jonathan-strange-and-mr-norrellBy John Ruberry

It’s time to take a break from politics.

Many times while surfing on Netflix I came across a recommendation to watch the seven-part 2015 BBC One miniseries, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which is described as such: “In 1806 ambitious magician Norrell leads a revival of practical magic in England and ignites a fierce rivalry with bold young conjurer Strange.” If that sounds like a dopey show, well, that’s what I thought too. But I yielded to the luring and tuned in. I’m grateful that I did.

Magic in the alternative universe of Strange and Norrell is not smoke-and-mirrors and rabbits being pulled from hats, it’s a neglected scientific discipline that for unexplained reasons was abandoned in England in the early 16th century. But Gilbert Norrell (Eddie Marsan), a magician from York, becomes a national sensation when he brings to life the statues of  York Minster Cathedral and, in his only use of dark magic, brings back from death the future wife of a prominent member of parliament, Lady Pole (Alice Englert).

But just as in another alternative universe where humans can sell their soul to the devil, the dark side, in this case a mysterious being known as the Gentleman (Marc Warren), sabotages the transaction and establishes Norrell’s second rivalry.

Norrell offers his services to fight the French and their allies in the Napoleonic Wars, although only Jonathan Strange (Bertie Carvel) directly utilizes magic at the side of the Duke of Wellington (Ronan Vibert), who is initially skeptical of him. Included in the broad historical sweep of Strange and Norrell is the blind and mad King George III, and although not by name, the anti-industrial Luddites.

The rest of the cast is wonderful, particularly Ariyon Bakare as a mysterious butler and Vincent Franklin as the duplicitous promoter of Norrell and Strange. The special effects, with the exception of the ravens in the last two installments, are first rate.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is a welcome diversion from the usual, and it’s a particularly good series for binge-watching.

Besides Netflix, the mini-series is available on many on-demand systems and on DVD.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

wedding jack 025 Yesterday I found myself at the wedding of one of my wife’s co-workers that took place in a backyard. As I sat there I noticed two doors down a Union Jack flying in the wind.

As the neighborhood was curiously devoid of fences I walked over and asked permission to take a photo of the flag flying as if from the stern of HMS Victory. They owners graciously consented and we started talking.

They had come from the south of England 25 years ago and talked of their joy at the result of the Brexit vote. I asked them about age gap between those who voted to stay and those who voted to go, and they talked of their memories of joining the common market and the time before it and quoted Churchill about the lessons of history.

That was the key factor, like the elderly WW 2 vet I wrote about and unlike the panicked youths they had no fear of life without the EU because they had lived it and had been just fine.

My only regret was that they didn’t wish to be interviewed on camera but I thanked them and returned to the wedding wondering if the angry youth signing petitions had thought about this, if they hadn’t they would be well advised to read this tweet from The House of Savoy:

If only the youth who are terrified of other opinions and of chalk had the courage and confidence of their elders. If they can learn such courage then they would have nothing to fear, after all they are not much older than the were the Few who saved the country just a few generations ago.

via Tim Blair:

UPDATE III. Reader Steve emails:
I phoned my Uncle Johnny (WWII Parachute Regiment) last night to wish him a happy 90th birthday. He was putting on his overcoat and heading into the rain to his polling station in West Yorkshire. I asked which way he was planning to vote.

“When I was 20 I dropped into France to stop the Germans taking over my country,” he replied, “so I thought I’d better have another go at stopping them now.”

It’s also worth noting that unlike the youth of England who voted to stay folks like Uncle Johnny here remember an England that did just fine without an EU to give them orders and thus weren’t afraid of it.

Thug:  You’re Mr. Sherlock Holmes ain’t ya

Sherlock Holmes:  Yes.

Thug:  I wouldn’t come down here if I was you.  This is Limehouse and we don’t fancy you’re sort of bloke in these parts.

Dr. Watson:  the fellow’s absolutely right shouldn’t we…

Sherlock Holmes:  Quiet Watson,This is still a free country a man may walk where he pleases.

Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror 1942

It’s a good thing that The Few Sacrificed so much to prevent the Nazi’s from conquering England and installing a government that would punish men for saying what they think.  Perhaps they shouldn’t have bothered.

Police have arrested a 40-year old man in Scotland over a number of allegedly “offensive” Facebook posts about refugees.

Police in Scotland said that a man had been held under the Communications Act, which bans “grossly offensive” and “menacing” posts on online platforms.

Ahhh those quaint old days when England believed in personal freedoms.  Pam Geller is right, the nation that gave us Magna Carta is dead.  Perhaps we should strike the “Great” from Great Britain

That this happened in Scotland is even more interesting,  Can you picture a Scotsman being arrested for speaking his mind?  I’m sure Edward Longshanks would have approved.  No wonder so many Scots came to America.

This is coming to America, have no doubt about it and don’t doubt for a second that there are people on the Supreme Court right now who would go along with it.

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When I wrote this post last night I had a 3rd shift job that while not fancy paid the mortgage.

By the time it went up I was laid off and the plan to get out of debt in 2 years in out the window.

Given where the economy is rather than where the MSM pretends it is to those who have kicked in (particularly subscribers), thanks much.

If however you have not & are both able and inclined I’d really appreciate it if you’d help us either close January strong or start February stronger by hitting DaTipJar.




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We are still getting this line from the White House:

“In the Syrian seeking refuge today, we should see the Jewish refugee of World War II,” Mr. Obama said. Some Jewish refugee children were turned away from the United States during the period and were later killed by the Nazis.

Mr. Obama is struggling to fashion a message that reassures Americans that he is serious about battling the threat of the Islamic State while also avoiding xenophobia and alarmism. Polls suggest that many Americans believe he is not taking the threat from the Islamic State seriously enough, particularly after the deadly shooting in San Bernardino. Support among Republicans for banning Muslims is high…

The ceremony came as 25 Republican governors have vowed to block the entry of Syrian refugees into their states, including some where large numbers of Syrians have settled in recent years. Mr. Obama has condemned such comments as contradicting American values. The governors made their vow after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last month, and fears of terrorism have risen in the United States after the shooting this month in San Bernardino, Calif. But Mr. Obama said that such fears are unfounded

That’s the NYT drawing this comment from Robert Spencer:

How does he know that? Last February, the Islamic State boasted it would soon flood Europe with as many as 500,000 refugees. And the Lebanese Education Minister recently said that there were 20,000 jihadis among the refugees in camps in his country. Meanwhile, 80% of migrants who have recently come to Europe claiming to be fleeing the war in Syria aren’t really from Syria at all.

Meanwhile in England the spigot remains open:

Announcing that his target has been met, Cameron said: “Britain is doing its moral duty in terms of funding the refugees and the refugee camps. I made a promise that we would resettle a 1,000 Syrians by Christmas and I can confirm today that we have met our commitment. The charter flights that arrived yesterday at Stansted and Belfast mean that over a thousand have been settled, and another flight is coming today.

“The government has provided funding so that all these refugees get housing, healthcare, education, and I want to thank all the local authorities and all those who have worked so hard. I said that Britain would do its duty and with these 1,000 we’ve made a very good start.”

However Cameron isn’t saying much about this report:

DAVID Cameron was “warned radical Islamic groups including ISIS controlled refugee camps” from where Britain will fly in Syrian asylum seekers – BEFORE the Government began bringing in the first wave of 20,000, a shock new report claims.

The report talks about what’s going on in these camps and it’s not pretty

The AINA reported that in UN camps in Jordan, Islamist groups “have brought in similar violent Islamist practices” to those that the refugees had faced before they fled Syria.

These include coercion to join terror such as ISIS, and the buying and selling of women as sex slaves.

The AINA report quoted the director of a Christian relief agency working in Jordan as saying: “The Muslim gangs come as refugees, but they have their agendas.

“They’re like a mafia. People are even killed inside the camps, and the refugees are afraid to say if they saw somebody get killed. If you ask them, they’ll say, ‘I don’t know, I was asleep’.

While world leaders like Cameron & Obama continue to ignore this, in Sweden the People have decided to take matters in their own hands:

To get a gun permit in Sweden, you need to be at least 18 years old; law-abiding; well-behaved, and have a hunting license or be a member of an approved shooting club. In 2014, 11,000 people got a hunting license: 10% more than the year before. One out of five was a woman.

“There is also a high demand for alarm systems right now,” says a salesman at one of the security companies in an interview with Gatestone.

“It is largely due to the turbulence we are seeing around the country at the moment.” People have lost confidence in the State, he added. “The police will not come anymore. Truck drivers say that when they see a thief emptying the fuel tank of their trucks, they run out with a baseball bat. It is no use calling the police, but if you hit the thief, you can at least prevent him from stealing more diesel. Many homeowners say the same thing: they sleep with a baseball bat under the bed. But this is risky: the police can then say you have been prepared to use force, and that might backfire on you.”

When the Authorities won’t do the job the people end up doing it themselves

This is a very interesting read, because the whole of Europe is heading the same way as Sweden. Sweden is, so to speak, the future of Europe. And in this future, those who can afford it pay security companies – the rest gest license for firearms and forms vigilante groups.

and it’s not just Sweden, in Germany:

According to a report by Focus, following a 600% surge in sales over the past two months, Germany has run out of pepper spray, and the irritating substance can now only be purchased after weeks of waiting. Focus says that according to pepper spray manufacturers, “frightened Germans” have bought out all the available inventory. The alleged reason, according to the German publication: “die Flüchtlingskrise”, or the refugee crisis.

Focus goes on to say that in private, Germans are equipping themselves “massively.”

and Denmark:

The Danish police claim that they are “more pressed than ever,” mainly because of the terror threat and the migrant crisis. The rule of law is already undermined, as the police – as a result of being overburdened with handling Muslims – will no longer investigate thefts of less than 15,000 euros. Even if you call the police while the burglars are still to be seen inside your neighbour’s house, they will not come.

I wonder if Bernie Sanders will be holding this up as an example for us all?

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

Lt. Col John McCrae In Flanders Fields Stanza 1 1915

The latest in our series of posts that will not surprise any person who has been paying attention.

Today’s installment comes from Pam Geller concerning Islamists in England, but before we get to the piece some necessary background

Since John McCrae wrote his poem In Flanders Fields from the front lines of World War I the red remembrance day poppy has been a symbol throughout first the British Empire and then the British Commonwealth of nations to remember those who have died in war.  It has been a sacred symbol in those nations for almost a century.

In that time this has never happened.

An Army cadet suffered burns in an unprovoked attack after selling poppies for Remembrance Day.

The 15-year-old boy was waiting at a bus stop in his camouflage uniform when a man holding an aerosol can and cigarette lighter approached him.

He then sprayed the terrified boy with blazing fumes before walking off without saying a word.

Police report this was done in broad daylight:

‘This happened at a very busy time in the city centre, near a main bus route, and there could be lots of people who saw this man staggering around.’

What kind of person does something like this?

The attacker, who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, was described as black or Asian, 5ft 8in tall and wearing a dark hooded top.

While Asia is a pretty big place, Pam reminds us that while in the USA “Asian” generally refers to those from China or Japan in England “Asian” is “media sharia-speak for Muslims” .

Furthermore in the 100 years that such sales of poppies have taken place, an age when heavy drinking was common, somehow no other drunk has torched a person selling Remembrance Day poppies.

Who would have thought those sympathetic to Islamists trying to kill soldiers might target the most visible symbol of western forces?

HT Live at five

Gandhi: Mr. Kinnoch, I beg you to accept that there is no people on Earth who would not prefer their own bad government to the good government of an alien power.

Gandhi 1982

12th Doctor: It’s good I’m Scottish. I’m Scottish. I am Scottish. I can complain about things, I can really complain about things.

Doctor Who Deep Breath 2014

I’ve written nothing about Scottish independence to this point and other than security I don’t really care one way or the other.   As far as I’m concerned as long as the Scots don’t ally themselves with our enemies or suddenly decide to invade England or send the Black Watch to fight on the side of ISIS  it doesn’t matter to me one jot if the Cross of St. Andrew or the Union Jack flies over Edinburgh Castle.   The Scots are a first world country, highly educated, schooled in democracy and if they want to govern themselves I see no reason why they shouldn’t have a go at it

There is however one suggestion that I would make to our Scottish friends.  I’d ask for a clause in any separation deal that calls for a 2nd referendum in 40 years on reunification with England.

Because right now the left and the greens are likely going to be running your new country for a while and given their proclivities, your primary assets of Oil & Whiskey  are most certainly going to be used to create a socialist welfare state which will become a magnet for those seeking relief.  It will be the ultimate test of the wisdom of the Socialist / Green agenda for the entire world to see.

Meanwhile on the other side of Hadrian’s wall we will see the exact opposite.  Without their kilted collection of votes England will most certainly move farther to the right on all kinds of issues.  With luck you might even see some of the excesses of  the welfare state rolled back.

I think it would be a grand experiment on both sides of the border and the results will say plenty.

Now I suspect the Scots, being a sensible if quarrelsome people will only need a few election cycles to figure out that however nice socialism is when paid for in English pounds, if it’s paid for in Scottish pounds I’ll wager it will be a different story and I doubt the far left would be able to repress them a/la Venezuela if they choose to say enough!

It it turns out however I’m wrong, if the Scots don’t figure it out or are too stubborn to let it go they might want to have that 2nd referendum available so they can decide to rejoined the British fold as one United Kingdom.

The real question at that time is this:  Would an England freed of a large block of the Socialist labor vote choose to have them back?

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If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

The Report on the exploitation of over 1400 girls in Rotherham over 17 years is a damning indictment on the authorities but in all its pages there are no words more damning than these:

By 2005, it is hard to believe that any senior officers or members from the Leader and the Chief Executive downwards, were not aware of the issue.

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham 1997 – 2013  Alexis Jay OBE  Page 107

And these words are all the more damning when you consider this news story in the Sunday Times the paper of record in England from 2007.

Schoolgirls in Lancashire and Yorkshire are falling prey to sinister gangs of pimps. Two men have been sent to jail, but the girls’ mothers, not the police, are at the forefront of the crackdown. Why are the authorities so reluctant to get involved?

This interview with one of the victims from 2010

Thirteen-year-old Emma was a happy child from a loving family when a gang of boys she met at a shopping centre introduced her to a charismatic older man. He plied her with gifts and drinks… then raped her and forced her into prostitution. Now aged 20 and in hiding from the gang, Emma talks candidly about how she was groomed – and how she is trying to help the growing number of others being picked out for a similar fate

this tweet from Tommy Robinson

And this yesterday from Robert Stacy McCain:
 

Let any American imagine, therefore, what the reaction would have been if something like this were happening in Huntsville, Alabama. Would we expect local law enforcement and child-welfare agencies to do nothing? If there were a problem so specific and so localized, involving the sexual exploitation of young girls, wouldn’t we expect a joint federal/state/local task force to target the perpetrators? The FBI would be swarming all over these vicious creeps.

EVERYBODY KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN ROTHERHAM!

That’s the astonishing thing, as you read Professor Alexis Jay’s investigative report: Case after case came to the attention of authorities, and yet the systematic exploitation of girls continued. The families of victims were terrorized, and the failure of police to act convinced many people in Rotherham that the Pakistani pimps had political protection through local Labour Party officials.

This IS the culture war, this is why it’s being fought and if you are unwilling and unable see how the culture of liberalism in general and the Labour party in particular have to do with this result I have two questions for you, one from Stacy:

Where were the feminists? Here you have girls as young as 11 being raped and pimped out, and you might think that there would be daily outpourings of feminist rage about it, yet this problem has been allowed to fester for years without decisive official action? Something is clearly wrong in British culture, if political correctness could keep feminists quiet about this savagery.

Perhaps they were too busy fighting over the Dyke March in London:

and one question from me:

Does anyone think for one moment if the scandal involved Catholic Priest rather than the Islamic community that the media and the police wouldn’t’ have been all over it?

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Consider the lineup you get In addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit)  on Sunday Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

It looks like the Rotherham scandal where 1400+ girls were sexually abused in the town of Rotherham UK over the course of a decade that we mentioned yesterday has broken through blogs and media everywhere causing labor and their allies on the left to insist this has absolutely nothing to do with Islam.

While the press and the pols are ducking and covering the people are rather upset, this tweet from a British Comic sums it up.

There are plenty of pieces and links on the subject including the base report but there is a question that needs to be asked that I’ve set to see addressed. According to the Independent inquiry a conservative estimate of the number of victims is 1400 girls over the course of 17 years where “by far the majority of perpetrators ” were from the Pakistani community which consists of less than 8% of the local population.

While the counselors either through fear, denial or by direct orders from their superiors, avoided approaching members of the community concerning these events, given the number years this went on, the incredible number of victims and the knowledge of the involvement of men in the Pakistani community by the counselors it would seem highly unlikely that a significant number of people of said community, while not directly involved in these crimes were unaware of what was going on.

So my questions are these:

How many of the people in the Pakistani community of Rotherham knew what was going on and did or said nothing and why?

Is there any evidence that any members of the Pakistani community who knew these crimes where going on took steps to cover them up and did any such attempts involve threats or intimidation?

Unless these questions are asked and the Pakistani/Islamic community makes it a point to answer these questions (even if the press chooses to avoid asking them) this is going to permanently mark the Pakistani/Islamic community in the eyes of Englishmen.

It’s your call.

Update: Insty tweets:

I suspect it’s less of a question of “suddenly springing up everywhere” as much as the dam being broken and people being willing to say it aloud without fear.

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Consider the lineup you get In addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit)  on Sunday Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

Yesterday Glenn Reynolds linked to a story at the Daily Mail that should make you sick.

How fear of being seen as racist stopped social workers saving up to 1,400 children from sexual exploitation at the hands of Asian men in just ONE TOWN

The Details as as bad as the headline suggests

In August 2013, four women launched legal action against Rotherham council over ‘systematic failures’ to protect them from ‘sexual abuse by predatory men when they were children’ according to their lawyers.
One girl, known only as ‘Jessica’ claims she was abused daily as a 14-year-old by a 24-year-old man after social services failed to accept that she was a victim grooming.
On one ocassion married father-of-two Arshid Hussain was even caught with the half naked schoolgirl under his bed but documents revealed that police arrested her – and let him go.
Rotherham, South Yorkshire, has become known as Britain’s under-age sex capital, after a string of high profile cased where authorities have let down vulnerable children.

Before I go any farther when you see the word “Asian” in an English Newspaper it doesn’t mean Oriental, it generally means Pakistani Muslim or Arabic (Remember Asia is a pretty big place)

Even worse was the reaction when some fathers tried to save their children from this horror:

In two cases, fathers had tracked down their daughters and tried to remove them from houses where they were being abused – only to be arrested themselves when police were called to the scene

It’s as I said a horrific story and Stacy McCain notes that it’s not the first of its nature in terms of the act or the perps

A SCHOOLGIRL, who was in the care of the city council when she fell victim to a gang of Derby perverts, had been groomed and sexually abused by another man only months earlier, the Telegraph can reveal.
The youngster was placed in a children’s home by Derby City Council for her own protection after police arrested Ansar Hussain, who targeted her when she was just 13.
But despite being under the supervision of social workers, she fell into the clutches of evil Abid Mohammed Saddique and Mohammed Romaan Liaqat – the ringleaders of a gang who raped and abused 27 girls.

I wonder if the got away with it so long because police were worried about looking racist there too?

What do you call a police force that is unwilling to enforce the laws on particular group of men based on their race even if it endangers the children of their community and why does that question seem particularly relevant in our current news cycle?

Final thought in the sub headline of the base story at the Daily Mail was a throw away line that speaks volumes

Victims terrorised with guns and doused in petrol and threatened with fire

Threatened with Guns? I thought England had some of the toughest guns laws in the world and had largely disarmed their citizens?  Or was the disarming of the populace race based too?

Perhaps that’s why the police didn’t want to arrest these guys, maybe they were afraid of getting shot.

Update: Donald Douglas excoriates the Telegraph for their coverage

Look, the Telegraph UK won’t even call these guys Muslims, even though they’re from Pakistan and all have Arabic-Islamist names.

See, “Rotherham sex abuse scandal: 1,400 children exploited by Asian gangs while authorities turned a blind eye.” Also “Video: Police ‘sorry’ for failure in Rotherham child sex abuse scandal.”

and includes a tweet from Iowahawk on the common denominator that dare not be spoken

Meanwhile Stacy McCain taking a different tack and talks of the welfare culture

Everything you might say about “inner city” culture in America can be applied to the lower-class whites in Great Britain who have been morally corrupted by their cradle-to-grave welfare system. Unwed motherhood, educational failure, drug addiction, violent thuggery — white people are entirely capable of these things, once they succumb to the self-pitying slothful dependency of welfare culture.

Our provincialism prevents Americans from recognizing what this means in terms of our own welfare policies, simply because no American can criticize welfare without being suspected of racism. Political correctness creates this helpless confusion, a confusion that is every bit as dangerous as the attitudes which prevented authorities in Rotherham from doing something about the dreadful exploitation of lower-class white girls — mere girls, some of them as young as 11 or 12 — by rape gangs of young Muslim men. Of course, American feminists who hector us about “rape culture” on college campuses won’t say a word about this story.

I surprised none of them noticed the gun angle.

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