Friday 30 May 2008

Institutionalising Islam in our schools

The other day, Bernard left a comment with a link to an editorial in the Church of England Newspaper, warning of the encroachments of Islam into our national life. The editorial has now been replaced with a more recent editorial, although you can still read it at a couple of blogs, such as Jihad Watch. One of the interesting points that the editorial made was this:

At all levels of national life Islam has gained state funding, protection from any criticism, and the insertion of advisors and experts in government departs national and local...we hear of municipal swimming baths encouraging ‘Muslim women only’ sessions and in Dewsbury Hospitals staff waste time by turning beds to face Mecca five times a day — a Monty Pythonesque scenario of lunacy, but astonishingly true. Prisons are replete with imams who are keen to inculcate conservative Islam in any inmates who are deemed to be culturally ‘Muslim’: the Prison service in effect treats such prisoners as a cultural block to be preached to by imams at will. Would the Prison service send all those with ‘C of E’ on their papers to confirmation classes with the chaplain?! We could go on.

The point is that Islam is being institutionalised, incarnated, into national structures amazingly fast, at the same time as demography is showing very high birthrates.
Today, we see yet more evidence of this phenomenon of Islamic institutionalisation:

Imams will teach in state schools under Government plans for tackling extremism to be announced next week.

Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, admitted today that a minority of children could be “at risk” from extremists and said that schools must be able to deal with radicalisation.

British-born imams will be drafted in to schools to instruct children about Islam and the Koran as part of the Government’s “Prevent” strategy, which aims to weed out extremism before it takes root.

Lessons will include teachings from the Koran and discussions about equality between the sexes, the sanctity of life and the rights of the individual. Mr Balls said the citizenship lessons would help young people to feel “part of their society, and resilient to those who seek to divide rather than unite”.

The battle against radicalisation in schools is a major plank of the Home Office’s wider policy on extremism but the National Union of Teachers (NUT) met fierce opposition when it suggested a similar scheme in March. The NUT proposed that Muslim clerics and other faith leaders should go into every state school as an alternative to faith schools. Critics warned this could allow extremists to target pupils.

But the Government believes that if the imams are British-born they will imbue children with the multicultural values.

Because, of course, no British-born Muslim has ever turned to extremism, have they? And "multicultural values" (whatever they may be)? They're just what we haven't had enough of lately!

Thursday 29 May 2008

Even a stopped clock...

The police force that issued a teenager with a court summons for calling Scientology a cult could face a judicial review over the legality of its policing guidelines.

Although prosecutors last week declined to take the 16-year-old to court, freedom of speech campaigners are to ask City of London police to explain how the initial decision to issue the summons was made.

Campaigners said they would call for a judicial review if it is found that the force's guidelines for policing demonstrations led officers to confront the schoolboy.

If it emerges that the policy relates only to anti-Scientology demonstrations, a complaint could be lodged with the Independent Police Complaints Commission instead.

Shami Chakrabarti, the director of the civil liberties organisation Liberty, which spearheaded the teenager's defence, said: "We want to know who gave the instruction to issue this summons.

"Curtailing people's freedom of speech is a very serious issue and it's important to know whether this is part of the force's policy or a decision relating specifically to the Church of Scientology. There is the possibility of a complaint to the IPCC or a judicial review."

Chakrabarti said she was concerned the police action could have a "chilling effect" on other protesters who wanted to express their opinions.

"Some people are very easily intimidated and will be put off exercising their right to free speech by the thought that they may face court action over it. We have to defend that right and show how wrong the police were in issuing this summons," she said.

Well, on this occasion, Chakrabarti's right, and it is good that Liberty (indeed, that anyone) is challenging the police's handling of this matter. Although I'm not quite certain of the manner in which Liberty "spearheaded the teenager's defence", other than by the lovely and fragrant Ms Chakrabarti describing the summons as "barmy", and thereby getting herself in the papers.

But, while on this occasion Chakrabarti's organisation is doing the right thing, it's worth pointing out that she seems to take a remarkably selective approach to the question of free speech, and its suppression. After all, in recent years we have seen, inter alia, the leader of the BNP twice prosecuted for calling Islam a "wicked, vicious faith", an anti-Islamic blogger arrested for the content of his postings, a schoolgirl arrested for complaining that fellow pupils did not speak English, an academic forced out of his job for expressing politically incorrect views about the link between race and IQ, and measures passed banning BNP members from certain jobs. Yet on all these issues, and many more, Shami Chakrabarti has, notwithstanding her abundantly evident love of the media spotlight, maintained a strict silence. Maybe she was on holiday when they happened.

White liberals know best

The following story from the Cambridge Evening News provides a rather interesting insight into the workings of the liberal mind:
ENTERTAINMENT and arts provision in Cambridge does not adequately meet the needs of the multi-cultural mix of the city's residents - according to Cambridge councillors.

But members of the black and ethnic minority groups the council say are under-served feel there is plenty of provision for them.

David Warford, a member of the Cambridge Caribbean Association, said: "I have never heard any of our group complain about a lack of provision of services. We regularly organise trips to the Arts Theatre and the Corn Exchange and proportionally there seems to be a good mix of show and plenty of Afro content."

But council bosses have now been told to look into developing a wider range of entertainment, art and shows to "better meet the interests of the black and minority ethnic communities in Cambridge" after councillors unanimously voted to review the services at a meeting.
So, black people don't actually believe that they are being discriminated against. But, hey, what do they know? The white liberals on Cambridge City Council say that blacks are being oppressed, and they must be right!

And now there will no doubt be some lengthy process of consultations, specially-contrived events aimed at showcasing "Cambridge's cultural diversity", and what not, carried out with plenty of liberal hand-wringing, not to mention the liberal application of public money - all to solve a problem no one ever knew existed!

Hat-tip: Central News

Tuesday 27 May 2008

Democracy, EU style

Plans to eliminate Eurosceptics as an organised opposition within the European Parliament are expected to be agreed by a majority of MEPs this summer.

The European Union assembly’s political establishment is pushing through changes that will silence dissidents by changing the rules allowing Euro-MPs to form political groupings.

Richard Corbett, a British Labour MEP, is leading the charge to cut the number of party political tendencies in the Parliament next year, a move that would dissolve UKIP’s pan-European Eurosceptic “Independence and Democracy” grouping.

Under the rule change, the largest and most pro-EU groups would tighten their grip on the Parliament’s political agenda and keep control of lavish funding.

”It would prevent single issue politicians from being given undue support from the public purse,” said Mr Corbett.

”We want to avoid the formation of a fragmented Parliament, deeply divided into many small groups and unable to work effectively.”

Mr Corbett’s proposals will also give the President of the Parliament sweeping powers to approve or reject parliamentary questions.


Current rules allow 20 MEPs from a fifth of the EU’s member states to form groupings, giving them a say in the Parliament’s administration and power structure.

Under the changes, the threshold would become 30 MEPs from one quarter of the EU’s member states.

What this proposal shows, once again, is the deeply undemocratic tendencies of the European Union, and of many of its most fanatical supporters. Richard Corbett complains that allowing "small groups" to organise will lead to the "fragmentation" of the European Parliament, which will be left "unable to work effectively".
Now, with the caveat that I don't believe Britain should be in the EU at all, I'll agree that it is desirable that any parliament "work effectively". However, I imagine that my definition of "working effectively" would differ substantially from Richard Corbett's. Because I think that a parliament is working effectively when it is representing the views of as great a share of the public as possible, and when it is closely scrutinising all the measures brought before it, with an eye to rooting out all unnecessary or bad proposals. This model of effectiveness is best achieved within a system which positively encourages as wide a variety of disparate and dissenting voices as possible. Corbett's idea of an effective parliament, by contrast, appears to be one whose members are in substantive agreement on all major issues, and which passes legislation as quickly as possible, without being disrupted by the subversive actions of "small groups", and without concerning itself with any scruples about what the public want, or who they voted for. This model of effectiveness is best achieved in a one party state.

I also note that, while the Lib Dems are, to their credit, opposing this measure, the majority of Britain's Tory MEPs appear likely to join with their Labour colleagues, and give it their full support. Should they do so, then that will provide further evidence that anyone who asserts that the Tories are even vaguely Eurosceptic is either fooling himself, or trying to fool others.

Sunday 25 May 2008


A traditionalist Anglican has said he will continue with a campaign for the Church of England to work explicitly to convert Muslims to Christianity.

Paul Eddy, a lay member of the General Synod, has come under intense pressure from bishops to withdraw his plan.

But he has secured enough support for his motion to be debated at the next meeting of the Church's ruling body.

The motion calls on the Church to proclaim Christianity as the only route to ultimate salvation.

Mr Eddy, who is training to become a priest, has been denounced by some Muslims, but says the Church can no longer avoid hard questions about its beliefs.

He said he had received angry e-mails and telephone calls from senior figures in the Church denouncing his motion.

How depressingly typical of the Anglican leadership. Personally, I'd always assumed that spreading the Gospel was one of the primary purposes for which the Church of England (and, indeed, all mainstream churches) existed. But apparently not. Rather, it seems that the purpose of the CofE, as defined by its leaders, is to grovel like good dhimmis while the Islamification of Britain continues apace, and to denounce anyone who fails to kow-tow with sufficient promptitude. Rather than upset their Islamic friends by asserting their own faith, and seeking to convert Muslims, the likes of Rowan Williams and John Pritchard would prefer to see their congregations continue to dwindle, ultimately into non-existence. Looking at the way they behave, I sometimes wonder whether Williams and his ilk are in fact fanatical atheists, who have infiltrated the Church with the sole aim of destroying it from within. They probably aren't, but it must be said, that they couldn't do more damage if they were.

And, once again, I am struck by the contrast between these snivelling cowards, and Christians in other parts of the world who are putting their lives at risk in order to practise and promulgate their faith. While Christians in countries like Iran are successfully
converting millions of Muslims, and risking their lives and freedoms in the process, our own senior clergy, "faring delicately with the bedclothes pulled right up over their heads", are so terrified of upsetting the Muslims and the Guardianista chatterers that they denounce Paul Eddy for simply desiring that the Church stand up for what it is supposed to believe in.

Saturday 24 May 2008

"One of Hartlepool's most extravagant showers"

Some of the details of the expenses claims put in by fourteen leading politicians have now been published in the newspapers. These, it will be recalled, are the ones that the Speaker of the House of Commons went to court to try to keep secret, and they do make very interesting reading. Although perhaps they would have been even more fascinating, had they been complete: as I noted previously, House of Commons staff conveniently contrived to destroy some of Tony Blair's expenses claims, prior to their release. Anyway, here are some highlights:
While Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett put in a bill for £638.03 to renew the lighting in her sun lounge. The papers also show that Mrs Beckett had a claim for garden expenses partially rejected, with £600 for plants and pergola disallowed.


As Mr Blair was preparing to send British troops to Iraq, he also had more mundane domestic concerns on his mind. In March 2003, a new kitchen was fitted in his constituency home in Trimdon Colliery, Co Durham, at a cost to the taxpayer of £6,500.

Two months later, another bill arrived to cover the £4,174 cost of other work to the kitchen, including fitting cupboards and tiles and redecorating the room. It brought the total expense of the Blairs' new kitchen to £10,674.

During 2005, the then Prime Minister claimed for utility bills, as well as £515.75 for a dishwasher and £50 on servicing an Aga stove in 2002.

By contrast, Gordon Brown spent just £4,471 refurbishing his own kitchen in Fife, including its Seville cream wall tiles, in 2005. Mr Brown's claims include bills for £1,396 for redecoration as well as the £33-a-month cost of his Sky TV connection.


Peter Mandelson, formerly Mr Blair's closest confidant, must have fitted one of Hartlepool's most extravagant showers. The bill for fitting a shower and decorating the bathroom in his constituency home in July 2003 – a year before he resigned to become a European Commissioner – was £2,981.


John Prescott, the former deputy prime minister, claimed £6,707.06 to cover external repairs to his constituency home in Hull in 2005, including replacing windows and sills and supplying and fixing mock Tudor boards to the front gable.


Stevenage MP Barbara Follett, the wife of millionaire novelist Ken Follett, claimed more than £1,600 for window cleaning at her London home, with the cleaners visiting on 18 occasions at £94 a time during 2003-04.
To consider our beloved ex-leader for a moment: at the time he spent £10,000 of our money refurbishing his kitchen, Blair had two official homes - 10 Downing Street and Chequers. His constituency house, Myrobella, was thus his third residence, and not one which I imagine he spent much time in. His salary was then well over £150,000 a year, and his wife was earning considerably more. A little over a year after claiming £10,000 for Myrobella's kitchen, the Blairs spent roughly £3.5 million on a town house in Bayswater - their current primary residence. They are also, infamously, the owners of two flats in the nicest part of Bristol.

All of which adds up to the question: why on Earth should the public be expected to cough up the money to buy these multi-millionaires a new kitchen in a house they rarely inhabit? Well, I suppose there is no greater reason to object to this than to the public funding Gordon Brown's Sky connection, or Peter Mandelson's new shower (although it doesn't matter how often you wash, Mandy - the taint of corruption isn't coming off!), or John Prescott's "mock Tudor boards".
The fact is, that these luxuries should be paid for by the people who want them, and who benefit from them. If MPs want Sky connections and new showers, then should they do what everyone else does, and purchase them themselves, out of their own salaries.

What these details also reveal (if it is indeed a revelation), is that MPs are a set of grasping chancers, who look to claim whatever they can get away with, rather than what is fair or reasonable. How else can you explain the audacity of Margaret Beckett's demand that the taxpayer should shell out for her Dahlias? Or, indeed, any of the claims highlighted above?

Friday 23 May 2008

'Straight' added to the List of Banned Words

I see that the Crown Prosecution Service has decided that prosecuting the teenager who called Scientology a cult would not be in the public interest. I suppose that we should be thankful that the CPS have, on this occasion, demonstrated a modicum of good sense. However, the fact remains that the police attempted to stifle free speech, purely on the grounds that that speech was, or might be, "offensive".

On Tuesday, I noted that cases such as the above - innocuous conduct being treated as criminal by an overbearing police force - seemed to be happening on a weekly basis. Well, I may have underestimated the frequency with which it occurs, for here is yet another instance of this phenomenon:

A complaint has been made to police over a banner declaring a former gay bar in Sunderland city centre has now gone "straight".

The sign outside the Retox bar, in High Street West, read: "Retox under new management! Now Straight! Top totty dancers on match days!"

A police inquiry is under way into a complaint that the sign, which has now been taken down, was offensive.

The bar owners said it was never their intention to offend.

Assistant manager Carl Lovett said: "We admit it was not the best banner but there was never any intention to cause offence."

I assume, from the way in which this is reported, that the "offensive" part of the sign was the word 'straight', although I suppose that it might just possibly have been the "top totty dancers" bit that did it. Either way, while the sign might have been slightly crude, I fail to see what, precisely, was so upsetting to the complainant. Is mentioning the very existence of heterosexuality now deemed "homophobic"? This bar had changed its commercial direction, to one which it presumably hopes will prove more profitable: is it to be prohibited from announcing that fact to the world?

In any event, as I have repeated time after time, the fact that something is offensive to someone is not in itself sufficient reason for banning it. After all, the right to free speech would have precious little meaning if it was restricted in scope to speech which no one would ever want to silence. But, as we see time and again, that is the road down which this country is heading, at a pretty rapid rate. And, as the behaviour of the complainant in this case demonstrates, there is no shortage of people who not only support the suppression of free speech, but are also willing to assist in it, by becoming informers against those who transgress against the state's notion of acceptable language.

Tuesday 20 May 2008

The banned C word

Yes, 'cult'. This is the word that has led to a fifteen-year-old boy being taken to court, after participating in a protest against the Church of Scientology, outside the organisation's headquarters in the City of London. During the protest, the unnamed malefactor held a placard which read "Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult". A police officer immediately informed him that the word 'cult' was prohibited, and he was subsequently told that his sign violated section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, and was "strongly advised" to remove the offending placard. When the teenager refused to do so, he was handed a court summons, and the sign was confiscated. According to the City of London Police (whose officers, incidentally, have something of a track record of taking bribes gifts from the Scientologists), the matter will now be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

It seems that we can barely go a week in this country without hearing of the police taking action against some perfectly harmless person, for engaging in perfectly innocuous behaviour, on the grounds of that behaviour's real or (more often) imagined offensiveness to members of some minority group. A Down's Syndrome sufferer is subjected to a seven month investigation for having a playground spat with an Asian girl; a man is arrested for singing "I'd rather wear a turban"; an Oxford undergraduate is prosecuted for questioning the sexuality of a police horse. These are just a handful drawn from the growing litany of such absurd cases. What we are witnessing is nothing less than the eradication of our freedoms, in the name of non-offensiveness.

Sunday 18 May 2008

Fortuitous circumstance of the day

Some of Tony Blair’s expenses claims, which the High Court last week ruled should be disclosed to the public, have been shredded. The documents, itemising Blair’s claims for household expenses during a year of his premiership, were destroyed in the midst of a legal battle over whether they should be published. All MPs’ expenses are funded by taxpayers.

It is a criminal offence to destroy documents to prevent their disclosure under freedom of information (FOI) laws, but Westminster officials say they were unaware that the files were the subject of a legal challenge. They insist they were destroyed by mistake.

They didn't realise that the files were the subject of a legal challenge? Do civil servants not read newspapers?

...some of Blair’s files covering claims for Myrobella, his constituency home, were destroyed by Commons officials after they rejected The Sunday Times’s FOI request in January 2005 to see his claims for £43,029 of public money covering a three-year period.

"After...January 2005" isn't particularly clear. It would be nice to know at what precise point in the last forty months the files were shredded. After all, the closer in time the shredding was to the order that the files be released to the public, the greater the likelihood that this was not just a mindless blunder.

Norman Baker, who has campaigned for more transparency in his fellow MPs’ expenses, said: “How convenient that some of Tony Blair’s expenses have been shredded. This is either incompetence or obstruction of the Freedom of Information Act and should be properly investigated.”

"How convenient" indeed!

Friday 16 May 2008

As ye sow...

Race equality council managers refused to give an employee the payrise he had been promised because he was the wrong kind of black, a tribunal has heard.

Nolan Victory, 41, claims his bosses, who were all black, ignored his complaints and even bellowed at him because he was from the wrong part of the world.

He told an employment tribunal that managers at Oxfordshire Racial Equality Council took a disliking to him because he was of Caribbean origin and they were from Africa.

"The management was made up of black Africans and they discriminated against me because I was the only black Caribbean," he told the panel sitting in Reading, Berks.

This is not the only case of race hustlers turning on one another in this manner. The chief executive of the Nottinghamshire Black Partnership is currently suing her employer, claiming that she was a victim of racist and sexist discrimination from Pakistani members of the Partnership's board. And in 2003, a former Commission for Racial Equality solicitor launched legal action against the CRE, claiming that he was discriminated against for being Asian rather than black.

I have no idea whether any of the allegations that have been made have any substance to them. But even if they don't, then the Oxfordshire Race Equality Council and the Nottinghamshire Black Partnership should not be surprised that they have been made. After all, if you run an organisation full of people whose job it is to see racism everywhere, then you shouldn't be too shocked if they eventually start to see it in you. You play with fire, you get burnt; you play with race hustlers, you get accused of racism.

Thursday 15 May 2008

Undercover Mosque vindicated

An update on these stories:

West Midlands Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have apologised for accusing the makers of a Channel 4 documentary of distortion.

The apology and the promise of £100,000 were made at the High Court on Thursday.

It follows comments made about a Dispatches programme, Undercover Mosque, which tackled claims of Islamic extremism in the West Midlands.

The police statement said the force was wrong to make the allegations.


The statement, released to the media after the High Court hearing by West Midlands Police, said they accepted there had been no evidence that Channel 4 or the documentary makers had "misled the audience or that the programme was likely to encourage or incite criminal activity".

It added that the Ofcom report showed the documentary had "accurately represented the material it had gathered and dealt with the subject matter responsibly and in context".

The police statement concluded: "We accept, without reservation, the conclusions of Ofcom and apologise to the programme makers for the damage and distress caused by our original press release."

So, if the police now accept that the programme was wholly accurate, what are we to make of the force's earlier claim that the programme makers - Hardcash Productions - were guilty of "completely distorting" what was said? Or, indeed, of their long-running vendetta against Hardcash, which included attempting to have them prosecuted for "inciting racial hatred", and, when this plan was frustrated, making an official complaint about the documentary to the communications regulator?
Presumably the police have not seen any new footage which might have explained their change of heart. As such, their original claim that the programme distorted what was said must surely be no more or less tenable than it was when they first made it. Why, then, have they now performed a complete U-turn, and accepted that it was untenable? I suspect that it is because they always knew that the accusations they were making were utterly unfounded, but that they hoped that, by making them, they could intimidate the programme makers, and anyone else who might be tempted to criticise Islam (or, indeed, any Muslims), into silence. As with so much else that the police do these days, their conduct in this matter really does beg the question, whose side are they on?

Monday 12 May 2008

MPs want a bigger trough

MPs ought to be awarded a 23% pay rise, taking their salaries to £76,000, a committee of senior members chaired by Michael Martin, the Speaker, is set to recommend this week.

The MPs believe they are underpaid compared with managers in the public sector.

They are ready to put off their pay rise, however, until after the next election to avoid provoking voters at a time when other public sector workers are seeing increases capped at about 2.5%.


The consultants concluded that MPs’ salary of £61,820 does not adequately reward them in comparison with public-sector employees in middle to senior ranks, such as a police superintendent.

They earn more than £70,000, while private sector managers with equivalent responsibility are paid six-figure salaries. However, MPs also claim generous allowances.

Yes, there is that. If you factor in such perks as the £23,000 MPs can claim for a second home, or the £10,000 of taxpayers' money they can use to buy themselves a new kitchen, then I would imagine that the average police superintendent is left looking distinctly impoverished by comparison. Plus, being a police superintendent is a full-time job; if the officer doesn't turn up, he'll be fired. MPs, by contrast, can do as little work as they like, and face no sanctions. They can also easily augment their income with a second job, an option not available to the majority of workers, in either the public or the private sector. Most public sector managers don't get to set their own salary and perks either, do they?

And it's not as though the nation's MPs are actually scrounging a bare subsistence on the bread line. Consider this quote from another Sunday Times article, about John "Two Jags" Prescott:

The Prescotts reside – I use the word advisedly – in a grand former Salvation Army home on the outskirts of Hull, where he has been MP since 1970. Here, he is not a banana-skin politician or a working-class hero but an Englishman in his castle, complete with turrets, eight bedrooms, servants’ staircase and electric gates (needs must); which is not bad going for the son of a maid who failed his 11-plus.
It might not be Dorneywood, but, as the journalist says, it isn't bad. In how many professions other than politics could a cretinous thug like John Prescott get anywhere close to being able to afford such a house?

The fact is that being an MP is extremely lucrative. Perhaps there are some people who are better paid, but these people are, in theory at least, highly qualified and highly skilled. MPs, by contrast, need, and sometimes have, no qualifications and no skills whatsoever. They may feel that they are equivalent to senior managers, but I'd wager that if they all set out to climb a conventional career ladder, a great many of them would remain stuck on the bottom rung, because they are essentially talentless people.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they are all polymaths, who would thrive in any environment. But if that is the case, then no one is forcing them to stay in politics. They are at liberty to resign their seats and seek a more profitable career whenever they want. That would be for the benefit of all, since it would mean that only those (very few) MPs who actually have public service at heart would be left. But of course, MPs know which side their bread is buttered on, they know that they're on to a damn good thing, and they wouldn't give up their seats on the gravy train for anything.

Sunday 11 May 2008

Priest bashing of the day

A SECOND priest has been beaten up in his own churchyard in the space of just eight weeks in London’s East End — this time over an argument about a football.

The Rector of St Matthew’s in Bethnal Green, The Rev Kevin Scully, was attacked on Tuesday afternoon by three drunken youths who had returned to take their revenge for a row three days before.

He had taken their ball last Saturday after he saw them using a cross on the church as a basketball hoop.

He has been taunted with religious and racist abuse in the past, but believes the beating was more alcohol-fuelled than anything more sinister.

The attack follows the vicious assault on Canon Michael Ainsworth at St George-in-the-East church in Shadwell in March [see here - FR].

But although that attack was treated as a ‘faith hate’ crime, police consider the latest incident as simple assault.

Fr Scully, 45, who was left with two black eyes, cuts and bruises, told the Advertiser: “I’m still a bit shaken up.

“It came out of an incident where some teenagers were using the front of the church as a basketball hoop.

“I took their ball and told them to leave—but they came back on Tuesday, drunk, to demand their ball back and attacked me.”

He recalled: “One of them was instigating the violence.

“I thought the other two were going to stop it, but in the end they joined in.

“Even a passer-by who saw what was going on and tried to intervene got a kicking too."


Mr Scully, however, insists it was not a ‘policing’ problem, but a ‘community’ problem.

“These are someone’s sons, someone’s brothers,” he said. “These people are known in the community.”

“There is a certain racial and religious element to this,” adds.

“I have been and was taunted religiously — and that is a worrying aspect of it.

“But I would not make that a ‘flag of convenience.’

“These are drunken yobs and that is the shame of it.

“They could probably have a very bright future ahead of them if they only did something about it.”

Police are investigating the assault and say they are looking for three Asian youths, all aged about 16.
Now, there clearly was a "history" between Fr Scully and the three attackers. This does not, of course, excuse their behavior, but it does suggest that they were not motivated solely by Christianophobia or Kuffarphobia.
However, the actions of the three "youths" in this case are, I think, indicative of a certain attitude among Bethnal Green's Muslims, which allows the area's Christian minority to be treated in a manner that would not be tolerated in respect of fellow members of the Ummah. For example, can you imagine that, had these three young men had a similar altercation with an imam, they would have felt such little compunction about going back a few days later and beating the shit out of him? Indeed, would they even have rowed with an imam in the first place? Certainly, I doubt that they would have treated a mosque with the same disrespect that they apparently accorded to St Matthew's Church.
Maybe they didn't attack Fr Scully
because he was a white Christian, but it is highly probable that they felt that, being a white Christian, Fr Scully was a more socially acceptable target for violence than he might otherwise have been. In any event, the fact that Fr Scully had been "taunted with religious and racist abuse in the past", taken together with the attack on Canon Michael Ainsworth back in March, serves to demonstrate that there clearly is a problem with Christianophobic violence in the East End, with young Muslim men emerging as the principal (indeed, the sole) culprits. Now there's a surprise!

Hat-tip: Laban Tall

Saturday 10 May 2008

Thought Policeman of the Day: PC Paul Hughes

Here is a short video which really sums up the extent to which free speech is being suppressed in Britain today. A man is arrested on suspicion of a "racially aggravated public order offence", for singing the words "I'd rather wear a turban":

The speed with which PC Hughes pounced on the man as soon as he heard the "racist" words was really rather impressive. And am I being utterly paranoid, or did a slight smirk, as of a bully exulting in his own power, briefly leap across his face as he told his victim what his "crime" was (at 14 seconds in)?

Still, I'm sure we can all agree that arresting people like the heinous (and totally unrepentant) evildoer seen in this video is a far more valuable use of police time than such petty trivialities as, for example, stopping axe wielding burglars. Thank Heavens the police have their priorities straight!

Hat-tip: John Trenchard

Friday 9 May 2008

Treating adults like children

Travellers face a ban on drinking alcohol on trains, buses and trams across the country, it was revealed last night.

The drastic plan to cut loutish behaviour will be considered as part of a Government review aimed at making public transport safer.

It comes less than a week after Boris Johnson swept to victory in the London mayoral contest on the same policy - leading to claims that a desperate Labour Party is stealing Tory clothes.

Announcing the review yesterday, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: "I understand people's concerns about anti-social behaviour on public transport. We want to stamp out antisocial behaviour on our buses, trains and trams.

"If more powers are needed to protect staff and the travelling public, we will provide them."

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said the Tories were delighted their ideas were being copied by the Government, but added that the devil would be in the detail. He said: "Even when this Government looks like it is getting it right, it often ends up getting it wrong."

Police already have powers to designate trains and coaches going to and from sporting events as "dry", but a wider ban would prove controversial.

Critics warn that it could fail to curb violence as troublemakers have usually been bingeing in pubs and clubs. It would also stop law-abiding travellers enjoying a glass of wine with a meal on an inter-city journey.

It could even raise the farcical prospect of passengers on Eurostar trains being made to drink up before entering England. Opponents point to the differences between a long cross-country trip and a short Tube ride in London.

Liberal Democrat spokesman Chris Huhne said: "A drinks ban on all public transport including long-distance rail would be completely over the top, widely ignored and impossible to enforce.

"This would be the nanny state gone mad. Ordinary passengers should not be punished for the misbehaviour of a minority."

A spokesman for the Police Federation said additional officers would be needed. "It could involve an enormous amount of officers and there are definite questions about how it would work and how officers would be protected," he added.
And for every extra officer who is deployed to prevent the consumption of alcohol on trains or buses there will, of course, be one less officer out preventing, you know, real crimes.

I must say that I find this whole idea utterly ludicrous, albeit not surprising, coming as it does from a government which seems to think that if it isn't banning something this week, it isn't doing its job properly. Indeed, the government is being so ridiculous that I actually find myself forced into agreement with Chris Huhne!

Because the fact is that in the overwhelming majority of cases, people drinking alcohol on public transport cause no trouble whatsoever, and pose no danger to anyone. True, you do occasionally get drunks on trains, and, in a very small number of cases, they cause trouble. But, if a drunk does cause trouble on a train (or any other form of public transport), then there are, it may astonish Jacqui Smith and Boris Johnson to learn, plenty of laws providing for that.
Besides which, I would add that, in my experience, people do not tend to make the transition from sobriety to inebriation while travelling: on the contrary, every on-train drunk that I have ever seen has been completely plastered long before they boarded the train. Banning alcohol on public transport will have absolutely no impact on these people. It will, however, serve to prevent large numbers of decent, law-abiding, adults from engaging in perfectly innocuous behaviour, while treating them as though they were errant children into the bargain.

But then again, maybe that's the point...

What Lee did next

It is often said that, whatever the circumstances, cream always rises to the top. That may be true. However, if the following Evening Standard story proves accurate, we may soon find out that scum does too:

Former mayoral aide Lee Jasper made an audacious bid for a safe Labour seat in the capital today.

Ken Livingstone's former race adviser said he had been approached by party insiders asking him to consider challenging maverick MP Kate Hoey in Vauxhall.

Mr Jasper, who quit after the Standard revealed he had sent sexually charged emails to a woman heading an organisation which received City Hall funds, said he wanted to help improve Londoners' lives.

Ms Hoey angered many in the Labour party before the mayoral election when she said she would be taking an advisory role with Tory candidate Boris Johnson if he won.


In his first interview since standing down, Mr Jasper said: "I've been approached to say whether or not it would be something I would consider to stand as an MP, particularly in Vauxhall.

"I think Kate Hoey is having a difficult time given her stance during the election. I'm considering it, the options are there. I would stand for the Labour party."

He told BBC London radio: "I think that I've got a contribution to make in relation to public office, I've always felt that.

"I'm committed to public services, I'm committed to trying to improve the life of those who face more challenges and difficulties in the city."

Would Jasper stand a chance of unseating Hoey? Possibly: as he points out, her stance during the mayoral election can hardly have endeared her to her constituency Labour party. One also doubts that her position as chairman of the Countryside Alliance has gone down too well with the "Old" Labour class warriors, or that her EUscepticism (at least relative to most Labour MPs) has impressed the "New" Labour federalists. There may well be many people within her constituency party who would be glad to see the back of her.

But would they really remove her in favour of Lee Jasper? After all, he's an avaricious, unprincipled, low life, with a long track record of lining his own pockets, and those of his friends, at the public expense. Can you really imagine such an individual serving as an MP?

Tuesday 6 May 2008

Much wailing and gnashing of teeth

Perhaps the best thing about Boris Johnson's victory last Thursday/Friday has been the sight of the entire British left wringing their hands in palpable woe. Many of them apparently believe that the election of a candidate they don't like represents a failure of democracy! Perhaps they should elect (or rather, speed up the process of electing) a new people! Anyway, here is a brief catalogue of some of my favourite lefty whines:

We start at JuliaM's new blog, where she has found three examples of mournful pieces by Guardian hacks at the paper's "Comment is Free" site. John Harris's "Enter the Jester" is particularly amusing: can surely envisage the idea of London as the ultimate switched-on metropolis - the political class's beloved "world city" - beginning to wilt...corks are already popping in the home of such neo-Thatcherites as George Osborne, William Hague and Liam Fox. The chances of a David Cameron government taking power and laying waste to what remains of the welfare state and the public sector ethos are now all the greater.
Other schadenfreude-inducing whinings include, from the blog Stumbling Sonata, the revelation that it was all those damn lower middle class suburbanites who did it. If only the right to vote were restricted to those who could be trusted to use it properly (a category that is apparently composed primarily of the author's friends and acquaintances) then that nice Mr Livingstone would still be in charge!
I simply cannot get my head around the fact that so many people voted for that shameless, bumbling moron. I have not met a single person who lives in central London who wanted Boris for Mayor so I can only conclude that the bored suburban masses all came out of the woodwork to provide themselves with four years’ entertainment at the cost of the capital. This is what a nation that watched Big Brother will do.
Yes, it's all TV's fault!

Meanwhile, the author of the evidently rather unsuccessful "Stop Boris" blog warns that Johnson's victory will bring out the violent racist in all of us:
With Boris as Mayor and the BNP on the Assembly, we could also see race-hate crime on the increase in the capital for the first time in many years, following years of the capital bucking the national trend with a fall, versus a rise elsewhere.
We could indeed see racist crime rise in London. We could also see the sun darken at noonday (I'm sure many leftists fully expect it to). However, there is no evidence to suggest that the election of people that the left don't like will bring either scenario about.

In any event, as I've pointed out many times before, most racist crime is targeted against white people. So is Mr Stop Boris in fact arguing that all those tolerant minorities will now be going out beating up white people for having the temerity to vote for Boris Johnson or the BNP?

On the subject of the BNP, it has to be said that, owing to the misery engendered by Johnson's victory, Richard Barnbrook's election to the London Assembly has received less attention than it might otherwise have done. But it did serve to further depress the spirits of many leftists. Take this, from the Daily Mirror's political correspondent, James Lyons:
And things look even worse. Forget Labour's May Day mauling and Boris's triumph in London its [sic] another result in the capital that has me holding my head in my hands.

Personally, I suspect that it is not in his hands that Mr Lyons has placed his head...

Richard Barnbrook is the new British National Party member on the London Assembly after the odious far-right party managed to get more than 5 per cent of the vote. They also picked up council seats in other parts of the country.

I met the charming Mr Barnbrook and his travelling circus of slack-jawed goons during the 2005 general election and the idea that anyone could vote for them fills me with horror.
And, of course, pompous lefty hacks being "filled with horror" (as opposed to their normal state of being 'full of shit') is a prospect just too dreadful to contemplate. Remember James Lyons next time you're voting: you wouldn't want to upset him, would you?

But my very favourite display of leftist rationality and common sense came in a comment on
this Times article about Mr Barnbrook's election:

Boris as Mayor and the BNP on the Assembly. This is the worst night London has seen since the Blitz.

Steven Morrison, Streatham, London, UK

Nothing like keeping a sense of perspective, is there?

Saturday 3 May 2008

Government's referendum decision to be judicially reviewed

It is with great pleasure that I read that the multi-millionaire EUsceptic and Tory donor (well, we all have our faults), Stuart Wheeler, has been granted leave by the High Court to seek judicial review of the government's decision not to allow the public a referendum on the EU constitution reform treaty. Mr Wheeler is basing his claim on the government's failure to honour its manifesto commitment to hold a referendum. His application will be heard over the 9th and 10th of June, and, should he succeed, we will presumably get the referendum we were promised.

Of course, being granted leave to apply for judicial review is not the same as succeeding in the application itself. All that has been established today is that Mr Wheeler has an arguable case; whether he has a winning argument has yet to be decided. In 1993 the Tory peer and former
Times editor, Lord Rees-Mogg, was granted permission to seek to have the Major government's ratification of the Maastricht Treaty judicially reviewed, only for the court to subsequently reject his application. Personally, I suspect that Mr Wheeler's case will ultimately end in the same manner, although I sincerely hope that my pessimism proves to be unfounded.

But even if Stuart Wheeler does fail in his attempt to compel the government to keep its promise to the people, his actions may nonetheless do some good, by exposing the government's dishonest and undemocratic conduct. Certainly, he is to be congratulated on his efforts to defend the sovereignty of this country, and to uphold democracy, in the face of a government which seems determined to give away one, and undermine the other.

Plus ca change...

So, Red Ken is gone. And in his place we have a left-liberal who fawns over Muslims, favours an amnesty for illegal immigrants, and declared in his victory speech that London "brings the world together in one city". I'm truly delighted to see the back of Livingstone, but forgive me if I don't break out the champagne just yet.

On the plus side, the BNP's mayoral candidate Richard Barnbrook has been elected a member of the London Assembly. That should be one in the eye for the leftists in all three big parties. The Times informs us that "anti-facist [sic] and gay rights groups have called for protests in the capital in light of the win". There's something rather ironic, is there not, in self-proclaimed "anti-fascists" protesting against the result of a free and democratic election?

Thursday 1 May 2008

Lionheart arrested

Just a brief note to say that the anti-Islamic blogger Lionheart's long-anticipated arrest, on suspicion of "stirring up racial hatred", took place at the end of March, as the Luton and Dunstable on Sunday newspaper reported a fortnight ago. He has since been released on bail, and will find out later this month whether or not he is to be charged.

Hat-tip: Lionheart

I had no idea!

Election fraud driven by immigrants practising "village politics" of the Indian sub-continent could be a crucial factor in deciding the future control of Birmingham City Council, a major report warns today.

Family loyalties, the dominance of men and the existence of the "biraderi" clan system among British Asians provides perfect conditions for widespread rigging of postal votes and other electoral malpractice in Britain’s major cities, according to the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. In a 94-page report called Purity of Elections in the UK – Causes for Concern, the trust argues that the UK’s election system is close to breaking point and at risk of fraud, as the countdown to May’s local elections gets under way.

The study says the turning point in recognising Britain has a problem with election fraud came in 2005 when a court found six Birmingham Labour Party members in Aston and Bordesley Green, all Asian men, guilty of tampering with thousands of postal ballots.

The incident, which Elections Commissioner Richard Mawrey QC said would "disgrace a banana republic", forced the Government to tighten regulations surrounding postal voting, but the reforms were nowhere near tough enough according to the authors of today’s report.

They say: "The Birmingham election court of 2005 demonstrates that the control of a major city council or the outcome of a parliamentary contest could be influenced by the scale of fraud that was rendered possible by postal voting."

The study says numerous convictions for electoral fraud since 2000, when postal votes first became freely available on demand, resulted from incidents in inner-city wards where a large concentration of voters originate from the Indian sub-continent.

It adds: "Significantly, these convictions have emerged alongside anecdotal evidence of more widespread, and long-run, practices associated with Pakistani, Kashmiri and Bangladeshi traditions of biraderi (brotherhood) clans influencing voting behaviour.

"It is widely suggested that extended family and kinship networks, frequently with their origins in settlement patterns in Pakistan and Bangladesh, are mobilised to secure the support of up to several hundred electors, effectively constituting a block vote."

So, are our fearless elected representatives from the three main parties taking action to challenge this pattern of behaviour? Are they distancing themselves from those engaging in such activities? Not a bit of it! On the contrary, we are told that "all of the main political parties have sought at times to gain advantage by allying themselves to a Muslim candidate claiming to be able to guarantee a minimum number of votes arising from their support within a wider clan". This is something that is also evident from the fact that, while the overwhelming majority of vote-rigging cases involve Pakistani or Bangladeshi Muslims, the party affiliations of those involved seem to be pretty evenly divided between Labour, the Tories, and the Lib Dems. More evidence that for all three parties the primary, or perhaps the sole aim, is to get power, while such things as democracy and public service come, at best, a poor second in the reckoning.

Still, it is nice to see the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, a strongly left-wing organisation, which last year donated £2million to the Lib Dems, coming out and acknowledging that certain sections of the community do indeed have a disproportionate tendency to engage in vote-rigging, and that the advent of postal voting on demand has played into the hands of anyone who should wish to subvert the democratic process in this manner. If we're lucky, this might herald a new era of straight talking about the former issue, and the solving of the latter problem by the simple expedient of abolishing the on demand postal vote. But since all three major parties have, for short-term gain, bought into the long-term corruption of the democratic process, I don't hold out much hope that this new era will eventuate.

Hat-tip: English Rose


I've just tried to post a comment on the "ESL pupil numbers still rising" thread, but it has not been published. I then tried posting anonymously (rather than through my Blogger account), and the same thing happened.

It occurs to me that if I can't post comments, then it may be that other people can't either. I have no idea why this is: presumably it's something to do with Blogger. Hopefully it should sort itself out soon...

Update: Having checked again this morning, it seems I can now post comments. Don't know what that was all about!