Government’s approach to brown people explained


by Sunny
21st March, 2007 at 4:02 am    

Although I’ve frequently explained the process and the reasoning behind which the Labour government has engaged with brown people in the UK, especially Muslims, I haven’t explained it properly in one article. Thankfully now I don’t have to because Steve at Pub Philosopher has done it for me. An excerpt:

Just as the maharajahs were, the community leaders are offered a deal. In return for controlling the more violent elements and helping to keep order, they are co-opted into the outer fringes of the establishment. Membership of local committees, involvement in state funded projects and consultation on local issues help to build up the local leaders’ prestige. Political parties, especially the Labour party, often sign up the community leaders as local council candidates, drawing them and, hopefully, their communities into the party fold.

For the Muslim Council of Britain, this political patronage was especially important. Although it was not officially formed until 1997, its roots go back to the time of the Rushdie troubles. The formation of the MCB was enthusiastically encouraged by the Home Office under Michael Howard, during the mid 1990s. Once again, the British establishment, when faced with rioting brown people, resorted to its tried and tested solution – create an organisation to channel the discontent. That way, you know who you are dealing with and you can exert some control over the unruly mob.

Iqbal Sacranie may have had the full maharajah treatment, going from organising anti-Rushdie protests to sitting with government ministers in ten years, but he couldn’t stop the bombing of the London tube. Sir Iqbal got his knighthood but didn’t keep his side of the bargain. Although he may not have known it, he was only invited into the corridors of power on the assumption that he could channel Muslim aggression into the political process. Now that the MCB has both failed to stop the extremists and appears to be colluding with some of them, the government is looking around for new allies in the form of the British Muslim Forum. Of course, this won’t work either.

It’s also worth noting Iqbal Sacranie changed the constitution to ensure he could stay in power for another two years, got his knighthood, and then went completely quiet. Since then the MCB has become extremely critical of the government. It’s all a coincidence of course. Any wonder the Hindu and Sikh organisations want to jump on this bandwagon? Is it any wonder the Sikh Federation, “has told Sikh youths to assert their identity even if it means turning to radicalism”.

Read Steve’s post in full.


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  1. Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » South Asia: Brown people in the UK

    [...] Pickled Politics on brown people and the government in UK. “Although I’ve frequently explained the process and the reasoning behind which the Labour government has engaged with brown people in the UK, especially Muslims, I haven’t explained it properly in one article.” Neha Viswanathan [...]




  1. The Dude — on 21st March, 2007 at 11:27 am  

    The black community and their so called community leaders have been playing this game for the last sixty years and all to no avail. Black churches and their pastors have been especially targeted by the British Establishment to do their dirty work. Now with the youth in crisis killing each other and the black community imploding upon itself in a spate in self inflicited violence, the black churches have finally been shown up for what they are…..useless and toothless having lost all street cred with both the kids on the street or their (the black churches) erstwhile state sponsors. It now seems that our brothers and sisters in the Sikh, Hindu and Muslim communities in the UK are merely playing catchup in a game which has been in motion for a very, very long time.

    One other thing while I’m at it. In my world anything which isn’t “WHITE” is by definition “BLACK”. Black people where ever they maybe on the planet earth can’t afford to be any place in-between.

  2. Sahil — on 21st March, 2007 at 11:40 am  

    In my world anything which isn’t “WHITE” is by definition “BLACK”. Black people where ever they maybe on the planet earth can’t afford to be any place in-between.

    WHat about Grey?

  3. Steve — on 21st March, 2007 at 11:41 am  

    Sunny, that’s the second time you’ve agreed with me this year – and it’s only March. Worrying, isn’t it?

    Seriously, though, thanks for the link. I’ve had these thoughts rattling around in my head for a while and your post about the MCB and BMF inspired me to write them down.

    Dude – I don’t think I have ever heard any British Sikhs or Hindus describe themselves as Black. I remember when the ethnic monitoring forms only allowed you to put ‘black’ or ‘white’. A lot of middle-eastern and Chinese people resented it.

  4. sonia — on 21st March, 2007 at 11:53 am  

    interesting.

    and how does the Government approach ‘non-brown’ people then? Anyone care to explain that? Or do the problems of representation and fair rule and accountability etc. not apply to ‘them’?

    the paradox here is the reaction to IJV and NGN which seems to indicate that regardless of ‘Government’ playing into the hands of community leaders or not – these ‘communities’ clearly have some currency and social justification in the minds of some people. Who were clearly resentful of the implications of IJV and NGN and hence the comments like ‘well you’renot part of OUR community are you? What does this tell us? That perhaps some people think of themselves as distinct ‘communities’? that some people think others – who share the same religion and skin colour – should be part of these communities? there was a distinct whiff of ‘you traitors’ aimed at the people who went and signed up to such networks. In any case.

    The analogy with colonial rule: the Maharajas – excuse me for pointing this out – were busy ‘ruling’ the people and social stratification was already in place. Yes ‘colonial rulers’ slotted themselves in at the top of that social stratification. They were smart – you gotta give ‘em that. They slotted in with existing power structures. Interesting of course that afer the whole colonialist experiment was over, people seemed to only remember ‘colonisation’ by a different ‘race’..that’s what seemed significant to them.’oh they were outsiders’ they had ‘no right’ to rule over us. Right.. so the caste system and the people on top as long as they were brown and we accept their social legitimacy of being on top – is okay, and alright.

    So what does this all tell us? Excuse me for thinking this ‘Goverment’s approach to brown people’ is ever so slightly simplistic in as much it focuses on the ‘rulers’ and the ‘ruled’ in a simplistic way, and ignoring the reality of life for an individual – regardless of what colour you may be.

    the other paradox of constantly talking about the Government in relation to ‘brown people’ is that somehow ‘brown people’ as a group starts making more sense to people – instead of going the other way – which I would have thought was more the point.

  5. Kismet Hardy — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:01 pm  

    Whatever happenned to that colourful description ‘coloured people’? I thought it painted us as rainbows. I don’t like grey because that makes us sound like aliens, although as anyone who has seen a real alien will vouch, they’re actually more on the mauve side.

  6. Kismet Hardy — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:04 pm  

    Here’s something to think about.

    If you could have two androids that looked like real human beings but never argued your wishes, one that worked like a slave and took care of all you chores, the other to give you sexual gratification…

    What colour skin would you choose for them?

  7. Sahil — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:04 pm  

    I thought aliens were green. They’re way more colourful then us, and not just the skin, but i’ve heard they have some mad subterranian parties up there in mars.

  8. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:08 pm  

    The Dude hits the real nail on the head Sunny. Maybe because you were not born here and you don’t have that perspective regarding how things were pre-1989, but the Dude does.

    Mr Pub Philosopher has, I think, been getting too many withdrawal symptoms since UK Gold stopped running repeats of It Ain’t Half Hot Mum with his wistful and clever oriental scheming.

    The template for what the MCB did was set in stone in the 1980′s after the riots in Handsworth, Brixton, Toxteth and Tottenham, when firebrand black ‘community leaders’ set out the ground rules for this kind of thing. The Sacranies of the world simply revved it up with the help of the Ayatollah and his convenient fatwa. The Sacranies knew that Muslims, and other Asians (Sikhs, Hindus) were co-opted into the secular black (in the widest sense of that term) anti-racist struggle. It only took a slight re-calibration of grievance to change that forever. In a way, you have to admire their chutzpah and cynicism.

  9. Kismet Hardy — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:10 pm  

    “you don’t have that perspective regarding how things were pre-1989″

    As I’ve always said.

    Ecstasy changed Britain for the better.

  10. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:11 pm  

    Here’s a gem from the comments thread of Pub Philosopher’s post on race riots in Utrecht:

    Now if they’ll just bypass the cars and shops and start burning muslims… Better yet they need to burn down their pinko subversive governments and put some patriots in power.

    Burning muslims, what a beauty.

  11. sonia — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:12 pm  

    I like Steve’s post on the Muslim community – Saudi style.

  12. sonia — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:19 pm  

    Good one Sahil :-)

  13. Kismet Hardy — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:20 pm  

    Just read pub cod philosophers stuff. Why is sunny agreeing with him?

  14. Kismet Hardy — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:22 pm  

    sahil, aliens aren’t green. You’ve been watching too many cartoons or on drugs or something. They’re mauve. One day they’ll abduct me and I’ll take pictures and then you’ll see

  15. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:28 pm  

    Just read pub cod philosophers stuff. Why is sunny agreeing with him?

    I don’t know Kismet, but it’s very exciting to write about a link between maharajahs and African tribal leaders and a bunch of Lib Dem councillors in Walsall (gosh! wow! with their zebra skirts, speaks and flying carpets!) — it doesnt half get the blood pumping of pork scratching pub philosophers and their acolytes who claim a bit of old colonial style enforcement in inner city Britain will show the old blighters who’s boss.

  16. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:30 pm  

    speaks = spears

    =====

    I mean seriously, I know how disoriented by the loss of Empire British conservatives have been, but talk about orientalising and ‘It Aint Half Hot’-ising what is a very simple thing.

  17. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:32 pm  

    Does Dud Philosopher condone the comments on his blog about burning Muslims to death, by the way? What what.

  18. Steve — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:39 pm  

    No, I don’t condone the comments about burning Muslims and I never complained about the loss of the Empire. Nor did I say anything about councillors in Walsall running around in grass skirts.

    But, if believing that I did suits your prejudices, go right ahead…

  19. Kismet Hardy — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:40 pm  

    “pub philosophers and their acolytes who claim a bit of old colonial style enforcement in inner city Britain will show the old blighters who’s boss.”

    What? You mean go to other countries and steal stuff and bring truckloads of foreigners back here when they’re done?

    Suppose it sort of worked first time round

  20. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:49 pm  

    Steve — it is very intellectually satisfying to link what is a very simple thing; the disengagment of government from religious identity activists, a deeper pro-active approach towards official contact and lobbying organisations with as wide a variety of ‘activists’ from all communities and all streams of politics and grassroots activisim as possible when (and only when) such discussions need to be made on some issues without favouritism and away from political and sectarian right wing communalists as a priority.

    Harking back to the colonial mentality when chaps in sun hats went to Bongo-Bongo land and told the native blighters to behave themselves or else face an Amritsar massacre is over-complicating things.

    These outfits have not arisen from a tradition of Maharajahs and Zulu chieftans, they are the inheritors and descendants of the civil rights and black empowerment movements that have NATIVE BRITISH roots, seeds of which were planted in the late 1950′s and 1960′s.

    Glad to hear you don’t agree with burning Muslims alive though — well done.

  21. Sahil — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:50 pm  

    I think some of the criticisms about the article are a unfair:

    Jagdeep #8, I don’t really get what you’re saying, is it that the MCB just had the nous to reconfigure an essentially anti-racism movement into one that simply seeks government spending and the right to tea at no. 10? While that may be clever, it also led to a lot of that crap which you’ve talked about in the Uni during the 1990s. The article from Sunny condems the MCB and the govt for creating such a cozy rent seeking relationship.

    Hello Sonia #4, I think the article doesn’t go into interpersonal relationships, because the scope is limited. While social stratification definately exists (always did) the MCB adds to it, plus takes money for its efforts. Again the article seems to damn such a relationship. But I agree with the Brown group thing, I have a feeling Sunny needed a catchy headline, plus the title directs us to the groups involved quickly.

    Any reinforcements of such behaviour simply creates more rent seekers that speak on behalf of you and me, when do nothing of the sort. If anything they woefully misrepresent us (Brown people in general *runs away before being hit*), and we have to deal with the regular bullshit. MCB, BNP, Hindu forum, Sikh Federation etc, don’t represent anyone except their dinner parties. This consistently seems to show up on surveys and here at PP. So why does the govt pursue such schemes if they bring no actual benefit. Maybe its because they want to give a semblence that they listen to ‘brown people’ and tell daily mail readers that they have the ‘jihadis’ under control.

  22. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:52 pm  

    Sahil — you think I acually admire or like what the Sacranies and MCB people did?

  23. Sahil — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:54 pm  

    “Sahil — you think I acually admire or like what the Sacranies and MCB people did?”

    No of course not, but I don’t understand your outright hostility to the article, clarify please.

  24. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 12:58 pm  

    Sahil, I’ve written three posts on it already — the dynamics of the situation are rooted in a very specific lineage of black / ethnic minority / anti-racist activism indigenous to Britain since the 1960′s.

  25. sonia — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:01 pm  

    anyway, it wasn’t like ‘Empire’ abroad meant everyone here was an Emperor. As if. people do insist on such silly ideas – all English people were colonialists – all Indians wer oppresed it’s ridiculous. Then point to ‘Government’ or the ‘people at the top’ for playing into such arbitrary ‘divisions’/groupings. They’re politicians – what do you expect? Of course they’re going to play right into such divisions.

    maybe if people tried to stop thinking along such silly ‘block-y’ style lines it might help.

  26. sonia — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:03 pm  

    24.jagdeep – interesting that.

  27. Steve — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:03 pm  

    Jagdeep, I did not mean to imply that community leaders see themselves as inheritors of the Maharajah tradition.

    My argument was about the mind set of the British establishment that is willing to deal with and to elevate such community leaders, because that’s what they did in the days of the old Empire.

  28. Steve — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:06 pm  

    Sonia – that’s true enough. My ancestors weren’t Emperors – they were too busy digging coal.

  29. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:16 pm  

    Steve, I understand that sitting in a pub and philosphising as the local wino who stinks of urine behind you screams about burning muslims alive is a useful exercise but the nature of philosophising is that it often leads to over-thinking about things that are more simple than you make them out to be.

    If you examine the roots of this dynamic they grew out of very specific and genuine problems — the visceral and oppressive nature of racism and discrimination that Black and then Asian immigrants faced in the 1950′s and 1960′s onwards. Anti racist activism, community organising, community politics started for a reason — because Black and Asian people needed a voice. That the government listened to them was not because of a colonial mindset, it was because in a democracy and in the absence of generations of integrated Black and Asian middle classes (of the kind we are beginning to see now) there were serious issues relating to Blacks and Asians being subjected to racist violence and discrimination.

    What has happened since then is natural really — after the main legislative and social battles were won, ideology took over, and what normally happens since forever — institutions and organisations and political movements stagnate, become corrupt, are taken over and used to leverage ‘non progressive’ agendas, and in the meantime, the government failed to disengage.

    All the while, post 1989, things changed, and government reacted as all governments do — gormlessly and without knowledge, flailing about, panicking, struggling to understand the dynamics of what was changing and what was going on.

  30. Steve — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:21 pm  

    Jagdeep, I try to avoid philosophising with the local winos. In any case, most of them have been banned from my local.

    You make some interesting points though. Why do you think the government failed to disengage and what changed in 1989?

  31. sonia — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:22 pm  

    “but the nature of philosophising is that it often leads to over-thinking about things that are more simple than you make them out to be.”

    jagdeep i have to disagree with you there! that is too simplistic a statement. simplicity and complexity are not bipolar dichotomies are they now.

    :-)

    you make good points apart from that statement though.

  32. sonia — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:25 pm  

    government or government/s…there wasn’t one lot in power was there.

    as long as people think of themselves as a minority that needs to be catered to – in some way over and above other ‘citizens’/'people’ then government/s are going to have reaction to that.

    ‘i’m a minority – give me a platform’

    well then.

    ‘why are you giving them a platform’?

    tennis balls come to mind

  33. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:30 pm  

    Why do you think the government failed to disengage and what changed in 1989?

    1989 — the end of the secular consensus amongst Asian activists and the rise of the militant Islamic right. The Rushdie Affair was the death knell for Black unity in Britain.

    Why did the government fail to disenage? How long does it take to effect institutional change and awareness in a national government? Amidst panic, incomprehension, and a form of identity politics as virile and clamouring, utilising the rhetoric of the genuine civil rights movements of the past? Work it out.

  34. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:35 pm  

    Jagdeep, I try to avoid philosophising with the local winos. In any case, most of them have been banned from my local.

    Uhhh Steve, I was dropping hints to you about how your local gets stunk out by the kind of pissant who bangs on about burning Muslims alive in your comments thread, but it’s your pub, you let people like that in, it’s your choice.

  35. The Dude — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:37 pm  

    Sonia

    There is a world of difference between earning power for oneself (ie: South Africa) and being given it at a present (as in Iraq). One has value, the other does not. It is a lesson that many of us in the wider black community (including the Chinese) have yet to grasp and learn.

  36. The Dude — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:40 pm  

    Now our jewish friends, they really do know how to work the system.

  37. soru — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:42 pm  

    One thing I kind of disagree with is the sleight of hand of saying that something is bad because it is culturally related to something else that is unquestionably bad.

    I think it is a good thing to judge things on their own merit, rather than on how well they fit into some mega-category called ‘imperialism’.

    Empire was such a big thing that for every trend, there was a counter-trend, every policy there was a time and place where the oppsoite policy was tried.

    For example, in an earlier period in India, the anglos took on the thugees, by police work backed up by military force, completely against the advice of the local proxy rulers.

    I’d challenge anyone to imagine a possible policy in this area for which someone couldn’t say: ‘that’s kind of like this thing brit imperialists did at one time or other’.

  38. Steve — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:42 pm  

    Jagdeep, that’s right. I let anyone in. I have a free speech policy and I’ve only ever banned one person. Come on over if you like.

    What makes a civil rights movement “genuine”? Why were the old ones genuine and the new ones aren’t?

  39. Steve — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:45 pm  

    So, Dude, what is it that “our Jewish friends” do that other could learn from?

  40. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:51 pm  

    Hooray! I’ve been invited to hang out with people who want to burn Muslims alive!

    What makes a civil rights movement “genuine”? Why were the old ones genuine and the new ones aren’t?

    See post number 29 — fill in the gaps yourself if it isnt understandable.

  41. justforfun — on 21st March, 2007 at 1:57 pm  

    F**ck – just looked at the thread and seen that its moved on from post 24! mmm _ I am begining to see se where you’re coming from Jagdeep.

    Here is what I was going to post – I’m not sure if I agree with any of it now :-)

    ==========

    Jagdeep – you may be right about the origins of this phenomenon from the MCB side of the coin, however I don’t think the article is that far from stating the default position of English and then British Governments down through the ages.

    Have you met people from the FO & Diplomatic service? Not sure how much effort goes into finding unique solutions for unique problems, more like matching and maniplating events to fit existing game plans that have worked well in the past. I suppose I can’t blame individual civil servants. When the British State has been so successful in dealing with ‘natives’, its difficult to put forward new ideas, rather than dust off old plans and solutions – I mean there in not much new in this world, and as they say – No one got fired for buying IBM, so the same stands for ideas for dealing with ‘natives’ – stick to well know plans.

    So hence we have had the knee jerk reaction from the State for 40 years – if you have problems with ‘natives’, find their leaders and deal with them. It worked first with the Scots 300years ago, then nearly everybody else around the world. However it is not a position that can work ad infinitum. De-colonization taught the British that you eventually have to deal with the new educated class, when you hand back power, and I think there is a residual instinct in their chosen game plan.

    However the unique position here is that the ‘natives’ are now on British soil and full British citizens. A unique solution needs to be found and the civil service needs to throw away its old colonial game plans and think of new moves. Does one deal with ‘native’ leaders, either the new educated lot or the old feudal lot, it does not matter which , an inevitable part of the bargain will be the handing over of some sort of mandate to them to deal with their flock? This old default position works only if the ‘natives’ allow themselves to be defined by their parents ( and what is probably not in the manual – only if the natives are elsewhere)

    An alternative at the other end of the spectrum – do not acknowledge ‘native’ leaders at all, but this requires the ‘natives’ defining themselves and not being defined by their parents. Perhaps its a slow process – grandchildren not being deifned by their grandparents – or is it greatgrandchildren?

    I am sure there are other possibilities that lie somewhere in between these two extremes. Any suggestions?

    =============

    Justforun

  42. Steve — on 21st March, 2007 at 2:02 pm  

    Jagdeep – why did the Rushdie affair spell the end for Black/Asian unity? I can understand how it would have given Muslims an alternative outlet for their grievances but why did Sikhs and Hindus walk away from the struggle and decide that they didn’t want to ‘Black’ any more?

  43. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 2:11 pm  

    Pub Diogenes

    It spelt the transformation of a broadly secular race based form of ethnic minority activism into one that priveliged religious identity politics.

    Hindus and Sikhs have lagged behind about 15 years before copy cat rumps claiming to represent them started scrapping about with confidence.

  44. Leon — on 21st March, 2007 at 2:19 pm  

    Now our jewish friends, they really do know how to work the system.

    Excuse me? Care to explain what you mean by that?

  45. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 2:19 pm  

    why did Sikhs and Hindus walk away from the struggle

    ‘The struggle’ was over in many ways — all the major legislative battles and even social battles had been won or were on the way to being settled — trace the social trajectory of British Indians in the last 18 years and you will broadly see a trend towards by-passing discrimination and overcoming social disadvantage by (metaphorically) whipping their children into over achieving at school and university to become proper posh middle class people, rather than standing on street corners in the rain to protest against blah blah blah and sulking about oppression all the time.

  46. Sid Love — on 21st March, 2007 at 2:23 pm  

    Yes, I’m with the Dude and Jagdeep. They have by far the more nuanced overview of this whole phenomenon that scuttles this fashionable but simplistic and ahistorical notion of plonking all the blame of the problems of the Muslim minority on the maharajah-complex of Sacranie in particular.

    If you’re going to use the maharajah analogy to frame the MCB’s piss-poor agenda then you will have to see the historical parallels of the last days of the real Raj in India, when a certain government agency called the East India Company sponsored, patronised and bankrolled the old discredited royal lineages.

    The parallels exist today. Who patronised the MCB and continues to fund the sister organisations of the Sikh, Hindus and Black communities?

  47. justforfun — on 21st March, 2007 at 2:44 pm  

    “nuanced”

    Yeahhhh – yee ha – I get another drink.

    Sorry – just a game I play

    Justforfun

  48. Chairwoman — on 21st March, 2007 at 3:00 pm  

    Yes Dude, do tell me how I know to work the system.

  49. soru — on 21st March, 2007 at 3:05 pm  

    @sid

    huh? the east India company was dissolved in 1858, well before the last days of the raj.

  50. Sid Love — on 21st March, 2007 at 3:20 pm  

    Not really, by 1858, it went from a private limited company into what can be only defined as a QUANGO before it’s administartive powers were fully handed over to the British government.

  51. soru — on 21st March, 2007 at 3:28 pm  

    You’ve lost me – are the MCB the maharajahs, the East India company, or it’s late-Raj replacement?

  52. Sid Love — on 21st March, 2007 at 3:36 pm  

    I’m saying in the latter years of the Raj, most maharajahs were toothless tigers who maintained all the tarppings of old power structures but were essentially propped up by the Crown.

    The point goes back to the one that Dude made early on upthread. The Muslim community didn’t elect the MCB, so who propped them up? Who patronised them? Who invited them to Downing St for tea and vol-en-vents?

  53. Chris Stiles — on 21st March, 2007 at 3:38 pm  

    Trace the social trajectory of British Indians in the last 18 years and you will broadly see a trend towards by-passing discrimination and overcoming social disadvantage by (metaphorically) whipping their children into over achieving at school and university to become proper posh middle class people

    Exactly (my old fruity), and this is why I felt the concern in the previous post on ‘The need for newspapers’ was a little misplaced – at least in the case of the some communities.

  54. The Common Humanist — on 21st March, 2007 at 3:40 pm  

    **“you don’t have that perspective regarding how things were pre-1989″

    As I’ve always said.

    Ecstasy changed Britain for the better**

    Amen Brother, Amen.

    Although I worry for the future as lots of kids like ketamine these days…….its a horse tranquiliser for goodness sake…..MDMA at least was designed for human brain chemistry…

    NOw, hows that for off topic!

  55. Kismet Hardy — on 21st March, 2007 at 3:46 pm  

    ketamine is shit. Why take a drug that makes you bump into people on the dancefloor? We have alcohol for that

  56. The Dude — on 21st March, 2007 at 4:09 pm  

    Chairwoman, Leon, Steve, Sonia and any other reactionary to thinks that the mere utterance of the word “Jew” is a slight on an entire race…..You are asking the wrong man, the wrong question. I’m not jewish, I just admire the way they’ve worked the system. Jews have successfully embeddeded themesleves into every major and minor institution of this country. More than this, they have done this mostly on their own terms. Nobody gave them nothing. I don’t know how this community managed to be so successful while others failed. I just know that if you really want the answers you had better ask someone from within the Jewish dispora instead of someone outside.

  57. Steve — on 21st March, 2007 at 4:26 pm  

    Dude – I never said your utterance of the work “Jew” was a slight on an entire race. All I did was ask you what you meant. If you choose to infer an accusation from that question, that’s up to you.

    On your question of how to earn power for one’s self, which is what led up to your comment about the Jews, there is a prevailing attitude among Jews that values education and business. Most of the Jewish kids I knew assumed from the start that they would go to univeristy then into business or the professions. Most of still only two or three generations from people who arrived here with next to nothing.

  58. sonia — on 21st March, 2007 at 4:29 pm  

    “Chairwoman, Leon, Steve, Sonia and any other reactionary to thinks that the mere utterance of the word “Jew” is a slight on an entire race”

    heh – i don’t think i said anything to you! direct your accusations accordingly!

  59. sonia — on 21st March, 2007 at 4:30 pm  

    still, quite a fun band of reactionaries we’d make i daresay.

    you know, sometimes people on this site could use a sense of humour. ..

  60. Sid Love — on 21st March, 2007 at 4:34 pm  

    Aye, too many Joos and Pakis on t’site.

  61. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 4:38 pm  

    this is why I felt the concern in the previous post on ‘The need for newspapers’ was a little misplaced

    Not really — they arent linked, as far as the demand for media oriented towards them is concerned, if anything it increases when they get more disposable income.

  62. Chairwoman — on 21st March, 2007 at 4:38 pm  

    I think we just got on with it actually. Pretty much what Steve said.

    That, and not asking anybody to join up or do it our way.

  63. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 4:43 pm  

    I don’t think the Dude meant anything sinister. I think he simply meant that the Jewish community has set a good example for other people to follow by beating discrimination, marginalisation and anti-semitism by concentrating on academic, professional or business success, with a strong emphasis on educational achievment, rather than taking the confrontational political approach that seeks to ‘cahllenge the structures and system’ before they can be liberated, self help rather than blaming outsiders for their misfortune — discrimination acting as a spur to achievment rather than an excuse for failure. If that’s what he means, I agree with him. They have set the example for ethnic minorities to follow.

  64. Katy — on 21st March, 2007 at 4:54 pm  

    It’s a misunderstanding. A sentence like “our Jewish friends know how to work the system” all depends on the tone, Jagdeep, and you don’t get tone on a website comment. The fact is that remarks like that are more often a swipe at the Jewish community than a compliment, although that clearly wasn’t the case here.

    I have to say that I am vaguely uncomfortable about it as a compliment too – some Jewish people know how to work the system and some don’t, just like some black people, brown people and white people. Jews arrived here earlier and perhaps are more assimilated as a result. I doubt it’s our Jewishness that is the deciding factor.

  65. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 4:57 pm  

    Well I’ve explained what I thought he meant Katy, I might be wrong. As for whether it’s a compliment or not that other people admire the Jewish achievment in Britain, well, personally I do (as do millions others) and I don’t mean to patronise you by saying that.

  66. soru — on 21st March, 2007 at 5:00 pm  

    Of course, back in the day (1920s and just before), a lot of Jewish political activists were revolutionary communists, with the opposite approach: incremental progress is impossible without first smashing the system.

    Everyone but the Nazis managed to work out that some jews being communists was not the same thing as jewishness being a threat to the system.

  67. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 5:02 pm  

    I doubt it’s our Jewishness that is the deciding factor

    Sure, in the same way that a Hindu or Sikh family who have followed that route have not done so because of anything intrinsic about their religion or culture. It’s more about historical experiences and circumstances, and strategies for survival as a minority that faces discrimination and disadvantage. If anything, it is the immigrant mentality of working hard and excelling, because you have no other choice — and this mentality and communal consciousness is transmitted over generations.

  68. Leon — on 21st March, 2007 at 5:02 pm  

    I have to say that I am vaguely uncomfortable about it as a compliment too

    Fair point if it was a misunderstanding but it struck me as a little off, ‘damning with feint praise’ is the term that came to mind…

  69. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 5:07 pm  

    Revolutionary communism and system smashing were on the menu amongst my Uncles and in the community activism amongst Indians back in the 1970′s and 1980′s for sure. The Indian Workers Association was one of the most active groupings back then, with a history going back to the anti-colonial movement and support for radical freedom fighters like Udham Singh and Bhagat Singh and others who took a militant anti-imperialist stance against Britain in opposition to the Congress Party during the Indian freedom struggle. When Indians started arriving to work in the foundries and factories in the 1950′s and 1960′s it was the IWA that organised them and fought for their rights.

    Nowadays Indians are amongst the most entrepeneurial minded hyper-capitalists in Britain — look at all those millionaires that we look up to as role models, these Singhs and Patels on the Sunday Times rich list.

  70. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 5:08 pm  

    My last comment was to Soru

  71. Sid Love — on 21st March, 2007 at 5:15 pm  

    Ben Elton Syndrome?

  72. justforfun — on 21st March, 2007 at 5:18 pm  

    Isn’t the Ashkenazi and Sephardic experiance different. I recollect seeing a ‘find your ancestor’ programme on Nigella Lawson where she looked at the two communities in Holland in the late 19th century and finding out they were totally different in how they assimilated and were perceived. Can’t remember exactly. Her ambition was to be from one , but actually was from the other and was very depressed ( or at least acted it out for the camera to make good TV). If I recollect she wanted to be from the Sephardic diamond traders or some such to explain her urges to be a flemenco dance, but was from the Ashkenazi who were emigre peasants from Russia and looked down apon by all including the Sephardic Jews. Something like that , but my memory is pretty hazy.

    As Katy says – all communities have the full spectum of personalities, however when a whole set of circumstances co-incide, some comminities just seem to flower. There is no predicting it – only hindsight predicts it.

    Justforfun

  73. Steve — on 21st March, 2007 at 5:20 pm  

    But Jagdeep – isn’t that hyper-capitalism you describe just an acknowledgement of what it takes to get on in the world – regardless of what colour you are?

    Most people realise that, if you dedicate your life to smashing the system, you’ll still be selling Socialist Worker in the precinct at 45.

  74. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 5:26 pm  

    Yeah that’s kind of the point Steve — the irony. Keep up.

  75. Chairwoman — on 21st March, 2007 at 5:27 pm  

    justforfun – I really enjoyed Nigella’s discomforture. She turned out not to be the Sephardi aristocrat she’d always imagined herself to be, but a grubby Ashkenazi just like me.

    BTW both groups are diamond traders. It’s probably a consequence of always having to be ready to move at a moment’s notice, and diamonds being eminently portable.

  76. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 5:34 pm  

    Anyway, there are studies about how minority communities across continents and time have gravitated towards business as a way of ameliorating discrimination and how ethnic minority capitalism has always been a feature of successful societies, off the top of my head this review of a book by Amy Chua.

    Her starting point is that in many developing countries a small – often very small – ethnic minority enjoys hugely disproportionate economic power. As she points out, this is not true in the west: on the contrary, we are accustomed to small ethnic minorities occupying exactly the opposite situation, a very disadvantaged economic position. The classic case is southeast Asia, where the Chinese, usually a tiny proportion of the population, enjoy an overwhelmingly dominant economic position. In the Philippines, the Chinese account for 1% of the population and well over half the wealth. The same is true in varying degrees in Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia and Vietnam.

    link

  77. Kulvinder — on 21st March, 2007 at 5:42 pm  

    Although i don’t normally share the same opinions as PP i broadly agree with what he says, and am a little unsure what the criticism against his article is trying to argue.

  78. Jagdeep — on 21st March, 2007 at 5:49 pm  

    It’s OK Kulvinder, we’re still trying to understand your arguments about why it’s OK for there to be no statutory age of consent and other libertarian ideas
    :-)

  79. fugstar — on 21st March, 2007 at 5:55 pm  

    how were maharajahs meant to stop the bombing? doesn’t that assume some kind of controling relationship that never existed?

    if blogs are web 2.0, i think that kind of stuff is terrorism 2.0 , there you go new term.

    post #41 was an interesting contribution.

  80. Kulvinder — on 21st March, 2007 at 5:59 pm  

    we’re still trying to understand your arguments about why it’s OK for there to be no statutory age of consent

    Because its impossible for the government to universally declare that everyone under an arbitary age is equally incapable of something.

    If such reasoning was possible even with some very very broad positivist type framework, all nations would have the same age of consent. The fact they don’t is pretty much down to the fact they just make shit up.

    If i said to someone that it was illegal for their child to try to learn a certain subject, or read a particular book because they weren’t intelligent or ‘mature’ enough they’d probably go batshit insane at the nanny state or whatever. Yet those same vague arguments are used to prosecute two children under16 who have sex.

  81. Kulvinder — on 21st March, 2007 at 6:03 pm  

    nb i also don’t see why sex is that big a deal, although its obviously interesting that contemporary style places so much emphasis on sexuality, and yet is so absurdly hung up at the thought of sex in arbitary demographics. But its a thread digression :)

  82. justforfun — on 21st March, 2007 at 6:05 pm  

    Jagdeep – is it a book based on selectively documenting the past and not mentioning communities that don’t quite fit her thesis? Can it predict the future or is it hindsight maskerading as a scientific investigation.

    Take the Parsees for example – for 1000 years they were just farmers on the coast of Gujurat with the occasional foray into trade. Along come the British, and the blue touch paper is lit and they burn bright, very bright for 200 years, but now all will be quite again for 1000 years. Ethnically aloof, self serving for their community, even pro-British but not resented. If any person could be resented for being born a Parsi it would be Rajiv Gandhi , but I don’t think it ever came up as an issue. How did they as a community achieve this? It must be a blend of the circumstances in a host community and immigrant community, and who can predict these factors. It is like predicting the weather – a science that needs modern supercomputing power to have any predictive worth. There are no simple formulas for the weather and there are no simple formulas for communities. In fact are communities a luxury the future world can afford? Now that a question I would like to ask?

    Justforfun

    Fugstar – I direct you to post 61 – fattery will get you nowhere :-)

  83. soru — on 21st March, 2007 at 6:24 pm  

    how were maharajahs meant to stop the bombing?

    I think the analogy is this:

    Allowing some indian guy to publish a book leads to riots and mass unrest? How the fuck were we supposed to know that would happen?

    Using pig fat to grease rifle cartridges leads to mutiny and rebellion? Who would have guessed?

    These natives with their mysterious and whacky customs sure are hard to predict. What we need is someone with authentic local knowledge to warn us of such stuff in advance. We can toss them some petty cash and a courtesy title in return.

    Thing to remember is that this was something Imperialism 4.0, much more refined and less crude than earlier models. I mean, the French are still stuck on Imperialism 1.0, with the Total Assimilation hack.

  84. Katy — on 21st March, 2007 at 6:52 pm  

    *pockets large stash of diamonds*

    *rubs hands together with glee*

    *turns to camera for full profile of large hooked nose*

  85. fugstar — on 21st March, 2007 at 7:07 pm  

    i dont do flattery.

    specifically this observation

    “De-colonization taught the British that you eventually have to deal with the new educated class, when you hand back power, and I think there is a residual instinct in their chosen game plan.

    However the unique position here is that the ‘natives’ are now on British soil and full British citizens.”

    Imperialism 4.0 (UK edition)

    ive heard you can get pirate copies off torrent.

  86. The Dude — on 21st March, 2007 at 9:01 pm  

    Thank you Steve, Jagdeep and especially Katy for your wise analysis of what I actually said but Katy I can’t help agreeing with Jagdeep in thinking that you are wrong in opinion that “jewishness” didn’t play a more significant role in the rise of your community and I’m not talking about things like education or hard work. Neither I am talking about stereotypes like Shylock or Fagin. It just that when someone like Jacky Mason can make you laugh so much that you drop your guts shaking, I know that there is so much more to being merely jewish. Maybe it’s the chicken soup and my favourite the salt beef bagel. All I know is that it’s works and I wish it would rub off on the black community.

  87. Katy — on 21st March, 2007 at 9:10 pm  

    No, no! Bagels are for smoked salmon. Salt beef may ONLY be eaten with rye bread and mustard. And NO BUTTER WITH THE BEEF PEOPLE. I have spoken. Let it be so.

  88. El Cid — on 21st March, 2007 at 9:59 pm  

    In my world anything which isn’t “WHITE” is by definition “BLACK”. Black people where ever they maybe on the planet earth can’t afford to be any place in-between.

    I appreciate that the comments have subsequently — with a few exceptions — taken a friendlier turn, but I think the above statement is counterproductive, provocative, and outdated. As the father of white children, it unnerves me, even offends me. I don’t see the world divided into tutsis and hutus. What do you mean precisely by this — what do you mean by “WHITE”

  89. leon — on 21st March, 2007 at 10:47 pm  

    I love bacon and bagels, that’s some lush eating…

  90. The Dude — on 22nd March, 2007 at 1:09 am  

    El Cid

    I’m sorry man for upsetting you. Trust me when I say I didn’t mean to but all this brown, grey and coloured stuff is all so much divide and rule to me. I’m sorry to say that we are still a long way off from living in a utopia.

    Katy.

    What about the salt beef, all on it’s lonesome (but built up large) on a round plate with a proportional dash of mustard? Tasty nice! Tasty nice!

  91. Sunny — on 22nd March, 2007 at 1:10 am  

    No worries Steve. I can’t say I agree with most of your stances but when I do agree with someone I’m happy to point that out. And it’s only March as tyou said, heh.

    Re: Jagdeep / Sonia and the rest – I’m not sure what the criticisms of the article here.

    There are a few more points to make to this article, mainly that on specific issues Sikhs and Muslims have organised and raised issues and got legislation passed in their favour.

    Good examples are allowing Sikhs to keep their turbans on in the building industry as well as when on a motorboke. Similarly the govt concession to let baptised Sikhs carry a kirpan is a specific allowance only relevant to them. This applies to Muslims too, for example in providing prayer rooms at work and getting halal meat to be more widely available.

    But that does not negate the essential point of the article on how the government views and engages with ethnic minorities – seeing them as monolithic groups with the same demands rather than as individual citizens.

    What is wrong exactly with the model presented above? There are a few caveats but it is essentially the model we’ve been talking about on PP for the past year and half. Just read the mission statement!

  92. Katy — on 22nd March, 2007 at 8:23 am  

    You know, along with the myth that left-wingers have a monopoly on liberal thought goes the myth that they are anti-imperialism. They aren’t. Left wingers like big governments that legislate prolifically, tax heavily, spend big and engage in widespread social engineering by lawmaking. That’s what distinguishes left wing governments from classically conservative governments, which preferred small governments, small taxes and leaving people to sink or swim.

    There’s faults with both systems. That’s why some of us are market socialists, don’t you know.

  93. Katy — on 22nd March, 2007 at 8:24 am  

    … and the point that I had intended to make was that if you look back at states which behave in the way that I described, they were mostly not averse to a spot of imperialism themselves.

  94. Katy — on 22nd March, 2007 at 8:24 am  

    And DAMMIT I have put this on the wrong thread. Bum.

  95. Chairwoman — on 22nd March, 2007 at 10:17 am  

    The Dude – Yes, salt beef, on its ownsome accompanied by mustard, is absolutely OK. In this instance it’s preferred accompaniments would be potato latkes and new green pickled cucumber.

    May I also have the defining word on bagels. This is American spelling and pronunciation. The correct British spelling is Beigels pronounced ‘bygles’.

    I once asked for ‘bagels’ in my (then) regular kosher deli in Hendon. The owner looked up at me and said ‘I remember you as a kid doing your Mum’s errands. That was in Golders Green Road, not the bloody Upper West Side. In this shop we only sell beigels’. And from that day forward, that’s what (in the UK) I’ve eaten and ordered.

    I would also like to recommend Onion Platzels as a delicious alternative.

  96. Chris Stiles — on 22nd March, 2007 at 10:21 am  

    Not really — they arent linked, as far as the demand for media oriented towards them is concerned, if anything it increases when they get more disposable income.

    I’d have to disagree and say that they are linked. To a point you are correct, initially they want media orientated towards themselves. Past that point they just want to be like everyone else in society albeit more conservative about social mores.

  97. Twining or Black in Blue — on 22nd March, 2007 at 10:48 am  

    In the police service engaging with brown people has meant engaging with pseudo self represented leaders from Religious groups who have no idea of reality and British Asianness, but still everyone is invited for a yearly event, where the Chief Constable is patted on the back, (Colonialism).

    One would think having such allies that are probably middle aged, means if one scrubs the others back, the other may get an OBE or something in the essence of time.

    This is not engaging with Brown people at all, but engaging with the Jones’s of the Asian world, who actually behave White, and to all intents and purposes do not share the wider Asian views or have not touch on the reality of Being British and Asian.

  98. Twining or Black in Blue — on 22nd March, 2007 at 10:48 am  

    My link, sorry.

  99. El Cid — on 22nd March, 2007 at 1:11 pm  

    We’re cool Dude

  100. Twining or Black in Blue — on 22nd March, 2007 at 2:10 pm  

    Does Black not include Asian? Is it not the common experience of racism that defines what is Black and Brown?

  101. soru — on 22nd March, 2007 at 2:44 pm  

    Isn’t that kind of like saying man includes woman, or america includes Canada?

    When you use a specific term for a part to represent the whole as well, things tend to get forgotten about.

    It’s not like there is a word shortage, so different groups have to time-share the same small fixed set.

  102. Sunny — on 22nd March, 2007 at 2:54 pm  

    This is not engaging with Brown people at all, but engaging with the Jones’s of the Asian world, who actually behave White, and to all intents and purposes do not share the wider Asian views or have not touch on the reality of Being British and Asian.

    Yup! Black does include Asian in certain circumstances in my opinion. It cannot encompass everything when in certan cases (like education) their needs and experiences are different.

  103. Twining or Black in Blue — on 22nd March, 2007 at 3:17 pm  

    Sunny, is that Sunny Hundal, I am afraid Asian people in the police service are the forgotten few. Some do play games, but our strength is in our honesty and compassion. Competition and knocking downs one’s peers is a Western ideology that we see now. And it’s not nice.

    There are some like Ghaffur who have finally stuck their heads up, but hitherto they played the game of the Masters. It is a bit too late but no doubt they might get awards and consultancy posts thereafter.

    Worse still, Asian people, even amongst themselves/ ourselves are not united. There is a lack of togetherness, lack of a common experience, or even a lack of humanity.

  104. The Dude — on 22nd March, 2007 at 3:48 pm  

    Katy’s point about double standards exhibited by left-wing liberalism hit the nail straight on it’s head. It been a common experience amongst most of my black colleagues in the print media that they have recieved more more racism from white colleagues working for the liberal press than from those same colleagues while working for newspapers such as The Mail or The Telegraph. I challenge anyone her on this forum to accuse someone of a liberal bent of having racist tendencies and see what happens. For all the world, liberals are all above that sort of thing and will be deeply offended if said otherwise. I’s rather trust the likes of Ron Atkinson (and that bloke who got sacked from the conservative party) who’s actions spoke much louder than their words. Ron Atkinson especially did more for the advancement of black professional football that any other white person in recent history (apart from Eric Catona). Yet white liberals (and some black people who should know better: ie Ian Wright) have no problem with dropping the label of racist on this man. I judge people by their actions. Words are cheap!

    Sunny I agree with you. Black people are not all the same ( I have South African decent which is vastly different from say someone from Nigeria). But this does not negate my central point. When my back is against the wall, I simply don’t have the time or the inclination to see subtle shades of grey. In a straight up fight, even white jews, irish and english people are honourary blacks as far as I’m concerned. After the battle is won then we can argue the toss but not until.

  105. The Dude — on 22nd March, 2007 at 4:05 pm  

    A couple of years ago the Met branch of the National Black Police Association had this debate and it ended up being a total waste of everybody’s time. The only people who won were the puppet-masters who were pulling the strings, sat snug in their plush offices at New Scotland Yard. Like I said, divide and rule.

  106. Twining or Black in Blue — on 22nd March, 2007 at 4:12 pm  

    Dude, I feel when these do good liberals are in power, boy do they divide and rule, and they thrive on it, whilst the real anti racist work is never done. The Black Police Association’s are nationally pretty weak and this suits the Liberal Leader, because they put someone that is tokenistic in charge and the real campaigners suffer.

    The National body I think is terribly weak, but it is so difficult to change from within. It is only a mirror image of the larger institution. It has a poor structure, and some of the people supposed to represent us, represent only themselves, they are less qualified then the people inside who should be there but the organisation, the NBPA, and the service does not allow good people in. it’s corruption in my opinion, institutional racism to the core. Sometimes the NBPA barks without any substance and those in power are so clued up that nothing changes.

  107. The Dude — on 22nd March, 2007 at 5:45 pm  

    Me and David Michaels both know where exactly you are coming from (I still owe that man some money). I was highly involved with the Met branch of the BPA four years ago when I was then the Met’s token black photographer working under Sir John Stevens. I didn’t agree with everything that man (Sir John) said but pound for pound he was one of the best coppers I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. I remember one particular occasion when he warned the members of the BPA to watch out for career coppers within their ranks as well as liberal white do-gooders outside it. It was a shaming experience for a white man to deliver such a dressing down to black police officers. IMHO the current Met Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair isn’t in the same league as Stevens. Stevens also made the point that a weak BPA was no good for anyone even if this meant the BPA giving him a hard time from time to time. I couldn’t agree with him more but the rank and file of the BPA didn’t listen and only occassionally do they stick their heads above the parapit.

  108. Arif — on 23rd March, 2007 at 11:13 am  

    I think I agree with the way Sonia sees it way up on this thread.

    People who rise to the top in a representative democracy will simply be comfortable dealing with other people who act as representatives. They will most likely see representation as a natural and just form of social organisation and discipline. It is after all, the one in which they thrive and which we are all now familiar with.

    Without meaning anything by it, they divide and rule. If we don’t like it, we have to work out what they can do instead. And ideally show that the alternative is possible in our own thoughts, words and deeds. I wonder if it is possible in a mass society.

  109. sonia — on 23rd March, 2007 at 12:09 pm  

    arif as usual you’ve managed to say things in a far more eloquent and precise way than i can with my mumblings and rumblings :

    “People who rise to the top in a representative democracy will simply be comfortable dealing with other people who act as representatives. They will most likely see representation as a natural and just form of social organisation and discipline. It is after all, the one in which they thrive and which we are all now familiar with.”

    Quite – what we seem to forget when we focus in on ‘minority’ representativeness – is the whole basis of ‘representation’ in our society and concept of democracy in the first place.

  110. sonia — on 23rd March, 2007 at 12:13 pm  

    some of us here are clearly obsessed with colour – which is fair enough i guess, given the context.

  111. Leon — on 23rd March, 2007 at 12:18 pm  

    Quite – what we seem to forget when we focus in on ‘minority’ representativeness – is the whole basis of ‘representation’ in our society and concept of democracy in the first place.

    I would qualify that by saying it’s a reflection of a hierarchical/centralised society…

  112. sonia — on 23rd March, 2007 at 12:22 pm  

    yes absolutely leon – that’s very important.

  113. soru — on 23rd March, 2007 at 12:22 pm  

    Which brings us back to the conclusion that the correct way to deal with this is reform of the body than in the US is called the ‘House of Representatives’.

    No more claiming to speak for 30 million people, 29 million of who consider you to be an annoying wide-eyed loon. If you want the votes of a non-regional constituency, whether environmentalists, muslims, small businessmen, or motorists, you have to engage with and persuade them that you are talking more sense than the alternatives.

    _One man, several votes_, not _one nutter, one headline_.

  114. Twining or Black in Blue — on 26th March, 2007 at 3:54 pm  

    Democracy often means freedom for the majority and a right to raise issues by the minority, and after many years, things might change, but slowly. Is this too sarcastic?

  115. sonia — on 26th March, 2007 at 4:20 pm  

    nope, it’s clearly realistic.

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