Sunday, February 06, 2011
Multiculturalism policies in Britain a failure, says British PM
David Cameron says a country needs to believe in certain values and to promote them, not just tolerate its citizens' differences
PRIME Minister David Cameron has condemned Britain's long-standing policy of multiculturalism as a failure, calling for better integration of young Muslims to combat home-grown extremism.
In a speech to the Munich Security Conference, Mr Cameron signalled a marked change in policy towards Britain's ethnic and religious minorities, saying the "hands-off tolerance" of those who reject Western values has failed.
He urged a "more active, muscular liberalism" where equal rights, the rule of law, freedom of speech and democracy are actively promoted to create a stronger national identity. "If we are to defeat this threat, I believe it's time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past," he said.
It was Mr Cameron's first major speech on Islamist extremism, an issue of major concern for British governments ever since four home-grown suicide bombers attacked the London transport system in 2005, killing 52 people.
The Prime Minister, who took power last May, argued that "under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream".
He said this had resulted in a lack of national identity in Britain which had made some young Muslims turn to extremist ideology. "Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism," Mr Cameron said. "A passively tolerant society says to its citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It stands neutral between different values. "A genuinely liberal country does much more. It believes in certain values and actively promotes them.... It says to its citizens: this is what defines us as a society."
Mr Cameron clearly distinguished between Islam the religion and the political ideology of Islamist extremism, saying they "are not the same thing". But he argued that non-violent organisations which present themselves as a gateway to the Muslim community but are ambiguous on Western values should no longer receive state funding, and should be banned from university campuses.
His speech echoed controversial remarks made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel last year, when she also called multiculturalism a failure, saying Germany had not devoted enough attention to the integration of immigrants. "What I mean to say is that for years, for decades, the approach was that integration was not something that needed to be addressed, that people would live side-by-side and that it would sort itself out," Ms Merkel said in November. "This turned out to be false."
Black American Dreads Black History Month
Comments by Lloyd Marcus below
I can’t help imagining Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus and all of the other race profiteering usual suspects joyously awakening Feb. 1 with a song in their hearts, “It’s The Most Wonderful Month of the Year.”
Ah, yes! Another Black History Month, time to pitch as many new “guilt trip” government entitlement programs as possible. “I mean, after all, we blacks are still victims of America’s racist attitudes and systematic abuse which has changed very little since the 50s. White America still owes us, dammit!”
See, I know how to sound like a good little colored boy who knows his place on the Liberal Plantation. Democrat Massa’s chief overseer Sharpton would be proud of me.
As a proud American who happens to be black, what I find most annoying about Black History Month — besides the concept of only one month to celebrate Black’s contributions to America — is race profiteers’ despicable divisive exploitation of the month.
Throughout American history, white folks, mostly Christians — there’s that dirty “C” word which the left despises — suffered, sacrificed and died to help set blacks free and move them forward.
And yet, Sharpton and company uses Black History Month to promote the image that every black achievement was made “in spite of” white America.
This month will be flooded with documentaries, specials, articles and commentaries about how America still sucks for blacks and has a long, long way to go to make things right.
Just once, I would love to see Black History Month focused on celebrating the tremendous contributions by blacks in all areas of American life. Include a few “shout outs” to decent, God-fearing, righteous white folks who helped. That would aid in bringing our nation together as opposed to the month being used divisively for political exploitation and extortion.
Black History Month should be a fair and balanced presentation of the history of Americans of African descent. Notice I said, “Americans” rather than “African-Americans”.
Our liberal anti-American public school system, the liberal media and black race-profiteering-so-called leaders make no effort to encourage black youths to be proud Americans. They even discourage it. Their efforts are focused on creating proud “Africans” who happen to live in America.
The fact that the highest office in the land is occupied by a black man confirms that the good in America’s history outweighs the bad. And yet, Sharpton and company would love to broadcast footage of the KKK lynching blacks 24/7 for the entire month of February. By the way, the KKK was founded by Sharpton’s homeys, the democrats. See video above for details.
Meanwhile, much of white America’s efforts to “do the right thing” are ignored. For example, how many black youths are aware that ending slavery was a major issue of the Civil War. On the side desiring to end slavery, 360,000 mostly-white soldiers died.
How many black youths know the Republican Party ended and abolished slavery in the United States and have championed Civil Rights more than any other political party? Click here for details.
I think about the whites who, by candle light, taught blacks to read despite it being illegal at that time. They risked being arrested, because they knew it was the right thing to do. And how about the whites who marched along side Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. What are they, chopped liver? Sharpton and company act as if these great Americans never existed.
What is Black History Month in the minds of most American youths? Is it a celebration of black achievement? I think not. It is a month during which black kids are taught they are victims and white kids are taught they are guilty.
For reasons only a psychiatrist can understand, liberals are obsessed with focusing on the evils of American history. There is evil and wrong doing in the history of every nation/people on the planet. But America’s history is overflowing with goodness and a sense of fair play.
Why? Because regardless of what the Left says, we were founded on Godly principles. In the long run, we always strive to do the right thing. We celebrate courage, righteousness and personal achievement. Peerlessly generous, Americans are swift to the aid of people in need regardless of where they live in the world. We rally around the underdog and cheer for the good guy.
Americans are good, great people. I have met many of them while traveling nationally on Tea Party Express. This is why it so offends me seeing them slandered and abused by the liberal media in support of black democrat race profiteers.
So folks, please ignore all of the Left’s guilt trips and focus on the tremendous contributions by blacks to mankind and our great nation.
Happy Black History Month!
Corporate advertisers in Australia insist on rigid political correctness
GRAHAM Young is the founding editor of a well-regarded e-journal called On Line Opinion, and is a regular contributor to The Australian. I'd describe him as belonging in the centre of the political spectrum, perhaps tending to mild conservatism.
In December he published a piece arguing the case against gay marriage by the pro-family campaigner, Bill Muehlenberg, and then a series of spirited exchanges on the merits of the argument. It was not the first article he'd run on the subject ; that honour had gone to Rodney Croome, a gay activist. Nor were most of the essays run opposed to gay marriage.
Young commented on the blog in mid-December. "The On Line Opinion approach is one that many find difficult to accept, and we are currently under attack from a number of gay activists because we dared to publish [Muehlenberg's essay] which is mostly a pastiche of comments by gay activists, even though the majority of articles I can find on the site support gay marriage. And by attack I mean attempting to intimidate me, sponsors or advertisers. How ironic . . . when we are sponsoring the Human Rights Awards."
When I spoke to him on Wednesday, Young said it wasn't the first time advertisers had made life hard. A group called Ethical Investments had objected after their ads sometimes appeared on pages alongside articles questioning anthropogenic global warming.
On account of the Muehlenberg piece, Young told me two major advertisers had just pulled out: the ANZ Bank and IBM. Comparing this year's January gross ad sales with last year's, he calculated that revenue from his main category of advertising had fallen by 96 per cent. Young is worried that these bizarre decisions will adversely affect other websites as well as his own and could even lead to some of them closing down.
Courts might construe that as the result of an indiscriminate secondary boycott, in contravention of the Trade Practices Act.
That's because Young and a group of other political sites have formed a network called The Domain, to bundle up their readers as a more attractive package for advertisers. The sites are very diverse in terms of ideology, from the ultra-leftist John Passant, to the more mainstream centre-Left Larvatus Prodeo, Club Troppo, Andrew Bartlett, skepticlawyer and the likes of Henry Thornton and Jennifer Marohasy.
Obviously I don't agree with much of what some of them say and the tone of some is more virulent than you'd find in the letters page of The Australian. But clearly they have a right to exist and issues of principle are at stake here that go to the freedom of political debate in this country and the character of our civilisation.
I share the view most editors and journalists once took for granted. Almost any rational argument, no matter how abhorrent, deserves a run.
Aside from advocating terrorism, the only exceptions that come to mind are pieces casting doubts on the existence of the Holocaust and apologias for legalising sex with children or animals.
If anyone is proposing to compromise the freedom of political debate on Australian blogs, it shouldn't happen without a full debate and, like most people, I'd rather it weren't big corporations making the decisions.
So I approached the public relations people at IBM and the ANZ Bank, to find out whether the decision to punish an article against gay marriage by withdrawing their ads was corporate policy.
It seemed inherently unlikely that those organisations would want to express a view either way on such a contentious social issue, let alone in doing so to make decisions that put the survival of other, independent political blogs with a range of positions on the issue in some degree of jeopardy.
It also occurred to me that the sums were small enough - thousands of dollars a month, rather than tens of thousands - so that the decisions might have been taken at one remove, perhaps by the delegated authority of an advertising agency which might be trying to exercise some "soft pink power". In 20-odd years as a magazine editor, I sometimes encountered that sort of malarky.
The initial responses from the PR people in both corporations was that it was news to them and they'd get back to me before my deadline. The ANZ's Stephen Ries replied first. "ANZ does not advertise on any opinion-type websites that may cause offence or segregate any individuals or group. In this instance our advertising was placed through an automatic advertising placement service and once we were alerted to the content we removed our advertising.
"The removal of our advertising should not be viewed as a violation of free speech; it's simply that we choose not to advertise on blogs that do not align to our organisational values."
Oh, brave new world! Apparently anything less than uncritical endorsement of gay marriage no longer aligns with the ANZ's organisational values. What's more, the loss of ad revenue to all the blogs in the Domain network, irrespective of each site's stance on the issue, is neither here nor there and has nothing to do with their freedom of speech.
It's also worth noting that despite the blanket assurances of not advertising on opinion websites, the ANZ was advertising on [Leftist] New Matilda on Friday.
IBM's Matt Mollett's reply was more gnomic. "To optimise reach with its target audiences, IBM continuously reviews and refines its advertising strategy based on a range of considerations, including demographics and content."
Young suspects that the peg on which to hang the internal decision to withdraw advertising within both organisations was a code developed by IASH, the Internet Advertising Sales Houses, which he declined to sign.
The code is a triumph of political correctness gone mad, and badly needs rewriting. Schedule C provides that IASH Australia members "are forbidden to place advertising on sites containing barred content - in other words, any of the inventory defined below - in any circumstances. Content articulating views intended or reasonably likely to cause or incite hatred of any race, religion, creed, class or ethnic group. Content articulating views calculated to cause offence to or incite hatred of any individual or group."
The last sentence is the loopiest in the schedule. It forbids anything that might offend anyone. This would neuter not just contentious articles but the free flow of comment on them that gives blogs their character. As Young says, this section threatens any Australian discussion site. "No newspaper could sign up to this and have discussion threads that were anything other than anodyne."
Apart from making hay with the issue of free speech, I expect the other blogs will kick up a huge fuss, online and in court, about being incidental victims of a secondary boycott. Skepticlawyer blog's Helen Dale, with expertise at the bar and a gift for self-promotion, should have a field day.
Limits on advertising dangerous for democracy
By Andrew Norton, writing from Australia
Earlier this week, the Australian Electoral Commission released figures on political expenditure for 2009–10. Australia’s miners reported spending $22 million on their campaign against the mining super-profits tax. In 2007–08, the union movement spent a record $28 million on their fight against WorkChoices. Both the miners and the unions succeeded in getting policies altered.
Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday, columnist Peter Hartcher concurred with a 2007 Liberal Party view that spending on this scale is a ‘dangerous development for democracy.’ He feared that interest groups could veto policy, making it harder to implement needed reforms. Views of course differ on the merits of the mining tax and WorkChoices. But if governments launch major policy attacks on sections of Australian society, it can hardly be dangerous for democracy if their targets respond noisily and forcefully. This is what democracy is all about – differing views being expressed, with the public ultimately deciding who is most persuasive.
The real dangerous developments for democracy are the various attempts by governments to curb these protests. New South Wales has already imposed a state election campaign spending limit of just over $1 million for groups not standing for office. The Queensland government proposes an even more restrictive $500,000 for its state election campaigns. A promised federal review of election laws will almost certainly canvas similar political expenditure controls. Governments are protecting themselves from their critics.
What could be left uncapped is government propaganda. The AEC’s disclosure system does not apply to government, and so misses our biggest source of political advertising. Labor budgeted nearly $40 million for a campaign in favour of the mining tax, and the Coalition spent an estimated $55 million of taxpayers’ money promoting WorkChoices. Restricting non-government spending without controlling government advertising would further imbalance the political system in favour of the state.
It’s pretty obvious why political parties want to nobble their opponents. But I cannot understand why political expenditure laws get so little criticism from everyone else.
The above is a press release from the Centre for Independent Studies, dated 4 Feb. Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Snail mail: PO Box 92, St Leonards, NSW, Australia 1590.
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.