Archive for August, 2009

A news story in the Guardian today reports on a fairly horrific Islamophobic campaign that has targeted a local prayer-leader.

What caught my eye in particular though was the attitude of the BNP. With no discernible trace of irony Councillor Pat Richardson, leader of the BNP group on the local council, said her party was not behind the attacks: “Firebombing is not a British method. A brick through the window is a British method, but firebombing is not a way of showing displeasure,” she said.Whilst there are distinct nationalised repertoires of protest I have not seen them addressed in this way before. I didn’t realise racist thugs stopped midway through an attack and went ‘you can’t do that! Firebombing’s not british you know’ (clearly someone else bombed Dresden then).

But perhaps the BNP have a point – though the Guardian fails to spot it:

The BNP describes Fahim’s mosque, in south Woodford, four miles from Loughton, as “notorious” and claims it has incited violence. In fact, Fahim works as a chaplain for the Metropolitan police. [For once I think that ‘notorious’ and ‘violent’ are not a million miles out here]

What wonderful things invented traditions are!




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The Tenth Anniversary Issue of Holyrood (summer 2009) provides a nice snapshot of Scottish politics and parliament ten years on, including some very frank comments by Sam Galbraith (first Education Minister) on his former colleague Henry McLeish (First Minister).  Apart from this bit of ‘spice’, it’s not a bad place to start for someone wanting to get up to speed on the state of the nation in Scotland.  See http://www.holyrood.com.

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The British Home Office  is proposing to introduce a system of granting/denying British citizenship on the basis of how strongly an immigrant individual favours or criticizes the British democratic system and all its facets.


As the Guardian states: “..those who demonstrate involvement in voluntary work or other forms of “active citizenship” such as canvassing for political parties or being a school governor could get a passport within a year.”

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