Sunday, November 10, 2013

Multicultural knife crime in London

A boy who stabbed a teenager to death on a bus on his 16th birthday has today been jailed for at least 12 years.

Shawn Green, 16, was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey for a 'senseless act of violence' after he attacked Derek Boateng in broad daylight.

Derek, who was on his way home Hackney, died after being stabbed in the heart on the 393 bus in Highbury New Park at around 3pm on April 23.

The incident happened as Green was coming home from Highbury Grove School and saw Derek, a former pupil at the same school, sitting at the back of the bus.

Green, from Romford, Essex, admitted stabbing Mr Boateng but denied murder on the grounds that he had acted in self defence.

Prosecutor Tom Kark QC said there appeared to have been some 'previous dispute' between the boys. 'The specific circumstances of that may not be very clear and may not matter very much.  'Whatever had gone on before, we say this act was a senseless act of violence. It resulted in the tragic and untimely death of a young boy.

'Furthermore is the sad fact that both the defendant and the victim Derek Boateng were carrying knives and both produced them.

'But the prosecution suggest that it’s clear who was the aggressor in this incident, and that was the defendant.'

The jury were shown CCTV footage of the moment Green pulled a knife from his waistband before attacking Derek.

After being stabbed Derek remained standing for a few moments before collapsing from massive internal bleeding. He was airlifted to hospital but died the next day.

After the clip was shown the trail had to be halted for 10 minutes as one juror burst into tears.

Mr Kark told jurors that Green, who has no previous convictions, 'aggressively' moved past other passengers towards the teenager and asked 'something of the nature of ‘do you remember me’?'

He said the defendant then produced what was described by witnesses as a six to eight inch kitchen knife from his clothes and was seen to push it towards Derek 'two or three times'.

'There was panic, there was shouting and screaming on the bus as the passengers started to realise what was happening,' he said.
The fatal stabbing happened at around 3pm as Green boarded the 393 bus outside his school. He saw Derek, a former pupil of the school, sitting at the back and attacked him in front of other passengers

The fatal stabbing happened at around 3pm as Green boarded the 393 bus outside his school. He saw Derek, a former pupil of the school, sitting at the back and attacked him in front of other passengers

The barrister said Derek was 'very much hemmed in' where he was sitting, but witnesses told of how he tried to move back towards the window in an attempt to get away from his attacker.

Judge Peter Thornton QC sentenced Green to detention during Her Majesty’s Pleasure with a minimum of 12 years before parole.

The judge said: ‘You were just 15 years old, a schoolboy in uniform, when you stabbed another boy to death on his 16th birthday.

‘With that single blow you took the life of Derek Boateng on his 16th birthday. He had his whole life to look forward to.  ‘I have seen no remorse, no expression of regret on your part for the loss of Derek’s life.’

Judge Thornton also lifted a reporting restriction on naming Green, saying that it was in the public interest to know, given that it was a knife crime in a public place.

In an impact statement, Derek’s parents Davis and Comfort, who are originally from Ghana, said: ‘The death of Derek has left our whole family devastated completely. Our world has collapsed right in front of us.’

Following the verdict, detective chief inspector Chris Jones, from Scotland Yard’s homicide and major crime command, said: 'It is dreadful to think that Derek, who was celebrating his 16th birthday, lost his life over nothing more than a brief clash with another teenager.

'This dreadful tragedy has left a family grieving for a much-loved son, brother and friend who had everything to live for.  'The incident has also wrecked another teenager’s life and Derek’s 16-year-old attacker will now spend many years behind bars. 

'It demonstrates the devastating consequences of carrying knives and the serious harm it has on our communities.'


Words to patriotic hymn I Vow To Thee My Country are ‘almost obscene’ and not fit for Christians, claims Leftist vicar

One of  England's most wonderful hymns,  with music by a brilliant composer.  You would have  to have no heart and no soul to be unmoved by it.  But all that Leftists have in their hearts is hate, of course

A leading Church of England vicar yesterday condemned the words of one of the country’s best-loved hymns as obscene, offensive and unfit to be sung by Christians.

The Reverend Gordon Giles, one of the Anglicans’ leading authorities on hymns, declared that I Vow to Thee My Country should be rewritten if it is to be sung by modern congregations.

His verdict was delivered in advance of the remembrance weekend when the hymn, which is especially valued by military families, will feature in thousands of services across the country and the Commonwealth.

Its patriotic words, written in the final year of the First World War, speak of the ‘final sacrifice’ made by those that love their country, and end with a promise of peace in heaven.

The hymn has been among the most popular since the 1920s. It was a favourite of both Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher, and was sung at Lady Thatcher’s funeral at St Paul’s in April.

But Mr Giles - a former succentor responsible for hymns at St Paul’s - called I Vow to Thee My Country ‘dated’ and ‘unjust’.

He said in an article in the Church Times: ‘Many would question whether we can sing of a love that “asks no question”, that “lays on the altar the dearest and the best” and that juxtaposes the service of country and that “other country” of faith.

‘Should we, undaunted, make the sacrifice of our sons and daughters, laying their lives on the altar in wars that we might struggle to call holy or just?”

‘The notion of vowing everything to a country, including the sacrifice of one’s life for the glorification of nationhood, challenges sensibilities today.’

Mr Giles said that the hymn had a ‘dated military concept of fighting for King and country.

This, he said, ‘gives offence, as it is based on the idea of a king as head of an empire, whose bounds need to be preserved for the benefit of subjects at home and abroad.

‘In post-colonial Britain this comes across as patronising and unjust. Associating duty to King and Empire with a divine call to kill people and surrender one’s own life is a theologically inept reading of Jesus’ teaching.’

Mr Giles, who is vicar of St Mary Magdalene in Enfield in North London, added: ‘Furthermore, if the cause is wealth, power, influence, national pride, then the sacrifice is diminished and its connection to the pride of suffering is, for me, almost obscene.’


I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above, Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;

The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test, That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;

The love that never falters, the love that pays the price, The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago, Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;

We may not count her armies, we may not see her King; Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;

And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase, And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.

The hymn is based on a poem written by British diplomat Sir Cecil Spring-Rice in 1908. Sir Cecil became ambassador in Washington charged with persuading America to enter the war against Germany, and heavily re-wrote his poem in January 1918, shortly before he died.

The new emphasis on sacrifice came in the final months of a war which saw more than three million British Empire casualties, including over 900,000 deaths.

Composer Gustav Holst, who was director of music at St Paul’s Girls School, where Spring-Rice’s daughter was a pupil, set the words to a slightly altered version of the Jupiter theme from his Planets suite in 1921.

With its stirring new tune, called Thaxted, it rapidly became a staple of Anglican worship.

However left-wing and liberal teachers turned against it after the Second World War, and nine years ago a Church of England bishop, the then Bishop of Hulme, the Right Reverend Stephen Lowe, described it as ‘heretical’ and accused it of having ‘echoes of 1930s nationalism in Germany and some of the nastier aspects of right-wing republicanism in the United States.’

Its unpopularity with some Church of England clergy mirrors the fate of another hymn that dates from World War One. Blake’s Jerusalem, set to music in 1916 by Sir Hubert Parry, is now often regarded by Anglican leaders as unsuitable for Church use.

While frowned on by some clerics, both songs remain treasured by millions.

I Vow to Thee My Country has been used as an anthem by England sports teams and featured in the opening ceremony of the Paralympics last year.

Former defence minister Sir Gerald Howarth said that churchmen who dislike the hymn are out of touch with their congregations.

Sir Gerald, Tory MP for Aldershot, said: ‘Any Church of England vicar should know that the Supreme Governor of the Church of England is the Queen. I am not sure a Church of England cleric should be taking this view of Her Majesty.

‘He is completely out of touch with the spirit of the times. There are more poppies being worn this year than ever and the armed forces have never been held in higher regard.

‘A vicar of all people should not be so insensitive at a time of remembrance of those who have made the final sacrifice, for the freedom of vicars to say insulting things.’


With Britain's population set to grow by 10 million... The dangerous liberal myth that it's racist to want to curb immigration

A photo of my grandfather sits in front of me: he came here from Germany in search of a better life, married an English girl, had six young children and yet still faced anti-immigrant racism during World War  I as a ‘Hun’.

His name was included on a trumped-up list of enemy agents. A mob attacked his shop and tried to strangle his wife. He was interned as an enemy alien.

As a result, his son changed his name from Karl Hellenschmidt to Charles Collier.

I am Charles’s son — so a descendant of immigrants, and horribly aware of how natural sentiments about one’s country can easily be tipped into the visceral cruelty of which my family were victims.

My grandfather was an economic migrant. He left a poverty-stricken village in Germany for what was then the most prosperous city in Europe: Bradford. He went straight to a district already so packed with other German immigrants that it was known as Little Germany.

A century on, Bradford is still a city of migrants and still a city of tensions, except that now some of the immigrants really are — unlike my grand-father — enemy agents. Four of them committed the terrorist suicide bombings that killed 52 people in London. Immigrants can be perpetrators of cruelty as well as its victims.

So I know from personal family history both sides of the immigrant issue.

That’s why I can face up to two of the key questions of our times. Is this seemingly unstoppable exodus from some of the world’s poorest nations to this country beneficial or harmful? And, should a country like ours open its doors to all and sundry, or should it  impose restrictions?

Even to pose these questions requires a degree of courage because the issue of migration is a hornet’s nest.

But I want there to be popular discussion of migration  policy beyond views that are too often theatrically polarised and stridently expressed. The issue is too important to stay that way.

To me, there is a clear moral obligation to help very poor people who live in other countries. The persistence of mass poverty alongside the technology that can make ordinary people prosperous is the challenge of our age. Yet this does not imply an obligation to permit free movement of people across borders.

There is a prevailing opinion among liberal thinkers — a group of which I am a member — that societies like Britain should embrace a global future. In view of my own family circumstances, you might expect me to go along with that orthodoxy.

At borders, we present three different passports. I am English, my wife is Dutch but brought up in Italy, while our son, born in the United States, proudly sports his American passport. My nephews are Egyptian, their mother is Irish. If ever there was a post-national family, mine is surely it.

But what if everyone did that? Suppose international migration were to become sufficiently common as to dissolve the meaning of national identity. Would this matter?

I think it would matter a great deal. Shared identity is the foundation of trust, co-operation and generosity. In other words, it is the very fabric of a successful modern society.

Yet in liberal circles, the whole subject has become a taboo in which the only permissible opinion has been to bemoan popular antipathy to immigration and denounce those who dare to question it as racists, nationalists and Little Englanders.
A shared sense of nationhood need not imply aggression; rather it is a practical means of establishing fraternity. Nor is there any contradiction between being nationalist and also anti-racist

A shared sense of nationhood need not imply aggression; rather it is a practical means of establishing fraternity. Nor is there any contradiction between being nationalist and also anti-racist

But that slur is unwarranted. National identity is not of itself toxic. Its potential for abuse should not be forgotten, but if a shared sense of national identity enhances cohesion, it is doing something truly important.

A shared sense of nationhood need not imply aggression; rather it is a practical means of establishing fraternity. Nor is there any contradiction between being nationalist and also anti-racist.

To question open access for immigrants does not automatically make someone a racist.

One of the dangerous mistakes of the liberal aversion to national identity has been to allow racist groups to hijack nationalist sentiment. When, by default, other politicians underplay a sense of national identity, it hands a potent political tool to evil; as does the embarrassed silence when it comes to discussing the rights and wrongs of immigration.

Yet what we need in this country is a proper debate — based on facts, not prejudices — about designing a properly thought-through policy on immigration, rather than the dithering of politicians who often talk tough and act soft, and appear to be embarrassed by their citizens’ preferences.

The story this week that official Office for National Statistics figures suggest Britain’s population will increase by ten million in the next 25 years to more than 73  million surely makes this debate more important than ever.

Astonishingly, as migration policy has soared up the rankings of the policy priorities of voters, mainstream political parties have dodged the issue.

We need to find a balance — and soon.    Because what we are now observing are the beginnings of an imbalance between immigration and emigration of epic proportions.

The global stock of immigrants from poor countries living in rich ones tripled from under 20 million in 1960 to more than 60 million in 2000. Further, the increase accelerated decade by decade.

Left to itself, migration will keep accelerating.  Existing immigrants make it easier for future immigrants to come: they provide the tickets, the welcome and the contacts without which migration is daunting.

Migration in itself need not necessarily be a bad thing. The key issue on which Britain must reach consensus is how much diversity we want in our society. Some diversity is likely to be better than none. But too much diversity would threaten cohesion and the vital things that cohesion sustains.

Because migration tends to accelerate, without controls we would almost inevitably end up with more diversity than we wanted. But how much migration is compatible with our chosen level of diversity depends upon how rapidly immigrants are integrated into mainstream society. The problem is that there are powerful forces preventing that from happening.

Here, the concept of multiculturalism framed by liberal elites has proved massively counter-productive.

It is often forgotten by those who pursue such policies that most migrants are escaping countries that are dysfunctional. One reason they are dysfunctional is because people are not used to trusting, co-operating with, and helping those who are different. We should be wary, then, of the mantra to have ‘respect for other cultures’.

So how far should we expect those who come to our country to take on the norms of the society they’ve chosen to join?

At one extreme is assimilation and integration, whereby migrants intermarry with the indigenous population and adopt the ways of that population. I am the product of this assimilative migration. So is Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, whose grandfather was a Turkish immigrant.

Then, at the other extreme, there is permanent cultural isolation of migrants in a hermetic community where schooling and language are separate, and marriage outside the group is punished  by expulsion.

Multiculturalism began primarily because many migrants preferred to congregate together in clusters that protected their culture of origin. But to criticise them for this was thought to border on racism, forgetting that anyone of any race can absorb any culture.

Hence multiculturalism was projected as desirable in itself.
The official Office for National Statistics figures suggest Britain's population will increase by ten million in the next 25 years to more than 73 million

The official Office for National Statistics figures suggest Britain's population will increase by ten million in the next 25 years to more than 73 million

That would have been fine if the outcome was ‘fusion’ — a middle ground in which everyone brings something distinctive to the common table from which all eat, exemplified by the popularity of chicken tikka, an innovation by an immigrant who rose to the challenge of fusing his own cultural expertise with an indigenous demand for fast food.

Fusion places demands upon both migrants and indigenous Britons to be curious about other cultures and to adapt to them. But the dominant tendency so far has been to interpret multiculturalism as the right to persistent cultural separatism.

Long-term assimilation as a goal for immigrant populations has, sadly, pretty well fallen out of fashion. I say ‘sadly’ because it has some major advantages not just for the indigenous, but for everyone.

To my mind, there is no ethical reason why — as part of the deal in being admitted to this country — a migrant should not be expected to absorb the indigenous culture, not least its language.

Assimilation also breaks down distrust and replaces it with mutual regard.

Instead, we have a situation where immigrants have become steadily more concentrated in a few cities, and especially in London. The 2011 census revealed that the indigenous British had become a minority in their own capital.

Separatism also shows up in cultural practices resulting from Islamic fundamentalism. Single-ethnicity immigrant schools are encouraged. British Bangladeshi women are increasingly adopting the full veil, whereas in Bangladesh itself the veil is not worn.

Research also shows that another barrier to greater integration is an easy-access welfare system, which tempts migrants into remaining at the bottom of the social ladder.

Of course, it also tempts the indigenous population but it appears to be more tempting for migrants because they are accustomed to radically lower living standards. Even the modest income provided by welfare systems seems attractive, and so the incentive to get a higher income by getting a job is weaker.

Thus, between them, multiculturalism and generous welfare systems hamper integration at home and at work.

This failure to assimilate quickly enough has two crucial effects. First, the data shows that the bigger and more separatist an immigrant community is, the more it supports further immigrants to join it. Thus the influx will not stop, but speed up.

Second, and more surprisingly, social bonds within the indigenous population can be weakened. As their locality becomes more culturally fragmented, people tend to withdraw from taking part in group activities and retreat into isolation. They opt out and hunker down — so society as a whole loses some of its cohesion.

Feeling English should be open to everybody. Everyone permanently living here should pitch in to forge a common cultural identity of which we are all proud.

Yet under multiculturalism, being English is in danger of being relegated to the status of just one racial-cum-cultural community among several others: ‘the English community’ alongside the ‘Bangladeshi community’ or ‘Somali community’.

The English community has to be integrationist: anything less would breach anti-discrimination laws. Yet the English cannot be expected to be integrationist if that same expectation is not placed on immigrants.

In setting migration policy, governments need to balance fairly the interests of the indigenous poor, in particular, against the interests of migrants.

As we have seen, integration of migrants into British society has proved more difficult than anticipated. Newcomers are not being assimilated. If a balance is to be achieved, we need to make some fundamental choices.

First, we must decide whether it is morally right or wrong to restrict immigration. If, as some people believe, all restrictions are wrong by definition, then we need to face up to the fact that migration will build to rates far in excess of those in recent decades.

But if restrictions are legitimate — as I believe they are — then migration controls, far from being an embarrassing vestige of nationalism and racism, are going to be increasingly important.

A Gallup poll indicated that around 40 per cent of the population of poor countries would choose to migrate to rich ones if they could. That is the extent of the demand out there. To permit it would drain the poorest countries of their most useful people, and place impossible strains on the rich societies.

All the evidence that I have compiled leads to the conclusion that moderate immigration can bring gains to society as whole, but with the massive levels that would be implied by open borders, everyone would lose out.


Plans to regulate the Press 'belong in the privy', says Boris Johnson as he urges editors not to adopt new system

The London Mayor urged all editors to follow the example of The Spectator magazine, which has said it has no intention of abiding by the new system, which gives a statutory basis to a new media regulator

Outspoken: Boris Johnson urged all editors to follow the example of The Spectator magazine, which has said it has no intention of abiding by the new system, which gives a statutory basis to a new media regulator

Publishers should stick the Government’s plans for a Royal Charter on Press regulation ‘in the privy’, Boris Johnson said yesterday.

The London Mayor urged all editors to follow the example of The Spectator magazine, which has said it has no intention of abiding by the new system, which gives a statutory basis to a new media regulator.

Mr Johnson said he was pleased the magazine ‘has told the Privy Council to stick its charter in the privy’, and he urged ‘all other editors to follow suit’.

Last month, politicians agreed the detail of a charter enshrining a system of newspaper regulation in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry into media standards.

An alternative proposal put forward by the Press, which would have meant a new independent regulator having strong investigative powers and the right to impose fines of up to £1million for wrongdoing, up-front corrections, with inaccuracies corrected fully and prominently, and independence from the industry and politicians, was rejected.

The Spectator has already announced that it will refuse to take part in the Government’s new system of regulation.

The Government has passed legislation meaning that newspapers that refuse to join a regulator approved under its charter will be hit with ‘exemplary’ damages in libel cases.

However, senior figures including Lord Lester, an eminent QC who is the architect of reforms to Britain’s notorious libel laws, have suggested that will violate Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects freedom of expression.

Critics warn the new regime means an end to 300 years of Press freedom.

Mr Johnson was presenting awards at The Spectator’s annual Parliamentarian of the Year ceremony in London.

The Parliamentarian of the Year award, normally given to a single MP, was given to the 15 MPs who voted against Government plans for exemplary damages.

Home Secretary Theresa May was named Politician of the Year.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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