Saturday, March 06, 2004

Two Deaths

Anwar Islam was found hanged last week in Long Lartin jail. An enquiry will be set up. The Prison Governors' Association will express regret. The Prison Reform Trust, the Howard League, NACRO and other pro-criminal groups will castigate the Home Office, and their complaints will be amplified by their friends in the media.

Johanne Powell didn't have anyone to campaign for her. She was 19 when Islam beat her to death over a 24-hour period before dumping her body in the street. She had over sixty bruises on her body, six broken ribs, liver damage and a broken arm.

As I think John le Carre wrote, that's not a killing. That's a party.

There are over probably over a hundred charities designed to keep the criminal out of prison or to assist him when he's sent there, from the forty or so 'nationals' to groups like the Quakers.

You can count the number of pro-victim organisations on the fingers of one hand. Does that say something about us ?

And the only one with any funding, the government sponsored (and therefore useless - I don't want a counsellor, I want the offender caught and punished) Victim Support, send people to counsel burglars who've been injured by their victims in the course of a burglary.

(They're also, far from being a campaigning organisation, bound by their rules not to campaign for changes to the law. Strange then that according to this site they wish for the majority of UK parents to be criminalised ...)

UPDATE - interesting one, this. I note the name of ex-Sussex Chief Constable Paul Whitehouse appears both on the 'Children Are Unbeatable' supporters list and as a trustee of Victim Support. He obviously deeply disapproves of any form of physical violence. His daughter doesn't seem to, though. Or did she leave home to find what she'd been deprived of in her formative years ?

I only asked.
Almost Forgot This ...

BBC correspondent Rageh Omar was being interviewed on Radio Five (Julian Worricker) yesterday lunchtime. He was asked what he thought about Saddam. Hadn't he realised, as the US and British diplomatic offensive marched in step with the military buildup, that his regime was doomed ?

I haven't a transcript so I'll paraphrase.

"I think he (Saddam) lived in a world of self-delusion, of fantasy ... he only heard what he wanted to hear and his people only told him what he wanted to hear .."

"He had these ideas that his forces would fight the Americans to a standstill, there'd be a quagmire (sic) - or that the Arab street would rise up as one to support him ... the whole Middle East would be aflame ..."

"He would be able to strike at the Americans and Zionists with some deadly weapon .."

Wasn't a quagmire and the "Arab Street" exactly what the anti-war movement was predicting ?

And doesn't the description of Saddam's mental world match the anti-war movement pretty well ?

Thursday, March 04, 2004

New Young Blogger in Town ...

One Marvin Olasky. Good stuff.
I Told You So ....

MI5 must be writing the BNPs editorial. How else can you account for this ?

All together now - 'No surrender .. er .. and we're all off to Dublin in the Celtic Twilight ....'.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Great Liberal Myths Part 19 - Migration and Crime

Everyone knows that claims of links between immigration and crime are fabrications of the right-wing media, pandering to the lowest prejudices of the brutish Native Brits.

A year ago, Chris Fox, the first full-time president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said "Mass migration has brought with it a whole new range of and a whole new type of crime, from the Nigerian fraudsters to the Eastern European dealer in drugs and prostitutes to the Jamaican concentration on drug-dealing."

"Anger At Police Claim", said the Guardian, quoting refugee organisations who criticised his remarks as "unfortunate and irresponsible". The great Aaronovitch has said that "there is no greater propensity among immigrants towards crime, prostitution and anti-social behaviour than among the population at large".

Our Criminal Justice system must be even more institutionally racist than we thought then - because according to the BBC 10% of all UK prisoners are now foreign nationals. A rough calculation - that's over 7,000 people.

Ah, of course - they're all 'drugs mules' - poor, ignorant women conned and coerced by evil criminal masterminds into swallowing coke-stuffed condoms. Well with "550 Jamaican women, overwhelmingly drugs mules" here - double up for a similar number of equally poor Nigerians - you're still looking at some 6,000 other offenders.

Remarkable. With no greater propensity to crime, they MUST be the innocent victims of our racist society.

Many migrants of course come from societies where crime is much rarer and far less tolerated than in the UK. India has high poverty but remarkably safe streets. In African countries like Kenya and Tanzania it's not uncommon for shoplifters to be chased and beaten to death by bystanders - a custom which would make Saturday morning in Swindon quite a bloodbath - for the first week.

Only last month Joseph Nwabuko was shot trying to stop a robbery. And a son of immigrants, the late and great Tasawar Hussain, was shot dead by armed robbers Barry and Derek Elener in Bradford last year while bravely trying to prevent their escape. Beyond the tragedy of a brave man's death two aspects of this case sadden me.

This morning one of the police officers involved was interviewed by Nikki 'I'm Not A Bleeding Heart Liberal' Campbell on Radio 5. The officer said Hussain was a brave man who had 'just instinctively done the right thing'.

Campbell - 'So you're saying that's the right thing to do - you should have a go'.

You could hear the alarms going off in the officer's mind. 'Er, well - members of the public should not attempt to stop armed robberies - they should call the police'.

What kind of country do I live in, I thought ? The Liberal Democrats have let me know. Mr Hussain's widow and young daughters will be pleased to know that along with various other useful idiots, the Lib Dems will be campaigning for her husband's killers to be given the vote.

Cuthbertson and Mel P. hand out the ritual shoeing.
Innumeracy At Radio 4

Caroline Quinn on the Today programme, fronting an item about whether advertising of food (well, the wrong sort of food anyway) should be banned :

"Studies show that children who watch more adverts for these foods are more likely to be overweight - so that's pretty conclusive".

Maybe it shows that children who are sat in front of a TV for long periods tend to be overweight. Cos they're sat in front of a TV.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

The Glorious Iraqi Resistance

Strike another blow against U.S. imperialism. John Pilger and Tariq Ali must be so pleased.

For an Iraqi resistance they seem to have a lot of mates in Pakistan, where 50-odd Shias were killed in Quetta.

(Oh, and the BBC chose to put in their report an email from Christian of Liverpool - "Many of those who protested against the war saw this coming". I well remember all the banners saying 'If you invade, terrorists will kill all the Shias. And Shias in Pakistan'.)

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Dream Ticket ?

Now this is an interesting item. Bush/Giuliani in 2004 ?

Repeat after me ....

Aaronovitch weighs in on the Goodhart brouhaha. OK, not really. He stares at the wall and repeats his mantra.

There's nothing you could disagree with - except his conclusion of 'why worry ?'.

I've got immigrants in my family ... nice ethnic mix on the train ... yes, thank you David. He'll be telling us next some of his best friends are black.

"Most relationships are social constructs and vary enormously from place to place and time to time" - your point being ? A national culture is indeed a social construct, constructed in some cases over hundreds of years. One can also be constructed in a few years - usually a rather nasty one.

"Those who worry about the effects of immigration are missing the point: adaptability is part of humanity". Quite right - humans ARE adaptable. Where David goes wrong is assuming we're infinitely adaptable, and that our adaptation will always take desirable forms. Britain has in the past absorbed many different waves of immigrants successfully. A strong, self-confident nation can absorb and intergrate even higher numbers.

What worries me is

a) the numbers are historically unprecedented - witter about the Huguenots and Flemish weavers all you like, but this is on a totally different scale.
b) we haven't got a strong and self-confident national culture - or 'narrative' as the sociologists would say. Quite the opposite.

Keep those eyes tight shut and keep blaming the Daily Mail, or in this case the Express.