Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Rainbow Politics

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

In a post called Rainbow Politics, Clive Davis says:

Only I’m not entirely sure it’s a mark of a reactionary to be concerned about immigration’s effect on social cohesion. (One reason I feel strongly at this is that my kids would be more vulnerable if things ever went badly wrong. They’re already getting used to be mistaken for Muslims.)

I find this really interesting and even brave for Mr Davis to admit that. Because in a way our responses to political and social issues are often conditioned by personal fears and concerns. Sikhs and Hindus are always on the receiving end of racism (including violence) whenever there is a terrorist atrocity by Islamists. It is a simple fact of life and something we have had to always put up with.

 But I can’t help feeling that this is in some way a negative reaction. Worrying about your family members in times of increased bigotry is natural. I suspect that Mr Davis’ children will always be mistaken for Muslims - this is the way of British society, in which all Asians are generally assumed to be Muslims. Certainly, an impatience with the hateful rhetoric of Muslim extremists is forcefully expressed by Sikhs and Hindus these days, who know that they will suffer in the racist backlash.

But then, so are moderate Muslims growing impatient with them, and I cannot help feeling that there is too much assumption of a taint by being associated with Muslims which might be counter-productive to the solidarity we need with Muslims in Britain today, and the assumption that immigration restrictions will solve all problems associated with Muslim extremism can lull you into simplistic solutions.

 

Must read report on Asian communities in the UK

Monday, May 15th, 2006

 

Essential reading

The media has focussed on the negative issues facing parts of the Muslim community brought to light here. It actually is a fascinating and detailed survey of contempory Hindu, Sikh and Muslim economics and demography in Britain today. I will absorb it and post more later. The quoted figure of 50% of Muslims over 25 being unemployed is broken down by Geezer on PP as follows:

I think I may have found the 50%, it relates to economic activity, meaning participation in the active work force. The national average activity rate is 67% and 70% for Sikhs 71% for Hindus. The Muslim rate is 50% which is largely due to the low female participation rate among Muslims in the formal economy[see page 18 and figure 1.6] 

 

Scary Stuff

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

 

Well it frightens the hell out of me. A review of a book in the Daily Telegraph about Nuclear Terrorism - the review is titled A matter of when, not if”

 Some extracts: 

Detonated above Times Square, such a bomb would incinerate 1,100,000 people, kill thousands more in their panic to escape radiation, render the entire borough uninhabitable for years, and cause a psychological devastation that “remains almost inconceivable”

The book is called Nuclear Terrorism and is written by Graham Allison. Some other stuff to give you nightmares:

The consensus among experts, writes Allison, is that a dirty bomb is “long overdue”, and that “on the current course, nuclear terrorism is inevitable”. He quotes the US General Eugene Habiger, in charge of strategic nuclear weapons until 1998: “It is not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when.”

More shit-your-pants stuff:

 Exactly 20 years after Chernobyl, and in the month of Iran’s claims to be the ninth nuclear power, this is a book of awful relevance. As John le Carré writes: “Lucid, calm, cogent and majestically well-informed, Allison’s Nuclear Terrorism is required reading for every Western politician, journalist and espiocrat.” I would go further. Everyone ought to read it.

Read the review in full here

Would they aim for America or London or Paris? Scares the bejeezus out of me.  

Scary Stuff

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

 

Well it frightens the hell out of me. A review of a book in the Daily Telegraph about Nuclear Terrorism - the review is titled A matter of when, not if”

 Some extracts: 

Detonated above Times Square, such a bomb would incinerate 1,100,000 people, kill thousands more in their panic to escape radiation, render the entire borough uninhabitable for years, and cause a psychological devastation that “remains almost inconceivable”

The book is called Nuclear Terrorism and is written by Graham Allison. Some other stuff to give you nightmares:

The consensus among experts, writes Allison, is that a dirty bomb is “long overdue”, and that “on the current course, nuclear terrorism is inevitable”. He quotes the US General Eugene Habiger, in charge of strategic nuclear weapons until 1998: “It is not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when.”

More shit-your-pants stuff:

 Exactly 20 years after Chernobyl, and in the month of Iran’s claims to be the ninth nuclear power, this is a book of awful relevance. As John le Carré writes: “Lucid, calm, cogent and majestically well-informed, Allison’s Nuclear Terrorism is required reading for every Western politician, journalist and espiocrat.” I would go further. Everyone ought to read it.

Read the review in full here

Would they aim for America or London or Paris? Scares the bejeezus out of me.  

Hilarious Stupid Fuckwits

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

Need cheering up? Read about the stupid fuckwits of the BNP via Nick Cohen

Everyone in Britain has had ample opportunity to learn that the BNP is a neo-Nazi party and a pretty useless neo-Nazi party at that. Journalists have exposed its links to the Ku Klux Klan and European far right, while the anti-fascist magazine, Searchlight, has detailed the Hitler worship and criminal records of some of its candidates.

Whenever the BNP gets into power, its councillors make the Home Office appear a model of administrative efficiency. In Burnley, one resigned after smashing a bottle into the face of another BNP member. A second left because he didn’t have a clue about local government - ‘There’s meetings that go right over my head and there’s little point in me being there,’ the poor dear complained. In Stoke-on-Trent, the city’s first BNP councillor spoke only twice during two years in office (and one of his ’speeches’ was an interruption to ask what ‘abstain’ meant).

Loss of Faith

Saturday, May 6th, 2006

I just finished reading an excellent book called Loss of Faith by the Canadian journalist Kim Bolan about the bombing of the Air India airplane in 1985 by Khalistani terrorists. It deals with the aftermath of the failure to convict the accused ringleaders and catalogues a litany of thuggery and mafia like intimidation by the coterie of the accused which led to witness statements being retracted under pressure from associates of the extremists.

 It also details how Sikh journalists in Canada were shot and attacked when they started to oppose the fascism of the extremists and exposed the corruption and criminality of the scum who used the banner of Sikh extremism to lead rich lifestyles and gangster activity, including the sordid love lives of these people. Hypocrites to the maximum and a disturbing book by a brave journalist. Thankfully Canada has just announced a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the acquittal of the accused and it will be part of an overview into ensuring that lessons regarding the activities of extremists are monitored so that they can never set up base from there again. This fits in with its current crackdown on the Tamil Tigers in Canada and seems to chime with a broader approach and rigourous engagement with these issues by the new Conservative Canadian government, which will have implications for its attitude and fears towards the most alive threat at the moment - that of Islamist extremists.

An interesting extract from the article about the Tamil Tigers:

 A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report released in March described how Tamils in Canada and Europe have been systematically threatened and intimidated into giving money to the Tigers. The report also said that LTTE monitors expatriates who travel in LTTE-controlled portions of Sri Lanka, restricting the movements of those who have not paid up.

This is fairly typical behaviour of extremist movements particularly those devoted to ‘armed struggle’ - thuggery, absolutism and intimidatory practice is common. I have heard of this kind of activity (protection rackets, intimidation) being used by the IRA too.

 

 

 

 

 

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.