The Friday forecast may have a problem. Suppose either Nick or Dave actually read our humble corner of the interwebs? (Both read Harry’s Place.) So suppose they read the Friday forecast — and change what they write? Just to spite us, because spite feels good. Well, let us hope so.
As I’ve said earlier this week (not in so many words), I think Nick Cohen is a bit of a headbanger, but as I also said (this time in those words), his heart is in the right place. Now I think Nick’s Modus Operandi goes like this: find a story (say, on the interwebs, like Harry’s Place) which passed under the radar of tehgraunaid and The Observer, and then get worked up about it. As my colleague observered of Nick’s last column, he prefers to get worked up about the public sector, as if the BBC and the Tate were the centre of power in this country. So, my bet goes for the Dudley Council story covered as Ungulates Unwelcome on Harry’s Place. Coverage has been nugatory in the press, but blog interest (which often fixates on the trivial) has been considerable.
Somewhere in between (but more blog) is the ever-paranoid FrontPageMag. Robert Spencer adds some background, but he doesn’t find anything out not in the original Express and Star report. Nor, of course, does Mark Steyn. At least neither reproduce this glorious non-sequitur:
Muslims are forbidden from eating pork in the Koran and staff were asked to remove the items.
I want Nick not to go there. For his own sake. It’s the sort of thing he can precis well, and then come to some deflating conclusion. The story is, rather obviously, bollocks. I mean, it’s in all likelihood true, as reported, just that none of the conclusions drawn follow any more than “staff were asked to remove the items” follows from “Muslims are forbidden from eating pork in the Koran.” True, it is a council — but it’s one office in the council, so it seems unlikely that this went to any kind of vote. Mark Steyn gets:
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (Tory-controlled) has now announced that, following a complaint by a Muslim employee, all work pictures and knick-knacks of novelty pigs and “pig-related items” will be banned.
Novelty pig calendars and toys have been banned by bosses at Dudley Council in case Muslim staff are offended.
Workers in the council’s benefits department have been told to remove or cover up all pig products including toys, porcelain, calendars and even a tissue box featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.
There’s a difference (emphases added for clarity), and it’s one Nick is more than likely to be deaf to. I worked for a short time in a dole office, and they’re the most miserable places on earth. Siberia, salt mines, and starvation are all better options. This story just tells you about the sort of people who work in them. There are some sensible comments on HP (out of 309, there should be at least a few), Luke says:
[I]n my experience no Muslims I know would be so petty and ridiculous. So who are these ridiculous individuals? What is their game? And why are they being catered to?
Much stupidity abounds in town halls, I think.
Dudley Council may be Tory-controlled, but the only councillor quoted, Mahbubur Rahman, is Labour. I’ve no idea why he’d say such a stupid thing, or why the union didn’t object.
There’s also been some excitement and cage-rattling over the banning of prison officers from wearing St George Cross badges as reported on CNN. Put the stories together and you start to get something about “Muslims, come here, ban pigs, object to the flag, … and their cooking smells funny.” Except the Muslim/Crusades angle was entirely in the mind of the CNN reporter (I’m sure there are Muslims who object to the Crusades, but they’re the 101st jihadi keyboarders or the Pajamahajeen, and like their warblogger equivalents, don’t leave their bedrooms often enough to get arrested) and nothing to do with the report on Wakefield Prison.
What will Nick write about? I haven’t a clue, mate.
And Uncle Aaron (I think that’s an “Uncle Joe” reference, not a nod to this humble blog’s calling him “Aaro”)? I guess bloggers. All useless bastards, except the Decent Left. I have a poor record at this game, however, so the smart money is doubtless elsewhere.