Steyn on Britain and Europe
The French authorities killed three murderous savages yesterday. That was the only good news on a day in which a third hostage siege began in Montpellier. The bad news started at the top, with President Hollande's statement after the Charlie Hebdo slaughter and the Kosher grocery siege:
Yeah, right. I would use my standard line on these occasions - "Allahu Akbar" is Arabic for "Nothing to see here" - but it's not quite as funny when the streets are full of cowards, phonies and opportunists waving candles and pencils and chanting "Je suis Charlie." Because if you really were Charlie, if you really were one of the 17 Frenchmen and women slaughtered in the name of Allah in little more than 48 hours, you'd utterly despise a man who could stand up in public and utter those words.
The louder the perpetrators yell "Allahu Akbar" and rejoice that the Prophet has been avenged, the louder M Hollande and David Cameron and Barack Obama and John Kerry and the other A-list infidels insist there's no Islam to see here. M le PrÃ©sident seems to believe he can champion France's commitment to freedom of expression by conscripting the entire nation in his monstrous lie.
Is he just pandering? There are, supposedly, six million Muslims in France, and he got 93 per cent of their vote last time round. Or is he afraid of the forces that might be unleashed if the Official Lie were not wholeheartedly upheld? StÃ©phane Charbonnier said he'd rather die standing than live on his knees; M Hollande thinks he can get by with a furtive crouch.
The polite explanation can be found in Barbara Amiel's column in Maclean's, which is titled "Islamists Won't Kill Free Speech - We Will". She covers some of my battles with the "human rights" regime in Canada, and adds a sad postscript to it. But, apropos the French President, I was struck by this passage in particular:
That's what The New York Times and The Globe & Mail et al are doing when they explain that they won't show the Charlie Hebdo cartoons out of sensitivity to their Muslim readers, all three of them. They've persuaded themselves that they're not acting out of fear, no, sir, but instead that they're better people for being able to sympathize with all those poor Muslims reeling under a vicious "backlash" that never comes.
But I don't think that accounts for M Hollande, who must surely know better. As Evan Solomon and I argued on the CBC this week, France's Muslim population is between eight per cent (says Evan) and ten per cent (say I). But the Muslim share of France's prison population is 60 per cent. That's about 42,000 people. Among their number was one of the Charlie Hebdo murderers, who was trained to a sufficient level to be able to pull off a terror attack far more complex and sophisticated than the Sydney coffee shop siege or the Ottawa Cenotaph killing. How few of those 42,000 would need to be willing to sign up for a month at Camp Jihad before France would descend into chaos?
The kosher grocery siege was also relatively sophisticated, not least in its coordination and in the duplicitousness of the hostage-takers. After issuing the conditions necessary to prevent them killing hostages, they killed four of them anyway. Because they're Jews, so why would you forgo that pleasure? When the death toll emerged, my initial thought was that, if it weren't for the dozen dead on Wednesday, this would be the major news event of the week. But then I remembered: They're Jews. And as I wrote in America Alone:
They tested the foe again this week: They assassinated the senior editorial team of the only publication not willing to sign on to the official "No Islam to see here" line. And they were rewarded for their slaughter with the prÃ©sident de la rÃ©publique standing up in public insisting there's "No Islam to see here".
~Several readers asked, after the launch of our Sinatra Century, what happened to the promised second Sinatra song this week. Well, to be honest, after Wednesday's bloodbath, I wasn't in much of a musical mood - and I was in less of one when the fanatics holed up in Picardy, a region I associate mainly with Track Five of my latest album. But we will resume our Sinatra Century before the weekend is out, with a song by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II. Almost three-quarters of a century ago, after the Germans took the French capital, Kern & Hammerstein wrote a valentine to the City of Lights:
I never much cared for the song in a World War Two context: After all, what changes? An occupying army marches in, you defeat them, they march out ...and Paris is Paris again. But Paris - and Picardy, and France - have been profoundly changed, and likely permanently. The French capital is a city of no-go zones, and Jews hunched in a freezer to avoid death, and a government gibbering the Official Lies no matter how ridiculous they sound. And there's no easy way to get this occupation force to march out. Like Kern & Hammerstein, those of us who loved the city can only hold her in memory:
from Steyn on Europe, January 10, 2015
My column on Britain's and Europe's Christmas holiday without end attracted a bit of pushback from readers across the pond. For example: Oh dear. I do like your stuff normally but this nonsense you have produced about the Xmas holidays us lazy Brits take is irritating crap. Just because the Yanks are good little wage slaves it's not a template. In any event average hours for a full time job per year in the UK are around 1950 for a 37.5 hour week. Most are lucky to get a couple of days for Xmas ...
Rotherham and the multicultural cringe
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In the new Britain, quoting Winston gets you arrested
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"Neo-Nazis" and "anti-government people" on the march!
Behold the infidels - bystanders in their own fate: Steyn on an act of savagery in a London street - and the appalling aftermath
The picture on the right is from the Nineties, and I'm rather fond of it, because I manage to look both goofy and shifty but Mrs Thatcher's cool is undiminished. I don't know why the harp was there...
Steyn salutes a great man...
I scrammed out of London a few days before the Olympics began, but after getting an earful on what the locals make of it. On the whole, the residents of that great city would rather the honor of hosting the world's most disruptive sporting event had gone to some joint that needs the publicity more – Alma Ata, or Ouagadougou, or Oakland. In 21st century London, traffic moves at fewer miles per hour than it did before the internal combustion engine was invented without the added complication of fleets of Third World thug bureaucrats and the permanent floating crap game of transnationalist freeloaders being dumped on its medieval street plan. Nevertheless, having drawn the short straw of hosting the Games, Londoners felt it a point of honor that the city be able to demonstrate the ability to ferry minor globalist hangers-on from their favorite whorehouse in Mayfair to the Olympic Village in the unfashionable East End in time for the quarter-finals of the flatwater taekwondo.
The last of the 20th century's Big Ideas is dying before our eyes: The sick man of Europe is ...Europe
My weekend column is on London ablaze and a society summed up by the relevant chapter title in my new book ("The New Britannia: The Depraved City"). The scenes we've witnessed this last week ought to prompt some serious soul-searching by liberal elites. I nearly said "paternalist," but, as Tocqueville noted, the word paternalism implies that your object is to raise your charges to adulthood, whereas the children of dependency are maintained by government in a state of permanent and increasingly ...
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