Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Is Britain a racist nation? One in three Brits 'admits to being racist', according to poll
Human beings have constructed caregories of people from time immemorial. The only wonder is that so many have now been browbeaten into denying it
A third of Brits admit they are racist, a shock report has revealed. The worrying figure emerged in a poll of 2,000 adults who were asked to honestly express their feelings about foreign nationals living and working in this country.
One in three admitted regularly making comments or being involved in discussions which could be considered racist.
Additionally, more than one in ten admitted they had been accused of being a racist by someone close to them. And almost 40 per cent confessed to using the phrase ‘I’m not a racist, but ...’ when discussing race issues facing Britain today.
Alarmingly, many felt their animosity towards foreigners was passed down by previous generations.
But the country’s immigration policy also emerged as a trigger for emotions which could be considered racist.
The true extent of the racist undercurrent within the country was revealed in a nationally representative study carried out by OnePoll in which 88 per cent of the respondents classed themselves as ‘White British’.
Anti-racism campaign group Hope Not Hate, said they were not 'surprised' by the poll results. 'These are very disappointing findings. The positive way to look at it the majority of Britain's shun this behaviour. 'It equally shows there is a long to way to go to tackle prejudice in sections of society. It's disappointing - we know there is a long way to go and this poll merely underlines the fact.'
Yesterday a OnePoll spokesman said: 'What constitutes being racist will always be a contentious issue. 'What one person deems inappropriate the next person may not. 'The opinions and beliefs of our parents and grandparents are bound to be a factor in the way we address other people regardless of their nationality or skin colour. 'Likewise life experience and cultures we have grown-up in are inevitably going to influence our beliefs and the language we use.
Other factors which many feel stir up anti-foreign emotions was the environment or neighbourhood people currently live in. Life experience was also hailed as a reason.
The study also found one in five accept the fact people around them make disparaging remarks about different ethnic groups - and are not bothered by it.
Age-wise, the over 55s were found to have the biggest chips on their shoulders, with the 18-24 age range close behind.
The younger of these two brackets were also more likely to admit making racist comments or partaking in behaviour which could be deemed racist.
The Government’s immigration policy was slammed by many of those who took part in the study. Seventy one per cent said they felt the ‘open doors’ approach to foreign nationals was leading to an increase in racist feelings.
As many as one in six demanded Britain close its doors to anyone who is not a UK national. Just over four out of ten said they felt a strict number of immigrants should be allowed in at any one time.
A OnePoll spokesman added: 'It’s alarming that so many people are just accepting the racist behaviour around them. 'Nobody should feel an outsider in their own community.
'The findings did show that immigration policy was fuelling the fire for racist behaviour amongst some adults. 'But immigration and race are two separate issues although these findings show that many believe one is a consequence of another.'
Climbdown on secret justice in Britain
Justice Secretary to allow judges, not politicians, to decide whether a civil case should be kept out of the public eye
Plans for a vast extension of the ‘secret justice’ system will be scrapped today. Ministers have been forced to back down following a massive outcry from civil rights groups, MPs and lawyers.
Moves to hold ‘sensitive’ inquests behind closed doors are being dropped altogether. And in civil cases judges, not politicians, will now have the power to approve or refuse a request for a secret hearing.
Writing in the Mail today, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke admits the original plans were too broad. ‘No evidence that can currently be heard in open court will be put into closed proceedings,’ he adds.
His retreat on inquests was welcomed by the Royal British Legion and campaigners for the rights of families in coroners’ courts.
But civil liberties groups said the concessions did not go far enough and the ‘odious’ Justice and Security Bill should be scrapped completely. They warned the legislation, to be published today, would still put ministers above the law, stopping the public learning about allegations of British complicity in rendition and torture.
Closed hearings are used in tiny numbers of immigration and deportation cases, but the Government had initially proposed employing them wherever ministers felt the public interest was threatened.
Defendants or claimants are not allowed to attend, know or challenge the case against them and must be represented by a security-cleared special advocate, rather than their lawyer. Critics said the proposals were a fundamental breach of the traditional principles of open justice, with MI5 and MI6 dictating the agenda.
Spy chiefs have been embarrassed by terror suspects making civil claims, which were settled out of court to stop sensitive intelligence material being discussed in public.
But even the elite group of lawyers involved in ‘secret justice’ hearings attacked the plans, casting doubt on whether the shakeup was needed to protect Britain’s intelligence relationship with the US.
The majority of security-cleared special advocates – 57 out of 69 – insisted proposals to allow secret hearings across any civil court case or inquest hearing were ‘a departure from the foundational principle of natural justice’.
Critics also feared the new rules could be used to cover up potentially embarrassing incidents, such as police shootings.
In an extraordinary letter to fellow members of the National Security Council last month, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg insisted the security services ‘cannot be allowed to ride roughshod over the principle of open justice’.
Since then, the coalition parties have been embroiled in bitter negotiations over the legislation.
The unveiling of the bill had to be shelved last week thanks to a row over whether to exclude inquests, which the Home Office and security services wanted retained. The final version will introduce closed material procedures in ‘very limited’ circumstances in civil cases.
A judge, not a minister, will have the final decision on whether proceedings should go into closed session and only in exceptional cases involving spies and national security. Only evidence that would otherwise not have seen the light of day, Mr Clarke argues, will be heard by a judge in private. He said vast sums of taxpayers’ cash have been used to settle claims where sensitive material was central to the Government’s case but could not be used in court.
Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty, a rights group that has played a key role in the campaign against the bill, said the concessions should not obscure the ‘odious’ nature of a policy that was ‘such a sweeping affront to centuries of justice’.
But Chris Simpkins of the Royal British Legion said: ‘We have always said secret inquests would compound the grief of bereaved Armed Forces families. They deserve a process that fully includes them.’
Mr Clegg played a pivotal role in watering down the legislation and a senior Lib Dem source said last night: ‘As a result of the Deputy Prime Minister’s intervention, these proceedings are restricted to exceptional cases of national security; a judge not ministers decide; and, crucially, these measures will never apply to inquests.’
The draft proposals had called for closed material proceedings to supplant the system of public interest immunity certificates. But now judges will consider whether a case could be heard using such a certificate – which allows evidence to be kept back – before allowing a secret hearing.
Macho man? Women actually want a provider says study into what created the modern families
Confident and cocky, alpha males might have you believe that they could win the heart of any woman they want. But when it comes to finding a mate, women are actually hardwired to go for a meeker, less macho chap who is a good provider, a study suggests.
American researchers have looked into the reasons why humans developed the two-parent nuclear family.
Our primitive ancestors would have inherited the social structure of the apes – a sexual free-for-all with males fighting each other for mating rights. But scientists at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, say a ‘sexual revolution’ occurred when lower-ranking males who had no chance of winning a fight cottoned on to providing food and care instead.
Their effort paid off, as they got the immediate benefit of mating. And in the long run, females decided they preferred being looked after and started forming long-term relationships, the study found.
Sergey Gavrilets, an evolutionary biologist, said this was ‘a foundation for the later emergence of the institution of modern family’.
It made males more productive, as they wasted less time fighting, and having two parents around meant offspring were more likely to survive, the study suggests.
Professor Gavrilets said experts have struggled to explain how the modern family arose, because they thought if low-ranking males started providing food, the bigger ones would just fight them off.
He said they did not realise until now that female choice was the critical factor. ‘Once females began to show preference for being provisioned, the low-ranked males’ investment in female provisioning over male-to-male competition pays off,’ he added.
The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The study on early human evolution demonstrates mathematically that the most commonly proposed theories for the transition to human pair-bonding are not biologically feasible.
However, the authors advance a new model showing that the transition to pair-bonding can occur when female choice and faithfulness, among other factors, are included.
The result is an increased emphasis on provisioning females over male competition for mating.
The effect is most pronounced in low-ranked males who have a low chance of winning a mate in competition with a high-ranked male, the study claims.
Thus, the low-ranked male attempts to buy mating by providing for the female, which in turn is then reinforced by females who show preference for the low-ranked, ‘provisioning’ male, according to author.
The study reveals that female choice played a crucial role in human evolution and that future studies should include between-individual variation to help explain social dilemmas and behaviours, Mr Gavrilets said.
Is There a Legal Problem with “Hate Crimes?”
The definition of "hate crime" is one of those overkill legislative initiatives with unforeseen consequences. It is noble to recognize that some people commit crimes out of hate, but a murder is a murder, and this should be enough.
How can we possibly know a criminal's inner thoughts (his hatred for his victim); furthermore, even if we can know this for certain, what difference does it make to the victim? The hatred of the murderer should only reflect upon the ultimate sentencing: premeditated and aggravated murder.
I recall a case last November in El Cajon, California, in which an Iraqi woman immigrant was found in her home, beaten to death, with a note beside her that warned all "terrorist Arabs" to go back to their countries. This crime was immediately snatched up by the legal arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR, as an illustration of "Islamophobia." Their outrage at how badly Muslims are treated in the United States accompanies their ongoing campaign against national security officials spying on Mosques and Muslim student clubs in universities. Surveillance should be conducted where there is likelihood of criminal activity and where one follows the numbers.
Now, it seems that the El Cajon Iraqi woman was not killed by an Islamophobe at all. She was killed, as are so many Muslim women, by her near and dear. This was an "honor killing" against a woman who was seeking a divorce (dishonoring her abusive husband, no doubt). One other member of that benighted family also needs protection: the murdered woman's daughter, who refuses to marry a cousin selected for her. She has the temerity to want to have her own choice of spouse, and I hope she has police protection and a women's shelter in which to hide.
Honor killings are indeed hate crimes (the obvious underlying disdain leveled at women in pious families, not just Muslim families). However, it is mostly in traditional Muslim families that the hatred is acted upon and wives and daughters murdered. Perpetrators of such crimes must be convicted as murderers, and their honor-killing motives indicate premeditation.
In the past and in certain places (France, for one), a man who found his wife in bed with a lover could kill her in an "act of passion," in which premeditation was not a condition and his legal punishment mild. Honor killings are not in this category.
Gathering statistics on this horror is difficult because officials tip-toe around something that might be considered Islamophobic. However, there are significant differences between husbands murdering wives, still too frequent in America, and honor killings, which is a premeditated family collaboration. Murder by the family of origin is estimated at 72 percent in the Muslim world's honor killings and at 49 percent among North America honor killers. European families, immigrants from the Muslim World, have numbers similar to their countries of origin. The victims of honor killings were by far younger than western victims of wife abuse and fathers were involved more than 1/3 of the murders in North America. Worldwide, 42 percent of these murders were carried out by multiple perpetrators. (See Worldwide Trends in Honor Killings: Middle East Quarterly.)
Worldwide, more than half the victims were tortured before dying. In North America, over 1/3 were tortured; in Europe, 2/3 were tortured; in the Muslim world, half were tortured.
Motives for these murders include: the victims were "too western" and/or they resisted or disobeyed cultural and religious expectations. "Too western" means independent, not subservient enough, refusing to wear veils, wanting to advance education and a career, or having friends or dating young people of another religion.
Violence against women and children in our own country often escalates to murder, but they are not called "hate crimes," and certainly not "honor crimes." These are murders---some premeditated, some not, and are not excused because of drugs or alcohol. Murder is murder. Domestic violence is violence. Incest is rape. We need to get back to recognizing crime as crime without looking for excuses for these offenses. And for those states with death penalties, honor killers should qualify.
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. 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.