Kendal, The Auld Grey Town

notes from camelid country

It may come as a surprise – it certainly came as one to me – but the term ‘black market’ is a Cumbrian invention.

Today, ‘black market’ is the trade in illegal goods. Several centuries ago in Cumbria it was the same, except it referred to the region’s most valuable mining commodity: graphite, known as ‘black lead’. It was the trade in illicit ‘black lead’ that gave rise to the term ‘black market’. Who knew?

I know this little-known fact because I visited the Abbot Hall Museum in Kendal, which had a whole display on the mining industry in Cumbria. Its a small museum dedicated to the history of local life, but it has some genuinely fascinating displays. I didn’t realise how intensive mining was in the region from the sixteenth century onwards.

Nor did I realise that Cumbria was a major producer of bobbins to the cotton mills of Lancashire. The word ‘bobbin’…

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Two can play the precondition game


Op-ed: If Palestinians are going to insist on preconditions, why can’t Israel set some of its own?

Dan Calic

To date the efforts of US Secretary of State John Kerry have failed to produce an agreement leading to resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. In spite of comments such as “real progress has been made,” the refusal of the Palestinians to abandon their preconditions remains the major obstacle preventing a breakthrough.


The Palestinians demand Israel stop all home construction on land they claim as their state. Israel must also relinquish all territory under their authority since being forced to fight a defensive war in 1967. This includes eastern Jerusalem which is the holiest place on earth for the Jewish people. Plus, numerous Palestinians must be released from prison, many of whom have blood on their hands.





For his part Mahmoud Abbas continues to…

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#UK: Britain’s Rape Jihad Crisis


BySoeren Kern

A court in London has sentenced seven members of a Muslim child grooming gang based in Oxford to at least 95 years in prison for raping, torturing and trafficking British girls as young as 11.

The high-profile trial was the latest in a rapidly growing list of grooming cases that are forcing politically correct Britons to confront the previously taboo subject of endemic sexual abuse of children by predatory Muslim paedophile gangs.

The 18-week trial drew unwelcome attention to the sordid reality that police, social workers, teachers, neighbors, politicians and the media have for decades downplayed the severity of the crimes perpetrated against British children because they were afraid of being accused of “Islamophobia” or racism.

According to government estimates that are believed to be “just the tip of the iceberg,” at least 2,500 British children have so far been confirmed to be victims of grooming gangs…

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