Tuesday, 29 January 2008

A continent of thought criminals

AN "overwhelming majority" of Europeans believe immigration from Islamic countries is a threat to their traditional way of life, a survey revealed last night.

The poll, carried out across 21 countries, found "widespread anti-immigration sentiment", but warned Europe's Muslim population will treble in the next 17 years.

It reported "a severe deficit of trust is found between the Western and Muslim communities", with most people wanting less interaction with the Muslim world.
It would be nice to have some percentages here, rather than mere approximations like "most", "widespread", and "overwhelming majority". But the message is nonetheless pretty clear: even though our politicians seem to believe their own claims that Islam is a "religion of peace", which enriches our lives on a daily basis, the majority of people know that it isn't, and that it doesn't. This supports the conclusions reached in a Telegraph poll in 2006, which found that 53% of British people saw Islam as a threat. And they are, of course, right to do so: as numerous posts on this blog (and many others) have aimed to demonstrate, Islamic culture is completely different from and at odds with our own.

The gulf between us and them (and I use that term advisedly, because it is an 'us and them' situation) is widening rapidly. As I have pointed out many times before, 36% of Muslims aged 16-24 support the execution of those who convert away from Islam, as against "only" 19% of Muslims aged over 55. What we are facing is an Islamic population which, even without immigration, is growing very rapidly, with birthrates that dwarf those of other groups, and which is, at the same time, increasingly extreme. The fact that Europe's Muslim population is set to treble in just seventeen years is evidence of the strong possibility that at least some European nations, and quite possibly the whole continent, will become majority-Muslim within the present century. What astonishes me is not that most people are concerned by this, but that some people aren't.

Hat-tip: David Vance (ATW)

Monday, 28 January 2008

More (alleged) vote-rigging

A HEARING, which will investigate whether a borough councillor of 23 years lost her seat illegally, is to begin in Slough tomorrow (Monday).

The Election Petition hearing will delve deeper into results in the Central ward in May last year.

Labour’s Lydia Simmons lost to Conservative Eshaq Khan by 116 votes in May last year, which scuppered the party’s plans of retaking control of the council it lost in 2004.

The two-week hearing in the council chambers at Slough Town Hall will allow both sides to present evidence and a QC will gauge if anything untoward has happened.

The Labour group is expected to outline how some voters were registered to derelict homes and a large number of voters were registered to single properties.

The hearing is separate to the ongoing police investigation into voting fraud. Three Slough men have been arrested on suspicion of false applications to vote by post in connection with the elections in May 2007.
In the interests of fairness I will say two things. First, Khan denies all the accusations that have been made. Until the hearing reaches its conclusion, we will not know what the exact truth of the matter is.

Secondly, there are those who might attempt to use this kind of case to "smear an entire community". That would of course be very wrong: although the alleged perpetrator is a Tory, I am assured that the vast majority of moderate Tories are entirely supportive of democracy. And, while it is true that a tiny minority of alleged extremist Tories (Abdul Razaq, Raja Akhtar, and Mohammed Khaliq in Peterborough; Haroon Rashid, Jamshed Khan, and Reis Khan in Bradford
; Iftikhar Hussain in Birmingham) are currently undergoing trial for vote-rigging, there have also been Labour activists (Muhammad Afzal, Mohammed Islam, and Mohammed Kazi in Birmingham; Muhammed Hussain in Blackburn) who have been either convicted of electoral fraud, or found to have engaged in it by an election commissioner, besides the former Labour mayor of Peterborough, Mohammed Choudhary, who is currently on trial for vote-rigging, alongside Tariq Mahmood and Maqbool Hussain. And Lib Dems have also been caught participating in some dubious electoral practices: in 2006, Burnley councillors Manzur Hussain and Mozaquir Ali were jailed for their part in a 2004 vote-rigging conspiracy, while last May Birmingham Lib Dem activists Zaker Choudhry and Mohammed Saeed were arrested over accusations of electoral impropriety. I think that it should therefore be abundantly evident to all but the most hardened and intolerant Toryphobe, that there are individuals within all political parties who show insufficient respect to democracy, and that to suggest that any one group was more likely than others to engage in vote-rigging would be the height of bigotry. So there!

Hat-tip: The Green Arrow

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Today's Burning Issue: Diversity

White men have been banned from fire brigade recruitment sessions because bosses want to hit their diversity targets.

Four out of five "open" days held by Avon Fire Service were restricted to women and ethnic minorities.

Critics last night accused the West Country brigade of discrimination. An MP said the move would fuel resentment and undermine race relations.

Avon's bosses insist their ban on white men is simply "positive action".

Well that's alright then!

It should be noted that attending an open day is not the same as being recruited - white men are still allowed to apply for jobs with the Avon Fire Service, just as much as their betters. But while this "positive action" is apparently intended merely to encourage "under-represented" groups to apply for positions in the fire service (not that there is at present anything preventing them from applying, or from getting the job, if they're the best qualified candidate), it is also likely to discourage white men from applying for such positions. After all, most people, if told that they weren't welcome at the open day, would feel rather less enthusiastic about the employer, and rather less confident of their chances of getting the job, and in consequence would be less likely to apply.

I don't suppose that a great many people who are trapped on top of a burning building really care whether the person who comes to rescue them is a man or a woman, or what race they are. Even the most hardened race hustler or radical feminist is unlikely to give themselves up to the flames because their rescuers are insufficiently diverse. But what most people in such a situation would want, would be for the people sent to save them to be the people best suited for the task. Discriminatory policies such as these, which are likely to result in well-qualified individuals opting not to apply for positions, is highly likely to result in firemen (sorry, firepeople) being selected from a smaller pool of applicants, with the possibility that those selected will be of a lower standard as a result. This is a bad thing in all circumstances, and particularly in such life and death circumstances as those commonly dealt with by the fire brigade. Still, if anyone does suffer as a result of such idiocies, they can at least console themselves with the thought that they die, that diversity might live!

Postscript: Avon Fire Service has something of a history of destructive political correctness. In October, it was revealed that four firemen employed by the service had been disciplined after disturbing a group of men who were cottaging on Bristol Downs.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Alan Bennett: Chippy little fascist

I read that the writer Alan Bennett has called on the government to ban independent schools. Speaking to Radio 4's Today programme, he explained that his opposition to such institutions began in 1951, when, at the age of seventeen, he attended an entrance exam at Cambridge:
It was the first time I ever came across boys from public school. They were so confident. We were timid grammar school boys but they were very much at ease.

They hogged the bread and slurped the soup - things were very much still rationed in those days.

They were just louts, but I also realised that they had been better taught than I had. I thought that was unfair when I was 17, and that view has never changed.
So, to sum up, Oiky Bennett had a chip on his shoulder as an unpolished teenager, and the passage of more than half a century has failed to remove it. I suppose that this might be mildly interesting to a psychologist, but it's not exactly a very sound or rational basis for policymaking.

The prime motivating force behind Bennett's opposition to public schools, and, I suspect, behind the opposition of a great many people to public schools, or grammar schools, or faith schools, or private healthcare for that matter, is envy, plain and simple. It is pure tall poppy syndrome, the desire to cut down anyone who is any way "privileged", not because their "privilege" actually does any tangible harm to anyone else, but simply because they are "privileged".
It is true that many state schools offer an education that is markedly poorer than that available at most public schools (although there are also many good comprehensives, and many appallingly bad minor public schools). But the weakness of many state schools is not caused by the existence of public schools, and closing down public schools will not actually improve the education of one state-educated child.

Rather, Alan Bennett, and other antiquated class warriors, would, if allowed to put their ridiculous ideas into practice, do considerable harm to the education of millions of children. Indeed, it appears that harming the education of the 615,000 children who are currently privately-educated is the primary, if not the sole, purpose behind attacks on fee-paying schools. After all, Alan Bennett wants to force those 615,000 children to move from public schools, which he believes offer a superior education, to state schools, which he says offer an inferior one. If this is not indicative of a desire to harm their education, then I don't know what is!
But if public schools really were abolished, then that would also harm the education of children who are already being educated in state schools. The cost and logistics of transferring an extra 615,000 children into the state sector would be enormous, and would strain the resources of many state schools, which are often already overstretched, beyond breaking point. How would this improve the education of any child?

The way to improve overall standards of education is not to attack those schools which are actually functioning well. That may perhaps be the path to ensuring that everyone has an equal education, but it would only be an equally bad one. If we want to ensure that as many children as possible have a good education - even if the exact quality varies from school to school - then the answer is to improve the state education system. Reintroducing grammar schools (which, lest we forget, were sufficiently effective that they allowed a working class boy like Alan Bennett to get into Cambridge, possibly in place of the bread-hogging toffs who left such a lasting impression upon him) would be a good start.

Of course, the other point that stands to be made is that, as the chief executive of the Independent Schools Council pointed out, it would be a gross infringement of parents' rights for the government to begin dictating precisely how and where they should educate their children. That Bennett seems prepared to totally disregard this is simply another indicator of the almost fascistic authoritarianism of many socialists, who, it seems, regard children as the property of the state, to be dealt with solely as the state wishes. I suppose that we should at least be grateful to him for demonstrating this, and also the extent to which socialism is so often little more than rationalised resentment.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Goodbye, and good riddance

Yes, you've all seen the excellent news by now, but I did just want to express my enormous satisfaction with the news that Peter Hain has finally, and under extreme duress, taken the only half-way decent option available (indeed, done the only halfway decent act in his entire life), and resigned from the cabinet. True, he should have done it months ago, but late is still better than never. Now if only he could be induced to follow this up by taking a bottle of whisky and a loaded revolver to a secluded place, and emptying them both into his mouth...

Update: My musical tribute to Hain is now up at ATW.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Snouts in the race relations trough

An adviser to mayor Ken Livingstone has resigned after lying about taking a free luxury weekend in Africa.

Rosemary Emodi, deputy to the mayor's chief race adviser Lee Jasper, last week denied visiting a £200-a-night resort in Nigeria last November.

But when the BBC confronted her on Tuesday with evidence she flew there with airline Virgin Nigeria, Ms Emodi immediately tendered her resignation

The mayor's office said a formal statement made by Ms Emodi was untrue.

Virgin Nigeria confirmed Ms Emodi flew from London to Lagos on 30 November, stayed for three nights and returned on 3 December.

She stayed at the La Campagne Tropicana resort in a £200-a-night chalet paid for by her hosts.

With her was Eroll Walters, the director of community group Brixton Base Limited, head of the Black Londoners Forum and a friend of the mayor's advisor Lee Jasper.

Nigerian websites reported that London representatives were there to finalise a link with Kamp Afrika which runs educational retreats for young people.

But the mayor's office said it had given no approval or backing for any official link-up with Kamp Afrika.

As a senior employee Ms Emodi would be required to clear any official business in advance, or with private trips declare on the register of interest that she had received free flights and accommodation.

Ms Emodi was formally questioned about the trip by the Greater London Authority (GLA) when the BBC made enquiries last week.

In a statement released on 15 January the GLA said: "Rosemary Emodi has never visited La Campagne Tropicana and neither has any other representative of the GLA".

But when the BBC presented the latest evidence of her trip, the mayor's office said her statement was untrue and she had resigned.

Well fancy that! A race hustler revealed as deceitful, grasping, and corrupt. What is the world coming to?

Poor Ken will need to have a stiff drink to get over the shock...

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Today's Home Office Cock-up

We've had the illegal immigrant who was employed as a security guard at the Home Office, not to mention numerous illegal immigrants who were working there as cleaners, but this story really does take the proverbial biscuit. In fact, I think it takes the whole pack:

An asylum seeker with a false passport worked for almost a year processing immigration appeals, it emerged yesterday.

Eugene Tawanda Madzima landed the job at the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal Service after supposedly undergoing background checks.

Officials were tricked by a faked letter from the Home Office saying the 24-year old had permission to stay in the UK.

Madzima was so well regarded at work he even gave a staff training presentation at the AITS centre in Leicester.

He was caught only when he tried to use the forged passport to open an HSBC bank account.

As Madzima was jailed for 12 months at Leicester Crown Court for holding forged documents, Judge Simon Hammond said the situation was "staggering" and "beggars belief".

He added: "Why was he able to get a fulltime job with the Appeals and Immigration Tribunal Service, of all people, who are meant to be dealing with people seeking asylum?

"No proper checks were made and yet he must have been on their records. "

Words really do fail me. Is there anyone at the Home Office who isn't an utter buffoon (apart from the apparently rather cunning asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, that is)?

The Police are not on our side

Another day, another display of unadulterated cretinism from Her Majesty's police. Their latest heroic exploit? Arresting a seventy-three year-old pensioner for confronting a gang of teenage thugs.

When William Marshall, a retired miner with a heart condition, saw the group throwing bricks at ducks on a canal in Worksop, he, rather bravely, told them to stop. They responded with a barrage of abuse, and after a shouting match, he retreated. As you do, when you're a lone septuagenarian, confronted with several potentially violent men much younger than you.

This was not the first time Mr Marshall had had problems with the gang, and he had made a number of complaints to the police. Accordingly, when two police officers showed up on his doorstep, he naively assumed that they had come in response to his complaints. But he was sadly mistaken, as he swiftly found out, when an officer informed him that he was being arrested on suspicion of assault. One of the young thugs had, it seemed, contacted the police to accuse Mr Marshall of hitting him. And while the police did not see fit to respond to any of Mr Marshall's numerous complaints, they were swift to respond to the first accusation made against him.

Having been arrested, Mr Marshall, who has a previously unblemished record, was kept in a police cell for two hours, before being formally interviewed, and released pending further enquiries. After Mr Marshall's local councillor took up his case, the police have apologised, explaining that the officer in question was "young in service", and, apparently, in need of further training. Personally, I would have hoped that he would get appropriate training before being sent out to harass pensioners. But obviously not...

This is far from being the first time that the police have allowed themselves to be used as, in effect, the enforcers for petty thugs and vandals. Last month I wrote about the case of Julie Lake, who was arrested after slapping a thug who was vandalising a war memorial. In March, I wrote about Fred Brown, who was arrested and charged with assault for giving a clip round the ear to a piece of scum who was vandalising the machines in his launderette. In both these cases, as in Mr Marshall's, the police had failed to respond to repeated complaints about the behaviour of the thugs, but had snapped into action the moment the thugs themselves saw fit to complain that someone had had the effrontery to challenge them. One has to ask what kind of police force responds with such alacrity to the whinings of low-life thugs, while ignoring the justified complaints of law-abiding citizens? A police force, I would suggest, with serious problems, and one which, so far from deserving the substantial pay rise that its members believe to be their due, merits nothing so much as a sizable collective pay cut, as the fitting reward for its uselessness.

Hat-tip: The Green Arrow

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Black is white; white, black

In March, I reported on the news that the EU had called on its vassals national governments to stop using the phrase "Islamic terrorists", in favour of the term "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam". As the (sadly, ex)-blogger Michael Cadwallader commented, it "just rolls off the tongue".

Well, now I read that our beloved government has gone one better. Today's terrorists no longer merely "abusively invoke Islam"; rather they are positively Islamophobic. Well, at least that allows the liberals to designate them as a legitimate enemy...
Ministers have adopted a new language for declarations on Islamic terrorism.

In future, fanatics will be referred to as pursuing "anti-Islamic activity".

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said that extremists were behaving contrary to their faith, rather than acting in the name of Islam.

Security officials believe that directly linking terrorism to Islam is inflammatory, and risks alienating mainstream Muslim opinion.

In her first major speech on radicalisation, Miss Smith repeatedly used the phrase "anti-Islamic".

In one passage she said: "As so many Muslims in the UK and across the world have pointed out, there is nothing Islamic about the wish to terrorise, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain and grief.

"Indeed, if anything, these actions are anti-Islamic'.

Another section referred to enlisting the Muslim community against "anti-Islamic activity".

It is marvellous, isn't it, that our government is filled with such experts in Islamic theology as the Imam Jacqui Smith. We must all be grateful that she knows so much more about Islam than, er, Muslims.

The fact is, that Islamic terrorists are committing terror attacks because they are Muslims. This is not to say that all Muslims are terrorists. But it is to say that the acts of murder or attempted murder committed by some Muslims are carried out in the name of Islam, and under the banner of Islam, rather than for any other reason, or in the name of any other cause. These terrorists target those whom they perceive as being genuinely "anti-Islamic", and view themselves as being "Islamic terrorists" (which, being Muslims who engage in terrorist activities, is what they are). If they themselves were really "anti-Islamic", then they would actually target Muslims. It is simply irrational to deny this. But the government seems determined to try.

Some Muslims may well find it offensive when Islamic terrorists are linked to the Islamic religion. But this is hardly the fault of those who make the obvious link. Rather, it is the fault of those who actually carry out these crimes under the Islamic aegis. Those Muslims who take offence at the linking of their religion with terrorism should focus their anger on those among their coreligionists who commit or support terrorist attacks, rather than upon the westerners who remark upon the abundantly evident connection between Islam and terrorist violence.

Meanwhile, I am driven to ask, if people who bomb non-Muslims in the name of Islam are now "anti-Islamic", what does that make those of us who genuinely oppose and dislike Islam? Are we now Islamophiles?

Hat-tip: Jihad Watch; thanks also to Homophobic Horse

The Reins of Power

Given that, in conventional far-left ideology, white people are the evil oppressors (the "dominant constituency", the "hegemons"), and non-whites the poor, oppressed, and powerless victims, the following report made interesting reading:
White people are less likely to feel they can influence decisions on running Britain than other ethnic groups, a government survey suggests.

Some 19% of white people agreed they had a say, compared with 33% of other groups, the Department for Communities and Local Government found.

Black African people were most likely to think they could have an influence - 38% said they could.

The DCLG surveyed 3,905 people between April and August last year.

The second most confident group, in terms of its ability to influence the country, was Bangladeshis, on 36%.

But...Muslims are the most oppressed, powerless, and victimised group in history ever...aren't they?

Next on 35% were Indians, followed by 34% of Pakistanis and 33% of black Caribbean people.

White people were also the least likely to feel they could influence their local area - 37% of those surveyed agreed they could, compared with a national average of 47%.

The groups most confident in their ability to shape local affairs were black Caribbean and black African people on 51%.

The figures refer to respondents who replied they "definitely agree" or "tend to agree" they could influence decisions.
Of course, my instinctive reaction is to say that this suggests that Africans are unusually gullible, while whites are disproportionately likely to be realistic about their chances of influencing politicians. With all three main parties singing the same raucous tune from the same rotten hymn sheet, the chances of the general public effecting any real change on any important issue anytime in the foreseeable future is virtually nil. For example, a strong majority of opinion has always opposed mass immigration, and levels of opposition have recently passed 80%, yet no government has ever responded to the views of the public on this issue, and we are presently witnessing the highest levels of immigration in our history. Equally, although there has been overwhelming support for a referendum on the recently-signed EU constitution, Gordon Brown went straight ahead and signed up to the constitution, in violation of Labour's manifesto commitment to hold a referendum, and in spite of the large majority who opposed his decision to sign. And in February 2003, the fact that over a million people marched in protest against Tony Blair's plans for war in Iraq didn't stop a single bomb being dropped, or a single bullet being fired. Nor did the petition signed by 1.8million people opposing road pricing alter government policy. No, the only way anyone can influence future decisions is by paying a hefty bribe to the Labour Party (a la Bernie Ecclestone), and anyone who thinks that there is any other way is a contemptible fool.

But, having said this, it does seem that, to the limited extent within which the politicians do pay attention to the views of the general public, it is the views of those members of the public who are not white which take precedence. Consider the manner in which politicians of all parties embarrass themselves in their efforts to gain the Muslim bloc vote, or their desperate attempts to avoid any imputation of racism, however fanciful. Or consider the hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers' money which is used specifically and solely for the benefit of non-whites, through such schemes as the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant for schools. One can certainly see why non-whites are more likely than whites to feel that they can influence decisions, even if they are still, ultimately, overoptimistic.

Finally, I would suggest that, were the results the other way round, and were it found that whites were most likely to believe that they had the power to change things, then there would almost certainly be a media outcry, just as there is whenever blacks perform worse than whites in their school exams. Race hustlers and liberal academics would queue up to tell us that this was reflective of institutional racism, of white hegemony, of the legacy of slavery. There would be demands for more money for blacks, more apologies and reparations for slavery, programmes of preferential treatment in the workplace. So, why is it that, as with the poor performance of working class white children in education, this news has been greeted with almost total silence?

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Scumwatch Special: Scum on the Run

With convicted murderer Daniel Driscoll still on the loose after absconding from Sudbury open prison a month ago, you'd think that the prison service would be keen to, you know, prevent any more killers from escaping into society. Yes, you might very well think that, but you would be wrong:
A police manhunt has been launched after the convicted murderer of a disabled man escaped from a hospital.

Lee Nevins, 24, gave prison guards the slip while being treated at Sunderland Royal Hospital on Tuesday.

He is serving a minimum 17-year term at a top-security Frankland Prison, in Durham for killing Lee Jobling, 20.

I think that the correct word there was 'was'. He was serving a minimum 17-year term at Frankland Prison. He is no longer serving it, because he has escaped.

Supt Gordon Milward said Nevins was taken to hospital with a hand injury and escaped after asking to go to the toilet.

He added: "I am still looking at, as part of the inquiry, the exact security measures that were in place by the Prison Service.

"My understanding is that he had a pair of handcuffs on, keeping his wrists secured and he was also secured to a guard."

Unless he's taken the guard with him, he clearly isn't secured to him anymore. Obviously I'm not an ace detective like the superintendent, but I might hazard a guess that Nevins becoming detached from the guard is not unconnected with his ultimate disappearance. Well done, that guard!

Mind you, the police aren't all that much better themselves:
A paedophile named on a list of the UK's "most wanted" was arrested but later released after police failed to recognise him.

An inquiry is under way after South Yorkshire Police officers only realised who Joshua Karney was after he was fined for being drunk and released.

Karney, 30, is one of five of the UK's most wanted sex offenders after going missing from Lancashire in 2005.


The hunt for Karney has appeared on BBC One's Crimewatch and he is on the Child Exploitation and Online Protection "most wanted" list.

When he was arrested for being drunk and disorderly in Barnsley on 24 November he gave false details and was given a fixed penalty notice.

Karney was released and it was only later that officers checked his fingerprints and realised he was wanted.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: "We regret greatly that Joshua Karney was released from custody after he gave false details."

Well, as long as you're really sorry. Don't let it happen again, though...

Update: Karney was caught in Hove at about six this evening. So it's just the two murderers we have to worry about now...

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

"A very multicultural store"

A MUSLIM store worker refused to serve a customer buying a children’s book on Christianity because she said it was “unclean”.

Shopper Sally Friday felt publicly humiliated at [the Reading] branch of Marks & Spencer when she tried to pay for First Bible Stories as a gift for her young grandson.

When she put the book on the check-out counter, the young assistant refused to touch it, declared it was unclean and summoned another member of staff to serve instead.
This, presumably, is the kind of "community diversity" that the Bishop of Oxford (in whose diocese this store is) wants us all to relax and enjoy. In a similar vein to the Bishop's remarks, an M&S spokesman said:
Reading is a very multicultural store and we are surprised and disappointed by this reported incident.
He seems to regard multiculturalism as a bar to this kind of thing happening, and thinks that this has happened in spite of the multiculturalism of this particular store. When, in reality, it is the very failure to assert British cultural values, combined with the promotion of cultures which are in many ways completely incompatible native British culture, which has caused this, and similar, incidents. After all, regarding other religions as unclean is a part of Islamic culture, and if the government and others, in the name of multiculturalism, encourage Muslims to maintain all of their traditional attitudes and values, even when they openly conflict with British ones, then this kind of thing is inevitable.

An individual bearing the wonderful title of "a source close to the shop assistant" has claimed that Mrs Friday misheard what was said. And that is, of course, always a possibility. But while the apparent use of the word 'unclean' serves to exacerbate the situation, the fact is that, no matter how polite the worker was, she still refused to serve a customer. Even if the word 'unclean' had not been used at all, then it would still have been left hanging deafeningly in the air. And it is simply unacceptable, if only because it is exceptionally rude, for an employee - who has, one assumes, agreed to take up their position of their own free will - to refuse to serve a customer, on the grounds that they regard the customer's purchases as somehow immoral.

Hat-tip: JuliaM, in the comments

Monday, 14 January 2008

"Enjoy community diversity", says Bishop of Oxford

The Bishop of Oxford has supported plans to broadcast the Islamic call to prayer over part of the historic city.

Welcoming proposals from Oxford's Central Mosque to sound the call three times a day over East Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard said those opposed to the plan should "relax" and "enjoy community diversity".

The bishop also rejected claims by the Anglican Church's only Asian bishop that sounding the call in Britain represented an attempt to "impose an Islamic character" on some areas.

Hmm. Whether or not Muslims are attempting to impose an Islamic character on certain areas (and I for one think that they are), it is difficult to see how the sound of the Adhan blaring over an area three times a day, summoning forth multitudes of long-bearded men in Islamic garb, could fail to give such a character to any area unfortunate enough to have to put up with it.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph the Rt Rev Dr Michael Nazir-Ali of Rochester sparked fierce debate when he criticised the amplified prayer call and suggested that some parts of the country were now too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter. Bishop Pritchard said: "I want to distance myself from what the Bishop of Rochester has said.

"There are no no-go areas in this country that we are aware of and in all parts of the country there are good interfaith relationships developing."

Dozens of East Oxford residents have urged the council to reject the plan by mosque leaders to issue the two-minute call to prayer up to three times a day.

They fear that it will turn the area into a "Muslim ghetto". However, Bishop Pritchard said he was "very happy" with the move.

You do have to wonder about these Christian clergy, such as Pritchard, or the Rev Canon Chris Chivers (who, as some readers may recall, wrote about the gratitude he felt to his "Muslim sisters and brothers for Ramadan"), who seem to regard the growing presence and strength of the Islamic religion as something to be celebrated as an improvement rather than feared and resisted as the greatest threat this country has ever faced. Do they honestly believe that, because once or twice a year they attend an inter-faith meeting, where they smile at an imam and utter platitudes, and he smiles back and utters platitudes, that life in a putative future Islamic Britain would be just fine for Christians (or for any other non-Muslims, for that matter)? Apparently so. And, presumably, they also believe that Christians in existing Islamic states are treated fairly, and that the sound of church bells ringing out over Riyadh or Mecca would be welcomed by delighted Saudi imams as "enjoyable community diversity"?

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Police confirm Lionheart arrest claim

It seems that the news of Lionheart's impending arrest has made the MSM. Well, alright, it's only the Bedfordshire on Sunday local paper. Still, it's better than nothing.

The full article can be read here, although most of it simply seems to have been regurgitated from Lionheart's own posts on the matter. But there is one interesting piece of information, right at the end of the piece:
A spokesman for Bedfordshire Police said: "We are aware of this particular internet site and we are taking action."
This would appear to be the first confirmation of Lionheart's story by the police. Some bloggers and commenters have expressed scepticism, to one degree or another, about the veracity of Lionheart's claim that he was facing arrest, on the grounds that it was uncorroborated. I myself was only prepared to accept his story provisionally, pending confirmation from an impartial source. Well, the fact that the police spokesman admitted that "action" is to be taken over Lionheart's blog constitutes that confirmation. As does the Bedfordshire on Sunday report, in fact.

Hat-tip: Lionheart

Saturday, 12 January 2008

The New Model Citizens

A volunteer coastguard who was nominated for an award for rescuing a schoolgirl from a cliff has resigned after a row over health and safety.

Paul Waugh climbed down to Faye Harrison, 13, who was hanging on by her fingertips and about to fall 200ft (60m) at Salburn-on-Sea, Teesside.

He did not wear safety equipment as it would have taken time to go back to his vehicle which was some distance away.

Mr Waugh was later told that he had broken rules.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said it was not looking for dead heroes.

It seems that they don't much object to dead schoolgirls, however.

The Skinningrove Coastguard Cliff Rescue Team was called out, along with the emergency services in January 2007, after three girls became trapped by rising tides.

Faye attempted to climb up the cliffs, but when a ledge gave way she was left hanging on to tufts of grass for 45 minutes.

Mr Waugh was one of three team members who arrived at the scene on foot, as their vehicle was trapped behind locked gates a field away.

They left safety equipment in the vehicle because they wanted to reach the scene as quickly as possible.

The 44-year-old from Skelton Green climbed down and held on to her for 30 minutes until she could be winched to safety.

He said: "I understand I broke a rule, but I felt it was a matter of having to because she only had minutes to live. She said that herself, she was planning her own funeral.

"When you see a little frightened face looking up at you, all you want to do is help.

"There's no way I'm going to stand back and watch a 13-year-old girl fall off a cliff."

Faye later nominated him for a life saver award as her "guardian angel".

However, Mr Waugh, who has been with the MCA for 13 years, was later told that the organisation had carried out an internal investigation into the team's handling of the incident.

He said: "I'm leaving now due to the hassle I've had over the last nine months. In fact, I've been depressed over it.

"Yes, fair enough, I broke a rule, but when I started my training a long time ago, I was told, one time, you'll work outside the box. And in this case I had to help her, she was ready to fall.

He added: "I'm very, very sad. It's a shame I'm having to go."

This case really does sum up what is wrong with this country. This man saved a child's life. But that doesn't matter, because he broke The Rules. And The Rules count for far more than the mere life of a child.

The PCSOs who stood by while ten-year-old Jordan Lyon drowned, and would not attempt to save him because that would be against The Rules are the new model citizens in today's Britain, for they obey, without ever troubling themselves with the consequences of their slavish obedience. People like Mr Waugh are the villains, for they can think for themselves, and respond to the exigencies of the moment, irrespective of the commands from above.

Friday, 11 January 2008

BBC still "hideously white" (sort of)

At ATW, JammieWearingFool links to a Daily Mail report on the ethnic make-up of BBC staff, entitled "BBC more 'hideously white' than ever as number of black executives drops to all time low". Now, leaving aside the question of whether the present figures are actually an "all time low" (and I imagine that there were probably rather fewer black executives at the BBC when it was founded, or, indeed, thirty years ago, than there are now), the main point made in the article appears to be the following:
Latest figures show not only has the BBC failed to hit targets, it has actually gone backwards, in the number of non-white senior staff.

In 2004 only 4.4 per cent of management were from minority backgrounds.

The BBC had set itself a target of 7 per cent by 2008. But latest figures show this has actually dropped to 4.3 per cent.

This equates to around just 40 ethnic executives out of almost 1,000 senior BBC posts, according to trade magazine Broadcast.

Greg Dyke, then director general, put in place the targets after branding the corporation as "hideously white" when spotting just one black face among 80 guests at the management Christmas party.

Dyke had planned for a voluntary programme to have 12.5 per cent of all staff and 7 per cent of senior management from BME groups by the start of 2008.

By the end of last year only 10.9 per cent of the corporation's total workforce came from ethnic minorities, only marginally up from 10 per cent at the end of 2003.

Now, according to the 2001 census, whites make up 92.2% of the total population, non-whites 7.8%. So, whites were already slightly under-represented when compared with the general population when Dyke first made his remarks, and since then the over-representation of non-whites has increased still further. And yet the complaint is that the number of non-whites is still too few!

To be fair, they are still under-represented among the BBC's senior management. But we can all rest assured that the BBC is taking action to change this. To be precise, the are setting up a "fast track" scheme, designed to, as a BBC spokesman put it, "give a leg-up" to non-whites. This spring, thirty staff will be chosen for the fast track programme. Of these thirty places, fifteen will be reserved for non-whites, with a further five being held for the disabled. The white, able-bodied majority will have to fight it out for the remaining ten. It all makes you proud to be a licence fee-payer, doesn't it? Still, while the BBC's discriminatory approach is unfair, I can't work up much sympathy for its disadvantaged white staff: they're just finding themselves suffering as a result of the same left-liberalism that they have themselves championed time and again.

But the ethnic make-up of its staff is hardly the main problem, one way or the other, with the BBC. Rather, it is the lack of political diversity that means that the BBC, or at least its news service, is unfit for purpose. As I wrote in a comment at ATW:
What the BBC really needs is not more (or, necessarily, fewer) non-whites, but more non-liberals. After all, regardless of the ethnic make-up of their senior staff, they still take a robustly anti-white, pro-everyone else line, whenever they report (or, in some cases, don't report) on any "racial issue".

John Payne's attackers sentenced

The three Pakistanis convicted of the racist attempted murder of John Payne have each been sentenced to eighteen years in jail. It's not the most they could have received (attempted murder carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment), and they won't serve all of it, but it's not negligible either.

Startlingly, the BBC has now got around to covering the story, and has accorded it a prominent place on the front page of the BBC News website, having hitherto utterly failed to mention it at all. Can we now expect the rest of the MSM, which has almost completely failed to report this story, to now follow suit and finally give it at least some of the attention it merits?

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

The agony of choice

The argument over what should go on the vacant (or, to be more precise, not permanently occupied) fourth-plinth at Trafalgar Square continues. Horrifying as it is to believe, one of the following proposals will be commissioned to desecrate the square (albeit not permanently, thank Heavens!):

It was Antony Gormley who came up with the most fun proposal. He wants the plinth to be empty except for volunteers who will stand on it for an hour at a time, 24 hours a day. Over the year he estimates 8,760 people would take part.

He said Trafalgar Square was an "outdated, valedictory, monumental kind of military space and it should be a civilian space. How responsible we are on the plinth is up to us. People can get drunk up there if they want, it's entirely up to them. The rule is you can take up whatever you want, whatever you can carry."

The most overtly political statement comes from Jeremy Deller, who is proposing a burnt-out car that has been destroyed in an attack on civilians in Iraq - the idea being that from the Romans onwards the spoils of war have been presented to a curious public.

He said: "I've gone for something which is deliberately ugly and jarring."

The most bullish of the artists present was Bob & Roberta Smith (a pseudonym for Patrick Brill), behind what would be the most eye-catching piece. He is proposing a 100ft tall illuminated peace sign (Faites L'Art, pas La Guerre or Make Art, Not War) which would be powered by the sun and wind. "Mine is the best proposal, it's as simple as that. All the advice I've had is that it will work."

Anish Kapoor's Sky Plinth would have five large concave mirrors attached to the plinth facing upwards reflecting the clouds as they pass. Kapoor said: "For some time I've been preoccupied with the idea of bringing the sky down to the ground, turning the world upside down. The mirrors all catch the sky. It should be really beautiful."

Yinka Shonibare is proposing a piece called Nelson's Ship in a Bottle, which would be a scale replica of HMS Victory, in a bottle, and address issues of multiculturalism. "It's a celebration of London's immense ethnic wealth, giving expression to and honouring the many cultures and ethnicities that are still breathing precious wind into the sails of the UK."
Tracey Emin's proposal is titled Something for the Future, and consists of a sculpture of four meerkats "as a symbol of unity and safety". Emin was the only artist not present at the launch yesterday but her publicity material said she had noticed that "whenever Britain is in crisis or, as a nation, is experiencing sadness and loss (for example, after Princess Diana's funeral), the next programme on television is Meerkats United".
So, a nice mix of leftist propaganda, vacuous pretension, and utter lunacy, with a complete absence of anything requiring the slightest modicum of originality or artistic ability. In other words, just what one would expect from the world of the modern "arts".

You can see representations of what these "artworks" will look like at the Fourth Plinth website, here. Difficult as it may be to believe, these pieces actually look even worse than they sound. They'd be better off leaving the plinth vacant.

Mind you, a member of the public interviewed on London Tonight yesterday seemed to be on to something. Stick a pillory up there (there always used to be a pillory at Charing Cross), and put a politician in it. Or, indeed, Anthony Gormley, or any of the other talentless charlatans listed above.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Arrest this man!

The claim that immigrants are necessary to do the jobs that Britons can't or won't do is a favourite of the liberal-left, and like most of their favoured claims, is untrue. However, there is one job where this particular assertion is indeed accurate: the post of Archbishop of Canterbury. Because while the present incumbent, Rowan Williams, is an indescribable idiot, whose buffooneries are too numerous and too well-known to be worth listing, the Ugandan Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, sometimes talks sense, and Michael Nazir-Ali, the Pakistani Bishop of Rochester and son of an Islamic apostate, has often done so. Today, Mr Nazir-Ali has once again come out and said the (to the likes of Rowan Williams) unsayable:
Islamic extremists have created "no-go" areas across Britain where it is too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter, one of the Church of England's most senior bishops warns today.

The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester and the Church's only Asian bishop, says that people of a different race or faith face physical attack if they live or work in communities dominated by a strict Muslim ideology.

The Muslim Council of Britain today described his comments as "frantic scaremongering", while William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, said the bishop had "probably put it too strongly".

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said the idea of no-go areas was "a gross caricature of reality".
Really? We already know that in places like Oldham, Pakistani thugs are creating no-go areas for whites. We know (although Messrs Clegg and Hague may not, since the MSM utterly failed to report the story) that John Payne was almost killed for being white in a Pakistani area. I also recall an incident in which a British home secretary was told that he should not "dare" to set foot in a "Muslim area" - the area in question being Leytonstone, East London. Obviously race was the dominant factor in the first two incidents, but it is quite possible that Kuffarphobia was also a motivation for these attacks, and it is clear that this was the basis for the third incident. Certainly, the existence of cases such as these indicates that Clegg and Hague are utterly wrong to dismiss Michael Nazir-Ali's comments out of hand, without giving even the slightest consideration to what he says. The fact that Clegg, in particular, did so in such strong, almost vituperative, terms, tells you rather a lot about the liberal-left, and their desperation not to face up to any of the negative facts attendant upon the multicultural Eden that they have created in parts of this country.

Mr Nazir-Ali, whose full article may be read here, also makes sensible points about the negative effect that the decline of Christianity has had on Britain, the increasing Islamification of British public life, in at least some areas, and the failings of multiculturalism. But it is his remarks about the creation of no-go areas that have attracted the most attention. As I recall, similar points about the takeover of certain areas by Muslims have been made by Lionheart. I wonder whether Mr Nazir-Ali will soon be getting his dog collar felt by the Kent filth...?

Update: Hazel Blears has also weighed in on the issue, declaring that she "does not recognise" the existence of no-go areas. Which sounds to me rather like the numerous Islamic countries that refuse to recognise Israel, and which certainly invites the same reply: just because you don't recognise them, doesn't mean that they're not there. She also asserted that Islamic extremists were a "tiny minority". Isn't it about time that someone thought up a new

Meanwhile, two Muslim organisations have demanded that Mr Nazir-Ali resign, on the grounds that he "is promoting hatred towards Muslims
". One wonders what their views are on imams, such as those featured in Undercover Mosque, who actually do incite, not only hatred, but murder as well?

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Anti-Islamic blogger facing arrest?

In my perambulations around the blogosphere, I have occasionally come across the Luton-based anti-Islamic blogger Lionheart. Well, yesterday he left the following message at his blog:
I am currently out of the Country and on my return home to England I am going to be arrested by British detectives on suspicion of Stirring up Racial Hatred by displaying written material" contrary to sections 18(1) and 27(3) of the Public Order Act 1986.

This charge if found guilty carries a lengthy prison sentence, more than what most paedophiles and rapists receive, and all for writing words of truth about the barbarity that is living in the midst of our children , which threatens the very future of our Country.
Now, not being involved in this case myself, I cannot say for a certainty that Lionheart's claim is accurate. However, I will say that this would not be the first time that a British blogger has been arrested on account of his writings: in June I wrote about the case of Andrew Love, who pleaded guilty to committing a "racially-aggravated breach of the peace", after writing a blog in which he "
directed insults at groups including black and disabled people, Muslims and homosexuals". If it can happen to Andrew Love, why can't it also happen to Lionheart, or, indeed, to any other blogger who offends against the dictates of political correctness, now given legal force by the ever-growing body of "anti-hatred" legislation?

Ultimately, those of us not directly involved cannot be certain of the truth of this matter until Lionheart returns to Britain, and the police act (or don't, as the case may be). Personally, given Andrew Love's case, as well as the numerous other cases of people being arrested on spurious pretexts over accusations of "racism", or related thought crimes, I am provisionally inclined to believe Lionheart's account. Certainly, the ramifications of this story for free speech in general, and the British blogosphere in particular, are potentially enormous. If Lionheart is arrested, how long will it be before more arrests follow? As he himself puts it:
Today it is me and my blog and tomorrow it is you and your blog.
All bloggers, all blog readers, and everyone with an interest in the maintenance of what free speech we in Britain have left, should be very concerned by this.

Hat-tip: Homophobic Horse, in the comments.


Thursday, 3 January 2008

Not dying for their art

A gallery has offended the church by exhibiting a statue of Jesus with an erection.

The graphic figure is on display at Gateshead's Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

The exhibit is a traditional form of Jesus which has been doctored by controversial Chinese artist Terence Koh.

Gone, Yet Still, features 74 plaster models ranging from Mickey Mouse to ET, with the 1ft high depiction of Christ with an erection a central figure in the artwork.

Outraged visitors and church leaders have criticised the artist and Baltic bosses for disrespecting the Christian faith.

Personally, I don't think it's worth kicking up a fuss about this kind of thing. "Artists" like Koh are essentially no different from small children who misbehave in the hope of getting attention. React to their provocation, and they'll only derive satisfaction, and a delicious sense of moral self-righteousness, from playing the martyr, from the belief that they have made a heroic stand for free speech against those wicked Christian fundamentalists. Ignore them, and there is a very slight chance that they'll grow up.

But one remark from John Monaghan, a visitor to the gallery, does make a good, albeit obvious, point:

If other religious characters were portrayed in this way, Mohammed for example, there would be riots.
Of course, there's very little chance that any art gallery would dare to feature any depiction of Mohammed whatsoever, and certainly not one like this. As the Turner Prize-winner Grayson Perry (whose works include the depiction of "a teddy bear being born from a penis as the Virgin Mary" - the mind boggles) said in November:
I’ve censored myself. The reason I haven’t gone all out attacking Islamism in my art is because I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat.
And then last month in the Netherlands, a museum opted not to show a work of "art" portraying Mohammed and his son-in-law as homosexuals, for fear that "certain people in our society might perceive it as offensive". Of course, it's not actually the offence they worry about, it's the potential reaction of those who are offended. Christians respond mildly and proportionately, Muslims don't. As such, Christians can be attacked without fear, but one must act towards Muslims as though one were treading on eggshells.

But perhaps if Terence Koh (and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art), or the "artist" behind last year's "Christ Killa" (in which the audience at a Los Angeles art gallery were invited to play a video game involving shooting legions of "homicidal Jesus Christs"), or Andres Serrano (the man responsible for the notorious "Piss Christ"), want to be really brave and really controversial, they could always try depicting Mohammed in the same way that they have depicted Jesus. Maybe then they'll really get to die for their art.

George MacDonald Fraser dies

The author, for those that don't know, of the absolutely brilliant Flashman books, as well as a number of other works. I only discovered his writing in 2005, so am still working my way through his novels - Flashman and the Dragon is currently sitting on the shelf awaiting reading, along with a vast pile of nearly twenty other books. But I can say that every single one of the seven Flashman books I have so far read has been excellent - if you haven't read them, I would urge you to do so!

Another great thing about Fraser was that he was a lefty-baiter par excellence. In 2002 he wrote that Britain was "besieged by hordes of alien scroungers, bums, criminals, layabouts and riff-raff", a comment which led the hacks at the Guardian to line him up right alongside Jean-Marie Le Pen on their hate list. His novels also eschew the PC tendencies of the modern literary world - there's no grovelling apologies for the Empire or slavery there, nor did he indulge in the particularly irritating tendency of some historical novelists I have read, to equip their characters with the political, social, and moral attitudes of a modern-day Hampstead-dwelling chatterer.

All in all, a sad day.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

The first thought criminal of the New Year

Actually, this happened sometime towards the end of last year, and only became public in the New Year. But the thought criminal bit stands:

A leading bank executive has been forced to quit after making an insulting remark about Muslims.

Marc Howells, who was one of Barclaycard's leading figures, left his £200,000-a-year job after making the quip during a staff meeting as he discussed quarterly figures.

Colleagues were stunned when he said: "The results were like Muslims - some were good, some were Shi'ite."

Offended members of staff complained to senior bosses about the "wholly inappropriate" comment.

Mr Howells, 42, who worked for Barclaycard's European arm and has a £2million home in St John's Wood, north-west London, was forced out last month after negotiating an undisclosed pay-off, classed as "redundancy under compromise".

A company source said: "No one could quite believe their ears when he came out with his Shi'ite joke. He had a very responsible job in a multinational company.

"What on earth was he thinking of?

"There were a few embarrassed guffaws but everyone except him knew he was for the high jump the moment he said it.

"Once word got round and a complaint was made he was toast."

Is this what the corporate world has come to? People who, one assumes, do their jobs perfectly well being sacked for making a (rather obvious and hardly original) play on the word 'Shi'ite'. I thought people at the top of big companies were supposed to be hard-nosed bastards, but clearly the ones in this particular case are snivelling fools.

Thirty years ago, my father was employed at the head office of one of the big supermarket companies. He used to claim that, finding that they had a surplus of bacon on their hands, one of his superiors had proposed exporting it to, of all places, Iran! Informed that the people of Iran tended to be Muslim, and might not, therefore, be the most enthusiastic purchasers of that particular product, he responded with the classic words, "Muslims - aren't they the ones who worship monkeys?". Nowadays, he'd be lucky if they didn't ritually disembowel him! Of course, nowadays everyone is all too aware of who Muslims are...