We’re racist because we’re so friendly…

Matthew Parris reckons nowhere is quite like Belfast in terms of it’s sheer social solidarity. In fact we’re so solid with one another that Belfast is the most well catered for city in terms of local swimming pools because back in the seventies and early eighties when many of them were built it was physically dangerous for people to turn up at the wrong pool in the wrong place. I remember a mate with unmistakeably Irish fore and surnames having his name called out in Holywood Road social services offices who decided it was healthier not get up and sign on when two of his neighbours in the queue muttered to one another “let’s jump the fenian b******* when he leaves…” Nowhere that is but places like Blackpool out of season (via Nuzhound):

In a Blackpool taxi some years ago I asked the driver if the town was a nice place to live, even out of season.

“Fantastic!” he said. “Especially out of season. So friendly. For example, a black man came to live here and bought a local pub. Well, our community wasn’t having that; not here; not a black. So word got round among friends and neighbours to boycott the business. Soon nobody drank there. The black man went bankrupt and left. Yes – really good community spirit here in Blackpool.”

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  • otto

    “Three cheers for a countering (and ancient) strand of English sentiment that remains distinctly cool about community, neighbours and relations.”

    Does Matthew know that Blackpool (and Lancashire) is in England?

  • dewi

    Not only a fenian b.. But a scrounging fenian b…

  • Mick Fealty

    Not exactly dewi. We were mostly school leavers and it was 1976; year one of the reign of the IMF.

  • fionn

    sorry, off thread i know. but i dont know where else to post ..

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/RIRA-39are-planning-suicide-bombings39.5400319.jp

    is it april fools day?

  • Dave

    I think it shows the schizophrenia of those who are promoting controlled immigration between EU states in order to promote the EU’s “ever-closer union” agenda (the logical outworking of which is unity) of becoming a state at the direct expense of the sovereignty of the states ensnared within the EU.

    On one hand, they will insist that there are no cultural differences between nations that could lead to conflict between them; and that where such conflicts actually arise, that they must be classified as “racism” rather than cultural. So they will insist that the Roma do not have a culture of criminality and general anti-social behaviour despite this community almost provoking civil war in Hungary where they account for circa 9% of its population and despite them being despised whereby they go in Europe (thanks to EU laws allowing this eurotrash out of Eastern Europe) and despite the Interpol and the UK police confirming that these people are a mobile crime wave.

    So, despite the overwhelming evidence that there are cultural differences between the nations of the EU and that these cultural differences cause very real difficulties which should be ameliorated by controlled immigration, the EU-zealots (such as Parris) as left to ignore the evidence by the dismal expedient of claiming that all the nations are the same and that any disharmony between them is due to the racism of the host nations.

    Now this is where the schizophrenia comes into it, for if all nations are the same, why do they then contradict their own argument by claiming, alternatively, that the people of NI are the “most friendly” (a comparative which implicitly declares that all are not the same) or the “most intolerant” out of the compared nations? Surely, if all cultures are the same, then no culture is more friendly or less tolerant than another.

    No, as these EU-schizos betray, all cultures are not the same, and some nations bring with them a culture of criminality and general anti-social behaviour that must be controlled by, oddly enough, controlled immigration between EU states.

    Shabby bait and switch tactics such as changing the topic to white/black racism (such as the incident in Blackpool) or conflict between two nations who are locked into a struggle for control of one state (such as nationalist/unionist) won’t fool anyone.

  • The Blackpool pub story reminds me.

    Cast: NI “friend” (Free Presbyterian, DUP, the works); self.

    Scene: top deck of a W3 bus, Finsbury Park – Northumberland Park, heading towards White Hart Lane. [i.e. Tottenham, Norf Lunnun.]

    He (fortissimo): Ye’ve a right lot of nig-nogs round here.

    The rest is silence.

  • Guest

    Here we go again with the “WE” buisness.Bollix.

  • “Belfast is the most well catered for city in terms of local swimming pools”

    Mick, I suspect some of these facilities were attempts at ‘pacification’; a distraction from ‘recreational rioting’.

    Before I concentrated my ‘spare time’ energies on JCSS, the Coleraine inter-schools group, I was involved with its parent body in the early to mid 1970s. One of the community groups asked the powers-that-be for a community centre similar in style to those that were being built in Belfast. This was refused on the grounds that Coleraine hadn’t had any riots 🙂

  • sinless
  • Richard James

    Not displaying a touch of bigotry yourself Malcolm?

  • Owen O’Neill

    I found this example of uber bigotry from the local Coleraine Times web forum:

    http://www.topix.com/forum/uk/coleraine/TPGD12UKNRS565GIT#comments

    Shocking !

  • Dave:

    “So they will insist that the Roma do not have a culture of criminality and general anti-social behaviour despite this community almost provoking civil war in Hungary where they account for circa 9% of its population and despite them being despised whereby they go in Europe (thanks to EU laws allowing this eurotrash out of Eastern Europe) and despite the Interpol and the UK police confirming that these people are a mobile crime wave.”

    Roma are less than 9% of the population of Hungary and have not “almost provoked a civil war”.

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    I dunno why the BNP don’t run in NI, especially given their recent success in Britain.

    I saw 2 interviews that BNP leader Nick Griffen gave on TV recently. He didn’t come across very well at all.

  • Multicultural Paradise

    Greagoir.

    When you lead a party from absolutely nothing and despised by the entire establishment – including invariably vicious, and sometimes idiotic, attacks from clergymen, the BBC and government ministers – to a position where it polls almost 1mil votes yet lacks multi-million pound contributions, then you can start to lecture us on Griffin’s media performances.

    This particular mob will continue to attract growing support if the “mainstream” parties continue to pursue fundamentally unsound and dangerous policies on immigration and national sovereignty without consulting the public.

    And let’s not even get started on our unelected Prime Minister, Lord Mandelson

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    Jaypers, Nick Griffen is some piece of work…..

    He was recently saying in an interview I saw on C4 news that there is no such thing as a Black Welshman….So poor old Olympic medal winner Colin Jackson and super singer Shirley Bassey don’t count in his books.

    He also said that he wishes to stand up for the indigenous peoples of the ‘British Isles’….the English, the Irish, the Scots and the Welsh….those of Celtic and Anglo Saxon stock.
    But why stop there?

    Coz he never mentioned the Danes, or even the very influential Normans at all. So I suppose those of Norman stock including the royalty and nobility etc…throughout Britain better get on their bikes and leave too. (BTW, the name Griffen is French Norman).

    So much for the Commonwealth when it comes to Nick Griffen. But Nick was really targeting non whites, and moreso non christian whites.

    It’s definitely a wonder why the BNP don’t launch themselves in NI. I’m sure they’d be very successful!

  • Dave

    “Roma are less than 9% of the population of Hungary and have not “almost provoked a civil war”.” – Aldamir

    The Roma comprise 9.8% of the Hungarian population and are expected to comprise 20.9% by 2050. The Roma and the Hungarians have been engaged in a mutual murder campaign for quite some time and, as the Roma rights group Lungo Drom warned “unless a solution is found for the integration of the Roma, there will be a civil-war situation”. Hungary, just like Ireland, the UK, and other EU member states operates a policy of obscuring the ethnic/national identity of those who commit crimes within their respective states lest this information be used to show that certain groups are more prone to crime than others (try asking the Gardia for data on violent crimes involving members of the travelling community), so there are no official statistics of Roma crime in Hungary but Hungarians are in no doubt about which community is most disposed to committing crimes. Unofficially, however, the Hungarian police will tell you which community causes it the most problems regarding rapes, murders, theft, ect, citing, for example, that out of 17 attempted murders by juveniles in one year, 15 of them where committed by Roma.

    sinless, the BNP are on the far left of the political spectrum, not the far right.

  • oneill

    “The Blackpool pub story reminds me.

    Cast: NI “friend” (Free Presbyterian, DUP, the works); self etc etc…”

    Malcolm,

    How convenient, he ticked all the right boxes and fulfilled the duty your own prejudices expected of him.

  • The Budapest-Belfast Express

    Dave,

    Several corrections needed here.

    Both the Far Right and the Roma NGOs for their own reasons routinely overestimate the Roma population of Hungary- the reasons why the fascists do are obvious, for the NGOs like Lungo Drom the higher the numbers, the higher the funding from the EU and other donors. The official state figure for Roma in Hungary is 500,000, that’s an underestimation divide the difference between that figure and the 900,000 and you’re closer to the truth.

    http://www.romapage.hu/hirek/hircentrum/article/114276/

    “The Roma and the Hungarians have been engaged in a mutual murder campaign for quite some time and, as the Roma rights group Lungo Drom warned “unless a solution is found for the integration of the Roma, there will be a civil-war situation”

    Which is a little bit different from your earlier assertion that it is the Roma who have provoked the “almost civil war” in Hungary. And also contrary to what you claimed, the Roma and “non-Roma” haven’t been involved in a tit for tat ethnic murder campaign.

    There have been two high profile murders carried out by Roma in the last 18 months, one was of a teacher suspcted of running over a Roma child was beaten to deat and the second was a, unfortunately typical, night-club stabbing, following a brawl. The first was particularly horrific, but neither were race-inspired (not that it makes more acceptable, but it disproves your theory).

    In a two year period (and coinciding with rise of both the far-right political party Jobbik and the anti-“gypsy” anti-“zionist” paramilitary grouping Magyar Garda who model themselves on the WW2 nazi-alligned Arrow Cross) there have been nearly 3 dozen fire bomb attacks on Roma property and 7 murders of Roma mainly in E Hungary. As you’d probably guess, the local “Zionists” have also taken a hammering with synagogues, schools and graveyards being vandalised, although that’s been more property centred, the latest an attack on a holocaust memorial in Budapest this week.

    Although it makes good headlines for the local lazy hacks and bloggers, a little bit more research would show that Belfast has serious competition for that coveted “Racist capital of Europe” title

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/world/europe/27hungary.html?_r=1&hp;

  • Richard James @ 10:15 PM
    oneill @ 08:55 AM

    Prejudice? Moi?

    He remains a good friend. Strangely, amicitia vincit omnia — even politics and religion (that’s one of the advantages of taking the boy out of the North, even if you cannot take the North out of the boy).

    Now, if we had been on our way to Highbury rather than White Hart Lane, prejudice would definitely be involved.

  • sj1

    Not a new phenomenon mick, I recently read an article by frazier nelson claiming that Britain was less racist now than ever yet the BNP now have elected reps in the euro parliament.

    Maybe you (plural) are confusing growing frustration at racism due to economic hardship and mass immigration, with pure racism. I don’t think its the same thing, the underlying issues do need to be dealt with.

  • sinless

    “sinless, the BNP are on the far left of the political spectrum, not the far right.” BNP are lefties??

    Thanks for the fascinating Hungarian civil war stuff. How come you guys are up to speed on a far away country of which we know next to nothing?

  • Big Maggie

    sinless,

    “BNP are lefties??”

    Can anybody here give me working definitions of “left” and “right”? I’m genuinely confused.

  • Big Maggie @ 04:41 PM:

    You are, of course, being subtly ironic, particularly when faced by the sheer trolling daftness of Dave @ 02:06 AM (one of his several personae and sock-puppets, I suspect).

    However there is a good measure of one’s personal posture at http://www.politicalcompass.org/ — as well as a moment or two of pointless fun.

  • Big Maggie

    Malcolm,

    As usual, you’re excellent value for monnaie :^)

    I didn’t know about the seating arrangement of French National Assembly of 1789 until now.

    Milles mercis!

  • Big Maggie

    However, that’s as was. What’s the present position?

    I’d always understood “left” to mean “a wish to change the old order” …. Ah, nostalgia for my young and feisty years! And “right” was always conservative: “No change here, you commie bastard!”

    Has the compass really shifted that far?

  • Big Maggie @ 05:10 PM:

    Yes, I’ve just had a quick scrute as well.

    What surprised me was how recent is the application of the terms Left/Right/Centre to general politics.

    As you say, the thing derives from the French Assembly. So, the OED reckons Thomas Carlyle’s French Revolution (1837) is the first usage in English; but specifically in that 1789 context, which it glosses as:

    This use originated in the French National Assembly of 1789, in which the nobles as a body took the position of honour on the President’s right, and the Third Estate sat on his left. The significance of these positions, which was at first merely ceremonial, soon became political.

    A further rootle shows Mrs Gaskell writing a letter (2 Nov 1848: a telling year):

    I never can ascertain what I am in politics; and veer about from extreme Right, no, I don’t think I ever go as far as the extreme Left.

    Then we are into the 20th century before more general application becomes current (long after Left/Right had become used in football, the army or in boxing). The OED has two pertinent citations. First is the Edinburgh Review of 4 Jan 1907, with an eternal truth:

    The average man is of the Centre; and history in the long run is made by the average man.

    The other is from a T.E.Lawrence letter, dated 27 Sep 1919:

    So long as we are the more liberal (‘left’ in the Parliamentary sense) we call the tune… Our remedy and safeguard will be to trend continually ‘left’.

    I’ll drink to that!

    I’ve been bashing this out while a really-spectacular thunderstorm has been providing free entertainment to Norf Lunnun. As it passes over, I can go back to Sidney Bechet at Storyville. All this and a bit of intellectual stimulus, wife concocting a curry, a couple of Pinot Grigio nicely chilled: too many delights!

  • Big Maggie

    Malcolm,

    Thanks again for the almost hydra-like number of heads-up :^)

    “All this and a bit of intellectual stimulus, wife concocting a curry, a couple of Pinot Grigio nicely chilled”

    “Concocting”? Ingrate! And call it a matter of taste but I do find that a sturdy Australian shiraz is your only man with a curry :^)

  • Big Maggie @ 07:42 PM:

    You cannot appreciate how appropriate that last sentence of yours was.

    Friday evening, being told by G.P. how dissolute my lifestyle was, that weight-loss was de rigeur, threat of imminent terminus ad quem, increase of medication, et al.

    Instant resolution: come off the Sainsbury’s three for a tenner. End of constant supply of Australian Shiraz, Chilean whatever …

    Hence the Pinot Grigio (looking at the dregs of the second bottle now).

    So this, from the greatest Irish writer of them all:

    When health is bad and your heart feels strange,
    And your face is pale and wan,
    When doctors say you need a change,
    A pint of plain is your only man.

    I’m afraid that I pursue that fine son of Strabane, the O’Nolan‘s essential mantra: if the cow’s sacred — shoot it.

    Which is why I no longer ride bicycles. Especially ones which may have been nicked from Dave Cameron.

    Might that define Left versus Right?