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Thursday, 12 August 2010

Vogue

What's the time? When I switch on the radio to the BBC's World Service it's GMT. Greenwich Mean Time. If I log onto the new York Times webpage it's Eastern Standard Time and in Moscow it's something else.

Greenwich Mean Time. It makes you proud to be British. Before GMT, time was all over the place. That and the Empire brought order to the world. Without GMT India would dally in Delhi, Australia would arrest in Adelaide and New Zealand would have been catatonic in Canterbury. Without the civilising influence of GMT time; the world would have gone to pot.
It is understandable therefore that the Daily Express the guardian of all that is right with the British should alert us to an immediate threat to GMT.

"DOES GIANT MECCA CLOCK MEAN TIME’S UP FOR OUR GMT?"

Nothing too alarmist then. Straight forward reporting by the Express which goes on to tell us that: "Operators hope it will mean that time’s up for GMT as the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims organise their day according to its time. The clock runs on Arabia Standard Time which is three hours ahead of GMT. It is being built by Saudi Binladen Group – owned by relatives of the world’s most wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden."

Well that's it. Another Islamic plot to submerge all that is great and good about our great nation.

Not only that, Arab scientists, who let us not forget, not only preserved Greek scientific and philosophical works in the Middle Ages, but also made many  unique and far reaching mathematical, chemical and astronomical discoveries, according to the Express back the argument by asserting Mecca is a “zero magnetism zone”.

Brilliant, the Express makes out both its readers and Arabs to be dunces. It's right on one count at least.

News doesn't stand still, so expect this major threat to our sense of national well being to be off the front page tomorrow.That's what happened to yesterday's headline in the august Express.
The headlines screamed "BRITAIN'S MIGRANT SQUATTER SHAMBLES".

We were told that:In Peterborough "Dozens of rough-sleeping Eastern European migrants have set up elaborate camps in nature reserves and parks around the city and some have even taken to squatting in homeowners’ garden sheds."

"Tents, fires, shacks and shelters have been set up across the city with an immigrant community that now accounts for 64 per cent of local population growth – the fastest in Britain."

"At the housing office, 95 per cent of people seen by officials do not speak English and interpreters are paid £30 an hour to be on hand to help." and ..

"Resident Ian Treasure – who had a Czech Republic immigrant squatting in his shed for six months – slammed the rising number of jobless migrants as “spongers”. IT worker Ian, 42, said: “We just don’t have the resources to deal with all of the immigrants. Many of them are alcoholics and we can’t carry the burden of Europe’s alcohol problems. We need a serious political solution.
God, it sounds worse that the Viking invasion in the 5th century. And I dread to think what the Express would have said had it been around in 1066.

Yet oh dear me another of today's headline screams "FOREIGNERS GET 77% OF NEW JOBS IN BRITAIN AS TOO MANY OF US LIVE ON BENEFITS".

The paper goes on to say that.. "Critics said the figures showed many Britons preferred to claim handouts rather than work for a living."

"Matthew Elliott, chairman of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “For too many British families, the welfare system means it isn’t worth the ­trouble to work. Losing benefits and paying taxes means that working for £5.80 an hour at the minimum wage can be worth as little as 26p.“It is hardly surprising that reduces the number of Britons willing to work and leaves employers looking to immigrants who aren’t trapped in benefit dependency.”

I'm at a complete loss to know what the Express thinks. It's bad to have immigration - because? We're all lazy bastards? The world was a much better place when Churchill was in charge and the Germans and other foreigners were across the channel and Miss Marples quietly went about solving crime.

Many people will say you can ignore the Express. It's readership ache for a lost and imagined past. They are a small group and diminishing daily.

Let's hope that's right. But we seem to be so unsure of ourselves, so fearful of the present and the future that the past is so alluring. And demagogues and tyrants use that yearning to blind and bind nations.

2 comments:

The Sagittarian said...

I dream of having the time to read the paper in any great detail...ANY paper...all the time I seem to get at the moment is while I'm stuffing it intot he rabbits hutches....

G said...

They keep blathering on about these mythical people who love being on the dole - how about creating decent jobs for these people to do?

Surely the scandal here should not be 'the dole is the Life of Riley' - it should be 'employers pay so little that folk are better off on the dole'.