ON October 20, two Goan sailors, Gregory Fernandes and Finod Appa, were brutally attacked by a drunken gang of racist youths in the Hampshire village of Fawley.
Mr Fernandes, 32, and his friend were returning to their ship Garonne, moored alongside the marine jetty near the Fawley refinery, when they were surrounded and beaten. Mr Appa sustained a broken shoulder while Mr Fernandes, who was more badly beaten by the 20-strong gang, later died from his injuries.
Hampshire police said the unprovoked assault was racially aggravated. Shocked residents, ashamed by the racially-motivated attack, held an emotional candlelit vigil.
“The community is in shock”, said the Reverend Barry James of All Saints Church, who led the service. “People are dismayed and ashamed of what happened here, in what is normally a small, quiet, sleepy village.”
Christine English, who lives in Fawley, said: “We’re stunned that an innocent visitor could be killed in a racist attack, not in one of the tougher areas of the city, but in a quiet New Forest village.”
Well, I think that we can all agree that the people who committed this murder are worthless scum, who ought to be strung up. And if I lived in Fawley, I imagine that I would be quite shocked too, to have this kind of thing happen on my doorstep.However, one thing I should perhaps have mentioned before, is that this article comes from the far-left magazine, Tribune. As a result, the above, pretty reasonable, reporting, is swiftly followed up with this idiotic statement:
A link is now being made between what is said in public by people such as Nigel Hastilow and James Watson and racially motivated violence such as this on the streets of Britain.Really? And by whom is this link being drawn? And what evidence have they adduced to establish the existence of such a link? Have the unnamed drawers of the link uncovered evidence that, for example, racist violence by whites against non-whites rose sharply in the aftermath of Prof Watson's comments, or Mr Hastilow's article?
Nigel Hastilow was the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis in the West Midlands until his racist remarks – that Enoch Powell was right to talk about “rivers of blood” in his infamous speech on black immigration – embarrassed Tory leader David Cameron. James Watson is the controversial scientist who caused a row when he spoke of the “inferiority of black people”.So, I guess we're not going to get any answers to the questions I raised in my previous paragraph. What we do get is the throwing around of the word 'racist', as if that is actually probative of anything.
We also get a bit of apparently deliberate dishonesty and misrepresentation. First, we are told that Enoch Powell talked "about 'rivers of blood'". Now, while his famous speech from 1968 has been dubbed the "Rivers of Blood Speech", Powell never actually used the phrase himself. He did refer to "the River Tiber foaming with much blood" (a quote from a passage in Virgil's Aeneid) but he never actually said "rivers of blood". And yet the author of this piece, Paul Donovan, appears, from his use of quotation marks, to imply that the words are taken verbatim from Powell's speech. This is patently untrue, although Mr Donovan might perhaps argue that his untruth serves to illustrate a wider truth.
The second, and more egregious, misrepresentation occurs when we are told that Prof Watson "spoke of the 'inferiority of black people'". Again, the use of quotation marks in this context would seem to suggest - and suggest quite strongly - that Watson himself actually used the phrase "inferiority of black people". Well, if he did, then it isn't mentioned in the Sunday Times report of the interview which sparked off the whole witch hunt last month. Furthermore, not only did Watson not use the phrase "the inferiority of black people", but he also did not use any other words or phrases tending to imply that blacks are inferior. On the contrary, he specifically said that there should be no discrimination on the basis of race. As such, it is hard to escape the conclusion that, unless Mr Donovan should happen to be privy to information withheld from the rest of us, then he is deliberately attributing to Prof Watson, not only words which he did not actually speak, but also sentiments which he did not actually express.
Content with this little piece of deception, Donovan continues:
When the Labour Government came to power it set up the MacPherson inquiry to look into the racist killing of Stephen Lawrence in 1993. The inquiry’s remit was later extended to examine racism nationwide.
Lord MacPherson’s final report made 75 recommendations, many of which have been implemented. Race crime was upgraded among police priorities and heavier sentences handed down where racial motivation can be proven.
True. I don't personally think that that's a good thing, except insofar as it increases some sentences which might otherwise be woefully inadequate, but it certainly is what's happened.
Despite this, racially motivated violence has continued to increase in Britain.True. But what Mr Donovan omits to add is that most racist crime is directed against white people. In 2004, white people were the victims in 51% of all racially-motivated crime, in 61% of cases of violent racist crime, and in fully 83% of the most serious instances of racist violence. Once these basic facts are known, then the whole issue of racism appears in a rather different light from that in which Mr Donovan is attempting to cast it.
While violent crimes such as the murder in Liverpool of black teenager Anthony Walker are the most extreme form of race hate, the Institute of Race Relations points out that “every day on the streets of the UK, in playgrounds, classrooms, shops and at work, minority ethnic people are racially harassed.”And that's wrong, and those who perpetrate such offences should be punished. But still more frequent than a non-white person being racially harassed by a white person, is a non-white person racially harassing a white person.
The contributions to public debate made by people such as Mr Hastilow and Professor Watson and, before them, Enoch Powell create an atmosphere in which it is easier for racists to operate.Any evidence for that?
Race relations legislation – and changing attitudes – mean that blatant racism of the sort that saw signs reading “No blacks, no Irish” displayed in windows no longer exists, but racism has become more covert.Any evidence for the existence of this new "covert" racism? No? Well, actually there is, after a fashion:
Peter Hain, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Wales, said that Mr Hastilow’s remarks exposed the racist underbelly of the Conservative Party.There's your evidence: Peter Hain says so. I suppose that is evidence, of a sort. Whether we should attach any weight to it is, of course, a rather different matter.
And anti-racist campaigners fear that when someone such as Mr Hastilow or Professor Watson expresses their inflammatory racist views in public they give succour to those intent on racial violence on the streets of Britain.Some questions:
1. Who are these "anti-racist campaigners"? Why doesn't Mr Donovan name them and quote directly from them (or fabricate some quotes, since that seems to be his style)? Or is it in fact the case that Mr Donovan is expressing his personal views, and attributing them to "anti-racist campaigners", in a bid to give them some added moral authority (yes, I know that race hustlers have no moral authority whatsoever, but I doubt that Mr Donovan knows that)?
2. What evidence is there that when Nigel Hastilow or James Watson expresses an "inflammatory racist view" (i.e. a view with which Paul Donovan does not agree), violent thugs "intent on racial violence" derive succour? Do such thugs actually sit around thinking "hmm, James Watson made some remarks about race and IQ, therefore it's okay for me to kill an Indian"? Did racist violence against non-whites increase in the aftermath of the comments of either Mr Hastilow or Prof Watson? Does Paul Donovan's article consist entirely of unverified assertions?
That last one's easy...
“The tragic death of Gregory Fernandes proves how important it is to confront racism in all its pernicious forms,” said the Institute of Race Relations this week.Well, I'd agree that the murder is tragic. And I'd also agree that racism should be confronted. I imagine, however, that my definition of what racism is would differ substantially from that endorsed by Paul Donovan, or the Institute of Race Relations.