Sunday, May 31, 2009

Busy ...

And I'd hoped to write a long 'where we are now' post on the UK political landscape, too.

Fortunately the Pub Philosopher has written it :

... whatever the Telegraph's agenda, you can't agitate people if they are not already aggrieved about something. If there was widespread respect for our political class, there would not have been anywhere near the level of sustained public anger we have seen over the past few weeks. That many of these expense claims are trivial and that many of us have also bent the rules on our expense claims is beside the point because this collective outrage has much deeper roots.

For many years now, people have been feeling increasingly frustrated and powerless. As usual, working class people were the first to feel it as immigration changed the urban landscape, put pressure on local services and led to increased competition for work. More recently, rural areas have found themselves subjected to the same pressures. Then middle-class people began to feel threatened too as their incomes were left behind by those of the super-rich. Their children could no longer afford to live in the areas in which they grew up and higher education, once almost a right, was priced beyond many people's reach.

As TUC leader Brendan Barber explained last week:

Middle-income Britain did not share in the largesse of the boom years. One study shows that real hourly wage rates for median earners grew by only 0.1% a year between 2002 and 2007.

A sense of anger was growing too about the state of public services. Even when they had been sold off, few benefits seemed to come to consumers ...

All the while, people were assured that all this was part of the dynamism that was re-shaping Britain into a global economy and bringing us unparalleled prosperity. Ministers boasted that Britain was the most open economy in the world. Immigrants, it was argued, created jobs and helped the economy to grow. PFI deals and privatisation brought market disciplines to public services and made them more efficient. The rise of the super-rich was good for us as they spent money and it trickled down into the economy. Sure, there were some temporary downsides but the increased prosperity brought by our globalised economy would sort it all out in the end. Public services would improve, immigrants' taxes would pay for the increased demands on healthcare, transport and school places, the booming economy would create more jobs and debt-laden graduates would easily be able to pay off their student loans as the demand for their skills rose.

It still sounded unconvincing to many of us but the soothing voices of politicians and journalists dampened down the feelings of suppressed rage.

Then the dam burst.

Read the whole thing.

Elsewhere a few links I've not had time to blog on :

White Riot in Luton - nasty. While I approve of demonstrating against anti-British bigots, I do not approve of beating up innocent people, be they respectable fast-food vendors of the wrong ethnicity in Luton or respectable fathers of the wrong religion in Coleraine - a disgusting crime.

What was notable - and uncomfortable - was the Daily Mail "recommended comments".

"Good for you. It is about time people fought back ..." rated 2256 - i.e. 2,256 more people rated it up than rated it down.

"The government should know they can only push people so far before they fight back" - rated 2160.

"Finally--let it spread now to the rest of UK" rated 2080.

"This is only the start, it had to happen" - rated 2007.

I've not seen such high ratings on any comments there before.

Fake English colleges - another gaping immigration loophole, if loopholes can gape.

A Home Office investigation is under way today into a Pakistani gang alleged to have pocketed millions of pounds enrolling hundreds of men from the militant heartland of al-Qaida into bogus UK colleges.

One of the young businessmen thought to have helped mastermind the scam, Mir Ahmad, was arrested yesterday, according to a report on Times Online. A subsequent report on the site says he is also alleged to be linked to two murders in Pakistan.

Hundreds of men paid at least £1,000 to the gang to be admitted into sham colleges, it is alleged. Some paid £2,500 for fake diplomas, attendance records and degrees.

This allowed the students to extend their stay in Britain and enabled the fraudsters to make almost £2m in less than two years.

Many of the students are from the North West Frontier province of Pakistan, the heartland of al-Qaida.

Eight of the terror suspects arrested last month in Manchester and Liverpool attended one college, which has three small classrooms and three teachers for 1,797 students.

The Times, which handed a dossier on the bogus colleges and the gang behind them to the Home Office, said another college claimed to have 150 students, but secretly enrolled 1,178 and offered places to an extra 1,575 — the majority of whom were from Pakistan.

A vicious attack in Vienna leads to rioting across the Punjab.

Most of the violence was in or around Jalandhar, which is a stronghold of the Dera Sach Khand, a Sikh sect made up mainly of Untouchables, or Dalits, from the lowest level of the Hindu caste system.

A leader of the sect was killed and another preacher wounded yesterday when higher caste Sikhs wielding knives and a gun attacked the two at a Sikh temple that they were visiting in Vienna, according to Austrian police.

Guru Sant Rama Nand, 57, died in the night after an emergency operation. Guru Sant Niranjan Dass, 68, was in a stable condition, police said. Both had suffered bullet wounds.

At least 15 other people were wounded, including four of the attackers, who were eventually overpowered by worshippers, police said.

Witnesses said that the attackers were fundamentalist Jat Sikhs — traditionally the land-owning farmers in the northern state of Punjab — who accused one or both of the preachers of being disrespectful of the Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism’s Holy Book.

Sikhism does not officially recognise caste and was founded partly to rebel against the system but the concept remains deeply rooted in Indian society, even among Sikhs, Christians and Muslims. The system divides society into hundreds of groups and sub-groups which for many Indians continue to define where one lives, who one marries, what job one does and many other things.

The Dera Sach Khand also differs from mainstream Sikhism on several religious issues, including worshipping living gurus such as Sant Rama Nand, which is considered blasphemous by most Sikhs.

At least some of the attackers were Austrian residents who had asked for asylum, prosecutors said. About 2,800 Sikhs were living in Austria in 2001, according to the last census.


Anonymous said...


most recent immigrants live in the 'inner city'. Most of the young working-class have left london/Manchester etc.

We need at least half a dozen books on all these changes from a more neutral, ie, not left-wing/ multiculturalist, view.

But who will write them?


Rob said...

There was one massive inconsistency in the left-wing argument for immigration:

We were told that the tax yield would pay for the high social costs, e.g. education, health, housing, etc.

We were also told that they were doing the jobs the locals wouldn't do, i.e. the very low-paid ones.

So, how do very low-paid jobs raise enough tax revenue to cover the costs of housing, educating and generally looking after the usually larger families of immigrants? The answer is, of course, that they did not and never will.

I have never seen this raised in the MSM anywhere.

Anonymous said...

''What was notable - and uncomfortable - was the Daily Mail "recommended comments".''

Why was it uncomfortable?

Are you an MP or something?

Gorboduc said...

a)A lot of people seem to be objecting to the wearing of balaclavas by the white protesters.
Those people obviously don't know much about the police's photo-recognition methods.
b) A few months ago I was confronted by some "moderate" moslem propagandists in Guildford.

Self: Would you allow me to set up a Christian equivalent of your little stall in, say, Islamabad?

Moderates: It would not be allowed, no.

Self: Why on earth not?
Moderates: It would not be

Self:You mean the Christian message is already receiving adequate expression there?

Moderates: No, and it could not be. There is no need: it would only disturb the community, which must not be allowed.

Self: so if I went there and tried, you wouldn't extend to me the tolerance that the good people of Guildford appear to be extending to you?

Moderates: You would not be allowed to try. It would upset the community.

Self: So is it for my own protection? Do you mean I'd be attacked, silenced by violence?

Moderates: You would not be allowed to try. It would upset the community.

More power to March for England!

Homophobic Horse said...

In war the first casualty is the truth. The Luton tumult is no exception. I expect the media will spin the conflict as being one of a clash of "extremists", knuckle draggers on one side, "Islamists" on the other. And so the existential reality of what the Luton Muslims are doing remains concealed.

Anonymous said...

Video of the extremist protest

Edwin Greenwood said...

I'm not entirely convinced by the media reports of the Luton "riot". Although there was clearly shouting and intimidation going on, the only violence against the person consistently reported was of a young "Asian" man getting a bloody nose after being hit by a placard. While unwelcome, this is hardly uncontrolled mob violence and rampant racist GBH.

Similarly the Sun speaks of "banner-waving drunks" and other reports refer to alcohol. What exactly does that mean? People getting deliberately tanked up in anticipation of a spree of violent mayhem, or perhaps people arriving in good time for the event and passing the time waiting for everybody to arrive with a couple of pints in the local boozers? A couple of pints of Foster's of an afternoon doesn't constitute fighting drunk in my book.

I've not seen all of the YouTube footage of the "march/demonstration" but such as I have seen doesn't suggest the hordes of knuckledragging thugs and Nazi infiltrators intent on race war that the media reports imply. I have no doubt that there was misbehaviour but I suspect there is a bit of handy stereotyping going on here.

On balance I would say that the cumulative impact of this event and the previous spontaneous response at the soldiers' homecoming march is beneficial.

The authorities have applied the rules of public order and incitement consistently and rigorously to the indigenous population but have responded with unlimited flexibility and "understanding" in the face of minority, and especially Muslim, disorder. Partly on liberal ideological grounds no doubt, but also pragmatically: it is easier to deal with people who respond to enforcement with a bit of backchat than those who are likely to blow themselves up, with the survivors assiduously milking every clause of the Victim's Charter for years thereafter.

Similarly, minority groups have been led to think that the English are pushovers, encouraging them to demand ever more.

The recent reactions in Luton have sent a valuable signal both to the authorities and the more assertive of our minority "communities".