Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mmm, thoughtcrimes

Interesting to see that some psychologist has come up with a questionnaire to weed out potential terrorists out from the rest of merely pissed off mulsim citizens angry at the war in iraq and the erosion of civil liberties. Not that this could be abused, oh no. I’m sure the security services and the hysterical press won’t call for it to be made mandatory for all muslims. Never mind that its meant to pick up anyone with terrorist tendencies, because white people can’t of course be terrorists anymore. It will be interesting to see how the majority of the population would give answers that make them supposedly ‘vulnerable to terrorist indoctrination’ I think that includes anyone who mindlessly follows any ideology be it political, nationalism or football teams and would commit acts of violence because someone else tells them to.

This combined with social services saying they can tell whether people are likely to be criminals from an early age we can nicely pigeonhole everyone in concentration camps who don’t fit the criteria of the cheery and prosperous new Britain. Can’t help but feel the camps might be quite full…

Monday, May 19, 2008

Gun fun

I can’t honestly believe Brown has backed teaching shooting and military training at school. Surely it must be a joke? Do I even need to show how shit an idea it is? is the fact its supported by Norman Tebbit relevent? is irony dead again, so very quickly?

The idea that if you teach a kid from a disadvantaged area how to shoot, put them around guns and tell them gun are ok, and this will stop the youth crime in urban areas is madder than voting for Boris Johnson if your not already a lord or baron. Does it even need saying that this will glorify guns more than any number of gangsta rappers? That teaching kids how to shoot each other more accurately is a good thing? Have we learned fuck all from American school killings?

Need I add as well the associated problems that come from the military lifestyle? The domestic violence, the culture of abuse at barracks and the related substance abuse? Do we really want to inculcate kids with a message that was stopped in the fifties with the end of national service?

By treating kids like they do in the army do we expect to gain their respect? By treating them scum, ordering them about, taking away their identity and expecting them to all act the same and think the same do we really expect a healthier society?

This will help nothing, it panders only to the worst of the knee jerk old right who believe that violence and punishment are the only way to deal with anything they don’t like and are thus the worst kind of example to set to any young people. I hope that just because Brown backs it the scheme will wither and die like all his other plans.

Thankfully at least a few people have seen sanity, even some of the ‘broken britain’ brigade have said that giving kids guns will not exactly help the situation where their loved ones were killed and have spoken out.

The only reasons i can think they are doing this is the same reason they play classical music outside shops. It makes it son uncool that kids don’t want to be around there. Maybe getting authority figures to say its ok to shoot guns and order people about then the kids will turn against it…

The new nationalism

So Brown is trying to resuscitate the idea of Britain, good luck to him because there isn’t one. There are a hundred different ideas of Britain, the nature of how we live our lives means that we filter out everything we don’t find relevant or are uncomfortable with, we create our own communities by our own choices. By the papers we read and the films we see and the people we associate with, taking nation to mean race or common identity is a misnomer.

The fact is the modern world allows people to hermetically seal themselves off from the rest of their countrymen who might disagree with their perception of the world. Cars for instance allow the driver and passengers to take their environemtn with them, from music to smell to design and make. There are reallyb only a few palces left where people of all walks of lifea are force to merge, we can choose our pubs and our schools and our neighbourhoods, and even in these shared places people do not actually mix that much.

You can see this on those rare geographical expressions of shared identity, such as train stations or airports. The one I observe the most is the Tube, which is a greater leveler than any other kind of public transport.

There for the first and only time will you see city gents actually share space with those who clean their toilets, students stand too close to bricklayers and nurses to civil servants. Of course its not a perfect melting pot of every British person, some can afford to cruise by taxi everywhere, and the rest of britain outside London doesn’t really get a look in unless in comes to the city for a show and a chance to gawp at how rude we all are.

The main thing to notice is that nobody really shares anything beyond physical space, everyone sticks their head in a book or listens to music, all of them reinforcing cultural markers. But you can at least observe those ambassadors of the other nations, you can listen to them talk about posh things or poor things or arty things or lowbrow things. There at least you get to see the nature of Britain but the idea that we must absolutely have shared values as something of a nonsense. Just let us all have our own Britains, let us pick and choose what applies to us rather than just labeling us and restricting what is or is not britain to a popular vote or worse the decisions of politicians.