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British Minority Ethnic?

Posted By Leon On 25th September, 2007 @ 11:53 am In Race politics, British Identity | 78 Comments

Either by accident or design the Guardian today coined a phrase to describe ethnic minority people: British Minority Ethnic. After quoting [1] Simon Woolley (number 75 on the [2] Left power list) saying BME the Guardian decided to define it as British Minority Ethnic.

The government is holding talks with a leading black pressure group to see whether any future change in the law to let parties choose parliamentary candidates from shortlists made up entirely of ethnic-minority candidates could work in practice, Harriet Harman, Labour’s deputy leader, said yesterday.

“It’s a positive and bold measure. What they want from us at Operation Black Vote is to make the case for all-black shortlists. Partly it’s come from pressure within the organisation but also the fact that in the last four months the Labour party has broadly failed to select any number of BME [British minority ethnic] candidates from winnable seats. They are being outdone by the Tories,” Mr Woolley said. He is writing a paper for Ms Harman which he hopes will be ready in six weeks. [3] [Via The Guardian]

I must say I quite like the term! It’s one that is inclusive, forward looking and neatly triangulates any fascist wanting to co-opt the idea of majority ethnic people in the UK.


78 Comments To "British Minority Ethnic?"

#1 Comment By newmania On 25th September, 2007 @ 1:18 pm

Dreadful idea for so many reasons I hardly know where to start.
1 It says blacks are useless without a leg up
2 Don`t say they face racism , other disadvantaged people , like the poor , for example , do not get a free ride
3 The grandfathers of Caribean blacks faced real racism but performed better in school than the realitively un discriminated against current crop. It is the fault of the black community which insists in a black identity amd forces whthin it jealous of their power chericshing their victimhood immune from criticism.Handy for Ken Livingstone a disaster for the country and the individuals and encouraged by this vile idea.
4 It is unfair on whites not all whites , the white passed over.
5 It says the colour of your skin defines you when many blacks are beyond that now and desperate to escape from the contraints of their narrow ethnicity
6 What about mixed race people like my son and my wife are they black enough ? Will you want a measurement of nose and lips ?
7 Why ? Who do they speak for ? Can I speak for white people then ?

The patronising misconceived wrong headedness can scacely be exaggerated. there is only one ethnicity that matters in England and it is English. Others are incidental and harmless privately but cannot be set up in competition to the inclusiveness of free men and women meeting on equal terms in a tolerant but confident monoculture. Without the need of the left to boldly go and seek out new victims and make sure they stay that way this would all have been sorted a long time ago. Mixed race children are the fastest growing group in the UK.It sums up everyhting hypocritical abou the Hydra headed left. 35 % of labour voters pick the BNP as their second choice BTW…you watch how careful they are about who stands where … you could not make it up

#2 Comment By Kulvinder On 25th September, 2007 @ 2:37 pm

As if the mediocrity of current MPs isn’t enough we now need to sieve out the potentially competant ones simply because they’re the wrong colour/religion/etc.

I’m not aware of anyone in my circle of friends - of whatever racial background - that would support this idea, and if anything its the kind of thing that shows the gulf between ‘westminster village’ and the rest of the country.

#3 Comment By Kulvinder On 25th September, 2007 @ 2:40 pm

nb regarding BME, isn’t this term already in use?? I’ve always used ethnic minority to describe, well ethnic minorities but over the last year or so everyone seems to be using BME.

#4 Comment By Kismet Hardy On 25th September, 2007 @ 2:43 pm

BME Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering
BME Bachelor of Mining Engineering
BME Bachelor of Music Education
BME Ballistic Missile Effectiveness
BME Baltimore Maritime Exchange
BME Bandwidth Management Equipment
BME Bayesian Maximum Entropy
BME Beaver Meadows Entrance (Rocky Mountain National Park)
BME Beaver, Meade, & Englewood Railroad
BME Bench Maintenance Equipment
BME Best Moonsault Ever (wrestling move)
BME Beta Mercaptoethanol (disulfide-reducing agent)
BME Bilingual/Multicultural Education
BME Biomedical Engineer
BME Biomedical Ethics
BME Black and Minority Ethnic
BME Blossom Mushiform Encephalopathy (anime)
BME Blow Moulding Extruder
BME Blue Moon Entertainment
BME Board of Medical Examiners
BME Body Modification E-Zine
BME Bolsas Y Mercados Españoles (Spanish Exchange)
BME Brouwer Mean Elements
Bme Brucella Melitensis
BME Budapesti Mûszaki és Gazdaságtudományi Egyetem (Budapest University of Technology and Economics; Hungary)
BME Building Materials Exchange
BME Business and Marketing Education

#5 Comment By Leon On 25th September, 2007 @ 2:46 pm

nb regarding BME, isn’t this term already in use??

It could be but I’ve never heard it [used to mean British Minority Ethnic] before, not in general conversations, by any race relations groups or government information etc.

There seems to be a new attempt to replace BME with BAME, meaning Black And Minority Ethnic which is odd because that’s what BME means…

#6 Comment By Sunny On 25th September, 2007 @ 2:46 pm

BME usually means Black & Minority Ethnic. But yeah, I prefer British Minority Ethnic too….

there is only one ethnicity that matters in England and it is English.

Well some of us have a lot more facets to our identity and ethnicity.

#7 Comment By newmania On 25th September, 2007 @ 3:23 pm

Well some of us have a lot more facets to our identity and ethnicity

Oh how the evenings must fly by whilst you tease out the the eternally fascinating subject of you , your ethnicity and identity.I trust the book will be with us soon ?

COUGH ..Bougeois affectation….COUGH…who said that ?

#8 Comment By Sofia On 25th September, 2007 @ 3:33 pm

newmania..it just means that some of would rather identify ourselves with something other than being English..nothing to do with bourgeois affectation

#9 Comment By Sunny On 25th September, 2007 @ 4:42 pm

COUGH ..Bougeois affectation….COUGH…who said that ?

It would help if you dispelled the notion everyone has your worldview and your ideas on what constitutes ‘identity’. I supported India yesterday against Pakistan in the cricket… and if they were playing England I’d be torn. The point is, identty is a lot more complex for many people.

#10 Comment By Leon On 25th September, 2007 @ 4:50 pm

The point is, identty is a lot more complex for many people.

You know sometimes I’m actually amazed that point has to be made at all, isn’t it just obvious!?

#11 Comment By Boyo On 25th September, 2007 @ 5:04 pm

Yes, and what about the Welsh?

#12 Comment By Sunny On 25th September, 2007 @ 5:11 pm

Someone has offered to write an article for us on Britishness in Scotland… that will really annoy Newmania :)

#13 Comment By sonia On 25th September, 2007 @ 5:30 pm

“BME usually means Black & Minority Ethnic”

it used to. that is now officially BAME..heh.

#14 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 25th September, 2007 @ 5:31 pm

Britishness in Scotland

Yes it is a great shame that they are increasing seeing themselves as Scotish over British and are seeking to split away.

If the UK splits up into separate states and everyone focuses on what makes us different, rather that what makes us the same, this country and its people would be a better place to live.

Newmania incidicates that his wife is black and his children are thus mixed race. I’d say that means he has really embraced the multi cultural ethic.

While you sneer at him I wonder what are your multi cultural credentals? Sunny, Sofia and Leon? Any whites \ blacks in your family? Any peoples of different religion?

TFI

#15 Comment By sonia On 25th September, 2007 @ 5:33 pm

which sounds pretty LAME to me, getting used to these change in acronyms just catches one out.

#16 Comment By sonia On 25th September, 2007 @ 6:03 pm

good point from kulvinder in no. 2 and newmania DOES make valid points.

#17 Comment By Leon On 25th September, 2007 @ 6:08 pm

it used to. that is now officially BAME..heh.

Yeah but it makes no sense and who decided it was officially now BAME?!

#18 Comment By Sunny On 25th September, 2007 @ 6:12 pm

I don’t disagree that Newmania made some good points against positive discrimination. My disagreement was over his assertion that the only identity that matters is ‘being English’.

#19 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 25th September, 2007 @ 7:38 pm

Fair play Sunny, I read “English” and “British” as interchangable, where in fact “English” is a sub set of “British”.

To rephrase then, would you agree that the most important thing for us all to be living in Britain is to be British aka “A Brit”? Thus creating a national unity and common ground for us all to share?

Sofia you say “it just means that some of would rather identify ourselves with something other than being English” do really mean “it just means that some of would rather identify ourselves with something in addition to being British”?

Cheers,

TFI

#20 Comment By Boyo On 25th September, 2007 @ 8:21 pm

Well I’m English. I mean, apart from when I’m Welsh… No, really, I always used to see myself as British until the Scots got all antsy and began insisting they were separate (and began awarding themselves all kinds of benefits at my expense!). In reality I’m a Londoner born to English parents, whose actually one quarter Scottish and as for my Mum’s side… well I know I’ve got an Austrian great grandfather, and as for the rest… French almost certainly, Jewish… maybe.

BUT I’m as English as Patel from Wigan or a Shah from Hendon or a Cohen from Golders Green. That’s what make us English - we’re a pragmatic, bloody-minded mongrel race. Not like those bloody uppity Celts…

#21 Comment By soru On 25th September, 2007 @ 11:10 pm

BABE: British Acronyms for British Ethnics

#22 Comment By newmania On 25th September, 2007 @ 11:23 pm

Babe …brilliant Soru

You have correctly surmised the mere mention of Scotland is enough to get me started and I may have got carried away . I console myself with the certain knowledge noone will read it …….

Scotland
Scotland ceding will mark the end of the elect able Labour Party in England that is why Brown mentioned Britain 80 times Scotland 3 times and England not at all. It is also why he is threatening to introduce PR BTW. He has no interest whatsoever in constitutional change except to Gordon Brown`s advantage and his best friend could not claim otherwise with a straight face. Scottish nationalism wept its first salty tear onto the heather when the first oil barrel came ashore in the 70s they will snuffle their last when it runs out . There is £30 billion budgeted in next years Barnett bribe by which the English are defrauded. Brown is also planning to extend the Powers of Holyrood by inference so as to avoid questions in an act of dishonesty comparable to the EU treaty lie . He will hold the line while the black stuff flows . Meanwhile the English want a parliament by a huge majority which they will be denied. Incandescent is about the right word for my view of this whole farrago of deciet

Ethnicity
On this question of ethnicity one thing I notice is that class and divergence between groups tends to be merged into convenient homogeneity , once the victim ethnic group is established ,. Thus the homophobia of Jamaican men is beyond criticism , the anti Semitism of Muslims obviously .Racism , not the same thing as ethnicity but the two are often confused. On racism the ethnic group with the fewest questions to answer are the English.
In 1997 a study for the Institute for Public Policy Research showed that32% of Hindu’s , Muslims and Sikhs and 29% of Jews would be repelled if a member of their family married an Afro-Caribbean , whereas only 13% of white Britons said they would have a problem.(From How the Liberals Lost their Way by Nick Cohen …..a lefty but its a pretty good book) No-one is condemning these” Communities” …… why not ?
Immigration
The one single thing that would help is to slow immigration now running at about four times the level it was in the 90s . Nicholas Soames made a speech in which he used the governments own figures to show 1 million of the proposed 3 million new homes in the South would be occupied by immigrants yet to arrive. The social costs are exclusively born by working class . Brown has blown dog whistles to his BNP tempted support at every opportunity. (British jobs for the British…learn the language …etc.). Nauseating !.

Class
I also notice that middle class people who lay claim to interestingly multi facted identities often badly misunderstand what they might mean to others without the resources to escape at will. My belief is in a strong and confident national culture within which difference is tolerated preserving cohesion freedom and tolerance itself . As Roger Scruton said . We cannot decide what we will be if there is no ‘we ‘. I accept there is a paradox here but I can live with that personally. Conservatism is always closer to the poetic than the famously prose loving left.

The answer

Curb immigration
Bulwark Englishness
Discourage ghettoes
Encourage independence ( discourage the victim mentality)
NO TOKENS

The first has been addressed inadequately by Brown but addressed at least . The second he gestures at. Crucially he cannot include the last. It is instructive to notice the contrasting experience of West Indians in this country and in the US where they are a by word for industry and solemn purpose. Here a society based on Patriarchal units and religion collided with the infantilising welfare state with disastrous consequences .

These are questions that may well be over cooked in the blogasphere . The truth is there is little to panic about if we could be left alone to get on with it and not made unwilling lab rats for an unwanted social experiment. A little judicious caution and common sense is really all that is required.

These qualities will I hope be delivered by a Conservative administration…(ahem…hope …).Meanwhile we are all pink on the inside !!

#23 Comment By Jagdeep On 25th September, 2007 @ 11:44 pm

This is a terrible idea and should not be pursued. It is retrogressive and wrong on so many levels. We have to bring BME or ABC or XYZ or whatever we’re called candidates now into office naturally, with encouragment and co-ordination, but not by legislative changes to enact practises like this. It’s wrong on both moral and practical levels.

#24 Comment By Jagdeep On 25th September, 2007 @ 11:48 pm

Conservatism is always closer to the poetic than the famously prose loving left

But you are neither poetic, and your prose is so plain. What does that make you?

#25 Comment By Sunny On 25th September, 2007 @ 11:52 pm

Thus the homophobia of Jamaican men is beyond criticism , the anti Semitism of Muslims obviously

Who said it is?

In 1997 a study for the Institute for Public Policy Research showed that32% of Hindu’s , Muslims and Sikhs and 29% of Jews would be repelled if a member of their family married an Afro-Caribbean , whereas only 13% of white Britons said they would have a problem

Ahhh… but no one minds marrying brown women :)
Plus, there’s differences between younger and older Asians.

A study two years ago found that around 32% of white Britons also thought Britishness was linked to race… ergo only white people could be truly British. I look forward to you finding and condemning them Newmania!

Or are you keep going to tell us that unless people do what you say that people will keep voting BNP?

#26 Comment By Jagdeep On 25th September, 2007 @ 11:55 pm

A study two years ago found that around 32% of white Britons also thought Britishness was linked to race… ergo only white people could be truly British

Wow, really. Didn’t know that. Surveys eh, you can get them to prove anything sometimes.

#27 Comment By Jagdeep On 26th September, 2007 @ 12:02 am

Thus the homophobia of Jamaican men is beyond criticism , the anti Semitism of Muslims obviously

Sorry my poetic conservative friend, but both of these contentious are untrue. I remember certain reggae artists being banned from entering the UK and facing a barrage of criticism and protest because of the homophobia of their lyrics. And Muslim anti-semitism has been criticised, on this site as well as elsewhere.

#28 Comment By Boyo On 26th September, 2007 @ 8:20 am

“A study two years ago found that around 32% of white Britons also thought Britishness was linked to race… ergo only white people could be truly British.”

That’s interesting in so many ways. For a start “everyone” from Winston Churchill down used to talk about “the British race”. Presumably he meant white English, Scots, etc, because, presumably most people in those days were. I think you are confusing ethnicity with identity.

If I was to go to India and ask Indians if their identity was linked to race, I bet they would say yes.

Britishness has been extended nowadays to include people of all races, but it is little surprise that a third of the nation (likely the older third) associate it with race, because it always was. I don’t think it is fair to then infer, well they’re all racists, just because the elite has more or less unilaterally changed the definition of their identity over the past few decades.

Or are you saying that there is no Western European ethnicity? Indeed, no English race? If I married a nice Indian girl and emigrated to India, I presume I could become an Indian citizen, but could I describe myself as a member of the Indian race?

Sounds like inverted… um… ethnicism to me!

#29 Comment By newmania On 26th September, 2007 @ 9:54 am

Sunny hadn’t you better make your mind up as to whether you want to be as British as me or not ,given your additional ‘identities’, before you start complaining that you are perceived as less British hmmmm? I doubt these sliver thin distinctions are relevant.
I don`t think anyone feels Poles are especially more British because of their colour and this 32 % is an understandable confusion of race and ethnicity and observable facts to do with language origin and so on. It means little .
The natural inclination to feel comfortable with people with whom you share a common culture is not altogether malignant. In fact coherence has great value. I am also less concerned to chase down thought-crimes soi disant of any sort. I was suggesting it is not a one dimensional issue (good Labour prose there ! )and state action is likely to fall fowl of the law of unforeseen consequences.
I understand your point on the BNP`s growing support (amongst labour voters)…” I `m a nice guy but my partner ….well he gets really mad”…sort of thing or the more usual “I `m not a racist but ..” .This condemnation by association tactic has been used to close down discussion of immigration and I regard it as unhelpful.

Anyway I must get on earning a crust to pay for all you public sector layabouts pausing only to observe that those who praise the glittering plurality of our muliticultural heaven are always amongst the first to remove their children from schools failing to cope with 8 languages as is the case locally. Dianne Abbot heads the long long list of labour hypocrites on both state schooling and inner city “melting pot “ evacuees .

#30 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 26th September, 2007 @ 9:54 am

Jagdeep, the phase that something has gone “beyhond criticism” is to say that criticism is no longer strong enough and outright damnation is required, not that criticism doesn’t happen.

Therefore to respond “And Muslim anti-semitism has been criticised, on this site as well as elsewhere.” is a non sequitur.

Sounds like inverted… um… ethnicism to me!

Indeed, but remember that Sunny has a tendancy to see issues in Brown and White. See his comment on “Fair and lovely…” where us “paler” types can sod off! Feel that progression … mmm … its like a warm blanket.

TFI

#31 Comment By Arif On 26th September, 2007 @ 10:00 am

Newmania, intersting post. What you seem to be saying seems to me to assume that there is no longer any meaningful racism in the UK apart from that which the State and commentators perpetuate by putting people into categories of White British and, now, British Minority Ethnic.

I assume from your comments that you see real anti-semitism, and real homophobia (although you attribute this to what you might consider non-English social groups). And you do see a reason to protect such people from discrimination, so I assume that in this case categories of Jewish or Gay make sense to you, even though it would also only be an aspect of a person’s identity, and any bureaucratice Jewishness test and Gayness test to find out who qualifies would be as problematic as a BME test.

Your solution - a tolerant, confident monocultural Englishness which is a fair enough ideal, just as a tolerant, confident multicultural Britishness would also solve all the problems. I think we will differ in what we think is most difficult or dangerous to achieve, but I hope you would agree that the latter does not preclude the former: if self-defined English people want to be tolerant, confident and monocultural, there is nothing (that I can see) to stop them doing so in a tolerant, confident, multicultural society.

For me tolerance is not just a matter of accepting other “races”, but of accepting different cultures, subcultures and lifestyles, which I guess we disagree on. I assume you would want to enforce a single English culture (by your term “monoculture”), but what about alternative sub-cultures and lifestyles within “Englishness” - whould they be allowed? How would Englishness itself be regulated in that case? Would the degree of tolerance to alternative subcultures be an indication of the confidence of the English monoculture in your view? Thee are genuine questions, I am not trying to catch you out, just to understand your views better.

#32 Comment By Sofia On 26th September, 2007 @ 10:34 am

post 14 - TFI…I do have “mixed race” family members..and for me, the more the merrier…and yes it has taken the older generation some time to come to terms with this. As for mixed religions, that is a different matter as religion is a personal choice, colour isn’t. If someone in my family chooses not be a Muslim then that is their choice and I would still treat them the same even if I disagreed with their choice.
Also, maybe people do want to define them selves as other than British or in addition to being British.
Post 22 - Newmania, I find surveys on the views of “ethnic minorities” usually being misrepresented or often so far off the point that you might as well ignore them. The survey you mentioned being one of them. What kind of Muslims were surveyed? What cross section? Obviously there were not African Caribbean Muslims interviewed etc etc..so this survey already has obvious limitations. Racism in Muslim communities is a very real problem I agree…and trust me, I have this argument with a lot of people a lot of the time, including my parents. You can only change people’s perceptions and prejudices through longterm education.

#33 Comment By Sofia On 26th September, 2007 @ 10:43 am

[4] http://society.guardian.co.uk/communities/story/0,,2176735,00.html

#34 Comment By bananabrain On 26th September, 2007 @ 10:46 am

In 1997 a study for the Institute for Public Policy Research showed that 32% of Hindu’s , Muslims and Sikhs and 29% of Jews would be repelled if a member of their family married an Afro-Caribbean , whereas only 13% of white Britons said they would have a problem

ahem - i think, to be fair, actual race-based racism is more the exception than the rule in the jewish community nowadays and is, in my experience, almost entirely confined to the elderly. if the question had been whether they would be repelled if a member of their family married a *non-jew*, the figure would be almost exactly the same. if the afro-caribbean in question were in fact jewish, then you might have a case for causing it racism. If, on the other hand, you consider an objection to intermarriage racist, then that makes me a racist; except, of course, that i don’t actually behave in a racist fashion when this happens, which it unfortunately does quite often. by the time the marriage happens, it is generally too late.

my position is that you have to make the best of it and, when it’s the man that isn’t jewish, the situation is eminently redeemable; nor is it the case when it is the woman that isn’t jewish that the situation is entirely disastrous, particularly if they become active and engaged in one of the non-orthodox denominations. you may recall that israel, too, rescued a large number of black jews from persecution in ethiopia and, although their integration into israeli society is not without racism-related problems, the fact remains that black jews are jews, so it’s a bit of a red herring.

b’shalom

bananabrain

#35 Comment By Leon On 26th September, 2007 @ 10:49 am

Cheers for the link Sofia, much appreciated.

#36 Comment By Leon On 26th September, 2007 @ 10:56 am

Just read the piece, very interesting stuff, good to see we mixed race peeps are getting our voices noticed at last.

#37 Comment By Sofia On 26th September, 2007 @ 11:09 am

np..I’ve never thought of what it might feel like to be mixed race…i wonder if being of mixed heritage (although of the same “race”) might also be an “issue”..did anyone read a lowri turner article on her feelings of her mixed race child? It was interesting to say the least…left me feeling a bit uneasy…

#38 Comment By Leon On 26th September, 2007 @ 12:14 pm

Yeah she got a bit of flack for it. I pretty much felt the same about it…

#39 Comment By sonia On 26th September, 2007 @ 12:20 pm

an anecdote: i met up with an old friend last night. he’s just gotten engaged to his turkish girlfriend, and when telling me the list of questions her parents asked when she sprung the news that she had gotten engaged to an english guy: has he got a job? has he got any limbs missing? is he black?

#40 Comment By Leon On 26th September, 2007 @ 12:25 pm

Has he got any limbs missing? Er…?

#41 Comment By Boyo On 26th September, 2007 @ 1:01 pm

An indian girlfriend of mine once said her parents were fine that i was white, but they had made her promise to never date a Muslim or a black person. Just an anecdote, but telling.

#42 Comment By Boyo On 26th September, 2007 @ 1:02 pm

An anglo-indian girlfriend of mine once said her parents were fine that i was white, but they had made her promise to never date a Muslim or a black person. Just an anecdote, but telling.

#43 Comment By Boyo On 26th September, 2007 @ 1:03 pm

heh-heh, you’ll notice i added the anglo- now here’s a question: if you are Btitish but your parents from India are you Indian? Anglo-Indian? Asian? Brown?

#44 Comment By sonia On 26th September, 2007 @ 1:26 pm

yeah boyo, its a well known story that. bring home a white man if you must, but dont dare bring home a kala ( black man) or a pakistani ( if you’re indian or bangladeshi)or a hindu/muslim ( take your pick)

what a bunch of groupists we are, of course we can’t admit that because it would look back on the Community! *SHOCK HORROR*

#45 Comment By sonia On 26th September, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

try taking a look at Shaadi.com 0r any other marriage website - indian ideas of who is suitable as a ‘prospect’ make it clear the No. of axes upon which we discriminate.

#46 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 26th September, 2007 @ 1:48 pm

I know that my mother wouldn’t really give a hoot about ethicity I marry to as long as I HURRY UP AND PROVIDE HER WITH GRANDCHILDREN.

Her caps, not mine.

TFI

#47 Comment By Jagdeep On 26th September, 2007 @ 1:55 pm

Jagdeep, the phase that something has gone “beyhond criticism” is to say that criticism is no longer strong enough and outright damnation is required, not that criticism doesn’t happen.

No Amir,’beyond criticism’ means exactly what it says, that something is never criticised for whatever reason of taboo, and the reason it was used in this context in newmania’s strawman jihad against lefties in PP is that we were in some way complicit with this ’silence’. Like you, I think he uses us as a wankboard for his frustrations.

#48 Comment By Sunny On 26th September, 2007 @ 2:30 pm

Britishness has been extended nowadays to include people of all races, but it is little surprise that a third of the nation (likely the older third) associate it with race, because it always was. I don’t think it is fair to then infer, well they’re all racists,

So… brown people who don’t want to marry white are racists (which they are) but white people who think brown people can never be part of this country aren’t? Hmm.. interesting. I think it says more about your attempts to explain away racism than mine…

#49 Comment By Jai On 26th September, 2007 @ 2:33 pm

No Amir,

TFI is Amir ?!

#50 Comment By Jagdeep On 26th September, 2007 @ 2:36 pm

Yeah I think so Jai. I think he’s recovered from his nervous breakdown. If not, I apologise. If so, welcome back! Hope the tablets are working.

#51 Comment By Boyo On 26th September, 2007 @ 3:57 pm

I think you’re selectively quoting Sunny:

Yes brown people who don’t want their kids to marry black people are racists, because as I understand it racism is about making a value-judgment, ie you are not good enough to marry my daughter.

White people who do not think brown people can be part of the British race are arguably being as factually accurate as an Indian person who does not think a European can become a “Indian” by becoming an Indian citizen or an Israeli who does not consider a person Jewish, despite their having Israeli citizenship. It’s about a biological difference, not value judgement.

Now, it may well be that definitions of Britishness have shifted, but that is hardly the problem of someone who has been raised to think of being British in terms of race rather than citizenship. And it still does not mean that they would object to someone who they do not consider to be of the British (or English, Scots or Welsh for that matter) race marrying their daughter.

A side issue, but I wonder how much multiculturalism is to blame? The continual promotion of equal difference is inevitaby going to encourage some of the majority white population to define themselves by their difference too. And why not?

BTW, as a self-test, I would say I was English (of the race and nationality) but I wonder how many people of Asian origin would describe themselves thus? British is one thing, but… English?

#52 Comment By Jagdeep On 26th September, 2007 @ 4:11 pm

Well Boyo Monty Panesar calls himself English and so do many other people. Anyway why does it matter to you if they do call themselves English or not? Is ‘British’ now not good enough? Oh tell us what we have to live up to now to satisfy you, tell us tell us tell us.

#53 Comment By Boyo On 26th September, 2007 @ 4:56 pm

What would satisfy me right now Jagdeep is a nice cup of tea, since you ask.

#54 Comment By newmania On 26th September, 2007 @ 5:41 pm

Boyo ..your last point is a telling one .England is country with all the interconnectedness that implies .Britain is sadly no more than a set of legal entitlements commanding no loyalty whatsoever. Over 70% of the English want out as do the Scots of course.Its a shame really .

Jagdeep is awfully excitable isn`t he (or she)….I couldn`t summon the energy myself.If he/she is making the tea no sugar for me thanks….

…..what no biscuits ?

#55 Comment By Jagdeep On 26th September, 2007 @ 5:47 pm

What would satisfy me right now Jagdeep is a nice cup of tea, since you ask.

Great, a simple man, easily satisfied.

Jagdeep is awfully excitable isn`t he (or she)…

After your typo ridden stream-of-consciousness ridden postings I’d say you’re very excitable yourself newmania of the Apocolypse.

I couldn`t summon the energy myself

You have energy?

Is that part of the poetry (or unintended comedy) of conservatism?

Conserve your energy.

#56 Comment By Jai On 26th September, 2007 @ 5:50 pm

Boyo,

BTW, as a self-test, I would say I was English (of the race and nationality) but I wonder how many people of Asian origin would describe themselves thus? British is one thing, but… English?

If an English couple move to Spain and join the expat Brit community there, are their Spanish-born children English or Spanish in terms of race/ethnicity ?

#57 Comment By Sunny On 26th September, 2007 @ 5:59 pm

but I wonder how many people of Asian origin would describe themselves thus? British is one thing, but… English?

Plenty of my Asian mates do. I prefer British than English…. because it’s a political identity to me rather than a cultural identity. In how many countries is nationality a racial identity? Ever heard an American say being America is about being white? If you do, you know which group (starting with K and ending with K) they are from.

#58 Comment By Don On 26th September, 2007 @ 6:38 pm

Personally, I see myself as British with no need of a sub-set. I certainly don’t identify as ‘English’ despite having been born south of Carter Bar.

If you think of yourself as English, Scots or Welsh - that is, if you identify with the history, traditions and self-perception of these sub-sets - then you are. If you can define them and if you think the game worth the candle.

#59 Comment By Boyo On 26th September, 2007 @ 6:41 pm

Actually my point (and my experience) was that while many black and asian people call themselves British I’ve been told (by them) that they prefer it to calling themselves English. What I was NOT doing was tying English (or British for that matter) nationality, or even identity, with race and it is disengenuous to say the least for you to infer I was doing so.

If you want to play the race card, then go right ahead, but it’s not me who’s being racist, it’s you (Jai and Sunny). You’re denial of the right of English people to race is in itself racist. You have not engaged with any of my substantial arguments, made in good faith, but instead tried to devalue them by raising the bogeyman of the KKK for heavens sake! If any proof were needed that racism is not confined to whites, this is it.

#60 Comment By Sunny On 26th September, 2007 @ 6:50 pm

You’re denial of the right of English people to race is in itself racist.

Ha ha! Tell me how ‘English’ is a racial group. Boyo, you were making some interesting comments in that thread about leftist ideas. Now you’re just descending into farce.

#61 Comment By tfi On 26th September, 2007 @ 7:18 pm

I don’t think I am Amir, although he might be one of the voices in my head. Jagdeep, are you OK today? normally you are far more level headed and sensible there appears to be spittle forming on the inside of my computer screen.

Boyo has a point. What do you call the ‘native english’? Is that inherently racist? Does that mean ‘native american’ is also? Surely if we are British Asian we must have British English?

Personally I consider myself to be anglo saxon and always tick the ‘other’ box and state in survey’s when they say ‘white’ which is a bit rich considering the number of flavours that are listed on the form of me to chose from.

Multi ethic is far better than Multi cultural especially if it encompasses subcultures that had don’t agree with the principles of an multiethnic liberal multicultural society.

I admire the French system in its insistence on being a french citizen alone. But I was despressed listening to the Nihal show last week when a barrage of callers insisted that a ban religious wear in schools was to deny Sikh children an education, as opposed to thier parents denying thier children one.

TFI

#62 Comment By Jai On 26th September, 2007 @ 7:20 pm

Boyo,

Sit down.

If you want to play the race card, then go right ahead, but it’s not me who’s being racist, it’s you (Jai and Sunny). You’re denial of the right of English people to race is in itself racist. You have not engaged with any of my substantial arguments, made in good faith, but instead tried to devalue them by raising the bogeyman of the KKK for heavens sake! If any proof were needed that racism is not confined to whites, this is it.

That’s nonsense. I was asking a legitimate question by drawing an accurate analogy. You’re assuming that I have a problem with not being included under the definition of “English”, or indeed that I view UK-born Asians as being such. British, yes, absolutely. English, no, although some others would disagree. I’m a British Asian, or a British Indian (whatever term one deems more appropriate), but personally I would never call myself English as I regard that as being more-or-less an ethnic group, and it obviously doesn’t apply to me.

Again, my original question was pertinent: Are Spanish-born individuals of British descent “Spanish” in terms of race ? What about 2nd-gen individuals in Hong Kong — are they ethnically Chinese ? Or those born to British couples in the Gulf — are they Arab ?

And if they’re not, or choose not to self-identify as such, should anyone have a problem with it ? Hell, should the majority population in those countries be offended ?

Remember, we’re talking about ethnicity, not nationality. Personally I don’t view being “English” as the latter, although that would change if the UK disintegrates as a political/national unit.

#63 Comment By Jagdeep On 26th September, 2007 @ 7:24 pm

Jagdeep, are you OK today? normally you are far more level headed and sensible there appears to be spittle forming on the inside of my computer scree

That’s just your imagination tfi, I’m always chilled out.

I admire the French system in its insistence on being a french citizen alone. But I was despressed listening to the Nihal show last week when a barrage of callers insisted that a ban religious wear in schools was to deny Sikh children an education, as opposed to thier parents denying thier children one

Why were you depressed by it? There’s probably no more than a few thousand Sikhs living in the whole of France, out of a population of 60million, and you’re depressed because they don’t think an education should be contingent on them removing their turbans? Now that really is depressing.

#64 Comment By tfi On 26th September, 2007 @ 7:29 pm

Jagdeep google ‘beyond criticism’ and you will see the common usage I defined then try ‘above criticism’ which means as you say.

Either way it is subjective interpretation of the same text, we both read the same text and came to different conclusions, only Newmania can inform us of the intent of his meaning.

TFI

#65 Comment By tfi On 26th September, 2007 @ 7:38 pm

No Jagdeep, I wasn’t depressed by the opinon of the french Sikh’s who were putting thier money where thier mouth was and forming a private religous school. I was depressed at the horror expressed by all the British callers who were unformly thought it was a moral outrage. One or two older callers spoke and stated that school was for education and the French were right to uphold this principle. Yet all the younger callers infused with identify politics could not see the value in the principle at all.

TFI

#66 Comment By Jagdeep On 26th September, 2007 @ 7:43 pm

Identity politics has got nothing to do with it TFI. It’s depressing that you could be so narrow minded to think that it has. It’s a matter of people saying that it is unfair to make the education of an individual contingent on them removing their turban. After all, living in Britain, a tolerant nation that doesn’t require this, has led to a couple of generations of highly educated and patriotic Sikhs. Expressing this idea is not the rhetoric of hot headed ‘identity politicians’, it’s a cool minded and rational opinion.

I have a feeling everything that falls outside your understanding on issues like this regarding Sikhs or brown folks is going to make you feel depressed. My advice — start popping those prozacs, you’ll need them.

#67 Comment By ad On 26th September, 2007 @ 7:59 pm

So what exactly is an ethnic?

#68 Comment By Jagdeep On 26th September, 2007 @ 9:52 pm

so what exactly is an ethnic?

Them darkies, innit.

#69 Comment By Boyo On 26th September, 2007 @ 10:16 pm

I don’t know what your problem is Sunny -

“Ha ha! Tell me how ‘English’ is a racial group. Boyo, you were making some interesting comments in that thread about leftist ideas. Now you’re just descending into farce.”

- Jai I think responds to your (and my) point about identity:

“You’re assuming that I have a problem with not being included under the definition of “English”, or indeed that I view UK-born Asians as being such. British, yes, absolutely. English, no, although some others would disagree. I’m a British Asian, or a British Indian (whatever term one deems more appropriate), but personally I would never call myself English as I regard that as being more-or-less an ethnic group, and it obviously doesn’t apply to me.”

Sunny I’ve no idea why you’ve seemingly gone out of your way to misread what I have written. Maybe you want to discredit stuff I’ve said in other threads?

But enough of my paranoia.

Jai, I’m not assuming anything about you. Why would I care about what you want to be called? My points were relatively straighforward. I wasn’t denying anyone their national, or racial identity. Quite the contrary in fact. Although i wonder why Sunny wishes to deny mine.

And no one has yet to challenge my point about India, citizenship and racial identity. I wonder why.

#70 Comment By newmania On 26th September, 2007 @ 10:33 pm

If I say it was windy today I do not mean it is windy for every second . Above-criticism and beyond -criticism are both phrases that can be used in given context with greater or lesser degrees of exactitude. With reference to “people “ a cosmic verity is plainly not intended . English speakers generally have no difficulty with this and do not usually have to use google to establish ordinary vernacular meaning . There seems to be a slightly variant dialect here but I am glad to help.

. What , I was wondering , is the positive view , if there is one ,of this place England and its people .Is there such a ‘people’ and could it be allowed that they have any special connection with this place called England ? Is there any sense that this tribe is defined by a common history , Common law , religious influence and an accumulation of shared assumptions , Parliament and monarchy even.Can it be allowed that the English ,as they were accustomed to think , have a story ?If there are such people are these feelings to be “educated” out of them ? Is that more or less the ideal ….. I think . This idea is to some extent the view of many “White ‘ English of course

Such feelings are difficult to reduce to formulas as are most important things , loyalty , love no less but in extremis it was this deep attachment between the people and the nation state that stopped the Nazis ( Godwins Law prize for me please) and it is also in this context that people are inclined to make sacrifices for their brothers . As I have said we are not fascists and there must be tolerance of difference and our people must be living and changing organism but not to the point when “The Centre will not hold” and this continuity to which some ascribe a value is swept away. It is the opinion of some that we have gone to far down this route and I am one of them. We must be a people to some extent , not just atomised units of production as is mostly the case in London. London is famously tolerant but I doubt many looking at rampant crime hopeless schools and isolated communities feels any great satisfaction at the achievement . Those who profess to usually leave
I suppose a Conservative is sceptical of the perfectibility of men and even of its desirability . Isn’t prejudice on a spectrum with pride loyalty and affection the great Conservative writer Jane Austen is Mozartian on the subject. I am not sure that these are divisible parts from which you can easily dine ala carte. The point would be to have a system of government that allows this valuable asset to live for the good of us all. A human government not the overbearing Brown reich

Alternatively is England just a car park where anyone comes and goes as they wish with the state ensuring that unhealthy proprietarily notions are killed at birth together with any irrational loyalty to the perceived values of the country or indeed to any one more than another. Such an arrangement would suit multinational business very well and it has suited Gordon Brown very well allowing the free movement of Labour and poisoning the ground in which sub state power might develop. For this reason it has also suited various left wing dictator ships well who have been keen to erase the memories of the people and start at year zero.

It isn’t an easy case to make an easier one would be from social good and in terms of the effective delivery of freedom but this is not , for me , the sum of it. It is setting on one side the imposition of “The Book “as against a far subtler apprehension of the human condition whose symbols and individual components may seem laughable alone .

Its probably a foolhardy remark as I am entirely ignorant myself but do Hindus feel a greater affinity with such a system of thought than Muslims say ? A Hindu once suggested this to me ….I wouldn’t know.

#71 Comment By Jagdeep On 26th September, 2007 @ 10:54 pm

Isn’t prejudice on a spectrum with pride loyalty and affection the great Conservative writer Jane Austen is Mozartian on the subject

Man, do you even know what you’re trying to say in your stream of consciousness? Jane Austen is a ‘great Conservative writer’? In what sense? The greatness of Jane Austen, like all great writers, is that they resist simplification and reduction like this. Now you’re roping her into the mass of your Conservative ideology it just shows a simple mind like people who try to rope Shakespeare into belonging to their politics and ideology. This is ignorant and philistine.(and I thought conservatism was poetic and the other prose — got news for you newmania, Austen isn’t a poet)

And what the hell does ‘Mozartian on the subject’ mean? You’re tripping over your own tongue. Stop being so pompous in your language please.

#72 Comment By newmania On 26th September, 2007 @ 11:47 pm

Isn’t prejudice on a spectrum with pride loyalty and affection the great Conservative writer Jane Austen is Mozartian on the subject
Man, do you even know what you’re trying to say in your stream of consciousness?

I wouldn’t assume that because you cannot understand me that there is nothing to understand .Jane Austen was a Conservative , this is a fact, and her attachment to the hierarchical landed social world are present through the books as the frame work of the comedy of manners and affirmed both by the authorial voice and the “Tonic note” of the marriage You should read them . She has often been called a literary Mozart because of the complication and balance of themes starting with simple statements such as Pride and Prejudice if you understood what a fugue was you might get the idea. Theme , modulation , variation.
Yes ‘stream of consciousness’ you said that .It might appear to clever to a seventeen year old in the way that words like “existential “ once did . I wouldn’t know . Start on spelling and you will have acquired the full gimpish paraphernalia . Yawn…..

Jane Austen is a ‘great Conservative writer’? In what sense? The greatness of Jane Austen, like all great writers, is that they resist simplification and reduction like this.

I didn`t say she was only a Conservative writer but it is an irreplaceable scaffolding for all the books especially the earlier ones. Shakespeare is a different matter pre-dating modern politics…You probably only dimly understand the chronology here but its what we call
, “ A ,long time ago”

Truth is I am so tediously in my depth that there isn’t a lot in this for me “man”, .You are obviously young and snotty and a bit thick which is fine but I did all that a while ago.

Best of luck

#73 Comment By Sunny On 27th September, 2007 @ 1:52 am

Alternatively is England just a car park where anyone comes and goes as they wish with the state ensuring that unhealthy proprietarily notions are killed at birth together with any irrational loyalty to the perceived values of the country or indeed to any one more than another.

I think this is what your point comes down to. Now… how do you suppose America has held on to a strong identity of self without dissolving into this blubbering mass that you are, despite tons of immigration through the centuries. Think about that…

#74 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 27th September, 2007 @ 9:44 am

So what exactly is an ethnic?

Same is a beatnic, but made out of eth.

Newmania, if you wish to call me young and childish for this, fine. But your posts are difficult to read and difficult to understand.

And no one has yet to challenge my point about India, citizenship and racial identity. I wonder why.

Fair point. The silence is deafening.

My advice — start popping those prozacs, you’ll need them.

Good god I love this sort of exchange, it takes me right back to the play ground. Thanks Jagdeep you are making me feel young again.

Incidentally, I think that it is up to the French how they run their society. They want to run completely secular schools with no religious symbols I applaud the principle and the implementation. It saddens me that so many people in this country see religious identity as trumping everything else. I think that Dawkins is right there is no such thing as a “Muslim” “Christian” “Sikh” “Mormon” “Scientologist” child, to for parents to forces there irrational beliefs on to their child is a form of abuse.

Hell, if you think that is irrational, how about I frame it as a “religious belief” then maybe you’d respect it.

TFI

#75 Comment By newmania On 27th September, 2007 @ 12:48 pm

I think this is what your point comes down to. Now… how do you suppose America has held on to a strong identity of self without dissolving into this blubbering mass that you are, despite tons of immigration through the centuries. Think about that…

1 Because Americans went to America for a better life but also to be Americans not as they come here ,as economic migrants resenting the country they arrive in.
2 Because America fosters this spirit of Nationhood with constant use of the Flag and the creation of national Myth
3 Because in America the individual is valued and so is independence and self help. In order to succeed you have to have mono cultural business word and Americans have to be in it the needs of life are cohering
4 Because Welfare Policies have not attacked community bonds as they they arrived thus allowing them access to advancement whereby the host culture is less resented

None of this applies to the ex slaves of course who do face problems far worse than anything we have in this country and if you think America is free of racial tension you are seriously deluded . Aside from anything else you have completely missed the point . America was built by immigration, it is a country of immigrants where no one group has claim to the land over another . It is a fascinating thing that all these groups so valued a strong identity that they deliberately chose a Conservative model of a free people Whithin an overarching mono culture along Anglo Saxon lines . Yes indeed lets us be more like America which with all its problems values its own culture properly .

I have thought about it

#76 Comment By Jagdeep On 28th September, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

Truth is I am so tediously in my depth that there isn’t a lot in this for me “man”, .You are obviously young and snotty and a bit thick which is fine but I did all that a while ago.

I’m in my thirties with a wife and kid. You’re remarkably stupid, philistine, shallow, pompous and ignorant for a man who thinks he’s left his snotty young past behind.

#77 Trackback By Popular Science On 1st October, 2007 @ 3:19 pm

Popular Science…

I couldn’t understand some parts of this article, but it sounds interesting…

#78 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 1st October, 2007 @ 6:21 pm

Jadeep,

I think you missed out vain and egoistical.

TFI


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URLs in this post:
[1] Simon Woolley: http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/simon_woolley/index.html
[2] Left power list: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1395
[3] [Via The Guardian]: http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,,2176354,00.html
[4] http://society.guardian.co.uk/communities/story/0,,2176735,00.html: http://society.guardian.co.uk/communities/story/0,,2176735,00.html