Cameron pledges to no longer engage with extremists, Northern Ireland excused from crackdown.

David Cameron  has used a security conference in Munich today to criticise “state multiculturalism” and signal a tougher stance on those groups deemed to be promoting Islamic extremism:

So let’s properly judge these (Islamic) organisations:

Do they believe in universal human rights – including for women and people of other faiths?

Do they believe in equality of all before the law?

Do they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own government?

Do they encourage integration or separatism?

These are the sorts of questions we need to ask.

Fail these tests and the presumption should be not to engage with organisations.

More pertinently, they won’t be getting any more public funding. 

I must admit the thought did cross my mind that if the same criteria were to be also employed in our part of the United Kingdom, HMG would save itself not only a bundle of cash but Owen Paterson’s busy diary would also be cleared at a stroke.

But not to worry, our <del>extremists</del> community representatives aren’t Islamic,  so that governmental money and indulgence should keep on flowing.

Cameron’s full speech may be read here.

  • pippakin

    He did specifically refer to those other extremists, not just in the UK and he does have a point. Arguably one of the problems in the north has been the stubborn refusal of one section to adapt/adopt the other. You can turn that round to whichever section you support but that is the heart of the problem. A cultural and sectarian battle has been fought for centuries. In the north it extended to real abuse of the minority population in an attempt to conserve the power of the majority. The only way for an island, however big or small, to become a nation is to integrate.

    Its no good some suicide bomber declaring he’s blowing himself and innocent strangers up because he doesn’t support the war in Afghanistan/Iraq,or wherever. I don’t support those wars either! Democracy is supposed to give everyone the right to choose the government. If your party loses you wait until next time, using the interim to protest frequently and peacefully.

    There are other problems, which are at last getting some publicity, that are also of serious concern to those who believe equality applies to women and includes the right to make choices and decisions for themselves.

  • He did specifically refer to those other extremists, not just in the UK and he does have a point

    Pippakin,

    He did refer to them but the quote on direct government action that I’ve posted was directly solely at Muslim organisations:

    Some organisations that seek to present themselves as a gateway to the Muslim community are showered with public money despite doing little to combat extremism.

    As others have observed, this is like turning to a right-wing fascist party to fight a violent white supremacist movement
    So let’s properly judge these organisations:

    I have no problem with those criteria whatsoever, it’s the lack of consistency (and not just in the local context) that I’m struggling with.

    .

  • Comrade Stalin

    But not to worry, our extremists community representatives aren’t Islamic, so that governmental money and indulgence should keep on flowing.

    In all sincerity, having attended a meeting just last week where a UUP councillor spoke to a “community representative” to “deal with” a particular anti-social problem, if the UUP leader is prepared to say this in public then that really would be something.

  • aquifer

    Multiculturalism can lead to a fractured polity where people are intimidated and clandestinely oppressed by extremist groupings. And this can include our public representatives who have accommodated these thugs locally, or evolved from the organisations that controlled them. We cannot guard MLAs with a sectarian base from their influence. No accident that Alliance have the security portfolio, the others are quite unfit to serve.

    Is Cameron advocating a strong state to present an alternative focus for allegiance and social co-operation?

    Probably not.

    The capitalist downsizing of states suits the ruling plutocrats very well. Sectarian thuggery may oppress women and ruin the prospects of working people, but a broken polity does not make effective demands of the global plutocracy, For extremists, control and allegiance is more important than material delivery. More jam green fields or virgins tomorrow, never today.

    Votal Sinn Fein

  • For goodness’ sake: stop playing the blame game.

    Anyone noticed that Cameron is lately in trouble, not least with his right wing? So, spot the connection.

    I assume “the doctrine of state multiculturalism” is the obverse of “institutional racism” (first spotted as far back as 1967).

    But “muscular liberalism”? Will some apologist kindly decode?

    Meanwhile, lest we forget:

    “I was unfortunate enough to have dealings with Cameron when he was PR man of the world’s worst television company. And a poisonous slippery individual he was, too. Back then, Cameron was far from the smoothie he pretends to be now. He was a smarmy bully who regularly threatened journalists who dared to write anything negative about Carlton – he loved humiliating people”.

    And that was a a Sun business editor.

  • pippakin

    Malcolm Redfellow

    I would say that liberalism has always been very muscular and downright bullying in its own way.

    The tory right are always a problem for the tory leader but right now? Cameron is in no danger from them, yet.

    The tory leader is a bully? I have always thought all political party leaders were bully’s. If anything Cameron is held in check by his coalition with the LibDems, some of them would walk away from the coalition without a backward glance.

    There is a problem with the separate and different identity some first generation immigrants, especially young Muslim people, have grown up with. Cameron is not the first to raise the subject and I note he has not provided a solution, just a cut in funding.

    I’m not apologising for anything especially my belief that there are serious problems faced by women in the Muslim communities which the liberal elite have ignored for years.

  • 241934 john brennan

    “My country, the United Kingdom, still faces threats from dissident republicans in Northern Ireland.”

    The above sentence is copied from David Cameron’s speech on terrorism. It is worth noting that he referred to ‘dissident republicans’, but recently his frontbench are using the term ‘residual terrorists’.

    With Sinn Fein’s unexplained blessing, MI5 (500 British secret agents in a new multi million pounds HQ building) replaced the North’s PSNI Intelligence Branch.

    In their role of countering the North’s ‘residual terrorists’ MI5 seems to be as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.

    On the same day Mr. Cameron made his anti –terrorism speech, South Down MP Margaret Ritchie was saying that Lord Carlisle’s latest report into counter terrorism simply doesn’t go far enough.

    “The bottom line is M15 simply isn’t up to the job of counter-terrorism. Its intelligence gathering capabilities are totally inadequate and simply out of their depth. The upsurge in dissident activity has flourished under M15’s watch. Unfortunately, the people of North Belfast are feeling the effects of that too frequently over the past two weeks. Indeed, the increased capability shown by the Antrim Road bomb last week shows that while the dissidents are improving, intelligence continues to decline.

    The report does raise questions about confidence and trust. For example, its recommendations on the Privy Council arrangements at Westminster affect only a small number of people. Where is the confidence of all the people elected at Westminster?

    Intelligence and intelligence gathering should be in the control of the PSNI. M15 has no accountability measures. The PSNI has the Policing Board, the Ombudsman and the Oversight Commissioner and various District Policing Partnerships. M15 is a shadowy organization and we’re not aware who it’s accountable to.

    An Guarda Siochana continues to lead the way in the fight against dissident Republicans in the south. Only recently there were further arrests in Kildare. In North Belfast, we could have been dealing with the deaths of many people only for sheer luck.

    People’s lives cannot trust on luck.”

  • There is, of course, one further mystery about this speech.

    Why did Cameron have to go to Munich to read aloud a speech which Angela Merkel made in Potsdam, October 16th last?

    (As here, from Reuters):

    Merkel said allowing people of different cultural backgrounds to live side by side without integrating had not worked in a country that is home to some four million Muslims.

    “This (multicultural) approach has failed, utterly failed,” Merkel told the meeting in Potsdam, south of Berlin.

    Merkel faces pressure from within her CDU to take a tougher line on immigrants who don’t show a willingness to adapt to German society and her comments appeared intended to pacify her critics.

    She said too little had been required of immigrants in the past and repeated her usual line that they should learn German in order to get by in school and have opportunities on the labor market.

    The main differences, I suppose, are:
    [1] Cameron is no original thinker;
    and
    [2] Germany has Thilo Sarrazin and we suffer with Melanie Phillips.

  • Oh, and read the runes in what Anthony Wells is writing, at ukpollingreport.co.uk:

    Labour’s lead has been above its five point average for three polls in a row now, my guess is that there has been a slight increase in Labour’s lead (though of course we would now seem to have a big political row over multiculturalism – if that rumbles on rather than being a flash-in-the-pan we’ll have to see what impact it has).

    [My emphasis.]

    Dearie me: that really is a dastardly cynical view. It couldn’t possibly be correct (we can see it’s “Right”), could it? Hmmm?

  • fordprefect

    “Do they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own government”? Bare faced cheek, if you ask me! Cameron and his buddies were not “democratically” elected by the British people, they had to get the slimy, never again voted for Lib Dems to join them in this “government”!

  • Nunoftheabove

    fordperfect

    I don’t think we did ask you an you’re not short of bare-faced cheek. Care to compare the standard of democracy in the UK with, oh, let’s see, the Islamic Republic of Iran ? Or pre-intervention Iraq ? Afghanistan ? You think it’s undemocratic (even anti-democratic ?) if there’s a coalition in the 26 counties after the forthcoming election there ? Get real here.

  • Intelligence and intelligence gathering should be in the control of the PSNI. M15 has no accountability measures. The PSNI has the Policing Board, the Ombudsman and the Oversight Commissioner and various District Policing Partnerships. M15 is a shadowy organization and we’re not aware who it’s accountable to.” ….. South Down MP Margaret Ritchie?

    For goodness sake, Margaret, get a grip of yourself. Something are just way beyond your pay grade, and understanding, and decidedly and designedly so for your own protection. Nothing to see here, move along please.

    Intelligence and intelligence gathering are always controlled by those with the intelligence that delivers intelligence to “clients”, and the gathering of intelligence is a more minor, although still important collateral metadata analysis role, which spookily enough is probably definitely always best delivered by Intelligence Control Deliverers.

    Which does have one wondering what they are then playing at, Loughside. One would hope that it is a great deal more than dreaming up a new ashtray for a motorbike, although one is never disappointed in how stupid man can be …. [“With Sinn Fein’s unexplained blessing, MI5 (500 British secret agents in a new multi million pounds HQ building) replaced the North’s PSNI Intelligence Branch.

    In their role of countering the North’s ‘residual terrorists’ MI5 seems to be as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.” ….. 241934 john brennan,
    5 February 2011 at 9:17 pm]

    The unexplained blessing, 241934 john brennan, is probably down to one of those Godfather type offers you cannot refuse, backed up with more dirt and evidence of a decidedly dodgy nature and of goings on than would it not be healthy nor in one’s best selfish interests to have aired, and given the light of day and oxygen of publicity. Thus is one rendered a willing enough puppet to do as one is told.

    And is M15 the same as MI5, or a novel Northern Ireland clone of the parent which needs a bit of a makeover/shakeup and new leading direction to make it much more effective and future relevant, given the perception that in their role of countering the North’s ‘residual terrorists’ MI5 seems to be as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.?

    Certainly there needs to be something a great deal greater than that which doesn’t appear to be there at the present, which is I suppose an M decision to make and take with a C consultation, probably. Well, you can’t have spooky departments going rogue on their own with decision making, can you. That would be a rich recipe for operational disasters and crazy conflicts rather a smarter capitalising joint venture for the delivery of rich pickings for all.

    Cameron is no original thinker;” … Malcolm Redfellow, 5 February 2011 at 10:47 pm

    And ’tis painful to witness his attempts at the portrayal/betrayal, MR. And so the Pantomime of Parliamentary Democracy continues to blight the nation and nations with its sub-prime SOAPs*/spinning threads of Media Feed.

    *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SOAP

  • Nunoftheabove @ 5:38 am:

    Once we start judging the “quality” of democracy elsewhere in the world, we’re part-way to deciding we have a duty to impose régime-change.

    Worth checking out http://gsociology.icaap.org/report/polsum.html for arguments that, over decades, there has been a small global trend towards democracy, that internal conflict has risen and may now be falling, that refugees (other than for economic reasons) are declining, and that terrorism is also declining (though arguably becoming more efficient).

    As for amanfromMars @ 8:56 am, I’m bemused by any relevance of an obscure communication protocol to this thread. I, however, am quite a simple soul: Cameron’s spiel at Munich was playing to the gallery of his “ultras”. By the look of the Sunday press, it hasn’t paid off (they’re more concerned with his inability to go Reaganite on taxes).

  • I also noticed Peter Hoskin’s “take”, as posted to the Spectator blogs yesterday morning:

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/6674168/cameron-signs-up-to-muscular-liberalism.thtml

    What Cameron is doing here – as explained by Charles Moore and Paul Goodman – is publicly signing up to a philosophy of the world. It is a philosophy that rejects the idea that extremism should simply be contained. Instead, it says that extremism must be fought – and that means engaging in a battle of ideas. “Tough on extremism, tough on the causes of extremism,” is how Tony Blair might have put it. “This is the battle that must be won, a battle not just about the terrorist methods but their views. Not just their barbaric acts, but their barbaric ideas. Not only what they do but what they think and the thinking they would impose on others,” is how Tony Blair did put it.

    Oh dear, “barbarism”! Prepare to nuke at any moment.

    The Charles Moore piece is from the Telegraph, but natch: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/8304545/The-days-of-doing-deals-with-Muslim-extremists-are-over.html

    Paul Goodman confides great thoughts to the expectant universe on ConHome, even more natch: http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thetorydiary/2011/02/david-cameron-sends-a-message-to-westminster-and-whitehall-treat-extremists-like-racists-now-he-must.html

    What makes the second significant is the way Goodman makes a dog-whistle link to racism, dragging in such “usual suspects” as Andrew Gilligan, glove-puppet, on this occasion, for the Greville Janner [Zionist] and Kristan Hopkins [there’s your NI/anti SF connection] types.

    At least Hoskin has a sense of proportion to keep Cameron in the “heir to Blair” groove, whereas Goodman goes barmy and droolingly hagiographic that It’s the most significant pronouncement on “Islamist extremism” – as the Prime Minister starkly labels it – from a British politician since 7/7.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Malcolm Redfellow

    Depends who ‘we’ is but don’t necessarily agree – influence, certainly – but why would civilized mature successful stable states not have some responsibility to at a minimum promote democratic principles elsewhere ?

  • Nunoftheabove @ 12:15 pm:

    The usual version of the civilized mature successful stable states argument was to “prove” that economic success is a concomitant of “democracy”. It generally convinced — until we had to recognise that “guided” or “managed democracy” is what really hits the button. Where I’m sitting “Chinese democracy” is an album by Guns’n’Roses: no more, no less.

    So, ah, yes! Those marvellous “democratic principles”, of which “ours” are always the best. We know what’s good for you. As imposed on Latin America in the ’50s; and still being maintained in North Africa ($1.3 billion a year in US military aid to Egypt) and across the Middle East. Truly admirable.

    However, that’s not the point of what Cameron is saying. He is making a blatant appeal to the Islamophobes and Little Englanders (by no means all of whom are on the Right; but it helps).

    Moreover, he did it to coincide with what were anticipated to be gory scenes on the streets of Luton. One might speculate why Theresa May allowed this one to go ahead, after serially banning previous outings of the EDL (but that would involve conspiracy theory of the worst kind). Credit where it belongs: trouble was prevented by ordinary police officers’ “muscular liberalism”, some of it imported from as far as Devon and Cornwall, at a cost of £800,000. Even so, the EDP were allowed to imperialise a whole suburb, to which others were denied access, as though it were one of those “no-go areas” of which we treasure loving memories.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Malcolm

    Notwithstanding your obvious cynicism about the motivations of the US and others and perhaps cynicism more generally – can you or do you say that what Cameron is proposing in relation to the backward, insular, determinedly non-integrationist violent jihadist opportunists among some muslim communities is unreasonable ?

    Also, while I would see democracy as a necessary but insufficient condition for true state maturity anywhere in the world (likewise secularism), are you honestly saying that there are better alternatives out there which take no account whatsoever of popular opinion, have a complete absence of accountable structures and who disdain pluralist values and base themselves on narrow, superstitious pre-enlightenment values ?

  • “Even so, the EDP were allowed to imperialise a whole suburb, to which others were denied access, as though it were one of those “no-go areas” of which we treasure loving memories.”

    You’re mixing up your English Democrats and Defenders there Malcolm, think you meant the EDL.

  • Nunoftheabove @ 4:08 pm:

    Pray allow me to correct you: I am most definitely not merely “cynical” about US involvement in places as diverse as Chile and the Lebanon. There were a few too many prematurely killed for that.

    The key phrase in your post, though, is some muslim communities. I humbly suggest that insular, determinedly non-integrationist violent thought is not specific to citizens of the islamic faith. I recall it happening a lot closer home: the last count I saw was 3,524 dead. But see oneill‘s headline post.

    Moreover, all the surveys, for what they are worth, show a higher appreciation of “Britishness” among persons of Asian-extraction than among the “host” community.

  • oneill @ 5:58 pm:

    Actually, not so. My mistyping/Freudian slip was the result of being Norfolk-born, Norfolk-bred, and years of daily study of the the local paper (and still my first resort for news of Norwich City FC): the EDP — the Eastern Daily Press. Once upon a time its reports of herring landings at Great Yarmouth were studied world-wide.

    In this case, the little finger of my right hand betrayed its origin. Apologies.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Malcolm

    I didn’t for one moment suggest that it was specific to the Islamic faith but that is what Cameron was/is referring to in fairly plain words and that’s what I was commenting on. I am unsure about what survveys showing higher appreciations of Britishness (eh ?) but I personally would be inclined to be a lot more concerned about the sincerity of the commitment to democratic values and integrational intentions of some within communities where minarets are peppering the skies.

    There is, of sorts, a civil war being fought out within Islam and the British need to be very clear what side they’re on within that debate and not allow themselves to be sucker-punched by listening too much to the blethering idiots who continue to make a taboo of any discussion of the beliefs of a portion of those immigrants from backward countries on the entirely bogus and laughable grounds that to do so would be racist and ‘anti-diversity’.

    If you want to start discussing levels of ‘integration’ in NI too then by all means – go for it.

  • Mark McGregor

    O’Neill,

    In the context of the north of Ireland it might be more worthwhile to see how the speechifier’s system performs against his own standards. For example:

    Do they believe in universal human rights?

    Do they believe in equality of all before the law?

    I think you’ll find we still have trail without a jury of peers and government ministers placing people in gaol without any trial at all or public presentation of evidence.

    And he has the balls to call others on human rights standards?

  • fordprefect

    Nun
    Me,get real? So you support an illegal war in Iraq? Afghanistan was certainly the base for Osama bin Laden and Al Queda, but, why didn’t they target them (like they have been doing with their drones and so on) instead of invading the country? Why didn’t America and her “Allies” invade “Israel” (who have ignored with contempt, every UN resolution brought against them!)? Like I said before, you would make a great anchor for Fox “News” or a great cheerleader for the likes of Sarah Palin!.

  • Nunoftheabove

    fordperfect

    Just to confirm – you’re a supporter of the pre-intervention regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan – yes ? Were you a supporter of the sanctions placed on Iraq prior to the intervention and, if so, want to comment on their effectiveness ? Would you, as it sounds as if you might, be a supporter of a military intervention on Israeli soil (and, if so, on what grounds and to what end/s, specifically) or, like the other two countries named so far, would you have been happy enough to leave them as they were and turn the blind eye as a matter of – if that’s what it is or can be called – principle ?

  • fordprefect

    Nun
    As usual trying to twist my words. Well, lets start with “Israel”, intervention to stop them oppressing and murdering Palestinians. Did I agree with the regimes operating in Iraq and Afghanistan before they were invaded (not intervention)?, absolutely not! But, tell me the difference between the above two countries and Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar etc. they abuse human/womens rights and the yanks and british are quite happy to do arms deals and cosy up to them? You say “Israeli” soil, is it not also Palestinian soil? Like I said, you would be a great anchor for Fox “News” and a great sidekick for the likes of Anne Coulter!

  • Nunoftheabove

    fordperfect

    No twisting required, mucker. The state – for the moment at least – is Israel – I have very significant criticisms of it also. You’re being unclear about the precise purpose of an intervention there though, what form it would take and who would undertake it. I’d have thought that a two-state solution – the only one which is likely and feasible in our lifetime – could be achieved relatively straightforwardly without overt military activity but we shall see. Suspension of loan guarantees should arrest the Israeli’s complacency, to begin with – it did the last time it was tried by Bush senior although regrettably wasn’t followed through with then. Disappointed with Obama’s role thus far but Egypt may tilt things in an interesting direction. Hope so.

    Just some of the fundamentals to your other point regarding the bone fides of a military intervention on a sovereign territory. Let’s bear in mind here that under international law a state is deemed to have lost its sovereignty and to have been subject to intervention and to regime change on one (sic ) of four grounds. each and every one of them was applicable to Iraq, some of them multiply.

    • violation of the genocide convention;

    • where a state provides substantial aid and comfort to and harbours forces of international gangsterism and terror, to include terrorist targeting of civilians;

    • Violations of the non proliferation treaty and repeated refusal to come into line with UN resolutions;

    • expansionist military intervention (attempted annexation, let’s not sugar-coat it) such as that undertaken in Kuwait – a member state of the UN.

    You seem to be quite the authority on Fox News fordperfect. Personally I think it’s for douchebags strongly disinterested in international or indeed domestic affairs but I’m sure those two last points aren’t in the least connected.

  • fordprefect

    Nun
    “Where a state provides substantial aid and comfort to and harbours forces of international gangsterism and terror, to include terrorist targeting of civillians”. Again you have just described the “good ole’ USA” to a T! September 11th 1973, Allende assassinated in Chile (after being democratically elected, the CIA were behind it and participated in it), El salvador, Nicaragua, do you want me to go on, or do you comfort yourself in the “fact” that you are “right”, the same way that Anne Coulter and Sarah Palin are “right”?

  • fordprefect

    Nun
    By the way (and I’m not excusing the “invasion”) Kuwait is actually a province of Iraq. This was due to the British and their cohorts carving the country up before they were booted out of it.

  • fordprefect

    Nun
    Where are u? Looking it up in a history book, perhaps? (that’s providing that u can read of course!)

  • Nunoftheabove

    fordperfect

    So you don’t recognize the sovereignty of Kuwait ? Big George Galloway fan, I’m guessing…

    What you seem to be incapable of acceting (or understanding) is that those were separate US Governments and that motivations and circumstances change. Kissinger and company should have been indicted and there’s still an outside chance that the awful man may end his days in prison – certainly hope so. Do you believe that the motivations for the intervention in, say, Kosovo was the same as it was for Chile for example ? Were you against that intervention also ?

    Don’t you worry about my reading skills chum, you have plenty to worry about as it is by the look of it. Also, do you have a thing about opportunist American right wing republican females of a certain age ?

    Do I want you to go on ? Don’t mind, you’re tiring yourself out shadow boxing so far without landing any punches whatsoever – give it your best shot sweetie.

  • Mark Mc Gregor;

    And he has the balls to call others on human rights standards

    In an earlier comment, I said I haven’t got a problem with the criteria set, it’s more the consistency I struggle with.

    *However*, if by applying those criteria, misogynists and homophobes, to take one example, get shorter shrift, it’s not a bad thing surely?

    It makes more sense to agree with the criteria and press or embarrass the government into ensuring they’re applied across the board- misogyny and homophobia not being restricted to the wilder ends of Islam unfortunately.

  • Nunoftheabove

    oneill

    Agreed; if he proceeds with this then Cameron should be applauded but held to those commitments and the consistency of application at every step.

    If by muscular liberalism he also means people of sense having the courage of their convictions to face down the ‘diversity police’ who scream foul, taboo (and, laughably, racism) every time the bone fides of the jihadists who want (and insist on) female circumcision, faith schools, forced marraiges, sharia etc allowed/imposed are called into question then muscularly into them we must determinedly get stuck also, in debate.

    If they want to sell the farm then that’s up to them to – at least be honest about it, guys – but guilt-tripping the rest of us into not even being able to debate without this silly bullying nonsense about diversity is something liberals of all descriptions should not put up with and most won’t.

    It’s high time the official left were called on this too and were forced to take sides – either they’re with the jihadists (a lot of them fairly unashamedly are – after all, the jihadists are anti-American so they’re enemies almost by definition, right ?) or they’re for a decent society. There was a time when the left could, whatever else they were on about, be depended upon to be sound on religion and to be radical – they’re now even casting that aside and weighing in behind brutal reactionaries who are vicious and determined enemies of all that’s good about living in a free society.

  • I’m sorry to say I’ve lost touch with quite what Nunoftheabove is maintaining.

    At one moment it seems to be minarets … peppering the skies: I can provide, if pushed, parallel whinging about Methodist “conventicles” in the eighteenth century and “Romish obscenities” that “proliferated” after Catholic Emancipation. The oldest mosque in Britain, by the way, is going into its second century and is at 8 Brougham Terrace, Liverpool; so they’ve been around quite a while. The one in Regent’s Park is no more or less exotic than the Brighton Pavilion; and was a fair exchange for the Anglican cathedral in Cairo (it looks like a concrete artichoke, behind the Marriott Hotel), so I’ve no great complaints.

    Then the tenor changes and Nunoftheabove bewails female circumcision, faith schools, forced marraiges [sic], sharia etc. Now, with the exception of “faith schools” (which have a long and honourable tradition going back the odd millennium or three), the rest of those items are extra-legal in the UK and Ireland. I know of nobody in these islands, politically Left or Right, “official” or not (is there a “provisional” Left I could adhere to?), whatever their faith, arguing for adopting female circumcision (which anyway is not specific to Islam: it is practised among nominal Christians in Uganda, for example) into our culture. It would put us in difficulties with the UN, too. So, Nunoftheabove, what’s the issue there?

    Above all, Nunoftheabove seems to mistake Cameron’s direction. He was speaking (wrongly, incoherently and impertinently, as I see it) about “British” culture … and in Germany. So what is confusing me further is whether Nunoftheabove feels these “values” are entirely for internal consumption, or whether they are meant to be exported, if necessary by imperialistic force, and imposed generally on lesser breeds without the law.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Malcolm

    I don’t much care for the tone of your post and I’m afraid to say that I don’t much esteem much of its content either on this occasion.

    If what you mean by bewailing female circumcision/genital mutilation is being unambiguously opposed to it, then yes – are you ? Germaine Greer was/is among those who regard any attempt to outlaw it as “an attack on cultural identity” and secured some support among the wishy washy so-called liberal soft-left for saying so at the time and since. I’d be opposed to it no-matter what the religious basis for it incidentally.

    – faith schools ? Yes, against them as matter of principle – done a huge lot of good in the 6 counties too, hasn’t it ?

    – “forced marraiges [sic]” – accept the spelling mistake (thanks), not sure what else you want to say about that – arranged in some cases, forced in others, in some strands distinct ambivalence about honour killing etc ,particularly among those parts of the community deriving from backward societies in which in-breeding and inter-marriage is not uncommon, frequently involving very young girls – all ok with you in the name of cultural diversity ?

    – sharia etc – utterly loathsome and incompatible with a decent society where human freedom and secular values are – for some of us at least – remotely important. Do I really need to rehearse why ?

    – As for my mistaking Cameron’s direction, I am perfectly well aware that he was speaking about “British” culture … and in Germany. I read the speech so have no conscious misunderstanding about what he was saying or what he had in mind at all.

    “So what is confusing me further is whether Nunoftheabove feels these “values” are entirely for internal consumption” – if you say internal meaning UK/Ireland, then yes – but I wouldn’t say entirely or exclusively. Does that help unconfuse you ?

    In terms of whether they are meant to be “exported “(exported ?!), “if necessary by imperialistic force, and imposed generally on [your emphasis] lesser breeds without the law”, then only you can truly understand what you mean by any of that.

    I’d be happy to engage with you point by point Malcolm…on condition that

    (i) you actually do have a point; and

    (ii) can spell it out in a clear and something approaching a mannerly fashion.

    Let’s at least be civil here here – if you routinely address people you don’t know well in a pub in that tone you could count yourself lucky if you got back indoors even one night in the year without ale dripping off you.

    Cheers

  • I am Spartacus not Germaine Greer. I do not have to express here views on every topic from mass-murder to dog-fouling for anyone to assume I am in favour thereof.

    In one particular respect Nunoftheabove needs answering. In law, the duty is for the parent to have the child educated (and the authorities to provide the school place, if required). Consider, too, Article 9 of the Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights. Faith schools are therefore embedded in our cultural norms: we can chose to patronise them or not, but not to outlaw them.

    However, I feel that Nunoftheabove‘s ad-hominem stuff is close enough to trolling to wish him well: over and out.

  • Hmm: it must be strike not del: so try it again:

    I am Spartacus not Germaine Greer.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Perhaps that’s the only particular respect in which you were able to answer Malcolm.

    If you regard the substance of my response – point by point, mind -as ad hominem then it seems to me that you either don’t understand the term – which seems not unlikely, frankly – and/or that you are regrettably unaware of the concept of civility – again, strong basis of plausibility there based on the available evidence.

    Either way, I’m inclined to accept your effective concession on the main points of the argument and disinclined to tolerate your unwarranted unpleasantness further.