Trying to speak sense, to rage.

Posted: May 25, 2017 in Life, Political musings, Popular Culture et al
Tags: , , , , , , , ,



This blog is a re-purposing of an exchange I just had with a dear friend on Facebook. I know this friend to be a sincere man, who thinks deeply. His identity is irrelevant. The discussion isn’t.


But what you don’t seem to appreciate, [name], is that all your bile (or rather the bile in the websites and news services you quote) is aimed at Muslims. I would ask you to consider the following:

>We’re pissed off about being branded a racist when we speak out for what we believe in

No, people are branded racists when they categorise an entire people as being one thing – less intelligent, more violent, more hateful, etc – when clearly that cannot be applied to all the people in that group. Calling out “all Muslims” – or “all Anyone” of course – IS racist, because no one group is homogenous.

>we’re pissed off that our kids are being taught crap at school

Well, you’d have to give me an example. The schools I deal with, judging the Ainger Awards, for example, seem to be turning out very aware, balanced and thoughtful kids, chock full of stuff I never knew. And my daughter, who has had to work very hard, has progressed to doing a PhD in neuroscience from a not-especially-academic Christian school, so I am pretty impressed with that.

Maybe your experience is different. I’m all ears.

>we’re pissed off that our kids are being taught that they can go to whatever toilet they like

Unisex toilets are hardly the barbarians at the gate, and if they make life easier for transgender teenagers I have no problem with them. I find kids today much more respectful of each other’s space than we were. I suspect it’s just a change, and change can be scary. I haven’t heard a single case of it causing a problem, here or anywhere – but I have heard plenty of middle aged people going volcanic about it.

>communities are dropping Christmas celebrations

Certainly not in Melbourne. Carols by Candlelight was great this year. Are you sure this is happening, or have you heard of one or two nutjobs going on about it, and beat it up into a “thing”?

PS Muslims think Christ was a holy man, too. Our neighbours gave us a lovely card and a generous gift this year.

>we’re pissed off that Muslim only housing estates are being built in Australia

Why? If people want to live together, let them. We have Chinese retirement homes in Doncaster – the fabric of society seems remarkably unchallenged. We have had Jewish-only schools, homes and – frankly – suburbs for decades. No one cares less. Are you just afraid of something of which you have no real experience?

>we’re pissed off because Anzac Day marches have to be cancelled because RSL clubs can’t afford the extra security due to threat of terror attacks

Here we can agree totally. But you also need to remember that we have had as many terror incidents from bikie gangs and the far right Nazis in Australia as we have had from Muslims. Beating up fear about a virtually unheard of event – a terrorist attack in Australia – only serves to make people anxious. Sure, anything can happen, but the fact is we are a very long way from everywhere, and 99.99999% recurring of our population are law abiding and peaceful. Certainly as regards politics and religion. I know a few bookies who should be inside …

>we’re pissed off because every time we become part of a large crowd we’re looking over our shoulder

Yes, yes, yes – but I have to be frank with you, this has been going on pretty much since the beginning of society. Sadly, there is always someone ready to throw a bomb or lash out with a gun or a sword, and right now most of them are from extremist minority sects of Islam. But it wasn’t long ago, for example, that the world was just as transfixed by the activities of the Baader-Meinhoff and the Red Brigades (some of whose attacks were CIA-led false flag attacks, by the way), the Fenians chucked grenades and bombs around willy nilly for about 150 years in the UK, anarchists started World War 1, etc etc.

“War will continue until men refuse to fight.” Whilst what is happening know is horrible, and deplorable and indefensible, it isn’t actually all that different to centuries of conflict. If you want it to stop, find peaceful solutions, rather than pretending there is some new great conspiracy threatening your tea and toast.

I will say this – the main problem with Islamic extremism at the moment is the conflict between Shia and Sunni, which has been going on for hundreds of years, and the only reason we even know about it is because we have interpolated ourselves into their countries in a most aggressive and colonial way, instead of leaving the Arabs and the Persians to sort it out themselves. We made ourselves sitting ducks by insanities like invading Iraq when we had no clear reason why – except to secure oil supplies, as Alexander Downer admitted – absolutely predictably de-stabilising the entire region – and NOT intervening when the majority of the Syrian population asked us to, to get rid of the brutal Assad regime, because we were so burned by our own idiocy in Iraq.

In Iraq alone, over 500,000 civilians have died, 100% because of the instability caused by OUR actions, if not necessarily by our direct actions.

We let our politicians do that.

22 died in Manchester. Which breaks my heart. And I condemn it utterly. But think about it. Think about the half a million in Iraq alone. Think about the four million displaced from Syria. Can you understand why some people, not me, at all, but some people, don’t understand why we feel so threatened, compared to them?

  1. onalongsabbatical says:

    I think you speak brave, articulate, sense, and I thank you.


  2. underwriiter505 says:

    Oh, my, yes. Unfortunately, the operative word here is “trying.” Your friend, you say, is sincere and thinks deeply. Except that when he is in a state of rage, he doesn’t think deeply. No one ever thought deeply from his or her amygdala, where rage is experienced. Hopefully, when he gets out of the amygdala and back into the cerebral cortex, he will be able to grasp your points. Here in the states, alas, far too many people seem to be staying in their amygdalas All. The. Time. It drives one to despair.


    • Stephen Yolland says:

      I know of no other cure than speaking one’s truth quietly. People are quite rightly horrified at the events in Manchester and elsewhere, but the rage is inchoate, against the wrong targets. It was ever thus. The only treatment, as always, is patience and truth.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul says:

    Unfortunately it’s people like you who are partly the cause of what’s happening in the UK with your liberal attitudes. We let refugees in and this is how they repay us.

    Next time you venture onto our little island I suggest get out of London and you visit Luton, Oldham, Bradford, Rochdale, Birmingham etc and see what’s happening in the UK.

    Steve you are an intelligent guy and already know what’s happening over here but choose to turn a blind eye to it in the pursuit of your dream where everyone lives in harmony and the fields are full of unicorns.

    My friend I can tell you now… ain’t going to happen.


    • Stephen Yolland says:

      What percentage of refugees would you say have attacked the UK, Paul?

      And last time I visited the UK I got WELL out of London.

      It is you who are blinded by the hate sites you frequent. You like to think you’re being realistic, but you’re not. You’re actually making things worse.


    • onalongsabbatical says:

      Paul, there’s an immensely poignant story and set of images of an elderly Jewish woman praying with a Muslim man in Manchester. I suggest you go and look at it, and think, long and hard, about whether what YOU are doing is increasing the love and peace and understanding in the world, or whether it’s ADDING to the hatred. Because that’s really all that matters.


      • Paul says:

        I’m sorry but you are so wrong and as many have said since the shocking atrocity in Manchester, a page has been turned and something has to be done.

        I take no notice of newspapers or many TV stations who play the PC card and publish photos like the one you’ve mentioned and are so biased it’s beyond belief. Only ITV News was watchable yesterday which was unbelievable.

        I don’t see much love, peace and understanding in the world and you’re leader Tim Farron’s claim to want to allow another 50,000 refugees won’t go down too well either.

        Call it hatred or whatever you want but I’m old enough to make up my own mind based on what I’ve seen and what I know rather than what others would like me to think.

        It’s ironic that as I finish writing this post Obama’s face pops up on the TV spouting his usual tripe.


        • Stephen Yolland says:

          I find your unfocused and un-compassionate anger very sad. I note you completely ignored my question as to what percentage of refugees have attacked the U.K. Until you demonstrate even the slightest moral honesty in these discussions I will not be approving any more of your comments.

          You have seen nothing. You know nothing. You are blindly echoing what some very nasty people want you to think. You are essentially a puppet for a lot of people who don’t give a shit about the dead in Manchester or anywhere else.

          This blog does not exist for you to piss all over with your vitriol. Either engage in intelligent debate or get banned. I frankly don’t care either way.


        • Stephen Yolland says:

          As you have repeatedly been told, Paul, no further comments from you will be accepted on this blog until you stop hiding from the consequences of your words and answer a simple question – what percentage of refugees accepted into Britain have engaged in terrorist activity?


          • Paul says:

            I’ve no idea and I’m guessing it’s very small and I’m not going to play silly games with you when I know full well that you’ve probably got the answer.

            What I do know is that 3,000 on a watchlist is enough for me to be a very angry man.


            • Stephen Yolland says:

              So if it’s so tiny, and the terrorist attacks all come from people born in the U.K., what motivates you to take out your anger on refugees – the weakest and least powerful people in the world, who are knocking on your door for protection from the very people who are attacking you? Do you start to get a sense of how ridiculous and poorly targeted your anger is, as you are led by the nose by rabble-rousing websites and organisations?


            • Stephen Yolland says:

              There are 65 million people in the U.K. By all means be angry – with good reason – at 3,000 people on a watch list. But get it in perspective.


              • Paul says:

                I take it news has yet to reach you of the asian ex met commisioner who was in charge of security at the olympics. He has stated in the Telegraph that they cannot keep an eye on all these extremists and they should be interned. Maybe he has a stronger sense of reality than yourself Yolly.


                • Stephen Yolland says:

                  Interning extremists is not the same as demonising refugees en masse, which you and others take great delight in doing. Or an entire religion.

                  Internment without trial is not compatible with our beliefs and our society. How easily you are willing to wish away who we are, in “defence” of who we are. The sort of typical knee-jerk reaction so beloved of some. It worked so well in Ireland, didn’t it?

                  I get you feel threatened. I don’t get your solutions.


    • Stephen Yolland says:

      Paul, we are still waiting to hear what percentage of refugees accepted by Britain have been involved in terror attacks. No further comments from you will be accepted until you demonstrate the intellectual honesty to answer that simple and reasonable question.


    • Stephen Yolland says:

      Here’s another of those wicked refugees you refuse to discuss other than to issue vague insults towards them Paul … serves you right for letting people move to London from Devon, I guess. Keep em all in Devon. Build a wall.


  4. Pat says:

    Thanks for this Yolly, I agree with every word that you and the others (pace poor Paul of course) have said.

    The racists and fascists seem to speak only from (as Underwriiter505 has put it) from their amygdalas – their frontal lobes and cerebral cortex just never get a look in – whilst they remain like that, sweet reason will never ever get a look in.


  5. Peter Whewell says:

    Yolly, Thanks for the final paragraph. I have been trying to muster the courage to express this too. Perspective. Because it happened in Manchester the media and the west are horrified, but there are far more children killed by the west around the world each day. Where is the coverage of these poor people? I too condemn what has happened but let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture and let’s not allow these things to divide us.


  6. You remind me of Neville Chamberlain, Yolly.


    • Stephen Yolland says:

      Chamberlain was an honourable man who sought to prevent another war. He was wrong, it was going to happen anyway. I do not think the West faces an existential threat from Islamic terrorism in the way it did from the Nazis. If you do, I politely suggest you are mistaken.

      Liked by 1 person

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