Saturday, September 30, 2006
A spokeswoman for the Commission for Racial Equality said: "Migrant and ethnic minority populations are still below 10 per cent".
Only until the native oldies have died, nursed by an NHS workforce 40% non-native (a Good Thing, don't forget).
From BBC News :
One in eight pupils at primary schools in England speaks English as a second language, official statistics show.
The figures also show the number of primary pupils classified as coming from minority ethnic groups increased from 19.3% in 2005 to 20.6% in 2006.
A similar trend was noted in secondary schools - 15.9% of pupils in 2005 were from minority ethnic groups, increasing to 16.8% in 2006.
I'll check out the DFES figures when I find them on their website - for some reason you have to search hard to find them.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
It's an entirely new definition of "Standing Room Only." Or perhaps a new measure of "equality" has arrived.
Whatever it is, it has sparked a huge political debate at a school in Kristiansand, Norway, according to the Norwegian paper Fædrelandsvennen.
The trigger for the explosion of opinion? A decision in the local district that schoolboys must sit on toilet seats when urinating, not stand.
The business was organised. Like accountants studying tax laws, the the manpower-export experts of Pakistan studied the world's immigration laws and competitively gambled with their emigrant battalions: visitor's visas overstayable here (most European countries), dependants shippable there (England), student visas convertible there (Canada and the United States), political asylum to be asked for there (Austria and West Berlin), still no visas needed here, just below the Arctic Circle (Finland). They went by the planeload. Karachi airport was equipped for this emigrant traffic ...
Abroad, the emigrants threw themselves on the mercies of civil liberties organisations. They sought the protection of the laws of the countries where the planes had brought them. They or their representatives spoke correct words about the difference between poor countries and rich, South and North. They spoke of the crime of racial discrimination and the brotherhood of man. They appealed to the ideals of the alien civilisations whose virtues they denied at home.
And in the eyes of the faithful there was no contradiction. Home was home, home wasn't like outside; ecumenical words spoken outside didn't alter that.
V.S. Naipaul, "Among The Believers"
But Bob's not 100% keen on the label.
"I do not consider myself to be Old Labour. The whole concept of Old Labour was based around a sexism, often racism and more often than not male, homophobic right wing agenda."
Always thought Ian had got that one awry. He's mistaking the Labour left of the 80s with "old Labour" proper. Maybe he's just too young to remember the real thing.
The party of Ernie Bevin and Major Attlee was patriotic, for a start. Bevin was a key player in the 40s and 50s battles against communist influence in the party and unions, as he'd been key to industrial production in WWII.
The Attlee government were quite confortable with the death penalty, homosexuality being illegal, and the sex-based division of labour in the family. A "family wage" meant a wage on which a working man, with a wife at home raising the children, could live.
All anathema to the late 60s and 70s student brigade. Our generation knew better. We promoted the politics of a 1970s/80s campus - 'alternative' politics of race, sex, sexuality. To us the naive, politically incorrect, unreconstructed views of actual working men and women were something of an embarrassment (mea culpa - memories of talking with my steelworker uncles during holidays, the first member of the family ever to go to university, wondering why they weren't better socialists - like me). But the old working class was fast disappearing as the Thatcher years saw the disappearance of so much of our industry - a process which has continued unchanged under the Blair regime.
This process was gradual, not sudden. But when Clause 4 went, so did the Old Labour soul and morality.
Now when Labour supporters talk about 'working class' or 'working people' - they are most often referring to NON-working people - the underclass - unemployed and unemployable despite the boom years.
The idea (and ideal) of the nation vanished around the same time as the idea (and ideal) of nationalisation. After all, there's no such thing as a British nation any more, is there ?
And the family ? Once the working class home was idealised as the co-operative socialist society in miniature. Physical poverty could be overcome - but moral poverty was shameful. Now Roy Hattersley pitches for the Williams sisters.
As Norman Dennis puts it :
"The family as an institution was a concern of English ethical socialists, not prominently discussed only because its virtues were taken so much for granted. It is clear from what they assumed about the family, and from their explicit obiter dicta, that rightly or wrongly, English ethical socialists of the Tawney type, Old Labour properly so-called, saw each successful, decent family, egalitarian in its division of labour and benefits through the willingness of each to be self-sacrificing for all the others, as itself a socialist commonwealth in action. Such families were believed to be both common in the respectable working class and achievable as the norm in all classes. Their widespread existence—as these ethical socialists believed—proved— that it was not ‘against human nature’ to be dutiful and unselfish. No loss of reputation has been swifter or steeper on the left than that of the working-class male: from heroic proletarian father to unspeakable abusive beast in one generation."
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
The court was told that Burnley was part of an all- postal election experiment in 2004. Many voters in Daneshouse with Stoneyholm, which is mainly populated by people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin, had applied for a proxy to cast their vote for them, saying that they were going abroad.
“It was incredible really,” said Dr Taylor, who was then the borough’s chief executive. “There were that many people (195 - LT) all out of the country unable to get to a postbox during that period in particular. We only had 15 proxy applications for the whole of the rest of the borough — 14 wards.
“There were other concerns I had as well when I went through the forms. It seemed to me that there were a lot of similarities about the handwriting.”
Mr Ali, who held on to his seat, told police that his writing appeared on most forms because he had filled in details about voters on their behalf.
As you do.
This story gives little glimpses into the slow appeasement process.
In the council :
Under cross-examination by Paul Reid, QC, Mr Ali’s lawyer, Dr Taylor accepted that the area had experienced a large number of proxy applications when the council decided in 1999 to let Asian women cast absent votes for religious and cultural reasons.
I'd love to know if those reasons were documented. Not being allowed out of the house ? Enabling the husband to control the wife's vote ? Feminism - for whites only ?
And in the police :
As in previous years, most of the applications for proxies were delivered to the town hall just before the deadline. Labour handed in 28 and the Liberal Democrats 167.
Dr Taylor said that the council asked the police to investigate and gave copies of application forms to detectives. The police chose 12 people, all white, whose documents claimed that they were going on extended holidays. None had any intention of going away and the council disqualified their applications.
However, with the deadline upon it, police were unable to check the rest.
Oh, damn ! We've run out of time !
So Lancashire police, faced with 195 applications from an area "which is mainly populated by people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin" and 15 applications from the rest of the borough, chose to investigate 12 people called Smith.
More vote fraud news here, here, here, here, here and here.
A man has been banned from his home town for ten years after terrorising its residents for the past three decades. Mark Bowkett, 40, described by police as the “Scourge of Lydney”, was expelled from the town and the surrounding areas as part of an antisocial behaviour order made at Gloucestershire Magistrates’ Court. It has left him homeless and separated him from his wife and seven children. The order was granted after behaviour that brought him an average of two criminal convictions a year since 1977
Two convictions a year since he was 12. During which time he's fathered 7 kids. I'll take a wild guess that the taxpayer will have been stumping up for their trainers, not to mention Daddy's legal expenses.
Over at Tim's he's asking when exactly the concept of exile was reintroduced to English law.
"Such an advance in freedom, liberty and civilization."I'd imagine it's a major advance in freedom, liberty and civilization for the guy's neighbours. But, as commenter Pete points out, what exactly is the point of moving this nasty bit of woirk elsewhere, to terrorise others ?
"This is nimbyism taken to new heights of selfishness."It seems likely that Mr B will be just as unpleasant wherever he ends up. Whatever happened to "detention at Her Majesty's pleasure" ?
North to Sheffield, where the close-knit Bennett family are an object lesson in caring for their children.
"On the day of the crash in April, Bennett, then 19, had bought the Subaru car for £5,500, using part of a cash payout his mother had received to care for his disabled brother."Your tax money at work, helping the unfortunate (or their brothers, anyway) to buy an Impreza. Young Mr Bennett was banned from driving at the time, incidentally. In fact he'd never held a license or taken a driving lesson.
"Andrew Bennett, 20, had been drinking lager and smoking cannabis before he lost control of a high-powered sports car that he had owned for less than a day.
He was racing at 90mph when the vehicle span and crashed into trees.
Bennett’s girlfriend, Kirsty Cash, 17, was flung through the windscreen of the Subaru Impreza and was found unconscious on the other side of the road behind a wall.
Sheffield Crown Court was told that there was a good chance that Miss Cash would have survived if she had received prompt medical care.
Bennett refused to allow another passenger, Joanne Kilner-Farr, to dial 999, telling her he would “smash her face in”. Instead he telephoned his family and constructed a plan to cover up the accident.
He persuaded his mother’s partner to drive to the scene at Worrall, near Sheffield. Miss Cash was bundled into the car and taken to his mother’s home in the Stannington area of the city, where she was placed on a bed upstairs.
His mother’s partner, Robin Scholes, then returned to the scene of the accident with Steven Scott, a friend of Bennett, and set fire to the vehicle.
Bennett waited until an hour after the crash before — realising that Miss Cash was no longer breathing — he finally agreed to call an ambulance. By then she was dead."
Associating with lowlife can be dangerous to the health.
"Bennett, who is unemployed, pleaded guilty to manslaughter ..."
Unemployed ? You amaze me. Surely not. I'll take another wild guess that the taxpayer has been stumping up to keep the Bennett family in lager and tabs for the last 20 years or so. Also amazingly, Judge Alan Goldsack seemed to think he should have been banged up earlier.
“You are 20 and this is your sixteenth court appearance since you made your first in 2002, aged 16. The majority have been for offences involving motor vehicles. It is too late now to say whether locking you up earlier in your criminal career might have brought it to an abrupt halt.”
Doesn't the judge know you shouldn't lock up anyone under 23 ?
And finally ... let's away to the leafy shires, John Major's Huntingdon no less, where the Oxmoor Estate shows that no matter where you are, the underclass lifestyle can be yours.
"A woman is facing jail after admitting being in charge of the dog which viciously savaged little George Brown.
The four-year-old was in surgery for four hours, needed 200 stitches, and will be scarred for life following the horrific attack on August 14.
Toni Badcock, 30, of Thongsley, Huntingdon, pleaded guilty at Huntingdon Magistrates' Court today (Wednesday, 27 September) to being in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control in a public place and caused injury to George.
In addition she pleaded guilty to three similar charges relating to another incident on May 24 when George, a 14-year-old girl and a seven-year-old boy were hurt.
Craig McDougall, prosecuting, said: "It is an extremely tragic matter we are dealing with. George was savaged and received severe facial injuries."
The dog, which belonged to Badcock's partner Michael Feehily, was said to be extremely large, powerful and dangerous.
On the first occasion on May 24, Badcock was at Feehily's address in Norfolk Road, Huntingdon, and at 6pm she opened the front door and the dog escaped onto the green area outside where children were playing.
The bulldog, called Buddy, started to jump around and the children started screaming, the dog knocked over George, grabbing hold of his foot, and the other two children tried to get him off, before running to a nearby house.
George and the other children suffered minor injuries.
On Monday, August 14 the dog struck again, but this time with horrific consequences.
The court heard mum of four Badcock had opened the front door in Norfolk Road to call her children in at 8pm.
The dog escaped and George tried to run away but fell back and hit his head on the pavement. Someone tried to get the dog off but it kept attacking him.
George was rushed to Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, where he underwent a blood transfusion before being transferred to the facial injuries unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital for surgery.
David Potter, mitigating, said Badcock offered her sincere apologies to the children and their families.
"Mum-of-four". Aged 30. "Partner". Call me a complete old cynic, but I'll take yet another wild guess that the taxpayer may just possibly have been keeping the Badcock family fed, clothed and housed.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
He's a master of the art. Non-stop fulsome praise of the party just wouldn't do the job. It's the combination of the slapping around and "I only do it because I love you so much" that never fails.
The only false note was early on, when at Sedgefield he "sat in the company of the most normal people I had met in the Labour Party", which brought a few murmurs of disapproval. But you have to admire a man who can get a rousing cheer for dissing Cameron's "hug a hoodie" idea - from an audience most of whom think hoodies are poor victims of insufficient Social Services funding.
Great poke at Clare Short, too.
Watching from his sick bed.
Get well soon.
Never agreed with a policy I've had.
Never once stopped him knowing the difference between a Labour Government and a Tory one.
People like Janet Anderson, George Howarth, Mike Hall.
Good Ministers, but I asked them to make way.
Without a word of bitterness.
They never forgot their principles when in office; and they never discovered them when they left office.
The ending - "wherever I am, whatever I do" made it pretty plain that we won't see back-bencher Blair conducting Sedgefield surgeries once a month next year. He's out of there. Those listening to him : "you are the future". God help us all.
It was a fantastic speech, even if I didn't believe a word of it (apart from those bits which agreed with my prejudices, of course) and consider Blair to have been the most disastrously successful election-winner since Stanley Baldwin. Listening to the R5 coverage, the presenters were struck by the supportive texts and calls coming in (the general message being 'they must be crazy to drop him') - unless they were set up by the people who arranged for the idiotic "safer streets" placards to be waved outside the G-Mex centre.
Ah yes, "safer streets". Following the reports on the Blair speech, Radio 5 went just a few miles along the East Lancs road, to Norris Green, where the streets are so safe that R5 was able to report upon what might be a first since the Krays packed up - the enforced closure of shops and businesses along the route of murdered gangster Luke Smith's funeral procession. Apparently they'd been warned in the best tradition of Northern Ireland or the West Bank, that not closing could be hazardous to their health. The same applied to the removal of the fifty-foot floral tribute to the late lamented "Smigger".
A massive shrine to murdered gang boss Liam Smith will remain until his funeral after a deal was struck.
Friends of the 19-year-old, known as Smigger, erected the 50-yard memorial along Scargreen Avenue in Norris Green after he was blasted in the head outside Altcourse prison last month.
It is believed the council was set to remove it, but was advised it could spark community tension.
Shopkeepers today told the ECHO the shrine's removal could have "sparked World War III".
Police were happy for the shrine to remain and said it could be positive for the grieving process.
The shrine could now remain in place for up to three weeks. The ECHO understands it will be taken down after the funeral.
Bouquets are tied to every lamp-post and graffiti daubed on shop shutters to the teenager who led the Strand Crew.
Inscriptions are also scrawled across the length of the pavement including: "See you on the other side, brother."
Huge yellow letters spelling out Smigger have been daubed between the windows of flats.
I like "Police were happy for the shrine to remain and said it could be positive for the grieving process." Is this the same police force that found the manpower to arrest a 78-year old for writing "Free Speech For England" on the wall of a derelict building ?
You can read all about the Norris Green vs Croxteth gang rivalry at the Copper's Blog. And you can see the Strand Gang pursuing their immemorial customs (like Top Gear but with added pump-action shotguns) at Youtube.
Blair's Britain, 2006.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Another aspect of English cultural insensitivity that rears its head in the media is the vexed question of sporting identity. Why is that Scottish sportsmen and women who win are habitually claimed by English media commentators as ‘British’ only to be promptly redesignated as ‘Scottish’ the moment they lose ?
I'm sorry, but I just don't recognise this as reflecting reality. Think of racing drivers, from Jackie Stewart to Coulthard - did they become Scots when losing, Brits when winning ? Andy Murray has some strange politics - but I'd still love him to win Wimbledon. It sounds more as if Cameron's researchers grabbed the nearest (untrue) stereotype they could, presumably thinking that any old tainted red meat is good enough to feed the rabid Anglophobe. Cheap, untrue, and nasty stuff - insulting to the English and to Scots.
Stephen Pollard has a post which sums up my feelings on Tory Blair perfectly. He quotes an Observer writer on DC.
And David Cameron says sensible, liberal, moderate things. Some of them are so sensible as to be truisms . For example: we should consider 'general well-being' as well as gross domestic product when measuring national success; big business has responsibilities to society as well as duties to shareholders; public-sector workers deserve respect; sometimes private enterprise might not have all the answers in public-sector reform; globalisation has losers as well as winners; kids in hooded tops aren't all bad.
As far as I'm concerned, that's a check list of what's wrong with the Cameron Conservative Party. Every single one of those sentiments is the exact opposite of reality. And the electoral need for Cameron to mouth them is the perfect demonstration of what's wrong - and getting worse - about Britain. Business owes no duty to anyone beyond making profits (within the law) by servicing its customers' needs. Genuine globalisation (with a world wide free market) would be the greatest possible boon. The concept of 'general well being' is subjective drivel, and dangerously so in the hands of government. The public sector is necessarily worse at provision in the interest of its consumers than private provision. Etc. As Private Frazer put it: We're doomed. Doomed.
You said it.
Richard Hammond, the Top Gear host critically injured on Wednesday in what is possibly Britain’s fastest car crash, has eaten cornflakes, walked, talked and recognised his co-presenter James May as a “****face”.Via the Old Heatonian :
I first heard of the accident as I was doing a rather pedestrian 175mph in an Aston Martin round the programme’s test track in Surrey. The producer, Andy Wilman, called from the central London edit suite to say that Hammond had had what he called “a big one”.
But there was no sense of urgency. Yes, on his previous run he’d reached a speed of 315mph and there was every chance he’d been doing a similar speed when the accident began. And yes, he’d rolled over several times before coming to rest upside down with his helmet full of soil and his head buried in the earth. What’s more, he had been unconscious when the paramedics arrived.But he’d come round, insisted that he should do a “piece to camera” and had even had a fight with the air ambulance crew who thought that on balance it’d be better if he got on the stretcher to go to hospital in Leeds. Richard’s like that. He spends most of his spare time fighting.
I was therefore not even slightly worried. Nor was I embarrassed that just 40 minutes earlier I’d called his mobile phone and left a message saying: “As I haven’t heard from you, I can only presume you’re dead.”He’d hear it in the helicopter and call me back to say he had just driven 100mph faster than I’d ever managed.