Friday, October 22, 2010
More pandering to Muslims in Britain
Cafe owner ordered to remove extractor fan because neighbour claimed 'smell of frying bacon offends Muslims' -- even though no actual Muslims have complained!
A hard-working cafe owner has been ordered to tear down an extractor fan - because the smell of her frying bacon 'offends' Muslims. Planning bosses acted against Beverley Akciecek, 49, after being told her next-door neighbour's Muslim friends had felt 'physically sick' due to the 'foul odour'.
Councillors at Stockport Council in Greater Manchester say the smell from the fan is 'unacceptable on the grounds of residential amenity'.
The fan has been in Beverley's Snack Shack takeaway in the Shaw Heath area of the town for the past three years. Mrs Akciecek and her husband Cetin, 50, - himself a Turkish Muslim - work more than 50 hours a week buying, preparing and cooking hot and cold sandwiches and hot-pots for their customers.
Today mother-of-seven Mrs Akciecek said she plans to appeal against the decision. She said: 'I just think it's crazy. Cetin's friends actually visit the shop, they're regular visitors, they're Muslim people, they come in a couple of times a week. 'I have Muslim people come in for cheese toasties. Cetin cooks the food himself, he cooks the bacon.
'When we go to a cafe my husband wouldn't be offended by the smell of bacon. His friends are not offended by it, we have three visitors who come here for a sandwich, friends of my husband, and the smell doesn't offend them at all. 'My brother-in-law doesn't flinch if he comes and we've just taken out three trays of bacon. 'I'm going to find a local councillor. I'm waiting for the letter so I can appeal.'
The couple took over the take-away in 2007 from the previous owner and replaced the existing extractor fan, which had been there for six years, with a new modern one.
They claim they received no complaints about the cafe which is open from 7.30am-2.30pm six days a week, until around 18 months ago when they received a letter from environmental services to say their neighbour Graham Webb-Lee had complained about the smell.
Mrs Akciecek said: 'We've never had a problem about the smell because everything is pre-cooked. We cook it in the oven so there's no foul smell. 'It's pre-cooked so the smell isn't as strong when we're frying it off. It's like living next to someone who's cooking a Sunday breakfast but it's not constant it's just in the morning.
'It's been a sandwich shop for about eight years, cooking exactly the same stuff. The lady before me did double because they were actually building new houses across the road so she was really busy. She was here from 6am-4pm because they were so busy.
'They were there before me but they were also there when the lady who owns the business was here and she was doing double what we are. She had five staff, you can imagine how bust that shop was and they never complained at all.'
They say that the council's environmental services had been out to inspect their property after their neighbour complained about a foul odour last year, but they ruled that the smell was not causing a problem.
Mrs Akciecek said: 'Environmental services said everything is ok. They kept coming back and gauging it and said there was no problem and because they didn't take any action (the neighbours) complained again.'
The couple had never applied for planning permission as they had simply replaced an existing extractor fan with one of the same size and in the same position, but, following further complaints from their neighbour, they were informed by the council they would have to apply retrospectively as an objection had been raised.
They applied for planning permission in May this year, but the application was refused at a meeting of Stockport Area Committee on October 14. Mr Webb-Lee objected to the aplication - complaining that his Muslim friends refused to visit him becase they 'can't stand the smell of bacon'.
Mrs Akciecek, who also attended the meeting, said: 'He said he had a daughter with an eating disorder, the Muslim friends, and the bad smell all the time is making his clothes smell. 'The councillors agreed with him without even asking me what I thought. It was as if they didn't even realise I was there.
'This cafe is our only source of income. There are only two of us working, we haven't got any staff anymore. We work seven hours in the shop and my husband goes to the cash and carry and has all the prep work to do. We're working long hours. He does about 50 hours a week easy and I'm working about the same and we work Saturdays.
'The shop will be a lot harder work. It will be a good hour a day washing the walls down, I will not work anywhere with the grease falling down the walls. We can't move it anywhere. 'I'm not going to accept it and we're going to fight it.'
Mr Webb-Lee said: 'The vent is 12 inches from my front door. Every morning the smell of bacon comes through and makes me physically sick. 'I have a lot of Muslim friends. They refuse to visit me anymore because they can't stand the smell of bacon.'
A spokesman for Stockport Council said: 'The retrospective application was rejected on the grounds of residential amenity, as the committee felt the odours given off from the vent were unacceptable for neighbouring residents. 'We will ensure that the cafe complies with this decision and removes the extractor fan.'
The false rape accusations never stop coming in Britain
In these cases the politicized British police usually presume the man guilty until proven innocent, which is a travesty of justice
With her flowing blonde hair and fondness for tight jodhpurs, keen horsewoman Kate Woodhead could have galloped straight from the pages of a Jilly Cooper blockbuster.
Or so £200,000-a-year IT consultant Paul Joseph thought when he first set eyes on her as she showed him around a luxury rental property in Guildford. He didn’t take the property, but got to keep the girl.
Today, as Mr Joseph, 39, surveys the wreckage of his life, he rues the day he ever set eyes on Woodhead, 31.
Their volatile two-year relationship cost him dearly. ‘I was like a lamb to the slaughter,’ he says, shaking his head in disbelief. ‘She tried to destroy me and very nearly succeeded.’
For, in an act of revenge, Miss Woodhead, 31, stripped her ex-partner of everything he owned when his feelings towards her cooled. He lost his job, home, reputation, luxury cars, collection of paintings, his BMW motorbike, Rolex watches, tailored suits and other possessions worth more than £100,000. At one point he had nothing but the clothes on his back and 6p in his pocket.
So how did Woodhead achieve all this? By falsely accusing him of rape.
Earlier this month at Guildford Crown Court, Woodhead was found guilty of perverting the course of justice by making a false allegation of rape, fraud and two counts of theft following a three-week trial, during which a jury decided her dramatic story was a tissue of lies.
Denying the charges, she claimed Mr Joseph had raped her after drugging her with a sandwich laced with the tranquiliser Diazepam, adding salacious details about him being ‘turned on’ as he removed her jodhpurs.
Mr Joseph was put through the indignity of defending his reputation in court, even though he was not being charged with any offence. "If it hadn’t been so serious, I would have laughed,’ he says. ‘I wanted to walk out of the court in disgust at the pathetic circus Kate created.’
Woodhead is due to be sentenced next month and was warned by Judge Neil Stewart that a custodial sentence was ‘almost inevitable’.
Today, Mr Joseph can’t help but wonder if Woodhead would have given him a second glance if he hadn’t arrived at their first meeting at the rental property she was marketing driving a £70,000 Porsche convertible and wearing a Rolex watch. Mr Joseph says: ‘At the time I thought she was attracted to me, but I think the money side of things was there from day one.
She was the one who asked me out for a drink. I’m not a flashy person, just a typical boy who likes toys and gadgets.’
The pair began a relationship. In October 2007, eight months after their first date at a pub, Mr Joseph moved in with Woodhead into a £4,000-a-month rental property in Wisley, Surrey - complete with six acres of land, facilities for her five horses and a river at the bottom of the garden.
At first, everything was idyllic. But within months, the relationship became strained. Mr Joseph says he began to fear he’d made a mistake, as his new girlfriend started to show a rather more demanding, disturbing side to her personality. The couple initially agreed to share the rent, but Mr Joseph ended up paying all of it when Woodhead said she was too depressed to continue her work as a part-time property manager.
Mr Joseph - a divorced father of two sons - also soon came to realise that Woodhead was capable of dramatic behaviour when things didn’t go her way.
The relationship limped on until April last year when Mr Joseph told Woodhead it was over.
He spent the night in a local motel before returning to their home because he had nowhere else to go. There, Woodhead begged him to give her another chance. However, Woodhead had a secret agenda.
On April 10, she went to the police to make an allegation of rape against him. The court heard she gave a ‘detailed video interview’ but was reluctant to undergo a medical examination.
Bizarrely, she swore the police to secrecy, saying she would only pursue her complaint if they promised not to approach Mr Joseph until she had sorted out her affairs - including their house.
She returned home from the police station, in ‘a friendly and jovial mood,’ acting as though nothing was wrong. The couple made love that night and the next day she wrote in Mr Joseph’s notepad: ‘Sex was great last night.’ Strange behaviour for a woman claiming to have been raped.....
He was arrested four times, but no charges were brought. Then, on May 7 last year - still unaware of the rape accusation - Mr Joseph received a call from a colleague to say police had turned up at his workplace to arrest him.
‘I drove to Staines Police Station thinking they wanted to speak to me about the alleged assault. 'When I got there, a woman police officer said: 'I’m sorry to say an allegation of rape has been made against you by your ex-partner Kate Woodhead.'
‘It was a complete shock. It was absolutely devastating. I just wasn’t expecting it. I was in such a daze that to this day I can remember nothing of the interview. ‘It was only after I was bailed and left the station that I started to piece it all together and realised the date was from the weekend we’d spent together. I looked in my pad and read the note from Kate saying: 'Sex was great last night.'
I thought: 'How the hell?' I called the police and said: 'Look, I think I need to come back in because this is an open and shut case.'
‘After I was arrested, I sent a text message to all Kate’s friends saying: 'Kate has accused me of rape' and a group of them invited me to the pub. I was stunned by what they told me. Kate had told one friend that she was going to make me pay for wanting to leave her by telling the police I’d raped her and that I wouldn’t know what had hit me.’
The friend, in whom Kate Woodhead had confided her 'cry rape' plan, went to the police to give a statement saying she thought the allegations had been made up. She later appeared as a prosecution witness at Woodhead’s trial.
It was in August last year that Mr Joseph was informed that the investigation against him had been dropped and that Kate Woodhead had been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.
‘I was ecstatic when she was charged because it had become a full-time job trying to manage Kate and all her complaints to the police,’ says Mr Joseph, who lost his job as a result of the whole episode, but is now in employment again and living more modestly in Kent.
On Israel: Change the Narrative
Last weekend, I was a speaker at a huge CAMERA conference in Boston on the topic of the ‘war by other means’, the global campaign of demonization and delegitimization of Israel.
CAMERA stands for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. The work it does in combating the media onslaught against Israel, through careful, calm and forensic exposure of the lies and distortions being promulgated about Israel, is of enormous value.
But, for all the great work that it does, and for all the undoubted commitment of the conference’s 800-plus participants, it seems to me that so many American pro-Israel Jews — like those in this country and doubtless elsewhere — are missing the big picture.
This feeling was amplified by remarks made by another conference speaker, Wall Street Journal columnist (and former Jerusalem Post editor) Bret Stephens. As he said, much pro-Israel advocacy isn’t very smart because it is conducted from a permanent defensive crouch rather than an offensive position which sticks the accusations into Israel’s attackers.
So, for example, such friends of Israel fret endlessly about whether or not Bibi will extend the moratorium on new building in Jewish communities in the disputed territories, rather than ask the much more germane question of what the Palestinians are offering as an equivalent concession.
The answer to that one, said Stephens, is that they say they will keep the lid on terrorism. So their great concession is to stop killing Jews. Which kind of illustrates that, while the issue in contention for Israel is land, that for the Palestinians is mass murder.
But instead of accusing the Palestinians and their western supporters of this rejectionism — the true reason for the Middle East impasse — many self-professed ‘friends’ of Israel position themselves on the very ground that Israel’s enemies have chosen to conceal their real aim to obliterate it.
This ground defines the conflict instead as being about the boundaries of two states, Israel and Palestine. Hence the almost exclusive focus on the settlements and the territories, and on Israel’s supposed obduracy on these issues as the major obstacle to peace.
This is demonstrably absurd. The only obstacle to peace is the Palestinians’ continued and open refusal to accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, and thus their continued objective to wage a war of extermination against it.
That is why, when the bulk of the territories was offered to them in 2000, their response was to start blowing up Israelis in buses and pizza parlours; that is why, when Jewish settlers were removed from Gaza, their response was to fire thousands of rockets at Israeli towns; and that is why ‘moderate’ Mahmoud Abbas says the Palestinians will never accept Israel as a Jewish state.
In short, the whole issue of the settlements and the territories is a giant red herring which has been swallowed wholesale by the west’s Israel-bashers. But many in the pro-Israel camp have precisely the same preoccupation, obsessing about whether Israel is making enough concessions on the settlements.
And so they endorse — albeit in softer and more anguished tones — precisely the same false, manipulative narrative employed by Israel’s enemies to conceal the real nature of this conflict.
As Stephens rightly observed, Israel’s defenders should be moving the conversation on to the subject of the ill treatment of the Palestinians by the rest of the Arab world — and towards each other.
I would go further. I would ask self-styled ‘progressives’ who obsess about removing the settlers from the disputed territories why they promote an agenda of racist ethnic cleansing designed to remove every Jew from a putative state of Palestine — while Israel, whose Arab minority enjoys full civil rights, is excoriated for ‘apartheid’.
Put the other side on the back foot where it belongs. Change the narrative.
Muslim minorities upset Germany's multicultural dreams
By Oliver Marc Hartwich (A German economist who has moved to Australia)
THE ghosts of multiculturalism are haunting a country that has failed with the concept. Last weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel became the unlikely gravedigger for multiculturalism when she rejected the idea of cultural pluralism, surprising even her own party members. Merkel is hardly known for her outspokenness.
The delegates at a gathering of young conservatives in Potsdam must have been shocked. "The approach of multiculturalism, to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other, has failed, utterly failed," the chancellor explained in a fit of unexpected clarity to rousing applause of the party faithful.
International commentators are divided about what to make of her remarks. Was Merkel stoking xenophobia? Was she using the issue to combat bad polling data? Or was she stating the obvious?
Whatever the answers to these questions, the global attention to her remarks proved that the idea of multiculturalism has become controversial in many Western societies. Although the troubles of integrating foreign migrants that Merkel referred to are a particularly German phenomenon, they hold lessons for the West.
Merkel has come late to the discussion in Germany. For months, debates about the integration of foreigners, multiculturalism and immigration policies have raged in Germany. The trigger was the publication of the provocatively titled book Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany Abolishes Itself). Written by Thilo Sarrazin, a Social Democrat ex-state treasurer of Berlin and central bank board member, it quickly became the bestselling non-fiction book in post-war German history with a run of more than a million copies.
Sarrazin broke with Germany's cosy consensual politics by painting a pitiless picture of the country's demographic decline, its over-stretched welfare state, and the failing education system. The most contentious issue, however, was his analysis of the state of integration. In purely economic terms, Sarrazin claimed, migration has been a loss-making venture for Germany.
What earned Sarrazin widespread condemnation from the political class, including Merkel, was his allegation that the problems of poor language skills, basic education, and high welfare dependency among migrant groups are perpetuating themselves from generation to generation. Higher fertility rates among migrants further reinforce this process. Sarrazin alleged that this was a sure path towards creating an ever larger underclass, segregated from mainstream society and shut out of the productive economy.
This analysis was more than Germany's political class was willing to hear. Sarrazin was made a political pariah, lost his job at the Bundesbank, and now faces expulsion from the Social Democratic Party. Remarkably, though, overwhelmingly large majorities have expressed support for his positions in opinion polls.
Perhaps the people were more honest about themselves than politicians. The problems with migrant groups in Germany - the result of decades of neglect on both sides of politics - are so manifest and well documented that they are impossible to ignore.
In the "economic miracle" years of West Germany's post-war reconstruction, the government recruited millions of migrants as so-called "guest workers" to fill the jobs for which no Germans could be found. It was also expected that, like good guests, these workers would eventually return home.
Left and Right were equally naive. The Left welcomed the newcomers with open arms without taking any interest in them. They assumed the migrants would automatically enrich Germany with their cultures, spices and habits. The Right showed an equal disinterest in them, since it was still believed they would only be a passing apparition.
Both views were wrong. At the very latest, it should have become clear when otherwise intelligent people started talking, entirely seriously, about "third generation (!) guest workers". By then, many of the guest workers were no longer working but welfare dependent.
In Berlin, three-quarters of all Turkish migrants lack any school qualifications, and nearly half of the unemployed are of Turkish origin. Almost 40 per cent of all Berlin-based Turks get most of their income via welfare payments. When German politicians now say multiculturalism has failed, they only have themselves to blame. Maybe multiculturalism has not failed but German politicians are just not good at managing it. It was they who failed to spot and stop the developments that Sarrazin now describes.
That Germans are openly debating the failure of multiculturalism does not make them xenophobic, though. The readers of Sarrazin's book and those applauding Merkel's recent remarks are neither Nazis nor racists. In truth, modern Germany is still probably one of the least nationalistic countries on earth. The lessons of the Third Reich have truly been learnt and are not forgotten.
A different realisation drives the German debate: a multi-ethnic society may be a reality but a multicultural country does not work. Every country needs clear ideas about its basic rights, values and language. The Germans had long ignored this lesson of traditional immigrant nations such as Australia, Canada or the US. Multi-ethnic Australia works better than multi-ethnic Germany because Australia is not a multicultural country but one built on its traditional British heritage and the values of the Enlightenment.
Ironically, Germany's lack of national pride and identity made it harder to integrate migrants. Why should they integrate anyway when Germans found their own culture so hard to love?
Germans are also learning the hard way that some groups are more willing to integrate into Western society than others. The debate is now about Islam for a reason. No integration issues are reported with respect to Danes, Poles or Vietnamese, all of whom live in Germany in great numbers.
Merkel may have sounded the death knell for multiculturalism, but its ghost will long be haunting the country from its grave.
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.