"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Sunday, 1 March 2009

6 Weeks for a Life: Weekly News Round Up, 22nd - 28th February 2009

A selection of telling headlines from the UK this week.

1) Nazir Ahmed, the controversial Muslim Labour peer, was jailed for just 12 weeks for the death of Slovakian Martyn Gombar in a car crash. Despite only being ordered to serve half the given sentence, his lawyer Steve Smith still thinks it's too much.

Says Mr Smith:

"Lord Ahmed is clearly no danger to the public and in these circumstances the prison authorities can consider early release, if he serves a minimum of 18 days....They know he will not try to escape. His life and career have been wrecked for the sake of 18 days in prison. It's pathetic."

Not a danger to the public! You do have to commend him for trying. I would personally say he's the most dangerous man in the House of Lords, and I think what I wrote here on Wednesday bears that out.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mr Gombar's widow has a slightly different perspective.

She says:

"I would not be happy with a decision to release Lord Ahmed on a tag. It is one rule for Lords and another for everyone else."

Sadly, I think she'll find that pretty much everyone would have been treated as leniently under the circumstances. I must say my own faith in the justice system (particularly when it comes to individuals like Ahmed) is so low that the only part of this that truly surprises me is that Ahmed is in prison as I write.

Although given the skeletons rattling in Ahmed's cupboard, I'm sure one could be forgiven for thinking it's one rule for Lord Ahmed, and another for everyone else.

After all, we wouldn't want to inflame the passions of Britain's most sensitive minority community - they might storm HMP Doncaster and carry him off astride their shoulders, like some sort of symbolic modern version of the Bastille.

2) Smith's fury as judges free four terror suspects:

Tell me - does Jacqui Smith actually live on the same planet I do? She is the Home Secretary, so she must surely have some idea of British law, and the precedents her immigration judges have previously set?

Four men, three Algerians and a Jordanian, are facing deportation, considered a threat to national security. One of the Algerians, codenamed 'Z', entered Britain in 1992 on a tourist visa, but overstayed.

In 1997, he was arrested in possession of chemicals, radios, rockets, night-vision goggles and bomb-making literature.

What was his next step?

He claimed political asylum, after admitting leading a London branch of the GIA. You see, had he been deported, those dastardly Algerians might not have treated him very well.

But none of this is the issue, according to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission; the issue is, where possible, they like to let people they're probably going to kick out of the country out on bail.

That way, not only can they not sue the Home Office or the UK Border Agency, but most of them simply abscond, saving us the deportation and detention costs. It sort of naturally streamlines the system.

In this case, the government believes the men are so dangerous that there is a risk to the public if they abscond rather than waiting for the outcome of their appeals.

Mr Justice Mitting said the government had failed to prove the men were at risk of disappearing, which, if nothing else provides some light comic relief.

Miss Smith said:

"My top priority is to protect the public. There is a risk that these individuals will abscond if they are not detained."

The problem is, protecting the public begins at the border. Miss Smith and countless numbers of her predecessors had absolutely no idea how many people were wandering into the UK, who they were or what their intentions were. Nor did they much seem to care, spending far more time pontificating about the rights of such people and the inevitability of their arrival, as well as smearing anyone who objected as racist.

As thee sow, so shall thee reap.

3) It emerged this week that Tony Virasami, who killed an ME sufferer his girlfriend wrongly accused of queue-jumping in a supermarket with one blow, was already wearing an electronic tag after being released early from prison.

Had Virasami (pictured above), a heroin addict with a record for violence, been inside serving the sentence handed down, the innocent man in question would still be alive.

I do wish that those who feel criminals deserve compassion would have some thought for prison's primary function, which is to protect the public from dangerous individuals.

Apparently Kevin Tripp, the victim, was standing near a man who had cut in front of Virasami's girlfriend. She then fetched Virasami, pointed at the perpetrator, but he thought she was pointing at Tripp.

The CCTV image above clearly shows the moment Virasami struck.

As Tripp lay dying on the floor after striking his head, it was pointed out to Miss Richardson, Virasami's girlfriend, that she'd identified the wrong man.

Her reply was:

"Yes, let's find the right one."

So a pair of drug addicts, convicted criminals both, have such fragile egos that an innocent man is dead, a young girl left fatherless.

4) A Birmingham-born Muslim, Mohammed Ali, has had his pro-Palestine graffiti mural scrubbed out by police, who feared the house it was painted on might be petrol-bombed (presumably by one of the marauding gangs of Jews who absolutely hate anyone else's right to free speech. Never let it be said that anyone in the UK is out of touch with reality).

Ali said his murals are designed to create unity between communities, and he was deeply troubled that they could be interpreted as divisive or offensive.

But then he would be, wouldn't he? The murals aren't offensive because they express a point of view with which local Muslims are sympathetic; to prove this point, Tariq Khan, a Lib Dem councillor, and Khalid Mahmood MP, Muslims both, duly started screaming about censorship, because the mural reflects the 'feelings of young people about injustices in Gaza'.

I never heard them comment on the Geert Wilders ban, or any other act of censorship undertaken to appease Muslims, however.

Ruth Jacobs, spokeswoman for the Israel Information Centre in Birmingham, said:

"I would not complain about these images because they are part of the right of free speech in this country."

Perhaps when the average Muslim feels the same, we will have genuine 'community harmony'. I will not hold my breath, however. I don't think you need much imagination to picture the type of reactions had a mural been painted from the Israeli perspective.

5) An episode of the iconic British soap opera 'Eastenders' was broadcast this week which contained only black characters.

There was a mixed reaction, with some saying it's simply for the sake of political correctness,others saying it's just not relevant, and professional race-baiters like the Guardian's Hannah Pool who took more of a 'what took them so long?' line.

I watched the episode, which focused largely on attitudes to black people in Britain and how they've changed, using the Notting Hill race riots of 1958 as a sort of prism.

I must say I largely agree with Tory MP David Davis, who said:

"It did not give a balanced view of race issues. There’s a danger here of winding up non-black people."

Firstly, a lot of the characters spoke of things like 'my history, as a black person'.

As far as I'm concerned that's not a problem; as long as it works both ways, and white Britons are allowed to be proud of their history, too. But let's be honest, that's not generally how it works at all.

The other problem I have is that generally I think mass immigration from the Third World was a huge mistake, and is an ongoing one. That doesn't mean I hate black people, or indeed hate anyone; it simply means I recognise that importing huge numbers of unassimilable immigrants from alien cultures simply does not work, and largely never has done.

However, I recognise that the black people at Notting Hill in 1958 had a right to defend their own from what they saw as unprovoked violence from the 'Teddy Boys'. I do not condone violence.

But I bet you'd be hard pressed to find a black intellectual or white BBC luvvie who thought that ordinary Britons had the right to defend their country and communities from what many saw as an invasion; they were not asked about it and were largely against it.

Controversial? Yes, but in my opinion that was a glaring double standard; just the sort of thing the BBC does best.


Dr.D said...

1) I trust that everything necessary has been done to assure his lordship's comfort during his detainment, you know, feather bed, hot milk at bed time, chocolate drop on the pillow, wide screen TV, persian (flying) carpet on the floor, etc. To say that Ahmed is no danger to the public is a display of great imagination.

2) Are you unaware that Jacqui Smith does in fact protect the public? She does it with great blasts of hot air. They have proved to be somewhat less than effective, but they remain her preferred method never the less.

3) Interestingly, Virasamai's girlfriend that called for the hit was a white woman of sorts. So here we have a mixed race pair of adulterers who should have been in jail but instead kill a totally uninvolved bystander. Great photo of the killing blow! It is so nice to know that modern England is such a compassionate place, with such great concern for the clearly guilty, even at the direct expense to the innocent in society! (take tongue out of cheek)

4) "A Birmingham-born Muslim, Mohammed Ali, has had his pro-Palestine graffiti mural scrubbed out by police, who feared the house it was painted on might be petrol-bombed ..." I really am puzzled on this one. Who did they think might bomb the house? That is the sort of thing muzlims do.

5) Where is the double standard involved in an all black episode of East Enders? I ask this in all honesty because I don't know. From what I read, I have the impression that East London has very few whites today, so an all black episode would seem to be simply true to life, sad fact that it is.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Dr. D:

1) I too liked the 'no danger' quote. Maybe I should email that lawyer's office and suggest Gates of Vienna to him.

2) What scares me is I think she actually believes that's what she wants to do.

3) That's one of the view things we're still good at here; taping crimes as they happen then weeping about them on the news. Sad but true.

4) Apparently the son of the woman who owns that house is thinking of suing because the police 'scared' his mother. I doubt quite as much as an actual petrol-bombing might have.

I too have no real clue who they thought might do it; at this stage I think I'd welcome some tough ex-IDF types on the streets, but in reality it ain't happening.

5) The east end is largely Bangladeshi and Muslim Asian.

I didn't think the all black episode was the double standard, but the notion that when black people riot to protect their own and their communities they're heroes, but when white people do it they're evil racist scum.

There's two sides to every story and a lot of it is just perception.