The Judge RANTS!
Another (C)rap Judgement / The Mother****** Of Parliaments
If it is true (and it largely is) that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, then the good and loyal serfs of Greater Austeria (aka English Empire 2.0) have been asleep at the wheel for far too long.
Following on from my last Rant on this subject, I read today of an even more egregious attack by state agents on freedom of artistic expression.
Drill is, it seems, a form of rap music which originated from the black underclass of Chicago and features lyrics referring to gang wars, guns, drugs and the taunting of rivals. Just like much of the original rap music did thirty-odd years ago, in fact.
Just like its eminent (and now regarded largely as 'seminal') progenitor, drill has been blamed by those in power as being responsible for killings, knife crimes and all other social ills up to and including the lousy form of the 2018 Baltimore Orioles. This - and the fact that it is produced by the most marginalised sector of our populations, i.e., young black guys - has led it to become the target of police forces and politicians desperate to be seen to be doing something and cognisant of the endless possibilities of doing it to those who are easy to demonise in the eyes of those who scan, purse-lipped and purple-faced, the pages of that offensive weapon against reasoned reality called the Daily Mail.
Which brings us to this week.
On Monday, five young black men from west London were thrown in the clink for possessing machetes with - so the Metplod claimed - the intention to commit crimes with them.
OK, I'll pass no opinion on that aspect of it. But...
The five are members of a rap outfit called 1011, whose videos have been viewed millions of times on YouTube (or, at least, they had been before Metplod asked that channel to remove them). Today (Friday), Metplod and the Clown Persecution Service went back to court to get a judge to issue what is euphemistically termed a 'Criminal Behaviour Order' (CBO) against the band. The judge, of course, obliged with alacrity (and no doubt more than a little glee).
Here - in addition, remember, to having to spend up to three and a half years locked up - is what 1011 will now have to put up with:
- They will not be allowed to meet each other in public except for the recording or performance of their material.
- They will not be permitted to do even that without authorisation from the bizzies.
- London's finest will also have to be informed of the date, time and location of any such recording sessions or performances at least two days in advance.
- The band must allow Metplod to attend any such sessions or performances.
- The band must inform Metplod of any new material within a day of its release and refrain from performing or publishing any material which Metplod objects to.
- The band is forbidden from performing, publishing or posting any material which - in the view of Metplod (and Metplod alone) - 'incites or encourages violence'.
- The band is forbidden from mentioning certain postcodes "...in a gang context" in their lyrics.
And all of the above provisions will run for three years, with further jail time certain for them if they are deemed to have broken any one of them.
Irrespective of what you may think of the material itself (I haven't heard it myself, given that I considered its antecedents back in the eighties merely a repository for vacuous vainglory and advanced dick-waving), allowing and encouraging the police (and especially a force renowned for its even-handedness when dealing with the non-white communities of their manor; see under Form 696) to be censors of art (however broadly defined) is setting a very dangerous precedent, especially when combined with the customarily complaisant stance of the overwhelmingly white and middle-class English judiciary.
Consider if you will:
- There is no sustainable evidence that such music and lyrical material causes crime of any sort. Indeed, the material is far more likely to arise from pre-existing social conditions than to be any cause of it; it is an expression of what life for young black people is actually like, not of what they would wish it to be.
- There have, to the best of my knowledge, been no similar attempts by the police anywhere in Englandandwales to use similar methods to curb the activities of neo-Nazi rock bands (of whom there are far more active than drill posses), presumably for the same reasons that the police, politicians and the media seldom if ever refer to white neo-Nazis as 'terrorists'.
- If any art-form which is deemed by a curtain-twitcher or an ambitious plod to be 'inciting or encouraging violence' is now fair game for repression, then Picasso's Gernika, Goya's war cartoons and all of the tragedies of Shakespeare stand in peril...Except, of course, that they don't due to a combination of having been sanctified by time, by the approval of the state and corporate élites and by the fact that their creators were white.
- By preventing the production of 'drill' (or any other kind of music), you are removing a comparatively safe channel for the expression of dismay and anger on the part of those who create it, in the same way that pornography (in my opinion) is a comparatively harmless means of release for the sexual drives and fantasies of those who consume it. Denied that outlet, then the likelihood of those emotions being expressed in more harmful ways multiplies. This is especially true in areas of society which - with some justification - see themselves as already being cracked-down-upon by those who hold power over them.
Whatever your views on 'drill' (or porn), the same basic principle remains: no-one has the right to expect the State to repress things that you, personally, feel offended by, and to give such power to the police and a socially lopsided judiciary is dangerous madness. And yet that, once more, is what we have in this instance.
Most of this is the fault of the scummiest press in the developed world (so bad that even Australians have to hold their noses when reading it) and by the politicians who are in thrall to that press' screeching.
Which brings me to...
The Mother****** Of Parliaments
When you observe the antics in that neo-gothic theme park which we are enjoined to revere as the finest parliament in the history of the world, the solar system, the universe, space, then it is scarcely any wonder that we have ended up where we are.
- The so-called 'Brexit Bill' is currently before the House of All-Too-Commons.
- The Bill was amended in the unelected house to various ends, all of which were anathema to the minority government.
- In order to railroad the House into rejecting all of those amendments (and I know there's a philosophical argument regarding the legitimacy of any legislation coming from hereditaries, appointees, party donors and clerics; some other time, perhaps), the government had scheduled so little time for debate that - along with the presence of those MPs from occupied Ireland which had been bought by the government - the result was a foregone conclusion anyway. And this even if the self-described 'opposition' had not been largely complicit in what happened.
- One clause dealt with the return of powers to Scotland's parliament after withdrawal. In short, those powers which were not specifically reserved to London under the Scotland Act (as amended) should have been returned to Holyrood. However, the Bill as it stood sought to grab those powers for Westminster for up to seven years after exiting the EU.
The consent of the Scottish Parliament should, by existing convention, have been sought and gained before any such move. However, the Scottish Parliament recently refused consent, with four of the five parties there represented backing that rejection (can you guess which party didn't back it, boys and girls?)
Nonetheless, the London régime insisted on proceeding, thus effectively tearing up the devolution settlement of 1998 and the conventions upon which its operation had rested ever since.
- On Tuesday night last, not only did the government's business managers allocate a mere fifteen minutes of debate on this matter of major constitutional import, but the whole of that fifteen minutes was taken up by a junior government minister waffling. Not one Scottish MP was permitted to speak to the amendment at all.
- On Wednesday - just before Prime Minister Can't Answer Questions Time - Ian Blackford, the leader of the Scottish National Party contingent - asked Speaker Bercow for the house to sit 'in private', a procedural quirk which may have had some positive purpose at some time, but which - like many such practices of the place - now seems ridiculous. Bercow - a man who is only deemed to be an adequate Speaker because of comparison with his lamentable predecessor, the permanently compromised 'Gorbals Mick' Martin - was caught off guard. Having havered and consulted with his advisors, Bercow offered such a move after question time. When Blackford correctly stated that any such motion had to be voted on immediately (the Standing Order in question clearly says 'forthwith'), Bercow then went into another mumbling session with his gofers, at which point he over-ruled himself, refused the offer of a vote at any time at all and ordered Blackford to sit down. When the MP refused to do so, he was ordered out. His thirty-odd colleagues followed him, accompanied by the hootings and jeerings of the semi-evolved sitting on the Conservative benches.
- The depth of contempt in which Tory MPs hold not merely Scottish democracy but human decency itself was again apparent on Thursday, when the SNP MP Pete Wishart - giving his party's tribute to the victims and survivors of the act of mass homicide at Grenfell Tower a year ago - struggled to be heard above the shouting and heckling from that self same Tory rabble.
- Then on Friday - just to round off a routine week at the zoo - three measures came up for consideration. One was to constrain the use of force in dealing with psychiatric patients, one to clearly outlaw the taking of so-called 'upskirt' photographs without the consent of the person wearing the skirt, and one more to create a new criminal offence of attacking a police dog or police horse.
One of the three bills was unlikely to proceed, but two of them had the support of the government, and so were slated to get through at least this early stage of consideration.
None of them proceeded, however. This was due to the actions of two of the most repellent MPs sent to parliament even by modern Conservative standards. Both Phillip Davies, the Member [disambiguation needed] for Shipley and Christopher Chope, the MP for Christchurch, combined to talk all three bills out. Davies has form for this, having previously behaved in the same grotesquely egregious fashion to block bills aimed at - amongst other things - giving free hospital parking to carers and providing first-aid training to children.
By his own admission. he does this for the fun of it and partly because he describes himself as a 'libertarian', proving once more that that term is only ever used about themselves by those who are, in matter of actual fact, merely condign sociopathic arseholes.
Chope does it for laffs as well, whilst claiming that he is opposed on principle to private members' bills, despite his having tabled dozens of them last year alone.
All of the above, in one week in what, according to the propaganda of generations, is the Mother of Parliaments. 'Mother' has now quite clearly become an abbreviation and the whole wretched edifice needs to be torn down. Happily, it seems that it won't ultimately need any assistance from outside - not even from the Kremlin - for that to happen.
The shenanigans around Scotland and the power grab of its parliamentary powers has already led to five thousand or more people joining the SNP, to the author of the notorious 'Vow' of 2014 to now come out in favour of independence, and for a mood of anger to take firmer root more widely across Scotland as the population sees in what contempt they, their parliament and their democratically-elected representatives are held by the imperial establishment. It will be the end of the Conservative Party as any force in Scottish politics in the same way that the Labour Party's pathetic posturing has killed any realistic thoughts of a comeback stone dead; both parties will now only appeal to the most hard-line of Brit Nats and the dwindling ranks of Orange Lodge daleks. The second independence referendum - which must now surely be called in the next twelve months - is most certainly not won, but a tipping point has clearly been reached.
It may give all but the most gammony of 'Leave' voters from two years ago cause to pause and consider that the inmates of the Asylum of Saint Stephen are the people to whom they have chosen to hand total power over their futures.
And it may even lead the people of Shipley and Christchurch to ponder whether they really want their interests to be represented by two blobs of sub-human sewage called Phillip Davies and Christopher Chope.