Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday 28 November 2010

How to insult 'with style'

(Warning - contains VERY strong language)
- it makes a refreshing change from the institutional 'blandness' that is the Andrew Marr show on BBC1; the current Shadow Chancellor, Alan Johnson, is on trying to kid himself and us that he knows the first thing about economics!

It's a beautiful, but a very cold, day here in Nairn today so far; the kiddies and their parents are out on the links using their toboggans - me, I'm still in my dressing-gown.

Monday 22 November 2010

Death and torture - at the hands of Saudi employers

A senior Saudi Prince was recently convicted in a British court of having murdered his servant (aka 'slave') in a London hotel. This was reported extensively in the British media.

However, through the London Muslim blog I have just come across another shocking incident in which a Sri Lankan maid employed by a Saudi family had 24 nails hammered into her hands, feet and forehead, later requiring removal with surgery:

Amnesty International has just condemned Saudi Arabia for abuse of Indonesian migrant workers. See this Amnesty International report, also.

These incidents shock me, but they do not particuarly surprise me. Having said this, I know a few British people who treated domestic servants appallingly, and not so very many years ago either, although in fairness with nothing like the same degree of physical bestiality, rather with what I would characterise as emotional and mental cruelty.

PS/ This evening's Panorama on BBC1 should be interesting - it reports on the curriculum used in certain Islamic schools ('Saturday clubs') in the UK, financed it seems from Saudi Arabia. The Royal Saudi Embassy in London has denied all knowledge; as someone once said in another context - "well they would, wouldn't they".

Friday 19 November 2010

Personal announcement

There has been very little activity in this blog over the past month because I have been observing a period of mourning for my late mother, who died one month ago today. I hope to return to slightly more regular blogging from now on.

Sunday 7 November 2010

Another argument for privatising the molly-coddled BBC

The BBC is in many ways a great resource, but has become far too complacent over the years. The strike by these over-paid public-sector employees is yet more evidence that these people are far too insulated from the economic realities the country faces. It is creditable that a couple of the Today presenters broke the stirke yesterday and came to work to present the programme; perhaps it's no accident that one of the two (at least), Evan Davis, has a background in economics, although Sarah Montague perhaps also a similar background, but at any rate she is one of the better presenters there in my view.

The last Labour government debauched the economy with major negative consequences for the private sector, the part of the economy that actually generates the money that the public sector spends. It's the sense of entitlement by well-paid people at the BBC that really grates; their attitude seems to be that the rest of the country can go hang, provided their cosy little cartel is not disrupted. I continue to hope that the present Coalition government will not chicken-out and carry through its promises to reform (i.e. reduce in size) the BBC; if the cost of this tough action, and the sackings that should go with it, is a few days or weeks of 'dead air', then so be it. The Humphrys and Kearneys of this world must be made to realise they are not indispensible. The strikers may whisper malevolently that those who went to work instead of striking will not be forgotten, but equally those who did strike will not be forgotten either.