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  • Technorati: graph / links

    On Labour’s double-speak


    by Sunny on 2nd October, 2006 at 2:56 am    

    Gary Younge has written a brilliant article in the Guardian today, taking to task the rubbish that has recently spewed out of Ruth “let’s have an honest debate about integration” Kelly, and John “Muslim parents should control their kids” Reid. He ends with:

    For there is no honest conversation you can have about the strained racial fabric of this country at present without talking about the war. Once branded leftwing heresy, this truism is now intelligence-service orthodoxy on both sides of the Atlantic. It has been “a recruiting sergeant for extremists across the Muslim world”, according to a leaked document allegedly written by a British MI6 officer attached to the Ministry of Defence; and a “cause celebre for jihadists”, in the words of the US National Intelligence Estimate.

    The war didn’t invent fundamentalism; nor did it introduce it into Britain. But it has clearly exacerbated it. So long as the likes of Corporal Payne can conduct their torture choirs abroad, our racial landscape will be scarred; so long as the likes of Reid are preaching to the racist choir at home, it will never heal.

    Read the whole thing. There is a fundamental point here: we cannot have double-standards either on violence or racism.

    Our government bleats on about home-grown terrorism while knowingly helping others use cluster bombs and bunker-busters. It cannot accuse ethnic minorities of not integrating without accepting and taking serious steps to deal with the glass-ceiling (at senior level) they face in business, media, politics and civil service, or that nearly a third still have a problem accepting them as Britons.

    This is not victim-mentality talk, this is simply an obvious point to make. Unless the double-standards are acknowledged we will continue to have a facile debate on all these issues.



      |     |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Current affairs, Race politics




    131 Comments below   |  

    1. Katy Newton — on 2nd October, 2006 at 8:40 am  

      Where do you get your figure of “nearly a third” from? The poll says that 16% of people polled thought that non-whites were less intrinsically English, falling to 11% in the group who knew they were being asked about BNP policies. That figure might be too high for comfort but it isn’t nearly a third.

      I don’t like the article by Younge at all, by the way. It’s divisive. The whole problem with racial tension in this country is the tendency of both sides to respond to any sort of criticism with, “Oh yeah? Well, let’s talk about YOU”, and that’s all he’s doing.

    2. Bert Preast — on 2nd October, 2006 at 9:55 am  

      If we follow this idea to it’s logical conclusion we must base our foreign policy around not upsetting even the smallest minority group in our own country? So as a multicultural society with minorities from basically every single country in the world, we can’t actually have a foreign policy anymore?

      Or do I have it wrong, and it’s okay to have an aggressive forign policy against some countries whose minorities for whatever reason don’t matter? Or do we go with avoiding upsetting the largest of the minorities - though isn’t that basically what we do now anyway?

      Also, got to love how that article takes the example of one man, Corporal Payne, who seems to have cracked under great pressure in a warzone and uses him as a stick to beat the white man with. How can the writer be so sure Payne is a racist, or that his actions were racist? Do we even know what race Payne is?

    3. sonia — on 2nd October, 2006 at 10:06 am  

      and who did they poll anyway? it seems these polls either find BNP types or extremist fundamentalist types who ‘won’t integrate’ and then someone will use that to say - ah look these people won’t integrate.

      Very suspicious all of these polls.

    4. Roger — on 2nd October, 2006 at 10:22 am  

      “Very suspicious all of these polls.”
      Or horribly accurate?
      That isn’t a rhetorical question. Fairly tolerant people tend to associate with similar people. So too with bigots. Perhaps the only time we learn how common bigotry is is when we it appears anonymously in polls. There is also the question of how many immigrants and their descendants still think of themselves as “natives of X living in Britain”

      I disagree strongly with Reid, but, perhaps, as an ex-Communist, a follower of an inclusive and all-explanatory ideology, he can see how islam, for some muslims at least, serves the same purpose.

    5. sonia — on 2nd October, 2006 at 10:37 am  

      i went to a talk by gary younge at the LSE and he was pretty good.

      i don’t like some aspects of the tone of this article though - at the same time- im not suggesting that many of his points are invalid. However it seems to me that if you start an article with the title ‘let’s have a discussion about white people’ there’s something a bit off there. how can you just say ‘white people’ without being open to criticism of viewing very disparate groups as one monolithic entity? Sorry but i have a feeling that speaks of reverse prejudice. One can see where it comes from - but it’s not particularly useful. (the analogy in my mind is feminists painting all men with the same brush.) People have pointed this out in connection to when some one refers to the ‘Muslims’ as one big monolithic block and same should apply in this case. Why are people ok for ‘white people’ to be lumped in one category? So is it fine to have prejudices about ‘white people’ ? We hear this thing about inequalities. Yep inequalities exist. Saying any old white person has access to the same privileges as any other white person is a bit dumb - obviously. It’s hardly as if you’re white you’ll get a publishing contract easily or be part of the old boys network just like that - especially if you come from a council estate in Southwark. It’s highly unfair to think otherwise. Let’s get real if we want to tackle problems - there are prejudices of all kinds and race is only one part of it. It’s hardly as if people in asian communities don’t give jobs/preferences to people they know or are related to. Nepotism is a problem for everyone everywhere - not just one group. I know this won’t be popular thing to say on PP where race seems to be such an issue for most people but still.

      Valid points in his article - I think the discourse of ‘oh they won’t integrate’ is part and parcel of similar fears and prejudices - in a ‘reverse’ sort of way. Both fears feed off each other and keep the flames burning. And as for immigration - it’s not ‘racist’ - it’s ‘group-ist’. the group being the nation-state and members being existing citizens. it’s a clique - pure and simple - so obviously it’s cliquey - ‘we don’t want to let anyone else in’.

      Overall - i think if everyone realized that all these points apply to not just ‘ white people’ in the same way people who go on about ‘those muslims’ realized the same dynamics apply to not just ‘muslims’ we’d all get much further along.

      I appreciate Sunny’s comment about it not being ‘victim’ mentality but I think there is also something more subtle to appreaciate: which is the perpetuation of thinking in terms of race and all that may entail and the keeping up such paradigms.

      I know people have acknowledged the importance of not having an us them divide but it appears much harder in reality.

    6. sonia — on 2nd October, 2006 at 10:40 am  

      well roger clearly there are groups of people who may think such thing. But they ‘cancel’ each other out - you could take a hundred polls and find out that in every ‘group’ there were some bigots.

      So what? Didn’t we know that already? The use of polls in my mind appears to be linked to ‘oh this group think that’ implying others don’t from some other group. if you want to focus on people as individuals - then that’s a different matter completely. but the focus on the ‘group’ is completely unhelpful and maintains group divisions.

    7. S — on 2nd October, 2006 at 10:48 am  

      “a brilliant article”? Eh- is you smoking crack?

      Presumably potential Jihadis are fuming at the injustice. Here’s a guy Tom Payne who has got away with murder condoned by evil white imperialist Britain…Oh no hang on he hasn’t, he’s been charged and is going to jail condemned by one and all, the courts and the media.

      Never mind…John reid is just like Tom Payne! Britain is all over the world oppressing people in Iraq and err Afghanistan where we overthrew the much loved Taliban and umm Kosovo and Bosnia where we halted Serbian social progress in its tracks, uh and not forgetting our crimes in East Timor against the friendly muslim community militia and ummm Sierra Leone where we brutally supressed the popular indigenous limb chopping child soldier party- how dare we?

      Jeez Britain and especially white people really cheese me off big time. I’m so angry I might just go and join Al-qaeda go to Iraq and maybe blow up some women and children queuing for heating fuel. That will be John Reids fault too for being so evil. Everyone will blame him and understand why I did it.

    8. Roger — on 2nd October, 2006 at 11:09 am  

      “you could take a hundred polls and find out that in every ‘group’ there were some bigots.”
      Except that you said ” it seems these polls either find… types who ‘won’t integrate’ and then someone will use that to say - ah look these people won’t integrate. ”
      which makes it look as if you’d rather disbelieve every poll than believe the apparent bad news in them.

      What polls show is that there is a pretty large minority of bigots of one kind or other- large enough to be worrying. They do not “‘cancel’ each other out”- in fact the existence of the others justify their own existence and their own behaviour in their own eyes.

    9. Kismet Hardy — on 2nd October, 2006 at 11:51 am  

      Hey I saw the headline to a paper today ‘Tory’s make autism slur at Brown’ or sommat like that? What’s the story? Did they call Gordon an idiot servant?

    10. Chairwoman — on 2nd October, 2006 at 11:59 am  

      Sunny - Gary Younge? Brilliant? Pah!

      Kismet - Excellent pun.

    11. Katy Newton — on 2nd October, 2006 at 12:01 pm  

      Also, what Sonia said :-)

      I meant to add that the debate about whether to curb immigration is often hijacked by racists, but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily a racist proposition or that it is only white people in England who want to limit it. I’ve met plenty of non-white Britons who think that immigration should be limited across the board purely because of limited national resources and space issues. And, of course, these days I believe that more white people (e.g. East Europeans) are trying to enter Britain than black anyway.

      I am inclined to be pro-immigration myself because without it neither my mother nor I would have been born, and I don’t know enough about the effect that immigration has on the country to have an informed viewpoint anyway. The point I am making is that Younge makes several assumptions whic are flawed:

      (a) that people who want to limit immigration are necessarily racist,

      (b)that it is only white Britons who want to limit immigration;

      (c) that racism is always something that white people “do” to black people;

      (d) that if 10% of the population don’t want you there then you are under no obligation to respect the values of the 90% that do.

    12. Jagdeep — on 2nd October, 2006 at 12:35 pm  

      This is a bollocks article by Gary Younge. Sorry, but it’s just bollocks.

      It cannot accuse ethnic minorities of not integrating without accepting and taking serious steps to deal with the glass-ceiling (at senior level) they face in business, media, politics and civil service, or that nearly a third still have a problem accepting them as Britons.

      That’s fighting talk! Don’t dscuss social cohesion unless you do more to ________ (fill in the blanks, an bottomless well of demands)

      This is not victim-mentality talk

      Of course not.

      Unless the double-standards are acknowledged we will continue to have a facile debate on all these issues.

      Yep, that’s for sure, facile is the right word.

    13. Jagdeep — on 2nd October, 2006 at 12:39 pm  

      Here’s an article from the weekend by Hanif Kureishi that I found more interesting than this Gary Younge sulk.

      Reaping the harvest of our self disgust

      Kureishi is practically the only writer I walk over hot coals to read on this issue, coming from a Muslim background, cogent on issues of free speech, author of ‘My Son the Fanatic’ and ‘The Black Book’ which really are prescient and brilliant insights into the roots of Islamic extremism amongst British Pakistani Muslim youth. And what he writes is very striking. I would particularly like to hear Amir’s take on this article.

    14. sonia — on 2nd October, 2006 at 12:46 pm  

      Good points Katy.

    15. Jagdeep — on 2nd October, 2006 at 12:47 pm  

      sonia

      Yeah I know. The title of the article made me wince. It’s just an inversion of everything that we hate as Asians or minorities when it is assumed that we are collectively responsible and an undifferentiated mass. It’s cheap and stupid. I can’t believe how stupid it is. So John Reid makes a contentious speech about Muslim youngsters (I myself have serious issues with some of the presumptions of his speech and criticise him) but just because of that, we write an article ‘all white people’? Brother, for goodness sake, raise your game, get out of the juvenile bear pit and racial sniping.

    16. Bert Preast — on 2nd October, 2006 at 12:58 pm  

      I enjoyed the first comment on the article Jagdeep linked to very much:

      “Perhaps the East is disoccidentated” :D

    17. Katy — on 2nd October, 2006 at 1:01 pm  

      Sonia, you and I are so running this blog right now :-)

      Yay women!

    18. Kismet Hardy — on 2nd October, 2006 at 1:01 pm  

      But Hanif Kureishi hates being Asian

    19. Jagdeep — on 2nd October, 2006 at 1:03 pm  

      Why does he hate being Asian Kismet?

    20. Leon — on 2nd October, 2006 at 1:03 pm  

      Yay women!

      Indeed.

    21. sonia — on 2nd October, 2006 at 1:04 pm  

      does he?

      katy :-) Hehhe…

    22. Jagdeep — on 2nd October, 2006 at 1:06 pm  

      By the way, I have decided to be the defender of Nirpal Dhaliwal on this blog, as he so delightfully winds up my wife, when I read extracts from his ’shocking’ novel. So from now onwards, as devils advocate, and on the principle that everyone deserves a defence, I am officially his advocate, also to wind up Katy Rakhee and Sonia, who are taking control, and are getting too big for their boots and must be opposed in their attempts to feminise us too much.

    23. soru — on 2nd October, 2006 at 1:07 pm  

      As I posted on CiF, I think the point he was reaching towards is something like this:

      Existing terms like neo-nazi, neo-fascist and racist, used about BNP types, work well to describe and criticise those strands in UK society. They persuade other people that they aren’t like that, don’t want to be like that.

      Other terms like chav, england fan, flag-waver, white van man, or just ‘white’, work in the opposite way. They are over-inclusive, and likely to make people bristle defensively because they are being lumped in with people they feel no connection to. Given human psychology, that can even make people end up supporting the group that poses as a defender of their ‘type’.

      Now, assuming you reserve ‘terrorist’ for someone who has actually and provably committed a crime, there are no popular non-inclusive terms for those who have equivalently nasty and extreme Islamist politics to the BNPs nationalist ones (for example, Hizb ut Tahir want to deny the vote to non-Muslims, which is just about as repellent as expelling all non-whites).

      ‘Hizby’ has been suggested, as has ‘hirabahi’.

    24. Kismet Hardy — on 2nd October, 2006 at 1:17 pm  

      Jagdeep, I kinda get the feeling he does. Without wanting to come over all poncy by saying I interviewed him once (oh who am I kidding? I’m a ponce. I interviewed him once), I did get the distinct impression that he loathed everything the word Asian represented. I’d even go as far as saying that once he’d made his name and money from ‘being Asian’, he decided to move on (and, If Love in a Blue Time and The Body are anything to go by, become shitter) and only bring out his pen when there’s an asian-bashing topic to write a column about. I do rate the guy and I am jealous of him, but that’s the feeling i get

    25. Jagdeep — on 2nd October, 2006 at 2:06 pm  

      Really? That’s interesting. I think he’s probably embarassed by us - he used to get his head kicked in for being a Paki when he lived in his London suburbs and probably didnt want to be associated with the curry-sari people of luvvie imagination. Incidentally, something really funny, I was on IMDB (I love reading about movie news!) and reading about his latest movie about an old man in love or something, starring Peter O’Toole, and it turns out that at a test screening at Covent Garden, a couple of Asians were asked if they really wanted to watch the movie, because they wanted to get feedback from a ‘mainstream’ audience! I doubt Kureishi would have appreciated that, but it tickled me pink, i love it when luvvies get a chance to show their stupidity to the world.

      Anyway…..My Son the Fanatic is brilliant. But writers are usually deeply conflicted and contradictory people, he was probably just struggling with his soul that day you met him.

    26. Jagdeep — on 2nd October, 2006 at 2:08 pm  

      I agree with you though Kismet, his books recently have been damp squibs as far as I’m concerned. Oh, I’m leaving my wife, let me write a novel about how tormented I am!

    27. Kismet Hardy — on 2nd October, 2006 at 2:44 pm  

      Torment is good for an artist. Everyone likes a protagonist that blames himself. It’s when you start blaming your ‘people’ that things get a bit creepy

    28. sonia — on 2nd October, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

      :-) getting too big for our boots are we eh? heh heh.

    29. Kismet Hardy — on 2nd October, 2006 at 3:02 pm  

      I’m getting too small for my man boobs that’s for sure :(

    30. Sunny — on 2nd October, 2006 at 3:11 pm  

      Ok, a few points.

      1) Katy, in that poll only 68% were opposed to the idea that non-white people were inherently less British. Hence my third comes from people directly opposed and those not sure.

      2) Bert: If we follow this idea to it’s logical conclusion we must base our foreign policy around not upsetting even the smallest minority group in our own country?

      No, the point is that one should practice what they preach. Labour really has no right preaching about morality when it failed dismally to even have an ethical foreign policy (and I don’t mean just Iraq/Afghanistan, there are plenty other examples of arms dealings, looking away during crackdowns and supplying weapons to regimes that use them on civilians (these incl. Muslim majority countries such as Indonesia).

      3) I don’t have a problem with having a “sensible debate” on immigration, whatever that means, but there are plenty of people on either side who use figures selectively to push their point. And anyway, Ruth Kelly was so badly muddling up issues when she starts talking about immigration when launching a commission aimed at integrating second generation Britons. The language and implication is all wrong. It is all over the place.

      4) Jagdeep: Don’t dscuss social cohesion unless you do more to______

      Again, rubbish. I’m happy to discuss social cohesion here and discuss problems within ethnic minority communities. We must admit our mistakes. Will Labour admit it’s own failures? Will it admit where work needs to be done?

      If “social cohesion” is used as a stick to beat ethnic minority communities as a way of saying they are not doing enough, without asking whether the majority white community is also accepting enough, then it will just breed resentment.

      What does it say to a high-achieving Asian who is told he / she is not doing enough to integrate and when they work hard and contribute fully, they hit a glass ceiling because the top jobs are reserved for the old boy network?

    31. ZinZin — on 2nd October, 2006 at 3:27 pm  

      There was however strong opposition to more extreme policies on race - asked if they agreed that non-white people were inherently “less British”, only 16% of people agreed, with 68% opposed.

      From your link it is just 16% Sunny you can not conclude that those who are unsure agree with the less british if not white proposition. Sunny you are putting words into other peoples mouths.

    32. Jav — on 2nd October, 2006 at 3:39 pm  

      I’m second generation Muslim Asian but still considered an immigrant and not British by a large percentage of English “Whites”, the new Polish “immigrants” have had a much easier time of fitting in because of their colour and European culture. I’ll never be accepted as British and therefore have decided not to integrate (I also have to seriously question integrate into what?). I recently moved to London and feel that I don’t need to, it’s a city state (with a large proportion of ethnic minorities) which will hopefully declare independence!

    33. Sunny — on 2nd October, 2006 at 3:39 pm  

      68% agreed, 16% opposed. What happened to the remaining 16%? What were they unsure about?

    34. Jagdeep — on 2nd October, 2006 at 3:41 pm  

      So Sunny, what this all reminds me of is the trench warfare mentality of the community leaders and race industrialists, who stamp their feet up and down and shout ‘SHADDAP about social cohesion! What about you?’ And then list their agenda and grievance X Y and Z….The attitude that this is a war, a quid pro quo, when you have satisfied our demands, then you can talk to us….but until then, don’t dare speak to us about this! It’s totally bogus in attitude and effect. The issue of social cohesion and integration should not be contingent on demands of this that or the other. At a certain point it’s just a repetition of the same stalemate, bankrupt finger pointing that has allowed thing to fester, this adversarial attitude that is self-defeating. Plus, I feel the patrician tone of being spoken down to, not by the government, but by sulking finger pointers like Gary Younge, who stand on their dinner tables all of a sudden start with the role call of counter-accusation, all in the name of the blessed and wronged minority groups who supposedly need his advocacy. Screw that.

      What does it say to a high-achieving Asian who is told he / she is not doing enough to integrate and when they work hard and contribute fully, they hit a glass ceiling because the top jobs are reserved for the old boy network?

      That’s life - the high achieving Asian gets on with it, instead of sulking and chest thumping and becoming a professional victim - just like the Jewish people have done when the old boy network shut them out for the last 300 years. And then he excels. What he of she never does is offer themselves up as meat for the grievance/victim meat grinder to make mince meat for the victimhood pies some people stuff their faces with all the time.

    35. Jagdeep — on 2nd October, 2006 at 3:42 pm  

      Jav — you already are integrated, you just don’t realise it.

    36. ZinZin — on 2nd October, 2006 at 3:52 pm  

      Younges article is poor and quite frankly confusing.
      War Criminal on trial found guilty and then build up into an incoherent rant against British Liberal society.

      Payne was found guilty as he was put on trial a liberal society is not perfect but it faces up to its problems.

      Its a pity that Younge wrote this piece of shit as he is a good writer on the US political scene which he should stick too.

      Sunnys moans about a glass ceiling depite the many successes of British Asians in many fields such as Medicine and Business. Sunny if you want to get an article in the Guardian (and not just Cif) join Hutr no glass ceiling for them.

    37. Sunny — on 2nd October, 2006 at 3:56 pm  

      That’s life - the high achieving Asian gets on with it, instead of sulking and chest thumping and becoming a professional victim - just like the Jewish people have done when the old boy network shut them out for the last 300 years. And then he excels. What he of she never does is offer themselves up as meat for the grievance/victim meat grinder to make mince meat for the victimhood pies some people stuff their faces with all the time.

      I think that’s over-simplification, old chap. I know people in the media who have left the industry in disgust because senior management is all back-slapping old network of the same old people. Having given all their lives to an institution they believed in, you don’t think they’d be a bit teeny weeny bit depressed?

      Admittedly there are lots of race relations “experts” who make this whole area worse by crying victim mentality at every opportunity and want govt handouts.

      I don’t want govt handouts. I want an acceptance that racism is still an issue that needs tackling. And it’s not necessarily the dinner party people who are on our side, but the ones sometimes who are the enemy. Industries such as media and politics, dominated by middle class liberals, are the worst.

      To that extent I almost (now this is really annoying) agree with Nirpal Dhaliwal’s attack on white liberals over the weekend.

    38. Chairwoman — on 2nd October, 2006 at 3:57 pm  

      Sunny and Jagdeep - It’s not only immigrants and descendants of immigrants (us) who hit their heads on the glass ceiling. Regular white Brits (them) also find they’re banging their heads. To reach the dizzy heights without a struggle, you have to have been at the right school, in the right regiment, your parents should have been the right sort, and finally, you need to be clubbable. India isn’t the only class-ridden society, just a more overt one.

      Jav - Perhaps the new Polish immigrants are more easily accepted because they want to be part of British society. You’ve made it clear that you don’t. So, what’s the problem? Surely the problem is not with people practising their religion/maintaining their cultural mores, but them wanting other groups to stop.

    39. Sunny — on 2nd October, 2006 at 3:57 pm  

      Sunnys moans about a glass ceiling depite the many successes of British Asians in many fields such as Medicine and Business. Sunny if you want to get an article in the Guardian (and not just Cif) join Hutr no glass ceiling for them.

      you want to me to start quoting figures at you Zinzin? Please stick to addressing my points than ad hominem attacks.

    40. Sunny — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:00 pm  

      And I’d also don’t want a government so full of lies and spin to preach to me. If the Asian community has issues, we are perfectly capable of sorting them out ourselves. And we need to. Preaching from ignorant politicians with double-standards definitely does not help.

    41. ZinZin — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:02 pm  

      Please don’t start quoting statistics please.
      If you do please take into account that the don’t Knows are don’t Knpws they are a hardcore fudamentalist bunch who appear in every poll ever conducted. The don’t Knows just don’t Know.

    42. Kismet Hardy — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:06 pm  

      I came by a poll type thing at I think it was superdrug not so long ago. One of the questions on the survey was, do you shop here often.

      1. Once a week or more
      2. Once every fortnight
      3. Once a month
      4. Rarely
      5. Don’t know

      I ticked Don’t Know cos really, I don’t. If I need to buy a tampon for my lady and a cheese sarnie for me, I’ll go into the first shop I see.

      Am I fundo or a willy liberal or just a bit annoying?

      ooh I just don’t know…

    43. ZinZin — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:17 pm  

      Sunny
      Have a lie down please. Do ad hominem attacks include querying your interpretation of data?

    44. soru — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:17 pm  

      Better a willy liberal than a willyfascist.

    45. Sunny — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:20 pm  

      Let’s see…. I don’t know if a brown person’s skin makes them inherently less British or not… hmmm… let me think about that.

      I wonder if the question had been: “Do you sympathise with 7/7″ and something like 20% of Muslims said they didn’t know, and whether Zinzin would be as forgiving. Maybe he really does have compassion inside that hard shell.

    46. Katy Newton — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:20 pm  

      You are certainly a liberal willy, Kismet. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.

      Sunny, Younge does exactly what he complains about other people doing: he lumps a whole group of diverse people together under the label “white”, which is a racist act in itself, and then he makes out that he’s taking a stand against racism. I think that’s pretty despicable. My skin’s as white as Nick Griffin’s but he’d put me a boat out of England tomorrow if he could - and he’d put the East Europeans on the same boat, even though Jews tend not to be welcome in East European countries either. I wonder what Younge would think if I blithely announced that to me there was no difference between West Indians, Africans and Aborigines because they’ve all got black skin? I don’t think he’d like it very much. All he’s done is demonstrate that non-white people are as capable of broad-brush stereotyping and prejudice as “whites” - however you define them.

    47. Katy Newton — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:21 pm  

      The more I think about it, the less I understand why you think his article is good.

      *baffled*

    48. Katy Newton — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:25 pm  

      And -

      *getting really worked up now*

      - I really resent the implication that a minority of 10% dictates this country’s values, because they don’t. What the poll that you linked to demonstrates is that most people dislike the BNP’s platform on race issues so much that they won’t vote for them, even though they approve of the BNP’s non-race policies on housing and so on - the ones that actually impact on people’s everyday lives. In other words, most people put racial equality before their direct self-interest, even when they aren’t told that they are discussing BNP policies. I think that’s a good sign, isn’t it?

    49. ZinZin — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:31 pm  

      Please have a lie down.
      There is no need to get personal.

      “and whether Zinzin would be as forgiving. Maybe he really does have compassion inside that hard shell.”

      I am very compassionate. I maybe a misanthropist but i am left-wing, i despise cruelty as i have been on the recieving end many a time. I cry when Art Garfunkel sings Bright eyes during Watership Down, when Ian Curtis hung himself in 24 Hours part people. In short I am a Humanitarian against all suffering.I am appalled that you have made such an attack.

      I don’t know why you made such a bitter, nasty and heteful remark?

    50. Sunny — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:35 pm  

      This is what I posted over at a discussion on Harry’s Place.

      ——
      It should now be an accepted universal truth that any time fingers are pointed at any group - they will become defensive and say something along the lines of “well look at how crap you are then”.

      I quite liked Gary Younge’s article. In fact I think it’s brilliant. Why? Because I’m sick of Ruth Kelly and John Reid talking down to ethnic minority Britons as if they have a big problem while everyone else is perfect, and the future of Britain depends on these ethnics being a bit nicer to the victimised majority white population.

      Of course when he says this, the natural reaction is going to be from horrified people saying that he is just playing up his victim mentality and ask how dare these white liberals give him the space to say what the ethnics are thinking anyway.

      I think my record demonstrates that I’m not someone who wallows in a victim mentality, who does not want more community cohesion and who does not want better relations with all people. And someone with no patience for religious extremists.

      However, like Younge, I too am pissed off at the patronising tone taken by New Labour leadership candidates in their bid to sound tough, by issuing a series of hypocritical and facile statements, one after another.

      Bad community cohesion? Well what about tackling the problem that politics, media, the NHS and business are nearly 98% - 99% white in upper management? What about the glass ceiling? What about the 32% of people who are either opposed or unsure whether non-white people can be Britons?
      http://www.ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/196

      Who is going to help them integrate? Or are they all like Old Peculier, presumably happy to accept us providing we don’t give any indication that we are brown?

      And don’t even get me started on the double-speak about renouncing violence when we are helping countries drop cluster bombs on innocent people.

      Hey, I think we all broadly want the same things. But the problem is not just with the brown people. It would be nice if the govt sometimes accepted that.

    51. Sunny — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:38 pm  

      Katy - where is he generalising about all white people? I think the headline is a bit confrontational but the invective is targetted solely at Labour and their double-speak.

    52. Sunny — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:39 pm  

      I don’t know why you made such a bitter, nasty and heteful remark?

      Surely you’re having a laugh?

    53. Bert Preast — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:45 pm  

      Sunny: I’d not be surprised if 16% of people didn’t understand the meaning of the word “inherently”.

    54. Katy Newton — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:46 pm  

      Are you kidding me?

      The piece is called “Let’s have an open, honest discussion about white people.” And in the middle of the piece:

      “Let’s have an open and honest discussion about white people.

      Let’s start by talking about how they don’t want to integrate. The stubborn rump of around 10% of whites who, according to a 2002 Mori poll, are hostile to racial equality and antagonistic to the very existence of non-white people in this country. Given a percentage point either way, that is the consistent figure who believe that to be truly British you must be white and who do not believe it is important to respect the rights of minority groups.

      Let’s discuss their inability to choose moderate leaders and the propensity of the leaders they do choose to murder innocent civilians abroad by their thousands. Let’s analyse their vulnerability to extremists such as the British National party, not to mention elsewhere in Europe, where fascism is once again a mainstream ideology.”

    55. Jai — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:46 pm  

      =>”they will become defensive and say something along the lines of “well look at how crap you are then”.”

      I believe the clinical term for this type of debating tactic is “Tu Quoque” (look it up on Wikipedia).

    56. sonia — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:46 pm  

      “What does it say to a high-achieving Asian who is told he / she is not doing enough to integrate and when they work hard and contribute fully, they hit a glass ceiling because the top jobs are reserved for the old boy network?”

      indeed - what does it say to anyone who doesn’t fit into the old boy network? even if you’re upper middle class unless you went to the same public school you’re not part of the old boy network. black white or brown it doesn’t make a difference. you could be white and not have been to eton and that’s that. there’s a good reason why english comedy has a focus around the ‘plum in mouth’ and all that! it’s not just asians. why the focus on asians?

      the doing enough to integrate is a separate bit of nonsense -a red herring. the sort of people who say that say it anyway. there are plenty of people mixing blood with ‘home grown’ populations - in the old days this was the only thing considered ‘integrating’.

    57. gaz — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:47 pm  

      What exactly is ‘upper management’, if it is board level in UK PLc then their are plenty of asains. In the inustries I work across, IT, Finance, Telecoms their are asians/ething minorities right across upper management upto CEO level. As soemone pointed out earlier it is very difficult for all people to reach the the boardroom. Boardroom participitaton is not a good indicator or assimilation as it takes so long to get to that position. You do not step of boat/plane and suddenly become ceo of a UK company.

    58. Bert Preast — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:47 pm  

      “What about the 32% of people who are either opposed or unsure whether non-white people can be Britons? Who is going to help them integrate?”

      Um, the law.

    59. sonia — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:48 pm  

      as the stats say - mixed marriages in britain are on the rise, as are mixed relationships in general. so anyone who wants to say oh these immigrant foreigners aren’t integrating can just be shown those facts - if people want to pacify them so badly.

    60. ZinZin — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:50 pm  

      Accusing me of lacking compassion i do consider that offensive?
      Don’t Know

      Does Sunny get personal if his stats are queried?
      Yes

      Question for you. Are White People less racist than say 10 years ago?

    61. Leon — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:51 pm  

      as are mixed relationships in general.

      Yup, one day my people will rule you all BWA HAW HAW HAW HAW!

    62. Katy Newton — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:52 pm  

      I accept that he might be trying to give New Labour a dose of their own medicine, but I think that’s pretty crass. You don’t deal with racism by handing out a dirty great big dose of it yourself.

    63. Bert Preast — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:53 pm  

      Leon wrote: “Yup, one day my people will rule you all BWA HAW HAW HAW HAW!”

      Yeah but they’ll do it from white vans. VICTORY IS MINE. \o/

    64. Chairwoman — on 2nd October, 2006 at 4:54 pm  

      I’m not a fan of Ruth Kelly who I consider to be a hypocrite, but I quite like John Reid, who I think is capable. However, I think they are forced to skate round issues because of political correctness, and therefore lump all immigrants together.

      I’ve read all the comments with interest. I still think Gary Younge’s pants. He was one of the reasons I stopped reading the Guardian. I was impressed with neither the style nor the substance of this particular article. The phrase thar springs to mind is woolly thinking. Having read all the comments, frankly I haven’t a clue what Sunny’s stance is, except that he considers the article to be brilliant.

    65. sonia — on 2nd October, 2006 at 5:01 pm  

      no one is ever going to come out and say ‘ah now we reached ze perfect level of integration’ are they? However it’s fair enough when people make such silly accusations to wryly point out it’s hardly as if they’re such fine upstanding members of society themselves. but it’s easy to get dragged into this ‘groups’ vs. ‘groups’ business and it just seems to generate further ill-feeling.

    66. Katy Newton — on 2nd October, 2006 at 5:02 pm  

      @65 - Exactly!

      Sonia is on fire today!

    67. Sunny — on 2nd October, 2006 at 5:05 pm  

      I accept that he might be trying to give New Labour a dose of their own medicine, but I think that’s pretty crass. You don’t deal with racism by handing out a dirty great big dose of it yourself.

      I was just about to point this out. I think his article is aimed more at Labour and people who employ that language and use it against them. If you think thats crass then consider that such crassness is directed at ethnic minorities every day, especially by Reid now he’s running for election.

      Question for you. Are White People less racist than say 10 years ago?

      Zinzin - I think so. I’m an optimist at heart.

    68. Katy Newton — on 2nd October, 2006 at 5:08 pm  

      But you don’t fight crassness with crassness!

      If someone says to me, “I hate Jews”, I can either talk to them, or ignore them, or shout “Well, I hate [insert ethnic minority]” back. I’d say that either of the first two options are preferable to the third.

    69. Sunny — on 2nd October, 2006 at 5:10 pm  

      Sunny: I’d not be surprised if 16% of people didn’t understand the meaning of the word “inherently”.

      Bert if I used your line of thinking regarding Muslims I’d call you an apologist for racists.
      I’m sure people are not that stupid.

      Sonia: the doing enough to integrate is a separate bit of nonsense -a red herring. the sort of people who say that say it anyway.

      exactly my point. But we are still forced to listen to “an open and honest debate” courtsey of Ruth Kelly. Hence the cynicism.

    70. sonia — on 2nd October, 2006 at 5:11 pm  

      32. is a good example of letting other people’s bigotries getting you down! so someone thinks you’re not british - why do you agree with them and let them define you? surely that’s ‘giving in. it’s up to you to challenge that by not letting their ideas drag you down. people end up respecting some one who can stand up for themselves and be confident after all! And it’s easy when one is down to think ‘oh everyone else has it easy’ - now that is victimization speaking. jav may think Poles have it easy but they sure as hell don’t.

    71. Sunny — on 2nd October, 2006 at 5:13 pm  

      But you don’t fight crassness with crassness!

      I’d be the first to argue that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. But we’re surrounded by people, incl Labour especially, who want to fight fire with fire. Otherwise apparently we’re liberal pansies.

      Sometimes it feels nice to use people’s words and tone against them to show what generalisation feels like.

    72. sonia — on 2nd October, 2006 at 5:14 pm  

      Katy :-) thanks..

      people can say its about race if they want. obviously that may be a factor. but take away race and it’s not as if inequalities don’t exist. are those inequalities important to people who’re asian? or are we so self-centred we only want to focus on ‘our own kind’?

      in countries where everyone pretty much is from the same ethnicity - glass ceilings, nepotism exist there too. of course compared to a lot of places the UK is much fairer so i suppose people here won’t want to focus on that :-)

    73. sonia — on 2nd October, 2006 at 5:15 pm  

      Katy - you’re rocking too :-)

      this is the mutual appreciation day!

      anyway different people have different bees in their bonnets. i can live with that..

    74. ZinZin — on 2nd October, 2006 at 5:46 pm  

      What does foreign policy have to do with race relations?

      This confuses me a great deal.

      wonder if the question had been: “Do you sympathise with 7/7″ and something like 20% of Muslims said they didn’t know.

      Don’t Know, But as you have insinuated that i have a problem with Muslims can i just say all of the 900 million believers? even women and children?

      Suggesting i lack compassion is deeply offensive and as for the ad hominem attacks list them.

    75. Bert Preast — on 2nd October, 2006 at 5:56 pm  

      “Bert if I used your line of thinking regarding Muslims I’d call you an apologist for racists.
      I’m sure people are not that stupid”

      I honestly think you’d be surprised. I work with people most of whom never read. Not even the Sun. They can read, but their vocabulary is not good, and it’s quite possible that “inherently” is not a word they know. If I was to suggest to them that a group was inherently better than another they’d think it was something to do with inheriting.

    76. Jav — on 2nd October, 2006 at 6:05 pm  

      Chairwoman, suggests that the problem with integration does not lie with people practising their religion/maintaining their cultural modes, but with groups wanting to stop these. I would disagree with this, my inherent stance related to Britain’s inability to recognise colour and more importantly cultural differences as being a valid form of Britishness. The perceived presumption of what it is to be British needs to be questioned – we need to mould a new inclusive society that reflects reality (especially in areas such as in Newham where the majority are ethnic minorities) more akin to the American model.

    77. Katy Newton — on 2nd October, 2006 at 6:25 pm  

      Sunny, Bert is right. Because you yourself are highly literate you underestimate how many people don’t make it to even basic literacy in this country. There are huge numbers of people who can barely write their own name and can’t read at all. Seriously.

    78. Bert Preast — on 2nd October, 2006 at 6:28 pm  

      Thinking about it, why is inherently even in the question? It doesn’t need to be there unless they want to lead people - if you define inherent as something inbuilt then I may well answer “don’t know” myself. Do they mean “inherently less British”, or do they mean “less inherently British”? It seems the word is there to confuse.

    79. Chairwoman — on 2nd October, 2006 at 6:29 pm  

      Jav - I have always thought that the American way of inclusiveness, ie. everybody’s a Something American is the way to go. Also I agree that as the host country, the UK should have made immigrants more welcome.

      The issue, as I see it, and yes, people are more inclined to speak freely to me because I have a white skin, and don’t always realise I’m Jewish (I’ve had some wonderfully antisemitic remarks made by people who hope I’ll be a kindred spirit), what the Brit-in-the-street is bothered by are (a) talk of a caliphate here (b) suggestions of Sharia here (c) Bank Holidays for Muslim holidays and (d) being blown up by radicals.

      My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that to suggest a Caliphate here is both churlish and misguided. Domestic Sharia laws for Muslims, and Muslims being able to take major religious holidays as bank holidays, are good ideas, unfortunately the general populace doesn’t seem to understand that these laws will apply only to Muslims, not to the general population. As for being blown up by radicals, well I’m of the opinion that there is nothing anyone can do about young men being rash and radical. The only suggestion that I can make is that when their co-religionists are asked their opinion, they don’t qualify their disapproval with a ‘but’. No foreign policy justifies blowing total strangers and non-combatants to smithereens.

      One last point about foreign policy. No Government actually gives a damn about what the general population thinks. The only way they can be swayed is at the ballot box, and then when they’re in power, the next lot will do pretty much the same as the last lot.

    80. Bert Preast — on 2nd October, 2006 at 6:36 pm  

      Katy - I’m trying to help one through a Yachtmaster qualification at the moment, so he can charter his sport fisherman out. It’s painful, he’s so dyslexic everything takes him an age and I don’t only have to explain nautical terminology to him but also the meaning of a lot of words you find on political blogs and in the Guardian all the time.

      He’s not stupid, he’s a good builder and has made enough to have a 3 bedroom semi with it’s own pool and looks after his 4 kids fine. He also has a lovely van and the boat. But like me he left school at 16 with nothing, while unlike me he’s never bothered with reading things.

    81. Kismet Hardy — on 2nd October, 2006 at 6:47 pm  

      A lot of non-stupid people aren’t particularly political but rely on knee-jerk reactions to headlines on newspapers. Read ‘America under threat from terrorists’, ‘Saddam must be toppled’ and ‘We’re at war’ to pretty much capture the political thinking of many people of late.

      Take me for example, I’ve read my Proost and can give you a fascinatingly dull insight into the flying buttresses in baroque architecture, but I stick to my political guns: you went to war coz America wanted oil, it’s coz of that that there’s all these bombs in your neighbourhood

      I come to a forum like this and see your point of view. Most people in Britain don’t

    82. Anas — on 2nd October, 2006 at 6:47 pm  

      Right on Sunny, you’re talking a lot of sense here, and Yougue’s article is excellent. What a lot of reactionaries there are in here.

    83. ZinZin — on 2nd October, 2006 at 7:18 pm  

      Anas
      Anyone who disagrees with Sunny and yourself over Younges article is a reactionary? This is a site devoted to progressive politics there are no reactionaries here.

    84. Garry — on 3rd October, 2006 at 12:13 am  

      I think much of the above discussion, and many of the comments on the CiF post, has missed the point of Younge’s post. I thought the central point was this:

      Let’s have an open and honest discussion about white people… Only then perhaps will it become sufficiently apparent for those with insufficient imagination just how crude and crass the framing of the debate about Muslims has been. Any group of people will rightly bristle at the demand to answer collectively for the acts of individuals with whom they share an identity but over whom they have no control.

      The “racist” title was probably written by a sub-ed who a)picked it out of because they didn’t quite get the point or b) knew it’d be controversial and therefore likely to attract readers. Younge wasn’t actually saying we should have a discussion about white people in the way he suggests; it was rhetoric device.

      The point Younge was making was that “talking about white people” in that way, suggesting all white people are collectively responsible for the bigoted few, would indeed be crass and would generate a lot for anger among white people (particularly if called for by someone who isn’t white). The reaction on CiF from those who missed this key point certainly bears that out.

      He was further highlighting the fact that this sort of thing is exactly that Reid and co. do to the Muslim community. It is “crude” and “crass” and it demonstrably gets people’s backs right up.

      Read that way, I think it is a good post, especially since the angry comments on the CiF post highlight exactly the point he was making. Shame none of those commenters are likely to be any the wiser.

    85. Chris Stiles — on 3rd October, 2006 at 2:22 am  

      Chairwoman -


      Perhaps the new Polish immigrants are more easily accepted because they want to be part of British society. You’ve made it clear that you don’t. So, what’s the problem?

      Jav’s own brand of obstreperousness aside, you are being pretty disingenuous. There are plenty of people in this country whose parents/grandparents came from some other European country in the 40s/50s period of postwar migration - generally their experience is a far more positive one than that of an Indian immigrant no matter how well integrated they are. Generally people don’t even notice that they are ‘foreign’.

    86. Amir — on 3rd October, 2006 at 4:15 am  

      On Sunny’s double speak…

      Dear. Dear. Dear. If Nick Griffin ever converted to cultural Marxism then he’d sound very much like our Gary Younge, who, in my opinion, is closest thing we have in Britain to that anti-white bigot Louis Farrakhan – they use exactly the same tropes, myths, vocabularies, and meta-narratives to define their racially-exclusive worldview. Scanning the comments on CIF, I came across this wonderful contribution from a ‘joatsimeon’. Let me quote it to you in extract:

      (I) “Muslims” are not a race, any more than “Christians” or “Communists” are. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

      Here, in a nutshell, is the fundamental error that Younge commits. ‘Whiteness’ is a pigment, or, if you will, a shade of skin color. A Moslem, on the other hand, is an adherent to the Islamic faith – which is not necessarily confined to skin color, though it is not independent of it either. In the case of the young Moslems who attacked blacks in Birmingham last year or Asians in Oldham after 9/11, it was not Nick Griffin and his cohorts who were labelling them ‘the Other.’ Moslems are proclaiming themselves ‘the Other,’ and they are doing so forcefully. No school, no housing project, no job program will take their loyalty away from the Ummah. They live like internal aliens, refusing to identify with their fellow citizens, regarding any hint of patriotic feeling as a sign of weakness or betrayal. A large chunk of our Islamic co-nationalists, for this reason, are a legitimate target for cultural and/or political criticism. Hankeys, on the other hand, are not – unless, that is, you believe in racialist theories of dominance and subservience.

      (II) “Mr. Younge reminds me of the classic Chinese observed by the missionary, who could find his way back to the eternal rice question from any point of Biblical exegesis. Substitute ‘race’ for ‘rice’ and you’ve got our Gary dead to rights.”

      One of the pernicious general consequences of multiculturalism for minorities is that they are constantly told that they are living in a uniquely racist society, even in circumstances where they are demonstrably favoured. The result, in my experience hitherto, is a constant outbreak of mindless self-pity and intellectual masturbation. Gary Younge, to be fair, is an expert on both counts.

      I mean – is anyone here at all surprised that Mr. Multicultural (a.k.a. Sunny) finds his article ‘brilliant’ and awe-inspiring? We all know, deep down, that it panders to his racial/aesthetic prejudices and his concomitant views on British culture (i.e. let’s fucking destroy it). As is often the case: stringent and time-consuming analysis is willfully sacrificed for a Manichean mega-narrative: brown people (collective victims) versus white people (nasty, evil, conniving imperialists). From a therapeutic point of view, it tickles Sunny in all the right places.

      Amir

    87. Amir — on 3rd October, 2006 at 4:22 am  

      To forestall any misunderstanding:

      “Hankeys, on the other hand, are not – unless, that is, you believe in racialist theories of dominance and subservience.”

      When I say this I say it in relation to our foreign policy, i.e., the decision to go to war in Iraq or elsewhere should not be submitted to a racial analysis - unless, that is, a racial motive can be identified, which I’m sure it can’t.

      Criticism of the Moslem Diaspora, on the other hand, is entirely legitimate.

    88. Sunny — on 3rd October, 2006 at 4:23 am  

      They live like internal aliens, refusing to identify with their fellow citizens, regarding any hint of patriotic feeling as a sign of weakness or betrayal.

      I have two words for you: Amir Khan.

      But other than that I’m going to leave your bigoted diatribe on there so people can laugh at it.

    89. Amir — on 3rd October, 2006 at 4:36 am  

      Sunny,

      ‘I have two words for you: Amir Khan.’

      Amir Khan is one individual (who, incidentally, I greatly admire). I am sure, also, that there are many like him. But they do not represent a majority.

      “But other than that I’m going to leave your bigoted diatribe on there so people can laugh at it.”

      Bigoted? You’re hilarious! Wake up and take your head out of the sand. In a poll conducted for Jon Snow’s Channel 4 Documentary, one in three British Muslims aged between 18 and 24 said they would rather live under Sharia law than under British law. In a Pew poll of Muslims worldwide, a gob-smacking 81% of British Muslims said they thought of themselves as a Muslim first and a citizen of their country only second. This is a higher proportion than in Jordan, Egypt or Turkey, and exceeded only by that in Pakistan (87%). By contrast, only 46% of French Muslims said they were Muslims first, compared with 42% who felt themselves first and foremost citizens.

      Stop making such a puerile spectacle out of yourself. For once in your journalistic career, try to find an ounce of intellectual courage to tackle this problem head on. As per usual, you’re playing the race card in order to shut down discussion or divert our attention away from the problem at hand.

      Amir

    90. ZinZin — on 3rd October, 2006 at 9:14 am  

      Sunny you called Younges article Brilliant that is laughable.
      Younges article is confusing and misleading. White racism is on the wane as saids so yourself.

      White racism still exists as Anthony Walkers brutal murder shows but outside a few bigots no one celebrated his death and mocked his familys grief. 7/7 is defended by Muslims with references to foreign policy by some Muslims especially media Muslims (MCB and MAB). Maybe when the 10% produce another David Copeland you can take me to task. However Copeland is an aberration, Muslim terrorists are becoming ten a penny sadly.

      Sunny i am unhappy with Labours leadership on Immigration and in particular Asylum but you have allowed it to cloud your Judgement.

      “We should not be in denial that some young Muslims have become attracted to extremism and fundamentalism in recent years, but nor should we be in denial about why that should be. Muslims did not invent terrorism, nor did they introduce it to this country. Indeed, so long as Britain has occupied foreign lands, it has been vulnerable to sporadic acts of violence on its own soil.”

      Did you not take Bunglawala to task over linking foreign policy to young British Muslim men turning to terrorism?

    91. Chairwoman — on 3rd October, 2006 at 9:33 am  

      Chris Stiles - As the grandchild of immigrants from Eastern Europe, I feel that I am well qualified to comment on this. My Grandparents came here at the turn of the last century, they came here speaking a foreign language, and wearing ‘funny’ clothes and with ’strange’ customs. Being Jewish, they were also at a disadvantage as the indigenous population didn’t like them very much.

      Once here, however, they made every effort to fit in. They learnt English, taught their children to be English (this was before ‘British’), wore clothes that were pretty much the same as everyone elses, and kept their ’strange’ customs in the home. They became extremely patriotic. They managed to intergrate and retain their cultural identity.

      Jav doesn’t want to do this, and that’s fine with me, but similarly he shouldn’t complain about feeling an outsider. Nobody is preventing him following his religion, and keeping his culture.

      When you knock on someone’s door and ask to come in, it’s bad manners to complain about the decor.

    92. sonia — on 3rd October, 2006 at 10:47 am  

      Hmm. Well i disagree with you Amir about Gary Younge being an anti-white bigot. He’s generally a sensible bloke and with regards to the title of the article one can see how he might come up with it tongue-in-cheek. of course my point of view i’ve already droned on about. but i don’t think we can jump to conclusions about mr. younge being a ‘bigot’ - hardly the case.

    93. Chris Stiles — on 3rd October, 2006 at 10:50 am  

      Chairwoman -


      Once here, however, they made every effort to fit in. They learnt English, taught their children to be English (this was before ‘British’), wore clothes that were pretty much the same as everyone elses, and kept their ’strange’ customs in the home. They became extremely patriotic. They managed to intergrate and retain their cultural identity.

      There are some people for whom this is an ‘easier’ option than others. The average person who reacts badly to you isn’t generally interested in your ffamily history - they tend to restrict themselves to superficials.

    94. sonia — on 3rd October, 2006 at 10:52 am  

      Where do you live Amir? Would be interesting to work out where you’ve picked up your ideas.

      :-)

    95. sonia — on 3rd October, 2006 at 10:54 am  

      Garry on 84 - interesting - good points.

    96. sonia — on 3rd October, 2006 at 10:56 am  

      ‘Moslem’ diaspora indeed - AMir no one spells it ‘Moslem’ anymore - got a dictionary in that large collection of books you’ve got? and your rants are indeed puerile.

    97. soru — on 3rd October, 2006 at 11:15 am  

      He was further highlighting the fact that this sort of thing is exactly that Reid and co. do to the Muslim community.

      The thing is, if you read the text of Reid’s speech, it spends about 800 words bigging up Islam and Muslims for every one of implicit criticism or suggestion for action. Of course, unless you are some kind of sad policy wonk, that’s not the speech you will have heard.

      We are all living under the tyranny of the controversy-seeking sub-ed.

    98. sonia — on 3rd October, 2006 at 11:25 am  

      yeah i guess you’re right soru.

    99. Chris — on 3rd October, 2006 at 11:31 am  

      Sunny is surely too intelligent to really believe that GY’s article was “brilliant” - especially (as has been said) in the ludicrous use of the soldier who is going down for his crimes as some kind of metaphor/examplar for/of the white community as a whole. (White community? What is that, by the way?)

      His “brilliant” comment must therefore simply be a subtle ruse to draw out all the justifiably abusive commentary above…job well done!

    100. Jagdeep — on 3rd October, 2006 at 11:51 am  

      Jav, Chairwoman has you bang to rights here:

      Jav doesn’t want to do this, and that’s fine with me, but similarly he shouldn’t complain about feeling an outsider. Nobody is preventing him following his religion, and keeping his culture.

      But apart from that, I find it cool that you have found a place where you feel at home in London - which is not a dollop of paint dropped in the middle of Britain by a spaceship twenty years ago, but is a product of British society and traditions and institutions - in short, the cosmopolitanism that you love so much is a very intrinsic product of the British society you decry and criticise as being unable to cope with difference. Ironic eh? ;-)

      Enjoy the pleasures of British cosmopolitanism!

    101. sonia — on 3rd October, 2006 at 12:11 pm  

      ‘More like the American model’ we keep hearing about this american model. anyway terms like british asian are pretty much along the same lines as ‘irish american’ etc.

      in any case the difference i can see is the rabid patriotism one is supposed to subcribe to in the US. that aside - it’s hardly as if ‘the american model’ whatever that is hasn’t produced pretty much the same dynamic of people accusing each other of racism has it? look at the sepia mutiny place - they’re all obsessed with race more than people here it seems. Or never mind internet forums. I mean one only has to look for example at antimiscegenation laws in the US - Alabama only repealed this law ‘banning’ marriage between people of different ethinicities in 2000!! What’s that all about!

      Grass is greener on the other side. Lots of different people feel at home in different places - that’s another matter. This business of oh somehow America’s dealth with race issues better in some way is clearly rather amusing.

    102. Sunny — on 3rd October, 2006 at 12:13 pm  

      Amir’s shreiks are becoming more amusing day by day.

      I think Garry has best summed up exactly why I liked Younge’s article. The mud-slinging about him being racist won’t stick either because of various other reasons I won’t go into. But funny how Amir accuses others of being racist when they’re non-white. But get a brown person to accuse someone of racism and they’re apparently playing a victim.

      Zinzin - I think white racism is on the decrease, but I also think Muslims are coming out in larger numbers to tackle extremism. But you’ll probably not accept the second part of my assertions.

      Anyway, to re-iterate. Garry has said all there needs to be said. If you still don’t get the point of the article then it’s not my problem.

    103. Chris Stiles — on 3rd October, 2006 at 1:52 pm  

      Sonia -


      ‘Moslem’ diaspora indeed - AMir no one spells it ‘Moslem’ anymore - got a dictionary in that large collection of books you’ve got?

      It is accepted as an alternate spelling even by the Concise edition of the OED. No suprise, as it is originally a phonetic transliteration.

    104. Sid — on 3rd October, 2006 at 1:55 pm  

      “Moslem” phonetic?

      Only if you’re a Fox News anchor.

    105. sonia — on 3rd October, 2006 at 2:19 pm  

      oh thanks Chris - i had no idea…! DOh.

      yeah Sid - it’s these fox news types.

    106. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd October, 2006 at 2:23 pm  

      So should the rapper MosDef really be spelled MusDif?

      (crap)

    107. Sid — on 3rd October, 2006 at 2:34 pm  

      otherwise go the whole hog and say “Mozzzzzzlame”

    108. Jai — on 3rd October, 2006 at 2:41 pm  

      I’d always assumed it was the Persian spelling & pronunciation. I’ve noticed that many Urdu words (and Asian Muslim names) are spelled with an “O” instead of a “U” in their Persian counterparts.

    109. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd October, 2006 at 2:43 pm  

      Tell me about it. My first name in my bank statement is Mohammed, on my passport as Muhammad, and on my council tax as Mohammad. If I had the balls, I could so be a fraudster

    110. sonia — on 3rd October, 2006 at 2:51 pm  

      there’s no ‘o’ in the arabic or persian alphabet - so it must come from transliteration into other languages.

    111. Jai — on 3rd October, 2006 at 3:03 pm  

      That’s interesting Sonia, I didn’t know that.

      I’d just noticed over the years that many Iranian public figures — politicians, religious leaders etc — had “Asian” Muslim names (loosely-speaking) but with “o” in the place of what we would regard as being the normal “u” spelling. At least in the English spellings of their names, anyway.

      Quick example after a brief googling:

      Mostafa Moeen (candidate in the 2005 Presidential election): Name would normally be spelled (and pronounced) “Mustafa” in the subcontinent.

      There are numerous other examples but this was the first one I came across.

      Also, Wikipedia lists the main provinces of Iran and, according to them, there are names with the letter “o”, such as Golestan (”Gulistan” from the Asian perspective ?), Khorasan etc.

      I’m not arguing with you by any means Sonia; this is quite interesting stuff.

      Please don’t start screaming at me. I get enough of that from my stalker on a certain other blog. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about ;)

    112. Chris Stiles — on 3rd October, 2006 at 3:13 pm  

      Sid -


      Only if you’re a Fox News anchor.

      Have you ever heard Gore Vidal speak?

    113. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd October, 2006 at 3:21 pm  

      As poncy spelling changes to names go, my favourite is playright Ayub Khan-Din’s pretentious-as-bruschetta architect brother who now spells his name thus:

      Rasshied Din

    114. Jai — on 3rd October, 2006 at 3:22 pm  

      Sonia & KH,

      Another example I remembered: the name “Gholam” in Persia/Iran is spelt and pronounced “Ghulam” in Pakistan, India etc.

      However, having done some further quick googling, it appears that “Moslem” is a Westernised corruption of the original word “Muslim”. So maybe Persians don’t pronounce it “Moslem” at all ?

      Any Iranians in the house ?

      (Apologies for playing a part in taking this off-topic; we should wrap this diversion up quickly).

    115. Sid — on 3rd October, 2006 at 3:26 pm  

      Gore Vidal is a curmudgeonly, cuddly, brilliant old bloke. He’s also queer, avuncular and a Boston Brahmin. So he’s totally entitled to mangle the word “Muslim”. TV anchors, who are paid for their enunciation, are not.

    116. Jai — on 3rd October, 2006 at 3:30 pm  

      Fox are the only major Western international news network (as far as I know) who call OBL “Usama”. They even had a quick live debate about the issue a couple of months ago, because they kept getting enquiries about why they are spelling/pronouncing it that way when nobody else does.

    117. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd October, 2006 at 3:35 pm  

      I just noticed. USAma.

      Fancy that

    118. soru — on 3rd October, 2006 at 3:38 pm  

      Can we have some kind of War on Constantly Changing Transliterations?

    119. sonia — on 3rd October, 2006 at 4:10 pm  

      no doubt. since we seem to have gone off topic i thought i’d slip this in here - just had a jolly visit to sepia m and found a mention of this lot:

      feministing.com

    120. Jav — on 3rd October, 2006 at 4:32 pm  

      Chairwoman highlights “When you knock on someone’s door and ask to come in, it’s bad manners to complain about the decor.”
      Remember how well the British integrated into Indian society? Within the current context, aren’t British residents in Spain petty well integrated?
      Leaving the above aside, I do actually believe in Citizenship including that related to institutions, manners and law etc., to help facilitate community cohesion.
      As I was born in this country why shouldn’t I complain about the décor? If you lived in India or Bangladesh you would also have the right to complain (countries such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or Iran are separate as they are dictatorships).
      To a large degree, the issue of how to deal with radical Muslims is a separate concern which has been well discussed in this forum before. What is interesting in terms of the “white” population is their fear of Britain over time being taken over by non-whites and what it might mean for them in terms of culture, religion etc. Today, the direction of imperial migration is a reverse of the western pattern experienced previously a century ago. As history has proved, societies and countries change – this is something that most so-called “indigenous” residents and the media such as the Sun or even the Evening Standard have failed to grasp.
      Jagdeep refers to cosmopolitanism in London as being a product of British society and traditions and institutions, perhaps (I think this is due to a number of factors many of which were accidental and not planned) but it is also certainly related to Empire. I’m not decrying British traditions and institutions, I’m not complaining about being prevented from practising my religion or culture, what I’m really complaining about is about not being considered British even though I was born and raised in Britain! A typical conversation with Joe ‘white’ Bloggs – “So which country do you come from?”

    121. Chairwoman — on 3rd October, 2006 at 4:40 pm  

      Jav - I’m not considered British either. When I was a girl, however, I was considered English.

    122. Jagdeep — on 3rd October, 2006 at 4:44 pm  

      Get over it Jav. Why do you want the ignorance of an idiot define your birthright? And London’s cosmopolitanism IS directly a product of Britain’s culture, institutions, social policy, and liberal traditions. You see, as soon as you examine your propositions they fall apart as hopelessly reductive, as reductive as those you complain about who ask where you come from! You want to reduce British society to the ignorance and negativity of a chav who ask you where you come from!

    123. ZinZin — on 3rd October, 2006 at 5:19 pm  

      Zinzin - I think white racism is on the decrease, but I also think Muslims are coming out in larger numbers to tackle extremism. But you’ll probably not accept the second part of my assertions

      Evidence for second assertion ie groups opposed to the fundis. I would like to believe this although PP is evidence itself. Not all Muslims are fundis which is a point I should make clear in my posts so maybe you had a point after all.

      Sunny its depends on interpretations lets just agree to disagree.

    124. Jai — on 3rd October, 2006 at 6:22 pm  

      =>”Remember how well the British integrated into Indian society?”

      Until about 1830 they integrated and assimilated pretty damn well. I recommend the book “White Mughals” as required reading for anyone who is unaware of this, although there are plenty of other sources of information out there too.

    125. Bert Preast — on 3rd October, 2006 at 6:31 pm  

      Jav wrote: “Within the current context, aren’t British residents in Spain petty well integrated?”

      Yes, we are.

    126. Vikrant Singh — on 3rd October, 2006 at 6:43 pm  

      Jai,

      “White Mughals” is a good albiet a partisan book. It is basically about one set of colonialists integrating with another set of colonialists without a kind word or two about the natives. If Dalrymple is to believed, Indian culture is nothing sans Islamic influence.

    127. Jai — on 3rd October, 2006 at 6:51 pm  

      Vikrant,

      I’m still in the early stages of the book, but William Dalrymple does describe why it was apparently easier for the Brits to mix with the local Muslim aristocrats and in some cases even convert to Islam. However, in some cases there was also extensive assimilation of Hindu customs and mores, as the book also touches upon. Colonel James Tod, who was regarded as “too much of a Rajput himself”, was one famous example although others were also mentioned.

      However, given that the focus of the book is on James Achilles Kirkpatrick and his entanglement with the royal court of Hyderabad (especially via that princess he married), it makes sense that there would be a greater bias in the “story” towards Muslim high society and mores.

      It might also just be a factor of W. Dalryple’s own sensibilities; I believe he lived in Delhi for a long time, so that probably played a part in his interest in the Islamic influence. I guess it might have been a different matter if he’d lived in Bombay or Jaipur instead, for example.

      *shrug* Great book anyway. I’m really enjoying it.

    128. Vikrant Singh — on 3rd October, 2006 at 7:04 pm  

      Well Kirkpatrick’s love affair with Kahir-oon Nissa is central to the book. The author tends to overlook the sheer despotism of Hyderabadi Nizam. I take it, he has been using Hyderabadi Muslim sources extensively.

      Yes he did live in Delhi in 1980’s, he has written about it in “City of Djinns”. Wherein he regurgitates the same old pseudo-secularist arguments about Islamic contributions to India. While i do recognise positive Islamic contributions to our culture, what disturbs me is the fact that there is absolutely no talk about… to put it midly… negative aspects of Islam in India. Unlike Hinduism which is usually derired and mocked for the social istitutions it spawned, Negative Islamic influences are glossed over completely in Indian itellectual discourse.

    129. Jai — on 4th October, 2006 at 11:18 am  

      Vikrant,

      I owe you a belated ‘thank you’ — I’d been meaning to buy White Mughals ever since it came out a few years ago, but finally got around to doing it a couple of weeks ago because I remembered you mentioning the book here on PP a little while ago.

      So my thanks to you for that ;)

    130. Dave — on 4th October, 2006 at 7:37 pm  

      Interesting comments

    131. g — on 4th October, 2006 at 10:31 pm  

      As for the english intergrating sucessfully in spain, if you consider opening english cafes and resturants, refusing to learn spainish and isolating themselves from the rest of spanish society to be sucessful intergration then isn’t it hypocrisy to whinge when immigrants here do the same thing?

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