01 January, 2012


A new year begins

When I leave comments below the line at Righteous blogs and comment fora, appalled readers sometimes follow the link back to this blog. Many of them, it seems, are looking solely or mainly for something to feed their outrage, to imbue a comforting Ready Brek glow of self-righteous indignation and self-certainty. They light on the first thing they encounter which matches their criteria.

Usually, because it is always there at the top of the page, it's the crack in the "About me" sidebar on the left about being "prepared to call a spade a black bastard".

It's actually a call for equality of treatment between Black and White and a statement of intent: I will treat non-Whites on equal terms, and that, folks, includes openly attacking their negative behaviour rather than scrabbling for mealy-mouthed patronizing excuses for it.

But the Righteous don't think about any of this. They see the mild slang "spade" and throw their hands up in horror. And then they see "black bastard" and the delicious pleasure of easy, pious outrage is complete. A warm pre-orgasmic glow of self-satisfaction suffuses their being: they are the decent ones; they are better than me.

I wrote that potted biography after the Dogwash blog was started pretty well by accident seven years ago — I was actually trying to create a Blogger identity to facilitate leaving comments on other people's blogs rather than start one of my own.
Edwin Greenwood is the nom de souris of a Mancunian early baby-boomer, now living in London, who like so many of his cohort has made the transition from cuddly inclusive soft-left liberal into a grumpy old git who is quite prepared to call a spade a black bastard.
The spades and black bastards reference was little more than a rather neat pun that had been running round in my head for a while and I was a bit nervous about putting it in at first. But it epitomizes what this blog stands for, and I stand by it.

And while outrageous Black-on-White racist attacks continue to be mitigated on the grounds that "they are Muslims and unused to alcohol", I shall continue to offend you by complaining about the imbalance, sometimes in rather stark language.

Right, enough of this sententious tosh. As a special new year's service to the Righteous, here's something different for them to get upset about. Let's start 2012 as we mean to go on: with an entirely gratuitous and offensive racist joke.

Mr Wong, a senior Chinese business executive, is visiting his company's interests in Yorkshire. As the train pulls out of King's Cross, Wong settles into his first-class seat and takes out his laptop. In due course a steward makes his way along the carriage dispensing refreshments. Reaching Mr Wong's bay, he calls out jauntily,

— "You for coffee?"

Mr Wong is not going to stand for that sort of thing. Not looking up from his computer, he replies evenly,

— "No, you fuck offee. Me got first crass tickee."

A prosperous new year to you all.

Best wishes to you & yours for the New Year, Edwin.

BTW, as a displaced Mancunian, what do you make of the conduct of the Manc plods re the tragic Anuj Bidve murder ? They seem to have lost it completely, according to this report-

Firstly they designate the murder as 'hate crime', not on any real evidence, but on the 'perception within the community' (whatever that means).
Secondly, they are flying 2 officers out to India (presumably at the local taxpayers expense) to do, er, what exactly ? I thought policing was about the prevention, detection, & apprehension of crime & criminals, and not social work with truncheons added, as appropriate.

I can only assume that the GMP are acting as they are to forestall some sort of diplomatic protest from India (something which is surely the FCO's job, not theirs). I recall how a couple of years ago the Indian High Commission in Canberra kicked up a real stink after a number of racist attacks against Indian students in Melbourne. If a racial motive IS identified in this murder, diplomatic sparks really could fly.

Have a great new year! ;)

"Secondly, they are flying 2 officers out to India (presumably at the local taxpayers expense) to do, er, what exactly ? "

Cringe and grovel over something they've absolutely no control over, the speed of FecesBook vs the average Mancunian copshop's labarynthine processes for making notification calls overseas....

Please continue to call spades as you see fit. You may also call hearts, diamonds and clubs depending on how the game is going.

In the meantime, have a good new year and carry on calling.

I don't know, Mark, the whole thing seems to be running away with itself. The BBC has been reporting on the murder of Anuj Bidve in pretty well every domestic news bulletin since it happened, and more recently even on the World Service. More like medical bulletins from the bedside of a dying head of state than what, with due respect for the personal suffering of the Bidve family, is a fairly run-of-the-mill street murder made more shocking and noteworthy only by its apparent randomness.

My initial reaction to the reports was: outsiders wander into dodgy area; local toughs get territorial and overreact; things go too far.

The Seydou Whatshisface killing in Oxford Street, I notice, has now faded from the news and will only come back to public attention when somebody goes to trial for it.

The very tentative, almost incidental, speculation of the police that there might be a "racial motivation" has been hyped up into being the heart of the case. And yet if yesterday's report in the Mail turns out to be accurate, then while race may well have been a minor exacerbating factor in his hostility, it wasn't necessarily the core motive for the amoral toerag who shot Anuj.

The despatch of senior officers to India to console (or placate) the Bidve parents is frankly bizarre. I think you may be right, TPTB are probably sucking up to the Government of India, as well as trying to reassure the lucrative foreign student market. That at least would be a rational analysis, though IMHO the heavyhandedness of the strategy is more likely to make things worse than better.

One of the curious things about the spate of "racist" attacks on Indian students in Australia, if my ageing memory serves, was that while the public in the UK and India were left to assume that the perpetrators were your stereotypical British-diaspora ocker Aussies, most of them were in fact Lebs — "youths" from the Lebanese immigrant "community".

Edwin-The Anuj Bidve murder & Seydou Whatisface murder did for a while get the same 'billing' on the Beeb, and I'm sure I caught one bulletin (when in a state of slight post Christmas befuddlement)that suggested parallels between the 2 events (2 young men slain in episodes of 'mindless violence' etc.- a view so tasteless, given the, ahem, conflicting track records of the two victims, that it wasn't repeated).If however there is an 'ideal murder' as far as Beeb news values go, the Salford case (blameless ethnic victim, local white toerag assailant) probably has it, whereas Oxford Street clearly doesn't- hence the fading from view of the latter.

The jaunt to India by the 2 GMP bigwigs still looks odd, and may as you say be counterproductive. How do you say (in Hindi or the Bidve's relevant mother tongue) 'Our in-house expert on the Data Protection Act was off on her hols in Tenerife at the time' ? And if you are a grieving parent, what can you say (via a translator)to a brace of uniformed gora in reply ?

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