Friday, August 05, 2005

Holiday ....

We've booked a cottage for a week in the idyllic Welsh village of Pant-y-liner. Unless there's an internet caff nearby (or I get to see my Steiner school mates in Presceli), blogging will be non-existent.

Meanwhile, the Dumb One indulges in a bit of historical speculation. One of the factors in the use of the atomic bombs 60 years ago was the fanatical resistance of the Japanese. Military planners estimated that a full-scale invasion of the mainland would cause a million Allied deaths, let alone civilian casualties. So they used the atomic bomb (an earlier incendiary raid on Tokyo in March 1945 caused more casualties than either Hiroshima or Nakasaki).

Imagine that the US had forsworn the use of the bomb, and fought a bloody battle across both islands, leaving Japan with no towns or cities and five or ten million casualties. What would the Guardian say about this sixty years later ?

Find out.

And finally ... via Harry Hutton, a new literary discovery - James McIntyre, a Victorian Scot whose poems are stranger than the great McGonagall's, being mostly about giant cheeses. Which, apparently, are best made in Oxfordshire.

Fertile Lands and Mammoth Cheese

In barren district you may meet
Small fertile spot doth grow fine wheat,
There you may find the choicest fruits,
And great, round, smooth and solid roots.

But in conditions such as these
You cannot make a mammoth cheese,
Which will weigh eight thousand pounds,
But where large fertile farms abounds.

Big cheese is synonymous name,
With the fertile district of the Thame,
Here dairy system's understood,
And they are made both large and good.

Prophecy of a Ten Ton Cheese

(In presenting this delicate, dainty morsel to the imagination of the people, I believed that it could be realized. I viewed the machine that turned and raised the mamoth cheese, and saw the powerful machine invented by James Ireland at the West Oxford companies factory to turn the great and fine cheese he was making there. This company with but little assistance could produce a ten ton cheese.)

Who hath prophetic vision sees
In future times a ten ton cheese,
Several companies could join
To furnish curd for great combine
More honor far than making gun
Of mighty size and many a ton.

Machine it could be made with ease
That could turn this monster cheese,
The greatest honour to our land
Would be this orb of finest brand,
Three hundred curd they would need squeeze
For to make this mammoth cheese.

So British lands could confederate
Three hundred provinces in one state,
When all in harmony agrees
To be pressed in one like this cheese,
Then one skillful hand could acquire
Power to move British empire.

But various curds must be combined
And each factory their curd must grind,
To blend harmonious in one
This great cheese of mighty span,
And uniform in quality
A glorious reality.

But it will need a powerful press
This cheese queen to caress,
And a large extent of charms
Hoop will encircle in its arms,
And we do not now despair,
But we shall see it at world's fair.

And view the people all agog, so
Excited o'er it in Chicago,
To seek fresh conquests queen of cheese
She may sail across the seas,
Where she would meet reception grand
From the warm hearts in old England.

Our Caring Nation (again)

Makes you proud, doesn't it. Good old Londoners !

And this is pretty impressive.

Neelam Hussain, 36, who lives in the block of flats, said: “It was about 10.30pm, I was lying on the sofa watching a film with my kids when there was a knock at my door. There were three black men stood there and they said they were looking for someone called Kally, or something like that. I said, ‘I don’t know what you mean, there is no one living here called that, there is only me here.’ So I shut the door.

A few minutes later I heard gunshots."

And the police were called ?

Police were called to the flat in Clark Court, Stilton Crescent by a woman who discovered her dead relatives. She notified police yesterday afternoon.

The day after the murders. If no-one had called at the flat they'd be there still. I do love it when people talk about "the community".

Exclusive - That John Tyndall Speech

The late John Tyndall, leader of various far-right parties and fancy-dress aficionado, was at the time of his death facing charges of "using words or behaviour intended or likely to stir up racial hatred".

As the prosecution will not now go ahead, the police transcript of his speech has been made public. I'm sure you will agree that it makes disturbing reading.

"What does multiculturalism mean to the white world ? Nothing except division, disunity, weakness, and failure. Five of your beautiful daughters are in the hands of foreigners - London, Liverpool, Bradford, Burnley and Birmingham. The foreigners are doing to your daughters as they will. The daughters are crying for help, and the white world is silent. And some of them are collaborating with the rape of these five beautiful white daughters. Why ? Because they are too weak and too corrupt to do anything about it. So this is what multiculturalism will do to the whites. Are you ready to have another hundred years like the forty years you just had ?"

"These poor English - ragged people, with their trackies and trainers, with their axes and knives, with the lightest and most basic of weapons - are writing the names of their cities and towns in the stars, with 145 attacks on foreigners every day"

You can certainly see why they prosecuted.

We Are Decadent II

Tory MP John Hayes (registration required) joins the chorus.

Niall Ferguson says 'restore Christendom'.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Walker, Donald, Parker

The BBC have defended the different amount of coverage given to the murders of Anthony Walker and Richard Whelan - a difference they acknowledge.

The BBC has given a lot of national coverage to the murder of Anthony Walker, the 18-year-old boy killed with an axe in Merseyside last Friday.

It made the One, Six and Ten O'Clock News bulletins; there were constant live updates on News 24; and it led the UK index of the BBC News website.

The other murder, however, that of 28-year-old Richard Whelan, stabbed to death on a London bus, failed to make any of the national television bulletins, even in the immediate aftermath.

The reason ?

" ... in fact the two murders are very different. As far as I know, from reading the Press Association wires, listening to the police and reading newspaper coverage, the police are not suggesting there was any racial motive in the killing of Richard Whelan."

Hang on. As Dumb Jon points out, this is a £3bn organisation and its news editor gets her stories from other people.

But in the Anthony Walker case ? "It is this racial element to the crime that makes it different."

Ah - of course. Had Richard Whelan been killed in a racist attack, he'd have got the full One, Six and Ten o'clock treatment, wouldn't he. Just like Kriss Donald did. Not.

I wrote to the BBC Newswatch website as follows - we'll see if there's a reply. Don't wait up.

In responding to the concerns of licence fee payers over the vast difference in coverage between the Anthony Walker and Richard Whelan murders, Amanda Farnsworth says "It is this racial element to the crime that makes it different."

Could Amanda Farnsworth please then explain why the racist murders of 15 year old Kriss Donald in Glasgow and 17-year old Ross Parker in Peterborough never "made the One, Six and Ten O'Clock News bulletins; there were constant live updates on News 24; and it led the UK index of the BBC News website".

Both murders might have been considered exceptionally newsworthy even apart from the racist nature of the attacks - Kriss Donald's because of the vile nature of the assault (the story is not a pleasant read) and Ross Parkers because he was killed 10 days after 9/11 - at a time when the BBC was featuring heavily the dangers of attacks by native Brits on Muslims.

Ross Parker never existed as far as BBC radio and TV news was concerned. The sentencing of Kriss Donald's killers was reported on the PM programme and Today, but nothing was reported until the trial - a stark contrast to the Anthony Walker coverage.

Are there any other differences between the Anthony Walker and Kriss Donald cases which might cause the BBC to give one story big air and the other the oubliette ?

I'm sure there is. Just can't quite put my finger on it. Any ideas ?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Good News

The Anthony Walker murder suspects are in custody. If guilty, I predict a 20-year minumum sentence and no talk about 'root causes'. So, at minimum, should all murderers be treated.

The trial of the (alleged) twisted firestarter commences.

Tory MP Gerald Howarth doesn't seem to want to find out why they hate us.

"If they don't like our way of life, there is a simple remedy: go to another country, get out," Mr Howarth said. Asked what if these people were born in Britain, he replied: "Tough. If you don't give allegiance to this country, then leave."

The (allegedly) toddler-shooting toerag is facing his trial. If guilty, he'll probably get a year or two, rather than the being dismembered and stuck on a spike which was once such a salient feature of Scottish law.

You may remember the case of Carol McMillan, who kicked a grandmother to death in an argument over a parking space, and was punished with the full severity of Scots law - 250 hours community service.

The Scottish Lord Advocate is appealing against the sentence on the grounds of leniency. So she'll probably end up doing six months.

Remember how the appalling wave of Islamophobia (a school dinner lady said something nasty to a Muslim pupil, someone was rude to one of Yasmin Alibhai Brown's mates) that engulfed Britain after 9/11, so distracting the BBC that they missed reporting the racist murder of Ross Parker on TV or radio news ?

It seems to be happening again. While the BBC reports a wave of verbal abuse and headscarf-pulling by the racist, Islamophobic Native Brits, the killing of a Native Brit by a Muslim, two days after the 21/7 bomb attempts, seems to have passed them by. The BBC website has a report (avoiding the nationality of the attacker - who is an Afghan)

"Nowbahar Bahar, 21, of no fixed address, appeared before Medway magistrates on Saturday morning after police had charged him late on Friday night.

The man who died was 32-year-old David Henkel, from Chatham, pictured, who was taken to hospital after an incident in Bank Street, Luton on Saturday, July 23. He died of head injuries on Tuesday.

Bahar, who moved to England from Afghanistan, was flanked by an interpreter and two guards.

He spoke only once to give his name and sat silently for the rest of the 10-minute court hearing.

He was remanded in custody and will appear before Maidstone Crown Court on Friday."

UPDATE - Expat Yank points out - and rightly so - that 52 people were killed and 700 injured in religiously motivated hate crimes last month.


Older readers may remember that once upon a time not being racist consisted of treating people the same whatever their colour or creed. The idea being to judge them by the content of their character, skin colour being of no more significance than eye colour. Note also my elision of faith and race - after all, if it's good enough for the Government ...

Those were the days. Via Prof Bunyip and the Dumb One, an "18-point guide issued by Bedfordshire Police lists dos and don'ts when dealing with Muslims who are suspected of terrorist or drugs offences."

Police have been told to take their shoes off and not use sniffer dogs when raiding Muslim homes.

I think the Competition Commission should be called in. The fact that sniffer dogs can't be used against Muslim dealers surely gives them an advantage over dealers from other faith communities.

"The guidelines state that 'the Muslim community feels victimised and suspicious of counter terrorist police operations and in the current climate a search at a British Muslim household has the potential to become a critical incident and come under intense scrutiny'.

It then lists 18 points police officers should note.

These include:

• Rapid entry needs to be the last resort and raids into Muslim houses are discouraged for a number of religious dignity reasons.

• Police should seek to avoid looking at unclad Muslim women and allow them an opportunity to dress and cover their heads.

• For reasons of dignity officers should seek to avoid entering occupied bedrooms and bathrooms even before dawn.

• Use of police dogs will be considered serious desecration of the premises and may necessitate extensive cleaning of the house and disposal of household items.

• Advice should be sought before considering the use of cameras and camcorders due to the risk of capturing individuals, especially women, in inappropriate dress.

• Muslim prisoners should be allowed to take additional clothing to the station.

• If people are praying at home officers should stand aside and not disrupt the prayer. They should be allowed the opportunity to finish.

• Officers should not take shoes into the houses, especially in areas that might be kept pure for prayer purposes.

• In the current climate the justification for pre-dawn raids on Muslim houses needs to be clear and transparent.

• Non-Muslims are not allowed to touch holy books, Qurans or religious artefacts without permission. Where possible, Muslim officers in a state of 'Wudhu' (preparation before prayer) should be used for this purpose.

(Note - just the same way that only Catholic officers who have been shriven and received the Sacraments are used on raids against suspected Irish republican terrorists - LT)

Chairman of Luton Council of Faiths, Zafar Khan, welcomed the guidelines but said the police should deal with all faiths sensitively.

He said: "Guidelines on how to deal and interact with the community in all faiths should be welcomed.

"It's a question of being sensitive and informed and if that makes the policing more effective and more sensitive that has to be a good thing."

Abdul Malik, chairman of Luton Race Advisory Forum, said it had been in discussions with the police about how to raid houses before the London bombing campaign.

He said: "The police need to be sensitive when they are going into the homes of everybody - not just Muslims.

"They should keep respect. Some Hindus and Sikhs have a place or a room devoted to prayer and that should be respected too."

A Bedfordshire Police spokesman said: "The guidelines are regularly issued to all staff as a reminder of the force protocol when entering a Muslim household.

"We take very seriously the culture surrounding all faiths and feel it is important to respect those beliefs, even while carrying out police business. We would like to reassure all communities that any current or perceived tensions, which might be heightened as a result of recent events, will not affect how police deal with Muslims or anyone else."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Updated Google News Counts

Richard Whelan - 37 stories.

Anthony Walker - 518 stories.

Malaysia - New Islamist Outrage

They've demolished the giant teapot.

The followers were taken by surprise when the 40 council workers entered the commune with four excavators and five lorries at 2.30pm. About 50 policemen and officers from the state Islamic Affairs department accompanied them.

Sky Kingdom follower Sulaiman Takrib, 56, said the perimeter wall was the first to go, followed by the assembly hall, the boat, the Dewan Bulat, the Dewan Nasyid, the teapot and other structures.

Hat-tip - Irene Adler

Monday, August 01, 2005

That IRA Agreement

Tell you what, Mr Blair. We'll say something, and in exchange you can do something. Then do something else. How about that ?

The hitherto little-known (to me, that is) Twenty Major sums up the new IRA strategy perfectly.

"We decry the actions of these Muslims for ridding terrorism of its cuddly image, its shileleagh and its bejaysusness. Long gone are the days when Mickey Rourke would be seen dead in the same snug as us."

Those Murders - Google News Counts

Richard Whelan - 20 stories.

Anthony Walker - 347 stories.

Cancel The Operations And Hire An Art Curator

via Bishop Hill, this remarkable tale of the NHS. Not since the legendary 'amputate healthy legs' etc etc ...

A hospital's decision to hire an art curator days after it was criticised for cancelled operations and a poor MRSA record has been condemned by nurses and patients.
Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge has placed an advertisement for the £37,000 a year post in today’s edition of The Guardian, and it also appeared in the Public Agenda section of The Times. But patient groups believe that the money could be better spent on nursing staff and cleaners.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Yes, We Are Decadent And Deserve To Be Blown Up

I named a hint of this attitude in my Bradford post.

Since then Helen Rumbelow in the Times (Mick Hartley disagreed) and now Minette Marrin in the ST. Bel Mooney covered much the same ground ('they say we're decadent - and they have a point') in the Mail On Sunday, though as one who was a leading cheerleader for decadence (then called 'modernity') in her day (approx 1972) I'm not sure she's one to talk.

Gratuitous historical reference : it may be that those of us tempted to think 'better sharia law than the morning-after pill from the school nurse' have a litle of the attitude with which good French Catholics faced the decadent Third Republic and the growing power of the Reich. Many became defeatist, arguing that France's wartime collapse was God's judgement on France.

Doctors Don't Just Want ...

... to starve us to death.

They want to rape our women first !

Kilroy Was Here (but not for long)

Didn't last long, did it ?

Admittedly it wasn't the hardest prediction in the world to make, but told you so.

Racist Murder and White Liberal Guilt

On Friday 18 year old Anthony Walker was murdered in Liverpool, in an disgusting and unprovoked racist attack like the ones that killed 15 year old Kriss Donald and 17 year old Ross Parker.

The murder of Anthony Walker was the main or second item on BBC Radio Four News all Saturday. It was the second item on BBC Television news last night, after the terrorist arrests. High profile coverage continued this morning.

The murders of Kriss Donald and Ross Parker didn't ever make BBC Radio or television news. I'm an avid Radio Four listener and I've never heard Ross Parker's name. The Today programme had one report on the trial of Kriss Donald's murderers and the trial was also mentioned on the PM programme.

The Kriss Donald killing was notable for the horrific and premeditated nature of the attack, the Ross Parker murder because it occurred 10 days after September 11th, when the BBC, Guardian and Independent had all antennae alert for a 'backlash' by Native Brits against innocent Muslims. A racist murder of a Native Brit by Muslims ? Sorry - I can't hear you. On the day Ross Parker was killed this is what the BBC were reporting.

It could perhaps be argued that the remarkable disproportion between the coverage of racist murders where the victim is white (minimal coverage) and non-white (major coverage extending in some cases over years) reflects the severity of the problem. Perhaps black and Asian people are being murdered much more often than white.

The Home Office figures (table 3.6) don't seem to bear this out. Over three years 2001-2004 there were 38 homicides of blacks, 28 of Asians, and 22 of 'other' where the principal suspect was white. For blacks the figures were 87 homicides of whites, 12 of Asians, 11 'other', for Asians 37 homicides of whites, 7 of blacks and 6 of 'other', for 'other' 29 homicides of whites, 4 balck, one Asian.

This kind of data is notoriously difficult to analyse, because of the geographical distribution of ethnic groups. For example, if 95% of the white population lived in areas where they never saw a black or Asian person, it would be unfair to conclude that zero racist murder in those areas equalled zero propensity to racist murder.

But what they can show is conclusively is that in all murders which could POTENTIALLY be racist, white people are over-represented in the victim class and correspondingly under-represented in the 'principal suspect' class. You would never know that if you listened to the BBC.

UPDATE - Who else but the Pub Philosopher also comments. And I'd just like to say that I've no objection to the amount of air that the Anthony Walker case is getting. I'd just like to see all all murders getting that kind of coverage - even if the victim's white. Long ago, when murders were half or a third of todays levels, the BBC reported them all on national news. It would be interesting to know when and by whom the decision was taken to stop this.