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  • News round up: the Griffin edition


    by Rumbold
    7th February, 2010 at 11:38 am    

    Nick Griffin has his work cut out for him as a poll revealed that a third of Britons believe him to be an unfunny, unpleasant, repetitive misogynist. Oh wait…

    Liz Jones makes a reasonable point about the sort of woman society idealises (ignore the article’s headline).

    The Home Secretary is to reduce the number of student visas after continuing worries about abuses.

    Concerns over the BBC Asian Network’s performance and cost has led to renewed calls for a change in which the channel is run. Campaigners want to see the network become more relevant to younger British Asians, with more features on things like homosexuality and mixed relationships.

    Laura Woodhouse at The F-Word highlights the plight of asylum seekers who left their children behind, and who now want to be reunited with them.

    Gracchi discusses the overlap between the Spanish and British empires.


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    35 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. pickles

      Blog post:: News round up: the Griffin edition http://bit.ly/99WLXB


    2. House Of Twits

      RT @pickledpolitics Blog post:: News round up: the Griffin edition http://bit.ly/99WLXB


    3. James Graham

      Ridiculous. Surely everyone knows the BNP is lead by Stewie? http://bit.ly/99WLXB /via @pickledpolitics


    4. martin runeckles

      RT @jamesgraham: Ridiculous. Surely everyone knows the BNP is lead by Stewie? http://bit.ly/99WLXB /via @pickledpolitics


    5. Dpoc41

      News round up: the Griffin edition http://bit.ly/b4ecQd




    1. sly and reggie — on 7th February, 2010 at 11:42 am  

      We dont like you Nick
      http://bit.ly/7w1CRS

    2. Quietzapple — on 7th February, 2010 at 11:44 am  

      HMG are tightening up some of the requirements for non EU students who want to come here and these Will lead to lower numbers, as may the economic difficulties in Abu Dubai for example.

      Such a reduction is not the critical part of the story, as everyone has suggested by their shorthand for it.

      Let’s hope that the higher requirement for spoken english is enforced without favour. ie fiddles not least because such would lead to still further restrictions.

      Britain should be the school for the world, it is in our interests to spread english and our culture as widely as we sensibly can.

    3. Sarah AB — on 7th February, 2010 at 12:01 pm  

      I didn’t think the point made by Liz Jones *was* reasonable. I assume Emma Watson’s position is down to the fact she has made so many films in such quick succession. It’s fine to ask questions about the ways in which society in the west perhaps imposes certain ideals on women which may have a negative impact - but I don’t find the analogy with honour killings helpful at all.

    4. Rumbold — on 7th February, 2010 at 12:32 pm  

      Sarah AB:

      I think Liz Jones got to what she was trying to say eventually: that in all cultures we prize the idea of the young, virtous woman. The article wasn’t helped by the stupid headline, and it wasn’t well expressed, but the basic point was sound.

    5. MaidMarian — on 7th February, 2010 at 12:47 pm  

      Rumbold - from the Jones article:

      ‘I would counter that the number of women harmed psychologically and physically by the West’s obsession with extreme youth far outstrips the number of women who are murdered for adultery, or even for the ‘crime’ of being the victim of rape in Islamic countries.’

      This is vicious sub-Moir.

      She is certainly not saying that virtuous young women are prized. She is, by stealth, comparing women who have been successful in a legitimate industry with the vilest aspects of Islam.

      She is pandering to the Mail-readers views on Islam, diminishing the achievements of the young and drawing a moral equivalence between those suffering honour killing and those who are knocking on a bit in the West.

      This is disgusting and it is worrying that you and Sunny are not taking her to task.

      Are you really telling me that women in the West suffering over age is equivalent to the Turkish girl who was buried alive (in the article)? Liz Jones is a vile hack.

      And by the way Sunny, these news round up threads are rubbish - failed experiment mate.

    6. Rumbold — on 7th February, 2010 at 1:13 pm  

      MaidMarian:

      I think she is making a reasonable point. Not that the two cases are the same, but that they sit on the same spectrum, with HBV representing the extreme end of it:

      I don’t mean to trivialise what happened to Medine. Her murder was horrific, and the perpetrators should be punished. But all cultures, the world over, celebrate pure, young women.

      Nowehere does she say the two cases are the same. Only the headline writer does that.

    7. KB Player — on 7th February, 2010 at 1:28 pm  

      “I would counter that the number of women harmed psychologically and physically by the West’s obsession with extreme youth far outstrips the number of women who are murdered for adultery, or even for the ‘crime’ of being the victim of rape in Islamic countries.”

      Why oh why oh why does anyone have to point out that that is an extremely stupid article. Being obsessed by your looks and trying to stay young though silly is not in the slightest equivalent to fearing murder by outraged male relations. Or having acid chucked at you when you go to school. What is she going to say next – that the kind of discrimination women used to face in going to university here is the equivalent of actual physical attacks on you? It’s not just the actual events in themselves – it’s the fear of them that keep women down.

      I mean, I will put on make-up and smarten myself up before going out. But I don’t fear that anything evil will happen to me if I don’t.

      Honour killings are a form of terrorism - keeping all women in that society in line - just as lynch parties in the Deep South kept all black people in line.

      “But can we in the West really claim the moral high ground when it comes to condemning these ‘honour’ killings’?”

      Yes, we can. By all means abuse the emphasis on image in this society, but I wouldn’t be wildly upset about how people are treated in Hollywood, of all places. I wouldn’t wave banners in Beverley Hills decrying the unequal practices there. I’d suggest to Hollywood actresses who do earn a lot of money to pool their resources and make some films which give them better than eye-candy parts. Matt Damon can go from being a handsome young dude to weightier parts – probably Emma Watson can’t – but that’s not something that should cause annoyance and irritation, not outrage.

      She sounds like the kind of feminist who will not condemn evils in countries with religiously sanctioned practices against women, but will bang on about how women have to wear high heels. Compared to limitation on freedom of movement – having to have permission from a male relative before you can travel more than 90 miles from your home or whatever – those are nothing. There is such a thing as proportion. Do you say to the schoolgirl with the acid wrecked face – I know how you feel. I put on about 10 pounds and I know some of my friends made bitchy comments about me.

    8. Galloise Blonde — on 7th February, 2010 at 1:58 pm  

      I’m not impressed with Jones either:

      We have battered wives, domestic violence, child abuse, rape. These crimes are not done in the name of religion, other than as part of our cult of worshipping only women who are barely adolescent.

      For one thing she’s begging the question that HBV is caused by religion, and then making a (horribly phrased) assumption that *all* forms of violence against women are caused by youth-worship, with no evidence at all.

      I would counter that the number of women harmed psychologically and physically by the West’s obsession with extreme youth far outstrips the number of women who are murdered for adultery, or even for the ‘crime’ of being the victim of rape in Islamic countries.

      She is comparing numbers women who being are killed, with women who are ‘harmed psychologically and psychically’ with our society’s youth obsession - ignoring that there’s a substantial number of women are also harmed psychologically (I have no idea what ‘psychic harm’ would be) by living under the constant surveillance and control of an ‘honour’ culture. I’ll admit there are probably more middle-aged women wasting their money on bullshit skincare products in Boots and stressing over greys, than there are teenagers being buried alive in South East Turkey, but I’m not adjusting my priorities based on that.

      Daniel Radcliffe is the highest earning male actor for 2009 - is it any coincidence that the highest earning male and female actors come from the same, incredibly successful franchise?

      Noting also in the Mail’s comments that people are saying it’s PURE RACISM to associate honour killings with Turks because it’s all down to those backward primitive medieval Kurds. ::eyeroll::

      Also, technically ‘honour’ killings are not legal in Iran.

    9. Galloise Blonde — on 7th February, 2010 at 2:05 pm  

      Crap, I misread physically for psychically. Sorry.

    10. Galloise Blonde — on 7th February, 2010 at 2:14 pm  

      Half of Hollywood’s top earning women are over 40

    11. Kulvinder — on 7th February, 2010 at 2:27 pm  

      I was also about to post a ‘liz jones is a nutter and made no coherent sense’, but well, i kinda feel sorry for rumbold now…

      But for all the reasons outlined above i don’t think emma watson and medine memi are comparable.

      Incidentally and tangentially id argue the ‘exploitation’ of female celebrities in general and arguably emma watson in particular is from the paparazzi. Although im the last person to condone prosecutions of individuals, particularly in the present hysteria surrounding any issue regarding photographers/children/sex/terrorism (in any combination you wish), but its always struck me as…odd that the kind of ‘upskirt’ shots the paps literally crawl into the gutter for would result in a prosecution were the female not famous and the camera wielder not a ‘journalist’

      Now fair enough, there are female ‘celebs’ who are complicit in their photographs appearing in heat/nuts/ladsmags, a lot of the photographs taken are obviously staged, but i seem to remember the moment emma watson turned 18 the papers were happy to publish photographs of her ‘upskirt’, so all those photographers were presumably taking pictures of watson getting in and out of cars whilst under 18, and presumably getting pictures of her knickers then the day she turns 18 they publish them to show what a ‘tart’ she is.

      Its ironic though the very papers that jump onto any passing paedophile bandwagon have legions of photographers snapping away at famous girls.

    12. Don — on 7th February, 2010 at 3:04 pm  

      I’m with the majority on the Jones article, Rumbold. I read it earlier today and found it crass, lazy and badly argued - in fact barely argued at all. As KB Player pointed out, “But can we in the West really claim the moral high ground when it comes to condemning these ‘honour’ killings’?” is a stupid question to be answered with a simple ‘Yes’.

      Emma Watson’s earnings and a teenager buried alive part of the same spectrum? Really?

    13. MaidMarian — on 7th February, 2010 at 3:58 pm  

      Rumbold - With the greatest of respect, that’s total cobblers.

      Insecurity because of age and insecurity because of exposure to honour violence are not even in the same postcode, never mind on the same spectrum.

      Jones has cheapened complaints about violence against women.

      I’m in the West and I claim the moral high ground on this one.

      Oh, and I will do this, just because it sticks in Jones’ craw too much to say it - congratulations Emma Watson on your achievements.

    14. highfieldoval — on 7th February, 2010 at 5:44 pm  

      Well let’s hope Rajar, or whatever its called, does us all a favour and records plummeting figures on the AN this ‘experiment’ should never have got off the ground in the first place: buying into the idea, as it does, that Asians are special just because they’re Asian was always guaranteed to foster resentment amongst the majority who pay for ‘Aunty’ anyway what about Orientals, how come they get hardly any face time? This isn’t the 60s/70s we’ve moved on there are loads of East Asians about the place now even if they lack the cachet of the Indians and as for the Africans they’re persona non grata unless they’re cleaning out the slops in the canteen. The AN represents all that is wrong with the way we are: segregation and suspicion, exclusion and favouritism. The BBC need to be told that Indians are here on the same terms as everybody else: to enjoy and contribute to a British way of life, assimilate into our big melting pot or integrate elsewhere but not here. Get it! Good!!

    15. Don — on 7th February, 2010 at 5:56 pm  

      assimilate into our big melting pot or integrate elsewhere but not here. Get it! Good!!

      Not really. I more or less got your gist until that part. Maybe it’s just me, but that seems to be gibberish. Are you sure that’s what you meant to say?

    16. highfieldoval — on 7th February, 2010 at 7:43 pm  

      That’s exactly what I meant. I’m old fashioned like that you see, I believe in the ‘melting pot’ which requires assimilation, the fashion today is integration which means mini India rubbing along with mini Somalia which is supposed to rub along with mini Pakistan which in turn has to rub along with mini Nigeria et al. The UK/England got lost in all this today we have ‘Britons’ whose primary allegiance is to elsewhere, they identify more with foreigners than they do us, they have no desire and are not required to let go of backward medieval customs indeed they’re encouraged to retain this stuff and just look at the result: a balkanised nightmare deliberately engineered by Blair and his cronies, Segregated schools, housing estates and communities, gangs based on ethnicity attacking others based purely on ethnicity an electoral system that had integrity subverted by the corrupt third world practices introduced from South Asia. I could go on but would only become incoherent with rage. You get the idea. It’s a disaster I tell you.

    17. Kulvinder — on 7th February, 2010 at 8:01 pm  

      that Asians are special just because they’re Asian was always guaranteed to foster resentment amongst the majority who pay for ‘Aunty’ anyway what about Orientals, how come they get hardly any face time?

      You could say the same about Radio nan Gàidheal or Radio Cymru. Saying the ‘majority pay’ for one radio station is a tad optimistic, even saying the 4,000,000 ‘british asians’ are living 8 to a household - thats half a million homes paying £140 a year or £70,000,000.

      The budget for the AN is approx £12million, you’re out by a factor of ten.

      Generally though the bbc should reflect the needs of those it charges and as such id be against ‘banning’ the AN on account of it being ‘asian’ as much as id be against the bannning of welsh or gaelic radio stations.

      Oh and i agree the british chinese community is under-represented.

    18. Kulvinder — on 7th February, 2010 at 8:10 pm  

      actually change that to 3million, 6 to a household

    19. Rumbold — on 7th February, 2010 at 8:15 pm  

      Hmm… a gross miscalculation. It seems I was far too generous towards Liz Jones. I accept people’s criticisms. I think I was trying too hard to find the good in the article, which I read as there being a spectrum (about what we expect ‘our’ women to be like).

      Some of the most sensible commentors on here have set me straight. Thank you.

    20. A.C. — on 7th February, 2010 at 9:03 pm  

      Rumbold nice one for mentioning the Asian Network problems and linking to an accurate graph. As this is Pickled Politics I would have expected a dedicated thread on a story of that magnitude, but it looks like most people accept the station in its current form isn’t worth fighting for anyway!

    21. KB Player — on 7th February, 2010 at 9:07 pm  

      Rumbold - I did think you were falling a long way below your usual (high) standard.

    22. Rumbold — on 7th February, 2010 at 9:10 pm  

      A.C:

      Well, the news/blog-round up session, which seems to have died a death recently (and probably rightly), is to allow for a number of discussions. As you say, there isn’t as much to say about the Asian Netwrok as one might think; it is expensive and losing listeners.

      KB Player:

      True enough.

    23. A.C. — on 7th February, 2010 at 10:23 pm  

      Rumbold:

      “there isn’t as much to say about the Asian Netwrok as one might think; it is expensive and losing listeners.”

      True, but the real hidden question is WHY is it losing listeners? For my money it has failed to move with the times and people are voting with their feet.

      The Asian Network had the time, goodwill and money to introduce progressive ideas into the Asian community and it squandered them all.

    24. Sunny — on 7th February, 2010 at 11:46 pm  

      Can we stop fawning over any idiot that mentions ‘honour killings’ now please, it does make us look a bit silly.

    25. A.C. — on 8th February, 2010 at 12:08 am  

      Failing to cover the biggest story in Asian Media news properly on this blog makes you look a bit silly too.

      Oh, and so does publishing incomplete data to fit your misleading AIM report about the Asian Network.

    26. A.C. — on 8th February, 2010 at 12:54 am  

      Just put a new blog post up (with accurate and up-to-date graphs) about the Asian Network’s demise:

      http://www.mixtogetherandfriends.org/asian-media/bbc-asian-networks-poor-ratings-have-sealed-the-stations-fate-oh-well/

    27. halima — on 8th February, 2010 at 2:18 am  

      Rumbold

      Maybe it would’ve been better for you to make a seperate post on ‘honour killings’ altogether.

    28. Abdul Abbulbul Emir — on 8th February, 2010 at 11:42 am  

      Mrs A asks:

      And what proportion of the populace think that Blair is an odious lying little creep.

      Have they been asked ?

      Her words…
      Peace.

    29. sofia — on 8th February, 2010 at 11:46 am  

      Like Islam, Hollywood is a clannish, backwards-thinking, oppressive, patriarchal society intent on keeping women firmly in their place.

      erm…sweeping statement…there are plenty of muslim women who feel they are emanicpated by islam…don’t belittle their opinion. And if Islam has been hijacked by clannish, backwards-thinking, oppressive MEN intent on keeping women firmly in their place..then that’s a separate argument.

      I don’t feel Islam holds me back..I think a male dogmatic interpretation of Quranic scripture has been allowed to be the only normative version of Islam..and this is what I find uncomfortable. Making sweeping statements and regurgitating and reinforcing negative stereotypes don’t help anyone. A lot of these societies were misogynist before Islam, and they just sadly continued to be so in spite of what Islam teaches. If it’s about education, well then let’s educate people about what their religion really says..the fact from the fiction…

    30. Tom (iow) — on 8th February, 2010 at 5:37 pm  

      So a third of people are apt to mix-up similar names. Clearly a crisis.

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