Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Who Is Margaret J Ballard And Why Was She Writing To The Universe Last Summer?

Margaret J Ballard wrote the following letter to Catholic weekly, The Universe in late summer 2008:

"I feel obliged to make a few comments regarding the campaign, which your paper has been conducting against the British National Party since July and shows no signs of abating.
It appears to have originated with the ridiculous and unsubstantiated accusations in the article by Paul Donovan, which prompted letters by your readers, two of which, on August 24, pointed out the part played by New Labour in the moral and religious decline in this country, and the very real concerns of the indigenous population with regard to mass immigration and the consequences.
As for John Battle's assertion that he is unable to 'engage with the BNP' because of violent reaction, he really should have taken his statement to its logical conclusion, giving details of the 'violence' which he has suffered. The British National Party is a legally constituted political party, recognised by the State. It participates in elections, abides by the rules of the Electoral Commission and now has a reasonable number of local councillors, as well as a member of the London Assembly. As a Catholic newspaper, you should be more concerned with the terrible persecution of Catholics, particularly in Iraq, where before this country's involvement in the illegal invasion, Catholics enjoyed freedom to practice their faith.Terrorist activities, violent crime and now murder are a daily occurence in this country, none of which are connnected with the BNP. As for the issue of voting, or not voting for the BNP, your readers should not agonise too much; it should be obvious to all who have the power to reason that in a quasi-Marxist tyranny that this country is fast becoming, voting is irrelevant. Finally certain anti-abortion groups should perhaps divert their spiteful and uncharitable allegations against Catholic MPs who support abortion, rather than criticise BNP policy, which I'm sure does not advocate the killings of disabled babies.

I blogged about this in May, wondering whether the BNP was targeting Catholic voters. I noted that along with numerous letters from fascists, The Universe, whose readership is largely drawn from traditionally staunchly Labour-supporting working-class Catholics of Irish descent, had been sent a Catholic-themed BNP pamphlet studded with references to Rerum Novarum.

The plot thickens
Dolphinarium can disclose that Margaret Joyce Ballard shares an address in Carshalton with one, Paul Ballard. She's nearly 90 and he's nearly 60. Perhaps they're mother and son.
The name Paul Ballard will be familiar to seasoned anti-fascists. He just happens to be the BNP's branch organiser for Surrey and Croydon - the "hardline Croydon branch" as the authoritative Searchlight describes it - with a lot of previous, so to speak. This former National Front organiser was active in Combat 18, the neo-Nazi terrorist organisation, between 1992 and 1995. Recall that Combat 18, the numerals being derived from Adolf Hitler's initials, publishes the notorious RedWatch magazine and has been suspected of involvement in numerous immigrants' deaths as well as night-of-the-long-knives style liquidations of its own members. Ballard and his comrades published an antisemitic rag called The Rune to which wannabe fuhrer, Nick Griffin, contributed and then edited. It was in The Rune that Griffin described a matter of historical fact as the "holohoax" and declared, “the electors of Millwall [who voted in the BNP’s first local councillor in 1993] did not back a post modernist rightist party but what they perceived to be a strong, disciplined organisation with the ability to back up its slogan ‘Defend Rights for Whites’ with well-directed boots and fists. When the crunch comes power is the product of force and will, not of rational debate.”
In 1998 Ballard was convicted, along with Griffin, of incitment to racial hatred. Interestingly, he also has form when it comes to latching onto causes the better to promote his nasty brand of fascist politics, as The Independent reported in March 1998. In January of that year, Ballard was one of a number of fascists who attended a People Power Downing Street protest - East London-based People Power was set up in the wake of Daniel Handley's murder to campaign for tougher measures against convicted sex-offenders and soon found itself infiltrated by fascists with a former chairman of the National Front, Ian Anderson, producing its literature.

It is as well to know these things.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Neither Washington Nor Moscow But Roman Catholicism

Time for priests to dust off their dog-eared copies of Kapital because early Karl Marx rocks - so says L'Osservatore Romano.

According to The Times Georg Sans, a German-born professor of the history of contemporary philosophy at the pontifical Gregorian University, wrote in an article that Marx’s work remained especially relevant today as mankind was seeking “a new harmony” between its needs and the natural environment. He also said that Marx’s theories may help to explain the enduring issue of income inequality within capitalist societies.
“We have to ask ourselves, with Marx, whether the forms of alienation of which he spoke have their origin in the capitalist system,” Professor Sans wrote. “If money as such does not multiply on its own, how are we to explain the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few?”
Professor Sans’s view of Marx was not without criticism. He argued that Marx’s “materialist” view of history had wrongly reduced man to no more than a product of his material, economic and physical circumstances. He also said that after the fall of communism [sic] in 1989, few believed any more that private property was in itself wrong or unjust, and “given the experience of the past half century” no one believed that collectivisation of property was the answer.
So it's a qualified thumbs-up to be sure.
Plainly, though, the Marxist renaissance in the Vatican isn't just restricted to Professor Sans. Another German academic has this to say in Spe Salvi:
The nineteenth century held fast to its faith in progress as the new form of human hope, and it continued to consider reason and freedom as the guiding stars to be followed along the path of hope. Nevertheless, the increasingly rapid advance of technical development and the industrialization connected with it soon gave rise to an entirely new social situation: there emerged a class of industrial workers and the so-called “industrial proletariat”, whose dreadful living conditions Friedrich Engels described alarmingly in 1845. For his readers, the conclusion is clear: this cannot continue; a change is necessary. Yet the change would shake up and overturn the entire structure of bourgeois society. After the bourgeois revolution of 1789, the time had come for a new, proletarian revolution: progress could not simply continue in small, linear steps. A revolutionary leap was needed. Karl Marx took up the rallying call, and applied his incisive language and intellect to the task of launching this major new and, as he thought, definitive step in history towards salvation—towards what Kant had described as the “Kingdom of God”. Once the truth of the hereafter had been rejected, it would then be a question of establishing the truth of the here and now. The critique of Heaven is transformed into the critique of earth, the critique of theology into the critique of politics. Progress towards the better, towards the definitively good world, no longer comes simply from science but from politics—from a scientifically conceived politics that recognizes the structure of history and society and thus points out the road towards revolution, towards all-encompassing change. With great precision, albeit with a certain onesided bias, Marx described the situation of his time, and with great analytical skill he spelled out the paths leading to revolution—and not only theoretically: by means of the Communist Party that came into being from the Communist Manifesto of 1848, he set it in motion. His promise, owing to the acuteness of his analysis and his clear indication of the means for radical change, was and still remains an endless source of fascination. Real revolution followed, in the most radical way in Russia.
But he went on to say that Marx made a critical mistake:
Together with the victory of the revolution, though, Marx's fundamental error also became evident. He showed precisely how to overthrow the existing order, but he did not say how matters should proceed thereafter. He simply presumed that with the expropriation of the ruling class, with the fall of political power and the socialization of means of production, the new Jerusalem would be realized. Then, indeed, all contradictions would be resolved, man and the world would finally sort themselves out. Then everything would be able to proceed by itself along the right path, because everything would belong to everyone and all would desire the best for one another. Thus, having accomplished the revolution, Lenin must have realized that the writings of the master gave no indication as to how to proceed. True, Marx had spoken of the interim phase of the dictatorship of the proletariat as a necessity which in time would automatically become redundant. This “intermediate phase” we know all too well, and we also know how it then developed, not ushering in a perfect world, but leaving behind a trail of appalling destruction. Marx not only omitted to work out how this new world would be organized—which should, of course, have been unnecessary. His silence on this matter follows logically from his chosen approach. His error lay deeper. He forgot that man always remains man. He forgot man and he forgot man's freedom. He forgot that freedom always remains also freedom for evil. He thought that once the economy had been put right, everything would automatically be put right. His real error is materialism: man, in fact, is not merely the product of economic conditions, and it is not possible to redeem him purely from the outside by creating a favourable economic environment.
As has been noted here before, Pope Benedict's venerable predecessor, who came to be known as more of a liberation theologian than the liberation theologians had a similarly complex and contradictory relationship with Marxism. At times it bordered on fascination; as a young playwrite he wrote Brother of Our Lord, a play featuring a dialogue between the hero, the monk Brother Albert and a shadowy revolutionary. Yet there's a crucial failure in Sans' and the two Pope's analyses: the assumption that Stalinism had any relationship to revolutionary socialism. In point of fact, Stalinism was anti-socialism enthroned, a perverse evil which had as much in common with Communism as Gnosticism did with Christianity.
But until Professor Callinicos gets to deliver a lecture at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences all that is by the by. In the meantime, it's all about the dialectic in Catholic intellectual circles and let's enjoy the queasy look on George Weigel's face.
Hat Tip: Kevin Clarke at America magazine's In All Things blog.
Footnote: Professor Sans' article first appeared in La Civiltà Cattolica, which is, like America Magazine, a Jesuit publication. And this barely-disguised call for Gordon Brown to tack left was written by Father Peter Scally SJ in Thinking Faith ... another Jesuit publication. You know what I'm thinking, don't you? Is it the Red Flag or the Internationale which is de rigueur among the comrades in the Society of Jesus?

Friday, October 23, 2009

BNP Balls - That Toxic Fug Analysis in Full

Those BNP voters have a point, you know .... It's all the fault of Moslems and immigrants I tell you but no one has the courage to say it in public ... it's not racist to object to Islamic ghettos ... in ten years time when our social fabric has been torn to peices ... don't mention the Bishops Conference, it's a nest of doctrinaire Trotskyites, John Medlin should be put in charge ... er... if only the BNP weren't so nasty ...er national identity ... er what we need is a strong leader, er, er ... Lord Pearson ...

Don't mind if I tell you what I think, govnor, cos I'm going to do so anyway ... our misery is caused by immigration, that and high taxes ... all these immigrants coming over 'ere, with their funny foreign religion, taking our jobs, the papers are full of them ...and you know what happens when they get jobs, don't you... first the mums are all over the papers like a bad rash then next thing you know so are the sons ... this country's in a mess, I know how I'd sort it out ... stand as a Conservative councillor in Crouch End... so I was talking to the association chairman and I said the immigrants are our misfortune ... Lord Pearson's the geezer you want ... and I dunno, squire, he looked at me all funny like he was gonna be sick.

No Platform - The Socialist Workers Party Debate

Given the BBC's shameful decision to allow Nazi Nick Griffin onto Question Time - following which, a poll conducted by You Gov for the Daily Telegraph found that one in five respondents are so morally illiterate that they would "seriously consider" voting for the fascist BNP - the No Platform policy has been the subject of intense debate, as the following motions debated at the SWP's national committee a month ago show. The first is the Central Committee motion, which was inevitably carried, the second from one, John Rees.

Motion carried at the SWP National Committee 13 September

BNP and No Platform (CC Motion)

1. The national committee notes the shock and anger when the BNP won two seats in the European elections earlier this year.
2. Since then UAF has been building up the pressure on the BNP with protests from the egging of Nick Griffin outside parliament to the kettling of the Red White and Blue festival in Codnor. There have also been two successful counter protests against the English Defence League in Birmingham.
3. The decision of the BBC to invite Nick Griffin to appear on Question Time has led to a groundswell of anger.
4. The Labour Party will now drop its opposition to sitting on panels with BNP members – they will put a representative up on the Question Time panel.
5. The BBC has indicated that UAF may be invited on the panel.
6. SWP members in UAF will refuse to appear on a panel with Nick Griffin or any other member of the BNP or fascist party.
7. We will redouble our efforts to win the case for no platform for the BNP in the media and build the UAF campaign of protests and pickets to challenge the BBC’s decision – “Pull the plugs on the BNP thugs”

Martin Smith

In Defence of No Platform for Nazis

Party Council notes:

1. The SWP is currently engaged in an important campaign to deny the BNP a public platform in the media and elsewhere. We are campaigning against Nick Griffin onto BBC’s Question Time.
2. But at the last two National Committee meetings of the SWP a majority of the CC who spoke argued that the SWP should be prepared in the future to debate with members of the BNP in the media after Nick Griffin appears on Question Time on October 22nd, thus abandoning the No Platform position.
3. A majority of NC members who spoke supported this position, despite the fact that the last NC reaffirmed No Platform for the moment.
4. The only public reference to this change of position has been a letter from John Molyneux in Socialist Worker (13th June) arguing that we should abandon the No Platform position.
5. The justification for this reversal of the SWP’s traditional stance is tht the election of two BNP MEPs and the change in the position of the BBC means that we have to change our tactics and debate with the BNP. John Molyneux argues that Gramsci had to debate with Fascists in the Italian parliament in the 1920s and that we should adopt the same tactic.
6. The BBC has never operated a No Platform policy for the BNP. The BNP have already appeared on the BBC main news, Newsnight, the Today programme, the Moral Maze and so on. The only change is to extend this policy to Question Time.
7. A large majority of people in the Metro newspaper poll supported the No Platform position. There have been letters and articles in the press from a range of people defending No Platform, including the right wing Labour MP Denis McShane.

Party Council believes:

1. That the election of two BNP MEPs and the change in policy by the BBC does not mark a significant enough shift in the balance of forces between the left and the BNP to justify abandoning No Platform.
2. The return of the BNP to the streets in the guise of the English Defence League actually marks and opportunity to defend No Platform on the grounds that the BNP are really the street thugs that we always said they were.
3. The analogy with Gramsci’s situation is inaccurate. The Italian working class had seen a general strike smashed by the Fascists, left wing organisations attacked by over 2,000 fascist squads, their offices burnt out and 35 fascist MPs elected to the Italian parliament. Nothing resembling this situation exists in Britain today.
4. Labour and other mainstream parties are going along with this development for their own opportunist reasons. This will aid the BNP. If we do not defend No Platform in the media this weaken the resistance, not strengthen it.
5. The BNP will not be beaten by ‘clever’ debates. What they want is legitimacy. If we appear with them, even if we win the argument, we lose the real battle because we add to their legitimacy. The principle at stake here is that the BNP should not be regarded as a legitimate bourgeois party.
6. If we abandon No Platform in the media it will open up the space for an attack on No Platform in the colleges and NUS, in the unions, the civil service and other public bodies. It will be much harder to ban Nazis from various professions and expel them from unions. Everyone from the BNP themselves to the liberals will say ‘if you debate them on TV, why not here?’
7. Revolutionaries will not be the main people debating the BNP. The media will choose cabinet ministers and MPs (Jack Straw is going on Question Time) and they will continue to do so whether or not we put ourselves forward to debate the BNP.
8. Maintaining the No Platform policy does not mean that we are excluded from the media. Most of the media accept that we will be interviewed, often directly after a BNP spokesperson, and do not require that we share a platform with Nazis.

Party Council resolves:

1. That we should maintain our full No Platform for Nazis policy.
2. That we should campaign in the movement against the Nazis and in the unions to sustain this policy.
William Alderson, Richard Allday, Elly Babcock, Sian Barrett, Alex Brooke, Andy Brown, Jane Claveley, Kate Connell, Margie Corcoran, Adam Cornell, Adrian Cousins, Kevin Deane, Anita de Klerk, Tracy Dodds, Noel Douglas, Tony Dowling, Gary Duncan, Sam Fairbairn, Neil Faulkner, Des Freedman, Lindsey German, John Gilmore, Dave Goodfield, Jo Gough, Elaine Graham-Leigh, Louise Harrison, Madeline Heneghan, Joe Henry, Penny Hicks, Dave Holes, David Hughes, Feyzi Ismail, Gerry Jones, Spencer Jordan, Rachel Kendall, David Lowden, Naz Massoumi, Narzanin Massoumi, David McAllister, Jack McGlen, Caron McKenna, James Meadway, Brendan Montague, Viva Msimang, Jackie Mulhallen, Katya Nasim, Chris Newlove, Chris Nineham, Jesse Oldershaw, Edmund Quinn, John Rees, Matthew Richards, Andrew Robbins, Mark Smith, Alex Snowden, Clare Soloman, Alliya Stennett, Lindy Syson, Guy Taylor, Vladimir Unkovski-Korica, Paul Vernell, Carole Vincent, John Whearty, Gordon White, Tom Whittaker, Somaye Zadeh, Andreja Zivkovic.

A couple of things stand out; first John Molyneux is cast, once again, in his familiar role, that of the party's loyal opposition, secondly, there's hardly the proverbial cigarette paper's difference between the motions. Plainly this isn't just about the No Platform policy. There's a factional split bubbling up from the surface of the second motion and it's spelled R-E-E-S.

Eleven months ago, John Rees was unceremoniously booted off the CC prompting resignations from the missus and Chris Nineham. Is this the Reesites last stand and if so, what is the CC going to do about it?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nina Simone - Mississippi Goddamn

The Same Old Crap

I wonder how some people don't tire of trotting out the same clapped-out old tune.

Unemployment and inflation are not caused by immigration – bullshit! Come off it! The enemy is profit.

Nazi Scum Off Our Streets!

There were protests against Nazi Nick Griffin appearing on the BBC's flagship programme, Question Time this evening in Nottingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Nottingham, Belfast and of course in London where I joined Louise, who has some good pictures of the event and thousands of others outside BBC TV Centre on Wood Lane.

Placards were carried proudly aloft, banners waved in the air, the crowd a demographic cross-section of multi-cultural, multi-ethnic London.

I ran into Jacob and Delmi who used to work at Housmans and met Stuart King of Permanent Revolution who seemed like a decent cove but would probably be horrified, or at the very least deeply confused by this blog. Towards the end, the demonstration moved down Wood Lane towards Uxbridge Road, ending up at the mouth of Frithville Gardens, from whence it was rumoured Nazi Nick would be exiting. In the event he was spirited off elsewhere, though we bawled at a few straggly fascists who were escorted off by the plod.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Is There Going To Be Another BNP Membership Leak Today?

The Graun isn't certain about the authenticity of the document.

Meanwhile, Sunny's got 20 questions he'd like to put to Nick Griffin. They're pretty good, especially question 5:

Would Griffin, Andrew Brons and all other members of the BNP be willing to submit to multiple independent DNA tests to confirm that none of them have any non-European ancestry?

Question 7 should be read by all Pro Lifers:

Does Griffin agree with the senior member of the BNP who is on record as stating that he supports forced euthanasia of people with disabilities and others deemed to be "a waste of time, money and resources", including the very old and (especially) newborn babies?

Are you are Pro Life? Want to do something for the cause? Then sign up HERE RIGHT NOW

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oh, For Heaven's Sake

Police have received a complaint about an article written by newspaper columnist Jan Moir concerning the death of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, Scotland Yard said.

This is taking things too far. By all means let people complain to the PCC that Moir's column breached sections 1, 5 and 12 of its code of practice and by all means let them cause the PCC website to crash under the weight of their not unreasonably angry traffic.

But complaining to the police about Jan Moir's wingnut column is just plain silly. The day the plod crack down on opinions is the day that another inch of liberty is taken away from us.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Nortsoide Funeral For A Nortsoide Star

I had Stephen Gately's funeral on in the background today while I did the washing-up. It was sad and moving as these occasions always are. As images of the dead man flashed up on the screen I was freshly struck by how beautiful he was in life; the generous features perfectly offset by classic celtic colouring and a dreamy expression in his grey blue eyes.

I had reservations about the eulogies at the end of the Mass. Sweet and touching though they were, I was under the impression that we're not supposed to have them. In your humble blogger's view, eulogies can lead to bizarre unChristian abuses as exemplified by the funeral of the late and very unlamented fascist, Vera Birdwood. The service took place in summer 2000 at the High Anglican St Michael and All Angels Church in leafy Bedford Park, a very bells and smells place replete with candles and fetching statues of the BVM and other saints. Rather desecrating the holy atmosphere, a eulogy for Birdwood was delivered by a former leading NF man who spoke of Birdwood's devotion to the Nazi cause. Admittedly, it's an extreme example but you see what I mean.

Speaking of clapped-out old bigots, Dolphinarium has launched a new prize: the Jan Moir Award for Applied Prejudice. The very first Jan Moir Award went to who else but Jan Moir. It was a tight contest with Jan Moir pitted against Mary Nutball MEP and Titus Oates of the National Secular Society which ran to the finish, so to speak but in the end, Moir clinched the prize. The citation read, "for outstanding services to contemporary bigotry which included extraordinary displays of insensitivity to bereaved relatives, the Dolphinarium Committee* awards Jan Moir the first ever Jan Moir Award."

Accepting the award with gratitude at a glittering ceremony held at Mary's Cafe, Peckham, Jan Moir said: "In what is clearly a heavily orchestrated internet campaign I think it is mischievous in the extreme to suggest that my article has homophobic and bigoted undertones."

*The Dolphinarium Committee consists of the following distinguished personages: Voltaire's Priest, Splints, Brendan McCarthy (Tabletista Section) Ann Widdecombe MP, Chair: Red Maria.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Express Yourself

Alright I give in. We're on an old skool vibe here at the moment.

This one's for Patriccus who's insisted on Express Yourself to mark the Carter Ruck climb down. And it's also going out for Agnes in Ohio. Hold tight sister and remember what I told you last night. He's messing with the wrong musketeer. And - of course - this is for Donald too. Remember the good times? You and me out terrorising. This one is for you.

You Down With OPP?

Yeah you know me

Don't think I get my morals from this Naughty By Nature classic. I just like dancing to it and anyway, all property is theft.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Time for some Beres Hammond

Don't You Dare Call Us Extremists! Secularist Outrage at Tony Blair Speech

Speaking at a conference of religious scholars at Georgetown University the other day, Tony Blair referred to the threat to religion from secularist fanatics, saying "We face an aggressive secular attack from without."

It's such an obvious and uncontentious point as to be banal. But Atheist secularists have gone beserk about it.

One complained:

"Tony Blair equated atheists to religious extremists and urged the deluded (i.e., faithful) to unite against us. Seeing this sort of bigotry from someone of Blair's prominence is disturbing."

Another moaned:

Blair never says outright in this address that atheists or atheist activists are just as bad as, say, Al Qaeda, but even giving him the benefit of the doubt, the very fact that he would place secularism and religiously motivated violence in the same context is astounding, offensive, and shows an incredible lack of depth of thinking--not to mention revealing a level of animosity toward nonbelievers on the part of Blair that I am surprised to find exists.

What's so amusing about all this is secularists' certitude of their moral superiority compared to the religious. Their self-image is so inflated as to be dangerously deluded. Secularists who get terribly upset when they're described as aggressive don't know their history - Vendée Massacre, anyone? - make no attempt to clean out malicious nutters in their own ranks - the secularist reaction to PZ Myers desecration stunt was, uh, deafening, wasn't it? - and arguably haven't sorted out in their own minds what secularism even is.

That purveyor of prejudice, The National Secular Society, which describes its raison d'etre as "promoting the separation of church and state etc etc" has already been covered here. The British Humanist Association, (BHA) a not dissimilar body, sees itself as advancing "a world without religious privilege or discrimination, where people are free to live good lives on the basis of reason, experience and shared human values" as well as existing to "promote Humanism and support and represent people who seek to live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs."

That's what it says it is.

But what's this on the BHA's homepage, a press release criticising the increased "conservatism" of the Church of England?

It gets round the obvious point that it isn't any of its damn business how the Church of England conducts its internal affairs by hooking it to a point about faith schools - the BHA doesn't like the existence of free state-funded faith schools - and another one about the Anglican and Catholic Church's concerns with the Equality Bill. The churches are not unreasonably worried that it could, among other silly things, lead to Christian schools and care homes being forced to take down crucifixes as well as having a "chilling effect on the public expression and practice of religious belief". The BHA, which isn't concerned about this at all, even though, remember, it claims to oppose religious discrimination, cynically uses the Churchs' concerns as a stick to beat them with.

The BHA's website helpfully provides an lengthy list of its "distinguished supporters" and very interesting anorakish reading it makes too. Among the list of luminaries are - of course - Dolphinarium's very own Venomballs - whose notorious suggestion that Catholics should be discriminated against in public life again seems very much at odds with the BHA's professed opposition to religious discrimination - and Baroness Shreela "tell the poor to have fewer children" Flather, both of whom, as I have noted before, are also honorary associates of the NSS.

Another one of the BHA's distinguished supporters is actress and cake-decorator, Jane Asher. It can't be the same Jane Asher who sent her daughter, Katie Scarfe, to an exclusive Knightsbridge private Roman Catholic girls school, can it? Naah, couldn't possibly be the same person. That would taste of humbug, wouldn't it?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Did You Pray Today?

Friday, October 09, 2009

A Short Note on Comments

Dear Readers, you know how much I love all of you. I really appreciate your contributions and comments, I really really do. I would like to say that it's you who make it all possible but I can't because it's me who gets this creaky old thing up and running. But it's nice to know that you're out there reading Dolphinarium, enjoying it and occasionally finding yourselves provoked by it.

Speaking of Dolphinarium's critics, about a month ago - maybe longer - a querulous-sounding fascist left the following message on the post about a pseudo-charity called The Steadfast Trust:

Out of the tens of thousands of charities listed on the Charity Commissions' website which are ethno-and racially specific, why do you single out the only one for the English and take the piss. You are a disgusting racist yourself, but worse because of the hypocrisy and irony.

Possibly the same person - posting from an IP address in Dorking in Surrey - left this a day or so ago on the same thread:

Bloody traitor scum!

Oooh er, someone's got their knickers in a twist.

Femme Fatale #3: Carmen

L'amour est enfant de Bohème,
il n'a jamais, jamais connu de loi;
si tu ne m'aimes pas, je t'aime:
si je t'aime, prends garde à toi!

Femme Fatale #2: The Black Velvet Band

Her eyes they shone like diamonds/ I thought her the Queen of the land/ and her hair t'rown over her shoulders tied up with a black velvet band.

Femma Fatale #1: Maxine

Murder she wrote.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

What's Wrong With Eating People?

It all depends on whether the cook is any good. I am a sybarite. I insist that humans are cooked à la polonaise, that is smothered in buttered breadcrumbs, hard-boiled eggs and parsley, accompanied by cabbage and perhaps a dainty bowl of szczaw on the side. All served on Meissen china and washed down with ample quanitites of cytrynowka, to cleanse the palate.

Seated round the table and enjoying the feast with me would be: Neil and Padraig, Peter Cave, Brendan McCarthy, Londiniensis, Splints, Fathers B and Zee, His Hermeneuticalness, the Strong Woman and La Femme Contraire. Fiorella would tell me to stop talking with my mouth full. Voltaire's Priest would be master of ceremonies. Julie Burchill would make a late entrance. Carriages would be at dawn.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

This blog is banned in China

The test shows that there is some, er, "failure in receiving network data".

Good. I must be doing something right.

So is Lenin because he's banned too, as is Neppers, even though he hasn't updated his blog in ages, Father Ray Blake, Tory blogging maven, Iain Dale, the subversive David Lindsay and poignantly, Madam Miaow is another whose blog is banned, despite or perhaps because of her impeccable revolutionary Chinese heritage.

Sunny will be upset not to have aquired the cachet of censorship. Liberal Conspiracy isn't banned and neither is Harry's Place. And of course, Socialist Unity. No problem accessing that in Shanghai. None whatsoever.

Freeeee Cheeeeen Guangcheeeeeng

Hat Tip: His Hemeneuticalness (he's banned too).

Monday, October 05, 2009

Condolences to Kathy Sinnott

I've just heard the awful news that 22 year old Kevin Sinnott, son of the wonderful Kathy Sinnott, former Irish MEP, disability-rights campaigner and staunch defender of Chinese women and all those oppressed by population-control regimes, died two Fridays ago in a freak swimming accident in Georgia, USA. Kevin was a final year philosophy student at the Southern Catholic College in Georgia.

Kathy spoke movingly at Kevin's funeral last week:

"We almost lost Kevin five months before he was born, then four months before and three months before. He was the only one (of my children) who was over-eager and wouldn't stay put. I remember lying in hospital saying to him, 'Just stay put, just sleep, just get to birth, get to baptism and stick around for a while, and that's what he did'."

Poignantly, a remarkably stoic Ms Sinnott told the congregation at her son's Requiem Mass at St John's Church in Carrigaline in Cork that she had taken out the phone to ring Kevin for some advice on the night he drowned last week.
She said her son was always there for his friends and had even set up a group at the college to help teach other struggling students.
"As a mum, I could tell you every detail of the baby Kevin and the child Kevin -- what he ate, how he slept. But I had to listen to his friends to find out more about the person he had become and that was one of the most important things over the last 10 days.
"We are so sad and we are going to miss him bu
t I am so grateful and a little sad but part of me is incredibly happy. What does any parent want? Their child to be happy and to know they are happy forever," she said.

It's desperately sad. Kathy Sinnott is a lovely woman, she's an idealist in the best sense of the word. I remember speaking to her on the telephone a few years ago when she was supporting an amendment to the EU budget which would have defunded population-control programs involved in forced abortion and sterilisation, as all of them invariably are - the amendment was predictably voted down as was the one she put forward last October - and she was wonderful.
"I'm, er ... um ... an ... er ... seamless-garmenter," I stammered. " (Seamless-Garmenters are left Pro Lifers, kind of Justice 'n' Peace types but with charm and style).

Kathy was great. "I love seamless-garmenters," she declared. "Seamless-garmenters make the best Pro-Lifers."

There are many things which make Kathy Sinnott a remarkable woman; her courage, her selflessness, her steadfast, deeply-held, humanitarian principles but most of all for me it's the internationalism of her Pro Life values. For Kathy, an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere and something she cannot tolerate.

Kathy, our hearts are with you.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon him
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Marek Edelman 1922 - 2009

It's with not a little emotion that I record that Marek Edelman, one of the most outstanding resistance fighters of World War II and the last living leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising has died.

Thanks to the heroism of Edelman and those like him, people like me, the descendents of those who were victims of Nazi brutality are alive today. Edelman's unforgettable example, of steadfast courage, of defiant resistance to evil - he was in his early twenties when he fought in the Warsaw Ghetto - will be a constant inspiration to anti-fascists everywhere.

May God bless him. Requiescat in Pace.