WEDNESDAY night, 9.30pm.
This is my fourth attempt at writing this week’s humble offering, and after the previous three I’ve run into the kitchen, ripped open the fridge door and glugged down mouthfuls of wine. My usual tipple of choice is red, but I required something cold like a Chenin Blanc to stop my overheating temper from exploding and ending with a perfectly good 27-inch Apple Mac computer being thrown through my office window.
I can’t speak. My left leg is involuntarily shaking – a phenomenon which may be familiar to anyone unlucky or stupid enough to get into a fist fight. It’s how your adrenaline-fuelled body can react during the moments before all hell lets loose.
A half hour ago I joined UKIP. Fifteen minutes ago I contributed to an online petition to raise funds for the legal battle of a University of Central Lancashire student thrown out because he disagreed with someone’s rabid-left mantra.
UCLAN used to run the best journalism course in the country – I even sat on their interview panel (I was the ‘bad cop’ editor) because there would be something ridiculous like 2,000 applicants for 20 places.
And now that once-lauded seat of knowledge is reduced to ending the career of a young man, because he finds halal meat potentially controversial. I guess that confirms everything we’ve recently suspected about the dying notion of ‘free speech’.
We have to fight it, folks. And now.
With the UCLAN case, I can only imagine a practised expert in hate-speech like Kirklees Council leader Shabir Pandor (yes, you didn’t misread that – I’ll elaborate shortly) is using his well plotted position of political power to pocket a university Vice Chancellorship on the side. Nothing would surprise.
I’m struggling to focus my ire on one subject today, mainly due to the gross treachery being carried out under our noses in Westminster. If there’s no Ed Lines next week it’s because either they won’t let me file copy from Wormwood Scrubs, or I’ve been taken out while storming the Palace of Westminster on Friday. Someone needs to.
But the treason in London is almost surreal in that it’s not in the here and now of the people of the Heavy Woollen and Spen Valley. Shabir Pandor is.
Most of our lives will carry on as normal whatever happens over coming days in Parliament. We’ll all hopefully wake up for a family weekend, before wiping the sleep from our eyes for the grind of another Monday to Friday. Brexit betrayed won’t affect most of our lives – but I pray it becomes the overwhelming force that obliterates our mainstream political parties.
May is a pathetic, weak and unhinged liar, Corbyn a particularly dim political glove puppet seated neatly on the hand of the Far Left. Boy but I’d love to see Jezza and the intellectually-challenged Shabir Pandor in a two-man quiz team.
The lot of them are playing self-serving games on a variety of levels, that I pray will be duly rewarded at the ballot box. Because if it doesn’t happen now, then this country will get all it deserves.
The first opportunity to strike a blow for the tattered principle of free speech will be here though, in our neighbourhood, in just a few weeks.
Voters will be able to send a distinct message to Shabir Pandor and the feebly opportunist Tory leader David Hall (with plenty of company from across the Huddersfield council chamber) at the local elections in May.
In Batley West and Dewsbury East two local men in Paul Halloran and Aleks Lukic are standing under an Independent banner. The disgraceful and ostensibly race-motivated attacks upon them led by Pandor clearly show how worried the political establishment is.
Pandor had already weaponised Mr Lukic’s perfectly reasonable attempt to examine the Kirklees position of secretly supplying non-stunned halal meat in local schools – something that would find concern shared across the British populace. It is not by any means outrageous, let alone deserving of the disgraceful form of “extreme and dangerous” rhetoric that Pandor hurled at it, comments which Tory wet David Hall pathetically echoed.
And that is why I believe Pandor’s words are implicitly racist in content.
Here we have white British political candidates raising a legitimate concern over a cultural/religious issue, for which they have been attacked under a brazen ‘race hate’ flag.
We know exactly why, but it’s worth re-stating the question again, amongst others.
If I inquired whether the local authority supplies Catholic schools with meat lunches on a Friday, and no fish option, would that make me “extreme and dangerous”? (Theological note: it’s old hat now mostly, but when I was growing up we Catholics always had fish on Fridays, as was the religious tradition).
Or more pertinently, what if I asked whether Church of England schools were served only fish and denied meat on a Friday, in order to kowtow to a minority religious community? Surely it would be worth a civilised discussion at least? But no, in order to silence debate, in order to establish the moral superiority of Islam – which is the implicit sub-text here – anyone challenging the new cultural norm is labelled “extreme and dangerous”.
If you are not explicitly of their blindly conformist mob, you are labelled and libelled. It is a disgrace.
Pandor laughingly refers to “our modern and inclusive” society. Really? Modern as in insisting on 7th century-type repression of women, as his own brother Mufti Mohammed Amin Pandor happily asserted to me? (Shabir was privately keen to ridicule his cleric brother at that time, but I no longer feel bound by confidentiality, given how hypocritical and duplicitous Pandor has proven himself to be).
There is a nasty paradox here. In citing ‘inclusivity’ and ‘cohesion’, people like Pandor expressly foment division and suppress the very freedoms that his ideological brethren would never enjoy in any of their original homelands.
‘Inclusivity’ the tool with which to crush free speech – I doubt he’ll even understand the irony – and it’s a syndrome that is infecting halls of academia and the corridors of the establishment like a virus.
I respect the wide freedoms of people of all faiths and ethnicities in this country. I do not believe “extreme and dangerous” people like Pandor share that respect.
I’LL BE as glad as the next man when we can all forget about politics for a while, but in the meantime it was interesting to see our local MPs playing it cute during Wednesday’s ‘indicative vote’ charade, when Parliament couldn’t even find a way to agree with itself. What a circus.
Both Paula Sherriff and Tracy Brabin are arch-Remainers but interestingly abstained on the two crucial votes, to revoke Article 50 (ie cancel Brexit) and to back calls for a second referendum. Whether an instruction from the party or an attempt not to infuriate constituents (a bit of both I reckon) they gave that a wide berth.
And a wide berth is what’s being given to the high seat of political debate in the district, Batley Nash, next Thursday (April 4) when local council candidates are invited to face the public.
Labour’s two candidates, Coun Habiban Zaman and Yusra Hussain are sadly otherwise engaged. Yes, of course they are...
I REALLY won’t mind the hour of lost sleep on Saturday night due to the clocks going forward.
That wonderful feeling of driving home from work in daylight is well worth it; the prospect of sitting outside the village pub of a balmy early evening with Arthur ... sigh, bring it on.
In fact come October, I’ll be dreading the clocks going back – and so in a complete about-face, can I praise the EU (yes them!) for their diktat about the continent deciding once and for all on its timezone.
No more back and forths. Of course, I’d prefer if we were making this eminently sensible decision for ourselves, and not having it handed down like naughty schoolchildren being given their homework.
Still, I expect it won’t really matter. With the dawn of British Summer Time, it will no doubt snow next week!