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  • 23rd July, 2009

    Jagdeesh Singh and Muslim/Sikh relations

    by Sunny at 2:37 pm    

    I saw this on a mailing list and thought it should be highlighted. Jagdeesh Singh (pictured) is a Sikh activist now commonly used as a ‘representative’ or ‘leader’ on social issues by the media because he ran a long campaign against the killers of his sister Surjit Athwal. She was killed in an ‘honour killing’. You can see Jagdeesh being quoted here on a news story on Sikh officers within the Met.

    So this is how the conversation went. Some guy called ‘Sher e Panjab’ sends an email angry that a marriage took place between a Sikh woman and a Muslim man at a Gurdwara in Birmingham. He says:

    Out of concern we request our Sikh brothers and sisters to be present on Sunday 17th June at the above Gurudwara at 12pm, to protest against this disgraceful act and demand the resignation of the Pardhan (President) and his Committee.

    We are utterly disgraced that such marriages are taking place in Gurdwaras, this is not the first such incident to occur.
    The Ravidass Gurdwara on Union Road , Handsworth hosted the marriage of a Sikh woman to a non Sikh white man. The Ramgarhia Gurdwara in East London were also responsible for hosting the wedding of a Sikh girl to a non Sikh white man.
    Furthermore it is astonishing to see that the Ramgarhia Gurdwara on Graham Street , Birmingham host a Sikh Marriage Bureau service in which they even allow non Sikhs to participate. The marriage bureau should only be advocating marriage of a Sikh woman to a Sikh man.

    Then Jagdeesh Singh replies:

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Race politics,Religion

    House of Saud and British immigration policy

    by Rumbold at 12:34 pm    

    There was a disturbing allegation in the Daily Telegraph recently, about how some asylum seekers from Saudi Arabia are turned away because the British government does not want to upset the House of Saud. The claim emerged after a Saudi Arabian princess was granted asylum in Britain. The princess, married to an elderly prince, had become pregnant by her white boyfriend and convinced her husband to let her have the baby in Britain to avoid a scandal:

    “She has now become one of a handful of Saudi citizens to apply to the UK courts for asylum. Such cases are not generally acknowledged by the British government for fear that highlighting the persecution of women in the strict Muslim nation would strain relations with the House of Saud.”

    The Independent expanded on the case by pointing out that ministers were now examining the cases of ten other Saudi asylum seekers. The Saudis tend to overreact whenever anyone attacks them. Yes, the intelligence they provide is undoubtedly valuable, but that doesn’t mean that they should be able to dictate policy (and the threat to withdraw co-operation is to a certain extent an empty one anyway- the ruling Saudis don’t want terrorists in their area either).

    22nd July, 2009

    Nottingham council’s funding priorities

    by Rumbold at 6:20 pm    

    Jess McCabe reports that Roshni, a Nottingham-based charity dedicated to helping South Asian women who have suffered abuse, may have its funding withdrawn by the council.

    Despite the important work that they do, it appears that Roshni is less important to Nottingham city council than a ten-person junket to a property convention in Cannes (cost: £90,000), recruiting three people to “facilitate partnership working and to drive and influence key initiatives” (cost: c.£90,000 in salaries, plus pensions, expenses, training, National Insurance, etc.), and going through chief executives at a rate of knots (costs: payoffs of at least £230,000). IndyMedia estimates the cost of consultants at £15 million per year, while two firms received £30,000 then £69,000 for two separate studies of the council’s ‘culture’ (the first one was binned because it was too scathing).

    Nor should we forget the millions spent on council advertising and propaganda: £1,000 per hour on advertising Nottingham on the back of a boxer’s robe (£32,000 in total- he will also make a few appearances), while the council has also given the good burghers of Nottingham the credit-crunch Woysies:

    (Hat-Tip: Andy for a number of the articles)

    Win two tickets for The Black Album, at National Theatre

    by Sunny at 3:28 pm    

    Religion is for the benefit of the masses, not for brain-box types like you. Those simpletons require strict rules for living, otherwise they would still think the earth sits on three fishes. But you mind-wallahs must know it’s a lot of balls.

    An Asian kid from Kent goes to college in London and teams up with a sympathetic group of anti-racists. But it’s 1989, the year of the fatwa, and as Shahid begins a hedonistic affair with his lecturer, his radical Muslim friends want to steer him away from the decadence of the West.

    We’re not blasted Christians. We don’t turn the other buttock. We will fight for our people who are being tortured anywhere – in Palestine, Afghanistan, Kashmir, East End!

    Hanif Kureishi’s witty stage adaptation of his strikingly prescient and acclaimed novel, The Black Album, humorously considers how the events of 1989 have shaped today’s world, where fundamentalism battles liberalism

    Competition: PP is running a competition with the National Theatre to give away two tickets to see this at the NT.

    To win the two tickets you have say in one line (about 140 characters) the thing you find most amusing about multi-cultural Britain. The best answer wins in the comments or by twitter wins two tickets.

    Continue Reading...

    Harry’s Place in selective hysteria shocker

    by Sunny at 2:33 am    

    There’s a funny little spat going on. So last week Mehdi Hasan from the New Statesman wrote an article highlighting the different way the media treats a Muslim terrorist and a non-Muslim (far-right in this case) terrorist. Pretty obvious I thought. But Brett at Harry’s Place took umbrage on behalf of all people who feel white people are being victimised equally and there’s no bias obviously.

    I mean it’s not like there’s a media panic about Muslims is there? It’s not like there’s been stories of Muslim bus drivers chucking people off the bus so he could pray. Obviously there’s not been any on Muslims drawing up a hit-list of prominent Jews to get them back over Gaza. No one could ever imagine a story of Muslim youths attacking a soldier’s house after Afghanistan.

    You certainly would not believe that these stories would make the front page AND they turned out to be lies. That would never happen because are media is so balanced. Neither would you see prominent right-wing columnists writing about Eurabia and the ‘coming Muslim threat and all that’. Our press is the paragon of equal treatment to all nasty people. In group bias? That would never happen!

    So Brett thought he’d be clever and prove Mehdi Hasan wrong. Mehdi wrote back with a cutting email that smacked down Brett so hard I’m surprised he brought it up again. But this time he’s trying to teach me Media 101 about why the coverage is completely balanced and there’s no need for people getting all heated up.

    Which is funny, because last year when a Starbucks got smashed up, Brett said people were “hoping to incite Kristallnacht 2.0?“. Now you could NOT call that hysteria. That would be a perfectly calm and rational and well-founded question. Who could ever accuse Brett of being a tool who can only muster up hysteria in certain circumstances? Besides, when it comes to Muslims - they just all complain too much anyway innit?

    It’s funny though. When I tried to teach the Harry’s Place crew a bit of Media 101 and point out why Sri Lanka wasn’t getting as much coverage as Israel/Palestine - they weren’t having any of it. At that time the media just had it in for brown-skinned folk. Funny, haven’t seen any mention of Sri Lanka recently on Harry’s Place either. Lots of mention of nasty Muslims though…

    21st July, 2009

    Telegraph attacks humane policy

    by Rumbold at 7:13 pm    

    The Daily Telegraph is fuming that there will now be “free health care for failed asylum seekers.” This was considered important enough to be front page news (though so was a story about speeding nuns on the previous day). The quotes selected were very telling, with Andrew Green of Migrationwatch warning that “a million foreigners could take advantage of the rethink.” Now, logically, everyone in the world shouldn’t be able to use our health service because of limited resources. However, the change happened because doctors and nurses, quite rightly, refused to act as immigration police. Nor does it appear that all treatment will be free, just emergency/urgent treatment.

    And why should we deny emergency/urgent care to a relatively small number (up to 20,000 nationwide- “those who would “otherwise be destitute”, or could not return home “through no fault of their own”) of people, just because they wanted to make a better life for themselves in this country but were rejected? Not that there aren’t bad people among those who were rejected, but we should aspire to certain standards of behaviour in this country, and that means giving emergency/urgent treatment to whoever needs it, regardless of their status. Otherwise there is not much point.

    Filed under: Current affairs

    BNP’s Barnbrook first lies, then hides

    by Sunny at 12:47 pm    

    “BNP London Assembly Member Richard Barnbrook failed to attend the Standards Hearing into his conduct today due to a ‘stress related illness’,” reports Adam Bienkov. So why was he being investigated in the first place?

    he brought his office into disrepute by falsely claiming three murders had taken place over a three-week period in the Barking and Dagenham area.

    So first he lied, and then refused to apologise for lying. And now he won’t attend the hearing because he’s “ill”. These BNP councillors really are the model of British democracy aren’t they? BNP officials are in fact very good at lying…

    Filed under: Race politics

    Trevor Phillips: unable to take people with him

    by Sunny at 11:15 am    

    One of the most hilariously bad articles Trevor Phillips ever wrote was one for Prospect arguing that Barack Obama would be bad for the progression of race relations and bad for African-Americans. In response, Sunder did a good job of responding here.

    But hey, we all write bad articles. God knows I’ve written a fair bit. So that clearly isn’t the problem with Trevor Phillips. As Joseph Harker writes today - it isn’t about the money either.

    It is partly about his autocratic style which he carried over from the Commission for Racial Equality days. Most of the aggrieved commissioners who’ve left feel Phillips was never able to make the case for a more equal Britain that took into account disability, sexism, racism and homophobia in every-day decisions. The creation of the EHRC, combining several different bodies, was in theory a good on but in practice turned out to make everyone angry because they thought Phillips didn’t care for their issues.

    But the most controversial area was race and I think there’s a broader issue here. When talking about race - there are usually two conversations going on: one within the minority community that feels under attack, and another within the majority community who feel the minorities are just playing the victim card all the time. This is as much a fact in the US as it is in the UK. It is also a fact among British Muslims.
    Diane Abbott today points this out:

    Black people have watched with mounting dismay as he made a series of interventions on race which were at best silly and at worst revealed no grasp of the facts and figures. First came his attack on multiculturalism. This baffled and upset very many ordinary people, both black and white, who had spent a lifetime fighting racism in their communities. Then there was his claim that we were “sleepwalking to segregation”. Manchester University academics had to point out that there was no statistical evidence of “white flight” from inner-city areas with high numbers of minority ethnic residents.

    Next was his assertion that there was no institutional racism in the police. Even the police knew that was nonsense. And, most bizarrely of all, there was the claim that the election of Barack Obama would be a setback for black people. Trevor knew black people hated this stuff. But it was received rapturously by the media and by white people who told him breathlessly how “brave” he was. And that seemed to be enough for him.

    Now, to be honest I wasn’t too bothered by his attacks on multiculturalism. No one still knows how to define multiculturalism and to some extent the idea that everything minorities demanded had to be pandered to was finished. The era of parallel lives needed to be killed off.

    When talking about race (or religion) - both minorities and majorities are at different places. Which is you have to carry them together in an inspiring way when trying to take them forward. Obama knows how to do this and nails it every time. Phillips doesn’t even come close. He can’t articulate a vision of what he wants and thus ends up annoying everyone because they don’t know where he’s trying to get to.

    There is the annoyance that the Daily Mail types use Phillips to perpetuate their own racism: every time they write about minority officers being hounded out within the force (think Tarique Ghaffur) then they’ll simply refer to Phillips saying there is no problem within the police, and thus Ghaffur is just complaining unnecessarily. So when it does blow up - Phillips is left without any friends.

    20th July, 2009

    New anti-terrorism thinktank in Scotland

    by Sunny at 3:31 pm    

    I was sent this press release. Don’t know anything about these guys… our readers may know more?

    Azeem Ibrahim, the Scottish rich list entrepreneur and Harvard scholar is launching a unique new think tank through his philanthropic foundation, the Ibrahim Foundation, which will fill a hole in Scotland’s anti-radicalisation programme and contribute to Scotland’s long-term national security.

    Continue Reading...

    There’s no faith left in Trevor Phillips any more

    by Sunny at 4:59 am    

    The Guardian has a report on money being unacceptably used at the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. But here’s the bit that caught my eye.

    There was dissent within the government equalities office over the decision to reappoint Phillips last week, with junior officials raising concerns about whether the organisation represented value for money, with its £70m annual budget.

    Two days later, the respected disability campaigner Lady Jane Campbell resigned. She was understood to be unhappy at Phillips’s reappointment although she made no public statement. Prof Francesca Klug, a human rights academic, and Sir Bert Massie, another leading disability rights campaigner, resigned on Saturday.

    Prof Klug is very respected and her resignation will be a huge blow to Phillips. I wonder if writer Ziauddin Sardar is also re-considering his position. Ben Summerskill from Stonewall is reported as re-considering his.

    In all the times I’ve heard him speak or read his stuff, I’ve not understood what exactly his vision is. But this is only partly about Trevor Phillips divisive style of politics and more that he is widely seen as a terrible manager. The CRE was a huge mess. A former employee told me once that policies had to be constructed from scratch after Phillips had already announced them all over the media. Now the EHRC has massive management issues, especially after Phillips was re-electedappointed for another three years. Phillips is meant to be a champion for the groups he’s trying to get equality for, not the government, and which is why he has so many detractors.

    Filed under: Race politics
    19th July, 2009

    Is the Asian Network under threat?

    by Rumbold at 8:35 pm    

    After losing listeners in the past year (a drop of around 20%), the Asian Network has been warned that it must do more to attract listeners, given its cost as the most expensive station per listener per hour (6.9p) on the BBC:

    “The trust said: “We will expect some improvement in reach next year.” A senior BBC source told the Standard that management at the station including controller Andy Parfitt — who also runs Radio 1 — were told they had to attract listeners over the next 12 months or face closure.”

    Perhaps it should take heed of this idea?

    (Hat-Tip: MixTogether)

    Filed under: Media

    8000 forced marriage cases in 2008

    by Rumbold at 10:45 am    

    A recent government report has found that around 8,000 cases of forced marriage were reported in 2008 in Britain. The majority of females involved were of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin. Around 85% of victims are female. The Foreign Office’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) dealt with 420 cases last year, up from 152 in 2005, though this is down to the FMU becoming more widely known and accessible.

    Happily, the attitude of the authorities seems to be changing (albeit slowly), with a much greater awareness of forced marriage and ‘honour’-based violence in general, as well as the will to do something about it. While the state alone cannot solve the problem, at least it will reduce the chance of situations like this happening again, and we should hear fewer horror stories about such behaviour being justified by culture or religious differences.

    18th July, 2009

    Interesting links from the last few days

    by Rumbold at 8:26 pm    

    The Economist this week highlights how some disabled people are faring in Mexico, and why, despite it being one of the regional leaders in disabled rights, it still has a long way to go.

    Jess McCabe on the F-Word reports on the massive levels of domestic violence in Glasgow (which is no doubt fairly representative of the rest of Britain).

    Gracchi sheds a little more light on the life of Oliver Cromwell before the civil wars, a period of his life which we know too little about.

    The EU continues with the legalised theft of our money, so that it can hand it over to huge corporations like Tate and Lyle (134 million euros for producing sugar), while depriving poor Africans of money to survive. And people wonder why Eurosceptics exist.

    Filed under: Blog,Disability

    How to get things wrong without even trying

    by guest at 2:28 am    

    This is an extract from London based journalist Salil Tripathi’s new book: ‘Offence - The Hindu Case (Manifestos for the Twenty-first Century)‘

    Near the end of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen Dedalus tells the reader: “I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it call itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use—silence, exile and cunning.”

    For the Indian artist Maqbul Fida Husain, these words now carry a special meaning: opposition to him and his work has now travelled beyond India’s borders. In 2006, a group of Hindu activists attacked two of his paintings at an upscale art gallery, asserting that if Muslims could ban cartoons of Prophet Mohammed made by Danish artists, why couldn’t Hindus do the same with Husain’s art?

    What was unusual about this act of vandalism was that the gallery was in central London, at Asia House near Oxford Circus.

    Ironically, even as various police officers in India were issuing arrest warrants against Husain, the then Indian High Commissioner in London, Kamalesh Sharma, was inaugurating the show, where he called Husain India’s ‘greatest modern artist’ and added, ‘Husain’s career and success mirrors closely the meteoric rise of contemporary Indian art on the international stage’.

    Continue Reading...
    17th July, 2009

    Hizb ut-Tahrir trying to covertly influence sex-ed policy

    by Sunny at 5:23 pm    

    Activists from the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir are covertly trying to influence the government’s consultation on sex education. Furthermore - they are being aided by Islam Channel, which has given them plenty of free airtime without revealing their affiliations.

    Continue Reading...

    Potential terrorist makes front-page

    by Sunny at 4:21 pm    

    Oh wait, it’s not the white guy. It’s a Muslim guy again.

    A former public schoolboy who converted to Islam was convicted today of planning a major suicide bombing in Britain. Andrew Ibrahim, 20, who changed his first name to Isa, made his own bombs and constructed a suicide vest to carry them to his intended target, the Broadmead shopping centre in Bristol in April last year.

    Let’s see - nutjob wants to take out other Britons. Is working alone. Gets caught. But one story makes the front page of the Evening Standard. Another story involving a white guy who was in a more advanced stage of bomb-making barely rates a mention in the back pages.

    Filed under: Islamists,Terrorism

    What Muslim women want

    by guest at 10:30 am    

    This is a guest post by Lucy James, a research fellow at Quilliam

    South Asian Muslim women are the most economically disadvantaged group in terms of religion, ethnicity and gender in the UK today. A recent poll of unemployed South Asian Muslim women showed that not only are they disadvantaged, but that they are misunderstood and not being given sufficient support in order to break a cycle that, given the chance, will transmit similar attitudes on to future generations. The poll— published in Quilliam’s latest report Immigrant, Muslim, Female: Triple Paralysis [pdf]— established what these Muslim women want: they want to work. Over 600 women were interviewed, 57% of which said that they wanted a paid job. This figure is really positive. Although 39% said that they didn’t want to work, many of these women may have said so because of a lack of confidence rather than as a downright refusal to work.

    The women interviewed in this survey were overwhelmingly (84%) not born in this country, i.e. they were immigrants to the UK. Contrary to expectation, perhaps, the numbers of immigrant women arriving from the subcontinent is unlikely to die out over the generations. A 2008 study by Dale and Ahmed [pdf] of transnational marriages between 1998 and 2005 revealed that 40% of Pakistani and Bangladeshi men living in this country married women from abroad. Together with the high rates of immigration from the subcontinent as a whole (in 2006/7, South Asians accounted for the highest rates of applications for settlement visas), the issues surrounding first generation immigrants are going to be ones that are perpetuated down the generations. These women have to stop being sidelined within South Asian/ Muslim communities; they have to be specifically recognised and targeted in government policy.

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Economy,Sex equality

    Why I like identity politics

    by Sunny at 3:59 am    

    People always claim they hate identity politics. Most of the time what they actually mean is they hate people talking about race or religion because these seen as absurd associations.

    That’s a fair claim except that to view ‘identity politics’ merely as race or religion is short-sighted. The history of Great Britain and most of our politics has been dominated by identity politics of various kinds over centuries. When Conservatives talk of patriotism, defending the realm, the monarchy or preserving our way of life - they’re indulging in identity politics. When UKIP apparatchiks say they want hate Europe they’re playing it too. The class-warfare that has defined British society since feudal times is classic identity politics.

    In many ways British Asians instinctively get all this. We’re brought up in tightly-knit families steeped in symbolism, rituals and a sense of community. We are constantly asked to (though we don’t always) pay attention to a range of identities including religion, family status, caste etc. Asian women quickly become gender aware once they realise how deeply sexist the culture is and so on.

    So much as we all profess to hate it - identity politics defines our actions. This is why I find it interesting. And it’s also the reason we need to talk more about it.

    The problem we have is that public debate have become less about accepting people’s multiple identities and more about demands for their own tribe. Minorities - black or Asian, Muslim or Sikh, too have fallen into this trap. Rather than linking their concerns and struggles with that of others in British society, they have become too obsessed to only standing up for their own. That might have been relevant in the 70-90s but times have changed.

    Similarly, many right-wingers have taken to blaming lefties and multi-culturalism for racism and identity politics without remembering their own complicity. The BNP have made electoral gains but they were much stronger in the 70s and 80s before multiculturalism really took off. The Conservative party had been steeped in racism for decades and no one batted an eyelid over ‘If you want a nigger for a neighbour vote Labour’, or Enoch Powell. More here.

    The point is - people like to belong and they like a sense of community and shared values. Identity politics offers a better way to understand people’s behaviour and fears than most other measures. It is where emotion meets politics - it is central to any society. There’s no point being dismissive - we have always been knee deep in it.

    16th July, 2009

    US opens asylum to sexually abused women

    by Sunny at 12:53 pm    

    This story caught my eye:

    The Obama administration has opened the way for foreign women who are victims of severe domestic beatings and sexual abuse to receive asylum in the United States. The action reverses a Bush administration stance in a protracted and passionate legal battle over the possibilities for battered women to become refugees.

    There are still strict criteria but the move is to be celebrated nevertheless.

    It also struck me that in addition to foreign policy, the environment and a whole rage of domestic issues like healthcare and science - Obama really is trying to eke out a different agenda despite the establishment inertia. And yet there are still hard-left ranters who keep saying there’s little difference between Obama and Bush. It boggles the mind.

    A question of allegiance for British Muslims

    by guest at 12:22 am    

    this is a guest contribution by Shaaz Mahboob.

    Yesterday’s coverage about the repatriation of the eight British soldiers killed in Afghanistan and the welcome accorded to them by the British public has filled me with pride for our brave armed forces and instilled respect for the ordinary people who turned out to show their support.

    t the same time as a British Muslim it fills me with sadness that none of the leading Muslim organisations have bothered to publicly mourn the soldiers or show solidarity with the armed forces and their families, who are facing an immensely difficult battle with the Taliban in order to bring stability to the region, and directly securing the safety of our nation.

    Although many British Muslims objected and criticised the manner in which a small group of Islamic extremists in Luton hurled abuses towards the returning soldiers from Iraq, they apparently did so fearing a backlash from the rest of the British public, not for their love and respect for the British soldiers.

    Such lack of compassion on part of British Muslims for our Army which retains immense respect in the eyes of ordinary British people, is disheartening and needs to be highlighted at every forum. This is especially relevant since British Muslims and their respective organisations claim to be equal citizens of the country yet when it comes to wars against barbaric regimes and forces such as the Taliban in Afghanistan, who happen to be Muslims, their shift in allegiance on the basis of their religion becomes distinctly clear and disturbing.

    British Muslims did not object to the military campaign against former Yugoslavia, infact hailed it, when fellow Muslim Kosovars benefited from the war on foreign soil, deemed by the Serbs as foreign invasion and interference. Yet when it comes to brutal regimes and their atrocities such as the ones in Darfur or Afghanistan, the Muslim silence is deafening.

    It is high time British Muslims recognise and acknowledge that in order to exert their rights as British people, they must also fulfil their civic and moral responsibilities by beginning to show solidarity with the rest of the society, especially where it matters the most.

    Shaaz is part of British Muslims for Secular Democracy.

    15th July, 2009

    Stop and Search doesn’t work - statistics show

    by Sunny at 8:40 pm    

    This comes from the Daily Mail - so even our usual gaggle of rightwingers can’t claim some conspiracy of twisting the figures: Force uses stop and search power 3,400 times - but suspends it after failing to make single terror arrest:

    A police force has suspended searches of people under controversial anti-terror laws after shock figures exposed the futility of the legislation. Hampshire Police conducted 3,481 stop and searches of people under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act in 2007/2008 - but arrested no-one in connection with terror.

    In remarks which deepened the controversy surrounding the powers, Lord Carlile said he knew of cases where suspects were stopped by officers even though there was no evidence against them. He warned that police were wasting time and money by carrying out these ‘self-evidently unmerited searches’ which were ‘almost certainly unlawful’.

    Section 44 is part of the Terrorism Act, 2000. It gives police the right to stop and search anyone in a defined area without having grounds of ‘reasonable suspicion’. Some forces have simply designated their entire force area as Section 44 zones giving them limitless powers to search on demand.

    So feel free to use this as an example when social authoritarians like the Tories (and New Labour) argue for more stop-and-search powers and a ramping up of police authority.

    Terrorist found guilty (so let’s make some comparisons)

    by Rumbold at 5:11 pm    

    Neil Lewington, a neo-Nazi, has been found guilty of terrorism and explosive offenses:

    “The neo-Nazi, who turned his bedroom into a bomb factory, was also trying to perfect tennis ball bombs which he could throw at the homes of Asians.”

    He was caught by chance while travelling on a train:

    ” He was arrested at Lowestoft station in Suffolk on October 30 last year after abusing a female train conductor who challenged him. Lewington had been on his way to see a woman but after drinking and smoking on the train, he had urinated in public.

    He was arrested for a public order offence when the train arrived at the station and his hold-all bag was searched. He was found to be carrying two firebombs which would have exploded when primed.”

    Let there be no doubt that this man was a terrorist. He was planning to kill civilians he didn’t like, and would have done so if Lady Luck had not intervened. Whether he was part of a network or was working mostly on his own is still unclear. We know that neo-Nazi groups have become more active recently, and I suspect we shall learn more in time. But what this case can give us is a useful comparison with the way in which we deal with other terrorists and terrorist supporters.

    Continue Reading...

    The CSC’s BNP report is a farce

    by Sunny at 9:13 am    

    So the oxymoronically named ‘Centre for Social Cohesion’ has published a report on the BNP (pdf), which Rumbold mentions below. It’s nice the British neo-cons are paying some attention to white-extremism but the report makes one glaring omission. Spotted it yet?

    The report plenty of activity by the BNP on messageboards and blogs. It lists some vile comments made by BNP supporters and is rather obsessed by the gimp a.k.a. Lee Barnes. The report’s authors could also have spent their time better transcribing outrageous things Nick Griffin has said in speeches littered all over YouTube, rather than that of some anonymous commenters on random blogs. In fact I think Pickled Politics/eGov did a better job in attacking the BNP with our 85 questions directed at the BNP.

    But that isn’t my main beef. What’s glaringly omitted from the report is an analysis of how the BNP has in recent years shifted its strategy from outright racism and anti-semitism to attacking Muslims and Islam generally. The report briefly mentions Muslims in the intro and lists some comments that include the word Muslim, but its conclusion doesn’t even mention anti-Muslim bigotry. It avoids the topic despite the fact Nick Griffin went on the record to say it was politically better for the BNP to focus on Muslims rather than Jews or racism.

    Now, why would a report by the CSC avoid talking about the one subject that the BNP constantly campaigns on now? Why ignore it when it is repeatedly mentioned in its literature and by its supporters online (much more than other enemies)?

    Continue Reading...
    14th July, 2009

    The BNP on the internet

    by Rumbold at 8:19 pm    

    It is fair to say that we on Pickled Politics are not novices when it comes to BNP internet warriors. Although we won’t link to them, the fascist forum Stormfront has been discussing Pickled Politics/eGov’s questions and Lee John Barnes’ responses on behalf of the BNP. Few support his decision to respond, and many took to calling him “Jew Boy”.

    Thanks to Edmund Standing of Harry’s Place, we now have an even more comprehensive idea of how BNP members conduct themselves on the internet, after his report for the Centre for Social Cohesion was published. I haven’t read through the whole piece yet, but below is the executive summary. Though it contains no shocking revelations, the report, like our ’85 Questions’, is part of the process by which the BNP is exposed for what it really is. The BNP has gained greatly from the main parties and other noted commentators merely yelling ‘racist’ at them, telling everyone not to vote for them, then running away. It makes the BNP’s arguments look powerful and allows them to adopt a faux-victim mentality. We, Harry’s Place, Richard Bartholomew, The Spittoon and others want to keep them squirming under the spotlight.

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