Friday, 4 December 2015


A sizable portion of my SocMed timelines, both on Twitter and Facebook are filled with the ‪#‎notinmyname‬ hashtag and passionate pleas about not bombing people. I agree with all of them. Bombing people is wrong. Killing people is wrong. Killing little children is wronger still. These messages and proclamations are accompanied by graphic images of dead children, lamenting widows and dismembered bodies, bodies of people with horrific burns and wounds that would chill most Stephen King and SAW fans. A lot of these images are from unrelated events from decades ago - another time, another place, another reason and quite frankly completely unconnected to where we find ourselves today. War is horrible. War is undesirable. But for every conflict to be caricatured with a 1972 image of the Napalm Girl, is unfair. This is not the same thing.

That we have to go into Syria is about revenge for the events in Paris is just lazy thinking. It's an easy narrative to sell.

If that were the only reason for Britain joining in with the international, United Nations sanctioned offensive against ISIS/Da'esh/ISIL, I'd have been the first one to condemn it, but it is not. Britain's (and France's) colonial past and the West's knee jerk reaction to 911 lends itself to this kind of convenient labeling. This is nothing of the sort.

Forget for a moment that Wednesday's vote ended up in a win for the government, forget for a moment that those against any action against Da'esh are still hung up on the Tony Blair and Iraq debacle, nostalgic about the peace and prosperity under Saddam Hussein and his courage, his strength, and his indefatigably. Forget all that. Think for a moment about the ground as it lies now, in December 2015.

That Da'esh presents a clear and present danger to the West and the West's way of life, is but a small fraction of the wider spectrum of the danger posed by theocratic orthodoxy and absolutism. I don't say this to defend Western foreign policy, but to attack the extreme religious right. Da'esh, RSS, Westbro, Taliban, Pakistan, Khalistan - one way or another, they're all after the same basic things: Convert or die, comply or die, we're better than you, and because you don't believe as we do, you will have to be killed. We want to segregate and insulate ourselves. We're not "humanity", we're right. We're God's chosen ones. Our way is the right way and therefore it must be the ONLY way.

I'm not sure that's the kind of world I want to live in or raise my children in.

Leave aside my wishy-washy, hippy, make-love-not-war philosophy, and leave aside the overwhelming support in the British Parliament for action against Da'esh, there are some very real and practical things we have to consider:

(a) A total of 7, yes SEVEN bomb plots in trendy Guardanista infested London hotspots were foiled in the past year. It could have been you there, typing away on your iPad, about how the people that protect us are the bad guys before your corpse is identified from the teeth they pick from the Haymarket pavement outside Tiger Tiger, so your kids know their Dad died a noble death. In the hands of the very people they thought they were a voice for.

(b) An ideology cannot be defeated by military force. The pen IS mightier that the sword. You can kill people, but you can't kill an idea. I agree, however, remember how the world dealt with Nazi fascism? It merely exists today as a fringe movement with zero power. We crushed the head of the snake and we spent the next 5 decades hunting down those that seemed to have got away. The Nazis weren't a death or Satanic cult - they just did what they believed to be right. Today however, none of the theocratic ideologies, based on centuries old theology are questioned, scrutinised, ridiculed or challenged. They call the shots, despite the strife they bring. What's worse, is that we let them - and we protect and help propagate them.

(c) Followers of ISIS/Da'esh/ISIL - and others - from religions other than this twisted, misappropriated brand of Islam - believe they're in some kind of moral crusade. They're not. They're medieval, barbaric, Timur-e-Lang-esque hordes of plunderers in search of glory, justifying their blood lust with scripture. They're not the only ones. Any religio-policitcal movement is exactly the same - it's just that some of them have more money (and therefore, firepower) than others....

(d) Most people living under these oppressive religio-politico regimes beg and are desperate for intervention from anyone that can make a difference. They speak in simple terms, their desperation is a basic instinct. They want out, and the best the West's white-guilt-ridden sensibility can do is force us to act in ways as if to say, "No, you can't get out. This is your culture. Stay put. Stay where you are. We like you there. It makes us feel better. And intellectually superior. And more civilised. You are exotic barbarians after all."

Many South Asian people I speak to are dumbfounded by the fact that more white people are offended by the term "Paki" than the Pakistanis themselves. It may have been strongly offensive at some point a generation ago, but the only reason it remains offensive today is the constant reminder and force-feeding of its historic connotations to a generation who couldn't care less.

(e) And there is no conspiracy. Yes the world NEEDS a steady supply of hydrocarbons, and a lot of it lies under the sands of the Middle East. The world's economies are built on reliable supplies of petroleum. We're not escaping that fact any time soon. Despite the billions we could pump into alternative sources of energy, we're NOT going to match the Petro output. The world as we know it would collapse - if you think we live in turbulent times now, imagine mayhem a hundred times as much. A lot of the present-day strife hinges on the prevention of oil shocks that could result in events too drastic to even comprehend. Another topic, another time maybe.

So what has all this got to do with Britain's leaders voting to bomb Syria? You need to know a few things:

(1) We're not bombing Syria. We're bombing ISIL/Da'esh in locations we KNOW to be their strongholds. If you do not know that, if you think Britain is invading Syria, you shouldn't even BE in this debate. Just get a Stella and a bacon butty and go to sleep. Or tell your prayer beads - our boys on the frontline could use your prayers. This isn't shock and awe. We're sending 8 planes. It's not even a pin prick.

(2) We're ALREADY engaged in military action against Da'esh in Iraq. You didn't know that, did you? You just read "British Politicians Vote To Kill Muslim Children In Syria" in your confirmation-bias-laden Social Media timeline... Da'esh is spread over a third of Iraq and a fair bit of Northern Syria. They flit over and and back without any recognition of national borders, while we pussyfoot around arbitrary lines in the sand in a sandstorm. Their strong-hold is in Raqqa, in Syria. We're not invading another country - we're just chasing the guys who would behead you if they caught you because of your passport or the fact that you like the occasional Bacardi Breezer, or keep your head uncovered, or happen to be Shia, or Ahmadi, or Ismaili, or sane, or a woman too old to fetch a decent price in the flesh markets of the so-called paradise.

(3) In the last 400 sorties the RAF have conducted in Da'esh controlled Iraq, there have been ZERO civilian casualties. Not a figure you hear bandied about a lot, is it? Or a figure you choose to ignore completely? It'd be stupid to claim that there will be no collateral damage, there will be, but you know what? Inaction will kill more people and radicalise even more.

(4) This is not a war against Islam and you have to be completely screwed up in the mind to think so. It's a fight against a murderous cult with a medieval mindset. Trust me, this is not Omar Kahayyam land. If he were alive today, Da'esh would have killed him and uploaded a video of it.

(5) Parliament did the right thing this week. ISIS/ISIL/Da'esh has to be taken out. I predicted their rise a long time ago, and was derided for it - and I hate that I am right. I predicted (well, speculated) that the Arab Spring could end this way, and it did.

But hey, what do I know? There are people who have degrees and years of study who know better. I only have experience and a life I escaped. Twice. I only know what I see and people I talk to.

It's a pity the books don't talk of those stories.

Friday, 20 November 2015

The Andrew Neil Rant

Evening all. Welcome to This Week. The week in which a bunch of loser jihadists slaughtered 132 innocents in Paris to prove the future belongs to them rather than a civilisation like France.

Well I can't say I fancy their chances. 

France, the country of Descartes, Boulet, Monet, Sartre, Rousseau, Camus, Renoir, Berlioz, Cézanne, Gauguin, Hugo, Voltaire, Matisse, Debussy, Ravel, Sanson, Bizet, Satie, Pasteur, Molière, Frank, Zola, Balzac, Blanc.

Cutting edge science, world class medicine, fearsome security forces, nuclear power, Coco Chanel, Chateau Lafite, Coq Au Vin, Daft Punk, Zizou Zidane, Juliette Binoche, liberté, égalité, fraternité, and crème brûlée.

Versus what? Beheadings, crucifixions, amputations, slavery, mass murder, medieval squalor, a death cult barbarity that would shame the Middle Ages.

Well IS or Daesh or ISIS or ISIL or whatever name you're going by - I'm sticking with IS, as in Islamist scumbags - I think the outcome is pretty clear to everybody but you.

Whatever atrocities you're currently capable of committing, you will lose.

In 1,000 years' time Paris, that glorious city of lights, will still be shining bright, as will every other city like it.

While you will be as dust, along with the ragbag of Fascists, Nazis and Stalinists who have previously dared to challenge democracy and failed.

Monday, 17 August 2015


You laugh at me because I'm different
I laugh at you because you're all the same
You resent me because I don't comply
I resent you because you play the game
You ridicule me because I think and debate
I ridicule how your faux pride over-rules shame
You vindicate your faults by citing scripture
I vindicate myself by accepting my blame
You ostracise me for not fitting the status quo
I welcome you, with all my heart to challenge my aim

Sadly, "hopefully" doth butter no parsnips...


Saturday, 25 July 2015

Kill Those Who Insult God

I recently wrote a piece where I asserted that organised and institutionalised religion insults God (or the idea or accepted definition of God), rather than uphold what God stands for. I had one very angry email questioning my opinion - with the usual fire-breathing, as in - "Religion follows the word of God, how dare you, etc." 

You might want to read that before you read this. Click here before you go ahead.

This was my reply...

Consider for a moment all the other things I said. I didn't single out a particular faith - I didn't single out a race, a creed, or any of the labels we humans place upon what we consider an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-controlling, all-determining entity, and the final word in everything that happens.

Consider for a minute that there is a grand plan, one whose purpose or meaning we mere humans cannot fathom or understand in the slightest. Consider that "it is written, so it shall come to pass". It then follows that those 130-140 children had it coming. It's all a part of some plan, isn't it? Why then do we lament? Why then are we outraged? Why were my wife, son, daughter and I holding back tears watching the events unfolding on our TV screens? 

Therein lies the insult.

A good deed is not a good deed if it is bandied about. I give churches, temples, gurudwaras, synagogues no credit for being good - after all that was supposed to be their raison d’être anyway, isn't it? That's not news. News is when they do what they're not made for. News is when they become hotbeds and incubators for the madness we see around us. 

Therein lies the insult.

People who did this are not irreligious. Far from it. They're actually deeply pious and believe they are carrying out the will of God. They seek - and find - justification for their actions within scripture - let's not hide from that. Men with a purpose and belief so strong that they are willing to blow themselves and others up. Are they interpreting their faith wrongly? What is it about any centralised and organised religion that even permits such interpretations? Shouldn't religion and religious instruction be infallible? I think you'll find that is it not.

Therein lies the insult.

You would think that the answer lies in education and spreading hope. I would too. So did a little girl called Malala. We all know how that turned out. As a reader pointed out, and I couldn't have put it better myself, "...parents who teach their kids that their religion is the only 'true' religion and their god is a 'jealous' god who will whip them in hell if they are consider other forms of spirituality or worship are EQUALLY responsible for such terrorist activities. Terrorists cannot thrive on their own. They need support, funding and apologists! You will see in every religion, apologists defending acts of violence by blaming everything on the rival country/ religion...". If you're good only because you fear punishment or expect a reward, then you aren't really a nice person, are you? You're just doing what you gotta do. Not because you want to, but because you have to.

Therein lies the insult.

And yes, it IS easy to sit behind a computer and type away. It's also easy to post a meme, like a picture and share a graphic 'condemning' the actions of the so-called 'minority'. Well, it is this minority that calls the shots; it is this minority that frames the debate; it is this minority that shouts the loudest. And what does the silent majority do? Sit back and cushion it. Are there any movements to speak out, excommunicate, condemn, protest en masse in the streets against those that MUST be deemed heretics? Have ANY of these terrorists been labelled heretics? No. Silence implies consent. Silence implies an unwillingness to act. It implies sanction.

Therein lies the insult.

I'm not your average keyboard warrior though: Have you, or anyone else following this thread seen hacked-off limbs in the streets of Kabul? Market places in Amritsar strewn with bodies of men, women and children? Charred remains of a young Sikh boy with a still smouldering tyre around his neck in Shimla? I think not. I have. I lost friends in Punjab during the late 80s, I lost friends in 1984, I lost childhood friends in Kabul, I have friends who lost family in the Troubles... all this, because someone, somewhere was convinced that that was what God wanted. This is a failure of institutionalised religion whichever way you look at it. 

Therein lies the insult.

Organised and institutionalised religion primary concerns itself with the "bigger" questions that face our society... whether you trim or dye your beard or not, whether you cover your head or not, whether you have less than two children or not, whether you drink or smoke or not, whether you pee standing up or sitting down, whether you cover your face in case it makes men lose control over their crazed libido or not, whether you kill an animal in one quick stroke or prolong its agony in a ceremonial decapitation, whether you go to your place of worship wearing long flowing robes or a tutu, whether you marry someone who professes the same mockery of God as you do or not.

Therein lies the insult.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Mind The Gap - Between Their Ears

Dear Tube Workers, 

You work for a transport system for one of the largest, most dynamic and international cities in the world - the only one that does NOT have a 24-hour service. 

Your drivers - that need the basic skills of a 14 year-old player of Grand Theft Auto - are under this misguided impression that they're civil servants in white shirts and red ties working 9-5 in an office. They're not. You are merely required to have spent less time in formal education than the average 6th former. They're train drivers. They push a button and operate a joystick. I know this because I spent 6 hours in a cabin with a train driver. He thought the capital of the USA was New York. We spent most of the time eating pizza, talking about Game of Thrones and number of women he has slept with.

What you earn in wages puts you among the 5% of top earners in the country- far more than firefighters, members of Parliament, most small business owners - who put in 60-70 hours a week at work, care workers, nurses, doctors, firefighters, police personnel and people fighting in the armed forces. You drive a train. On tracks. You don't even have to steer the goddamned things. Some of you show up drunk to the point where a little shit like me could lose my bloody licence.

London DEMANDS a 24-hour transport system. London NEEDS a 24-hour transport system. You work for London Underground. London Underground wants to offer the best possible service for its customers;  you know, those poor sods that PAY YOUR livelihood? Yeah, those customers. Some of them need to get to work at odd hours, so you know, they can afford to pay YOUR wages. Amazing how you want to bite the hand that feeds you.

The world changes, job specs change, and normal people adapt. Most people adapt - you know ones that wipe bottoms and bathe people, ones that befriend and read to people they know will be dead in two weeks time, people that care for feral kids they can't discipline, ones that will jump into a burning building because lives are at stake, ones that have to walk around wearing bullet-proof vests because they're the only ones that aren't armed while their adversaries definitely are, ones that can't call a spade a spade because it's un-PC. You have no idea how sweet you have it. 

We're one of few cities in the world that rely on people to run something a robot can do. My already outdated smartphone has more computing power than 10 of you put together. All you're doing is building the case for automation. Yep that's right, a computer can do what you do, far more efficiently and with zero tantrums.

For that, I thank you. You might want to start looking for proper jobs now.

While I'm no fan of swear words, this needs to be posted and shared...

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Dear Sadiq Khan, Sikhs Aren't Stupid

Sadiq Khan is Labour's candidate for Mayor of London, and hopes to replace the colourful Boris Johnson, who is now the MP for Uxbridge. The same Boris Johnson, whose wife is half Sikh...

He has just released a video on Facebook (see below) outlining why Sikhs in London should vote for him.

Frankly, his three pledges are pure political punditry and opportunism. I cringed at his "Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki fateh". Not one of his pledges helps the Sikh community forward. Sikhs happen to be among the most successful ethnic groups in the United Kingdom - and it was not because of silly sops like he's offering.

1. Vaisakhi in Trafalgar Square: Really? That's an issue? Get lost. We do Vaisakhi and we do it great. Anywhere.

2. Crimes against Sikhs wrongly recorded: Vacuous statement, nothing but hot air. No mention of Oxford & Reading, no mention of grooming gangs, no mention of forced conversions, no mention of radicalisation and marginalisation, no mention of business rates relief (Sikhs have the highest proportion of business owners from any ethnic group).

3. WW1 & WW2 War Memorial: Mian Sadiq Khan hasn't been following the news. We have several war memorials dotted around the UK. Followers of this blog must have seen the links I posted to the unveiling of the statue of World War 2 hero Maninder Singh Pujji some time last year. And then of course, there is the new bronze statue at the Sikh Heritage Museum in Derby...

These aren't issues Sikhs care a big deal about. Here are just two...

1. The UK government's stance on anti Sikh riots in 1984: Just as the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre nearly a century ago, this will remain forever etched into the Sikh psyche. I lauded David Cameron's apology for 1919, but more needs to be done. There are families awaiting justice and there are perpetrators still at large. It's now been over 30 years. Justice delayed is justice denied. If Britain has ANY clout, it should use it. Oh give us the politician who has the balls to say it out loud.

2. Predatory and sexual grooming of young girls: Labour hid this for decades. Rotherham is probably the most shameful example of their callous hypocrisy. And they're STILL not repentant. The best thing this joker can come up with is, "Oh we'll make sure we'll record it properly if someone faces racism by being mistaken for a Muslim." A few isolated cases does not a policy make. Don't pander to us. Maybe try and look after the Ahmadiyya Muslims in your constituency, who have a harder time from other Muslims than the EDL/BNP/BF types.

My three pledges to London's Sikh community
Register to vote to pick Labour's Mayoral candidate by signing up as a Labour supporter.Text LABOUR to 78555. Texts cost £3 - all of this money goes to the Labour Party. Once you text, someone from the Labour Party will get in touch to take your details.
Posted by Sadiq Khan on Sunday, 28 June 2015

Sunday, 31 May 2015


“Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast and give to the poor. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. So he went on Twitter instead and called Michael Gove a ‘vile reptilian evil tory scumbag’, and linked to a cartoon of Iain Duncan Smith stealing a paralysed woman’s wheelchair. And lo, he felt better and went for a £3.50 caramel macchiato with some mates from the BBC.”

Libby Purves, in The Times and The Sunday Times

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Don't do as I say...

I was doing some work in my garden the other day, when my left wing neighbour popped round with his teen-aged daughter. They stopped for a chat, and during the chat I asked the daughter what she wanted to be when she was older.

She replied " I want to be Prime Minister"

I said, "Wow that's great! And what's the first thing you would do as Prime Minister?"

She replied, "I would give more money to the poor."

"Well, why wait?" I said, "help me with my garden and I'll give you £50 that you can give to a homeless man to buy himself food and drink."

She looked at me puzzled and said "Why don't you just get the homeless man to do your gardening and give the £50 straight to him?"

"Find me one that'd dig up these weeds." I replied.

My neighbours don't talk to me anymore. 

I do my gardening myself.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The Vile, Nasty Tories Are At It Again

I just saw some economic figures reported in the Guardian. I don't don't normally read the newspapers - especially not the Guardian, which is the flip side of the Daily Mail - apart from the little Times app on my phone, but this caught my attention.

The vile, nasty Tories are at it again. How dare they? I mean look at the disturbing facts below... frankly, I'm disgusted that I'm part of the Tory economic narrative...

"The pound jumped more than a cent against the dollar after the news" that the Tories won a majority. UK Plc is now that slight bit richer than it was. This is shameful. How? Why? We have no right to be!

"The Office for National Statistics said the unemployment rate fell to 5.5% in the three months to March, down from 5.6% the previous month. The drop of 35,000 in the number of unemployed people took the total to 1.82 million, a seven-year low." A seven-year low! Why that was before the worldwide recession hit us?! What on earth are we doing with this country?! All of Europe is suffering from slow growth and high unemployment, we should be too! Solidarity innit?

"The UK’s unemployment rate is the second-lowest in the EU after Germany, and compares with the highest rates of 25% in Greece and 23% in Spain." Unacceptable! How could we possibly be better off than all the countries in the EU? Why can't we be more like Greece or Spain? They have sunny weather, don't they? Ibiza is in Spain, innit?

"Employment also improved, with the number of people in work rising by 202,000 in the three months to March to more than 31 million, the highest since records began in 1971." The highest since records began. Well the records are wrong. I don't agree with the records. I'm going to spray a WWII monument because of this. 

"The UK has an employment rate of 73.5%, which is also a record,". Record? We're not here to make records in employment figures! We're here to make sure everyone has an iPhone!

"...although for men the figure is even higher at 78.4%." That's it! The Tories hate women. They only pretend that the first ever and only Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was a woman. Or that there are more women in the current cabinet than ever before. We like Blair's Babes, not Cameron's Cuties. Blair had babes, Cameron has cuties. That's how we see it.

"Some 70,000 of the extra workers were drawn from the over-65s." WTF is that all about? What are these old fogies doing in jobs? Surely they should be claiming some kind of disability benefits and picking up free bus passes and gas vouchers? This is all wrong!

"He (Carney) said many of the jobs created in recent years were taken by younger workers who were less productive than those with more experience." Younger people have less experience? What a preposterous idea! Young people rock. And rap. Same thing, innit?

"Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that total wage growth climbed back to 1.9% in March after a dip in February, while regular wages, which exclude bonuses, hit 2.2%. Since inflation dropped to about zero at the beginning of this year, real wages have soared." We don't like 'soared'. That doesn't sound good. We're not meant to soar. Soaring is for the birds.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Labour & The Left

This is contributed by Peter Risdon. He tells it so much better than I could ever do.

We'd be in real trouble without an effective opposition and regular changes of government, so even though I'm glad about this result, I'm worried about Labour. Boundary changes and, perhaps, some reform of the BBC will work against them, and even though the large number of new SNP MPs will, necessarily, include some car crashes I can't see Labour sweeping back in Scotland soon.

The party that was born in an industrial landscape that no longer exists, and that fell prey to a mid-twentieth century nationalisation fallacy that destroyed volume car production, prevented heavy industry from modernising so it died (Thatcher was just the undertaker) and closed the branch railway system, has only come close to re-inventing itself in a sectarian identity politics most people find repulsive, and that has led to obscenities like Rotherham.

UKIP's appeal to Old Labour voters was apparent, not least in the 'uneducated' east coast from Clacton to Hull, where they came second in 120 constituencies. They made sweeping inroads into councils without denting Tory gains. Old Labour always was a 'stop the world I want to get off' party, yearning for a past of jobs for life no less fictitious than the Express's nostalgia for the 1950s. UKIP gives that voice more effectively than Labour, today.

Worst of all for Labour, though not so obvious, were the liberal supporters who couldn't vote Labour, or who did so holding their noses. Most of them were prevented only by tribalism from voting Conservative. How long can that last? How long can a party with Lutfer Rahman-supporting UNISON as Kingmaker, that has refused to expel Livingstone, that only expelled Galloway (for Christ's sake) when he called for mutiny in the armed forces - but not before then - keep their loyalty?

Even thoughtful Labour partisans adopt tribal positions on questions like the EU, the Human Rights Act, the NHS , Welfare reform. Even when they write about Labour's need to stop hating the provinces and the self-employed trades, contempt drips through. There's still the unexamined narcissism that believes the poor are hated by the Tories, and only they can provide clean hay and warm barns - the notion people want to stand beside them rather than beneath them doesn't seem to occur. The idea that the general rise in prosperity means more and more people don't just want that, they expect it, is unimaginable to them. The idea that the people who know most clearly that there are freeloaders and scroungers are the fucking working class who live next door to them isn't anywhere near their horizons.

Backwoods Tories are, literally, dying off. Oddly, and entirely unanticipated, demographics favour the Tories. They're becoming more liberal because the illiberal ones are pegging it. Labour didn't realise that immigrants are actually natural Conservatives, ambitious, hard-working, socially conservative.

I don't want fifty years of Conservative government with UKIP emerging as the main opposition. I'd like an increasingly liberal Conservative Party kept like that because the main threat is further to the left. I'd like a party that is still too close to inherited privilege and wealth moderated by meritocratic and liberal pressure.

But unless Labour guts itself, there's a possibility - no more than that - of it becoming irrelevant. 

And what party has ever gutted itself?

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Sikhism - like it was meant to be...

Here's something you didn't know...

GURU KI MASEET or Guru's Mosque, is a historical Masjid that was constructed by sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji at request of local Muslims of Sri Hargobindpur, on the banks of the river Beas (one of the 5 rivers of Greater Punjab), near Gurdaspur. It is recognized as a historic site by UNESCO.

In December, 1634 Guru Hargobind Sahib fought a fierce battle against Mughal forces near the River Beas. Heavily outnumbered, the Guru was victorious. Guru Sahib decided to stay there for a while, and soon enough a settlement developed around the location, expanding into a town which became known as Sri Hargobindpur.

With the turmoil of India's partition in 1947, and the bloodied mass migration that followed, the mosque fell into a state of neglect and disrepair. A group of Nihang Singhs took up the responsibility of caring for the structure, and installed the Guru Granth Sahib Ji in the one-time Masjid.

The group of Nihang Sikh continue to help maintain the mosque, to this day.

And best of all - local Muslims STILL perform their prayers at the mosque, to this day.

THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is why Sikhism rocks.

Friday, 20 March 2015

The Facebook Cull

I've just had a massive purge of Facebook friend requests for this month, all 137 of them. Here's a little round up of my Top 10 rejects:

01. Labour/UKIP/UKUncut/Unite/SNP types: Take my advice: You really don't want to be adding me. This is for your own good. I don't take prisoners and I never lose. I'll make you hate yourself way more than you think you hate me. If you MUST, please have a box of tissues handy. This will end in tears. Yours.

02. Wealthy Left whingers, Bollinger Bolsheviks and champagne socialists, living in gated communities in leafy suburbia. I have little time for you - you're so busy ticking boxes to justify your pseudo jobs - it isn't like you have any time for me either. Congratulations for nailing a seat on the gravy train. You change nothing, you affect nothing and you mean nothing. You don't change lives - you just protect your own. Well done. Just stay out of my hair, you've done enough damage as it is.

03. People posing with guns - WTF is all that about? WTF do you need a gun for? Who do you think you are? Bruce Willis? Eff the hell off. And then, eff off again. And when you get there, eff off some more. Delete. Block.

04. People with the other guns - the shirtless and topless gym fanatics. Aren't you all Shwarzeneggeresque? Except you're not - he's the Governer of California - managing one of the largest economies in the United States of America - which he has the BRAINS for. Who the actual fuck are you? How about you try a dating website for the attention you want and not my bloody timeline? Eff the hell off. And then, eff off again. And when you get there, eff off some more. Delete. Block.

05. Blinged up sherwani-clad men who spend more money on the gold chains around their thick necks than they did on their education, posing with heavily sedated tigers. Really? I mean REALLY? It pretty much sums up your life - buy it or sedate it. You make my skin crawl. Eff the hell off. And then, eff off again. And when you get there, eff off some more. Delete. Block.

06. Imbeciles. If you don't know what the word means, you're one of them. You are the weakest link; goodbye! Eff the hell off. And then, eff off again. And when you get there, eff off some more. Delete. Block.

07. Fancy a chat? No. I do not. State your business or a shared interest and we're in business. Otherwise, eff the hell off. And then, eff off again. And when you get there, eff off some more. Delete. Block.

08. Cleavages, duck-faces and overly strained buttock-shots. Trust me, I've seen better. Wares on display haven't been my thing since I was a teenager. I don't need you on my timeline darling, despite your desperation to be noticed. Try Soho, or any seedy suburb in London. You might pull off a tenner from some drunk. Good luck. For now, eff the hell off. And then, eff off again. And when you get there, eff off some more. Delete. Block.

09. Relatives: Aren't you a curious and inquisitive lot? I rarely add anyone with less than 25 common friends, but if you're never going to make an effort to say hello when we come face to face, then what's the point? Usually it's simply because you want to keep tabs on what I am up to. How sad is your life? Don't add me if all you want to do is perv on my timeline (most of which you're not going to understand) or my pictures (most of which only serve to give you a macabre sexual thrill missing from your pathetic life). Add me because you want to get to know me better. Talk to me. I AM ONE OF YOU, FFS!

10. Randoms: We have no common friends, I have no idea who you are. Do you have a business proposition? A political affiliation? An academic connection? A serious politico-social phenomenon you want input on? Do you have a case? Hire me as an after dinner speaker? Tell me then. We'll take it from there. Other than that, eff the hell off. And then, eff off again. And when you get there, eff off some more.

So therapeutic, this culling thing.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

I Love You

Insomniac nights in the turbulent delirium of my dreams
My inebriated mind teases me with the drunken idea that is you
You hurt me and you soothe me; you kill me and you revive me
Sweet, the agony of your absense; bitter, the nearness of your soul
A scream no one can hear; a whisper, that rings loud and clear
My songs of you are my solitude and my decadence
You're my extravagance, my guilty pleasure, my secret heaven
I love you, I love you, I could repeat, over and over again
And yet go to my grave, knowing I never said it enough

© Khyberman MMXV

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Chicken Khyberman

This will serve 4 people.

You'll need:

A chicken. Don't get a big chicken, the bigger they are, the drier they taste. With bone, go for one under 700 grammes - if you're going boneless, then about 500 grammes of boneless chicken thigh chopped into bite-sized pieces will do - chicken breast doesn't absorb flavours that much, it dries out and tastes like sawdust. Breasts are overrated. Thighs are where it's at.

An onion. A fairly big one, say the size of your fist. Or get two little ones. I prefer using pink ones, but red or white ones will do.

A fistful of coriander leaves. Don't be lazy, get rid of the stems.

Picture a cabbage the size of a softball - just under 4 inches in diameter. A 32B. You need HALF of that.

Fresh tomatoes. You'll need around 3 of them if they're as big as tennis balls, maybe 4 or 5, if smaller.

Ginger. Say about the same volume as a golf ball.

Garlic. Three or four cloves should do it. Please don't use garlic paste. Please.

Green chillies. Get two of them. Chuck in a couple of red ones as well.

Cooking oil, 2 or 3 table spoons will do - use whatever you want - olive oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil - whatever. Even ghee, if you have a death wish.

Button mushrooms - 4 or 5 of them will do. This is an optional extra.

Spices: High piled teaspoons of red chilli powder, turmeric powder, Garam Masala, a pinch of cumin seeds, 2 or 3 black cardamoms, salt, a few cloves, and if you're an advanced currier, some anardana powder as well.

You'll need a non-stick wok with a lid, to cook it all in.

How it's done:

  • Chop the onions, cabbage, garlic, and ginger into little slivers - no thicker than toothpicks.
  • Chop up the tomatoes into little chunks, say as big as a key on your keyboard. Do not de-seed. You need it all.
  • De-seed the chillies - you don't need that much fire - and cut them into inch-long pieces in case you want to pick them out while eating.
  • Chop the mushrooms (did I say they're optional?) into thin slices.

And then...

  • Heat the oil in the non-stick wok, and chuck in the onions. As soon as they
    collapse and soften a bit, showing signs of browning, throw in everything else (yep, the spices and salt too). Yes, everything except the chicken. Cover it, and let it all cook on medium heat for about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • When the mixture in the wok is sufficiently mushy and soft, and the smell is making you hungry, add the chicken. Stir until all the chicken is covered in the gloop you've just created.
  • Put the lid back on, reduce the heat to low, pour yourself a glass of wine and chill for about 20-25 minutes. Do get up a couple of times to stir it around a bit. Add the mushrooms 15 minutes in.
  • If you feel it's drying up too much, throw in a dollop of yoghurt and mix. You could instead, use a little tap water, some tomato juice, or even a splash of the wine you're having...
  • That's it really. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, and serve with naan, or bread, or rice.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

We're Doomed

Okay, so let me get this right: A man is locked in a cage, doused in petrol and set alight. The cage is then crushed with bulldozers, and a graphic video of it is posted online and shared far and wide like some kind of voyeuristic violence porn.

In response, most of the world's media and online forums are ablaze (pun not intended, sorry) with whether the act violates Islam or not. Thing is, I'm not sure it violates ANY religion. "The Devil can cite the scriptures for his purpose", William Shakespeare said. He was right, the Devil often does.

What this barbaric act does violate is sanity, it violates sense, it violates humanity, it violates everything humans and civilisations stand for. And yes, it violates the very God in whose name it's done. You've either got God wrong, or you've got the wrong God.

We've been lead to believe we're successful as a species because we're smart. It's the opposite actually: We're doomed as a species because we're dumb.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

French and British Multiculturalism and why Britain's Future may be a Silent One


This post first appeared on Adam Penny's new blog, which you can find here.

The difference between the way that France and Britain have responded to the questions raised over the murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists as a result of the, admittedly vulgar, cartoons directed at the prophet Muhammad, is that France's media has taken the view that because a murder has been committed trying to curtail Charlie Hebdo's freedom of expression by insulting anyone it chooses (and it has been shown that it has drawn no less derogatory cartoons about other faiths or ideas), that the response has been 'someone has tried to force us to stop this, which means that we must keep doing it'. In contrast, in the UK press the attitude has been very different, with the BBC preventing its journalists from showing the offending cartoons, because of a wish not to offend the Muslim community. The reaction has been similar in the rest of the UK Press.

One reaction from some Muslims has been that they are offensive, so they must be banned. On the other hand, the reaction of some Muslims has been that it's a cartoon, however vulgar, and does nothing to actually tarnish the prophet Muhammad's reputation, thus ignore it. However, the approach taken by the BBC has been, well, it's offensive to some Muslims so it should be banned.

There are multiple flaws in this logic. Firstly, banning it because some Muslims may be offended fails to deal with Muslims as individuals. It doesn't allow for the opinion of the Muslims that are willing to just ignore it as something of no consequence. Some Muslims are angry about it, so you mustn't be allowed to say or do anything that could be considered offensive.

In another area, golliwogs are largely considered off limits because there is a view that they are offensive to black people. That all starts to fall down when Chaka Artwell, who is black, comes along and insists on wearing a golliwog around his neck for a BBC interview because 'this was a popular little guy when he was young' and 'white, middle-class liberal types' had decided his doll was racist and offensive. The BBC didn't interview him because his way of expressing himself didn't fit a presumption of how a black man or woman would react to a golliwog.

The concerning thing is where this goes. What if atheists become a 'community', with more extreme elements taking objection to any utterance that forwards the idea that there might be a God, even if more easy-going atheists might not have any issue? Are we then to take the view that some atheists may be offended by anything to do with religion so we should prevent any religious utterances in the media in order not to offend atheists?

This is why responding to anything offensive by demanding a ban is fundamentally flawed. You have to allow for it to be said, even if you don't like it, or the end result will be that nobody can say anything.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

And Thus Dies Liberty, With Obsequious Cowering

I am one of those that did the #JeSuisCharlie thing on Twitter and Facebook, as did millions. Millions of cowards, that is. This is a guest post by Frank Fisher, which I have reproduced with permission from @Holbornlolz

If you must #JeSuisCharlie, then #JeSuisCharlie like this....

For the UK media, the terrorists have already won

There is a unanimity in the media today, a striking consistency across the papers and airwaves. Everywhere there is talk of supporting free speech, and everywhere there is its surrender. Our Fourth Estate is in full flight from reality, as it was during the original MoToons crisis of 2005. Like then, all the talk is of backing those who provoke and question, using cartoons and satire, but just as then, this is lip service only. Where are the deeds that back free speech? Where are the Charlie Hebdo cartoons on front pages? Nowhere.

Across continental Europe bold newspapers  feature mocking portraits of Mohammed, spiked illustrations defiling the psychotics of ISIS – here in the UK the Axis of Weasel holds full sway; the covers are all deeply, deeply significant for what they do not show. Absence is today’s theme.

Yet everywhere pontificating columnists are pompously telling each other, and us, that they are defending free speech, that it is essential to democracy. Politicans too, who every day find a new victim to denounce for speechcrimes against the people, are today telling us we must cherish the free speech that they long ago stole from us.

I find myself recoiling not just in anger at these clowns, but in instinctive disgust too. Ours is the press of the madhouse, this consistency of delusion is a mass hysteria, denial on a national scale. Fear – physical fear,  and fear of offending against political correctness  -  has led our *entire* media to a blanket self-censorship, while their ridiculous arrogance and delusion has woven a shield of denial that allows them to stitch their mouths firmly shut while mumbling that they are free.

A few show flickers of sanity through the miasma of madness; Dan Hodges, always the first to demand obeisance before the twin gods of “tolerance” and “diversity” is here first to indicate what those cruel gods inflict on their followers, when admitting his own personal cowardice in refusing to tweet a MoToon in solidarity. David Aaronovitch, Blairite of old, demands an end to timidity in defending free expression, from the pitifully timid pages of the Times. Once the Thunderer, now the Whisperer.

This matters. Twelve people are dead in Paris in part because of the failure of Western media to rigidly and universally defend free speech in 2005 and onwards. The obvious reluctance to back our principles in deed showed thuggish Islamic censors that the West would mutter about free speech, but would bottle it in a fight. This was most wretchedly displayed here in the UK, where our press eagerly gagged itself at the behest of the Blair government, demanding “responsible” and “restrained” free speech, urged on by the odious advocate of self-censorship Shami Chakrabarti, and former satirists Private Eye. Mass desertion in the face of enemy fire left those few brave souls of Charlie Hebdo and Jyllands-Posten to march towards the guns alone – with the consequence we have seen today.

It is, however, worse than that. Terrorism is a rare beast. It doesn’t frighten me much. It’s unlikely to touch me, or mine. The abandonment of free speech in the UK does frighten me. Not only because the example of angry Muslims winning their censorship battle has given carte blanche to every furious group, from feminists to scousers, to demand silence. But because it says “we will not fight to defend our way of life”. That, as every student of history knows, is an open invitation to war. Appeasement shows a bold enemy that you have no stomach for a fight, that you present an easy target, a fast and effortless victory. I’m not frightened of terrorism, but I am of civil war. Our media/ political class’s abandonment of solid liberal values that we once thought inviolate is putting our country at risk. Here, they have surrendered without a shot being fired.