Saturday, February 17, 2007

Britain: Polish road signs `help to keep drivers on straight and narrow'

There are probably more speakers of Gujurati, Hindi, Bengali and Urdu than Polish in Britain so why not signs for them? Fair's fair!

Council chiefs defended a decision to erect road signs in Polish after being accused of political correctness gone mad. Eight temporary diversion signs in English and Polish were placed around country roads on the Cheshire-Shropshire border at the request of Cheshire County Council. The signs, which explain how to reach the market town of Whitchurch while road works are underway on the A49, were condemned by some residents as a waste of money.

But Steve Kent, highway engineer for the council, said the decision was motivated by safety concerns. Thousands of Poles have settled in Whitchurch and Crewe, and many are employed as drivers. Police have been repeatedly called out to deal with congestion caused by lorries taking wrong turnings. Mr Kent said: "It is a practical and commonsense approach to a problem which we encountered on two similar schemes at the end of last year. "We found that Polish-speaking drivers were failing to understand diversion signs and were arriving at sections of roads that we had closed off. That caused congestion as we had to reverse them out. "In other cases, they would drive on a footpath and thunder past a work gang, which has safety implications. "We thought that creating the signs, which are just eight out of around 200 for the scheme, could prevent similar problems. They probably cost a couple of hundred pounds, which was footed by the contractor at no cost to the council."

Philip Davies, a Tory MP who campaigns against political correctness, said: "It's absolutely bonkers but what worries me is that once one council starts, others follow." A driver, who asked not be named, added: "You could be forgiven for wondering whether you were driving deep into Polish countryside, not the middle of Cheshire." Two months ago one of the biggest bus companies in Manchester was ordered to suspend its fleet amid concerns over whether its Polish drivers had a good enough command of English to understand road signs. About 100 of the 130 drivers at UK North and GM Buses Ltd are Polish.


Britain Bottom of Children's League

When the only standards inculcated are that you must not speak ill of blacks, Muslims and homosexuals, no matter how offensive and dangerous they may be, can we wonder at an alienated, aimless and frustrated youth? Post below by Iain Dale

So Britain is a shameful bottom of the UNICEF league table in virtually every category listed in their survey of children's well-being. And you know, guess whose fault it is? Yup, Margaret Thatcher's. You couldn't make it up. Apparently, according to left wing commentators on the radio and television child poverty only really started in 1979 (bit of a coincidence, that).

I think it is more than a coincidence that British children have become more obese, ill-educated, sexually active, drunk and impolite under a government which purports to put children at the top of their agenda. We even have a Minister for Children? But when the two most memorable holders of that post have been Margaret 'Islington Childcare' Hodge and Beverley Hughes, perhaps it is becoming all the more understandable.

The truth is that Government can set an agenda on issues like child obesity and improve the education system, but the focus here should be on parents rather than government. It is parents who guide a child and set the parameters for acceptable behaviour - or at least it should be. Let me tell you a story to illustrate what I mean.

A friend of mine had a handbag stolen by a group of schoolkids. In the handbag there was a quantity of jewellery. My friend knew the children were from a particular school so she contacted the Head Teacher who managed to identify the five kids involved. He contacted their parents and asked them to return my friend's jewellery. Of the five sets of parents only two agreed to do so. The other three verbally abused the Head Teacher. Is there any hope for children when their parents act like that?

And we also hear today that children with step-parents are about to outnumber those with two married parents for the first time ever.

Limit Muslim migration, Australia warned

Good that somebody dares to say the obvious

Life can become untenable when the Muslim population of a non-Muslim country reaches about 10 per cent, as shown by France, a Jewish expert on Islam says. The Australian Jewish News yesterday quoted Raphael Israeli as saying Australia should cap Muslim immigration or risk being swamped by Indonesians. Professor Israeli told the Herald that was a misunderstanding. But he said: "When the Muslim population gets to a critical mass you have problems. That is a general rule, so if it applies everywhere it applies in Australia."

Professor Israeli, an expert on Islamic history from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has been brought to Australia by the Shalom Institute of the University of NSW. The Australia-Israel Jewish Affairs Council is co-hosting many of his activities. He said Muslim immigrants had a reputation for manipulating the values of Western countries, taking advantage of their hospitality and tolerance. "Greeks or Italians or Jews don't use violence. There is no Italian or Jewish Hilaly [a reference to the controversial cleric Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly of Lakemba mosque]. Why?"

Professor Israeli said that when the Muslim population increased, so did the risk of violence. "Where there are large Muslim populations who are prepared to use violence you are in trouble. If there is only 1 or 2 per cent they don't dare to do it - they don't have the backing of big communities. They know they are drowned in the environment of non-Muslims and are better behaved." In Australia, Muslims account for about 1.5 per cent of the population.

Professor Israeli said that in France, which has the highest proportion of Muslims in Europe at about 10 per cent, it was already too late. There were regions even the police were scared to enter, and militant Muslims were changing the country's political, economic and cultural fabric, and demanding anti-Semitic and anti-Israel policies. "French people say they are strangers in their own country. This is a point of no return. "If you are on a collision course, what can you do? You can't put them all in prison, and anyway they are not all violent. You can't send them all back. You are really in trouble. It's irreversible."

Professor Israeli said that in Australia a few imams had preached violence. "You should not let fundamentalist imams come here. Screen them 1000 times before they are admitted, and after they are admitted screen what they say in the mosque." He said some Muslims wanted to impose sharia (Islamic law) in their adopted countries, and when propaganda did not work they turned to intimidation.

Professor Israeli said his task was to describe, not prescribe. He also said his warning did not include immigrants, including Muslims, who simply wanted to improve their lot. As long as they respected the law and democracy, their numbers - Buddhist, Muslim or Jew - were immaterial. It became material when a group accepted violence. "The trains in London and Madrid were not blown up by Christians or Buddhists but by Muslims, so it is them we have to beware," he said.

Keysar Trad, of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, said "Not only religious clerics need to be screened before entering Ausralia but also academics . this type of academic does nothing but create hatred, suspicion and division. We should review not only what the man has said but also those who have sponsored him, to see if they endorse those comments."


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