Britain: Now EVERYBODY has to observe Ramadan
DOCTORS and health workers have been banned from eating lunch at their desks - in case it offends their Muslim colleagues. Health chiefs believe the sight of food will upset Muslim workers when they are celebrating the religious festival Ramadan. The lunch trolley is also to be wheeled out of bounds as the 30-day fast begins next month.
But staff and politicians branded the move political correctness gone mad and warned that it was a step too far. Bill Aitken, the Scottish Conservative justice spokesman, said: "This advice, well-meaning as it may be, is total nonsense. "It is the sort of thing that can stir up resentment rather than result in good relations."
The new guidance comes in the wake of the failed terror attacks on Glasgow and the death of suspect Kafeel Ahmed, 27. Health chiefs in Lothian and Glasgow will give all employees time off to pray and to celebrate Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan. But Greater Glasgow and Clyde as well as Lothian NHS boards also issued the advice, warning workers not to take working lunches, and said all vending machines should be removed from areas where Muslims work.
One senior consultant said: "What next? Are we going to have advice on how to deal with Catholics during Lent? "This kind of thing does more harm than good."
The guidance, which was sent round many organisations, was produced by Glasgow consultancy Meem, which advises on Muslim issues and counts the Scottish Parliament among its clients. Na'eem Raza, a senior consultant with the firm, said he was thrilled that the health boards had formally adopted the guidance. He added: "The idea is to get faith in the workplace out in the open. "In the current climate, people need to understand where communities are coming from and what people are feeling. "After the Glasgow attack this is very important. This is about educating people and making them more aware and more confident when dealing with issues surrounding the Muslim community. "People have stopped talking over the garden fence and we need to break down the barriers so that people can talk comfortably to each other. "It would never stir up resentment. Faith is an important issue. Why not have guidance on all of the issues that affect us, including different faiths?"
Health chiefs defended their use of the guidance and said it was important to promote a positive and tolerant culture at work. A NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokesman said: "As a large organisation we recognise that many of our staff, patients and visitors will be participating in Ramadan. "We have therefore made information available to our staff to raise awareness of Ramadan and help to answer any questions they may have." NHS Lothian said: "We have recently agreed a quality and diversity strategy and as a responsible and pro-active employer we will continue to promote a positive culture which recognises and respects diversity both in our workforce and in the people we serve."
Politically correct Britain spiralling out of control
This cop has got a cheek. Stupid policing is a major cause of the problem. When the "rights" of criminals constantly trump common sense, this is what is to be expected
ONE of Britain's top police officers called for urgent moves to stem a rising tide of youth violence yesterday after a 47-year-old father of three was kicked to death by a group of young drunks. The man, a company director from Warrington in northwest England, had tried to remonstrate with the group when he saw them damaging a vehicle and other property outside his home. It was the latest in a series of violent, and frequently deadly, attacks by abusive, drunk young people in Britain.
"We cannot have a society where adults feel scared to go out and challenge youngsters up to no good," said Peter Fahy, the chief constable of Cheshire, the county which includes Warrington. "Every night of the week Cheshire officers are engaged in a constant battle against anti-social behaviour and alcohol-induced violence ... it breeds fear and isolation."
Hardly a day goes by in Britain without another alarming report of alcohol-fuelled teenage violence. On Monday, a 23-year-old Turkish immigrant died after being attacked by two hooded boys he argued with when they threw a half-eaten chocolate bar through the window of his sister's car.
While the phenomenon of unruly youth is hardly new in Britain, there are concerns the social breakdown is intensifying, as those involved get younger and the violence seems to worsen. Constable Fahy's comments were widely applauded on news programs and radio call-in shows yesterday, but the Government did not immediately respond to his suggestion that the drinking age be raised from 18 to 21.
The Sun newspaper, the country's most-widely read, ran an editorial saying it was time for parents to take responsibility. "Should parents be arrested if they let their kids run wild? Should benefits be reduced or even stopped for those who won't work?" the paper asked. "It is another signal that the 'Great' is going out of Great Britain."
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair pledged a decade ago to be "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime", and later pioneered the introduction of so-called ASBOs - anti-social behaviour orders - to try to control unruly youths. But 10 years on, statistics show scant improvement.
Sociologists say British youth do not spend enough time with adults, spending free time with friends unsupervised. In Europe, young people spend much more time under supervision. "Our young people drink more and take more drugs than others partly because they can," Julia Margo, a researcher at the IPPR think tank, said. "Young people need to interact with adults to socially develop, and those that spend time away from adults will more rapidly fall into bad behaviour, or very bad behaviour."
And here's a big part of the problem:
But Mr Fahy also made another claim. "We cannot have a society," he said, "where adults feel scared to go out and challenge youngsters up to no good." Fair point. But is fear of retaliation by unruly youths the only thing holding people back? In recent years, the police have increasingly arrested and charged victims of crime for "taking the law into their own hands".
One infamous case occurred in Penzance in June, when the owner of a hardware shop tried to stop three youths from stealing cans of spray paint. One kicked him in the groin, which provoked him to punch and kick the youth in self-defence. The police arrived, gave the youths fixed penalty notices for shoplifting, then charged the shopkeeper with assault. He was conned into pleading guilty by police officers, who told him he could face six months in jail if he didn't.
In February, a Bridlington chip-shop owner had a similar experience, but luckily for him the crown court judge had more sense than the police. When a youth smashed his shop window, the owner and his son, a former Royal Marine, chased the boy, caught him and flagged down a police car. The boy lied to the police, who then arrested both men and charged them with kidnap, when all they had done was to detain the youth in their car until the police arrived. The judge threw the case out because a lawful citizen's arrest had been made.
In both instances, the criminal was able to turn the police against a law-abiding citizen, and the police were all too willing accomplices in each criminal's triumph. If Mr Fahy truly thinks that adults should not be frightened to challenge youths, he should take a glance at the "nine principles of policing" framed by Sir Robert Peel in 1829.
One says that the police should "maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen". In other words, the police should remember whose side they are on.
There is also a comment of surprising good sense on the Leftist Indymedia site. Note also that the authorities have been most zealous in releasing NO identifying details about those charged with the murder -- suggesting that they are black. The fact that they are described as part of a gang tends to reinforce that idea
Axe Muslim immigration - says popular Australian politician
PAULINE Hanson says she will run on similar policies to those that won her international notoriety a decade ago when she vies for a Queensland Senate seat at the upcoming election. The main difference will be that this time the former fish and chip shop owner, who claims credit for forcing the Howard Government to adopt a harder line on immigration controls, will target Muslims.
"We need to have a look at our immigration levels and I'd like to have a look at putting a moratorium on any more Muslims coming into Australia," Ms Hanson said yesterday. As revealed in The Courier-Mail yesterday, the former One Nation leader has applied to the Australian Electoral Commission to register Pauline's United Australia Party. If successful, the party's abbreviated name, Pauline, will appear above the line on the Senate ballot paper, making it easier for people to vote for Ms Hanson.
The 53-year-old won the seat of Oxley as an Independent at the 1996 election after being expelled from the Liberal Party because of her explosive views on immigration. In her maiden speech, she warned against Asian immigration and went on to launch One Nation which eventually foundered, but not before it grabbed a swag of seats at the Queensland state election. She lost her own seat at the next federal election.
Ms Hanson said "nothing's changed" with her policies. "I think that we need to look at getting out of the 1951 convention of refugees, and not being forced into taking refugees in this country that bring in diseases, who are incompatible with our lifestyle," she told ABC Radio. She said tariffs should also be raised to protect local industry and manufacturing from "cheap imports".
Of Queensland's six Senate spots up for grabs at the election, five are held by the major parties, with the remaining seat held by Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett. Ms Hanson will be up against Senator Bartlett, the Greens' Larissa Waters and Family First's Jeff Buchanan for the required 14.5 per cent of the vote to gain a Queensland Senate seat.
All relationships are not equal for good reason
Comment from Australia
The continuing debate over the access of same-sex couples to social benefits and so-called entitlements is a distraction from the real issue. The real issue is not about infringement of rights. Rather, it is about what heterosexual marriage can offer society that other forms of relationships cannot.
Married heterosexual unions are not simply a legal invention with an associated bunch of benefits. They have an intrinsic value which enables them to provide a number of reciprocal benefits to any society. It is the reason flourishing societies have always acknowledged the importance of marriage and family and accorded it a level of preferential support. It is a vital part of the social estate.
The social benefits of committed, exclusive heterosexual unions include the generation of children and the raising of future citizens; a supportive and safe environment for the nurturing of these children; two parents who are biologically connected to their child and who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of that child; two complementary parents who can provide appropriate gender role-modelling; and an intergenerational connectedness within families and societies where parents are encouraged to save and provide for their children and grandchildren. Such unions also provide a mechanism for effectively connecting children to their fathers, a longing of every child, and also for ensuring a fairer distribution of the parenting burden.
Much of the argument about the need for legislative reform also seems predicated on the assumption that entitlements would somehow be limited to two-person unions. However, this raises many more questions than it answers and affords a myriad of opportunities for further exploitation. Some argue that "equivalence" between types of sexually intimate relationships no longer needs to be concerned with the predisposition to procreate and to care for one's children. This raises the question of why such relationships need to be concerned with sexual intimacy at all? No doubt social activists will soon be seeking government benefits for de facto "parent-child" couples or "best friends" who have no interest in being sexually intimate, or for de facto sibling couples. And what about polygamous and polyamorous relationships involving numerous individuals? Court decisions in Pennsylvania and in Ontario earlier this year have confirmed that children can now have at least three legal "parents" in some jurisdictions. Adult wants are being used to trump the rights of children.
It is not sufficient to argue that a society should never discriminate for or against a particular group. Societies do so all the time. In Australia, 16-year-olds are not licensed to drive and cannot vote even though there may be 16-year-olds who would be good drivers and others who would be judicious voters. We also place limits on the level of access of various groups to a range of social benefits. These reasons usually relate to either the neediness of discrete groups or the requirement to provide an incentive to groups who can produce a social benefit. Two obvious examples are the tiered family tax benefit and the baby bonus.
The continued provision of preferential support for heterosexual spouses and their children is vital. Otherwise we risk encouraging a view of marriage and family as something which individuals, couples or even groups can alter according to their own subjective desires. This would result in further clamour for financial benefits from couples or groups on the basis of some notional entitlement.
Some argue that there are instances where certain changes could make it easier for individuals to arrange their financial affairs. However, people already have the right to transfer finances and property during life and upon their death and also to own property as joint tenants. There is no need to move down the path of providing unimpeded access to a range of benefits to any two or more people who say they are in a relationship. Simple co-dependency is not enough.
We need to continue to preferentially support a civic institution that encourages authentic and enduring unions, unions that reflect the complementary nature of men and women, unions that have an openness to life and children, unions that are intrinsically ordered to the care and education of those children and unions which have an intergenerational connectivity that draws them beyond their own immediate needs and wants. In short, we need to support, by law and social policy, heterosexual monogamous marriage.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.