LibDems launch internship for minorities


by Sunny
16th March, 2007 at 12:51 am    

Interested in gaining political work experience in the heart of Westminster? Interested in volunteering in one of the key Liberal Democrat offices, including the Leader’s office?

If you would like to be part of the new Lib Dem BME intern scheme please send your CV and covering letter explaining why you would like to take up this opportunity to suttiea@parliament.uk and adamsonv@parliament.uk.

The Liberal Democrats have launched a Parliamentary internship scheme to encourage young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds to get involved in politics.

Organised in collaboration with Operation Black Vote and Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats, participants in the scheme will assist MPs or Party staff in Westminster, learning about the work of a political party, the procedures of Parliament and the role of an MP.

The intern scheme is part of a campaign by the Liberal Democrats to improve the representation of minority ethnic communities in the Parliamentary Party and in other areas of elected government in the UK. As well as working to ensure more people from BME communities are elected to public office today, the intern scheme also aims to invest in the next generation of politicians.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Leader Menzies Campbell said: “I am committed to making the Liberal Democrats more representative of modern Britain.”

“Our new intern scheme will encourage young people from under-represented backgrounds to work in Westminster. Many people from ethnic communities still feel isolated from the political mainstream. A healthy democracy relies on everyone taking part and having his or her voice heard.”

Commenting further, Chair of Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats, Meral Ece said: “This intern scheme is one of many steps the Liberal Democrats are taking to encourage people from ethnic minority communities to get more involved in politics. As a mainsteam political party, we have a responsibility to ensure we reflect the people we seek to represent.”


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  1. Amir — on 16th March, 2007 at 2:37 am  

    For. Fucks. Sakes.

    “The Liberal Democrats have launched a Parliamentary internship scheme to encourage young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds to get involved in politics.”

    AKA,… we’re going to discriminate against better-qualified Caucasian applicants! Hilarious. If blacks or browns (or yellows) want to apply to the Liberal “jellyfish” Democrats, so be it: but they should at least do it on an equal footing. Anything else is just pure racism. The very fact that they’re campaigning for more “ethnic minorities” undermines the politically-correct notion of a colour-blind society. Racial quotas confirm Steve Sailer’s scholarly suggestion that racial identities are a source of political tension and endless conflict.

    Does this mean, therefore, that a multiracial society is incompatible with the libertarian notion of a meritocratic economy? Discuss.

  2. Amir — on 16th March, 2007 at 2:50 am  

    This is even funnier…

    Menzies Campbell said: “I am committed to making the Liberal Democrats more representative of modern Britain.”

    Okay. Fair enough. In that case, let us make the NHS and curry-house-industry more representative of the United Kingdom: sack some of the homegrown Asian doctors and waiters, and let us appoint instead more homegrown Hankeys. Caucasian quotas, anyone?

    Non?

    Didn’t think so.

  3. Amir — on 16th March, 2007 at 3:02 am  

    “Operation Black Vote”

    Fucking hilarious! I mean… can you imagine, “Operation Caucasian Vote.” Those Marxist dickheads in Searchlight would be out of their rat holes like greyhounds on amphetamine.

  4. Amir — on 16th March, 2007 at 3:47 am  

    Oh yeah…

    “As a mainstream political party, we have a responsibility to ensure we reflect the people we seek to represent.”

    Well, what about the white working-class? They, it seems to me, are the most underrepresented and underfunded racial group in contemporary British society. No quotas for them ay?

    The idea that we live in an egalitarian, colour-blind society is complete and utter gibberish. Black and Asian children today are hammered with the idea of racial identity and pride, yet racial pride in whites constitutes a grave evil. Say “I’m white and I’m proud” and you are a Nazi or a supremacist. Racial identity is simply forbidden to whites in Britain and across the entire Western world. This, I believe, is reflected in the egregiously unfair quota system.

    It’s funny. It really is! Sunny castigates me for linking to VDare on a previous thread, and yet here he is on his own blog aggressively promoting Black and Asian Nationalism.

    Hilarious :-)

  5. fiz — on 16th March, 2007 at 9:49 am  

    Amir, get back to Stormfront. That’s where you belong.

  6. Sid Love — on 16th March, 2007 at 10:00 am  

    It’s funny. It really is! Sunny castigates me for linking to VDare on a previous thread, and yet here he is on his own blog aggressively promoting Black and Asian Nationalism.

    nice try eugenics boy.

  7. Amir — on 16th March, 2007 at 10:16 am  

    Fiz,

    Answer my questions? You can’t, can you?

    Let’s be perfectly clear about this: I’m not the one on Pickled Politics promoting racial quotas. I would rather interns be judged on their personal merit and political acumen.

    If a liberal democracy wants to embark on utopian social engineering, then it has to apply the same rule equally and consistently to all races – whites included.

    It’s institutional hypocrisy to do (or think) otherwise. Avoid the question if you will, Fiz. Calling people nasty names is the easiest way to shut down debate, which, of course, is the recognised trait of Stalinism.

    The race-relations industry, in my opinion, is full of immoral bigots and loquacious liars. Objectively speaking, their politics is a mirror-image of the BNP’s.

    Basically, what I’m trying to say is this: if you’re going to recognise the ethnic group interests of blacks and browns and yellows, then you should also, as a matter of social justice, recognise the ethnic interests of whites. If not, then you should try to adopt a more meritocratic, libertarian paradigm.

    It’s as simple as that.

  8. Kismet Hardy — on 16th March, 2007 at 10:16 am  

    I dunno what all the fuss is about hiring someone because they’re black or brown. I’m not so sure about universities asking you what your parents do for a living to ensure more working class people get in unis, but I know from experience that being an Asian with a large penis has worked in my favour in the porn industry

    Amir, I like seeing more brown faces in the force and on the bench. I’m glad the people in charge of hiring and giving opportunies is thinking of my wishes. Why aren’t you me old mung bean?

  9. Kismet Hardy — on 16th March, 2007 at 10:17 am  

    “f you’re going to recognise the ethnic group interests of blacks and browns and yellows, then you should also, as a matter of social justice, recognise the ethnic interests of whites.”

    When was the interest of whites not recognised you madman?

  10. sonia — on 16th March, 2007 at 10:21 am  

    hmm. i don’t know that ‘white’ applicants would be better qualified – in any case i thought the point of an internship was to gain experiences when you’re young and raw. i would think actually that a lot of young people are politically inactive and apathetic – and it would be useful if they could widen out such schemes to be more inclusive.

  11. Kismet Hardy — on 16th March, 2007 at 10:30 am  

    There are some jobs where being of a certain colour matters. For instance when a BNP leafletter moans that ‘Asians come over here and take our jobs’ he’s quite wrong because no Asian would want his job. Unless his name is Amir maybe… :-)

  12. justforfun — on 16th March, 2007 at 10:32 am  

    Call me a cynic – but are these ‘interns’ the Lim Dems response to all the political parties being caught paying slave wages to their bag carriers.

    Will these interns be paid? or is this an attempt to get free workers again and circumvent the law by masking the desire for slaves by implying its a socially progressive act? Enough people re being exploited as it is.

    F** it – what do I care – anybody young person interested in politics should cut his/her teeth on the barricades, while those wanting to join a mainstream party are just wanting to get as quickly onto the gravy train as possible.

    Here is an analogy – “Daddy Daddy – I really really want to be a …. dentist” !!! I would be so depressed if my son or daughter ever said that to me. I would feel I had failed as a parent. There is the whole wide world out there and all they want to be dentist – staring into people mouths all day and racking in the dosh. Oh dear. Same thing – “Dadddy Daddy, I want to be a …..Lib Dem intern” !!! . My God that even more depressing than a dentist. I would suggest a career in dentistry.

    Justforfun

    Amir – can you please stop using the word Caucasian – there are far too many Albanian and Chechen thugs in this country as it is , without encouraging more to come to fit your job quotas !

  13. Amir — on 16th March, 2007 at 10:48 am  

    Kismet,

    (1) “Amir, I like seeing more brown faces in the force and on the bench.”

    I agree. But why is it OKAY for Asians and Blacks and Orientals to express an aesthetic bias toward their own racial group (a very primitive emotion, no?), and yet it is somehow considered “racist” or “supremacist” for whites to do the same thing?

    (2) “When was the interest of whites not recognised you madman?”

    Read this, for a start.

    Sonia,

    (3) “hmm. i don’t know that ‘white’ applicants would be better qualified.”

    That’s not what I’m saying. If the Liberal Democrats are going to aggressively campaign on behalf of one racial group, then it will inevitably overlook better candidates from a larger racial group. It’s as simple as that.

    Amir

  14. Amir — on 16th March, 2007 at 10:49 am  

    Justforfun,

    “Amir – can you please stop using the word Caucasian – there are far too many Albanian and Chechen thugs in this country as it is , without encouraging more to come to fit your job quotas !”

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in weeks! :-)

  15. Kismet Hardy — on 16th March, 2007 at 10:52 am  

    Amir cheers for making me read the Mail on an otherwise lovely Friday afternoon. I don’t usually ask people where they’re from, it’s far more important to me to establish where they are now and how they choose to stand that ground, but I really have to make an exception and ask you of your origins. More precisely, what planet are you from? The way you talk of this country, you’d think white people were all suffering terrible injustices and slipping down every career ladder they tried to climb because black and Asians were knocking them back in every instance. Seriously, where is this place in the UK that you speak of?

  16. justforfun — on 16th March, 2007 at 10:59 am  

    where is this place in the UK that you speak of? ….BBC Asian Network?

    Justforfun

  17. Kismet Hardy — on 16th March, 2007 at 11:01 am  

    Do people really not understand the difference between mainstream and niche?

  18. Amir — on 16th March, 2007 at 11:01 am  

    Kismet,

    “Amir cheers for making me read the Mail on an otherwise lovely Friday afternoon.”

    I adore the Daily Mail. I like sniffing the ink of its beautiful, aromatic pages. It panders to all of my disgusting, hateful and malevolent prejudices. ;-) We’re very, very, very nasty people, don’t you know.

    “Seriously, where is this place in the UK that you speak of?”

    Stop trying to divert this discussion, you hairy bastard! :-) (That’s my job.)

  19. Kismet Hardy — on 16th March, 2007 at 11:06 am  

    Taking the example of BBC Asian Network and justifying black publications like The Voice and Ebony and Asian ones like Asiana and Eastern Eye. Oooh there’s be an outrage if there was a magazine or a radio show just for white people, you may say to counteract their existence.

    The answer is: there is. The mainstream mainly caters for white people because, well, they’re the majority.

    But if you were to take something as superficial as fashion and beauty, a mainstream mag like Cosmo or Vogue wouldn’t address their tips to suit the dark skinned, or tell you about the best lengha to wear on Diwali. Why should they?

    That’s why minority publications exist. So I don’t see your point Just for fun

  20. Rumbold — on 16th March, 2007 at 11:07 am  

    Discrimination based on race is racism. It also puts ethnic minorities in the position that if they do get a job on merit, people will still be suspicious that it was for another reason, which puts them in a no-win situation.

  21. sonia — on 16th March, 2007 at 11:08 am  

    actually amir i do hear what you’re saying – and that’s kinda what i was getting at in my post.

    for a bunch of interns – regardless of who’s well qualified or not – a lot of people don’t have opportunities to learn about politics- and it shouldn’t be just restricted to people from some racial groups. everyone should be encouraged – the scheme is a good idea – but why stop there – take it further, extend it. And not just young people – there are older people too who might want to change careers or something – everyone always thinks you have had to be an intern when you were young, and if you didn’t – and you didn’t have any opportunities, you ‘missed out’. It would be great if that could be rectified.

  22. Kismet Hardy — on 16th March, 2007 at 11:08 am  

    PS. Amir. I still want to know what planet you’re from. I want to include it on my website

  23. Ravi Naik — on 16th March, 2007 at 11:18 am  

    >> Say “I’m white and I’m proud” and you are a Nazi or a supremacist. Racial identity is simply forbidden to whites in Britain and across the entire Western world. This, I believe, is reflected in the egregiously unfair quota system.

    Oh dear, Amir. You are showing your true colours, and you are using the same rethoric as your friends from v-dare and stormfront. Shame on you.

    Blacks and other minorities are encouraged to feel proud of who they are because they have been and still are subject to stereotypes and pseudo-science that people like you perpetuate. It is saying you should not feel ashamed of being who you are, your origins and your culture. It is not about race itself, or snobbery on being born in this group or the other.

    Most people will say (in the appropriate context) that they are proud of being Irish, Spanish, Italian… not that they are proud of belonging to the white race, chinese race, black race, or what not.

  24. Arif — on 16th March, 2007 at 11:18 am  

    Amir, I think that there is a theoretical case for this kind of thing. If there is a social group which faces a form of exclusion not faced by other groups, then some effort to remedy this helps create an inclusive society, where merit really starts to mean something.

    For example, single parents would be better able to get jobs if there is childcare available, or better able to look after their children if other parts of societ ensure they have funds or facilities to do so.

    Many older people are better able to cope in society if there is an effort by others to ensure they have sufficient income, that public spaces do not expect high levels of mobility from pedestrians and that there are fewer steps and more places to sit down.

    What might be barriers to ethnic minorities taking part in politics? Maybe there has been some research done which shows a widespread belief that political parties would not want ethnic minorities for aesthetic or other non-”meritocratic” reasons. And that advertising a specific internship for ethnic minorities might be an effective way to start overcoming such a barrier.

    Does this exclude non-ethnic minorities? Well it may be seen as diverting resources from common use. As can the other examples, but it can also be seen as using comon resources for the common good of an inclusive society.

    When you express is your sense of exclusion as a white working class person, you seem to see it in terms of resources being diverted from common use by ethnic minorities, but it may be better to look for solutions to include working class white people by looking at what barriers you face. Do you need to change attitudes towards this social group? If so, we should think how this can be done without harming others. If people resent the diversion of resources, we should educate them of the need. If they feel it is going towards something socially harmful, then it shows a need for reassurance and education or for more discussion.

    Barriers to feeling pride in your ethnic identity is something you raise, and I agree self-esteem is an important need which an inclusive society should support for everyone. We need to allow people an outlet for their identities, and as someone who isn’t from that social group, I can’t say that they are met just because they seem to me that they are. Do you think there is anything that might help other than stopping efforts at social inclusion for other social groups?

  25. justforfun — on 16th March, 2007 at 11:19 am  

    Kismet – sorry – I was joking.

    Obviously the image in my head of Amir trying to get up the greasing pole at BBC AN and being pushed down was just to much for me – I had to share it. Sunny of course is the Button Boy at the top :-)

    Justforfun

    Button Boy – navy expression – look it up

  26. Kismet Hardy — on 16th March, 2007 at 11:20 am  

    :-)

  27. Amir — on 16th March, 2007 at 11:28 am  

    Kismet,

    “Taking the example of BBC Asian Network and justifying black publications like The Voice and Ebony and Asian ones like Asiana and Eastern Eye.”

    BBC Caucasian Network. Caucasians in Media. The Pub and Whitey and Albanian ones like “Caucasiana.” Western Eye. It all sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?

    “The answer is: there is. The mainstream mainly caters for white people because, well, they’re the majority.”

    Rubbish. The MSM appeals to all races, but from an exclusively British standpoint (what’s wrong with that?). There’s a qualitative difference between a person’s culture and a person’s skin colour – although, I must admit, the two are occasionally interconnected.

    Amir

  28. justforfun — on 16th March, 2007 at 11:28 am  

    http://www.navynews.co.uk/articles/2005/0506/0506_images/0005061401bx.jpg

    You can just see Sunny on the top – its HMS Ganges by the way – which one is Amir? At the front taking the salute – which is of course as it should be.

    Justforfun

  29. Sunny — on 16th March, 2007 at 11:42 am  

    Tell you what Amir. Why don’t you ask your ‘caucasian friends’ to ensure that their selection, that their networks, their prejudices etc aren’t so biased against ethnic minorities (hence the complete and utter lack of representation), and then we can get rid of these schemes.

    I love it when you get so agitated. Your true colours come out even more.

  30. sonia — on 16th March, 2007 at 11:53 am  

    yes but precisely the whole point here is a lot of people are excluded – not just ethnic minorities. why can’t we be honest and admit that maybe we’re in favour of such schemes because we’re more concerned about the exlcusion ethnic minorities’ because that’s so close to our hearts?

  31. Amir — on 16th March, 2007 at 12:03 pm  

    Ravi Naik,

    (2) “Oh dear, Amir. You are showing your true colours, and you are using the same rethoric as your friends from v-dare and stormfront. Shame on you.”

    Oh dear, Ravi. For your information, I don’t have any “friends” at VDare or that belligerent, neo-Nazi Web site Stormfront. I’m an independent thinker, who will read anything and everything. From CounterPunch magazine to the American Spectator, I read widely and copiously. Whether it’s Pat Buchanan or Noam Chomsky or Gore Vidal, I have no problem with opposing (and sometimes controversial) viewpoints. It’s just the way I am. The brilliant left-wing blogger and left-libertarian thinker Chris Dillow made a prescient point about the likes of you:

    “What Hanson is doing here is blurting out the sheer crassness of the lame-brained soft left. She gets her opinions from her addle-headed friends, rather than research and thinking. She’s hostile to anything she finds unfamiliar or too complex for her tiny mind.

    I disagree with Dillow on a number of key issues (immigration and Open Borders being the two most obvious), but I respect his insight and accumulated wisdom. The man is a left-wing contrarian and deserves respect for putting his reputation on the line every time he writes a blog entry. The same applies, mutatis mutandis, to Tim Worstall and Scott Burgess, Mr Eugenides and Devil’s Kitchen. They’re willing to tamper with every sacred cow.

    (2) “Blacks and other minorities are encouraged to feel proud of who they are because they have been and still are subject to stereotypes and pseudo-science that people like you perpetuate.”

    This, in itself, is a racist assumption because it assumes that all ethnic minorities are law-abiding and benevolent multiculturalists, whereas all white people are prone to sporadic bouts of bigotry. According to a recent survey conducted by the Home Office, 50% of all UK murders are against white people. You also forgot the mention a kernel of uncomfortable truth: white people are becoming a racial minority in big cities like Birmingham and Leicester. (Can we have our own quango now?)

    Amir

  32. Sid Love — on 16th March, 2007 at 12:07 pm  

    Yeah, I hate the concept of racial quotas as well, even if this put me in the same camp as EugenicsBoy. In any case, his defence seems to be that there ought to similar quotas for the Great White Unwashed! Self defeating or what?

    Ultimately quotas creates false economies of merit based on descriptors like race and colour or religion rather than merit and ability.

    I’m all in favour of abiding by the maxim “You can’t keep a good (wo)man down”.

  33. Sunny — on 16th March, 2007 at 12:13 pm  

    I disagree with Dillow on a number of key issues (immigration and Open Borders being the two most obvious), but I respect his insight and accumulated wisdom.

    In other words you only agree with the bits of Chris’ logic that suits your V-dare agenda, without thinking about what he’s saying or understanding the implication of his thought process.

    Can we have our own quango now?)

    You do – it’s called the CRE. I think the word ‘Equality’ may have slipped you by since you and your crew don’t really believe in it.

  34. ZinZin — on 16th March, 2007 at 12:18 pm  
  35. Sunny — on 16th March, 2007 at 12:28 pm  

    why can’t we be honest and admit that maybe we’re in favour of such schemes because we’re more concerned about the exlcusion ethnic minorities’ because that’s so close to our hearts?

    Maybe others are but not necessarily me. I’ve pointed out plenty of times, in the Media Guardian, on CIF and here that the problem of representation is across the board – class, gender and race. I think gender is the biggest issue, then race and then class (though it depends on the party concerned since I feel Labour still has better class representation than Conservative).

  36. Amir — on 16th March, 2007 at 1:04 pm  

    Sunny,

    (1) “In other words you only agree with the bits of Chris’ logic that suits your V-dare agenda, without thinking about what he’s saying or understanding the implication of his thought process.”

    Immigration is Dillow’s weakest area. His utopian arguments for Open Borders are easily debunked by another influential left-libertarian thinker: Stephen Cox (click here to access his anti-immigration essay: it’s a classic). However, I am slightly bemused by your smug and patronising suggestion that I don’t understand his “thought-process.” I was educated at Manchester University and so tutored by one the most influential political philosophers and left-libertarians on the planet: Hillel Steiner. If you want to discuss this or this, I’m more than willing to debate it with you.

    (2) “I think the word ‘Equality’ may have slipped you by since you and your crew don’t really believe in it.”

    The first, and most obvious, question is this: Equality of what? Incomes (Marx)? Opportunity (Scanlon)? Resources (Dworkin)? Capability (Sen)? Gender roles (de Beauvoir)? Or equality before the law (Burke)? If you’re going to talk about “equality” on a regular basis then I suggest you be more specific: I, for one, possess serious doubts about equality of opportunity, incomes and gender roles. To hijack “equality,” as you do, is beyond contempt and shows a complete disregard for a rational discourse.

    (3) “Why don’t you ask your ‘caucasian friends’ to ensure that their selection, that their networks, their prejudices etc aren’t so biased against ethnic minorities (hence the complete and utter lack of representation), and then we can get rid of these schemes.”

    As I said to Ravi, the underlying trope is a racist one: you assume that all ethnic minorities are law-abiding and benevolent multiculturalists, whereas all white people are prone to sporadic bouts of bigotry.

    More interestingly, perhaps, is your veiled admission that multicultural societies are inherently unstable and prone to conflict. Steve Sailer makes a similar argument in an essay for Pat Buchanan’s American Conservative magazine.

    Amir

  37. Luke — on 16th March, 2007 at 1:27 pm  

    Amir

    Why do you feel so threatened by Asian and Black people?

    Do you feel annoyed by the existence of the Kewish Chronicle?

    Why does it bug you with such intensity when a minority group sets up their own magazine or website or newspaper to cater for the lack of coverage of their culture by mainstream media outlets and society?

    By what fiendish logic can you twist that into an affront against ‘caucasian’ people?

    Is the existence of Jewish radio stations and newspapers, for an example, an affront against gentiles, in the same way that Black or Asian media makes you feel so threatened and angry?

  38. Luke — on 16th March, 2007 at 1:29 pm  

    Instead of ‘Kewish Chronicle’ I should write:

    Do you feel annoyed by the existence of the Jewish Chronicle?

  39. Kismet Hardy — on 16th March, 2007 at 1:52 pm  

    I dunno. Kewish Chronicle sounds quite nice. I’m into botany

  40. Kismet Hardy — on 16th March, 2007 at 1:52 pm  

    Full frontal botany

    I’ll stop there

  41. Amir — on 16th March, 2007 at 1:57 pm  

    Luke,

    (1) “Why do you feel so threatened by Asian and Black people?”

    I don’t. I used to live in a black neighbourhood and, at one time, a predominantly Asian neighbourhood. I’ve seduced many, many of their beautiful women. To imply that I feel “threatened” is beyond parody. ;-)

    (2) “Do you feel annoyed by the existence of the Jewish Chronicle?”

    No, because I’m a Zionist.

    (3) “Why does it bug you with such intensity when a minority group sets up their own magazine or website or newspaper to cater for the lack of coverage of their culture by mainstream media outlets and society?”

    I don’t have a grudge against any one ethno-paper or magazine or any particular Web site. It’s the Race-relations industry I can’t stand. The pure, unmitigated hypocrisy; the self-pity and social engineering, the reverse racism against whites, and their elastic use of the pejorative “racism.” No one hitherto has answered my two bones-of-contention:

    Number 1: Why is it OKAY for Asians and Blacks and Orientals to express an aesthetic bias toward their own racial group (a very primitive emotion, no?), and yet it is somehow considered “racist” or “supremacist” for whites to do the same thing?

    Number 2: If you’re going to recognise the ethnic group interests of blacks and browns and yellows, then you should also, as a matter of social justice, recognise the ethnic interests of whites. If not, then you should try to adopt a more meritocratic, libertarian paradigm. What is it to be?

    Amir

  42. Katy — on 16th March, 2007 at 2:08 pm  

    I’ve seduced many, many of their beautiful women.

    *rolls eyes*

    There is one point that you make there, Amir, that I really agree with, and that’s your aesthetic bias point. Most people find that they are particularly attracted to one physical type, whether it’s hair colour, body shape, or whatever. I don’t think anyone would say that that sort of thing is racist, would they?

  43. Arif — on 16th March, 2007 at 2:08 pm  

    Amir, wonder if you have a view on my post #24? It seems from the last post that you are agreeing with a formulation of the issue I put there, but it is not clear to me.

  44. Luke — on 16th March, 2007 at 2:12 pm  

    Amir, you really do feel very threatened by Asian and black people and in particular by their culture and media. You said this:

    BBC Caucasian Network. Caucasians in Media. The Pub and Whitey and Albanian ones like “Caucasiana.” Western Eye. It all sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?

    That is what really really irks you, the simple fact that by expressing and representing in media confidently their culture, which is ignored or misrepresented by the mainstream, they are displaying, in your mind, an ‘aesthetic bias toward their own racial group’, an extraordinarily convoluted and confused phrase which seems to conflate several different things to feed into your further tortured fear and sense of being threatened by the most innocuous of things; the existence of minority groups expressing and manifesting their culture and interests.

    You are not, after all, only making points about the nature of bureacratic failure when some quango relocates jobs unfairly, something that all Black and Asian people here will agree with you. You are expressing a deep seated and manic fear and sense of injustice that Black and Asian people show ‘an aesthetic bias’ to ‘their own people’ for having the audacity to express and manifest their culture and experience in media, fulfilling a need that is ignored by the mainstream, and then you further twist that into suggesting that they are wilful separatists, and part of a system that in some vague way actively discriminates and oppresses you, as a ‘caucasian’.

  45. Arif — on 16th March, 2007 at 2:20 pm  

    I think Amir is getting at the idea that anything to help non-whites overcome discrimination (institutional or otherwise) should also be available for white people to overcome discrimination. If he feels discriminated against in some way, then I reckon denial or ridicule by others will only serve to justify and strengthen that belief.

    He sounds to me like he wants to have non-mainstream media catering for his cultural/subcultural tastes and to enable white people to air any politically incorrect opinions without it being taken as being an apologist for Hitler. If that isn’t offered to him, why should he accept that it is available for other cultural/subcultural groups?

  46. Luke — on 16th March, 2007 at 2:35 pm  

    Well Arif, he equated a racist eugenicist website in moral terms with a website that aggregates news relating to Asians in the British media, a website that also writes articles about arts and culture and seems to have a lively editorial stance about these issues. Suggesting that they are in any way comparable, and that it is some kind of discrimination of him as a ‘caucasian’ is so ridiculously out of proportion and perspective that he loses credibility.

  47. soru — on 16th March, 2007 at 2:35 pm  

    Amir: the government is putting a disturbingly large number of billions of pounds into the Olympics, whose main reward (compared to letting it happen someplace else) will be in vaguely pleasurable feelings of pride in Britain/England/London in people who share one of those identities.

    The identity ‘English’ includes people with black and brown skin, just as ‘Muslim’ does, and ‘Chinese’ doesn’t, and ‘British’ includes ‘Scottish’ but ‘English’ doesn’t.

    If this system was consciously designed, it would have been with one goal: confuse everyone so much they come to recognise that simple logical solutions derived from a small set of self-consistent principles are actually not a very good way of organising society.

    Look at the sports of football, rugby, cricket and athletics: no two have the same list of national teams.

    You don’t want all the iron filings of identity lining up in the same direction, focusing society like a laser on one shared goal. Really, you don’t: been there, done that.

  48. Ravi Naik — on 16th March, 2007 at 2:41 pm  

    > BBC Caucasian Network. Caucasians in Media. The Pub and Whitey and Albanian ones like “Caucasiana.” Western Eye. It all sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?

    You are confusing culture with race. These publications cater cultural issues, not racial ones.

    >> This, in itself, is a racist assumption because it assumes that all ethnic minorities are law-abiding and benevolent multiculturalists, whereas all white people are prone to sporadic bouts of bigotry.

    Wrong. It is about semantic of the word. Want to do an experiment? Go to Google and type “white pride”… what do you get? Yes, the first site is stormfront. Type “black pride” and what you get are civil right sites.

    What is your ethnicity, Amir?

  49. Amir — on 16th March, 2007 at 2:52 pm  

    Arif,

    You make some interesting points:

    (1) “If there is a social group which faces a form of exclusion not faced by other groups, then some effort to remedy this helps create an inclusive society, where merit really starts to mean something.”

    Agreed. As both a pragmatist and a conservative, I acknowledge that there is a short-term case for limited quotas. David Miller, a professor of political theory at Nuffield College Oxford, makes a similar case in an interesting book called Principles of Social Justice Buy it.

    (2) “When you express is your sense of exclusion as a white working class person, you seem to see it in terms of resources being diverted from common use by ethnic minorities, but it may be better to look for solutions to include working class white people by looking at what barriers you face.”

    Racial patronage is unjust and insidious. I don’t agree with siphoning off jobs or resources from predominately white areas just because they look “too British.” That’s totally immoral.

    (3) “Do you think there is anything that might help other than stopping efforts at social inclusion for other social groups?”

    I think it’s important not to trivialise racism by bandying the term around too often, especially when it comes to the more innocent and innocuous manifestations of human tribalism: i.e. aesthetic preferences. What we need is pure, dispassionate honesty, and a lot less hysteria. (The lynching of Yazzmonster Alibai Brown would be a good start. :-) )

    However, in saying this also, I appreciate why some Picklers have responded to my posts in dismay. The slightest hint of ethno-hypocrisy and angry white men reacting to it sends shivers down the spines of many Asians and blacks who have experienced racial prejudice at some point in their lives. It’s only natural that they’re a little jumpy about this taboo topic. Getting bullied for your physical appearance is a soul-destroying and ego-crushing experience.

    Amir

  50. Sunny — on 16th March, 2007 at 11:39 pm  

    It’s only natural that they’re a little jumpy about this taboo topic.

    fighting for equality isn’t a taboo topic for me. As I said earlier I’m not for these targetted campaigns because I’d rather the LibDems, and other political parties, have better representation based on merit rather than race.

    You’re complaing about the ‘race industry’. Why not complain instead about the crap state of the supposed meritocracy we live in instead? Until I see you go on more about that equality, you’re such a whining little boy to me, who isn’t interested in equality but playing your own victim card.

  51. Sid — on 17th March, 2007 at 12:24 am  

    Number 1: Why is it OKAY for Asians and Blacks and Orientals to express an aesthetic bias toward their own racial group (a very primitive emotion, no?), and yet it is somehow considered “racist” or “supremacist” for whites to do the same thing?

    In any country where there is even a small population of expat Brits, you will see that this happens a lot.
    No one calls it racist or supremacist, because tribal behaviour is all too normal and aesthetic bias towards your own race is not a function of non-whites alone. So the question is, who exactly calls this behaviour racist or supremacist when whites are behaving tribally? Or is it just you howling at the moon again?


    Number 2: If you’re going to recognise the ethnic group interests of blacks and browns and yellows, then you should also, as a matter of social justice, recognise the ethnic interests of whites. If not, then you should try to adopt a more meritocratic, libertarian paradigm. What is it to be?

    Upthread you discount the “race-relations industry” as being replete with self-pity and socal engineering but here you’re bemoaning the peceived lack of services for the “ethnic interests of whites”. You’re protesting about the existence of racial patronage in political intenship programs for blacks and asians but howl at the lack of such internships that target whites only. Which is it to be, indeed?

  52. Ravi Naik — on 17th March, 2007 at 2:20 am  

    >> but howl at the lack of such internships that target whites only

    BNP, anyone?

  53. Don — on 17th March, 2007 at 4:41 pm  

    Amir,

    ‘AKA,… we’re going to discriminate against better-qualified Caucasian applicants!’

    Actually, no. Do you really think the LibDems (or any other political party) are going to turn away qualified, unpaid interns? They are also actively seeking interns of any origin. This scheme is little more than a recognition that BME (for want of a more convenient term) citizens may feel that the political establishment is closed to them.

    You might have had a point if this really were a case of positive discrimination; such things happen, although the reality is usually more complex than simplistic tabloid indignation. But this isn’t discrimination, it’s just noticing a demographic that may need some encouragement.

    Unfortunately, you have been showing a tendency to simplistic indignation yourself recently, I suspect it’s intellectual laziness more than anything else. Raise your game, mate, you used to be more fun.

    I give you my word that were you to apply to work as an unpaid envelope-stuffing bag-carrier for your local LibDems, your white working-class (?) background would not count against you. Other factors might, but not your precious caucasianness. You feel excluded from the LibDem intern scheme? Come and work for me, I have a shed-load of envelopes to push through doors and I don’t pay a penny.

    JFF,

    Re. #12; Yeah, I know. Intuitively I feel the same way. But someone has to do local politics or the Wrong People just walk in unopposed. And without a machine you’re just pissing in the wind.

    By the way, dentists I can more or less see, although a 17 year old with dental ambitions is worrying. It’s chiropodists and eugenicists that strike me as having chosen a psychologically revealing career.

  54. Amir — on 17th March, 2007 at 5:38 pm  

    Don,

    (1) “Do you really think the LibDems (or any other political party) are going to turn away qualified, unpaid interns?”

    YES!!!! Internships are like gold dust. They’re highly sought after and thus heavily subscribed to.

    (2) “But this isn’t discrimination, it’s just noticing a demographic that may need some encouragement.”

    “Some encouragement” is a shady euphemism for social engineering and affirmative action. (George Orwell would have had a field-day with that bit of semantic trickery.) And yes, it is discrimination. If the Liberal Democrats are going to aggressively campaign on behalf of one racial group, then it will inevitably overlook better candidates from a larger racial group. It’s as simple as that.

    (3) “Unfortunately, you have been showing a tendency to simplistic indignation yourself recently”

    Correct.

    (4) “I suspect it’s intellectual laziness”

    NO. It’s because I don’t take blogging as seriously as I used to.

    (5) “Raise your game, mate, you used to be more fun.”

    Ad hominem. Sunny is the one who needs to touch up on his [meagre] analytical skills. Maybe then he’ll stop sounding like a 1970s Students Union.

    (6) “I give you my word that were you to apply to work as an unpaid envelope-stuffing bag-carrier for your local LibDems, your white working-class (?) background would not count against you.”

    [*Slaps his forehead in disbelief*] Are you havin’ a laff or somethin’? Working class graduates, or non-graduates for that matter, can’t afford to do these internships precisely because they’re unpaid. The London location doesn’t help either!

    Amir

  55. Don — on 17th March, 2007 at 6:36 pm  

    Amir,

    #1 NO!!! I can introduce you to three parliamentary candidates (two LibDems and a Tory, although one of the LibDems has no chance) who are gagging for competent interns.

    #2 I think ‘shady’ is harsh, and don’t wave Orwell at me. If research showed that 18-25 year olds were not getting politically involved, would it be discriminatory to consider a campaign targeted at that group? And I continue to dispute that internships are gold-dust. Yes, for the plum jobs with high-flyers, but at a local level?

    #3&4 Touche.

    #5 Not really. I meant it as baddinage, but if you prefer we can analyse one anothers posts for logical fallacies. That could keep me busy.

    #6 I agree, as I do with ZinZin’s earlier post, that the whole system of internship places a massive barrier between ordinary working people and a fair shot at careers, not just in politics,but in far too many other areas. The graduates issue is a seperate point, I really do agree. However, if a bright and committed youngster wants to give a couple of years for free – no politician can afford to turn that down. I genuinely agree, the system is discriminatory in favour of those with well-off parents. Maybe we should do away with it altogether. Or would that be anti-libertarian?

  56. Ravi Naik — on 18th March, 2007 at 1:16 am  

    >> Asians and blacks who have experienced racial prejudice at some point in their lives. It’s only natural that they’re a little jumpy about this taboo topic.

    Yes, we are one bunch of traumatised SOBs who are unable to have a rational debate with Amir. It could only be that. :)

    > Say “I’m white and I’m proud” and you are a Nazi or a supremacist.

    But the fact remains that people that tend to say these things are racists, nazis and supremacists. And there is a pretty good reason for that.

    Most people, when they have to, will say that they are proud of their ethnic background. The sad thing is when people hide their ethnic background (shame perhaps?) behind terms like ‘caucasian’, and then say that they can’t be openly proud of their caucasianess because angry multiculturists do not allow them to be proud of their caucasian identity.

  57. sonia — on 18th March, 2007 at 12:34 pm  

    interesting Ravi.

    and the other question – when is it going to be the same for ‘desi’ people – if it is going to be same? If India is ‘poised’ now and ‘shining’ again tomorrow – and as Sepia Mutiny home of the American Desis keep pointing out – desis are ‘taking over the world’- so if and when India becomes a ‘global superpower’ will we see desi ethnocentrism turn into ‘desi supremacy’? if desis are no longer a ‘minority’ will the desi ethnocentrism be seen as acceptable?

    are Indians going to be the next lot of Aryan supremacists?

  58. sonia — on 18th March, 2007 at 12:36 pm  

    given we’re doing a pretty damn good job of that now – so i can’t imagine what it would be like if we were actually a successful subregion of the world. Ha!

  59. sonia — on 18th March, 2007 at 12:40 pm  

    45. i think arif has some interesting points.

    my post above was tied up with the fact that a lot of people presume that racism is a one-way powerful relationship – ie. brown oppressed – white -supremacist – which clearly is derived from the colonised experience.

    but that’s what i meant by – what happens when the power dynamic changes? and obviously suggesting all ‘white’ people are imperialist/colonialist/racist because their ancestors may have been – is just as racist.

    racist which to me means judging an individual – one you usually know nothing about -based on assumptions you have about their ‘race’.

  60. sonia — on 18th March, 2007 at 12:47 pm  

    “Maybe others are but not necessarily me. I’ve pointed out plenty of times, in the Media Guardian, on CIF and here that the problem of representation is across the board – class, gender and race. I think gender is the biggest issue, then race and then class (though it depends on the party concerned since I feel Labour still has better class representation than Conservative).”

    so sunny you think gender is a big issue before race and then class? interesting – does this not imply you should be worrying about not just asian women, or just asian women from a certain socio-economic group – but actually – all women, aristocratic women, upper middle class women and all the way across. And if you’re worried about class as the least important point – so problems of deprivation that seem to affect certain socio-economic groups – won’t concern you that much, as say what Lady so and so is able to do – or not do.

    interesting – i hadn’t realised that.

  61. sonia — on 18th March, 2007 at 12:51 pm  

    (6) “I give you my word that were you to apply to work as an unpaid envelope-stuffing bag-carrier for your local LibDems, your white working-class (?) background would not count against you.””

    is it your word to give?

  62. sonia — on 18th March, 2007 at 1:05 pm  

    anyway, as an outsider the social reality i can see is this:

    a big divide between the so-called ‘working classes’ and the so-called upper classes – doesn’t matter if you’re all white. when it comes to politics, unless you’ve managed to educate yourself and do something with your accent, you’re going to find it hard to #network# as easily unless you’re sure of yourself, come across as confident and charismatic – because if you have all that = then it’s easier to overcome ‘prejudic-y’ type barriers.

    so yeah i can see some asians think it’s all easy for people as long as they’re white – but this just seems to me one more example of the ‘no one is as oppressed as I AM’ competition. For goodness sakes’ it is so hard for people to see they’re not the only ‘downtrodden’ ones??

    sheesh. maybe i just got out of the wrong side of bed this morning, but sometimes PP just seems so baby-ish.

  63. justforfun — on 18th March, 2007 at 1:15 pm  

    Sonia – put your coat on and go out for a walk – its a nice sunny day.

    Its haling here , but in London I’m sure its warmer

    Justforfun

  64. sonia — on 18th March, 2007 at 1:24 pm  

    ha its raining buckets JFF! :-) but thanks for the concern, incidentally, thanks for your link on the other site – vurry interesting!

  65. Don — on 18th March, 2007 at 4:10 pm  

    sonia,

    ‘is it your word to give? Sort of, at least around here. I’m fairly active in the local party and the idea of a willing pair of hands being spurned because they happen to be white and calloused with honest labour (as I’m sure Amir’s are) is ludicrous. I’m sure working closely with a destined-for-greatness mover and shaker is a sought after niche, but for the more mundane jobs, well they ain’t exactly queuing around the block.

    Intermittent hail, snow flurries and bright sunshine here. Actually rather nice, the sun breaking through the snow clouds over the Cheviots.

  66. Sunny — on 19th March, 2007 at 1:53 am  

    but this just seems to me one more example of the ‘no one is as oppressed as I AM’ competition

    isn’t that always mostly the case?

    so sunny you think gender is a big issue before race and then class? interesting – does this not imply you should be worrying about not just asian women, or just asian women from a certain socio-economic group – but actually – all women,

    Yup. I stated earlier that the LibDems’ bigger priority should be to have better representation on gender than race. My feeling is that if that can be achieved without specific schemes, than the party becomes more egalitarian automatically.

  67. viet*namita — on 25th March, 2007 at 5:30 pm  

    sonia,

    re: #57, desi supremacy -

    it could happen, but unfortunately, i’m with sunny on the gender issue – if desis are climbing ladders to positions of power in the western world, i think it will be mostly men, especially in the UK (just from my observations). maybe it won’t even be in politics – it could be in other fields like medicine or technology.

    desis could take over the world – geographically asians have a key advantage, but in a lot of diasporic countries, kenya, tanzania, suriname, mauritius, and hell, even northern england, etc, you don’t see so many brown folk seated in authoritative roles unless those bodies are in and of themselves for browns. they are still painfully segregated from the mainstream (albeit i do think some of this occurs by personal choice) and so are automatically ‘out of the loop.’

    regarding the meritocracy discussion, i think there are some philosophies of affirmative action that can could serve as guides. hiring someone based on merit (rather than purely on race, gender, or some other identifying feature) can be done by considering the opportunities of candidates. for example, if you are heading up a morgan stanley branch and you have two candidates, one a brown person who has been actively involved in his/her community and has taken the highest AVAILABLE educational opportunities and has done well vs. a stereotypically Oxbridge type who has had taken far more impressive opportunities, who would you choose? i think perhaps this is the nuance of AA policies. however, all to often, though, in practise the philosophy is forgotten and all folks consider is the aesthetic (what colour is the person who received the position?)

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