Sunday, May 27, 2007

"Civil War"

At Unenlightened Commentary Ross noted the lunacy of literary leftie Jeanette Winterson on Friday's edition of Any Questions, and the audience response.

The audience being from that dark heart of literary luvviedom the Hay Literary Festival, for which see this old post.

The glorious hypocrisy of the book festival is that this sort of stuff is always spouted in the most socially conservative, genteel places - places which our grandparents WOULD recognise. The chattering classes love to read the new Zadie Smith or hear Benjamin Zephaniah discussing his new book, "Gangsta Rap". They're just not so keen on meeting 'three friends excluded from school who find their strengths and identity through hip-hop' on their way to that nice little teashop.

(An aside - turns out Benjamin Zephaniah's not too keen on it either. In a recent Big Issue interview it was revealed that he's now a resident of rural Lincolnshire.)

I digress. In a later discussion Ms Winterson compared the segregation of native and Muslim in her home country of Lancashire to apartheid, and feared the possibility of civil war. In God's good time you'll be able to read a transcript here, but they've not written it up yet. Meantime the audio is here.

Words fail me. I'm pretty pessimistic about the impact of mass immigration on "social cohesion", but I'm not at the stage of fortifying the house yet. Stuff like this puts her way to the right of yours truly, firmly in the Majority Rights camp, the only difference being that she thinks it'll be 'our fault' for arresting one innocent Muslim too many - a variant on the "if you say they're not peaceful they'll turn to violence" theme - and MR think its an inevitable consequence of competing genes (or something like that).

UPDATE - the transcript's now up.

My background is in the north and the place where I grew Accrington near Blackburn and Burnley is now probably 60% Muslim, it's changed completely in my lifetime. And what I see there now is a huge stand off and I see the BNP making enormous inroads in the place that I grew up, an absolute apartheid and segregation in those towns. And you know white people like me up there now will be the first people to say chuck out the Human Rights Act, let's just get rid of them, let's deport them, everything is wrong. We cannot risk that happening, we'll have civil war in our country if we're not careful, we cannot risk it.

Do you want to come back on that James Delingpole.

Yeah clearly I made an unpopular point but I don't believe that the answer is simply bombarding these people with love. The fact is that they are jihadists are committed to destroying our society and I don't think...

So is George Bush.

There was an underlying theme to most of Ms Winterson's comments. Coercion of 'them' by, say, the police was a Bad Thing and would lead to people fighting back. Coercion of 'us' - over, say, recycling, was a Good Thing and would change behaviour. At one stage she pointed out that the Germans recycled a far greater percentage of their waste - therefore we could do it.

This highly rated novelist seems to have missed one small point. We're not bloody Germans ! If we were we might also have a manufacturing industry, for example.

These new recycling regs have all the potential to be one of those things that light up the moral and cultural scenery like a lightning flash. I think it's quite possible we'll see an orgy of dumping, neigbours depositing waste in others bins - and public waste bins will be filled with domestic refuse each night. Shredder sales will soar as people anonymise their waste. And people will burn more rubbish. That'll help carbon emissions.


Ross said...

Thanks for the link, did you notice how much more northern Jeanette Winterson started sounding as soon as she started talking about Blackburn?

Anonymous said...

At one stage she pointed out that the Germans recycled a far greater percentage of their waste - therefore we could do it.

They also incinerate a lot more too.

Their recycling is subcontracted to China in many areas like plastic bottles, used PCs etc - they are shipped in containers from Hamburg to China or Nigeria and dumped

The woman is right - she is a dim working-class moron from Accrington

Anonymous said...

Spot on, both Laban and Ross! I seem to remember that Bob Marshall-Andrews weighed in on the same side, accusing Delingpole of being "illiterate" (loud audience cheers). Well, I'm not a big Bush fan, but I'd rather have him round for tea than ol' Hooky from Finsbury Park...I don't THINK Bush was behind the July 7 bombings (although I've often wondered about how much Tony and the Israeli ambassador and Peter Power
Wor Jeanette, now. Eeeeeee. I've noticed that a few "professional Northerners" are starting to sound like Gracie Fields on speed. Actressy types boast that RADA didn't wash their delightful Northern accents out of them, but a few of these folk sound as if RADA was where they learnt such things. Apparently radio listeners are being seriously distressed by Ruth in "The Archers". Funny how it's OK to pose as a provincial, a reet Northerner,and sing:
"Thor wes lots o' lads an' lasses ther, all wi' smilin' fairces,
Gawn alang the Scotswood Road, t'see the Blaydon Rairces"
implying that such an approach lends realism and authenticity to whatever PC opinion you wish to utter and then to pour scorn on anyone who wants to speak merely as an Englishman and to stand up for his kin! I suppose it's that "gritty Northern realism" that used t'be all t'rage on t'owld Third Programme. (There's a vague joke hovering somewhere in the back of my mind about the Black Dyke Mills Band: better not go there!)
I thought Hay must have been taken over by Respect members for the day. Perhaps our wee Georgie G. was in amang t'foak, like: didn't sex-change pioneer April Ashley settle there too?
Yes, the Germans HAVE got it right about the Green approach. They fine you a bundle if you put a can in the paper bin: then,as "Observer" says, the plastics go off to poison the Chinese. I'm reminded of the incredible proliferation of Hanging offences that swelled the Statute Book in the Napoleonic period.

Anonymous said...

The Germans have a long history of incinerating things.

AntiCitizenOne said...


Did they bar-code their "rubbish"?

Anonymous said...

I thought Hay must have been taken over by Respect members for the day.

It is sponsored by The Guardian, so yes.

Briffa said...

The Germans have a long history of incinerating things.

3:52 PM

Yes, but today it is rubbish - the British simply store it and memorise it, so Briffa can come online and write it !

Anonymous said...

Well there's an interesting take on the Hay show here:

Strange, if I may say so, that the three literary "Titans", Lessing, Pinter and Miller that are picked out here as being possibly Hay's greatest foster-children are all seemingly associated with a minority culture...even if it's a very vocal one...if they set the tone for Hay, you'd perhaps expect the audience to be a bit more pro-Bush, ie, pro-Israel...and therefore anti-Jihadi, but I dunno, perhaps it's OK just to be anti-English and anti-European (in the cultural and historical sense, not the EU one) and then tout est permis. It's possible that Respect will come apart as a
I tried posting on wor Jeanette's site, just for a laugh, and was astonished at the "perfumed" nature of some of the contributions. Very rum.
Her pic. reminds me of Ruth Kelly's, but that CAN'T be right... Still, no female Opus Dei member, even if she implicitly supports Labour's support for the current abortion legislation, should be seen wearing trousers outside the home.

Anonymous said...

Ethnies, Laban ... competing ethnies. You know ... that imperfectable, irredeemably determined (or, at least, evolved) thing, human nature.

I know you have a human nature. It's no use denying it.

Anonymous said...

You might think they would be a bit more neo-con in outlook but right now muslims are not that much of a threat here. They maybe regard the real threat as someone else

And remember WW2, the one where we 'had' to fight to save them. Its worth looking into how many Europeans (of a certain ethnic/religious background) who found their way to Palestine during WW2 decided that the best way to defeat Nazi Germany was to join the Jewish underground and fight the British. Im sure we couldnt quite work that one out at the time either.