Thursday, 31 March 2011

Crime and prejudice

I also read today (see ) that the Clarksons have had fence posts and gates ripped up around their Langness cottage.
Locals will know that there’s a long-drawn out battle over rights of way going on between the Clarksons, other landowners and what journalists euphemistically describe as ‘ramblers’ (and most others just recognise as rubber-necking, bobble-hatted, slack-jawed simpletons with scabby dogs).
In the 1980’s a Falklands vet working at a nearby hotel memorably christened these loons ‘Bennies’ (after the Crossroads character). Apparently the name was originally given to the stylistically challenged Falklands islanders by the Marines during the invasion. The name stuck, though no Manxman will admit it since A.A. Gill caught on to the term on a weekend visit here and told the world through a Sunday Times article that even upset our Chief Benny.
A local paper today reported that the Bennies have denied involvement in this vandalism.
Well they would, wouldn’t they?
But I tend to believe them, because digging up fence posts is hard work, while for most Bennies, the nearest they get to a hard day’s work is pressing their noses against the house window of someone who has a job.

A good read for a bad man

Reading today that MP Jim Devine is being jailed for his expenses fiddles (see ) made me laugh. It’s not just the idea of a real crook being put behind bars for once, but that I remembered me and Jim have some history.
Thing is, a year or two ago there was a half-baked campaign for humanists to send a copy of that Dawkins tome The God Delusion to every UK politician. This seemed to hinge on the idea that politicians actually read books or newspapers, rather than getting researchers to scan them for useable material. So, not thought up by anyone who has ever watched the political animal in action then.
The geezer behind the plot was given contact details for BHA affiliated groups, and, me being secretary of Isle of Man Freethinkers at the time, he was soon bending my ear. Bit of a dullard to be honest, who couldn’t grasp that we can’t elect politicians to Westminster (though they impose a bishop on us) and wouldn’t take a polite ‘maybe’ for an answer. So, to get him off my back and go back to….well, staring at paint drying or some far more riveting pastime than listening to him waffle on…..I agreed, and was alloted Jim Devine.
I duly sent Devine a copy of the book, suggesting that if he didn’t want to read it he could just bung it at any passing bishop with my compliments.
Well, if Devine didn’t do that, and he’s still got it lying around somewhere at least he’ll have something to read in the cell.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Frightening the horses, but nobody else

It seems the island’s most demented pro-lifers are up to their old tricks.
Judging from they’re planning to scare some horses at Stepford Central next Saturday. Mostly elderly ones who don’t get out much or read newspapers, I suppose.
Friends who know I played a major role in Pat Kneen’s momentous Manx Right-To-Die campaign a few years back pointed this out, thinking I would froth at the mouth or at least pen a letter to the papers. The truth is, it doesn’t concern me, and it also shouldn’t worry anyone who wants Manx law changed to let terminally ill folk choose their end.
But on the principle that I should show at least polite interest in such nonsense, this (see ) is the chancer who’ll be trying to put baseless fears into vulnerable minds. This (see ) explains a little more about where he’s coming from and who his friends are, and this (see ) is the kind of obscurantist twaddle he produces, and for what audience.
The funniest thing is, he can’t even sell this guff to some of them.
Today I discovered that Ling also tried, but failed, to get some of his nonsense published in one of the UK’s most rabid evangelical rags. As these awful papers usually jump at the thought of a contributor who can even demonstrate a three figure IQ, never mind an academic background, this was quite a stunt.
The Manx cabal of LIFE are no threat either. Funnily enough, only a year or so ago they managed to annoy both local doctors and even chemists by kicking off about one of Ling’s other obsessions, the so-called ‘morning-after-pill’.
I have it on good authority that GPs got most irate when the closet pro-lifer then running the health service (as opposed to the openly pro-lifer who runs it now) tried to foist some very dodgy LIFE literature on them with the apparent intent that they should both read it and take it seriously. When LIFE then tried to ‘suggest’ to local pharmacists that they should refuse to cooperate on grounds of ‘conscience’ (something they picked up from CARE’s similar campaign with registrars on civil partnerships) they just got another flea in the ear.
Maybe both parties (having a more than tabloid understanding of the subject matter) were just so underwhelmed by the Ling argument as sponsored by the Christian Institute featured above that they now avoid anything associated with LIFE, or other simpletons. Leaving the pro-lifers (such an innacurate term, by the way, for misanthropic know-nowts) to gather what small change they can from other churchgoers who have nothing better to do this Saturday.
Meanwhile, the rest of us can just do something better in peace.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Beware of freaks bearing collecting tins

You might have acolytes of a religious pseudo-charity banging your door and demanding money in the next few days according to . Please feel as free as I will to tell them where to shove their collecting tins.
The Adventist Development Relief Agency UK (England and Wales registered charity number 1074937) is a front organisation for the Seventh Day Adventists. If you haven’t come across these bozos, they’re a conservative Christian sect.
Amongst their beliefs they condone Creationism and Millenarianism (also known as ‘End Timers’ – freaks who believe the end of the world is coming so you shouldn’t do anything to stop that, such as stopping wars, or even recycling or adopting environmental policies). They’re also homophobes and don’t believe in birth control outside of marriage (that’s heterosexual marriage, as they believe any other kind is an abomination).
Quite how flat-earthers like that get to run a ‘development agency’ or expect to be of any use to humanity beats me. Even by the usual standards of the biblebashing throwbacks preying on Manx unfortunates this lot are wired to the moon.
By the way, that stuff about them collecting ‘legally’ can also be treated with a large pinch of salt. It’s an offence for any charity not registered on the Isle of Man to solicit funds here.
Thanks to some flat-earth friends in Tynwald some of the bigger parasites are able to ignore that law with no danger of getting their collars felt. We might watch with interest to see what happens when this particular bunch of chancers not only break the law but have announced their intent to do so on the ‘national’ radio station.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Foul-mouthed pervs strike in Manx schools

Just when you think the number of Christophiles crashing into Manx schools and wrecking young lives has peaked, you find more evidence of our public servants colluding in such attempts to drag kids back to the Middle Ages.
For according to the March edition of Together, the IOM Diocesan newsletter:
Open the Book is an assembly scheme designed to enable every child to hear the story of the Bible at school in their primary years. Ordinary people like you and me from local churches come together as a team of storytellers and deliver 10 min assemblies where Biblical accounts and stories are retold. Open the Book is providing a vehicle to help churches build a bridge to 99% of the primary age population. That’s potentially 99% of the primary population moving on to secondary school having heard at least 33 Biblical accounts or stories…”
Now, to me, that’s clear evidence of institutional child abuse, so as a concerned parent I just want to know when someone at the Department of Miseducation will be sacked, or even prosecuted, for allowing it to happen. Either that or an equal opportunity for, say, fans of the Brothers Grimm or Terry Pratchett to introduce kids to some far better tales of fantasy and myth.
Scripture Union Ministries Trust, an organisation which really should be proscribed for the sake of all our children, do not see it quite like that. They do admit they’re doing “serious damage”, but only to “a 20 yr decline in Biblical literacy”.
So there’s our child protection services, on the one hand, indulging in tabloid fantasies about 8 year olds checking out online donkey porn or something. Meanwhile, as the headteacher looks on benignly, some semi-professional perv is reading aloud to the whole school from the world’s best known one-hand mag.
So far only two teams of SUMT yawn-troopers are being let loose in three schools. But apparently, later this year, our clueless government will allow four gangs to practice their potty-mouthed antics in between four and eight more primary schools. As they boasted openly of this in a publication that is, theoretically, available to up to 5,700 locals it is only reasonable to expect the police should act before more young lives are destroyed.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

I can't go on....I'll go on

Oh, it's no good!
Stewart Home once said his Art Strike was "the dumbest idea -ever", but that was (kind of) the point anyway.
I had a few folk asking me to think again, but I tried to stick to my word and not touch this blog again until January 1st 2012.
Then I wondered, is this blind adherence to an abstract principle - even if tongue in cheek and camp as a row of tents - any better than religion? But still I held out. I was hardly twiddling my thumbs either, but while I got on happily enough with other things since January 1st I also watched, with growing horror, what seemed like the total surrender of the local press to a tide of PR bilge - often temperance nazi trash and other pure faith led cretinism.
And to make it worse, it seemed like every last critical voice on the island had taken a more serious New Year resolution than me to just give up asking questions, poking fun....or anything else.
On any given day since January 1st I could have poured scorn at the new folk myths posing as 'news' and 'community action' repeated uncritically and without even a vague attempt at sub-editing or balance through what passes for the Manx media. But I kept cool and instead carried on reading my collections of satirical writings from days before churnalism was invented.
So why change my mind now?
Oh, I don't know. Maybe it was the guilt at knowing that if, say, campaigns against stoning or forced marriages had emergency appeals I couldn't pass that on. Or maybe it was just having to pick up on an event of huge Manx historical importance like from an off-island source, because it hardly got a mention in the local press. They would prefer to run tripe like instead.
I will write off the Sodor Trust briefly and bluntly. The parent is , whose website is somewhat economical with the truth, as you'd expect from a parasitical outfit whose only raison d'etre is to milk the public purse. Look up England and Wales registered charity number 1129075 to find a little more, but you still won't get far past the public image.
Also spend a little time wondering what faith healing has to do with youth work, and if you cannot work that out see if you can explain why one of the trustees, the Reverend Beatrice Brandon, is not only a faith healer but even manages to run her own charitable trust with the help of senior Anglicans up to and including at least one bishop.
And ask yourself why Anglicans are going in for the newest evangelical scam on the rates -'street pastoring' - and if they plan to do it here. I know of at least one bunch of Manx happy clappies who have been sniffing around the Department of Home Affairs, but I didn't think even the Police Liason Committee were falling for that one, and I know officers policing Douglas's weekend club scene didn't, never mind anyone in the Manx Anglican hierarchy. Maybe innocent clubbers really do have to worry about a new threat to public order - late night scriptural muggers.
And that's just today's news.
OK, I'm going to go halfway on this. I really have too much serious stuff to do elsewhere to get back into this on more than an occasional basis. But maybe the odd item is going to come up I cannot ignore, and the odd Sunday afternoon when I can't resist giggling at it.
The miserable, doomstruck characters of Beckett are not my idea of a role model, but as one of them says somewhere (oh, I can't even be bothered to look up where): "I can't go on....I'll go on"..... or rather, as a real Irish comic creation always says: "......go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on......GO ON!!!!!"