Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Those evil golliwogs again
The disputed doll above. It's legal to buy and sell them so why is it illegal for them to be seen? The shop below must be an unimaginable horror
The delightful homes nestle side by side in acres of open countryside. One is an elegant, listed manor house, said to be the oldest in the village. The other is a £1million barn conversion behind a red-brick wall and sweeping gravel drive.
But the harmony of this idyllic Suffolk community has been shattered – by a golliwog. Yesterday a 65-year-old grandmother was preparing to appear in court charged with a race hate crime after placing the doll in her window.
Jena Mason was arrested when her black neighbour, Rosemarie O’Donnell, complained that it was a racial taunt following a long dispute between the two households.
Now lawyers representing opposing sides in the battle of the Worlingham golly will argue whether putting it on display so close to the home 48-year-old Mrs O’Donnell shares with her husband Steve and their mixed race children was an act of ‘racially aggravated harassment’ – the charge Mrs Mason faces.
Underlying the allegation is a disagreement over plans by Mrs Mason and her husband Terry to build new stables on their land.
Their son-in-law, Daniel O’Dell, who also lives at the 16th century manor, is in training for the British Olympic dressage team and needs the space for his horses.
But the O’Donnells hired a planning consultant to object to the application, citing boundary and right-of-way issues, traffic increase and problems from disposing of liquid and solid waste from the horses. They have also complained about the Masons’ dogs allegedly coming on to their land.
Days after the local council granted planning permission, Mrs O’Donnell made a formal complaint to police about it, and supplied a photograph. It had appeared in a ground floor annexe window near the main entrance to the barn, and close to the only road out of the property.
The businesswoman and mother of two, who has Jamaican roots, said the sight of it left her ‘shocked and upset’. Mrs Mason was arrested, questioned at Lowestoft police station, charged, bailed, and told to appear before the town’s magistrates next Tuesday.
Now, in a dispute that looks set to attract international attention, a court will have to decide if it was a deliberate act of racism – or, as Mrs Mason insists, that the golly simply ended up on the window sill when she tidied it up with her grandson’s other toys.
Whatever the outcome, the case appears to be dividing the community. One associate of the O’Donnells said they were ‘a perfectly nice couple’, adding: ‘Some people round here need to move into the 21st century.’
But a villager complained that ‘newcomers’, as he called them, ‘should go back to the city if they don’t understand living in the country’.
The O’Donnells moved to Manor Farm Barn in 2003 from Kent. The conversion gave them five bedrooms, six bathrooms and eight reception rooms. Photos on the internet show statues of twin horses’ heads on the front wall and a Porsche Cayenne and Mercedes saloon in an open garage. Mr O’Donnell, 54, an IT executive, recently valued it at £1.2million on a house information website.
Yesterday he admitted there had been a history of disputes with his neighbours over the stable plans, and the Masons’ dogs.
He said the golliwog had been placed in the only window visible from his property. ‘It’s not a children’s toy,’ he said. ‘You can see it has buttons and other items on it. It was clearly deliberately placed on the window sill facing out of the window.
‘I do not believe it was casually tossed up there. It has caused immense upset. You live in the countryside and you think you have got away from all this nonsense.
‘I would much rather they went after me with a baseball bat rather than insulting my children and wife. We came to East Anglia because we thought it was beautiful, scenic and very safe with an extremely low level of crime.’
Mrs O’Donnell said: ‘I’m sorry – I’m not allowed to say anything.’
Mrs Mason also refused to comment yesterday, although earlier she had said she was ‘completely and utterly surprised’ by the complaint.
The manor house, also believed to be worth in excess of £1million, is a former farmhouse with architectural and historic connections that give it a Grade II listing.
Terry Mason emerged yesterday to say his wife was ‘very ill’ – and told callers to contact her solicitor. The solicitor, James Hartley, confirmed she intended to plead not guilty to the charge. He added: ‘There have been various disputes between the O’Donnells and the Masons. Mrs Mason denies acting in a racial or abusive manner.
‘The golly toy belongs to Mrs Mason’s 16-month-old grandson and was put on the window sill along with other items while she was tidying up. ‘There was no malicious or racial intention on the part of Mrs Mason and it is regrettable that the matter has been blown out of proportion.’
The maximum penalty that magistrates can impose for the race offence she faces is a £5,000 fine. If the case goes to Crown Court, however, it could lead to a maximum two years in jail if proven.
Toddler taken into care after mother was branded a 'drunk' by presumptuous British police... when she had collapsed in the street from brain aneurysm
A mother had her young son taken into care after police accused her of being drunk when she was actually suffering a brain aneurysm. The woman, who is her 20s, collapsed on her doorstep in front of the child.
She was spotted by police asleep in the street in Chatham, Kent, last December when temperatures had dropped to minus 2C. Her son, who is under the age of five, was sitting beside her without shoes or a coat on, and his toes had turned blue.
Police said the woman was drunk, but her lawyer told Medway Magistrates' Court that her slurred speech, glazed eyes and unsteadiness were symptoms of a brain aneurysm, for which she later underwent surgery.
Her son was placed in foster care for eight months and spent Christmas away from his mother. The single mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she had been through 'hell' but was now reunited with her child.
However she was handed a six-month conditional discharge after admitting threatening and abusive behaviour towards police officers who took her son.
She told the court: 'It's been hell but I have been honest from the start. The past eight months have been a real struggle. I didn't see him for almost a month and we spent Christmas apart.'
Officers assumed that the woman was intoxicated as her eyes were glazed, she was slurring her words and could barely walk.
Her solicitor Alan Balneaves said she was admitted to hospital with the aneurysm and viral meningitis just days after the incident. She had previously had several seizures.
The young mother said she had taken her son to stay overnight at a friend's home in Chatham and admitted having 'a couple of drinks'. After a fight broke out at the house, she decided to return home with her son, leaving his coat and her keys behind in his buggy. She said that she only had a hazy recollection of what happened but suffered two black eyes and bruising to her arms and body.
She said: 'It happened all of a sudden. I was scared and I just panicked. I wanted to get out of the house and left the buggy and his coat as I was very confused.'
The woman said that she hopes to make a full recovery after her brain surgery but is being monitored closely by doctors for five years.
'It's been madness and it was really scary going to court but I'm glad it's over and we can now move on with our lives. 'My son is really active now and we are enjoying doing things together. He is happy to be home,' she added. 'He will be going to school soon and when he does I'm going to get a job. I've now got a lot of support around me.'
Victory for marriage (for now): U-turn on rights for live-in British couples
Live-in couples will not be given the same rights as those who have married, ministers ruled last night. In a victory for family campaigners, plans to give a raft of new legal entitlements to unmarried couples have been abandoned.
The Law Commission proposals, published under the last Labour government, were condemned for undermining the institution of marriage. And last night ministers said they would not be introduced during this Parliament.
The measures would have given inheritance rights to cohabiting couples after just two years of living together, and couples who had been together for five years would have been treated the same way as if they were married.
Unmarried couples who had a child together would have been given automatic inheritance rights if one of them died without a will – irrespective of how long they lived together.
The 2009 commission report said it wanted to update the law covering the death of a person who hadn’t left a will to better reflect the make-up of ‘modern families’. It said: ‘While some may find this idea controversial, research indicates that it would match public expectations and attitudes.’
Last night critics welcomed the Ministry of Justice decision to ditch the proposals. Patricia Morgan, an author on family policy, said: ‘There has been a long-running campaign by femi-nazis such as Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt to undermine marriage with a thousand cuts. One way is to take the remaining benefits of marriage and giving them to all and sundry.’
Kathy Gyngell, research fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies, added: ‘These proposals were completely wrong in principle and always impractical.’
Losing Malmo: And Brussels, and Rome, and Amsterdam...
Do you remember the jihadist terror campaign that ravaged Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city? Do you recall the bombings, the suicide-hijackings, and the random assassinations that finally coerced the city to surrender to Islamization?
No? Funny, I don’t remember them either. Yet there is no question that Malmo has surrendered. Large enclaves of the city, like similar enclaves throughout Western Europe, have earned the dread label “no-go zone.” They are unsafe for non-Muslims, particularly women who do not conform to Islamist conventions of dress and social interaction. They are especially perilous for police, firefighters, and emergency-medical technicians.
Why would a community discourage the so-called first-responders? After all, the top priority of law-enforcement officers is to assist crime victims. In an Islamic enclave, a high percentage of these will be Muslims. And obviously, the fire department and the ambulances are dispatched to save lives — here, Muslim lives. Yet, the community is hostile. The police and other emergency personnel are viewed as agents of the non-Muslim state. Their presumptuousness in entering the Islamic enclave and acting under the color of Swedish law is taken as an affront to Islamic sovereignty.
An Islamic enclave in the West may as well be the West Bank, and the authorities the IDF. They are regarded no differently. That is why, as Soeren Kern of the Madrid-based Strategic Studies Group notes, “Fire and emergency workers . . . refuse to enter Malmo’s mostly Muslim Rosengaard district without police escorts.” And sensibly so: When firefighters attempted to extinguish a blaze at the city’s main mosque, local Muslims pelted them with stones.
There is a simple reason why this has happened to Malmo, and why it is happening in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, etc. The European Union forced on its member states the same approach to their swelling Muslim populations that the Obama administration is now trying to strong-arm American cities and states into adopting. It is a suicide theory, holding that the only threat to our security is “violent extremism.”
Violent extremism, the theory goes, is wanton and irrational. Therefore, it is mere coincidence that today’s violent extremists are almost uniformly Muslims. Indeed, the big thinkers settled on the antiseptic term “violent extremism” specifically to avoid the word “terrorism,” which, owing to the inconvenience that Islamic scripture adjures Muslims to “strike terror into the hearts” of their perceived enemies, would give violent extremism an Islamic connotation that is to be studiously avoided, no matter how accurate it may be.
With violent extremism as their guide, policymakers instruct security agencies that there is no need to scrutinize any strain of Islamic ideology for the purpose of divining what Islamists want. In fact, the theory continues, because violence is wanton, while Islam is peaceful, violence must perforce be anti-Islamic, and thus Islamists must be just as offended by it as anyone else. Consequently, since by some strange quirk of fate the violent extremists seem to be coming out of the Islamic community, the best strategy is to befriend Islamist leaders and consult them about how we can conduct investigations without causing offense.
Naturally, police veterans fully appreciate that this is nonsense on stilts. They know that violence is often barbaric in the execution but almost never irrational in the application. Understanding motivation is the key to solving most crimes. But, hey, if the suits want it to be “violent extremism,” then violent extremism it is.
Cops, like most of us, want to get promoted up the ranks. Today, the people deciding who gets promoted up the ranks are progressives. You may remember their visionary criminal-justice theories from the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the explosion of crime that resulted from them. Back then, it was all about excusing the savagery and punishing the police for failing to understand the root causes. Today, it is about infantilizing the savages and warning the police not to look for the root causes.
If we cared to look for the root cause of what’s happening in Europe — happening primarily without “violent extremism” — the answer is very simple: Islamist leaders have adopted a strategy of voluntary apartheid in their quest to Islamize the West.
The strategy has been championed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Its chief jurisprudent, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, urges Muslims to relocate to Europe, Australia, and North America. There, they should live among other Muslims, conduct their affairs in accordance with sharia (the law of Islam), and pressure Western governments to accept the primacy of sharia in Muslim enclaves — enclaves that will grow and spread and connect. By convincing “Western leaders and decision-makers of our right to live according to our faith — ideologically, legislatively, and ethically,” Qaradawi reasons that Muslims would “traverse an immense barrier in our quest for an Islamic state.”
Equally adamant is the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the bloc of governments from the world’s Islamic countries. The OIC purports to speak as a sovereign on behalf of the Muslim ummah. In 2010, it released its now annual report on — what else? — Islamophobia. The report conjures an imaginary tidal wave of anti-Muslim bias while overlooking both the predominance of Muslims in global “violent extremism” and the West’s pandemic of official solicitude toward Islamic leaders. “Muslims should not be marginalized or attempted to be assimilated, but should be accommodated,” the report proclaimed. “Accommodation is the best strategy for integration.”
The best strategy for whom? Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, goes even farther, inveighing that “assimilation is a crime against humanity.” With progressives in charge and see-no-Islam in vogue, Erdogan remains the West’s favorite “moderate” Islamist, despite the fact that he rejects the term “moderate Islam” as an insult. “Islam is Islam,” he snaps, “and that’s it.” Meanwhile, he warns Germany’s leaders not to pressure their large immigrant population of Turkish Muslims to become German. The message to Muslims is clear: Integrate? Yes. Assimilate? Never.
That is the plan, and it’s making extraordinary progress with a minimum of violent extremism. As Soeren Kern elaborates, in England Islamist organizations are now pressing to turn twelve British cities into Islamic emirates: autonomous Muslim enclaves governed by sharia law, independent of the national justice system. They call one proposed emirate “Londonistan” — surely not to honor Melanie Phillips, who wrote a book by that title, but confirming nevertheless the phenomenon she so brilliantly diagnosed. In these cities, non-Muslims are serially harassed, women are threatened (and worse) for failing to don the veil, and visiting officials such as former home secretary Jon Reid are heckled, “How dare you come to a Muslim area?”
In France, the government now posts on its official website the list of 751 Zones urbaines sensibles, the Muslim enclaves considered no-go zones. Non-Muslims are on notice: Enter at your own considerable risk. The police no longer go in. The nation no longer exercises sovereignty. The same pattern is seen in Brussels, Rome, Amsterdam, and the Ruhr: As the number of Muslims increases, so does the number of enclaves. The police will not enter without police escorts, which often means the police will not enter, period. As one police chief told the German press, the governments may deny it, but everyone knows these no-go zones exist, and “even worse, in these areas crimes no longer result in charges.” The Muslims are “left to themselves. Only in the worst cases do we in the police learn anything about it. The power of the state is completely out of the picture.”
These are the wages of a myopic concentration on the physicality of violence coupled with an irrational denial that the violence — jihadism — is only is part of an ambitious plan to govern in accordance with sharia. Violent jihad is not wanton. It is part of a strategy to implement sharia as the foundation of a fundamentalist Muslim society. That is why sharia is worth studying. The idea is not to kill non-Muslims; it is to overcome resistance. Sometimes that is done by “violent extremism,” but it is just as effectively done by demoralizing the police. It is even more effectively done by infiltrating the councils of government policy.
The Obama administration has arrived at a counterterrorism policy it publicly calls “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.” It has its roots in the Homeland Security Department’s “Countering Violent Extremism” working group.
In 2010, the working group issued its recommendations. The group “felt” it was essential to “delink” law enforcement’s “crime reduction efforts” from studies on “radicalization” in the Islamic community. Law enforcement needs to be more “sensitive,” the working group suggested, to damaging community “perceptions” that can arise from “enforcement actions and intelligence gathering.” Nothing is more important, the group argued, than developing strong relationships between police and communities, and those relationships can be wounded if people “perceive that they are viewed as incubators of violent extremism.” Instead, police should take their lead from “members of the community” who “should be invited to provide training to government personnel.”
And who was in that working group, offering advice that is now federal policy? Among others, it included top officials of such Islamist groups as the Islamic Association of North America (an organization shown to be complicit in the Muslim Brotherhood–led conspiracy to finance Hamas, proved by the Justice Department in a 2008 prosecution), Muslim academics, the president of the Muslim Bar Association of New York, and the president of the ultra-leftist Southern Poverty Law Center.
They tried the same thing in Europe: Emphasize “violent extremism,” bleach out Islam, build strong relationships with influential Muslim leaders, and — just to prove you’re not one of those “just the facts ma’am” Cro-Magnons — let the Muslim leaders be your eyes and ears in their communities. Trust them to tell you what they think you need to know about Islamic culture. That frees you up to devote your energy to stamping out the scourge of Islamophobia.
Look how well it’s worked out.
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.