Thursday 31 May 2007

Schools overwhelmed by immigrants

Figures compiled by the Home Office reveal 4,200 children were brought from the former Eastern Bloc to Britain by their parents in the first three months of this year, or 65 every school day.

It takes the total number of dependent children known by the Government to be living here to 30,000, although huge deficiencies in Government data mean the figure is likely to be an underestimate.

Schools have no option but to devote thousands of pounds and hundreds of hours trying to bring the newcomers up to the same standard as British youngsters.

David Green, director of the Civitas think-tank, said last night: "We do not have the capacity to cope with these numbers, but it is not possible to stop people from coming, so schools have to do the best they can.

"This must be having a detrimental effect on schools. We have seen in London that, where there are a lot of non-English speakers, the standards are very low.

"When a large number of children go into schools, it is very hard for the staff to accommodate them because they are effectively starting from first base and specialist teachers have to be brought in."

A few points on this:

First, the figure of 30,000+ is enough on itself to give cause for concern. Even spread equally across the entire country, this would be a lot of extra children. However, what is happening is that certain towns and cities, particularly, it seems, Slough, are taking a disproportionate number of these new children. So what we have is a situation where some areas are experiencing practically no change, while others are stretched to breaking point and beyond by these immigrants.

Second, the harm done by this does not just extend to the financial costs of coping with children who can speak not a word of English. There is also the damage to British children: if you are one of only a handful of native English speakers, in a class where the main language is Polish or Romanian, it is likely that your skills in those languages are likely to increase faster than your skills in English. In any event, the amount of extra time given over to explaining things to the immigrant children, and to making up the deficiencies in their basic knowledge, will inevitably mean that there is less time to be spent getting on with teaching what the children should be learning, and what they would be learning, if there were no immigrants.

Academics: Ban the promotion of heterosexuality

In 1988 the Thatcher government passed into law the famous Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, which prohibited the promotion of homosexuality in schools. This legislation was repealed by the Blair government in 2003, as a result of which homosexuality can be, and is, promoted in schools.

Now, in a bizarre twist, the University and Colleges Union, whose leftist madness I have discussed very recently, is calling for the promotion of heterosexuality in schools to be criminalised. By a unanimous vote, delegates at their annual conference have given their backing to a motion which reads:
All negative characterisations by teachers of lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender people, identity and lifestyle should be outlawed and classified as an act of discrimination and an incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation.
It should be noted that this motion is not simply calling for acts of discrimination and victimisation directed against homosexual individuals to be prohibited. They already are. Rather, the motion is calling for teachers to be prevented from even suggesting that heterosexuality could in any way be superior to the homosexual lifestyle. Alan Whitaker, of the Oxford and Cherwell Valley College, who proposed the motion, feels that a particular injustice is done by allowing teachers to express the view that heterosexual marriage is superior to homosexual "civil partnerships".

So, there you go. If these liberal academics have their way, then it will become unlawful even to tell children that the institution of heterosexual marriage, which is - or should be - the very bedrock of our society, is the best kind of relationship. This would be disastrous. Marriage has been continually undermined for many years now, and is more than ever in need of protection and promotion. But it seems that, for these academics, the demands of whining homosexuals take precedence over the needs of society.

Cross-posted at ATW

Wednesday 30 May 2007

UCU Little Vichyists Update

Following on from last night's post on the subject, the BBC reports that academics of the University and Colleges Union have now officially voted, by a unanimous majority, to refuse to take any steps towards challenging Islamism on university campuses. The UCU's general secretary, Sally "Witch" Hunt, said:
Lecturers have a pivotal role in building trust. These proposals, if implemented, would make that all but impossible.

Universities must remain safe spaces for lecturers and students to discuss and debate all sorts of ideas, including those that some people may consider challenging, offensive and even extreme.
Hmm. It sounds like old Witch Hunt is a real libertarian defender of free speech. The kind of principled advocate for her position that one can really respect, even when that position is patently absurd.

But wait. Astonishingly, she isn't. Here's what she had to say when Nick Griffin was banned from speaking at Bath University:
It was the correct decision. Allowing the BNP to speak would have compromised the safety of students and staff and sent out a very worrying message about Bath University's commitment to diversity.
Okay. So on the one hand universities should allow free discussion of all views no matter how "challenging, offensive and even extreme" they might be. But on the other, the BNP should be prevented from speaking at universities because their views are seen as being, essentially, "challenging, offensive and even extreme" by Miss Hunt. It would appear that our great champion of free speech is in fact a bit of a hypocrite. Ultimately, as I wrote yesterday, the stance of the UCU simply suggests that, while they really, really hate the BNP, they have more than a sneaking sympathy for Islamic terrorists.

Blair's Heirs

Last week, at the height of the row over grammar schools, Lord Tebbit complained that the Tory Party had "rebranded itself as the party to implement New Labour policies more effectively". At the time, this appeared to be a criticism of David Cameron's rapid move to the left. However, it appears that Lord Tebbit was stating, not only the obvious effect of the Cameron project, but also its intention:

The Conservatives are the true "heirs to Blair" when it comes to reform of schools and hospitals, George Osborne will insist today.

In a provocative speech, the Shadow Chancellor will claim the Conservatives are more in favour of the Prime Minister's plans to give public service chiefs greater freedom to run their own affairs than Gordon Brown.

"This growing consensus between the current Prime Minister and the Conservative Party does not appear to include the next Prime Minister.

"And therein lies the political battle ahead," Mr Osborne will say.

So, to put it another way, the likely choice at the next election will be between more of what we've been getting for the last ten years, from Blair 2.0 (or "David Cameron" as he insists on calling himself), and Gordon Brown. Alas, the agony of choice!

And, as a matter of interest, how often can it have been the case that an opposition party has gone into elections presenting itself, and not the government, as the party that will preserve the status quo?

George Galloway's new job

If you want to know what full-time moron and occasional MP George Galloway is doing with himself these days, you can find out by clicking here and reading my latest post at ATW.

Of course, I wouldn't blame you for not wanting to hear one more word about the dreadful little man...

Tuesday 29 May 2007

York Dungeon loses out to more traditional pursuits

It seems that the prospect of free entry was insufficient to tempt young thugs away from the delights of vandalism, shoplifting, and substance abuse, and into the York Dungeon.

Offering them free entry was still a bloody stupid idea, though.

Hypocritical Little Vichyists in the Ivory Tower

Academics are threatening to derail a Government drive to root out Islamic extremists on university campuses.

The University and College Union, will ask its 120,000 members to refuse to take part in the Government-led "witch hunt".

It insists that Muslims are being "demonised" because of new guidance that asks staff to look out for students falling under the influence of radical preachers.

The Department for Education and Skills has warned university staff to log suspicious behaviour amid fears that campuses are being infiltrated by fanatics recruiting for so-called jihad. In a 20-page report published in December, ministers warned of "serious, but not widespread, Islamic extremist activity in higher education institutions".

It asks lecturers to vet Islamic preachers who have been invited to campuses, ensure that "hate literature" is not distributed among students and report suspicious behaviour to police.

So, in essence, academics are supposed to be vigilant in an age when vigilance is required, they are supposed to pay particular attention to a group whose members have shown something of a proclivity for violence, and they are supposed to do their best to stop books like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion being distributed. Seems like common sense to me.

But at the UCU annual conference in Bournemouth, lecturers will warn of a "recent rise" in racism and its "apparent promotion by Government policies".

Do they have any evidence to back up their claims?

Academics at the union's London Metropolitan University branch will say that "increasingly restrictive measures and the xenophobic language surrounding them" has led to an increase in racist attacks on Muslims.

It would behove academics at London Met to be particularly vigilant. After all, one of the would-be bombers arrested in the big raids last August was the president of the London Met Islamic Society. Not many universities can claim to have had a practising terrorist on their student roll.

It is sickening that these lecturers refuse to play any part in fighting against terrorism. If their professed concerns about civil liberties and witch hunts were genuine, then that might somewhat reduce the disgust with which I regard them. But those concerns are not the real reason these academics object. Rather, they, or at least, a large number of them, object to helping fight terrorism because they are on the terrorists' side. We've seen, in their boycotts of the Middle East's only democracy, how they are willing to throw their weight behind Islamist murderers, and we are seeing the same thing here. Many of these pampered leftist professors, luxuriating in their Ivory Towers at taxpayers' expense, actually want us to lose: they want to see Western civilisation destroyed by Islam.

Also frustrating, and further evidence of their true thoughts, is the utter hypocrisy of their professed concerns for "civil liberties" and worries about "witch hunts". For the benefit of any academics reading this:

Keeping an eye out for people who might commit terrorist acts, and focussing on the group most likely to commit such acts, is not a witch hunt.
By contrast:
Threatening people with expulsion for publishing cartoons in a student newspaper is a witch hunt.

Hounding academics from their jobs for expressing politically-incorrect views, or attempting to do so, is a witch hunt.

Subjecting Jewish students to anti-Semitic intimidation on a routine basis is a witch hunt.
All of these events have taken place in leading British universities recently, either with the active participation or the tacit endorsement of those same academics who are now protesting so very loudly. As for civil liberties in general, the academics might like to consider the following cases in which they have been restricted:
The bans on Nick Griffin and Dr Kuentzel from speaking at the respective universities of Bath and Leeds.

The prohibitions imposed on Christian Unions.
Again, these instances of the suppression of the freedoms of speech and association were either actively or tacitly encouraged by academics. I guess that "witch hunts" are only bad when directed against people the academics like. A category which apparently includes Islamic terrorists.

Psychopaths demand "human rights"

Patients at Rampton high security psychiatric hospital, which houses some of the country's most dangerous criminals, are challenging a smoking ban in a test case which claims the refusal to permit cigarettes in the hospital's buildings or grounds violates their human rights.

The case, due for hearing in September, is being brought by Terrence Grimwood, a patient who has been given legal aid to contest the no-smoking policy, imposed at the end of March.

His lawyers argue that the ban by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which manages the hospital, breaches article 6 of the European convention on human rights, which guarantees respect for private and family life.

They say the hospital is the patients' home and to stop them smoking there when they are not free to go elsewhere constitutes a disproportionate interference with their right to do what they want in their own home as long as it poses no harm to anyone else.

Not everyone incarcerated in Rampton has been convicted of a crime, although all of its inhabitants are considered a threat to others. Personally, I see no reason why those who have not actually done anything wrong should not be allowed to smoke, although I also respect the right of the hospital authorities to regulate their patients' lives as they see fit. But the notion that the real criminal lowlife who inhabit Rampton (such as child-murdering ex-nurse Beverley Allitt) should be entitled to the same rights and liberties as everyone else is abhorrent. Nonetheless, the European Convention on Human Rights has been used to justify the striking down of previous restrictions on the freedoms of criminals, such as the law banning them from voting, and it would not in the least surprise me if this present claim were to succeed.

However, as with the levels of perversion of children, Sweden has the dubious honour of being ahead of us. Female prisoners at a prison in the country are demanding that the state provide them with bikinis, in order that their human right to sunbathe might be unrestricted.

Don't worry, though: I'm sure we'll be at the same stage as Sweden in no time.

Sunday 27 May 2007

Children: Behave!

Alcoholic drinks are to carry health warnings similar to those on cigarette packets from the end of next year, writes Laura Donnelly.

The health minister, Caroline Flint, will tomorrow announce a voluntary code under which manufacturers will include labels saying how many units of alcohol each bottle or can contains. Details of government safe drinking limits will also be included.

The labels will also warn women who are pregnant or trying to conceive that they should not drink alcohol.

No, pregnant women should not drink, and of course we should all aim to moderate the amount of alcohol we consume. But I sincerely doubt that sticking a few labels on bottles and cans will have any great effect. The vast majority of us manage to control our drinking quite well without labels (well, most of the time, at least), and those that routinely drink to excess are unlikely to be put off by being told that they are consuming X units per drink, and that they should drink less.

However, what this measure does do is show once again the extent to which politicians and the medical profession regard the public at large as being little more than children, who need their benevolent betters to direct every aspect of their lives. In this they remind me of nothing so much as Mrs Pardiggle, the endlessly pontificating and utterly self-righteous "philanthropist" in Dickens's Bleak House, and I tend to the view that the best response to those who seek to treat us as children is to emulate the response of the brickmaker to Mrs Pardiggle, on the occasion of her attempt to improve his morals in a manner similar to that with which the politicians and physicians are currently attempting to improve ours:
How have I been conducting of myself? Why, I've been drunk for three days; and I'da been drunk four if I'da had the money.

The Apogee of British Culture

Sir Edward Elgar is one of Britain's most popular composers - and certainly one of my favourites. Next Saturday it will be the 150th anniversary of his birth, and the Elgar Society has organised a series of concerts to celebrate this event. Obviously, this does not come cheap, so they asked for a grant of £174,000 from the Arts Council to help fund the event. Given that the Arts Council is supposed to promote English culture, one might have supposed that a celebration of the work of the man who was arguably England's greatest ever composer might have been the kind of thing they would wish to support.

But, as you've probably guessed by now, it was not. The Arts Council refused to provide one single penny towards this celebration of Elgar's work, as a result of which the proposed concerts have now had to be scaled back considerably. According to The Sunday Telegraph:
The decision to refuse the grant has reignited concern that Elgar's music is being blacklisted by the arts establishment because its inherent patriotism is regarded as a throwback to Britain's imperial past.
So, once again, we are expected, not to celebrate our heritage, but to be ashamed of it, and to suppress any mention of it. The very body entrusted with the promotion of our culture seeks to destroy our culture. The British Council - the body that is supposed to promote British culture abroad - has also refused to fund the Elgar celebration.

So, if the music of Elgar is not to the taste of the new arbiters of cultural value, what is?
In 2003, Arts Council England paid a lecturer in the East Midlands £12,000 to kick an empty curry carton down a street. In 2005, The Sunday Telegraph revealed that the organisation had provided £65,000 to a homosexual club which was promoting drug use on its website.
And in 2002, the Arts Council provided funding to Franko B, an exhibitionist who strips naked in public, paints his body white, and cuts his stomach open in the name of "art". This, apparently, is the apogee of British culture today.

Anyway, here is a video of the great man (and I don't mean Franko B) in action, conducting his most famous piece, back in 1931:

Sweden: Compulsory cross-dressing in kindergartens

In March, and then again earlier this month, I wrote about Elizabeth "Thick Lizzy" Atkinson, Reader in "Social and Educational Inquiry" at Sunderland University, and the great pedagogue behind the introduction into British primary schools of such books as King & King, Spacegirl Pukes, and And Tango Makes Three, which features the now infamous homosexual penguins. The reaction of commenters to Thick Lizzy's contributions to knowledge was lukewarm, to say the least. For those of us raised on such authors as Enid Blyton and Anthony Buckeridge, the notion of children being indoctrinated in this manner appears abhorrent.

So, indeed, it is. But, we should thank our lucky stars we are not living in Sweden. By contrast to what the unfortunate children of that unfortunate nation are subjected to, the brainwashing campaigns waged by the likes of Thick Lizzy are as nothing. Fjordman recently wrote on the subject at Gates of Vienna, and I take the liberty of quoting some extracts from the beginning of his essay:
In a kindergarten in Stockholm, the parents were encouraged by the preschool teachers - apparently ideological pioneers - to equip their sons with dresses and female first names. There are now weeks in some places when boys HAVE TO wear a dress. [Swedish journalist Kurt] Lundgren considers this sexual indoctrination as worse than the political: “The political nonsense is seeking to alter opinions - the sex freaks seek to alter the children’s personality, their mentality and their entire constitution.”
Fjordman also quotes from a comment left by one of the readers of Mr Lundgren's blog:
My 13-year-old son had ‘equality day’ [in school] and had to listen to a transvestite. I have myself never encountered or talked to one during my considerably longer life. Why is this important? Today’s children know nothing about the crimes of Communism, but everything about the sexual orientation of transvestites.
With the likes of Thick Lizzy wielding so much influence, how long before boys in British nurseries are pulling on dresses?

Saturday 26 May 2007

Cameron: The public are delusional

A few days ago, David Cameron described those who believed that the government should build more grammar schools as "delusional". Today, it was revealed that 66% of all voters would like to see a state-run grammar school in every town. Support for this is particularly high among the poorest, DE, social groups, of whom 80% would like every town to have a grammar school. Obviously these oafish proles do not understand that, as Cameron's minion David Willetts says, grammar schools "entrench social advantage".

Anyway, presumably 66% of the public are now to be considered "delusional" by the leader of the Tory Party. Unlike, say, William Hague who, from being quite sane a few years back, albeit cursed with the charisma of a dried-up dishcloth, has transformed into a raving Cameronite.
Writing at Conservative Home yesterday, Hague asserted - to the derision of many commenters - that Cameron had "won the argument" and "faced down his critics".

Looks like someone's back on the 14 pints a day.

Friday 25 May 2007

The Best Days of Your Life

Schools are to be given their own police patrols under new plans unveiled by Gordon Brown to crack down on bullying and violence.


Mr Brown, who was accompanied by Labour chairman Hazel
Blears, announced plans for Community Police Units to regularly patrol schools at the request of headteachers who want more back-up to prevent and tackle discipline problems.
Presumably this is in light of the increasing number of attacks by pupils on teachers, a phenomenon that has today led the Professional Association of Teachers to call for teachers to be provided with body armour, when carrying out searches for hidden weapons. Of course, as I've written before, some pupils in London are already going into school wearing body armour, so great has been the breakdown of discipline.

Among the types of violence and thuggery on display in schools is racist violence, although education authorities claim that the fact that levels of reported racism in classrooms have reached a record high is due to "better reporting methods". Of course, all bullying and violence is to be decried, but one can't help but wonder how much of this violence is carried out by, and how much is carried out against, white children. The figures provided by local councils only report the total number of incidents, while Channel 4 implies that Muslims are being particularly targeted. Nonetheless, I wouldn't mind betting that racism in classrooms follows the pattern of racism in society at large, and is overwhelmingly directed against whites.

How should classroom thuggery be dealt with? Well, bringing back corporal punishment would be a good start. These thugs derive satisfaction from getting "respect". I imagine that hauling them up in front of the entire school and giving them a good thrashing would utterly humiliate them, and, in so doing, severely reduce the "respect" with which they are regarded by their peers. However, the government seems to have adopted the policy of bribing them to behave, with iPods among the benefits they can gain if they manage to hold off from stabbing one another. Now, the London Dungeon and its twin, the York Dungeon, are joining in, offering free visits to children who can prove that they are the proud holders of an ASBO. Helen Douglas of the York Dungeon justifies this on the basis that:
What we're handing out Asbos for today are exactly the same sort of crimes that people would have been transported or even hanged during the "bloody code" of the 18th Century.

While I'm by no means advocating a return to the punishments of old, I thought it might shock the Asbo offenders a little to see what would have happened to them a couple of hundred years ago.
Wishful thinking at best, and downright dishonesty at worst. I imagine that the reason behind the Dungeons' decision is an attempt to gain publicity, and increase the number of paying visitors. However, while I am not hugely into all these notions of "corporate social responsibility", etc, I can think of few things less responsible for a private corporation to do than to provide incentives for people to indulge in anti-social behaviour.

Your schooldays: the best days of your life, so long as you're a violent thug with no respect for authority.

"Eternal Jew" heading for UK cinemas

German film phenomenon "The Eternal Jew" has been picked up for theatrical release in the UK.

The controversial documentary, which centres on the inherently wicked nature of the Jews, and the failure of successive governments to find a "final solution" to the problem, has garnered a number of devoted fans in Germany.

One, who gave his name as Adolf, said that he was delighted that the British people would finally have the opportunity to learn how the world was controlled by a cabal of Jewish-Bolshevist-capitalist Freemasons, who were responsible for, among other things, the Black Death, the Great War, and the Hindenburg tragedy.
No, "The Eternal Jew" is not actually being released in UK cinemas. We'll have to wait until the Muslims take over for that kind of thing to happen. In the meantime, you can, I understand, download it from the internet, if you are so minded.

Another film that you can download from the internet is "Loose Change 9/11", a film which alleges that 9/11 was an inside job, carried out by a cabal of evil Neo-Cons and capitalists. This film is going to be released in UK cinemas soon, according to Time Out magazine.

Get your tinfoil hats, kids, we're going to the cinema!

Hat-tip: LGF

One down...

Race hate preacher Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal, who influenced one of the 7 July bombers, has been deported from Britain, the home secretary said.

He left Gatwick for Jamaica at 1200 BST, accompanied by two police escorts and an immigration officer.

Al-Faisal, who is of Jamaican origin, lost his appeal against deportation.

He was jailed in 2003 for soliciting the murder of Jews and Hindus. London bomber Germaine Lindsay was "strongly influenced" by him, John Reid said.

In a statement on Friday, Mr Reid said he was pleased that al-Faisal, 43, had been removed and excluded from the UK.

He said: "We are committed to protecting the public and have made it clear that foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality and break our laws can expect to be deported after they have served a prison sentence.

"We will not tolerate those who seek to spread hate and fear in our communities."

Two words: Anjem Choudhary.

Anyway, Faisal's deportation is good news. But we shouldn't imagine that it will change a thing. The problems with Islam in this country are not limited, as is frequently alleged, to the misbehaviour of a "tiny minority of extremists". Rather, they are endemic features of the religion. But Faisal was one of the more evil and dangerous nutters, so it's good to see him go.

Thursday 24 May 2007

One immigrant the government won't let in

Yesterday, I wrote about the news that the government has granted citizenship to over a million immigrants since 1997. However, while Labour can't wait to bend over backwards to grant citizenship or permanent residence to terrorists, criminals, and those who seek to subvert or take over British society, there is one person who is, it seems, very definitely persona non grata in the UK.

His name is Tul Bahadur Pun. He is an 84 year old former Gurkha, who won the Victoria Cross for bravery in the service of this country during World War Two. Now in rapidly failing health, he wishes to move to Britain to gain access to superior medical treatment than that available to him in Nepal. The government however - the same government that has allowed millions upon millions of people into this country since 1997 - refuses to grant him the right to enter.

Now, I am as strongly opposed to mass immigration as anyone. But this loyal old soldier is hardly the kind of immigrant who poses the slightest threat to Britain. And it cannot be denied that we owe him a great debt of gratitude. He should certainly be allowed in, unlike the vast majority of the millions that the government actually has let in.

And, as a final point, what does it say about us as a nation, that while we deny entry into our country to a man who risked his life defending our country, we not only allow such sworn enemies of Britain as Anjem Choudhary and Abu Izzadeen to live here freely, but also hand over thousands of pounds of our money to them each year in state benefits?

Cross-posted at ATW

Wednesday 23 May 2007

Population Replacement Watch

British citizenship has been granted to one million foreign nationals since Labour came to power in 1997, official figures showed yesterday.

More than 150,000 obtained a passport in 2006 - taking the total to around 1,020,000 since Tony Blair took office.

About half of the new citizens were people who qualified through being resident in the country for five years or more and 20 per cent became British through marriage. The remainder were mainly dependant children.


The number of new citizens in 2006 was still higher than in any other year - and four times the number granted a passport in 1997. The rate of overseas settlement in Britain is the highest ever.

In the late 1960s, about 75,000 a year were accepted for citizenship but this fell to about 50,000 after new laws were introduced in 1971.

For about 25 years the figure remained near or below this level, falling to 37,000 in 1997. Since then, there has been a spectacular increase.

The scale of new settlements is a principal cause of the increase in the population, which is expected to grow by five million by 2020.

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said passing one million new citizens since 1997 was a watershed for government policy. "This total does not even include the latest wave of east Europeans," he said.


Opinion polls consistently show that immigration is seen as the most important issue facing the country, with more than half of voters placing it higher than health or education on a list of concerns.

And yet neither Labour, nor the Cameron Tories, nor the Lib Dems seem prepared even to talk about it, still less to actually do anything. The British people are apparently expected to embrace their own destruction without one MP raising his voice in opposition to this. It is surely unprecedented in any society, still less in an ostensible democracy, for the political class to completely and utterly avoid mentioning what is by far the most important issue in the minds of most people.

Still, on the bright side, we do appear to be conquering Spain...

Tuesday 22 May 2007

I agree with David Cameron

No, I haven't gone crazy, and I'm not planning to send off for my environmentally friendly Tory membership card just yet. However:
Conservative leader David Cameron has warned that the row over grammar schools was a "key test" of whether the party was fit for government.
I quite agree. If they pursue Cameron's policy, they will demonstrate once again that they're not fit for government.

Monday 21 May 2007

Mega Mosque: Time for the real lying to begin

As the number of signatories to the petition supporting that wonderful new construction, the "mega mosque", surges towards 240 (leaving the wicked bigots of the anti-mosque petition trailing, with a mere 47,762 signatures), its builders, the Tablighi Jamaat extremist group (which is believed to have links to al-Qaeda, among other questionable organisations) have, despite the primitive barbarity of their beliefs, taken the rather modern step of hiring a PR firm to lie for them/spread the truth about this misunderstood group of peace-loving philanthropists (delete as applicable):
To improve its image Tablighi Jamaat has hired Indigo Public Affairs, a company that specialises in major planning battles. Indigo lobbies councillors and other planning authorities, organises community consultation exercises and liaises with the media.
Indigo Public Affairs' brief rather reminds me of an episode in the TV comedy show Absolute Power, in which a pair of PR men were asked to "spin Hitler". "Spin Bin Laden" (or maybe just "spin Bin") can't be that different.
Indigo has put Tablighi Jamaat on YouTube with a short statement from an unnamed representative who tries to calm fears about the size of the mosque and says that it will reach its 12,000 capacity only once or twice a year.
The largest Anglican cathedral in Britain has a capacity of 3,000. This mosque will be getting more than that each week, even if it is only full to capacity occasionally. What better symbol of the Islamification of the UK?

Anyway, 4,000 or 5,000 is still quite a lot of Muslims for an area to cope with each week. I have a friend who lives in an area near a mosque with a couple of hundred worshippers, and they cause quite enough of a disturbance each Friday.
The lobbyists have also created a mosque website which claims that the Tablighi Jamaat movement “stands for democracy and freedom” and is “a role model to promote social and religious integration”.
Yes. And they cuddle fluffy little kittens, make daisy chains, and sing to the birds. We get the picture. They sound like a great bunch of guys.

Such a shame none of it's actually true.

Burn the Heretics!

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has been rapped by the media watchdog for describing a car as "a bit ginger beer" - Cockney rhyming slang for "queer".

Ofcom said there was "no justification" for the comment.

Clarkson was discussing a Daihatsu Copen during an episode of the BBC show last year.

He referred to it as "a bit gay", adding: "It's a bit ginger beer."

Ofcom said use of the word "gay" was not necessarily offensive.

It referred to the Oxford English Dictionary definition of "gay" as "foolish, stupid and occasionally inappropriate, disapproved of and lame".

But the watchdog said: "In this edition of Top Gear, the presenter's use of a Cockney rhyming phrase made clear he intended to give a particular meaning to use of the word 'gay'... ie not to restrict its meaning simply to foolish or stupid, but clearly linking the reference to homosexual people.

"This, in Ofcom's opinion, meant that the use of the word became capable of giving offence. In the context, there was no justification for using the word in this way."

Well, perhaps not. But there's no justification for much of the rubbish that's spouted on popular television programmes. All sorts of inane trash is spouted by the various identikit morons who seem to present all the reality TV shows and so on. At least Clarkson is interesting, and different from the common mould of primetime presenters. Indeed, I would say that Clarkson represents "diversity" in a world dominated by mundane cretins. But, hey, that counts for nothing. He said "gay"! Burn the heretic!
Ofcom said the complaint had been resolved because the BBC had already warned the production team and producers not to repeat the offence.
Interesting how a thought crime is described in terms traditionally reserved for real crime.
The BBC's own investigation upheld complaints about Clarkson's use of the word "gay" during the episode screened in July last year.
So, you can be virulently racist, or Christianophobic. Just don't stray from the path of political correctness. Then you too can work for al-Beeb!

: For the avoidance of doubt, the image accompanying this post depicts a Daihatsu Copen motorcar. Not a homosexual.

More Scum of the Earth

This post, the third in an occasional series highlighting particularly vile instances of thuggery (the first two can be seen here and here), begins with a recent heavily reported event in Sunderland:
A young father was stabbed to death outside his home after asking a gang of rowdies to keep the noise down because his baby was asleep.

Kevin Johnson, 22, was brutally attacked by the three teenagers, who are all believed to have been armed.

As he lay bleeding to death a few feet from his front door, the thugs fled – before launching another knife attack just minutes later.

Their second victim, who had not been named last night, was stabbed as he walked down the street. He was recovering in hospital.

Telling certain "people" to keep the noise down can be a dangerous thing to do these days:

A Croydon man was bottled by a teenage thug after asking him to be quiet while watching a film in a cinema.

The 36-year-old, who does not want to be identified, was ambushed outside the Vue Cinema in Hesterman Way in the Valley Park leisure complex after watching a movie with his wife.

He said: "During the screening a young couple were being very loud in the back row and I thought they were having sex. I asked them to be quiet but they got aggressive and the security guards took them out.

"I knew the boy was waiting for me outside but I refused to be a prisoner in the cinema so I left. As soon as I got outside he threw a bottle in my face."
Moving all the way up to Glasgow, we find a particularly disgusting case, made all the more vile by the fact that the lowlife in question had just been freed on bail after attacking a man with a craft knife:

The court heard Mr Biddell was putting a bag of belongings under a tree when he was approached by McPhail, who had an axe, and Orr.

They asked for cigarettes and drink and Mr Biddell said he had none.

McPhail then lifted his axe but when Mr Biddell flinched he said: "I'm only kidding."

However, when Mr Biddell dropped his guard and turned away McPhail hit him with the axe on the top of his left arm.

Mr Biddell ran away and appealed for help from passers-by who called an ambulance and police.


McPhail pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Biddell in Riverview Drive, Glasgow, last September 29.

He also admitted slashing Jonathan Cuthbertson, 29, with a craft knife blade in Howard Street, Glasgow, on January 8 last year.

McPhail appeared in court on the slashing charge on September 19 but was allowed bail.

Sentencing McPhail to five years and eight months Judge Lord Turnbull told him: "You pleaded guilty to two random acts of extreme violence."

Five years and eight months. So, with good behaviour in prison, he could be back on the streets within three years. Don't you just feel so very safe, knowing that the law is busily protecting you and your family?

The final worthless excuse for a human being is perhaps the most disgusting of all. Not only is he trying to kill people, but he is particularly targeting some of society's most vulnerable people, and is abusing a position of trust in so doing:

A hospital worker with a grudge against the NHS may be trying to kill patients by sabotaging crucial equipment, police fear.

They launched a manhunt after tubes on portable oxygen cylinders – used to help save heart attack victims – were found to have been deliberately blocked.

A top-level warning has been issued to hospital staff, and police are trying to catch the saboteur before a patient dies.

A creature who would be at his best swinging at the end of a rope, methinks.

Immigration: truth, deceit, and hypocrisy

Established British families should be given priority over economic migrants for council housing, government minister Margaret Hodge has said.

She has called for a rethink of social housing policy, to take account of length of residence, citizenship and national insurance contributions.

Social housing was limited and British families had a "legitimate sense of entitlement" to have their own homes.

Could these be the first sensible words ever to pass the woman's lips?

She said white, black and Asian British families, on low incomes, who had lived in an area for several generations could not get their own homes and all felt there was an "essential unfairness" in the system.

"They feel that they've grown up in the borough, they're entitled to a home, and that sense of entitlement is often overridden by a real need of new immigrant families who come in, perhaps locked into private accommodation, poor accommodation, overcrowded. "

No one made them come here and live in this kind of accommodation. In fact, in my opinion, they simply should not be allowed to come here at all, particularly not if they can't or won't provide for themselves.

Nancy Kelley, head of international and UK policy at the Refugee Council, said: "The way to counter some of the views put forward by far-right parties is not to follow their lead."

Put another way, "although people have concerns about the present excessive levels of mass immigration, we should not recognise those concerns, because then people might vote for a party that would do something about the problem. Rather we should try and trick the public into believing that all is well". That, I think, is roughly the gist of what Miss Kelley says.

It is deeply hypocritical, however, for Lady Hodge to talk in this manner, after having for many years been part of a government that has, over a period of ten years, allowed (warning: pdf) literally millions of immigrants into Britain (3.4 million between 1997 and 2005), and at an ever increasing rate. Most of these people are economic migrants, coming here because they have no money where they presently live. Of course such people are going to put heavy pressure on social housing, and on most other social services.

Related to Lady Hodge's comments, and providing an example of the mess that mass immigration at the levels favoured by Labour causes, is a report in The Times on Slough, perhaps the town which in all of Britain is currently suffering most from immigration, demonstrating the kinds of ethnic tension to which it gives rise:

Another Polish woman, an economist by training, told me darkly that she had recently been working in retail “for an Indian” but had stopped doing so “because they don’t respect you”.

A Sikh with a strong Indian accent lent credence to what that Polish woman said when he told me “there are too many immigrants in Slough”. Polish drivers with no car insurance jump red lights, he muttered. And last week he’d been bothered by Bulgarians ringing his doorbell to beg for money.

The provision of social services in Slough is also stretched and undermined by mass immigration:

In the past 18 months [Slough Council] has placed in schools some 900 children who arrived in Slough from overseas. In other towns, they might have had to wait weeks or months to be placed, but Slough established a special assessment centre to speed the process. But it’s slow work: the centre can take only eight children a week. Last year two primary schools accepted 50 Polish children and 60 Somalis in just one term.

Not everyone welcomes the flood of pupils for whom spoken English is not easy. Aneta Kania sends her daughter to St Anthony’s Roman Catholic school but says there are so many other Polish children there that seven-year-old Paulina is making slow progress in English.

And if you're unfortunate enough to be a native child in a class full of Poles and Somalis who can barely speak a word of English then, I would imagine, your own education is going to suffer immensely.

But of course, all this is very racist. Far better to simply close your eyes, pretend it's all going wonderfully, and save up for that house in Dorset.

Sunday 20 May 2007

"Don't insult Mohammed", says Jesuit

Christians must distance themselves from anyone or anything that insults Islam's prophet Mohammed and should come to a greater appreciation of his role in bringing millions of people to recognize the one God, said a German Jesuit scholar.

But Christians cannot share Muslims' recognition of Mohammed as the last and greatest prophet, said Father Christian Troll, a professor of Islam and of Muslim-Christian relations at the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology in Frankfurt, Germany.
Writing in La Civilta Cattolica (Catholic Civilization), a Jesuit magazine reviewed by the Vatican prior to publication, Father Troll was responding to a question asked by many Muslims: "We Muslims recognize Jesus as a prophet and we venerate him. Why don't you Christians accept Mohammed as a prophet in the same way?"
Or, to rephrase that question, "why don't you Christians convert to Islam?"
While Christians cannot share Muslims' faith in Mohammed as the last and greatest prophet, "Christians must decisively distance themselves from every insult against Mohammed and, in addition, must try to recognize and appreciate his exceptional historic personality, his role as founder of Islam and the extraordinary place he occupies in the faith, piety and religious thought of Muslims," Father Troll said.

True respect for Muslims and for their faith, he said, requires Christians to "investigate that which in the life and teaching of Mohammed is acceptable or even exemplary and admirable for Christians, but also those aspects of his life and teaching that, from the point of view of Christian faith, would seem problematic and unacceptable."
Okay, the second bit is easy. He was a mass-murdering paedophile, after all. Not so sure what in Mohammed's life was "acceptable or even exemplary and admirable", and Fr Troll doesn't appear to make any effort to give any guidance on this point.

Actually, though, I don't feel the need to insult Mohammed. Not in the sense of making offensive things up, anyway, or even merely exaggerating his many known defects. All I need to do is say what is written down for all to see in the Koran and the Hadith. There's enough written about Mohammed in there to earn the author a libel action if he'd written it about anyone else.

Hat-tip: Dhimmi Watch

At ATW...

...I've written a post in response to the news that PC Plod, aided and abetted by a Tory whip, is attempting to ban the use of glasses in pubs. Click here to read it.

Saturday 19 May 2007

Tony Blair, take note!

North Korea has demoted its former premier to manager of a chemical plant. Pak Pong Ju was named the chief administrative manager of the Sunchon Vinalon Complex after being sacked as premier last month.
I never thought I'd say this but, let us follow the glorious example set by the Democratic People's Republic!

He'd be more use managing a chemical plant than he would trying to bring about world peace, anyway. More successful too, I'd imagine.

A Word of Advice

If you're going to fraudulently claim disability benefit, it probably helps if you don't win any strongman competitions.

Being a blackbelt kickboxer is probably a no-no too.

Home Office in "Prison Works" Shock!

Lord "Fatty" Falconer, the Lord Chancellor and laughably-styled "Secretary of State for Justice", has made a number of appearances on this blog, usually in relation to his apparent belief that justice is best served by releasing more and more criminals onto the streets. Examples can be found here and here.

Falconer is not the only member of the government at fault in this, although with his peculiarly porcine features and insufferable air of smugness he does represent a particularly entertaining target. John Reid and Tony Blair have also made public statements in favour of more and earlier releases. So too has Lord Phillips, the Lord Chief Justice.

Now, however, it has been revealed that a Home Office report has said what most people already knew: "Prison works":

Figures showed that 70 per cent of convicts jailed for under 12 months re-offended within two years, compared with 49 per cent of those sentenced to between one and four years and 36 per cent of those serving at least four years.

Researchers found that men and women released from prison within a year had on average 13 previous convictions – suggesting shorter jail sentences were failing as a deterrent.

Because these offenders were often hooked on drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine they repeatedly resorted to crime to fund their habits.

The report said prisoners released from longer sentences were less likely to re- offend because they were older, had time to be rehabilitated and had been convicted of more serious "one-off" offences.

The study, compiled in 2005 and 2006, looked at the reoffending rates of 45,100 criminals who walked free in 2003 – 15,300 from prison sentences and 29,800 who were given non-custodial sentences.

It found that criminals were more likely to re-offend if instead of prison they were given a community rehabilitation order or one of the Government’s flagship drug testing and treatment orders, which meant staying strictly drugs free.

However, community punishment orders – where an offender is, for instance, forced to sweep the streets – were more successful than prison in tackling reoffending.
Actually, I wouldn't be averse to seeing more such punishments, for minor first-time offenders. However, they certainly aren't a universal panacea.

Neither is prison. But it certainly goes a lot further than most non-custodial sentences. And, we must remember, that aside from the need to deter there is also a need to punish. A rehabilitation order does not achieve real and significant punishment, prison does. And prison would work still better in terms of both punishment and deterrence if the criminals in there were actually treated as if they were there to be punished. At present, too many are not so treated.

Friday 18 May 2007

Ruth Kelly's Bright Idea

Mosques are being urged to provide citizenship lessons for the thousands of youngsters they see daily.

About 100,000 UK youngsters attend Islamic religious schools attached to mosques - madrasas - every day.

A horrifyingly high number.

A new curriculum aims to tackle extremism and counter messages about perceived clashes between Islam and British culture.

"Perceived clashes". Because there are no real differences between Sharia culture and the British way of life, and saying that there are is just racism, okay?

It was drawn up by a group of mosques in Bradford and is being backed by the Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly.

It comes after an independent study into radicalism in local communities by academics at Durham University suggested a "step change" in traditional religious leadership was needed to tackle radicalism.

Ms Kelly said: "We cannot afford to allow our young people to be intimidated and influenced by extremist messages.

"Madrasas have a pivotal role to play in winning hearts and minds and supporting young people to reject the messages of extremist groups.

"This project ensures that young Muslim students learn the true teachings of Islam and encourages them to play an active role in their local communities and as citizens."

I hadn't realised Ms Kelly was an expert on "the true teachings of Islam". Clearly she is, and I must crave forgiveness for my ignorance. Although I do wonder which true teachings she was referring to? Sura 5.51 ("take not the Jews and the Christians for friends"), perhaps? Or maybe the infamous Sura 9.29 ("fight against [Jews and Christians] until they pay the tribute readily")? Or was it Bukhari 4.52.177 ("the Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews")?

The citizenship course itself, created by the Bradford Council for Mosques (BCFM) and known as the Nasiha project, aims to show that the spirit and teachings of the Koran are rooted in respect and tolerance.

It has been developed to promote community cohesion and help small communities be resilient to the small minority of extremists who promote violence and hate in the name of Islam.

While any plan to try and teach Muslims to behave like civilised people is worth encouraging, one suspects that, given the fact that many imams are proponents, not opponents, of violence and hate, setting them to teach children to be good citizens is not likely to have the desired effect.

No more hugs for hoodies

Can you guess who said this?

Aggressive hoodies who threaten the rest of us must be punished. They need to know the difference between right and wrong, and it's our job to tell them.

I'm a Conservative. I believe in punishment, I believe in deterrence, I believe in the difference between right and wrong.

Astonishingly enough, it was David Cameron, speaking at the Police Federation conference on Thursday morning. Perhaps the most (or, indeed, the only) sensible words he has ever said.

This brief flash of common sense came as Cameron defended himself from criticism over his previous "hug a hoodie" speech, which was, apparently, "the most misrepresented thing he had ever said". Indeed, he is quite correct, in that he did not actually use the words "hug a hoodie". Rather he said:

If the police and criminal justice system guard the boundaries of acceptable behaviour - patrolling the territory beyond the pale - then community groups populate the interior.

If the police stand for sanctions and penalties, you stand for love.

And not a soppy love! I don't see anyone soppy here.

But it is about relationships.

It is about emotional security.

It is about love.


What is the quality of the care and support we give young people?

We sometimes see young people described as "feral", as if they have turned wild.

But no child is ever really feral.

No child is beyond recovery, beyond civilisation.

That girl who stole smiles, who suffered so much, and who made others suffer so much, is getting better now.

It is an achievement that the police, or prison, or government itself rarely manages.

"That girl who stole smiles" was a criminal thug who made it her mission to physically assault people who she saw smiling. According to Cameron, "all she needs is love". Which presumably entails plenty of hugs.

He also appears to disagree with Michael Howard's well-publicised view that "prison works".

So, while Cameron is quite correct to say that there has to be a social aspect to tackling crime, I think that "hug a hoodie" was a fair representation of his previous speech. These thugs do not need love, they need chastisement. That they also need to be taught morals and decency does not detract from that. Although Cameron might have slightly toughened up the rhetoric for yesterday's speech, he still shouldn't get the vote of anyone even remotely concerned about crime.

Originally posted at ATW.

Thursday 17 May 2007

Labour chases the Muslim bloc vote

The British government needs to change its foreign policy to win back voters who deserted the party over the Iraq war, says Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain, who is seeking to become deputy leader of the ruling Labour Party.

In a speech to a mainly Muslim audience in east London on Tuesday night, Hain said that "hundreds of thousands" of Muslims had been lost to Labour as a result of the worsening situation in Iraq.

"We must combine a commitment to reducing inequality at home with a progressive foreign policy abroad," he said in becoming the first minister to directly link the invasion of Iraq with the waning support for the government.

Hain, who is also Welsh Secretary, has in the past been indirectly critical of some of the failings of US foreign policy under President George W Bush.

He was quoted by the Cardiff-based Western Mail as telling his audience that he wanted to "bring back to Labour the hundreds of thousands of Muslim voters we lost in 2005, as a result of the Iraq war."

"We must work to reform and strengthen international institutions like the UN so they can effectively promote democracy and human rights worldwide," the 57-year old deputy leader candidate also said.
For the avoidance of doubt, that's the same UN that has today elected such totems of democracy and human rights as Egypt, South Africa, and Angola onto its Human Rights Council. That one, not a different UN.
"We must also redouble our efforts to prevent the (right-wing) BNP spreading hate and fear in your community," he said.
Mr Hain does not appear to have specified quite how the BNP does this. I'd have thought that the people who really spread hatred and fear among Muslims were the men known as "Imams". But, Mr Hain is, like most politicians, more interested in vote grubbing than in honesty.

And, is anyone else revolted by the endless attention given to the wounded feelings of Muslims, not just over Iraq, but over everything else? David Cameron was fawning over them earlier this week, telling us that we mustn't use the term "Islamist", lest the poor dears feel victimised by this, and now Peter Hain is doing the same thing. Why don't some of these politicians go and speak to the native working class once in a while, rather than occasionally leaning down from the Ivory Tower and instucting them not to vote BNP, and to quietly acquiesce in their own destruction and replacement?

Wednesday 16 May 2007

Muslims still throwing tantrums; Sun still rising in the East

Muslim campaigners have accused Downing Street of condoning Islamophobia by publishing a petition which warns that building a large mosque complex will "cause terrible violence and suffering".

The petition is one of the most popular on No 10's website, with over 45,000 signatures to date. It was posted under the name of Jill Barham. Attempts by Guardian Unlimited to contact her have been unsuccessful.

The writer of a blog called "English Rose", which links to sites supporting the BNP and "opposes the Islamification of this country", claims to be the author of the e-petition.

Muslim campaigners acknowledge that the plan to build Europe's largest Islamic centre in east London is controversial, but argue that the language of the petition is inflammatory and Islamophobic.

It states: "We, the Christian population of this great country England would like the proposed plan to build a mega-mosque in east London scrapped. This will only cause terrible violence and suffering and more money should go into the NHS."

The author of "English Rose" wrote on that blog, which is no longer available: "I am just a concerned citizen who doesn't want any kind of violence whatsoever, and it is more likely to be from a Muslim than from the BNP...

"The Muslim community will grow and then they will look at it as an opportunity to dominate. That's when the violence will take place."

But Raza Kazim, spokesman for the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said that he found the language threatening, adding: "The other interpretation - that Muslims are inherently violent - is obviously racist or Islamophobic ... Either way there's a problem with the wording."

The Islamic Human Rights Commission - organisers of the always hilarious "Islamophobia Awards" - is an extremist organisation masquerading as a moderate pressure group. It is headed by Massoud Shadjareh, who in 2006, at the height of Israel's war against the Hezbollah terrorist movement, appeared at a rally in London wrapped in a Hezbollah flag, and called on his followers to give "financial, logistical and information support" to the terrorists. He then demanded the destruction of Israel.

And suggesting that Islam might be just a little bit violent is wrong, because...?

Raza Kazim continued:

"There's a feeling that No 10 are party to the atmosphere which is being created; it's being condoned, in effect, by the government."

No, you idiot. It's not being condoned by the government. The government can hardly be said to be condoning every single petition on the site. How could they condone both the anti-Mega Mosque petition, and this one, which supports the building of the monstrosity? I know politicians try to be all things to all men, but still, to suggest that the government is both strongly for and intransigently against the mosque is a bit much.

No, the real problem that people like Kazim have with the petition is not that the government are condoning it, but that the public are. At the time of writing, 46,244 people have signed the petition. By contrast, only 232 people have signed Joseph Ashworth's petition in support of the mosque. The British public just don't want the East London skyline defiled in this manner.

The row about the petition has been rumbling on for a while now, but so far objections to it have only been given voice in such sources as the anti-white racist BLINK website. However, this is the first time that the story has broken into the MSM. Let's hope it will work against the whingers, alerting more people to the threatened building of the mosque, and increasing the number of signatories to the petition still further.

Tory sellout number 94: grammar schools

Today, the party that, for some inexplicable reason, continues to be known as the "Conservative" Party, officially renounced its support for the sin of selective education. Apparently, selective education, and, particularly, grammar schools, "entrench social advantage".

Tory shadow education secretary David Willetts (King Edward's School, Birmingham; Christ Church, Oxford), an inveterate enemy of all forms of social advantage, says:

"We must break free from the belief that academic selection is any longer the way to transform the life chances of bright, poor kids."

"This is a widespread belief but we just have to recognise that there is overwhelming evidence that such academic selection entrenches advantage, it does not spread it."

Mr Willetts made it clear in his speech to the CBI that the party is committed to comprehensive education, though it will follow Labour's lead and allow the remaining 165 grammars to stay open.
How benevolent.

He told the leaders of industry that times have changed since he attended a grammar school in Birmingham. In those days, children had fairly similar personal and family experiences. Now, 40 years on, children had such different experiences that it was a fantasy to think that an exam could fairly distinguish between them.

"Middle-class parents invest far more effort in raising their kids than they did a generation ago. My parents didn't spend time driving me around to tennis coaching or music lessons. Nowadays, middle-class kids get all that and more and probably extra tuition to help them to do well in the exams at 11."

Grammar schools might once have worked to transform the opportunities of many children from poor backgrounds but no longer.
So I guess the results of research at Bristol University were wrong then:
Children who go to grammar schools in England achieve better grades than those of similar ability who are not in selective areas, researchers claim.

A Bristol University study suggested pupils from poorer backgrounds do particularly well.

Of course the researchers were wrong. They contradicted the views of all goodthinkful liberals.

Also, does David Willetts actually have any evidence that tennis lessons and private tutors (something which, from my experience, happens far less frequently than is made out) actually make much difference? I suppose they might give one child on the borderline of passing the 11+ a slight advantage over another in the same situation, but they cannot put a child who is manifestly not up to going to grammar school into such a school, and neither can they deprive a truly intelligent child from a poor background of a grammar school place.

What would disadvantage such a child is sending them to a poor quality comprehensive, stuffed to the brim with unmotivated teachers, criminal pupils, and immigrants who can barely speak English. This is what Willetts, and his master David Cameron (
Eton; Brasenose, Oxford) would condemn that child to.

And the middle class children, with their tennis lessons and private tutors? Oh, they'll be alright. They'll just go private.

Tuesday 15 May 2007

Will Croydon ban the Cross?

The Daily Mail claims that the Tory-run Croydon Council - which has previously distinguished itself by instituting Muslim-only swimming sessions at municipal pools - is about to discriminate against Christian schoolchildren:

Schools could be forced to ban their pupils from wearing crosses - while allowing them to display symbols of non-Christian religions.

The rules being considered by one education authority would see jewellery forbidden from PE lessons, apart from in "exceptional circumstances".

The sensitivity apparently only extends to symbols from the Hindu, Sikh and Muslim faiths.

A draft document from Croydon Council in South London apparently says exceptions would include the rakhi cotton bracelet worn by Hindus and the kara metal bracelet put on the arms of Sikh children, which cannot be removed.

The taweez lockets worn by some Muslims on a string around the neck, arm or stomach would also be excluded - though these lockets, containing verses from the Koran, are not seen as compulsory in the religion.

But the document makes no mention of exceptional circumstances for crosses, crucifixes or the chastity rings some Christian pupils choose to wear, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

However, Croydon Council says that it only left the cross and the crucifix off the list of exceptions because teachers could in any event be expected to know that children would wear those, and to act appropriately. Therefore, the council claims, there was no need for guidance on how to treat Christian children.

Whether this is true or not is anyone's guess. In any event, it is clear that leaving the cross and the crucifix off the list is likely to lead to Christianophobic discrimination in practice, even if that is not the intention. One cannot trust people to use their own initiative in the modern world: they really do have to have things spelt out for them. If the guidelines are published in their current form, then you can bet that at least some teachers will treat the list of exceptions as definitive, and ban the cross and crucifix because they're not on there. Plus, there's always the risk of an anti-Christian liberal teacher taking the opportunity to discriminate against Christians, because the cross and crucifix are not expressly stated to be exceptions.