“Slowly at first, then all at once”

For those of you suffering from extreme Gell Mann Amnesia, may I offer an alternate take to those currently filling the column inches in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, the Financial Review?


The first and most obvious misconception to refute is, “It’s Eddie’s fault”. Of course it’s not, you idiot; he’s just the last in the lengthy chain of incompetents. Which fool would think a Hail Mary act of firing the head coach and bringing back a previous failure would work?


Oh, hello Peter Fitzsimons……

Structurally, this year Rugby Australia pinned its hopes on Eddie Jones. Backed by commentators like me, RA reasoned that with Eddie having a World Cup record second to none, it was a no-brainer to bring him back.

No brainer” is doing lot more work in that sentence than the author probably intended.


Why is it not Eddie’s fault? Because he played the hand that was dealt to him. The national team is a distillation of the best the nation can offer….. and therein lies the problem. The Australian rugby talent pool isn’t just shallow, it’s Lake Eyre-esque. Pundits criticised Jones for only taking one recognised Fly Half. He’d be excused if the primary reason was because he didn’t feel the remaining candidates were worth the investment in the Qantas ticket.


Australian rugby didn’t get here overnight. This has been a 2 decade long problem and the fix will take at least half as long to make a difference.


Some background; I have been coaching junior rugby, boys and girls teams, for the last 10 years. Let’s do the maths; 2 training sessions a week, sometimes doubling up and running two teams consecutively in an evening, at least 3 fixtures on the weekends, 6 months a year. At a conservative guesstimate, I’ve invested 1,500 hours of my life trying to teach kids how to play rugby. I’m now coaching a men’s XV and a women’s 7s squad.


I can count the number of occasions we’ve had assistance from Rugby Australia on the fingers of one hand, and two of those were when David Campese helped coach and I don’t think he’s even affiliated with the Rugby Australia development programme – it was just him volunteering!

For a while, there was a single development officer for NSW who we saw once or twice, but he was made redundant just after Izzy Folau was paid his severance money for quoting the bible on Instagram.


Of course, in the meantime, NRL and AFL have been pumping money into the junior clubs. Free t-shirts, development training weekends, gala days, bouncy castles, etc.


Not content with simply not helping, Australian rugby seems to go out of its way to fuck itself over. Ask any junior club member what happens when the boys reach school Year 7.


Spoiler alert: half of them head off to private school and are told they must play school rugby, not club rugby. Let me clarify; the club rugby matches are on Sunday, the school rugby matches are on Saturday. They are told NOT TO PLAY on Sunday. Imagine paying $30,000 a year in school fees to be told how you can spend your Sunday morning. Obviously, the result is a hollowing out of the junior club teams after the U11s/12s, many of which simply fold and the remaining boys head off to the welcoming biceps of Rugby League.


Nearly every rugby pitch in NSW is council-owned. At some point in the last 20 years, the pencil-pushers in the Town Halls decided sport can’t be played in the rain. So, every weekend, rugby coaches wake up and nervously check the “wet weather line” for updates with the vague hope a winter sport can be played in wintery conditions. We’re lucky we haven’t yet witnessed the sight of players questioning Wayne Barnes’ decision to continue matches when the Wallabies get wet in Cardiff or Wellington. They’ve all grown up being told to play Xbox when the forecast is damp.


Local club men’s rugby has a loyal following. A club I coached at had a team playing just below Shute Shield level, the turnout for home matches was great and the atmosphere was huge fun. Barely any of those fans would ever bother to trek to Moore Park to watch the Waratahs, however, not even once a year.


That’s the disconnect epitomised. There is a fire break between local rugby and the elite level. Where and when did it happen? Go back up this article and read about school Year 7.


Rugby Australia is the ultimate Old Boys network. It’s hilarious really, because you’d think that would be the case in England not Australia, but it’s reversed. English rugby is far more egalitarian and merit-based these days. Rugby Australia HQ, meanwhile, is a sheltered workshop for the chinless and the gormless, by which I mean the alumni of Joey’s, Shore, Riverside, Kings, and Knox.


Failed in the City? Have no experience in sports administration? Have no idea what lies at the western end of the Parramatta Road? Played in the Shore First XV 20 years ago? Well, you’re perfectly qualified to be the latest mediocre incumbent in an office that’s witnessed some of Australia’s finest examples of human mediocrity.


How many times is that experiment going to be run with the expectation of a different result? Just. Stop. Doing. That.


Just like, if you want to be Prime Minister, you should be barred from the job; if you went to a GPS school, you should not be allowed to step inside Rugby House. Go away and coach a local junior club out west for 5 years and then we’ll consider your application.


The Australian national rugby team has been on a staggering downward run since 2003. Yes, they got to a world cup final in 2015, but they were all as surprised and stunned as the rest of us at that, it was completely against the multi-year run of form. In fact, it probably had the negative effect of convincing the Eastern Suburbs all was well and just a few minor tweaks were required.


Global rugby needs a strong Australia as a role model. It stopped being funny to watch Australia losing a long time ago.


Time for an intervention; postpone the next British and Irish Lions tour, send them to New Zealand in 2025 and give Australia the option for 2029, but only if they have returned to credibility.


Rugby Australia needs a shock to the system.

(Regular readers may have wondered where I’d gone. It’s a secret!)

CSI: Mosman

I’m not sure which Lisa thinks she is; Cagney or Lacey, but this seems an “interesting” approach to a defamation defence:

Lisa Slams Wilkinson is going to prove rape to win her defamation case.

Yes, yes, civil and criminal evidence standards aren’t the same an’ all that, but unless the failed criminal case didn’t reveal a lot of physical evidence that Lisa Slams has now got hold of, it’s pretty weak beer she’ll be serving the court to make her case.

One can only assume there’s currently a crack team of forensic contractors swabbing down Canberra couches, dusting wine glasses in Parliament House, issuing warrants to WhatsApp and scrutinising Telstra location tracking data in pursuit of the critical piece of the puzzle for Team Lisa to deliver to the court in classic “may I approach the bench, your honour?” style.

Her Barrister is one of the best in the country, so this is going to be an absolute cracker of a trial. Obviously the legal team think they have a chance.

(Can one trademark a stroke survivor’s mouth and a forehead like a sniper’s wet dream?)

There is an alternate explanation, of course; La Wilkinson has not heard the word “no” personally directed to her for the best part of thirty years. She’s been the classic big fish in the small pond of Australian media. Apart from the occasional visit from a B list Hollywood celebrity, she’s been on top of the domestic A list for years.

Eventually this colours even the most objective person’s self-perception.

Julie Burchill in the Spectator this week, reminded me of the expression “folie à deux”, a shared delusion.

Wouldn’t it be delicious if Lisa and her husband had convinced themselves they are the arbiters of truth and have acted under that certainty? After all, we’ve seen this behaviour from them during Covid, even as the emerging facts didn’t align with their version of reality.

Bill’s Opinion

If something cannot go on forever, it will stop,” said Herbert Stein.

Lisa and Peter have been wrong about so much over the last few years, it feels almost inevitable they will do or say something so at odds with reality it will become existential. Or at least existential as far as their careers are concerned.

Wouldn’t it be just the best free entertainment to watch hubris dismantled in an Australian pastiche of the trial of Oscar Wilde?

The bar at Mos Eisley Spaceport

Or the Green Room for Sydney World Pride’s guest speakers?

You decide:

Let’s ease into it gently with the bartender. Looks normal enough. On my planet, the beard would have provided enough information to make the pronouns superfluous, but hey, could be a different species, right?

Next up, starting to get tricky. Sporting probably the weakest attempt at facial hair since Elliot Page did Movember, and a hat that screams “unpacking theology may not end well for you”, this one is anyone’s guess.

Ok, this one’s easy; it’s more than one person in the same body (they/them). Definitely from another planet.

This one is obviously human, unless they have 1970s retro wallpaper on planet Zarg. Good to see the name and aim of the organisation is hiding in plain sight – STRAP(on).

Did you know the previously satirical (now woke and establishment) magazine, Private Eye, used to refer to Her Maj, Queen Elizabeth as “Brenda”? Never needed to mention pronouns though, can’t think why.

Say it loud, I’m she/her and Proud.

Ok, this one is surely having a laugh at our expense. “Tuck”. Riiight.

Next up, “I’m not ready for my close-up now, Mr DeMille”. It’s almost as if, I dunno, she/her hadn’t grown up learning how to apply make up.

I’m pretty sure I saw Dr. Julia Erht (she/her) playing drums for Beltane Fire at the Mean Fiddler in 1989. Or maybe they were part of the crew who built the porch extension for my parents’ house.

Ok, we’ve found the backup captain for the Millennium Falcon, should Han Solo not make it on time. He/him can definitely do the Kessel Run in 12 Parsecs.

P. J. O’Rourke isn’t dead, she/her has just returned to she/her planet, baby.

Walking on the beaches, looking at the…. Aaaargh! Not that!

The great thing about athletes is how healthy they look.

“The crystal ship is being filled…”. How many Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters would it take? Not enough have been poured, nowhere near enough.

I wonder whether “multiply neurodivergent” means something on they/them planet? Not sure there’s a direct translation in Earth languages.

This one’s easy; definitely alien, we’ve even got a cartoon from she/they planet.

Finally, this is clearly off-world.

Bill’s Opinion

Happy World Pride, Sydney. You voted for the idiots who are now using your rate money to fund this.

Follow the link to the list of speakers and ask yourself if any of them, even one, would be a good role model for your child?

The Wi-Fi Password people have really have very little in common, the Ls hate the Ts, the Gs only love themselves, nobody understands the Qs and the Is, and everyone hates the Bs. The one thing these people have in common though is they are all very broken.

The good news is, this is their last hurrah. I predict that, in years to come this World Pride will be seen as the high tide of the wokemon bollocks.

Scotland just lost a First Minister because the rest of the country said, “yeah, nah” to it. It’s over, go back to your constituencies and prepare for normality.

I don’t want to talk about it

….how you broke my heart.
If I stay here just a little bit longer
If I stay here, won’t you listen to my heart?
Oh, my heart

Here’s an unscientific test; do you personally know anyone who has died in the last two years? Lets limit the scope to someone who you’ve spoken to at least once in the last five years.

Same question, but someone who’s had an unexpected medical condition or diagnosis?

How about suicides or suicide attempts?

Does it feel like the number of people falling in these anecdotal categories has increased recently? Does it make you ask any questions?

Maybe it’s not just anecdotal:

Excess deaths 13% higher.

Suicide rate per capita 9% higher in “world’s most locked down city”.

Have you seen unusual stories like this recently?

21 year old dies suddenly.

If you only consume news from the traditional sources, you might not have seen this highlighted or given much attention:

Rich countries are having more excess deaths than poorer countries. Who had that on their 2023 bingo card?

The lack of journalistic curiosity to not write more articles on this is bordering on being a superpower.

What was the significant factor impacting the rich countries that poorer countries didn’t have? Was it four letters starting with a lower case m?

I don’t know, but perhaps someone might have a look into it? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

How is 13% excess mortality not yesterday’s, today’s, tomorrow’s headline? In what universe is that not the lead story until we learn the reasons?

How are the faces and names of the public health officials of Victoria and their political masters not being plastered over the media until the excess suicide rates have been explained and addressed?

How many times do editors need to write “died suddenly” before they suspect there might be common causes?

Bill’s Opinion

Something is happening here. Let’s be charitable, let’s call it embarrassment. The people with the final decision rights on what story runs each day are embarrassed at how utterly wrong they’ve been on the seriousness of Covid, the morality and effectiveness of lockdown policies and the broken promises of “safe and effective” vaccines.

They bought and regurgitated the government talking points without question. They sent journalists to press conferences with questions such as, “Premier, should you have locked us down earlier and harder?”, or “Minister, shouldn’t you be considering jail for the unvaccinated?”.

It’s a little embarrassing to now admit how completely disastrous and devastating that position has been to the public health, both physically and mentally.

So instead, they are spiking any pieces daring to suggest the Emperor is wearing no clothes.

How do I know this?

The article above about the poor kid in Queensland was written by Alex Blair. I was going to berate him for his lack of curiosity (sub news category “health problems” really?), but then I looked at his Twitter feed. Oh, he’s curious enough all right, he’s just not getting that curiosity published by his editor.

It’s the same story for Frank Chung. Very carefully edited news articles, but his Twitter feed is more free with the questions.

It’d be fascinating to read Alex and Frank’s spiked articles. Perhaps there’s a book’s worth.

As that famous pederast, John Maynard Keynes, once said, “When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do, sir?”.

Well, in the case of editors of our main news outlets, we have the answer; plug our fingers in our ears and sing La La La La.

What goes on?

….in your heart,

What goes on in your mind,

You are tearing me apart,

When you treat me so unkind.

R. Starky.

Tap tap. Is this thing on?

Recently, my commute has involved significantly less public transport and worse, less walking from the pool to the home office. Hence I am finding fewer opportunities to write here and my consumption of podcasts has increased.

A pleasant diversion from my usual Chem Trails, Pizzagate, lizard invasion podcast themes has included a couple of good astronomy channels.

I’ve heard some interesting discussions on the Drake Equation and Fermi’s Paradox, where the speakers have been wrestling with the juxtaposition of the magnitude of the number of possible life-bearing planets yet the deafening silence emanating from them.

So… possible scenarios;

  1. We’re alone
  2. We’re the only intelligent life
  3. Intelligent life is so incredibly rare we may never meet or even exist simultaneously
  4. We’re like animals in a zoo, observed by a vastly more advanced civilisation

There’s precedence in human history for scenario 4…. it is similar to how we treat the inhabitants of North Sentinel Island.

What a terrifying concept it would be to learn we are being watched by a civilisation that might solve our energy, health, longevity problem and perhaps remove many of our triggers for deadly conflicts…. yet they don’t lift a finger.

If you were a child on the North Sentinel Island, and at this very moment you became aware that in the same world you were living, there were hospitals, dentists, pain relief, cures for diseases that may have recently killed your family, education, warm clothes, supermarkets full of nourishing food, candy and Xboxes, etc, would you be happy with the alien zookeeper’s decision to keep you in the Stone Age on North Sentinel Island?

Let’s give the child a name, so we might think less abstractly; Sebastian.

How do you think Sebastian would feel once that knowledge of a safer, less precarious life was gained?

Hard to know, but I’m going to guess anger is up towards the top of Sebastian’s list.

And yet, here we are, leaving Sebastian to the mercy of situations we solved as a species hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of years ago.

But, of course, the North Sentilese are a unique case, right?

We generally prioritise the well-being of children in remote and isolated communities. It’s morally the right thing to do, if we know we can vastly improve their physical well-being and longevity.

Or, is it a lot more common than we’d like to admit?

Australian life expectancy is 81 years (male) to 85 years (female), unless one is living in very remote Aboriginal community, in which case, it’s 66 and 70. 15 years difference.

It’s not completely comparable to the North Sentinelese, but it’s analogous.

In the meantime, a lot of airtime and Canberra hours (they’re like normal hours except they cost YOU money) are being expended on a campaign called The Voice from the Heart, which may culminate in a referendum laster this year.

What is the campaign lobbying for?

We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.

Ok. Any more detail on what legal form that might take, maybe what it means practically to aboriginal people or even the taxpayer?

If you can find something more, good luck.

In fact, one of the main members of the campaign has explicitly said we shouldn’t concern ourselves with the details.

Well, that’s ok then.

Bill’s Opinion

I will admit to two changes of opinion with this. Firstly, I was against it, because it looked like another lipstick on a pig solution that wouldn’t address the health and well-being of all the Sebastians living hundreds of miles from a modern hospital.

Then, after some discussion with a good friend who is close to the campaign, I thought “why not?”.

Now, I find myself wondering about Mary Kane and her son, Charles Foster. She knew she couldn’t provide for him on the farm and, once gold was discovered, she arranged for his education and well-being away from their remote community.

Perhaps we should use The Voice discussion to have a conversation about the morality of choosing not to bring Sebastian into town?


Brexit betrayed

This time 2 years ago, cometh the hour, Boris was the man with an 89 seat majority, a mandate to get Brexit done, and indeed he did.

How has that gone for Britain, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar? Scores out of 10?

Can we give negative numbers? What a pile of shite.

Full disclosure: I voted for Brexit. Why?

A good axiom is, if anyone ever tries to tell you Brexit was about immigration, they probably voted Remain.

The reasons I voted leave, most important first, were:

  • Primacy of Common Law, with its emphasis on “everything being legal unless explicitly stated as not”; the opposite to the Napoleonic Code,
  • Democracy; a return to knowing who writes your laws and the ability to fire them,
  • An ability to negotiate trade with the Commonwealth,
  • Control of our borders. Note; not closing our borders, just deciding who can cross them.

Law: Two years on, we have an Online Harms bill likely to be passed into law, the draft of which has outlived 4 Prime Ministers so far. This bill will introduce concepts such as outsourcing the policing of “Legal but harmful” content to the big tech companies.

Seriously, “legal but harmful” is in a law? So that content is now illegal then, presumably? Orwell wouldn’t have even written that.

Democracy: The democratically-elected government took away more citizens’ rights and quicker than in two world wars. And how did Her Majesty’s Opposition do during the Covid lockdowns to hold the government to account? “Harder and earlier”, seemed to be their main idea. Thanks guys.

Trade: We’ve signed some trade deals. We’ve also royally fucked up our economy in the meanwhile by wetting the bed over Covid. No, “everyone else did too” isn’t an excuse.

Immigration: 46,000 people crossed the Channel in little boats last year. Forty six thousand. That’s getting into Dunkirk flotilla territory.

You cannot in all seriousness consider the UK a sovereign nation if it can’t prevent 46,000 people landing uninvited on its beaches in a year.

It’s a sold out football stadium travelling in Zodiacs. Fuck me, Zodiac probably made as much easy money as Pfizer last year.

The only explanation is that the UK government is not trying to stop these boats. 46,000 is far beyond incompetence as the excuse.

Bill’s Opinion

Historians will look back at this period and have to do a double take when they realise which party was in power for the last 12 years.

The Conservatives used to be the party of law and order, low tax, small government, fiscal responsibility, controlled immigration, and home ownership. Say those characteristics out loud now without laughing.

They have taken the social contract and burned it on a pile of Bank of England printed Monopoly money.

In an alternate universe, Brexit could have seen company tax rates abolished, free ports established just off the coast of Europe, and virtual services sold to the globe. The UK could be Singapore in the eastern Atlantic today if the political will was there.

What a wasted opportunity. The Conservative Party should never be trusted with government again. They’ve shown themselves to be pathologically lacking in character, courage, self-confidence and integrity. What little they have left to offer is corrupt deals for crony mates.

Salt the ground.

Don’t mention the war

I have memories. They may be, as Clive James suggests, unreliable, but I can’t erase them.

One memory is of people often saying “it’s a free country” in response to either a suggestion that they’ve said something offensive or that someone was doing something not illegal but outside of the norm.

It must be two decades since I last heard that retort, TV re-runs and YouTube videos of Hancock’s Half Hour notwithstanding.

What I mean is, “it’s a free country”, was said all the time, by people in the pub, the local market, outside church, in the newsagents.

You pulled a face when they said “Paki” when referring to the cornershop owner Mr Patel, originally from Bombay, India? “It’s a free country”.

Someone raised an eyebrow at a risqué joke? “It’s a free country”.

What about the girl who has moved in with her boyfriend, or the teenage lad down the road who’s just confirmed what everyone had known since he was in Primary School; that he’s gay? “It’s a free country”.

If I were to speculate on the reason it was such a common catchphrase, I’d guess it was a reaction to our opponents in the Cold War. The things we said weren’t policed by government in the way the Russians were. it was a point of pride.

We don’t hear it so often, if at all now.

Perhaps there’s a reason for that.

Here’s a few news items to contemplate:

Woman arrested for silently praying in public.

Pregnant woman arrested for Facebook post.

Comedian can’t perform to a sold out theatre.

Film not allowed to be shown in UK cinemas.

This trend is self-sustaining. The political theory of the Spiral of Silence suggests people increasingly self-censor when they perceive their views are outside the Overton Window.

So what topics can we no longer express that perhaps we might have done in the recent past? Let’s call this test the LinkedIn filter; i.e. would I be prepared to hit the 👍 button on an article on this topic for my professional network to see? If the answer is no, it would seem we can no longer discuss this in public.

Here’s a list to get us started:

  • Asylum seekers waiting to cross the English Channel have passed through at least three safe countries already. Why did they not claim asylum in one of those?
  • Openly funding the Ukraine response to Russia is a highly risky tactic for the west and has likely delayed the inevitable diplomatic solution.
  • Some cultures are inferior to those originating in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Islam, in particular, is still desperately needing its version of the Renaissance to arrive.
  • Most of the world’s governments wet the bed over Covid and then failed to admit it when the data was clear in April 2020 and carried on self-harming for over a year.
  • Trans women, particularly the most vocal in the media and social media, are nearly always acting out a sexual fetish, autogynophobia. Their human rights do not trump those of actual women.
  • Stereotypes are often rooted in truth. There’s a reason the Lebanese in Sydney have a reputation for corruption, for example, or Nigerians in London are wildly more successful than Afro-Caribbeans.
  • The gender pay gap has multiple causes, duh patriarchy is unlikely to be a significant one. In fact, we never talk about it when I attend the local Patriarchy Chapter secret meetings.
  • The best way to equalise the gap between Australian aboriginals and the rest of the population is to treat them equally – equal laws, no subsidies to live in remote locations, removal of at risk children, etc.
  • Polyamory is yet another con trick, like third wave feminism, resulting in unhappy and regretful humans.

Bill’s Opinion

There’s loads more verboten topics to go on that list. I may pin this post on the main menu and keep updating it. Feel free to suggest a few in the comments.

Merry Christmas to all my readers!

Fear and self-loathing in Oz Vegas

Apologies for both the interval between posts and the thematic repetition today. I tried to write about something else but the idea that the west hates itself just keeps popping up everywhere.

Let’s forget the self-saucing outrage pudding that is the Whinger and Ginger royal schism; it has an element of western self-loathing but, frankly, a plague on both their houses.

Australia is more amusing however, as it prepares for its traditional festive fun of convincing itself it doesn’t deserve to exist.

One of the half dozen legacy media organisations, TV channel Ten, has publicly announced its new policy of not making reference to Australia’s national holiday, the imaginatively named Australia Day (January 26th).

Imagine RTÉ boycotting St Patrick’s Day, Canal Plus giving Bastille Day a miss or an American TV channel ignoring July 4th. Their boycott announcement would be a virtual suicide letter.

For those who previously hadn’t given enough of a damn about Australia’s national day to find out what it celebrates, here’s the cliff notes; it marks the 1788 landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove. So, not the first arrival of Europeans on the continent, nor the “discovery” of Australia by Captain Cook, but the start of the first European settlement.

Ok, the settlement was a penal colony so, regardless of how the incumbent residents felt about it, not the most auspicious of starts for a nascent nation. History doesn’t care about your feelings though, to misquote Ben Shapiro. That’s yer actual history, Australians, own it.

Those who would boycott Australia Day refer to it as “Invasion Day”. They have a fair point, of course. Things definitely went rapidly downhill for the locals when the British and Irish arrived.

At this point, we could spend a few hundred words describing the historic and ongoing injustices against the aboriginal population, including the modern trend of people fraudulently claiming an aboriginal identity for the kudos and financial rewards available to them in (particularly) eastern city metro areas.

It’s not really the point though, is it? January 26th, 1788 wasn’t the day that started; that was probably more likely to be 19th April, 1770, when James Cook made Australian landfall on a mission specifically to find new lands for Britain. That’s when the Aboriginal people’s future was set.

Bill’s Opinion

The raison d’être of the boycott is a rejection of the Australian history. The date of the national day doesn’t matter at this point; it might as well be Christmas Day or a randomly-selected date from the calendar.

The people who don’t like Australia’s history don’t like a national day that celebrates a significant date in Australia’s history. It probably wouldn’t matter to them what that date was.

Ultimately, they will get their way; the Australian national day will move from January 26th.

How do I know this? Because they are fighting against people who value a feeling of national unity, nationhood. Eventually those people will realise, like the mother of the baby presented to King Solomon, a national day that divides a nation can’t continue forever.

The only real question is, will those boycotting January 26th get behind the new day and come together to celebrate Australia the nation at that point?

I don’t think so. I don’t believe that’s how this ends. See the previous post for reasons why.

Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.

Eventually, our decline becomes difficult to wilfully ignore. On a personal level, the inability to fit into a favourite pair of trousers is a harsh and obvious indicator of change.

At a national level, articles such as this are a sign we’ve lost our confidence and have done a deal with those who wish us harm.

There is an undercurrent of racism about the negative coverage of Qatar during the World Cup, the first to be held in a Muslim nation.

Western sensitivities around banning alcohol, homosexuality and demands around worker’s rights have a ring of moral colonialism.

Does it? Sensitivities?

That second sentence smuggles the concepts of killing migrant workers through negligence and jailing gays in the conversation under the cover of our differences over alcohol. Moral colonialism indeed.

Dr Tanveer Ahmed goes on to equate dressing as a crusader with wearing Nazi uniforms.

Again, really?

Can you name another culture in the world that would invite immigrants to their country and then provide column inches for such self-loathing in their national newspaper?

Would China allow it? Nigeria? Qatar? Argentina? Singapore? I don’t think so.

Here’s another article to consider, bemoaning the decline of New Zealand, particularly in the quality of its education. The statistics comparing it to Singapore are damning. Even if the Kiwis woke up to the problem today, it’s a multi-generational effort to reverse the decline.

In the UK, we talk of a managed decline since the days of empire, a melancholy acceptance of a slow fall down the world rankings since the war.

It’s worse than that though, as the title of this article infers; Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly”, is how a Hemingway character describes his process to bankruptcy. Perhaps we are in the suddenly stage of our cultural decline.

Britain has been here before, of course. A thousand years ago, we had this pathetic notion of paying off the Vikings to leave us alone, the Danegeld.

But, as Rudyard Kipling wrote, “…once you have paid him the Danegeld, You never get rid of the Dane.

We’ve lost our cultural self-confidence and now our guilt over the past is preventing us from progressing in the future.

Those who would do us harm have noticed this and, like Dr Tanveer Ahmed, they are keen to exploit our insecurities.

Also, as Douglas Murray points out in The War on the West, many of those who would do us harm are us. We’re doing it to ourselves.

Cultural relativism doesn’t stand up to historic or logical scrutiny.

For example, murdering wives on their husband’s funeral pyre is not just an aspect of culture, it’s immoral. Fortunately, those nasty colonial British were culturally insensitive enough to ban it. It’s not clear whether Dr Tanveer Ahmed thinks this was an intervention too far.

Slavery has been the default condition in every human culture forever. The first time in history it was banned was 1833.

When did Dr Tanveer Ahmed’s culture ban slavery? Well, if he identifies with the Islamic world, not until the 20th century. Perhaps he would prefer to identify with the country of his birth, Bangladesh. If so, maybe he could visit some clothing factories there and let us know his findings.

Bill’s Opinion

My Christian faith is not particularly strong, but I’m very grateful for the benefits accrued to me by those who came before us with that strength of faith. Perhaps I am a cultural Christian.

The Victorians had a concept of “muscular Christianity” underpinning much of their global endeavours. We could cynically suggest it was convenient to have a justification of morality to explain why they imposed Common Law on the colonies, but Indian widows benefit from it today, nonetheless.

We’ve since replaced our faith with atheism and lost our confidence in the superiority of our culture along the way.

How do we reverse this cultural decline? are we too late?

Perhaps we could make stronger counter arguments to the cultural relativists. Maybe it’s time for us to seek our own reparations; the abolition of the global slave trade cost Britain dearly.

We not only had to pay compensation to the slave owners but the Royal Navy acted as the oceanic police for a century to close down the trade, both in the Atlantic and the Indian oceans.

There are people alive today in Britain who lost family members at sea in battles with slavers and the entire British economy had a brake on progress during that time, relative to those nations that were late in banning the trade.

If a politician could show their working to calculate a figure, they’d get my vote if they vowed to send some invoices to other countries. Let’s get that dialogue started, rather than taking domestic lectures from Bangladeshis on the negative impact of colonialism.

Long Covid – exclusively a left wing condition

As a public service, occasionally I visit the Guardian website to see what’s going on in the hive mind.

Today, the narrative is we should hope the Chinese authorities can sort out these irresponsible protestors otherwise the worst disease since the Black Death will finally take hold and kill billions. Billions, I tell ye.

And jeesh, what an insane take it is, filled with code words and catchphrases to signify the author is in the “in group”:

On Chinese lockdowns, “Yet, despite the cost to civil liberties, it worked in stopping Covid-19 initially”

That cost to civil liberties; no point in detailing anything more than that. No space to describe the utter horrors and crimes against humanity executed en masse just to prevent a respiratory illness 99.97% of people shrug off in three days. Just call it “cost”.

“….several safe and effective vaccines were approved, which meant that widespread protection could be delivered to western populations.”

Safe. Effective.

Even if one is prepared to deliberately look past the statistically obvious vaccine-induced cardiac issues in the demographics least at risk from the virus, you must be living under a rock if you can convince yourself they are effective. Joe Biden had four doses of the damn thing and caught Covid twice. I’d hate to experience your definition of ineffective.

However, perhaps the biggest signal for the in group is the use of the phrase Long Covid.

Nobody, literally nobody in the real world has used this expression for two years. None of us know of someone with this phantom condition, none of us believe it’s statistically significant, certainly not relative to the obvious vaccine injuries we have witnessed.

However, if you are of the mindset that the Guardian is the paper of record and that it gets things more correct than incorrect, this residual fear of the dreaded Long Covid is keeping you from going outside without a mask and prompting you to book your monthly vaccine update.

This attitude is epitomised by this Guardian article and the author’s wiki entry. It’s a world where inconvenient facts are not allowed to enter. It’s a world where the reason the west is out of lockdown is that the vaccines have prevented the spread of the virus, despite all evidence to the contrary.

It’s a world where Long Covid is a real phenomenon, impacting young and old, not just neurotic middle aged left wing women.

Bill’s Opinion

Devi Sridhar has been consistently wrong about Covid for three years. Wrong about its deadliness, wrong about the best approach to deal with it at a population level, wrong about the safety and effectiveness of the rushed vaccines, wrong about the balance of civil liberties and public health in the west and now China.

Look at her wiki entry. At every stage, her expertise failed to accurately predict the future.

Your instincts were exponentially more accurate during this time.

And yet, she is the Professor and Chair of Public Health at the University of Scotland, she’s the one who co-authors books with Chelsea Clinton, she’s the member of SAGE who advised the UK government on how to deal with the virus, she’s the one who gets to write inaccurate Guardian columns (but I repeat myself) and you’re not.