Luton demo by English Defence League banned


by Sunny
21st August, 2009 at 1:58 pm    

From Hope Not Hate:

The Home Secretary has just announced that the anti-Islam march in Luton will not be taking place. In fact, as a precautionary measure, all marches have been banned in the town for the next three months.

This is a massive victory for everyone who joined our protest yesterday. Over 14,000 letters were sent urging a ban and our voices have been heard. Thanks to everyone who sent off a letter. We have won and Luton is a safer place because of it. This is just further proof of what we can achieve when we get organised.

This is encouraging because it’s obvious these events create conditions where both sides are itching for a ruckus – the EDL and Unite Against Fascism. On Sunday, 23rd August a public meeting has been called in Birmingham to discuss all this:

We need to discuss, debate and encourage a peaceful form of activity against any Fascist elements, including encouraging young people to stay away from the City Centre as agreed by the Muslim Issues Steering Group.

As I’ve said before – the UAF and these activists need to ensure their demos are not overrun by gangs of youths looking for a fight or to beat up skinheads. From a media perspective that is highly counter-productive. Also, it looks to me like these activists are trying to build a broad coalition without actually speaking to any Sikh groups within Birmingham or even consulting on them. That betrays a very narrow focus on Muslim concerns – which will ultimately only harm any coalition looking to draw support from a wide range of people.


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  1. pickles

    New blog post: Luton demo by English Defence League banned http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5613




  1. Leon — on 21st August, 2009 at 2:42 pm  

    In fact, as a precautionary measure, all marches have been banned in the town for the next three months.

    Oh look yet more using the excuse of extremism to curtail our civil liberties…

  2. Sofi — on 21st August, 2009 at 3:00 pm  

    i would rather have ‘curtailing of civil liberties’ to ensure a few months peace in my hometown than have racist thugs given an open platform to create unrest again. it kinda sounds idealistic :)

  3. damon — on 21st August, 2009 at 3:29 pm  

    There’s something not quite right about this.
    ”We Won!” says the Hope not Hate website.
    Would they have felt the same if the anti BNP demonstration in Derbyshire at the weekend had been banned?

  4. Celtlord(again) — on 21st August, 2009 at 3:50 pm  

    The more the government suppresses the expression of indigenous Britons to protect muslim interests the greater the repercussions for muslims and their treasonous lackeys will be. This horse shit about muslims being made victim, or the “other” is laughable, like the bombings in london, Madrid, the dozens in northern India, attacks on non-muslims in Thailand, Nigeria, Indonesia and the United States by jihadis are some fantasy contrived by white racists. uaf…. A collection of one-eighth wit drones, spoon fed a diet of identity politics, and social theories based exclusively on white racism. Islam has been one of the most horrific colonial exercises in history, Raping, Murdering, and Slaving their way across vast swaths of the world. The left suborned again, just like by the stalinists, it is depressing and pathetic. Nulabour is dead… finished… fucking over. They just don’t know it yet, too fucking stupid.

    to the editors (real editors forgive me) of this blog you continue to allow posts by non-Natives denigrating Native British Culture, an example “it’s all binge drinking”, and such or even denials that such a culture even exists. Keep it up … and in the years to come reflect while cooling (if non-native of the treasonous kind) your heels in an internment camp awaiting “transportation” you did it to yourselves.

  5. Sunny — on 21st August, 2009 at 5:07 pm  

    you continue to allow posts by non-Natives denigrating Native British Culture, an example “it’s all binge drinking”, and such or even denials that such a culture even exists.

    You know who’s the worst at this? People like the Daily Mail – Melanie Phillips and Richard Littlejohn. Go harass them.

  6. Shatterface — on 21st August, 2009 at 5:13 pm  

    ‘From a media perspective that is highly counter-productive’

    So is banning the protests.

    And THREE fucking months?

    It might be a ‘victory’ for Hope Not Hate but it’s a bad day for liberty and democracy.

  7. Boyo — on 21st August, 2009 at 5:44 pm  

    Hm. True, these demos often result in violence. True, the progressive left might not like them. But… I don’t know, something makes me uneasy.

    The EDF are explicitly anti-racist (although naturally they have a BNP element). Although it might be distasteful, they are working class reaction to Islamist protest, particularly the anti-troops stuff.

    And why shouldn’t they? What, because it’s racist to be anti-Islamist?

    As much violence is whipped up by the left as the right (if not more). I’m concerned this kind of blanket ban will create a stronger reaction and drive the EDF etc further toward the BNP – it does rather prove every point they seek to make.

    Sorry.

  8. Praguetory — on 21st August, 2009 at 6:22 pm  

    Good news for the residents and visitors to Luton. Hope the same can be done in Brum (NB – Even if it’s only for tactical reasons (the meeja) was that an admission from Sunny that the UAF organisers failed to keep control of things in Brum?)

  9. Sunny — on 21st August, 2009 at 7:24 pm  

    The EDF are explicitly anti-racist (although naturally they have a BNP element).

    And you don’t think there’s a contradiction here?

  10. Soso — on 21st August, 2009 at 7:29 pm  

    And just where is Hope Not Hate on this one? http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/22555

    It the MSM reports this incident it will give the BNP a great deal of traction. If the MSM chooses not to report it, it will give the BNP an even bigger boost.

    What the hell does ‘fascism’ mean these days?

    People are going to face up to some very unpleasant realities sooner or later because they won’t have any choice.

  11. Boyo — on 21st August, 2009 at 8:53 pm  

    No I don’t think there’s a contradiction – racist thugs will inevitably be drawn to these kind of protests as islamist thugs will to anti-war demos, but that doesn’t make all anti-war people islamists or edf racists.

  12. Leon — on 21st August, 2009 at 8:55 pm  

    i would rather have ‘curtailing of civil liberties’ to ensure a few months peace in my hometown than have racist thugs given an open platform to create unrest again.

    And that’s why authoritarians will win because idiots like you will swallow anything for any easy life. Why can’t they take each march/protest on a case by case basis? Why a blanket ban??

  13. Boyo — on 21st August, 2009 at 8:57 pm  

    racist thugs will be attracted to the edf as islamist will be to anti-war but that doesn’t make the edf racist or anti-war demonstrators islamists

  14. Boyo — on 21st August, 2009 at 9:07 pm  

    something of a 21st century irony that the reflex position of the “progressive” left is to condemn working class battlers against fascism, while implicitly supporting the fascists, because that’s what islamists are.

    also somewhat racist and classist – because the edf use “english” and tend to be white the assumptions is they are fascists, while there is rarely the same degree of contempt displayed for islamists here who are anti-semitic women-hating homophobes, But then the assumption is they’re not white. so who’s the racist? ;-)

  15. Shatterface — on 21st August, 2009 at 9:25 pm  

    ‘i would rather have ‘curtailing of civil liberties’ to ensure a few months peace in my hometown than have racist thugs given an open platform to create unrest again.’

    I’m going to invent an iPhone application that automatically writes ‘Those who are prepared to sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither’ so I don’t have to write the same bloody thing everytime someone comes out with that comment.

    I could make a fortune.

  16. Adnan — on 21st August, 2009 at 10:15 pm  

    Excerpts about past EDL marches from their website:

    “27th June 2009: Whitechapel, London
    This was the first march by the English Defence League. Whitechapel was chosen, as this has been converted into a “mini-Islamic State” by local muslim extremists. This is our capital City, and anyone who has visited Whitechapel, and the market areas lately would have noticed this.”

    “4th July 2009: Wood Green, London
    Anjem Choudary, the UK’s spokesperson for Al-Qaeda had the nerve to announce on the website, Islam4uk.com, that he was going to stage another of his “roadshows”. This was not long after he converted a bewildered looking young English boy to Islam in Birmingham. The boy had to recite passages in Arabic, a language the boy had obviously no knowledge of. We had to stop this, and due to our presence in Wood Green, he was forced to cancel his Militant Recruitment event.”

    How did he “convert” the “bewildered boy” ? Wave a magic wand or hyponotise him by giving him a long stare ?

    “Working class battlers” my arse, just a bunch of thugs looking for an excuse for a scrap.

  17. Leon — on 21st August, 2009 at 10:27 pm  

    I’m going to invent an iPhone application that automatically writes ‘Those who are prepared to sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither’ so I don’t have to write the same bloody thing everytime someone comes out with that comment.

    Heh I’d pay for that no question. :D

  18. Adnan — on 21st August, 2009 at 10:29 pm  

    “contempt displayed for islamists here who are anti-semitic women-hating homophobes”

    Not all that different from the EDL members then ;)

  19. Cyburn — on 21st August, 2009 at 10:32 pm  

    Knowing them, they will turn up anyway probably and it will be Birmingham again.

  20. Adnan — on 21st August, 2009 at 10:40 pm  
  21. Sunny — on 21st August, 2009 at 10:55 pm  

    Nice try to paint them as working class heroes Boyo – but I’ve already exposed their deep BNP and Stormfront links. OF course, people like you may want to assume anyone ‘English’ will have a bit of BNP with them…

  22. damon — on 22nd August, 2009 at 1:07 am  

    The EDL people have said they were going to have some stupid demonstration outside the new Harrow Mosque that is being built right now.
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3223/2789164073_aaa0613f43.jpg?v=0
    I drove past it just last week.

    They believe that ”sharia courts” will be held here.
    And that the MCB (and those backward types) will be part of the future of Station Road Harrow.

    From driving past it, it looks pretty big.
    But not so different to my local mosque in Croydon.
    http://www.islamchannel.tv/ImagesMM/Croydon%20Mosque%20and%20Islamic%20Center.jpg

  23. Ben — on 22nd August, 2009 at 5:50 am  

    When Islamist anti-Semites march and call for another Holocaust, and praise Hitler, the principle of free speech is invoked in support of their right to do so. When anti-Moslem or anti-Islamist groups want to demonstrate, their right to march is taken away from them because their Moslem opponents might engage them in violence.

    If you really want to get your way in today’s Britain, you should threaten violence. It certainly won’t harm you, and it may very well work.

  24. Boyo — on 22nd August, 2009 at 8:55 am  

    What are people like me, sunny?

  25. Morrigan — on 22nd August, 2009 at 10:28 am  

    @Ben 22,

    You are of course right, but I can’t help thinking that the EDL would be better off campaigning online rather than in the streets. There’s less risk of getting beaten up, and more reward because you get to control your own message, rather than the media doing it for you.

    There is so much wrong with Islam and Muslim society that you just have to point it out, there’s no need to fight.

    Set up a proper website called something like ‘islamistheproblem.co.uk’ and use it to set out the top 5 (or maybe 85…) questions Muslims have to answer, because you say so. It worked for Pickled Politics, against the BNP.

    Ask things like ‘why do 85% of Bradford Pakistanis marry their first cousins’, ‘why do you think Muslim communities in Britain have the highest rate of birth defects’, ‘why do the majority of forced marriages and honour killings happen in Muslim families’, ‘why do Shias allow temporary marriages of convenience’, ‘why is a woman’s testimony worth half that of a man under Sharia’ etc etc

    There is LOADS more like that- it’s all factual and can be proved from unbiased sources.

    On a well-publicised website, such questions are more powerful than any demo. Why risk street violence before every single one of those points has been answered publicly?

  26. Anon — on 22nd August, 2009 at 10:55 am  

    Sunny warns against creating “conditions where both sides are itching for a ruckus – the EDL and Unite Against Fascism”.

    Looks to me like Sunny has uncritically swallowed Searchlight’s smears against UAF.

    But Sunny himself has posted a video of the Birmingham clashes, which features a speaker at the UAF rally appealing to people to keep things calm and peaceful.

    He also reproduces a statement by the maker of the video that makes it clear who was “itching for a ruckus”:

    “the EDL members that avoided being ‘kettled’ by police went straight for the anti-fascist protest, goaded the Birmingham youth, then got beaten and chased out of town”.

  27. Sunny — on 22nd August, 2009 at 1:35 pm  

    I said some elements of the people with UAF were itching for a ruckus. Not all. You can see that from the video.

  28. Boyo — on 22nd August, 2009 at 1:57 pm  

    I would say insinuations are beneath you, Sunny, but I know they’re not ;-)

  29. Anon — on 22nd August, 2009 at 6:49 pm  

    “I said some elements of the people with UAF were itching for a ruckus. Not all.”

    Where did you say that?

  30. damon — on 23rd August, 2009 at 2:22 pm  

    I suppose it’s seen as pointless trying to engage with these EDL type people?

    That instead of attacking them, you tried to talk to them?

    For example, they say that Sharia courts will be held at the new Harrow mosque. Maybe just try to get them to see that this isn’t really any big deal, and that if people want to get religious rulings pased for themselves on some civil matter, then that’s their choice to do so. Explain to them that it isn’t replacing the law of the state, so there’s no need to be alarmed by it.

    And about the small number of nutjobs who protested against the returning soldiers in Luton, try to point out that these extremists are very few in number and are just sad losers. Big children really.
    That getting upset by buffoons like Anjem Choudary is a bit pointless. But that it’s OK to call him an idiot and that no one is defending him.

    As for Morrigan’s idea of 5 or 85 questions, I’d say let them be asked. And answered to the best of people’s ability.

    The one about cousin marriage was already discussed on Pickled Politics, and I think it’s fair to have the view that marrying your first cousin does seem odd to people who don’t have it in their tradition. And as for genitic defects, that yes they do happen (and happen more in communities where cousin marriage is commonplace), and it’s also legtimate to take a dim view of the practice. It’s a question of percentages, and I think that the increase of genitic problems is a few percent higher in cases of cousin marriage.
    Whether that’s too high a cost is a personal value judgement. It’s said to be similar to the risk of a 41 year old woman having a baby.

    About honor killings, they seem to happen in other communities as well, (like with Sikhs and Hindus), but they are unfortunately very common in some cultures.
    Iraqi Kurdistan being particularly prone to this kind of disqusting custom.

    As for the word of a woman being worth only half of that of a man etc, well if it’s the case that this is commonly how Isalmic justice is meted out in places like Pakistan, then don’t be afraid to admit it.

    And as for the MCB and and some of the people who might run mosques, admit that some of them are backward (if that’s what you think they are).

    I suppose where it gets more difficult when these guys might seem to have a point, and not being liberals, they are going to come out with this ”we want our country back” crap.

    So even if you think it’s fair to call Tablighi Jamaat reactionary, you don’t want to be agreeing with these EDL type people who would raise a point like that in being opposed to the building of the (so called) mega mosque in East London, (because Tablighi Jamaat were behind it).

    Btw. Is it fair to call Tablighi Jamaat reactionary?
    Or at least a body or sect that you wouldn’t want to prosper in the UK?
    To win converts to it’s more austere and religious view?
    And is the Deobandi movement really just a benign wing of Islamic teaching? It controls many of the UK’s mosques, and some of their people get upset if they get negative media coverage.

    This might sound dodgy of me to say this, but can you understand how in their tiny minds, (these EDL people) a place like Whitechapel market is lost to them and their culture?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLcqH-MKGMs&feature=related
    I find that bit of Whitechapel a rather amaizing place. Particularly on a friday at prayer time.

  31. camilla — on 23rd August, 2009 at 3:04 pm  

    sofia, i guess you feel ok about muslim racists thungs because you are one of them?

    just a wild guess … you are always for muslimfacists

  32. Jai — on 23rd August, 2009 at 3:25 pm  

    Set up a proper website called something like ‘islamistheproblem.co.uk’ and use it to set out the top 5 (or maybe 85…) questions Muslims have to answer, because you say so. It worked for Pickled Politics, against the BNP.

    …..

    As for Morrigan’s idea of 5 or 85 questions, I’d say let them be asked. And answered to the best of people’s ability.

    It’s not an accurate analogy. The BNP questions were directed specifically towards a political party campaigning for election, not towards white British people in general.

    The latter would be a highly misguided course of action, both because of the dangers of “collective guilt and collective responsibility” and also because of the extremely false presumption that all white British people would have similar views on the matters concerned.

    The flaws in the arguments above also apply to the notion of drawing up any list of questions that “the Muslims” “have” to answer –

    a) because they’re just ordinary individuals affiliated to a particular faith, not some kind of united, “society within a society” organised political group,

    b) because Islam itself is not a homogenous monolithic religion (there are multiple sects and multiple interpretations, just like Christianity and most other major religions),

    c) and because there is no formal, official religious leadership of Islam who has the authority to speak for all Muslims, either nationally or worldwide.

    If you’re going to draw on the BNP precedent, a much more accurate analogy would be “5 — or 85 — questions that Al-Muhajiroun have to answer”. Especially if it ever gained the legal facility to run for national election as a political party.

    But “the Muslims” in general ? No. No more than it would be wise, ethical or appropriate to compile a list of questions that “the Christians” have to answer, on a website called Christianityistheproblem.co.uk, as though Christians worldwide were a united, homogeneous political group, subject to collective guilt and collective responsibility, with no internal divisions and theological differences of opinion, and with an identical interpretation of their religion.

  33. falcao — on 23rd August, 2009 at 7:39 pm  

    EDL is just an extension of the BNP what is ideological or intelligent in anything they have to say or do?

    They seem to be suppressed football hooligans looking for a fight.

  34. damon — on 23rd August, 2009 at 9:42 pm  

    Jai, I certainly wasn’t suggesting that there should be any 5 or 85 questions that muslims need to answer.
    I meant that Morrigan or people like him should be free to ask any questions they like, and that maybe instead of ignoring them, an attempt could be made to answer them.

    Though I can see it might quickly prove to be pointless.

    The multiple sects and multiple interpretation thing is something that interests me, and I’m sure that most of us non muslims are pretty ignorant of, (outside some idea of Sunni and Shia).

    I suppose my point is; can these people ever be talked to? It’s more than Daily Mail Islamophobia behind some of the things they might say, (as well of lashings of that too).

    You only have to see over on the Harry’s Place website that there are some grounds to be critical – of what others might quickly call ‘prejudice against muslims’.

    How for example do you get those white people who still drink in Whitechapel pubs, to understand that the Deobandi movement is something that shouldn’t concern them at all?

    And that if the Deobandis were (and I have no idea one way or the other) a moving force behind the building of the new Harrow mosque, that there was no justification for negativity about it becoming a new focus for the muslim community in suburban north west London.

    I realise that I’m trying to be an awkward SOB, but it’s really just trying to play devil’s advocate.

    Could Morrigan and Boyo really be talked to, or is what happened in Birmingham the answer to the EDL?

  35. Boyo — on 24th August, 2009 at 7:23 am  

    You can talk to me any time Damon, although with statements like

    “I suppose it’s seen as pointless trying to engage with these EDL type people?”

    “This might sound dodgy of me to say this, but can you understand how in their tiny minds, (these EDL people) a place like Whitechapel market is lost to them and their culture?”

    I suppose it would be more apt for me to say “you can talk down to me”.

    You appear to embody the bourgeois usurption of the left. Well done.

  36. damon — on 24th August, 2009 at 7:50 am  

    Boyo, did you see the youtube link I did @ 30?

    Of those EDL blokes walking through Whitechapel market?

    I’d say ”tiny minds” was about right.

  37. Boyo — on 24th August, 2009 at 9:39 am  

    the thing is… they might think the same about you if they walked down stoke newington church street…

    here’s another youtube involving angry working class thugs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpOwOquPc2M&feature=related

  38. camilla — on 24th August, 2009 at 10:01 am  
  39. camilla — on 24th August, 2009 at 10:04 am  

    so … what can I say?

    they united against facism

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmrIIlEwy6g&feature=related

    what does it really mean

  40. Jai — on 24th August, 2009 at 10:04 am  

    Damon,

    I meant that Morrigan or people like him should be free to ask any questions they like, and that maybe instead of ignoring them, an attempt could be made to answer them.

    Correct, but everyone concerned should bear in mind that they will receive multiple answers from multiple sources, many of which will be contradictory. The same situation which would occur if someone aimed questions at, for example, “the Christians” — and subsequently received answers from Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Eastern Orthodox Christians, or indeed any other members of the large number of denominations and interpretations which comprise modern-day Christianity worldwide. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations ).

    The multiple sects and multiple interpretation thing is something that interests me, and I’m sure that most of us non muslims are pretty ignorant of, (outside some idea of Sunni and Shia).

    Perhaps more accurately, most non-Muslims currently residing in — or with ancestral roots in — parts of the world where there is not a sizeable established population of Muslims.

    Fortunately, information is easily available in 2009. A good starting point may be the following: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_schools_and_branches

    I suppose my point is; can these people ever be talked to?

    Depends on the specific individual.

    However, integration is definitely a two-way street, as many have said previously, and the onus is on the English people concerned to proactively and rigorously do their own research and enlighten themselves as much as (possibly, even more than) it is on ordinary Muslims to answer any questions they may have. As I said, information is freely available these days, both via literature and via (authoritative) sources on the internet, although it would obviously be wise not to base one’s opinions predominantly on the latter. And, of course, simply talking to people is frequently a good way to assuage one’s confusion and possibly unnecessary concerns.

    Another factor is the reason for the person’s “worries”. If it’s due to ignorance then rectifying that should theoretically solve the problem. However, if they still persist in exhibiting paranoia and engaging in efforts at demonisation/dehumanisation of their targets regardless of how much accurate and credible information is presented to them and regardless of the irrationality of their own behaviour and perceptions, then the problem is internal and motivated by malice; therefore, in those situations, “talking to them” would be pointless. Speaking generally, beyond a certain point the targets of any kind of bigotry are under no obligation to “calm the fears” of the other party if their mentality and behaviour is driven by genuine malevolence.

    …..but once again, it depends on the specific individual.

  41. Jai — on 24th August, 2009 at 10:20 am  

    Speaking generally, beyond a certain point the targets of any kind of bigotry are under no obligation to “calm the fears” of the other party if their mentality and behaviour is driven by genuine malevolence.

    …..and if their “objections” are baseless, inappropriate or unjustified, I should add.

  42. Boyo — on 24th August, 2009 at 11:11 am  

    part of the problem is a deep-seated refusal by some to accept “the west” as an idea exists just as much as the “muslim world”. granted both are diverse and can be defined to death, but nonetheless they are tangible ideas.

    the west is easily hoisted on its own petard of course due to its blatant hypocrisy – it talks of freedom, when of course it means no such thing: freedom within its own parameters. Islam has the upper hand here, because at least its honest about what is and is not acceptable.

    the “progressive left” tends to take the talk of freedom however at face value and finds it wanting, not least because it is still smarting at the apparent vacuum in its own ideology. hence it finds itself defending, beyond all real sense of Reason, positions which are inimitable to the idea of the West, for example multiculturalism, which was always a huge con and has been exposed as such by militant Islam – ie, we are multicultural “up to a point”.

    the EDL also expose this hypocrisy, albeit in a somewhat more incoherent way. yet they attract far more hostility because they only fit within the “progressive left” framework – being white, working class and opposed to militant islam – as racists. some of them may be, but there is plenty of evidence it is more complex than that.

    the truth is the “progressive left” plays a very snug part in shoring up the power-relationships within “the west”. it is the personification of the useful idiot.

  43. damon — on 24th August, 2009 at 9:39 pm  

    Boyo, I’ve just spent the day driving a laundry van around Essex. How middle class is that?

    Jai, I agree with you very much on one level, but on another what you say seems so strict and unbending.

    On my way back in from Essex this afternoon, I drove via Ilford, Forest Gate and Green Street East Ham – past West Ham’s football ground.

    As soon as I turned south into Green Street, there were niqabs to be seen straight away. Only maybe half a dozen in half a mile, but they must seem odd to the white cockney type blokes who you see standing outside the pubs in the sunshine. The greater majority of people seem to be of South Asian origin. And many of them show either religious affiliation (with hijabs and such), or a minority cultural one in the form of dress. And this in such a once traditional ”cockney” area.

    It brings me to think how I first remember seeing that part of London as an occasional (away) football supporter at about the time that is shown in the clip.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AspyDhelXEQ&feature=PlayList&p=25664F576170ADBD&index=1

    You might wonder why a football hooligan documentary is being posted on Pickled Politics.
    But I think it’s really interesting historically. And this was only in the early 80′s.
    Comparing then with now.

    Back then the area had become very multi-cultural, but it wasn’t so completely Muslim, Arab and South Asian as it looks today. You still had plenty of white people working in the markets then, whereas now they are very much a minority. Though there’s still some white fishmongers that I’ve seen at East Ham Market.

    Jai, do you think you could have got anywhere talking with those blokes in the pub in that youtube clip?
    They weren’t particularly racist from what I heard (and the black guy who starts off speaking in it is Cass Pennant who’s recently had a film made about his life … and would have been one of their mates).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cass_Pennant

    I think there might be an ”oil and water” reaction that goes on between those hard core hooligan types and the reality of modern everyday East Ham or Whitechapel. At least from what you see on the high streets and markets.
    And it can be called racism and Islamophobia for short.
    But I’ve always found such shorthand less than satisfying.

  44. Jai — on 25th August, 2009 at 10:08 am  

    Damon,

    Jai, I agree with you very much on one level, but on another what you say seems so strict and unbending.

    “Strict and unbending” is an appropriate response from time to time.

    I think there might be an ”oil and water” reaction that goes on between those hard core hooligan types and the reality of modern everyday East Ham or Whitechapel.

    It’s an “oil and water” reaction between hardcore hooligan types and the reality of civilised people in general, irrespective of the latter’s ethnic or religious background.

    The bottom line is the following: 1) Except for the most isolated, parochial areas, “things change”. Always. Especially in major urban centres. Worldwide.

    and 2) An inability to live relatively peacefully alongside people who may be from a different background to oneself, with a minimal amount of friction, and find some area of common ground with them, coupled with territorial “my patch”-style complaining about the area “not being like it used to be”, when the other parties are not extremists or otherwise “troublemakers”, means that the problem is actually within the individual complaining and objecting to the situation. They need to grow up. At the end of the day, they don’t literally “own” the area concerned, regardless of whatever sentimental attachment they may have to it and regardless of whatever feelings of nostalgia it may trigger in them.

    Unless the other party is breaking the law, engaging in gross human rights violations, or generally being problematic like the aforementioned extremists, beyond a certain point it’s none of their business. And their various “objections”, while understandable, should not necessarily be given any validity — no more than, for example, the objections of a hypothetical Sikh Punjabi from Southall complaining about the increasing numbers of people from other backgrounds who are visible in the area these days and how Southall is therefore “not like it used to be when he was younger”. Or, indeed, a long-time resident of Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore in India complaining about the large (and increasing) numbers of people from other parts of the country who live in those cities and the respective “cultural differences” they are bringing to “their city”, or the increasingly international and Western flavour of many parts of those cities.

    Therefore, taking this back to the aforementioned bottom line:

    Back then the area had become very multi-cultural, but it wasn’t so completely Muslim, Arab and South Asian as it looks today. You still had plenty of white people working in the markets then, whereas now they are very much a minority. Though there’s still some white fishmongers that I’ve seen at East Ham Market.

    …..the appropriate response is “So what ?”.

  45. damon — on 26th August, 2009 at 12:16 pm  

    Jai you are so right and correct. I’d even say politically correct if that didn’t have negative connotations.
    What I mean is that you are really correct in what you say.

    And also I think you ignore the reality and flaws (and tribalism) of less than perfect human beings.

    I can’t think of too many places where issues of community, race culture and religion are not an issue.

    Even in a relatively sucessful multi-cultural society like Britain. A few months ago on pickled politics I brought up the idea of cultural (or racial) hegemony in particular neighbourhoods, and got laughed at for saying so. But I think it’s hugely important to many people as to who their neighbours are and how they feel about the make up of a neighbourhood, particularly if they are a visible minority.

    Just last night I was driving down the A12 in east London and saw groups of men and boys dressed in totally Islamic dress all walking along in the same direction, and saw they were going to the Redbridge Masjid & Islamic Centre which I hadn’t seen before. I bet they feel more comfortable walking around like that there, where no one takes too much notice, than they might if they lived somewhere like Cornwall. As I said just the other day, I’m sure that in council blocks where nearly everyone in it is of Bangladeshi origin, that will be seen as a positive by many of the residents of that block, as it becomes a safe enviroment for women (some who have come to the UK as brides) to walk about and chat on the landings, be popping in and out of each others flats all day with all the young children running around freely.
    In the way that they couldn’t do so easily in a block in a neighbourhood that was mostly non Bangladeshi.

    So you can say to those people ”So what ? Get over it.” That they don’t own the block, and anyway, wasn’t it time for them to be getting out of their little Bangladeshi bubble and start mixing with people regardless of ethnic origin?

    You’d say yes it was, but things don’t really work like that. If anyone knows Southall well, could they tell us if the Sikh community down King street and the newer Somalian community have much interaction with each other? My local Somalian community seem to like to hang out together very much, and there are several cafes on one stretch of high street where it seems that only Somali men go to and gather. A couple have the windows covered over so that you can’t see inside, and therefore look rather unwelcoming if you don’t know the people inside personally.

    Now there’s nothing wrong with this, but you can see a Somalian space (lebensraum?) opening up on that corner. The men all stand around on the street chatting, and feel that that little bit of South London is theirs.

    I can imagine that it works like this: Several Somalian shops and businesses open up like they have done there, and the moment another shop is up for sale or rent in this little stretch, members of that Somalian community will take a great interest in taking it over. But if instead it was taken over and became a si-fi commic shop, or one specialising in military model making, then that space would be lost to the Somalian community.

    Jai, it wouldn’t surprise me if a great number of Asian people living around West Ham’s football ground wouldn’t be glad to see the club move out to a different part of London. And I’m sure some muslims wouldn’t mind too much if those pubs on Green Street closed down for good. All they do is attract those ”boozed up ignorant white racist types” anyway.

    I was showing a young Hindu student from India around London earlier in the summer. She didn’t like King street Southall, or Edgeware road. She’s very pretty and wears jeans and T shirts. In both places she said she felt that men were openly leering at her. She didn’t like Green Street either. Or Tooting. (Maybe she’s just a bit of a snob, or maybe she picks up on things that I miss.)

    Jai. You wouldn’t suggest that rich Gulf Arabs who hang out on Edgeware road might have some backward ideas when it comes to seeing a pretty young Asian woman sitting in a cafe with a white man twice her age?
    Maybe many of those guys are creepy.

    And Jai, did you look at that clip of the three guys in the pub in that hooligan doc? It’s at one minute 40.

    Leaving aside their enjoyment for footall fighting, they are really quite typical of a large section of the white working class. I know a lot of people with that kind of mentality, and I don’t know if your very correct idea of community not mattering a jot would get through to them.

  46. Jai — on 26th August, 2009 at 1:31 pm  

    Damon,

    And also I think you ignore the reality and flaws (and tribalism) of less than perfect human beings.

    The point is that other people are under no obligation to cater to these flaws, especially in situations where they involve bigotry towards others as a result of these flaws. Irrespective of who is involved in engaging in such bigotry.

    And regarding the examples of Sikhs, Somalis, Bangladeshis etc you’ve given, it’s worth bearing in mind that their behaviour is considerably driven by being minorities in a country where they are vastly outnumbered by the majority population. This doesn’t mean that one should excuse any manifestations of insularity, parochialism, ignorance or bigotry they may also demonstrate, but it does place their attitudes into a clearer context. Comparisons with “white working class” people are inaccurate because white people constitute about 90% of the population of this country.

    Leaving aside their enjoyment for footall fighting, they are really quite typical of a large section of the white working class. I know a lot of people with that kind of mentality, and I don’t know if your very correct idea of community not mattering a jot would get through to them.

    Like I said, this doesn’t mean anyone else should validate or excuse the more negative aspects of “that kind of mentality”, or even give a damn about it.

    I was showing a young Hindu student from India around London earlier in the summer. She didn’t like King street Southall, or Edgeware road. She’s very pretty and wears jeans and T shirts. In both places she said she felt that men were openly leering at her. She didn’t like Green Street either. Or Tooting. (Maybe she’s just a bit of a snob, or maybe she picks up on things that I miss.)

    Congratulations, you’ve hit on the crux of the matter, especially where many British Asians and the more affluent sections of Indians literally from India are concerned. Namely, that things are frequently much more about “class”, not primarily “race” (and/or “religion”). Including a person’s perspectives, attitudes, behaviour, and who they actually have more in common with.

    Build on that point, extrapolate it accurately, and everything will become far clearer.

  47. Dalbir — on 26th August, 2009 at 1:57 pm  

    Damon

    Jai, it wouldn’t surprise me if a great number of Asian people living around West Ham’s football ground wouldn’t be glad to see the club move out to a different part of London. And I’m sure some muslims wouldn’t mind too much if those pubs on Green Street closed down for good. All they do is attract those ”boozed up ignorant white racist types” anyway.

    I meet up with friends in that area for a pint or 4 regularly. I would actually say that what you have mentioned above is the worst stereotype of the local whites.

    People like a drink but I haven’t seen much openly racist, boozed up type working class characters in that area. Rarely “old school” comments like “paki” may be heard in some pubs and you’ll get the odd glare but I don’t think that the rabid racism that charactised people in the 70s/80s is there. And if someone does say that, you’ll have an equal amount of (white) people apologising for it.

    I lived around High Street North for a while and you know, the relationships between the few whites there and the rest aren’t as negative as you may think. I would say they live and let live. There are a good few white people from Poland, Eastern Europe there now as well. I would say they manage to live peacefully together.

    If you are talking about people coming to the area and ruining it, you should have been there yesterday (when West Ham vs. Millwall was on). But I am not one to complain. This is indigenous British culture and they can get on with it as long as they don’t impinge on me. Young WC lads seem to have traditionally enjoyed a good punch up over footie. Who am I to interfere? That being said, it was strange to hear about the stabbing yesterday. I thought such things weren’t part of the deal?

  48. damon — on 26th August, 2009 at 5:54 pm  

    Jai, again, you argue your case very well and they are points I would agree with.
    But I’m not taliking about myself; but more about the people who might be drinking (pre match) in the Duke of Edinburgh pub on Green Street prior to a West Ham Home game.
    What they think of the Islamic bookshop just along the street I don’t know. Where if you wander in for a browse you’ll see books on Jihad (for example).
    Could many of them understand that ‘jihad’ is a legitimate form of struggle against injustice?
    The same council blocks in Tower Hamlets that are now home to very tight and connected Bangladeshi people, were once (when they were first built I’m imagining) home to similar communities that had a much bigger white working class element. Nan’s and grandkids and that.
    The Kray twins came from the middle of this modern Bangladeshi community, on Vallence Road.
    Like you say Jai, that was then and this is now.
    What you seem to be arguing is not excepting any notion of a grey squirrel – red squirrel type process having taken place. And I agree partly. Demographic social movement took place for all kinds of reasons. The building of new towns and the rise of Essex Man for example.
    I agree it’s often more about class, but the BNP types argue that point too and say that ”we” shouldn’t have taken in so many people who went straight to poverty and neediness.
    But this thread is more about the EDL, and Dalbir while I’m glad to hear what you say about East Ham, those stereotypes of the local whites (as you called it) are still there. It’s good to know that they’re a dying breed.
    I still reckon it’s very hit and miss. I looked into The Queens pub next to Upton Park tube about a year ago one tuesday night. What a dive. The Duke of Edinburgh too. But it’s not just drunken whites. In fact there’s Asian and a couple of black people in them too. Kind of reminds me of some really dive pubs I saw in Birmingham 20 years ago, (run then by Asian landlords)… which is something I’d never seen in London back then.
    As for High street north and community relations; I bet it’s not really so bad and a live and let live culture prevails.
    It seems that the worst of these backward WWC ‘srerotypes’ are still more into having a punch up with others like themselves (re: last night’s match), and thank goodness for that.
    I’ve been reading this Millwall fans forum for a couple of months now (although I support another team) and what has struck me is that they are for the most part this sterotype you talk of.
    They’re not all racists (a few of them are outspokenly anti-racist), but racism is tolerated, and some of them are particularly racist.
    A few weeks ago I was reading them talking about this upcoming West Ham match, where as well as general cussing of their rival West Ham foes, some would also complain of the area being full of ”Taliban”.
    Last night when I was reading on there of events unfolding at Upton Park, the news of someone being stabbed led a few to say that it might have been a clash between local Asians and the football fans.
    And here’s one of their threads for example. Down the bottom of the first page where someone talks about:
    ”sounds like i was on the same tube as you as was caught up in all that,walking past them group of pakistani’s playing football and someone nicking there ball ha”
    http://www.millwall.vitalfootball.co.uk/forum/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=35343&posts=13
    They nicked a football off some ”pakistani’s” playing football, and it’s just seen as funny.
    Then called out to some ‘Polish’ builders to throw them some ammo.

  49. Dalbir — on 26th August, 2009 at 7:23 pm  

    Millwall “fans” are infinitely more racist against asians than West Ham guys. A couple of ICF guys I met years ago (like 15 years ago) weren’t racist at all. They just liked a “tear up”.

    WH fans are used to Asians being around, Bermondsey, however is like Klu Klux Klan central. Millwall are much more racist.

    I still reckon it’s very hit and miss. I looked into The Queens pub next to Upton Park tube about a year ago one tuesday night. What a dive. The Duke of Edinburgh too. But it’s not just drunken whites. In fact there’s Asian and a couple of black people in them too. Kind of reminds me of some really dive pubs I saw in Birmingham 20 years ago, (run then by Asian landlords)… which is something I’d never seen in London back then.

    Actually the white pubs are the most “dumpy” of all. The few Asians ones (or more accurately Panjabi ones) that I’ve been too are actually the cleanest and most well decorated. I don’t mind the dumpy ones though. A bit of WC British culture and reality….and that.

  50. Dalbir — on 26th August, 2009 at 7:29 pm  

    What they think of the Islamic bookshop just along the street I don’t know.

    Probably the same as me now. Nothing. Doesn’t register. So many of them, you just get used to it.

  51. damon — on 26th August, 2009 at 10:52 pm  

    Dalbir, I’m encouraged by your comments on East Ham.
    It’s strange to pass through an area regularly (like I do with this one), but only passing through, one can stiil only see it as an outsider.
    What it’s like right now on this wednesday night.. I don’t really know.
    Same with when it’s in it’s full swing saturday night mode. Do you get young white people walking about the place like you’d see in Romford several miles further east? All dressed up and having a boozy karaoke night out?
    In Bethnal Green one summer saturday evening (on the same day as the Brick Lane Festival which I’d been to) I walked past a pub that was full of Bethnal Green cockney types having a karaoke night.
    The juxtoposition of cultures made me do a double take. And I’m not joking, but inside on the wall was a framed picture of the Kray Twins.
    If I saw a photo like that in one of the yuppie bars or cafes in Balham I’d have known it was meant as knowingly ironic, but I think those people doing their karaoke thing were the genuine article. (It’s The Shakespeare on Bethnal Green Road I think).

    The class issue is also one that intrigues me. Driving past Clapham Common on these workday summer evenings you see large numbers of middle class professionals participating in organised games of softball, netball and a kind of frisbee American football. Same at the Balham end of Tooting Bec Common that I walked past yesterday evening. They’re so middle class it makes you want to comment on the fact. Nearly all white, but with a couple of Chineese or Asian or black people playing too… it makes me laugh. It’s so locaton specific. You see it on Clapham Common, but it would be mocked in Mile End Park. Or in West Ham Park, where you’re more likely to see working class guys of African origin having an organised game of football (and hear the players talking in a language other than English).
    Those African guys and the yuppie people have so little in common it seems, and I feel much more affinity with the working class football playing Africans than the yuppies).

    This is part of what makes our modern city life so interesting and enjoyable to live in, but I’m also saddened by its divisions.

    But back to being contrarian: Dalbir, as much as people in East Ham might rub along together pretty well and are not so race and culture focused, I sometimes wonder what might be the reaction if you introduced this subject into the conversation of some of these Newham pubs. Asked the West Ham fan types there what they thought of what Green Street and East Ham was today. And about this mythical ”mega mosque” that was proposed by the Tablighi Jamaat sect.

    A couple of tube stops further out (in Barking and Dagenham), I think it’s a rejection of the change in Newham that feeds BNP sympathies. That a tribal kind of thing occurs. The young Asian lads driving up and down Green Street with their bhangra music at loud volume (windows down) are not so welcome. Where you still get that England footall shirt wearing young WWC type of council estate dwelling people, who would be more inclined to the EDL’s message than to read Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in the Independent.

    But change is rapid, and maybe without me even noticing, new spaces are springing up in Newham (like with the Balham yuppie bars and resturants) where people of all ethnicities are interacting and having a good time as we speak. It works quite easily with the gentrification and Hoxton/Shorditch type of change.
    And even if it is middle class led in the beginning, I’d hope that some of this modernity could be reaching out to Newham and Barking and Dagenham, I’m hopeful, but not always optimistic.

  52. Jai — on 27th August, 2009 at 10:36 am  

    Damon,

    One final comment on this thread by me, since you (correctly) mentioned that it’s actually about the EDL.

    I agree it’s often more about class, but the BNP types argue that point too and say that ”we” shouldn’t have taken in so many people who went straight to poverty and neediness.

    The BNP types hate all non-white people irrespective of the latter’s class. You don’t need to read Lee John Barnes’ recent diatribes about “middle-class career Asians” here on PP to be aware of that.

    And their implication that non-white people in general “went straight to poverty and neediness” is a false narrative; the unemployment rate amongst British Indians is approximately the same as that amongst white British people, for example. Not to mention the situation regarding the 2nd-generation British Asian population in general, many of whom (particularly amongst British Indians) fall very much into the middle-class socioeconomic bracket, along with large numbers from all generations who can actually be defined as belonging to the affluent upper-middle class bracket. I could give further examples, but you get the picture.

    Taking this back to my main point, it’s imperative not to assume that any non-white person is automatically “working class” or even “poverty-stricken and needy”, regardless of the attempts of many of the BNP types to stereotype them that way. And like I said earlier, a lot of things in life are far more to do with class than race or religion — and, like white people, this applies to non-whites including Asians too, not just back in the subcontinent (as you’ve found out via your Indian friend) but also here in the UK. There are middle class Asians and indeed residential areas in Britain which are predominantly Asian and middle class, along with a smaller section of extremely wealthy Asians and (depending on the demographics of where they live) the associated residential areas.

    In terms of lifestyle, the attempts by some people to portray all non-white people, including Asians, as being ghettoised, insular, poverty-stricken parasites is frequently so far from reality that it’s ridiculous, especially in relation to the huge numbers of highly-educated professionals. And yes, depending on their age, Asians go to “yuppie bars and restaurants” and clubs just like everyone else, and not just in “Asian areas” either.

    As I keep saying — as politically-incorrect as it may be, when it comes to this particular issue, think in terms of class, not race, and one will gain a far more accurate picture of the real world.

  53. damon — on 27th August, 2009 at 12:54 pm  

    Jai, you’re right of course and I was going on like I have been, to try to bring it to some focus on the mentality of these EDL people.

    Not necessarily hard core racists, (as they do have one or two non white people with them in the footage I’ve seen) but lumpen working class guys who seem to have taken a dislike to how it is in modern Britain in places where there is a large muslim population. So a small group of them walked through Whitechapel singing ”we want our country back”. You could see that what they were targetting is a community that is not just ethnic minority, but has a different kind of culture (to them anyway). To them, seeing so many people wearing Islamic dress and seeminly not fully integrating into what they would see as the normal way of living (ie being proper geezers like them) means that they find it difficult to have respect for the deeply religious man who has these ”dresses funny and is going on about god all the time”.
    They’d sneer at the climate camp protesters too for different reasons.

    The thing about saying ”straight to poverty” like I did is that’s one of the things racists believe.

    Of course not for everybody, but they’re talking about the not well educated immigrants who go straight to areas in cities where their country’s community is already living and start off at the bottom rung in the jobs market. Like the guys you see working in the Halal butchers shops, and those independent fried chicken places.

    But this was all a bit beside the point. I was trying to suggest that not everything is so neat as for people to be divided into those who are basicly BNP sympathisers and most of the rest of the population who are pretty cool with the way that some of our inner city neighbourhoods are, and towns like Blackburn, Oldham and Burnley.

    I know it might seem like I’ve talked about a lot of stereotypes but I’m wondering how much integration of people there is in particular places like Whitechapel or East Ham. And that if you’re Asian and come from places like that, if you want to be more integrated in the wider society than some of the people in your community, then you do so away from those areas.
    You mix with people not so much from your own locality but further afield. And you get out and about and go to the city center more than many of the people there do.

    Maybe I just need to read the Time Out listings magazine or something to find out where there are these places that really do attract a multi-cultural clientele, but aren’t too middle class that they put some people off.
    As I walked along through Balham with this black guy I work with last week, I pointed to these swanky trendy cafes that were full of (liberal I’m sure) young urban professionals and I asked him would he go in places like those, and he said no. He was put off by that (mostly white) middle class vibe the places project.

    And as I struggle to make any sense, I better leave it there. It’s hard writing stuff like that – not knowing if people think you’re talking complete B*llix.

  54. Dalbir — on 27th August, 2009 at 3:07 pm  

    Same with when it’s in it’s full swing saturday night mode. Do you get young white people walking about the place like you’d see in Romford several miles further east? All dressed up and having a boozy karaoke night out?

    Karoke happens in some pubs regularly. But the area doesn’t have loads of entertainment venues like Romford. I would imagine that people would go to Ilford (which isn’t very far at all) for that. People also don’t seem to get too “dressed up” as you mentioned. I couldn’t tell you why though. You have to understand that people in the area are inclined to different modes of entertainment. So as many/most Muslims do not drink they would not be partial to the pubs. Reputation from the past (largely due to the old stereotypes you mention) probably lead to them expecting a hostile reception, which doesn’t help. That being said. I noticed some Muslims drinking in Panjabi pubs – quite regularly.

    They’re so middle class it makes you want to comment on the fact. Nearly all white, but with a couple of Chineese or Asian or black people playing too… it makes me laugh. It’s so locaton specific.

    Like you said, area and so-called class play a part in this. There is a tendency for people in specific areas, who may view themselves as belonging to a common socio-strata (regardless of race), to engage in similar activities.

    You see it on Clapham Common, but it would be mocked in Mile End Park. Or in West Ham Park, where you’re more likely to see working class guys of African origin having an organised game of football (and hear the players talking in a language other than English).

    Those African guys and the yuppie people have so little in common it seems, and I feel much more affinity with the working class football playing Africans than the yuppies).

    See my comment above but I think I should make the point that some “effniks” frequently straddle a grey area inbetween the indigenous class structure. So whilst I may be at home drinking in a WC pub and find middle class venues largely pretentious, I realise I also share some values from this part of society, especially in terms of attitude towards education and language. This factor, which I believe to be common in many (but not all) immigrant communities based in WC areas, often subtly marks them off from their indigenous neighbours. So whilst I may be able to socialise with WC people in the pubs, I know there are things that I could never talk to them about (i.e. what do you think of so and so’s written work/ideas).

    This is part of what makes our modern city life so interesting and enjoyable to live in, but I’m also saddened by its divisions.

    We would probably be less sad if we didn’t have utopian ideas to start with. But what I find really sad is how some people jump to the other end of the spectrum and seem to only see negativity in all this. I am unashamedly biased, but I still believe that the East End is still one of the most interesting places in London, if not the UK. Pretty much because of its sort of “frontier” status. Yes, I know there are those here that would view me and my kind as some sort of plague on society here, but if you are genuinely interested in society and culture, you can find the whole world in the location – with microcosms of all its inherent good and bad.

    I sometimes wonder what might be the reaction if you introduced this subject into the conversation of some of these Newham pubs. Asked the West Ham fan types there what they thought of what Green Street and East Ham was today. And about this mythical ”mega mosque” that was proposed by the Tablighi Jamaat sect.

    There is an unwritten rule I learnt many years ago that may help explain things at the coalface. “Never discuss people’s women, politics or religion in the pub”. Yes, we can be pretty confident that some people do have a moan amongst themselves. I’m sure there are those that are unhappy about the change but what I realised a few days ago, is that when push came to shove, look at how this didn’t matter when Millwall came over and people got tribal and defensive in the area, despite it being “full of immigrants”.

    But change is rapid, and maybe without me even noticing, new spaces are springing up in Newham (like with the Balham yuppie bars and resturants) where people of all ethnicities are interacting and having a good time as we speak. It works quite easily with the gentrification and Hoxton/Shorditch type of change.

    And even if it is middle class led in the beginning, I’d hope that some of this modernity could be reaching out to Newham and Barking and Dagenham, I’m hopeful, but not always optimistic.

    I can’t imagine that sort of gentrification taking place in East Ham for some time! lol

    I’m trying to avoid waxing lyrical but honestly, I think that given the right nurturing and role models, we can live together with a degree of harmony. Even if this is not a perfect one. If there is some measure of conflict. Is it really any different from what took place here a couple of days ago involving, essentially, loads of white people?

    What I do realise is that people at the ground level have to do the running. Which is no easy task given deeply entrenched views and the manipulation of extremist types on all sides who thrive off conflict and have an interest in keeping the pot “on boil”.

    We have yet to see what the future holds, but the apocalyptic vision espoused by some, may well be off the mark.

  55. Dalbir — on 27th August, 2009 at 3:21 pm  

    And as I struggle to make any sense, I better leave it there.

    Don’t think it is only you, or white people who are struggling to make sense of all this. Quite a few of us are at it.

    The difference lies in facing the impending changes bravely or giving in to a gloomy nihilistic attitude.

  56. Dalbir — on 27th August, 2009 at 6:12 pm  

    Damon

    I just spoke to someone who told me the Millwall twats were giving nazi salutes near the stadium.

  57. Sofi — on 30th August, 2009 at 3:07 pm  

    >And that’s why authoritarians will win because idiots like you will swallow anything for any easy life. Why can’t they take each march/protest on a case by case basis? Why a blanket ban??

    lol or idiots like you for a utopian way of thinking??

    anyway you, shatterface et al did win – i hear the BNP are in town right as i type :D

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