Sepoys on the dark side of the Moon
India may not seem to lie within the remit of this column, but bear with me. Britain’s ex-colony — which seems to be a description that fits a lot of nations now outpacing the old country — has just landed a spacecraft on the Moon, although it has not been confirmed whether, in line with Indian trains, there were dozens of people hanging off its hull. The motive for the jaunt, other than space-race braggadocio, is unclear. I don’t imagine the Moon offers much potential for curry houses or a new haberdashery business, but I am no cosmologist.
At least the Indian landing was a decent piece of parking. Russia, in the same week, managed to crash a similar spacecraft into the Moon rather than onto it. Luna 25’s mission was, apparently, to look for ice and water on the planet, which presumably Putin’s cocktail cabinet is fresh out of. Or possibly this investigation is in case they have to set up a prison colony there one day for captured Ukrainians, and they don’t want them to die of thirst or have nothing with which to temper their vodka. Or perhaps cosmonauts will soon genuinely be fleeing a war zone. The Russian spacecraft was not supposed to crash — but where is Yuri Gagarin, first man in space, when you need an experienced driver?
The only thing that is clear about the Indian moonshot from the British point of view is that the spaceship, Chandrayaan-3, didn’t come cheaper than any other lunar craft, even though it may well have been assembled in the sweatshops of Jaipur or Delhi. The bill for the mission came in at around 6.15 billion rupees, or $75 million. It is warming to know that the good old British Raj, by way of reparations for guilt due to the improvements the Empire made to India, is helping by chipping in a few bob.
Of the £12 billion the United Kingdom squanders in global foreign aid annually, the amount sent to India — thus helping put an Indian spacecraft on our solar sister — is set to increase from £33 million to £57 million, not far from covering the check for their current space program. This is presumably in case the Indians feel the need to go and fetch the spacecraft back for parts or something, or perhaps design silver saris for the first female Indian astronaut. Why the British government feels the need for this largesse towards a country which it largely civilized, and which now has more billionaires than its own, is mysterious. It’s not as though Britain has a Hindu Prime Minister or anything. Oh, wait. This just in . . .
Night nurse, white nurse
“We know of no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.” This famous quotation from nineteenth-century Whig politician and historian Thomas Babington Macaulay needs to be dusted off, because the British public is certainly having just such a fit at the moment — some more than others, dependent on skin color.
Night nurse Lucy Letby has been handed down a rare “full-life” jail sentence, becoming only the fourth woman in Britain to be given such a term. If you are British, you will doubtless be aware that she joins Myra Hindley, Rose West, and Joanne Dennehy, all infamous in the nation’s grimoire of female mass killers.
Letby was convicted at Manchester Crown Court of killing seven babies while on night duty at a hospital, all on different occasions, and sentenced as noted. I don’t think she will last long in jail, and there are a lot of cross-accusations swirling around this story concerning alarms failing to be raised and so on. But it’s another side to the story that catches the eye, if you are looking for the insatiable appetite that the black-led British media have for race-baiting, whatever the topic. If whites are involved, there is racism. Show me the skin color and I’ll show you the crime.
There is a competition going on in the British media to see if it is possible to drag race into anything and everything. In the case of Lucy Letby, a white woman whose image has appeared on British television far more in the last fortnight than white women have appeared in TV ads, this infant massacre was down to . . . drum roll . . . white privilege.
Nadeine Asbali, whose name alone exemplifies modern journalistic affirmative action, penned an article in something called Glamour magazine, with the following title: “Lucy Letby’s white privilege helped her commit murders in plain sight — and yes, she’s still benefitting from it.”
It is not easy to see the benefits of dying in jail, either of natural causes many years from now or by slightly more direct means a few weeks from now, but it is worth your time reading the piece, as it typifies the race-based media cold war which is simmering in Britain, if a cold war can be said to simmer.
There is a particularly noisome “British” black loudmouth who has realized that where there is racism, there is income, and she has one of those irritating and affected African names: Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, if you please, who sounds like a character from H. P. Lovecraft. She is all over the British media just now like a cheap suit, and the following semi-literate tweet gives her point of view succinctly;
Lucy Letby exemplifies how ideology keeps Britain in a chokehold. They believed her tears/denials though evidence said otherwise for no other reason than she’s White.
Black female journalists are so bloody tiring. I recently saw a fat black woman on YouTube droning on like a drunken rapper about either racism or slavery, the only options for these sows, and wearing a T-shirt bearing the words “Shut up! A black woman is talking!” To be brutally honest, sister, we don’t really need to be told that. Res ipsa loquitur, as they say in court, and they undoubtedly did in the case of Lucy Letby. The facts speak for themselves.
There has been yet another British police scandal, and it is both appalling and an example of what is becoming numbingly commonplace in Britain: seven police officers invaded a family home in Leeds to arrest a 16-year-old autistic girl because she had called an officer a lesbian — and actually, she hadn’t. She told the officer that she “looked like my lesbian nana,” which seems at first instance to be a rather touching acceptance of female homosexuality. But not if you are the British police, which is increasingly becoming a vile bunch of sadist enforcers. Now, the officer herself is so obviously a lesbian that she makes Ellen Degeneres look like Lauren Bacall, and the story is brutal. But there is a subtext here: autism.
Autism is something I happen to know about as I have been a long-time proprietor — never a sufferer — of OCD, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It is not debilitating to me, although it can be to some. For me it has settled comfortably, over the decades, into the background of my consciousness, like the hum of a refrigerator in a quiet kitchen. But it is often considered, clinically, to be a component of autism, so I studied the subject years ago to be sure that I wasn’t autistic myself.
You can’t self-diagnose physiologically, unless you’ve got the flu or something, in which case you obviously can. But it’s not a great idea to check yourself out for leukemia or cystic fibrosis. Call in an expert, is my advice. But, psychologically, it is possible at least to rule out certain conditions, and I am certainly not autistic, nor do I have Asperger’s Syndrome.
Try telling that to some mothers, however. Autism — like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Asperger’s, learning disabilities, dyslexia, and many others — are used like playing cards by some conniving mothers, and then paraded like a Prada clutch bag once the pharmacologically-endorsed diagnosis has been rubber stamped. I’ve met them; their kids’ conditions, supposed or real, become a status symbol, and terms such as “autism” are often body-doubles for “bad parenting.”
The mother in the video linked repeatedly tells the police that her daughter is autistic, and also has scoliosis, or curvature of the spine. The girl had been picked up for public intoxication by the police in Leeds’ town center, which is where she made her mild, jokey accusation.
The police in Britain are becoming a very unpleasant task force, employed by the state to enforce the new dogma, and I hope their sleep is disturbed by the raggedy remains of their consciences. But there is another point as well: I am not a parent, but I feel confident in saying that letting an autistic, scoliotic teenager go and get pissed in town is not model parenting.
ULEZ may sound like a small Latin American republic, but is in fact the latest acronym riding high in the British media. It stands for “ultra-low emission zone,” and appears to be another con-trick to squeeze money from the already desiccated taxpayer. The idea is that a huge toll — supposedly £12.50, or north of $15 — must be paid to drive cars in certain areas, and paid on a daily basis. This will impact poorer people who have to drive to earn a living and so can’t use public transport, which is in any case increasingly woeful. This is not just cab drivers and delivery companies. A painter-and-decorator would find it difficult getting to work on the bus, what with all those pots of paint and so on, and scaffolders even more so.
The motorcar is one of those topics where I strive to be impartial, as I don’t drive and despise cars and car culture, and yet I see their necessity. Both attitudes are aptly described by the character Soames Forsyte near the end of Victorian novelist John Galsworthy’s trilogy, The Forsyte Saga. Despite believing of cars that “we couldn’t do without them now,” a sentiment with which I agree, Soames finds horseless carriages “. . . tearing, great, smelly things [that] typified all that was fast, insecure, and subcutaneously oily in modern life.”
But Soames is right: The car is a necessary evil. And the would-be pioneers of ULEZ, accompanied by a general anti-car movement generated by the likes of charlatans such as the World Economic Forum and their catamites such as Just Stop Oil, are finding out that, when it comes to trying to get them out of their motors, up with this the British public will not put.
Sadiq Khan, the Muslim fifth-columnist who is currently Mayor of London, has been chosen as lead actor in this trial, and has had cameras put up to monitor drivers at great (taxpayer) expense. And they didn’t last long. Not the drivers, the cameras.
It’s hardly humanity versus the terminators, but drivers who the media have labelled “blade runners” have been disabling Khan’s cameras with a ruthless efficiency that puts the public sector to shame. The whole ULEZ scheme looks suspiciously like revenue production for an increasingly broke-‘n’-woke city, and Khan is also looking vulnerable on many other fronts. So, good luck to the blade runners. Perhaps, for Khan’s divisive and nasty mayoral reign, it may be time to die.
Finally, the passing of a great Englishman. The art of the talk show host is well known to Americans raised on Dick Cavett, David Letterman, Johnny Carson, and the rest of the late-night American pantheon. But the UK has also had some famous practitioners of the profession, and possibly the best-known and best-loved of all has passed away at the age of 88.
Sir Michael Parkinson was what the British call a “national treasure,” and it is a deserved epithet. Over a long career of interviewing an impressive resumé of stars, his conversational persona was entirely natural and engaging, pitched somewhere between your favorite teacher and your favorite uncle. He was non-showbiz, coming from a journalistic background and being naturally likeable and perceptive. His viewing ratings at the time were legendary. Everyone tuned in to watch “Parkie,” as he was affectionately known by the nation.
Sir Michael interviewed anyone who mattered culturally. His guests included Muhammad Ali, Orson Welles, Lennon and McCartney (separately, for reasons which should be obvious), Tom Cruise, Elton John, Tony Blair — the list is a long one. He was also something of a Renaissance man, in media terms, being a cricket expert and connected with the board of his beloved Barnsley Football Club.
Just as it was sad that songwriter Harry Nilsson was best remembered for two songs he didn’t write — your quiz question for the day — it would be a shame were Parkie to be remembered for the one silly interview he conducted which ended in violence, but which has gone down in the annals of British TV history. He was physically attacked, on set, by two creatures: one human, one not.
Rod Hull and Emu were a popular act in the 1970s, and Hull got away with a lot, including not even giving Emu the gift of a ventriloquist voice. It was an odd act because Emu attacked many interviewers, and the viewers always had to check their cognitive dissonance and realize that it was actually Hull assaulting the unfortunate victim. But when the “pair” were interviewed by Parkinson, there was a ruckus which Parkie handled with as much grace as a man can who is being assaulted by another man wearing a glove puppet.
So, goodbye, Sir Michael. You reminded us of a world in which it was only possible to see celebrities out of character by watching your show on TV — unlike now, where televisual history is available in its entirety on a telephone. It was also an era in which celebrities still had personalities, as you did. RIP Parkie.
Here’s to Old England.
The Union Jackal.
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