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PoliticsPosted by Jim Baker Tue, April 29, 2014 10:00PM

And it's the second verse

Nobody knows the words

Sing anyway!

La-la-la-la-la-la

Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah

Oh good we're almost there

God save the Queen!



Gender segregation

PoliticsPosted by Jim Baker Sat, December 14, 2013 11:27PM
There is a bit of a furore at the moment over gender segregation in talks at UK universities, see e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-25378713.

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I can't really see how this is meaningfully different from having female-only colleges or designating the student union Women's Campaign meetings (feminist meetings, essentially) as "women-only spaces", both of which exist in Cambridge. Arguably these are even worse, as one gender is excluded entirely. Now, either or both of these may be problematic for various reasons, and equally are defensible for various other reasons, but I don't see anybody in the media attacking them. Perhaps this is just out of ignorance, but it does lead me to suspect that this is as much an anti-Muslim thing as anything else. It's OK for (mostly white) liberal feminists to enforce segregation, but for brown-skinned strongly religious people to do it - outrageous!

The overstatement of the present terrorist threat to the UK

PoliticsPosted by Jim Baker Thu, November 07, 2013 08:48PM
The director general of MI5 has claimed today that 34 terrorist plots in the UK have been foiled since 7/7, an average of about 4.3 a year.

This compares to the fact that there were at least 186 terrorist attacks in Great Britain between 1980 and 1996, an average of 11.6 a year. This figure does not include incidents in Northern Ireland, it does not include plots that were foiled before they even got started, and it does not include incidents before 1989 that did not result in death or injury.

Fewer than 60 people have been killed by Islamic terrorists in the UK since 2001. More than 3400 were killed in the Troubles between the late sixties and the late nineties.

MI5 and the government would have us believe that Islamic terrorism represents a significant threat to the UK and that as such the curtailing of various civil liberties can be justified. In actual fact the terrorist threat to this country has been very significantly less in the past decade than in the three or four decades previously, quite independently of the workings of MI5 and the police.