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Rod Liddle

On milkshakes

25 May 2019

9:00 AM

25 May 2019

9:00 AM

Should we make it illegal to study the social sciences? Imagine the amount of tendentious rubbish we could erase from the world if we did. The economists who pretend on Newsnight that they know what’s going on, when they haven’t a clue. The sociologists fabricating evidence to support their inane and inevitably woke theses. The lies masquerading as fact and able to gull the public because of the spurious claim that they are ‘scientific’. There is no science in economics or sociology, interesting though those disciplines might be once they have been shorn of their pretensions.

Let me give you a recent example. A company called Civic Science, based in Pittsburgh, published the results of its latest research last week, and won some jubilant headlines in the perpetually credulous, unthinking liberal press over here. Apparently 56 per cent of Americans think that Arabic numerals should not be taught to schoolchildren. Ha! You morons! The numbers we use every day are Arabic. That’s where we got them from, the Arabs. You are thick and racist, you scumbags, so much so that you would deprive your children from learning the basis of western mathematics. That’s how the findings were reported, by Civic Science and the Independent and others.

And just to drive the point home still further: some 72 per cent of Republican voters said no to Arabic numerals. Civic Science suggested that this all showed both prevalence of and stupidity of blind prejudice among whiteys, especially conservative whiteys.

Except: we do not teach Arabic numerals in our schools at all. We teach a system of counting which is derived from India and was possibly brought to our shores by Arab traders, hence the misnomer Arabic numerals. The real Arabic symbols for the numbers one to ten do not remotely match our own, which owe as much to a Greek influence as anything emanating from some Middle East caliphate. So the people questioned in this stupid survey, who were not told what was meant by ‘Arabic numerals’ — i.e. not informed if the question was about the system of counting or the numerals themselves — were not ignorant or racist, but eminently sensible. People studying Arabic should learn Arabic numerals. The rest of us should ignore them the way we try to ignore, desperately, with our hands over our eyes and ears, everything else which comes from that benighted corner of the world.


The point of the exercise was to prove that ordinary white folks be racist. Hell, sure, we know, we know. We keep being told. Privileged, indolent and otiose and racist and we wouldn’t even be able to count if it wasn’t for people like Jihadi John. That this is a bizarre rewriting of history and a case of affluent bourgeois self-flagellation on a level which would have given Freud the shivers doesn’t matter: it is the narrative. And the narrative is important to the liberal left, in the way it goes about its work, in the vision it wishes to present to the world. Once you can condemn someone as racist, for not wanting to learn about Arabic numerals, then all bets are off. Do to them whatever you will: they have no recourse, they are damned.

You could throw milkshakes at them, for example, and explain it away as a case of ‘community justice’ — because the people at whom the milkshakes are thrown are beyond the pale and thus deserving of every-thing which befalls them. The milkshake business has become a bit of a thing for bedraggled losers on the left. Tommy Robinson has copped a few, so too Ukip members and candidates. They even targeted the SDP in Peterborough — so you can see that in order to avoid the hurled milkshake it is not sufficient for you to not be right-wing, you have to believe absolutely everything these awful people believe.

And of course Nigel Farage was splattered this week as he went about his campaigning. The bloke who threw it was a fat bearded oaf who works for Sky — or worked, I hope. The attack was condemned by the various parties but there was no great sense of outrage.

We have heard a lot recently about politicians, largely female politicians, being menaced or threatened by the public, a big hoo-ha about it. Unpleasant tweets sent to moderate or Jewish female Labour MPs, for example, and also someone being a little bit rude to Anna Soubry. Imagine the furore if Soubry or, say, Jess Phillips had been pelted with a milkshake. I guarantee that the bloke who did it wouldn’t have a job now.

Farage has copped a lot of abuse and violence and yet there is never very much fuss made about it — not from the press, which finds it simply funny, or indeed from Farage himself. The difference in approach when the violence comes from the left is remarkable — Burger King even tweeted, in a nudge-nudge manner, that they would be selling milkshakes ‘all weekend’ when Farage was in town — a blatant encouragement to the right-on contingent to stock up, given that the police had prevented their rivals, McDonald’s, from selling the shakes. The whole thing is treated as a bit of a laugh, the implication being that the people who get pelted deserve to get pelted. Perhaps because they are the kind of people who do not want children to be taught ‘Arabic numerals’.

There was another study, by the way, a couple of years back. It reckoned that conservatives use nouns more than liberals do. I have no idea what the hidden implication in that is.

Spectator.co.uk/Rodliddle
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