There is a partof me that likes her. She is sassy and refreshing, she slaughters all the sacred cows of the liberal left. Her advocacy of the liberation of Iraq was stirring. But I have seen her for what she is now. She is a provocative contrarian and as dishonest as she is stupid. Her anti-Muslim comments are harmful to the war on terror. We need the co-operation of reasonable Muslims to defeat the Islamofascists. She is a wing nut and puritan. She is uptight and sneering. I do not share the prejudices of Al Franken but he exposed the wilful misinterpretation that Miss Coulter goes in for. She is poisonous. She is acrimonious and nasty. She is so scathing of those who disagree with her, so bigotted. It is like she has not one honourable opponent. She is so bound up in her own self righteousness. She thinks the US should support rulers who support them no matter how bad these rulers may be. She is blinkered and makes the whole anti-US sentiment worse. She is a warning of the kind of America we do not want.
There is much contemptible moral panic concering the sexual abuse of children. Of course this crime is grave and it is a most upsetting topic. As Rod Liddle has observed we must fear the professional paedo baiters as we fear the paedos. Am I the only one who has felt like a suspect whilst getting into my trunks in a swimming pool changing room when a little boy walks past. What if someone says I am exposing myself? There are no cubicles in this case. Everyone else is doing the same but the sanctimonious like to false accuse all and sundry in order to prove their superiority.
People often use overblown language when denouncing people who have sex with teenagers. There needs to be an age of consent. No civilised person doubts that. But what age should that be? Western countries have ages of consent from 14-18. These vary even within the same nation state. These vary within the UK even. 16 in most of it but 17 in Northern Ireland. The different states of the US have different ages. No figure is sacred but below a certain age surely congress is unconscionable.
The hyperbolic vocabulary used to vituperate those who engage in physical intimacies with mid adolescents and above is misplaced. Sometimes sex with those in their mid teens is illegal and indeed unethical but the exaggerated lexis used to execrate such conduct is unwarranted and trivialises the whole issue.
Strong language ought to be reserved for the real horror which is those who take part in the sexual abuse of prepubescent children. This is where condemnation is right to be biblical and emotive. By overplaying one’s hand at the margins this leaves one with no recourse to anything more sensational when it is called for.
I believe in humane and fair punishments. A fair punishment can mean a very long prison sentence. It depends on the crime itself and the circumstances surrounding it. I am often dismayed by unduly long sentences handed out to those who break the law in a minor way. However, there is one policy that I agree with that some of those who tend to be less considered in their treatment in this sexual abuse of minors issue advance. Chemical castration as it is known. Nothing barbaric like mutilation. I would only concur with this procedure being given to those who rape young children, say, under 12. It must not be for lesser offences even though they are related to the aforementioned crime like accessing child porn. This treatment is perhaps not so much a punishment as a therapy. Some recidivist say they cannot help themselves and keep committing these most monstrous crimes. There is a man in France who keeps raping very young boys and has asked to be treated in this fashion. This will save many children from such horrific abuse, reassure society and indeed be good for the criminal as he will have no wish to commit crimes of this nature again. The course will be of injections which cause the person to lose their sex drive. Poland plans to bring this in. Society will then be freed of this poisonous fear of the paedos lurking everywhere that ruins trust between the generations.
There is a danger of a slippery slope. Why not for those who commit lesser sex crimes against children? Are teenagers not entitled to protection too? So they will chemically castrate those who commit such wrongs against even 17 year olds. Are adults not to have the right to be safe from predators? So rapists of adults will get it too. Nay, indeed any man who strokes a woman’s thigh will get this treatment. Why not have those who commit any crime like pickpocketing lobotomised.
Yes, there is this risk that the populists will push it too far. But one can still advocate a sensible and balance policy without going to the maximalist position. It is not true to say one must follow rhetoric as far as it may go. One does not either have to legalise heroin or ban tea on the other hand in order to have a rational policy on substances.
As I say, I would only support this action if it is proportionate and medically and not politically driven. If there arises a significant danger that this is misused to geld those who commit crime in a minor way I would certainly vigorously oppose this as a lynch mob grotesquerie.
President Obama regularly abused cocaine. Don’t believe me? He said so himself. Consult his autobiographies. ‘The audacity of hope’ and ‘Dreams from my father’. Why would he claim this it were not true? It is very hard to think that he would falsely confess to this when he was under no pressure to do so and indeed was handing ammunition to his political foes in doing so.
If he had been caught with so much as three grammes of the drug at the time he would have been sentenced to die in Singapore. It is likely that he was in possession of more than three grammes as one time or other.
The fact that he was never caught makes absolutely no moral difference.
Is Obama utterly evil? Is he deserving of the noose? Only a real extremist would say so. I have political disagreements with him but he is a decent and honourable man. He is hailed as leader of the Free World. He is acclaimed as a good man like few American leaders of the last century. Yet he is the sort of person who would have been made to dangle on the end of a hemp rope by extraordinarily strict and unfair laws.
In 18th century England people were killed for misdemeanours, grand larceny. This could be stealing a purse. But despite giving people the most cruel possible punishment people continued to commit these small thefts. It it the probability of being apprehended and not the severity of the punishment that weights on the mind of a would be offender.
This young man was a Nigerian who was found in possession of diamorphine tablets in Singapore. According to the draconian laws of that unforgiving state the bench handed down the death penalty. The supreme sanction was executed on his body in 2007. His precise date of birth is not known.
Tochi comes across as a patsy. He travelled to Pakistan in the mistaken belief that there was a train service to take him to Dubai where he wished to try out for a football team. A man known only as Mr Smith cajoled the young Tochi into carrying some ‘African herbs’ to Singapore to cure Smith’s sick friend.
Tochi was arrested and searched. He assured police that the herbs were harmless and swallowed one. Surely this shows that Tochi was duped, he earnestly believed these drugs were mere medicines.
In his judgement, the trial judge. His Honour Kan Ting Chu observed that Tochi may not have known that the capsules contained diamorphine. He wrote, “There was no direct evidence that [Amara Tochi] knew the capsules contained diamorphine. There was nothing to suggest that Smith had told him they contained diamorphine, or that he had found that out of his own.” paragraph 42 SGHC 233.
Despite this, Justice Kan found Tochi guilty, stating that “Tochi should have known and therefore he is guilty”.
“Should have known” is totally different from “knew”. Some people are mentally subnormal or even just gullible. Since when has this deserved death? The judge “should have known” that proof beyond all reasonable doubt is required. We are not talking about sentencing this tragic boy to a few years in prison, we are talking about the ultimate penalty. “Knew or should have known”, either the court must find that he knew or find that he did not know. The judge thus stated that there was doubt and doubt is enough to save this young man. You think Tochi probably knew? Well probably has never been good enough for a conviction least of all when someone may have to pay with their head for this offence.
Tochi was told in the airport hotel the police were coming. He did not flee or attempt to get rid of the incriminating substances. If he was a knowing drug mule he surely would have done so.
Shame on the judge and the president for killing this innocent youth. He deserves a posthumous acquittal. Please let no others die like him.
Do you want your child to be a druggie, I hear you ask? As I do not you may say that this requires the most unfeeling application of the severest possible punishment for the selling or or transportation of these evil drugs. Well then, I may use the child example too. What if your child is tricked into carrying drugs, what if someone plants it in their bag? They would then be led to the gallows. This child argument bites back.
You think it never happens? Well it does.
Christian Davies was an American living in Saudi Arabia. He was passing through Amsterdam en route to Arabia. He was with his stepmother and stepsister. He bought some hash. In the hotel his stepsister putting some hash into the stepmother’s handbag. “Why are you doing that Christian?”/”Oh so if they find them they will blame her.”
The hash was removed and disposed of in Amsterdam. What a prick Christian is. Words do not adequately express his stupidity and selfishness for this. What is the punishment for taking marijuana into the country in Saudi Arabia? Public decapitation.
I know this family personally.
I dsibelieve in the supernatural. Yes, I am a bit of a daylight atheist, as Brendan Behan would say. Walking through the woods of a windy evening I am not so sure. Seated on a plane I mumble the Popish prayers my mother instructed me in. Pascal’s wager you see. If I am right and no god exists it cannot hurt me to propitiate the non-existing in this way. However, should god exist than the Almighty may show the strength of His arm and remember how in former times he spared the rigtheous and smote the ungodly. Wuthering Heights passim. That is Pascal’s wager.
Generally I do not engage in religious observances. Much religious mumbo jumbo is manifest bullshit. Being blessed by a priest, what does that mean? Am I guaranteed not to die for a week? Am I less likely to die or what? Will my horse can come home?
A certain headmistress I know, allow me to call her Gumboots, told her pupils that Darwin believed in Christianity and his findings did not in anyway undermine that faith. The good lady was learned but in this case she spoke false. I think it was out of ignorance of this issue. He started out believing in Christianity but soon found his belief to be unsustainable.
Religion is not so much believing despite the evidence but in face of it. Methusaleh lived to 800 years of age. Oh, but they meant months, it was a mistranslation. This is the fundoe’s apologia. But then Adam was about 9 when his first child was born. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have a get out clause that they believed in their sacred scrolls absolutely but only inasmuch as they are correctly translated. At any point they may revise their beliefs by saying hey presto it was misconstrued.
What is this whole concept of holiness? What makes something hold? If it is holy does that mean it is good? What is so good about circumcision, it causes pain and is risky. Does it make me iniquitous that I have not had my wick trimmed?
Some people are so good because they do not eat pork? This makes no sense at all. There may have been a health argument for this prohibition centuries back in the Near East. In which case the Bible ought to say this and not pretened that this rule is moral because it is moral because it is moral because god said so. I use god with a small g advisedly. The forbidding of shellfish makes little more sense. Did they rot too soon and cause people to fall ill?
The ban on alcohol for Muslims may make sense in that they would be dehydrated in the desert. Was it not the Arabs who invented the devil’s bew? Al – cohol. An Arabic prefix for the world. Blessed be those Arabian chemists who invented it!
So many relgious strictures are blatantly the products of social circumstances at a particular time and in one location.
One has to pray to Mecca. A Saudi prince went up into space with NASA in about 1986. How could he pinpoint that big black meteorite from his spaceship? How could he be sure he was pointing his snout and not his fundament at the Kaba? He quipped in a press conference that by the time he had located the direction of Mecca prayertime would be over. Did allah not foresee this? Did he not provide for it in the holy book? He did on his arse!
Take holy items. I knew an Irishman named Niall Rory. He died a few years back, alack. He said of the communion wafer – it is the body of christ in his mouth, it is the body of christ in his stomach, it is the body of christ in his intestine. Do you see where this is headed? At what point does it cease to be the immortal flesh or our lord and saviour and start to be but plain shite?
Ramadan. Do not eat in daylight hours. Pig out in the hours of darkness. I do not use the expression pig out in order to be hurtful to Muslims but this turn of phrase is common in my cultural milieu and as I do not respect this prohibition on the consumption of pork I do not take pains to avoid this expression. One does not need to be a dietician to know that this is bad for one’s health. One should eat when active. Not just before sleeping. They do not let a drop of water pass their lips all day. How bad for you can you get? In Arabia there is 12 hours of darkness and 12 of sunlight pretty much year round. When Muhammad had his aural hallucinations he was in Arabia. This rule does not work for Muslims in northern Sweden, say, where they may have not daylight at all in December or conversely no darkness at all some days in January. Muslims in the south of Argentina may have it the opposite way around. In this case Ramadan is either a cynch or a way to malnourish oneself, in fact deny oneself all food for a few weeks. This rule was dreamt up because Muhmmad was a mere mortal and had no idea that these regions existed.
Religious people try to think there way round plain logic.
Why is Mary’s statue seen to move in places where Mariolatry is strong? I suppose this is a reward for faith. It is group psychology. It is wish fulfilment. They urgently want to it move and so one says it moves and others are suggestible. Often someone describes an event I was present at. I do not remember it but then I begin to think I do as I imagine it from this description and this re-imagining becomes a memory.
I was on a course with a Muslim last year. He was of Pakistani extraction and I do not recall his name. Let me call him Iqbal. He was 22 and wore a beared which made him look much older. He was convivial but in religious affairs he was a hardliner. At luncheon he hastened to a mosque and only just made it back. He lost valuable time on homeworok from this. He was devoted to his myths. He railed against the sinfulness of alcohol pointing to incidents described in the papers of drunken youths battering people. He denounced the US firely and said there was much anti-Islamic prejudice. He said that anywhere anyone tried to establish and Islamic State was attacked by the West. This is most untrue. I can point to counter examples in Saudi Arabia and Sudan. Ok, a few missiles were launched at Sudan in 1998 by the US in vengeance for the East African embassies bombings. NATO saved Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo and there was no interest in that for NATO – sheer humanitarianism. Muslims states did little but fund the most fundamentalist of Muslim fighters there.
Anyhow, Iqbal’s whole family was hardcore Muslim. To reject the faith was to be rejected by his family. As family is terribly important to him he cannot bear to do this. It is an emotional attachment. The notion that his religion was false was inadmissible to him. He had missed out on sex and drink etc… so it would be too hard to take to realise that he had done this for nothing. He could be a ranter sometimes but would calm down and apologise for souring the atmosphere.
He did have a point about alcohol although of course I am very in favour of it, drinking that is.
This Iqbal manned ‘Islamic information stalls’ promoting his religion. He assured me he was not trying to change the country. I said that he was and this was not bad. He insisted repeatedly that he was attempting to change the country. I kept telling him that it is legitimate to try and use suasion to get people to share one’s beliefs. But no, he was not trying to change the country.
Why was he bearded? Because clean shaveness was associated with homosexuality he told me. I did not point this out but he was patently anti-gay. There was an out homosexual in our group but I did not bring this to Iqbal’s attention.
Iqbal was acerbic about the proposed hijab ban in France. He said Muslim girls were often shy and modest and that was why they wear this. Ah yes, conspicuous modesty, rather like chaste promiscuity – a total oxymoron. “Look at me- I’m humble.”
They cover up their bodies, that is one thing but hair is another. One can wear non-revealing clothing without choosing styles that call attention to oneself.
People believe in religion because we fear death, because it is so hard to accept the randomness of life. It is so hard to accept that things happen by chance. “She and I met, this has to be for a reason.” No it hasn’t!
People are loyal to their families but this can be misguided when it comes to accepting faith on those grounds. I have broken faith because I do not believe the Christianity of my forbears. At some point in history they broke faith with those who had gone before because they ceased to believe in paganism.
People are used to accepting the fairy stories their mothers told them as they were tucked in. This develops into religion. People craved explanations for natural phenomena in pre-scientific eras. Therefore myths developed.
I had a colleague, let me call him Brian. He was 31 and of average height, with a pale unhealthy complexion. He was into theology. He was a Catholic of a ridiculously liberal stripe, the kind that takes all the essential beliefs out and pretends it is about modern niceness. He damne Sarah Palin saying she must be a little insane at least to believe in Genesis literally. He said Palin had lost the notion of what a myth is. But this is wrong.
I have said why myths were invented. They were later reinterpreted when the literal part of them became unsustainable for reasonable-minded educated people. They were hollowed out and some sentimental fug was left, they were treated as parables. The myths are twisted by liberal believers not by the fundamentalists.
Which tales is one going to hollow out? So liberal Christians say the creation is a myth. Why not the resurrection? Hollow out that one and there is no religion left. Jesus is a moralistic preacher and has no supernatural aspect to him.
Most likely he suffered from visual hallucinations and had a personality disorder. He heard voices in his head. I say this not to denigrate him. He was mentally ill in an era when people had little understanding of this. Such people can be very engaging and charismatic. He must have had some substantial talents in healing by placebo and public speaking. Many saints are the same. In any psychiatric ward one finds those who say they are god. A few ‘miracles’ and people would follow them. Most saints were the same, delusional people. Religion elides with insanity. Rationalism does not.
The Britannic Realm is rather short of readies. The British Government is finding that it has to make economies all over the shop. There are severe cut backs to the defence budgets. I have a topping proposal for them. Why not reduce the nuclear arsenal by 10% as a one off gesture towards nuclear disarmament. For any decalred nuclear armed state that matches this the UK will cut a further 10%. One can dress this up as altruism whereas in actual fact it shall be a way of paring back spending.
The whole points of nukes is deterrence, is never to use them.
Suppsing I were leader and were informed that Enemyland has launched on us with their missiles about to impact on us in half an hour I would not launch on them. We are all gonners anyhow. Wiping out the civil population of Enemyland will not bring back oor ain folk. Therefore spare the innocent and shame the devil.
Reducing military expendture could then put money towards paying off the national debt, a tax cut or more spending on the war the UK is actually fighting. It is a common complaint, I remember not who first coined this adage, the generals are always fighting the last war. There is little point being stuck in a Cold War time warp, preparing for a clash of the titans on the north European plain with the might of the Red Army’s armoured brigades. The conflict that the British Kingdom is actually engaged in is asymmetrical warfare in Afghanistan. Spending must reflect this priority and not some war that the UK may hypothetically fight at some unspecified point in the future. I am friends with a man who served as a British officer in Afghanistan and Mesopotamia. Let me call him Oscar Whiskey, a nom de guerre he invented for himself at prep school. He made the above point to me about being well equipped for the war one is in. That is how we should arm ourselves.
Nadja Benaissa is a German popstar. She had a remarkably harum scarum youth. She became addicted to drugs at 14 and fell pregnant at 16. She was offered a routine HIV test during her pregnancy and found out that she is HIV positive. She could have been incredibly unlucky and caught the disease after having sex with just one person. More likely she was promiscuous. This is not an ethical judgement on her. Nobody deserves this illness no matter how many people they have sex with. I must confess to feeling less sorry for those who have sex with hundreds of people and ctatch the disease that way than those who are infected by their first partner.
Miss Benaissa had sex with a number of men without using a condom. She did not warn them of the virus that she was carrying. One of them contracted the disease and he thinks that he got it from Fraulein Benaissa. She and he share a strain that is uncommon in Germany. The theory that he got it from her is highly plausible.
She was prosecuted for this crime of grievous boldily harm. Let us make no bones about it. This disease is a killer. There is no cure. Admittedly it is not as bad as it was in the 80s when people caught it and died in 3 years or so. Now if someone had a timely diagnosis they can be treated and they can maintain good health for 20 year and more from the time of infection to when HIV turns in AIDS. Nevertheless, this young woman has undoubtedly reduced the man’s life expectancy by a couple of decades.
In fact this has made people more blase. There is more barebacking. The gay community used to believe in safe sex more strongly than heteros. Gays are much laxer about this than they were.
She could have been sentenced to 10 years of incarceration. In fact she got a 2 year suspended sentence and 300 hours of community service. This is far too soft. I would have given her 3 years in prison. This would be typical fro crimes of this nature in the UK. The sentence she actually got does not do justice. Her wrongdoing is inadequately punished and such crimes are not deterred. I have some sympathy by the argument of one the AIDS foundation that one cannot put all the blame on her. Avoiding the spread of disease is the responsibility of both partners.
The malady that she passed on is terminal. It is not something trifling like chlamydia. If every time this minor condition was transmitted a prosecution resulted then the courts would be clogged.
Another issue. A British teacher was recently found guilty of having sex with three pupils. One girl was 15 and two were 14. He was 25 when this happened. He admitted fornicating wit the 15 year old but denied the others.
Aggravating factors – the girls were not just below 18 but below the age of consent. He did it with 3 of them. He did it several times with each. He did not plead guilty.
Mitigating factors. They were only a little below the age of consent. The actions were consensual. He pleaded guilty in one case. He was not hugely older than them.
He copped a sentence of six and a half years. I view this as too severe. I think that a sentence of two years would be enough in this case. Compare is to the Benaissa case. Look at the harm she has done compared to him!
I attended a talk by ageing British gangster ‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser a decade ago. For those of you who know little about him he was born in London in 1923. A quarter Red Indian, a quarter Scotch, a quarter Irish and a quarter Norwegian. His parents were as honest as the day is long. 4 of his siblings led honourable lives but he and his sister were inveterate criminals.
He spent over 40 years in prison over different sentences for various crimes. He had himself certified insane to avoid military service. That is why he had the cognomen ‘Mad’.
I said that when he grew up many people were dirt poor and children walked shoeless even in a British winter. Why is that we are much more prosperous is there more crime.
“That is a very good question”, he replied. He told me there is much more temptation now, more of an expectation of a high standard of living. He said drugs make people commit crime. Involvement in drugs is the one thing he claimed to steer clear of. As he freely confesses to scores of other offences he has some credibility here.
He is feted now. I have read his autobiography. He crows about his many crimes. Innumerable thefts and frauds. He perjured himself more than he spoke the truth in court. He was involved in protection rackets. Think of a struggling old shop keeper being confronted by musclebound young thugs and intimidated into handing over his meagre profits to these scumbags.
Fraser used to attack men delivery payrolls, hit them over the head with an iron bar. Imhe agine a business losing so much money, maybe going bust through the greed and malice of an arsehole like Fraser. Imagine the stress of the poor factory workers and their children going hungry when no pay packet arrived in pay day. Imagine the trauma to the delivery men and the weeping of their wives as they visit their brutally injured husbands in hospital. Were these men brain damaged.
He used to assault prison guards. He is viciously violent. He was beaten unconscious many times. He seldom asked for sympathy. There is some whingeing self pity in the book. He berated the son of a prison governor. He said that governor was mean and cruel. That governor was merely just to an absolute despicable villain like Fraser. What revolting whining from this low down rat. The governor was not nasty and spiteful, Fraser was. He should count himself lucky he was not in Somalia where hands are chopped off to this day for theft. I do not advocate such barbarous penalties.
These career criminals organised benefits for each other, concerts where money was raised for the charity of giving cash to fellow hoodlums.
I am unsupportive of the death penalty. I consider myself to be a humane person and I oppose excessive punishment. Fraser was flogged and birched for gross personal violence against a prison governor. However, when it comes to Fraser being flogged I have no sympathy for him. There was rather less violence in gaol then. These vermin knew what t expect if they attacked a prison officer.
Fraser seems fearless if he is to be believed. As he is extremely dishonest he is probably not brave like he says.
His punishments involved being in the punishment block, no exercise. Now no matter what they get an hour’s exercise in the yard. He was strapped into a belt, his arms strapped to the belt. He had to shit himself.
Fraser is not a grand old man, no loveable rogue he. He is a loathsome shit.
They used to have preventive detention. If someone committed several major crimes they could get a preventive detention sentence of say 12 years. I am against three strikes and you are out but P.D. seems right.
Fraser could have been let out early. But he was so spiteful in the penitentiaries he lost all remission. He would not even control himself to save himself gaol time. He has no regrets about missing out on his children growing up.
Some human rights extremists took up his case.
He does not appear to have done a day’s work in his life.
He mentioned a fellow felon who was given 7 years for breaking and entering many years back. He said that now this crim would probably only cop probation! We wonder why crime is so much higher than in the 1970s! I am not calling for draconian sentences but some measure of justice, not the unspeakably unjust leniency such as is handed down to the most nauseating criminals as we see now.
Not once in his book is there a vestige of remorse. He is an utterly contemptible and disgusting man. At least in the old days his kind were dealt with firmly.
The title statement needs some qualification. There were bad aspects to Fascism in Italy. There were atrocities committed in the name of Fascism and indeed many of them were explicitly ordered by Il Duce. It is not just these actions that were bad but some parts of fascism were inherently bad. However, the negative side of Fascism is well-known. It is instructive to see the flip side of this, to see why many (perhaps a majority of Italians) supported the Fascist government for 20 years and a significant minority in Italy still hanker after fascism. In the elections in the mid-1920s the Fascist Party polled very well. Mussolini had altered the constitution to turn a plurality of votes into a majority of seats in Parliament – rather like first past the post. The Fascists cheated using intimidation and personation – and so did the Communists and some other opposition parties. All things being equal the result of the election was broadly accurate. It is a testament to the moderation of the fascists that it took them from 1922 to 1926 to establish a one party state. The elections of this period were not a charade that they were to later become.
Fascism is one of those words that is a one word thought terminator for many. It is up there with “murder, terrorism, paedophilia and racism.” These things genuinely are repulsive. The trouble is they are used to freely, bandied about as a means of ad hominem and designed to emotionalise rather than to rationalise issues. Fascist is like Tory was for some time in the late 18th century, pejorative. It means “I don’t like you.”
One should see Fascism in context of Europe in turmoil and the Red menace. Because Communism is moribund now it is easy to overlook how great the threat was then. For some reason many treat Communism with jaw dropping indulgence such as is never accorded to its opponents. Fascism represented a hope of defending Western civilization against one of the most destructive and spiteful regimes of all time. One must remember the wholesale spoilation and utter extinction of personal and political liberty in lands where the hammer and sickle held sway. The extralegal killings in the Commosphere were on a truly industrial scale. This was not killing enemy combatants in combat – it was the wilful slaying of the defenceless and man-made famines. The Communists openly boasted of their aim to enforce their credo on every country on the planet. They tried to do so in Germany, in Hungary, in Ireland (the Limerick Soviet) and in northern Italy at this time. There was much Communist violence in Spain at this time. The Commies seized Russia and her vassal states as well as Mongolia at this time.
The thing is the Mussolini was rather an opportunist. He had been a far leftist himself until 1914. Indeed in 1911 he declared himself and anti-patriot at the time of the Italo-Turkish War. His conversion to ultra nationalism is a tad unconvincing. All this was not blatant to those who were ill-informed in the 1920s. Lenin and Trotsky expressed admiration for Mussolini saying only he could lead a Communist revolution in Italy. He likewise looked up to them. As Churchill later observed these creeds were opposite though similar. Opposites attract in politics as in affairs of the heart.
There were many strikes in antimeridional Italy about 1919 and the Fascisti di Combattamiento helped to suppress these. There was mass unemployment and “industrial action” only added to the misery. There was a high chance of Commie revolution in Italy. Many of all political persuasions thought so. There were attempted Commie takeovers in Germany and Hungary. I must admit that the Fascisti saved the day by rough methods. Some who were drawn to the Fascists were apolitical brutes. The public beatings they administered were very ugly and something I could not stomach. They also forced their enemies to drink motor oil. Some of the Reds said they feared drinking the motor oil more than the beatings.
Italian politics was in a mess, in a state of paralysis it seemed at the time. In 1922 the fascists helped to clear this up. I confess that they took power through reprehensible means, threatening to seize power and the king caved in.
The democracy was gradually dismantled. There is little sign that many Italians missed it. The murder of Andreotti is often held against Mussolini. However, it is widely believed that he did not order it although he did nothing to find the perpetrators.
Let us look at the accomplishments of fascism. There was political stability, crime was suppressed, unemployment fell, many work projects were completed, national pride was restored, youth organisations provided training and diversion for the young in Ballila, Dopa Lavoro and like organisation. There was reconciliation between church and state. For decades, perhaps a century, there had been a dichotomy between Italian national identity and loyalty to the Church. Finally this was over with the Lateran pact. Mussolini was, like Clinton, a uniter not a divider. He was willing to compromise, even to ditch his previous principles. Churchill was an open admirer of Mussolini and Fascism. He went to Italy and addressed a Fascists rally. He said that Mussolini was a ‘great Roman lawgiver’ and assured the assembled blackshirts that if I were and Italian I would be amongst you. The state was efficient. The old adage is that the trains ran on time. Once in office Mussolini was not bad to the Italian people. Only 16 Italians were executed between 1922-38. At that time the UK, with a slightly higher population, executed about 16 a year. Any comparison between Italy and that time and the Soviet Union is utterly bogus. Fascism was a thousand times more benign. It did not raze the country. Admittedly Communists abroad were tracked and whacked by OVRA.
Mussolini did over react to the killing of General Tellini in Greece. His opportunism led him to bombard and seize Corfu. This did advance the national interest with a hefty compensation payment being paid by Greece. It was very unjust though/
His invasion of Abyssinia was wrong but it is not the out-and-out wrong that many present it as. Haile Selassie is far from an example of a liberal ruler. There were ethnic and religious minorities in Abyssinia who hated Haile Selassie and welcomed the Italians. Italian troops who fell into enemy hands were often murdered and mutilated. Slavery was carried on under Haile Selassie. The use of poison gas in contravention by Italian forces again, was despicable. Mussolini appealed to the Muslim of Abyssinia to help him and received a lot of support from them. He posed as a friend of Islam as this helped him as many of his colonial subjects were Muslims.
Many Abyssinians were murdered on Mussolini’s direct orders, I am talking about unarmed people. Yes, there were definitely many crimes carried out by him. Likewise there was rebellion in Libya and this was put down by unfair means. I do not object to killing in combat but I do object to the massacre of the defenceless. About Mussolini’s personal guilt there can be no doubt. There are plenty of documents signed by him authorising specific killings of prisoners taken in uniform.
The UK, France and many enlightened countries courted Italy at the time. It was not clear which way he would jump in a European war. Few would dispute today that it would have been better to have had him inside the tent micturating out than outside the tent micturating in. If this had shortened the war in favour of the Allies that would have been good. The Allies were willing to look the other way when the Soviet Union did evil.
Italians were tried of war from 1935-43. He made a big mistake in keeping going to war. Why did he fall? Because Italy lost a major war. Ok, in 1943 the Axis was not yet beat but that was the way things were clearly headed and with Allied troops in Sicily the writing was on the wall. Supposing that the Axis had won or supposing that Italy had stayed out of the war, then there is no reason why the regime would not have lasted till the death of Mussolini from natural causes or even beyond.
The Grand Council of Fascists, handpicked by the leader for their loyalty, voted him out by two-thirds majority. Even they turned against him. He is often bracketed with Hitler and Stalin, can anyone see them allowing this? He was summoned to an audience with Vittorio Emanuele II and informed that he was dismissed. As he left the meeting he felt a hand on his shoulder, he was under arrest.
By the end fascism was savage. In 1939 anti-Semitic laws were brought in. It was only in 1943 that Jews were taken to concentration camps and that was only was German troops occupied the northern half of Italy. In March 1944 over 300 Italians were murdered in reprisal for the killing of 28 German troops in Rome. The shooting of these Italiani took place at the Adreatine caves near Rome. About 57 of those shot were Jews. Mussolini did not order it but nor did he protest.
Italian fascism ended as it began, as a far left movement. It was republica, La Repubblica di Salo, and anti clerical.
Treason is a question of dates. Was that Voltaire or Abbe Sieyes? I agree with the observation. I support the Italian resistance from 1943. Until that point the fascist government was the legitimate government of Italy and was tough but not savage to its own people. It was cruel in Africa, it always had been, I recognise that. I would guess that 90% of Italians were against the fascists by the end. Many of those who were against them in 1945 had been fascists earlier on. People joined the party of a mixture of idealistic and careerist reasons. It would be unfair and asinine to condemn all those who did. We do not slam those who were members of Communist parties in Eastern Europe in the 1980s. There was little alternative if one wanted to pursue a profession. Plus these were not societies where it was safe to think for oneself.
As for the anti-fascists, quite a few of them were Commies and therefore espoused something far more rebarbative.
There are things that are innately bad about fascism. Mussolini invented the word totalitarian. Asked to define the state he said, the police. I dislike coercion and fascism is all about compelling people to do things like join youth movements. But there should be no mistake. It was better than Communism has ever been .Fascism was not all bad. People who call themselves fascists today are normally just racist hooligans. Italian fascism 1922-38 was one of the better alternatives on offer at the time.
I was on a plane a few days ago from the United Kingdom to a nearby land. I sate beside a youth named Guy and his fathers cousin named Vittorio. Vittorio was about 45 years old. He was short, slim and totally bald. Vittorio was a prison officer at a penitentiary in the middle of the UK and new works in management in the prison service. I spoke to him at length about his experiences.
He has been in that line of work for 20 years. What he had to say was deeply dispiriting for anyone who cares for justice and the deterrence of crime. He has been assaulted several times by prisoners and this does not worry him any more. One prisoner got an extra 3 months for hitting Vittorio. In my view that is not enough. They are already in big trouble to be in gaol so attacking a guard ought to be very severely punished. Until the 1960s we had flogging in prison for those who attacked the guards.
Prisoners have telly in their cells and even playstation. He says it saves 10 times that amount in repairing smashed up cells vandalised by bored prisoners. I said that was yet another outrage against justice and indeed economy in these straitened times. He said that the taxpayers gets it back 10 times over in that gaol birds are less likely to smash up their cells if this means they will have their privileges taken away. It is shocking that they are bribed in this way. Letting them watch telly occasionally is okay but this is not on. They even get satellite. What a wrong against all the hardworking law abiding people. Many cannot afford this.
Now I am not in favour of barbaric prisoners but one must never lose sight of that fact that these are places of punishment, of deprivation of the normal pleasant facets of life. They are designed to be places that nobody wants to be.
No matter what they do they may not be denied an hours outdoor exercise. I think even if in the punishment block they should get some time outside but maybe not daily.
He told me they easily get drugs in. I asked him if guards were bribed to let the in, maybe in the south he said. This came across as unconvicing. I think in his prison this occurs too.
I asked what would reduce crime. Public flogging came the answer. He should no. He has worked with these nasty bastards for long enough. He suggested whipping them on the arse hard whilst totally naked and then letting them there to make their own way home. The pain and public humiliation would do it. He pointed to lands that have this and have minimal crime. He is probably right but these penalties are too cruel for my taste. Maybe I am too soft. The public would not stand for it. There is a certain lynch mob sector of society that would welcome this.
He told me there are people who deliberately get sent to prison each winter so as not to live rough. His prison has all but terrorists.
I told him I am against the death penalty. He gave the example of Ian Huntley. He is never going to be released. He is watched 24 hours a day due to his suicide risk. This costs £5 000 daily. Is there no better way to spend this money. Is it not inhumane to force him to remain alive. I concede he has a point. Huntley has little to look forward to and has attempted to bring his own life to a close on three occasions.
Prison holds no terror or even deterrence for most criminals. They live well there. Telly and computer games all day. No work to be done. All cooking done for them. They can go to the gym and to classes any time. Would this put them off crime? Not at all.
Ken Clarke says nothing is achieved in very short sentences so we should get rid of them. One obvious answer presents itself, make them longer. Vittorio pointed out that by the time the petty criminal is facing a sentence of three months this brute will have been through the courts several times. Shop lifting, assault, grafitti, possession of cannabis, driving whilst disqualified, drunk and disorderly behaviour etc… will have been committed a few times each. Said ned will have been bound over to keep the peace, have given assurances that he shall behave, will have been given a fine which was then forgiven when he said sorry, will have been to weekly meetings with a probation officer and failed to show up several times, to have been given a community service order and then not done the work, to have been given voluntary behaviour orders that he signed, will have been given ASBOs and broken them several times, will have been given a supsended sentence and then broken the law time and again. By the time the lout faces gaol this sumbag will have already been caught so many times, given about 50 chances.
Yes they should go to gaol. This disgustinly lenient approach will mean yet more crime, yet more suffering for the honest.
I have had 2 bikes stolen and if the arseholes who nicked the were caught fuck all would happen.
Why shouldnt one commit crime? Nothing will happen if caught. It is not exactly something to put you off. As usual in the UK it is the good and responsible people who will suffer more and more for the evil of the tiny minority. Yes the most savage and vicious cunts will always be indulged and pampered. They will be forever forgiven and appeased. No, their crimes are never their fault. Yes that is it a criminal will say, it is everybodys fault, except mine!
As for the guards if sacked if they are ethnic minority they claim racims. The prison will pay them, £10 000 to keep them quiet. Otherwise an industrial tribunal will cost £20 000 even if the prison wins. We have incentivised these bogus accusations. No wonder everyone is claiming racism.
Dont let them get bored in gaol make them work. Do not give them so much to eat. They get money for no work at all! If they work they get extra.
Yes, I would be scared to go to prison mainly coz of the people who are in there.
The state of our gaols is truly shocking. It horrifies me that there is such injustice.
Vittorio told me he can get back at the crims if they are bad. Wipe your arse with their tooth brush. If a thug has 2 girlfriends on the outside, send the wrong letter to each one so they find out about each other. He told me Charles Bronson had to be beaten up every day by 6 guards or he would get too strong.
I know total cunt named Dan Agua. He stole tens of thousands of pounds of the credit cards of his friends. His case is coming to court. He will whimper that he has psychological problems and he was sent down from university for doing no work. He was addicted to online gambling. Dee dums. My heart bleeds. The tragedy is he will get no prison time at all. His victims will not get their money back. Why not steal like this? There will be no proper punishment. I am boiling with indigantion. Words fail me to describe my frustration at this ongoing injustice. That is why crime is so high. We always make excuses and let them off scot free