Monday, July 04, 2011
British class hatred
'I actually smiled when I saw they had double-barrelled surnames': Fury at columnist's crass Tweets about deaths of three gap-year boys
A newspaper journalist who cruelly mocked the the deaths of three teenagers killed on a gap year has been forced to apologise for her grossly insensitive comments on Twitter.
Guardian columnist Kia Abdullah tweeted that she had 'smiled' when she heard the news that students Max Boomgaarden-Cook, 20, Bruno Melling-Firth and Conrad Quashie, both 19, had died in a coach crash in Thailand.
The journalist, who has published a controversial book about paedophiles, asked her hundreds of followers if it was 'awful' that she felt no sympathy for the death of the three school friends, who had spent months saving for a tour of South-East Asia.
'Is it really awful that I don't feel any sympathy for anyone killed on a gap year?', she wrote. 'I actually smiled when I saw that they had double-barrelled surnames. Sociopath?'
Her flippant comments about the tragic deaths - just days after the boys died - received a torrent of disgusted Tweets.
Abdullah initially backtracked by deleting her insensitive Tweets, apologising for her 'stupid and heartless comments' and saying she 'should have known better'.
But the columnist then seemed to take a more defiant tone, insisting that she thought deleting her posts would be 'cowardly' but she was caving in to demand from shocked Tweeters, posting 'since the consensus is that I should, I will'.
She then appeared to recognise the anger surrounding her glib remarks, posting 'Rather glad I'm not on foursquare'; which is an application that lets people know online where the user is.
The News of the World reported that the grieving step-mother of Max, Madeleine Boomgaarden, used Twitter to respond to the contibuter's cruel jibes, telling her 'Your words have caused so much pain. 'As the step-mother of one of those boys whose Thai bus coach deaths you laughed at, hope you regret the pain & your career dented.'
The three gap-year students were killed in a road crash in Thailand just days after beginning their ‘trip of a lifetime’. The school friends had saved for months before setting off on a tour of South-East Asia.
They died instantly early on Tuesday last week when the coach in which they were travelling from Bangkok to the northern town of Chiang Mai was hit from behind by a bus.
Conrad, who had been due to start university in Manchester with Max in September, had celebrated his 19th birthday in the Thai capital on Saturday with his two friends and girlfriend Elisa Smith, who then flew back to London.
As a Twitter campaign was launched to persuade the Guardian website to ban Abdullah from writing for them, a spokesman for the newspaper said she was only an occasional contributor and they were not responsible for her.
More British social worker evil: Boy and girl put into care for months after social workers decide they can't cope with life... in YORKSHIRE
Social workers put two children in to foster care for months because they feared the youngsters would not be able to adapt to Yorkshire culture, it has emerged.
In what was described by one lawyer as one of the 'most bizarre' social services decisions they had ever encountered, the boy and girl were put into care in Hampshire 200 miles away from the White Rose county. Social workers believed the pair would feel 'isolated' if they were sent to live with a relative in the north.
However a lawyer has helped the West Yorkshire-based aunt of the children secure custody of them.
Nigel Priestley, senior partner with Ridley and Hall solicitors in Huddersfield, said: ‘Choosing to put children into foster care because of the "Yorkshire ‘culture" is one of the most bizarre social services decisions I have ever come across. ‘This case is an extreme example of the challenges that many kinship carers face.
‘All sorts of obstacles can be put in their way by social services but thankfully, my client had a very sensible judge and the support of an excellent legal team.’
The nine-month custody battle started last August, when the aunt applied to the courts to have her niece and nephew placed with her. But Hampshire Social Services decided not to place the children with her and the reason given was that the social worker didn’t think they could cope with ‘a different culture’.
The aunt, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was stunned when told the reason that her nephew and niece could not come and live with her. She herself had been brought up in Hampshire but moved to Kirklees several years ago, along with other family members.
She said: ‘The children had been in foster care for several months. They needed to be with their family at such a difficult time for them. ‘I put myself forward as a carer. I work. I have a loving family close by. I thought that, together, we could show them what real family life was like. They had had a tough time at home.
‘The court ordered an expert independent social worker to prepare an assessment of my ability to parent the children and she had no hesitation in supporting my application. ‘But to add insult to injury Hampshire ignored this assessment even though their own social worker decided that I could "provide a good level of care".
‘Their social worker decided that the children ‘had grown up within the southern region and couldn’t adapt to the change in area and culture’. ‘Apparently, speaking with a Southern accent would cause ‘difficulties and isolation’.’
Mr Priestley said: ‘I was born in Stalybridge, Cheshire, so I’m a comer-in but I have settled in Yorkshire. ‘The aunt has provided a great home for the children and they will adapt as children do.’
Britain's Chief Rabbi: Equality laws leading to new Mayflower exodus
New equality laws are forcing religious people to flee the country because they are being denied the freedom to live in accordance with their beliefs, the Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, has warned.
The Orthodox Jewish leader claimed that anti-discrimination policies had fuelled an “erosion of religious liberty" in Britain that was leading to a new “Mayflower”, a reference to the flight of the persecuted Pilgrim Fathers to America in the 17th century.
His comments follow growing alarm from leading religious figures over the increasing influence of equality laws. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has called on the Prime Minister to review equality legislation amid concerns that religious freedoms and Britain’s Christian heritage are under threat.
Speaking to the House of Commons public administration select committee, Lord Sacks said there was "no doubt'' numbers of religious believers in Britain were "extraordinarily'' low.
He continued: “I share a real concern that the attempt to impose the current prevailing template of equality and discrimination on religious organisations is an erosion of religious liberty. “We are beginning to move back to where we came in in the 17th century - a whole lot of people on the Mayflower leaving to find religious freedom elsewhere.”
The Pilgrim Fathers sailed on the Mayflower from Plymouth to America in 1620 to escape religious intolerance in England.
Charles Wookey, the assistant general secretary of the Catholic bishops conference of England and Wales, told the MPs that religious organisations were struggling with “rapid social change”. This meant they were forced to alter practices that had been in place for many years, he said.
Recent months have seen a series of clashes of rights reach the courts as a result of equality legislation which was introduced under Labour and designed to prevent discrimination on the grounds of religion or sexuality.
Roman Catholic adoption agencies have closed because they cannot reconcile the requirements under the new laws with their belief that children should not be placed with gay couples.
In March, Owen and Eunice Johns, a Christian couple from Derby, were defeated in the High Court when they sought to overturn a ban on becoming foster carers which was imposed because their traditional beliefs meant they could never tell a child that homosexuality was acceptable.
In May, Margaret Forrester, a Catholic mental health worker, was sacked after a long disciplinary process which was launched because she shared a pro-Life booklet with a colleague.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, director of the Christian Legal Centre, welcomed Lord Sacks’ remarks. “There has been a significant curtailing of religious freedom in this nation, due to the 'equalities' culture and the imposition of political correctness on the public,” she said. “These days, you can lose your job if you have 'incorrect' views. At the Christian Legal Centre we have 50 cases and have seen a number of Christians sacked or disciplined because of their beliefs.
“We were a nation admired the world over. Now people look at us in astonishment unable to believe that we have let such heritage slip so quickly and dramatically.”
However, secular campaigners described Lord Sacks’s comments as “fatuous in the extreme”. Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, called on the Chief Rabbi to withdraw his “foolish” statement and apologise for suggesting that his religion is not allowed to flourish in Britain. “If by religious freedom the Chief Rabbi means religious privilege, it is clear that he would be happier in some kind of theocracy,” he said.
“Rather than fleeing this country, he should thank his God that he lives here and knows that he and his people are safe and free to practice their religion within the law. “The equality laws that he disparages are a wonderful achievement and something that most people – including many Jews - welcome as progressive, just and long overdue.”
Radical Islamic leader scorns Australian troops fighting in Afghanistan
MUSLIMS "have an obligation" to target Australian troops in Afghanistan, an Islamic conference leader said. Branding the Afghan war a Western invasion, Uthman Badar, from the radical Islamic organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir, said: "If our members exist in a country where an occupation has occurred, in capacity as individuals they would have an obligation to resist."
Asked directly if he condoned the killing of Australian troops in Afghanistan, Mr Badar replied: "If you are occupying someone else's land then those victimised people have the right to resist."
He also refused to condemn underhand tactics such as suicide bombing as long as "innocent, non-combatants" were not targeted.
He was speaking as hundreds of Muslims gathered in Lidcombe, in Sydney's west, to promote their call for the creation of an Islamic state ruled by Sharia law, stretching from Spain to Australia. The group has been banned in many countries overseas, including parts of the Middle East. Although Hizb ut-Tahrir does not representmost of Muslims in Australia, it has a growing following here.
While Australian forces joined the war in Afghanistan to capture Osama Bin Laden and fight the Taliban in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Mr Badar said the Australian Government had no business being there. "You have no business in interfering with the people of the Muslim world," he said. "Military occupation should be resisted militarily. People there have a right to resist."
But Islamic Friendship Association of Australia chairman Keysar Trad said the views of Hizb ut-Tahrir were not shared by most mainstream Australian Muslims. "We would like to see the conflict in Afghanistan resolved peacefully and Australian troops return home safely," he said.
Outside the conference, police were forced to call for reinforcements, including the dog squad, when a group of about a dozen members of the Australian Protectionist Party chanting "no sharia law in Australia" almost came to blows with young men from the Hizb ut-Tahrir event.
Protest organiser and APP NSW chairman Darrin Hodges said: "Hizb ut-Tahrir have been banned in most Islamic countries in the Middle East. We don't understand why they haven't been banned here."
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.