19 November, 2006


Thought for the day

When they make chicken tikka masala, what do they do with the rest of the chicken?

(Hint (sense 4) for readers unfamiliar with English slang.)

13 November, 2006


Tales from the Multiculture

Standing at a bar in the West End of London, listening to a Spanish barman attempting to explain in stilted Manuel-quality English (and resorting to repeating words neither he nor his listeners properly understood in a progressively louder voice to compensate for his lack of vocabulary) the concept of mushy peas, or "mushed peas" as he called them, to a party of puzzled French tourists who wanted to order the traditional English dish of feesh and cheeps.

Ken would have been proud. Lee and Trevor would be annoyed that the barman wasn't a Black foreigner. (Can't have these bloody White Europeans off the Mainland taking the jobs that should go to deserving Somali immigrants, don't you know.) I had difficulty keeping a straight face. Everybody else was just confused.

12 November, 2006


Jon Snow and the poppy

I'm not sure I entirely agree with Jon Snow's stance on newsreaders dressing neutrally and eschewing sectarian symbols such as remembrance poppies and discreet crosses. There's too much of an unhealthy dash of dogmatic laïcité there for my taste. But I respect his right to that position and very much agree with his dislike for poppy fascism. I too wear the remembrance poppy each year – I choose so to do – but I find it cringeworthy that everyone who appears on television or in similar public situations has a poppy forced upon them whether they like it or not and are subjected to opprobrium if they resile. You do get some highly unlikely people sitting on the interviewees' couch with a temporary poppy stuck to their chests; a tediously insincere practice which mocks those of us who wear the symbol by choice and with conviction.

Update Apparently Mr Snow's laïcité is not as consistent as he would wish us to believe.

04 November, 2006


Damage limitation

Something is going on.

My previous post referred to a surprising, nay startling, London Evening Standard piece by Alibhai-Brown, in which she condemns the media imbalance in the reporting of White-on-Black versus Black-on-White violent crime, with a sideswipe at Black victimism to boot.

More of the same this week. In a longer and more prominent piece on Thursday, Alibhai-Brown grovels sickeningly and at length, apologizing for her tasteless and petulant outburst last year against Remembrance Day and the wearing of the Remembrance Poppy.

Earlier in the week, Nirpal Dhaliwal, the Standard's resident Angry Young Wog, banged on about mixed (ie interracial) marriages, and took a swipe at the racist attitudes of Black and South Asian relatives to mixed marriages, while praising the comparatively relaxed attitude of Whites to the phenomenon.

OK, Dhaliwal is a self-important and shallow little prick of little consequence, but taking these pieces together with, for example, Trevor Phillips' repeated recantations of the multicultural creed, I wonder if we are seeing something of a sea change. Are the BME commentariat beginning to catch on to the changing mood of the indigenous population of the UK who are not only fed up of being abused and blamed for everything bad or even mildly disagreeable that happens to the immigrant 'communities', but are no longer willing to accept that abuse and blame in shame-faced, cowed silence?

In short, they see that the game is up and damage limitation is in force. Bring it on!

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