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  • Don’t criticise us…. please?


    by Sunny
    11th January, 2006 at 8:57 am    

    You have to feel sorry for George Bush. Ok, maybe you don’t but he would like you to. Sick of the hammering his ratings are getting over Iraq, he has hit on a new way to deflect criticism - say that their criticism is helping the enemy. Genius! Karl Rove must have been proud to come up with that one. In a warning to Democrats he said today:

    “In a free society, there’s only one check on political speech and that’s the judgment of the American people,” the president said to sustained applause from a friendly audience, a gathering of Veterans of Foreign Wars. “So I ask all Americans to hold their elected leaders to account and demand a debate that brings credit to our democracy, not comfort to our adversaries.”

    Allllrighty then! Which basically means, please “demand the debate” but don’t actually have one (since that may lead to criticism), because that will end up helping Bin Laden!

    I’ve mentioned before that the American President will try to stifle or change any debate because it is “in national security”, and this is no different. Kos has similar thoughts. Absolutely hilarious! And typical.


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    1. sonia — on 11th January, 2006 at 12:43 pm  

      yes you’re spot on with that. isn’t it lovely how they manage to cunningly fool these folks about how ‘we’re a nation that protects democracy and free speech’ - ‘BUT - in order to protect this great nation of ours [ so that you can live democratically and have free speech] let’s not actually question anything we tell you and have any free and open and informed debates’

      Hilarious is a good word to describe it. Ludicrous even. The whole thing makes for very good material for a study of conformity to silly ideas if they come from an authoritative source.

    2. leon — on 11th January, 2006 at 1:06 pm  

      ““In a free society, there’s only one check on political speech and that’s the judgment of the American people,”

      That’s incredible! Is he saying that all over societies were “free” the check on it is up to the American people!?!

    3. Don — on 11th January, 2006 at 1:46 pm  

      Leon,

      I think that may have been a Freudian slip. But even within America, I thought they had a constitution rather than the ‘judgement of the American people’ - presumably expressed by electing GWB.

    4. Siddharth — on 11th January, 2006 at 2:42 pm  

      What is the difference between GWB’s message and the Pro-War message as espoused by any number of pro-war commentators/blogs and an assortment of other like-minded wingnuts? And the message, just like Bush’s is, ‘dishonest’ debate goes against the interests of National Security and will put us at ‘risk’. So instead, lets discuss George Galloway in the Celebrity Big Brothel.

      This is the same bollocks that is being used to stifle debate at home as well.

      Diversionary? You bet it is.

    5. Charlie — on 11th January, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

      You’ll have noticed that his approval ratings are going up, though. Bet that makes you spit.

    6. Siddharth — on 11th January, 2006 at 3:16 pm  

      ratings schmatings

    7. Paul Brown — on 11th January, 2006 at 4:45 pm  

      Siddarth, I agree that some of the pro-war left often end up offering comfort, or even tacit support, to Bush and the war ( I am guessing that you are thinking of Harry’s Place, Nick Cohen, Johann Hari?).

      However, I think that there is a difference in motive, in that somebody like cohen supported the invasion because of his opposition to fascism and his desire to see democracy in Iraq. Hari was responding to the opinion polls that suggested a majority of Iraqis were in favour of an invasion, and also his opposition to all dictators. So, while the results may be the same, ie they both support military action against the Baathists and the Islamists, there is a different motive behind it. Interestingly, both Hari and Oona King seem to have some reservations now.

    8. Jezza — on 11th January, 2006 at 6:19 pm  

      what does hp , mr cohen and hari and king and arronovitch and the rest have in common ? what other international affairs are they interested in apart from iraq ? pro war left ay? or hidden agenda ?

    9. sonia — on 11th January, 2006 at 6:39 pm  

      sid’s right

    10. El Cid — on 11th January, 2006 at 6:39 pm  

      They’re not the only people initially (or eventually) in the pro-war camp with reservations.

      Bush’s comments remind me of the situation in Spain where the right wing PP accuse the Socialists of sheer treachery for turning 11-M into a political football instead of showing solidarity with the Spanish people in the face of a foreign terrorist threat.
      They are still harping on about it today and repeatedly use the example of Britain and the 7/7 bombings as an example of how people should behave, united in their grief.
      Completely different circumstances of course and complete bollocks, notwithstanding Britain’s unity of purpose in the aftermath of 7/7 and the largely restrained language of the anti-war constituency (that was my experience any road).

    11. El Cid — on 11th January, 2006 at 6:43 pm  

      Jezza,
      if you mean that the term “pro-war left” is being used a bit too liberally to undermine the characters of those involved, when it in fact should actually be “pro-Iraq war left”, then I agree with you.

    12. Percy — on 11th January, 2006 at 7:14 pm  

      I’m sure you guys on your side of the pond heard about the West Virginia coal mine “accident” last week, I thought it would be best to wait until the bodies were cold before writing about Bush’s obvious complicity in the disaster. For that, I sincerely apologize. Respectful silence for the dead will never restore Democrats to power, nor will it get my membership to DemocraticUnderground reinstated.

      Minutes before the last miner took his last gasp of air, the astute folks at DU had already concluded that the Sago mine explosion was caused by Bush’s easing of mining safety regulations. Moreover, fatal levels of carbon monoxide are not a byproduct of “combustion” as the mainstream media wants us to believe, but of Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% of Americans.

      As usual, though, DemocraticUnderground merely scratches the surface. A quick visit to the West Virginia Mining Safety website reveals that “accidents” have been occurring in and around coal mines for years, well before Bush relaxed safety standards. Even with the tough, rigorous regulations firmly in place when Clinton was in office, Bush still found a way to kill 28 miners in the late 1990’s.

      So the problem is not mining “safety”, but rather mining “security”. While the Department of Homeland Security goons have been busy opening our mail and listening in on the phone calls of paraplegic shoe salesmen in Walla Walla, the terrorists in the White House have been killing off innocent mine workers unabated.

      Of course, I’m not suggesting that Bush carried out these murders himself. The chimp can’t even eat a pretzel without knocking himself unconscious. But I find it odd that of all the letters that were supposedly written by miners in their final hours, most have never been released to the public. Why not? What are they hiding? Certainly, if one of the Sago Mine victims saw Karl Rove skulking around in the shadows prior to the explosion, he would have jotted it down. Perhaps that’s the real reason these poor men had to die - and if the progressive brain trust at DemocraticUnderground doesn’t pick up that ball and run with it soon, people are apt to stop taking them seriously.

    13. Don — on 11th January, 2006 at 7:32 pm  

      Percy,

      Your early stuff was funny, although possibly not as funny as you thought it was. This just lazy and self indulgent, unless you actually have a point you can make without resorting to heavy handed sarcasm.

    14. Percy — on 11th January, 2006 at 8:31 pm  

      Don, I wish there was something to laugh about. You have to understand that in America Big Oil and Big Coal have always hated each others guts — they are in a race to see who can destroy the planet first, while reaping the most obscene profits. This “accident” was just part of that ongoing internecine warfare.

      It’s important to note that carbon monoxide is a byproduct of carbon dioxide, and it happens when the C02 atom is split into two pieces. By refusing to ratify Kyoto, Shrub generated tons of C02, which in turn raised the monoxide in the mine to toxic levels. Most people are too stooopid to understand this. We have to sign Kyoto before its too late.

    15. Don — on 11th January, 2006 at 8:56 pm  

      Percy,

      Now, you see? Drop the sarcasm and already I’ve learned something. I had no idea oil and coal industries were mutually antagonistic.

      The science bit I’ll take on trust, unless someone credible calls you a liar. Thanks for a serious response.

    16. Sunny — on 11th January, 2006 at 9:03 pm  

      Of course, I’m not suggesting that Bush carried out these murders himself. The chimp can’t even eat a pretzel without knocking himself unconscious.

      Heh, loved that line.

      I don’t believe in blaming Bush for everything either, but credit where credit is due. At a time when the world is slowly waking up to the need for curbing environmental damage, Bush is blissfully unwilling to cooperate with others.

      That lame-asstreaty they’re planning to sign on supposedly funding cleaner technologies is just another example of style over substance. Grrrrr…

    17. Percy — on 12th January, 2006 at 1:09 am  

      I have always argued that Kyoto is a progressive solution to global warming. Since Bush came into office we have witnessed hurricanes, volcanoes. earthquakes, tsunamis. The East Coast reels from a record arctic blast, while Los Angeles gurgles under 12 feet of water. These aren’t scenes from a science fiction movie, but events pulled straight from the six o’clock news. According to painstaking research by unemployed environmental activists living in Al Gore’s garage, natural disasters referred to for centuries as “Acts of God” can now be blamed squarely on George W. Bush. More specifically, his refusal to join the international community and ratify the Kyoto Protocol before the earth spins out of orbit and crashes into the sun.

      Even a layman such as myself can observe the bizarre weather changes. Whenever I pause to glance at the thermometer on my patio, the temperature has risen two, even three degrees from the week before. Yet my suffering is nothing compared to that of devoted conservationists like President Branko Crvenkoski of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, who ratified Kyoto in his own country only to see his valiant efforts cancelled out by the world’s biggest polluter. President Umar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir of Sudan awakes every night in pools of sweat, crying, “THE ENVIRONMENT! OH, SWEET MOTHER OF JESUS WE MUST DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT! GET GREENPEACE ON THE PHONE!!” and wondering why Bush doesn’t seem to care about all the pretty flowers. Even The People’s Republic of China, which is exempt from the requirements of the protocol, can’t help but scratch its head in confusion over Bush’s stubborn refusal to sign on.

      Our only hope, it seems, lies with progressive leaders who are willing to reach out to the International Community and take the bold steps necessary to save our planet from Bush. Leaders like Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, who recently vowed that despite Bush’s objections, he would honor Kyoto and force Seattle industries to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels.

      This came as a complete surprise to me, as I thought we had already drove all our industries off - a move that has reduced toxic emissions by 60 percent. But according to Greggo, there’s a door factory in South Seattle that has somehow slipped through the cracks, managing to turn a profit for three years in complete defiance of city ordinances. Not anymore, the Mayor assures us, because they’re about to get a shot of the ol’ progress right up their catflaps.

      If Nickel’s experiment succeeds, then stronger, more progressive measures can be taken to thwart global warming and insure an even cleaner living environment. If Americans work together and make small changes in their lifestyles, perhaps sacrifice a few luxuries like cars, electricity, penicillin, etc,. there’s no reason why carbon dioxide emissions can’t be lowered to pre-industrial revolution levels.

      This morning, Nickels demonstrated his bold vision by arriving at a press conference on horseback. The applause from the delighted crowd barely drowned out the loud snap of the horse’s spine as the poor creature buckled under Nickels’ enormous girth. Although Nickels’ fall was cushioned by an unemployed door builder snoozing in the gutter, he was subsequently beaten unconscious by a mob of angry animal rights activists.

      But that’s progress for ya.

    18. Siddharth — on 12th January, 2006 at 1:13 am  

      Breaking News:
      Those ex-Trotskyists, the NickCohenistas and the Melanie Phalangists have taken to the streets in a mass display of Pro-War activism. And they’re chanting in unison:


      To evict George Galloway!
      From the Big Brother house!
      Phone: 09011 32 33 04!
      Or text: GEORGE to 84444!

    19. Rohin — on 12th January, 2006 at 3:22 am  

      I liked a piece the Metro ran yesterday: Bow and Bethnal Green residents shouldn’t complain about George being the House and not in his constituency, as they deserve whatever they get - they voted him into office!

    20. exmind — on 12th January, 2006 at 5:04 am  

      hehehe, there are no linguistic slips when it comes to these things. Neuro Linguistic Programming has not only seeped into the media but our political leaders are fully trained in using it as a way of life. The ability to get people to accept something they really don’t want is a clear cut definable skill……NLP

      - http://www.outsourcingsux.com -

    21. Bikhair — on 12th January, 2006 at 6:48 am  

      Pickled Pea Brains,

      Without sounding like a facilitator of evil, it should be mentioned that in Islam the least a Muslim can do in order to erase evil is to hate it in his heart.

      Islam doenst look kindly to those who would criticise a leader on the minbar- the pulpit. This fitna has affected the Muslim ummah in many ways like rebellion, assasination, riots etc.

      The great and noble scholar of ahlul-Sunnah wa jumah Sheikul Islam ibn Taymiyah (rahimahullah) has said “Gentleness is a way towards commanding of good and forbidding of evil. This is why it is said: “Let your commanding of good be good and your forbidding of evil not be eveil. And since the commanding of good and forbidding of evil are from the greatest of obligatory and recommended acts, the benefit derived from it must always outwiegh the evil…

      That having been said, lets consider the results in the Muslim world where rebel resulted with events far worse. Syria: Thousands killed because of Muslim Brotherhood activities, Egypt: hundreds if not thousands of people either killed or incarcerated, because of the Muslim Brotherhood, Jordan: Thousands Palestinians die because of rebellion, Iraq:thousands of shias and Kurds die because of percieved rebellion, and now in Iraq where men, women, and children are killed by car bombs because people are rejecting the authority of the new leaders of Iraq.

      Lets not forget the murder of the noble Companions of the Prophet Muhammed (sallalahu alaihi wa salam) Utham and Ali (may Allah preserve them both) who were slain because of rebellion.

      Allah (azawajal) says in the Quran:

      An-Nahl: 125 “Call to the way of the Lord with wisdom and fair adomintion and argue with them in the best way.”

      An-Nisa:83 “And when there comes to them some matter concerning (public) security or fear, they propagate it (to the people). But if only they would have referred it to the Messenger and those in authority amongst them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). And had it nor been for the Grace and MErcy of Allah upon you, you would have followed the Devil, except for a few (from you).”

      Prophet Muhammed (sallalahu alaihi wa salam) says in a hadith narrated by ibn Abbas and Anas bin Malik respectively: ” Whoever sees in his leader something that he dislikes, then let him be patient with it for indeed, whoever splits away from the Jummah (unified group) even in inch, and then dies, he does not die except the death of some in the Days of Jahiliayh.” And “You will indeed see things after me that you will disapprove of.” So they said: “What do you order us to do with them O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “give them (i.e the leaders) thier rights and ask Allah for your rights.”

      All the scholars of ahlul Sunnah would agree that the best way to approach a corrupt leader would be to advise, with sincerity, them in private and not in the public square. Because the Muslim world is rife with crazy ass hot heads who love their guns/bombs and consider having reliance upon Allah and sabr (patience) only useful sometimes and not all the time, its important that this message is conveyed so that the lives of innocent by-standers will be spared.

    22. Bikhair — on 12th January, 2006 at 7:27 am  

      To those who would disagree with me among the Muslim posters,

      Before you accuse me of being one of those Saudi Royal Family loving Salafis, because the I am not sitting around all day and blaming global warming, and all my problems on the rulers of the Kingdom, let me ask you, out of all the mass deaths that have occured in the Muslim world, how many of them have been at the hands of the Saudis? You can accuse them of being unfair, racist, sexist, hypocrites, or whatever but you cant say that they have committed mass murder against their own people. Women cant drive, and Muslims from other countries are treated unfairly, but those countries that do allow women some Western inspired freedom and are a little more transparent in the Muslim world all have commited these heinous acts. Many of the more horrible things that happen in Saudi Arabia cant be attributed to government or the rulers- all 100,000 of them. Also the KSA is one of the few places where Muslims from all over the world can live, learn, and practice Islam without harassment or suspicion and the scholars have the right to educate those who would seek their knowledge.

      It is my belief that the reason the KSA is so actively critized by the Jihadis, Takfiris, Khawarij, Ikhawanis, is because they know that the Saudis will not bomb the crap out of some village, town, or compound like the Syrians did some decades ago.

      The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia isnt perfect, no duh!

    23. Rohin — on 12th January, 2006 at 12:43 pm  

      Bikhair, I normally ignore you these days, but I’m bored. I have NO clue what you are talking about. You’re defending Saudi Arabia? It’s a fucking disgrace of a country. It’s pathetic.

      “out of all the mass deaths that have occured in the Muslim world, how many of them have been at the hands of the Saudis?”

      I don’t know about in the Muslim world, but I can think of 3000-odd American civilians who were killed at the hands of Saudis. Are you somehow trying to propose that KSA is better than more enlightened (I use the word relativistically) Bahrain or Oman? Non-Arab Muslims, especially converts such as yourself, seem to idolise Saudi Arabia for no other reason than it is the land that Mohammed walked upon. As we can see from The Holy Land, the fact that a religion was born there has no bearing on the country itself.

      “You can accuse them of being unfair, racist, sexist, hypocrites, or whatever but you cant say that they have committed mass murder against their own people”

      Oh! I suppose that makes them OK! They mutilate, execute and abuse their own people (and worse to any immigrants), they subjugate women and rape foreign workers, but they don’t commit mass murder! Nice blokes really!

      Your point about not criticising leaders in Islam is fascinating though.

      “Islam doenst look kindly to those who would criticise a leader”

      Perhaps if the Muslim world did MORE criticising of their OWN leaders things may improve.

    24. sonia — on 12th January, 2006 at 1:29 pm  

      whats bikhairs point im not sure. but anyway since you’re always preaching, let me say to you that it does say definitely in the Quran somewhere sth along the lines of somewhere not being dogmatic and going with ‘party politics’ in a blind faith kind of way cos you’re supposed to be using your reason and brain to figure out whats good and whats not.

      i think if you lot applied that you wouldn’t need any other silliness about ‘rules and regulations’ you’ve been told think for yourself and figure it out.

    25. sonia — on 12th January, 2006 at 1:31 pm  

      i think the thing that amuses me so much about Bikhair is that he/she preaches stuff and then says other stuff that contradicts the stuff that he/she preached!

      brilliant. like trying to come out with all sorts of religiousy things in islam then slagging off other muslims who’re ‘brown’. heh hehe.

    26. sonia — on 12th January, 2006 at 1:41 pm  

      rohin - im not sure what you mean about :

      “I liked a piece the Metro ran yesterday: Bow and Bethnal Green residents shouldn’t complain about George being the House and not in his constituency, as they deserve whatever they get - they voted him into office!”

      well they probably didnt have much choice. and did they suggest he go sit in bigbrother?? who could have predicted that one?! so why do they ‘deserve’ it? bit simplistic don’t you think, we do have a pretty good idea why folks out in bethnal green voted for him.

      i do think its annoying when in trying to criticize a point of view/policy they settle on criticizing some prominent ‘supporter’ of that policy - usually some completely unrelated aspect of said invidual. it seems to imply that if you’re against one thing you’re against the whole package, and conversely, if you think some policy someone said they were in favour of is good, you’re somehow ‘supporting’ that person wholesale. this sort of thing causes no end of slagging off and not really sorting anything out.

      i think galloways’ stance against the war was sth i can identify with, ive no idea about galloway in general, im not sure i care, i dont live in bethnal green but if i did i might have voted for him cause why not wha’ts/who is the alternative? and if only to teach the party in power a lesson that they can’t get away with pissing on the public and expecting to get back into power. and i think going and sitting in the big brother house is just ridiculous and will no doubt help the anti-war bandwagon.

      politicians are all rubbish anyway, and the existing political system is just one big power game and is need of major reform. to start with representative ‘democracy’ might be useful.

    27. sonia — on 12th January, 2006 at 1:42 pm  

      bikhair . hate = evil

      dontcha think old buddy. say tell us - what do you do for a living??

    28. Vikrant — on 12th January, 2006 at 1:49 pm  

      Here what a Saudi guy thinks bout his own country:

      http://muttawa.blogspot.com

    29. sonia — on 12th January, 2006 at 1:50 pm  

      i have another one for you Bikhair . which i always think shows what a bunch of f***ing conformists most religious people are. so you’re talking about rebellion eh?

      well if you think that u ought to follow the Prophet’s example, how about you think about it from the point of view of society in pre-islamic arabia and the al-quraish tribe. there they are, happily going along with their established society and their norms and their gods, and wahey! along comes someone - in their own family -who suggests not going down the road of ‘our fathers and ancestors’. SHOCK! HORROR! why they must’ve thought he was a heretic and an iconoclast, and a REBEL to boot. ooh dear. sounds like by your pea-brained thinking you’d certainly not be on the side of the ‘rebellion’ now would you?

      oops. do explain to me how that one fits. i find when i used to mention that to people who tell me ‘ i ought to do as my society says and my parents and elders and betters’ they get pretty f***ing mad, of course if they’re ‘elders and betters’ they say nothing apart from ‘what an insolent child you are’.

      :-)

    30. Vikrant — on 12th January, 2006 at 1:52 pm  

      what do you do for a living??

      lemme guess… she works for KSA govt propoganda dept?

    31. sonia — on 12th January, 2006 at 1:55 pm  

      good response to bikhair’s silly statements Rohin. A country where a lot of nastiness and unpleasantness happens, and this nonsense about ‘where other muslims can come’ . like fuck - they can come easily my foot, talk about visa control. ha.

      generally? everyone - muslim world certainly - but this applies to authority lovers everywhere - ought to question leaders and the status quo.

      ( i do think however the muslim world helps these silly saudis to feel so superior. i say everyone boycott the place ;-) )

    32. Siddharth — on 12th January, 2006 at 1:55 pm  

      Thats because she’s young, impressionable and has all the zealotry of the freshly converted. Furthernore, converted to the Salafi brand of Wahhabism, which is probably THE most disdainful flavour of Islam you will ever come across.

      This salafi zealotry gives her a rosy view of Saudis as being the walking talking representatives of ‘Allah wa Ta’ala’ on earth. Thats not an uncommon impression of Saudis. Its widespread in South Asia, where Muslims tend to hold Saudis in awe. Thats until they go and work there as migrant labourers. The racism that the Saudis display towards the people of South Asia, particularly Muslim South Asians surprisingly (faithfully mimicked by Bikhair), will repulse any sane person. It’s been covered by Sepia.

      I’ve lived in KSA and I think they have the ugliest worldview of any people I’ve had the misfortune to meet. Way ahead of the the inbreds I met in deepest Texas. And there is more than a tenuous link between Texas and Saudi Arabia, for anyone willing to analyse it.

      Anyway, back to the thread…

    33. Col. Mustafa — on 12th January, 2006 at 1:58 pm  

      “”( i do think however the muslim world helps these silly saudis to feel so superior. i say everyone boycott the place )”"

      With you on that one.

    34. Siddharth — on 12th January, 2006 at 1:59 pm  

      I liked a piece the Metro ran yesterday: Bow and Bethnal Green residents shouldn’t complain about George being the House and not in his constituency, as they deserve whatever they get - they voted him into office!

      What are you saying? The only people who are qualified to criticise him, and do (and should!), are fucking Harry’s Place, because they’re from Hampstead & Highgate? What kind of fucked up logic is that?

    35. Siddharth — on 12th January, 2006 at 2:03 pm  

      The Metro is a cum rag.

    36. Col. Mustafa — on 12th January, 2006 at 2:08 pm  

      hehehehe.

      I haven’t actually watched any big bro after they went in the house.
      I was so excited with the guests as well, i even read that Barrymore was crying.
      Also heard off some silly m8s that apparently this is the best thing Galloway could ever of done.
      According to them hes actually making the world aware of womens rights, the war and loads of other things that will eventually help solve all the worlds problems out.
      Wowwww, hes soooooooo clever.

    37. El Cid — on 12th January, 2006 at 3:15 pm  

      I get the distinct impression that people really want to talk about Big Brother!!!
      I took a peep yesterday, wish I hadn’t.

      Sonia: I don’t wish to put a fly in your ointment and I don’t doubt that many of the people who voted for Gorgeous George did so for wholesome and conscientious reasons.
      But I also noticed a disappointing racial pattern to votes in London at the last UK elections, as I outlined here.

      Jai, Thanks for that earlier message. I’ve already emailed said person.

    38. Jai — on 12th January, 2006 at 3:17 pm  

      The current issue of “The Economist” has an excellent supplement consisting of a survey of all the major aspects of Saudi Arabia, along with the historical factors/events which have resulted in the present state of affairs.

      It includes matters like women’s rights, politics, the ruling royal family, economics, and (obviously) various religious topics.

    39. Jai — on 12th January, 2006 at 3:19 pm  

      El Cid, no problem buddy. I hope the person concerned can help you — you may well have hit a goldmine of relevant information there.

    40. Rohin — on 12th January, 2006 at 3:33 pm  

      Crikey, Sid, Sonia - I think you’ve missed the humour. Perhaps I didn’t convey it properly. It was a joke piece - just poking fun at people complaining at Galloway being a slacker. They knew he was a slacker before he won the election. It wasn’t serious political commentary.

      Anyway, if I were to be serious for one second, Sonia said:

      “well they probably didnt have much choice. and did they suggest he go sit in bigbrother?? who could have predicted that one?! so why do they ‘deserve’ it? bit simplistic don’t you think, we do have a pretty good idea why folks out in bethnal green voted for him.”

      They DID have a choice, albeit the other candidates weren’t sterling. Sure it’s simplistic, as I said it was only a joke. But what really IS simplistic is voting someone who has a complete absence of policy, bar one of course.

      I was happy when Galloway initially came along. I wanted a prominent anti-war voice. But, as El Cid hinted at with his link, it was bloc voting at its daftest. If I lived in the constituency, I’d be more concerned about my neighbourhood than someone who cynically targetted the Muslim vote by standing in an area with the highest Muslim population.

      Again, it was just a gag. Anyone can praise or criticise Galloway as much as they like.

    41. Siddharth — on 12th January, 2006 at 3:42 pm  

      Rohin

      Notwithstanding the fact that Bow and Bethnal Green voters are not the most clued-up tactical voters in the world (which is how Oona King got in,in the first place), I think voting Galloway in on the strength of being a fierce Anti-War candidate was perfectly acceptable. And he wasn’t Bangladeshi - so I don’t quite get El Cid’s point.

      Oona was pro-War and towed the Labour line like a good lackey, but now has come to change her, publicly held, views of the War.

      The Metro is a still a cum rag.

    42. El Cid — on 12th January, 2006 at 4:07 pm  

      C’mon Sid, don’t be so naive

    43. Siddharth — on 12th January, 2006 at 4:09 pm  

      I like to think its one of my more endearing qualities, but which bit was naive?

    44. Rohin — on 12th January, 2006 at 4:11 pm  

      Yeah the Metro’s shit. I have a friend who works for them and perhaps I’m biased, but although the writing is shite, they’ve been very successful. When I started editing my paper in 2004, I knew nothing about layout, so I picked up a copy of the Metro and copied it. We’ve subsequently developed a Grauniad style, but the Metro still has a special place in my heart. But yes, it’s a cum rag.

      Him getting voted in is acceptable, of course, but it irks me when it’s obvious that the bulk of his supporters voted for him out of some ummah-loyalty-to-the-Muslim-brothers cause, to which he was only paying lip service. You’re absolutely right, they’re not a clued up electorate. Whilst Galloway is not a dangerous man per se, how about if a Muslim candidate stands in the future in a predominantly Muslim area with anti-Jewish or anti-gay views? I just hate the concept of voting for someone ‘because they’re one of us’. Whilst Galloway is not Bangladeshi, he was effectively marketing himself as a Muslim voice with a single policy.

    45. Rohin — on 12th January, 2006 at 4:12 pm  

      Oh and PS - the two papers you find on the tube are The Standard and The Metro.

      I know which I pick up. The Metro’s the lesser of two evils.

    46. El Cid — on 12th January, 2006 at 4:18 pm  

      Why did Galloway target that seat in the first place?
      As I clearly said I’m sure a lot of people voted for him for wholesome and conscientious reasons that had nothing to do with a vague racial solidarity thing.
      Even so, the facts don’t lie.

    47. Siddharth — on 12th January, 2006 at 4:28 pm  

      El Cid/Rohin

      Although it would not be beyond imagination for a Muslim canidate to be elected in Bow and Bethnal Green with openly anti-Gay and anti-Jew sentiments, it is not the case - and therefore hypothetical. You’re forgetting that the 70s saw openly racist BNP candidates taking over Bow and Bethnal Green, so it has actually gone the other way inf act.

      You’re correct that the voters went for Galloway because his was an exclusively anti-war message, I think suggesting that the voters did so because of a solidarity of the Ummah or for racial reasons is rubbish. At the time of the election, there we very few candidates who were willing to be openly against the War - and that was enough for many to use him as a protest vote. To suggest that it was racially-motivated is silly. But in any case, whats wrong with Sikhs voting for a Sikh candidate or Jews a Jewish candidate?

    48. Siddharth — on 12th January, 2006 at 4:36 pm  

      I know which I pick up. The Metro’s the lesser of two evils.

      If you mean its more absorbent, you’re probably right.

    49. Siddharth — on 12th January, 2006 at 4:41 pm  

      El Cid

      If you’re suggesting that Muslims can only be Anti-War because it can onlt be a racially or an ethno-religiously motivated reaction is a deeply patronising, not to mention, flawed, to say the least.

    50. Jai — on 12th January, 2006 at 4:49 pm  

      =>”But in any case, whats wrong with Sikhs voting for a Sikh candidate or Jews a Jewish candidate?”

      Nothing, as long as one is voting for the candidate because one agrees with his/her political policies, not just because they happen to be from the same background as you.

    51. Siddharth — on 12th January, 2006 at 4:55 pm  

      Yeah, well - the majority of Bow and Bethnal Green voters aren’t Glaswegians. ;-)

    52. Bikhair — on 12th January, 2006 at 7:04 pm  

      “I don’t know about in the Muslim world, but I can think of 3000-odd American civilians who were killed at the hands of Saudis.”

      Exactly who is responsible for what happen on September 11?

      “Non-Arab Muslims, especially converts such as yourself, seem to idolise Saudi Arabia for no other reason than it is the land that Mohammed walked upon.”

      I never said that and if I believed it I would have said it. Did you even read what I wrote?

      “Oh! I suppose that makes them OK! They mutilate, execute and abuse their own people (and worse to any immigrants), they subjugate women and rape foreign workers, but they don’t commit mass murder! Nice blokes really!”

      Listen if you want to blame the Saudi rulers for everything that happens in the country, then I would guess that Tony Blair is responsible for the bombings of July 7 since it was carried out by Brits in Britain.

      Capital punishment is the law in Saudi and in the Sharia. Having a limb cut off is also a punishment for some kinds of theft.

      I didnt know it was a policy in the KSA to bring foreign nationals into the country for the express purpose of them being raped. Thats crazy since all of the ulema would agree that it is haram to have a strange woman working in your home. Remember the hadith of Prophet Muhammed, when a man and woman are alone Shaitan is the third?

      “Your point about not criticising leaders in Islam is fascinating though.”

      Ask Anwar Saddat how fascinating it is.

      “Perhaps if the Muslim world did MORE criticising of their OWN leaders things may improve. ”

      Read above.

    53. Bikhair — on 12th January, 2006 at 7:05 pm  

      The above was for Rohin.

    54. Bikhair — on 12th January, 2006 at 7:08 pm  

      Sonia,

      “i think the thing that amuses me so much about Bikhair is that he/she preaches stuff and then says other stuff that contradicts the stuff that he/she preached!”

      If you are a Muslim or know any Muslims you have an obligation to accept what I can prove from the Quran and the Sunnah or reject what I cant prove or what is from my worthless opinion. You know Imam Shafi took this opinion that even after his death his positions on Islamic issue should change according to what can be drawn from the texts. Now thats humble.

    55. Bikhair — on 12th January, 2006 at 7:14 pm  

      Vikrant,

      “Here what a Saudi guy thinks bout his own country:

      http://muttawa.blogspot.com”

      Judging by the buzz in the blogging world about the religious police men apparently he isnt from Saudi. Refer to Indigo Jo blogs on the topic “The defrocking of “The Religious Policeman”
      and authentic Saudi sister blogger Farah Sowaleef:

      http://farahssowaleef.blogspot.com/2006/01/just-coz-i-know-i-can-and-you.html

      In any event if this guy rejects Islam and the Sharia than his problem isnt with Saudi Arabia but with Islam and the distinction should be drawn.

    56. Bikhair — on 12th January, 2006 at 7:17 pm  

      Sonia,

      “good response to bikhair’s silly statements Rohin. A country where a lot of nastiness and unpleasantness happens, and this nonsense about ‘where other muslims can come’ . like fuck - they can come easily my foot, talk about visa control. ha.”

      Regarding the Visas to Saudi I believe that this criticism shows how immature you are. The KSA cant just allow people to flow into its borders. That would be irresponsible.

    57. Vikrant — on 12th January, 2006 at 7:30 pm  

      Bikhair i’ve had the misfortune of spending 2 of by childhood years in Al-Jubail, KSA! The way Saudis treat Indians with haughtiness is… intolerable.. Seeing that Indians pratically run the show there. If you like KSA soo much why docha chuck off yer US passport and go to the that *&^*)&^*& godforsaken desert?

    58. Bikhair — on 12th January, 2006 at 7:35 pm  

      Siddharth,

      Shut up you whinning femme-bot.

      “Furthernore, converted to the Salafi brand of Wahhabism, which is probably THE most disdainful flavour of Islam you will ever come across.”

      Can you disagree with anything that I said specifically?

      “This salafi zealotry gives her a rosy view of Saudis as being the walking talking representatives of ‘Allah wa Ta’ala’ on earth.”

      Quote me please. Why would I say something like that? That sounds like kufr.

      “Thats not an uncommon impression of Saudis. Its widespread in South Asia, where Muslims tend to hold Saudis in awe. Thats until they go and work there as migrant labourers. The racism that the Saudis display towards the people of South Asia, particularly Muslim South Asians surprisingly (faithfully mimicked by Bikhair), will repulse any sane person. It’s been covered by Sepia.”

      Did I say there wasnt any racism or bigotry all of which is haram in Islam. Prophet Muhammed told the Muslims that we arent friends but brothers. Every Muslim will be held accountable for his actions maybe not in this dunyah but certainly in the hereafter. Prophet Muhammed never said that the jahiliyah of the Muslims would disappear in fact he said that the further we get from his generations and those two generations that came after him, our ignorance would increase up until the point where the truth will only be in the hearts of a few.

      I like how you talk about racism among Muslims which is a huge problem but it has been my expirience that Salafi Muslims are more likely to marry interacially than any other Muslim peoples. I am married to a man who is not the same race as me. Sidd you know good and dam well that Paks, Indos, and Bangis can be just as racist as any Arab. Dont give me that crap.

      “I’ve lived in KSA and I think they have the ugliest worldview of any people I’ve had the misfortune to meet. Way ahead of the the inbreds I met in deepest Texas. And there is more than a tenuous link between Texas and Saudi Arabia, for anyone willing to analyse it. ”

      Read above.

      From Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa’sallam) said: The believer is a mirror for the believer, and the believer is the brother of the believer. He safeguards his property for him and defends him from behind.

      This is one of the standards to which a Muslim will be held accountable to another Muslim. The Saudis dont set that standard. They can exist or not exist, but Muslims are still brothers to one another.

    59. Bikhair — on 12th January, 2006 at 7:42 pm  

      BTW guys,

      I usually dont make it a point to criticize any leader in the Muslim world. I was merely drawing some distinctions between the KSA and other Muslim countries. I wouldnt criticize King Abdullah of Jordan, Saddam when he was in power, Hosni Mubarak, Pervez Musharef or any other leader. I dont think any of you can say that I have been critical of leaders in the Muslim world except the Shia in Iran. In that respect I am being very consistent. It is useless to be critical of them in such an antagonistic way because it only brings about the death of Muslims.

      Is anyone here at all appreciative of the political activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, you lovers of dissent and opposition?

    60. Don — on 12th January, 2006 at 8:09 pm  

      ‘you lovers of dissent and opposition’

      Bikki, that’s the sweetest thing you’ve said since you got here.

    61. Vikrant — on 12th January, 2006 at 8:17 pm  

      Did I say there wasnt any racism or bigotry all of which is haram in Islam. Prophet Muhammed told the Muslims that we arent friends but brothers. Every Muslim will be held accountable for his actions maybe not in this dunyah but certainly in the hereafter.

      Weeee…. i am satified that all pervading Allah will make Saudis account for their acts. In mean time they may continue to heap as much suffering on world as they like.
      KSA’s stock wont run that high forever. When oil’s gone, it’ll fall. What a cruel joke of history barbarians holding civilised world to oil ransom.

    62. Percy — on 12th January, 2006 at 8:21 pm  

      Bikhair I’m glad you brought up Saudi Arabia, if you thought that Der ChimpenReichsFuhrer was only after the Enlightened Liberal, I mean, Progressyves, in his AmeriKKKa, think again:

      Death Toll Rises to 345 in Hajj Stampede

      “MINA, Saudi Arabia - Thousands of Muslim pilgrims rushing to complete a symbolic stoning ritual during the hajj tripped over luggage Thursday, causing a crush in which at least 345 people were killed, the Interior Ministry said. The stampede occurred as tens of thousands of pilgrims headed toward al-Jamarat, a series of three pillars representing the devil that the faithful pelt with stones to purge themselves of sin.”

      Here we have 1,000s of Practitioners of The Religion Of Peace who simply wanted to help their souls transcend the materialistic world of, oh, say, a certain KKKountry’s Reich-Wing Denizens who surround themselves with things like multiple houses, SUVs, snowboards, windsurfers, private jets, not at all like the ashes and sackcloth members of this unnamed KKKountry’s Brilliant Left Wing. Then, there’s a stampede and 100s die. What could have caused this? What kind of Evil Sith Lord Mind Trick from, oh, say, a certain Embodiment of Evil who like to “rove” around the planet on behalf of his Dark Master and cause harm to innocents who won’t don the brown shirts and march in a goosestep? Your thoughts?

    63. Vikrant — on 12th January, 2006 at 8:28 pm  

      Percy be careful of some of you comments of Islam here. Apparently inshallah fatalists dont like Islam being discussed by Dirty Kuffars like us.

      Dont feed the idiot bit trollish cow!

      Keeper Vicky

    64. Bikhair — on 12th January, 2006 at 9:23 pm  

      Vikrant,

      “Weeee…. i am satified that all pervading Allah will make Saudis account for their acts. In mean time they may continue to heap as much suffering on world as they like.”

      I take comfort in that fact that you arent really saying anything meaningful about what I have posted but instead have chosen to be a jerk. No one knows what their state of emaan will be the next day. Tomorrow I can die a kafir only Allah knows. So in the meantime Muslims should use everyone oppurtunity to live their life according to the Quran and the Sunnah the best they can, sinful or pious. It is possible that the evil that is done by those Saudis (whoever they may be) is small in comparison to the good that they do that know one sees because when giving in charity the left hand is ignorant of what they right hand does. Their case is with their creator and I dont want to talk about them or any other Muslim anymore. Their sin doesnt excuse or make legitmate yours.

    65. Bikhair — on 12th January, 2006 at 9:26 pm  

      Percy,

      “MINA, Saudi Arabia - Thousands of Muslim pilgrims rushing to complete a symbolic stoning ritual during the hajj tripped over luggage Thursday, causing a crush in which at least 345 people were killed, the Interior Ministry said.”

      Muslimd die during an act of worship…SubhanAllah…

    66. Bikhair — on 12th January, 2006 at 9:30 pm  

      Vikrant,

      “Percy be careful of some of you comments of Islam here. Apparently inshallah fatalists dont like Islam being discussed by Dirty Kuffars like us.”

      What is an InshaAllah fatalist? I have a problem when Islam is discussed by those with no knowledge. Since I dont have the knowledge to discuss the impurity of the kafir or it the kafir is even impure, I will not talk about it. Before you start talking about being a dirty kafir perhaps you should bring some proof from the Quran and Sunnah proving that kafirs are dirty. Until then dont misguide me or Percy.

    67. Vikrant — on 12th January, 2006 at 9:42 pm  

      Since I dont have the knowledge to discuss the impurity of the kafir or it the kafir is even impure, I will not talk about it. Before you start talking about being a dirty kafir perhaps you should bring some proof from the Quran and Sunnah proving that kafirs are dirty.

      Why should i go on reading some stupid 7th century book to bring you the “proofs”. The truth is Bikhair, that there is no Allah, no Bhagwan. The truth is that Islam and for that matter all religions have done more harm than good. The truth is we exist without a purpose. The truth is…. you are blinded by your feudal religion.

    68. Vikrant — on 12th January, 2006 at 9:45 pm  

      What InshaAllah fatalist?
      :o alongwith civilty, you seem to forgetting English too!

      Heres a clue:

      only Allah knows

      Ishaallah

      Their case is with their creator and I dont want to talk about them or any other Muslim anymore. Their sin doesnt excuse or make legitmate yours.

    69. Bikhair — on 12th January, 2006 at 10:01 pm  

      Vikrant,

      I gotta go and meet the sisters now. I can deal with you not believing in god but its obviously that Saudi Arabs are the epitomie of everything you dont like about Arabs. Why? I dont know. It seems like you hold them up to standards way too high and now that they have disappointed you, you cant deal with anyone saying anything nice about them. THey are Muslim, kafir, good, bad, and imperfect. I know they are human, you dont, which is why you have to single them out as being the worst while accusing me of singling them out as being the best. I dont think they are the best. I have never said that Saudi rulers should be preserved and kill all other Muslim leaders. As leaders they all have thier rights and authority and I pray that they are all guided.

    70. Siddharth — on 13th January, 2006 at 1:18 am  

      Here what a Saudi guy thinks bout his own country:

      Yusuf Smith points to bloggers who think that Alhamedi might not be Saudi at all.

    71. Percy — on 13th January, 2006 at 3:03 am  

      Vikrant, I agree with you 101%. But I think it would be only fair to Muslims if you criticised other religions with equal vitriol. Like take Jesus Christ for instance, he was a Jew in born in Bethlehem therefore a Zionist oppressor of poor brown people like Mumia Abu-Jamal. They even evicted the animals from the manger in a disgusting display of trans-species oppression.
      It’s too bad Jesus didn’t teach peace like Tookie Williams did.
      Last holiday season If someone said “merry Christmas” to me I educated them that there wasn’t one single Christian among our founding fathers and that the constitution specifically forbids religion.
      Now Kwanza, that is a holiday I can identify with and understand…

      And what about Hannukah? That’s obviously a holiday the Zionazis made up to make all Arabs and followers of the religion of peace feel uncomfortable. It must not be left in its intolerant state. It should be named something everyone can like. Hmmmmm. I’ve got it! How about Arafat Apreciation Day, or Germany day? Hey! We can also let Russians march through the Jewish parts of cities in pogroms, I mean, parades to make up for years of American oppression against the citizens of the USSR. And if those Zionazis complain, we’ll have the ACLU sue Goldsteinburg for…oh I don’t know…violating their freedom of speech maybe? That’ll show those pig haters what tolerance means.

    72. Vikrant — on 13th January, 2006 at 5:55 am  

      Percy… i’m not trying to be fair to Muslims. Its just that most things i gotta say would be too politically incorrect on this blog. I’ve a sort of understanding with Sunny & Sid Co. not to discuss these issues here.

    73. Siddharth — on 13th January, 2006 at 10:10 am  

      Vikrant:

      Your said that you lived 2 years in KSA. Your anti-Islam rage suggests you either had a horrible time of it, or you’ve spent the interim time in developing these feelings yourself. Either way - they’re nothing to do with political correctness - more like sectarianism.

      And as for an understanding with me - I have no such agreement with you. Sunny, may be. He’s made this blog what it is. And if it wasn’t for him - it would be just like any number of other crappy anti-Islamic organs. Which is why I have total respect for the geezer.

    74. Rohin — on 13th January, 2006 at 12:36 pm  

      I thought that Bikhair had toned it down a bit recently and had written some sort of English in her post as opposed to just Arabic quotes. So I responded. The idiocy she’s been spouting makes me suggest we should return to our previous course of action:

      Ignore the bint.

    75. El Cid — on 13th January, 2006 at 1:07 pm  

      It’s too bad Jesus didn’t teach peace like Tookie Williams did.

      lol. this is top drawer!

    76. bananabrain — on 13th January, 2006 at 1:29 pm  

      you’re joking arntcha?

      galloway picked a constituency full of angry blue-collar muslims and students to unseat a “pro-war” (by which i suppose you must mean loyal blairite who despised the regime and was pro-democracy), as opposed to an swp-sponsored saddam-sucking self-publicist.

      can it also be coincidence that oona king checked a lot of the other boxes for the peanut-gallery lowest-common-denominator of said angry blue-collar muslims to vote against:

      1. a woman (tch, tch, should be at home really and immodest too)
      2. black (tch, tch, wouldn’t want my daughter marrying one)
      3. jewish (enough said, really)

      i presume that you’re aware that it was precisely these that were made an issue of during the campaign. there was enough coverage of it. shame on the electors of bethnal green/bow for being hoodwinked by a man pandering to their prejudices.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    77. Siddharth — on 13th January, 2006 at 2:15 pm  

      This is the first time I’ve ever heard Bethnal Green Bangladeshis as “angry blue-collar muslims”, but that seems to be the underlying pretext of your J’accuse, and informs the rest of it. Lets see, while you’re at it, don’t forget to throw in any other emotive little stereotype you like. Islamist and Terrorist-apologists seems to two others that remain conspicuous by their absence.

      Jewish/Gujarati/Polish people can vote in candidates of the same background, of course - but thats never a case of racial preference, is it? But because a candidate gets voted in on an Anti-War ticket in the largest Muslim constituency in the UK, that electorate are racist, sexist and anti-Semitic for voting out Oona King - who was staunchly anti-war. Doesn’t get more conspirational than that, folks.

      Since we’re on round for a pound-for-pound comparison, which densely populated Jewish constituenicy has ever voted in a Black/Asian Muslim Woman?

    78. Siddharth — on 13th January, 2006 at 2:26 pm  

      That should say - ‘Oona King was staunchly Pro-War’, of course, of course. But you knew that.

    79. Siddharth — on 13th January, 2006 at 2:30 pm  

      Oh and by the way - El Cid and Bananaboy: If a Black/Asian candidate fails to get elected in a densely white or Jewish constituency, is that an example of a “disappointing racial pattern” too? Being as it is, inverse racist electorial selection?

      Prolly not.

    80. Siddharth — on 13th January, 2006 at 2:42 pm  

      Just beginning to scratch the tip of the elephant here folks, to coin a blue-collar-muslimism.

    81. Vikrant — on 13th January, 2006 at 3:42 pm  

      or you’ve spent the interim time in developing these feelings yourself.

      No dudie we Rajputs are born with these feelings. We arent anti-Islam for no reason.

      You accuse me of secterianism.. thats oversimplifying the things isnt it?
      While the never ending saga of persecution of Pakistani and Bangladeshi Hindus continues, PPers especially Al Hack are still beating the Gujarat doldrums. Why is this selective amnesia?

      Though i’ve toned down over the years, no non-white kufr who spent time in KSA can fail to see Islam for what it is… vehicle for Arab cultural imeprialism.

      Bhickrant

    82. Vikrant — on 13th January, 2006 at 3:45 pm  

      OTOH regarding the annual Hajj stampede…. those peabrains arent even capable of organising a tea party let alone a Hajj.

    83. Siddharth — on 13th January, 2006 at 3:45 pm  

      Is it just me, or does anyone else think Sunny’s absence as no-nonsense, zero-tolerance of bullshit policy beginning to show?

    84. Vikrant — on 13th January, 2006 at 3:51 pm  

      Is it just me, or does anyone else think Sunny’s absence as no-nonsense, zero-tolerance of bullshit policy beginning to show?

      (Snort)… when did Sunny ever adhere to this policy? You guys will tolerate crap from Bikhair, Raz… even link to Indigo Jo but poor ole Vicky is o’er the line isnt it?

    85. Siddharth — on 13th January, 2006 at 3:52 pm  

      Not without good reason (Snort).

    86. Vikrant — on 13th January, 2006 at 3:59 pm  

      Now its my turn to accuse you of sectarianism.

    87. Vikrant — on 13th January, 2006 at 4:02 pm  

      Could you exactly pinpoint what offensive things i’ve said about Islam?

      If you dont want Indians here then say so. I remeber you were the guy to ask me to fuck off from PP. You then go on and call me a Donkey… all while you tolerate if not patronise people like Raz, Tanveer and their ilk.

    88. Siddharth — on 13th January, 2006 at 4:12 pm  

      Vikrant, if there’s something I really like about your approach is your honesty and the fact that you don’t feel you need to couch your politics in culturally-relativist bollocks, all dressed up to disguise a set of ugly-as-you-like preconceptions, that other PP commentators readily deal in. This could be your youth or just your temperament, but its a quality you should strive to retain.

    89. Siddharth — on 13th January, 2006 at 4:20 pm  

      Or maybe its because you’re an angry blue-collar-hindu?

    90. Vikrant — on 13th January, 2006 at 4:43 pm  

      blue-collar-hindu!!!

      Whoa.. thats the most “exotic” insult somebody ever hurled at me! No my family isnt blue collar and i’m atheist.

    91. BevanKieran — on 13th January, 2006 at 4:45 pm  

      bananabrain

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/vote2001/results_constituencies/constituencies/047.stm

      Did Oona King match the criteria (Black, Jewish woman) you mentioned in 1997 and 2001 when she won with substantial majorities? Did these angry blue-collar Muslims spring up out of nowhere from 2001 to 2005?

      The Tories fielded 41 candidates from ethnic minorities in the 2005 election. Of these, two were elected. Does the failure to elect the rest consitute racism by the electorate (neglecting the few cases were the victor was the same “race” as ethnic Tory candidate). Should we cast the whole electorate of Britain as racist trash? Or could it be that politics, rather than race, religion and sex, is the main factor.

    92. Siddharth — on 13th January, 2006 at 5:46 pm  

      Its worth a PP post that would try and get to the bottom of the attitude which states, in all seriousness and without irony, that when Muslims vote for a candidate (parenthetically one whose politics are anti-War), it immediately becomes connotated with a desire of these Muslims to identify with a worldwide “Caliphate movement”. They are obviously “angry”, “blue-collar” types and have displayed a “disappointing racial pattern” of voting for an “Ummah”. And no doubt they’re anti-Semitic, racist and sexist at the very least.

      Conversely, however one would be asking for credibility-suicide and be offending any number of PC sensibilities (not to mention asking for a good head-kicking and risk banning from the site) if it were suggested, with equal deadpan, that if Jews vote for a Jewish candidate its only because they’re doing so as part of a Zionist conspiracy for World Domination. Furthermore, if whites were to vote for a white Conservative candidate, they only do so because its concomitant with their need to identify with the pan-European White Supremacist Movement, bless them.

      Scratching the tip of the elephant.

    93. Rohin — on 13th January, 2006 at 7:03 pm  

      How is it that some cry that PP is a pinko Islamophilic over-PC blog and others that it’s pro-Zionist, Islamophobic and has double standards with Muslims and non-Muslims?

      Either we’ve achieved a world first or some people are just never happy unless what they read is exactly what they think.

      I’m not referring to this particular thread nor any two people. I’ve just noticed that criticism of this site is quite amusing - different people see different things. But criticism’s all cool, yo.

      For the record - I think the comments are fine. Sid, if you think Sunny’s absence has had such a marked effect, what specifically are you referring to?

    94. Sunny — on 13th January, 2006 at 9:48 pm  

      Either we’ve achieved a world first or some people are just never happy unless what they read is exactly what they think.

      It is always the second. I’ve never really paid much attention to people accusing us of bias either way. You can never please everyone, that is the first and only real rule of political blogging.

    95. El Cid — on 14th January, 2006 at 9:36 am  

      Sid,
      What the hell are you on about?
      The fact that Bethnal Green/Bow used to have a bigger BNP vote is a function of demographic shifts no?
      After all, we seem to have a surge in BNP vote further east in Barking, right? All is not well between the Bangladeshi and Anglo-Irish native working class communities in that part of the world, even if MOST people there get on.
      Is it patronising and unreasonable to assume that a bigger proportion of Britain’s muslim population were against the Iraq War compared with the wider country?
      It’s fucking self-evident. I would add that it is only natural, even if it’s not ideal.
      At the end of the day, their views are as valid as those of an anti-war white liberal campaigner in Highgate or an alienated and racist working class family in Dagenham.
      Did John Taylor’s failure to retain the safe seat of Cheltenham for the Tories in 1992 reflect local racial prejudices? You better believe it.
      And just like Gorgeous George targeted areas in East London with a large muslim population (and also, it must be said in the spirit of balanced discourse), a more radical white left-wing constituency than, say, Bradford), I would like the Libs to put up a black anti-war candidate in Hackney North to get rid of Diane Abbott. Why? Because I cynically want them to neutralise the racial and anti-war vote so that voters can focus on other issues.
      Politics is a dirty grubby business — it’s about how best to empower a view as well as the rights and wrongs of this world.
      Is that patronising or just refreshingly honest?
      Finally, why did the Asian MP in Ealing buck the nationwide trend and boost the Labour vote? Can anyone offer more insight aside from my cursory observation that it has a large Hindu and Sikh population?
      All of which brings me to Vikrant’s Haj comments: Easy fellah. That’s just nasty. I know you’re young but you really need to control your anti-muslim instincts.

    96. El Cid — on 14th January, 2006 at 9:40 am  

      Ed: there’s a rogue bracket after the word “discourse” in my last post

    97. El Cid — on 14th January, 2006 at 9:53 am  

      Sid, is comment #88 aimed at me?

    98. BevanKieran — on 14th January, 2006 at 9:59 am  

      Finally, why did the Asian MP in Ealing buck the nationwide trend and boost the Labour vote? Can anyone offer more insight aside from my cursory observation that it has a large Hindu and Sikh population?

      There is a large gap between percantage of Khabra’s small rise in percentage vote.(+1.3%), in contrast to Stephen Pound’s and Andrew Slaughters (Labour MP’s of neighbouring consitituencies) 10%ish decline. The major reason for this is the success of independant, Asian candidates in the 2001 election where four different candidates, including the Sunrise Radio Chairman Avtar Lit, accumulated 18% ish of the vote. This dropped down approximately 0% in 2005; the hostility to Labour is reflected in the fact that the tories(3.3%) and libs(14.4%) received a greater share of the leftover independant pudding. It also explains the anomaly you stated.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ealing_Southall_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

    99. Siddharth — on 14th January, 2006 at 1:43 pm  

      Rohin:

      Sunny’s right, you can’t please all the people all of the time. And if you set up a Progressive political blog, you can’t be blamed for or act censuriously towards commentators who have openly reactionary views. But, and this is the thing, if you identify with and support the reactionary views of said commenatators, then you’re going to have difficulty in defending the “progressive” in Peekled’s strap line. And you should expect to defend your descision.

      Case in point, the ongoing debate about Bow and Bethnal Green’s vote for Galloway, you’ve stood up to say that the B&BG electorate “voted for him out of some ummah-loyalty-to-the-Muslim-brothers cause”. Is that what any Muslim’s anti-War politics boils down to for you? Because, that’s ain’t progressive my friend.

    100. Siddharth — on 14th January, 2006 at 2:05 pm  

      Eld Cid: Is it patronising and unreasonable to assume that a bigger proportion of Britain’s muslim population were against the Iraq War compared with the wider country?
      It’s fucking self-evident. I would add that it is only natural, even if it’s not ideal.

      To which, I’ll respond with Bevan Kieran’s question (91):

      The Tories fielded 41 candidates from ethnic minorities in the 2005 election. Of these, two were elected. Does the failure to elect the rest consitute racism by the electorate (neglecting the few cases were the victor was the same “race” as ethnic Tory candidate). Should we cast the whole electorate of Britain as racist trash? Or could it be that politics, rather than race, religion and sex, is the main factor.

      Indeed, El Cid, does the whole electorate of Britain display a “disappointing racial pattern” in that event? Or only when minorities elect minority candidates?

    101. Vikrant — on 14th January, 2006 at 2:06 pm  

      Sunny’s right, you can’t please all the people all of the time. And if you set up a Progressive political blog, you can’t be blamed for or act censuriously towards commentators who have openly reactionary views. But, and this is the thing, if you identify with and support the reactionary views of said commenatators, then you’re going to have difficulty in defending the “progressive” in Peekled’s strap line. And you should expect to defend your descision.

      Lemme translate… Rohin, ya lil communalist hothead.

      Sid, I ask you once more to list any offensive thing i’ve said on this page?

    102. Siddharth — on 14th January, 2006 at 2:16 pm  

      After all, we seem to have a surge in BNP vote further east in Barking, right? All is not well between the Bangladeshi and Anglo-Irish native working class communities in that part of the world, even if MOST people there get on.

      Two points here
      1) The Barking Asian electorate are a mixed bag of predominantly Gujarati and Pakistani and not exclusively Bangladeshi.
      2) Why is it that if the BNP gain control of Barking, it ceases to be a “disappointing racial pattern” (the operative race here being white) and instead some trouble between “Bangladeshi and Anglo-Irish native working class communities”.

    103. Siddharth — on 14th January, 2006 at 2:18 pm  

      That last post was directed at El Cid.

    104. El Cid — on 14th January, 2006 at 2:38 pm  

      Thank you BevanKieron for the info in comment #98. Fair enough. In fact, I’m glad that there were special factors involved and that I was wrong to play up the Hindu/Sikh angle.
      However, going back to comment #91.
      You said:
      Should we cast the whole electorate of Britain as racist trash? Or could it be that politics, rather than race, religion and sex, is the main factor.
      Are those the only two options? Is it so black and white?
      Fine, political opinion may be the overriding factor but race can play a part. It is embarrassingly naive to pretend it doesn’t. Why after all was the swing against Labour greatest in that part of East London?
      And again — lets not ignore John Taylor.
      After all, why did my mum turn against Mrs Thatcher and vote Labour after the Falklands War — was it her anti-war and anti-imperialist politics or some sense of Spanish solidarity with Argentina? I can tell you it was the latter.

    105. Percy — on 14th January, 2006 at 2:42 pm  

      I see that white racism is not only confined to Bushaitan’s America. Do you guys have to put up with racial profiling over there? These BNP guys sound scary but they seem like public school boys compared with the institutional racism we have over here. I remember a case of of racial profiling gone amuck in Atlanta a while ago.
      Even with all the progress we progressives have made against racial profiling, police were, if memory serves, on the lookout for a “black man” mere seconds after Brian Nichols allegedly opened fire in an Atlanta courthouse last friday. Thirty-nine bigoted witnesses described the large black male who allegedly shot a judge, two deputies, and a court reporter before allegedly fleeing the scene as a “large black male”. A local Atlanta TV station warned viewers to be on the lookout for a “33-year old African-American male” who was “armed and dangerous” - as if his race had any relation to his posession of a firearm. In the largest manhunt in Georgia history, local, state, and federal officials all cooperated to lynch Mr. Nichols for the horrible crime of Shooting Four People While Black. In the end, he was betrayed by a white religious zealot who plied him with flapjacks and won his friendship, but simply couldn’t see past the color of his skin.

      With all these race cards stacked against him, is it any wonder that Mr. Nichols thought he couldn’t get a fair trial?

      In a nation built upon a foundation of slavery, framed with the 2×4′s of racism, and rooved with the shingles of Jim Crow, racial profiling is nothing new. In its most common form, it occurs every time a speeding black man is pulled over and forced to suffer the humiliation of a traffic citation, or whenever a knife-wielding man of Arabic descent is yanked out of line at airport security and given a stern talking to. But as we’ve witnessed in Atlanta, a darker, more insidious form of profiling exists in which police use race as a major factor in describing and apprehending suspects. And as statistics show, it’s not an isolated incident, but a widespread epidemic.

      According to a recent ACLU study conducted in ten major U.S. cities, authorities focus their efforts on apprehending a “black male” in 99.9% of all instances in which a black male was seen committing the crime. In contrast, numbers concerning crimes committed by white males are significantly lower, as such cases typically go unprosecuted and are often rewarded with huge cash prizes. This would, of course, account for the disproportionate population of black males within our prison system.

      If it is inequitable laws, biased judges, and the racial disparity of inmates that feeds the growth of the prison industrial complex and disenfranchises black voters, then who is really to blame for all this carnage in Atlanta? A quick look at Mr. Nichols’ criminal history may provide the answer. Prior to this incident, he was to be tried for bursting into his ex-girlfriend’s home with a loaded machine gun, binding her with duct tape, and then raping and torturing her for three days. To the dismay of most rational Americans, the 1994 ban on assault weapons was allowed to sunset in September of last year. Could all this bloodshed have been avoided if Bush had simply renewed the ban instead of kowtowing to his gun-toting, goose-stepping NRA masters?

      The families of the victims deserve answers, as does the man described by friends and neighbors not as “black”, but as “friendly”, “playful” and a “jokester”. Despite such overwhelming evidence of his childlike innocence, Mr. Nichols will stand before another white judge and another white jury to answer for his “crimes”, while Bush will never see a day in court. He will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars, never receiving the understanding and positive reinforcement he desperately needs, and never experiencing the joys of a sexual relationship with another man that he didn’t buy for a carton of smokes. And like so many other inner-city blacks hopelessly trapped within the never-ending cycle of crime and incarceration, Nichols will likely re-offend upon release.

      Society may have failed Mr. Nichols, but it is Bush who has failed society.

    106. El Cid — on 14th January, 2006 at 2:44 pm  

      Why is it that if the BNP gain control of Barking, it ceases to be a “disappointing racial pattern” (the operative race here being white) and instead some trouble between “Bangladeshi and Anglo-Irish native working class communities”.

      You’re an arsehole Siddarth. When exactly did I say it wasn’t a disappointing racial pattern?
      I think me and you should meet.

    107. Siddharth — on 14th January, 2006 at 3:12 pm  

      When exactly did I say it wasn’t a disappointing racial pattern?

      [37]

    108. Don — on 14th January, 2006 at 5:23 pm  

      Unless I’ve suddenly developed dyslexia, El Cid’s comment and link at {37} is saying that it was a ‘disappointing racial pattern’. More or less the opposite of what Sid is accusing him of.

    109. Siddhartha — on 14th January, 2006 at 5:34 pm  

      oh ok, my bad. The BNP in Barking is a ‘dissapointing racial pattern’.
      Now what about my addressing BevanKieran’s point which I addressed in (100)?
      eh? eh?

    110. Don — on 14th January, 2006 at 5:42 pm  

      Sid,

      I know fuck all about that. I was just pointing out that you were misrepresenting El Cid’s position. Now kindly let go of my lapels.

    111. El Cid — on 14th January, 2006 at 5:55 pm  

      Thanks Don,
      I had stepped away to play with my youngest while my wife and daughter went to see the football. And later I shall go out for a drink with the Jamaican godfather of my eldest.
      I guess that’s progressive politics in practice. But obviously the self-styled High Priest of Progressiveness has me figured out as something else.
      His standards are obviously a lot higher than mine. But that’s possibly because I have too much of the common touch.
      No doubt I will be a useful ally of convenience when the revolution comes, but once in power he may want to make an example of me via a show trial so that the last residues of prole thinking are eliminated once and for all. Long live Chairman Sid!

    112. Siddhartha — on 14th January, 2006 at 6:12 pm  

      Nice one El Cid, nice to hear of your Saturday evening plans. Myself, the wife and kid are going out to hang out with Bangladeshi friends. Not in Bow and Bethnal Green, but BananaBrains will be relieved to know that we’ll still be reinforcing all his preconceptions by being angry and blue-collared all through dinner and afterwards when we shall be watching Galloway on BB and relishing our collective anti-Semitism, sexism and racism by cheering our very own Lord Haw Haw’s record of knocking out that Oona King. She’s not very Ummah, innit?

      Now, you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to clean up a ‘disappointing racial pattern’ thats been dropped through the letterbox.

    113. El Cid — on 14th January, 2006 at 6:27 pm  

      For anyone who didn’t get my repeated reference to John Taylor, all is revealed here.

    114. El Cid — on 14th January, 2006 at 7:14 pm  

      Btw, I never said the Bangladeshis in Bow were racist. I never said they voted out Oona King because she was part-Jew, now did I? I just said there was a racial angle to the huge support for Respect.
      As for which densely populated Jewish constituenicy has ever voted in a Black/Asian Muslim Woman? Will a black Christian woman do (i.e. Diane Abbott in Hackney North, which has Britain’s biggest Hassidic Jew population, as well as nearly every other nationality under the sun)?
      You may also care to note that Finchley & Golders Green, which is a significantly more Jewish constituency, saw a swing against Labour that was well below the London average. On the other hand, it was slightly higher than the national average.
      Yada yada yada.

    115. Vikrant — on 15th January, 2006 at 7:39 am  

      @ El Cid: I was refrring to the famously incompetent House of Saud when i said that Hajj statement!

    116. Siddhartha — on 15th January, 2006 at 1:14 pm  

      More discussions on Galloway’s electoral legitimacy and the piss-stain of racism covered on Andrew Bartlett’s blog here.

    117. wtc7 — on 16th January, 2006 at 10:09 am  

      Hey sunny, when are you going to get over your ridiculous delusion that Osama attacked the US?

      It’s not big and it is certainly not clever.

      http://www.reopen911.org

    118. bananabrain — on 16th January, 2006 at 12:57 pm  

      wow, i really seem to have stirred up a hornets’ nest here. i should say that i really didn’t intend to. i think it’s self-evident (and certainly there was enough evidence of it during the campaign) that oona king’s jewishness was made issue of.

      as far as the “jews vote for jews” accusation goes, it simply doesn’t happen in practice. in fact there was recently a big piece of primary research done on it, which resulted in that big piece in the spectator or wherever the hell it was talking about how there isn’t a “jewish vote” any more, as opposed to the “muslim vote”. most of the jewish MPs like malcolm rifkind, oliver letwin, susan kramer and louise ellman are from distinctly un-jewish constituencies and different parties and the few constituencies (mostly in north london) where there is a large jewish community vote according to their party preference, not for a “jewish candidate” - all the candidates make an effort to appear “jewish-friendly”, of course, because it’s a distinct group of voters within the constituency who will have certain hot-button issues. examples would be rudi vis, andrew dismore, glenda jackson and so on - but they’re not jewish. there is, in fact, a *distinct* difference between this kind of voting behaviour and that of, say, tottenham or bradford east which is far more tribal. by contrast, the ultra-orthodox in hackney tend to vote for diane abbott, who is both female and black.

      the point i was actually intending to make was that galloway and his swp backers were specifically making use of the baser prejudices of his target constituency and that this was evident from their tone, issues and content. he is no friend to the muslim community. the only person he is interested in is himself and his interest in CBB should make that ever more clear.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    119. sonia — on 16th January, 2006 at 1:07 pm  

      using people’s prejudices to gain votes is shady thats for sure. ]

      unfortunately as we all know ALL politicians by default are shady - why? cos their bottom line ( in the current system) is to gain votes and apparently its clear most of them will do all sorts of dodgy things to get votes.

      clearly bad. system = needs change.

    120. Bikhair — on 16th January, 2006 at 1:23 pm  

      One can only imagine the kind of corresponding hornets nest that would be stirred up if it were posited that, if good old Diane Abbott were ever to be voted out for whatever hypothetical pretext, it was because, and I use your language to illustrate the point here:
      she checked a lot of the other boxes for the peanut-gallery lowest-common-denominator of Jewish orthodox Hackney voters to vote against:

      1. a woman (tch, tch, should be at home really and immodest too)
      2. black (tch, tch, wouldn’t want my daughter marrying one)
      3. some other topical and socially inappropriate bug bear (tch tch)

      Galloway is certainly no friend of Muslims, but I think by attacking the intentions of the voting patterns of Muslims, what you’re really saying is that he is no friend of Jews. It would be far more appropriate for you to make your argument on those lines rather than point at the supposed ‘tribalism’ of Muslim voters exclusively.

    121. Siddhartha — on 16th January, 2006 at 1:26 pm  

      Oopsa! that previous post was by me and not Bikhair, because I was doing a Steve M by demonstrating the ease of impersonation on Peekled.

    122. bananabrain — on 16th January, 2006 at 4:33 pm  

      sidd - leaving aside the bikhair impersonations (i wondered how she suddenly got so knowledgeable about hackney!)

      i do take your point about diane abbott, but there are several important differences.

      1. all that particular community care about are the 613 laws of the Torah - and there are only 7 Torah laws diane abbott is obliged to obey, all of which she does, along with almost every law-abiding person on the planet. complying with ultra-orthodox dress codes is not expected of her - it’s a community standard, not a universal demand. this is one of the major differences between judaism and islam and it goes along with not being keen on evangelism. if you were criticising their attitude towards their own women i’d be right there with you, but i don’t think you were.
      2. i’m not saying there isn’t a certain amount of jewish racism against black people, but in our defence we are the only faith community i know that has rescued an entire community of black co-religionists from persecution in their previous home (ethiopia) and integrated them into a society. i would be delighted if you could point out another non-black-majority state on the planet that has offered wholescale immigration to a black community. in short - we’re perfectly happy to marry black people as long as they’re jewish! quite aside from this, you are no doubt aware that in the US, jews are extremely over-represented in the pro-civil-rights movement, yet another reason the real racists think we’re “mongrelisers”. so don’t give me that.

      in any case, despite the fact that i don’t hold up the haredim in hackney as models to follow. the point is that they do vote as a community, true, but they are also able to work with other ethnic communities provided there’s something in it for them - in fact, it has been my understanding that actually they get on pretty well with islamic fundamentalists, given that none of them are terribly pro-zionist.

      “galloway is no friend of the jews”, as you say, that’s perfectly true, but who the hell cares about that apart from us? we long ago gave up expecting anyone to defend our interests or look out for our well-being merely because it happened to be the right thing to do. in fact, many things that are self-evidently a good idea (such as preventing mad ahmed and the iranians from getting the bomb) can always be criticised if there’s a benefit to jews or especially israel. i’m certainly not going to go “boohoo, nobody likes us” though - what a waste of time that would be.

      nonetheless, i still main that “gorgeous george the vampire pussycat” is doing the muslim community absolutely no favours at all by playing on its existing feelings of isolatation, victimisation and paranoia, to say nothing of the attendant chauvinism and moral selectivity. lefty campaigners like him like their ethnic minorities scared and oppressed - it enables him to sail to the rescue.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    123. Siddhartha — on 16th January, 2006 at 5:02 pm  

      bananbrain, I’m sure all the points you’ve made in defence of the Jewish community and Israel are true. I’ve found your posts to PP which have usually been evangalising on the merits of Judaism to be most informative and enjoyable. I’ve no intention to get into a blow-by-blow cultural relativist punch up on a “my faith is better than yours”. Thats just arse-clenchingly boring.

      However, I just thought your strange pronouncements on the inherent racism/sexism/anti-Semitism you made about voters in Bethnal Green and Bow, upthread in (71) belies the broad-mindedness that you usually display. Oona King was elected in two cosnecutive elections, as BevanKieran pointed out (91), so to suggest that they suddenly became aware of her as a black Jewish woman in 2004 is just peddling the type of anti-Muslim sentiments usually exclusive to Melanie Phillips et al.

    124. bananabrain — on 16th January, 2006 at 5:38 pm  

      sidd - that’s kind of my point.

      i’m not necessary saying they’re inherently racist/sexist/anti-semitic per se - but i’d be interested to know if any constituencies where the muslim community is a powerful vote elect women or black people to represent them. the only one i can think of is birmingham ladywood and clare short - but then again that’s clare short and she’s hardly going to go out of her way to upset muslims. i guess what i am saying is that i think they were perfectly happy to elect oona king on her considerable merits UNTIL galloway and his bullyboys got in on the act and made it an issue: “can you really trust this jewish woman to represent you?”

      so, yes, i think it’s not only sudden, but suspicious. the more fool them for falling for it.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

      btw: jews aren’t allowed to “evangelise”, just in case you were wondering.

    125. Siddhartha — on 16th January, 2006 at 6:01 pm  

      I see you’re still playing up the “Oona’s a Jew” angle for all its worth. Very sneaky. The B&BG electorate were OK with her Jewishness on two previous elections, remember?
      The fact is there were other reasons for B&BG voters to vote out Oona were primarily because she was stridently Pro-War. That pissed people off and I think that sentiment overrode her other, er, features. But you won’t see it that, way of course.

      Its possible for a mostly-Muslim electorate to vote out a Jewish candidate without being anti-Semites, even if you find that difficult to accept or not. If anything, Bangladeshi Muslims are less hung up on the Jewish thing than other Muslims. They’ve got bigger fish to fry. Which they like with rice and daal.

      I’m yet to find any data on a predominantly Jewish community voting in a Muslim candidate. There isn’t, *gasp*, an anti-Muslim sentiment in the Jewish community is there, by any chance?

    126. El Cid — on 16th January, 2006 at 9:08 pm  

      So how do we stand Sid?
      I’m confused by your parallel discussion with bananabrain in which you mention, in passing, issues that I raised separately. Have you anything to say to me?

      Bananabrain: I wouldn’t assume that the Hassidic jews in Hackney North voted for any particular candidate btw. They could all be Tory or Liberal for all I know. They keep themselves so I don’t really know what rocks their political boat. I only suggested them as a potential candidate in response to something Sid said earlier.

    127. Siddhartha — on 16th January, 2006 at 10:06 pm  

      Have you anything to say to me?

      El Cid, I realise that our exchange went on longer than it should have because I made the mistake of addressing a post to “El Cid/Bananaboy” although most of it was charges I was levelling at Bananabrains and only a single point was a response to you. This gave the impression, as Don remarked, that I was misrepresenting you. You never did say that B&BG voters are intrinsically antisemitic and racist for voting out Oona King, that was the ridiculous claim of Bananaramabrains.

      Apologies for that. I should be more careful how I address my posts next time.

    128. El Cid — on 16th January, 2006 at 10:12 pm  

      you are a good man. thank you

    129. bananabrain — on 17th January, 2006 at 12:39 pm  

      i’m not “playing it up”, sidd - it was gg and his backers who made it an issue. and, yes, i know the b&bg electors elected her twice before, but that was under circumstances where it didn’t act as a focus for discontent - that’s all i’m saying.

      if you think that her being jewish *wasn’t* a stick to beat her with than you are being rather naive. angry people will pick on anything that sticks out, as you ought to know. and, imhe, judaism is a prime candidate. the other stuff probably just didn’t help. i wonder: if oona had been a male, pro-war, asian, muslim MP, would she have a) been targeted and b) have been voted out? i mean, why pick one of the few black women in parliament? it’s a bit of a coincidence, isn’t it?

      i have a real problem with people who say that people who were in favour of getting rid of saddam - including me - are “pro-war”. i am not “pro-war”. i am anti-dictator. sanctions didn’t work. diplomacy didn’t work. they just got kurds, shias and so on killed whilst enriching the people they were supposed to punish. bush’s way got rid of saddam and for that i thank him. but that’s an aside.

      Its possible for a mostly-Muslim electorate to vote out a Jewish candidate without being anti-Semites, even if you find that difficult to accept or not.
      of course that’s not difficult to accept. i am merely pointing out that it was a widely attested factor in that contest, along with vote-rigging and intimidation by the “respect” goons.

      I’m yet to find any data on a predominantly Jewish community voting in a Muslim candidate.
      as i have already said, there are only about 4-5 constituencies in the UK that have a large number of jewish voters - and, even within those, jews don’t vote as jews, but according to their political principles. so that would be rather difficult to get data for.

      There isn’t, *gasp*, an anti-Muslim sentiment in the Jewish community is there, by any chance?
      yes, of course - but it’s not actually the point i was making. nor does the truth of one negate the truth of another.

      el cid:
      I wouldn’t assume that the Hassidic jews in Hackney North voted for any particular candidate btw. They could all be Tory or Liberal for all I know.
      except they’re not. they’ve got a lot of children and not many jobs, so they vote labour. that’s what i mean by “jews not voting as jews”.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    130. Col. Mustafa — on 17th January, 2006 at 12:52 pm  

      If Galloway was a jew he still would of been elected; just because he was so outspoken on the war.

    131. El Cid — on 17th January, 2006 at 1:41 pm  

      Bananabrain,
      I really don’t think Oona’s Jewishness came into it.
      Are you British or a Londoner per chance? It would be useful to know.

    132. El Cid — on 17th January, 2006 at 2:17 pm  

      Bananabrain,
      jews don’t vote as jews, but according to their political principles.
      What is this supposed to mean exactly? Do you appreciate how snidy and divisive it sounds? Maybe you want to think this through a bit.

      Let me repeat, so that there’s no more confusion between my position and yours. While I, and others on this site but certainly not Sid, think there was a racial aspect to the huge Respect vote in Tower Hamlets in the last elections, I do not subscribe to the view that it was primarily racist and aimed at removing a Jewish MP. You might retort that some people on the ground tried to exploit Oona’s Jewishness, perhaps so, but I would counter that it was by no means significant when it came to voting intentions. I don’t think that you appreciate the extent to which Jews and Muslims live and work side by side in east London.

      Sure, I believe Gulf War II was disproportionately unpopular among British muslims for vague reasons of racial solidarity, which I think is only natural (Unlike many commentators here, I embrace the imperfections of man). Let’s put it this way: I doubt Bangladeshis would have cared so much if the target had been Milosovec’s Serbia.

      Finally, you may care to note that the two wards with the biggest Hassidic Jew populations in Hackney are Lordship and New River. Guess who they voted in at the last council elections. Yes, that’s right — Tories. Have a look yourself.

      If we were all less sure of ourselves, more tolerant in tone and more flexible with our ideas, we might have something other than circular and dumb-arse racial polemics to talk about.

    133. Col. Mustafa — on 17th January, 2006 at 2:41 pm  

      I can understand that Oona’s jewishness had a part to play in the stance that there were members of the respect party probably using that as a negative aspect probably behind closed doors.
      But if Galloway were jewish then i can guarantee that Oona being Black would come into it as well.
      But if she was as outspoken on the war as Galloway was then there would be no problems with the fact that shes black or part jewish.

      But seriously what can you expect from politics.

      The overriding factor was the war on Iraq and the fact that labour were with the almighty enemy of Islam: Mr Bushman.

    134. bananabrain — on 18th January, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

      el cid - yes, i am a londoner, albeit from one of those “jewish constituencies” in the north. i’ve got a few friends who live in the b&bg area, though, muslim and non.

      my comment about jews voting according to their political principles is only meant to point out that they don’t all vote for one party, in other words there isn’t a “jewish vote” in the same way that there’s a “muslim vote”, by which i mean a bloc of people voting because they think a particular party or a particular politician is “good for the muslims”. i’m not actually saying that all muslims vote for respect - obviously many are sophisticated voters and happy to vote for the lib dems, labour or even the tories. i’m really not trying to be snidy or divisive and i’m happy to retract my PoV if i see something that convinces me otherwise. in any case, i really ought to restrict my comments to the likes of the inhabitants of b&bg; the more specific i am, the less it comes across as a generalised comment.

      While I, and others on this site but certainly not Sid, think there was a racial aspect to the huge Respect vote in Tower Hamlets in the last elections, I do not subscribe to the view that it was primarily racist and aimed at removing a Jewish MP.
      aha! we do at least agree on this - i don’t think it was PRIMARILY racist or antisemitic, it was primarily anti-war, but there was certainly secondary racism and antisemitism.

      I don’t think that you appreciate the extent to which Jews and Muslims live and work side by side in east London.
      well, i’ve certainly worked there myself when i was in i.t. - but i’m not aware that jews really live in east london any more, unless you mean ilford or chigwell or redbridge or something, as opposed to b&bg. either way, i was distinctly in the minority! but i’m not really talking about white-collar workers here. i’m talking about banglatown and the garment area.

      Finally, you may care to note that the two wards with the biggest Hassidic Jew populations in Hackney are Lordship and New River. Guess who they voted in at the last council elections. Yes, that’s right — Tories. Have a look yourself.
      ooh, that *is* interesting. i’m actually surprised. nonetheless, i do seem to remember that joe lobenstein was both a hasid and a labourite. but do correct me if i’m wrong.

      I can understand that Oona’s jewishness had a part to play in the stance that there were members of the respect party probably using that as a negative aspect probably behind closed doors.
      there was nothing “behind closed doors” about it - she was called a “jewish bitch”. didn’t you see the papers?

      But if Galloway were jewish then i can guarantee that Oona being Black would come into it as well.
      what? how can you “guarantee” it? do you mean because galloway is galloway, or because jews are racist? i mean, this is bonkers. i’d be astounded if you can show any anti-black sentiment from jews that is on a par with, say, the recent lozells riots.

      But if she was as outspoken on the war as Galloway was then there would be no problems with the fact that shes black or part jewish.
      this is my whole point - you’re saying that if someone’s politics are objectionable, then you can be racist and anti-semitic to them???

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    135. Col. Mustafa — on 18th January, 2006 at 3:12 pm  

      I mean if Galloway were jewish and took the stance he’s already taken on the war then the jewish factor that was seen as a negative in Oona King would of been looked past .
      Instead i have a feeling her being black would be taken as a negative to promote Galloway.
      I know that’s completely not right, nor do i think that way, but thats the way it is.

      If they were both as outspoken on the war as each other then i honestly don’t know what would of happened, depends on the individuals and thier connections i suppose, but the overriding factor was the war.

      Before the Labour government went to war in iraq was there any problems with Oona King being black or part jewish, the answer would most probably be no.

      “this is my whole point - you’re saying that if someone’s politics are objectionable, then you can be racist and anti-semitic to them???”

      I understand your point, but its called dirty politics and its a reality in politics.
      Some politicians hide it better, some don’t and then theres some that actually are honest and don’t want to win votes through immoral means.

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