AU NOM DE QUOI? : Honey McBee’s media round-up

Tuesday 17 November: No words can truly describe the weekend’s horror, though many have tried. How we protect ourselves against such random attacks of violence in a free society is unclear. Most of the defiance in Paris reminds us of Roosevelt – “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

“CULTURE WARS WITH KAKSHNIKOVS”

How to deal with the prospect that London – or any British city – may be next in line? Waleed Aly , an Australian TV presenter probably got it about right.

Iain Dale in Sunday’s ConservativeHome had a 16-point plan, beginning with ‘Accept this is a war, and act accordingly’. In the same edition, Paul Goodman laid out seven major consequences, the end of Schengen and free borders and the possible downfall of Angela Merkel amongst them. Dominic Lawson in yesterday’s Daily Mail also saw the end of Schengen – but we should not crow over its demise, says Lawson, even though it was a fatally flawed vision, and the proof of its folly is now written in the blood of innocents”.

Ian Macwhirter thinks reinstating borders is playing into ISIL’s hands – “The only way to defeat IS, as with all terror, is to withstand it. The people of Paris understand this instinctively. You can’t go to war with an organisation that doesn’t stand and fight…you can’t sentence a suicide bomber to death”. It’s how we withstood the IRA. Keep calm and carry on, says Macwhirter.

David Torrance in yesterday’s Herald just reinforces our view that while everyone feels the need to comment, no-one knows how we should respond. Lesley Riddoch in the Scotsman warns of over-reaction, but seems to have little faith in people’s ability to distinguish between the genuine refugee and terrorist, and act accordingly.

Lulu Nunn posted this little piece in the Independent about the plethora of French flags appearing on Facebook over the weekend. She may be right in principle, but it’s frankly crass. How else can ordinary people show sympathy?  Lallands Peat Worrier does the moral bit a whole lot better…

Nathan Dabrowski in Friday’s politics.co.uk maintained Theresa May’s Investigatory Powers Bill can only encourage the very extremism it is designed to prevent –“Why? Because both May and Cameron operate with a flawed definition of what extremism “in all its forms” actually is and how it can be countered…the government employs a severely short-sighted view on the causes of terrorism”.

And then there’s the  predictable – and understandable – reaction from right of centre ; first from Charles Moore in yesterday’s Telegraph“It would be hard to imagine a clearer foe, yet we still have difficulty making policy in the light of the threat” – and  a somewhat less measured reaction from Max Hastings in the Daily Mail. And once more Kelvin MacKenzie has strayed beyond the pale…

Is this the solution?  Haroon Moghul in Quartz argues that Islam needs a counter- reformation against the rise of  Wahhabism – to create a new caliphate in order to combat ISIL – “a renewal and reconstruction of what made Sunni Islam great in the first place—pluralism, debate, disagreement, and dialogue, with mechanisms for cooperation…some kind of overarching and truly multinational institutions, independent and well-funded organizations dedicated to discussing our differences and productively and deliberatively addressing ongoing challenges”.

Meanwhile, the first refugees arrive on our shores – or rather, on the Isle of Bute.  Libby Brooks in Saturday’s Guardian looked at local preparations to welcome the fifteen families, followed by Kevin McKenna in the Observer.

Not so hospitable has been the reception for asylum seekers parachuted into  Monkton in Ayrshire, where, as Martin Williams reported in the Sunday Herald, an SDL demonstration met a pro-refugee activist counter-demonstration.  Kenneth Roy revisited – with some sadness -his prophetic piece in Scottish Review about this that we brought you two weeks ago.  What the asylum seekers made of it all is not known…

Here, summarising all the above, is John Oliver on HBO, courtesy of Guido Fawkes. Be warned – when he calls it a moment of pure cable profanity, he means it. Only if you’re strong enough…

 

A LONG TIME IN POLITICS

Is it really only a year since Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister? It seems like a lifetime ago. Dani Garavellli in Scotland on Sunday marked the anniversary with a look back at “twelve remarkable months”, linked in to FM’s choice of music on Sunday’s Desert Island Discs [repeated on Friday morning].

 

MOHAMMED COMES TO THE MOUNTAIN

Andrew Whitaker in yesterday’s Scotsman reported that the Scottish Affairs Committee is to venture out of its comfort zone and head north – further than the Central Belt even, in its mission to make Westminster more accessible. Since four members are SNP and a goodly proportion of the others sit for northern constituencies, it shouldn’t be too much of a culture shock. Maps and compasses probably not required…

 

CHANGING THE CHALKFACE

Parents at a Milngavie Primary School may change education in Scotland if they succeed in opting out of local authority control, instead receiving funding direct from the Scottish government.  As Lesley Roberts in Friday’s Daily Record reported, East Dunbartonshire wants to merge the Catholic primary with another, citing falling rolls. This incursion into the realm of free schools and academies now common in England will undoubtedly meet with fierce resistance in some quarters, but the First Minister has asked for a detailed business plan so St Joseph’s may be only the beginning…

 

CHICKENS ROOST ING

Our universities used to be bastions of free speech. No longer, apparently, according to Brendan O’Neill in last Friday’s Spiked. The same thought processes that turned on Germaine Greer in Cardiff have created the students dubbed ‘Yale snowflakes’ who seek safe havens from ideas that might challenge. But, O’Neill asks, what did the “hand-wringers, the media people, academics and liberal thinkers” actually expect?  Forty years of PC have left their mark.  Food for thought for those of us of a certain age…

 

TREATS IN STORE

First, for us if, as Brian Ferguson reported in the Scotsman, rumours that Still Game may soon be back on our small screens are true…

…and second, for America if finally, after years of haggling, our cousins across the pond will no longer have to rely on local haggis at their Burns Suppers, but can taste the real McCoy. Severin Carroll and Ellen Brait reported in Saturday’s Guardian that Richard Lochhead has succeeded in persuading the US authorities that it is safe – nay, eminently desirable – to import the wee beasties stamped Made in Scotland…

 

AND FINALLY

Something to lighten the darkness.  After the existential offering from John Lewis with all its philosophical overtones, here, courtesy of Friday’s Daily Mail, is Sainsbury’s Christmas ad. It’s pure fun, with a hint of nostalgia for those who were young readers in the 70s and 80s. For us, it wins hands down…

 

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