Caught in the middle


by Sunny
26th February, 2007 at 7:48 pm    

This is the second part to an article I wrote for comment is free today…

There is another part that we briefly covered in the documentary that I’d like to explore here – that of being called “a traitor” or similar when raising controversial issues within minority communities. I’m not the first, nor will I be the last.

Saying that brown people can also do bad things (as we did for the New Generation Network) always brings out the knives when said in front of white people. Don’t air our dirty laundry, they all demand angrily as many did during Behzti a few years ago.

It used to be that highlighting violence against women was trumped by race. Now religious identity is more sacrosanct. With embarrassed noises many say that communities should not be “demonised”. Women are being verbally and physically abused but let’s not worry too much about that shall we? Violence against women just isn’t sexy enough when the government, media, race and faith bodies are all dominated at the top by men. Except when they want to bash the other.

But why am I so intent on picking on those down-trodden brown masses, many ask me, when they are already under attack by racists? I think it’s important to answer and confront this question head on.

There are two parts to the answer. Firstly: just because a group is seen as under attack by bigots does not justify holding off internal social change until events are smoother. For this reason I don’t believe the Muslim Council of Britain or the state of Israel are above criticism just because Muslims and Jews feel they are under attack. These days everyone is a victim; even British Sikh and Hindu groups are busy painting themselves as such.

The latter communities are not under the media spotlight and there is nevertheless plenty of resistance and hostility to dealing with social issues. Being out of the spotlight doesn’t mean positive change takes place, it is actually the opposite – it allows people to get away with a lot more. And believe me they do.

The second reason is that I don’t see British ethnic minorities as helpless and constantly victimised masses that cannot do anything to help themselves. They can be empowered citizens. So for that reason, my criticism is oblivious and despite of the bigots that are out there.

To put it another way I don’t criticise the MCB to bring joy to annoying people such as Melanie Phillips, Rod Liddle, Richard Littlejohn and Jon Gaunt, etc. I do it because the MCB, like other such “community leaders”, ends up hurting those it should be protecting. Similarly, I support Independent Jewish Voices because Israel’s foreign policy hurts both Jews and Palestinians (the latter more, obviously) regardless of whether it boosts the anti-semites or anti-Zionists.

For true progressives this should be the real test: advocating and fighting for positive social change regardless of the political climate and who is busy painting themselves as victims; applying those standards equally; being unashamedly self-critical when necessary. And of course being mindful of other agendas while forging your own.

Progressive change should be driven because it is right, not simply when the time is right. If some are guilty of attributing everything regressive towards minority groups, others are equally guilty of assuming they can never be progressive.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Culture,Organisations






94 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs


  1. Will — on 27th February, 2007 at 1:50 am  
  2. Sunny — on 27th February, 2007 at 2:39 am  

    A nice smear-job there Will. I’ll re-post my response here as well, just in case you delete it.

    ———–
    This is amusing. So I support IJV, and therefore I’ve also signed up to anti-semitic attacks on Rabbis now? What a hilarious leap of faith.

    Or let’s turn this around then. Given that you’re not averse to criticising Muslim bodies or Muslim states, you must clearly also be culpable for:

    Attacks on Muslims:
    http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article1870842.ece

    8 year old being attacked:
    http://www.theasiannews.co.uk/news/s/219/219321_thugs_asked_are_you_a_muslim.html

    Muslim family of four being shot at:
    http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/index/press.php?pr=236

    Veiled woman stopped from boarding a bus:
    http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/227/227125_veiled_muslim_stopped_from_boarding_a_bus.html

    Right? If you’re going to pretend to have a brain and take the moral high-ground, at least do so consistently. When I see you applying those standards equally I’ll take your drivel seriously.

    ———–

    In addition to that, I’ve never stated that I actually welcome bigots, bigotry, prejudice or any racist attacks. My point is that progressive change should not be compromised just because bigots exist.

  3. Kulvinder — on 27th February, 2007 at 5:13 am  

    I don’t really understand the argument the er drink soaked thingy website was making. What was its point?

  4. sonia — on 27th February, 2007 at 10:34 am  

    dunno, they’ve probably got sth against sunny, or wanted to put his name up in lights. sounds like they’ve just got sth against ‘middle class’ people and the IJV, and sunny’s mention of IJV was wot did it. i bet if there had been no mention of IJV – there wouldn’t have been a fuss.

  5. Sid — on 27th February, 2007 at 11:02 am  

    They’re a bunch of saddoes who run a sad little pro-War blog.

    The guy “Will” has a history of tilting into breathless, mouth-frothing attacks on other bloggers in the “liberal” contingent. I suppose he thinks attacking them (and Muslims, of course) is far more useful than attacking real fascists and real racists. Too close to home, maybe. ;-)

  6. Leon — on 27th February, 2007 at 11:05 am  

    They’re a bunch of saddoes who run a sad little pro-War blog.

    Yep, that’s the long and short of it…

  7. sonia — on 27th February, 2007 at 11:10 am  

    i don’t think they’re that different to most people really. they want a bit of attention it seems, and look around for convenient targets.

  8. Shuggy — on 27th February, 2007 at 11:37 am  

    For your information, DSPTFW is not a ‘pro-war’ blog – the title’s ironic. And Will’s post was not a collective effort.

    Interesting you should complain about Sunny being attacked and then do the same to us who contribute to the blog but have not attacked either Sunny or any of you.

    i don’t think they’re that different to most people really. they want a bit of attention it seems, and look around for convenient targets.

    I can’t speak to my fellow DSTPFWers whom you have just smeared but you really flatter yourself if you think I’m interested in your attention.

  9. Sid — on 27th February, 2007 at 11:54 am  

    It is a pro-war blog because it took a pro-war stance. The title wasn’t ironic in 2005 – why should it be now? I was going to say that the blog is redeemed by the presence of Eric and Shuggy.

    Although Shuggy’s somewhat defensive post shows that he’s far more concerned with calling reactions to “Will’s” post a smear rather than the original smear itself. Very odd.

  10. sonia — on 27th February, 2007 at 11:54 am  

    i haven’t smeared anyone – speak for yourself, or scroll up. what i say stands – most bloggers want attention and i myself am one – so i can’t see why it’s a ‘bad thing’ or an attack.

    “I can’t speak to my fellow DSTPFWers whom you have just smeared but you really flatter yourself if you think I’m interested in your attention.”

    i’m not interested in your attention at all actually – personal politics like this REALLY bores me. adios.

  11. Shuggy — on 27th February, 2007 at 11:59 am  

    P.S. Please remove the link to my blog from your side-bar. I wouldn’t want anything I write to be misconstrued here as being motivated by an ambition as paltry as generating traffic, for goodness sake.

  12. Leon — on 27th February, 2007 at 12:09 pm  

    P.S. Please remove the link to my blog from your side-bar. I wouldn’t want anything I write to be misconstrued here as being motivated by an ambition as paltry as generating traffic, for goodness sake.

    Jesus, is this idiots conference week on PP or something? I don’t think I’ve seen toys thrown out of the pram in such an amusing manner in some time….

  13. Shuggy — on 27th February, 2007 at 12:16 pm  

    Although Shuggy’s somewhat defensive post shows that he’s far more concerned with calling reactions to “Will’s” post a smear rather than the original smear itself. Very odd.

    It’s not ‘very odd’ at all. I didn’t read Sunny’s original article in any depth; I know nothing about IJV; and I don’t speak for Will. Let’s see – is it to be assumed I am responsible for Will’s post, or I agree with its contents, unless I say otherwise in a public fashion? That, given what has been written on this space with regards to Muslims and the groups that claim to represent them in this country, a truly bizarre and wildly hypocritical argument.

    i’m not interested in your attention at all actually

    I’d be disappointed if you were. I feel I’m entitled to defend myself when I’ve been attacked but you’re right, the personal stuff is boring so I’ll make this the last comment I make on this subject. Bye.

  14. Sid — on 27th February, 2007 at 12:27 pm  

    That, given what has been written on this space with regards to Muslims and the groups that claim to represent them in this country, a truly bizarre and wildly hypocritical argument.

    One of your co-bloggers has written a pathetic smear post in an attempt to fuel a flame war. Not for the first time either. Let’s not indulge him, shall we.

    But because he is your co-blogger, the onus is on you to put your own home in order rather instead of commenting on reactions to his post here.

  15. Katherine — on 27th February, 2007 at 12:35 pm  

    Shuggy why are you getting so het up about this? People here have had a go at the blog to which you contribute – well, geez, have you read the post about Sunny? Accusing him of supporting anti-semitic attacks because he supports IJV? Come on, how reasonable is that? My reading is that no one commenting here knew anything about that blog except what they read about Sunny just now, and good lord, that’s a doozy. Please do look in your own back yard before shouting here about insults.

  16. Leon — on 27th February, 2007 at 12:35 pm  

    Let’s not indulge him, shall we.

    Yeah you’re right, don’t feed the troll and all that. Moving on…

  17. soru — on 27th February, 2007 at 1:11 pm  

    ‘That, given what has been written on this space with regards to Muslims and the groups that claim to represent them in this country, a truly bizarre and wildly hypocritical argument.’

    Participating in a group blog is kind of different from being born jewish or muslim.

  18. Chairwoman — on 27th February, 2007 at 1:24 pm  

    Sunny, had I been your editor, I would have deleted the brackets around ‘the latter more, obviously’ and finished the paragraph there.

    I think you have implied something that you didn’t actually intend, and left yourself open to the sort of criticism levelled against you.

    You have said that you don’t care about boosting antisemitism. I don’t believe it’s true, but regardless of that, that is exactly what you have said.

    I believe you are the victimn of, in this case, your own poor syntax and lazy editing. If I am mistaken, then you are not the man I thought you were.

  19. Katy — on 27th February, 2007 at 1:27 pm  

    Anyone who thinks that Sunny supports antisemitism needs their head examined.

  20. Kismet Hardy — on 27th February, 2007 at 1:31 pm  

    I happen to need my head examined. Does that mean I think Sunny denies the holocaust?

    Shit.

  21. Leon — on 27th February, 2007 at 1:32 pm  

    The only problem I see is Sunny makes intelligent and very well thought out arguements but one’s that tend to have some naunce to them. Naunce is not something that survives long in political debate and the less honourable types will always fake being obtuse to score cheap political points…

  22. El Cid — on 27th February, 2007 at 1:37 pm  

    I sympathise with what Sunny is saying, but there is something silly about applying a worldview dogmatically without compromise. There’s a fine line between moral consistency and stupidity.

    Would you have had a problem agreeing a marriage of convenience say, with Stalinist USSR, in order to defeat the Nazis?

  23. Sahil — on 27th February, 2007 at 1:57 pm  

    El Cid, there was a marriage of convenience with the commies to get rid of Hitler :D , or am I completely missing what you’re saying.

  24. Kismet Hardy — on 27th February, 2007 at 2:00 pm  

    I often wish there were a marriage of convinience between commas and full stops, then my sentences could end much quicker.

  25. Sunny — on 27th February, 2007 at 2:34 pm  

    Firstly, please let’s not smear all the writers of DSPTFW. I quite happen to like Shuggy, Nav, Scribbles and Eric. So I don’t want to take Shuggy’s link off.

    Though, Will’s pathetic smear is just that. It’s even more hilarious since only last year the BNP organised a march based on an article I wrote.

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/51

    I stated my position then and have been consistent since – that you have to be critical even if the danger is that bigots of all colours and kinds use your words for your own agenda. One has to be careful obviously but should you censor criticism on that basis? No.

    All this little incident has shown is how two-faced some bloggers are. They are unwilling to accept that maybe criticising Muslim orgs or countries may be boosting the BNP (and lord knows the fools from Islamophobia Watch continuously try and make that link), but throw a fit when you mention Israel. Hypocrisy at its very finest.

  26. Sid — on 27th February, 2007 at 2:42 pm  

    “He supports the IJVs because he hasn’t got a fucking clue. The thick cunt. Just like the IJV are thick middle class cunts as well.”

    And such articulate, reasoned critique as well.

  27. Sunny — on 27th February, 2007 at 2:49 pm  

    Heh, I know.

    Thanks for your support everyone.

  28. William — on 27th February, 2007 at 4:21 pm  

    It’s nothing new that when someone understands that there are broader issues but also still wants to include highlighting those issues along with others they can get called traitor or accuse of supporting the other side or even going to the other side. It’s a strange phenenomena the pattern of which seems to be repeatable whithin all kinds of issues under under the banner of mostly politics but also religion. All the more reason to carry on reagardless.

  29. arnold — on 27th February, 2007 at 4:26 pm  

    Some people seem to be commenting without having read what Sunny said.

    “Similarly, I support Independent Jewish Voices because Israel’s foreign policy hurts both Jews and Palestinians (the latter more, obviously) regardless of whether it boosts the anti-semites or anti-Zionists.”

  30. Katherine — on 27th February, 2007 at 5:14 pm  

    What’s your point Arnold? I read that. It doesn’t mean that Sunny approves of or supports anti-semitism, at all.

    It certainly doesn’t justify the attack of Will, who calls him, and I quote, a “thick cunt”.

  31. Sunny — on 27th February, 2007 at 5:24 pm  

    I stand by what I said even if, as Chairwoman suggests, the wording may not be exactly clear. But I have since clarified and it’s obvious – I don’t support racists or bigots or ant-semites but their existence doesn’t mean you stop dissenting or criticising specific people/orgs/govts.

    Will isn’t that stupid, he knew exactly what I meant. He just doesn’t like it. But he isn’t just a smear-merchant, he’s not very consistent. Otherwise, horror of horrors, he would be on the same side as MPAC
    http://www.mpacuk.org/content/view/2805/39/

    Anyway, enough of that crap.

  32. bananabrain — on 27th February, 2007 at 5:32 pm  

    sunny, it’s good to see your position so decisively stated:

    “you have to be critical even if the danger is that bigots of all colours and kinds use your words for your own agenda. One has to be careful obviously but should you censor criticism on that basis? No.”

    i can understand this and, indeed, sympathise, but i fear chairwoman is right when she says:

    You have said that you don’t care about boosting antisemitism. I don’t believe it’s true, but regardless of that, that is exactly what you have said.

    like her, i don’t believe this is true, but it would be, you must admit, a logical consequence. as a matter of fact, i don’t think that IJV is the worst possible offender on this front, partly because i am prepared to believe that its most high-profile signatories, (although by no means all of them) are motivated not by malice but by idealism – misdirected and blinkered in some cases, but well-meant. unfortunately the very high-profile signatories that most people have taken offence at are exactly those people most out of touch with the actual community. harold pinter, for example, is invisible as a jew the rest of the time and has in fact gone on record as officially renouncing it (whatever that means) in short, the israel-bashing luvvie club section of the signatories are almost entirely unidentifiable as jews in any recognisable way. for them to lecture the mainstream about what are in most cases deeply-held (if somewhat emotional) views comes across as deeply arrogant, not to mention hypocritical. i was talking to the letters editor at the jc the other night and she told me that of the several thousand letters they received (far more than usual), just four were supportive of the signatories of the IJV – as opposed to its stated aims. that, if nothing else, ought to tell you something about why it has caused a storm; i’ve already told you why i think it’s something far more akin to MPAC than NGN.

    el cid said:

    “I sympathise with what Sunny is saying, but there is something silly about applying a worldview dogmatically without compromise. There’s a fine line between moral consistency and stupidity.

    Would you have had a problem agreeing a marriage of convenience say, with Stalinist USSR, in order to defeat the Nazis?”

    and i guess i would make the same point. obviously, sunny, i don’t think you would have been dogmatic about principle in this case, but i think principles must sometimes yield to pragmatism and i suspect you would concede that in general, if not specifically in this case.

    incidentally, congrats on the article in the times. there is another one that i think is worth a discussion here, though, particularly in view of your “i believe in the BBC” sticker:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article1433753.ece

    it has certainly caught my notice that the BBC seems to have its own mindset (incidentally, i’m not talking about I/P in this case as that is very carefully watched by everyone) but certainly the today programme appears to have its own foreign policy.

    not to put too fine a point on it, but PP sometimes comes across as an outpost of the same mindset – and that’s all very well, i suppose, you’re entitled to do as you please, but it does make me a bit rueful at times.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  33. Kulvinder — on 27th February, 2007 at 6:39 pm  

    Out of curiosity what would a ‘visible jew in the community’ be? I only ask because im often accused of not participating in the sikh community enough despite commenting and criticising on it. I’ve asked, but never been told what being more visible would mean. If anything distance gives perspective. Their arguments, or lack thereof (depending on your pov) shouldn’t be questioned because of the way they live their life.

  34. Katy — on 27th February, 2007 at 6:53 pm  

    Their arguments, or lack thereof (depending on your pov) shouldn’t be questioned because of the way they live their life.

    I’m cautiously positive about IJV, unlike BB, but I do share his cynicism about people like Harold Pinter and Mike Leigh, both of whom have disavowed Judaism completely in the past and spent most of their time slagging it and Jews off, but are quite happy to identify as Jewish when there’s a chance to make a splash in the press.

  35. Katy — on 27th February, 2007 at 6:56 pm  

    (Doesn’t mean I don’t think that Mike Leigh is a good filmmaker. I just think it’s a bit rich to say “I don’t consider myself to be Jewish” and then join an organisation called Independent Jewish Voices.)

  36. Leon — on 27th February, 2007 at 7:57 pm  

    not to put too fine a point on it, but PP sometimes comes across as an outpost of the same mindset

    Big shock: PP isn’t a Tory site. Next up on Revelations TV; the sky is blue and the water is wet…

    I really don’t see what the big deal is here, there seems to be a lot of overtly carefully worded points which makes me wonder what the real thoughts behind them are…basically if you don’t get what Sunny is about by now (a very slight lack of articulation on an extremely rare occasion aside) I doubt you ever will.

  37. TGlavin — on 27th February, 2007 at 7:59 pm  

    Just to say, being one of those who post at Trots, I thought Sunny’s piece was actually quite good. Except for this: “Similarly, I support Independent Jewish Voices because Israel’s foreign policy hurts both Jews and Palestinians (the latter more, obviously) regardless of whether it boosts the anti-semites or anti-Zionists.”

    “Regardless” of whether it does these things?

    That’s what Will was on about. To be regardless is to be heedless. I wouldn’t have used the same language as Will, but I think his point about the role the IJV is playing is a good one; it might even be construed as a role that hurts Jews no less than “Israel’s foreign policy” to the extent that the IJV “boosts the anti-semites,” as Sunny put it.

    It’s also plain that Sunny wouldn’t have phrased that sentence in quite the same way if he’d properly considered what reasonable inferences could be drawn from it. Sunny himself has clarified the matter, writing that “the wording may not be exactly clear.”

    With regard, then.

    T

  38. Chairwoman — on 27th February, 2007 at 8:08 pm  

    Similar members of the intelligentsia in pre WW2 Germany renounced Judaism.

    And they continued to renounce it all the way to the gas chambers.

    Excuse me if their presence fails to impress me.

  39. Chairwoman — on 27th February, 2007 at 8:12 pm  

    Leon, it’s not about the inference that those of us that know Sunny make, it’s about the impression made on new visitors.

  40. Sid — on 27th February, 2007 at 8:13 pm  

    Is that a intellectualy sound criticism of the IJV?

    Its an argument that is a bit like the one Muslims (and Muslim organisations in particular make) when they need to diminish the crediblity of their critics on the grounds that the individual is “not a good Muslim”. By casting aspersion on their Muslim-ness (he’s a Kafir, he’s a Sufi etc) criticism from certain quarters is unheeded. And you don’t have to be an Irshad Manji or a Jirsi-Ali to qualify for this kind of thing either.

  41. Amrit — on 27th February, 2007 at 8:21 pm  

    Sunny, if you are a traitor, then I and a hell of a lot of other Picklers are too. Though I’m not sure I’m ‘officially’ a proper Pickler yet – I hope so!

    When the choice is between being a ‘traitor’ and being a cowardly sheep, I know which one I’d choose. I’m seeing the consequences of being a cowardly sheep here and now, and I’m sure many other people are too, Asian and otherwise.

  42. Leon — on 27th February, 2007 at 8:24 pm  

    it’s not about the inference that those of us that know Sunny make, it’s about the impression made on new visitors.

    It is? I’m really not that worried about it. People will learn about each other over time and the one’s that don’t want to (like the smearing dickhead that’s sparked some of this) are less likely to be worth bothering with…

  43. Leon — on 27th February, 2007 at 8:27 pm  

    When the choice is between being a ‘traitor’ and being a cowardly sheep, I know which one I’d choose.

    Well said.

  44. Chairwoman — on 27th February, 2007 at 8:38 pm  

    Sid, it’s not intellectually sound to say ‘I renounce Judaism’ with one breath and complain that ‘the Jewish Board of Deputies doesn’t represent my views’ with the next.

    Leon, shouldn’t that be followed by something about keeping the Red Flag flying here? :-)

  45. Leon — on 27th February, 2007 at 8:39 pm  

    CW, nope I was actually thinking more ‘better to die on your feet than live on your knees’…

  46. Shuggy — on 27th February, 2007 at 8:55 pm  

    “Participating in a group blog is kind of different from being born jewish or muslim.”

    No shit, Sherlock.

  47. Kulvinder — on 27th February, 2007 at 8:56 pm  

    Sid, it’s not intellectually sound to say ‘I renounce Judaism’ with one breath and complain that ‘the Jewish Board of Deputies doesn’t represent my views’ with the next.

    Actually it could make sense depending on which way the causality was (the Jewish Board of Deputies doesn’t represent my views – I renounce Judaism).

    Regardless, and as i think people are trying to point out it doesn’t affect the argument they’re making. If you want to disagree with individuals or with IJV as a whole then do so within the context of the debate.

  48. Chairwoman — on 27th February, 2007 at 9:11 pm  

    ‘Actually it could make sense depending on which way the causality was (the Jewish Board of Deputies doesn’t represent my views – I renounce Judaism).’

    There’d be no problem with that, Kulvinder. But it was, in fact, the way I put it. Therefore my problem is not their philosophy, they’re entitled to their beliefs regardless of my support or not, but that they make these statements as Jews.

    The stance of the people who renounced Judaism but now want to shelter under the IJV umbrella lacks honour and cheapens the stance of the other signatories.

  49. Leon — on 27th February, 2007 at 9:15 pm  

    Are you still a Jew if you renounce Judaism?

  50. Kulvinder — on 27th February, 2007 at 9:16 pm  

    Perhaps, but focusing on that rather than on whats said does the same for the other side.

  51. Chairwoman — on 27th February, 2007 at 9:22 pm  

    I haven’t a clue actually, Leon. But I know what Hitler thought.

  52. Katy — on 27th February, 2007 at 9:24 pm  

    The point is that if you’re going to say “I am no longer a Jew”, it is a bit rich to then stand up under the umbrella of a group called Independent Jewish Voices. I’m not saying they aren’t entitled to be there – they’re born Jewish and as far as I’m concerned it’s up to them whether they consider themselves Jewish or not, and it’s up to IJV to decide who can join them; but in my opinion it is hypocrisy of the highest order to say “I don’t consider myself Jewish, but I’m going to join this highly publicised Jewish group that speaks for a section of the Jewish community, to which I say I do not belong, on Jewish issues, which I say do not affect me because I am not a Jew.”

  53. Katy — on 27th February, 2007 at 9:27 pm  

    I believe that the answer is that you are still considered to be a Jew by religious Jews if you renounce it (unless you convert to something else), as are your children, but if they convert to something else or renounce Judaism too then their children won’t be considered Jews… I think. I bet bb knows the answer.

  54. Leon — on 27th February, 2007 at 9:42 pm  

    The point is that if you’re going to say “I am no longer a Jew”, it is a bit rich to then stand up under the umbrella of a group called Independent Jewish Voices

    I’m not sure it is a bit rich, I can see how someone rediscovers themselves along new lines.

    CW, I wonder if Hitler really knew although those that attended the conference at Wannsee undoubtedly thought they did…

  55. lithcol — on 27th February, 2007 at 9:47 pm  

    They are minorities here but of course they are from majority countries. Some may hold views which I find incompatible with the democratic values of this country, which are evolving constantly.
    Should I be inhibited in criticising what I consider to be reactionary and backward modes of thought and behaviour of some minorities, just because they are minorities. I think not.
    I am in a minority sometimes regarding some of the values of this society. Fortunately I live in a country where I can freely express my ideas and engage in debate without fear of being violently suppressed by the majority. If they do so I expect the full force of the law to descend on them.
    I am always impressed by reformists in any country when they stand up to the intolerance of those who seek to suppress contrarian viewpoints. Many do so with extreme bravery. Without such people societies either regress to barbarianism or don’t emerge from barbarianism.
    Sunny is being Sunny. He sticks his head above the parapet and says hey, what is going on. He expects a rational debate, and sometimes gets it.

  56. Dinner — on 27th February, 2007 at 9:52 pm  

    I don’t think Sunny’s original article was badly phrased at all. The meaning of his ‘Israel’ comment appears identical to the meaning of his later clarification, and was in my view completely correct.

    To disagree with his point is to suggest that IVJ, who are in no way racist or anti-Semitic themselves, should deliberately suppress their own legitimate concerns and criticisms of Israel for no other reason than it might ‘boost anti-Semites’. Can any sensible person really support this, because this seems to be the only reason why Sunny’s comment has caused controversy?

    Sunny’s only sin seems to be to fail to ‘idiot-proof’ his post, in other words to fail to anticipate that a perfectly clear sentence would be misinterpreted by people who superimpose their own assumptions on it. I, however, would rather read something simple and clear than have every piece of writing bogged down by caveats for the benefit of people who are incapable of reading a simple sentence and grasping what it means.

  57. Chairwoman — on 27th February, 2007 at 10:00 pm  

    Dinner – Thank you for clarifying things for me.

    How lucky I am to have someone of your intellectual magnitude to help me read a simple sentence and grasp what it means.

  58. Chairwoman — on 27th February, 2007 at 10:01 pm  

    I am thrilled you are all ok with boostimg antisemitism as none of you are going to be on the receiving end of it.

  59. Dinner — on 27th February, 2007 at 10:58 pm  

    I am no great intellect, and I’m sorry if I seemed rude, but I really can’t tell the difference between Sunny’s original (controversial) comment and the meaning he has clarified. The meanings attached to it seem unfair and the actual meaning of the comment completely clear.

    It is the same principle that applies universally. It may well be true to say that raising concerns about forced marriage or FGM ‘boosts’ people who would attack certain minority groups. At some point you have to say that this isn’t a reason in itself to keep quiet about these abuses. The same logic applies with anti-Semitism (and I don’t think IJV does boost anti-Semitism but that is another matter).

    Of course people can and should phrase their criticisms in language that gives as little comfort as possible bigots, whilst still effectively confronting the issue.

  60. William — on 27th February, 2007 at 10:59 pm  

    It seems that the word boost is being seen as meaning causation in a way it shouldn’t be as if they are creating anti semitism rather than their prescence and position is interpreted as so. Does this in itself highlight the problem in that people mis apply causation and opposition where in fact and/and logic would be more appropriate rather than simple binary opposites.

    I agree with Dinner that it is difficult to make everything idiot proof. To qualify every statement to avoid even ambiguity would involve some kind of infinite regression of checks against human individual
    assumption fuelled and coloured by their schemas and biases.

  61. Sunny — on 27th February, 2007 at 11:09 pm  

    I think a few issues are being conflated here. People are welcome to disagree with me over my support for IJV and have their own reservations. I know Chairwoman, Katy, David T and Bananabrain all do to different degrees. I’m ok with that.

    But my support for IJV has so incensed Will here that he’s making an entirely different point – that criticism of the representative of a minority group should be withheld because it gives power to racists. This is not about the IJV, it is about whether I should be allowed to criticise Israel because then I’m apparently directly culpable in anti-semitic attacks here.

    My point, stated above, is that he hasn’t really thought through this stupid position, or is at least unwilling to apply it to Muslims and other minorities. Look at the context of the article it’s written in. We never hear about domestic violence in Asian families because “communities get demonised”. So is the BNP now a good enough excuse not to talk about injustice? Bollocks.

    A few years ago I told my brother off for going to a march where they declared – ‘Sikhs are not Muslims’. The racists won’t care about your religion mate they’ll find an excuse to bash you, I told him. And if this was Hitler’s Germany I wouldn’t be walking around with a sign saying ‘Sikhs are not Jews’ either.

    My point is that racists and anti-semites will use any excuse to bash who they hate, regardless of whether you ‘boost them’. This is why I don’t buy the argument that I should censor criticism of the MCB because the BNP come out with posters specifically targetting Muslims. This is why I don’t buy Will’s crappy smear attempt.

    I’m not out to boost racists but neither do I like censoring myself for fear of boosting them.

  62. Sunny — on 27th February, 2007 at 11:15 pm  

    I see Dinner has already covered that too. thanks.

    William – funnily enough, Garry Smith recently wrote a post where at the end he makes a list of ‘Straw-man Disclaimers’. Brilliant I thought. I should start that too.
    http://bsscworld.blogspot.com/2007/02/lost-in-translation.html

  63. lithcol — on 27th February, 2007 at 11:35 pm  

    Idiots are by definition idiots ie they are unable to reach reasoned conclusions however clearly you express your ideas. Nuanced debate is always problematical, particularly for idiots. However, even enlightened individuals are sometimes perplexed.
    I think I know where Sunny is coming from, however he has left enough room for people to draw diverse conclusions.
    I have always found it better to express your thought, ideas, feelings etc unequivocally . At least then it is out in the open and people can respond robustly.

  64. Katy — on 27th February, 2007 at 11:44 pm  

    To be honest with you, IJV hasn’t exactly penetrated the Jewish community – not round my way, anyway, and as my way is North London it contains a substantial part of the English Jewish community. The only Jews I’ve heard talking about it are me, bananabrain and the Chairwoman, and that’s only when it’s mentioned on this page.

  65. Leon — on 28th February, 2007 at 12:08 am  

    Garry Smith recently wrote a post where at the end he makes a list of ‘Straw-man Disclaimers’. Brilliant I thought. I should start that too.

    This just shows how debased political discourse is at times that you even have to [come up with all these base covering disclaimers) just to stop people losing their minds…

  66. Leon — on 28th February, 2007 at 12:16 am  

    To be honest with you, IJV hasn’t exactly penetrated the Jewish community

    That doesn’t surprise for the same reasons that it doesn’t surprise me that the NGN isn’t a major talking point amongst BME people or the Euston Manifesto isn’t amongst wider society.

  67. Katy — on 28th February, 2007 at 12:24 am  

    You know when you’re really really really tired, and you want to go to bed, but you’re too tired to get up and go to bed, but you can’t sleep where you are? That’s me at this precise moment in time, that is.

  68. Leon — on 28th February, 2007 at 12:29 am  

    Yeah me too, although I know I wont be sleeping anytime soon tonight; that’s what happens when you read Seymour Hersh late at night…

  69. Katy — on 28th February, 2007 at 12:47 am  

    Yikes, I’m not surprised you’re still awake. No happy endings there…

  70. Chris Stiles — on 28th February, 2007 at 1:47 am  

    I am thrilled you are all ok with boostimg antisemitism as none of you are going to be on the receiving end of it.

    Do you feel the IJV boosted anti-semitism ?

    I speak as one mostly dis-interested, given the political theatre nature of the whole thing.

  71. DR1001 — on 28th February, 2007 at 5:25 am  

    slight chane in topic but i’m curious…

    http://www.jesusforjews.org/about_jesus/forbidden_peace/

    Is this group (from US) considered sort of antisemitic?
    I heard an Orthodox Jewish friend once say the were not truly Jewish but i wondered what some of the commenters here thought.
    thank

  72. Sunny — on 28th February, 2007 at 5:37 am  

    Additional points.

    Amrit, thanks. Don’t worry you’re a Pickler now ;)

    Bananabrain: like her, i don’t believe this is true, but it would be, you must admit, a logical consequence.

    BB (and TGalvin) there is a difference in actively going out there to boost anti-semites and boost racists, and saying that you won’t withhold criticism in worry of boosting them.

    I’m clearly wary of boosting or giving any ammunition to racists of all kinds. I think by now, if you trawl through the archives, my anti-racist stance is pretty consistent and I’m happy to even bash black/Asian orgs that hold hands with anti-semites (as I did in the NGN manifesto).

    But tell me – where does this fine line lie that you speak of? At what point does criticising an organisation mean you are contributing towards racist attacks on people related to that org? Or should one not criticise at all?

    the point I make:
    - “Similarly, I support Independent Jewish Voices because Israel’s foreign policy hurts both Jews and Palestinians (the latter more, obviously) regardless of whether it boosts the anti-semites or anti-Zionists.” – cannot be used standalone. It is in the context of an article about people speaking out about actions they disagree with and they think are done in their name.

    Actually domestic violence is not even done in my name but I still feel it needs raising. But it cannot be denied that being brown and raising the issue of domestic violence within Asian families is more easier done by me than a white person. I can go on radio and happily castigate “backward” mentality when others can’t.

    Now at what point am I demonising Asian men enough so that I’m leading to the BNP increasing racist attacks on them? Where is that link? And if I don’t talk about it, are the BNP less likely to be racist?

    These aren’t rhetorical questions. The implication is that by questioning Israel’s foreign policy the IJV are boosting anti-semites. Apparently they should just keep quiet about it. Also, by association if I think their manifesto is noble then I’m approving of attacks on Rabbis.

    I’d like for my critics to show all this relates to Muslims too, you know, just to be consistent. Or is Will going to deny racist attacks on Muslims too now?

    (incidentally BB, I’m going to be speaking at Jewish Policy Research on 29th March alongside Jonathan Freedland I believe. Be great if you can come down and we can say hello at least.)

  73. Chairwoman — on 28th February, 2007 at 11:07 am  

    Chris Stiles – Yup. There’s a particular type of moron out there who will see the IJV as confirmation of our intrinsic evil as the good ones can’t stand the rest of us.

    DR1001 – They’re not antisemitc, they’re idiots. I say that because their acceptence of Jesus as the Messiah, and their worship of him makes them Christians. It’s the basic tenet of Christianity. They are not Jews. They are of Jewish descent, they were born Jewish. Now they are not.

  74. bananabrain — on 28th February, 2007 at 11:09 am  

    i don’t see anything on the jpr website about it – that’s a thursday, yes? i will look into it – would be nice to meet you in real life. i’ve known jonathan freedland quite a few years, more or less on nodding terms – most recently he was chairing the yad arts “spiel” chatshow at the ICA that my band played at, so he ought to know me via my musical hat at least.

    The implication is that by questioning Israel’s foreign policy the IJV are boosting anti-semites. Apparently they should just keep quiet about it.

    the one doesn’t necessarily follow from the other. although i agree the IJV provides ammunition (“you see, even their own people are turning against them”)
    i think there are plenty of better places to get it from. the point is, of course, that there is *huge* debate within the community – it’s just not that evident from looking at the BoD’s public pronouncements. the more aposite point is that the IJV luvvies would know that if they were actually involved in the community.

    Also, by association if I think their manifesto is noble then I’m approving of attacks on Rabbis.

    that is a profoundly stupid accusation (theirs, not yours) and clearly one intended to close down debate. all you have to do is take as clear a stand as you have done opposing anti-semitism; i have no problem with your credibility on that front.

    But tell me – where does this fine line lie that you speak of? At what point does criticising an organisation mean you are contributing towards racist attacks on people related to that org? Or should one not criticise at all?

    by the organisation you mean the BoD, right? i don’t think it does, unless you speak in the sort of terms that involve words like “cabal”, “shadowy” or “sinister” – stuff that basically draws on classical anti-semitic stereotypes
    and imagery. which you don’t, but some people do. i guess that i am saying that generalisations and comparisons may make good copy, but the fact is that you can compare jews to muslims all you like, but nobody in this country has been blown up, stabbed or beaten up by a jew. nor have muslims in this country been subject to the sort of persecution that jews have endured particularly in germany in the 1930s, to which frequent reference is made. i was very struck by that guy who was arrested the other day who said “this is a police state for muslims” – on TV, uncensored and, more to the point, after having been sprung by his lawyer. clearly he doesn’t understand what a police state is; try doing what he did in a muslim country.

    if by “organisation” you mean israel, then that actually has been clearly shown to contribute towards attacks on jews. does that make it wrong to criticise israel? no, not at all. by this logic, you can never make any criticism of anyone, for fear that some nutter will take this as pre-approval of their actions. the fact is that people don’t make fine distinctions between “israel” and “jews”, or between israeli government policy and israeli societal norms, between jewish religious law and israeli civil law and so on and so on. anyone who knows anything about judaism or israel knows this. the fact is, if people talk about israel – and i am careful to talk about specific israeli government policies – it implies a monolithic entity which, again, anyone who knows anything about israel knows how inaccurate that is. i extend that to anyone who talks about “the muslims” or “the ‘umma” or any group as if they were a bloc. it is, to me, self-evident that there is no such thing as unified group opinion and talking in those terms is simply evidence of sloppy thinking.

    Out of curiosity what would a ‘visible jew in the community’ be? I only ask because i’m often accused of not participating in the sikh community enough despite commenting and criticising on it. I’ve asked, but never been told what being more visible would mean. If anything distance gives perspective. Their arguments, or lack thereof (depending on your pov) shouldn’t be questioned because of the way they live their life.

    it remains, as chairwoman put it, glaringly obvious that the sort of people who are saying “there’s no danger” are the sort of people who would never get attacked in the street for being jewish, because they don’t dress like it, they don’t go to jewish places, they don’t mix with jewish people, they don’t do jewish things. their jewishness is merely an ethnic identity without cultural or religious input – the definition of ethnic anti-semites like the nazis. we have a tradition “kol yisrael arevim ze-mi-zeh” – all jews are responsible for one another. that’s certainly how we’re treated, but you can’t expect the IJV luvvies to appreciate a religious insight like that, or its implications, because they’re all too focused on their post-enlightenment individualism. i have a lot more respect for people who have “skin in the game”, as it were – people who are actually risking something by behaving as if they want to be part of the group rather than carping from the sidelines.

    Its an argument that is a bit like the one Muslims (and Muslim organisations in particular make) when they need to diminish the crediblity of their critics on the grounds that the individual is “not a good Muslim”.

    i have gone on record many times about how important i believe diversity within religious groups, particularly judaism is. i am against one-size-fits-all conformity, social, cultural, religious and intellectual and i am a huge proponent of what i call the idea of “religious biodiversity”. i think it is hugely important that there are jews who are not at all religious – i believe that they exist for ultimately religious reasons. we are a culture based upon argument and principled dissent, as epitomised by the Talmudic episode of the “oven of achnai”. however, this means that i reserve the right to strongly argue with and publicly refute points of view with which i disagree. what i find offensive is the idea that these particular jews think that this identity can be put on and off like a hat. like chairwoman points out, they’ll always be a jew to the real anti-semites:

    The stance of the people who renounced Judaism but now want to shelter under the IJV umbrella lacks honour and cheapens the stance of the other signatories.

    says it all, really.

    and, what katy said in 34-35, except that i know mike leigh isn’t quite as negative about it as all that and was at least when he was young involved in the jewish socialist youth movement “habonim”.

    The only Jews I’ve heard talking about it are me, bananabrain and the Chairwoman, and that’s only when it’s mentioned on this page.

    well, as i said above, it’s been the subject of much debate at the intellectual end of the community, if not so much in the peanut gallery, where it has been largely dismissed as “oh, those self-hating jews, they’re going to get us all killed”.

    believe that the answer is that you are still considered to be a Jew by religious Jews if you renounce it (unless you convert to something else), as are your children, but if they convert to something else or renounce Judaism too then their children won’t be considered Jews… I think. I bet bb knows the answer.

    i do indeed. the only way to leave judaism is feet first. if your mother is jewish, you are, according to religious law, jewish. there’s no way to get out of the Covenant once you’re in – which also means there is always a possibility of teshuvah or return.

    Big shock: PP isn’t a Tory site. Next up on Revelations TV; the sky is blue and the water is wet…

    and after that, leon, the next big shock: brains, compassion, rationality, open-mindedness and informed insight are not the exclusive possession of the “progressive” (urgh, what a self-serving term that is) left. i don’t agree with this stalinist definition of left and right anyway. it means nothing these days and hasn’t done for a long time. don’t be such a smug git.

    and, yes, jews for jesus (or jesus for jews, if they’re trying that one) are not jews, but a christian missionary organisation whose aim is to convert jews.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  75. Leon — on 28th February, 2007 at 11:16 am  

    Does anyone have any actual evidence or data?? So far all I see in these ‘criticisms’ is hearsay and speculation…

  76. bananabrain — on 28th February, 2007 at 11:34 am  

    of what?

  77. Katy — on 28th February, 2007 at 11:56 am  

    Leon – if you mean, is there any evidence of a link between Israeli foreign policy and attacks on Jews in this country, the answer is yes. In September 2006 the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism reported that

    “with the outbreak of the Second Palestinian Intifada in September 2000, most agencies monitoring antisemitism throughout Europe and beyond, including the EUMC, have acknowledged a rise in antisemitic incidents. Often these peak at times when there is a particular outbreak of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or somewhere else in the Middle East… This trend is reflected in Britain.”

    The Report can be found at http://thepcaa.org/Report.pdf.

    Antisemitic incidents happen because the people who perpetrate them hate Jews. I agree with Sunny that criticism of Israel cannot be stifled because there are people who use it as an excuse to perpetrate violence on the Jewish community here – but I don’t like it when people ignore the causal link between them, because it does exist and it’s the Jews in this country – who do not vote in Israeli elections, have no say in Israeli foreign policy and in many cases have never even been to Israel – who are on the sharp end of it.

  78. Kulvinder — on 28th February, 2007 at 12:20 pm  

    are the sort of people who would never get attacked in the street for being jewish, because they don’t dress like it, they don’t go to jewish places, they don’t mix with jewish people, they don’t do jewish things. their jewishness is merely an ethnic identity without cultural or religious input – the definition of ethnic anti-semites like the nazis…

    …but you can’t expect the IJV luvvies to appreciate a religious insight like that, or its implications, because they’re all too focused on their post-enlightenment individualism.

    Fair enough. Though i am going to unashamedly own up to the fact that were you a sikh or i a jew, we would have ‘issues’ with each others identity. Based on your description alone, i am more like them than you.

    But then i suppose it takes all sorts… :)

  79. bananabrain — on 28th February, 2007 at 1:51 pm  

    kulvinder,

    like i said above, i support religious biodiversity. however, if the sole manifestation of someone’s claim to jewish identity is public criticism of israel, it would probably be as convincing as me claiming to be an ethiopian based on the fact that one of my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmothers was (which she was) – there comes a point where a label stretches credibility to breaking point. it is what i refer to as the “bacon bagel”. a bagel is a quintessentially jewish food item. putting bacon in it makes it about as far from that as possible. i suppose the sikh equivalent of this would be someone who considered all amritdharis to be deranged fundamentalists, would be embarrassed to even wear a bracelet in public (let alone a turban or a beard) never went near a gurdwara, lived somewhere like hampstead (surprise!) with a non-sikh partner and constantly wrote letters to the guardian (surprise!) about how reginald dyer was a much maligned champion of progressive values and how guru nanak was a sectarian militant and how everyone in the punjab is a corrupt pendu who beats his wife – and, although he himself is an atheist and thinks sikhism is a backward, provincial militant sect, his criticisms of sikhism come only from his concern as a sikh.

    you might well, as might i, be bound to ask what exactly it is that made him sikh in the first place. it kind of reminds me of all those americans who go on about being irish when the closest they’ve ever got to it is standing next to someone at a pub who is holding a pint of guinness.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  80. Chris Stiles — on 28th February, 2007 at 2:09 pm  

    Yup. There’s a particular type of moron out there who will see the IJV as confirmation of our intrinsic evil as the good ones can’t stand the rest of us.

    And this has been known to happen specifically over the IJV ? I suspect that most of the morons you refer to haven’t even heard of it.

  81. Chairwoman — on 28th February, 2007 at 3:48 pm  

    In all honesty, Chris, not to the best of my knowledge, but then I haven’t been logging on to CiF recently.

  82. bananabrain — on 28th February, 2007 at 3:52 pm  

    it hasn’t been going long enough, albeit at least one of the high-profile signatories has a history of standing with the aforementioned morons whenever a visiting israeli politician is being demonstrated against in this country.

    just in the interests of evenhandedness, this isn’t just a problem with lefties – it’s also a problem from the anti-zionist ultra-orthodox. check out “neturei karta” and “jews against zionism” (the same people; i won’t link to them) whose recent photo-ops at the holocaust denial conference in tehran were extensively reported in the arab press as evidence that “the real jews are the good ones who hate israel”. in my other role as judaism board moderator on the UK’s largest comparative religion forum, these guys are constantly referenced by members of the islamic peanut gallery as proof that zionism is a crime, because, look, these guys think so too and they’re jewish – look at their beards and black hats.

    feh.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  83. Kulvinder — on 28th February, 2007 at 3:53 pm  

    you might well, as might i, be bound to ask what exactly it is that made him sikh in the first place.

    I think we’ll just agree to disagree; though for what its worth whenever someone asks me that i mock them until they make a relevant argument.

  84. Rowshan — on 1st March, 2007 at 1:20 am  

    77, katy

    I suspect israel does generate anti-semitism towards jewish people, and I don’t need to see the evidence for it. It’s the same as numbers of attacks increasing on Muslims since Al-Q – I guess people mis-leadingly make others gulty by association.

    This takes me back to Sunny’s original entry. It’s not wrong to crititisise from the inside – a good thing. Stuart Hall , looking at black deviancy in the 1970s asked why Black british people felt responsible for every single Black british criminal that got picked up by the police and reported on the national news. The answer given was that as a minority we feel the burden of representation – those arguments were based on rigirous analysis of media coverage on criminality and representation in the UK – some of the best sociology on communications this country has produced in fact.

    My reason for citing Hall is this. Timing is everything. When minorities are under pressure – and when media paints them to be villains – there is a danger that all images get narrowed to justify and reduce the different experience of us as a community. That’s the danger, and when there is criticism form the inside, this adds salt to the wound.

    It’s a bit like the Brits and US wanted to justify going into Iraq and so they kept coming up with iraqi people to do their bidding on TV as though if it’s an Irawi speaking from the inside, welcoming US soldiers, this is OK. So yes, criticism is easily manipulated to achieve wrong ends – and we should sometimes be responsible about exercising our power to criticise – because it puts minoirty groups under danger to majority verbal and physical abuse. I wouldn’t want to add to that.

    For this reason in the decade leading up the invasion of Afghanistan, I didn’t join in the large scale liberal western view that women in Afghanistan were unfree and needed saving from evil Taliban. The Taliban may/not be evil but I certainly didn’t want to be a part of the western population that suddenly became concerned with the plight of Afghan women and then this widepsread concern was used as moral fodder to justify US attacks on that country. I could see it ten years before- ah, yes, let’s vilify the country long enough until it’s one big stereotype in our imagination adn we can sweep in there and ‘save’ the women. Hmm.

  85. bananabrain — on 1st March, 2007 at 10:29 am  

    whenever someone asks me that i mock them until they make a relevant argument.

    don’t be a twat, kulvinder. it’s a perfectly valid question. what entitles someone to an ethno-religious identity? can one alienate oneself from that? if someone is born into a jewish family, does that make them jewish if all they ever do is disassociate themselves from it in every possible way? obviously the religious answer is that if they fit the religious criteria, this cannot be changed. but we certainly recognise the concept of apostasy and “separating oneself from the community” and these are serious issues, however much you wish to preen and posture.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  86. sonia — on 1st March, 2007 at 10:50 am  

    its all very complicated. i think leon had a good point in no. 66.

    there’s a lot of ‘protectiveness’ of group identity around in the world isn’t there?

  87. Arif — on 1st March, 2007 at 12:30 pm  

    I think part of the issue is whether we should stick rigorously to the arguments being discussed and when it becomes fair game to question people’s motivations.

    The terms of any discussion tends to be negotiated as we go along. But that is not always good enough, as the danger is you make an argument for respecting a group in one context and it is ripped out and displayed as giving reasons why a group should be disrespected by someone else. Then you are having your own words used against you unfairly.

    So I want to be aware of the games people are playing, to avoid being manipulated. But on the other hand I want to believe it is possible to raise the game to one where I can express my view honestly and it being taken as it is, without being suspected of ulterior motives which might be difficult to disprove.

    The reality is we don’t get what we want. People will often misuse other people’s speech where it suits their purposes. So at some point it makes sense to feel responsible for how your speech is misused, if there is something you can do about it (hedging what you say, avoiding emotive terms) and then you will sound like your waffling anyway and no-one will listen.

    Given these dynamics, it’s all down to how fearful we are and what our consciences can put up with. It is probably a good thing that we all have different levels of fear and diferent judgments, so that at least someone breaks the silence sometimes. We should focus our indignation at people who use try to use their arguments to spread hatred.

    Sunny’s point seems to me to be that by being less fearful we can create a new dynamic. Space for constructive criticism. But I think in these times we have to create that space by defending in one breath the group whose dynamics we challenge in the next.

  88. Chairwoman — on 1st March, 2007 at 12:47 pm  

    ‘But I think in these times we have to create that space by defending in one breath the group whose dynamics we challenge in the next.’

    Got it in one.

  89. Leon — on 1st March, 2007 at 12:56 pm  

    Katy #77, not quite what I had in mind, will try and get back to this at some point. Haven’t had any time to post on here due to work load and now my bloody internet has gone down at home…:( It just aint right I tells ya, it just aint right.

  90. Jagdeep — on 1st March, 2007 at 1:04 pm  

    Wow what a thread! How did I miss this! This thread is demented, amazing, and stupid!

    He supports the IJVs because he hasn’t got a fucking clue. The thick cunt.

    Wow – and I thought some Indians who dissed Hundal were harsh.

  91. Jagdeep — on 1st March, 2007 at 1:26 pm  

    Well bananabrain, I understand what you mean but for some people it’s not trendy to give considered thought or answers to those questions these days.

  92. Jagdeep — on 1st March, 2007 at 1:29 pm  

    ‘But I think in these times we have to create that space by defending in one breath the group whose dynamics we challenge in the next.’

    Yes indeed. I think some people don’t understand this, and it’s amazing that they can’t take it on board and see the need to internalise this truism as some kind of oppressive imposition on them, rather than telling people wary of something to STFU and stop repressing my crusade. The thing that is remarkable is how this experience resonates against so many of us — look at this thread, Jewish, Asian and Black people have described this minority dynamic from their own perspective.

  93. Jagdeep — on 1st March, 2007 at 1:30 pm  

    Nice post Rowshan. Do you think that the feeling Hall describes in the 1970′s is still felt within the black community today, this ‘burden of representation’?

  94. douglas clark — on 1st March, 2007 at 3:07 pm  

    Rowshan,

    I was following your post and nodding in agreement until you used the UK / US as an analogy.

    I’d like to suggest it could be used as an analogy in a slightly different way. The vast majority of the electorate do not approve of the policy of the UK government re Iraq. But the UK government uses it’s somewhat spurious mandate to speak, particularily on the international stage, on behalf of us all. As though there was no dissent to their policy, as though it wasn’t Blairs’ biggest mistake ever. There is a great deal of frustration when people choose to use you as a cypher when you, in fact, disapprove completely on the actions that they are taking, nominally, on your behalf.

    So, what I am suggesting is this. That the UK government has policies that are alien to the majority of it’s electorate, but strut the international stage ‘punching above it’s weight’ by ignoring it’s constituency. I can see how that might be just as accurate an analogy to most faith based institutions, including the C of E and the MCB.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.