I would look her straight in the eye and say “Ma’m, do you know the example you’re setting for your child? Do you want him to grow up to be a bitter,hateful man knowing that he learned it from you?” and if that didn’t work, I’d kindly tell her to fuck off.
Thoroughly unpleasant woman.
Public order offence? I know that a judge recently ruled that swearng at coppers was ok, because a copper can hardly clam to be shocked and outraged at being told to ‘Fuck off’, and variations thereof. But the public at large don’t need this. I think the old term was ‘public scold’ and consequences were barbaric.
The question was ‘What would you do…?’
Given the circumstances (she’s not large or threatening, she’s encumbered by a child, she doesn’t appear to be armed)I’d be tempted to be patronising.
I hope I’d rise above that, though.
This video is brilliant. It shows racism in its true form: ugly, angry and full of hate. People going about their lives and being insulted because the way they look. The final seconds are priceless: the woman’s face in disgust when saying it is full of black and brown people. Ironic because her English is worse than that black woman from “Niggaragua”.
Best punishment? Get her a DNA test to establish how Anglo-Indigenous she is.
I like to think I’d say something brilliant and cutting, but I’m not sure I’d know what to do or say, to be honest, and you can see that that’s how the other people on the tram feel, because they’re nice, law-abiding, dignified people and she’s, well, clearly not. I gather she ended up getting arrested, which seems appropriate.
Being from Croydon, and that being the Croydon tram, I’d feel a bit ashamed, and wonder how things got like this. She’s from New Addington apparently, which is a big council estate at the end of the line almost in the countryside. It’s always had a reputation as being a bit rough, and has changed less demographically than other parts of the borough I think.
As I’ve seen threatening behavior on that tram in the past and did nothing because it was groups of gang-like youths, I probably wouldn’t do anything here either. Maybe engage in a bit of eye rolling with some other passengers perhaps.
I really hope we see an outcry about this on a Gillian Duffy scale.
I would be tempted to say something like ‘Shame on you, you are a stupid, hateful embarrassment to the human race.’ I would probably end up swearing though, tbh.
I would have taken my camera-phone out and encouraged everyone else to do the same.
Given she has now been arrested, I would plead for clemency on her behalf and ask others to do the same. Who knows of the turmoil in her personal life.
I’ve seen videos of racist thuggery and abuse here before – this seems a little different because she strikes me as being seriously unwell. What she says is obviously vile.
damon – eye rolling – me too!
Punish the racist! Punish the racist! We’re all perfect! Send the racist to a re-education camp! Punish the racist!
We abide by the little red anti-racist handbook! We’re perfect!
She’s been charged… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15933829
It’s worth giving this wikipedia entry a look.
About New Addington where the woman is from.
Its marginalised physical location and ”controversial reputation” are key points to look for.
It is quite different to the rest of the borough, being stuck out so far away from the more urbanised and suburban areas. In someways it’s not like London at all, but has more in common with some woebegone estate on the edge of Portsmouth or Hull or somewhere.
The woman is a product of her environment to a degree, and it’s one of the (few) places where the BNP could have a presence.
A few years ago after the stabbing to death of a young white man getting off a night bus, I saw the scene at the bus stop where he died and it was covered with flowers, cards and England flags, including one from the local BNP. Even his own father called it a racist killing. I believe the young man who died had a conviction for harassing asylum seekers.
It was only in the last decade that New Addington started to become much more racially mixed. It had been much whiter than northern parts of the borough, and I don’t think it was popular with black people for a long time because of its reputation. There had been a migration of black people into Croydon from places like Brixton, but it was the north of the borough that was more popular for the first people to move to.
This big council estate in the south is somewhere you have to be sent to by the council, so it took a lot longer for the trickle down to make much of an impact.
Ask her who her dealer is. That’s some potent stuff she’s on, which is making her talk some higher level out of this universe crap.
For 10 years I travelled by tube from west London to south of the river. Apart from the daily tribulations of late trains, cancelled trains, dirty trains and other rush-hour ‘horrors’, sometimes I also had to contend with people like this woman.
I am happy to say that it was a rare occasion and what I remember most is that it were often other white people on the train who intervened on my, or other Black and Asian victims, behalf.
On one occasion there was this ugly, racist man, sitting opposite to me, who started to mouth some racist abuse. But, each time he tried to open his mouth, I just shouted, ‘Blah’, ‘Blah’, ‘Blah’, but perfectly synchronised to the opening of his mouth. I also encouraged other people around me to do the same and many joined in and we all had a good laugh !
After a while he just gave up and walked off the train, maybe to attend his ‘BNP’ meeting or go home and beat up some poor and unfortunate wife !!
This is a brilliant article on the subject.
Rave, I agree a very good article.
I recall an incident where a young lad (mixed-race asian) ended up in an argument with a group of lads, in a pub, about the BNP and the Bradford riots. When the incomprehensible-backing of the BNP by an afro-caribbean in the group, was challenged by the ‘but you are black’, the police was called. The young lad ended up with a cut lip and a police caution for racist behaviour.
Yes that’s a good article on CiF by Sunny.
The woman has been remanded in custody for pete’s sake.
Spiked had their say, and suggest that the hounding of this woman by ”The Twitterati” was not a great act of anti-racist activism – ”it was the virtual equivalent of children chasing the local crazy lady through the streets and shouting ‘Nutter!’ or ‘Cow!’.”
Yes that’s a good article on CiF by Sunny.
Have to agree. A lot of sledgehammer out there chasing the same wallnut.
Nice article in cif Sunny. I’m unsure whether she does have mental health issues but it is quite obvious she was in a fairly emotional state; i’m dismayed that people in the tram – let alone commentators on the likes of twitter lack the rudimentary emotional intelligence needed to realise the last thing the situation needed was more shouty input from bystanders.
The worst you could say is that she is a racist aberration – i like you would also have taken the approach of ignoring her and avoiding confrontation.
You can’t change the opinion of someone who expresses in antagonistic terms their hatred of you by in turn shouting back at them.
I think to make sense of this better you need to have some idea of the area and its history. She’s 37 now, so I imagine her 20 years ago as a 17 year old living in New Addington after leaving school without much of an education or career prospects.
The place has always been a bit of a dump, and also a place to be somewhat wary of. I went to a party there once that ended up in a mass brawl. If you went to a pub like ‘The Bunker’s Knob’ and weren’t known to people, you might be alright, but someone might come over and ask you who you were. If you said the right thing you were OK, if not, you wern’t.
This was always a white place, even as the north part of Croydon was becoming far more racially mixed as people moved in from the boroughs to the north. Addington was, and still is mostly, ”white van man” territory. There are vans parked all over the estate.
With the demographic change that was taking place, white racists would be squeezed somewhat in how freely they could continue with their traditional (ignorant) culture, and places like New Addington were lagging behind quite a bit socially I would say. Because it is physically quite isolated. You don’t go there unless you live or know people there.
This following link is about London gangs, and many people would ignore it as just a youthful subculture that has been going on since ”West Side Story” and wouldn’t really give it any attention. But I think it’s worth looking at as it describes a genuine phenomenon that has taken place regardles of whether you pay it any attention or not.
And a routine look at the local paper will give you headlines like this, from a few weeks ago:
”Group of more than 20 males in fight on New Addington tram”.
The culture of fighting is the same as it ever was, it’s just that a new racial mix has joined the party and taken over to a degree.
By the look of these lads in their Youtube, ”Block Cartel” runs things now, and I would guess that’s resented by the older racist whites who these young guys probably have little respect for.
To be unfair, liberals don’t really make it easy for the racist to have their say in a reasonable manner. The moment a person expresses an opinion that borders on racism, they will get shouted down: that’s racist! You can’t say that. Which effectively shuts them up. And no one likes to be told their opinion isn’t worth talking about. Which goes some way towards explaining why that when they flip, they properly flip.
I think it might be time to Hug a Racist. Listen to them. It’s no good saying you shouldn’t be a racist, most people beyond the extreme right-wing are fully aware they shouldn’t be racist (the “I’m not racist, but…” explanation is oft bandied for that precise reason), but having a racist thought and not letting it turn into a strongly held opinion is a thought process that needs realisation, that only comes from discussion. It’s easy to say people are stupid because they are, and opinions are borrowed from Daily Mail and Britain First as much as liberals borrow theirs from Guardian and leftie blogs, so it’s cowardly/arrogant to say someone with a racist opinion is beyond help and doesn’t deserve to be heard.
If you listen to them, and again I’m not referring to thugs but, for want of a better word, ‘normal’ people like this tram woman, they might listen back.
For instance, I don’t think the tram woman has ever had the call to sit down and think that if people who go to a country and settle there over generations should indeed piss off, what everyone in America should then do. I’d have prefered if someone sat down and calmly said to her: ‘I can see you’re angry and frustrated. Would you care to explain to me exactly what is upsetting you today?’
I doubt this would stop her swearing and screaming, but at least it would show liberals are willing to listen and not just be as judgemental and intolerant of the very people we dislike for being judgemental and intolerant…
I read that Spiked article you linked to (No, really I often do.) but guess I just don’t get Twitter. My daughter’s friends tell me it is very useful if you are looking for opportunities in freelance media type work, one of them described it as a portable Rialto, which sort of makes sense and speaks well of his English teacher.
I understand that is has revolutionised civil disorder and that also makes sense.
But the scale of it baffles me. Isn’t this the same response that Twitter gave to the woman who put a cat in a bin? Is it just background noise, can it be analysed sociologically? Or is it that people who choose to tweet their ephemeral opinions tend to be lacking in perspective?
… if someone sat down and calmly said to her: ‘I can see you’re angry and frustrated. Would you care to explain to me exactly what is upsetting you today?
You might be able to pull that off without sounding patronsing. I couldn’t.
Kismet – I’m not sure that would work in this case but it might in some.
Don, by ”Twitterati” I don’t think they are talking about everone who comments on twitter, but more the liberal ”clicktivist” ones who gather in a head of steam to show their anger at what someone has said or done in public. Like with Jeremy Clarkson yesterday calling for stikers to be shot.
Why is David Cameron commenting on it? Because of the howl of outrage about it I suppose (see Liberal Conspiracy too).
You didn’t think much of my effort at post#20 then?
I think that’s where the key to understanding things like this lie. I’ve been living in Belfast for the last 18 months, and the woman’s rant is not so different to the kind of things you can hear here sometimes from the polarised communities.
Her outburst was horribly racist, but sounded also like plain old sectarianism too – which is as old as mankind.
On the Millwall football supporters blog I read, while most said that the woman was out of order, or drunk or mad, there were a few ”whatabout” comments along the lines of ”why is that so different to all that black gangsta talk you hear from the back of the bus with people talking loudly about violence and robbery?”
Whether that’s relevant or not is a debatable. You’re from Northumberland Don so you might not know what I’m talking about. So have a lsten to this nice little white girl doing some impressions of things that she has picked up from the environment around her. It’s what you can hear on the bus every day in London.
I have found that kind of talk to be offensive in the past, particularly when everyone on the bus is having to hear it and because of the calculated arrogance of it.
Psychology is the key to understanding these kinds of outbursts, whether it’s from this 34 year old woman, or bragging teens getting off on being overbearing in a confined space like a bus or train.
That was an interesting vid (the girl doing gangsta talk). She seemed to have an ironic, distanced approach to this linguistic development and associated bragging attitude.
It’s true I live in Northumberland but I work in the east end of Newcastle; Wallsend and Byker are not leafy suburbs. We don’t have that patois up here, but whatever the accent there are still scrawny, lippy kids on public transport loudly proclaiming how hard they are and boasting about the damage they have done when no-one was around to see it.
‘So ah sez ‘Whee d’yee think yee ah?’ and ah stuck the fookin’ heed on um’ and he gans doon so ah fookin’ stomped the fooker.’
Psychology is the key to understanding these kinds of outbursts
Can’t argue with that, although personally I blame Thatcher.
‘Can’t argue with that, although personally I blame Thatcher.’
Don, you don’t have that lingo up there, but if it became introduced by new people moving into Newcastle, in the same way that happened in places like Croydon …. that could lead to some interesting social phenomena there too.
In post #20 I did a link to a youtube about something that I had overlooked somewhat, and that is that the local gangish tough lads in New Addington …. that formally very white council estate right out on the edge of Croydon, were now majority black and mixed race youths. It must have been quite a recent thing because it wouldn’t have been like that 20 years ago.
But most of them weren’t even born 20 years ago and I probably didn’t notice them so much as they were growing up there.
If lads like that suddenly started showing up in Wallsend, and called themselves the ”Wallsend Crew” and rode the Metro like they ride the Croydon tram and carrying on like that, do you not think that some local people might not comment on it?
But things like that usually take some years to develop and people get used to them as they evolve.
Although older people will notice the change from how it was to how it is. And not always in a positive way.
I think Geordies might find that kind of accent to be somewhat alien and not like it. I know of Millwall supporters who’ve said they’d moved out of London to stop their kids being influenced by that culture and talking like that.
Sad, but true.
Mrs A says:
Goodness I think this Emma could be England’s Joan of Arc.
Like Joan she hated the invader and wanted him out.
Like Emma Joan was persecuted by the establishment of the day and called a heretic and blasphemer.
But Emma doesn’t yet hear voices so far as I know Abdul.
There is still time and one day perhaps she will be elevated to sainthood.
I kept trying to think “what I would do if I was confronted by this” but tbh I just felt so mortified on behalf of the woman’s child. Poor chap – he didn’t ask for any of that shite and yet he has to deal with through no fault of his own.
….must be getting old!
This is nice:
I orignially intended to send this to you as a pm. However, it needs to be said to anyone left that is listening.
Only Jai is writing here nowadays with his strange idea about shutting posts off when it suits him. And you on the very odd occasion.
I have gone through a lot of chums on here, Rumbold, Sonia, bananabrain and dozens of others.
It used to have a point.
It used to encourage dialogue between people. It used to succeed at that.
But that we have lost along the way.
Where are the new writers? Shamit I think it was offered to write here, but hasn’t appeared.
I’ll probably pop in sometimes, just to see what people are sayin’.
But it’s lost it’s oomph!
You really need to look at what this site once was in it’s heyday and what it has become. Only Don and I are still around since these days…..
I’d really like a new generation to start writing and posting here. Are you up for it? ( And no, that does not include me…)
douglas – thanks for your comment. Let me think about it… I don’t know what to do with PP right now – it takes work to keep it going, and I don’t have much of that right now. I can only post very occasionally myself!
As for Jai – EDL threads are closed early because of the high amount of trolling they get… sorry!
If PP would like to cross post my recent piece on ‘honour’ killings on HP they are very welcome.
Being banned from those threads, I must be one of the trolls. It’s true that EDL supporters have commented on them, but not alowing criticism of the OP’s basic surmise is a major flaw IMO.
Mainly because I think the assumptions in them are also flawed. But it’s more complex than tradiditional anti-fascism (which is what Jai’s posts mostly are) usually wants to get involved in. So it dismisses and ignores any other view, and will eventually call it trolling if it persists.
Kenan Malik has the more nuanced and balanced view on Breivik and neo-fascism I find. It would have been interesting to try to introduce this point of view into the PP discussion, but that was not possible.
”There is, in fact, no evidence that Breivik was part of any conspiracy involving neo-fascist groups. Nor is there even much evidence that attacks such as Breivik’s are linked to the strength of far-right ideology. We need to challenge neo-fascism and anti-Muslim bigotry, just as we need to challenge Islamism. But in both cases we also need to keep a sense of perspective about the nature of the threat.”
what would i do?
join the anti nazi league.
immediately on the tram?
call the police.
“Can’t argue with that, although personally I blame Thatcher.”
How long is the British left going to blame everything that ails Britain on Thatcher? As for this particular wretch I don’t really know why people are so worked up over this? This isn’t anything new.
‘If PP would like to cross post my recent piece on ‘honour’ killings on HP they are very welcome.’
That really would take us back some years.
I saw your article in the Guardian on the 29th Nov.
Well said -it was by far and away the best piece I have read about this incident.
I think the woman is a plonker and the other people on the tram were remarkably restrained, albeit some in a reverse-racism sort of way. However I feel some discomfort with the prospect of people filming her on the sly rather than telling her she was completely wrong. It’s a bit cowardly.
(A few years ago I challenged a young guy who was attempting to break open a vending machine on a busy train platform in London. We squared off against each other until the guards came to investigate what the commotion was all about. He cleared off just in time. As I got on my train a fellow passenger congratulated me for being prepared to tell the guy to stop it – to which I said something like “Thanks pal, I could have done with your support a couple of minutes ago when i thought I might be pushed on the rails – not now that we are in the comfort of the carriage”)
thanks for the kind words about my article.
I read your article and found it interesting. I also read the comments. You have a hard row to hoe over there.
One criticism of the Comment is Free article would be (IMO) linking to Stewart Lee on youtube.
There is a lot to be desired about Lee and his audience. He hates ”white van man” and the Top Gear audience. It’s all a bit smug I find.
Another, might be the significance of Rock Against Racism etc. It had some effect I’m sure… for those who attended the concerts particularly.
But there can be quite a bit of looking back with rose tinted glasses too.
I remember these things only vaguely from being at school in the 1970s. I think being in a reasonably mixed and harmonious school had a bigger influence than the ANL had on the attitudes of my fellow school students.
Apart from that, I agreed with the rest of the Cif article.
There is a lot to be desired about Lee and his audience. He hates ”white van man” and the Top Gear audience. It’s all a bit smug I find.
I just bought tickets for his Newcastle show. Really looking forward to it.I guess we don’t share the same sense of humour.
But I would never deny that there is a lot to be desired about me. Did that even mean anything?
Did I get my idiom wrong? ”Leaves a lot to be desired” is what I should have said.
This Spiked article was quite scathing of Stewart Lee the other day. About the Jeremy Clarkson carry on.
That’s why I rate them. Not because of anything to do with climate science which I don’t understand, but that one nails it.
I can go along with Stewart Lee to a degree, but it’s such easy targets for him. Richard Littlejohn, racists, people who emegrate form Britain but still leave comments on the Daily Mail website.
Sure it’s funny to mock them all. But a bit cheap and self-congratulatory too I think.
Thanks Don – yes, there were some quite challenging comments.
I like Stewart Lee a lot – mind you, I also quite like Jeremy Clarkson.
Y-A-W-N : classic cheap and self-congratulatory Spiked stereotyping, socking it to the stuck up Chatterati on behalf of the ordinary man. I think Damon and Spiked are getting somewhat overworked up about Stewart Lee though.
I like the puerile humour of Top Gear, I also like some of the documentaries the Top Gear trio do. Clarkson got some nice pre-Christmas publicity for a book – that’s all. The whole outrage thing is a bit like the Daily Mail and Sachsgate.
I don’t get you Wibble. It wasn’t Spiked that made what Clarkson said into a little media storm.
That was brought about by ”the twitterati” and in which Liberal Conspiracy played its own small part.
Apparently it was ”a naked attempt to push the debate even further to the right” and dog whistling.
Just as an aside, and perhaps in reply to what it was that brought about a decline in overt racism, and whether that was down to the ANL and Rock Against Racism etc, here is (IMO) a really interesting and nuanced article about the campaign against sectarianism in Scotland. And how it’s not necessarily as good a project as it might first appear to be.
It’s the same kind of formula that we’ve had in Britain with anti-racism for decades, and which has obviously worked to quite a degree, but has also had serious failings built into it.
But I’ve yet to see a place where that kind of thing can be discussed well.
Apparently this woman will be in custody until January, when her case will be heard.
I find that insane.
That she’s being held on remand in prison, I would say, is a consequence of the ”benign totalitarianism” of anti-racism politics working themselves out. It’s meant for the ‘greater good’ though.
Treating what this woman did as such a serious event, and the reaction too it to the extent that even though she lives in New Addington, the whitest and most traditional (in the backward sense) part of Croydon, the police still think that she would be in danger from outraged citizens that they have to keep her in prison, is a natural working out of a trend in policing the public in general.
And that includes football games and what is said on the pitch between players, and maybe even the overkill of policing student demonstrations and sending letters to people who were arrested previously, telling them their card is marked and they’d better not cause trouble on the demo this time.
Meanwhle back in the ”real world” of everyday Millwall fans, I have been reading comments on their website about it – that ”of course the country is f**ked” – because it ”has been for years”.
The BNP and EDL are ranting about it too.
Googgle ”Free Emma West” …… and then look at yesterday’s Daily Mail comments on the story about the four drunk Somalian origin young women who attacked the white girl in Leicester. The reader’s comments on that story are something to behold. Many of them have thousands of likes and dislikes – up to six thousand dislikes for a couple of comments saying it wasn’t a racist attack and that worse happens all the time and it wasn’t a big deal.
Maybe Stewart Lee could add it into his act, when he has his friend moaning to him that ”it’s political correctness gone mad Stu”.
Basicly, I think it’s a serious development that she’s being kept in prison, and that is worth analysis and threads all of it’s own.
Apparently the average time on remand is eight to nine weeks, might be less (or more I suppose) for female prisoners though.
I would agree. But I am not a lawyer so any analysis from me would be blether. Anyone know on what grounds she has been remanded? Own protection? Flight risk? Likely to re-offend or interfere with witnesses? All seem unlikely.
There may well be a good reason and there may even be a good reason why we can’t be told the good reason. And a reason for that…
But that’s a reasoning we liberals do not generally find reasonable.
Re: the Somali women. On the face of it I can’t see how that did not require a custodial sentence and a long hard look at immigration status. Pulling the religious card in court should, at the very least, merit a stern talking to.
Don @ 50.
I think that the Daily Mail article says that she was arrested for her own protection – seems a bit perverse to me.
Regarding the Somali Muslim gang getting off lightly – it would seem that crimes of this nature do sometimes result in non-custodial punishments. A general argument could be made on the leniency of these sentences.
From the following link :
This incident appears to be a case of drunken rage which left Rhea Page "black and blue."
There are a lot of comments claiming that the sentencing was a result of double standards and that 'if it had been a White gang, they would have gone to prison and not been let off like the Somali girls'. This is not true for two reasons:
1) They were not 'let off', The women all admitted actual bodily harm and received suspended sentences. One received a four-month curfew between 9pm and 6am and all of the others were ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. You can argue that they deserve worse and I'd agree.
2) The second claim is that the choice to give a suspended sentence was a double standard. This is evidently not true. It is very common for intoxication to be used as a mitigating factor in sentencing. There are an abundance of cases in which suspended sentences are given, like in the aforementioned case and many of them have been more horrific than that one too.
The above link has under “Spoilers” has a list of similar cases e.g.
here you go: the definitive response video
As usual no one seems to have noticed the blatant racism also coming from the black woman on the tram:
‘If we don’t come here you guys don’t want to work … we have to do the work for you, go and work’
Its got it all: Stereotypes, dehumanisation, ‘you people’ and of course, deeply entrenched bitter resentment. And its all insulting and offensive crap too.
And you just have to wonder what that young black man intended to do as well, if he were not persuaded from physically confronting that woman.
Could that potential response be why she is now in ‘protective custody’?
Ah, protective custody.
The mainstay of totalitarianism, the favoured tool of the Gestapo and KGB.
They won’t spend a single night in jail for seriously assaulting and racially abusing a defenceless and innocent woman in a pack of four, screaming ‘Kill the white slag’ as they kicked her in the head, whereas the woman featured in this post is now in jail for non-violent, at best, disorder, and will be so, and away from her two children over Christmas at least. And she hasn’t been convicted of squat.
If you can’t see the problem here for many people, then perhaps Google the name Kriss Donald to further press the point. I’m sure you have never heard of him or his horrific end at the hand of racists.
No need to Google Stephen Lawrence though.
” As for Jai – EDL threads are closed early because of the high amount of trolling they get”
The word ‘troll’ on the internet is now so routinely interchanged with ‘dissent’ as to render its usage superfluous.
I have seen no real ‘trolling’ at all, only insightful challenging of what is clearly patent and indefensible nonsense and the real reason for the closed threads is that it is patent and indefensible nonsense that is so easily picked apart.
Its as dishonest, underhanded and cowardly as it gets.
The latest offering, in the truest traditions of the totalitarianism mindset and the fine history of Soviet asylums and ‘rehabilitation, boils down to that anyone who disagrees with Jai is mentally ill.
The absurd ‘logic’ used would mean that an interest in sex, which ‘motivated’ Fred West’s crimes, would also indicate mental illness in anyone else who was interested in sex as well.
Sunny @ 32,
Thanks for your honest reply. This site has lost contributors faster than the speed of light!
On this issue:
That would be the same Jai that took on the best the BNP had to offer on here? Which was troll central for a while. I enjoyed that series of threads as much as anything I have ever read or contributed to. It was through letting people ‘damn themselves’ with their own words that made it memorable. It was one of the high spots of what this site used to be about. In my mind, Jai has never been a shrinking violet. And that series of threads was a brave and honourable thing to do.
We’ve seen this site go through highs and lows over the years, what with the Israel / Palestinian debates that used to exercise everyone, and the very interesting arguements about the Iraq war. Now we are offered, as a main feast, a ‘Daily Mail’ reversed lunch about how horrible the EDL are. As if anyone cared?
We know that. No-one that has read this site for a while thinks otherwise.
There is a crossover between criticism and a symbiotic relationship with the beast.
Jai, in particular, should consider that. At what stage does his condemnation of the EDL become publicity for them? That is not to say that they should get a free ride, but they are, numbers wise, a completely trivial plook on the body politic.
They – and Anjem Choudary – tweak the British sense of outrage at what free speech actually entails. To that extent they are successful.They remind me of a certain Northern Irish politician, Ian Paisley who also had views that outraged most folk. Reverend Iain Paisley, RIP.
Frankly I watch these representatives of extremism on the telly as a form of entertainment. What will they say now? Satire would be a better vehicle for dealing with them than turgid prose.
They are also creatures of our age. I doubt they would have had any impact whatsoever without modern media. It behoves us, I think, to wonder why we give them virtual column inches?
Right that’s it Douglas. I now declare that you are a troll and you are henceforth banned form all my threads.
Actually, I agree with the last part DC, but felt the same about the BNP too. They really weren’t worth all the fuss and attention either IMO.
A far better series of investigative OP’s I think, whould be to sometimes shaddow a few of the sensationalist headline stories that get highlighted on Harry’s Place. I don’t trust their judgement at all, so when I read yesterday about this ….
”The Rabbi, The Hate Preacher and The East London Mosque”
…. I thought it would be interesting to hear a different perspective on it. And surely more valuable and important than another EDL non-story.
The preacher from Saudi Arabia was Sheikh Saad al-Beriak. Is he as bad as HP suggests?
Or is it just more Andrew Gilligan muck racking?
It’s clear that ELM continues to host these kinds of people.
But is that any big deal? Most people in Britain have no idea who they are, so why should anyone care? Maybe it’s just a private religious thing and none of our business.
That to me (if there were some other good commentators joining in) would be an interesting thing to discuss.
Also too would be some word about this Israeli chap Gilad Atzmon – who I’ve heard a lot about, but most of it so partizan and against him that I’m not sure what to make of him. Is he really an anti-semitic Israeli Jew? I don’t know myself (or maybe I’m just concern trolling?)
Actually I really don’t know. I read articles like this and am none the wiser.
He’s certainly an interesting character is what I can pick up.
It’s a total disgrace that the tram woman is in prison btw.
It shows the lack of ”bottle” we have as a society these days IMO.
damon – I would be quite interested to read comments about that ELM story here, I guess. But I really don’t see why you invoke Atzmon. Surely there is enough info out there about Atzmon for you or anyone else to be able to decide whether or not you think he is antisemitic. Here is the discussion following Andy Newman’s article, for example.
Look on his website, if you are still unsure. I don’t need to tell you what I think about him.
Sarah, I just wondered if there was anything to defend about Gilad Atzmon. I’m not the keenest of followers of the Israel/Palestine debate, and arguing about Jewishness, zionism, anti-semitism and all that. Because some of the points people make have become tedious and far too partisan for my liking. And I don’t trust many of the most vociferous people on either side. That means HP as well as Ben White and those Socialist Unity/Lenin type people.
He does sound particularly dodgy I do admit. But he has his supporters. Who are they? Just half-witted people who can’t see past ”Free Palestine”?
I hadn’t been really aware of him untill recently.
I never read anything about him here as far as I can remember.
damon – you place SU and Lenin’s Tom on a different side from HP – but do note that both SU (Andy Newman) and LT (Richard Seymour) have spoken out firmly against Atzmon. Here’s the LT thread
HP has stories about Atzmon because it is concerned with antisemitism and its intersection with antizionism. SU and LT are decidedly left blogs, and both are critical of Israel, but want to disassociate themselves from antisemitism which they recognize contaminates parts of the far left and elements of pro-Palestinian activism.
Hope not Hate have also strongly condemned Atzmon.
You asked about his supporters – yes, I think many are exactly as you describe. Some PSC types have condemned him – I heard one on an audio Q and A session after one of Atzmon’s talks – someone who I certainly don’t agree with, but did respect for speaking out against Atzmon’s writings on the Holocaust and challenging his particularly unpleasant remarks about Jewish anti-zionists.
Here’s an insight into one Atzmon’s supporter’s mindset.
You said “I never read anything about him here as far as I can remember.” PP is politically moderate and not especially focused on IP – so it would have no reason to cover him HP style, and no need to disassociate itself from his views, SU style, either.
Sarah, it does look like Atzmon is way out of line and says some quite offensive things. I don’t know about banning him and trying to get any event he’s at called off though. He sounds like he could be an interesting person to debate with – even if you hated some of the things he said.
Lauren Booth is an interesting casse too. She’s a big supporter of him, and yet she’s a welcome speaker and guest at many mainstream Muslim events like the Global Peace and Unity event and such things. So what interests me is how far do you (one) go in your condemnation of people? Is any event Lauren Booth attends, tainted because of her association with him.
The third Lauren Booth article in the link you did threw up some interesting ideas I thought. On the nature of Jewishness and Zionism.
Maybe it’s because I’m not heavilly into I/P and that subject, that I find it quite intellectually stimulating. The idea of Zionism shaping Jewishness, more than the other way around (and concepts like that). And whether that in-itself is was an ”anti-semitic” thing to say. I’ve never been convinced that Jews are a race btw? Who decided that was so?
Anyway, all my point was …. not to discuss this here and now particularly, but that those are issues that could do with a lot of untangling through reasoned debate.
But where can a person find such a debate? Not on Harry’s Place I’m affraid to say. It should be PP, but it seems to have lost a lot of it’s good commentators.
Naughty damon. But I will try to engage with some of your points. I don’t want Atzmon banned from speaking or writing unless he breaks the law – but I do think that expressing approval for him, or hosting him, taints organisations, publishers, etc. Some pro-Palestinian activists have dropped out of engagements with him after finding out more. Some haven’t. If you want to read up about this then check out Tony Greenstein’s blog – Greeenstein is a fervent anti-zionist and critic of Israel who is accused of being a ‘Sayan’ (Israeli agent) by Atzmon. I think it’s perfectly appropriate to draw attention, as HP has done, and as Hope not Hate, Richard Seymour etc have done, to the way in which ‘progressive’ events and groups have associated with Atzmon.
Here’s a topic which might be better for PP than HP – are some of these organisations making a good effort to purge themselves of such elements?
WRT ‘Jewishness’ – I suppose all such identities, including Englishness, shift over time in response to all kinds of external pressures. Jews are usually described as an ethno-religous group rather than a race. Race is a rather problematic concept generally. Talking about all these issues may or may not be antisemitic. To take a different case, I hope it’s ok to say that Palestinian identity has been shaped and sharpened by events of the last century. Using the term ‘invented people’, as Newt Gingrich did, does not seem ok – and ‘fakestinian’ worse still.
I’m not sure if this is quite what you are after, damon, but Bob from Brockley hosts some interesting (but slow moving, premoderated) debates. Sorry if I’ve recommended him to you before – I was certainly flagging him up to someone recently.
Is the tram woman still in prison? If she is its a total disgrace and a farce, and all people who want equality and to fight racism should be concerned at the way the law has acted, as if in your name as thats what people suposidly demand. Which it isnt … for me anyway.
Ive been in Paris for the last ten days, and I thought of the tram woman today when I was in the northern suburb of Saint Denis.
I had wondered what she would make of that place.
Its a bit like the Croydon of Paris, but even more ethnically black and minority people. And its poor. It doesnt look the happiest of places, and like Croydon, seems to lack those redeeming features that other mixed urban inner city areas can have. That infusion of ”bobos” as they call them here …. ”bourgeious bohemiens” or young professionals. They really seem to be lacking from the town/suburb. Which leaves it looking a bit grim and unhappy I thought. White people were less than a quater of the population, and it looked like a high degree of the locals were first generation immigrants from poor countries. So their level of education would not be to French standards I guesed.
My point is, thats a heck of a change for one small French town to face in the course of a generation, and it probably hampers integration. People seem to stick to thier ethnic and cultural groups from what I can see. With the second generation its different Im sure, but there is a lot of still quite new first generation immigrants everywhere.
Interesting perspective as always Damon.
Historically the situation in France has always been much more extreme and bitter than in the UK. This is a country in which rival Algerian independence factions fought each other violently in the 1950s and 1960s. According to French official figures, nearly 4,000 people died in this undeclared conflict known as ‘The Cafe Wars’. Yes this was actually in France – NOT Algeria. I understand that death toll is higher than the equivalent figure for the Northern Ireland troubles, and occurred with a much shorter time period.
It’s also the same country in which the Government security forces massacred between 40 and 200 Algerian pro-Independence demonstrators on October 17 1961. Again, this happened in ‘westernised’ ‘democratic’ France, not Algeria. Some of the victims were tortured to death in police stations, others were drowned in the Seine.
Makes me appreciate living in England.
Interesting perspective as always Damon
You do know I’m partly banned on here don’t you Golam Murtaza?
Yes, I’ve read of the 1961 massacre. It sounds terrible, but 50 years ago now. France is a different country to how it was then, and it’s still a country of choice to come to it seems.
I went to the distant southern suburb of Grigny today, mainly because I remember Rod Liddle wrote about it in 2005. I think he exaggerated a lot. Particularly the first bit about people of different races not sitting next to each other on the train.
But the place is definitely a bit of a dump. The shabby shopping centre had three security guards standing outside the supermarket looking like they were ready for action, in boots and combat trousers.
Ready to pounce on any shoplifters I suppose.
It’s only a half hour to Paris on the trains, but costs nearly five eouos each way, and the temptation is there to jump the turnstile, which is something you see quite regularly here. Or just walk in through the exit doors as people come out.
That’s what I did on the way back.
One area that is worth looking around in some detail is the 10th arrondissement around the Gare du Nord railway station where the Eurostar trains come in.
Is it lively, interesting and gritty, in a Kings Cross London kind of a way, or is it a poor immigrant ghetto that is shunned by middle class Parisians as somewhere to be avoided?
Because they certainly do seem to avoid the area.
It’s full of shops selling cheap rubbish, and kebabs abnd African food.
I like it myself, but that’s because I like edgy gritty neighbourhoods, and abhor the boringly well heeled and stuck up areas frequented by the rich.
My point is though, that like with the Addington woman on the tram, what a person thinks of such places is highly subjective, and really depends on how you see the world.
When I arrived at the Gare du Nord during evening rush hour last week, it was surprising to see how African the place was, with some bars and cafes inside the station being almost completely patronised by African guys, on their way home from work I guessed.
It’s what a future Lagos train terminal could look like I thought. In fact, in so many cafes in the more working class areas, the greater majority of the people in them are black and arab, with hardly an ethnic Frenchman in sight. Or woman for that matter.
Watching this youtube of Tunisian illegal migrants in Paris, the young guy at ten minutes into the film seems very sure about the way things lie in the social makeup of Paris. He shows a map and tears off the top corner of northern Paris and the northern suburbs. ”That’s Tunisia” he says, ”not France”.
For him, real France is to the south and centre of Paris.
He’s a young guy, and that has been his short experience of living in Paris. It reminded me of the tram woman’s rant, but in a different way of course.
He’s hot being hateful and she was. But the views are not so different, in that I think that the young Tunisian man didn’t want to end up in the immigrant suburbs, and had hoped to become part of the France he had imagined.
The real injustice here though is to be putting people in prison for basicly ”tought crimes”.
A protest against Tram Woman Emma West being held in prison, by anti racists and people on the left, would be far more important than silly ”UK Uncut” protests aboiut getting Philip Green to pay his tax …. in my opinion.
A protest against Tram Woman Emma West being held in prison, by anti racists and people on the left
I’d be in favour of that.
silly ”UK Uncut” protests aboiut getting Philip Green to pay his tax…</i.
No, he should pay tax.
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