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  • Where do they find these people?

    by Rumbold
    22nd November, 2009 at 5:53 pm    

    A Conservative councillor in Kent is in trouble after he complained that too many candidates who wished to become the area’s MP had ‘foreign names’. Peter (a middle eastern name) Hobbins sent e-mails out bemoaning this:

    Mr Hobbins, who stood unsuccessfully for the Tories at the 2001 election and was shortlisted for the London mayoral race, suggested he should change his name to ‘Petrado’ to succeed in the party. One email said: ‘I have been contacted by a Mr Dilon Gumraj and a Zerha Zaidi and others who are all on the approved Conservative Parliamentary Candidates list.

    ‘Not one of them has a ‘normal’ English name.

    ‘They want to be the PPCs for Orpington and asked me for my personal advice on how they would be the best candidates for the Orpington Constituency. My view? For Hell’s sake.‘Why are the Candidates Department so keen on these foreign names?!!!! Maybe I should change my name to something foreign – how does Petrado Indiano Hobbinso sound to you?!’

    The Conservatives have suspended him.

                  Post to

    Filed in: Current affairs,EDL

    30 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. pickles

      Blog post:: Where do they find these people?

    2. bint battuta

      "Not one of them has a ‘normal’ English name" RT @pickledpolitics Where do they find these people?

    3. Lee Griffin

      RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: Where do they find these people?

    4. trixl

      RT @bintbattuta "Not one of them has a ‘normal’ English name" RT @pickledpolitics Where do they find these people?

    5. Youssef

      RT @bintbattuta: "Not one of them has a ‘normal’ English name" RT @pickledpolitics And another one bites the dust

    6. Naheed Mustafa

      RT @bintbattuta: "Not one of them has a ‘normal’ English name" RT @pickledpolitics Where do they find these people?

    7. Leon Green

      RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: Where do they find these people?

    8. Andrea Nagel

      RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: Where do they find these people?

    9. Rhia Chohan

      Tory councillor complaining about MP candidates with 'foreign' names. Not friends with Apu Nahasapeemapetilon I take it?

    1. Faisal Tuddy — on 22nd November, 2009 at 11:42 am  

      Leopards, Spots, change, anyone?????

    2. KB Player — on 22nd November, 2009 at 12:16 pm  

      Mr Hobbins should change his name to Benjamin Disraeli.

    3. Jessica Parker — on 22nd November, 2009 at 1:15 pm  

      Well, they're not normal English names are they?

      The sentiment may not have been politically correct but the observation was!

    4. MiriamBinder — on 22nd November, 2009 at 2:04 pm  

      Nothing to do with politically correct or not. A lot more to do with sour grapes if you ask me - which you haven't of course and I'll grant you that.

      The fact remains that candidates have to be selected but before they can be selected they have to make themselves available for selection. I am not going to join the baying hound till I know which fox I will be chasing. In other words, could it be that those bearing what I assume you would call a 'normal English name' are not that keen on putting themselves up for selection?

    5. Andy Gilmour — on 22nd November, 2009 at 3:03 pm  

      Jessica Parker:
      “Well, they're not normal English names are they?”

      You know, I was watching the England vs New Zealand rugby match highlights earlier, and I'm a little confused - could you possibly help by defining “normal English names” for me, please?


    6. Cauldron — on 22nd November, 2009 at 8:08 pm  

      Yes, yes of course. Usual lefty dog-whistle. Tories are incapable of changing their spots. Leopards, spots, Bufton Tufton, Cecil Rhodes, Monday Club etc. etc.

      Desperate measures from the left, but why are we surprised? It is possible that after the next election there could be more ethnic Tory MPs than Labour ones.

      This of course is an abomination for the left, which claims to be the sole arbiter and representative of ethnic minorities.

      From the perspective of settled (i.e. pre-1997) minority communities, the Labour government has been a disaster. Racist parties have made substantial electoral gains. The IPSOS-Mori key issues poll - the single best long term indicator of topical issues in Britain - shows a marked rise in race-related tension since Labour came to power.

      You can't blame it all on the meeja. Labour played a huge part in creating this mess. It would be nice if someone on the left would raise their hands and say sorry, as opposed to just turning up the volume and trying to frighten ethnic minorities into voting for them.

    7. Binky — on 22nd November, 2009 at 10:17 pm  

      Go back in time a century and the first three 'Asian' MPs [I am not counting Lord Liverpool, who was of Indian descent on his mother's side] had long Parsee names.

      I used to wonder about MPs and so on with weird 'foreign' names - Konni Zilliacus and Van Straubenzee and so on but the electorate - by and large - seems unbothered much one way or the other. I doubt if anyone normal really cares.

      While on the subject of PC and non-PC, some of you remeber Joan Baez. Yes?

      Here's a link to a delectable parody.

      Please empty your bladder before proceeding:…

    8. Leon — on 23rd November, 2009 at 2:35 am  

      C'mon this isn't political correctness this is offensive racist shite. He knew full well what he was doing by taking the piss like that it wasn't some cool headed observation that's being censored….

    9. MiriamBinder — on 23rd November, 2009 at 2:57 am  

      Offensive racist shite? Nah, hardly that …it was too bloomin' ignorant to be any form of shite, offensive, racist or offensively racist for that matter.

    10. Sofia — on 23rd November, 2009 at 3:55 am  

      so what was the Queen's surname before it was changed to Windsor?

    11. Trofim_Vissarionovich — on 23rd November, 2009 at 5:47 am  

      Andy Gilmour: what's a normal English surname?

      How about substituting “typical” for “normal”. Surely Andy
      Gilmour, even you would accede to that? Would not
      MacPherson be a more typical Scottish name than Smith, or
      Krzyszkowiak? O'Shea a more typical Irish name than Kuznetsov?
      Shavlakadze a more Georgian name than Griffiths? You can only
      take relativism so far. I come from west Worcestershire, and here
      is a list of people I went to school or grew up with: Tudge, Rowberry, Birchley, Capper, Blissett, Vine, Rastall,
      Hankins, Wilde, King, Pratt, Robinson, Roberts, Baggott, Sampson, Gardner, Harrison, Baskerville, Benbow, Gwilliam.

      My own surname is the name of a Shropshire village, and is very
      localised. Those above are strongly represented locally. Their
      ancestors lie in local graveyards. They are certainly typically English barring Gwilliam - an Welsh-English
      hybrid. I recently met some at a village do, and knew some by facial features even though I'd never met them before.

    12. Andy Gilmour — on 23rd November, 2009 at 6:23 am  


      Nice try, but anecdotal cobblers, and you very well know it.

      The word “normal” was used, and “normal” was meant. I accede nothing, nor do I have to…

      Also, your experience is inevitably localised, and possibly holds for the rest of your country only if you regard as “English” a limited proportion of those born and raised there. Looked in the Birmingham phone book, recently? And what's the time limit for acceptability, Trofim? Two generations? 4? Is there a random cut-off date, like 1850? Please do tell.

      So, which of these guys who played for England (representing you, Trofim, and all the villagers you know and love) on Saturday are “normal” Englishmen?

      Mark CUETO (father's family from Spain, c.100 yrs ago)
      Ugo MONYE (born in North London, went to same school as J. Wilkinson)
      Ayoola ERINLE (born in Lagos, came over aged 18months, so presumably can be discounted?)
      Shane GERAGHTY (born in Coventry, Irish father, mother's family also Irish backgorund)
      Matt BANAHAN (Channel Islander, so allowed to choose their “home country”)

      I haven't got time to do this properly, but would anyone like to apply a “cricket test”?

      can start with Monty PANESAR, born in Luton to immigrant parents
      Mark RAMPRAKASH, born in Hertfordshire, dad from Guyana.

      please feel free to join in, it's fun (and educational)

    13. Abdul Abulbul Emir — on 23rd November, 2009 at 6:55 am  

      Mrs A says.

      You know Abdul. We should think of changing our name to something with a solid English 'feel' to it. Griffin perhaps or Barnes.

      After all that Margaret Hodge is an immigrant and changed her name to something far less exotic.

      And look how far she's got. The adoration of all lib lefties and a hoity toity penthouse flat up West. She doesn't even have to live in a dump like Barking now.

      Peace be upon us.

    14. Trofim_Vissarionovich — on 23rd November, 2009 at 9:10 am  

      Andy Gilmour:
      Sure, but I would like reassurance that these names are accepted as completely Indian names by the population of India:

      Hartley, Thompson, Kingsley, Lumley, Milligan, Orwell, Thackery, Kipling, Masters, Tully, Corbett, Webb, Dorsey, Ashdown, Woolmer, Best, Durrell.

      True, some of them didn't and don't live in India, but they were and are Indians, nevertheless, because they were born there:…

      But why should you have to be born somewhere to count as a citizen? It seems a bit racist to me. After all, I've been to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Stirling. I've eaten haggis, tablet and neeps. I've drunk Scotch whisky, heard the bagpipes and I can do a reasonable Glaswegian and Morningside accent. I don't see why that shouldn't be enough to make me a Scot.

    15. MiriamBinder — on 23rd November, 2009 at 3:08 pm  

      Why do you require reassurance regarding the acceptability of names as Indian? What possible bearing can that have on the price of strawberries in Danemark?

      The issue here is that some aporth in his ignorance (and possible sour grapes) has made a comment on the names, rather then the conceivable ability of potential candidates. And, as Andy Gilmour quite rightly points out, that selectivity where 'normal English names' become an issue. No problem if Cueto or Panesar represent the UK in sports but heaven forbid Gumraj or Zaidi should want to stand as prospective candidates for a political party?

    16. andygilmour — on 23rd November, 2009 at 3:16 pm  

      Trofim, I *love* your “whataboutery”, I really do. It's precious, and clearly quite important to you…

      But I'm not playing your game.

      I'm responding solely to what Mr. Hobbins said, and 'Jessica Parker's re-iteration of his statement.

      “Normal” is too heavily-loaded a term not to have been used deliberately.

      Also let's not confuse citizenship and nationality - which can be two quite separate things, as you full well know. Oh, and while we're in that vicinity, careful how you bandy the “racist” term about, please. (Yes, it was blatantly obvious what you're trying to pull, don't bloody pretend otherwise. I've got a 6-year old son who's better at hiding what he's up to than you are).

      I thought I'd add the “born in Engerlund” rider to deflect potential objections to certain names, that's all. You're the one who seems to have the strange concern for some kind of established ancestral precedent -
      “My own surname is the name of a Shropshire village, and is very
      localised. Those above are strongly represented locally. Their
      ancestors lie in local graveyards.” (wasn't that in the League of Gentlemen, somewhere?)

      But you won't reveal your crucial historical cut-off point for allowing a name to be “normal”, which makes establishing a definition so much harder. Ho hum.

      Come up here to live and of course you can become a naturalised Scot (4 years and you could play sport for us), we'd welcome you with open arms, even if your accents are almost certainly nowhere near as accurate as you think they are. (while we're on this topic - Eddie Izzard's are *woeful*, and his Sean Connery..oh dear. Nae mind. Johnny Lee Millar is the best non-Scot I've ever heard. Brilliant in “The Flying Scotsman” film)

      I used the rugby example with good reason - Mr. Hobbins was complaining about the names of people seeking to represent his party. I was providing examples of people representing his country on an international stage, whose names he would categorise as not being “normal”. Perhaps he, just like yourself, could have a wee look in the Birmingham telephone directory to see what “normal” and “typical” English names can run to?

      And just for fun, from the Scotland team against Australia on Saturday:

      Cusiter (French name, though a long time ago), Danielli, De Luca, and Strokosch.

      And they were all bloody brilliant.

    17. Trofim_Vissarionovich — on 24th November, 2009 at 7:54 am  

      Well, Andy G, you are a bit tetchy. I'll put it down to youth, and perhaps a drop of the hard stuff. I must admit I didn't read the initial post fully - mea culpa - but spotted the bit about English names. Now being an
      Englishman, and given that anti-Englishness is more or less de rigeur in left circles, I thought I'd show that there is such a thing as an English name.
      You say that there is a difference between citizenship and
      nationality. Well, the whole point is that I often see it
      asserted that to be born in the Uk makes you British in both
      senses, whereas it is much more complicated.
      With regard to normality and numerous other concepts discussed
      here. It is striking that people here, and elsewhere on blogs of
      all hues, operate on a polar, discrete, boolean model - either
      you are or you aren't this or that. I'm quite sure in my own
      mind, that cognitive models of the world operte on a
      Would you agree that in terms of typicality, a sparrow or a
      robin is a typical bird, whereas a penguin or an ostrich, is
      somehow less typical? Certainly, if asked to name a bird quickly
      in a psychological test setting a subject is more likely to name
      a robin than a parrot, and a parrot than a penguin and this
      response is mirrored in rapidity of response. Cognitive
      psychologists suggest (sorry, forgotten names) that typical
      exemplars are stored more centrally, atypical ones peripherally.
      There is a continuum of typicality. I suggest, that nationality,
      like all other concepts, exists cognitively as a continuum of
      typicality Some people are more typical Scots than
      other Scots, even though they may both be Scots nationals. It is
      not an all or nothing thing.
      And this thing about ancestors. It's really what people are
      trying to articulate when they talk about indigenous and
      non-indigenous. My forebears are buried in the village
      churchyard, I was born in the house where my mother still lives,
      my grandad was the village postman, my father and uncles
      carried my grandmother across the road from her house to her
      grave. I feel that I have a greater ancestral link, affinity,
      right to be here, whatever you might call it, than the bloke over
      the road who moved up from Surrey a couple of years ago. Isn't
      that a universal phenomenon, that people feel themselves to be
      more connected with a certain place than others? Look at John
      Clare and his little part of Northamptonshire, Stanley Spencer
      and Cookham. If I were Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, or Red
      Cloud of the Lakota nation saying something along the lines of “I
      and my people belong here. It is our land. Our ancestors have
      lived here since time immemorial” that is acceptable. But the
      same doesn't seem to apply to certain other well-known peoples
      nearer to home.
      I don't really get all this ingerlund stuff. Is it a kind hint that people who have anything positive to say about England are boorish xenophobic football supporter types?

    18. Andy Gilmour — on 24th November, 2009 at 2:41 pm  


      “Well, Andy G, you are a bit tetchy. I'll put it down to youth, and perhaps a drop of the hard stuff!”

      Patronising nonsense.

      Then you admit you didn't read the original post properly, but dived in on your own little (very “local”) hobby-horse.

      Which I am not interested in discussing, as I've made abundantly clear already. Nor do I regard it as of any great significance, for reasons stated previously.

      “It's really what people are
      trying to articulate when they talk about indigenous and

      More nonsense, and again, well you know it. Which invasion do we have to precede to be “indigenous” - hmm, can you hear that plaintive little BNP dog-whistle?

      As I've said twice already, but you seem incapable of understanding, go read the Birmingham phone book. This is the 21st century, we're not playing Saxons vs. Normans any more.

      Since you're so obsessed with a tiny, parochial little village where nothing has apparently changed since Magna Carta, why don't you change your pseudonym to “The Village Idiot”.

      It would be far more appropriate, given the evidence.

      Enjoy having the last word. I'm done - I don't have the time or energy to do this any more.

    19. donuthingeparty — on 25th November, 2009 at 6:51 am  

      Most popular Baby names in the UK:
      Jack (Jacques - French)
      Harry (Henri - French)
      Joshua(Yeshua - Hebrew)
      Alfie (Alfred - German)
      Charlie (Charles - Fr - Carl - German)
      Daniel (Hebrew)
      James (Greek)
      William (Fr)

      Now the girls!
      Emily (Amal - German)
      Grace (Gratia - Fr/Latin
      Jessica (Hebrew - Yiskah)
      Chloe (Khloe - Greek)
      Sophie (Sofia - Greek)
      Lily (Lilium - Latin)
      Amelia (Amal - German)
      Evie (Eva - Hebrew)

      Jewish names: Michael, Joshua, Daniel, Joseph, David, Adam, Elizabeth, Hannah,
      German names: Robert, Edward, Roger, Albert, Carl, Alfred, Rosalind, Emma, Eric, Matilda.
      French names: Charles, Henry, William
      Celtic names: Alan, Brian, Jennifer
      Greek names: Eleanor, Stephen, Alexander, Andrew, Peter, Gregory, George, Christopher, Melissa, Margaret, Nicholas, Jason, Timothy, Chloe, Zoe.

      If you want an English name, you probably have to go back to Godel or Hereward (although I think they were Danes) maybe Boudicca?

    20. marvin — on 25th November, 2009 at 11:31 am  

      donuthingeparty, I presume the councillor was referring to English names popular within the last century, not going back for eternity. I mean, as far as I know the self-replicating proteins in the primordial soup didn't even have names. But if they did, they would have been very multicultural, which does really undermine the obvious councillors apartheid era whites only policy on Orpington council with regards to 'English sounding names'. We was all soup once ya know!

    21. Peter Hobbins — on 18th December, 2009 at 11:25 am  

      Jessica Parker is excellent at putting comments into perspective. I will continue to read JP's comments.

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