Thursday, September 16, 2010
British taxpayers fund council 'adventures in Sindia and Lesbianandgayland' as part of sessions on equality and diversity
Council bosses are being asked to imagine they are English economic migrants in the fictitious region of Sindia, or go on an `adventure in Lesbian-andgayland' as part of publicly-funded training sessions on equality and diversity. More than 30 managers from Brighton and Hove City Council have been on the two-day `Leading on Diversity' course in the past year - at a cost of several thousand pounds.
In the session entitled Adventures in Sindia, the English Exodus, staff are asked to imagine that it is 2030 and the `world is a very different place'. In this scenario, much of the South-East of England and East Anglia is under water.
Millions of English families desperate for work have been forced to uproot to Sindia, an economic federation which is made up of China and India. All the participants are asked to imagine that they are a seven-year-old child called Sarah Hardy, whose family has just moved to Delhi.
They are also warned that the English are largely despised in India because they have a reputation for `illegality, criminality, cultural conservatism and an inability to learn the host language'.
The course material states: `Your seventh birthday was a miserable occasion. Your parents invited all the children in your class to a party. All but one failed to turn up and none sent an RSVP. `The only child who came was a Jewish girl from Hungary. Somehow you felt that she understood what you were going through, even though you never talked about it.'
The course attendees are told that while in Sindia they can expect to hear comments such as: `Why do you insist on eating that bland food? What you need is a good masala', `Do your parents really force you to drink alcohol at the age of ten?', and `What do you call an English virgin? A contradiction in terms'.
In the other session, staff are asked to imagine that `while asleep one night they have slipped through a wormhole in space' and woken up in a parallel world where it is
normal to be lesbian or gay.
They are told that they are now in a country where `heterosexual teachers are very reluctant to come out', `the ideal family consists of a lesbian or gay male couple', and `that conceiving a child by heterosexual intercourse is viewed with distaste'.
They are then asked to consider how they would respond if people asked them: `What do you actually do in bed?', `Don't you think heterosexuality may be a phase you are going through?', and `Is it possible that what you need is a good gay lover?'
The course for staff at Brighton and Hove Council was organised and run by Aziz Associates, a training consultancy founded in 1996. The company is run by Razia Aziz, 45, a politics graduate, and clients include health trusts, local councils and Government departments. Its website describes Ms Aziz as a `coach, facilitator, and performance and workshop artist' with a `holistic style that embraces the intellect, body and heart'.
A Mail on Sunday investigation also found that other councils which ran equality and diversity projects last year included Preston, which spent œ1,500 sending staff on three Journeys of Faith sessions, Kensington and Chelsea, and Test Valley Borough Council in Hampshire, which spent œ2,800.
Meanwhile, Hertfordshire County Council has produced a Making Our Mark On Equality And Diversity guide that says references to `girls in the office' is inappropriate because it implies `dependence and immaturity'. The same council also has problems with `lady' which has `over-tones of decorum and conformity' and even woman `which has overtones of sexuality'.
Officials at East Devon District Council have banned `little old lady, pensioner, youth and youngster' and guidance to staff states: `White European people are also subjected to prejudice and stereotyping - Swedish ("porn and nudity"), Germans ("Hitlers who want to rule the world"), Irish ("thick"), Scottish ("mean, tight with money").'
A spokesman for Brighton & Hove City Council said: `At a cost that is low by any comparison, our training role-plays are proven to do what they are supposed to do, which is to reduce inappropriate discrimination based on race, faith, disability,
gender, sexuality or age.'
Arrogant British bureaucrat
But I repeat myself
Britain's chief tax collector was accused of astonishing arrogance last night after appearing to complain about having to ‘serve’ every taxpayer. As she was quizzed by MPs about the tax fiasco affecting millions of people, HM Revenue & Customs chief executive Dame Lesley Strathie insisted ‘no mistakes’ had been made by her staff.
And she suggested it was unfair to compare the shambolic performance of HMRC with top businesses because they have the privilege of choosing which customers they want.
Tax chiefs hauled to give evidence to the Treasury Select Committee admitted that a staggering 24 million people could have had their tax bills miscalculated over recent years. Six million will get letters before Christmas either demanding an average of £1,400 or offering a refund by cheque after a new computer system identified errors in their PAYE accounts.
But MPs heard there is a backlog of a further 17.9million ‘unresolved’ tax cases dating back to 2005, which HMRC is hoping to process by 2012. Many of those could now face demands for underpaid tax.
Ministers have ordered HMRC to make another climbdown to try to appease public anger. Yesterday they agreed that those facing tax demands of £2,000 or more as a result of errors will not be charged interest on the money they owe. Mr Hartnett said: 'Only those who will not engage with us will be charged interest'
The Revenue has already agreed to waive bills of £300 or less, meaning 900,000 taxpayers will be spared paying any money back – at a cost of £160million to the Exchequer.
Dame Lesley Strathie is a career civil servant who has worked in the public sector for almost 40 years. She joined the civil service in 1971, and worked as a clerical assistant. In her role as HM Revenue & Customs chief executive she receives an annual salary of up to £175,000 – £30,000 a year more than Prime Minister David Cameron.
Dame Lesley, who was born in 1955, was appointed permanent secretary and chief executive of HMRC in November 2008. One of her predecessors quit in 2007 with a pay-off worth £2.3 million when HMRC managed to lose discs containing the personal details of 25 million people. Since Dame Lesley’s appointment, she has struggled to tackle a number of problems.
The Commons Treasury committee criticised the performance of the organisation earlier this year and revealed that morale among its staff was low.
Despite questions over the success of her management, in June she was named a dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Defending her performance amid a barrage of hostile questioning from MPs from all parties, Dame Lesley pointed out that if she were head of a large business she would be able to pick and choose her customers. ‘In any commercial business, you will have a customer strategy. You will decide which customers you want to acquire and which customers you want to divest yourself of,’ she said. 'We serve everybody. We don’t have a choice about who we serve.’
She also insisted the fiasco was not all bad news, since while 1.4million people will have to pay an extra £1,400 in tax, 4.5million people will get refunds of £400 on average.
Labour MP George Mudie, a member of the Treasury committee, accused Dame Lesley of ‘arrogance’. ‘I thought her remark about businesses being able to pick and choose their customers told you everything you need to know about HMRC. ‘They seem to regret the fact that as public servants they have to serve all the public.
'[She] appeared to suggest she would cheerfully drop people and not bother with them if they act in a way that gives the Inland Revenue the slightest trouble. ‘The question we should be asking is whether she and her colleagues would still b e in their positions if they ... were running a company like Marks & Spencer. ‘What on earth do senior civil servants have to do to get sacked?’
Hijacking the First Amendment and Flying it into the Jefferson Memorial
We have heard more angry attacks on Americans from the so-called peaceful Muslim world for the mere mention that a Koran might be burned than we have ever heard from them in condemning their fellow Muslims for perpetrating terrorist attacks on behalf of their religion.
Just this week, in a 1,000 word op-ed in The New York Times, Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Imam leading the effort to build the Ground Zero Mosque, dismissed the concerns of 70% of America, labeling us “radicals,” thus giving us the same identifier that Obama gives to terrorists; gave short, arrogant shrift to the victims’ families; and he refused to denounce his own vitriolic statements regarding the U.S. in the aftermath of 9/11. Remember, he claimed America’s policies were an “accomplice” to the slaughter of 9/11…and “the U.S. must acknowledge the harm they have to done to Muslims before the terror can stop.” Quite a “peaceful” diplomat, this guy, this “universally well-regarded” “man of faith.” But Rauf did something else in his Times op/ed; he threatened Americans with violence if his Ground Zero Mosque location was moved away from the site of the devastating attacks:
“These efforts by radicals at distortion, endanger our national security and the personal security of Americans worldwide… Americans must not back away from completion of this project. If we do, we cede the discourse and, essentially, our future to radicals on both sides.”
There were no Korans burned or mosques opposed before the Islamic terrorists burned nearly three thousand Americans. And yet, we are not supposed to burn the book they say inspired them to do it…or there will be more violence, Obama and Hillary Clinton tell us. Let’s get this straight: not burning the Koran lead to the burning of nearly three thousand Americans. And now, burning the Koran – we are told – will lead to more Americans dying?
Here’s a dinner table-worthy question: What puts more American lives in danger than burning a Koran in Florida? Answer: having an unqualified, anti-American street punk for a president! So, if you liberals take Obama at his word, then you must call for his immediate resignation with the same enthusiasm that you are now denouncing the kookie Koran-burner.
Obama and Jabba the Hillary want to allow Osama bin Laden to rewrite the First Amendment. Boy, that will surely teach those “radicals” who is winning the war on terrorism! Killing unborn children causes violence too, and not only to the murdered children themselves, it turns out; the occasional abortion provider finds himself in danger too. So, the same lunatics demanding that the First Amendment be abrogated in order to shield Islamists from the slightest offense, are the very ones loudly declaring that the right to kill unborn babies is so sacrosanct, they must send federal marshals out to protect the abortionists. Mind boggling. It’s a shock some of these Democrats can even walk straight and upright, so contorted they become defending their so-called “principles.”
When Muslims threaten violence in response to any Constitutionally-protected act, the proper response should be to multiply those acts to demonstrate that this country is governed by laws, not threats. And wasn’t that the exact lecture they – the “peaceful” Imam and his wife, the pedantic Mayor Bloomberg, and all the newly minted Leftist First Amendment stalwarts – gave us about the Ground Zero mosque?
The media and the Far Left have labeled Tea Partiers as violent and racist due to the alleged paper signs and shouting of a very few. However, these elitists refuse to use the same filter of condemnation when talking about the Muslim faith and the murderous actions of the 19 Muslim hijackers on 9/11, or the Muslim underwear bomber on New Year’s Day, or the Muslim Fort Hood attacker, or the Muslim Times Square bomber, or pretty much any other Muslims like Osama Bin Laden, the rest of Al Qaeda, Hamas and the Taliban. In fact, anyone opposed to the Ground Zero Mosque, tea partier or not, is labeled insensitive, ignorant and racist.
The Left has attacked Christianity for decades and has succeed largely in taking God out of our classrooms, ensuring the Pledge of Allegiance is rarely recited, and removing Christ from Christmas. How ironic they are the first to stand up and fight for the Muslim faith. Anyone with even peripheral knowledge of the Muslim faith and Sharia Law understands how absurd it is for the Left – self-heralding champions of the feminist movement and the pushers of “gay rights” – to adopt this charge.
But since Obama seems to take such threats seriously, here is a thought: You know how the Democrats are constantly telling us how dangerous we Tea Partiers are? Okay. Why don't we apply the same policy domestically; Democrats in the media are always spouting shrill warnings that Tea Partiers are on the tipping point of violence, so shouldn't they then advocate for lower taxes, a halt in spending, and a hurry-up-and-appease us attitude before someone gets hurt?
Once again, the Left has constructed a box, tied themselves in knots, and climbed right in; they either really believe in appeasing dangerous people, or they have been lying about how dangerous they think we are.
Lessons of the Koran's non-burning
by Jeff Jacoby
TERRY JONES'S 15 minutes of fame have run out, the foreign media have left Gainesville, and we aren't likely to hear much more about the fringe Florida preacher and his abandoned plan to burn copies of the Koran on Sept. 11. But as Jones and his non-bonfire recede in the rear-view mirror, there are some lessons worth taking away from the whole episode. Here are three:
1. While it's fashionable in some precincts to smear Americans as a nation of Islamophobes whose bigotry plays into the hands of extremists, the reverse is closer to the truth. A nation of Islamophobes would have rallied around Jones and his benighted band, but Americans of every stripe condemned them. Jones's proposed "stunt," President Obama said in a TV interview, is "completely contrary to our values." Attorney General Eric Holder called it "idiotic and dangerous." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton slammed it as "outrageous and . . . disgraceful."
The administration's denunciations were echoed across the political and social spectrum -- by Sarah Palin and Franklin Graham, by Angelina Jolie and Glenn Beck, by the National Council of Churches, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and the National Association of Evangelicals. The mayor of Gainesville called Jones's group "an embarrassment to the community." There was criticism from Florida's Republican and Democratic gubernatorial candidates and from dozens of members of Congress. The conservative Manchester Union Leader labeled the Koran-burning idea "deadly stupid." The liberal Los Angeles Times implored: "Don't fan the flames."
Americans hear frequently that they are a people hopelessly and endlessly divided, arguing with each other across gaping political and cultural chasms. But they weren't divided on this. If Jones accomplished nothing else, he has reminded us that there are still some issues on which nearly all Americans agree.
2. You don't have to admire Islam or revere the Koran to have regarded Jones's talk of book-burning as barbaric. "Where they burn books," the German poet and playwright Heinrich Heine wrote in 1821, "they will ultimately burn people also." Heine's works were among the tens of thousands of books torched in public bonfires by the Nazis after their accession to power in 1933 -- and Hitler and his followers did indeed "ultimately burn people also."
This is not to say that everyone who burns a book eventually sheds blood. But the depravity of book-burning inescapably suggests more deadly evils. The brutal lust to suppress, the hatred of free thought and expression, the manic determination to physically annihilate disfavored ideas rather than challenge them intellectually -- from these to the destruction of human beings is no very great leap. Only the imbecilic preach, like Jones, that "Islam is of the devil" (he says the same, incidentally, about Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism). Setting books on fire, however, really is diabolical.
3. In the effort to get Jones to back down, great stress was laid on the danger of a backlash by Muslim fanatics. General David Petraeus warned that "images of the burning of a Koran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan . . . to inflame public opinion and incite violence." Defense Secretary Robert Gates phoned Jones to express "grave concern" that a Koran-burning could put American personnel at risk. The president himself called it "a way of endangering our troops -- our sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives who are sacrificing for us to keep us safe."
But since when do US officials tell Americans or anyone else not to do something because unhinged radicals won't like it? Jihadist violence was erupting long before Jones appeared on the scene. There is no end to the pretexts used by Islamist extremists "to inflame public opinion and incite violence." Danish cartoons, Iraqi elections, a papal lecture, a beauty pageant, even a teddy bear named "Muhammad" -- Muslim militants have raged, sometimes lethally, against them all. Osama bin Laden did not declare war on the United States because of a publicity-seeker's antics in Florida.
Jones's threat to burn the Koran was ugly and offensive. It deserved to be reviled as an affront to civility, to American values, and to the millions of good Muslims who stand with us in the war against the radicals. But it is never right for the president or his aides to pressure US citizens into silencing themselves or stifling their liberties in order to conciliate violent zealots. If the years since 9/11 have taught us anything, it is that jihadists must be resisted, not appeased.
SOURCE. (See the original for links)
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.