28 April, 2012


Is there an election coming up, or summat?

Mr Dacre's massive organ reports a murder trial. The headline reads

and the article begins

A BNP supporter - whose terrifying collection of knives included a swastika-embossed dagger - was jailed for life today for slashing a lost Indian man’s throat on Christmas night.

Sheet metal worker David Folley, 35, was convicted of murdering 36 year-old Inderjit Singh - known as ‘Raj’ to friends - in the early hours of Christmas Day 2010 and will serve a minimum of 26 years.

Now Mr Folley is clearly a nasty, violent individual. It seems a fair bet that his seething, obsessive resentment would have found violent, possibly fatal, expression eventually, and the unfortunate Mr Singh seems to have drawn the short straw.

But what is the link with the BNP that is so significant that it is referred to in the headline? And remember that an awful lot of readers of the dead-tree edition of the Mail will see only the headline and possibly the first couple of sentences of the article before moving on to something else; headlines, and first paragraphs, are important.

Ah, here we are,

Police later found a BNP flyer displayed in the defendant’s flat and seized a t-shirt, with the words: ‘F*** off. We’re full,’ depicting a boat called SS Asylum heading for the white cliff of Dover.

Displayed? What does that mean exactly? Sellotaped to the wall? Professionally framed and mounted over the fireplace where decent folk show off the stuffed head of the rhino that great uncle Albert shot in Rhodesia? Lying provocatively on the top of a pile of dirty underpants on the floor by the sofa?

I've had BNP flyers in the house — and Labour flyers for that matter. They come through the door, mostly at election time. I don't keep the document shredder behind the front door so they are generally glanced at and cast aside but not necessarily immediately thrown out. As I type, I can see a copy of TNT magazine and a copy of Wetherspoon News on the shelf. That doesn't make me an alcoholic Australian backpacker, despite what you might think.

Nonetheless, I think we can reasonably infer from the article as a whole that Mr Folley doesn't like immigrants or Darkies very much. I would hazard a guess that there are other groups that he doesn't greatly care for either. He looks like a bit of an equal-opportunity hater to me, to be honest.

I think we can also reasonably assume that he is "sympathetic" to the BNP, certainly to what he perceives the BNP to be anyway. But to refocus the article onto this clearly minor and incidental factor is not only a deliberate smear but a pretty clumsy one too. Look at the comments "below the line". The rabble readers are neither fooled nor impressed.

Yep, there's definitely an election in the offing.

27 April, 2012



The Gate Clock is the Wetherspoon "outlet" in Greenwich, or Royal Greenwich as the place is now called.  The Gate Clock is a pleasant enough boozer, attracting an interesting afternoon mix of scruffy retired old gits like me, families with young children, bemused looking tourist groups, and students.  Sounds ghastly, innit, but it actually works quite well.

So I'd taken shelter there out of the rain the other day (honest!) and was partaking of a glass of Russian lager beer and staring into the middle distance, earwigging the conversation of a group of students at the next table.  A mixed bunch from various genders and ethnicities.

Then one girl spoke up, "X [referring presumably to someone not present] is gay.  I wish I had a gay friend."  Then she actually sighed.

I'm having trouble getting my head round that.  Does she have a mental points system?  Or does she go so far as to have a "friends board" with coloured flag pins (pink for gay, brown for Asian, etc) in her room?

11 April, 2012


On the structural integrity of Swiss cheese

When a new manager takes charge of a department he reorganizes it. That doesn't necessarily mean there was anything wrong with the existing organizational structure. It is imperative to reorganize in any case; it is a matter of the manager making his mark, showing who's boss.

Similarly, when someone moves into a new home they change it to their liking. A bit of painting and decorating, for sure, but also a good deal of hammering, sawing and above all, drilling. No matter how mature and seemingly complete a house is, a new occupant will always find a reason to drill more holes in its walls.

If I sound a little peevish, that may be because both of the properties on either side of me are going through this process at the moment, and as I write I can hear very loud drilling in stereo.

Which all begs a question.

Departmental reorganizations tend to be cyclical. No structure is perfect; all involve compromise, a balancing of strengths and weaknesses. For example, you are running a large company with national coverage. To reduce bureaucracy and encourage initiative, you reorganize on a regional basis, devolving considerable autonomy to regional and local structures. Great, but now brand inconsistency begins to creep in, and efficiencies of scale, for example in procurement, are lost. So you reorganize into a national functional structure, centralizing specialisms such as operations, marketing and engineering into single, efficient, standardized national structures.

Local initiative is stifled, most management effort is now directed into moving paperwork up and down the chain until a link across to the relevant national functional silo can be found. Intersilo buckpassing becomes an artform.

Management is the art of balancing such extremes to produce a workable if unstable outcome. But drilling holes in brickwork is not cyclical, it is cumulative. Nobody fills in the old holes. If a house changes hands frequently, it will eventually become more hole than brick.

So why don't more houses fall down?

(Hold up! There's a big pile of brick and plaster crumbs accumulating in the street outside, and a council worker in a hard hat and with a very serious expression is looking at the house and making notes on his clipboard. Sod this! I'm away off to see Mr Wetherspoon. "Butelka Lecha proszę, Justyna." (I could ask Google Translate to give me the Polish for "... and a sniff of your apron, if you please", but I don't think I'd trust it with anything quite that colloquial. Probably get me locked up.)

07 April, 2012


Desperate business

(With apologies to the Private Eye cartoon of that name, but the desperation in what follows is surely commensurate.)

All those racist coppers who've mysteriously emerged en masse out of the woodwork. Did you know that they are all mates of Anders Breivik? And BNP sympathizers too? Bastards!

It says so in the Currant Bun, you see.

Cop's BNP shame is new blow to racism row
Met Squad buy badges from right-wing activist

If you follow the link you will see that the article comprises two separate items linked by little more than the insinuation of juxtaposition.

Let's look at the second, almost incidental, item first.

Complaints upheld over 120 officers

Around 120 Met officers faced disciplinary action for racist behaviour since the Macpherson report following Stephen Lawrence’s murder.

Six were forced to resign and one was dismissed.

Gosh, that's a lot.

Hang on, headings are written by sub-editors, not journalists. Does the "faced disciplinary action" of the body text actually mean "accused" or "convicted"? Well, let's give it the benefit of the doubt, shall we? 120 coppers in the Met were found guilty of racism, then. And when was Macpherson published? February 1999. So that's about nine a year.

Of these 120, seven were given the push. What happened to the other 110+, then? "Look, laddie. We don't mind you calling the coons 'coloured people', but don't do it within earshot, eh? Bleeding jungle bunnies are all wired for sound these days, and they're all as touchy as fuck. Now bugger off and don't let me see you up before me again."

Not very nice if it does go on, to be sure, but then again not exactly indicative of a plague of misconduct requiring a Stalinesque purge either, is it?

Then we are treated to an edited transcript of Mauro Demetrio's clandestine recording, the one that was on the telly. I'm not sure what to make of this, to be honest. I've heard the broadcasts of this on TV news, and it sounds to me as if he's winding the policemen up deliberately in the hope of getting some juicy dialogue. I would imagine policemen in London spend a lot of time listening to young Black men who complain about racism and discrimination almost as a conditioned response: the "Is it because I is Black?" syndrome. It must get pretty tedious. The most interesting line in the quote we are offered is

Officer B. Don’t hide behind your colour, yeah.

which does suggest to me that Demetrio is actively playing for a wind-up.

Well, we shall see, shan't we? Or not, as the case may be.

OK. Back to the structure of the article. The first half of the article is not to do with police racism per se but with the case of an officer in SO20, the "counter-terrorism chemical, nuclear and biological search team", who ordered some customized sew-on ID badges for off-duty wear, presumably at team social or sporting events. These presumably not being available from Gadget's Ruralshire merchandizing range, the unnamed copper ordered them from a company called Calder Designs.

Now the leading light, head honcho and a dab hand with the embroidery needles at Calder Designs turns out to be a chap called Martin Roberts. Who? No I've never heard of him either. And I don't suppose the unfortunate copper ordering the badges had, as it goes. Well Martin Roberts, we learn, used to be a fairly senior figure in the BNP. (Remember them? The MSM and the "antifascists" keep assuring us the BNP are a busted flush but somehow can't seem to stop obsessing about them.)

The officer [who placed the order] also did not know that Roberts owned the company, Calder Designs.

confirms the Sun. So, er, why did you mention it then? In fact, what exactly is the point of the story? Oh well, press on.

OK, what have we got. All these (allegedly) racist response officers are in the same police force as a policeman in the specialist SO20 unit who ordered some badges from a company which happens, unknown to him, to be run by an ex-BNP wallah? Looking pretty bad for the Met so far, but how does Breivik fit into this?

I'm glad you asked me that. Well,

The Sun revealed last July that Roberts, in his 40s, was one of 1,000 people sent a warped “manifesto” by Breivik an hour before his massacre, which left 76 dead.

Indeed they did.

Breivik emailed a copy of his "manifesto" to a mailing list of approximately 1000 addressees, says the Sun. Now, I'm guessing here, but cut me a bit of slack. I rather doubt that this was a voluntary mailing list at, say, http://massacres-r-us.no to which interested participants subscribed. More plausibly, I rather suspect, our Anders, a frighteningly methodical chap, had gradually collected the email addresses of people he felt, in his opinion, ought to be receptive to his views and assembled these addresses into a whopping great mailing list. Given the size of his magnum opus, it must have caused a bit of a traffic spike when he clicked on "Send".

Hold on, I get occasionally get emails from distressed West Africans who seek my help in releasing unfeasibly large sums of money trapped in, er, bureaucratic difficulties. I have no idea where they get my email address from; I certainly haven't volunteered it. But no matter. Presumably it means that I am complicit in all manner of "419" advance fee frauds. Oh the shame.

So there you have it. Some police officers are accused of racist behaviour. Those officers are in the very same force as an officer who ordered some badges from a company run by a chap who, it turns out, used to be something senior in the BNP. And incidentally a soon-to-be mass murderer in Norway had got hold of the BNP chap's email address and had sent him, along with 1000 others, a copy of his turgid "manifesto".

Ergo — as we always say on these occasions — Met police officers are racist wannabe mass murderers who will all be popping out for a spot of light genocide and ethnic cleansing just as soon as they've finished wanking over this month's issue of Voice of Freedom.

Clever stuff this journalism, innit?


Separated by one language

Still mostly asleep and half-listening to the Today programme, where a very Saturday-morning "how on earth do we fill up two hours' airtime?" item is in progress about the curious market for objects personally associated with the famous: John Lennon's socks (unwashed), a copy of Viz presented to the Pope on his last visit to the UK, Prince Albert's Prince Albert, and stuff like that.

Then one of the participants offered

We had one of Princess Diana's school rubbers in one of our auctions.

and I suddenly came fully awake as I found myself wondering how to explain that, delicately, to a shocked American fan.

04 April, 2012


(Insert panda pun here)

I can't help thinking that the giant panda is perhaps not the best choice as a poster animal for wildlife conservation. The female comes into season for just two days a year and, according to the hourly bulletins from Edinburgh we seem to be getting on the national news, while Tian Tian is sort of up for it, Yang Guang — how can I put this delicately — is having trouble getting it in because her tail is in the way.

When not, er, cocking up copulation, this monumentally stupid and ridiculous-looking animal, despite its omnivorous ursine heritage, spends all its time subsisting on bamboo shoots, possibly the least nutritious food available.

I think the panda knows it is a joke animal and would quite like to be allowed to just die out quietly. Perhaps we should stop interfering and let it.

03 April, 2012


See you again next week, Abdul?

Pick TV was originally a sort of teaser channel for Sky, showing samples of mainstream shows in the hope of enticing viewers into forking out the wonga for a satellite subscription. These days its output seems to consist entirely of repeats of fly-on-the-wall documentary series in two rather odd categories: vets and border control.

And so it was that, feeling somewhat under the weather and lacking the energy for a damned good rant on the Interweb, I found myself watching re-runs of UK Border Force — a sort of soft porn for racists, some might say.

As well as this infamous caper, the investigation of which was actually filmed as an episode of the fly-on-the-wall doco, there was the usual crop of raids on business premises, searching for illegal employees. (You can get a steady if repetitive supply of local newspaper reports of such raids on MigrationWatch's news aggregation feed.)

In each of the two UKBF episodes I watched on this occasion, the immigration officers actually recognized individual illegal workers whom they had detained during previous raids on other premises. And, to their resigned frustration, they could do nothing about it.

Let's explain the drill here. If an illegal worker is discovered during a raid — clandestine entrant, failed asylum seeker, visa overstayer, breach of visa conditions, etc — they can be detained and deported.

Well, up to a point. They can be detained and deported, quite promptly, if they have suitable travel documents. Which usually means a valid passport. If they don't have such a document, and most of them take good care to ensure that they don't, then the UKBA must approach the distant country, assuming it can be identified, to obtain replacement papers. In the meantime, the illegal is released on immigration bail, with strict instructions that he is not allowed to work and that he must report in to UKBA every two weeks. So of course the miscreant simply disappears, moves to a new address in another town, gets a new cash-in-hand job with a businessman of his own ethnic community, and is never heard from again by the authorities.

So business-as-usual has the process become that illegals don't even bother relocating out of town; they just shift their sleeping arrangements if UKBA knows where they are living and then get a new dodgy job with another local employer.

So the only effective sanction and disincentive against illegal working is the fine which can be levied on the employer if he cannot show that he took reasonable steps to confirm his iffy employee's right to work when he took him on, proving in effect that he was conned by the employee. This fine is always quoted in news reports as a satisfyingly punitive £10,000 per undocumented employee. In fact this figure is a last-resort maximum and typical amounts are £2,000 to £5,000. Which is still a substantial punishment, assuming it is actually paid. I have read news reports of businessmen succesfully pleading poverty: "I cannot pay this, Sahib. My humble curry house which I have struggled so hard to establish will simply go out of business. My numerous relatives who are overstaying their visitor's visas while they obtain free treatment on the NHS who are visiting me for a month or two from the old country will be thrown out into the street."

Even if you don't lose track of the bailed illegals, getting the replacement travel documents from their home country seems to take a remarkably long time. In the case of some fly-blown, war-torn, fourth-world dump where the passport office is run as a business or as a sinecure by one the local dictator's extended family, this might be understandable, but many of the illegals come from emerging superpowers like China and India, where lead times of three to six months are less easy to explain away.

Mind you there is the matter of incentive, of course. Many illegal workers are returning small but steady flows of remittances to their home country. The longer they can continue to work in the UK, the better. Not that such tawdry considerations would hold any sway with the bureaucracies of the respectable middle-ranking emergent BRICS economies, I hasten to add.

It's a pantomime, isn't it? The authorities ritually harass the miscreants but are unable to take effective action. The criminals, for that is what they are, smile nicely, tug their forelocks respectfully and carry on as before.

The only effective course of action is to eliminate the economic benefit from illegal employment and from the employment of illegals. Fining the employers is a good start, in theory anyway. But clearly the disincentive is not powerful enough: undocumented workers continue to be employed. Well, which would you prefer, cash-in-hand no-rules workers from the old country at a pound an hour, or employing the local population at at least £6 an hour plus NI plus bureaucracy? Tempting enough to risk some nark grassing you up to the immigration once in a while, eh?

And there is no disincentive at all for the workers. A mild finger-wagging from the UKBA, then back to work next day.

Clearly the only way to discourage undocumented illegal workers is to take them out of economic circulation. Which means detaining them until their travel papers come through.

Of course, while we are waiting for our beloved leaders to demonstrate that they actually intend to fulfill their promises to control immigration, legal and otherwise, there is something that we ordinary citizens can do. How often have you seen some blowhard banging on about how something "ought to be done" about illegal immigration, just before he cheerfully pops into his local kebab emporium to hand over a couple of quid for a sliced-schoolgirl special with extra E. Coli sauce to some resentful dusky geezer whose English vocabulary is limited to number words and obscenities? Where does Mr If-I-Had-My-Way think the owner of this shop, and the owners of the dozen more like it between here and the cab office, get their revenue to pay Abdul the Comsumptive his 50p an hour?

Just sayin', is all.

02 April, 2012


It pays to increase your word power

So there was I lamenting the irony of below-the-line commenters' poor spelling as I read a CiF diatribe about the evils of grammar schools, when I realized that I had discovered a new word:


Not, as I had surmised, a "close your eyes and type at random" attempt at hypocrisy but a new word, correctly spelt, and meaning "the rule of the underclass".

As in "That's Wayne, you wanna watch him, he's one of the local hypocrats, innit?"

01 April, 2012


A blast from the past

Masochist like wot I am, I was reading yet another bemused article on the week's hot topic — the miraculous reascendancy of Gorgeous George. The piece was at Harry's Place as it goes, and in the comments I came across an interesting quote from the time of George's earlier departure from parliament when he was ousted from Bethnal Green and Bow in 2010.

The quote was from The Times and the original is safe behind Rupert's paywall but I have no reason to doubt its authenticity.

George Galloway was chased out of the East End as his former seat of Bethnal Green & Bow was taken in a Labour landslide by a woman who becomes Britain’s first Bangladeshi MP. Muslims of all parties wept as Rushanara Ali, who spent her first seven years in Bangladesh, spoke of her community’s pride that one of their own had been elected to "the mother of Parliaments".

[My emphasis]

All very symbolic, no doubt, but I can't help thinking that if a White person had spoken of his "community's" pride that "one of their own" had succeeded to public office, there might well have been something of a reaction. Suppose, for example, that that nice Mr Griffin had succeeded in his bid to become MP for Barking and had noted that the pubs of Barking were heaving with happy English folk celebrating the fact that "one of us" was now representing them.

I'm sure Rushanara didn't mean to imply that she would be representing primarily or exclusively the interests of her fellow Bangladeshis. Heaven forfend.

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