Tuesday, August 07, 2012
'Fears of being branded racist stops British police investigating crimes by ethnic minorities'
Police are failing to investigate crimes committed by ethnic minorities because they fear being branded racist, a report claims.
A pamphlet by think-tank Civitas, released today, says pressure to show racial sensitivity may have been behind the initial failure to properly investigate Asian street grooming gangs in the North of England.
Jon Gower Davies, a former academic, links the failure to police being branded ‘institutionally racist’ by the Macpherson report into the death of Stephen Lawrence, which he says left police ‘shackled’ by bureaucracy.
The pamphlet, which is entitled’ Mind-Forg’d Manacles: Murder, Macpherson and the Police’ finds Macpherson lacked evidence for the charge of institutional racism which he says ‘lacks substance’.
This year a gang from Rochdale were jailed for plying teenage girls with alcohol before raping them. All but one gang member was of an Asian Pakistani background.
The court heard up to 47 vulnerable girls were passed around the group and forced to have sex several times a week, but two years before action was finally taken, police missed an opportunity to stop the gang when a 15-year-old girl told them she had been raped.
A former Labour MP, Ann Cryer, said the police failed to investigate properly because they were ‘petrified’ of being branded racist.
Mr Davies, a former Labour councillor, describes the lack of investigation into sex crimes as a case of ‘reverse’ institutional racism in which the views of victims, vulnerable white girls, were not taken seriously.
The report states: ‘When in February 2012, the trial of a number of Pakistani men finally came to court, it seems that allegations of abuse by one (white) girl had been just ignored by the police’.
The pamphlet, which is published by the Civitas think tank, concludes Macpherson failed to address genuine weaknesses in police practice at the time.
It states: ‘Macpherson... not only obviated the need to make a realistic if less flamboyant analysis of the limitations of the policing of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, but also led to an over-anxious police leadership to make a fool of itself by adopting policies which are neither operationally nor socially nor ethically sound and proper’.
Writing the foreword to the pamphlet, Dr David Green, director of Civitas said Macpherson’s ‘poisonous’ legacy included failures to investigate crimes by ethnic minorities including so-called ‘honour crimes’.
Following Lord Macpherson’s use of the phrase, it became a central tenet of discrimination rules in Whitehall and among police and politicians.
In 2009, on the tenth anniversary of the Macpherson report, Trevor Phillips, the head of the country’s equalities watchdog said he had abandoned the phrase. He said the label of institutional racism became a ‘badge of shame that has hung over’ the police
Stephen Lawrence died in an unprovoked attack while waiting for a bus in Eltham, South East London. In January of this year Gary Dobson and David Norris were convicted of Stephen’s murder.
British villagers face jail after setting up protest camp against gypsies... while travellers stay there illegally
Despite their high nuisance value, Gypsies in Britain are treated with kid gloves because of their "minority" status
Villagers refusing to leave a protest camp set up after gypsies moved on to greenbelt land could face a £20,000 fine or jail if they do not leave.
The campaigners, including many infirm and elderly, were told that Solihull Borough Council has rejected their request to stay at the site in Meriden until the travellers go. Instead, the council has voted for legal action against Residents Against Inappropriate Development (Raid) - despite giving gypsies until March next year to move on.
The authority could also look into a Dale Farm-style ‘direct action’ demolition of their 824-day camp.
Around 250 protesters have kept up a 24-hour vigil at the site since travellers arrived during the May Bank Holiday in 2010.
Neither the locals or the gypsies have planning permission for their camps, but the travellers were told they could remain until next March after a High Court battle with Solihull Council.
The West Midlands villagers set up their makeshift shelter on a builders' yard so as not to damage the land, as they believe the gypsies are.
But following a private planning meeting, councillors have voted to prosecute locals who have defied an enforcement notice issued in April to leave their site, although the authority says it will consult lawyers before taking action.
Yet protesters remained defiant last night - with many stating they are prepared to go to jail for their cause. Raid chairman David McGrath said: 'The council could have given us the same extra time deal as they gave to the travellers who don’t live at the site at night but are causing daytime harm to the greenbelt.
'Instead they have gone for an option which will waste taxpayers’ money, even though we have stated that we will leave in March 2013 if the travellers keep to their agreement to go. 'We will not stop protesting until they go, even if that risks imprisonment.'
Wheelchair-bound grandad Russ Thomas, 72, said: 'I’m prepared to go to jail. It’s disgraceful the council can behave in such a manner.'
Retired welfare officer Jean Greenfield, 80, said: 'I wonder where our equal rights are? 'It’s not feasible at my age to go to prison.'
Euro MEP Nikki Sinclaire, who supports the campaigners, said: 'If protesting was an Olympic event, these people would get the gold medal.
'Solihull Council is wrong and should use its own judgement to dismiss the thought of action against this temporary presence.'
It stated: 'Following a debate of the issues, the Committee resolved that the Solicitor to the Council be authorised to issue legal proceedings if an advice is obtained from Counsel confirming that such action would be both proportionate and expedient.
'We discussed the three options available to the Council to ensure compliance with an Enforcement Notice, those being, Prosecution, Injunction and Direct Action.
'For the avoidance of doubt, the Council will be advised by Counsel, what, if any, action is the most expedient and proportional response. No decision has yet been made.'
The council refused to comment on the jail claims last night. Council leader Ken Meeson said: 'We are currently awaiting legal advice on this matter and therefore cannot comment further.'
Romney’s Right: Brits & Americans Are Joint Heirs to Anglo-Saxon Liberties
by DANIEL HANNAN
Americans take justified pride in their successful assimilation of newcomers. Millions have been drawn to their country, from every continent and archipelago, determined to become American.
What do we mean by becoming American? When we break it down, there are three irreducible elements. First, accepting the values encoded in the US Constitution: free speech, the division of powers, religious toleration and so on. Second, understanding the unwritten codes bound up with those values: civic engagement, open competition, private contract. Third, speaking English.
And where do these characteristics have their roots? In Anglo-Saxon civilization. When a Romney aide told this newspaper that the US and Britain shared an ‘Anglo-Saxon heritage', he or she was stating the obvious. Those Lefties pretending to be upset - the Obama campaign called the remark ‘stunningly offensive' - know perfectly well that the reference was cultural rather than racial. When the French talk of ‘les anglo-saxons' or the Spanish of ‘los anglosajones', they don't mean Cerdic and Oswine and Æthelstan. They mean people who speak English and believe in small government.
It hardly needs saying that the United States is not genetically Anglo-Saxon. Nor is the United Kingdom: it's full of people with non-Saxon surnames such as Hannan. And nor, for that matter, is England. Recent DNA tests have confirmed what place-name studies have been insisting with increasing stridency for the past century, namely that the English are descended as much from the pre-fifth century population as from the settlers who came after the departure of Rome's legions. The notion of mass population displacement comes largely from one later and tendentious source: Gildas's De Excidio Brittonum. It's odd, in retrospect, that historians ever took it seriously.
If Anglo-Saxon is of limited value as an ethnic category, though, it is of huge value as a cultural denominator. Until the mid-twentieth century, most historians traced the notions of personal freedom, the rule of law and representative government to the Anglo-Saxon period. A free people, ran the story, governed by a folkright of common law, and ordering their affairs increasingly through popular assemblies - folkmoots - found themselves subjected to feudalism by the Normans.
Nor was the idea confined to historians. Six centuries after the Conquest, during English civil war, parliamentary soldiers told themselves that that they were fighting to ‘throw off the Norman yoke'. The idea of recovering the native liberty of the Anglo-Saxons, suppressed by an alien aristocracy, was very real to them.
During the second half of the twentieth century, some historians, sneering at what they saw as Victorian jingoism, challenged this narrative. But, as Professor James Campbell, arguably our foremost authority on the period, has shown, the Victorians were onto something: Anglo-Saxon exceptionalism was real enough.
It was certainly real to America's founders. The histories most widely read in the colonies - Nathaniel Bacon's Historical Discourse of the Uniformity of the Government of England; Henry Care's English Liberties; Lord Kames's British Antiquities - all told the same story: in 1066, a free people had lost their liberties to a Continental invader. Even in those days, of course, there were Americans who were aware of having non-English ancestry, yet they cheerfully bought into a self-consciously Anglo-Saxon political identity.
When the first shots were fired in 1775, it didn't occur to Americans that they were fighting a foreign power. The idea of the American Revolution as a war between two nations - a War of Independence - came much later. Paul Revere never shouted ‘The British are coming!' - an absurd thing, if you think about it, to shout at a wholly British population. What he actually yelled, during his famous ride, was ‘The regulars are out!'
Indeed, when Americans called themselves patriots, they meant that they were British patriots, fighting for their ancestral freedoms against a German king and his Hessian hirelings. How else are we to understand their complaint in the Declaration of Independence about ‘abolishing the free System of English Laws' and ‘transporting large Armies of foreign [ie not British] Mercenaries'?
Mitt Romney - or, rather, his staffer - is on absolutely solid ground. The US is built on values which have become so uncontroversial that they are considered almost universal: representative government, the rule of law, private property, religious liberty, free speech, habeas corpus, trial by jury. It's easy to forget that these precepts, at least in the form that the founders recognized, were products of a specifically British political culture.
Even the dimmest Romney aide must be aware that non-Anglo-Saxons form the vast majority of the US electorate. It is surely fair game, though, to draw attention to Obama's anti-British prejudices (see here for the full charge-sheet). It is fair game, too, to posit a connection between Obama's dislike of Britain and his contempt for those US institutions - the common law, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights - that were inherited from Britain.
One thing that Britain and the US have in common is that they define nationhood in civic rather than ethnic terms. A hundred years ago, 80 per cent of British subjects were neither white nor Christian. You become British, as you become American, by signing up to a set of values.
And a pretty decent set of values they are. In two world wars, hundreds of millions of men crossed half the world in order to take up arms in their defense. Whether they were from Jamaica or Australia, India or Canada, they understood that they were fighting for freedom against tyranny. Not every country got the big calls of the last century - the two world wars and the Cold War - right. The Anglosphere peoples, by and large, did.
During the first half of 2012, I toured the main English-speaking democracies to make the case for the Anglosphere. I was struck by the warmth with which people of non-British backgrounds, especially in Australia and Canada, endorsed the concept.
If (as I hope) Mitt Romney becomes president, and if (as I hope) Tony Abbott wins in Australia then, for the first time, there will be a conservative and Anglospherist full house. It would be a pity if the opportunity to move towards an Anglosphere free trade area were lost because of Britain's outdated membership of a European customs union. In the mean time, though, let's at least show that we can accept a compliment graciously.
Australia: Conservative leader flags changes to discrimination law
OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has recommitted a coalition government to removing parts of the Racial Discrimination Act that make it illegal to make statements that offend based on race or ethnicity.
Mr Abbott said the coalition, if elected, will repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which prohibits statements that offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people on grounds of race or ethnicity.
This section of the act was a "threat" to freedom of speech in Australia, Mr Abbott wrote in The Australian on Monday. "Expression or advocacy should never be unlawful merely because it is offensive," he wrote. "It ought to be inconceivable that a commentator offering an opinion should fall foul of the law just because offence was taken or might be expected to be taken."
The coalition would be prepared to maintain a prohibition on inciting hatred against or intimidation of particular racial groups, Mr Abbott said.
He again defended News Limited columnist Andrew Bolt, who was ruled to have breached the Racial Discrimination Act in articles he wrote on fair-skinned Aborigines. The articles, published in 2009, were headlined "It's so hip to be black" and "White fellas in the black".
Mr Abbott said while the articles were not Mr Bolt's finest, the commentator should have been afforded the right of freedom of speech. "Speech that has to be inoffensive is not free, just unerringly politically correct," he said.
"If it's all right for (former Fairfax journalist) David Marr to upset conservative Christians, why is it not all right for Bolt to upset activist Aborigines?"
Labor MP Ed Husic said there wasn't any room in public debate for inciting of hate. "I think there's a place for reasoned argument ... but not one that seeks to marginalise one section of the community from the other," he told Sky News.
Australia: Ramadan riot in Sydney
RAMADAN festivities turned nasty last night when two men were arrested for offensive language toward police in south west Sydney.
More than a dozen men of Middle Eastern appearance gathered on Waterloo Rd, Greenacre for a barbecue setup on the street for what is believed to have been Ramadan.
Police arrived at the scene about 1am following reports of loud and offensive language coming from the area.
Two males were arrested for allegedly yelling obscene language at officers.
Riot police and the dog squad also attended the incident.
Some members of the crowd were wearing 'Brothers 4 Life' jackets.
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.