Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

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Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby crowey » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:38 pm UTC

for a bit of context, I live in cornwall in the UK, although it is an exceptionally white part of the country, the local economy relies almost entirely on tourists and students. Racism isn't unheard of, but it isn't common or vehement. My particular town is a student town, and as such is slightly more multicultural (though realistically it's still exceptionally white). Being an arty university generally everyone is of the hippy/easygoing variety. However this week, this was in my local paper:

'For any cash-strapped Moslems reading this...

I have a potential money-spinner for you. On the quiet, with no public announcement whatsoever, the Labour government in December 2007 formally recognised multiple wives, as long as the ceremony took place in a country where polygamy is legal... Islamic law allows a man up to four wives (‘‘harem’’) and according to new guidelines from the Department of Work and Pensions: 'Where there is a valid polygamous marriage the claimant and one spouse will be paid the couple rate... The amount payable for each additional spouse is presently £33.65''... Income support for the 'harem' may be paid into the husband's bank account. He may also be in line for extra housing benefit and council tax benefit, reflecting the larger property needed for his family... Moslem readers may also be interested to know that there is a possible loophole where the man can divorce his wife under British law, continue living with her as his spouse under Islamic law, and then marry a new wife here in Britain, with everybody still claiming benefit. Please remember that bigamy is supposed to be a criminal offence in this country...Chris Grayling, Tory shadow minister, called this ''completely unjustifiable'', adding: ''this sets a precedent that will lead to more demands for the culture of other countries to be reflected in UK law.'' ... Mr. Grayling is right. But when a government embraces the lunacy of multiculturalism, the above is inevitable. Why are we so surprised?

David Challice- UK Independence party

THE VIEW FROM HERE, David Challice's book of the collected Trago articles, is now available at Trago Mills(£4.99)


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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby 22/7 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:37 pm UTC

Are you sure this is a legit newspaper and not not some ridiculous pamphlet?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby armandtanzarian » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:57 pm UTC

For a moment there I though this was from the BNP, and you got this from the Daily Mail.

Racism is everywhere. I'm a minority in every country I've ever lived so I know. Just ignore it and understand that its a tiny portion of the otherwise sane populace of Britain.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby crowey » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:10 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:Are you sure this is a legit newspaper and not not some ridiculous pamphlet?

Yep, it's the local newspaper. :|

armandtanzarian wrote:For a moment there I though this was from the BNP, and you got this from the Daily Mail.

Racism is everywhere. I'm a minority in every country I've ever lived so I know. Just ignore it and understand that its a tiny portion of the otherwise sane populace of Britain.

Heh, UKIP aren't far off the BNP though are they?

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Darkscull » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:21 pm UTC

Rule of thumb: If someone says "moslem" or "mohammedan", or something like that, just stop reading.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:41 pm UTC

Darkscull wrote:Rule of thumb: If someone says "moslem" or "mohammedan", or something like that, just stop reading.

Saves on the rage bills.


I thought 'moslem' was the normal spelling in the UK. I could be wrong... I know it used to be in fashion, and it's no more an insensitive spelling than the whole Japan/Nippon thing.
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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:56 pm UTC

It's a 19thC spelling, IIRC.

It's not wrong... just not the usual.
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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby crowey » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:04 pm UTC

I don't think I've ever seen moslem used by anyone other than racists. Muslim is the norm here.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Kizor » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:11 pm UTC

Odd, that. Being a non-native English speaker I thought "moslem" was a valid alternate spelling. Thanks, I guess there's no way to go wrong with "muslim."

Of course, I prefer my native language's term that translates to "Turkish-faithed," but that's just because 19th century slang is awesome. There's nowhere I could get away with using it.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Iv » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:19 pm UTC

Hmmm... Maybe I have a case of bad translation but wouldn't "multiculturalism" be the same to what is "relativisme culturel" in french ? It is the practice of accepting some violations of rights recognized in a country by people who come from cultures where such violations are traditional. If I misunderstood the word, please disregard what is following.

The debate over "relativisme culturel" sees two sides fighting which are not racists but just different in their interpretation of human rights. The first group, against "relativisme culturel", argue that it is a very slippery and steep slope to deny human rights. That it would open the door to slavery, sexual mutilations, arranged marriages and so on as these are traditional in some parts of the world. The second group says that human rights can not be forced into exiled people who fled a bad condition and that tolerance should go to the extent of accepting even the traditions that would be forbidden under the hosting country's laws.

I personally side with the first group that asserts that basic human rights are universal, but I can understand the other side's position. I really don't think that most of the debate's participant are motivated by a racist ideology, there are respectable humanitarian organizations on both sides.

I know I may be opening a can of worms but well, worms charming is as good a hobby as any.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby hunsak » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:56 pm UTC

The article feels racist, but the issue behind the article is not about race. Its about culture meshing.

Iv wrote:I personally side with the first group that asserts that basic human rights are universal,...


Unfortnately, we rarely find people agreeing on what all those basic rights are. We universally agree that slavery is wrong, but what about the right to marry?

Only one culture has a moral viewpoint that is unnaccepting of the other. Is it so wrong to not want to allow polygamy in a nation? Is it wrong to define marriage in a way that excludes certain tastes? (homosexuality, polygamy, polyandry).

At what point is it right for a host nation to require imigrants to live by its moral/legal standards? Or should all societies be fully accepting of whatever moral/legal persuasion you happen to follow (obviously pure chaos insues).
Last edited by hunsak on Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:36 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby armandtanzarian » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:35 pm UTC

hunsak wrote:Only one culture has a moral viewpoint that is unnaccepting of the other. Is it so wrong to not want to allow polygamy in a nation? Is it wrong to define marriage in a way that excludes certain tastes? (homosexuality, polygamy, url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyandry]polyandry[/url]).

The main issue is that this article still assumes most, if not all, Muslims take up to four wives. They don't, it is not common practice except for in very tribal and backwards societies in the Middle East. Its insulting and ridiculous and it shows just how backwards and bigoted the writers are.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Mat » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:03 pm UTC

Iv wrote:Hmmm... Maybe I have a case of bad translation but wouldn't "multiculturalism" be the same to what is "relativisme culturel" in french ? It is the practice of accepting some violations of rights recognized in a country by people who come from cultures where such violations are traditional. If I misunderstood the word, please disregard what is following.

No I think that would be called "moral relativism" in english. wikipedia says multiculturalism = "an applied ideology of racial, cultural and ethnic diversity within the demographics of a specified place". UKIP's claim that the two are inseparable is ridiculous.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby hunsak » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:46 pm UTC

armandtanzarian wrote:
hunsak wrote:Only one culture has a moral viewpoint that is unnaccepting of the other. Is it so wrong to not want to allow polygamy in a nation? Is it wrong to define marriage in a way that excludes certain tastes? (homosexuality, polygamy, polyandry).

The main issue is that this article still assumes most, if not all, Muslims take up to four wives. They don't, it is not common practice except for in very tribal and backwards societies in the Middle East. Its insulting and ridiculous and it shows just how backwards and bigoted the writers are.

Meh, so they're racist. Calling them out on it doesnt change the fact that something should be done with this type of family moving in to any country. No matter how 'tribal and backwards', its still a part of certain cultures. What is the government supposed to do? Do you think they should be accepting of such 'tribal backwardness?' Or should they force the families to split apart? Or do they need to keep such 'primative' culture forced outside their borders?

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby crowey » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:54 pm UTC

hunsak wrote:Meh, so they're racist.

I think what you meant to say was "Oh shit, racist people, BAD!"
Calling them out on it doesnt change the fact that something should be done with this type of family moving in to any country.

It isn't a fact, if they are approved for immigration (and in the UK that's either via assylum from persecution at home, or by proving you will be a valuable member of society: job, money etc), what else needs to be done?
No matter how 'tribal and backwards', its still a part of certain cultures.
I don't think it's especially tribal or backwards.
What is the government supposed to do? Do you think they should be accepting of such 'tribal backwardness?'

Yes.
Or should they force the families to split apart? Or do they need to keep such 'primative' culture forced outside their borders?

No the families shouldn't be split apart. And I don't even understand what you mean by the last point.

Your use of inverted commas around derogirary terms doesn't really hide that those are your actual opinions.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby 22/7 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:02 pm UTC

To be fair, those terms (excepting primitive) were used by the previous poster.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby crowey » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:05 pm UTC

trues, but I think my point still stands.

Unlike my ability to spell...

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby hunsak » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:18 pm UTC

crowey wrote:Your use of inverted commas around derogirary terms doesn't really hide that those are your actual opinions.


Right, you can very easily judge from there what my real opinions are. The inverted comma's are in reference to the post above me. Who definatly made the point that its only the tribal and backwards who participate in multi-person marriages.

I dont get it. Why the fuck does anyone feel like attacking someone is going to get things solved better than simple rational commentary?

So we let polygamous families in country. Thats all? What happens when a 'hate crime' is done against these people? Can we blame the govt for not protecting them and propetuating 'a culture of unacceptance?' Do we keep track of polygamous/monogomous persons, so that companies higher both equally? Do we eventually promote a culture of acceptance by allowing said marriages to be performed in country? Do we pass laws making it illegal for a pastor to 'morally object' to the performance of a polygamous marriage?

Its not that simple.

Sorry there, i just ran all the big subjects that have been bouncing around here together into one lump paragraph. You may all presume i'm retarded. I'm okay with that.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:17 pm UTC

hunsak wrote:
armandtanzarian wrote:
hunsak wrote:Only one culture has a moral viewpoint that is unnaccepting of the other. Is it so wrong to not want to allow polygamy in a nation? Is it wrong to define marriage in a way that excludes certain tastes? (homosexuality, polygamy, polyandry).

The main issue is that this article still assumes most, if not all, Muslims take up to four wives. They don't, it is not common practice except for in very tribal and backwards societies in the Middle East. Its insulting and ridiculous and it shows just how backwards and bigoted the writers are.

Meh, so they're racist. Calling them out on it doesnt change the fact that something should be done with this type of family moving in to any country. No matter how 'tribal and backwards', its still a part of certain cultures. What is the government supposed to do? Do you think they should be accepting of such 'tribal backwardness?' Or should they force the families to split apart? Or do they need to keep such 'primative' culture forced outside their borders?

Quite frankly, there's nothing wrong with polygamy or polyandry, especially since, given history, it's far more common in cultures than monogamy. A bigger, problem is that throughout that same history there's a huge oppression of women. The issue isn't multiple marriage partners, but rather the cultural oppression of a gender, which is often fueled by religious reasoning. I also take a high offense to your use of the term "tribal and backwards." Some of those "tribal and backwards" societies enjoy a much better diet and health than you will find in western society. They have more free time on average and have less issues of crime and ill-will towards one another. Just read about the !kung some time.

Quite frankly, if it's consented polygamy or polyandry or even gay polygamy I say it should be allowed. Who the hell does it really affect? Not you.

The issue I have with this article is (aside from the racist attitudes and the fact that he assumes only Muslims practice) is that he's telling people to fraud the government.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby icanus » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:05 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:The issue I have with this article is (aside from the racist attitudes and the fact that he assumes only Muslims practice) is that he's telling people to fraud the government.


He's actually telling them to be honest and get less than five people who share a house but aren't recognised as married, since he conveniently forgot to add a few details which rather muddy his "Basic Human Decency gone mad" line...

to take this hypothetical harem of 1 husband with 4 wives (ignoring the extreme unlikelihood of all five of them qualifying for Income Support):

a qualifying couple gets £94.95 income support, plus £33.65 per additional spouse = £195.90,

whereas a couple with three flatmates could get £94.95 + 3 x the single person's allowance of £60.50 = £276.45

So the author is actually getting hot and bothered over the fact that this hypothetical "moslem" family are 80 quid worse off than if the government didn't recognise polygamy and just treated them as flatmates.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby crowey » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:32 pm UTC

hunsak wrote:
crowey wrote:Your use of inverted commas around derogirary terms doesn't really hide that those are your actual opinions.


Right, you can very easily judge from there what my real opinions are. The inverted comma's are in reference to the post above me. Who definatly made the point that its only the tribal and backwards who participate in multi-person marriages.

You're right. My bad, I shouldn't have assumed things. Given the overall tone of your post, and your other posts in these fora, I don't think I was being particularly outrageous with my assumptions.

So we let polygamous families in country. Thats all? What happens when a 'hate crime' is done against these people?

Same as when a hate crime happens against any minority group. You can't exclude someone from the country based on other people maybe hating them. If that was the case we'd have to extend the logic to any other group that has been subjected to hate crimes in the past. All religious people, gays, goths....etc.

Can we blame the govt for not protecting them and propetuating 'a culture of unacceptance?'

It isn't the gov's job to protect them, and by accepting them as immigrants and/or citizens it promotes acceptance, not the reverse.

Do we keep track of polygamous/monogomous persons, so that companies higher both equally?
No.
In Britain positive discrimination is not really done (some employers try, but generally it's not done). Equal opps stuff is monitored, but it is more for stats and reference if someone accuses of discrimination, than forcing companies to reach their quota of [group x].

Do we eventually promote a culture of acceptance by allowing said marriages to be performed in country?

Why not?

Do we pass laws making it illegal for a pastor to 'morally object' to the performance of a polygamous marriage?
Hard to say, I don't think there's a law about not objecting to gay marriage. It seems a bit odd that a couple (trio? whatever) would want to be married by someone who doesn't agree with the concept. It's like asking a catholic vicar to do a jewish ceremony, then getting shirty when he refuses. Why not just go to a rabbi in the first place?

Its not that simple.
. You are right, it isn't a simple issue.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby armandtanzarian » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:40 am UTC

That's not what I meant. Polygamy is rare enough, even among Muslim immigrants, that the government can deal with it on a case-by-case basis. My beef is that these assholes assumed polygamy, marriage for money and property etc. are normal things, of which they are not.

I have no problems with polygamy and polyandry (I think dealing with one woman is more than enough, TQVM), the legal issues that would arise are rare enough that the government can deal with it personally without affecting the entire populace. But the article is so condescending to the Muslim population, I can't believe some of you are rooting FOR the writer.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Iv » Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:12 am UTC

I can see two problems in the issue at hand :

- Many people here talk about polyandry. This because you take gender equality as granted. May I remind you that the exception we are talking about would allow polygamy but not polyandry ? This is where a principle that I wish would be universal (gender equality of rights) is violated

- The other problem is that you then have in the same country people who obey to different sets of laws, depending on their cultural origin. So what happens then ? Do children from a tradition X family obey to the special laws or to the normal laws of the country ? Can they choose ? If they can, why can't a regular citizen ? If a regular citizen can choose to declare himself Muslim in order to marry two women, why not legalize polygamy in the first place ?

Mat wrote:No I think that would be called "moral relativism" in english. wikipedia says multiculturalism = "an applied ideology of racial, cultural and ethnic diversity within the demographics of a specified place". UKIP's claim that the two are inseparable is ridiculous.

Ok, so David Challice is someone who seems to say that no foreigners should be accepted inside UK and is a basic xenophobe. Bah, there are some everywhere, don't let them get on your nerves. Just laugh at them and ask them what kind of edible food would be left in UK if all the Indian/Pakistani restaurants closed all of a sudden ;-)

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Jahoclave » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:43 pm UTC

Iv wrote:I can see two problems in the issue at hand :

- Many people here talk about polyandry. This because you take gender equality as granted. May I remind you that the exception we are talking about would allow polygamy but not polyandry ? This is where a principle that I wish would be universal (gender equality of rights) is violated

Polygamy is multiple partners. Polygyny is multiple wives. The problem is that they're taking culture from the sexist institution of Islam which only allows polygyny.

- The other problem is that you then have in the same country people who obey to different sets of laws, depending on their cultural origin. So what happens then ? Do children from a tradition X family obey to the special laws or to the normal laws of the country ? Can they choose ? If they can, why can't a regular citizen ? If a regular citizen can choose to declare himself Muslim in order to marry two women, why not legalize polygamy in the first place ?

Quite frankly, I say we should legalize polygamy, even gay polygamy. However, it's the laws of the country that should be obeyed, not the traditional laws of another. You emigrated there, you follow them. Then again, I have a much easier time with this stance when laws are based on logic and reason rather than superstition. And it seems to me that even Western nations are finding that a had thing to do.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Kizyr » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:15 am UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote:I thought 'moslem' was the normal spelling in the UK. I could be wrong... I know it used to be in fashion, and it's no more an insensitive spelling than the whole Japan/Nippon thing.

"Mohammedan" is archaic and based on complete misunderstanding/misrepresentation, so that's the only one that's offensive. "Moslem" is antiquated (probably a few steps below the word "Negro") so, while not offensive, it looks funny and comes off as if everything you know about Islam is stuff that was written by European writers two centuries ago. (When I'm joking about anti-Muslim bigotry I'll use the word Moslem with an emphasis on the "oz" sound, like saying A-rab with a long-A.)

Re: the original article... There're too many things wrong with that to count (they don't even use the right definition of 'harem'...). Armand already said in better words much of what I would have, though.

armandtanzarian wrote:That's not what I meant. Polygamy is rare enough, even among Muslim immigrants, that the government can deal with it on a case-by-case basis. My beef is that these assholes assumed polygamy, marriage for money and property etc. are normal things, of which they are not.

I have no problems with polygamy and polyandry (I think dealing with one woman is more than enough, TQVM), the legal issues that would arise are rare enough that the government can deal with it personally without affecting the entire populace. But the article is so condescending to the Muslim population, I can't believe some of you are rooting FOR the writer.

I'd be perfectly fine with only recognition of monogamous marriages, provided it was done across-the-board (and if polygamous marriages are recognized, likewise, it'd have to be across-the-board). Funny thing is, I disagree with recognition or extension of benefits to multiple spouses, but when the counterargument is put forward in such a bigoted manner (and it ignores how ridiculously rare this is), it pushes me in the other direction. KF
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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby david challice » Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:07 am UTC

Two or three readers (apart from yourself) have objected to my recent Trago piece about State benefits for polygamous Islamic marriages, calling it racist and offensive.

Let’s get a few things straight: the article was based on reports in the Daily Mail, Sunday Telegraph, and Times newspapers. There was no hint of racism. The mention of Islam and Muslems was strictly factual. Or are these complainants disputing that a Muslem can come to this country with a harem of wives, and claim state benefits for each of them? The taxpayer, of course, picks up the tab for this. As for giving offence, I find it offensive that ill-informed correspondents can flounder around with false accusations of racism.

Of the estimated 1.25 million readers of the Column (which has been running for 40 years in twenty-five different newspapers) I am unaware of a single complaint from any Muslem reader. Far from criticising Islam, the article clearly castigated our idiotic Labour government (and by implication the ‘useful idiots’ of the progressive left) who have embraced the lunacy of multiculturalism. This is an old tactic. Ignore the genuine complaint. Invent another.

While we’re on the subject, the UK Independence Party makes no apology for condemning multiculturalism as a naïve and doomed social experiment. A gang of skinheads in an Indian restaurant, guzzling lager, tucking into curry, and bellowing: “Oi, Gunga din,” to the waiter, might be sampling exotic cuisine of the east, but are hardly a great example of multiculturalism (despite the words of the late Robin Cook MP, who was once jolly pleased that tikka masala had been named the nation’s favourite dish, thereby celebrating ‘the advance of multiculturalism’.)

This has nothing to do with race or skin colour and should not be confused with multiracialism. UKIP has many members of so-called ethnic minorities (some of them MEP candidates) who would not thank these few complainants for their patronising and arrogant attitude. Refutation by denigration is the easiest thing in the world, showing intellectual laziness and intolerance. I have a simple message for these complainants: if you don’t like the Trago Column, don’t read it.

At the moment we still have a comparatively free press. For all our sakes, let us hope that these few individuals never get their hands on it.

If you want a better idea of what UKIP really stands for, try visiting www.ukip.org and see for yourself, rather than allowing yourself to be brainwashed by your lecturers. To quote IBM's famous instruction to its staff: "THINK".

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Mat » Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:15 pm UTC

david challice wrote:Or are these complainants disputing that a Muslem can come to this country with a harem of wives, and claim state benefits for each of them?

Yes. Just because it's possible doesn't mean it's likely to happen. See icanus' earlier post:
icanus wrote:to take this hypothetical harem of 1 husband with 4 wives (ignoring the extreme unlikelihood of all five of them qualifying for Income Support):

a qualifying couple gets £94.95 income support, plus £33.65 per additional spouse = £195.90,

whereas a couple with three flatmates could get £94.95 + 3 x the single person's allowance of £60.50 = £276.45

So the author is actually getting hot and bothered over the fact that this hypothetical "moslem" family are 80 quid worse off than if the government didn't recognise polygamy and just treated them as flatmates.

david challice wrote:Of the estimated 1.25 million readers of the Column (which has been running for 40 years in twenty-five different newspapers) I am unaware of a single complaint from any Muslem reader.
Maybe they took your advice:
david challice wrote:I have a simple message for these complainants: if you don’t like the Trago Column, don’t read it.


david challice wrote:This has nothing to do with race or skin colour and should not be confused with multiracialism.
Of course. You hate all foreigners equally, so that makes it ok.

david challice wrote:UKIP has many members of so-called ethnic minorities (some of them MEP candidates) who would not thank these few complainants for their patronising and arrogant attitude.
Ah... the old "I'm not racist, some of my best friends are black!" argument. I agree that the article was not racist, but it sounds pretty xenophobic to me. Your article is not aimed at muslims, they are just being used as an example of the scary immigrants with strange customs. (Seeing as how UKIP's no. 2 priority is "freezing immigration for five years", I think this is a reasonable interpretation.)

david challice wrote:Refutation by denigration is the easiest thing in the world, showing intellectual laziness and intolerance.
[...]
At the moment we still have a comparatively free press. For all our sakes, let us hope that these few individuals never get their hands on it.
[...]
see for yourself, rather than allowing yourself to be brainwashed by your lecturers.
:roll:

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Wiglaf » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:05 pm UTC

Being on xkcd, I'm almost tempted to ask this guy for a PGP signature to verify the autenthicity of his forum post.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby david challice » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:08 pm UTC

To "Mat"......

So you're not disputing the facts of my Trago article. You admit that it's possible. As for the likelihood, you have no idea. But that was never the point. If you can't see that, you're in trouble (probably along with the rest of us, but for different reasons).

If Moslems (or Muslims,if you prefer) haven't complained, could it be because they are not offended? Doesn't that possibility suggest something to you? Perhaps (unlike the brainwashed kids who appear to populate this site) they are bright enough to realise that I was criticising the Government (and multiculturalism) and not Islam.

As for hating foreigners, I joined UKIP in 1999 and, since then, to the best of my knowledge, I have never yet met one single member who "hates foreigners". I certainly don't. You've been reading that Guardian again.

Next point. I'm glad that you accept that my article is no longer "racist"... or presumably "anti-Moslem" (or Muslim)... which is progress, I suppose, except that suddenly it's morphed into being "xenophobic". You'd have gone down well at the Salem witchcraft trials: a summer season at least.

The next posting was "Wylaf"...

I'm new to this so "Wylaf" will have to explain what he/she means by XKCD. And PGF signature too. How about this: you 'phone UKIP Head Office on 01626-830630 and ask for me. If you're implying that my posting to this site lacks autenthicity (sic) then hopefully I can reassure you that you're barking in the wrong forest.

One last point, and this might seem like a plug for my book of the collected Trago articles "The View From Here", but I've been writing the Column since 2001, covering a huge range of issues, and I defy any of your contributors (with the possible exception of Mat) to find a single example of racism or xenophobia anywhere in its pages. The only slight caveat is the definition of racism. I recall the Runnymede Trust boldly announcing: "The term British is potentially racist"

Given such a sweeping definition, "Mat" or some of his/her pals might have a field day.

I won't lose any sleep.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby david challice » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:29 pm UTC

Sorry everyone........ Too much Bishop's Finger. You can now rest assured that I know what XKCD is.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby ^.* » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:51 pm UTC

david challice wrote: (unlike the brainwashed kids who appear to populate this site) they are bright enough to realise that I was criticising the Government (and multiculturalism)

A different opinion from yours doesn`t equate brainwashed. And ad hominem isn`t very useful to convince someone in a discussion. (Especially blanket statements against the population off the whole site. )
david challice wrote:
I'm new to this so "Wylaf" will have to explain what he/she means by XKCD. And PGF signature too. How about this: you 'phone UKIP Head Office on 01626-830630 and ask for me. If you're implying that my posting to this site lacks autenthicity (sic) then hopefully I can reassure you that you're barking in the wrong forest.

XKCD is the name of this side (look at the url ot the top of your browser), as for pgp ask wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pretty_Good_Privacy.(Yes it`s for identification though I will just presume that you are david challice since it doesn`t really matter.)


But I notice that your post doesn`t really respond to the dontent of Mats post you didn`t reply to icanus calculation (Since you write about it should be easy to say why he is wrong, shouldn`t it.) Nor did you response to the freezing Immigration thingi.
Just some random quote till I find an better signature.
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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Jesse » Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:21 am UTC

Ha, David Challice. I'm related to several members of your UKIP party, and I'm well aware of how much these people exhibit xenophobic behaviour that your party encourages.

(I'd be careful about criticising The Guardian, considering they were one of the first media outlets reporting on the Counter-Terrorism Act, something that I am aware your party is currently discussing its response to.)

"A gang of skinheads in an Indian restaurant, guzzling lager, tucking into curry, and bellowing: “Oi, Gunga din,” to the waiter, might be sampling exotic cuisine of the east, but are hardly a great example of multiculturalism"

This is a wonderful sentence. Your evidence that multiculturalism failed is, in fact, just an anecdotal stereotype. I'm afraid we're not Sun readers here, we appreciate real arguments.

"UKIP has many members of so-called ethnic minorities (some of them MEP candidates) who would not thank these few complainants for their patronising and arrogant attitude."

Just because a subset of a population doesn't find it offensive, doesn't mean it isn't offensive. You don't get to pick and choose like that. The only person I've seen being patronising and arrogant around here is yourself, Mr. Challice.

"Refutation by denigration is the easiest thing in the world, showing intellectual laziness and intolerance. I have a simple message for these complainants: if you don’t like the Trago Column, don’t read it."

I have a simple message to you, if people have a criticism of your column you might do better to try to understand their complaints rather than dismiss them out of hand as you've done so far.

"If you want a better idea of what UKIP really stands for, try visiting http://www.ukip.org and see for yourself, rather than allowing yourself to be brainwashed by your lecturers. To quote IBM's famous instruction to its staff: "THINK"."

I know your policies and ideas very well, and have attended many UKIP groups and parties. My brother is a Youth Leader for your party. I have thought, as have many others, and these thoughts have come round to the idea that your party gains support through blame and fear. You blame the current government, you blame immigration, you tap into people's fear of the foreign, of losing their identity or their stability. You are the most prevalent type of politician and therefore the worst. What will you have to say when the temperature of the globe rises by 4 degrees and the UK is left as one of the bastions of the world's population (Along with Western Antarctica, Greenland and Canada?). The world is changing and it's my sincere hope that people like you will be left behind.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby juststrange » Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:08 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Quite frankly, if it's consented polygamy or polyandry or even gay polygamy I say it should be allowed. Who the hell does it really affect? Not you.


The tax payer.

It seems I am on the other side of the coin here. I whole heartedly agree that other cultures should have protection under the law as far as harassment, abuse, and the like are involved. But to allow a breach of your laws just because someone came from somewhere else where it was legal? Culture is not universal, almost by definition, so the same argument that says this is ok should be able to say "darn it, thats not how we do it here, I'm not going to yell at you for it, but don't expect any special treatment on account of it either" This is a government step towards helping along something no regular citizen could achieve. Yes he says it in a poor way, but I see no need for him to be ok with it. I'm a bit shocked at how one-sided the response has been really.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Zuwow » Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:29 pm UTC

juststrange wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:Quite frankly, if it's consented polygamy or polyandry or even gay polygamy I say it should be allowed. Who the hell does it really affect? Not you.


The tax payer.


icanus wrote:to take this hypothetical harem of 1 husband with 4 wives (ignoring the extreme unlikelihood of all five of them qualifying for Income Support):

a qualifying couple gets £94.95 income support, plus £33.65 per additional spouse = £195.90,

whereas a couple with three flatmates could get £94.95 + 3 x the single person's allowance of £60.50 = £276.45



Actually, it's already been pointed out that, at least in this specific example, the tax payer is less affected by polygamy.
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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby david challice » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:42 pm UTC

To ^.*.........

You're "brainwashed" if you instinctively think an anti-Government (and anti multi-culturalism) article in the Trago Column is racist or anti-religion... even if you aren't one off (sic) the kids who appear to populate this site.

As for XKCD, look at the previous posting. If you're not a Sun Reader don't make cheap points.

The dontents (sic) of "Mat's" posting, regarding benefits, isn't worth discussing... partly because the article was never about the cash, but also because it leads away into discussions about the entire structure of the benefits system. Though while we're at it, I'll quote Margaret Thatcher's: "The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."

Somebody mentioned UKIP's policy on freezing immigration for 5 Years. And the problem? I support it 100% To quote Sir Gulam Noon (the "Curry King") in the Daily Telegraph (01/12/08) "We should wait for five or ten years, until all the newcomers have been properly integrated and assimilated into the country. Until then we should just shut the door. We can only accommodate so many." Don't trust your teachers, boys and girls. Look it up for yourself.

And finally "Jesse", who has an inside-line on UKIP and doesn't agree with its basic tenents. That's fine. If you don't support us, no problem. We disagree. Leave it at that. Maybe Jesse and I will agree on other things: eating fish, the joy of driving motor vehicles, the drawbacks of bungee jumping and stamp-collecting, the advantages of foreign travel and of meeting new people and being nice to cats. (I have two and they're both wonderful) That's life. I won't waste a 24p stamp on sending "Jesse" a UKIP info pack. But for the rest of you, visit www.ukip.org and ask to be sent one. Then make up your own mind.

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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:57 pm UTC

david challice wrote:You're "brainwashed" if you instinctively think an anti-Government (and anti multi-culturalism) article in the Trago Column is racist or anti-religion... even if you aren't one off (sic) the kids who appear to populate this site.


Subduing the culture of a minority race is pretty blatant racism.

david challice wrote:And finally "Jesse", who has an inside-line on UKIP and doesn't agree with its basic tenents. That's fine. If you don't support us, no problem. We disagree. Leave it at that. Maybe Jesse and I will agree on other things: eating fish, the joy of driving motor vehicles, the drawbacks of bungee jumping and stamp-collecting, the advantages of foreign travel and of meeting new people and being nice to cats. (I have two and they're both wonderful) That's life. I won't waste a 24p stamp on sending "Jesse" a UKIP info pack. But for the rest of you, visit http://www.ukip.org and ask to be sent one. Then make up your own mind.


Your "live and let live" attitude is hardly credible, given that you want to "assimilate" Muslims into your traditional British culture.

P.S. Why are you using "sic" in something that you wrote yourself?
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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Sero » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:00 am UTC

Mr. Challice,

I'm not really intending to get involved in this whole debate, my own views are fully formed on the matter and I don't think I'm likely to be very effective expounding on them to others, either. Honestly, I'll even admit I haven't fully read the full thread. I kept finding myself just running my eyes over the text of your posts rather than reading them. A bit too rhetoric and palaver like. I'm aware that's not the most complimentary of remarks, but it isn't really intended that way. Perhaps if I were a citizen of the United Kingdom I'd find it more interesting, but as I'm not, I don't. Just a disclaimer, essentially, that I haven't read the full discussion and don't intend to contribute.

However, I was very interested to see the author of an article responding to a discussion here about the article. It's something that I'd like to see happen more often, possibly. To that end, I'll try to explain the whole thing about PGP. You need to understand that, on the internet, all unverified credentials are automatically suspect. If you claim to have a PhD in Electrical Engineering to add authenticity to your contribution to a debate about electronics on the internet, you've already lost the debate in the minds of most of the people reading it, whether you do or not. Likewise, asserting to be a real person rather than one of these relatively anonymous identities we use here, is also automatically suspect. Having a phone number we can call to ask for you is also not the best way of verifying your identity. Certainly, one person could do so. And if they were reasonably convinced that it wasn't some impostors home phone number and that the person answering it was really David Cahllice, then you'd have verified your identity to one person. But not to anyone else. And perhaps if, say, twenty well known people here on the XKCD fora were to do so, then someone like myself, for who calling that number would be an international call and more trouble than it's worth, could say, why yes, he probably is David Challice. But that's obviously not an ideal solution.

A PGP Key is part of something called asymmetric cryptography. If you want the full technical run down, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_key_cryptography. But I'll try to summarize it here. It's a way of sending coded messages. You have two 'keys', a public key and a private key. You make one public and keep one secret, and you can guess which is which. Anything encoded with the public key can only be decoded with the private key. Anything encoded with the private key can only be decoded with the public key. The idea being your public key enables anyone to send a message that only you can read, and anything that can be decoded with your public key could only be from you. It is the latter of these two uses that is relevant to us. Basically, we want you to get a PGP key pair, publish your public key (There are somewhat complicated methods for trying to ensure a public key actually belongs to who it supposedly belongs to. I have limited practical experience public key cryptography so I'm not going to try to explain them. It basically boils down to doing the 'twenty people calling that number and posting on here they're satisfied you are who you say you are' in advance, instead of every time you post on a new forum), publish your public key in a way that presumably only David Challice could do (I have no idea who you are, but you seem to have some connection to the UKIP. Put it on their website, possibly?), then, at the end of your posts here on the XKCD fora, put a bit of text encoded with your private key, a 'digital signature'.

If you need any help on figuring out how to use PGP, etc, feel free to ask...someone else. I am officially at the limit of my knowledge of it's workings. But, might I suggest, as a start http://lmgtfy.com/?q=how+to+pgp
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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:22 pm UTC

Bolshevik, he was using "sic" because ^.* used it on him, and then made a spelling mistake himself (lesson for all, kids. If you're gonna call someone out on their spelling, make sure you check your own post thoroughly).

David Challice, I appreciate the calm manner with which you have approached this thread in order to defend your position. However, I cannot agree with your stance on multiculturalism and immigration. Examples of multiculturalism failures (such as the skinheads eating curry anecdote) do not exclude the possibility of multiculturalism successes. There has been a recent academic paper claiming cricket was introduced to England by immigrants from Belgium- this would be an example of a multicultural success. Indeed, the popularity of cricket in India, the West Indies, and many other former-colonies would be another example of the success of cultures merging.

You may find it distasteful that immigrants with multiple wives can have their polygamy passively condoned by the UK government, and rightly so (considering that the UK finds polygamy unlawful). But surely you realise the article has been spun in a sensationalist fashion, and portrays Muslims in a negative light by association? Upholding multiculturalism too high can lead to political contradictions, but that does not make the whole practice invalid. It merely exists to undo some of the damage done by xenophobia, and is an acknowledgment that not all cultural values and tastes are inherently superior to those held by immigrants.

I have found a flaw in the logic of freezing immigration for five years, in order to integrate 'newcomers.' Because an efficient system that would be able to integrate existing immigrants would surely be able to process immigrants as they arrived? Unless, of course, the intent is that the five-year-freeze will become an indefinite freeze. But it does beg the question of exactly how you would assimilate and integrate immigrants, given the appropriate resources. If you give them a copy of What Ho, Jeeves!, educate them in the use of HP Sauce, and explain how to avoid the faux pas of referring to your trousers as 'pants', what then? British culture is diverse in itself, and there is hardly a penultimate model to conform to.
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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby Indon » Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:17 pm UTC

I notice they don't actually note how much the standard marriage benefit is compared to the additional spouse rate. If the add'l spouse rate is less than half the couple rate, then there seems to be no monetary problems - a muslim with three wives could probably make more by filing one legal marriage with one wife and having the other two wives legally marry each other (that's legal in the UK right?) and make more money for the household that way.

It seems the entire point to the article is a complaint about being more inclusive in terms of the law.
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Re: Local news, and I am ashamed of my country/county

Postby david challice » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:50 pm UTC

To Sero

Many thanks for taking the time to explain the background to PGP keys. I was just rather curious why the validity of my id was being questioned.
In truth, I probably won't be investigating further but I appreciate your effort all the same.

To Pez Dispens3r

Thank you too. A far more reasonable approach than the "Salem hysteria" line from a couple of others on this site. We might , in the end, disagree on immigration, though the UKIP policy of freezing immigration for 5 years is not a precursor to ending all immigration after that period. It's to give us a chance to eliminate the backlog. And also to have an immigration policy that is put in place by a British government elected into power by the British electorate, not by the Brussels-based version that we have now.

Our membership of the EU means that we have lost control of immigration. We now hear constantly that the government will prevent immigration "from non-EU counties". But turn it on its head, and it becomes clear that what they're really saying is that if you come from an EU country there's nothing that Parliament can do about it (with a few notable exceptions). Our governments have signed away the power to control who comes into the country. This is madness, the equivalent of piling all the furniture against the front door, whilst leaving the back door and all the ground-floor windows wide open.

I never intended this to wander off into the immigration topic (nor into the amounts of benefit that could, in theory, be accrued by claimants using the social security system in other ways). As I said at the very begining, the article was criticising the Government and multi-culturalism. Not Moslems. Though I do wonder, had the article referred to Christians rather than Moslems, would there have been such a response on this site (and on a couple of others)? I suspect not.

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