29. November 2005 · Comments Off on Reality Verses Delusion · Categories: European Disunion, General, Politics

Scott Johnson at Powerline is concerned with this from Mark Steyn’s Telegraph article, “Wake Up and Listen to the Muezzin“:

Tablighi Jamaat, the Islamic missionary group, has announced plans to build a mosque next door to the new Olympic stadium. The London Markaz will be the biggest house of worship in the United Kingdom: it will hold 70,000 people – only 10,000 fewer than the Olympic stadium, and 67,000 more than the largest Christian facility (Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral). Tablighi Jamaat plans to raise the necessary £100 million through donations from Britain and “abroad”.

And I’ll bet they do. I may be a notorious Islamophobic hatemonger, but, watching these two projects go up side by side in Newham, I don’t think there’ll be any doubt which has the tighter grip on fiscal sanity. Another year or two, and Londoners may be wishing they could sub-contract the entire Olympics to Tablighi Jamaat.

I was slightly surprised by the number of e-mails I’ve received in the past 48 hours from Britons aggrieved about the new mega-mosque. To be sure, it would be heartening if the Archbishop of Canterbury announced plans to mark the Olympics by constructing a 70,000-seat state-of-the-art Anglican cathedral, but what would you put in it? Even an all-star double bill comprising a joint Service of Apology to Saddam Hussein followed by Ordination of Multiple Gay Bishops in Long-Term Committed Relationships (Non-Practising or Otherwise, According to Taste) seems unlikely to fill the pews. Whatever one feels about it, the London Markaz will be a more accurate symbol of Britain in 2012 than Her Majesty pulling up next door with the Household Cavalry.

Scott’s chief cause of concern is the true nature of Tablighi Jamaat. His post, and the accompanying links, are well worth a read. But that wasn’t the central theme of Steyn’s article, which is what piqued my interest:

I notice, for example, that signatories to the Kyoto treaty are meeting in Montreal this week – maybe in the unused Olympic stadium – to discuss “progress” on “meeting” their “goals”. Canada remains fully committed to its obligation to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions by six per cent of its 1990 figure by 2008.

That’s great to know, isn’t it? So how’s it going so far?

Well, by the end of 2003, Canada’s greenhouse-gas emissions were up 24.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, how are things looking in the United States? As you’ll recall, in a typically “pig-headed and blinkered” (Independent) act that could lead to the entire planet becoming “uninhabitable” (Michael Meacher), “Polluter Bush” (Daily Express), “this ignorant, short-sighted and blinkered politician” (Friends of the Earth), rejected the Kyoto treaty. Yet somehow the “Toxic Texan” (everybody) has managed to outperform Canada on almost every measure of eco-virtue.

How did that happen?

Actually, it’s not difficult. Signing Kyoto is nothing to do with reducing “global warming” so much as advertising one’s transnational moral virtue. America could reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions by 87 per cent and Canada could increase them by 673 per cent and the latter would still be a “good citizen of the world” (in the Prime Minister’s phrase) while “Polluter Bush” would still be in the dog house, albeit a solar-powered one.

This is pretty typical. If you think back to the Tsunami, while the governments of the world were busy making “pledges”, and berating the US, our government and NGOs were stepping up to the plate.

But it goes further:

Likewise, those public sector union workers determined to keep their right to retire at 60. I’ve had many conversations with New Labour types in which my belief in low – if not undetectable – levels of taxation has been cited as evidence of my selfishness. But what’s more selfish than spending the last 20 years of your life on holiday and insisting that the fellows who can’t afford to retire at 60 should pay for it?

Forget Kyoto and the problem of “unsustainable growth”; the crisis that Britain and most of Europe faces is unsustainable sloth. Their insistence, at a time of falling birth rates and dramatic demographic change, on clinging to the right to pass a third of your adult life as one long bank holiday ought to be as morally reprehensible as what Gary Glitter gets up to on his own weekend breaks. Apart from anything else, its societal impact is far more widespread.

And here’s where it hits home. Because we have a certain degree of that here as well. We could “fix” the Social Security crisis permanently, if we simply raised the retirement age to 75, and continued to raise it as life expectancy increases. But it would be political suicide for one of our elected representatives to take this stand.

Update: Clive Davis looks at contemporary attitudes to Kyoto. It seems the US was way ahead of the curve here.

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