Proton Black

If we cannot agree on even the most basic objective facts, instead of reaching for the stars, mankind will be hobbled.

Can you do addition? What’s one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one?

The White Queen from Alice in Wonderland, asking what today is a very pertinent question. When academics are telling us that in certain circumstances 2+2=5, when numbers are described as a variable, or that “treating math as a universal upholds white supremacy”, one can't help but think we have disappeared a long way down the rabbit hole. To begin with I couldn't make up my mind whether the people making these ridiculous comments really believed what they said, or were simply having a joke at our expense. I had hoped it was the latter, but sadly it appears to be the former.

Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next.

Much like Alice, we are left to wonder what will come next, although I suspect we have a long way to go before we reach the bottom of this well. The assault on western culture, science and history, the efforts to twist and distort all facts to fit arbitrary social justice templates will no doubt continue. Adherents of the new orthodoxy will try to push the advances of the Enlightenment to the periphery in favour of “other ways of thinking”.

I am under no obligation to make sense to you

The Mad Hatter was, well, mad, so we can make some allowances for his comment. The same cannot be said of those academics who try to persuade us that 2+2 can equal 5. If we cannot agree on even the most basic objective facts, instead of reaching for the stars, mankind will be hobbled. There will be no advances in science and technology, and development of the vaccines needed to fight future pandemics will grind to a halt.

In those circumstances, the future would be anything but a wonderland.

4th August 2020

#journal #science #racism

There is no attempt to consider the influence of family support structures, educational outcomes, cultural differences, levels of unemployment, crime rates, etc.

Consider the following, from The Coddling of the American Mind by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff.

Ideas may be accepted not because they are true but because the politically dominant group wants them to be true in order to promote its preferred narrative and preferred set of remedies.

Sound familiar? We're daily being fed the nonsense that the UK is institutionally racist. Every problem in society is now reduced to a lecture on racism. White people being told they are “privileged”, black people being told all their problems are the result of oppression. There is no attempt to consider the influence of family support structures, educational outcomes, cultural differences, levels of unemployment, crime rates, etc.

To quote Haidt and Lukianoff again, when

using theories that are based on a flawed or incomplete understanding of the causal forces at work, [their] reform efforts are unlikely to do any good and might even make things worse.

I suspect many of the activists are fully aware of the these points, but why would you want to consider the alternatives when fanning the flames of division is such a money spinner? By mid-June 2020, the BLM UK GoFundMe page had reached more than £1million in donations. Rather than looking for solutions some people have a vested interest in widening the divisions.

13th July 2020

#journal #alllivesmatter #blacklivesmatter #racism

Why do the media, celebrities and the useful idiots of the white middle class insist on this programme of self flagellation?

According to the BBC programme Countryfile “many in Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups see the countryside as being a white environment.”

Justin Welby the Archbishop of Canterbury was asked for his response to those who have suggested that because statues of Jesus Christ tend to depict him as a white European, those statues should be toppled. According to the Telegraph, Welby agreed that the depiction of Christ in Western countries should change and criticised the “sense that God is white.”

On the subject of cultural appropriation, BBC Good Food is apparently reviewing its huge archive of recipes, and changing any unacceptable words or phrases that might be considered “offensive”.

When will this stupidity end? Nobody is stopped from visiting any other part of the country simply because of the colour of their skin. The nations statues and monuments are a reflection of the society that built them, and its hardly surprising that in Britain, which was and remains predominantly white, Jesus Christ is depicted as a white man. As for cultural appropriation, surely the exchange and sharing of the best parts of each others cultures, and which brings people together in mutual appreciation, is to be welcomed?

In a recent survey, people were asked if they would be content for our children to marry someone of a different race. About 70% strongly agreed, compared with 41% a decade ago.

According to the Government report, Entry Rates into Higher Education, in 2006 21.6% of black children aged 18 went on to University. By 2018 that figure was up to 41.2%. By contrast in 2006 21.8% of white children aged 18 went on to University, the figure rising only a little to 29.5% in 2018.

According to the report the biggest increase in entry rates between 2006 and 2018 was among black pupils

Society has its problems, but they are not be as bad as the headlines would have you believe. Dig a little deeper, and the evidence points to the fact that Britain is one of the most tolerant and least racist countries in the world.

Why then do the media, celebrities and the useful idiots of the white middle class insist on this programme of self flagellation? Why must the white majority reject its heritage? Why must it apologise for the wrongs of generations long dead? Why can we not look to the future as one nation, as one race, whilst at the same time respecting and appreciating all cultures?

If we are to avoid a complete fracturing of society, we would do well to remember Nelson Mandela's words of warning;

When we dehumanise and demonise our opponents, we abandon the possibility of peacefully resolving our differences.

29th June 2020

#journal #blacklivesmatter #alllivesmatter #racism

For most people the lockdown is over

Yesterday tens of thousands of people descended on Bournemouth. The Government's guidance on social distancing was utterly ignored. Meanwhile in London, large parties have turned nasty, with groups of youths attacking the police when asked to disperse.

For most people the lockdown is over. Support for the Government's guidance was sorely tested following Dominic Cummings jaunt to Durham. There then followed 2 weekends of protests and rioting, when again social distancing was ignored, but which has not resulted in any discernible increase in the number of new cases of covid-19. We are left asking if the lockdown is now serving any useful purpose.

I worry that what we have seen is the beginning of a summer of discontent. There is no confidence in the Government. Many people are tired of the lockdown, of the infringement of basic liberties, and are taking matters into their own hands. The police have neither the resources or the willpower to prevent hordes of people heading for tourist hot spots. As for the inner cities, having 'taken the knee', the police have lost all credibility with the youth of those communities, and I fear we will see more incidents of police officers being attacked.

We are living through strange times. Whilst the threat posed by the virus seems to be receding, we now face the prospect of a summer of lockdown induced madness.

26th June 2020

#journal #lockdown #coronavirus

A self serving, corrupt, Byzantine bureaucracy

Four years ago today, we woke up to the news that the country had voted to leave the EU. At that time I wrote;

I voted to leave because I do not believe the EU is democratic. It is a project created by the politicians. It has become a self serving, corrupt, Byzantine bureaucracy that has become more important than the people it is supposed to serve.

I remain of that opinion. We just have to hope that Boris and his team can negotiate an acceptable trade deal before the end of the year.

24th June 2020

#journal #brexit

Widening the divisions helps no one.

“White Lives Matter Burnley” proclaimed the banner being dragged through the air over the Etihad Stadium yesterday. The perpetrators face police investigation into what has been described as a “racist stunt”. Officials at Burnley Footbal Club have said they will issue lifetime bans to the supporters responsible for arranging the flight.

Unsavoury though the episode was, are you really that surprised? By its very nature, “identity politics” sows the seeds of division, pits one group against the other. All the while the white community is told it is “privileged”, that it should be “ashamed of its history”, that it should “bend the knee”, there will be a disdainful reaction.

Societies wrongs will not be resolved until such time as we can treat every person and each others cultures with respect. Widening the divisions helps no one.

23rd June 2020

#journal #racism #blacklivesmatters #alllivesmatter

The schools have to be fully opened soon if we are to avoid causing permanent damage to children's education, their mental health and their future opportunities.

It has become quite apparent that covid-19 is a disease that disproportionately affects the elderly. The British Medical Journal reports that 0.04% of 10-19 year olds would probably require hospital care, as would 1.0% of people in their 20s, 3.4% of people aged 30-39, 4.3% aged 40-49, 8.2% aged 50-59, 11.8% in their 60s, 16.6% in their 70s, and 18.4% of those over 80.

The risk to children dying from the condition is tiny; according to some analysts they are more likely to be struck by lightning. Equally, children do not seem to be super-spreaders. The Guardian reported that schools reopening in 22 European countries had not led to a significant increase in cases of covid-19. So why is there such a delay in the schools reopening in the UK?

A report in the Spectator explains that;

According to the Education Endowment Foundation, the damage inflicted on educational equality by closing schools has undone the work not of a term but of a decade.

The longer the schools remained closed the worse that differential will become.

There is also growing concern about the effects of the mental health of children arising from the lockdown. The Independent reported that Professor Tim Kendall, NHS England‘s National Clinical Director for Mental Health, told a Royal Society of Medicine webinar that “there's no doubt” children were being hit hard by the impact of the lockdown.

According to UNESCO

School closures carry high social and economic costs for people across communities. Their impact however is particularly severe for the most vulnerable and marginalized boys and girls and their families. The resulting disruptions exacerbate already existing disparities within the education system but also in other aspects of their lives.

It is children from disadvantaged backgrounds, be they black, white, Asian, et al, who will suffer the most the longer the schools remain closed.

The schools have to be fully opened soon if we are to avoid causing permanent damage to children's education, their mental health and their future opportunities.

18th June 2020

#journal #coronavirus #lockdown #schools

When “experiences” mean more than facts and empirical evidence, you begin to realise we are coming to the end of the era of Enlightenment

Boris Johnson has appointed appointment of Munira Mirza to lead a new commission into racial inequalities. She has previously been somewhat dubious about the concept of institutional racism and one occasion said it is “a perception more than a reality”.

Naturally, her appointment was met with howls of protest from the left. One vocal critic is Priyamvada Gopal. She tweeted that “Asians should not be put in charge of black lives and experiences”.

I despair. When “experiences” mean more than facts and empirical evidence, you begin to realise we are coming to the end of the era of Enlightenment. As a society we are going backwards.

17th June 2020

#journal #blacklivesmatter #alllivesmatter #racism

Racism may be a problem, but we should not be so blinkered as to exclude any other possible causes for the inequities in society.

According to figures produced by the BBC, 163 people have died in police custody in the last ten years. Of that numbers 8% were black, more than twice the proportion of black people in the UK.

It is on the basis of such figures that some have deemed the UK to be institutionally racist. Is that a fair conclusion to reach or is the situation altogether more complex?

According to the 2011 Census, the total population of England and Wales was 56.1 million. The proportions in each ethnic group were;

  • White – 86.0%
  • Asian -7.5%
  • Black – 3.3%
  • Mixed/Multiple ethnic – 2.2%
  • Other ethnic groups – 1.0%.

Consider the report completed by the Ministry of Justice, Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System 2016^1. It was found in the period 2012/13 to 2016/17 the black community accounted for almost 9% of arrests on a charge of violence against the person, 20% of those charged with robbery and 18% on charges of possession of weapons. For all types of crime,those arrested were 80% white and approximately 8% were black.

When considering only the population in custody, the argument that black people are twice as likely to die while in custody proves to be a fallacy. Indeed, it is white men who are more likely to die in such circumstances.

The question that no one seems to ask is, if the black community comprises 3.3% of the population, why is it that that community accounts for 8% of those arrested on criminal charges?

According to the Office for National Statistics^2, the rate of unemployment in 2018 was 4%. Amongst the black community it was 9%. How does one explain the disparity?

Is the rate of unemployment and criminal offending the same for black Caribbeans as it is for Black African groups? How do those rates compare with mixed race, Asian or white communities?

How do rates of crime compare amongst people of similar socio-economic backgrounds? Referring again to the Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System 2016^1 the report considered the educational achievements of those processed by the justice system;

Analysis shows that the educational attainment of those sentenced to youth justice disposals was generally much lower than the overall pupil population across all three KS4 headline attainment measures.

Furthermore the report noted that of those children sentenced to more than 12 months in custody 50% of the black children, 40% of mixed race and 40% of the white children were entitled to free school meals. A fairly even distribution across each ethnic groups.

Poverty and fatherless families may be an issue, but is the bigger problem inequality of opportunity? As noted in my earlier post^3, a report completed by Nick Clegg in 2011 found that 25% of the poorest children from all ethnic groups failed to reach expected educational attainment levels by the time they left primary school, a fact that would put them at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives.

Racism may be a problem, but we should not be so blinkered as to exclude any other possible causes for the inequities in society. I remain of the view that education is the key; give the children from those disadvantaged communities the education and support they need so that they too have the opportunity to make a success of their lives, whatever their ethnic heritage.

To conclude I leave you with a quote from Nelson Mandela. His words remain as relevant today as they did when he spoke them.

Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world

15th June 2020

#journal #racism #blacklivesmatter #alllivesmatter

Caught between thugs, be they the Marxist mob or the Fascist hooligans, the majority quietly enduring lockdown wearily shake their heads and wonder when this madness will ever end.

13th June 2020

#journal #lockdown #blacklivesmatter