The rioting began after Thursday's shooting, in which two men - one from Nigeria, the other from Togo - were lightly injured. The foreigners angrily blamed that shooting on racism, and groups of protesters stoned police, attacked residents and smashed shop windows and cars. Friday, angry migrants, mostly from African nations, some armed with metal bars or wooden sticks, scuffled with police and residents in the streets of Rosarno. Other residents were holed up in their homes, state radio reported, and schools and shops were shuttered.
Christians murdered in Egypt :
Thousands of Coptic Christians clashed with police in southern Egypt on Thursday during a funeral procession for seven people shot dead as they left a Christmas service hours earlier. The protesters pelted cars with stones and set fire to ambulances in the town of Nag Hamadi, 40 miles from the ancient ruins of Luxor. The riots were sparked by a drive-by shooting. Three men sprayed automatic gunfire into a crowd leaving a midnight Mass to mark the Coptic Christmas.
Christians attacked by Muslims in Malaysia :
The Lancashire town with an 8,000 population - and plans for a 5,000 pupil Islamic boarding school.
There have been more attacks on churches in Malaysia, in a growing dispute over the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims. The police say petrol bombs were thrown at a church and a convent school in the northern state of Perak, and at a church on the island of Sarawak. Another church in the south of the country was daubed with black paint. The attacks come days after four churches near the capital, Kuala Lumpur, were hit by petrol bombs. Religious tensions in Malaysia have increased since a court ruled last month that a Roman Catholic newspaper could use the word Allah in its Malay-language edition to describe the Christian God.
Another extreme right-winger, former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, adds fuel to the flames of hatred :
On the banks of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, the old cotton mill stands as a gigantic ghost-like relic of England’s industrial past. It seems unthinkable that this immense sprawl, a key source of employment for a century and a half, should have been idle for three years.
But an ambitious project to give the cluster of buildings a new lease of life, converting them into a boarding school for up to 5,000 Muslim girls, has bitterly divided the local community.
The eager support of parents of prospective pupils is rivalled by a deep hostility that has been shown in responses ranging from anxious questions in parliament to extreme right-wing allegations of plots to “Islamify” Britain.
We have had to wait decades for this moment, but it has finally happened. A leading British clergyman has said something sensible about immigration.
Lord Carey of Clifton, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, this week signed a declaration by the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration calling for an urgent tightening of borders to stop the British population reaching 70 million by 2029. He also gave an interview yesterday in which he called for a tougher Church. "We Christians are very often so soft that we allow other people to walk over us, and we are not as tough in what we want, in expressing our beliefs, because we do not want to upset other people," he said.
Adn two damn stupid articles in the New Statesman, which moderates its comments but can't afford to have anyone doing it over the weekend.
Jon Cruddas :
Labour, like the wider social-democratic tradition, has been unable to build a counterculture that can offer an alternative ethics of living and working. As a result, it has colluded in distinguishing morally between the "deserving" and "undeserving" poor.
It has ? You could have fooled me, mate.
History has shown us that economic crises generate middle-class panics about a "dangerous" underclass and its racial and sexual transgressions. In the 1980s, the new right embarked on a project to theorise an underclass in Britain. It drew on the work of the American political scientist Charles Murray, whose research had revived eugenicist debates about race and intelligence. Murray was invited to Britain by the Sunday Times in 1989 and his ideas were taken up by Digby Anderson's Social Affairs Unit. The American academic Lawrence Mead was also influential in reviving the belief that poverty was about behaviour and dependency, rather than economics and justice. The problem was not environment, but individual failing. The work of the new right laid the foundations for New Labour's welfare reforms.
Moral panic ! Moral panic ! It's just like the Garotting Panic of 1862 !
(Laban's Charles Murray posts here.)
The government calculated that it could triangulate the Conservatives and subject the underclass to punitive measures without alienating Labour's core supporters. Its refrain of "hard-working families" attempted to codify this division. But the so-called underclass is not a class apart as the new right and the social investigators of the 19th century tried to prove. It is an imagined body of people - chavs, hoodies, junkies - projected on to single mothers, the sick and parts of the working class impoverished by the impact of recession and unemployment.Against stupidity the gods themselves battle in vain, what ?
And something even more weird by one Francis Beckett. Who he, you may ask ? Oh. Not an encouraging upbringing for anyone, really. Poor little rich kid.
His basic thesis - that the baby-boomer generation messed up big time - is one that few would dispute. Even the Magistrate is on board.
I am one of the lucky-sod generation, born just after the war. I have had to cope with economic ups-and-downs, but I went to a grammar school, thanks to the 1944 Education Act, and thence to a university that was flush with funds, and at which I received £360 per annum grant. There were no tuition fees to pay, and a handsome room with full board cost me £6 per week. In the student bar beer was (in new-fangled money) 9p per pint.
The idea that one might have to pay for education, at any level, seemed to us primitive and backward-looking. In the Thirties, my grandmother used to save pennies in a tin in her kitchen, fearfully guarding against the day when one of her children might require medical attention. In the week that the National Health Service was inaugurated in 1948, GPs' surgeries were overwhelmed with patients whose painful and often life-threatening conditions had never been treated or even shown to a doctor. When we baby boomers were ill, we expected, as a right, the best treatment available. Paying for it never occurred to us.
There was full employment, and the slums were torn down and replaced with council housing, built to Aneurin Bevan's high standard. And what did we do with this extraordinary inheritance that had eluded our ancestors, and that an earlier generation had worked and fought to give us?
We trashed it.
It's in the 'why did we trash it' bit that he seems to lose touch with reality. Indeed I can't actually understand what, if anything, he's trying to say. We did indeed 'use up' the manifold blessings showered upon us - but how, exactly ? He almost seems to be suggesting that if only the Sixties had gone on for ever ...
Religion, royalty, government: nothing was sacrosanct in the Sixties, and everything could be questioned. But we used up the time when nothing was sacred. The age of deference seemed to be over, yet the baby boomers, who now run things, have seen how useful deference in for the governing class and are bringing it back as fast as they can.How about - 'we trashed the existing culture and didn't replace it' - save with the dreadful secular liberal nostrums with which our rulers attempt to put back the ruins of the house, so carefully built - no, not so much built as grown organically on the bedrock of patriotism and Christianity, over generations, so easily destroyed in one.