30 October, 2010
... as von Clausewitz said in the 9th chapter of the third book "On War" ...Now that is in-your-face citation dropping with class.
It's all Whitey's fault (episode 94)
Mark you the buggers might have well and truly ratnered the country's tourist industry in the process. The Maldivian government must be bricking it. A suitable punishment for the "celebrants" might be for each to be assigned to follow a Minister round with a bucket.
It's the Jimmy Mubenga show
A decision to award the lucrative contract to a rival firm was announced today, two weeks after G4S guards were arrested by police investigating the death of an Angolan deportee at Heathrow.Ah, so the Guardian's fearless campaigning has done the trick, has it?
Tendering for the deportations contract began in September last year and the Home Office had identified Reliance as its "lead bidder" by August. The final decision to award the contract was confirmed yesterday [28 October].Perhaps not. HMG had already effectively decided to give the new contract to Reliance weeks before the unfortunate death of Mr Mubenga. Possibly for reasons of cost rather than performance.
Mind you, I'm inclined to share Rumbold at PP's scepticism on the likely improvement in the treatment of prisoners. I have never been happy with the delegation to the private sector of the state's regrettably necessary privilege of applying force and where necessary violence. I know people who have worked for Group 4 and people who have worked for Reliance and I see no reason for optimism, either in terms of the priorities of the management or, I have to say, the quality of the employees.
Restraint and coercion of unwilling and violent prisoners while minimizing the danger of injury to the prisoner, to the enforcing officers and to bystanders willing or (in the case of the passenger cabin of a commercial airliner) decidedly unwilling, is a highly-skilled task. The general performance and financial priorities of the commercial "security" firms do not encourage confidence here. Enforcement of deportation is essential: there is no point in threatening this sanction if we bottle it as soon as the deportee says, "Shan't!", but it should be done by properly trained Government officers and preferably not on scheduled airflights. Batch the buggers up and send 'em on special flights on properly equipped aircraft, possibly co-operatively with other European countries with similar problems.
To pass or repass with or without horses and carts
As an afterthought, dear old Jel asserts the right to international freedom of movement and reminds us that before about 1900 there were few if any formal restrictions on movement in Europe. This is a fairly standard claim resorted to by the Righteous Left to justify open borders but they always omit one vital qualification, namely that in them thar days of yore very few people actually did migrate across national borders.
It wasn't that freedom of international movement was particularly welcomed or regarded as a "right", it was simply that actively restricting it was not a practical necessity. When continuing levels of immigration sufficiently high to worry the natives began with the arrival of Jews emigrating from Eastern Europe around the end of the 19th century, the UK government acted to impose restrictions.
It's easy to magnanimously grant a right or freedom in the expectation that it will not be taken up. If only one bedraggled African a year pitched up on these shores claiming that his enemies back home were being unpleasant to him, we could all bask in the glow of our vicarious generosity and decency, parading each such "victim" through the streets in a gilded palanquin on his way to a state-funded life of well-deserved luxury. But when modern communications make it practicable for hundreds of thousands if not millions of the deserving international poor and oppressed to turn up, we may need to do a rethink.
In short, Jeremy lad, your observation is a perfectly valid one. But it's totally irrelevant.
Oh, that title. It comes from a restrictive covenant on a house in Manchester in which we once lived. The plot of land on which it was built was part of a larger parcel the owner of which wished to preserve his access options to. And so a strip of land at the back of the house was set aside along which the long-dead original owner of the site, his successors or nominees could "pass or repass with or without horses and carts" at any time. The right was never to my knowledge exercised during our time there. But if the buggers had been riding up and down every few minutes day and night...
22 October, 2010
The machine has started and cannot now be halted
Two boys stood accused of the rape of a girl. All three principals were children aged about 13 to 14 and pupils at the same school. The alleged attack took place at the school during the school day in a secluded room during some kind of free or break period.
During the trial, the alleged victim's evidence was contradictory and in due course she admitted, effectively unprompted, that the dalliance was entirely consensual. A directed verdict of not guilty was returned.
So what happened here? From what the plaintiff specifically admitted under defence questioning and reading between the lines a bit, I'd say the following.
A bit of fairly heavy teenage fumbling went on in that room and the participants lost track of time. In consequence the girl was late for her next lesson. Asked for an explanation she said the first thing that came into her head, claiming that she had felt unwell and had visited the school sick bay for treatment. Of course this is something that can easily be checked, and the teacher did so. Confronted with her fib, the girl panicked and made up a story of forcible detention and assault.
A keyword had been uttered which triggered an essentially automatic and effectively unstoppable bureaucratic process. Reports submitted, involvement of the police and the CPS and of course the eventual trial. A process in which the participants, be they teachers or police or CPS or the principals themselves were powerless to intervene. Particularly the supposed victim herself: having set this fearsome leviathan in motion she could hardly have recanted her lie without what would have been to her unfathomable consequences, could she?
So instead of a bit of further probing by the teachers leading to a lecture on the consequences of lying and a clip round the ear...
20 October, 2010
And the Sanctimonious Twat of the Year award goes to...
MetaBobWords fail me.
20 October 2010 9:38AM
Can I just ask everybody to reflect for a moment on the number of African slaves (roughly 2/5) who died on the crossing to your empire-building plantations, a portion of whose blood is in the biscuit or latte you're consuming right now (....)
Okay, carry on.
Well, not entirely. Perhaps we need a name for this diversionary rhetorical tactic, something similar to Godwin's Law. Howe's Indictment perhaps, or maybe Jasper's Justification, defined as the "invocation of the transatlantic slave trade to justify any negative action or failure of a Black person, however caused".
Update: WhyTheFace adds (09:53)
Any advance on seven. Do I hear eight and eighteen?
PS My mistake - the SIXTH article about this man's death.
Seventh, actually. plus another seventeen non CiF news items and editorials.
Further update: Lacking a substantive contribution to offer, bill40 chips in at 10:40 with an indirect Godwin.
20 October 2010 10:25AM
Just a quick note to all you lovely BNP apologists. Nobody is suggesting that deportations should not happen, just that no-one should be killed in the process.
Exciting, this, innit?
16 October, 2010
Well, that makes a nice change
12 October, 2010
Comparing like with like
Let's leave on one side the pernicious implication that monitored and enforced ethnic proportionality is a necessary concern in a supposedly equal and diverse society, lest we get into an exchange of hot air about the "hideous blackness" of the football premiership, track and field athletics and the more garish forms of popular entertainment.
Let's also leave aside the fact that the statistics quoted in the linked article imply that at working level (wonderful phrase, that!), BME employees are already broadly proportionately represented in local authorities, certainly in the Metrolops.
The article quotes a figure of 31% for the BME population of London (GLA estimate, 2005) as compared with about 15% BME representation at senior ("management board") level. To be honest that doesn't seem too bad to me.
But exactly whom are we comparing?
I don't believe I have ever seen any of the numerous articles whining about the underrepresentation of yer Darkies in appointed senior positions which actually takes proper account of demographic cohorts.
How do you get to be a senior executive? For most people this involves gaining skills, experience and reputation over decades of increasingly senior work in their chosen business area. Native language and cultural skills and native educational qualifications are a big help. Your typical senior executive is in his (or even her) fifties and has spent perhaps 30 years in the relevant field. In other words the current crop are predominantly people born in the 1950s, either born in the UK or certainly living here since, say, at latest early adolescence.
So, then, what proportion of the UK's BME population falls into this category, as compared with the corresponding cohort of the White British population? No, I don't know either. But I'll bet it's a damned sight smaller that 31%, even in London. When I started at grammar school in Manchester in 1959, about 1% of the pupils (literally 6 boys out of a school roll of 630) were visible BME. It is entirely without ironic intent that I can report that that proportion struck me at the time as being "vibrantly diverse" (although that particular terminology had yet to come into use). Even when I came to live in London in 1974 the visible BME population seemed to be about 10% or so. These are the numbers we need to be comparing with.
The more I think about it, the 15% BME senior management presence implied by The Latest's piece seems to be not a disgraceful underrepresentation but a suspicious overrepresentation. Has someone been indulging in a spot of crafty "positive discrimination", perchance?
09 October, 2010
A whiter shade of, er, bollocks
So while fully acknowledging the pernicious legacy of slavery and the ensuing pigmentocracy of much diaspora culture, we need more inter-shade tolerance within the black community. Darker-skinned black people have historically faced more prejudice in their everyday lives, but today the complex issues of identity and belonging affecting mixed-race people can be equally debilitating. Both dark- and light-skinned black people can be victims of prejudice, albeit in different ways.To make sure we haven't missed the point, Lindsay reminds us again that it is, of course, all Whitey's fault:
And let us be clear: black-on-black shadism pales into insignificance compared with the bigger picture of white-on-black racism. But we should nonetheless be mindful of the evils of shadism in any form.
With Black History Month already under way, it is worth remembering that the debate on racism is now far more nuanced; the traditional Manichean polarities of black and white are less applicable than ever.
Cor! 'Squiz' in the comments thread sums this nonsense up succinctly:
- been to college, have we?
Read the whole thing. It's priceless; every last word a gem.
Hmm! Just time for a game of the ethnic victimhood version of buzzword bingo before breakfast, methinks, with a jar of skin-lightening cream as the prize.
02 October, 2010
From our Delhi correspondent
[The building was unexpectedly hot because] the air-conditioning operators had switched off the system because they hadn't been fed.Air-conditioning operators? What, d'you mean punkah wallahs?