Saturday, April 03, 2004

Islamofascism ?

BNP leader Nick Griffin in the Spectator (registration required).

"I’m not necessarily saying that our ways are superior to those of Islam. In many ways they do things better than us, in my opinion. For example, they’ll cut the hands off five or six thieves a year, and as a result virtually none of their elderly folk are burgled in their own home by some scumbag who pushes them over and they die from shock a year later. So we’re squeamish about five scumbags having their hands cut off, and we’re not at all squeamish about hundreds of our pensioners dying in misery as a result of a few scumbags running around. Islam can teach us a lot."

Trouble is I think I agree with him. Scarier still, in a Weekly Worker item on the roots of Hamas ideology, I agree (mostly) with this, by Sayyid Qutb, executed theorist of the Muslim Brotherhood. And with one or two caveats I think Melanie Phillips would agree too.

" ... [the] family provides the environment under which human values and morals develop and grow in the new generation; these values and morals cannot exist apart from the family unit. If, on the other hand, free sexual relationships and illegitimate children become the basis of a society, and if the relationship between man and woman is based on lust, passion and impulse, and the division of work is not based on family responsibility and natural gifts; if woman’s role is merely to be attractive, sexy and flirtatious, and if woman is freed from her basic responsibility of bringing up children; and if, on her own or under social demand, she prefers to become a hostess or a stewardess in a hotel or ship or air company, thus using her ability for material productivity rather than the training of human beings, because material production is considered to be more important, more valuable and more honourable than the development of human character, then such a civilisation is ‘backward’ from the human point of view ..."

Not that there's anything wrong with lust, passion and impulse, mind you. They have their place in a well-ordered society. I hope. Goodnight.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Phew - She's Gone

I had that woman's card marked ever since an interview she did on the Today Programme three years back. As this website says :

"Junior minister Beverley Hughes, now thankfully moved, put up a display on the Radio 4 'Today' programme which boded ill for the future. Interviewed on 17th August 2001 with Frances Crook of the Howard League on the subject of the prison population, she seemed not to have been briefed. Jack Straw - who, if he couldn't 'walk the walk' could certainly 'talk the talk', would have made mincemeat of Ms Crook's arguments. Earlier in the year, when the usual 'highest imprisonment rate in Europe' question came up, Mr Straw fired straight back that he was more concerned about the highest CRIME RATE in Europe that was a direct cause of the imprisonment. Ms Hughes, faced with the same question, floundered hopelessly."

The mighty Littlejohn says it all :

"The truth is quite simple. Labour's policy is to allow in anyone who wants to come here while talking tough and pretending to enforce strict immigration controls.

When rumbled, they tell lies, fiddle the figures and smear their critics. "

Painted with a broad brush, but not unreasonable.

PS - don't expect too much of Ken Sutton's proposed report, if his first one is anything to go by.

"in none of the periods I have examined have I found evidence of the practice amounting, literally, to one of granting every case. Sheffield staff continued to refuse cases even during the period covered by the most recent guidance."

That's a bit like saying the good news is Harold Shipman didn't kill all his patients.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Who Says That Minorities Can't Integrate Successfully ?

From BBC News 'Have Your Say' page.

I think the government has lost it. I am a 2nd generation Bradfordian. The number of new faces I see in Bradford city centre - all eastern Europeans has significantly increased over the past few years. I lose over £600 from my pay packet every month in taxes and when I go to the post office I see queues of eastern European queuing for state handouts without having contributed anything to society. Is there any wonder that there is quiet discontent in the country?

Tendukar Gill, Bradford
You Won't See This In The Guardian

What happens to taxpayers 'investment in communities'.

Aston Pride was formed in June 2000, under the Government's New Deal for Communities initiative, with the aim of tackling crime, poverty and unemployment in one of the country's poorest inner city areas.

By March 2003 the Aston Pride board, which had achieved little, was disbanded on the orders of the Regeneration Minister and replaced by a new delivery partnership.

The scrutiny report warned: "The board of the Aston Pride partnership was plagued with mistrust and hostility that eventually left it dysfunctional and ineffective, despite the commitment and passion of its members.

"It became a battleground between conflicting interests rather than the centre of effort on the huge task of transforming Aston.

"Members of the board lacked the experience, skills and understanding necessary for the effective leadership and direction of a complex £54 million ten-year regeneration programme, and were not provided with effective training and support to assist them in their onerous task."

Oh well. They'd probably only got through £15 million or so before being disbanded. Plenty more where that came from.

UPDATE - I recommend NewStart magazine - most entertaining.
Any More For Any More ?

So immigration controls were only abandoned for 29,000 ECAA applicants per annum who were already in the country.

Oh yes - and for everyone else with an application over three months old.

Oh, we've just found out - and for the other ECAA applicants who weren't in the country. And for applicants from Bulgaria and Romania.

But the BBC are onside as ever. Were a minister in trouble with whistleblowers over Iraq, for example, we'd see headlines like "The government is under growing pressure over the legal position of the war on Iraq". You won't see the Katherine Gun or Clare Short revelations depicted as an alliance of malcontent public servants with an agenda-driven left wing press.

Yet that's exactly what we get with this story. Carolyn Quinn on the Today programme this morning, reviewing the papers "Not unpredictably, the Mail and Express lead on immigration'. The tone is that the only people bothered about immigration are a couple of 'right-wing' papers, and even the Tories aren't really bothered but will exploit the row for opportunistic reasons.

UPDATE - how much worse can it get without a head or two rolling ?

Monday, March 29, 2004

If You Want To Know

a) why immigration and asylum is a mess
b) why large organisations are so inefficient

take a look at this - especially the development plan. This is where your tax goes.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Gotcha !

How long can Beverley Hughes survive as Immigration Minister ? According to her statements Steve Moxon's revelations about the abandonment of immigration controls only applied to one office and nobody senior knew about it. Her claim was upheld by the (internal) Sutton report.

A week ago it was revealed that a senior H.O. official knew all about what was going on at Sheffield, now the Sunday Times reveals that the policy was personally authorised by Ms Hughes.

How do you get out of that ? Well apparently the policy Ms Hughes approved was totally different to the one Mr Moxon was worried about.

Mr Moxon was worried about what appeared to be a deliberate policy of relaxing controls on the entry of people from the new EU 'accession states' in order to prevent the figures from leaping in May and June of this year. Key to this relaxation was a policy called BRACE.

"Under the relaxed guidance, ECAA migrants no longer had to provide bank statements to prove they would be able to afford to run their new 'businesses'. Neither would they need to supply a signed declaration that they would not draw welfare benefits or take ordinary PAYE employment.

Circulated to all staff in Moxon's unit last August, it stated that from then on a special policy called BRACE - a euphemism for rubber stamping - should be applied to these applications. It added: 'As this is NOT a published policy, however, no reference should be made to this either to the app/reps (applicants/representatives) or on the G-CID' (a Home Office computer system). "

Obviously this BRACE is no relation to the BRACE described in today's Sunday Times, which rubber-stamped ALL applications over three months old. Perhaps Ms Hughes is sticking to the literal truth and had no idea that in Sheffield the policy mainly impacted applications from accession states.

"The leaked memo was written by Graham Austin and Moira Bing, two senior immigration officials in the casework directorate at Croydon. It states: 'As there are a large number of applications that are over three months old waiting to be decided, it has been agreed at ministerial level that an enhanced procedure should be undertaken to clear these as quickly as possible.

'This note confirms that the decision in this case has been taken under an enhanced procedure for clearing backlog cases, which commenced on 14 July, 2003. Bill Brandon/Christina Parry (two senior immigration policy managers) have instructed that all applications - as far as possible - over three months old should be granted unless the information available on file is such that it can properly and defensibly support a refusal. Where a case will result in a refusal, the case must be cleared by a senior caseworker. No further inquiries should be made.'

The note adds: 'This exercise has been agreed by the minister of state Beverley Hughes and has Bill Brandon and Christina Parry's complete authority. They will totally support staff on its outcomes.'

It is understood that the memo was shown to Ken Sutton, the Home Office mandarin whom Hughes commissioned to report on the Sheffield fiasco, but no mention of it appears in his report. Nor does Sutton mention that Hughes herself authorised the fast-track policy at Croydon.

The civil servant who passed the memo to The Sunday Times said that the fast-tracking exercise - known as Backlog Reduction Accelerated Clearance Exercise (Brace) - 'resulted in virtually no control on applications'."

Two conclusions - it is pointless believing any figures coming from this Home Office that haven't been independently audited, and that Ms Hughes has only a nodding acquaintance with the truth.

UPDATE - the Sutton Report is typical of reports brought forth by large organisations - surprise surprise, no one is to blame for anything, the mysterious 'processes' are found to be at fault. It does contain the odd interesting item though. How about "over the last year, over half a million cases have been dealt with as general casework", a figure which puts some kind of a scale on the levels of managed immigration into the UK.

But there's a lot of stuff like "in none of the periods I have examined have I found evidence of the practice amounting, literally, to one of granting every case. Sheffield staff continued to refuse cases even during the period covered by the most recent guidance." He's choosing his words carefully, and we can be assured that at least one applicant was refused by Sheffield. So that's all right then.

The conclusions drawn hinge on a meeting on October 13, 2003, between the "Director, General Group", (can we identify her as Paula Higson ?) and the Sheffield managers, in which the Director effectively asked them 'who will rid me of these turbulent backlogs ?'.

"I am clear that there was an element of misunderstanding" says Mr Sutton. Well he would say that, wouldn't he ? I think it likely that Sheffield management understood only too well.

One recommendation seems to have fallen off the report - "Take Steve Moxon out and give him a good kicking. Send the Revenue round and instruct the police to stop his car twice a week like they do with Tony Martin". Must be in the Secret Annexe.

Ken Sutton is the director in charge of ... you guessed it .... Asylum !

Of course the BBC don't have an agenda .... Part 51

The dumbing down of Radio 4 proceeds apace, with Fi Glover following Eddie Mair across from Radio 5. Today's edition of Broadcasting House is presented from New York, of all places. Why ? What's happening there of interest to British listeners ?

"We're in New York for a special programme examining the launch of new, multi-million dollar, US radio network. 'Air America' wants to challenge the dominant right-wing talk shows in the US with a new brand of liberal political shows. We talk to the main players involved and ask can 'Air America' succeed?"

Perhaps they could save the license fee payers some money by staying at home and analysing the BBCs institutional left-liberal bias. Or the total absence of diversity of thought in UK radio, helped along by some of the most restrictive broadcasting laws in the world.