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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, ladies and gents, from your affirmatively genial host John Derbyshire, this first week of December 2019.
An unusually short Radio Derb this week, listeners, and consisting almost entirely of commentary on one single topic: last week's terrorist attack in London.
The reason for the brevity is that, (a) tonight is the VDARE.com Christmas party, so that wipes out Friday evening and a bit of Friday afternoon, which is when I normally put the podcast together; (b) Tuesday and Wednesday were wiped out by going up to the boss's place in Connecticut for our fundraising vidcast; and (c) yesterday — Thursday — I goofed off, catching up on email and playing with Basil.
I hope we shall get airborne on more or less the usual schedule none the less. Here goes.
I'll confess I knew next to nothing about the place, in spite of having been born and raised in England and lived five years in London. The hall existed in my mind, out on the barren, windswept borderlands of my awareness, but I had never been to it and couldn't have told you anything about it. So I went looking it up on the internet.
It's a pleasant old building with some fine interior spaces, just at the north end of London Bridge (which is not to be confused with Tower Bridge, although non-Brits chronically do confuse them). This is the heart of the old City of London, equidistant from St Paul's cathedral and the Tower of London.
Fishmongers' Hall isn't actually that old, as buildings go in England — less than 200 years old. The Tower, half a mile away, is nearly a thousand years old; and if you've been there you'll remember there are bits of the Roman wall nearby, a thousand years older than that. London's an old city.
Fishmongers' Hall is respectably old, though. It acquired more respectability in WW2, when it was badly damaged by German bombs during the Blitz; and there has been a Fishmongers' Hall on that same site since the 14th century.
The hall's proprietor, the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, is even older than that, with misty origins back in the Middle Ages, when practitioners of some trade or craft — in this case, the marketing of fish — banded together in guilds to protect their collective interests and … I don't know: suppress competition, probably.
Whatever, the Company and its hall are fine mementos of old England, when she was a country inhabited mainly by a distinctive race of people — the Island Race, Sir Winston Churchill called them.
Nowadays England is a multicultural, multiracial slum, its population about as distinctive as the inhabitants of an airport departure lounge. Less than half of Londoners belong to that Island Race Churchill wrote about. When today's teenagers are middle-aged, less than half of England will be of that Island Race, thanks to mass immigration and differential birthrates.
And of course this is something the English are supposed to celebrate as positive — the transformation of a stuffy, dull, backward-looking population with chronic class antagonisms and lousy cuisine into a gorgeous mosaic of diversity, an affirmation of human universalism, of the absolute innate equality of all races in all the traits that matter.
If, for example, you go the the website of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers and let the wallpaper cycle once or twice, you get a picture of ten fishmongers plying their ancient trade, eight gentlemen and two ladies. Two of the ten are indistinct; of the other eight, five, including both the ladies, are black or mulatto. Two of the guys are very black, bringing to mind — well, to my mind — what Orwell wrote about the Senegalese troops he saw in French Morocco, quote: "so black that sometimes it is difficult to see whereabouts on their necks the hair begins," end quote.
English people who object to this North Korean level of brainwashing, or who merely notice the downsides — the usual high black crime rate, the Pakistani grooming gangs — are ostracized as cruel and immoral, and fired from their jobs. Sometimes they are jailed.
Wait a minute, Derb, I hear you saying. What's all this to you? You've spent most of your adult life in the U.S.A. You've been a citizen for seventeen years. What do you care about the Old Country?
Well, not much above the level of private sentimentality. I read news stories about England in a spirit of calm despair. The place is gone, it's irrecoverable.
For my American kids, though, and their American kids when they finally get round to having some, I'd like to do what I can to spare this country from sinking into the dark pit that has swallowed England.
We are, as I said on the VDARE.com vidcast earlier this week, we are cousin nations. Our politics proceed approximately in sync. The U.K. got principled conservative Margaret Thatcher; America got principled conservative Ronald Reagan. We got cynical grifter Bill Clinton; they got cynical grifter Tony Blair. They got Brexit; we got Trump.
I'd hate to see that synchronicity continue to the point where America is sunk as deep in collective self-loathing and blind race denialism as England now is. If I can write or say anything to stop that happening, I will, at any rate until I'm dragged off to a labor camp for re-education.
03 — Meet Staffordshire man. So, can we get ahead with the story here, Derb? What's up with this Fishmongers' Hall in old London?
Well, a nice old place like that in the capital city, with those fine interiors, is just the place to hold a conference. A respectable conference, I mean; No way would Fishmongers' Hall host a conference for VDARE.com or American Renaissance. Good Heavens, no! That would be dangerous! For scholarly or business conferences, though, Fishmongers' Hall is just the ticket.
Last Friday, November 29th, it was hosting just such a conference. This one was of the scholarly sort: a conference to celebrate the fifth anniversary of a program called Learning Together, run by Cambridge University's Institute of Criminology. Cambridge University — you can't get more respectable than that.
Learning Together has of course a web page. If you can hack your way through its thickets of social-science jargon — "marginalization," check; "connecting with others," check; "inclusive," check; "community," check, check, check — if you make it through that stuff, you learn that Learning Together brings graduate students in Criminology together with prisoners and ex-prisoners to improve the understanding of the students and, they hope, the outlooks and the life prospects of the prisoners.
Nothing wrong with any of that. In the matter of penology, my personal inclination is towards the school of thought I have called One Strike and You're Dead — jump a subway turnstile, go to the chair. It would purge criminality right out of the gene pool. I understand I'm in a minority here, though, and I defer to majority sensibilities.
And I'm sure this Learning Together program isn't altogether useless. In the spirit of Professor Huemer, it keeps intellectuals off the streets; and on the prisoner side, perhaps some criminals can be reformed by having their brains sucked out and replaced with social science gibberish.
So there was this very respectable conference going on at Fishmonger's Hall last Friday. Then suddenly, around 2 p.m., one of the ex-prisoners attending began stabbing fellow attendees with two large knives, one of them duct-taped to his hand.
He then left the room shouting that he was going to blow the place up, exposing what looked like a suicide vest. He ran out, or was chased out, of Fishmonger's Hall onto London Bridge, where pursuers brought him down and police arrived and shot him dead. Two of the people he'd stabbed also died. Both were Cambridge University graduates, a male aged 25 and a female, 23, both of course on the academic side of this Learning Together program.
The stabber was, as our own media would say, and as I have no doubt some of the British media did say, a Staffordshire man.
That snagged my attention. Staffordshire is a county in the West Midlands of England, the Midlands being the horizontal stretch between the North of England and the South of England. My mother was a Staffordshire girl, and I have fond memories of the county. In my childhood it was known for potteries, glass works, and coal mines.
My grandad was a coal miner. I remember as a child riding up by train to stay with grandad and grandma over Easter each year. Looking out the window of the train at night, I saw the slag heaps from the mine workings flickering and glowing. There was some remnant of coal in the slag, and it caught fire somehow and burned at a very low level.
This Staffordshire man was in fact a Pakistani Muslim of the fiercer kind, name of Usman Khan. He was deep into Islamic terrorism and in 2012, at age 19, was sentenced to indeterminate detention with an 8-year minimum jail term for plotting to blow up key buildings in London, including the U.S. Embassy.
Once in jail he pretended to be reformed. The pretense was very well done, so much so he was released last December without even completing his 8-year minimum, although he wore an electronic tag — he was wearing it when he died.
The literary reference that came to mind here was not Orwell but Nabokov. In Lolita the protagonist, sex pervert Humbert Humbert, reminisces about some bouts of mental illness he suffered when younger. Edited quote:
I owe my complete restoration to a discovery I made while being treated at that particular very expensive sanatorium. I discovered there was an endless source of robust enjoyment in trifling with psychiatrists: cunningly leading them on; never letting them see that you know all the tricks of the trade; inventing for them elaborate dreams … teasing them with fake "primal scenes"; and never allowing them the slightest glimpse of one's real sexual predicament.
I bet Usman Khan, if he were still among us, could relate to that. The kinds of people who run the counseling, therapy, and rehabilitation rackets are strongly inclined to a naïve over-estimation of their own powers. This makes many of them seriously gullible.
Here is a sample of the head games Mr Khan enjoyed playing with his dimwitted therapists and benefactors.
The actual conference session at which he went berserk was one on "storytelling and creative writing." After reading that I wondered if I could find some of his creative writing online. Some quick googling turned up a poem he'd written after his conditional release last December, on a laptop computer given to him by the good people at Learning Together.
Would you like to hear Usman Khan's poem? Of course you would. Who doesn't like poetry? Over to Mr Khan:
I write so my words become a soothing light
End poem. Hm, I dunno. Perhaps it reads better in Urdu.
Well, that's our Staffordshire man … or rather, that was him. I think I can, just barely, imagine what my grandad would have said about this event.
04 — Cuckery and heroism. The aftermath of these killings was predictable — par for the course in the United Cuckdom.
From respect for the bereaved, I'll draw a veil over the responses from the families of those two Cambridge graduates killed. You can find them online if you're interested.
People in positions of power pretended to be concerned that Usman Khan had been released from prison early. The Mayor of London, another Pakistani Muslim also named Khan — although not, so far as I know, related to the killer — quacked that the city would, quote, "stay resolute in our determination to stand strong and united in the face of terror," end quote.
This is the same guy who, three years ago, told Londoners that the threat of terrorist attacks is, actual quote, "part and parcel of living in a big city," end quote. Funny, it doesn't seem to be part and parcel of living in Warsaw, Prague, or Budapest. Why is that, Mr Mayor?
Chief cuck Boris Johnson took a break from preparing for next week's general election to blame the killings on the opposition Labor Party. He promised that his party, if they win a majority in Parliament next week, will invest more in the prison system and toughen sentences. Quote from him:
I think it is ridiculous, I think it is repulsive, that individuals as dangerous as this man should be allowed out after serving only eight years, and that's why we are going to change the law.
You can file that on the same shelf as reports about your average Republican Presidential candidate promising to enforce our immigration laws.
Johnson is a globalist buffoon whose second priority, after winning next week's election, is organizing the feeblest possible form of Brexit he can get away with. The fool was actually Mayor of London himself for eight years, 2008 to 2016, presiding with cheery enthusiasm over the last stages of London's transformation from a British city to a multinational flop house.
Although I should perhaps add this, on the good side of the ledger — I can never remember which is the good side, credit or debit — I should note that at least the Prime Minister didn't hasten to show up among the congregation at a mosque, the way George W. Bush did after 9/11. As my old Dad was wont to say, there are fools, and then there are bloody fools.
Also on the positive side, there was some real gutsy heroism on the part of the guys — yeah, sorry for the lack of gender diversity here, but they were all guys — the guys who tackled the Staffordshire man, took him down, and held him until police arrived. The gutsiness here is the more impressive because the perp's suicide vest was clearly visible. It turned out to be a fake, but no-one knew that until later.
Everyone's favorite among the heroes was a kitchen worker at Fishmonger's Hall who grabbed a narwhal tusk that was part of the Hall's display and took after Mr Khan with it, using it as a spear. (The narwhal is a large sea animal with a single long tusk.)
I'd like to tell you that this hero was a genuine Staffordshire man, but in fact he was an immigrant worker from Poland, name of Lukasz Koczocik. In fairness, though, some of the others seem, by their names, to have been legacy British.
And in completeness I should note that Mr Koczocik was slashed several times by Mr Khan's knives, and hurt badly enough to be hospitalized overnight, but kept right on coming with that tusk. After what happened in 1683, you'd think that Muslims might have learned not to mess with the Poles.
Poland's Justice Minister has suggested the country should award Mr Koczocik a medal, and I am totally on board with that. Perhaps, at the same time, they could send someone over to teach the Brits a sensible approach to mass Muslim immigration.
A curious sidebar to the story is that one of the civilians who tackled Mr Khan was a convicted murderer, out on early supervised release like Khan and attending that same Learning Together event. Forty-two-year-old James Ford is serving a life sentence for the 2003 murder of a 21-year-old woman, Amanda Champion, with learning disabilities. Ford strangled the woman and cut her throat for reasons unknown.
Ms Champion's family were not told that Ford was out on release and they're furious about it. They are double furious because Ford has now been hailed on TV as a hero. In this case I think the voices of the bereaved should be heard. Quote from Amanda Champion's aunt:
I don't care what he's done today, he's a murderer … He's not a hero, and he never will be.
My 1983 edition of Black's Law Dictionary tells me that there is criminal homicide, and then there is justifiable homicide. Possibly James Ford, having done the criminal sort, figured he might as well complete his dance card by trying the other.
05 — Miscellany. I am so squeezed for time this week, listeners, I can only work in one brief item. I'm pretty sure a single item can't count as a miscellany, but I am heading this segment as "Miscellany" in the transcript none the less, from blind habit.
Imprimis: Also law-enforcement related, this is my Headline of the Week. It's a bit macabre, but I couldn't resist. This is from the December 4th New York Post.
The story concerns an 18-year-old inmate at the Rikers Island correctional facility in New York City. Four corrections officers, watching a surveillance monitor, saw the teen hang himself in his cell, but waited several minutes before going to cut him down. The teen seems to have survived, but the four guards are being investigated for incompetence.
New York Post headline, page 12 of the print edition, headline: Guards let teen 'hang', subheadline: "4 suspended at Rikers."
I'm sorry for my dark sense of humor, but the thought that crossed my mind as I got into the story was: Shouldn't that subheadline say "5 suspended …" Sorry, sorry, sorry.
(If you go looking on the internet for an online version, the story is there all right, but they've changed the headline.)
06 — Signoff. That's it, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening, and apologies for the dark tone of this week's podcast.
To cheer us up a bit, for this week's sign-off music, how about a gross and outrageous instance of cultural appropriation? Here's the old Latino classic "Besame mucho," but sung in Chinese.
The best excuse I can come up with for this selection is that the beautiful voice you're hearing here belongs to Hong Kong native Frances Yip, so I'm making a tiny gesture of solidarity to the people of Hong Kong in the city's present troubles. I hope it doesn't subtract too much from the authenticity of my excuse to note that Ms Yip nowadays lives mostly in Australia; and that while she came to general fame in the 1980s singing Cantopop — that is, pop songs in Cantonese, which is the language of Hong Kong — this is one of her earlier recordings, in Mandarin, from 1969.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Frances Yip, "難忘的初戀."]