How Iain Dale plays the identity politics card


by Sunny
29th May, 2010 at 4:21 pm    

The right’s hypocrisy towards identity politics is on naked display today with the news that coalition minister David Laws claimed £40,000 on expenses.

There is a view on the story, articulated quite well here, that David Laws should be pardoned because he wasn’t trying to screw over taxpayers but keep his gay relationship secret.

But there is an equally compelling point that Laws is a millionaire. If he wanted to keep his relationship secret then why spend any taxpayer money at all? Why the need to claim it back? After all the other MPs who thought they were obeying the rules at the time weren’t spared were they?

Many Tories are either trying to imply homophobia on behalf of the Telegraph or saying how they understand Laws’ predicament:

I will never forget that day, even though on many occasions I have wanted to. I’m glad I did it, but I know it was a tremendous shock to my mother and we have never discussed it since. So when David Laws explains why he wanted to keep everything private I understand only too well. The only reason was because he didn’t want to hurt those closest to him, especially his mother. That’s the thing about us gayers, we’ll do anything to avoid hurting our mothers :) .

That was Iain Dale. I said on Twitter that Dale never showed that level of “understanding” on race issues, which Dale quickly tried to turn around by asking if I was accusing him of racism. Paul Sagar has earlier called this the Double-Demon maneouvre.

But there is a simple way to defend this. Iain Dale has no problems pointing out homophobia in the press or public life (and he is perfectly entitled to do that) but when he also has no problems accusing others of ‘playing the race card’ when they point out examples of racism. Especially myself.

Here and here are two examples.

In the second instance I was complaining about a Telegraph column by Melanie McDonagh where she is worried about non-whites in the UK having lots of babies. Iain Dale not only thinks I’m imagining it but says I should get my lawyers ready against the Telegraph. So much for tolerance and “understanding”.

When I asked Dale if I should now accuse him of “playing the gay” card, he says very little in response. It’s one rule for himself – screw the rest eh? Then he goes on to say “I couldn’t care less about you” while constantly blogging about me. Dale is not only vindictive, but obsessed.

Back to David Laws. Charlie Beckett says:

Laws may be a wonderful guy but he’s failed the test on transparency, accountability, honesty, judgement & the rules. He has to go.

Which is really what it comes down to. Update: Kerry McCarthy also spot on.


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  1. Iain Dale

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: How Iain Dale plays the identity politics card http://bit.ly/bErFya >>Oh how we laughed.


  2. Ged Robinson

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: How Iain Dale plays the identity politics card http://bit.ly/bErFya


  3. Nadia

    RT @sunny_hundal Blog post: How Iain Dale plays the identity politics card http://bit.ly/bErFya <<Not sure why Iain Dale or Tories laughed!


  4. sunny hundal

    Blog post:: How Iain Dale plays the identity politics card http://bit.ly/bErFya


  5. Elly

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: How Iain Dale plays the identity politics card http://bit.ly/bErFya


  6. earwicga

    RT @sunny_hundal: Pickled Politics Post: How Iain Dale plays the identity politics card http://bit.ly/bErFya


  7. Ged Robinson

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: How Iain Dale plays the identity politics card http://bit.ly/bErFya >>Oh how we laughed.


  8. Alexis Gary

    Pickled Politics » How Iain Dale plays the identity politics card: Coming just a few days after Fergie (the foot s… http://bit.ly/cHJKLv


  9. Nadia

    RT @ sunny_hundal Blog post: How Iain Dale plays the identity politics card http://bit.ly/bErFya <<Not sure why Iain Dale or Tories laughed!




  1. Tactically Anon — on 29th May, 2010 at 4:27 pm  

    Look, all I’m going to say is that when I worked in Parliament it was an open secret that Laws was gay.

    I’m thus very…erm…surprised to hear that he did this to hide his sexuality. Especially as it was very frequent to hear people mutter that the reason Laws joined the Lib Dems and not the Tories was precisely that the former would be more tolerant of his sexuality.

    [Delete this comment if it is too close to the litigous, by all means - i'm not intending to commit libel, I honestly am just saying that this is all very funny looking]

  2. Julian Bray — on 29th May, 2010 at 4:30 pm  

    By Julian Bray Coalition Duckhouse UK Blog

    They STILL don’t get it! Regular followers will notice that I’m returning the word ‘Duckhouse’ to the title as the astonishing breaking news of around £40,000 of taxpayers money fraudulently being used by one of the Lib Dems rising front bench stars, the Coalition Treasury Chief Mr David Laws MP to put a clandestine roof over the head, scented candles by the bed, paying rent to his closet gay spin doctor lover who owned the various rooms. The gay long term lover James Lundie, is a high ranking director with the American owned Edelman firm of agressive spin doctors, a fact that seems to have escaped most of the media and how does that bode for the proposed register of rogerists (eh? Ed) sorry lobbyists?

    Really you just could not make this up, Mr David Laws Chief Secretary to the Treasury, says that his relationship with his male lover was as it were strictly under wraps, none of his (or the lovers family knew) of the love tryst (as the red tops will have it). Certainly the discredited Commons MP’s expenses system would have raised an eyebrow if Mr Laws had correctly declared what the taxpayer funded expenses were being used for. It’s no use the pink and pinkish media claiming that I’m flaming gays, I’m not. Secretary to the Treasury David Laws MP can do what he likes and with whom he likes but not with my (ie the taxpayers) money and not playing fast and loose with my public office! Laws says that it was a cheaper option, well so what? Keep it within the rules, we’ll happily pay the extra, just as hard pressed benefit and disability claimants have to do.

    It’s no use saying that “it’s in the rules” as clearly this particular issue is not. The Prime Minister, David Cameron and more importantly his deputy Nick Clegg must declare “Early doors for David Laws” and return Mr Laws to the back benches, within the week, failure to do so will seriously weaken the serious intent of this coalition government and let back in a shambles of a Labour banana waving Miliband administration.

    If Prime Minister David Cameron is not convinced, just remember that I once called the Ugandan President and King of Scotland Idi Amin Dada “Crazy” at a diplomatic reception in London, and the conservative Government of the day still gave Amin £17 million to buy ARMS!

    I made a film about it and the vist of the Uganda Defence Minister (A K J Oboth Ofumbi) later to be found murdered just outside Kampala, Uganda. David is more than welcome to contact me and I’ll happily explain the options open to him. The other David can also call me so I can explain why ligging it with £40,000 of taxpayers funds might not be a good personal or public relations move.

    I am personally at a loss to understand why Mr Laws simply didn’t ‘fess up a lot earlier, rather than waiting for the Daily Telegraph to not only raise the whole issue of MP’s expenses but also to effectively out Mr Laws.

    It has been long known by Fleet Street that our Dave ‘bats for the other side’ but no one realised that included an ever open cashpoint. Its not that Laws or Lundie are short of cash either, both have substantial cash resources. Mind you when Edelman in the USA catch up with the story, circumstances for Mr Lundie might rapidly change. Spin doctors like to get clients on the front page rather than their own firms and senior directors caught with corporate trousers down.

    I’m sorry but ANYONE seeking and securing a public appointment effectively loses the right to a private life IF it involves bending the law, bending over, or cynically raiding the public purse.

    Mr Laws has belatedly said “he will pay every penny back” well sadly that isn’t good enough. He should pay back the £40,000 (and with interest too) and possibly face a criminal sanction, as he must have repeatedly lied ‘told porkies’ to carry on the bogus claim. The payback will however be taken into consideration – by the Judge!

    It’s ironic that ex-MP Eric Morley and a few motley others are as this story unfolds up before the Crown Court and if found guilty face some time locked up in the “Big House”, ironically as guests of Her Majesty.

    It should be remembered by Mr David Laws MP that hundreds of thousands of benefit claimants have over the years also faced the courts, been handed down life changing criminal convictions, terms in prison AND ordered to repay legal costs as well as the fraudulent benefit claims.

    Mr Laws is at the very heart of the squeaky clean coalition Government, so a resignation at least is called for. At the same all other MP’s should again be asked to voluntarily record and declare under oath and in writing, they have no MP’s miscalculated or misallocated expenses to declare. Some of the new intake look really shifty as well, so the whips might like to take special care of them.

    Coming just a few days after Fergie (the foot sucking ex Royal not the footy managerial legend …well not yet anyway) was stung by the News of the World (no TV apology in the UK, but a pre recorded 10 minute Oprah Winfrey) in an elaborate set up.

    David Cameron must swiftly cut out the remaining MP’s expenses cancer now, as clearly the new intake at the Westminster Village still don’t get it! As for the Coalition UK blog, the term ‘Duckhouse’ prematurely retired has returned to our masthead and all too soon.

    Contributor: Independent Media Expert Julian Bray http://tinyurl.com/pknlxn Broadcast quality dialup ISDN 0044(0)1733 555 319 G722 & APT-X DualCodec Glensound GSGC5 Landline: 01733 345581

  3. Jayu — on 29th May, 2010 at 4:34 pm  

    Yes Danny The Fink is a one for that also. It’s a well tested diversionary tactict. The Zionists perfected it to an art form. Note how any criticism of Israel or Zionism is denounced as anti-Semitism. So Laws should be excused for his sins, because he is gay. And any criticism of him must be borne of homophobia. As SeanOwenMoylan Said, ‘Labour had openly gay cabinet ministers so where was the hostile climate that forces #davidlaws to fiddle his expenses?’.

  4. Genji Monogatari — on 29th May, 2010 at 4:43 pm  

    “when I worked in Parliament it was an open secret that Laws was gay.”

    This is about the fourth time I’ve heard this today.

    If it was known, then surely it must have been known by Nick Clegg, and surely it would have been discussed by the coalition leaders, along the lines of the MI5 briefings about potentially difficult potential ministers, but from a gaffe perspective, no?

    If it was known was it not also known who David Laws’ partner was, and that their arrangement contravened the 2006 rules on accommodation expense claims?

    And if it was known in Parliament does that include press correspondents and lobbyists?

    What initiated the timing of the release of the story by the Telegraph?

    Sorry if this is slightly on-topic. :) Good article. That Iain Dale, eh?

  5. Sunny — on 29th May, 2010 at 4:51 pm  

    Don’t think the comment is libellous anon.

    What initiated the timing of the release of the story by the Telegraph?

    Genji, no idea, but some are saying that another installment may be coming tomorrow.

    It is bizarre though that all this didn’t come out earlier when the Telegraph was doing the expenses stories.

  6. MaidMarian — on 29th May, 2010 at 4:55 pm  

    Julian Bray – I did not actually think it was possible for anyone to make my feel remotely sympathetic towards Laws, but you prove me wrong.

    I am not sure who I like least, him for the dubious claims or you for making me feel a bit of sympathy.

  7. Daragh McDowell — on 29th May, 2010 at 4:58 pm  

    There’s a difference between it being an ‘open secret’ in parliament and in the rest of the world. Especially after episodes like the Sun’s ‘pink mafia’ cover. As I understand it, he felt this was the best way to keep his private life private, and to avoid raising suspicion. He’s repaying the money, and all indications are that he did this purely to try and protect his privacy, not to rip off the taxpayer. He made a mistake, but an understandable one, and I don’t think he should be crucified by partisans looking for a scalp.

  8. NadiaShanaz — on 29th May, 2010 at 5:04 pm  

    @ Sunny, It’s also strange that this didn’t come out in the run-up to the election when Cameron needed to put the brakes on Lib Dem momentum generated by NC’s first appearance on the debates.

  9. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells — on 29th May, 2010 at 5:16 pm  

    It is bizarre though that all this didn’t come out earlier when the Telegraph was doing the expenses stories.

    Even more so when you look at the date on this one.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/7701236/MPs-expenses-Nadine-Dorries-faces-new-investigation-over-10000-claim.html

  10. Cauldron — on 29th May, 2010 at 6:14 pm  

    What’s fascinating about this story is not what it says about the Right – it’s no secret that the Telegraph dislikes gays almost as much as it dislikes liberals and Cameron.

    What’s fascinating is what it says about the Left. Since the election I’ve been impressed with the speed by which Old Labour has regained control. Old Labour is the defender of ancient working class bigotries and privileges. Old Labour will defend lazy jobsworth bureaucrats, useless public spending and the scandal of index-linked pensions at all costs. If that means throwing a gay man under the bus then so much the better in the eyes of the average working class person.

    Bye-bye rainbow coalition.

  11. Jayu — on 29th May, 2010 at 6:31 pm  

    @Cauldron

    His sexuality is a smokescreen. The Telegraph could very easily have ran the story without revealing the gender or sexuality of the partner. In fact they intended to do so. It was Laws himself who brought up his sexuality.

  12. earwicga — on 29th May, 2010 at 6:31 pm  

    It’s on Twitter now that David Laws has resigned his position in Government.

  13. Constantly Furious — on 29th May, 2010 at 6:40 pm  

    But there is an equally compelling point that Laws is a millionaire. If he wanted to keep his relationship secret then why spend any taxpayer money at all? Why the need to claim it back?..

    Bloody hell – we agree!

  14. damon — on 29th May, 2010 at 7:46 pm  

    My confused reading of this (because of all the links) is that Iain Dale is very good on issues to do with homosexuality – but then goes and spoils it by not condemning Rush Limbaugh enough.

    There’s this statement from Sunny:

    I said on Twitter that Dale never showed that level of “understanding” on race issues

    Of course that’s going to make anyone who is not racist a bit P’d off. I’ve had it my self and it sucks.

    If you defend Rush Limbaugh then fair enough – you deserve criticism.

    But this ”understanding on race” is so much a wider issue that I don’t think can be fought over in twitters and statements closed to reply.

  15. Sunny — on 29th May, 2010 at 8:10 pm  

    CF – bloody hell, I think I need a lie-down.

    damon – no, the point is having some sympathy for hidden attempts at bigotry. The Melanie McDonagh piece was so obviously racist that it boggles the mind Dale think it is all imagined. I wonder if he’d be saying the same if that were a discussion about how many kids Jews have, versus Aryan kids.

  16. Kulvinder — on 29th May, 2010 at 9:40 pm  

    If this is the reaction the coalition is going to get from the press that traditionally supports the tories id hate(love) to see what happens when the honeymoon is really over.

    As for laws his position was untenable; he has a right to privacy – we have no entitlement to know what his sexuality is, but that right is tempered by the duty to be honest with his expenses.

    He can’t shield his private life with public money. I wish him well.

  17. cjcjc — on 29th May, 2010 at 10:56 pm  

    Indeed he had to go.

    His excuse, such as it was, made no sense.

  18. Shamit — on 29th May, 2010 at 11:16 pm  

    i like david laws – he is one of the rare down to earth politicians who does not think the world revolves around him.

    He is more competent as a minister than most politicians and he handled the first round of cuts very well. I hope he comes back to Government soon.

    And he actually ran something before he became a politician – unlike Cameron, Clegg, Miliband Brothers, Balls, or Cooper. Sadly, one of the brightest minds in politics with real world experience left Government today.

  19. Shamit — on 29th May, 2010 at 11:19 pm  

    And let us be clear – David Laws did not mean to profit unlike Cooper And Balls who did with their second home –

    So let us not malign the man anymore. He is far more honourable than most politicians. Those who have personally met him would testify to that – and he does not have the loony tendencies so prevalent among so many Lib Dems.

    Lets not rejoice the fact that one of the most effective ministers in Government had to step down today. Its a tragic personal story.

  20. Sunny — on 30th May, 2010 at 1:21 am  

    There’s no excuse for ripping off the taxpayer when you’re so damn rich Shamit. Our benefit cheats judged by how competent they are? Will this govt keep funding people who are highly intelligent but rely on the state to keep them in a job? I doubt it. So there should be no bloody exceptions for Laws either. The rules changed and he didn’t keep up with them as it is. His position was unsustainable.

  21. Cauldron — on 30th May, 2010 at 5:38 am  

    In the cold light of day, he had to go.

    The really depressing thing is that the special interest groups will use Laws’ behaviour as an excuse to avoid tackling the deficit. The Telegraph has already, absurdly, started pleading against GCT on buy-to-let property owners. Meanwhile over at the CiF the public sector parasites are dancing all over Laws’ grave.

  22. Rumbold — on 30th May, 2010 at 10:31 am  

    What’s funny is all the Labour-supporting bloggers who called for him to go. Talk about rank hypocrisy. It was right he went, but it is a shame for the economy and taxpayers.

  23. MaidMarian — on 30th May, 2010 at 10:56 am  

    Cauldron/Rumbold – Unusually, I think that you have got this wrong. Laws, like the whole expenses thing, is NOT about left/right party politics. It is just one big anti-politics stalking horse that everyone, whatever their interest can use to get it all off their chest. This is not about cuts or anti-gay – it is a bandwagon and a very unedifying one.

    So Laws has been caught, BOTH the left use it to celebrate the fall of someone closely identified with cuts and the right use it to saddle the anti-gay hobby horse. This is not politics as social narrative, still less vision. It is lazy personalising as substitute for thought.

    Rumbold, of course Labour called for him to go. It is a political defeat, but it is a cheap one. It is one more about personality and entertaining the media. This is not for the good of the country or government – and I said the same about Peter Mandelson’s first resignation which was needless. Having spent 13 years calling for resignations at the drop of a hat, the Coalition has no grounds for complaint now. They fed the media beast and I for one have no problem with it biting them on this occasion.

    This is politics now. No vision, no ideas, just who can keep the books best. As Cauldron correctly says, this is special interests, not real politics.

    Were Gladstone, Churchill or Thatcher around today we would not know about their politics, just their expenses. Now, you may take the point that this is a pretty soft resignation, but it is more than that, it is about politics as more than interest axe-grindng. On Laws, we seem to have failed the test.

    On expenses, the answer is simple halve the number of MPs, double their pay and abolish expenses.

  24. MaidMarian — on 30th May, 2010 at 10:57 am  

    One other point – what would be interesting would be to know internal Lib Dem reaction. Laws was an Orange Booker who took the party to the right.

  25. Rumbold — on 30th May, 2010 at 11:45 am  

    MaidMarian:

    Laws, like the whole expenses thing, is NOT about left/right party politics. It is just one big anti-politics stalking horse that everyone, whatever their interest can use to get it all off their chest. This is not about cuts or anti-gay – it is a bandwagon and a very unedifying one.

    I don’t know about that. Laws funnelled taxpayers’ money to his partner. I liked him, and I thought he was right to resign.

    Were Gladstone, Churchill or Thatcher around today we would not know about their politics, just their expenses.

    I agree that we knew less about politicians’ expenses in the past, but I don’t regard that as a good thing. Ultimately, these people work for you, me and everyone who pays taxes. Until we get to a situation where politicians aren’t using public money to enrich themselves or those close to them I want to see people resigning over such issues.

    Having spent 13 years calling for resignations at the drop of a hat, the Coalition has no grounds for complaint now. They fed the media beast and I for one have no problem with it biting them on this occasion.

    I agree- I don’t think they should be entitled to any special treatment.

  26. MaidMarian — on 30th May, 2010 at 12:51 pm  

    Rumbold – Thank you for your reply. I guess that we would agree that the Laws resignation is not exactly in the same league as the Profumo affair? I simply can not see this as being bad faith. I accept that there is a difference between being good and looking good, but even so this is not a world-ending crime.

    What does concern me, as I mentioned in my first post is the idea amongst MPs that the new rules are an over-reaction. They are a massive underreaction. We need to move to a US style system where there are no expenses and higher salaries paid to fewer politicians.

    Laws does raise real issues of privacy (I suspect that you don’t wholly disagree?), though yes the scope for giving money to close associates via expenses is a problem. This can only be solved by the abolition of expenses. In the US, this would have been dismissed as, ‘my salary, I spend it as I see fit.’

    I still think that this is a real example of politicking, not politics. This is not new, there were soft resignations during the Major years, David Willets for example. Even so, we need to get back to policies and resignations on policy issues, not things like Laws.

    What is leaving a bad taste in my mouth here is that Laws expenses seem to have attracted far more scrutiny than the cuts he has set out. That can’t be good.

  27. damon — on 30th May, 2010 at 1:07 pm  

    damon – no, the point is having some sympathy for hidden attempts at bigotry. The Melanie McDonagh piece was so obviously racist that it boggles the mind Dale think it is all imagined.

    I’m still not entirely sure how this is Iain Dale playing an identity politics card.

    The Melanie McDonagh piece was open to debate and not necessarily as cut and dried as I think the headline about that story was given in Pickled Politics. And that perhaps his comment that the headline ”Daily Telegraph Goes for Naked Racism” was a bit OTT was a fair one to make.

    I made my comments in that thread so there’s no need to go over them all again, apart from to say that poorer people having more children than middle class people has all kinds legitimate areas of discussion.
    And some of the poorest borourghs in England are often the ones with highest percentage of eithnic minorities.

    Like Brent, which according to its Lib Dem MP has half of its children living in poverty.
    http://www.brentlibdems.org.uk/news/000491/over_half_of_brents_children_living_in_poverty__teather.html

  28. Shamit — on 30th May, 2010 at 1:49 pm  

    Sunny

    I am not arguing that David Laws could stay in cabinet. He broke the rules – and he had to go. That does not mean I have to like it or that is in the best interest of the country.

    He made a mistake and he paid a high price. He returned the money by the way so he really did not rip off the taxpayer.

    I am genuinely impressed by the way the coalition is playing like a team though. The warm words from Cameron and Osborne were not just political statements but personal too.

    David Laws made a mistake, paid the money back and he lost his job. I have sympathy for the man and I tend to agree with Michael White in Guardian.

  29. Shamit — on 30th May, 2010 at 1:53 pm  

    Maidmarian – spot on

    The problem is most of the press and the bloggers don`t have a clue about public policy or public services or how economies work.

    Sunny is an exception even if one disagrees with him – and I don`t deny i am biased as a mate but most others I read have no clue. So, the discourse of course becomes focused on not the job the minister is doing but his private live. Welcome to the world of Faux News.

  30. MaidMarian — on 30th May, 2010 at 5:40 pm  

    Shamit – Yes, agreed.

    ‘The problem is most of the press and the bloggers don`t have a clue about public policy or public services or how economies work.’

    The problem is though that they do – they know full well. It’s just that very often it is not ‘news’ or even interesting. So it all becomes about a personality axe-grind.

    Those who complain about a political class or a Westminster bubble would be well advised to look at how the media have made such a class a self-reinforcing thing.

  31. Sunny — on 30th May, 2010 at 7:36 pm  

    I made my comments in that thread so there’s no need to go over them all again, apart from to say that poorer people having more children than middle class people has all kinds legitimate areas of discussion.

    I’m pretty sure if someone tried to say working class people shouldn’t have as many children as middle class people – they would be pilloried. You disagree?

    Nevertheless, her piece was about immigrants of the non-white kind having kids, not about class. You don’t think there’s xenophobia in there anywhere?

  32. damon — on 30th May, 2010 at 9:07 pm  

    ”I’m pretty sure if someone tried to say working class people shouldn’t have as many children as middle class people – they would be pilloried. You disagree?”

    I never really undestood what was meant by this Double-Demon maneouvre .. but is that above not an example of it?

    Second generation African/Caribbean teenagers have some negative stats. They just do.
    And talking about that should be legitimate.

  33. Shamit — on 30th May, 2010 at 9:47 pm  

    Damon

    Melanie McDonagh in her article refers to second generation immigrants. Its a bit rich coming from someone who was not born in this country and also second generation “immigrants” are British. How could someone be an immigrant if they were born in this country?

    How would Mary like if we say all Irish immigrants are terrorists and want to break up our country? So referring to her is stupid as she is being stupid, ignorant and fucking racist.

    Therefore, it is clear she is referring to non whites – which I take serious fucking offense to.

    I don’t have a problem having a debate about immigration and lack of law and order. Yobs are white, brown and black – - if you go to Aberdeen or Glasgow they are usually white – in some parts of London they are black. They are all British and they are all our problem.

  34. douglas clark — on 30th May, 2010 at 10:07 pm  

    Shamit,

    Absolutely right @ 33.

    I’d have thought if you were born here you own it. A sort of reverse of the china shop ‘if you break it you own it’.

    Smashing up your own china shop, whether you are black, brown or white is just yobbish. Which is more to do with being stupid than anything else, really.

    We get the occasional, regular, commentators – if you see what I mean – that would cross the road to shake hands with their version of a yob. And apply different rules to anyone else’s yob. That is just wrong.

    Fortunately, most of us wouldn’t.

  35. douglas clark — on 30th May, 2010 at 10:23 pm  

    damon @ 32,

    I believe it is the case that some folk who have been given asylum here that are from Somlia have also caused a bit of trouble.

    To some extent that is to be expected. What we ought to have done for these folk is to have given them support and guidance rather than a bit of paper that says you are free to stay.

    If we are serious about giving asylum to people from war zones, then we have an obligation to make sure that they don’t bring the war zone with them.

    Just so’s you know, I am serious about giving asylum to people like that, I just think that we don’t have a proper process for dealing with some pretty disturbed individuals.

    If I am keeping up with your global travels you are in NI right now. The psychological damage of ‘The Troubles’ ought to be pretty apparent, no?

  36. damon — on 31st May, 2010 at 8:14 am  

    I shouldn’t have mentioned the ”Double-Demon maneouvre” above, as I’m still not really sure what it is.

    And secondly, I agree that Melanie McDonagh’s piece wasn’t a great one, and you can pull pull it to bits and say it smacks of racism. But it was Iain Dale’s comment about it that really matters. He disagreed, and as far as I’m aware, didn’t say any more on the matter. So were’re not really talking about the Daily Telegraph article as much as Iain Dale’s reply to Sunny’s headline that Daily Telegraph was going for naked racism.

    Maybe I’m trying to split hairs here, but there is a bit of difference I think. And I’d rather hear someone’s actual opinion of the Telegraph article before I suggested they were a bit suspect on race issues. I take the points you make Shamit and Douglas.

    Who has a better ‘understanding of race issues’ is a subject that is wide open to debate and difference of opinion. And an area where different opposing opinions can both have validity.

    I’d like to hear what Iain Dale would actually say about the Melanie McDonagh article before I criticised him too much.

    I’ll stop digging now.

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