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  • Stealing my thunder


    by Sunny
    12th June, 2007 at 11:41 pm    

    Two people have written brilliant articles today echoing my thoughts, but since they’re more informed or better writers I’m elated they made them.

    Rahila Gupta of Southall Black Sisters, someone I admire a lot, wrote a piece for CIF today saying the police are rightly blamed for not doing more to prevent Banaz Mahmod’s murder. It’s time the police started openly rejecting claims of racism when it comes to protecting women. [on a side note, Rumbold asks if we can come up with another term for 'honour killings'. Any suggestions?]

    I could kiss Johann Hari for writing this piece today: Yes the BBC is biased - but to the right. I have wanted to scream this so many times. Liberal bias my ass! The BBC is full of conservative journalists who want to pretend they’re enlightened liberals. Just look at their line up. Well done Johann, it needed to be said.


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    1. ZinZin — on 12th June, 2007 at 11:52 pm  

      Chris Moyles is right-wing? and I thought he was nothing more than a vulgar half-wit.

      Difficult to argue with Hari, but Moyles and Clarkson don’t work in the news department.

    2. Sunny — on 12th June, 2007 at 11:54 pm  

      And if anyone doubts the BBC attracts right wing nutters, one only has to look at the Have Your Say pages

      Clarkson, Chris Moyles may not work in news, but they help shape the cultural landscape.

    3. ZinZin — on 13th June, 2007 at 12:04 am  

      Chris Moyles and Clarkson shape the cultural landscape?

    4. sid — on 13th June, 2007 at 12:13 am  

      I’d rather be made to sit in a stress position and forced to listen to Supertramp than endure one second of the c**t, Clarkson.

    5. Don — on 13th June, 2007 at 12:16 am  

      ‘Chris Moyles is right-wing? and I thought he was nothing more than a vulgar half-wit.’

      How is that incompatible?

      They probably don’t shape your cultural landscape, they certainly don’t shape mine. But consider their probable publishing deals and they are sure as hell shaping somebody’s.

      A brilliant article by Hari.

    6. sid — on 13th June, 2007 at 12:33 am  

      There is a policy to exclude Pilger specifically from the BBC, but Melanie Phillips can be heard barking it up on the Moral Maze radio show every other week.

    7. Puffy — on 13th June, 2007 at 7:48 am  

      Criticism of the police is probably fair, but I can’t help having some sympathy for them - one minute they’re institutionally racist, the next they’re too racially sensitive. PBI my dad used to call the infantry - PBP, poor bloody police too - they can’t really win can they?

      Now here’s an argument - maybe the blame for their incompetence in this case rests not completely at their door but also at that of their liberal antagonists. I’m reminded of them handing out leaflets to commuters out of Kings Cross on 8/7 not asking for information but warning that “Islamaphobia” would not be tolerated.

    8. Galloise Blonde — on 13th June, 2007 at 8:29 am  

      I think Rahila Gupta has a difficult position here: she wants to criticise the police, but has previously argued that creating a category of ‘honour killing’ would be divisive and that it should be regarded as domestic violence. Aggravating the police failure of lack of awareness and failing to follow guidelines is the closing of the honour crime unit and the shelving of a system to flag honour crime which some unnamed elements in the force are putting down to PC sensibilities.

      I think there is a real, practical difference between domestic violence and ‘honour’ crime and that is the collective nature of it which means that protection and detection are exponentially harder and that police need to be resourced for that.

    9. ChrisC — on 13th June, 2007 at 9:16 am  

      “And if anyone doubts the BBC attracts right wing nutters, one only has to look at the Have Your Say pages”

      Correct me if necessary, but I don’t believe that the “have your say” commenters are actually BBC employees!

    10. jo — on 13th June, 2007 at 10:02 am  

      The police definitely need to actively start recruiting officers from those communities in which honour crime is a problem. Changing the name of the crime to something less “prestigious” may, in the long term, affect the way in which others view individuals who murder those who taint their family’s honour.

    11. Leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 10:05 am  

      I’d rather be made to sit in a stress position and forced to listen to Supertramp than endure one second of the c**t, Clarkson.

      Ha ha! Well said! :D

    12. Leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 10:13 am  

      This is because, with such a hefty chunk of the press under their control, the right will always be able to scream louder than the left.

      Key comment that. And now the colonisation of the public mind continues with blogs…

    13. Leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 10:14 am  

      Hold up!

      It says, Published: 09 April 2007 on that piece…er?

    14. Muzumdar — on 13th June, 2007 at 10:23 am  

      Yep, that article was written ages ago.

    15. brachyury — on 13th June, 2007 at 10:32 am  

      I think Hari misses the point. I do not think that the problem with the BBC is that it is either right or left — but that too many of its news presenters confuse news and views.

      Likewise the agenda of BBC news is too often set by nakedly politically motivated tabloids of both the right and left (Mail and Independent).

      Too much political news discusses the careers of politicians (which interests them) rather than the policy they are effecting (which affects me).

      Finally I cannot stand reporters who tell me why politicians are saying what they are saying. I can judge that for myself.

    16. Galloise Blonde — on 13th June, 2007 at 10:39 am  

      Yes and no, jo…thing is, a lot of potential victims prefer not to approach an officer who comes from their own community because they are concerned about confidentiality and mixed loyalties. There needs to be understanding within the police, sure, and obviously more minority coppers would be great in general. But to illustrate my point: there are agencies which specialise in returning runaway asian girls to their families and these often use white women to generate trust, because often a girl scared of the men of her family assumes that the values of her family are shared across the community and is wary of other members. So more minority police would increase understanding of the issues, but not necessarily build trust where it is needed.

    17. ChrisC — on 13th June, 2007 at 11:59 am  

      “Finally I cannot stand reporters who tell me why politicians are saying what they are saying. I can judge that for myself.”

      I certainly agree with that. Less Nick Robinson please.

      “And now the colonisation of the public mind continues with blogs…”

      Are you suggesting that the “right” has blogs under their “control”?

      If so, how come?

    18. Leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 12:00 pm  

      Are you suggesting that the “right” has blogs under their “control”?

      No.

    19. ChrisC — on 13th June, 2007 at 12:35 pm  

      What did you mean exactly by “colonisation”?

    20. Nodn — on 13th June, 2007 at 12:52 pm  

      Wow Sunny I never knew you felt like that! but thanks for telling the world! You’re right of course and I agree with you.

    21. Amrit — on 13th June, 2007 at 12:54 pm  

      Two excellent articles.

      And yes, Clarkson and Moyles are more important than you think. I ******* hate it when people like my friend Sophie, who I thought had a brain, go ‘Oh, but Clarkson’s cool, becuase he does funny things with fast cars!’

      No, he is not. He has a mullet. Chris Moyles is a fat **** who will hopefully explode with his own arrogance someday soon.

    22. Amrit — on 13th June, 2007 at 12:54 pm  

      That should be *because, sorry.

    23. Leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 1:17 pm  

      What did you mean exactly by “colonisation”?

      Isn’t it obvious? The rightwing blogs have more traffic, are more co-ordinated and generally more influential (in the limited way blogs are at present) over the news agenda than leftist ones. This mirrors the excessive influence the rightwing press has over the public mind.

      This is hardly a contentious viewpoint!

    24. sonia — on 13th June, 2007 at 1:40 pm  

      i think its not so easy to blame the Police, well its satisfying but what needs to be realised that this is about the wider social services issue. the police are to be honest not well equipped to perform it seems even simple social services. if we want them to - then we need to delineate clearly the link needed between the different units - ie. advice, support, refuges etc. and the police, and try and push for that. of course this is really already widely acknowledged but it seems a slow process because of the nature of the bureaucracy involved. of course we must keep emphasising this, but when playing the blame game one needs to be constructive.

      and also back again to the critical issue raised on PP before - how does the ‘community’ get involved? because potentially they are a source of help much closer at hand than someone like the Police. The issue is how to tap into that.

    25. sonia — on 13th June, 2007 at 1:48 pm  

      Sluijser’s (Comment No. 634910) on the Cif thread is eminently sensible

    26. ally — on 13th June, 2007 at 2:38 pm  

      Another example Hari missed was the BBC News 24 item called ‘head-to-head’ where a (supposedly) right-wing journalist debates the issues of the week with a (supposedly) left-wing journalist.

      The right is represented by Janet Daley or Michael Gove - hard right, neocon extremists.

      The left is usually represented by the likes of John Rentoul (arch Blairite); Polly Toynbee (arch Blairite) or David Aaranovitch (soft-right neocon extremist.)

      They never ask Monbiot, Robert Fisk, Patrick Cockburn or even Johann Hari who might actually be to the LEFT of New Labour.

    27. ChrisC — on 13th June, 2007 at 3:58 pm  

      “Isn’t it obvious? The rightwing blogs have more traffic, are more co-ordinated and generally more influential (in the limited way blogs are at present) over the news agenda than leftist ones. This mirrors the excessive influence the rightwing press has over the public mind.

      This is hardly a contentious viewpoint!”

      Isn’t it?

      Might you be prepared to consider, just for a moment, that the balance of both the press and blogs actually reflect the public mind rather than “colonise” it?

    28. leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 4:37 pm  

      If that’s the case then why do the rightwing complain so bitterly about alleged leftwing biase at the BBC? With all that massive popularity with the British people what exactly are they scared of?

    29. ChrisC — on 13th June, 2007 at 4:41 pm  

      But the BBC is right wing (according to Sunny)!

      Case closed!!

      :-)

    30. sonia — on 13th June, 2007 at 4:46 pm  

      personally i think a lot of people - left and right = think the BBC is biased.

    31. Roger — on 13th June, 2007 at 4:47 pm  

      ” another term for ‘honour killings’. Any suggestions?”

      What’s wrong with ‘murder’? An accurate, widely used and easily understtod term.

    32. leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 4:49 pm  

      personally i think a lot of people - left and right = think the BBC is biased.

      I used to think that using the logic that if everyone is complaining then they must be fairly impartial. It doesn’t appear that way to me anymore…

    33. leon — on 13th June, 2007 at 4:50 pm  

      What’s wrong with ‘murder’? An accurate, widely used and easily understtod term.

      Good point although I would say it should be referred to as ‘honour’ killings not ‘honour killings’.

    34. Rumbold — on 13th June, 2007 at 9:34 pm  

      Murder is what it is of course; but murder does not quite capture the cold-blooded nature of murdering one’s own daughter specifically to ‘protect’ the family name. There are clearly enough of these cases to warrant a designation of their own- I just have no idea what the term should be.

    35. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 14th June, 2007 at 1:26 am  

      How about “adult infanticide”?

    36. pommygranate — on 14th June, 2007 at 6:08 am  

      Sunny

      Here’s a solution to end the ‘BBC is biased’ debate.

      Privatise it, end the taxpayer subsidies, let it compete in the open market against other ‘biased’ news organisations such as CNN and Fox, and let the viewers decide what they want to watch.

      I frankly couldn’t care whether the BBC is biased or not - it’s just another channel - but i do resent paying for it.

    37. douglas clark — on 14th June, 2007 at 6:53 am  

      pommygranate,

      Well, the point about the BBC is supposed to be that it it is not biased. On the whole, I don’t think it is. I am heartily sick of agenda led television channels, such as Fox and CNN. Do you really want to have everyone told that the EU is evil and that the War in Iraq is the work of a genius?

      The EU, for instance, has stopped wars between it’s partners, and the Iraq project has probably killed over a million Iraqis.

      You’ll not get that sort of comment on Fox, or CNN. The only freer media is places like this. Me, I distrust anything run by big businness. And if we have to pay for it, so be it.

      So, it is not ‘just another channel’, you post modernist you.

    38. ChrisC — on 14th June, 2007 at 9:00 am  

      “The EU, for instance, has stopped wars between it’s (sic) partners”

      The EU may be a good thing, but it doesn’t help your cause to exaggerate!

    39. Rumbold — on 14th June, 2007 at 9:34 am  

      If you had wanted to be properly pedantic, Chris C, then sic should have been in square brackets.

      ‘Adult Infanticide’ sounds like a pretty good term, TFI.

    40. Roger — on 14th June, 2007 at 10:15 am  

      One of the avowed purposes of the EU, ChrisC, was to make war between its members more difficult, if not impossible.

      If murder is not precise enough, there already is a word, filicide, for the murder of one’s child when they are no longer an infant. Infanticide is usually used for the killing of young babies by their mothers when their minds are disturbed by the birth. apart from anything else, the infantility here is exhibited by the killers, not the victims.

    41. pommygranate — on 14th June, 2007 at 2:11 pm  

      Douglas

      Well, the point about the BBC is supposed to be that it it is not biased

      That indeed is the point but as Sunny and Johann point out it clearly isn’t. Also what does neutral mean? Neutral in who’s eyes?

      It must annoy those like Sunny to have to subsidise a centre-right broadcaster. It annoys me to have to subsidise any broadcaster when we are spoilt for choice for news channels.

      Set the BBC free and let their biases flourish.

    42. soru — on 14th June, 2007 at 7:15 pm  

      Privatise it, end the taxpayer subsidies, let it compete in the open market against other ‘biased’ news organisations such as CNN and Fox, and let the viewers decide what they want to watch.

      Which part of the brain needs to be surgically removed in order to believe that that arrangement of affairs would be inherently ‘neutral’ or ‘free’?

    43. ad — on 14th June, 2007 at 7:57 pm  

      Rumbold asks if we can come up with another term for ‘honour killings’. Any suggestions?

      Submission killings?

      The point of such beatings/ killings is to compel the girl to submit to her families desires, or punish her for not submitting.

    44. Sunny — on 14th June, 2007 at 8:06 pm  

      I don’t disagree that the BBC will always be accused of being biased. I always get accused of being anti-Hindu/Sikh/Muslim by people on all sides, and hence I’m happy that I sit somewhere in the middle.

      Similarly, the BBC as a public broadcaster will always attract criticism as privatised ones do. But the advantage of public funding is that we can hold it to a higher standard than we can with channels like Fox. They’re not even worth watching and to my mind end up splitting audiences even further.

      I don’t have a problem with privatised channels, but as long as there is a strong publicly funded broadcaster that is held to stronger standards. I’m just annoyed at complaints that say the BBC is left-wing, pushing it even more to the right.

      I think ‘Family Murder’ is a good term, because it adds an extra element to plain ‘Murder’… and people should recognise that if its someone in the family who has murdered, it is more than likely to be an ‘honour’ killing.

    45. Rumbold — on 15th June, 2007 at 12:09 am  

      To summarise then, the proposed terms are:

      Adult Infanticide

      Murder

      Family murder

      Filicide

      Submission Killings

      ‘Submission killings’ seems to have somewhat of a ring to it, as all the others, while correct, can be used easily on another cases that one would not normally associate with ‘honour’ killings.

      This might sound like some sort of grim contest, but often when one reads of such cases the word ‘honour’ sticks in the mind, suggesting that it is somehow superior to any other case of murdering one’s daughter. It would be a very small change at best, but if there was a shift in terminology, one or two would-be murders may just pause for a moment. At least in the public’s minds it would stop the link between ‘honour’ and killing.

    46. Galloise Blonde — on 15th June, 2007 at 1:17 am  

      I can imagine the MCB might object to ‘submission killings’…

    47. douglas clark — on 15th June, 2007 at 1:48 am  

      Rumbold,

      I am really not happy with ‘submission killings’. It sounds like the victim agreed to their own death, which is not the point at all.

    48. Sunny — on 15th June, 2007 at 2:09 am  

      Yeah, not too ecstatic about submission killings either. And the problem with ‘honour killings’ sounds more tabloidy than Filicide. That’ll never catch on.

    49. douglas clark — on 15th June, 2007 at 3:37 am  

      Sunny,

      I agree with Rumbold that ‘honour killings’ is, what, a contradiction in terms.

      It needs to be sunk.

      We do need a new term, but I’ve wracked my very small brain and come up with nothing. (There is something about it in Southern European culture, but my head is stuck on Omerta, and that is not it.)

      Perhaps if we offered a prize, like a night out with Rumbold, all expenses paid, folk would come up with better ideas?

      Well, maybe not all expenses paid.

    50. pommygranate — on 15th June, 2007 at 4:41 am  

      Sunny

      But the advantage of public funding is that we can hold it to a higher standard than we can with channels like Fox. They’re not even worth watching

      Many would agree with you about Fox. But you are not paying for it and you are not being forced to watch it.

      Many folk are convinced the BBC is also biased. If we didn’t have to pay for it, then we could just turn the channel over and watch Big Brother or even Fox News.

      Also, does govt ownership imply a higher standard?
      It certainly implies more scope for govt interference. The BBC were utterly spineless over Iraq and the Kelly affair. Would an independent BBC have been so ineffective?

    51. Sunny — on 15th June, 2007 at 5:06 am  

      But you are not paying for it and you are not being forced to watch it.

      True but I want to watch something at least. And a BBC would be better than a toss-up between Fox and CNN.

      Would an independent BBC have been so ineffective?

      Agreed it was spineless, but so were most of the other media despite being independent. The tone taken by privatised media organisations is more than likely dictated by the political ambitions of the owner. Without sufficient media diversity that can be a problem IMO.

    52. justforfun — on 15th June, 2007 at 8:32 am  

      “Betrayal Murder.”

      For a parent to murder their child is the greatest betrayal of trust that there is.

      However I would conceed that the egos of those that do the killing undoubtably think they are the ones being betrayed. But the idea of ‘betrayal’ is at the heart of it and a powerfull emotion in people. Over time the word betrayal will need to be associated with the betrayal of the child so that the act of betrayal and its stigma is seen by all in the community as falling on the purputrators of these killings.

      At present the community sees ‘honour’ falling on the perputrators. Betrayal and honour are closely linked but the ‘betrayal’ is the key to shedding light on the circumstances of the murder. ‘Honour’ just covers it up.

      Just a thought - but still not ideal - need to think some more.

      As an aside - I had thought we might have some nice liberal Labour legislation like the removal of the family name from the passport of all 1st degree relatives and the substitution of the murderer’s street name for the next two generations in all their passports and on all official documentation. Bank accounts, driving license, etc etc.

      Justforfun

    53. Galloise Blonde — on 15th June, 2007 at 9:17 am  

      Shame killings

    54. Roger — on 15th June, 2007 at 10:19 am  

      “the word ‘honour’ sticks in the mind, suggesting that it is somehow superior to any other case of murdering one’s daughter.”

      Not if- as I do- you think Jack Falstaff best summed up honour:
      honour pricksme on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on? how then? Can honour set to a leg? no: or an arm? no: or take away the grief of a wound? no. Honour hath no skill in surgery, then? no. What is
      honour? a word. What is in that word honour? what
      is that honour? air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it?
      he that died o’ Wednesday. Doth he feel it? no.
      Doth he hear it? no. ‘Tis insensible, then. Yea,
      to the dead. But will it not live with the living?
      no. Why? detraction will not suffer it. Therefore
      I’ll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon: and so
      ends my catechism.

      If we think of that every time someone mentions honour we’ll get a more accurate idea of what they’re talking about.

    55. Rumbold — on 15th June, 2007 at 1:03 pm  

      “Perhaps if we offered a prize, like a night out with Rumbold, all expenses paid, folk would come up with better ideas?”

      Oh dear.

    56. justforfun — on 15th June, 2007 at 2:29 pm  

      Yes - shame killings does imply a loss and a guilt that really the whole community that is around and support these murderers should bare.

      Justforfun

    57. soru — on 15th June, 2007 at 10:28 pm  

      From the Rabbit Education Resource

      People that raise a lot of rabbits occasionally come across a doe that eats her young. If this is her first or second litter, she may be forgiven for she knoweth not what she doeth. But if she eats babies with each litter, there’s no sense in breeding her anymore. There is no known cause or cure. The problem is that rabbits do not have the same motherly instinct as dogs or cats who will protect their young. Some does will simply neglect their young and let them die. The majority of does, however, once they get the knack of things, will take care of their babies to the extent that their limited instinct will allow them. For instance, baby rabbits must remain in their nest box and not come out of it until they’re ready because the mother will not take them back into the box.
      As far as any rabbit eating a baby rabbit, sometimes it will think that a baby rabbit is a mouse or something and destroy it. Sometimes stress may cause a rabbit to eat its young. Some think that there is something lacking in the diet. In case this is so, offer some alfalfa hay occasionally. If the doe eats the babies as she is giving birth, I think it is because she doesn’t know what is coming out of her and will eat the babies as she would her afterbirth.

      ‘Honour killing’ is based on a similar intellectual confusion between ‘my property’ and ‘my child’. All but the stupidest rabbits get it right: sad that not all humans do.

      Maybe it should be called RRS: ‘Retarded Rabbit Syndrome’.

    58. Don — on 16th June, 2007 at 12:20 am  

      soru,
      Brilliant.

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