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Pat Condell

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Silverfox
834710.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:58 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
OK, this thread seems to have attracted all the replies it's going to so here's my take on Mr Condell's An illiberal consensus. There was an exchange of brief e-mails prior to my taking the time to write the main part - I guess I'd better include those as well; sorry about the size of this - I did say it was a bit lengthy.

Celebaelin
Precious little substance there I fear. His general and pervasive point about all aspects of British society walking on eggshells so as not to violate the 'laws' of political correctness is lost in a sea of personal bitterness and intemperate mouth-frothing apoplexy that anyone would have the temerity not to heed the self-evident wisdom from on high that is his opinion.

Mr Condell is of course entitled to his viewpoint but haranguing his audience with a one-sided critique of the media leaves me with my own suspicions as to what journalistic school he currently favours. As regards his missives to the Godless & Free to my mind he stands on the brink at the moment; poised on the edge of the precipice mere inches from the fall from clear and unflinching commentator on the state of contemporary mass media culture to self-important windbag in his own imagination quixotically tilting at the monstrous giants oppressing his right to ignore public opinion as evidenced by the zeitgeist as it is and all that it stands for.

AND he violated Godwin's Law right at the top of the piece - which is just what Hitler would have done.

Friend
The problem is, of course, that when you’re talking about Nazis then there’s always going to be a shallow shout of ‘Godwin’s law’ which actually really applies to active forum based discussions & arguments and not commentaries or polemics.

The substance is there in my view and it’s based on hard truths that too many people are afraid to say. I’m grateful that someone is standing up and saying it. We should all be saying a loud (& resounding) ‘NO’ to the way that news is reported in this country. In particular the BBC should be a beacon of neutrality. We all pay for that that as Condell points out. It concentrates on being PC and not being neutral. If, for instance, you want a “women’s hour” or “Asian channel” then set one up and pay for it yourself ... don’t expect others to be pleased when they’re forced to fund it. I’d quite like to see a BBC ‘white blokes channel’ but that would be racist and sexist eh? Anyone can call themselves a minority if the search terms are specific enough.

I would also like to see a wholly secular approach to all things in this country and, grudgingly, in that respect, I doff my hat to the French. I make them right. It’s about time we hauled our lazy arses out of the middle ages and told the likes of Islam and Christianity just exactly where they stand when it comes to the decision making process. There is no place for superstition and

Another point that Condell makes in other rants is that you rarely, if ever, hear of Jews making outrageous demands for their ‘rights’ or ‘respect’. He’s right and there’s something very wrong about people who believe in ‘invisible friends’ getting respect and power on that basis alone. There’s actually something very wrong about those very people thinking that their opinion matters on that basis. It’s not a viable or logical means of making decisions. Why not just use tealeaves and an old bird called Doris?

He’s absolutely spot on about ‘middle class left wing pricks’ too in my view

Celebaelin
The point is not whether the 'strict' application of a given internet trope is appropriate here. Godwin's Law is after all no such thing in truth, it is merely an item of convenience indicating a commonality between certain modes of argument; specifically it is a way of pointing out that citing Hitler in an argument is automatically deemed to make an opinion unassailable - it's a cheap trick designed to steam-roller opposition by implying that in disputing the point of view being proposed you are agreeing with the greatest mass-murderer in history and are therefore, ipso facto, morally reprehensible. Condell’s reference to Nazism is, in fact, in the context of putting words into the mouth of the BBC – he implies that the Beeb (or possibly The Guardian, he conflates the two quite adroitly) called Geert Wilders a Nazi but in fact it is Mr Condell who equates “far right” with Nazi and then proceeds to be offended on behalf of Mr Wilders for this non-existent slur. Judging by his usual soapbox diatribes we might conclude that Mr Condell’s objection to the BBC consists primarily of its politically correct, non-confrontational, reporting of any story involving Muslims and indeed he opens in this vein but is he in truth saying that? No, not really, he swiftly moves on to broader issues of alleged political bias at the Beeb although he doesn’t abandon his underlying Islamic theme entirely as he backs this up by claiming that Geert Wilders is not a “far right” politician and that to label him as such should be actionable. Mr Wilders Wiki entry has this:

Wilders published the version of his political manifesto called Klare Wijn ("Clear Wine") in March 2006. The program proposed ten key points to be implemented:

Considerable reduction of taxes and state regulations.
Replacement of the present Article 1 of the Dutch constitution, guaranteeing equality under the law by a clause stating the cultural dominance of the Christian, Jewish and humanist traditions.
Reduction of the influence of the European Union, which may no longer be expanded with new member states, especially Turkey; the European Parliament will be abolished. Dutch financial contributions to the European Union should be reduced by billions of euros.
A five year moratorium on the immigration of non-Western foreigners who intend to stay in the Netherlands. Foreign residents will no longer have the right to vote in municipal elections.
A five-year moratorium on the founding of new mosques and Islamic schools; a permanent ban on preaching in any language other than Dutch. Foreign imams will not be allowed to preach. Radical mosques will be closed and radical Muslims will be expelled.
Restoration of educational standards, with an emphasis on the educational value of the family.
Introduction of binding referenda and elected mayors, chiefs of police and prime ministers.
Introduction of minimum penalties, and higher maximum penalties; introduction of administrative detention for terrorist suspects. Street terrorism will be punished by boot camps and denaturalisation and deportation of immigrant offenders.
Restoration of respect and better rewards for teachers, policemen, health care workers and military personnel.
Instead of complicated reorganisation, a more accessible and humane health care system, especially for elderly citizens.

That all sounds pretty right wing to me so I wonder what arguments Mr Condell would put forward to explain why it is not. The policies are obviously mainly intended to target Islam and Islamic terrorism but what if, for example, we were to replace the references to Islam with references to Judaism instead; would that, in fact, bring any historical right-wing movements to mind? Perhaps the association Mr Condell made was not merely excessive argumentative zeal but a betrayal of his personal level of understanding. We will never know of course but the Jungian return of the repressed is a tricky beast, never more so than when one is being disingenuous.

Seamlessly PC(!) then switches to the BBC’s sister organisation (in the journalistic landscape of Condellworld) The Guardian. OK, so the New Labour doublespeak is at least one staple of The Guardian (or was last time I saw a copy) and he makes a point about the coming demise of Political Correctness which I for one would welcome and fervently hope comes to pass but this is a sideswipe in passing. He then switches back to the BBC because it is publicly funded but doesn’t provide any further examples of the outrageous “multiculti, middle-class, left-wing prickocracy” presumably because his example of the outrageous treatment of Geert Wilders was so convincing no further evidence is needed.

For someone arguing the case for an unbiased media Mr Condell is not exactly even-handed in his vilification of modern journalism. As he points out everybody pays for the BBC so the BBC must be seen to represent the views of all license payers, not an easy task as everyone will have their own views regarding what exactly constitutes a reasonable and unbiased representation of the ethnic diversity and religious beliefs of the nation as a whole (this in part is the basis of the multiplicity of national daily newspapers). Take Songs of Praise for instance, hardly a ratings winner but surely you wouldn't claim that this esoteric piece of programming is the work of ‘middle class left wing pricks’? I suspect that those particular members of society would on average be no more likely to watch the program than you or I, indeed it could be suggested that the scheduling of this show is an instance of programming bias against non-Christians. Assuming we're talking about BBC TV here (I don't listen to the radio much myself) let's abandon SoP as being specific religious programming ('balanced' presumably by Rageh Omaar's Life of Mohammed) and move rather to the issue of handling ethnic diversity in the News. The problem is almost certainly that heterosexual, white, Christian (at least nominally) males are usually perceived as those most likely to be in positions of authority and this alienates certain elements of society - including certain individuals from that self-same group who are not wealthy or in positions of authority but also including homosexuals, women and those of other racial backgrounds. An impartial national service must attempt to address this but whatever its policy or actions there are certain to be complaints. The critical one-sidedness of Condell's arguments more or less compel me to make a case in opposition despite points of common ground which, were he more objective and constructive, would certainly constitute a fair amount of shared opinion. However I dislike being preached at by Mr Condell almost as much as I dislike being threatened, blackmailed and bullied by those who strive to make Islamic supremacy a fact of life rather than merely the ultimate and far distant goal of those who see themselves as enemies of Britain because they are Muslims above all else.

Tagged on at the end we have a small satire on the farce that was the vote on PR. With some apparent regret Mr Condell notes the passing of the opportunity to change from the first past the post system - an eventuality that was, in his view, entirely the fault of the left-wing faces that represented the campaign to the public and under no circumstances connected to the fact that those of the public who could be bothered to vote rejected the proposal. None of us relish finding ourselves isolated from the expressed majority viewpoint but to place the blame on a personal bête noir rather than accepting the outcome of a democratic process is bordering on egomania.

Mr Condell expresses his views competently and I am content to listen to him but not to place myself behind his banner when I have reservations about his motivation and even his level of self-scrutiny. We should all examine our motivation once in a while but I wonder if Mr Condell ever even considers that he might not be the reasonable man he claims to be. So what are we to make of his curiously timed attack on the BBC, an organisation respected worldwide which has no hint of phone-hacking scandal attached to it and which is staffed by people who I believe seek to represent the populace to the best of their ability - regularly coming into conflict with whichever political party is in power at the time? Not much, but the Murdoch press might welcome the distraction – perhaps that’s what Mr Condell means by impartiality.


Your post was, IMO...exceedingly well thought out and presented, in many respects.

I like Condell because he understands what religion per se has and is still doing to the people of this planet. It's the belief in religion that he pokes fun at. It's how one interprets what he says, according to the level of religiosity one has, pertaining to their own, born into and indoctrinated religion.

I happen to have been born a Jew. I don't believe in religion and am not a practising Jew. If there was NO religion on this planet, everyone would not be fighting over the point of, "My God is bigger than yours!"

Here is a link, which will allow someone more articulate than me, to describe the situation today. It's high time for political correctness on all levels to become outlawed.


Tarek Fatah's speech.
http://livestre.am/Pfu4

 
samivel
834711.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:06 am Reply with quote

Silverfox wrote:
If there was NO religion on this planet, everyone would not be fighting over the point of, "My God is bigger than yours!"


Maybe not, but we're extremely resourceful in finding other points to fight over.

 
Neotenic
834722.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:41 am Reply with quote

Quote:
It's how one interprets what he says, according to the level of religiosity one has, pertaining to their own, born into and indoctrinated religion.


I'm about as atheist as it's possible to be, but I still think Condell is a boring, unfunny, largely ignorant, knee-jerk reactionary windbag.

Quote:
It's high time for political correctness on all levels to become outlawed.


Really? How exactly does one legislate against people treating each other with a certain baseline of respect?

It's clear that, in some circles, PC has been misappropriated into a pejorative. But the actions of a few well-meaning but ultimately misguided jobsworths and hand-wringers do not render the whole concept invalid.

Personally, I subscribe to the Bill & Ted version of political correctness - Be Excellent To Each Other.

I think it's a shame that some atheists feel the need to position themselves as being completely intolerant of any form of faith, which they seem to largely justify by pointing at the particularly intolerant factions of the theists, quite irrespective of how small a proportion of the faithful they actually are.

I think that this is about as much use, and is as likely to bring about a positive change, as strapping a pound of C4 to your leg and trying to run away from it.

 
Celebaelin
834728.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:24 am Reply with quote

Silverfox wrote:
Your post was, IMO...exceedingly well thought out and presented, in many respects.

Thank you for that, it was very nearly a complement!

; )

 
Southpaw
834742.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:35 am Reply with quote

A complement to what?

/pedant

 
Silverfox
834746.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:03 am Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:
Quote:
It's how one interprets what he says, according to the level of religiosity one has, pertaining to their own, born into and indoctrinated religion.


I'm about as atheist as it's possible to be, but I still think Condell is a boring, unfunny, largely ignorant, knee-jerk reactionary windbag.

Quote:
It's high time for political correctness on all levels to become outlawed.


Really? How exactly does one legislate against people treating each other with a certain baseline of respect?

It's clear that, in some circles, PC has been misappropriated into a pejorative. But the actions of a few well-meaning but ultimately misguided jobsworths and hand-wringers do not render the whole concept invalid.

Personally, I subscribe to the Bill & Ted version of political correctness - Be Excellent To Each Other.

I think it's a shame that some atheists feel the need to position themselves as being completely intolerant of any form of faith, which they seem to largely justify by pointing at the particularly intolerant factions of the theists, quite irrespective of how small a proportion of the faithful they actually are.

I think that this is about as much use, and is as likely to bring about a positive change, as strapping a pound of C4 to your leg and trying to run away from it.


My apologies. I should rather have said, "MOST PC's need to be thrown out of the window!"


________________________________________
Today's Orbituary

"Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

"Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

"His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

"Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student, but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

"Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

"Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled some in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

"Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility and his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone."

 
Ion Zone
834748.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:08 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Maybe not, but we're extremely resourceful in finding other points to fight over.


This is what I was going to say. I would have added, though, that atheists aren’t as innocent as they like to think they are...

Quote:
I still think Condell is a boring, unfunny, largely ignorant, knee-jerk reactionary windbag.


I agree. In my opinion the moment you say "'I have a right - no, a duty - to insult [what you believe]." or, even worse:

Quote:
"Q: You don’t understand [my beliefs].

A: I don’t understand smallpox or typhoid either, and I’m equally disinclined to get acquainted with them. "


You lose all right to be taken seriously by anyone (I have heard QI forumers state very, very similar opinions about Christianity in the past, but lets leave it at that.

 
Neotenic
834757.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:31 am Reply with quote

Quote:
I should rather have said, "MOST PC's need to be thrown out of the window!"



That really is rather different to 'outlawing' political correctness, isn't it?

The 'obituary' is all well and good for a couple of easy laughs - but how reflective of reality is it really? Or at least, reality not refracted through the prism of the Daily Mail.

In particular;

Quote:
Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student,


I think there is a strong likelihood that all three of these cases are entirely fictitious - can they be substantiated?

I've just googled the mouthwash sentence - without quote marks - and just get pages and pages of supposed 'wags' just reposting the damn thing verbaitim on any available flat surface. I got ten pages of search in, and it was just this obituary being returned.

Now, do we actually want to think about what it says for ourselves, or shall we just take it all on good faith?

But wait - change the wording of the google search a bit, and we uncover the story of Carter Loar, who was indeed suspended over a mouthwash incident.

But.

The student in question admitted drinking the alcohol-based mouthwash, rather than simply rinsing with it - and this all happened in 1995.

source

So, taking an isolated incident 16 years ago where the involved parties admitted culpability may well be indicative of a death of common sense - but it's just not necessarily shown to be lacking in quite the places that the people gormlessly hitting copy and paste may believe it to be, and in fact it's somewhere rather closer to home.


Sorry dude, I realise that you are new and all - but the cut n' paste shortcut-to-actual-thinking is something that really pushes my buttons.

;-)

 
Silverfox
834803.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:17 am Reply with quote

"Sorry dude, I realise that you are new and all - but the cut n' paste shortcut-to-actual-thinking is something that really pushes my buttons."

That's OK with me....we all have different buttons! Some buttons are bigger than others, are they not?

The point is, there is far too much emphasis placed on BS PC and is not regarded as common sense solutions to many things.

One small case in point, amongst a myriad of them.
Kids today. No whacking at either schools or homes. There goes the discipline out of the window. What we have today, is an ill disciplined, drug taking mob. I'm not generalising...of course.

Anyway, you get my drift. (I don't write reams.)

 
Efros
834814.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:41 am Reply with quote

Whacking a kid in or out of school isn't the answer, discipline can be instilled without resorting to violence. However, there is a proportion of parents who in the absence of corporal punishment also lack the skill/inclination or whatever to actually instill any sort of discipline in their children, there lies the root of the problem.

 
cornixt
834818.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:46 am Reply with quote

Ion Zone wrote:

Quote:
"Q: You don’t understand [my beliefs].

A: I don’t understand smallpox or typhoid either, and I’m equally disinclined to get acquainted with them. "


You lose all right to be taken seriously by anyone (I have heard QI forumers state very, very similar opinions about Christianity in the past, but lets leave it at that.


This is where Condell shows himself so easily to be a complete idiot. If you don't understand something then you have no solid basis for arguing against it and you are essentially admitting to having little to no argument.

 
Neotenic
834819.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:46 am Reply with quote

I'm certainly confused by the suggestion that the 'common sense' approach to discipline is a resort to violence. Sounds an awful lot to me like a 'no sense' approach.

Especially as, certainly in this country, violent crime has fallen really quite dramatically from it's peak in the mid-nineties.

 
Strawberry
834823.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:50 am Reply with quote

i disagree with corporal punishment as i think it sets a bad example. And i'm not sure about the absence of corporal punishment leading to drug taking as people have been taking drugs for centuries.

 
Neotenic
834839.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:07 am Reply with quote

Plus, most drugs tend to make people less, not more, violent.

If you've smoked a joint, a nice sit down is in order. If you've necked some mdma, a cuddle is probably what you're looking for. If you've snorted coke, you just want to tell everyone how fucking fantastic you are. And if you've dropped acid, you're just concerned about the big green dog leaking out of the fridge.

If its a violent mob you're looking for, then it's almost always booze-powered.

 
Jenny
834847.  Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:26 am Reply with quote

On the issue of the six year-old suspended for sexual harassment - a couple of news stories fleshing it out a little, and also a follow-up story about a different child:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11252421/ns/us_news-education/t/sex-harass-suspension-st-grader-stirs-debate/

http://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/04/nyregion/boy-in-harassment-complaint-is-linked-to-other-incidents.html

Personally I think calling it 'sexual harassment' is absurd, and a suspension an over-the-top reaction but don't we think it's reasonable that children should be taught about appropriate and inappropriate touching?

I think this psychiatrist got it right:

Quote:
Dr. Elizabeth Berger, a Philadelphia-area child psychiatrist, said this case seems to be an overzealous attempt to ensure students feel safe in school after years in which society was not attentive enough.

 

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