Tuesday, 20 March 2018
The left are terribly bad losers. We see that all the time. We have seen that over the weekend as they tried to make allegations about the BBC and Chauncey's hat in an attempt to distract us from his appalling and entirely self inflicted week defending Vlad the Botoxed trying to commit murder with a banned chemical weapon in Salisbury.
You may recall back in January the visit of Professor Jordan Peterson to these shores to promote his book. He was interviewed across the media including a now infamous meeting with Cathy Newman who went in smugly trying to misrepresent and caricature what he was saying. The video that Channel 4 put on YouTube of the whole interview has gone viral and been viewed 8 million times. This is because Peterson calmly and authoritatively dealt with her rude and dishonest approach and made her look stupid.
The left and feminists have been smarting about this ever since including Newman herself, although to be fair she does now seem to accept that it was not her finest hour. What she does not seem to accept is that she was wrong and that her point of view is wrong. She engaged in what was effectively a debate and she lost and lost badly. Since then Channel 4 and she have been making lurid claims about how she has been the victim of appalling abuse and that they have had to call in the police. Yet a study of all of the comments on the YouTube channel show that the abuse has actually been levelled more at Peterson than her and for the most part the comments are simply glorying in her humiliation. They also send up her use of the phrase 'so what you're saying is.' In other words this is the feminist equivalent of Chauncey's hat. Look at the abuse she's been getting, they say, in the hope of distracting from the fact she lost the argument.
Take this hagiographic interview with Newman in The Guardian, where else? It tries all of the usual tactics for presenting what happened in a wholly dishonest light. Most egregious of these is when they use the weasel phrase vis a vis Jordan Peterson: 'has attracted a following among the alt-right.' It is obvious what is being implied here, but their use of this language is deliberate and calculated. Anyone can be followed by members of the alt-right. Indeed you could say the same for Newman herself following this interview. The alt-right too is a problematic phrase since it is essentially meaningless and wide. Conventionally it means those who are white supremacists, but it has become the left's go to ad hominem slur levelled at anyone they don't like, or whose opinions they disagree with. It is an attempt to silence. It also has the tendency to motivate the sort of people who try to no platform speakers or to shut down venues hosting such speakers.
Newman has been trying to spin the disastrous interview with Peterson ever since it happened. It did not go well she admits. But she seems incapable of being honest about why it didn't go well. She went into it with an agenda and with a pre conceived idea of what the Professor was going to say. Then he came across as the calm and measured one and she came across as the blinkered ideologue. That is why the interview has gone viral. Peterson made a number of reasoned and reasonable arguments but she simply wasn't listening.
She still isn't listening. This feminist harridan, whose husband has taken on the childcare and house care responsibilities to enable her to pursue her career, nevertheless keeps making strident and evidence free claims about the state of gender politics. She even claims, in the course of this interview, that the internet is written by men with an agenda. What does that even mean? The internet? What, all of it? Men with an agenda? What agenda? Clearly Newman is as bad at being an interviewee as she is at interviewing.
The gender pay gap was not something that Peterson denied as a fact as claimed here. He merely pointed out that it is a meaningless statistic that doesn't prove anything. There are, he pointed out, a range of reasons why men overall might be paid more than women. Looking at the overall pay gap is lazy statistical garbage. Cathy Newman failed to grasp this during the interview and still, seemingly, cannot see it now.
That's why she talks of men with an agenda. What is this agenda? Is she making some bizarre claim about a male conspiracy to ensure we get all the best jobs and the highest pay? What is she claiming? Or is she just being as obtuse as she was in that interview that won her 8 million YouTube views?
If you haven't seen the interview then do yourself a favour and watch it above now. Then ask yourself which of the two of these is the extremist. Which of them is the ideologue. Which of them is blinkered. Which of them is incapable of engaging in debate rather and being open minded.
The gender pay gap is a nonsense. It is tiny and there are numerous good reasons for it. But the feminists don't want to hear them. This is not the same as saying that men and women should not be paid the same for doing the same job. Of course they should, although even here there are exceptions. Look at the latest furore around how much the BBC pays John McEnroe compared to Martina Navratilova. But there is a good reason for this. McEnroe is charismatic, funny and entertaining during Wimbledon and enormously popular. He is also in huge demand. He is no doubt paid more than all of the men too. He is paid more than Navratilova despite her having won 3 times more singles titles. But so what? They are now TV stars. And he is better at it than she is.
In the interview with the Guardian, Newman says that she was just having an off day and compares herself to a footballer who missed a goal. And maybe this is true. Maybe she was having an off day. Maybe she normally is a good interviewer. She claims however that she assiduously prepares for her interviews. Well this was clearly not the case with Jordan Peterson. She went into that interview expecting someone quite different from the intelligent, well read, polite and cogent man who faced her. That is why he beat her. And that is why she is even now trying to relaunch herself after that debacle. But she might be more successful if she went back, watched the interview again, and actually listened to what the Professor was saying when she wasn't interrupting him. Good interviewers listen to the answers and are prepared to have their pre-conceived ideas challenged. Cathy Newman does not. Channel 4 should cut her pay.
Monday, 19 March 2018
Last week, entirely deservedly, was not a good week for Marxist Labour and Chauncey. This blog has been saying for months now that we are well past peak Chauncey and last week put the issue beyond doubt. The British public, or at least the 40% of them that voted for the preening halfwit thinking him a breath of fresh air, had their eyes opened. Chauncey had his bacon sandwich moment.
And the Twitter legions who back him know this too. How else to explain their reaction to a Newsnight item illustrated by a picture of Chauncey with the Kremlin in the background and Chauncey wearing a hat. Photoshopped! they said. Photoshopped to make him look more Russian! The photograph of course was not photoshopped. It was a picture of a man in a hat. They could just as easily have chosen one of him wearing a Lenin style cap with his fist raised in salute. Or they could have resurrected the dozens of times during his career when he has expressed solidarity or at least sympathy with Russia instead of with the country of his birth. Oh and his favourite song is Back in the USSR too by the way. I made that last one up, but it could be true.
It's odd isn't it that the left backed Chauncey's calls for more evidence of Russian culpability for the Salisbury poisonings and yet the BBC shows him in furry hat and they immediately see conspiracies against the nasty old fraud. Anyone would think they and he have something to hide. In reality they know that his stance last week was disastrous precisely because his first instinct was immediately to defend the honour of Russia. But it is disastrous precisely because Russia is a rogue state that actually passed a law, 12 years ago, authorising these assassinations on foreign soil. Does Chauncey not know this? How would he react if our Government were to bring in such a law, quite brazenly? So why does he ignore that Russia has done this?
We all know that Russia did this. Their denials are the same as all of their denials. They ritually deny everything whilst sniggering Muttley style behind their jewel encrusted hands. The litany of outrages perpetrated has been rehearsed endlessly this last week, but it includes invasion of Ukraine, downing a civilian airliner, murder of thousands in Syria not to mention a dozen or more suspicious deaths of Russians living in this country plus others elsewhere. Russia ignores the very international law that the likes of Chauncey always seek to sanctify. Use of a chemical nerve agent is illegal. Doing so in another country endangering its citizens is tantamount to an act of war. The British Government's reaction to this has been measured and proportionate. They waited for the evidence, they gave Russia the chance to explain itself, they took care to involve allies and international bodies. Russia did not respond in any meaningful way.
We are not of course party to the evidence gathered by the police, intelligence services and analysed by Porton Down (although Chauncey will have been briefed about it as a Privy Counsellor). Since there will likely never be a criminal trial to test the evidence we may never know for sure, especially if, as is to be hoped, the Skripals pull through making an inquest unnecessary. But Russia is, logically, the only suspect. It is the only country with any animus against one of its own. It is the only actor able and willing to behave this way on a consistent basis and with so little to gain other than its own pride. It is the only nation on Earth with such an elevated sense of itself so entirely at odds with reality that it feels it necessary to behave this way. A country that was really as powerful and important as Russia wants to be would have no need to act like North Korea. When it told Britain we should not issue threats against a nuclear power it gave the game away. Russia is a large country with a small economy. It is grindingly poor. This is ever more the case since Putin spends so much of its wealth on its armed forces and since he and his oligarchs steal most of the rest. The country is becoming ever more feudal and backward.
Putin was returned with an increased vote in his joke of an election yesterday. It was a stolen election in a corrupt, poor and violent country. This is the greatest mystery about Chauncey's defence of them. They are not fellow travellers down the Marxist road. They are cynical fascists who steal and murder and bully and use nationalism as a means to maintain power. Russia is a country that has long had an inflated sense of its own power and worth on the world stage. It imagines that it is entitled to a sphere of influence and is prepared to invade or otherwise menace its neighbours to get its way. So why does the Labour leader defend them?
This has been a huge story and it continues to run. That is what the left is so afraid of. This is a story that has resonated with the British public in a way that few political stories do. It has made Theresa May look tough, principled and uncompromising.Marxist Labour and its Marxist leader has been caught on the wrong side of it and they are finding it impossible to extricate themselves. The soft spoken man of principle act came unstuck last week. The irony is that Putin may have exposed his useful idiot and damaged him beyond repair.
Sunday, 18 March 2018
God, as we observed in the last chapter and several more before that, is a very jealous god. He doesn't want his people getting seduced by other gods, by the dark side you might say. And you can see why he is so worried. He has some very strange rules for his chosen people who must have felt that they had not so much been chosen as held hostage by this strange god. He even told them what they could eat as we shall now see.
So before we get on to the menu God, apropos of nothing, told the Israelites that they must not under any circumstances, shave between their eyebrows. If you have a unibrow then you must leave it alone. It really is as God intended.
God told his people that he had chosen them and that they were to be a peculiar and exclusive people with some very arcane rules. Now we get to them. The list of approved foods.
Note that no reason is given for any of this. God just approves of some foods and others are abominations, which is odd given that he was supposed to have created all of these foods and given mankind dominion over all of them. But God isn't known for his consistency.
Approved foods then are kosher. Animals could only be eaten if they had divided hooves and if they also chewed the cud. That's why pigs are on the proscribed list. They have cloven hooves or feet but they don't chew the cud. What a fantastically stupid reason to deny yourself bacon sandwiches.
There were equally stupid rules for eating water dwelling animals. They had to have fins or scales. That meant no shrimp or lobster. Again, no reason is given, they are just called unclean and that is the end of the matter. God doesn't justify himself on account, I suppose, of his rules being facile and absurd.
There are certain birds that can and cannot be eaten. Fancy eating an eagle or an osprey? Then you can't. They're banned. Also no ravens or crows, no owls or hawks. Oh and God seemed to think that bats are birds. Anyway, he banned people from eating them whatever.
There was also to be no eating of animals that had died of natural causes, which probably wasn't a bad rule to be fair.
And no eating of creepy crawlies. That's not how they are described here but it is what they meant. Of course now we know that creepy crawlies are very nutritious but the authors didn't know this. They just knew that they looked unappetising and dirty and so they were banned.
There was also to be no eating of a baby goat that had been cooked in its mother's milk.
Finally God and his priests and the Levites demanded 10% of all grains grown and wine and olive oil. The priests ate pretty well as we discovered when God went into great detail about his demands for sacrifices in previous books.
And the priests and Levites didn't mind if, instead of the grain itself, you paid them in cash instead. That was very accommodating of them wasn't it.
Saturday, 17 March 2018
This week we discuss the supposed gender pay gap, something for which the evidence is actually not there at all. The Crown's Matt Smith was paid more than Claire Foy who played the Queen. Cue lots of feminist bleating. But Smith was a big star, a bigger star than his co star. So he commanded a bigger fee as a consequence. That's how showbiz works. Actors get paid not just according to talent but their box office profile. Matt Smith had a higher one and so was paid more. People don't get paid according to how senior the figure they are playing is. We also this week discuss the whole Salisbury poisoning outrage in which a foreign power murdered a British citizen and their abhorrent behaviour was punished by the Government but defended by the Marxist Labour leadership. Nice to know their allegiances haven't changed these last 40 years.
Friday, 16 March 2018
There's been some appalling rot written in the last few weeks concerning the so called gender pay gap, but the confected outrage concerning the gap between what Netflix paid Claire Foy and Matt Smith for their roles in its superb series The Crown are astonishing in their naive stupidity. Or is it just their considered dishonesty?
In case you don't know, Foy plays the Queen in the series that charts the reign of Elizabeth II from the days and years leading up to her accession, through the death of her beloved father. It then charts British and to some extent world history through the prism of the monarchy as it navigated tumultuous times in which Britain and the wider world has changed beyond recognition more than once during which time the one constant has been the Queen and the Crown, a uniting, stabilising but often dysfunctional institution at the centre of the British landscape. It is a superb series that has had money lavished on it and features the cream of our acting and technical talent, not least Claire Foy and Matt Smith themselves.
But, and this is the point, it is not a show that has a star as such. The show is about The Crown, not the Queen. Claire Foy has been brilliant in the role. Those of us who had admired her in previous roles such as in various BBC shows such as Little Dorrit, the under appreciated revival of Upstairs Downstairs and Wolf Hall never doubted for a moment that she would be good. But her performance has still been a revelation. She has been sublime, subtle and utterly convincing.
But the same is true of Smith and other cast members such as John Lithgow, Victoria Hamilton and Vanessa Kirby. It is an ensemble piece telling a sweeping story with one woman at the centre.
But say the halfwits who have been getting righteously angry about this: she is playing the Queen. Well, so what? You do realise do you that seniority in the script does not equate to real seniority. Under those circumstances shouldn't Lithgow have been paid the most because he was Churchill, the PM? By that criteria Bernard Hill should have been paid more than Leonardo DiCaprio for Titanic because he was the captain.
There has been much rubbish written about this but I think this piece by Claire Cohen, the Women's Editor of The Telegraph is the most asinine. In it she again gets confused because Smith plays Prince Philip and is required by the script to behave like a spoilt brat and to complain constantly about being upstaged by his wife and to have no real role. He play this superbly and the two of them combine brilliantly. Yet Cohen seems confused by this, apparently not realising that this is part of the central drama being created here. Philip's struggle with his wife being more powerful than he, despite his having previously been an alpha male military man, is part of the story. He was being supplanted by a woman.
And why was Matt Smith being paid more than Claire Foy? Because when the roles were being cast he was the bigger star. Simple really. The film and television world operate like the most hard headed of businesses. Producers want to pay as little as possible and actors and other talent want to get paid as much as possible. If a producer wants a big star to get him attention he has to pay for it. If he wants a great actor who is not so much of a star but has the potential to become one then he can get away with paying less. Foy wasn't paid a pittance. She was paid £40k per episode. Her agent and she were presumably very happy with this. Remember nobody knew that the show would become the huge critical and audience hit it has become. Nobody knew it would be this good.
Why then wasn't Foy paid more for the second series? Well I'm guessing because she'd signed a contract to shoot two series at the rate agreed. What is difficult to understand about that?
Another article, written by Alice Vincent in the same paper, did acknowledge that there is a market for talent and that stars negotiate freely and get what they can get. Big name stars get big pay packets. The bigger they get the more money, perks and power. If they get the good luck to star in a series of huge grossing movies or a monster TV hit, if they win awards and plaudits then that feeds through to the offers they receive and the pay they negotiate. Jennifer Lawrence is the current biggest star in the world, but she may not be so much given how her last two films have flopped. That is the way of the world, or at least of the entertainment world.
Unfortunately Ms Vincent then comes on to Doctor Who. Matt Smith is a bigger star than Claire Foy because of Doctor Who. They are both exceptional actors but one has become a bigger star just because he had the good fortune to get that role of a lifetime and to be excellent in it. But, says Alice, this could never have happened to Claire Foy because she could never have become Dr Who until recently. Eh? Dr Who has always been a man's role. This is on account of it being a show that was created in the 1960s. Now there are some who argue that handing the role to a woman is a travesty. I don't hold with that argument because its sci-fi. But that's the only reason. There are plenty of good female roles in film and television and the number of them is growing. That is no reason to take male roles and turn them into women's roles on the spurious grounds of equality. The exception to this is Dr Who for the aforementioned reason. But Jane Bond? No. Just no.
None of this is to say that sexism doesn't exist in the entertainment business, but times and attitudes are changing. Yet the argument over Claire Foy and Matt Smith is a nonsense one. They both won roles in a big new TV show and one was able to negotiate a bigger fee than the other. This neither proves or disproves a gender pay gap. It proves that there is a gap between the earning power of one actor and another actor. This has always been the case. It is the case between men and other men and doubtless is the case between men and women but in favour of the women. If Jennifer Lawrence had been offered the chance to play Jackie Kennedy in a couple of episodes I expect she would have been paid quite a lot more than anyone else on the set. Or is that because she's the first lady?
I was watching the news last night, concerned lest we have become embroiled in a hot war let alone a new cold one. Then the BBC cut to a vox pop and some young lad, bless him, opined that Russia should 'go away and shut up'. I do not paraphrase him and neither was this a 1950s vox pop mistakenly inserted into programming from a cheeky young rapscallion in short trousers. Quite why the BBC should have a vox pop at such a critical time in ......oh no, my mistake, the young lad in question was not on his way home from school, he was in fact Her Majesty's Defence Secretary. How reassuring.
The squeaky voiced Gavin Williamson, for it is he, seems to be of the opinion that he stands a chance of being the next leader of the Conservative Party and our Prime Minister. He should be disabused of this notion by the time this soundbite has become a gif on phones across the nation. Even if we hadn't known he was a nauseating and embarrassing little twerp before this week - and this blog has been quite clear on the subject - now everyone knows, including those who don't care about politics. I'm told that actual schoolboys are quite keen on finding him and stealing his dinner money.
I, along with everyone else, have been going easier on Theresa May in recent weeks as she has got on with the job and has been quietly authoritative in our contretemps with the Russians. How unfortunate then that she allowed Williamson to tell them to 'go away and shut up'. In the unlikely event that they had been menaced by our proportionate response and the condemnatory words but no actions of our allies, Mr Williamson will have provided welcome comic relief. Still, it could be worse, he might have been our Foreign Secretary and actually in a position to tell them to go away and shut up, or words to that effect. Say what you like about Boris, but at least he has a handy way with words for such occasions.
The problem is of course that Williamson is the man, I am assured that he is a fully grown man despite appearances to the contrary, who is in charge of the nation's defences at this difficult time. Would it be possible for him to be shuffled somewhere else? I know I would sleep more soundly in my bed if he were.
Thursday, 15 March 2018
It's just a few short weeks since various newspapers and a blogs were condemned and in some cases ridiculed for their reporting about Chauncey and his former associations with communist regimes in eastern Europe during the Cold War. It was a story that died a death because the public didn't seem to care and because, in truth, though it was certainly true that Chauncey had sympathy with those nasty regimes and wished them well, he was no spy. He doesn't have the brains. Or the contacts. Essentially he was too inconsequential and dumb to be worthwhile as a spy. The story failed to resonate but that didn't make it untrue. The nasty old fool has sympathy with nasty people, from terrorists to brutal regimes.
Fast forward to today though and Chauncey's unpleasant sympathies are there for all to see and in a way that likely will resonate. Britain came under attack by Russia last week. It's not just that a foreign power attempted to commit murder on our soil, it's that they did so with a dangerous nerve agent that imperilled the lives of hundreds of British citizens who did nothing other than be in the wrong place at the wrong time. That is why we are so furious about this and that is why Theresa May had no option but to take strong action against a rogue state.
Yet what was Chauncey's reaction? It was to cavil and cravenly excuse, to condemn the act of violence but to refuse to condemn the Russians and seek to place the blame on Tory cuts. Quite what cuts to the Foreign Office budget has to do with anything is a mystery. If we had abolished the Foreign Office completely would that have given Putin and his thugs carte blanche to do as they please? Chauncey likes to talk about international law and so why does he equivocate when Russia ignores it? Why does he take their side in this argument when they are so clearly in the wrong and when they have repeatedly been in the wrong now for years? Why did he fail to back the measures that the Prime Minister set out in response to this outrage?
But as others have pointed out, had this been an act perpetrated by a regime that Chauncey does not like he would have been the first to issue condemnations. When Trump made mealy mouthed references to white supremacists last year Chauncey broke into his holiday viewing manhole covers in Europe to voice his disgust. Yet still he and his shadow cabinet cannot say a word of condemnation about the actions of the Muduro government against its own people in Venezuela. They are the first, often justifiably, to criticise the actions of Israel's government. They still haven't said a word about the violence perpetrated last year and as an ongoing process by Iranian authorities.
This is what we meant when we talked about Chauncey's loyalties and peculiar willingness to take the side of foreign powers and even terrorists against this country and its people. When he was a young and foolish man who believed in communism and so excused the behaviour of communist regimes that was bad enough. But Putin's Russia is intolerant, bigoted, kleptocratic, belligerent, aggressive and lawless. It ignores international law and has waged war against its neighbours and against innocent civilians, has invaded, bullied, threatened and even been complicit in shooting down passenger aircraft. Now it has committed an act that is tantamount to a declaration of war and one in which the civilians of an English city were collateral damage just like the citizens of Syria.
To their credit Labour backbenchers were strongly critical of their own leader and backed the PM yesterday. But how can they now campaign for him in an election? How can they now risk his becoming the Prime Minister of this country? They should now accept that their party is lost and that they must desert it. They have it in their power to deny Chauncey his current role as Leader of the Opposition, a position he only holds because he has sufficient MPs to make Labour the second biggest party. If they were to resign the whip of their party and form a new party there would be a fundamental realignment of British politics. But Chauncey would be sent back to the sidelines where he so decidedly deserves to be and to remain. He is not even fit to be a Member of Parliament.
The revelations about Chauncey's interactions with spies did not resonate with the British public. His reaction to this attack on us all surely will.
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
Should England boycott the World Cup in Russia this summer? Of course we should. We should do so, not just in retaliation for the cowardly attack in Salisbury imperilling dozens or maybe more innocent British citizens with no connection to Russia, but because Russia has demonstrated that it cares nothing for what the world thinks of it. Anyone foolhardy enough to attend matches in that country would do so at grave risk. After all English fans were attacked by Russian nationalist thugs in Marseille. Think how they would behave against our fans on their own territory.
A decision to boycott the tournament lies with the FA and not with the British Government. That is as it should be. As things stand the FA has said its plans for the World Cup have not changed. But then that was before the midnight deadline set by Theresa May expired and before it is known what the Government's response will be when the Russians refuse to explain themselves. This is before the Russian response to that response is known. It is before the international response is known. Will our supposed friends and partners in Europe show the solidarity they always proclaim loudly before doing what suits them? We shall see. What about America? Will Trump stand in the way of showing the solidarity that Rex Tillerson proclaimed only to be fired a few hours later.
Either way relations between this country and Russia are going to be delicate at best. It's entirely possible that diplomatic relations may have been broken entirely if this spirals out of control. Under those circumstances it would be dangerous for our football team to travel to Vlad the Botoxed's latest vanity sporting extravaganza. It would also likely be very much at odds with the national mood. Sport cannot be dissociated from politics. Politics permeates everything, especially when murder with a deadly and banned weapon is attempted on this island.
The best way to react now would be for the FA to appraise the situation and announce that we are withdrawing our team from the World Cup. It should then announce that we will be arranging a mini tournament of our own to replace it. Invitations will be extended to the other British nations in a revival of the old and much loved home nations tournament that ended each football season. If however other nations wish to join in with this tournament they would be more than welcome. The Netherlands for instance has not qualified for the World Cup. Would they like to come? But those countries that have qualified should feel free to withdraw from the corrupt and malign official tournament and come and play here where the game was invented and where they can be safe in the knowledge that they will not be attacked by mindless thugs. And that's just the Russian government.
This would be a tournament held in Britain and not just in England. We do not want for world class stadiums. We do not want for the infrastructure. We showed in 2012 that we can host a world class international sporting tournament. And if our friends were to show solidarity with us and thumb their noses at the vile regime in Moscow what a blow that would be for Western values and solidarity. It's only March. This can easily be accomplished. So let's start that process now. Theresa May will announce the response to this outrage and show that we are no longer prepared to acquiesce to Russia's lawlessness and cynicism. Sport is not divorced from politics. Here is a chance to show it has decent values too. It's about more than money; it's about principles.