Wednesday, March 16, 2011
'It just wouldn't work': TV chief is suspended for keeping ethnic minorities out of "Midsomer Murders"
A work of fiction does not reflect reality! How amazing!
It's no secret that you don’t see many black or Asian faces on Midsomer Murders. But a row blew up yesterday after the co-creator of the series revealed the reason why – he deliberately keeps ethnic minority characters out of storylines.
Brian True-May, the ITV drama’s executive producer, found himself suspended after he said he did not use black or Asian people in the series because 'it wouldn’t be an English village with them'.
He described Midsomer Murders as the 'last bastion of Englishness' which relied on an 'English genteel eccentricity', claiming it 'wouldn’t work' if it suggested there was racial diversity in village life.
Other long running serials, including BBC Radio 4's The Archers, have been criticised over 'tokenism' when they have included ethnic characters.
Mr True-May told the Radio Times if he had more minority cast members 'we might be in Slough'.
Last night, amid mounting fury from charities and campaigners, the production company behind the show – All3Media – suspended the TV executive. ITV said it was 'shocked and appalled' at his remarks.
Midsomer Murders, based on the books by Caroline Graham, was launched in 1997 and has featured 251 deaths, 222 of which were murders. The series returns this week with a new star replacing actor John Nettles who played the central character, DCI Tom Barnaby.
Mr True-May said: 'When I talk to people and other nations they love John Nettles, but they also love the premise of the show. 'They love the perceived English genteel eccentricity. It’s not British, it's very English. 'We are a cosmopolitan society in this country, but if you watch Midsomer you wouldn’t think so. I’ve never been picked up on that, but quite honestly I wouldn’t want to change it.'
When asked to clarify what he meant, he added. 'Well, we just don’t have ethnic minorities involved. Because it wouldn’t be the English village with them. It just wouldn’t work. Suddenly we might be in Slough.
'Ironically, Causton [the fictional local town in Midsomer Murders] is supposed to be Slough. And if you went in to Slough you wouldn’t see a white face there. 'We’re the last bastion of Englishness and I want to keep it that way.'
He admitted that Englishness should include other races, but added: 'Maybe I’m not politically correct'.
Mr True-May, who lives in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, near where parts of the show are filmed, added: 'I’m trying to make something that appeals to a certain audience, which seems to succeed. And I don’t want to change it.'
Campaigners accused the executive of trying to 'wipe' ethnic minorities 'off the screen' and of 'distorting' the presence of black and Asian people in rural areas.
Rob Berkeley, of race equality think tank, the Runnymede Trust said: 'Clearly, as a fictional work, the producers of Midsomer Murders are entitled to their flights of fancy, but to claim the English village is purely white is no longer true and not a fair reflection of our society.'
Mohammed Shafiq, of the Ramadhan Foundation, which aims to create a better understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims, said: 'There is a wider agenda in what he is saying which is worrying for me. 'To try to wipe us or our presence off television screens is wrong and factually incorrect.'
Mr True-May last night said he had been instructed by lawyers not to comment. His tearful wife, Maureen, described his suspension as 'ridiculous'. Villagers in Great Missenden leapt to the producer's defence. Roy Stock, 63, said: 'The whole reason of the show is to depict the tiny little villages of England. 'There just aren’t any ethnic people around here. In everyday life in Great Missenden you wouldn’t see any at all.'
Last month Mark Damazer, Radio 4’s former controller, said radio shows should better reflect modern British society, although he cautioned against deliberately targeting ethnic groups.
The daffodil police: British cops swoop on three little girls picking flowers in park
But don't expect them to take any interest if your car is stolen
There are many good reasons for police might carry out a surveillance operation of a local park, for example to scupper a drug deal or tail a suspected mugger. But when two officers swooped at the weekend, having spied on three 'suspects' for 20 minutes from the safety of their patrol car, the need for their presence was not quite so clear.
For those being targeted were three little girls whose 'crime' was picking a few daffodils in the spring sunshine.
Sisters Sienna, four, and India, ten, and their stepsister Olivia, six, had been on a Sunday walk in the park with their parents when they stopped to pick the flowers. But they were spotted by a passing councillor, a member of whose family called the police.
The officers moved the family on after warning Olivia's mother Jane Errington, 35, that she and partner Marc Marengo, 49, father of Sienna and India, that they could be arrested for theft and criminal damage.
Miss Errington claimed the girls were reduced to tears and Sienna is now frightened about returning to the park in case her family are 'taken away by the police'.
Another false rape claim from Britain
Yet another reason for ending the feminist practice of taking the word of a woman against the word of a man. Women are excellent liars and they often lie about rape
A judge has launched a stinging attack on a drunken Wren who cried rape after claiming she woke up to find she was having sex with the wrong man. Judge Jeff Blackett blamed the woman for drinking heavily, being an ‘enthusiastic participant’ in sex and said she did not come to court with ‘clean hands’.
In an extraordinary case, the 19-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed she had mistaken sailor Kenni Dinnell for her lover after a drunken night out because both men had Scottish accents. Yesterday, 21-year-old Dinnell, from Dumfries, Scotland, was cleared of rape by a Royal Navy court martial. He had denied the charge.
In only the second rape case to be tried by a Navy court martial, the court heard the trio had gone on a drinking spree in Portsmouth last July and drunk fortified wine, the alcopop WKD and strawberry cider.
The Wren admitted she had consensual sex with Leading Artificer Greg Robertson, 22, in his room at HMS Nelson, the naval base in Portsmouth, while his friend, Engineering Technician Dinnell, was in the bathroom. After she had sex with Robertson he fell asleep on the floor. The Wren claimed she then woke up to find Dinnell having sex with her and participated because it was a case of mistaken identity.
Judge Blackett said: ‘A woman who drinks to excess and returns voluntarily with two men, having sex with one man while the other is in the room, does not come to court with entirely clean hands.
‘This is the sort of case which in my opinion should never have come to court. There cannot be any higher consent to sex than enthusiastic participation in it. She responded for a few minutes to the defendant’s sexual advances. She felt him kissing her neck, kissed him on the lips and then allowed full sexual intercourse to take place. ‘If the defendant genuinely believed she consented, even though that belief may have been mistaken, he is not guilty of rape.
‘She said she blames herself and she must share that responsibility. None of this has brought any credit to the service and all three rates have let themselves and their service down.’
He went on: ‘I do not criticise the prosecution because we live in an atmosphere and era that makes it very difficult for the police and prosecuting authorities not to prosecute allegations of this nature.’
His comments were made two weeks ago when Dinnell’s legal team applied to have the case dropped due to lack of evidence, but they can only be reported now for legal reasons.
The court, held at HMS Nelson, was told the Wren returned willingly to the base with both men around 2am and had consensual sex with Robertson in his single room. Dinnell, who met the Wren that evening, said he had arranged to stay with his friend for the night rather than return to his station on the destroyer HMS York.
After she had sex with Robertson he fell asleep on the floor. Dinnell said he shared the bed with her fully clothed as there was nowhere else to sleep. He claims she awoke and they had consensual sex, but when Robertson awoke halfway through she appeared uncomfortable..
Stephen Smyth, defending, told the court: ‘She says she didn’t give him the come on, but in a sense she did. She thought it was Robertson. She hardly pushed him away, she kissed him passionately. ‘Each kiss and touch is a question; may I touch you? If the hands are not pushed away, the answer is yes.’
In evidence, the Wren said she blamed herself for drinking too much.
The only previous rape case heard by a Navy court martial was in 2007 when Chief Petty Officer Phillip Coates was sentenced to five years in prison for raping a naval rating. The conviction was later quashed.
Deception promulgated by American Muslim organization
I have made a short comment about this rally previously
Some of the figures involved in the February 13, 2011 Yorba Linda protest have responded to the press release and video distributed by CAIR. Below is a statement by one of the participants, the North Orange County Conservative Coalition. It is followed by statements by event emcee Karen Lugo and Deb Pauly, who is a Villa Park (Orange County) city council member who spoke at the protest. An hour-long video of the speakers is also included.
Important Statement from NOCCC to the Community
"On the afternoon of February 13, NOCCC joined the call for a peaceful protest of ICNA’s fundraiser at the Yorba Linda Community Center. We discovered that the Imam speakers, Malik Ali and Siraj Wahhaj are terrorism activists who are known for their anti-American, anti-Semitic beliefs . These radical Imams, who are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, do not hide the fact that they support Hamas. A popular speaker with the Muslim Student Union on college campuses, Malik Ali openly promotes jihad and dying for Islam. Siraj Wahhaj, supposed co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was a character witness for the convicted blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman.
While we held our peaceful, organized and informative program on the grass area, away from the building, a group of unknown, uninvited protestors gathered near the entrance to the community center to stage their own noisy protest. CAIR has taken advantage of this situation to produce an extremely edited, greatly distorted YouTube video, giving the impression that all of our invited speakers’ words were filled with rude comments and inflammatory rhetoric against all Muslims.
NOCCC stands behind our participation in the protest. We will not allow this despicable hit job and the intimidation tactics of CAIR to stifle our patriotism or diminish our resolve to educate and expose the bigotry of these and other anti-American Imams and the threat of radical, political Islam and sharia law they represent.
We have publicly denounced these badly behaved protestors. However, we have to wonder who plans and attends a fundraiser hosted by two anti-American, radical Imams in a patriotic community like Yorba Linda and then is surprised and offended when the community demonstrates its righteous outrage."
ICNA Protest Organizer Karen Lugo Responds to "Hate Comes to Orange County"
"As a planner -- and the emcee -- of the protest of the Islamic Circle of North America’s (ICNA) fundraiser featuring radical Islamists Malik Ali and Sirhaj Wahhaj, I am very disturbed by CAIR’s representation of the gathering in Yorba Linda. The video presentation with footage and quotes selected for their sensational and hurtful value, is an intentional misrepresentation of the program that evening.
There were two groups demonstrating on February 13th and CAIR chose to only present video of the splinter group that was not invited and not welcome. The main program was in a completely different area and continued with speakers while the ICNA fundraiser began. Never did the main group dismiss and gather at the entrance to the community center.
The obvious goal of deflecting attention from our clear statements about ICNA’s extremist speakers is an obvious attempt to intimidate, discredit, and silence our efforts to expose the true nature of the Muslim fundraiser’s organizers. This will not work. We are committed to moderate Muslims and will continue to expose groups and individuals that are working against American constitutional freedoms.
Here are the facts that the CAIR video (while CAIR does not take credit for production of the video, they distributed it) did not present. The event was planned, as the flier shows, as a “peaceful and patriotic” protest. Instructions on the fliers even requested that demonstrators bring only flags, and no signs. CAIR has chosen to spotlight only the most incendiary remarks. Furthermore, not one of the protest organizers recognized anyone in the group that splintered off. We do not know who they were or who sent them.
What CAIR also does not address is why hundreds of individual Southern Californians many of whom have never protested against anything before, were out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon waving flags and listening to speakers. These people, many not affiliated with an organization, were all there to express solidarity in declaring that extremist Muslims like Malik Ali and Siraj Wahhaj are not welcome in the community.
CAIR tries to silence free speech
Another comment on the matter above
CAIR has decided to teach me a lesson – along with about 500 patriotic Californians and public officials who turned out to protest fundraising efforts of radical Islamists in Yorba Linda. What we are supposed to learn is that all who have the temerity to speak out against the agents of radicalization in America will be vilified, slandered, targeted, and threatened. Instead, what is becoming clear is that CAIR’s very predictable guerilla tactics can be neutralized as Americans challenge the distortion campaigns.
In the Yorba Linda case, CAIR responded to a large community protest of fundraiser speakers Abdel Malik Ali and Sirhaj Wahhaj with a doctored hit video that showcased rogue hecklers gathered at a remote location. The 5-minute hit piece weaponized useful epithets, most shouted in the dark long after the official rally ended, by fashioning a highly edited montage of potent insults. At the ready, victimists filed complaints and filled message boards, pressuring employers, governing boards, oversight committees, and the media to sanction and punish speakers and organizers of the official rally.
CAIR operates in disregard of the expansive free speech rights constitutionally guaranteed in America. As a reminder to all, Chief Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court just reinforced the heightened protection afforded speech on matters of public concern in America when he wrote in the funeral protestor (Westboro Baptist) case: "As a Nation we have chosen . . . to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate."
Despite this, CAIR pushes victimization claims at the local level where “hate-speech/incitement” codes, watchdog commissions, employer human relations departments, and willing media megaphones act as tolerance arbiters. The ensuing investigations and inquiries serve as powerful public examples and, regardless of outcome, are a formidable intimidation tactic.
At the time of this writing the coordinated assault continues against the planners of the Yorba Linda rally, even though speakers affirmed moderate Muslims in over a dozen different instances. An example of the typical institutional response, the Orange County Human Relations Commission met regarding the protest complaints and commissioners were prepared to deliberate toward a consensus with nine of the eleven members present having only seen the doctored CAIR video.
This stunning reliance on a discredited group like CAIR -- unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-finance case as independently affirmed by federal court Judge Solis -- demonstrates the lack of regard for fact and willful predisposition to consider complaints from victim groups as worthy of redress. If the true mission were condemnation of “hate,” the actual instigators, Abdel Malik Ali, Sirhaj Wahhaj and CAIR would at least be agenda items. But rather than point a finger at the purveyors of radicalism, our politically correct minders often duck this duty and thus assist CAIR in the effort to alienate moderate Muslims from American cultural values.
During Rep. King’s homegrown radicalization hearing, Melvin Bledsoe, whose son is charged with shooting two Arkansas military recruiters, accused Americans of “sitting around and doing nothing about extremists.” He called on Americans “to stand up and do something about the problem.” Hanging out the “not welcome” sign as California did in Yorba Linda when known radicals came to town is one way to stand up. Speech is our most potent weapon in shaping political will and awakening our communities. Efforts to chill speech will only deepen resolve and rouse even more Americans to champion speech rights and defend fundamental liberties.
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.