If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Monday, 1 August 2011

Why I won't be voting Conservative any time soon

Today, I have received an email from Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International development. This is what it says:

Dear Richard,

Today, hundreds of thousands of British Muslims will begin the holy month of Ramadan - a time of fasting, devotion, charity, and care. From sunset to sunrise, they will refrain from eating and drinking, and focus on reflection, self-discipline and prayer.

But for millions of Muslims in the Horn of Africa, this month of fasting will be more than a matter of religious devotion ...
There follows a few paragraphs explaining that my government is borrowing over £90m that we do not have in order to give aid to the unfortunate people in the Horn of Africa, and asking that we give more. It ends:
The British public have already been incredibly supportive but please, as we enter Ramadan, reach into your pockets and give what you can.

Thank you and with all good wishes for Ramadan.

Andrew Mitchell

I'm all for helping the less fortunate and even, in extreme cases, putting ourselves in debt to do so. But this kind of patronising shite is what has convinced me (along with a large number of policy U-turns and broken promises) that Cameron's lot are just multi-culti Labour in a new suit.

And, to be polite, they can fuck off.

Have a great Ramadan! Jesus.


  1. You may find this interesting (as you posted regarding the "gay-free" zone previously and we took part in an interesting debate):


    With regard to Andrew Mitchell's letter, I find it interesting that he does not invoke the Christian principle of helping one's neighbour. Since when did we invoke Muslim principles in aid of government policy? (In my opinion, all religions should be omitted as British governments should be committed to their policies on the basis that it's the right thing to do, regardless of faith).

  2. Windsock, thanks for the link. It's a shame that the comments to that article descended so quickly into name-calling, as there are (as we discussed last time) several important freedom issues here. The perpetrators' responses were that they were 'only' following their religion which, if it stopped there, is not a problem. It's when 'your' religion and 'my' right to live a life as I choose come into conflict that we have a problem. No surprise that Anjem Choudhry is behind it all.

    It was not the international aid issue that I was concerned about (that's a whole separate debate), but the invocation of Muslim values in a mass email to Tory 'supporters'. What the hell were they thinking of? If they had written that we ought to give because Jesus would have wanted us to, there would have been an outcry. To me, it is just further proof that the current government are as willing to appease certain minorities (but not all minorities) in order to appear tolerant and diverse as the last lot were, and are therefore no improvement.

    Incidentally (and as I am sure you know), there is no need to make any appeal to religion in order to justify altruism. At root, it is a species-survival mechanism and nothing whatever to do with whatever sky-fairy you prefer to kneel before. You do something because your guts tell you it is the right thing to do as a human being and not because a man in a frock tells you to.

    Good to see you back.

  3. I had the same reaction to that letter and replied to that idiot. Unlike you however, I also pointed out that being generous with other's people money (which that idiot Mitchell is doing) is not being altruistic, it is diverting money that we pay under duress for purposes that are not really business of government.

    Don't forget that idiot (can't think of another word!) wants us to be the super power of aid when we can't even pay our own way as a country.

    I had quite a hard time believing those people are so disconnected that they feel they can send round this kind of garbage.

  4. I tend to agree about the sending of aid where we haven't the money in the first place, and I especially agree about the money being other people's and therefore 'free' to be distributed at will. However, the situation in the Horn of Africa is dire, and I didn't want to get into an argument about the rights and wrongs of foreign aid when what was sending my WTF meter into the red zone was simply the bizarre appeal to our shared Muslimness in the cause of charity. I think the Tories have truly lost it.

    The aid argument - and there are many good points to be made on both sides - can wait. Meanwhile, have a happy Ramadan.

  5. The thing is about the aid is that we've been sending some for decades, and look where we are now. No better, and probably worse than before, but no, those pillocks carry on doing the same thing. They are as responsible as anyone for the state Somalia and co are in, and for keeping it that way.

    Everybody can send aid individually through whatever means, I certainly do not think that it is any remit of a government. Just recently, a post on EuReferendum showed that we send as much in aid to India as they spent on a new aircaft carrier, whilst the UK cannot even afford to run one!

    I understand your point however, and rest assured that the ramadan mention got my back up as much as the "I'm so generous with your money, ain't I wonderful" part.

  6. I tend to think that aid is valuable and necessary in the event of a true humanitarian crisis: it just feels right to stretch out a hand and help, regardless of the rights and wrongs of the situation. Where I take issue is when the crisis is over - we never seem to sit down and plan how the situation is going to be resolved for good (solutions which may involve restricting population growth, mass movements of people out of drought-prone areas, huge infrastructure projects and so on). All we do is pat ourselves on the back for being good people, and then wait until next time. It helps no-one in the long run, least of all the 'victims'. And it has not escaped us that it is not sensible to fund India's space programme while we are currently sacking soldiers and shelving essential defence spending.

    The idea of politicians getting moral Brownie points for sending other people's money overseas is a loathesome one, but I can't honestly see another way to help out when it really is necessary. The idea of letting 'em all die and Nature can sort it out is a little too brutal for me, although I can agree that in the long term that's going to have to happen.

    Perhaps if taxation were a more reasonable proportion of income (i.e. much much lower) it might be easier to accept that our elected leaders can do this from time to time. As you can see, I am still on the fence here. I can see both sides only too well.


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