Thursday, October 26, 2006

Beatrix Potter and Freedom

The following is slightly adapted from a discussion I was having about fox hunting . The subject , which frequently crops up is a good test of Libertarianism. From the general it drifts via the semiotics of the burqa to the Alan Johnson’s proposal that all Church Schools should accept pupils from other faiths . I am against the idea of mucking up faith schools, for fox hunting (just), and firmly against burqas in schools . I should explain that the “Squire” as I call him had tried the old , “I have far to much respect for you …“ ,gambit. His point was that hunters were merely out for a jolly good ride. Now , are you listening carefully ...then I`ll begin.

The Beatrix Potter view of animals should be discarded at adulthood. This country has a peculiar attachment to anthropomorphising, which I attribute to the early industrial revolution, and the consequent separation from agri-business. I eat meat with relish, and would be prepared to kill my own if I had to. In fact, I suspect I might rather enjoy it. I can shoot the dickens out of a clay dish!

Like any sane person, if pushed, I will admit that the taxing moral conundrums of torturing animals for pleasure, are not worth much political time, and I wouldn't disturb it myself . Nonetheless there are moral difficulties that the threat of a bucolic bewhiskered squire, in deer stalker and plus fours , tapping my door with a blunder buss will not dissuade me from probing a little further.

Speaking of an old blunderbuss, congratulations to the Squire for getting this one out to the closet ." I like you enormously ...BUT...etc." ...Ooo sneaky! Have you been reading Potter's one-upmanship? Allow me to assist you in clarifying your argument for hunting, which at present is full of holes. This I do in a charitable spirit, and because I like you, if possible, even more than you like me......( The standard , not the Sicilian counter)

Yes fox torturers are probably better people than puppy burners, but this is beside the point.If , Squire , you were under sentence of death, for the sheer pleasure of some charming rustics, I imagine you, incarcerated like woebegone Toad in a cell, in no end of a funk.. Never fear, for around the corner Newmania is hurrying to announce the good news..." Thank god, sirra , we've persuaded them to enjoy an invigorating ride while the torture proceeds " How you would thank me for this stay of execution,"God bless you Newmania .", you would cry ," the sheer knowledge of the wind in their hair reconciles me entirely to the show . Taran tara , bring it on!!" In short you have forgotten how the fox feels about it ? Having done that, quite obviously, there is no problem with fox hunting; neither is there any difficulty with puppy burning.I conclude that if you are going to justify hunting, it is not sufficient to vaguely assert that hunters are jolly good chaps , true though that may be . You have to examine the human relationship with animals, the importance of custom, and the Libertarian backdrop, which in itself, as I have quite clearly shown ; will not do.

So how do we decide what is allowable and what is not , some say that if I does not harm anyone else then it must be ok. Well yes ,that is a good starting point, but the definition of harm proposed must be adequate to the connected lives we have in a modern society . To take one example; the burqa . Does it harm anyone?Yes it does
1 It tells little girls that their nascent sexuality is wrong and sinful
2 It tells little boys that woman are property
3 It offers support and succour to fascists and terrorists worldwide
4 It challenges the free society in which we live and is a quite deliberate political statement to that effect

Does it actually leap of the face of the anonymous wearer like the a clothy "alien" and inflict physical pain ? No it does not , but it will cause pain and suffering endlessly as the ripples of its effect spread outwards into the actions of others.

While I am happy for the rustics to enjoy chasing wily Monsieur Reynard . I do not want burqas in schools. This distinction is to do with custom. One is a custom of this culture, the other is an alien political attack on it.
If the Labour party, or the politically correct in general, accepted there was such a distinction, how quickly we could solve absurd mess they are in, disrupting our best C of E and Catholic schools. The real objective is to be seen to be bullying two or three Islamic schools and therby suck up to the working class they betrayed . For this tawdry end thousands of our best educational institutions must be undermined ? .The answer is simple .The church schools can stay , the Islamic ones cannot .


highburian said...

I agree with your conclusion about faith schools. The supposed principle which allows Islamic schools is in fact a misapplication of the principle of freedom. Maybe it's accidental and lazy, maybe it's deliberate and cynical - I don't know.

The argument goes that if I am allowed to wear a cross then someone else should be able to wear a black headscarf. Fine. But this cannot be extended to say that if I am allowed to run a C of E school then it should be open season for others to run any sort of Islamic school.

When Muslims make up 5% of the population (I think) it stands to reason that - notwithstanding indivisible principles of personal choice - the host culture should broadly carry 20 times the weight of the 5% minority. This cannot happen if someone is brought up in an Islamic faith school (at least not as the majority of them are now constituted). You are creating ghettoes.

By the way, it's different for Jews, because the Judaeo-Christian culture is infinitely more closely aligned.

newmania said...

Welll the idea has been dropped after seven days which shows just how badly thought out it was. It is ameasure of just how much i hate this govt. that I wanted them to try to do it . I also hope they will try to have councill workers barging into your house to phtograph your extaension for taxation . Before the election please.!!!!

Philipa said...

Oh well said that man.

View halloo

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