Monday, 28 December 2009

Christmas Cracker

On Boxing Day I heard a Christmas Cracker which, yet again, illustrates there’s even a huge gap between unelected religious leaders and their own flocks (never mind the rest of us).
I blogged on 1st December about lazy Manx attempts to jump on a Christian Institute bandwagon (see Witless Christmas crackers). Shortly following that story’s appearance in a Manx newspaper, two devout teen churchgoers chatting to their elderly gran were surprised to find she thought the Bish a bit of a wet blanket. So they decided to test her tolerance with a Christmas present from the Ann Summers shop – a box of chocs with, let’s just say, an adult theme.
When they saw her next, on Boxing Day, they were startled to discover the box was empty. Apparently she not only saw the joke, but passed the box round female friends of similar age while all were involved in good works on Christmas Day.
Fair play to all, and I share this story with hardened atheists because it’s only fair to mention when ordinary folk with a faith that baffles show evidence they’re not completely brainwashed by their windbag clerics.
I'd like to think this shows even local professional godbotherers might turn into tolerant human beings. But that would be a miracle, and take rather more swallowing than mint flavoured chocolates modelled on the male anatomy.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

I need no reason for the season

I checked the Manx Indie yesterday (in case actual news had crept into it – it didn’t) and discovered Johnston Press’s latest attempt at seasonal relevance, an exchange between Sentamu’s Apprentice and an atheist on how to spend Christmas. Read it at if you like.
Me? I glanced at a few words, got the general idea then went back to reading a collection of P.J. O’Rourke classic articles.
Yup, that’s me - shallow hedonist, rather burn out than rust, etc., etc. And as I’m tired of explaining v-e-e-r-r-y s-s-l-l-o-o-o-w-w-l-ly to dullards who seem too dim to get a simple idea through their brick-like bonces, I do not have a spiritual bone in my body. If I did I’d have it surgically removed and replaced with something more useful.
As far as I’m concerned, we don’t need to ‘earn’ pleasure. We don’t need a reason for the season. We need no excuse to be happy or to spread joy. Just do it and be – well, a Christian would say damned but I’d say damned happy.
I am not interested in polite exchanges of greetings with those who bore the backside off me every other day of the year. For once I want to be with the people I love most, doing stuff I like and nothing… N-O-T-H-I-N-G… else. Give me that, stay out of my face for a few days and I will put up with almost anything for a reasonable time on any other day of the year, preferably while being paid to do so.
Forget spirituality: time for some serious fun.
So, let’s just admit it; however well meant, the article was never going to work, because two individuals can never speak for the wide range of supposedly dissimilar views they’re asked to represent.
For one thing, Robert, whatever faults he has, isn’t a bigot and seems to have genuine concerns over social justice. That puts him at loggerheads with many of his flock, and certainly those who call the shots in the Manx synod. Similarly, if Anglicanism is, as the old quip goes, the Tory party at prayer then Muriel is of a humanist tradition somewhere around the Lib Dems having a Moment of Silent Contemplation.
In fact, take away the belief in sky fairies and Robert’s middle of the road Anglicanism and Muriel’s middle of the road Atheism aren’t poles apart.
The main difference between me and Robert Paterson is that I’m prepared to live in a society where we both have an equal chance to vote for someone to represent us in Tynwald or to stand for office ourselves if we don’t like the candidates, and he isn’t. The only significant difference in our view about Christmas is that I don’t care if he spends it on his knees in sackcloth and ashes while talking to the wall or off his head on pony smack while in sexual congress with the consenting adult of his choice. Just as long as he doesn’t bother anyone else, and in particular doesn’t prey on the vulnerable.
Funnily enough I (full out freethinker and libertarian of the O’Rourke/Hunter S. Thompson Gonzo school) and a predecessor of Robert Paterson (high Anglican, ex-navy chaplain, personal friend of Prince Philip and as un-PC as they come) had several long and amicable discussions over rather more alcohol than was good for either of us without coming to blows. So, it goes to show that even the lunatic fringes of apparently opposed worldviews can rub along, providing each starts from a basic belief in humanity.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Manx newspaper finds story shock

Never thought I’d say this, but Isle of Man Newspapers have finally printed something on a major local blight which, in passing, reveals that bigots in government are part of the problem. Even wierder, it was written by ffinlo Costain.
It appears in the most unlikely place too. For the last few weeks, the Excrement, under pretence of provoking discussion of ‘important’ issues, have printed a weekly ‘essay’ by a guest contributor. Until this week they were, frankly, such snoremongering drivel that I could only suspect Freedom to Fester have underwritten the project.
But this week ffinlo was given his head on the subject of Manx racism, and he hasn’t done badly. In fact he’s even spotted, as I have said for years, that the DHA is a racist rats nest and that some of our MHKs probably have wet dreams about Nick Griffin.
You can read it all at OK, as ever, he’s cross-referencing it with his other paid projects and fishing for new contracts, and if you really want to read the survey the link is also wrong. You need
Still, as my wife said, about time; just a shame it took so long. Ten minutes with a tape recorder in any workplace or public place on the island would have given any half-decent hack this much to go on.
So is the root of the problem a lack of half-decent hacks, or decent hacks being muzzled by employers scared of losing government income?
Now, there's another story worth chasing.

Lies, more lies and Manx drug legislation

As from today, so-called ‘legal highs’ become ‘illegal highs’ on the Isle of Man.
OK, we knew that was coming from articles like in what passes for a Manx press.
But interestingly, and following the new practice of various ‘Freedom to Fester’ partners, the DHA chose to release the official news today on Manxnet first at . The press release is misleading from beginning to end, but then local reporting has also been a wee bit.....minimal?
Thing is, Manx hacks were invited to a ‘confidential’ briefing in the Chief Minister’s bunker a few weeks back. It is interesting to see how all have since happily trotted out the party line. Even Radio Cowshed’s resident dissident, Stuart Peters, from whom I’d expect at least a token sixties flashback. No queries, no supplementary research, not even words from medical experts to explain the alleged need for a further infringement of personal liberty.
The first two we can put down to the government playing games with the media over their tightened PR budget, and the threat of reduced income from government notices in the case of Johnston Press - AKA IOM Newspapers (who only set up shop here to get that income) or direct government subsidy in the case of Radio Cowshed.
The lack of medical comment is easy to explain too. The Isle of Man Drug & Alcohol Strategy Team contains no chemist, no medical expert, no psychologist or psychiatrist, or indeed anyone who could, in the real world, be regarded as an authority on the subjects under discussion. When they want ‘evidence’, they just download it from the UK’s Home Office.
Which is where they have a particular problem, because, as the UK press were reporting happily last month, most of the academics Gordon Brown relies on to excuse tougher drug policies and placate Daily Mail readers do not think the laws need to be tougher, do not think the current drug classification system is correct, and do not even think some of the substances previously illegal should be so.
Oh, let the cat out of the bag there with that word ‘previous’ did I? Well, see elsewhere on the IOM Newspapers website under ‘national news’ (as in UK national).
Oops, did some lazy sod at the DHA or one of our ever busy Manx newshounds forget to tell you? The entire Manx program was lifted from the UK Home Office, who ‘coincidentally’ introduce exactly the same measures today, having (unlike the IOM) at least done something that passes for research and consultation.
I say ‘passes’ because it wasn’t a proper exercise either. But for one typical example of expert parties who entered into the spirit of the thing, tried to look at the thing properly and make a submission to that process, look at the Transform briefing at
The difference in quality is, I politely suggest, staggering. Which makes the entire Manx travesty even more of a nonsense.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

More misery for less money

On 18th December the Manx SS revealed how they plan to continue wrecking lives in a recession.
If you want, you can get it direct from the masters of disaster on the government website at, where you find garbage like:
‘The Social Services Division is operating proactively and decisively in a well considered approach to ensure social care and support to those in greatest need can be sustained.
The Division has a multi-faceted comprehensive financial strategic approach to enable the Isle of Man to continue to deliver quality social care services when resources are reducing and need is increasing. Social Services have put this into action and will accelerate its implementation given the need for a swift response to the latest fiscal situation.’

Alternatively, I could sum it up for you in a sentence.
They’re going to continue abusing the vulnerable on a smaller budget, and rope in more superstitious amateurs to help them.

Who killed Christmas?

I’ve just got hold of Faith In Action’s Christmas leaflet, albeit via wealthy friends.
It’s basically a note with times for all the Ramsey Xmas church services, padded with stuff about loving your neighbour and making a difference in the community – which is quite ironic when you think about it.
The thing is, the Ramsey churches used to combine to put the predecessor to this through all doors. But this year they’ve only leafletted upmarket homes. How odd - or perhaps just revealing!
The disastrous interplay between churches, local government and business is all too evident in Ramsey, and getting worse as recession bites. I expect nothing else in a small town than for the seediest elements to combine.
Masons, Buffs, Rotarians, evangelicals…whatever. Private deals in chapel or lodge turned into public policy after nominal discussion in the council chamber. It’s always been the way in small towns throughout the British Isles, and probably far beyond. Secret scufflings of superstitious village idiots holding the world back. Ho hum.
But I didn’t realise quite how bad it was here until present-hunting with my small daughter in the main street yesterday. No secret that Ramsey commerce is all but dead, though not because of Tesco or online retailing.
The problem is revealed in the way the empty shop windows are decorated in a vain attempt to hide the decay. Some bright spark handed them over to the evangelical lunatic fringe, who mounted rival nativity scenes/advertising for their Xmas antics. Even in the half-alive shops there are adverts for obscenities like Christmas on the Hill at St. John’s instead of posters for community events. Rather than a friendly, small town celebration of humanity at a traditional time of good cheer, the effect is closer to Kristalnacht.
You see what happened? In their rush to claim a tradition drawn from many streams for Christofascism, the deluded herd have achieved what neither the Puritans nor the Taliban could.
They’ve killed Christmas.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

List of shame

I’ve just seen something incredibly useful in a Manx newspaper. It’s a list which, amongst the odd good cause which crept in by accident, probably contains every timewasting pseudo-charity whose useless antics you will ever be asked to perpetuate on the Isle of Man.
It got into print because Manx evangelicals live in such a tiny bubble that they think their lifestyles are praiseworthy, love to boast about them and actually think we might be impressed.
The list can be found at But the use isn’t just limited to on-island readers.
If you go to then try some of the names you pick up what these charities do, what kind of income they can’t get away without declaring and who’s behind them, not the PR bumpf which gets printed uncut in the lazier press publications.
Then, if you check the trustees, you’ll find that by clicking on any name their trusteeships with other charities are given, so enabling you to see how such parasites network. The worst don’t admit most of their links, but, amusingly, the more arrogant and shameless ones do. You can also find links to their websites, which tend to be less guarded about links to sometimes quite vacuous or stomach-churning enterprises.
Go on, have a treat. Spend an hour or so following the links and get all the ammunition you’ll ever need to keep faith-based lunatics at bay when they beg in your area.

Job done

Today I had a unique experience. I was part of a government committee set up to plan for a potential disaster which has sacked itself, because the plans are in place and they work. That has to be a first.
Even more of a first – all clergy involved did a sterling job. Mind you, they were professional clergy, not hobby vicars, and as we gave up our lunchtimes voluntarily for the committee meetings and nobody was giving money away there were no evangelicals.
We were the Isle of Man Flu Pandemic Ethics Committee, a mixture of health professionals and lay people (including three clergy) with an interest in ethics, and we met at Nobles Hospital bi-monthly for two years. We put in place the ethical structure for Manx health services dealing with what, originally, was expected to be a serious bird flu pandemic but, in the end, was a much milder swine flu outbreak.
In the Isle of Man no-one has died, all who need a vaccine or treatment will get it, and the hospital has robust policies to continue dealing with those with high priority medical conditions without losing beds or staff needed for flu emergencies, now or in the future. As nothing has gone wrong there will be no screaming, but, between you and me, when we took the issue on it was an uphill battle against politicians going round with their eyes closed and fingers in their ears.
I’ve only once before been involved in such a scenario over here, and that was a disaster which caused me to approach this one with low expectations. In the other case the committee were the puppets of social services and their friends in evangelical churches.
The end result of that is the social problem we were meant to eradicate now gets worse day by day, because once the sham committee moved aside at the sham meeting to launch the sham solution the bigots and parasites at the root of the problem took over, and will continue to claim they’re solving it until the cash runs out. Frankly, that day might well be the first one when the problem starts to go away.
But that was another committee. This one restored my faith in some public sector workers (though as an ex-nurse I’ve always trusted health workers), and in the genuine good intent of the few old fashioned clergy still about. Modest types who got into the job to help people, not to lecture them senseless.
The lesson, I suppose, is that honest folk with good will can head off a disaster. But if you ever do find yourself in a position where you might have to, first avoid all involvement by evangelicals, civil servants or politicians. Do that, and you might get the job done right, and without wasting time, money or materials.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Less wasted paper, less sermons

I’m intrigued by the new coalition between two local longwinded sermonisers, Sentamu’s Apprentice Robert Paterson and FOE’s Ffinlo Costain.
Is the latter now also working as quietly for the former as he has for the DLGE, or is there some strange marriage of convenience? Alternatively, as greens and godbotherers could both put someone with Attention Deficit Disorder to sleep in seconds with their prose, does it matter anyway?
Whatever, the first evidence came to light at, where it could be excused as just FOE giving another unelected klingon a bit of a leg-up. Because greens and godbotherers do have something else odd in common.
They both seem to prefer to push their case behind closed doors with unelected politicians. One would almost think they don’t trust the public to back their policies; they certainly have a marked disinterest in testing them at the ballot box.
By Saturday the story had spread to Radio Cowshed (see, which is unsurprising as by Saturday evening the newsdesk is being run by the religious team, and by today it was in the Excrement too.
So, maybe I could put forward a few green savings of my own.
Firstly, Christians could bury their petty feuds and arrange to meet in groups of, say, a dozen on Sundays, instead of heating 12 different premises in any island town, each occupied by an odd couple and maybe a passing stray dog if it’s raining. Snake-charmers and holy rollers could do the public an extra favour and make a double saving too by not using schools for their bizarre goings on.
Then there’s that unending stream of local colour supplements that flows through our letterboxes. In my case, as part of our strict anti-junkmail policy, my daughter bungs them straight into the bag to go to the recycling bins.
I doubt anyone else reads them either. In fact I’ve tested this idea and have yet to find anyone who can remember one item (or even the name of the publications) except those who arranged for the item to be there.
Overcome your nausea and try reading one and you soon discover why.
Firstly, examine the ‘editorial’ against the ‘advertising’ and check the juxtaposition of one against the other and you might wonder which is which. The odd gaps where the relationship isn’t so obvious, you’ll note, favour woo-woo merchants, neo-colonial racism and exploitation (I think the PC term is ‘faith-based help for the developing world’), or greens shouting at working people for using supermarkets.
So, logically, if the message was so important, and paper waste such a sin, shouldn’t such articles appear online where somebody might read them, rather than in the least recyclable paper form where nobody does?
Most of us would still bin them as spam, but we wouldn’t have to cart them off to the recycling bins next time we’re…well, at the supermarket actually, as the supposedly sin-free retail ‘alternatives’ are nowhere near a recycling bin.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Strange way to protect us from a police state

The Department of Home Affairs over here is responsible for a steady stream of sick jokes. For one, as those who know it best comment, it seems to employ worse people than it incarcerates. The use of slave labour for ‘charitable projects’, the lack of an independent prison visitor scheme or prisoner complaints system required by law, the high numbers of people who spend more time there before trial than they would afterwards (if eventually fairly convicted) because the only bail facility demands daily prayer meetings….
The list of other sick jokes about the prison service alone just goes on and on.
Now you can read a new one at .
I passed this to a number of UK prisoners rights and civil liberties groups, and the jaws of most who read it are still hurting from hitting the floor so hard. If you don’t know why, the Wikipedia entry on the Strangeways Prison riot in 1990 is as good a place as any to start.
One other other common rumour amongst old lags about Mr O'Friel's real loyalties also caused some to ask: 'Does Opus Dei have a policy on police surveillance?'
Funnily enough, I did notice something odd a couple of years back, when the Manx version of new legislation on interception of communication was going through.
A curious clause was inserted at the last minute 'on human rights grounds'. Doubly curious, because it was commonly suspected at the time that Manx human rights legislation was being deliberately delayed to allow the police to retain as many unreasonable powers from the dark ages as possible.
In a nutshell, it makes it an offence for Manx police to bug the confessional booth in a Catholic church, or to require a Catholic priest to provide information on anything he hears in an act of confession. There was no similar dispensation for other Christian denominations or other faiths as far as I could tell.
How bizarre. Wonder if Dan Brown would be interested?

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Secret Satan

I’ve just seen Satan packing bags for kids charities at a supermarket.
He was easy to spot. Cheery old bloke with white whiskers, said ‘Ho, ho, ho’ a lot and kept wishing people Merry Christmas.
‘This buffoon’s confused or dyslexic’, you’re thinking, ‘he clearly means Santa’.
No, I mean Satan. I know the man concerned as he’s a fellow member of a group who (local godbotherers earnestly assure not only each other but also their friends who live in government broomcupboards) are either Satan made flesh or at the very least his little helpers.
Not only that but he’s also a dangerous sectarian. And you can take that from sensibly shod jam-makers who feature prominently in Manx government disaster plans (which scares the daylights out of me, as has meeting similar socially privileged but intellectually challenged dingbats who might take life or death decisions in such emergencies).
I am absolutely serious. A few months back the local WI were, as ever, short of good speakers and it was suggested that it would make sense to add Isle of Man Freethinkers to the ‘minority religion’ speakers invited to dispel common Christian myths which in the past, unchecked, led to things like the Holocaust.
Amazingly, the jammy bodger management seem to have decided that this can’t happen because sectarian groups aren’t allowed to preach at WI hen parties, and humanism (I know not how they decided this) is sectarian.
I asked two humanist friends in Northern Ireland what they thought about this. You’ll agree, I think, they might know a thing or two about sectarianism.
The noise at the other end of the phone, the wife of one informed me, was her husband lying on the floor, bent double laughing while rubbing his buttocks, which he had bruised after falling off his chair, which was now in pieces.
But, hey, what would they know compared to godfearing, upright Manx ladies who sometimes read nearly half the Daily Mail without professional help?
Well, one has a George Cross for pulling rather a lot of civil servants out of a building the IRA had just bombed. The other spent getting on for two decades, outside of his ‘real’ job at Belfast’s only state school for kids from both communities, as a voluntary mini-bus driver running families of both Loyalist and Republican prisoners to the H-Blocks every weekend.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Pruning flowers, appeasing deadheads

Keeping this blog is a bit like gardening. No, really.
When I started the thing my attitude was, leave it all untouched. If, a year later, something I wrote proves to be stupid, or a prediction way off, it shouldn’t matter. It’s supposed, after all, to be a record of what I observed on a particular day, so in the fullness of time it might turn out not to be the full picture.
Sadly, though I’m prepared to be that open and honest, let my mistakes stand along with the best stuff, allow anyone the freedom to comment or correct me and I will leave their comments intact, the world won’t let me. Not the Manx one anyway.
The thing is, this is an island where some folk have what William Burroughs used to call ‘The Right Virus’. It doesn’t matter about the evidence, it doesn’t matter about the civilised process whereby all ideas and things are constantly questioned in order that that which is faulty or no longer useful is stripped away and replaced by better ideas and things (at least until they, in turn, reveal faults and are revised, rebuilt or replaced).
No, you see, people with the Right Virus have faith. And furthermore, they have always run things, and have always been right, while you or I are wrong and are impertinent to ask questions. And that is that.
And people with the Right Virus also do not debate, or invite comment, or in any way engage with democracy, or science, and especially not things of the mind. Because, being Right Minded, they can never be wrong and subsequently do not need to.
The difficulty with all this is that if you are involved in a civic minded group, and invite someone with the Right Virus to come and speak to it on a topic of public concern, they won’t. Or more exactly, they expect to come along and give the same set talk they give to a few senile churchgoers who never read newspapers, then ask for contributions to their ‘good cause’, and finally leave, cash in hand, having said their piece but explained nothing.
They will not explain apparent anomalies in the things they do. In fact some will not answer questions at all, and none will entertain debate or helpful suggestions about possibly better ways to do things, even from those with decades of practical experience.
The point is, discussion of moral and social issues on the Isle of Man is based on a one way communication process, the sermon. Not even the lecture, following which the lecturer expects to take questions, or the seminar, at which the leader tries to get everyone talking, or just plain and open discussion based on the sensible notion that, individually, none of us can solve a social problem but, collectively, we might all contribute a little and get something good done.
And those with the Right Virus take something else from religious culture too. They brook no dissent, to the extent of informing the organisers of civic groups that, in order to have the dubious privilege of their presence, those organisers should first announce the Righteous’s appearance in terms which clearly indicate Divine Wisdom will be passed down, not social issues discussed, also refrain from all possible criticism of the Righteous, even to the extent of withdrawing past criticism, and finally ensure that all who might now, then or in future be possibly associated with the host civic group do the same. If you think I am joking you have obviously never met a Manx politician, civil servant or charity worker.
So, from time to time, I quietly prune a couple of the older items on the website. Not because my opinion has changed, not because the information proved inaccurate, not because of a legal threat, but to ensure that those prepared to at least try and hold together Manx civic society here have a slim chance of doing so.
It’s sad. It’s silly. But on an island run by superstitious village idiots, it’s just the way things are.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Tourism revival? Not a prayer!

The Tourist Department put out a press release to justify their 2010 TV advertising campaign today. You can see it at before it hits the press.
Wow, they must have spent all of half an hour working that out down at the ad agency, and all of five minutes at a departmental meeting approving it.
In the interests of decency and honesty I also feel it only right to warn off-island readers that there’s absolutely nothing natural about the family involved. They’re amongst the religious zealots who last year set up what looks worrying like becoming an annual freak show, as described at Disaster alert . Given half a chance, such zombie worshippers will also turn St. John’s, venue for our national day each July 5th, into the set from Dawn of the Living Dead the rest of the year. Not that it’s much different on July 5th, of course.
Look, I’m trying to be fair. I don’t really care who comes here as long as they bring their wallets.
If the Tourist Department really want to entice folk like the elderly godbothering masochists who stumbled round hills to find ruined Celtic chapels on a foolfest called Praying The Keills that’s up to them. I can think of better, more productive, niche markets, but you have to start somewhere, and we have enough local evangelical halfwits already to take up any empty coach places.
On the other hand, considering the increasing time our emergency services spend pulling crazed biblebashers out of the sea or off cliffs, maybe we need a new tax which, in the interests of fairness, should only be paid by superstitious visitors. Alternatively, local churches could put up a bond against the cost of the rescue helicopters if they're so keen to 'share their faith', instead of expecting taxpayers, Civil Defence and RNLI volunteers to keep their foolish friends alive.
I also loved
“The campaign aims to reflect the Island’s lifestyle and position the Isle of Man as a place where visitors are free to take part in a variety of outdoor activities. “
In plain English, you’d better be a hiker, because there’s no shops, no night life and very little public transport, so you may spend most of your time here standing around in a Force 9 gale wondering why you came.
Or there’s also
“It is again in line with the Island’s branding project as a destination where people have the ‘freedom to flourish’.”
Freedom to continue living in the Bronze Age at everyone else’s expense, more like!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Not so cheap tricks

Well, could you be bothered taking part in a totally pointless climate change 'demonstration’ yesterday? I couldn’t either.
If you’re not clear what I mean, then I won’t refer you to the reports on a government underwritten radio station, or those in a newspaper which receives £700,000 per year alone for running government notices, so try the relatively independent Energy FM at instead.
And it gets worse next week, when a notable waste of space fills time in the Keys on similar questions (see Considering that these matters are also being ‘independently’ raised by an FOE activist who received £15,600 from the Department of Local Government and the Environment “to carry out a news co-ordinating service between November 2008 and May 2009” (see I’m at a loss to understand how the relevant government departments aren’t aware or considering it. By the way, would that ‘news co-ordinating service’ include a series of articles purporting to be ‘independent opinion’ on environmental matters from an FOE perspective in Manx Tails – which doesn’t get direct government funding so has to rely on free copy even more than other local media?
The sheer futility of it all was demonstrated on the BBC news reports last night, where a few thousand blue-painted MOR types ambled through the streets of London acompanied by obliging rozzers. Prominent amongst the banners were those of homophobic fuckwits Tear Fund, Greenpeace (cause celebre of non-doms and landed inbreeds everywhere) and the only slightly less picky Christian Aid – who, I suppose, at least have the decency to advertise their Christocentric agenda in their name. Then a smug Gordon Brown was seen greeting said sad-acts. Crikey, bet he was terrified!
Similarly, every time such events kick off over here the most prominent supporters are right wing fundamentalists and nationalists, and the whole show is stage managed and publicised by folk who receive government funding to publicise the island. And that’s on top of the underwriting by corporate elements who make it a condition of their funding that the role of the free market, and the relationship between international corporations and specific national governments, is never questioned. The one thing never talked about is democracy, because it’s the last thing any of the interested parties want.
So, what’s the point, and who exactly is the message directed at if everyone supposedly involved in delivering it is being sponsored and stage-directed by the very parties common sense tells us are most guilty?
The answer, I would say, can be found in predictions made by those anarchist jokers the Situationists over 30 years ago. Both Guy Debord’s Society of The Spectacle and Raoul Vanneigm’s Revolution of Everyday Life foresaw that as capitalism reacted against the apparent social ‘revolution’ of the 1960’s it would find ways to commodify protest and revolution themselves. And sure enough, what we have now is a situation (be it globally or right here on the Isle of Man) where the most reactionary and powerful forces in society not only direct our ‘protest’ against them, but sponsor it and extract our time and money for permission to do so.
That is a long way from democracy. But then, as I and other awkward sods here have known for years, the Isle of Man is not a democratic country or a self-governing one, and the last thing those who run the place want is anyone drawing attention to that.
Climate change ‘protests’? No problem, and will you be paying by cash or card?

Thursday, 3 December 2009

The real value of Christmas

I’m still looking out for those ‘’Christmas cancelled by PC loonies” stories, but I have to report that a much funnier new trend has been spotted too.
Can’t say I’ve ever noticed it over here, but it seems competitive parents are spending small fortunes on kids costumes for school nativity plays. What makes this hilarious is that the spending is even greater if little Tarquin or Tabitha only gets a bit part.
According to Debenhams, parents can spend as much as £150 on a costume, including £50 bridesmaid dresses being used for angels, £60 arctic fur throws costing £60 for sheep and even £25 striped Velour dressing gowns for shepherds.
A Beeb website story (see quotes Ed Watson of Debenhams thus:
"The amount of money that some parents want to spend on their child's nativity play appearance would enable the baby Jesus to leave the stable and check into a five star hotel.
"It's silly and we're doing all that we can to persuade competitive parents to change their minds - it is the season of good will after all."

Looks more like evidence of what traditional Manx used to call ‘Foolish Fortnight’ (the medieval ‘Feast of Fools’) to me. Oh, and more than a hint that even upmarket Christians can be totally bonkers.
Someone should take these buffoons aside and explain, in very short words, that the whole point of a real school nativity play is it’s totally naff. Kids fidgeting, fighting and getting the words wrong, bad costumes thrown together at the last second, the donkey doing a woopsie…….
Did you really think it was supposed to be a deeply religious moment?
And you really didn’t think your kids are supposed to make people weep with the sheer beauty of it all, thrill to their delicate and meaningful interpretation of biblical myth?
Did you?
How sad is that?

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

DHA dummy blows smoke in our eyes - again

Energy FM, the only Manx radio station staffed by anyone young enough to understand the issues, reports today on plans to ban Mephodrone over here. Sometimes known as ‘plant food’, it’s an iffy legal ecstasy synthesis flogged by mail-order firms via adverts in the kind of mags still read by semi-retired hedonists and alternative types.
I see at that: “In the House of Keys today, Adrian Earnshaw revealed that 22 people here have been referred to drug services because of Mephedrone.”
This is misleading – not on the part of Energy staff, who have higher standards and simply report what state sponsored layabouts say in the Keys, but by the DHA, who don’t.
It’s misleading because as Earnshaw and his nasty little cohorts know, people don’t get referred to ‘drug services’ because they have problems, but because the police or other powerful busybodies found them with miniscule amounts of substances which would be legal or semi-legal in more civilised countries. In order to avoid prison sentences they must then ‘voluntarily’ submit to being monitored by the state and bored stupid by fundamentalist retards who get public money by passing themselves off as ‘substance abuse counsellors’.
And Energy also have a story (see ) on a 20 year old who faces jail for £300 worth of bush.
Now, bear in mind that Manx prices are double the UK and that police routinely put a nought on the ‘street value’ of drugs. Then the waste of court, police and the 20 year old’s time becomes more apparent.
He could go to jail for having a Tesco-bagful of what would be a Class C drug in the UK, but isn’t on the Isle of Man because the Chief Minister has no expert drugs & alcohol advice. There, like around 80% of the jail inmates – many yet to actually face a court because they’re not prepared to pray every day (so can’t get bail) – this young man will waste taxpayer money, be prevented from doing a decent day’s work instead of staring at the walls and being lectured on his morals by certifiable cretins, and have difficulty finding another job when he leaves.
I have no particular interest in these substances, be they legal or not, but I’m ashamed to live on an island where the government is so ignorant, and special interests so corrupt and powerful, that we’re going bankrupt and sentencing a generation to poverty and unemployment.
And all because a few godbotherers looking for public handouts can’t bear for others to organise their own lives and pleasures. Even when those lives and pleasures do not bother anyone else.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Witless Christmas crackers

Ah well, Bilious Henderson’s attempts at cheap publicity over the
lack of nativity plays in Manx schools (see the update on Christmas matters ) sank miserably.
How sad. Now he’ll have to go back to stealing BNP myths about immigrants.
If the deluded herd really want to put the Crass back into Christmas over here they also need to use better hacks. For a start, don’t use a witless waffler who lifts her argument straight from the Christian Institute.
You can see what I mean at The only cheap shot missing from the C.I. original is their dig at Maria Eagle’s personal life.
And that a journalist – even a house-trained numpty like this one – thinks the loss of blasphemy laws have sent the UK to the dogs?
What can they be teaching them on NCTJ courses these days? Gary Otton will laugh his socks off to hear that Johnston Press’s policy of only employing dour know-nowt Calvinists on their Scots papers has now spread to their other titles.
(Sighs deeply) Now, take this down in your worst shorthand (if they teach you that either!)…
People have rights. Ideas do not, and in order that the world moves on it is also vital that they are rigorously challenged.
People can have their reputation defamed, even though in practice it is only rich individuals who can complain about it. Fairy stories cannot, and were made for little children, who (unlike religionists) learn to enjoy the myth without taking it literally.
But then, you can see how desperate the Examiner is by their ‘Christmas cancelled’ effort at . Note in particular that the Port St Mary Living Hell con-artists are getting a bung from the Commissioners and the attempts of the Elim to get one too.
As for the fate of the Festival of Light? Anybody who names a community event after Mary Whitehouse’s gang of chuckleheads deserves to fail, if you ask me.
Oh, and to return to the original story. If my daughter asked her mum: 'What's a Horny Christmas, mummy' I suspect she’d get the same answer as when she asked ‘what’s an orgasm?’
That answer being: ‘Ask your dad’.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Disaster alert

Can I just give notice that the deluded herd’s attempts to hijack Christmas are under way.
While I’m at it, also take note that St. John’s, a public health hazard at the best of times, will be an absolute disaster area on Christmas Eve. But then, they should have put ropes and red flags around the place years ago.
You can find the first warning at
Frankly, these godbothering throwbacks have a bit of a cheek.
For instance, what’s this about “our re-enactment of the Christmas story, which we have started with the support of local businesses and churches to bring the community together at Christmas.”
Since when was the church a force for good in the Manx community – especially at St. John’s?
But perhaps if a postcode with little more than a handful of houses and a shopping/conference centre run by fundamentalists (and heavily underwritten with government grants) has more known BNP members in those houses than the rest of the West of the island combined, and seems to be pocketing more business development dosh than Peel, the West’s only urban conurbation, then it’s reasonable to assume it’s Christian business as usual. That is to say racist, sexist, homophobic and parasitic.
St John’s gets away with a lot because it’s where the annual Tynwald Day Ceremony is held. For the benefit of off-island readers, I should explain that this is little more than a freak show for American tourists, and until the day the Chief Minister bangs nails up his nose and ritually disembowels the Governor as part of the Tynwald Ceremony even that’s not going to be a crowd-puller. The rest of the year the national place of historical and cultural interest it most closely resembles is Culloden, i.e cold, wet and utterly desolate.
To be honest, if the Christians are so keen to claim this damp, miserable field as their own, they’re welcome to go there and get pneumonia. If the Manx had any real national pride they could have marked the Christian millennium by concreting it over and building something more inspiring there.
Like a crematorium.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Manx myths - buy one, get one free

Barry over at the Freethinker blog has a hilarious story today (see
A Dr Gordon Strachan, who lectures on the history of architecture at Edinburgh University, is reviving the old ‘Jesus came to Britain’ legends. In fact he’s not only recently written a book about it (which explains the publicity), but the book’s inspired a recently released film entitled And Did Those Feet? (which explains the other publicity). Oh, and when Dr Strachan isn’t lecturing he’s ministering for the Church of Scotland (which explains a lot of things).
I dread to think what’s going to happen if Manx Heritage or the Tourist Department get inspired by this twaddle.
You see, in the late 1980’s there was brief talk of jumping on the ‘research’ of another barmy academic with an even loopier theory. In that case the academic was American, and the ‘theory’ centred on the idea that the Isle of Man was the Avalon of Arthurian myth, and that King Arthur might be buried here.
Thankfully I’ve long forgotten the small detail, but what I do know is that the Tourist Board (as it then was) bought it lock, stock and barrel and even ran an exercise on how the legend could be flogged, with the help of the academic, to the more gullible of her countrymen.
Two things put a stop to that nonsense. One was agitated pleading to politicians behind closed doors by an honourable local historian to the effect that, rather than bring tourists rushing here, it would send a signal to the world that the Manx were either totally dishonest or certifiably mad. The other was the Lockerbie bombing, following which Americans and their money stayed home for a while.
The thing that worries me is that honourable Manx academics may now be extinct and neither honour nor common sense have been seen in the Tourist Department within living memory. In fact, judging from the spread of Freedom to Fester fever, telling fairy tales while going about with our eyes closed and singing ‘La La La’ to drown out the last voices of dissent is the new traditional (and government underwritten) Manx way of life.
We should not be surprised at this. As the Anglo-Indian academics Bhikhu Parekh and Homi K. Bhabha pointed out at the time of the Satanic Verses saga, the liberal mistake is to take fundamentalists at their word and believe fundamentalism is steeped in tradition, when in fact it is a current and pragmatic reaction to the modern world by folk no longer fit to run it. To be blunt, bullshit merchants who know there is a sucker born every minute, and that all such BS merchants need do for a regular income is embroider some myth, however ludicrous, the suckers would like to believe.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Compulsory reading

Gary Otton, my favourite secularist muckraker, has just posted his latest piece at , and shaft me sideways he’s on form!
Scottish Media Monitor first appeared in January 1996 in Gay Scotland, sparked by sickeningly inadequate Scottish press coverage of the violent murder of 35-year-old Michael Doran in Queens Park, Glasgow in the summer of 1995. Since then Gary has held the ‘proper’ Scots media and politicians to account with passion and humour.
Sexual Fascism, his subsequent book on Scotland’s Section 28, is compulsory reading for anyone who wants to know how a combination of slack, bigoted reporting and Christian fundies held back the development of a small Celtic nation for way too long. If this island is ever to crawl out of the primeval Christian swamp it’s been in for as long as I can remember you’d better hope a few copies of it start circulating here.
This month Gary’s target is Christian business (or as churches laughingly term it, charity), which in Scotland is becoming depressingly usual. He points the finger, for example at a fundie church which has managed to avoid £10, 000 in business rates in the last three years, and the educational hijacking pulled off between Stagecoach (the bus company owned by Scotland’s best known Christian Neanderthal) and Oasis (still substantially controlled by a TV vicar so far up New Labour’s backside even Rentokil couldn’t shift him). It will surprise nobody to know this means a group of schools underwritten by public money where homophobia and other evils run rampant.
I always recommend Gary’s work to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. But in particular it’s a million watt flashing DANGER sign for the situation developing here, courtesy of the Sally Ann, Broadway Bumpkins and (let’s never forget) Port St Mary’s very own Living Hell Church. You can see them daily, crawling into government broom cupboards, picking the public pocket and setting up one bogus ‘charity’ after another.
Recession won’t stop them either. If anything, parasites who prey on misery will use the current situation as an excuse to further their sinister agenda. Read Gary’s work and similarities between the scams of their Scottish chums and those currently being fermented here will be alarmingly obvious.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Let them eat lard

You’ve got to admire some folks for their optimism.
According to Energy FM (see a plant with appetite-suppressing qualities was recently seized by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, with Customs and Excise and the Police.
Apparently the African Hoodia plant is an endangered species, but interest is rising in the diet racket because it suppresses hunger.
But once I’d got my breath back from laughing at the idea of three Manx government agencies having to gang up to arrest a weed, I was off again.
OK, this tat is just the kind of garbage that catches on amongst the rich dimwits who prop up the local ‘alternative therapy’ industry, but it’s still a limited market.
Because you can forget the rinkety-tory myths dreamt up by Manx Heritage, this is an island where lard, and lard-arses, rule supreme and the nearest thing the Manx have to a national dish is chips with cheese and gravy.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Atheist Blogroll

I'm proud to say this humble blog has been added to The Atheist Blogroll.
The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. Any fellow heathens with a blog who want to join in should visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for more information.
Now, sad confession here.
Normally, when you join up, there's an all-singing, all-dancing list of over a thousand of us scrolling away on the sidebar. Me - I followed the instructions to install and it all went Pete Tong on me.
Never mind, follow the link on the sidebar and you'll get to some blurb about the Atheist Blogroll, and scrolling away there is the complete list.
And very heartwarming it is too, seeing all those thousand plus links and knowing that everyone of them leads to another dissident. Some big and professional sites, others tiny little drops in the blogosphere like this, but all of us pushing back the dead weight of religiosity.

Christmas matters

Ah well, new school, new annual ritual.
Christmas is coming, so the light of my life came home with a note asking us if we want to attend the afternoon or evening performance of the carol concert, as space is limited. Fair enough, though as our daughter can’t negotiate major roads full of Chelsea tractors driven by slobs who never walk more than 100 metres, we have to deliver her to and pick her up from both anyway.
And as the last school’s head teacher always ‘forgot’ to tell parents when a vicar was involved, we thought we’d get ahead of the game this time and ask, which we did yesterday.
So, is it a Christmas concert or a religious ceremony?
Not a hard question, we thought, even for an employee of the Manx Education Department. If it’s a selection of seasonal songs, some of which happen to be traditional carols in obscure language nobody understands any more than references to incest in folk songs, it’s a Christmas concert. If some herbert with his collar on backwards mutters incantations at the audience it’s a religious ceremony.
But apparently no-one at the school knows the difference, as a one minute silence to my wife’s phoned question, followed by some vague comment about it being a shame for her to miss the fun, doesn’t constitute an answer in our book.
So we have one of our own. The wife will turn up to the afternoon session and walk the nipper home afterwards. If there’s a clergyman there, we won’t bother rushing or delaying tea when I get home, as our daughter won’t be going to the evening session.
Because the inclusion of a godbothering parasite in the show makes it an act of worship, not a school concert. And I no more want my child present at those than I do at a BNP rally, the local Rotary Club or a crack-dealers convention.
No doubt some religious rentagob will see this as a PC ‘anti-Christmas’ thing, especially as their sad whinges about such issues are now the only Christmas comment they can even persuade tabloids to print.
But it won't wash, because my family’s Christmas is the nearest thing you’ll see to the Hollywood original on this island. And as far as I’m concerned the deluded herds can dance backwards round a standing stone, naked, burn their lowest tithe-payer at the stake…whatever, and I care not a fig. Just as long as they do it in their own time, and at their own expense.
What they CANNOT do is abuse my child, on the rates, on public property, and at a time of night when she could be doing something useful, educational or just fun instead.
And as if to prove my point, Bill Henderson, who lacks political responsibility for North Douglas and can be guaranteed to jump on any bandwagon going - especially when race is involved - wants to know if 'PC' values are ruining traditional Christmases. He's so worried he's going to ask a question in the Keys next Tuesday. Hear him rant pointlessly on Radio Cowshed at .
Ho-hum, another grandstanding bigot living off public money who needs to get a life.
School nativity up chimneys....what's to miss?
It's all child abuse.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Forget Save the Children, just Lose the Priest

Today is one of the worst days of the year for office workers, so I’ve taken the day off.
I may well do the same again every year from now until retirement. No pain, all gain.
Yes, it’s Children in Need time, when fat bankers sit in a bath full of baked beans or something equally fatuous, and underemployed wealthy inbreeds troll the streets with a bucket trying to make working people feel guilty, then think they’ve done their duty to the dispossessed.
If you really want to help the world’s dispossessed here’s a simpler idea. Organise your life in such a way you don’t dispossess them. Job done.
Funnily enough, Barry Duke over at The Freethinker (see is also doing his bit for Children in Need by drawing attention to something kids really need far less of – sanctimonious pathological liars who prey over them (if you’ll excuse the pun).
It seems Benny the Boy Nazi used the excuse of the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to pretend the Catholic Church cares about kids and wants to protect their innocence.
Is that a joke? To which the obvious answer is a counter-question: is the Pope a Catholic?
But really folks, maybe it’s time for a new children’s charity.
Something that’s not so much Save the Children, more Lose the Priest.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Out of the mouths of babes....

A short but hilarious conversation between my wife and small daughter this morning.

Daughter: “Lauren threw up three times in RE yesterday.”

Wife: “Was anyone else awake?”

Monday, 16 November 2009

Dignity in laughter

I see Dignity in Dying now have a blog (see sidebar).
It’s written by James Harris, their Head of Communications, and I’m glad to see he seems to have about as much respect for so called ‘pro lifers’ as I do.
He has already incurred the wrath of the Reverend George Pitcher, who writes religious drivel for something that passes itself off as a newspaper, though the only practical use seems to be as incontinence pads for senile former Mosleyites.
Pisspot tried to call Dignity in Dying out on his blog, then pretend they were too in awe of his arguments to answer them. The truth is far simpler.
The Daily Telegraph has a shit website which can’t handle comments, and a particular habit of losing them if they go against the retarded logic of the few Torygraph readers who can switch a computer on. I know from experience, and I've heard the same story from others who wasted time battling the antediluvian system to record a view.
As Pisspot lacked the courage to print Harris’s replies to his ‘questions’, Harris repeats them and invites the dullard cleric to respond in term.
Elsewhere he also has fun reporting an overwhelming defeat for the most vacuous UK pro-life pseudo-charity at a recent UCL debate. Then he has even more fun reporting SPUC's pathetic attempt to diss DiD in their own report of the debate - which completely neglects to mention that they were not so much defeated as left for dead.
Considering their vegetable mentality, maybe it’s time SPUC changed that acronym to SPUD, or how about…..
Well, I quite like James’s own comment actually:
“SPUC are a pro-life organisation who have a lot to say about assisted dying, abortion and sex education (they are in need of a name change, perhaps the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, Hormonal Teenagers, and Terminally Ill People who are Unaware that Suffering brings you closer to your Maker: SPUCHTTIPUSM).”

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Anglican space-waster fails humanity, again

Ekklesia (see sidebar and, reports that the Archbishop of York, who grew up in rural Uganda, has copped out again on a human rights issue, namely proposed legislation in Uganda to introduce the death penalty for certain consensual homosexual acts.
So, business as usual from the clown who taught our own faith-based parasite his trade.
Given even half a chance to prat about for TV cameras in empty ‘protest’ about a pointless issue and the bastard’s in like a rat up a drainpipe. But ask him to condemn his home country’s faith-based fascism – an increasingly sick spectacle in which his church is involved up to the neck – and this useless parasite is so on the fence his backside must be full of splinters.
The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) was hoping both Sentamu and the other British Archtwit, Rowan Williams, would speak out “unequivocally” against the proposed laws. Apparently, an official apologist for Sentamu told them that Archbishop Sentamu “will not be making a statement on this issue”. Williams hasn’t replied either, so that’s two abject failures for human beings acting true to form.
Thanks to a frankly disgusting coalition of US evangelicals, holocaust deniers and other lowlife, same–sex passionate behaviour is already punishable by life imprisonment in Uganda. The proposed bill – backed by certain Anglican figures in the country – takes things further, and would mean a death penalty for anyone whose same-sex partner is aged under 18 or disabled, or imprisonment for three years for anyone in a position of authority who knew of a homosexual act but failed to report it.
LGCM said in a statement:
“A deafening silence comes from the Anglican Church in Britain towards the proposed draconian private members Bill currently before the Ugandan Parliament regarding homosexuality”
“If ever there was a time for the Archbishops to speak out to protect human rights, is this not it?”
“The bill proposes the most condemning punishments towards anyone believed to be involved in homosexual acts, ‘promoting’ them, or agencies who know of anyone who is homosexual.”
“It is with great sadness that we note the Anglican Church in Britain is saying nothing.”
Some days even Anglicans must wonder if their ‘spiritual leaders’ are any more use to humanity than a fart in a colander.

Think global, screw up local

Apparently it’s Global Entrepreneurship Week next week, so the imposingly titled Isle of Man Business & Innovation Centre is marking it with events next Wednesday and Saturday.
And we should be impressed, because as Kate Lord, who is apparently ‘Incubator Manager, Isle of Man Business and Innovation Centre (IoM BIC)’, is telling us:
"Entrepreneurs carry a vision. They have the energy to develop themselves, the capacity to innovate and to create employment. We need them, their dynamism and their success. IoM BIC is keen to assist aspiring entrepreneurs to progress their ideas with our support on the Isle of Man. Even if all you have is an idea, or just a willingness to get involved in something different, you can get involved."
Now I know this because the DTI put up a press release about it yesterday at
Incidentally, it went up at 5 PM, just as most islanders were heading home for the weekend. That tells you how plugged in they are to reality.
Something else to note is that:
“IoM BIC’s free support helps pre-start ups with potentially high growth business ideas; often these are technology, e-commerce or innovation based.”
So try clicking on the IomBIC website at the bottom of the press release and see what happens.
Fills you with great confidence, doesn’t it?
Now that was a joke unintentionally cracked by the Manx Government.
For a much funnier joke intentionally cracked about the Manx Government, try

Friday, 13 November 2009

Another year, more temperance nazi trash

The temperance nazis unleashed their latest assault on the Manx government website today, when the DHA announced a 'voluntary’ scheme for off-licences which further infantalises Manx everyday life.
According to the official lie: “All off licences on the Island have signed up to a Code of Practice to ensure responsible retailing of alcoholic products.
Implementation of the first elements of the Code by January 2010 by all off licence holders is being co-ordinated by Offwatch (members of the off licence trade) in partnership with the Department of Home Affairs and the Police Central Alcohol Unit following consultation with the Licensing Court.”
You can
Pathetic, isn’t it? At this rate, all Manx adults will be wearing nappies by the New Year.
Reading between the lines, what happened is that the usual suspects pulled a few strings to ensure that no shopkeeper wanting a licence to sell booze can get one unless he joins this sad little conspiracy against free choice.
Nothing new there, as I’ve been saying for a while (see, for example, Stop the temperance war on choice). In fact, as these sanctimonious pondlife have annoyed me so much, I’ll give you an update on that very story.
After the third fruitless day at the courthouse waiting for the DFT not to turn up, the garage chain struck a deal with them. The unfortunate employee at the centre of the entrapment was sacked for a ‘coincidental’ minor matter and his manager had an official warning from a superior, who, I’m told, was ‘coincidentally’ angling at the time for a place on another secretive government committee.
Now remember, neither knowingly did anything wrong, while the DFT illegally used an underage child to buy cigarettes in order to spark a token prosecution. I can also tell you the innocent kid has had one hell of a time landing any job since – employment prospects destroyed by bent government officials and a lying toad of a politician attempting to kiss evangelical botty and help a few unqualified godbotherers land an excuse for public money.
And it’s gettting worse.
Because of a ridiculous, and again illegal, scheme nobody can buy a drink in a Manx supermarket unless they can prove they’re over 25. My younger workmates were telling me only today of picking up cans in Shoprite, having their ID handy in the queue to prove age, only to be singled out by a supermarket manager and ORDERED like common criminals to put down the cans and leave the shop.
How ridiculous is that?
Which leads me to people outside of Toyland’s take on such things.
In We must stop being tolerant of repression at US advocate and libertarian Wendy Kaminer argues:
“Today, with people being summarily detained and tortured, political rights seem paramount. It’s easy to scoff at people who complain about social restrictions on their daily life, from the right to smoke or overeat to the right to indulge in allegedly abusive speech. And their complaints can seem relatively trivial when viewed individually. But collectively, these restrictions upon people’s daily lives are really quite consequential. Collectively, they erode the basis for a free society, because the more officials exert control over everyday behaviours, the more people develop habits of submission, the more they become tolerant of repression.”
Elsewhere on the same site at , Brendan O’Neill argues in a piece called Nutts to these anti-alcohol ‘experts’ that:
“Nutt’s science-moralising is worse than the government’s. At least the government employs an equal-opportunities ban on drugs, legally denying everybody access to them, whereas Nutt’s scientific/moralistic opposition to alcohol would disproportionately impact on poor people (who would be priced out of booze consumption) and the young (who would be banned from drinking). He wants to use ‘science’ not only to moralise but to discriminate.”
O’Neill describes a scene eerily like the one I witnessed up at Nobles last year at an alcohol awareness conference when he says that:
“When I stood up and said I felt like I had wandered into a meeting of the temperance movement, and that Nutt and his supporters were explicitly also bastardising ‘science’ for perniciously moralistic purposes, he didn’t really know what to say… except, after a lot of hot air about ‘evidence’: ‘Well, you have a point.’”
Except that Nutt, at least when talking about drugs, is an honest and fully informed scientist, while the ‘science’ the Manx government used (underwritten, incidentally, by a drinks industry desperate to stop supermarkets using their bulk buying power to get prices down to affordable levels) was, at best, patchy, and as the two chief researchers admitted to me personally, did not say what the Manx government, the temperance lobby and individuals interested in a cosy job paid for by our taxes wanted it to say.
I still conclude with the same words as I did this time last year.
This government no longer cares if anyone unemployable outside the finance sector lives or dies. It just pumps out media bilge full of buzz words like ‘empathy’, ‘caring’, ‘family’ and ‘concern’ which fool enough Daily Mail readers too lazy to read further. The kids know that, and if there were enough local people who care enough about real civil liberties we would grasp it too and oppose the temperance nazi intent to interfere with informed choice where it still remains.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Health Care, Not Paid Prayer

Last Sunday I blogged on some Manx woo woo therapists passing themselves off as health professionals and running a health fair.
Granted, this kind of thing will happen on an island over-run by gullible rich thickos. But maybe the Department of Fair Trading should put more effort into warning us about the real and present dangers of local ‘alternative therapists’ rather than the odd bogus roofer. The emphasis on the latter, I’m sure, has nothing to do with them being foreigners, while I’m told, confidentially, the worst snake-oil merchant married into the family of an (unelected) politician whose primitive superstitions are glaringly obvious, so will never go out of business.
But things could be worse, especially if you were living in the US.
For example, the L.A. Times reports:
“Backed by some of the most powerful members of the Senate, a little-noticed provision in the healthcare overhaul bill would require insurers to consider covering Christian Science prayer treatments as medical expenses.
The provision was inserted by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) with the support of Democratic Sens. John F. Kerry and the late Edward M. Kennedy, both of Massachusetts, home to the headquarters of the Church of Christ, Scientist.
The measure would put Christian Science prayer treatments - which substitute for or supplement medical treatments - on the same footing as clinical medicine. While not mentioning the church by name, it would prohibit discrimination against "religious and spiritual healthcare."
It would have a minor effect on the overall cost of the bill - Christian Science is a small church, and the prayer treatments can cost as little as $20 a day. But it has nevertheless stirred an intense controversy over the constitutional separation of church and state, and the possibility that other churches might seek reimbursements for so-called spiritual healing.”
(see,0,6879249,full.story for complete article)
The No God Blog at American Atheists (see moans:
“Here they go again. After losing the provision to force insurance companies to pay for Christians to kill their children by praying over them, Senators Orrin “Magic Underwear” Hatch and John “WTF” Kerry have re-started their efforts to have it included again.
Here is a prime example of policians who honestly don’t care. Children will die if this passes, and they don’t care. We will pay for the children who die, and they don’t care. This provision is clearly illegal, and they don’t care.
There is no mystery. There is no “other side” of this argument. Praying to deities is ridiculous, and forcing us to pay for witch-doctors is just another tax for the church.”


Saturday, 7 November 2009

Three cheers for Ekklesia

I think it only fair to highlight cases where religious writers run a worthwhile story, and Ekklesia (see sidebar) do that often.
Yesterday they ran a story (Texas man executed after court case Bible row) on the Texan case of a man whose fate was decided after jurors consulted the Bible for guidance.
In brief, they decided he should die, and now he has. This despite a 30 day reprieve being requested to allow officials to examine a rifle for DNA evidence that someone else handled the weapon during the attack that led to a brutal murder.
Texas’s governor showed a lack of humanity, legal knowledge or, indeed, any intelligence at all probably not seen since the days of his most famous predecessor, George ‘Dubya’ Bush. We can only hope he doesn’t follow further in Dubya’s footsteps or we’re all in deep doo-doos.
Ekklesia’s Lizzie Clifford has also produced a fascinating paper on the latest wrangles over Thought For The Day, i.e. if the Beeb should allow non-religious contributors. Interesting update here, as Ekklesia’s Jonathan Bartley, always an engaging and provocative Anglican voice, was barred from the TFTD line-up after suggesting just that on Radio 4’s Today programme, which hosts TFTD.
Time For Religious To Kick The Broadcasting Habit gives a potted history of the programme, which flatly contradicts the Beeb’s claims of a fair-minded, non-evangelical stance.
As outlined in their press release:
“The new paper traces how the origins of TFTD came in a context of BBC religious broadcasting which was originally viewed as 'evangelistic and missionary'.
TFTD began as Lift Up Your Hearts, an innovation of extending religious programmes beyond Sunday into the working week. The original contributors were overwhelmingly Christian and Anglican. The slot's rebranding in 1965 to the more nominally neutral Ten to Eight was designed to reflect the changing beliefs of the listenership. But it was opposed by some in the Anglican Church as part of a general withdrawal of the BBC from its position as a central broadcaster in a 'Christian country'.
The paper also highlights how a number of other BBC radio stations, in particular regional programmes, have output which is similar to TFTD. But these successfully include contributions from the non- religious, as well as 'minority' religions, raising further questions about why TFTD has not followed suit.”
The Ekklesia paper can be found at And on that comment about regional radio, I should of course point out that Manx Radio is amongst the regionals with an open door for the non-religious, and I've done Thought For The Day slots myself as both an Amnesty International speaker and an Isle of Man Freethinker.
In fact, Manx Radio's only obstacle is a lack of willing speakers, not religious objections, and I suspect this might be the case on many a regional station. If you have one in your area, give it a shot. They'll probably bite your hand off!

I was a teenage Freethinker

Can I point the less wrinkly readers of my efforts to the Young Freethought Blog which went up this week at There is also a Facebook page at
This is a chance to link up with other young atheists and also get your writing published.
The editors say:
“Young Freethought is here to try and give a voice to a small section of society that, we feel, is currently being ignored. Young atheists and freethinkers are abundant, but trying to find out just what they think is a difficult thing. This is why we will accept submissions from anyone aged 16-21, on issues relating to Freethought. This could be a book review, an opinion piece on current news or even a small essay.”
“…If you're an experienced writer, or have never tried your hand at it before, it doesn't matter. We consider all entries equally.”

The blog got off to a flying start with a heavyweight piece on John Polkinghorne, former Cambridge physics professor, now Anglican priest and 2002 recipient of the Templeton Prize – which is a bit like giving up astronomy for astrology, then having your new scribblings underwritten by the Moonies.
Seriously though – excellent stuff, and hope they find plenty of new talent to keep it up.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

The 'tax dodgers' who produce 'anti-tax-haven' nonsense

I can’t stop giggling at a ridiculous story this week from Isle of Man Newspapers, (see because it proves something I’ve long suspected. A campaign group which touchy feely New Internationalist readers consider a major voice against the evils of international capitalism, the gnomes of Zurich, and all the other cartoon black hat stereotypes is… by right wing capitalist extremists!
It’s what us 1990’s culture jammers used to call ‘astroturf’. In brief, a bogus grassroots organisation set up by a PR agency, feeding fake research to gullible community activists who are encouraged to think they run the group, in order to serve the purposes of large corporations.
How do I know? Because a few months back I discovered the original research (partly, I admit, by accident), know who paid for it, who produced it, for who, and for what purpose. At the time I thought it so dumb that I just laughed and forgot about it, because I thought it had simply failed and that the perpetrators had no further plans for it.
Now according to the carefully created myth, a group which thinks offshore centres should all be shut and people everywhere should just pay way too much tax to governments who waste way too much money has done lots and lots of research to produce a state of the art ‘league table’ of offshore finance jurisdictions.
And according to IOM newspapers:
“the index produced by the Tax Justice Network — a vociferous critic of the Isle of Man — places the US state of Delaware at the top of its league table of tax havens, followed by Luxembourg, Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and the City of London.”
At that point I fell off my chair laughing and rolled around the floor for about 10 minutes. Once I’d wiped the tears from my eyes and got my breath back enough to read some more I erupted again on being solemnly informed that:
“Delaware has an opacity score of 92 and coupled with a high global scale weight ranks it at number one.The City of London has a low opacity score of just 42 but its importance to world financial activity ranks it at number 5.The Isle of Man's opacity score of 83 is lower than 41 of the other jurisdictions listed including Jersey.”
Oh, it’s no good. I’d better explain the joke.
The reason Delaware comes top is that Chicago doesn’t have any tax havens, but Delaware is the home state of Joe Biden, now the US Vice President.
The thing is, a group of Bush’s closest allies had an easy ride from the US tax authorities and feared it would end if the Obama/Biden ticket won the last election. They also extensively used offshore entities to hide their assets and to avoid their substantial donations to political campaigns and policy makers being discovered.
When things got really bad they used a network of ‘educational foundations’ whose assets were ultimately controlled in jurisdictions which (unsuprisingly) come out rather well in the index in order to fund bogus research which, when funnelled back to the conservative US press, ‘proved’ that Biden and Obama, far from being tough on ‘tax havens’, were having their very well funded campaign underwritten by faceless tax dodgers.
It didn’t work, and the only interesting thing now will be to see if they continue to push the ‘research’ in order to undermine changes in US government policy, and if this unholy alliance between ultra right wing US businesses (some, by the way, also underwriting Christian ‘end timer’ enterprises), and supposedly lefty but quasi-religious greens and churchy ‘drop the debt’ types will continue.
I’d take a safe bet on something else though. Jokers like TJN and the Manx ‘Freedom to Fester’ PR spongers will continue to try and claim credit for research and campaigning they didn’t and couldn’t possibly do, and I’ll continue to point out what muppets they are.
That is, if I can stop laughing long enough to keep you updated.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Foreign aid or local ignorance?

There’s an item on Manxnet’s news page today that further undermines my faith in the intelligence or integrity of Manx businesses.
Not only did the Steam Packet help one of the worst charity scams running on the island. They boasted about it at
The item, about a building firm getting free ferry tickets to (in theory) take aid to Romanians, ends with Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward saying: “We are delighted to be able to show our support for such a worthwhile charity. This expedition will make a difference to the poor, needy and homeless in Romania.”
Congratulations, muppet, you just helped a US evangelical outfit , not the imaginary victims they invented, and you may even be party to a major fraud or attempts to destabilise another country’s economy and democratic sytem.
You see,contrary to what they’d have you believe, Hands of Hope isn’t a Manx charity. It’s run by some very dodgy US evangelists operating from London who my wife and I once had contact with. That contact, amongst a lot of other very iffy business, caused us to advise anyone against ever helping these chancers.
It began when my wife offered some simple minded local biblebashers help getting documents translated for an apparently innocent trip to Romania. The more we spoke to folk, the more things didn’t add up, and the more worried we got that something far nastier was going on.
For example, their strange insistence on buying stuff locally, instead of over there at twice the quality and a tenth of the price at building merchants Romanian friends (including a Lutheran priest) offered to introduce them to. Or their refusal to use local labour to build some very shabby huts the average Romanian farmer wouldn’t keep a pig in (passed off as ‘houses for the needy’). Or the shady US evangelicals continually avoiding revealing who they really were or worked for, and an apparent interest in getting Romanians into the UK on tourist visas.
We worked out the overpriced goods scam when they admitted they’d cut a deal with a fellow Manx evangelical (a salesman for a building supplies firm) to split his commission with him. We guessed how big that deal was when he ‘retired’ to a country with no expedition treaty.
Some of the other curious stuff? Well, we just gave up trying to track down the truth. The sudden reluctance to answer questions told us all we needed to know to walk away fast, i.e. that the project wasn’t just another bunch of unemployable Manx semi-literates blundering around a foreign country getting sniggered at until they wised up.
How do they still get away with it, and why isn’t anybody in the Manx business community or government asking better questions before dispensing overseas aid and charitable donations?
Better ask them that, and, if you do, hope the answers only reveal us as a nation governed by village idiots.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Gay humanism's own goal

I have to post an item in support of my fellow freethinkers over at the Pink Triangle Trust blog. Seems they’ve been the victims of censorship – ironically by others in the gay and humanist community.
It seems GALHA (Gay & Lesbian Humanist Association) refused a post to their discussion forum alerting people to the latest edition of the PTT e-magazine ,Gay & Lesbian Humanist. It’s a publication I’ve endorsed, and even written for, just as I’ve endorsed GALHA for years and written a couple of pieces for GHQ (Gay Humanist Quarterly), their now discontinued magazine. I’ve supported both enthusiastically because I consider gay rights to be a good litmus test of contemporary secularism.
The censorship seems to be over a reference to Gaytheist, PTT’s own discussion forum, which itself partly came about because PTT thought setting up another forum, where free speech was a higher priority than GALHA’s, might be useful. Funnily enough, I’ve also blogged on the earlier little censorship battle which led to that!
You can see more on the latest row at, and as I didn’t previously mention the latest G&LH is out, I’ll also tell you that there’s a direct link to the issue and the Gaytheist forum (equally open to gay or straight contributors alike) from that item.

Danger - quack convention

According to Radio Cowshed (see ) there’s something called the Isle of Man Health Fair being organised by the Isle of Man Health Network at Centre 21 today.
Oh good, we could all probably do with a spot of sensible, responsible health advice.
But this isn’t. In fact, when you look further, it gets quite disturbing.
Because we’re told that: “Organised by the Isle of Man Health Network, it involves around 30 therapists coming together and demonstrating all manner of alternative and complementary therapies, from Reflexology to Raiki.”
In other words it’s a quack consortium looking for rich, intellectually challenged punters to fleece.
Let’s be clear about this. A gang of snake-oil merchants hold themselves out to be ‘health professionals’, even forming themselves into a pseudo-professional body whose very name suggests medical competence. Yet there is no attempt from the Manx Department of Fair Trading to suggest they, at least, market themselves under a more accurate name.
Admittedly, the Manx Department of Fair Trading is so pathetic it should itself be prosecuted for a misleading product description. Also, if I’m honest I couldn't care less if the cream of Manx society (i.e. the rich and thick) get robbed blind while suffering the side-effects of whatever dubious ‘therapy’ is flogged at such freak shows.
Still, if there is even an outside chance that someone poorer and more vulnerable could get really harmed by a rancid aromatherapy ‘cure’ shouldn’t the DFT, or even the police, be having a word?

Saturday, 31 October 2009

How do Manx politicians stand on drugs and alcohol?

So, a scientist gives impartial expert advice to the UK’s Prime Minister, just as his job requires, and what does the Prime Minister do?
The opposite, to suit the prejudices of the uninformed herd most likely to vote for him.
Well there’s a surprise.
Actually, reading some typical summaries of Professor David Nutt’s sacking for giving inconveniently sensible advice on relative dangers of illegal drugs and other risky substances and activities (see and for example) I did wonder idly.
What would happen if the island’s Chief Minister – also a Mr Brown – were to get expert advice he didn’t like from his own Drug & Alcohol team? Would he also ignore it for cheap political gain, or would he have the courage to do the right thing?
Then I remembered. That situation cannot happen over here, because the D&A strategy team doesn’t include experts.
No scientists, no medical professionals, nobody with a qualification in psychiatry or psychology…. No bodies, no expertise, just a random bunch of evangelicals and temperance nazis looking for a public handout and a police department trying to avoid cuts.
There is one other funny coincidence though – that quote about the Prime Minister’s ‘absurd stance’ on drugs.
From what I hear, our Mr Brown's absurd stance after a few drinks at the President of Tynwald’s Christmas Lunch is bad enough, while politicians and staff from the Department of Home Affairs often can’t stand at all after some of their departmental outings.
Then there’s the time, a couple of years ago, when senior politicians and church figures were invited to a Fair Trade wine tasting. Well, it was a good cause, so we shouldn’t blame them for tasting as conscientiously and thoroughly as they did.
And they certainly did.
Police gossip says they were taken home in the van from the cop shop a few doors down from the venue, thus leaving the entire south of the island without police cover until 1 AM.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Real Journalism shock

I haven’t recently checked out Spiked, the ‘libertarian Marxist’ website which was, if nothing else, a place to find contrarian and argumentative pieces which challenge kneejerk liberal assumptions.
Spiked articles can genuinely question or merely irritate by turns, as you’d expect from folk from a now defunct Trotskyite group.
Still, a Nathalie Rothschild item usefully sums up a Guardian story I should have noticed earlier, as it finally explodes the traffiking myth being stirred up by evangelicals in order that they can preach and pass the begging bowl some more.
She tells us that:
“The Guardian got hold of an internal police analysis of the six-month campaign, Operation Pentameter Two. It showed that after extensive intelligence-gathering and raids on 822 brothels, flats and massage parlours across Britain, only 96 people were arrested for trafficking, and out of these only 15 men and women were convicted. For 10 of them, police found no evidence of their having coerced prostitutes. In the end, only five men were found to be genuine traffickers – that is, they had imported women and forced them into prostitution – but they had been detected before the Pentameter investigation started.”
Actually, it gets worse. Even amongst those arrested elsewhere were a couple whose arrest was more due to police needing a nice dramatic shot of a door being battered down for a TV documentary than months of patient work uncovering some criminal ‘Mr Big’.
Not, in short, helpful for future appeals by a TV vicar and his faithful accomplices with a propensity for stoking up moral panics then starting ‘charities’ to deal with them.
The entire piece is worth a read (see ), but be sure to go on to two original Guardian pieces by Nick Davies at and
I say this because Davies is the journalist who gave us Flat Earth News. This important book exposed ‘churnalism’ and other practices by which even the ‘quality press’ has stopped chasing real news or employing real investigative reporters, while regionals (especially those owned by large corporations, not old fashioned local activist/publishers) just cut and paste national stories (in turn bought from a handful of agencies).
This explains, for example, how one agency, friendly to groups like Christian Concern for Our Nation and the Christian Legal Centre, is able to place story after story in the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail about ‘sincere Christians’ being 'persecuted' for their hate (sorry ‘faith’), and why those stories then make it to the top of other news organisation story lists.
In short, some real and useful journalism for a change.
Read and remember next time such moral panics ‘coincidentally’ hit the headlines elsewhere.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

In order for evil to fail.....

I was wondering at the more than usually sombre mood of folks around me recently. Yesterday I discovered the reason.
Acquaintances of theirs, never in the best of health anyway, have new maladies and, being a touch theatrical about such things, are busy worrying friends and family about it. The end result is that everyone is made more miserable.
People succumb to more illness as they get older, then they die. It’s not rocket science, and the medical world can only ease the process, not stop it. So, whether you’re the ill party or the relative, stop turning nature into a particularly bad episode of East Enders and make the best of it.
Similarly, I upset a few PC types who posture at putting the world to rights – sometimes even making a living from such shams. They’re upset I point out huge inconsistencies in their actions, in fact so upset they wreck otherwise functional groups with more modest but effective ways to stop the world going to hell in a handbasket. I’m then asked to save the day by those left clinging to the wreckage.
I’ve decided to do………
.....nothing beyond smiling sympathetically when I absolutely must. Then just walk away and leave them all to it.
It’s not being harsh. It’s just that me and mine, being folk who others see as thinking, caring sorts, get dumped on a wee bit too often by those others, who refuse to think or act for themselves.
I’m not being selfish. If anything it’s the opposite. I’m being consistent.
As I’ve said before, the best you can do for yourself and those immediately around you is try to be happy, and the best you can do for other people is to stay out of their business. The world is screwed over not just by the outright manic dictator but by the interfering do-gooder.
OK, from time to time a Saddam Hussein or Hitler really screws things up, but most of the time it’s the constant nagging and interfering of bored middle class dilettantes or otherwise unemployable religious cling-ons that does the damage. A rag-tag, brainwashed army of petty-minded busy-bodies who just will not leave us to go about our business in peace.
Temperance movements which cannot stand the idea of anyone having fun, egotistic airhead cancer campaigners who insist we pay them to run one pointless marathon after another and want the entire NHS budget spent on some homeopathic nonsense, neo-colonial religious charity chancers who will do anything except let the world develop… know the sort.
Let’s ignore them all.
Let’s enjoy ourselves all the time as much as we possibly can – at least as long as we don’t inconvenience the neighbours in doing it. And let’s ask no more of our neighbours than that they do the same.
Contrary to the sermons of those who preach ethics but will not study the subject, in order for evil to fail miserably it is only necessary that good people do nothing to aid halfwits. Because it is the interference of halfwits which delays the demise of such lunacy in the first place.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Dancing fools

At mid-day yesterday my daughter was smashing me over the head with a cake tin.
But it’s OK, because I was helping her and my wife save the planet. We were down at St. Johns as part of the Manx effort for this 350 campaign thingie.
If you’ve managed to survive until now without being bothered by it, I can’t be bothered to explain. Just see for explanation and for a (sort of) report.
Well, not much point paying government PR hacks half a million a year to manufacture community campaigns, then not even use the bilge the halfwits produce, is there?
Pretty funny really. Having struggled down there in the rain with cake tins and wooden spoons and weaved our way through weekend hippies in expensive 4WDs (no, really) The Prodigy didn’t want to drum along with the herd (that’s my girl!). So, to enable her to march to her own beat I suggested she whack the cake tin on my head instead. Which she did quite happily.
We then jigged about a bit as the pipe band played Manx folk tunes, and I’m proud to say that as we danced in front of the island’s only Manx language school, at the heart of plastic patriotism in a crowd including a politician so Manx he once burnt down a holiday cottage, she was the only one who knew the steps.
Bloody Manx poseurs! If you can’t be bothered to learn your own culture there’s a boat to England in the morning.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Overseas aid sponsors murder in Uganda

Having waited in vain to see if a major human rights story would be covered in the ‘serious press’ I guess I’ll have to draw your attention to it.
Briefly, a Bill introduced in Uganda’s parliament on October 14th means gays, and those ‘promoting homosexuality’, face life imprisonment, or in certain cases the death sentence.
A useful summary of the Bill by Amnesty International tells us:
‘The existing law, Section 140 of the Ugandan penal code, penalizes 'carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature' with imprisonment of up to 14 years. This legacy of British colonialism was introduced to punish local practices of what the colonial powers deemed to be 'unnatural sex.' The laws stand as proof that same-sex sexual practices and gender diversity are, and always have been, part of Ugandan culture. The draft bill tabled today seeks to imprison anyone convicted of 'the offense of homosexuality' for life.
Paragraph 3 of the draft bill sets out provisions on what it names as 'aggravated homosexuality,' which will incur the death penalty, contradicting the global trend toward a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
The final section of the bill provides for Uganda to nullify any of its international or regional commitments that it deems 'contradictory to the spirit and provisions enshrined in this Act.' As both the African Commission and the UN Human Rights Committee have held, a state cannot, through its domestic law, negate its international human rights obligations.’

A group of 17 international human rights groups put out a joint statement explaining and condemning the Bill. Read it at and I guarantee you will be stunned at the contents. In brief, a country once praised throughout Africa for effectively tackling AIDS/HIV has turned into a hellhole where the country's political leadership, egged on by their Western chums, have turned gay-hunting into a national bloodsport.
Western evangelicals are the sole cause of that.
At their request, we cheerily put our pennies in collecting tins for cutesy charities running programmes in Uganda, under the sad delusion we are helping. No, what we are doing is subsidising Africa’s 21st century equivalent of German anti-semitism in the 1930’s. The language is the same, the tactics are the same, and the culprits are the same, i.e. Christian bigots and fraudsters with powerful political friends.
I’ve blogged about this matter before, for example at Quack Christian 'therapy' causing Ugandan bloodbath and later at Uganda and happy clappy fascism - the saga continues.
But what depresses me even more is that I didn’t even know about Amnesty’s statement until the saintly Nigerian humanist campaigner Leo Igwe posted it on a discussion forum in the hope someone would alert the UK press.
I’m not only depressed that the UK press didn’t pick it up, but that even though I’m an Amnesty member and subscribe to both their newsfeeds and those of another signatory, Human Rights Watch, neither told their UK supporters.
Do they think we weren’t interested? If so, that’s a pretty sad judgement on what passes for a human rights ‘movement’.
Come to think of it, as this state of affairs in Uganda has gone totally un-noticed by the Manx Overseas Aid Committee, who still hand public money to happy clappy fascist scum without a second thought, it’s a pretty sad judgement on a lot of people.