Friday, August 29, 2014

Rotherham, Ending The Taboo On Race.

The simple answer for why the Rotherham sex abuse scandal happened- and why similar cases have occurred in other towns and cities in the UK- is that no one knows for sure although educated guesses can be made.

This is because race has become such a taboo that the problem was not officially acknowledged for a decade and even now most* respectable media outlets start from the assumption that "it is has nothing to do with race" and then work backwards to support their predetermined conclusion.

The reasons for the taboo about prominently discussing ethnic issues exists for reasons that are somewhat understandable. No one doubts that in the past sweeping generalisations about racial groups have been employed by demagogues to whip up racial pogroms or justify treating people as second class citizens because of who they are.

There are more cynical reasons too- politicians wanting votes from ethnic minorities and "community leaders" wanting grants but the aversion to talking about race is sincere in most cases.

There are two kinds of problems with this approach, it is morally wrong and it doesn't work. The truth has a habit of coming out eventually. The strenuous efforts by Rotherham Council, South Yorkshire Police and others to conceal the fact that Pakistanigangs were systematically targeting vulnerable young girls has to put it mildly backfired in a spectacular manner.

Honesty is the only way of discussing race that has a chance of succeeding in the long term. In this case it has to be acknowledged that there is a specifically Pakistani (not "Asian" or "Muslim" but Pakistani) problem that needs to be identified and ended.

* Some media outlets deserve praise, the Times's Andrew Norfolk exposed the problem years ago but was ignored.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Luckily Rotherham Had A Campaigning MP

Throughout almost the entire period of the Rotherham Asian paedophile gangs running amok the town's MP was Denis Macshane. Two of the areas where he was an active campaigner were racism and criminal gangs sexually exploiting people. Yet when up to 1400 young girls were sexually abused by Pakistani gangs preying to a large extent on white girls he managed not to notice it at all.

Another triumph for the worst MP of the last fifty years.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

Plagiarism is an even greater form of flattery than mere imitation. Here's a list of the top 100 jokes from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival that includes such gags as:

10. I had an argument with one of the seven dwarfs.  He wasn’t happy. – Rebecca Humphries

 69. Why don't Africans go on cruises? That's exactly how they got us the last time.- Athena Kugblenu
77. Whats the difference between inlaws and outlaws... Outlaws are wanted.- Joe Bains

92. I believe in gay marriage so that gay people can be as miserable as straight people. – Tom Allen
 All of which I heard years ago, so either professional comedians are stealing jokes from other, better comics or they're recycling material from years ago. In this case I'm pretty sure they're just passing off other people's materials as their own.

Comedians have always plagiarised older material, when Robin Williams died recently, news coverage ignored his inglorious habit of stealing other comedians material. Still it's a bit lame that so many of the "best jokes" at the Edinburgh Fringe are stolen.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Nations Without States

There is a magnificent blog article by Sean Thomas about the Yezidi people of Iraq at the Telegraph and their plight at the hands of the hateful bigot of ISIS.

The current plight of religious minorities in the Middle East* isn't restricted to the Yezidi, Christians have suffered terrible persecution too partly as a result of the Iraq War. If those peoples had a nation that could defend them and provide a refuge they wouldn't be looking at annihilation. Which is one reason Israel will do it's utmost to remain a Jewish state that is strong enough to defend itself against all its neighbours.

* While the Middle East is the current heartland of violent bigotry almost every region on Earth has periods where belonging to a stateless minority has been very dangerous.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

100 Years On

The centenary commemorations for World War One are a chilling reminder of how quickly a continent can slip from a long peace to industrial slaughter. I'm inclined to agree with the current orthodoxy on the causes of the war- that it was a result of German military expansionism.

Whether the UK should have entered the war is harder to say- if the Asquith government had stayed out, Germany would likely have won and an unrestrained aggressive nation could well have threatened Britain- with no France or the Low Countries between Germany and the UK. Yet it's hard to imagine any greater damage would have been inflicted than hundreds of thousands dead that were inflicted.

An awful even but one that offers no easy lessons.

Darling You Were Wonderful!

Alistair Darling seems to have come out on top in the Scottish independence debate against Alec Salmond. Back in 2010 during the Labour leadership contest I wrote:

Who should have stood: Alastair Darling, he is a much more substantive figure than any of the candidates. The economic woes were largely the result of his predecessor as Chancellor and he appears to be an honourable individual (resisted pressure from Brown & Balls to cook the books according to Mandleson's memoirs) apart from a bit of flipping. 

Now, as well as his existing strengths he would be able to portray himself as the saviour of the Union. I suspect that if he were the Labour leader they'd currently be heading for government. Labour supporters must be pulling their hair out when they see how effective Darling can be compared to Ed Miliband.