May 26, 2003

Today I was working on

Today I was working on what I thought would be part of my blog entry, but it has grown to become my upcoming Meandering. I’ll try to send that out and post it tomorrow, so in the meantime, here’s the rest of the news…

I hate to say I told you so…

One of the reasons I was initially opposed to the war in Iraq was the danger a regime change posed to Christians. Seems like my fears are already being borne out.

Under Saddam, it was okay to sell alcoholic beverages. Sure, your average radical Shi’ite didn’t approve, but he didn’t want to run foul of Saddam’s version of law and order. In the Shi’ite dominated south of the country, the only purveyors of such intoxicating libations were Christians. I know it may shock some of my American readers that Christians own all the liquor stores, but you have to remember that the teetotal indoctrination of some indigenous Protestant groups in the States is not generally shared outside the its bounds.

According to the reporter for The Times in Basra, at least 100 stores selling alcohol have been burnt down and two owners have been shot in the head and killed. In a move that would please the voters of Bowie County, Texas and other similar jurisdictions, all 148 stores have closed and a city nearly the size of Houston is dry as a bone.

What are the British forces doing to help? Nothing, it seems. Christian families are fleeing the city. And it’s not just over the reign of terror on the liquor stores. Christian women are being threatened in the streets for not using Muslim headdress. This is probably particularly shocking to Christian women, who, unlike their Muslim counterparts, are not used to being beaten. As I discovered in an entirely unrelated article in The Times, three years ago, in neighbouring and not particularly fundamentalist Turkey, a state-funded foundation published a “Muslim handbook that allowed men to beat their wives as long as they avoided the face and did not strike too hard.”

And speaking of wife-beating…

The Government is proposing to create a domestic violence register modelled on the sex offenders register. This would allow police to track the movements of anyone who has received at least a six-month sentence for assaulting a partner.

The list would be made available to various agencies and some employers. These agencies would then decide whether to inform the any new partner of the listed individual after carrying out a risk assessment. Of course since relationships in this country are general amoral, I suppose the agencies in question will have to decide whether a particular relationship constitutes a “partnership.” Will the law require that the listee submit their appointment diary so the police will know when and if they have been on a date? Will the police conduct surveillance of the offender’s residence to see if anyone else is coming and going on a regular basis?

Does anyone else see the combination of a logistical and civil liberties nightmare?

So that’s where all the money went…

I hate to mention the problems in education three days in a row, but I’ve found the money that school need. Seems it is all being spent on a programme that is achieving absolutely nothing. Now there’s a big surprise.

The Government has dumped £800 million into Excellence in Cities, a flagship programme that was supposed to transform schools in the inner city. It is based upon the usual philosophy that you can buy better education. But as one source told The Times: “It has had an effect but it’s not on attainment. It’s mainly been on changing attitudes of disadvantaged kids, basically making them feel better about underachieving at school.”

One of the reasons there is no money for teachers is the creation of nearly 400 “learning support units” for disruptive students. In other words, they have to bring in teachers to babysit one or two little yobs that have to be segregated from the general population. This is because they can’t expel them. The Government has also set targets for schools to reduce exclusions. Schools are held hostage by the criminal element they are forced retain and them expected to improve overall performance.

Posted by david at May 26, 2003 10:07 PM