Canadian site Scragged has an article by what appears to be one of my blog visiting sites, Blazing Cat Fur. I can’t get to the bottom of that but the issue is quite clear:
I was in Canada, the land of cultural relativism, where the most important value is tolerance. Criticizing any other country or culture is a breach of the now distorted policy of multiculturalism.
Two or three paragraphs into the article, I’ll be upfront and thought nah, I can’t post on this story – it’s a Jewish author who was called names at a lecture and he called the Palestinians [who called him a f—–g Jew] “animals in a zoo”.
Both as bad as each other.
Then I read the transcripts of the ensuing litigation and my opinion changed. This now became something far more sinister than a couple of Palestinians disrupting a Jewish man’s lecture. It wouldn’t be too hard to guess what the lecture was about – it would be the Jewish side to the Middle-East question and my post here has nothing to do with the whys and wherefores of that issue.
It has a lot to do with what happened to him.
Abridged version – he was in a bookstore chain’s outlet giving a lecture on his new book and presumably signing copies. Two Palestinians interrupted the lecture and one called him a f—–g Jew. He repeated what they’d said, apoplectic and made some comment and it is that comment which is the subject of litigation.
The bookchain, Chapters, gave him no protection from that moment to his getting into his car, his publisher, Mantua, issued a press statement about how badly he’d been treated and all hell broke loose at Chapters. Some woman, the Chapters rep, called and said from what she’d heard, he’d said all Muslims were terrorists and that he was as bad as them.
At this stage, I’m still thinking he must have said something they could get him on – people who claim they’re innocent quite often aren’t quite as innocent as they make out. Perhaps the book had some provocative language in it.
Then I came to the affidavits. The book store employee Chapters used as a witness said the lecturer had used racist slurs – that “all Muslims were terrorists”.
Under pressure, that affidavit was downgraded to “all Middle-Easterners were terrorists”. Later, it was downgraded a third time to “I cannot say with certainty that my written statement contained a completely verbatim transcription of Mr. Rotberg’s comment, which he would have made in the heat of the moment. I wrote down my belief and understanding of what I thought I heard him say.”
There was litigation to clear his name and here was the court’s verdict:
While the Court found that the guest author “presented as an intelligent man with a passion for civic and community involvement”, with “many commendable civic and community activities”, the Court found that the guest author, in yelling out that he would not be called a “f*****g Jew” was as blameworthy as those who called him a “f*****g Jew” and stopped his right to lecture at a location where he had been invited to speak.
He was not found guilty of having uttered any racist comments other than “I will not be called a f*****g Jew.”
Yet all the way through the saga, he was subject to what can only be seen as shoddy practice on the part of the bookchain, the police at the time and in the failure of the Palestinians to be pursued and charged.
Martin Kelly‘s piece on Orwell
This is an abrupt change of tack but Martin goes into Newspeak and Doublethink:
Anyone who has had dealings with the Department of Work and Pensions in the recent past will appreciate the same disquiet at being described as a customer when one is both a citizen and claimant. The increasing use of the word ‘customer’ to describe very different kind of relationships is classic Newspeak in action, making it impossible to imagine the user of a service having any kind of relationship with those who provide the service, any service, other than as a customer. Attempts to reduce all interactions to commercial transactions are attempts to reduce ways of thinking. This is ‘1984’ in action.
The concept of doublethink, the ability to hold two simultaneously conflicting views, is critical to all that the book describes. In recent years, we have been governed by a Labour Party which has been fanatical in its implementation of a ‘flexible labour market’. Its only tangible result has been growing disparity between the rich and the poor. The guys who cooked up the Speenhamland Act had nothing on Tony Blair, CEO of Reds Inc.
For a party to simultaneously believe in both the redistribution of wealth and in the benefits of a flexible labour market is classic doublethink. We should perhaps have seen that one coming.
By the same token, the desire of the UK’s two-and-a-half main political parties to rule Britain while advancing European integrationism at the same time is, again, classic doublethink. Do they wish to rule, or not?
Martin’s piece might be classic prose but you’re entitled to ask what it has to do with an elderly Jew who suffers a double standard from people who shout tolerance and acceptance but only if it is for the favoured groups. Jews need not apply nor expect that the law will extend to them the hand of protective friendship.
I think you see the threads I’m attempting to draw together here.
We are on the brink of and maybe we have even entered, the world of the State as the provider, cradle-to-grave educator and the setter of the moral compass, finding willing support on the less clear-thinking side of politics and consigning the outmoded, family oriented, socially conservative patriot to some sort of Outlands.
That incident of the Jews is not unlike the way the BBC pushes an anti-Zionist line whilst not in the least understanding the concept of Zionism, itself not a long way from the events of the 30s in Europe. The game is to play the Muslim card, neutralize the Christians, spread hatred for the Jews and then eliminate them, thereby removing all obstacles to the State as the new deity, the new oligarchy.
For those who might be wondering, I’m a male WASP of a certain age, CofE, Eurosceptic Tory and lover of single malts and a good red. I’m one of the newly oppressed in this nation.