the flounder. "She's already pope."

Then he went home, and when he arrived there, his wife was sitting on a throne that was two miles high, and she was wearing three large crowns. She was surrounded with church-like splendor, and at her sides there were two banks of candles. The largest was as thick and as tall as the largest tower, down to the smallest kitchen candle. "Wife," said the man, giving her a good look, "are you pope now?"

"Yes," she said, "I am pope."

"Oh," said the man. "It is good that you are pope. Wife, we can be satisfied, now that you are pope. There's nothing else that you can become."

"I have to think about that," said the woman. Then they both went to bed, but she was not satisfied. Her desires would not let her sleep. She kept thinking what she wanted to become next. Then the sun came up. "Aha," she thought, as she watched the sunrise through her window. "Couldn't I cause the sun to rise?" Then she became very grim and said to her husband, "Husband, go back to the flounder. I want to become like God."

The man, who was still mostly asleep, was so startled that he fell out of bed. "Oh, wife," he said, "go on as you are and remain pope."

"No," said the woman, tearing open her bodice. "I will not be quiet. I can't stand it when I see the sun and the moon coming up, and I can't cause them to rise. I want to become like God!"

"Oh, wife," said the man. "The flounder can't do that. He can make you emperor and pope, but he can't do that."

"Husband," she said, looking very gruesome, "I want to become like God. Go to the flounder right now!"

The man trembled with fear at every joint. Outside there was a terrible storm. Trees and mountains were shaking. The heaven was completely black, and there was thunder and lightning. In the sea he could see black waves as high as mountains, and they were capped with white crowns of foam. He said:

Mandje! Mandje! Timpe Te!
Flounder, flounder, in the sea!
My wife, my wife Ilsebill,
Wants not, wants not, what I will

"What does she want then," said the flounder.

"Oh," he said, "she wants to become like God."

"Go home. She is sitting in her piss pot again."

And they are sitting there even today.

Friday, 27 May 2011

“When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the Gentleman?”

Isle of Wight County Press

Submitted 27th May 2011

Dear Editor,

Many thanks to Martin Neville for his report in the Isle of Wight County Press on 20th May 2011, regarding the extent of job seeking prospects for Islanders. The CP is one of the mainstays for job hunting by the 3000 seekers on the Island, with about 130 jobs advertised on the website, as I type.

I would like the readers to consider the hidden extras regarding the prospects for unemployed men. Let us start with the conservative estimate that there are 10 jobseekers after every job; we must then add to that number people applying for that job who are not on JSA, including many people who are hopping between jobs. A popular position can literally attract 100s of applications.

It is well known, and perfectly reasonable, for an employer to filter out most applications on a cursory criterion, especially regarding the present employed status of applicants; thus most unemployed are in danger of remaining that way. Things get worse for men, as Harriet Harman’s employment bill of 2008, stipulates that if your business wants to secure government funding contracts, which includes all of the public sector, then it is legal and beneficial to discriminate against employing men. For example, DWP Broadlands consistently employs more than 80% women, like so many other public sector employers on the Island, and yet they claim brazenly to be “an equal opportunities employer”. This adequately accounts for the fact that there are over three times more men on JSA than women.

When you add the hidden extras, and compound the biases, the odds for an unemployed man getting a job are geometrically larger than 10:1. On bias alone, using the DWP example, the figure becomes 120:1 against [10:1 x 80:20 x 3:1]. The hidden extras could turn that figure to several hundred to one.

To add insult to injury, the Guardian exposed on 8th April 2011, that the managers’ of JobCentres are at liberty to set quotas for the sanctioning of ‘defaulters’ of the jobseekers agreement. For the year April 2007/8, DWP Broadlands submitted 135 claimants for sanctioning, of which 124 lost their bread money; a result of the DWP being both judge and jury. The DWP were not willing to tell me the gender breakdown, but with their employment bias I’m confident that men received a disproportionate amount of attention from this arbitrary justice.

Yours faithfully,

James McComb



Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Happy Mother’s Day!

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate;
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this lie, and this lie gives life to thee:

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Rapist would, were he not Rapist call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Rapist, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.