Saturday, 20 March 2010

Witty bits from what I learned in the UK (14) [Vorbe de duh din ce am învăţat în UK]

For anyone who may (still) have doubts about the truth (or ‘truthiness’ : -) of the little quotes which I am using in this series, I feel I should confirm one more time that nothing is made up.

I simply reproduce here a few interesting words, precisely as I heard them. But it’s not polite to disclose who exactly said what, where and when.

Therefore, I am holding on to the Chatham House Rule, which allows the liberty of ‘wity bits’ to circulate, without embarassing anyone. It states that:

When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the spearkers(s) nor that of any participant, may be revealed”.

This rule and the extent to which participants consider it morally binding makes discussion really free, and really worth taking part in; you may often catch some wity bits that would otherwise remain ‘forbidden’ in a more formal situation.

According to the famous think-tank’s website, the Rule “allows people to speak as individuals, and to express views that may not be those of their organizations, and therefore it encourages free discussion.”

People usually feel more relaxed if they don't have to worry about their reputation or the implications if they are publicly quoted.”

Such a rule, and the way people uphold it is one of the things I liked best about the UK. Few societies in the world are as open as the British one is, and the fact that for the past 200-300 years almost the entire country was a Speaker’s Corner is undeniable.

Too bad that there are signs showing that the openness of Britain is gradually but irreversibly hijacked by Big Brother’s political correctness (PC), which is ultimately nothing but a perfidious totalitarian tool.

The Perfidious Albion is at war with its own citizens, and some are striking back see here, here, here, here, here, here or here!

Every now and then, British newspapers (see here, here, here, here, here, here or here!) reveal the risks to free speech and other liberties of this ‘PC madness’, but I’m afraid Big Brother’s brain-washed activists are stronger and stronger.

Thats why I could stick just to counting this Chatham House Rule as another good example from the UK, without ignoring that what it stands for is being seriously threatened these days; and thats an obvious sad truth about the UK.

[For all the episodes of this series, and all the posts on this blog go to/Pentru toate episoadele din această serie şi toate postările de pe acest blog mergi la: Contents/Cuprins]


Gregor said...

Dear Bogdan
I hope that you are well.

As with Big Brother's surveillance state, I do think that 'political correctness' is the inevitable destination of a country that puts its faith in humanism.

That is not to deny that politically speaking there are some good things about the enlightenment liberalism from which it springs. As a Christian and as a historian I am very sceptical about fallen humanity's potential to build a paradise on earth. Subsequently I am a liberal from a sceptical rather than an idealist viewpoint.

But for those who do not have faith, I think liberalism can turn from being a means of caging the worst aspects of humanity to being their definition of paradise.

So we are all equal? A nice thought, in many ways a Christian thought: there are no races better than any other. There are no genders better than any other. But what happens if we do not believe that all lifestyles are equal? We will need political correctness to stop people saying so. What if we do not think everyone has an equal right to come and live in our country? We will need to get big brother to keep them quiet.

And what if some of us see unborn children as having souls equal to others? Big Brother will want us to be quiet (I seem to remember reading that it is illegal to show an 'aborted' baby in Britain).

I am sure some of these people you link to have good intentions, but they are like people telling a train driver he has to steer to the right or left. By putting our faith in humanity, we are setting of on a railway that has only one destination. Which is not paradise.

MunteanUK said...

Dear Gregor,

Your examples clearly illustrate how a politically correct Big Brother is bound to punish people for 'crimes of thought' these days.

This is particularly sad, since Britain has been a safehaven for many people who fled persecution in their countries, just because their ideas were 'different'.

French Huguenots found shelter in the UK, as well as American abolitionists, persecuted Jews, Russian emigrees after WWI, many refugees during WWII and the Cold War etc.

Obviously, the Brits often hosted people they had better not received (from Karl Marx to some of today's extremist Muslim preachers & Russian oligarhs). But this is a 'risk worth taking', in order to preserve freedom of thought & speech.

Like I wrote in my post, I find Britain's openness - even taking the form of a Chevening Fellowship - as something worth being admired.

And this 'Chatham House Rule' - that allows people in official positions to speak frankly, something which they couldn't otherwise do - is also a great thing.

Make no mistake, in spite of Big Brother's excesses, Britain is still a free country. For how much longer... that's only for the Lord to know!


I love Britain, and that's precisely why I write 'sad facts' about it! I want all the good things I found in your contry still 'preserved', while trying my best to draw people's attention to what is seriously wrong!


Therefore, one of the biggest problems is that a godless elite is trying to hijack what your country stands for!

Why should anyone be shunned for saying say that unborn children are human beings & have souls?

Why should it be a crime to say you consider a certain sin being a sin, without actually persecuting those who claim their sinful ways are an 'alternative' way of life?

Why should it be 'wrong' if some of you, Britons, would rather not like to receive certain people in your country?

Why should people who criticize a sick ideology (anthropogenic global warming, for instance) be automatically be considered wrongdoers?

...and questions like these could go on and on!