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The Fugees and Hashtag Democracy

COVLNEBUYAACqZGDan Hodges @DPJHodges (sort of righty-lefty, self-described ‘tribal neo-Blairite’ – think of a sort of less unpleasant but literate John McTernan) tweets: “The idea that if you’re a politician you have to put a refugee in your spare bedroom to show your care about refugees is bonkers.” It’s a beautiful tweet because it captures Missing the Whole Fucking Point in one lovely 140 character capsule.

It’s supposed to be a slightly cynical wry metropolitan put-down which is Hodges schtick. Instead it just exposes how far behind the curve the commentariat (and some politicians) really are. Only a few short days ago the entire public story about borders, immigration, refugees and asylum seekers was being driven and shaped by an unholy alliance of the Conservatives, UKIP and (crucially) their friends and funders in the tabloid press. The amount of Syrian refugees being allowed in could be held on a single train carriage, now they are being talked in the tens of thousands. Now, in a hilarious about turn, these people are having to make policy and media backflips in response to a wave of public opinion that’s stopped their message of hate in its tracks. As Cat Boyd points out in The National:

“Is it any wonder that good people forget our common humanity and our history when every single day, media coverage dehumanises people with nature-like metaphors: flocks, contagions, or even “cockroaches” for Sun columnist Katie Hopkins.”

Daily Express 060613She writes:

“We’re told time and time again that resources are “scarce”, that Britain is “full” and that there simply isn’t enough to go around. The truth is that there is more than enough to go around – there’s just a lack of political will to redistribute wealth and power. The scapegoating of refugees, asylum seekers or migrants is an irresponsible and disgraceful lie.However, in the last fortnight something truly exceptional has occurred. The relentless wheel of hatred ground to a halt and started, slowly at first but then at a pace, to turn in the other direction. David Cameron has been forced to climb down from his “tough talk” and to accept a measure (just a measure, mind) of humanity in refugee policy. In the latest announcement, the Prime Minister said Britain would take 20,000 Syrian refugees over five years. Small beans, in truth, but far from “the good old British common sense” of earlier weeks.

Let’s be clear: with honourable exceptions like this newspaper, the traditional media has had almost nothing to do with this transformation in public mood. The usual suspects served up the usual tripe. But increasingly, citizen journalism spurred by non-traditional media forms allows us to mock and condemn the previously-inevitable rule of compulsory bigotry. Online petitions, including one proposal to swap Katie Hopkins’ massive head for 50,000 Syrian refugees, have gone viral. Thousands have become involved in organising support through churches, trade unions and social media networks.”

This is a massive psychological victory. Seeing Germans applaud and hand out food and soft toys to arriving refugees is a landmark moment. Seeing Cameron on the back foot whilst Farage is (presumably) foaming at the mouth in the snug of some bar in Billericay, for once ignored by the media as they desperately play catch-up is also a moment worth savouring.

In 1970 Carol Hanisch argued that ‘the personal is political’ – and Hodges is wrong not because MPs and MSPs putting up refugees is a practical solution, but as an act of solidarity, and as a declaration of simple humanity it is in-step with the mood of the moment. In our networked era, professional politicians (and scribes liked Hodges) don’t get to always set the agenda any more. Of course thuggish police and thuggish governments still hold power, but we hold influence. What we need now – and for this sake thank god for the EU  (a flawed and rotten body as it is) – is a European-wide coordinated approach based on not just emergency but longer term thinking about the crisis and its deeper underlying causes.

So we will need more than a hash-tag to prevent Cameron’s drone warfare and we will ned more than a temporary generosity of spirit to prevent future conflict. We need to reclaim our democracy not just our humanity. The Positive Action in Housing project is brilliant and essential. But, as Cat Boyd says: “many who make it to Britain, like those trying to escape misery in Calais, will also face a degrading UK asylum system, where, barred from working, you live on less than £40 per week, with the threat of indefinite detention in Dungavel or Yarl’s Wood.”

The latent racism of not just the British State, but even our lowly political class, like the disgraceful Gordon McAskill, shouldn’t be underestimated, but neither should the strength of public solidarity, unfettered now from the moral guardianship of the likes of pornographer Richard Desmond who have been shaping the narrative about race and culture for years.

If the image of Aylan Kurdi provoked a massive backlash, as important are the images of Germans meeting refugees …

One of the key arguments being won here is we’re not ‘full-up’ and we’re not ‘too poor’ and we’re not being ‘over-run’. We live in a land of plenty and we have plenty to share. But as Slavoj Žižek has put it:

“Most important and most difficult of all, there is a need for radical economic change which would abolish the conditions that create refugees. Without a transformation in the workings of global capitalism, non-European refugees will soon be joined by migrants from Greece and other countries within the Union. When I was young, such an organised attempt at regulation was called communism. Maybe we should reinvent it. Maybe this is, in the long-term, the only solution.”


Comments (55)

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  1. dunderheid says:

    Surely if you really cared about these refugees you would want to do something to prevent them having to leave their homes…but i guess that would smack of neo-imperialist meddling.

    1. Green says:

      Perhaps you could read the last paragraph, crucially: “Most important and most difficult of all, there is a need for radical economic change which would abolish the conditions that create refugees.”

      That might or might not involve communism, which is where I differ with the author, but I would hope this addresses the substance of your comment.

    2. merry-go-round says:

      Oh I see so just to clarify the Syrian civil war was all “our fault” nothing whatsoever to do with a civil uprising against the secular Asad dictatorship from the era of the now defunct Arab spring…

      1. dunderheid says:

        Green: Ok in the unlikely event the world economic revolution doesn’t happen in the next few weeks what else could we do to help these people from being forced from their homes and lives?

        Merry-go-round: even if i accepted that the Syrian crisis was in any way the fault of the west which for the most part I don’t…doesn’t that put the onus even more on the west to fix it?

        1. merry-go-round says:

          For sure we should give help – a billion pounds given already seems generous enough and of course Cameron is having to keep the liberal minority in this country (cuddly & very well meaning people like “Douglas”) by grudgingly taking a token amount of people. Of course even then for people like “Douglas” the figure is still not enough and won’t be enough until we match or exceed the amount of people Germany is accepting.

          The issue of blame is important because “we started it” is all part of the liberal hand-wringing self-loathing view which they milk in order justify their open door policy which needs to be challenged – both the fallacy of us starting it (we didn’t) and the idea that there is plenty of room, infrastructure and even desire to have even more refugees (migrants) into this country.

          I’m certainly hoping that things get far worse for the EU – great to see Hungary and Germany at each others throats, everyone ganging up on Cameron and week after week of chaos. Anything which illustrates the inability of the EU to work together simply speeds up its eventual decline.

    3. Hindmost says:

      That would depend on how you intervened. Certainly what we have done in the middle East up till now would leave you open to that criticism. So trying something different may give a different approach.

  2. merry-go-round says:

    “resources are scarce …Britain is full…there simply isn’t enough to go around” well yes that seems to be similar to the opinion of Channel 4 news who polled late last week and found that 56% percent thought that refugee figures were either too high or at least should stay the same.

    “There’s more than enough to go around just a lack of political will to redistribute wealth and power”

    I agree completely although I do have a sneaking suspicion that the situation is unlikely to change anytime soon. So hey best we just carry on and try to match or at least take more migrants than Germany and to hell with the consequences eh? I mean it’s not as if the current flow of migrants are already causing “tension” in certain “communities” (and I’m not just talking about how wage inflation for the lowest paid has been held back by the endless supply of unskilled hands) – and if they are then well who cares – most of the communities are not in Scotland and besides isn’t it great to get under the noses of middle England given any opportunity!

  3. leavergirl says:

    Nearly one million of people, mostly young (angry? European-culture-loathing?) men are flooding into Europe. Most are not Syrian at all. But never mind that — the drums of war against Assad go on beating…

    Two and a half million are waiting in the wings, in North Africa. How many more are behind those, no one dares to speculate. And you are bickering about in whose house they should be put up, and how many? Isn’t anyone, anyone at all, sane enough to be willing to look at the big picture?

    If not, Europe is toast, and has only itself to thank.

    1. merry-go-round says:

      Europe is toast – trust me – it will collapse from within – the sooner the better as soon as people at a grass roots level realize that their political masters care nothing the masses. UKIP, Podemos (Spain), Tsirisa(Greece) i.e from both sides of the political spectrum have had enough.
      As far as the joys of mass migration are concerned people really need to take a look at the rape statistics for Malmo in Sweden.

      1. leavergirl says:

        I did look it up. Here is one link, there are many more.

        Not really surprising, is it? Why should people who kill one’s own female relatives for “honor” reasons, turn them virtual prisoners in their own homes, and throw uppity women from rooftops, have a problem with rape?

        But sorry. I digress. What is Europe going to do with the many millions flooding or waiting to flood in? Can we actually talk “long run”?

        1. Douglas says:

          So you quote a private blog to try to smear Muslim men….pathetic…

          What about the Catholic church? What about the paedophilia in the Catholic church? Does that make all Catholics paedophiles in your world?

          1. leavergirl says:

            I simply quoted the first of many other links carrying the story. All you need to do is google it. Do you dispute the stats?

            The word “smearing” is used for people who lie about others’ behavior, like, for example, Alister Carmichael. Are you saying that what I said was a lie, that these things do not happen in significant numbers in the Muslim world? Please, do tell me how women are generally treated there, according to what you know.

            And don’t try to create a diverting fallacy. The crimes of the Catholic church stand on their own. They do not exonerate those crimes against women and children committed elsewhere.

      2. Douglas says:

        Why would Europe be toast, and why would we trust you, given you provide no reasoning for that assertion? Explain to me why Europe is toast, please, enlighten me….

  4. Douglas says:

    The thing about the various posters above who – quite tastelessly – contrive to turn a refugee crisis into a thread about how wicked Muslims are is that you are ignorant of the history of Europe.

    If you read the history of Europe – Norman Davies for example, or Tony Judd’s “Post War” – you will see that Europe was never homogeneous, it was almost never just Christian. The Moors governed Spain for 800 years, the Turks got as far as the gates of Vienna. After WWII, it became much more homogeneous – millions of ethnic Germans and Russians, for example, were repatriated from other parts of Europe to their ethnic homeland despite never having lived there.

    This idea that Muslims are somehow more problematic than white Christians – it’s like that old line in the Deep American South about all black men being potential rapists; or all Irishmen being potential terrorists – well let’s look at the facts. Who has destabilised the Middle East for the last 100 years? How many Western invasions of Arab countries have there been? Maybe 20? How many times has an Arab country invaded the West? Not once…

    Who destabilised Syria? The West. Which countries continue to arm the most barbaric Muslim State in the world which is Saudi Arabia? Again, the UK and the USA…Who invaded Iraq and who imposed the Shah of Iran which led to the first outbreak of radical Shia fundamentalism in the guise of the Ayatollahs?

    The West has treated the Middle East like a laboratory for the last 100 years. Don’t vote for the establishment parties, they are responsible for the plight of these poor people.

    The people who are coming to Europe from Syria should be welcomed. And there is an opportunity here. Because, as we are seeing, Syria is really not that far away. Maybe with the influx of Syrian refugees we can actually build some real bridges with the Arab world.

    I wish them all well and wish I could do more to help.

    1. Borders says:

      Well said Douglas

    2. Kenneth G Coutts says:

      Well said Douglas , the sooner the majority realise this and wake up , pull their heads out of the sand, will we ever make headway and rid ourselves of this perfidious Albion cess pit.
      We now see and hear the state stenographers spewing out their propagandist misinformation Lies spoon fed from the unionist war criminals of this outlaw state.
      The unionist bluff of processing 20,000 refugee’s over a five year period has got to be up there with WMD’s spin, riding roughshod over UN resolutions and International ,Geneva conventions.

  5. Douglas says:

    Leaver Girl, there are all kinds of Muslims, just like there all kind of Christians. At the same time as we are all watching – precisely – women and children walking through Hungary, toddlers, no more than 3 or 4 years old on our TV screens, you and merry-go-round choose to divert the thread to rape….I would say that is strange timing which shows no empathy, let alone sympathy.

    Rape is a very serious matter, but it is a matter for the Law, not politics. Why not write to David Cameron and ask him why the UK continues to sell military hardware to Saudi Arabia, where bloggers are publicly flogged and women’s right simply do not exist in any shape or form? Why focus on the people who are arriving in Europe and who are clearly in need? Why pick on the vulnerable instead of the powerful?.

    If it wasn’t for the Arabs, for Muslim, European culture wouldn’t exist. When the Dark Ages came to Europe, most of the great Greek classics were lost in their original form, existing only in Arabic, and were translated back into Latin and Romance/Spanish in Spain at the Toledo School from about the 12th century. The Arabs invented mathematics no less. Don’t get me started…

    We owe the Arabs world a great deal and I am personally glad that we will be having these brave people in our midst.

    1. merry-go-round says:

      (a) I mentioned endemic rape statistics in Sweden as an example where things can go wrong and YES from what I have heard from someone who lives there many in Sweden are seriously concerned with their governments liberal approach to mass migration.
      (b) all this tugging of heart-strings leaves me deeply cynical – after all the war in Syria has actually been going for over 4 years leaving a million dead – yet it was only the death of a photogenic child has alerted the world to what was going on – where have they been all this time?
      (c) I am not a spokesman for Cameron – I have no say on why we are still sucking up to Saudi Arabia whilst pretending to be the world’s priest. Capitalism has no morals – we need oil and they keep people in work – a real marriage made in hell.
      (d) The Arabs were very influential……..give or take a 1,000 years ago. What happened since? – where was their enlightenment era, name a single book written in Arabic in the past 100 years which has sold well, name an Arabic invention of note?
      (e) The 800 year conquest by the Moors in Spain… the muslims were held back at the gates of Poitiers and Vienna – yep – it’s hardly a happy history between muslims and Christians. The fact that Christians are getting kicked out & killed in most of the middle-east never seems to get a look in by hand-wringing liberals who do nothing but bang on about injustices in the middle east.

  6. Douglas says:

    You know the amount of media manipulation intended (or not, it’s not always intentional) the Muslim world as barbaric, and the West as civilized…well, where do you start?

    So ISIS cut off the head of one of their self-declared enemies and that as perceived as being much more barbaric than the French cutting off the head of their king, or an inmate on death row in American being fried on a chair. The Red Army – according to Anthony Beevor – raped their way through Poland all the way up to Berlin, but Muslims are more likely rapists, right?

    Let’s remember that Europe has long been well ahead of any other continent in barbarity. Europe gave the world the slave trade and colonization. Europe gave the world the police State. Europe gave the world the gas chambers and the Camps, and the Gulag. Europe gave the world Communism and Fascism….

    Baghdad was one of the first great centres of world civilization: the West bombed it to rubble just ten years ago.

    The Syrians are not my fear. My fear is the right-wing loony Europeans and their inveterate superiority complex which stems from Empire and colonization…

    1. merry-go-round says:

      correction – I meant quarter of a million dead in the Syrian civil war (2011-).

      I’m not sure about media manipulation because I am certain that people read the newspapers which pander to their own world view – the Guardian (which I read) is on one level as bad as the daily mail – the daily mail is not all knowing and smug which is why I have more contempt for the former in spite of its unsurpassed world coverage.

      Aren’t evil white skinned westerners like me allowed to feel a little superior every now and then – (not even a little?) I mean I’ve kind of noticed that all the human traffic seems to be one way: Third world people from third rate countries with third rate human rights records with third rate economies with third rate levels of governance heading to the decadent west! The people on the move are of course not all from Syria or even Iraq: the list includes Bangladesh, Ethiopia, China, Eritrea – the last time I looked they were all at peace – weird eh I mean it kind of makes you think that they are economic migrants rather than refugees

      Your point about Europe is very true – pretty much the whole of 19th & 20th century history is about Europeans killing Europeans. Mind you that Norman Davies Europe book was a rambling book at the best of times – Anthony Beevor would have made a better job of it.

  7. Douglas says:


    I know who you are, you’re the same smug poster who comes onto Bella every so often to make a fool of yourself. This oft repeated wish of yours to feel superior – to poor people, to people from other cultures – points to some underlying insecurity in yourself And there is no way you have read Norman Davies. He’s far too interesting for somebody like you. If you were to tell me you have read Niall Ferguson, than I might believe you…

    The rise of the West since about 1500, which was built on the back of technology, white racial supremacy theories, and the brutal exploitation of the rest of the world, allowing for the accumulation of capital in Europe to propel modernity, is an eyeblink of history….a few hundred years is nothing in human history. It is an anecdote that modernity started in the West….it could have started anywhere, and we are living in the decadence of a post-imperial Anglo-American world. The Romans thought they were eternal too…read Gibbon.

    It’s all too clear from your posts above that you actually think white people are superior to the rest of the world, something no serious thinker even contemplates these days.

    As for the rape figures in Sweden, well, it depends what you google. There are plenty of narrow racists out there who will do anything to foment hatred against Muslims.

    According to Wikipedia, rape statistics have always been much higher in Sweden than other countries because a) they have a wider definition of what constitutes rape and b) Sweden is the world’s leader in gender equality, and women in such a context are much more likely to report rape.


    1. merry-go-round says:

      “I know who you are” – well I’ve no idea who you are as I’m hardly ever in the comments section due to me spending most of my time in spiked online (it’s a contrarian pseudo-libertarian website) still good to see I’m already dealing with someone who’s a little confused – speeds things up somewhat.

      Rape figures in Sweden: highest on earth – best you keep your Guardian reading sensibilities to the fore and gently cover those eyes with a thick sheeting of wool – makes life easy rather than having to wonder WHY a city has suddenly had a 5 fold increase in violent crime in the past decade and sex crime pretty much through the roof above all make quite sure there is no connection to the open door immigration policy of Sweden a policy in stark contrast to the greater part of the population – still no doubt a Golden dawn style party will have to pick up the pieces at some point in the future.

      The Norman Davies book was heavy going in places – perhaps you are right and he’s far too interesting for me too appreciate and anyway I smell of wee so ner ner ner ner ner!

      Niall Ferguson – eh? there is no way you would have tolerated even the preface of his Empire book – it’s a horrific whitewash / refreshing look at the rise of the British empire – you would have stamped on it shouting “never, never, never”. The empire was built on technology, human ingenuity & innovation. “Modernity….could have started anywhere” – hmm and what was the chances of it happening in Central African republic, Burkina Faso, from the Aborigines in Australia or the hill-tribes of Nepal then – quite low I’m guessing.

      I’m not even going to answer the question as to racial superiority especially as I have already credited the Arabs with having a golden age – that is credit indeed. I’m also aware of the racist label is a fail-safe tactic used by liberals as a means of discrediting people: remember Gordon Brown dismissing that voter as a bigot in the 2010 election campaign because she dared to question the rise of immigration in her neighbourhood ? – exactly.

      1. Douglas says:

        Sweden does not have the highest rape figures in the world. That is a falsehood. Why would you make a claim which is patently untrue if you had anything like a case?

        Plus, you’re not making this point because you care about women, and violence against women, you’re making the point because you dislike the idea of Syrians coming to live in Europe.

        If you really cared about women’s rights, and women’s rights are part of the wider category of human rights, you would never have brought up this point on this thread. It is in very poor taste. The refugees are coming to Europe because their rights are being systematically violated at home. That includes women and children…

        And it was you who asked me if you, with your white skin, were not entitled to feel superior from time to time. Here’s what you said:

        “Aren’t evil white skinned westerners like me allowed to feel a little superior every now and then – (not even a little?)”

        And you’re not a racist? Of course you are…you might not have realized it yet, but of course you are a racist with an underlying white supremacist ideology, the by-product of 400 of European colonialism…

        The Arabs also invented the number zero…which is what your prejudiced, ill-informed, feeble-minded ramblings amount to…

        1. merry-go-round says:

          Ha,ha,ha – ref:the Arabs inventing zero and your evident disgust upon meeting someone with a differing opinion to you (the horror!) hence the ad hominem attacks was kind of funny although playground abuse is slightly tiresome but never mind. So in conclusion I am a Nazi, I smell of wee-wee and I smear excrement upon my naked body whilst barking at the full moon – good – now that has been cleared up.

          My concern about women and human rights – not really my point was that not all things are rosy when you allow mass rather than limited migration into a country to the host community but we will have to move on here as you have already said that things are fine in places such as Sweden and that Malmo being the rape capital of Europe is simply nonsense.

          To be racist should surely indicate that there are actual racial differences – right? Yet when people look at the amount of black faces who win medals at the Olympics, the best boxers & winners in marathons goes without comments because when racial differences (which apparently there aren’t any) are used in a positive light then fine also when you look at sickle-cell anaemia (only affect black Caribbean people).However when anyone dares to look at the constant disaster of the continent of Africa then such criticism is beyond the pale and besides how dare anyone suggest there are differences. African countries blame colonialism and tribal difference yet other parts of the world also have had similar histories and yet they seem to be racing ahead: particularly China and many south American & south east Asian countries. How can anyone NOT look at the skyline of somewhere like Tokyo or Hong-Kong compare that with Sudan, Zimbabwe or the D.R.C and NOT ask even vaguely controversial questions is a mystery – perhaps your left-wing mindset will not allow such thoughts.

          1. Douglas says:

            Good of you to confirm in an abundance of detail what was obvious in your other posts: you’re a racist…

        2. merry-go-round says:

          all races are not the same – get over it – and don’t respond telling me you have suffered sickle-cell anaemia either! x

  8. AAD says:

    Having lived and worked in various parts of the world including the Middle East I would just like to say that the people I worked with were just normal people who wanted an education, a job, a house and prospects of a good life for their children. These people were of all and no religions. Stop lapping up the putrid nonsense served up by what passes for the media in this country.

    1. merry-go-round says:

      So by your own estimation most people are good and have the same needs, wants and desires as the next person – right? By my understanding most people on the surface are good – it’s what lies just below is where the real problem lies and perhaps why we as a species are simply doomed to a limited shelf-life. This perhaps accounts for all the suffering, humiliation, rage, anger and hatred which mankind shows towards his fellow man – and let’s not even get on to the atrocious way he treats the animal kingdom and natural world.

      1. Douglas says:

        Yes, exactly, what lies below the surface of people like yourself – though now, thanks to this thread, exposed – is terrifying.

        Bear in mind that there was no real fascist movement in Scotland in the 30’s because the Scottish Left would organize and go into their meetings and beat the shit out of them…

        1. John Page says:

          Can you imagine the absolute horror of leading this man’s life. Most racists are content in their ignorant bliss. But this narcissist needs to parade his alleged self earned success and what he regards as his special position in pointing out the foolishness of others having hope in a better Scotland or whatever. To change names repeatedly to parade this self alienation on Bella is really something. Can you imagine having him as a work colleague?
          John Page

          1. merry-go-round says:

            John Page – so what part of the “open comment policy” are you a little unclear of? People who don’t share the same liberal world view as you are still allowed a voice here otherwise it would be wall-to-wall Douglas & John Page comments here.

        2. merry-go-round says:

          “terrifying” – what I think you mean is you have an inability to deal with people who don’t agree with your (blinkered?) view of the world but I suppose if you want to have an easy life hanging around in the company of like minded people is the way to go. You need to challenge people if you disagree with them – you could offer a reason as to why for example “we are all the same” – even to devil worshipping Nazis like me. To be honest with you Douglas it’s a tough job you’ve got on your hands – trying to explain away say the concept of the “Jewish genius” (re: the kohn gene) and the sheer quantity of nobel prizes and inventions by such an incredibly small population compared to say black Africans who er are um good at running really quickly around a race track and do wonders in the black-on-white rape statistics in the USA is a difficult one. To also defend the track record of sub-Saharan countries since the end of empire is also a logistical nightmare for your liberal and well meaning view of humanity: Mobutu (Zaire), Ethiopia (Mengistu), Idi Amin (Uganda), Bokassa (Central African republic) and Mugabe’s Zimbabwe – once the bread basket of Africa now an economic basket case. Good luck!

          1. Douglas says:

            Look mate, if I did have a problem dealing with people with different opinions than my own, would I be answering you on so many posts?

            The Jews have so many Nobel prize for two reasons. Jewish culture values the book and the word, like no other. Jewish wise men have been supported for millennia by the wider Jewish community to interpret texts. They are bookish people, and hermeneutics make up a fundamental part of Jewish culture (google that word – it’s too big for you). The second reason is that they were always exiles and outsiders, and exiles and outsiders often gain insight and, of course, are multilingual. So it’s no surprise that the Jews have contributed so much. With the entrenching of the state of Israel, I expect the number of Jewish Nobel Prize winners to drop sharply, because they are no longer outsiders.

            As for African dictators…well that’s the thing about you merry-go-round, you don’t think, you just type…the two biggest mass murderers in world history were both Europeans: Stalin and Hitler.

            The British Empire and the Spanish Empire probably killed more people than Stalin and Hitler put together – nobody knows the numbers – but enough to leave the worst excesses of the worst African dictator in the shade. Right enough, the people they killed weren’t white, so who cares, right? I mean, black lives and Arab lives don’t count as much as white lives according to people like you.

    2. Doon the A701 says:

      I have also lived and worked in the Middle East for 18 months in two of the oil rich strict Islamic Gulf states. While the culture and traditions are ‘different’ I enjoyed my time and learned a lot. My wife joined me after 3 months, intending to stay for the remainder of my contract, but she barely lasted 6 months due to a couple of incidents. There is absolutely no escaping the fact a woman’s place in Islam is not equal. It’s not misogyny as we would define it, but more adherence to Islamic guidance, which is taken literally from the Koran and many muslims don’t understand why we have an issue with it. I have great sympathy with those fleeing Syria and Iraq and believe we should be doing as much as we can to help. However, ‘say’ we were able to act on our humanity and there was an influx of a large number of refugees, we have to be very careful that we do not undermine our own social values while at the same time trying to make others into something they are not. That’s not racism.

      And why are the oil rich Gulf states not helping – from what I have observed at first hand, rich Arabs despise poor Arabs. Simple as that. Syrians, Iraqis, Jordanians, Egyptians, etc are all second or third class citizens in places like Saudi and Kuwait.

      Summary of quotes from the Koran regarding women. Menstruating women are unclean, and men must stay away from them. Women are men’s “fields,” and men can have sex with them whenever they want. Men are superior to women and have authority over them, while women must obey men or risk being beaten. A woman is worth one-half of a man, and men are above women. Muslim men may marry up to four wives, including prepubescent girls, and can own sex slaves. Muslims are not allowed to marry non-Muslims, unless the latter convert to Islam. Women must cover themselves and be seen only by relatives, eunuchs, slaves and children who have not yet had sex with women.

      1. Douglas says:

        So, let’s get this right Doon the A701:

        You are concerned that the arrival of between one and two million Muslim refugees to the EU, the richest economic area in the world with a population of 500 million, might “undermine our values”?

        Question: how many westerners live in the oil-rich gulf States, and do you think said westerners have undermined their values?

        Bref: why is it fine for you to go and live and work there, but not for Muslims to come and work in Europe? What is the difference?

        I could quote you dozens of psychopathic lines from the Old Testament, a veritable catalogue of cruelty and horror, and sexist from the creation myth onwards….

        I am secular Republican and am against religion outside the private sphere.

        1. Doon the A701 says:

          I do not question whether we should help or indeed our capacity to help. My single concern is the social values relating to women, having had direct experience of how females can be badly treated (according to our values). I have no problems with Muslims living or working in Europe but we must square the gender issue.

          1. Douglas says:

            Well, we can agree that women are treated with shocking amounts of violence, all over the world.

            Can we agree that this a massive problem in the West too? Can we agree that there are prostitution rackets the length and breadth of Europe with trafficked women, sex slaves? And that thousands upon thousands of women are murdered each year by their male partners in the West, the bastion of Civilization?

            And that, on the other hand, a monogamous relationship between men and women is ALSO the indirect product of the teachings of a religion, ie, Christianity, just as much as multiple wives is so in the case of Islam, just a DIFFERENT religion? You may prefer one over the other, but they both have a religious source: adultery is a sin under Christianity, not so under Islam… And let’s remember that homosexuality was illegal in Scotland until as recently as 1981, again because of the teachings of the Bible? And that assisted suicide is still illegal today because of the Christians….and that the head of the British State can only be an Anglican/Protestant? I mean, we are hardly free of fanatical religious tendencies ourselves…if Tony Blair thinks he is on a mission from God, or Ronald Reagan, I mean…

            Is it also not a singular fact that- for example – the ingrained prostitution of women in Asia – take Thailand for example, where young peasant girls are rounded up in trucks and taken to brothels in Bangkok packed full of Western men – is never, ever used to condemn Buddhism (or variant of) which is the religion of Thailand, whereas the mistreatment of women in the Muslim world, which undoubtedly exists, is instrumentalized and used as a political weapon to attempt to depict all Muslims as barbarians, thus providing the perfect ideological cover for the never ending Western interventions in the Arab world, one more or less every decade….so frequent that you might easily be confused and think that invading Arab countries is “one of our values”….

        2. merry-go-round says:

          “undermine our values” – well yes – the well documented cases of grooming of girls in Rochdale, Oxford,Bristol and Rotherham was clearly a cultural thing: Asian (muslim) men grooming filthy white slags – didn’t you read the details of the case? Values would also include tolerance of minorities of Jews and homosexuals neither of which have a great track record in the middle east. Muslim men also make up a large proportion of the prison population in the UK well but I suppose that’s all part of being “culturally enriched” by them helping making our country “diverse”.
          It’s a measure of quantity – the amount of well skilled high desirable westerners go to the Gulf states in relatively small numbers whereas we end up with far more people most of whom are far less skilled hence contribute less to our society.

          1. John Page says:

            If you get a chance could you look at the posts from “merry-go-round”……looks like our resident troll but nastier than usual


            John Page

          2. leavergirl says:

            I hope, Bella, you hew to your open comment policy — much appreciated — and disregard the call, from the above person, styling themselves the PC police apparently.

          3. To be clear we don’t have a ‘open comment policy’ we have a considered one, and try and allow free discussion as much as possible. We do not accept abusive or racist comments.

          4. Douglas says:

            So, again, why would the Rochester grooming case be different to say, the mass abuse of children carried out by Catholic priests? If Catholic priests – or white paedo rings of any description – are exposed and apprehended you shrug your shoulders and say, “there’s always a rotten apple in the barrel” and if they are Muslims you say “they are undermining our culture, they are racially inferior to us”….

            …you see how completely f*cked up you are merry-go-round?

  9. John Page says:

    Hi leaver girl
    Not the PC police just concerned about repetitious trolling by a narcissist who just craves attention to feed some personal dysfunction and resorts to OTT comments to get an audience.
    Of course its Bella’s choice
    Thank you
    John Page

    1. leavergirl says:

      Maybe so, John, but in that case there are at least two of them. Why complain just about MGR?

      1. John Page says:

        ….because he makes regular appearances under changed names presumably after being bumped repeatedly for offensive comments

        1. leavergirl says:

          You just changed your rationale, John. I don’t see offensive comments. I learned from both, though pursuing it further seemed to me counter productive.

          Well, I take it back. Douglas just lost his cool and stooped to invective. Still… Bella tends to tolerate such small lapses… and I am with them on that.

          1. We do try and leave discussion flow and be fierce. Our rules are we wont tolerate abuse, racism, misogyny or homophobia. Some of these comments are stretching our will.

  10. John Page says:

    “compared to say black Africans who er are um good at running really quickly around a race track and do wonders in the black-on-white rape statistics in the USA is a difficult one.”
    I have had enough of this regrettably hijacked discussion now
    John Page

    1. leavergirl says:

      Well, it’s up to Bella now.

    2. Douglas says:

      I agree with you John, and in fact, some of the comments by merry-go-round are quite possibly actionable under Scotland’s anti-racist laws…

      1. leavergirl says:

        I mean to add, originally, that it looks like they both got out of hand. Another reason to end things while the ending is still good.

        1. Douglas says:

          I’m sorry, I don’t consider myself to have got out of hand in the least. Why, because I swore? Well, I do that on numerous occasions throughout the day…your friend is a racist, which is all the difference…

          1. leavergirl says:

            Oh I know, some people just deserve to be verbally abused, eh? Righto. Why not put a sock in it Douglas?

            Over and out.

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