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  • More on the BNP chemicals case


    by Sunny
    11th October, 2006 at 3:30 am    

    There seems to be more than meets the eye to the story of two men arrested last week for possessing chemicals, rocket launchers and more.

    Why did the story not make national headlines as it should have? Various reasons seem to be attributed to this. Earlier today I spoke to one BBC exec who found it “utterly bizarre” they missed the story. He first saw it on Pickled Politics and flagged it up to others, who were caught unaware.

    The BBC national news team relies on various channels to feed them information. Among them are their own reporters, feeds from news wire services such as PA and stories flagged up by local radio teams. In this case, for whatever reason, it seems neither of these channels fed the story back to “the system”, I was told.

    This came from a source who would have loved to do the story. But PA did not pick it up, BBC Radio Lancashire did not flag it up and the police did not inform the national press. You may ask why they didn’t? Wasn’t it a big story?

    Well, it seems, not according to the police. Another reporter I spoke to today said the police played down their statements after initial comments. Robert Cottage is still remanded in custody, as the Burnley Citizen reported, and will appear at Burnley Crown Court on the 23rd.

    But contrary to reports in the Pendle Today and NW Evening Mail, David Bolus Jackson has been released, as I understand it, and will not appear in court. I have been told the police have also backed down on their statements insinuating there was a “masterplan”.

    So there are a few added complications. It may have been that because the police subsequently played down the arrests the story was not picked up.

    Once the national media did get wind of the story through blogs it was old news. Firstly, I was told, they have to be contemporaneous with stories. Secondly, digging into the story once the men had been remanded in custody for a few days may jeapordise a fair trial and be in contempt of court.

    Admittedly, for a large organisation such as the BBC, this is a very poor excuse. But given that I spoke to people genuinely interested in running the story, it seems like the most plausible one.

    This also makes it difficult to ask too many questions now about the arrests or the impending trial in case it looks like an editorial could influence the trial. Only basic facts, as the Asian Image reported, can be allowed.

    But it is perfectly legitimate to ask why many of these restrictions do not seem to apply when British Muslim suspects are picked up or a police raid is conducted, as was the case in Forest Gate.

    Either way it looks as if there are a few red faces around the BBC and some parts of Fleet Street. It is likely the media will be out in full force on the 23rd.

    P.S. Ministry of Truth questions whether Jackson was indeed ‘ex-BNP’.


                  Post to del.icio.us


    Filed in: Civil liberties,The BNP






    231 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. Did you hear about this bomb plot? « Nick

      [...] This didn’t make the headlines as the police played down the importance of the issue and didn’t make a press release. The mainstream media didn’t get to hear about the story until days after, at which time it reporting the story would could jeapordise a fair trial. Beware, this last link contains a heated debate in the comments section. [...]




    1. Geezer — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:13 am  

      Good article sunny.

    2. Dr Phill Edwards — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:35 am  

      Unlike Muslim groups, the BNP is not a violent or terrorist organisation, and unlike those same Muslims, are not and have never been plotting rerrorism.

    3. Lawrence — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:44 am  

      Played down because Police thought it may result in Mosques being blown up all over the country.

    4. vigorniensis — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:30 am  

      I have read the article in the Burnley report and it says quite categorically that ONLY one of the men had had any previous dealings with the BNP. He had resigned from the BNP (ex-BNP ??), so why are you heading this story so misleadingly (as if we didn’t know?)
      The BNP are not the fascists and racists that you and the BBC/Home Office would like to portray us as.

      We are simply a group of people who are intent on not having our culture in this country diluted by multiculterism. We have never been asked whether we want it. What are we suposed to do - allow the whole of the Indian sub-continent into these already over-crowded isles ? Without a complaint ? Of course not.

    5. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:36 am  

      Excellent piece Sunny. Interesting to see that bloggers really are ahead of the game at times that an organisation as big and well funded as the BBC…

    6. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:46 am  

      Unlike Muslim groups, the BNP is not a violent or terrorist organisation, and unlike those same Muslims, are not and have never been plotting rerrorism.

      Never heard of the Brixton bomber?

    7. The voice of reason — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:50 am  

      “We are simply a group of people who are intent on not having our culture in this country diluted by multiculterism.” vigorniensis, you case would be strenghtened slightly if you could spell “Multiculturalism”

    8. scroll_lock — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:55 am  

      Vigorniensis, why don’t you start by kicking out the Saxons? Or the Normans? How about Queen Elizabeth II and her Greek boyfriend?

    9. Jai — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:01 am  

      =>”We are simply a group of people who are intent on not having our culture in this country diluted by multiculterism.”

      Given the American influence on British culture via the media for several decades now (at least), I think it’s accurate to say that “British culture” in its “unadulterated” form has been diluted for a very long time now.

      Same applies to, for example, the black influence on British popular music.

      Perhaps what is being suggested is rolling the clock back to the 1950s, pre-Elvis. Interesting thought…..

      Would that kind of British culture be “pure” enough for the BNP, I wonder ?

    10. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:06 am  

      Would that kind of British culture be “pure” enough for the BNP, I wonder ?

      Paganism?

    11. sonia — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:20 am  

      nothing is ever pure enough to satisfy people who think like that. i mean e.g. when so many asian families say about not having their culture diluted by ‘corrupt western values’ - all similar sort of thinking - anything they don’t like they’ll say ah there’s the corrupt western influence!

    12. sonia — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:21 am  

      in any case there’s never any such thing as ‘unadulterated culture’. all a figment of people’s imagination - wishful thinking i call it. just like all the silly rubbish about ‘pure blood’.

    13. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:37 am  

      his third world friends

      Who the hell are you calling third world? I was born here you dolt!

    14. Clairwil — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:43 am  

      LOL @jane.

      The BNP are a civilsed party? Have you seen Redwatch?

    15. Jai — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:48 am  

      =>”Some of the comments from Sunny and his third world friends seems all to be expected.”

      Most people here are highly-educated professionals; many, myself included, went to private schools, have top-tier university educations (both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees), and work in the “professions” such as medicine or, alternatively, in blue-chip companies in the consulting or financial services sectors.

      “Third world” is about as far off the mark as you can get.

    16. Jai — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:49 am  

      And the majority were born here too.

    17. Jagdeep — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:55 am  

      ROFLOL!

      One sentence he says this:

      The BNP have turned out to be a very civilised party.

      Next sentence this:

      Sunny and his third world friends seems all to be expected.

      Hmmmm…..very civilised indeed, the dark brown third world ethnics…

      Anyway, where did the BNP savants arise from? They must have been visiting from Harry’s Place I suppose.

    18. Sid — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:56 am  

      Third World friends?

      Yeah, here I am. Waves at third class BNP tossers.
      ;-)

    19. Jagdeep — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:58 am  

      I miss the days of rucking in the street with racists :-)

    20. sonia — on 11th October, 2006 at 12:01 pm  

      ***joins sid in waving**

      next time there’s talk of privilege remind me to bring up the Third World.

    21. Chairwoman — on 11th October, 2006 at 12:04 pm  

      Jai - Of course it wasn’t pure enough for them then, ‘we’ were here.

    22. PFM — on 11th October, 2006 at 12:05 pm  

      [Unlike Muslim groups, the BNP is not a violent or terrorist organisation, and unlike those same Muslims, are not and have never been plotting rerrorism]

      reminds me of the time i saw 5 bnp skinheads jump on a poor asian lady and actually carry her home. twas amazing. we should all be more like the bnp.

    23. Yakoub/Julaybib — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:03 pm  

      Let’s see what happens to media coverage when it comes to trial. Then we can truly discern the red faces from racist ones.

    24. jane lomas — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:22 pm  

      Sorry, but who are redwatch? What are their aims?

    25. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:29 pm  

      Sorry you are offended, but fact is you ARE from third world countries no matter what school or university you attended your educatation paid for from OUR pockets.

      You’re talking bullshit. I’m not from a third world country I was born here. And who is ‘our’? Of the BNP supporters and members what proportion of tax actually went anywhere near funding a BME persons education? C’mon, let’s have some figures Ms Lomas.

    26. Jagdeep — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:30 pm  

      Sorry you are offended, but fact is you ARE from third world countries no matter what school or university you attended your educatation paid for from OUR pockets

      No you racist scumbag - our education was paid for by the taxes of the society to which our grandparents and parents and families contribute, and to which we contribute now.

    27. Sunny — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:43 pm  

      Folks, cn we please avoid getting riled up by trolls? I will be deleting the blatantly racist messages anyway.

    28. jane lomas — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:44 pm  

      Most of your families Jagdeep were on benefits..maybe they still are.This is why OUR council taxes are so high.Moreover don’t you think you should return to your mother country to help your own third world poor?

    29. Refresh — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:48 pm  

      Sunny,

      I think its worth hearing Jane’s arguments. Only then can they be challenged.

      If she intends only to offend, then delete away.

    30. Sid — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:49 pm  

      jane jane jane jane jane…

      If you’re going to raise the ugly subject of money, let it be known that its foreign tuition fees paid by 3rd world students that keeps our universities afloat.

      Furthermore, I probably pay more in taxes than you EARN in a year, to pay for social services to keep you and your misbegotten knuckle-dragging sprogs on chips and chinese takeaways. I don’t mind, as long as you stay on those shitty god-forsaken estates and out of my way.

      Now fuck off and stop soiling this thread with your foul presence.

    31. Jagdeep — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:50 pm  

      Yeah you’re right Sunny - the teeth must be grinding of this racist diaorrheal dribble. Best ignore the smell.

    32. Don — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:52 pm  

      Jane,

      What’s Redwatch? I gather you are BNP, try asking Tony Wentworth or Mark Collett.

    33. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:53 pm  

      Most of your families Jagdeep were on benefits..maybe they still are.This is why OUR council taxes are so high.Moreover don’t you think you should return to your mother country to help your own third world poor?

      Remarkable skill, you’ve just gone from offensive and ignorant to comedic and irrelevant in the blink of the eye!

    34. Refresh — on 11th October, 2006 at 1:55 pm  

      Sid,

      For goodness sake. Lets put up a reasoned argument.

      For example, if we follow Jane’s suggestion and apply it universally, Jane would need to accomodate most of the US and Australian population here in our green and pleasant land. Estimated population of UK, 200 million?

      Also there was a time when the British Isles (along with the rest of Europe) the third world of its day.

    35. Sid — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:09 pm  

      Refresh

      come on, all I’m trying to do is precipitate a full on flame war with these c*nts. Could be well relaxing.

    36. Chairwoman — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:11 pm  

      Refresh - Now it’s my turn to be intemperate. There are some people with whom it is not possible to put up a reasoned argument. Telling her how educated one is will only further infuriate her, and she would probably welcome the thought of 200 million ‘white’ people returning.

    37. jane lomas — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:13 pm  

      No not BNP yet,but maybe soon.Yes,indigenous english.Yes,my forbears built the infrastructure of this lovely country.Yes, strongly object to third worlders such as your ungreatful selves for over populating OUR small country..think you will find my view tallies with the views of the majority of the indigenous population.No,cannot understand why you are SO anti against the good christian people who gave you a home.Yes,really do think you should be deported back to your OWN countries for your ouright traitorous views against this MY country.

    38. Chairwoman — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:13 pm  

      sid - BTW I hope you don’t mean me. Katy and I are guilty of having had a Chinese takeaway last night :-)

    39. Refresh — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:18 pm  

      Chairwoman, Sid,

      The question, if I might remind ourselves, is why would ex-BNP want to be involved with building chemical bombs?

      Jane, what is your view?

    40. Refresh — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:21 pm  

      And I too have some issues with the idea that being well-off and well-educated gives anyone an argument against the BNP.

    41. Random Guy — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:26 pm  

      hey jane, love your spelling (ungreateful) …bwaahhahahaha! Seriously guys, ppl like Jane need to feel warm and cosy in their racist hole. She needs us to validate her views of foreigners. I will tell you that nothing will get them more riled than this:-

      I AM NOT WHITE AND PROUD TO BE BRITISH!!! I AM NOT CHRISTIAN BUT HAPPY TO BE HERE!!!

      Thank you.

    42. Sid — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:31 pm  

      Refresh #40, you’re right of course. Totally.

    43. Chairwoman — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:40 pm  

      Ms Lomas - As English is your mother tongue, as it is mine, not to mention your birthright and heritage, could you please explain why your grammar and spelling are so dreadful?

    44. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:44 pm  

      Yes,really do think you should be deported back to your OWN countries for your ouright traitorous views against this MY country.

      HAHAHAHAHA! This is MY country I was born here!:P

    45. Galloise Blonde — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:51 pm  

      I can’t help but smile at these ‘indiginous English’ Christian types who maybe don’t know that Britain was a Celtic, pagan country before the Anglo-Saxons came with Fire and the Sword. And wasn’t the infrastructure built largely by Irish navvies? And loads of other immigrants too? How about learning some of the history of this beautiful country?

    46. Jai — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:54 pm  

      Sunny,

      I have got to demolish our BNP supporter’s statements. Please feel free to delete everything as per your discretion, but in the meantime I have to respond.

      Jane,

      =>”no matter what school or university you attended your educatation paid for from OUR pockets.”

      Rubbish. Going to a private school means one’s parents pay for the fees. And by the way, my father is a doctor. Shall we do some calculations to see how many “indigenous British” lives my father has saved during the past 35 years ?

      Yes ? No ?

      And I paid for my postgraduate degree myself, thank you.

      Let’s take it further. Assuming you actually have a job and work in the private sector, exactly how much revenue do you earn for your employer ? Are you in the 40% tax bracket ? How much profit do you personally assist in generating ? To what extent have you facilitated global business transformation programmes ?

      Shall we do some further calculations and see exactly which of us contributes more this country’s economy and to its worldwide business competitiveness ? If you want to make this about money — which is something I don’t agree with, but both me and Sid are obviously more than capable of taking you on — let’s see which of us is actually a more “valuable” citizen to the United Kingdom.

      =>”No,cannot understand why you are SO anti against the good christian people who gave you a home.”

      Neither Jagdeep, nor myself, nor Sunny or anyone else who is a regular on this website is “anti” Christian or “anti” anyone else from Britain. Wrong website, wrong audience.

      In any case, there is nothing “Christian” about your own attitudes or the basis of the BNP. You’re a hypocrite — even worse, a religious hypocrite. Which places you in the same league as Anjem Choudary, Abu Izadeen, and the rest of the treasonous wannabe jihadis. Congratulations.

      Furthermore, your own views directly contradict everything the British, the Allied powers, and the millions of Commonwealth soldiers fought against the Nazis for during the Second World War. You yourself are therefore a traitor — there is nothing British about your racist attitudes, and you violate the very principles and ideals this country is based on.

      In that sense, there is nothing “British” about the British National Party. The name itself is an oxymoron.

      And, most ironically of all, your own ideology is closer to the most regressive far-right groups in the so-called “third world” countries you despise. The most backward, “Third World” person on this website right now is you. The same applies to the BNP as a whole.

      You’re obsolete, outclassed, and outsmarted. If you can find nothing else to occupy your time and make yourself falsely feel “important”, go right ahead. The rest of us have real lives to live.

    47. Chairwoman — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:54 pm  

      Lomas is a Saxon name originating in Cheshire.

    48. raz — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:59 pm  

      Guys don’t bother with this troll.

    49. Bert Preast — on 11th October, 2006 at 3:04 pm  

      Damn good show, Jai.

      Love how almost everyone else, who’re usually partial to expounding the need for dialogue with extremists, just flies directly into abuse mode when an extremist hoves into view. :D

    50. sonia — on 11th October, 2006 at 3:16 pm  

      the Anglo- Saxons didn’t come with the Sword either..they were pagans at first.

      “And I too have some issues with the idea that being well-off and well-educated gives anyone an argument against the BNP”

      yeah me too. everyone benefits from other people’s taxes - so what?

      definitely it’s still international students who subsidize the cost of home student fees!

      anyhow.

    51. Amir — on 11th October, 2006 at 3:20 pm  

      Galloise Blonde,

      (I) ‘I can’t help but smile at these ‘indiginous English’ Christian types who maybe don’t know that Britain was a Celtic, pagan country before the Anglo-Saxons came with Fire and the Sword.’

      Dwi’n gwybod. Be wyt ti’n trio ddweud? ;-)

      (II) ‘And wasn’t the infrastructure built largely by Irish navvies? And loads of other immigrants too? How about learning some of the history of this beautiful country?’

      Fashionable claims that we are a ‘nation of immigrants’ are very, very misleading. Yes: I am aware that Celts, Romans, Vikings, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Normans and Irish all came to or lived on these islands in the previous two thousand years or thereabouts. But from 1066 until very recently, there were very few immigrants of any kind to this island, and Britain developed its own distinct national character – to which those immigrants adapted. Past migrations, of Jutes and Jews or Normans and Huguenots, have never been on anything like the current scale. Fact.

      I hate the BNP – not because it is pro-British or that it opposes mass immigration or the intelligentsia’s suicidal embrace of multiculturalism – but because it is a racist party. It’s as simple as that. Case closed. Stop pandering to hateful trolls.

      Amir

    52. soru — on 11th October, 2006 at 3:20 pm  

      Trying to deprogram an extremist is a job for a professional.

      It can be fun to either take the piss out of them, or just give a rousing statement of your own beliefs (nice one, Jai), though.

    53. Amir — on 11th October, 2006 at 3:27 pm  

      Jai,

      In any case, there is nothing “Christian” about your own attitudes or the basis of the BNP. You’re a hypocrite — even worse, a religious hypocrite. Which places you in the same league as Anjem Choudary, Abu Izadeen, and the rest of the treasonous wannabe jihadis. Congratulations.

      Spot on!! :-)

    54. Anas — on 11th October, 2006 at 3:32 pm  

      Would the NHS, and many other public services, even have been viable without immigrant labour?

    55. Anas — on 11th October, 2006 at 3:35 pm  

      also, I don’t know about all this rubbish about the third world. Many parts of Glasgow are now at about third world standards in terms of deprivation, standards of living, health, etc. Does that make me, a Glaswegian, part of the third world?

    56. sonia — on 11th October, 2006 at 3:41 pm  

      yeah and many parts of the so-called Third World are richer/well off etc. everyone knows such designations are facile.

    57. Galloise Blonde — on 11th October, 2006 at 4:00 pm  

      Amir, come on, I was just teasing the idea that being ‘indiginous’ gives you some kind of authority to pass judgement on who gets in.

    58. Galloise Blonde — on 11th October, 2006 at 4:01 pm  

      No, I don’t mean who gets in, I mean who gets deported. Sorry.

    59. Amir — on 11th October, 2006 at 4:04 pm  

      Sonia,

      ‘yeah and many parts of the so-called Third World are richer/well off etc. everyone knows such designations are facile.’

      Okay. If there’s no such thing as a Third World Nation then why don’t you swap your nice gaff in London for a dusty hovel in Angola, Senegal, Timor-Leste, Rwanda, Benin, Tanzania, Malawi, Chad, Congo, Sierra Leone, Burnudi or Zambia,?

      No…? I didn’t think so.

      Amir

    60. Sunny — on 11th October, 2006 at 4:08 pm  

      Amir - I’m interested in something. How do your policies or ideas differentiate from the BNP? They say they’re not racist. They say they don’t hate people of other colours, just don’t want them destroying British “heritage” or whatever. They talk of the indigenous whites or whatever.

      So, ignore the labels for a second. I want to know how you see yourself different from the BNP. It is a genuine question.

    61. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 4:08 pm  

      Amir I don’t think that was the point Sonia was making. There are in fact places in the poorest parts of the world which are richer than the poorest parts of our country.

      Britain was described by the UN a few years back of having a third world train system. Katrina revealed just how close to the third world some parts of the US are.

    62. Amir — on 11th October, 2006 at 4:19 pm  

      Leon,

      ‘Britain was described by the UN a few years back of having a third world train system. Katrina revealed just how close to the third world some parts of the US are.’

      STILL, the distinctions between a First, Second, and Third World country is a valid one and can measured across four axioms: Gross National Income (GNI), Human Development, Poverty, and Freedom.

      Amir

    63. Amir — on 11th October, 2006 at 4:21 pm  

      Okay Sunny,…

      Wait a sec

      Just seen your question…

      [wait a few minutes]

    64. Jagdeep — on 11th October, 2006 at 4:28 pm  

      Jai # 46

      That person got a good whipping there! I believe the youngsters on the street today, call that getting ‘owned’!

    65. Refresh — on 11th October, 2006 at 4:32 pm  

      This is a sight to behold. Sunny and Amir finally talking.

      Can’t wait for the reply.

    66. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 4:35 pm  

      the distinctions between a First, Second, and Third World country is a valid one and can measured across four axioms

      I don’t disagree with that but that wasn’t the point.

    67. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 4:46 pm  

      Haha! She’s back, this is the best comedy ever! I aint Muslim so your pathetic jibes are water off a ducks back.

    68. Sahil — on 11th October, 2006 at 4:48 pm  

      “STILL, the distinctions between a First, Second, and Third World country is a valid one and can measured across four axioms: Gross National Income (GNI), Human Development, Poverty, and Freedom.”

      I don’t really agree. What is Human development? Is this the HDI by the UN??

      Poverty is also a bit of an issue: that’s the crux of what Sonnia said, some parts of LDCs are very affluent, but the majority badly off. So I would rather look at both absolute and relative poverty in the states. Unfortunately, when 40 millions americans have no health plan, when they get sick, they are in poverty.

      Lastly, what is freedom? I really don’t want another freedom of speech issue, but many countries ban drugs, incitement to hatred, etc. SO are talking about civil rights, or more generally the freedom of civil and social mobility. And I’m not really aware of any index ranking such a broad definition of freedom.

    69. Refresh — on 11th October, 2006 at 4:49 pm  

      Ok Sunny - you were right. Please go ahead and delete her.

      You were right and I was wrong - no talking to some people.

    70. Kulvinder — on 11th October, 2006 at 5:00 pm  

      Unlike Muslim groups, the BNP is not a violent or terrorist organisation, and unlike those same Muslims, are not and have never been plotting rerrorism.

      Never heard of the Brixton bomber?

      You’re both right and wrong; the bnp doesn’t advocate violence towards anyone and i think its a disservice to start claiming they do. There is no policy as far as im aware for organised attacks on anyone. They cannot be blamed for the actions of David Copeland anymore than a particular mosque/gurdwara/synagogue/church/mandir can be blamed for the actions of one of its congregation. The bnp doesn’t even allude to having an armed military wing; its just a political party, and as much as i may disagree with their views i don’t support demonising them into something they are not.

      On the otherhand its nonsensical to compare ‘muslim groups’ vaguely and as a whole to one white nationalist political party. There are violent white supremacist organisations, and using them as an example of ‘white groups’ would be absurd.

    71. Chairwoman — on 11th October, 2006 at 5:06 pm  

      Sorry to disappoint you, not Muslim, not even Asian.

    72. jane lomas — on 11th October, 2006 at 5:15 pm  

      Well said Kulvinder..Like them or loathe them the BNP are a non marching,non violent,political party.If they come to power they will politely ask the anti-british/democracy types to leave.That would almost certainly include a few bloggers on this anti-British web site.

    73. Kulvinder — on 11th October, 2006 at 5:16 pm  

      Will have to pose the question why you worship mohammed the paedophile.Any answers to that little poser..diden’t think so.Awaiting your third world insults with baited breath..

      Sex with children has never been a problem in british society and it isn’t a problem today, despite what the tabloids say. The age of consent is completely distinct to the idea of ‘sex with children’ and as a result every culture around the world has developed its own ‘age of consent’ As a libertarian i obviously think any state ordained ‘age of consent’ is ridiculous statism and would use concepts similar to the fraser competence to decide any such matters (or things even things like driving licenses). As it is there is no other answer to why people in different cultures have sex at different ages other than, well, they’re different cultures. Trying to universally justify your particular opinion is little more than cultural imperialism.

      Personally i don’t see why its conceptually better to admire churchill over muhammad. Incidently they don’t worship him and its a sign of ignorance to say they do.

    74. jane lomas — on 11th October, 2006 at 5:17 pm  

      Chairwoman,your not a Liberal are you!

    75. Leon — on 11th October, 2006 at 5:19 pm  

      If they come to power they will politely ask the anti-british/democracy types to leave.

      Of course and the history of fascism shows that when in power they act nicely and politely request people they don’t like leave the country.

    76. ZinZin — on 11th October, 2006 at 5:19 pm  

      Well said Kulvinder..Like them or loathe them the BNP are a non marching,non violent,political party.If they come to power they will politely ask the anti-british/democracy types to leave.That would almost certainly include a few bloggers on this anti-British web site.

      I will gladly vote BNP if you put yourself on the banana boat Jane.

    77. Kulvinder — on 11th October, 2006 at 5:36 pm  

      n.b. to clarify before someone asks, the age of consent is 16; the age at which you’re no longer considered a minor is 18. Ignore the tabloid hysterics.

    78. Kulvinder — on 11th October, 2006 at 5:43 pm  

      Well said Kulvinder..Like them or loathe them the BNP are a non marching,non violent,political party.If they come to power they will politely ask the anti-british/democracy types to leave.That would almost certainly include a few bloggers on this anti-British web site.

      Why would that be so different to the way illegal immigrants are treated now? The BNP would simply change the law to make all immigrants illegal; then use the same methods used at the moment for deportation. They may well ignore the potential abuse in the country they’re deporting to, but we do that now. The only real difference between the end result endorsed by the BNP and the main political parties at the moment is the definition of ‘illegal’.

      I don’t understand the marching bit.

    79. Jai — on 11th October, 2006 at 6:13 pm  

      Jagdeep, Bert Preast, Amir, Soru,

      Thanks for your response to my previous post. I think I would’ve felt better about it if our BNP-supporting friend wasn’t obviously a 14-year-old schoolgirl, or someone with the mentality and maturity of one. As it stands, this felt like shooting fish in a barrel.

      Perhaps if a “real” member of the BNP came to this thread and made their opinions known, we could systematically deconstruct their arguments. However, I’m not sure if they would necessarily “show their hand” so obviously, as it would undermine the superficially respectable public image they’ve recently been trying to cultivate. Not that it’s fooling any of us, of course.

      In the meantime, at least any lurkers from the BNP currently reading PP now know that they are opposed by people who are a little tougher and smarter than they may have assumed.

    80. . — on 11th October, 2006 at 6:18 pm  

      Jane, you are a troll, aren’t you? Not even the BNP can hold a candle to your inherent stupidity.

    81. Amir — on 11th October, 2006 at 7:37 pm  

      Sunny,

      “How do your policies or ideas differentiate from the BNP? They say they’re not racist. They say they don’t hate people of other colours, just don’t want them destroying British “heritage” or whatever. They talk of the indigenous whites or whatever.”

      Well, for starters, I’d like to point out that I do not have “any policies”. I am a working-class lad with not so much as an iota of political or intellectual influence. I probably earn less income in a week than most of you guys and gals do in an hour. When you mention my name in the same breath as Rod Liddle or Melanie Philips, I feel flattered, of course, but it is an unfortunate truism to point out that I do not influence anyone of note. If, however, you mean “policies” as a synonym for “beliefs”, then the question you pose is a valid one.

      Secondly, I’d like to stress that this is an exercise in logic – not ‘guilt by association.’ If people on this forum insist on making spurious comparisons with the BNP, then let me remind you of your fellow-travellers in the anti-war camp. Yes: they include Nick Griffin, Jorg Haider, David Duke and Jean-Marie Le Pen (among others). The question you pose, therefore, is automatically reversible.

      I (unlike a large proportion of the Tory Party) am an old-fashioned conservative, or what they refer to in the United States as a ‘paleoconservative.’ I am for marriage and married life, privacy and positive liberty, local communities and the Welsh language, direct democracy, grammar schooling, God, the countryside, free speech, low taxes, retributive justice and self-discipline. I am against abortion, multiculturalism, mass immigration, Europe, ID Cards, devolution, talking to terrorists, nuclear disarmament and self-indulgent foreign policies (among others).

      Liberals, who dominate the MSM in this principality and most of Europe, are supposed to be gentle and herbivorous, but in actual fact are arrogant, aggressive, poorly-read, and steeped in wealth and in comfort. Post-Thatcher Britain has been a disaster. It has schools that cannot teach, a health service that doesn’t function properly and public transport that is a disgrace, epidemic family breakdown and alcohol abuse. All of us are affected by a decline in manners, school discipline, the loss of an agreed moral code, the spread of architectural ugliness. I’m proud to be a reactionary. I’m proud to be a conservative.

      Yes, there are similarities between my own views and those of the Far-Right – in much the same way that you and your own comrades pander to elements of the Far-Left. (I’d like to remind everyone, in conjunction with this claim, of Pickled Politics’ open flirtation with that bigoted homophobe Jamal from ‘Opinionated Voice’ and that pro-Hezbollah cretin from ‘Lenin’s Tomb’.).

      But it is fair to say, also, that within these similarities are significant differences of opinion and emphasis. For instance: I oppose the current levels of immigration because it is having a destabilising effect on our inner-city areas and is destroying social cohesion - which, as any knowledgeable historian or sociologist will tell you, poses a very serious threat to intercommunal fraternity and consensual policing (which, in itself, is a vital prerequisite for freedom to flourish). There are other reasons too, i.e., the threat of illiberal cultural practices entering into our borders, such as, for instance, forced marriages, jihadism, female genital mutilation, Sharia Law, voodoo curses, and forced prostitution a la Bosnia or Albania. Added to this, I disapprove of multiculturalism because it is insensitive to the norms and customs and architecture of native peoples, or to put it another way: our mammalian species get very defensive when they feel that their cultural space is in jeopardy. Emboldening minorities and discouraging integration is bound to be seen by a vast number of Britons as an aggressive act of cultural imperialism. Which it is.

      The BNP, on the other hand, detest immigrants and their offspring because of an aesthetic prejudice – that is to say, they’d prefer to live with Mr Jones and not Mr. Singh. It’s a type of subliminal snobbishness directed at a person’s skin colour and/or physical features. You cannot compare it to my own concerns – which are 100% cultural. I have no problem whatsoever with a Black or Brown Britain. It doesn’t worry me in the slightest. What concerns me is the age-old battle for hearts and minds. That’s why I detest Maddy Bunting just as much as I detest Abu Izzadeen. Period.

      Curiously, you also take a pop at my political lexicon (i.e. “indigenous” and “heritage”). There is nothing at all remotely sinister or unreasonable about these words. They are both meaningful and relevant. Liberals (like yourself) and libertarians (like Sonia) tacitly assume that people live their lives in a vacuum, losing sight of the fact that vast areas of our lives are dictated by unchosen rules and habits. More often than not we act in ways specified by our social background when we walk, dress, play games, speak, and so on without having formulated any goals or made any choices. Once we have acknowledged this huge chunk of socio-psychological truth, it should become clearer why too rapid a change in the cultural and physical or linguistic landscape of our towns and cities is inexorably linked to mass alienation (that, I believe, is a Marxist term).

      Amir

    82. John Palubiski — on 11th October, 2006 at 8:02 pm  

      As a libertarian i obviously think any state ordained ‘age of consent’ is ridiculous statism and would use concepts similar to the fraser competence to decide any such matters (or things even things like driving licenses).

      Kulvinder, you’re lost, totally lost.

      Having sex with pre-pubescent girls is considered taboo in just about all cultures, except one.

    83. Inders — on 11th October, 2006 at 8:09 pm  

      Scotland traditionaly had no age of consent, hence the phrase of ‘going to gretna’

      Who said all history was bunk ?

    84. Inders — on 11th October, 2006 at 8:10 pm  

      some facts and things,

      http://www.avert.org/aofconsent.htm

    85. El Cid — on 11th October, 2006 at 8:15 pm  

      Well, we have gone off on several tangents, haven’t we?
      Back on message, it seems we won’t know until it comes to trial. But then it good be a case of poor journalism in the first place. I suspect it is. Chemicals? Rocket Launchers? BNP? Biggest haul-ever? I really don’t believe the national press would ignore this story willfully. I reckon it’s probably bollocks. On the other hand, I once believed the UK government surely wouldn’t take us into war for anything than compelling reasons. Who knows anymore?
      One thing I do know though is that the idea that something has to be contemporaneous is no bar for doing a belated pickup. No way.

      P.S. The Celtics were descended from Spanish fisherman. I claim this country for own. Fuck off the lot of you.

    86. El Cid — on 11th October, 2006 at 8:16 pm  

      P.S. The Celtics were descended from Spanish fishermEn. I claim this country for MY own. Fuck off the lot of you.
      (That’s better)

    87. ZinZin — on 11th October, 2006 at 8:19 pm  

      Having sex with pre-pubescent girls is considered taboo in just about all cultures, except one.

      JP you tit. Hirsi-Ali’s Paedophile comment on the prophet Muhammed was not an attack on him but on Muslims who rigidly follow his example ie dressing like him.

    88. Chairwoman — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:00 pm  

      Vikrant - Is there anything you don’t know? :-)

    89. Vikrant Singh — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:04 pm  

      it should become clearer why too rapid a change in the cultural and physical or linguistic landscape of our towns and cities is inexorably linked to mass alienation

      Cant help but agree… not every place on earth should be turned into a multi-culti wasteland. Call it tribal mentality or whatever but an ethnic group native to a certain land will always resent mass migration… be it UK or India…

    90. Vikrant Singh — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:18 pm  

      Keep up the fight against the harbingers of political correctness!

      Nay, i’ll have to keep ma’ head down… They had a vote on whether to de-sysop me… got saved by measly 7 votes… ChiComs, Indian lefties and Iranians have been ganging up on me… i’m temporarily on a WikiBreak!

    91. Kulvinder — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:19 pm  

      Kulvinder, you’re lost, totally lost.

      As long as im not totally totally lost.

      Having sex with pre-pubescent girls is considered taboo in just about all cultures, except one.

      What does that even mean? I couldn’t care less what a particular taboo was im much more interested in the intellectual argument behind a particular practise or event. Nothing has ever been taboo across all cultures and humanity, the very fact it can be shown that intercourse still takes place beyond the desired age limits of a particular country is testament to that. If we’re going to judge solely on passages in millennia old text its only fair we throw in genesis:19 where god decides to save lot and destroy s&g. If it wasn’t enough that lot offers his own virgin daughters to a ravenous crowd, after they flee to a cave he has sex with them both and thus their children preserved the line of abraham (on their side).

      I stand by what i said; i don’t see why its conceptually better to admire churchill (an imperialist who used chemical warfare) over muhammad.

    92. Chairwoman — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:23 pm  

      I think that generally speaking it has been considered taboo to have sex with pre-pubescent girls.

    93. Vikrant Singh — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:32 pm  

      Well in my books Muhammed was a perfectly reasonable made by the standards of 7th century Arabia, but i do have a problem with nutters idealising his actions…

    94. Vikrant Singh — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:36 pm  

      I think that generally speaking it has been considered taboo to have sex with pre-pubescent girls.

      Today…yes.. but it was fairly common in pre-20th century India to marry off girls as young as 10. Gandhi married his wife when she was 9 and he was 13! I myself am a descendent of a woman who was married off at 11 in 18th century Rajputana….

    95. Sunny — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:38 pm  

      I want to keep this conversation on track please, about the BNP, so have deleted some stuff.

      Amir, so you admit that a lot of your concerns mirror those of the BNP. You say:

      The BNP, on the other hand, detest immigrants and their offspring because of an aesthetic prejudice – that is to say, they’d prefer to live with Mr Jones and not Mr. Singh. It’s a type of subliminal snobbishness directed at a person’s skin colour and/or physical features. You cannot compare it to my own concerns – which are 100% cultural. I have no problem whatsoever with a Black or Brown Britain. It doesn’t worry me in the slightest.

      The BNP’s concerns are also largely cultural. They are essentially a bunch of fascists. But behind fascism lies a feeling of cultural or racial superiority, feelings of victimisation and intense hatred of “the other”. Enough hatred to justify killing them.

      Now I’m not saying you’re a fascist. But the point here is that your usage of language, your concerns and your points aren’t that dissimilar to the BNP. That in itself is not much different to the language of UKIP or even elements of the traditional Conservative Party.

      But cultural exclusivism is not that different to racial exclusivism. Or at least the ideas that lie behind them. The BNP has even encouraged Sikhs and Hindus to join up (and some did) as some Jewish people have done, to focus on the Muslims. When enemies change, then friends change. At its heart though the BNP is about retaining its utopian version of society. Theirs is racially defined, yours is culturally defined. Everyone has to be the same otherwise they can quickly become demonished and pushed into jails or outside the country.

      But you say you don’t mind a black or Asian Britain. As long as the culture mirrors yours. But many of those black and Asian Britons have developed sub-cultures within Britain due to a variety of reasons: taking from their heritage, their treatment as an ethnic minority, their experiences growing up in particular areas.

      Urban London for example has a very different culture to rural Britain. That Urban culture includes black, Asian and white people. But it’s grown up and developed in this country. But is it still a threat? To you and the BNP it would be - to you because it’s an alien culture, and to them because it’s multi-racial.

      My point is that neither of you want “the other” too close to you. Their other is defined by race, your’s by culture (and the two are very linked). Both of you feel victimised, feel under attack, want to re-assert your dominance, feel that it’s about the survival of yout tribe etc. Actually it’s not very different to Hizb ut-Tahrir except their mode of exclusivity and fear of the other is about religion. They want their own utopian world in the Middle East, free from other impure religions and feel victimised by the mixing of people, cultures and races.

      Think about it.

    96. ZinZin — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:38 pm  

      I stand by what i said; i don’t see why its conceptually better to admire churchill (an imperialist who used chemical warfare) over muhammad.

      I am sure Muhammed would have used Gas as a weapon of war if it was available. He did use trench warfare long before it was fashionable.

    97. Don — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:39 pm  

      ‘more interested in the intellectual argument’

      Meaningful consent?

      Abuse of power?

      You’re talking crap. I neither know nor care who Mo actually screwed, or whether Lot existed, or what anybody’s scriptural references are. Or the age of consent in Tennessee or Tashkent.

      Condemning adults who have sex with children is ‘cultural imperialism’? You just climbed up your own arse.

      Nothing has ever been universaly taboo therefore nothing can be wrong? Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law? Juvenile sophistry.

    98. Laban — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:51 pm  

      I hate to go off topic, but according to the Burnley Citizen :

      Supt Smith added: “We are making inquiries in relation to what we have found at his address and to establish what offences he may have committed.

      “He’s not a terrorist and it’s not a bomb factory but we are interested in what we have seized from his house. It will take expert advice to establish exactly what he has got.

      “He was arrested under the Explosives Act on suspicion of possessing chemical substances that aren’t in themselves an offence to possess but if combined may be capable of making an explosion.”

      http://www.burnleycitizen.co.uk/news/newsheadlines/display.var.947927.0.exbnp_man_held_in_bomb_swoop.php

    99. ZinZin — on 11th October, 2006 at 9:55 pm  

      digging into the story once the men had been remanded in custody for a few days may jeapordise a fair trial and be in contempt of court.

      But it is perfectly legitimate to ask why many of these restrictions do not seem to apply when British Muslim suspects are picked up or a police raid is conducted, as was the case in Forest Gate.

      Back on thread as you requested. Sunny the media may have an unhealthy interest in islam and islamic terror but the 21/7 attempted suicide bombers case has disappeared from view. They have not gone to town on Omar Kayam fertiliser for his allotment plot. They appear to have learnt a few lessons from the ricin plot.

    100. Kulvinder — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:07 pm  

      Meaningful consent?

      Abuse of power?

      Toys back in pram please. What is meaningful consent to you? In what way are you attaching it to an individual? If you’re going based only only age based determination ill point out the thinking behind the fraser competance. It is obvious consent is desired, determining who can or cannot give that consent requires an intellectual consideration beyond hysteria.

      Condemning adults who have sex with children is ‘cultural imperialism’? You just climbed up your own arse.

      Sweety having sex with children, putting your penis up a child’s arse (if you so desired it) is legal. The age of consent is 16, the age at which you’re no longer considered a minor is 18. I am unsure what you think having intercourse with someone between the ages of 16 and 18 is ‘about’ but you most certainly are not making love to an adult. The debate about the age of consent is entirely independant of the morality of adults having sex with children.

      Nothing has ever been universaly taboo therefore nothing can be wrong?

      No. I think you need a lie down (though your reaction is very very amusing). Nothing has ever been universally taboo therefore nothing is neither right nor wrong, simply an adjustment of the will of a particular society.

      Juvenile sophistry

      Acceptance of reality.

    101. Vikrant Singh — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:10 pm  

      But cultural exclusivism is not that different to racial exclusivism. Or at least the ideas that lie behind them….

      But many of those black and Asian Britons have developed sub-cultures within Britain due to a variety of reasons: taking from their heritage, their treatment as an ethnic minority, their experiences growing up in particular areas.

      Sunny,

      Cultural exclusiveness is the very premise of nation states. Even withing ‘native’ culture we have these sub-cultures like the Cockney… It is not racism to expect a degree of cultural conformity from immigrants. Sub cultures should not be emphasized over national cultures. BNP for one doesnt give a fig about the culture. They’ll take Yvonne Ridley anyday rather than a non-white Christian.

      Lastly i dont think calling Amir a racist will help. The feelings he expresses are natural…

    102. Kulvinder — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:11 pm  

      I am sure Muhammed would have used Gas as a weapon of war if it was available. He did use trench warfare long before it was fashionable.

      And churchill his empire into a faith? Fair enough.

    103. Vikrant Singh — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:12 pm  

      Cultural exclusiveness is the very premise of nation states. Even withing ‘native’ culture we have these sub-cultures like the Cockney…
      err… i accidently deleted half my post #100.. darn..

    104. Kulvinder — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:13 pm  

      Incidently, and perhaps this is making my defence in advance of any deletion. I don’t see any harm in dealing with this issue head on; calling muhammad and/or muslims paedophiles is a relatively common occurance. Might as well discuss it.

    105. Electro — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:16 pm  

      The moment the media begin to speak of an islamist connection with this, Sunny’s righteous indignation will evaporate.

    106. Kulvinder — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:17 pm  

      Cultural exclusiveness is the very premise of nation states.

      Only in certain circumstances, geographic exclusiveness is far more common. Cultural exclusiveness only means something if you break the law by not participating; im not sure how the US is culturally exclusive.

    107. Sunny — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:22 pm  

      Cultural exclusiveness is the very premise of nation states.

      Rubbish. You clearly haven’t travelled India much. And given you’re behaving like a typical Mumbaiker who feels overwhelmed with non-Marathis I’m not surprised you’re agreeing with him. That doesn’t make your premise idiotic. America too is full of lots of different sub-culture. The Amish alone are a good example.

      And I’m not calling Amir racist. I’m asking him how he thinks his ideas differ from the BNP. My feeling is that most racist people are insecure people who feel victmised by those they cannot relate to, and in turn develop a feeling of hatred towards them.

      It may be a common feeling but that doesn’t mean I will pander to it.

    108. Sunny — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:29 pm  

      I have been forwarded this response by the BBC.

      ————
      Debby Moyse
      Assistant Editor to the Head of TV News

      Thank you for your email about the court appearance at Penine Magistrates of two men accused of possessing chemical explosives. It is indeed interesting. Unfortunately BBC TV news didn’t know about the police find.

      I would like to assure you the BBC takes very seriously its responsibility to report all issues fairly, accurately and impartially. This is as true of issues involving potential terror plots by former BNP activists or radical Islamists. The BBC has a long history of exposing the BNP and any past wrongdoing.

      I have investigated how the story was missed. It appears a reporter from BBC Radio Lancashire investigated initial reports but the police “played it down”. Clearly when an arrest has been made the police are the primary source of information and what they say about the significance of a case legitimately plays a part in determining its news-worthiness. Our regional televison centre in in Manchester found out about the strength story only after it was reported in the Colne Times. By this time it was several days old. On investigation they discovered that reporting restrictions were in place which severely curtailed what could be said by the media.

      Two arrested men are due to appear at Blackburn Crown Court on October 23rd, BBC TV News will attend the hearing.

      Thank you for alerting us to this story.
      ——————

    109. sonia — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:46 pm  

      thanks amir. :-) i grew up in zambia actually, ive lived in plenty of places - how about you - ever been out of manchester? ;-) people always go on about America - the land of the rich. so when i lived in LA - i lived in SouthCentral. and took the Bus! no doubt if you’ve never stepped outside of the UK you won’t understand the significance of that. i was at grad school at USC - close to where i lived, about a 5 min drive by car - and an hour on the bus. talk about the difference in worlds. and i come from bangladesh - and yeah im lucky enough to be one of the privileged lot. or embarassed -you can choose to see it that way. a lot of luxury can be had in bangladesh, and a lot of poverty in the USA. so i daresay if you were a bit more cosmopolitan, you’d know that.

      i have enjoyed making all these assumptions about you. p.s. i’m not ‘settled’ here :-)

    110. sonia — on 11th October, 2006 at 10:52 pm  

      i find amir’s assumptions re: other people’s incomes hilarious. honey don’t worry - we’re all working class round ‘ere. so none of this im special because i work hard for a pittance business -ever tried the non-profit sector. Ha ha/ and with London rents and transport to pay! you don’t half have it easy up north.

    111. El Cid — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:03 pm  

      Just one piece in the puzzle, albeit a big piece. Sky, ITN, The Guardian, Independent et al — they ALL missed it. (It’s too local for Reuters and Bloomberg) I know the media outlets often rely on each other as secondary sources, but this is ridiculous, unless it really isn’t much of a story. They can’t blame it on the failings of just one BBC Lancashire reporter. Maybe he/she was BNP. Maybe they were trying to compensate for that non-story about the woman with the veil in Liverpool or the endless and stale take on news about moslems angry about this or that or something else. I jest, in part. Net net it was poor.

    112. Amir — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:16 pm  

      Sunny,

      (I) ‘Now I’m not saying you’re a fascist.’

      Why thank you.

      (II) ‘But the point here is that your usage of language, your concerns and your points aren’t that dissimilar to the BNP.’

      For someone who admires Gary Younge – an ethnic nationalist, like Le Pen or Farrakhan – and for someone who proclaims their comradeship with Jamal’s rancid blog ‘Opinionated Voice’ and the pro-Hezbollah, pro- Sadr bilge of Lenin’s Tomb, you have a lot of chutzpah in trying to pin me down as an ethnic nationalist. To restate what I said in my previous entry: This is an exercise in logic, not guilt by association.

      (III) ‘But cultural exclusivism is not that different to racial exclusivism. Or at least the ideas that lie behind them.’

      Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Racialists assume that race determines culture for ever, and that people are doomed by genetics to an unalterable fate. But if racial theories are wrong, then the only alternative explanation for the undeniable differences between peoples is that culture is the decisive element. In some ways, it is obvious it is like this, otherwise all our relationships would be the same, and we would all have the same amount of power.

      (IV) ‘My point is that neither of you want “the other” too close to you. Their other is defined by race, your’s by culture (and the two are very linked).’

      I’ve heard this bull (and its various manifestations) on so many occasions that it’s now beginning to make my brain bleed. ‘Othering’ and ‘Otherness’ is intrinsic to human nature. You can’t escape it. As social and evolutionary psychologists have discovered, human beings display an innate tendency to perceive in-groups and out-groups, however ephemeral. It is in our nature that we feel more comfortable around those whom we have shared histories and similar values. Without ‘The Other’, we would not know a criminal from a victim, or a tax-payer from a tax-dodger, or an English footballer from a Croatian footballer. And so on and so forth.

      (V) ‘But you say you don’t mind a black or Asian Britain. As long as the culture mirrors yours.’

      Well, yes, of course. To a point (though the word ‘mirror’ is highly misleading). Everyone’s different. But we do need to share some things in common. Without some measure of community, even if no civil war ensues, members of one tribe will be unwilling to make sacrifices on behalf of another. Just look at the multicultural mess in Malaysia, in which the overarching solidarity is too weak to sustain even a civil society. Is this what you want as our future? I hope not.

      (VI) ‘That Urban culture includes black, Asian and white people. But it’s grown up and developed in this country. But is it still a threat?’

      That depends. If such-and-such a sub-culture is erected on guns, gangster rap, drugs, violence and intimidation, gangbanging and pimping then the answer is Yes. It is a threat. If it is based on religious fundamentalism and the holy struggle against the unholy infidel, then the answer is Yes again. If it is based on a foreign language or rules and norms that have no place in British society (i.e. forced marriage, honour killing, self-segregation, wife beating, effigy burning, anti-blasphemy, etc.) then the answer is Yes. As a primer, I recommend this book by Susan Moller Okin.

      (VII) ‘Both of you feel victimised, feel under attack, want to re-assert your dominance, feel that it’s about the survival of your tribe etc.’

      Victimised? Under attack? Urghhh… no. I’d appreciate it if you’d stop trying to ventriloquize my emotions. Patriotism, to be distinguished from aggressive nationalism, is an unselfish emotion – it has nothing to do with jingoism.

      (VIII) ‘Actually it’s not very different to Hizb ut-Tahrir except their mode of exclusivity and fear of the other is about religion.’

      OKAY, I’m both a BNP sympathiser and a Christianized version of Hizb ut-Tahrir. MMMM [Ace Ventura voice] Oh-righty-then! You probably like to think of yourself as a ‘progressive reformer’ but in actual fact you are among the most intolerant of authoritarians, contemptuous of public opinion and petulantly dismissive of those who object to immigration.

      To be honest, I’m getting sick and tired of your anti-intellectual rants and Rortyian language games. At first, I thought it was cute – but now it’s really, really pissing me off. Maybe I should take Katy’s advice and stop contributing to this blog so as to concentrate on my own journalistic aspirations? I dunno.

      Another thing: I sincerely hope that you are not representative of the majority of British Asians – I’d rather live in a country inhabited by millions and millions of Jai’s and Jagdeeps and Katy’s, as opposed to those arrogant multiculturalists from AIM.

      I recommend the following article: Exclusion Zones by George Alagiah

      Read it. Think about it.

      Amir

    113. Don — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:22 pm  

      What the hell is this Churchill thing? Who is claiming him as the perfect man throughout the ages?

      You know quite well that this is not about some old lech pulling a seventeen year old and bragging it’s legal. Your contention is no legal age
      (I’m not even going to look up the Fraser Competance if you can’t be arsed to define it) and

      ‘What is meaningful consent to you? In what way are you attaching it to an individual?’

      Meaningful consent is consent to an act without coercion, fear or force and with a reasonable understanding of the nature of the act and its consequences. To whom would you attach that if not an individual?

      Abuse of power is not a toy I’m throwing from a pram. It’s wrong.The fact that there exist and have existed societies where that has been ‘not wrong’ is not evidence that abuse of power is ‘not wrong’. It’s evidence that there are some fucked up societies around.

    114. soru — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:35 pm  

      ‘Rubbish. You clearly haven’t travelled India much.’

      India isn’t really a nation-state.

      A nation-state is a specific form of state, which exists to provide a sovereign territory for a particular nation, and which derives its legitimacy from that function. The state is a political and geopolitical entity; the nation is a cultural and/or ethnic entity. The term “nation-state” implies that they geographically coincide, and this distinguishes the nation-state from the other types of state, which historically preceded it. If successfully implemented, this implies that the citizens share a common language, culture, and values

      Depending on who you ask, India is either a territorial state (i.e. an empire, defined by its current borders) or a state-nation (a nation established by conscious effort and propaganda by a state apparatus).

      Of course, neither is Britain, which is something between a welfare-state and a market-state.

      See Bobbit, Shield of Achilles. One of those books that really explains a lot of things you only realise you always knew when you see them written down.

    115. Amir — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:48 pm  

      Sonia,

      ‘honey don’t worry - we’re all working class round ‘ere.’

      I like the way you use ‘ere’ instead of ‘here’! :-) Which, as far as I’m concerned, is proof enough of your working-class credentials. ;-) I’ll be moving down to London in a short while anyway…

      Southern pansies.

      Heh heh!

    116. Kulvinder — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:48 pm  

      What the hell is this Churchill thing? Who is claiming him as the perfect man throughout the ages?

      Oh that wasn’t for you, it was for jane; i assumed as a british nationalist churchill would be well regarded (top britain etc)

      You know quite well that this is not about some old lech pulling a seventeen year old and bragging it’s legal.

      Name calling aside it very much is about that.

      Your contention is no legal age

      In essence no - all cases on their own consideration. Im not advocating the abolition of rape laws, far far from it; rather abolishing the ridiculous concept that all people of a certain age are the same and they are all equally incapable of giving consent (because its beyond their comprehension)

      (I’m not even going to look up the Fraser Competance if you can’t be arsed to define it)

      I didn’t define it; but basically it deals with this type of situation in medical situations. Regardless of the wishes of a parent a child can be deemed ‘fraser competent’ and therefore be able to fully comprehend and give consent to a treatment. A doctor decides if a child is mature and intelligent enough to have understood the entire situation (bad and good) and as such have the ability to consent to something; even if their parents disagree with the treatment, or even without informing their parents of the treatment. Before it came about a child was deemed incapable of consent and all decisions were taken by the parent. Substitute sex with treatment and parent with state and you’ll near enough get my views.

      Meaningful consent is consent to an act without coercion, fear or force and with a reasonable understanding of the nature of the act and its consequences.

      Well quite; do you think the state is able to uniformally determine that across the entire nation for an arbitary demographic of people?

      Abuse of power is not a toy I’m throwing from a pram. It’s wrong.The fact that there exist and have existed societies where that has been ‘not wrong’ is not evidence that abuse of power is ‘not wrong’. It’s evidence that there are some fucked up societies around.

      Ah but my point is the state is abusing its power.

      Incidently the reason i think this way isn’t sudden need to subvert normality and bring about the collapse of british society (although the omg shock does amuse me). I take seriously the rights of all individuals; children included. From all i’ve heard and know the majority of sexual relationships that occur with regards to under 16s is with other under 16s. The hysteria generated by the tabloids (and certain mps) has led to a situation where the police and cps must act regardless of circumstance. I don’t want my future 13 year old son (or even younger) to be prosecuted and classed as a sex offender just because he had sex with a 12year old. I may not approve of them having sex, i may actively discourage it. But i accept it could occur. A law that had a ‘suitable age range’ would be better than what we’ve got, but i can’t ignore the fact a suitable age range is nothing more than more statist doctorine.

    117. Kulvinder — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:53 pm  

      btw i also think things like driving exams should be uniformally objective. You set whatever standard you want and you accept any individual if they meet that standard. So id accept 8 year olds in cars if they passed said test.

    118. Clairwil — on 11th October, 2006 at 11:57 pm  

      I didn’t see the deleted comments so parts of this thread are a mystery to me. I stick to my original point the BNP have links to Combat 18 and Redwatch both organisations with either a history of direct violence or incitement to violence.

      On a slightly different note. Could Amir (if he wants) be allowed to do a post on his views on multiculturalism? I think it would get a good debate going (if it’s not all about Islam) and whilst he says much that I disagree with I think he is worth listening to.

      You may all throw rocks at my head now.

    119. Sunny — on 12th October, 2006 at 12:06 am  

      Amir.

      you have a lot of chutzpah in trying to pin me down as an ethnic nationalist

      Hold on a second. You’re the one arguing that people stick to their own and there are justified in fearing change and fearing “the other” and I’m an ethnic nationalist? Pull the other one.

      It is in our nature that we feel more comfortable around those whom we have shared histories and similar values.

      There is a difference between feeling comfortable and demonising other people and hating them. And it is different to trying to force them to follow your way of life.

      But we do need to share some things in common.
      Like what?

      Victimised? Under attack? Urghhh… no. I’d appreciate it if you’d stop trying to ventriloquize my emotions.

      Rubbish, you do feel under attack from the change that is taking place. your points in the conspiracy thread clearly showed that.

      OKAY, I’m both a BNP sympathiser and a Christianized version of Hizb ut-Tahrir.

      But you’re evading my question aren’t you? I didn’t say you were a BNP sympathiser or a Christian version of HuT. I said that all three of you have different markers of exclusivity and ideals you’d like to preserve and perpetuate - race (BNP), culture (you), religion (HuT). Is that right or wrong? Just answer the question.

      Maybe I should take Katy’s advice and stop contributing to this blog so as to concentrate on my own journalistic aspirations? I dunno.

      Whatever, I’m not fussed. Just stick to answering the questions.

      but in actual fact you are among the most intolerant of authoritarians, contemptuous of public opinion and petulantly dismissive of those who object to immigration.

      Agreed to all three. Public opinion is irrelevant because sometimes your views may coincide with public opinion (I love animals like most of the nation) or not (I’m vegetarian unlike most of this nation). I’m not dismissive of people who object to immigration - I just know they haven’t thought their arguments through properly. I’m fairly ambivalent about immigration - far more pro-asylum seekers. I’m just not willing to demonise immigrants. And yes I’m contemptuous of authoritarianism.

    120. Sid — on 12th October, 2006 at 12:16 am  

      Clairwil, I agree, this thread is mangled and disjointed because of comments that have been lanced.

      And I agree, Amir should write a piece on multiculturalism so we can all, well, take it or leave it, but more importantly, get a better idea of how he would dispence with the bodies of Muslim homos if he were to impliment his worldview.

    121. Sunny — on 12th October, 2006 at 12:18 am  

      Soru - Have you read the Argumentative Indian? I haven’t gone through it fully but I think India is a rare kind of state. A bit like China only.

      It is indeed a political entity, but it has also been “united” in the past. Under Chandra Gupta Maurya and his son Ashoka Maurya around 300BC, and later much of it under Akbar and then the British. There has also been a lot of cultural exchange across the country over centuries even though it has largely been divided into kingdoms over most of its history.

      But the point is that Indians, probably because of the immense diversity of what you could refer to as Hinduism, has never been obssessed with cultural homogeneity. Indians like preserving their culture but they would never think about imposing it on others or demanding people live alike. That would be completely alien.

      This has allowed minor parallel communities to exist and flourish for centuries, including vibrant Zoroastrian, Christian, Jewish, Iranian etc without any tension. People live side by side and do not worry about how the next person is living. You could say Hinduism is the cultural glue across the country but then Hinduism is also too diverse to enforce any homogeneity.

    122. soru — on 12th October, 2006 at 12:19 am  

      But we do need to share some things in common.
      Like what?

      The ability to live together in a city without serious tribal conflict.

      A thing commonly known as ‘civilisation’.

    123. chris — on 12th October, 2006 at 12:19 am  

      well done pickled politics, you really are on the ball. wow that nasty bnp at it again.
      gosh, its a good job we have sites like yours to keep us safe from influence.
      jolly, i will sleep safer tonight with investigators like you around.
      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz oops dropped off allready.

    124. Sunny — on 12th October, 2006 at 12:26 am  

      The ability to live together in a city without serious tribal conflict.

      There seems to be the assumption that difference alone is a reason enough to cause conflict. That is absurd. Not only that, how far do you want to take tribalism? Between different football clubs? People will use eny excuse to fight. The point here to figure out why they’re fighting and deal with that rather than saying difference alone will cause fighting. A few centuries ago the presence of Catholics in this counrtry was dangerous; now it’s not. What has changed? Their religion is still the same? Attitudes have changed.

      So I’d challenge attitudes that say difference is the cause of conflict. It is far more true that conflict comes from specific social conditions (economic deprivation, unequal resources etc) and manipulation by leaders.

      In India most of the communal violence has been manipulated, provoked and orchestrated by specific political leaders, parties or individuals. It is not an automatic response.

    125. Desi Italiana — on 12th October, 2006 at 12:30 am  

      Wow— where does everyone get the time to write so many posts? It’s so exhausting to write comments on PP- long, passionate analyses on various issues :)

      After skimming some comments, I noticed there’s a debate on “cultural exclusivity” and immigration. Couple of thoughts:

      1. this works assuming that the culture in question is in fact undiluted, unadulterated and “pure.” But I’m willing to bet my savings account that this is never the case. Even things that are quintessentially “British,” “Indian,” “Italian,” and “American” are actually an accumulation of practices that have been lifted and coopted from other peoples and have seeped into mainstream culture. Snarky comment: tea drinking in Britain; but hello, where the heck did you guys get tea from?! And what of the English language, and words that are of subcontinental origin? Christianity came from where, London? Or pasta in Italy; that pasta actually came from either China or the Bedouins (ongoing question in Italy right now). And then “Indian”….long list, won’t get into it.

      2. this also works under the assumption that immigrants are coming en-masse out of their own free-will that is not contigent to any realities. But there is a reason why a nation’s immigrants largely come from specific countries. The UK has immigrants from Asia, Africa; all ex colonial possessions. Or, another reason are historical ties, such as a large number of Mexicans in California and Texas. There are various reasons why immigrants come, and they are often dependent on tied dynamics- most often than not, migration occurs due to some channel that has opened up, such as multinational corporations, and/or eocnomic, political, historical ties.

      I am reminded of what Salman Rushdie said of a protest he attended. He saw a placard that read: “We are here because you were there.”

      Soru:

      I really liked your comment #113:

      “Depending on who you ask, India is either a territorial state (i.e. an empire, defined by its current borders) or a state-nation (a nation established by conscious effort and propaganda by a state apparatus).”

      Or, it is a nation that cannot be contained by a state. And right now we see the phenomenon of certain segments of the nation advocating for a particular type of nation via the state apparatus, ie using the state to construct a nation.

      Or maybe nations (plural) exist within the borders of the state.

    126. Desi Italiana — on 12th October, 2006 at 12:39 am  

      Sunny:

      “But the point is that Indians, probably because of the immense diversity of what you could refer to as Hinduism, has never been obssessed with cultural homogeneity. Indians like preserving their culture but they would never think about imposing it on others or demanding people live alike. That would be completely alien.”

      Hinduism functioned as a loose social net which stratified horizontally and vertically.

      But aside from that, this assertion, “Indians” like doing this and doing that….I’m not too sure about that. There are several Hindu groups that are treating others as aliens, and are “demanding” people to live alike.

      “This has allowed minor parallel communities to exist and flourish for centuries, including vibrant Zoroastrian, Christian, Jewish, Iranian etc without any tension. People live side by side and do not worry about how the next person is living. You could say Hinduism is the cultural glue across the country but then Hinduism is also too diverse to enforce any homogeneity.”

      I think you are crediting Hinduism too much. Perhaps it is not so much Hinduism (which is itself too diverse as you point out) as the vastness of the subcontinent. Present day India is the same size as Western Europe; I’m not so sure if it would be so easy to ever impose homogeniety over a region that big.

      Also, there are plenty of places besides India where localisms prevail, despite a shared religion. Italy up until 50 years ago was a conglomerate of localities, and to this day, regionalism prevails over nationalism. And Italy is a Catholic nation (not constitutionally, but socio-culturally). Spain is similar, as is France, where there is a strong sense of local cultures.

      Pluralities is not exclusively a thing of India. And India’s pluralism is not necessarily a product of Hinduism.

    127. Ravi Naik — on 12th October, 2006 at 12:42 am  

      “The BNP’s concerns are also largely cultural. They are essentially a bunch of fascists. But behind fascism lies a feeling of cultural or racial superiority, feelings of victimisation and intense hatred of “the other”. Enough hatred to justify killing them.”

      I think you are stretching it. The BNP is a racist party, PERIOD. I don’t think they plot to kill people, nor do they care about the cultural aspect. It is mainly about preserving the anglo-saxon stock. Because being racist is so out and they want to pretend to be a responsible party, they claim it’s all about cultural preservation . :)

      However, I do believe that some cultures are superior than others, and of course it is subjective. For instance, I believe that the nordic work ethic is superior than the one in continental europe. I believe that european humanistic values are superior than taliban regressive culture.

      There is one final point I want to make. Given the weak evidence that links these wannabe terorrists to the BNP, you would have not liked if people called the “muslim chemical case” if it was the other way around.

    128. Clairwil — on 12th October, 2006 at 12:43 am  

      ‘but more importantly, get a better idea of how he would dispence with the bodies of Muslim homos if he were to impliment his worldview.’

      Well Sid I’m serious,
      give that man a platform. He’ll no more get to implement his world view than I will. He reminds me of my mother, only more well read. I just think he’d spark a good debate. I want opposition.

    129. Desi Italiana — on 12th October, 2006 at 12:48 am  

      Ravi Naik:

      “However, I do believe that some cultures are superior than others, and of course it is subjective. For instance, I believe that the nordic work ethic is superior than the one in continental europe. I believe that european humanistic values are superior than taliban regressive culture.”

      Cultures…..?

      Those “European humanistic values” were actually from a movement enacted by certain individuals. Same thing about the Taliban- it is a group of certain individuals. How can you apply the thoughts and actions of certain individuals to an entire “culture”? You wouldn’t ascribe Gandhi’s values of “non violence” and “tolerance” to Gujarati culture, would you? And if you did, what explains the current state of affairs in Gujarat?

    130. Desi Italiana — on 12th October, 2006 at 12:49 am  

      “How can you apply the thoughts and actions of certain individuals to an entire “culture”?”

      Or, how can you apply the thoughts and actions of certain individuals and/or segments of the population to an entire culture or peoples?

    131. Amir — on 12th October, 2006 at 12:56 am  

      Sunny,

      (I) ‘You’re the one arguing that people stick to their own and there are justified in fearing change and fearing “the other” and I’m an ethnic nationalist?’

      People don’t necessarily “fear” change. Quite often, they resent it. They get angry. They start voting for banal populists. Still, there is a big difference between a liberal nationalist (i.e. John Stuart Mill) and an ethnic nationalist (i.e. Malcolm X). Do not conflate the two.

      (II) ‘There is a difference between feeling comfortable and demonising other people and hating them. And it is different to trying to force them to follow your way of life.’

      Demonization? Moi? Have I ever endorsed a policy whereby state officials can grab immigrants or minority groups by the scruff of their necks and force them to change their cultural tastes? Nope. What I want, on the contrary, is a long-term plan which will help us to ingratiate our new citizens and to assist in the formation of a new British identity, combining older ways with newer realities.

      (III) ‘Like what?’

      Manners, morals, etiquette, language, commitment to the principality and loyalty to the flag.

      (IV) ‘I said that all three of you have different markers of exclusivity and ideals you’d like to preserve and perpetuate - race (BNP), culture (you), religion (HuT).’

      OKAY, I see what you mean. The answer is ‘yes’. There is an element of exclusivity. No society can flourish unless it has some shared values; nor is there any reason to hold that the rule of law is inferior to the illiberal urges of some newcomers. If religious minorities were given enough time and stability, I think they could eventually settle down and real integration would take place over the next century. But for that to happen the migration would have to grind to a halt so that we could all get used to each other.

      Amir

    132. Sunny — on 12th October, 2006 at 1:00 am  

      A few points. Clairwil I don’t think Amir’s arguments are particularly unique. He is a traditionally Tory cultural conservative. I thought he was quite the libertarian but it seems he has a penchant for authority we were unaware of.

      Desi: Pluralities is not exclusively a thing of India. And India’s pluralism is not necessarily a product of Hinduism.

      I didn’t say it was and you are right of course. My point was that in India Hinduism could be seen as the only link across the entire country, trancending local cultures, languages and even skin colour. And you’re right also in saying some groups want homogeneity but also is true that India is too vast to impose any of it. So we don’t disagree.

      Ravi (where have you been hiding?):
      I think you are stretching it. The BNP is a racist party, PERIOD. I don’t think they plot to kill people, nor do they care about the cultural aspect.

      I agree its racist period and I agree they don’t plan to kill people. But I do think they care a lot about preserving their “culture” too. Amusingly though, Nick Griffin said during the Local elections on TV that the BNP was not a racist party.

      Anyway. However, I do believe that some cultures are superior than others, and of course it is subjective.

      Sure, as the Taliban clearly believe their culture is more superior to the West and some Indians believe Dowry deaths are an unfortunate by-product of a superior culture. My point is: we have a law to make sure people follow it. Most of the Taliban’s authoritarianism would be illegal here, and similarly I find it abhorrent to agree that culture should be imposed on people. We need more cultural cohesion but you cannot force people to follow culture. you can only force them to obey the law. That is the great thing about Britain.

      It’s only confused ideologues like Melanie Phillips and Amir who one the one hand praise the UK’s tolerance and liberal democracy and say that needs to be defended, and in the next breath make intolerant demands on minority groups.

      Given the weak evidence that links these wannabe terorrists to the BNP,

      They were members of the BNP and the main guy arrested stood for the party in May. How is that a weak connection?

    133. Amir — on 12th October, 2006 at 1:01 am  

      Desi Italiana,

      Same thing about the Taliban– it is a group of certain individuals. How can you apply the thoughts and actions of certain individuals to an entire “culture”?

      Individuals exist only in relation to other individuals, hence the creation of culture.

    134. Amir — on 12th October, 2006 at 1:05 am  

      Amir

      ‘It’s only confused ideologues like Melanie Phillips and Amir who one the one hand praise the UK’s tolerance and liberal democracy and say that needs to be defended, and in the next breath make intolerant demands on minority groups.’

      There is nothing ‘intolerant’ or aggressive about civic nationalism. To restate the obvious once more: No society can flourish unless it has some shared values; nor is there any reason to hold that the rule of law is inferior to the illiberal urges of some newcomers. Liberty does not exist in a vacuum; it never will, it never has done. Cultural choices are unavoidable. Let’s just be sure we make the right ones.

    135. Amir — on 12th October, 2006 at 1:07 am  

      Re-read read #130. There is nothing ‘authoritarian’ about my political beliefs.

    136. Chris Stiles — on 12th October, 2006 at 1:11 am  

      Sunny -


      But you’re evading my question aren’t you? I didn’t say you were a BNP sympathiser or a Christian version of HuT. I said that all three of you have different markers of exclusivity and ideals you’d like to preserve and perpetuate - race (BNP), culture (you), religion (HuT). Is that right or wrong? Just answer the question.

      I think you are being slight disingenuous, listing the three in the same sentence starts to necessarily impute some kind of moral equivalence between those positions and that of Amir’s. Whilst there are broad headings that they all fall under - the comparison is one that brings heat rather than light.

      Let’s be clear here. The BNP holds to an exclusivity that is ethnically white, culturally british and ‘christian’ (though their interpretation of that term seems a melange of pre-paganism plus the CofE and minus the gospel). The HuT holds to a exclusivity that is religiously muslim and ‘culturally muslim’ (however they choose to define it). Both groups have a history of having no compunction in using violence if they feel it advances their progress

      Amir holds to an exclusivity that is culturally british (let’s get back to this term later) and doesn’t really care about the other two categories. As far as I can tell he doesn’t have a propensity for violence - unless you count the sauve foaming at the mouth ;-)

      So, what is this ‘cultural britishness’ .. Desi says , rather redundantly:


      this works assuming that the culture in question is in fact undiluted, unadulterated and “pure.” But I’m willing to bet my savings account that this is never the case. Even things that are quintessentially “British,” “Indian,” “Italian,” and “American” are actually an accumulation of practices that have been lifted and coopted from other peoples and have seeped into mainstream culture.

      This is in fact beside the point - yes, every culture is a certain mix of accumulated traits from various places, but the culture of a place are the traits it has in the *here and now*. Amir - small c conservative that he is - doesn’t mind immigration so long the culture of this country *whatever it is at the moment* doesn’t need to change a huge amount in order to accomodate it (moderate numbers are implicit there).

      Now, he’s not alone in this - a large number of people in all communities take exactly the same approach. Change is okay - up to a point. For that older generation asian coming here was change enough.

      Let’s take the veil issue as an example - a majority of the indigenous population of this country didn’t really have an opinion on it, until the point at which it seemed to be foisted on them. Whilst the newspapers played their part in feeding the flames, stridency from both sides replaced any form of dialogue. I suspect Amir’s position would be that he doesn’t see how people can’t be ‘culturally british and islamic’ - which doesn’t mean to say he wishes to replace the veil with the miniskirt (one of the more inane comparisons at the time - as if the two are binary options).

      Now I might disagree with some of what he says - but as someone who has always been a minority where ever I’ve lived, I’m suspicious of the claim that your argument is any more rational or representative of me than his.

    137. Amir — on 12th October, 2006 at 1:19 am  

      Sunny,

      ‘It is far more true that conflict comes from specific social conditions (economic deprivation, unequal resources etc) and manipulation by leaders.’

      Unless you’re a crude socialist who believes in a crude economic determinism, then this view of human conflict is one-dimensional. Race matters. History matters. Faith matters. Nationality matters. Culture matters. While they are not everything, they are not nothing. In an IDEAL WORLD – none of these things should matter. But guess what? They do matter. We don’t live in an ideal world.

      Cultural conservatives, like myself, are aware of this. Utopian multiculturalists, on the other hand, do not.

    138. Amir — on 12th October, 2006 at 1:25 am  

      Chris Styles,

      ‘As far as I can tell he doesn’t have a propensity for violence - unless you count the sauve foaming at the mouth.’

      Guilty as charged!! ;-) [foam, foam, foam]. :-)

    139. Chris Stiles — on 12th October, 2006 at 1:31 am  


      But the point is that Indians, probably because of the immense diversity of what you could refer to as Hinduism, has never been obssessed with cultural homogeneity. Indians like preserving their culture but they would never think about imposing it on others or demanding people live alike. That would be completely alien.

      India until relatively recently was a largely pre-nationalist [in the European state], it was both too vast to impose a single governmental and cultural authority upon, whilst the lack of distinctive geographical borders meant that every invader inevitably ended up ruling all of it weakly.

      As such the strongest social institutions were ‘tribal’ and familia. - witness nepotism and corruption.

      It’s probably no coincidence that nationalistic sentiment has coincided with the rise of a form of Hindu cultural exclusivism.


      This has allowed minor parallel communities to exist and flourish for centuries, including vibrant Zoroastrian, Christian, Jewish, Iranian etc without any tension.

      Largely because it was large enough that pre-nationalism the impetus wasn’t often there for genocide and the fact that minor pograms were swallowed up by the sheer size of the country.

      Historically India was somewhere between the United-Colours-of-Benneton picture you paint and that of the Caucusus - it was neither as good as one or as bad as the other.

    140. Clairwil — on 12th October, 2006 at 1:46 am  

      ‘A few points. Clairwil I don’t think Amir’s arguments are particularly unique. He is a traditionally Tory cultural conservative. I thought he was quite the libertarian but it seems he has a penchant for authority we were unaware of.’

      I don’t believe his views are unique. I just think he’d get a good debate going. Go on Sunny, you’ve nothing to fear. It might be a hoot.

    141. Clairwil — on 12th October, 2006 at 1:48 am  

      Otherwise,
      I’ll hit you all with the full force of my white working class as ethnic group essay. Then you really will be sorry or bored.

    142. Refresh — on 12th October, 2006 at 1:50 am  

      Sunny,

      I agree I want Amir to strut his stuff. And I do think he will be good fun.

      To me Amir is Young Percy Sugden. And I liked him too.

    143. Vikrant — on 12th October, 2006 at 10:59 am  

      Rubbish. You clearly haven’t travelled India much. And given you’re behaving like a typical Mumbaiker who feels overwhelmed with non-Marathis I’m not surprised you’re agreeing with him.

      For one Marathis have already been over-whelmed. Secondly i dont identify myself with Marathi-nationalism or Rajput-chauvinism… My loyalties are to India and to and extent… UK. But still that doesnt mean every free space in Mumbai should be a squatting grounds for India’s poor. The talk about ‘unity in diversity’ is all bumkum. Caste is the primary identity marker in this country. The only ‘united’ block you will find is of Muslims… India exists and sustains only because it is fragmented to such an extent that competing nationalisms nullify each other.

    144. soru — on 12th October, 2006 at 11:10 am  

      ‘My point is: we have a law to make sure people follow it. Most of the Taliban’s authoritarianism would be illegal here, and similarly I find it abhorrent to agree that culture should be imposed on people. We need more cultural cohesion but you cannot force people to follow culture. you can only force them to obey the law. ‘

      What is ‘you should respect and try to obey the laws passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom’ if not a cultural value?

      If less than ~85% of people held that value, there wouldn’t be enough people to man the courts and jails to deal with the rest.

      There are some other core values: anti-racism, anti-fascism, peaceful protest, and so on.

      Culture is more than curry and chips.
      As far as I can see, anything that is not actually genetic is cultural.

      And I don’t think loyalty to the Crown is in the DNA.

    145. El Cid — on 12th October, 2006 at 1:53 pm  

      Amir, why you called Amir?

    146. Chairwoman — on 12th October, 2006 at 1:55 pm  

      I think it’s a pun, as he is here.

    147. El Cid — on 12th October, 2006 at 1:58 pm  

      oh, as in amonliear4dabeer

    148. Kismet Hardy — on 12th October, 2006 at 2:08 pm  

      Amir is a code. It’s NLP to get him laid. Rearrange the letters and repeat a couple and it reads:

      Mari mi

      All that talk of politics and philosophy is a mere ruse to get the women to think his brain is as big as his willy

      I’m onto him

    149. Ravi Naik — on 12th October, 2006 at 2:41 pm  

      “Those “European humanistic values” were actually from a movement enacted by certain individuals. Same thing about the Taliban– it is a group of certain individuals. How can you apply the thoughts and actions of certain individuals to an entire “culture”?”

      The humanistic values were indeed enacted by certain individuals, but with it grew the liberal democracies we know today, the progressive movement, civil liberties, and so on. I understand culture to be a set of behavioural patterns and beliefs that characterise a a group of people in a particular period of time.

      A lot of what I perceive to be culture is what the mainstream accepts it as a common set of core values and ethics, which can be enforced by law.

      In that sense, I believe that there are superior cultures: the ones that let people grow according to their capabilities, desires and allow the persuit of happiness, and the ones that don’t.

    150. Chairwoman — on 12th October, 2006 at 2:42 pm  

      Which culture(s) do(es) that?

    151. Random Guy — on 12th October, 2006 at 3:00 pm  

      @amir:

      “To restate the obvious once more: No society can flourish unless it has some shared values; nor is there any reason to hold that the rule of law is inferior to the illiberal urges of some newcomers.”

      If only the indigeneous people here actually made newcomers feel welcome. There is nothing new with your argument. It is merely a justification for being racist/segregationist by shouting at everything you don’t like - “its not a shared value”.

      Different ppl from different cultures have different values. That does not preclude respect and tolerance for one another. Live with it or keep bickering, its a simple choice. These days, muslims are in the crosshairs because of The War Against Terror (TW_T), but this is an old debate we are having, albeit dressed up in new clothes. Mutual understanding is a 2-way street.

    152. sonia — on 12th October, 2006 at 3:03 pm  

      yeah good question Chairwoman
      as far as i can see what people leave out consistently when they talk about culture is the social angle.( though ravi touched on it) basically forget the word culture - it can become a red herring - think : social norms. and how does something become seen as a norm rather than some individual instance of behaviour? maybe we should all have a look at what the social pscyhologists study. peer pressure! conformity! so any talk of ‘culture’ which neglects that crucial aspect is hogwash.

    153. sonia — on 12th October, 2006 at 3:06 pm  

      so people can spend their time disagreeing re: which product of the social norm-ification process ( to coin my own term) is superior. e.g. the pressure to drink, the pressure to eat meat if you’re a south asian muslim, the pressure to ‘have fun’ the pressure to not ‘have fun’ whatever.

      but rest assured the underlying social processes which result in norm x or y or z are not that different.

    154. Ravi Naik — on 12th October, 2006 at 3:15 pm  

      “But I do think they care a lot about preserving their “culture” too. Amusingly though, Nick Griffin said during the Local elections on TV that the BNP was not a racist party.”

      Yeah, nobody likes to be called a ‘racist’. So, defending ‘culture’ has become a code word for defending ‘race’. See, they say they are against multiculturism… but that is indeed wrong. What Nick hates is a multiracial society.

      “My point is: we have a law to make sure people follow it. Most of the Taliban’s authoritarianism would be illegal here, and similarly I find it abhorrent to agree that culture should be imposed on people. We need more cultural cohesion but you cannot force people to follow culture. you can only force them to obey the law. That is the great thing about Britain.”

      It is indeed. But culture can be shaped by law (or lack of it), isn’t it? Discrimination on sexual, racial and religious grounds would still be adamant if not for laws in this country on that respect. Similarly, caring the environment could become part of our culture in future generations if our current leaders enact strong laws to protect it.

      After spending some time in the US and becoming nauseated by the constant flag waving, I came to appreciate the multiculturism and civil liberties that we have in Britain. But that comes with a responsability to integrate into the national fabric, and I think a lot of immigrants choose to live in bubbles creating a nation within a nation, with no solidarity to other communities and their hosts.

      I would love the BNP to get in trouble, specially in a case like this. After all, they are in the business of demonising muslims and associating them with terrorism. But to be honest, I don’t think any organisation, political or not, can be considered guilty just because of two individuals who happen to be members or ex-members, unless of course, it can be proved that the BNP itself and its leaders are organising or have known about a terrorist attack. I would rather fight their rethoric, lies and distortions - much as what you and other picklers have been doing.

      Just so that we don’t lose the higher moral ground.

    155. soru — on 12th October, 2006 at 4:36 pm  

      Sunny: ‘There seems to be the assumption that difference alone is a reason enough to cause conflict.’

      I definitely didn’t mean any such thing. The thing that causes conflict is not diversity as such, but one or more large groups collectively failing to follow the minimal protocol to avoid conflict.

      For example, 1930s Germany wasn’t all that diverse, but the majority population failed to follow two of the core civil principles I listed above: anti-fascism and peaceful protest. The result certainly counted as ‘serious conflict’.

      You can say the same about post-war Iraq, the Balkans, Northern Ireland, and so on.

    156. Refresh — on 12th October, 2006 at 4:45 pm  

      My view is that we should not lose anyone to the BNP. It is better to attack their ideas, and where they exist their links with violence. This of course can be in the form of ridicule.

      They or their ‘associate’ parties are happy to provoke and use the reaction to justify their existence.

      One other aspect to consider is whether ex-members are ex- as a matter of convenience.

    157. Anas — on 12th October, 2006 at 5:39 pm  

      RE: Amir’s views

      I disagree with Amir both on ethical and practical grounds. But then I was bound to given that he admits to feeling flattered on being compared to that hateful apologist for terrorism Melanie Philips. It’s also interesting that he doesn’t identify globalisation as one of his personal bugbears, given that it’s done more to override democracy, destroy local communities and dilute his beloved British culture than either mass immigration or Europe. Like most rightwing reactionaries he probably holds to the hypocritical position that capital should be free to cross borders but labour shouldn’t regardless of the damage that does to local third world communities. It’s funny how he doesn’t mention that the breakdown in community structures and social cohesion is something that was greatly exacerbated by Thatcherism with its glorification of selfishness and greed, and the promotion of the idea that there is no such thing as society.

      But the main issue of contention for me is this idea that the government, or official bodies should promote so-called native culture at the expense of other cultures; apparently in order to aim for a certain level of homogenisation which would supposedly make for a more stable society. It’s commonly argued that active promotion of an accomodating and tolerant attitude towards other cultures should be scrapped, that we cannot keep encouraging sensitivity towards other cultures within the UK (regardless how much hatred and suspicion this would breed towards the unfamiliar). The government should somehow impose British values and British cultural values on everybody.

      To an extent, yes, I agree it should. We are living in Britain a country with a particular history and heritage, and of course if we’re working towards a more cohesive society then we should aim at a set of shared values. But the difficulty lies in the extent to which the government has the right to promote one culture over another. For example a lot of it is common sense, English obviously should be given priority as a taught language in schools over say Punjabi, and British history should also similarly be given priority over the history of other countries. But then you also have to consider that Brits from ethnic minorities pay taxes the same as White Brits, contribute equally to the life of the country; they have a right to expect that their communities and cultural needs will also be served by the government. We (for I am of a minority) are also citizens, are also British and have rights and expectations of society which cannot be rode roughshod over just because you feel you represent the majority and are thus able to impose your will on everyone else.

      Indeed at some level this general disrespect for minority communities and their cultures smacks of deliberate historical amnesia and also an incredible ingratitude on the part of the ‘natives’. Thousands of people from the British ‘colonies’ fought and died for this country in two world wars, making sacrifices for the ‘tribe’, including many Muslims (my grandfather a pre-partition Indian was himself in the British army during WW2); and don’t forget the colonial days and Britains exploitation of for example Indian markets leading to the decline of many sectors of Indian industry: the example is often given of Bengal which prior to the British raj was one of the most prosperous places on Earth, and after they left one of the poorest. BTW, how do you think the West got rich in the first place? Yes, Western ingenuity, inventiveness, etc was a part of it, but so was the brutal and immoral exploitation of the rest of the world (which hasn’t really ended sadly) : don’t forget the industrial revolution was built in large part on the blood and sweat of slaves.

      And then Amir has the utter gall to moan about the decline in public services somehow linking this to multiculturalism. I think Amir needs another history lesson. Why do you think there was such a large post-war influx of immigrants in the first place — it wasn’t just out of some colonial benificience? Indeed your idol Enoch Powell was one of the architects behind this massive intake of cheap labour which was absolutely essential in order for the NHS to be even viable, as well as for the maintenance of other industries and sectors. Asian and Black immigrants have contributed more to this society than you and your bigoted friends will ever acknowledge. And now we’re being told, you should have left your cultures, your languages, your faiths at home. Sure enough with an ageing population and declining birthrates we’ll be seeing greater intakes of immigration and inevitably, we’ll see the newly arrived migrants subjected to the same abuse and demonisation. As for asylum seekers, maybe there wouldn’t be so many if we weren’t selling armaments and military equipment to fuel civil wars in places like the Congo.

      It’s funny how right wing libertarians who usually place so much faith in the ‘invisible hand’ of the market and argue for less interference from the state in general also tend to be vehemently in favour of interference of the state in order to ‘preserve’ and ‘protect’ white culture. Integration is conceived of as a one way process in which minorites are ‘encouraged’ to adopt the majority culture, i.e., cultural imperialism. Even when the majority culture includes such desirable elements as football hooliganism, binge drinking, widespread anti-social behaviour, promiscuity, an emphasis on consumerism, racism, an unwillingness to integrate, the promotion of the individual at the expense of the community, disrespect for elders indeed contempt for the elderly, a refusal to accept other cultures (see Brits abroad), bigotry, obesity, vulgarity…etc

      Oh yeah, if it was up to Amir (‘I don’t talk to terrorists’) then God knows what the situation in Northern Ireland would be like now. How many hundreds, or even thousands more would have lost their lives in NI and here on the mainland…BTW, I have credentials too, I grew up in a working class area of Glasgow in a single parent family.

    158. Anas — on 12th October, 2006 at 5:52 pm  

      Corr:
      It’s commonly argued that active promotion of an accomodating and tolerant attitude towards other cultures should be scrapped, that we cannot keep encouraging sensitivity towards other cultures within the UK (regardless how much hatred and suspicion this shift of emphasis would breed towards the unfamiliar).

    159. Sunny — on 12th October, 2006 at 6:24 pm  

      Good points Anas.

    160. OsamaBinCohen — on 12th October, 2006 at 7:31 pm  

      For fuck’s sake,
      OK the article was about BNP terrorists, which evidently exist, otherwise they won’t posses explosives. It was also about the media not reporting it, and as they didn’t, as this comes to light, could be used as evidence that all the BNP have a manipulated view of what the real dangers are. and about weather the BNP are a “Peace loving party”.
      The fact that some of us have private education and the financial means to higher education, is not to do with Immigration, it’s to do with a rotten financial system.
      If this cannot provide for all of us equally, it needs to be changed to facilitate everyone, not to expel groups of people in order to supposedly provide for the rest.
      Remember more immigrants also means more teachers.
      about preserving your “Indigenous” culture, I don’t see how that would change if there were a million immigrants or just 1, if you want to live by standard which you consider truly British, no one is stopping you, and if that is how you define yourself, it would be the same if you were here or in India. another point, for all you Arians, for all you proud to be white ass holes, Arians are actually Iranians. If you want to be proud of your heritage, and past generations, and their collective achievements, I think it’s only fair that you also take responsibility for their past atrocities, genocides and crusades. If on the other hand you wish to be proud of yourself you will realise that you cannot be held accountable for what past generations have done, instead you will recognise that you are who you are because of the environment you’ve grown up in, an environment which is changing and always have, and which is influenced by many foreigners too. and what is wrong with multiculturalism, what is wrong with cosmopolitanism, it just means that you have more cultures and values to choose from when you define yourself, and are not limited to the strict British values, none the less you are welcome to define yourself by them and them alone, while still eat Chinese or Indian food when you wish. and not feel like a hypocrite if you wanted to move to another country at any given time.

      I don’t think that pointing out that you earn more money is helpful to an argument against the BNP, who after all pray on the worst off. but none the less the BNP have no answers and are definitely racist. I remember seeing Nick Griffin explain that in this day and age, he cannot say Supremacy so he talks about Identity instead, still that is what he believes in. don’t be fooled, they are still the Nazi party, they just changed their wordings. In truth, no race is superior to another, but different values of different cultures are, and if we have a broad mix of these, we are given more chances of mixing and matching the values we wish to define ourselves by.

      If you want a fair share of the pie, you can’t pick on groups of people based on their ethnicity, especially considering most immigrants are even less well off than the BNP supporters, instead why don’t you pick on the rich, or better yet, pick on multinationals. than you won’t have to do it on personal level, if you want to change everything and get your share you need to change the fundamentally unfair economic system that we have.

      As for Islamic terrorism, I don’t think we even have a leg to stand on arguing until we stopped terrorising them, be it with mass bombing, or with economic terrorism.

    161. Desi Italiana — on 12th October, 2006 at 8:17 pm  

      Amir:

      “Individuals exist only in relation to other individuals, hence the creation of culture. ”

      Individuals existing in relation to other individuals is “social relationships.” “Culture” is not defined by social relationships solely. Social relations is part and parcel of culture, that is true. But culture includes much more than that (I think it of as a set of practices that are both social and not).

    162. Desi Italiana — on 12th October, 2006 at 8:30 pm  

      Chris Stiles:

      “This is in fact beside the point - yes, every culture is a certain mix of accumulated traits from various places, but the culture of a place are the traits it has in the *here and now*. Amir - small c conservative that he is - doesn’t mind immigration so long the culture of this country *whatever it is at the moment* doesn’t need to change a huge amount in order to accomodate it (moderate numbers are implicit there).”

      This doesn’t make sense. On the one hand, you are arguing that “the culture of a place are the traits it has in the here and now.” That itself is temporally dynamic, meanig the “here and now” is present and in a state of change. But then you go on to propose a static view of culture: “it doesn’t need to change a huge amount.” Is it here and now, or does it go beyond the here and now?

      My point is not besides the fact. For anyone to argue what you are arguing, you’d have to assume that there is some sort of coherent and definable (a word?) “culture” that stays constant within a given time frame in a contained location.

      In addition, you’re assuming that one of the two things:

      1. immigration, more than any other phenomenon, actually causes “culture” to accomodate them

      2. immigration and other dynamics can cause culture to accomodate them, but immigrant dynamic is cause for worry.

      In my opinion, #1 is not true: there are other forces which does not touch on immigration that can cause cultures to re-configurate and change. #2 is a view that doesn’t put things into perspective; it’s more of paranoia, scapegoating, and disproportinate anxiety.

      “Now I might disagree with some of what he says - but as someone who has always been a minority where ever I’ve lived, I’m suspicious of the claim that your argument is any more rational or representative of me than his.”

      I’m confused here….are you addressing me specifically in this? Because my comment # 124 wasn’t directed at Amir or anyone else in particular; I was just giving my opinions.

    163. soru — on 12th October, 2006 at 10:03 pm  

      This doesn’t make sense. On the one hand, you are arguing that “the culture of a place are the traits it has in the here and now.” That itself is temporally dynamic, meanig the “here and now” is present and in a state of change. But then you go on to propose a static view of culture: “it doesn’t need to change a huge amount.” Is it here and now, or does it go beyond the here and now?

      It does make internal sense when you think of rate of change.

      There is nothing wrong with being 400 stories up in the air. There is nothing wrong with being at ground level. But there are problems with a too-sudden transition from one to the other.

    164. Desi Italiana — on 13th October, 2006 at 12:07 am  

      “It does make internal sense when you think of rate of change.

      There is nothing wrong with being 400 stories up in the air. There is nothing wrong with being at ground level. But there are problems with a too-sudden transition from one to the other.”

      Ok, “rate of change.” And how shall one regulate the “rate of change?” What measures? Curbing immigration from Muslim countries since they are “problem,” ie the impetus for a rapid “rate of change?”

    165. Desi Italiana — on 13th October, 2006 at 12:21 am  

      ^^
      If anyone agrees with curbing immigration because it presumably disrupts and accelerates the ‘rate of change”, boy, I wish there had been some immigration controls curbing British immigration to the US. How’s that for disruption?

      Also, I think American and Western European immigration is wreaking havoc in other countries. All those uppity, pro globalization immigrants who are radically altering the socio-economic fabric of the societies where they plant their multinational corporations…..

      Americans and Brits- GO HOME! ;)

    166. Chris Stiles — on 13th October, 2006 at 12:33 am  

      Desi Italiana -

      Apologies if you felt yourself to be a victim of drive by commenting. I drew on what you said as it was good example of a predominant strain of thought that I wished to address in my post. My comment itself was addressed to Sunny rather than you.


      This doesn’t make sense. On the one hand, you are arguing that “the culture of a place are the traits it has in the here and now.” That itself is temporally dynamic, meanig the “here and now” is present and in a state of change. But then you go on to propose a static view of culture: “it doesn’t need to change a huge amount.” Is it here and now, or does it go beyond the here and now?

      Actually I think perhaps you misinterpreted what I said. As soru alludes to, the problem - from a small c conservative perspective - is not so much in change itself as in the rate at which change takes place.


      1. immigration, more than any other phenomenon, actually causes “culture” to accomodate them

      No, all you have to believe is that it is simply one example of a phenomenon that causes accelerated cultural change. The small-c conservative view naturally falls from there.

      As an aside, in the long run change is always sufficient that we are doomed to mutter about music and teenagers once we reach a certain age.


      I’m confused here….are you addressing me specifically in this?

      This was also addressed at Sunny. I do find it amusing that a blog ostensibly about Asians in Britain always focuses on issues of Islam in Britain - whilst accompanied by protestations that all these issues are made up by the press.

    167. Chris Stiles — on 13th October, 2006 at 12:39 am  


      If anyone agrees with curbing immigration because it presumably disrupts and accelerates the ‘rate of change”, boy, I wish there had been some immigration controls curbing British immigration to the US. How’s that for disruption?

      Actually most people are all for curbing immigration - at least in the sense that very few people would argue for an ‘Big Bang’ style introduction of free movement of labour in a similiar manner to that of capital (on which there are actually some curbs on movement, try getting currency out of China some time).


      Also, I think American and Western European immigration is wreaking havoc in other countries. All those uppity, pro globalization immigrants who are radically altering the socio-economic fabric of the societies where they plant their multinational corporations

      I completely agree - and believe there is another conversation to be had regarding this particular issue. [As a sidenote - I also find the segment of the West which is permanently wedded to the back packing culture to be hypocritical and irritating. This isn't "Grumpy Old Men" though, or even "Grumpy Youngish Fogeys"].

    168. Desi Italiana — on 13th October, 2006 at 1:18 am  

      Chris Stiles:

      “Apologies if you felt yourself to be a victim of drive by commenting. I drew on what you said as it was good example of a predominant strain of thought that I wished to address in my post.”

      That’s ok :) I was just confused.

      “No, all you have to believe is that it is simply one example of a phenomenon that causes accelerated cultural change. The small-c conservative view naturally falls from there.”

      The operative words here are “one example”. That’s my point. It’s not about immigration as the sole factor of accelerating the “rate of change.”

      “from a small c conservative perspective - is not so much in change itself as in the rate at which change takes place. ”

      I’m not entirely clear as to how you would measure this: people who aren’t worried about change vs. people who are worried about change being too fast. Like you, I am a minority wherever I go, and whenever I hear people start fearfully talking about “things changing,” it gets me sort of worried. Because it could very well lead towards paths I wouldn’t like.

      “I completely agree - and believe there is another conversation to be had regarding this particular issue. ”

      My comment was to highlight what I think is taking place:

      1. hypocrisy: immigrants coming into our country is a big problem or potentially big problem; but when our folks go, it’s no problem. (I lived around a large American expat community, and believe me, they are not “well integrated” into the societies that they live in)

      2. willfull blindness: immigrants coming into the UK (or the US) are radically altering the social landscape; they speak their own language, and do not “integrate” into society. But think about other various degrees of change that other societies go through: multinationals setting up shop; globalization of culture (American and to a lesser extent British pop culture), academia( US style), language (English), and literature: do these not effectuate deep changes in other countries? And diasporas following the “international flows of capital”, which is largely in the hands of a few rich Western countries- does this not disrupt the lives of both resident and non resident populations?

      3. discrimination: some immigrants are more problematic than others. Take the US as an example: there are large numbers of Chinese immigrants, and a lot of them are illegal. But everybody raps on Mexicans. Why? If illegal immigration is a problem, then wouldn’t the discourse target “illegal immigration”? Yet it’s always the Mexicans.

      4. scapegoating: “natives” bemoan the fact that things are changing too fast. First stop to dump all the anger: the immigrants. In the US, you see this constantly. White rednecks bitching about immigrants, but what they don’t see is that it’s not immigrants, it’s the social and ecomomic policies that are largely changing the face of society. Then, stupidly, they turn around and vote Republicans and their cousins the Democrats who incite and feed into anti-immigrant sentiments, but continue to pursue and enact the very policies that are the root of the changes that white conservatives hate.

      Anyway, I’m not qualified to talk about the UK specificially; my comments speak to the general :)

    169. Desi Italiana — on 13th October, 2006 at 1:26 am  

      Also, I am curious as to what changes immigrants bring to British culture. I won’t entertain assertions such as “They [the immigrants] do x,y,z!!!” or “The mullahs want to Islamicize Britain!” ;)

      Unless there are specific examples, and not examples of a handful incidents, but sweeping, fundamental changes in British culture.

    170. Ravi Naik — on 13th October, 2006 at 3:33 pm  

      “Integration is conceived of as a one way process in which minorites are ‘encouraged’ to adopt the majority culture, i.e., cultural imperialism. Even when the majority culture includes such desirable elements as football hooliganism, binge drinking, widespread anti-social behaviour, promiscuity, an emphasis on consumerism, racism, an unwillingness to integrate…”

      Anas, I don’t think this paragraph reflects the rest of your post, which I thought it was brilliant. What you’ve described is not the norm and people are not expected to behave like that. Instead, what you’ve described are the many social ills that we find in this and other countries.

      Integration in my book means: accepting the core values of a liberal nation, such as tolerance and human welfare. Those that don’t adhere to these values are, in my view, dangerous to our way of life because they can affect future policy. After all, we live in a democracy.

      And by the way, I think going to the pub, getting pissed, eating kidney pies and having fun with all three is a matter personal taste, and not what I would consider being integrated.

    171. Anas — on 13th October, 2006 at 4:20 pm  

      Ravi, I was specifically characterising right-wing conceptions of “integration” rather than integration per se. And the list of things that I thought Amir would find distasteful, given he admits to being a reactionary, I put in there as a sort of piss take of his own words to the effect that you can dismiss whole cultures based on their most extreme, and often atypical manifestations:

      “If such-and-such a sub-culture is erected on guns, gangster rap, drugs, violence and intimidation, gangbanging and pimping then the answer is Yes. It is a threat. If it is based on religious fundamentalism and the holy struggle against the unholy infidel, then the answer is Yes again. If it is based on a foreign language or rules and norms that have no place in British society (i.e. forced marriage, honour killing, self-segregation, wife beating, effigy burning, anti-blasphemy, etc.) then the answer is Yes.”

    172. Chairwoman — on 13th October, 2006 at 4:29 pm  

      Ravi Naik - I agree with everything you’ve said. I personally rarely drink alcohol, and hate being in the company of those who have over consumed. It’s my personal taste, and I just avoid those situations. Yes, I am critical of people whose lifestyles are different from my own, but I neither attempt, nor have the right to i nterfere with their choices unless they interfere with my life.

      Integration means that you don’t inflict your philosophies and customs upon your neighbours, and they give you the same courtesy. It shouldn’t stop you having a chat over the garden wall. The things people have in common are far more than those that separate them.

      I think most people in this country are concerned when a policeman refuses to guard the embassy of a country whose policies he opposes, or when a licensed hackney carriage driver refuses to take a guide dog.

      Respect and tolerance are two way streets.

    173. OsamaBinCohen — on 14th October, 2006 at 3:22 am  

      Wait wait wait, This guard wasn’t refusing to protect the embassy because he simply disagree with their policies, this takes the weight of off things, he reused to guard an embassy of a country which drove his homeland into ruins and endangered his wife and children, in his situation i would of taken my gun and marched straight inside it, demanding they will stop at once.
      all be it a different topic than the rest of the conversation, the conversation is of a different topic than the article, so i will take liberties. I would love it if more policeman would follow their conscience, rather than simply beating us protesters to submission, Providing none of them are the sort who will pick on people for the sake of it, or for racist issues, i would admire people following their conscience when it comes to policing. and I think this one in particular wasn’t even doing that, he just found himself in an impossible situation, I think he acted responsibly, more responsibly than most reasonable people would, Social change needs to happen, when it does, it can either be a terrible thing or a wonderful thing, a policeman refusing what he sees as immoral orders is definitely a wonderful change in the social fabric, and i hope more will follow.
      My point is that society consists of it’s individuals, when one makes a small act of moral disobedience, he stretches the limits of what actions can be taken under the moral pretext,
      Morality is a complicated issue, some believe that we have some sort of underlying basic morals, others believe it is a completely arbitrary thing,determined only be society.
      Either way, I believe that we all (except some psychos maybe) want to be good, and that while some of our morals are given: we shouldn’t kill or seriously heart someone, we shouldn’t steal from the poor, we shouldn’t rape etc, others are more complicated, for one to establish his own set of morals, he needs a wide range of values to consider, in the end, I believe, we will find a set of morals that is acceptable by everyone, or at least some compromise, until then, it helps to have as many view points as possible, as many approaches to complicated moral dilemmas, or in other words, as many different people to interact with, this can be achieved by a diverse range of different cultures, some have their own moral codes, but mostly it’s the individual moral codes and practices that are influenced by their cultures, not set by it.
      when a next generation is born and bred in this country, it is likely to accept some of the moral values of he’s environment, while others he will accept from his forefathers. he will make his own decisions about right and wrong, if he steps to far out of the “acceptable” boundaries, he will be sent to prison, but that is not different to the common British criminal, it has nothing to do with the morals that he has been brought up with by his culture, after all, some Brits bring out their children to adhere by moral codes that are not even accepted by the British moral practices if such thing exist, personally, i think it’s a myth. ones upbringing can be in opposition to the moral standards that society accept, in the end of the day, the reason for him to adhere by social standards and not by the ones he has been brought up by is the fear of persecution, and yet people still do it, whereas i believe not many people do actions that are against the moral standards they have set them selves, and these are influenced mostly by their upbringing in society, not by fear of persecution.
      More immigrants means a more diverse culture, which in turn means a better understanding of complex morality

    174. Chairwoman — on 14th October, 2006 at 9:48 am  

      Osama Bin Laden - Get your facts straight. He was not from the Lebanon, his wife and children were not in the Lebanon, his excuse was spurious. A policeman who picks and chooses who he protects can’t be relied on. How do I know that if he’s called to my house, he’ll see that I’m Jewish and decide not to protect me, or if he’s called to a homosexual or dog owner’s house it’ll be against his religion. You do the job or you resign.

      And I’m truly glad that a hothead like you isn’t allowed a gun. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    175. Chairwoman — on 14th October, 2006 at 9:54 am  

      Sorry Mr BinCOHEN was momentarily confused by your soubriquet, thought I was listening to the real thing.

    176. Kulvinder — on 14th October, 2006 at 10:50 am  

      I don’t agree with his actions, but apparently his wife was from the Lebanon

    177. Refresh — on 14th October, 2006 at 11:24 am  

      Conscientious objection is an honourable position both in military and civilian life.

    178. Kulvinder — on 14th October, 2006 at 11:50 am  

      If you accept a duty it isn’t; the role he undertook required everyone to act with impartiality. Im no fan of the police, but even i accept things would be far worse if every officer granted the power of arrest acted on their own individual whim.

      I want doctors to treat without prejudice, and the police to protect likewise.

    179. Refresh — on 14th October, 2006 at 12:01 pm  

      Yes of course we do, but at the same time there is no compulsion.

      You could not ask every doctor to perform a termination.

      If this particular police officer had sought to do his job poorly because he objected to protecting a particular place or person, then that would be unacceptable. I believe he acted professionally - and sought to go through the right channels.

      Now, I understand exactly this type of dispensation has been in place in Northern Ireland for a very long time.

      In any case, I complain about threads losing their way - and perhaps this should be in the ‘Media Stupidity’.

    180. Kulvinder — on 14th October, 2006 at 12:17 pm  

      Yes of course we do, but at the same time there is no compulsion.

      A duty is an obligation conferred by law. The power of arrest isn’t a trivial thing.

      You could not ask every doctor to perform a termination.

      I would not expect a doctor to selectively choose when to terminate.

    181. Refresh — on 14th October, 2006 at 12:33 pm  

      “I would not expect a doctor to selectively choose when to terminate.”

      Even when its a choice between lifestyle or medical?

    182. Kulvinder — on 14th October, 2006 at 12:43 pm  

      Even when its a choice between lifestyle or medical?

      Id expect a doctor to act impartially and in the best interest of their patients at all times regardless of their own prejudices.

    183. Refresh — on 14th October, 2006 at 12:47 pm  

      That would require that each acts without personality. Its not realistic.

    184. Kulvinder — on 14th October, 2006 at 12:52 pm  

      That would require that each acts without personality.

      Personality isn’t synonymous with impartiality.

      Its not realistic.

      Tens of thousands manage.

    185. Chairwoman — on 14th October, 2006 at 12:52 pm  

      Refresh - I think doctors state in advance that they are not prepared to authorise or perform terminations, but with police officers and soldiers it is a different matter as they’re basic duties are to to protect life and prevent crime, not destroy life. There can be no exclusions to this.

      Let me assure you, that had a Jewish officer refused to guard an Arabic embassy, not only would I by equally indignant, but as a Jew, I would be deeply ashamed and embarrassed.

    186. Chairwoman — on 14th October, 2006 at 12:54 pm  

      Excuse the grammar lapse, but I changed the sentence half way through and forgot to ammend the spelling accordingly :-)

    187. Refresh — on 14th October, 2006 at 12:58 pm  

      Chairwoman, I think I do that all the time.

    188. Anas — on 14th October, 2006 at 2:28 pm  

      Two points, PC Basha didn’t *refuse* to guard the embassy, he put in a request which was granted. There’s a subtle but important difference. Secondly, he has family in Lebanon, and this was the basis of the risk assessment (like the Times article says: “He had simply told his managers that he was worried for relatives trapped in Lebanon were he to be photographed at the embassy.”) Like Refresh says, this type of thing has happened in Northern Ireland in the past too.

    189. Chairwoman — on 14th October, 2006 at 2:37 pm  

      Anas - That’s semantics. And although I’m sure there were reciprocal arrangements in Northern Ireland, I don’t agree with that either.

    190. Anas — on 14th October, 2006 at 2:44 pm  

      It’s not just semantics: if his request had been refused and he had been assigned that duty, but subsequently refused his assignation to the embassy then it would have been a completely different matter. In that case very few people would have defended him. But his request was granted after a risk assessment.

      In NI and in this case it’s a question of officers being under undue and unneccessary risk. Not of political correctness gone mad, or the conflict I said I wouldn’t discuss.

    191. Chairwoman — on 14th October, 2006 at 3:13 pm  

      Me too:-)

      I’ve just got a real thing about duty and loyalty (instilled in me by my father), and I feel very strongly if thre’s going to be a conflict of interest in your job, that you should be doing something else.

    192. Chairwoman — on 14th October, 2006 at 3:14 pm  

      Sunny - where’s the cute little ‘smiley’ gone?

    193. Refresh — on 14th October, 2006 at 3:27 pm  

      Err, can we get back this thread back on track?

    194. Refresh — on 14th October, 2006 at 3:29 pm  

      Oh no its happened again….I must concentrate on one thing at a time - or is there a thing Sunny’s got running which is playing with my posts.

    195. Ravi Naik — on 14th October, 2006 at 4:03 pm  

      “…i would admire people following their conscience when it comes to policing…

      …in his situation i would of taken my gun and marched straight inside it, demanding they will stop at once… “

      You explain PRECISELY why the police should not follow their own agenda, specially when their conscience leads to retarded actions like the one you describe.

    196. OsamaBinCohen — on 14th October, 2006 at 5:19 pm  

      What if he was a Jew, given the duty of guarding the German embassy during WW2? and besides I’ve seen many a cops following their conscience (if you can call it that) when given a free hand, for example in the SOCPA zone, Yes arresting people on the basis of their ethnicity,or searching people with no basis at all, but no one complains when they use negative morals. conscience refusal is very different to a free hand, and when given a free hand, a lot of cops commit a lot of immoral actions, abusing their power.
      They get away with it because it is not against the social morals, as as they are concerned they are given a free hand. yet if two police officers stopped a random person on the street, one of them wanting to search him, where as the other refused on the basis that the reason for searching him is to harass, or intimidate that individual, i believe he will also be granted the honour of a Conscientious refusal.
      Also i would like to believe that i wouldn’t actually march inside and make violent demands.
      As an Israeli citizen given to guard the Lebanese embassy, I would of made it very clear to them that i do not condone my government’s actions.
      If a police officer refused to protect me on the basis of being Jewish, on the other hand i would make it such a big deal, he would have to leave the force. these are negative morals, racism and bigotry cannot be considered morality, i recognize that in that i enforce my morality on others, but I feel i need to give no justification for that, this is just wrong.

    197. Chairwoman — on 14th October, 2006 at 5:26 pm  

      Actually something very similar happened in the US during the last war, but in reverse. the German Embassy asked for armed police to guard it, and La Guardia told them that all the police would be Jewish, and he sent an all Jewish squad who guarded their enemies because it was their duty.

    198. Sukhjit Singh — on 14th October, 2006 at 5:34 pm  

      All those Muslims who make excuses for this policeman — how would you feel if a police officer refused to guard a mosque because his cousin or aunt or uncle had been killed by Muslim terrorists in London???

      That would be wrong!!!! You start making excuses and the police force descends into sectarian anarchy!!!! WHY CANT YOU UNDERSTAND THIS?????

    199. Sukhjit Singh — on 14th October, 2006 at 5:35 pm  

      You cant pick and choose when you joing the police!! You do as you are ordered and you remain blind! Or else there is ANARCHY!!

    200. OsamaBinCohen — on 14th October, 2006 at 5:46 pm  

      “You cant pick and choose when you joining the police!! You do as you are ordered and you remain blind! Or else there is ANARCHY!!”
      If by anarchy you mean people living by their conscience than yes it will be anarchy!

      Sukhjit Singh - Do you not see the difference between guarding an institution that represent that country, and guarding a mosque that represents a particular section of that religion? Yes i would of also refused to guard a mosque if the terrorist that killed my family came out of it,and if the mosque condoned his actions, but i wouldn’t refuse to guard any mosque.

    201. fugstar — on 14th October, 2006 at 7:04 pm  

      ref the police man.

      i feel sorry for those copper caught up in the politics by their background.

      its often singled out during protestations, can lead to them going nutty

    202. Sukhjit Singh — on 14th October, 2006 at 7:13 pm  

      Osama Bin Clueless

      ITS THE POLICE FORCE!!!!

      You do what you are told to do!! Why are you unable to understand that??? When you sign up as a copper you do what you are told to do. If you dont like it dont become a copper. What next, every tom dick and harry decides he doesnt want to work because he doesnt like this or he doesnt like that?

      He doesnt want to guard a mosque because his friend was killed by Muslim terrorists in London??

      You want an anarchy like that to be unleashed? Are you mad??

      IF YOU DONT WANT TO OBERY THE DISCIPLINE GO AND OPEN A FRIED CHICKEN SHOP INSTEAD!!

      You can do a whip round and raise some money to get him to open a take away —- go on you can raise a few quid. But until then, if you make a vow, you have to obey orders, otherwise the police force is a farce.

      Which part of this principle do you not comprehend????

      Now you want a police force that picks and chooses which orders to obey?????

      Are you mad?????

    203. Sukhjit Singh — on 14th October, 2006 at 7:17 pm  

      People like OsAMA IN cLUELESS —- you take the piss. You sign up as a police man you obey orders. You refuse that, you open the floodgates for other coppers to refuse to do their duties because of their prejudices. Do that and the police force fails to be blind. You would be the first to squeal if police refused to guard a mosque on principle of their relatives or friends being killed by terrorists. What hypocrisy. A police man has to obey orders. You want protection of a blind police force, but demand you can cop out (excuse the pun) when it suits you?? THat is WRONG. Try and get your head around it, if not, put together a collection for the officer to open a friend chicken shop or something if he doesnt understand this basic principle of police work.

    204. OsamaBinCohen — on 14th October, 2006 at 7:35 pm  

      Please don’t patronise me,
      I thought people join the police force because they want to “Serve and protect”, or to “Build bridges”, If the police recruitment adverts will say “Follow orders blindly and leave your morals beyond” how many people d’you think will join it?
      I am not clueless, I have seen where blind following of orders leads to, and it isn’t a nice place. If we had a society in which actions are always based on morality there will be a lot less corruption. but racism and prejudice are not morality, even though some seek to present them as such.

    205. Kulvinder — on 14th October, 2006 at 8:01 pm  

      I thought people join the police force because they want to “Serve and protect”, or to “Build bridges”

      They swear to discharge their duties (or words to that affect)

      If the police recruitment adverts will say “Follow orders blindly and leave your morals beyond” how many people d’you think will join it?

      Hopefully a lot less and the standard of policing would improve. The selection process includes roleplay where your morality and your prejudices are brought in. You aren’t there to act on your morals; they are irrelevant. You follow the orders of your superior unless those orders are illegal.

    206. OsamaBinCohen — on 14th October, 2006 at 8:27 pm  

      Here’s an example of a high standard, no morality police officers following orders blindly : http://video.indymedia.org/en/2006/10/505.shtml , I have millions of these, people getting injured because someone said to them “Your orders are to disperse these protesters”. every week someone dies in police custody, time and time again police follow orders, and end up seriously hurting people needlessly. besides, when ones acting against he’s own moral judgement, quite often the implication will come about in his civilian life, that is why for example Israel has such a high domestic abuse, people who would not normally use violence, become violent at the service (acting against their own morals), and the consequences are being inflicted on their families.

    207. Kulvinder — on 14th October, 2006 at 9:26 pm  

      I have millions of these,

      You lead a strange life. If theres a problem i suggest the people concerned contact the IPCC or equivalent for their juristiction.

    208. OsamaBinCohen — on 14th October, 2006 at 9:46 pm  

      For fuck’s sake,
      I meant I’ve seen it happen time and time again, in protests here, in protests in Israel, in Valenzuela, in Ireland, In Scotland, in the US, in S. Korea and in many many other places, if it’s strange to keep up with current affairs and not just with main stream media current affairs than once again i am guilty as charged.

    209. Don — on 14th October, 2006 at 10:21 pm  

      “every subject’s duty is the king’s; but every subject’s soul is his own.”

      discuss.

    210. terry fitz — on 15th October, 2006 at 10:19 am  

      I haven’t looked at the site for a while as it just degenerated into a load of anti white hatred. There has been a posting from a Dr Phill Edwards who is in fact the BNP’s press officer. His real name is Stuart Russell and the anti fascist movement would like to know why he uses both. I think everyone should let the dust settle on the explosives up north and just watch the Searchlight site for developments, it is not clear what has actually happened and having idiots like Lee Jasper mouthing off on black sites doesn’t help matters.

      As regards Combat 18 and Redwatch there is a campaign to have the site shut down and everyone can get involved by signing the on line letter on the Searchlight site.

      Go to http://www.searchlightmagazine.com and click on “shut down the peddlers of hate”.

      David Copeland was a BNP member but left as he found them too mild. He was then a member of the National Socialist Alliance a political front for C18.

      At the moment I am campaigning for a memorial to my friend Blair Peach who was killed by the police in Southall on an anti NF demo in 1979, I was there and might have been the last person to speak to him. All messages of support for a memorial in East London on the school where taught are welcome.

      Please put up my email address. Everybody should be aware that email addresses can be traced via American nazis, they have had an old home address of mine on Redwatch.

      As the cop used to say at the beginning of Hill Street Blues, “let’s be careful out there”.

      Terry Fitz

    211. terry fitz — on 15th October, 2006 at 10:29 am  

      My address is asesinato 1979@yhaoo.es

    212. Bobby Dazzler — on 15th October, 2006 at 11:04 am  

      LOL……..are the ‘natives’ still chuntering away to themselves about the nasty BNP.

      Rather than dismiss Jane Lomas as a ‘knuckle dragging’ racist, why don’t you, clearly well educated individuals, ask yourselves why she might hold such views?

      Take a look at the inner cities of any UK city, where white and black/asian communities have to co-exist (I know that may be difficult for you middle class types) and see for yourselves the problems caused by enforced multiculturalism.

      Whilst I completely agree that most ‘indians’ have worked themselves to the bone to achieve middle class status and assimilate to a greater degree than any other immigrant group, with the exception perhaps of the Irish, the same cannot be said of other groups in this country.

      You can argue semantics all day in respect of social inequalities and unjust local and central policies that appear to favour one group over another, but the bottom line is, that the average white, working class member of society, is being pushed to the margins and intimidated by the presence of huge swathes of people who clearly hold no allegiance to this country and are here with the sole intention of milking this nation for every penny they can get, whilst at the same time adding an even greater burden to our already creaking infrastructure.

      Add to this multicultural melting pot the delights of the ever growing menace that is militant islam and then you can clearly see why the BNP is becoming more and more popular.

      Until these problems are addressed, the BNP will continue to grow and continue to appeal to the masses, despite the whining of the liberal left and to the dismay of ethnic people that have made the effort to become British.

      Good day whingers.

    213. Jai — on 15th October, 2006 at 12:05 pm  

      Bobby Dazzler,

      Assuming that you are English, using the word “natives” is hardly conducive to other people here responding positively to the points made in your own post, and it’s certainly not going to improve the chances of facilitating any kind of constructive discussion.

      Understand that, and you’ll understand why people were so dismissive of Jane Lomas.

    214. OsamaBinCohen — on 15th October, 2006 at 12:13 pm  

      If what you are saying is true, than how comes the strongest BNP strongholds are white poor areas with virtually no foreigners, such as Stoke-On-Trent, The truth is that white working class and black working class have everything in common, and the only ones who don’t are those who seek to divide them for political gains, I.E. Money and power.
      Unfortunately the only properly multi-cultural groups in Britain are the Middle classes. It’s also worth pointing out that some actually have enough money for all of us, but multi-millionaires are good at diverting attention there by convincing you that people who get around £35 a week while not being allowed to work, are milking the country.
      As for white hatred, i don’t hate white people (or people of any race for that matter) just racist scum.
      Kill Branson, Not Muhamed.

    215. Chairwoman — on 15th October, 2006 at 12:18 pm  

      Fellow Picklers - I’ve just read Mr Dazzler’s comment, and whilst I can’t agree with much that’s been said, I think there’s more than a soupcon of truth in it.

      The basic problem we’re looking at is not a matter of ethnicity or religion, but class and education. The average working class Brit in the street who used to sneer at education and middle class values has just found a new enemy, immigrants. Until we can educate everyone to some semblance of literacy, and I don’t just mean basic reading, writing and maths, then this problem is going to continue.

    216. ZinZin — on 15th October, 2006 at 1:01 pm  

      Chairwoman
      I take issue with your last post which claims that the working classes are anti-education and racist. My own father is from a working class background yet he extolls the virtues of education.
      As for working classes as racist well they did live alongside the immigrants unlike those middle class types who sneer at their opposition to immigration as racist. There are other reasons to be anti-immigration than race, ie such as access to housing and the labour market.

      “Unfortunately the only properly multi-cultural groups in Britain are the Middle classes.”
      This is the group that lives in primarily white areas and only mix with ethnic minorities in restaurants. Other than that very amusing OBC.

    217. Chairwoman — on 15th October, 2006 at 1:27 pm  

      ZinZin - Please don’t be offended, everything is a generalisation. I am sure your working class Dad extolled the virtues of education, but for every one of him, there are too many Waynes and Waynettas, people who think school is somewhere for their children to go where they won’t be bothered by them.

      I have always lived in middle class multi-ethnic areas, and lived next door to many middle class people from both the sub-continent and Africa. We have had much in common, and enjoyed many good times together. I’m afraid it really is a class and education thing. It may be a generalisation, but that doesn’t stop it being true.

      BTW I am pretty much against further large scale immigration, but for me it is a matter of numbers. I don’t care where the people are coming from, nor the colour of their skin or religion. I just don’t see what we’re going to do with them. This is a small island with limited resources. It’s difficult in London to get on a good doctor’s list, and virtually impossible to find a dentist. As for employment, there’s a limit a non-manufacturing country can do to find jobs for people. How many plumbers, builders and IT experts do we actually need? We can’t build houses fast enough for the new immigrants already here, and I think building on agricultural land is a serious mistake. I don’t want to live in an urban sprawl that stretches from here to Birmingham, and I don’t suppose many other people do either.

    218. ZinZin — on 15th October, 2006 at 1:35 pm  

      Chairwoman
      Please don’t be offended, everything is a generalisation. I am sure your working class Dad extolled the virtues of education, but for every one of him, there are too many Waynes and Waynettas, people who think school is somewhere for their children to go where they won’t be bothered by them.

      Appalling you clearly don’t buy into the salt of the earth argument but you readily accept the scum of the earth argument. Chairwoman you have a highly developed class consciousness.

      For the record there are kids from local council estates who out-performed myself academically and are probably doing the same economically.

      I would like to participate in the meritocracy debate i have begun on the Treating people equally thread.

    219. Chairwoman — on 15th October, 2006 at 1:50 pm  

      Unfortunately ZinZin, the salt of the earth who existed when I was a girl have become the new middle class, and I actually don’t have a highly developed class conciousness in the way you mean. I am just an observer of life. By the way, the fact that they out-performed you academically at school does not mean that they are still continuing to do so.

    220. Jagdeep — on 15th October, 2006 at 2:13 pm  

      My father is a salt of the earth type who worked in the foundry after coming to England in 1964, raised four children, put all of us through university, and our children are all going to be very middle class. Sometimes I’m sad that they won’t be as streetwise as we were. But that’s what happens. Common story amongst Indians, the rise in social class within the space of two generations is phenomenal — coming to England with £10 in the pocket, working hard and owning three houses, with proper bourgeoise children. A common narrative, in fact someone should do a class study of Indian immigrants and their offspring and see how much class matters amongst Indians in the UK — my perception is that there is a definite class divide and a lot of snobbery within the Indian community, looking down on working class Indians by the middle class ones (even those whose parents were solidly working class and who made sacrifices to get their children up the ladder!)

    221. Chairwoman — on 15th October, 2006 at 3:17 pm  

      Jagdeep - How many salt of the earth types are there these days. The remarks I made weren’t directed at the past generations of immigrants who came here with the sole intention of getting better lives for themselves and their children. This was about the Waynes and Waynettas for want of a better phrase who have no ambition, and dislike those who do. It’s about serial unmarried mothers, by that I don’t mean people who are in committed relationships, but women who have two or more children by different men, with a new live-in ‘lover’ coming in the door as the old one’s leaving. It’s about girls walking about with thongs sticking out of the top of their low-slung ‘trackie bottoms’ which have ‘foxy’ written across the backside. It’s about sneering young men shouldering their way through the streets with a ‘who you looking at’ expression on their face and a can of strong lager in their hands. It’s about the crowds falling out the pubs on a Friday night, fighting and puking in the streets. People who would rather buy a packet of fags, a six pack and something to put up their noses than buy decent food for their kids but always have the latest trainers, ipods and mobile phones.

      I’m sorry if I sound like the Daily Mail, but just because the Daily Mail says something, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

      It makes no difference where the person comes from, or even how much education they have if they do their best for themselves and their children. It’s the ones who don’t that should bother all of us.

    222. ZinZin — on 15th October, 2006 at 3:30 pm  

      This was about the Waynes and Waynettas for want of a better phrase who have no ambition, and dislike those who do

      The Working classes have a tendency to resent la-de-da types such as yourself. Chairwoman let me reassure you that the working classes are shameless social climbers more so than your middle class types.

      Chairwoman you are guilty of exhibiting a middle class trait of doing down the workers. The reason for this is to differentiate yourselves from them. Unfortunately claims of moral and intellectual superiority are built on sand.

      Jagdeep are you familiar with that seminal comedy of the late 1960s and early 1970s Whatever happened to the likely lads? As that is a perfect example of social history documenting the expansion of the middle classes by upwardly mobile working class men and women. It sums up my fathers rise up the social ladder.

    223. Chairwoman — on 15th October, 2006 at 4:07 pm  

      No ZinZin, I am doing down the shirkers. I am actually an egalitarian, but I have no time for people who deliberately turn themselves into an underclass.

      As for ‘Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads’, not only that, but its earlier incarnation ‘The Likely Lads’, are seminal viewing. Yes the really are social history. History being the operative word. You really have totally missed my point haven’t you? The whole point being that the clever, ambitious, hardworking working class of the 60s and 70s are now middle class, and whatever has replaced them is simply not the same.

    224. ZinZin — on 15th October, 2006 at 4:13 pm  

      I did not miss your point i rejected it. For an egalitarian you do not differentiate between the working class and the lumpenproletariat.

    225. Jagdeep — on 15th October, 2006 at 4:24 pm  

      No I tend to agree with you Chairwoman.Interesting points. I was just trying to give a perspective of what I know. Even though my parents, and we as kids, were working class, in that it was our income and social status, where we lived, in terms of how they raised us, frugally, and with an eye to educating the kids as the main priority with ambition to move ‘upwards’ - almost a perfect fit with Thatcher’s image of the aspiring working class voter.

    226. Jagdeep — on 15th October, 2006 at 4:25 pm  

      Yeah I remember the Likely Lads. That was set in the 1970′s, but one of the reasons why the Tories did so well in the 1980′s is because they tapped into that constituency and generation of upwardly mobile working class voters, whilst the Labour party probably tended to patronise and condescend to them a little.

    227. Chairwoman — on 15th October, 2006 at 4:27 pm  

      Yes I do. I just don’t think there is a young working class. My best friend’s husband is a builder. He’ll be 61 at the end of the month, three months ago he developed angina, he had a stent fitted, was working again five days later, and now is doing a full weeks work. There are plenty of my age and 10 to 20 years younger still working their backsides off, whose children are going to, or have gone to university, who are working class. But there are very few people under forty like them. There aren’t even enough of them to call them a class. It’s going to be a problem for your generation, and if you won’t accept that it’s happening, then you can’t deal with it, and you’ll have to cope with the consequences.

      I realise that you see me as some kind of inbred, snobbish cretin, but I really miss the salt of the earth. People who were proud to work with their hands and produce something. But I don’t see any young Brits of any origin with that sort of ethos today.

    228. ZinZin — on 15th October, 2006 at 4:39 pm  

      I realise that you see me as some kind of inbred, snobbish cretin, but I really miss the salt of the earth.

      I just think you are going overboard with this you consider the new working class as degenerates. I can not agree with this i know a young women at my workplace who has lived in the poorest areas of my town and she asks that houses got to decent people. She has lived in areas blighted by anti-social behaviour and crime yet she differentiates between the decent people and the “chavs” i am only asking for everyone else to do the same.

      In truth your suffering from nostalgia.

    229. Chairwoman — on 15th October, 2006 at 4:48 pm  

      ZinZin - I shall allow you the last word. None of us know each other, we’re just words on a screen. To convey one’s real opinion needs conversation.

    230. ZinZin — on 15th October, 2006 at 4:50 pm  

      Hint taken; I will drop the issue.

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