Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Page - Defending the Dictators

In his deeply predictable piece on the Carol Thatcher controversy, our hero Robin Page strays into that oh-so-tempting territory for morons everywhere – the defence of the dictator:

When I first went to Malawi it was run by a “wicked dictator”, Dr Hastings Banda. The airport was efficient and the planes ran on time; the new capital showed vision with large plots of fast growing eucalyptus planted throughout the city for wood and charcoal; the roads were repaired and the streetlights worked. Outside the land was tended and for the first time for decades Malawi could feed itself. But oh, woe, pc Britain in the form of Tory Lynda Chalker, Baroness Wallasey, decided that Malawi was undemocratic.
Yet even the most basic internet research* presents a more sinister side to Banda than perhaps Page would like to admit to:

Within Malawi, views on him ranged from a cult-like devotion to fear. While he portrayed himself as a caring headmaster to his people, his government was rigidly authoritarian even by African standards of the time. Although the constitution guaranteed civil rights and liberties, they meant almost nothing in practice, and Malawi was essentially a police state. Mail was opened and often edited. Telephones were tapped. Needless to say, overt opposition was not tolerated. Banda actively encouraged the people to report those who criticized him, even if they were relatives. Telephone conversations were known to be cut off if anyone said a critical word about the government. Opponents were often arrested, exiled (like Kanyama Chiume) or died suspiciously (like Dick Matenje or Dr Attati Mpakati).

Banda was the subject of a very pervasive cult of personality. Every business building was required to have an official picture of Banda hanging on the wall, and no poster, clock or picture could be higher than his picture. Before every movie, a video of Banda waving to the people was shown while the anthem played. When Banda visited a city, a contingent of women were expected to greet him at the airport and dance for him. A special cloth, bearing the president’s picture, was the required attire for these performances. Churches had to be government sanctioned. All movies shown in theaters were first viewed by the Malawi Censorship Board and edited for content. Videotapes had to be sent to the Censorship Board to be viewed by censors. Once edited, the movie was given a sticker stating that it was now suitable for viewing, and sent back to the owner. Items to be sold in bookstores were also edited. Pages, or parts of pages, were cut out of magazines like Newsweek and Time. The press and radio were tightly controlled, and mainly served as outlets for government propaganda. Television was banned.

His government supervised the people's lives very closely. Early in his rule, Banda instituted a dress code which was rooted in his socially conservative predilections. For example, women were not allowed to bare their thighs or to wear trousers. Banda argued that the dress code was not instilled to oppress women but to encourage honour and respect for them. For men, long hair and beards were banned as a sign of dissent. Men could be seized and forced to have a haircut on the discretion of border officials or police. Kissing in public was not allowed, nor were movies which contained depictions of kissing. Pre-Banda history was discouraged, and many books on these subjects were burned. Banda also allegedly persecuted some of the northern tribes (particularly the Tumbuka), banning their language and books as well as teachers from certain tribes. Europeans who broke any of these rules were often "PI'ed" (declared Prohibited Immigrants and deported).

All adult citizens were required to be members of the MCP. Party cards had to be carried at all times, and had to be presented in random police inspections. The cards were sold, often by Banda's Malawi Youth Pioneers. In some cases, these youths even sold cards to unborn children.
So, Robin Page – champion of freedom and would-be leader of the new peasant’s revolt – is prepared to support a totalitarian dictator with a hideous cult of personality because, amongst other reasons, he made the planes run on time?

I really *cannot* think why Farage and Cameron would want to distance themselves as much as possible from this clichéd freak.

*The research constituted putting Banda’s name into Wikipedia.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Daily Mail is concerned about actor Mischa Barton looking too thin. The actress is quoted in the article as being happy with her weight, but this does not stop them from adopting a very pious, holier-than-thou and concerned tone in the article.

Of course, if Mischa Barton does have a slimming problem, it will be difficult to know why she has developed such a problem. It couldn't be down to something as simple as news outlets, such as The Daily Mail, printing pictures of her cellulite, could it? And they would never print such a in the same article as the one expressing concern about her weight loss, would they?

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Page and UKIP

Trixy explains her problem with Daily Mail Tendency favourite Robin Page. Her issues with him focus on his wrecking operations within UKIP although - as regular readers of this blog will know - there is no shortage of reasons to have serious issues with Page...

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Littlejohn.Yet Again.

I shouldn't read Richard Littlejohn. He just pisses me right off. But I do, and as soon as I do, I feel the need to vent on this blog.

So let's take a look at what the ever ignorant Littlejohn has got himself into a tizzy about today - some nurse being kicked in the teeth for offering to pray for patients. He asks what her crime was, before noting that none of the outrageous crimes he offers were actually the problem:

No. Her 'crime' was to offer to say a prayer for one old lady on the ward. It's what we used to call an act of Christian charity.
Yes, we used to call it that. However, times have moved on. And an evangelical zeal for an outmoded and out of date fictional religion isn't quite as smiled on as it once was.

Mrs Petrie, a committed Christian since she was aged ten when her mother died of breast cancer, routinely offers to pray for her patients' speedy recovery. Many of them find it a great comfort.
What fucking difference does it make that Petrie's mother died of breast cancer when she was 10? Nothing - unless you are cynically trying to create sympathy for a supposed carer who said the wrong thing. And as we shall see, Petrie doing this routinely is part of the problem.

In this case, 79-year-old May Phippen said: thanks, but no thanks. No offence given or taken. But when Mrs Phippen mentioned it to another nurse, all hell broke loose.
How do you know no offence was taken? Have you asked May Phippen? And perhaps the other nurse was offended that Petrie was using and abusing her position as a carer to push her evangelical Christian beliefs onto a sick woman. I know I fucking well would be offended by that. Or does the opinion of the other nurse not count? Because, perhaps, she is a nurse and not a patient.

Mrs Petrie had previously been warned about her conduct after she asked a male patient if he would like a prayer card. He thought nothing of it, but his 'carer' threw a wobbly and reported her to hospital authorities.
Oh, ok, so Petrie has previous form for pushing her beliefs onto others. And has been warned about it before. To push her beliefs onto someone once could be classed as ill-thinking ignorance. To do so again shows a contempt for anyone who does not believe the same thing as Petrie. A contempt that should not be present in a nurse.

Administrator Alison Withers wrote to her: 'As a nurse you are required to uphold the reputation of your profession. Your NMC (Nursing Midwifery Council) code states that "you must demonstrate a personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity", and "you must not use your professional status to promote causes that are not related to health".'
So as a nurse, Petrie has to adhere to a particular code of conduct - as so many people have to do when holding down a job. If she breaks those rules, she gets herself into trouble. As she might have picked up from her first fucking warning. For fuck's sake.

(Withers) didn't explain how innocently volunteering to pray for a patient brought the game into disrepute or how it compromised Mrs Petrie's discharge of her professional duties.
Yes she did. In the letter. Petrie can't push her religious beliefs onto others. Petrie did so, and brought her profession into disrepute. Really fucking simple.

If I was in hospital, I'd be flattered if someone wanted to pray for my recovery. It wouldn't matter to me what God they believed in.
If you were in hospital, Littlejohn, you fucking cunt, you'd be lucky if someone wanted to pray for your recovery.

they could draft in a Red Indian to perform a raindance at the end of my bed if it meant I got home sooner. I wouldn't care less about my nurse's religious belief, provided it didn't involve blood-letting and human sacrifice.
Red Indian? Ah, casual racism, our old friend.

The power of prayer has long been acknowledged as part of the healing process. That's why hospitals have chaplains and there are Bibles in bedside cabinets.
No. That is palpable bullshit. A positive mental attitude is seem by some as part of the healing process, and some would argue (in an extremely unconvincing way) that prayer forms part of that positive mental attitude. But it has not been acknowledged that prayer is part of the healing process. Atheists get better too. And the reason why there are Bibles in bedside cabinets is down to the pushiness of evangelical Christian organisations. Prayer is about as likely to improve your health as blood-letting and human sacrifice.

The truth is that Christianity forms no part of the 'diversity' agenda.
True. I'd agree with that Christanity is fundamentally intolerant. They don't *get* diversity. They never will. Their pious, sickening belief that they are absolutely right will always hold them back from embracing the ideas of beliefs of those who believe something different to them.

As I wrote on Friday, in relation to the gay adoption scandal in Edinburgh, the only religion that official Britain recognises is 'diversity' itself.
Diversity isn't a religious, you fucking moron. It is a means of making sure that the different types of religion in this country are allowed to flourish, without being oppressed by a rival religion. This is basic, basic stuff.

Just imagine how they would have reacted had Mrs Petrie been a Muslim offering to pray to Allah for a patient's recovery. Anyone who objected would be accused of a 'hate crime' and dumped in a skip at the back of the mortuary.
No, that's not correct. There would be an outcry (rightly so). Probably led by you, Littlejohn.

What's really chilling about this case is that neither of the patients complained. It was only when news reached the ears of another nurse and a 'carer' that the full inquisition swung into action.
So the opinions of nurses and carers - who may be acting on the concerns of their patients - aren't allowed to have opinions? Fuck that. If I encounter racism in my working environment, I will challenge it. The same for those who try to foist their religious beliefs on others.

What kind of sick society have we become where self-righteous sneaks can ruin someone's career?
What kind of sick society would allow an evangelical Christian to push their beliefs onto others - including sick patients in their care?

This is what the small print at the bottom of all those public sector job adverts means in reality. 'Diversity' is just another way of persecuting decent people trying to go about their daily business. This is 'investing in diversity' in action. What else do you think all those equality managers do all day?
Diveristy is not used for persecution; it is used to prevent persecution. And those who follow the diversity opinions of their workplaces - largely by keeping their beliefs to themselves in the workplace - don't have an issue. It is those, such as Petrie, who are too socially maladjusted or too ignorant to keep their private views private, who run into problems.

And as for those diversity managers - well, they have to deal with the likes of Petrie all day, I'd imagine.

The most intolerant people in Britain are always those who preach 'tolerance' most loudly.
No. The most intolerant people in Britain are those who read The Daily Mail. Closely followed by religious zealots.

How does victimising Mrs Petrie square with not promoting 'causes that are not related to health'? Isn't that exactly what the hospital authorities themselves are doing?
No. They are penalising Petrie for promoting causes that are not realted to health.

Why should Mrs Petrie, or anyone else, have to 'demonstrate a personal commitment to equality and diversity'? She can harbour whatever beliefs she likes, provided it doesn't interfere with her professionalism.
It does interfere with her professionalism if colleagues, carers and potentially patients are being exposed to a religion that they don't with to be exposed to. Imagine if a Muslim nurse offered a prayer to Allah for Richard Littlejohn. Despite his protests to the contrary earlier in his article, I think he would die - right there and then - from an indignant apoplexy.

There's only one word to describe hatchet-faced harridans like administrator Alison Withers and the tell-tale creeps trying to get a dedicated nurse such as Caroline Petrie sacked for dispensing a little Christian kindness.

The old school yard taunt of "takes one to know one" springs to mind.

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