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  • Technorati: graph / links

    BBC Question Time panel confirmed


    by Sunny on 14th October, 2009 at 4:26 PM    

    Here it is: Sayeeda Warsi, Jack Straw, Chris Huhne, Bonnie Greer and Nick Griffin. What absolute bollocks. I like Sayeeda Warsi and out of all those I think she’s the only good choice (working class, northern). Nick Griffin in all likelihood will run rings around the rest and this whole debate is going to be a farce. Bonnie Greer is, as Gary Dunion rightly said, wooly and middle class and she’s not even a Brit!! Shocking.

    Update: several people on Twitter have pointed out that Griffin is middle-class and Oxbridge educated, and therefore cannot seek to represent working class people. This isn’t a strong argument.

    The right has always been populated by elites claiming to represent the hard-working people while simultaneously screwing them over. The ‘elitist’ claim was commonly used by Republicans against Obama even though he had come from humbler origins than most of them. But the point is whether the constituency believes that person. The working class people driven to support the BNP obviously believe it stands up for the working class - so you have to take that seriously.

    Secondly, middle class people generally hate cheap populism and the use of emotion to make political points. They prefer ‘rational argument’. Fuck that. The way to destroy the BNP is through emotional narratives and populism. That’s the language they can’t fight against. By that I mean the way you frame your arguments has to be different and populist.

    I would have replaced Bonnie Greer with Shaun Bailey - a much more credible voice against Griffin.


         
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    Filed in: Media, Race politics, The BNP






    154 Comments below   |   Add your own

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    1. Liberal Conspiracy » BBC’s BNP Question Time panel is a travesty

      [...] to fail to persuade anyone wavering towards the BNP to come back. I’ve tried explaining why before, but let me try again. Nick Griffin may have middle-class origins but he speaks to a very working [...]



    1. Rumbold — on 14th October, 2009 at 4:36 PM  

      Sayeeda Warsi is good. Jack Straw is an accomplished performer, but Nick Griffin is sure to embarrass him by bringing up the niqab controversy. Chris Huhne is something of a non-entity. You are right about Bonnie Greer.

    2. Salman Shaheen — on 14th October, 2009 at 4:37 PM  

      What an absolute disgrace. This is just going to be the Nick Griffin show. Couldn’t we have had some real hard-core firebrand anti-fascist campaigners who would have really gone for the jugular? Someone like Galloway would have been perfect. As it stands, this is a shambles.

    3. Dontmindme — on 14th October, 2009 at 4:38 PM  

      Objecting to a someone debating with the BNP on the grounds that she is not British seems a tad ironic to me.

    4. Joe Otten — on 14th October, 2009 at 4:39 PM  

      You’re against one of the panellists for being a foreigner?

    5. Reza — on 14th October, 2009 at 4:41 PM  

      Phil Woolas would have been a much better choice than Jack Straw. He’s had the guts and the integrity to say what, if polls are to be believed, the overwhelming majority of voters have been thinking about immigration and social cohesion.

      He would have been able to remove that ‘monopoly’ from Griffin, leaving him with nothing but white-victim-hood, racism and far-left socialist economic policies.

      As it is, Straw won’t go there. Griffin will. The carefully selected BBC audience will clap and boo appropriately. And Griffin’s credibility among the real people sitting at home will rise.

      It’s up to Warsi.

      Will she have the guts to address immigration policy?

    6. Rumbold — on 14th October, 2009 at 4:43 PM  

      Sunny’s point (I suspect), which I agree with, is that since the BNP make a big deal about all non-whites being non-British, the last thing you should do is to put up a non-white foreigner. Far better to have another ethnic minority Briton.

    7. Rumbold — on 14th October, 2009 at 4:44 PM  

      Reza:

      Phil Woolas would probably charge Nick Griffin with being too soft on immigration.

    8. Reza — on 14th October, 2009 at 4:47 PM  

      Rumbold:

      Yeah. And imagine the look on Griffins face!

    9. Rumbold — on 14th October, 2009 at 4:49 PM  

      Reza:

      That would almost make it worth having him on the panel. Heh.

    10. Sunny — on 14th October, 2009 at 4:59 PM  

      I’m sorry but is there a lack of effective black activists born and bred in the UK? No there isn’t.

      The best way to take on Griffin is to offer an intelligent, populist, ethnic minority who isn’t some wooly intellectual and will not be able to connect with the people who waver towards Griffin.

      Bonnie Greer is going to be a shambles. Sayeeda Warsi is a better choice but would not be my first choice.

      I have no idea what the hell Chris Huhne is doing there. This is being made into a party political show and the anti-establishment party (Griffin) will have no trouble running rings around them.

      If I was more conspiracy prone I’d say the BBC has rigged this perfectly.

    11. Reza — on 14th October, 2009 at 4:59 PM  

      But seriously Rumbold, can’t you see the wisdom of having Woolas there. The strength of the BNP lies only in the weakness of the other parties in addressing voters’ concerns regarding immigration.

      Having someone from the mainstream saying, “Yes, we hear your concerns. We admit, it hasn’t been working. We’re going to fix it”, will take a lot of support away from the BNP.

      Straw, for my liking, has too much ‘Islamist’ baggage that Griffin will no doubt take advantage of.

    12. MikeSC — on 14th October, 2009 at 5:05 PM  

      Whoever said “socialist economic policies” is a complete fool. They seek to protect British industry from foreigners- that’s called Protectionism, and it’s a Tory thing. Look at their manifesto (it’s on their vile website). Compare it to Disraelis political views.

      Anyway, this line-up is a shambles.

      “Other comments made by Baroness Warsi have also provoked anger amongst gay-rights and anti-fascist campaigners, when she went on record saying “People who back the BNP, criticised for its racist and homophobic agenda, may even have a point. They have some very legitimate views.”"

      Griffin will get the opportunity to go on the attack. And these hypocrites (who all espouse migration controls by the way- protectionists themselves) are easy people to attack.

    13. Sunny — on 14th October, 2009 at 5:18 PM  

      But seriously Rumbold, can’t you see the wisdom of having Woolas there. The strength of the BNP lies only in the weakness of the other parties in addressing voters’ concerns regarding immigration.

      What you mean by that is you want someone to attack the BNP by having even more hardcore than them. How the hell will that take away the BNP’s criticisms? He will only turn around and say that politicians are belatedly doing what he advocated years ago and therefore people should elect him.
      What a stupid argument.

    14. Tim Worstall — on 14th October, 2009 at 5:20 PM  

      “The right has always been populated by elites claiming to represent the hard-working people while simultaneously screwing them over.”

      Allow me to correct that for you.

      “Politics has always been populated by elites claiming to represent the hard-working people while simultaneously screwing them over.”

      There, that’s better. Unless you’re going to try and claim that the likes of Wedgie Benn, Polly, the Webbs and so on were a) not elite and b) didn’t screw the working class over.

    15. Sunny — on 14th October, 2009 at 5:29 PM  

      The left has many more working class people in their ranks, politically and organisationally, than the right.

    16. Carl — on 14th October, 2009 at 5:38 PM  

      Squidgy Bill and Wedgie Benn

    17. Reza — on 14th October, 2009 at 6:04 PM  

      “What you mean by that is you want someone to attack the BNP by having even more hardcore than them.”

      You think Woolas is more “hardcore” than the BNP?

      F*ck me, I’m vindicated. Anyone who mentions immigration is labled a ‘racist’.

      Now that’s stupid.

    18. MixTogether — on 14th October, 2009 at 6:19 PM  

      Sayeeda Warsi is a brilliant choice, and this slot will allow her to prove the point of her conference speech.

      The only thing she will struggle with is mixed marriages. If Griffin points out that most Asian families (especially Pakistanis and Bangladeshis) don’t approve of race mixing either, she will struggle to refute that point. The statistics published by the EHRC demonstrate it very clearly.

    19. Ravi Naik — on 14th October, 2009 at 6:59 PM  

      The only thing she will struggle with is mixed marriages. If Griffin points out that most Asian families (especially Pakistanis and Bangladeshis) don’t approve of race mixing either, she will struggle to refute that point

      Refute what point? When it comes to mixed marriages, the only thing that Griffin needs to be asked is what they want to do about race mixing if they become government. Since deportation is now of the picture, the next thing that seems like they are advocating is South African Apartheid for Britain.

    20. claire — on 14th October, 2009 at 7:04 PM  

      Bonnie Greer is a British citizen.

    21. Ravi Naik — on 14th October, 2009 at 7:11 PM  

      #19

      Since deportation is now of the picture

      I meant, out of the picture.

    22. Cath Elliott — on 14th October, 2009 at 7:20 PM  

      Sunny “I would have replaced Bonnie Greer with Shaun Bailey – a much more credible voice against Griffin.”

      And then you’d have had a panel of 4 men and 1 woman. So much for any attempt at gender balance.

      And isn’t the fact that Greer isn’t an indigenous Brit part of the point of having her on? She’s an articulate, outspoken black woman, who’s settled here but not “from” here, in other words she’s everything Griffin and his ilk hate. Personally I think she’s a great choice.

    23. Leon — on 14th October, 2009 at 7:33 PM  

      If you remove Greer you’d lose Warsi too because Bailey is a Tory PPC…

    24. Bearded Socialist — on 14th October, 2009 at 7:35 PM  

      As long as anyone who agrees that some people get really annoyed about immigration is called a racist, Griffin will have a point.
      People I know are BNP supporters, and just branding them as racist only reinforces the sense they have that the political elite are nothing to do with them

    25. Don — on 14th October, 2009 at 8:01 PM  

      Huhne is a mistake, he is not a heavyweight and is vulnerable when the question of expenses arises, as it will. Cable would have been far preferable, not only one of the few politicians who still can make a believable claim to both competence and probity but also because if Griffin’s position on mixed matrriages is raised cable would take him apart.

      Cath makes a good point on Greer, an ‘ethnic’ immigrant who has made a significant contribution to this country. I see Sunny’s point that she may be perceived by some as being part of the BBC/artsy elite but I’m not sure that a prollier than thou approach is going to work with a QT audience.

      Warsi is a strong choice, she has at least given serious thought to where BNP support comes from. But she has been known to mis-speak and appear to lend a modicum of legitimacy to BNP views.

      Straw? Well, who else do Labour have to put forward as credible these days? Anne Cryer might have been a better choice, but I don’t know how well she performs on telly.

    26. Sunny — on 14th October, 2009 at 8:21 PM  

      And then you’d have had a panel of 4 men and 1 woman. So much for any attempt at gender balance.

      Admittedly, my aim in this case is much more focused on challenging the BNP than just gender balance for its own sake.

      And while I take your point that Greer represents everything Griffin hates - that is hardly going to be win over people who veer towards the BNP because they think people who attack Griffin are just out-of-touch wooly middle-class intellectual types who will not be able to connect with them.

      As I said earlier - is there a lack of born and bred black Britons? Even women? No there isn’t.

      If you remove Greer you’d lose Warsi too because Bailey is a Tory PPC…

      Again - I don’t really care about the political make-up of the people attending as long as it’s not too skewed.

      Right now Bonnie Greer, Huhne and Straw are left-wing. Only Warsi is right-wing (centrist). So Bailey would only bring political balance.

      Ann Cryer would actually have been good Don - good point. Jon Cruddas also good, and John Denham.

      The only saving grace of this panel is Warsi. Perhaps Jack Straw.

    27. Denim Justice — on 14th October, 2009 at 8:30 PM  

      Fuck gender balance. If that’s your only concern, when both women and men of colour will have much more to fear after that night, then screw you.

    28. Cath Elliott — on 14th October, 2009 at 8:42 PM  

      Sunny - “my aim in this case is much more focused on challenging the BNP than just gender balance for its own sake.”

      Oh, well that’s okay then. Yeah, it’s a big important issue, so obviously we need big important men to do the sodding job. Not token wimmin who are only ever on there to fulfil some political-correctness-gawn-mad BBC quota nonsense. Ffs Sunny!

      Sunny - “that is hardly going to be win over people who veer towards the BNP”

      You’re making an assumption that the people tuning in to Question Time fall into the BNP potential voter demographic. Have you got any evidence that this is the case, or is QT primarily watched by the woolly middle-classes?

    29. Cath Elliott — on 14th October, 2009 at 8:47 PM  

      Denim Justice - Have you read the BNP’s views on women?

    30. Rumbold — on 14th October, 2009 at 8:51 PM  

      I think this is a case of crossed wires and bad phrasing. We all want the BNP to be exposed, and we all want the best people for the job.

      Cath:

      Who would you have had on the panel?

    31. KB Player — on 14th October, 2009 at 9:20 PM  

      Actually the woman I’ve heard debating a BNP member, making good, well-informed points and keeping her cool was Mad Mel Phillips!

    32. Refresh — on 14th October, 2009 at 9:27 PM  

      Bonnie Greer will be very good. I don’t really know a great deal about Warsi. My preference would have been Salma Yacoob, with headscarf. My guess is she was approached and declined on the principle of ‘no platform for neo-nazis’.

      I wish Straw hadn’t volunteered (watch out for Griffin’s stance on Iraq) and New Labour’s ditching of the working class (not just white working class).

      Gender balance is very important - Griffin would have all the women in the kitchen or in the bedroom rebalancing the demographics.

      Vince Cable would have been an excellent panellist.

    33. MikeSC — on 14th October, 2009 at 9:38 PM  

      “Right now Bonnie Greer, Huhne and Straw are left-wing. Only Warsi is right-wing (centrist).”

      My eyebrows just shot through the roof.

    34. Refresh — on 14th October, 2009 at 9:47 PM  

      ‘Oh, well that’s okay then. Yeah, it’s a big important issue, so obviously we need big important men to do the sodding job. Not token wimmin who are only ever on there to fulfil some political-correctness-gawn-mad BBC quota nonsense. *** Sunny!’

      Couldn’t have put it better myself.

    35. Sunny — on 14th October, 2009 at 11:07 PM  

      Yeah, it’s a big important issue, so obviously we need big important men to do the sodding job. Not token wimmin who are only ever on there to fulfil some political-correctness-gawn-mad BBC quota nonsense. Ffs Sunny!

      No Cath - you’re twisting my words around. If I didn’t think women could do the job I wouldn’t support Sayeeda Warsi would I? I just do not prefer Bonnie Greer.

      why not offer some names? I don;t favour Shaun Bailey because he’s male, or because he’s Tory, but because he’s got the working class roots, and community work experience that will undercut Griffin’s message. If you can think of someone like - please say so. But otherwise its just tokenism.

      You’re making an assumption that the people tuning in to Question Time fall into the BNP potential voter demographic. Have you got any evidence that this is the case, or is QT primarily watched by the woolly middle-classes?

      I think BNP QT will be a media watershed in the mainstreaming of the BNP - so its important to undercut their argument in that case.

    36. Cath Elliott — on 14th October, 2009 at 11:35 PM  

      I think Refresh hit the nail on the head with Salma Yaqoob, she would have been an excellent choice.

    37. Cath Elliott — on 14th October, 2009 at 11:38 PM  

      Having said all that, my preference would actually have been for everyone to refuse to appear alongside Griffin, and for the BBC to have got the message that BNP scum have no place on our TV screens …

    38. Morrigan — on 15th October, 2009 at 12:11 AM  

      Cath, the whole no-platform thing is over.

      It’s a non-approach in the face of 2 European Parliament seats for these people.

      Would you rather push them underground into grotty pub and hall meetings where there is no chair and nobody to challenge them?

      Re the panel, why is Lady Warsi any worse than Salma Yaqoob? Because she doesn’t cover and isn’t a left wing Islamist?

      Most people would say that makes her better qualified…

    39. Refresh — on 15th October, 2009 at 1:16 AM  

      ‘the whole no-platform thing is over.’

      No its not, not until next Thursday.

      What is this stupidity:

      ‘Because she doesn’t cover and isn’t a left wing Islamist?’

      Isn’t this how BNP managed to claw their way into our living rooms - with the help of lazy bigots like you?

    40. Boofy — on 15th October, 2009 at 6:10 AM  

      This sounds more like a Show Trial in the Moscow of the 1930s than like any reasoned exchange of views.

      Who can be dredged up to snarl competently at Griffin? Three on one? Four on one? Five on one?

      Can anyone confirm that Straw of Blackburnistan said or wrote “British culture isn’t worth saving” I wonder.

      More to the point, what skeletons do these panellists have in their cupboards?

      Betcha there are people who will gladly search out pass on anything juicy to the BNP, just like the secret and very detailed Home Office memorandum on how those pitiable asylum seekers should be comforably housed was photocopied in a [Northern?] town hall and sent along to the BNP; it can be found on the BNP website [along with the footnote that anyone spilling the means might well be nailed under the Official Secrets Act.]

      And THAT story was NOT in the craven and gutless Mainstream Media.

    41. Boofy — on 15th October, 2009 at 6:11 AM  

      MEA CULPA

      Spilling the BEANS not the means.

    42. Bingo Little — on 15th October, 2009 at 6:30 AM  

      Does the term “Left-Wing Islamist” actually have a meaning of some kind?

      Perhaps it means this:

      “My parents / grandparents left a Muslim country because all Muslim countries are, in fact, a heap of sh-t to live in unless you’re one of the ruling 1% but when we came we also brought the mental illness of our vile pre-Medieval belief system with us and that is one reason why we marry our first and second cousins.

      That, and the fact that such endogamous marriages fulfil our obligation to bring as many of our kin into this hospitable, welcoming, generous and sap-headed country as we possibly can.

      We are in no way socialists of any kind; in fact socialism is a forbidden creed to those of us who accept Muslim teachings, but we ally ourselves with gullible Western socialists at present because it is convenient for us to do so.

      For us, claiming to be needy paupers and playing at being socialists means that we can demand treats without the slightest obligation to the country which has been so generous to us.”

      Salma Yakoob’s published articles say pretty much all of that, as well as listing the percentages of young Muslkims who leave school with no qualifications, the percentage of Muslim households living below the poverty line and so on. S

      Understandably, she omits the 10% of the UK prison population who claim to be observant Muslim and who - naturally - have special prayer, ablution and dietary requirements.

      Allahu Akhbar!

    43. bananabrain — on 15th October, 2009 at 9:05 AM  

      salma yaqoob? george galloway? if you put people like that on the panel a bunch of people will start voting BNP out of sheer disgust.

      personally, i think there’s a plan behind putting bonnie greer up - remember, newsnight review? she’s used to holding her own. i think the point of it is for griffin to have a tempting target - black, intellectual, charming, attractive, well-spoken and best of all OBVIOUSLY NOT BORN IN THE UK from her accent. it’s a gift. except, of course, if he picks any of it up to point out how she “can’t possibly be british” for any of these reasons, i think the point gets made - you have griffin, live on the beeb, shown being a bastard to someone perfectly inoffensive and not even a politician - whereas if he tries to duff up galloway or even, dare i say it, jack straw, a large part of the audience will be in distinct sympathy, which has been their tactic so far - “we’re not like the rest of those scumbag politicians”, which resonates with people likely to vote for them.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    44. dave bones — on 15th October, 2009 at 9:06 AM  

      the whole no-platform thing is over.’

      No its not, not until next Thursday.

      That is funny.

      You all sound worried about Question Time. Don’t be! It’ll be really fun. Ideas for people on the panel… err.. I think Lenny Henry would be quite good. He has experienced growing up in the Midlands and I’d like to hear what he has to say about the world outside of the realms of comedy. I am sure Bonnie Greer will do fine though.

      We as a society have let politicians let us down, which has let in the BNP and such like. That is what has happened. We have to deal with reality.

    45. Morrigan — on 15th October, 2009 at 9:25 AM  

      Refresh(=Respect),

      The only lazy bigotry I can see on this thread is the assumption that a headscarf makes someone a better Muslim.

      Sayeeda Warsi will do a better job than Yaqoob could, and if you walked your talk you would be cheering her on.

    46. El Cid — on 15th October, 2009 at 10:06 AM  

      David James, the England goalkeeper would have been THE inspired choice

    47. Cath Elliott — on 15th October, 2009 at 10:19 AM  

      Morrigan - I wouldn’t have replaced Warsi with Yaqoob, I’d have replaced Greer or Huhne with her. I’m no fan of Respect by any means, but I’ve seen Yaqoob on Question Time before and she’s always been a really impressive panellist.

    48. Ravi Naik — on 15th October, 2009 at 10:44 AM  

      Secondly, middle class people generally hate cheap populism and the use of emotion to make political points. They prefer ‘rational argument’. Fuck that. The way to destroy the BNP is through emotional narratives and populism.

      You seem to be advocating playing fire with fire, and lowering our standards to theirs. The difference between us and them is that we have the rational arguments, and we shouldn’t just say fuck to that. I don’t disagree (again) that politicians need to connect with voters - and I did agree that Al Gore failed in that front (though he still had more votes). Using some emotional narratives and populism is probably inevitable - but at the same time, you need to have an edge, and show that you are capable of delivering, unlike your opponent.

      I think Obama was superb in that sense. As a political candidate, he didn’t shy why from showing impeccable knowledge on issues and using rational arguments to kill the opposition, while at the same way connecting with voters emotionally without sounding opportunist. It is really a question of finding the balance, but it would be really sad if our political discourse mimics the Republican’s or the BNP’s - they do it because they have nothing else to offer.

      The way to destroy the BNP is simply showing the inconsistencies of their narratives (dishonesty), their appalling record in councils (incompetence), and how fringe their ideas are from mainstream (disconnect).

      Bonnie Greer will be very good. I don’t really know a great deal about Warsi. My preference would have been Salma Yacoob, with headscarf.

      I am glad “Respect” has this policy of not sharing a platform with the BNP (only with dictators and other types of tyrants). It’s good to have only one representative of a freak party at one time.

    49. Refresh — on 15th October, 2009 at 10:47 AM  

      Morrigan,

      As I said I don’t know enough about Warsi. I’ve seen Salma Yaqoob give an excellent account when she’s been on Question Time.

      Ostensibly Salma with headscarf is Griffin’s immediate target. She will be calm and measured in her responses.

      George Galloway would take the fight to Griffin, without the baggage a politician like Straw carries.

      Galloway carries the honour of being expelled by Blair from New Labour for opposing the Iraq invasion and calling him and Bush ‘wolves leading lions’.

      Right now the story is Blair has blood on his hands. And I can just see Griffin using that!

    50. Adnan — on 15th October, 2009 at 10:53 AM  

      Ravi, it’s interesting here that Cameron was pretty ineffectual when Blair was leading yet Brown (who probably isn’t all that different politically from Blair) has been battered although I can’t see whether that is really due to Cameron. I’m sure Brown has impeccable knowledge of issues but he is terrible in articulating it in a way that appeals to people.

    51. persephone — on 15th October, 2009 at 11:02 AM  

      Its almost a post in itself – whether a woman wearing a headscarf should be a panel representative given the (populist) issues in this debate.

      If having a gender balance on this panel is to gain buy in from women (of all races, religions & colours) to ‘out’ the BNP ’s view of women then would a woman wearing a headscarf be ‘relate-able’ to a mass of women, would it just endorse male & female populist views and be counter-productive – eg Griffin may indeed use this against her to feed into the populist view of asian women being subjugated & how alien this is to British culture.

    52. Ravi Naik — on 15th October, 2009 at 11:04 AM  

      Ravi, it’s interesting here that Cameron was pretty ineffectual when Blair was leading yet Brown (who probably isn’t all that different politically from Blair) has been battered although I can’t see whether that is really due to Cameron. I’m sure Brown has impeccable knowledge of issues but he is terrible in articulating it in a way that appeals to people.

      Brown presided over a recession and in a time where New Labour has governed Britain for too long. I do get the feeling though that people seem more confident about Brown than Cameron on some issues. In any case, I would hate - really hate - if our political discourse mirrored the US, which cheap populism. We are so much better than them.

    53. Refresh — on 15th October, 2009 at 11:25 AM  

      ‘Griffin may indeed use this against her to feed into the populist view of asian women being subjugated & how alien this is to British culture.’

      Salma Yaqoob, however, easily demonstrates that the headscarf does not in anyway show her to be cowed by men. She challenges all the stereotypes Griffin hangs his future on.

    54. Morrigan — on 15th October, 2009 at 11:33 AM  

      Erm, wearing a headscarf shows that a woman holds herself responsible for men’s thoughts and actions!

      Anyway Yaqoob is (thankfully) not on this particular Question Time, so let’s get over it.

    55. Refresh — on 15th October, 2009 at 11:55 AM  

      ‘Erm, wearing a headscarf shows that a woman holds herself responsible for men’s thoughts and actions!’

      Stop being silly. You could equally say that it shows men are not to be trusted.

    56. Paul Moloney — on 15th October, 2009 at 12:57 PM  

      “Stop being silly. You could equally say that it shows men are not to be trusted.”

      So it alienates either one half of the population or the other? Brilliant.

      P.

    57. persephone — on 15th October, 2009 at 1:02 PM  

      Refresh @53

      I am not so sure. As the stereotype hangs outside of and before Griffin (yes he is manipulating and inciting it further)

      And the visual aspect of the headscarf may dominate over what she says – people may not perceive this as walking the talk & perceive that she is first and foremost a muslim/ religious (woman).

      I have not heard her speak but such perceptions may dilute the overall message however well articulated and forcefully it is delivered.

    58. Gerry — on 15th October, 2009 at 1:07 PM  

      George Galloway would run rings round Griffin and it would be entertaining to watch.

    59. Morrigan — on 15th October, 2009 at 1:07 PM  

      Stop being silly. You could equally say that it shows men are not to be trusted.

      Either way the implication is ridiculous, and alien to mainstream British culture.

      Paul Maloney has it spot on.

    60. Refresh — on 15th October, 2009 at 1:08 PM  

      Persephone, from the appearances I’ve seen she always seems to win over the audience.

    61. persephone — on 15th October, 2009 at 1:08 PM  

      Elaborating on #58 and touching upon the comments about whether this is about emotions and not intellectualism.

      Audiences are impacted more on what they see than what they hear - 93% of communication is non-verbal. One study focussed specifically on the communication of feelings and attitudes (i.e. like-dislike) and found that the impact of a performance is determined 7% by the words used, 38% by voice quality and 55% by the non verbal communication.

      The BNP and their supporters rhetoric is based on catalysing feelings and very little rationale judgement or factual, objective underpinning. So any chosen panel (and spokespeople outside of QT) need to counteract that.

    62. Refresh — on 15th October, 2009 at 1:08 PM  

      ‘Either way the implication is ridiculous, and alien to mainstream British culture.’

      Are you sure about that?

    63. persephone — on 15th October, 2009 at 1:11 PM  

      Refresh

      I will have to find a youtube vid of one of her speeches

    64. persephone — on 15th October, 2009 at 1:16 PM  

      @60 several years ago I remember in one predominately white, male dominated work environment hearing that female managers are preferred in skirt suits not trousers.

      Just last week a white female executive said that in certain parts of non urban britain women are still expected to wear tights as bare legs were not ’seemly’.

      What does all that mean?

    65. Refresh — on 15th October, 2009 at 1:19 PM  

      Persephone, the other thing I wanted to say was that these stereotypes will need to be tackled head-on. In the end the issue is about disengagement of the political class from the rest of us, which is what Griffin wants to exploit to further his agenda.

    66. Morrigan — on 15th October, 2009 at 1:21 PM  

      Are you sure about that?

      Yes.

      And the fact that you are not speaks volumes.

    67. Refresh — on 15th October, 2009 at 1:34 PM  

      ‘And the fact that you are not speaks volumes.’

      Indeed it does.

    68. Leon — on 15th October, 2009 at 1:34 PM  

      Right now Bonnie Greer, Huhne and Straw are left-wing. Only Warsi is right-wing (centrist). So Bailey would only bring political balance.

      What I’m pointing out is the BBC wouldn’t allow more than one party member per party so your ideas make no sense because they’re not possible…

      Personally I’d like Vince Cable, John Cruddas, Warsi, Bob Crow.

    69. bananabrain — on 15th October, 2009 at 1:46 PM  

      leon,

      again, apart from vince cable and baroness warsi, a bunch of people that will have large segments of the population rallying to the support of griffin, if you ask me.

      why not ken livingstone while you’re at it? do you want the bnp bitchslapped or not? because i feckin’ do. in fact, feck it, let’s get dawkins on and he can use griffin as an example of an evolutionary dead end and a waste of an opposable thumb.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    70. Reza — on 15th October, 2009 at 2:04 PM  

      bananabrain

      “…why not ken livingstone while you’re at it?”

      That’s the problem with the far left.

      They live in world, shut off from reality. They sell newspapers to each other and have meetings between themselves so that they can agree with each other. They impose their views through bullying and intimidation. They abuse the democratic process. And they refuse to engage with opposing opinions. They shout them down.

      Subsequently, they genuinely believe that people who share their unpopular and extremist worldview, people like Livingstone and those vile creatures Galloway and Yaqoob can somehow win the argument against Griffin.

      Whereas the reality is that it is those very people that have helped create the popular backlash that is benefiting the BNP.

    71. bananabrain — on 15th October, 2009 at 2:26 PM  

      whereas if i were the tories, right now, i’d be thinking up ways to smack the bnp around for “penalising ordinary people” via their economic policies and show (via PP’s excellent list of policy questions, for example) how it would lead to ruin for the people most at risk of thinking the bnp might actually “stand up for us”.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    72. persephone — on 15th October, 2009 at 2:32 PM  

      How possible would it be to send those questions and (ahem) ‘answers’ directly to david dimbleby/programme team before the 22nd?

    73. Reza — on 15th October, 2009 at 2:53 PM  

      “…i’d be thinking up ways to smack the bnp around for “penalising ordinary people” via their economic policies and show (via PP’s excellent list of policy questions, for example) how it would lead to ruin for the people most at risk of thinking the bnp might actually “stand up for us”.”

      But nobody supports the BNP for their economic policies. Their support comes because despite the fact that for decades, the majority of British people have opposed mass immigration and unrestrained multiculturalism, the political mainstream have refused to represent those views.

      And eventually, ignored people will go to extremes to have their wishes represented.

      Ignoring, censoring and oppressing the will of the majority is fascism.

    74. Reza — on 15th October, 2009 at 3:24 PM  

      It begins.

      “Anti-fascist protesters have said that they have plans to blockade BBC Television Centre, in White City, to prevent Mr Griffin from entering the building.”

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6871898.ece

      And ends.

      A last, desperate, attempt by the enemies of free speech to corrupt democracy. The real fascists.

      Things will never be the same.

    75. Lisa Wright — on 15th October, 2009 at 4:03 PM  

      I agree that although the likes of George Galloway would probably come across as way too harsh and maybe align support towards Griffin, the same could not be said about Salma Yaqoob who on all accounts fits the visual bill of all Griffin is against but also stands against all griffin represents and can eloquently challenge his views without any far-left agendas.

      Remember how she brilliantly dealt with the issue of Geert Wilders on her last appearance on Question Time. She has a level headed logical argument, is widely popular and would have made a much better guests than the wishy-washy Sayeeda Warsi, whose opinions will have no real effect or impact on Nick Griffin or the BNP.

      She will probably join him in condemning ‘radical’, ‘religious’ or ‘cultural’ Muslims instead of clarifying the difference between religious Muslims and extremists Muslims etc.

      This QT will make Griffin a hero amongst fools and the panel who have agreed to this are hoping to use their ‘battle’ with Griffin as a political campaigning opportunity, no doubt.

      Funny how a new and controversial BNP policy to allow non-whites into the BNP membership suddenly makes this morning’s news with perfect timing. I guess this means the bulk of the dialogue will be about a ‘new and progressive’ BNP.

      Spin, nonsense and propagnada…

    76. Morrigan — on 15th October, 2009 at 4:55 PM  

      Reza and Bananabrain, spot on you guys.

      The fact is that the left have obliged the population to accept Multicult for far longer than was necessary to achieve a balance. Multicult and the whole ‘racism = prejudice+power’ (ie only whites can be racist) ideology are means to an end, they are not ends in themselves.

      They create a 2-tier rule code where minorities are able to get away with things that the majority are not (like racism!). This is fine to redress an imbalance over a short time period, but when these ideologies themselves become dominant, it creates an opposite imbalance and begins to penalise the majority unfairly.

      It is a matter of elementary physics: if the people in the middle of the see-saw (the mainstream parties) won’t act to correct the imbalance, then voters will turn to the smaller forces- further from the centre- to do so. As long as the Conservatives recognise this, they can neutralise the BNP very rapidly.

      Labour cannot and will not act to redress the balance.

    77. Reza — on 15th October, 2009 at 5:04 PM  

      Morrigan

      “It is a matter of elementary physics: if the people in the middle of the see-saw (the mainstream parties) won’t act to correct the imbalance, then voters will turn to the smaller forces- further from the centre- to do so. As long as the Conservatives recognise this, they can neutralise the BNP very rapidly.

      Labour cannot and will not act to redress the balance.”

      Your see-saw analogy puts so eloquently what I’ve believed for a very long time.

    78. Morrigan — on 15th October, 2009 at 5:09 PM  

      Thanks mate, I’ve believed it for a long time too.

    79. Shamit — on 15th October, 2009 at 5:59 PM  

      Salma Yaqoob would have been a good choice?

      Well Repect and BNP are both loony parties. I guess if you have one loon why not have the other.

      Foreign policy of your country somehow justifies attacking your own innocent fellow citizens - and she has nothing much to say about terrorists hampering the growth of a democratic Iraq.

      Or for that matter Afghanistan.

      Well her presence on the panel would have made Griffin and BNP very happy. So thank god she is not on the panel.

    80. MixTogether — on 15th October, 2009 at 6:27 PM  

      Seconded Morrigan. I spend all my spare time trying to sort out problems caused by exactly that imbalance.

      A lower standard of behaviour is demanded from minority groups, and any bad attitudes like sexism are not sufficiently well challenged. That is precisely why some families think that racism and child abuse is acceptable. It is time they were publicly told otherwise.

    81. damon — on 15th October, 2009 at 9:58 PM  

      I agree with Dave Bones and think Bonnie Greer will do fine. Whenever I’ve seen her on TV she comes across as calm and intelligent - and I love her accent.

    82. Adnan — on 15th October, 2009 at 11:21 PM  

      Morrigan @ 76

      “They create a 2-tier rule code where minorities are able to get away with things that the majority are not (like racism!). This is fine to redress an imbalance over a short time period, but when these ideologies themselves become dominant, it creates an opposite imbalance and begins to penalise the majority unfairly.”

      How exactly is the majority being penalised unfairly, if it really is at all ?

      How long do you think should’ve been sufficient to redress the original imbalance (and how “reasonable” of you to acknowledge that such redress is necessary) ? Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech was made in the late 60’s but Stephen Lawrence murder inquiry was bungled in the 90’s.

    83. persephone — on 15th October, 2009 at 11:37 PM  

      Refresh @66

      I thought the following insight from a researcher was telling:

      ” In Burnley following the 2001 disorders it was discovered that specifically within the Asian community areas there were many NGO and other self development organisations that had been developed from within whereas within the same economically deprived white areas there were no community advocates and there was greater dependency on the state.

      The lack of positive internal community advocates perhaps led to these white areas becoming the breeding ground for the extreme right wing and it should be said that the BNP for one certainly were active trying to fulfil this role. Naturally I am not advocating that the BNP was behaving in a positive manner for the betterment of society, but they were filling a position that should have been picked up by the statutory agencies.

      Through historical experience the Asian areas had never come to rely on the statutory agencies who as in many other areas failed them miserably so they have since their arrival here developed their own internal systems of development.

      From an external and simplistic view point it would and was seen that the Asians were better off. What nobody chose to see though was that the benefits were mostly internally developed and actually they were as bad off as the adjoining white areas. In all the areas that I personally looked at it was clear that such poor communities were living parallel lives and rarely had reason to mix with persons from other communities.”

    84. Adnan — on 16th October, 2009 at 12:14 AM  

      The topics discussed will probably include MPs’ expenses part 2, British troops in Afghanistan, and bankers’ bonuses. Nick will be able to get good populist soundbites from that. He’ll probably be too smart to be pushed into a direct race-based debate. On the BNP membership, he’ll probably go for Black Police Associations. It would be surprising to see him froth-at-the-mouth as he seems well rehearsed in his arguments - he’s probably a cut above the the other BNP officials in that regard.

      David Davis or Andy McNab could have made interesting panel selections on this QT. Are we getting a bit too worked up about this and treating it as the Nick Griffin show rather than just another QT?

    85. Adnan — on 16th October, 2009 at 12:18 AM  

      David Davis (White WWC + Right Wing) or Andy McNab would make interesting panelists. Are we just getting carried away here and treating it as the Nick Griffin show rather than QT?

    86. Metalboy — on 16th October, 2009 at 8:36 AM  

      What has Salma Yavoob ever had to say beyond:

      “I and my tribe demand that my tribe should have a lot more public money lavished upon us and that we ought to have all sorts of special favours granted to us to conpensate for the depressing fact that most Muslims in Britain live in poverty, leave school with few or no real qualifications beyond being glib - if ill-informed messdeck lawyers - and are over-represented - by a factor of three - in the prison system.

      Disproportionately poor and disproportionately backward and disproportionately unskilled and disproportionately criminal though we are, we feel that our adherence to Islam makes us uniquely qualified to yap and snarl about the shortcomings of British foreign policy ”

      Well? Any answers?

    87. Morrigan — on 16th October, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

      Adnan

      How exactly is the majority being penalised unfairly, if it really is at all ?

      - White working class abandoned by Labour (and voting BNP)

      - Calling the white working class ‘chavs’ is ok, but other racial slurs like ‘wogs’, ‘Pakis’ etc have rightly been hounded out of common speech.

      - Black music artists allowed to glorify the worst kinds of mysogyny and homophobia, while no white artist would be allowed to say the same sort of hateful things about black people

      - Asians allowed to practice caste discrimination, child abuse, racism and homophobia (including forced marriages of gay children) which would never be tolerated in the white community

      - white people not allowed to form associations based on race, while other races are free to do so e.g. MBPA

      - Muslims allowed to practice polygamy and get tax benefits from it, while polygamy is illegal in the UK.

      - Muslims allowed to practice cousin marriage despite the known health risks to children, and any MP like Ann Cryer or Phil Woolas who speaks up about it is immediately savaged.

      Any white person who dares to question immigration levels, or the merits of immigration or Multiculturalism or any other plank of the left-wing race agenda is immediately labelled a ‘racist’.

      - English people made to feel that St George’s day is something to be embarrased about or ashamed of, while Paddy’s and any minority festival like Diwali get centre stage in Trafalgar Square (at least Boris has addressed this one!)

      These are just a few items off the top of my head.

      How long do you think should’ve been sufficient to redress the original imbalance

      When I was at secondary school in the 90s it was already understood by us that racism was bad and that everyone was equal. That would have been a good time.

      The Stephen Lawrence case was horrendous, and mistakes were made. However it was also a feeding frenzy for black nationalist groups looking to bash the police. ‘Institutional racism’ is a term coined by the Black Panthers in the 70s, and as such had no place in our national discourse. Thankfully police chiefs and the EHRC have distanced themselves from the term more recently.

    88. Adnan — on 16th October, 2009 at 10:46 AM  

      Morrigan: thanks for replying.

      “- Asians allowed to practice caste discrimination, child abuse, racism and homophobia (including forced marriages of gay children) which would never be tolerated in the white community”

      So, let’s be “fair” and let the WWC do the same? The authorities have started to wake up to forced marriage and honour-based violence.

      “Black music artists allowed to glorify the worst kinds of mysogyny and homophobia, while no white artist would be allowed to say the same sort of hateful things about black people”

      Looks like you were so eager there that you’ve conflated “mysogyny and homophobia” with some kind of racism against whites.

      “- White working class abandoned by Labour (and voting BNP)”

      The working class in general have been abandoned by New Labour.

      “- Calling the white working class ‘chavs’ is ok, but other racial slurs like ‘wogs’, ‘Pakis’ etc have rightly been hounded out of common speech.”

      That’s unfortunately a class-based term rather than racist, and the origin is local - it did not come from any minority.

      “- Muslims allowed to practice polygamy and get tax benefits from it, while polygamy is illegal in the UK.”

      Bollocks.

      “- Muslims allowed to practice cousin marriage despite the known health risks to children, and any MP like Ann Cryer or Phil Woolas who speaks up about it is immediately savaged.”

      There is nothing illegal in first cousin marriage. So, maybe Woolas and Cryer are “savaged” (by whom?), but the party aren’t deselecting or gagging them.

      “Any white person who dares to question immigration levels, or the merits of immigration or Multiculturalism or any other plank of the left-wing race agenda is immediately labelled a ‘racist’.”

      Y-A-W-N

      “English people made to feel that St George’s day is something to be embarrased about or ashamed of, while Paddy’s and any minority festival like Diwali get centre stage in Trafalgar Square (at least Boris has addressed this one!)”

      I’ve never seen St George’s day get celebrated probably due to lack of interest even in the 70’s (I was in infants and junior school then, and there were at most 2 or 3 minority children in each year group). Have you ever considered celebrating it or do you think you’re scoring a point ?

      “When I was at secondary school in the 90s it was already understood by us that racism was bad and that everyone was equal. That would have been a good time.”

      Clearly the Met. police did not understand it at the time so needed a kick up the arse.

    89. Refresh — on 16th October, 2009 at 10:48 AM  

      ‘Calling the white working class ‘chavs’ is ok, but other racial slurs like ‘wogs’, ‘Pakis’ etc have rightly been hounded out of common speech.’

      Morrigan, Chavs is a disgraceful slur invented by snobs looking down on the POOR. Not by black people or asian or anyone else. Get your facts straight.

      I’ve railed against the term from the moment I heard it. Never did I for a moment think it would end being laid at the door of non-white Britons. Never.

      But here it is - right in front of my eyes!

    90. Refresh — on 16th October, 2009 at 10:55 AM  

      What’s this ‘Paddy’s’ festival you refer to?

      Is that not standard fare from the NF days - when you hated the irish with extreme fervour? I suspect you are going against Griffin’s push to entice bigotted supporters from other ethnic groups. I suspect that would have included the Irish contingent, obviously the message hasn’t got through.

      For your information St George is actually celebrated in Palestine, probably more so than it ever was here.

    91. Reza — on 16th October, 2009 at 11:01 AM  

      Adnan

      No, not bollocks:

      http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23435519-muslim-husbands-with-more-than-one-wife-to-get-extra-benefits-as-ministers-recognise-polygamy.do

      “…New guidelines on income support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) state: “Where there is a valid polygamous marriage the claimant and one spouse will be paid the couple rate (£92.80).

      The amount payable for each additional spouse is presently £33.65.”…”

    92. douglas clark — on 16th October, 2009 at 11:11 AM  

      Reza,

      How does that work? If I were to be stupid enough to marry again, heaven forfend, and then get into the habit and marry yet again, the State would pay rather than lock me up?

      I thought, correct me if I am wrong, that bigamy is still on the statute book?

    93. Adnan — on 16th October, 2009 at 11:14 AM  

      Apparently Doug it is legal if the marriage were abroad - sigh.

    94. Morrigan — on 16th October, 2009 at 11:19 AM  

      So, let’s be “fair” and let the WWC do the same? The authorities have started to wake up to forced marriage and honour-based violence.

      No, let’s be fair and make sure these groups are challenged robustly and publicly to raise their standards. The government response to honour killings and forced marriage is positive, but obviously not effective enough.

      Looks like you were so eager there that you’ve conflated “mysogyny and homophobia” with some kind of racism against whites.

      I’m just asking why it’s less of a problem for black people to be homophobic and mysogynist then it is for white people to be racist. Again, there is a double standard there.

      The working class in general have been abandoned by New Labour.

      But see Sunny’s latest post on funding for WWC communities- the problem is identified as being among the WHITE working class specifically.

      That’s unfortunately a class-based term rather than racist, and the origin is local – it did not come from any minority.

      But again, less is done to challenge that term- which does refer to white groups specifically- than is done to challenge other racial slurs.

      “- Muslims allowed to practice polygamy and get tax benefits from it, while polygamy is illegal in the UK.”

      Bollocks.

      It’s not bollocks, if you marry multiple wives in a country where that is allowed, you can get benefits for all of them when in the UK.

      There is nothing illegal in first cousin marriage. So, maybe Woolas and Cryer are “savaged” (by whom?), but the party aren’t deselecting or gagging them.

      By Sunny amongst others. Look it up online, Gordon Brown cut Woolas loose for that comment, when he should have backed him.

      “Any white person who dares to question immigration levels, or the merits of immigration or Multiculturalism or any other plank of the left-wing race agenda is immediately labelled a ‘racist’.”

      Y-A-W-N

      So you have no real response there.

      I’ve never seen St George’s day get celebrated probably due to lack of interest even in the 70’s (I was in infants and junior school then, and there were at most 2 or 3 minority children in each year group). Have you ever considered celebrating it or do you think you’re scoring a point ?

      I celebrated it at work! Not being interested is different to being made to feel ashamed. Do you think anyone should be made to feel bad for celebrating their national day?

      Clearly the Met. police did not understand it at the time so needed a kick up the arse.

      But that did not need to include labelling them with a term coined by the Black Panthers.

    95. Reza — on 16th October, 2009 at 11:27 AM  

      douglas

      This link explains how it works:

      http://www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk/JCP/Partners/allowancesandbenefits/Dev_010023.xml.html

      Bigamy is still on the statute books for you, but not for me. From Hansard:-

      “In Great Britain, polygamy is only recognised as valid in law in circumstances where the marriage ceremony has been performed in a country whose laws permit polygamy and the parties to the marriage were domiciled there at the time.”

      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080220/text/80220w0014.htm

      As an Iranian (dual) National, I could go to Iran, live there for a few months to change my domicile, marry more wives, bring them here under the “Family Reunification” rules and claim benefits for each spouse. Again from the Hansard link:-

      “In the income related benefits, subject to entitlement conditions being met, the claimant is entitled to receive the couple rate of benefit for themselves and one spouse, and the difference between the couple and single rate for each additional spouse.”

      Oh to be a Muslim in Multicultural Britain!

      Think I’ll go get me some wives…

    96. Refresh — on 16th October, 2009 at 11:32 AM  

      ‘Do you think anyone should be made to feel bad for celebrating their national day?’

      Why should you feel bad? Your problem might be more related to the NF/BNP hijacking the flag and pinning it squarely to racism.

    97. Adnan — on 16th October, 2009 at 11:36 AM  

      “So you have no real response there.”

      I would come up with one, but I’ve got to go out so that I can victimise some White people by calling them “racists” and other horrid names, and by flaunting the bad, bad behaviour I get away with in front of their faces.

    98. Morrigan — on 16th October, 2009 at 11:39 AM  

      I would come up with one, but I’ve got to go out so that I can victimise some White people by calling them “racists” and other horrid names, and by flaunting the bad, bad behaviour I get away with in front of their faces.

      Nuff said.

    99. Refresh — on 16th October, 2009 at 11:43 AM  

      ‘Think I’ll go get me some wives…’

      You’d get no sympathy from me. And, from what I understand, if you can’t support them from your OWN pocket, then that too would be illegal under Iranian law.

    100. persephone — on 16th October, 2009 at 11:54 AM  

      Refresh, perhaps the benefit is really compensation for having 4 mothers in law

      Seriously I don’t agree with it. Even if the marriages were conducted abroad in a country where it is legal the uk condones it by recognising it through giving benefits. I believe that the money also goes into the man’s bank account if so wished! Talk about rewarding mysogny.

    101. douglas clark — on 16th October, 2009 at 12:08 PM  

      Adnan,

      Apparently Doug it is legal if the marriage were abroad – sigh.

      Bloody hell!

    102. douglas clark — on 16th October, 2009 at 12:11 PM  

      Reza,

      It seems to me that, as a true born or adopted Englishman, you wouldn’t want to do that.

      Would you?

      I agree with Persephone about the validity of this ruling. If it is wrong, then it is wrong, and we ought to stand up for our ideas of justice and stuff like that…

    103. Reza — on 16th October, 2009 at 12:20 PM  

      Douglas

      “It seems to me that, as a true born or adopted Englishman, you wouldn’t want to do that.”

      Of course I wouldn’t. I believe that polygamy is vile. Thankfully, the vast majority of Iranians have shunned it, despite it being legalised and even promoted by the Islamist regime there.

      However, what is the alternative if we are to support the concept of moral and cultural relativism?

      Are you saying we can pick and choose aspects of foreign cultures that we disapprove of?

      Isn’t that ‘racist’?

    104. Refresh — on 16th October, 2009 at 1:12 PM  

      ‘Are you saying we can pick and choose aspects of foreign cultures that we disapprove of?’

      Nothing wrong with that. Isn’t it normal, just as you might disapprove of some cultural trends here?

      Is British culture cast in stone? Is it the same now as it was in the 1970’s; and before that in the 50’s?

    105. Reza — on 16th October, 2009 at 1:26 PM  

      Refresh

      “Nothing wrong with that.”

      Isn’t there? But who decides what aspects of foreign culture should be tolerated in Britain? As long as the participants are willing, then is polygamy harming anyone?

      Should the decision simply be left to the British people, if the majority oppose polygamy?

      And what about respect for religion. The right to polygamy is part of a Muslim’s religion.

      Do we have the right to outlaw something that is part of someone’s religious beliefs?

      Ands finally, Douglas

      Is polygamy part of Scottish culture?

    106. Refresh — on 16th October, 2009 at 1:31 PM  

      Reza, you are avoiding the point I made.

    107. Reza — on 16th October, 2009 at 1:52 PM  

      Refresh, what point do you want me to address?

      And when I address it, would you answer my questions in 105?

    108. douglas clark — on 16th October, 2009 at 1:53 PM  

      Reza,

      There are obvious lines in the sand.

      Rumbold has posted here on numerous occasions about issues that no-one has ever challenged. It would suggest to me at least that he is down with the zeitgeist.

      These issues include, but are not exclusive to, things like honour killings, FGM, forced marriages.

      As a society we certainly do have the right to outlaw any of these things. And AFAIK we have.

      Is polygamy part of Scottish culture?

      No. We Scottish men are not that daft.

    109. Reza — on 16th October, 2009 at 2:04 PM  

      douglas

      So you agree that there should be lines in the sand?

      Good. So do I. And clearly honour killings, unwanted FGM and forced marriages are carried out against someone’s will, so of course they are unacceptable.

      But polygamy? If it’s consenting? Shouldn’t that become part of Scottish ‘inclusive’ culture?

      As Refresh rightly pointed out, culture isn’t “cast in stone”.

      Isn’t accepting polygamy inevitable if we are to accept that we’re all just “citizens of the planet”?

    110. Refresh — on 16th October, 2009 at 2:11 PM  

      Reza

      ‘what point do you want me to address?’

      That culture changes over time, here and in every other place on the planet.

      As for your points in #106:

      Decisions are for all of us to take.

      As for polygamy, it is illegal. So what was your point?

      As for your ‘moral majority’ outrage. How many incidents of the state paying for polygamous marriage are you concerned about?

      From your own link, there are an estimated 1000, of which a small number actually are affected.

      Then you relate how its a practice rejected by your fellow-Iranians, although it is legal. Which is the case pretty much everywhere.

      You talk as if you are going to end up being given the right to having more wives.

      Get a grip.

    111. Refresh — on 16th October, 2009 at 2:14 PM  

      I can see you would be quite a handful for any wife; and your current one may benefit from sharing the load.

    112. Reza — on 16th October, 2009 at 2:24 PM  

      Refresh

      “That culture changes over time, here and in every other place on the planet.”

      Of course it does. But is it ever reasonable, at any point, to allow the majority to stipulate the cultural changes they are willing or unwilling to accept?

      “As for polygamy, it is illegal. So what was your point?”

      It used to be illegal. Now it isn’t, if you belong to the right ethnic minority. That’s ‘inclusion’ for you. My point is this: if a cultural practise harms no one, then is it ever appropriate for a country or it’s people to refuse to tolerate that practise or make it illegal? And subsequently, if something is illegal here but harms no one, and is an acceptable cultural practice for some people then is it right to change the law to accommodate that practice?

      “You talk as if you are going to end up being given the right to having more wives.”

      But under current British law, I already do. Although sadly Douglas does not.

      This is an important point. I hope you see it. Wouldn’t the next step be to legalise ‘consenting’ polygamy in Britain, to overcome the unfairness that currently exists between myself and Douglas?

    113. Refresh — on 16th October, 2009 at 2:26 PM  

      Persephone
      ‘perhaps the benefit is really compensation for having 4 mothers in law’

      Sounds like Les Dawson all over again. He would have a field day.

    114. Refresh — on 16th October, 2009 at 2:34 PM  

      Reza
      ‘It used to be illegal. Now it isn’t, if you belong to the right ethnic minority.’

      Stop clevering. Polygamy is illegal.

      ‘This is an important point. I hope you see it. Wouldn’t the next step be to legalise ‘consenting’ polygamy in Britain, to overcome the unfairness that currently exists between myself and Douglas?’

      ‘Consenting polygamy’ (or ’shacking up’ with more than one partner) has existed here as far back as anyone can remember.

      What you are talking about is its status as far as the state is concerned.

      So back to the question - how many of these incidents are you getting all hot and bothered about?

    115. Morrigan — on 16th October, 2009 at 2:38 PM  

      It should be fine to legalise polygamy, as long as women were also permitted to take multiple husbands.

      Polygamy as a male-only privilege is utterly sexist and has no place in the UK.

    116. douglas clark — on 16th October, 2009 at 2:42 PM  

      Reza

      @ 110

      But polygamy? If it’s consenting? Shouldn’t that become part of Scottish ‘inclusive’ culture?

      @ 104

      Of course I wouldn’t. I believe that polygamy is vile.

      What are we supposed to make of someone so self contradictory?

      Me? I am against polygamy because every woman on the planet would marry George Clooney. And the prospect of hundreds or thousands of little girls running about with those eyebrows gives me nightmares.

    117. Reza — on 16th October, 2009 at 2:49 PM  

      Refresh

      “Stop clevering. Polygamy is illegal.”

      But it isn’t as I’ve demonstrated. I can legally go to Iran, take more wives, bring them here and claim benefits for them. Are you saying I can’t?

      “What you are talking about is its status as far as the state is concerned.”

      That’s exactly what I’m talking about.

      “So back to the question – how many of these incidents are you getting all hot and bothered about?”

      You said 1000. The government says it doesn’t know. I’d say that even if there was just one example of state sanctioned polygamy in Britain, that provided benefits to someone based upon their ethnic origin and ansestoral customs, then it is worthy of questioning.

      Morrigan

      “It should be fine to legalise polygamy, as long as women were also permitted to take multiple husbands.”

      Perhaps it would be fine. But what if the British people disapprove of it. There is no traditional culture of polygamy. So should we legalize it for everyone? Or should we only tolerate it for minorities?

      Or is it appropriate to say, “No, we don’t accept polygamy in this country. We don’t care if it is part of your religion or culture. We are not going to sanction it or pay you benefits for it”.

      I can understand why this is a difficult issue for moral relativists.

    118. Reza — on 16th October, 2009 at 2:51 PM  

      douglas

      Surely a bright bloke like you understands the very important point I’m making.

    119. Adnan — on 16th October, 2009 at 2:51 PM  

      Is there any evidence of anybody doing what Reza suggested i.e. going abroad to get another wife where polygamy is legal and then coming back here - that should be banned as hubby is living under UK jurisdiction.

      Of course, there are other things where the majority may want to ban minorities e.g. cruelty arguments are made against halal and kosher slaughter, and circumcision on males.

      Of course, we could pursue a “middle” course such as the wonderful Mr Wilder’s suggests - a headscarf tax as it pollutes of Dutch everyday life. If they don’t like it then they can go “back to the desert”.

    120. Refresh — on 16th October, 2009 at 2:54 PM  

      ‘But it isn’t as I’ve demonstrated. I can legally go to Iran, take more wives, bring them here and claim benefits for them. Are you saying I can’t?’

      But you can’t bring them, read your own links before going off clevering.

    121. Reza — on 16th October, 2009 at 3:07 PM  

      Refresh

      I have read the links, and I can. I would have to change my domicile to Iran, and then return to Britain. I would either bring my wives over through “Family Reunion” rules or, more easily, bring them over on a student or holiday visa then claim asylum for them.

      Either way, it’s doable. But you’re trying to divert the argument.

    122. douglas clark — on 16th October, 2009 at 3:42 PM  

      Reza @ 119,

      Yes, I do see the point you are making. As you no doubt know from my post at 102 I think it is a step too far.

      There are compromises that might resolve my sensibilities about this, such as nominating a single wife and the others being paid seperately. Or something.

      Whether my sensibilities matter is for others to judge.

    123. Kenny — on 16th October, 2009 at 3:44 PM  

      I assume all have

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6860246.ece

      seen this stuff ?

    124. Adnan — on 16th October, 2009 at 3:49 PM  

      No Reza, you are being a smartarse.

      It’s illegal to get an additional spouse whilst a UK citizen. Whether or not it can be circumvented is a whole different matter.

    125. douglas clark — on 16th October, 2009 at 4:13 PM  

      Kenny @ 124,

      Well no, I hadn’t seen it before.

      What do you make of it?

    126. Reza — on 16th October, 2009 at 4:23 PM  

      So Adnan, does your repeated diverting of the argument mean that you prefer not to comment on whether the current situation of appeasing and paying for polygamy is acceptable in modern multicultural Britain?

    127. Adnan — on 16th October, 2009 at 4:31 PM  

      Oh whatever, Reza: FWIW, I don’t agree with polygamy. Unfortunately, there are some polygamous unions that predated the legislation where they clamped down on it.

      Of course, you want everybody to believe that a huge proportion of these are being funded at the taxpayer’s expense and that Muslim (and that is the underlying problem for you) immigrants want to screw over the benefits system.

    128. sanjay — on 16th October, 2009 at 4:34 PM  

      VERY CONTROVERSIAL!!!!

      BBC Presenter calls for Pakistan to become a dictatorship.
      BBC Asian Network Presenter, Rozina Sini, called for return of General Musharraf. The former army leader, was a dictator.
      Sini made the comments on Asian Network Report, Thurdsay, 15 October.
      She can be heard making her controversial comments on 12.30pm edition of the programme on the BBC Asian Network website through the listen again button.
      Her comments will outrage many law abiding Pakistanis who fought for years for the vote and democratic government.
      This is far more outrageous then the comments made by Anton Du Beke.
      Surely she has to be sacked over something like this.
      Have a listen and let me know what you guys think!
      Lord Reith will not just be turning, he’ll be spinning in his grave!

    129. Jai — on 16th October, 2009 at 4:42 PM  

      Adnan,

      Good to see you back on PP.

      A quick off-topic note: there was recently a two-part article here which you should hopefully enjoy reading:

      http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6127

      continued at: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6149

    130. Reza — on 16th October, 2009 at 4:52 PM  

      Not at all Adnan. This is nothing to do with my dislike of Islam, nor my disapproval of immigrants who “screw over the benefits system.”

      It’s about getting people to accept that sometimes, ‘tolerance’ can have limits. And intolerance to some alien religious or cultural practices, such as polygamy, doesn’t have to have a rational explanation.

      In a democracy, the will of the people can stipulate how far tolerance should go.

      And if the majority dislike an alien cultural practice enough, they should be allowed to ban it.

      Refresh talks of culture ‘evolving’. That’s great if that evolution is natural. If it is led by the people.

      However, forcing an alien cultural practice on an unwilling population through aggressive and draconian ‘anti-discrimination’ legislation is undemocratic.

      So if the British people decide one day that they no longer wish to tolerate polygamy, sharia courts, international arranged marriage, cousin marriage, the burqa, the hejab or even the turban, then that is their inalienable democratic right to do so.

    131. Adnan — on 16th October, 2009 at 4:57 PM  

      Cheers Jai. Yes, I need to get around to reading both of those postings.

    132. Refresh — on 16th October, 2009 at 5:05 PM  

      Reza,

      So you would have to break several laws and regulations, just so you can justify your stance? And using that level of clevering isn’t disengenuous?

      SO back to my question, how many of these polygamous relationships is the state funding?

    133. Adnan — on 16th October, 2009 at 5:08 PM  

      Sharia courts are not being imposed on the population at large. Also, I’m sure the consequences would be severe for any that were found to be contravene GB criminal law.

      “So if the British people decide one day that they no longer wish to tolerate polygamy, sharia courts, international arranged marriage, cousin marriage, the burqa, the hejab or even the turban, then that is their inalienable democratic right to do so.”

      And what would be the consequence of the exercise of such a right - forced, fair assimilation for all. Nope - they’d go for minority A good (a bit like, “You’re alright Reza”), minority B bad (“but these Somalis…”).

    134. Don — on 16th October, 2009 at 5:34 PM  

      Reza,

      I disagree with you on this point;

      In a democracy, the will of the people can stipulate how far tolerance should go.

      And if the majority dislike an alien cultural practice enough, they should be allowed to ban it.

      That is majoritarianism or ochlocracy, not democracy.

    135. Reza — on 16th October, 2009 at 5:43 PM  

      Refresh

      “…how many of these polygamous relationships is the state funding?”

      I answered you in 118.

      Adnan

      “And what would be the consequence of the exercise of such a right – forced, fair assimilation for all. ”

      The consequence is irrelevant here. The point I make is that there is no moral legitimacy in the argument that a society MUST tolerate any ‘consenting’ foreign cultural or religious practice otherwise it is being racist and intolerant.

      I also highlight how the British people constantly find themselves having to tolerate something they do not wish to tolerate and how that practice stealthily and insidiously becomes enshrined in or protected by British law, and becomes ingrained, as Refresh or Douglas would say, as “part of Britain’s rich and ever-evolving national culture”.

    136. Adnan — on 16th October, 2009 at 5:45 PM  

      Nice one Don.

      I guess this is one of the practical issues in imposing democracy from the outside e.g. in places such as Iraq.

    137. Reza — on 16th October, 2009 at 5:56 PM  

      Don, you’re splitting hairs.

      Adnan: “I guess this is one of the practical issues in imposing democracy from the outside…”

      Imposing anything on a people, without their consent, is wrong. Whether that is democracy, or a foreign cultural or religious practice.

    138. Don — on 16th October, 2009 at 6:00 PM  

      Reza,

      I don’t believe I am splitting hairs. The distiction between the two is crucial.

    139. Refresh — on 16th October, 2009 at 6:03 PM  

      Reza

      ‘I answered you in 118.’

      No you didn’t, you skirted the question.

      This from your own link:

      “A DWP spokesman said: ‘There are fewer than 1,000 polygamous marriages in the UK and only a small percentage of these are claiming social security benefit.”

      What’s your idea of a small percentage?

    140. Arshad — on 16th October, 2009 at 6:07 PM  

      Ive travelled between Muslim communities for a long long time, and I can tell people like Reza that polygamy in this country barely exists. When it has been known to happen, generally communities are very critical, and there is no way that those people can claim benefits as they are not ‘married’ in a civically recognised ceremony. It’s so rare, it’s a complete non-issue.

      This idea that Muslims somehow ‘have it easy’ cause they can marry several women is therefore ridiculous.

    141. Don — on 16th October, 2009 at 6:52 PM  

      Arshad,

      While poygamous marriages are rare there are ways of legitimising them as Reza detailed earlier. Benefits can be paid to a second wife at around £35 a week.

      http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/…/snha-05051.pdf

    142. Kenny — on 16th October, 2009 at 6:58 PM  

      In Taif our neighbour came back from drilling the National Guard recruits on the parade ground and was greeted at the door by both wives, senior and junior, screaming at each other and howling their complaints about the other wife.

      Then the older children joined in the yelling.

      Then the baby started screaming.

      A video of this would have made any would-be polygamist think twice.

    143. Kenny — on 16th October, 2009 at 6:59 PM  

      And this was day after bloody day, not just once or twice.

      Some advertisement for the joys of polygamy!

    144. Don — on 16th October, 2009 at 7:06 PM  

      Actually, it turns out Douglas can have multiple wives as long as he contracts them in a country which recognises polygamy. Some countries only recognise Islamic polygamous marriages but most seem to accept it across the board. So if he became domiciled in, say, Burma, Burkina Faso or Brunei, he could use exactly the same loopholes as Reza.*

      However, he would go down in my estimation if he did.

      *This does not constitute legal advice.

    145. Refresh — on 16th October, 2009 at 8:15 PM  

      Reza

      Again - What’s your idea of a small percentage?

    146. Reza — on 16th October, 2009 at 10:01 PM  

      Refresh

      It matters not if it is a single polygamous ‘family’. This is not about benefit claimants.

      What matters is that centuries of British law, British custom and British values have been changed to appease an abhorrent and alien way of life.

      This is simply one of so many examples of how multiculturalism insidiously and stealthily cuts away at the fabric of British identity and mores. A thousand little cuts, one at a time, until the identity is gone.

      Multiculturalism is like the HIV virus. It doesn’t actually kill the nation. It simply removes the immune system, leaving the nation like an AIDS patient, susceptible to any little disease, that attacks it, bit by bit, until the patient is no more.

    147. Refresh — on 17th October, 2009 at 12:59 AM  

      It matters because you used it as a vehicle for your rhetoric and now don’t want to deal with the details.

      So I take it you do not want to discuss the fact that out of 60million people there are at most 100~200 families who could be claiming benefit on the basis of polygamous arrangements. Its important, because it defines you: Facts are not of consequence when rhetoric is more effective.

      Now I take it you want to build a monocultural society which by definition excludes muslims.

      Would you care to name other groups who would not make the grade?

      Then I would like you to address the issue of what other countries should do. Should they too go into their shells and remove all outside influences including British, like say Burma and North Korea.

      Would you avoid trading with other cultures; and would you be happy for them to stop trading with you?

      And of course there is the prickly question of what you would do to those who don’t agree with you. And finally would you fit in into this Brave New World?

    148. Reza — on 17th October, 2009 at 3:16 AM  

      Refresh

      “Now I take it you want to build a monocultural society which by definition excludes muslims.”

      Not excluding Muslims, just excluding any appeasment of Islam.

      And I want to cut all immigration, not only immigration from Muslim countries.

      That said, I do have some time for Geert Wilders.

    149. Refresh — on 17th October, 2009 at 11:51 AM  

      Reza

      Name your other groups.

      And describe this monoculture you want to put in place.

      And advise us on the commercial and economic consequences of your policy.

      I think Jai and others did a good job of working out the consequences of BNP policies - lets hear about yours and Geert Wilders.

    150. Clairwil — on 18th October, 2009 at 9:37 AM  

      Just to chip on the benefits thing. I don’t think the payments for extra wives is a case of the DWP being tolerant or pandering to other cultures less appealling quirks.

      As things stand a couple get £100 p/w benefit so the man and the 1st wife of a polygamous family get the standard couple rate. If benefit law were to then say we do not recognise your other marriages for benefit purposes then each additional wife would be entitled to claim as a single woman, getting the standard rate of £64:50 p/w rather than the spare wife rate of £33.65.

      Until a few years ago benefit law did not recognise gay relationships. This meant that a co-habiting gay couple had to claim as single people and ended up with more benefit than a married or co-habiting straight couple.

      I think it might be the DWP trying to save a bit of cash rather than a sinister attempt to establish Islamic law in the UK by cunning use of the benefits system.

    151. douglas clark — on 18th October, 2009 at 10:04 AM  

      Clairwill,

      Err..

      ‘Spare wife’ benefit rate?

      What sort of alternate reality are we living in?

      Folk should be treated individually, I’d have thought, but, as you know, I am a bear with very little brain.

      There is no such thing, in common sense, as a ’spare wife’. Which is not to say that the DWP couldn’t see it that way. For they are, probably, insane.

      And these bastards have the right to designate us as mad?

      I don’t think so.

      Could you get to the top of the DWP tree by saying that retirement should be subject to being dead already? I think one could. Not you, obviously, for you are differently sane, rather than them, who are differently insane.

      What a joy bureaucracy actually is, when it is described.

    152. Clairwil — on 18th October, 2009 at 12:56 PM  

      Douglas,
      Sorry spare wife was my words. I was just being flippant. There is a lot to be said for treating everyone individually in benefit law but as it it would lead to all out of work households getting more money it’s not likely to happen, benefit claimants generally being quite unpopular.

    153. douglas clark — on 18th October, 2009 at 1:30 PM  

      Clairwill,

      Just joking. I know you are on the side of the angels when it comes to this sort of stuff.

      However I am not so sure about the DWP :-(



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