Thursday, 29 June 2017

The Right Seat

Saw a right-wing Facebook post yesterday about Muslims burning the British flag. Couldn't care less myself - if they want to buy a flag and burn it, they can knock themselves out. Some people are just so attached to symbols that they must be in a permanent state of anxiety in case one of their cherished symbols is disrespected. It's almost as if, especially when it comes to Muslims, they go out of their way to seek something to huff and puff with righteous indignation about. Well, it's not 'as if', they do actually go out of their way - a long way out of their way. At least the Muslim protesters bought the flags, which makes them the fools. Perhaps I'm in a minority but, there again, I'm no faux patriot whose life is defined and determined by symbols. It's interesting to note that laws prohibiting flag burning exist mainly in repressive regimes.

Another post showed some Muslims on the back of a lorry in Watford, chanting and singing while waving flags. The professionally offended brigade was out in force and all manner of assumptions were made (the lorry was transformed into a Toyota Taliban Truck). I looked up the event and found out it was a celebration of the birth of Mohammed and they were shouting about peace and good will. Not at all what was portrayed by the post. The extreme right just look foolish when they post this stuff, but it’s still vigorously defended as the truth by them. Watching them squirm as they try to justify bigotry is a first class sport.

Mobile phones and the internet have given us near-omniscience, but so long as people are unable or unwilling to distinguish fact from fiction, which is easily done, true omniscience will evade them.

Many from the right (not necessarily the far right) have been complaining about Jeremy Corbyn not attending Armed Forces Day. To be honest, I wasn't even aware there was such a thing as Armed Forces Day till the complaints started - never heard of the thing before. It's only been going since 2009 (although from 2006 to 2009 it was called Veteran's Day) and, from the complaints from the right, you'd think it had been an annual event for generations. Not even sure why it was created in the first place when we already have Remembrance Sunday - perhaps a populist sop for cutting the MoD's budget. For any member of the government (of whatever hue) to attend Armed Forces Day when they are the ones who continually reduce our armed capability and have a very poor record of supporting veterans is rather hypocritical too.

The religious right are the worst hypocrites - they follow a man who was a socialist and preached compassion, giving and communal ownership, while being the most hideous bigots and more like the Temple priests Jesus railed against. They deny Darwinism, yet put it into daily practice in relation to their oppression of the poor.

Our landlady here moved to County Mayo from England some 4 years ago and has Irish relatives, although she herself is English. She discovered that one of her relatives was in the IRA in the 1920s, when Eire became independent. While many in the UK vilify the IRA because of The Troubles, most families in Eire are rather proud of the fact they had relatives who fought for independence against an oppressive regime. Many would do well to read a bit of Irish history and learn how vilely the Irish were treated by their English overlords. The monument to the Great Irish Famine in Doolough valley, which we visited last week, has an inscription from Mahatma Gandhi: "How can men feel themselves honoured by the humiliation of their fellow beings?"

The right's stance on the English soft fruit farmers is another example of hypocrisy. They say the farmers, who operate on a very small margin, if any, should pay a decent wage so as to attract British pickers, rather than having to rely on immigrant labour. The problem is that the first farmer to break ranks and increase the wage above the minimum wage will be at a disadvantage and will likely go to the wall. The most equitable way of accomplishing a pay increase to attract British workers is to increase the minimum wage, but who are against this? You guessed it, the political right.

Hay checked us in for the RyanAir flight from Knock to Britstol yesterday. As expected, because we didn't pay for seat reservations, we got rows 05 and 30. I just hope we have the entire rows to ourselves again. I just wish they were honest and actually said they have a policy of seating people away from each other unless they pay an additional fee on top of the fare. It's not even as if they need to do it - they'd still be the cheapest if they added the reservation fee to the airfare.

I just love the colours in these beach shots I took yesterday. Almost watercolours.


  1. Two thirds of the English have Irish relations and the other third are a mixture of Germanic Norman Egyptians.