Stupid, juvenile and racist

by Richard on June 3, 2009

As we prepare to go to the polls in the Euro elections, Some Grey Bloke responds to a little canvassing.

If you’re European, don’t forget to vote tomorrow. It’s important. Just DON’T vote BNP.

With thanks to Bishop Alan

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Kim 06.03.09 at 3:13 pm

Or UKIP, which is simply BNP Lite.

2

Richard 06.03.09 at 4:16 pm

Just so.

3

DH 06.03.09 at 4:58 pm

UKIP should not be looked at in the same regard as BNP. I read the infor on the party. They happen to have many a minorities who are part of the UKIP. It seems their views seem pretty cool. I do denounce the small number of members who have “rascist” views but every party has some number who are “racist” however small it may be in number. That doesn’t make it right by any means but a small minority view should not be projected onto the whole.

4

Richard 06.03.09 at 5:23 pm

I seem to recall that the leader of the British Tory Party (David Cameron) once descibed UKIP as a bunch of loonies, fruit cakes and racists. I’m not inclined to agree with David Cameron, but one can find an exception to almost any rule…

5

Kim 06.03.09 at 7:30 pm

DH, I had a UKIP election leaflet through my door earlier today. Its entire spiel is about immigrants, foreigners, taking British jobs, increasing the workload of doctors and teachers, siphoning off taxpayers’ money into schools “and translation”, and - the coup de grâce - putting “massive new pressure on the police” and the prison service. “Romanians,” we are specifically told, “committed 1,080 crimes in London in the last six months.” The goal is to strike fear into native hearts. And observe that Eastern Europeans are always the targets. Why? Because they seem more alien than Northern European nationalities. This isn’t marginal racism, it’s at the sclerotic heart of this vile party.

6

DH 06.03.09 at 8:01 pm

Well, immigrants, taking British jobs, siphoning of taxpayer money don’t seem “racist” statements to me. Nations must limit to some degree the amount of immigration. Now I’m not against immigration out right but there must be some limits and from my observation more than what the UK is currently doing. I do abhore the “Romanian” statement about crime and the harsh wordage toward Eastern Europeans, etc. but they clearly are NOT in the same conversation as the BNP. I do know that the UKIP have minorities who support the party. It seems to me if they were as “racist” as it is claimed that there would be no minorities in the party.

With regard to David Cameron he had no option but to attack the UKIP for political reasons. That isn’t a statement of disagreement towards David Cameron because his goal and rightfully so is to get as many UKIP’s to be Tory and to keep Torries Tory as opposed to UKIP.

P.S.: From reading the London Times on my trip it appears my “man” Cameron will be the next Prime Minister. Also, it appears the Conservative party will take over parliament (if one reads the most recent polls). (Long live the Tory party) While I disagree with his support for the European Union, I will say his response to the MP fraud crisis was immediate and second to none. Much better than Mr. Brown.

7

Tony Buglass 06.03.09 at 8:48 pm

“Well, immigrants, taking British jobs, siphoning of taxpayer money don’t seem “racist” statements to me.”

Doesn’t it depend on why those statements are being made? The BNP does have a master-race ideology; UKIP doesn’t overtly, but works on the “Litte Englander” theory tat we cold do it all so much better than Johnny Foreigner. Now, the first is more deeply racist than the second, but both are racist. Yes, the issue of resources and so on can be basically economic - you could argue that we simply can’t afford the amount of immigration we sustain - but you could equally argue that our wealth was stolen from India, Africa, etc in the first place. (That is a very broad-brush agument, of course, I do know that the actual issue is rather more complex, but I don’t want to write 5,000 words tonight.)

UKIP is too close to BNP for my liking. And I’m not entirely convinced that Cameron is any better than Brown when it comes to the expenses issue. It’s easy for him to spout - he isn’t carrying the weight of Government - and Brown has come out very strongly against the issue. Yes, I fear Cameron may yet be our next PM. No, I don’t think he’ll be better than Brown.

8

Kim 06.03.09 at 9:17 pm

The choice between Brown and Cameron is like that between different beds in a hospice. But as the great Welsh Socialist MP Nye Bevan - the driving force behind the advent of NHS - might put it with hwyl, while New Labour might be filled with rats, a lot of them now leaving a sinking ship, never forget that Tories “are lower than vermin.”

9

fatprophet 06.03.09 at 9:28 pm

Ok then how about the Christian Party? How safe are we putting a little cross by them especially when there seems to be very little to recommend any of the main parties at the current time?
Just a thought!!

10

Kim 06.03.09 at 10:29 pm

Hi Fat Prophet,

Here is Karl Barth on Christian political parties:

“How can there be a special Christian party alongside other political parties? - a party to which some Christians belong, whilst others do not … To institute special Christian parties implies that the Christian community as such has no claim on the support of all its members for its own political line. It implies that it cannot help but allow non-Christians in the State to consolidate themselves in a non-Christian bloc in order to enforce their own anti-Christian line. The Church’s supreme interest must be rather that Christians shall not mass together in a special party, since their task is to defend and proclaim, in decisions based on it, the Christian gospel that concerns all men [sic]…

“In the political sphere the Christian community can draw attention to its gosepl only indirectly … [It] can only witness to Christian truths. The claim to be witnesses to Christian truths does not necessarily make them such, however! Surely it will be inevitable that the Christian qualities for which it can have no use in the political sphere will become an embarrassment to a Christian party? And will not the aims and methods which it needs to be effective as a poltical party (the winning of majorities and political strongholds, propaganda and the benevolent toleration and even encouragement of non-Christian or problematically Christian sympathisers and even leaders; compromises and coalitions with ‘non-Christian’ parties and so on) compel it to deny the specifically Christian content of its policy or at any rate obscure rather than illuminate it? Will such a party not inevitably compromise the Christian Church and its message all the time? …. How can Christians mass together in a political party at all in these circumstances? In the political sphere Christians can only bring in their Christianity anonymously… When it is represented by a Christian party the Christian community cannot be the political salt which it is its duty to be in the civil community.”

From “The Christian Community and the Civil Community”, in Against the Stream: Shorter Post-War Writings, 1946-52 (London: SCM Press, 1954), pp. 45-46.

What Barth says may need some jiggling, but his basic point stands. And the history of so-called Christian political parties, I think, bears out what he says. So in answer to your question, no, do not throw in your lot with any “Christian” political party.

11

Tony Buglass 06.04.09 at 11:53 am

My son and I saw the TV election broadcast by the Christian Alliance last week sometime - we were falling about laughing. It was such a caricature, it was awful. To say nothing of the stated agenda, which was about “Christian values” with very little clues as to what they were. I’m a Christian, I have a very strong set of values which for me dervie directly from my faith, bu I bet they’re not the same as some of values I’ve had thrust in my face by Christian pressure groups.

As to the role of Christian parties - it was partly due to the Christian “Centre Party” in Germany in 1933 that Hitler was able to come to power. Nuff said.

12

DH 06.04.09 at 4:17 pm

Tony, the problems of 100 years ago have no bearing on the argument against the amount of immigration going on in the UK. The fact remains that your country cannot nor any Democratic country for that matter afford the amount of immigration that is occurring. The UKIP is NOT using the concept that Englanders can do it better than the Europeans so your view is a mischaracterization of their party. They are just saying that the UK is in bad financial shape and that in that environment immigration needs to be limited. They also say that the soverignty of the UK must be maintained and that divulging that soverignty to the EU is not in the best interests of the UK as a whole.

UKIP has never thought of the UK as being better than anyone elsse but is focusing on the lack of restraints on immigration. That isn’t racist but an acknowledgement of fact.

You say Brown has come out very strongly on the issue but who came out and said harsh statements first? Cameron Which party has a greater percentage of the MP’s having problems with the expense issue? Labour Which party has support in the polls of over 62% due to this crisis in the UK? Torries Who was the first to demand that any MP who has “phantom moetgages” needs to be prosecuted under the full effort of the law? Cameron

The fact is the government of the UK needs to change from one of where tax and spend is projected to be an answer to one where reduction of taxes and reductions in discretionary spending is promoted. I have watched CSPAN on the UK parliament and Brown seems to promote things that are not in fact the answer to the problems and Cameron has.

While in the US the problems are somewhat different and from observation much worse in the UK, I’m rather jealous of the prospects of a leader and a party which will finally put a stop to increases in taxes and increases in discretionary spending. I just cannot believe that the Obama administration was able to put through $3 TRILLION dollars of spending of which this country cannot afford. The arguments for it are well Bush had higher deficits so it is okay. However, just because the deficit went up $700 billion under Bush doesn’t give an excuse to triple that amount now. If a person broke the law by 5 miles an hour and someone behind that person breaks it by 15 miles an hour but happened to get a ticket you wouldn’t find any policeman that would accept that argument as legitimate. So it is with the current administration. $700 billion increase in the deficit is no excuse for having a $3 trillion deficit.

13

Tony Buglass 06.04.09 at 11:11 pm

Well, we’ll leave aside how far you’ve bought into the UKIP sale - personally, I don’t believe a word they say. Just that I wasn’t born yesterday, I was part of the conversations about joining Europe, and have been critically aware of the issues ever since. And UKIP are rubbish.

As to the rest of your stuff about the MP’s expenses issue - how much of that have you got from the press? ‘Cos most of them have their own spin, and very few of them have actually offered a good and dispassionate analysis. The Telegraph gave such a biassed description of Alan Beith’s situation, having ignored the responses he gave to them in time for printing: their agenda is not to inform the public, but to fly their own political ultra-Tory flag. Which means I do not trust them any further than I can throw them. (NB - I have lived in 5 constituencies since I left college. Alan Beith is the best MP I have ever had, bar none. It has been said of him by his opponents that he is the only man in the Commons who has many opponents but no enemies. He is a man of complete integrity, profound Christian faith, and should be the next Speaker.)

The facts are that EVERY party has MPs who have claimed on expenses more than they should, because they were advised to do so by the fees office. Some went far too far, and whatever you have read, the Tories have been the worst. All the leaders of the main parties have tried to adress the issue. Don’t believe everything you read in the press, especially when you haven’t been in the country long enough to suss out their agenda. “Tax and spend” is very much a caricature of the old Labour position. New Labour is actually more Tory, and many of their policies since 1997 have been Tory - Mrs Thatcher did say that her most important legacy was Tony Blair. Says it all…

14

DH 06.08.09 at 4:21 pm

I agree that all parties are harsh against the fraud but it is a matter to what level and who were the first to condemn the actions of the MP’s. Also it is a matter of which party has less percentage of the MP’s involved in the crisis. The answer is that Cameron was the first to condemn the actions, was the most harsh with regard to the crisis. Also while both Tory and Labour agree to limit tax and spend on some issues, it is clear that the Torries are more against tax and spend than Labour. I have watched dozens of episodes of Paliament on CSPAN and the more I watch it the more I understand this fact.

The information I obtained was from the London Times. Many on the left call it unbiased.

I agree all parties have attempted to address the issue but the Tory leader Cameron has done more to condemn the actions than anyother party leader. He was the first to condemn “Phantom Mortgages” and even said it the most harsh by saying “They should be fully prosecuted under the full extent of the law.”

15

Tony Buglass 06.08.09 at 10:47 pm

“The information I obtained was from the London Times. Many on the left call it unbiased.”

Utter rot.

The Times used to be THE paper of choice. It had a solid gold reputation going back centuries - known as the Thunderer, listened to be those who needed to know. Then it was bought by Rupert Murdoch, and just like anything in the Murdoch stable, it is no longer impartial.

Every political party has been affected by the expenses scandal, bar none. That is why people are so angry, because (if you follow the press) there are no goodies, only baddies. Well, like most things, it’s a bit more complicated than that. I do know a handful of MPs personally, and there are some whose integrity I would vouch for implicitly - Alan Beith, Frank Field, and others who are known as straight and honest people. The problem has been that for years it has been politically difficult to award the kind of pay-rise which would put MP salaries where they really ought to be, so the expenses and allowances have been used as a kind of compensatory package and they have been encouraged by the fees office to claim for everything they possibly can. Unfortunately, some have taken that to extremes, and have been fraudulent - and regardless of what you’e read, the Tories have so far had at least as many if not more offenders than anyone else.

The real problem is that the offences of the few have tarred the many with the same brush, and people assume all of them have their snouts in the trough. And they haven’t.

Bottom line - don’t believe everything you read in the press. Including the Times.

16

DH 06.09.09 at 9:35 pm

Tony, I agree that all parties have been affected by the crisis. No question about it. It is just a matter as to how much abd also how the particular leaders of the parties have responded and to what extent they have responded. The fact remains Cameron was quicker to respond and responded more aggressively to try to solve the problem of the “phantom mortgage” situation. I don’t believe everything I read in papers but it just appears from the facts that while it is totally true that all parties are equally bad by having the problem in the camp, some parties are more affected than others and leaders have responded to the problem in a multitude of ways. Some have taken a more “aggressive stand” others took a stand just not as harsh a stand. To me taking an “aggressive stand” is the way to address the problem of which Cameron has responded. Again, I’m not saying one party is more bad than the other I just appreciate the response by the Tory leadership compared with other party leaders. Brown’s response to the crisis is appauling compared with the other party leaders.

I totally agree with you in your reply that the level of pay “ought to be”. I will say that in this economic environment that the rush to “claim everything” is no excuse. So I agree the pay is too low but is understandable and should be accepted by the MP’s as opposed to rush to try to artificially and unethically make their pay higher.

Again, no party is considered “good” in this crisis. However, the response to solve the crisis and prevent the crisis is where I truly take issue and promote particular party leaders.

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