Monday, April 07, 2014
Aintree and the Melbourne cup
The Melbourne cup is Australia's richest and most widely-followed horse race. Just after the running of the cup in 2012 I noted a comment from a British journalist that scorned the patrons at the cup. We all know that racegoers generally get rather cheerful on that day of days but I thought the scorn was overdone and unjustified. So I put up a piece on this blog which pointed out that racedays in Britain can be pretty disgusting. I illustrated my point with a few pictures from Aintree, home of Britain's premier jump race, the Grand National.
But my blog has nowhere near a mass audience so I imagine that my comments went totally unheeded in Britain.
I have always found however that the world eventually tends to catch up with what I think so I was pleased that this year a Murdoch tentacle has gone to town on the doings at Aintree. You can see the pictures here in all their glory.
The problem with Aintree is that it is within easy access from Liverpool, a largely working class and underclass city with a high incidence of welfare dependency. And the fat ladies from the council houses of Liverpool seize the opportunity to visit a national occasion and disport themselves.
There is also a collection of photos in Britain's Daily Mail but it takes the Murdoch collection to give you the full horror of it all. If you read only the DM you might think the occasion was a fairly respectable one.
The DM article is in fact a bit of a coverup this year. They have had more graphic pix in previous years. And the reason probably is that a large chunk of the tickets for Ladies' Day went unsold this year. Apparently Brits generally have become disgusted by the occasion and have taken to staying away. So the fat ladies will have only one-another to show off to. There will be very few ladies at Ladies' Day from now on.
'Eat pork or go hungry': France's National Front leader tells school canteens to stop offering religious alternatives to Muslim children
Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen said on Friday it would prevent schools from offering non-pork alternatives to Muslim pupils in the 11 towns it won in local elections, saying such arrangements were contrary to France's secular values.
France's republic has a strict secular tradition enforceable by law, but faith-related demands have risen in recent years, especially from the country's five-million-strong Muslim minority, the largest in Europe.
'We will not accept any religious demands in school menus,' Le Pen told RTL radio. 'There is no reason for religion to enter the public sphere, that's the law.'
The mayor of Arveyres, Benoit Gheysens told AFP the move was being taken because of the cost of providing alternative meals, many of which went to waste.
'Often children who did not take the substitute dinner complained as well and left the pork. It distressed the staff to see how much food was wasted,' Gheysens said.
In the eastern town of Hayanges FN mayor Fabien Engelmann has also proposed a 'Pork Fest' to liven up the town centre, a plan he insists is not designed to offend Muslims but which will do little to alleviate high local unemployment.
The anti-immigrant National Front has consistently bemoaned the rising influence of Islam in French pubic life.
France has seen periodic controversies over schools that substitute beef or chicken for pork from menus to cater to Muslim children.
Some of the FN's new mayors have complained there are too many halal shops in their towns.
The party won control of 11 town halls and a large district in the port city of Marseille in municipal elections on Sunday, more than double its record from the 1990s.
Le Pen hailed the victory as showing the party had finally established itself as France's third political force behind ruling Socialists and mainstream conservatives, and predicts a strong showing in May's European Parliament elections.
We can't take any more! Residents of deprived borough speak out as it's predicted Britain will need another Manchester to absorb immigration
Not so long ago, Pam Dumbleton would have been roasted alive. There’d have been booing and cries of ‘racist!’. There she was in the middle of a particularly combative episode of BBC1’s Question Time the other day, and she was not merely raising the issue of immigration. She was lamenting it.
What’s more, she was sitting in the front row of the Broadway Theatre in Barking, one of Britain’s most ethnically diverse communities.
‘Isn’t it time the Government listened to the people about the effect immigration is having in changing our communities?’ asked the 69-year-old
By ‘we’, she meant members of the British-born white working class who are, indeed, now a minority in this bit of London’s East End, according to the Government’s latest statistics.
And that demographic shift is accelerating. Two-thirds of schoolchildren in the Borough of Barking and Dagenham now are from an ethnic minority; at one primary school near Pam’s council estate, the figure is 94 per cent, while less than a quarter speak English as a first language.
This is one of the poorest parts of the South-East, with serious unemployment and the country’s highest birth rate to boot. Even Poundland is being squeezed here. Several 99p stores have opened up on the main drag, only to be undercut, in turn, by a cheeky new 97p shop. Apparently, an 89p store is imminent.
So, was Pam Dumbleton fanning the flames of racial tension with her remarks on Question Time? Hardly. There were a few liberal groans and applause for a man who complained that the BBC should not be giving airtime to such inappropriate opinions. But, interestingly, none of the politicians on the panel chose to quarrel with Pam.
Because, as I accompany her through Barking, it becomes clear that she represents the concerns of a much wider constituency than simply the old white working class. ‘This place has just changed beyond all recognition and in such a short time,’ says Pam, walking with her friend, Joyce Cracknell, an 80-year-old child of the Blitz.
Between them, they run the residents’ association for their 1,200-home estate. ‘We’ve always had immigration here and we’ve always got on together,’ says Joyce. ‘But then we had this sudden influx from the EU and it’s too much.’
Until recently, she was a Labour activist, but has now left the party. Both she and Pam are planning to stand in next month’s council elections as UKIP candidates. ‘Tony Blair opened our borders and they’ve never closed,’ says Pam. ‘Now, we’ve got people around us living in sheds, or cramming ten at a time into a tiny flat.’
One of her two sons, she says, has moved to Cornwall. ‘He doesn’t want to send his children to a school where most children don’t speak English.’
Things are unlikely to change any time soon. Although George Osborne announced a new £150 million rail link for Barking in last month’s Budget — to ‘unlock’ the building of 11,000 new homes — this week’s report by the think-tank MigrationWatch summed up the scale of the challenge ahead.
It warned that if Britain is to accommodate all the EU migrants expected here over the next four years, then we will need an extra city the size of Manchester.
You need only look at the current pattern of migration to realise that many of them will end up in this borough (the owners of the Lithuanian supermarket off the high street certainly think so; they’re opening a new Lithuanian cafe next door). Given Barking has some of the capital’s cheapest accommodation, it’s inevitable.
This week’s extraordinary photographs of desperate migrants risking death as they jump aboard UK-bound lorries merely underline the situation in terms of non-EU arrivals.
Thankfully, this is no longer a debate about race, as it was when the British National Party was stirring up the protest vote in these parts. In 2006, the BNP even won 12 seats on the council. Today, it has completely disappeared. The debate, now, is about the system.
Among white and black, Left and Right, old and young, one subject on which pretty much everyone in Barking agrees is that current levels of immigration (from Europe and elsewhere) are unsustainable. At one high street cafe, a group of pensioners are huddled round the ashtrays on a pavement table and making their cups of tea last for hours.
They all have their gripes with the council and the Government about the ‘invasion’ of foreigners who, they believe, are clogging the housing lists, surgery queues and buses. A blind couple with a pair of guide dogs complain bitterly that many local ‘foreign’ shopkeepers refuse them entry ‘because they’re scared of dogs’.
They all preface every remark by saying that are not racist, but merely feel forgotten. One of the gang is retired NHS switchboard operator James Beckles, 81. ‘I just don’t agree with this European thing,’ he says. ‘It’s putting too much pressure. There should be controls.’ James is an immigrant himself, having moved to Britain from Guyana in 1952.
And, like the rest of the group, he believes that open borders and easy access to the benefits system are making it hard for people like himself. ‘People find it too easy to live off the State. I was never out of a job.’
It’s market day and Marvin Brightly, 33, is dividing his time between his stall selling CDs and his Caribbean foodstore just down the road. He says that the pressure on housing from all the newcomers means that young men like him can never hope to qualify for social housing because they don’t tick the right boxes.
‘You’ve got to have a kid or be a substance-abuser before they have to house you,’ he tells me.
His friend, Ella Francis, a 27-year-old single mother, agrees. ‘You’ve got the Government making all these cutbacks, but if they stopped letting all these foreigners in, they wouldn’t have these problems.’
Ella refuses to claim benefits. She leaves her son with her family while she works as a civil servant during the week and tops up her wages by working weekends in a call centre.
‘I suppose I might be better off on benefits, but I’m trying to buy my own place,’ she says. ‘I’ve got a neighbour with six kids who says to me: “Why work when you can live off the State?” And I tell her: “I’m working all day so you can stay home and watch Jeremy Kyle”.’
Both are the aspirational children of parents who moved to Britain from the Caribbean in search of a better life. Both are lukewarm Labour voters. Both think the system is failing when it comes to immigration and benefits. ‘How can Bulgarians just come over and start claiming benefits?’ asks Ella. ‘It has to change.’
All the immigrants I meet are either in work, or married to someone who is. Usman, 47, a security guard, is manning a friend’s market stall and chatting to his friend Lamin, 33, who works at McDonald’s. Both are from the tiny West African dictatorship of Gambia and love it here.
‘It doesn’t matter how beautiful your country is if you’re not free,’ says Lamin. ‘Here, we’re free.’
This remains staunch Labour territory. At the last council elections, the party enjoyed a North Korean-style clean sweep, winning 51 out of 51 seats. But a protest vote now seems to be coalescing around UKIP, reinforcing the recent reports that the party is making inroads into traditional Labour heartlands.
Just last month, it was announced that another Labour councillor in Barking has jumped over to UKIP. Tariq Saeed brings the number of defections to four and gives UKIP a presence in the substantial local Muslim community — though his arrival was eclipsed by racier headlines about UKIP leader Nigel Farage and his eye for the ladies.
Down at the Broadway Theatre, where they filmed Question Time, I find a plaque on the wall. It commemorates the reopening of the venue by a former mayor of the borough, Ron Curtis. When I track him down, he tells me he has decided to come out of retirement and run for UKIP at the next council elections — at the age of 80.
The main parties need a fresh immigration narrative in places like this — and fast. Another MigrationWatch report has rubbished the received wisdom that immigration makes a ‘substantial’ contribution to the public purse.
Last year’s University College London report (much-lauded by the liberal Left) claimed that migrants had contributed £25 billion to the economy since 2000. Revisiting the same data, MigrationWatch now claims that the true figure is a net loss of £27 billion.
Government pledges to reduce net migration from six figures to five have been shown up as worthless. According to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), numbers rose by more than a third in 2013 to 212,000.
When the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, professes himself to be ‘intensely relaxed’ on the issue, as he did last month, and our EU partners correctly point out that there is absolutely nothing Britain can do about the free flow of EU citizens (or their rights to UK benefits), is it any wonder that the Pam Dumbletons of this world raise their hands on Question Time?
The bald statistics underline the pace of change. In the 2001 census, more than 130,000 Barking and Dagenham residents defined themselves as ‘white British’. A decade later, the total was 92,000, a fall of nearly 30 per cent. They now account for less than half the population. Over the same period, the number of people in the borough, born in Africa and Asia, rose threefold to 20,000 and 17,000 respectively.
Then there are the numbers from the latest EU member states across Eastern Europe. The latest census puts them at 9,100. Academic studies of Eastern European migration in areas such as Boston, Lincolnshire, suggest that the census could be understating the true numbers by at least 40 per cent.
That’s because young people, arriving from former totalitarian states and living in unlicensed accommodation, do not always feel inclined to fill in census forms.
On the other side of the borough, I meet one of the new breed of UKIP activists round here. Until a few months ago, Peter Harris, 43, had never been involved in politics. Born into a staunchly Labour Dagenham council house, he has long been a prominent member of the community, establishing a car repair business, which employs 30 people, becoming president of the local Chamber of Commerce, a governor of the local college and trustee of the local sports complex.
Immigration has been going on here all his life, he says, but now he feels compelled to take a stand. ‘This is a poor borough and we’ve got more nought to four year olds than anywhere. We’re having to build schools everywhere, we’ve got to make £164 million in cuts and we’ve got 12,500 people waiting for 1,200 council houses.
‘This place isn’t racist. But it’s saying: “Enough is enough”. People say UKIP are a bunch of amateurs. Well, given all that’s happened, that’s not a bad thing.’
He takes me into a Dagenham pie-and-mash shop. How’s business? ‘Dreadful,’ says manager Dean Tappin, offering me a plate of jellied eels. ‘This is East End food and it’s made properly, not like some factory chicken. But the new lot don’t even try it. We’ve got our old regulars, but a lot of them have moved out.’
A council spokesman points out that the borough has one of the largest social housing programmes in London. It is about to introduce a new landlord licensing scheme in a bid to clamp down on cowboy operators who cram ten Lithuanian builders into a space designed for a family of four. But there is only so much any local authority can do.
Barking’s Labour MP Margaret Hodge acknowledges that people are worried: ‘We’re in a period of huge transition, which is very hard for people to accept, but setting targets is not the answer. They don’t work and then people lose trust in the system.’
While pleased to see the back of the BNP, she is worried about the ‘outrageous’ way that other London boroughs are renting buy-to-let properties here and dumping difficult families without even informing the council.
For all the concrete public spaces (even the ‘arboretum’ is paved) and the high-rise blocks, this is a place with a long and ancient history.
William the Conqueror based himself at Barking Abbey. Captain Cook was married at St Margaret’s, Barking, a pretty old church, which somehow dodged the Blitz.
Today, it also has a delightful cafe — unveiled by local boy turned Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey — where you can dine royally for a couple of quid.
I sit down for a chat with the rector, the Rt Rev Dr Trevor Mwamba, assistant Bishop for the Diocese of Chelmsford. He points out that, for all the issues raised by Question Time, there is much ‘beautiful’ cohesion between the different communities in Barking.
He also points out that he himself is an immigrant, having been, until recently, the Bishop of Botswana.
He loves it here, he says, but he, too, concedes that the system has to change. ‘If you have an influx of people and a demand on services, you have to manage that so that everyone can benefit. Otherwise, it’s chaos.’
To which most people around here would probably say: Amen.
The granny branded a racist by a judge, the traveller living on green belt land, and justice turned on its head
Former Sunday School teacher Jose Hampson’s fall from grace happened virtually overnight. The 78-year-old widow was reduced from highly-respected ‘stalwart of the community’ to complete pariah in the blink of an eye.
One minute the church-going, grandmother-of-three was a popular toyshop owner of 50 years’ standing in the Lancashire town of Chorley; the next, some people she’d known for decades were crossing the road to avoid her.
Where once the local newspaper proudly carried smiling photos of Jose receiving an award from the mayor for ‘Making Chorley Smile’, now it carried the banner headline ‘Racism Shame of Local Shopkeeper’.
Even the local police force, with whom Jose had worked closely and amicably during her 20 years as honourable secretary of the Chamber of Trade, suddenly seemed willing to believe the worst of her.
Why? Because a family of travellers who’d illegally established themselves on a patch of Green Belt land they’d bought near Jose’s converted barn complained that this mild-mannered OAP — locally renowned for her ‘tact and sensitivity’ — had launched a torrent of foul-mouthed racist abuse calling them ‘dirty f****** gypos’.
When this accusation was made against her 11 months ago, officers wasted little time finger-printing and DNA-testing.
Questioned under oath at a police station, Jose placed a hand on a Bible and insisted time and again it was simply not true, but in May last year she was charged with racially aggravated harassment.
‘The allegations against me were so ridiculous, I really thought the case would be laughed out of court,’ says Josie, whose good name was finally restored this week when her conviction was quashed on appeal.
‘I was shaking with disbelief and almost fainted with shock when I was found guilty. There were no independent witnesses, it was their word against mine and yet they were believed without a shred of real evidence against me.
‘Everyone who knows me never doubted my innocence for a second. They knew it was impossible for me to utter such vile words — I’m not a racist and I have never sworn in my life — but it was shaming to have my name dragged through the mud.
‘I couldn’t believe that an innocent person could be found guilty in a British court of law and my good character destroyed. It seems to me that all you have to do is wave the racist flag these days and you get special treatment.’
In August last year, former school governor Jose was found guilty at Chorley magistrates court of racially abusing the family of travellers. She was fined £690, ordered to pay £620 costs and a £69 victim surcharge, and left court with her reputation in tatters.
Deputy district judge James Hatton convicted Jose after hearing the testimony of traveller Michael Linfoot, a builder, his wife Patty and her parents, who claimed Mrs Hampson angrily leapt out of her blue Jaguar when Mr Linfoot challenged her for reversing her car on to his land.
Mr Linfoot claimed Jose aggressively waved her arms and shouted ‘I’m f*****g sick of you lot, you’re illegal, you should f*** off you dirty f******g gypos’. He further claimed she later tried to run him over.
Mrs Hampson was recovering from a shoulder operation and suffered from spinal problems, rendering her incapable of leaping from a car, let alone waving her arms around. She stands 5ft tall and weighs just 8st.
In contrast, burly Mr Linfoot is involved with a local boxing club, yet it was he who allegedly felt so upset and intimidated by the tiny OAP that he lodged a complaint with the police. It was his version of events that the district judge believed.
Frail and elderly she may be, but Jose was not going to stand for this miscarriage of justice and she immediately vowed to clear her name, no matter how long it took.
And this week, after almost a year of sleepless nights and worry, Jose was vindicated after Preston Crown Court ruled she was innocent and wiped her record clean. A barrister friend — with whom Jose plays bridge — took on her case pro bono (free of charge) because he was so incensed at the way she’d been treated.
‘I was born in 1936, I grew up during World War II in a country which fought for freedom and justice,’ she explains with a quiet dignity. ‘That is the Britain I know and I wasn’t prepared for another person to go through what I have.’
Her conviction was quashed after the court was presented with written testimonials from local people attesting to Jose’s impeccable character; an opportunity she was denied at her original trial.
They included letters from her GP — stating it was physically impossible for Jose to leap from her car in the manner Mr Linfoot described — her local MP and Peter Wilding, chairman of Chorley and District Chamber of Trade, who described Jose as a woman of ‘honesty and integrity’.
Mr Wilding wrote ‘In all the time I have known her I have never heard her use bad language and she has a high moral standing’.
There was also a letter from Sikander Hyatt, a Pakistani-born friend and tenant of Jose’s — she owns a small property portfolio of shops and flats — who was horrified at the accusation of racism, which he insisted was completely unfounded.
Although all this help was freely given, Jose says she would have been willing to pay thousands to prove her innocence. For her reputation means everything to her.
Jose’s victory, however, has not come without cost.
En route to her converted barn in rural Heath Charnock, I pass by Hampson’s toyshop in Chorley town centre. Established in 1960 and now owned by Jose’s son Michael, 48, it has precious few customers. A ‘To Let’ Sign hangs outside the building. It will be closing soon, the shop’s economic woes exacerbated by the damage done to Jose’s good name.
On the narrow rural lane leading to Jose’s house are two smart- looking static mobile homes, where Mr Linfoot and his family now live. They are currently fighting the local council’s attempts to evict them.
A shiny, liveried van sits on the drive, the scene of last year’s altercation with Jose Hampson.
Opening the door to her home, it is indeed hard to reconcile Mr Linfoot’s portrayal of Jose Hampson as ‘an aggressive, foul-mouthed racist’ with the polite, pocket-sized granny who leads me into a living room dominated by a dresser decorated with willow-pattern crockery.
Unsteady on her feet, Mrs Hampson — who nursed her husband of almost 50 years through cancer until his death five years ago — had a hip replacement operation recently and is only just out of her wheelchair.
Jose tells me she and late husband Jack, a builder, fell in love with this spot, with its horse paddocks and uninterrupted views, as a young married couple more than 45 years ago. They bought the farmhouse and its outbuildings, where they raised their two children, Michael, and Tracey, now 53.
Jose downsized to the barn, which they’d converted, and sold off the main house after Jack fell critically ill with lung cancer caused from years of working with asbestos.
After he died, she couldn’t bear to leave the home which held so many cherished memories for her. But her hopes for a quiet, well-earned retirement were short-lived.
It was in 2008 that Mr Linfoot and his wife, who have three sons, bought a small plot of Green Belt land near Jose’s home, on which they hoped to ‘practise their Romany culture’. A number of caravans arrived around four years ago — since replaced with static mobile homes — and the Linfoots applied for planning permission for change of use.
The planning application and appeal were refused by the local council, which has unsuccessfully been trying to evict the family ever since on the grounds that it is an inappropriate use of Green Belt land.
Last year the Linfoots were granted a temporary two-year reprieve after their lawyer argued the council’s five-year plan did not include an adequate assessment of local gypsy and traveller families who would need somewhere to live in the future.
‘I’ve nothing against families wanting to make better lives for themselves and their children,’ says Jose who, despite her dismay at the Linfoots setting up home on Green Belt land without planning permission, insists she was always polite and neighbourly towards them.
She continues: ‘When my ginger cat went missing, I went and knocked on their door and asked them to look out for him which they kindly agreed to do.
‘Another night, when I was walking my dog, their large black dog came bounding over to me and when I heard them calling for him I said ‘He’s over here’ and took him back to their home.
They thanked me and one of them walked me home because it was dark.
‘There was no animosity between us at all, no arguments or bad feeling, so what happened last April came as a complete bolt out of the blue. I just couldn’t understand it.’
It was around 4pm one spring afternoon when Jose returned home in her car from collecting rent at her properties to find the narrow lane blocked by a van parked outside a cottage.
‘I tried to squeeze past the van and scraped my bumper on a low wall in front of the cottage. I didn’t want to cause a fuss by asking the van owner to move it, so I decided to reverse back down the lane and come back later,’ says Jose, who then backed between the gateposts leading to the Linfoot driveway to turn her car around.
‘I suddenly became aware of Mr Linfoot, who angrily ran over to my car shouting: “What the f*** are you doing on my land?” I felt very shocked and intimidated, but tried to stay calm as I explained I was just turning my car around because the road was blocked.
‘I pointed out that I had scraped my bumper, but he kept swearing at me through the car window. I felt like a rabbit trapped in the headlights. It was very frightening, so eventually I said to him: “I believe you are not supposed to be on this land because it is Green Belt.” I felt so shaken I decided to drive back into town and return home in half an hour, when hopefully the van was gone. I felt far too frightened and vulnerable to get out of my car, let alone wave my arms around shouting aggressively.’
Indeed, six months earlier Jose had undergone an operation to repair the rotator cuff muscles in her right shoulder and was still receiving pain-killing injections. Not only that, but she’d recently had an MRI scan on her spine, revealing disc degeneration, and had also been referred to orthopaedic knee surgeons after complaining of persistent pain.
‘When I came back Mr Linfoot was walking down the lane and I inched past him at a snail’s pace in my car because I didn’t want any more trouble and I was a bit nervous. He later claimed I’d tried to run him over, which was a pack of lies,’ says Jose. If it had just been a spat between neighbours, no more would have been heard of this sorry tale. But once Mr Linfoot and his family — who claimed to have witnessed the whole incident — complained to police of racially motivated harassment, officers were duty bound to investigate.
‘I was shocked when a police officer phoned me up and invited me to the local station, saying a complaint of racism had been made against me,’ says Jose, who was questioned under oath last May.
‘I’ve never been in trouble with the police in my life, but they fingerprinted and palm-printed me and took my DNA. Three times the young PC asked me if I wanted a solicitor and three times I refused saying: “I don’t need a solicitor because I’m innocent.”
‘I put my hand on the Bible and said: “It’s not true.” Then the officer suggested I should just plead guilty, pay a small fine and that would be the end of it, but I told him: “I can’t do that because I’m innocent.” ’
Jose says she trembled like a leaf as she sat in the dock last August, listening with disbelief as her accusers put forward their version of events, and almost collapsed when found guilty.
She says she doesn’t know how she would have coped without the unswerving and loyal support of her son and daughter, and grandchildren Miles, 22, Marcus, 19, and Katie, 16.
‘My family was absolutely wonderful during what was a very stressful time for me and couldn’t believe the way I’d been treated. They were as stunned and shocked as I was,’ she says. ‘My close friends too, all the people who really know me, never believed the accusations for one second.’
Although the judgment has now been overturned and her reputation restored, Jose still struggles to make any sense of her ordeal.
The Linfoot family’s temporary planning permission is up for review in July next year. While they have their supporters, there are plenty of local objectors, too.
After what happened to Jose, will residents now feel too intimidated to oppose this travellers’ site, fearing they might also end up in the dock accused of racism?
‘It is very sad if local residents are deprived a voice because they fear being falsely branded racists. This has nothing to do with race, it’s about whether we allow anyone to set up home wherever they like on Green Belt land without permission which would be setting a worrying precedent,’ says Jose.
‘I care about British justice more than anything, but it seems using the word racist allows certain people to open doors and put innocent people in the dock.’
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.