Archive for April, 2006

Odds and Ends

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

 

A few things from BBC News.

 An article on how the political parties aim to win the ‘race to win the minority vote’

What are they going to do? Give them sweets and lollipops? Do Black and Asian voters care less than others about bread and butter issues? Are they separate species of human beings that have to be patronised and pandered to with token gestures and are not concerened with things like taxation, the NHS, and crime? Why? Don’t they pay taxes, use the NHS, or get burgled?

There is one way to get the Asian vote in some places though.

A 52-year-old man, arrested ahead of next week’s local elections in Birmingham, was a Liberal Democrat candidate, his party has confirmed.

On the side bar of this story you will find links to more news stories about Asian councillors and party activists taking part in voter fraud and corruption in elections.

What is it about these middle aged Asian men that makes them so arrogant? To the point in which Asian politicians and activists corrupting the simple democratic process in Britain has become a norm in some cities during election time? Is this related to the unquestioning patriarchal arrogance in part of Asian society? In which the believe it is their right to use fraud as a way to cheat people of their votes? That they think they own people and that their votes are not the democratic rights of individuals but the convenient chits for them to manipulate and swindle? This is feudalism and arrogant feudal values in a democracy. Lock them up and throw away the key. More on the most recenter fraudster here

And in London, Gurinder Chadha and others, including junkie rock star Pete Doherty, are taking part in a concert ‘against racism’

The Love Music Hate Racism rally on Saturday afternoon aims to unite people against fascism and Islamophobia.

I am still trying to work out what Islamophobia is, and wonder how it’s practical effects are any different from the racism a Sikh or Hindu might experience in the streets and alleyways when they get their heads kicked in or called a Paki. But I suspect there is a political edge to this designation. 

 

 

The Brown Cliffs of Dover

Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

I remember walking through London once and coming across the statues of some Generals who had been glorified for their roles in subduing India. Real colonial heroes. I was reminded of this when I read a lovely post by Neha about a day trip she recently made to Dover.

 Everywhere you go in the UK - India stares down at you. In the buildings the motifs come from subcontinent. Some term that you remember staring at in a History book. War Memorials that erupt with desi names. Like when I met Albert on the bus from Hounslow to Central London one day. He was 80 years old and had been in India in the 1940s. He looked at me with all the gravity the situation always brings and said “I was never in the Army my love. Now, I just was doing business. Never the Army. ” More on that story another time.

I have met a couple of the old British Army men and struck up conversations with them too in the past. They always want to tell you about their years in India and the things they did, and spoke affectionately about the place. Strange fact - Enoch Powell was in India for a couple of years and spoke fluent Urdu and Hindi.

 

Conference Call

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

 

A few weeks ago Sunny linked to a conference held at Imperial College London called Sikhs in the UK: Fact, Fiction and Future.

I just read a report about it sent to a mailing list I am a member of. It all sounds pretty innocuous stuff, some of it even interesting. Between 50 to 80 people attended, and it was the usual kind of thing - a few pieties, some interesting academic debate, the usual things about the great Sikh contribution to British life, ‘challenges of the future’, a debate about stereotyping and blah blah blah.

 But what I had not realised was that the conference was sponsored by the government and a home office representative was present. It seems this was part of the inane idea of ‘listening to the community’. So this is how it works - every ‘community’ has to be listened to, every community must be allowed to have their day in the sun. Every community must scramble for handouts like beggars for funding for their projects. Every community must scream louder and louder for attention. And the government pays lip service to any issues raised. I understand that the government is also planning similar thing for representatives of the Hindu community. Thus does the British government foster communalism in British society.

 But in some ways, it is just a continuation of the whole Ken Livingstone GLC ethos of inviting every racial and minority pressure group for tea to lobby for their selfish demands to be met. As if their demands were all that mattered, and making way in British society depended on clamouring for public funds and the ear of ministers on communalist issues, rather than individual effort and initiative.

Despite reducing the dignity of the beggars who jump up and down for their moment in the spotlight, and giving an inordinate amount of pompous self importance to the ‘activists’ who suddenly feel they are qualified to speak for all members of their ‘community’, it fosters a deeply patronising, tokenistic attitude amongst government and wider society towards individuals from those backgrounds. It essentialises and leads to flabby thinking, it panders to who shouts and squeals the loudest.

I can see a theme developing here, and I think it is something that needs to be listened to, and I think it is something that the government needs to hear.

Anyway, I respect some of the people who spoke at this event, others less so. But I do think there is something deeply misconceived about this whole process - even on the terms that the government and others in society perceive it to work I have my doubts about how much can be achieved in this whole ‘consultation and conference’ culture.

 

Beginning

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

Well, I cannot promise that I will be a prolific or amazing diarist but I will try to comment as amusingly and relevantly as I can on the stupidity of the various idiots in society, as well as massaging all the chips on my shoulder, cracking a few jokes, and generally unloading my pessimism and gripes around the place. Let’s see what happens.