23 December, 2011
John Terry in ghost sex saga shocker
To support his claim that immediate action should be taken, he cites an earlier incident involving Mr Terry.
Extra-material affair, eh? Bloody 'ell, Nick. You're right, mate. If Terry's been shagging ghosts, he should deffo be banged up pronto and throw away the key, never mind wait for some poncy show-trial.
(*roll of drums*)
(*sharp intake of breath*)
on Match of the Day to refer to footballers of, er, ..., well what exactly can I say that doesn't give offence?
You can't say "Black" because apparently the word itself is inherently racist, unless spoken by a
You can't say, look they're all just footballers, what does it matter what, er, colour they are, because by including them you are discriminating against their distinctiveness, you are depriving them of their special victim status. But by recognizing them as, er, being of that category which we cannot name, you are stigmatizing them and not treating them equally.
A ... well for conciseness and pending the establishment of an agreed terminology acceptable to all participants, let's call them a half-caste and a nig-nog ... offered their opinions,
Ex-Liverpool player Stan Collymore led the protests against his choice of language, saying: "What colour would that be? Blue? Green? Orange?" Former Tottenham player Rohan Ricketts tweeted: "Is this Alan Hansen guy taking the f****** p***?? I'm not coloured??? He is part of the problem when using that word."
Alright lads, you tell us. Given that, let's call them Uncoloured, commentators on the telly are being asked to discuss the issue of racism in ze futebol, what terminology is acceptable to you?
You know, when this was just business as usual, just the priesthood of antiracism trawling for anathema and counterrevolution and extracting penances, it was mildly irritating. But now it's all becoming delightfully surreal, and I look forward to future developments. As Julia is wont to say,
20 December, 2011
One of us, eh?
So that's alright, then.
17 December, 2011
And today on Celebrity Make-a-Baby, Konnie Huq and Charlie Brooker "do it" on the carpet.
Or did I misunderstand again?
14 December, 2011
Just a touch more dignitas, pretty please
But there are limits. And this message from the mail server at Yahoo, after I mistyped the domain name in an email address, is too chirpy by a damned sight more than half. Reads like wot it was wrote by coders at the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.
Hi. This is the qmail-send program at yahoo.com.
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.
Sorry, I wasn't able to establish an SMTP connection. (#4.4.1)
I'm not going to try again; this message has been in the queue too long.
Have I won a week's holiday for two in
13 December, 2011
Well, parse me!
Mind you it's a tricky business, yer grammar. Orthography is a morceau de gâteau compared with your syntax. It's all around us, pressing in, demanding constant vigilance and alertitude. This paragraph in the ever wonderful News Shopper had me flummoxed for a while.
Sikh TV owner? Eh? Was that the unfortunate victim's most salient characteristic? That he was a Sikh who owned a TV set? Poor bugger, can't have had much of a life if that was the pinnacle of his life's achievement.
A little further delving reveals that the late Mr Singh was in fact one of the owners of an organization known as "Sikh TV", so
( ( Sikh TV ) owner )
( Sikh ( TV owner ) )
as I had thought.
Good stuff, this English language, innit? I mean, where would yer cryptic crossword setters be without this sort of ambiguity? Up the boozer crying into their double whisky, that's what.
Sentence of the week
Remember those stereotypical Victorian phrase books containing translations into foreign of everyday sentences like
"My postilion has been struck by lightning."
"My camel has been eaten by wolves."
"Desist from your unwelcome attentions, knave; I warn you that I am a personal friend of the Khedive."
Well, I plan to revive the tradition, and the following splendid sentence by Anna Raccoon (comment No 23) will be the first item in my new work to be entitled
Handy phrases for the lone traveller in Northern Canada,
rendered into Inuit and 30 other languages
you have never heard of
"I believe the Beaver population was depilated, but the Raccoons escaped unscathed."
Keep 'em coming.
Hamleys goes unisex
Well, all I can say is
According to LibCon, our Laura "has a background in neuroscience". Presumably she boycotted the lectures where they taught you how little boys and little girls' brains are wired differently.
It's just occurred to me that in Emma West's blockbuster video, Emma's little boy, who despite the bleating of the Righteous doesn't really seem to be absolutely totally traumatized by what is going on around him, is holding some kind of action man doll. At one stage he aims it, in the manner of a gun, at the Black woman with whom Emma is having a shouting match.
Boys will be boys, eh? Good lad!
12 December, 2011
On the race / asylum / immigration threads, which do indeed seem to glide seamlessly from one into the next, so that they become episodes in a single ongoing thread, I keep an eye out for the first "anyone born here is British" and the first "nation of immigrants", with a bonus point for any post which mentions the Huguenots. Any thread on lax border controls will soon be host to a number of irritated (and totally irrelevant) posts about how difficult it is to settle here legally, usually written by people who tell us about the expensive and time-consuming hoops they had to jump through for their foreign-born spouse to join them here. What that has to do with folk overstaying tourist or study visas I don't know, but these people seem to think they are making some kind of point. On a good day, BeautifulBurnout (an immigration lawyer) will pop up and lose her temper. And if things seem to be going the way of the Unrighteous, expect timewaster KenBarlow to chip in with irrelevant literalist flippancies in an attempt to to trivialize the thread and generally divert attention.
So why do I continue to read this guff?
To be sure there is a certain destructive addiction to it all, in the same proverbially negative sense as banging your head against a brick wall: it's nice when you leave off.
But mainly because of the anecdotes. In among the predictable Yah-boo-sucks, there is the occasional anecdote from personal experience which supplies real data to further the argument and to further understanding. Long-established commenter haardvark for example, whom I remember from Guardian Unlimited Talk days, is always worth a read. I think it was he who offered us interesting insights into the employment of cheap East European labour, displacing wholesale willing local English workers in what remains of our manufacturing industry. And ilovemisty is a regular sparring partner of BB, who as a former immigration caseworker herself knows her stuff.
I keep meaning to collect valuable anecdotes, kidding myself that I will be able to find them again through the magic of the search engine. CiF, unfortunately, doesn't seem to be indexed, at least below the line, so I may have to resort to collecting them into a file as I encounter them.
But in the meantime, as a small public service, I offer an example from Harry's Place. HP, of course, has the infuriating habit of deleting its below-the-line comments after a couple of weeks, so the source for the following quote is unhelpfully bare. The OP, by the redoubtable Sarah Annes Brown, is about honour killings, but the discussion soon wanders onto adjacent topics.
Sarka (or probably more precisely Šárka) is a British woman now settled in the Czech republic. ("Czecho" as I tend to think of it: the left half of "Czechoslovakia".) She comments frequently below-the-line at CiF and also offered this interesting anecdote at HP.
5 December 2011, 9:30 pm
Hi Trespassers Will
Just a personal note on this – which may seem at odds with previous posts but God, I don’t know what to think…
A very good friend from Lancashire told me this:
His sister (whom I don’t know personally, but I know him well and he wouldn’t lie and is no BNP type) is a middle-aged English woman living by herself in semi-rural small but poshish area on the edge of a Lancashire town with large Asian immigrant area between her and the centre.
A few years ago she was woken in the middle of the night by someone (female) battering on her door and screaming for help. She went and opened it. A very young teenage white girl dashed in past her, frightened out of her wits and incoherent – looking both bruised and drugged up. In the road a quite expensive car that had been crawling stopped and two Asian guys got out meeting one that had been running down the road and they all started running for her door. She slammed it and locked it . The girl was cowering in the hall. She didn’t have time to try and ask the girl what was going on, because the men had come up to the door and were yelling threateningly, banging…one evidently now by the frontroom window and rattling it, trying to get it open.
My friend’s sister grabbed the telephone in the hall and dialled 999 – advertising this tactically by talking very loudly so the assailants could here. Having called the police, she ran to the back of the house, just in time to see the girl, who had opened the back door, scrambling over the garden fence and disappearing…My friend’s sister rushed upstairs (the attack was continuing), and saw a couple of neighbours had come out because of the noise…more lights went on in the street, and the Asian guys retreated to their car and drove off.
Talking to the neighbours the woman learned that one had looked out and seen the girl vainly banging on three or four doors before getting to hers…with the car in pursuit.
The police arrived: they were very laid back. They took notes of my friend’s sister’s account, made some remarks about how the girl was obviously one of the Asian’s “white tarts” and it was a bad business but little to be done immediately. A neighbour had taken the car number, which was duly noted.
My friend’s sister is a pushy middle-class type. She wasn’t terribly satisfied with the demeanour of the police and so a couple of days later she went to the police station and demanded to know if any progress had been made in the investigation (they had the number after all) and if the girl, whom she had described, had been identified, because she was very worried about her. Basically, though all her remarks were recorded, she had the impression of being fobbed off – this made her all the more militant, and she started to complain, and suggest strongly that she would be coming back, contacting her MP etc…
Off she went, crossly. And if the story stopped at this point you might think it subject to any number of interpretations – for after all, many people (self included) have experienced the police not exactly jumping to it in various situations…especially in situations that have been dramatic but in which no one has actually been injured or property seriously destroyed.
But the really bad thing came later. A couple of days later, The phone rang and my friend’s sister heard a male voice that did not identify itself – The caller said he was a police officer but calling off the record, and asking her for her own safety not to start making a fuss about the case…He explained that if she made a fuss the people in the racket concerned would identify her and she and her property would be at risk, and that there was nothing the police could do because in the community concerned they had no influence – everything had to be through the “elders”, and on matters like this they wouldn’t co-operate. He tried to stress that the social services had been given her description of the girl and would do the best they could, but she shouldn’t hope for too much – but mainly he was warning her off for her own good, given where she lived…
I would have had a slight scepticism problem with this story (even from an impeccable source) had I not myself, some years before, received a similar “warning off” call from a self-unidentified member of the police when I was helping a Bangladeshi friend in Brighton with a case against a very well-known local gangster (my only brush with the mean streets – I’m no hero). So alas, I believe this report, and its implications are very unpleasant.
5 December 2011, 9:34 pm
P.S. My friend’s sister didn’t take things any further. She was indeed scared. A few months later she moved out of the area right into the country and said she was relieved…
This is the real power of the internet. Not the blustering of the blowhards and the propaganda of the elite machine, but the like-minded discovering that they are not alone and sharing their experiences. That's what has made blogging worthwhile and what encourages me to keep returning to it.
We'll have the bastards yet.
11 December, 2011
Emma West and Rhea Page
The first is that even a retired old duffer like me with too much time on his hands has to keep at least half a foot in the real world, so that he can continue to leech his inflated final salary pension from your pockets (or, depending how you look at these things, from his own accumulated and collectively invested savings — but that's a row for another occasion) in order to sustain the meat entity a corner of whose brain hosts Edwin. The real world (domestic division) has been demanding the meat entity's largely undivided attention over the past few weeks, leaving little time or extended concentration for blogging.
The second is more pertinent. I don't think I'm deluding myself if I say I'm very much a "water off a duck's arse" sort of person. I have, as you may have noticed, opinions, and there are aspects of our society which I greatly dislike, nay despair of, but I don't work myself up into a permanent conniption fit about it all.
The Emma West incident however, exacerbated by the exquisitely timed counterexample of the Rhea Page trial outrage, has left me uncharacteristically incandescent with anger. Bitter experience teaches that rage and self-expression are not a wise combination, so I have avoided committing myself to "print" over these topics.
I am no longer incandescent, though I do still glow in the dark a bit. Pretty well everything that needs to be said has already been said elsewhere, so rather than risk reigniting myself, I will confine this post to throwing a couple of personal anecdotes onto the pyre. For now, anyway.
You don't see him so much these days, the neatherization of South East London and the consequent negrification of the train ridership having reduced his potential audience, but there used to be a middle-aged West Indian chap who rode the Greenwich and Woolwich line trains. As the train approached his stop, he would stand in the vestibule and, in a penetrating basso profundo which would make Willard White himself envious, would apostrophize the carriage at large about our oppressive White colonial sins and how Whitey was responsible for all evil — he was a sort of downmarket Daniel Waweru. It was an outburst every bit as racist as that of Emma West. Or for that matter of her Black antagonist in the video.
Did we attack him? Did we video him? Did we report him to the police? Was he taken into police custody for his own protection and subsequently charged with being publicly unpleasant to White people? No, we ignored him and he eventually "ran down" and buggered off.
I have had an Emma West experience myself, as it happens, albeit at a somewhat quieter level. I recall the Nigerian invasion of Greater Woolwich in the noughties very well. I was still working full-time for a living and commuting to central London, and while waiting on the station in the mornings I would frequently see Africans arriving on the other platform, dragging their wheeled suitcases behind them. OK, I can't be certain they were arriving off the night flight from Lagos; they could just have been migrating from Peckham. But whatever.
So it was that, coming home one evening, I was sitting in a train carriage already filled to the gunwales with Africans when a middle-aged Black couple boarded at London Bridge. They were hauling wheeled suitcases with Lagos baggage tags. I wasn't best pleased and thought "Nigerians!" in a less than friendly tone of voice. Actually, I hadn't just thought it, I had inadvertently muttered it, and obviously not sotto enough voce either, for a young man nearby introduced himself as being a Nigerian and, er, what did I have against Nigerians anyway.
He looked more mixed-race West Indian to me, and his English was accentless British or international, but what the hell, he wanted to stand up for his fellow Black men. I explained that I had no automatic animus against Nigerians as individuals, but that their numbers in my country were too great — by dint of numbers they had ceased to be welcome guests and had become colonizing invaders. A couple of well-behaved nignog families in the district, who obeyed our laws and accepted that they were foreigners was one thing. Most of Nigeria moving in to South London, dancing naked in the streets, opening voodoo clinics and setting up bush-meat takeaway stalls in the bleedin' station car park was a different matter, guvnor.
That was the gist of it. He didn't disagree as such. He simply didn't understand. I might as well have been talking in Martian. He muttered something about globalization and the inevitability of international migration. Our discourse was pointless and was concluded politely but unsatisfactorily.
Oh yes I well understand the reaction of Emma West and others like her. These days I have largely learned to "grey out" non-Europeans in my environment. It still gets through, though, and I have to admit that sometimes when I get off the train I have been known to vocalize one or two choice phrases that wouldn't go down too well on CiF.
And it all gets progressively stranger. The other day I travelled by bus from Greenwich to Charlton. In addition to the usual mob of pushy endomorphic Afrian women and their baby buggies, there was an old man and babushka, dressed in deepest Russian peasant style and with a battered squeezebox. They paid their fares in very small change. She had clearly been shopping while he busked in Greenwich. They'll be setting up fucking yurts in Greenwich Park next.
I have not yet seen anyone attempt to board a bus in London with a goat in tow or carrying a crate of live chickens. But it's only a matter of time.
08 December, 2011
Strange-looking cove, Bashar. Looks like a startled anorexic shoe salesman rather than your standard A-rab dictator. And those rectangular ears are particularly disconcerting. He's not part-Vulcan by any chance, is he?
Mossad is behind this, I tell you. I think we should be told.
04 December, 2011
Seagoon (replying to a taunt from Grytpype Thynne): Lies! I have my dark secrets.
Ellington (interjecting, in exaggerated "Darkie" accent): Man, so do I!
Seagoon: Silence, Ellington. Or I'll have the whitewash brush to you.
I was an impressionable eight years old when this incendiary stuff was first broadcast. To be honest I don't remember actually hearing this specific episode at the time but I was an avid Goons fan and recall much in this general vein.
But me and my mates did not, incited by this sort of vile racism freely broadcast by the B-B-C, wander the streets of Moston looking for Darkies to whitewash or Chinamen to mock.
Would have been a waste of time anyway. As far as I recall there were no Blacks in Moston at that time. None at all. I'm not so sure about the Chinese; I don't think there were any but your Wily Oriental has over the centuries developed the devious skill of being simultaneously both ubiquitous and invisible; they might have been lurking furtively in laundry baskets and coming out at night to eat White children and stray dogs for all I know. Or some such dastardly native practice.
Actually, the first time I saw non-White people in the flesh was on my first visit to Moss Side in 1959. On the busy pavements of Moss Lane East in what was otherwise a typical slightly run-down Manchester inner suburb, perhaps 5% of the pedestrians were West Indians. And did the 11-year-old Edwin need to be sternly reprimanded by the bus guard for screaming foul abuse and coating the windows of the bus with angry spittle? Well not as such, Lord Copper. It was, to be fair, a new and memorable experience which I still recall clearly. But I'm sorry to disappoint any Righteous readers, for a fairly accurate verbalization of my reaction to this unfamiliar sight would be "Oh, those are Black people, are they? OK then."
If it helps any, I do remember feeling slightly hostile to a Black lady who got on the bus later that year and sat next to me. She was, like many women of recent West African heritage, of, shall we say, an extravagantly endomorphic somatotype and took up an awful lot of our shared seat, squashing my small frame up against the side of the bus. I would have minded less if the confined space hadn't made it difficult to hold my copy of Kennedy's Latin Primer comfortably; I was trying to revise my amo, amas, amat at the time.
Things have changed in the succeeding 50-odd years. Whether or not for the better I leave to the reader to judge.