New Readers!

.

.

Readers of the online version of the Wall Street Journal, led here earlier by a link placed on one of the pages which featured comments upon the Dalits, who also appeared in a post I made earlier, are indeed welcome to my own little pages!

.

.

How to be British!

Following from the announcement that Salman Rushdie is to be awarded a knighthood ‘for services to literature’ and the ensuing rush by the Islamic Rabble to shout out that he should be burnt/beheaded/sliced-and-diced; I liked the response of Jack Straw, a Labour politician whose own politics, incidentally, I cannot stand!

However, when asked for a comment upon the crazed, wild-eyed jerks who were threatening everything from ‘jihad’ onwards towards the inoffensive Rushdie, he stated that, while he deplored the comments from the Idiots of Islam, he’s never actually managed to finish any of Rushdie’s works, because of his ‘impenetrable style of writing!’

Like it, Jack !!!

……only an Englishman will truly understand!

An Englishman, an Irishman, a Welshman and a Scotsman were captured while fighting in Iraq.

The leader of their captors said: “We’re going to line you up in front of a firing squad and shoot you all in turn. But first, you each can make a final wish.”

The Scotsman says: “I’d like to hear Flower of Scotland just one more time to remind me of the auld country, played on bagpipes in the style of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.”

The Irishman says: “I’d like to hear Danny Boy just one more time to remind me of the Emerald Isle, sung in the style of Daniel O’Donnell, with Riverdance dancers skipping gaily to the tune.”

The Welshman says: “I’d like to hear Men Of Harlech just one more time to remind me of the Land of my Fathers, sung as if by the Aberavon Male Voice Choir.”

The Englishman said: “I’d like to be shot first…”

 

 

Silence is somewhat golden!

Noticed the distinct and troubling silence regarding the ‘Cash for Honours’ scandal, where Tony Blair was allegedly selling House of Lords seats at around half-a-million a pop?

Noticed how quiet it is around the headliners and commentary sites?

 Wait until the day after Our Tone resign!

 My ‘Deep Throated’ source tells me that Yates is panting at the bit!

 

Can’t wait!!! 

A quarter of a billion outcasts!

An outline of how discrimination is practiced in India.

India is one of the world’s most heavily-populated countries, being second only to China in numbers, but apart from the well-known political and public figures, there is little awareness amongst the wider public in how India governs itself, both in terms of religion, politics and social structure. The main religion in India is Hinduism, and the social structure which has emerged from this belief structure is the “Caste” system, whereby a religion is allowed to dictate that people are only allowed to do certain jobs, marry certain women, and even are dictated how they are treated after their deaths. For the upper circles, who are known as ‘Brahmin’, the professions are religious priests, political and military leaders; land owners are from the ‘Kshatriya’ caste, the vast majority of laborers, artisans and technicians are ‘Shudra’; but the one “Caste” which is not well publicised or even acknowledged are the “Harijan”, otherwise known as the Dalits, or “Untouchables”. These people, sentenced by, and at birth, to be sewage workers, cleaners of filth and human refuse, number some twenty percent of the population, and in a country which prides itself upon it’s democratic roots and government, it is indeed a strange commentary that one-fifth of it’s population is barred from rising out of the sewers and into everyday life!

Although the actual discriminatory process against the ‘Dalits’ was outlawed by the first Independent Indian parliament, in practice this abuse of their ordinary rights as human beings has persisted, and in many areas grown stronger, as the ruling Hindu parties, whether in or out of power, all subscribe to the casual barring of some 220 million Indians from just about all state higher education, all technical education, most jobs which are not akin to the allegedly “unclean” tasks such as sewage workers or latrine cleaners. In many cafes or restaurants, separate glasses are kept for the Dalits, just in case a ‘higher caste’ person is defiled by contact with a “Dirty Dalit”. One Dalit who managed to attain a higher education was severely beaten by his classmates for daring to achieve a higher marks than they did. A practice for certain ‘higher-caste’ people in earlier times was to actually send servants down a road to ensure that they would bot be contaminated by a Dalit’s gaze, never mind his presence.

One of the two most famous ‘Untouchables’ was Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, a mild-mannered but strong opponent of all discrimination, who was elected to the Constituent Assembly by the Bombay Legislature Congress Party. Dr Ambedkar joined Nehru’s Cabinet. He became the First Law Minister of Independent India and helped write India’s Constitution. His one regret was that he did not persuade Ghandi to support stronger anti-discrimination legislation, but his attempts were blocked by strong Hindu opposition. In his later years, he saw that opposition to the emancipation of his fellow ‘Dalits’ become further entrenched, despite the supposed end of discrimination.

The other political firebrand was one Kanshi Ram, who attempted to build his own political power base within the ‘Dalit’ community, and in fact managed to engineer the election of a Dalit woman, Mayawati, as chief minister in Uttar Pradesh, but has since accepted before his death that no one “Untouchable” organization is capable of coming to terms with the aspirations of a quarter-billion people!

So the next tactic of hundreds of thousands of Dalits is to convert to Buddhism; the thinking being that if they are no longer ‘Dalit’ in practice, they cannot be discriminated against, and it would be seen as doubly illegal for any to discriminate against a separate religion. They seem to have struck a nerve, because Hindi political parties in several Indian states are preparing legislation which would prevent any Hindu departing from their religion and accepting another God. Rajahstan and Madyha Pradesh have already introduced civil laws which would prevent any Dalit from leaving Hinduism without registering first with the state government, and Gujarat, a hardline Hindu state, is considering introducing a law which states that Buddhism is a version of Hinduism, so desperate are the traditional Hindu people to keep in servitude millions of their fellow countrymen.

So here we stand, in the second most populous country on earth, with the prospect of ‘affirmative action’ as one political solution proposed for all commerce in India, where any factory, office or workshop would have to employ a percentage of ‘Dalits’ in order to comply with the law, when it is almost universally accepted that ’Quotas’ never have, and never will, work. Why ‘affirmative action’? Because it’s a politician’s dream, to lay the burden for their stupidity and cupidity on someone else’s shoulders, because they couldn’t or wouldn’t grasp the thorny problem of stating, “No discrimination based on birth, color, belief or way of life is lawful, and thus shall not be allowed!” That is the solution, but it will be many years before the wider world sees an Indian “Untouchable” as a possible Prime Minister, if ever!

First offered for publication in OHMYNews, but since a couple of Indians didn’t like the tone, it was turned down!

“Fortune does indeed favour the Brave!”

Some twenty-five years ago this week, British troops completed the task of defeating the Argentine invaders of the British Falkland Islands set some three hundred east of Argentina. The British Prime Minister of the time, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, had sent a naval, aerial and military task-force some eight thousand miles because of one overwhelming consideration; the Islanders wanted to be British! The Falklanders wanted nothing to do with the claims of the corrupt Argentinian dictatorship regarding the sovereignty of the Islands, which they had named ‘Las Malvinas’.

The history of those few dangerous weeks, commencing with the sudden and unexpected invasion of the Falkland Islands by a massive Argentinian military and naval armada has been retold in books, in newspapers and on television. There were many attempts to impose diplomatic settlements upon Great Britain, in which the Falkland Islands would be ceded to Argentina in one form or another, but the sticking point, upon which the British strongly objected, was that the Falkland population’s desires and wishes would be disregarded. Mrs. Thatcher, as she then was, determined that the invaders should be kicked off British soil, and demanded of her military advisers a plan for doing just that. The objections, especially from the weaklings of the Foreign Office, poured in, as the liberal left-wing intelligentsia who only preached surrender attempted to change the mind of the finest mind seen in British political life; but fortunately for both Britain and the Falklands, Thatcher was forged from stainless steel, never mind iron.

One of the more amazing actions undertaken by the Royal Air Force” was the attack by bombs on the main airfield just outside the capital, Port Stanley. Operating from Ascension, a British island base 4,000 miles to the North, a single Vulcan bomber, supported by no less than fourteen Valiant jet bombers acting as mobile re-fueling bases, dropped a single row of bombs across the runway, one of which impacted in the center of the runway, thus removing all fast-jet capability from the Argentine Air Force in their efforts to provide a defensive arm on the islands. This attack was the single longest operating bomber sortie in the history of the Royal Air Force.

The Royal Navy was tasked with the transportation and protection of the largest armada to set sail “in harms way” since the Korean War, and although the British Admirals had to pull naval ships out of either overhaul or mothball status, they managed to set sail with a convoy which, as it later transpired, ” was just enough to ensure victory. “ The two available British carriers were deployed south, along with helicopter carriers, five nuclear Fleet submarines, eight destroyers and fifteen frigates. They convoyed two large passenger liners crammed with troops, the Atlantic Conveyor which carried extra helicopters and Harrier jets, along with some three ferries, transport, ammunition and oil tankers, together with minesweepers, tugs, more smaller ferries and a hospital ship.

One of the two “aces in the pack” was the presence of the nuclear submarines, which became the driving force in the Argentinian’s naval presence, as they were extremely reluctant to allow their precious surface ships to penetrate the British-imposed exclusion zone, inside which the British had declared that unrestricted warfare rules would apply. That the Argentinian heavy cruiser ‘General Belgrano’, armed with fifteen six-inch guns had penetrated that same exclusion zone and then turned away, was sufficient cause for the British to give the all-clear to a lurking submarine, HMS Conqueror, and “the Belgrano was sunk with heavy loss of life. “ The Argentine Navy ships never left port again!

However, the lack of naval power on the Argentinian side was more than balanced “by their brave and well-trained Air Force jet pilots ” , as they flew and fought their Skyhawks and Super-Etendard bombers against the British fleet. The Argentinian bomb and missile attack sank two frigates, two destroyers and damaged some five other naval vessels, as well as the Atlantic Conveyor merchant vessel. More ships would have been either lost or badly damaged, but the fact that the bomb fuses were incorrectly set saved over four Navy ships from destruction. The Task force’s mission was in peril, but they were rescued by the actions of the Harrier GR-3 vertical take-off jet fighter fleet, operating from the two carriers. Armed with the superb American-made Sidewinder missile and operating within their own protective envelope, the Harriers slashed the Skyhawks and the slower Mirages and propeller aircraft from the Falklands’ skies.

The military landings at San Carlos Sound on West Falkland were carried out under attack from the Argentinians, but in the main were completed without serious loss. The destroyer Coventry and the massive container ship Atlantic Conveyor were both sunk by Exocet missiles carried by the French Super-Etendard bombers, with the nearly crippling loss of all the remaining helicopters, thousands of tonnes of ammunition, tents, spares etc.

Despite the loss of the big container ship, the British land forces pressed ahead with the military build-up, and broke out of the defensive perimeter, fighting and capturing ground as they advanced. In the actions around Goose Green, the famed British Paratroopers fought and some died during this fierce battle, with a Victoria Cross, the supreme award for gallantry in action, being awarded posthumously to the paratroop colonel, H. Jones.

More and more reinforcements, plus artillery and mobile battle groups were continuously advancing and contacting the Argentine enemy, and, in the end, there was almost an undignified scramble to be the first into the Falklands capital, Port Stanley. The Argentine Army, which consisted mainly of badly-trained conscripts, were no match for the professional British soldiers who performed with their expected enthusiasm.

The Argentine forces “surrendered on the fourteenth of June, 1982, “ after a conflict which cost the lives of 258 British and 649 Argentine dead. Prime Minister Thatcher, who had sent out her soldiers, sailors and airmen to fight against a dictatorship’s dreams of glory, said very recently “In the struggle against evil… we can all today draw hope and strength from the Falklands victory. Fortune does, in the end, favor the brave… and none are braver than our armed forces,” she added.

Originally submitted to OHMyNews.