Just Asking Questions – The Sudden Death of Scepticism

A common concern of so-called ‘Covid sceptics’ during the early days of the pandemic, was whether or not the startling numbers of daily deaths being recorded were of people who had died from Covid or merely with Covid, as if the latter were completely incidental and were falsely inflating the true figure.

Whether Covid was merely a contributing factor to a death rather than the primary cause seemed a crucially important distinction to such people, who had apparently decided that coroners and registered medical professionals were, en mass, fraudulently reporting unrelated fatalities as victims of the pandemic.

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The Descent of Maajid Nawaz

In times of crisis where social media misinformation is rampant, one of the most valuable characteristics of a social and political commentator is undoubtedly a commitment to truth and accuracy.

When partisan misinformation from influential people has the potential to endanger lives, sensible people might reasonably look for the following attributes in a commentator: Someone who values and consistently promotes truth even to the detriment of their own positions or arguments. Someone who fact-checks their own sources and takes the possibility of spreading misinformation to a large audience incredibly seriously. Someone who is not only willing to retract and correct the record when the evidence demands, but is proactive in doing so.

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Richard Dawkins Upsets the Trans Lobby

In one of his many sneering one-sided attacks upon Richard Dawkins, self-styled Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta previously complained that it was “sad” and “ridiculous” for Dawkins to be concerned about what the latter described as the “bossy intolerant Thought-Police of the Woke left”. After all, “people were struggling to make ends meet in the midst of a deadly pandemic” and the capture of institutions and governments by divisive authoritarian dogma was hardly the most pressing concern of the day, according Mehta.

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In Defence of ‘New Atheism’

It’s become fashionable in recent years to attack and denounce the project of New Atheism along with its most high profile representatives. It was always the case that religious demagogues would object to the exposure of gaping holes in their ideologies, but the attacks now invariably come from fellow atheists and ex-fans who complain that their former luminaries are bigots and racists who’ve aligned themselves with the far-right or alt-right (or merely “the right” in circles where those two words constitute a pejorative.)

People who largely forged their online personas around challenging divisive beliefs and cultism, have now devolved into a sub-community of aspiring witch-hunters and Woke cultists searching high and low for the vaguest hints of leftist apostasy.

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Doing the Work of Islamists

Lizzie Dearden is a Home Affairs journalist for the Independent and someone whose work I’ve admired in the past. She primarily covers extremism and terrorism, which is why her output often piques my interest, and why I find her recent article attacking extremism and terrorism expert Robin Simcox so bizarre.

Simcox was recently appointed by Priti Patel as the interim lead of the Commission for Countering Extremism and the appointment was a good one. He is an expert with years of experience in the fields of extremism, terrorism, and related national security issues.

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Islamofauxbia – The Smearing of Steven Greer

As Bristol University Professor David Miller comes under scrutiny for his latest outburst of conspiratorial anti-Semitism, a suspiciously-timed set of complaints against another Bristol University Professor have emerged, this time related to apparent Islamophobia.

The University of Bristol Islamic Society (BRISOC) have mounted a targeted campaign against Steven Greer, Professor of Human Rights at University of Bristol Law School, accusing him of espousing; “Islamophobic hate speech”, “colonial bigoted views”, “anti-Muslim rhetoric”, and even implying that his lectures justify “hate crime towards Muslims”.

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The Lies of the Anti-Prevent Lobby

Two stories have emerged recently which have generated the usual tiresome attacks against the prevention strand of the UK government’s anti-terrorism strategy.

Firstly, the role of Independent Reviewer of Prevent was recently given to William Shawcross – the author and son of head British prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes tribunal, Hartley Shawcross.

As is customary in such circumstances, opponents of Prevent quickly set about searching for incidents to dredge up from the new appointee’s past that could conceivably be used to contest his abundant suitability for the job.

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The Sacrilegious Right

The depressingly inescapable issue of blasphemy has once again become topical in recent days.

If the spectacle of adult human beings in the 21st century furiously outraged on behalf of an imaginary friend or a long dead warlord wasn’t ludicrous enough, spare a thought for the mental capacity of people willing to inflict violence and subjugation upon anyone with the temerity to express less than flattering takes on these apocryphal characters.

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The Killing of Rayshard Brooks

Around 10:30pm on Friday 12th June, Atlanta police responded to a call of a man asleep in his car in the drive-through lane of a local Wendy’s restaurant, blocking other customers’ access to the establishment.

Officer Devin Brosnan arrived to find Rayshard Brooks, a 27 year old black man, passed out at the wheel of his vehicle. He approached Brooks and ordered him to pull into a parking bay and clear the way for other customers to use the outlet. Brosnan was then joined by Officer Garrett Rolfe 14 minutes later who suspected that Brooks was intoxicated rather than, say, a narcoleptic for whom spontaneously losing consciousness while queuing for a burger was a run of the mill occurrence, and asked him if he would be willing to complete a field sobriety test. Continue reading “The Killing of Rayshard Brooks”

Drive-By Sympathy

Last weekend incredibly tragic news broke that a 19 year old girl had been gunned down outside a Blackburn supermarket in a drive-by shooting.

There were many notable characteristics about the victim. She was “beautiful, much-loved, bright, passionate, hard-working, and ambitious”. She was involved in charity work and was studying to fulfil her ambitions of becoming a solicitor. The one characteristic that overrode all of these however, at least in the minds of cynical and irresponsible ideologues, was that she was a Muslim. Continue reading “Drive-By Sympathy”