Sunday 26 April 2015

Aggravated crimes

Further to Craig’s excellent review of this morning’s Andrew Marr, I thought Boris’s performance was a bit of an anticlimax. His most notable quality is his refusal to be intimidated by the Marrs and Paxos of the media world when they turn on that haughty superiority (in Paxo’s case) and a kind of hectoring irritability in Marrs’s, both of which seem to get the better of other politicians.

Boris shares that quality with Nigel Farage, come to think of it. Neither of them are in awe of the self-regarding BBC titans, and they both still manage to retain their personal charm whilst determinedly ‘not having any of it’. 

However Boris was more bumbling than decisive today; the stand-out moment was when he said to Andy something like:  “As a lefty BBC journalist you would say that.”

People should say that more often. As for Ed, well, if he keeps saying ‘let’s be clear’ we can only assume it’s an admission of being unclear hitherto. 

I wish all politicians would stop saying “It’s the right thing to do”. They might get away with “I believe it’s the right thing to do” -  but who needs to be told what the right thing to do is by a politician. Let us decide that for ourselves please.

I do find the constant probing about possible alliances and allegiances tedious. We know premature confirmation of future allegiances would have undesirable ramifications for the voting.  The politician can’t answer in any meaningful way, so why must the interviewer keep trying to wheedle it out? Ed’s outright denial of Labour tying a post-election knot with the SNP was so obviously a tactic that it was pointless.

There is one question I’d have liked put to Mr. Let’s-be-clear.

In the Labour manifesto:  
We’ll take robust action against hate crimeAs a country, we must stand together to eradicate hatred, prejudice and intolerance, rather than letting it spread. A Labour government will develop a cross-government strategy on hate crime, from schools to social media, to tackle the growth in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. We’ll ensure hate crimes are properly recorded, including incidents of Islamophobia, as is currently done with other types of crime.

A future Labour Government is committed to outlaw the scourge of Islamophobia by changing the law and making it an aggravated crime, according to the Party’s Leader Ed Miliband.
“We are going to make it an aggravated crime. We are going to make sure it is marked on people’s records with the police to make sure they root out Islamophobia as a hate crime,” Miliband told the Editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed J Versi in a wide ranging exclusive interview.“We are going to change the law on this so we make it absolutely clear of our abhorrence of hate crime and Islamophobia. It will be the first time that the police will record Islamophobic attacks right across the country,” he said.Labour Party Manifesto pledged to take a “zero-tolerance approach to hate crime” regarding the growth of Islamophobia as well as anti-Semitism. “We will challenge prejudice before it grows, whether in schools, universities or on social media. And we will strengthen the law on disability, homophobic, and transphobic hate crime,” it said.

So what is it to be? Is a Labour government going to make ‘Islamophobia’ a hate crime? 

ASBO for Craig, prison for me? 


  1. The 'let's be clear' seems to be an audible manifestation of the happy warrior mantra, more to reboot himself into saying something that he hopes, by prefacing as clear, it so becomes.

    As you say, it usually doesn't.

    Would't it be nice to have interviewers who say 'Well that was as clear as mud; give it another go without the wretched sound bites'

  2. To me, born before the Ministry of Truth imposed New Speak/New Think, 'Islamophobia' means 'fear of Islam'. Since 9/11, I have been guilty of this 'crime' every time I have boarded an aeroplane. Miliband had better send his commissars round to arrest me now; never mind, I shall be in good company.

  3. Ugh, they're all too chummy. Boris may talk a good game, but he's soft-center establishment in the end. Can't stomach this sickening display, wouldn't vote for any of them. Four bars of the lame music and I'm switching to Concertzender for some early music instead.

  4. This is a very sinister development. And remember - Theresa May also wants to crack down on "Islamophobia".

  5. Rod Liddle will probably receive a knock on the door too.

    One of the traditional spectacles of elections in the UK, which everyone thoroughly enjoys, is watching a south Asian man staggering to the post office carrying a huge sack of fraudulent postal votes. Will he get there or instead collapse under the weight? Will the authorities nab him as he hands over all those forged or coerced signatures?

    The answer to these questions is invariably yes, he will make it, and no, the authorities won’t even raise an eyebrow. This will happen up and down the land as May 7 approaches — in certain places, certain towns and cities.

    If the journalists do their digging around we may find out about it six or seven years hence, and then we can wring our hands about how on earth we could let this sort of thing happen, such an affront to democracy and so on.

    We will feel the same sense of outrage we experienced when we learnt about the organised sexual exploitation of children by gangs of vile men — again, up and down the country. And now I come to think of it, that all happened in precisely the same certain places, certain towns and cities.

    The Caliphate of Tower Hamlets is in mourning this weekend over the public disgrace of its former mayor, Lutfur Rahman. Poor old Lutfur has been kicked out of office by an election commissioner in the High Court, after he was found guilty of electoral fraud on a quite magnificent level.

    Those who dared to disagree with Lutfur were branded racist or Islamophobic. Postal votes were forged. Opponents were intimidated at ballot stations. Lutfur bunged council grants — or “bribes” as we in the West call them — to secure support for his party, Tower Hamlets First.

    Ruthless, corrupt, dishonest — these are just some of the descriptions of Mr Rahman’s five-year tenure as mayor. He also got the local imams to demand that their thousands of worshippers vote for him. In short, he had imported the vibrant electoral practices of the Third World to a little corner of Britain.

    Along the way he was ably supported by the usual raft of useful idiots — Ken Livingstone, for example, and the Nuff Respec’ Bruv party, led by the charming George Galloway.

    George is up for re-election as an MP on May 7 and will probably crawl back in on the Allah block vote. That’s in Bradford West, by the way, where Galloway has already been accused of putting out vile smears about his Labour opponent in that seat.

    Lutfur Rahman was eventually brought to book because journalists and bloggers hammered away at him, not worrying too much about being called racist and Islamophobic.

    For way too long the authorities did nothing whatsoever, terrified they might suffer similar, career-destroying slights. Much as the authorities were inclined to turn a blind eye to the numerous allegations about the sexual abuse of children by Pakistani gangs in Rotherham, Burnley, Oldham, Blackburn and too many other similarly, uh, diverse places to mention.

    It is the same principle at work: don’t delve too deeply. It’s their culture, isn’t it? It’s racist to single them out for investigation. And so the abuse went on.

    There have been reports of widespread postal voting fraud for years now. In Bradford, Oldham, Burnley, Kirklees, Slough, Walsall, Birmingham. In cases where action has been taken, the perpetrators are often from the same background.

    Of course, the majority of Muslims do not want to stuff ballot boxes. But a disproportionate number of proven cases of electoral malpractice have been perpetrated by those of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin. If we recognise this, we might be able to do something about it.

    Meanwhile — how about this? Postal votes allowable only for those who cannot actually walk. If you can’t be arsed to go to the poll, or can’t read English, then don’t vote.

    1. Who cannot walk or are (temporarily) out of the country at the time (plane/ferry tickets required as proof) - I confess to a vested interest here, as I write from rain-swept Normandy.


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